D&D 5E PC races that a DM has specifically excluded from their campaign and why

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
On the upside, a highly curated allowed character race list can serve as a check dam against players whose preferences are different enough from the GM's that it would like be a problem.

GM: This is a low fantasy, mud and blood, humans only in a mythical British Isles during the Saxon Migration mercenary campaign.
Player: Can I play Gnome Illusionist Jester?
GM: Not the table for you, my man.
 

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slobster

Hero
I always run my campaigns in the same homebrew world, and limit races because I don't really care for kitchen sink campaigns personally. There's just something ... off ... about having a couple dozen intelligent humanoid races running around unless it's not an earth-like world. If I had a Ringworld with landmass of a thousand earths, or a plane-hopping multiverse it would make more sense.

I don't have an issue with other races per se, but as a DM I want my world to be consistent and make sense; if it doesn't make sense to me I can't sell it to my players.
I get where you are coming from, and I've run some sci-fantasy games using various D&D adjacent rules over the years, with faux-hard science excuses like convergent evolution or (my favorite) transhuman speciation and uplifting. In scifi, I try hard to have things be plausibly consistent, even when explaining some pretty outlandish fantasy-based concepts like a world with dozens of sentient species, some of whom can interbreed.

In fantasy I've always found that gods and magic will explain a lot of funkiness. Players have never had an issue with the Dwarven creation myth of being wrought from the bones of the mountains by a literal creator deity, and with a hundred other divinities of various rank running around doing their business, corrupting and plagiarizing from each other's business, and the existence of refugees from other realms and planes of existence besides, I find the fantasy kitchen sink approach, while maybe not actually very plausible, rarely actually makes even the tiniest dent in my player's suspension of disbelief!

My 2 cp obviously, not trying to argue for you to do it any differently!
 

Oofta

Legend
I get where you are coming from, and I've run some sci-fantasy games using various D&D adjacent rules over the years, with faux-hard science excuses like convergent evolution or (my favorite) transhuman speciation and uplifting. In scifi, I try hard to have things be plausibly consistent, even when explaining some pretty outlandish fantasy-based concepts like a world with dozens of sentient species, some of whom can interbreed.

In fantasy I've always found that gods and magic will explain a lot of funkiness. Players have never had an issue with the Dwarven creation myth of being wrought from the bones of the mountains by a literal creator deity, and with a hundred other divinities of various rank running around doing their business, corrupting and plagiarizing from each other's business, and the existence of refugees from other realms and planes of existence besides, I find the fantasy kitchen sink approach, while maybe not actually very plausible, rarely actually makes even the tiniest dent in my player's suspension of disbelief!

My 2 cp obviously, not trying to argue for you to do it any differently!

No worries! I certainly enjoy playing races I don't allow in my campaign, I just want them to make sense. I mean ... take a look at tabaxi. Their lore is "they come from some place far away". It's just a little lacking for me.

On the other hand I occasionally toy with the idea of an invasion/refugee story where other worlds (I established that there is a variation of the multi-verse long ago) open portals into my world. Maybe if they ever release spelljammer for 5E I could put my own spin on it, but I'd ask my players first.

The only thing that really matters is being open on what kind of expectations you have. Let everyone know if it's a kitchen sink and, if it matters to anyone, why. If races are whitelisted like my campaigns, explain that too. There is no one true way!
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Apropos of other threads (with all the halfling-bashing :LOL:), a question for all DMs out there - are there any races that people have excluded from their campaign for any reason - too boring/duplicative/don't fulfil a storyline - or have they radically changed them to fit the campaign.
I have no humans in my Islands World setting, and I’ve considered cutting out most elves, just leaving the most magical options (Drow and Shadar-Kai) and Eladrin, and making a custom set of dwarves and not including the standard dwarves.

Basically this is to encourage characters to think about their PCs story and place in the world a little more, and to make the remaining races be a bit more focused and interesting.

I wanted more Final Fantasy, less Star Wars.

If I ever do include humans, it will be as a tiny minority of either Pacific Islander, Somali, and/or Indonesian inspired folks. The Europeans are all Eladrin, Satyrs, centaurs, Goliaths and Firbolgs up north, and fairies (which live everywhere).

The place of humans is taken by near-humans like halflings and dwarves and Goliaths and even gnomes and some elves. Basically, if the human-faced folks “are just humans”, why even have humans?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
No worries! I certainly enjoy playing races I don't allow in my campaign, I just want them to make sense. I mean ... take a look at tabaxi. Their lore is "they come from some place far away". It's just a little lacking for me.

On the other hand I occasionally toy with the idea of an invasion/refugee story where other worlds (I established that there is a variation of the multi-verse long ago) open portals into my world. Maybe if they ever release spelljammer for 5E I could put my own spin on it, but I'd ask my players first.

The only thing that really matters is being open on what kind of expectations you have. Let everyone know if it's a kitchen sink and, if it matters to anyone, why. If races are whitelisted like my campaigns, explain that too. There is no one true way!
I’ve used tabaxi as a nomadic people who hunt and trade but do not settle or sow. The specifics of their culture tend to come up naturally in play with that as a basis.
 

Dioltach

Legend
I ban kender. Anyone wants to play a kender, I'm tempted to ban the player too. (This includes Dragonlance. In my version, the Cataclysm was the gods' version of tenting up the house and throwing in a bug bomb to get rid of kender.)

In another setting, I've banned all races except halflings. Works a treat.
 

mrpopstar

Sparkly Dude
I've seen tiefling excluded at different tables for different reasons: Because they're fiends, because they are devils, because they are too much of a departure from their Planescape beginnings, and/or because they imply uncomfortable origins.

I've seen half-orcs excluded because they imply uncomfortable origins.

I've seen gnomes excluded because they weren't liked by the DM.

I've seen dragonborn excluded for different reasons: Because they were once drawn with mammary glands, because they don't fit in with the campaign, and/or because they weren't liked by the DM.

Otherwise, most of the tables I've played at have been pretty welcoming to the full gamut of playable races.

I usually request we stick with the core four, half-elf and half-orc when I DM. The games I run are usually center on humanity.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
....

But, yes, I have learned that players don't actually want to play kobolds and skeletons and aarraarraacowhateverthespelling flying things. They want to play "whatever the GM has disallowed."
How Dare You limit our options. Now we going to Vulcans, Kligions and Lokies to tick you off. When ever a GM puts a race off limits it always raises the cool factor of the off limited race.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
On the upside, a highly curated allowed character race list can serve as a check dam against players whose preferences are different enough from the GM's that it would like be a problem.

GM: This is a low fantasy, mud and blood, humans only in a mythical British Isles during the Saxon Migration mercenary campaign.
Player: Can I play Gnome Illusionist Jester?
GM: Not the table for you, my man.
MOM! MOM! MOM! ANYBODY! ANYBODY! ANYBODY! Reynard is being an icky nasty meany. Mom make him let us play what we want.
Limiting races/anything is good IF you have the players which will go along with that. Too often Mom made me let JR have his way.
 

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