D&D General Race Has No Mechanics. What do you play?

I have said above that it is fuzzy. if we are assuming that elves get benefits in play other characters don't often, then that might qualify. But it doesn't count if in this one adventure it happens that an elf PC will help the party make contact with a faction, or whatever. That's just stuff that happens in play.

Essentially, if the benefit* is something listed in the race description in the character generation chapter, divorced from any context, it is a "mechanical benefit*" for my purposes in this discussion. If a cosmetic, setting or lore feature of a race is something that could potentially come up and provide a benefit*, it doesn't qualify.

*or hinderance
This will be campaign dependant. So the whole question loses meaning.

Half of the answers at the beginning of this thread are, “depends on the campaign and how the races are portrayed.”

If you take those answers out as “those don’t count because gaining a narrative advantage from your race is a mechanical advantage” then you’re left with the other half of the answers from this thread,

“ I wouldn’t bother playing” or “I’d only play human because race is irrelevant”

Edit: I should have read your second paragraph closer. Thank you for clarifying.
 

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No it doesn't. It is asking YOU a question, and YOU can still answer by whatever metric you measure such things.
In your last post, I read your second paragraph more closely. I was commenting on the first paragraph without parsing the whole post. My apologies. Based on your clarification in your previous post, my answer stands: I’d play whatever race would be the most interesting in the context of the campaign.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
We know what mechanics are, right? They are the game system tools for interacting with the fiction. So what I am saying is there would be no difference in the way the elf PC and the human PC interact with the fiction (where, as it is, there are a number of differences in how those characters interact with the fiction, from stat modifiers to vision to rests).
Can you describe what you would see under species in the PH under your scenario? Just the description section for each and that's it? Everyone's Medium with a move of 30 and a human lifespan?
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I was working on the assumption that they meant the mechanics granted by your choice of race - so all the bullet points in the race description like ability score changes, darkvision bonus proficiencies, bonus feats, special attacks, movement, et al.

Of course, you'd have to give some kind of movement, so assume you get a 30' walking speed regardless of race. And you can be medium or small with no other changes.

In other words, a human paladin an elf paladin, a centaur paladin, and a gnome paladin at first level (if they pick the same ability scores) all have the same numbers on their character sheet.
Medium and small have mechanical differences.
 


Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Suspicious Monkey GIF by MOODMAN
I've seen this picture many times before. What is it supposed to dignify, without text?
 


Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
In FATE DFRPG, Water breathing is a power you can buy and you can only buy it if you have an aspect that would relate to it. So, the fiction dictates the powers you have. That said, you could just get away without having the water breathing ability and just tag your High concept to allow you to act under water unhindered.

My point, is the fiction dictates what is taken for granted, regardless of mechanics. Which is why I think the choice of a race can still be meaningful even without mechanics but it really depends on the setting.
The entire structure of FATE is narrative. That's an apples and oranges argument.
 


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