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

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
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?
There would be descriptions of typical appearance, personality, society, lore and setting bits as appropriate.
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I don't know if we've actually determined that (and we'd probably need the OP to weigh in).

The question over the last few pages has become "Is narrative weight, and the change in the narrative driven by that weight, in and of itself a mechanical feature, such that it would fall under the no mechanics clause proposed by the OP?"

Basically, for a race to have "no mechanics", do you have treat them exactly the same in every narrative situation?
To the last question: yes; maybe not 100% exactly the same but very close. As soon as you hit a situation where playable-species A can expect to be able to perform an action more easily than playable-species B, you've got a species-based mechanical difference.

Why? Because narrative directly informs mechanics.

The species are either all the same or they're not; and if they are then what's the point, and if they're not then those differences are inevitably going to sooner or later show up in the (most likely, action resolution) mechanics.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Right. In the situation that race plays no role in the narrative- that no one race is ever disadvantaged over another and that there are no socially ostracized races (because having them would give all other races a ‘mechanical advantage’) then the role of race is moot. You might as well not have race.
And now you've finally got it! :)

That's been my whole point all along: having multiple species without actual differences means why bother having more than one.

If the species are going to be different, whether in how they're treated or how easily they can do something or in how on-average some of their stats might vary from those of a baseline (usually Human) then those differences will without question show up in the mechanics of play at some point.
If that is the line then class (ie: your status in the setting), your dress, etc..all grant some kind of mechanical (dis)advantage.
Exactly, and those things are species-agnostic.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
The species are either all the same or they're not; and if they are then what's the point, and if they're not then those differences are inevitably going to sooner or later show up in the (most likely, action resolution) mechanics.
That is not what we are talking about. We are talking about specific listed game mechanics for a given race. We are not talking about things that may happen to impact things in play because the GM included a social encounter with elves and you are playing an elf (or orc for that matter).
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
That is not what we are talking about. We are talking about specific listed game mechanics for a given race. We are not talking about things that may happen to impact things in play because the GM included a social encounter with elves and you are playing an elf (or orc for that matter).
Mechanical differences between species run deeper than just what you see at char-gen and, as others have noted, may not always be the same from one campaign to the next.

And if you're pitching me that in this campaign all playable species are mechanically the same then I'd a) expect that sameness to run as deep as it has to to in fact make them all the same; this includes lore, social beliefs, action resolution (regardless of the action), and so on while at the same time b) wondering why you'd bother having different species be playable in that game in the first place.
 

TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
Mechanical differences between species run deeper than just what you see at char-gen and, as others have noted, may not always be the same from one campaign to the next.

And if you're pitching me that in this campaign all playable species are mechanically the same then I'd a) expect that sameness to run as deep as it has to to in fact make them all the same; this includes lore, social beliefs, action resolution (regardless of the action), and so on while at the same time b) wondering why you'd bother having different species be playable in that game in the first place.
Yea, but since @Reynard is the OP, that means they get to define the contours of what "mechanical differences" means.

If they mean player-facing defined mechanics only, not narrative/diegetic ones, then that's their call for the thread.
 


Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Mechanical differences between species run deeper than just what you see at char-gen and, as others have noted, may not always be the same from one campaign to the next.

And if you're pitching me that in this campaign all playable species are mechanically the same then I'd a) expect that sameness to run as deep as it has to to in fact make them all the same; this includes lore, social beliefs, action resolution (regardless of the action), and so on while at the same time b) wondering why you'd bother having different species be playable in that game in the first place.
I'm not interested in going around in circles with you while you argue with the premise of the thread.
 


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