RPG Evolution: The Trouble with Halflings

Over the decades I've developed my campaign world to match the archetypes my players wanted to play. In all those years, nobody's ever played a halfling.

the-land-of-the-hobbits-6314749_960_720.jpg

Picture courtesy of Pixabay.

So What's the Problem?​

Halflings, derived from hobbits, have been a curious nod to Tolkien's influence on fantasy. While dwarves and elves have deep mythological roots, hobbits are more modern inventions. And their inclusion was very much a response to the adventurous life that the agrarian homebodies considered an aberration. In short, most hobbits didn't want to be adventurers, and Bilbo, Frodo, and the others were forever changed by their experiences, such that it was difficult for them to reintegrate when they returned home. You don't hear much about elves and dwarves having difficulty returning home after being adventurers, and for good reason. Tolkien was making a point about the human condition and the nature of war by using hobbits as proxies.

As a literary construct, hobbits serve a specific purpose. In The Hobbit, they are proxies for children. In The Lord of the Rings, they are proxies for farmers and other folk who were thrust into the industrialized nightmare of mass warfare. In both cases, hobbits were a positioned in contrast to the violent lifestyle of adventurers who live and die by the sword.

Which is at least in part why they're challenging to integrate into a campaign world. And yet, we have strong hobbit archetypes in Dungeons & Dragons, thanks to Dragonlance.

Kender. Kender Are the Problem​

I did know one player who loved to play kender. We never played together in a campaign, at least in part because kender are an integral part of the Dragonlance setting and we weren't playing in Dragonlance. But he would play a kender in every game he played, including in massive multiplayers like Ultima Online. And he was eye-rollingly aggravating, as he loved "borrowing" things from everyone (a trait established by Tasselhoff Burrfoot).

Part of the issue with kender is that they aren't thieves, per se, but have a child-like curiosity that causes them to "borrow" things without understanding that borrowing said things without permission is tantamount to stealing in most cultures. In essence, it results in a character who steals but doesn't admit to stealing, which can be problematic for inter-party harmony. Worse, kender have a very broad idea of what to "borrow" (which is not limited to just valuables) and have always been positioned as being offended by accusations of thievery. It sets up a scenario where either the party is very tolerant of the kender or conflict ensues. This aspect of kender has been significantly minimized in the latest draft for Unearthed Arcana.

Big Heads, Little Bodies​

The latest incarnation of halflings brings them back to the fun-loving roots. Their appearance is decidedly not "little children" or "overweight short people." Rather, they appear more like political cartoons of eras past, where exaggerated features were used as caricatures, adding further to their comical qualities. But this doesn't solve the outstanding problem that, for a game that is often about conflict, the original prototypes for halflings avoided it. They were heroes precisely because they were thrust into difficult situations and had to rise to the challenge. That requires significant work in a campaign to encourage a player to play a halfling character who would rather just stay home.

There's also the simple matter of integrating halflings into societies where they aren't necessarily living apart. Presumably, most human campaigns have farmers; dwarves and elves occupy less civilized niches, where halflings are a working class who lives right alongside the rest of humanity in plain sight. Figuring out how to accommodate them matters a lot. Do humans just treat them like children? Would halflings want to be anywhere near a larger humanoids' dwellings as a result? Or are halflings given mythical status like fey? Or are they more like inveterate pranksters and tricksters, treating them more like gnomes? And if halflings are more like gnomes, then why have gnomes?

There are opportunities to integrate halflings into a world, but they aren't quite so easy to plop down into a setting as dwarves and elves. I still haven't quite figured out how to make them work in my campaign that doesn't feel like a one-off rather than a separate species. But I did finally find a space for gnomes, which I'll discuss in another article.

Your Turn: How have you integrated halflings into your campaign world?
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Michael Tresca

Michael Tresca

Yeaaaa.....

For anyone not aware, Puella Magi Madoka Magica is NOT a cute show about cute magical girls. This thing is a dystopian horror about futility, obsession, and the pointless struggle against despair. It is DARK the more you dig into. It was created as a subversion of the magical girl genre.

That's the one where the magical girl thing is like a ponzi scheme, right?

like, IIRC thet's the one where all the magical girls are destined, as a result of the way the magic works, to eventually become villains, and so they need more and more nagical girls to keep them in check (leading in turn to more and more villains in a vicious cycle), is that correct?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Faolyn

(she/her)
I'm sure someone thought this was well-designed, otherwise it wouldn't have gotten published

View attachment 265176

However, in my completely subjective opinion (as objective opinions don't exist) this is badly designed and doesn't deserve to be brought forward into the newer editions of DnD.
While I have no idea what the D&D monster is, it's very clearly based on Buer, a demon and President of Hell and teacher of philosophy described in the real-world 16th century text, Pseudomonarchia Daemonun. So, blame Johann Weyer, the Dutch occultist, for the bad design, not WotC (that looks like the type of art put out in WotC D&D, not TSR D&D).

1667151716760.png
 

Oofta

Legend
While I have no idea what the D&D monster is, it's very clearly based on Buer, a demon and President of Hell and teacher of philosophy described in the real-world 16th century text, Pseudomonarchia Daemonun. So, blame Johann Weyer, the Dutch occultist, for the bad design, not WotC (that looks like the type of art put out in WotC D&D, not TSR D&D).

View attachment 265186
It's a Roving Mauler, published in the Tome of Magic in 2006. Based on the Buer as you said.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
It's a Roving Mauler, published in the Tome of Magic in 2006. Based on the Buer as you said.
Ah, gotcha. I never bought that book, although I see that's the one with the Binder class I've heard good, or at least interesting, things about. Thanks for the reference.
 

Um, maybe a different list?

The list I was seeing had multiple Harry Potter movies, BFG, The House with the Clock in the Walls, Mrs. Peregrines House for Children...

Here, let me see if I can find the list again.

Okay, here was the list I skimmed. 84 Best Fantasy Movies of All Time, Ranked .

Now, instead of just claiming this is a bad list, let's look through it.

Out of 84 movies, I find a total of 12 movies that are serious, medieval fantasy (Five of those are Tolkien, so almost HALF). To put that in context there are 9 Harry Potter movies alone. If I compare Serious, Medieval Fantasy movies to "Modern young kid discovers magic" , we are looking at, what? Twenty-Five? Double the amount.

And even if we combine these two groups, we aren't even looking at HALF the list. Again, serious medieval fantasy movies like Tolkien aren't the end all, be all of Fantasy, and that means Tolkien isn't the end all be all of fantasy.



Now I'm not super familiar with these, but Carnival Row doesn't sound like it is Medieval Fantasy. Shadow and Bone I thought was set in the modern world, as it was a masquerade style story. Rings is just... Tolkien again. Which means your only other show showing halflings is Willow. Which is also one of the movies. Dark Materials is NOT a DnD style world at ALL. Like, not even close.

So... Wheel of Time, Witcher, Willow and Rings of Power? FOUR shows? I can name more Fantasy TV shows in American Animation that don't conform to DnD than you were able to find here.

Avatar the Last Air Bender
Centaurworld
Adventure Time
Over the Garden Wall
Star vs The Forces of Evil
Steven Universe
Thundercats
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
Cuphead

So, again Tolkien =/= Fantasy for the majority of people. And other than Willow (a niche 40 year old movie) you haven't named a single property other than Tolkien that features halflings.
Carnival row is basically steampunk D&D.

'Fantasy' makes for a poor genre descriptor as it covers most any non-earth stuff that doesn't fall into the sci-fi bucket and pretty much any earth stuff with any kind of magic at all.

It's basically "miscellaneous" by definition.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Just trying to give you some advice. Take it or leave it, I'm not discussing this topic with you any more.

I always love how your advice seems to assume I'm a massive egotist who can't see past his own nose. Really endears me to your ideas to constantly be attacked every time you discuss things with me.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I'm sure someone thought this was well-designed, otherwise it wouldn't have gotten published

View attachment 265176

However, in my completely subjective opinion (as objective opinions don't exist) this is badly designed and doesn't deserve to be brought forward into the newer editions of DnD.

See, it is this strange thing that happens. If we can agree "some things are badly designed" even if that is purely a subjective judgement of something, then we can begin to discuss "is this thing badly designed?". Instead, you insist halflings are perfect and refuse to consider they could be improved, and the VERY IDEA that something in DnD's past COULD POSSIBLY have been badly designed has required me to make multiple posts and argue fervently that somethings are badly designed.
OK, that lion is cool. Where did you find it?

Edit: @Faolyn and @Oofta answered above. Thanks!
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
As @Oofta mentioned above, your statements read like objective fact when they really aren't. If you didn't want people to call you out on that, I would suggest expressing your opinions as opinions.

Right, funny how that works. Can't discuss design, because that's only an opinion and not an "objective fact". So we simply won't discuss it (because you'll dismiss anything I couch in ephuemisms as not worth discussing) and you maintain the status quo just like you want.

Or maybe you just want me to say something blatantly obvious like "it is my opinion". Man, I would have a lot less effort put into this thread if I simply regurgitated other people's opinions instead of reaching my own conclusions. Of course, if that was all I was doing, I'd credit that person, so you'd know it wasn't my opinion and you could discuss THEIR opinion instead. Sadly, I think for myself so 80% of my posts are actually my opinions and conclusions.

A lot of things have changed in 30 years, that's actually objective. In general, I prefer 5e's ruleset to the 1e game that DL was made for and that I grew up on (although I do like Level Up better, and there are a number of things in 1e I like over 5e, including their design philosophy). I feel the 2e and 3e updates to DL worked hard to be additive rather then remove elements or add ones that were clearly stated as not being present.

5e is not doing this. The design philosophy has shifted in just the last 2-3 years. I strongly suspect that if Dragonlance had been released for 5e in, say, 2016, we would get a substantially different product than we are getting now, and likely one I would actually spend money on. But of course that's speculation.

Soooo....

Vague statement that things have changed. Kind of funny since we just came off a conversation of how we should continue focusing on a 90~ year old work as the focal point of all fantasy.

Your general likes of various rule systems. Which doesn't really apply to specific lore.

Dragonlance, for some unknown reason, as it has little to nothing to do with the conversation so far.

Maybe there is a point?

The point is, people have different opinions on what game elements are or are not important, and what things should change or not change.

Ah, here it is. The exact thing I said. "We can discuss it."

You realize very few discussions happen when everyone agrees and is on the same page right? You are stating this like somehow after three threads worth of being told I'm wrong, I somehow don't understand that other people have opinions that may differ from mine. This isn't a revelation to me. I know.

In my opinion, relatively little in any established setting should be changed, mostly just the anti-inclusive stuff I mentioned, and even that can be additive (witness the new Ravenloft handling of the Vistani. They didn't actually remove the possibility of events happening as they did, but they did expand and enhance their culture so they weren't a bad stereotype). It gives players and DMs options they should have front and center without being prescriptive.

Huh, why does not changing things give them "options they should have"? Why is that they SHOULD have halflings? That makes it sound like fantasy would be incomplete without Halflings. But, as we've established, the vast vast vast majority of Fantasy does not include child-sized, pastoral farming people who seclude themselves from the world and act exactly like humans.

I mean, it is your opinion, but why? If it is just "because I like it that way" then, well, I'm glad you like things, but that isn't a strong defense. People like canoes carved from logs, but that didn't stop us from making OTHER kinds of water vessels, some of which are far superior than log canoes at things we consider important for water transportation.

I stand by my opinion that orcs as anything more than a one-of-a-kind oddity are unnecessary and IMO unwanted for DL.

I don't care. We aren't discussing Dragonlance in the specific.

For other stuff added to the general game over time? That can be a discussion I would be happy to engage in, but my answer is never going to be, "If it's in the PH, it's in every campaign setting".

Okay? First of all, you seem completely UNhappy to engage in that conversation, considering how much effort I've put into trying to prevent it from derailing. Secondly, no one ever stated that we are going to include a by-law in DnD that states every single thing in the PHB MUST be included in every campaign setting. That has absolutely nothing to do with the conversation.

Now, many of us have recognized that things int he PHB are OFTEN included in campaign settings, because the PHB is the fundamental Core, and it would be strange is most campaign settings didn't include the fundamental core aspects of the game. This is important, because that means that if the things in the PHB are not top quality, then we are putting sub-par content into the majority of campaigns, but this is again not something we have been discussing, at all.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
That's the one where the magical girl thing is like a ponzi scheme, right?

like, IIRC thet's the one where all the magical girls are destined, as a result of the way the magic works, to eventually become villains, and so they need more and more nagical girls to keep them in check (leading in turn to more and more villains in a vicious cycle), is that correct?

You are pretty close to correct. Close enough that you have the correct show

So, to go through the order a bit, here is what happens. A creature called a Kyubey finds a young pre-teen girl who is suffering. They offer to grant the girl one wish of their heart's desire, and in exchange they will gain magical powers and fight "Witches". This is about all they are told.

The girl's soul is removed from her body and placed in a gem, leaving her ageless and nearly invincible (they aren't told about that part) and basically turns them into a Lich. The gem is the source of their magic, and since it is also their soul they die when it is destroyed or removed from their body. Using magic corrupts the gem, and only through the use of the "Grief Seeds" dropped by slain Witches, can the gem be purified. Despair and dark emotions also corrupt the gem, and can be "removed" by the use of a Grief Seed.

If a gem is fully corrupted, the gem shatters, killing the girl and turning her into a Witch, who will then seek to kill and devour magical girls and humans to gain power. This is often caused by overwhelming despair, which becomes the Witches' default emotional state. (This is also not told to the girls).

This does lead to more girls needed to fight more witches, which create more girls needed to fight more witches, but that isn't the "final goal" per se.

The energy released by the "wavering emotions" of the girls and witches is utilized by the Kyubey in an attempt to stop entropy. They are emotionless beings and have no sense of morality, so the engine revving up is all good as far as they are concerned, despite the terrifying toll and emotional distress they are continuously inflicting and creating.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
While I have no idea what the D&D monster is, it's very clearly based on Buer, a demon and President of Hell and teacher of philosophy described in the real-world 16th century text, Pseudomonarchia Daemonun. So, blame Johann Weyer, the Dutch occultist, for the bad design, not WotC (that looks like the type of art put out in WotC D&D, not TSR D&D).

View attachment 265186

So... don't hold the people who looked at a bad design and copied it without a second thought responsible for their work?

No thanks. You decided to use the design whole-sale, then it is your fault that the design was used whole-sale, you don't get to blame other people for your lack of desire to alter the design.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Carnival row is basically steampunk D&D.

But it isn't the medieval Fantasy that most people are associating with DnD's brand.

Trust me, I'd love to have more DnD by Gaslight, it is an amazing and cool world to explore. But I'm not going to pretend that the people claiming that we have to keep halflings because Tolkien is too iconic to fantasy to not keep them actually want DnD by Gaslight. They don't.

'Fantasy' makes for a poor genre descriptor as it covers most any non-earth stuff that doesn't fall into the sci-fi bucket and pretty much any earth stuff with any kind of magic at all.

It's basically "miscellaneous" by definition.

Makes it really silly then to claim one or two authors as the be all, end all, and only high water marks that matter then, doesn't it? Seems like it would be incredibly silly to try and contain such a broad and diverse genre under that single umbrella.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
So... don't hold the people who looked at a bad design and copied it without a second thought responsible for their work?

No thanks. You decided to use the design whole-sale, then it is your fault that the design was used whole-sale, you don't get to blame other people for your lack of desire to alter the design.
Why is it bad design for you?

More specifically, why is that bad design and things like beholders acceptable design?
 

Mecheon

Sacabambaspis
WoW was inspired by DnD, right? But what else was it inspired by? Well, it was inspired by Kung-Fu Panda. Which was inspired by Bruce Lee, and Kill Bill, and chinese mytholofy. So, what if DnD takes inspiration from WoW that was given to WoW by Kung-Fu Panda? WoW also has some pretty clear inspirations from some Christian Mythology. So does DnD. Would it bad to pass notes between the two things on better ways to use the same source material?
Pandaren actually pre-date Kung-Fu Panda. They showed up proper in Frozen Throne with the whole founding of Orgrimmar quest, Chen's one of the heroes you can have
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Why is it bad design for you?

More specifically, why is that bad design and things like beholders acceptable design?

It is a lion's head surrounded by five legs. The only form of locomotion it would have is spinning like a wheel. This is inherently silly looking. Additionally, as it is just a lion's head, the main form of attack would be to bite someone, however, it cannot bite someone. Since it can only move in a wheel motion, it cannot approach someone with the lion's face, the only way to face someone would be to spin on a leg. Therefore it is incredibly difficult to imagine it biting anyone. Therefore its main form of attack must be to trample people with the lion's paws. Which, again, makes for a rather silly visual. Finally, due to the various things I have mentioned above, this thing would often never see where it is going, or anyone behind it. It would be unable to turn its head except by rotating its entire body, giving it maybe a 120 degree field of vision and massive, easily exploitable blindspots.

All in all, it comes across as less dangerous than an actual lion, and something that could never actually exist, I can't even imagine how the thing eats without falling and being unable to get back up.


The beholder's main form of locomotion is flying. This inherently and immediately resolves dozens of problems. Additionally, multiple eyes and tentacle stalks are unnerving, especially with the inherent asymmetry of a massive eye in the center and tiny eyes surrounding it. This gives it the unnatural vibe you expect from a cosmic horror. Additionally, it is often portrayed with the eye beams, an integral part not only of the beholder's design but a massive spike in both threat and customization. You need only to come up with additional effects for the eyes, and you have made a new version of the beholder. I have seen multiple variations of the Beholder's design, all keeping the same key principles, and many of them are terrifying. Additionally, having a true 360 degrees of vision not only increases the threat level of the creature, but allows for unnerving conversations, especially as it looking at you is the same as it pointing a weapon in your direction. Finally, it seems like something which could actually exist, its form while using an unnatural logic does follow a logic that could allow it to exist and be a threat.


I believe that answers the question fairly well?
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
It is a lion's head surrounded by five legs. The only form of locomotion it would have is spinning like a wheel. This is inherently silly looking. Additionally, as it is just a lion's head, the main form of attack would be to bite someone, however, it cannot bite someone. Since it can only move in a wheel motion, it cannot approach someone with the lion's face, the only way to face someone would be to spin on a leg. Therefore it is incredibly difficult to imagine it biting anyone. Therefore its main form of attack must be to trample people with the lion's paws. Which, again, makes for a rather silly visual. Finally, due to the various things I have mentioned above, this thing would often never see where it is going, or anyone behind it. It would be unable to turn its head except by rotating its entire body, giving it maybe a 120 degree field of vision and massive, easily exploitable blindspots.
That makes about as much sense as saying that a crab can't pinch someone because it can "only" move sideways.

And you didn't actually read the monster's entry. I looked it up. First, it has two heads, one on either side of its body, and All Around Vision. Secondly they don't have a bite attack. Instead, they have a claw attack, and have a special "Tumbling Attack" where they basically run over everyone in their path and do claw damage to them. It also has Fast Healing, Spell Resistance, Darkvision and low-light vision. And while the entry doesn't say so, I would assume it's not stiff and could actually bend its body fairly well. It doesn't do a ton of damage, but it's only CR 3.

It's honestly not any "sillier" than a lot of other D&D monsters are. At least it isn't a one-off like a piercer!

All in all, it comes across as less dangerous than an actual lion, and something that could never actually exist, I can't even imagine how the thing eats without falling and being unable to get back up.

The beholder's main form of locomotion is flying. This inherently and immediately resolves dozens of problems. Additionally, multiple eyes and tentacle stalks are unnerving, especially with the inherent asymmetry of a massive eye in the center and tiny eyes surrounding it.
Hate to break it to you, but from an artistic perspective, that's a perfectly acceptable form of symmetry. It's not even occult balanced. It's got eyestalks up top and a big eye in the middle of a round body. I'll accept that you find it creepy, since creepiness is in the eye of the person looking at the beholder, but if you're looking for asymmetry, look at a flounder, or a fiddler crab.
 

But it isn't the medieval Fantasy that most people are associating with DnD's brand.

Trust me, I'd love to have more DnD by Gaslight, it is an amazing and cool world to explore. But I'm not going to pretend that the people claiming that we have to keep halflings because Tolkien is too iconic to fantasy to not keep them actually want DnD by Gaslight. They don't.



Makes it really silly then to claim one or two authors as the be all, end all, and only high water marks that matter then, doesn't it? Seems like it would be incredibly silly to try and contain such a broad and diverse genre under that single umbrella.
"Iconic to DnD" seems like it could reasonably include "DnD by gaslight". I rather suspect that setting technology is one of the more insignificant elements that makes DnD what it is.

Yes it is difficult to make an "iconic or not iconic to general fantasy" case based on examples from the genre. Exceptions to D&D tropes abound, but can also be reasonably argued to belong to a different family of fantasy from DnD. Both sides are both right and wrong.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
That makes about as much sense as saying that a crab can't pinch someone because it can "only" move sideways.

Do... do I need to explain how arms and joints work? I didn't think I did, but if you think comparing a crab's arm to a head without a neck makes any sense.... do I need to explain that to you?

And you didn't actually read the monster's entry.

You are right, because the design was so stupid I had no desire to look it up.

I looked it up. First, it has two heads, one on either side of its body, and All Around Vision. Secondly they don't have a bite attack. Instead, they have a claw attack, and have a special "Tumbling Attack" where they basically run over everyone in their path and do claw damage to them. It also has Fast Healing, Spell Resistance, Darkvision and low-light vision.

So, I was right about them not being able to bite anything and that they have to roll over it with their feet? Sure, I was wrong about it having only one head (something impossible to know for how it is depicted) but the only thing that solves from my description is the vision issue. Every other thing I said is still 100% valid.

Also, how does darkvision, low-light vision, fast healing or spell resistance mean anything for their design? I can make up a dozen better creatures that have those traits AND reasonable ability to threaten people AND don't look this stupid.

And while the entry doesn't say so, I would assume it's not stiff and could actually bend its body fairly well. It doesn't do a ton of damage, but it's only CR 3.

You can assume all you want. The direction of those legs, the way their joints work and face, and the lack of any actual body structure other than leg, hip, head, tells me it would be incredibly stiff. Notably, legs do not bend 90 degrees away from their joints without breaking. That is the point of joints.

It's honestly not any "sillier" than a lot of other D&D monsters are. At least it isn't a one-off like a piercer!

Piercers actually make quite a bit of sense. They seem stupid because they cannot be allowed to operate properly in a DnD adventure. However, they are ambush hunters with perfect camoflauge and a massively deadly attack. With a 30 ft ceiling (not hard to assume in the underdark when Cathedral ceilings 50 ft high are fairly common for stalagmite formation) they deal an average of 10.5 damage. Which doesn't seem like enough, but can kill most humanoids pretty easily. Additionally, they are colony creatures who fight together, meaning that a large creature like a Giant Lizard (not uncommon in the underdark) with their 10x10 "shadow" could be hit by four of them, for 42 damage, which kills it twice over (You really only need two shots)

Finally, they are the larval form of a far deadlier predator, which could trivially help them fend off and kill any creatures which survive their initial attack, and leave the scraps for the young to eat. As a colony creature, they are social to some degree and sharing food would be common. And with a 50 ft radius threat ranger, Ropers can cover large swathes of the piercers territory.

Again, something that logically could exist, hunt and feed itself with methods that make a large degree of sense.

Hate to break it to you, but from an artistic perspective, that's a perfectly acceptable form of symmetry. It's not even occult balanced. It's got eyestalks up top and a big eye in the middle of a round body. I'll accept that you find it creepy, since creepiness is in the eye of the person looking at the beholder, but if you're looking for asymmetry, look at a flounder, or a fiddler crab.

And yet, I wasn't talking about an artistic symmetry at all. I was talking about a biological assymetry. There is a reason that many things supposed to be unnerving and wrong have only one, large, central eye. As a species that has evolved to recognize human facial designs, and having binocular vision like the overwhelming majority of animals on the planet (seriously, even most insects appear to have two eyes) seeing a creature with only a single eye is unnerving to a degree. We are somewhat used to it, because it has appeared so often in media, but it appears so often in media because it is effective.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
"Iconic to DnD" seems like it could reasonably include "DnD by gaslight". I rather suspect that setting technology is one of the more insignificant elements that makes DnD what it is.

You'd think, but I was just involved in a "no artificers in my DnD because technology doesn't fit MY setting" discussion yesterday. Many people have a highly specific and unwavering vision of DnD are western european medieval arthurian depictions and nothing else will work for them (while ignoring the many things that would be in a medieval european setting like guns and clockwork and the things that wouldn't be nearly so common like massive galleons)

Yes it is difficult to make an "iconic or not iconic to general fantasy" case based on examples from the genre. Exceptions to D&D tropes abound, but can also be reasonably argued to belong to a different family of fantasy from DnD. Both sides are both right and wrong.

Uh huh.

I'm sure that the people saying that DnD (the game with space aliens, massive robots, laser guns, medieval fantasy settings, far east fantasy settings, post-apocalyptic fantasy settings, gothic horror fantasy settings, dragons, giants, cthullu and psychic garbage monsters) is bigger than Tolkien are totally wrong, because things like sci-fi, gaslight, steampunk, and other mythologies are not "DnD"
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Do... do I need to explain how arms and joints work? I didn't think I did, but if you think comparing a crab's arm to a head without a neck makes any sense.... do I need to explain that to you?
Do I need to explain how a creature with jointed limbs work?

You are right, because the design was so stupid I had no desire to look it up.
So you made a poor judgement based on incomplete data. That was not smart of you.

So, I was right about them not being able to bite anything and that they have to roll over it with their feet? Sure, I was wrong about it having only one head (something impossible to know for how it is depicted) but the only thing that solves from my description is the vision issue. Every other thing I said is still 100% valid.

Also, how does darkvision, low-light vision, fast healing or spell resistance mean anything for their design? I can make up a dozen better creatures that have those traits AND reasonable ability to threaten people AND don't look this stupid.
You claimed it was weaker than a lion. It has abilities that make that not so.

And this creature looks no stupider than, quite frankly, most traditional D&D monsters, like chimeras. You're just not used to it.

You can assume all you want. The direction of those legs, the way their joints work and face, and the lack of any actual body structure other than leg, hip, head, tells me it would be incredibly stiff. Notably, legs do not bend 90 degrees away from their joints without breaking. That is the point of joints.
You know the anatomy of a magical beast probably made by a Vestige to be a servitor? Do tell.

And yet, I wasn't talking about an artistic symmetry at all. I was talking about a biological assymetry. There is a reason that many things supposed to be unnerving and wrong have only one, large, central eye. As a species that has evolved to recognize human facial designs, and having binocular vision like the overwhelming majority of animals on the planet (seriously, even most insects appear to have two eyes) seeing a creature with only a single eye is unnerving to a degree. We are somewhat used to it, because it has appeared so often in media, but it appears so often in media because it is effective.
And it's not biologically asymmetric either. It actually displays perfect bilateral symmetry when seen from the front, and radial symmetry when seen from above.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Just trying to give you some advice. Take it or leave it, I'm not discussing this topic with you any more.

I always love how your advice seems to assume I'm a massive egotist who can't see past his own nose. Really endears me to your ideas to constantly be attacked every time you discuss things with me.
Mod Note:

The two of you seem to but heads most of the time you encounter each other in the same threads. And when you do, you make it abundantly clear that you have a friction-filled past history with each other,

Perhaps it’s time for y’all to reduce everyone’s headaches and just mutually ignore each other.
 

Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition Starter Box

Related Articles

Visit Our Sponsor

Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition Starter Box

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top