log in or register to remove this ad

 

General The Importance of Page 33

Fanaelialae

Legend
But see, if the position is existing vs not existing there really isn’t a mutual solution.

then they defacto aren’t playing a Tabaxi but playing a human with different stats.
They are mechanically playing a tabaxi but cosmetically playing a human. If I tell you about a fight in my campaign where the players fought ogres, but that I reskinned them as purple-people-eaters, would you honestly tell me that they defacto did not fight ogres?

It was one example plucked from infinite possible examples, illustrating how two people with opposing views might have an adult conversation and arrive at a mutually satisfactory conclusion.

Another possibility might be that the DM allows the tabaxi, but warns the player that they will be viewed as a monster by townspeople. Which allows the player the opportunity to be a master of disguise, or take disguise self, or play a druid with wild shape and pretend to be someone's pet, or stay out of town and accompany the party via familiar.

Without knowing the specifics involved and the precise motivations of both parties, I cannot do more than speculate regarding potential solutions.

The point was simply to maturely discuss the matter and try to find a solution both parties are satisfied with.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Some examples seem to have purchase for you - like first contact - so extrapolate those to assume greater sensitivity. For me, a dwarf would stick out like a sore thumb in an EarthSea setting. The author could probably have integrated them successfully, but if she wanted to spend her energy on other aspects of her setting - that had greater payoff for her tensions and themes - then to me that would make far more sense.
There is a reason that the only example I’ve ever seen that made sense to me (for fantasy) was First Contact. Why would dwarves stick out? If I’d never read Earthsea, and I picked it up, andthe main character was a dwarf...nothing significant about the story has changed. He’s a dwarf. As long as the skin colors described in the book don’t get whitewashed in the process, literally nothing is lost. Whether anything is gained depends on how the races are presented, but nothing is lost by the simple inclusion of multiple fantasy races to the setting.

It is about Ravenloft and gothic horror as such.
Darn, if I am to eventually run away from something looking like a goblin, even as an experienced and battle hardened adventurer, then what will normal townsfolk do, when encountering a dragonborn?

If you want to play Ravenloft like a vanilla campaign your free to do it but imho you miss out all the fun

Edit for more clarity: The need to RP fear and madness is even more essential to Ravenloft than what races you allow there as a DM, but deducting from that you just cannot allow races who fall more or less under the =monster-category. In some domains this might even include elves!
Your deduction seems, to me, to go directly from question to answer without any reasoning along the way. How does playing a bugbear (an actual monster race) in Ravenloft interfere with RPing fear and madness?
If the PCs are roleplaying their characters, the situation is frightening, the bugbear is just as afraid as the human. 🤷‍♂️
The fear of a zombie is not because it looks weird. It is because it is undead, literally a thing that should not be. Neither of those things are descriptions of tabaxi or dragonborn who are both living, breathing with thoughts and dreams.
Also, the tabaxi or Dragonborn is vastly more natural and less weird than a were-raven, magical mists, packs Of wolves that are conduits for the will of an ancient vampire, said vampire, or half of your neighbors being born without a soul.

But certainly a Tabaxi in Victorian London or any 18th century French setting would have caused much more terror than a man armed with a knife don't you think?


As I said upward, if you want to normalize moster races then make them big minorities in the normal population then it gets a bit believable, although sitill not my cup of tea.
Tabaxi and Dragonborn aren’t monster races, firstly.
Second, no. A tabaxi in Victorian London would inspire curiosity and some temporary fright. People would assume they’re some manner of mutated human or something. A carnival freak.
lastly there is no need at all to change Barovia in order to make them appropriate for it. The tone of the character is what will either add to or disserve the tone of the story.

My 16 year old artificer with an arcane prosthetic arm, who refers to her work as being a mechanic, from Lantan, who has never gone camping or hunting, and is totally out of her depth here, was a bigger gamble than playing a Tabaxi would have been, in terms of serving the tone and themes of the adventure. She is serving those ends, exactly because of how we are playing the fact that she is out of place here, but it could have ended up being atonal as hell. The kenku ranger who is a fairly amoral bounty hunter, fits just fine.

Say the exchange is exactly that: A is okay with Tabaxi, B is not. And B is DM. How would you resolve that dilemma?
The same as if both were players. My group doesn’t prioritize the preferences of the DM any higher than those of the players.
 

Rdm

Explorer
They are mechanically playing a tabaxi but cosmetically playing a human. If I tell you about a fight in my campaign where the players fought ogres, but that I reskinned them as purple-people-eaters, would you honestly tell me that they defacto did not fight ogres?

It was one example plucked from infinite possible examples, illustrating how two people with opposing views might have an adult conversation and arrive at a mutually satisfactory conclusion.

Another possibility might be that the DM allows the tabaxi, but warns the player that they will be viewed as a monster by townspeople. Which allows the player the opportunity to be a master of disguise, or take disguise self, or play a druid with wild shape and pretend to be someone's pet, or stay out of town and accompany the party via familiar.

Without knowing the specifics involved and the precise motivations of both parties, I cannot do more than speculate regarding potential solutions.

The point was simply to maturely discuss the matter and try to find a solution both parties are satisfied with.
Yes, they did not fight ogres. They fought something with the same stats, but they were not, in fact, ogres. In the game space they were something else. When someone is restricting a Particular thing for flavor by definition the flavor or ‘fluff’ if you will, is the thing that they are excluding.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
My campaign world is dangerous, monsters are real. A drow would be shot on sight.
So is mine, and yet no sapient races would be shot on sight as a normal reaction by normal people.
This is another thing where I’ve tried for years to understand what reasoning underpins the conclusion others have come to, and I’ve never managed it.
 

Rdm

Explorer
There is a reason that the only example I’ve ever seen that made sense to me (for fantasy) was First Contact. Why would dwarves stick out? If I’d never read Earthsea, and I picked it up, andthe main character was a dwarf...nothing significant about the story has changed. He’s a dwarf. As long as the skin colors described in the book don’t get whitewashed in the process, literally nothing is lost. Whether anything is gained depends on how the races are presented, but nothing is lost by the simple inclusion of multiple fantasy races to the setting.


Your deduction seems, to me, to go directly from question to answer without any reasoning along the way. How does playing a bugbear (an actual monster race) in Ravenloft interfere with RPing fear and madness?
If the PCs are roleplaying their characters, the situation is frightening, the bugbear is just as afraid as the human. 🤷‍♂️

Also, the tabaxi or Dragonborn is vastly more natural and less weird than a were-raven, magical mists, packs Of wolves that are conduits for the will of an ancient vampire, said vampire, or half of your neighbors being born without a soul.


Tabaxi and Dragonborn aren’t monster races, firstly.
Second, no. A tabaxi in Victorian London would inspire curiosity and some temporary fright. People would assume they’re some manner of mutated human or something. A carnival freak.
lastly there is no need at all to change Barovia in order to make them appropriate for it. The tone of the character is what will either add to or disserve the tone of the story.

My 16 year old artificer with an arcane prosthetic arm, who refers to her work as being a mechanic, from Lantan, who has never gone camping or hunting, and is totally out of her depth here, was a bigger gamble than playing a Tabaxi would have been, in terms of serving the tone and themes of the adventure. She is serving those ends, exactly because of how we are playing the fact that she is out of place here, but it could have ended up being atonal as hell. The kenku ranger who is a fairly amoral bounty hunter, fits just fine.


The same as if both were players. My group doesn’t prioritize the preferences of the DM any higher than those of the players.
You honestly believe that if this ...


walked around in Victorian London the result would be a mild ‘huh, that’s odd’?

seriously?

what in the entire history of the human race would lead you to that conclusion?
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
So is mine, and yet no sapient races would be shot on sight as a normal reaction by normal people.
This is another thing where I’ve tried for years to understand what reasoning underpins the conclusion others have come to, and I’ve never managed it.
I think you're underestimating how paranoid people would be about non-human humanoids (or other creatures). It's not that every villager would head to the torch and pitchfork store, but I think enough would that playing a drow in my campaign would not be realistic.

A tabaxi? Probably a lycanthrope or maybe one of those bug-thing-bears the villager's uncle talked about from the war. Better safe than dead. A tabaxi in Victorian England would be a curiosity because monsters weren't real. Maybe I'm just more of a pessimist than you are but prejudice against those who look different runs deep.

But there's no right or wrong way, just explaining what would happen in my campaign.
 


Fanaelialae

Legend
Yes, they did not fight ogres. They fought something with the same stats, but they were not, in fact, ogres. In the game space they were something else. When someone is restricting a Particular thing for flavor by definition the flavor or ‘fluff’ if you will, is the thing that they are excluding.
Well, if that's the case for you the solution is easy. It sounds like reskinning would satisfy any objections you might have. The tabaxi isn't a cat person but a wild elf (or whatever).

That's not really a restriction at that point though. It's just a reskin. All of the crunch is still available, just with different fluff.

I could be mistaken, but I don't think that would actually be a satisfactory fix for all DMs. If it works for you though, great.
 



I'm not sure why people can't simply accept that some players just have very different tastes. And forcing a DM to run a game that's not to his taste will result in a bad game. Though I would suspect any long term group generally shares similar tastes and a player going against that is either new or that one guy the group hasn't gotten around to booting yet.
One thing I don't get is why it is always the person who is wanting to play something other than a human, elf, dwarf that is the person who must conform and acknowledge other people's tastes.

Why is the person playing a tabaxi and wanting to do some interesting storytelling with cat-people the problem player instead of the person who never plays anything except human and starts ranting about how "catfolk will ruin the aesthetic of the setting" and demanding that the other player change their choice or they quit?
 

Rdm

Explorer
Well, if that's the case for you the solution is easy. It sounds like reskinning would satisfy any objections you might have. The tabaxi isn't a cat person but a wild elf (or whatever).

That's not really a restriction at that point though. It's just a reskin. All of the crunch is still available, just with different fluff.

I could be mistaken, but I don't think that would actually be a satisfactory fix for all DMs. If it works for you though, great.
It is a restriction if what the player wanted WAS the fluff of the Tabaxi. It’s not a restriction if what they want is the stats. The species of the Tabaxi does not exist. If someone plays something different with the same stats that species still does not exist. Crunch is not the only reason things are selected in a role playing game.

there are times where the stats matter. For example in one campaign world there are no elves because of their lifespan. I want nothing playable that has an elvish lifespan. If you want an elf that lives as long as a dwarf or less and call them something else I can deal with that. But the exclusions I have are usually made with specific aims in mind. If you manage to present what you want without violating those things? Don’t care.
 
Last edited:

Rdm

Explorer
One thing I don't get is why it is always the person who is wanting to play something other than a human, elf, dwarf that is the person who must conform and acknowledge other people's tastes.

Why is the person playing a tabaxi and wanting to do some interesting storytelling with cat-people the problem player instead of the person who never plays anything except human and starts ranting about how "catfolk will ruin the aesthetic of the setting" and demanding that the other player change their choice or they quit?
because That person is directly going against the basic assumptions laid out for the campaign instead of finding something interesting to play within the set game space.

also, why is the other player ‘ranting’? I could easily try to say ‘when the guy wanting the Tabaxi is ranting about how he can’t have any fun if he has to play something else !!!!”
 
Last edited:

Fanaelialae

Legend
It is a restriction if what the player wanted WAS the fluff of the Tabaxi. It’s not a restriction if what they want is the stats. The species of the Tabaxi does not exist. If someone plays something different with the same stats that species still does not exist. Crunch is not the only reason things are selected in a role playing game.

there are times where the stats matter. For example in one campaign world there are no elves because of their lifespan. I want nothing playable that has an elvish lifespan. If you want an elf that lives as long as a dwarf or less and call them something else I can deal with that. But the exclusions I have are usually made with specific aims in mind. If you manage to present what you want without violating those things? Don’t care.
The player might see it as a restriction, sure.

However, when we discuss restricting certain things from a campaign, that isn't typically what we mean. It isn't the normal usage. There is a specific term used for that type of "restriction", which is "reskinning".

If you tell someone that your campaign is human-only, they're naturally going to take that as human being the only option. I certainly wouldn't just assume that if the DM tells me human-only, that all the options in the PHB are available but now they've been reskinned as different varieties of humans.
 

Rdm

Explorer
If I’m designing a world I don’t care so much about stats but color and flavor. There are specific statistical things which might have to go, depending. Things which are paradigm shifters. Things which by their existing have a significant effect on the RP world. The elvish lifespan is an example. Claws might be. Possibly might not want darkvision or infravision. Something which can fly might be another ‘paradigm shift’. In the example of the elvish lifespan, in that particular setting there is a massive apocalyptic event. What happened is rather a mystery. Specifically don’t want any type of sentient being that could have been alive at the time of that event and remember it personally existing. So that cuts off elves as written. Dwarves can slip in under the radar.

etcetera.
 

because That person is directly going against the basic assumptions laid out for the campaign instead of finding something interesting to play within the set game space.

also, why is the other player ‘ranting’? I could easily try to say ‘when the guy wanting the Tabaxi is ranting about how he can’t have any fun if he has to play something else !!!!”

See, you are immediately assuming that the "basic assumptions laid out for the campaign" included no Tabaxi.

The person ranting isn't the DM, in fact, the DM might be interested in the Tabaxi character being presented. They might have even had a small clan of Tabaxi in the setting already and discussed it with the player ahead of time, which is why they went with this Tabaxi character.


But the default assumption is always that the player who wants to play something other than human, dwarf, elf, or halfling is the problem, that they want a to be a special unique snowflake and need to stop and consider other people's feelings.

Maybe this is in part because I played in a Curse of Strahd sidequest where the other players wanted to fight Strahd as soon as possible, so they began murdering innocent townspeople to draw him out, while my Doctor/Cleric gnome was of the opinion that murdering the innocent was a bad thing.

And I was told, repeatedly in that campaign, that the group was everything, and that it was my responsibility to bend to their wishes and make my character fit with them.

So, maybe I'm still a bit sour about Barovia and this idea that the single person doing something different is the problem, but this is a constant thing I see. It is always the problem with the person who isn't playing a human, and there is never a thought given to anything else. Wouldn't Dwarves be a wierd fit in a game where you are supposed to run in terror from goblins? Dwarves hate goblins, they are practically racial enemies and a dwarf could very easily be just as disruptive in that sort of game, but no, it is the fact that one player looks non-human that is the issue. Dwarves are fine. 500 year old elves tired of the world are fine. Jaunty rainbow spewing humans are fine. Tabaxi no matter what aren't?
 

Rdm

Explorer
The player might see it as a restriction, sure.

However, when we discuss restricting certain things from a campaign, that isn't typically what we mean. It isn't the normal usage. There is a specific term used for that type of "restriction", which is "reskinning".

If you tell someone that your campaign is human-only, they're naturally going to take that as human being the only option. I certainly wouldn't just assume that if the DM tells me human-only, that all the options in the PHB are available but now they've been reskinned as different varieties of humans.
Also I’m pretty flat out up front at the beginning that if you can reskin to make something sing in tune with the setting and not violate the precepts of the setting, cool. Good on you.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
You honestly believe that if this ...


walked around in Victorian London the result would be a mild ‘huh, that’s odd’?

seriously?

what in the entire history of the human race would lead you to that conclusion?
Carnival freaks.
But also, please don’t reply to me if you aren’t will to do so honestly. I didn’t suggest a “mild ‘huh that’s odd’”.
I think you're underestimating how paranoid people would be about non-human humanoids (or other creatures). It's not that every villager would head to the torch and pitchfork store, but I think enough would that playing a drow in my campaign would not be realistic.

A tabaxi? Probably a lycanthrope or maybe one of those bug-thing-bears the villager's uncle talked about from the war. Better safe than dead. A tabaxi in Victorian England would be a curiosity because monsters weren't real. Maybe I'm just more of a pessimist than you are but prejudice against those who look different runs deep.

But there's no right or wrong way, just explaining what would happen in my campaign.
Sure, and I’m not arguing against it, I’m just trying to figure out why it makes sense to you, but not at all to me. Preference is all well and good, but to me it’s both useful and important to examine what underpins those preferences.

As for the tabaxi in London, most of those folks still believed that monsters (and again, a tabaxi ain’t a monster) were real. That’s why it was so easy to get people excited about a wolf boy or whatever.

But yes, I am almost certainly more optimistic than you. That doesn’t stop me from telling more pessimistic stories, though. (What currently stops me from that is just that the world is already plenty pessimistic, I’m not gonna add more of that in the stories I tell)

I just don’t see how it’s automatic or inherent, as so many folks seem to treat it, that a feline or draconian humanoid would be attacked on sight. Especially in a world where monsters exist. The guy walking into town with a group of adventurers is obviously an adventurer. Like, plainly and without any real way for anyone who isn’t feverish to conclude otherwise at first glance.

where it really boggles my mind is in worlds like FR where very one knows that Dragonborn have a nation in the east of the continent. It’s like running an actual Medieval European game and thinking that a Briton would think Black Moors are literally demons and attacking one on sight. One who fought in a Crusade, maybe. But just a villager? Nah. I just can’t see it. Suspicion or really annoying and invasive and gross fascination, absolutely. Violence? That usually requires a culture of active bigotry, not just the sort of passive tribalism that is common amongst humans.

The violence usually comes well after “on sight”, even in garbage places like “sunset towns” in the US, and even there a person who is the especial target of the threat of violence is allowed to pass through without getting killed the majority of the time.

I just don’t see how it makes sense that the average villager in a world where monsters are real is gonna inherently be more actively, violently, bigoted than that.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Carnival freaks.
But also, please don’t reply to me if you aren’t will to do so honestly. I didn’t suggest a “mild ‘huh that’s odd’”.

Sure, and I’m not arguing against it, I’m just trying to figure out why it makes sense to you, but not at all to me. Preference is all well and good, but to me it’s both useful and important to examine what underpins those preferences.

As for the tabaxi in London, most of those folks still believed that monsters (and again, a tabaxi ain’t a monster) were real. That’s why it was so easy to get people excited about a wolf boy or whatever.

But yes, I am almost certainly more optimistic than you. That doesn’t stop me from telling more pessimistic stories, though. (What currently stops me from that is just that the world is already plenty pessimistic, I’m not gonna add more of that in the stories I tell)

I just don’t see how it’s automatic or inherent, as so many folks seem to treat it, that a feline or draconian humanoid would be attacked on sight. Especially in a world where monsters exist. The guy walking into town with a group of adventurers is obviously an adventurer. Like, plainly and without any real way for anyone who isn’t feverish to conclude otherwise at first glance.

where it really boggles my mind is in worlds like FR where very one knows that Dragonborn have a nation in the east of the continent. It’s like running an actual Medieval European game and thinking that a Briton would think Black Moors are literally demons and attacking one on sight. One who fought in a Crusade, maybe. But just a villager? Nah. I just can’t see it. Suspicion or really annoying and invasive and gross fascination, absolutely. Violence? That usually requires a culture of active bigotry, not just the sort of passive tribalism that is common amongst humans.

The violence usually comes well after “on sight”, even in garbage places like “sunset towns” in the US, and even there a person who is the especial target of the threat of violence is allowed to pass through without getting killed the majority of the time.

I just don’t see how it makes sense that the average villager in a world where monsters are real is gonna inherently be more actively, violently, bigoted than that.
Well, if you're running FR then C3PO and R2D2 with a Wookie walking around wouldn't be an issue. As long as the droids don't try to go into the tavern of course. FR is the garbage can of fantasy campaigns after all.

But if there were monsters that are known to kill people on sight that look kind of like a tabaxi and they're real not just from some story? Just take a look at John Merrick - the "elephant man" - and see the abuse he put up with.

But like a lot of personal preferences you can't really explain it. I find the sushi we get in the US (sashimi with horseradish in most cases) pretty disgusting no matter how many times I try it because people swear I just haven't tried "the good stuff".
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Well, if you're running FR then C3PO and R2D2 with a Wookie walking around wouldn't be an issue. As long as the droids don't try to go into the tavern of course. FR is the garbage can of fantasy campaigns after all.

But if there were monsters that are known to kill people on sight that look kind of like a tabaxi and they're real not just from some story? Just take a look at John Merrick - the "elephant man" - and see the abuse he put up with.

But like a lot of personal preferences you can't really explain it. I find the sushi we get in the US (sashimi with horseradish in most cases) pretty disgusting no matter how many times I try it because people swear I just haven't tried "the good stuff".
I disagree about FR, but more importantly a lot of other people do, and think that any place that isn't as cosmopolitan as Waterdeep would see orcs and drow killed on sight, while some folks think that even a Dragonborn would be.
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top