log in or register to remove this ad

 

General The Importance of Page 33

The Glen

Adventurer
Tieflings in Mystara are something of a weird case.

They originated in Planescape, and in the 2e days, were more or less planar. Now Planescape and Mystara coexisted as supported 2e settings for 2 years, and Planescape counted Mystara as part of its cosmology. So a tiefling could theoretically cross from Planescape into Mystara. Mystara though had its own weird cosmology, but it was really only talked about in the old D&D rules. The D&D cosmology was similar with a Prime (Material) Plane, 4 elemental planes, an Astral and Ethereal. Outer Planes were much different, there was no Great Wheel, and they tended to be individual realms of the gods, connected to the Spheres, or alternate realities or something, I don't really remember. In any case, a traditional Mystara DM might use the old cosmology rather than the Great Wheel, and that might make tieflings a difficult fit at best. Not only that, but the DM might not like Planescape at all and not want to use it in his game. That was one of the big downsides to all of 2e's settings.
The way they established the setting in 2nd edition to tie it into the rest was that Mystara was part of the great wheel, but Immortals (ascended mortals that replaced the role of gods, and there were mechanical differences between gods nad immortals) did not want outside powers to influence The Mortals. This is because Immortals needed mortals to ascend to keep the Immortals relevant. If gods or demon Lords presented another option The Immortals would lose power.

Mystara had several crossovers with Sigil, the best known was a shadow elf that was physically split onto multiple forms to spy on all the factions at the same time. Immortals kept out Devils and Angels, and demons, gith and other malevolent outsiders had to sneak in or brute force their way in with the Immortals actively trying to keep at bay.

Interbreeding worked differently, as orcs were descended from beastmen, and weren't capable of breeding with humans or demihumans. All the beastmen races could freely interbreed. Demihumans and humans could interbreed but they resembled one parent or the other rather than a hybrid. The other parent's heritage stayed on as a kind of recessive trait, two if two humans with dwarf ancestry had a kid there was a good chance their kid was a dwarf instead of a human.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

jasper

Rotten DM
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.

[/QUOTE]
Call the bobbys. That circus freak is wandering the streets alone. Put the children in the back rooms. Lock it up. Lock it up. And fined the owner of circus.
Or is is monster. One of Mr. Hyde's evil companions. Throw rocks at it and drive it out of town.
If a player wanted to play what would be a carnival freak, or monster race (when the DM say no to tabaxi but compromises), the player should know being different is not has some bad results.
 

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?
I think that if we had D&D magic in the world then it wouldn't be the Tabaxi that was unbelievable so much as the mere existence of an unchanged Victorian London. No setting with the wish spell (or even quite a lot of other spells) should have a problem with a Tabaxi character dressed appropriately. And if we're not using D&D magic but something a lot more covert then we're not playing D&D.

As for what in the entire history of the human race? I live in modern London. If someone looking like that walked through the streets of modern London I'd expect them to be ignored or complemented them on their cosplay.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
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.
Call the bobbys. That circus freak is wandering the streets alone. Put the children in the back rooms. Lock it up. Lock it up. And fined the owner of circus.
Or is is monster. One of Mr. Hyde's evil companions. Throw rocks at it and drive it out of town.
If a player wanted to play what would be a carnival freak, or monster race (when the DM say no to tabaxi but compromises), the player should know being different is not has some bad results.
[/QUOTE]
This mindset toward the world is...not one I want anywhere near a table I’m at.

Glad we only interact on the internet.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
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, and the 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.
This "dwarf" would be a goat-herd, sailor and wizard. They would be soft-spoken, red-skinned and clean shaven. They would be nimble on the planks of a ship, and a confident swimmer. There would literally be nothing dwarfie about them except for the label. Alternatively, there would be something dwarfie about them... and the feel of the setting is changed.

Where we land I think is that you don't mind such things. I do. I find the arguments you present thoroughly uncompelling, and must suppose you feel the same about mine. That feels about as far as we can get for the moment. Happy adventuring :)
 

Azuresun

Explorer
This mindset toward the world is...not one I want anywhere near a table I’m at.

Glad we only interact on the internet.
It sounds here like you're insinuating that another poster's views on what a fantasy world's views towards strange and terrifying-looking beings could be (not to mention settings where that fear is overwhelmingly justified, like Drow in most regions of the FR) is a reflection on how they think the real world should be. That's a pretty uncharitable leap to make.
 

FrozenNorth

Adventurer
Say the exchange is exactly that: A is okay with Tabaxi, B is not. And B is DM. How would you resolve that dilemma?
If I am B, I give A the benefit of the doubt. I have mastery over all space and time, the fact that I personally dislike tabaxi (in general, not how this tabaxi is played), means I can be the bigger person.

If I am neither A nor B, it really isn’t my business.
 

Hussar

Legend
If I am B, I give A the benefit of the doubt. I have mastery over all space and time, the fact that I personally dislike tabaxi (in general, not how this tabaxi is played), means I can be the bigger person.

If I am neither A nor B, it really isn’t my business.
This, right here , is the proper response. The dm can instantly whip out his magic editing stick and make room for anything in a setting.

It’s funny. When TSR or WotC adds races to existing settings, they are being creative and interesting. When a player does it, that’s a problem player.
 

Hussar

Legend
See, there seems to a conflation of issues here.

On one hand, we're talking about adding tabaxi or dragonborn or tieflings to Mystara. That's not exactly a stretch since stuff that already looks pretty much exactly like that already exists. Someone wants to play a Tabaxi? Well, in Mystara Tabaxi are called Rakasta. Dragonborn? There's five (or more) different options for scaley folk, fill your boots. Tieflings might be a bit more problematic since Mystara doesn't have devils in it. But, here's a Diaboli and that fits the bill pretty closely.

On the other hand, you have the clockwork, steampunk elf from another dimension that clearly doesn't fit in the campaign. Fair enough. That's a table issue, and needs to be worked out because obviously the player and the DM are not on the same page. There's zero buy in from the player at that point and that's going to cause all sorts of problems in the game. Fair enough.

There's a rather large middle ground here that seems to be getting ignored.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
This "dwarf" would be a goat-herd, sailor and wizard. They would be soft-spoken, red-skinned and clean shaven. They would be nimble on the planks of a ship, and a confident swimmer. There would literally be nothing dwarfie about them except for the label. Alternatively, there would be something dwarfie about them... and the feel of the setting is changed.

Where we land I think is that you don't mind such things. I do. I find the arguments you present thoroughly uncompelling, and must suppose you feel the same about mine. That feels about as far as we can get for the moment. Happy adventuring :)
I said nothing significant would change, not that nothing would change. The cultural flavor of his home, him being cleanshaven, etc, either have absolutely no impact on the story or just wouldn't be affect at all by him being a dwarf.

Things in the story would change. How his POV feels when interacting with a larger race would be a bit different, for instance. But no moreso than is presented by very different cultures.

It sounds here like you're insinuating that another poster's views on what a fantasy world's views towards strange and terrifying-looking beings could be (not to mention settings where that fear is overwhelmingly justified, like Drow in most regions of the FR) is a reflection on how they think the real world should be. That's a pretty uncharitable leap to make.
Speaking of leaps. What I'm "insinuating" is that I don't like the other poster's mindset on storytelling, and I'm glad that I don't have anyone in my group who thinks the same way they do. There may be a further insinuation that their view on storytelling tells me something that I don't like about their more general mindset toward how the world is, but it's wildly illogical to conclude that I'm suggesting anything about their view of how the real world should be.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
See, there seems to a conflation of issues here.

On one hand, we're talking about adding tabaxi or dragonborn or tieflings to Mystara. That's not exactly a stretch since stuff that already looks pretty much exactly like that already exists. Someone wants to play a Tabaxi? Well, in Mystara Tabaxi are called Rakasta. Dragonborn? There's five (or more) different options for scaley folk, fill your boots. Tieflings might be a bit more problematic since Mystara doesn't have devils in it. But, here's a Diaboli and that fits the bill pretty closely.

On the other hand, you have the clockwork, steampunk elf from another dimension that clearly doesn't fit in the campaign. Fair enough. That's a table issue, and needs to be worked out because obviously the player and the DM are not on the same page. There's zero buy in from the player at that point and that's going to cause all sorts of problems in the game. Fair enough.

There's a rather large middle ground here that seems to be getting ignored.
To be fair, I'm pretty sure Mystara has artificers, even if not by name.
 

Orius

Adventurer
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?
It depends on WHY the player wants to play something odd. If you've got the guy that has to play oddballs that's one thing. But he'd better have a good reason why he's playing that. Or if the whole group wants to play stuff that isn't native to the region, they need to have a reason for why they came together. If I'm doing Planescape, sure anything goes, but if the starting area for the campaign looks more like Bree they'd better have a good reason that makes sense.

And then there's min-maxers. Min maxers only look at scores and abilities that come out to the biggest possible bonuses, and flavor means jack unless you got a really devious min-maxer who uses it as an end run around the DM. I'm coming from a 3e PoV so you'd better believe there's stuff like whisper gnomes or lesser planetouched that will never see the light of day in my game because they're broken. That's a DM maintaining game balance, not a stomp on the players.

On the other hand, you have the clockwork, steampunk elf from another dimension that clearly doesn't fit in the campaign. Fair enough. That's a table issue, and needs to be worked out because obviously the player and the DM are not on the same page.
He'd be at home in Serraine with those gnomes buzzing around in biplanes I think.

Mystara had several crossovers with Sigil, the best known was a shadow elf that was physically split onto multiple forms to spy on all the factions at the same time. Immortals kept out Devils and Angels, and demons, gith and other malevolent outsiders had to sneak in or brute force their way in with the Immortals actively trying to keep at bay.
Farrow I'd count as Planescape though, and it's doubtful Shemeshka wants him sightseeing back home when she has a hard time controlling him in the first place.

And if the githyanki can bust into Athas, Mystara should be a piece of cake.
 

It depends on WHY the player wants to play something odd. If you've got the guy that has to play oddballs that's one thing. But he'd better have a good reason why he's playing that. Or if the whole group wants to play stuff that isn't native to the region, they need to have a reason for why they came together. If I'm doing Planescape, sure anything goes, but if the starting area for the campaign looks more like Bree they'd better have a good reason that makes sense.

And then there's min-maxers. Min maxers only look at scores and abilities that come out to the biggest possible bonuses, and flavor means jack unless you got a really devious min-maxer who uses it as an end run around the DM. I'm coming from a 3e PoV so you'd better believe there's stuff like whisper gnomes or lesser planetouched that will never see the light of day in my game because they're broken. That's a DM maintaining game balance, not a stomp on the players.
And what's a good enough reason to play a variant human?

Oh, sorry, a hill dwarf.

Wait no, High Elf Swashbuckler Rogue with Booming Blade?
 

Coroc

Hero
....

Speaking of leaps. What I'm "insinuating" is that I don't like the other poster's mindset on storytelling, and I'm glad that I don't have anyone in my group who thinks the same way they do. There may be a further insinuation that their view on storytelling tells me something that I don't like about their more general mindset toward how the world is, but it's wildly illogical to conclude that I'm suggesting anything about their view of how the real world should be.
Cmon now, you seem to be associating things a bit wildly now about @jasper . I do not know his personal mindset, and tbh when discussing things that could happen in his game, that does say nothing about him as a person.

I mean if you only have fairytale scenarios that is fine, but other DMs try to portray ugly real world past (and unfortunately also present) circumstances in a game that the players eventually might combat against, does that make the DM a sociopathic villain in your POV?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Cmon now, you seem to be associating things a bit wildly now about @jasper . I do not know his personal mindset, and tbh when discussing things that could happen in his game, that does say nothing about him as a person.

I mean if you only have fairytale scenarios that is fine, but other DMs try to portray ugly real world past (and unfortunately also present) circumstances in a game that the players eventually might combat against, does that make the DM a sociopathic villain in your POV?
Another wild leap. 🤷‍♂️
 

Coroc

Hero
Another wild leap. 🤷‍♂️
Yes, because I could not see how you draw your conclusions. If a DM decides that e.g. local townsfolk harasses a PC party or an individual of a PC party, for whatever reason be it racial prejudice, or just his looks that does not mean that the DM has the same or similar views IRL, does it?

If I misread or misinterpreted then I apologize, but I can only conclude the most probable meaning behind from what you posted.
 


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.
I don't think a crusader would have a negative attitude towards a "blackamoor" (not a Moor - those are north africans) in medieval times. Unlike the paler Turks and Arabs, Ethiopians would be the only group a crusader would be likely to encounter and they were Christian (and indeed, there are records of Ethiopian pilgrims visiting the crusader states that doesn't seem to have been considered remarkable).
 

So, I started a new campaign. I had a session zero where I explained the idea of an intrigue based campaign, with numerous factions and politicking. None of the players raised any issues with it, but when they arrived at the first session with their characters:
  • 1 was a noble distant heir to the throne involved in a plot against the current pretender (Cool!)
  • 1 was a doctor who patched up the poor and the wealthy (I can work with that!)
  • 1 was a lower-class member of a minority group with the flaw “when people treat me badly I fly into a rage” (Um, not really a great fit for an intrigue-based campaign, but I’m willing to work with this)
  • 1 was a wilderness warrior who had never been to the city (C’mon!)
  • the last was a steampunk elvish traveller from Sigil who had never been to that plane...

On the one hand, I retooled the campaign to be a more traditional dungeon delve. On the other, I told the steampunk elf to make a more appropriate character or drop the campaign (he dropped the campaign).

To summarize, I don’t think this issue is black or white. DMs should be flexible and avoid being too wedded to their ideas pre-player input. Players should engage with the world as described and not just play characters independent of the world.
But therein lies the rub. As long as the character is thematically appropriate, it doesn't matter what the race or class is. The steampunk elf seems more inappropriate to that campaign than say, a tabaxi musician would be, despite the elf being a "standard" race.
 

It sounds here like you're insinuating that another poster's views on what a fantasy world's views towards strange and terrifying-looking beings could be (not to mention settings where that fear is overwhelmingly justified, like Drow in most regions of the FR) is a reflection on how they think the real world should be. That's a pretty uncharitable leap to make.
My issue is that he picked Victorian London as the example. The greatest city and trading port in the world at the time is emphatically not somewhere where someone would get that sort of reaction unless they were directly and actively threatening. Now if we're talking about the rural antebellum South of the United States where they kept militias for fear of slave uprisings and that didn't see visitors from across the world it's a whole different story.
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top