D&D General The Tyranny of Rarity

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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Designing a home brew world? Simply ask the players "hey, what playable races do you want to see? What classes? How about the pantheon, if there is one?"

It feels like a lot of people make up campaign worlds as a hobby in the background, maybe while playing in other campaigns in many groups. So there might not be any people particularly to ask while it's being constructed. Or has been already running with a different group.

If it"s more spur of the moment, or for a particular group of players, then it does seem like getting their input would be a common thing.
 
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Oofta

Legend
In so far as anything in this conversation could be labeled as such, sure. Arbitrary use of power or authority.



Make a new list? Or ignore the list?

Again, the list exists to appease your sense of verisimilitude, right? For the world to make sense. But if it’s placed ahead of player concerns, then yeah, I think that’s where it’s a problem.

As a player, I’m not really interested in playing through a GM’s uber-detailed homebrew setting. Or at least, not in exchange for my ability as a player to contribute to the game.

What should I care if my playing a drow renders some paragraphs you jotted in a spiral notebook 8 years ago moot?

Again, though, if your players aren’t concerned about this, then it’s not an issue.
I let people know what races are allowed when I put out the invites. If that's tyranny you have an incredibly low bar.

Want to play a race not on my list? Find a different DM, I have plenty of potential players.
 


And 56 pages in, the idea that a DM might try to be more open minded to their players interests is still being met with arguments that a) 'I can be close minded if I want to, you can't tell me what to do' and at the same time b) 'how dare someone accuse me of not being open minded.'
 

And 56 pages in, the idea that a DM might try to be more open minded to their players interests is still being met with arguments that a) 'I can be close minded if I want to, you can't tell me what to do' and at the same time b) 'how dare someone accuse me of not being open minded.'
The assumption that your way is SO much better is getting tiresome, to be honest. Can't people accept that are different ways to DM, and that's ok?
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
You are the DM. ACT LIKE IT. If you want to do restrictions that is great. But be prepared not to have higher player population base. And much whining. I am sick and tired of the idea of if the DM does not allow the Kitchen Sink, then they are an icky nasty DM.
Serious question here: how many DMs are in frequent search of new players? I've had limited race lists for most of my D&D settings and nobody has been unwilling to play my games because of that.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
For those that curate, I‘d be interested to hear about your option choices, especially if you’ve based your list on a theme or original idea. If you have a curated list of monsters that exist in your world I’d be keen to hear about that too.
I do a human and human-adjacent-only for my Ravenloft. Humans, fey-touched (half-elves), caliban (homebrew), and now the dhampir, and hexblood. I could also see allowing changelings and shifters, with the assumption that they are cursed humans or are part-human rather than their own races.

There is an orc in the party, but she was Mist-taken, so that's OK.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
There are just means of tailoring a list that don't default to "Because I wrote it down that way ten years ago".
The campaign world being ten years old isn't an excuse either. My setting will be drinking age (US) come March. It's been around for six campaigns, dozens of one-shots, four DMs who were not me, three editions, and two million words of novels. I still don't reject player concepts.

I say 'well for this campaign, let's come up with where you're from, how you got here. It might not show up in future games unless your next character has a hook to the same thing'.

There's no gnomes on Ere, but there were some during the Drunkards& Dinosaurs campaign because someone wanted to play a gnome.

Orcs dying out (aside from living on via minotaurs [long story] and mixed-species children in the form of hobs), but someone wanted to orcs, so it turned out that there are some scattered and isolated orc populations that most people think are myth and whose neighbors have helped hide them from the genocide that wiped them out. The depiction was so good, those guys are canon now.

There are both no elephants on Ere AND I never considered loxodons, but someone wanted to loxodon, so a shipwreck from the 'Here There Be Dragons' part of the map landed one on the coast and they joined the army because people are used to all sort of crazy crap and a weird nose and ears are the least of their problems as long as it's friendly. Wherever they came from is the land of not canon in the rest of the setting, but what's it matter. Dude had fun.

I don't like the dragonborn mechanics and brewed my own dragonsired, but someone (for some reason) wanted to play a dragonborn, so they're a rare 'more human' dragonsired birth where they're more humanand mode-locked into dragon mode.

None of it hurt me. None of it hurt the setting.
 

I do a human and human-adjacent-only for my Ravenloft. Humans, fey-touched (half-elves), caliban (homebrew), and now the dhampir, and hexblood. I could also see allowing changelings and shifters, with the assumption that they are cursed humans or are part-human rather than their own races.

There is an orc in the party, but she was Mist-taken, so that's OK.

Makes sense for Ravenloft.
It sounds like there's some flexibility there as well.

Thanks for the response, I'm always jealous of people playing Ravenloft, every time I open Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft I have about 4 different ideas for campaigns.
 

Greg K

Hero
I say 'well for this campaign, let's come up with where you're from, how you got here. It might not show up in future games unless your next character has a hook to the same thing'.

There are both no elephants on Ere AND I never considered loxodons, but someone wanted to loxodon, so a shipwreck from the 'Here There Be Dragons' part of the map landed one on the coast and they joined the army because people are used to all sort of crazy crap and a weird nose and ears are the least of their problems as long as it's friendly. Wherever they came from is the land of not canon in the rest of the setting, but what's it matter. Dude had fun.

I don't like the dragonborn mechanics and brewed my own dragonsired, but someone (for some reason) wanted to play a dragonborn, so they're a rare 'more human' dragonsired birth where they're more humanand mode-locked into dragon mode.

None of it hurt me. None of it hurt the setting.
As a player, the above are things that would turn me off. Does it make you a bad DM in general? No. However, you would be a bad DM for me and that is ok.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
It depends, for sure. An Athas campaign will have different options than a Middle-Earth campaign.

But what about a homebrew? What about a world where a GM has determined a list of available races ahead of time and then sends them to the players; won’t that list very likely seem random to the players? Won’t whatever context is shared just seem like justification for the GM’s choices?

If I start a campaign and I tell players to make characters, and then I take the races they’ve opted for their PCs and any related background details, and then I use that to build a world, what makes this more random?
There's a chicken-and-egg problem here.

If I'm DMing, not only am I curating the list of available species but I'm also a) tweaking the rules (e.g. ASI bonus/penalty, species abilities, etc.) for each one and b) designing the setting to suit those species and their histories etc. The players need to see those tweaked rules in order to have enough info to roll up their characters, meaning that by the time the players get access to it the list of available species is already locked and loaded and the setting has been designed.

The other option is to have the players in effect roll up their characters blind as regards just what their non-Human PCs will have going for them. Somehow doing it that way doesn't seem so appealing.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
The campaign world being ten years old isn't an excuse either. My setting will be drinking age (US) come March. It's been around for six campaigns, dozens of one-shots, four DMs who were not me, three editions, and two million words of novels. I still don't reject player concepts.

I say 'well for this campaign, let's come up with where you're from, how you got here. It might not show up in future games unless your next character has a hook to the same thing'.

There's no gnomes on Ere, but there were some during the Drunkards& Dinosaurs campaign because someone wanted to play a gnome.

Orcs dying out (aside from living on via minotaurs [long story] and mixed-species children in the form of hobs), but someone wanted to orcs, so it turned out that there are some scattered and isolated orc populations that most people think are myth and whose neighbors have helped hide them from the genocide that wiped them out. The depiction was so good, those guys are canon now.

There are both no elephants on Ere AND I never considered loxodons, but someone wanted to loxodon, so a shipwreck from the 'Here There Be Dragons' part of the map landed one on the coast and they joined the army because people are used to all sort of crazy crap and a weird nose and ears are the least of their problems as long as it's friendly. Wherever they came from is the land of not canon in the rest of the setting, but what's it matter. Dude had fun.

I don't like the dragonborn mechanics and brewed my own dragonsired, but someone (for some reason) wanted to play a dragonborn, so they're a rare 'more human' dragonsired birth where they're more humanand mode-locked into dragon mode.

None of it hurt me. None of it hurt the setting.

I think that's 99% a great post showing how it works for some people and how accepting you are of what your players want. The first line on the other hand cavalierly dismisses what a bunch of other folks as players and DMs want with "isn't an excuse" and felt to me like you're one true waying. Given how judgemental the thread has seemed at times by both sides, adding "To me..." as the first two words would have made it come off a lot better to me.
 
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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
And 56 pages in, the idea that a DM might try to be more open minded to their players interests is still being met with arguments that a) 'I can be close minded if I want to, you can't tell me what to do' and at the same time b) 'how dare someone accuse me of not being open minded.'
Has anyone on here said they haven't listened to players ideas, seen if they can be made to fit, and sometimes incorporated them?
 

Oofta

Legend
The campaign world being ten years old isn't an excuse either. My setting will be drinking age (US) come March. It's been around for six campaigns, dozens of one-shots, four DMs who were not me, three editions, and two million words of novels. I still don't reject player concepts.

I say 'well for this campaign, let's come up with where you're from, how you got here. It might not show up in future games unless your next character has a hook to the same thing'.

There's no gnomes on Ere, but there were some during the Drunkards& Dinosaurs campaign because someone wanted to play a gnome.

Orcs dying out (aside from living on via minotaurs [long story] and mixed-species children in the form of hobs), but someone wanted to orcs, so it turned out that there are some scattered and isolated orc populations that most people think are myth and whose neighbors have helped hide them from the genocide that wiped them out. The depiction was so good, those guys are canon now.

There are both no elephants on Ere AND I never considered loxodons, but someone wanted to loxodon, so a shipwreck from the 'Here There Be Dragons' part of the map landed one on the coast and they joined the army because people are used to all sort of crazy crap and a weird nose and ears are the least of their problems as long as it's friendly. Wherever they came from is the land of not canon in the rest of the setting, but what's it matter. Dude had fun.

I don't like the dragonborn mechanics and brewed my own dragonsired, but someone (for some reason) wanted to play a dragonborn, so they're a rare 'more human' dragonsired birth where they're more humanand mode-locked into dragon mode.

None of it hurt me. None of it hurt the setting.
Umm, congratulations?

My having a curated list hasn't hurt me, my setting, my existing players or the ability to attract new players either. What's your point other than "I am following the one true way"?
 

And still goes on. This is now at a point where both sides are dead set in their tracks and will not deviate one iota to the other side.

It is clear that the cantina aspect is not for every table, at least not mine and certainly not for long that is for sure.

What I think is happening is that some people believe that DMs that restrict choices are tyrans that forces their players to play things they do not want. Well, this is quite untrue. I never forced a player to play something that player did not want. Strangely, restriction does not mean tyranny. It simply means that there is a restriction of choice. A player can always leave if he does not agree with the premises of a campaign.

Now this opens up a question. In the end, which one has the most to loose by adopting a stern stance? The answer is easy, the player. A DM can always find more players but the reverse is not true. I have been forming DM for 30 years now and the shortage of DMs has always been a thing.

Only once have I had a group that was not in agreement with my stance. As they failed to convinced the other groups to go the cantina mode (it was called the Disney mode back then) and guess what? I simply gathered my stuff and walked out. They were quite rude and they did tries to get back. But they have been replaced almost immediately. Never saw them again 8n a RPG context. It took them quite a while to find an other DM and it happened that it was a player I mine. They had left one restrictive DM for another. But this time they swallowed their pride, and played. And guess what? They're still playing with my player in the same campaign as I have.

Respect your DM, go along with him/her and at some point, you will get your way. A one shot cantina is often quite enough to satisfy the urge for a couple of years. But most of all, it is a question of respect for the amount of work the DM is doing.
 

Oofta

Legend
Just to reiterate, I don't have a problem with allowing every race under the sun. I simply don't think it's inherently better, I think the DM needs to do what makes sense for them an their campaign.

There will always be restrictions to games. If you're playing D&D, odds are you won't have a sniper rifle. You probably won't be playing an actual dragon. You won't be invulnerable with the ability to fly at twice the speed of sound while being the strongest person in the known universe.

You may be able to emulate some of that with magic, but you aren't playing COD or Superman. There are always limitations to games, we just set different limits.
 

Just to reiterate, I don't have a problem with allowing every race under the sun. I simply don't think it's inherently better, I think the DM needs to do what makes sense for them an their campaign.

There will always be restrictions to games. If you're playing D&D, odds are you won't have a sniper rifle. You probably won't be playing an actual dragon. You won't be invulnerable with the ability to fly at twice the speed of sound while being the strongest person in the known universe.

You may be able to emulate some of that with magic, but you aren't playing COD or Superman. There are always limitations to games, we just set different limits.
And I the same. What I have trouble though, is when one player tries to impose his/her views on the other players or DMs. That is simply a big NO! For me.

I am always open to discussion and if the other players agree we might vote on the idea for the next campaign. But right here right now because somebody say so? Nope, it will not do.
 


Oofta

Legend
That's the problem I have. That player usually justifies this because they're the DM.
Ever since I established a curated list, I've had exactly two players as to play something not on my list. One I was able to accommodate because I figured out how to have a unique individual. The other wanted to play a drow. I said no because I have a lot of lore surrounding them along with the fact that I would apply all the penalties. They shrugged and played a different elf subrace.

So what problem am I causing, exactly? Other than I don't follow your one true way?
 


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