log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E What is the appeal of the weird fantasy races?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Are you saying that a "cantina" can't describe a tavern full of humans? It's a human word originating from a human language to describe a human environment. We don't have many words for diverse groups of sentient non-humans.

(Species is no more offensive than the others, IMO. It's silly to be offended by being called a group of different species' if you're literally discussing a group of lizardfolk, kenku, tabaxi, and elves.)
What I'm saying is that any number of words can be considered insulting if you want to consider them insulting. Describing a campaign where walking into a bar it looks like Mos Eisley's Cantina is just something that gives an immediate picture to the vast majority of people.

I don't think that's insulting, it's just using a handy dandy easily recognizable reference. Have some people interpreted it as an insult? I guess. Some people get insulted any time you have even the most minor of disagreements.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

What I'm saying is that any number of words can be considered insulting if you want to consider them insulting. Describing a campaign where walking into a bar it looks like Mos Eisley's Cantina is just something that gives an immediate picture to the vast majority of people.

I don't think that's insulting, it's just using a handy dandy easily recognizable reference. Have some people interpreted it as an insult? I guess. Some people get insulted any time you have even the most minor of disagreements.
A word is insulting when used in an insulting way. Typically, this is intended. You can go back and read the earlier posts in this thread, which is when more people were using "Cantina" in a dismissive way. It's not offensive if you're trying to give a mental image to new players unfamiliar with it, but it is offensive if people say "I don't want D&D to be a boring cantina", which is what I have seen happen hundreds of times on this site and others.
 

Azzy

KMF DM
What I'm saying is that any number of words can be considered insulting if you want to consider them insulting. Describing a campaign where walking into a bar it looks like Mos Eisley's Cantina is just something that gives an immediate picture to the vast majority of people.

I don't think that's insulting, it's just using a handy dandy easily recognizable reference. Have some people interpreted it as an insult? I guess. Some people get insulted any time you have even the most minor of disagreements.
It's not that "some people interpreted it as an insult", it's that many people have used it to be disparagingly dismissive of settings/campaigns that don't adhere the list of races in the 1e PHB. It's just a tiresome invoking of "badwrongfun" that needs to die in a fire.
 

I can't speak for anyone else on here, but I use the term "core four" in this forum. On this thread. Prior to this thread, I had never even heard the term. I consider gnomes to be part of the core races. Always have.

Fair enough, you always consider them.

But, you do recognize that on this thread, people say "the core four". A phrase which seems to be very much tied to Tolkien. After all, if you wanted to make the Fellowship of the Ring, all you need are humans, elves, dwarves and hobbits. A habit in the community so pervasive that even people who don't consider those four races the exclusive "core" adopt the term.

Thanks for the clarification. It is appreciated. I think we might still see things differently based on skepticism. (Perhaps?) I would never be skeptical of a DM that told me that. I can't imagine someone lying about the amount of work they put in because it corners them into very high expectations. (Maybe?) You are skeptical of them. I think that is our difference, which causes us to have different takes on DM power.

Yeah, I'd be skeptical. Maybe not, depends on a lot of factors, but I've known people to lie to shut down conversations they don't want to have, so I try to keep that in mind.

Every player has a chance though. They have many chances. They can:
  • find a different table
  • join a different game online
  • choose to DM next campaign
  • wait until the next campaign and prior to the DM starting the parameters ask them to insert their choice
And I do not mean any of those as a negative. As I have noted, I have never seen a DM not bend over backwards. I also have played on very few tables (I can only think of two campaigns in D&D out of my 30+ years) that limited races. So there are many many many out there for that player if they have the absolute need and cannot deviate from their ideal character of a specific race. Again though, those are my experiences viewing the problem associated with a DM limiting races. I just really don't see it as a problem; one because I have never seen this type of conflict at a table, and two, because it literally is six months to a year until they get to play something else (average).

So, I get that you don't mean them negatively, but these don't address the issue at all.

The issue at question is the DM has spent 100+ hours building their world, and how can you ask them to do more, complicating factor, the DM builds the world before the game.

So, find a different table? That DM has also built their world before the game and likely spent 100+ hours on it, so there is literally no change in your situation.

Join a different game online? Same thing, world already built. 100+ hours, you still can't ask them to change.

DM yourself? Well... um, that isn't playing the game. In fact, this being presented a solution to "I have a character I want to play" is just a ripe excuse for DMPCs, which are a thing people do. "I wanted to play this character so bad I created an entire campaign to feature how awesome they are" and DMPCs are nearly universally panned as being terrible ideas, because they focus on that character and not the party. So, this would be a terrible solution.

And, the last option is equally poor. First of all, it assumes that the DM is building an entirely new world and abandoning the one that they spent +100 hours on, you know, the one they refused to change because they put so much work into it? Secondly, it assumes that the player can catch them building this new world, is aware of it, and is wanting to play in the campaign that world will feature. That is a lot of points of failure here. And finally, it assumes that a DM who was concerned about the sanctity of their personal creation would listen to outside advice.


What the player is actually left with is a very binary situation. Stay in this game or gamble that someone else has built a world that agrees with what you want.

But, that only applies in these situations that are being presented, a DM who bans races then refuses to work with the players, and as you say, in your experience those DMs are rare.

I respect your playstyle. And that was kind of my point about time. A DM puts the work into the world pre session zero from my experience. I have never seen a DM hold session zero and then build the mythos, gods, races, cultures, kingdoms in the time allotted (one or two weeks) until the next session. That seems impossible, even if they were on vacation or retired. One way they could do it is to improv a lot of things. But I have been very clear. If the DM is just going to improv, then they should probably allow any race the player chooses (outside of power or clear turbulent dynamics of said race). I know not everyone on the DM side agrees with that. And that is okay. Just my two copper.

But back to the point. Once a DM builds their world, then the work falls into other things: adventures for the players to go on, plot lines, character arcs, dungeon design, NPCs, villains, (and for some - minis, maps, etc.). Online offers even more work at times. So there is no time to expand the cosmology, add a new kingdom, etc.

But none of this addresses potentially changing things. And, like I said above, if the premise you are presenting is that the DM shouldn't be asked to change, because they already did so much work, then the player is kind of left with no recourse. You present this question like the player's who ask are over-stepping, but you seem to forget that the DM building alone, with no input from anyone else... has no chance to get input from anyone else. Players literally cannot ask until the DM has already put in the work, unless they get lucky enough to know a DM, who is starting to worldbuild, and is willing to listen.


Ok. We'll just have to agree to disagree then. The context of my sentence was clearly positive - uber positive - in my mind. A negative word surrounded by all positive context means it is meant as a positive. I mean, a drag queen on RuPaul's Drag Race saying, "Bitch you look so stunning, I have to shield my eyes. I am jealous!" is not referring to the other person negatively even though they use bitch. ;)

Do you realize that adding the context of the community, drag queens, who are stereotypically known for that phrase being used in a positive light basically just proves my point?

In this community, that term has a meaning that is fairly clear to all of us who have been discussing. You aren't in a seperate community where that term is used differently, so being shocked someone took it negatively is kind of mind-blowing to me. I mean, if I went to a sunday church sewing group and talked like a drag queen, they probably aren't going to take it as a compliment.
 

I apologize for sounding curt - but are some of you really that hurt over someone calling a diverse range of species in one place a cantina? A word used to describe one of the most memorable and beloved scenes in one of the most classic movies of all time for geeks? A single word that summarizes multiple species in one place?
Is the other side going to start throwing fits when Tolkien or "core four" is mentioned now?
This is utter and complete madness. It is picking a fight with the kid who complimented your shoes. Good Lord.

Yes, we are going to be annoyed by the use of a term which has been used to ridicule and deride our side, repeatedly. Kind of what happens when someone throws a term around as an insult all the time, people tend to be insulted when it is used.

Take snowflakes for example. Nothing wrong with pretty, frozen water. Calling someone a "pretty little snowflake" isn't going to be taken as a compliment though in this day and age.
 

Maybe, but I get a feeling that a lot of what this, and the 'What is the appeal of Tolkien races' thread, breaks down to superficial things. Not for everyone obviously, but when I see arguments that its about the role play, you can RP anything, with any race. A human, or a Half Elf, are still going to be 'standard' looking, regardless of whatever story or RP one wishes to go for.

Dragonborn? No, thats different, and its because of how they look.

I disagree, you can't roleplay anything the same no matter what. It is more than looks. But I'm not exactly in the mood to have this discussion yet again on this point (obviously not with you, but it has been done repeatedly at this point.)
 

Scribe

Explorer
I disagree, you can't roleplay anything the same no matter what. It is more than looks. But I'm not exactly in the mood to have this discussion yet again on this point (obviously not with you, but it has been done repeatedly at this point.)

Thats fair, but when I had asked for examples for Tiefling for example (my own personal issue, I cant get over what 4e did lol) I was given this list of things which...remove the 'I now look like your stereotypical Devil but i'm not I promise!' was just stuff that can be ANYONE's back story.

I get it though, and please dont feel I'm harassing you personally, everyone has their own preferences and what attracts them to various aspects (sp) of a game or setting.
 

Crit

Explorer
Sure. Have fun with drama club. Me and mine will be busy over here exploring dungeons, not characters.
Why act like it's one or the other? It's strange to boast about deliberately mitigating how you interact with the game.

Way to dismiss the foundational identity of DnD as "drama club." I don't know how to describe the layers of what's wrong with that. Acting like a fundamental part of the game is an aberration is odd. Comparing it to theatre is inaccurate. Acting like RP gets in the way of your dungeon exploring is silly, or that combat is "superior" than RP in any way other than how you feel about it. The DMG explicitly lists the three pillars of a DnD game (RP, combat, exploration), and having a preference for one is fine. You're supposed to. You still can. But please don't do it like that. It sounds like you dislike RP because you aren't familiar with it and refuse to be (based on how you talk about it as an alien hobby and condescend), rather than you simply not preferring it.

I just came back, so forgive my lack of context. I'm not reading three thousand comments no matter what anyone says.
 

Not hurt, annoyed at it being used as a dismissal of a way of playing the game that others consider "weird/wrong".
Will you please quote someone saying: "You use cantina style, you are wrong." Because saying a race is weird does not equate to someone is playing a game "wrong."
Read this thread. You'll see plenty of people throughout it saying they dislike having a "cantina" style world. None of us are hurt by this, we're just annoyed by the fact that one of the most memorable and beloved scenes in one of the most classic movies of all times is being used to dismiss another person's playstlye.
Again, the beginning of your quote I am okay with. Many people have said they do not like the cantina style play. When have they used it to "dismiss" your playstyle? I have not seen it, especially from a group of people. In fact, almost everyone on here says - you do you.
"Core four" is a stupid phrase in any case. Gnomes existed in Tolkein. Orcs, goblins, and hobgoblins existed in Tolkein. Whether or not they were members of the "party" is irrelevant. They were there and acted more or less in human ways.
I agree. I don't care for the phrase. Used it here because that is what some people are using.
No, it's not. It's picking a fight with a kid who pretended to like your shoes in order to make fun of them.
No one is picking on you or cantina. That's what I am saying. You are literally listening to someone say: "Nice shoes. I like all the colors. I wouldn't wear them because it's not my style. But they're cool" And then equating them not liking to your style to them hating your shoes. And then you take it a step further and think they are trying to get you to stop wearing the shoes. That is literally what is happening.
I don't like your patronizing tone, treating us as irrational children who can't handle being insulted. It's not that we are fussing or crying over any of this stuff. We're just annoyed at this act of gatekeeping that seems to be so ingrained in the culture of this site and others.
I am not patronizing. I am being curt - as straightforward as possible - so as to not have any misinterpretations. Cantina is used. People say they do not like to run cantina campaigns. No one is saying cantina campaigns are wrong. No one is saying cantina campaigns should be proof to dismiss your playstyle. No one making fun of your playstyle. They are saying that it is not for them.
 

Scribe

Explorer
I am not patronizing. I am being curt - as straightforward as possible - so as to not have any misinterpretations. Cantina is used. People say they do not like to run cantina campaigns. No one is saying cantina campaigns are wrong. No one is saying cantina campaigns should be proof to dismiss your playstyle. No one making fun of your playstyle. They are saying that it is not for them.

To be fair, I believe you are missing the connotations which are (as seen in those older threads linked) present with the term. You may not intend it to be used in that manner, but that doesnt change that it is perceived in that way.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
So people saying that they don't want their campaign to look like Mos Eisley's Cantina is an insult? Even when they clearly state that their personal preference has nothing to do with other people's campaigns and is no way saying that anyone else running their campaign differently is wrong?

I'm sorry, but I think people are reading things into phrases that are not intended to be, meant to be or interpreted by the vast majority of people to be an insult. Are there exceptions? Probably. But to say that there are "hundreds" of examples in this thread? Give me a break.

People use it as a handy reference because it's easily recognizable. Just because some people want to have a limited number of races, it doesn't make people who want any race in the book (or more) wrong.
 

I am not patronizing. I am being curt - as straightforward as possible - so as to not have any misinterpretations. Cantina is used. People say they do not like to run cantina campaigns. No one is saying cantina campaigns are wrong. No one is saying cantina campaigns should be proof to dismiss your playstyle. No one making fun of your playstyle. They are saying that it is not for them.
I'm responding to this first and foremost. The rest will come in a later post, because you were 100% being patronizing.



Exhibit A: "Are some of you really that hurt?"
Hurt implies seeing the other side as immature, especially on the internet. It is also seen as being an incorrect response in our modern society, as if emotions can be wrong.

Exhibit B: "Is the other side going to start throwing fits"
Implies that you view us as whiny and immature. If nothing else in the post was intended as an ad hominem, this definitely was.

Exhibit C: "This is utter and complete madness. "
Trying to dismiss us as crazy.

Exhibit D: "It is picking a fight with the kid who complimented your shoes."
Another example of viewing us as children.

Exhibit E: "Good Lord."
Trying to dismiss us as unreasonable.


Verdict: You attempted a "reductio ad absurdum", but ended up with an ad hominem and strawman argument.
 
Last edited:

Fair enough, you always consider them.

But, you do recognize that on this thread, people say "the core four". A phrase which seems to be very much tied to Tolkien. After all, if you wanted to make the Fellowship of the Ring, all you need are humans, elves, dwarves and hobbits. A habit in the community so pervasive that even people who don't consider those four races the exclusive "core" adopt the term.
Thanks. Gotta say if I wanted to refer to Tolkien, I would just invoke Middle Earth or his name, such as "It's like Middle Earth," or "Picture Tolkien's world." Why core four came about when there is already a standard in place is beyond me.
Yeah, I'd be skeptical. Maybe not, depends on a lot of factors, but I've known people to lie to shut down conversations they don't want to have, so I try to keep that in mind.
I have read some of your experiences. And if I were in your shoes, I would be right along with you. I would be skeptical. Very skeptical. Fortunately for me, I have had almost all positive experiences.
So, I get that you don't mean them negatively, but these don't address the issue at all.

The issue at question is the DM has spent 100+ hours building their world, and how can you ask them to do more, complicating factor, the DM builds the world before the game.

So, find a different table? That DM has also built their world before the game and likely spent 100+ hours on it, so there is literally no change in your situation.

Join a different game online? Same thing, world already built. 100+ hours, you still can't ask them to change.
I just reread my post and I definitely did not make myself clear. I meant that, in my experience, there are so few DMs that have done that work (like 10-20% maybe), that the other 80% of the tables are open. They are the buffet. That has been my experience. Most DMs allow almost anything. A few have put in a a lot of work and limit things. Sorry for not being clear.
Basically, from my vantage point it is easy for a player to just go find one of the 80%ers out there.
But none of this addresses potentially changing things. And, like I said above, if the premise you are presenting is that the DM shouldn't be asked to change, because they already did so much work, then the player is kind of left with no recourse. You present this question like the player's who ask are over-stepping, but you seem to forget that the DM building alone, with no input from anyone else... has no chance to get input from anyone else. Players literally cannot ask until the DM has already put in the work, unless they get lucky enough to know a DM, who is starting to worldbuild, and is willing to listen.
That is not how it is meant to be taken. And I have probably stated fifty time (but I know, it is a long thread) that a player should ask. They should. And the DM should work with them. But view it with my 80% experience. Even if, somehow, this is the only table they can play on, and it is part of the 20% that do the work and limit races, then ask. And if the DM can't. Then ask for the inclusion of whatever race or class you want to be included in the next campaign. This way the DM has time to add them. And if they don't after having a six months to find a way to include them, then they are not the table for that player. They want a different playstyle. And that is okay.
Do you realize that adding the context of the community, drag queens, who are stereotypically known for that phrase being used in a positive light basically just proves my point?

In this community, that term has a meaning that is fairly clear to all of us who have been discussing. You aren't in a seperate community where that term is used differently, so being shocked someone took it negatively is kind of mind-blowing to me. I mean, if I went to a sunday church sewing group and talked like a drag queen, they probably aren't going to take it as a compliment.
We are in a separate community. Geeks. And ask any Geek outside of the few on this forum, ask them what the Mos Eisley's Cantina is and they are likely to hum you the song and have a smile on their face. And I used drag queens to be funny, because I just watched the show with my wife and heard the phrase. I could have just as said, Will Farrell or my niece using the phrase and the context and connotation would have the exact same equivalency - bitch being used in a positive light.
 

So people saying that they don't want their campaign to look like Mos Eisley's Cantina is an insult? Even when they clearly state that their personal preference has nothing to do with other people's campaigns and is no way saying that anyone else running their campaign differently is wrong?
I'd almost argue that if they don't want a game where "A whole heap of races" is the default, D&D may not be the game for them.

Sapient enough to be playable races have been a thing in D&D for yonks. Even just looking at orcs, they've been there since the beginning and are clearly sapient enough to be playable.

D&D's standard is that Cantina atmosphere. Its why we have colour-coded dragons, regional-themed giants, and subraces for days. D&D just naturally leans into it, and fighting against that is going to cause friction
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I am not patronizing.
Mod Note:

With respect, when you referred to people as "throwing fits" and "picking fights with the kid with..." you set yourself up as mature, and everyone who disagrees with you as immature - so, yes patronizing. And haven't walked that back yet.

When someone is not okay with how you use language, getting defensive and accusing them of being the problem (however you feel it may be true) is not a step towards understanding. You won't easily move forwards that way. If you are busy asserting your "right" to use words as you desire, you cannot learn why they don't seem to mean what you think they mean.

If I may, next time try something like the following:

"Oh, geeze, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that.

I admit I don't really understand. What about it is problematic?"


You may then listen, and decide whether they are correct, but still move forward by avoiding the issue with this particular person, regardless. You may walk away still feeling like the other person is a wrongheaded gasbag, if you wish, but the conversation can move forward without seeing moderators come in with red text disrupting things.

And who knows? Maybe if you listen, you'll learn something.
 

Gammadoodler

Adventurer
Will you please quote someone saying: "You use cantina style, you are wrong." Because saying a race is weird does not equate to someone is playing a game "wrong."

Again, the beginning of your quote I am okay with. Many people have said they do not like the cantina style play. When have they used it to "dismiss" your playstyle? I have not seen it, especially from a group of people. In fact, almost everyone on here says - you do you.

I agree. I don't care for the phrase. Used it here because that is what some people are using.

No one is picking on you or cantina. That's what I am saying. You are literally listening to someone say: "Nice shoes. I like all the colors. I wouldn't wear them because it's not my style. But they're cool" And then equating them not liking to your style to them hating your shoes. And then you take it a step further and think they are trying to get you to stop wearing the shoes. That is literally what is happening.

I am not patronizing. I am being curt - as straightforward as possible - so as to not have any misinterpretations. Cantina is used. People say they do not like to run cantina campaigns. No one is saying cantina campaigns are wrong. No one is saying cantina campaigns should be proof to dismiss your playstyle. No one making fun of your playstyle. They are saying that it is not for them.
I might have to look pretty hard for a direct "you are wrong" quote.

I can say for certain, in this thread, that the desire for fewer 'weird' races has been directly attributed DM's settings having 'depth' 'history' and 'culture'.

Directly and acontextually as in.. "I want fewer races" = "My setting has depth, history and culture"

It's also been used contrastingly as in "If you want more diversity, your setting has less depth history, and culture".

And that's ignoring some of the true zealots who have been more explicit in their tastes (and booted from the thread)
 

I can say for certain, in this thread, that the desire for fewer 'weird' races has been directly attributed DM's settings having 'depth' 'history' and 'culture'.

Directly and acontextually as in.. "I want fewer races" = "My setting has depth, history and culture"

It's also been used contrastingly as in "If you want more diversity, your setting has less depth history, and culture".
Yep. Which seems downright backward to me. The more races I have in my setting, the more culture, history, and depth are added to my world.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I'd almost argue that if they don't want a game where "A whole heap of races" is the default, D&D may not be the game for them.

Sapient enough to be playable races have been a thing in D&D for yonks. Even just looking at orcs, they've been there since the beginning and are clearly sapient enough to be playable.

D&D's standard is that Cantina atmosphere. Its why we have colour-coded dragons, regional-themed giants, and subraces for days. D&D just naturally leans into it, and fighting against that is going to cause friction

Yeah, D&D from the start has always had a mixture of different races. It just at the start had Races A, B, C, D, E, &F as playable and Races L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T ,U ,V, W, X, Y, & Z. And used flimsy reasoning why that only worked for people who wanted a LOTR like flavor.

But as the year went on and more people joined the game, that reasoning showed it wear. And many DMs did not take up the mantles to shine it up or create new reasoning.

Now it seems many people don't like the fact that has a base assumption of all these races and a reasoning for the stratifaction of them doesn't work for a the majority anymore.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I might have to look pretty hard for a direct "you are wrong" quote.

I can say for certain, in this thread, that the desire for fewer 'weird' races has been directly attributed DM's settings having 'depth' 'history' and 'culture'.

Directly and acontextually as in.. "I want fewer races" = "My setting has depth, history and culture"

It's also been used contrastingly as in "If you want more diversity, your setting has less depth history, and culture".

And that's ignoring some of the true zealots who have been more explicit in their tastes (and booted from the thread)
Depth (or caring about such things) isn't necessarily correlated with number of races. Some DMs find it easier to build depth with fewer races, but it is a preference not a prerequisite.

I'd rather have depth than width, but if I could have both that would just be having my cake and eating it too.

It's just a question of style and every DM, every table, should do what makes sense for them.
 

I'd rather have depth than width, but if I could have both that would just be having my cake and eating it too.
You can have both depth and width, they're not opposites. I probably have over 100 race options in my homebrew world (I haven't counted), and all of them have a ton of depth. It takes more time, but it isn't impossible to have both depth and width.
 

Status
Not open for further replies.

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top