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

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Marandahir

Crown-Forester
I'm bored with the limited number of cultures and peoples created from the core 4+their sub-options.

I'd much rather emulate something more akin to Chalmun's Cantina in Mos Eisley Spaceport from Star Wars.

Right now, I've been tinkering with a modified Zodiac to represent the 12 core deities, their animal spirits, and the people that reflect that. So Leonin, Gnolls, Orcs, Dragonborn, Aarakocra, etc would all live alongside one another in reference to a celestial hierarchy. It makes for a diverse and different setting.
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I'm bored with the limited number of cultures and peoples created from the core 4+their sub-options.

I'd much rather emulate something more akin to Chalmun's Cantina in Mos Eisley Spaceport from Star Wars.
Maybe an unpopular opinion, but personally I’m kind of bored of Mos Eisley Cantina worlds, or “fantasy kitchen sinks” or whatever you want to call them. Like, I totally get the desire for something more exotic than the same-old Tolkienesque fantasy fare. But I prefer a setting to be a bit more judicious with its milieu than you see in such kitchen sink settings.

Dark Sun is a great example of the kind of thing I’m looking for. There are some wild PC options in there, and even the traditional fantasy races that are present are different than how they’re usually seen. But it isn’t just anything goes. There’s a lot of stuff that just plain doesn’t exist on Athas. I’d much rather have a small number of really interesting options than a large number of options that are all over the place in terms of interest.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I'm bored with the limited number of cultures and peoples created from the core 4+their sub-options.

I'd much rather emulate something more akin to Chalmun's Cantina in Mos Eisley Spaceport from Star Wars.

Right now, I've been tinkering with a modified Zodiac to represent the 12 core deities, their animal spirits, and the people that reflect that. So Leonin, Gnolls, Orcs, Dragonborn, Aarakocra, etc would all live alongside one another in reference to a celestial hierarchy. It makes for a diverse and different setting.

Is it 12 races only or anything goes?

That makes sense to me if you've tied them to your world.

Allowing players to pick whatever from 50 odd races or more kinda dilutes everything down for me.

Mostly I pick in mechanics, not the most powerful though otherwise I wouldn't make a halfling or goliath Fighter.
 

I'd much rather emulate something more akin to Chalmun's Cantina in Mos Eisley Spaceport from Star Wars.
And in that cantina they threw Luke's droid out because, "We don't serve that kind here," and didn't like Luke because all he could do was stare at everyone because they were all so different. They were also thieves and murderers that had to rely on one another's acceptance, at least in the short term, because they all needed a place to hide out.
Then there was all the drinking, drugs and jazz. ;) Not to mention a murder based off these people not accepting one another.
 



ccs

41st lv DM
Got called a fun Nazi for saying no Dragonborn, reason I said no is they stink mechanically.

Well that's a weird reason to say no to them as a DM.
I mean, a stock DB has slightly more going for it than the standard human mechanically. And you don't so no the Humans do you?
And now with Tasha's (haven't read it yet myself btw) I'm sure there's some way to tinker with the DB.

I think as long as they'd fit the world/story/setting/campaign etc I'd just shrug & leave it to the player to worry about their poor mechanics.
As in: "You're the one who wanted to play the crappy dragon guy...."
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Well that's a weird reason to say no to them as a DM.
I mean, a stock DB has slightly more going for it than the standard human mechanically. And you don't so no the Humans do you?
And now with Tasha's (haven't read it yet myself btw) I'm sure there's some way to tinker with the DB.

I think as long as they'd fit the world/story/setting/campaign etc I'd just shrug & leave it to the player to worry about their poor mechanics.
As in: "You're the one who wanted to play the crappy dragon guy...."

Default human doesn't get picked either, saw my first DB this year.
 

zarionofarabel

Adventurer
Hahaha! So many posts on this thread where people mention wanting to experience the world through the eyes of a different race, or some such thing. Yet there are virtually no threads on this forum, or any other, where there are really lengthy discussions as to what it must be like to live hundreds of years. Or what it would be like to be part demon. Or what it would be like to be like to live underground inside a mountain. Or what it would be like to...well...you get the idea.

People like playing characters of different fantasy races so they can get cool bonuses. Humans not very cleverly disguised with funny hats, nothing more.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
In my FRs, I usually make small document separating each race into Common, Uncommon, Exotic and Monstrous, depending on the region of the FRs we are playing. Each category as a limit of players, so I wont end up with 6 drows, 1 tortle and 1 Locatha.

(for 8 players at my table)
Common: no limit
Uncommon: 3 max
Exotic: 1 max
Monstrous: 1 max, comes with social stigmas.
 

Well that's a weird reason to say no to them as a DM.
I mean, a stock DB has slightly more going for it than the standard human mechanically. And you don't so no the Humans do you?

If your group is into character optimisation, you're not going to see many dragonborn. They're certainly one of the mechanically weaker PC races out there, and I'm equally sure that it WotC had their time over again they'd strengthen them a little. But playing one certainly won't cripple your play experience or leave you a drag on the group (drag on - dragon - geddit?) unless your table is pretty hardcore. The breath weapon is worthless after a couple of levels, but the resistance can be huge, circumstantially. My current PC is a silver dragonborn, and while i didn't know this was going to happen in advance, we've spent a lot of time in arctic areas and the cold resistance has been priceless.

Hahaha! So many posts on this thread where people mention wanting to experience the world through the eyes of a different race, of some such thing. Yet there are virtually no threads on this forum, or any other, where there are really lengthy discussions as to what it must be like to live hundreds of years.

100% agree with this though. Getting into the headspace of an elf, who might live hundreds or thousands of years, is much harder for me to get into the headspace of a dragonborn whose life experience is much more, well, human, barring the scales and bad breath and stuff.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
My homebrew world still doesn’t have a name, for some reason, but it has a dozen or so nations/cultures that I’ve written at least a paragraph or two about, a place for most of the D&D races, and some really fun lore for the gods.

What it doesn’t have is humans. At all.

The Dwarves are part of many cultures, with a few secretive Dwarven enclaves but most of the old Dwarven Holds are open, and multi-racial. The Elves are originally from a continent-island that holds a pseudo-French Kingdom called Capet, and a pseudo-Spanish kingdom to the south of it called Albarona. Between them and along the coast are very old Gnomish kingdoms heavily inspired by the Celts, and to the north are Goliath and Firbolg Vikings of the Nine Kingdoms of Cardan, and their High Priestesses.

The current campaign takes place in a turtle shaped archipelago originally home to felinoid and reptilian peoples, with an ancient history of Vy Shaar (Vryloka and shadarkai are one race, called Vy Shaar) and Orcish habitation, and only slightly more recent Halfling and Gnomish residence. Tortles migrate there regularly in numbers, and people from all over the known world trade there.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
My homebrew world still doesn’t have a name, for some reason, but it has a dozen or so nations/cultures that I’ve written at least a paragraph or two about, a place for most of the D&D races, and some really fun lore for the gods.

What it doesn’t have is humans. At all.

The Dwarves are part of many cultures, with a few secretive Dwarven enclaves but most of the old Dwarven Holds are open, and multi-racial. The Elves are originally from a continent-island that holds a pseudo-French Kingdom called Capet, and a pseudo-Spanish kingdom to the south of it called Albarona. Between them and along the coast are very old Gnomish kingdoms heavily inspired by the Celts, and to the north are Goliath and Firbolg Vikings of the Nine Kingdoms of Cardan, and their High Priestesses.

The current campaign takes place in a turtle shaped archipelago originally home to felinoid and reptilian peoples, with an ancient history of Vy Shaar (Vryloka and shadarkai are one race, called Vy Shaar) and Orcish habitation, and only slightly more recent Halfling and Gnomish residence. Tortles migrate there regularly in numbers, and people from all over the known world trade there.



See that's interesting, it's not anything goes but everything has a reason.

You're playing in FR, someone wants a Tortle.......
 

ccs

41st lv DM
Default human doesn't get picked either, saw my first DB this year.

Yeah, but did you ban them for being "meh"? Or is it just the players opting not to use them because A) the Variant offers a feat, B) there's other things to play than Humans?



In my current game? One of the players surprised me. He chose the base Human specifically because it added +1 to all his stats. IMO he didn't mechanically need the bonuses & I think a feat would've served him better. But his character. He feels that those extra +1s best represent his characters training.

Another player CHOSE to have his 1/2elf permanently turned into a base Human spending actual game time & treasure making it happen. Even requesting to roll an old school 1e Resurrection/System Shock roll to survive the process. (story reasons based upon play)
 

MGibster

Legend
Maybe an unpopular opinion, but personally I’m kind of bored of Mos Eisley Cantina worlds, or “fantasy kitchen sinks” or whatever you want to call them. Like, I totally get the desire for something more exotic than the same-old Tolkienesque fantasy fare. But I prefer a setting to be a bit more judicious with its milieu than you see in such kitchen sink settings.
Me too. I don't need my fantasy races to be alien or somehow more human than human, but I want them to have a specific place in the setting. And when you have thirty fantasy races for players to pick from that can be a tough row to hoe.
 

ccs

41st lv DM
See that's interesting, it's not anything goes but everything has a reason.

You're playing in FR, someone wants a Tortle.......

I'd have him be a strange visitor from the far away & hitherto unknown Galapagos Islands. :)
 


Shardstone

Adventurer
I doubt it was "tapped" for anyone here. But since that road is being trodden...

Perhaps it is "tapped" for you. Perhaps you can only dig superficially into a culture, and then want to move on. Whereas, many DM and players might start by playing an elf and playing with the woodsy concept. Then they switch over and start peppering in what their wood elf eats. Later, with another character, they start showing other players the symbology used for their elves. After playing a few other characters they can revisit that elf, and start discussing family trees. Then they start thinking and describing the wood elves clothing styles that are their heritage. After a few more years, they might draw spellbooks because they like art and tailor it to their elf. Then they start to wonder about elven haircuts and whether there should be anything specifically that reflects the elven culture. Then later...

You get the point. Some can keep digging into a subject. Others like to read at a glance, then move on. Neither one is "tapped."
You missed the point of my comment. We're agreeing on things, friend.
 

Shroompunk Warlord

Archdruid of the Warp Zones
Supporter
My homebrew world still doesn’t have a name, for some reason, but it has a dozen or so nations/cultures that I’ve written at least a paragraph or two about, a place for most of the D&D races, and some really fun lore for the gods.

What it doesn’t have is humans. At all.

See, for me it's the other direction-- there's Humans and there's the weird stuff, and there's nothing between. Especially no half-anythings.

Humans are a little weird, themselves, because they're all planetouched. But outside of Humans, it's all dragonborn/tortles, trickster warforged, and old-school kobolds.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Well that's a weird reason to say no to them as a DM.
I mean, a stock DB has slightly more going for it than the standard human mechanically. And you don't so no the Humans do you?
And now with Tasha's (haven't read it yet myself btw) I'm sure there's some way to tinker with the DB.

I think as long as they'd fit the world/story/setting/campaign etc I'd just shrug & leave it to the player to worry about their poor mechanics.
As in: "You're the one who wanted to play the crappy dragon guy...."
And in 5e it just...doesn’t actually matter.

Play a rock gnome Barbarian, and unless there is a Goliath Barbarian next to you, the fact you’re playing a gnome will only matter in terms of roleplaying.
 

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