What's a kender?

Mercule

Adventurer
What halflings were in the DragonLance setting. Short gypsy-like kleptomaniacs with no real concept of fear.

That's the nickel version. I was always indifferent to DL, but maybe a fan can give you something better.
 

Crothian

Villager
I never say them as halfling like, but otherise I agree with above. Interesting concept that fails drastically on any real level.
 

Nightcloak

Villager
Mercule said:
What halflings were in the DragonLance setting. Short gypsy-like kleptomaniacs with no real concept of fear.

That's the nickel version. I was always indifferent to DL, but maybe a fan can give you something better.
Throw in their taunt ability and a child-like innocence and you pretty much got it.

They are fun to read about in the novels, but to DM is quite a different story. Whether it is due to the racial design being to linear or everyone wanting to basically copy Tasselhoff from the novels I do not know. But trust me, they are a pain to let lose in the game.
 
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Stalker0 said:
I hear it all the time on the boards...what's a kender exactly?
Dragonlance book 1 - Comic relief.
Dragonlance books 2-∞ Tired and repetitive
In the hands of a player - a reasonable excuse for physical violence upon thier person
 

kenobi65

Villager
Crothian said:
I never say them as halfling like, but otherise I agree with above.
The first time kenders were ever revealed to the public was in a DL short story in Dragon, before the release of any of the DL novels or modules (it was about Tasselhoff, naturally). And, in the preface to that story, IIRC, they did refer to them as DL's equivalent to halflings.
 

SpringPlum

Villager
In one word: annoying.

No offense to anyone who can play one well but I've never seen it done.

Q. How many kender does it take to light a candle?
A. You mean you'd trust a kender with your candle?

Q: What's nine feet long, has six legs, and flies?
A: Three dead kender!

Q: What's the brown stuff between dragons' toes?
A: Slow kender.
 

Dragonhelm

Knight of Solamnia
Ogrork the Mighty said:
Kencyclopedia.com is a great site, run by Sean Macdonald, the cartographer for Tas' Map Pouch: The Age of Mortals. He did a fantastic job. If you're into Dragonlance maps, and especially the best map of Ansalon EVER, then check it out.

SpringPlum said:
No offense to anyone who can play one well but I've never seen it done.
The problem comes, I think, when players focus solely on their handling, stealing things for no reason, and being purposefully annoying.

I've had a lot of success playing kender. I think one of the keys to playing a successful kender is to not do a "Tas clone". I had a lot of fun once playing a kender handler/cleric of Mishakal (goddess of healing). There were fun times, silly times, and some serious times. He was a lot of fun.

I'd highly recommend looking at Nightshade Pricklypear, a kender nightstalker from Amber and Ashes, as an alternate kender type.

It is unfortunate that there are those horror stories out there. Rest assured, though, there are those people who have played them well. It can be a rewarding role-playing experience.
 

Dark Jezter

Villager
ken·der
n. pl. kender

1. The halflings of the Dragonlance setting, known mainly for their kleptomaniacal tendencies.

2. A buzzword used by those who dislike the fact that 3e halflings are more than just hobbits with the serial numbers filed off.
 

Mercule

Adventurer
Crothian said:
I never say them as halfling like, but otherise I agree with above. Interesting concept that fails drastically on any real level.
I think they're technically some oddball variant of elf -- at least I've heard them called "kender elves". If you're coming from the PHB of any edition, though, they fill the "short, natural thief" role that halflings often occupy. It's a good shorthand way to draw a picture of kender for someone.
 

Quasqueton

Villager
Which came first in the design stage? The kender race or Tasselhoff's personality? Was Tas a normal example of the race, or did the racial characteristics come about as a result of Tas' personality?

Quasqueton
 

Klaus

Villager
From The Art of the Dragonlance Saga (Penguin Books, 1987)

One discussion centered around the halfling character class and went something like this:

"Should we have halflings?"

General cries of "yes" and "no".

"Our players like them. I say we leae them in."

"I say they go. Too Tokien."

"Let's come up with a new race then."

"Small, childlike -"

"No furry feet!" General consensus.

"Let's make them natural-born thieves."

"Hey, I object to a race of thieves!"

"What if they steal just because they're curious? They don't really *mean* to take anything, and they don't steal for gain."

And so the race of the kender - and the character of Tasslehoff Burrfoot - was born.
 

MetalBard

Villager
Dragonhelm said:
It can be a rewarding role-playing experience.
No it can't, at least from my experience. The only time kender were fun to role-play with was when they were played as halflings. I've played in a few Dragonlance campaigns and the kender that have actually been played as kender (and I'm not talking Tas clones) have always added extra aggravation and party-conflict where it impeded the story and the fun of the game. Even those playing the kender would feel bad and just dump the character for something more workable.

2nd edition or d20 (I've played with both types) Dragonlance kender are just a bad idea. I'd much rather see people playing tinker gnomes or even gully dwarves.
 
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jonesy

A Wicked Kendragon
Kender have a bad reputation because of players who make Tas clones, just like drow get bad rep because of Drizzt clones.

Really, not all kender are innocent crazy kleptomaniacs. You have to remember that most of the kender in the stories have been young and inexperienced. Rarely do we get to see the mature experienced ones whose wonderlust is fading and who have learned self-control. The kender from the excellent novel Spirit of the Wind should be the poster models for the race, not the eternally childish Tas. There we have kender who refrain from pickpocketing everything, who understand their own actions, and who aren't goofy all the time.
 

Lasher Dragon

Villager
I love Kender, however I can see how DMs can get highly irritated by having one in their games. Kender never grow up - they always see the world with a childlike sense of wonder and curiosity. They also have very peculiar concepts of ownership... as in they have NO concept of ownership really. If something isn't in your hands, it can and very likely will be picked up by a kender and carried off. Now, later they might return it to you, assuming of course they: a) remember that they have it, b) remember that it isn't theirs, and c) remember that it was found in the vicinity of you and/or your stuff.

They are immune to fear, and any fear effect (IIRC). That's what I love about them personally... little people who don't give a rat's ass about that dracolich and his evil plans - they will be the first ones to cross the threshold into its lair.

Every kender weapon serves at least 2 purposes, and nearly all have 3 purposes. Normally a kender weapon is a weapon, a tool, and a musical instrument.

IMHO people that hate kender have just had bad experiences with people playing them poorly; always trying to steal from party members and whatnot.

I remember years and years ago when I was ohh probably about 17 I had a low-level kender (around 7th or 8th I think) that I was playing at a FLGS in an open game (one where people could pretty much walk in and play). In a previous session, I had "escaped" a rope of entanglement by somehow getting one end of the rope into one of the pockets on my Vest of Many Pockets (BTW a kender with a Vest of Many Pockets and a Girdle of Giant Strength is NOT to be trifled with LOL).Anyway, I was the only one playing at the time, and this other guy comes in. He had some crazy high level vampire character. Well, next thing I know the Vamp has my kender by the throat, my little feet dangling a ways off the ground. He was attempting to steal all of my goodies! Thinking fast, I wrote a note to the DM that I was opening a pocket in my vest and summoning forth that Rope of Entanglement. I wish I had a picture of the look on that guy's face :lol: The Vamp is now entangled AND has a kender rifling through HIS pockets LMAO it was awesome.
 

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