D&D 5E When lore and PC options collide…

Which is more important?

  • Lore

  • PC options


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overgeeked

B/X Known World
Which is more important: preserving the lore of a setting or having the full range of PC character creation options?

For example, in the lore of Dragonlance between the Cataclysm and the start of the first novel there are no true clerics. Likewise, there are no halflings, orcs, changelings, tieflings, dragonborn, etc.

So which is more important: preserving existing lore or the full range of 5E PC character creation options?
 

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DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Lore, definitely lore! Half the time in my homebrew I don't allow some races, classes or subclasses.

Others might argue it detracts from the "fun of the players" but I will counter that with "it detracts from my fun otherwise" and frankly, I play DND primarily for me because I enjoy it. I am not going to run a game I won't enjoy running.
 
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Which is more important: preserving the lore of a setting or having the full range of PC character creation options?

For example, in the lore of Dragonlance between the Cataclysm and the start of the first novel there are no true clerics. Likewise, there are no halflings, orcs, changelings, tieflings, dragonborn, etc.

So which is more important: preserving existing lore or the full range of 5E PC character creation options?

I voted PC Options but, IMO, it really is something to be established, perhaps through some compromises, at session 0. If the table is on board with the limitations of the lore, run with it. If a few of the players are really itching to play the thing they haven't before, even though it "clashes" with established lore, run with it.

TL;DR: Kinda cliche of me to say "whatever is most fun for the table" but... there it is.
 


billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
Ultimately, it depends. Sometimes we play games with a full slate of options because there's no reason to limit them. But for situations in which we DO pick something a bit more restricted, lore wins. And that would be the point of running a Dragonlance campaign, or a Star Wars scum and villainy - No Jedi campaign. If we're choosing something with a particular lore-heavy character to them, why would we undermine it by not embracing its character?
 




Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
So which is more important: preserving existing lore or the full range of 5E PC character creation options?

There's more than just these two poles available to us.

I have very little care that "all the options" of the PHB be available in every setting. The PHB is not a setting-straightjacket. I merely care that there are sufficient options that my players can find cool characters that they would want to play.

That said, I am also flexible. I am okay saying, "This is Dragonlance, so no orcs or clerics." However, if someone came to me looking to play a dragonborn and they were willing to work with me on the background of that character, I expect we could make it happen.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
You don’t need every option available to create a character you can have fun with, and if you do I’d ask you to consider and answer me why do you need every option available to have fun?

I expect for many, it isn't that "all options need to be available to have fun".

I know many people who come at the game character class/race concept first - they make up and become attached to concepts before anyone suggests a game. So, if you start changing the races and classes available, they will tend to have their desires cut off.

Others may have a desire for consistency across the various game options available, as a game design element.
 

Which is more important: preserving the lore of a setting or having the full range of PC character creation options?

For example, in the lore of Dragonlance between the Cataclysm and the start of the first novel there are no true clerics. Likewise, there are no halflings, orcs, changelings, tieflings, dragonborn, etc.

So which is more important: preserving existing lore or the full range of 5E PC character creation options?
it depends... if the lore is actually there for a reason, and makes a difference I defer to the lore, but often I find the lore is really just 'what we wanted when we wrote it' and I don't find that important at all...

orcs in DL vs orcs in Dark Sun... put a tribe of Orcs in Krynn no one will notice, put one in Athas and that is game changing.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
When lore and PC options collide, then lore wins out.... but only when they collide, which is rarely.
Typically in my experience, people I've played with have respected the setting limitations and chose characters accordingly; or else there have been few or no particular limitations campaign to cause such conflicts.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
You don’t need every option available to create a character you can have fun with, and if you do I’d ask you to consider and answer me why do you need every option available to have fun?

I think that the issue with these types of questions is that people tend to retreat into hard positions based on abstract premises.

For example, if you enjoy curated settings, you probably are imagining trying to run some old-school Dragonlance, and Chad* demanding to play an Orc Cleric with Dragonmarks.

On the other hand, if you're a player, you probably imagine some crusty old DM shooting down all of your ideas by saying, "We have three classes- Fighter, Magic User, and Other Fighter. Suck it up and pick one. And you can choose any race you want, so long as it's a human or a dwarf. Because that's how you play in the Forgotten Realms, THAT'S WHY!"

Generally, these issues can be resolved through discussions at the table. As a general rule, if the campaign is something that is not a "kitchen sink, everything goes," then I ask that players choose within the conventions of the milieu for that game.



*Yeah, we are on to you, Chad.
 

I expect for many, it isn't that "all options need to be available to have fun".
yeah it always seems odd to me that "hey I want this 1 thing" somehow turns into "so I have to make EVERYTHING"

if there were no wizards, artificers, orcs, or rangers on Estoria, and I said I wanted to play a wizard that may or may not be workabole... but it isn't an argument for "Now I have to build in artificers orcs and rangers"... nope just the 1 thing they asked for.
I know many people who come at the game character class/race concept first - they make up and become attached to concepts before anyone suggests a game. So, if you start changing the races and classes available, they will tend to have their desires cut off.
yup and most people will be reasonable "Okay for this campaign I have this reason that idea wont work". I just marvel at the "No Absolut not, and I can't tell you a reason that fits."
 

Amrûnril

Adventurer
When I design a setting, it doesn't need to have a place for every character option. But if it's at all feasible, it will have a place for the specific handful of options that the people at the table are excited about playing.

More broadly, I think this is more a question of group decision making than of setting design. If one player wants to use a specific option and another player sees that option's existence as incompatible with the setting, then the fundamental issue is that those players don't actually want to play in the same setting, and any possible compromise needs to start from that understanding.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
yeah it always seems odd to me that "hey I want this 1 thing" somehow turns into "so I have to make EVERYTHING"

if there were no wizards, artificers, orcs, or rangers on Estoria, and I said I wanted to play a wizard that may or may not be workabole... but it isn't an argument for "Now I have to build in artificers orcs and rangers"... nope just the 1 thing they asked for.

yup and most people will be reasonable "Okay for this campaign I have this reason that idea wont work". I just marvel at the "No Absolut not, and I can't tell you a reason that fits."
Are you allowed to restrict stuff for mechanical reasons? What if the DM thinks artificers are overpowered?
 



Are you allowed to restrict stuff
this doesn't make any sense... anyone is allowed to ristrict... but if your reason is flimsy I hold the right to JUDGE you and the table for making said restriction.
What if the DM thinks artificers are overpowered?
then I don't want to play at a table where me and a DM disagree on the fundamentals of the game, and I don't know that someone who thinks artificers are OP are going to like my games at all...

However you can present "here is why I don't like artificers" and the player gets to decied... and if more players pass on you, you don't get a game.
 

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