D&D 5E Which common monsters/creature types do you exclude from your campaigns?

Laurefindel

Legend
Anything too "gonzo" is either of one the foci of the game or not in it at all. Not a fan of weird or gross for the sake of weird or gross. I have a feeling I'm not going to be into Spelljammer much...
 

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I dont want to continue that debate again, but I have been thinking about Neanderthals and Denosovans and other types of Homonids recently and thus Orcs and Hobs

and really I think the issue is Orcs/Hobs are really just Humans, they are given all the worst traits of Humanity but really have nothing else to define them - gnolls are beastial, giants are Giant, goblins are fey-ish, but Orcs are just people
That's absolutely a part of the problem. It's not all of the problem, but if the said the same racism-mirroring stuff about say, a fur-covered, horned and fanged race who had an weird social structure (i.e. one humans have never used), and who were barely humanoid, I think there would have been less of an issue. It was bad particularly bad back-pedal because over the last 50 years the "average" portrayal of Orcs had slowly changed from "barely sentient pig-men" to "a strong humanoid people, often one given to war/violence, but who aren't necessarily always that way". Even the strength was a change! Early Orcs weren't portrayed as strong, they were portrayed as only equal or less to humans, strength and toughness-wise, and vulnerable to sunlight. All that changed over time. Warhammer was a big influence - that's why Orcs became big and strong. So 5E did a weird backpedal culturally, keeping the physical changes of recent editions, but resetting the culture back to basically 1E minus the underground stuff (1E is very clear Orcs primarily live underground and build dungeons, something pretty much every later edition gradually ditched). It's ironic really because the 1E Orcs were more distant from humans than the 5E Orcs.
Anything too "gonzo" is either of one the foci of the game or not in it at all.
Yeah call me a bore but you're not normally going to find any flumphs or the like in my game. I mean, I don't hate "gonzo", but I do hate "twee" and flumphs and their ilk are extremely twee. Giant Space Hamsters are obviously maximum-twee.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
How are we defining gonzo in a game with the slime perfectly adapted to graph paper, the mighty beast that combines none of the best features of owl and bear, a big ball of eyes that dreams its worst enemies into being, and the weirdly bone-filled starfish they call 'human'?
 

How are we defining gonzo in a game with the slime perfectly adapted to graph paper, the mighty beast that combines none of the best features of owl and bear, a big ball of eyes that dreams its worst enemies into being, and the weirdly bone-filled starfish they call 'human'?
I think it's a pretty high bar in D&D, as none of them meet "gonzo" for me. Anyway, I don't hate "gonzo", I hate "twee".
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Now, I say the following not to dis anyone’s preference, but to explain some of why I look at the OP question the way I do.
between sea elves, sahuagin, koalinth, merfolk, and locathah, do we really need yet another aquatic species?
This is exactly the thing I don’t have in my brain that folks who exclude a lot of stuff do have. Ideally I’d like to have as many aquatic races as terrestrial races. It’s very strange to me to imagine the surface world with this incredible diversity of sapient folk, and the ocean has like 5.

So, i generally err on the side of allowance.

However, there are things that are excluded in some of my games.

  • Heroic aberrations (all games). When aberrations feature in my games, they are inherently a corruption. They are a virus which poses an existential threat to all natural existence. You can play someone touched by them, using the corruption for power to fight back, but you can’t play an Illithid.
  • Humans (islands world, some one shots and such). We have strong folk, fast folk, smart folk, etc. why do I need to include the folk whose only distinguishing feature is to not lean toward any one type? Nah, buff guy, play Goliath. Little smart guy, play gnome. Etc.
  • Evil Gods (most of my homebrew). There are demon lords, primordials, daelkyr, and other dark forces, but the gods are all positive or neutral.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
How are we defining gonzo in a game with the slime perfectly adapted to graph paper, the mighty beast that combines none of the best features of owl and bear, a big ball of eyes that dreams its worst enemies into being, and the weirdly bone-filled starfish they call 'human'?
A game has passed from the mundane unto the gonzo when the grid-conforming slimes have graduated from gelatinous cubes to gelatinous hyper-cubes.
 

Laurefindel

Legend
How are we defining gonzo in a game with the slime perfectly adapted to graph paper, the mighty beast that combines none of the best features of owl and bear, a big ball of eyes that dreams its worst enemies into being, and the weirdly bone-filled starfish they call 'human'?
"Gonzo" is hard(er) to relate to.

That weirdly bone-filled starfish called human? I can relate to it. The owl and the bear mixed as a single creature? Hybrid creatures and anthropomorphic animals are omnipresent in the mythology of many cultures and medieval iconography; something I can relate to. The gelatinous cube precariously sits on the border of what I'm willing to incorporate into my games, but I can tolerate it as a campy artifact of early D&D and use it when I wish to evoke early D&D campy-ness.

But many creatures designed to create a sensation of wonder, horror, or alien-ness usually snap me right out of it rather than immerse me further in. It all depends on the mood and themes of the campaign and the enthousiasm of the DM of course, but there are many things that I can enjoy as a player that I will never use in my own campaigns because those are not the themes I like to play with.
 

A game has passed from the mundane unto the gonzo when the grid-conforming slimes have graduated from gelatinous cubes to gelatinous hyper-cubes.
Has anyone written an adventure set inside an oversized gelatinous cube and/or hypercube yet? It seems like that should probably happen. Maybe the PCs drink a potion to make themselves immune to the effects and then have to squidge through it...
But many creatures designed to create a sensation of wonder, horror, and alien-ness usually snap me right out of it rather than immerse me further in.
Blink dogs really don't work for me. For some reason the full-on alien weirdness of Displacer beasts works fine, but Blink dogs are in a sort of uncanny valley where they're just too silly but also not silly enough. Also they're incredibly wasted as sapient Good-aligned creatures. Dogs who could teleport rapidly and continuously would be absolutely terrifying and creepy as hell if they were just vicious and only semi-sapient at most.
 
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J.Quondam

CR 1/8
Has anyone written an adventure set inside an oversized gelatinous cube and/or hypercube yet? It seems like that should probably happen. Maybe the PCs drink a potion to make themselves immune to the effects and then have to squidge through it...
Wasn't sure there was a Dungeon article long ago with a hyper-cubic wizard's tower? That could be a nice place to stick a gelatinous tesseract, a gooey center, perhaps.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
"Gonzo" is hard(er) to relate to.

That weirdly bone-filled starfish called human? I can relate to it. The owl and the bear mixed as a single creature? Hybrid creatures and anthropomorphic animals are omnipresent in the mythology of many cultures and medieval iconography; something I can relate to. The gelatinous cube precariously sits on the border of what I'm willing to incorporate into my games, but I can tolerate it as a campy artifact of early D&D and use it when I wish to evoke early D&D campy-ness.

But many creatures designed to create a sensation of wonder, horror, or alien-ness usually snap me right out of it rather than immerse me further in. It all depends on the mood and themes of the campaign and the enthousiasm of the DM of course, but there are many things that I can enjoy as a player that I will never use in my own campaigns because those are not the themes I like to play with.
I'm really just wondering where we're going to draw the line when the game was founded on goofy crap. Not indicting you for your tastes, just wondering where we go from not gonzo typical cocaine wizard fair that is the game's bread and butter to gonzo.

People often cite the flumph, but look askance when I (routinely, boisterously) defame the grell, which is objectively a Dumber Flumph; a big brain with a parrot head jammed in it with the requisite Lovecraft tentacles and often a hat.

People (rightly) don't like the Thomas the Tank Engine fever dream paralysis demons that are modrons, but will defend to the death (wrongly) a badly cast plastic toy that exists solely to annoy players by eating their armor.

Just saying gonzo, I feel is not helpful in terms of being a descriptor as the whole game is gonzo except the real animals and the humans with differing heights and skin color.

Again, not arguing what you do and do not like, just wanting to get a better feel for what exactly that is.
 

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