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

I’m surprised by the anti-Triton sentiment I have seen in this thread, but only because a few people have seemed to suggest that Sea Elves are somehow preferable. I understand being anti-humanoid-but-water, but adding elf abilities on top of that comes across as even more banal to me.
Tritons sort of had the issue they didn't really have a big drive to them historically outside of 'they're merfolk who can walk around on land'. Just, never really had much draw to them
 

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cbwjm

Legend
Tritons sort of had the issue they didn't really have a big drive to them historically outside of 'they're merfolk who can walk around on land'. Just, never really had much draw to them
They might have a bit more draw now with the various MtG settings using them for merfolk.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Tritons sort of had the issue they didn't really have a big drive to them historically outside of 'they're merfolk who can walk around on land'. Just, never really had much draw to them
I’ve always had it locked in my head that Tritons were Sea Giants, in particular the old Whale-tailed Mer-Giant (where did that image come from anyway?).
I agree the current iteration of Triton as fish genasi is lacking anything that could make it interesting.

5e seems to be missing Sea Giants too
 

LadyElect

Explorer
Tritons sort of had the issue they didn't really have a big drive to them historically outside of 'they're merfolk who can walk around on land'. Just, never really had much draw to them
And that’s fair. I’ve just seen the educational aquarium question of “do fish sleep?” enough throughout my life to find Sea Elves getting Trance due to their latter namesake rather than the former ecology silly. There’s certainly little else separating Triton and them in the latest MotM printings.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
On topic:
I don't like including dragons. Something about their faux-ecological color types and profusion of age-based statblocks makes them feel banal and joyless to me--even if dragons like Smaug, Fafnir, and Glaurung are super cool in principle.

Off topic:



Man, there's a surprising amount of anti-Roman sentiment in this thread.

I'm one of those Hardcore History listeners who thinks that "history should be graded on a curve." So, while the Romans were not good people, they weren't significantly less good than their neighbors--Ptolemaic Egypt, which kept ethnic Egyptians subservient to a Greek elite, Carthage, with its child sacrifice, Athens with its slavery, exclusionary citizenship, and bad behavior as a Greek hegemon. With the exception of Achaemenid Persia, I can't think of a roughly-contemporary Eurasian empire that wasn't similarly bad or worse (god forbid you base your hobgoblins on the Assyrians or the Spartans). It's almost inevitable that, in the process of building a robust centralized state, the ruling elite is gonna make the lives of everyday people worse and the lives of people in weaker neighboring states precarious. Rome wasn't especially evil in this regard, just unusually successful at centralization and winning wars.

There's a great series of blog posts over on A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry (which is a crazy good worldbuilding resource, btw) explaining--among other things--how much better it was to be a subject people of the Romans as compared to any of their imperial neighbors. @Neonchameleon is basically correct about this; unlike nearly everywhere else in the ancient Mediterranean, people not from the ruling elite ethnicity could aspire to become full Roman citizens, senators, and sometimes emperors--because the Romans were willing to grant privileges and opportunities to their subjects if it meant having a better army.

Again, they were bigoted warmongers not good people, but they should be graded on a curve--a figurative B- to Sparta's F.
I think it depends on the discussion. This one is about playing and running fantasy TTRPGS, which means I’m 100% not grading anyone on a curve, because I’m building a world, not playing in the real one.

So if I look at a place like Khorvaire or The Sword Coast, and imagine a roman analogue empire neighboring those lands, that empire is going to be judged against the inclusive, relatively egalitarian, societies of those lands.
 

squibbles

Adventurer
I think it depends on the discussion. This one is about playing and running fantasy TTRPGS, which means I’m 100% not grading anyone on a curve, because I’m building a world, not playing in the real one.

So if I look at a place like Khorvaire or The Sword Coast, and imagine a roman analogue empire neighboring those lands, that empire is going to be judged against the inclusive, relatively egalitarian, societies of those lands.
That's a fair point.

I bristle a little bit when people from the ancient past are declared "evil", especially if they were, more or less, above average by the standards of their time. I also thought I should provide some breadcrumbs to follow, regarding the Romans, if anyone on the boards is inclined to read further.

The Romans (and whomever else from the ancient past) definitely shouldn't be treated as morally equivalent to societies with 21st century western sensibilities. If the rest of your world's societies are modern in outlook, well... heck, dump as much invective on the Roman types as you please. Recognize too, though, that that context is helpful to communicate.
 
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Raduin711

Adventurer
I always thought it would be neat to have a proper aquatic adventure setting, with undersea cities, dungeons and things and see the aquatic races from their own perspectives- where humans and the rest are all just the "people who live on the other side of the waves" whose ships occasionally fall from the sky with neat stuff on them.

In that kind of setting, Tritons and Sea Elves aren't any more redundant than say, Elves and Tieflings. To people who live beneath the sea, the fact that Tritons come from the Elemental plane of Water and live at the very deepest parts of the ocean is probably a lot more relevant than it is to a group of PC's going undersea for a one-off.
 

Voadam

Legend
I always thought it would be neat to have a proper aquatic adventure setting, with undersea cities, dungeons and things and see the aquatic races from their own perspectives- where humans and the rest are all just the "people who live on the other side of the waves" whose ships occasionally fall from the sky with neat stuff on them.

In that kind of setting, Tritons and Sea Elves aren't any more redundant than say, Elves and Tieflings. To people who live beneath the sea, the fact that Tritons come from the Elemental plane of Water and live at the very deepest parts of the ocean is probably a lot more relevant than it is to a group of PC's going undersea for a one-off.
Sea of Fallen Stars is a 192-page 2e Forgotten Realms sourcebook from that perspective.
 

I’ve always had it locked in my head that Tritons were Sea Giants, in particular the old Whale-tailed Mer-Giant (where did that image come from anyway?).
I agree the current iteration of Triton as fish genasi is lacking anything that could make it interesting.
Water genasi are already (elemental) fish-people. Tritons as fish-genasi are fish-genasi without the genie connection.

Sea elves are magical fish people, merfolk are fully-committed fish-people, locathah are aquatic lizardfolk, sahuagin are fish-orcs and merrow are fish-gnolls. Tritons are simply water-people.

They don't even have the diversity hook of humans.
5e seems to be missing Sea Giants too
They're missing a lot of giants based on my 3e MM2.
 


Voadam

Legend
Sea elves are magical fish people, merfolk are fully-committed fish-people, locathah are aquatic lizardfolk, sahuagin are fish-orcs and merrow are fish-gnolls. Tritons are simply water-people.
A bunch of these do not match up to what I have seen in various D&D sources.

Sea elves are aquatic elves.

Koalinths are aquatic hobgoblins.

Locathah are straight out fish people.

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Merfolk are fish centaurs.
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Merrow are aquatic ogres, not gnolls.

Sahuagin have varied widely in their depictions, but traditionally have more HD and more intelligence than orcs.

Blackmoor page 21: "With a huge leech-like mouth, large reptilian eyes, and huge ear-like growths on the side of their heads they have an almost alien appearance. On the upper body are two arm-like extensions that act as forward fins and end in two pincer-like protrusions (opposed to each other) which are used to grasp tools and weapons. The main body is reptilian in nature, covered with thick hide and has a rudimentary tail which is used much like an alligator's tail for steering and propulsion. The two rear legs are located about 2/3 of the way down the body and are long and frog like, ending in a six-toed webbed foot which provides great stability when standing on soft sea bottoms and great propulsion when swimming."


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Scrags are aquatic trolls.
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Tritons are water elemental people, in 1e they have fish tails for legs, in 2e these turn into fin/flipper feet.

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The various aquatic species is good example of a thing in D&D I dislike, which always leads to me omitting something. I don't need about seven thousand different iterations of the same concept. It is weird and thematically confused. So I usually just do some heavy editing and merging. Like two different sort of intelligent aquatic species already sounds like plenty.
 

Voadam

Legend
The various aquatic species is good example of a thing in D&D I dislike, which always leads to me omitting something. I don't need about seven thousand different iterations of the same concept. It is weird and thematically confused. So I usually just do some heavy editing and merging. Like two different sort of intelligent aquatic species already sounds like plenty.
To each their own. :)

For me, given D&D's cantina species setup continuing that in the seas seems normal. Also given that IRL there are 34,000 species of fish (not counting mollusks and other aquatic life forms) compared to 6,400 species of mammals (including all whales) and that on earth mirroring type of worlds there is more room underwater than on the terrestrial surface a diversity of aquatic fantasy races fits in fine for me conceptually as well for D&D worlds. I don't need and use the majority of terrestrial or aquatic species directly in actual games, but as background world elements with potential to be used directly I am fine with them being there and I have bought things like Into the Blue and Cerulean Seas for possible expanded new undersea stuff and things like Monstrous Arcana: The Sea Devils for deeper dives on existing D&D aquatic stuff.
 


Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
The various aquatic species is good example of a thing in D&D I dislike, which always leads to me omitting something. I don't need about seven thousand different iterations of the same concept. It is weird and thematically confused. So I usually just do some heavy editing and merging. Like two different sort of intelligent aquatic species already sounds like plenty.

I agree and ironically I think that the Tritons make for a better version of standard fish people than do Genasi or Merfolk. So if it was me I’d just have Sahuagin (Orcs) and Triton, with Merrows and Scrags as the ’monster races’
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I find that I don't like "true" giants (hill, fire, etc.) so I tend to not include them. They've just never appealed to me, no matter the edition. On the other hand, I really like the "lesser" giants (ettins, cyclops, etc.).
 


Vaalingrade

Legend
The various aquatic species is good example of a thing in D&D I dislike, which always leads to me omitting something. I don't need about seven thousand different iterations of the same concept. It is weird and thematically confused. So I usually just do some heavy editing and merging. Like two different sort of intelligent aquatic species already sounds like plenty.
Bonus points for this one being the theme most people don't want to do.

Aquatic encounters are pure torture unless you're a merfolk spearfighter, with tons of penalties and fiddly things to keep track of.
 


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