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D&D 5E Which played-out D&D trope needs to die?

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Every human town is massively racist because the DM secretly resents you for not playing a Tolkien race.
Yep, I've seen this happen before. But "the DM secretly resents you" might be a strong choice of phrasing...the player should share at least some of the blame for that.

DM: Sure, you can play a tiefling but remember, demons destroyed this world three generations ago. Folks aren't going to be very friendly to tieflings.
PLAYER: I understand, and that's fine. This will be fun!
(later)
PLAYER: Why does everyone in town hate my character? Is it because I'm a tiefling?! This isn't fun!

Obviously a good DM should now make some changes to the character and/or the setting, because the player is uncomfortable with the tone of the game and everyone should be able to have fun. But the player shouldn't act surprised or mistreated, either.
 
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BoxCrayonTales

Adventurer
I've never been 'warned' that NPCs will be horrible and begging to be on fire.

And yes, they all deserve to be on fire. I am tired of backward, hateful, ignorant peasants in general in D&D
Do you want an exotic theme park or a setting with consistent world building? You can’t have nice peasants and a pseudo-medieval hellscape full of bandits and monsters with a bazillion horrible modus operandi centered on killing and eating said peasants.

Realistically, the peasants should all be 40k Catachans.
 

I think Dungeons & Delvers-style orcs can work fine. They avoid issues like “what do we do with the baby orcs?” by being a form of self-replicating demonic possession rather than an actual race. After they sacrifice their victims to Orcus, they summon more orcs to inhabit the remains. So there’s also zombie apocalypse parallels.



If I design a humanocentric setting, then I use planetouched, dragontouched, and the like to replace fantasy races so players can feel special. They can generally pass for regular human, prejudice will vary by circumstances, and they still get their racial cool powers. This also avoids the monolithic rubber forehead problem of fantasy races, which is one of my personal persistent bugbears
yeah and that is not what people think orcs are anymore, and there is no way to reverse it.

it was a fairly none plane centric setting which meant that would still feel out of places, I would rather he was just honest with me as that is better.
 

theCourier

Explorer
I've parted ways with the trope of "Low level adventurers start out taking care of small threats" very recently and it's been very fun. No more killing rats in basements or dealing with goblin/kobold warrens for me!
 


Yep, I've seen this happen before. But "the DM secretly resents you" might be a strong choice of phrasing...the player should share at least some of the blame for that.

DM: Sure, you can play a tiefling but remember, demons destroyed this world three generations ago. Folks aren't going to be very friendly to tieflings.
PLAYER: I understand, and that's fine. This will be fun!
(later)
PLAYER: Why does everyone in town hate my character? Is it because I'm a tiefling?! This isn't fun!

Obviously a good DM should now make some changes to the character and/or the setting, because the player is uncomfortable with the tone of the game and everyone should be able to have fun. But the player shouldn't be surprised, either.
To be fair, a not insignificant chunk of the time the GM is still enforcing the monstrous race tropes of past edition FR/GH 5e books walk a thing line trying to kinda sorta move on while not being willing to drop the old
 

Do you want an exotic theme park or a setting with consistent world building?
If the other option is obnoxious racists, theme park all the way, baby.

Also, inherent racism isn't necessary for good worldbuilding. Or even all that compatible for a game that has races as literal separate species players are supposed to be able to choose freely. The DM getting to be a jackass at you is not included in any of the stat blocks as far as I can see.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
If the other option is obnoxious racists, theme park all the way, baby.

Also, inherent racism isn't necessary for good worldbuilding. Or even all that compatible for a game that has races as literal separate species players are supposed to be able to choose freely. The DM getting to be a jackass at you is not included in any of the stat blocks as far as I can see.
In a world with literal monsters, if a monster walks into town it's not racist to be wary. It's called "survival".

Which leads to the trope that I think needs to die : if I have some aspect of my game that you don't approve of that works for me and my group that we're engaging in bad-wrong-fun.

Be up front about what kind of game you run when inviting players and accept that not all games are right for you and vice versa.
 

BoxCrayonTales

Adventurer
yeah and that is not what people think orcs are anymore, and there is no way to reverse it.
Orcs are whatever people want them to be at the time. Always chaotic evil, walking fungus, an oppressed minority... We can do whatever we want in our games, and "people" can go cry badwrongfun in the timeout corner forever. I couldn't care less what "people" think, and neither should you.

it was a fairly none plane centric setting which meant that would still feel out of places, I would rather he was just honest with me as that is better.
I didn't say to play an extraplanar setting. I said when designing humanocentric settings, where boring old humans are the only option, then I use magical bloodlines to replace fantasy races. Just as much special snowflakes, but cheaper makeup budget.
 

In a world with literal monsters, if a monster walks into town it's not racist to be wary. It's called "survival".

Which leads to the trope that I think needs to die : if I have some aspect of my game that you don't approve of that works for me and my group that we're engaging in bad-wrong-fun.

Be up front about what kind of game you run when inviting players and accept that not all games are right for you and vice versa.
and what is a monster? a chimaera or slithering tracker sure but the more humanoid they get the harder they are to see as pure evil, let's face it drow are not made of evil they are a subtype of elf who happens to have an utterly hostile destructive and pointlessly malicious culture but they are not monsters.
Orcs are whatever people want them to be at the time. Always chaotic evil, walking fungus, an oppressed minority... We can do whatever we want in our games, and "people" can go cry badwrongfun in the timeout corner forever. I couldn't care less what "people" think, and neither should you.


I didn't say to play an extraplanar setting. I said when designing humanocentric settings, where boring old humans are the only option, then I use magical bloodlines to replace fantasy races. Just as much special snowflakes, but cheaper makeup budget.
but my point is orcs have kinda in popular culture stopped being just monsters anymore, I am not going to stop you using them that way but know your perception of them is getting less popular over time now whether you should care is a whole other question but know when it comes to the big community things that you position seems to be getting less common.

yeah, the exotic bloodlines would not have worked well, honestly, a more down to earth system would have worked better, the setting was well made but not my type.

plus I do not want my characters races to be uncommon, I just hate being human or playing one.
 

Scribe

Hero
I am not going to stop you using them that way but know your perception of them is getting less popular over time now whether you should care is a whole other question but know when it comes to the big community things that you position seems to be getting less common.
Unless I get promoted to Wizards President of D&D, it's irrelevant if I align with the 'community' as I don't play with the 'community', nobody does.

As I was blissfully slaughtering my way through another dungeon yesterday in an effort to get an item for my druid friend, I did not consider the life and ambitions of the snake people I was killing, and have killed in their hundreds, for weeks on end.

If you wish to deconstruct fantasy tropes you are absolutely free to do so, it's a fun exercise.

If I want to kick in doors and check the loot after, it has no bearing on your careful introspection.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
and what is a monster? a chimaera or slithering tracker sure but the more humanoid they get the harder they are to see as pure evil, let's face it drow are not made of evil they are a subtype of elf who happens to have an utterly hostile destructive and pointlessly malicious culture but they are not monsters.
...

Let's say there was a dragon war a couple decades ago and there were half-dragons that were used as shock troops. Every single dragon or half-dragon anyone has ever heard of or encountered has immediately tried to kill any man, woman or child it saw.

If a dragonborn walks into town, people are going to assume it's out to kill them. I don't care if that's right or wrong, the reality is that the townsfolk are going to react with hostility, possibly violence. Same as if you lived in Africa and a lion walked into your village.

That may bother you, but honestly I'd rather base peoples motivations, actions and fears based on logic of what they would perceive as an imminent threat not only to their lives, but to the lives of everyone they care for.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Let's say there was a dragon war a couple decades ago and there were half-dragons that were used as shock troops. Every single dragon or half-dragon anyone has ever heard of or encountered has immediately tried to kill any man, woman or child it saw.

If a dragonborn walks into town, people are going to assume it's out to kill them. I don't care if that's right or wrong, the reality is that the townsfolk are going to react with hostility, possibly violence. Same as if you lived in Africa and a lion walked into your village.

That may bother you, but honestly I'd rather base peoples motivations, actions and fears based on logic of what they would perceive as an imminent threat not only to their lives, but to the lives of everyone they care for.
And if there wasn't a dragon war? If the vast majority of people only knew of dragons as creatures of myth? Or what if there was a city of dragonborn nearby and the people had gotten used to meeting their traders and off-duty soldiers? Or what if people generally knew that some dragons were evil and some were good (either because you go with the metallic/chromatic divide or because you assign alignments on an individual basis)? In a setting where a dragon war had been written into its history, or where all dragons used the hungry/greedy alignment chart instead of good/evil, yes it makes sense to be afraid of dragonborn. Otherwise, not so much.

This is why "In a world with literal monsters, if a monster walks into town it's not racist to be wary" doesn't actually make a lot of sense if used generically. Monstrous animal-like creatures, sure. People are going to fear a lion--or a chimera, sphinx, manticore--but a humanoid creature like a dragonborn isn't really animal-like. At least not in a typical D&D setting where there are lots of different races.

(And anyway, by that token, people of any type should be afraid whenever they meet a human, since humans, human-adjacent people, and former humans are very often the bad guys, at least in most of the adventures I've looked at.)
 

Unless I get promoted to Wizards President of D&D, it's irrelevant if I align with the 'community' as I don't play with the 'community', nobody does.

As I was blissfully slaughtering my way through another dungeon yesterday in an effort to get an item for my druid friend, I did not consider the life and ambitions of the snake people I was killing, and have killed in their hundreds, for weeks on end.

If you wish to deconstruct fantasy tropes you are absolutely free to do so, it's a fun exercise.

If I want to kick in doors and check the loot after, it has no bearing on your careful introspection.
why snake people? what makes them so much more killable than say wood elves?
Let's say there was a dragon war a couple decades ago and there were half-dragons that were used as shock troops. Every single dragon or half-dragon anyone has ever heard of or encountered has immediately tried to kill any man, woman or child it saw.

If a dragonborn walks into town, people are going to assume it's out to kill them. I don't care if that's right or wrong, the reality is that the townsfolk are going to react with hostility, possibly violence. Same as if you lived in Africa and a lion walked into your village.

That may bother you, but honestly I'd rather base peoples motivations, actions and fears based on logic of what they would perceive as an imminent threat not only to their lives, but to the lives of everyone they care for.

a strange look dragon soldier walks in with not a look of hostility on its face and with a diverse group of traveller willing to back it them up in say they are fine, I would have them suspicious but not auto hostile and besides why have you not talked with the party and player ahead of time the clear all that up?

also, war is a whole a lot different than lion walking into your villages as loin are well not even a stone-age civilisation they are nowhere near as terrifying as a competing tribe, plus you act like most peoples response to a threat is to kill it, people flee and freezes as well.

what if the humans had just been in a massive war with the elves would the elves kill all humans on sight? look I like grey and blank morality in my fantasy but no ability to avoid the fight I might as well plat a hack and slash video game or a tabletop war game as if all I want is to kill there are better mediums for it now.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
And if there wasn't a dragon war? If the vast majority of people only knew of dragons as creatures of myth? Or what if there was a city of dragonborn nearby and the people had gotten used to meeting their traders and off-duty soldiers? Or what if people generally knew that some dragons were evil and some were good (either because you go with the metallic/chromatic divide or because you assign alignments on an individual basis)? In a setting where a dragon war had been written into its history, or where all dragons used the hungry/greedy alignment chart instead of good/evil, yes it makes sense to be afraid of dragonborn. Otherwise, not so much.

This is why "In a world with literal monsters, if a monster walks into town it's not racist to be wary" doesn't actually make a lot of sense if used generically. Monstrous animal-like creatures, sure. People are going to fear a lion--or a chimera, sphinx, manticore--but a humanoid creature like a dragonborn isn't really animal-like. At least not in a typical D&D setting where there are lots of different races.

(And anyway, by that token, people of any type should be afraid whenever they meet a human, since humans, human-adjacent people, and former humans are very often the bad guys, at least in most of the adventures I've looked at.)

If there were no monsters and every humanoid anyone ever met was friendly? If strangers were always just friends you haven't met yet? Sure they would be welcoming.

But if everyone that doesn't look human has always been a monster the answer is going to be different.

In any case, I've stated my opinion. Feel free to disagree because this never goes anywhere and I don't see a reason to get this thread shut down of this particular argument.
 



Faolyn

Hero
If there were no monsters and every humanoid anyone ever met was friendly? If strangers were always just friends you haven't met yet? Sure they would be welcoming.
So here, what, you're assuming that there's no options beyond "it's clearly a monster because it looks different; we must kill it!" and a happy fun kid's show. There can't be something in the middle?

But if everyone that doesn't look human has always been a monster the answer is going to be different.
So, elves and dwarfs are clearly there to be killed.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
The use of 'badwrongfun' to murder discussion should also die.
Depends on the discussion. If you're taking potshots at someone else's style of play because it doesn't work for you, that's one thing. That's a preference. But if you're taking potshots at it because it's bad or somehow inferior, that's another and badwrongfun is entirely appropriate.
 

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