Why do you play non-human races?

I've played plenty of humans over the years, but generally prefer demihumans. I generally pick my race because I think they're cool or fit the character concept rather than anything mechanical. It's a way to explore a different culture, but also distort an aspect of my personality through that window, if that makes sense. What would I be like if I was a tiefling that had been distrusted and feared all my life? Or a dwarf that had never been to the surface, never seen the open sky before?

I've played with people that are the opposite, solely picking for the benefits, and I've played with people that will learn bits of their in-game language to pepper their dialog with.

As for the aside of the 15 minute work day, I've seen it a few times, mostly with some powergamers that liked to throw everything they had to obliterate an encounter, then rest and try to do that all over again.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
[QUOTE="doctorbadwolf]



And I think this is where I have a disconnect because other human cultures past and present can have radically different views on friendship, obligation, time, etc., etc. from what I was acculturated into. I have yet to see an elf in any permutation of D&D that wasn't basically a human. And, again, this is a plus in my opinion. The drama that arises from stories involving very alien creatures typically comes from how humans are interacting with them.
Okay, so, you’re defining “alien” in a more sci-fi context than I am. Alien just means entirely foreign and fundamentally different.

Instead of focusing on that word, trade it for “foreign”.
 

Jd Smith1

Explorer
So, just to clarify. Players, because they're human, lack the context or PoV or whatever to roleplay demihumans properly. However, they do have the context or PoV or whatever to roleplay a 20th level Wizard who can alter the cosmos at the snap of their fingers? I don't really get the distinction. Part of the fun of RPGs is trying to put yourself in a different pair of shoes for a while, and I'd argue that it's the attempt rather than the success there that actually matters. Just my two cents.
Imagining being a wizard wouldn't be difficult. The game breaks it down into spell slots, with clearly defined spells. Very basic stuff, no different that playing a PC with skill with a sword or bow, and you've never picked up either.

But trying to portray a creature to whom a decade is a short while, or a creature who has spent much if it's life underground...you just don't see it being done well. After a couple sessions of bad accents and comments about quaffing ale or pondering the subtle beauty of a sunset, they become indistinguishable from other PCs.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Imagining being a wizard wouldn't be difficult. The game breaks it down into spell slots, with clearly defined spells. Very basic stuff, no different that playing a PC with skill with a sword or bow, and you've never picked up either.

But trying to portray a creature to whom a decade is a short while, or a creature who has spent much if it's life underground...you just don't see it being done well. After a couple sessions of bad accents and comments about quaffing ale or pondering the subtle beauty of a sunset, they become indistinguishable from other PCs.
What do you expect? Even if I get totally into my character, I'm still part of a party. There are party expectations, deadlines to meet, princesses to rescue.

Guess I just don't see your point. It might be reasonable for an elf to decide to let something sit and come back to it in a decade or so. But that's not how any mod I've ever read works. There's a pressing need right now, or a McGuffin to retrieve or whatever.

When running a dwarf, I try to shape my responses as someone who is extremely pragmatic, no-nonsense kind of guy. Because that's how I see dwarves, blunt in a way that might be borderline insulting to other races because you can't afford to not be forthright with people you'll work with for the next century.

But would anybody else recognize that? Heck if I know. Is it accurate? Well, it's my depiction of a fictional race, so sure. Am I a skilled, trained actor so endowed with talent that my depiction of an elf will make you weep with sorrow at all the losses I've seen over the centuries? Of course not.
 
Yeah, no offense, but I think you're setting the bar awfully high. The fact that demihumans often get played as more human that not isn't any different than players being bad at playing alignments that differ from the worldview or, even more pointedly, players being truly awful at playing INT or CHA markedly different from their own. Attempts at all of the above often end up just like your description above of racial play. I'm not sure it's not just part of roleplaying rather than something unique to playing non-human races.
 

MGibster

Adventurer
Okay, so, you’re defining “alien” in a more sci-fi context than I am. Alien just means entirely foreign and fundamentally different.

Instead of focusing on that word, trade it for “foreign”.
Br

Embrace me, brother! For though we were separated by miles of English, we have conquered the vast gulf which separated us, and as we stand beneath the firmament together, rejoice! Fir we share common ground!
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Br

Embrace me, brother! For though we were separated by miles of English, we have conquered the vast gulf which separated us, and as we stand beneath the firmament together, rejoice! Fir we share common ground!
Haha sweet.

Even if we don’t share preferences, at least we are on the same page!


I do think a few races are sleeper aliens, though.

Take the Tortle, for instance. They aren’t really social in the way mammals are. Humans are defined almost entirely by our social nature.

Or shifters, who experience the world almost as differently from us as RL animals do, via different sensory information.

Warforged obviously have an alien experience of life.

But what I love about a lot of dnd races (and like, Star Wars species, which are basically fantasy races) is stuff like exaggerating the difference between humans. Like I said way upthread, I can imagine having to adjust from being “normal sized” to “way too big for everything” with a Goliath encountering other peoples in a way that is much harder with a human. Further, that perspective wouldn’t occur to me if Goliaths weren’t in the game. The races being up ideas for us to explore by their existence.
 

Jd Smith1

Explorer
Yeah, no offense, but I think you're setting the bar awfully high. The fact that demihumans often get played as more human that not isn't any different than players being bad at playing alignments that differ from the worldview or, even more pointedly, players being truly awful at playing INT or CHA markedly different from their own. Attempts at all of the above often end up just like your description above of racial play. I'm not sure it's not just part of roleplaying rather than something unique to playing non-human races.
I have exceptional players. If you don't set the bar high, you're enabling slackness.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I have exceptional players. If you don't set the bar high, you're enabling slackness.
Do you give out college credits? Are you an accredited institution? Because it seems like handing out grades with a possible certification would be the only accepted way to measure apptitude in correctly role playing a fictional character of a fictional race. ;)
 

MarkB

Hero
I tend to first pick what class I'm going to play, with a view to what I'm interested in playing and how they'll fit into the rest of the party, and then pick a race to fit the class.

Not because I view races as interchangeable bags of stats and abilities, but because coming up with a backstory and worldview for a particular character concept is something I've never found difficult - so I'm generally just as happy to flesh out those details afterwards, rather than beginning from them.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Very simple.

I'm a human every day.

In a fantasy world of magic and heroics, I really don't see a need to be what I am every day.
 
I have exceptional players. If you don't set the bar high, you're enabling slackness.
Huh, really. I was talking about roleplaying in general, not any particular set of players or specific campaigns my own or otherwise. Feel free to provide even a hint of evidence for that strongly worded declarative statement though. I'd accept specific references to any game I've run with any group of players. Have at it sir, I eagerly await your intense and well supported disapprobation of my GMing.
 

Jd Smith1

Explorer
Huh, really. I was talking about roleplaying in general, not any particular set of players or specific campaigns my own or otherwise. Feel free to provide even a hint of evidence for that strongly worded declarative statement though. I'd accept specific references to any game I've run with any group of players. Have at it sir, I eagerly await your intense and well supported disapprobation of my GMing.
Well, your shortcoming is that you think everything is about you, when clearly the standard that the universe is measured against is obviously me.
 

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