Does anybody get really bothered every time an extra race gets added to game?I know it's fashionable to hate certain races, such of catboys, because of their relation to wank material, but that's not what bothers me. Moreover, this isn't about a feeling of rivalry, inferiority or superiority. Infact I suspect Humanity-fuck-yeah fans are eager to have other races in their games so that they can act out their fantasy of human superiority. I don't care about proving Team-Human is better than all comers. I just wish the other races weren't there. It just gets under my skin when there's an overabundance of conveniently anthropomorphic races in a story.
What bothers me about non-human races is that they're completely unnessary. Writers are constantly using them as a shorthand for nothing more than different kinds of people. That troubles me, because in addition to being lazy, it implies that the author is understating the complexity of humanity. It's over-convenient. Instead of coming back ad nauseum to the haughty elf, the gm should have to put some thought into the life experience that drove this or that NPC to proudly uphold a system of values foreign to the PCs.
I dislike a lot of the D&D-style races for being boring and pretty much humans in a different hat, but I don't enjoy their existence so I can oppress them. I do like the few D&D races that are genuinely different in their conception and attitude while still offering pretty easily approachable roleplaying opportunities: things like Modrons, Warforged or Thri-Kreen.Outside of D&D this is less of a problem, usually, but not always.This goes for all races but gnomes. I hate gnomes really badly. I would oppress like a million gnomes in a heartbeat.
as a general rule, i don't think people should add extra races to a setting if the role of that race can be fulfilled by a human culture. adding in extra races usually serves to ignore giving humans the sort of variety they have in real lie. for instance: dwarves can be replaced by a culture of humans that live in the mountains are are famed blacksmiths, elves can be replaced by a culture of humans that have an ancient, proud civilization, orcs can be replaced by a culture of humans that are warmongering and vicious. you can even think up imaginative ways to cover the biological attributes of these races: perhaps the not-elf human culture have a fountain of youth at the centre of their capital that grants them immortality, and you can shape their history around other peoples trying to steal from the fountain, or how power in that civilization is dictated ultimately by control of the fountain, ect. i would reserve creating new races for a situation where they are legitimately different from humans. faeries, merpeople, warforged, ect. the sort of races that are inherently different to humans and can't just be replaced by a human culture.i'm more sympathetic to the idea of having tons of unnecessary races in sci-fi, to keep the universe a lived-in feel, but most of them shouldn't be very human-like anyway.
>>23187623Hear, hear. When I read about elves, I always think: How goddamn ridiculous is it to have a civilization that's never progressed anywhere, always lives in the forest, and is arrogant and shitty all the time?
>>23187673Reading through d20 sourcebooks, there's only one race I can recall that seemed like it could have brought something of value to a story. I liked changelings from Eberron. They're the only race I can think of whose anthropomorphic qualities aren't just convenient coincidences. Moreover, their anthropomorphism is the central theme of their place in the world. They're a human-seeming different species, and that makes them subjects of perpetual fascination and fear. Townsfolk point at them, and inwardy scream "Jesus Fuck it looks like people! What if thinks it's people?!"I think that's how it should be for every race that's bizzarely human looking. People should react to it like they do when they see some awful thing caught by a deepwater fisherman. The sort of moment where you shiver and think "Oh god, why does that squid have elbows?" or "Why does the fish look like it's screaming?"
I'm not of the camp that believes that having fantasy races is an intrinsically bad thing, or even that it is a bad thing when humans could essentially fill the same role as them. Maybe I don't want brutal coked up humans from the wastes. Maybe I want orcs. There is an aesthetic difference, and a difference in setting implications between the two. When you are designing a setting, you must pay attention to aesthetics, to thematic elements that you feel add to the world.I can certainly see how fantasy races, particularly large quantites of them that are barely differentiated, can gum up a setting, but I can't condone sweeping statements like that they should all be removed, or that all fantasy races should be radically different. I think that depends on what you're going for.
>>23187923Changelings are pretty fun, I guess, and Eberron in general does interesting things with some staid races (like Elves' long lifespan actually leading to a hyper-conservative society and say, the average professional elven warrior being pretty much the equivalent of a short-lived race's master combatant).Really though, you don't see that Warforged, Modrons, Thri-Kreen are meaningfully different? Thri-Kreen are probably the earliest example of 'You can play this, but they are definitely not human and they have a bunch of weird conceptions and attitudes that are inhuman'.
>>23187923So fantasy racism isn't enough for you, you want justifiable fantasy racism?
>>23187891The Alfar and Tolkien Elves had reason, power and all short of bits and bops that most other elven races are missing.
I like the concept of different human species for the aesthetic change to the character's physiology.But that's the thing. Aside from some biological changes, the other races in my games are exactly that: Other species of humans. Elves are humans with pointed ears, solid black eyes, a smaller degree of visible sexual dimorphic traits and who are less totally reliant on eyesight than homo sapiens, for example.Cultures aren't usually racial things, and aside from a couple stat modifiers tied to their biological traits and some fluff like in-setting racism and stereotypes the race is pretty much just a choice of visual options.They might not be a necessary aspect of the setting and could easily not be there in the first place, but my players like the visual breakup between humans and demi-humans.
Not until like the fifth extra race. I've conditioned myself to accept the big 5, Humans, Dwarves, Elves, Orcs, Goblins. Those feel 'core' to me now, they don't stand out for me in fantasy anymore. In fact, the place where things start feeling weird to me are things like the Warforged, which came in later and basically feel tacked on in every setting outside of Eberron, and Dragonborn, which I can't stand because I hate the 'dragons mate with everything' shtick.In a pinch, I could let the fantasy races go, but people like elves. People like dwarves. And I like them too. So I keep them.
>>23188243>Cultures aren't usually racial thingsGreg Stolze's fantasy setting Ardwin (or maybe Ardwen, can't quite remember) does fun things here. So first there are no humans at all in the setting, there are like dwarves, elves, orcs, goblins, then some kinda smallfolk halfling/gnome/fairy race. Maybe one more. They're all related. They can mostly all produce offspring.The nice thing though is that, a goblin raised by elves, has or can have elven cultural tricks and traits. It acknowledges culture as independent from race.
Whenever I use races I find the entire idea of "THis race does this" and "That race has these values" to be ridiculous. Looks at the depth of differences among humans and the variety of cultures, and the intermingling among different ethnicities. A culture would be inherent to area, not species. Sure, some things would be more common among some races (as some races would be more common in certain areas), but they would be overshadowed by local flavor. As such, because we don't want a unrealistic world, this fact should be reflected. Cities full of mixed species, cultures dependent on nation, and the like. Other species can be done if done well, and if you don't just insert four dozen into a world (this is not entirely true either, it can be done well). The laziness of using another race to show another culture is silly, but on a whole could be considered accurate in certain situations. It is all based on context, any idea can be done well and be made to work... simply if done right.
>>23188272Warforged are great though. Dragonborn have nothing to do with getting fucked by dragons.
>>23188299Yeah, I like the way that goes. I hate how in standard D&D some of the stats are culturally based instead of racially, and try to homebrew them to not include these but then let the players take a modifier based on their upbringing that reflects their home society.
>>23188311I don't like 'em. I liked them in Eberron, but in other settings--not all, but most anything I run--they feel really out of place.The Dragonborn to me feel like an outgrowth of the trend of draconic-blooded player characters. It was liked being force-fed confetti during 3.X, I count myself well rid of it now. Also, I think they look bad. This is an opinion thing, I'm openly acknowledging that it's an opinion thing.
>>23188272Dragonborn are not half-dragons, you dumbass.
>>23188272>I've conditioned myself to accept the big 5, Humans, Dwarves, Elves, Orcs, Goblinsgoblins? seems a more natural fit would be halfling.
>>23188355I can get them being out of place in something more low fantasy or medieval fantasy (which D&D has to stretch to support, but hey).I can get the Dragonborn thing too, I just like the whole concept of this insane magical war that went on between them and Bael Turath.
>>23188243>>23188162The trouble is, it bothers me that people use an aesthetic trait for the cornerstone of a character's identity. Do you remember the part in Plinkett's review of the Starwars Prequels where he asks people to describe characters without mentioning their job or physical appearance?When I saw that, it really drew a line in the sand for me about writing I could be proud of and writing I was ashamed of. I'm not saying I never think about what my characters look like, but it really is the LAST THING I think about. When I'm forced to clearly define who a character is before I get around to what he looks like, there's never a reason for me to give him pointy ears or fuzzy toes. It's superfluous, and a good editor doesn't have a lot of patience for superfluous things.
>>23188366I'd more put it to be:Norms, Stouts, Slims, Burlies, and LittlesThose are my definition of the big five races, just mix and match as appropriate.
>>23188393Okay but at the same time Plinkett's thing isn't an objective, absolute standard. Because you can have a book like Embassytown where the aliens' gimmick is a huge part of the plot and the characters and it doesn't come across as cheap at all because it's fairly interesting and has important and considered consequences.So there's a lot of mileage between 'is different to humans/has a unique job, physical appearance, biology, whatever' and 'is Jar Jar Binks'.
>>23188366I have never actually met a person who played a halfling, so they never really were a thing for me. I know almost nothing about them, even. I'm told that this is very strange, and I admit that it must be, but it is true.>>23188361I know that. I mean that they remind me of half dragons. It is to me the similar feeling. It feels plastic. (Is this something that is said, plastic?)
>>23188405http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FiveRacesDon't pretend you haven't read that shit. Incidentally, one thing I love about that page is how many fucking cited media that have it are exceptions or don't actually have it.
>>23188448I played a Halfling Fighter, it was pretty rad. I kneecapped a lot of people.
It's all in how it's done.All anthropomorphic races should have common ancestry.Elves, Dwarves, Orcs and Halflings should show as much cultural and physical variation as humans.
I just fucking hate elves because of over-exposure. People really need make races that aren't humans with different heights. Non-humans need to think completely differently than humans do in order for them to be sufficiently different. No idea how you'd do that, though.
The fact is that most of the GM and players, due to obivious cultural limitations, roleplay all races as human, therefore all seems stale. A tipical attitude I've taken to (even if it is a clichè) is to have every gnome I play a certain kind of psychosis, or autism-like behaviour. Not a copypasta, but when out of 10 gnomes, 8 are half mad by human standard you start to get a different view of the race as whole.
>>23188455>http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FiveRacesI have in fact not, I avoid tvtropes like the plague. I'm just saying those are my definitions, and are what I use in games that call for a big five. Most games however do not require a big five.
>>23188488Way to justify >>23187673
Every race in my current setting is the product of a different kind of symbiotic semi-intelligent parasite infecting a common species of human-like semi-intelligent ape.
>>23188393Funny thing with that is that a person's job at least used to be considered a huge part of that person's personality/worth.
ITT: >Complaining about races when the whole time you've actually been complaining about shitty, lazy storytelling. The different races are a template for the DM or whoever else to weave into interesting material.
>>23188607That's what I was saying. Nearly every concept, be in many races or only a few, can be done if the DM is a quality storyteller. Storytelling is paramount, and while some ideas are more difficult to pull off all ideas are possible to do well.
>>23188554Yes, and Rousseau thought people should stop using wetnurses because he was afraid babies would catch immorality from poor people. It was generally thought that the working classes got sick and died more frequently because of the lack of virtue that in the classes of factory workers/beggars/soldiers/chimneysweeps etc...It was insane and horrible, so we try not to talk about it.
I don't like additional races added because the likelihood of their existence doesn't make sense in relation to how they would have evolved into existence in the world and not been wiped out by a more superior race. I also don't like when they are introduced into a setting and everyone is automatically accepting of them. A human running a shop in a predominantly human village shouldn't be completely nonchalant about selling goods to a demon who came from an evil realm; he should be cussing and telling the demon to get the hell out of there. It wouldn't be a huge melting pot. There would be boundaries, there would be prejudices and hatreds.
>tfw my game includes EVERY pathfinder race from the splats.You're all small time.
>>23187623>What bothers me about non-human races is that they're completely unnessary.No, just most writers are unimaginative faggots like you who don't know how to properly utilize them.Next you'll bitch about aliens in sci-fi, the nonhuman bacteria in your stomach, or anything else that isn't HURRMANY, FURK YURR
I'm inventing human races using genuine physical attributes.For example, there's a race of albinos who previously ruled the world and dwelt in a region now under the dominion of their former colonies, who are nations of Caucasians. With their ancestral homeland across the sea having fallen to another empire, they've been forced into exile in the snowy northern wastes. Their technology is sufficiently advanced to permit them to live comfortably there as they plot to reclaim their empire.
>>23188607a good writer can work around all the unnecessary fantasy races, but shouldn't have to. in general, they act as a crutch that encourages people to avoid developing the humans in a meaningful, varied way.
>>23187623I agree. A lot of writers use fictional races as a way to make a dull character more interesting just because they are different.
>>23188690What if we want to develop a fantasy race in a meaningful, varied way?This all kinda sounds like personal preference, really...
>>23188690I'm a human in real life, why would I want to play one in a game? It's not about developing interesting races, having a ton of races does not detract from any individual race's culture or uniqueness. If they are bland, most likely the others will be bland as well and you have a bad DM... which is not good.
>>23188722If you develop them like that, they are no longer just humans with hats and therefore are acceptable and interesting rather than just a crutch.
>>23188690>work aroundIt isn't working around if you are properly utilizing them.Look at that Game of Thrones shit everyone jizzes their pants over. The threat beyond the wall would be a lot less terrifying if it was just a buncha humans. Sure, theyre only white skinned humans with weird eyes, but thats enough of a difference to mark them as an Other or an Else that is beyond traditional humanity and therefore plays by different rules than conventional humanity. Its not just a culture change like between humans, its a fundamental change in biology and perspective that may be impossible to empathize with.
Look at how Tolkien did it: The Elves have innumerable different ethnic groups and are by no means just arrogant forest dwellers.Just because other writers are unimaginative doesn't mean these things are flawed in and of themselves.
>>23188690No, there is literally nothing stopping people from writing interesting material except the author. The different races are there to provide variety for the players, as it is a role playing game in a fantasy setting. Want to be an elf, a dwarf, a gnome? Go ahead. It doesn't matter what they are intrinsically, it depends on what direction the player chooses to take that character. There is nothing wrong with having a bunch of races to choose from, because the solvent in this situation would be to NOT PICK THEM.
>>23187601>but OP, you are the Krikkit
>>23188767They aren't portrayed as being just weird eyes humans though. They're portrayed as being weird and strange and horrifying. The problem is when writers just use races as humans with funny ears without making them strange, odd, or different.
>>23188681I went right out and said that I had nothing at all to do with HFY. I would be fine with aliens in scifi, but I could rightfully accuse many scifi writers of senselessly improbable anthropomorphism.
>>23188690And again, they only act as a crutch if the writer chooses to use them in such away, so we're back to the races not being a problem so much as the author's ineptitude.
I think we need to clarify what we are bitching about, fantasy races in tabletop or fantasy races in fiction.Because the former are more likely to be little more than funny shaped humans since they will be roleplayed on the spot by a person who may or may not be the greatest actor/writer/what have you to really get into the mindset of an elf/orc/wardragonforged/dwarfshard/whatever and the latter is just you reading bad literature.
>>23188825>They're portrayed as being weird and strange and horrifyingCONGRATULATIONS! You just managed to comprehend the entire point of the post I made!
>>23188837>I went right out and said that I had nothing at all to do with HFY.And I have dismissed that claim. Its like saying “I'm not racist, but all niggers should be shot.”
For a Gurps fantasy game based on Banestorm I let my players decide which (playable) races they wanted to exist. So I ended with...DwarfsDark ElvesVedalkenDraeneiHumansOrcsGoblinsCulnians (fat humanoids, 1/10 seal 9/10 human)Demons (ugly humanoids resembling thaliandese demons)High Elves (introduced by me)And I must say that I'm ok with this.
I really think that other races are core to fantasy settings and, unless done really well, they just feel off without them.I'll agree that it usually feels lazy when you literally just have Elves as stand ins for one culture, Dwarves as stand ins for another culture (usually Jews or Nordic peoples), Orcs for another (usually Mongolians/Steppes people), etc. Especially when it's like all of their race behaves in the exact same way without real variation, and the only ones that do act with variation are outcasts. Furthermore, having races that have never had infighting is ridiculous.In a homebrew I ran shortly, I had a setting where humans were extinct. No one knew for certain whether or not they really existed. In my setting, I did have each race stand in for a general idea of a culture, although it was also mixed up with cliches of their races in other settings, too, to an extent. I had Greek Dwarves, Chinese Gnomes, Plains Indians Wood Elves, Aztec Drow, Polynesian Orcs, etc. But there was tons of variation in individuals and blahblah.Ultimately, it's hard to really make other races without injecting some kind of human-ish traits into them. Even if you think you're making them seem completely alien, they're probably only completely alien from your own culture. For example, there's cultures that exist that think when they feel certain emotions (say, guilt), that it's not themselves feeling the emotion, but a third party spirit sort of thing making them feel that way. That's just real life humans. If you wanted to go for something 100% completely foreign, unfamiliar, and not human, you're probably going to end up with something that's just not easy to write or to roleplay.
>>23188877Shit, I misread or missed part of your post and thought we were disagreeing. Sorry about that.
>>23188722nothing stopping you. but why would you? let's take halflings. let's say you make the standard "mundane farmer" halfling culture, and then make a culture of halflings that live in cities and are good at magic, and then halflings that live in mountains and are good at metalworking, ect, ect...what was the point in the first place? all you've done is made a bunch of human cultures populated by midgets. >>23188731if you really wanted a break from being a human, you'd play a thri-kreen or something. if you're playing a dwarf, chances are you're just playing a human with reach issues and stereotypes. >>23188767the others are inherently different to humans, though. they are monsters. they are a good example of a race only being introduced because their role cannot be fulfilled by humans, who are varied and interesting in the aSoIaF world.
>>23188869Thank you. >>23188837So does the fault lie with the author, or the races themselves as a concept?If the races weren't there, would they then be forced to write more interesting humans, or would they not just do the exact same thing with less variety?
>>23188951>Why would you?The first reason would be because you want to, plain and simple. I don't see anything wrong with doing things that appeal to you so long as the story doesn't suffer for it. However, the second reasons is that in creating all the cultures you can play off how things progress differently from humans. If you have a fantasy race, imagine how the things that humans don't have that the race does, or that humans take for granted and that race lacks, then see how that fundamentally alters life.Like I said, it just really seems like personal preference to me.
>>23188951>why would you?So we're down to personal preference, and you wanting to take out anything that isn't human. The problem is that you're trying to take out every option because on some level they can be traced back to humans, and wouldn't you know it if that's the whole fucking point?Do you think we would find elves, dwarves, gnomes, orcs, giants, ogres, dragons, etc. interesting AT ALL if we didn't see some of our own characteristics in them? They're a physical manifestation of our different traits, behaviors, and capabilities, we find them interesting because we can RELATE to them on some sort of personal level. You're suggesting that we should only have playable alternatives to humans only if they're completely detached from anything we would even recognize, and guess what? No one wants to play them.
I think it's ridiculous how people get so uppity about roleplaying everything as a sort of different flavor of human. It's really hard not to. Most people who think they are roleplaying as non-human as possible really aren't because they're usually just roleplaying as weird humans or humans with disorders.Not to mention the fact that when people talk about others roleplaying as "too human", it usually means too Western human. If someone were to roleplay with the mindset, cultural values, etc. of someone from one of the hundreds of tribes/bands in Papa New Guinea, that would probably be foreign enough for most tabletop players to go "WOW HE MAKES A REALLY GOOD NON-HUMAN"Some people just plain like having other races around. I do. If you don't like it, then why not just play historical fiction with magic added in?>>23188488Psychosis and autism-like behavior are still roleplaying them as humans.
>>23188951>reach issues and stereotypes>Because I'm human shaped I can't be unique.Really bro? Really?
>>23189043Speak for yourself. Personally, I only play races other than human when they are alien and weird, like the Thri-Kreen. Races that are sort of human are just boring to me.
>>23188644Yeah, but you're talking like a period of time of like a few hundred years, tops, with shifting explanations and ideas.The "you are what you do" was in play before Rousseau and survived until modern times. In fact, you could say it's still around today, though we just hide it. Because, face it, "what do you do" is one of the first questions asked an unknown person, about work and the response given to that question is immediately used to judge a person.
A few months ago a friend of mine mentioned he would be running a pathfinder one-shot. We usually play World of Darkness, so I was really looking forward for a chance to play the sort of classical dungeon-crawl I was nostalgic for.I wrote a human with levels in Fighter and Rogue. The day of the game arrived, my friend laid his character on the table. It was a warforged samurai.Nostalgia ruined. I can no longer enjoy this game. Hyper-exoticism/ecclecticism is cyanide to a serious story
>>23189077You've got the point of the thread, boiled down. How would someone roleplay a character completely different than a human without drawing from their own experiences, AS a human? It's completely inescapable.
>>23189126I don't follow.
>>23189028>The first reason would be because you want to, plain and simple.you could make a half-fey catboy with twenty penises if you WANT to. and that's not even an inherently bad idea, it depends on the kind of game you are running. all i'm saying is: in most cases, these races are totally superfluous and mask lazy writing. >However, the second reasons is that in creating all the cultures you can play off how things progress differently from humans. If you have a fantasy race, imagine how the things that humans don't have that the race does, or that humans take for granted and that race lacks, then see how that fundamentally alters life.yes, certainly. but that's best served by making a fantasy race that is actually different from humans. >>23189043>So we're down to personal preference, and you wanting to take out anything that isn't human. don't put words in my mouth. i'm happy with races to exist if there's actually a point. i don't like the sense of obligation all too many people feel to throw in elves and dwarves and orcs and halflings and whatever else just because they feel "well, a fantasy setting HAS to have those things!" and then they ended up failing to make any of them interesting, let alone humans.>You're suggesting that we should only have playable alternatives to humans only if they're completely detached from anything we would even recognize, and guess what? No one wants to play them.there are races genuinely different from humans that people still play. races like warforged. i'm not suggesting that every race needs to be some abomination from the far realms. all i'm saying is: if they can easily be replaced by humans, there's no reason to have them there, unless you have specific design purpose for them.
>>23189089>Thri-kreen are formidable nomadic hunters who respect the land and hate creatures that despoil it. They will attack anyone who disturbs their home.Does this sound hard to trace back to humans? I can do the exact same thing with this race that you did with the dwarves, and we'd come down to you liking the aesthetic appeal of an insect/humanoid race. You now understand why there are different races, because sometimes people don't like to play humans.
>>23188681Truth is, "totally not human" fantasy races and aliens are a crutch for writers. They mostly boil down to humans but with a slight difference, and they are often used unnecessarily. Look at Babylon 5, for example. There's a big part of the plot based around human politics, which is fairly engaging and is mostly self-contained. Now look at 2001. Yes, there are aliens, but most of the driving forces in the writing is basically centered around humans. Was the writer who didn't introduce klingons into that movie/book an unimaginative faggot?Look, it's not about what you use and don't use. It's about your skill at writing. And humanoid aliens are almost always easier to write. They're a lazy shortcut.
>>23189089Reading through descriptions of Thri-Kreen really just sound like they mix warrior band cultures with some things they just made up because it seemed alien/foreign. Not that Thri-Kreen aren't interesting, because I think they are, but it's basically "Look at how UNHUMAN I am."
>>23189171Alright, so I guess the question is, what counts as "actually different from humans"? Is it looks? Speech? Body shape? Mental state? Culture doesn't seem in and of itself enough to differentiate.
>>23189161Hes saying exotic = silly
>>23189171>WarforgedThey're an allegory for pre-WWII russia bro.
>>23188961Hands down the fault is an author for using an aesthetic shorthand to telegraph a character's identity. The author shouldn't take any shortcuts to making his characters memorable, it's hard work but that's an author's damn job. It's not supposed to be easy.
>>23189126You can't enjoy the game because someone else has a different idea of what they want to do? Hell, why didn't you create your characters together in the first place?You just sound like you're going out of your way to complain about shit and not have any fun. If it ends up being goofy, it's a one shot. Who cares? Get goofy, too, and just have fun socializing with your friends.It's not like your character didn't have flaws either, I'm sure. Stop being so NO FUN ALLOWED.
>>23189184Don't forget their hive/colony mindset. Their social structure is quite different from humans.
>>23189261I can get that the character in the setting might have been ridiculous (although I honestly can't say because I don't know the setting the guy played in) but I don't get how that one character was so bad as to ruin the game forever. Besides, exotic isn't necessarily bad, so long as the setting allows for it.
>>23189161When everyone is special, noone is.Also, playing a speshul snowflake in normal fantasy world - it's a bit jarring.
>>23189171So the problem isn't races at all, it's what the DM or player chooses to do with them. We could, and would still have this problem without them because the problem stems from bad writing, which is still evident whether it is applied to humans or elves. The appeal of warforged taps into the human experience with both technology/AI, and a previously enslaved race given freedom. If you're okay with warforged, are you fine with dragonborn, minotaur, etc.? Warforged are human-robots in the same sense that dragonborn are human-dragons and minotaur are human-bulls. What's to stop people from writing the Warforged as shitty as they do every other race?
>>23189136>How would someone roleplay a character completely different than a human without drawing from their own experiences, AS a human? It's completely inescapable.well, you could look at animal behaviour, for a start. if you wanted to make an insect race, ask yourself "how do insects in real life act?" and then try and extrapolate that to an intelligent civilization. if you wanted to make a race of underwater people, look at the behaviour of fish. these animals don't act in totally random ways, and they are not totally incomprehensible to humans, but they certainly don't act the same way we do.
>>23189089Thri-Kreen, while born knowing their language, speak a language.Systems of communication are not unique among humans, but language in the way we know it, in the way fantasy races speak it, blahblah is uniquely human. Thri-Kreen are therefore human-ish.Now just stick with roleplaying a human if you're going to be anal about playing something that's "sort of human."
>>23189323If he was playing a special snowflake and you weren't, then, heck, not everyone is special, I guess.hyuck, hyuck, hyuck.
>>23189323See>>23189319 Special Snowflake is an example of bad character design, perhaps, but I still don't see how that could ruin an entire game for someone.>>23189326Keep in mind ethology is hard because people inherently anthropomorphize animals. I'm not talking about furry stuff, I'm talking about saying your dog is loyal (a human virtue) or that your cat is mean (a human attitude), etc. It's somewhat unavoidable, as seen by how many cultural connotations many animals have.Also remember that once you extrapolate into an intelligent civilization you've already anthropomorphized them, so...yeah.
>>23189290And how different of a social structure do you think gnomes would have in response to everyone being multiple feet taller than him? What are some of the hurdles they would have to conquer in order to even survive in that kind of world?Is that not interesting enough to justify their availability? You can make ANYTHING interesting, and contrastly ANYTHING can be boring, no matter how 'non-human' you make it. The problem is bad writing, not the races themselves. >>23189326You're not convincing me, we already have a race of underwater people, mermen and mermaids, or the Naga. If the argument is that they are in a different environment, so are dwarves living in mountains. If the argument is that their culture or society is too different, look up and read what I said about gnomes, and If the argument is that they look ENOUGH different than humans, we're down to aesthetic preferences.
>>23189326Yes, but in order to have them relatable to a human they must have some kind of human qualities. This could be on a level as basic as agriculture or written language.The race will in some way resemble human simply by the fact they are intelligent and have a culture. There are routes that every culture must go down, or be rendered completely unrecognizable as intelligent and rendered un RPable.
I'm guessing OP is the same guy who gets buttflustered whenever cutebolds are mentioned.Please stop blaming concepts for their poor execution, its like blaming the hammer when you miss the nail and hit your thumb.
>>23189288Fuck that. My party goes goofy every time. I'm sick of it. We haven't had a straightfaced game in six years. I'm sick of characters having puns for name. I'm sick of characters being designed to create outrageous visual gags. I want to quit my group, but /tg makes me worry that every group is this bad.
>>23189470That's on your players, not the concept. I've had awesome serious games, and run them. Just specify that the campaign is going to focus more on action and serious matters rather than humor.
HEY GUYS I JUST CREATED A TRULY UNIQUE FANTASY RACESO FIRST OFF THEY AGE IN REVERSE, THEY'RE BORN DEAD BUT THEN GO INTO OLD AGE AND AGE BACKWARDS BECAUSE HUMANS AM AGING FORWARDSTHEY DON'T SPEAK LANGUAGE, THEY JUST COMMUNICATE VIA SCENTS EXCRETED FROM ONE OF THEIR TWO ANUSES, BUT THEY EAT OUT OF SAID ANUSES BECAUSE ANUSES ARE WHAT HUMANS POOP OUT OF. THEY POOP OUT OF THEIR MOUTHS, SINCE HUMANS DON'T.THEIR CULTURE DOESN'T EXIST BECAUSE HUMANS HAVE CULTURE, SO, THESE GUYS DON'T.THEY HAVE NO LIMBS BECAUSE HUMANS HAVE LIMBS. THEY GET AROUND BY HOVERING WITH THEIR SCENT GLANDS THAT PRODUCE HYPER FARTS THAT CAN MAKE THEM FLOAT.LASTLY, THEY CAN ONLY PLAY THE -pffbbtflrt- CLASS BECAUSE ALL OTHER CLASSES ARE HUMAN INVENTIONS. THIS CLASS IS AN ALL AROUNDER, EXCEPT NOT PRETTY GOOD ALL AROUNDER, PRETTY BAD ALL AROUNDER. SO, THEY HAVE NEGATIVES TO EVERYTHING.I CALL THIS RACE THE -fffptttflrtprtmnrttflrt- WHICH IS INACCURATE TO HOW YOU'D ACTUALLY SCENT IT OUT IN THEIR COMMUNICATION SYSTEM, BUT IT TRANSLATES ROUGHLY TO FIVECABBAGE IN ENGLISH.
>>23189484Great, now I have a new waifu.
>>23189470You know the gamefinder threads we do every day? "Hey I'm looking for a serious _______ game"I hope you don't think you're alone with that sentiment. I chose to learn and read about DM'ng D&D from scratch so that I could escape my non-serious Transformers homebrew. I have two different games lined up now, one with RL friends and one online.
>>23189484Humans fart too. So unoriginal.
Multiple intelligent races developing on the same planet would probably take on cultural characteristics of each other, at least to some degree. An example would be how American cultural aspects spread. Of course it would be much slower in a low-tech setting, but mingling cultures would still occur.
>>23189453Actually cutebolds have never bothered me in the slightest. At least nobody ever asks to play a cutebold.
>>23189484I love you.
>>23189423>Also remember that once you extrapolate into an intelligent civilization you've already anthropomorphized them, so...yeah.the point isn't to avoid anthropomorphizing them. the point is just for them to be different enough that they can't just be replaced by humans. fuck, i would say that ANY underwater race qualifies, no matter how human in behaviour, because humans can't live underwater. so instantly, when you think "i need a race of people who live in the sea and build underwater cities", it's not gonna be human. i understand that. but if you're just throwing in a race that could easily just be another human civilization - the more elegant approach would be to remove the superfluous elements and just make it another human civilization.
>>23188951>they are a good example of a race only being introduced because their role cannot be fulfilled by humansTo reiterate what I said to the other anon,CONGRATULATIONS! You just managed to comprehend the entire point of the post I made!Your post said nonhuman races are only ever a detriment to a setting, my post contradicted that. They don't always have to be your enemy to be inhuman, either, it was just a readily available example.
>>23189531What's to stop non humans from being written poorly, since that's the real focus of the thread?
>>23189470Then you're the THAT GUY of the group if you're the one that's out of the norm. Not that you're a sperglord or anything, but if you're the one that doesn't fit in, leave the group and find another one. Judging by how many extremely serious people are in this thread and others, I'm sure you can find some likeminded individuals. It'll be hard, but if you end up getting the group that's perfect for your playstyle, why not?Conversely, have you talked to your group? If you really want to play a serious game, I'd say GM/DM one. That way you can have control over the setting. Make sure they know that it's a serious setting. Reward them for being serious, let them know that there will be serious repercussions in game if they make a character named "Fart Taco Deluxe" or a prostitute named "Whoreforged."There's really just such a thing as incompatibility in roleplay groups. I've gone through it a few times. Just gotta be politely vocal and let them know you'd rather play a certain way. Ask them to try it. If they don't like it, you part ways. Simple as that. You can still be friends outside of tabletop, just find a new group.
>>23189531I play cutebolds
>>23189524Humans fart, but they don't fart. It's a translation error. Trust me, my writing is perfecd.>>23189582Oh my God, it's everything I've ever wanted.
>>23189560>Your post said nonhuman races are only ever a detriment to a settingno, it didn't. no one has said that. >>23189484nor has anyone said that every non-human race has to be totally and utterly alien.i don't think there's a point to me being here if you're just going to make up arguments to attack that no one ever made.
>>23189559So even though mermaids can still be written horribly, the mere fact that they live underwater is enough to justify them as an option? You seem to only allow races that have interesting-enough backgrounds or cultures, which you can apply to ANY other race. You can make anything interesting, it all depends on your skill as a writer, so again the races themselves are not the problem, it's what direction the author takes them in.
>>23189649What I'm getting out of this is that you want a race to be somewhere in between human and completely alien, right?Guess you just don't have the skills to roleplay as a Fivecabbage.
>>23189666I think there's two people making arguments. One disliking nonhumans being used as a crutch, and one disliking nonhumans that aren't non-human enough physiologically.Nice trips btw
>>23188393And if you rewatch it you'll notice they screw up on the original trilogy characters fairly often. Which is to be expected because in a story role is extremely important to character identity. Describing a character without using role, job, and appearance is extremely difficult, especially when you have jobs like psuedo-monk and politician that are very important to a character's identity.Though I do agree with the sentiment.
>>23189559Alright, fair enough. Still, I would like to know where a race goes from superfluous details to being uniquely non-human. Playing off your example, humans underwater is good because real humans can't live there, but a race on land with many different aspects might just be humans with hats.Keep in mind, I'm not trying to stir up shit or argue, I'm just trying to figure out where exactly you're coming from. I'll admit I don't rightly agree with some of your arguments, but I don't begrudge you for seeing things in a different way than I do, and if I can get a better idea of what you find as distinctly non-human it would, in turn, help me in creating, writing, and roleplaying these races.
>>23189194Your arguments are flawed because 2001 is literally about aliens ascending prehumanity to sapience.As a counterpoint, look at Stargate where the threeway war between Goauld, Ghoul, and Human was a really big fucking deal AND interesting as fuck, or Stargate Atlantis where a sect of humanity worshipped ancient aliens as their ancestors and when those aliens showed up, they fucking evicted the humans from their ruins. Having them be ancient humans instead would have drastically changed the story.Or look at the fucking Uplift Novels and all the shit they do with interstellar politics and how uplifting alien races is directly related to your political standing.tldr, you suck at this
>>23189594I can't handle GMing for my group. I'm the only GM who ever says "no" to certain character concepts, and they treat me like a nazi for it. Every time I start a campaign for them they troll me to death. For me, heaven is being a player in a group where the DM plays by corebook rules only and has enough of a backbone to shoot players down when they try to get away with something exotic. I don't have what it takes to be that guy, but oh god I wish I knew him. I'd love to have a strict as fuck gm.
>>23189326Then you are just layering animal traits and behaviors on top of human ones.Congratulations, you just made catgirls.
Stories are founded on the concept of the human condition. The writer is human, the audience is human, and the moral (meant here as underlying concept, not anything to do with morality) is related to being human.Every story is about humans. Even if the story contains no humans, whatever it does contain is simply "Exactly like humans, except where stated", because nobody knows what anything other than humans are like, because none of us have been anything other than human.So even if your setting consists solely of Orks, Dwarves, and Bearpeople, WHICH IT SHOULD you're just decorating up humans, or specific aspects of humans, because at their core, they're really just big green humans. Or short, bearded humans. Or bear-shaped humans.If you were to take a species and make it so foreign as to be unrecognizable, to share zero traits in common with the human condition, then what you've created is more a part of the background, than an active participant in the story. Think of it this way- in the ancient fables, the monsters where either recognizably "like humans, except...", OR, they were so monstrously different that they became a hurdle to overcome, with more in common to a tall mountain that needs to be climbed, than to an antagonist playing opposite the hero.Because, at the end of the day, what makes a good story are the characters, and the character development.And that means humans. Or spiky humans, or thin, tall, arrogant, immortal humans, or hairy, long-toothed fish-eating humans, with claws and hibernation. Humans, or something that is human at its core, even if superficially different.Of course, should the moral you're trying to present lead you to the decision that a "fantasy" setting, complete with its not-humans is best, that's fine. But it's fine because it was a conscious choice, because you thought it best for your purposes. The times it's not fine, are when somebody decides lolelves and throws them in as a stereotype.
>>23188644>It was generally thought that the working classes got sick and died more frequently because of the lack of virtue that in the classes of factory workers/beggars/soldiers/chimneysweeps etc...Given the rampant alcoholism of the lower classes during the industrial revolution he may have had a point.
>>23189759>mfw I'm doing exactly this in a D&D 4e campaign>mfw we have three 60+ year old humans with interesting, non-mary sue backgroundsWe're full, though...Those games do exist though, you just have to find them, mang. Don't be scared DM'ng an online group.
>>23189759Then find a different group, man. Simple as that.
>>23189649>no, it didn't. no one has said that.see >>23187623>What bothers me about non-human races is that they're completely unnessary.
>>23189773How about the Scramblers in Blindsight? In fact, the human starship crew were all transhumanist examples of different theories of consciousness.Really, a key part of science fiction is making the background part of the story.
>>23189759Yeah, sounds like you just need a new group. I know you said /tg/ scared you to think that every group is like this, but not everyone is the same, and you're proof enough of that. Besides, how will you ever know if you don't try? Hit up the gamefinder threads, the roll20, see if there are any listings for games in your FLGS, ask friends, ask friends of friends, so on and so forth, but don't stay somewhere that's toxic for you. You'll only become bitter.
FiveCabbage:Racial Traits: 3’2”-4’7”Average Weight: 65-90lbsAbility Scores: +2 Dexterity +2 Constitution Size: SmallSpeed: 6 (fly, perfect maneuverability) squaresVision: Low-LightLanguages: -pfffbtfpts-Skill Bonuses: +2 Nature +2 Intimidate Fey Origin: You are native to the feywild. You have the fey keyword, so you are considered a fey for the purpose of effects that relate to creature origin.Limbless: A FiveCabbage can not equip a normal weapon and instead uses those specifically designed for FiveCabbage, can not equip two handed weapons even if modified. Cloud of Gas: At any time a FiveCabbage can trigger a gas explosion, dealing damage to all adjacent squares. A noxious cloud of condensed pheromone gas erupts from the FiveCabbage, burning the eyes and nostrils of all those around. Constitution + 2 vs Reflex1d6 + Constitution modifier damageIncrease to +4 attack bonus and 2d6 + Constitution modifier damage at 11th level, and to +6 attack bonus and 3d6 + Constitution modifier damage at 21st level.There you go everyone, I stated FiveCabbage for 4e.
>>23189846No, too human.
>>23188647Expanding more on the evolutionary point:The only explanation that other races would be that drastically different from humans would be isolation/selective breeding for thousands of years. So when races live in close proximity to each other it doesn't make sense that they would be so different. Now, if it were a situation where each race was on a different continent, I would be more likely to accept them in a story.
>>23188647>complaining about evolution in a fantasy setting where more often than not gods literally custom tailor their patron races as they see fitFull retard.>complaining about lack of racismThat sounds like its more on your DM than on the races themselves. And just as many people complain about their DMs punishing them for playing a nonhuman race by making everyone hate them, so maybe your DM is just trying to be nice. Maybe you should try talking to him instead of bitching about it online.
>>23189824Yeah, that's what I meant by the last paragraph. Word limit stopped me from fully fleshing out that thought.Basically, you have your core theme- your moral. From their, your characters emerge, although saying this is a linear process is misleading, because it really all happens at once.Eventually, you get to a point where you need to decide things like setting and background. Done well, these decisions directly further your original core theme. I haven't read that book you mentioned, but I assume you're saying it did exactly this. Settings and races and backgrounds which directly further the plot/core theme make for far better stories, than those that are just shoehorned in because.The example I always use is Gurren Lagann. Getting stronger, believing in yourself translating to fighting strength, exponential growth of the protaganist- these are all common tropes in shounen.What Gurren Lagann did, was take these tropes and create a setting that directly furthered them- a setting where the laws of the universe were intertwined with those themes, instead of handwaving it and shoving them in a modern day japan expy.Of course, Gurren Lagann is a good example because it's so well-watched. It's by no means the only or best example.
>>23189846I can't wait to DM for a group of Fivecabbages."NO, BILL, YOU CAN'T PLAY A HUMAN. THIS IS A FIVECABBAGE ONLY SETTING."
My setting is a fantasy setting in a Dyson sphere with cross sphere travel using spelljammers. How could I NOT have multiple races and cultures in any conceivable way? With 550 million times the surface area of Earth even variants on humans would be wildly different, just assuming a basic earth-like series of environments.
>>23189902>From their>theirWelp, I've lost all honor. Hope you liked the read guys. Off to commit sudoku.
>>23189915Excuse me, but should you have said:-Pfffththhfpppbstttpsfffbhtfffpbtttfbt- I believe that is the proper translation.
>>23188767But look at the rest of it.The Lannisters aren't dwarves, they're men.The Dothraki aren't orcs, they're men.The Targaryens aren't elves they're men.Stark, Baratheons, Tyrells, Greyjoys, Thenns, Pentoshi, Myr, Giscari. All just men.Where many authors would throw in some crazy fantasy race to be those guys who are rich and stubborn, or haughty and arrogant Martin merely used men.And then used not men when men wouldn't suffice.
>>23189950...I'm not even sure what you're arguing for anymore man. You're obviously ok with other races, they just have to be sufficiently different than humans culturally and historically.
>>23188775I always imagine there are 3 core elf types:1: High Elves that live in cities. They are rich and highly technologically advanced, so it would be expected that some would be arrogant, viewing other races as beneath them the way an advanced nation may view an under developed nation. 2: Wood elves that live in the forest. When other elves began choosing the path of technological advancement and wealth the wood elves chose to remain in the forest and live the simple life3: Drow who were cast out from the High elf society for demanding war and extermination of the lesser races. As a result of their banishment, they retreated to the mountain dwellings of dwarves, slaughtered them and took over their mountain homes.
>>23189950I'm >>23189773>>23189902And I just want to say that you're absolutely correct.
>>23189950>Stark, Baratheons, Tyrells, Greyjoys, Thenns, Pentoshi, Myr, Giscari. All just men.And this has anything to do with anything I said how exactly?
>>23189946I was translating it for a human audience.-pflfltlflrltrlbrlmfnlrlmrfplrfprltlbrlflmrplftplrflt- -- - fprlfpotrplfplfpltpl-
>>23189964It's not HOW different they are.It's WHY are they different. What is gained by using non-humans?In the case of GoT, by having not-humans, they place the threat very much so in, as that poster said, "the other". They become scarier due to being familiar, and yet twisted. It's a common device. The simple aesthetic change from human to not-human makes them more threatening to the reader.Whereas, taking a group of the humans, making them half as tall and bearded, would not benefit their role in the story whatsoever.Which isn't to say this is the only way to do it- take LotR, for instance- there's a reason the underdog protagonists were made half as tall as the forces they're up against.God damn, this thread is making me type up a storm.
>>23189950Sure, which shows how different races aren't a necessity to 'fantasy' settings, but they aren't always a detriment like OP is describing. You can write good literature with, or without extra races, same with everything else hinging on the talents of the author.
>>23190031So you want there only to be different races if it somehow adds and changes them in the story? They can't just be a natural fixture of the world? I mean, as long as they are culturally diverse and those individual just happen to be greedy, not that their entire race is, seems as if it would be fine. Multiple races are fun.
>>23190064>>23190031I think you two need to look at >>23188869 before you continue the argument any further.For a story, there absolutely should be a narrative reason to include other races or else the story can get cluttered with needless background information.For a tabletop game, so long as the races are fleshed out, you have more leeway since the players contribute to the story.
It seems everyone is just making the same point over and over. Multiple races, or any kind of race combo and mixture, is fine as long as it is executed well and the writing is good. I don't think anyone in here believes different races have no place in fantasy. Everything has it's place, and hinges on the talents of the author if it will be used or not. I think we can all simply agree on this and let the argument come to a close.Instead lets talk about something else, like FiveCabbage
>>23190100Talking about fivecabbage is too human. Quit trying to ruin fivecabbage by humanizing them.
>>23190099Again, the including of other races in a story is dependent on the talent of the author and the style It doesn't require other races to have a reason, and they can merely be fixture, but it still add to the story because the author is a good writer and writes them in well. It's more difficult than all human, but it is possible. Execution is paramount.
>>23190031So in other words, non-human races should only be used if it's basically an alien invasion?
>>23190120>Execution is paramount.Thats kinda what I was trying to get at. Either way, I think most of us are on the same page at this point. Hope to see you all again tomorrow when we have the exact same conversation because someone is butthurt at elves again.
>>23190031Why are you so against other races existing just because they could just as easily be humans?Are you implying there's something inherently wrong with aesthetic diversity?You're arbitrarily saying a story shouldn't do something when there's no more reason for them to not do it.You're arguing your opinion as a truth.Nothing is gained or lost from extra races inherently.
>>23189892Not that guy, but I don't mind some racism in my stories. Adds some very interesting fluff, especially if you go into all the different aspects ("My best friend is a Thri-keen!"). But yeah, having it be something super overt like "EVERYONE HATES YOU AND WILL LYNCH YOU ON SIGHT" isn't fun, it's just punishing the player and will only result in them having to jump through more hoops than the rest or sitting out of the game.
>>23190160And once again, that has nothing to do with the race itself and everything to do with execution.
>>23190149It adds complexity, and complexity that isn't compensated for or utilized leads to lower quality
>>23190111Oh stop, we all know FiveCabbage causes SAN loss due to their inherently inhuman minds and physiology. Don't feed the trolls, anon.
>>23190196Now this is just your opinion. I for one enjoy complexity in my stories, part of the reason I love the Jackelian series. All those little details, while not paramount to the story, are so fun to just have inside the book.
>>23190192And I wasn't saying for or against fantastic races, only that I find tension between different groups interesting if done correctly.
>>23190220I do too, but thats probably a topic for another thread.
>>23190031>what is gained by using non-humans?see >>23189773That's for the author to decide, to use for their own purposes. Not everyone is going to play by Martin's rules, nor should they. Do you think you couldn't tell an interesting story with half-sized humans in place of regular humans (see Little People, Big World), or how a race of immortals lives among others? If anything presents an opportunity for a compelling story, then an author is justified in using it.
>>23190219I feel the same way, I was just doing some devil's advocate there.I'm the guy who stuffs too many races into his RPGs
Personally, when I'm designing a setting, I prefer to keep all the races human or at the very least hominids. They usually wouldn't accurately reflect real world humanity, though they might sometimes be similar to human races depending on the environment they lived in (which is what will determine most of their characteristics).
>>23190196>if the writer doesn't handle it well, it's badArgument over. I called this a hundred posts ago >>23188607
>>23190100I just finished the greatest campaign of my life.It was set on the FiveCabbage homeworld of -thrrllrllbdlrbrldpppp- and my character was a high -lfplfprlfrbbbbbbpt-. This meant that during the quadraannual -fplfpltpbrbtttplr- it'd take the -fplfplbtbrbt- to the -fplrplt- hallsphere. -plfplfflrltbtr- after -plfplfflrltbtr- it did this. There were some shenanigans that were had, especially when -ppppppttttblr- had to -ffffrrrrtlplb- the -plbrtplr-, but the saddest part was when my character reached the start of its life. The GM did a beautiful job describing how my FiveCabbage unbirthed and became a part of the triple eternal -fpflrprpl-
>>23190149Chekov's Gun. Conservation of detail is a well acknowledged lynchpin of literary criticism. If an author adds something to his story, and that think is not useful, then the author has made a bad decision. The point of the editing process is to end up with a story made of pieces that each do their fair share of work. If there are details of the story that aren't achieving much, then your story is poorly edited.
>>23190313Not that guy broski, just summarizing shit for the guy I replied to
Guys, we're talking about stories now, not RPGs. At this point we need to shift discussion to GMs and Players.
>>23190375I love you.
I enjoy a mass of races to be in my campaigns or fantasy worlds, all the cultures and creatures make it all the more interesting, the same way that multiple human cultures made 1800s era USA such a interesting place, and violent. But hey, violence doesn't have to be a bad thing, right?
PrffblrrrbllfprrrrblEnglish translation:FIVECABBAGE confirmed for best race
>>23190582But you could have all those same cultures applied to humans instead.
>>23190697And would it still be interesting? Maybe. But, not so in my opinion.The whole problem with it being all human is that everyone is connected by the fact they are human, so everyone is, in one way, understood. With fantasy races and aliens, you can step outside the boundaries of human emotions and normality and make them completely different from us, complete with extremely exotic backgrounds, cuisine, weaponry, etc.
>>23190826It cheapens the quality of the work and makes it less interesting.
>>23190927How, in an objective manner, does it cheapen an game?
>>23190948It's superfluous.Creative works should be well edited.
>>23191035Wait, you're saying its unnecessary to make a fantasy setting filled with fantasy things?
>>23191059Ah, you're one of those people, who has in his head what Fantasy is (a mishmash Tolkien and Forgotten Realms) and believes every fantasy game must draw from that.
>>23191035Are you talking about role playing games?Or fantasy fiction?There is no "editing" in a role playing game (unless you count rule 0 as editing)
>>23191106That guy wasn't me, but I have to say you are missing the fucking point.That applies outside of Tolkien/Forgotten Realms.
>>23191106As he said>>23191147this is this guy>>23190762I believe that fantasy is a setting that involves something that is far outside human reality, such as magic and futuristic spaceship battles and non-human RACES. I mean, that's the point of fantasy isn't it? that it isn't realistic?
>>23191219The problem is that he is talking about fantasy LITERATURE, and only that.There is no discussion on fantasy ROLE PLAYING GAMES, where his arguments are weaker.
>>23191261But does that make much difference? Fantasy is still something that is outside human realism.Fantasy and fiction mean two different things, of course.
>>23191219Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Nothing more.
>>23191261Weaker only because you are relying on multiple people to effectively portray a fantasy race instead of just one. The core concept remains the same that its all about execution.
>>23189728But I thought the Ancients were ancient humans? Didn't they find that out in that one episode with the woman in the ice?
>>23191305Because these arguments are about stories and authors making bad decisions. There's nothing about GMs, players, or games.I hate to be that guy but this really needs to go to >>/lit/ inb4 I crosslink wrong
>>23191129The rulebooks and setting mayeterials of rpgs go through oodles of revision. Unlike novels, RPGs continue to be edited a lot inbetween printings of the same edition. Those editors need to be dilligent to produce a game that is elegant and lean. Of course once that book is on the players table, it's their job to work together to interpret and act on the sourcebook in the way that will facilitate the story most effectively. A bloated, incohesive ruleset is a tragic thing.
>>23188309>>Cities full of mixed speciesHow is that realistic? Multiculturalism is really a phenomena that appeared in the 20th century
>>23191495>incohesiveWhat? Adding an elf to the rulebook automatically makes it more confusing? What the fuck am I reading?
>>23191662It has always existed to some degree across trade roads. Not only does mixing in more races help contribute to it, but when you take into the account the ability to teleport of fly relatively at will, the increased ease of travel gives way to more diaspora, meaning more multiculturalism.Look at the mages guild in Morrowind that was able to fucking teleport any member and theoretically anyone to any other guildhall across the continent for a nominal fee.
>>23191495I think something that will help things is that you (YOU SPECIFICALLY, IT'S YOUR ARGUMENT) draw some lines of when a nonhuman is acceptable and when it is unacceptable.A sci-fi setting, when are we allowed to have aliens? Is aliens for the sake of "there are aliens" acceptable under your terms?A fantasy setting, when is a nonhuman justified?
>>23191713I'm not saying that the inclusion of one race is going to ruin the book single handedly. However, if you end up with a bloated mess of a book, and people start to ask "what went wrong?" It's a legitimate complaint to point at the place where the author decided he could shove in however many races he wanted. That'd be one of the books problems.
I can't not hate elves. Even my elves hate elves.
>>23191854I never said that "more confusing" meant "so confusing you can't tell whats going on".I meant just more confusing in general, more so than the including of more material would by the virtue of being material.
I'll give nonhuman races some differences in biology, such as elves feeding on magic, so that there are physiological reasons why their cultures can't be replicated by humans, yet can still remain reasonably humanlike for the purposes of relatability.
>>23191662Why does your fantasy need to be realisitc?
>>23192189I think he had a poor choice of words. Believable. Making sense. Coherent. Consistent.
>>23192211And I just realized that "Why do you need fantasy to be realistic" is now our "Who are you quoting?"God dammit
>>23191844Sure, lines in the sand I can do. If I were king for a day, what I'd say to scifi writers is. First look at the science that's available today. figure out about how often life supporting planets turn up, how far apart they are, how long those planets remain habitable. Then make some guesses about how long it will take for a species to actually escape their neighborhood, and how many will die out along the way. After that, just put some thought into the distances those species will have to cross to interact with one another. Are they interacting with eachother directly, or are they exchanging probes, robots or maybe colonists over the millenia. Once you find some reasonable rules of thumb, try to be naturalistic. Acknowledge what a difference it is to grow up in two different corners of the galaxy. Consider what it would be like to be born half way to your destination on a one way trip, knowing you'll die before you reach the destination. And after all of that, think of what sort of biology makes sense for the aliens on the ship to have.
>>23192266>>23191844Continued. For fantasy writers, First of all, obviously some non-humans are going to be necessary in the setting, unless you're writing a bizzare world where all men are cannibals and all goods and tools are fashioned from the bones and flesh of humans. You're going to need cattle, and oodles of other fauna, and I'm not faulting anyone for that. When trouble starts to happen is when particularly human-like lifeforms start to show up as a coincidence. And my only advice is, don't let it be a coincidence. The fact that a completely different species is distinctly anthropomorphised should be the central theme of their interaction with humanity. People should ask why, people should be unnerved people should draw attention to it constantly. Why don't cows look like us, but pixies and giants do? What's going on here?That should be the underlying tension of the species. See this post for an example of a fantasy race I distinctly like. >>23187923See, I like it because the Human-ness of the race directly addressed, and it's the source of a lot of dramatic mileage. It happened for a reason. Good worldbuilding happens for a reason. It's not about "why not"
>>23187601Humanity Fuck Yeah is /tg/ roleplaying as Strong Beautiful Black Men.
>>23192266Dude I want my damn super sci-fi where 50% of spacecraft have FTL drives attached, people teleport and shoot lasers and shit, and there's an established galactic community where the next inhabitable planet is a week's trip away.>>23192287Maybe I want some midget races to fit in my fantasy steampunk game. I don't need them for any other reason than "they're fucking short so my players can't hijack the walkers and tanks I end up giving them". Why do I need to have some sort of important plot point that explains why a goblin is people shaped?
>>23192417>Dude I want my damn super sci-fi where 50% of spacecraft have FTL drives attached, people teleport and shoot lasers and shit, and there's an established galactic community where the next inhabitable planet is a week's trip away.See my advice for a Fantasy game.>Maybe I want some midget races to fit in my fantasy steampunk game. I don't need them for any other reason than "they're fucking short so my players can't hijack the walkers and tanks I end up giving them". Why do I need to have some sort of important plot point that explains why a goblin is people shaped?I'd say that's a superfluous element of your setting, because it doesn't perform a lot of dramatic work to compensate for the trouble of including it.
>>23192287What about if I don't care about messages, themes, drama, structure, or any of that OCD shit, and just like things that are fun or cool?
>>23192625Are you one of my players? Justin?
>>23192266>>23192287Dude have you thought about "fun" in all of this? That's the number 0 goal in a tabletop, having fun.>>23192571>doesn't perform a lot of dramatic workActually, its a rather simple way of introducing a way to keep the main characters (the players) out of the steampunk mecha and tanks. Rather than have some convoluted reasoning or overly advanced technology to why they can't just take one for themselves, its explained that they literally cannot fit.The race itself would come out as technologically advanced for [insert reason DM makes if asked].If you still think it's superfluous, please explain a better way of preventing that course of action without getting more complex or relying on rule 0 to keep them out of the mechs/tanks.
>>23189809 I am fucking jealous
>>23189728Whoa, it's like you misunderstood what I meant and overreacted. I was specifically reacting against "humans with extra bits". See, for example, klingons in the original Star Trek TV series, who're basically aggressive humans(mongols/huns) but totally an alien race guise.I was also pointing out that you don't need aliens driving the plot. 2001 did have aliens, and you can argue until you're blue in the face that the movie is about them, but the plot in the stories center around humans, and it's their reactions to (and manipulation by)alien forces that make up most of the story. Except for the Jupiter expedition, which is mostly about man versus insane computer.I actually like the 2001 aliens, because they're not humanoid creatures* and their final agenda is unknown to us (in the movie. the book, less so). Also, I don't remember the Stargate movie being that complex**.*Well, that we know of. The less revealed the better is an excellent rule for Sci-Fi aliens, I find.**I'm kidding. I haven't watched any of the Stargate series though.
>>23189728Ghouls?I know Go'aulds are the parasites/symbiotes that are like dragons, except more political, and live in people's stomachs (or some crazy shit like that).There are the Ancients, who are basically the Greys, and are the source of the Norse god mythos.But who are the Ghouls? Are you talking about the guys they fight in SG Atlantis?
>>23190762So like... Chinese meeting English during the 18th Century?
>>23196565Maybe they're from the novels?