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The Fantasy Races Thread

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35 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

As a fan of Tolkien myself, I have to point out that he was a product of his era. It would be questionable to ascribe contemporary social standards to him. He was born just before the beginning of the Twentieth Century. He was a citizen of the global British Empire. Racism was common and institutional in Britain at that time, including among the most educated who were commonly from the upper classes. It would not be surprising if some such attitudes infused his fiction, though not necessarily consciously. After all, the relationship between Frodo and Sam started out as that of upper-class master and lower-class servant, a convention almost wholly moribund in Britain by the time LOTR was published. Also keep in mind that as well as the Orcs, the Men who served Sauron were from east of the regions which opposed him, and those regions and the peoples inhabiting them were analogous to Europe and Europeans. East and West are explicit divisions in LOTR.

 

IMO none of this takes away from Tolkien's noble work. The contrast between good and evil is clear, his characters are richly developed, and courage, honor, loyalty, compassion, selflessness are fundamental to the whole story. Tolkien has no need for apologists to try to revise history by ignoring the context of his life.

 

 

I wasn't arguing that part. True, the Men of the East and South serving under Sauron cannot be denied. This article agrees with your major points.  I was disagreeing with the author's claims that "Tolkien explicitly and purposefully crafted orcs as a detrimental depiction of Asian people specifically." 

 

And I take issue with being called a Tolkien apologist. I am not an apologist of any kind, including Tolkien.

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And I apologize for giving the impression that I was accusing you of that. My comment was directed at the author of that article and that video, who are almost disingenuous in the lengths they go trying to "rehabilitate" Tolkien's reputation.

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I apologize for being a bit touchy. But to get back on thread, I found a few old topics about some fantasy campaign ideas that never took place. One of them had the Tolkien races as evolutionary offshoots of humanity. Killer Shrike was kind enough to write up package deals for them. Another idea was more like Burroughs or Howard. The PCs were human. An ancient race of snake men were the main villains of that world. Lizard men, bird men, and beast-men (stand-ins for orcs) were also present.

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On 4/1/2020 at 2:28 PM, Chris Goodwin said:

Here is part one of a two part article about, essentially, racism in depictions of orcs, and how signifiers often used to describe them (savage, primitive, warlike, and so on) are the same ones used by colonialist cultures to describe non-whites.  (TLDR: In Tolkien's case, specifically Asians.)

 

I'm not comfortable with things like "orcs represent evil", or any "evil" races (goblins, kobolds, etc.) whose purpose it is for PCs to go out and slaughter.  Especially in contrast with the "enlightened" (and, unexaminedly white) elves.  I would like for all of them to be depicted as people, suitable for use as player characters, or dropped entirely.

Oh you mean people who look for things that aren’t there? Tolkien’s Orcs are corrupted Elves. Elves and Orcs are by Tolkien’s own words represent angels and demons to a lesser extent. The PC police are too much! They ruin a game quicker than anything else!

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14 hours ago, tkdguy said:

 

I wasn't arguing that part. True, the Men of the East and South serving under Sauron cannot be denied. This article agrees with your major points. 

 

Thank you; excellent article.

 

The flip side of the "villain race" is the "hero race," and here I'd argue that Tolkien gets sneaky. Elves are angelic, but not meant to be in Middle-Earth. Their depiction is deeply shaded with sorrow, which doesn't fit very well with the usual racist vision of heldenvolk. Not to mention how many of Middle-Earth's problems are caused by elves, from Feanor's crafting of the irresistibly tempting Silmarils to Celebrimbor's gullibility in perfecting ring-forging for his good buddy Sauron.

 

And the Dunedain? These seem like an Aryan dream, the heroic "Men of the West." Except when you look at their history, they don't look so good. They can defeat Sauron militarily in the Second Age, but their king Ar-Pharazon and ruling class are putty in his hands. Then Isildur and the Last Alliance defeat Sauron again, but Isildur lacks the moral fortitude to destroy the One Ring when he has the chance. The north kingdom of Arnor does half Sauron's work of destroying it through its own partition and civil war. And finally, at the end, we have Aragorn -- who transcends his heritage by realizing that he is not the hero. All his deeds in the War of the Ring are to protect Frodo and distract Sauron. He is Frodo's sidekick. That humility is his most heroic trait -- in contrast to proud Boromir, who falls to the temptation of the Ring.

 

So just from the text, I'd say any argument about a racist worldview in LotR is iffy. Tropes are there, but at least some are being subverted.

 

Dean Shomshak

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Like Sam Gamgee said, "There's Elves and there's Elves." During the First Age the Noldor display all the rage, vanity, greed and arrogance that plague human beings. Those who remain have gained wisdom, but through many mistakes and much suffering. Those who never knew the light of the Two Trees nor the presence of the Eldar are lesser in knowledge and power.  In this case categorizing "High Elves" makes story-based sense.

 

When I look at using a race in a fantasy game setting, I want to understand not only what function they serve or niche they fill, but also how they fit into the "reality" of that world: where they come from, how they got to be the way they are. A clear socio-historical through-line helps me immerse myself in a character, and makes it easier to breathe life into its stories. I suppose that also satisfies my compulsion for order. :rolleyes:

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On 4/2/2020 at 4:29 PM, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

I submit it isn't. 

I'm not saying anything's wrong with your idea, but "humans with fish bits" is still humans.  I didn't see anything that meaningfully rendered them culturally or mentally distinct. 

 

 

we may differ on what we consider "humans with a coat of paint." But I may have inadvertently made your point for you. If a Fantasy setting can include people with dramatically different appearances and abilities, living in dramatically different environments, but who can nevertheless be classified as human, what is gained by saying they aren't?

 

"Culturally or mentally distinct"... hm. That's a high bar, given that H. P. Lovecraft ended At the Mountains of Madness with the narrator empathizing with the aliens and concluding that everything they had done had been comprehensible and, in many ways, admirable. "Radiates, vegetables, monstrosities, star-spawn -- whatever they had been, they were men!" Arguably, even they ended up as "humans with a coat of paint." Anyone care to nominate examples of Fantasy nonhumans who would meet this standard but were still characters with whom one could empathize?

 

Dean Shomshak

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On 4/1/2020 at 9:18 AM, Brian Stanfield said:

3) My pet peeve is not the "races" themselves, but the fact that they're even called races at all! Race is not genetic, but games treat them as such. It's a leftover assumption from older games like D&D, and just won't go away! What I can't stand is that "races" seem to smuggle in all kinds of horrible and antiquated notions about genetics that just aren't true. "Species" I can get behind, and that would be scientifically defensible. Sustaining some sort of vestigial eugenic notion like "race" is just loathsome, especially when the humans are considered the "standard normal" race.

 

I'm not pointing my finger at anyone on this thread, so please don't be offended. I'm just saying "Shame" on D&D and other games that depend on this sort of racism.

 

Ok, I'll come down from my soapbox and go back into quarantine.

 

I would submit the idea that in a world where different species have to interact and work together that the word "species" would be very other-ing. Perhaps in a fantasy world the world "race" is used deliberately erroneously it emphasize the similarities over the differences? "We are different, but we are also the same" though perhaps in that sense an even "softer" word would be used such as "persuasion" or "distinction" or "ancestry" like in Pathfinder 2e

 

The idea of Humans being standard is always a pet peev of my though. In all of my stuff I try to wrap humans into some sort of structure with the other races. Make the "human" race specialize in the same sort of way other races do, so they're all equals. Same demographic frequency too. Sure you'll see humans pretty much everywhere, but no more frequently then you'll see the dwarves and elves.

 

On 4/1/2020 at 12:28 PM, Chris Goodwin said:

I'm not comfortable with things like "orcs represent evil", or any "evil" races (goblins, kobolds, etc.) whose purpose it is for PCs to go out and slaughter.  Especially in contrast with the "enlightened" (and, unexaminedly white) elves.  I would like for all of them to be depicted as people, suitable for use as player characters, or dropped entirely.

 

I partially feel like you can have your cake and eat it too. I don't generally condone having a race be evil for evil's sake, but I do feel there are some ways to justify a race (or at least certain members of a race) being an acceptable "go slaughter them" target. Such as having a curse on the race as a whole that makes them act a certain way or being under the direct (magical even) control of some force, or believing in some vile belief system like nazi's or lovecraftian cultists. In the end though I generally would say that the reason for conflict should always be pragmatic in nature. i.e. It is necessary to protect ourselves or another in some way.

 

In regards to skin, scale, feathers whatever, I always try to give my races some variations. If Elves have to be white then they still have variance between darker caucasian to actual flour/snow white so there's a gradient there still. Scaley folks can range from deep green to copper, or even have snake like phenotypes with different patterns and such.

 

Having all dark skinned elves be evil is a travesty though. Not really anyway to defend that.

 

 

In one of my settings I made the distinction between the "playable" races and the "non-playable" races, in that the playable races were "civilized" and the non-playable ones were not. In actuality the only difference was whether the modern world had embraced you yet or not, whether you would be treated as a person by a given city. So that colonial mindset was actually active in the setting. Of course the players be told this and I would expect them to realize that the Non-civilized races are just as much people as they are.

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2 hours ago, DShomshak said:

 

 

we may differ on what we consider "humans with a coat of paint." But I may have inadvertently made your point for you. If a Fantasy setting can include people with dramatically different appearances and abilities, living in dramatically different environments, but who can nevertheless be classified as human, what is gained by saying they aren't?

 

"Culturally or mentally distinct"... hm. That's a high bar, given that H. P. Lovecraft ended At the Mountains of Madness with the narrator empathizing with the aliens and concluding that everything they had done had been comprehensible and, in many ways, admirable. "Radiates, vegetables, monstrosities, star-spawn -- whatever they had been, they were men!" Arguably, even they ended up as "humans with a coat of paint." Anyone care to nominate examples of Fantasy nonhumans who would meet this standard but were still characters with whom one could empathize?

 

Dean Shomshak

 

The first race that came to my mind was from the Talislanta RPG world setting: the Sindarans.

 

Generally speaking the creator of Talislanta, Stephen Michael Sechi, made a great effort to make all the "non-humans" of his setting physically and mentally distinctive. The Sindarans are IMO the most outstanding example. (Talislanta doesn't really have "humans" as we would recognize them, but do have a species of common genetic heritage who fill that normative role.)

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As for how many sentient races? Well Edgar Rice Burroughs set that standard didn’t he? I think he has a Martian if every color. 😆. In his later works, it is revealed that the armed Martians are a mix Black, White and Yellow Martians. And Iirc the Black Martian last were the first.

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28 minutes ago, Ninja-Bear said:

As for how many sentient races? Well Edgar Rice Burroughs set that standard didn’t he? I think he has a Martian if every color. 😆. In his later works, it is revealed that the armed Martians are a mix Black, White and Yellow Martians. And Iirc the Black Martian last were the first.

 

Burroughs was one source of inspiration for Geoffrey McKinney's Carcosa setting. All PCs are human, but what kind of human? They come in all sorts of colors, including imaginary colors from the novel A Voyage to Arcturus and even Bone Men (think Nehwon ghouls). Having said that, there's not much that separates the different human races in terms of game mechanics. They are unable to interbreed with one another or with visitors from Earth. Their origin is also different from ours: They were created by the now extinct Snake Men for use as ingredients in sorcerous rituals.

 

GMs may allow aliens (Grays) as PCs, but all Lovecraftian races are monsters or NPCs.

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I would like to interject here a moment, if I may, and offer something; something that may help calm down all the fuss about some guy writing a thing that puts some other thing in a "certain light."

 

I am going to preface this by saying that I truly believe everyone here is well-aware that I got no dog in this fight: I have never made a secret out of the fact that I am not a Tolkien fan, a middle earth fan, or a six-foot elf fan.  I have also never had an active _animosity_ to Tolkien or anything about his works (except the six-foot elves).

 

That being said, I feel I can say, without partisanship in any direction:

 

Everyone here is imaginative.  I would _love_ to say "everyone here is intelligent," but the reality is none of us actually knows each other.  :(   The best I can say is "everyone here routinely presents themselves and comes off as intelligent."  However, this is a board for fans of roleplaying (both in general, and HERO specifically), and I don't really believe it's possible to enjoy a good table-top RPG _unless_ you are fairly imaginative.

 

What that means is that the idea there is even a discussion on this is confusing, as every single person on this board is capable of doing the exact same thing:  come up with an idea, notion, or point you want to prove, and _then_ go through a work of fiction and use it to "prove" your point(s).  Everyone here is _so_ capable of doing that, I find it hard to believe they don't find someone else's apparent need to do that, put it on the internet, and use it to beg for intellectual validation absolutely hilarious (and just a little sad).

 

Case in point:   Many, many years ago, I was given an assignment that had no interest in doing, but you know how those "twenty-five percent of your grade" things go   :rolleyes:   The key isn't really so much "make your point and prove it from the text" as much as it is "make a point I agree with and prove it from the text."   (I know: there are educators here.  I am not calling you out, but forgive me my own experiences, in which this has _exclusively_ been the case.)  I bucked on this one, because I was very tired of pandering to a social viewpoint with which I disagreed and being required to use a format that I very much (to this day) find completely invalid as it's based entirely on your ability to creatively interpret something.

 

So I bucked, and wrote a fourth-eight page term paper on racism, elitism, egalitarianism, classism, and peer pressure, as displayed in the lofty works of Theodore Geisel, specifically "Green Eggs and Ham."

 

I got the grade I expected, and frankly, it wasn't even that particular grade on that particular paper: it was the lunacy of the whole concept (which, as I understand it, still permeates literature today:  "This is what some well-lettered person had to say about this work.  Using the book as reference, prove their point."  It's maddeningly stupid.

 

At any rate, I appealed to the department chair, who shot it down, then to the board of directors, who frankly, couldn't believe a student was talking to them.   It was during this time that I had learned about a professor requiring the interpretation of a particular poem and the one student who completely disagreed with the "accepted correctness," to the point of tracking down the still-living author, who declared "Yes; you are exactly correct.  I have no idea what these other nitwits are talking about."   (if anyone is wondering, academia's response was not to admit the entire concept of proving something through fiction was mindless and deranged, but to quietly agree to never again use a living author). At any rate, the story spurred me on.

 

 It took five quarters, but I finally got that damned paper reviewed by an impartial party, then another, and to shorten an already-too-long aside, I ultimately got that grade reversed, because I had not only done precisely as was asked, I did it without grammatical or formatting errors and only one grievous typo (yeah:  I'm old.  It was typed) and had proved every point to the requirements of the assignment.

 

I won't lie:  I really enjoyed stirring that particular chamber pot.  :D

 

 

 

A few decades later, and apparently academia is still pretending that this pointless exercise is somehow valid.  Reading comprehension is great and all that, but sometimes, a story is just a story, and an author is just a guy who writes stories.

 

 

I would suggest, rather then wasting time defending the honor of a dead guy who I absolutely _promise_ doesn't give a _damn_ about the whole affair that you use some of your quarantine time to do the exact same thing:  using the same sources that Great and Mighty Anti-Tolkien Pinhead used, prove the exact opposite things.

 

If nothing else, it will clearly prove to you just how pointless getting worked up by _any_ of that sort of foolishness really is.

 

 

 

Peace.

 

 

 

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Oh, and hey-- 

 

Dammit!

 

There's apparently a new race or class in D&D that seems to be just "the thing" on youtube videos right now-- I can't remember what it's called...  It starts with a "T", and it's not "Terwilliger."

 

 

Does anybody know what this thing is and why people are so in love with them for the next few minutes?

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

As for how many sentient races? Well Edgar Rice Burroughs set that standard didn’t he? I think he has a Martian if every color. 😆. In his later works, it is revealed that the armed Martians are a mix Black, White and Yellow Martians. And Iirc the Black Martian last were the first.

 

By "armed Martians" do you mean the four-armed giant green Martians? If so, I didn't know that. That would be quite a mutational leap from the human-looking stock.  ERB was no scientist, of course.

 

I always found Burroughs' plotting and characterization superficial and predictable, but his conceptual imagination was inexhaustible. I was particularly impressed with his original nonhuman race, the Kaldanes and their symbiotic rykors, from Chessman of Mars. http://erblist.com/abg/nonhuman.html

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18 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

A few decades later, and apparently academia is still pretending that this pointless exercise is somehow valid.  Reading comprehension is great and all that, but sometimes, a story is just a story, and an author is just a guy who writes stories.

 

This one's for you, Duke. :)

 

ca35f94993eaa6557ac0dd52665069b4.jpg

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1 hour ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

By "armed Martians" do you mean the four-armed giant green Martians? If so, I didn't know that. That would be quite a mutational leap from the human-looking stock.  ERB was no scientist, of course.

 

I always found Burroughs' plotting and characterization superficial and predictable, but his conceptual imagination was inexhaustible. I was particularly impressed with his original nonhuman race, the Kaldanes and their symbiotic rykors, from Chessman of Mars. http://erblist.com/abg/nonhuman.html

I too am impressed by the Kaldanes. 
And as for scientist have you never noticed that Nature doesn’t follow scientist laws?  

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1 hour ago, Duke Bushido said:

Oh, and hey-- 

 

Dammit!

 

There's apparently a new race or class in D&D that seems to be just "the thing" on youtube videos right now-- I can't remember what it's called...  It starts with a "T", and it's not "Terwilliger."

 

 

Does anybody know what this thing is and why people are so in love with them for the next few minutes?

 

 

 

You mean “Tieflings”? The mirrors or Asemars. 

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They have devil blood in their ancestry, which accounts for their horns, tails, and other diabolic features. Apparently this makes them COOL to many young people. (The number of demon and vampire PC "heroes" I see running around Champions Online truly saddens me. Such a paucity of imagination.) :(

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You know what?  I'm still awake for some reason I can't fathom, and suddenly I want to play.  :lol:

 

 

 

On April 1, 2020 at 2:45 AM, MechaniCat said:

1) What purpose do multiple races have in a rpg?

 

A proper question:  wide open, without suggesting any particular answer as having more value than any other.

 

Problematically, I would need a proper thesis to explore it.  (Don't worry, Doc; I'm not _that_ damned awake. ;))

 

 

Classically, they are both pre-generated "bad guys" for new players to target without any sort of guilt-related issues (see Chris Goodwin's comments on "evil races").  Frankly, I've always felt that this was worse than just a weak idea: it sort of re-enforces the idea that some cultures  / combinations of features are inherently bad.  No; allow me to be more specific; after all, while it's pretty much identical, Pokemon =/= Dog Fighting.    However, both the Pokemon / Dog Fighting and "Evil Races" ideas _do_ reinforce the idea that there is at least one set of conditions under which this mind set is acceptable.  No; it's not going to create racists (or dog fighters), it does suggest that there are "good reasons" to think this way, which, while not exactly supporting the idea that we should lump people together and determine which traits are bad, it does little to discourage it, and even less to offer up an alternate way of viewing "different" people.   Today's action fiction has a hard time finding bad guys: Nazis aren't relevant anymore, at least, not in the way they once were.  Muslims aren't acceptable as "automatic bad guys" anymore.  We had a pretty long run with Russians, until we finally woke up to realize that they are just frozen Texans, and everybody's cool with them now.  Today, we go with "Terrorists," because that's nicely bland, and because we can't even use monsters anymore, now that every thirty-something housewife is reading series novelizations about why she should want to bang one.  I suspect one of the reason the superhero movies are _huge_ hits even with non-comicbook people is because there is a very satisfying "Okay, I _know_ that's a bad guy; I can't wait till the kick his ass!"

 

No; I totally get that it's not the place of an RPG to make social reform a part of its design elements.  Still, the idea is both weak and lazy.  However, it exists, and it gets used pretty much that way.

 

Another purpose of multiple races, I think-- while I do not know that there was ever any direct intent in this direction-- is to allow players to "be" the characters they fell in love with in other works  (interestingly, in all my fiction, I have always been human-centric when rooting for characters, so the charm to that angle has always been a bit lost on me).

 

And of course, going right back to the old-school roots of RPGs-as-the-bastard-child-of-wargaming, there are tactical advantages to other races.  We don't all of us see the advantages to every race (except perhaps Scott, who I think was likely more of a war gamer than any of us here ever were), but the very strengths and weaknesses of each race (well, each well-done race: while I really like the staggering amount of races in Talislanta, they are all pretty much the same race with a +2 to two particular characteristics, and brightly-colored.  This really suggests more "cultural difference" than "racial difference," which I suspect is why the coloration is so vivid and different.

 

At any rate, every player of war-games and every player of RPGs (let's be completely honest here: until the rules-light "narrative" RPGs began popping up, no matter what we'd like to say about character and plot and intrigue, the whole game was built around combat-- every last one of them.   "Here are a dozen or so skills to help you get to the combat, and one-hundred-and-seventy-five skills specifically for combat."  ) has a different "tactical style," and different "racial traits" make certain characters more or less suited to his style of play.  Selecting a race that is skewed toward his style gives him a tactical advantage if he's good, and at worst balances him a little better (in combat) if he's a bit behind everyone else's curve.

 

 

These are just opinions, of course, and very abbreviated, and extremely expurgated (you are all very welcome ;)    :lol:   )

 

 

 

On April 1, 2020 at 2:45 AM, MechaniCat said:

Or alternatively, what should multiple races add to a game if they're done well?

 

The inclusion of the word "should" makes this question almost impossible to answer: you are asking for a factual answer to an opinion-based question.  So the answer here is going to be "what _I_ want," from every person who answers.

 

What do I personally think is the "should?"  Well, I don't mind-- and often rather enjoy-- the tactical advantages mentioned above, and I really don't mind players trying to emulate some favorite character from a work they read and enjoyed or a movie they really appreciated-- except for Legolas, of course.  There have been three-hundred-sixty-seven billion, nine-hundred-eighty-four million, two-hundred-seventy-three thousand, nine-hundred and eighty six "homages" to Legolas as of the last count.  Believe me: there isn't a damned thing you can do or explore or add to that character that is worth doing.   No, deciding that _your_ Legolas is actually a dwarf- a tall, thin, blond, un-bearded dwarf who lives in a tree house and uses a bow and arrow----  Just stop.  Stop doing it.  Please.  Pretty please.

 

 

Accepting that I am okay with what the currently offer in terms of different characteristic boons and skill boons or what-have-you, what I'd like to see more off is diversity-- I mean cultural diversity.  I'd like to see players who played an elf  (okay, that's a lie)-- a dwarf, or a troll or a dung beetle-- out of a desire to invest himself in the culture of that race or the characteristics of that race in terms of how they think; what's important to them; how does someone who lives all these years or deep inside all these caves _react_ to other races?  Or to his current situation, surrounded by short-lived creatures who romp about in the sun and the woods knifing each other for fun and profit?  What are the spiritual aspects of such creatures?  How does he react to his own kind and culture and that of others?   It's easy to say "well, that's the role-playing part," but honestly, where is this detailed information _available_ to the player?  I've never seen a three-hundred page book on "how to kobold" or "so you think you might be an ogre...."

 

Still, I would like to see someone who chose an alternate race play it as something other than a willowy pointy-eared man, or a short strong man.  Or you know-- not just another man.  Even if he had to make it up entirely.  However, that's not really something I can expect a rule book to enforce, let alone offer.

 

Additional races should add complexity and "otherness" to a game.  If it's a sci-fi game, they should add something appropriate: what crazy biology or talents do they have?  What's their tech like, and why?  Seriously-- why?  Did they invent arrows so they could stab people at great distance?  Flamethowers because the guy they wanted to set on fire was hard to tie to a chair?  Do their weapons suck?  Did it not strike them that missiles were important?  Why?  What is it about their culture or their way of thinking that would give those results? Or was it something about their biology?  Did the Sluggoids of Etheria once fight a vast civil war with giant salt casters?  Or was civil war unthinkable because their biology made it possible to have sex with every person you meet and their culture encourage that very thing?

 

In a fantasy game, they should add something "fantastic."  Same thing really-- they should be a fully-fleshed and fully-realized _culture_ as well as a set of movement bonuses and STR modifiers.

 

In all cases, they should add an otherness that just isn't happening in games: they are just stocky men with bears and stripe-y skin tones.  Perhaps this is why I tend to be human-centric:  non-humans don't tend to be written as non-humans.  Game-wise, there is more difference between me and my neighbor than there is between a human and a dwarf.  Don't give me "tall thin" and "short stocky,"  I've threatened to do this before, but it's hard-- in the days of the internet, I find very few people want their picture taken.  :lol:  Still, I'd like to take a picture with me, Hector, and Forty-Four:  I am six-one; Forty-Four is seven-one, and hector is four-five.   We are all human.  Tall thin, "medium," and short stocky.  All in human.

 

I think there should be some interaction with something that we don't get in the real world-- something unique and new-- certainly it's not new for the characters who live in this world, but there should be true "otherness" in the cultures and thoughts and rituals of these races, if only to stimulate the players are really drive home the idea that "this is a different thing and it is not like you."

 

 

 

On April 1, 2020 at 2:45 AM, MechaniCat said:

2) Do you prefer multiple races at all in your rpgs?

 

I am ambivalent.  I have played either way, and will likely continue to play either way.   I am more interested in the story, but I have always found "races" that are just other men to be a huge disappointment.

 

 

 

On April 1, 2020 at 2:45 AM, MechaniCat said:

 

3) What fantasy race pet peeves do you have? Why?

 

Elves.  Tolkien elves, at any rate.  Because they're a bunch of damned Mary Sues and added nothing to the value of the story.  And their king was a candy ass, and that never fails to bug me.

 

 

 

On April 1, 2020 at 2:45 AM, MechaniCat said:

 

4) How many is too many? Too few?

 

There is no real good answer (at least, not to or from me) for this, as it so much depends on the GM, the world / universe, the feel of the entire campaign.  If a thousand races work within the campaign, then a thousand races is great.  If two is too many, then that's great, too.   There's just not a cookie-cutter formula for this, I'm afraid.

 

 

 

 

On April 1, 2020 at 2:45 AM, MechaniCat said:

 

5) What do races represent in you games if anything?

 

A chance to do, see, or become something you have never been before.  Obstacles, assistance, strangeness.  A sales pitch for the background.  There's really not a lot of allegory there.  Dwarven women without beards, because it's impossible for me to divorce beards and hirsutism from testosterone?  I'm not sure what you're going for here, but I'm sticking with this.   :lol:

 

 

 

 

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