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I got the chance to play a Hill Giant in Giantslayer, from Rite Publishing's fantastic In the Company of Giants book and it made for a fantastic experience. Sure it added work to my GM but she and I had talked about it ahead of time and I managed to get her pretty excited for the possibilities it entailed. Thing about playing these RPGs, no matter your race your an exceptional representative of that race. So the idea that you could be an exceptional hobgoblin who goes against the societal momentum is a recipe for an interesting story, if your GM is on board to tell it. My exceptional Hill Giant, who I played very much as the gentle giant type, added a lot of depth to the game as I was able to take the position of the insider who rebelled against the BBEGs. Ultimately, so long as you have a good story to tell, and a GM willing to help tell it, I say go on with your Hobgobby self!
Having played in that game i can partly confirm this.The giant was a fun character and provided a fresh change. However the AP was significantly changed, not to say nearly one complete book replaced by something else that connected the story and also provided the giant with a background and a reason to join the party.
So, tons of extra work.
Both the giant player and the GM also are quite experienced and have a talent for impro theatre play. Mainly that provides the fun there, because it allows for very deep and fun roleplay. Without that, it would not have worked.
On the other hand i can also confirm what JJ said further upthread, not matter how good, such a character does hog spotlight and shadow others out, just because he will always be more special. That might be fine in some cases and was in this, because it was fun for everyone.
There needs to be great care however that the rest of the players gets enough spotlight and opportunities too, and that their perhaps comparatively "mediocre" character story can stay awesome as well.
Else the opportunity to play a "proud nail" needs to be provided for everyone and that will most certainly lead to GM headaches and player competitivenes.
Thing is, it has some consequences, because now we have a situation where we get a lot of "even more special snowflake" characters, because nobody wants to stand back and play in the second row, but tries to bring their special character to the front, done in their own way. Wether that is by making weird mechanical concepts, optimizing, playing against type and AP, or alignment or whatever doesn´t make a difference.
Only it might be jugded and perceived in different ways. Something i saw break several good groups already.
Playing against type seems like a trend at the moment to me, one i don´t like overall, because i think James Jacobs is pretty much right in most cases with his analysis. This is just like if you have someone with an outstanding powerful PC in a group, dominating every and any encounter, it´s just on the roleplay side of the game.
And since the game consists of both parts equally, it is on most cases just as bad and game disturbing.