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Kolokotroni wrote:I find in my group we end up with about half and half each party, about half the party ends up gnomes, halflings, dwarves, humans or elves, and the other half are the more out there races. I personally like the newer races because they leave me with a bit more room to explore roleplay wise. Everyone has expectations about the traditional races, but no one had expectations about the wayang when I brought them to the table. It allowed me to make stuff up, and be creative within a framerwork that works for me. A human is sort of a blank slate, and elves/dwarves/halflings/gnomes have been so heavily trodden that it feels blashpemous to shift them culturally (not individually, but culturally), so its kind of cool to be among the first in a given group conciousness to explore a new race. From here on out in my group for instance, its likely that the wayang will be played as these creepy monster under the bed types. Why? Because its the precedent I got to establish being the first to play one. Its sort of like a highly concentrated exercise in worldbuilding without trying to go into lots of details or actually creating a whole setting.
That's part of why I don't like it as a GM. If I'm going to run a game with characters of the newer races, I need to do that work up front to fit them into the campaign world. Because I want the characters to have a place and some grounding, not just be wandering strangers. I like to work the character's races into the world, not just "They come from over in this continent that no one knows much about and won't come up again in the campaign.
Well the wandering stranger is a well established trope in fantasy of all kinds. I can understand your reluctance, but generally I would work out some basic details with my gm and then go from there at the table. I know its counter to what alot of people like to do, but I enjoy collective world building within the station. Ideas that come up at the table end up in the world. Need to tell someone a story in character? Tell them about your uncle bill the alchemist and his mishaps with gunpouder. A few sessions later, Uncle bills alchemy shop is in the adventure.
There is a fair bit of back and forth in terms of world building in my game, especially when it comes to the one of our 3 active games that is a homebrew setting.
And I'm not good enough at improvising to do that for several new races during a character gen session or even between then and the game start.
Sure, the player can do some of that or help, but only in isolation. He doesn't know the rest of the world and its secrets.
Does he have to know the worlds secrets? Not every group, race or even nation has to be pivital in world politics and have interacted in the background. Think if our actual world. Could you write up a small nation in eastern europe and fit in into the 20th and 21st century history without having to create loads of detials and keeping it from having a meaningful impact on things like the world wars, the cold war, and the soviet union? Why cant this be done with a fantasy race? IN particular when a big chunk of the exotic races are either partially or completely extraplanar
In general, trying to fit too many races into the world's history is tricky. Unless they're just isolated without much interaction, which lacks interest.
Why does this lack interest? Do they need to be players on the world stage? Is it impossible to have an interesting character with a meaningful reasion to venture out into the greater world unless his homeland/race is deeply involved in global politics?
Conceptually, I wouldn't mind having the six or seven races that are most common include whatever weird things the players want to play, but that's world building time I can't do until the character races are chosen.
I think its a style thing. I and for the most part my group dont mind spliting up world building duties among dm and players. I also like to come up with details on the fly at the table to develop locations/races/characters. Its that improvisation that spawns my more interesting characters. I freely admit I use race a sort of creative crutch, that helps me come up with interesting roleplay, that I struggle with when using the more established races. But it does have a positive impact on my characters, and I hope, the games I play in.