I agree wanting to join a group with makes sense. If you were running a game in post-cataclysm Krynn and I was playing a honorable fighter trying to keep lawlessness and evil at bay. I'm gonna want to join the Solomanic Knights. And honestly you should straight up tell me when I ask if its a no and why not.
This to me would be like learning that you supposed to negotiate with a Rakshsa for the release of hostages at level 1-3 and coming back the next session ready to bless a crossbow bolt and let the true strike casting wizard shoot it because you found out it was an instant kill ( or at least used to be ) during the down time.
Once again lack of info on why is the issue. In the Viking example it's evident why humans only. However lets say a guy shows up with a short bearded human with a high con, a Scottish accent, worse alcoholism than the cast of Jersey Shore, and a big axe. Will you be frustrated because he is a dwarf rip-off? ( and yes I know that guy fits in great with Vikings)
So if we don't talk how do I know the line. If you ban elves and just say that nothing more than is the problem
1. Tree living hippies?
2. Over androgynous race?
3. Stats seem to op to you?
I'm not saying you have to bend on your no elf policy but you do need to discuss it.
Edit: read both paragraphs
The thing is the GM is only at fault if there is a complete refusal of discussion. If I say that I'm running Dragonlance you can't be a halfling but if what your wanting is a small race who are good at sneaking that's an option. If you wanted to play a warforged your outta luck as well but maybe you just wanted the constructy flavor (mmnm wood, metal, and oil) so we might ask the resident tinker gnome if he minds you playing a gnomish invention of a close friend who he is helping test. But if I just say no without at least learning what your seeking then who am I helping.
On the flip side if it's a game set in the godless years and you demand to play a cleric or you won't play there isn't much I can do to help. Same thing if you show up with a 3pp moogle race that you have to play, and by Reorx's beard you mean a moogle not a kender then am I the problem?
Sorry I missed the spear part. It's honestly needs addressing. Pathfinder and it's ancestors do a horrible job of dealing with sizes beyond small-large. At the smallest sizes spells that might fill a normal room wipe out whole towns and at the largest barely fill a bucket. Massive creatures lack any real additional force to their blows due to mass and can be wounded visiously by thumbtack sized weapons.
What I've picked up from the thread is that there is no problem with any of the hypothetical characters, all the hypothetical players seem to be unyielding douches. Because if we decide to play a game of political intrigue and you bring Sir Smash and Burn, then the player not the dwarf fighter is the problem. If no elves exist in your world then 90% of the time bringing an elf is bad form. But if we are playing a campaign where it just might work (exploring a new continent, interplanetary travel, or the like) then asking isn't out of the question. Heck asking for something and listing your main reason/s why should never be considered bad. However only having that one idea and refusing to budge is bad for the player to do, just like adamantly refusing to at least talk to the player as a GM isn't going to help anything
Alrighty after reading this thread it's clear what I'm doing wrong as a GM. I watched too many Saturday morning cartoons as a child. Coupled with too much comic books. It causes me to instead of blanket barring of things based in concept to wrap my head around a way to fit the square peg in the round hole. Sure a bit of cutting might happen, but whether it's to the peg or hole remains to be seen.
DM of now 8+ years
My point was that they were all twisted evil lil bastartds. Then it was revealed that not all were changed over. Simply because no elves have been seen for 40000 yrs doesn't mean that there aren't some out their somewhere, if it can fit the narritive. It's funny how there were no oracles or alchemist ( as in the classes with the abilities they bring) in my home setting until hmm I like the rules for this sure lets use it, same with the Bo9S classes nothing out there was even close to what they did but that didn't stop me from working them into my games.
Yes because discussing the possibility of allowing an elf is clearly coddling.