Talk me down: Exotic Race Antipathy


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Aranna wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:

Well for starters, I think allowing people to play monsters (e.g. blink dogs, etc) is a different kettle of fish than having people who want to play 0HD published races. I don't think they exist on the same continuum, as with a very few exceptions they are all pretty much balanced for play, and can work within the design constraints of most games without too much issue. Many monsters have some sort of gimmick or ability which could make them incredibly overpowered.

So of the 4 you listed two chose for appearance, one chose for method acting, and the last because he wanted to play a dreamweaver and only changelings can be them. None of them chose for role play sadly, unless you consider the Japanese stereotyping to be role play.

So to sum up: Lizard and Kitsune are easy stereotypes, Kobold guy is a snowflake, Changeling is a mechanical advantage. That does cover my three types well. And there is nothing at all wrong with choosing based on these types. Just be aware that you are doing it.

Wait what? Err...what? Kobold guy is definetly not a snowflake...he doesn't make the game all about him. The Kitsune just likes the race...it's not like she voices her character in some sort of pseudo-asian accent. All of the characters do a admirable job role playing.

Maybe you should consider a different tact, than you know, implying everyone is doing it wrong?


Pandora's wrote:
Aranna wrote:
care to elaborate on these "other reasons" you claim?

Because being a certain race shapes your character's past, situation, and personality. On Golarion, your culture depends on your race more than your ethnicity. Let me tell you about my "special snowflake" and you can decide how wrong I am.

The drow-centric AP, Second Darkness, has a sidebar about drow being intrinsically evil. Full stop. No exceptions. I like redemption themes. While running that AP, I got to wondering how a good drow could exist, and an obvious solution was mixed blood with a good-leaning race like aasimar. An easy way out, but whatever. So I actually asked my next GM permission to play a half-drow, half aasimer. Two of the most overpowered races combined. It doesn't exist in source material (and for good reason) so I suggested a hybrid that was purposefully weaker in every way than the original races because I wasn't doing it for mechanical advantages. As part of the concept, I've also only taken racial feats so far which is very suboptimal.

There is no existing stereotype for that, and I do not wish to overshadow my fellow players and their characters by "out-specialing" them. I'm not the oddest race, and yet I don't feel outdone. These are not the reasons I chose to play a weird race.

I've told you about a weird race choice. Now, let me tell you about my character. She grew up helping her aasimar mother in the local temple. She's now old enough to understand how lucky she is her mother kept her, because half-drow come about the same way as half-orcs. She adores her mother for it, and really has her only healthy relationship with her mother.
The spell-like abilities from her race and side-effects from having opposing bloodlines made her curious about magic, which led her to pursue wizardry. She wants to "fix" herself by making herself "normal." She's seen healers all her life because of a mother who's race tends towards healing professions, and wants to heal with arcane magic. She figures if...

Nice character. This fits what I want from players very well. It most certainly doesn't hurt your role play at all. The worst I could possibly say about it is that you started with the easy stereotype as a crutch to make your role play more transparent to other players. Could this be done with a human? Absolutely. But it doesn't need to be done with a human. Just because you went with the easy stereotype doesn't mean it's a bad character, not at all. You took that stereotype and built a fully realized character around it. Nice. It doesn't hurt to be aware of the three types and which you are using. Self Awareness is a good thing. I myself love playing unusual races and it is almost always because I want the special snowflake effect before I layer all my role play on top of it.


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Aranna, you do realize most people use the term "special snowflake" excusively in a negative context?


MMCJawa wrote:
Aranna wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:

Well for starters, I think allowing people to play monsters (e.g. blink dogs, etc) is a different kettle of fish than having people who want to play 0HD published races. I don't think they exist on the same continuum, as with a very few exceptions they are all pretty much balanced for play, and can work within the design constraints of most games without too much issue. Many monsters have some sort of gimmick or ability which could make them incredibly overpowered.

So of the 4 you listed two chose for appearance, one chose for method acting, and the last because he wanted to play a dreamweaver and only changelings can be them. None of them chose for role play sadly, unless you consider the Japanese stereotyping to be role play.

So to sum up: Lizard and Kitsune are easy stereotypes, Kobold guy is a snowflake, Changeling is a mechanical advantage. That does cover my three types well. And there is nothing at all wrong with choosing based on these types. Just be aware that you are doing it.

Wait what? Err...what? Kobold guy is definetly not a snowflake...he doesn't make the game all about him. The Kitsune just likes the race...it's not like she voices her character in some sort of pseudo-asian accent. All of the characters do a admirable job role playing.

Maybe you should consider a different tact, than you know, implying everyone is doing it wrong?

Um... full stop here! We are obviously using rather different definitions of special snowflake if you think it means to make the game all about you... which is flatly wrong from my definition. Snowflaking is to make a character who stands out from those around the table in an effort to have special attention paid to you during a game. Method acting a zany squeaky voiced goblin in what sounds so far like a non-method acting group is a way to call special attention.

You made no mention that they did much role play till now. Role play is good and bravo if they do. I am also NOT saying you were doing anything wrong. If you think that then you are only reading half what I post.

As for the Kitsune you just got done saying she chose it because of her interest in Japanese myths. That is an easy stereotype. If she layered a fully realized and role played character over the top of that then awesome... that still wouldn't alter why she chose it though.

It is no different than my stance on copying characters from popular media... If it helps you role play then I wholly endorse it. It still seems weird to me if someone made a Drizzt clone and then called it an original character.


Icyshadow wrote:
Aranna, you do realize most people use the term "special snowflake" excusively in a negative context?

They shouldn't. There is too much negativity already. Take each term for it's most positive side.


Icyshadow wrote:
Aranna, you do realize most people use the term "special snowflake" excusively in a negative context?

Aranna just said, and I quote, "Self Awareness (sic) is a good thing."


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Riggler wrote:
I think you are missing my point. The "elf" outliving lover role can be played by a human. There's a reason humans connect with the character. And the same story COULD be told with a human. The 18 year-old PC is in love with a 65 year-old human. She has to choose what to do. And her decision may not be socially acceptable among her family. Yes, a human can play the role.

And this supposed 18 year old knows she will also outlive her children as well? And her children's children? I think you're forgetting just how dire Arwen's situation really was, choosing to live with the humans over the elves.

Saying that fantastic races are superfluous because humans can provide "kinda-sorta" the same themes, in a much weaker sort of way (with pets, and maybe single people if you stretch things) is the same sort of argument as claiming that sci-fi/fantasy on the whole is a superfluous genre since we can cover, in broad terms, the same general themes in modern-day fiction. And both arguments are wrong. Making the character an elf (or other fantastical elements) allows you to examine situations and extremes that you just can't do with a normal human, and the breadth of our fictional experience would be far, far poorer without those kind of approaches in our literary repertoire.

Quote:
The goblins, there's a reason we think they are sometimes funny and end up doing unintentionally funny things even though they don't mean them to be. And they are often played for comedic effect. We can relate to them. They are buffoonery. It's akin to making a comedy segment out of the keystone cops. The role of goblins can be played by humans. Just change the window dressing.

Aaaand once again, you managed to conveniently ignore the exceedingly simple question I was actually asking with the goblin example.

You claimed that--and I'm quoting you here: "a desire to play an 'exotic' race must either be motivated by a human desire to 'stand out' and be 'unique' among a gaming group, or to optimize. Because from a role-playing perspective, all can be achieved with human"

Are you admitting that what you claimed isn't actually true?

If you are not admitting that, then which of those two groups do players who like to run all-goblin parties fall under? Which one? First or second? A or B? We're talking a one word answer here!

This ought to be an utterly simple question for you to answer. (Or at least, it would be simple if the false dichotomy you're trying to draw actually covered the reality of people's actual motives.)


Riggler wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
Aranna, you do realize most people use the term "special snowflake" excusively in a negative context?
Aranna just said, and I quote, "Self Awareness (sic) is a good thing."

That does not magically undo the fact that the term still carries a lot of negativity with it.


Aranna wrote:
Nice character. This fits what I want from players very well. It most certainly doesn't hurt your role play at all. The worst I could possibly say about it is that you started with the easy stereotype as a crutch to make your role play more transparent to other players. Could this be done with a human? Absolutely. But it doesn't need to be done with a human. Just because you went with the easy stereotype doesn't mean it's a bad character, not at all. You took that stereotype and built a fully realized character around it. Nice. It doesn't hurt to be aware of the three types and which you are using. Self Awareness is a good thing. I myself love playing unusual races and it is almost always because I want the special snowflake effect before I layer all my role play on top of it.

Thanks. There's definitely some not-subtle Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde going on with the character, which is definitely a stereotype and an easy/common one at that. Stereotyped characters are only an issue if that's all they are.

Hearing you refer to your own character as a snowflake takes the venom out of that phrase. Now that I see your usage of some of those phrases wasn't exclusively derogatory, I understand your point of view a lot better. I think it is a good idea to tighten down the screws on a player and make sure their use of odd races fit the expectations of the table, in your case making sure their character is designed for deeper roleplaying opportunities than just race.


An all Goblin group is one of the very few exceptions to the three type rule. By making everyone Goblins the GM has in effect made them the humans of his game and removed two and in some cases even three of the main reasons to play an unusual race.


Democratus wrote:
When the DM builds a world for a game, players should relish in the former and respect the latter.

Just to clarify, your stance is that players should never be allowed any inupt whatsoever, when it comes to the campaign world? As a DM, I'd find that to be dreadfully and annoyingly monotonous. I might ask what type of campaign the players prefer, and even provide a pretty well fleshed-out framework based on that -- but even thereafter, I'd always be open to changing it based on their input.


Democratus wrote:

There are campaign worlds where a crazy menagerie is appropriate and campaigns where it is not.

When the DM builds a world for a game, players should relish in the former and respect the latter.

I assume you allow your players to have some degree of power over the world. The only other possibility is every campaign you run is railroaded start to finish. I also assume this takes place also during character creation. If a player wants to play a bard, I assume you don't tell them that their backstory of coming from a famous bardic college disrespects your world where you haven't previously established the college's existence. I assume you might, as many good DMs do, work their character's backstory into the plot. Maybe a mentor from the college becomes an important NPC. World building is not enturely the purview of the DM, else players wouldn't be able to play any character not already conceived of by the DM.

Why is character race an exception from this? Why is it okay for players to invent paladin orders, magic schools, merchant companies, theives' guilds, etc. to support their characters' backstories, but it's not okay for players to say ratfolk exist?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah I have not seen special snowflake used in a positive or neutral sense. Maybe that is bias from only seeing the term used here, and not frequenting other game forums. But I usually have seen the term used more for a character that dominates a game and makes all the story about him.

Certainly that can tie into an exotic race or class, but it can also can be done with core characters using core classes, if someone is obnoxious about it.


I have no complaints about an all goblin party. I probably wouldn't mind an all samsaran, all wayang, all changeling or even all dhampir party either. I would make that situation a big focus, no problem. But if I have six oddball freaks wandering around, I find constantly dealing with how every village they visit can't relate to them to be a pain. Even worse, there is little in RPGs I loathe more than "last surviving" whatever and whatever "from another continent", except of course all the PCs playing such. As a GM I play in a campaign setting that functions, and a large part of that is making sure there are a few interesting races to play, with interesting cultures and that interlock with the rest of the world. Now, these could be grimlock, nixie, sahuagin, changeling and vanara, that is just a matter of the campaign setting. But then, someone always wants to play "last surviving human" or "draconian from another continent". Or, half-undead minotaur, because reasons, even if I was perfectly clear that undead do not exist and that is because I don't want that theme or conflict in the campaign setting. So, yes, it IS a problem, and not just something to "relish". Many of these players also will not even consider an alternative.


Pandora's wrote:
Aranna wrote:
Nice character. This fits what I want from players very well. It most certainly doesn't hurt your role play at all. The worst I could possibly say about it is that you started with the easy stereotype as a crutch to make your role play more transparent to other players. Could this be done with a human? Absolutely. But it doesn't need to be done with a human. Just because you went with the easy stereotype doesn't mean it's a bad character, not at all. You took that stereotype and built a fully realized character around it. Nice. It doesn't hurt to be aware of the three types and which you are using. Self Awareness is a good thing. I myself love playing unusual races and it is almost always because I want the special snowflake effect before I layer all my role play on top of it.

Thanks. There's definitely some not-subtle Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde going on with the character, which is definitely a stereotype and an easy/common one at that. Stereotyped characters are only an issue if that's all they are.

Hearing you refer to your own character as a snowflake takes the venom out of that phrase. Now that I see your usage of some of those phrases wasn't exclusively derogatory, I understand your point of view a lot better. I think it is a good idea to tighten down the screws on a player and make sure their use of odd races fit the expectations of the table, in your case making sure their character is designed for deeper roleplaying opportunities than just race.

Thank you. Someone finally gets what I am saying.

Even the man I call Munchkin GM in real life knows I mean nothing negative by the term. He knows I would happily join his games and enjoy them. I flatly refuse to turn these terms into insults. I hope everyone follows my example.

The Exchange

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Just to clarify, your stance is that players should never be allowed any inupt whatsoever, when it comes to the campaign world? As a DM, I'd find that to be dreadfully and annoyingly monotonous...

Come on, Kirth, don't conflate his stance with a cartoon version of itself. You and I both know that the player has some responsibility to match the campaign, even if it's just to keep their "cool Cylon spy character" in their 'someday' PC file until the GM finishes running his "gritty, realistic" Wild West campaign.


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Honestly? If I sat down at a table and somebody said "HUMANS ONLY" I'd just smile and say it wasn't the game for me and pick up and leave, regardless if I was going to play a human or not.

These opinions fascinate me that the very same people will allow Wizards to bend the universe, a Magus to lift impossible loads with his prehensile beard and have the Summoner's Eidolon manifest out of nothing...

But Lizardfolk? NOT IN MY GAME!

Seems foolish to me. Unless it's like...Warhammer Fantasy level of restrictions (In that case, why are you playing Pathfinder?) it's a High Fantasy world.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

As I have said before...

I wrote:
In a world where you encounter goblins, orcs, hobgoblins, gnolls, vampires, ghouls, nymphs, dryads, barghests, basilisks, chokers, centaurs, dragons, gargoyles, six types of giants, lamias, lizardfolk, minotaurs, hags, pixies, ogres, sahuagin, satyr, yetis, and so many other things...

...the fact that players don't want to play humans should not be a surprise.


So if offered to play in a MERP campaign, or modern setting, you would still demand to play something that would break immersion for all the other players every time your character came into play?


Why must people always assume that it's a demand?

Does nobody around you know how to ask for something in a polite manner?

Also, I find 99% of people to be scum. What if your kind human characters break MY immersion?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Sissyl wrote:
So if offered to play in a MERP campaign, or modern setting, you would still demand to play something that would break immersion for all the other players every time your character came into play?
Skeletal Steve wrote:
Seems foolish to me. Unless it's like...Warhammer Fantasy level of restrictions


Lincoln Hills wrote:
Come on, Kirth, don't conflate his stance with a cartoon version of itself. You and I both know that the player has some responsibility to match the campaign, even if it's just to keep their "cool Cylon spy character" in their 'someday' PC file until the GM finishes running his "gritty, realistic" Wild West campaign.

Your assumption seems to be that the DM has set the boundaries of this Wild West campaign in stone -- that's not a cartoon version, that's exactly the stance I'm seeing: that some DMs think that the setting is all theirs. "I'm running a Wild West campaign, so you better fit in," as opposed to "You guys said you might like a Wild West type of game, but Steve really wants to run a Cylon spy or something -- is everyone OK with a Steampunk Wild West, then? Or does everyone else prefer there to be no sci fi elements?"

I find it telling that you call it "his" campaign (i.e., the DM's), and not "their campaign."


Sissyl wrote:
So if offered to play in a MERP campaign, or modern setting, you would still demand to play something that would break immersion for all the other players every time your character came into play?

This is Pathfinder. Not World of Darkness.


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Pandora's wrote:

The drow-centric AP, Second Darkness, has a sidebar about drow being intrinsically evil. Full stop. No exceptions. I like redemption themes. While running that AP, I got to wondering how a good drow could exist, and an obvious solution was mixed blood with a good-leaning race like aasimar. An easy way out, but whatever. So I actually asked my next GM permission to play a half-drow, half aasimer. Two of the most overpowered races combined. It doesn't exist in source material (and for good reason)

Actually it does. Aasimar (and Tieflings) can be of ANY humanoid race.

There are Halfling Aasimar, Half-Orc Aasimar, Lizardfolk/Catfolk/Tengu/Kitsune Aasimar, so yes...there can be Drow Aasimar.

They just have the Aasimar racial traits, but exemplify the beauty of their host race (in this case, Drow).

The only mechanical difference is that Small Aasimar have the benefits and drawbacks of being Small.

Quote:
Not all aasimar are descended from humans. Aasimars can be born of any intelligent race, though human aasimars are the most common. Aasimars of other races usually exemplify the ideals of beauty and skill as seen by their base race. For example, halfling aasimars are small, beautifully proportioned, and display exceptional grace. Half-orc aasimars are slightly larger and stronger than ordinary orcs, with tough skin and metallic claws and tusks—they are likely to be neutral rather than evil, but still display aggression and incredible combat prowess. Less common humanoids, such as lizardfolk, catfolk, tengus, and others, can also produce aasimars, though given these races’ exotic appearance, members of the more common races may have trouble telling such aasimars apart from their kin.

So your intentional nerfing was unnecessary.

And here's a thing that peeves me, ignoring the condescending "Wrongbadfun" arguments being thrown around (this thread started off so well, too...).

Why is making a character intentionally WEAK (not just overly optimized, but legitimately weak) considered more laudable than making a strong character?

At the very least, it's just as disruptive to the party to be the guy the team has to carry, rather than the guy carrying the team.

And it doesn't make for "good roleplay" either, since logical inconsistencies abound when your "Guys out to save the world" adventuring party consists of three battle ready individuals and Chuckles the F#@&ing Jester.

Picking a race for flavor is not bad. Neither is picking it for mechanical advantage. Neither is making a good character when using an exotic race.

If your Half-Drow/Half-Aasimar is outshining the party by a good chunk...he was probably gonna do it anyway just by picking "boring" Humans (I don't see Humans or any of the Core races as more or less interesting than others either, just different. Just an aside to pick on "my own side" for a second). Character effectiveness is 99% from the choices you make AFTER character creation, not during it, and that includes the race, unless we're talking something ridiculous like a Natural Lycanthrope in a group full of normal dudes.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
that's exactly the stance I'm seeing: that some DMs think that the setting is all theirs.

It IS all theirs. (With the caveat that the GM would be far better served selecting a setting he knows his players will enjoy.) It isn't much fun GMing with no players. But a GM that follows my Know Your Players rule doesn't need to ask if the players will like an all human wild west setting, he would already know. And if he knows they won't like it then he should probably save that game for a different set of players.


So, if I were to play in your campaign, dear "exotic PC races ftw" gang, would you let me play a psionic elf were catgirl cyberninja? Or a tinker gnome or kender in Dark Heresy? Or doesn't your tolerance go quite that far?


Skeletal Steve wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
So if offered to play in a MERP campaign, or modern setting, you would still demand to play something that would break immersion for all the other players every time your character came into play?
This is Pathfinder. Not World of Darkness.

Explain. Does Pathfinder mean we do not need immersion? Or does it mean having every exotic race available is a sacred rule? Or did you mean something else?


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Aranna wrote:
It IS all theirs.

This applies to some DMs who demand it and have players willing to acquiesce. It does not apply to me, or to any number of other DMs who are a bit less hung up about power being "all theirs."


Sissyl wrote:
So, if I were to play in your campaign, dear "exotic PC races ftw" gang, would you let me play a psionic elf were catgirl cyberninja? Or a tinker gnome or kender in Dark Heresy? Or doesn't your tolerance go quite that far?

Assuming rules exist and are reasonably balanced for the race in question, I don't see a problem. I'd allow it. We'd have to sit down and work out how the race fits in the setting, though.


Sissyl wrote:
So, if I were to play in your campaign, dear "exotic PC races ftw" gang, would you let me play a psionic elf were catgirl cyberninja? Or a tinker gnome or kender in Dark Heresy? Or doesn't your tolerance go quite that far?

That is irrelevant goalpost moving. It's Pathfinder, it's a High Fantasy world and the assumptions are built right into the basic core rules.


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Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
So, if I were to play in your campaign, dear "exotic PC races ftw" gang, would you let me play a psionic elf were catgirl cyberninja? Or a tinker gnome or kender in Dark Heresy? Or doesn't your tolerance go quite that far?
Assuming rules exist and are reasonably balanced for the race in question, I don't see a problem. I'd allow it.

Agreed. Especially the psionic elf catgirl cyberninja. Explaining that sweet cyberarm to mom and dad in Kyonin is worth the price of admission alone.


Even in a gritty, modern horror campaign? GURPS certainly has rules for it... Balance and existing rules are your only reasons to exclude it?


Okay... So high fantasy is the reason for this "any kind of character there are rules for needs to be available"?

The Exchange

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Your assumption seems to be that the DM has set the boundaries of this Wild West campaign in stone -- that's not a cartoon version, that's exactly the stance I'm seeing: that some DMs think that the setting is all theirs. "I'm running a Wild West campaign, so you better fit in," as opposed to "You guys said you might like a Wild West type of game, but Steve really wants to run a Cylon spy or something -- is everyone OK with a Steampunk Wild West, then? Or does everyone else prefer there to be no sci fi elements?"

We do have an irreconcilable difference of philosophy, then. The reason genres exist at all is to provide some sort of context and plausibility in an imaginary setting. Your principle of making sure that players get to play characters they enjoy is laudable... but I disagree that the players' options should be utterly unbounded. My desire for genre coherence is rooted in a desire to avoid spotlight-hogging and destruction of suspension of disbelief... unless of course the group wants a mixed-genre or genre-bending campaign. (Then I give 'em what they asked for: mind-bending mixtures.) But it does a campaign little good for everybody (players and GM alike) to say "Old West? Sounds good!" one week, and then show up the next with characters pulled from every conceivable genre.


I don't know why anyone would have a problem with different races. "Oh, I have to fit them into my campaign world." Yeah, I'm sure you also drew an ecosystem with all one thousand monsters from the bestiaries. "The character is trying to be a special snowflake." Why is that terrible that someone would want a unique character? If people don't play the game the same way as you they are doing it wrong?


Sissyl wrote:
Even in a gritty, modern horror campaign? GURPS certainly has rules for it... Balance and existing rules are your only reasons to exclude it?

I don't see a problem with adjusting the assumptions of a setting.

But in practice, I've never had to deal with something like the situation you are proposing. People tend to make character decisions for reasons other than choosing the most absurd thing they can think of to make a point on a messageboard. By letting players play races they want, I only have to deal with races they actually want to play.


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Sissyl wrote:
So, if I were to play in your campaign, dear "exotic PC races ftw" gang, would you let me play a psionic elf were catgirl cyberninja?

Wait -- say we're all 1st level. Fred is a 1st level dwarf fighter (standard), and Joe is a 1st level human wizard (standard), and Betty is a 1st level dhampir sorcerer (exotic). So far so good -- no problems. But you want to play a 1st level elf psion/1st level ninja (2nd level minimum), who also has a +2 CR template (lycanthrope). and also has way over WBL (cybernetics)?

The problem in this example isn't the racial selection. It's taking templates, extra levels, and free money that you don't get at 1st level. Which is not what anyone in this thread except you is talking about.


Sissyl wrote:
Okay... So high fantasy is the reason for this "any kind of character there are rules for needs to be available"?

Pretty much. It's a level 1 character who is an elf, and a psion (a class) with a Lycanthrope template that I would probably figure out some adjustment for. The Cyberware, now that is interesting. Perhaps she was a ninja/killer for some shadowy group that has figured out a way to get all that strange tech in Numeria working. She was working for them, but skipped out and now they are sending Repo Men after her.

Player gets what they want, I get perfectly good story hooks.

Everybody is happy.


Lincoln Hills wrote:

unless of course the group wants a mixed-genre or genre-bending campaign. (Then I give 'em what they asked for: mind-bending mixtures.)

But it does a campaign little good for everybody (players and GM alike) to say "Old West? Sounds good!" one week, and then show up the next with characters pulled from every conceivable genre.

Your statements seem contradictory to me. If they're showing up with characters from every conceivable genre, that tells me they didn't want an Old West campaign in the first place, and you ignored them.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
So, if I were to play in your campaign, dear "exotic PC races ftw" gang, would you let me play a psionic elf were catgirl cyberninja?

Wait -- say we're all 1st level. Fred is a 1st level dwarf fighter (standard), and Joes is a 1st level human wizard (standard), and Betty is a 1st level dhampir sorcerer (exotic). So far so good -- no problems. But you want to play a 1st level elf psion/1st level ninja (2nd level minimum), who also has a +2 CR template (lycanthrope). and also has way over WBL (cybernetics)?

The problem in this example isn't the racial selection. It's taking templates, extra levels, and free money that you don't get at 1st level. Which is not what anyone in this thread except you is talking about.

I'd just break down the template into two class levels, or something like that. The WBL for cybernetics would be easy...it's just old and busted and needs maintenance.


Skeletal Steve wrote:
I'd just break down the template into two class levels, or something like that. The WBL for cybernetics would be easy...it's just old and busted and needs maintenance.

Yeah, if you make her start as a 1st level elf psion, and then they reach 2nd level she takes a level in ninja, and then for 3rd and 4th levels (when they get there) she takes 2 werecat levels, and the cyber-stuff only becomes functional when she's got the money for it? No problem there from me.

But that's not what she seemed to be saying at all.


But if we are not playing high fantasy, then it is okay not to allow everything there is rules for? Like, in World of Darkness? Or Dark Heresy?

Kirth: That was a cheap shot. Let us say the elf werecat whatever weighed in at around lvl 6. The others are playing a gritty, medieval campaign based strongly on Earth history. They are at a level where Catgirl matches them power wise. Is it okay? Or are you saying that because it is pathfinder, you can't go for gritty, historical or the like?


Sissyl wrote:

But if we are not playing high fantasy, then it is okay not to allow everything there is rules for? Like, in World of Darkness? Or Dark Heresy?

Kirth: That was a cheap shot. Let us say the elf werecat whatever weighed in at around lvl 6. The others are playing a gritty, medieval campaign based strongly on Earth history. They are at a level where Catgirl matches them power wise. Is it okay? Or are you saying that because it is pathfinder, you can't go for gritty, historical or the like?

You know World of Darkness does have aliens, crazy tech, and shapeshifters, right?

We're not talking about the players deciding X or Y. The OP was talking about GM's delcaring that races were not allowed, but everything else was. Including crazy magic shenanigans. If you want to play some gritty, historical thing it's probably not best to tell your players that you guys are going to be playing Pathfinder. It's just not well suited to run such things. Play Song of Swords. You're lucky to survive three battles. Welcome to realism.


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Sissyl wrote:
Kirth: That was a cheap shot. Let us say the elf werecat whatever weighed in at around lvl 6. The others are playing a gritty, medieval campaign based strongly on Earth history. They are at a level where Catgirl matches them power wise. Is it okay? Or are you saying that because it is pathfinder, you can't go for gritty, historical or the like?

1. If the group as a whole wanted a gritty, historical game, I'd recommend a system other than Pathfinder. It's not that you can't try and make it work -- but the system itself isn't meant for that, and I'm not sure I'd be able to make it work past 4th level or so, to be honest (much less 6th).

2. If the group as a whole wanted a fantasy setting, then I see no problem with your fantasy catgirl, assuming you're following the same rules they are and not getting free templates and gear.

3. If the group as a whole for some reason all vetoed magic items being described as "cybernetics," I'd ask the one player to respect majority wishes and tone down the description. But I wouldn't unilaterally take it upon myself to ban the idea because it threatened "my" campaign, because it's ALL of our campaign.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Kirth: That was a cheap shot. Let us say the elf werecat whatever weighed in at around lvl 6. The others are playing a gritty, medieval campaign based strongly on Earth history. They are at a level where Catgirl matches them power wise. Is it okay? Or are you saying that because it is pathfinder, you can't go for gritty, historical or the like?

1. If the group as a whole wanted a gritty, historical game, I'd recommend a system other than Pathfinder. It's not that you can't try and make it work -- but the system itself isn't meant for that, and I'm not sure I'd be able to make it work past 4th level or so, to be honest (much less 6th).

2. If the group as a whole wanted a fantasy setting, then I see no problem with your fantasy catgirl, assuming you're following the same rules they are and not getting free templates and gear.

3. If the group as a whole for some reason all vetoed magic items being described as "cybernetics," I'd ask the one player to respect majority wishes and tone down the description. But I wouldn't unilaterally take it upon myself to ban the idea because it threatened "my" campaign, because it's ALL of our campaign.

How cool would a sweet Magi-Tech "Cybernetic" arm be? Pretty freaking sweet.


So, in conclusion, because tons of options do exist in Pathfinder, they ALL HAVE TO be available. In truth, they aren't options at all. Any sort of limitation means the campaign is BADWRONGFUN. In other rpgs, however, it is okay to limit options, because these rpgs aren't "high fantasy"?


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Aranna wrote:
An all Goblin group is one of the very few exceptions to the three type rule. By making everyone Goblins the GM has in effect made them the humans of his game and removed two and in some cases even three of the main reasons to play an unusual race.

But, but, but! To channel my inner humans-are-all-you-need advocate, "if all they're doing is just making goblins the humans of the game, then why didn't they just use humans for that purpose to begin with?"

Well, I'll also answer my inner humans-are-all-you-need advocate's question, because it's an obvious answer. Because it wouldn't work. How do you roleplay, with only human characters, creatures who are part of an established society, continuing through multiple generations, where the communal mentality is consistently that of a 6 year old human (and a rabid, demented, pyromaniac 6 year old human at that) but the physical capacity is still enough to be a threat to fully grown humans? Playing as a human would not plausibly allow them the kind of character, or the kind of experience, that they wanted when they asked the GM to run an all-goblin campaign.

So then, my question then becomes, if you have PCs asking the GM to run an all-goblin AP really does form an "exception" to this supposed rule...

...then why would you ever assume, if one of those players later on asked to be a goblin naturally in a mixed party, that they now had to be doing it according to that rule? As opposed to the same reasons they thought running an all-goblin AP would be fun to do? Why are the alternate reasons suddenly not plausible options anymore?

I don't think that players asking to play an all-goblin party is an "exception" to an overarching rule. I think it's a demonstration that there can be more going on in players' race choice than such a rule would suggest.

Shadow Lodge

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Thread derailment ho!


I am asking this because I feel designing a campaign with all the options in is an unfocused kitchen sink mess that I find singularly unattractive. Not to mention impossible to maintain overview of.


claymade wrote:
Aranna wrote:
An all Goblin group is one of the very few exceptions to the three type rule. By making everyone Goblins the GM has in effect made them the humans of his game and removed two and in some cases even three of the main reasons to play an unusual race.

But, but, but! To channel my inner humans-are-all-you-need advocate, "if all they're doing is just making goblins the humans of the game, then why didn't they just use humans for that purpose to begin with?"

Well, I'll also answer my inner humans-are-all-you-need advocate's question, because it's an obvious answer. Because it wouldn't work. How do you roleplay, with only human characters, creatures who are part of an established society, continuing through multiple generations, where the communal mentality is consistently that of a 6 year old human (and a rabid, demented, pyromaniac 6 year old human at that) but the physical capacity is still enough to be a threat to fully grown humans? Playing as a human would not plausibly allow them the kind of character, or the kind of experience, that they wanted when they asked the GM to run an all-goblin campaign.

So then, my question then becomes, if you have PCs asking the GM to run an all-goblin AP really does form an "exception" to this supposed rule...

...then why would you ever assume, if one of those players later on asked to be a goblin naturally in a mixed party, that they now had to be doing it according to that rule? As opposed to the same reasons they thought running an all-goblin AP would be fun to do? Why are the alternate reasons suddenly not plausible options anymore?

I don't think that players asking to play an all-goblin party is an "exception" to an overarching rule. I think it's a demonstration that there can be more going on in players' race choice than such a rule would suggest.

Two of my all Monster Party Kingmaker group are Goblins. No joke. One of a high sadistic intelligence (Witch) and the other as a Cavalier, struggling to be a paragon or good and justice but more often than not failing. It's quite entertaining.

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