Talk me down: Exotic Race Antipathy


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TriOmegaZero wrote:

Yes, actually. It was pretty hilarious that the elven fighter was the one flubbing the social rolls. The catfolk ended up winning the Song of Heaven competition.

Of course, the nobles called them the Menagerie instead of their actual team name.

Ha! Love it. :)

Reminds me of the time when my kitsune sauramu taunted a ship of racist pirates (think the KKK on ships) simply by changing from human form (his default form at the time) to his true form.

Let's just say that the ensuing slurs did not help his confidence about his true form's appearance.

Spoiler:
Although finding another kitsune in the ship's slave hold, the first other kitsune he had ever met, certainly did!

Shadow Lodge

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Sissyl wrote:
No. Just that if they do play, they are bad DMs unless they always accomodate all races, no matter the freak show it becomes.

Well, when you come looking for a fight, you usually get one.


A fight? Please, tell me where I was wrong then. Tell me where any of the exotic race fan club said that "it may be okay, in some instances, exceedingly rarely, to veto a race". Or, where any of them answered where the line goes, when regarding races. They have repeatedly said that "we aren't talking about half-undead minotaurs", but not one of them has defined ANY degree of strangeness that is okay to set as limit. Because, you know, I am the unreasonable one here who dares to suggest that a DM should have some influence over what races people play in his/her campaign.

Grand Lodge

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You keep putting words in other people's mouths.


No. I am telling you, they haven't said these things. I would gladly see where they did, if you can refer me.

Grand Lodge

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Right here.


Ah, you are taking an obviously sarcastic reply as your example? Nice.

Grand Lodge

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Here too.

Edit: See, that's the problem with being known for sarcasm. People miss when you're being dead serious. Like right then.


Okay, that's better. It would still be wrong to do what he is suggesting, because then that first campaign would not ever have any players because the DM did not allow any sort of race the players wanted to play. Still not seeing it.

So you weren't sarcastic? Okay. Fine. If you honestly think all other races that aren't humans only get played like funny humans anyway and are way too exotic, why are you and I having this discussion?


Sissyl wrote:
Ah, you are taking an obviously sarcastic reply as your example? Nice.

When is TOZ not sarcastic?

EDIT: Ninja'd by TOZ of all people...


I'll just nip this one in the bud before this thread gets any more sidetracked: I've already said that I enjoy playing Planetouched races (Tieflings/Aasimar/"Genasi") and have enjoyed seeing some of my players playing exotic races like the Tengu in the past - but I still require each one of them to make a sort of "application" with their character before I'll "OK" it when any exotic race comes into play. I retain the right to veto.

Grand Lodge

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Sissyl wrote:
Okay, that's better. It would still be wrong to do what he is suggesting, because then that first campaign would not ever have any players because the DM did not allow any sort of race the players wanted to play.

And yet he did it.


Good, good. Next question: WHEN is it okay for the DM to limit race choices, excepting the extraordinary situation that you're trying out a campaign with no exotics and you're then going to play an all-exotic to compensate?

1) Because too many exotic races becomes a freak show?
2) Because too many exotic races means the DM has to rewrite the entire campaign for public relation problems?
3) Because the DM had an idea about the campaign and the feel of that setting matters to making a functioning campaign?
4) Because the DM had made a campaign setting with the players in mind, adding in various elements he/she wanted to explore?


Zorajit Zorajit wrote:

I don't want to be a stodgy, grognardian GM; which is why I'm opening this topic. I won't mince words, I cringe when a player tells me they want to play an exotic race. Heck, I have to keep my nose from scrunching up when I have a party that doesn't contain a plurality of humans (or the local population as appropriate.) Was the cast of Star Wars a Wookie, a Trandoshan, two ewoks, and a half-chiss? Did Gandalf's dwarves include a cat man and a winged tree person? I respect that there are times when an exotic race can add a lot to a character, if Chewie was just a burly guy with a speech impediment, he wouldn't have been as interesting of a character. The dwarves could have stood to be broken up by an odd character (although Bilbo fills this role of course.)

My first concern when a player announces their intent to roll up an exotic race is that the player is abusively optimizing. In many cases, this is a non-issue, and it's the least concern. My table has never called for absolute optimization, and I trust my players not to seek out ways to break the game. But, the concern is there nonetheless.

Second, is that the player is defining their character by what they are and not by who they are. This comes from a literary background, and I'm not expecting every member of the table create a Harry Dresden or any of the other wealth of great fantasy characters; but personally, I'd prefer even an archetypal grunting barbarian to a character that is only identifiable as "The half clockwork undead guy." (Aside: that would have some serious potential, but as evident, you need to marry that trait with other personality too.)

Last, that a player is seeking to be a "super special snowflake." Now, I don't make this charge lightly. It's contentious and I don't want to suggest I think badly of anyone I play with. I understand that one of the draws of Pathfinder is playing an empowering, unique hero. Even in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay the rat catcher and charcoal burner have the opportunity to make themselves great. But a...

My recommendation is to simply hear the player out.

If he's really into the fluff of the character and really likes some of the roleplaying opportunities that go with it... I'd say why not.

If he's only interested in the KEWL factor of min/maxing? I'd probably veto.

Personally, I'm with you, I never got any use out of the humanoids or race guids beyond the original Core 5. Frankly I rarely get past elf or half-elf.. But I have friends who LOVE the 'uniqueness' of new races. I've seen a Kitsune, a Minotaur, an orc, a pixie and a few others I can't recall right now... and they fit the world just fine.

Personally I can't stand the catfolk or Tengu... and our DM is pretty much on board, so they arent' in his world... (maybe tengu are, but catfolk are right out ;))


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You know what, this topic gave me an idea for a campaign world where humanity has gone and died.

That, or I might as well make a campaign world where either none of the Core races existed, or then they're all dead.


I have only read pages 1 and 5 of this thread, and am not interested in getting into any pointed discussions, but I just wanted to say...

I like humans. I like playing them, because I am one, and because they allow me to explore some part of myself, whether it's my dark or heroic side, my fun side, my honourable side, or my devious side. Sometimes it's maybe a wish-fulfilment thing, I don't know. But whatever it is, I find that easiest to do as a human. Sometimes a half-elf, very rarely an elf.

I also find it easier to understand other people's human characters too. But it's not too much of a problem if they want to play something exotic. If it's a (narratively) strong character, I've never had a problem.

I do prefer stories to make sense though. The main thing that bothers me is an incongruous exotic in a setting where it doesn't belong. Even that can be fixed by an imaginative player who is happy to suffer social (and possibly legal) disadvantage. Just don't whine when the villagers attack your ogre.

I just prefer humans without necessarily hating on exotics. Players sometimes annoy me (overly optimising in an inappropriate gaming group at the expense of a cohesive character, for example), but races don't so much.


Fun fact, humans dont exist in my home games because no one plays them.


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I want to play a swashbuckling aboleth bard!


Umbral Reaver wrote:
I want to play a swashbuckling aboleth bard!

ive worked around an illithid swashbuckler once in a high level 3.5 game, would that work?;)


Umbral Reaver wrote:
I want to play a swashbuckling aboleth bard!

Now I've got this image in my head of a Lovecraftian Cult sitting around and singing folk songs about the Old Ones. Thanks a lot (I'm not sure if I mean that sarcastically or not).


I mean everything sarcastically.


That's kind of a shame, Umbral. I'll accept the sarcasm so long as you don't try to act like your preferences are superior to those of others.


Zorajit Zorajit, you raise a few interesting concerns.

One concern is that a party of exotics both becomes non-unique in each others presence. This is the same exception that an all goblin party invokes but less dramatically so.

Another is that the more exotics you have in a group the more work to keep the story straight past the obvious reactions of the local townsfolk. However if you can manage the extra mental work load your players will be happier. If you DO struggle with keeping the game straight in the face of all the reactions you need to track then it is perfectly ok to restrict races down to however many you are comfortable with. Trust me through all the initial whining they will still end up having fun as humans, dwarves, and elves.

The big concern you posted was however your concern that they were TOO focused on WHAT they are and NOT enough on WHO they are. I already stated the easy solution to this. Require that they make an excellent background and personality for you before you allow them to be a weird race. That will solve it. Stat blocks for combat aside, I feel it is more important to the GM to know WHO your character is rather than WHAT he is... but maybe that's my old Narrativist roots showing through. Gamists are free to disagree and not wrong for doing so if they prefer a gamist style.


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.

Er... No.

Actually rabid, demented, pyromaniac 6 year old is part of the "Easy Stereotyping" of Goblins and not universal at all depending on the setting. This WOULD still be easy to do with humans... YES it would! How? Well the magic of an all race group like Goblins for one example is the us vs them role play of moving through a world that is dominated by other races not yours. So to make it work with Humans you just need to make all the main civilizations non-human. Imagine a world where Hobgoblins are dominant allied with Orcs and Kobolds to form a broad humanoid set of kingdoms where little tribes of hunted humans are the distinct minority.


Icyshadow wrote:
That's kind of a shame, Umbral. I'll accept the sarcasm so long as you don't try to act like your preferences are superior to those of others.

It was a joke.

Okay, now for srs post.

I can understand peoples' preferences. Generally, I run home made settings with a strictly defined set of races, so exotic races are only there if I put them there in the first place. No, you can't play a kitsune in Archmage (the working title for my latest setting/computer game/Master of Magic homage). Why? There aren't any. Similarly, I doubt many Golarion GMs would let you play a hollow hivekin (undead exoskeleton of a human-sized termite), though they are fine in my world (at least, as fine as qlippoth-spawn tieflings are in Golarion).

As a player, I tend to create concepts that do not require a race to work, or can be altered with minimum work. That said, when I do play a character of an odd race, I make sure it's not merely superficial when it comes to background and portrayal.

For example, a GM requested I play in a game of his and I emailed a backstory. He requested that I change the character to Drow because it would fit better with his campaign. I changed the character appropriately, and since then incorporated a certain 'Drowness' into the background and roleplay.


mplindustries wrote:

Try an experiment:

Remove all racial abilities in the game. Every race, no matter what, just gets a bonus feat and skill point, or whatever you decide. The point is to make every race mechanically identical. Then, allow any race whatsoever. Watch what happens.

I would LOVE to play in such a game.

I could play a kobold without sucking. I would have an easier time playing my concept of a shub niggurath who looks like a goat-man.
A lot of other things would suddenly be much easier to play.

Now playing a human has the drawback of being the only one without any ability to see in dark(er) places. If nobody can do that the human is really one of the top dogs.

And about playing the special snowflake: If playing another race if the easiest way to be different to other PCs you have played before or to other PCs in the group why not?

Let's say you have a twohanded ranger and a twohanded fighter. In combat they will be rather similar. What's the problem with one of them playing an aasimar?


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Sissyl wrote:
Good, good. Next question: WHEN is it okay for the DM to limit race choices

I feel like I've said this about a million times, but, for me, the answer is "when the players also have a consensus to limit race choices." If the players all want exotic races, it would be kind of silly for the DM to say, "Humans only or go play somewhere else!" On the other hand, I've played with groups where one player said, "I'm tired of all that Tolkien crap." And the next guy suggested, "Let's just play humans!" And everyone agreed, so we all played humans, and had a great time.

It's all about consensus, not edicts from on high.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Claxon wrote:
This should extend to some extent to what races players are as well.
And that's where you lose me. Because PCs don't have to follow demographics. There are only around six PCs in any campaign world, depending on how many players you have. And they we're randomly assigned. So there is no trend, no distribution, no quota they must follow.

For you there is no trend they must follow. Thats whats different between our points of view. The majority of golarions living sentient creatures is composed of humans. It would stand to reason being the most populous race that humans(and the other core races which are more common than of the other races) should have more adventurers than any other race.

I can also tell you with great certainty that players in my group select race based on mechanics, and anything else is secondary. It's about the ability score synergy with the class concept and other racial bonuses they might get that my players are interested in. If I told them you can play any race you want, but the mechanical effect is that everyone is mechanically human most of them would be upset because they're interested in the +2 dex and +2 int of the elf, not role-playing an elf.

Don't criticize me for what works for my group and helps encourage a game world that we all enjoy and agree collectively makes sense. The players don't rebuke the restriction on race. Rather they find the option to play a different race a special reward because of the restriction, and when they get the opportunity they put more effort into making the character that is more than "different looking human" since this rule was instituted.

I don't intend that every group should play with a restriction on race, but don't hate me just because I created a rule that does so for my group. Don't tell me that its BADWRONGFUN.

Liberty's Edge

I think there is nothing wrong with looking at your players and saying, " I have an idea for a campaign, but it involves only these races. Lists races" I think it is important to remember your players are not your captives, and a GM without players is just some guy playing with himself in his basement.

I'm not sexist:
For the record any gender can end up in the above situation, I just didn't want to clutter up the above with him/her guy/girl. I almost used the female pronouns for it but then I figured someone would come along and assume I was making some statement that female GMs suck. If anyone feels left out or insulted by my statement, I apologize ahead of time.


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Aranna wrote:

Er... No.

Actually rabid, demented, pyromaniac 6 year old is part of the "Easy Stereotyping" of Goblins and not universal at all depending on the setting.

Crazed, violent and intrinsically drawn to fire is part of the baseline goblin attributes (for Golarion goblins). It doesn't say anything about where they player takes the goblin from there, whether they follow their nature or try and resist it, and to what degree, or whether that set of characteristics is the limit of their characterization or not. Just that you get to operate from a different fundamental starting point regarding where you take your characterization from.

You seem to be under the odd impression that (to use a different example) playing a dhampir as having a fascination with blood (instead of fire) and having their own type of innate tendency toward evil, would mean you're playing an "Easy Stereotype". It's not a stereotype. It's the baseline of their nature, the physiology/psychology interaction of how their race's bodies work. You could play a dhampir who revels in his bloodlust and the pull toward evil, or one who rejects it utterly and struggles to be good instead and entirely deny his bloodlust while still RPing the temptations, or one who doesn't see anything wrong with indulging his bloodlust as long as he doesn't kill anyone and it's all consensual, and a thousand different shades in between.

Similarly, Skeletal Steve's post about the fundamentally different approaches his two goblin characters took to responding to their natures and innate drives shows how differently players can react to the canvas that the goblin innate drives present them with.

And the best part is, even when the PCs completely do embrace those four factors outlined above, without reservation, that fact alone still gives you no justification whatsoever to sneer down your nose about them doing "easy" stereotypes. As though it were somehow impossible to create a fleshed out, interesting and unique character who still fully embraces those particular goblin biological imperatives? You can be rabid, demented 6 year old who loves fire, and still have characterization beyond that, or even within that.

Say you're a goblin alchemist, whose overriding, life-long goal is to produce the greatest firework ever made. You try and you try, but you're just not satisfied. It's not big enough! There's not enough fire! It keeps you up at nights, tossing and turning... until at last it drives you to the ultimate heresy. You would be set upon by all your kin if you knew, but your need to create the ultimate firework is too great. You must increase your knowledge. Your work demands it! You must find out how to make it bigger, even if it means using the most horrible, unspeakable methods to find out how. Even if it means...

...learning how to read.

tl;dr: Get off your high horse, and stop assuming that just because someone wants to play a race with different baseline psychological natures than humans that must mean they're just wanting to play "easy" stereotypes. Having different starting parameters does not in any way mean those differences are the only thing your character has, with no further depth or thought given to them as persons beyond those base aspects.

Quote:
This WOULD still be easy to do with humans... YES it would! How? Well the magic of an all race group like Goblins for one example is the us vs them role play of moving through a world that is dominated by other races not yours. So to make it work with Humans you just need to make all the main civilizations non-human. Imagine a world where Hobgoblins are dominant allied with Orcs and Kobolds to form a broad humanoid set of kingdoms where little tribes of hunted humans are the distinct minority.

...yeah. So what happens when the players aren't as satisfied by only getting that one fragment of the experience of "playing goblins" as you think they ought to be?

It's not enough to say "here's a way to kinda-sorta get one aspect of the experience of playing goblins as a human, and I decree that it ought to satisfy you. And if just that much doesn't satisfy you, I'll make disparaging allusions about 'easy' stereotypes in your RP style to try and discredit those things you are looking to experience in this fantasy game."


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

anyone remember 3rd edition oriental adventures? they had a bunch of extra races (vanara, spirit folk, etc) but in each one they had a warning how they weren't allowed in the default setting (rokugan i think) i found that frustrating to no end. i don't mind if people want to play exotic races or classes, doesn't make my job as GM any harder, and my players can get excited about their PCs. i GM mostly for kids and you would not believe the ways they surprise you with their class and race choices, optimizers they are not:)

By the way, our party for our current campaign: a dwarven viking (from kalsgard) Ranger with a Naginata, a halfling bard, a gnome witch, and a cat folk ninja with really sharp claws. not a human in the group and we're doing just fine:)

also any chance the abolish bard will release a single? i'd love that:)


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Alexander Augunas wrote:
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.

Man, I have to say that this post combined with your avatar's serious-looking dwarf face is SUPER appropriate!

It's actually a photo of me. I admit that my work-day makeup is a bit severe.

Of course the point I'm making - as many other have - is that there exist some campaign worlds where menageries work and some where they simply don't.

If a DM creates and describes a campaign which precludes anyone playing kenku or drow then a player should be courteous enough to either respect that limitation or not sit at the table.

Liberty's Edge

Claxon wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Claxon wrote:
This should extend to some extent to what races players are as well.
And that's where you lose me. Because PCs don't have to follow demographics. There are only around six PCs in any campaign world, depending on how many players you have. And they we're randomly assigned. So there is no trend, no distribution, no quota they must follow.

For you there is no trend they must follow. Thats whats different between our points of view. The majority of golarions living sentient creatures is composed of humans. It would stand to reason being the most populous race that humans(and the other core races which are more common than of the other races) should have more adventurers than any other race.

I can also tell you with great certainty that players in my group select race based on mechanics, and anything else is secondary. It's about the ability score synergy with the class concept and other racial bonuses they might get that my players are interested in. If I told them you can play any race you want, but the mechanical effect is that everyone is mechanically human most of them would be upset because they're interested in the +2 dex and +2 int of the elf, not role-playing an elf.

Don't critize me for what works for my group and helps encourage a game world that we all enjoy and agree collectively makes sense. The players don't rebuke the restriction on race. Rather they find the option to play a different race a special reward because of the restriction, and when they get the opportunity they put more effort into making the character that is more than "different looking human" since this rule was instituted.

I don't intend that every group should play with a restriction on race, but don't hate me just because I created a rule that does so my race. Don't tell me that its BADWRONGFUN.

You may not have intended your posts to be saying that your way was the right way and everyone else was wrong, but I went back and reread them and the did have that vibe. I think TOZ was reacting the that and not trying to say that what you do in your group is WRONGBADFUN. Just my POV.


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Democratus wrote:
If a DM creates and describes a campaign which precludes anyone playing kenku or drow then a player should be courteous enough to either respect that limitation or not sit at the table.

Why so one-way? As DM, I always feel that I, equally, should be courteous enough to listen to what kind of campaign the players are interested in.


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Democratus wrote:
If a DM creates and describes a campaign which precludes anyone playing kenku or drow then a player should be courteous enough to either respect that limitation or not sit at the table.
Why so one-way? As DM, I always feel that I, equally, should be courteous enough to listen to what kind of campaign the players are interested in.

Yeah me too. I take a stronger view, actually in that as DM I try to run the game the players want, even if it isnt to my tastes. This "take it or leave it" DM approach (and it's accompanying "I'm going to find another game" on the player side) is quite divorced from how we approach these issues.

We'll basically give anything a shot if someone wants to try something different. Then we'll tell each other what we liked and keep going or try something else.


graywulfe wrote:


You may not have intended your posts to be saying that your way was the right way and everyone else was wrong, but I went back and reread them and the did have that vibe. I think TOZ was reacting the that and not trying to say that what you do in your group is WRONGBADFUN. Just my POV.

Perhaps it came off that way, but that was not my intention at all. My initial post was literally just to tell that this was a rule I created for games where I GM.

Then I had people criticize and seemingly insult me because I choose to run things less permissively. Then I got defensive.

If anyone thought there was ever the implication that I think the game should be solely be run with my rule, or that only the core races should ever be allowed that was not my intention. If that was the case I would just tell my players we're using the Core Rule Book only.

Ultimately, do what works for you group. I think the game-world looks better when those exotic races are super rare and you may only encounter them in very specific locations. The people I play with actually agreed with me wholeheartedly when I proposed this idea, suggesting that they too found it funny that a group of first level adventurers come to take out the little town's zombie trash would be composed of the most exotic races from the furthest corners and farthest depths of Golarion and still be interested in helping a few lowly farmers.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I don't agree with the criticism you got either. I just don't see the need for PCs to follow the makeup of the campaign world (excluding extremes like human only settings). There may be more humans than others, and thus more human adventurers, but that has no bearing on what adventurers make up the PC party.


I think a lot of this discussion comes down to the difference between gaming styles:

1) As a GM: If it has been published, I'll allow it in my game if a player wants to play it. As a Player: If it's published I have a right to play it.

vs.

2) Just because it's published doesn't mean it's a good fit for the game/story I want to run or play in.

There can be a multitude of reasons why one falls in one camp or the other. And for a very, very, long time, going back to 2nd Edition's beginning up to 3.0 I was definitely in Camp 1. I sat out 3.5 as a GM, but found I certainly did not like playing in a group in Camp 1 as a player. And when Pathfinder came out and I became a GM again, realized that with all the options that are published as a need to keep a company afloat, that I am certainly in Camp 2.

To each his own, but I neither want to play or want to GM a group of players that are not OK playing/GMing in Camp 2. As a GM I will ask those players who only want to operate in a Camp 1 atmosphere not to rejoin my game group I they cannot adapt. And as a Player I will show myself the door if the group is run under Camp 1. But then again, I live in a relatively small town, that has a THRIVING game community. So I'm lucky to have those types of options.


Quote:
My first concern when a player announces their intent to roll up an exotic race is that the player is abusively optimizing. In many cases, this is a non-issue, and it's the least concern. My table has never called for absolute optimization, and I trust my players not to seek out ways to break the game. But, the concern is there nonetheless.

To be honest, reading through the thread, every other concern in the opening post screams a case by case basis but this.

Firstly, special snowflake players - they exist. Denying it would be like screaming "there're no such thing as forces!" there, demonstrably, are. But to honest, the en masse tarring of "exotic race = special snowflake" is, as has been said, insulting. For a start, it's a gross assumption (one I find a little disgusting) one could make about a player based on their preferences. A bit of a strawman, but an example is the best means I can think of to convey this: Were I to tell you I preferred a coffee flavoured ice cream to more standard flavours, that my peers prefer, could you logically assert that I am an attention seeker, or worse? I find myself highly skeptical. No, it's when I'm screaming into your ear about how awesome that makes me compared to you, you can bloody my nose verbally. for I'd deserve it.
As you might be able to tell, I like exotic races. They often provide an aesthetic appeal.
That said, it is fully a DM's right to craft the world they like. If a player wants something a DM is flat out uncomfortable with, it's the player's onus to make things more comfortable all round. Inversely though, I'd have thought it common courtesy to assume a player holds good intentions, if they'd prefer something to be different; until proven otherwise.
Now, as to the section I quoted - I can understand the fear of this. And well, players should always be watched for any plans to meta-game, unless that's just what your table does. Indeed, I don't know why I called this out as not being case by case; it just varies by table. If that extra bit of power is what you all find fun, why castigate it? In the opposite vein - if your table prefers to roleplay and powergaming from someone feels like fingers screeching down a chalkboard to you all - the player who does powergame is a jerk.

Edited; Missed a section of this post out.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
I don't agree with the criticism you got either. I just don't see the need for PCs to follow the makeup of the campaign world (excluding extremes like human only settings). There may be more humans than others, and thus more human adventurers, but that has no bearing on what adventurers make up the PC party.

Perfectly valid point of view, though I disagree about the "bearing" bit I completely understand where you're coming from.

Thank you for disagreeing with me in an amicable nature.


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Democratus wrote:
If a DM creates and describes a campaign which precludes anyone playing kenku or drow then a player should be courteous enough to either respect that limitation or not sit at the table.
Why so one-way? As DM, I always feel that I, equally, should be courteous enough to listen to what kind of campaign the players are interested in.

A couple of reasons.

1) Pick-up Game
This isn't always an option. I sometimes run games where I offer a campaign primer, and whoever wants to play signs up for a slot and shows up at the FLGS. It isn't a 2-way channel of communication.

2) Pre-built world
Sometimes I feel like world building and I spend a great deal of time and effort creating a world and story. In these cases I tell my players that I'm running Yorheim, dwarven empire in decline. I put out a description of the known history of the world and available races for play.

Any of my players are free to agree to play in my campaign or not. But if they show up to play then I expect them to have followed the instructions on how to make a character consistent with the world.

There are other times when in a game (public or private) we all just sit down and make whatever we want and just run with it. As I've said multiple times in this thread - there are campaigns where a menagerie is appropriate and others where it is not.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Claxon wrote:
Thank you for disagreeing with me in an amicable nature.

No problem, these threads have too little of it as it is.

I think I can even revise my statement that it has little bearing on the PCs rather than none at all. I just find it negligible.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Sissyl wrote:

Good, good. Next question: WHEN is it okay for the DM to limit race choices, excepting the extraordinary situation that you're trying out a campaign with no exotics and you're then going to play an all-exotic to compensate?

1) Because too many exotic races becomes a freak show?
2) Because too many exotic races means the DM has to rewrite the entire campaign for public relation problems?
3) Because the DM had an idea about the campaign and the feel of that setting matters to making a functioning campaign?
4) Because the DM had made a campaign setting with the players in mind, adding in various elements he/she wanted to explore?

1. Subjective. One mans freak parade is another mans A-Team.

2. Depends on the campaign.
3. Depends on the DM.
4. Depends on the DM.

So I guess it's all subjective.


Democratus wrote:
[I sometimes run games where I offer a campaign primer, and whoever wants to play signs up for a slot and shows up at the FLGS. It isn't a 2-way channel of communication.

In the interest of clarifying my position, I'm approaching things from a more traditional standpoint of "OK, here's a group of friends who maybe want to have a gaming night once a week instead of a poker night." I don't know anything about public venues or Society games, and have no idea what methods do/do not work for them, and can't address them. I have a lot of experience with a lot of different groups of people who get together at someone's house and play.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Thank you for disagreeing with me in an amicable nature.
No problem, these threads have too little of it as it is.

I do have to say though, I thought you TOZ was your alias.

Shadow Lodge

Claxon wrote:
I do have to say though, I thought you TOZ was your alias.

It's a schizophrenic life we lead.


I'm wondering into which of her three categories Aranna would put me?

I don't play humans in games... I avoid them: because I stereotype humans into boring.
- Kid who was sick of ____ and ran away from home.
- Kid that was forced into learning ____ because parents said so.
- Bored [Profession] that is looking for a (new) meaning in life.

In other words: people who are unhappy and run away from their problems/lives. Usually this ends up as a boring and bland character.

When picking a race (not necessarily weird/exotic, an elf/dwarf/... will do nicely), I get a nudge... as someone said: draw a picture vs. draw a picture with a house...

Yes that is also stereotype... but so are my humans...?


Kyoni wrote:

I'm wondering into which of her three categories Aranna would put me?

I don't play humans in games... I avoid them: because I stereotype humans into boring.
- Kid who was sick of ____ and ran away from home.
- Kid that was forced into learning ____ because parents said so.
- Bored [Profession] that is looking for a (new) meaning in life.

In other words: people who are unhappy and run away from their problems/lives. Usually this ends up as a boring and bland character.

When picking a race (not necessarily weird/exotic, an elf/dwarf/... will do nicely), I get a nudge... as someone said: draw a picture vs. draw a picture with a house...

Yes that is also stereotype... but so are my humans...?

That's when rolling up a backstory using ultimate campaign is useful.


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Claxon wrote:


Maybe I have a misunderstanding of what Golarion really looks like, but I think of it in much the way of the iconics. Of whom all are core races, and of the 11 or so there is one dwarf, one halfling, one elf, and one gnome. To me that is what Golarion should look like. It is dominated by the human race. Most cities are human cities with predominately human population. Most people in the world should be human. This should extend to some extent to what races players are as well.

If you limit races that way why not classes?

Even if you only include PC classes I am sure the distribution of PC classes in golarion is very different from the usual party composition.

And it's even worde in other games. For example shadowrun: There are about 2% magic users in the population. When applying this to players that would mean no one may play a Spellcaster ever because you never have enough mundane PCs in your game to even it out. You'd need a party size of 50 to allow one of them to be a mage. Is that really what we want?


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Sissyl wrote:
Good, good. Next question: WHEN is it okay for the DM to limit race choices

I think he has the right when he disallows specific races for specific reasons instead of outright banning everything not core.

But sometimes you feel the flames for doing just this around here.

I, for my part, hate one specific race and do not want to play alongside it or, god forbis GM for one. So I disallow it. But the group composition in my recent game was: Aasimar, two tieflings, a catfolk, a suli and an ifrit. Why not? The one who employed them put them together into one freak team instead of having one on each of his teams.

But because I confessed to hate this one race I got flamed and insulted on these boards here. I got called a bad GM who doesn't want the players to have fun because I disallowed a race no one had any interest in playing.

People round here are strange and belligerent at times.

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