Niche Request: Gnoll Ancestry


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
Look, I'm gay. I know you are making a point about LGBT sex and stigmatization and I get it, but that's not my point. A vast majority of consenting adults have sex as much as they want and no one bats an eye, as long as they do it at home. That was my point.

So am I. Yes, that was the point I was making. I understand your point.

Back to the other topic:

I see this thread getting locked soon.

Maybe we should all take a few moments to relax before we reply again.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

It should not be hard to tell who is being racist when they are acting prejudiced against a race based on their racial characteristics.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
It should not be hard to tell who is being racist when they are acting prejudiced against a race based on their racial characteristics.

That'd be fine in the real world Dan-o. However what we do in fantasy and make believe doesn't translate like that. The people who GM aren't suddenly 'insert vile thing npc does here' because they play that character on TV.

It's actually healthy to explore these topics in your play time and make believe as it lets you escape from some of the structures we put around them in real life.

It's very very not good mojo to start asserting what we do in our make believe has bearing on our real world (or vice versa) - Mazes and Monsters went that way in the 80's - we all know playing D&D didn't turn most of us into Satan worshiping wizards.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

*comes back from actually playing DnD*

oof


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This conversation is going to get a lot more fun once it becomes common knowledge that

minor Age of Ashes book 1 spoiler:
Age of Ashes explicitly confirms that wargs are only culturally evil, not always-evil...


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Ckorik wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
It should not be hard to tell who is being racist when they are acting prejudiced against a race based on their racial characteristics.

That'd be fine in the real world Dan-o. However what we do in fantasy and make believe doesn't translate like that. The people who GM aren't suddenly 'insert vile thing npc does here' because they play that character on TV.

It's actually healthy to explore these topics in your play time and make believe as it lets you escape from some of the structures we put around them in real life.

It's very very not good mojo to start asserting what we do in our make believe has bearing on our real world (or vice versa) - Mazes and Monsters went that way in the 80's - we all know playing D&D didn't turn most of us into Satan worshiping wizards.

i have to agree, wanting to play in a universe with absolutes and actually being racist aren't really equatable.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Bandw2 wrote:
i have to agree, wanting to play in a universe with absolutes and actually being racist aren't really equatable.

I don't think wanting to play a racist character makes you racist, certainly.

The part I find more concerning is wanting to play a racist character while insisting that character isn't racist.

Like... If your character wants to kill all gnolls on sight or, like someone earlier in this thread, thinks all goblinoids are evil and will never be convinced otherwise, that is a fine character to play, but that character is clearly racist, and insisting otherwise is at the very least weird.

Another side of this issue is that I think what you do in your home campaign is one thing, and what you ask Paizo to do is another. Your home campaign having always evil gnolls is whatever. An influential company pushing a setting where some sentient humanoid races are genetically evil is problematic.


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MaxAstro wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
i have to agree, wanting to play in a universe with absolutes and actually being racist aren't really equatable.

I don't think wanting to play a racist character makes you racist, certainly.

The part I find more concerning is wanting to play a racist character while insisting that character isn't racist.

Like... If your character wants to kill all gnolls on sight or, like someone earlier in this thread, thinks all goblinoids are evil and will never be convinced otherwise, that is a fine character to play, but that character is clearly racist, and insisting otherwise is at the very least weird.

Another side of this issue is that I think what you do in your home campaign is one thing, and what you ask Paizo to do is another. Your home campaign having always evil gnolls is whatever. An influential company pushing a setting where some sentient humanoid races are genetically evil is problematic.

you're taking things way out of context here.

i was talking about a setting where "specific races" have clear alignments.

Obviously, if you're playing in a setting where Gnolls can be generally of any alignment, your character has to either hold a grudge or be racist to "kill all gnolls".

but if you play on a setting where "gnolls are evil" then it's fair to assume that a good character will generally hunt them down.

I also specifically said, plenty of times, exactly that i have no issues with a Paizo product that introduces gnolls as a playable ancestry, or that has other races become more prominently grey rather than alignment-gated. It is my personal opinion that having a few evil races can be used as a narrative tool better than having everything being grey. But maybe that's just because i enjoy less "morally contrived" adventures, and more straightforward ones, but I'm more than happy to have a prodcut which introduces more ancestries for people willing to play them.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
MaxAstro wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
i have to agree, wanting to play in a universe with absolutes and actually being racist aren't really equatable.

I don't think wanting to play a racist character makes you racist, certainly.

The part I find more concerning is wanting to play a racist character while insisting that character isn't racist.

Like... If your character wants to kill all gnolls on sight or, like someone earlier in this thread, thinks all goblinoids are evil and will never be convinced otherwise, that is a fine character to play, but that character is clearly racist, and insisting otherwise is at the very least weird.

Another side of this issue is that I think what you do in your home campaign is one thing, and what you ask Paizo to do is another. Your home campaign having always evil gnolls is whatever. An influential company pushing a setting where some sentient humanoid races are genetically evil is problematic.

you completely walked past my point, a character in a absolutist setting wouldn't be racist, since these things are absolute and unchanging. the nature of the universe is completely alien to our own. at least not in the same way that they're racist IRL anyway. *shrug*


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Then I'll just settle on "absolutist settings are problematic and I applaud Paizo for continuing to commit to avoiding them (see my Age of Ashes comment above)".

@shroudb As I tried to say, personal preferences and home campaigns are whatever. I'd say I don't have any issue with your posts on this topic at all except for the parts where you have been insulting a respected member of the community.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Ckorik wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
It should not be hard to tell who is being racist when they are acting prejudiced against a race based on their racial characteristics.
That'd be fine in the real world Dan-o.

I thought we were in the real world, talking about how our characters are acting. Are you saying a fantasy character cannot act racist?

Dark Archive

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Donovan Du Bois wrote:
shroudb wrote:

tbf, none of the animals are, or can be, evil.

it's just that the "usual" depiction of hyenas in folklore was usually... quite terrible.

Have you HEARD the laugh? Like I know better, but they sound really freaky. The coyotes around here sound like women screaming in the night sometimes, so the horror stories have a reasonable origin.
[tangent] I totally want to have a hyena witch, whose 'cackle' hex is renamed 'chortle' and has her making a sinister hyena-chuckle instead of cackling to maintain her hexes.


Set wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
shroudb wrote:

tbf, none of the animals are, or can be, evil.

it's just that the "usual" depiction of hyenas in folklore was usually... quite terrible.

Have you HEARD the laugh? Like I know better, but they sound really freaky. The coyotes around here sound like women screaming in the night sometimes, so the horror stories have a reasonable origin.
[tangent] I totally want to have a hyena witch, whose 'cackle' hex is renamed 'chortle' and has her making a sinister hyena-chuckle instead of cackling to maintain her hexes.

Is hideous laughter in 2e?

Dark Archive

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Ironically, Tolkien the author of Lord of the Rings actually had problem with orcs in the book being portrayed as uniformly evil, but died before he figured out better explanation for them that portrays them with more nuance.

Also, just have to remind people that in Europe we do generally consider violence more horrible thing in media than sex or nudity :p

Anyway, I think I'm gonna avoid this thread because argument seems to be escalating(though it might have calmed down?) and that doesn't bode well for my depression


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
MaxAstro wrote:
Then I'll just settle on "absolutist settings are problematic and I applaud Paizo for continuing to commit to avoiding them (see my Age of Ashes comment above)".

perhaps, it really depends on the reason absolutism was used. a lot of the time it's just used because the focus of the story isn't on the bad guys, they're just environmental dressing. why they're here is no more important to the plot than what weather patterns lead to a hurricane.

to hopefully be clear, I don't really care that the races are being liberated from their narrative traditions, but i'm not convinced everyone who dislikes these changes dislike it because they want to kill specific races of people.

my prefered writing for non-humans is blue-orange morality, it's so rare to get someone who can actually pull it off. something as simple as a diet can change how you perceive the world i can only imagine what would change about an outlook if things for their species were poisonous that aren't for us and vice versa. would a herbivore race think of an arrow as the natural way to draw directions?


keftiu wrote:
Set wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
shroudb wrote:

tbf, none of the animals are, or can be, evil.

it's just that the "usual" depiction of hyenas in folklore was usually... quite terrible.

Have you HEARD the laugh? Like I know better, but they sound really freaky. The coyotes around here sound like women screaming in the night sometimes, so the horror stories have a reasonable origin.
[tangent] I totally want to have a hyena witch, whose 'cackle' hex is renamed 'chortle' and has her making a sinister hyena-chuckle instead of cackling to maintain her hexes.
Is hideous laughter in 2e?

yes, it is.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Perhaps I should clarify, my character wouldn't kill a gnoll because "Hey, that furry thing with the hyena face looks weird, kill it" it's because "that's a gnoll, they worship literal demons, engage in cannibalism and slavery, I think a little wariness entirely appropriate, all things considered". There are actual tangible forces of evil in Pathfinder, and gnolls have, as a race, seemed to embrace the evil instead of the good. I won't go hunting them down, but when encountered, they should be considered a threat until THEY prove otherwise. Yes, humans can be evil too, but they can also be good. So far, the "best" gnoll that has been presented is evil, but not immediately hostile.


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Er, addressing the original post...
At the behest of my players, I have homebrewed a gnoll ancestry, and will be posting it in Homebrew tomorrow when I have access to a real keyboard. I will be welcoming all all advice and comments (on how workable they are, not the whole genocide issue that ate this thread alive). I will particularly be welcoming anyone with ideas for recreating the Net weapon, as I have a barbed net as a racial (ancestral, I suppose, after 25 years of gaming that's going to take some getting used to) advanced weapon to round out the ol' flindbars.


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I'm glad to see this thread relaxed a bit.


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Oh yes, Gnolls please! I'm all for that! I want races that weren't in first edition in second edition!


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Wonky Chewbacca wrote:

Er, addressing the original post...

At the behest of my players, I have homebrewed a gnoll ancestry, and will be posting it in Homebrew tomorrow when I have access to a real keyboard. I will be welcoming all all advice and comments (on how workable they are, not the whole genocide issue that ate this thread alive). I will particularly be welcoming anyone with ideas for recreating the Net weapon, as I have a barbed net as a racial (ancestral, I suppose, after 25 years of gaming that's going to take some getting used to) advanced weapon to round out the ol' flindbars.

I am a lying liar who lies. After perusing the entries in both Homebrew and Conversions, I concluded that the aforementioned entry would best fit in the Conversion section.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Wonky Chewbacca wrote:
Wonky Chewbacca wrote:

Er, addressing the original post...

At the behest of my players, I have homebrewed a gnoll ancestry, and will be posting it in Homebrew tomorrow when I have access to a real keyboard. I will be welcoming all all advice and comments (on how workable they are, not the whole genocide issue that ate this thread alive). I will particularly be welcoming anyone with ideas for recreating the Net weapon, as I have a barbed net as a racial (ancestral, I suppose, after 25 years of gaming that's going to take some getting used to) advanced weapon to round out the ol' flindbars.
I am a lying liar who lies. After perusing the entries in both Homebrew and Conversions, I concluded that the aforementioned entry would best fit in the Conversion section.

you're not a liar, you're just truthfulness challenged.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Two quick observations:

1) The info about "ALL DROW ARE EVIL" in Second Darkness was from a pre-Pathfinder era where we were facing a culture of gamers who were VERY resistant to the idea of Paizo trying to pawn off a Driz'zt clone to cash in on that character's success, plus we wanted to make sure that what we were doing with drow wasn't trying to cash in on a lot of what Wizards of the Coast was doing with them at the time, so we focused back on the early incarnation of them in the game as demon-worshiping bad guy elves. Since then' we've gone through two edition changes and over a decade of real-world changes, and that information is no longer accurate. There can be good drow, and as folks have mentioned, there's plenty of examples in Golarion of them. Furthermore, as you'll see in the Bestiary, drow have lilac flesh tones now, for reasons I hope are obvious, but I won't get into them here so I can try to return the thread to the original poster's request...

2) We'll get around to doing ancestries for gnolls and LOTS more. It'll take us time. Remember that until the actual 2nd edition Core Rulebook released we didn't know how well folks would be into what we've done with ancestries, and we need at least 4 pages in a book to present a new ancestry. Now that we see that folks are quite fond of ancestries, expect more in the future as it makes sense to include them... but it'll be a long time before we cover everything. And since we're Paizo of 2019, not Wizards of the Coast or Paizo of 2009, we'll be more likely to focus on ancestries inspired from mythology or ancestries we invented for the game rather than on ancestries that were invented by D&D. While the word "gnoll" is from Dunsany and is public domain... the concept of gnolls as hyena people is 100% D&D, and as such that makes it a trickier thing for us to work with than, say, anadis or elves or tengus or samsarans.


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Knowing you’ve even seen me asking for it gives me hope, James!

EDIT: Samsarans soon, please!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I’d love to find out what gnolls call themselves, much as lizard folk were named.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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AND ONE MORE THING

One of the BEST parts about how ancestries work is that it lets us have ancestries for gnolls and lizardfolk. We never did a gnoll or lizardfolk PC race in 1st edition because in that game, those critters had racial hit dice, and that made them not appropriate for PCs. A huge part of the philosophical design change of how this works in the game rose from the desire to have PC lizardfolk... and of course PC gnolls and other creatures that traditionally were presented as having racial hit dice. Which are, of course, no longer a thing.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
I’d love to find out what gnolls call themselves, much as lizard folk were named.

Heh... we were just having this conversation a few hours ago here for other reasons.

It's tricky though. Because the word "Gnoll" IS a word that works as what they call themselves. It's not a case where an entire society is called something like "lizardfolk" or the like. An ancestry wouldn't think of themselves in those ways, otherwise we'd call ourselves "primatefolk" or the like, which is weird and awkward. That's the name our alien conquerors might call us, not what we call ourselves.

But yeah, in the gnoll's case, gnoll is it. There's not a history of "hyenafolk" being used for them, so it's a case where the original name works great and needs no work...

...unless you wanna include them in a non-OGL context, in which case it gets tricky all over again.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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keftiu wrote:

Knowing you’ve even seen me asking for it gives me hope, James!

EDIT: Samsarans soon, please!

Personally, I'd lvoe to see the samsarans covered ASAP. They're an ancestry I came up with mostly on my own during the creation of the Dragon Empires Gazetteer, but the fact that there was only a page to contextualize how they work AND that page had to share space with rules content and art meant that a really complicated ancestry had to be summarized and glossed over. And then it took us years to get more info out, and what info came out was in drips and drops. And as a result it made it look like samsarans were a half-baked idea—when in fact I'd put a LOT of thought into how a society composed of reincarnated creatures would function and work, only to face the facts that 99% of that work wouldn't see the light of day. :(

EDIT: 99% is hyperbolic. It's probably more like 75%, but the point stands.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

while we're at it, why hasn't there been wolffolk in anything ever? cats, lizards and hyenas but no doggos


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Fetchlings pretty please! Gnoll is a huge favorite since I have an old Gnoll character.

An aberrative touched Ancestry for those that want to be more tethered to the occult essences.

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