Any First Hand Experience w / Monstrous PCs?


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Have you ever played in a monstrous game? What about a mixed party of monsters and base races? How did it work out? Did you run into balance issues, or did things seem to run fairly smoothly?

I ask because I'm about to go into a "dndoggos" campaign, and I'm trying to figure out what issues to expect mechanically.

Comic Related


Im in one now and it's working out fine. Although we're using decent 3rd party stuff by legendary etc.

The biggest thing so far has been unlimited flight (Deva) that allows options for scouting etc that breaks some encounters. Combat wise it's been pretty fair. Also, It's not a super min/max group and people are playing "fair" (Ie, not trying to break the game) so that helps too.

IMHO, I think it adds a ton of RP fun to have a group of heros that includes an actual angel and Minotaur. makes town runs....interesting.


We had an illiterate Goblin in the party back in 3.5e.

Had a Minotaur in the party for a 5e campaign.

Another 5e campaign had a werewolf in the party.

The guy liked his werewolf so much that he remade him for a PF1 campaign.

That same PF1 party with the werewolf also includes me as a Noble Drow.

I have allowed several completely custom-made races in my Kingmaker campaign.

Seems to open up a lot more roleplaying and it doesn't seem to unbalance anything.

Murderhobo-minded players are unbalanced and can ruin anything.

A halfway decent person will not unbalance the game, even given the chance to play a monster race.


I ran a game at 4th level with two natural lycanthropes. DR/10 silver is basically invunerability at that level.

They still nearly TPK'd. Ghouls and wights are nasty.


I ran a game with a gargoyle fighter 2/rogue 5, a minotaur skald 4, an awakened rust monster monk 8 and an awakened shrieking violet fungus sorcerer 14. They were the monsters in a gladiatorial arena.

Then there was the ghast wizard 9, the skeletal ranger 11, the banshee barbarian 3 and Jack O' The Lantern, who was some kind of rogue/sorcerer combo.

As long as you acknowledge the necessity of a vastly different tone from your typical Tolkienian fantasy (which most D&D and Pathfinder games deviate from substantially anyway), it's fine. A little crazy, but fine.


I played in a home game that allowed any race that was humanoid and/or monstrous humanoid. I played a Barbarian Centaur (29 RP) and the female Oracle was a Noble Drow (42 RP!). We also had a Trox (28 RP).

It worked out fine, the judge just adjusted the difficulty of the encounters

Shadow Lodge

I've played in a few. Usually in groups where everyone is playing one. I've also been in one where others are playing them. Other than some reactions, there hasn't been much difference. Fun times though.


I was in a Kingmaker game where the GM allowed and encouraged such. One guy who loved his grimdark fantasy hated it, it was fine otherwise.

I ran a game inspired by we be goblins (not using any material from it, just the idea). Grimdark lover was fine with that game. One other player minmaxed the hell out of that game, the one who ran the Kingmaker oddly enough.


We played the Rein of Winter AP right around the time Hybrid classes came out. Our GM allowed us to multiclass with these classes and we got to roll stats, so right out the gate we were probably all OP for the campaign. But then there was our Shaman/Monk.

I forget the PC's name but he was a half-minotaur 3PP monstrous race. At Large size with a base Reach of 10, he was a melee combat monster. Add in the spells and feats around dealing non-lethal damage, having a Reach weapon, and using both Intimidate and Enforcer and every foe we fought had some kind of Condition or combination of Conditions on them, all the time.

Bottom line, most APs were built for Core Pathfinder. Adding monstrous races, having extremely optimized PCs, using even 20 point buys instead of the Core 15 point... all of these make PCs, already stronger than APL equivalent monsters, so much more powerful long term than the campaign they're involved in.


Sir Belmont the Valiant wrote:

I played in a home game that allowed any race that was humanoid and/or monstrous humanoid. I played a Barbarian Centaur (29 RP) and the female Oracle was a Noble Drow (42 RP!). We also had a Trox (28 RP).

It worked out fine, the judge just adjusted the difficulty of the encounters

Makes me wonder if this kind of thing works better for a home game than an AP.

Shadow Lodge

I've played a few. Assuming you allow them at level, they are underpowered in general. A harpy may seem like it would be strong, but you don't get to play it until level 7 (as it has 7hd), and it's a CR4, and you'll be facing cr7-9 encounters so... yeah. Monsters also are written for the gm to play, not a player, so they tend to lack versatility.


DRD1812 wrote:
Makes me wonder if this kind of thing works better for a home game than an AP.

As someone who considers basically all adventurer paths modules, and pre-made campaigns, at best, painfully meidocre, I'd have to say yes.

The more you bend the rules in one spot, the more you'll want to be able to bend the rules somewhere else to adjust.


gnoams wrote:
I've played a few. Assuming you allow them at level, they are underpowered in general. A harpy may seem like it would be strong, but you don't get to play it until level 7 (as it has 7hd), and it's a CR4, and you'll be facing cr7-9 encounters so... yeah. Monsters also are written for the gm to play, not a player, so they tend to lack versatility.

Monsters get a floating +4/+4/+2/+2/+0/-2 stat adjustment when class levels are added.

If you can't make something useful out of your chosen monster, either you chose the wrong monster, or you're playing the wrong game...


Quixote wrote:
DRD1812 wrote:
Makes me wonder if this kind of thing works better for a home game than an AP.

As someone who considers basically all adventurer paths modules, and pre-made campaigns, at best, painfully meidocre, I'd have to say yes.

The more you bend the rules in one spot, the more you'll want to be able to bend the rules somewhere else to adjust.

Agree to disagree? I think some of the AP's are pretty incredible just from a writing point of view, much less game design.

Admittedly we're probably judging by different standards.


Artofregicide wrote:

Agree to disagree? I think some of the AP's are pretty incredible just from a writing point of view, much less game design.

Admittedly we're probably judging by different standards.

Of course. Just my opinion (a strong one, backed by what I consider to be essentially fact, but still). I'm sure there are some that stand out from the pack that I'm not aware of.

And yes, I'd imagine we have different standards. Hence the difference in opinion.

This game offers too many creative opportunities for me to want to tell someone else's story. And in terms of actual at-the-table storytelling, I find a script to be hopelessly restrictive.

The biggest thingsis tone, though. Most fantasy ttrpg feels more like a Star Wars cantina than Tolkien, which can be fun, but it's not the feel I normally want, and certainly not the only one I want.
But if your party consists of a gladiator troll, an owlbearian, an awakened giant octopus assassin and a medusa knight errant, you're going to have a tough time coming up with a tone that isn't at least a little inherently wacky. Which, again, can be fun. But it's going to wreak havoc with your game unless it's planned for.


I think most people approach the opportunity to play a monster character with roleplaying in mind.

The people that set out to break the game will do so regardless of what races or monsters are available to play as.

You can either adjust to match their level of math wars, or you can weed them out by any means necessary... rocks fall, your character dies, GTFO.

My friend really likes his werewolf character and has played two different versions of the same character through 5e and PF1. He hasn't ever been the problem, because he isn't a murderhobo clowning up the game, trivializing encounters, making everyone else feel useless.

I have played a templated half-angel dragonborn in 5e, and a Noble Drow in PF1... never has either of them been a problem, because I am not a problem player.

I ran a 5e campaign and let someone be Venom. We didn't even have to clarify the race on paper because everyone knows what Venom is and does. He had a character sheet, and stats, and a class, he used a weapons (mainly a short sword), and did Venom stuff like bite off people's heads... a pile of bodies over there, a pile of heads over there. He wasn't even close to being a problem. He wasn't even the most powerful person in the party. He probably had the most fun out of everyone, though, because he was freaking Venom! And got to do Venom stuff, which was apparently more fun to roleplay than it was to bother breaking the game.

It's all about the company you keep.

Shadow Lodge

VoodistMonk wrote:
gnoams wrote:
I've played a few. Assuming you allow them at level, they are underpowered in general. A harpy may seem like it would be strong, but you don't get to play it until level 7 (as it has 7hd), and it's a CR4, and you'll be facing cr7-9 encounters so... yeah. Monsters also are written for the gm to play, not a player, so they tend to lack versatility.

Monsters get a floating +4/+4/+2/+2/+0/-2 stat adjustment when class levels are added.

If you can't make something useful out of your chosen monster, either you chose the wrong monster, or you're playing the wrong game...

Uh, where did you pull those numbers from? Monsters ability scores are all over the place. They are pretty much set to whatever makes the math work out to the CR they want the monster to be.

Now if you took a monster's ability scores and added a bunch more on to them, then duh, you just made it way stronger than it was.

Grand Lodge

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I love playing unusual races, but it really just comes down to the group, and to a lesser extent the setting mixed with what exact races you are talking about.

Some people only want to play monster races so they can pick something more powerful that the normal PCs. Some people only pick them to be disruptive, etc.

It is also a bad idea to play a race that is incredibly hated, and normally attacked on sight in the setting unless the campaign is specifically tailored to accommodate such characters.


gnoams wrote:
VoodistMonk wrote:
gnoams wrote:
I've played a few. Assuming you allow them at level, they are underpowered in general. A harpy may seem like it would be strong, but you don't get to play it until level 7 (as it has 7hd), and it's a CR4, and you'll be facing cr7-9 encounters so... yeah. Monsters also are written for the gm to play, not a player, so they tend to lack versatility.

Monsters get a floating +4/+4/+2/+2/+0/-2 stat adjustment when class levels are added.

If you can't make something useful out of your chosen monster, either you chose the wrong monster, or you're playing the wrong game...

Uh, where did you pull those numbers from? Monsters ability scores are all over the place. They are pretty much set to whatever makes the math work out to the CR they want the monster to be.

Now if you took a monster's ability scores and added a bunch more on to them, then duh, you just made it way stronger than it was.

It comes from an old set of guidelines about monsters as PCs, and since the race point building system is limited & flawed the old guidelines get used by some despite being badly flawed in their own way.


It's not a problem if everybody is playing the same special race.

The problem arises when their are discrepancies in power level between players due to race.

Imagine a race that for free got all the TWF feats and didn't take the penalties (so each attack was at the BAB for that iterative). It would be broken compared to anyone trying to TWF without that race. There is such a 3rd party broken race, someone posted it one on the boards here and I remember reading it and going "Nah, that's broke AF. No one should let you play that".


Claxon wrote:


Imagine a race that for free got all the TWF feats and didn't take the penalties (so each attack was at the BAB for that iterative). It would be broken compared to anyone trying to TWF without that race. There is such a 3rd party broken race, someone posted it one on the boards here and I remember reading it and going "Nah, that's broke AF. No one should let you play that".

This mess gives me anxiety every time I set out to design a monster or an NPC-centric feat.

"It's meant to be balanced for NPCs... What if they ask why they can't use it?"

I guess that's one point in favor of Starfinder monster design, with its separation of player-facing and GM-facing rules for aliens-as-PCs vs aliens-as-monsters.


DRD1812 wrote:
"It's meant to be balanced for NPCs... What if they ask why they can't use it?"

"Because it was balanced for me to use as a GM for NPCs, but not for players. There is no attempt to justify it in game, because there are not in game reasons."

Only PF1 tried to use the same rules for NPCs and PCs and the game was worse for doing so. Starfinder and PF2 both realized they could improve the game by getting rid of that restriction.


@ Claxon,

Are you talking about the CR3 Ceratioidi?

Dual Mind (Ex)
The fact that each ceratioidi is actually two creatures sharing the same body gives it a number of unique abilities. A ceratioidi can delegate various actions and physical processes to the individual minds, allowing it to fight with two weapons simultaneously without any penalties. It can also select two favored classes. The telepathic tangle between its twin consciousnesses makes a ceratioidi impervious to mind-affecting effects.


I don't think so. It was some 3rd party race with no racial HD from what I recall.


gnoams wrote:
VoodistMonk wrote:
gnoams wrote:
I've played a few. Assuming you allow them at level, they are underpowered in general. A harpy may seem like it would be strong, but you don't get to play it until level 7 (as it has 7hd), and it's a CR4, and you'll be facing cr7-9 encounters so... yeah. Monsters also are written for the gm to play, not a player, so they tend to lack versatility.

Monsters get a floating +4/+4/+2/+2/+0/-2 stat adjustment when class levels are added.

If you can't make something useful out of your chosen monster, either you chose the wrong monster, or you're playing the wrong game...

Uh, where did you pull those numbers from? Monsters ability scores are all over the place. They are pretty much set to whatever makes the math work out to the CR they want the monster to be.

Now if you took a monster's ability scores and added a bunch more on to them, then duh, you just made it way stronger than it was.

Bestiary, pg 297

—————
Also, you are wrong about a monster using racial hd as level. They use CR as level.

Furthermore, if in a mixed game, they get bonus levels, as the bestiary claims their racial abilities get less useful as you get more and more levels, up to a number of bonus levels equal to half their original CR, gained 1 every 3 normal levels, halfway between the 2nd and 3rd.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The Bestiary rules are the earliest "errata" update that I am aware of. The Core Rulebook had different rules for monstrous PCs.


3.5 released Effective Character Level, which was often similar to CR, but different enough times and by enough of a margin to be valuable.

At-will teleport will get substantially more use from a character than a monster.
1/day fireball isn't nearly as significant of a character's ability as it is a monster's.


Quixote wrote:
Artofregicide wrote:

Agree to disagree? I think some of the AP's are pretty incredible just from a writing point of view, much less game design.

Admittedly we're probably judging by different standards.

Of course. Just my opinion (a strong one, backed by what I consider to be essentially fact, but still). I'm sure there are some that stand out from the pack that I'm not aware of.

And yes, I'd imagine we have different standards. Hence the difference in opinion.

This game offers too many creative opportunities for me to want to tell someone else's story. And in terms of actual at-the-table storytelling, I find a script to be hopelessly restrictive.

The biggest thingsis tone, though. Most fantasy ttrpg feels more like a Star Wars cantina than Tolkien, which can be fun, but it's not the feel I normally want, and certainly not the only one I want.
But if your party consists of a gladiator troll, an owlbearian, an awakened giant octopus assassin and a medusa knight errant, you're going to have a tough time coming up with a tone that isn't at least a little inherently wacky. Which, again, can be fun. But it's going to wreak havoc with your game unless it's planned for.

I still disagree on most of your points (especially what appears to be conflating fact with opinion), but your games do sound like fun. Though I wonder why you're playing Pathfinder and not more of a rule of cool, rules light and zaniness heavy system.

Numenera immediately came to mind.


Artofregicide wrote:
I still disagree on most of your points (especially what appears to be conflating fact with opinion)

That's fine. I'm not trying to sway anyone on this particular issue at this time.

Artofregicide wrote:
Though I wonder why you're playing Pathfinder and not more of a rule of cool, rules light and zaniness heavy system.

I play a few different systems. I'm not much for zany, usually; I tend to focus on gritty realism and horror a lot, as well as traditional faerie tale and legends.

But I started with D&D, and got most heavily involved in 3rd.
The tactical crunch provides another level of satisfaction beyond the storytelling. Scratching two itches at once, I suppose.

Grand Lodge

I would still use Savage Species from 3.0 (such a criminally bad decision to publish a rules-heavy Crunch book out a month before 3.5 made it practically obsolete!). Nonetheless, it’s still useful.

For those not familiar, monsters back then had Their CR as well as a “Level Adjustment” and you took the CR and added it to LA, and the sum was the total ‘Levels’ the monster has, in theoretical equilibrium with a Character Class. (And, hey, you’re playing a monster; it’s never gonna be perfectly balanced, dude.)

So if Monster is CR 9 and has LA +4, you take the sum, 13, and divide up all its abilities and powers and qualities and traits — as best you can — Into 13 Levels.

If the monster has a BAB of 10, you try to divide that into 13 Levels as evenly as you can. If it has SR 20, you try to divide that into 13 Levels as evenly as you can. For SP and SU abilities, um, you try to find the appropriate place to place them into the 1 to 13 level progression. Etc.

Then, at 1st Level you can play a 1st Level Unchained Barbarian or if you prefer, maybe a ‘1st Level’ Rakshasa (with SR2 and BAB 0 and one 1st Lvl Ench Spell as a SP).

I haven’t grabbed the ole Savage Species off The bookshelf in, oh probably a dozen years, but I bet you could reasonably easily use it as a guide in conjunction with the Bestiary to determine Level Adjustments for Pathfinder and try out a few monsters.


W E Ray wrote:

I would still use Savage Species from 3.0 (such a criminally bad decision to publish a rules-heavy Crunch book out a month before 3.5 made it practically obsolete!). Nonetheless, it’s still useful.

For those not familiar, monsters back then had Their CR as well as a “Level Adjustment” and you took the CR and added it to LA, and the sum was the total ‘Levels’ the monster has, in theoretical equilibrium with a Character Class. (And, hey, you’re playing a monster; it’s never gonna be perfectly balanced, dude.)

So if Monster is CR 9 and has LA +4, you take the sum, 13, and divide up all its abilities and powers and qualities and traits — as best you can — Into 13 Levels.

Small correction; LA added to hit dice, not CR.

The idea was pretty decent, although the implementation left a little to be desired. The level adjustments were almost universally too high (arguably for those species with a lot of racial HD in something crappy like Humanoid should have had a negative LA, but that would have generated its own issues.

There is also the issue of how exactly a hypothetical 1st-level Rakshasa comes to exist in the first place, in in-world terms. What exactly it is and how it comes to be. One can come up with explanations, but they get strained after a while. Usually better IMO to start at higher level if you are going to feature more powerful species.

_
glass.

Grand Lodge

Ah, thanks for the correction. (Like I said, it’s been many years since I played with it.)

Even with its caveats, I feel it’s a good template or starting point, even if it can’t pass any rubric of testing. And I recommend it.

One still must acknowledge that, no matter how you’re going to attempt it, it’s never gonna be completely balanced. I mean, even PC Classes have game-balance questions, concerns and potential issues — so throwing in monsters,...

But, hell, it’s FUN!


There are a million ways to include monsters in a halfway balanced fashion.

Player characters start with stats ranging from 5 (dropped to 7 then a -2 racial) to 20 (18 +2 racial)...

Pick monsters in that stat range to start, and you will end up with fewer balance issues.

Most monster SLA's don't have any stipulations to make them scale with character levels, so that sort of advantage will quickly balance itself out.

You can already play as Aasimar, Androids, Ogrillon, Noble Drow, Strix, Tieflings, and Trox... all of which have their own balance issues if the player chooses to exploit them.

Then again, a boring Human can become a nuisance with Racial Heritage pretty easy, too. Once again, it comes down to if the player chooses to play that sort of character.


For Pathfinder 1e, you could use The Genius Guide to the Talented Bestiary. It revamps monster stat-ing into a class/level-like system depending on intended role (wild fighter, smart fighter, rogue-ish, caster [with arcane and divine variants], and NPC). It's not intended for balancing PCs, but they acknowledge you could do that, and you at least won't have to do much of the "monster class" level-by-level breakdown yourself.


Savage Species 3.0 and The Genius Guide to the Talented Bestiary... added to my list of resources to buy.

Silver Crusade

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" Any First Hand Experience w / Monstrous PCs? "
... well, yeah. Meet all kinds of them during the game. Even the ones you would think couldn't ever appear in groups, nauseating Aura, overly aggressive, anti-social - all kinds of "Monstrous". Up until "the current crisis" I used to go to a bunch of Convention games and you meet lots of truly "monstrous" players there! In fact, at Origins a few years back, there was one.. wha?" (whisper-whisper) "What kind of...? PCs you say? Not Monstrous PLAYERS?" (pause to re-read thread title) "Oh. Well, that puts a different spin on things... moving on now... have a nice day!"


"Auntie" Baltwin wrote:

" Any First Hand Experience w / Monstrous PCs? "

... well, yeah. Meet all kinds of them during the game. Even the ones you would think couldn't ever appear in groups, nauseating Aura, overly aggressive, anti-social - all kinds of "Monstrous". Up until "the current crisis" I used to go to a bunch of Convention games and you meet lots of truly "monstrous" players there! In fact, at Origins a few years back, there was one.. wha?" (whisper-whisper) "What kind of...? PCs you say? Not Monstrous PLAYERS?" (pause to re-read thread title) "Oh. Well, that puts a different spin on things... moving on now... have a nice day!"

LOL,

Any ways, It all comes down to the world you run and its history. The world we are playing it it will not work. In a world where it is a simple animosity like the Dwarves and Elves then it can work.

If it is like that those then what are the monsters?
Anything you play on that side of the equation will no longer work


DRD1812 wrote:

Have you ever played in a monstrous game? What about a mixed party of monsters and base races? How did it work out? Did you run into balance issues, or did things seem to run fairly smoothly?

I ask because I'm about to go into a "dndoggos" campaign, and I'm trying to figure out what issues to expect mechanically.

Comic Related

I did a few times. I'm always trying to play thri-kreen. It usually works quite well. Thri-kreen are mentally very different than humanoids. They also feel hunger any time they meet an elf emitting pheromones (emitted when an elf either runs or feels fear, both of which are natural reactions when someone meets a thri-kreen).

One time it only worked sort of well. The GM gave me a horror factor (which I didn't actually want) and an NPC rolled a natural 1 against it. He immediately died of a heart attack. The town guards were already wary of a giant bug man, and now they followed me around, assuming I could kill people with a thought. (That character was psionic and could do that, but had no reason to murder random people.)

The last time was years ago, and it went very badly, due to poor player behavior. I convinced the GM to let me play one. We were starting at around 6th-level or so (thri-kreen really should not be in a 1st-level game!) and the level cap is the main reason I rarely got to play one before, since we usually started at 1st-level. Unfortunately the other two players heard about this and both decided to play monsters.

Thri-kreen are uncivilized, generally speaking. My character would not understand concepts like money, which would have been a roleplaying tool. Unfortunately the other two PCs were a warforged (who somehow did not understand money either) and a were-ape, the most normal PC, who basically had to be our "face". I was a ranger, I forget what the warforged was, and the were-ape was a Book of Nine Swords champion, who refused to heal me the first time I got hurt. The champion has a "healing strike" ability to dish out damage and heal allies simultaneously, so there was no good reason not to do so. I basically gave up on that game.

The moral of the story? Do A Session Zero. D&D (and Pathfinder) relies on certain tropes, and monsters don't work with many of those tropes. Don't have more than one monster per party.


i played a centaur in DL once. High strength, appropriate-sized bow and a lance meant I was dealing a lot of damage even without much optmizing. Add on Horseshoes of Speed and I had a lot of fun.

Played a werebear warshaper in 3.5 and had a blast. Best trapfinder we had. Walk into a trap, trigger it, wait for fast healing to get him back to full health, repeat.


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Centaurs used undersized weapons so...medium longbow and lance?

Also, I don't think you need to limit the number of monsters in a party. You need to limit the number of bad players. To zero.


Quixote wrote:

Centaurs used undersized weapons so...medium longbow and lance?

Not in 3.5.

Large weapons all the way.


Ah. I assumed that, since the second example was specified as being 3.5 and the first wasn't...but yes, it was a pretty good choice back then. You didn't have to sacrifice a ton of character levels and you got some stuff that scaled really well.

There was an NPC adventuring party of monsters from "Enemies and Allies". I want to say...a troll fighter on an elephant, an umber hulk monk, a pseudodragon sorcerer...there was also a mummy monk and a mindflayer assassin somewhere in that book. And there was the mindflayer monk from the Book of Exalted Deeds. And let's not forget the completely balanced, totally fair prestige classes for dragons with class levels from the Draconomicon.

It's really something that needs to be done carefully and deliberately. Your standard, sombre dungeon crawls plus trips to town leading to an overarching plot-type game gets weird when one of the PC's is a medusa or something.


Quixote wrote:
It's really something that needs to be done carefully and deliberately. Your standard, sombre dungeon crawls plus trips to town leading to an overarching plot-type game gets weird when one of the PC's is a medusa or something.

People say that like there can't be a world where medusas are normal people.


SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
Quixote wrote:
It's really something that needs to be done carefully and deliberately. Your standard, sombre dungeon crawls plus trips to town leading to an overarching plot-type game gets weird when one of the PC's is a medusa or something.
People say that like there can't be a world where medusas are normal people.

Who said that? I certainly didn't; I said that the inclusion of monstrous PC's (and/or monstrous NPC's in atypical settings) should be handled carefully and deliberately.

There are common tropes of your average D&D campaign setting. If you diverge from those significantly, you'd better let your players know.
If you're going for a more subtle, understated fantasy where elves are strange and exotic peoples from distant lands and tielflings are 1:100,000,000, for example. Or if the planet is hollow and all the continents are on the inside, and you can fly straight up into the sky and end up on the other side of the world. Or if medusas, beholders and xorn are mayors, treasurers and innkeepers of "typical" medieval European towns.

I got pretty mad at one of my friends a long while back when, three sessions into his game, he got irritated at me for assuming dragons existed in his world. Um...seems like a pretty safe assumption. I'm fine with a more "realistic" setting, but let me know.


Quixote wrote:
Who said that? I certainly didn't...

My bad. I'm just defensive about it because people often react to the idea of such a world like it's a big deal as opposed to a drop in the bucket compared to all the human-focused settings.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
Quixote wrote:
Who said that? I certainly didn't...
My bad. I'm just defensive about it because people often react to the idea of such a world like it's a big deal as opposed to a drop in the bucket compared to all the human-focused settings.

It's a bucket of a human-focused world but strangely most PC parties are: kitsune, aasimar, tiefling, duskawlker, dhampire and one token elf.


Gorbacz wrote:
It's a bucket of a human-focused world but strangely most PC parties are: kitsune, aasimar, tiefling, duskawlker, dhampire and one token elf.

That either says something about setting writers' biases, or lack of understanding what the public wants. Or both.


That way you can copy-paste real life stuff without unfortunate implications. Like, it's probably not a good idea to have the predominant species in the african inspired setting be primitive, war-driven orcs, and the predominant species in the east-asian inspired setting be cold, calculating lizardfolk, or whatever.

A lot of it is just plain laziness, of course - when writing an anthrocentric world, you can copy from not only real life, but you just do exactly what Tolkien did, no brain activity of your own required! Put elves in the woods, and orc+dwarfs in the mountains, have everything else populated by humans, and bam, instant setting! Make the humans in the north (never south) norse-inspired and the human in the eastern side of your map east-asian-inspiried. The continent in the middle of your map gets a huge sand desert around the equator. The western continent that has an elongated shape was mostly isolated, had been a while ago visited by seafarers from the north, and nowadays mostly has some colonies on the north-eastern coast, apart from the tomahawk wielding natives (the militaristic empire further south already no longer exists). That's literally the description of Arcadia!


SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
My bad. I'm just defensive about it because people often react to the idea of such a world like it's a big deal as opposed to a drop in the bucket compared to all the human-focused settings.

I personally like more muted tones in my fantasy. In one of my main settings, elves *are* eerie, otherworldly beings from an ancient time.

But then, I've run a Red Wall-esque game and have plans for a Wardian fantasy setting inspired by Adventure Time.


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Derklord wrote:
That way you can copy-paste real life stuff without unfortunate implications.

It doesn't bother me that people make those*. But I wish people wouldn't talk about monsters walking into town as if every setting should react to them in the same way.

* Well, except I feel left out of settings for me to like.

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