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oxinabox
2009-09-08, 02:56 AM
I know there apears to be a differnce balance between the core rulebooks and dragonlance.
But is it just me or are kender just halflings with an additional abitity penality for almost no advantage?

There is the True immunity to fear, i guess.
Not just to magical fear, but to mundane also. :-D I jump of that cliff. why? to see what happens.

Also Dragonlance gnomes vs phb gnomes.


Fluff wise kender are awesome cool, basically halflings on crack.

sofawall
2009-09-08, 03:13 AM
Kender kick ass. They give you an actual reason to steal everything in sight.

Shpadoinkle
2009-09-08, 03:20 AM
Kender kick ass. They give you an actual reason to steal everything in sight.

Which is exactly why they are permanently banned from many games and why so many players and DMs hate them. It's bascially official sanction to act like a world class dumbass.

Bayar
2009-09-08, 03:23 AM
Kender are basically halflings, with ADHD and kleptomania thrown in.

@V all of his equipment are stolen from his crusading buddies.

oxinabox
2009-09-08, 03:37 AM
and an additional -2 penality to wisdom.

oooh< according to fluff kender have the unique abititly to remain lawful while stealling things.
EDIT: because they don't think of it as stealling


I wanna play a kender palidin!
With a lance and the charging feat and strong arm bracer, would even do decent damage:
2x2*(d8+str)=3*(d8+str) (yay for dnd multiplication)

Wisdom and strength penality makes it hard,
and with a dex bonus won't be in fullplate.

EDIT:
Now it's go me thinking:
prestige palidin would proably work better, get those domain powers.
and ohhh so much healling.
Fighter 2/Cleric 3/ Prestige paladin 3+
Preferably get out of Prestige Paldin after lvl 3, cos otherwise theres so much dead space, unless your playing in a diseased filled world of evil.
As compaired to a clean world of neutral i normaly play in.
EDIT2: Yes this build is very front loaded, because so is paldin and fighter and cleric

Grumman
2009-09-08, 05:05 AM
Fluff wise kender are awesome cool, basically halflings on crack.
I hate them, because they're Chaotic Stupid, PvP-happy little bastards that have given halflings a terrible reputation.

Cybren
2009-09-08, 05:09 AM
I always thought kender only stole useless things, like cups and monogrammed toilet paper

Pika...
2009-09-08, 05:22 AM
Aren't there half-kender somewhere?

Or am I the only one who finds said personality attractive on a woman?


p.s. Would it be possible to have both halflings and kender in one homebrewed setting?

Yora
2009-09-08, 05:24 AM
I hate them, because they're Chaotic Stupid, PvP-happy little bastards that have given halflings a terrible reputation.
+1

and gnomes as well.

AslanCross
2009-09-08, 05:27 AM
Aren't there half-kender somewhere?

Or am I the only one who finds said personality attractive on a woman?


p.s. Would it be possible to have both halflings and kender in one homebrewed setting?

...you find kleptomania attractive? :smalleek: Different strokes, I guess.

Pika...
2009-09-08, 05:33 AM
...you find kleptomania attractive? :smalleek: Different strokes, I guess.

Well, I seem to like strong, free willed, and "spunky" women. I guess that explains my attraction to drow priestesses. >.>

Yora
2009-09-08, 05:49 AM
Yes, but..., but...

not KENDER!!! :smalleek:


:smallbiggrin:

oxinabox
2009-09-08, 06:05 AM
p.s. Would it be possible to have both halflings and kender in one homebrewed setting?
Kender would mostly be a subrace of halflings.

has the race stats been updated?
Accourding to gleemax lists which match my book, they are -2 str -2 wis +2 dex. (and in my book immune to fear)

But from anthour source wich quotes a differnt book they are idextica lto halflings (-2 str +2 dex +4 savign throws vs fear

Grumman
2009-09-08, 06:18 AM
Well, I seem to like strong, free willed, and "spunky" women.
See, when I think "strong" and "free willed", I don't think of someone who gives in to unconscious compulsions to be a pain in the ass.

At least a drow sorceress will only stab you in the back because she doesn't respect your feelings and has something to gain.

RagnaroksChosen
2009-09-08, 07:18 AM
chaotic stupid??

Kender Rock.. most people know kender steal things and ususal;y aarn't to pissed about it... may be annoyed yes but not angered (especialy good people) ususaly they just say hey you stole that and the kenders like o woops here...

Berserk Monk
2009-09-08, 07:22 AM
Fluff wise kender are awesome cool, basically halflings on crack.

That's the name of my band should I ever join/start one: Halflings on Crack, performing their number one hit, I ain't Got Yo Magic Ring.

Yora
2009-09-08, 07:25 AM
chaotic stupid??

Kender Rock.. most people know kender steal things and ususal;y aarn't to pissed about it... may be annoyed yes but not angered (especialy good people)
Because they were created by people who think kenders are funny.

Tyndmyr
2009-09-08, 07:47 AM
Ive played a coupla campaigns with Kenders...they can be either incredibly troublesome or freakin hilarious. Mostly depending on how good the kender player is, and how familiar the rest of the characters are with kenders.

Im trying to convince my usual gaming group to have our next campaign consist entirely of kender wizards. Spell preparation will be interesting...what spellbook do I have today?

Tyndmyr
2009-09-08, 07:50 AM
I always thought kender only stole useless things, like cups and monogrammed toilet paper

They're unconcious kleptos. They steal pretty much at random. If you're using them as an excuse to swipe your parties valuables, etc, you're playing them wrong.

Mark Hall
2009-09-08, 09:16 AM
Kender have to be handled carefully by a DM, and they have to be in the hands of the right player. Last time I had a Kender PC (in 2nd edition), I made something clear to the player:

You do not control your natural abilities. You can call upon them at will, but if you're standing next to someone with something interesting, you will try to steal it at my option. If you start casually insulting someone, I decide if it counts as a taunt or not. And there is NOTHING out of character by a kender player. If you make a snarky comment out of game, it happens in game.

These rules, incidentally, resulted in a Knight of Solamnia treeing the cleric of Mishikal, trying to chop down said tree with his family sword. It was a fun game.

Myshlaevsky
2009-09-08, 09:20 AM
p.s. Would it be possible to have both halflings and kender in one homebrewed setting?

No. Two races enter, one race leaves.

Pika...
2009-09-08, 09:39 AM
Kender would mostly be a subrace of halflings.


How would you as DM manage and roleplay the relations between both races/cultures?

Note I run my halflings more tolkenish, with big furry feet and all.




No. Two races enter, one race leaves.

Why? :smallfrown:

Mark Hall
2009-09-08, 09:45 AM
p.s. Would it be possible to have both halflings and kender in one homebrewed setting?

5th Age Dragonlance more or less did that; there were the regular kender, then there were those who were so mentally scarred by Malys's destruction of Kendermore and Goodlund that they lost their immunity to fear and much of their carefree natures... becoming, essentially, 3.x halflings.

bosssmiley
2009-09-08, 10:08 AM
IIRC in Dragonlance canon Kender were originally Gnomes given racial ADHD by a magical flying rock as a "take that!" to JRRT. There's nothing good about who they are or what they do (Kender and Dragonlance writers). :smallannoyed:

OTOH Kender as a player race option is an instant wanker detector (DM, if he has it as an option; player, if they choose said option). :smalltongue:

shadzar
2009-09-08, 10:24 AM
There is the True immunity to fear, i guess.
Not just to magical fear, but to mundane also. :-D I jump of that cliff. why? to see what happens.

:smallfurious: Fearless does not equal stupid.

chiasaur11
2009-09-08, 10:30 AM
IIRC in Dragonlance canon Kender were originally Gnomes given racial ADHD by a magical flying rock as a "take that!" to JRRT. There's nothing good about who they are or what they do (Kender and Dragonlance writers). :smallannoyed:

OTOH Kender as a player race option is an instant wanker detector (DM, if he has it as an option; player, if they choose said option). :smalltongue:

What if the DM only put it there as a wanker detector?

Ozymandias9
2009-09-08, 10:31 AM
IIRC in Dragonlance canon Kender were originally Gnomes given racial ADHD by a magical flying rock as a "take that!" to JRRT. There's nothing good about who they are or what they do (Kender and Dragonlance writers). :smallannoyed:

Actually, that was the same flying rock that made the gnomes and dwarves. The ones that wanted to leave it alone became dwarves, the ones that wanted to see how it worked became gnomes, and the ones that thought it was shiny and wanted it became Kender.

And as to theft and whether or not they are good, the fluff puts Kender as having no durable concept of property outside possession. They lock their doors not to keep people out, but because picking locks is fun.

oxinabox
2009-09-08, 10:48 AM
And as to theft and whether or not they are good, the fluff puts Kender as having no durable concept of property outside possession. They lock their doors not to keep people out, but because picking locks is fun.

Thus my kender paladin.



It was the same flying rock that made the gnomes and dwarves. The ones that wanted to leave it alone became dwarves, the ones that wanted to see how it worked became gnomes, and the ones that thought it was shiny and wanted it became Kender.
Can I sig that, Please?

Ozymandias9
2009-09-08, 11:25 AM
Um, sure. Really didn't think I was writing anything interesting enough to quote there. I'm flattered.


On another note, a if someone is playing a Kender with a straight face, its important that lacking a durable concept of property should go in both directions. They should have no concept of this is mine beyond "I have this" except to try and respect other race's concept of property. This should apply to how they view their own property as well. Otherwise, yes, it just becomes an excuse to steal.

T.G. Oskar
2009-09-08, 11:57 AM
They're unconcious kleptos. They steal pretty much at random. If you're using them as an excuse to swipe your parties valuables, etc, you're playing them wrong.

I guess this resumes what a Kender should be.

A person who plays a Kender as an excuse for stealing is actually playing it wrong, or would rather be better playing an afflicted Kender (or a Halfling, whose kleptomania isn't unintentional but rather intentional, and almost a religious duty if you know what I speak).

The Kender's "Handling" is more of a tool for the DM than a tool for the player. If the player consciously does a Sleight of Hand and takes something, even with the intention of returning it, for the explicit purpose of annoying, it's playing the Kender wrong. If the DM forces the player to do so, then it's completely natural and actually expected.

It also allows the DM to fix a mistake by handling the players a crucial item even if they don't actually sought it (aka, railroad-licious!!), or if the DM is benevolent, an item to prevent TPK. If it's a sadistic DM, though, a Kender can be troubling for the group since all of a sudden you're holding the item of someone who's not happy to see things stolen, and will hunt the PCs until the ends of the earth for it.

I, personally, have attempted to DM a player who has a good grasp of what a Kender does, and it's funny to roleplay the NPC reactions. Granted, I still need to learn more, but I have a good grasp of how to work with one (and how to punish one if it gets a bit too fond of handling things badly)

Also, Kender's propensity to taunting. Pretty nice, even if in practice it's not that powerful.

In either case, both can exist peacefully, although Halflings would be naturally wary of Kenders. A Halfling that knows a Kender may even bluff all the way to get the stuff he wants, even though in the end the Kender will be angry at his "friend" for it. They'd be favored by Yondalla, who knows about their curiosity but also adores their innocence, and would request her own Halfling priests to be a bit more protective. There are ways to handle both (no pun intended), but it requires a mature player (oh, the irony) and a savvy DM to work that out.

Cieyrin
2009-09-08, 12:11 PM
For those interested in all things Kender, I direct you to the Kencyclopedia (http://www.kencyclopedia.com/). The fluff is pretty good in handling Kender and their related races (Kender hybrids like Human/Kender, Gnome/Kender, Afflicted Kender, etc.) though the crunch can be a bit wonky and 3.0 in places but interesting in general.

I also agree with Oskar, as most of what gives Kender a bad name are people who don't play Kender right, using their natural Kleptomania as an excuse to annoy everyone else. Kender are all about being incredibly curious about the world around them and, unlike tinker gnomes, collect interesting things around them that they find interesting. Everything is a new curiosity that needs their attention. They don't take things because they see monetary value in them, they borrow and this is why there's a Kender-run business in Palanthas called the Finder's Guild, where if you're missing something, you go there and see if it's been 'found'.:smallbiggrin:

Tiki Snakes
2009-09-08, 12:23 PM
Note I run my halflings more tolkenish, with big furry feet and all.




No. Two races enter, one race leaves.

Where did you think all the furry footed hobbit-halflings went, anyway? ;)
Kender's stole their place. "Oh, were you existing here? lulz!"

Alavar
2009-09-08, 12:26 PM
Kenders can be quite fun to have in a party. All the players who get annoyed just need to be wizards, polymorph/alter self into having eyes with hourglasses in them, and then coldly tell the kender that if anything of theirs is stolen, then the kender will die slowly. Then follow through, if ya have to.

chiasaur11
2009-09-08, 12:31 PM
Kenders can be quite fun to have in a party. All the players who get annoyed just need to be wizards, polymorph/alter self into having eyes with hourglasses in them, and then coldly tell the kender that if anything of theirs is stolen, then the kender will die slowly. Then follow through, if ya have to.

Or even if you don't.

I mean, they don't know fear, a fundamental part of life. It's your solemn duty to rectify that error.

Tiki Snakes
2009-09-08, 12:45 PM
To be fair, Kender and Kenderish Halflings strain my verisimilitude for one reason. I cannot in all honesty see how they could not yet be extinct?

If they are so prone to rampant theft and general troublemaking, most even vaguely non-exalted societies are going to forcefully relocate them at best within a very short time of them having set up nearby.

Really, they are absolutely prime targets for Genocide.

Kosjsjach
2009-09-08, 12:47 PM
This thread amused me, partly because I'm relatively new to D&D and I understood "Kender" as "Kenku" (MM3) (which made me wonder for a while, "why would small bird-like humanoids be a sub-race of halflings?"). Don't worry, I figured out my error about halfway through the first page. :smallredface:

It got me thinking, though: wouldn't the rampant kleptomania and the nigh-irresistible urge to taunt be perfect for the kenku?

As they stand now, I find kenku pretty bland. Giving them the kender's disposition would give them some much-needed flavor. Toss them the bonus to Sleight of Hand and you're all set. (Not to mention, the kenku's Great Ally ability gives a party a reason to keep one around, and Mimicry would just make taunting that much more amusing.)

Call me crazy, but I like the notion of a race of humanoid mockingbird magpies.

Jera
2009-09-08, 12:52 PM
Oskar has it right, my favorite character was a Kender Red Robed Sorcerer who specialized in conjuration.

The way we handled the kleptomania is that he was "able to automatically create exact copies of items that people recently lost."

NPC: HEY STOP! That's my (random item)
Kender: Really? Here you go. You're lucky I was around to conjure it. You see people everywhere lose their stuff everyday and I've decided to spend my life devoted to magic finding and conjuring those items. Though some people are rude enough to think that I actually took the item. Can you believe that here I am working everyday to he-
NPC: SHUT UP. (walks away)
Kender: -lping others..... Huh? where did he go?....A +1 dagger? plus one what? is it peanuts, cause I'm kinda craving peanuts right now. Hey (party member) look I found a dagger that has +1 peanuts, I wonder how to get them out....

chiasaur11
2009-09-08, 12:54 PM
This thread amused me, partly because I'm relatively new to D&D and I understood "Kender" as "Kenku" (MM3) (which made me wonder for a while, "why would small bird-like humanoids be a sub-race of halflings?"). Don't worry, I figured out my error about halfway through the first page. :smallredface:

It got me thinking, though: wouldn't the rampant kleptomania and the nigh-irresistible urge to taunt be perfect for the kenku?

As they stand now, I find kenku pretty bland. Giving them the kender's disposition would give them some much-needed flavor. Toss them the bonus to Sleight of Hand and you're all set. (Not to mention, the kenku's Great Ally ability gives a party a reason to keep one around, and Mimicry would just make taunting that much more amusing.)

Call me crazy, but I like the notion of a race of humanoid mockingbird magpies.

Yeah, somehow that works a little better. Dunno why.

Also, on the Kender's survival: they also are naturally fearless. Although that's not a guarantee of suicidal recklessness, combined with their other traits it should mean the first contact between Kender and chromatic dragons would lead to a quick bout of genocide. (and there was much rejoicing).

Tiki Snakes
2009-09-08, 12:59 PM
Yeah, somehow that works a little better. Dunno why.

Also, on the Kender's survival: they also are naturally fearless. Although that's not a guarantee of suicidal recklessness, combined with their other traits it should mean the first contact between Kender and chromatic dragons would lead to a quick bout of genocide. (and there was much rejoicing).

That's a good point actually. Can't believe I never considered the Dragon issue before.
Still, it'd make the gnomes happy. (Because for a generation or two, the Kobold's of the world would be too busy eradicating Kender Society on the off chance of making Dragon's happy for them to be pestering gnomes or scrawling offensive graffiti concerning Garl Glittergold's inter-species sexual preferences on the toilet walls).

Archpaladin Zousha
2009-09-08, 01:12 PM
I've always been of the opinion that kender were okay, but they really didn't fit any place besides the Dragonlance setting. I'm the kind of guy who likes neat orderly canon and tries to avoid shoehorning something that obviously belongs in one setting into one that doesn't have it. The only way I could picture a kender outside of Krynn would be for them to jump through an interesting looking portal because they wanted to know where it led, and when they came out and the portal closed behind them, they didn't mind becuase now they had a whole new world they could explore!

Kender aren't bad in my book.

Yukitsu
2009-09-08, 01:17 PM
Kender are the reason I invented a days per level version of the spell "wrack".

Yora
2009-09-08, 01:37 PM
There's also familicide. That would be a good start.

John Campbell
2009-09-08, 02:04 PM
I have a kill-on-sight policy regarding kender. Saves time, really.

Admiral Squish
2009-09-08, 02:30 PM
I'd like to third a vote for the kenku with kender traits idea. I don't know when I'd get to do it, but it must be done.

Drakyn
2009-09-08, 02:34 PM
I'm going to join chiasaur and tiki snakes in wondering why the kender haven't been genocided. They're scarcely physically overpowering, and even the nicest civilizations seem to regard them as absolute nuisances.
Actually, we could theorize that maybe kender are ultimate survivalists. Almost supernaturally good at bouncing back from pogroms and evading mobs of house-to-house searchers. Capable of spending six months breathing through a straw while hiding inside a dump, living off rats that come to bite their toes.

Cieyrin
2009-09-08, 09:05 PM
I'm going to join chiasaur and tiki snakes in wondering why the kender haven't been genocided. They're scarcely physically overpowering, and even the nicest civilizations seem to regard them as absolute nuisances.
Actually, we could theorize that maybe kender are ultimate survivalists. Almost supernaturally good at bouncing back from pogroms and evading mobs of house-to-house searchers. Capable of spending six months breathing through a straw while hiding inside a dump, living off rats that come to bite their toes.

People say these types of things about goblins, orcs, kobolds and lots of so-called "lesser races," saying they should have died out a long time ago. The answer is always the same, at least for the above: No one wants to spend the resources to go out to eliminate them from the food chain of the world. It's too expensive to field the forces you'd need to hunt down and eliminate every single orc, kobold and goblin and even those who do have the resources to do so, they got better things to do with their time than kill orcs and goblins, they're out setting up kingdoms and creating legacies to stand the ages. No all-powerful wizard is gonna sit down and go eliminate them from the face of the world, because they have bigger fish to fry.

As for the Kender, they aren't the fearless Kleptos that destabilize societies that people claim that they are. They're not going shop to shop, picking it clean like a school of piranhas of everything valuable and going their merry way. Kender don't have the attention span or the maliciousness to do such to anyone or any place, it's not in their nature. Yes, they'll handle objects but that's because they a) lack a sense of the meaning of personal property (like some human cultures, I might add) and b) they are out and out curious about the world about them and the things that they find. They don't have focus like tinker gnomes, so they simply collect like magpies anything that draws their interest. They are all too happy to return the things they borrow to the owners, no harm done. Dealing with Kender is kinda like dealing with a class of kindergardners, it's something you get used to and deal with.

Chromatic Dragons aren't going to go out of their way to murdelate Kender, they have other things to worry about. They may kill one or two that cross their paths but they're not gonna go out and kill them all, they have better things to do with their time, as Kender hardly have any wealth to their name for a chromatic to want to go to the trouble, they'll go after dwarves or humans for that sort of thing.

Them's my 2 coppers. Take as you will.

EDIT: Also, the Kenku as Magpies idea amuses me. I approve. =3

Drakyn
2009-09-08, 09:22 PM
People say these types of things about goblins, orcs, kobolds and lots of so-called "lesser races," saying they should have died out a long time ago. The answer is always the same, at least for the above: No one wants to spend the resources to go out to eliminate them from the food chain of the world. It's too expensive to field the forces you'd need to hunt down and eliminate every single orc, kobold and goblin and even those who do have the resources to do so, they got better things to do with their time than kill orcs and goblins, they're out setting up kingdoms and creating legacies to stand the ages. No all-powerful wizard is gonna sit down and go eliminate them from the face of the world, because they have bigger fish to fry.

As for the Kender, they aren't the fearless Kleptos that destabilize societies that people claim that they are. They're not going shop to shop, picking it clean like a school of piranhas of everything valuable and going their merry way. Kender don't have the attention span or the maliciousness to do such to anyone or any place, it's not in their nature. Yes, they'll handle objects but that's because they a) lack a sense of the meaning of personal property (like some human cultures, I might add) and b) they are out and out curious about the world about them and the things that they find. They don't have focus like tinker gnomes, so they simply collect like magpies anything that draws their interest. They are all too happy to return the things they borrow to the owners, no harm done. Dealing with Kender is kinda like dealing with a class of kindergardners, it's something you get used to and deal with.

Chromatic Dragons aren't going to go out of their way to murdelate Kender, they have other things to worry about. They may kill one or two that cross their paths but they're not gonna go out and kill them all, they have better things to do with their time, as Kender hardly have any wealth to their name for a chromatic to want to go to the trouble, they'll go after dwarves or humans for that sort of thing.

Them's my 2 coppers. Take as you will.

EDIT: Also, the Kenku as Magpies idea amuses me. I approve. =3

Except goblins, orcs, and kobolds breed like rats and are really, really hardy as a whole. Kender, as far as I know, aren't particularly fecund. Tough as individuals, maybe, but they don't have the same cockroachiness about them.
Moreover, Kender society just seems so unstable that you're right - most shops wouldn't be picked clean, for that you need a mob. Or malice. Which, as you say, wouldn't be there. Other hand, this makes them even more annoying; you don't have enough kender just floating around that people get used to them as persistent presences, you just have random individuals show up to wrack innocent kleptoness and then depart. And since they can't be taught otherwise, I'm fairly sure that they'd be viewed as pests at best and just exterminated on sight by the less-cheery societies. Not necessarily hunted down and murdered wholesale in military campaigns, but definitely not treated with the amount of tolerance that dragonlance seems to presume.

oxinabox
2009-09-08, 09:36 PM
Kenders are actully kinda lawful.
for very small values of lawfulness.
They Hate theives.
Thus my kender palidin is going to be sooo fun to play.
Hey DM, My race is naturally kelptomanic, but we have no notion of property and almost no greed, we Handle thigns without conscios thought, Honestly it's in our fluff!
So I'm going to roll everynow and again, about every hours or so in game, more if there are shinies about, and then i'll attemp to pocket then nearest shiny, your choicel.
I honstly can't help it.

And then theres combat.
"Charge them" (in a high pich squeek)
"For Honor and Glory, and Bread and Butter Pudding!"
Kender jumps one Heavy warhorse (taking penaltiy to riode but getting bonus to awesome),

Kosjsjach
2009-09-08, 10:09 PM
I have a question.

I've done a little reading up on kenders, and I keep running across this (or some variant thereof):
Kender are completely and entirely innocent, and remain so throughout their lives. Due to this they are fearless and do not feel sexual lust.

It forces me to wonder... where do baby kenders come from? :smallconfused:

Kylarra
2009-09-08, 10:16 PM
I have a question.

I've done a little reading up on kenders, and I keep running across this (or some variant thereof):

It forces me to wonder... where do baby kenders come from? :smallconfused:

Curiosity.

Drakyn
2009-09-08, 10:21 PM
.................................... :smallconfused:


:smalleek:

Kosjsjach
2009-09-08, 10:31 PM
Curiosity.
*blink*
...
*blink blink*


Well then. :smalleek:

(:smallbiggrin:!)

Pika...
2009-09-08, 10:38 PM
Curiosity.

What about the half-kender...

Kosjsjach
2009-09-08, 10:42 PM
Ha, it actually works better to explain half-kenders. :smallwink:

Admiral Squish
2009-09-08, 10:43 PM
What about the half-kender...

Curiosity. Leave it at that.

Kylarra
2009-09-08, 10:43 PM
What about the half-kender...
Well they do say halflings look like little people... :smalleek:

Ravens_cry
2009-09-08, 10:47 PM
Curiosity.
You break my brain.

What about the half-kender...
Your break my brain more.
I am not sure which is worse, half-Kender, or half-kobold (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Half-Kobold_(DnD_Race))?

Sholos
2009-09-08, 10:49 PM
What about the half-kender...

Again, curiosity. On both sides.

As to the survival of kender, I point out that the armies of Takhisis did try to wipe out Kenderhome, and failed miserably. There's also the fact that most kenders are not actually running rampant through the countryside. They're at home, raising children or just generally living their lives. The ones running around are the ones still affected by Wanderlust, and, yes, quite a few of them run afoul of dangers that their fearlessness gets them into. As to societies just wiping them out, I imagine that the very few evil societies that exist in Krynn do just that. However, most cities in Krynn are pretty Lawful Neutral, and thus don't see any real reason to slaughter kenders just for visiting.

Drakyn
2009-09-08, 10:56 PM
Agreed, but you'd expect more racism, overt hostility, muggings, and general mindless brutality directed at them in general, and less of the "oh darnit, a kender 'borrowing;' sling 'im in the brig and give me my stuff back." Especially because of the universal kleptomania. People already find it easy to hate things different from them, and adding into it that the strangers habitually pocket your belongings would make it worse, you'd think.

Pika...
2009-09-08, 11:07 PM
Agreed, but you'd expect more racism, overt hostility, muggings, and general mindless brutality directed at them in general, and less of the "oh darnit, a kender 'borrowing;' sling 'im in the brig and give me my stuff back." Especially because of the universal kleptomania. People already find it easy to hate things different from them, and adding into it that the strangers habitually pocket your belongings would make it worse, you'd think.

Well, perhaps in a world where that has been around since day 1, it would be as "normal" as someone having red hair?

Kosjsjach
2009-09-08, 11:19 PM
For fun, I thought I'd stat the Kender-inspired Kenku.

Kenku Racial Traits
small size
+2 Dexterity, -2 Strength
base speed 30 ft. - as kenku
+4 racial bonus to Sleight of Hand checks, able to use untrained - as kender
Mimicry (Ex) - as kenku (depending on where I look, the kender seems to have a remarkably similar ability)
Great Ally (Ex) - from kenku; omitted to balance Sleight of Hand bonus
Immunity to Fear - from kender; seems overpowered (feel free to prove me wrong)
Natural Weapons: 2 claws (1d3) - from kenku; keep?
Low-light vision - as kenku
Favored class: Rogue


Now all it needs is a magpie/mockingbird mechanic. I think Mark Hall said it best:

[Speaking as DM:] You do not control your natural abilities. You can call upon them at will, but if you're standing next to someone with something interesting, you will try to steal it at my option. If you start casually insulting someone, I decide if it counts as a taunt or not. And there is NOTHING out of character by a kender player. If you make a snarky comment out of game, it happens in game.
I just don't know how to put that in a racial stat block. :smalltongue:

Thoughts?

(Sorry for the thread-derailment. I'm just reluctant to start my own topics for things like this.)

Admiral Squish
2009-09-08, 11:34 PM
I don't think it would break them to get the immunity to fear, too.

As for the klepto:
Every time a kenderku comes adjacent to a character, he must make a will save DC25 or immediately make a sleight of hand check to 'borrow' an item from them. Roll 1d20 to determine the target of their kleptomania.
1:weapon
2:shield
3:armor
4:vest
5:helmet
6:cloak
7:amulet
8:ring
9:gloves
10:boots
11:coinpurse
12-20: one item chosen randomly from the target's bags.

oxinabox
2009-09-08, 11:37 PM
Put the Kender -2 penalty to wisdom back in.
And give them immunity to fear.

your right about not giving ther +1 to all saves
and instead giving them the Lowlight vision and claw attacks.

You can't steal an equipted item.

Admiral Squish
2009-09-08, 11:44 PM
Not so. In what little I've read of dragonlance, the kender took a dagger from a halfling's scabbard, and the ring off a dwarf's finger. I don't see anything in the skill usage about not being able to take an equipped item, it just says it's a 'DC 20 Sleight of Hand check to obtain it'. I admit it would be difficult to steal a man's boots as he walked, but this is a kender we're talking about. They do that sort of thing.

Ozymandias9
2009-09-09, 12:32 AM
On the topic of Kender-cide, you're all vastly overestimate the incentive to attack Kendermore (Kenderhome? can't remember). Palanthis (sp?), one of the biggest cities in the Krynn setting can just devote some guards to policing them and returning the items taken, or just throwing them out if it gets out of hand. The nuisance is fairly minimal in most places, and Kendermore (I think it is Kendermore) isn't really important enough either in terms of location or resources to be worth invading.

Yukitsu
2009-09-09, 12:36 AM
I think I've mentioned this IRL, but frankly, if I got something important to me pinched by one, and learned that the entire damn race is like that, (I play casters) I'd simply mind rape them all into being normal halflings. It only takes one irate wizard for a race to wind up not stupid.

Sholos
2009-09-09, 01:44 AM
I think I've mentioned this IRL, but frankly, if I got something important to me pinched by one, and learned that the entire damn race is like that, (I play casters) I'd simply mind rape them all into being normal halflings. It only takes one irate wizard for a race to wind up not stupid.

Paladine would like a word with you.

Ozymandias9
2009-09-09, 02:06 AM
Paladine would like a word with you.

And Rerox too. And maybe even Sargas: he doesn't mind mundane slavery and doesn't like Kender, but he's got a real strong stance against messing with actual metaphysical free will.

Also, every white robed wizard in the the conclave. And maybe the red and black robes too, if the backlash is serious enough. Seriously, never leave a tower of high sorcery again: they aren't allowed to attack you there.

shadowxknight
2009-09-09, 02:13 AM
I think I've mentioned this IRL, but frankly, if I got something important to me pinched by one, and learned that the entire damn race is like that, (I play casters) I'd simply mind rape them all into being normal halflings. It only takes one irate wizard for a race to wind up not stupid.

Sounds like a job for Raistlin. :smallwink:
Although from what I've read, I always thought he liked Tas to a certain degree.

oxinabox
2009-09-09, 02:36 AM
i think to bring kender in to line with Halflings and everyother resonable race other than half orc (ich is kinda understandable: 1WotC hate's greens, 2 +2 Str is more usefull than alot of things)
It need +2 Cha
(base -2 str +2 dex, -2 wis)
Cos people like kender, for some reason ,be it there child like apearence or demeanor, kender just seem to be likeable.
(even the Handleing never seems to annoy too many, for some reason)

I wanna run dragonlance.
but i'm involved in enough games.
(each week run 1, play 1, and play in another every other + one off games)
and i want to run Tome of Horrors first.

Sintanan
2009-09-09, 02:42 AM
Now I'm tempted to try to talk the DM into allowing a Kender monk with Vow of Poverty.:smallbiggrin:

oxinabox
2009-09-09, 02:55 AM
Now I'm tempted to try to talk the DM into allowing a Kender monk with Vow of Poverty.:smallbiggrin:

Wow, My brain just broke.
umm.
umm.
err, VoP rules.
err. :eek:
Yes You can do that, infact VoP theif is entirly legal by a literal reading.
You may not own, or use any matrial possession.
You may not Borrow any Magic item
exceptions are a spell compant pounch, 1 simple weapon (nonMW, non magic), pessants cloths and 1 days worth of food.

No rule against borrowing nonMagical items.
So long as you don't use them, or claim ownership of them.
So you could even carry arround alot of money, that was lent to you.

Mark Hall
2009-09-09, 03:28 AM
Now all it needs is a magpie/mockingbird mechanic. I think Mark Hall said it best:

I just don't know how to put that in a racial stat block. :smalltongue:

Thoughts?


*Handling: Kender, with their natural curiosity, tend to pick up things and look at them. Including things that belong to other people. Any time a kender is near an "interesting" object or person, they will unconsciously make a Sleight of Hand check as if they had taken 10. Success indicates that the Kender has handled one or more objects without being noticed; these objects will be examined for 1d4 rounds each before being put either in the kender's pouches or in a random location. A kender who concentrates on not handling objects may resist the urge for ten minutes with a DC 15 Will save. Those who are familiar with kender frequently keep interesting but useless items (feathers, bits of fur, pretty rocks) in their pockets and pouches to distract would-be handlers. A kender who is confronted about this handling will deny that it is theft and come up with some reason that they possess it; the reason is usually plausible on its face, but seldom stands even casual scrutiny.

*Aura of Innocence (Ex): Kender possess an aura of innocence which makes it difficult for most humans, elves, dwarves and gnomes to stay angry at them. While this does not protect kender who are actively harming the target, it does protect many from the full ravages of the law. Remaining angry at a harmless kender requires a successful Will save against the Kender's Bluff modifier + 10. For each step that the character is away from Chaotic Good, they gain a +1 bonus to this saving throw. Failure indicates that the kender is let off with little more than a reprimand, or perhaps a night in jail.

ondonaflash
2009-09-09, 03:42 AM
Okay, I've just been reading through most of the Dragonlance books, so I thought I'd try to clear the air a little. First, Not only are Kender quite fecund , they also have incredibly easy childbirth, some say because they are beloved by the gods, as true innocents (a point we'll be returning to), and some say its a survival mechanism due to the fact that Kender are butchered by anyone Chaotic Neutral or worse (The Brothers Majere).

Also, Kender are notoriously skilled at getting away from trouble (Dragons of Autumn Twilight). A man jumps a kender with a knife? The small sprightly kender can run away, taunt him into an unreasoning fury (Dragons of a Winter Night), and lead him into a crowd where he'll make a scene, or lead him into a river where he'll be washed away, or lead him between a bear cub and its mother (Tales of Uncle Trapspringer).

And the reason most major societies don't exterminate them? Kender are surprisingly resilient when actually threatened (References made in Dragons of Spring Dawning to them turning back the red dragon armies, and killing Toede), and the fact that kender really are innocent (The Soulforge). It would be similar to butchering children. In fact, people find it unnerving when Kender lose this innocence (Dragons of the Hourglass Mage). Kender are good people, and on some level the people who are exposed to them recognize that, and are reluctant to kill them, and really is there any greater crime than having the blood of a true innocent on your hands?

B9anders
2009-09-09, 04:04 AM
I know there apears to be a differnce balance between the core rulebooks and dragonlance.
But is it just me or are kender just halflings with an additional abitity penality for almost no advantage?

In second edition, halflings were more akin to Tolkien hobbits, appreciating the good life and generally depicted a bit more stocky in build. Gnomes were fey-like dwarves who lived under hills.

Quite a contrast to the tinker gnomes of DL who lived for inventions and gadgeteering and the kender who were rather more slim, afflicted by wanderlust and quite fearless.

in 3rd edition, standard gnomes and halflings got quite a few traits from their DL counterparts to the point that the differences now are more negligible.

BobVosh
2009-09-09, 04:31 AM
Okay, I've just been reading through most of the Dragonlance books, so I thought I'd try to clear the air a little. First, Not only are Kender quite fecund , they also have incredibly easy childbirth, some say because they are beloved by the gods, as true innocents (a point we'll be returning to), and some say its a survival mechanism due to the fact that Kender are butchered by anyone Chaotic Neutral or worse (The Brothers Majere).
What? Why not LN? They stole they get punished. Handless kender should abound. Or something. So spake Mechanus. I'm sure there is some group of LN.

I find Kender annoying, especially Tasslehoff Burrfoot.

As for the innocence excuse: even a small child can learn not to steal. Randomly they have strong will power, and then they can't resist petty theft.

Yora
2009-09-09, 04:45 AM
Kenders are Mary Sues of one very sick person.

Forevernade
2009-09-09, 06:31 AM
I think I've mentioned this IRL, but frankly, if I got something important to me pinched by one, and learned that the entire damn race is like that, (I play casters) I'd simply mind rape them all into being normal halflings. It only takes one irate wizard for a race to wind up not stupid.

The Fearlessness is actually a physical trait, not a mental one. For example, a Kendar in one of the novel series approaches a 'forbidden grove' which emits a supernatural aura of fear. Not even very high level characters can LOOK at the grove without running in fear, but this Kendar still manages to get within a range no other mortal has been within. He begins to vomit violently and becomes 'physically repelled' wherein his limbs refuse to move toward the grove - all the while the Kendar has no understanding of what is happening to him, making no connection in his mind to the IDEA of fear. He seems to believe it is a great annoyance that he is unable to approach the grove.

So you can see a Kendar that 'falls' is much more horrific an idea than first expected. It is a physical change brought upon by incredibly horrific experiences.

Another moment in one of the novels a Kendar is face to face (and might I say, in conversation) with a Death Knight, a creature of pure evil, death and fear. The Kendar later explains that he felt a mild discomfort, something he had never felt before in his life.

I'm sure the kleptomania tendencies are similar, where they are physically lacking that which allows a person to feel fear, prejudice, greed, and all that separates humans from Kendar.

This is why I would think Mindrape would do absolutely nothing to them: the spell allows manipulation of memories, emotions and alignment, etc, but their kleptomania is neither memory, emotion, nor alignment based.

Forevernade
2009-09-09, 06:58 AM
"Like all death knights, there is always an aura of freezing unearthly cold around Soth, the demeanor so terrifying that even kender have been known to be frightened" - Dragonlance: Legend of the Twins (1st ed.)

Drakyn
2009-09-09, 10:31 AM
Okay, I've just been reading through most of the Dragonlance books, so I thought I'd try to clear the air a little. First, Not only are Kender quite fecund , they also have incredibly easy childbirth, some say because they are beloved by the gods, as true innocents (a point we'll be returning to), and some say its a survival mechanism due to the fact that Kender are butchered by anyone Chaotic Neutral or worse (The Brothers Majere).

Also, Kender are notoriously skilled at getting away from trouble (Dragons of Autumn Twilight). A man jumps a kender with a knife? The small sprightly kender can run away, taunt him into an unreasoning fury (Dragons of a Winter Night), and lead him into a crowd where he'll make a scene, or lead him into a river where he'll be washed away, or lead him between a bear cub and its mother (Tales of Uncle Trapspringer).

And the reason most major societies don't exterminate them? Kender are surprisingly resilient when actually threatened (References made in Dragons of Spring Dawning to them turning back the red dragon armies, and killing Toede), and the fact that kender really are innocent (The Soulforge). It would be similar to butchering children. In fact, people find it unnerving when Kender lose this innocence (Dragons of the Hourglass Mage). Kender are good people, and on some level the people who are exposed to them recognize that, and are reluctant to kill them, and really is there any greater crime than having the blood of a true innocent on your hands?

Okay, that nicely solves the whole issue. Although I'll admit the very last bit feels like plot armour, the entirety of the rest makes decent sense.

Glimbur
2009-09-09, 11:33 AM
...[give Kender]... claw attacks.

I agree that they are inhuman monsters that should be put down, but claw attacks? Really?

Yukitsu
2009-09-09, 11:41 AM
And Rerox too. And maybe even Sargas: he doesn't mind mundane slavery and doesn't like Kender, but he's got a real strong stance against messing with actual metaphysical free will.

They now have as much free will as every other living creature in the world, as opposed to more, like they had previously.


The Fearlessness is actually a physical trait, not a mental one. For example, a Kendar in one of the novel series approaches a 'forbidden grove' which emits a supernatural aura of fear. Not even very high level characters can LOOK at the grove without running in fear, but this Kendar still manages to get within a range no other mortal has been within. He begins to vomit violently and becomes 'physically repelled' wherein his limbs refuse to move toward the grove - all the while the Kendar has no understanding of what is happening to him, making no connection in his mind to the IDEA of fear. He seems to believe it is a great annoyance that he is unable to approach the grove.

That's actually indication that it's mental. Their physical body was capable of understanding it was threatened, but they weren't mentally able to process it. Ideas are a mental thing, not physical.

Foeofthelance
2009-09-09, 12:53 PM
Okay, I've just been reading through most of the Dragonlance books, so I thought I'd try to clear the air a little. First, Not only are Kender quite fecund , they also have incredibly easy childbirth, some say because they are beloved by the gods, as true innocents (a point we'll be returning to), and some say its a survival mechanism due to the fact that Kender are butchered by anyone Chaotic Neutral or worse (The Brothers Majere).

Also, Kender are notoriously skilled at getting away from trouble (Dragons of Autumn Twilight). A man jumps a kender with a knife? The small sprightly kender can run away, taunt him into an unreasoning fury (Dragons of a Winter Night), and lead him into a crowd where he'll make a scene, or lead him into a river where he'll be washed away, or lead him between a bear cub and its mother (Tales of Uncle Trapspringer).

And the reason most major societies don't exterminate them? Kender are surprisingly resilient when actually threatened (References made in Dragons of Spring Dawning to them turning back the red dragon armies, and killing Toede), and the fact that kender really are innocent (The Soulforge). It would be similar to butchering children. In fact, people find it unnerving when Kender lose this innocence (Dragons of the Hourglass Mage). Kender are good people, and on some level the people who are exposed to them recognize that, and are reluctant to kill them, and really is there any greater crime than having the blood of a true innocent on your hands?

I think it also needs to be explained that Kender aren't klepto's as we normally think about it. They don't feel a compulsion to steal, their hands just wander entirely of their own free will. So unless an item has some particular detail or attractiveness to a Kender they leave it perfectly alone. For example, in one of the trilogies Tasslehoff encounters a bunch of other kender and they open their bags to share their discoveries; it was mostly shiny rocks, bits of glass, some brightly colored string, and a few coins. What you'd expect to children to treasure, really. You could walk through a pack of Kender and fully expect your purse to still be there when you come out the other side. (Though you might want to check, just in case.) Coupled with the fact that there is very rarely a large group of them at a time, most people just treat them like misbehaving kids rather than some troublesome race.

As for them killing Toede and having plot armor, it wasn't so much they're just that awesome as Toede was just that stupid. Toede was a particularly fat and lazy hobgoblin, and he and his retainers were out hunting one day when they came across a pair of Kender. Toede thought it would be fun to play a version of The Most Dangerous Game, but the Kender had other ideas. So they tricked Toede and his retainers into a cave that held a particularly nasty beasty (either a dragon or a bear, don't remember which) which rather disagreed with being woken up and decided to eat its unwanted guests.

Drakyn
2009-09-09, 01:01 PM
Oh, no, Toede's death made perfect sense, the plot armour was more of the "killing a perfect innocent is difficult" thing. I'm less optimistic than dragonlance's creators, and am sure that in any decent-sized city/civilization there will be a substantial amount of people who would be more than ready to loathe or kill kender. But there isn't, so there aren't. So to speak.

Foeofthelance
2009-09-09, 01:06 PM
Oh, no, Toede's death made perfect sense, the plot armour was more of the "killing a perfect innocent is difficult" thing. I'm less optimistic than dragonlance's creators, and am sure that in any decent-sized city/civilization there will be a substantial amount of people who would be more than ready to loathe or kill kender. But there isn't, so there aren't. So to speak.

Oh, that? I admit I always figured it was less the innocence thing and more the hassle of it all. The only folks who seem to actually tolerate them very well are the Knights of Solamnia, and that tends to vary from knight to knight. As I said, most people just treat them like highly annoying children. Some (such as Raistlin) tend to be nicer because of the perceived innocence, others, such as Tanis, try and tolerate and educate and control them like any decent parent, while most people just cuff them around the ear while reclaiming their property. Genociding the Kender would be like genociding dogs because one of them chewed up your favorite pair of slippers.

Drakyn
2009-09-09, 01:15 PM
It would be a hassle to go and invade them, yes. I'm not talking about organized genocide in any case, just more public uncaring and casual violence.
"Why'd you lynch him?"
"Kender."
"Eh, oh well. Carry on."
Then again, as pointed out, the ones that go out of the homeland seem to be the ones who are very good at getting out of the trouble they get into. Presumably the others either don't leave town or end up pestering the wrong people very quickly.

Foeofthelance
2009-09-09, 01:26 PM
It would be a hassle to go and invade them, yes. I'm not talking about organized genocide in any case, just more public uncaring and casual violence.
"Why'd you lynch him?"
"Kender."
"Eh, oh well. Carry on."
Then again, as pointed out, the ones that go out of the homeland seem to be the ones who are very good at getting out of the trouble they get into. Presumably the others either don't leave town or end up pestering the wrong people very quickly.

Not only are they more splippery, but they're also not the ever thieving runts that some people make them out to be. You're less likely to lose your fat purse than you are a shiny button. Reading through the books, Tasslehoff steals maybe ten things. Other times he's looking at a pretty tapestry, or following a rabbit, or asking questions. I think he does Taunts maybe three times, and only one time is outside of combat. (They were being paraded through the streets, and to be fair people were heckling him in return. He was just more skilled at it.)

The idea of Kender being this great menace or annoyance in a society comes from the same realm as Lawful Stupid Paladins, Chaotic Stupid rogues and wizards, and the infinite number of Drizzt clones that never seem to go away. Bad players take an amusing or interesting concept, and twisted it into something radically different from the source material.

Yukitsu
2009-09-09, 01:27 PM
People obviously haven't had characters with shiny rings as their most expensive gear around kender. :smallyuk:

Most of my stuff is generally non-metalic, and rather bland. Even a cheap looking ring will generally be rather interesting to look at.

Tiktakkat
2009-09-09, 01:27 PM
And Rerox too. And maybe even Sargas: he doesn't mind mundane slavery and doesn't like Kender, but he's got a real strong stance against messing with actual metaphysical free will.

That's the problem though, kender do not have actual metaphysical free will.
In an attempt to allow players to have thieving skills without the metaphysical baggage of being actual thieves, Dragonlance gave us kender. Players could thus find and disarm traps, pick locks, and even "acquire" plot hooks, all without being morally culpable for their actions because the activities related to such were all the result of a divine imposition on their psyches.

FoE
2009-09-09, 01:30 PM
The only thing better than a dead kender is a pile of dead kender.

Why did the kender cross the road? To avoid being killed by my axe.

What do you call a thousand kender at the bottom of the ocean with heavy stones tied around their feet? A good start.

chiasaur11
2009-09-09, 01:44 PM
The only thing better than a dead kender is a pile of dead kender.

Why did the kender cross the road? To avoid being killed by my axe.

What do you call a thousand kender at the bottom of the ocean with heavy stones tied around their feet? A good start.

What do you call a kender up to his neck in sand?

Not enough sand.

How many Kender does it take to shingle a roof?

Depends on how thin you slice them.

BobVosh
2009-09-09, 01:46 PM
Genociding the Kender would be like genociding dogs because one of them chewed up your favorite pair of slippers.

Fair bit of difference.
1. Kender are more intelligent than a dog.
2. There is a difference between a pair of slippers and a 50k gold ring. Full of magic shiny blingness.
3. I see nothing wrong with the genocide of awaken dogs.

Isn't genocide a noun? Meh, stupid English. I have no room to speak because of "blingness"

Matthew
2009-09-09, 01:46 PM
Not a big fan of kender (or halflings either, to be honest), but Mark's rule propositions sound reasonable to me. I am playing in a first edition AD&D play-by-post Dragonlance game at the moment. Somebody chose to play a kender, and I am doing my level best to ignore that such is the case... :smallbiggrin:

FoE
2009-09-09, 01:47 PM
What do you call a kender house? Kindling!

What do you call a running kender? Target practice!

What do you call a kender chained to a wall? A dartboard!

What do you call an honest kender? A myth!

How do you put out a kender who's on fire? You don't!

What do you say to a kender at the bottom of a deep pit? "Goodbye!"

Ozymandias9
2009-09-09, 01:59 PM
That's the problem though, kender do not have actual metaphysical free will.
In an attempt to allow players to have thieving skills without the metaphysical baggage of being actual thieves, Dragonlance gave us kender. Players could thus find and disarm traps, pick locks, and even "acquire" plot hooks, all without being morally culpable for their actions because the activities related to such were all the result of a divine imposition on their psyches.

Having an impulse and acting on it are different things. And having the impulse doesn't preclude free will. Why should a fantasy setting presume that a human psychological makeup is wholly an accurate measure for a demi-human race?

And actually, the highly cute, innocent routine was as a result of the initial play-test of the setting, when the character playing what was merely intended to be a thief race decided to be intentionally cute. It wasn't really a game play/design decision as much as finding a particular person's role playing decisions to be highly iconic and making them into the race's fluff.

Mark Hall
2009-09-09, 02:22 PM
That's the problem though, kender do not have actual metaphysical free will.
In an attempt to allow players to have thieving skills without the metaphysical baggage of being actual thieves, Dragonlance gave us kender. Players could thus find and disarm traps, pick locks, and even "acquire" plot hooks, all without being morally culpable for their actions because the activities related to such were all the result of a divine imposition on their psyches.

When you get right down to it, from the point of view of humans, most races are crazy.

Dwarves are agoraphobic obsessive-compulsive alcoholics with xenophobic tendencies. Elves are narcissistic, xenophobic, and delusional regarding their position relative to other races. Gnomes are monomaniacal techno-fetishists. Kender are either kleptomaniacal compulsive liars or borderline amnesiacs with an inability to process simple emotions (lust, fear, anger), though possessing complex ones (shades of love and friendship, dislike and even a conception of honor).

Quite frankly, I think this is only natural and right. The relatively small genetic difference between men and women (one chromosome out of 46) leads to radical physical differences and a host of mental and emotional processing differences. Biochemically, both sexes are a stew of different hormones that leads to what the other sees as aberrant behavior, were it taking place in one of their own gender. When dealing with an entirely different subspecies or species1, these differences are going to be greater, leading to what can be regarded as insanity... if they were members of the observing species.


1 Humans and elves are obviously of the same species, and Tarli Half-Kender implies that humans and kender are, if not the same species, at least as closely related as horses and donkeys; dwarves, gnomes

Foeofthelance
2009-09-09, 02:48 PM
Fair bit of difference.
1. Kender are more intelligent than a dog.
2. There is a difference between a pair of slippers and a 50k gold ring. Full of magic shiny blingness.
3. I see nothing wrong with the genocide of awaken dogs.

Isn't genocide a noun? Meh, stupid English. I have no room to speak because of "blingness"


As has been pointed out before, the Kender taking stuff isn't a concious action. I think it actually gets pointed out in one of the game manuals, but the Kender doesn't choose what he or she takes. Some corner of their mind just notices the interesting item, and their hands do some examining. They are intelligent, and do recognize right from wrong...which is why every fictional Kender also returns anny item they're asked about, and don't even require exact details. If a Kender takes a silver, dragon carved ring of protection, all you need to ask for is your ring. The Kender then opens its pouches shows any rings it has, and let's the person look. If the ring is there (or if they even get told its the ring, from what I've seen the Kender would believe it) then the Kender would hand over the ring. They don't steal things, they just pick them up, even if they're attached to other people at the time.

Personally, I always figured that was the one mistake the designers made with the Kender. The Kender shouldn't just decide he's randomly picking someone's pockets, that should be in the hands of the DM. If the player announces that he's going to pickpockets or open a chest, then its an active choice that the Kender is aware of, and not innocent of. Like I said before, it is the bad players who created the klepto-Kender.

John Campbell
2009-09-09, 02:49 PM
The basic problem with kender is that they provide not merely license, but an actual requirement, to play your character according to the most annoying and pervasive misapprehension about the role of a thief/rogue in an adventuring party.

I have enough trouble getting across to new rogue players that "rogue" doesn't necessarily mean "thief" (and it was worse when that was actually the name of the class), that "thief" doesn't necessarily mean "kleptomaniac", that the other PCs aren't an appropriate target for said kleptomania, that, "I'm a rogue," isn't an excuse, and that the rest of the party shouldn't have to metagame up reasons not to retaliate and cause the entire game to go down in an escalating spiral of internecine strife that often results in RL hard feelings, without there actually being a race for which the canon fluff pretty much requires these things.

That I find the, "Oh, I'm just an innocent kender, look how cute and harmless I am, is this yours, it's a good thing I found it so you didn't lose it," personality that they're all molded with to be not charming but really extra-annoying doesn't help.

So, yeah, kill on sight policy. I don't even wait for an excuse. If the game's going to go down in internecine strife, let's skip the spiral of escalation and get right to it.

Tiktakkat
2009-09-09, 03:41 PM
Having an impulse and acting on it are different things. And having the impulse doesn't preclude free will. Why should a fantasy setting presume that a human psychological makeup is wholly an accurate measure for a demi-human race?

Except they cannot help but act on those impulses. And when you add in tinker gnomes, who suffer spiritually for not acting on those impusles, you wind up deleting free will from the equation completely.
Once you bring in concepts like "actual metaphysical free will", you must move from merely considering the psychological, thus creating the situation where kender are simply not morally responsible for "stealing".


And actually, the highly cute, innocent routine was as a result of the initial play-test of the setting, when the character playing what was merely intended to be a thief race decided to be intentionally cute. It wasn't really a game play/design decision as much as finding a particular person's role playing decisions to be highly iconic and making them into the race's fluff.

That is why I did not comment on the cuteness.
The sanctioned thieving is, and the need for it is obvious from Hickman's essay on morality in D&D, which amplifies the declared moral paradigm of the Dragonlance setting itself. (Good redeems its own, Evil turns on itself.) With such a paradigm the need for a race that is not morally responsible for stealing is obvious.


When you get right down to it, from the point of view of humans, most races are crazy.

. . .

Quite frankly, I think this is only natural and right. The relatively small genetic difference between men and women (one chromosome out of 46) leads to radical physical differences and a host of mental and emotional processing differences.

Which again speaks against it being an issue of free will. If it is a genetically caused psychological issue, as opposed to the divinely caused psychological issue as a result of the Greygem (if I am remembering it correctly), then it still does not involve free will, and at most Paladine or whoever should merely be getting upset that some wizard is engaging in wholesale owlbear creation.
Or it is just the breaking of a divine curse, and Reorx has reason to be irked.
Only if it is solely a cultural choice, in which case all kender are morally responsible for their continued taking of the property of others without permission, can it be an issue of free will. Since they are granted that exemption, one of the other options must be in effect, no free will need apply.


The basic problem with kender is that they provide not merely license, but an actual requirement, to play your character according to the most annoying and pervasive misapprehension about the role of a thief/rogue in an adventuring party.

Which multiplies everything bad about them.

Mark Hall
2009-09-09, 03:56 PM
Which again speaks against it being an issue of free will. If it is a genetically caused psychological issue, as opposed to the divinely caused psychological issue as a result of the Greygem (if I am remembering it correctly), then it still does not involve free will, and at most Paladine or whoever should merely be getting upset that some wizard is engaging in wholesale owlbear creation.
Or it is just the breaking of a divine curse, and Reorx has reason to be irked.
Only if it is solely a cultural choice, in which case all kender are morally responsible for their continued taking of the property of others without permission, can it be an issue of free will. Since they are granted that exemption, one of the other options must be in effect, no free will need apply.


Who said that their actions were a result of free will? Much of what we perceive as free will is a result of biochemical processes only now being understood. The difference with kender is that their evolution was sped in a specific direction by a unique catalyst; without further intervention of that (or another) catalyst, they continue on an evolutionary path.

Now, we know that the trait of curiosity has not been selected against; it's still endemic to the population. This means that it is either not a significant hindrance to survival (which seems counter-intuitive, as many have pointed out), or it is linked to another trait which is an even greater aid to survival.

MartinHarper
2009-09-09, 05:21 PM
Now, we know that the trait of curiosity has not been selected against; it's still endemic to the population. This means that it is either not a significant hindrance to survival (which seems counter-intuitive, as many have pointed out), or it is linked to another trait which is an even greater aid to survival.

Or it means that Darwinian evolution by natural selection doesn't exist in that setting.

Mark Hall
2009-09-09, 06:09 PM
Or it means that Darwinian evolution by natural selection doesn't exist in that setting.

So long as traits are inheritable, and things can change over time, evolution and natural selection play a part.

Foeofthelance
2009-09-09, 09:20 PM
Or it means that Darwinian evolution by natural selection doesn't exist in that setting.

Considering the entire race was created by an accident involving a gem holding a captured Chaos god, I'd say its safe to say that the whole idea of evolution is taking a back seat to this. If it is going to become involved, then the time frame also needs to be considered; Kender apparently only appeared about 500-100 years ago. In the Twins trilogy it gets explained to Caramon that Tasslehoff shouldn't be allowed to time travel back to the period of the Catacylsm because Kender didn't exist then, and they didn't know what that would do to the time stream.

Also, wouldn't Wanderlust be a trait the Kender are actually selecting for? Considering their entire race is affected by it, and the most popular/desirable Kender are those such as Tasslehoff and Uncle Trapspringer who go out and come back with epic stories and neat souveneirs, its less that they are selecting against it so much as selecting those who would survive it. Sort of like Praying Mantises selecting for males that could learn how to dodge after mating.

Mark Hall
2009-09-09, 10:20 PM
Not quite, Foe. Kender did exist back then. They'd been around approximately 3200 years. They weren't to go back in time because they weren't part of the Gods' original plan, and thus could alter time.

Tiktakkat
2009-09-09, 11:46 PM
Who said that their actions were a result of free will?[QUOTE]

Errr . . . that would have been Ozymandias9, expressing divine objections to wizardly mind alteration of the entire race.

[QUOTE=Mark Hall;6895935]Much of what we perceive as free will is a result of biochemical processes only now being understood. The difference with kender is that their evolution was sped in a specific direction by a unique catalyst; without further intervention of that (or another) catalyst, they continue on an evolutionary path.

In which case said wizardly alteration is "just" an evolutionary catalyst, and there would be no need for divine objection.
Also, reducing it to "biochemical processes" would eliminate any consideration of free will entirely, again negating any grounds for divine dissent. (Though of course also negating the setting declared existence of free will along the way.)

Foeofthelance
2009-09-10, 10:34 AM
In which case said wizardly alteration is "just" an evolutionary catalyst, and there would be no need for divine objection.
Also, reducing it to "biochemical processes" would eliminate any consideration of free will entirely, again negating any grounds for divine dissent. (Though of course also negating the setting declared existence of free will along the way.)

The problem is that the original catalyst (monkeying with the Greygem) was the result of independent actions taken by a group of individuals. The only ones affected were those who made a choice to be involved with the Greygem, hence the result was a product of their free will. If some wizard just decides that Kender are all bonkers and he should tamper with them, then they aren't involved in that decision. No involvement, no free will, enter the divine objection.

The chemicals argument also falls kind of flat, because the gods expect
mortals to react to their biological chemistry; hunger, lust, fear, etc. What they're interested in are the times when mortals overcome the biological programming, such as Tasslehoff feeling fear in the Temple of Neraka when he sees his friends dying. Kender aren't supposed to feel fear, yet he did, and in a situation entirely different from what Malys did to Kenderhome. He'd discovered that there was a different kind of fear, not one of physical danger, but of losing and letting down your friends.

MartinHarper
2009-09-10, 01:02 PM
So long as traits are inheritable, and things can change over time, evolution and natural selection play a part.

Evolution requires both inherited traits and selection pressure. The curiosity of kender need not be an inherited trait. For example, it might be determined by astrology. Equally, there may be no selection pressure, because the question of who reproduces is determined by fate.

Grumman
2009-09-10, 01:30 PM
The curiosity of kender need not be an inherited trait.
Yes, it does: at the very least, kender curiosity is a trait shared only by kender. If that trait makes them act in a way that would get them lynched (and their kin preemptively lynched), the trait should lead to a reduction in kender numbers.

Tiktakkat
2009-09-10, 01:36 PM
The problem is that the original catalyst (monkeying with the Greygem) was the result of independent actions taken by a group of individuals. The only ones affected were those who made a choice to be involved with the Greygem, hence the result was a product of their free will. If some wizard just decides that Kender are all bonkers and he should tamper with them, then they aren't involved in that decision. No involvement, no free will, enter the divine objection.

In which case you are effectively denying the inherent free will of the subsequent actions - annoying the wizard who magically alters the psyche of the entire race to prevent any future actions, and excusing the wizard from any culpability for tampering with a tampered race.
Also, the only ones affected are noot just those who made a choice to be involved with the Greygem, but all of their descendents as well. Again demonstrating that their free will has been subverted.


The chemicals argument also falls kind of flat, because the gods expect mortals to react to their biological chemistry; hunger, lust, fear, etc. What they're interested in are the times when mortals overcome the biological programming, such as Tasslehoff feeling fear in the Temple of Neraka when he sees his friends dying. Kender aren't supposed to feel fear, yet he did, and in a situation entirely different from what Malys did to Kenderhome. He'd discovered that there was a different kind of fear, not one of physical danger, but of losing and letting down your friends.

In which case you acknowledge that kender are able to stop their "handling" behavior, and thus must be considered morally responsible for their actions, in which case they are functionally inviting the wizardly forced evolution out of free will, just at they presumably invited the divine curse that caused them to constantly steal in the first place.

MartinHarper
2009-09-10, 01:45 PM
Yes, it does: at the very least, kender curiosity is a trait shared only by kender. If that trait makes them act in a way that would get them lynched (and their kin preemptively lynched), the trait should lead to a reduction in kender numbers.

That's species selection. We were talking about individual selection.

Optimystik
2009-09-10, 01:51 PM
Considering the entire race was created by an accident involving a gem holding a captured Chaos god, I'd say its safe to say that the whole idea of evolution is taking a back seat to this. If it is going to become involved, then the time frame also needs to be considered; Kender apparently only appeared about 500-100 years ago. In the Twins trilogy it gets explained to Caramon that Tasslehoff shouldn't be allowed to time travel back to the period of the Catacylsm because Kender didn't exist then, and they didn't know what that would do to the time stream.

I'm going to save myself a lot of typing and just quote this.

Also, I don't think Darwin took the extreme and almost supernatural luck of most Kender into consideration when theorizing survival of the fittest. Kender get away with activities that would be suicide for other races, thus natural selection is less of a factor for them.

Mark Hall
2009-09-10, 02:06 PM
That's species selection. We were talking about individual selection.

Species selection works on the level of individuals.

Tiktakkat
2009-09-10, 02:23 PM
Species selection works on the level of individuals.

Heh.
It occurs to me to suggest that perhaps it also works on the level of individuals for gamers.
Those who prefer to play kender often select themselves out of many groups, and thus potentially out of passing their play preferences on to new gamers.
:smallbiggrin:

MartinHarper
2009-09-10, 02:29 PM
Species selection works on the level of individuals.

Species selection, by definition, works on the level of species.

Killer Angel
2009-09-10, 02:36 PM
Problems with Kender race?
Someone got the solution (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0639.html)... :smallcool:

Mark Hall
2009-09-10, 03:56 PM
Species selection, by definition, works on the level of species.

Yes, but you only select against a species by killing a lot of individuals. If we kill every person with blonde hair, you'll eventually get a human species without blonde hair. It's a change in the species... but it only happens with a lot of dead individuals. Unless you've got an epic spell of Mass Spermicide, you're not going to remove a species without removing a lot of individuals.

Foeofthelance
2009-09-10, 09:02 PM
In which case you are effectively denying the inherent free will of the subsequent actions - annoying the wizard who magically alters the psyche of the entire race to prevent any future actions, and excusing the wizard from any culpability for tampering with a tampered race.

Also, the only ones affected are not just those who made a choice to be involved with the Greygem, but all of their descendents as well. Again demonstrating that their free will has been subverted.

No. The Kender who is annoying the wizard is exerting free will; basically he can walk away at any time without incurring any wrath. At the same time, the wizard is exerting free will by punishing the Kender. Where the wizard runs into the problem is when he tries to affect all the Kender, including the ones who weren't involved. Its the total attack on innocents that bothers the Gods, as well as most people.

The Kender are a changed race, yes, but only the Gnomes who were overly curious got changed into Kender, just as only the greedy ones got turned into Dwarves. The ones who wanted to use it as a giant battery remained Gnomes. But not every gnome who was curious was turned into a Kender, just the ones who were near the Greygem. Hence, personal action, personal consequence, just in large numbers.

Also, your second argument, is very, very broad. By that definition absolutely no one has free will, since no one ever gets to choose their parents. In that case there is no good, evil, or morality whatsoever since actions apparently solely the result of who your parents were.





In which case you acknowledge that kender are able to stop their "handling" behavior, and thus must be considered morally responsible for their actions, in which case they are functionally inviting the wizardly forced evolution out of free will, just at they presumably invited the divine curse that caused them to constantly steal in the first place.

Kender handling isn't a behavior, which is a learned habit, its a natural act to them, much like breathing. While they can prevent it if concentrating (Tasslehoff scolds his hands at one point for trying to pick something up) it would very much like be like you trying to spend all your time focusing on not breathing. Possible, and for great periods of time with practice, but not something you can do for ever, especially if something breaks that concentration.

And what divine curse? They monkeyed with a physical aspect of Chaos, and got suitably altered according to their nature. At best its an argument for evolution, since they all adapted features that best suited their mentality.

Tiktakkat
2009-09-10, 10:10 PM
No. The Kender who is annoying the wizard is exerting free will; basically he can walk away at any time without incurring any wrath.

If he is driven to behave in that manner as a result of the effects of the Greygem, then he is not acting with free will. Only if he walks away would be he be doing so.


The Kender are a changed race, yes, but only the Gnomes who were overly curious got changed into Kender, just as only the greedy ones got turned into Dwarves. The ones who wanted to use it as a giant battery remained Gnomes. But not every gnome who was curious was turned into a Kender, just the ones who were near the Greygem. Hence, personal action, personal consequence, just in large numbers.

No, not only the ones who were curious and so forth, but all of their descendants.
Unless said descendants made an active, individual choice to pursue the Greygem for various purposes would it be appropriate to call it personal consequences.
If you suggest that there is nothing contradictory with the personal consequences being passed down, then you must admit there is nothing wrong with the personal consequences of annoying the wizard being passed along to the rest of the race that also is subject to the same behavior.


Also, your second argument, is very, very broad. By that definition absolutely no one has free will, since no one ever gets to choose their parents. In that case there is no good, evil, or morality whatsoever since actions apparently solely the result of who your parents were.

Not in the least. Nothing in the physical identity of my parents forces me to act in any particular way. There may be (are) certain learned/trained behaviors that I picked up from them, and there may be (unknown if there are) certain medical condititions I would be predisposed to because of them, but there are no actions I am predisposed to simply because of their genetics.


Kender handling isn't a behavior, which is a learned habit, its a natural act to them, much like breathing. While they can prevent it if concentrating (Tasslehoff scolds his hands at one point for trying to pick something up) it would very much like be like you trying to spend all your time focusing on not breathing. Possible, and for great periods of time with practice, but not something you can do for ever, especially if something breaks that concentration.

In which case there is no free will involved in it.
Indeed, we do not discuss "free will" when talking of breathing, or eating, or sleeping, or what not. Likewise it is inappropriate to suggest it in connection to kender "handling".


And what divine curse? They monkeyed with a physical aspect of Chaos, and got suitably altered according to their nature. At best its an argument for evolution, since they all adapted features that best suited their mentality.

Seeing as how Reorx cursed people, turning them into gnomes, and seeing how the Greygem is functionally a deity, Chaos, that sounds pretty much like a divine curse to me.
Ultimately, you still wind up with a lack of free will among their descendents as a result of having preprogrammed attitudes.

Ozymandias9
2009-09-10, 10:34 PM
Except they cannot help but act on those impulses. And when you add in tinker gnomes, who suffer spiritually for not acting on those impusles, you wind up deleting free will from the equation completely.
Once you bring in concepts like "actual metaphysical free will", you must move from merely considering the psychological, thus creating the situation where kender are simply not morally responsible for "stealing".

I don't buy the tinker gnome argument, and I have seen it before. Spiritual or otherwise, suffering doesn't relate to free will in my eyes. If you have an impulse to help another person and spiritually suffer from not doing so, it does not mean that you didn't make that choice.

I see it as no different than the fact that humans social animals rather than solitary ones, or that we are bipedal rather than quadrapedal (sp? its late). You still have the option of becoming a hermit or crawling everywhere on your hands and knees.

There are places in the books where Tas demonstrates a capacity to restrain himself. He doesn't do so by choosing not to take specific items, but by attempting not to notice them. As an analog, the voluntary muscle control that allows you to swallow also allows most people to control hiccups by focusing on keeping the lower esophagus closed (try it some time). You can't necessarily stop one in progress, but if you're in a situation where you know it's an issue, you can willfully contain yourself.


In which case there is no free will involved in it.
Indeed, we do not discuss "free will" when talking of breathing, or eating, or sleeping, or what not. Likewise it is inappropriate to suggest it in connection to kender "handling".

Those are all within the range of free will. You can stop any of them with proper effort and tools, entirely without another person's aid. Doing so may have severe consequences and the urge not to is very strong, but it is still within the realm of what you can will yourself to do.


That is why I did not comment on the cuteness.
The sanctioned thieving is, and the need for it is obvious from Hickman's essay on morality in D&D, which amplifies the declared moral paradigm of the Dragonlance setting itself. (Good redeems its own, Evil turns on itself.) With such a paradigm the need for a race that is not morally responsible for stealing is obvious.

If your objection is to a thief race in general, concede your point. But the usual objection I hear regarding Kender (and the tone I get from this thread, though I may need to reread it more closely) is the conjunction of the thief race with the child race.

Having a race of good thieves doesn't necessarily require having a race for whom theft is a good act; it merely requires that theft is an understandable outcome of that race's "characterization".

The childlike nature and moral innocence are drawn from the cuteness, not the fact that they're a thief race. The initial design was, to my understanding, merely of a thief race from a resource poor area with a lack of a durable concept of property: essentially, a relatively civilized society with an idea of property more common in small tribal societies. They actually kept all that: Kendermore is still heavily resource poor (unless they altered something in 5th age that I'm forgetting). They merely tacked the child race idea on.

Would the objection still be there to a more adult, otherwise good race played with magpie tendencies? That is, if the response to being called by out by a ranger on having taken his bow was not childlike innocence but rather confusion as to why you shouldn't have taken the bow when you needed it to hunt, would you still find it (as) annoying?

Sholos
2009-09-10, 11:32 PM
No, not only the ones who were curious and so forth, but all of their descendants.
Unless said descendants made an active, individual choice to pursue the Greygem for various purposes would it be appropriate to call it personal consequences.
If you suggest that there is nothing contradictory with the personal consequences being passed down, then you must admit there is nothing wrong with the personal consequences of annoying the wizard being passed along to the rest of the race that also is subject to the same behavior.
You're not talking about a change like the Graygem wrought, though. You're talking about going and hunting down every last kender and doing something massively evil to them.


Not in the least. Nothing in the physical identity of my parents forces me to act in any particular way. There may be (are) certain learned/trained behaviors that I picked up from them, and there may be (unknown if there are) certain medical condititions I would be predisposed to because of them, but there are no actions I am predisposed to simply because of their genetics.
Actually, there's a very strong thought in psychology right now that certain behaviors in human are there simply because you're human. These are behaviors that are found in practically every culture in the world, which is the biggest reason people are saying they're genetically driven and not culturally. The eyebrow-flick greeting is one, as is the hair-flip flirting.

There's also the fact that certain behaviors in animals have all but been proven to be existent simply because of the animal's species. Various mating behaviors often fall into this category.


In which case there is no free will involved in it.
Indeed, we do not discuss "free will" when talking of breathing, or eating, or sleeping, or what not. Likewise it is inappropriate to suggest it in connection to kender "handling".

Seeing as how Reorx cursed people, turning them into gnomes, and seeing how the Greygem is functionally a deity, Chaos, that sounds pretty much like a divine curse to me.
Ultimately, you still wind up with a lack of free will among their descendents as a result of having preprogrammed attitudes.
Graygem was not "functionally" a deity. It merely extended his power outwards.

Grumman
2009-09-11, 06:08 AM
Would the objection still be there to a more adult, otherwise good race played with magpie tendencies? That is, if the response to being called by out by a ranger on having taken his bow was not childlike innocence but rather confusion as to why you shouldn't have taken the bow when you needed it to hunt, would you still find it (as) annoying?
That would be less annoying, if they weren't given a pass for their handling. That's what makes the kender such Mary Sues. In any setting pretending to be at all realistic, people aren't going to just shrug their shoulders when the two-legged magpies keep taking their trade goods and forcing them to go retrieve them. Genocide happens in the real world, how much more common is it going to be if the attackers can justify themselves not with excuses and slander but with objective fact?

Averagedog
2009-09-11, 07:50 AM
In my opinion, your Kender haters probably all had some bad experience with either a moron of a player, or a very uncompromising situation where a crucial item was taken. Flavor wise I think Kender are brilliant and original little vagrants. RPing one should be easy and fun.

As a DM however, I would either have strict limitations, or just handle the entire "borrowing" affair myself instead of having the player making a conscious choice.

example: "Jason, make a sleight of hand check against Tom. Tom, make a spot check against' Jason's sleight of hand." *dice get rolled* *I roll random dice to determine what gets stolen((realistically stolen that is))* Jason, you find yourself with Tom family ring hide in your palm, what do you do? Tom, you notice nothing."

it would be much harder however to do this at good moments in the adventure...

Tiki Snakes
2009-09-11, 08:01 AM
In my opinion, your Kender haters probably all had some bad experience with either a moron of a player, or a very uncompromising situation where a crucial item was taken.

Nope. Never played in Dragonlance, infact. I just fail to see how they avoid becoming scapegoats for less than exalted society. I fail to see how any society would tolerate them roaming around their streets freely.

And I really do not buy the idea that simply because the Kender lack a concept of property, everyone else plays along.
" 1. To take (the property of another) without right or permission."
They are theives, whether they realise it, or admit it. I really do not see a chance for survival in other-races-society for a race of genetically compulsive crooks.

The best they should be able to hope for in life is rigorously enforced resettlement/reservation style accomodation. Mob frenzies of irrate peasants should be an everyday threat to the urban kender.
If they are so hard to catch, or keep imprisoned, it just makes it more likely that they would be treated as Vermin to be exterminated, to my mind.

This isn't a comment on any players I've met, nor on the Dragonlance books, merely on the Kender themselves, and how any believable setting should, to my mind, most likely react.

Ozymandias9
2009-09-11, 10:52 AM
And I really do not buy the idea that simply because the Kender lack a concept of property, everyone else plays along.
" 1. To take (the property of another) without right or permission."
They are theives, whether they realise it, or admit it. I really do not see a chance for survival in other-races-society for a race of genetically compulsive crooks.

The best they should be able to hope for in life is rigorously enforced resettlement/reservation style accomodation. Mob frenzies of irrate peasants should be an everyday threat to the urban kender.
If they are so hard to catch, or keep imprisoned, it just makes it more likely that they would be treated as Vermin to be exterminated, to my mind.

What Urban Kender?

They basically do live on a reservation, albeit self-imposed. No other demi-humans would ever want to live in Kendermore, even if the Kender weren't there. It's in a hilly and forested and full of animals that are fairly dangerous to the common citizenry. There's nothing of value there but some charred pre-cataclysm ruins. And since most of the Kender are there, most of their "borrowing" is from each other.

Sometimes one will get the wanderlust, go out traveling for a while, and then come back home and live in which ever unfinished house they happen to have for the evening.

I agree, if the reaction is "Oh, that's all right, give it back. Aren't you cute. Here's a hard candy. Be good now!" then it's beyond absurd. Your characters are supposed to get frustrated and angry. Some evil characters are supposed to get murderous. They're supposed to fit in poorly into common society. But most of them are in Kendermore, where the actions aren't going to cause issue (well, at least until the big dragon changes that). And there aren't really enough of them outside of Kendermore for it to be an issue until the 5th age, when Kendermore is destroyed.

Sholos
2009-09-11, 03:12 PM
Some people seem to be under the misconception that there are large, roving bands of kender that steal everything not nailed down. 90% of the time, kenders pick up things like marbles, pieces of string, and other completely trivial items. It's rare that kender actually steal anything of any value, and they're quick to return it if the fact is pointed out to them.

As to forcibly herding them and keeping them off of the streets? Well, for one, it's evil (if we're talking about locking them away). I'm serious. Locking a kender up is tantamount to torture. There's a saying in Krynn that the worst thing you can do to a kender is lock him in a cell. Of course, the next part is that the worst thing you can do to a non-kender is lock him up with a bored kender, but the first part is more or less serious. Kenders are the ultimate free spirit, and locking one up for a long time causes actual emotional and mental trauma.

They're also very childlike in their outlook on life. Killing a kender for borrowing something from you (and it is borrowing, they just frequently forget to return the item) is basically like killing a child. Surprisingly, not many societies are that evil. Heck, most of the cities in Krynn approach good, or at least very strongly leaning that way. So why you'd expect to see mobs going after kender, I don't know. Heck, in the real world, I don't think you saw that reaction to gypsies in Europe for the most part, and they had a pretty bad reputation in a lot of areas.

Yukitsu
2009-09-11, 03:15 PM
As to forcibly herding them and keeping them off of the streets? Well, for one, it's evil (if we're talking about locking them away). I'm serious. Locking a kender up is tantamount to torture. There's a saying in Krynn that the worst thing you can do to a kender is lock him in a cell. Of course, the next part is that the worst thing you can do to a non-kender is lock him up with a bored kender, but the first part is more or less serious. Kenders are the ultimate free spirit, and locking one up for a long time causes actual emotional and mental trauma.


I would detest a society where parents raised kids like that. Time out for em' and if they don't learn their lesson when they hit 20, it's going to be more serious.

Most people call that trauma "learning to be grown ups" because frankly, that's how we do it.

Tiki Snakes
2009-09-11, 07:51 PM
What Urban Kender?


By Urban Kender I mean ones that have found their way, however temporarily, to any urban location, ie; outside of the Kender Relocation Camps. :)

Ozymandias9
2009-09-11, 08:32 PM
By Urban Kender I mean ones that have found their way, however temporarily, to any urban location, ie; outside of the Kender Relocation Camps. :)

There aren't many, and they'll wander off soon. Its a small temporary nuisance at best. At least until we get well into the 5th age, when they all become migratory refugees and droves of them start visiting the temple of Paladine in Palanthas every year after hearing about how Tas and Paladine were close personal friends.

Roderick_BR
2009-09-11, 08:47 PM
Thing is, halflings were way different back then. 3e's halflings are the ones that became more like kenders, even including bonuses against fear effects.

Tiktakkat
2009-09-11, 10:25 PM
I don't buy the tinker gnome argument, and I have seen it before. Spiritual or otherwise, suffering doesn't relate to free will in my eyes. If you have an impulse to help another person and spiritually suffer from not doing so, it does not mean that you didn't make that choice.

Except tinker gnomes do not have to help people, they have to engage in their life quests "or else". That is suffering a spiritual handicap because of an effect, and that is not free will no matter how you parse it.


I see it as no different than the fact that humans social animals rather than solitary ones, or that we are bipedal rather than quadrapedal (sp? its late). You still have the option of becoming a hermit or crawling everywhere on your hands and knees.

Except you are not faced with an overwhelming, inherent compulsion to choose to walk upright or crawl, and further do not face a loss of status upon death for choosing never to walk upright.


There are places in the books where Tas demonstrates a capacity to restrain himself. He doesn't do so by choosing not to take specific items, but by attempting not to notice them. As an analog, the voluntary muscle control that allows you to swallow also allows most people to control hiccups by focusing on keeping the lower esophagus closed (try it some time). You can't necessarily stop one in progress, but if you're in a situation where you know it's an issue, you can willfully contain yourself.

Yet again, except we are not compelled to make ourselves try to hiccup in the first place.


Those are all within the range of free will. You can stop any of them with proper effort and tools, entirely without another person's aid. Doing so may have severe consequences and the urge not to is very strong, but it is still within the realm of what you can will yourself to do.

No, those have nothing at all to do with free will. Choosing to have steak or chicken, choosing between apples and oranges, or choosing between blue or green are just matters of simple preference, they are not moral choices. To conflate that with free will is to completely eliminate the relevance of free will as a concept.


If your objection is to a thief race in general, concede your point. But the usual objection I hear regarding Kender (and the tone I get from this thread, though I may need to reread it more closely) is the conjunction of the thief race with the child race.

Kender are not a child race. If they were, nobody would let them run their own nation. They have the capacity to know Good from Evil, and more general right from wrong. It is the stripping from them free will in the one area of respecting the property rights of others simply to allow players to run thief characters without it being morally "wrong" (and thus must be punished according to the setting rules) that offends my sense of propriety.
When you add in what others have mentioned, that kender are too often used as a license to act in a way that is not conducive to group harmony under the aegis of "But I'm role-playing!", and said sense is trampled into the muck.

Ozymandias9
2009-09-12, 08:51 AM
Yet again, except we are not compelled to make ourselves try to hiccup in the first place.

No, the reaction to hiccup is strictly involuntary, and thus more extreme than a mere compulsion. And yet the situation is within the realm of our control. And if it can be within the realm of free will to constrain an action that is strictly a matter of involuntary muscle reaction, then it is certainly within its realm to constrain something governed by impulse, however strong.


No, those have nothing at all to do with free will. Choosing to have steak or chicken, choosing between apples and oranges, or choosing between blue or green are just matters of simple preference, they are not moral choices. To conflate that with free will is to completely eliminate the relevance of free will as a concept.

While moral weight may be contingent on having free will, free will is not constrained to only issues with moral weight. Just because a circumstance is trivial does not mean it is not a controllable aspect of one's life; and free will is the ability to exercise control over one's actions.


Except tinker gnomes do not have to help people, they have to engage in their life quests "or else". That is suffering a spiritual handicap because of an effect, and that is not free will no matter how you parse it.

Except you are not faced with an overwhelming, inherent compulsion to choose to walk upright or crawl, and further do not face a loss of status upon death for choosing never to walk upright.

That's irrelevant, and yes it is free will. The outcome of a choice, however severe, does not make it not a choice. To assume it does is to choose to have no choice, which is the definition of Sartre's bad faith. It doesn't matter if it is hard or easy or mind wrenchingly difficult. It doesn't matter if the results of exercising that control are pain, or death, or even hell: you can still exercise that control. When you choose not to do so, to let the decisions of others dictate the outcome, you are still making a choice.


Kender are not a child race. If they were, nobody would let them run their own nation. They have the capacity to know Good from Evil, and more general right from wrong.
I wasn't using child race in an extremely literal sense, but merely as a reference to a trope used in their characterization. It's a fairly clear element; the name Kender is a bastardization of the german for "child." I'm not suggesting that they be treated as actual children, but merely that "child-like" innocence and curiosity are part of their base characterization.

nightwyrm
2009-09-12, 09:00 AM
Thing is, halflings were way different back then. 3e's halflings are the ones that became more like kenders, even including bonuses against fear effects.

Halflings used to be hobbit clones but then they find out that an entire race of people who prefers staying home and thinks having exciting adventures is a bad influence don't make good D&D adventurers. Halflings in 3.x and beyond are basically toned down kenders who lack the kleptomanic tendencies.

Tiktakkat
2009-09-12, 01:02 PM
No, the reaction to hiccup is strictly involuntary, and thus more extreme than a mere compulsion. And yet the situation is within the realm of our control. And if it can be within the realm of free will to constrain an action that is strictly a matter of involuntary muscle reaction, then it is certainly within its realm to constrain something governed by impulse, however strong.

Which does not make the decision to control a hiccup an expression of free will any more than the decision to stifle a sneeze is such.


While moral weight may be contingent on having free will, free will is not constrained to only issues with moral weight. Just because a circumstance is trivial does not mean it is not a controllable aspect of one's life; and free will is the ability to exercise control over one's actions.

Which still does not place making irrelevant choices on the same metaphysical level as making moral choices. A minor can be considered responsible to decide between blue and green but not responsible to decide between right and wrong. That is the situation with kender. Sure they have free will to decide between breakfast and dinner, but they do not to determine between stealing and respecting property rights. At most they can suppress the urge for a very short time, but not enough to ever be held morally culpable. That pretty much by definition places it beyond absolute metaphysical free will.


I wasn't using child race in an extremely literal sense, but merely as a reference to a trope used in their characterization. It's a fairly clear element; the name Kender is a bastardization of the german for "child." I'm not suggesting that they be treated as actual children, but merely that "child-like" innocence and curiosity are part of their base characterization.

And yet that is the problem.
They are asserted to be child-like in one area only, but held absolutely responsible in all others.
And such is their absurdity.

Ozymandias9
2009-09-12, 02:23 PM
Which still does not place making irrelevant choices on the same metaphysical level as making moral choices. A minor can be considered responsible to decide between blue and green but not responsible to decide between right and wrong. That is the situation with kender. Sure they have free will to decide between breakfast and dinner, but they do not to determine between stealing and respecting property rights. At most they can suppress the urge for a very short time, but not enough to ever be held morally culpable. That pretty much by definition places it beyond absolute metaphysical free will.

They can be not culpable and still have free will on the subject. The person who acts under duress still has free will: they are just in a situation in which society does not expect the same level of morality.


And yet that is the problem.
They are asserted to be child-like in one area only, but held absolutely responsible in all others.
And such is their absurdity.

They live in unfinished houses, sometimes without even doors, because the get bored and never get around to finishing them. They interact with their enemies through taunts and jeers like a playground bully. They make their clothes out of bright material that catches their eyes. They lack a concept of not only fear, but lust. They are in many ways like children, not merely in one aspect. They are, very much, a "child race," even if their understanding of responsibility and capacity to look after themselves removes them from being considered as children for moral purposes.

So again, the issue here isn't necessarily with the idea of a thief race, but with a "child race" being attached to it.