Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 61 to 90 of 109
  1. - Top - End - #61
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    bc56's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Squornshellous Zeta
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    I actually cut gnomes
    I just felt like the whimsical chaotic inventor didn't fit the serious tone of my games, whereas the halflings did, being representative of peace and familial bonds, something no other race really has.
    Awesome avatar (Kothar, paladin of Tlacua) by Linkele!

    REAL mages speak Modron!
    My Unfortunately Long Signature

    My musings will be in italics

    Also

  2. - Top - End - #62
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    I like gnomes if they are a little sinister, la Rumpelstiltskin et al.

  3. - Top - End - #63
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by bc56 View Post
    I just felt like the whimsical chaotic inventor didn't fit the serious tone of my games, whereas the halflings did

    Ah yes, I can see it, a serious adventuring party consisting of a halfling, a smurf, a fraggle, an alternian, and a saiyan

    EDIT:
    and maybe one of those guys from The Dark Crystal too. What were they called?\

    EDIT:
    Found it. "Gelflings"

  4. - Top - End - #64
    Superhero in the Playground Moderator
     
    Mark Hall's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    I agree that it's better to not have a race that's just a blatant hobbit knockoff*, but it's hardly a boon to halfling characterization since their entire purpose in the game was to be a hobbit knockoff. Moving away from hobbit knockoffs causes the race-whose-entire-reason-for-being-in-the-game-is-to-be-a-hobbit-knockoff to become useless.


    *especially since they don;t even fit into their original setting properly. They just kind of show up out nowhere at the end of the Silmarillion
    I think it's especially bad for Halflings because they are, explicitly, a stand-in for certain kinds of humans. What are hobbits? They're supposed to be very normal, rural, people. You've got a few who are a bit more high and mighty, but, at the end of the day, Bilbo Baggins still washes his own dishes if there's no convenient party of dwarves. Hobbits were never really meant to be that different from humans, and Tolkien went on to make most of the human cultures you encountered a bit more exotic than he did the Hobbits.
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *Savage Scrolls: A Savage Worlds/Elder Scrolls Conversion
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget
    Avatar is from local user Mehangel
    API Anthology 1 from Drivethru RPG.
    If you need me to address a thread as a moderator, include a link.

  5. - Top - End - #65
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Sporeegg's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    I think it's especially bad for Halflings because they are, explicitly, a stand-in for certain kinds of humans. What are hobbits? They're supposed to be very normal, rural, people. You've got a few who are a bit more high and mighty, but, at the end of the day, Bilbo Baggins still washes his own dishes if there's no convenient party of dwarves. Hobbits were never really meant to be that different from humans, and Tolkien went on to make most of the human cultures you encountered a bit more exotic than he did the Hobbits.
    Still though, more differentiated and epic versions of halflings are pint sized defenders of justice and family, creatures that dwell in almost tribal societies or roaming opportunists that peruse the little space they need effectively.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    "Dammit man, I said to use the MORALLY GREY flaming catapults!"
    Kriv, the Boastful - Dragonborn Fighter//Bard - Calm before the Storm
    Brimaz of Oreskos - Tabaxi Druid/Life Cleric - Labyrinth of Zaaar the Mad
    Ferrin - Human Swashbuckler - Shackles of Blood

  6. - Top - End - #66
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    I say throw out all of the weird D&D races and make your own. Most of them are mundane versions of what are mythologically extra-dimensional beings, why have Gnomes and Kobolds when you could have crab-people (who incidentally taste delicious.)

  7. - Top - End - #67
    Orc in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2018

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    I think the biggest thing that ticks me off about gnomes is that they're so typecast into being quirky geniuses the definitive nerds of the world, the nuclear technicians that can't work out how to use a stove. Writers go out of their way to make them captivating and quirky, and it comes across as an attack on attention span; they're like the Michel Bay of races where there's just so much stuff thrown at you that it feels hollow.

    In such incarnations They don't strike me as a self sufficient race, and steampunk inventions in an otherwise much lower tech world makes for flawed worldbuilding.

    Hobbits, I run them like pygmies; they're regular people that happen to be short .

  8. - Top - End - #68
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Nifft's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelle View Post
    I like gnomes if they are a little sinister, la Rumpelstiltskin et al.
    IIRC the old-edition Illusionist Gnomes were somewhat sinister.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    I think it's especially bad for Halflings because they are, explicitly, a stand-in for certain kinds of humans. What are hobbits? They're supposed to be very normal, rural, people.
    Is that true? I thought they were a stand-in and highlight for certain rural English virtues, but not that they were intended to represent a specific type of person.

    They were the virtues of the common rural man in contrast to Aragorn and Boromir, who were the virtues (and vices) of the elite highborn noble.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    You've got a few who are a bit more high and mighty, but, at the end of the day, Bilbo Baggins still washes his own dishes if there's no convenient party of dwarves. Hobbits were never really meant to be that different from humans, and Tolkien went on to make most of the human cultures you encountered a bit more exotic than he did the Hobbits.
    The hobbits were the inexperienced rural everymen; they were the audience stand-in who experience the wonder of travel to foreign lands and get all the wonder-faced reaction shots.

    Hobbits are the racial ingenue, if you will -- and one of them even explicitly falls for an older authority figure, so it's kinda literally accurate too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    I say throw out all of the weird D&D races and make your own. Most of them are mundane versions of what are mythologically extra-dimensional beings, why have Gnomes and Kobolds when you could have crab-people (who incidentally taste delicious.)
    Yeah that's the best advice if you're rolling your own setting.

    But it can be a lot of work to create and balance your own setting. Making your players do some of the creative effort (via collaborative worldbuilding) can help with both workload and engagement, but it's not easy to do if you're stuck with organized play or the like.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Jack View Post
    I think the biggest thing that ticks me off about gnomes is that they're so typecast into being quirky geniuses the definitive nerds of the world, the nuclear technicians that can't work out how to use a stove. Writers go out of their way to make them captivating and quirky, and it comes across as an attack on attention span; they're like the Michel Bay of races where there's just so much stuff thrown at you that it feels hollow.
    We must be reading different sources.

    Which books made them out like that?

  9. - Top - End - #69
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    why have Gnomes and Kobolds when you could have crab-people (who incidentally taste delicious.)
    Quietus will happily come to such a world, and adventure with the locals. Don't mind the Portable Hole filled with garlic butter...

  10. - Top - End - #70
    Superhero in the Playground Moderator
     
    Mark Hall's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    .... why have Gnomes and Kobolds when you could have crab-people (who incidentally taste delicious.)
    This is something I enjoyed about later editions of D&D... things like Dragonborn and Tieflings and such may seem weird and exotic, but they're mechanically more diverse than "short, has a bonus to some saves."
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *Savage Scrolls: A Savage Worlds/Elder Scrolls Conversion
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget
    Avatar is from local user Mehangel
    API Anthology 1 from Drivethru RPG.
    If you need me to address a thread as a moderator, include a link.

  11. - Top - End - #71
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    In my library
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Because in fantasy the mundane and the ordinary are a must
    I actually agree with your sarcastic statement. You can't have the extraordinary without the ordinary, otherwise the extraordinary has nothing to play off of. A mage might be able to launch fire from their fists, but the fact that it's learnt by studying books or practicing martial arts makes it appear that extra bit fantastical.

    Let me put it this way, would Avatar have been a better show if one of the characters was an elf or dwarf? Would Khellus's inhumanity have been better shown by him being literally inhuman? Nonhuman intelligent species can enhance a series, but they aren't required.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    I say throw out all of the weird D&D races and make your own. Most of them are mundane versions of what are mythologically extra-dimensional beings, why have Gnomes and Kobolds when you could have crab-people (who incidentally taste delicious.)
    I'm down for this. I love Fifty Fathoms, which has a bunch of unstandard species, a species that is 'like humans but vary a lot more in looks', and humans.

    My setting right now uses a lot of different types of Beastfolk. Sure there's always humans, just for simplicity, but there's cat people, deer people, pig people, lizard people, cow people, and a lot more (no crab people at the moment, but they probably exist somewhere on the planet). The beastfolk are all technically one 'species' in game terms (because that's how this system does beastfolk), but there's still enough options in that one race that I'm wary of including much more.
    Snazzy avatar (now back! ) by Honest Tiefling.

    RIP Laser-Snail, may you live on in our hearts forever.

    Spoiler: playground quotes
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  12. - Top - End - #72
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Let me put it this way, would Avatar have been a better show if one of the characters was an elf or dwarf? Would Khellus's inhumanity have been better shown by him being literally inhuman? Nonhuman intelligent species can enhance a series, but they aren't required.
    Allow me to answer that question with a few of my own. Would Labyrinth have been better with all human characters (though I admit the goblon kimg might as well have been human; I think they actually had Bowie in less makeup than normal)? What about The Dark Crystal? How about The Shadow Over Insmouth? The Outsider? The Creature From the Black Lagoon? Watership Down?

    How about Alladin? I can imagine - he rubs the lamp or the ring (depending on the retelling) and just some normal guy shows up.

    Or how about Star Wars? What if they went with the original idea for Jabba to just be some boring fat human mobster? What if they made Jar-Jar, Watto, and Nute Gunray human? That would change the entire tone of Episode 1, wouldn't it?

  13. - Top - End - #73
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    In my library
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Allow me to answer that question with a few of my own. Would Labyrinth have been better with all human characters (though I admit the goblon kimg might as well have been human; I think they actually had Bowie in less makeup than normal)? What about The Dark Crystal? How about The Shadow Over Insmouth? The Outsider? The Creature From the Black Lagoon? Watership Down?

    How about Alladin? I can imagine - he rubs the lamp or the ring (depending on the retelling) and just some normal guy shows up.

    Or how about Star Wars? What if they went with the original idea for Jabba to just be some boring fat human mobster? What if they made Jar-Jar, Watto, and Nute Gunray human? That would change the entire tone of Episode 1, wouldn't it?
    Let's go back to my original quote, mining a bit of the context.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    But in all seriousness, there's a lot to be said for all-human fantasy worlds. They're not uncommon in fantasy, and ones with only a handful of other intelligent species are a tad more common, especially among modern novels (no I don't want to list them, but it seems to be caused at least partially by a backlash to every fantasy novel having elves and dwarves).
    Okay, here is the immediate context. We can see that I supplied a bit of support to my statement, where I point out that all-human or human with a dash of other makes up a significant portion of the modern fantasy genre.

    Would Labyrinth work without the nonhuman characters? A couple of them, but not all of them, because Labyrinth is a lot more folkloric and allegorical than, for example, Avatar, the nonhuman characters are more important to the tone (note that when Avatar goes mythic in Beginnings nonhuman characters become more important). There's also a difference between a mysterious monster and a human with pointy ears, in that the Deep Ones are significantly more inhuman than elves normally are. I'm going to leave Watership Down out of it, because the fact that the heroes are bunnies changes the book a lot more than many stories where the main characters are elves.

    On the subject of Star Wars? The only real difference would be looks. I can't think of a single character in Star Wars where you'd have to change anything bar the makeup and maybe number of limbs to have them work as a human.

    Now onto the second bit of context I want to bring up.

    Part of the problem with D&D is the huge number of intelligent species and the tendency for GMs to shove every player race into their setting no matter how little they add (as I used to do before I sat down and seriously started building settings)....

    I'd much rather have a handful of well done near-human species or only humans.
    Here we see what I actually want, a focus on a smaller number of species. I don't mind Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Goblins, and Lizardfolk in The Dark Eye because they're not having to compete for space with Halflings, Gnomes, Tieflings, Hobgoblins, Bugbears, Firbolgs, Tibbits, Mongrelfolk, Dragonborn, Kobolds, Kenku, Tabaxi, Tritons, Golliaths, and Yuan-Ti Purebloods (and that's not getting into the good old 2e Complete Book of Humanoids, or even probably all the humanoid vague-PC appropriate creatures in the monster manual).
    Snazzy avatar (now back! ) by Honest Tiefling.

    RIP Laser-Snail, may you live on in our hearts forever.

    Spoiler: playground quotes
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  14. - Top - End - #74
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    I think one thing that people miss when the see the list of "here's all the races D&D supports" and think "oh wow, there's a lot. How can they be different?"

    They're not supposed or intended to all live in the same setting. D&D, by it's nature, gives a huge list of options, from which world-builders or DMs can cherry pick and use a subset. Same with the original list of PrCs in 3e--they were examples, not "these must exist in your world."

    On the other extreme, I've done my best to actually find places for all the printed playable races of 5e in my world. The big cost was that there aren't very many of most of them. When there are only a few hundred thousand (at most, including the "uncivilized" ones) halflings, when tortles are confined to a tiny area because there's only a minimal breeding population, etc, the dynamic is different. They may influence the story if you're in the right place, but you're not likely to see one elsewhere.

    Halflings, for example, are only found in 1.5 regions (1 region as civilized folk, one region as wild cannibals pushing on the frontier of civilization).
    Dream of Hope: a 5e setting. http://www.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 533 MM and Volo's monsters

  15. - Top - End - #75
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Max_Killjoy's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    The Lakes

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I think one thing that people miss when the see the list of "here's all the races D&D supports" and think "oh wow, there's a lot. How can they be different?"

    They're not supposed or intended to all live in the same setting. D&D, by it's nature, gives a huge list of options, from which world-builders or DMs can cherry pick and use a subset. Same with the original list of PrCs in 3e--they were examples, not "these must exist in your world."
    I wish D&D had always been more explicit and decisive about whether it was a toolkit, or an implied setting.

    A LOT of players I've encountered over the years have taken the attitude that it's an implied setting, and that the "burden of proof" is on the DM whenever deciding to not allow something into the game that's been printed in a book for the edition being used.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    Planet Mercenary RPG Discussion

  16. - Top - End - #76
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Between D&D and Star Wars, it's pretty easy to see races as allegorical for nationalities.

    There's a lot of countries in this world. Sure, most individuals of French ancestry may be clustered in one of two countries, but it wouldn't feel odd to see them most anywhere. If I got into a random elevator, and found myself in the company of a Romanian, I wouldn't risk losing sanity points from the sheer mindblowing horror of that impossibility.

    Claiming, then, that it stretches world-building credulity to have a Gungan or Half-pint or Gnome or Saurial in the world? It feels really weird, given the number of nationalities in this world, but makes more sense in a world where travel is harder, and they can't crossbreed as easily.

    It's sad when allegory and internal consistency are at odds.

  17. - Top - End - #77
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    I wish D&D had always been more explicit and decisive about whether it was a toolkit, or an implied setting.

    A LOT of players I've encountered over the years have taken the attitude that it's an implied setting, and that the "burden of proof" is on the DM whenever deciding to not allow something into the game that's been printed in a book for the edition being used.
    True enough. 5e's a bit better about noting that it's all opt-in by the DM, but it's far from perfect on that score.
    Dream of Hope: a 5e setting. http://www.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 533 MM and Volo's monsters

  18. - Top - End - #78
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Nifft's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    I wish D&D had always been more explicit and decisive about whether it was a toolkit, or an implied setting.

    A LOT of players I've encountered over the years have taken the attitude that it's an implied setting, and that the "burden of proof" is on the DM whenever deciding to not allow something into the game that's been printed in a book for the edition being used.
    That's interesting, I've only seen that attitude in online and organized play.

    Were these in-person players? Were they heavy forum-users?

  19. - Top - End - #79
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    On the subject of Star Wars? The only real difference would be looks. I can't think of a single character in Star Wars where you'd have to change anything bar the makeup and maybe number of limbs to have them work as a human.
    It would've made the movies less interesting for one thing. Also Chewbacca has picked up or otherwise manipulated several things that are way too heavy for a human Also Jabba probably would have been harder to strangle if his neck wasn't wider than his head. And and what about C-3P0 and R2-D2? "I want you to take them and have their memories erased. By hitting them in he head wih a hammer."

    EDIT:
    And a whole act of Episode 1 came down to Toydarians being immune to the jedi mind trick

  20. - Top - End - #80
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    In my library
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    I wish D&D had always been more explicit and decisive about whether it was a toolkit, or an implied setting.

    A LOT of players I've encountered over the years have taken the attitude that it's an implied setting, and that the "burden of proof" is on the DM whenever deciding to not allow something into the game that's been printed in a book for the edition being used.
    This. Even in 5e I still see the attitude that anything in the Player's Handbook must be available or the GM is being a big meanie. I practically never see this in other systems, if a Savage Worlds GM declares that they're running a fantasy setting with no elves or dwarves then people don't complain, because SW doesn't go out of it's way to have a standard setting running through it's books (which has been the case from 3e through 5e in D&D, was explicitly the case in BD&D*, and was there to a much lesser extent in 2e).

    * a.k.a. the best edition of D&D.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Between D&D and Star Wars, it's pretty easy to see races as allegorical for nationalities...
    While the rest of your post is good building from this as a starting point, in D&D it runs into a problem: nationalities also exist.

    Oh boy, I'm going to have to pull out an example to have any hope of explaining this. Alright, Birthright. In Birthright you have four races, the Humans, the Elves, the Dwarves, and the Halflings, plus the half-elves. Humans (and thus to an extent half-elves) are subdivided into five nations, Anuire, Brechtur, Khinasi, Rjurik, and Vosguard, while each of the other races seem to roughly be a 'nation' unto themselves (which brings me to race bugbear #2: one culture per species). So here we have two things representing nationalities, your character's race and, if human, your character's nationality.

    Interestingly Birthright's dwarves trim their beards, and they are noted to have dense bodies (which translates to 'don't club them, use a sword'). Back to my point.

    If the races are allegorical for nationalities, why do we also need to have nationalities. Birthright is just a simple example with nine parts, in something like the Forgotten Realms we have different nationalities for every race (some of them leading to different racial traits, some not). In that case races aren't an allegory for different nationalities, because the nationalities behave more like nationalities like races do, and races become more akin to ethnicities (except in many cases those also exist in-setting, and races=ethnicities raises a whole lot of unfortunate implications).
    Snazzy avatar (now back! ) by Honest Tiefling.

    RIP Laser-Snail, may you live on in our hearts forever.

    Spoiler: playground quotes
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  21. - Top - End - #81
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Between D&D and Star Wars, it's pretty easy to see races as allegorical for nationalities.

    There's a lot of countries in this world. Sure, most individuals of French ancestry may be clustered in one of two countries, but it wouldn't feel odd to see them most anywhere. If I got into a random elevator, and found myself in the company of a Romanian, I wouldn't risk losing sanity points from the sheer mindblowing horror of that impossibility.

    Claiming, then, that it stretches world-building credulity to have a Gungan or Half-pint or Gnome or Saurial in the world? It feels really weird, given the number of nationalities in this world, but makes more sense in a world where travel is harder, and they can't crossbreed as easily.
    Disagree with the premise, but does it mean that Romania must be a possible country in every fantasy world?

  22. - Top - End - #82
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    This. Even in 5e I still see the attitude that anything in the Player's Handbook must be available or the GM is being a big meanie. I practically never see this in other systems, if a Savage Worlds GM declares that they're running a fantasy setting with no elves or dwarves then people don't complain, because SW doesn't go out of it's way to have a standard setting running through it's books (which has been the case from 3e through 5e in D&D, was explicitly the case in BD&D*, and was there to a much lesser extent in 2e).

    * a.k.a. the best edition of D&D.
    I think it comes down to people not reading the "introductory" parts of the books. At least in 5e (can't talk about the others) they're pretty clear that everything beyond the basic skeleton of resolution mechanics exists only at DM's option and not to assume things exist. Reading is hard.

    If the races are allegorical for nationalities, why do we also need to have nationalities. Birthright is just a simple example with nine parts, in something like the Forgotten Realms we have different nationalities for every race (some of them leading to different racial traits, some not). In that case races aren't an allegory for different nationalities, because the nationalities behave more like nationalities like races do, and races become more akin to ethnicities (except in many cases those also exist in-setting, and races=ethnicities raises a whole lot of unfortunate implications).
    A pet peeve of mine is single-race cultures (and single-culture races). The Dwarven kingdom. The elven kingdom. All dwarves everywhere (of a sub-race, maybe) act the same and worship the same gods in the same ways. It's the Planet of Hats problem. I think the fewest races present in any of my nations is 3, and that's a small, homogenous nation. And each of those nations have several cultures within them as well.

    I guess I'm really agreeing with you here. But just had to vent.
    Dream of Hope: a 5e setting. http://www.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 533 MM and Volo's monsters

  23. - Top - End - #83
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Max_Killjoy's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    The Lakes

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    A pet peeve of mine is single-race cultures (and single-culture races). The Dwarven kingdom. The elven kingdom. All dwarves everywhere (of a sub-race, maybe) act the same and worship the same gods in the same ways. It's the Planet of Hats problem. I think the fewest races present in any of my nations is 3, and that's a small, homogenous nation. And each of those nations have several cultures within them as well.
    One of my settings has fairly significant species/culture alignment, but there are clear reasons for why things are the way they are, and there are exceptions. There's also some crossover between cultures where those reasons don't apply.

    The other setting has something more like you'd see with multiple cultures, multiples species, and significant crossover in the instances where they overlap geographically and/or economically.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    Planet Mercenary RPG Discussion

  24. - Top - End - #84
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    In my library
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I think it comes down to people not reading the "introductory" parts of the books. At least in 5e (can't talk about the others) they're pretty clear that everything beyond the basic skeleton of resolution mechanics exists only at DM's option and not to assume things exist. Reading is hard.
    I think it's a bit of a holdover from the 3.X days, but the view I seem to see a lot, even in person, is that things in 5e are optional, but the stuff in the PhB is 'basic' and really should only be restricted if you're learning. You see it a lot on this forum with 'but what table doesn't use feats', but I see it even more the times I rarely play 5e in person. Plus Adventurers' League allowing everything (in a PhB+1 sense) means people used to it will tend to assume that it's the default.

    A pet peeve of mine is single-race cultures (and single-culture races). The Dwarven kingdom. The elven kingdom. All dwarves everywhere (of a sub-race, maybe) act the same and worship the same gods in the same ways. It's the Planet of Hats problem. I think the fewest races present in any of my nations is 3, and that's a small, homogenous nation. And each of those nations have several cultures within them as well.

    I guess I'm really agreeing with you here. But just had to vent.
    I find it works in Birthright because the area is small. There's an implication that the relative size of the dwarven lands means they're equivalent to a human nation, and while I can't remember the map properly I remember the mountains being pretty concentrated. The elves are less unified, but they're also noted to have long enough generations that divergence is hard to notice. It still comes across as a bit weird, but the setting is explicit that we're only seeing one small corner of the world, there could be other elf or dwarf cultures elsewhere.

    Then you do get something like The Dark Eye. The Elves have three rough cultures depending on their terrain, but the extent to which the definitions are elven or human is a bit debatable, while the Dwarves live in a relatively small area of the map but have developed four different cultures, including Hobbits Hill Dwarves. Cultures are noted to have changed, the Hill Dwarves being the clearest example (originally they were more like normal dwarves). Sure, there's about five times as many human cultures, but they cover about eight times the map area that elves and dwarves do. Interestingly the setting as designed implies a lot more dwarves with human cultures than any other culture/race cross mix.
    Snazzy avatar (now back! ) by Honest Tiefling.

    RIP Laser-Snail, may you live on in our hearts forever.

    Spoiler: playground quotes
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  25. - Top - End - #85
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Quietus will happily come to such a world, and adventure with the locals. Don't mind the Portable Hole filled with garlic butter...
    A setting I desperately want a group for is one where humans are almosy cthulu-esque monsters, while the other races are all small and tasty. The playable races are all between 1 and 2 ft. tall and live in the ruins of a human empire that collapsed itself, and the barbaric remnants raid it as a larder.

    There is so much stuff you could do with it. The largest Demiling city is basically inside the ruins of the Mall of America, the Demiling version of the Dwarven Kingdom is the New York subway line equivalent, etc.
    Last edited by Tvtyrant; 2018-11-02 at 11:57 AM.

  26. - Top - End - #86
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    A pet peeve of mine is single-race cultures (and single-culture races). The Dwarven kingdom. The elven kingdom. All dwarves everywhere (of a sub-race, maybe) act the same and worship the same gods in the same ways. It's the Planet of Hats problem. I think the fewest races present in any of my nations is 3, and that's a small, homogenous nation. And each of those nations have several cultures within them as well.
    That bugs me too. The ideal would be a hybrid system where they have a lot of different cultures but to the untrained eye they look like they could be one culture because they're all skewed in a certain direction away from what's normal in humans (Like how all the elf groups in LotR are different from each other but they've got a certain ususual shared aesthetic)

  27. - Top - End - #87
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lord Torath's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Sharangar's Revenge
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    That bugs me too. The ideal would be a hybrid system where they have a lot of different cultures but to the untrained eye they look like they could be one culture because they're all skewed in a certain direction away from what's normal in humans (Like how all the elf groups in LotR are different from each other but they've got a certain usual shared aesthetic)
    Sort of like Silvanesti vs Qualinesti vs Kagonesti or Mountain Dwarves vs Hill Dwarves on Krynn? There's no real racial difference between them, just "ancient" hatreds and misunderstandings.
    Thri-Kreen Ranger/Psionicist by me, based off of Rich's A Monster for Every Season

  28. - Top - End - #88
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Jay R's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    A pet peeve of mine is single-race cultures (and single-culture races). The Dwarven kingdom. The elven kingdom. All dwarves everywhere (of a sub-race, maybe) act the same and worship the same gods in the same ways. It's the Planet of Hats problem.
    The Planet of Hats problem is merely a problematic and unnecessary assumption about the millions of others on the planet that you will never meet.

    I solve this the same way I solve the "evil race" problem. I don't assume that races have single cultures, because I don't assume that I've described all settlements of any given race.

    Sure, the nearby dwarves have a Nordic culture. That doesn't mean that there aren't dwarves with Japanese, or Florentine, or Cheyenne cultures elsewhere.

    Similarly, there could be whole villages of peaceful farming goblins on another continent. The fact that the goblins attacking your village are raiders doesn't mean anything about other goblins elsewhere.

    Someday I want to have the PCs find themselves stuck on an unknown continent in the middle of a human/goblin war, with the humans talking about taking their lands back from the invading goblins. Over time, it would become clearer and clearer that these are goblin lands, and the humans are the invaders.

  29. - Top - End - #89
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    common rural man
    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    rural everymen
    It was always my understandib that most people live in cities or suburbs

  30. - Top - End - #90
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Blymurkla's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    It was always my understandib that most people live in cities or suburbs
    What, today? Or in actual medieval times? Or in ye olde pseudo-medieval fantasy lands?

    In the real world, on a global scale, urban population outnumbered rural for the first time quite recently. Like a couple of years ago. So it's pretty close to 50-50 (though such figures are either based on rather rough estimates or on available national data, which for example doesn't nesssecarily use the same definitions of urban vs. rural. So it's a though question to answer with accuracy).

    Of course, in the Western world most people live in urban areas, but they haven't been doing that for long. Like, maybe a hundred years.

    In ye olde fantasy, agriculture is often next to nonexistent and you find maps of huge cities with city walls, a thin strip of veggie patches just outside and then the deep, dark forest. Which is ridiculous, but hey, whatever feeds your boat.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •