How many playable races does one system need?

D&D has like 16 variations on "large, strong humanoid" for player characters.

Nothing Ever Happens Shirt $21.68

Unattended Children Pitbull Club Shirt $21.68

Nothing Ever Happens Shirt $21.68

  1. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    the more the better

  2. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    When the game is presented as a toolset that expects you to put together the pieces you like best, as many races as possible is great. When it's a locked in setting, the only options presented should be the ones the designers expect you to play in a way that suits the setting and style of gameplay.

  3. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >need?
    1

  4. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    After a certain point you should just let players make their own Sorcery!-esque freak rather than defining every subspecies of goblin

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      how about a species of goblin who's sweat smells like honey mustard?

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I like this in theory, but in practice it just leads to min-maxing.

  5. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    One, even if you have nonhuman races you don't have to let players pick them. That way they'll seem more fantastic when they do appear.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >even if you have nonhuman races you don't have to let players pick them. That way they'll seem more fantastic when they do appear.
      The correct approach.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >even if you have nonhuman races you don't have to let players pick them. That way they'll seem more fantastic when they do appear.
      The correct approach.

      This! PCs should only be human. It has nothing to do with being a based red pilled racist paladin edgelord either. I just don't think human players can truly role play something that is essentially totally alien. Elves, and Dwarves, at least traditionally should essentially be similar to fae, or spirits, or angels, etc. Goblins and Orcs should be super bestial, the only thing I can really see being similar enough to humans for a human to role play is halflings, if your setting has them.
      I think the best alternative is this

      After a certain point you should just let players make their own Sorcery!-esque freak rather than defining every subspecies of goblin

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Most people aren't going to truly roleplay anything, since the average player isn't a particularly skilled actor.
        What matters the most is a willingness to put in an effort into trying to roleplay it. After all, if no human could ever properly represent something alien at the table, then that would also mean that the GM wouldn't be able to depict a fae, angel, or spirit meeting with the party.
        A player just has to take the concept seriously and actually consider what such a creature would do. The problem is that most players don't even want to bother with that level of effort.

        I would also say though, that in the context of a world with magic, then it's also pretty easy to justify different 'races' that are basically just variations on humans with a dash of magic. Amazons would be a very classical example of that, where it's basically just a culture of warrior women with the skill to back it up. But you could also have something like a tribe of humans who naturally have the ability to shapeshift into housecats or something like that. Which obviously impacts their culture and abilities, but at a fundamental level they're just a group of people who all share a magical ability, which isn't really any more difficult to roleplay than any spellcaster of a nonstandard culture.
        The sorts of races which can be more to human parents as odd hybrids might also apply, since being raised in a human culture and being partly human should make them fairly comprehensible.

        Between all that, it'd be incredibly easy to fill out the sorts of race options people expect without needing to make anything too outlandish.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          The first part of what you're saying I think is coming to a place where we almost agree. Like if you're not even going to try to act non human, than just play a human. I'm pretty against the super-humanization of beings that are classically supernatural entities.
          Which goes into the second part of what you're saying, just say you're some mary-sue weird type of human with darkvision if you want it that bad, but idk, frick the shapeshifting at will thing you mentioned. (idk why it just seems like that'd be annoying at the table)

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            They are humanized to a degree by default though as its needed for them to even be characters, and the purists who insist on your kind of thinking always move goalposts on what is acceptably inhuman behavior because nobody can truly decide if human behavior is limited to humans or some aspects inherent to properly intelligent beings.

            • 2 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              OK well I think it's silly for a rag tag group of adventurers to have angels and demons and entities of comparable renown among their ranks. I know that's not how everyone feels, but it's how I feel. I'm sure I won't be at your table any time soon so it's no big deal, and I'm not the type of autist to rain on anyone else's parade even if I actually was at your table.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >but idk, frick the shapeshifting at will thing you mentioned
            It was mostly for the sake of example, and wouldn't necessarily need to be at-will either. But the purpose of the example was mostly to say that such a thing wouldn't need to be some unique mary-sue special individual, but rather could be an entire group of humans with that ability.
            That avoids the need to have any supernatural entities turned into what are essentially variants of humans, and instead simple cuts to the chase to have humans with supernatural abilities as a 'race'. There can be a whole nation of people to the west who all have darkvision, but they can still just be humans with a weird culture at the end of the day.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I usually treat demihumans as part human, part distinctly NOT human (whether spirit, monstrous, whatever). elves can relate to humans but also have an enormous fundamental alienness. if you play an elf, be prepared to sense and remember things the human players don't; but also be prepared to weird out and piss off people without meaning to, feel unexpected drives and fears, and respond weirdly to stuff. roleplaying it can be hard, but a collaborative effort between player and dm can represent a spirit-like creature just as well as the dm portraying elves alone can. I do tend to limit it.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >even if you have nonhuman races you don't have to let players pick them. That way they'll seem more fantastic when they do appear.
      The correct approach.

      [...]
      This! PCs should only be human. It has nothing to do with being a based red pilled racist paladin edgelord either. I just don't think human players can truly role play something that is essentially totally alien. Elves, and Dwarves, at least traditionally should essentially be similar to fae, or spirits, or angels, etc. Goblins and Orcs should be super bestial, the only thing I can really see being similar enough to humans for a human to role play is halflings, if your setting has them.
      I think the best alternative is this
      [...]

      >letting PCs play humans
      Powergaming freakshitters detected. Players should be forced to play level one ratlings that live in constant fear and awe of powerful human societies and their terrifying adventurers. Anything else is numale wish fulfillment tranime garbage.

  6. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I had forgotten about this subreddit's war with "freakshit"
    IDK the whole "humans only" thing is kind of a weird hill to die on.

  7. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    seriously, it depends on the game and what you want
    personally, I find having tons of races is really fun when the game is wandering far and wide and discovering new places constantly (but I also find this harder to run, so I don't get to do it as much)
    otherwise I keep it a little lighter, more in the 4e range rather than the 3.5 range
    I actually do like the way they do races in 4e, there's a lot less of them (still a lot compared to smaller games, of course) where each one has support, feats, powers of its own, etc.
    but even 4e has like 30-40 play support races, which may be two or three times more than you'll ever need
    I'll need more specific questions to go any further than this, though
    so as usual, the question is always: what are your needs for the kind of game that you want to run?

  8. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Define need. In the context of a system, there are plenty of them without race options at all, and in theory, there is no upper limit of options that you could have.

    In the context of a setting, then you can start running into issues related to the maximum rather than minimums. At a certain point, there isn't going to be enough room in the world you're running to have hundreds upon hundreds of distinct playable species that all manage to actually have a meaningful place within the setting.
    The best solution if you are using a system with that many races is to curate a selection of which ones you actually want to include, rather than just piling everything into one big kitchen sink. Instead of having 16 'big strongman' races, just pick the two or three that you like the best and have those be the only ones in the campaign you're running. If you just want Firbolgs, then you can get rid of Orcs, Goliaths, Minotaurs, etc. and just have Firbolgs.

  9. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    D&D strategy is to sell books, they need to add new stuff in each one of them

  10. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The more the merrier, I like variety in the things I kill

  11. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >How many playable races does one system need?
    At least two in every niche, and those two are always ancestral enemies

  12. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Play race-as-class

  13. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Do nationalities count? Like the Conan RPGs usually make the human ethnic groups have differences.
    And games like L5R have the (all human) Great Clans have mechanical differences.

  14. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >16 variations
    Amateurs.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Talislanta
      >Famously doesn't have elves
      >Has Kangs
      WE

  15. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Random PC generation

    Actually play a roll other than fat jerd power fantasy for once

  16. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    one, human

  17. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    As many as the author wants

  18. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I only like it if they are geographically distinct. kinda like how a region can only support like two species of solo predator & two species of pack-predator per type of prey (big prey vs small prey). through convergent evolution I don’t even care if these things are that different even if they’re different species.

    north america has its bears, wolves, pumas

    africa has its lions and hyenas

    asia has its tigers,

    arctic has foxes and polar bears

    while antarctic waters have both leopard seals and orcas and stuff

    even australia has (or used to have till recently) its marsupial lions and tasmanian tigers

    so in general im okay with “several hulking humanoid species”

  19. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    4-6. No more, no less.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *