Generic, “adaptable” Humans in TTRPG settings, is a sign that the writer of same doesn’t actually understand how diverse groups in the world work

36 thoughts on “Generic, “adaptable” Humans in TTRPG settings, is a sign that the writer of same doesn’t actually understand how diverse groups in the world work

  1. Max Reiner says:

    I recommend looking at how Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay does it’s large variety of human cultures. You have a base human package with differing skill packages depending on not only nation, but also province.

  2. Steven A Bryant says:

    DnD races are a lot like real races. Here’s how it works: Every single person on planet Earth is a human. If we had Orcs on planet Earth, they would be Orcs. Elves would be Elves. Etc., Etc. Now a human from a lineage of humans that have developed for millennia in conditions not like those on planet Earth may not be your average human, like if they were from Mars. Lower gravity, more solar radiation, entirely alien flora and fauna to eat, they might be considered completely different from the average. They would be a variant human race, Martian. Imagining that a person of one continental decent is totally removed from a person of another continental decent and would have some special variant applied to them it’s asinine. Humans as we know them are all the same race, and this reflects the way DnD treats them. Nearly identical biology equals nearly identical racial features. Now, a DM wanting to apply special characteristics to whatever race of creature in their Homebrew world based on where they are from is still within the spirit of the game, and can create a more varied and explorative world. Treating races in DnD like we treat cultural differences in the real world is not. That’s what backstory and backgrounds are for.

  3. Gary D Harrison says:

    So is the problem that they did away with sub races? I use sub races in my campain and if you choose not to pick one you can go generic and just receive the base bonus and more work on background to do as a player, I tend to do a lot of old school stay like sub races of elves being wood elf, high elf, ECT… They may be named something else as Eldari and such dependent on the setting… Sometimes I allow Kender. Sometimes I don’t. A lot depends on my players and their play style. I try to stay adaptive to accommodate them, if I have a lot of Jack and slash players that’s cool I do a lot of dungeons and battles with a little rp mixed in.. if I have a few rp heavy players I build a deeper storyline. It’s easy once you learn to gm in an adaptive style you can get a base idea of a campaign but need to let it flow where it may, be rdy to play off the cuff, if you spent a week in a dungeon and they walk by the entrance, make a situation that brings them back their again and again until they delve into it.

  4. william adams says:

    1, magic. In d&d, nothing evolved. everything is intelligent design, and hard determination. Elves are elves, dwarves are dwarves, because they were created by gods to be what and how they are by magic.

    2, perspective. The reason non human races have static advantages and cultures is because they are, in a very real way, defined entirely by the ways that they are different from humans.

    3, xenos. Races in d&d are not like races in humanity. Fantasy races are basicly aliens that share a planet. Some can cross breed, some cant, but while an asian person and a aboriginal austrailian have basicly identical brains, d&d races are going to have their own individual neural anatomy. We humans, most of us, arent even really equipped to relate with people of another gender. Imagine trying to understand why dwarves do what they do?

    Its just not feasable for a human to assume to know why all elves know how to use longswords and bows. It is simply so.

  5. Crystal Graeber says:

    If you give Humans different cultures with different stats, you’d need to do it for every race; elves, dwarves, halflings etc. Sounds like a lot of work and I would not want to be in that person’s shoes, but if someone is willing to do the legwork… why not?

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