One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
I don't have any problem with demi-human racial modifiers because they are, by definition, non-human. However, I have to point out that any game mechanic that promotes eugenics is a very bad idea. In other words, saying that one entire sub-race of humans is less intelligent, on average, than another sub-race of humans is racist and is an attitude that you really don't want to promote within your game. After all, you wouldn't want to be associated with the Scarlet Brotherhood, now would you?
Sorry for the ethics lecture, but I think everyone needs to be aware of this. I'm sure this is why this kind of game mechanic went the way of the Dodo in more recent editions of the game. They even did away with racial modifiers for different sub-races of elves, dwarves, etc.
I don't know how to respond to your post SIRXARIS ...
Racism .... was the last thing on my mind when I was writing that post.
I dont want to get into a whole debate about this matter, there is enough of it going on in the real world. To be honest I am tired of it, racism is not something that you are born with, it is something that you are taught by your peers. Go watch a young group of childern playing in the park and you will see what I am refering to ...
If someone has something to say about my post in respect to what I am asking, rather message me.
If a forum admin could please monitor this thread and if need be lock it or delete it.
I will stress this again I dont want to get into a debate about racism in real life or in the game.
Oh, we monitor these things. Sir Xaris's post covers the sticky bits well enough, and people should leave it at that.
Sir Xaris's somewhat tongue-in-cheek point aside, I think the human ethnic modifiers were included to reflect the cultural/historical backgrounds of the various human groups/regions, and not for any other reason at all. Here is what I mean:
Baklunish +1 WIS, -1 CHA*: Bakluni generally gain much practical knowledge of life due to the hardships the must endure in the lands they live in(i.e. fools seldom prosper in the lands of the West). Likewise, they are untrusting of outsiders to a notable degree, and that comes through in their dealings with such folk.
Flannae +1 CON, -1 INT: Coming from a tradition of living as one with nature in a variety of environments, the Flannae are a hardy people. On the other hand, their culture have never been one that promotes scholarly pursuits, so their level of education with regard to non-practical knowledge is somewhat lacking.
Oeridian +1 DEX, -1 WIS: The average Oeridian is very adaptable. Most Oeridian children play traditional games requiring coordination that go back to the Pre-Migrations era of their culture. Something, something, something else. On the other hand, the Oeridians are for the most part a people of action, and will often act before fully considering the consequences. Okay not really a lot to say here to back anything up, but we might say that the Oeridians have maneuvered their way throughout the Flanaess and into an age of empire, but we might also add that, once they had achieved greatness, they had not the wisdom to maintain it, such that it has now all come crashing down. Use whatever reasoning you prefer, as this one is less defined than the others in the fluff.
Rhennee +1 STR, -2 CHA*: Rhenee live lives of constant toil, but also know how to have a good time as well. Consequently they tend to be very athletic. On the other hand, they are extremely disdainful of outsiders, to the point of rudeness even, and as such are not well thought of by others.
Suel +1 INT, -1 CHA*: The Suel are the remnants of one of the greatest empires to ever exist in the Flanaess. At the height of their power, their knowledge of magic in particular was unparalleled. While the Suel are culturally but a shadow of their former selves, even this shadow has its greatness, and the light of knowledge has never dimmed among the Suel people(excepting the Thilronian clans). Consequently knowledge is highly valued among the Suel. It very common for Suel children to be better educated than their peers, and this practice carries over into their adult lives as well. Being well-educated does however usually mean that the Suel are well aware of the greatness from which they spring, and are often seen as haughty by others.
So there you have it. These modifiers are *optional rules*. Even if used, they might not be applied in all cases, in the same way. For instance, a DM/player may be perfectly fine with using the Flannae modifiers to very purposely define as uncivilized a Rovers of the Barrens character who has survived the near destruction of their people(i.e. only the hardiest have survived, hence the +1 Con). However, while not all that well-educated to begin with, the losses sustained by the Rovers of the Barrens has included many of the older and more knowledgeable members of tribe who, being absent, have not been around to educate the young character as much as they could be(thus the -1 Int). That makes for some good reasoning for character building, in my opinion. The same DM may however decide that that no modifiers should be applied to any Flannae character from a more civilized area where the environment is not so harsh, and the general level of education is higher. In the same vein, a Thilronian Barbarian might not use the Suel modifiers at all(the Flannae/Rhenee modifers might even be seen to be more appropriate), while a Suel from Urnst might.
So, I think it is more conducive to think of the optional rules as situational modifiers to be used(or not) to create an overall effect for a character rather than be defining of any ethnic group en masse. Let's just say that it was an oversight to have not explained this in the optional rules section listing these modifiers, as people may come to the wrong conclusion as to why they are there and what they may be used to represent. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:00 am; edited 3 times in total
I'm very sorry to have implied that you were in any way intending racism. I only wanted to explain why I thought those modifiers shouldn't be used. Cebrion, however, has provided an acceptable justification for them.
Last edited by SirXaris on Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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