Thematic variations in flavor text (PLEASE!!!)

Something dawned on me while reading of the entries for the "Cleric" class, that being thematic variation in the descriptions of the various "deity" types a cleric has the choice of following. In those descriptions, examples of that "deity" type are provided from Forgotten Realms, Grayhawk and various terrestrial deities. I really like that those are provided, in fact I think that idea should be extended... A LOT!"
Here are examples of what I would love to see:
1) Under the descriptions of each race, provide examples of that race from various earth cultures or similar species from other fantasy genres. Example - for elves: The Sidhe or Tuatha de Dannan or the Alfar - for dwarves: the Trow; etc. (And suggest those names being used in culture specific games)
2) Under the descriptions of each class (same thing), provide examples both in fantasy (including other sources - The Stormbringer Saga, Tolkien, etc.), and in our own culture (cabbalists as wizards, yakuza as rogues, etc.)... And again offer other "titles" for the class in other fantasy and non-fantasy cultures (i.e. Samurai as fighter... etc.)
I could continue, but the idea (I hope) is clear. This could give a lot of flavor options for the basic (or advanced) gamer who wants their D&D to "taste" a little different. I have always been sort of "neutral" about Forgotten Realms and favor more "earth centric myth", which was MUCH MORE PREVALENT in earlier versions of D&D. I do understand that even using the names of races and the like from copyrighted sources could be an issue, but I would bet most of those sources would at least allow a name drop here and there and even still nothing could prevent the use of earth centric myth.
I would love to run a game on the "Emerald Isle" and be able to point, in the basic books, as to what things roughly equate to. "Oh, you want to be of the Sidhe... yes the book equates them to the elves, so write down Sidhe on your character sheet and read the "elf" racial entry... Which would contain the following subsection...

Variations - Elves or creatures like them appear in many places in popular media; notably Tolkien's elves, the Sidhe or Tuatha de Dannan of the Celts and the Alfar of the nordic countries. The names of these creatures my be used in place of "elf" or "elves" in the settings to which they belong (with the permission of the DM).

A good cross section of cultures should be represented in these descriptions to allow D&D to appeal to a more "broad" cross-section of our worlds cultures. I would guess, to a Sikh, D&D seems rather "white" (for lack of a better term) and even just a small descriptive "offering" would go a long way toward making the game more "approachable" for a much larger audience. Frankly, I would bet, many people would like to see the "re-introduction" of our own terrestrial mythologies back into the pages of D&D, even if just a few lines every so often...
You want to capture a bit more of the "Classic D&D" feel... Do this! Please!

P.S. The first iterations of Deities & Demigods was almost entirely earth myth (with the addition of Cthullu and Melnibonean myths)... That was the myth structure at the start... No Forgotten Realms, No Grayhawk, Planescape... Just earth-like... almost everyone understands "Clash of the Titans", it's myth we know... non-gamers understand that more then "Lolth and the Drow" and thus may not feel alienated when they first try D&D... bring it on home for us Wizards! ;) at least a tad... (ASKED WITH THE MOST HUMBLE PLEASE!!!! I CAN OFFER)


I too love me some earth-myth in my D&D pie.  In fact, my main homebrew setting is an alternat history/ magical earth where I've converted most of the races to appropriate mythic equivalents (or else came up with something mythically and/or historically appropriate).  The inclusion of examples from literature would also be a boon.  Both could provide great insight and inspiration for new and old players alike.

This may be the single best idea I've seen on these forums in recent memory.

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

On a related note, this has also been suggested for weapons and the like.


Under "long sword" you might have a description of some of the various real world weapons (and potentially fantasy world weapons) which fall into that category, etc.


Carl   
One of the most handy illustrations ever was from 1e's Unearthed Arcana which showed different pikes/pike axes/spears, all relative to length. Finally, we got to see exactly what a glaive-guisarme looked like.

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Of the two approaches to hobby games today, one is best defined as the realism-simulation school and the other as the game school. AD&D is assuredly an adherent of the latter school. It does not stress any realism (in the author's opinon an absurd effort at best considering the topic!). It does little to attempt to simulate anything either. (AD&D) is first and foremost a game for the fun and enjoyment of those who seek the use of imagination and creativity.... In all cases, however, the reader should understand that AD&D is designed to be an amusing and diverting pastime, something which an fill a few hours or consume endless days, as the participants desire, but in no case something to be taken too seriously. For fun, excitement and captivating fantasy, AD&D is unsurpassed.As a realistic simulation of things from the realm of make-believe or even as a reflection of midieval or ancient warfare or culture or society, it can be deemed only a dismal failure. Readers who seek the later must search elsewhere. - Gary Gygax. 1e DMG.
Other good examples of ways this should be implemented are:
1) Armor & Weapons: Naginata (Glaive), Daikyu (Longbow), Lamalar (Banded?), etc.
2) Monsters: Goblins (Bakemono [sp?]), Slough (Drow), etc.
3) A small expansion to Deities to include "grouped and non-deific" options such as (Trickster) ...the fabled "Seelie Court" of the fearie grants power to those of its ranks, much akin to the way a god would grant powers to believers.

These suggestions could be offered without diminishing future book possibilities, as they would be completely thematic and offering no mechanical change. This allows future releases to delve into expanding upon what are just simple name changes offered in the basic books.
Breadth and inclusion is good. Equal representation for all parties in this particular context is probably bad but I don't think anyone really needs that or is asking for that. Course, once you start representing the small patch everyone asks for you're probably going to end up with an elf entry that's 100 pages long and should be a splatbook.
Including a short paragraph or two per race (#1 in the OP) sounds like a great a idea. I am concerned it might lead to some serious content bloat, however. Still, it would go a long way to help newer players learn the origins of the "traditional" races, since not all of them are based on Tolkien

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to the OP!

I treasure my first print Dieties & Demigods (the one with the Cthulhu mythos), and still page through it from time to time (ah, nostalgia).  The same goes for my 1E Oriental Adventures (in fact, I might just have to start a game using it soon, and just deal with the THAC0 and save issues).

Speaking of how familiarity can be used, the classic (Greek?) epic tale where the hero(s) have to make a quest to get the item(s) necessary to defeat a great evil is a good beginning adventure for those who know little of D&D, but are versed in literature (or movies based on that literature).
 Lamalar (Banded?),




Emmmm...

Lamellar Armor was a type or armor made from several small squarish plates (or leather) sewn together. More or less similar to the Scale Armor, except it was used a lot more in the orient than in the west.

There was the Laminar Armor (similar name but quite different) that was that "classic" roman armor you see in movies, with long strips of metal overlaping one on top of the other.
Samurai armors (yoroi) used both Laminar and Lamellar techniques at times, but of course with different styles.

Banded Mail was... well, trully nothing I suppose.
Victorian era people came up with a bunch of names for armor they supposed existed in medieval and modern ages before them. And D&D appropriated most of its armor names from there. Things like "plate mail" for example. 
And some Victorian-theorised armor are dubious. There is no historical evidence for a "banded armor" that I know of. Supposedly it's something close to a Plated Mail (and here I mean Plated Mail, not plate mail), which is Mail armor (chain mail in D&D) reinforced with small plates.
If my memory does not fail, I think D&D calls the Plated Mail, a Splint Mail.
And again... the Plated Mail was more used in the mid-east and orient than the west.


As you see... it gets quite confusing sometimes with D&D's attribution of names for weapons and armor.


But... I do agree with your initial post that variations in the fluff text would be great.
If you take AD&D 2ed's core books it was all more or less like that. There was some inclination to Greyhawk sometimes, but on overall it wasn't focused on a very specific setting or description of things.





BTW, I had the impression that a Trow was more akin to Trolls... more or less... however smaller and who turns to wood in daylight, isn't that it? 
As I understand them, the Trow were more akin to D&D dwarves (underground... made magical items... etc)... Though ugly, they were not really discribbed as mosterous (at least that I remember). The old 2nd Ed "Norse Handbook" equated them with dwarves.
But, I yeild to the fact that my "cross-cultural" allusions may not be fully correct (or even close), as I was just offering example... To be clear... there are no "Sidhe" as a single species either ;) 

Yeah, Norse myth is kinda messy.
Dwarves sometimes are the same as elves, sometimes not, sometimes there are more than one type of elf, sometimes they are somewhat like "demi-gods", sometimes one of the gods themselves is an elf...

It was a very broad culture that spanned through a long period and wide territory. I guess it's only natural to have a lot of diversity.

I had heard of trows as being small trolls who come out at night to steal things or kidnap people. Something like that. 
My point is not really to bombard a player or DM with examples, but rather to offer a few well chosen and culturally broad examples of a said things paralels is they exist in other sources. Just a few of the most noted similarities would need to be printed, but it could go a long way toward not only explaining things to a new player but giving a bit of "concrete" to players and DM's running games in less "traditionally western" settings. That would help bring in roleplayers of other cultures and I think that would be a bonus for everyone! 

Yeah I got your point. And I agree.

Here's the description of the fighter from AD&D.
I suppose it's more or less what you're asking the fluff to be for everything in DDN:

The fighter is a warrior, an expert in weapons
and, if he is clever, tactics and strategy.
There are many famous fighters from legend:
Hercules, Perseus, Hiawatha,
Beowulf, Siegfried, Cuchulain, Little John,
Tristan, and Sinbad. History is crowded
with great generals and warriors: El Cid,
Hannibal, Alexander the Great, Charlemagne,
Spartacus, Richard the Lionheart,
and Belisarius. Your hghter could be modeled
after any of these, or he could be
unique. A visit to your local library can
uncover many heroic fighters.






Yeah I got your point. And I agree.

Here's the description of the fighter from AD&D.
I suppose it's more or less what you're asking the fluff to be for everything in DDN:

The fighter is a warrior, an expert in weapons
and, if he is clever, tactics and strategy.
There are many famous fighters from legend:
Hercules, Perseus, Hiawatha,
Beowulf, Siegfried, Cuchulain, Little John,
Tristan, and Sinbad. History is crowded
with great generals and warriors: El Cid,
Hannibal, Alexander the Great, Charlemagne,
Spartacus, Richard the Lionheart,
and Belisarius. Your hghter could be modeled
after any of these, or he could be
unique. A visit to your local library can
uncover many heroic fighters.








And that would be perfect ;)
 

Speaking of how familiarity can be used, the classic (Greek?) epic tale where the hero(s) have to make a quest to get the item(s) necessary to defeat a great evil is a good beginning adventure for those who know little of D&D, but are versed in literature (or movies based on that literature).



Not just Greek I think its pretty wide spread...some versions include inorder to get item you have to get another item which requires another item and so on.. and often during this sequence has the hero making friends because of his nature but who end up aiding him at unexpected points later in the story.. (I am recalling this being a big feature of Russian tales) sometimes that item they needed was just an excuse for aquiring those friends.... faerrie table/fable and more lessons all wrapped up.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I found the list of legendary and mythic fighter examples from AD&D 2e to be particularly inspiring. (CuhCulaine and Seigfried my faves)... though they missed  Gilgamesh who is pretty much the first fantasy hero .. on stone tablets no less.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Not just Greek I think its pretty wide spread...




Seems appropriate.
I found the list of legendary and mythic fighter examples from AD&D 2e to be particularly inspiring. (CuhCulaine and Seigfried my faves)... though they missed  Gilgamesh who is pretty much the first fantasy hero .. on stone tablets no less.




True. Gilgamesh is one epic dude!

They did throw Tiamat into the D&D mythos, though, only they kinda changed the creature/god entirely. 
 

Speaking of how familiarity can be used, the classic (Greek?) epic tale where the hero(s) have to make a quest to get the item(s) necessary to defeat a great evil is a good beginning adventure for those who know little of D&D, but are versed in literature (or movies based on that literature).



Not just Greek I think its pretty wide spread...some versions include inorder to get item you have to get another item which requires another item and so on.. and often during this sequence has the hero making friends because of his nature but who end up aiding him at unexpected points later in the story.. (I am recalling this being a big feature of Russian tales) sometimes that item they needed was just an excuse for aquiring those friends.... faerrie table/fable and more lessons all wrapped up.



Oh, an adventure based on a Russian tale sounds like it could be a great way to steer players into ROLE-playing, too.  When those people they met on their quest show up, and the PCs realize that the items they collected aren't the real power to defeat the evil; it's really those they met that were needed in some way...


And, yeah, I was thinking about the this-item-to-get-that-item-etc idea when I first wrote the post, though I didn't spell it out.  One of the things that came to mind was Clash of the Titans (the original, of course, with the poorly stop-animated-and-pasted-in owl).
It would be nice to have alternate examples in arms and equipment where items like glaive could have a note like "Examples include Guan Dao, Naginata, Bisento, and Voulge".
Elves or creatures like them appear in many places in popular media; notably Tolkien's elves, the Sidhe or Tuatha de Dannan of the Celts and the Alfar of the nordic countries.




• Elf (Tolkien): Dex, Wis
• Grey Elf (D&D): Dex, Int
• Eladrin (D&D): Int, Cha



These spirit beings have different mechanics.

• Alfr (Norse): Cha, Int/Wis*
• Dvergr (Norse): Int, Wis
• Sidhe (Celtic): Wis, Cha
• Fe (French): Cha, Int

*For the Norse Alfr, Cha is by far the most dominant ability, personifying beauty in every sense, mentally and physically, stunning presence, eloquence, persuasiveness, winning, excellence, victory, success, luck, innate magic, enchantment, Seiðr telepathic magic, charm and illusion. For other abilities, Int appears as technology (such as metallurgy), magical items, clear thinking, logical advice, undefeatable arguments, memory. However Wis also appears as prophetic intuition, prescience, keen observation, also healing. Dex is irrelevant, and Alfar dont especially use bows. The Alfr is a spirit being, becoming as if wind that can gust thru keyholes. (Eladrin Feystep is not bad to represent dematerializing ard rematerializing.) Alfheimr is in the sky, above the clouds with the celestial dome appearing as if a “roof”.
It would be nice to have alternate examples in arms and equipment where items like glaive could have a note like "Examples include Guan Dao, Naginata, Bisento, and Voulge".


The draw back of this, is that it would require people to actually know what those weapons are.
There have been several threads where attempts to use "real world" terminology for arms and armour was basically discarded. And not without reason.

Also, some apparently similar weapons are not at all similar in function...
Let's run with the Scimitar:
"Examples include the Sabre, Shamshir, Falchion, and Tulwar, and Dao"
Right?
Except... 
A Sabre is not used in a method particular similar to a Dao, much less a Falchion (which is what many illustrations of D&D "Scimitars" would count as), forget the fact that the Gross Messer or Dadao has been called a "Falchion" since WotC took the helm.

But the peak of folly (imo) was reached in 4E's Magnificent Emporium, where adding metal lames to chain  made it "lighter and more flexible" one wearing such armour "moves as quickly as one in leather armor."

The bad Victorian pseudo-scholarship naming conventions are sorta here to stay.
I suppose it is for the best, as attempts at historical terminology and typology have been painfully offensive in recent years...

 While I did like how at times AD&D 2E offered real world examples for many things (from classes to castles), at times the euro-centricism was pretty thick. Especially in the equipment section...
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.

The draw back of this, is that it would require people to actually know what those weapons are.
There have been several threads where attempts to use "real world" terminology for arms and armour was basically discarded. And not without reason.



Not really. That's why you have a description section for the weapons.
You give the reader the weapon's name, then describe to him what it is.
If he already knows what a Halberd is he'll recognize it instantly, and if he doesn't... here's the description of what it is.

What can mess things up is if you use wrong names for weapons as they have in the real world.
Because if the reader doesn't know those weapons, then OK it doesn't make any difference.
But if the reader does know what a real weapon of that name is and your game is calling it something else, it can lead to confusion.



Also, some apparently similar weapons are not at all similar in function...
Let's run with the Scimitar:
"Examples include the Sabre, Shamshir, Falchion, and Tulwar, and Dao"
Right?
Except... 
A Sabre is not used in a method particular similar to a Dao, much less a Falchion (which is what many illustrations of D&D "Scimitars" would count as), forget the fact that the Gross Messer or Dadao has been called a "Falchion" since WotC took the helm.



Yeah but that would just be doing it wrong.
Saying that a Scimitar is the same as a Falchion just because both tend to have curved blades is wrong.
I could easily see a Scimitar being used with Finesse, while the Falchion was a brute weapon with a heavy blade for chopping.

That's not what's being suggested.
But rather things like... having the Longsword in the weapon's table, but then describe that it may also be called a Bastard Sword, or a Hand-and-a-Half Sword, just to get the reader some other references he might have heard.

Or perhaps have a Broadsword in the table, and in the description state that Viking Swords, Arming Swords, Spathas, could all be considered Broadswords. And they were in fact used in a similar way.


 While I did like how at times AD&D 2E offered real world examples for many things (from classes to castles), at times the euro-centricism was pretty thick. Especially in the equipment section...



Well, AD&D was an European-Medieval fantasy game in its core.
Oriental, mid-eastern and other influences came later through suplements and settings.

*snip*

That's not what's being suggested.
But rather things like... having the Longsword in the weapon's table, but then describe that it may also be called a Bastard Sword, or a Hand-and-a-Half Sword, just to get the reader some other references he might have heard.


 
Except that a bastard sword is not a longsword, it is a bastard, whether that term comes from it being a bastardization of a two-hander or a longsword, it being a bastard to use, or it being used primarily by bastards.
What can mess things up is if you use wrong names for weapons as they have in the real world.
Because if the reader doesn't know those weapons, then OK it doesn't make any difference.
But if the reader does know what a real weapon of that name is and your game is calling it something else, it can lead to confusion.


I agree. And using erroneous names does cause confusion.


*snip*

That's not what's being suggested.
But rather things like... having the Longsword in the weapon's table, but then describe that it may also be called a Bastard Sword, or a Hand-and-a-Half Sword, just to get the reader some other references he might have heard.


 
Except that a bastard sword is not a longsword, it is a bastard, whether that term comes from it being a bastardization of a two-hander or a longsword, it being a bastard to use, or it being used primarily by bastards.


The “bastard sword” is a synonym for a longsword.

Apparently, the term originally means a sword with any “irregular” design. But soon came to specifically mean an exceptionally long blade.  
Technically a “shortsword” is a regular sword, in contrast to the “longsword” whose blade is extra long.

But the truth is, using “shortsword” in this technical way seems rare. Personally, I could live with the nomenclature as follows:


• Longsword (blade 3 to 4 feet) - bastard sword, claymore, etcetera
• Sword (blade 2 to 3 feet) - the standard sword
• Shortsword (blade 1 to 2 feet) - gladius, seax, etcetera


This way, the use of the important term longsword is correct. The term sword is any “normal” sword. Finally the useful D&Dism “shortsword”, isnt really a problem.

Notice, this parallels the nomenclature of other weapons too.

• Longspear
• Spear
• Shortspear


        
 
Except that a bastard sword is not a longsword, it is a bastard, whether that term comes from it being a bastardization of a two-hander or a longsword, it being a bastard to use, or it being used primarily by bastards.




No, mate. Your just wild-guessing there. Don't do that please, it only causes misinformation.

The Longsword is a type of sword from the late medieval period, and both Bastard Sword and Hand-and-a-Half sword are just other names for the same weapon.
And most certainly by no means it was a "bastardization" of a two-hander, since Greatswords (two-handers) came only later. They were more or less an "evolution" of the Longsword.

The Longsword evolved from the medieval broad sword, and the term "long" actually refered more to the longer Hilt (for a hand and a half) than the blade itself, although the blade was indeed longer (and thinner) than those of typical swords from earlier medieval periods.
Later came the greatsword, even longer (both in hilt and blade) than the Longsword.



Here's how the confusion started in D&D:

Very early in the game, they weren't using the weapons' actual reference names.
They would refer to Short Sword, Long Sword, and Two-Handed Sword just as that... a sword that was shorter, one that was longer, and one that was so big you needed 2 hands to wield.

Please note that they even used separate words: Long Sword, not Longsword.

Then later they started adding weapons with their historical reference names (I think it began with AD&D).
The Bastard Sword appeared in the game, and they added it as a middle ground between the "Long" Sword and the Two-Handed Sword.
Then (and I think that happened in 3ed) they decided to use Longsword (one word) and Greatsword because those were their supposed "real" reference names.
But the thing is, they still kept the Bastard Sword... and by "Longsword" now they were referring not to the actual Longsword, but to the Arming Sword, also known as Knightly Sword, that "classic" Knight sword we see in movies.

I mean that sword:


This is what D&D calls a Longsword, and used to call "Long Sword" earlier (meaning just that it was longer that a short-bladed sword).

As you see, the Arming Sword is more akin to earlier medieval Broadswords like the Viking Sword:

Note the one-handed grip.



And this is a Longsword/Bastard/Hand-and-a-Half:

(btw... I don't know this dude in the picture)



Please keep in mind also that in terms of usage/technique, the Longsword and Greatsword were similar.
While the Arming Sword or the earlier medieval Broadswords (what D&D calls a Longsword), were handled in quite a different manner.






So...
I think this could be tackled in two different ways.

1- We could revert to the old days of merely referring to the general size of the swords: Short Sword, Sword (we could drop the "long" here so as not to confuse with the actual Longsword), and Two-handed Sword.
That would put the arming sword and other broadswords as just "Sword", and the Longsword and Greatsword as "Two-handed".
Or perhaps we also add the "hand-and-a-half" sword which can also be a generic term, if we want those rules were one can wield it with either one or two hands.

2- Usage of actual reference names like Greatsword, and Longsword/Bastard Sword.
But in this case we should not call Longsword the one-handed sword (the one with d8) which by description should actually be an Arming Sword, or Knightly Sword, or more generally a broadsword. The Longsword should be the one which in 3ed is a Bastard (d10).
And more importantly, we shouldn't put a Longsword and a separate Bastard Sword as two different weapons, with different damages and different usages, because they were actually the same weapon, and doing that generates confusion.


If they go for any of these 2 options we should have much less confusion.
And for those who don't care at all for such things, the change would certainly not affect their game in any way, so why not do it?


Hope that was useful for anyone.


 
This doesn't seem helpful to me. (The exception being weapons). To begin with I have no clue what any of those alternate races are. So it would seem to be a complete waste of space. And I"m guessing since you already know them, well you don't need them. This can extend to clerics. Providing the gods from the various campaign settings seems like a great idea, providing real world gods seems like a waste of space. Same deal, if you are familiar with the gods then you already know where they go, and if you aren't, then providing them won't be of much help.

The other deal is that the Yakuza is no where near a D&D Rogue. They are not similar in any way. (Exceptions may be with NPC rogues but certainly not with PC rogues). Though why the Paladin doesn't kill or ship the rogue off to jail anyway is beyond me. 

I love this idea for weapons though. I just think everything else isn't needed. 
That was useful, and all stemming from a joke I couldn't resist because I love making word plays.

Of course, from what I know, it really should be a hand-and-a-half, because they were difficult to wield one-handed, requiring quite a bit of training to develop the musculature and forms to use effectively.

I say, thanks to your input, we should have the short sword, aka gladius, broadsword, bastard sword, aka hand-and-a-half, and the zweihander (just because I like the sound of it better than the same word in my native tongue).  Of course, there would be other names added to these, but could we please leave out the longsword/long sword name to avoid confusion?
This doesn't seem helpful to me. (The exception being weapons). To begin with I have no clue what any of those alternate races are. So it would seem to be a complete waste of space. And I"m guessing since you already know them, well you don't need them. This can extend to clerics. Providing the gods from the various campaign settings seems like a great idea, providing real world gods seems like a waste of space. Same deal, if you are familiar with the gods then you already know where they go, and if you aren't, then providing them won't be of much help.

The other deal is that the Yakuza is no where near a D&D Rogue. They are not similar in any way. (Exceptions may be with NPC rogues but certainly not with PC rogues). Though why the Paladin doesn't kill or ship the rogue off to jail anyway is beyond me. 

I love this idea for weapons though. I just think everything else isn't needed. 



The whole idea, I think, is for those who know the races, weapons, etc. by a different name, but aren't familiar with the classic D&D names for them.  Also, a bit of history/theology for those who wish to play in an alternate or historical earth setting would be welcome by me, and many others, I'm fairly confident.
This doesn't seem helpful to me. (The exception being weapons). To begin with I have no clue what any of those alternate races are. So it would seem to be a complete waste of space. And I"m guessing since you already know them, well you don't need them. This can extend to clerics. Providing the gods from the various campaign settings seems like a great idea, providing real world gods seems like a waste of space. Same deal, if you are familiar with the gods then you already know where they go, and if you aren't, then providing them won't be of much help.

The other deal is that the Yakuza is no where near a D&D Rogue. They are not similar in any way. (Exceptions may be with NPC rogues but certainly not with PC rogues). Though why the Paladin doesn't kill or ship the rogue off to jail anyway is beyond me. 

I love this idea for weapons though. I just think everything else isn't needed. 



The whole idea, I think, is for those who know the races, weapons, etc. by a different name, but aren't familiar with the classic D&D names for them.  Also, a bit of history/theology for those who wish to play in an alternate or historical earth setting would be welcome by me, and many others, I'm fairly confident.


For the races, if you know what they are, then you really don't need the D&D book to tell you what they are. Weapons I obviously agree with. And for the other gods, I would think would require a lot more detail than a simple word under list of gods. So yeah it could mention a god under a domain, but unless you are familar with that god it wouldn't really make sense. Now if you were planning on creating a setting book to detail those gods more, then I would say include them in the players handbook, otherwise there is no need. 
I hope 5e doesnt have a “Players Handbook” and “DMs Guide”, but rather combines them into a single book, a “Cyclopedia”.

Then this Cyclopedia is the only book that people need to buy to start playing D&D. Whatever Adventure they purchase will provide the information about any monsters, treasures, and local setting. This makes it very SIMPLE for newbies to start playing. They know which book to buy.

Optional books include: Bestiary (Monster Manual), Treasury (Adventurers Vault, Emporium, etcetera), and Setting (Forgotten Realm, Eberron, Greyhawk, Darksun, etcetera).



The Cyclopedia must be as setting neutral as possible. I want to use this book for old school Euro medievalesque, magic tech Eberron, Potter/Dresden modern, near-future cyber tech, mythologically accurate Norse animism, curious about a Hindu setting, and so on.

I want to use the same rules, for all of these very different settings. Their cosmologies and theologies are different from eachother. In other words, I want to use D&D 5e for all of my gaming needs.



Now that said. Rules that are too neutral, dont give the reader vivid examples of how these rules can become a living breathing universe. For this reason, the Cyclopedia can be published many times, one for each official setting.

The first setting that will come out with 5e is Forgotten Realms. So, there should be a “Forgotten Realms Cyclopedia”. This provides the setting-neutral rules of Basic, Standard, and Advanced D&D, but then gives pages of examples and flavor text for how these rules work in the Forgotten Realms setting. For example, in this setting, the spiritual traditions of the Cleric class are polytheistic, with Clerics dedicating themselves to specific gods that exist in this setting. The Forgotten Realms Cyclopedia can go into expansive detail to bring the Cleric class to life. The different kinds of Clerics in Forgotten Realms become clear.

The Eberron Cyclopedia will be completely different. The Basic, Standard, and Advanced rules in this Cyclopedia will be exactly the same as in the Forgotten Realms Cyclopedia. But the in-world examples and flavor text will be completely different.

With regard to publishing the rules several times - it never hurts to have an extra rulebook. I will probably buy at least two or three of them, one for each official setting that I happen to love. D&D collectors might want all of them. The casual player can easily use the “wrong” setting edition, just to refer to the rules themselves.

Setting specific publications of the Cyclopedia will bring the rules to life. Eventually, with more and more settings, players can see how they too can use these rules to create their own worlds.
i would love to see dragonlance come back as for ebberon ehhh lol i dont like constructs as pcs too sci fi for my tastes in a fantasy game

(including other sources - The Stormbringer Saga, Tolkien, etc.)

Might result in copyright issues

The Eberron Cyclopedia will be completely different. The Basic, Standard, and Advanced rules in this Cyclopedia will be exactly the same as in the Forgotten Realms Cyclopedia

This is why I think it's not a good idea.

Too many parts will be exactly the same as in the other Cyclopedias.


Just do one generic Cyclopedia and the FR Guide, Eberron Guid, etc. only contains the adjustments for their respective settings without repeating all the generic stuff.


(including other sources - The Stormbringer Saga, Tolkien, etc.)

Might result in copyright issues

The Eberron Cyclopedia will be completely different. The Basic, Standard, and Advanced rules in this Cyclopedia will be exactly the same as in the Forgotten Realms Cyclopedia

This is why I think it's not a good idea.

Too many parts will be exactly the same as in the other Cyclopedias.


Just do one generic Cyclopedia and the FR Guide, Eberron Guid, etc. only contains the adjustments for their respective settings without repeating all the generic stuff.




I agree, though the Cyclopedia should have enough generic background material to run strictly with it and no other guides.  Much like the dieties' names in the playtest packet are really just archtypes, they are useable as is with no need for proper names.  IIRC, there was no real default setting for D&D until 3e; it was merely a medieval Europe-like setting, but on a world (or on an alternate plane) where magic and monsters existed.
(including other sources - The Stormbringer Saga, Tolkien, etc.)

Might result in copyright issues

The Eberron Cyclopedia will be completely different. The Basic, Standard, and Advanced rules in this Cyclopedia will be exactly the same as in the Forgotten Realms Cyclopedia

This is why I think it's not a good idea.

Too many parts will be exactly the same as in the other Cyclopedias.


Just do one generic Cyclopedia and the FR Guide, Eberron Guid, etc. only contains the adjustments for their respective settings without repeating all the generic stuff.


Generic = Greyhawk setting



There is no such thing as a “generic” setting.

Baking any setting into the rules, makes all settings that use the rules become samey.

Publishing a Cyclopedia for each setting means each setting can be unique, without any baked-in generic setting.
I agree, though the Cyclopedia should have enough generic background material to run strictly with it and no other guides.  Much like the dieties' names in the playtest packet are really just archtypes, they are useable as is with no need for proper names.  IIRC, there was no real default setting for D&D until 3e; it was merely a medieval Europe-like setting, but on a world (or on an alternate plane) where magic and monsters existed.


Some of the settings have no gods. So baking “generic” deities into the rules of a Cleric class is a good example of what not to do, because it will interfere with any settings that have a different cosmology and a different theology.

You really need generic gods in the players handbook with names. This way if a War domain cleric meets another war domain cleric you can actually figure out if they should be familiar with each other or are worshipers of two completely different gods. So its bad for a new player to start playing a game and then find out that they don't have all the information to actually play the game for example needing the forgotten realms book(s) to get the list of dieties. And if none are present in the players handbook, then I'm quite certain that inded the Forgotten Realms gods will become default (whether anyone wants them to or not).
You really need generic gods in the players handbook with names. This way if a War domain cleric meets another war domain cleric you can actually figure out if they should be familiar with each other or are worshipers of two completely different gods. So its bad for a new player to start playing a game and then find out that they don't have all the information to actually play the game for example needing the forgotten realms book(s) to get the list of dieties. And if none are present in the players handbook, then I'm quite certain that inded the Forgotten Realms gods will become default (whether anyone wants them to or not).



If they have names, they are not “generic”. If there are gods, it isnt “generic”.

I avoid gaming rules that have a setting flavor baked into them. You can play a setting-baked game a couple of times, and it can be fun, but when you get bored with the setting theres little choice but to find a different game.
I agree, though the Cyclopedia should have enough generic background material to run strictly with it and no other guides.  Much like the dieties' names in the playtest packet are really just archtypes, they are useable as is with no need for proper names.  IIRC, there was no real default setting for D&D until 3e; it was merely a medieval Europe-like setting, but on a world (or on an alternate plane) where magic and monsters existed.


Some of the settings have no gods. So baking “generic” deities into the rules of a Cleric class is a good example of what not to do, because it will interfere with any settings that have a different cosmology and a different theology.




But these don't even have to be individual dieties.  You could run a monotheistic game, where the archtypes are used to define clerics of different factions.  You couls have just a few gods, with each having a number of different archtypes to model different branches of the church.  And, of course, you can have the clerics of each god with their own separate archtype, and create more archtypes if you have dieties which don't fit any of those archtypes in the rulebook.  Or the setting books would add archtypes, likely under the diety that has that archtype.

Much like the playtest packet does by giving examples of the specific dieties with those archtypes in different settings, this generic system can be used to model whatever you need it to.  And, of course, if you have no dieties in your campaign, you can remove the cleric altogether, make the archtypes model different philosophies, or even create an archtype to model the old 2e cleric and use that as the only cleric in your game.