Racial class restrictions - can we have them back?

Now I'm not saying the whole 1e/2e level limits, but I would like the 'feel' that D&D had back when Halfling Paladins riding War Dogs weren't charging Dragons in the knees-cap (silliness I tell you).

Thanks, for the consideration, at least as an optional 'traditional D&D feel' game.
To be honest, I think all that's needed here is a single line in the DMG: The DM has final say over what race/class combinations in the game. Given that the above is something that is so driven by personal taste, you'd only end up causing even more edition waring than there already is.

Besides, there is something about Halfling Paladins that makes me smile (blame Mazzy Fentan). I do understand what you mean about the War Dogs though.
To be honest, I think all that's needed here is a single line in the DMG: The DM has final say over what race/class combinations in the game. Given that the above is something that is so driven by personal taste, you'd only end up causing even more edition waring than there already is.



I would like to see that line actually say - for 1e/2e Halflings: Fighter, Thief, and I think Druid in 2e?  Rather than - argue with your DM until one of you gives in...



Now I'm not saying the whole 1e/2e level limits, but I would like the 'feel' that D&D had back when Halfling Paladins riding War Dogs weren't charging Dragons in the knees-cap (silliness I tell you).

Thanks, for the consideration, at least as an optional 'traditional D&D feel' game.



If anyone else than the DM should have the decission on that subject, it would be up to the CAMPAIGN MODULE that your group has decided to play in. 

Example: It could be that in the DARK SUN setting, that hafling paladins on war dogs isnt something that exists. But it could also be that it there were a whole country of them in FORGOTTEM REALS.

I dont support this idea though, i think it is to narrow and personal taste for my "taste" (hehe ironic).

But if its going to be implemented to the game, it should be in a section of the "insert campaign settings" guide book. 
I think a method, one hinted at by by Mike Mearls' recent blog post regarding some dice differences on the playtest character sheets from the packet rules, of rewarding people playing the "classic combos" of race and class is a better way to go about this than to actually say "no" to the so called silly options...

You don't like halfling paladins, fine... I don't either. If Humans get a higher hit die or an AC boost while playing a paladin... then many players are going to lean toward human as their race when they choose to play a paladin.

Much like in the playtest the dwarf fighter (a classic combo) has a higher hit die than normal, the dwarf cleric of moradin (another classic) has a higher AC than he "should", and both deal greater damage with their hammer or axe because those are the classic "dwarf weapons."

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

Well, I think that any resitrictions on what races, classes and class/race combos are allowed in a game should be set up by a GM from the start of a campaign, and players shouldn't really be so sold on a character concept before they know this.

I mean, if the GM turns around to me and says: this is a classic style D&D game, endulging in all the fantasy clichés to the hilt, I'm not going to be set on generating a Dwarven Wizard. Similarly none of my players decided that they would create a Warforged Cleric in my Dark Sun game.

But having the restrictions set in stone would make those characters far less likley for any campaign. I mean, yeah people could (and would) ignore them, but I'd rather the default came down on the side of freedom rather than restriction.
Now I'm not saying the whole 1e/2e level limits, but I would like the 'feel' that D&D had back when Halfling Paladins riding War Dogs weren't charging Dragons in the knees-cap (silliness I tell you).

Thanks, for the consideration, at least as an optional 'traditional D&D feel' game.


Feel free to add any racial class restrictions you like *at your gametable.*

I think a method, one hinted at by by Mike Mearls' recent blog post regarding some dice differences on the playtest character sheets from the packet rules, of rewarding people playing the "classic combos" of race and class is a better way to go about this than to actually say "no" to the so called silly options...

You don't like halfling paladins, fine... I don't either. If Humans get a higher hit die or an AC boost while playing a paladin... then many players are going to lean toward human as their race when they choose to play a paladin.

Much like in the playtest the dwarf fighter (a classic combo) has a higher hit die than normal, the dwarf cleric of moradin (another classic) has a higher AC than he "should", and both deal greater damage with their hammer or axe because those are the classic "dwarf weapons."



This is what I want to see, too. It incentivizes D&D's traditional race/class notions and tropes without restricting access to non-traditional combinations that players might find compelling for their own idiosyncratic reasons.
Adding racial/class restrictions back into the game would be something that would honestly drive me away from it, and I believe I would not be the only one.

I support the idea of rewarding traditional combinations, but I vehemently oppose the idea of actively restricting player choice in this manner.  To me, one of the great ideas of third edition was allowing any player to play any class. 

To me, it restricts the feel of everything as a whole if you say "Dwarves can't be wizards."  Suddenly there's an entire element of society that cannot exist.  No isolated dwarven wizard who specializes in some form of gem magic, etc.  I'm fine with "Dwarves are rarely wizards."  That's cool.  I still have the option as a DM to put a Dwarven wizard in the game, and my players still have the option to play one. 

In short, I see absolutely no benefit whatsoever to actually saying that certain races can and cannot be certain classes.  Saying you view something as silly is a valid opinion, but it is only an opinion, and I personally, want game decisions to be based on facts, and not someone's personal viewpoints.  Otherwise, I could say that I want the base D&D setting to be Ravenloft, because that was my favorite one, and everyone else should have to live with it.  It's a valid opinion, but there is no facts to back it up, and it's obvious that it's a better option for my to have my games set in Ravenloft and let everyone else have their base setting be a traditional fantasy one that they can adapt how they please.  
Why would anyone want this, apart from the raw hubris of mandating arbitrary flavor?

There is a Dwarf Cleric in the playtest.  Those were not allowed in 1E.
I have no problem with a DM limiting specific race/class combinations at their own table...

But along with everyone else, I agree this is definitely not part of the core rules and IF it appeared in the printed optional rules, it would only be as a setting specific restriction.

On the other hand, I would encourage and DMs out there that would want to do this: first ask yourself "why".

If, for example, you have a clear race/culture reason (such as in your campaign flavor, Dwarfs don't have wizards, but instead have shamans that tap into ancestor-worship spirit power), that's perfectly reasonable. If it's a more arbitrary "just because" or "I don't like certain combinations", open yourself up to the possibility of the players' desires and imagination. It could be that one of them come up with a cool backstory for some combination that you have a dislike for... and that it could change your mind completely. Also, it's almost always better to say "Yes" to your players than to say "No".

Lastly, consider making this a pre-game discussion with your players as well. There is a social contract (even if unspoken) at the table, and arbitrary decisions to disallow certain things has the potential to break trust between the players and GM.

As an example, in my 4e game, I asked my players not to make Dragonborn characters because I had a really strong idea to introduce the race into the campaign as a major villainous force (similar to Draconians)... but I *asked*. I didn't impose. I exlpained that I had an idea for using Dragonborn and a PC Dragonborn would not "fit in" in a humoid city because of those reasons. If someone *really* wanted to play one, I'd work it in if I had to, but would like the option to avoid having to do that. They were cool with it.

 

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Lastly, consider making this a pre-game discussion with your players as well. There is a social contract (even if unspoken) at the table, and arbitrary decisions to disallow certain things has the potential to break trust between the players and GM.

Ever since "6x 3d6, in order" fell out of fashion, announcing race/class intent before writing anything on a character sheet has become pretty much standard.  That's when the DM gets to arbitrarily shoot down an idea.

You don't need a book to say no for you.  Deny your players in your own voice, and on your own authority.

Seriously, though, you have a responsibility to do what you feel is necessary to preserve the tone of the campaign you're running.  That includes putting some reasonable restrictions on character creation, and if you feel that halfling paladins with appropriately sized mounts are inherently too whimsical for the campaign you want to run, take it up with your players.  They may surprise you with a bleak and compelling halfling cavalryman concept, or they might let you know up front that they're not interested in a campaign devoid of whimsy, or any number of other potentially productive responses.

In defense of that specific concept, past a certain size of dragon, any M or smaller creature charging at its kneecaps astride any L or smaller creature is pretty equally ridiculous.  Rats and wasps and so forth.

"When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish." D&D Outsider
I’ve removed content from this thread because trolling/baiting is a violation of the Code of Conduct.

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Race/Class restrictions should be a campaign thing, not a core rules thing.


Also I hate the idea of greatly incentivizing classicial race/class combos. Though I suppose it does make playing against type the non-"munchkin' thing to do :P.


Even if they put it as an "optional rule" the player would still argue with the DM over the optional rule. 
I’ve removed content from this thread because trolling/baiting is a violation of the Code of Conduct.

You can review the Code here: www.wizards.com/Company/About.aspx?x=wz_...

Please keep your posts polite, on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks.You are welcome to disagree with one another but please do so respectfully and constructively.

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I read this thread this afternoon and don't remember anything CoC-violating about the posts I can no longer see. Some people disagreed with the OP in very strong terms, but they attacked the idea, not the person. If someone complained about them, skins are unreasonably thin and you oughtn't have given in.

EDIT: Aaaand, as if to prove my point, what was a rather vital discussion promptly died after this.
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
Now I'm not saying the whole 1e/2e level limits, but I would like the 'feel' that D&D had back when Halfling Paladins riding War Dogs weren't charging Dragons in the knees-cap (silliness I tell you).

Thanks, for the consideration, at least as an optional 'traditional D&D feel' game.

I think there was a halfling Guardian to answer this situation somewhere..........
MY DM COMMITMENT To insure that those who participate in any game that I adjudicate are having fun, staying engaged, maintaining focus, contributing to the story and becoming legendary. "The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gary Gygax Thanks for that Gary, so now stop playing RAW games. Member of the Progressive Front of Grognardia Suicide Squad
I think restrictions like that are better left to house rules. A base game set of rules wants the players to have as many options and as free of gameplay as possiable. 
I think restrictions like that are better left to house rules. A base game set of rules wants the players to have as many options and as free of gameplay as possiable. 



I totally agree. I once saw someone play a 1/2 orc wizard in 3rd edition. sure an orc isn't "optimized" to be a wizard, but the guy had what was, to him, a fun idea. I don't want the official rules to forbid players from trying non-traditional things and having fun the way they want to.
I never cared for racial class restrictions personally, and I don't want to see them back. It should basically be DM disgression with whatever fits in his or her campaign world, but not a part of the core rules.
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