New Race: Revenant (is FR losing its "setting feel"?)

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Having a living construct, a minotaur, a damphyr and an undead paladin walk into the Dragon's Fang inn, (apart from being the start of a corny joke) to save the village from the bandits doesn't sit right with me.

I understand that. I love a realistic game and I love a setting that works well together. I don't want to see Half-Giants and feral psionic halflings in the Realms. I don't want to see Tinker Gnomes in Athas.

However, 4E is really about the table. The idea of 3-6 unusual adventurers taking on an epic quest is completely valid. It is just as valid as the idea of the boy farmer turning out to be some amazingly gifted person destined to save the world. It is a fantasy game and the stars are the players.

The table composition should not be extrapolated to indicate the demographics of FR. It should be used to make a great story. We are all here to have fun with an awesome story.

We're told that any LFR legal choice should not be penalised in any way, which is an argument I disagree with. Just because it's legal doesn't mean there shouldn't be consequences to a decision. Otherwise it's not a roleplaying game we're playing, it's rolling dice to a set of numbers on a sheet, and race is purely a mechanical choice. Indeed, if racial fluff has no meaning, why bother with races at all? Just pick whichever race gives you +2 to two key stats and be done with it.

That's completely unfair. The assumption that bad/new/inexperienced/whatever players are the ones choosing races you don't like is false. Sure, there should be consequences, but not to the point of derailing the mod or punishing the PC at a mechanical level. If warforged were supposed to get a penalty to skill checks, it would be in their racial rules! Yes, they are unusual. Yes, people will be afraid. No, it does not translate to a mechanical penalty. And it should not result in the player not having a good time.

Again, I love me a good, tight, logical setting. You can still have that. Just think at the table level. You have an epic story waiting to unfold. Don't ruin it by angering the player that chose to play a revenant. As a player, have fun RPing your reaction to a strange race, but keep it fun for every player.

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but there are even more who would use it as an opportunity to punish players that were playing races they didn't approve of. Dress it up however you want, justify it and explain it any way you can ... but that is exactly what would happen. Cranky, power-tripping DMs would use the inclusion of those kind of social penalties to make the game more how they wanted it to be, how they think LFR should be, and not how WotC has designed it. It would be their method of punishing players for playing a race they don't want in the Realms.

Funny thing is that this seems to be a generally accepted abuse of DME against players who use certain character builds, which are just as legal as the mentioned races, but considered overpowered. So it's OK to bring your DME to bear against legal powers, but not against legal races.
And the LFR admins would KILL to have WOW's playerbase.

And yet they should be carefull lest they kill their playerbase to make room for the new WoW playerbase and end up with no playerbase because the old has been driven away and the expected new still has no interest
I mean, how many people really care if it is canon or not? I hardly meet anyone in my LFR games that even recognize anything in the setting outside of few names, mainly from the computer games. For the vast majority of us this is a giant playground, and we don't care if new races or classes are added that are not canon. In fact, it's a lot of fun.

Which is annother reason why I wonder why they had to do this to FR instead of just making Living Point of Light and let us all explore the leftovers of Nerath and Bael Turath instead of trying to jam everything in Archendale and Waterdeep
One of the globals said so on the first page of this very thread

He said not to penalize the player. He didn't say you could not put up a hurdle or two for a monster PC - as long as you don't make the adventure impossible. Mechanic penalties may not be the way to go (though personally I think a -2 may be fine on some occasions), but you could add some problems.
I.e. when I play my half-drow (half-elf with drow ancestry), most DMs ignore it. One DM however had the children in the game be scared of her - they didn't trsut her one bit. It didn't affect the adventure itself, but it added a lot of fun.
Likewise, I expect most peopel to not warm up to the gnoll PC I'm thinking of making (though he is a bit peculiar - he is 'sophisticated, and walks around with a cane, in a noble's outfit and wears a monocle). I expect NPCs to generally not react favorably on him. I do expect to be able to play an adventure - but if there are some hurdles along the way, I am fine with that (I don't expect much though, as most DMs, unfortunately, ignore your race completely).

Gomez
If warforged were supposed to get a penalty to skill checks, it would be in their racial rules! Yes, they are unusual. Yes, people will be afraid. No, it does not translate to a mechanical penalty.

Racial rules are independent of campaign rules. Just because the race itself doesn't have a mechanical penalty does not mean the DM can't impose one due to the campaign.

Same as if you walked into a Drow city as a human, you'd expect a bit of scrutiny...
Anyone else find it amusing how many posts from the champions of inclusion in this thread amount to, "Well I like it that way and since WotC isn't following your advice you and your preferences don't matter, so shut up and pretend to like it or GTFO?" Yeah, I can feel that inclusion.
Same as if you walked into a Drow city as a human, you'd expect a bit of scrutiny...

I don't think scrutiny is the right word. :P
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
Anyone else find it amusing how many posts from the champions of inclusion in this thread amount to, "Well I like it that way and since WotC isn't following your advice you and your preferences don't matter, so shut up and pretend to like it or GTFO?" Yeah, I can feel that inclusion.

It's more along the lines of: That's the way it is and it isn't going to change unless they find their play numbers dropping off significantly, so there's no point in ranting and raving about it. Either you adapt and go with the flow or you don't play the campaign. (considering what little we've heard about their play numbers, they aren't dropping off, so we can forget that)

It's not any different than with a home game. If you really wanted to play 4e Hardcore Forgotten Realms but the rest of your group wanted to play Champions and you didn't care for Champions that much, you can play it with them and have a good time (maybe) or you can leave the game.

No one puts a gun to someones head and forces them to play. (unless they're desperate for other players...) In some cases you may be able to affect change on the campaign to have to more towards your liking. This issue, unfortunately or not, is one of those issues that will not change. If it isn't fun, don't play it.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
That's the way it is and it isn't going to change unless they find their play numbers dropping off significantly, so there's no point in ranting and raving about it. Either you adapt and go with the flow or you don't play the campaign.

I don't see why a DM has to go with the flow on this one. If a player decides to play a race that could provoke a reaction from the mod, he/she should expect that to happen on occasion. A DM who allows the mod to confront the player in a way that has a resolution that challenges the PC, but doesn't overwhelm the PC should be perfectly fine.

A lot of odd race players actually seem to like it a lot when that happens.

I think there's a valid concern about the level of reaction. When the reaction is none or arbitrarily overwhelmingly bad, then that's not a good play experience.
Not what I was saying. I was speaking about complaining that they're allowing everything into the realms including things that may not historically be "Realmsian."

That isn't goign to change.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
A DM who allows the mod to confront the player in a way that has a resolution that challenges the PC, but doesn't overwhelm the PC should be perfectly fine.

(bolding mine)

That's the whole point, I think. Keeping in mind that any mechanical penalty that dramatically reduces the chance of succeeding in a skill challenge would count as "overwhelming". And any penalty beyond -2 or so would probably qualify.
(bolding mine)

That's the whole point, I think. Keeping in mind that any mechanical penalty that dramatically reduces the chance of succeeding in a skill challenge would count as "overwhelming". And any penalty beyond -2 or so would probably qualify.

I don't think it would. As an example, a gnoll character said some unpleasant things to a NPC in a mod I was running. I had her make a diplomacy check and she failed horribly. At that point, I let someone else make a diplomacy check, and that character succeeded. So the NPC complemented the 2nd PC and warned him to muzzle his friend.

After that, the gnoll was more circumspect about saying random bad things to NPCs. Had the friend not made the check, I would have put horrible penalties on the gnoll and felt justified in doing so. The penalties would not have been out of the blue, they would have been as a result of the actions of the gnoll.
I don't think it would. As an example, a gnoll character said some unpleasant things to a NPC in a mod I was running. I had her make a diplomacy check and she failed horribly. At that point, I let someone else make a diplomacy check, and that character succeeded. So the NPC complemented the 2nd PC and warned him to muzzle his friend.

After that, the gnoll was more circumspect about saying random bad things to NPCs. Had the friend not made the check, I would have put horrible penalties on the gnoll and felt justified in doing so. The penalties would not have been out of the blue, they would have been as a result of the actions of the gnoll.

To be fair though, if a human PC had done the exact same thing, the same ruling would have been just as appropriate. :P

At this point you as the DM are applying appropriate penalties based on the actions of the PCs, not because of what monstrous race the PC might or might now be a member of. If you had said instead, "I had a gnoll PC say some pleasant and friendly things to an NPC. I had the gnoll make a diplomacy check, which failed but would have succeeded if not for the -10 penalty I applied", then it would not really be appropriate, right?
To be fair though, if a human PC had done the exact same thing, the same ruling would have been just as appropriate. :P

No, it would not have. There are lots of things that gnolls could say that would be perfectly normal if a human said it, yet in the context of being a gnoll, not so much.
No, it would not have. There are lots of things that gnolls could say that would be perfectly normal if a human said it, yet in the context of being a gnoll, not so much.

i've been trying to figure out some things that would fit that description, but i haven't been able to. my curious side is just dying to know what the gnoll said that wouldn't have been offensive if he weren't a gnoll.

not challenging the statement, i'm just REALLY curious.
Pretty much anything that starts with the word "we" could be misconstrued, I would think...
i've been trying to figure out some things that would fit that description, but i haven't been able to. my curious side is just dying to know what the gnoll said that wouldn't have been offensive if he weren't a gnoll.

There are tons of things:
"I like babies!" with a grin.
"I'm so hungry I could eat a horse." (spots NPC) "Hey..."

On the 2nd one, lets say it is you that gnoll is saying that too - do you wait to see if he wants to ask you for directions?

But in this particular case, he was being offensive in a way that a human would have also been such. But it was the kind of offensive where a human NPC would consider a human a jerk, a gnoll time to tell the whole town to get out the pitchforks.
I remember raising concerns about Dhampyr a while back, and people whined at me - now with the release of the Forsaken^H^H^H^H^H^H^HRevenants, it is obvious that the new Realms overlords don't give a flying fig about the lore and history and consistency of the Realms and are busy at this moment tramping over Ed Greenwood's grave (even though he's not dead yet) just in order to try and attract more WoW-kiddies.

Hmm... Must be a different Ed greenwood whose name is on the cover of the 4th edition campaign guide -- as an author... And why this new "Ed" continues to work with WotC developing Realms content/novels/etc. ...
i've been trying to figure out some things that would fit that description, but i haven't been able to. my curious side is just dying to know what the gnoll said that wouldn't have been offensive if he weren't a gnoll.

not challenging the statement, i'm just REALLY curious.

Give me the info or I'll eat your face?

Much scarier coming from a Gnoll than a human.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
Hmm... Must be a different Ed greenwood whose name is on the cover of the 4th edition campaign guide -- as an author... And why this new "Ed" continues to work with WotC developing Realms content/novels/etc. ...

Now, now, you know logic has no place here.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
Hmm... Must be a different Ed greenwood whose name is on the cover of the 4th edition campaign guide -- as an author... And why this new "Ed" continues to work with WotC developing Realms content/novels/etc. ...

And if you'd ever read any of the comments he has made over at Candlekeep, you would know that he had no choice in the matter.

But then the Rich-Baker-WOW-ified Realms is suitable?
But then the Rich-Baker-WOW-ified Realms is suitable?

Actually, no -- having played for almost 30 years now, I prefer Greyhawk myself.

Yeah, sounds like he's really had his arms twisted to participate and hates what's happened...
Actually, no -- having played for almost 30 years now, I prefer Greyhawk myself.

Yeah, sounds like he's really had his arms twisted to participate and hates what's happened...

Of course, it is a WotC promotional video. Had he said anything else, I seriously doubt the interview would have been published. If his participation were coerced, that is the kind of thing I would expect to find.

That said, a quick yahoo search for any dissenting comments he may or may not have made on candlekeep yielded no useful results--so what Ed Greenwood may or may not have said about the new realms and how voluntary his participation is, the interview and author's credit is the only info I've seen one way or the other.

Not that I care one way or the other; preserving Ed Greenwood's Realms is not really high on my priority list. Had 4e actually delivered on the darker, points of light, us vs. them realms that was initially advertised, I would probably prefer the 4e realms to the previous version--and if Ed Greenwood loved or hated it wouldn't matter.
From what I read, Ed would probably not have made the choices wizards made with the setting, but he loves the Realms and therefor does particpate whenever he can add new Realsmlore - regardless the incarnation - because he knows that in the end, it is the DM that makes the Realms - all he can do is facilitate.
Note that right now, he writes mostly for Rteurned Abeir, but still gives Realms advice on Candlekeep, mostly pre-plague, partly because peopela sk, and partly because 4th ed is wrapped up in NDAs. He has provided some 4th ed lore that I have used (or hope to use) in LFR.

Gomez
RPGA staff, as the DMs of the campaign, could have dealt with this in a wide variety of ways:
- They could have decided what was and was not allowed in the campaign based on how well it fit the flavor of the campaign world;
- They could have decided to only release adventures that were compatible with having no restrictions on character races;
- They could have dealt with the unrestricted inclusion of races by including a metacampaign structure to the campaign world to explain how these various races adventuring together makes sense;
- They could have, at the least, provided details (either within adventures or as campaign documentations) to help DMs run adventures with these PCs in a way that makes sense.

Campaign staff chose none of these options. So far as we can tell, utterly ignoring a PC's race or having a group that includes a gnoll PC automatically fail an adventure, it's all fine with them, whatever the table DM thinks is best.

You make some good points, but I'll disagree with your conclusion -- the point is that it's always been up to the DM to determine how to interpret the adventure in terms of the party that's in front of him.

As an example, many of the combats in LFR adventures include tactical suggestions. If the suggestion for one particular opponent is 'Grgrankle attempt to engage the party defender', does the author or the campaign staff have to delineate what happens if the party contains no defenders or has more than one? Campaign staff can't (and shouldn't) spend their time trying to figure out every possible permutation of 'what might happen in a game' and give directives on how to handle them.

If a situation is controversial enough, then sure, the staff can make suggestions or even pass along official direction. My feeling, though, is that the suggestion, "You're the DM; use your best judgment, but keep it fun," is a perfectly valid guideline.

The problem isn't that a monstrous PC is unfairly surprised because NPCs will notice his race. The problem is that he will be unfairly surprised because he never knows what he's going to get when he sits down at a table--sometimes he'll just be treated like an odd-looking human, sometimes it will matter, and sometimes it will matter an awful lot, but he'll never know what he's going to face until it's too late.

Again, I don't see it as the major problem you do -- you've already pointed out the places where the racial material suggests that the race might cause unpleasant reactions. In that sense the player is already forewarned.

It's pretty simple. If campaign staff want players to be able to play orcs without any penalty, don't have a module in which you have a social skill challenge with someone who hates orcs (
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LURU1-1
). If campaign staff want players to be able to play gnolls without any penalty, don't write a module in which the party has to convince a town not to hire someone to protect them from gnolls (
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DALE1-2
).

And, if you choose to include these types of adventures, realize that you're placing table DMs in the awkward position of either destroying any sense of immersion and internal consistency or potentially derailing an entire adventure because of one player's character creation choice.

So it's a bad thing to potentially single out one playable race for negative feedback, but it's OK to have an adventure where every race save eladrin are viewed with suspicion
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MOON 1-2
?

I think you're not giving the DM enough credit here. It's one thing to simply declare that the adventure is a failure because one PC happens to be a gnoll; it's something else to let the player go through his (likely) prepared shpiel about how he doesn't abide by the restrictions of his tribe and strives to be greater than his heritage and have the NPC gruffy respond, '"OK, then, I don't trust ya, but I'll give ya the chance to prove yer words."

Perhaps the latter is 'metagaming' and 'putting the PC sign above the gnoll's head', but it's also a lot more fun that the former.

--
Pauper

--

Pauper

 

"Nothing in my view is more reprehensible than those habits of mind in the intellectual that induce avoidance, that characteristic turning away from a difficult and principled position, which you know to be the right one, but which you decide not to take. You do not want to appear too political; you are afraid of seeming controversial; you want to keep a reputation for being balanced, objective, moderate; your hope is to be asked back, to consult, to be on a board or prestigious committee, and so to remain within the responsible mainstream...."  -Edward Said

Anyone else find it amusing how many posts from the champions of inclusion in this thread amount to, "Well I like it that way and since WotC isn't following your advice you and your preferences don't matter, so shut up and pretend to like it or GTFO?" Yeah, I can feel that inclusion.

Who said I was arguing from the position of inclusiveness? :P

Since WotC started the 4th edition Living Realms, the area I play in has one from no obvious Living Campaign sessions (if we had any, they were secretive gathering for those 'in the know' only), to publicly advertised sessions nearly every weekend of the month -- you can go to Warhorn and find a game in any of three different venues. From a purely business standpoint, if WotC gains three campaigns for each campaign they lose, that's pretty clearly a win for them, at least in the near-term.

To get back to (ostensibly) the point of this thread, the very first post contained the following lament:

Don't get me wrong, I have no doubt that many people will rush to reply to me and say "But undead are cool, and I can't wait to play one". That's not really though the point though. This is the FR setting, not a "monster campaign". It's supposed to be a good-guys versus bad-guys heroic campaign setting, a "points of light in darkness" campaign.

To me, this lament misses the point: we're talking about the setting that produced Drizzt, one of the most popular fantasy characters ever, as a 'good guy from supposedly evil race'. Having the 'good guys' be former 'bad guys' who've seen the evil of their ways is both cool and classic, both in fantasy in general and in the Realms specifically.

The complaints, such as they are, seem to be coming from people who are too invested in the sliver of Realmslore between the Time of Troubles and the Spellplague to really buy into the new direction. (See also -- the legions of Realms fans still upset that Mystra is dead, dead, dead.)

I've met Ed Greenwood, and I like his writing, but I'm not going to base my enjoyment of LFR on how closely the setting hews to his vision or uses his input; I'm going to base my enjoyment of LFR on how much fun the game is to play. Truth is, there's already more cool stuff in the current setting than I'll ever get to really experience, but that's OK, because it gives me a reason to pay attention when someone talks about their experiences with a race/class combo or build type that I'm interested in but don't have time to play myself.

Or should fostering an expanded community of gamers not be a goal of the Living campaign?

--
Pauper

--

Pauper

 

"Nothing in my view is more reprehensible than those habits of mind in the intellectual that induce avoidance, that characteristic turning away from a difficult and principled position, which you know to be the right one, but which you decide not to take. You do not want to appear too political; you are afraid of seeming controversial; you want to keep a reputation for being balanced, objective, moderate; your hope is to be asked back, to consult, to be on a board or prestigious committee, and so to remain within the responsible mainstream...."  -Edward Said

Racial rules are independent of campaign rules. Just because the race itself doesn't have a mechanical penalty does not mean the DM can't impose one due to the campaign.

Same as if you walked into a Drow city as a human, you'd expect a bit of scrutiny...

Scrutiny? Yes.

Lost gaming opportunity or failing a check due to a penalty a DM made up on the spot? No.

I'm fine with campaign rules. If the campaign imposes a -2 to elves when speaking to dwarves, I'm all for that kind of color. That's something PCs and DMs and authors can use. But I don't care to see DMs randomly selecting penalties for their worldview. Suddenly elves and dwarves have no penalties, genasi aren't scary, but gnolls are? There is no clear answer on what an appropriate DM-invented penalty would be. That's for the core rules (race rules, setting rules), the campaign (LFR rules), and the author to decide.

Outside of that, as the global admin said, there should be no mechanical penalty.

RP all you want, so long as you are having fun. I'll repost what I posted on the Yahoo group last night:

Convention, player sits down at the table not knowing anyone and says, "Hi guys, I'm playing Gnasec, a gnoll shaman. What do we have at the table?" Another player retorts, "Gnoll? I hate gnolls. I kill you and take your stuff."

Even meant as humor, that type of talk can really come off as antagonistic. Let's cast it a nicer way: "Hi guys, I'm playing Gnasec, a gnoll shaman. What do we have at the table?" Another player retorts, "Well, Gnasec, I would say well met, but I'll be having trouble doing that. See, my village was raided by gnolls. If we are to work together, ye will have to win my trust!"

That gets the RP across, but it leaves openings and it is all clearly IC. It invites some good development between the PCs, but isn't outright antagonistic and does not belittle the other PC. If either player starts to show offense, the situation is easy to back down from (both PCs keeping their distance and begrudgingly working together or the PCs finding they trust one another). The same type of approach can be used by DMs.

Example 1:
DM: "When your gnoll walks into the bar he is quickly escorted out by armed guards. "We don't trust your kind, gnoll!", they say."

Example 2:
DM: "When your gnoll walks into the bar the commoners turn and stare. One couple quickly rises and departs, making some excuse. The bartender watches you for some time, then speaks. "Can't say we see many of you. You'll have to excuse our fears... even mine. Then again, I try not to jump to conclusions. .. and our town is in need. Tell me what you will have to drink, and then tell me your story."

The first example removes the PC from an encounter, ostracizing them. The second has clear setting, even some bite to it, but in the end the player is still part of the adventure. In fact, they get to shine a bit for it, having an opportunity to explain how they ended up a hero. With a few sentences, the PC can gain the trust of the barkeep and be back on track with the adventure.

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Dark Sun's Ashes of Athas Campaign is now available for home play (PM me with your e-mail to order the campaign adventures).

The complaints, such as they are, seem to be coming from people who are too invested in the sliver of Realmslore between the Time of Troubles and the Spellplague to really buy into the new direction.

Well, this "sliver" as you call it makes ~80% of the whole lifetime of FR as a published D&D setting. The pre-ToT area might be called a "sliver", but the current post-spellplage realmslore is even less than a mere sliver.

OK, it might be a sliver as far as the total setting timeline is concerned, but most of this just always was "way back in the past" and has never been the FR present since the setting was published by TSR.

While there were a few supplements set in the past and certainly quite a few groups might have chosen to run their campaign sometime in FR's past, the "sliver" always was the present for the majority to experience the FR.
Well, this "sliver" as you call it makes ~80% of the whole lifetime of FR as a published D&D setting. The pre-ToT area might be called a "sliver", but the current post-spellplage realmslore is even less than a mere splitter.

Even less than that - how many of the current LFR modules are grounded in 1375-era Realms?

How many of them refer to events "100 years ago". Of temples ruined "100 years ago".

Yes, most of them.

Even in LFR, adoption of the 1475-era lore has been minimal. In fact, you could say that, as a setting, the 1475 Shattered Realms has been a failure.
Even less than that - how many of the current LFR modules are grounded in 1375-era Realms?

How many of them refer to events "100 years ago". Of temples ruined "100 years ago".

Yes, most of them.

Even in LFR, adoption of the 1475-era lore has been minimal. In fact, you could say that, as a setting, the 1475 Shattered Realms has been a failure.

To be fair, the reason is likely that too little about the post 1475-era was known at the time the first mods were written. We'll have to wait and see what the future mods will bring.

Although maybe it's really because FR fans are more likely to write mods than people who basically just play "Living RPGA" without caring at all what setting's name gets attached and the majority of these FR fans writting the mods belong to the "people who are too invested in the sliver of ..."
Again, I don't see it as the major problem you do -- you've already pointed out the places where the racial material suggests that the race might cause unpleasant reactions. In that sense the player is already forewarned.

I think you missed his point.

The presence or lack of penalties isn't the issue.

In fact, I know a lot of players of "monster" races that would LOVE to see more penalties. It's why a lot of us play the unusial.

The problem is, without some baseline or guide to suggest attitudes and local tendencies, players of unusual races will never know what sort of game they will have when they sit down.

I'm talking the players, not the characters.

One DM will be really into the NPC reactions. The next will barely register that it's a monster in front of him. The next might slam down the monster PC at every opportunity. Inconsistency can be very frustrating.

I would SUGGEST that each regional writing group put together a brief rundown on local attitudes. Nothing more than a page, something a DM can be handed with a regional adventure to skim over. General attitudes and perhaps any unusual reactions specific locales might have.

That way individual writers don't have to waste wordcount on the issue, but DMs still have some guidelines on how the locals will react to strange creatures walking into town.

Actually, I'd love to see the regional groups write up brief rundowns on their regions in general, highlighting stuff not covered by the FRCG. Kinda like the living Greyhawk regions each had a 2-3 page document that gave an overview of the region. The aforementioned attitudes and behavior guide could be a sidebar in this.



-karma

LFR Characters: Lady Tiana Elinden Kobori Silverwane - Drow Control Wizard | Kro'tak Warscream - Orc Bard | Fulcrum of Gond - Warforged Laser Cleric

AL Character: Talia Ko'bori Silverwane - Tiefling Tome Fiend Warlock

I would SUGGEST that each regional writing group put together a brief rundown on local attitudes. Nothing more than a page, something a DM can be handed with a regional adventure to skim over. General attitudes and perhaps any unusual reactions specific locales might have.

I agree, i woudl liek to see this. I play a Minotaur and even came up with a whole backstory for him and he worships Ilmater and has his symbol branded into his chest so he can spout Ilmitari dogma to those who are afraid of him and those who are frightened of him when he helps them.

No one is ever afraid of him. Okay, a bar full of people were afraid when 7'3" Minotaur started throwing furniture when the woman who was giving his party the job had a tattoo of Loviatar's symbol on her arm (the other players were not happy with my display and near attempt to get them all kicked out of there... not that I would have truly jeopardized the mod for the group).

Even back in LG, our regional document outlined attitudes towards races and said that Half-Orcs were treated poorly in the region. Yet no one had a problem with any fo the half-orcs. Ever. PCs or NPCs.

Go figure.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
I would SUGGEST that each regional writing group put together a brief rundown on local attitudes. Nothing more than a page, something a DM can be handed with a regional adventure to skim over. General attitudes and perhaps any unusual reactions specific locales might have.

Speaking as a DM this would be really fantastic to see. If each region put together a cheat sheet page that got inserted with the boilerplate (or at the back?) in all their regional modules it would be wonderful. I'm not talking about a summery of the FRCG, just little notes of relevant information.

Actually, to my mind there would be three sections, each with entries of one or two lines. Races, Classes and Backgrounds. Each would have little notes on anything particularly important to that region, including appropriate roleplay reactions and penalties as well as bonuses.

So for MOON modules it might mention the issues with the fey isles and other race's. For modules set in Amn, this is where the note on Arcane characters and the Cowled Wizards goes. For modules set in Cormyr, this is where you mention that it would be appropriate for a PC from Netheril to get a -2 penalty to diplomacy but +2 to intimidate.

A lot of this is being done on an informal basis scattered throughout the modules, such as the little sidebar on the Cowled Wizards in CORE1-4. But having the general guidelines for each region laid out simply would be wonderful and straightforward. After all, there are only so many legal options and few of them need to be included for most regions. Cormyr would have no need to list specific rules for Humans or Fighters or people from the Dales or Waterdeep for instance. I figure most regions would have perhaps a dozen entries worth making a note about.

Just one page for each region that lays out appropriate deviations from the default would be all it would take to bring real character to a lot of adventures. It would also be an easy way to encourage DMs who may not have a lot of experience with the Realms to add some flavour. In addition, if the regions have better guidelines as to the attitudes and feel of their regions, the writers are going to be able to build off that. The more accurately the writers can predict how a situation will (or could) play out at the actual tables, the better they will be able to shape the experience.
This little signature is my official and insignificant protest to the (not so new now) community redesign. The layout is lousy. The colour scheme burns the eyes. The wiki is a crippled monstrosity. So many posters have abandoned this site that some major forums are going days without posts. The 4e General Discussion board regularly has posts on the front page from two or even three days ago. This is pathetic. Since I have to assume Wizards has a vested interest in an active community I wish someone in charge would fix this mess.
Campaign staff chose none of these options. So far as we can tell, utterly ignoring a PC's race or having a group that includes a gnoll PC automatically fail an adventure, it's all fine with them, whatever the table DM thinks is best.

This is an erroneous conclusion. A party that includes a Gnoll PC auto failing a mod (or penalized so bad as to make near impossible to succeed at anything) would not fit into anyone's idea of fun.

That is the DM's #1 job. No campaign admin would consider that ok.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
Telvin: I would probably appreciate something along the lines of what you envisioned as long as they spread the 'love'; essentially no race/class/background should be able to go everywhere and be perfectly accepted. It's one thing for the admins to give the monster races an disproportionate share of the suspicion and hatred and such, another for most of the races to be totally free of it. I could see entire power sources gaining favor (Primal in Moonshae?) or disfavor (Arcane in Amn?) in certain regions.

When LG did this sort of thing with kobolds, most of the regions' documents read like the admins were ****** at WotC for forcing them to allow kobold PCs and wanted to do everything in their power to discourage that sort of contemptable behavior by their players. If we're going to have admin (or writing director) sanctioned PC discrimination, let's at least try and making a universal theme that applies to every PC when they're in the "wrong" region. Elves in Eastrift? Non-fey in the Fey Isles in Moonshae? Non-monstrous PCs in Darpur? Roguish looking types in Cormyr? Non-roguish types in Wheloon? Anyone obviously good in Sembia?

As I said, monsterous races should probably run into this the most ubiquitiously, but that will also make it the easiest for them to shrug off; they're used to it. It's the price they agreed to pay by bucking the trend and chosing to be good and heroic rather than staying with thier own kind.

On the other hand it risks being overdone and making this a campaign about the many prejudices of sentient-kind. We already had a lot of that here in the Duchy of Urnst. It tended to leave a foul taste.
No one is ever afraid of him. Okay, a bar full of people were afraid when 7'3" Minotaur started throwing furniture when the woman who was giving his party the job had a tattoo of Loviatar's symbol on her arm (the other players were not happy with my display and near attempt to get them all kicked out of there... not that I would have truly jeopardized the mod for the group).

Hmmm. I would likely have run that a bit different:
Show

A whole bar of people would have been *eager for a brawl* when a Mino starts throwing furniture... The Fall of Stars, by it's nature, is the one place where it doesn't matter what race you are (and where everyone is ready for action).
Afterwards, Kira would continue as if nothing happened (keeping a respectful distance from the mino, though).
But that's how I'd run it, knowing what I know.
YMMV.


As to races in the Dalelands, your average Dalesfolk will likely react 'unfavorably' (however you would define that) to drow, shadar-kai, and gnolls, due to wars and recent skirmishes with these races.
Drow are viewed with suspicion everywhere but Harrowdale, due to the presence there of good-aligned drow (mostly former worshippers of Eilistraee).
Shadar-kai are viewed especially with suspicion in Harrowdale and Daggerdale.
Gnolls are mostly disdained in the western dales (Daggerdale, Shadowdale, Mistledale).
It is mostly a function not so much of what a race looks like, but what it is remembered for.

Gomez
If we're going to have admin (or writing director) sanctioned PC discrimination, let's at least try and making a universal theme that applies to every PC when they're in the "wrong" region. Elves in Eastrift? Non-fey in the Fey Isles in Moonshae? Non-monstrous PCs in Darpur? Roguish looking types in Cormyr? Non-roguish types in Wheloon? Anyone obviously good in Sembia?

That's a very thoughtful list. I could accept almost anything that the global/regional admins published as long as it's done with some effort and not just a simplistic directive to make nothing hard for any PC.
I don't know if we can develop an official list of acceptable reactions, but I do know that "auto fail" will not be acceptable at any point.

Waterdeep is more cosmopolitan than most regions, but there should be some nuanced differences in reactions. I would divide the NPCs into two groups: city officials (mainly city watch/guard, but temples, guilds,) and average citizen (guy on the street, shop clerk, etc.) So an unofficial take...

Orcs - with the more peaceful tendancies of Many Arrows Kingdom to the north, and rumors of other places, like Thesk, the attacks from Sword Mts of Hordes of orcs is probably old news.

officials: maybe just spell out city laws a little more carefully
citizens: perhaps startled, perhaps nothing.

Warforged - golems, constructs made by worshippers of Gond, are likely sources of confusion or assumption, not so much fear or shunning.

officials: usual questions about where are you from, business in Waterdeep
citizens: likely friendly curiousity..."so this is part of you, not something you take off like armor?" Do you eat? What do you eat? Drink? ...

Drow - not sure there have been any drow problems in quite a while in Waterdeep

officials - a bit more scrutiny, perhaps assigning someone to follow the PCs
citizens - may be ignorant of the drow; could be nervious or fearful due to personal history.

Shadar kai - this race may have almost legendary status as capable fighters and associated with Shar and there will likely be some concern as to why are they in Waterdeep.

officials - careful questions, and likely tail on the PCs
citizens - varies, but would avoid offending

Minotaurs - aside from the novelty factor, I think most officials and citizens of Waterdeep would shrug and not react any differently. No history of menace in this region.

Gnolls - as a race, they are still something to be feared.

officials - careful questions, warning, tail on the PCs
citizens - probably a bit on the fearful side

the Undead -- if you have a good bluff skill and can avoid being recognized, then not so much of an issue. However, if recognized, even "good" undead are dealt with cautiously.

officials - very careful questions, warning, likely two tails on PCs
citizens - fearful

Fortunately, I guess, in 4E the Amaunator has dropped the must smite undead aspect of Lythander, and is all about rules and time and such (as there is a big temple to him in Waterdeep).

There are first impressions, then how the character is role played, and then lastly his actions. If you role play the character, or take such actions, as to reinforce the stereotype view of a monster race, then I would not expect the NPCs to laugh it off, unless they have some good reason to trust you.

Keith
Keith Hoffman LFR Writing Director for Waterdeep
the Undead -- if you have a good bluff skill and can avoid being recognized, then not so much of an issue. However, if recognized, even "good" undead are dealt with cautiously.

Until the Jihadists of Kelemvor get involved....whose dogma is quite clear (and still quite clear) - Undead are an abomination must cease to exist, no exceptions whatsoever. It doesn't matter if you're Angel, the Crow or the 30th clone of Manshoon - the church of Kelemvor will hunt you down and ensure that you pass on. No exceptions.

My point is this: one department of WoTC is literally introducing into FR the kitchen sink with *no regard whatsoever* for the fact that the FR was already a consistent setting with rules to follow, or what another department of WoTC was saying. The left hand ("hey! let's get these kewl Revenants into 4e!") doesn't know what the right hand is doing.

WoTC should have created a new setting for 4e and LFR. There would haved been no inconsistencies and no complaints. Abeir would have been an ideal setting. There was no need to try and shoehorn it into Faerun - the only reason for doing so was malice towards an existing setting that did not meet their (in my view, ridiculous) points-of-light template.

(and never mind the fact that their oft-quoted justification for ruining the realms of "its too complicated" was utterly bogus: why complain that "there are too many gods", and then when you remove some, simply reintroduce more?)
This is an erroneous conclusion. A party that includes a Gnoll PC auto failing a mod (or penalized so bad as to make near impossible to succeed at anything) would not fit into anyone's idea of fun.

Eh, I think surprising a player with that is a bad idea, but I would have no problem if it were known in advance.

I could easily see a gaming group listing additional information about the modules when planning events, e.g., "Adventure takes place in Thesk: orcs and half-orcs are more welcome there than the norm.", "Adventure takes place in one of the more xenophobic areas of the Moonshae Isles: non-fey may have a tougher time in social encounters.", "Adventure takes place in a gnoll-plagued area of the Dalelands: gnolls will be severely penalized in social encounters".

If a player's fun is based on playing in a world that makes sense and is internally consistent, then not all adventures are going to be for all PCs. I'm fine with saying that certain PCs might be better off confining themselves to the more cosmopolitan cities, as long as the player has warning that the PC might be a bad fit before the adventure starts.
If we're going to have admin (or writing director) sanctioned PC discrimination, let's at least try and making a universal theme that applies to every PC when they're in the "wrong" region. Elves in Eastrift? Non-fey in the Fey Isles in Moonshae? Non-monstrous PCs in Darpur? Roguish looking types in Cormyr? Non-roguish types in Wheloon? Anyone obviously good in Sembia?

Another way to look at it would be this: The Realms are a big place. It would not be difficult to do an entire Level 1-30 campaign set entirely in locations where race is irrelevant.

If, however, LFR chooses to release adventures set in places or in situations where race would be highly relevant, then it makes sense for race to actually be relevant there.

The Hullack Forest in the Dalelands is home to a group of elves who hate humans. If LFR chose to release an adventure set among that tribe, I would expect humans to have a very difficult time playing that adventure. If LFR doesn't want to deal with this type of situation, the easy solution is simply not to release such an adventure.

If WOTC releases mermen as a playable race who breathe underwater and can only spend a limited amount of time on land, whether or not such a PC would be penalized will depend entirely on the adventures they choose to play. Such a PC is not inherently penalized, but there's going to be a lot of adventures they simply don't fit. Trying to ignore that ("Why look, another canal that leads directly to the next combat.") destroys immersion.

If LFR chooses to release adventures in which monstrous PCs are "fishes out of water" then ignoring that fact is, for many players, harmful to fun.
Eh, I think surprising a player with that is a bad idea, but I would have no problem if it were known in advance.

I could easily see a gaming group listing additional information about the modules when planning events, e.g., "Adventure takes place in Thesk: orcs and half-orcs are more welcome there than the norm.", "Adventure takes place in one of the more xenophobic areas of the Moonshae Isles: non-fey may have a tougher time in social encounters.", "Adventure takes place in a gnoll-plagued area of the Dalelands: gnolls will be severely penalized in social encounters".

If a player's fun is based on playing in a world that makes sense and is internally consistent, then not all adventures are going to be for all PCs. I'm fine with saying that certain PCs might be better off confining themselves to the more cosmopolitan cities, as long as the player has warning that the PC might be a bad fit before the adventure starts.

Another way to look at it would be this: The Realms are a big place. It would not be difficult to do an entire Level 1-30 campaign set entirely in locations where race is irrelevant.

If, however, LFR chooses to release adventures set in places or in situations where race would be highly relevant, then it makes sense for race to actually be relevant there.

The Hullack Forest in the Dalelands is home to a group of elves who hate humans. If LFR chose to release an adventure set among that tribe, I would expect humans to have a very difficult time playing that adventure. If LFR doesn't want to deal with this type of situation, the easy solution is simply not to release such an adventure.

If WOTC releases mermen as a playable race who breathe underwater and can only spend a limited amount of time on land, whether or not such a PC would be penalized will depend entirely on the adventures they choose to play. Such a PC is not inherently penalized, but there's going to be a lot of adventures they simply don't fit. Trying to ignore that ("Why look, another canal that leads directly to the next combat.") destroys immersion.

If LFR chooses to release adventures in which monstrous PCs are "fishes out of water" then ignoring that fact is, for many players, harmful to fun.

All of this is why our local group has gone from scrambling to find a GM for a 2nd table because of so much interest to scrambling to find a 4th player to make a table due to lack of interest. All within a year.

I am hoping that the My Realms setup will bring back the continuity that is desired by, at the least, the players in this area. But I worry what will happen if WOTC sees the number of released LFR modules fall off and a large increase in the number of My Realms modules being ordered in the system. It will probably get scrapped and I fear that that will kill my communities LFR involvement.
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