Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thinking About: Doing away with Non Human Races

I have been thinking about humanocentric gaming of late and have come to the conclusion that while there is nothing wrong with well thought out non human PC's, they are basically unnecessary.

Most of the pre Tolkien fiction doesn't have them except as half breeds. Now certainly there are of historical tales (some quite recent) involving someone alleged to have some non human ancestors like a Troll in the family lineage,Changeling (usually the human taken by the Fae) a Vampire (the Dhampir archetype that is so popular right now) and maybe someone like CĂș Chulainn who was essentially god blooded and even others from non European parts of the world like the Philippines, Polynesia or Africa

Still until the influence of Tolkien (mostly) the idea of a non human protaganist was unknown. No one would have a complex non human culture or even contemplate a truly alien protagonist outside (possibly) of Sci-Fi.

I think in some ways this approach might be better. It takes encounters with Elves and Dwarves (even more cunning ones) and whatnot into the realm of the strange and mysterious, in other words the broader realm of adventure . It also gives those rare PC's a direct connection to that realm, like it or not, they were born into it.

Instead of the Mos Esiley Cantina we can concentrate on the various human cultures even cribbing from them as needed "of course those guys talk with Scots accents. They are Highlanders after all" this roots the mundane part of the game world into something like our more prosaic reality and gives us a hint more verisimilitude.

Worlds where Pseudo French, Quasi British, Kinda Irish and Sorta Scots sit down at a table make more sense than a Human, a Hafling , an Elf and a Lizardman doing the same. In the event a non human race is desired for the world it makes them even more "other"

Personally I like it but as always YMMV ...

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