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  • Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
    Oh, speaking of half-orc, how do people feel about the idea of half-whatever races? I don’t like them personally, but I’m open to hearing why other people do, if they do.
    I have a rough relationship with half-breed races.

    On the one hand, they have been too often presented as outcasts from both their parent cultures, or regarded with negativity by in-setting people because "ick, halfies" or because their origin is presumed to be unsavory (whether that be the old "most half-orcs are the product of rape" thing, or just because the in-setting "polite" society of racists don't like proof that people of their race can have romantic relationships with other races). So I dislike them and think there should be zero of them in the game because they don't really add anything other than "people generally dislike me for things outside my control" to the character options, which is not even really adding anything since there could be a bunch of other reasons for the same sort of dislike to be true.

    And on the other hand, I like the idea of half-races because it shows that the various races aren't so different as to be genetically incompatible, which helps make the story element of everyone living together in harmony and not being concerned about things like "I want to have children some day, so I can't waste my time on any potential romantic relationships outside my own race." But that can be delivered without there having to be half-races - offspring of inter-race couplings could simply come out one race or the other. And since there are only a few half-races presented, but I'd like for a lot more coupling options to be possible (i.e. a dwarf and a halfling get together and have kids, or an elf with an orc, etc.), it'd be quicker and easier to do it that way than it would to make up new mechanics for every possible pairing.

    So I swing back and forth between wanting more of them, wanting less of them, wanting to get rid of them and keep the idea to deliver differently, and around and around. In the end, I end up mostly ignoring them (I don't ban the ones that are already printed from player use at my table, but I also don't use those races for noteworthy NPCs, or bother explaining where they do or don't fit in when home-brewing a campaign setting).


    Not so noble anymore.

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    • Originally posted by nofather View Post
      I remember a book during the d20 days that had like half-hellhounds and half-unicorns and half-blink dogs, half-umber hulks. Bastards & Bloodlines. Great art, though.
      I have a friend who absolutely loves that book. Her logic is, if half-elf, half-human is possible, why not half-anything? Plus she just thinks the ideas of the various combinations are cool. Can’t blame her, though I personally just don’t like the idea of half-race. Like, either races are separate species and shouldn’t be able to breed, or at least not produce fertile offspring if they do, or they’re basically like real-life races, and that carries a lot of unfortunate implications with it. That said, I don’t like removing player options, particularly those found in the players’ handbook, so I just allow half-elves and half-orcs and reskin them as a dunadine-like race and non-hostile orcs, respectively.

      The one context where I do really like half-races is Dark Sun. Mul are sterile and half-giants are created by magic instead of sexual reproduction, so they actually make sense.


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      • Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
        I have a friend who absolutely loves that book. Her logic is, if half-elf, half-human is possible, why not half-anything? Plus she just thinks the ideas of the various combinations are cool. Can’t blame her, though I personally just don’t like the idea of half-race. Like, either races are separate species and shouldn’t be able to breed, or at least not produce fertile offspring if they do, or they’re basically like real-life races, and that carries a lot of unfortunate implications with it. That said, I don’t like removing player options, particularly those found in the players’ handbook, so I just allow half-elves and half-orcs and reskin them as a dunadine-like race and non-hostile orcs, respectively.

        The one context where I do really like half-races is Dark Sun. Mul are sterile and half-giants are created by magic instead of sexual reproduction, so they actually make sense.
        I never had a problem with it being a biological issue, I think it adds some magic to the game, keeping it more appropriate for a fantasy setting. Screw DNA, sometimes gods and demons will get in the way or 'magic happens' and you have a half-owlbear. But yeah I don't like taking player options out, either. I remember the half-blink dogs were some sort of boon from a god.

        Maitrecorbo the book mentioned had a wide variety of non-human kinds, the half-blink dogs were halflings or gnomes, I think the half-hellhounds were half-dwarves, and so on. But the core books do tend to be human centric.

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        • To clarify, the book in question wasn’t canon. It was a third-party product published under the OGL. Still a very cool resource for those who are into it.


          Onyx Path Forum Moderator

          My mod voice is red. I use it so you know when I'm speaking in an official capacity, not as an indication of tone.

          Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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          • Originally posted by nofather View Post
            ... the book mentioned had a wide variety of non-human kinds, the half-blink dogs were halflings or gnomes, I think the half-hellhounds were half-dwarves, and so on. But the core books do tend to be human centric.
            That would definitely makes me more interested in half-xx.

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            • Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
              Borrowing an argument from elsewhere: do you believe necromancy is inherently evil?

              In short: no.

              A lot of necromancy spells have nothing sinister about them. A lot of the others, I have trouble seeing sipping away life energy as inherently evil, compared to burning/freezing/dissolving/mind controlling/etc. the opponent.

              The connection to the negative energy plane, I just can't see one of the original sources of creation as "evil" I think it's beyond that. I believe it's just human's tendency of connecting death and entropy to evil.

              But then again, I don't use "D&S morality" as radically different from real-world morality and the alignment chart as just an abstractization to me.

              Also, I think there were "good necromancer" class variants, or something in older editions, or in PF, but I'm not sure. Also, I bet there are good necromancers in the fiction part too, but not many. also-also, on FR the elven liches are actually good-aligned.

              EDIT: Pratchett's necromancer guy from Unseen Academicals came to mind, that is pretty hilarious!


              If nothing worked, then let's think!

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              • Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post


                For example, in the Pathfinder setting, it's very explicit that undead are naturally evil and using negative energy slowly twists and poisons the world around them. So drawing negative energy into the world by using it to animate undead creatures is an inherently evil act. You might be able to animate undead once or twice and maintain a good alignment, but frequently making undead would definitely make someone neutral even if they were using those zombies to save people lives and do other good things with them.
                Hmm, somehow missed that... Well, count it up to the list of "things I don't like about Golarion". It isn't a long list, but it's definitely on it.

                However, I'd need a further digging on the whole picture, because I'm fairly sure note every undead in PF is evil (at least I think the ghost woman in Cariion Crown 1 isn't) and Pharasma isn't evil and I'm not sure, but maybe I read some good necromancer variant somewhere. I'm not even sure all the haunts are unifically evil...

                Also, there were the necromancer woman in the "Lord of Runes" novel. Varian was very uneasy about her summoning ghouls and such, but she wasn't evil.


                If nothing worked, then let's think!

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                • Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                  Oh, speaking of half-orc, how do people feel about the idea of half-whatever races? I don’t like them personally, but I’m open to hearing why other people do, if they do.
                  I'm ok with them. But, as long as it's handled in a decent way. 13th Age has half-orcs and elves sometimes just be random births. With half-orcs, they're commonly a "immune response" to heavy orc presence with humans giving birth to those who show signs of it. Or half-elves being seen as a symbol of an ancient pact between elves and humans. Like I'm sure there's half-elves who had a parent of each at the very least.



                  ​When noise turns to silence, when colors dull and pale, when reality no longer makes sense, there shall you find me. There, in the dreams of the River of Faceless Millions, do I dwell.

                  http://harenm.deviantart.com/gallery/ for my art.

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                  • Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post

                    Oh, speaking of half-orc, how do people feel about the idea of half-whatever races? I don’t like them personally, but I’m open to hearing why other people do, if they do.
                    The possibility of half breeds is not something that I dislike, but I've never personally found them as attractive. Usually, they tend to be either "the best of both worlds" (half elf style) or "watered down version of a race we don't think is PC appropriate" (half orc style). I've always preferred to either allow the said "non PC" race as PC, either by its own stats or having it using the "half breed" version. At any case, I always saw half breeds as being more of outcasts than diplomats, which is a much more natural reaction IMO. At any case, it always struck me weird that humans can breed with whatever they wanted, but other races suddenly had problems. It works if you consider demihumans as "fey races" and that their magical energy is the source of the problem, while humans are "magically neutral", but if all races should be, more or less, of equal origin, it just felt weird.


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                    • Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
                      Borrowing an argument from elsewhere: do you believe necromancy is inherently evil?
                      I remember that I read somewhere in 3e that there are good necromancers, but they are just extremely rare. However, I also remember reading more than once that the very act of necromancy is considered to be "evil", because it is basically defiling the dead or summoning death energy which slowly kills the world. Now, if you ask me, I see no problem with the existence of good necromancers and death priests (which is why the Grave Domain was presented, I think)- someone has to tend the graves, put spirits into rest, preserve corpses until they are buried or speak for the dead when they need to be heard. The skills needs to do so are the same skills which rise skeletons from the grave or steal dead bodies for their macabre experiments. Heck, there is more than one setting in which using the undead in not necessarily evil (In Dragonlance, for example, there are undead which guard the graves the temples of the gods of light, and mortals may take oaths to maintain their duty after death for good or bad). In sort, the way I see it, using negative energy is not evil more than burning oil for energy- sure, it pollutes the world, and there may be better alternatives, and is probably something very selfish to do- but objectively evil? No need to go that far.

                      However, I'll even claim that bargaining with demons/devils is not evil- stupid, maybe, if you don't know what you are doing, but someone who is strong enough and is able to submit the fiend to their will could use it to do great good, but I've always saw a certain separation between subjective alignment and objective one. There is "objective" good and evil, but mortals are judged according to their hearts and acts, and they won't be sent to hell just because they used a demon to save a six year old girl instead of an angel.


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                      On a Dragonlance-reading break. Surprise homebrew may still happen :P
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                      • Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
                        Borrowing an argument from elsewhere: do you believe necromancy is inherently evil?


                        Of course not, it depends on how it's used. Granted that most people who resort to death magic probably aren't nice people just by nature of ripping people's souls out and binding their remains to your will. But even good aligned mages are known for summoning monsters and fiends to their aid when using the Conjuration school. If I had to decide which was the morally gray area, I'd say the guy summoning angry demons is more cause for concern than the guy controlling a bunch of mindless puppets.

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                        • at least you can talk to the demon, zombies are not known for their conversation skills

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                          • I’m in a disagreement elsewhere on the internet, thought I’d see what folks here’s opinions are on the matter. How do you all feel about players initiating their own skill/ability checks? eg “I try to pick that guy’s pocket. 23 on my Sleight of Hand check.” or, “What do I know about the culture of the people who made this statue with a 17 History check?”

                            Personally, I prefer that players simply describe their character’s actions, and I will ask them to make a check if and when I determine that one is necessary to resolve the actions described. But, I know some folks prefer players to be more pro-active about making checks, asking to make them instead of waiting to be told to. And some folks don’t have a strong preference either way. How do you all like to handle it and why?

                            On a related note, how do you feel about knowledge skills like History or Arcana or what have you? Personally, because I have my players interact with the game world in the form of narrating what they do, and “I want to know more about this” can take some weird linguistic gymnastics to frame as something you’re actively doing, I generally run Knowledge skills as passive scores instead of checks. I’ll include in my notes any additional information that might be available to players with a high enough passive score in what ever knowledge skill is relevant, and then just bake that additional information into my descriptions. Sometimes I’ll use those skills for active rolls when the PC is actively trying to analyze or identify something, but generally speaking, I don’t like “roll to see how much you know about X”. What do y’all think?
                            Last edited by Charlaquin; 12-02-2017, 02:18 PM.


                            Onyx Path Forum Moderator

                            My mod voice is red. I use it so you know when I'm speaking in an official capacity, not as an indication of tone.

                            Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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                            • I'm ok with proactive as long as we talk about it first. I think you can run things the way you do, and I have no real strong feelings on it one way or the other, you know?



                              ​When noise turns to silence, when colors dull and pale, when reality no longer makes sense, there shall you find me. There, in the dreams of the River of Faceless Millions, do I dwell.

                              http://harenm.deviantart.com/gallery/ for my art.

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                              • It's not something i would do, i might ask if i can roll particular skill check (particularly a knowledge) to see what i know about a particular thing, but otherwise its a matter of describing what i want to do

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