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  • #61
    Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
    I know it’ll never, ever happen, but I’d love for Points of Light/The Nentir Vale to just becom one of the roster of campaign settings.
    It already has. Again, the official setting of D&D since 5th edition is the D&D Multiverse. And when WotC says that, they mean literally all of the campaign settings (the ones they own, the ones other companies produce, and even the ones us players make up) existing together as one infinitely variable thing.

    Where the ball has been left sitting - not necessarily dropped, since its more like they haven't picked it up to play with as of yet - is that all but the Forgotten Realms and Ravenloft have only gotten small nods and mentions. The Nentir Vale having had some of the races that were part of it show up in the Player's Handbook (mechanically, at least), and getting its list of deities used as the example for making up your own in the Dungeon Master's Guide.

    Hopefully, the idea that WotC have mentioned where they are thinking about campaign setting as genre will involve all of their settings, rather than just a lucky few. Because I'd really love to see Birthright (which I would consider the "drama" genre because of its bent towards characters having rulership roles), Mystara (though it's genre is a mixed bag that I know that Mystara fans would have endless disagreement about which aspect is more at the heart of the setting), and the Nentir Vale (though I can't really say what genre I even feel that the setting focused on).


    Not so noble anymore.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
      Speaking of Drow, am I the only one who thinks it’s weird that they’re Chaotic?
      I think there are a lot of things about the typical Drow of D&D which are weird.

      However, I think the race's typical alignment being chaotic seems like one of the least weird things. It makes sense to me that the end result of the race's biggest supporter, their patron deity Lolth,
      being also their most cunning enemy (the attitudes which Lolth encourages being the ones that keep an otherwise orderly and sensible culture pettily stabbing each other in the back) is for chaos to hold sway over them. But then, I don't really care for the standard Drow of D&D, so I hardly spend much time at all thinking about them - in most settings that I favor a dark elf has a different origin and typical culture, even if they still use the name "Drow" for them, and I always refer to such as "dark elves" so I can reserve the drow name for when all the things my players think of when they hear it (read: spider-worshiping jackasses with more whips and leather than sense) are actually true.

      To touch on the topic of your other post without quoting it:
      I also agree that alignment other than for creatures that are inherently tied to their alignment (celestials and fiends) is a box on the sheet that can be left blank with no ill effects on the game.


      Not so noble anymore.

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      • #63
        The way I read it in FR books, the chaotic nature of the Drow is something which hides under their seemingly ordered society- they make hierarchies, rules and social structures only so they could betray each other in the back and break the laws they by themselves make. The all orderly society is only a facade, as under the surface the common Drow always plots how next they could break yet another law in order to go up in the social order. The house system is made just in order to cause even further chaos, as the houses must fight against each other in order to survive- but they can't do it openly, or else they would be breaking the law, and as such would be exterminated. They are born to their status, but by murdering and bribing the right people they can erase their past and fake their future. They are must climb the ladder in order to survive, but by doing so they make themselves into an even bigger targets in the eyes of their enemies. There is no true order in the Drow society, and the common members of the race don't respect the law- but they also won't outright break it. They would always try to go around it, or at least hide any evidence that a crime was ever committed. All of that doesn't stroke me as overly Lawful Alignment, IMO.

        On the other hand, I am not really a big Drow fan- sure, they are cool and all, but sometimes it feels like they are treated as the BEST RACE EVER or something like that. My dislike toward Drizzt may have enhanced that feeling, on the other hand. Anyway, I usually play human characters, sometimes elves (I always wanted to play a Sea Elf, but no ST of mine ever allowed it), but my favorite race is one of the reasons I love Krynn so much as a campaign setting- the High Ogres (the Irda and the Nzunta).

        All of that reminds me that my high school english project's subject was Dragonlance as a setting, with a thorough investigation of the game world's history, races, cultures and religions. I think I still have it somewhere in my room. I should find it :P


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        • #64
          Here's a fun mini-topic; what retcons for the various campaign settings do you actually like, across the editions?


          Call me Regina or Lex.

          Female pronouns for me, please.

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          • #65
            For Dragonlance it would be War of Souls, easily. I know that many DL fans weren't totally satisfied from it, but I thought it was really cool.

            For FR, I liked the Second Sundering- for while the concept of the Spellplague was kinda cool, it felt more like an hot mess of events which were really weird. A second favorite would be the Lady Penitent Trilogy.

            Oh- and for Ravenloft it would be the Hour of Screaming Shadows. Seriously, the Specter of the Black Rose was beautifully written, and it is one of the rare instances when you look on a the new Darklord and think to yourself "well, she is so fucked right now"
            Last edited by LostLight; 11-23-2017, 06:31 PM.


            My Homebrew Signature- Because I need one. If you use any of it, please share with me how it went!

            On a Dragonlance-reading break. Surprise homebrew may still happen :P
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            • #66
              I thought that Dark Sun 4e changing Half-Giants from overpowered but borderline unplayable idiots with inexplicably shifting Alignments to just making them Goliaths was a smart call, and while it took some getting used to, I like the Dray being shifted from an obscure secret species literally tucked away in a single cave in the setting to a known race of wandering slavers, traders, and mercenary sorcerers.

              Eberron bringing in the Eladrin with their feyspires stranded in the material plane by the Mourning was super cool and fit the setting perfectly well.

              I liked the Spellplague, though that's more a setting development than a retcon.


              Call me Regina or Lex.

              Female pronouns for me, please.

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              • #67
                I don't know about the retcons, but I did like the developments made by the Spellplague in the Forgotten Realms (especially the earth motes and the overlapping of sister worlds), and also greatly enjoyed the Wrath of the Immortals adventure that erased an entire nation from the world of Mystara (which as I've come to understand it, makes me a rarity among Mystara fans).


                Not so noble anymore.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by atamajakki View Post

                  The Sellswords Trilogy with Artemis and Jarlaxle basically still being villains, but being villains we followed is honestly my favorite stuff Salvatore ever did.
                  Mmmmm, villains, not so sure. Opportunist bastards? Totally! Anyway, I agree, the Sellswords was my favorite Salvatore stuff, although I really liked the older Drizzt books too and not just the Home trilogy. Basically, I liked it as long as Drizzt was a somewhat interesting character, with real dialogues and POV and thoughts, not just a plot device. It was really just the las two books for a long time when he became again to be an actual character.

                  Never really got the hook of Cadderly and co.


                  I would pay good money to have the Vistanni and the Varisians both retconned out of existence. Fuck thay raciat garbage and whoever has allowed it to stick around.
                  I disagree, but I suspect neither of us got surprised on each-other's stances. It's cool, as mentioned, each to their own.


                  About drow alignment:

                  Originally posted by LostLight View Post
                  The way I read it in FR books, the chaotic nature of the Drow is something which hides under their seemingly ordered society- they make hierarchies, rules and social structures only so they could betray each other in the back and break the laws they by themselves make. The all orderly society is only a facade, as under the surface the common Drow always plots how next they could break yet another law in order to go up in the social order. The house system is made just in order to cause even further chaos, as the houses must fight against each other in order to survive- but they can't do it openly, or else they would be breaking the law, and as such would be exterminated. They are born to their status, but by murdering and bribing the right people they can erase their past and fake their future. They are must climb the ladder in order to survive, but by doing so they make themselves into an even bigger targets in the eyes of their enemies. There is no true order in the Drow society, and the common members of the race don't respect the law- but they also won't outright break it. They would always try to go around it, or at least hide any evidence that a crime was ever committed. All of that doesn't stroke me as overly Lawful Alignment, IMO.
                  That's basically how I see it. Also, I always thought that a lot of the drow are chaotic neutral, or neutral evil and it's more that the priestess-led houses are really CE.

                  Also, about their society: I agree, their system is just a facade, since Lolth stated, many times, herself, or through her greatest servants, that she doesn1t want even Menzoberranzan to be too stable, that she pointedly stirs up trouble from time-to-time. It's just, she also wants her children to be strong and survive, despite all her cruelness, and for that, they need some stability, at least on the surface. Actually, that showed to me that even the gods aren't two-bit manifestations of alignment.

                  About alignment:

                  Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                  Personally, how I run it is that the alignment you write on your sheet is your character’s ideals. If you believe in putting others before yourself, you’re Good. If you believe in the importance of social structure and rules, you’re Lawful. Your actions may or may not be in line with those ideals, but that doesn’t change your stated alignment.
                  That's basically how I always treated it. I like alignment too, never had a big problem with it, probably because i never thought about it as something absolute, just inclinations, the broadest brushes of a character's core of personality. Okay, divine classes were more restricted by it, and forced more to live up to the epitomes of it, but generally, I never took them to the extreme. To me, Outsiders are for that, mortals are generally more complex, but alignment is still useful as a guideline for the major inclinations of the person.

                  Like, all vampires in D&D are evil. Okay, but to me it doesn't mean that they are EEEEEVIIIIL, without good traits, or even compassion, occasionally, it's just that they're, ultimately, selfish bastards and predators, seeing mortals as prey.

                  That's why I love Cheliax, as a concept on Golarion. It's an evil, diabolist, slavering society, but it works, from the residents' standpoint.
                  Last edited by PMárk; 11-23-2017, 08:40 PM.


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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by PMárk View Post
                    About alignment:

                    That's basically how I always treated it. I like alignment too, never had a big problem with it, probably because i never thought about it as something absolute, just inclinations, the broadest brushes of a character's core of personality. Okay, divine classes were more restricted by it, and forced more to live up to the epitomes of it, but generally, I never took them to the extreme. To me, Outsiders are for that, mortals are generally more complex, but alignment is still useful as a guideline for the major inclinations of the person.
                    I would say, in a world like Forgotten Realms where gods objectively, probably exist, good and evil are similarly objective (Law and Chaos could potentially be more nebulous, but in Great Wheel cosmology at least, they’re objective forces as well). Of course, people with free will are not bound by these forces. They may hold the ideals of some of those forces sacred, but they are not compelled to live by even their own ideals. As such, a person’s actions, not their ideals, determine which of these cosmic forces their soul is aligned with. The gods might draw power from like-aligned mortal souls, or the alignment of a soul might determine where that soul goes. The thing is, a mortal doesn’t know what forces their soul is aligned with. All they can do is try to live up to their own ideals as best they can. In-game, this translates to players writing down their alignment based on their character’s beliefs, and me secretly tracking their “true” alignment, for what ever purposes that matters for. Which in 5e is basically nothing by default, but I’ll occasionally use it for things.


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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by PMárk View Post
                      I disagree, but I suspect neither of us got surprised on each-other's stances. It's cool, as mentioned, each to their own.
                      It goes a little beyond “to each their own.” My boyfriend is Romani, and I think any fantasy setting tossing out a bunch of scarf-wearing, tarot-reading, thieving nomads is pretty unacceptable in the modern day. Hell, even WoD learned not to do that! If the Forgotten Realms said “here’s the greedy banker-merchant people with ringlets in their hair,” nobody reasonable would settle for that, but the Romani are still considered an acceptable target.

                      Bugs the crap out of me that Paizo can be progressive darlings yet pull shit like that.


                      Call me Regina or Lex.

                      Female pronouns for me, please.

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by atamajakki View Post

                        It goes a little beyond “to each their own.” My boyfriend is Romani, and I think any fantasy setting tossing out a bunch of scarf-wearing, tarot-reading, thieving nomads is pretty unacceptable in the modern day. Hell, even WoD learned not to do that! If the Forgotten Realms said “here’s the greedy banker-merchant people with ringlets in their hair,” nobody reasonable would settle for that, but the Romani are still considered an acceptable target.

                        Bugs the crap out of me that Paizo can be progressive darlings yet pull shit like that.
                        Except Vistani are not like that, nor Varisians. Yes, they have shady groups, which are a minority, just like with every other group of people, but they are most definitely not defined by them in neither settings.

                        The mystical gypsy/traveling gypsy caravan is a strong trope, just like a countless other tropes, based on, yes, stereotypes. That doesn't make it bad. If the game has room for fantasy vikings, fantasy Middle-Easterners, fantasy Africans, fantasy French, fantasy Indians, fantasy Western-Europeans, Fantasy samurai and ninjas, Chinese etc., I think it definitely has room for fantasy gypsies. In Golarion, they're just any other human ethnicity, in Ravenloft, they have an elevated position, because of the source material Ravenloft is based on, and I'm okay with that. Neither pictures them in an overtly negative way as people, frequently on the contrary.

                        Fantasy writers don't use Jews as a base for any fantasy culture in a distinguishable way (even if not in a negative light, or in a balanced way), well, because of WW II, not because it'd be worse than using any other group on principle. It'll meet with outrage reflexively, which is sad, but understandable, from their part.

                        WoD Gypsies was bad in my eyes, not because it was about Gypsies, but because the gypsies in it were essentially Vistani, aka romanticized mystical fantasy gypsies, than a real adaptation of a real ethnic group in a setting based on our reality.

                        But that's just my opinion, feel free to disagree and naturally, throw them out from your games if you don't like them!


                        If nothing worked, then let's think!

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                        • #72
                          “Gypsy” is a slur.


                          Call me Regina or Lex.

                          Female pronouns for me, please.

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                          • #73
                            I'd rather this thread not get political, so let's shelve any discussions relating to real-world socio-political issues and focus on D&D, shall we? That being said, I understand where Lex is coming from and why she would be frustrated with concepts such as the Vistani and their Pathfinder equivalent whose name escapes me.

                            (Oddly enough, I like the Ravnos in VTM. But then again, you CAN play a non-stereotypical Ravnos or even a non-Romani Ravnos for that matter. Nothing says they have to conform to outdated offensive stereotypes, unlike the Vistani where the stereotype is literally all there is to the concept. Hell, one of my favorite characters I ever played was a Ravnos and he was a modern-day Japanese-American. But let's not get off topic, shall we?)

                            So, I'm considering making my own OSR retro-clone game based on old-school Basic D&D, most likely a modernized version of either B/X or Holmes Basic. I'm even developing some setting concepts for it, including an Arthurian-styled setting and a Grimdark setting loosely inspired by Elizabethan England. I'd love to brainstorm some ideas for this game and bounce it off of you guys, if that is okay.

                            I haven't actually gotten to play an RPG in a long time, and I'm wanting to play some D&D. My youngest brother is willing to run a campaign for me, but he is unsure if we should use a more modern system like 5e since I need to brush up more on it, or if we should go with an Old-School system since we own all the editions in some form or another, either through hard copies (in the case of AD&D, 3.5, 4e, and 5e) or PDF's of retro-clones (in the case of Original D&D and Basic D&D).

                            I'm also thinking of maybe DM'ing a play-by-post game of D&D if anyone is interested. I am willing to run any edition except 4e (Nothing wrong with 4e, but it's not my cup of tea), though I'd really love to run Basic D&D most right now. I've got plenty of free time to do so.

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                              I would say, in a world like Forgotten Realms where gods objectively, probably exist, good and evil are similarly objective (Law and Chaos could potentially be more nebulous, but in Great Wheel cosmology at least, they’re objective forces as well). Of course, people with free will are not bound by these forces. They may hold the ideals of some of those forces sacred, but they are not compelled to live by even their own ideals. As such, a person’s actions, not their ideals, determine which of these cosmic forces their soul is aligned with. The gods might draw power from like-aligned mortal souls, or the alignment of a soul might determine where that soul goes. The thing is, a mortal doesn’t know what forces their soul is aligned with. All they can do is try to live up to their own ideals as best they can. In-game, this translates to players writing down their alignment based on their character’s beliefs, and me secretly tracking their “true” alignment, for what ever purposes that matters for. Which in 5e is basically nothing by default, but I’ll occasionally use it for things.
                              Something like that, with the caveat that, except of the case of divinely restricted classes, a couple of missteps won't really change your alignment, in my book.

                              Really, I see it as yes, those forces exist in their purity on the cosmic level, in the form of gods and outsiders, but the Material Plane and its inhabitants are just more complex than that. They have an alignment, but it's just a shorthand to summarize their core beliefs and/or, as you write, actual actions through their life.

                              Also, it's interesting that you wrote that law and chaos would be more nebulous, because I always seen good and evil as harder to grasp. I can't come up with a better description than "good" is a strong bend toward altruism and "bad" is for selfishness regardless (or more even, directly at) of others' potential expense.


                              If nothing worked, then let's think!

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                              • #75
                                I've considered removing the Alignment chart from my OSR project, depending on what kind of setting I develop for it. Don't get me wrong, I like the Alignment Chart to an extent, but some of my setting ideas don't lend themselves well to black-and-white morality, especially my Elizabethan-styled setting.

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