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  • Just for fun, I decided to write up a 'wish list' of characters that I've been wanting to play in D&D for a long time, but never quite got the chance to do so.


    --------------------------------

    Character Races:


    Orc - For as long as I've known about D&D, I've always wanted to try playing as a full blooded Orc. But I never really got into the table top version, and none of the video games made them available. The one exception being Neverwinter Nights 2, which *sigh* I chose to buy SPORE, instead. By the time I went back to get NWN 2, Best Buy was no longer carrying it. A decision I still regret to this day...


    Yuan-Ti - Pretty much the same explanation as Orc. I've been wanting to try a Yuan-Ti for years now, but I never found a video game that allowed you to play as one... except for NWN 2...


    Lizardfolk - I've got some amusing ideas for how to play these guys in a party consisting of mostly warm blooded races. One such idea involves giving the character a deadpan sense of humor, so that nobody else in the group can tell whether or not he's joking when his reptilian mindset comes into play!


    Kobold - I think they're cute! Sadly, these little guys have never been officially made a playable option outside of the table top version. Which is a shame, because the legendary tales of Deekin Scalesinger and Tucker's Kobolds have proven that this race has the potential to be more than low level cannon fodder.

    That being said, I did find a modded server for Neverwinter Nights 1 (Red Wizards of Thay) which made Kobolds a playable option as a Subrace for Halflings.


    Lycanthrope - Technically speaking, I have had the option to play a Werewolf before. It was a specialist class for Druids in Baldur's Gate. Sadly, however, this option boiled down to only having a set of gimmicky powers, and never gave the feeling of what it was truly like to be a lycanthrope in D&D. It doesn't even have to be Werewolf either, I'd be happy with Rats, Bears, Cats, Sharks and Boars, too.

    The same modded server that allowed me to play as Kobolds in NWN 1, had also programmed in a fully working Lycanthropy system (these guys went all out on the role playing). But actually contracting the disease was very difficult. Lycanthropes had to be a minimum level of 7 before they could infect you, and being publicly exposed as one carried a death sentence within the city walls.


    --------------------------------


    Character Classes:


    Psionic - One of my top three favorite monsters in all of D&D are the Illithid, and their psionic abilities have always struck me as interesting and cool. So when I found out there was an entire class that revolved around that kind of stuff, I was eager to give it a try. Sadly, I have not had any luck finding games that offer Psionics as a playable option.


    Non-Red Dragon Disciple - So I think we can all agree that Dragon Disciples are pretty awesome, right? Well, be that as it may, every game I've come across seems to think that RED Dragon Disciples are the way to go when it comes to playing as this class. There are other dragons, people!
    Last edited by Nyrufa; 05-15-2018, 05:21 AM.

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    • Ug. That is really tempting me to run a PbP Planescape game with Pathfinder, cause orcs, yuan-ti, kobolds, and lizerdfolk sounds like an awesome party.


      Freelancer - Dark Eras 2
      He/His Pronouns
      CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon (TBA) | Deviant (TBA) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf (WIP)

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      • I am dying to run a D&D Play By Post with a homebrew setting. Or a Boot Hill PbP.

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        • Originally posted by Second Chances View Post
          Ug. That is really tempting me to run a PbP Planescape game with Pathfinder, cause orcs, yuan-ti, kobolds, and lizerdfolk sounds like an awesome party.


          I really want to get into 5th edition, but DriveThru doesn't seem to sell the books (or at least, I can't find them), and the closest store that might possibly carry them is 11 miles away from where I live.
          Last edited by Nyrufa; 05-15-2018, 05:25 AM.

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          • Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post



            I really want to get into 5th edition, but DriveThru doesn't seem to sell the books (or at least, I can't find them), and the closest store that might possibly carry them is 11 miles away from where I live.

            If you want, you could play a PbP with me. We'd be using an older edition of D&D (though I do like Fifth Edition too) and you can download free retro-clones of those games easily.

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            • Originally posted by Camilla View Post


              If you want, you could play a PbP with me. We'd be using an older edition of D&D (though I do like Fifth Edition too) and you can download free retro-clones of those games easily.

              I appreciate the offer, thank you!

              But I have to decline.

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              • Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post


                I appreciate the offer, thank you!

                But I have to decline.

                That's perfectly fine with me. Best of luck to you in finding a campaign, buddy.

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                • Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post


                  Lizardfolk - I've got some amusing ideas for how to play these guys in a party consisting of mostly warm blooded races. One such idea involves giving the character a deadpan sense of humor, so that nobody else in the group can tell whether or not he's joking when his reptilian mindset comes into play!
                  The (now largely disregarded) triune brain theory, it hurts.

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                  • Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post

                    The (now largely disregarded) triune brain theory, it hurts.


                    Don't know what that is. But the desire to play one came from a scene in one of TFS's most recent D&D sessions in which they meet a tribe of Troglodytes called the Evergrudge. These little guys are cursed with immortality, because they fed on Unicorn blood, and after living at the bottom of the sea for thousands of years, they desperately want to die. So much, in fact, that the tribe was willing to assault an adolescent Blue Dragon in its own lair.


                    Now one feature of the Evergrudge is that anybody who made physical contact with the original Troglodyte responsible for the curse would share in their immortality. Obviously, nobody present chose to accept it. But I was imagining my hypothetical Lizardfolk taking on the curse and then flash cutting to 3,000 years later. He's standing over a vast graveyard of his former comrades throughout the ages with a stoic look on his face. And the only thing he says is...


                    "Good thing I'm a Lizardman, or this would really suck for me!"

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                    • Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                      Don't know what that is.
                      A rather shaky assumption by a mid-20th century neuroscientist that the brains of mammals had a reptilian, paleomammalian, and modern mammalian section, which gained traction for a time but now has a great deal of evidence going against it. Quite frankly, it never really had much going for it, seeing as how one of its assumptions - that reptiles were part of mammalian ancestry - was known to be untrue at the time he formulated the theory. The all-time death knell to the theory, however, was when people actually looked at various reptilian brains in the early 2000s and published results showing that the model was completely wrong - there were advanced structures present that had been glossed over because MacLean said so, and people never thought to doubt him.

                      So this is where you get all your "reptiles have weird thoughts" and "lizard brain" memes, basically, and it was a complete fabrication.

                      But the desire to play one came from a scene in one of TFS's most recent D&D sessions in which they meet a tribe of Troglodytes called the Evergrudge. These little guys are cursed with immortality, because they fed on Unicorn blood, and after living at the bottom of the sea for thousands of years, they desperately want to die. So much, in fact, that the tribe was willing to assault an adolescent Blue Dragon in its own lair.

                      Now one feature of the Evergrudge is that anybody who made physical contact with the original Troglodyte responsible for the curse would share in their immortality. Obviously, nobody present chose to accept it. But I was imagining my hypothetical Lizardfolk taking on the curse and then flash cutting to 3,000 years later. He's standing over a vast graveyard of his former comrades throughout the ages with a stoic look on his face. And the only thing he says is...


                      "Good thing I'm a Lizardman, or this would really suck for me!"
                      Yeah, the supposed lack of emotional connection or affect is one of the aforementioned memes based on shaky foundations.
                      Last edited by Saur Ops Specialist; 05-16-2018, 12:51 AM.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post

                        A rather shaky assumption by a mid-20th century neuroscientist that the brains of mammals had a reptilian, paleomammalian, and modern mammalian section, which gained traction for a time but now has a great deal of evidence going against it. Quite frankly, it never really had much going for it, seeing as how one of its assumptions - that reptiles were part of mammalian ancestry - was known to be untrue at the time he formulated the theory. The all-time death knell to the theory, however, was when people actually looked at various reptilian brains in the early 2000s and published results showing that the model was completely wrong - there were advanced structures present that had been glossed over because MacLean said so, and people never thought to doubt him.

                        So this is where you get all your "reptiles have weird thoughts" and "lizard brain" memes, basically, and it was a complete fabrication.

                        Yeah, the supposed lack of emotional connection or affect is one of the aforementioned memes based on shaky foundations.
                        I feel like "reptiles have weird thoughts" doesn't really rely on the triune brain model. I'd say it's pretty reasonable to assume that creatures with significantly different physiology would also have significantly different thought patterns. It doesn't have to mean they have significantly different brain structures, but rather that they come from significantly different environments, with significantly different ways of life, leading to significantly different cultures.


                        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 Charlaquin View Post
                          I feel like "reptiles have weird thoughts" doesn't really rely on the triune brain model. I'd say it's pretty reasonable to assume that creatures with significantly different physiology would also have significantly different thought patterns. It doesn't have to mean they have significantly different brain structures, but rather that they come from significantly different environments, with significantly different ways of life, leading to significantly different cultures.
                          Keeping in mind that a lot of what people thought would be the differences was pretty much dictating how the triune brain model came to be. People thought it was so, drew up an absurd model of comparative neuroscience to illustrate it, and then sat on it even though it wasn't in any way close to reality. A lot of the challenges that mammals faced, reptiles also faced, particularly in the wiring of brains for social interaction. In point of fact, most parts that MacLean labeled "early mammal" have actually been with all vertebrates since the development of the backbone, including parental care. For the parts that aren't in common, there would still be enough analogy that it wouldn't be that far off, again because of similarity in selection pressures.

                          (Footnote for clarity; MacLean's "reptilian" and "archaic mammal" cortices are directly the same, more or less, in all vertebrates. The forebrain and brain roof structures are what's different, yet still able to process the same information to similar results, like running to where prey is headed in order to hide and become inaccessible, blocking its path rather than just chasing it.)
                          Last edited by Saur Ops Specialist; 05-16-2018, 02:44 AM.

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                          • Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
                            Keeping in mind that a lot of what people thought would be the differences was pretty much dictating how the triune brain model came to be. People thought it was so, drew up an absurd model of comparative neuroscience to illustrate it, and then sat on it even though it wasn't in any way close to reality. A lot of the challenges that mammals faced, reptiles also faced, particularly in the wiring of brains for social interaction. In point of fact, most parts that MacLean labeled "early mammal" have actually been with all vertebrates since the development of the backbone, including parental care. For the parts that aren't in common, there would still be enough analogy that it wouldn't be that far off, again because of similarity in selection pressures.

                            (Footnote for clarity; MacLean's "reptilian" and "archaic mammal" cortices are directly the same, more or less, in all vertebrates. The forebrain and brain roof structures are what's different, yet still able to process the same information to similar results, like running to where prey is headed in order to hide and become inaccessible, blocking its path rather than just chasing it.)
                            Right, sure, I’m not saying the triune brain model isn’t bogus and bad science to boot. I’m saying the idea that a lizardfolk D&D character would have very different thought and behavior patterns from a human character doesn’t rely on that model to track. Let’s take the lizard and mammal brains out of the equation; would you have the same objection to a Kuo-Toa thinking and acting in a way that would seem alien to an Aarakocra? Or a fire Genasi’s way of thinking being alien to a hamadryad? Like, I’m with you that the idea of the triune brain model is absurd and it’s annoying that the misconception is so pervasive. I just don’t think playing nonhuman characters in very nonhuman ways necessarily ties into that.


                            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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                            • Well, I posted an idea for a comedic relief style character and I learn some interesting science about brain chemistry.

                              The internet is fun!

                              But yeah, I think Charlaquin is right. Even if the idea of an alien brain model is false, there's still the whole cultural barrier that you have to take into consideration. Namely that these guys often live in swamps, which are teeming with disease, parasites, and any number of natural death traps. They don't exactly have the luxury of behaving in a civilized manner when everything in the environment wants to kill them.

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                              • Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post

                                Right, sure, I’m not saying the triune brain model isn’t bogus and bad science to boot. I’m saying the idea that a lizardfolk D&D character would have very different thought and behavior patterns from a human character doesn’t rely on that model to track. Let’s take the lizard and mammal brains out of the equation; would you have the same objection to a Kuo-Toa thinking and acting in a way that would seem alien to an Aarakocra? Or a fire Genasi’s way of thinking being alien to a hamadryad? Like, I’m with you that the idea of the triune brain model is absurd and it’s annoying that the misconception is so pervasive. I just don’t think playing nonhuman characters in very nonhuman ways necessarily ties into that.
                                Well, when you get into genasi and hamadryads, you're getting into magical beings, and not more or less fleshy beings that, for whatever reason, all have a human body type and structural arrangement. The anthropomorphic structure of a lot of D&D "monsters" is going to place their thoughts and actions very close to humans and demihumans entirely because they're structurally similar, be they lizardfolk, kuo-toa, or what have you. Lots of interesting questions about how something like that happened when most other animals don't have a shoulder girdle like mammals do...

                                And once you do get into cultural differences, you have to account for different groups of the same PC type. Given the context of the post just above by Nyrufa, swamp lizardfolk won't be living like desert lizardfolk or island forest lizardfolk. Also, given that a lot of humans clustered around riverine areas for most of history (easy access to water to get rid of wastes or providing for irrigation), they'd probably have more in common with the swamp lizardfolk that one might imagine.

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