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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User, Moderator mod
    Straightzi wrote: »
    If tieflings are coded as anything I'd say mixed race people before I called them europeans

    Yeah, I'm really curious about the logic behind this one, because that is definitely not the way I have ever seen tieflings presented. They're more or less an oppressed minority.

    yeah, maybe Romani? which is pretty different from general "europeans"

    BahamutZERO.gif
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    WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    edited June 2020
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    I'm kinda left wanting to play in a D&D game run by a person like this just to see what players are actually expected to do. Will there ever be any dungeon delving or treasure to collect? Who are the bad guys?

    I'd almost rather play a role reversal game where the bad guys are the colonialists and you have to drive away explorer's ships and sabotage colonies to comb for items useful in the war against the colonizers.

    I feel like this is basically the plot of the boardgame Spirit Island, which would be pretty dope to turn into an RPG.

    You'd have to bolt on the different races that count as natives and designate one or two race/civilization as the conquerors (Humans), but Spirit Island RPG sounds interesting.

    Wearingglasses on
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    MrMonroeMrMonroe passed out on the floor nowRegistered User regular
    I feel like it's weird to have an anti-colonialist RPG where the players actually win, and extremely depressing to have one where they lose.

    I suppose you could attempt to run it in tone the way the main plot of RDR2 ran, but that's a fine ass line to walk.

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    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    Or, hear me out

    Just don't map fantasy races to real world roles

    Have your players play whatever race they want to, and then they're being menaced by an expansionist colonial empire (composed of whatever fantasy races your fantasy empires were already composed of)

    You can talk about colonialism in your game without creating a probably at least kind of racist simulacrum of real world colonialism

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    ToxTox I kill threads he/himRegistered User regular
    edited June 2020
    Straightzi wrote: »
    If tieflings are coded as anything I'd say mixed race people before I called them europeans

    Yeah, I'm really curious about the logic behind this one, because that is definitely not the way I have ever seen tieflings presented. They're more or less an oppressed minority.

    yeah, maybe Romani? which is pretty different from general "europeans"

    For me it's purely a matter of how they look. Like, virtually every (at least official?) image of a Tiefling almost feels like they took a european, added horns and a tail, then just slid the color bar toward red.

    fakeedit: Actually doing a bit of GIS'ing and I'm clearly way off. I can see where they do code a bit more eastern euro. I guess for me I've just always felt like they read the other way I mentioned. Maybe I've just had very limited sources (likely).

    Tox on
    Twitter! | Dilige, et quod vis fac
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    ZonugalZonugal (He/Him) The Holiday Armadillo I'm Santa's representative for all the southern states. And Mexico!Registered User regular
    I've never coded Tieflings to any particular nation or cultural group.

    Because I always see them akin to mutants from the X-Men comics.

    Ross-Geller-Prime-Sig-A.jpg
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    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Zonugal wrote: »
    I've never coded Tieflings to any particular nation or cultural group.

    Because I always see them akin to mutants from the X-Men comics.

    *stares in Jewish*

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    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited June 2020
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    I feel like it's weird to have an anti-colonialist RPG where the players actually win, and extremely depressing to have one where they lose.

    I suppose you could attempt to run it in tone the way the main plot of RDR2 ran, but that's a fine ass line to walk.

    You're playing a made-up story where the PCs are great heroes. You can have the natives beat the colonizers, you can have the anarchists beat the fascists, you can have the citizens beat the cops. It's fiction; dream big.
    Straightzi wrote: »
    Or, hear me out

    Just don't map fantasy races to real world roles

    Have your players play whatever race they want to, and then they're being menaced by an expansionist colonial empire (composed of whatever fantasy races your fantasy empires were already composed of)

    You can talk about colonialism in your game without creating a probably at least kind of racist simulacrum of real world colonialism

    Yeah. Once you put your fantasy races on one side or another there is a 90% chance you're gonna fuck something up real bad. It also has very little basis in reality, as nations (and especially empires) have always been a hodgepodge of people from across the world.

    admanb on
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    ShadowenShadowen Snores in the morning LoserdomRegistered User regular
    Straightzi wrote: »
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    I also find the idea of monsters always being stand-ins for PoC a bit odd seeing as stories of intelligent, evil monsters have existed in cultures throughout the globe well before the age of colonialism.

    I'm genuinely curious what this person's thoughts on demons and devils are.

    I mean, just because you're not defining everyone in terms of a good/evil morality doesn't mean nothing can be defined that way. I would honestly argue that when no people are actually Evil, it makes it that much more significant when someone is.

    Like yeah, sapient beings are defined on the law/community axes, and some of them you might consider evil based on how your character views them or whatever. But then you meet a demon, and the demon is Evil (as well as being an Anarchic Outsider), that's such a stronger thing.

    Good-Evil is the Z-axis.

    Because you see, fiends and celestials come from another dimension.

    ...

    I'll get my coat.

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    valhalla130valhalla130 13 Dark Shield Perceives the GodsRegistered User regular
    edited June 2020
    Deleted. Since a post above mine I hadn't read yet basically came across as "google it."

    valhalla130 on
    asxcjbppb2eo.jpg
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    valhalla130valhalla130 13 Dark Shield Perceives the GodsRegistered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    I also find the idea of monsters always being stand-ins for PoC a bit odd seeing as stories of intelligent, evil monsters have existed in cultures throughout the globe well before the age of colonialism.

    I'm genuinely curious what this person's thoughts on demons and devils are.

    You could go read the thousands of words of discourse that people who have committed their lives to studying colonialism and playing D&D have written on the topic. The concept of an "orc" or a "djinn" and how they exist in mythology versus their role in D&D are vastly different.

    I doubt many anti-colonialist critics care much about demons and devils except for how Christian-centric they are.

    Demons and devils were around a long time before Christians were.

    asxcjbppb2eo.jpg
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    Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    Zonugal wrote: »
    I've never coded Tieflings to any particular nation or cultural group.

    Because I always see them akin to mutants from the X-Men comics.

    Tieflings are tricky anyway because the fluff says that people don't like them, but the Charisma bonus means that they're the obvious choice for Persuasion rolls, so it's kind of ignored unless you want to do some uncomfortable NPC interactions where they elaborate on why Tieflings in general are bad, but they'll listen to the NPC because [insert why your racist grandparent likes that nice minority family down the street]

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
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    KelorKelor Registered User regular
    I’ve made up a setting for the campaign I’m about to run. My group got their feet wet with regards to the rules and gameplay with a couple of short adventures, so this is going to be the first actual longer campaign they’ve done (and I have run.)

    I really wanted a nation of Dragonborn, and they have a really cool Mesopotamian aesthetic going on I liked enough to role with it. Humanoid dragons with wooden necklaces and totems has a really nice style to it in my head.

    Other than that I tried pretty hard to avoid mapping them to cultures, with the exception of some of the cities I used as inspiration for the aesthetic.

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    TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited June 2020
    Zonugal wrote: »
    I've never coded Tieflings to any particular nation or cultural group.

    Because I always see them akin to mutants from the X-Men comics.

    Tieflings are tricky anyway because the fluff says that people don't like them, but the Charisma bonus means that they're the obvious choice for Persuasion rolls, so it's kind of ignored unless you want to do some uncomfortable NPC interactions where they elaborate on why Tieflings in general are bad, but they'll listen to the NPC because [insert why your racist grandparent likes that nice minority family down the street]

    A lot comes from min/maxing being the default, so you pick Tieflings to get max bonus on charisma for a charisma based class, rather than just tending towards having a maginally higher charisma than a regular human.

    Darkly, the very low charisma ones generally don't make it if you're going the orphan/street urchin route, unless they're truly exceptional in some other regard. Or they've managed to survive despite not being that charismatic themselves because of a powerful patron or from an unimpeachable lineage, so that even if the Tiefling is particularly obnoxious your regular NPCs always know that when interacting with them there's a chance it'll get back to their patron or family.

    Alternatively, it's a very different thing from disliking Teiflings in principle at a distance and dealing with one up close. There's possibly still some hint of the ancestor's supernatural charm or power (the confidence given from being a creature that is literally a belief made manifest), and even if there's nothing subtly magical going on - if you're on your own, talking to one you know you should be polite less they put the evil eye on you. Teiflings are proof that the clerics aren't making things up, the hells exist and sometimes take a very personal interest in individual mortals.

    Or the real answer, is that they're from Sigil or the Outlands and just far more used to social interactions with a wide range of different people (including various physical incarnations of beligerence, hostility and paranoia). To a planar, Teiflings are proof that there is literally nothing in the multiverse that can come between two beings coming together...or perhaps less charitably and on a more fundamental level; looks, beliefs, background and even species matter a lot less than a lot of people think they do.

    Tastyfish on
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    Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited June 2020
    Straightzi wrote: »
    I am... concerned by the prospect of running an anti-colonialist game of D&D being based around playing uncommon races.

    Like, I get the idea, but it feels like it's still trying to do a thing based around mapping the fantasy races to the real world. Especially when you include stuff like no clerics, only druids - that feels like you're leaning into the idea of pre-colonial/non-european peoples being "primitive."

    My biggest inspiration for this was the war between primordials and gods from 4E's Dawn War and 5E's Wildemount. The Dawn War version especially reads as the gods finding the primordials creating the world, interfering by putting their own mortal creations on it, and then killing or imprisoning all the primordials who had created the world and many of its creatures in the first place (in 4E lore, Demogorgon was originally just the primordial who invented manta rays; then the gods showed up like they owned the place, started the war, and Demogorgon got inadvertantly turned into a demon lord by the actions of the god Tharizdun). The Wildemount version at least changes it so the gods found the world and started doing their thing because they had no idea the primordials were there dwelling inside the world. My thought was "what if this is all a biased account created by the gods, the victors of the war, similar to how the colonial powers and the nations that developed from them justified their own actions and told their own biased version of history?"

    The choice of player races was motivated by them being ones particularly associated with the Elemental Planes. Genasi are basically elemental humans with subraces by element, aarakocra are associated with air and could dwell on floating islands, tritons are attuned to the water, goliaths because they are fond of mountains and related to stone giants, and dragonborn because of their elemental breath weapons. I've also considered tieflings as a fire-related race, with the caveat that they would be related to the efreeti and have no association with devils (who are absent from this setting).

    To be clear, the races I've mentioned are the only ones in this world. There are no humans, elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes, hobgoblins, orcs, yuan-ti, tabaxi, or anything else. Giants and dragons exist, but are NPC allies.

    These gods (who I haven't defined yet) are stand-ins for the leadership of the colonial powers themselves, for the religious turmoil going on in Europe that inspired many of the common folk to leave for the colonies, for the religious mindset that said any people who didn't worship the "correct" gods were backwards, and as an in-universe reason for the colonialist aasimar to enact Manifest Destiny.

    The aasimar were chosen as the colonialist race because they are tied to the gods and angels, which are inspired by the warring denominations of Christianity practiced by the European colonists. I also dipped back into the lore on their 4E counterpart, the devas, who spawn as adults and reincarnate so long as their souls aren't tainted. This makes the race more like fiends in traditional D&D settings so that "killing" them really just banishes them somewhere else for a time, allowing player characters to attack and utterly destroy an aasimar colony without having to worry about the ethics of killing them. Plus it means there are no children in these settlements to worry about, only a special spawning ground that aasimar can appear in as long as it is intact.

    Angels are also back to their 4E lore, where they were servants of the gods who enacted their god's will first and foremost and who could be evil if the god commanded it.

    The gods are at war with each other, too. The continent of Nefelus is a land of constant religious turmoil. Each aasimar's soul is claimed by a god, and different nations of Nefelus have a single patron god whose worship is permitted, but often gods will cause their aasimar to spawn in the nations of their divine rivals to test the aasimar's devotion and capability to undermine the aasimar of enemy gods. This has an especially sinister impact when a god spawns enough of its followers in a colony devoted to a rival god, as this minority will often set-out to create new settlements to escape persecution. This creates yet another foothold of that god's influence in the territories of the world's rightful inhabitants.

    In this setting, fallen aasimar are ones who displease the gods, and one way to displease the gods is to not participate in the conquest of the world. This means that an aasimar who comes to believe his gods and society are wrong and opposes conquest must give up the ability to reincarnate. They must also accept that when they die the god that owns its soul will sentence it to a lower plane, like the Gray Wastes of Hades, where it will eventually become a fiend with no free will that its controller god can summon as a tool of war if needed.

    All the forces of the divine are arrayed against the non-aasimar races. The gods will not accept a non-aasimar as a follower, partly because they only have influence over the fates of souls derived from their angels, and partly because they don't value anyone or anything they didn't create themselves or wasn't created by the aasimar for their glory.

    The races trying to protect their world from the divine menace and their swarming hosts of followers must call upon other forces. Chief of these are the Princes of Elemental Good (known also as the Archomentals), though the spirits suffusing the world do a great deal of work opposing the gods and their servants just by resisting the everpresent divine force compelling them to eternal sleep. Even some of the imprisoned primordials are willing to lend what aid they can, though they may have ulterior motives that could undermine the Princes of Elemental Good.

    These beings can serve as Warlock patrons, though warlocks of any other than the four Archomentals are viewed with suspicion, at best:
    - Balcoth. The Groaning King. Primordial.
    - Ben Hadar. Prince of Water. Archomental.
    - Bwimb II. Baroness of Ooze. Primordial.
    - Chan. Princess of Air. Archomental.
    - Ehkahk. The Smouldering Duke. Primordial.
    - Mual-tar. The Thunder Serpent. Primordial.
    - Solkara. The Crushing Wave. Primordial.
    - Sunnis. Princess of Earth. Archomental.
    - Piranoth. Father of Giants. Primordial.
    - Ty-h'kadi. The Gray Roarer. Primordial.
    - Tziphal. The Mountain Builder. Primordial.
    - Umboras. Lord of Rimefire. Primordial.
    - Vezzuvu. The Burning Mountain. Primordial.
    - Zaaman Rul. Prince of Fire. Archomental.

    Somewhere in the Elemental Planes lurk five Princes of Elemental Evil, but their prisons are of such impeccable quality that they are unable to even establish pacts with warlocks. If released they might decide to destroy the world utterly, preferring to annihilate it if they can't control it themselves. There are those who fear the possibility that the gods will free the Princes of Elemental Evil if they lose the current conflict.

    When casting spells a druid is aided by the local spirits who also call the world home. These may on occassion manifest as individual fey or elementals of various forms that are recognized by the area's local inhabitants, but typically they are preoccupied with actively resisting the divine forces trying to suppress and silence them. Some particularly sinister members of the divine hosts might try to infect a local spirit with the energy of the lower planes to transform it into a demon, turning a former ally of the people of the area into a threat.

    For this conflict to end with the world and its rightful inhabitants free, either the entirety of the divine forces, aasimar, angel, and god alike, must be somehow banished to the Astral Sea and barred from returning to the world, or alternatively the gods must be imprisoned or destroyed as many of the primordials were, freeing the aasimar from servitude to their tyrannical gods. Either goal would necessitate an infiltration of the centers of the gods' power in the world within Nefelus, the place where the divine invasion began.

    Hexmage-PA on
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    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    I feel like it's weird to have an anti-colonialist RPG where the players actually win, and extremely depressing to have one where they lose.

    I suppose you could attempt to run it in tone the way the main plot of RDR2 ran, but that's a fine ass line to walk.

    I mean

    Haiti, Ethiopia, Nepal

    It's rare, yes, but we do have those stories

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    3cl1ps33cl1ps3 I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    Tastyfish wrote: »
    Zonugal wrote: »
    I've never coded Tieflings to any particular nation or cultural group.

    Because I always see them akin to mutants from the X-Men comics.

    Tieflings are tricky anyway because the fluff says that people don't like them, but the Charisma bonus means that they're the obvious choice for Persuasion rolls, so it's kind of ignored unless you want to do some uncomfortable NPC interactions where they elaborate on why Tieflings in general are bad, but they'll listen to the NPC because [insert why your racist grandparent likes that nice minority family down the street]

    A lot comes from min/maxing being the default, so you pick Tieflings to get max bonus on charisma for a charisma based class, rather than just tending towards having a maginally higher charisma than a regular human.

    Darkly, the very low charisma ones generally don't make it if you're going the orphan/street urchin route, unless they're truly exceptional in some other regard. Or they've managed to survive despite not being that charismatic themselves because of a powerful patron or from an unimpeachable lineage, so that even if the Tiefling is particularly obnoxious your regular NPCs always know that when interacting with them there's a chance it'll get back to their patron or family.

    Alternatively, it's a very different thing from disliking Teiflings in principle at a distance and dealing with one up close. There's possibly still some hint of the ancestor's supernatural charm or power (the confidence given from being a creature that is literally a belief made manifest), and even if there's nothing subtly magical going on - if you're on your own, talking to one you know you should be polite less they put the evil eye on you. Teiflings are proof that the clerics aren't making things up, the hells exist and sometimes take a very personal interest in individual mortals.

    Or the real answer, is that they're from Sigil or the Outlands and just far more used to social interactions with a wide range of different people (including various physical incarnations of beligerence, hostility and paranoia). To a planar, Teiflings are proof that there is literally nothing in the multiverse that can come between two beings coming together...or perhaps less charitably and on a more fundamental level; looks, beliefs, background and even species matter a lot less than a lot of people think they do.

    I think an important facet of Charisma that gets overlooked is that it's not "do people like you or not," it's the strength and force of your personality. You can have a high Cha character who's a complete asshole but is so inspiring and forceful that people listen to them.

    I always read it as Tieflings being very strong personalities and of deep-held convictions, and that being reflected in enhanced Charisma.

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    Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited June 2020
    Brainstorming a bit more on my "Divine Invasion" setting:

    The Rightful Peoples of the World
    Aarakocra - Before the invasion of the gods and their creations, the aarakocra were created by and allied themselves with a now-extinct civilization of djinn known as the Wind Dukes of Aaqa in the Elemental Plane of Air. Together, they defeated and imprisoned one of the most notorious of the evil primordials, the Queen of Chaos. Though many aarakocra chose to remain in the Elemental Plane of Air even after the war to aid in repulsing the invading gargoyles loyal to the evil earth primordial Ogremoch, some came to the world to dwell upon the floating islands known as earthmotes. Rather than swear allegiance to Chan, Princess of Air, the aarakocra formed a number of nations in the sky whose original leaders, upon death, became powerful local spirits of elemental air. These ancestral guardians include Chikurra, K'ooriall, and Krocaa. Since the invasion of the gods and their minions many aarakocra nations have come to believe that their ancestral guardians wish them to band together under the leadership of a uniquely powerful leader named Syranita who will prevent their homes in the skies of the world from becoming aasimar colonies and angelic fortresses for use in invading the lands below. A diplomat at heart, her efforts have led the aarakocra to interact more with the world below during this time of conflict against the aasimar and other minions of the gods. Syranita also has connections with various djinn noble houses in the Plane of Air. Unfortunately, the djinn are reluctant to lend further aid to the people of the world following the capture and binding of a large number of the their noble warriors, including a general named Sirrajadt whose innate power was said to be greater than that of the world's Princess of Air. The djinn believe that the efreet taught the servants of the gods how to capture and bind their kind, and as such the djinn are preparing for an expected attack against them by the efreet. Syranita has become very interested in finding a way to free the bound djinn, particularly Sirrajadt. Syranita and her fellow aarakocra have gone so far as to delve into the seas, establish an alliance with the water genasi who dwell below the waves, and seek an alliance with Ben Hadar, Prince of Water. She wants Ben Hadar to convince the marids of the Plane of Water to aid the djinn against the efreet.

    Dragonborn - Among those ancient primordials who fought over the very nature of the world they were creating was a being known as Asgorath. This powerful primordial refined elemental spirits into the first dragons, who initially were more elemental than mortal, and intended them to destroy the giant races created by a rival primordial known as Piranoth. As the war progressed Asgorath was eventually dealt a crippling blow by the primordial Erek-Hus and fled to some unknown realm; some believe she perished while others fear she will one day return. No attempts to discern her fate have been successful. Even after the defeat of Asgorath and the eventual imprisonment of Piranoth the ancient dragons and giants continued their conflict, shifting their allegiances to other primordial masters. It was not until the Princes of Elemental Good brought an end to the war that attempts to resolve the conflicts between dragons and giants began in earnest. Most of those dragons and giants who refused to end their mutual enmity left for the elemental planes; over time the mortal giants would persist through the generations even in the planes whereas the elemental dragons gradually lost the ability to separate themselves from the elemental energies surrounding them, leading to most of them discorporating into elemental energy. Those dragons who did agree to end their war with the giants were allowed to do so on the condition they take mortal forms. Many of these dragons believed that the defeat of Asgorath and Piranoth meant that retaining many of the qualities imbued in them by their creator would be pointless and only serve to separate them from the other mortal races of the world. These individuals chose to be reincarnated as the first dragonborn. Of those few who decided to instead become the first chromatic dragons, some saw themselves as potential leaders for their humanoid kin. Some dragonborn communities accepted draconic leadership in the world; when these dragons finally died they became elemental spirits tied to the land, on occasion manifesting in forms similar to the original elemental dragons. Other dragonborn went off on their own, and still others found homes among the other mortal peoples of the world.

    Genasi - The races of geniekind, witnessing the wars between the primordials over how the world should be, decided to largely remain in their respective planes to wait and see what the end of the war would bring. Unfortunately, the war eventually began to spread beyond the world itself, with several battles taking place in the elemental planes. To help combat this threat the various genies created mortal humanoids called the genasi. Though the djinn and marids largely treated their creations with respect, the efreeti and dao treated their genasi as little more than expendable tools for warfare or slave labor. Worse, the most wicked among the primordials captured many genasi and oppressed them in much the same way as the efreeti and dao. The djinn and marids, seeing how other genasi were being exploited, entreated the Princes of Elemental Good to aid in freeing those genasi who had been enslaved. Though all four of the benevolent primordials agreed that freeing the oppressed genasi was a worthy cause it was the Prince of Water, Ben Hadar, who took a particular interest in this task. He extended as much aid as he could afford during these times of war to an already extant genasi liberation group calling itself the Amethyst Sea that had been founded in the Plane of Water, going so far at one point as to threaten selectively flooding the caverns of the dao's Great Dismal Delve with an army of leviathans unless they released their earth genasi slaves. When the war ended with the Princes of Elemental Good victorious many genasi chose to leave for the world, most choosing to either live in the domains ruled by the Princes of Elemental Good or in territories nearby. With the invasion of the gods many genasi have once again been captured and forced into servitude by agents of the divine. Ben Hadar in particular devotes forces to destroying aasimar sea vessels to prevent their use in transporting captives. The Amethyst Sea, which had primarily devoted itself during peace time to stopping slavery still practiced in secret by some efreeti and dao in the Planes of Earth and Fire, has increased operations in the world to stop the aasimar's exploitation of their people during this time of divine invasion.

    Goliath -The exact origins of the goliath people are mysterious. Some claim to be descended from the stone giants, some believe they were the unintended creations of the now-imprisoned primordial called Xiphal the Mountain Builder, and others claim to have been created by the spirit of a great mountain known as Stoneroot after the war between primordials had already ended. However, most goliaths do not seem very concerned as to the true nature of their origins. The goliaths are organized primarily into several nomadic tribles who travel along the mountain ranges of the world, sometimes climbing high enough to visit the lowest of the skybound earthmotes that the aarakocra call home. The goliaths feel a sense of kinship with Sunnis, Princess of Earth, who has been known to visit the goliath tribes, though their love of the mountain peaks leads many to consider Chan, Princess of Air, as a trustworthy ally who watches over them. During their travels the goliaths often visit the tomb of the great goliath hero Kavaki the Ram Lord, though his lingering elemental spirit rarely makes an appearance; in contrast, the mountainside that the villainous Vanua was tossed from to his death is avoided. Current goliath leaders include Manethak, Naki-Uthai, and Theleya. In the current age of divine invasion the goliaths serve as important allies in countering the aasimar and other forces of the gods. As they follow their traditional nomadic routes they sometimes spot incoming aasimar vessels from seaside peaks or aasimar forces trying to sneak through the mountain passes.

    Tiefling - Following the end of the war between primordials and the triumph of the Princes of Elemental Good the efreet of the City of Brass were very strongly pressured to release all their genasi slaves under threat of a combined attack by the Princes' forces on the efreet nobility. The rulers of the efreet were given a very short amount of time to submit to the demands of the Princes, due partly to Ben Hadar's support of the genasi anti-slavery organization known as the Amethyst Sea and partly to the City of Brass' previous declaration of support for Imix, one of the Princes of Elemental Evil who was also the father and greatest enemy of Zaaman Rul, Prince of Fire. Before long the genasi slaves of the City of Brass were freed. However, significantly fewer genasi were leaving the city than expected, particularly fire genasi. When accused of keeping many genasi still captive the efreet protested that this was not the case. Instead, they explained, a certain proportion of the fire genasi were chosen and granted an offer; if the selected fire genasi would agree to stay a representative chosen by them would be granted three wishes by the Sultan of the City of Brass himself. The exact details of these wishes were never revealed, but the result was that the fire genasi who agreed to these terms became the tiefling people. Zaaman Rul and Ben Hadar in particular were very skeptical of these claims and pushed to attack the efreet rulers anyway so that the tieflings could control the City of Brass, but were convinced by Sunnis and Chan to depart for the time being and escort the freed genasi to the world. Though it is true that the tieflings appear to enjoy greater freedoms and privileges than their fire genasi ancestors did in the City of Brass, with some making frequent trips to the world to serve as representatives and merchants from the efreet city, the suspicious circumstances of their creation concern the Princes of Elemental Good greatly. Syranita, current leader of the aarakocra, has recently come to Ben Hadar with claims that the recent capture and binding of djinn allies by angels was enabled by information granted to the divine forces by the efreet. She is urging that Ben Hadar ask his marid allies in the Plane of Water to aid the djinn in military action against the efreet, freeing some djinn warriors to help defend against the invasion and occupation of the aarakocra's earthmote homelands. Ben Hadar has communicated this to Zaaman Rul, and now the Prince of Fire's allies in the Plane of Fire are making preparations in case tensions escalate and the tieflings of the City of Brass find themselves caught in the crossfire. As of now there are few tieflings in the world, and they are welcome to call it home; however, depending on how recent tensions are resolved many more tieflings may soon be coming to call the world home if they are unable to take control of the City of Brass. On the other hand, given that the Sultan of the Efreet granted three wishes whose details are still unknown, it could be that those wishes were carefully worded to work in the tieflings' favor in the future.

    Triton - The tritons were created by a powerful primordial of sea and storms known as Codricuhn. Though their creator was among the more peaceful of the primordials, Cordricuhn was imprisoned in some unknown realm through the cooperation of a number of rival primordials, chief among them Olhydra, a Princess of Elemental Evil. The tritons appealed to Ben Hadar for justice, trying to convince him of the threat Olhydra posed. Unfortunately, Ben Hadar believed the threat that Olhydra posed was ultimately of less importance than the other pressing concerns at his attention, particularly his alliance with the genasi organization known as the Amethyst Sea, who he had promised to help end the enslavement of genasi by the dao and efreet. The tritons were outraged by Ben Hadar's refusal to honor their request and turned instead to Chan, Princess of Air. She was appalled to learn that Ben Hadar had refused the tritons' request, a revelation that has soured her opinion of the Prince of Water to this day. Chan agreed to aid the tritons in any way she could on the condition that they be her eyes and ears deep below the surface of the water. Even now, after the end of the war among the primordials and the imprisonment of Olhydra, the tritons have still not let go of their grudge against the Prince of Water and respect Chan as their primary patron. The tritons dwell far from the domain of Ben Hadar. Many tritons have a largely one-sided grudge against the aarakocra. They believe the aarakocra do not give proper deference to the Princess of Air despite living in the sky, and they are especially angered by the aarakocra leader Syranita's recent dealings with Ben Hadar. Tritons often enjoy cordial relations with goliaths whenever they meet due to a shared reverence for Chan. Some triton communities have even been established in shores and river valleys located near the nomadic goliath tribes' traditional routes. These tritons are just as likely to revere Sunnis, Princess of Earth, as they are Chan, considering both Princesses more reliable, honorable, and worthy of reverence than the Prince of Water.



    I just spent about five hours straight working on this post. When I started I wasn't expecting to come up with such a big focus on the aarakocra, but considering that some of the major bad guys in the setting are angels and metallic dragons it ends up making sense. Figuring out what to establish about tieflings was especially difficult and I'm particularly willing to hear opinions on what I came up with.

    Hexmage-PA on
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    Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    I finally pulled the trigger on my Hero Forge colour mini

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    z9b7cydlt1pb.png

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
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    UrielUriel Registered User regular
    I love it

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    Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    Thanks - I was hoping for a slightly more dynamic feet position, but I didn't want to spend three hours playing with all of the pose sliders

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
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    Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    The very next combat after ordering it an Orc dropped me to 0HP with no healers nearby

    I briefly wondered if I'd cursed that character by committing to his minifig, but the Cleric had a Healing Word ready

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
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    Grey GhostGrey Ghost Registered User regular
    Had a bit of a situation in our game tonight

    One of the players - who's a friend of the DM but the rest of us didn't know before this game - is playing a rogue, and has generally been real cagey both in character and out, as to what she wants and why she's with this group. She's provided a lot of backstory material to the DM, so he knows what her deal is, but us other players don't.

    Which I think is fine, to a certain point, but not when it directly affects the party dynamic. We've never really been sure how to interact with her because she tends to shut conversations down, and she has no real connection to the rest of the group or apparent reason to be on this adventure. And tonight she decided to go wild card and turn on the quest giver we've been working with for a couple sessions, and try to haul them off to collect a price on their head

    And she's just going off on this tabaxi pirate, trying to grapple or subdue them - and failing - and we're trying to break up this situation and talk everyone down. And we're doing our best to give her ways to back off, both in and out of character, and she is not taking any of them. Finally on my turn I admit I have no idea what to do because I don't understand the situation we're in. The guy after me makes one more in character attempt to say "hey we'll do our best to help you here but then you need to tell us what's going on with you" and she replies "well you need to back off"

    And the DM goes "okay, session over, we're done for the night. This has gone south so we're all going to stop here and go cool down." Hopefully he's talking with her about what went wrong

    I get maybe getting too into a character and what you've written for them and wanting to not play those cards until the right moment, but we had literally no reason to back her up or knowledge of what her goal was, and this scene kept getting worse and she kept doubling down. It was baffling and frustrating

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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    I'm gonna be honest.

    Keeping secrets out of character is basically always a stupid move. If your story is so great, it can withstand the scrutiny of other players.

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    3cl1ps33cl1ps3 I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    I'm gonna be honest.

    Keeping secrets out of character is basically always a stupid move. If your story is so great, it can withstand the scrutiny of other players.

    Yuuuup. In-characters secrets are rad and can lead to fun RP but refusing to share details out of character almost always means that person's going to do some awkward shit.

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    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    I'll keep secrets for a session or two

    Like, if I'm introducing a character with big secrets, that sort of thing

    But that's with the assumption that those secrets will be at least partially revealed in the first session or two

    At which point I'll start being significantly less cagey about my whole deal, regardless of what parts of it have been revealed

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    ZonugalZonugal (He/Him) The Holiday Armadillo I'm Santa's representative for all the southern states. And Mexico!Registered User regular
    I kept a detail from the entire party (except for the DM) for a couple months the last time I played a character.

    But I felt it was critical to being able to manage another detail of my character.

    So, my Forest Gnome Mastermind Rogue had as their background personality, "I always have a plan for what to do when things go wrong."

    And I presented myself to the party as a guy who could whip up a plan on the fly. A real Hannibal Smith type of hero.

    But my character had as their background flaw, "If there’s a plan, I’ll forget it. If I don’t forget it, I’ll ignore it. "

    So what ended up happening very frequently was I would design a plan for the entire group, instigate the plan, and then immediately do my own thing.

    And the party never really minded because I was always, in some capacity, pursing the overall goal of our mission.

    But it was fun to play that personality trait & flaw against each other.

    Ross-Geller-Prime-Sig-A.jpg
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    Indie WinterIndie Winter die Krähe Rudi Hurzlmeier (German, b. 1952)Registered User regular
    edited June 2020
    hey @Speed Racer, I remember you said a while back you played New Angeles and really liked it

    well I played another session of King's Dilemma this weekend, which me and my friends bought after we played New Angeles as well and had a blast with it

    and it continues to be absolutely fantastic

    I've posted about it before but the elevator pitch is "what if New Angeles but with a persistent narrative that carries between sessions"

    there's also this SU&SD review that really praises it

    also the fact that it's a legacy game, i.e. you play through it once and that's it, makes every vote, every haggle have real consequences that you can't necessarily predict

    I have a feeling you might really enjoy it

    Indie Winter on
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    Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    Had a bit of a situation in our game tonight

    One of the players - who's a friend of the DM but the rest of us didn't know before this game - is playing a rogue, and has generally been real cagey both in character and out, as to what she wants and why she's with this group. She's provided a lot of backstory material to the DM, so he knows what her deal is, but us other players don't.

    Which I think is fine, to a certain point, but not when it directly affects the party dynamic. We've never really been sure how to interact with her because she tends to shut conversations down, and she has no real connection to the rest of the group or apparent reason to be on this adventure. And tonight she decided to go wild card and turn on the quest giver we've been working with for a couple sessions, and try to haul them off to collect a price on their head

    And she's just going off on this tabaxi pirate, trying to grapple or subdue them - and failing - and we're trying to break up this situation and talk everyone down. And we're doing our best to give her ways to back off, both in and out of character, and she is not taking any of them. Finally on my turn I admit I have no idea what to do because I don't understand the situation we're in. The guy after me makes one more in character attempt to say "hey we'll do our best to help you here but then you need to tell us what's going on with you" and she replies "well you need to back off"

    And the DM goes "okay, session over, we're done for the night. This has gone south so we're all going to stop here and go cool down." Hopefully he's talking with her about what went wrong

    I get maybe getting too into a character and what you've written for them and wanting to not play those cards until the right moment, but we had literally no reason to back her up or knowledge of what her goal was, and this scene kept getting worse and she kept doubling down. It was baffling and frustrating

    this is basically my worst-case scenario for ever playing with folks i don't know, i hate this kind of thing sooo much

    (i guess actual worst-case would be them trying to kill a teammate or major NPC, but still)

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    #pipe#pipe Cocky Stride, Musky odours Pope of Chili TownRegistered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    I'm gonna be honest.

    Keeping secrets out of character is basically always a stupid move. If your story is so great, it can withstand the scrutiny of other players.

    I don't really agree with that.

    If you have a shocking twist and all the players know about it then it's a twist to fictional characters, but the people who play them aren't surprised at all, so it's actually not a twist.

    I am 100% in favor of players hiding backstory or motivation from each other, it just needs to be handled properly. Like GG's situation above is BAD handling of that. The secret has to ADD to the story, not derail it.

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    Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    yeah I'm all for keeping secrets from your team, as long as those secrets aren't "i want to fuck up your game, actually"

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    Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    In planning my next D&D campaign I've found myself thinking about the styles of the DMs whose games I've played in over the last couple of years. For my purposes here I'm going to refer to the DMs with false names:

    Stefano
    Heavy on exploration of dungeon environments and their hazards (I've gotten a lot of use out of my ten foot pole), investigation into multiple leads, and problem solving to get past obstacles. When treasure is found it is frequently in the form of vast amounts of coin in hard to reach areas, necessitating figuring out how to actually retrieve it. Combat is common, but usually tactically simple. Roleplaying is light and we're generally given a summary of what an NPC said instead of Stefano acting it out (the group in general doesn't seem to be that interested in acting out their characters, though).

    Caleb
    Very roleplay heavy, to the point that we only ever had three combats, with the first in the sixth session (I was starting to wonder if we would ever fight anyone; it did free my wizard up to take a lot of noncombat spells, though). Lots of small worldbuilding details and scene setting. Frequent scenarios where there would be a social event with many NPCs to interact with (such as a party or a short demonstration at a mage college) or where we would have to wait on something and look around for things to do around the area to kill time (in one session I and another player looked around the wealthier part of a city and browsed in a bookstore while another character went on a date with the daughter of a leatherworker and another character went to get passenger reservations for the party on a ship coming into port the next day; the next session largely took place during the voyage and involved my low charisma gnome wizard badly trying to flirt with a gnome lady before going to watch a guy make barrels as the rest of the party just amused themselves giving a member of the crew a hard time). The only complaint I have is that the first few sessions took place in an area conducive to whacky situations, and after departing the rest of the world seemed more like a typical fansetting.

    Adrian
    This one was odd. The players were given the option to play as any creature Adrian didn't deem too powerful. He allowed me to play as a dybbuk (from Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes) warlock who could invoke their patron to cast any spell on the warlock spell list once per week. There was a lot of world building and locations to go to, but getting access to nearly any location was trivially easy thanks to public access teleportation circles linking every city and kings who would allow us to come right into their throne rooms whenever we wanted. The pace was extremely fast, too; I missed one session and when I attended next time I was informed that one character had become a weredragon and had obtained the intelligent sword Blackrazor and was being followed around by a demigoddess and another character was trapped in Carceri and had been replaced with a disguised chain devil and they had gotten a mechanical horse and carriage and a city had gotten blown up. It was an interesting experience, for sure, but it largely seemed like Adrian had established a few major locations and characters beforehand but made everything else up as he went. As a result there were times where it felt like the player characters had little agency while NPCs could do whatever Adrian wanted them to do. One of the other players was particularly bothered when he summoned a treant only for Adrian to declare that the enemy NPC destroyed it instantly without rolling any dice. There wasn't really any combat at all, the exploration was shallow, and there wasn't so much roleplaying as there was exposition. On the plus side, Adrian seemed like a nice dude who let me play a bizarre character who could dimension door at will, possess corpses, summon lesser demons, and got its pact patron to cast power word kill on a king I didn't like when I otherwise only had access to 3rd level spells.

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    GrogGrog My sword is only steel in a useful shape.Registered User regular
    #pipe wrote: »
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    I'm gonna be honest.

    Keeping secrets out of character is basically always a stupid move. If your story is so great, it can withstand the scrutiny of other players.

    I don't really agree with that.

    If you have a shocking twist and all the players know about it then it's a twist to fictional characters, but the people who play them aren't surprised at all, so it's actually not a twist.

    I am 100% in favor of players hiding backstory or motivation from each other, it just needs to be handled properly. Like GG's situation above is BAD handling of that. The secret has to ADD to the story, not derail it.

    Players are both writers and audience. Pulling off a twist to surprise the audience needs context and weight, even if it's unexpected. When a character in a show has revealed nothing about themselves suddenly does something weird and none of the other characters have a cohesive reaction the audience is just going to be perplexed.

    If the writers were working from the same assumptions, even if they weren't aware of exactly what was going to happen, it would have gone very differently.

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    SolarSolar Registered User regular
    Just on the whole colonialism thing

    Sometimes people don't want to deal with the metaphors of reality in their escapist games and I respect that

    It's all well and good touching on themes of, for example, racial prejudice. But it's also sometimes nice to play a game where like, you don't have to deal with that sort of thing as you would in the real world.

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    Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited June 2020
    Solar wrote: »
    Just on the whole colonialism thing

    Sometimes people don't want to deal with the metaphors of reality in their escapist games and I respect that

    It's all well and good touching on themes of, for example, racial prejudice. But it's also sometimes nice to play a game where like, you don't have to deal with that sort of thing as you would in the real world.

    To me I guess it's mainly been a creative exercise in making a D&D setting that flips the script, especially on the older D&D adventures like Keep on the Borderlands that are very easy to identify as colonialist by portraying a "civilizing force" driving out the indigenous people, who are portrayed as evil threats just because they live nearby.

    The aasimar of my setting are coded as Europeans, and the primary antagonists are aasimar colonists who are mostly willing participants in conquest demanded by evil theocracies under the control of evil gods. If orcs and many other formerly "always evil" creatures in standard D&D can be read as demonizations of indigenous people, then I wanted to use almost always evil aasimar (that also don't truly die when they're killed, like standard D&D fiends) to create an alternative that is coded as a demonization of the European colonists.

    Instead of attacking creatures coded as indigenous people and looting their ruins, in my setting outline you'd be driving out colonial forces and looting the ruins of their settlements. If you go into any other ruins it's to clear them of occupying aaaimar and recover treasure belonging to the heritage of the player characters.

    For all the time I've spent making this setting outline, though, I don't know who I would ever actually run it for. I'm a descendant of the real world colonists that the aasimar I've detailed are stand-ins for. Imagining myself running a campaign in this setting for white players feels weird ("Hey, wanna fight stand-ins for our ancestors and destroy their settlements?"), and the idea of running it for PoC players feels like it would be too awkward for me ("Hey, wanna fight stand-ins for my ancestors and destroy their settlements?"). I've at least tried to not make any of the player character races as parallels to real world people groups who were antagonized by European colonists.

    Hexmage-PA on
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    DepressperadoDepressperado I just wanted to see you laughing in the pizza rainRegistered User regular
    I'm always too excited to share my characterses backstories to keep them secret

    except for D'Daryl, the Prodigal Son. Questions about his past got vague non-answers until the Party got to the capital and he was like "ugh, we can go stay with my parents." and his parents were the king and queen.

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    ElddrikElddrik Registered User regular
    For me, I think the idea of whether or not you should keep secrets depends a lot on your group and the secret and the general stakes.

    Keeping a backstory secret is usually worth about one good big reveal. That's a fun moment that you probably want to get to. The question is what it costs you to get there, and is that cost worth it, and are the other players on board with the idea of waiting for the reveal and paying whatever costs might be necessary.

    For example, did you have to ruin a session to get there? That's not worth it. Did you have to just wait a little bit, still having fun along the way? That's worth it.

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    #pipe#pipe Cocky Stride, Musky odours Pope of Chili TownRegistered User regular
    Grog wrote: »
    #pipe wrote: »
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    I'm gonna be honest.

    Keeping secrets out of character is basically always a stupid move. If your story is so great, it can withstand the scrutiny of other players.

    I don't really agree with that.

    If you have a shocking twist and all the players know about it then it's a twist to fictional characters, but the people who play them aren't surprised at all, so it's actually not a twist.

    I am 100% in favor of players hiding backstory or motivation from each other, it just needs to be handled properly. Like GG's situation above is BAD handling of that. The secret has to ADD to the story, not derail it.

    Players are both writers and audience. Pulling off a twist to surprise the audience needs context and weight, even if it's unexpected. When a character in a show has revealed nothing about themselves suddenly does something weird and none of the other characters have a cohesive reaction the audience is just going to be perplexed.

    If the writers were working from the same assumptions, even if they weren't aware of exactly what was going to happen, it would have gone very differently.

    Players are only writers of their own character and their character's interactions. If a player character doesn't know a specific part of someone's backstory then their player doesn't have to know either.

    You're right, if that twist doesn't have adequate context or setup then it's not going to land, but that context and setup can definitely be created by the one player with the help of the GM. if a player can't keep aspects of their character secret to drop surprises on the other players without those players having prior knowledge to help with context, then the GM shouldn't be able to keep secrets either.

    Sometimes they don't, when a GM wants the story to go a specific way and has the party fight a battle they're supposed to lose but the bard pulls off a miraculous charm spell and it ruins the whole story so the GM just fudges it so they lose anyway. The party earned a win but the GM couldn't adapt, it frustrates players and it's bad storytelling.

    But sometimes the GM does some epic shit and a dragon shows up and the party is sure they're gonna die but they fight like hell and earn a win and then talk about it every time TTRPGs come up in conversation.

    Shit man, I've played in a party that kept a huge secret from the GM. We all lied about our back stories and backgrounds and revealed it through a roleplayed conversation like 2 sessions in. It was awesome. But only because we parted the curtain when the time was right, and we knew we wouldn't ruin the GM's prep (it was a prewritten adventure).

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    StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    I think there can be a lot of value in knowing things that your character doesn't. It's shared storytelling, not each person running a story for their own character. Sometimes knowing something out of character is a great way to have your character set something up for another player - it creates stronger twists and provides dramatic irony.

    And yeah, I guess that could be considered metagaming, but if you're not doing it for personal gain or to do better at the game, I don't really see it as a problem?

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    ButlerButler 89 episodes or bust Registered User regular
This discussion has been closed.