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  1. mattwandcow

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  1. Have you thought about re-skinning the cut races into the added races?
    On the other hand, are people going to bothered if trance was taken out of the elven racial kit? It has rarely, if ever come up in campaigns I have been in, but your experience may be different. Even the immunity to magical sleep is only useful against a very specific magical effect (though it could probably be left in anyway as the half-elf needs sleep yet is still immune to magical sleep).
    On the third hand, could half-elves be re-skinned as elves? I understand the desire to maintain verisimilitude, but cutting two PHB races because of one racial ability that one of them has seems excessive.
    Disclaimer: There may be more reasons for this choice and I don’t want to assume, but they weren’t mentioned in the article so I am commenting on what was.

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting! People like you keep guys like me honest 😀 A bit of my word choice came from trying to meet an arbitrary word quota and the assumption that only the people from my table would read and not comment, as they usually do, the schmucks.

      First, to try and reclaim some credibility, there are indeed more reasons then the stated hating of Trance. Hating Trance is, in itself, a much bigger idea that may deserve some ramble at some point.

      On reskinning: The Angry DM has a better written bit somewhere that says something along the lines of: “Reskinning is useful. You’re better than that.” I have indeed used reskinning to make races and monsters before and, in a pinch, they work pretty good. There’s always a bit of squeak around the coat of wet paint, but most players won’t notice or care. But I don’t have to run this tonight. It may be years before I run something off of this and I’d like to get it right. The races I’m adding are fairly different from anything established. Most of them are built based on animals that all have some pretty cool abilities for being real. Shardmind and merfolk have been around before, so I’ll do some research before diving into confirming those races exactly.

      On elves: Your mileage may vary from this, but, personally, I have never been in a game where being an elf meant anything other than the statblock. We have never met with elves, fought elves, or found an elven ruin. At the table I am from, Elves, H. Elves, and Humans all seem to just mix together and it doesn’t matter who they are as a race. This is not a thing I like. Most of the races at our table seem to be able to get along with others without any friction, other than general individual jerkery. It makes it a lot simpler for people to play any race that they want. And, since we seem to always have newer players, they play those races how they want. And of course, it would be a jerk move on our part to correct someone new, saying that’s not what an elf is like, as we know in our enlightened modern time, that everyone is an individual and racial stereotypes are evil and so on. So we let it slide and the traditional identity of these species slip away.

      Except, of course, for the Drow. It may be due to Drizzt, or maybe just a collective unconscious in the game, but drow always seem to be evil, or lame copy of Salvatore’s hero. It doesn’t matter what setting I’m trying to run at the table, Drow=Evil is the first thing people thing. And drow players then butcher the party, claiming to be playing their alignment. Or the party refuse to trust an NPC or a PC even, because it’s a drow.

      I hate that. I hate these shackles of identity Tradition has heaped upon us. And I can see no way to fix it at my table, other than to say “Okay, forget all you know about these species, this is what we’re using. This is their history, their identity, their mindset.” And while it won’t fix all of the games at the table, it will let the TSI setting be free of preconceptions. Ideally, while the stat information will be the same, my briefing document will have a chunk of lore on the starting species, art based in the world, names that invoke my concepts. I don’t want this setting to be universal, like the PHB has to be, but specific. Unique.

      I did toy with having elves in the setting for a bit. They grew ships of coral. The dark elves had airships that flew close to the sun (as an Underdark underwater is tricky). And I toyed with making the elves elemental, four types for the four elements, and finally, i decided that they didn’t really fit into the lore I was building for it. I decided against airships (and good thing, as a friend is making an airship based world) and I decided elves didn’t have a place that could be easily taken up with merfolk and humans. The gods had only recently made the world, after all, and being nearly immortal hasn’t caught on as a goal yet.

      Finally, I think “Elf” is a comfortable race for some players and I want to try to break some people out of this comfort zone. This world, (hopefully), is going to be a different experience. I want that difference to start at character creation.

      Hope that covered your questions! Thank you for asking!

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