Daily D&D Ramble: Unlocking Content

I’ve toyed with the idea of “unlocking content” before in TSI. And I think it kinda has roots in older versions of the game. But it is not on par with fourth and fifth editions. I dunno.

I suppose I should define it first. In an unlocked game, any player can be anything that we have a stat block for. In 5e, the races in the PHB were all there were and were unlocked for the longest time. Now there are races in the DMG, MM, SCAG has a few, even Princes of the Apocalypse has one. So we’re branching out.

My idea is to artificially “lock” content behind world and lore. The part starts in a place with only humans, for example. Like earth. And as the adventures continue, they meet brave, new species, become friends, and, in future campaigns, can play as those. Or, if they wanted, they could retire their current character and play something of the new species.

That’s what I want out of locking and unlocking. I’m not too worried about classes and backgrounds, but I think we’re really used to this large trading town that has a bit of everything. A smorgasbord of selection for our players, to take what they want without thought of culture, without considering religion or history, without really reading inot the creatures alignment and thought processes.

Not that I am a firm believe in alignment, but I think that you should know what the world expects from a race you want to play. Even if its an evil race and you’re playing a good guy. Even if you’re a good race, playing a villain. Both the player and the DM should have a good guess at how the world should react to you on sight, even before you have a reputation under your belt.

And I think in some sort of explory settings, its okay for no one to have met elves before. Or to know where the dwarves are, without having seen one. It makes sense for there to be settings were only humans roam the land. And in those settings, meeting an elf in broad daylight is pretty cool.

And I haven’t felt that enough in D&D so I’m looking for it. Maybe that comes from our lack of a long running session, a setting well defined, where the players have been learning forever what this world is. I’d love to run something like that.

Oh, hey! TSI is exactly that! Awesome!

As a side note, I have thought about elves and I think they will be an unlockable race in TSI. I’ll hide them on the map, somewhere, in a really cool setting and let the players wander into them. And once they’ve been found, then they get to play on the global scale, with the rest of the playable races.

You know what? Selkies get to do that too. And Calmar. I think I just cut down the “playable-out-of-the-gate” races by a big chunk. That’ll make TSI even faster to come out. And the core races for TSI are known everywhere.

Well, everywhere decent.


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