Friday, February 20, 2009

New races

Just finished the Design & Development from earlier this month, regarding the Gnome and Half-Orc. I was one of the many who whined loudly when they didn't appear in the first Player's Handbook, because I've played them both and feel that they're core to D&D.

I've never been into the tinker gnomes, crafting mechanical contraptions that don't fit into a fantasy realm, nor have I cared much for the trickster gnomes, having to be the comic relief in the party. My last gnome was a druid, a strong and silent type, fighting to keep the balance of nature and civilization in check.

I liked seeing the thought process behind the upcoming incarnation of the gnome, seeing that the devs, too, felt similarly. Yes, the fey category implies that impishness a bit, but it doesn't shoehorn them into a jester role. Twigbeard will again be born, once the Character Builder gets the appropriate data.

And the half-orc. Given that my favorite half-orc really didn't last that long, I'm quite attached to him. Even though he was a stereotypical barbarian half-orc, he was *my* barbarian half-orc, and he has appeared in Neverwinter Nights and Dungeons and Dragons Online after meeting an untimely demise in his first incarnation.

As mentioned in the article, the role of "somewhat civilized, but potentially savage" is currently covered by the tieflings and the dragonborn. And while I have nothing against these as player races, except for the fact that they seem to have ousted the half-orc, I still think that the "tamed savage" title belongs first and foremost to the half-orc.

As a player, I don't suppose I've ever considered the process that goes into coming up with a race's history; I have just taken what they've told me, and gone with it. So while it was interesting to see the process through which the half-orc race came into being in 4e (which, in the end, it did mysteriously), it doesn't really placate me as a reason for them to have been excluded in the first Handbook. But, they're coming soon enough, which means that Ish'us'q, too, will be born into 4e. And who knows, I might even try my hand at a half-orc warlord...

...just don't tell Griff.

1 comment:

Griff said...

A half-orc warlord?!

Sounds like the perfect compliment for my Drow ranger.