We Don't Serve Your Kind Around Here...

As we continue further into Taylor's homebrew and my Wilderlands campaign, the thought of monsters as PCs or major NPCs has been on my mind more and more.

While I understand that in many games a monster is a monster is a monster, I also see demographics in some supplements stating that one or two types will also inhabit this or that village, making me also wonder if, perhaps, there isn't a share of acceptance for X type of "monster" in the area.

In Taylor's game, David plays a Kobold character, and we see no problems working our way through polite society with him ever-present. This can be viewed as both player convenience, allowing David to play what he wants, and colors the world view of certain "monsters," hinting that perhaps Kobolds are at least somewhat common in day to day life.

Likewise, the party was given more than a few hard looks, but not much else, when Brakish, a Gnoll warrior that had attached himself to the group went traipsing through the town with the PCs in the Pathfinder game. Gnolls, insofar as I imagine them in my game, as well as Lizardfolk, are known more for neutrality in human affairs than wrecking people's stuff/raiding/whatever.

Will this always be the case in either of the games? Absolutely not. Different places have different overall attitudes. What is cool in Bugbear Falls or Cale may not be cool in the next dale over. Gnolls may have caused a plague or famine, or Kobolds may run away in the night with elf babies. It adds color to the game to have a diversity that mimics real life.

I'm reminded of one of my very first characters, who knowingly risked his life (and lost it) by simply entering a town that had a long history of orc raids. Being a Half-Orc, maybe I should have thought better. I was cornered and beaten to death in that town, shortly after having joined the game. This sounds harsh, but the DM at the time did it properly, by presenting the dangers beforehand. Telling me that his world is brutal and real, and foreshadowing consequence and the harsh laws within.

Intolerance is a real issue, and no doubt one that most groups would like not to handle, but I like to think that my players are adult enough to understand that there will be racism and other forms of intolerance in the campaign world...after all, triumph over adversity is part of the heroics of the game!

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