Crossbreed

May. 7th, 2017 06:11 pm
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I've been fiddling with some D&D character concepts lately (see previous post about tabaxi). As is usually the case with D&D, character concepts lead into worldbuilding, because I like to have some backstory about a character's origins.

Something triggered a memory from a thread on /r/dnd, and I wish I could provide attribution, because this one throwaway line suggests a lot of really cool setting work. The premise is that humans are the result of elves and orcs breeding.

This neatly explains why you can get half-elves and half-orcs, but no other racial pairings in D&D result in half-breeds. It also implies a very interesting history of how and why elves and orcs once got it on in sufficient numbers to produce a viable human population. This feels more mechanically-supported in D&D5 than in 3.x/Pathfinder/OGL, given the former's lack of racial attribute penalties... notably, making the average orc no less intelligent, wise, or charismatic than the average human. And that change also neatly undermines the traditional setting design assumption that all orcs are barbarians, incapable of creating and sustaining civilized cultures.

Hmm.

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