Warning huge wall of text and life story(kinda)
After learning of DND and playing in a campaign this past year…I've recently begun my first trek into Dming. I decided to go against just about every piece of advice. (Not on purpose) and I've made a homebrew world, my players and I made a couple homebrew classes, etc. And to make it even more fun…since not all my pals get along, I am running two separate groups (they each started on opposite sides of the same world)
One group one with 5 players and one with 3 (1 duplicate)
The smaller group has two newer players and are just excited to play.
The other group, contains a pal I will call Player A. He just ran a relatively successful 55 session campaign of which I was a player. It was my first time playing dnd and not knowning anything and admittedly not doing any research initially, I had chose to be a goblin. Most of the campaign I regretted that decision, I was constantly attacked, ridiculed, and not trusted in situations because goblins are weak/bad/evil etc.
Player A and I had often butt heads because he has strong opinions about DND lore, 1st edition, and how stuff is "supposed" to be.
I have now run 3 sessions for the group with Player A (one was session 0) and I am starting to take some heat from Player A. In session 0, I had said that yuan-ti and tabaxi are associated with "the law" and that particularly in the rural areas there will be one or more peace keepers of these races.
So in the town they started in, there is a yuan-ti sheriff and tabaxi deputy. However, Player A's character premise is he was an ancient dragon who was killed and then reincarnated by Zariel and Tiamat to find out who did it/seek revenge.
Player A says, yuan-ti are evil, the lore says so, and his character should also know this from his past life as a dragon. While I don't have any particular reason the yuan-ti stopped their worship of the snake Gods and are no longer default evil. No one has asked/sought why they are not in game yet. Although, I honestly just want it to be the case without some big tale as to why it is. I just think a snake person sounds pretty cool and their racial abilities are neat too.
This racial issue is further compounded because in my smaller group one of the new players wanted to play an orc. I don't want him to have a negative experience like I had with the goblin so I was planning to only rarely cause him any pushback because of his race.
To better layer this reality into the world, I decided to have some orcs be hired to defend a lumber mill in the group Player A is in. When the larger group went to the mill to meet with someone, Player A was immediately hostile because orc = bad, so attack. The session ended just before initiative, and the orcs are technically are being employed by a somewhat bad guy so I am fine with the orcs bring killed, it is just the nature of the decision that is my issue.
I briefly spoke with Player A alone the next day and he said that orcs are bad, they were created to murder, burn, and pillage, and it doesn't make sense for them to exist if they aren't doing those things. Furthermore, if I change the origin story, they are no longer orcs, it is just a human with a coat of paint.
While I do see some basis for that perspective, I would rather have pretty much all races have good and bad members and leave the delineation to their clan/ region / indivudual rather than purely racial. He has shown some acceptance towards this concept in the past but it usually involves some complex superstructure that I don't really want to be bothered with.
As I am writing this, I find myself thinking, maybe I am being lazy in not wanting to create an intricate web of details surrounding all these inner workings. However, most of these choices are because it seems interesting or cool. While maybe tangentially related to a story in the world at times, they are not a driving factor.
I am not even 100% certain, what advise I seek. In many character builds online I see people choose, "monstrous " races and it's fine. However, my pal doesn't see it that way…and takes umbrage with attempts to deviate from the baseline lore. While another one of my players has not said anything yet, I am concerned because during discussions in the past he has made comments Iike "if everything is different it's not dnd, I want to play dnd"
TL;DR: I have a player who does not like the idea of certain races not being the "baddies" they are described as in the lore. And if I want them to be different, I need to have some integral story interest as to why it is the case. I kinda just like the idea of a lax yuan-ti sheriff with a firearm, or an orc that has to scrape by to send money to her sick parent. While this stuff may inform an NPCs actions, the premise of the session/campaign should not have to hinge on why isn't Gruumsh telling her to kill the nearest human settlement??
Thanks for any and all feedback.
- Player plans to start removing tongues?
- Player wants to split party – forever.
- The problem with the ever-expanding list of playable monster races.
More about Dungeons & Dragons OnlinePost: "Deviating from expected racial DND norms is causing one of my players concern" specifically for the game Dungeons & Dragons Online. Other useful information about this game:
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