Dungeons & Dragons Online

Unpopular Opinion: Adding restrictions to classes and races for setting/lore reasons leads to more creativity, not less

Content of the article: "Unpopular Opinion: Adding restrictions to classes and races for setting/lore reasons leads to more creativity, not less"

Creativity tends to work best with constraints; in general if you're working a creative field you'll be able to do more inside a box than without one. From the experiences that I've had and seen, this applies especially to tabletop gaming and creating characters as well. Older editions knew this and it generally leads to better characters as a result. Especially if you're a new player or someone just coming into it, having boxes around you can really help to give you a taste of what this world or setting is like.

Examples from Vidja Games

So I'll use Dragon Age as an example; the Dwarves in that setting can't work magic at all. Period.

If we were running a setting in/adjacent to that, we'd definitely keep that because it helps define why that race is seperate from the others and makes them feel genuinely different in where they're at in the world. Beyond that it adds a lot of great questions already; why can't they work magic? What is their culture like without it? How do other races feel about it? Is it just well known/accepted?

Examples from DND settings

I think this also kinda applies to settings as well Warforged are essentially bonded to the wider eberron setting; I see a warforged I think eberron. It really helps to define what that setting is about. Same for changelings and what have you. The impact of this would fall apart immediately if they were also in every other setting.

Dark Sun generally has a more limited pallete/range of races on average and it would definitely be weaker thematically if everything was in there as a result; less is more, and we can focus on how these races/classes work in the world and more tightly intergrate them into the setting.

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You aren't merely a paladin in Dark Sun, you're a templar to one of the sorcerer kings. Or the only real clerical power is the power dedicated to the elemental forces; subclasses should generally reflect this. This gives the game a very distinct feel from something like Eberron, and that has a very distinct feel from Forgotten Realms. Because ultimately making these settings feel different is best done through what you can and can't do; making them mechanically different from one another is a good thing and helps make them more immersive and feel different by bringing in lore that gets backed by your mechanical changes.

TL:DR; Adding in restrictions for what races/classes/subclasses/spells are available or how they work into your settings is a real good thing, and shouldn't always be frowned upon. It helps for immersion, for creativity and for giving shape to your setting.

Thoughts?

Source: reddit.com

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