RPG 30-Day Challenge, Day Two

RPG Challenge Day Two: Favorite Playable Race
This is trickier than Day One, because I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been asked this question before. I’m not sure I have even ever thought about it before.
Going by percentage of characters, I’d have to say human. Some of that is because I have played a lot of non-fantasy games over the years, and the common point of overlap between Pathfinder-style worlds, Gamma World-style Worlds, and Supernatural, Superheroes, Modern Fantasy, Cyberpunk, Star Wars, Star Trek, Call of Cthulhu, Pulp Masked Men, EverQuest, Black Company, Wheel of Time, and everything else I’ve played is humans.
But to be fair, even if I look at JUST one system, I think I play more humans than anything else (though as a GM I seem to have a soft spot for major NPCs who are half-elves with dangerous families who want to get them killed… ). Some of that is a result of liking flexibility – humans tend to have fewer “fixed” powers in RPGs than other races, and thus often get some kind of flexible advantage to balance them. I think some of it is flavor. Many games have a vision for elves, giants, dwarves, Argonians, Nanoborgs, Klingons, Mhaktor, or whatever, that doesn’t exactly fit MY vision of those races – but we all have a lot of experience with humans so they tend to feel “right.”
Also, I often want to explore a specific idea with a character. What would it be like to be a person with a strong sense of order and rigid interpretation of social responsibilities from a nation that claims to match that, but it actually an evil tyranny? What would it be like to be a legacy hero who fears your talented ancestors didn’t pass their greatness on to you, and who is convinced everyone else on the adventure is better than you? If you loved magic more than anything else, where would that take you? Exploring that while human means I can focus on *just* the interesting idea, without also having to incorporate being an alien in an Alliance of non-aliens, or remembering that my character is 400 years old, isn’t in a hurry for anything, and already has 10 times my own world experiences.
I do PLAY other races fairly often. The only character I’ve played recently is a dwarf, and I love me some dwarves. But I suspect even when I have other options, half my characters are human, and the other half are divided fairly equally among other options.


About okcstephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the publisher and lead genius of Rogue Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps.

Posted on January 2, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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