Does Ghosts of Saltmarsh include newer races like Dragonborn and Tieflings?

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Re: Does Ghosts of Saltmarsh include newer races like Dragonborn and Tieflings?

Post by Icarus » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:34 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:11 am
Well, this is a good answer, and I support it as well. But, what's the point to update Greyhawk to a new edition, then?

By updating a setting to a new edition, one had to consider that some of the people playing the new edition will want to use all the features of the new edition. That's why leaving openings for including new stuff is required if you don't want to overhaul the whole setting.
The point is that some old players want to play their favorite game/setting/whatever in the newest edition they're playing.
But, more importantly, to introduce new players to content they'd otherwise miss or intentionally pass over because they think it's relegated to older editions simply because it's not in Fifth Edition.

By introducing them to it, they find out that the game isn't limited to just one edition, and there's a plethora of information out there that's edition-nuetral and isn't constrained by rules sets because it's just fluff and not mechanics. They're not going to reprint every single book they ever made in a new edition, but, by introducing players to it who may've never seen it before, it gets them looking into older stuff that's still just as cool today.

Even Discord servers and websites dedicated to Greyhawk are seeing new players join who've never played in Greyhawk, but want to learn more about the setting because it's mentioned in the PHB, and in new supplements like GoS.
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Re: Does Ghosts of Saltmarsh include newer races like Dragonborn and Tieflings?

Post by KtA » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:21 am

Zeromaru X wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:00 pm
I'm sure, however, thatany starting adventure in Ravnica will start with a mostly human town, where the other races are minorities.
No - see "Krenko's Way", the starting adventure in the Ravnica book. It's set in the Tenth District, the cosmopolitan center of civilization.
As for Eberron, dragonborn and tieflings were rare minorities there even in 4e. I don't expect that to have changed in 5e at all.
I was thinking more of warforged (and shifters, changelings...) Definitely non-Tolkien-ish.

Anyway, the point of tieflings largely is to be kind of an outcast, people-expect-you-to-be-evil (or at least scary) character. (Much like drow PCs.) Of course you can do other stuff with them, but that is sort of the inherent "story" of the race. Having them be common and unremarkable kind of misses the point, IMO.
KtA wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:36 am
Well, that's the thing. I don't have to put dragonborn in the Flanaess. Just say they live in a faraway land, and voila. Saltmarsh is a port, right?
Well, it's not quite that simple. It's going to change the setting one way or the other.

1) If the dragonborn nation is close enough to eastern Oerik to be able to send ships there with maritime technology on the same level as the rest of the setting, some of the known canon societies should have relationships with it (trade, allies, enemies, whatever). Which will affect the balance of power.

2) If it's far enough away to rationalize our not having heard of it before, the dragonborn must have better ships or navigation than anyone else, which turns the whole setting into an Age of Discovery sort of setup with the dragonborn as Europeans and eastern Oerik as the Americas.

1) is the least bad option if you want to give dragonborn a major place in the Greyhawk setting. But why do that?
Game of Thrones/ASOIAF just became popular thanks to the TV series. Before that, the books were only known by a small group of fans.
So? Game of Thrones is a hugely popular TV series now, and it's still human-centric and incredibly popular.
Just to open the way for people who don't like traditional Tolkien-humanocentric fantasy to play in Greyhawk
But why? Greyhawk is a grittier, lower-fantasy, more humanocentric setting.

IMO it's a player buy-in thing which is really required for using any published setting or adventure. You wouldn't play a Saltmarsh-centric campaign if your group wants to play a lot of exotic races who aren't treated as outsiders. Just like you don't run a dungeon crawl campaign if people want to play a lot of intrigue-focused political characters.

Greyhawk already has trouble with being somewhat "generic" given how much stuff has been crossed-over to FR. Emphasizing the lower-fantasy aspects can only be to its benefit.

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Re: Does Ghosts of Saltmarsh include newer races like Dragonborn and Tieflings?

Post by Icarus » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:46 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:00 pm
Game of Thrones/ASOIAF just became popular thanks to the TV series. Before that, the books were only known by a small group of fans. Unlike world of Warcraft or Final Fantasy, that are examples of non-Tolkienist fantasy, that have been known and popular for like 20+ years now, without the aid of a TV series or movie.
I appreciate that you feel as though Game of Thrones "just" became popular thanks to the TV series. I can see that from a particular PoV.
However, that's really not the case.
I'm not precisely a big fan … but, some quick Google searching resulted in the following:
  • It's been popular far before the HBO series released. ... like, millions-and-millions-of-copies-popular, before the HBO series released.
  • Though when it first debuted in 1996, it wasn't an instant bestseller, but, the following two novels were. And by April of 2011 it was already a NYTimes Top10 bestseller, before the HBO series came out later that month.
  • It was translated into more than a dozen languages back then, compared to the nearly 40 now.
  • It had already been adapted to comics, etc., as well.
  • The books received many accolades, and Time magazine referred to GRRM as the "American Tolkien" in 2005. The first four books received a number of awards, including:
    • World Fantasy Award
    • three Locus awards (out of four nominations)
    • three Nebula nominations
    • Ignotus Award
    • Hugo Award (and two Hugo nominations).
    … all before 2011.
  • HBO knew as far back as 2006 that it was already popular enough to make a series … because that's when they bought it to begin with.
    It just got *more* popular when they did, especially outside of fantasy book fans who already knew it.
That's not really just a "small group of fans". That's pretty much the entire international bookselling industry, in addition to the millions of fans that *made* it popular.

Lastly, it's "been known and popular for like 20+ years now". 23, to be precise. Also, Warcraft (the movie) did $433+ million internationally, and Final Fantasy did $85+ million. Which I'm sure couldn't help but help out their popularity.
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Re: Does Ghosts of Saltmarsh include newer races like Dragonborn and Tieflings?

Post by Havard » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:03 pm

I'm not a big fan of GoT, but I am gradually leaning more and more towards highly human-centric campaigns. While there is nothing wrong with including a wide range of races, including the more traditional "Tolkienesque" races or the races that were added to D&D in later editions, I am not really too interested in them as a DM. In my last campaign I allowed the players to select anything they wanted fromt he 5E rules, but my next campaign will be fairly restrictive. This isn't me being a jerk to my players. What kind of options allowed will always be a kind of compromise between the players and the DMs in our group. But it depends a lot on what kind of campaign we want to run.

If I ever do a Greyhawk campaign, I might do one where humans are the only allowed PC race with more focus on different human cultures and other aspects of the setting with demihumans fading into the background.

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Re: Does Ghosts of Saltmarsh include newer races like Dragonborn and Tieflings?

Post by Zeromaru X » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:22 pm

KtA wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:21 am
Well, it's not quite that simple. It's going to change the setting one way or the other.

1) If the dragonborn nation is close enough to eastern Oerik to be able to send ships there with maritime technology on the same level as the rest of the setting, some of the known canon societies should have relationships with it (trade, allies, enemies, whatever). Which will affect the balance of power.

2) If it's far enough away to rationalize our not having heard of it before, the dragonborn must have better ships or navigation than anyone else, which turns the whole setting into an Age of Discovery sort of setup with the dragonborn as Europeans and eastern Oerik as the Americas.
I don't see either of them as a problem. Dragonborn would be newcomers. Any change would be in the future, left to individual DMs to develop as they see fit. Not to the already established background.
KtA wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:21 am
1) is the least bad option if you want to give dragonborn a major place in the Greyhawk setting. But why do that?
Because I don't like humano-centric settings and I want to give the more fantastical races more active roles in the world? (something that I see logical in a world were humans are not the only race living there). I guess that, by this point my reasons should be clear...
Game of Thrones/ASOIAF just became popular thanks to the TV series. Before that, the books were only known by a small group of fans.
So? Game of Thrones is a hugely popular TV series now, and it's still human-centric and incredibly popular.
But why? Greyhawk is a grittier, lower-fantasy, more humanocentric setting.
And because of that I guess is a setting I should avoid... I like gritty and low-fantasy, but not the humanocentrism.

EDIT:
Just to clarify, I'm not trying to offend anyone here. Just that this is not my kind of stuff.
Last edited by Zeromaru X on Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Does Ghosts of Saltmarsh include newer races like Dragonborn and Tieflings?

Post by Zeromaru X » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:26 pm

Icarus wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:46 pm
I appreciate that you feel as though Game of Thrones "just" became popular thanks to the TV series. I can see that from a particular PoV.
However, that's really not the case.
Well, here in latinamerica most of us didn't even knew it existed until the TV series came around. Unlike things like LotR of WoW, that were widely known before the movies.

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Re: Does Ghosts of Saltmarsh include newer races like Dragonborn and Tieflings?

Post by Icarus » Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:17 am

Zeromaru X wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:22 pm
… I don't like humano-centric settings and I want to give the more fantastical races more active roles in the world...
… I guess is a setting I should avoid... I like gritty and low-fantasy, but not the humanocentrism.
Well, this can go one of two ways:
Your statement is possibly entirely accurate, and you possibly might consider a different setting, because Greyhawk is what it is, and it may not be the right setting for you.
- Or -
Change what you don't like, keep the rest, or throw out other bits you don't want to keep.

There's definintely places where Greyhawk is encouraged to be modded to fit different player's desires for Greyhawk. There's entire websites devoted to Greyhawk in all of its different permutations, from 1e to 5e. Take a look around, and see if you like any of them, and if not ... create and share your own vision of Greyhawk!
Make it your own.
That's what Gary Gygax always encouraged DMs and players to do with it.
:D
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Re: Does Ghosts of Saltmarsh include newer races like Dragonborn and Tieflings?

Post by Saracenus » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:27 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 6:04 pm
Since Greyhawk didn't see official support in 4e, I think it makes sense for it to retain its 3e-and-earlier feel. While I'm a fan of unusual races and the settings that support them (e.g., Nentir Vale, Midgard, Planescape), I'm also okay with one of the earliest D&D settings retaining some of its classic flavor. The fact that the text at least mentions tieflings and dragonborn is likely already frustrating for some Greyhawk fans. Making them an oddity seems like a reasonable compromise.
Hate to break it to you I have official 4e versions of T1 Village of Hommlet (Dragonborn in that one), S1 Tomb of Horrors, and C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan that I got as DM rewards from the RPGA D&D Encounters program. All were set in Greyhawk and not some generic fantasy world.

Saltmarsh 5e has a well thought out Tiefling placed in the town. For those that want an “old school” human centric Greyhawk Ghosts of Saltmarsh can support that style of play, but is does not close the door upon those that want to expand and “modernize” the setting. Frankly when you run Greyhawk it is yours to do with as you will and I do not see any gain by telling people that it should be like this or that... I certainly am not going to seek anyone’s permission to use or not use 5e playable races in my version of Greyhawk because that is between me and my players, as it should be.
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Re: Does Ghosts of Saltmarsh include newer races like Dragonborn and Tieflings?

Post by ripvanwormer » Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:33 pm

Personally, I think importing the 4e explanations for dragonborn and tieflings into the World of Greyhawk (there were ancient kingdoms called Arkhosia and Bael Turoth in the Flanaess, but they were destroyed in an ancient war) works fine. I associate Bael Turoth with the Ur-Flannae who went to war with the City of Summer Stars, and Arkhosia with the dragon-worshiping kingdoms that used to exist along the Flanmi River. Nentir Vale itself fits well as part of the Bone March.

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Re: Does Ghosts of Saltmarsh include newer races like Dragonborn and Tieflings?

Post by vestcoat » Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:13 am

Saracenus wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:27 pm
Hate to break it to you I have official 4e versions of T1 Village of Hommlet (Dragonborn in that one), S1 Tomb of Horrors, and C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan that I got as DM rewards from the RPGA D&D Encounters program. All were set in Greyhawk and not some generic fantasy world.
Sure, Hasbro milked the nostalgia tree during 4e like they do every few years and we got three limited edition modules (not commercially released with a barcode or MSRP). They took out St Cuthbert and imposed the new PHB with dragonborn instead of gnomes, but you're right they weren't completely sanitized and scrubbed of Greyhawk.

This modicum of respect for the oldest setting didn't last, however, and we soon saw a generic, revisionist Tomb of Horrors with a bastardized cosmology and a nonsense pantheon. We got a generic Giants series, a generic Crystal Cave, and a generic Keep. We got a blasphemous mashup of Orlane, Hommlet, and the Keep. Inverness went to Nentir Vale and Tharizdun went to Forgotten Realms, which is the least supportive thing an edition has ever done to Greyhawk and started the current trend of cannibalizing the bestselling modules and stories of all time (GH) into the "best selling setting" (FR).

So, please don't say 4e "supported Greyhawk" with its three early member exclusives.

Ultimately, 4e had a silver lining because it was so horribly unpopular that legions of fans fled to the OSR and we got a lot of unofficial support and easter eggs from third party publishers. Hasbro finally killed its shortest edition ever and stanched the flow with 1e reprints, fancy covers, and D&D Next until they could cobble the current edition together that appeals to the OSR.
Saltmarsh 5e has a well thought out Tiefling placed in the town. For those that want an “old school” human centric Greyhawk Ghosts of Saltmarsh can support that style of play, but is does not close the door upon those that want to expand and “modernize” the setting. Frankly when you run Greyhawk it is yours to do with as you will and I do not see any gain by telling people that it should be like this or that... I certainly am not going to seek anyone’s permission to use or not use 5e playable races in my version of Greyhawk because that is between me and my players, as it should be.
Continuity is important. I don't like Ha$bro making sweeping changes anymore than you like longtime Greyhawk sages telling you what is appropriate. I'm not interested in throwing away gnomes and sucking Evard and Acererak into alternate dimensions every time a corporation like Hasbro, Disney, or McDonalds buys the IP and wants to boost their quarterly profits with some new hardbounds.

Obviously, no one is too concerned with what races you use at your table. What rankles fans and what I think we're discussing here is the trend of endlessly modernizing our setting, in ways that don't always make sense, via rehashed classics to support the publisher. It is the publisher who should be supporting the setting, not butchering it for choice cuts.
--
IMO, Saltmarsh is a step in the right direction and it's not too bad. The odd dragonborn adds color, just like a yakman or a snow elf. And a rare 5e teifling is no different than 2e cambion in my book.

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Re: Does Ghosts of Saltmarsh include newer races like Dragonborn and Tieflings?

Post by Big Mac » Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:01 pm

MODERATOR NOTE (by Big Mac): This topic seems to have answered the original question ("Does Ghosts of Saltmarsh include newer races like Dragonborn and Tieflings?") and seems to be devolving towards Edition Waring/campaign setting bashing. That's not what we do at The Piazza. We talk about things we like.

Discussions on how to reboot product A to fit product line B (i.e. "What is the best way to fit Dragonborn and Tieflings into Ghosts of Saltmarsh") are useful and encouraged. Discussions about product line A being "rubbish" because you don't like it are not useful to the community and can cause conflict. I'm leaving the topic open for now, but if there are any other ranty posts in this topic, it will be locked, without further notice.
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