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

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

Post by Zeromaru X » Sun May 26, 2019 9:48 pm

MODERATOR NOTE (by Big Mac): Split from Ghosts of Saltmarsh "unequivocally set in Greyhawk".

I don't know it this question should be here, or if it deserves its own topic, but... to those who already own it, does the deals with the "newer races" such as dragonborn or tieflings? Do they have some kind of backstory to introduce them to the lore of Oerth, or the book didn't even mention something about this?

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

Post by Icarus » Mon May 27, 2019 2:40 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 9:48 pm
I don't know it this question should be here, or if it deserves its own topic, but... to those who already own it, does the deals with the "newer races" such as dragonborn or tieflings? Do they have some kind of backstory to introduce them to the lore of Oerth, or the book didn't even mention something about this?
Yep! It's addressed early on. It notes that the town and/or area are "prdominently human" and the number of dwarves is roughly 4% of the humans, and they're the "largest non-human faction in town".

It goes on to say:
Elves and halflings draw no special notice, since the Silverstand hosts a wood elf enclave and a few halfling villages are tucked in the hills around town.
The residents react to other visitors, especially tieflings and dragonborn, with a mixture of curiosity and fear.
Personally, I think that should lead a group of players to realize it's best not to put them in Saltmarsh.
But, that's just my two cents. While I wish they'd put a little more emphasis on fear (which usually leads to hostility), it's notable that "other visitors" include half-orcs.
Essentially, if a PC isn't Human, Dwarven, Elven, or a Halfling, there ought to be something going on in RP, and solely in my opinion, it shouldn't be a single RP scene where they're talked bad to for a minute, then allowed in town and that be the end of it.

If you're interested in, like, "Backgrounds" or anything, there's "Outlander" and such, but, there's nothing specifically race-based.
Ultimately, a player and GM can make dragonborn or tieflings be from wherever they want. There is a tip, though, in that the one tiefling in Saltmarsh is an agent of the (apparently then-young) nation of Iuz.

It is a hole that is notable by its lack of inclusion.
Personally, I think that implies something very strongly, that they don't include them, despite including others.
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Re: Does Ghosts of Saltmarsh include newer races like Dragonborn and Tieflings?

Post by Zeromaru X » Mon May 27, 2019 6:04 pm

So, Saltmarsh is just another utterly boring Tolkieneske humanocentric town... How disappointing, that in an era of inclusiveness, they still exclude those of us that don't like the "Tolkien-way" of fantasy. That's why I don't give 5e a serious try, really.

Anyways, thank you for answering. Don't take my answer personally, I was only disappointed with 5e.

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

Post by Tim Baker » Mon May 27, 2019 7:51 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 6:04 pm
So, Saltmarsh is just another utterly boring Tolkieneske humanocentric town... How disappointing, that in an era of inclusiveness, they still exclude those of us that don't like the "Tolkien-way" of fantasy. That's why I don't give 5e a serious try, really.
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.

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

Post by Zeromaru X » Mon May 27, 2019 9:03 pm

Well, Greyhawk did had some official 4e adventures and some fluff in a few sourcebooks, but I get your point...

My point, however, is that 5e only presents towns where the non-Tolkienian races are utterly rare. There is no diversity in this edition.

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

Post by shesheyan » Mon May 27, 2019 9:11 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 9:03 pm
Well, Greyhawk did had some official 4e adventures and some fluff in a few sourcebooks, but I get your point...

My point, however, is that 5e only presents towns where the non-Tolkienian races are utterly rare. There is no diversity in this edition.
Well, Waterdeep is multi-racial and its a major hub center for 5e adventures. The 5e PHB includes all the races. It's up to you to adapt to what you want. That has always been my golden rule with D&D since 1981. I don't care about canon.

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

Post by Tim Baker » Mon May 27, 2019 9:17 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 9:03 pm
My point, however, is that 5e only presents towns where the non-Tolkienian races are utterly rare. There is no diversity in this edition.
I've only run part of one of the official 5e adventures, so I'm afraid I'm not knowledgeable enough to chime in on this. Having a casual exposure to 5e Forgotten Realms lore, I'm surprised that the adventures haven't embraced communities that are dominated by non-Tolkien races. People – and I believe this would extend to other species – are comfortable around others who are like them. There should be communities of dragonborn from Abeir, for example, or neighborhoods where genasi are more commonplace. This is probably a better topic for a 5e or Forgotten Realms thread. I'd be happy to follow such a discussion if you're interested in creating one and linking the thread here.

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

Post by Zeromaru X » Mon May 27, 2019 10:35 pm

shesheyan wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 9:11 pm
Well, Waterdeep is multi-racial and its a major hub center for 5e adventures.
Well, the fluff for dragonborn, tieflings and drow on 5e PHB is that they are truly "exotic", even in Waterdeep. There is no town or city in the official sources where they are if not common, at least something people will not give a second glance either.
shesheyan wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 9:11 pm
It's up to you to adapt to what you want. That has always been my golden rule with D&D since 1981. I don't care about canon.
That's a solution, and I personally also follow that philosophy, but it would be nice if they supported it with the rules, instead of leaving that job to individual DM's.

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

Post by Coronoides » Tue May 28, 2019 4:50 am

Most campaign settings of the 2e era and most fantasy worlds in novels are partially defined by the mix of intelligent species.
Conan’s Hyborian Age is essentially humans only, Dark Sun has its own odd mix of races excluding gnomes, my Green Isles features races seen in the folk/fairy tales of the British Isles and therefore has talking animals but no dwarves and many other ‘races’ of D&D. Sure you can do what you want, but put elves and dragonborn into Conan and you’ve actually just created your own derivative setting, you’re not playing in Hyboria. What you and your players do is right for you and you should do it! BUT Should creators alter their work to suit you? As a creator I say a firm ‘No’.

This has been muddled over the years by Forgotten Realms stealing anything popular from other 2e era settings (eg. Tieflings from Planescape) thereby diluting the distinctiveness of those settings. My opinion is that this was a mistake, but that’s just an opinion.

Don’t know enough about Greyhawk to know how valid this view is for that setting.
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Re: Does Ghosts of Saltmarsh include newer races like Dragonborn and Tieflings?

Post by Big Mac » Tue May 28, 2019 4:20 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 6:04 pm
So, Saltmarsh is just another utterly boring Tolkieneske humanocentric town... How disappointing, that in an era of inclusiveness, they still exclude those of us that don't like the "Tolkien-way" of fantasy. That's why I don't give 5e a serious try, really.

Anyways, thank you for answering. Don't take my answer personally, I was only disappointed with 5e.
I don't think that's a fair criticism to lay at a Greyhawk product.

Blackmoor and Greyhawk were the original D&D campaign settings.

The original tropes that D&D has come from the early ideas of Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax. They might seem old and sterotypical now, but they were the only ideas in town back when they were first published.

Wizards of the Coast took a lot of flak for changing Forgotten Realms. Trying to bring back Greyhawk without a major reboot is not a surprise. And I think it's a valid approach.

If Ghosts of Saltmarsh does not come with Greyhawk's equivallent of the Spellplague, they are less likely to have a backlash against it. And it's more likely to be compatible with the classic D&D adventures that Ghosts of Saltmarsh specifically ties into.
Zeromaru X wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 9:03 pm
Well, Greyhawk did had some official 4e adventures and some fluff in a few sourcebooks, but I get your point...

My point, however, is that 5e only presents towns where the non-Tolkienian races are utterly rare. There is no diversity in this edition.
I can't speak for the Realms stuff, as I'm still reading through Sword Coast Adventurer's Guid and haven't even touched on Storm King's Thunder (apart from the bits with the Spelljammer ship in ;) ) but the diversity in Greyhawk comes down to the five ancient human races of Greyhawk, rather than demi-humans and monster races.

You have Baklunish, Flan, Oeridian, Olman, Rhennee, Suloise and Touv subraces. (There might also be some others on other parts of Oerth.)

So Greyhawk gets it's diversity from these ancient races, which have all migrated into Eastern Oerik at different times and which have mixed up a bit in certain regions (as humans can breed true with other humans). So you could have people that are part Olmam and part Torv in northern Hepmonaland. (There is a diagram in one of the Greyhawk books, with arrows showing where all the GH human races came in from and went to.)

Tieflings have been around since 2nd Edition, so they could exist in Greyhawk. But they are a race from Planescape. So they would not be seen as a native race.

The inclusion of Tieflings (and Aasamir) in Forgotten Realms is something that was done by retconning in movements between the planes and Toril that jusified them being common enough to be player character races. I think there is an area in the Realms that used to have genies running it (and I don't mean Al-Qadim - I mean in the core Realms area).

The Flanaess is a big place, so there may well be a land where genies are more common. If the City of Brass predates Forgotten Realms it would probably have been tied into Greyhawk in a 1e adventure.

One reason why Forgotten Realms has been a bit more diverse that Greyhawk is that the Greyhawk product line got throttled back, while the Forgotten Realms product line didn't. There are very few 3e Greyhawk products that expand on anything from 1e and 2e Greyhawk. We have the New Koratia novels. We have the Shackled City Adventure Path (which is actually a "Paizohawk" thing). And we have Chainmail: The Sundered Empire (which has some monster races, but is designed primarily for wargamming).

Drow became a fairly big thing in Forgotten Realms (and they have a good deity of drow there, so they are viable as a PC race) but they started out as a Greyhawk thing. The early drow storylines are Greyhawk ones and the later ones (and Drizzt novels) are all about Forgottenn Realms drow. So the FR drow get to build on the older GH drow tropes and then add new ideas (which end up making the GH drow seem more like sterotypes over time).

The Great Wheel Cosmology (used in the 1e Manual of the Planes and modified a bit for Planescape, a bit more for the 3e Manual of the Planes and then rebooted for the 4e Manual of the Planes) is something created for Greyhawk canon, that was extended to Forgotten Realms and other campaign settings. So if you like the diversity of playable monster races on the planes, then that originates in Greyhawk.

But Planescape (and Spelljammer) were supposed to be exotic and special. So taking all the weird and wonderful races from Planescape/Manual of the Planes and Spelljammer and turning them into races that are common in every single Material Plane city kind of throws away the exotic and specialness of them.

You can get stats for Giff in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes (and Mordenkainen is a Greyhawk wizard) but I wouldn't expect to run into dozens of Giff in Saltmarsh (unless it is supposed to be a spelljammer port).

You might want to look at U1 The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh and the Saltmarsh content in Dungeon Master's Guide II to see how compatible Ghosts of Saltmarsh is with those sources, because that's the aim of this particular 5e book.
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Re: Does Ghosts of Saltmarsh include newer races like Dragonborn and Tieflings?

Post by Icarus » Tue May 28, 2019 4:56 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 6:04 pm
… Saltmarsh is just another utterly boring Tolkieneske humanocentric town... How disappointing, that in an era of inclusiveness, they still exclude those of us that don't like the "Tolkien-way" of fantasy. That's why I don't give 5e a serious try, really.
So, first things first:
It's not necessary to shit on games other people like in order to express how you feel about 5e.
Think of it like saying that you're disappointed with playing Checkers, because it's not played with marbles like Chinese Checkers.
Not having dragonborn doesn't make Greyhawk a bad game.
They're not "excluding" you … you're choosing to play an element that's never been there, and you want someone else's game altered to suit you.


About this, though:
Zeromaru X wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 10:35 pm
… There is no town or city in the official sources where they are if not common, at least something people will not give a second glance either.
There is dragonborn stuff.
  • Try Ka’rhashan of Eberron. "... the largest dragonborn settlement in all of Khorvaire. … a holy site … and is seen as their ancestral home".
  • Or the dragonborn-ruled state of Tymanther in the Forgotten Realms.
If you're intentionally not "giving 5e a serious try" - clearly, you're simply making judgements based on information you don't have, that's all. Give other "official sources" a shot. Just because it's not in the PHB doesn't mean it's not there. You may like what you find.

In sum, not every setting needs to include everything for everyone. That's the point of them. Every setting is unique in different ways.
But, if you don't like the way something is written ... change it, create something new, innovate. Play Greyhawk as you wish it were, rather than as it is. There's nothing wrong with that, at all! In fact, I encourage it.

But, don't judge something for not meeting your own expectations you set.
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Re: Does Ghosts of Saltmarsh include newer races like Dragonborn and Tieflings?

Post by Zeromaru X » Tue May 28, 2019 5:42 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 4:20 pm
I don't think that's a fair criticism to lay at a Greyhawk product.
You are right. I know Greyhawk is the humanocentric, Tolkieneske setting. It was its thing 30 years ago. But today is not 30 years ago. Tropes in fantasy have evolved greatly in all these years. Yet, all towns in official 5e adventures are the same. That's why Saltmarsh is "just another one" at this point...

So, my point is that, after like 5 years of 5e, its really boring to have a lot of sourcebooks that offer the same thing with another name.
Big Mac wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 4:20 pm
I can't speak for the Realms stuff, as I'm still reading through Sword Coast Adventurer's Guid and haven't even touched on Storm King's Thunder (apart from the bits with the Spelljammer ship in ;) ) but the diversity in Greyhawk comes down to the five ancient human races of Greyhawk, rather than demi-humans and monster races.
Maybe. However, one can also argue that a lot of human ethnicities don't offer diversity, not in this age with a lot of different fantasy genres besides Tolkien. Not even rules-wise in 5e, either. Is just playing an "one race only campaign", that does has its own merits, but much like the unusual races, this style of playing is not for everyone.
Last edited by Zeromaru X on Tue May 28, 2019 6:07 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 » Tue May 28, 2019 6:04 pm

Icarus wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 4:56 pm
There is dragonborn stuff.
  • Try Ka’rhashan of Eberron. "... the largest dragonborn settlement in all of Khorvaire. … a holy site … and is seen as their ancestral home".
  • Or the dragonborn-ruled state of Tymanther in the Forgotten Realms.
Yet, there are not 5e sourcebooks for these places. Which is my point.

There is no diversity in official sources. Just a lot of human towns with a few elves, dwarves and halflings, and "if you play any other thing the DM is free to bully you as they see fit". I mean, I don't even want a full dragonborn town. A full dwarven town will be something totally new in 5e.

And yes, there is always the possibility of "do it yourself" if you want something different. But, I don't think that I'm talking for myself only if I say that when one buy a premade adventure is because one doesn't have the time to do it themself.

Also, I'm not shiting on Greyhawk. Just in Ghosts of Saltmarsh and 5e.

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

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue May 28, 2019 6:26 pm

Icarus wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 2:40 pm
While I wish they'd put a little more emphasis on fear (which usually leads to hostility), it's notable that "other visitors" include half-orcs.
Essentially, if a PC isn't Human, Dwarven, Elven, or a Halfling, there ought to be something going on in RP, and solely in my opinion, it shouldn't be a single RP scene where they're talked bad to for a minute, then allowed in town and that be the end of it.
I've read from people who deal with racism every day in real life that "fantasy racism" isn't fun for them in roleplaying games. As with all things, it should be adjusted to suit your group's comfort level.

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

Post by Havard » Thu May 30, 2019 10:24 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:26 pm
I've read from people who deal with racism every day in real life that "fantasy racism" isn't fun for them in roleplaying games. As with all things, it should be adjusted to suit your group's comfort level.
Sounds like good advice to me :)

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

Post by KtA » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:36 am

Ravnica is full of non-traditional/non-tolkienian races, including traditional "monster" races like minotaurs and goblins as parts of the core PC factions. There's an Eberron hardcover coming, and it's full of non-traditional races.

But you can't give the races other than the "core 4" + gnomes a huge place in Greyhawk, at least the previously-explored areas of the setting (they can exist, sure, but not be major parts of the setting) without really changing the feel of the world. Greyhawk is more "low fantasy" than Forgotten Realms (or Dragonlance etc), much less Eberron or Ravnica!
Zeromaru X wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 5:42 pm
You are right. I know Greyhawk is the humanocentric, Tolkieneske setting. It was its thing 30 years ago. But today is not 30 years ago. Tropes in fantasy have evolved greatly in all these years.
Eh, gritty humanocentric low fantasy is still quite popular (see Game of Thrones/ASOIAF for example...)

And integrating tons of races into a setting as having a major presence, not just a one-off, in a believable way tends to require a large population, which tends to imply a more "civilized"/modern/high-infrastructure society which gives less room for PCs to do their stuff and influence the world.

(It's a lot easier to justify why the PCs are the only ones around who can solve the problem if the largest city in the region is like 10,000 people rather than a million...)

Zeromaru X wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:04 pm
A full dwarven town will be something totally new in 5e.
Not really - Gauntlgrym gets a chapter in "Out of the Abyss" (so does Blingdenstone, a deep gnome town).

5e doesn't really do a lot of highly detailed setting descriptions like previous editions did. So there isn't a ton of material. But what there is is actually pretty balanced. In "Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide" the dwarven, elven, etc. settlements get a comparable amount of description to the human-primary ones.

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

Post by Big Mac » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:23 pm

Icarus wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 4:56 pm
It's not necessary to shit on games other people like in order to express how you feel about 5e.
...and...
Zeromaru X wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:04 pm
Also, I'm not shiting on Greyhawk. Just in Ghosts of Saltmarsh and 5e.
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Re: Does Ghosts of Saltmarsh include newer races like Dragonborn and Tieflings?

Post by Big Mac » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:45 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 5:42 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 4:20 pm
I don't think that's a fair criticism to lay at a Greyhawk product.
You are right. I know Greyhawk is the humanocentric, Tolkieneske setting. It was its thing 30 years ago. But today is not 30 years ago. Tropes in fantasy have evolved greatly in all these years. Yet, all towns in official 5e adventures are the same. That's why Saltmarsh is "just another one" at this point...

So, my point is that, after like 5 years of 5e, its really boring to have a lot of sourcebooks that offer the same thing with another name.
Again, I still don't think this is a fair criticism to lay at a Greyhawk product.

This is the first proper Greyhawk product for 5th Edition. And, unless I missed something in the 4th Edition Era, this is the first Greyhawk product since 3rd Edition.

It might be possible to incorporate Dragonborn or Tieflings into Greyhawk, but it doesn't make sense to just have them appear in a puff of smoke. You need to have a backstory to explain what they are doing.

Tieflings exist on the Great Wheel (Planescape) so the easiest way to incorporate them into Greyhawk would probably be with a 5e Greyhawk product that tied into the Planes. There was something called Die Vecna Die, back in the 2nd Edition Era, that was a Greyhawk/Planescape crossover, so maybe a sequel to that would do the job.

Dragonborn would need something else. There are some felldrakes in Western Oerik, in the Chainmail: Sundered Empire. The elves seem to have some sort of deal going with good dragons. So maybe Dragonborn could be sold as some sort of weapon-race that the elves created to stop the evil forces from the Lower Planes taking over the world.

If you had some sort of Greyhawk-esk backstory to justify Tieflings and/or Dragonborn being in Greyhawk, it could be awesome, but just adding them would probably cause a lot of frustration from fans.

Just look at the 4th Edition Forgotten Realms. Tieflings and Dragonborn were suddenly a lot more important than before, but the heavy-handed way they were added had fans complaining that the world was not the normal Realms. And I think that sort of thing overshadows the interesting things that a new edition has to offer a setting.

There are some Nentir Vale elements that are recycled Greyhawk plots. If someone was to go through them and restore them to the world of Oerth, they could probably use those rebooted 4e adventures and sourcebooks to build enough background to make Tieflings and Dragonborn feel less like a cardboard cutout race and more like something with a deep history.
Zeromaru X wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 5:42 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 4:20 pm
I can't speak for the Realms stuff, as I'm still reading through Sword Coast Adventurer's Guid and haven't even touched on Storm King's Thunder (apart from the bits with the Spelljammer ship in ;) ) but the diversity in Greyhawk comes down to the five ancient human races of Greyhawk, rather than demi-humans and monster races.
Maybe. However, one can also argue that a lot of human ethnicities don't offer diversity, not in this age with a lot of different fantasy genres besides Tolkien. Not even rules-wise in 5e, either. Is just playing an "one race only campaign", that does has its own merits, but much like the unusual races, this style of playing is not for everyone.
Well I wouldn't play Greyhawk...or Greyspace...with only humans. But what I am getting at is that, when it was created, that seems to be the way that Gary Gygax was going to go with it. The non-human races seem to have been a lot more popular than expected.

Forgotten Realms seems to have borrowed heavily from Greyhawk (including racial panthons of deities) and that further makes Greyhawk seem like a stereotype. Drow were very much a Greyhawk theme, until Forgotten Realms and other settings stole them and put more and more detail on top of the original GH themes.

Ghosts of Saltmarsh is really D&D going back to the early roots...

...but not majorly rebooting it.

I think you said, elsewhere, that you were a bit frustrated with Heroes of Nerath rebooting some parts of Nentir Vale. So I'm sure you can imagine that Greyhawk fans would be equally frustrated if Ghosts of Saltmarsh was utterly unrecognisable, as a Greyhawk product.

There will be DMs Guild content up for Ghosts of Saltmarsh, at some point. Maybe someone will find a way to get newer races to fit into Greyhawk. :)
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Re: Does Ghosts of Saltmarsh include newer races like Dragonborn and Tieflings?

Post by Big Mac » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:50 pm

KtA wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:36 am
Ravnica is full of non-traditional/non-tolkienian races, including traditional "monster" races like minotaurs and goblins as parts of the core PC factions.
It's a shame that WotC took so long to bring out a D&D product for Magic: The Gathering.

All bets are off with M:tG and the designers can go in any direction they want and not have to worry about working with any sort of D&D tropes (old or new).

I think Ravnica has a lot more potential for GM freedom than either Eberron or Nentir Vale.
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Re: Does Ghosts of Saltmarsh include newer races like Dragonborn and Tieflings?

Post by Zeromaru X » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:00 pm

KtA wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:36 am
Ravnica is full of non-traditional/non-tolkienian races, including traditional "monster" races like minotaurs and goblins as parts of the core PC factions. There's an Eberron hardcover coming, and it's full of non-traditional races.
Oh, yeah. Ravnica. I have forgot about it. I'm sure, however, thatany starting adventure in Ravnica will start with a mostly human town, where the other races are minorities.

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.
KtA wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:36 am
But you can't give the races other than the "core 4" + gnomes a huge place in Greyhawk, at least the previously-explored areas of the setting (they can exist, sure, but not be major parts of the setting) without really changing the feel of the world. Greyhawk is more "low fantasy" than Forgotten Realms (or Dragonlance etc), much less Eberron or Ravnica!
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? I can pretty much say "there is this dragonborn ship here, with a caravan of traders from their homeland. Any dragonborn PC can be a member of the crew". I'm not excluding peoples who don't like to play non-traditional races, not encouraging fantasy racism, and not changing the setting either. Just opening a way to include dragonborn in Greyhawk organically. That's the kind the rules should be encouraging. Instead of not-so-subtly supporting with the rules that a DM can kill your PC with a mob of furious NPCs if you play a race he or she may not like.
KtA wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:36 am
Eh, gritty humanocentric low fantasy is still quite popular (see Game of Thrones/ASOIAF for example...)
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.
KtA wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:36 am
And integrating tons of races into a setting as having a major presence, not just a one-off, in a believable way tends to require a large population, which tends to imply a more "civilized"/modern/high-infrastructure society which gives less room for PCs to do their stuff and influence the world.

(It's a lot easier to justify why the PCs are the only ones around who can solve the problem if the largest city in the region is like 10,000 people rather than a million...)
Big Mac wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:45 pm
It might be possible to incorporate Dragonborn or Tieflings into Greyhawk, but it doesn't make sense to just have them appear in a puff of smoke. You need to have a backstory to explain what they are doing.
Not necessarily. The example of the dragonborn caravan is from the 4th edition version of Blackmoor (another old school, humanocentric setting). Is how they incorporated the dragonborn race into the Kingdom of Blackmoor. They are not numerous; heck, they only have a small delegation in Dragonia. Yet, there is a way to include them into the setting given in the rules. The book doesn't even described the dragonborn homeland at all. But if you want to play a dragonborn of Blackmoor, you have a place to get one. And if you want to delve into the dragonborn civilization of Blackmoor, the rules already gave you a place from where to start.
KtA wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:36 am
Not really - Gauntlgrym gets a chapter in "Out of the Abyss" (so does Blingdenstone, a deep gnome town).

5e doesn't really do a lot of highly detailed setting descriptions like previous editions did. So there isn't a ton of material. But what there is is actually pretty balanced. In "Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide" the dwarven, elven, etc. settlements get a comparable amount of description to the human-primary ones.
But there aren't descriptions for the towns and cities of the non-Tolkienist races, that is my point. In fact, The SCAG pretty much reduced the few that 4th edition introduced, also.
Big Mac wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:45 pm
Again, I still don't think this is a fair criticism to lay at a Greyhawk product.

This is the first proper Greyhawk product for 5th Edition. And, unless I missed something in the 4th Edition Era, this is the first Greyhawk product since 3rd Edition.
There is a product were Mordenkainen talks about Arkhosia and Bael Turath as if were normal things, but yes, you're right.
Big Mac wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:45 pm
I think you said, elsewhere, that you were a bit frustrated with Heroes of Nerath rebooting some parts of Nentir Vale. So I'm sure you can imagine that Greyhawk fans would be equally frustrated if Ghosts of Saltmarsh was utterly unrecognisable, as a Greyhawk product.

There will be DMs Guild content up for Ghosts of Saltmarsh, at some point. Maybe someone will find a way to get newer races to fit into Greyhawk. :)
Well, they tried to "Tolkienise" the Nentir Vale, making nonsensical rules such as the "common and uncommon races" (yeah, that stuff came from the Essentials line). But I'm not asking they reboot/change Greyhawk. Just to open the way for people who don't like traditional Tolkien-humanocentric fantasy to play in Greyhawk without encouraging (with the rules) fantasy racism.

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

Post by Tim Baker » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:17 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:45 pm
Dragonborn would need something else. There are some felldrakes in Western Oerik, in the Chainmail: Sundered Empire. The elves seem to have some sort of deal going with good dragons. So maybe Dragonborn could be sold as some sort of weapon-race that the elves created to stop the evil forces from the Lower Planes taking over the world.

If you had some sort of Greyhawk-esk backstory to justify Tieflings and/or Dragonborn being in Greyhawk, it could be awesome, but just adding them would probably cause a lot of frustration from fans.
Wasn't Races of the Dragon nominally set in Greyhawk, as that was the default setting for D&D 3.5? It mentions Greyhawk deities such as Pelor, Hextor, and Nerull, so that was my take, at least. And that book introduced Dragonborn of Bahamut.

I know that the backstory for Dragonborn in 4e and later is different from the one presented in Races of Dragon, but perhaps this could be used to explain the presence of Dragonborn in Greyhawk. And such devout followers of Bahamut might be the source of curiosity, but as the DM, I wouldn't make them the target of racism.

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

Post by vestcoat » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:31 pm

Zeromaru, sounds like your objection is older editions, not lack of diversity.

Notice that Ghosts of Saltmarsh is really just a reprint with easter eggs, not a new adventure. Since the source material is a 1e Greyhawk trilogy and a bunch of random magazine adventures, and since GH is built on 1e core rules, and since its fans are the grumpiest group of grognards out there, and since Hasbro mostly peddles nostalgia, it's unreasonable to expect WotC would fill it with exotic diversity and races from later settings (Planescape's teiflings) or races from the worst-selling edition that also had the least GH support (4e).

If you want teiflings, play Planescape, if you want Dragonborn, play 4e Ebberon or whatever had them, if you want tri-keen, play Dark Sun, Giff Spelljammer, Kender Dragonlance, Saurials FR, etc. These exotic settings have received more support than GH ever has.

GH and all of its holdings, whether Saltmarsh or Homlett, will always be steeped in the 1e PHB. Attempts to shoehorn new races and classes into old settings are always controversial and it seems Hasbro finally learned their lesson meddling with FR.

1e's five fictional races (six if you count half-elves) and three books of monsters are incredibly diverse! They're just not NEW. If you want more, GH already has plenty of exotic player-character races that are much more appropriate to the setting and come directly from the pen of its creators:
*Instead of Dragonborn, use Half-dragons (Roger Moore, Dragon #206)
*Valley Elves (Roger Moore, Codex of Greyhawk)
*The Cyclopskin of Ull (Roger Moore Gen Con '96)
*Skulks, Derro, Lerra, Jermline (Roger Moore Dragon #241)
*Drow (Gygax, Unearthed Arcana)
*Deep gnomes (Gygax, UA)
*Snow elves (Dragon)
*Half orcs (GH Players Guide)
*Celestials (Warriors of Heaven)

Grugach, Rockseers, and Xvarts haven't been formatted for PC's, but they're ready to go. The races in PHBR10 aren't specifically GH, but they're mostly good fits too.

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

Post by shesheyan » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:55 pm

vestcoat wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:31 pm
Zeromaru, sounds like your objection is older editions, not lack of diversity.

Notice that Ghosts of Saltmarsh is really just a reprint with easter eggs, not a new adventure. Since the source material is a 1e Greyhawk trilogy and a bunch of random magazine adventures, and since GH is built on 1e core rules, and since its fans are the grumpiest group of grognards out there, and since Hasbro mostly peddles nostalgia, it's unreasonable to expect WotC would fill it with exotic diversity and races from later settings (Planescape's teiflings) or races from the worst-selling edition that also had the least GH support (4e).

If you want teiflings, play Planescape, if you want Dragonborn, play 4e Ebberon or whatever had them, if you want tri-keen, play Dark Sun, Giff Spelljammer, Kender Dragonlance, Saurials FR, etc. These exotic settings have received more support than GH ever has.

GH and all of its holdings, whether Saltmarsh or Homlett, will always be steeped in the 1e PHB. Attempts to shoehorn new races and classes into old settings are always controversial and it seems Hasbro finally learned their lesson meddling with FR.

1e's five fictional races (six if you count half-elves) and three books of monsters are incredibly diverse! They're just not NEW. If you want more, GH already has plenty of exotic player-character races that are much more appropriate to the setting and come directly from the pen of its creators:
*Instead of Dragonborn, use Half-dragons (Roger Moore, Dragon #206)
*Valley Elves (Roger Moore, Codex of Greyhawk)
*The Cyclopskin of Ull (Roger Moore Gen Con '96)
*Skulks, Derro, Lerra, Jermline (Roger Moore Dragon #241)
*Drow (Gygax, Unearthed Arcana)
*Deep gnomes (Gygax, UA)
*Snow elves (Dragon)
*Half orcs (GH Players Guide)
*Celestials (Warriors of Heaven)

Grugach, Rockseers, and Xvarts haven't been formatted for PC's, but they're ready to go. The races in PHBR10 aren't specifically GH, but they're mostly good fits too.
Well said. I second that! ;-)

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

Post by Zeromaru X » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:11 am

vestcoat wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:31 pm
Zeromaru, sounds like your objection is older editions, not lack of diversity.

Notice that Ghosts of Saltmarsh is really just a reprint with easter eggs, not a new adventure. Since the source material is a 1e Greyhawk trilogy and a bunch of random magazine adventures, and since GH is built on 1e core rules, and since its fans are the grumpiest group of grognards out there, and since Hasbro mostly peddles nostalgia, it's unreasonable to expect WotC would fill it with exotic diversity and races from later settings (Planescape's teiflings) or races from the worst-selling edition that also had the least GH support (4e).

If you want teiflings, play Planescape, if you want Dragonborn, play 4e Ebberon or whatever had them, if you want tri-keen, play Dark Sun, Giff Spelljammer, Kender Dragonlance, Saurials FR, etc. These exotic settings have received more support than GH ever has.

GH and all of its holdings, whether Saltmarsh or Homlett, will always be steeped in the 1e PHB. Attempts to shoehorn new races and classes into old settings are always controversial and it seems Hasbro finally learned their lesson meddling with FR.

1e's five fictional races (six if you count half-elves) and three books of monsters are incredibly diverse! They're just not NEW. If you want more, GH already has plenty of exotic player-character races that are much more appropriate to the setting and come directly from the pen of its creators:
*Instead of Dragonborn, use Half-dragons (Roger Moore, Dragon #206)
*Valley Elves (Roger Moore, Codex of Greyhawk)
*The Cyclopskin of Ull (Roger Moore Gen Con '96)
*Skulks, Derro, Lerra, Jermline (Roger Moore Dragon #241)
*Drow (Gygax, Unearthed Arcana)
*Deep gnomes (Gygax, UA)
*Snow elves (Dragon)
*Half orcs (GH Players Guide)
*Celestials (Warriors of Heaven)

Grugach, Rockseers, and Xvarts haven't been formatted for PC's, but they're ready to go. The races in PHBR10 aren't specifically GH, but they're mostly good fits too.
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.

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

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:41 am

vestcoat wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:31 pm
it's unreasonable to expect WotC would fill it with exotic diversity and races from later settings (Planescape's teiflings)
Ghosts of Saltmarsh does have a prominent tiefling NPC, though.

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