Playing Monstrous Characters

I don't get to play D&D as much as I'd like to, so its a good thing that I enjoy running, but when I do sit on the other side of the screen I play a lot of monstrous races. While the other players are rolling humans, shifters, gnomes, and devas, I'm trying to find ways to shoehorn a minotaur or gnoll into the plot. I think its probably due to the fact that I've been gaming for a long time, about 15 or so years, and maybe I've gotten tired of playing humans and elves and the like. Heh, just kidding. I've never played and elf and hadn't even seriously considered it until recently.

In your typical D&D setting most of these races are the bad guys. This usually means that if no one in the party is aware of each other when the adventure starts, you gotta do that cliche social role-play part where people distrust you, you talk back and forth for a bit, and then they grudgingly allow you to do your adventuring bit until you earn their trust. I hate that part because first of all, it is a cliche. Everyone knows its another player. All you're doing is making everyone wait while you rummage through dialogue until someone says something halfway plausible to get the game moving (which would be the second thing I hate about it). Actually, makes me glad that monsters generally aren't trained in a lot of skills...

Frankly, I prefer having that part inherent to the character background in addition to already knowing one or more of the party members for some extra insurance. Really that's the best advice I can give for anyone playing a monstrous race: build up a background where the character has already dealt with the locals and gotten on their good side. It also can't hurt to know someone influential in addition to one-or-more party members. While it might not matter in the next town over, at least at the start you can keep the ball rolling. Maybe your exploits and achievements will reach the other town before you do?

I'm not a bad player. If the DM explains that in his or her campaign setting that the monsters are Evil-aligned treasure-hoarding experience parsels that live in dungeons, I've got reserves. Tieflings do the trick just fine, and I've been known to play a human or two. However, this is one of the reasons I like Eberron so much. Its incredibly easy and consistent with the setting to roll up a monstrous character, because there's an entire nation of monsters milling about Droaam. Well, two nations if you count all the goblinoids in Darguun, and that's not counting all the orcs mucking around in the Shadow Marches. 

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