Saturday, March 12, 2011

Humanoid Poll: Gygaxian Naturalism?

After the last post (The Orcs of Gothic Greyhawk) it seemed like a good time for a new poll.  Regarding humanoids, do you use the Gygaxian Naturalism approach (as presented in the 1E Monster Manual) in your game, or do you take a whimsical approach to humanoids?

I've taken a whimsical approach - first, because I want the most important conflicts in the game to have a moral quality grounded in the "real world" that I think you can only achieve when the conflict is people vs people.

I do like the whimsy factor; Orcs are made in cauldrons by witches, and the various Goblinoids all grow on vines from pumpkins and squashes in the Fairy Otherworld, hatched by the Goblin King.

Plus, when DMing for 8 year olds - I don't want the neighbor's kids having to torch the humanoid nursery.

However, I tend to think this will be a minority approach and the idea of Gygaxian Naturalism is well ingrained; the 1E Monster Manual presents a comprehensive simulation of a fantasy setting in it's myriad details, and AD&D is still the gorilla in the room.