Do you want mongrelmen? Because that's how you get mongrelmen! Yes, yes I do want mongrelmen. In my one campaign the parties dwarf fighter started to fall for the proprietor of the local brewery. Who was a halfling. It made for some real fun roleplaying when he brought her back to the clan to announce their wedding.
I also decided that hafling and dwarf romance isn't exactly rare. Both races put a premium on family, commerce, fine goods, and know how to party down hard. Dwarflings would reign supreme. Which of course inevitability lead to her giving birth to dwarfling triplets in a scene reminiscent of Dalmatians.
It also eventually came up that tieflings due to their infernal heritage can pretty much mate with anything humanoid, but that the children always end up pure tiefling.
In one, humans are what happens when an orc and an elf love each other very much. Most of the time though, elves don't mix with other races, and something else takes the half-elf mechanics. Except for elves and gnolls, humans, and most demihumans and humanoids are compatible, but I don't worry about dozens of half-races - all offspring choose which parent they take after mechanically.
In one campaign I never got around to running, I planned a plot point where two couple - an elf and a goblin filling the Halfling niche in that world and a minotaur and a fire giant - would with divine aid become the parents of the reincarnations of Bes and Hathor http: It was something to do with some war they fought where they took to using Deepspawn-produced clones to rebolster their population, which led to severe genetic degredation.
I'm honestly not sure which direction I prefer. On the one hand, especially if it's a genuine player-derived thing, I don't necessarily see a problem with kids resulting. On the other, I've had one or maybe two ideas about how things could be done very interestingly, if there definitely can't be such things. One of the big issues of modern life has been the development of readily-available contraceptives.
How would a society develop, if it were considered normal to seek out a person of the "wrong" species for one's The real world, in most feudal societies, already had stuff like concubines, polygamy, even sometimes official mistresses.
Isn't it possible, then, that having an "official mistress" or If so, this could lead to entire cultural concepts that simply don't exist in our world, but which would still make sense to us, which I think is brilliant.
I can't get the image out of my head of an Arabian Nights-flavored brothel, where dapper dragonborn and human swains and wenches clad in flowing, almost-revealing silks attend to the gustatory, intellectual, and intimate "needs" of rich clientele.
The "or maybe two" earlier just refers to an idea I'd floated a while back in DMH's thread, that humans and dragons are the only species with the true elemental "spark of life" that allows sexual reproduction, and that dragonborn can't mix with other races because they're the only race with two different, commingled sparks.
All other sentient species are either artificially created by rituals from particular physical materials e. Eunuchs, including using eunuchs for sex, is definitely not "an unheard of cultural concept" in our world: Rachel Cartacos , Even the typically non-pc races like orcs and goblins don't really count as xeno.
Hit up an Earth Elemental then we'll talk, and when it comes to that kind of thing I follow the Jark Harkness school of thought, if it meaningfully consents and is capable of communicating that with you, go for it. Just don't come crying to me if you hurt yourself, which you probably will trying to have sex with what is basically a walking mass of rocks.
I mean, sex is one thing but when one member of a pairing is oviparous that's a major obstacle. Unka Josh , I am firmly of the view that any two sapient creatures might well fall in love, or maybe just lust, and they can find ways to get busy, one way or another. Just looking at real-world human behavior proves this.
The Human Target , Also, Deepspawn are just the best. The Wyzard , There are some problems that even Oil of Slipperiness can't solve. And half-draconic dwarven children with reddish scaly skin. Given that one of the PCs already grumbled about "multiculturalism" upon seeing one halfling and one half-orc at the village, that should be fun DMH , But as I was reading one one on mutations , Field did have a good point- centaurs are the result of an act that is consider abomination by most societies.
But that feeling fades when more centaurs prove their worth to society as a whole. As for spectrum genetics, there are many good examples in the real world. The first that comes to mind is the black and brown bullheads in Lake Ontario. Those on the western end are mostly black and those on the eastern are mostly brown. Turns out the hybrids are better survivors than either parent species.
I think both of those ideas could be used for the offspring of interspecies liasons. NSFW, but incredibly detailed and interesting setting, including actually interesting flaws in its sometimes utopia-sounding universe But then I am a dirty weaboo at heart.
Stout halflings are openly reputed to have dwarvish ancestry, whilst the now-forgotten Tallfellow halflings were implied to have similar lineage connections to elves.
Krynn is full of half-human hybrids, to the point that its 3. Heck, Races of Destiny even gave a possible myth for humanity's origin in that they are the divinely "assisted" blending of halfling, dwarf and elf long story short, it involves a beautiful but greedy and selfish halfling woman and her two somewhat reluctant husbands; one dwarf, one elf.
Anyway, what I'm getting at is this: Have you known players who tried courting outside their racial boundaries, or encountered NPCs who either had "attracted to a species not their own" as a quirk or were outright in an interspecies relationship? And, in your opinion, where do the borders lie?
What forms of interspecies romance simply cannot exist, and why? Where is that nebulous point where its existence as a background element becomes the sign of a "magical realm"? On a related topic, do you place any restrictions on interspecies breeding between humanoids?
If yes, what are those restrictions, and why? I linked the thread. Frankly, I don't spend a lot of time on it because to me the proliferation of half-races resembles a series of Piers Anthony books which are a plot loosely connected to many bad puns. Also, I don't like the mechanics of how 3. Mostly it is the humans going after the elves and the randy PCs going after anything in the PC race catalogue in games I have run.
The PC who was a dragon born into human form and cursed well technically he was a human but the PC took the delusions and other flaws and ran with them until his character literally became a dragon considered human mating to be filthy. How much fantasy and how fantastic interspecies romance can be is limited by the imagination of the setting and the players in the setting. I'd find any game that doesn't assume that interspecies romances exist to be implausible.
As for where to draw the line, I'd say that as long as the members of a given romantic relationship are sentient that things are fine. A human and a lizardfolk or a kelpie or a truly sentient AI or whatever falling in love, while perhaps unusual, doesn't seem all that strange.
The heart wants what the heart wants and all. How that love is expressed may be a whole other matter--physical affection towards something with a radically different physiology, for example--but love is love.
Interspecies breeding, on the other hand, certainly should be restricted. In our world, only closely related species can breed with each other, and even then fertile offspring is far from a given. Even with magic, I'd say that some sort of genetic realism should apply.
Of even the allowed hybrids, I wouldn't expect that all would be fertile. As for game mechanics, I'd just require the child of two different races to pick the statistics of one parent or the other unless there's an easily found rule for the child e. You know, I've always thought that the Monster Musume setting was incredibly gameable. Back on topic, yeah, interspecies stuff is definitely a thing that happens, especially in settings where there's been multiple races in long-term peaceful ish contact with each other.
Unless there's some outside force keeping them apart - and even then, that would only reduce the amount of it going on Actually producing offspring, I can go either way on, but relationships between members of intelligent species will happen, I have absolutely no doubt. EDIT I did see a pyromancer mage in Encounters who was sexually attracted to fire, played for laughs once a week for about 2 months.
I mean, I get you can use the rules to play grittier low-fantasy games ala Game of Thrones, Conan, etc, but the default assumption of the world is one in which you have giant insects biologically impossible , there are multiple different species who violate the Square Cube Law to death, Remorhazes survive in arctic climates by having blood that is literally heated to boiling point inside their veins without cooking themselves to death in the process, carnivorous gelatinous organisms in multiple forms are slurping around the place, humanoid entities can live for centuries without visibly aging, and there are beings can literally stick their hands in fire without needing to worry about it.
Anything approaching Earth's biological laws is clearly out the window at this point. And that's before you take magic into account. Wish, for example, is literally rewriting the universe on some level. I rather like Exalted's take on this - dissimilar creatures cannot interbreed because the laws of Creation do not allow it.
However, the laws of Creation are themselves a construct superimposed on the rolling Chaos of the Wyld. Sorcerers can circumvent these laws with magic, and of course in the regions where Creation gradually dissolves into the Wyld anything can interbreed with anything.
I can't speak for your games, of course, but for me a grounding in reality is necessary for fantasy to work. If we aren't concerning ourselves with reality at all, why have humans as an existing race in the world, or worlds that have familiar features such as skies or oceans or land, or physics-based assumptions such as that jumping off of a high tower is likely to result in falling? Fantasy doesn't make much sense if it's too disconnected from reality, and I have a hard time caring about a story if I can't wrap my head around it in the first place.
There's certainly a valid point to be made for the unrealism of fantasy staples such as huge dragons being able to fly, much less breathe fire, or magic being a real force in the world. But these are things that don't exist in the real world, and thus have no real-world examples to draw upon. Saying that they work by magic is fine, but I think that things that exist in both the real and the fantasy world benefit from adhering to real-world forms.
I can say that the campfire that the adventurers are huddled around isn't chemically burning the carbon in the wood with oxygen into carbon dioxide but is really a tiny portion of the sun-dragon's inner radiance summoned by the magic of striking spark-rock to sword-metal, but why? I could come up with answers to these questions, and they could be interesting to explore, but having everything require a non-real-world-based explanation would be exhausting, both for a GM to come up with and for players to understand.
Genetics and biology as we know them in the real world is one of these areas that I choose to adhere to. There's no doubt on how cross-species breeding works, both for non-human species and historically for human species Neanderthals, Denisovans, etc.
I'm willing to stretch the real world rules with "a wizard did it" on occasion, but I see no benefit in throwing it all out the window just because I can.