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[+? -? Who knows] But no, seriously, fuck Kender

Kai Tave

Registered User
Validated User
#1
Do you like Kender? Then you better stay out of this thread, because it is not for you.

Kender really were incredibly awful, weren't they? Just a poorly executed, poorly thought-out idea all around. The most annoying, clueless race in the world with a cultural talent for pissing people off, and yet somehow they were never driven into extinction because they...had childlike innocence, I guess? And maybe orcs are allergic to that? I don't know, it was never clearly explained to me how Kender managed to survive when just about any other race in the world should have had plenty of perfectly justifiable reasons to want to be rid of the thieving little bastards.

I will give them credit insofar as some of their general aesthetics and rough outline seemed to inform later editions' versions of halflings, and I'm one of those people who think that 3E and 4E halflings are nominally more interesting than the straight-up Tolkienian expys of earlier editions. But still, fuck Kender.
 

Kimera757

Registered User
Validated User
#3
I hate kender too, but this seems like forum-crapping (more than thread-crapping).

They weren't realistic. They existed in that campaign because someone liked Oliver Twist, or something. A friend of mine (who likes kender, in fact) told me that on Dark Sun, no champion would have been assigned to kill them. Ragaat would have handled that himself.
 

L. Ron Paul

AKA L. Ron Gygax
#4
I hate kender too, but this seems like forum-crapping (more than thread-crapping).

They weren't realistic. They existed in that campaign because someone liked Oliver Twist, or something. A friend of mine (who likes kender, in fact) told me that on Dark Sun, no champion would have been assigned to kill them. Ragaat would have handled that himself.
I feel like if there's anything that's going to unite the D&D/D20 fourms posters, it's a good old fashioned Kender-shaming.

edit- to be clear, that's realtalk right there.
 

ezekiel

Follower of the Way
Validated User
#8
I find Kender a fascinating thing, mostly because it illustrates how poorly most people handle trying to process radically different cultural ideologies. Specifically, the way I understand it, very, very, very few people played Kender as they were described, even though I'm certain almost all of them thought they were playing them properly.

The problem is in the idea that Kender have no exact equivalent to our concept of property. Rather, the problem is that, apparently, nobody plays Kender as if they ACTUALLY lack an understanding of the concept of individual property. The way people actually play Kender is that they have a very keen understanding of other people's property, and want to possess it, sell it, or do something dickish with it. If Kender actually lacked the concept of property, they would actually very rarely take anything from anyone--unless they needed something, or were extremely curious about something.

To quote myself from a prior thread on the same subject:
However, something that always struck me about the Kender is that every horror story I've heard about them seems to revolve around the players completely misunderstanding the 'no concept of property' idea. The problem, for me, is that instead of having NO concept, most horror-story Kender players play characters with a keenly developed sense of property: everyone else has it, and I want it, particularly the shiniest and most valuable bits! Oh, and conveniently, said Kender character only 'finds' stuff when the owners of said stuff aren't looking.

A character that really lacked a concept of property would also lack the concept of "people care if I dig through their stuff while they're watching" and "I want the stuff other people have." They would be more likely--hell, apt even!--to just waltz over to a fellow party member's pack during camp set-up and start rifling through it, with silly commentary the whole way. They wouldn't KEEP much of anything--especially if they thought a person might have use for something, because not understanding property has nothing to do with not understanding utility--and would in all likelihood be very sharing, potentially to the point of annoyance. Like, constantly on the watch for stuff they think other people need, and trying to meet those needs (often in the most failing of ways).

The only outright "theft" type stuff I can think of that Kender would be likely to do on any kind of regular basis would be to take/consume/use stuff that "belongs" to someone else. Like how my father has managed to eat food I bought for myself, even when I wrote my name and "DO NOT EAT" on the outside IN SHARPIE. (True story. He claims he thought it meant I was not supposed to eat it--stated absolutely seriously, to an incredulous son [me] and wife.) Sandwich left half-eaten? Gone. Freshly fletched arrows laid neatly in a quiver? Archery practice time, whee! Spellbook and inks left unattended? "LOOK AT ALL THE PICTURES I COLORED, MR. WIZARDLY PERSON! I TRIED TO STAY WITHIN THE LINES BUT A QUILL ISN'T THE BEST FOR COLORING IN PICTURES."

Anyone who plays an actually thieving Kender, one who steals things when other people aren't looking and then sells/uses them for personal gain? Doesn't have a damn clue what they're doing, and should be backhanded rebuked by their GM.
However, even if properly played, it seems pretty obvious to me that Kender generally won't work too well in a campaign. The above antics would get pretty old after a while, and you'd expect that someone with a brain would eventually "learn" the concept of property, even if only in a purely-functional, "Oooookay, if I touch certain things, people get really angry, and I don't want them to be angry." kind of way.
 
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