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

L. Ron Paul

AKA L. Ron Gygax
I wonder what other races could have been made that, in effect, sanction some other awful forms of player-performance stereotypes?

LoneWerewolves: a race of hyper-laconic wolf men that are genetically forced to stay away from groups of 4-5 people. Cultural garb tends to focus on head-gear that ensures nobody can see emotional reactions or their "spooky eyes".

L. Ron Paul

AKA L. Ron Gygax
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.
Your dad owns and is possibly Bill Cosby.

Kai Tave

Registered User
Validated User
I hate kender too, but this seems like forum-crapping (more than thread-crapping).
Any forum where I can't express my dislike for Kender is no forum I want to have a part of. I'll turn in my modatar before I let things come to that.

The thing, I think, that grates the most about Kender is that they come across as so aggressively twee. Oh, he was just playing a practical joke! Oh, he just doesn't understand basic concepts of personal property! He's like a child!

And the thing is, a lot of what makes Kender kind of stupid could easily be repurposed and made to be less stupid. Like the whole "doesn't get personal property" thing doesn't make a lot of sense when we're dealing with what are basically slightly funny-looking humans. I mean, okay, I guess on the surface it's not any inherently stupider than any other crazy cultural conceit that we're expected to swallow with the rubber-forehead-alien-of-the-week or whatever, but coming from what are basically a bunch of people in a world with plenty of other people who do "get" the idea of personal property and why you don't just take shit without permission, it becomes kind of difficult to imagine that a certain amount of cultural osmosis hasn't taken place.

But let's say you gave that trait to something more alien like, I dunno, shardminds. Yeah yeah, stop laughing, I know everyone's all like "Woo, I'm made of rocks!" but seriously...you were just chillin' somewhere being part of some grand cosmic gate holding the corrosive forces of unmitigated chaos at bay when suddenly WHAM, shit gets real and now you're stuck dirtside and you're still having to come to terms with this "individualism" shit, what the hell is that all about, and now you're "questing," whatever that's supposed to be, with a bunch of beings made out of meat (meat! Can you believe the shit they get up to down here?) in order to maybe find a way to fix things so you can go back to being a perfect psionic gestalt with your brothers/sisters/selves.

So you are used to perfect harmony and unity of purpose, all thoughts, all wills working in concert towards your goal, only now you don't have that anymore and you're stuck working with discrete intelligences for the first time ever but you're still all working towards a common goal, right? Which means that things like "her" sword and "my" spellbook, no, there are the tools we have accomplish the goal, that's how this works. You have no idea why the meat-beings get so bent out of shape (another phrase you really don't understand because you've actually bent some other meat-beings out of shape before and they get way more upset over that happening to them) when you utilize their/your resources to accomplish Our goal.

So alien crystal intelligences from what may or may not be space that don't understand personal property? Okay, I can run with that. Kitschy, cutesy halfling-alikes that don't understand personal property? No.

Thane of Fife

Registered User
Validated User
The secret origin of Kender:
The Real Kender Creation

by Stuart Gibson

I was reading your page on the creation of the race kender when I remembered a First Quest section in Dragon 214, the article, by Harold Johnson had information about the creation of Kender you might be interested in, you may have already read it somewhere, I don't know...

Harold Johnson wrote in the First Quest section in Dragon 214: "My hero Almar Tann, a wandering halfling thief was created to playtest the Desert of Desolation module series in a campaign run by Tracy Hickman. Almar was a clever little fellow with a heart of a true hero and more pluck than men twice his size. Other that having a knack for getting into trouble due to his curiosity and willingness to take risk, and making the rest of the party deal with it, Al's tenacity and luck helped the party to emerge victorious in the end and win a limited wish. Almar wished for a coin case that would always refill with nine gold coins in it once it was emptied. This seemed practical and not too greedy at the time. Tracy was very agreeable. Little did I suspect that Tracy was about to whisk Al and the others off to the developing world of DRAGONLANCE Saga and the first adventure, Dragons of Darkness. Gold has no value on Krynn.

Almar left his mark on the world when he discovered a lone pillar standing in the middle of a room. He climbed the pillar to the top and found nothing there. I told Tracy that it didn't make any sense to have a pillar just sitting in the middle of the room with nothing on top. Tracy said it wasn't important to the adventure. So Al opened up his coin purse and left a stack of coins for the next adventurer to discover.

Almar went on to discover many new things in the ruins of Xak Tsaroth, until we decided that halflings had no place in this new world, especially since Almar also had a ring of invisibility; it all sounded too much like another story. So Almar went wandering off into the barbarian plains of Abanasinia and was never seen again.

It was up to me to create a replacement, so I found my God of Krynn hat and fashioned the incorrigible kender, that childlike race that refuses to grow up, and the first kender representative, Tasslehoff Burrfoot.

Now anyone who has ever played a kender, had the misfortune to bump into a kender, or ever heard of kender has swiftly discovered there is no more aggravating, though brave and clever, race of creature in the multiverse. Let's see somebody top that for annoying!"
Taken from the Kencyclopeda: Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Kender.


Cheesey Goodness
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Kender are one of the big dividing lines, I think. They are hated or beloved, with virtually no one going 'meh'. The notion of a race with both A) no concept of property and B) no concept of fear, should, by all rights, lead to a very dead race, or at least a shunned one.

But they're just so damn *cute*....

Sage Genesis

RPGnet Member
Validated User
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.
The problem I have with that is that kender can't maintain this "no sense of property" for very long. All that needs to happen is for a human to say to them, don't pick up anything I wear on my person or store in that house I live in. Because if you do we'll cut off a finger. The kender may never understand why things work this way, but after the the first pinkie he'll understand the need to abide by that rule just the same. Kender cannot maintain their silly behavior when they come in contact with other species/cultures.

Oh hey, found an instructive and incredibly scientific essay on kender I whipped up years ago. (trigger warning: rude words)
Oh that was you? Because I've seen it around from time to time and I do like it a lot. :)


My casual life begins.
I'm half-scared to continue for fear Kai Tave decides it's worth losing his mod powers to ban me anyway, or an admin pops in and is anti-Kender enough to allow it.

In reality Kai Tave is three Kender in a giant coat standing on shoulders and clicking reply buttons.
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