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seanie4199

Hate Ratlings?

110 posts in this topic

Alekzanter said:

Kender: annoying, overly locquacious, compulsively thieving, inattentive, and too inquisitive for their own (or anybody else's) good. Dragonlance's version of Halflings. HATE them. The universal monkey wrench that losens the bolts (and the pacing) on every single adventure the GM conceives. Want a PC wandering off by him/herself for hours upon hours of gaming time? Go for it. Otherwise, genecide is the best answer. Killed, every last one of them, by angry Minotaurs.

Years ago, while still running AD&D games, I murdered every Halfling, Hobbit, and Kender (and Gnomes, too…useless fecks). They simply did not exist. Never did, as far as I was concerned. Short, fat, always bitching about being hungry, or always eating, snooping, wandering off, stealing from the other party members ("Oh now, bother. Where did my sword +3 versus Lycanthropes get off to? Sure would be helpful about now…"), always getting into trouble and expecting others to help them out of it. Good for nothing but offering the constant question "Can I get a backstab in?" That is NOT comic relief. That is a GM's worst effing nightmare. And "Ratlings"? What the hell kind of nomenclature is that? Dwarfs became Squats, Halflings become Ratlings? More than anything, as Ratlings are concerned, it is their racial name that most bothers me.

Most (and I emphasize most, not all) people play Hobbits, Halflings, Kender, and Ratlings as if they were familial off-shoots of Pippin and Merry, there is no originality, it's boring to see, hear, and deal with, and I'll not have a game devolve into a completely unenjoyable morass because of them. My worst nightmare would be a duo of players that wanted to do the Master-Blaster Halfling/Ogryn routine. Nope. Not gonna have it.

Now, if someone wanted to play a Human IG specialist referred to as a Ratling, that would be a different story. You're playing a Ratling, it's just Human, and not an annoying little, fuzzy-footed, thieving, rolly-polly bellied munchkin shitestick.  

 

I have to kinda agree until I saw the Dark Sun Halfling…Halfling.jpg

they were different, or worse yes they were hungry but they might eat u :D

and in my current group we have 3.5D&D game with a Halfing Monk who is going to try for the Drunken Master..  Currently hanging around with my Dwarf Barbarian going to Battlerager.  Man the drunking adventures we have had!!

 

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Alekzanter said:

Kender: annoying, overly locquacious, compulsively thieving, inattentive, and too inquisitive for their own (or anybody else's) good. Dragonlance's version of Halflings. HATE them. The universal monkey wrench that losens the bolts (and the pacing) on every single adventure the GM conceives. Want a PC wandering off by him/herself for hours upon hours of gaming time? Go for it. Otherwise, genecide is the best answer. Killed, every last one of them, by angry Minotaurs.

Years ago, while still running AD&D games, I murdered every Halfling, Hobbit, and Kender (and Gnomes, too…useless fecks). They simply did not exist. Never did, as far as I was concerned. Short, fat, always bitching about being hungry, or always eating, snooping, wandering off, stealing from the other party members ("Oh now, bother. Where did my sword +3 versus Lycanthropes get off to? Sure would be helpful about now…"), always getting into trouble and expecting others to help them out of it. Good for nothing but offering the constant question "Can I get a backstab in?" That is NOT comic relief. That is a GM's worst effing nightmare. And "Ratlings"? What the hell kind of nomenclature is that? Dwarfs became Squats, Halflings become Ratlings? More than anything, as Ratlings are concerned, it is their racial name that most bothers me.

Most (and I emphasize most, not all) people play Hobbits, Halflings, Kender, and Ratlings as if they were familial off-shoots of Pippin and Merry, there is no originality, it's boring to see, hear, and deal with, and I'll not have a game devolve into a completely unenjoyable morass because of them. My worst nightmare would be a duo of players that wanted to do the Master-Blaster Halfling/Ogryn routine. Nope. Not gonna have it.

Now, if someone wanted to play a Human IG specialist referred to as a Ratling, that would be a different story. You're playing a Ratling, it's just Human, and not an annoying little, fuzzy-footed, thieving, rolly-polly bellied munchkin shitestick.  

 

Haha!  Well said.

That's pretty much how I feel about them.  I've never liked any incarnation of halflings but the ratlings seem to be a particularly uninspired port.  Almost all the other demi-human and common fantasy tropes which made their way into 40k were implemented in a more thoughtful and imaginative fashion.  The ratlings are very little more than halflings in space . . . with sniper rifles.

The only ratlings the pcs have enountered in my camapign have been dead ones.  I plan to keep it that way.

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srMontresor said:

 The ratlings are very little more than halflings in space . . . with sniper rifles.

The only ratlings the pcs have enountered in my camapign have been dead ones.  I plan to keep it that way.

I've never previously seen incarnations of halflings where the entire race is prone to kleptomania and other lawbreaking, are pretty much universally acknowledged to be criminal scum and not to be dealt with due to generally being undesirable, but are accepted due to being expert marksmen.

Care to indicate any previous usages of that particular style of halfling? Because from what I've read of Kender and DnD halflings, that's mostly nothing alike, other than halflings being good cooks too.

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MILLANDSON said:

srMontresor said:

 

 The ratlings are very little more than halflings in space . . . with sniper rifles.

The only ratlings the pcs have enountered in my camapign have been dead ones.  I plan to keep it that way.

 

 

I've never previously seen incarnations of halflings where the entire race is prone to kleptomania and other lawbreaking, are pretty much universally acknowledged to be criminal scum and not to be dealt with due to generally being undesirable, but are accepted due to being expert marksmen.

Care to indicate any previous usages of that particular style of halfling? Because from what I've read of Kender and DnD halflings, that's mostly nothing alike, other than halflings being good cooks too.

Indeed!
I find that people who hate halflings or kender or ratlings etc hate them because of past experiences in roleplaying games. And those experiences were negative for them not because of the diminutive chap involved, but because of asshat players who would rather act up, get their own way and ruin campaigns…. but hey! Those players will be that way regardless of what they play as, so don't go hating on the stunty ones - hate on the bad team players!

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Bilbo was hired to be a thief. Not a marksman, not a cook, not a light-hearted and jaunty companion. A thief. Mold: cast.
Merry and Pippin were self-centered, self-absorbed whiners who were worried only about from where and when their next meal might come. I don't give a **** about how their characters matured throughout the stories; first impressions literally made reading Fellowship the most unremarkable experience in my reading career, and I will say with all honesty that I haven't finished it, not will I ever attempt to read it again. These images and behaviors have saturated the Halfling, and everyone I've ever known to play a Halfling plays them this way. I aggree that the Halfing (and its various offshoots) have a stigma attached to them, but its a self-fulfilling stigma, and I must strongly disagree with the statement that a Player will play any PC in this way. Never have I seen someone go from playing a coniving, thieving, greasy-mouthed Halfling to a coniving, thieving, greasy-mouthed Dwarf.

I played a Halfling many, many years ago (definitely not my first choice of character) in a local Con event, and the GM took me aside afterward and told me he was astounded with my RP of the pregen character. I was a Fighter/Thief, I was the stalwart leader of the party, I took risks to save lives, solved riddles, and was quite heroic. I never sat there thinking "I'll backstab it" or "I sure could use a muffin about now" during the entire combat encounter. I didn't cook anybody's food, I didn't steal from other party members (or anyone else, for that matter), and I didn't run off looking for loot on my own. Maybe it's because I hated them so much that I was determined to make them different, break the mold.
And of course, those who hate Halflings hate them because of previous RP experiences. It's not because we're racist; we haven't met any in real life that have rubbed us the wrong way, stolen our stuff, made us sit around wondering where the eff they are, and generally sowing tension and mistrust everywhere we go.

Back in the day, WFB Empire halflings used short bows, and huge slingshots to lob large kettles full of boiling stew at the enemy. And they fought side-by-side with big, dumb, brutish Ogres. The models were sculpted as tubby-gutted midgets with cooked chicken legs hanging from their belts. Mold: used.

"Hi! I'm a Kender! We're awesome, 'cause we like maps and misappropriating other people's stuff! Gotta go now! Wanderlust gives me the attention span of a goldfish! Oooh, look! A dragon! Ima say hi…" So annoying. Maybe (and I say maybe) they were good for a laugh in the novels, or being a broken-hearted crybaby for the human nature of a tragic plot device, but not so much in RP. But, new-old mold: cast.

Dennis McKiernan (author of 'The Iron Tower' trilogy, 'Eye of the Hunter', 'Dragondoom', etc) hated Halflings (and their kind) so much that he envisioned an entirely new race of humanoid to replace them; Warrows. Essentially, they were smaller versions of elves, but with distinct differences and traits. They weren't thieves. They weren't chow time cooks. Some were good with bows or slings, others with small swords. They stood toe-to-toe with Rock Trolls without bawling for someone to save their ases. They were honest, hard-working, heroic, staunch and loyal, intelligent, and gregarious, not social misanthropes.

In 'Band of Brothers', Malarkey did a lot of the cooking, he was a friendly guy, talkative, joking, good with a rifle. He wasn't annoying, running off on his own, constantly chomping on some bit of food-cud, or stealing from his buddies. Malarkey was a Ratling. So, like I said, if someone wants to play a Ratling in an OW game I run, it'll be a Human referred to as a Ratling. Ratling will be a Specialist "slang" word with prestigeous conotations. Not a disparaging term for a short, rotund, nappy-footed, deadeye shot who's a compulsive eater/pickpocket.

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Kasatka said:

MILLANDSON said:

I've never previously seen incarnations of halflings where the entire race is prone to kleptomania and other lawbreaking, are pretty much universally acknowledged to be criminal scum and not to be dealt with due to generally being undesirable, but are accepted due to being expert marksmen.

Care to indicate any previous usages of that particular style of halfling? Because from what I've read of Kender and DnD halflings, that's mostly nothing alike, other than halflings being good cooks too.

 

 

Indeed!
I find that people who hate halflings or kender or ratlings etc hate them because of past experiences in roleplaying games. And those experiences were negative for them not because of the diminutive chap involved, but because of asshat players who would rather act up, get their own way and ruin campaigns…. but hey! Those players will be that way regardless of what they play as, so don't go hating on the stunty ones - hate on the bad team players!

 

I think Alekzander replied well enough for me.  Thieving, rogueish halflings have been a fantasy cliche since shortly after Tolkien.  The fact that an 'entire race' is given over to it only makes Ratlings less interesting in my book (though in truth, I have not read fluff that states this, or at least I don't recall it).  My main problem with demi-humans in fantasy is that they all seem to get defined by a handful of things, as if they were all alike.  People do tend to play them that way, as Kasatka rightly points out, though I have seen interesting digressions.  Indeed, two of my favourite character concepts which I never actually got around to playing were demi-humans who completely subverted the type.

 

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srMontresor said:

Indeed, two of my favourite character concepts which I never actually got around to playing were demi-humans who completely subverted the type.

Then do that! There's nothing forcing you to make a sociable ratling - one of my players made a grouchy, easily irritated ratling, who tended to keep to himself, after having seen much of his last regiment having been killed, and used to tell the normal human characters to quieten down (humans having larger chest cavities being naturally louder than the smaller ratlings), and that him being stuck with loud, clumsy 'norms' would get him killed before he could do his job (scouting and sniping). He was also a full on professional, disliking the stereotype that ratlings were all thieves, and stuck to doing his job, rather than being a black marketeer.

Amusingly, against the trope, he was actually the favoured soldier of the Commissar, since he was straight talking and followed orders, unlike the others.

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In spite of my 'only good ratling is a dead ratling', I treat my intense dislike of them rather jovially.  If someone wanted to play one in my campaign, and they had a good concept which seemed like more than a silly cliche, I would absolutely let them.  I can't deny that I wouldn't smile when the dice robbed them of their Fate Points however . . .

As NPCs, I am very unlikely to ever have them show up.  There are certainly none in the Regiment, that's for sure.

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Plushy said:

Bagh. Here's hoping we get Squats and/or Beastmen.

 

Then we'll have people claiming Squats haul all the beard and facial hair in the Guard, and "why can't I have a weapon specialist with a manawesome beard too?"

But since FFg follows the TT version of the races a bit more faithfully than what they think, I do not beleive Squats will be in the future.

 

They *may* be in Hammer of the Emperor, but that will be something that,ll surprise me greatly (and satisfy me as well, if only for colourful scenes they can be made)

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Braddoc said:

 

Plushy said:

 

Bagh. Here's hoping we get Squats and/or Beastmen.

 

 

 

Then we'll have people claiming Squats haul all the beard and facial hair in the Guard, and "why can't I have a weapon specialist with a manawesome beard too?"

 

 

 

That all depends on whether the Squat's comrade gets a Groom Beard action.

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Squats simply will not appear in the books as anything playable - they are no longer supported as existing by GW and FFG has to get everything it publishes approved by GW lawyer type guys. Subtle references to the imperial guard fielding abhuman regiments in the past might be mentioned but don't expect stats and expansive fluff.

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Braddoc said:

Plushy said:

 

Bagh. Here's hoping we get Squats and/or Beastmen.

 

 

 

Then we'll have people claiming Squats haul all the beard and facial hair in the Guard, and "why can't I have a weapon specialist with a manawesome beard too?"

But since FFg follows the TT version of the races a bit more faithfully than what they think, I do not beleive Squats will be in the future.

 

They *may* be in Hammer of the Emperor, but that will be something that,ll surprise me greatly (and satisfy me as well, if only for colourful scenes they can be made)

And there won't be Beastmen, considering the fluff in the 6th ed rulebook that they are explicitly restricted from being part of the tithe, and have pretty much zero rights.

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I have litterally never seen a player play a steryotypical halfling/hobit/ratling, so I dont have that same predudice. I know it kind of irritates me every time someone plays a stereotypical anything though. The ratling I am playing right now was raised by a priest, a la quasimodo. He is quite devout, and can searmonize better than some priests. Using his fellowship and social affinities the social skills and talents are quite cheap, and I often act as the faceman for the group. Roleplaying overcoming the prejudice that normal humans have for abhumans has made it even more interesting to play this way. In combat the character uses a long las, and when things get close and dirty he employs his trade (cook) skill by using the flamer he looted off of a fallen enemy.

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The Forgemasters from the Laith Worlds Dark Heresy Suppliment are for all intents and purposes Squats, short muscly technology minded dwarfs (wih hammers!). So Fantasy Flight has already done squats!

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Seeing how most people's rub with Ratlings is that bad roleplayers play them very cliche and uninterestingly, then the solution is less 'kill the most annoying cliches' and more 'find a better group.'

I've played with a few bad groups before, generally tollerable outside of a single individual who actively did annoying and suicidal things while the DM wasn't experienced enough to adapt or kick them out before they wrecked the game. However, the group I've been playing with for the past year or so actually understands that, in pen and paper, the story they create comes first. There's no actions of, "I charge Kobold 4 and attack him with my bastard sword. Roll to hit," nor are there any character archetypes that are played straight or wildly subverted, which makes our games both interesting and free of special snowflakes.

In short, it might be more prudent to examine whether it's the race associated with a stereotype that you don't like, or the players who play that stereotype to a T that you dislike.

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Kasatka said:

Squats simply will not appear in the books as anything playable - they are no longer supported as existing by GW and FFG has to get everything it publishes approved by GW lawyer type guys. Subtle references to the imperial guard fielding abhuman regiments in the past might be mentioned but don't expect stats and expansive fluff.

Huh I heard they might be coming back in the next ed of the Table Top game (Would make sense since people still recall them foundly.) Anywho onto Ratlings, basically I am pretty cool with em as well as the Ogryn, they got there place in the game and have a few good hooks to em. Real problem is the Players, in my group we have a off an on again player who generally goes for Gnomes if that option is present. Now banning gnomes would not stop her for one simple reason….she knows the system and its break points, it does not matter what system it is she KNOWS IT BETTER THEN YOU. One of the many reasons we still let her play is that Despite being able to make the rules sit up, roll over, and beg, and despite generally being goofy and light hearted, she is a **** FINE role player, she places the groups fun ahead of her own, she is effective during play (if a little loopy in her thinking.) and, this is the important bit she made things FUN! So don't hate the charater race, hate the player.

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The ratling in our party, doesn't like sniping, he's from a feral world and is a skilful hunter. He ambushes orks with his bolas and great weapon and ironically is better at killing orks than anyone else in our party (think an uber ewok and you wouldn't be far off). He uses mantraps too, and on occasion disguises as a gretchin to infiltrate ork encampments. Using deceive to lure them into traps and ambushes. He also has an obsession with collecting the ears of every greenskin he kills. The first time he snared an ork with a mantrap, he dropped from a tree and decapitated it in one blow our party was amazed (snares make targets helpless, helpless targets are hit automatically and you roll damage twice and add it together so 4d10+ with a great weapon). He's been a real asset to the party with his perception and survival skills, as well as cunningly using deceive to get the upper hand. When your 3ft tall you never fight fair. He's about as grim dark as you can get.

So I really think it comes down to your group of players.

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Flail-Bot said:

I just looked at the Snare rule and oh. my. glob. I want bolas. All the bolas.

Mantraps imobalise targets too, and has almost the same rule as snare word for word, with the exception that it mentions imobalised but not helpess, however the intent is clear considering that the mantrap rules are effectivelly snare(1). Bolas, and mantraps are what make the survival skill even more amazing than it already is. You can forage for food, wrangle animals, make shelter, track pray, and make low tech weapons and gear… So 1d5 hours to make a mantrap, another 1d5 hours to make a bolas, another 1d5 hours to make a great weapon and your a certified ork hunter.

The ratling in our squad likes to sneaks up on orks his axe in his left hand and his bolas in the right, throws the bolas point blank, snares the ork and then grips his axe in two hands (great weapon) and makes heads roll. Three foot of pure killing machine. :)

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An excerpt from my House Rules for Only War:

"I despise Halflings and Hobbits. Same goes for Nelwin. Always have. To be clear, however, I have no problem with Dwarfism or Primordial Dwarfism. However, in 40K, Ratlings are just Hobbits in space, and I despise them, too. Call me a racist, but when it comes to this particular ab-Human my hackles come up.

First, the designation of "Ratling" is both their racial name and their Specialty; that is racist. Second, but more to the point, "Ratling" is now an affectionate Imperial Guard colloquialism that means "Squad-Dedicated Recon", or SDR.

Nobody will be calling anybody a "peck", and there will be no Master-Blaster.
All SDR are Human."

I can't say I'm entirely opposed to the idea of allowing someone to play a (legitimate) Ratling, but it is my game, and I much prefer to not.

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srMontresor said:

Braddoc said:

 

Plushy said:

 

Bagh. Here's hoping we get Squats and/or Beastmen.

 

 

 

Then we'll have people claiming Squats haul all the beard and facial hair in the Guard, and "why can't I have a weapon specialist with a manawesome beard too?"

 

 

 

That all depends on whether the Squat's comrade gets a Groom Beard action.



Yeah…we'll call him Chuck Norris…

I never realy had a problem with Halflings though in OW I find them iffy.

Why all the Kender hate, they work in Dragonlance, I loved them though I did not allow more than one in the party. The most scary (and useful) character was the Afflicted Kender Warrior/Rogue. He was fun but pessimistic.

In our previous games it was usually the Necromancer that had the cooking skill, he made sure dinner never ran off…

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My two cents: I find the "Look at me- I'm playing the exact opposite of the stereotype!" playing style to be even more irritating that slavishly conforming to said stereotype…

And Beastmen? They haven't been in the Guard army lists since the first edition of the Tabletop game (before Chaos was added to the 40K universe). Where is this 'nostalgia' for a Guard troop type that existed for about five minutes coming from?

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Adeptus-B said:

And Beastmen? They haven't been in the Guard army lists since the first edition of the Tabletop game (before Chaos was added to the 40K universe). Where is this 'nostalgia' for a Guard troop type that existed for about five minutes coming from?

Do you really have to ask?  Because furries, that is why. :D

I don't think that they really ahve a place in the system, but beast-mutants could make for some really interesting NPCs.  I am actually thinking of using some myself, just to mess with my player's expectations.

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Nobody's forcing anybody to play a ratling as some fantasy stereotype. If I were going to play one, I'd do it as a stone-cold killer with dead eyes who's seen far too much death through his scope.

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