DnD addresses racism.

Eacaraxe

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Whilst possible, this amounts to employing an absence of evidence as evidence of absence, and is thus never going to be logically compelling...
On its own. But it works just fine for initiating a process of elimination, as I did.

Only Iluvatar could create spirits or souls, and gift them with free will. Any Ainur could create (false, or soulless) life, and from that bodies; otherwise, dwarves and ents would never have been come into being (Aule having created the dwarves, and Yavanna having asked Iluvatar to gift her trees with souls), and Maiar could not incorporate. Creating a physical body into which Melkor bound an umaiar would have been entirely within his power.

Diminishing himself by suffusing his servants with his own power is exactly what Melkor did do. To the point he was so diminished by the War of Wrath he was defeated and captured by an elf-lord and an eagle. It's the precise mechanism by which Melkor was bound to Arda itself, despite being bound and cast to the Void his power lingered; Arda is "Morgoth's ring".
 

Agema

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On its own. But it works just fine for initiating a process of elimination, as I did.
It's reasoning, just reasoning that's far short of convincing.

Only Iluvatar could create spirits or souls, and gift them with free will. Any Ainur could create (false, or soulless) life, and from that bodies; otherwise, dwarves and ents would never have been come into being (Aule having created the dwarves, and Yavanna having asked Iluvatar to gift her trees with souls), and Maiar could not incorporate. Creating a physical body into which Melkor bound an umaiar would have been entirely within his power.
I'm not sure why you argue maiar could not incorporate: they obviously did take physical form as they wished. Sauron did numerous times, Melian does in her marriage to Thingol. Their spirits surely survived the destruction of the phsyical form, however. Thingol and Melian producing Luthien also indicates their ability to procreate.

I'm querying what we mean by "made" their bodies. The question is did he just make them, like just magicked them up of mud and clay, or did he manipulate some form of existing life? Given by his known record with other creatrures, the second seems far more likely: whether they were enhanced, mutated beasts (primordial or common, potentially if required given the souls of maiar), or from maiar that took serpentine form, which then maybe bred with a beast. Whichever, they hatch from eggs and there's every suggestion of breeding, so once the initial ones were made, they appear to be capable of self-continuation without requiring further empowerment.

Diminishing himself by suffusing his servants with his own power is exactly what Melkor did do. To the point he was so diminished by the War of Wrath he was defeated and captured by an elf-lord and an eagle. It's the precise mechanism by which Melkor was bound to Arda itself, despite being bound and cast to the Void his power lingered; Arda is "Morgoth's ring".
Indeed. But I honestly can't see Melkor personally visiting every last dragon in its egg and handing it a bit of divine spark, especially considering how powerful they were. It'll run down the power meter pretty heavily, and he can't have that much to casually fling around, having bound so much of his essence in the world generally. Never mind that this seems inconsistent with their will and intelligence. If Melkor could make a being capable of that sort of volition by taking a dumb brute and inserting a bit of his own will into it, he's basically made life, which we know he can't do.
 

Eacaraxe

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It's reasoning, just reasoning that's far short of convincing.
You're flirting with metafallacy here, arguing that a deductive process originating from a lack of direct statement by Tolkien is inherently fallacious and unconvincing.

I'm not sure why you argue maiar could not incorporate: they obviously did take physical form as they wished.
Because I'm not. I'm saying if the Ainur didn't have the power to create bodies and simple life, they wouldn't be able to incorporate. To incorporate one must be able to manifest a living physical body to inhabit in the first place. They clearly can, ergo, they have that capability.

What the Ainur lacked was the capability to create souls, spirits, or gift beings of the world with free will; that was the power of the secret fire, and Iluvatar alone. So far we've been discussing this in the context of Maiar alone; Melkor was a Valar, and it is beyond argument Valar are capable of creating what Tolkien referred to as "false" (i.e. soulless) life.

I'm querying what we mean by "made" their bodies. The question is did he just make them, like just magicked them up of mud and clay, or did he manipulate some form of existing life? Given by his known record with other creatrures, the second seems far more likely...
This is why I keep bringing up that creation and corruption in Tolkien's metaphysics are inherently reductive and inversive, and why I keep bringing up Boethius. To arrive at this conclusion, there must be a being greater than what dragons would become, which Melkor would have then corrupted into its final state (i.e. Glaurung, and in some readers' judgment, Ancalagon).

Or Melkor just made a body and stuck an evil spirit in it, which is what I'm arguing happened.
 

Agema

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You're flirting with metafallacy here, arguing that a deductive process originating from a lack of direct statement by Tolkien is inherently fallacious and unconvincing.
It is literally nothing more than that "Tolkein didn't say explicitly X existed therefore it doesn't" is a manifestly weak argument. I could have just said your argument wasn't very good, but it seemed reasonable to explain why. I'm not sure why you're dragging it out.

Because I'm not.
You literally did, post #181 (my emphasis):

Any Ainur could create (false, or soulless) life, and from that bodies; otherwise, dwarves and ents would never have been come into being (Aule having created the dwarves, and Yavanna having asked Iluvatar to gift her trees with souls), and Maiar could not incorporate.
Perhaps you meant something else, but that's what you wrote.

What the Ainur lacked was the capability to create souls, spirits, or gift beings of the world with free will; that was the power of the secret fire, and Iluvatar alone. So far we've been discussing this in the context of Maiar alone; Melkor was a Valar, and it is beyond argument Valar are capable of creating what Tolkien referred to as "false" (i.e. soulless) life.

This is why I keep bringing up that creation and corruption in Tolkien's metaphysics are inherently reductive and inversive, and why I keep bringing up Boethius. To arrive at this conclusion, there must be a being greater than what dragons would become, which Melkor would have then corrupted into its final state (i.e. Glaurung, and in some readers' judgment, Ancalagon).

Or Melkor just made a body and stuck an evil spirit in it, which is what I'm arguing happened.
I think we both agree that the maiar are an easy enough source for the spirits. I would also add, feasibly, some sort of unnamed primordial creature like Ungoliant.

After that, it depends what we mean by "make". I favour the idea he "mutated" an existing creature through magic, or some maiar/creature hybrid. You seem not to.
 

Eacaraxe

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It is literally nothing more than that "Tolkein didn't say explicitly X existed therefore it doesn't" is a manifestly weak argument. I could have just said your argument wasn't very good, but it seemed reasonable to explain why. I'm not sure why you're dragging it out.
Then I provided textual references to books and letters, and examined based upon cited works and statements about them as to what may have been occurring. Your reasoning only bears out if that's the sole support or framework for my argument.

You literally did, post #181 (my emphasis)...Perhaps you meant something else, but that's what you wrote.
My emphasis:

Any Ainur could create (false, or soulless) life, and from that bodies; otherwise, dwarves and ents would never have been come into being (Aule having created the dwarves, and Yavanna having asked Iluvatar to gift her trees with souls), and Maiar could not incorporate.
Let's make this clearer by removing parentheticals and plurality,

Any Ainur could create life, and from that bodies; otherwise...Maiar could not incorporate.
You misread my statement, that's all.

The key difference between Maiar and elves in this case: Maiar were apparently capable of doing it for themselves, elves needed the aid of a Valar.

I think we both agree that the maiar are an easy enough source for the spirits. I would also add, feasibly, some sort of unnamed primordial creature like Ungoliant.

After that, it depends what we mean by "make". I favour the idea he "mutated" an existing creature through magic, or some maiar/creature hybrid. You seem not to.
I'm being a stickler for terminology. Maiar are a specific category of Ainur; the term you're looking for is Umaiar, which is the catch-all for spirits corrupted by Melkor regardless of hierarchy, age, or power. Ungoliant was Umaiar, but not Ainur (meaning, she was not a Maiar). Sauron and Saruman were both Ainur, but Sauron would definitively be considered Umaiar, but Saruman is a more ambiguous case and it's unclear whether he should be considered Umaiar or not.

If Glaurung (or Ancalagon) were Maiar, Tolkien would have said so. He was extremely fastidious when it came to Ainur. The only example in the entire legendarium in which Tolkien played coy on whether a character was (or wasn't) Ainur, was Tom Bombadil.
 

Agema

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You misread my statement, that's all.
Yes, that happens when you write ambiguous statements open to misinterpretation. But I'm sure you'll take the lesson and aim to improve.

I'm being a stickler for terminology... the term you're looking for is Umaiar
a) I'm not, and b) I couldn't care less.

If Glaurung (or Ancalagon) were Maiar, Tolkien would have said so.
Indeed, hence why I've been arguing consistently that Melkor's been running some sort of breeding program from origin creatures. Do keep up.
 

SupahEwok

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I'm not sure it's necessary for dragons to be mutants or to be imbued with fallen spirits. If I recall my Tolkien lore correctly, when Aule made the dwarves, Illuvatar came to destroy them as abominations, only for the dwarves to cower in fear. It was at this point that he took pity on them, and imbued them with souls. The story illustrates that even before having souls, dwarves had conciousness. I don't see why Melkor, a Valar more powerful than Aule, couldn't have created dragons from whole cloth, and those dragons have conciousness, yet simply be soulless. It would fit with their extremely limited personalities even as they're depicted with great cunning, fixated on death, plunder, hoarding, and cruelty.
 

Eacaraxe

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Yes, that happens when you write ambiguous statements open to misinterpretation. But I'm sure you'll take the lesson and aim to improve.
Yes, I'll certainly keep you in mind for future deployments of compound sentences and Oxford commas.

Indeed, hence why I've been arguing consistently that Melkor's been running some sort of breeding program from origin creatures. Do keep up.
Ironic considering but a page ago, this is precisely why you said I was invoking "evidence of absence" fallacies.
 

Agema

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Ironic considering but a page ago, this is precisely why you said I was invoking "evidence of absence" fallacies.
No, I was disputing you asserting that creatures cannot have existed or that maiar didn't do stuff just because Tolkein didn't explicitly say so. It's better to make an argument on the evidence that exists than on the evidence that doesn't exist.
 

Tireseas

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Bit of an update on this one: An alternative proficiency and stat system for races is going to be formally introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. Looks like everything from stat bonuses to what languages the character would know are potentially modifiable.
 
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CriticalGaming

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Bit of an update on this one: An alternative proficiency and stat system for races is going to be formally introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. Looks like everything from stat bonuses to what languages the character would know are potentially modifiable.
That's cool.

I don't know why people needed an official book to tell them that stats and traits of races have ALWAYS been modifiable. But at least they are getting official confirmation that it's "allowed" now.
 

Tireseas

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That's cool.

I don't know why people needed an official book to tell them that stats and traits of races have ALWAYS been modifiable. But at least they are getting official confirmation that it's "allowed" now.
Technically true, but a lot of players and DMs prefer an "official" rule on that as DMs don't want to imbalance the game or minimize the deviations within a campaign.
 

Kae

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Technically true, but a lot of players and DMs prefer an "official" rule on that as DMs don't want to imbalance the game or minimize the deviations within a campaign.
Basically, this is more for sticklers for the rules and the people that didn't think of that.

Technically all of the rules are, I mean theoretically you could make up everything, so it's fine for this to be in print.
 

Tireseas

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Basically, this is more for sticklers for the rules and the people that didn't think of that.

Technically all of the rules are, I mean theoretically you could make up everything, so it's fine for this to be in print.
Also, services like D&D Beyond have character builders that players use to manage their characters and games. These builders are built around the existing formal rules, so many options don't exist for them and having a formal set of rules on that kind of customization means that it's more available for those players.
 

Kae

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Also, services like D&D Beyond have character builders that players use to manage their characters and games. These builders are built around the existing formal rules, so many options don't exist for them and having a formal set of rules on that kind of customization means that it's more available for those players.
Oh man I can only imagine how much of a clunky nightmare it will be once these new rules are implemented in Fantasy Grounds.
 

CriticalGaming

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Technically true, but a lot of players and DMs prefer an "official" rule on that as DMs don't want to imbalance the game or minimize the deviations within a campaign.
Maybe im a dickhead, but i feel like if you are a stickler for the rules THAT badly, then you have no idea what D&D is supposed to be about and you're just being a dipshit DM.
 

Kae

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Maybe im a dickhead, but i feel like if you are a stickler for the rules THAT badly, then you have no idea what D&D is supposed to be about and you're just being a dipshit DM.
Can't say I fully disagree, but your also not taking into account the massive influx of new players D&D 5E has gathered, who probably had never even thought of this optional stuff, or of the people who play in organised play and are therefore required to stick to rules as written for character creation at least.

In any case, you don't necessarily have to be a bad GM in order to want material like this, though for people that have been playing for a while these kinds of rules are mostly unnecessary, though it could also be the case that the GM ends up liking the way WoTC did it more than the way there were doing it and as such has found value in these new rules.

Also like @Tireseas mentioned before, this is very useful for those that use D&D Beyond instead of printed character sheets.
 

CriticalGaming

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Can't say I fully disagree, but your also not taking into account the massive influx of new players D&D 5E has gathered, who probably had never even thought of this optional stuff, or of the people who play in organised play and are therefore required to stick to rules as written for character creation at least.

In any case, you don't necessarily have to be a bad GM in order to want material like this, though for people that have been playing for a while these kinds of rules are mostly unnecessary, though it could also be the case that the GM ends up liking the way WoTC did it more than the way there were doing it and as such has found value in these new rules.

Also like @Tireseas mentioned before, this is very useful for those that use D&D Beyond instead of printed character sheets.
Yeah i suppose especially since more people are using Beyond than ever since we are all not supposed to gather with friends anymore.
 

Fieldy409

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What gets really confusing is that the races seem to be seperate species and yet they can make viable hybird offspring. If they're different species its not like comparing you to another human with a slight difference in genetics that manifests as a skin colour, which is about as important as hair colour really. It's more like If neanderthals still walked the earth, would it be racist to acknowledge the actual differences between them and us that are more than skin colour?