Idea for reducing the annoyance of kender player characters

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Idea for reducing the annoyance of kender player characters

Postby Jürgen Hubert » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:08 pm

While my current focus is Maztica from the Forgotten Realms (see for example this overview thread on these boards), I just had an idea how to drastically reduce the annoyances resulting from having a kender player character table - you know, their constant thieving of the other characters' stuff - and I want to write this down for posterity.

Simply give kender the following racial power (written for 5e, but it can easily be adjusted for the other editions):

Borrowing. As a bonus action, the kender can draw any small, concealable item from their pockets that they might conceivably have pickpocked from another character earlier, as long as the kender's player has the permission of the pickpocketed character's player.

With this, their thieving turns from a regular, disruptive annoyance into a potential asset - for example, if they are next to a dying character they could simply draw a healing potion from anyone else in the party. While the other characters can still be upset about such thefts, they won't sting the other players because they agreed to this.
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Re: Idea for reducing the annoyance of kender player charact

Postby Havard » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:44 pm

That would be okay by me.

OTOH, I think that Kender being annoying is a result of Players and DM's not understanding how Kender work.

IMC it would have been something like:

Bob: My Kender tries to steal the magic dagger from Joe's Elf
Joe: Hey!
DM (Me): Bob, you reach for the dagger, but find yourself distracted by some fascinating glass pearls lying scattered across the dungeon floor. Being worthless, not even the goblin residents of this dungeon have bothered to pick them up, but you notice the uncanny reflection they get from your tourches and follow them down the unexplored pathway...


But overall, I agree. Players who play Kender should never be allowed to steal anything useful. They might have usefull stuff show up in their poches, but that should never be at the expense of fellow players.

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Re: Idea for reducing the annoyance of kender player charact

Postby Sturm » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:41 am

Very good ideas both.
However I had a kender PC for years and that was never a problem because:
- The player was a reasonable guy who did not abuse the "borrowing" thing to be mean to others.
- He judged that after the initial time his character was intelligent enough to accept the boundaries of other characters about personal items.
He still played a curious character, prone to take hazards, but not stupid and neither annoying.
So basically intelligent players make good kenders.
Annoying players can make any race and class quite annoying :)
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Re: Idea for reducing the annoyance of kender player charact

Postby rabindranath72 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:59 pm

Indeed Kender are difficult to play, and if a player is not up to the challenge, I simply don't allow them to play Kender.
The "kender pockets" idea was implemented in the original Dragonlance Adventures hardback. It worked very well, and it was a lot of fun.
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Re: Idea for reducing the annoyance of kender player charact

Postby Ashtagon » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:40 pm

I've never had to have kender in a campaign, but I'd work their racial talent as follows:

Kender Pocket: You have what amounts to an extra-dimensional pocket full of random stuff you have picked up. It has a maximum capacity of 5 lb (plus 1 lb per level), and can contain up to 20 gp (plus 5 gp per level) worth of items. The exact contents are not decided until you decide to draw something out of this pocket, at which time the weight and value are deducted from the remaining capacity of the pocket. The contents of the pocket can be replenished by spending a day of downtime in a community of Village size or larger. In any case, the pocket cannot contain magic items or alchemical items, and the maximum length of any single item is six inches.

Players should then feel free to role-play picking up specific items, but anything of consequence that another PC or named NPC has should be accounted for and they should be appropriately alert for it. The Kender Pocket accounts for the ongoing stuff the kender is subconsciously pilfering.
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