Then watch this video rebuttal of it.
The Complex Game Apologist makes, and obviously I'm going to paraphrase them below, five counter arguments. All of them are garbage. Let me explain. I recognize that by paraphrasing, I'm opening myself up to accusations of attacking strawman arguments. I'm not interested in debating this with people stupid enough to say that—but the spergy, nitpicky, pedantic kind of personality that would believe this level of bullshit in this video response is the kind most likely to make that accusation. Fair warning up front: I'm not interested.
- Slippery slope of crazy options. If you allow someone to tweak the bonuses of the elf, then next week, you'll have to tell another player that no, he can't play as a bear.
I very consistently see RAW and rulesy folks, and gamers who prefer a lot of structure fall back on their inherent mistrust of their fellow gamers as the rationale for why they must have more structure and why it must be strictly enforced. I wonder: why can these people not find better people to game with? Why do they consistently have social problems that they try to solve with the rules? Antisocial misanthropes who can't be reasonable with their friends are not welcome at my table.
- It invalidates tough choices that other players have made.
I very consistently see RAW and rulesy folks, and gamers who prefer a lot of structure express a great deal of bitterness and resentment that other players can have the same +1 that they do easily, because they're reasonable, sensible people who just talk to their GM instead of autistically adhering to every exacting detail of how the rules are presented in the book. Purity spiral spergs are not welcome at my table.
- It "hurts" the hypothetical forest gnome player who now doesn't get to be a unique, special snowflake, because now the elf player has the same suite of +1s and
+2s that his race has.
Fer cryin' out loud—you do know that the forest gnome having the same stats was a throwaway coincidence pointed out by the Raging Owlbear, right? I'm not even sure I can rebut this argument. I'm not even sure that it's an argument. It's just... spergy whining. I think the only appropriate rebuttal is a smack across the face with the thickest rulebook in your collection. Whiny special snowflakes are not welcome at my table.
- The rules as written inform an implied setting, and changing even small details of them upsets the game as a simulationist construct.
This is also spergy, because swapping which stats get the +1 vs. the +2 does not, as described here, compare to the incoherence of a hit of acid. The sense of scale there, that anyone could seriously propose such a thing, just boggles my mind. I really don't get spergs, and do not enjoy spending much time talking to them.
That said, this is at least a coherent argument, even if it's ridiculously exaggerated to the point of stupidity. That said; well, that really only matters if you are a simulationist gamer, right? Again: Gaming is a social activity, and largely will only be successful if you game with people that you are on the same page with. If you are philosophically unable to compromise with people at your table who do not share your particular esoteric desires out of the hobby, then they're well advised to steer clear of gaming with you, you dick.
- It's bad business to shame people who disagree with you.
On second thought, I'll give you that one in theory. You can disagree—strongly even—without trying to shame people. On the other hand, if you're susceptible to shaming attacks in the first place, grow up already. And frankly, if you're so rigid and antisocial and such a totalitarian control-freak that if burns you up that someone else has a completely imaginary benefit that isn't really a benefit so much as it is just a slight reskinning for flavor, that has no impact whatsoever on your own enjoyment of the game, but you are slavishly and autistically bound to deny it to someone else who is supposed to be your friend, then maybe you could use a little shaming, since clearly you never actually learned how psychologically healthy, functional human relationships work.