E. Gary Gygax wrote, (Dragon #29, Sept. 1979, p12):
“The character races in the AD&D system were selected with care. They give variety of approach, but any player selecting a non-human (part- or demi-human) character does not have any real advantage. True, some of those racial types give short-term advantages to the players who choose them, but in the long run, these same characters are at an equal disadvantage when compared to human characters with the same number of experience points. This was, in fact, designed into the game. The variety of approach makes role selection more interesting. Players must weigh advantages and disadvantages carefully before opting for character race, human or otherwise. It is in vogue in some campaigns to remove restrictions on demi-humans — or at least relax them somewhat. While this might make the DM popular for a time with those participants with dwarven fighters of high level, or eleven wizards of vast power, it will eventually consign the campaign as a whole to one in which the only races will be non-human. Dwarves, elves, et al will have all the advantages and no real disadvantages, so the majority of players will select those races, and humankind will disappear from the realm of player character types. This bears upon the various hybrid racial types, as well.”
Straight from the horses mouth. He wanted to make it so people would WANT to play humans, and keep them alive in the game. It was for balance, it was for this or that. It doesn’t matter. No where in that statement is AD&D 1e “judging” a race or a life style. I am sick of hearing this over and over. Hey here is an idea, if you don’t like it.. house rule it away. SHOCK! Hey that works. We did that for years and I still do it today. If a player wants to play something and its not allowed, I will talk with the player and allow them to play this race/class mix. Why? because common sense says that there has to be a small percentage of that race, that is that class. It might not be their favored class, but they still can be that class.
I had to post this due to the posting by Zak at his blog. Sorry it just ticked me the hell off.