Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post

So why follow these 'rules' of fluff, when even the writers didn't feel much need to? I think of them as role playing guidelines for newer players to get some ideas rolling about their characters.
I've always thought these 'rules' were descriptions of what npcs generally were like. The DM makes you aware of any changes for his specific game world.
Then the players decide how their characters are like or unlike the rest of class our race or whatever.

EXAMPLE
Me and my barbarian hunting party are out hunting a Giant Elk. Suddenly four walls appear and we're surrounded. I look around. All the other barbarians seem really uncomfortable. I'm perfectly comfortable because the walls are protecting us from what I fear, Giant Sabertooth Cats.