Blacks in Gaming (Hyperlink) - Page 4
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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoesephBear View Post
    Scumbag DM

    Runs an Oriental Adventures campaign.

    All the NPC's are anime-style caucasians.
    Wheras, in my OA game all PCs and NPCs are "Asians" (for lack of a better term). The group is currently sailing across the great western ocean and will likely be meeting "Polynesians" and "Native Americans" in a few months.

  2. #32
    I consider it a defining feature of D&D that by default the game doesn't discriminate between gender or race. All real world races are lumped into the human race. I think that's wise and I have no objection to a varied depiction of humans. The game should imply that human racial differences don't matter much when you're an adventurer.

    The flavor of the game has a connection to the European Middle Ages, and that should be preserved to some extent. But not necessarily Northwestern Europe. There were other areas that were relatively cosmopolitan. You can depict humans of various appearance without throwing historical flavor completely out the window. Just think 12th century Constantinople or Venice rather than necessarily 12th century England.

    So I would like to see humans of various phenotypes, and all adventurers. That's not incompatible with the more gritty and grounded feel I believe 5e is going for. But don't go overboard with racial politics to the point where it's annoying and distracting, e.g. purposefully subverting racial and cultural historical associations, or randomly assorting various racial features. It's a balance. The artists' job is to hit the right note.

    I will say that if they fail to hit the right note, I'm not going to cut them much more slack just because they erred on the right side. They're fantasists, not educators or activists.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Carlsen View Post
    What this means, as far as the presence of black people goes, is that the primary African style cultures should not be presented as tribal. The challenge there is that, outside of Egypt and the south bank of the Mediterranean Sea, Africa doesn't have a real-world example of an advanced civilization in it's history. At least, not one that would be familiar to players. So, one would have to be built for the game.
    .
    This of course is one of the major problems and perhaps one place that RPG art can play an educative role.

    I once used a setting based on the Kingdoms of the Ethiopia (Gondar) and the Sahel (Mali, Soghay, Hausa etc) which irl were all advanced castle building kingdoms, including rich merchants and mounted warriors in chainmail.

    Unfortunately when official African settings are put out they always focus on the sub-saharan jungles and savanah, presenting Africans as primitive (but forget to include Great Zimbabwe)

    Furthermore there were Africans in Europe most notably the Moors in Spain, Shakespeare has Othello and the carthagian general Hannibal wasfrom north africa and might have been considered 'black' (by some definitions thereof)
    Last edited by Tonguez; Thursday, 23rd February, 2012 at 06:19 AM.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Carlsen View Post
    Malanin levels in the skin are dependent on climate. If a setting has a wide variety of climates separated by enough distance to prevent intermixing for thousands of years, then there will be different skin tones.
    ...or, you know, maybe skin color has nothing to do with climate in your game. There's no reason it should have to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the Jester View Post
    ...or, you know, maybe skin color has nothing to do with climate in your game. There's no reason it should have to.
    Wilderlands has Green, Red and Blue people. The Blue Avalonians are ice-related, the Green Viridians are temperate water-related, the Red Altanians live in hot lands.

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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonguez View Post
    This of course is one of the major problems and perhaps one place that RPG art can play an educative role.

    I once used a setting based on the Kingdoms of the Ethiopia (Gondar) and the Sahel (Mali, Soghay, Hausa etc) which irl were all advanced castle building kingdoms, including rich merchants and mounted warriors in chainmail.

    Unfortunately when official African settings are put out they always focus on the sub-saharan jungles and savanah, presenting Africans as primitive (but forget to include Great Zimbabwe)

    Furthermore there were Africans in Europe most notably the Moors in Spain, Shakespeare has Othello and the carthagian general Hannibal wasfrom north africa and might have been considered 'black' (by some definitions thereof)
    The Moors were Arab/Berber; Hannibal was Carthaginian, descended from Phoenician colonists. You can look at the modern populations of Morocco, Tunisia, Libya to get an idea what Moors and Carthaginians looked like.

    Sub-Sahara, the coastal African slaver kingdoms that serviced the Arab (Great Zimbabwe) and European slave trades seem to have been fairly minor civilisations from what I can tell, but north-east Africa has certainly had substantial indigenous black nations, from ancient Nubia to medieval and modern Ethiopia.

  8. #38
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    I don't really have a problem for aiming for 10% of the art to be black.

    I will say that race has never really been an issue at my games. Then again, I tend to describe things as humans, halflings, etc as oppossed to white humans, tan halflings, brown elves, etc.

    I will say I think the industry could do a better job trying to reach the African American audience. I've only ever played with African-Americans at the major cons, even though I've played with Sri Lankans, Pakistanis, Kazacks, and Indians (as in, the country) in my home games (hooray for the cultural diversity that is college).

    I'm not really sure what that says about me, now that I think about it, other than I tend not to dwell on racial issues.

  9. #39
    The Conan RPG, which I play, is set in Earth's pre-historical past, during the Hyborian Age. And, thus, the game does have its share of black people.

    What will become the African continent after a cataclysm that shapes the world into its present state, is almost entirely populated by tribal barbarians of that racial type. In fact, the entire area in the game is called the "Black Kingdoms".

    Here is a map of the continent that will become Europe, Africa, and part of Asia--the main gaming area for the game:



    You can see clearly the large southern swath of land that is the Black Kingdoms.

    Because Conan's universe is based on the real world, all real world racial types are represented. Khitai, to the east, represents the Asians--specifically the proto-Chinese. The Hyborians, who maintain the most adavanced kingdoms in the central continent, are ethnic proto-Europeans.

    The Vanir and Aesir to the north are proto-Vikings. Stygians are proto-Egypitans. Turanians are proto-Turks. And so on.



    As for as the game line goes, there is a healthy quantity of supplements and adventures, disproportional to many of the regions, that focus on the Black Kingdoms.

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by UngeheuerLich View Post
    i really would be careful to assign attribute bonuses for beeing black or white or whatever colour your skin is.
    I very much agree - infact, I am opposed to giving one human race a different set of attributes bonuses than another, unless the entire race itself is augmented by gods, magic or technology in some fashion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corathon View Post
    I think it depends on the setting of the game. If they released an "Oriental Adventures"-type book, should 10% of the humans depicted be black? IMO, no.
    Why not? In one of the most interesting F.R. games I was in the Rashemi people (pseudo-Polish and Russian people in the canon of the setting) were changed to black people. It made for an interesting mental image.

    Further, what about something like AfroSamuri? For that matter, there is an ingenious Caucasian people in Japan, the Ainu. Why not mix and match all of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grazzt View Post
    Elves have fur?
    Bits of the them are quite furry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Plane Sailing View Post
    moved to general discussion
    Hrmm. I am deferring to your judgement but I put it in the 5E forum because of the specific challenge issued about the art in the 5E books.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Carlsen View Post
    What this means, as far as the presence of black people goes, is that the primary African style cultures should not be presented as tribal. The challenge there is that, outside of Egypt and the south bank of the Mediterranean Sea, Africa doesn't have a real-world example of an advanced civilization in it's history. At least, not one that would be familiar to players.
    This - it doesn't have to be tribal - is something I bring up in my essay. There were sub-saharan nations which where not tribal, but they probably are unknown to many gamers. Which does not stop their inclusion in the art of the next set of books.

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