Blacks in Gaming (Hyperlink) - Page 5
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  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by gamerprinter View Post
    Unless I'm mistaken, isn't the defining paladin character in the Pathfinder APG a black woman?
    Seelha. I mention her in the column.

    Quote Originally Posted by avin View Post
    I seriously doubt it.

    Populao Negra no Brasil j 50,3% ~ CENPAH

    According to this is 50%, I would bet something like that.
    Demographics of Brazil - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    According to the 2006 census, Blacks number 12.9 million, or 7.4% of Brazil's population.

    An aggregate of the variations of black and not white probably due add up to more than 50%, but according to wikipedia in the strictest terms blacks are less than 8% of the population.

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by S'mon View Post
    The Mestizo (mixed Spanish and Amerindian ancestry) population of the USA is around 15%. Should RPG art work characters be 12-15% Mestizo?

    The female population of the USA is around 52%. Should RPG art work characters be 45-52% female?

    If not, why not?
    Well, yes, but one thing at a time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Water Bob View Post
    The Conan RPG, which I play, is set in Earth's pre-historical past....
    This does not actually help a great deal - Conan was written by Robert Howard, who as a product of his times was a racist.

    Refocus

    This is not about a specific setting's composition, but about the art in the 5E books. The5E books probably will not describe a specific campaigns setting anyway. Setting dynamics are a different issue. Even discussing "actual" Europe is a setting discussion. However, they will have art and some of that are will depict humans and the challenge is that "at least 10% of the humans in the 5E books should be black."

    If a simple goal of "10% of the humans in the 5E books should be black" is not accomplished then it will be a missed opportunity and not something which can be fixed until 2016 or 2018 when 6E comes out. If various issues of game mechanics are important enough to hash out, art as part of the over all presentation should also be important enough to hash out.
    Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; Thursday, 23rd February, 2012 at 10:09 AM.

  3. #43
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    Just what makes you think Howards was racist? Not that I like any of his stuff but I never got the impression of racism.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertSullivan View Post
    For Black History Month, this column discusses the role of blacks in tabletop role-playing games.
    It's an interesting topic for discussion, and something I must admit I'd not really thought much about.

    The default assumption of both the text and art of most RGP games is the characters are white.
    Actually, I disagree on both counts.

    In the text, pretty much the only time race seems to be mentioned is in the "Human" entry of the "Races" chapter, where it tends to discuss the wide range of possible ethnicities, without indicating any assumption or preference. Beyond that, I don't recall it being mentioned again (at all).

    In the art, you are quite right that blacks are under-represented. However, probably because of the fascination with Ninja, Asian characters seem to be depicted quite frequently. (But, yes, black characters are sorely under-represented. It is especially jarring that a setting like "Dark Sun" seems to feature characters who are white or, at their darkest, lightly tanned.)

    That said, there is a rather nasty elephant in the room when it comes to depicting black characters in the artwork. D&D has always been at least a little pseudo-historical, and the historical treatment of black people has been... poor.

    Quote Originally Posted by gamerprinter View Post
    Unless I'm mistaken, isn't the defining paladin character in the Pathfinder APG a black woman?
    As indeed is the iconic Monk in D&D 3e.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertSullivan View Post
    Here D&D 5E/Next Challenge; make at least 10% of the humans depicted black. Not all art must depict humaniods and not all humaniods must be human, but of the humans 10% should be black.
    I'll certainly support the principle behind that. A much more inclusive depiction of characters of all races and both (or all?) sexes would be welcome.

    I don't really agree with imposing a quota on artwork as you describe. However, if that is what is required to get that more inclusive approach, I suppose I could accept it as a necessary evil.

    Incidentally, should characters of other races (that is, elves, dwarves, etc) be depicted with a similar range of ethnicities? Why, or why not?

  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Lwaxy View Post
    Just what makes you think Howards was racist? Not that I like any of his stuff but I never got the impression of racism.
    Here.

  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Lwaxy View Post
    Just what makes you think Howards was racist? Not that I like any of his stuff but I never got the impression of racism.
    It's an ongoing debate. Not all readers think him a racist, but some do. In Man-Eaters of Zamboula (also called Shadows in Zamboula), some of the villians are black African tribal types. So the argument is that Howard villianizes blacks.

    In Red Nails, Conan says that he does not like to have sex with black women. I take that as a preference of the character, but some see it as racism.

    In Queen of the Black Coast, Conan's love of his life, Belit (a white Arab racial type), clandestinely calls Conan away from a suspected trap, allowing several of her black crewmen (who worship her as a near goddess) to be killed in the trap. Conan doesn't even comment on the matter, and Belit morns not at all her lost crewmen. Again, here, some think this an example of Howard's racism. Also, again, I just think it's story-telling.

    Howard never wrote (at least in the Conan stories I've read) about a black heroic character, but he did include blacks in his stories. And, many times those blacks were bad guys. But, not all the time. In the Vale of Lost Women, Conan is chief of a black tribe in the Black Kingdoms.

    So, the controversey wears on. I don't think much of it. I've never read anything of Howard's that I found even remotely racist. But, some can see shadows where there is light.

    I mean, Tolkien didn't create a black hero in his universe, nor did he even create black characters. Yet, he's not considered a racist by some, but Howard is.

    That kind of stuff boggles my mind.

    Anyway, we're off topic here.

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Lwaxy View Post
    Just what makes you think Howards was racist? Not that I like any of his stuff but I never got the impression of racism.
    Here is a well-known internet essay arguing the point: Southern Discomfort.

    Here is an attempted rebuttal in defence of REH: Southwestern Discomfit.

    My own view is that the rebuttal is not all that persuasive, and that the tone of REH's work in which racial themes arise (eg The Vale of the Lost Women) is pretty unambiguous.

    I think it's also worth quoting the final paragraph of Southern Discomfort:

    The best of Howard, stories like Tower of the Elephant, Rogues In the House, The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune, Worms of the Earth, and scores of others have little to no racial overtones at all. And even though several of Howard's best stories, such as The Valley of the Worm, do have a strong sense of "Aryan racial memory" similar to Jack London, it does not overwhelm Howard's great sense of history, conflict and adventure. Howard can still be read and appreciated by modern audiences. Any flaws are outweighed by superior storytelling and meaningful themes regarding the nature of civilization in his best work.

    I'm probably not quite as big a fan of REH as the author of that passage, but I agree with the general gist. It doesn't follow from the proposition that REH was racist, and that some of his work expresses this, that all of his work is worthless. (I think the same is true of Tolkien.)

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Water Bob View Post
    I mean, Tolkien didn't create a black hero in his universe, nor did he even create black characters. Yet, he's not considered a racist by some
    But he is by others.

  9. #49
    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 completely disagree. Racial types can be significantly different in many ways. We don't balk when there's different attribute bonuses between High Elves, Wood Elves, Wild Elves, and Dark Elves, do we?

    If you're only talking about humans, the Conan RPG features only human PCs, but several racial types are playable. And, each racial type comes with different attribute bonuses and penalties. A character from the Black Kingdoms (black skinned characters) comes with it's own pluses and minuses, while a character from the (proto-Irish or Celtic influenced, white skinned) Cimmerians have a different set of pros and cons. Yet, both races in the game have the Barbarian as their favored character class.

    There's nothing wrong with gaming this way--that is, allowing bonuses for racial type.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Water Bob View Post
    I've never read anything of Howard's that I found even remotely racist.
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert E. Howard
    "Every Negro in London must have been there."
    "I dare say. Most of them are voodoo worshipers at heart and the power the Master wielded was incredible.
    Skull-Face, set in post-WWI London, depicts every black person in London worshiping at a temple to an Elder God. So I find it hard to argue that he wasn't racist. (Which is not necessarily a fatal flaw, but that story in particular, even knowing it was a Yellow Peril, stunned me for his racial attitudes.)

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