Blacks in Gaming (Hyperlink) - Page 6
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  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by delericho View Post
    Incidentally, should characters of other races (that is, elves, dwarves, etc) be depicted with a similar range of ethnicities? Why, or why not?
    This is a very interesting question. There was a bizarre degree of outrage when some of the halfling art for 4e showed halflings with braids, cornrows etc (see eg p 44 of the PHB).

    There's also the wierdness that the AD&D monster manual describes dwarves and gnomes as typically dark-skinned, yet in D&D art they are almost always white (often with red cheeks). Here are the OSRIC descriptions, for example (pp 192-93), which are very close paraphrases of the AD&D MM:

    Dwarfs have a dark brown to deep tan coloured skin tone.

    Gnomes have wood brown skin

    But I don't know that I've ever seen a picture of a dark-skinned dwarf or gnome in D&D art, from the AD&D period or more recently.

    The 4e PHB says of dwarves that "[they] have the same variety of skin, eye, and hair colors as humans" and gives us two very pale dwarves (pp 36-37). More oddly, the PHB2 says of gnomes that "[their] skin tone ranges from a ruddy tan through woody brown to rocky gray" while giving us a picture of a very pale gnome and another whose skin tone is a bit ambiguous but is probably olive-skinned (pp 10-11). The gnomes on page 134 of the MM and p 129 of the MM2 are also pretty pale - no ruddy tans, let alone woody browns.

    Eladrin are said on p 39 of the PHB to "have the same range of complexions as humans, though they are more often fair than dark." The art certainly emphasises the tendency towards fairness. Elves, on the other hand, are said on p 41 to "have the same range of complexions as humans, tending more toward tan or brown hues." I challenge anyone to find a brown or even tanned elf in the 4e art! Those on p 40 of the PHB and p 106 of the MM are quite pale, especially in the latter case.

    Tiefling skin colour also "covers the whole human range", according to PHB p 49, but the art on p 48 and on p 250 of the MM does not reflect this.

    Make of all that what you will.

  2. #52
    Howard is racist by modern standards, but not hopelessly so. He is readable, you just have to be aware of the situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Water Bob View Post
    Racial types can be significantly different in many ways.
    Would you be okay with a modern setting game asserting black had game mechanics advantages to being pro-football stars while white had game mechanics advantages to being middle management types?

    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    There's also the wierdness that the AD&D monster manual describes dwarves and gnomes as typically dark-skinned, yet in D&D art they are almost always white (often with red cheeks).
    Something I specifically call out in my column.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertSullivan View Post
    Well, yes, but one thing at a time.
    Then why not global population demographics? ca 1/4 east-Asian, 1/4 south-Asian, 1/4 African. Why should the USA be privileged?

    Edit: And why are you, a Grumpy Celt, pushing an RPG art quota for one particular ethnic group within the USA, while de-prioritising others?
    Last edited by S'mon; Thursday, 23rd February, 2012 at 12:13 PM.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertSullivan View Post
    I For that matter, there is an ingenious Caucasian people in Japan, the Ainu.
    Not really. The Ainu sort of look Caucasoid, eg they're quite hairy, but gene testing shows they're more closely related to other east-Asian populations, not to Caucasians.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by delericho View Post
    Incidentally, should characters of other races (that is, elves, dwarves, etc) be depicted with a similar range of ethnicities? Why, or why not?
    In a setting based on real world myth & history I would rather have different fantasy races for different geographic areas. I strongly disliked Al Qadim shoehorning in dwarves, elves etc as just regular Arabians/Persian humans with funny ears/short stature.

    OTOH the Wilderlands has Red Elves the same way it has Red Men, it has cannibal jungle dwarves, and that seems to work. It's fine to give the fantasy races their own sub-races.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    But he is by others.
    LOL.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Water Bob View Post
    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?
    People on rpgnet do! I've seen demands that 'race' be excised from 5e D&D. Because 'there are no races' apparently extends to fantasy races, too.

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by S'mon View Post
    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.
    Carthage was 600 years old when Hannibal was born and his father had a harem of berber, nubian woman and possibly european 'wives', exactly which one was Hannibals mother has never been established but there are some depictions which suggest he had a 'darker tan'.

    And these girls are Berber from north africa.


    You will also encounter Tuareg who are notably 'black' (Tuareg being a Berber people)

    I think an important point to make is that Africa being the second largest continent has a wide variety of skin tones and racial types. But so few of these are ever depicted

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonguez View Post
    And these girls are Berber from north africa.
    I've also seen Berber girls who were blonde! And most Berbers I've seen were notably lighter than most Italians. Virgil described Dido, first Queen of Carthage, as blonde in The Aeneid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonguez View Post
    Carthage was 600 years old when Hannibal was born and his father had a harem of berber, nubian woman and possibly european 'wives'
    I'd be interested to see a source for that.

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