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Mythological Figures: Conan the Barbarian (5E) Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018 02:21 PM

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Wednesday, 11th April, 2018

  • 12:58 AM - pemerton quoted Phasestar in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    Some folks here are clearly well versed in critical race theory and other similar philosophies that are currently popular among academics and many of those academics fully believe that the lens created by these theories shows the present and the past in the most accurate way. Others are arguing from the more practical standpoint of how have gamers and D&D used this term and if there hasn't been a problem, why should there be one now, which (in my opinion correctly) leaves the non-game problems aside and focuses on the confines of the game.I don't think this is a correct characterisation. My concerns - which I've tried to articulate, straightforwardly, from my first post in this thread - is that my RPG books are real things that I would like to be more easily able to share with real people - actual family and actual friends. This is a practical thing. What is the current obstacle to sharing them? Because these books incorporate an idea, and stories that employ that idea - they recapitulate...

Tuesday, 10th April, 2018

  • 10:52 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Phasestar in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    A great deal of history has taught me that we need free speech precisely to protect offensive speech, not to protect popular or considerate speech, because when those who want to limit speech seek power over all, they will declare any speech that is against them as offensive. Free speech as a principle is a key natural right and bulwark against all kinds of things that are much worse than being considered ignorant or inconsiderate. This to me is one of the core principles of our civilization and should not be compromised. Most of human history was much different and much worse than the relative golden age in which we all now live and the principles that established this unique period in human history could be easily lost (and along with it, much of what we now take for granted) if they are not understood and defended. Perhaps the hardest part of defending freedom is the need to defend the freedoms of those who despise freedom, itself, and will abuse every freedom they have in trying to abridg...
  • 08:02 PM - Gradine quoted Phasestar in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    The last point of disagreement I have comes from the compromised origins of critical race theory, which was devised as a tactic not aimed at seeking truth, but to do whatever it took - including twisting truth and creating perceptions of oppression even if untrue - to further a perceived end of justice, but in actuality to create division through oppressor/oppressed class warfare. The best-case characterization is "the end justifies the means", but it's actually more cynical than that. I question anything that is based on a view through that lens and doubt the positive outcome of any efforts towards justice that start without a genuine desire for truth and reconciliation, but rather a never-ending and somewhat self-perpetuating search for the next oppressor in order to achive ulterior motives. I certainly have concerns over the actual efficacy of academic, theoretical models for changes, but this right here is, if you'll pardon me a language, is a load of horse:):):):). I could just as easi...

Monday, 9th April, 2018

  • 09:29 PM - Lanefan quoted Phasestar in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    Understood and followed all of this except for this part - what is a "RW racist" as opposed to a racist?RW = real world, I think; as opposed to racism expressed within the confines of the game e.g. Dwarves and Elves disliking each other, or only the top 10% of human-orc crossbreeds being playable.

Wednesday, 4th April, 2018

  • 06:53 PM - Gradine quoted Phasestar in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    Well, this is getting a bit far from the original topic, but I have to chime in. Why do you accept this idea as fact? White people, black people, all people are not monolithic or the same as each other because of skin color. We are all individuals. If you meet someone, regardless of their skin color and they explain their life, their struggles and challenges, you certainly can understand that as a fellow human being even if you have not lived it. It may not be easy to put yourself in someone else's shoes - but it can be done. We each have our own challenges - life is a struggle and at times overwhelmingly painful and difficult regardless of who you are. The idea that white people simply need to back away from the conversation because they can't possibly understand, while all people of a different color automatically can, is part of the problem and will only make things worse over time. We need to understand each other as human beings, listen to each other's perspectives and if people...

Tuesday, 3rd April, 2018

  • 02:09 PM - Obryn quoted Phasestar in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    Fundamentally, I'm in favor of not insulting people, but I'm against this kind of extreme speech enforcement and censorship, especially when there are no clearly defined logical limits. Where is "extreme speech enforcement" happening? Where do you see censorship? In what way do Shadow of the Demon Lord and PF2 fit into this argument, having already made a change? How in the world is a potential 6e deciding on "ancestry" any kind of censorship? None of that is happening here.
  • 02:02 PM - pemerton quoted Phasestar in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    If context and actual word definitions are irrelevant and all that is required is for someone to have real world emotions regarding a word in order to ban it, where does that stop? <snip> I'm against this kind of extreme speech enforcement and censorshipI think you're confused about what counts as "banning" and "censorship". You're free to publish whatever you like about your imaginary "races". This is how it goes when you try to make sure you cannot possibly offend anyone - it's effectively a fool's errand because someone will always be offendedYes, it's obviously a fool's errand to try to reduce racist connotations in fantasy story-telling!
  • 11:37 AM - pemerton quoted Phasestar in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    If we stop using every word someone finds offensive, even if used in a completely different context, what exactly will be left? If the only requirement to stop using a word is that someone pipe up and declare that it has baggage, where is the line drawn on that? I refuse to agree to this type of useless censorship.Who's censoring you? No one is stoppping you pubishing as many books as you like saying whatever you want about whatever "races" you want to dream up. As far as the threat to your vocabulary is concerned - well, who would have thought that concepts of "race" might carry "baggage"? There's a head-scratcher if ever there was one!
  • 05:31 AM - Obryn quoted Phasestar in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    Except for the last part, that's about right. If we stop using every word someone finds offensive, even if used in a completely different context, what exactly will be left? If the only requirement to stop using a word is that someone pipe up and declare that it has baggage, where is the line drawn on that? I refuse to agree to this type of useless censorship. When a word is used accurately, in good faith, with no malice and in a setting where it should not cause any possible offense, then to me the argument that it is nevertheless somehow offensive is without merit Who's actually arguing this? And why's there a big pile of straw on the floor?

Sunday, 25th March, 2018

  • 05:34 PM - mcosgrave quoted Phasestar in post Moderation Question
    What is not clear to me is why being unapologetically inclusive means taking a political side, which by definition means that the community is exclusive. Yes, if you have solid moral compass, even if it’s as simple as the Wheaton rule (Don’t be a dick) then, yes, you exclude people who don’t measure up. By all means engage, debate, call foul on a play but there is a point at which you have to say to people, even long term friends, ‘Sorry, I’ll miss you, but you’re out’ While there may be conservatives who are decent, the reality, I feel, is that if your basic ethical principle is ‘Be nice’, then the odds are your politics will be “progressive”. So for me, ethics comes before politics, but I’m a contrary old liberal* grump who feels increasingly alienated from this century! *as in late C19 Gladstonian Liberal, not C21 neocon!
  • 03:24 PM - Morrus quoted Phasestar in post Moderation Question
    What is not clear to me is why being unapologetically inclusive means taking a political side, which by definition means that the community is exclusive. Popper's paradox of tolerance. A little (probably not very interesting) insight into my personal relationship with that line of thought: as mentioned in the rules, I don't subscribe to the argument that tolerance means that we need to tolerate intolerance or that inclusivity means that we need to include non-inclusiveness. In fact, I personally find that common argument childish, disingenuous, and asinine; it irritates me most unreasonably every time somebody tries it out on me (and that's often). So much so that I specifically called it out in the rules. I think it irritates me so much because folks seem to assume it's simply never occurred to me.

Saturday, 24th March, 2018

  • 06:59 PM - Steve1 quoted Phasestar in post The Journey To...North America, Part Two
    That statement depends entirely on a particular frame of reference that has a limited view. If you look throughout the history of civilizations that we are aware of, there is nothing especially unique about what happened to Native Americans, nor unique to white Europeans in terms of their part. History is full of instances of one civilization conquering and effectively replacing another, time and again, especially when there are major technological differences between them. It seems to me that a lot of folks have taken a recent snapshot of only a certain part of history, then only looked at that part from a certain point of view and proceeded to draw conclusions based on it without looking beyond it at all. We are not discussing history in its entirety, only a facet of it as put forth by the topic of the article. I agreed with your implication that "stories" or "tropes" are not phenomenon unique to White Europeans. Human beings have waged war against one another since the beginning of civil...
  • 06:48 PM - Morrus quoted Phasestar in post Moderation Question
    In this case, for example, the "Keep it inclusive" rule expresses general ideas against bullying and discrimination that no reasonable person would object to, but then specifically calls out only terms that might offend someone with progressive viewpoints. That does send a bit of a signal, which may just be based on your personal experience with whatever folks who have been acting up on the forums, but nonetheless. Yes. This community is unapologetically inclusive, and falls deliberately and firmly on that side of the line. I was hoping it sent more than "a bit" of a signal; I would hope that was blindingly obvious to anybody (in fact, I *know* it is from the nasty names I've been called on social media because of it).
  • 06:33 PM - Morrus quoted Phasestar in post The Journey To...North America, Part Two
    We've gone off-topic from the original article, which I honestly did not really have an issue with, but I do have a bone to pick with the discussion that followed it. I hear what you're saying, but I hope this "modern" point of view which equates to just telling a lot of people to shut up is a fad - the idea that people can only research or include a culture if they are of that culture or have a particular skin color is one of the more absurd concepts I've ever heard. It's another form of political correctness. Except that literally *nobody* has said that.
  • 05:29 PM - Steve1 quoted Phasestar in post The Journey To...North America, Part Two
    I understand "Social Justice Warrior" being derogative, but I don't get "Virtue Signalling", which describes a practice that absolutely exists. What is an acceptable alternative to describe this practice? Do you think other cultures also told similar stories and tropes, or do you think this phenomenon is unique to white Europeans? All cultures tell similar stories and tropes. What is unique to White Europeans in this context is the decimation of a way of life, namely that of Native Americans.
  • 04:29 PM - Nilonym quoted Phasestar in post The Journey To...North America, Part Two
    Deleted because off topic.
  • 04:18 PM - Morrus quoted Phasestar in post The Journey To...North America, Part Two
    I understand "Social Justice Warrior" being derogative, but I don't get "Virtue Signalling", which describes a practice that absolutely exists. What is an acceptable alternative to describe this practice? Take moderation questions to the Meta forum please. Stay on target!

Thursday, 18th January, 2018

  • 09:41 PM - ad_hoc quoted Phasestar in post Oriental Adventures 5e: How would you do it?
    ITT: A bunch of white people discussing what is and is not racist. A couple of points: Orient simply means "East" from Latin, so it's an old term and a lot of words in European languages originate with Latin. Oriental to me refers to medieval / pre-medieval China/Japan/Korea/etc. I don't see that it's offensive as used in "Oriental Adventures" any more than "Medieval European Adventures" which is the base setting of D&D, would be. D&D historically is like pulp fantasy which borrows heavily from many real world sources to create a fantasy world. With that said, unless there is a latin-like culture in your setting and the fantasy China/Japan/Korea is to the east of it, there are probably better titles than "Oriental Adventures" for describing that kind of setting. #1 - The origin of words has little bearing on their present meaning. #2 - The reason it was called Oriental Adventures and we don't have European Adventures is because of ethnocentrism. It is the idea that Whiteness ...

Sunday, 22nd October, 2017

  • 09:30 PM - Dannyalcatraz quoted Phasestar in post Thoughts on this article about Black Culture & the D&D team dropping the ball?
    This seems remarkably cynical to me. I would personally never hire someone as a "token" to scapegoat or sacrifice to the public in case of criticism. I think there's nothing wrong with saying "FR/D&D may benefit from doing more research to make some of the non-European inspired nations and cultures more interesting and varied", but this is an entirely different thing. I don't presume to speak for any group of people, I speak for myself and that's all I really expect of anyone else. The D&D team is also not a large team and their focus, at the end of the day, is making great D&D rules and content. They've accomplished that - the rest of this is interesting but secondary and I would rather them spend their budget wisely rather than hiring scapegoats. It would be remarkably cynical if the only reason you hired someone was to have a scapegoat on hand. That's why I said: Because having that go-to goat is next to the least amount of effort you can exert in trying to avoid situations l...
  • 06:55 PM - Satyrn quoted Phasestar in post Thoughts on this article about Black Culture & the D&D team dropping the ball?
    Nice to have an expert on FR (which I am not) chime in. This seems to really go to the heart of the original article's claim that the setting for TOA is the only part of FR that includes black humans. From your answer it seems that the article and bloggers quoted therein needed to do some research of their own. I also keep seeing it said here that ToA takes all of Africa and jams it into one single region. I wonder how true this is, or perhaps it's like someone looking at the old Maztica boxset and saying "it takes all of the Americas and jams it into one single region." (Maztica did not do that. It was a fantasy Teotihuacan with little pieces of Mayan and Incan fantasy tossed in, leaving vast swaths of Mayan and Incan cultures and geography unexplored, with Amazon and North American cultures mentioned only in passing as being "off the map aways over there." )


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