The Journey To...North America, Part Two - Page 6
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  1. #51
    In the History some horrible things have happened, and we have to face it, but we need the right balance between self-criticism and faith in oneself. We can't allow others use History to manipulate us by means of guilty feelings, but fogorten in the last centuries in the name of freedoom and the revolution more people was killed in shorter times (and fantasy+sci-fi fiction doesn't tell about this last).

    We can use fantasy like a softer way to tell abou the reality. For example if speaking about the battle of Lepanto, Spain vs Otoman empire is today "politically incorrect", then this can be changed by fantasy races, aasimars vs hobgoblins, for example.

    It is a pity, because the fantasy fiction and the rpg could be a fabulous hook to study History and to know different cultures, but here we are creating a politically correct taboo about use other civilitations like source of inspiration for our RPG adventures.
    Last edited by LuisCarlos17f; Sunday, 25th March, 2018 at 09:27 AM.
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  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skepticultist View Post
    Perfect foils for a barbarian campaign.
    Or a Greek campaign. Or an Egyptian campaign. Or a Hebrew campaign. Or even a Roman campaign.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuisCarlos17f View Post
    We can use fantasy like a softer way to tell abou the reality. For example if speaking about the battle of Lepanto, Spain vs Otoman empire is today "politically incorrect", then this can be changed by fantasy races, aasimars vs hobgoblins, for example.
    "And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain,
    Up which a lean and foolish knight forever rides in vain,
    And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade....
    (But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.)"

    -- G. K. Chesterton

    Lepanto gave the world a thing of inestimable value, and I wouldn't dream of cheapening it by depicting it in any way other than it was.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Craddock View Post
    Are we defending human sacrifice? I understand studying it and seeking to understand their customs and practices, knowledge is power and understanding history is important, but human sacrifice should be something that we can agree is not socially acceptable.
    Bernard Williams wrote about the "relativism of distance". There is about as much prospect of me jumping to the moon than there is of Aztec-style religious practices being revived; hence there is no real need to take up a moral standpoint towards those practices.

    In the context of a historico-fantasy RPG, I would find a game in which non-Aztec paladins wage holy war on Aztecs a little too close to apology for my taste. There was recently a thread about Achilles on this board, and while there was some debate about his alignment no one seemd to think it relevant that (among other things) he enslaves women as war booty. In many contexts we ignore or romanticise these features of the histories and cultures that we roleplay. Just as I play RPGs in which heroic characters have an attitude towards the permissibility of interpersonal violence which is very different from my own (given my place, time and outlook), but which gets read through valorising treatments of it (King Arthur legends, 4 colur comics, children's tales of Greek and Norse myth, etc); so if I was going to play an Aztec game I would rather approach the Aztecs through a similar lense, including with a degree of romanticisation if that's how it plays out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Craddock View Post
    Most of us play adventurers who, essentially, kill things and take their stuff. We are those culture dark points in many ways.
    I think it's actually very uncommon for RPGs to present these ultra-violent heroes as immoral. The default presentation is quite the opposite (eg player characters of this type are typically described as "heroes", and not ironically).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Craddock View Post
    I am deeply aware of the decimation that Native Americans went through, however, I would hazard that nearly every ethnicity has histories that they are certain are filled with similar atrocities. Look at Australia's Aboriginal experience, how Native South and Central Americans fell to the Spanish, the history of the Polish, Rome's presence in England, the Jewish plight throughout recorded history, Japan's treatment of China, etc.
    I don't know where you live. I live in Australia. I will confidently assert that the British conquest of Australia is a live rather than purely historical event in a way that the Roman conquest of Britain is not.

    If one turns to the subsequent Germanic and then Norman conquests, I'll let the Welsh speak for themselves; but as an outsider I do notice that they have a degree of self-government and official recognition of the Welsh language. That already marks a significant difference from the Australian situation. Furthermore, for Welsh fantasy gaming, we have the Mabinogion as one possible starting point.

    I think part of the point of the point of @SMHWorlds's article is to encourage looking at American First Nations cultures through that sort of lens, rather than eg as exotic people one might meet if one were a Viking sailing to Manhattan.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquilis View Post
    Yet another tidbit that makes me think we are all being played to an extent by the selection of some the articles highlighted here over the last several months or more.

    Throw red meat out, and watch the comment section explode.
    If you had the fastest idea how sick moderating makes me feel, you'd know that couldn't be the case. It's by far the part of my job I dread.
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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCosmicKid View Post
    Sooo... what you're saying is that there were some other cultures. And the Romans conquered them. And they did this many times.
    Empires are a vehicle for their Emperors to gain power, mostly the other cultures that were conquered were every bit as tyrannical as the Romans were, its just that they were smaller. The benefit of the Roman empire was that it kept the peace for those living within it. If you replace a bunch of smaller kingdoms fighting for territory with a much larger empire, the wars one experiences are much fewer. The Emperor doesn't want competition to his power, so he keeps the peace, and not all emperors were as bad as Nero. Rome build roads, encouraged commerce between the various parts of the Empire, new ideas travelled around on the peaceful roads. The Romans kept down banditry, and unless there was a civil war, most wars occurred in the periphery with the empire expanding into new territories and other nations and tribes fighting to keep their independence. Under Rome Christianity flourished, and their were worse things than the Romans, for example the Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan, that was mostly a bandit kingdom, they didn't build roads or make civic improvements, they just pillaged and plundered. The Third Reich was more like the Mongol Empire than it was like the Roman Empire.

  7. #57
    I think they are using "Sacred" instead of respectful and stereotype. The sad part with non-European cultures across the world is that the period of exploration and colonization by national powers and the Christian faith destroyed many cultures in the Americas (Africa too). From a scholastic point of view there have been a few large nations of Meso-Americans which most people can name from Mayan, Aztec, and Incan peoples....but there are 10,000s of smaller tribes and cultures that were wiped out...many with only a few historical artifacts. What we have today are groupings of forgotten cultures lie Southwest, Plains, Northeast, Pacifc Northwest, and Southern North American Indian Tribes... which even that is not the greatest classification. And I am not excluding the Eskimos either.....

    So far a few companies like the 7th Sea 2E did a fairly good example covering this issue. White Wolf's Werewolf the Apocalypse line also was very respectful too.

    In the end nothing should be held "sacred", honored perhaps...but when you want to put that moniker on it...it is going to be lost and forgotten in a "tomb". If you want something to relevant and revitalized, let it out even if it is steroetyped at first.... it promotes an interest which then you can work on bringing a more accurate portrayal.

  8. #58
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    The Journey To...North America, Part Two

    Quote Originally Posted by LuisCarlos17f View Post
    We can use fantasy like a softer way to tell abou the reality. For example if speaking about the battle of Lepanto, Spain vs Otoman empire is today "politically incorrect", then this can be changed by fantasy races, aasimars vs hobgoblins, for example.
    Please don't do that. That kind of substitution only encourages the self-righteous busybodies who love to declare dumb things like "Orcs are an analogy for black people! Orcs are racist!" Let Aasimars be Aasimars and Hobgoblins be Hobgoblins.

    You can't deal with the people who decide what is and isn't "politically correct," which these days is mostly a very small group of San Francisco elites, by trying to appease them. Because the whole idea that any of this is about "respect" or "concern" for the dignity or well-being of others is a giant lie.

    It's about power. You can see the exact same thing happening with Christianity. Do you think the people who castigate homosexuals and decry liberal progressives as the tools of Satan actually care about the souls of those they hector? Of course not. It's about power. It's about creating a sociocultural base of power which they stand on top of, and from this vantage can make demands of everyone else. Christianity stopped being about loving thy neighbor about ten seconds after Jesus got nailed to the cross, and it became about controlling thy neighbor, just as all religions do. In this modern era, the grip Christianity has had one Western morality is loosening fast, and more and more people simply don't care what the actual priests say about anything. That's create a vacuum, a space for moral scolds and manipulators of fear, anxiety and guilt to insinuate themselves.

    What the mavens of political correctness really want is a new religion, with them on top as the new priest caste. They want all of us to live in a state of constant fear and anxiety, worried that we might "offend" some vague, nonspecific body of people. They want us to be confused and unsure about our own moral reasoning and afraid to follow our own conscience. The ultimate goal is to create in us a need for them to tell us what to think, what to say, how to live.

    That's why the "rules" of political correctness change constantly. Twenty five years ago, En Vogue released the anti-racism hit "Free Your Mind," with it's catchy refrain of "Free your mind, and the rest will follow. Be colorblind, don't be so shallow." Being color blind was a positive, it was progressive. Now, "color blind" is a "racist term" that is only used by "bad people."

    Or look at the way they've made "people of color" into a thing. "Colored people" is totally racist, but if you turn it into a postpostitive adjective, "people of color," then it's "correct." What's hilarious, of course, is that the "reasoning" given for this is "people first," i.e. the idea that the "person" should come first to emphasize that these are people we are discussing. Yet if you watch closely (actually I'm kidding, you barely have to be observant at all to catch this), you'll notice that it's never "people of whiteness," but always "white people." This is because "political correctness" is really all about using white guilt to control and manipulate white people, so the people who advocate this nonsense don't actually have to be consistent in any meaningful way, because it's not really about the things they say, it's about exercising power over others.

    None of these people actually believes that saying "people" first is an actual meaningful act, otherwise they would have changed how they say "white people." It's just a way of confusing and controlling people by constantly shifting the language they are "supposed" to use so that they constantly have to turn to the mavens of political correctness to be told what the proper language is this week. Well, either that or the alt.righties are right and they really do just hate white people and continue to use "white people" because they are deliberately and consciously dehumanizing "people of whiteness," but even I think that's paranoid. Never attribute to malice that which can be readily explained by incompetence and stupidity. I think they use "white people" despite it conflicting with their reasoning for using "color of people" not because they are evil and hate white people, but because they are intellectually lazy and facile and don't actually ever bother to think about the ramifications of their arguments.

    I'm getting lost in the weeds here. The point being is this: Ignore them. These mavens of political correctness are no different than any other kind of priest. You can just ignore them. They don't have any actual power. This latest iteration of the plague that has been with us since the dawn of time doesn't even make any supernatural claims -- there's no Hell for people who think "people of color" is a dumb, reductive term. There's no Politically Correct God watching our every movement, knowing the secrets of our hearts. They have literally no power beyond the power to whinge at people.

    Put them out of your mind and enjoy your games the way you want to enjoy your games. If something you are doing troubles [your conscience, then listen to that voice. But if it's not, then don't let some busybody threatening to get offended at you make you doubt your own conscience.

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    Last edited by Morrus; Sunday, 25th March, 2018 at 11:34 PM.

  9. #59
    For me the orcs aren't an analogy of the Blackafrican community, but they are inspired in the European barbarians before the Middle Age.

    A example of how fiction is a softer way to tell about reality is the honored matres from the Frank Herbert's Dune saga is (without spoilers) to tell us the slaves from yesterday can become the tyrants of the tomorrow.

    We have to take care. If there is a RPG about the far west, we can talk about the stereotype of the Northamerican indigenous in the fiction. If we are talking about the action-live of "Assasin Creed" somebody can says Hollywood has told the truth about the reconquest of the Granada kingdom. We talk about History, one of the main source of inspiration for fiction, and RPGs, but we don't want to be having a hard time with controversies.

    We aren't only in the internet age. Also we are in the cultural contrarevolution. This means a sector of public opinion is starting to rebell againt certains stereotypes from the main media, for example the character Joseph Seed, the main antagonist from the videogame "Far Cry 5".

    I am Spanish and I live in Spain. I can tell the things from my own point of view, and I say from here most of people know about USA is (almost) only New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, because amost all the soap operas and high school teleseries happen there. We can't to point in the map where are Ontario, New Yersey, Idaho or Minessota, because here in the school we study the European capital cities. How to telling it politely? If you think the cartoon show "A family guy" or "Sourth Park" are offensive for Christian community, you can't imagine any covers from the satiric magazine "el Jueves". (the Spanish equivalent "Charlie Hebbo" or "MAD magazine"). Here the anti-clericalism in the media is very strong, and we have suffered some incidents. And now lot of people are wondering why nasty hostility againts Catholic church is allowed but the respect for Muslim community because we have to stop islamophobia.

    Do you remember the sentinel robots from the comics of X-Men? This teachs us we can't trust who presents themself as defenders to the masses against those who have more power because they may be a worse menace. We can say mutant-hunter robots, but also we could say the same about who warns us againts the preachers like the (false) reverend Harry Powell from "the night of the hunter", but they may be the true wolves in lamb's clothes. Warning, the new Harry Powell now aren't preaching about God and the Gospel but about freedom and revolution. Do remember Robespierre's terror.

    If you really want to help to stop hate and fanaticism, then you must defend the respect of human dignity. If we don't defend the human dignity, then Joffrey Baratheon with a crossbow can shot a tied woman, or Sansa Stark can send a hungry pack of dogs to devour her ex-husband. Without respect for the human dignity then we are tainted by the "dark side of the Force" and the monster-hunter becomes a monster too. Without respect for human dignity the rebel againts the oppression becomes a new tyrant, like the character Magneto, from the X-Men comics. "Friends of Humanity", other antagonist faction, suffer the same mistake, they are villains because they want to protect (some) innocents but they have fogorten their "enemy" too are being humans with rights and dignity. (And now the mutants haven't a very good relation with the new inhumans. It is curious, because it is the behavior than flatscans' in the past).

    Please, we need nobody to make remember us what Torquemada did in the past, because now we are too busy reporting about capital punishment againts Asia Bibi. (Don't you know who is her?). Can you imagine how I feel when I see the new edition of the rpg "7th Sea" and I imagine Castilla and the Vatican Church according to the author's vision, with their possible predjucices? I don't forget this quote from the back cover of "los Vagos": a terrifying Inquisition drags innocent citizens from the homes". The real inquisition by the Vatican Church in the real-life Castilla didn't that. Who dragged innocet cittizens from the homes? The communists in Spain 30's. They were trying a genocide, and today in the facade of the church is written "ARDERIS COMO EN EL 36!" ( = you will burn like in (year 19)36!". You can write the phrase in Spanish languange in image google to find real photos of this words. Why have I to feel ashamed about what happened in "Castilla" centuries ago, but the anti-Christians don't worry about to fall "in the dark side of the Force"? Too I am angry with Games Workshop and the church of Sigmar from Warhammer Fantasy, with those clich about close-minded clery who wants destroy all they can't understand (and the "church" from Warhammer 40.000. Other example about stereotypes with the clery are the "universal church" from the rpg "Fading Suns". I don't like the cliche "priests don't like science". Please! do you know the father of the teory of the Big Bang was a priest, George Lematre?

    In the fiction the atheist gives a speech againts the religious hipocrisy and bigotry, and he doesn't find an answer, but in the real life you can find a Christian who isn't like Ned Flanders, has readen Maria Valtorta's vision of the life of Jesus and tells you a lot of things you don't know, for example the brutal massacre in the region of la Vende, Mao's cultural revolution, tortures in the chekas or about Madam Roland's last words ("Oh liberty! what crimes are commited in your name!").

    How to say it softly? Do you remember the Technocracy from the rpg "Mage: the Ascesion"? Haven't you wondered any time maybe you are receiving a lot of propaganda againts anything because the true reason is it can't be controlled by them, or it's an obstacle againts their plans of social ingeneering? John Jonah Jameson says everytime Spiderman is a public menace, but you can't believe all is told by the Daily Bugle, can you?

    * We love ancient Egypt, and this is a greate source of inspiration for fantasy fiction, but we know nothing about the Copt community, the true folk who built the pyramids. Can't we play Stargate SG-1 rpg because this may offend Egyptians?
    Last edited by LuisCarlos17f; Tuesday, 27th March, 2018 at 08:02 AM.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by conclave27 View Post
    I think they are using "Sacred" instead of respectful and stereotype. The sad part with non-European cultures across the world is that the period of exploration and colonization by national powers and the Christian faith destroyed many cultures in the Americas (Africa too). From a scholastic point of view there have been a few large nations of Meso-Americans which most people can name from Mayan, Aztec, and Incan peoples....but there are 10,000s of smaller tribes and cultures that were wiped out...many with only a few historical artifacts. What we have today are groupings of forgotten cultures lie Southwest, Plains, Northeast, Pacifc Northwest, and Southern North American Indian Tribes... which even that is not the greatest classification. And I am not excluding the Eskimos either.....

    So far a few companies like the 7th Sea 2E did a fairly good example covering this issue. White Wolf's Werewolf the Apocalypse line also was very respectful too.

    In the end nothing should be held "sacred", honored perhaps...but when you want to put that moniker on it...it is going to be lost and forgotten in a "tomb". If you want something to relevant and revitalized, let it out even if it is steroetyped at first.... it promotes an interest which then you can work on bringing a more accurate portrayal.
    Part of the problem is native American tribes did not have a written language with which to record their history, so their history went unrecorded. What if there was not a period of colonization and exploration? The only way I think that could have happened is if we stayed in the Dark Ages, and we would not be sitting here typing to one another on these computers.

    There is a tendency to glorify the "small fry" when it goes against the big Empire trying to conquer them. But is small better than big? What is the likelihood of no one conquering the New World and the Native Americans being left alone? About the same as all the air in the room gathering in one corner and leaving the rest in a vacuum. Vacuums tend to get filled. technologically advanced cultures tend to spread at the expense of those less advanced cultures, their is a lot of good that spreads as well as bad. We moderns tend to take the good for granted and discount all the good that came with spreading Western culture. Stone aged tribes of hunter gatherers dominated North America for the past 10,000 years, if we allowed North America to stay in the stone age for another 500 years there would be no roads, no electricity, no cars, no planes, no computers, no advanced medicine, these things we take for granted.

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