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General (Anecdotal) conversations with Asian gamers on some problems they currently face in the D&D world of RPG gaming

Hussar

Legend
China and Japan are different, and Ireland and Russian aren't the same, but in D&D you can find together monsters from different folklores and mythologies, Irish, Greek or Nordic cultures.

Japanase cultural influence is stronger in Western civilitation today, but today we can know more about some Korean fiction. Could you mention any Chinese or Korean franchise more famous than Japanese IPs?

In my city or region we say the expresion "don't sell honey with a vinegar face" (or something like this) to warn against bad diplomacy if you have a goal and you need help by others. If China wants to more culturally influencial than Japan or South-Korea has to show a kind face and can forget past offenses, uninentional or not.

Maybe they are right about annoying stereotypes but if they want to sell their titles in Western market then they will to "sallow toads" ( = put ups with an unpleasant situation) and show us their best smiles while they tell us about their last manhuas and donghuas.

Umm, what?

We're talking about a book written in the US, by Americans, for the US market. China had zero input into this. Korea had zero input into this.

I agree, we can find monsters and elements from all sorts of different folklores and mythologies from all over Europe and beyond in the base game. Which is kinda the point. You cannot simply paint all of East Asia with a single brush. And that's what Oriental Adventures does. It tries to pretend that the only culture of note that we need to be aware of is Japanese culture. Nothing else matters.

Do you see the issue now? Like I said, if this was a book about playing in Mythic Japan, then all my issues vanish. I would shut up and go away if that were true. Unfortunately, it's not true. It paints multiple cultures with a single brush, blatantly ignoring other cultures and influences while pretending that that single culture is the only one that matters.
 

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I agree, we can find monsters and elements from all sorts of different folklores and mythologies from all over Europe and beyond in the base game. Which is kinda the point. You cannot simply paint all of East Asia with a single brush. And that's what Oriental Adventures does.
I'm not sure I understand your point. Are you saying that you can't paint all of East Asia with a single brush, but you can do that with Europe?
 







Bagpuss

Adventurer
Could you mention any Chinese or Korean franchise more famous than Japanese IPs?

Does Jackie Chan count?

Mulan?

Outlaws of the Water Margin is a pretty famous Chinese story, it's 108 heroes has influenced a number of CRPGs, but a lot of the reason it is better known in the west is due to Japanese retelling of the stories.
 

Quick question: Why are we defining cultures by political borders and racial groups?

I know many culturally Japanese people living in the US and culturally American people living in Armenia.

Why are we positing a cultural tie to race (culture is not biological) and political borders (many subjects of the Soviet Union weren't Russian culturally)?
 

Hussar

Legend
I'm not sure I understand your point. Are you saying that you can't paint all of East Asia with a single brush, but you can do that with Europe?

No. Quite the opposite. In D&D we have all sorts of European cultures make appearances. None of the classes are really tied to any specific culture - I suppose druids maybe, but, even that's a stretch. The equipment list covers pretty much all of Europe. The Monster Manual pulls monsters from all over Europe. In other words, pretty much all of Europe is represented in the core D&D books. And, frankly, even beyond Europe as well.

But, the OA books present an East Asia that is a single, Japanese monoculture. The classes are all pulled from Japanese ideas, right down to using Japanese names, the equipment is Japanese, the monsters are almost all pulled from Japanese folklore.

That's the problem.
 

Hussar

Legend
Quick question: Why are we defining cultures by political borders and racial groups?

I know many culturally Japanese people living in the US and culturally American people living in Armenia.

Why are we positing a cultural tie to race (culture is not biological) and political borders (many subjects of the Soviet Union weren't Russian culturally)?

I'm sorry, but, I do not understand your question. Could you rephrase?
 

I'm sorry, but, I do not understand your question. Could you rephrase?

Do the terms Chinese culture and Asian culture even make sense?

Western China is completely different compared to Eastern China.
Asia lacks a united culture.

Why do we assume cultures correspond to political and biological identities?

Living abroad in Georgia (the country, not the state), the description of Georgian culture does not match a single Georgian person I know. How can so-called Georgian culture exist, when (seemingly) no one fits the description?
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
I can’t say I’ve missed the umpteen threads on racism in the last few weeks.

The same people, saying the same stuff, split across the same lines. Neither budging an inch, neither really listening.

Why don’t we see what changes WOC make in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything before we reach another 1000 posts.

In the meantime lets go back to ripping apart the 5e ruleset in preparation for Level Up.
 
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Hussar

Legend
Do the terms Chinese culture and Asian culture even make sense?

Western China is completely different compared to Eastern China.
Asia lacks a united culture.

Why do we assume cultures correspond to political and biological identities?

Living abroad in Georgia (the country, not the state), the description of Georgian culture does not match a single Georgian person I know. How can so-called Georgian culture exist, when (seemingly) no one fits the description?

What does this have to do with the question of Oriental Adventures? I'm still not understanding your point.
 

What does this have to do with the question of Oriental Adventures? I'm still not understanding your point.

Because nearly every post is based on the proposition that basing one's identity around a culture has merit. Furthermore, posters act as if those cultural identifies are connected to citizenship and skin color. I'm having trouble understanding and agreeing with other posters' perspectives when the explanation of those assumptions is left implicate.

What makes the sentence I am Chinese* comprehensible? If one can identify as Chinese, what is the Chinese-ness that one identifying with? What does it mean to identify as Chinese in a way that would make OA offensive? (Simply holding a Chinese passport seems insufficient) Does that offense still make sense if the individual does not live in China and is not a part of Chinese culture? If so, why?

*Replaceable by another other national/cultural identifier.

I'm quite confused and am unable to answer these questions in a satisfying way. Since other posters seem confident in their beliefs, I was hoping they could help me out.
 

Hussar

Legend
Again, what does this have to do with the topic at hand? If you want a refresher in cultural anthropology, there are far, far better places for it.

Can you be very specific? What posts are "based on the proposition that basing one's identity around culture has merit"? Because, I'm sorry, but, I'm very much not seeing anything that even hints at that.

So, please, be very specific, quote exactly who you are talking about and what posts are causing your confusion.
 

Again, what does this have to do with the topic at hand? If you want a refresher in cultural anthropology, there are far, far better places for it.

Can you be very specific? What posts are "based on the proposition that basing one's identity around culture has merit"? Because, I'm sorry, but, I'm very much not seeing anything that even hints at that.

So, please, be very specific, quote exactly who you are talking about and what posts are causing your confusion.

Here are a couple from this page:

"So which country's folkore do we base the future of D&D on? Germany? Greece? The United Kingdom?"
  • What does its mean for folklore to belong to the country?
  • The country of Germany was only formed in 1990 - how was ownership of previous cultural constructs transferred?
  • If the stories in question were centuries old, why do they belong to the modern version of that country? The Germany of 1600 is completely different than The Germany of 2020.
  • Why do we choose to transfer ownership of folklore generationally, as opposed to leaving it in the possession of its original (often unknown) authors?
"And that's what Oriental Adventures does. It tries to pretend that the only culture of note that we need to be aware of is Japanese culture. Nothing else matters...Like I said, if this was a book about playing in Mythic Japan, then all my issues vanish. "
  • Why do people identity with a culture that does not exist anymore? Neither medieval Japanese or medieval China exist anymore, why does anyone care if we brush one with the colors of the other?
  • If the reason is cultural identity, why is culture a reasonable thing to identify with?
  • What does it means to identify with a culture if culture is always changing?
  • What are the prerequisites that make "I identify as Chinese" a valid statement?
 

  • What does its mean for folklore to belong to the country?
  • The country of Germany was only formed in 1990 - how was ownership of previous cultural constructs transferred?
  • If the stories in question were centuries old, why do they belong to the modern version of that country? The Germany of 1600 is completely different than The Germany of 2020.
  • Why do we choose to transfer ownership of folklore generationally, as opposed to leaving it in the possession of its original (often unknown) authors?
The folklore shaped the country into what it is now. It is part of its heritage, is a cultural touchstone, and has influenced countless other literary productions. This is why it belongs there and why the country is the custodian of said folklore. As folklore is meant to be shared freely, it was never meant to stay in the possession of its authors.
 

The folklore shaped the country into what it is now. It is part of its heritage, is a cultural touchstone, and has influenced countless other literary productions. This is why it belongs there and why the country is the custodian of said folklore. As folklore is meant to be shared freely, it was never meant to stay in the possession of its authors.

OK. Cool. Thanks for answering!

What about an immigrant who receives German citizenship? Is he a custodian or not? What about a German born-citizen who hasn't lived in or visited Germany for 60 years?
 

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