Consequences of playing "EVIL" races

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
In real life? They're going to be torn to pieces.

In D&D? Absolutely nothing. Dirty looks. Someone might spit on them.

You realize that this is my go-to example for why the policy of running monster PCs out of the game doesn't have anything to do with realism, and that I brought it up myself in my first or second post in this thread?
That might be where our disconnect is coming from, at least in part: I'm fairly big on realism when it comes to such things.

If the flag-wearer would be torn apart in real life, there's absolutely no reason for the same not to happen in the fiction of a D&D game.

Just a side note, but that is so cool and I am totally jelly.
:)
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Fiction can play merry hell with the physical sciences, even in settings without explicit magic, and people are mostly not going to bat an eyelash.
Or, at least in my case, are going to try to bend the known physical sciences in ways that would allow for magic; and go on from there.

A setting that tries the same with the social sciences, a setting where people don't act like people, falls apart because it destroys the audience's ability to engage with the characters.
To a certain extent - particularly when playing Human characters - this is true: the path of least resistance is to have them think more or less like we do.

(side note: this is something often overlooked by those - including me - playing non-Human characters e.g. Dwarves, Hobbits, etc.: they might well NOT think like us, but again the path of least resistance is to just largely assume that they do, and carry on. Something for me to work on in my own play.)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
But isn’t that the point? If we can envision a world with dragons and magic...departures from the world we know...can’t we also envision a world where people aren’t as concerned with race?

The fiction can literally be anything we desire, so having the pitchfork mobs show up for anyone outside the norm is not really an attempt at realism, but rather an aesthetic choice.
Yet - and here's where I'm a bit confused - you wouldn't have the pitchfork mobs show up for the guy in Carta wearing the Tewys flag either; and that's nothing to do with race.

Or let's put it into a party-level situation: the PCs are working on behalf of Carta and at some point learn beyond doubt that one of the PCs is a Tewys spy. Now what?
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
Yet - and here's where I'm a bit confused - you wouldn't have the pitchfork mobs show up for the guy in Carta wearing the Tewys flag either; and that's nothing to do with race.

Or let's put it into a party-level situation: the PCs are working on behalf of Carta and at some point learn beyond doubt that one of the PCs is a Tewys spy. Now what?

They’re different situations. I’m not saying that there’s never a time that the PCs can provoke such a response from the locals. Just that it’s really down to the GM to decide what the response may be, and so it’s their choice to invoke the mob.

As for a PC being a spy for a rival nation than that of the PCs’ patron, I think it’d be up to the players to decide how to handle it. But I’d also the fact that they’re playing a game together to be a factor in such a decision.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
But isn’t that the point? If we can envision a world with dragons and magic...departures from the world we know...can’t we also envision a world where people aren’t as concerned with race?

Absolutely. Just don't call people wrong and insult them for going the other way with it. I know you weren't the one that did that.

The fiction can literally be anything we desire, so having the pitchfork mobs show up for anyone outside the norm is not really an attempt at realism, but rather an aesthetic choice.
This is not true. Racism in the game is realism. It makes a loose attempt to model how things are in real life. How it actually plays out can be more or less realistic, weak or even non-existent based on the setting and/or DM choice, but it is still an attempt at realism. Well, except for that last part where it's non-existent.
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
Absolutely. Just don't call people wrong and insult them for going the other way with it. I know you weren't the one that did that.


This is not true. Racism in the game is realism. It makes a loose attempt to model how things are in real life. How it actually plays out can be more or less realistic, weak or even non-existent based on the setting and/or DM choice, but it is still an attempt at realism. Well, except for that last part where it's non-existent.

But is racism realistic in such a world? Would that...or just about anything really....function according to our understanding given how radically different the world might be in other ways?

I’m not saying there’s anything bad about people deciding to play however they want, but whatever they decide is a choice.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
But is racism realistic in such a world? Would that...or just about anything really....function according to our understanding given how radically different the world might be in other ways?

Of course it's realism. Realism is an approximation of something that happens in real life. Any such attempt is realism, no matter what. It may or may not be appropriate based on setting details, but it is realism.]
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
Of course it's realism. Realism is an approximation of something that happens in real life. Any such attempt is realism, no matter what. It may or may not be appropriate based on setting details, but it is realism.]

Okay...I don’t want to get hung up on a semantic debate. Let me give an alternate example.

In a world where the gods are manifest and the afterlife is certain, combined with very real threats from things like dragons and bulettes and who knows what else, I feel it would be realistic to have people have already overcome their strong sense of tribalism to such a point where, although some bias likely still exists, people are generally not grabbing pitchforks and torches because someone different than them shows up in their town.

My logic is also based on an attempt at realism, right? But I’ve arrived at a different conclusion.

Therefore, I think it’s more important to describe these decisions as personal choice.

Does that make more sense?
 

man idk, I don't think I've ever run d&d where there were "evil" races, like I find the idea in of itself kinda dumb. my current dm is also the same way. orcs in his world are largely warriors who rule the deserty part of the world. we also had an entire adventure where we kicked out an orc tribe that took over an entire small kingdom. doesn't mean orcs are inherently evil, we even had a half-orc paladin join our party halfway through that adventure. prior to that we befriended an orc cheesemonger who wrote to us from time to time.

I get that maybe certain things are always gonna be evil, e.g. demons and devils, but even with things like tieflings if it's within the purview of a playable race I don't see why they should be inherently evil or good. even WotC had addressing this issue, and you can tell 'cause in 5e we're told that orcs and goblins and the like are still influenced by the gods who created them which felt like a better explanation than before but still fairly contrived.

but to answer your question (lol) I dunno, I feel like maybe goblins might not be as accepted if say a town has had a bad history with goblins, or are currently embroiled in a war with them, but if a town hasn't had any bad goblin experiences as of late idk how they should be treated differently from other adventurers (who should face similar prejudices depending on where they are imo).

Dumb is a strong word. In the pantheon of D&D, gods decided who would be fair and unjust. They decided who would align (or have a great chance) of being evil. Meaning, they committed evil acts because that was their inherent nature due to the gods, not because of culture. What you describe is culture. And if that's your campaign setting, awesome. But to call other campaign settings dumb because of the deity creation of races seems a bit extreme.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Okay...I don’t want to get hung up on a semantic debate. Let me give an alternate example.

In a world where the gods are manifest and the afterlife is certain, combined with very real threats from things like dragons and bulettes and who knows what else, I feel it would be realistic to have people have already overcome their strong sense of tribalism to such a point where, although some bias likely still exists, people are generally not grabbing pitchforks and torches because someone different than them shows up in their town.

Each race has it's own gods and elves hate orcs, orcs and goblins fight, etc. Tribalism is everywhere in fantasy games and literature. The gods of these races often instigate it. The very existence of racial pantheons is proof of it.

Other threats wouldn't stop tribalism, either. In real life, despite outside threats like Viking raids and such, towns still protected their own over others and maintained feuds. Humanity is tribal. We always have been, and pretty much(since I don't like to use absolutes) all of the world's societies still are.

My logic is also based on an attempt at realism, right? But I’ve arrived at a different conclusion.

I don't think so. It's logical from a fantasy standpoint, since fantasy worlds are different and fantasy races could act that way, but it's not realism.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Each race has it's own gods and elves hate orcs, orcs and goblins fight, etc. Tribalism is everywhere in fantasy games and literature. The gods of these races often instigate it. The very existence of racial pantheons is proof of it.

Other threats wouldn't stop tribalism, either. In real life, despite outside threats like Viking raids and such, towns still protected their own over others and maintained feuds. Humanity is tribal. We always have been, and pretty much(since I don't like to use absolutes) all of the world's societies still are.



I don't think so. It's logical from a fantasy standpoint, since fantasy worlds are different and fantasy races could act that way, but it's not realism.
Ah, the realism debate, again. Could you go ahead and define realism for this thread so we can skip all that leads up to that point?
 


hawkeyefan

Legend
Each race has it's own gods and elves hate orcs, orcs and goblins fight, etc. Tribalism is everywhere in fantasy games and literature. The gods of these races often instigate it. The very existence of racial pantheons is proof of it.

Other threats wouldn't stop tribalism, either. In real life, despite outside threats like Viking raids and such, towns still protected their own over others and maintained feuds. Humanity is tribal. We always have been, and pretty much(since I don't like to use absolutes) all of the world's societies still are.



I don't think so. It's logical from a fantasy standpoint, since fantasy worlds are different and fantasy races could act that way, but it's not realism.

It’s my attempt to portray a world with such fantastic elements in a realistic way.

Sure there are divisions in our world. There are also things that unite. Many are enlightened in the way that we’re talking about. I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that things could improve given the fatastic elements that are present in the world and would surely shape it.

Realism as the stated goal is present in both, even if one is drawing on fantastic elements. This is why I think it best to not argue about the use pf the word realism, and instead look at the outcome, and the choices leading to that outcome.

To me, it’s more meaningful that a GM would choose to respond to PC race choice in such a strong way than it is that his reason for doing so is some attempt at realism.
 



Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
It's factual here, though. Realism is why it is happening. I'm not going to avoid the truth simply because you dislike it.
I don't know what the "truth" here is, Max, because you're going to decline to define what you mean by "realism" so all I have that you think it means you're right. I don't see the result your advocating for as particularly restricted by "realism," but more of whatever lens you use to view the real world distilled by whatever assumption set you're using into a "realism" that means you're right. It's a word that doesn't really have any usefulness because it's so viewpoint based. Which is why, if you're going to insist on using it, you need to define it so we can all understand what it is you mean when you say it. Right now, "realism" doesn't mean to me what it means to you.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I don't know what the "truth" here is, Max, because you're going to decline to define what you mean by "realism" so all I have that you think it means you're right. I don't see the result your advocating for as particularly restricted by "realism," but more of whatever lens you use to view the real world distilled by whatever assumption set you're using into a "realism" that means you're right. It's a word that doesn't really have any usefulness because it's so viewpoint based. Which is why, if you're going to insist on using it, you need to define it so we can all understand what it is you mean when you say it. Right now, "realism" doesn't mean to me what it means to you.
Scroll up man. I've already said what it was. If you aren't going to read, don't blame me if you don't understand.
 

Of course it's realism. Realism is an approximation of something that happens in real life. Any such attempt is realism, no matter what. It may or may not be appropriate based on setting details, but it is realism.]
That's not realism. Realism is an artistic movement spanning across visual art, literature, and theatre that started in the 1800s as a reaction to Romanticism. Realist works focus on the presentation of the everyday, the normal, the mundane, and avoid stylization. Often times, realist works would focus on showing the life and times of the poor and the underclasses. Subgenres of realism include social realism, American regionalism, British kitchen sink realism, Soviet proletariat literature, and French naturalism, among others.

What you're trying to describe, I would call either "verisimilitude" or "historical accuracy". However, the nature of both terms undermines your argument of one truth, one "real". Verisimilitude is but invoking the perception of reality; as long as it feels real, it doesn't matter if it actually is. As for historical accuracy, let's just say that academic history is in no way settled. The discovery of new events, emergence of evidence that challenges previously held theories and models of events, and emergent and conflicting analyses of historical events make it so that trying to present one viewpoint, one telling of history as "accurate" is a non-starter.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
That's not realism. Realism is an artistic movement spanning across visual art, literature, and theatre that started in the 1800s as a reaction to Romanticism. Realist works focus on the presentation of the everyday, the normal, the mundane, and avoid stylization. Often times, Realist works would focus on showing the life and times of the poor and the underclasses. Subgenres of realism include social realism, American regionalism, British Kitchen sink realism, Soviet proletariat literature, and French naturalism, among others.

This is not how it's used in RPGs.
 

Zhaleskra

Adventurer
Here's what I think will happen: the first few times a PC of an "evil" race encounters the setting appropriate backlash, they'll take it in stride. Probably by the fourth time it happens it won't be fun anymore, for players or GM.
 

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