D&D General Could A Npc be Racist towards Elven Thieves but he's willing to befriend Elves that aren't Thieves and he will tolerate Thieves that aren't Elves?

JMISBEST

Explorer
A friend of mine has A Idea for A Npc A Mate of mine could use in my campaign, basically its someone that's racist towards members of A Certain Race that work in a certain class but he's willing to befriend members of that race that's aren't in that Class and is willing to tolerate people that are in that Class that don't come from that Certain Race

1 example of that would be A Npc that's Racist towards Elven Thieves but he's willing to befriend Elves that aren't Thieves and he's willing tolerate Thieves that aren't Elves?. Do note that I'm not racist nor is anyone I know racist, rather my friend simply wants to use this type of racism in his campaign, luckily he was sensible to clear it with his players before asking me to ask on this site
 

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Haiku Elvis

Adventurer
People can be arbritary and strange in their predudices. My wife is american living in the UK and the amount of times she's had people talk to her about the problems of immigration, completely oblivious to the fact she is an immigrant too, has become a bit of a running joke.
So if you are happy with that in your game go with it.
 

jgsugden

Legend
Drop the game mechanics from the discussion and think about it from the perspective of the NPC. What is it they hate? They hate elves that steal from people? Or elves that are a member of a certain group?

Why does the NPC have this level of hatred? Was it a prior event? If so, why did it make the NPC have that specific motivation?

I find that if you approach the world building, and NPC motivation, from these perspectives it makes the world a bit better.
 
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JMISBEST

Explorer
If a component of whether somebody will 'tolerate' somebody is based on their race, then yeah, that’s pretty much the definition of racism
His racism towards Elven Thieves isn't because of their race/Elven, he hates them because their Elves that have chosen to become Thieves, the guys fine with Elves that aren't Thieves and he will tolerate Thieves that aren't Elves

Maybe racist was a bad choice of words, now that I think about it I think it would have been better to say that he has a predigest towards Elven Thieves that is very easy to mistake for racism towards Elves

The most likely reason for that is that people don't know him well enough to know that he's only racist towards Elven Thieves and he's fine with Elves that that aren't Thieves and he will tolerate Thieves that aren't Elves
 



Auramancer

Explorer
It’s racist in the sense of expecting all members of a race to conform to the character’s view of a cultural role for that race. “Bigoted” may be the less inflammatory term.
 


MarkB

Legend
His racism towards Elven Thieves isn't because of their race/Elven, he hates them because their Elves that have chosen to become Thieves, the guys fine with Elves that aren't Thieves and he will tolerate Thieves that aren't Elves

Maybe racist was a bad choice of words, now that I think about it I think it would have been better to say that he has a predigest towards Elven Thieves that is very easy to mistake for racism towards Elves

The most likely reason for that is that people don't know him well enough to know that he's only racist towards Elven Thieves and he's fine with Elves that that aren't Thieves and he will tolerate Thieves that aren't Elves
Why does he hold elves to a standard that he doesn't apply to other races? Why does he think it's bad for them to become thieves and fine for members of any other species?

Is it the thought of them becoming criminals that disturbs him, or simply that he considers the species and profession mismatched? Would he be similarly offended by other combinations he considers unorthodox, like gnome architects, or tiefling haberdashers?
 

This seems far closer to a mental disorder. People usually have a specific reason for their prejudice, so I have a hard time understand how someone could be I hate X+Y, but I'm okay with X and Y. The closest I could think of is "I hate Drizzt clones, but I'm okay with drow and rangers," but that's an out of game issue, not in game.

Who tolerates thieves?
Depends on the world; in some place, thieves are highly respected by the common people. Consider Hyboria, Lankhmar, and other classic sword & sorcery stories/worlds. In the Free City of Greyhawk the Thieves Guildmaster is a member of the city council.
 

ced1106

Explorer
The most likely reason for that is that people don't know him well enough to know that he's only racist towards Elven Thieves and he's fine with Elves that that aren't Thieves and he will tolerate Thieves that aren't Elves

There's probably some sort of cognitive dissonance or distortion or whatever psychological description of behavior that would describe this. In effect, the NPC has a prejudice / stereotype, but anyone of that stereotype that he accepts is an exception, so the prejudice / stereotype is still true for him. In fantasy, the trope is that a non-human race encounters a human and is initially distrustful of them, but eventually accepts them -- but still doesn't get past their dislike of humans.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
His racism towards Elven Thieves isn't because of their race/Elven, he hates them because their Elves that have chosen to become Thieves, the guys fine with Elves that aren't Thieves and he will tolerate Thieves that aren't Elves

Maybe racist was a bad choice of words, now that I think about it I think it would have been better to say that he has a predigest towards Elven Thieves that is very easy to mistake for racism towards Elves

The most likely reason for that is that people don't know him well enough to know that he's only racist towards Elven Thieves and he's fine with Elves that that aren't Thieves and he will tolerate Thieves that aren't Elves
None of this makes any sense, I'm sorry.

The specific combination of elven thieves, but not elf farmers or dwarf thieves just isn't even coherent.

Like it's not a believable mindset.
 


Stormonu

Legend
None of this makes any sense, I'm sorry.

The specific combination of elven thieves, but not elf farmers or dwarf thieves just isn't even coherent.

Like it's not a believable mindset.
It's a variation of a "no true Scotsman" mindset. If the character is fine with an elf farmer, but can't tolerate an elf theif - they've sort of put elves on a pedastal in that they "can/should do no wrong". They're "okay" with them frolicking in the woods or interacting with society - so long as they don't step out of line with what the individual thinks is "proper" for them. Elves go to theiving and this person seems them as the worst sort of skum.


Unfortunately, I've seen this attitude down here in the deep South.
Down here, certain people will ignore blacks so long as they stay in the background and quietly lives their lives, but if the black individual shows signs of immoral behavior (such as stealing), they're considered the worst sort of scum on earth who need to be pruned immediately. A lot of times these sort of folks will claim that they aren't bigots or racists, even so far as to say "I have several black friends", when in reality they simply don't want to think about blacks existing and are ready to pounce on them the moment they "step out of line".

To Kill a Mockingbird has a lot of this sentiment towards the black defendant - they were okay with him in their community until he "did something improper".
 

Why does he hold elves to a standard that he doesn't apply to other races? Why does he think it's bad for them to become thieves and fine for members of any other species?

Is it the thought of them becoming criminals that disturbs him, or simply that he considers the species and profession mismatched? Would he be similarly offended by other combinations he considers unorthodox, like gnome architects, or tiefling haberdashers?
Note: this is how anti-Semitism usually works: it's creating a double-standard based on race, which is a form of racism.
 

Depends on the world; in some place, thieves are highly respected by the common people. Consider Hyboria, Lankhmar, and other classic sword & sorcery stories/worlds. In the Free City of Greyhawk the Thieves Guildmaster is a member of the city council.

Yeah, I see your point, but the fact that you cited only fictional communities made me wonder if there are real world antecedents, where people who are not thieves are ok with people who are thieves. At first I thought of Brown's Park (NW Colorado) in the late 19th Century, but my understanding is that they were basically all thieves to varying degrees.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It's a variation of a "no true Scotsman" mindset. If the character is fine with an elf farmer, but can't tolerate an elf theif - they've sort of put elves on a pedastal in that they "can/should do no wrong". They're "okay" with them frolicking in the woods or interacting with society - so long as they don't step out of line with what the individual thinks is "proper" for them. Elves go to theiving and this person seems them as the worst sort of skum.


Unfortunately, I've seen this attitude down here in the deep South.
Down here, certain people will ignore blacks so long as they stay in the background and quietly lives their lives, but if the black individual shows signs of immoral behavior (such as stealing), they're considered the worst sort of scum on earth who need to be pruned immediately. A lot of times these sort of folks will claim that they aren't bigots or racists, even so far as to say "I have several black friends", when in reality they simply don't want to think about blacks existing and are ready to pounce on them the moment they "step out of line".

To Kill a Mockingbird has a lot of this sentiment towards the black defendant - they were okay with him in their community until he "did something improper".
Hmmm. Okay, I can see that. Not what came across to me in the OP, but it’s a thing people do.
 

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