D&D General D&D Assumptions Ain't What They Used To Be

Mind of tempest

(he/him)advocate for 5e psionics
In an attempt to wheel this thread back to some sort of on topic. :p

It's not exactly a secret that the genre has not exactly covered itself in glory when it comes to inclusivity, particularly pre-1980. Fantasy and SF have very much been a white boys club for a very large chunk of its history. Which meant that things like, say, Lovecraft, flew largely under the radar, because if you read something like Shadow over Innsmouth without any sort of background, you can read it unallegorically (if that's a word) and not see any problem with it.

Of course, post about 1980 (which is generally where I draw the line, give or take a few years either way), you start seeing a lot more works from authors that aren't straight white dudes. And that snowball rolling down the hill has turned into where we are today.

And, then, we add in the idea that actual information about the the middle ages is a lot easier to get today than it was in, say, 1972. It was easier to have this fantasy genre which romanticizes what is really an unbelievably horrific period of deprivation, starvation, death and horror. If Conan was written with any eye towards realism, he would have died of either syphilis or sepsis by the time he was 22. Even the basic ideas of fantasy are a lot harder to justify today. It's the Return of the King and the idea of the wise king returning to the throne to rule all of us in a golden age. It's not, "Hey, here is the return of the socialist republic with freedom for all and equality for all under law". :D

The genre is evolving. It's not surprising that stuff that was largely seen as kosher ten, twenty, forty years ago is maybe not really going to work today.
the ideas of more or less any positive time past, present or even future seems fundamentally insane, but beyond realities real genre being grim-bleak-darkness I do not really see much of anything that can be done here that can work as viable fictional settings.
That would be the aforementioned marketing efforts.
would you prefer it to be in the marketing? there would be a public outcry far worse than the satanic panic these days

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I agree that you have to romanticize the past in fantasy. That’s largely the point.

But we do also need to recognize that romanticization and understand that some of the stuff that’s getting swept under the rug is awfully icky.

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