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D&D 5E D&D Races: Evolution, Fantasy Stereotypes & Escapism

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Hum, it's really funny that you would say that. Please find me an official D&D supplement in which married people are not cis-het. I'm not sure that I've seen examples showing another situation even in recent D&D publications.

As far as I'm aware, the problem is not that it's seldom mentioned, the problem is that every single time it's mentioned, it's "traditional". This is where the problem is compared to the modern view.
"Books like Storm King’s Thunder (2016), Tomb of Annihilation (2017), and Dragon Heist (2018), along with oneshots like No Foolish Matter (2017), all feature NPCs with same-sex love interests. Urgala Meltimer, of Storm King’s Thunder, lost her wife to an Underdark expedition; in Tomb of Annihilation players are invited to clear the name of male commoner Belym’s husband; and in No Foolish Matter’s creepy carnival you’ll find Chay Bannister, a tiefling who is happily married to another man."

from DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Rolls A Critical Hit With LGBTQ+ Representation - Nerdist
 

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Lyxen

Great Old One
Wikipedia estimates 76% of those in the world with English as a first language being in the US, followed by 17.5% in the UK, and 11% in Nigeria. For total English speakers it is 26.8% US, 16.4% India, and 15.1% Nigeria.

Strange, my numbers are extremely different: "The United States and India have the most total English speakers, with 283 million and 125 million, respectively. There are also 108 million in Pakistan, 79 million in Nigeria, and 64 million in the Philippines.[3]"

So, even if not counting other countries, that leaves the US at 42% at most.

Wikipedia then goes on to say: "When those who speak English as a second-language are included, estimates of the number of Anglophones vary greatly, from 470 million to more than 2 billion.[2]. David Crystal calculates that as of 2003 non-native speakers outnumbered native speakers by a ratio of 3:1.[4]"
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
"Books like Storm King’s Thunder (2016), Tomb of Annihilation (2017), and Dragon Heist (2018), along with oneshots like No Foolish Matter (2017), all feature NPCs with same-sex love interests. Urgala Meltimer, of Storm King’s Thunder, lost her wife to an Underdark expedition; in Tomb of Annihilation players are invited to clear the name of male commoner Belym’s husband; and in No Foolish Matter’s creepy carnival you’ll find Chay Bannister, a tiefling who is happily married to another man."

Thanks for this, but as I mentioned, these are really recent supplements. It's good that on this matter, D&D is catching up, but really, mentioning the fact that it has been there all along when in fact, it clearly was not, is a bit too much for me.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Strange, my numbers are extremely different: "The United States and India have the most total English speakers, with 283 million and 125 million, respectively. There are also 108 million in Pakistan, 79 million in Nigeria, and 64 million in the Philippines.[3]"

So, even if not counting other countries, that leaves the US at 42% at most.

Wikipedia then goes on to say: "When those who speak English as a second-language are included, estimates of the number of Anglophones vary greatly, from 470 million to more than 2 billion.[2]. David Crystal calculates that as of 2003 non-native speakers outnumbered native speakers by a ratio of 3:1.[4]"

I was using the numbers from List of countries by English-speaking population - Wikipedia
and the ones for total speakers (as opposed to first language speakers) for those countries are in the ballpark with yours.

I imagine the definitions of second-language speaker vary greatly. I wouldn't want any that counted me as speaking French (even with 4 years of high school courses and a semester of reading it in college).
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I was using the numbers from List of countries by English-speaking population - Wikipedia
and the ones for total speakers (as opposed to first language speakers) for those countries are in the ballpark with yours.

OK, I see where the difference is coming from.

I imagine the definitions of second-language speaker vary greatly. I wouldn't want any that counted me as speaking French (even with 4 years of high school courses and a semester of reading it in college).

And that's the problem that my friends in the US, UK and Australia mostly told me about, they think that people from other countries are geniuses for speaking multiple languages, but in countries where it's used, people speak it very well even if it's not their primary language, and that gives them an easy way to learn other languages. All my daughters speak 4 languages, and one speaks 6 (she went to Italy for her master in anthropology with just a few weeks of courses, and managed to live there and conduct interviews for 6 months to prepare her report, all with people who spoke only italian). (I know, it's a stereotype) People from the english speaking world in general find it incredible that other people master multiple native languages or non-native ones, but it's a simple fact of life for people in these countries, and it has little to do with school training.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Thanks for this, but as I mentioned, these are really recent supplements. It's good that on this matter, D&D is catching up, but really, mentioning the fact that it has been there all along when in fact, it clearly was not, is a bit too much for me.

In the 3e Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (2001):

"Centuries of smuggling and intrigue cannot be undone in a decade, but those seeking dishonest deals now think twice before taking their business to Yanseldara's city, particularly since she leaves law enforcement to her consort and adventuring companion, Vaerana Hawklyn (CG female human Rgr20 of Mielikki)."

Not married, but the 3e Faith's and Pantheons (2002):

"The murder of Selgaunt's High Revelmistress Chlanna Asjros (whom Lliira had taken as a lover while in mortal form during the Time of Troubles) by forces of a local cult of Loviatar has deeply affected the Joybringer."

Going further afield, the 1e Deities and Demigods (1980) noted that Corellon Larethian is alternately male or female, both or neither.

Given where American society as a whole has been (Lawrence v. Texas wasn't until 2003!) I'm not sure I'd expect to find much in the older materials. I wonder if the back-lash from the Satanic Panic certainly didn't help matters, or what Greenwood, for example, would have put in if allowed: Forgotten Realms Creator Ed Greenwood is "Saddened" by Baldur's Gate Controversy - Mandatory .
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
And that's really the problem to me. Everyone prefers dodging the issue by appearing politically correct rather than addressing the issues.
Mod Note:
And, here we go - dismissing people's views as being "politically correct" is not acceptable under our inclusivity guidelines. Bundling the concerns of people together to dismiss them isn't constructive discussion.
 

Hum, it's really funny that you would say that. Please find me an official D&D supplement in which married people are not cis-het. I'm not sure that I've seen examples showing another situation even in recent D&D publications.

Hu? Marriage was arranged (presumably more common the higher the social ladder, but not exclusively) in Catholic Europe middle ages and I am pretty certain the Church only blessed "cis-het" unions, as you put them... :unsure:
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
OK, I see where the difference is coming from.



And that's the problem that my friends in the US, UK and Australia mostly told me about, they think that people from other countries are geniuses for speaking multiple languages, but in countries where it's used, people speak it very well even if it's not their primary language, and that gives them an easy way to learn other languages. All my daughters speak 4 languages, and one speaks 6 (she went to Italy for her master in anthropology with just a few weeks of courses, and managed to live there and conduct interviews for 6 months to prepare her report, all with people who spoke only italian). (I know, it's a stereotype) People from the english speaking world in general find it incredible that other people master multiple native languages or non-native ones, but it's a simple fact of life for people in these countries, and it has little to do with school training.

In Glen Cook's Black Company and Dread Empire series the characters all pick up a large number of languages. I've wondered before how that must appear as nothing out of the ordinary to most of the world as compared to the US. I've been happy to see that locally we have a lot of school options for having the children learn a second language from kindergarten (currently Spanish, German, French, and Mandarin around here).

I'd note that the language proficiency needed to take or teach a class just fine, might not come with what would be wanted for doing a final read through on a paper submission for standard usage. (Of course, being a native/only English speaker in the US often doesn't always come with that ability either :) ).
 

DarkMantle

Explorer
As an aside, I think they don't. While it's true that in the past, fantasy humans NPCs were described as regular humans in a fantasy settings, evolving social structures akin to the one we saw in real life, it's no longer the case. I have noticed that fantasy humans are much more morally advanced than real, current societies, let alone past ones.

1. they don't seem to have noticeable gender bias in professional fields, including ones where physical labor is expected and where we do have requirement in real life that, in effect if not in intent, limit gender parity;
2. they don't seem to have noticeable gender bias as a social construct (for example, in laws);
3. they are extremely cosmopolitan, to the point that each city, even smaller ones, is home to multiple species [in real life, the competing species of Neanderthal was dealt with, either by assimilation or extermination, and I am pretty sure the politicians who pertuate racist views wouldn't like elves or dwarves if they can't stand someone whose perceived skin color doesn't match their own];
4. there is very few mention of xenophobia, even when neighbouring countries are at wars at some point -- and with the size of minorities they hold with the great melting pot their city is, it's strange they never developped measures against other nationals like happened in real life and left marks in the population;
5. there is very few religious strife akin to what was observed in real life, even when pantheons are sometime actively at odds with each other. It's not inexistant, it's just very seldom and usually restricted to "we don't like followers of the god of murder here..."
6. there is few social oppression -- though it's the weakest example. Paizo's world Golarion never invented slavery ever, canonically, and where it's practiced in other worlds, it is never tolerated by neighbours. There is few evidence of extreme social unequalities in description -- it's the "happy past times" où il n'y aura point de laboureur en mon Royaume qui n'ait moyen d'avoir une poule dans son pot, to quote Henri IV. You do get raiders, but they are rarely forced to turn to crime by famine or being just mercenary soldiers cheated of their pay the legitimate government;
7. there is very few prejudice against magic users, even while there is a clear divine vs arcane magic divide...

This is a great point. I've absolutely noticed this too, but I don't remember if this has ever been called out explicitly.

Fantasy humans can also go really, really bad. Like so bad (or utterly insane) that they're sacrificing innocents to a demon god or trying to summon an entity to destroy the world. That can be far less moral than anything in real-life.

So it's interesting to me that on one hand fantasy humans are morally advanced to your point, but in other ways, can be far worse.

Maybe we could explore some reasons why that might be?

So, those fantasy humans, homo sapiens melius, could very well not be able to think in stereotypes.

I think this is a fantastic contribution to the thread, thank you kindly!
 
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