• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is coming! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

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

DarkMantle

Explorer
And I'm not really advocating for making different fantasy and sci-fantasy races more alien . . . go to far with that, and they become unrelatable. Perhaps a bit more alien than is traditional, perhaps. For me, it's about being more mindful about understanding the difference between "people", "monsters", and "spirits". Is it okay to slaughter all the orcs? Well, are they "people" or "monsters"? In D&D, they traditionally are coded as "monstrous people" but evil, savage, violent . . . . the same language humans use in the real world to demonize other groups of humans.

I think I got it, but not 100% sure! At some point, I would like to revisit this. At this time, it does not feel like a good time to get back into this, not because of you (you've been great), but because of certain other posts here that I don't think are useful or helpful. Maybe if/when things calm down :)
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Faolyn

(she/her)
My, how inclusive ! This really confirms my view of the subject, you only want to push YOUR personal views and that of a minority. I, on the other hand, would very much like to have D&D be really inclusive, to be played with friends all over the world, as I have actually done in 4 continents. And for that, I really don't need good words used all over the world to be distorted by narrow, specific, nationalists views. It does not help.
How are you being excluded?

(I'm still waiting to find out what hypothetical word you used that has made hordes of people attack you on social media.)
 

Mind of tempest

(he/him)advocate for 5e psionics
I think I got it, but not 100% sure! At some point, I would like to revisit this. At this time, it does not feel like a good time to get back into this, not because of you (you've been great), but because of certain other posts here that I don't think are useful or helpful. Maybe if/when things calm down :)
do you mean like making fantasy people more non-human or what makes something a monster?
 

DarkMantle

Explorer
do you mean like making fantasy people more non-human or what makes something a monster?
Are you clarifying what part that I'm not 100% sure about? Making fantasy people non-human or what makes something a monster?

Dire Bare feels, if I understood correctly, that fantasy races aren't leaning towards more non-human, which I respect and I totally agree on the non-relatable part.

"what makes something a monster" - I'm not clear what you mean?
 

Mind of tempest

(he/him)advocate for 5e psionics
Are you clarifying what part that I'm not 100% sure about? Making fantasy people non-human or what makes something a monster?

Dire Bare feels, if I understood correctly, that fantasy races aren't leaning towards more non-human, which I respect and I totally agree on the non-relatable part.

"what makes something a monster" - I'm not clear what you mean?
if we want things we can fight what we need is a pure monster, not monstrous people, do you follow?
 


Irlo

Hero
The errata on Tomb of Annihilation:
  • Entertainer (p. 10). In the last sentence, cut the words "and exotic".
  • Chultans (p. 12). In the last sentence of the third paragraph, delete the word "tribal".
  • Introduction (p. 15). In the last sentence of first paragraph, delete the word "exotic".
  • Introduction (p. 15). In the first sentence of the second paragraph, change the word "savage" to "terrifying".
  • Garden (p. 28). In the first sentence, delete the word "exotic".
  • Prisoners of the Yuan-ti (p. 118). In the last sentence of the first paragraph, change the word "tribes" to "homes".

I don't expect to convince Lyxen, and I'm only quoting the above for context for my comments to follow. I'm posting this for folks who aren't already entrenched in their opinions on the use of these terms -- focusing on tribal, particularly, as an example -- who might want to understand the objections.

The article linked here is a clear, cogent analysis of the use of the term tribe specifically related to African cultures. I encourage everyone to read it. I really like this article. It was published in 1997 and cites sources from the'70s. This is not new information or a new perspective.

https://projects.kora.matrix.msu.edu/files/210-808-1340/Background_Paper_010_opt.pdf

An argument was made in this thread that the term tribal is a "good word," "very good," and "useful." In it's context when applied to real world African cultures, it turns out it's not especially useful. The word has no coherent meaning. (You don't need to read past Page 1 of the linked article to find supporting arguments for that assertion.)

How is it more useful when applied to fantasy African analogs in the Forgotten Realms? What does it convey about the unreal world fantasy culture?

There's a reason that Chultan's were described as tribal in ToA, and there's a reason that Chult itself was described as a savage land. (The post earlier in this thread about the Dark Continent addresses savage well enough.) It's because the writers use those terms as loaded short-hand to bring to mind all the tropes, inaccurate ideas, and mish-mash of semi-emotional reactions that some of us are used from the "history" we're taught and the pop culture we're exposed to. Not because they are well-considered terms with accurate, precise meanings that no other words can convey.

I read reviews of ToA before deciding to purchase it. One reviewer explained that, although the adventure was good, with a lot of good things going for it, it fell flat due to WotC's lazy fall-back to those tired savage, tribal, exotic references. It was a disappointment. With slight additional effort and consideration, that failing could have been prevented. So why not make the slight additional effort?

In the end, WotC heard at least part of that message and made tiny changes that make the adventure a little better for some people. (I would argue it's a little better for all of us, but I don't want to argue today.)

It's not Orwellian, it's not a word-ban, and it's not a moral condemnation of people who still use tribal, savage, and exotic in their games or anywhere else. It's a change that acknowledges that those terms in this context do not convey anything specific or useful, that they do convey an awful lot of unconsidered baggage, and that they disappoint at least some of their customers.

If you use these words in your game, why not think about what you are really trying to say? I bet you'll find more accurate and useful ways to convey the information.
 



Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
I'm just so very tired of having the exact same arguments trotted out every single time this stuff comes up. It's tiresome. I really need to learn to not click reply.
A slow trickle of water can carve a huge gorge out of solid rock given time.

I think the ones repeatedly forwarding those arguments are hoping to erode the strength of opposition to them.
 

Remove ads

Top