D&D General D&D Settings with No Problematic Areas?

Of course not, and I think you know this. I think such jokes are inappropriate in a public workplace. I'm saying jokes should be considered within context. If it is between friends and out of ear's range, none of our business. If it is a comedy club, all bets are off, and it is down to "vote with your dollar" (e.g. if you don't like Chappelle, Burr, etc, don't buy a ticket).
This is the same logic that actual racists use to get spew their hate. It doesn't matter if you and your friends are just "joking," these "jokes" are giving people the perfect excuse to say what they say. And they keep saying and it gets worse and worse and people just say "its just a joke." I wish this was a slippery slope fallacy, but on Reddit, a lot of subs have been banned due to going through this exact cycle.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

This is the same logic that actual racists use to get spew their hate. It doesn't matter if you and your friends are just "joking," these "jokes" are giving people the perfect excuse to say what they say. And they keep saying and it gets worse and worse and people just say "its just a joke." I wish this was a slippery slope fallacy, but on Reddit, a lot of subs have been banned due to going through this exact cycle.

Yes, of course real racists and haters do that because those people have always been there, hiding their hate and doing things from the shadows. And at different times in the past and present, certain political climates make them feel safer talking out in public. But I also think when they are allowed to be more vocal and visible, it makes it seem like their numbers are getting worse, when they are probably not, it is just they are louder and more dangerous. And whether D&D changes, or other games companies change, or other companies change, none of it is more than a "feel good" fix, because the young are learning this from the older generations. People are not born to hate, they are taught. I think that is what WotC is going to try and show with the changes they plan on with the non-human races. They will no longer be born to hate/be evil. They will be just like humans and learn. And if they are treated like garbage, they will learn to hate.
 

ChaosOS

Legend
Yes, of course real racists and haters do that because those people have always been there, hiding their hate and doing things from the shadows. And at different times in the past and present, certain political climates make them feel safer talking out in public. But I also think when they are allowed to be more vocal and visible, it makes it seem like their numbers are getting worse, when they are probably not, it is just they are louder and more dangerous. And whether D&D changes, or other games companies change, or other companies change, none of it is more than a "feel good" fix, because the young are learning this from the older generations. People are not born to hate, they are taught. I think that is what WotC is going to try and show with the changes they plan on with the non-human races. They will no longer be born to hate/be evil. They will be just like humans and learn. And if they are treated like garbage, they will learn to hate.

Literal neo nazis weaponize "ironic racism" and other "racism but I'm not serious about it so don't hold me responsible" as a recruiting tactic. That's the teaching you're talking about - create an environment where it's unclear if someone "really believes" in the racist thing they said, then recruit the people who seem willing to accept the ideology (often because they need an Other to blame for their life struggles). So while it may seem that purging actually racist language from our discourse (In this case I'm referring to known problems like orientalism) is just a "feel good" fix, it's also a way to smoke out the nazis.
 

Mercurius

Legend
This is the same logic that actual racists use to get spew their hate. It doesn't matter if you and your friends are just "joking," these "jokes" are giving people the perfect excuse to say what they say. And they keep saying and it gets worse and worse and people just say "its just a joke." I wish this was a slippery slope fallacy, but on Reddit, a lot of subs have been banned due to going through this exact cycle.

What is the logic, exactly? That friends can joke with each other however they want? That comedians can joke in whatever way they want, and that we can decide whether we support their performance? Does allowing and accepting those freedoms enable racism? Would you have legislation pass that people cannot say certain things in private or performance?
 

ChaosOS

Legend
I think we're getting off course for this thread - I think a more productive direction would be focusing figuring out which areas have problems but are salvageable vs. areas that should probably just be forgotten.
 

Mercurius

Legend
I think we're getting off course for this thread - I think a more productive direction would be focusing figuring out which areas have problems but are salvageable vs. areas that should probably just be forgotten.

You're going to find that there's too wide a range of perspectives, and differences in base assumptions of what is and is not "problematic." I'm not saying the discussion shouldn't be had, and I appreciate your intention to be productive. Just that...well, look at the forum for the last few weeks.

My view is that nothing needs to be changed...in the past. Let the past stand, learn from it, and design forward. Try to avoid obvious hotspots, but don't neuter the creative juices of designers or alter past presentations. New versions of old settings can be modified, although with the coherence of the setting in mind.

I've also suggested that WotC more clearly differentiate core products with a more general treatment from the worlds that offer variations on the theme. This defuses the notion that specific settings are "problematic," because they're only presenting one version of the tropes.
 

ChaosOS

Legend
Yeah with regards to fixing things this is a "Could you do Kara-Tur 5e, but respectful this time? Or should you just ditch Kara Tur for an asian-inspired MTG setting like Tarkir". (Can do the same for other "non-western" areas of FR) I've brought up Eberron a number times already for what can be done there. I think there's also been good discussion for Ravenloft, which I think could reasonably be expanded to all horror rather than just gothic horror, since Gothic Horror is a distinctly western subgenre.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Yeah with regards to fixing things this is a "Could you do Kara-Tur 5e, but respectful this time? Or should you just ditch Kara Tur for an asian-inspired MTG setting like Tarkir". (Can do the same for other "non-western" areas of FR) I've brought up Eberron a number times already for what can be done there. I think there's also been good discussion for Ravenloft, which I think could reasonably be expanded to all horror rather than just gothic horror, since Gothic Horror is a distinctly western subgenre.

I think you're on the right track. I personally wouldn't do 5E Kara-Tur, but instead go with Tarkir or something new. I mean, maybe they should conract Daniel Kwan to assemble a team. Move forward, don't erase or negate or alter the past (WotC has it right in the disclaimer, imo).

I think some legacy settings could be re-vamped with very little damage done: Dark Sun and Planescape come to mind.

As far as the Realms goes, I'd probably leave areas outside of Faerun untouched.
 

Yeah with regards to fixing things this is a "Could you do Kara-Tur 5e, but respectful this time? Or should you just ditch Kara Tur for an asian-inspired MTG setting like Tarkir". (Can do the same for other "non-western" areas of FR) I've brought up Eberron a number times already for what can be done there. I think there's also been good discussion for Ravenloft, which I think could reasonably be expanded to all horror rather than just gothic horror, since Gothic Horror is a distinctly western subgenre.

Yes, as much as a lot of older gamers look back on Kara-tur or Maztica or al-Qadim with fondness through rose-colored glasses that obscure the problematic parts, I think all those regions should be left alone and not updated for 5E, or a future 6E. Either do more MtG settings that are similar in flavor and theme or maybe even, however unlikely, a brand-new world. But they were obviously up to something before all this stuff blew up. They did not need a bunch of cultural consultants and sensitivity readers just for Theros alone or to adjust the PC monster races. Whether we will still get what they had planned, or it is just delayed, only WotC knows. Actually, back when the Tabaxi were updated to 5E, I was sure that meant something to do with Maztica would be coming out eventually. Maybe they can still do something with that, as of those three regions I mentioned, Maztica would be the least hazardous to update. Plus, unlike the other two, is there even a MtG setting with a similar theme?
 

ChaosOS

Legend
I'm not totally sure if Daniel Kwan is the best person to handle that, even if he's the most visible - feels to me like there's some other Asian creators who could use the spotlight better.

Honestly Dark Sun 4e basically stands as is - they did a lot of work with the edition update & handling the changes the metaplot brought to make it a highly functional setting. I even liked the introduction of the world axis mythology into the setting!

If you want MTG South/Central America, I'd actually really like to see Ixalan as a full setting since it already explicitly incorporates a lot of D&D tropes and was one of the better plane shifts. Yes there'd be some mechanical challenges, especially in the race department, to make things fit, but it's certainly easier than Dark Sun which also has a divergent from PHB race list but also has other things it requires (like psionics)
 

Mercurius

Legend
Yes, as much as a lot of older gamers look back on Kara-tur or Maztica or al-Qadim with fondness through rose-colored glasses that obscure the problematic parts, I think all those regions should be left alone and not updated for 5E, or a future 6E. Either do more MtG settings that are similar in flavor and theme or maybe even, however unlikely, a brand-new world. But they were obviously up to something before all this stuff blew up. They did not need a bunch of cultural consultants and sensitivity readers just for Theros alone or to adjust the PC monster races. Whether we will still get what they had planned, or it is just delayed, only WotC knows. Actually, back when the Tabaxi were updated to 5E, I was sure that meant something to do with Maztica would be coming out eventually. Maybe they can still do something with that, as of those three regions I mentioned, Maztica would be the least hazardous to update. Plus, unlike the other two, is there even a MtG setting with a similar theme?

I believe Ixalan is the Mesoamerica-inspired world.
 

Raduin711

Adventurer
One nice thing about these settings is that they give players an opportunity to learn about these cultures that they might not get otherwise. In the case of a setting like Al-Qadim, this might be one of the few positive portrayals of the middle east (even if it is put into a fantasy context) that are available to them. I think for that alone, these settings are worth doing.

However, WotC may not be the company to do it right now. To do it right would take writers with a more intimate familiarity with these cultures, and based on what we heard out of Orion Black, that might not be the case.
 

Azzy

KMF DM
Yeah with regards to fixing things this is a "Could you do Kara-Tur 5e, but respectful this time? Or should you just ditch Kara Tur for an asian-inspired MTG setting like Tarkir".

Personally, I'd like to know if Kara-Tur could be salvaged. Given that, as part of the Forgotten Realms, it's been over 100 years in game since it was presented in the only product that actually detailed (the old boxed set), and there have been a few cataclysmic upheavals (the Time of Troubles, the Spellplague, the Sundering, and probably something else that I'm unaware of), there plenty of in-game reasons that could be used to justify huge, sweeping changes. But the question remains: Can Kara-Tur be reimagined in a way that isn't offensive to Asian American gamers?
 

Panda-s1

Scruffy and Determined
Personally, I'd like to know if Kara-Tur could be salvaged. Given that, as part of the Forgotten Realms, it's been over 100 years in game since it was presented in the only product that actually detailed (the old boxed set), and there have been a few cataclysmic upheavals (the Time of Troubles, the Spellplague, the Sundering, and probably something else that I'm unaware of), there plenty of in-game reasons that could be used to justify huge, sweeping changes. But the question remains: Can Kara-Tur be reimagined in a way that isn't offensive to Asian American gamers?
no. it is impossible. no matter how you portray us we will always be offended. do not even try.

🙄
 

Panda-s1

Scruffy and Determined
really though, why are you asking "isn't offensive to Asian American gamers?" that puts the burden on people like me and if we don't accept it then we're just unreasonable.

how about instead you ask "Can Kara-Tur be reimagined in a way that is respectful to Asian cultures?"?
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
how about instead you ask "Can Kara-Tur be reimagined in a way that is respectful to Asian cultures?"?
This is the key right here IMO. Frankly, I don't care all that much about a product from 35 years ago, whether its for sale or not. I do care about how things can be done better moving forward.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
As a class in D&D, clerics don't needs gods. Ancestor reverence, animism, and other spiritual forces could be used as the source/explanation of a cleric's power.

And monks definitely don't need gods or religious sects.
Yes, but also...religion isn’t on the chopping block at all. D&D is gonna keep on having religion.

I think all those regions should be left alone and not updated for 5E, or a future 6E. Either do more MtG settings that are similar in flavor and theme or maybe even, however unlikely, a brand-new world
I’d rather have FR be a world that actually has culturally distinct regions, so it isn’t a “pseudo-European with a few oddballs places” world.
 

Azzy

KMF DM
really though, why are you asking "isn't offensive to Asian American gamers?" that puts the burden on people like me and if we don't accept it then we're just unreasonable.

how about instead you ask "Can Kara-Tur be reimagined in a way that is respectful to Asian cultures?"?
My bad—it was not my intention to imply that. Sorry about that.

But, yes, can Kara-Tur be reimagined in a way that is respectful to Asian cultures or is it too tied up in racist stereotypes?
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
My bad—it was not my intention to imply that. Sorry about that.

But, yes, can Kara-Tur be reimagined in a way that is respectful to Asian cultures or is it too tied up in racist stereotypes?
I think that's something they are going to have to hire a sensitivity reader for.
 


An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top