D&D 5E D&D's Inclusivity Language Alterations In Core Rules

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In recent months, WotC has altered some of the text found in the original 5th Edition core rulebooks to accommodate D&D's ongoing move towards inclusivity. Many of these changes are reflected on D&D Beyond already--mainly small terminology alterations in descriptive text, rather than rules changes.

Teos Abadia (also known as Alphastream) has compiled a list of these changes. I've posted a very abbreviated, paraphrased version below, but please do check out his site for the full list and context.
  • Savage foes changed to brutal, merciless, or ruthless.
  • Barbarian hordes changed to invading hordes.
  • References to civilized people and places removed.
  • Madness or insanity removed or changed to other words like chaos.
  • Usage of orcs as evil foes changed to other words like raiders.
  • Terms like dim-witted and other synonyms of low intelligence raced with words like incurious.
  • Language alterations surrounding gender.
  • Fat removed or changed to big.
  • Use of terms referring to slavery reduced or altered.
  • Use of dark when referring to evil changed to words like vile or dangerous.
This is by no means the full list, and much more context can be found on Alphastream's blog post.
 

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billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
This is totally fair if it is how you feel about your ethnicity. But I really can't imagine respond to the question "What is your ethnicity" with "I am an American". It just doesn't feel like an Ethnicity to me.
And yet, being American pretty much is an ethnicity as much as any other ethnicity is one. Fundamentally, all of these social groupings are just that: socially-constructed. There's nothing about them that is necessarily objective - all are defined at some semi-arbitrarily selected level of focus. Maybe the people of one ethnicity are from the same island - yet maybe they're from subsets of the population ON that same island because of some other differentiating factor. Yet a similar differentiating factor will not define a difference between ethnic groups in another set of cases. It's kind of maddening and largely comes down to how you identify yourself among various possible groupings. It's why they sometimes get described as "imagined communities".
 

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No, because beer-drinking is universal, even on Oktoberfest. However, people saying "Top of the Morning To Ye" in a terrible Irish Accent on St Patrick's day IS cultural appropriation.

The Irish just put up with it (while cringing), because it's hardly the worst thing that's ever happened to them.
It's not cultural appropriation.

It's an invitation to be made a mockery of if ye say it anywhere within the borders of the island.

Or worse.
 



Switching "chaos" for "madness" or "insanity" is an interesting choice as "Chaos" is a big part of DnD and I think for some DMs it's not the best word. As someone who is mentally ill I think having a mad or insane antagonist can suggest they can be helped. However, if it the words are hurting anyone then remove them. I'm just not sure "chaos" is the right word.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Because, yes, being technically correct is the best kind of correct. The fact that the records were not kept is the most important detail.
It wasn't technically - the whole comparison relied on something being expunged/erased.
 

Hussar

Legend
It wasn't technically - the whole comparison relied on something being expunged/erased.
The whole comparison relied on the fact that one group has something - a detailed genealogical record, and the other group does not. The exact reason for why the other group does not have a detailed genealogical record isn't really the issue. The issue is the fact that one group cannot trace their genealogical history back because the first group couldn't be bothered tracking those records while systematically destroying the second group's history and culture.

But, hey, yeah, the comparison relies on something being erased.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
The whole comparison relied on the fact that one group has something - a detailed genealogical record, and the other group does not. The exact reason for why the other group does not have a detailed genealogical record isn't really the issue. The issue is the fact that one group cannot trace their genealogical history back because the first group couldn't be bothered tracking those records while systematically destroying the second group's history and culture.

But, hey, yeah, the comparison relies on something being erased.
See below. You are incorrect. The post I was responding to says exactly what I claimed.
There are people in this thread arguing that changing a few words in a game rulebook constitutes an Orwellian erasure of history. I can only imagine what they would say about expunging entire genealogical records.
 


The whole comparison relied on the fact that one group has something - a detailed genealogical record, and the other group does not. The exact reason for why the other group does not have a detailed genealogical record isn't really the issue. The issue is the fact that one group cannot trace their genealogical history back because the first group couldn't be bothered tracking those records while systematically destroying the second group's history and culture.

But, hey, yeah, the comparison relies on something being erased.

What happened to them was far far worse than mere Orwellian altering of the facts in an RPG or piece of art. I would say the issue is here is much deeper than genealogy and records and more about the barbaric treatment of human beings from enslavement to the dehumanizing erasure of family ties and roots. This part of our history isn't even comparable to what we are discussing at the moment.
 

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