D&D 5E Dark Sun, problematic content, and 5E…

Is problematic content acceptable if obviously, explicitly evil and meant to be fought?

  • Yes.

    Votes: 203 89.4%
  • No.

    Votes: 24 10.6%

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
This doens't make prions not a thing.
If your argument is actually that prions specifically are why cannibalism is stigmatized, prions were discovered in 1972 and their role in encephalopathic disease wasn't understood until 1982. I don't think the timeline quite lines up with Victorian colonialism. Or, y'know, the typical D&D setting.

Historically, we hate cannibals because they are ignorant Godless savages, and that's my point. I thought we were collectively trying to stop doing that sort of thing. Speaking of empathy.

It will kill you. We also just straight don't eat carnivores for a similar reason.
I mean, maybe you and I don't, but it is far from an unknown practice.

We... kill things that have proven the drive to kill us and that's... bad? Also, stupid people doing stupid things', like all those guys dragged out to Tsavo by expansionist jackholes who 'stupidly' slept inside what they were assured as an impenetrable thorn shield? Or the people who get merc'd sitting on their deck when a cougar decides deer are too fast?
I did specifically say "stupid people doing stupid things;" I'm not sure why you would think I intended for that category to include rational people doing rational things.

It does to get the attention of producers. Thank you very much, GRRM.
TV is just the worst.
 

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There were cannibals in the old movies of Tarzan. Hop-o'-my-Thumb is a fairytale and when we were children listening the story we knew the horrible fate of ogre's daughters. Children know very well the evil witch/hag from "Hans & Gretel" tale was not vegan at all. There was a special Halloween cartoon where Mickey Mouse told a horror story about a witch who catched evil children to be cooked as cakes. There is even a videogame "Cannibal Cuisine" where the player has to kill and cook tourists to feed the pagan deities. And also there were men-eater creatures and characters in Ravenloft, for example the hags of Tempest.

Not all the Athasian halflings are meneater. Some tribes are and others not. If it was necessary, it is very easy to be retconected.

Maybe now it is not the right time because there are serious risks to get into serious controversies. DS as franchise could be seriously damage by fault of threats not linked with the TTRPGs, like the ecofasism, green imperialism or ecoauthoritanism. It could be a double edged sword. DS could used to send a message for or against. This could be worse than that "edition war", very much worse.

The speculative fiction about the defense and the respect for the Nature could suffer a serious "backfire" in the next years when the public opinion realises about the "false prophets" of the ecologism, the "eco-scam".

* Other point is if DS was unlocked, some 3PP would want to publish about other zones within the "Athaspace".

* What if any power could create a "uchronic domain", a demiplane in the same style of the "Hollow World" from Mystara? At least to create a prison where prisoners can't realice they are caged.

* What if defiler magic could cause different effects? Not only killing the vegetal life, but the tainted zone days after could work like a magic circle/rune to summon planar creatures.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
If your argument is actually that prions specifically are why cannibalism is stigmatized, prions were discovered in 1972 and their role in encephalopathic disease wasn't understood until 1982. I don't think the timeline quite lines up with Victorian colonialism. Or, y'know, the typical D&D setting.
People just might have noticed that people who ate man meat went crazy and die before 1972.

Historically, we hate cannibals because they are ignorant Godless savages, and that's my point. I thought we were collectively trying to stop doing that sort of thing. Speaking of empathy.
I feel like we hate cannibals because they try and eat us.

Also, kind of missing the actual issue: there are and were VERY few actual cannibal societies. Accusing groups of cannibalism was the slander. Especially since most actual groups that practiced it did so as a spiritual ritual, not just cooking some dude up in an inexplicable giant iron cauldron because 'welp, they're just meat' like DS and other material that uses cannibalism as titillation does.

I mean, maybe you and I don't, but it is far from an unknown practice.
A lot of things aren't unknown practices. That doesn't make them a good idea.
I did specifically say "stupid people doing stupid things;" I'm not sure why you would think I intended for that category to include rational people doing rational things.
Because you're doing this weird 'sympathy for things that kill us' thing. Like with the cannibals. Which has gotten weirdly away from fetishizing them in game and turned to advocating for real life cannibals for some reason.
 



Came across this tweet that nicely sums up why the "problematic content" is important to some settings

Honestly, I think that sort of argument is overly reductive. In a similar time window, WotC have also released Frostmaidem, in which even the nominally Lawful Good people of Icewind Dale are indulging in human sacrifice to appease Auril, Candlekeep, in which you have to convince an innocent to commit suicide, and VRGtR, which is an unbelievably nihilistic and bleak take on a setting, to the point that it makes heroism utterly pointless because you can't change anything no matter what you do. So quite the opposite of 'saccharine and sanitised'

I haven't read Radiant Citadel or Golden Vault - not for any distaste for the setting but because i don't like adventure compilations. And yes, it IS possible to make a D&D setting too nice. One I bought from the 3pp market for instance, Islands of Sina Una is a beautiful, detailed, high-production-value setting that's clearly a labor of love, set in the pre-colonial Philippines - but as a setting it's nigh-unusable because it's written as so idyllic and peaceful with leaders who are wise and benevolent and consultative, that adventurers simply have nothing to do (there's an associated book of adventures coming out this year, hopefully it'll fix this somewhat). But it's also entirely legit for WotC to want to cater for people who prefer to play in worlds that are NOT awful oppressive crapsacks. It's not the 90s any more, not everything has to be grim and gritty. There's room for Radiant Citadel AND Frostmaiden in D&D, like there's room for Guardians of the Galaxy and Winter Soldier in the MCU.
 
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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Honestly, I think that sort of argument is overly reductive. In a similar time window, WotC have also released Frostmaidem, in which even the nominally Lawful Good people of Icewind Dale are indulging in human sacrifice to appease Auril, Candlekeep, in which you have to convince an innocent to commit suicide, and VRGtR, which is an unbelievably nihilistic and bleak take on a setting, to the point that it makes heroism utterly pointless because you can't change anything no matter what you do. So quite the opposite of 'saccharine and sanitised'

I haven't read Radiant Citadel or Golden Vault - not for any distaste for the setting but because i don't like adventure compilation. And yes, it IS possible to make a D&D setting too nice. One I bought from the 3pp market for instance, Islands of Sina Una is a beautiful, detailed, high-production-value setting that's clearly a labor of love, set in the pre-colonial Philippines - but as a setting it's nigh-unusable because it's written as so idyllic and peaceful with leaders who are wise and benevolent and consultative, that adventurers simply have nothing to do (there's an associated book of adventures coming out this year, hopefully it'll fix this somewhat). But it's also entirely legit for WotC to want to cater for people who prefer to play in worlds that are NOT awful oppressive crapsacks. It's not the 90s any more, not everything has to be grim and gritty. There's room for Radiant Citadel AND Frostmaiden in D&D, like there's room for Guardians of the Galaxy and Winter Soldier in the MCU.
Not really. Look at those towns in frostmaiden. They've been going through apocalyptic conditions for like a year that should have long since caused a total collapse of civilization there yet it's still trucking along. You could transplant those towns almost anywhere in faerun & have villages that fit in neatly snow or not. You don't have players diving into & hacking through a big network of conspiracy keeping the stapled on human sacrifice in place & even if the players try that whole sandbox just an intro to a linear adventure that never looks back as it moves to a bunch of namedrops & tie ins from other media. It is not channeling Alive.
 

They've been going through apocalyptic conditions for like a year that should have long since caused a total collapse of civilization there yet it's still trucking along.
I'm not 100% sure what you're arguing here, but do you see the irony in making this sort of claim in a Dark Sun thread? If Auril's curse should have caused civilisational breakdown in Ten-Towns over the course of a year, conditions as written on Athas should have resulted in mass extinctions of pretty much all large water-drinking creatures, including humans, centuries ago. Is traditional 2e Athas also an overly saccharine and sanitised setting then, because it bends the rules of logistical plausibility in order to make a harsh-climate setting gameable?
 

Hussar

Legend
I have to admit, for all the hoopla about "problematic content", WotC isn't exactly shy about including all sorts of stuff in their adventures. Just taking Candlekeep Mysteryies - something dear to me since I've run almost the entire module. Let's see shall we?

  1. A Deep and Creeping Darkness - full on horror. Insanity, and lots and lots of dead people.
  2. Book of the Raven - the mother in the adventure murders her daughter
  3. Book of Cylinders - a yuan-ti slaver devours babies in front of the parents, repeatedly
  4. Book of Inner Alchemy - insane monks torture many, many people to research immortality
  5. The Canoptic Being - more insanity, possession, and a victim that carves out her own kidney to stop the baddy
  6. Xanthoria - the PC's must convince a woman to kill herself to prevent the return of a lich.
So, yeah, I'm kinda wondering where this whole "WotC can't do problematic content" schtick is coming from.
 

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