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Do We Still Need "Oriental Adventures"?

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Orientalism -- a wide-ranging term originally used to encompass depictions of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and East Asian cultures -- has gradually come to represent a more negative term. Should Dungeons & Dragons, known for two well-received books titled "Oriental Adventures," have another edition dedicated to "Eastern" cultures?

A Brief History of Orientalism

For a time, orientalism was a term used by art historians and literary scholars to group "Eastern" cultures together. That changed in 1978 with Edward Said's Orientalism, which argued that treatment of these cultures conflated peoples, times, and places into a narrative of incident and adventure in an exotic land.

It's easy to see why this approach might appeal to role-playing games. Orientalism is one lens to view a non-European culture within the game's context. We previously discussed how "othering" can create a mishmash of cultures, and it can apply to orientalism as well. The challenge is in how to portray a culture with nuance, and often one large region isn't enough to do the topic justice. The concept even applies to the idea of the "East" and the "Orient," which turns all of the Asian regions into one mono-culture. Wikipedia explains the term in that context:

The imperial conquest of "non–white" countries was intellectually justified with the fetishization of the Eastern world, which was effected with cultural generalizations that divided the peoples of the world into the artificial, binary-relationship of "The Eastern World and The Western World", the dichotomy which identified, designated, and subordinated the peoples of the Orient as the Other—as the non–European Self.


Game designers -- who were often admitted fans of Asian cultures -- sought to introduce a new kind of fantasy into traditional Western tropes. Viewed through a modern lens, their approach would likely be different today.

The "Oriental" Books in D&D

The original Oriental Adventures was published in 1985 by co-creator of D&D Gary Gygax, David "Zeb" Cook and François Marcela-Froideval. It introduced the ninja, kensai, wu-jen, and shukenja as well as new takes on the barbarian and monk. It was also the first supplement to introduce non-weapn proficiencies, the precursor to D&D's skill system. The book was well-received, and was envisioned by Gygax as an opportunity to reinvigorate the line -- ambitions which collapsed when he left the company. The book's hardcover had the following text printed on the back:

…The mysterious and exotic Orient, land of spices and warlords, has at last opened her gates to the West.


Aaron Trammell provides a detailed analysis of how problematic this one line of text is. The sum of his argument:

Although Gary Gygax envisioned a campaign setting that brought a multicultural dimension to Dungeons & Dragons, the reality is that by lumping together Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Philippine, and “Southeast Asian” lore he and co-authors David “Zeb” Cook and Francois Marcela-Froideval actually developed a campaign setting that reinforced western culture’s already racist understanding of the “Orient.”


The next edition would shift the setting from Kara-Tur (which was later sent in the Forgotten Realms) to Rokugan from the Legend of the Five Rings role-playing game.

Controversy of the Five Rings

James Wyatt wrote the revised Oriental Adventures for Third Edition D&D, published by Wizards of the Coast in 2001. It was updated to 3.5 in Dragon Magazine #318.

Legend of the Five Rings, a franchise that extends to card games, is itself not immune to controversy. Quintin Smith got enough comments on his review of the Legend of the Five Rings card game that he included an appendix that looked critically at chanting phrases "banzai!" at conventions and some of the game's art:

Now, I have no idea if this is right or wrong, but I do know that chanting in Japanese at an event exclusively attended by white men and women made me feel a tiny bit weird. My usual headcheck for this is “How would I feel if I brought a Japanese-English friend to the event?” and my answer is “Even more weird.” Personally, I found the game’s cover art to be a little more questionable. I think it’s fantastic to have a fantasy world that draws on Asian conventions instead of Western ones. But in a game that almost exclusively depicts Asian men and women, don’t then put white people on the cover! It’s such a lovely piece of art. I just wish she looked a little bit less like a cosplayer.


Perhaps in response to this criticism, Fantasy Flight Games removed the "banzai" chant as a bullet point from its web site. The page also features several pictures of past tournament winners, which provides some context as to who was shouting the chant.

Fifth Edition and Diversity

By the time the Fifth Edition of D&D was published, the game's approach to diverse peoples had changed. Indigo Boock on GeekGirlCon explains how:

Diversity is strength. The strongest adventuring party is the most diverse adventuring party. Try thinking about it in terms of classes—you have your healers, fighters, and magic users. Same goes for diversity. Different outlooks on life create more mobility and openness for different situations. Jeremy also explained that it was crucial that the art also reflected diversity, as did Art Director Kate Erwin. With this, they tried to make sure that there was a 50/50 split of people who identify as male and people who identify as female in the illustrations.


Trammell points out how these changes are reflected in the art of the core rule books:

First, there are illustrations: an East Asian warlock, a female samurai, an Arabian princess, an Arab warrior, and a Moor in battle, to name a few. Then, there are mechanics: the Monk persists as a class replete with a spiritual connection to another world via the “ki” mechanic. Scimitars and blowguns are commonly available as weapons, and elephants are available for purchase as mounts for only 200 gold. Although all of these mechanics are presented with an earnest multiculturalist ethic of appreciation, this ethic often surreptitiously produces a problematic and fictitious exotic, Oriental figure. At this point, given the embrace of multiculturalism by the franchise, it seems that the system is designed to embrace the construction of Orientalist fictional worlds where the Orient and Occident mix, mingle, and wage war.


A good first step is to understand the nuances of a region by exploring more than one culture there. Sean "S.M." Hill's "The Journey to..." series is a great place to start, particularly "Romance of the Three Kingdoms."

D&D has come a long way, but it still has some work to do if it plans to reflect the diversity of its modern player base and their cultures...which is why it seems unlikely we'll get another Oriental Adventures title.

Mike "Talien" Tresca is a freelance game columnist, author, communicator, and a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to http://amazon.com. You can follow him at Patreon.
 
Michael Tresca

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arjomanes

Villager
A lot of responses appear to be "Yes but what about Y and Z?" as a way to stifle discussion about X. "Oriental? What about the Vikings?" (known as the "Vikings Are People Too" fallacy; I can't take credit for that) -- the simple answer to that is "Sure! Them too. But today we're writing about "Oriental Adventures"; last week it was Africa. We're not going to cover every culture on earth, but we're touching on a couple."
From the title pages of the new Frostbitten and Mutilated book:

FrostbittenandMutilated said:
Note on the appropriation of traditional Nordic cultures
This book woefully misrepresents Norse culture. I mean—probably it does, it has monsters I made up in it—I don’t know I’m Jewish. Anyway, enjoy.
So there's the Vikings appropriation everyone has been pointing to. That Zak, always upending apple carts.
 
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ZeshinX

Explorer
Really?? Fantasy fiction is being debated for it's cultural value? Are you kidding?

It's friggin' fantasy. Not reality. Sure, it takes a little flavor from reality, but only the tiniest fraction of its surface. Anyone expecting works of this nature to show some kind of altruistic reverence to what inspired it is ludicrous. AT BEST, it can spark a curiosity in someone to find out what inspired specific elements, learn about the real world culture/nation that may have contributed to that inspiration...and learn a little something for themselves. Expecting it to do that is laughably naive.

If one finds something offensive/disagreeable/disliked in a work of fantasy fiction....great. That means you're just like (mostly) everyone else. If you take umbrage with it...take your money elsewhere. Simple really. At best, you turn your nose up from the stink you caught a whiff of and move on. At worst, you cry 'Racism! Sexism! I-don't-like-this-so-no-one-should-enjoy-it-ism!'

I'm not advocating anything that promotes bald-faced 'isms, but good gawd learn to recognize the whole fantasy vs reality thing.
 

Igwilly

Villager
I've seen so many japanese video-game companies doing "orientalism" against themselves...

Mixing up cultures? We do that ALL THE TIME.
European culture. Do you think it's just one big same thing? No. There are significant cultural differences between European ethnicities that lumping everything together would be extremely offensive to this standands. No one complains.
Specific examples:
The Cleric. It's brutally representative of Christianity, from it's magic to the fighting prowess of medieval knighthoods like Templars, and yet it's always anything But monotheism. We use this cultural reference in the way we want.
What about Druids? Is this class offensive against the historical Celtic people, or the neo-paganists we have now?
Barbarians. A nice way to group every non-city-based culture in the entire world. This would be extremely offensive.

This is just non-sense. Going back to japanese video-games: they practice "orientalism" against themselves, against Europe, and pretty much anyone else. So do all other countries with fantasy fiction.
Why? Because there's nothing wrong in having a Samurai class who comes from a different, distant land. In no way one culture is explicitly thought to be inferior to others. This "otherness" does NOT justify any possible abuses against them.

In the end, it's a *fantasy game*. We absolutely pick reality, change and adapt as our chaotic heart likes, and use them in the way we want. And there is nothing wrong with that.
 
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Yaarel

Explorer
The term ‘Asian’ is neutral, but problematic. When I say ‘Asian’, I often connote ‘West Asians’ (relating to Asia Minor). When Americans say ‘Asian’ they tend to mean ‘East Asians’. And when Brits say ‘Asian’ they tend to mean ‘South Asians’.

Many seem to forget about North Asians, even tho shamans are highly relevant for D&D fantasy.



‘Westerner’ includes ‘Japan’, a member of the technologically advanced and democratic societies of the Western World.
 

mangamuscle

Villager
Although I like your second point, I gotta disagree with the first for a few reasons. 1) “They probably won’t read it.” is not a very good reason to be less concerned about respect, in my mind.
I do not mean they should be actively disrespectful.

2) A LOT of people from those areas read English perfectly fine and/or now live in English-speaking places like the US and UK and are D&D fans.
But if you are going to have to double check every single sentence out of fear somebody is going to cry foul, chances are you are not going to publish anything since there will someone that dislikes it for whatever reason, time is money.

3) As we have seen in recent years, and obviously with Black Panther, Hollywood can often make a heck of a lot more money being respectful to a wider audience (whether it’s race, sex, etc.) than by disrespecting and alienating large numbers of potential customers.
Taking that example, was black panther portrayal of Africa realistic? Did it use real life locations to portray the beauty of the land? Of course no, the thing is that it was cool and that IMO is what OA (whatever it covers) should attempt, not to try to be some kind of textbook, Someone in this thread mention how many people thought Agrabah was a real city, that is no reason to make fiction be complaint with reality.

What I am trying to say is that the original Oriental Adventures was no trying to be disrespectful (I read it and never got the vibe of "look at this inferior culture"), now I know it is not based directly on local folktales but imo anyone offended by it is just being a white knight looking for a damsel that has not asked to be rescued.

Someone in this thread has said how gurps (and other more game systems) takes no "artistic license" with these settings, then why not play said game system to start with?
 

Igwilly

Villager
I do not mean they should be actively disrespectful.



But if you are going to have to double check every single sentence out of fear somebody is going to cry foul, chances are you are not going to publish anything since there will someone that dislikes it for whatever reason, time is money.



Taking that example, was black panther portrayal of Africa realistic? Did it use real life locations to portray the beauty of the land? Of course no, the thing is that it was cool and that IMO is what OA (whatever it covers) should attempt, not to try to be some kind of textbook, Someone in this thread mention how many people thought Agrabah was a real city, that is no reason to make fiction be complaint with reality.

What I am trying to say is that the original Oriental Adventures was no trying to be disrespectful (I read it and never got the vibe of "look at this inferior culture"), now I know it is not based directly on local folktales but imo anyone offended by it is just being a white knight looking for a damsel that has not asked to be rescued.
Indeed. Actualy, a table-top RPG designer has so much things to think at the same time, without many PhD experts on the subject to help him/her, that keeping complete accuracy over every culture it portrays Is asking too much. At least for most designers.
 
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cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
I'd love a 5e Oriental Adventures book but I'm not really sure what would go in it now. I guess a few subclasses, not sure many would be needed. Classic races and monsters from earlier editions would be a good fit, setting information for Karatur would probably be good so that we have an example setting location and cosmology. Also spells.

Call it oriental adventures or Karatur adventures, either way it would be pretty rad.
 

Cergorach

The Laughing One
"Western" American culture
I am offended! I'm not part of "Western" American culture, I'm not even part of "Western" European culture, I'm Dutch! And certainly NOT proud of it! Especially in light of poor fake bond villains hating on the Dutch! I'm an Amsterdammer! The only other thing as vicious as us is the Rotterdammer, whom never would admit at having anything in common with an Amsterdammer!
-- A quote by Cergorach (Currently residing in Zeewolde: Je kan de Amsterdammer uit Amsterdam halen, maar Amsterdam niet uit de Amsterdammer!)

;-)

Again, RPGs are about telling stories and we prefer them in a fantasy setting. We often find it comfortable to have some sort of reference and those are the stories, we've seen and read, the stuff we've grown up with. And those might very well be Orientalism, but they are still stories and if people think that stories (books, comics, TV, movies, toys, games) have anything but incidental similarities with reality is either very stupid or very naive. We're not all morons that need to be told not to put a baby in the microwave... Oh... Wait... Americans... ;-)

When I'm told a story I don't really care if it's historically accurate. When I'm told about history, I still won't say it's the 100% way things happened, even after referencing two dozen different sources. These are two very different things, fantastical entertainment vs. real world research. That's not to say that I can't appreciate a fantastical story based in a (semi) accurate representation of the real world, I do. Hell, I even sometimes tell stories based on real world research...

The problem is that a lot of that 'real world research' is and has been biased for decades or even centuries and that is a problem. The same is true of the news, it's biased, sometimes by politics and/or religion. That's where Orientalism roars it's head. Read some translated works from the middle East and/or Asia, watch some subtitled television from those regions, read some blogs or news from those regions. I had friends who were either born or had parents that were born in Marokko, Turkey, Suriname, Dutch Antilles, Indonesian, and Hong Kong. When you didn't understand something, you asked and quite often parents were more then willing to explain. I gote me some 紅包... The man that I knew as my grandfather was Indonesian, you see art, you ate some actual Indonesian food, again you asked some questions... And the more painful subjects you researched discretely.

When you want to know something for certain, instead of relying on a book that might very well be biased, ask a person that was born there! Even better, ask more unrelated people who were born there... Now, in this thread, how many people in this thread were born and raised in the Middle East or Asia? Most here are white guys complaining... About things they've learned from those same biased books...

And when you ask someone, ask the person that was born/grown up there, not the Westerner crusader spouse they married. That is asking for inaccurate information and probably a rant or two...

As for Green Ronin "Testament": They, and I'm quoting here, "We're taking great pains to be only as controversial as we need to be in order to make it a great gameable setting.". I suspect that they spend a ridiculous amount of time on it and if evaluated by religious scholars, it still wouldn't pass muster... The problem though with Christianity is not the religious scholars, it's the bigoted masses, and if you pay lipservices to them, chances are that your left alone...
[MENTION=57112]Gradine[/MENTION]: The 'West' is thoroughly responsible for the Red China mess, although if the 'West' wouldn't have interfered it still might have ended in a mess, just a different mess. People should take a look at the Boxer Rebellion (and what preceded and followed it). Still, a LOT of the stories and history is still there.
[MENTION=6704184]doctorbadwolf[/MENTION]: I would say that Waterdeep (The City of Slendors) was inspired by the great cities of Europe at the height of the Renaissance (Bruges, Lyon, Lisbon, Seville, Venice, Florence, Pisa).
[MENTION=10738]Doctor Futurity[/MENTION]: We're talking about OA, a WotC product. Then we're talking about replacing OA with a very specific setting that will have a very small interested audience, so low sales numbers. So that's not something WotC is interested in. And possibly a lot of Indies either, because they also need to pay the bills. Now, you could produce a small book, with high quality illustration, layout, editing and writing. But it would either price itself out of the market OR it wouldn't pay for itself, and especially indies can't operate that way. You could source cheap illustration, layout, editing and writing, but that often shows low quality and low appeal... I'm curious how well this 11 page GR product sold on East Asia ($3.95): https://greenroninstore.com/collections/atlas-of-earth-prime/products/atlas-of-earth-prime-east-asia-pdf

Now people have done better and will certainly will do better again, but to date those haven't been that successful. Those are passion projects. Often not benefiting from good art, layout and editing...

Someone posted the Youtube video that mentioned that with Orientalism that people from the Middle East were depicted as different and dangerous. People from the Middle East ARE different, but often not more or less dangerous then anyone else. Keeping on insisting that people aren't different is just being dishonest, different isn't bad, it's just who we are. You don't go streaking through Iran as a (fe)male, but on the other hand you get crucified in the US if you show nipple on television... The more things change, the more they stay the same...

As for the translation thing... I was thinking about that, what would an Eskimo or a Chinese person that has no affinity with Western culture see in a Western based campaign. How would a 'Western' person write a setting and/or adventure for such a group of players. Could you use the same setting? My conclusion would be, definitely not. We could probably provide a rules set, but a native speaker should do the translation and make the setting/adventures. It's not just the accuracy and the 'respect' it's also the values and cultural perspective we're missing. If 'Record of Lodoss War' is based on a D&D campaign, it's significantly different from most Western campaigns, but still inspired by a Western setting with knights, dwarves and elves... And Japan has been very heavily influenced in the last 70 years by the West. Far more then China for example, you see far less interest in 'Western' settings for stories and if you do, it has it's own interpretation of how such a story plays out. But there are a lot of stories about Heroes in China, from Journey to the West to Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but the stories told, the lessons and values are quite different (if you don't read/watch the Westernized version)...

Let people make their own settings/adventures based on their own culture/society, we're not a one size fits all society!
 

Kobold Boots

Villager
So many words...

Will we see an "Oriental Adventures" equivalent? If there is a Kara-Tur or some other Eastern culture then we'll likely see a sourcebook eventually. We can call it Tim, and it won't offend anyone.

Goes to note that my Asian friends weren't offended by the book when we used it back in the 80s. Don't know how they'd feel about it now.

Side note: I really do appreciate the non-stop social commentary that these articles generate because it's better to get things off people's chests in order to focus on things that are important, but I think we should really space these out more. I don't really want to see a new rehash of the same arguments with a new flavor every week.

If others do, that's cool. It's just not what I come here for. Beyond this, some may say if you don't want to read it don't click on it. Problem with that argument is that other threads suffer from the spill over to some degree so you can't get away from it entirely.

Thanks
KB
 

Mike Myler

Explorer
Missed this thread until today and when I've got more time tonight I'll parse through the many replies, but as the creator of a 5e eastern fantasy campaign setting I wanted to chime in. When making the book we made sure that 1) we included traditional myth and folklore in a respectful fashion and 2) we had some people living in Japan (an American teacher and his class of students) review the material before it went to print in the event we'd gone astray somewhere (we didn't). Projects like that can and should be done with that kind of oversight in mind. It's really not that hard.
 

Dire Bare

Adventurer
Leaving aside all the little rhetorical tricks (e.g. the article is "mealy-mouthed", colonialism is a "trendy buzzword", etc.) and dealing with your actual argument, you raise some very good points, but you leave out some extremely important factors.

For one thing, this is an overly simplistic view of moral universalism. The majority of ethical theories are based on universal equal consideration, NOT universally equal treatment. As a ridiculous example to illustrate the point, I have no right to a mammogram because I am male, nor to hurricane relief because my home state of Michigan doesn’t get hit with hurricanes, etc. Moral universalism would say that IF we were similarly situated, then we deserve equal consideration (the part of the Wikipedia quote you didn’t bold). However, we are not similarly situated, so we do not deserve equal treatment but we are still given equal consideration.

So, the issue here is whether these various cultures and groups of cultures are similarly situated. As Warpiglet pointed out (making a different point, but still accurate here) is that it is about point of origin. From an primarily English-speaking UK/American perspective that these products have been traditionally produced from, no, there are centuries of history as well as a lot of modern events that situated all of these cultures differently with each other.

Sure, centuries of ethics have tried to view humans as these interchangeable rational creatures springing fully formed from the Earth. Thankfully, late 20th century meta-ethics has been trying to rid us of that absurdity. We are embodied and situated with particular histories. If we grew up in China, we would have a vastly different view of Japan. But, at least in the US with our Mickey Rooney-esque treatment of the Japanese, we have a very different relationship to Japan. Our relationship with many African cultures is vastly different than our relationship with many European ones. To pretend otherwise is absurd.

So, yes, moral universalism makes a very good point that when similarly situated, we should treat cultures, etc. in similar ways. But it is not as simplistic as just looking at that other culture's history and completely ignoring the one who is looking. The “similarly situated” needs to take into account how they are situated to each other, as well.

Now, what I said above just pertains to Americans (and to varying degrees the British, for example), but you'd ask aren’t fans of D&D from more than the US?

You betcha! They will have different perspectives on much of this, as well as similar perspectives on other things. Beyond being a “trendy buzzword” colonialism has been extremely harmful in the history of the world, and some of my South American friends will probably have a very different perspective on it than I do in the ol’ US of A. Doesn’t make it less important to take into consideration.

Plus this leads directly to the point made in the article, as well as by myself and other commenters, which isn’t that Oriental Adventures is racist and we should avoid all mentions of East Asian fantasy. That is a straw person that many keep beating up on that no one else is actually defending. What many of us are saying is that going forward, we can do better. Like many others, I loved the OA books. But I also know times change, the demographics of the fans change, and even the original fans themselves mature and change. I would hope how we handle most things matures and changes from how it was handled decades ago.

For one thing rather than relegating “Oriental” adventures to its own separate book – recognize that D&D fans come from a wide variety of backgrounds and have a wide variety of interests, therefore incorporate that material in with everything else (as WotC has been doing to some degree). As the article mentions, having artwork that represents that variety of fans is a great step. Not separating out that content into its own separate book is another. (Don’t even get the AL people started on how that impacts PHB+1!) That is what the author was claiming when they said another OA is unlikely.

Maybe that’s a better way, or maybe it would lead to it getting “blandified” and losing its uniqueness and therefore a separate OA (or even Japanese Adventures, Chinese Adventures, etc.) would be preferred. I don’t know. That would be an interesting topic to consider. Instead we get arguments against the strawperson claims that OA is racist, no one can ever publish East Asian-inspired work, and we can never have any fun. No one is claiming all that, yet many keep trying to argue against it.
This thread has been painful for me to read with the very determined willful ignorance all over the place. But your post was simply beautiful, and has calmed my SJW rage. Thanks for your well-written and well-informed oasis of a post!

Edit: After posting, I noticed the mod post on using terms like "Social Justice Warrior" or SJW . . . I'm using the term (or trying to) in a positive way, and totally wearing that badge. No sarcasm in this post, 100% heartfelt.
 
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Igwilly

Villager
Respectful fashion? Sure, I get that. But that doesn't necessarily means "100% accurate" because limiting us to use only unaltered real-world myth is to... well... limiting.
Honestly, I cannot see how a book like Oriental Adventures is disrespectful, especially when such kinds of works always talk about how they changed some things and it's not meant to directly represent a real-world culture.
However, I must say I actualy like works more accurate than D&D's economy compared to real-world medieval economy.
Which books did you publish? I don't like 5e, but I could check out ^^
But, are you sure you have made no changes to fit into D&D? That seems hard to do.
 

Mercule

Adventurer
Yes. We should have a 5E Oriental Adventures. I don't really care if it's called that, but it should be roughly as accurate to the area to the east and north of the Indian subcontinent (non-inclusive) between the years 800-1400 as the default assumptions of D&D are to the area roughly equating to the broadest expanse of the western Roman Empire was in the same time period (800-1400). Which is to say "not particularly accurate, but cool for stories vaguely influenced by the stories about the stories from there and then".
 

Dire Bare

Adventurer
To respond to the OP's question, I think I'd be far less interested in an Oriental Adventures setting than, say, Wuxia Adventures. A random hodge-podge of vaguely Pan-Asian elements is far less interesting to me as a player than digging into a different genre of storytelling that alters or upends a lot of the defaults of contemporary high or epic fantasy. This is fairly consistent with my tastes. I'm less interested in standard D&D settings that draw from a bunch of different media with a hollow core than I am in games with a clear thematic and aesthetic focus.
I like this! An approach based on genre rather than arbitrary Western derived cultural regions. A well-done "Wuxia Adventures" would be awesome!
 

Dire Bare

Adventurer
[MENTION=1]Morrus[/MENTION], I see that terms like "virtue signalling" (a new one to me) and SJW are not allowed on this forum, but is the same true of terms like "white privilege" and similar?
White privilege is a real thing, and not an offensive term at all when used correctly. The others you mention, not so much.
 

Shasarak

Villager
Now, I have no idea if this is right or wrong, but I do know that chanting in Japanese at an event exclusively attended by white men and women made me feel a tiny bit weird. My usual headcheck for this is “How would I feel if I brought a Japanese-English friend to the event?” and my answer is “Even more weird.” Personally, I found the game’s cover art to be a little more questionable. I think it’s fantastic to have a fantasy world that draws on Asian conventions instead of Western ones. But in a game that almost exclusively depicts Asian men and women, don’t then put white people on the cover! It’s such a lovely piece of art. I just wish she looked a little bit less like a cosplayer.

This bit is funny. A white guy worrying about how he might feel if he actually had a Japanese friend. Maybe he should tell us what his imaginary Japanese friend might think of white people shouting Banzai?
 
S

Sunseeker

Guest
Missed this thread until today and when I've got more time tonight I'll parse through the many replies, but as the creator of a 5e eastern fantasy campaign setting I wanted to chime in. When making the book we made sure that 1) we included traditional myth and folklore in a respectful fashion and 2) we had some people living in Japan (an American teacher and his class of students) review the material before it went to print in the event we'd gone astray somewhere (we didn't). Projects like that can and should be done with that kind of oversight in mind. It's really not that hard.
This must have been terribly burdensome for you to be respectful and get in-culture advice on your material.

If only you could have made up whatever you wanted and told your potential buyers to suck eggs.

/sarcasm

Seriously to good on you.
 
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