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D&D General Drow in early D&D


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Zardnaar

Legend
The "racist" part is the sentence quoted earlier from the 3e FR Campaign Setting:

"Sun Elves ... are seen as the most civilized and haughty elves, preferring to remain separate from humankind and other nonelven races."

The Sun Elves are literally racist separatists, and racist supremacists, elevating the "Elf race" and being "haughty" against every other race.



The being "Good" is a fair question. Generally, according to the 3e Players Handbook, all Elves are Chaotic Good, except for Drow who are Chaotic Evil.

3e PH: "Elves. Alignment. ... Elves love freedom, ... and are more often Good than not."

In FR too, "Sun Elves have all the elven racial traits listed on page 16 of the Players Handbook, except as follows. +2 Intelligence," etcetera.

Thus Sun Elves associate with the same Elf that loves freedom and is assumed to be Good.



Wow! Even the 3e Players Handbook says all Elves are "haughty". "Elves. Relations. Elves ... look on Half-Elves with some degree of pity. ... While haughty, ... they are generally pleasant."



So, according to 3e Greyhawk core and 3e Forgotten Realms, the Elf is officially a polite racist supremacist ... and is Good.

Unbelievable!

No wonder the Elf got so messed up.

In cosmic evil and good I don't think mild racism (wanting to be left alone and withdrawn) counts as evil. Espicially when you know why they want to be left alone.

I play a game called Stellaris and you can pick your ethics and how strong they are. There's 8 of them

You can end up with some odd ethics such as egalitarian xenophobes or authortarian xenophiles.

So one society loves foreigners but are perfectly willing to enslave themselves. Or the xenophobes might be pacifists and focus on inward perfection so they mostly want to be left alone and gave limited diplomacy options. Or the Xenophobes might want to purge people but are an shining egalitarian beacon of democracy (for themselves only).
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I never understood the whole "haughty we are better at everything elves" thing. If they were so much better at literally everything they would be running the world in all these campaign settings.

Not enough of them. See the British in India outnumbered 1000-1. Long term they couldn't do it.
 

In defense of the grey elves and drow...

The 2e Book of Elves has a very pro-elf creation story. One group of gods took a very long time to create the elves. As they were getting close to putting the finishing touches on them, another set of gods got jealous and frantically tried their own creations, spending very little time on them. The latter set of gods produced everything non-elf such as humans, dwarves, etc.

So many elves may believe this creation story to be true and have genuine, non-racist sympathy for the “lesser” races, e.g. not as beautiful, not as graceful, has to sleep, not as long-lived, etc. Moreover, in 5e (not sure how it worked in previous editions), Reincarnate exists, so every non-elf humanoid has the opportunity to be an elf. (And non-humanoids and humanoids both could possibly use Wish to achieve the same result.) So the “they have no control of their race” argument goes away.

So if an elf is walking down the street and sees a non-elf they may: 1. Feel sorry for them as the non-elf is missing out on all things elf, 2. Feel sorry for themselves as they have to interract with them (perhaps causing them to give more thought to moving to an elf-only community), and/or 3. Be disappointed that the non-elf and/or their ancestors haven’t remedied the situation yet.
well, I know which elf I am not allowed to talk to as I will end up with us having to make a spell to let others experience each other's qualia just to prove to the elf that being elf is not a better thing.
 


pming

Hero
I think that's the first time I've seen anyone use the word "perfection" in conjunction with Synnibarr.
It makes sense if you also take note of the 😉 at the end.

I manage to run a 2 or 3 session "Synnibarr Game" every year or two. We do it because it's one of those sort of... "wake up to how good we actually have it" type of games. Kinda like jumping into a frozen lake in January when it's -40C out. Not something you do all the time...but once a year, to remind you "Wow...this is a bit...extreme..." helps put it in perspective when it's spring/early summer and it's only +9C when you're camping and hear someone complain about it being "Soooo cold!".

Same thing. But for RPG's. :D

That said...I can say three absolute truths about my experience with Synnibarr:
  1. We have never had a bad or boring time playing it!
  2. No other RPG does "anime/manga" even CLOSE to as good as Synnibarr does!
  3. It's the nigh-perfect embodiment of an RPG written by a Chaotic-Neutral personality type.
^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

haakon1

Adventurer
Vampires, by their nature, are both predatory and parasitical. They don't reproduce the way they do; they reproduce by spreading vampirism like a disease. They may have to consume the blood of sentient beings to survive, with the blood of animals not being enough (it might also be a choice; that's up to the DM). So even if a vampire who had to drink the blood of sentients limited themselves to willing donors, they are still putting other people at risk of death or disease just to continue living. That may not be evil, per se, but it's morally quite gray. The fact that they are undead automatically separates them from other humanoids, and the fact that they are unaging and very, very powerful means that it's very easy for them to start looking down on weaker beings.

None of these creatures--fiends, mind flayers, beholders--are at all like drow.

Unless, in your world, drow are actually not humanoids like humans and elves, but something extremely different, with obvious inherent differences that make them auto-villains.
Not your point, but I’d say vampires have potential as PC’s. I only played with an undead PC in a tourney at Paizocon, and it turned out to be no fun for the player - our cleric was positive energy and the undead guy got hit hard first thing - but it seemed possible.

And of course, there’s Angel and Twilight … I’m sure Vampire PC’s are possible.
 
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It makes sense if you also take note of the 😉 at the end.

I manage to run a 2 or 3 session "Synnibarr Game" every year or two. We do it because it's one of those sort of... "wake up to how good we actually have it" type of games. Kinda like jumping into a frozen lake in January when it's -40C out. Not something you do all the time...but once a year, to remind you "Wow...this is a bit...extreme..." helps put it in perspective when it's spring/early summer and it's only +9C when you're camping and hear someone complain about it being "Soooo cold!".

Same thing. But for RPG's. :D

That said...I can say three absolute truths about my experience with Synnibarr:
  1. We have never had a bad or boring time playing it!
  2. No other RPG does "anime/manga" even CLOSE to as good as Synnibarr does!
  3. It's the nigh-perfect embodiment of an RPG written by a Chaotic-Neutral personality type.
^_^

Paul L. Ming
you appear to use perfect in such a way as to render language a meaningless and worthless implement and I lack the time to develop telepathy to compensate for it.
 

haakon1

Adventurer
I play a game called Stellaris
Fun stuff. I played as Humans, with an idealized view like the Federatio’s view of itself - Xenophile and Mildly Pacificist. But I did have the authoritarian feature of being able to relocate creatures to different colonies, rather than letting each creature choose. After all, it took forever to terraform a suitable planet for my dinosaur people refugee citizens - all their home planets were conquered by a Big Bad - so I had my furry ally immigrant citizens live there until it was ready to be Jurassic Park. :)
 

Not your point, but I’d say vampires have potential as PC’s. I only played with an undead PC in a tourney at Paizocon, and it turned out to be no fun for the player - our cleric was positive energy and the undead guy got hit hard first thing - but it seemed possible.

And of course, there’s Angel and Twilight … I’m sure Vampire PC’s are possible.
There are whole RPGs that have successfully made it work for almost 30 years. 🦇
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Fun stuff. I played as Humans, with an idealized view like the Federatio’s view of itself - Xenophile and Mildly Pacificist. But I did have the authoritarian feature of being able to relocate creatures to different colonies, rather than letting each creature choose. After all, it took forever to terraform a suitable planet for my dinosaur people refugee citizens - all their home planets were conquered by a Big Bad - so I had my furry ally immigrant citizens live there until it was ready to be Jurassic Park. :)

Yeah forced relocation can do it just upsets a faction. Not hard to keep them happy though.

My multiplayer build is Fan Xenophile materialist megacorp single player militaristic/spiritualist/authortarian slave empire (basically Rome in space). .
 


Alzrius

The EN World kitten
So, an RPG that is based on the writings of a super-racist? ;)
Unpopular opinion here: Lovecraft wasn't "super" racist, in terms of being a product of his time. While he absolutely held odious and bigoted views about African-Americans, the "super-racists" of his day were putting on white sheets and committing acts of murder and domestic terrorism, not writing offensive poems and stories filled with xenophobia. Putting him in the same moral category comparatively downplays the atrocities committed against the African-American community, rather than raising his writings up to the same level of egregiousness.

To put it another way, Lovecraft wasn't a "super-racist," he was your garden variety racist.
 
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Faolyn

Hero
Not your point, but I’d say vampires have potential as PC’s. I only played with an undead PC in a tourney at Paizocon, and it turned out to be no fun for the player - our cleric was positive energy and the undead guy got hit hard first thing - but it seemed possible.

And of course, there’s Angel and Twilight … I’m sure Vampire PC’s are possible.
True--because they used to be human(oid) and therefore have that as a base. The other examples are too alien.
 

Unpopular opinion here: Lovecraft wasn't "super" racist, in terms of being a product of his time. While he absolutely held odious and bigoted views about African-Americans, the "super-racists" of his day were putting on white sheets and committing acts of murder and domestic terrorism, not writing offensive poems and stories filled with xenophobia. Putting him in the same moral category comparatively downplays the atrocities committed against the African-American community, rather than raising his writings up to the same level of egregiousness.

To put it another way, Lovecraft wasn't a "super-racist," he was your garden variety racist.
This is getting into philosophical areas here, but I think that it's not just violent actions that determine how racist someone is. The person who writes an incendiary work that incites racism in others is taking racist action as well.

And even other people of his day thought Lovecraft was a giant racist. He's a problematic favorite, at best.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
This is getting into philosophical areas here, but I think that it's not just violent actions that determine how racist someone is. The person who writes an incendiary work that incites racism in others is taking racist action as well.
Leaving aside the question of how much stories like "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" incite racism in others, I don't think that level of racist action can be declared "super-racist" when held up against large-scale campaigns of murder and domestic terrorism. Lovecraft's views were quite clearly wrong and repugnant, but he's not the person to hold up as some sort of icon about just how bad racism was in early 20th-century America, and doing so does a disservice to understanding the scope and scale of the injustices that were perpetrated.
And even other people of his day thought Lovecraft was a giant racist. He's a problematic favorite, at best.
As a general rule, it's best to be specific when you say "other people support my point," since otherwise you're liable to get called on for citations. Who, specifically, was saying Lovecraft was comparable to, or worse than, the racially-motivated mass murderers?
 
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Who, specifically, was saying Lovecraft was comparable to, or worse than, the racially-motivated mass murderers?
I don't think anyone was making those comparisons at that point, since he died before World War II and, at that time, white American society largely pretended that racial violence didn't matter.

You may have seen copies of the newspapers covering the Tulsa Massacre, which had its 100th anniversary this week, which focused on the fact that two white people died in the headline and failed to mention the 300 black people killed.

But there are letters from his contemporaries and friends who repeatedly told Lovecraft that maybe he could dial his crap back. They were also men of their time and not exactly enlightened by today's standards.
 
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Alzrius

The EN World kitten
But there are letters from his contemporaries and friends who repeatedly told him that maybe he could dial his crap back. They were also men of their time and not exactly enlightened by today's standards.
That there were white Americans who weren't racist during the early 20th century, some of whom knew Lovecraft, is no secret. But neither does that elevate Lovecraft's own racism to point where it warrants mentioning in the same context as the Tulsa massacre.

Doing so is, in itself, a form of white supremacy, since it subtly diminishes the horrors that were inflicted on people of African-American heritage. Putting Lovecraft and the Tulsa massacre side by side doesn't heighten the former, but minimizes the latter. The two are not comparable, and holding up Lovecraft's altogether mild example as some sort of icon of just how bad things were lessens the impact of those monstrous acts.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Doing so is, in itself, a form of white supremacy, since it subtly diminishes the horrors that were inflicted on people of African-American heritage. Putting Lovecraft and the Tulsa massacre side by side doesn't heighten the former, but minimizes the latter. The two are not comparable, and holding up Lovecraft's altogether mild example as some sort of icon of just how bad things were lessens the impact of those monstrous acts.

I'm sorry, are you accusing someone who is calling out Lovecraft's prejudices as a form of white supremacy? This is looking ridiculous.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I'm sorry, are you accusing someone who is calling out Lovecraft's prejudices as a form of white supremacy? This is looking ridiculous.
Are you suggesting that citing Lovecraft's prejudice as being comparable to the Tulsa massacre is an appropriate comparison to make? Because it takes an incredible amount of privilege to defend that idea.
 

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