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WotC Dungeons & Dragons Fans Seek Removal of Oriental Adventures From Online Marketplace

On that note, I am taking a break...this post does not have a lot of direct D&D content, other than my trust that those of us that like to roll dice and imagine things, can always find common ground as people.

My apologies to the Moderation staff, if this crosses the No Politics position of the board.
I respect EnWorld’s position, and as mentioned, will be taking a break from this thread.
I earnestly feel, this was something I had to write. I understand, if the Moderators feel the need to take more formal actions.
Yeah, I think I'm out, too. This isn't accomplishing anything, and I just find it depressing to see where so many of my fellow gamers stand on this.
 

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Voadam

Adventurer
Honest question to all of you complaining about this: Were you going to buy it? Do you even still play those editions? What's the big deal?
I think its a terrible idea to ask for it to be removed, I think it would be a terrible idea for WotC to do it.

I was quite angry with WotC when they pulled all their D&D PDFs from sale for years.

I am against reducing the access to the back catalog of D&D.

I believe the Kwan guy who requested this is honestly offended, but I do not feel removing access to the books that offended him is a good objective.
 



Voadam

Adventurer
The is a bit in the first episode (about 24:10) where they criticise this statement in Gygax's introduction.

Oriental Adventures covers the classes of adventurers, weapons, armor, spells, magic, and even the special monsters that make the legend and myth of the Far East so rich and varied.

Saying weapons, armour and magic are all about violence so a stereotype of the Orient, "Gary is saying we took all the cool stuff of East Asian and put it into one" and later "that the myths and legends are only interesting to them, not the lived reality of East Asia". Seriously consider the PHB what aspects of European culture does it cover? Oh right the Weapons, Armour and Magic, because that's what D&D is about. Do we look into the lived reality of European peasants in the PHB and D&D in general or do we look at the myths and legends of European history, like knights, dragons, magical swords and shit. Why would a book on "Oriental Adventures" not be about the same aspects of the Far East like traditional D&D is about the myths and legends of Europe.
Yeah, that part of their critique stuck out to me as well as not exactly on point in the context of a D&D sourcebook.
 


Sadras

Hero
One thing I find interesting about all this, is that some people with whom I've nearly violently disagreed over, oh, warlords and metagaming and goal-and-approach, have views more aligned with mine on these topics. And vice-versa. And it makes me realize how ridiculously unimportant those other debates are.
One thing I find interesting about all this, is that some people with whom I've disagreed with over these issues fail to realise how rediculously unimportant these window dressing changes are to the true issues which exist out there.
 



Cadence

Adventurer
Supporter
And I find it depressing that we have a return of the "D&D is satanic" groups.
The D&D was Satanic folks weren't asking "don't portray most religious folks by their worst stereo-types" or "don't use real world iconography, scriptures, and beliefs from living religions disrespectfully". Weren't the extremes then asking for the game to remove all magic (because it's anti-biblical witchcraft) and never put it in again?

How is asking to not have the game unthoughtfully chock full of stereotypes the same?
 

Cadence

Adventurer
Supporter
One thing I find interesting about all this, is that some people with whom I've disagreed with over these issues fail to realise how rediculously unimportant these window dressing changes are to the true issues which exist out there.
Multi-tasking is a thing.
 



Most libraries purge books a lot if they aren't checked out. I sometimes wonder how bad I am for once in a while checking out some by my favorite authors just so I can return them to keep them on the shelves :-/
Yes. That's one of our guidelines we use. One of the library standards for weeding books is called the CREW method (Continuous Review, Evaluation, and Weeding). The method is not just looking at circulation statistics, but also publication dates for material, assuming that older material may not be useful (and might have erroneous and potential dangerous information in areas such as science and medicine). Another category (in addition to publication date and general patron usage) is the acronym [Misleading, Ugly, Superseded, Trivial, Irrelevant, Elsewhere available].
With space at a premium these days, libraries can't hold on to things forever. We need space for Maker Labs, 3D printers, interactive play spaces for children, and more.
I would argue (completely from a librarian's perspective), that OA from 1e or 3e would be "superseded" by the 5e rules system products. I would not hang on to it in a general public library setting.
 


Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
Is the term “Oriental” offensive outside the USA/North America? Is a North American sensibility the proper one to apply here? Where North American mores conflict with European or Asian mores, how do we respectfully weigh all considerations? Does the location of the publisher matter? Does the physical location of most of the customers matter?
D&D has a worldwide audience, and that's a good thing. But it IS primarily an American game written by Americans for a primarily American audience. So, in context of this discussion, who cares if "oriental" is only offensive to folks in America? We shouldn't be using the term in D&D.

And even if D&D was written and designed from a more global perspective, with writers and designers from all over the world contributing . . . if "oriental" was only found offensive in one large area of the world, why wouldn't WotC still avoid use of the term?

In our other recent discussions we talked about blackface and how super-taboo it is in the U.S., but not so much in other parts of the world that have different experiences and history. So, since blackface is only super-taboo in the U.S. does that make it okay to incorporate into D&D? Of course not.
 


Bagpuss

Adventurer
You know, no one ever felt the need to bring up how racist Faerun and all their European views are until we started pointing out that the OA was problematic for people.

But, if it leads to the game being more inclusive and less hurtful to the greeks for the use of their hydra, then I guess we can talk about changing that after we change the OA
No one is bringing up how racist Faerun is (it isn't) they are pointing out if you treat Asia the same as you've treated Europe, that isn't being racist. If you treat both cultures by the same method of cherry picking the cool weapons, armour and myths and ignoring the bits of culture you don't find useful to the heroic adventure stories you want to tell with D&D, then it isn't racist. It is just how you treat the source material in general, you take all the cool interesting shit you find and throw it in a blender and there's your setting.

Applying different methods to Asia than Europe would be racists, treating both cultures in the same way isn't. It isn't an issue to cherry pick with Europe and it isn't an issue to then do the same with Asia.
 

Sadras

Hero
The best thing would be to get some real, fairly accurate portrayals of myths and monsters and cultures, because they can be fascinating.
PoP culturism is also fascinating. I didn't know we were now striving for realism and accuracy within D&D.
Cannot wait for you to start the petition to rename the Medusa a Gorgon.
 


Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

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