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


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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Aldarc I'd be happy to discuss the offending material like it was analysed with orcs and vistani.
Please highlight the issues that are the cause of offense.
Mod Note:

NO. STOP.

We just had those threads, and they had to be closed because folks could not manage the discussion. Continuing the same type of argument on a slightly different target is not appropriate.
 

Cadence

Adventurer
Supporter
This isn't multitasking. This is absurdity.
Have you even watched the video or do you just accept anything told to you?
I read the article and the entire thread up to this point. I read the blogs posts and most of the other things posted about orcs. My time for multitasking didn't include the two hours for watching part 0 of the podcast. Did you? (If so, did I read right that there are multiple parts?).

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.
The PF Bestiary 5 had the Chuspiki which seems to match something from popular culture. Feels like it should be possible to use pop culture without grabbing all the shallow stereotypes as hard as possible.

It doesn't feel like a jump over a ledge to get to Medusa/Gorgon instead of just a bit down the slippery slope?
 

Sadras

Hero
@Umbran.
The thread topic is about some fans requesting the removal of OA.
If we are not discussing the issues the fans have presented to make their case for the removal of the OA, then what exactly is being discussed here?
 

This situation somehow remembers me of a post in my favorite band's Facebook when they went to the US for the first time after more than a decade without playing there. The post said something like "Yes, after all that time, we'll tour the Western Hemisphere again!" Well, the only problem was that not even six months had passed since they had toured Brazil and the rest of SA for the last time. Apparently we were not Occidental enough for their social media.

From what I know, the concept and basic ideas around "Orientalism" are not given for sure even in the field of anthropology. Edward Said is the kind of guy who has a lot of fans, but is very far from being an unanimity. Zeb Cook, on the other hand, was genuinely interested in Japanese culture, working with the kind of source that a guy like him could get in 1985, and trying to present that stuff to D&D gamers in the best light he could. It hurts me that people are seeking the removal of books that, if a bit outdated, do not carry a single moment of hate speech. This is just book burning, and I wouldn't be fool to believe that those who are seeking to start this process will be willing to stop before only the things that they find appropriate are allowed to go public and be sold. I hope WotC do not pay attention to this plea or any other of similar nature.
 

Mecheon

Adventurer
Really how many Asian people were in the RPG industry back in 1985?
There were actually quite a few people in Japan trying to get a licenced version of D&D brought over there. But, well, TSR didn't.

Anywho long story short that's why Record of Lodoss War is a thing

This is just book burning, and I wouldn't be fool to believe that those who are seeking to start this process will be willing to stop before only the things that they find appropriate are allowed to go public and be sold. I hope WotC do not pay attention to this plea or any other of similar nature.
Its hardly book burning. Its moreso "WotC leaving these up there is sort of a bygone conclusion they are completely fine with the content of this book being publicly available with no warnings or comments about it". And OA is a mess
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
If we are not discussing the issues the fans have presented to make their case for the removal of the OA, then what exactly is being discussed here?
Mod Note:

That's not for me to determine. Maybe there's nothing you find of interest in this thread. You're free to find others that do interest you.

But, we will not be having another, "this depiction is offensive/no it isn't," discussion thread at this time.
 

Bagpuss

Adventurer
You should probably look into that a little more then.
The same is true for the people asking for OA to be removed from the marketplace, watching their podcast it is clear they don't have much knowledge of old D&D.

They have a real go at Comeliness, claiming only Asian characters get it as it is featured in OA, but that's because they don't realise it was just introduced in Unearthed Arcana (for the traditional setting). I mean their other complaints about Comeliness are fine, and you know maybe that's why hardly anyone used it and it didn't survive later editions.

They complain about minimum and maximum stats for certain races/classes, but that's just how D&D was done back then, it isn't racist it's just a D&D was played differently back then.
 

Sadras

Hero
I read the article and the entire thread up to this point. I read the blogs posts and most of the other things posted about orcs. My time for multitasking didn't include the two hours for watching part 0 of the podcast. Did you? (If so, did I read right that there are multiple parts?).
You are correct there are multiple parts. I have only seen the first one and I was not impressed. Granted my view is but 1 opinion. @Bagpuss makes a summary of most of the issues in the 1st part.

But @Umbran has now forbidden any discussion on the issues which supposedly cause offense to the individuals.

The PF Bestiary 5 had the Chuspiki which seems to match something from popular culture. Feels like it should be possible to use pop culture without grabbing all the shallow stereotypes as hard as possible.

It doesn't feel like a jump over a ledge to get to Medusa/Gorgon instead of just a bit down the slippery slope?
That is can be done is not my issue.
My issue is the call for the removal of the material.
It was already unnecesarily done with The Community episode. Now we are moving to OA.
 

Cadence

Adventurer
Supporter
That is can be done is not my issue.
My issue is the call for the removal of the material.
It was already unnecesarily done with The Community episode. Now we are moving to OA.
I am a fan of putting the explanatory page at the front (like was brought up elsewhere with Gone with the Wind). If the issue is making money from it, then donating the proceeds to charity or putting it at a no-profit price point would fix that.
 

Its hardly book burning.
I wouldn't say it's the handbook definition of book burning because there are no physical objects or fire involved, but it's probably the nearest you'll get from burning digital books. We don't even have other expression for what it is. If you want to keep any book that does not reproduce hate speech out of the market just because you don't like the content, I wouldn't be kind to call you anything but a book burner, sorry.

Its moreso "WotC leaving these up there is sort of a bygone conclusion they are completely fine with the content of this book being publicly available with no warnings or comments about it".
I'm not against a disclaimer in the product page but I hope they never put it inside the book, though. I wouldn't like to have to go through the work of removing it before printing my copy. The DRM watermark is already bad enough.

And OA is a mess
And who'll get to decide what's a mess? I hope it's not the Catholic Church again. They didn't appear to have the best criteria the last time.
 

Voadam

Adventurer
I am a fan of putting the explanatory page at the front (like was brought up elsewhere with Gone with the Wind). If the issue is making money from it, then donating the proceeds to charity or putting it at a no-profit price point would fix that.
I am not a fan of putting in extra stuff into the book itself. If one were to add something the text of the OA PDF sales page seems much more appropriate. People would then be alerted before buying about the content, rather than having it show up afterwards.
 

Sadras

Hero
I am a fan of putting the explanatory page at the front (like was brought up elsewhere with Gone with the Wind). If the issue is making money from it, then donating the proceeds to charity or putting it at a no-profit price point would fix that.
I have no objections to including an explanatory page at the front or include it as a loose page.
And I do believe there is a slippery slope here despite what others may believe - so they might as well slap it on every movie and book before 2020, let's stop with the recalling and removals, and let's call it a day.
 

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.
Okay, but who here has actually advocated for something extreme?

Let me give an example.

Faerun has knights right? Knights are from about three different cultures that I can pinpoint from memory, but they all were nobles, heavily armored, and served kings.

Samurai? To my knowledge, a Samurai was very much a Japanese style of knight. I'm sure the Chinese had something similar in a heavily armored warrior, but I'm not familiar with it. But, if I'm going to have a Chinese style Imperial Bureaucracy, I don't think calling the heavily armed nobles Samurai is any better than calling them Knights.

OR, how about that Honor system. Because Samurai were super honorable right? Well... knights have a Chivalric code and were also highly honorable in myth and legend, so why is it we only need an Honor System when dealing with Samurai or other Far East tropes, and not when dealing with Knights?


So, I fully agree, treat them both the exact same way. If you've got a heavily [blank] influenced culture, use their terms for things. If you are going to a new land, don't go calling it "exotic" or "mysterious" . We don't say that the people from Baldur's Gate are going to the "Exotic and Mysterious land of Cormyr, where honorable warriors on horseback duel in great jousts" So why say it for Kara-tur?

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.
Why not, it be better than the Iron Bull we currently have. (I still don't know what myth that is supposed to be from)
 

Olrox17

Hero
I have no issue with adding a disclaimer at the start of the book, pointing out how oriental adventures is a product of its time and may offend some modern sensibilities.
I am completely and utterly against removing the book. I'm also against editing it: this is a 35 years old book, the ink is dry. Let it go.
 

Mecheon

Adventurer
I wouldn't say it's the handbook definition of book burning because there are no physical objects or fire involved, but it's probably the nearest you'll get from burning digital books. We don't even have other expression for what it is. If you want to keep any book that does not reproduce hate speech out of the market just because you don't like the content, I wouldn't be kind to call you anything but a book burner, sorry.
"Saying no to reprinting problematic nonsense that people have issues with and I specifically do not have issues with, and am ignoring the issues the communities affected are having, is book burning" is a pretty dang hot-take, mate.

My view is "Let's listen to the people affected and adjust as necessary" so we're going to be very disagreeing on this, but I'm also following that up with "You're being utterly ludicrous"

I'm not against a disclaimer in the product page but I hope they never put it inside the book, though. I wouldn't like to have to go through the work of removing it before printing my copy. The DRM watermark is already bad enough.
Its a PDF. Just slot in an extra page, call it a day.

And who'll get to decide what's a mess? I hope it's not the Catholic Church again. They didn't appear to have the best criteria the last time.
I mean, the D&D community over time pretty much hasn't cared much about OA as a rulebook, and given people from the affected communities (IE: Asians) are calling this book out, I'd say we're two for two on this one

Why not, it be better than the Iron Bull we currently have. (I still don't know what myth that is supposed to be from)
Its the Catoblepas. Some book somewhere gave it the name of Gorgon and it just spread from there
 

Sadras

Hero
OR, how about that Honor system. Because Samurai were super honorable right? Well... knights have a Chivalric code and were also highly honorable in myth and legend, so why is it we only need an Honor System when dealing with Samurai or other Far East tropes, and not when dealing with Knights?
For Flavour. A dirty mechanic to make it distinctly different. How is Honour now identified as something negative?
Eurocentric Knights - Christianity - sinful to commit suicide.
I am not well verse in Japanese history or culture, only the little I have read or seen on tv (so all pop-culture), but Samurai could commit seppuku.
 

"Saying no to reprinting problematic nonsense that people have issues with and I specifically do not have issues with, and am ignoring the issues the communities affected are having, is book burning" is a pretty dang hot-take, mate.
Well, if you cannot see for yourself how dangerous it is to pressure for books that contain no actual hate speech to be removed from the market because someone has issues with them, I won't be the one to open your eyes.

I just want White Wolf to know that if they ever decide to apologize for Rage Across the Amazon, I'd prefer my part to me issued as product credit at the Storytellers Vault. :ROFLMAO:
 

Derren

Hero
For Flavour. A dirty mechanic to make it distinctly different. How is Honour now identified as something negative?
Eurocentric Knights - Christianity - sinful to commit suicide.
I am not well verse in Japanese history or culture, only the little I have read or seen on tv (so all pop-culture), but Samurai could commit seppuku.
Also, which class is the stereotypical knight? The paladin. And what happens when the paladin messes up?

So much for them not having a honor system.
 

Its the Catoblepas. Some book somewhere gave it the name of Gorgon and it just spread from there
Huh, neat. Especially since we also have the Catoblepas (and it is a cool monster)


For Flavour. A dirty mechanic to make it distinctly different.
I'm sorry, why does it have to be different? We don't need it for Euro-centric games where honor was also a thing (think noblemen dueling at dawn) so why do we need it here? Why does it need to be different


Eurocentric Knights - Christianity - sinful to commit suicide.
I am not well verse in Japanese history or culture, only the little I have read or seen on tv (so all pop-culture), but Samurai could commit seppuku.
There is a lot more to seppuku than that, and also if that is the only difference between the two groups, then again, why a new system?
 

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