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

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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Problematic issues aside, it really isn't that great a sourcebook. I think it's best feature was the inclusion of NWP, and also the attempt to introduce non-Western play. In a lot of ways it was a dumpster fire in regards to game mechanics, like UA. Most of the classes were power creep over original classes and it didn't play well with standard classes (not to mention that some of the classes really didn't even need to exist). The Comeliness stat. Both OA and UA are guilty of that unnecessary addition. I put it on the same level as UA. It didn't help that it fell apart just like UA.
“Power creep”? This really sounds like it was written by someone taking standard UA complaints and applying it to a book that they are not familiar with.
 

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Azzy

Newtype
“Power creep”? This really sounds like it was written by someone taking standard UA complaints and applying it to a book that they are not familiar with.
Oh, come on. UA's Barbarian and Cavalier, and many of OA's classes were clear steps-up from the PHB classes.
 


So many pages on the opinions of some guys from Toronto.

They have an opinion, but they only are speaking for themselves. in every post asking about what is the issue with OA, they point you to their YouTube read and react series. which just happens to be on a platform that they get paid for views.

i lived in China for 5 yeas and Asia for 8. The tropes that are complained about are commonly seen on Chinese TV in historical dramas. When I asked my Chinese friends and colleagues about it, the said of course, that is the expected elements for such stories.

i have asked my Chinese friends here about the standard tropes. The ones that moved from China readily admit that they come from Asia media and are common enough there. They say that as a minority, they feel more vulnerable. So anything that makes them seem smaller or what they think paints them in a poor light, they don’t like.

By the tike this book came out, I had already moved onto Runequest, so I never bought or used the content. I am sure that the number of AD&D campaigns being run with it today are tiny. All the yelling is doing is spurring on more sales.
 

Azzy

Newtype
You just listed UA classes. You never played an OA campaign, did you?
A. Dide you miss the part where I said "many of OA's classes"? B. Yes, I have personally played a samurai and a ninja/yakuza and have seen the kensai [sic] in play. The barbarian was no improvement over the UA one. The monk was an upgrade of the PHB one (though it needed it). The bushi was essentially an upgraded fighter. The sohei, I have no opinion on, and the yakuza (by itself) was fine, as were the wujen and the shukenja [sic].
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
So many pages on the opinions of some guys from Toronto.
I do not doubt their actual offense. But I would note that:

1. They did not play AD&D (or unfamiliar with the history), and some of the things that they are offended by are not particular to OA; and

2. Instead of answering questions, as you note, they demand people watch their insanely long Youtube series that they are paid for; and

3. It just so happens that the media coverage goes to the guy's twitter page, where he happens to have a pinned tweet promoting his recent release of a 5e-compatible (and OSE-compatible) source book for Chinese monsters.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
A. Dide you miss the part where I said "many of OA's classes"? B. Yes, I have personally played a samurai and a ninja/yakuza and have seen the kensai [sic] in play. The barbarian was no improvement over the UA one. The monk was an upgrade of the PHB one (though it needed it). The bushi was essentially an upgraded fighter. The sohei, I have no opinion on, and the yakuza (by itself) was fine, as were the wujen and the shukenja [sic].
Then you know the following three things:

1. The classes were not particularly imbalanced at the time, and certainly not in relation to each other if you were playing an OA campaign, and not just grabbing some abilities to use in your own campaign; AND

2. Given the Dragon articles AND the release of UA, there is no one in the history of ever that described the classes in OA as "overpowered" or complained of power creed given TSR just released UA the same year; AND

3. There is something truly bizarre with you arguing with @pemerton regarding playing the game and rules when he was clearly describing how UA, in NWPs and the use of soft and social mechanics opened up a field in D&D that was not previously used, and you replied by immediately going to the "drag and drop" class mechanics- which is why I specified an "OA Campaign."

So, yeah, I doubt your knowledge of the source material.
 
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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
That's sad. It must be awful to feel like a diversity hire. Talk about impostor syndrome.
The effort to control anxiety, ADHD, or depression is already a tall task sometimes. To throw that feeling and corporate crap on top .. and add to it how healthcare works in the US and how it can make someone feel trapped to keep it :.-(
 

Azzy

Newtype
Then you know the following three things:

1. The classes were not particularly imbalanced at the time, and certainly not in relation to each other if you were playing an OA campaign, and not just grabbing some abilities to use in your own campaign; AND
So, we can agree that playing a mixed game—like I implied I did (the classes don't play well with the ones from the PHB)—they were out of whack?

2. Given the Dragon articles AND the release of UA, there is no one in the history of ever that described the classes in OA as "overpowered" or complained of power creed given TSR just released UA the same year; AND
Well, since, you didn't see anyone in Dragon complain that must mean that no one had problems. :rolleyes:

3. There is something truly bizarre with you arguing with @pemerton regarding playing the game and rules when he was clearly describing how UA, in NWPs and the use of soft and social mechanics opened up a field in D&D that was not previously used, and you replied by immediately going to the mechanics.
Clearly? He only said "From the point of view of RPGing techniques", so no it's not clear that he's talking about those things. If I have gotten him wrong, them I'm sure he can correct me. And "NWPs and the use of soft and social mechanics" are game mechanics, so I don't get your complaint.

So, yeah, I truly doubt your knowledge of the source material. Maybe I should just listen to you?
I don't care what you believe, but if you really want, I can post a pic of my OA book (and some of my other 1e material).

Honestly, what are you even doing? If you disagree with my assessment of OA's classes, that's fine, but what's up with the attitude and your attempt to dismiss my opinion of the book just because you don't agree with my assessment of it? Did someone pee in your Cheerios? Maybe take a breather.
 

Sepulchrave II

Adventurer
D&D needs to continue to critically examine its history, and try to avoid egregious mistakes going forward. Inclusivity and representation are paramount.

I don't think that anyone here would deny that it had some problems - and I think we could mostly agree on what those problems are - but I absolutely loved 1e Oriental Adventures - however clumsy it appears today. It was a breath of fresh air.

And none of us here are so naive as to think that it doesn't reek of Orientalism. I mean, it's in the name...
 


Azzy

Newtype
So we are done.

Forum-splain OA to other people, since you "obviously" know everything about it.
Okay, you go on the attack and attempt to dismiss my experience and then accuse me of "forum-plain"ing OA to others when you just told me that my experiences and opinions about OA were wrong. Dude, that's whacked.
 

Azzy

Newtype
I don't think that anyone here would deny that it had some problems - and I think we could mostly agree on what those problems are - but I absolutely loved 1e Oriental Adventures - however clumsy it appears today. It was a breath of fresh air.
Agreed, I loved it when I got it as a teenager. It help peke my interest in Japanese history. Of course at the time I had no clue that it was problematic.
 

MGibster

Legend
No. I do not believe in those either. I only believe in individuals who see themselves as part of those (non-existent) communities.
Sometimes people have such a radically different set of ideas from the norm that it is difficult to engage them in meaningful conversation on the subject. If we can't agree on something as fundamentally basic as the existence of Hispanic, African American, or even Asian communities within the United States there's no starting point for conversation. It's like trying to talk about the evolution of whales to someone who thinks the earth is 6,000 years old. The two parties are so far apart there's no going forward.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
How much less problematic would the original OA be viewed today if it had been published under a title like "Kara-Tur - More from the World of Greyhawk" (or FR), or if it came out six months later as "Unearthed Arcana II' . And if the blurbs had just been about adding more material to D&D, instead of showing us the exotic or capturing part of the real world

It doesn't get rid of any problematic material in it - but how much would changing how it was framed push it back to the level of the 1e PhB monk or pantheons in Deities and Demigods?
 

MGibster

Legend
I've never seen Birth if a Nation, don't particularly want to. But I might one day for whatever reason.
I watched it for one of my American culture courses and I can confirm that it is extremely racist. It's also a landmark film in that it established some basic filming techniques that are still in use today. But what really got me was just how boring it was. Seriously, it's more than two hours long and I can't tell you what was worse; the racism or the boredom?
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
How much less problematic would the original OA be viewed today if it had been published under a title like "Kara-Tur - More from the World of Greyhawk" (or FR), or if it came out six months later as "Unearthed Arcana II' . And if the blurbs had just been about adding more material to D&D, instead of showing us the exotic or capturing part of the real world

It doesn't get rid of any problematic material in it - but how much would changing how it was framed push it back to the level of the 1e PhB monk or pantheons in Deities and Demigods?
It would make it no less problematic. But it would probably make it less visible and we might not be talking about it today. It's not just about the word "oriental", but having that word in the title is a pretty hefty signifier that the product is a problem.
 

MGibster

Legend
Agreed, I loved it when I got it as a teenager. It help peke my interest in Japanese history. Of course at the time I had no clue that it was problematic.
But what isn't problematic? Apparently there are some people who find the Barbarian class in 5th edition, a core class for at least twenty years now, to be problematic. Is there any point where you just shrug your shoulders and say, "I understand you find it problematic but I don't and have any desire to change it?"
 

Azzy

Newtype
But what isn't problematic? Apparently there are some people who find the Barbarian class in 5th edition, a core class for at least twenty years now, to be problematic. Is there any point where you just shrug your shoulders and say, "I understand you find it problematic but I don't and have any desire to change it?"
I think most of us can agree that chocolate is not problematic. At least for humans... it's very problematic for doggos and kittehs.

I'm sure there is such a point, I guess. I suppose, however, that where it lies will vary widely based on the subject and the person. It's good, however, that not all complaints are without merit. Some, sure, but given the US's track record on racism and other forms of bigotry, I think it's a good idea to take those that have been marginalized seriously and enter a conversation with them about how to do things better rather than just ignoring them like we have in the past.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
It would make it no less problematic. But it would probably make it less visible and we might not be talking about it today. It's not just about the word "oriental", but having that word in the title is a pretty hefty signifier that the product is a problem.
Thank you. I was just trying to gauge how much of it was was situating it as being reflective of "an exotic part the real world" (as opposed to making it "just more pastiche like we did in the PhB". I haven't actually read a copy for decades, but would believe some of the inside is troubling.
 

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