I really don't think it should be called the "ORC license"

Yora

Legend
I get it. It's a bit of a pun. It's cute. And they needed to announce something quickly as things were rapidly in motion.

But I think ORC is probably the worst name for any kind of banner to unite medium and small RPG content creators under.

Some people really don't care about it. Other people are offended that others are feeling offended by it. But orcs are perhaps the most controversial and divisive topic in RPGs in recent years. All the arguments for or against orcs being a dog whistle promotion for thinking in hateful stereotypes really don't matter here right now. But the thing is, we have seen that plenty of people having very strong opinions on orcs as toxic stereotypes that they just won't touch.

I don't even consider myself as having a particularly strong opinion on this, but I certainly would not want to release anything that makes it an "ORC license" product. I have some stuff in the works for OSE, and I actually worry that it might chance to ORC, because that might actually make me cancel my plans. And surely I am not the only one in a position like this. I've not been following anything done by Paizo or Kobold Press for at least 10 years, and I have no idea about what channels one might reach them through that don't end up as spam mail. But I think this is a real problem and that whatever the license is going to look like, it really needs a different name before people start releasing material under it.
 

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SAVeira

Adventurer
You know, I thought there is something off with naming it ORC. Thank you for putting into words.

Another example of the game community being "cute" with potentially negative ramifications.
 



aco175

Legend
What, people are calling it orc, like the monster and not O-R-C, like the O-G-L.. Is this the same people calling WOTC "Whotsee" and not just Wizards. Seems a bit silly to be arguing over it.
 

Yora

Legend
I think you're overthinking this in a big way. If anything the more progressive stance is to not position orcs as blindly evil villains, and treat them more as a cool player option that people are excited to reframe and rehabilitate.
"You are overthinking it" was always the "Well, I don't see an issue" argument.

I'm really not asking for much. Name it anything. Just not orc. It's not even an established product name yet. It's still only a plan for something that is meant to bring lots of people together in a shared space. It won't cost anyone anything. Nobody even needs to make a statement.

Just let people use license content without having them make their stuff "ORC license products".
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
I get it. It's a bit of a pun. It's cute. And they needed to announce something quickly as things were rapidly in motion.

But I think ORC is probably the worst name for any kind of banner to unite medium and small RPG content creators under.

Some people really don't care about it. Other people are offended that others are feeling offended by it. But orcs are perhaps the most controversial and divisive topic in RPGs in recent years. All the arguments for or against orcs being a dog whistle promotion for thinking in hateful stereotypes really don't matter here right now. But the thing is, we have seen that plenty of people having very strong opinions on orcs as toxic stereotypes that they just won't touch.

I don't even consider myself as having a particularly strong opinion on this, but I certainly would not want to release anything that makes it an "ORC license" product. I have some stuff in the works for OSE, and I actually worry that it might chance to ORC, because that might actually make me cancel my plans. And surely I am not the only one in a position like this. I've not been following anything done by Paizo or Kobold Press for at least 10 years, and I have no idea about what channels one might reach them through that don't end up as spam mail. But I think this is a real problem and that whatever the license is going to look like, it really needs a different name before people start releasing material under it.
Isn't the problem with orcs in TTRPGs that they are treated by evil as default?

Right, like, them simply existing isn't the offensive part.

If anything the ORC license is an unambiguous good in this context. So, I don't see how its problematic.
 



Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I think @Yora raises a good point.

But I'm going to take that good point and raise a collateral point.

ORC is a bad name because the hobby needs to move away from its blinding association and allegiance to fantasy games and tropes.

"Hey kids, we're not playing D&D. WE ARE PLAYING PATHFINDER!"

"Look at us rebels. We refuse to play D&D. We will only play 5e clones."

At a certain point, if the only alternatives you care about are "Like D&D," people will eventually go back to the real thing. Why buy store-brand Coke when you can just get the real thing? Instead, how about switching to something else to drink? There are other alternatives out there.

Using ORC just cements the hegemony of fantasy in the hobby. And we will all end up back where we started.
 

payn

Legend
I think @Yora raises a good point.

But I'm going to take that good point and raise a collateral point.

ORC is a bad name because the hobby needs to move away from its blinding association and allegiance to fantasy games and tropes.

"Hey kids, we're not playing D&D. WE ARE PLAYING PATHFINDER!"

"Look at us rebels. We refuse to play D&D. We will only play 5e clones."

At a certain point, if the only alternatives you care about are "Like D&D," people will eventually go back to the real thing. Why buy store-brand Coke when you can just get the real thing? Instead, how about switching to something else to drink? There are other alternatives out there.

Using ORC just cements the hegemony of fantasy in the hobby. And we will all end up back where we started.
This is exactly my thoughts on the matter.
 

Using ORC just cements the hegemony of fantasy in the hobby. And we will all end up back where we started.

Absolutely agree. But I've given up all hope of the hobby moving past fantasy as the default. I think it's seen as the easiest genre to design for and to run (no mucking around with people Googling or space-Googling things, no autofire or similar rules or related weird arguments about how guns work, etc.), especially for GMs who insist on trying to build "balanced" encounters. And fantasy gaming tropes keep getting reinforced by videogames and by all manner of nerd-identity stuff (merch, jokes, etc.). It bums me out that that's the case, but I don't see a way past it.
 



Synthil

Explorer
Why buy store-brand Coke when you can just get the real thing?
Because it's more to your taste and/or cheaper? And I might just prefer coke to something else. I play fantasy roleplaying games because I actually like fantasy. Not because it's the easiest or only option.

That said, I can see your point. The new license being encompassing of all kinds of RPG content could've profited from a correspondingly encompassing or neutral name. But it's really a minor quibble.
 

aco175

Legend
At a certain point, if the only alternatives you care about are "Like D&D," people will eventually go back to the real thing. Why buy store-brand Coke when you can just get the real thing? Instead, how about switching to something else to drink? There are other alternatives out there.
In Georgia, we only have Coke and the person asks what flavor you want, and you would have to say Sunkist if you wanted some non-Coke.

Same with coffee when I go to Starbucks and they ask what flavor coffee. I should not have to specify coffee flavored coffee, black, hot, medium.

The other question rises from this is fantasy rpg the best because people like it more than modern or outer space or whatever? Or is it because D&D is the oldest and most played, so it became the default? Would Wild West have become the most played and associated with the brand if they were the first? How come the game did not grow out of Napoleonic figures and the fantasy stuck? Is it all about Tolkien and right time and place?

I like fantasy rpg and see no reason to switch. I only tried a few others so I might not know what I am missing.
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
In Georgia, we only have Coke and the person asks what flavor you want, and you would have to say Sunkist if you wanted some non-Coke.

Same with coffee when I go to Starbucks and they ask what flavor coffee. I should not have to specify coffee flavored coffee, black, hot, medium.

The other question rises from this is fantasy rpg the best because people like it more than modern or outer space or whatever? Or is it because D&D is the oldest and most played, so it became the default? Would Wild West have become the most played and associated with the brand if they were the first? How come the game did not grow out of Napoleonic figures and the fantasy stuck? Is it all about Tolkien and right time and place?

I like fantasy rpg and see no reason to switch. I only tried a few others so I might not know what I am missing.
I imagine it will go back to how it was in the 70s and early 80s. Where the definition of what "D&D" was varied from table to table. For one group it would be the AD&D Monster Manual, Mentzer Red Box, Arms Law and Apple Lane from Runequest, you know?
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
In Georgia, we only have Coke and the person asks what flavor you want, and you would have to say Sunkist if you wanted some non-Coke.

So what you're saying is .... Georgia is a lot like the TTRPG market.

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Same with coffee when I go to Starbucks and they ask what flavor coffee. I should not have to specify coffee flavored coffee, black, hot, medium.

The other question rises from this is fantasy rpg the best because people like it more than modern or outer space or whatever? Or is it because D&D is the oldest and most played, so it became the default? Would Wild West have become the most played and associated with the brand if they were the first? How come the game did not grow out of Napoleonic figures and the fantasy stuck? Is it all about Tolkien and right time and place?

I like fantasy rpg and see no reason to switch. I only tried a few others so I might not know what I am missing.

Eh, I've actually written essays on this (quelle surprise!) and I still don't know the answer. I'd say it's a combination of first-mover, the time (the 70s were fantasy-riffic), network effects, and that fantasy is actually conducive to TTRPGs (zero-to-hero, the "party").

Still, there is no reason to further entrench. IMO, etc.
 

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