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


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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I mean, I can only speak anecdotally, but I think AD&D's loss was mostly White Wolf's gain. Like, when I got to university in 1997, not only had the RPG club grown to the point where it was meeting in a larger space (so I was told, obviously I was new), but there was, IIRC 1 table of AD&D players, vs. 6+ tables of White Wolf players (I think 3 of which were Vampire). There were more Ars Magica players than D&D players! That's obviously 18-22-year-old players, not the whole market, but I thought it was interesting.

So D&D on life support? Definitely. Other RPGs? I can only say that's not what I saw. Well hmmm - generic medieval fantasy RPGs were suffering pretty badly (D&D, Rolemaster, etc.), like, they were "uncool" - but anything that wasn't that, particularly Urban Fantasy/Horror stuff was doing pretty good. Then 3E and Exalted both helped make fantasy RPGs cool again, and pretty much saved that genre between them (people forget how big a deal Exalted was at the time, I think).
Different countries, different trends I think.

Here, from what I saw/recall, Vampire (particularly the LARP version) had a pretty good run in the mid-late 90s, but that was about it. Exalted? Not sure that ever took off here; I certainly never knew of anyone playing it, nor was it a big deal in the FLGS's.

Beyond that, IME from about 1995-1999 it was all Magic all the time. Then 3e came out; between that and some Magic burnout D&D took off again, and more or less hasn't stopped since (though WotC seem to be doing their level best of late to end that streak). Even during the late-4e-era dip TTRPG-ing as a whole was still banging along far stronger than in the mid-late 90s thanks to PF and a host of other d20-based systems.
 

payn

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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I don't think I even knew Ketchup® (or catsup) existed until I was in my mid-twenties. Unlike American-styles of pizza, it wasn't part of the necessary food groups I missed out on.
Kobolds Emancipating TTRPG Content Heroically Unfettering Players

Kindly Esquires Triumphantly Contesting Hasbro's Unlawful Prevarications

Killing Evil Tyrannical Corporate Hasbro's Unlicensing Program

Kleptomaniac E-bros Taking Content Hereby Undone Permanently
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
More seriously, ketchup is an example of where what was once a brand name has become common parlance for the product in question, much like kleenex has for a tissue. This is relevant today in that one could maybe argue that "dungeons and dragons" has become common parlance for tabletop role-playing games in general; and if that's the case WotC's claims to ownership of the name lose a lot of steam.
The spelling "ketchup" goes back to the 1600s and seems to be the oldest of the variant spellings that have existed over time. It is a Chinese loan word. A transliteration of a word for a sauce from southeast Asian made from fermented fish. In Chinese-language (Mandarin) class, I was taught that it came from Cantonese. But the Oxford English Dictionary traces its etymology to the Hokkien dialect but may also have originated from Malay and not Chinese. But since Hokkien was the lingua franca of south-east Asia at the time, that's likely where the British picked it up from, even if it entered Hokkien from Malay.

In any event, no need to put the ®️ mark after it.

And new world tomato ketchup is awesome. A hot dog should be eaten with a small bowl of ketchup to dip it in after each bite.
 
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What do you people even call hotdogs?
Frankfurters or hotdogs usually, depending on age/background. Younger people are more likely to just go with hotdog.

Here's Tesco's listing for one of the most popular brands - https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/254273333

The on-packet name is Frankfurter (and they are originally German, the brand Herta - though Nestle bought them and then sold them to a Spanish company lol) but Tesco also calls them Hot Dogs so there can be no confusion.
 

Even during the late-4e-era dip TTRPG-ing as a whole was still banging along far stronger than in the mid-late 90s thanks to PF and a host of other d20-based systems.
Interesting. That's definitely not how it looked in London, UK!

Literally one of the FLGS I liked died in that era because they'd leaned hard into the d20 boom and that stopping + 4E not doing great numbers killed them in like 2010 (Playing Games - it was like a five minute walk from Orc's Nest, if that, nearer the British Museum).
 

Back to the the health of the industry BitD, I experienced similar to @Lanefan when at Mercer University in Central Georgia. This was in the mid- to late-90s. D&D was practically dead. I think that I was the only person purchasing D&D materials at my local comic shop, and that was primarily Birthright stuff or DragonLance Fifth Age. Everything else was WoD, M:TG, and, surprisingly, Dragon Dice. My best friend in SE GA was in an epic Palladium Fantasy campaign, but also did Magic, and Ultima Online. I had some folks I knew at Mercer who only did 1st Edition, but everyone else was into the aforementioned alternatives or Diablo (which was also huge in the late 90s; let’s not forget that TSR did a Diablo sourcebook).

I first learned of 3rd edition by picking up a Dragon magazine at Barnes & Noble, of all places. No one else in Macon was selling them.

D&D was in a horrible place at the time. Earthdawn was outselling it amongst my circle of friends at the comic shop. That said, I had some younger friends (college aged) who fell in love with AD&D due to BG1 and IWD, so the hobby wasn’t completely without hope. That said, it was a very dark time to be a D&D player.
 


Lorithen

Explorer
More seriously, ketchup is an example of where what was once a brand name has become common parlance for the product in question, much like kleenex has for a tissue. This is relevant today in that one could maybe argue that "dungeons and dragons" has become common parlance for tabletop role-playing games in general; and if that's the case WotC's claims to ownership of the name lose a lot of steam.

Would be nice if one could maybe argue this, but I have a hunch that WotC would fight it all the way.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
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.
Absolutely.

And for many millennials and gen Zs, the “monster” as the good guy rings more true than if we were asked to rally around the PALADIN license or the ELF license.


"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".
No.

It’s a good name, and there is no connotation that you are suggesting there is. The orc as heroic figure is unambiguously good.
No their alignment wasn't the problem...
Yes, it was. Not the entire problem, but absolutely one of the problems.
I don't think many people have a problem with legacy orcs, they weren't intentionally being compared to minorities.
I’ll I will say is, you may want to revisit some Orc threads from the last few years.

Red and Yellow Orcs just for a start.
 


BrokenTwin

Biological Disaster
Personally, I quite like the name. "Reclaiming the monster" has been kind of the theme for a while now, and orcs have been the poster child for the movement in the RPG space. You could argue drow, but I've seen significantly less discussion about them then about orcs as far as reclamation goes. Honestly, I can't think of a more appropriate name, given the context.
 



doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
PSA: If you make a snarky reply to someone, and then block them…they aren’t gonna see your snark. 😂

Anyway red and yellow orcs aren’t my “take”, there was a whole thread about it here.

The conversation about racism in D&D has centered in large part on the Orc for decades, exactly because orcs were used as stand ins for real ethno-cultural groups in D&D media, in the writings of Gygax, and on internet message boards.

The conversation has not, in recent years, been about orcs being the problem, however. Rather the problem has been that orcs are presented as biologically evil while also being an intelligent tool using species of person, and not a cosmic elementally evil creature, and then it was made worse with very colonialist language often used by oppressors to talk about races they consider inferior and in need of white “guidance”, in Volo’s. (A tradition dating back to Gygax, with pit stops in really egregiously racist stuff in D&D media)

B. Dave Walters tweeted, when the orc conversation hit its crescendo, that “depicting an entire race as naturally evil is racist.” The sentiment is not that orcs are bad, but rather that orcs are being misused and should instead be depicted as people. Just like other races.

Because of this, depicting orcs as the hero is a pretty unalloyed good.


I’m never gonna be okay with demonic Gnolls with no free will, though. That’s a garbage retcon with no value.

You have flinds, they can fill that niche. Let the Gnoll stand as a people that have to decide between joining their demonic “kin”, avoiding them, or fighting them. That’s interesting. That adds to the game.
 

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