D&D General New WOTC racism allegations regarding Hadozee and Spelljammer

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Well when I was reading it the other day I did think it was surprisingly bold of them to not only touch a slavery narrative with a ten foot pole, but to give that narrative a white savior trope ending (the evil wizard's apprentices helped the Hadozee overthrow him).

I suspect the lesson taken here is not going to be "employ cultural consultants", but rather that they should create a big list of subjects to never create new lore remotely touching. The cultural consultants will be for revising old lore.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Well when I was reading it the other day I did think it was surprisingly bold of them to not only touch a slavery narrative with a ten foot pole, but to give that narrative a white savior trope ending (the evil wizard's apprentices helped the Hadozee overthrow him).

I suspect the lesson taken here is not going to be "employ cultural consultants", but rather that they should create a big list of subjects to never create new lore remotely touching. The cultural consultants will be for revising old lore.
I'm starting to think Paizo was right to announce that they're not going to include slavery in any form in any of their products anymore . . .
 

Niye that the really weird stuff in the second post is from a Wiki, not the new book. That's old lore, the Unhukan War comes up nowhere in this set.
Oh that's good at least. That would have been really egregious in a new publication. It's still really bad though; clearly they were working with compromised source material.
 


edosan

Explorer
Not sure who decided all that was okay, and I’m amazed that exactly zero reviews I’ve read of the box set have brought this up.
 

I'm starting to think Paizo was right to announce that they're not going to include slavery in any form in any of their products anymore . . .
It's the only real solution, and also much cheaper than hiring experts just to massage your slavery narrative into something that will still as likely as not create a twitter storm-of-the-day, just a smaller one.
 





There's no mention of them being former slaves in the SJ Monsterous Compendium or Spacefarers Handbook. If it's old lore, I'd be from Stormwracked.
I remember Stormwrack, and its lore was pretty much they were wanderers who didn't care where their homeland was, as they had insatiable wanderlust and just, enjoyed sailing and visiting new places.

Absolutely nothing about being slaves. That's new for 5E (And I suspect is a really poorly done reference to the latest Planet of the Apes movies)
 

Remathilis

Legend
Looks like the personality stuff is from the forgotten realms wiki and taken from 3rd Ed Stormwrack, not the new Spelljammer

Wow, still WotC era...yikes.

Wait, so the issue is that OLD LORE on A FAN WIKI highlighting some of the badly aged material from over a decade ago is somehow modern WotC's fault?

That's EXTREMELY DISENGENOUS of the writer. WotC has acknowledged its old lore is bad and is trying to distance itself from it. We know about Orc/Drow problem. There are REASONS why WotC has a warning label on all legacy products in DM's Guild. Yes, that lore is terrible, but it's not the MODERN lore. I guess you can squint at that bard art, but the rest doesn't reflect the race as it currently presented.

Which to me tells me that the attempts to rehabilitate Drow, Orcs, and other monster races are doomed to fail because the old lore will always be used to smear attempts to course correct. Unless WotC goes all Lorraine Williams and DMCA's every wiki referencing lore from before 2021, I guess.
 


Simpletense

Explorer
It does seem like the former slaves thing is new for 5e, and isn't mentioned in either the 2e Monstrous Compendium or 3e Stormwrack.

That's bad enough, but when combined with the personality elements from those earlier sources, specifically the fawning over elves who don't respect them and loving nothing more that deck chores ... yikes indeed
 

Thommy H-H

Explorer
I remember Stormwrack, and its lore was pretty much they were wanderers who didn't care where their homeland was, as they had insatiable wanderlust and just, enjoyed sailing and visiting new places.

Absolutely nothing about being slaves. That's new for 5E (And I suspect is a really poorly done reference to the latest Planet of the Apes movies)
Yeah, now you mention that, I seem to remember one of the preview videos featured Perkins saying there was a deliberate reference to Planet of the Apes hidden somewhere.

I suspect it honestly didn't cross their minds that there was any kind of unfortunate implication in what they wrote. I'm normally pretty good at spotting this kind of thing, but I read the hadozee description when the book came out and it didn't set off any alarm bells with me. But I'm a white person who was already inclined to like the product and think well of its designers. So it may have been subconscious or simply clumsy, but it should have been caught by an editor in 2022.
 

Haplo781

Legend
Well when I was reading it the other day I did think it was surprisingly bold of them to not only touch a slavery narrative with a ten foot pole, but to give that narrative a white savior trope ending (the evil wizard's apprentices helped the Hadozee overthrow him).

I suspect the lesson taken here is not going to be "employ cultural consultants", but rather that they should create a big list of subjects to never create new lore remotely touching. The cultural consultants will be for revising old lore.
This is why I don't think we will ever get 5e Dark Sun.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Wait, so the issue is that OLD LORE on A FAN WIKI highlighting some of the badly aged material from over a decade ago is somehow modern WotC's fault?

That's EXTREMELY DISENGENOUS of the writer. WotC has acknowledged its old lore is bad and is trying to distance itself from it. We know about Orc/Drow problem. There are REASONS why WotC has a warning label on all legacy products in DM's Guild. Yes, that lore is terrible, but it's not the MODERN lore. I guess you can squint at that bard art, but the rest doesn't reflect the race as it currently presented.

Which to me tells me that the attempts to rehabilitate Drow, Orcs, and other monster races are doomed to fail because the old lore will always be used to smear attempts to course correct. Unless WotC goes all Lorraine Williams and DMCA's every wiki referencing lore from before 2021, I guess.
To be fair, some of what made it into the book here was unfortunate (looekt eh bard picture, or the slaverybstory existing st all). But yeah, the worst stuff is the older edition Wiki info.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
For reference, here's the complete text on hadozee in the new 5E Spelljammer book:

"The first hadozees were timid mammals no bigger than housecats. Hunted by larger natural predators, the hadozees took to the trees and evolved wing-like flaps that enabled them to glide from branch to branch.

Several hundred years ago, a wizard visited Yazir, the hadozee home world, with a small fleet of spelljamming ships. Under the wizard’s direction, apprentices laid magic traps and captured dozens of hadozees. The wizard fed the captives an experimental elixir that enlarged them and turned them into sapient, bipedal beings. The elixir had the side effect of intensifying the hadozees’ panic response, making them more resilient when harmed. The wizard’s plan was to create an army of enhanced hadozee warriors for sale to the highest bidder. But instead, the wizard’s apprentices grew fond of the hadozees and helped them escape. The apprentices and the hadozees were forced to kill the wizard, after which they fled, taking with them all remaining vials of the wizard’s experimental elixir.

With the help of their liberators, the hadozees returned to their home world and used the elixir to create more of their kind. In time, all hadozee newborns came to possess the traits of the enhanced hadozees. Then, centuries ago, hadozees took to the stars, leaving Yazir’s fearsome predators behind.

In addition to being natural climbers, hadozees have feet that are as dexterous as their hands, even to the extent of having opposable thumbs. Membranes of skin hang loosely from their arms and legs. When stretched taut, these membranes enable hadozees to glide. Hadozees wrap these wings around themselves to keep warm."
 

Cant see the art on my phone, but at the risk of sounding ignorant, what does « minstrelsy » has to do with cultural sensitivity?
There was a musical form called a "Minstrel Show" that I think started in Vaudville times, if not earlier (pre-movie, stretching into B&W movie era) (At least 1840s). The performers were white painted with blackface makeup, sometimes with large red lips. It was incredibly racist, usually openly mocking Blacks.

It's really bad to have something with this kind of racial coding.

We had enough escaped and mutated former slaves with the Gith. That was edgy and cool. We don't need any more; especially when it seems like every other new race is dealing with a post-slave issue.

The first tweet just made me roll my eyes. The second one about the lore was ... not good. The art in of itself I can chalk up to unfortunate coincidence, but in combination with the published lore is a really bad look.
 

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