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D&D General Old School DND talks if DND is racist.

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ccs

41st lv DM
1e was also the edition with gender-based strength limits, race-class restrictions, ability score prerequisites, race-class level limits, and so on. And Basic had most of that and race-as-class. And 1e says that stuff is for balance, IIRC, so you're told not to change those things in particular.
No, you're cautioned that if you do change them that you do so with some consideration.
 

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ccs

41st lv DM
I mean, I'M not saying that should be the end goal, but it sure as hell seems there is an audience for it. But how much farther is there to go?

They have put any and all sorts of "DMs can change alignments of monsters, these are guidelines" notices in the books. They have allowed PC orcs to be of any alignment for decades. You can create alternative takes on orcs like Wildemont or Eberron does. This hasn't been "good enough". The next logical step is to stop using them in primarily antagonistic roles and treat them no different than elves or dwarves. And then do the same for goblins, gnolls, kobolds, etc.
What the hell am I supposed to use as the generic evil non-human humanoid antagonists then?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
This is one of those be careful what you wish for situations. Progress is good, but change based on response to the loudest critics may not be.

That was the point of the 4e comparison. Loud critics were clamoring for change of many 3e sacred cows and WoTC went all in with 4e. Slaughtering more sacred cows than it had with any prior edition - it did not go over well! Now that's a bit of an oversimplification, 4e had many issues but It's not exaggerating to say that too many changes at once really did not help the edition.

I suspect WoTC will be much more gradual to introduce changes this time around.
I loved 4e, so comparisons to 4e are generally not a great way to persuade me something is undesirable.
 


HJFudge

Explorer
Lot's of ideas expressed here. Interesting thread. Rant incoming (sorry):

Different people will be comfortable with taking on different levels of topics at their table. Some people don't want to get into any kinda 'grey areas' and just wanna kick down doors and get phat lewtz. Some want to have a lot of moral quandries...the drow army invaded but it is because there land underground was dying and could no longer support life (or whatever). Tastes on all this will vary.

It becomes an issue when one group who enjoys playing one way points to another group who enjoys playing the other way and saying 'I find what you are doing and the way you are playing morally abhorrent.' This is always always always going to start a fight. And no, no, maybe that is not what you are intending to say at all.

But that is what you are saying. Intent, when it comes down to it, really does not matter.

Is portraying a non-human race that does not exist going to cause harm to real people?

It can, but that isn't the default. If someone at your table is uncomfortable with portraying orcs as Always Bad, then as a previous poster said: Be kind. The table might not be right for that player. They shouldn't be made to feel bad because it isn't. I dislike super heavy political campaigns. If I join a table and that is what they are playing, I am not 'dumb' for not liking that group and wanting something different. Nor should I be made to feel so. The people who enjoy playing 'orcs bad' should not be made to feel that what they are doing is some terrible sin.

That said, there is some nuance here. It CAN be done in pretty terrible ways. But 'a bunch of non-humans having a default culture that is evil' is not perpetuating racism in life. It just isn't, much like kids don't go shoot up their school because they played too much call of duty.

It does always amuse me though when people get up in arms about 'orcs bad' but then at the table they spend the whole session killing a bunch of bandits in horrific and painful ways because 'oh they did bad things so of course they deserve to be punished, its okay.'

There was a thread on another forum about how terrible and unjust the wall of faithless was. How it undermined all the good guy gods, etc. These same folks however felt it was perfectly reasonable and just to have Hell or the Abyss torture/eat souls for eternity or whatever though, cause 'those guys DESERVED it.'

Another poster made a very important point and I think it was largely missed: A lot of racist/fascist groups recruit and radicalize people who have been outcast because of not having views that are in the mainstream. So when we refuse to have all dealings with someone who may have an eye rolling view on politics or race, we are not 'being kind'. No, you do not have to play with them. But maybe tell them why, rather than just goodbye, no? Let us all Be Kind. If you are only kind to those you think deserve it, you are not kind. You are just normal. Be kind even to the jerky jerks. World'll be a better place.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
I loved 4e, so comparisons to 4e are generally not a great way to persuade me something is undesirable.
I liked many elements of 4e, doesn't change the fact that the edition significantly underperformed from a commercial perspective.
 



Campbell

Legend
Games are culture. Culture affects the way we see the world. I do think D&D could do a better job of addressing the casual violence towards the "uncivilized". I worry though that rather than address it and provoke understanding we are more likely to see Disney style sanitization that avoids the issue entirely.
 

Games are culture. Culture affects the way we see the world. I do think D&D could do a better job of addressing the casual violence towards the "uncivilized". I worry though that rather than address it and provoke understanding we are more likely to see Disney style sanitization that avoids the issue entirely.
Have you seen what Disney does to its villains???
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HJFudge

Explorer
Games are culture. Culture affects the way we see the world. I do think D&D could do a better job of addressing the casual violence towards the "uncivilized". I worry though that rather than address it and provoke understanding we are more likely to see Disney style sanitization that avoids the issue entirely.
Certainly culture does.

But culture influences our games. Our games do not influence our culture. Art imitates life not so much the other way round.

If you wish to address casual violence in a game, you very much can right now! It makes for interesting campaigns, in my view. The paladin having to wrestle with 'what is right?' makes them, for me, fun to play. At what point is it okay to kill? At what point is it okay to strike first? Is it never okay?

How much evil would you be willing to do to save your family? A variation on the trolley problem and all its permutations but in a D&D setting is fun, for me.

That said, though, again...not everyone enjoys campaigns like that. Sometimes they just wanna kill the bad guy, save the dragon from the princess, and ride off into the sunset with their new epic items. That's okay too.
 


What the hell am I supposed to use as the generic evil non-human humanoid antagonists then?
Do you need one in the first place?

I'd suggest Skyrim style bandits but approximately half of them are human (the other half being elves and orcs, don't remember seeing any argonian or khajiit bandits in the overworld), so apparently not good enough for your purposes?
 

ccs

41st lv DM
Do you really need generic evil non-human humanoid antagonists?

Let's assume I do.
If for no other reason than just to break up the monotony of killing yet more human bandits, low lv undead, & lesser devils/fiends.
Just make 'em human bandits or members of an evil empire who they're enforcing the will of.
I'm not running GoT, I'm running D&D.
Home of all manner of monstrous humanoids (many with a penchant for eating humans/elves/etc) & many whom the evil empires find quite suitable as troops.
 



doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
What the hell am I supposed to use as the generic evil non-human humanoid antagonists then?
Bad...people?

like...death/murder/blood cultists, ethno-supremacists, authoritarians, etc?

like...they do tend to wear uniforms. It’s not hard to tell them from the average villager.
 


HJFudge

Explorer
This is so blatantly false that the rest can’t even be considered.

Yes, they do.
Oh yes!

I remember when WOTC removed/changed lore in the game and it changed our culture, precipitating a racial reckoning.

Or when that one video game came out and suddenly our cultural mores and values were shaped anew.

No. To think this is the case is absurd. These changes happened because our culture changed not the other way around. Games reflect our culture.
 

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