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

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Scribe

Hero
Not only that, but what's happening is not what Don paraphrased. These aren't journalists who are saying "Hey, D&D has has some problematic presentation issues in its history, just trust me." They are saying things like "Here's all these Asian people we talked to who all have identified which parts of Oriental Adventures is problematic."

And yeah, we absolutely should be listening to them because they are the ones impacted and they are the ones who would know best.
I think this is why it feels we hardly leave the Sword Coast.
 

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I mean, yeah, probably.

Whereas I question the motivations of those who are more concerned with a movement’s “legitimacy” than with its impact. Again, as both a nonbinary and Hispanic person, I’ve never really been bothered by the gendered language. But, other people have, and the degree to
which it inconveniences me to say “Latinx” or “Latine” instead of “Latino” or “Latina” is positively dwarfed by the positive impact it has on people who it does bother.
But if you're communicating with a general audience of Latinos, for every one who you make comfortable by using Latinx or Latine, you've left 20 others baffled about what you're even talking about.

Tiny and unrepresentative online subcultures should not be the arbiters of wider discourse. That includes discourse about D&D. If I want to know what community A thinks about a subject, I want to know what a broad and representative group of A think, not a dozen online pundits. There's no reason to treat social media personalities as spokespeople for their populations.
 

Oh well. If your appeal to authority is able to meet the high and illustrious standards of FOX News then I guess there is no problem.

I'm honestly not sure what appeal to authority you're referring to. I am merely pointing out that Fox News has a noted history of simply saying "trust us"* with no backup, and the viewing public at large has not yet lost faith in them.

*Their catch phrase is generally "some say" or "some people say". You can find plenty of examples of it curated on the internet.
 

Not only that, but what's happening is not what Don paraphrased. These aren't journalists who are saying "Hey, D&D has has some problematic presentation issues in its history, just trust me." They are saying things like "Here's all these Asian people we talked to who all have identified which parts of Oriental Adventures is problematic."

And yeah, we absolutely should be listening to them because they are the ones impacted and they are the ones who would know best.
And when one Asian person says something is problematic and another says it is not? How do we decide between them? Numbers? That takes some methodical rigour - asking your friends who have similiar socioeconomic and educational backgrounds to yourself is not rigour.

Immediacy? We've had people on these very forums who have identified as the groups defined in these discussions who have said they do not find material problematic who have been systematically ignored by posters in favour of vague appeals to "people I know", so it's not that either.

Ultimately there is nowhere to go but argument.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Each campaign can, and in many cases should, have their own lore. That doesn't mean that every DM should have to make that lore from scratch.

Alignment is just one small piece of the story for most monsters, but if you take it out and then still describe them as evil have you really changed anything? If you take away the default lore what do you have left?
Have we changed anything? Yes. You've made specific orcs evil. Just like the game makes specific humans evil. Not because of who they are, but because of what they do.

And if you are a DM come 6E who thinks having to say to yourself as you're getting ready to start a campaign "You know... I think in this setting all my orcs are going to be naturally evil, despite what the book says" is some kind of hardship... you obviously have so little time on your hands you probably shouldn't be making your own setting in the first place. I mean, you've already said you've made your choice on the matter. If 6E takes the "all orcs are evil" standard away, are you going to have to really put in long hours and great hardship to make your "own lore from scratch"?

Methinks you exaggerate for effect when you insinuate a DM having to make their own lore in regards to monster alignment is going to be a big problem, so better not change it. :)
 

But if you're communicating with a general audience of Latinos, for every one who you make comfortable by using Latinx or Latine, you've left 20 others baffled about what you're even talking about.

Tiny and unrepresentative online subcultures should not be the arbiters of wider discourse. That includes discourse about D&D. If I want to know what community A thinks about a subject, I want to know what a broad and representative group of A think, not a dozen online pundits. There's no reason to treat social media personalities as spokespeople for their populations.
This is arguing in favor of nonbinary erasure. That NB and agender people are a minority of the population does not mean it is ethical to ignore or deny their existence in language.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
There absolutely is a problem: Spanish, and other Indo-European languages that use grammatical gender, struggles to represent gender expression outside a strict male-female binary.
English isn't exactly perfect either.

I'm just saying that when interviewers talk to people of Hispanic descent, none of them cared so it's hardly a surprise that it's not being used widely.

It's similar to racism in D&D. Nobody here has the resources to really answer any questions on whether it's really a problem or just a mountain made out of a molehill created by bloggers looking for eyeballs. Are there things that could be better? Of course. There always are. Do we have to get rid of all hint of anything that could possibly be considered racist? I think it would make for either a really thin MM or a boring one. YMMV.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
But if you're communicating with a general audience of Latinos, for every one who you make comfortable by using Latinx or Latine, you've left 20 others baffled about what you're even talking about.
That’s just silly. “Latinx” sounds kind of cringe, sure, but it’s immediately obvious what it means. Latine sounds much better, and despite not having heard of it until this conversation, it was again, immediately obvious to me what it meant.
Tiny and unrepresentative online subcultures should not be the arbiters of wider discourse. That includes discourse about D&D. If I want to know what community A thinks about a subject, I want to know what a broad and representative group of A think, not a dozen online pundits. There's no reason to treat social media personalities as spokespeople for their populations.
Minority groups are by definition smaller subsets of the broader culture. If only the majority can influence what discourse is or isn’t appropriate, no social progress can ever be made. It is important to listen to marginalized people, and to take special effort to make sure that their voices are heard.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
And when one Asian person says something is problematic and another says it is not? How do we decide between them? Numbers? That takes some methodical rigour - asking your friends who have similiar socioeconomic and educational backgrounds to yourself is not rigour.

Of course Asians (or any group) aren't a hivemind. That's a disingenuous phrasing/standard. Surely you are well aware that what we're talking about is that if a large group of Asians are telling us of issues in Oriental Adventures, then it probably has merit, even if that one Asian person over there isn't offended. You're basically arguing that there is no issue with the Washington Redskins team name because there have been a few Native Americans weren't offended by it, despite a huge group of them being offended.
Immediacy? We've had people on these very forums who have identified as the groups defined in these discussions who have said they do not find material problematic who have been systematically ignored by posters in favour of vague appeals to "people I know", so it's not that either.

Ultimately there is nowhere to go but argument.

No offense, but that's a lazy cop out to avoid accountability and refuse to be better as a group. Every progressive movement has been made from having this conversation, which proves that "ultimately there is nowhere to go but argument" is false. Why? Because most people can acknowledge when things are issues and agree to try to address them. Not just to continue to wave them under the rug and ignore them. Oh, there are people that do do that. The same kind of people who argued that women shouldn't be able to vote. Or that schools should still be segregated. Keep things the way they are, because people offended are just looking to be offended.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
And when one Asian person says something is problematic and another says it is not? How do we decide between them?
You listen to those who say it is, consider their perspective as empathetically as possible, and consider the impact that changing the behavior in question will have on you, on them, and on those who don’t consider it a problem. I find that more often than not, a thing that has little to no impact on my life and the lives of those who don’t care about the subject can have a huge impact on the lives of those who do. Not always, but often.
 

You listen to those who say it is, consider their perspective as empathetically as possible, and consider the impact that changing the behavior in question will have on you, on them, and on those who don’t consider it a problem. I find that more often than not, a thing that has little to no impact on my life and the lives of those who don’t care about the subject can have a huge impact on the lives of those who do. Not always, but often.
Well yes of course you do, but that's orthogonal, and not at all relevant to what I said which was merely responding to lazy appeals to authority.

If you're friend says X is offensive to them you listen to their reasons and consider them. You should of course listen emphathetically but you are not 100% bound to consider they are right. You don't entirely abandon your own reason.

And if a third party asks why X is offensive, you need to explain your friends reasons, not say "My friend is Asian and he says it's offensive so...".

If nothing else, weak appeals to authority are counterproductive.
 

Of course Asians (or any group) aren't a hivemind. That's a disingenuous phrasing/standard. Surely you are well aware that what we're talking about is that if a large group of Asians are telling us of issues in Oriental Adventures, then it probably has merit, even if that one Asian person over there isn't offended. You're basically arguing that there is no issue with the Washington Redskins team name because there have been a few Native Americans weren't offended by it, despite a huge group of them being offended.
What large group? How can there possibly be a large group of people offended by a product that has been out of print for decades and is hardly ever used. This is absurd on the face of things.

No offense, but that's a lazy cop out to avoid accountability and refuse to be better as a group. Every progressive movement has been made from having this conversation, which proves that "ultimately there is nowhere to go but argument" is false. Why? Because most people can acknowledge when things are issues and agree to try to address them. Not just to continue to wave them under the rug and ignore them. Oh, there are people that do do that. The same kind of people who argued that women shouldn't be able to vote. Or that schools should still be segregated. Keep things the way they are, because people offended are just looking to be offended.
I don't know what you're on about here. Civil rights progress absolutely requires winning the public argument.

I'm not arguing there is nothing problematic in D&D. I'm arguing that you need to actually make the effort of putting forward arguments and reasoning.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I remember I had the Fighting Fantasy Titan world book long before I got into D&D.

That was my first experience with Dark Elves. Looking at the illustrations now it's obviously that they're shaded in such as to indicate dark skin. But I don't recall it being mentioned in the text, and I never realised. It never occured to me. I always imagined they had really pale skin because they lived deep underground (after all that would make sense wouldn't it)

View attachment 133155

If I invented drow these days I would make them ultra pale or albinos.
The sun would likely be poisonous to them as well not just make them blind or whatever.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Well yes of course you do, but that's orthogonal, and not at all relevant to what I said which was merely responding to lazy appeals to authority.

If you're friend says X is offensive to them you listen to their reasons and consider them. You should of course listen emphathetically but you are not 100% bound to consider they are right. You don't entirely abandon your own reason.
Right, but if it is of minor inconvenience to you to not do the thing your friend considers offensive, and you decide to keep doing it anyway because you disagree with their reason, I think your priorities are messed up.
And if a third party asks why X is offensive, you need to explain your friends reasons, not say "My friend is Asian and he says it's offensive so...".
Sure.
If nothing else, weak appeals to authority are counterproductive.
I don’t see an appeal to authority being made here. I see people who are negatively impacted by D&D’s presentation of race, expressing their issues with it, and being dismissed because “something, something, journalists.”
 


Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
I find the drow an interesting case.

I would want them to be different than most who dwell under the sun. Very pale makes more sense but obsidian black is simply alien.

no one on earth is the inky black of a moonless night...and def not with orange eyes.

we DO have folks that deal with albinism. Real people.

we likewise don’t have green people or genuinely gray people.

i think people are missing the first for the trees. And good elves aren’t all white by a long shot. Many are quite brown or copper.

if the artists actually drew the descriptions, this would not even be a debate.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
What large group? How can there possibly be a large group of people offended by a product that has been out of print for decades and is hardly ever used. This is absurd on the face of things.
Well, I gave names above of some of those who have been leading the conversation. I'm guessing that if you got outside of whatever bubble you seem to be in, then you'd be aware of all these discussions going on in the gaming community. I mean, this topic has been going on for a while now, in every forum I can think of. All I have to say, is just because you aren't aware of them doesn't mean they don't exist.
 


Scribe

Hero
If I invented drow these days I would make them ultra pale or albinos.
The sun would likely be poisonous to them as well not just make them blind or whatever.
Can't be albinism, I've seen that called out already elsewhere as an evil trope or something.
 

Scribe

Hero
There's a pretty popular meme making the rounds, but I won't post it here because it's political. But the message seems to be apt. That being; "Well, it didn't happen to me, and I didn't know about it, therefore, it must not be an issue."
Sounds like the Eagles not being worried about the Owls.

'never hurt me'.
 

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