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

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Zardnaar

Legend
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.

I think they're meaning the population at large doesn't care.

Twitter's not real as such it amplifies the loudest extremists.

On another forum where we're allowed discuss a wider variety of topics the overall US population with those views was no more than 15% and likely less than 10%.

Here one can estimate the number for both the extremes combined at less than 10% and I live in one of the most liberal countries in the world. 90%+ is moderate one way or the other or in the middle.

Outside of a handful of countries that number shrinks a lot. Globally USA with all it's problems still is in the top 20.

Out of almost 8 billion people very few swing that way and close to 4 billion live in countries with opposite view to say ENworld official line.

As I said from that PoV perception is reality.
 

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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.”
That's a lie. I haven't dismissed anyone's concerns.

I've just dismissed lazy argumentation.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
I think they're meaning the population at large doesn't care.

Twitter's not real as such it amplifies the loudest extremists.
I'm not talking about twitter. I'm talking about every forum. Including Twitter, Reddit, forums like this one, blogs, and even appearing on sites like Wired and NPR.

But that's already been pointed out. At this point I have to wonder why people are so adamant about ignoring these very important parts of information to this topic.

I'll also add, if the gaming population at large doesn't care about disparate presentation or pejorative stereotypes in their games, than that is a bad thing--hardly the defense you think it is. It's not something we should just ignore. The latter just reeks of privilege to me. And as someone is largely isn't affected by a lot of these issues, I also have some empathy for those who are, and it's just the right thing to do to listen, hear them, and be better.
 

I think they're meaning the population at large doesn't care.

Twitter's not real as such it amplifies the loudest extremists.

On another forum where we're allowed discuss a wider variety of topics the overall US population with those views was no more than 15% and likely less than 10%.

Here one can estimate the number for both the extremes combined at less than 10% and I live in one of the most liberal countries in the world. 90%+ is moderate one way or the other or in the middle.

Outside of a handful of countries that number shrinks a lot. Globally USA with all it's problems still is in the top 20.

Out of almost 8 billion people very few swing that way and close to 4 billion live in countries with opposite view to say ENworld official line.

As I said from that PoV perception is reality.
This is an argumentum ad populum fallacy. Just because the majority of the population is ambivalent about or doesn't know about the existence of an issue doesn't mean the status quo is automatically the correct position. The opinions of impacted parties and subject matter experts are more relevant and should be given higher priority over people who aren't involved in the conversation in the first place, who can be safely ignored.
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
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 forest 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.
I'm still wondering why a whole society that was cursed by their gods to be black-skinned to echo their evil hearts, was portrayed in the art with IRL natural dark skin instead of obsidian-black or slate-black or nighttime-sky-black.

Don't get me started about wearing a swimsuit in a cave and not being covered in goosebumps (because air temp underground is about 50°F) or how those bodyguards are out of position to effectively guard anybody's body from incoming spell or arrow.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Can't be albinism, I've seen that called out already elsewhere as an evil trope or something.
Evil albinos is a trope, though not as prevalent of one as dark=evil. Pale drow also has the benefit of making sense since they live underground. But, yes, you’ve correctly observed that calling just about any group of people inherently evil is problematic. Which is why there shouldn’t be inherently evil humanoids by default.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Can't be albinism, I've seen that called out already elsewhere as an evil trope or something.

Ah rgr. I think I would kinda just own it. It's a catch 22 somehow the Drow are both racist and despite being racist probably the most popular D&D race in the game.

Turn a negative into a positive. Yes they have dark skin but they're also intelligent, sexy, popular etc and build on that.

If the Drow were slinging drugs and depicted as gangbangers that's a huge problem.

If they white wash them by painting them grey to me they're making the game less diverse and representative.

Subvert expectations make a new settings depict the Surface Elves as the evil ones who won and gave the Drow good aligned and they fled.

Or put the pale evil elves underground.

Seems to require double think to me. Drow and racist but also popular seems an oxymoron to me ymmv.

The stupid black skin curse is just crappy FR dumb bleepery from 3E that can easily be dumped.
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
The last three pages of this discussion is the debating equivalent of two opposing groups at a picket line waving placards at each other.

No movement, no attempt to understand the other side. No rapport.
 

And when one Asian person says something is problematic and antoher says it is not? How do we decide between them?
That's for us Asians to figure out amongst ourselves. Asians are definitely not a monolith; East Asians, South Asians, Southeast Asians, and West Asians all have different experiences and concerns, as do native Asians vs diaspora Asians in the West. Many of us have our own cultural prejudices to confront and rectify. But the vast majority of Asian peoples have a cultural legacy of suffering from the touch of European and American colonialism. And the last thing we need is cultural outsiders butting in on a discourse that they do not understand or have nothing worthwhile to contribute.
 

Scribe

Hero
Ah rgr. I think I would kinda just own it. It's a catch 22 somehow the Drow are both racist and despite being racist probably the most popular D&D race in the game.

Turn a negative into a positive. Yes they have dark skin but they're also intelligent, sexy, popular etc and build on that.

If the Drow were slinging drugs and depicted as gangbangers that's a huge problem.

If they white wash them by painting them grey to me they're making the game less diverse and representative.

Subvert expectations make a new settings depict the Surface Elves as the evil ones who won and gave the Drow good aligned and they fled.

Or put the pale evil elves underground.

Seems to require double think to me. Drow and racist but also popular seems an oxymoron to me ymmv.

The stupid black skin curse is just crappy FR dumb bleepery from 3E that can easily be dumped.

It's just as Charlaquin noted. You simply cannot have monolithic race anymore. It's just never going to be seen as socially acceptable.
 


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.
To bounce off of this: if there's a problem in representation, it's going to first manifest as anti-inclusion. (in hobbies, inclusion comes before diversity.) In other words, the main way it happens is people of a certain group taking a look in the book and deciding they will not be welcome in the hobby.

The first impression isn't going to come from a deep dive into the lore. Nor will it come from a paragraph on how variable alignment is within a species... it'll come from people flipping through the book, looking primarily at the pictures, and either thinking "this looks like fun" or thinking "this isn't for me." Some of the later category will be people who aren't into fantasy in the first place.

But for some people, it'll be them seeing a bunch of unwelcoming stereotypes played out in the art and wondering if the people okay with this stuff will be honestly okay with them, as people. If ever dark-skinned character in the books looks like a villain, that might be a red flag to dark-skinned people who are taking a look at the game. If all the women are depicted in a sexualized manner, women might feel like they'd be subjecting themselves to being objectified by showing up. Etc.

But, of course, it's not as simple as that, even: having inky-black skin isn't necessarily enough by itself, especially if the rest of the picture looks Caucasian (like many drow, but not all). And if the pattern doesn't exist, the individual picture might not matter: if there's obviously heroes and villains of all skin tones, then a dark-skinned villain might not read as a racial thing at all. And the order and prominence of any given piece of art can make it weigh differently (ie the villain on the front cover being coded as POC is a big problem, while one in the MM might not be.)

The only way to get objective about it would be to do surveys, but those surveys need to account for the groups you're worried about excluding. If you want to know if Asians feel like the game has anti-Asian racism in it, you need to ask a bunch of Asians and collect the data. (Or, at the very least, check with trained experts like sociologists and anthropologists, but they'd probably just tell you how to design the study, and maybe point out some glaring stuff if there's any such issues.)

And with respect to actual 1e DnD - I'm not sure even that's worth doing, since it's not being made anymore. Anyone buying those books now wants them for nostalgia or historical context, so the most we could do is put a disclaimer in the front and preserve them as they were for posterity. If we're talking about Dungeons & Dragons as an IP going forward, or OSR in general, the best we can do is let the creators know we'd like them to think about these issues and try to be as inclusive as possible.
 

HJFudge

Explorer
I have no problem with making changes to be more inclusive. I do so at my table. I do not feel the need for a book or company to dictate to me, either way, what I can or cannot do. The responsibility to make players comfortable at my table is on those at my table and ONLY those at my table. WOTC isn't responsible for it, nor CAN they be, really? It simply isn't possible.

But that isn't QUITE what is happening here in this thread.

It is not 'They should change this to be more inclusive' it is 'they should change this to be more inclusive and if you cannot see it or disagree you are a racist/bigot and I dont want to play with you.'

Changing the alignment in a monster manual will have no effect on how minorities in real life are treated or viewed. To argue otherwise is to make the same arguments that the Satanic Panic folk did in the 80's. There arguments were, on the face, ridiculous, but they played into the politics and cultural struggles of the day. The same thing is happening here.

I guess I just don't like bullies. /shrug
 

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.

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.
But again we’re back to the issue of individuals being treated as spokespeople for a larger community.

If I showed the DMG to a woman of colour and she found it offensive on religious grounds (a not unlikely outcome given the very high rates of religiousity of Black American women), would it be incumbent on WotC to scrub their books of occult content in the interests of inclusion and progress?
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
But that isn't QUITE what is happening here in this thread.

It is not 'They should change this to be more inclusive' it is 'they should change this to be more inclusive and if you cannot see it or disagree you are a racist/bigot and I dont want to play with you.'

I guess I just don't like bullies. /shrug
Who are you quoting in this thread? I haven't read all 30+ pages of posts, but I definitely don't recall anyone accusing someone of racism or bigotry in the manner you describe. Such posts are usually followed by bright red text, courtesy of a moderator.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
But again we’re back to the issue of individuals being treated as spokespeople for a larger community.

If I showed the DMG to a woman of colour and she found it offensive on religious grounds (a not unlikely outcome given the very high rates of religiousity of Black American women), would it be incumbent on WotC to scrub their books of occult content in the interests of inclusion and progress?
Setting aside the fact that “religious” is not a minority group, even if you narrow it down to just Christians, I don’t believe that would be a case where the impact made on the affected group would outweigh the inconvenience of the change.
 

Azzy

KMF DM
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.
Art certainly influences life, though, and can perpetuate ideas and ideals. While some of the most obvious examples are from the 60s, Woodie Guthrie and the songwriters that came before him have impacted society. Just like the Civil Rights movement has an obvious soundtrack, so too did unionization and workers rights, and such. Art has the power to transform society.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
It's just as Charlaquin noted. You simply cannot have monolithic race anymore. It's just never going to be seen as socially acceptable.

We as I said you could turn a positive into a negative. On this works Drow are evil in this world it's other way round on Eberron it's something else entirely.
 

But again we’re back to the issue of individuals being treated as spokespeople for a larger community.

If I showed the DMG to a woman of colour and she found it offensive on religious grounds (a not unlikely outcome given the very high rates of religiousity of Black American women), would it be incumbent on WotC to scrub their books of occult content in the interests of inclusion and progress?
I don't eat pork for moral reasons (even though it's so so delicious).

If I went to a BBQ and there was pork on the menu, I would not feel discriminated against.

If I went to a BBQ and there were a bunch of signs that said "people who don't eat pork are all ___" I could rightly feel offended.

Is anything in the GM denigrating her religion?
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
It is not 'They should change this to be more inclusive' it is 'they should change this to be more inclusive and if you cannot see it or disagree you are a racist/bigot and I dont want to play with you.'

Who is saying that?

I'm gonna be honest, and I want to be very clear that I'm not saying you are doing this. Most often, when I see discussions about equality or inclusiveness, and someone says, "I got no problem with it, I just don't like people calling me a bigot if I don't agree with them (when no one has actually said that).", it's just a cop out for not admitting that yeah, they do have a big problem with equality and inclusiveness, but are gaslighting others based on a strawman.
 

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