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

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GreyLord

Hero
Every race has a creation myth Orcs being the classic one.

Im just saying if a creature superficially looks, behaves and reacts like a person then it’s probably right to treat it like a person.
Just as an interesting aside...

Orc originates from Pluto who was known as Orcus at some points. Also the word originally means Hell-Devil at a later point of history, but nowhere close to our current time.

Later it would be called a spectre or goblin like creature or devouring monster...

Those origins don't really indicate that the idea of Orcs were something humanlike...or that even acted like a human, but more of something absolutely and sinister which was full of evil.

IF we are talking about origins of monsters and such.

In that light...ANY monster could eventually be taken to be human like and treated as such.

We see Orcs as we do today because Tolkien took the Term and anglicized it to Orc and created them as a goblin type of creature, but still related them back to their lingual roots as evil creatures.

For RPGs that evolved into D&D which had them again as evil creatures...irredeemably so at first...BUT...with the idea that from means we really don't want to discuss here in general...Half-men or Half-Orcs (also another item from Tolkien) were created. 10% of those could actually have the will and ability to be as other races...or like men...and choose to be adventurers or other things. These Half-Orcs were still implied to lean more towards an evil alignment, but they could choose to be any good alignment also if the player choose to be.

This led to later ideas (especially toward the latter half of 2e) that Orcs themselves could choose to be a different alignment (unsurprisingly one of the more famous ideas of this was from a Drizzt Short story, whose main character is also trying to represent a traditionally evil race as also being able to be Good aligned, though I will add in the way that Dark Elves were related in the 80s...that representation of them of always being evil could be seen as HIGHLY problematic without the history that other monsters may follow, as the symbology should be troublesome to a degree for many).

Come along 3e (and a strong Warcraft 3 influence) and people now feel that Orcs are Good or evil just like men and anyone else...and have their own honor and noble heritages to boot. The Orcs have become civilized.

Looking at that evolution, that could occur to ANY monster...ANY of them. It just takes time and evolution of how people perceive them.

Orcs were originally the ruler of Hell, and then Hell-Devils. Just because something is called a Pit-Fiend or Balor today does not mean it will not be the next Elf or Dwarf tomorrow if we want to actually think about the evolution of monster to Good aligned and intelligent PC race possibilities (and actually, if one used the ideas of Savage Species and such, there may be good aligned Balor PC's out there somewhere today already).

In that light, making Gnolls a Fiend today won't mean they won't have difficulties in relating to them (with the same problems we see with Orcs now) tomorrow.

Just something that occurred to me when someone was mentioning the origins of things.

Edit: and as long as we are pointing out origins...of other pertaining interest...Elves were not originally necessarily considered good either...if we see how orcs are portrayed in Beowulf...you'd also classify elves as being evil right alongside them...

Just something of interest to note...
 
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Justice and Rule

Adventurer
Ho'kay. Gonna try and clear up what I said because writing stuff past midnight while I'm trying to get to bed is not the best way to write something clear, concise, and on-point. So I want to tackle a few things more broadly and without just trying to respond to people because I find when you get into a quote-heavy discussion, you lose sight of the argument for the sake of responses and comebacks. Anyways...

The Satanic Panic

So this comparison keeps coming up, and I think we need to look at this more deeply because just trying to focus on the D&D part makes it harder to actually judge what it was.

First off, the Satanic Panic was much larger than D&D and encompassed a whole bunch of phenomenon. It has its origins in the 1970s with the sort of new religious revival that had only just started in the late 60's/early 70s with the evangelical community, which was further sparked on by fanciful and grossly false tales of people who said they had been abused as children by Satanic cultists. While obviously false and even being debunked at the time, it was fueled by the new religious fervor that had been growing and continued to be spurred on as imitators soon appeared. Eventually these things would grow outward into a broader moral panic, based around these things and others, wherein people were looking for Satanic cults everywhere.

While @Haffrung is absolutely right that there were more mundane ideas within it, I think that undersells the bigger drivers of it, which were child sex abuse and child kidnapping (which were supposedly driven by Satanism). The ridiculousness of these accusations, such as demonic possession, massive pedophilia rings, and ritual sacrifice really can't be understated, and the more mundane ideas of pushing people into drugs and away from their church were secondary parts of these far wilder beliefs. This was a movement was nuts, and there's just no whitewashing that.

Also, man, feels really sad at how fucking close that comes to where we are today, but I guess that's just where we are right now.

Those big, crazier aspect were also why it managed to break into the mainstream: these sensationalistic accounts and accusations got on to daytime TV shows where the most ridiculous of them could get to tell their story unchallenged to the masses. This did help launder it for a less religious, more secular crowd, but it's worth remembering that the religious driver of it never went away: plenty of people within the psychology field were religious and that religion absolutely fed into the panic and fervor. Similarly you have law enforcement, which is a generally more conservative profession buying into what was going on through religious beliefs. Some people simply thought they were trying to help people, trying to help kids who they thought might honestly have been abused.

But at the end of the day, what drove it was the conservative religious movement behind it, which was reaching its apex in ability to project media: not only are we talking the big empires of televangelism, but the ability to get into more legitimate media and cause a craze that couldn't even be ignored by more traditional and less sensationalistic media like proper news programs. And you also see it start to fall apart in the late 80's with the revival itself, but as you would expect with media, the attitudes that were created then carried on despite being shown to have been based on little to nothing.

So how does this relate to the moment we are at?

Well, the point is that I don't think it does. Again, while we can try and look at calmer and at least more believable aspects of the Satanic Panic, we can't remove them from the more ridiculous, fanciful, and bluntly untrue stuff that drove the movement. These things were based on ideas that had no basis in reality and were largely driven by fervor and fear, not actual substantiated complaints.

Meanwhile the idea that D&D (and the larger TTRPG community) may have race problems is not something completely fanciful, but something that can be more easily seen. There's no indication that Orion Black was making up his problems at WOTC, nor are they so ridiculous that the invite comparison to people talking about secret Satanic child abuse rituals underneath daycares. The complaints about the handling of Chult are things that can be taken on the merits and have arguments based in racial history and culture that are more understandable and real than anything presented in the Satanic Panic. Things like cultural appropriation are things we might agree on, but in concept

At the end, I think it's telling that when I bring up the Vistani and things move to "Do you think this really helps anyone who is suffering from this stuff?", because we've moved from disagreement to cost-benefit analysis: we are no longer talking "Is something racist/insensitive" but rather "Is it worth it to change this? Does it matter?" And the answer to me is yes: if something is wrong and we have the power to change it, we should. If we can take a bad Roma stereotype out so that the next generation doesn't have to get fed it (or at least fed it from shit I like), then yeah, let's do it.

I'm going to do another post on the other half of this (influence and systemic racism as it relates to D&D), but I wanna post this because I know my instincts are to get into arguments at the detriment of writing thoughtful shit, so I should post this as quick as possible before someone says something and I erase it all in my rush to respond because I think someone is wrong on the internet.
 
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Emerikol

Explorer
Often laugh if the Aztecs survived to present day. Evil colonial Spain smashed their religion.

But that religion......
Oh the Aztecs were evil in every definition of the word. From human sacrifice to horrible oppression. There is a reason why almost every non-Aztec tribe joined Cortez against them. The Spaniards may also have been evil and I'm not disputing that. I am saying that the Aztecs were as bad as Hitler every day of the week.
 

Emerikol

Explorer
Anti-inclusive content
To be honest, this is why I didn't adopt 5e D&D as a game I play. I'm tired of all the PC crap and virtue signalling. It's a game. When you blow up enemy spaceships in galaxian are you worried about whether those enemies are actually misled people who aren't really that bad. I'll break it to you. A lot of Germans fighting for Hitler in WW2 weren't bad people. They loved their families and their kids. They did as their government ordered and I'm sure many of them knew nothing about the Holocaust. Guess what? Americans shot them just the same. We didn't ask to see their nazi party identification before shooting.

So WOTC can continue down this path but more and more people are going to peel away and play other games if the nonsense gets too bad. A game where you don't battle enemies will not go far.

Now let me add. There are times when I've played traditionally evil humanoids as not evil or even good. I like variety and depth and I realize any sentient being can turn to good or evil. Adding some depth on occasion is fine. Pretending you can't have races that are mostly evil and are viewed as enemies on sight is a bit ridiculous.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Every race has a creation myth Orcs being the classic one.

Im just saying if a creature superficially looks, behaves and reacts like a person then it’s probably right to treat it like a person.
But a succubus also looks and, to a large degree, reacts like a person. We know they can have children because we have cambions.

In other words: there's an artificial line that people like to draw where it's okay to say these creatures are evil but these ones are not.

Which is why I think it would be better to clarify the nature of default alignment and culture. That they are just defaults. Maybe my world all orcs are evil because they're supernaturally created and controlled but I have a faction of succubi and incubi that have rebelled and rejected their evil ways. I see that option as being just as legitimate, just as justified as Eberron "good" orcs.

However I still want the default and the assumption to be (typically through meta-gaming not in-world lore) that succubi are evil. Because most of them are. But I want that for any creature type, I don't want to go down the list every single time and decide what is evil by default and what is not.
Ho'kay. Gonna try and clear up what I said because writing stuff past midnight while I'm trying to get to bed is not the best way to write something clear, concise, and on-point. So I want to tackle a few things more broadly and without just trying to respond to people because I find when you get into a quote-heavy discussion, you lose sight of the argument for the sake of responses and comebacks. Anyways...

The Satanic Panic

So this comparison keeps coming up, and I think we need to look at this more deeply because just trying to focus on the D&D part makes it harder to actually judge what it was.

First off, the Satanic Panic was much larger than D&D and encompassed a whole bunch of phenomenon. It has its origins in the 1970s with the sort of new religious revival that had only just started in the late 60's/early 70s with the evangelical community, which was further sparked on by fanciful and grossly false tales of people who said they had been abused as children by Satanic cultists. While obviously false and even being debunked at the time, it was fueled by the new religious fervor that had been growing and continued to be spurred on as imitators soon appeared. Eventually these things would grow outward into a broader moral panic, based around these things and others, wherein people were looking for Satanic cults everywhere.

While @Haffrung is absolutely right that there were more mundane ideas within it, I think that undersells the bigger drivers of it, which were child sex abuse and child kidnapping (which were supposedly driven by Satanism). The ridiculousness of these accusations, such as demonic possession, massive pedophilia rings, and ritual sacrifice really can't be understated and shouldn't be undersold, and the more mundane ideas of pushing people into drugs and away from their church were secondary parts of these far wilder beliefs.

Also, man, feels really sad at how fucking close that comes to where we are today, but I guess that's just where we are right now.

Those big, crazier aspect were also why it managed to break into the mainstream: these sensationalistic accounts and accusations got on to daytime TV shows where the most ridiculous of them could get to tell their story unchallenged to the masses. This did help launder it for a less religious, more secular crowd, but it's worth remembering that the religious driver of it never went away: plenty of people within the psychology field were religious and that religion absolutely fed into the panic and fervor. Similarly you have law enforcement, which is a generally more conservative profession buying into what was going on through religious beliefs. Some people simply thought they were trying to help people, trying to help kids who they thought might honestly have been abused.

But at the end of the day, what drove it was the conservative religious movement behind it, which was reaching its apex in ability to project media: not only are we talking the big empires of televangelism, but the ability to get into more legitimate media and cause a craze that couldn't even be ignored by more traditional and less sensationalistic media like proper news programs. And you also see it start to fall apart in the late 80's with the revival itself, but as you would expect with media, the attitudes that were created then carried on despite being shown to have been based on little to nothing.

So how does this relate to the moment we are at?

Well, the point is that I don't think it does. Again, while we can try and look at calmer and at least more believable aspects of the Satanic Panic, we can't remove them from the more ridiculous, fanciful, and bluntly untrue stuff that drove the movement. These things were based on ideas that had no basis in reality and were largely driven by fervor and fear, not actual substantiated complaints.

Meanwhile the idea that D&D (and the larger TTRPG community) may have race problems is not something completely fanciful, but something that can be more easily seen. There's no indication that Orion Black was making up his problems at WOTC, nor are they so ridiculous that the invite comparison to people talking about secret Satanic child abuse rituals underneath daycares. The complaints about the handling of Chult are things that can be taken on the merits and have arguments based in racial history and culture that are more understandable and real than anything presented in the Satanic Panic. Things like cultural appropriation are things we might agree on, but in concept

At the end, I think it's telling that when I bring up the Vistani and things move to "Do you think this really helps anyone who is suffering from this stuff?", because we've moved from disagreement to cost-benefit analysis: we are no longer talking "Is something racist/insensitive" but rather "Is it worth it to change this? Does it matter?" And the answer to me is yes: if something is wrong and we have the power to change it, we should. If we can take a bad Roma stereotype out so that the next generation doesn't have to get fed it (or at least fed it from shit I like), then yeah, let's do it.

I'm going to do another post on the other half of this (influence and systemic racism as it relates to D&D), but I wanna post this because I know my instincts are to get into arguments at the detriment of writing thoughtful shit, so I should post this as quick as possible before someone says something and I erase it all in my rush to respond because I think someone is wrong on the internet.

But to me that sounds like: A group of people were worried about the impact that the game was having, especially on children. There were no widespread peer reviewed studies to prove this, but people were seriously concerned.

Now, I agree. Racism is real and blatantly racist depictions (i.e. Vistani) should be fixed.

But ... and you knew this was coming ... we can't just dismiss the fears behind Satanic Panic just because some took it to an extreme. Both then and now people sincerely believed harm was being done.

In any case, I don't have much to add that I haven't already stated. I just don't think it's fair to some of the people behind the Satanic Panic to be dismissive because we know it was baseless and some took it to an extreme.
 

So how does this relate to the moment we are at?

Well, the point is that I don't think it does. ...

From a factual standpoint, I think you are correct that the Satanic Panic has a little in common with what's going on now.

From an emotional standpoint, I think it feels the same to some players. It's a defensive reaction. It's like we're being accused of being part of some big evil plot (i.e. satanism or racism) simply by enjoying our hobby.

Personally, I have zero issue accepting the fact that D&D has a racist history. And I am 100% in approval of trying to make D&D more inclusive. But it's still jarring when someone tells me I'm racist because I like the fact that 3e dwarves have a +2 Con -2 Cha modifier.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I am of mixed minds on whether art in a D&D book will make ANYONE feel more or less included but I will admit that perhaps it might.
It has and does.

You may know that, I may know that, but do you think more casual players, or folks entirely unfamiliar with D&D, will accept that explanation?
Yes. It’s not a deep cut or anything.
And what stops Wizards from declaring, say, gnolls as fiends from this point forward, if it's OK for fiends to be inherently evil? (For the record, I am not fond of the always-chaotic-evil 5E gnoll myself.)
Players have already bombarded them about Gnolls to the point where they expressed regret in a video last year IIRC about how Gnolls were presented in 5e.

The difference, also, is that Gnolls have always been a people, with babies and villages and multigenerational traditions and all that, while devils don’t have multigenerational anything.
 

Wishbone

Paladin Radmaster
To be honest, this is why I didn't adopt 5e D&D as a game I play. I'm tired of all the PC crap and virtue signalling. It's a game. When you blow up enemy spaceships in galaxian are you worried about whether those enemies are actually misled people who aren't really that bad. I'll break it to you. A lot of Germans fighting for Hitler in WW2 weren't bad people. They loved their families and their kids. They did as their government ordered and I'm sure many of them knew nothing about the Holocaust. Guess what? Americans shot them just the same. We didn't ask to see their nazi party identification before shooting.

So WOTC can continue down this path but more and more people are going to peel away and play other games if the nonsense gets too bad. A game where you don't battle enemies will not go far.
No one is disputing that fighting enemy combatants in a recognized war is acceptable in this thread. I hope no one is advocating for mass murder of orc civilians or not accepting that murdering surrendering foes in cold blood is acceptable in any games—seems like war crimes might fall into the clearly evil side of the alignment chart!
 


TheSword

Legend
Supporter
But a succubus also looks and, to a large degree, reacts like a person. We know they can have children because we have cambions.

In other words: there's an artificial line that people like to draw where it's okay to say these creatures are evil but these ones are not.
A succubus has very little in common with a person beyond appearance and sex though. On a kinda fundamentanal biological level. They’re created from the ooze of the abyss fully formed. They eat mortal lust. They can be yanked into other dimensions and turn to smoke/ooze/a blast of light when they die away from their home plane and reappear back at home.

There is an artificial line. It’s got a blurred edge.
Is anyone getting concerned that Succubi and Incubi or Mineflayers are reinforcing RL racist stereotypes? No.

It sounds like you’re saying because it doesn’t make sense to divorce alignment from some creatures, and sometimes the line is blurred. Then we shouldn’t divorce anyone from default alignment?

Not being able to do something good for everyone, isn’t a good reason not to do it for some that you can.

Either way you’re arguing against something that has already happened. It’s a matter of record. It’s in print.
 


Justice and Rule

Adventurer
But to me that sounds like: A group of people were worried about the impact that the game was having, especially on children. There were no widespread peer reviewed studies to prove this, but people were seriously concerned.

Now, I agree. Racism is real and blatantly racist depictions (i.e. Vistani) should be fixed.

But ... and you knew this was coming ... we can't just dismiss the fears behind Satanic Panic just because some took it to an extreme. Both then and now people sincerely believed harm was being done.

In any case, I don't have much to add that I haven't already stated. I just don't think it's fair to some of the people behind the Satanic Panic to be dismissive because we know it was baseless and some took it to an extreme.

I think when you simplify it down like that it loses all meaning. At the end of the day, you can't just detach the Satanic Panic from what it was about: a moral panic about imagined Satanic conspiracy that was kidnapping, abusing, and killing children. There's no basis in reality for it, and how it manifested literally ruined lives. I mean, the McMartin Daycare tragedy is just fucking godawful to read about.

But none of that really compares to what's being debated today: we know that systemic racism exists. We can debate how much it influence things, whether certain portrayals feed into that, etc... but we can agree that it's a real problem and that it exists within stuff like D&D to varying degrees. But it's not the same as saying that Mike Mearls is a Satanic Pedophile who abuses kids in his basement, and that the game he made helps lure them in.

From a factual standpoint, I think you are correct that the Satanic Panic has a little in common with what's going on now.

From an emotional standpoint, I think it feels the same to some players. It's a defensive reaction. It's like we're being accused of being part of some big evil plot (i.e. satanism or racism) simply by enjoying our hobby.

Personally, I have zero issue accepting the fact that D&D has a racist history. And I am 100% in approval of trying to make D&D more inclusive. But it's still jarring when someone tells me I'm racist because I like the fact that 3e dwarves have a +2 Con -2 Cha modifier.

No, I get it, and I get why they are defensive. I know I was at one point, and then I started talk to other people about it. It's one of those things where you don't just flick a switch, but it's a journey where you become more aware of how other people view stuff. Though c'mon with that last sentence.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
A succubus has very little in common with a person beyond appearance and sex though. On a kinda fundamentanal biological level.

You realize that biology has nothing to do with the issues at hand, right?

It looks, walks, talks, and acts like a person. The issues are about how we treat PEOPLE.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
A succubus has very little in common with a person beyond appearance and sex though. On a kinda fundamentanal biological level. They’re created from the ooze of the abyss fully formed. They eat mortal lust. They can be yanked into other dimensions and turn to smoke/ooze/a blast of light when they die away from their home plane and reappear back at home.

There is an artificial line. It’s got a blurred edge.
Is anyone getting concerned that Succubi and Incubi or Mineflayers are reinforcing RL racist stereotypes? No.

It sounds like you’re saying because it doesn’t make sense to divorce alignment from some creatur, and sometimes the line is blurred. Then we shouldn’t divorce anyone from default alignment?

Not being able to do something good for everyone, isn’t a good reason not to do it for some that you can.

Either way you’re arguing against something that has already happened. It’s a matter of record. It’s in print.

But that's a judgement call. Beautiful females that embrace their sexuality are all evil temptresses out to corrupt helpless men is very much an issue.

I'm just pointing out what I consider a double standard. I don't really need to repeat my thoughts on the subject, but if you care:

But most games, stories, superheroes have good guys and bad guys. We can be somewhat sympathetic and understand what Thanos did and why, but he was still the bad guy. The reason The Joker exists is because he's easily identifiable as the bad guy.

If you have a game that (at least for many people) is about heroes saving the day you need a nemesis, an enemy. That's why you have things like a Monster Manual not an Alternative Species book.

The thing is there's only so many ways of having a group that represents evil.

Organization: so you have group. Whether that's Hydra, The Empire or Evil Inc, the assumption pretty much that everyone that belongs to that group is evil. Except what about the child soldiers? What about the people who were just desperate and saw no other choice? How is it different from warring political parties? How many people on the Death Star were just janitors?

Religion: Those darn cultists are at it again. Won't those crazies ever learn? Don't they know that the religion I grew up with is the one true path? Oh ... wait. How is that better? How is some followers of some mythical deity not just a representation of [pick your "militant" real world religion].

Culture: Well obviously orcs are only evil because that's the way they were raised. If we only taught those ignorant savages the correct way of speaking, dressing, and proper manners they could be good citizens. Just like the U.S. shipped all those American Indians off to boarding school to "civilize" them. Ugh. No.

Race/Species: It's okay to have bad guys, they just have to be demons, outsiders, undead, xenomorphs that don't look much like humans. Because everybody knows what you look like defines who you are, right? Somehow it's okay to be evil if you stray far enough from looking like a person.

Personally? I don't have a problem with orcs being evil. They are not humans, much less real. They are the equivalent of genetically engineered species designed to be a destructive force by an evil entity Gruumsh. Is that an over-simplification? Absolutely. So is AC, HP, levels, classes, ability scores, healing ... I'm sure we could go on. If every single ogre has the same ability scores and attributes I don't see why alignment is any different.

Except that's not the end of the story. I don't use "monstrous humanoids" in my campaign all that often so I've never expanded them that much*. But the MM tells you that these are just the defaults (even if it could be more explicit). The DMG talks about how to modify and tweak monsters and NPCs to fit specific stories.

IMHO having the simplified option of good and evil is part of the game. It's part of most "heroic" fiction and games. I just don't think there is one way to have that which is "acceptable" while others are not. Reinforce that the culture presented is the default whether that's for orcs, gnomes, dwarves or drow but that the possibilities are as varied as the campaigns they appear in. But don't get rid of the concept of good and evil altogether because sometimes I just want to be a good guy fighting the bad guys without risking PTSD.

The real world is messy. I want to be able to play a game to escape reality for a few hours now and then. Orcs are not human. Since they are not human than any assumptions we make about how they think is up to the fiction of the campaign.

*Most bad guys in my campaign are human, although the real power behind the scenes is sometimes not human.
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
You realize that biology has nothing to do with the issues at hand, right?

It looks, walks, talks, and acts like a person. The issues are about how we treat PEOPLE.
I’m sorry no it doesn’t act like a person: for the reasons I said before. It superficially resembles a person in appearance. But in many crucial ways it is utterly alien.

Nobody that I’m aware of are claiming that demonic Succubi should be reclassified as anything other than evil.

This argument is being used to try and delegitimise reasonable claims that humanoids shouldn’t be viewed as any alignment.

I think it’s wrong and flawed. We weren’t asking for the baby to be thrown out with the bath water.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I think when you simplify it down like that it loses all meaning. At the end of the day, you can't just detach the Satanic Panic from what it was about: a moral panic about imagined Satanic conspiracy that was kidnapping, abusing, and killing children. There's no basis in reality for it, and how it manifested literally ruined lives. I mean, the McMartin Daycare tragedy is just fucking godawful to read about.

But none of that really compares to what's being debated today: we know that systemic racism exists. We can debate how much it influence things, whether certain portrayals feed into that, etc... but we can agree that it's a real problem and that it exists within stuff like D&D to varying degrees. But it's not the same as saying that Mike Mearls is a Satanic Pedophile who abuses kids in his basement, and that the game he made helps lure them in.
I agree that the extreme ideas of Satanic Panic were a bit goofy.

That does not mean that we should dismiss some of the concerns some of the people had simply because some people went too far. To me, it smacks of religious bigotry if we do.

For the record I personally think the whole thing was stupid. I do not think we can just dismiss that some people had legitimate concerns.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
You realize that biology has nothing to do with the issues at hand, right?

It looks, walks, talks, and acts like a person. The issues are about how we treat PEOPLE.
But isn't that the divide in viewpoints? In the real world, if it looks, walks, talks, and acts like a person, it is a person, because there's nothing else it could be. In a fantasy world, it can look just like a person but actually be a puddle of evil goo, because cosmological evil is something that exists in the fantasy world.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I’m sorry no it doesn’t act like a person: for the reasons I said before. It superficially resembles a person in appearance. But in many crucial ways it is utterly alien.

Nobody that I’m aware of are claiming that demonic Succubi should be reclassified as anything other than evil.

This argument is being used to try and delegitimise reasonable claims that humanoids shouldn’t be viewed as any alignment.

I think it’s wrong and flawed. We weren’t asking for the baby to be thrown out with the bath water.
Actually I am. I think the alignment for all creatures that currently have an alignment entry should clarify that it's just the default. Saying one intelligent, thinking creature has free will and another does not because they look or act too differently from us is the foundation of racism.

On the other hand I think D&D is a game. It needs bad guys. The books should just be better at reinforcing that the alignment, culture and fluff text is just the default.
 

Wishbone

Paladin Radmaster
A succubus has very little in common with a person beyond appearance and sex though. On a kinda fundamental biological level. They’re created from the ooze of the abyss fully formed. They eat mortal lust. They can be yanked into other dimensions and turn to smoke/ooze/a blast of light when they die away from their home plane and reappear back at home.

There is an artificial line. It’s got a blurred edge.
Is anyone getting concerned that Succubi and Incubi or Mineflayers are reinforcing RL racist stereotypes? No.
Have you seen the movie Under the Skin with Scarlett Johansson? There's plenty you can do to tell a human story with a succubus/alien type creature at the center even if they are a foe or have a negative influence on those around them (such as transporting victims into a void dimension where they are submerged in black goo and hollowed out so only their skin remains).

A fiend coming to terms with the corruption or negative concepts from which it is born or a mind flayer trying to reconcile its predatory feeding habits with living in a world with other sentient beings can make for a pretty compelling story of redemption. Foes don't necessarily need to be evil, and folks who happen to be evil don't necessarily need to be foes. Non-evil fiends and nonevil aberrations exist!
 
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