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

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I also think there's an overlying assumption that some people truly identify with orcs but not other creatures. I have never heard that claim in person, I don't know of anyone who has proven otherwise. The source of the blogosphere complaints doesn't seem to come from people that (in theory) would identify with orcs. Then again, I don't pay a lot of attention to the blogosphere.

Everything else is just "orcs look a lot more like people than these other creatures so they're different". That form follows function, which to me is a bias. The mind behind the mask is what should matter, not the physical implementation.
Oh, there are absolutely people who identify with orcs!
 

MGibster

Legend
That the conflict has meaning and serves some greater purpose the story and setting I'm trying to weave. I should be asking "Does this situation need a racial conflict? Does it add something interesting or thoughtful?" so that it isn't just gratuitous. For me, if someone from outside my group were to watch and see what I did, they'd not be offended or think I was taking the subject lightly.
You're moving the goalpost here. You initially wrote the following:
The biggest thing to remember is whatever you put in has to be justified by you and not the fiction.
In the first paragraph above, you're arguing the opposite. That the conflict must serve some greater purpose for the story or the setting. i.e. You're using the fiction to justify the decision. So which is it? Do we need to justify the inclusion of unpleasant elements based on the fiction or does the author need to justify their decision based on some other criteria? It looks to me like we both agree that it can be justified by the fiction.
 



Democratus

Explorer
Which is a problematic setup, that dnd has moved away from, for the better. Even DDO, which has the Keep on The Borderlands as a starter adventure option, draws lines between the Cult of Elemental Evil or whatever, and the regular "monster" folk of the region. Your goal quickly becomes to take down the cult, and the bugbears and goblins and kobolds and orcs you're slaying are members of the cult primarily, which is a much better setup than "orcs and such are inherently beings of violent chaos that want to burn your house and eat your kids. Go kill them!"
Is it though? You've just changed the narrative to, "That religion is evil. Kill everyone who claims to be a member!" :unsure:
 

Justice and Rule

Adventurer
You're moving the goalpost here. You initially wrote the following:

In the first paragraph above, you're arguing the opposite. That the conflict must serve some greater purpose for the story or the setting. i.e. You're using the fiction to justify the decision. So which is it? Do we need to justify the inclusion of unpleasant elements based on the fiction or does the author need to justify their decision based on some other criteria? It looks to me like we both agree that it can be justified by the fiction.

No, you're mistaking what I'm saying. When I say "Justify it yourself, not by the fiction", I'm talking about not letting the fiction be a justification unto itself. I pointed to the Thermian Argument as an example of this. Does that make more sense?
 


That the conflict has meaning and serves some greater purpose the story and setting I'm trying to weave. I should be asking "Does this situation need a racial conflict? Does it add something interesting or thoughtful?" so that it isn't just gratuitous. For me I like to think that if someone from outside my group were to watch and see what I did, they'd not be offended or think I was taking the subject lightly.



Sure, I think you just have to be ready to deal with the implications of the issues and have your own personal justifications rather than just saying "The setting is the setting, it justifies itself", aka the Thermian Argument.

FWIW, I lean toward believing the Thermian Argument being something very different than how people typically use the term.

In the real world, I sometimes encounter people who are making decisions based upon some version of "alternative facts" and buying into some fiction they've based their lives around. That (to me) is a Thermian Argument.

In the case of establishing logical validity in a hypothetical fantasy world, there is value in acknowledging that things work differently. That's kinda the whole idea behind speculative fiction, fantasy, and the pieces of literary culture and gaming which evolved into rpgs.

I certainly am someone who wants some amount of reality in my fantasy, so I do acknowledge overlap between real world influences and fantasy works created by authors living in the real world. But to claim there is logical fallacy in saying a world would function differently if built from "realities," physics, and natural forces not found in our own world is weird to me.
 

Democratus

Explorer
No, its changed to "that group of people is trying to murder us all, because they have decided to do so. We have to stop them."
You don't know that everyone in a certain religion is trying to murder you all.

And if you can know such a thing - and that thing is true - then you can also know that all Gnolls/Orcs/DeathBots want to murder us all.

Anti-race and anti-religion are both bigotry. If you accept one and not the other it isn't enlightenment - it's hypopcracy.
 

Emerikol

Explorer
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.

Shouldn't it be just a reclassification of what alignment in a monster manual means? Perhaps alignment means (what it always meant to me by the way) is what is common in the world at large. Most orcs are evil. Hard to dispute that. Could you design a world where orcs were not evil? Of course and then you'd adjust that alignment in the book to be whatever it is in your world. In the presumed world of D&D, orcs are evil.

And I don't think killing defenseless enemies whether good or evil is acceptable in almost all cases. There are exceptions but they'd be rare (e.g. WW2 commandos on a raid killing enemy guards).
 

MGibster

Legend
No, you're mistaking what I'm saying. When I say "Justify it yourself, not by the fiction", I'm talking about not letting the fiction be a justification unto itself. I pointed to the Thermian Argument as an example of this. Does that make more sense?
If you mentioned the Thermian Argument before I missed it. This is the first I've seen it used in this thread. So basically I can justify it's inclusion in the setting because that's the story I want to tell.
 


Emerikol

Explorer
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.
This is the fix I'd propose if people feel a fix is necessary. I will say that this interpretation has been mine from the beginning.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
In the interests of learning, how or why? Even a link to something to read?
Generally, when a class of fictional character is vilified in the fiction in ways that mirror real-life vilification of marginalized groups, people of those groups tend to end up identifying with those fictional characters. Because they recognize in those characters a shared struggle that they have also experienced. That’s why LGBTQIA folks tend to identify with Disney villains and horror movie monsters, and a lot of BIPOC gamers identify with traditionally monstrous races. I remember reading an article from a half-black writer who identified strongly with orcs and half-orcs, and would play them at every opportunity. I’ll see if I can dig it back up.
 

Justice and Rule

Adventurer
FWIW, I lean toward believing the Thermian Argument being something very different than how people typically use the term.

In the real world, I sometimes encounter people who are making decisions based upon some version of "alternative facts" and buying into some fiction they've based their lives around. That (to me) is a Thermian Argument.

In the case of establishing logical validity in a hypothetical fantasy world, there is value in acknowledging that things work differently. That's kinda the whole idea behind speculative fiction, fantasy, and the pieces of literary culture and gaming which evolved into rpgs.

I certainly am someone who wants some amount of reality in my fantasy, so I do acknowledge overlap between real world influences and fantasy works created by authors living in the real world. But to claim there is logical fallacy in saying a world would function differently if built from "realities," physics, and natural forces not found in our own world is weird to me.

I mean, you can do what you do, but the biggest part of the Thermian Argument is that the fiction doesn't justify itself against critique. So if you want to make something, go for it. For me, when I think about something that might be controversial, I like to think about why I'm doing it so that if I were to talk to someone about it, I could explain my reasoning rather than saying "It's that way because the universe justifies it." That's all I'm trying to get at.

If you mentioned the Thermian Argument before I missed it. This is the first I've seen it used in this thread.

Yeah, I mentioned it with regard to @Argyle King, but I only linked the video rather than posting it directly to the board. Easy to miss, my fault for not being clearer with my words.
 

MGibster

Legend
I mean, you can do what you do, but the biggest part of the Thermian Argument is that the fiction doesn't justify itself against critique. So if you want to make something, go for it. For me, when I think about something that might be controversial, I like to think about why I'm doing it so that if I were to talk to someone about it, I could explain my reasoning rather than saying "It's that way because the universe justifies it." That's all I'm trying to get at.
Oh, okay. To me this boils down to "Because this is the story I want to tell," as justification for why something is included in the setting. It might not be a reason you or I like but it's a valid reason.
 

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