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

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Emerikol

Explorer
So do you believe a succubus or a balor has the same opportunity to be LG as an elf or an orc?
No. I don't believe on average a balor is going to be good as often as an elf or an orc. An orc is not going to be good as often as an elf. That does not negate free will so any given Balor in theory could be good though he'd die almost instantly when his fellows detected he was good. Personally as a GM, I am always open to a traditionally evil being being good for some unusual reason. Hey helmet of alignment change if nothing else. That does not mean I can't ever have a default view of a particular race or creature type for a given world.

If you believe in angels and demons for real for example, then you'd think all demons are evil and all angels are good. I know not everyone does though so that is just an example.
 

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Emerikol

Explorer
The "myth of the clean Wehrmacht" has been debunked for years. Regular German army often and eagerly participated in war crimes and atrocities. It wasn't just the SS. A lot of folks were motivated to pretend they didn't know, but a lot sure did.


You misunderstand. I did not intend to imply every single German soldier was innocent. I am saying that some were innocent (well as much as any human can truly be innocent). Read the book Soldat. I am also saying that we killed those "good" Germans the same as the "bad" ones.
 


Scribe

Hero
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.
I think that opens a very interesting line of discussion, but I'm not convinced this forum can handle it. :D

This specifically.

"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."

If we removed from the game, the parts that are racist (real life vilification) would they still identify with them?
 

Justice and Rule

Adventurer
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.

That's fine. I just might take the extra step to explain why I want to tell that story or included that element specifically when it comes to touchier subjects. But that's just how I do things.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
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.
Wouldn't that argue for leaving fictionally marginalized in-groups in the game, as allowing marginalized people that outlet of playing an identifiable character would seem to be a positive thing?

Although I guess it argues more for Warcraft-style orcs than Gruumsh-following orcs.
 

Emerikol

Explorer
If we removed from the game, the parts that are racist (real life vilification) would they still identify with them?

I want no one to feel bad honestly. Still at some point there are destructive ways of thinking that are harmful to you when you think them. Can we eradicate from society every possible way a person can be offended? Isn't there some necessity to live and let live and to give others the benefit of the doubt. I don't think most people or most gamers are racist. Some of both are racist though.

Examples of where it has gone way to far is when the terms whitelist or blacklist are banned from tech departments. Where the fact white moves first in chess is considered an outrage. Especially since chess originated in India in all likelihood. Should I be offended that white is the color of death in many societies? I know it is not in ours but it is in others. I'm not offended. I'd honor their culture and if attending a funeral in that country I'd wear white. Sometimes it's a coincidence. It's like light and darkness. Some people think viewing light as better is racist. Really? I don't like fumbling around in the dark so I prefer some light. I don't think that is racist.

We have some bad problems including racism but not every answer is a good one. I want Martin Luther King's ideal. When people forget there even are races and just treat people based on their character then and only then we will be done with racism. Sadly racism and tribalism are closely related and it's very easy in a crisis for people to revert to bad ways.
 

Justice and Rule

Adventurer
If we removed from the game, the parts that are racist (real life vilification) would they still identify with them?
Wouldn't that argue for leaving fictionally marginalized in-groups in the game, as allowing marginalized people that outlet of playing an identifiable character would seem to be a positive thing?

Although I guess it argues more for Warcraft-style orcs than Gruumsh-following orcs.

I mean, having marginal groups within the universe is largely disconnected from however they are described by the out-of-universe narrator in the books. We can have smart, interesting dialogues without letting Uncle Volo say stupid shit at the Thanksgiving table. :p
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I think that opens a very interesting line of discussion, but I'm not convinced this forum can handle it. :D

This specifically.



If we removed from the game, the parts that are racist (real life vilification) would they still identify with them?
I think that’s a bridge we’ll have to cross when we come to it, as until the outstanding representation issues are addressed, it’s ultimately an academic question. I imagine that people who already identify with those types of characters will continue to do so, because the association has already been built. Whether a new generation will independently build such an association after the issues have been resolved probably depends on what the characters look like without those problematic elements.
 

Scribe

Hero
I mean, having marginal groups within the universe is largely disconnected from however they are described by the out-of-universe narrator in the books. We can have smart, interesting dialogues without letting Uncle Volo say stupid shit at the Thanksgiving table. :p
Absolutely, again I've said like 4 times today, remove the bad stuff from Volo's.

The question, is just a question. If people identify with these lineages is the removal of that the basis for their identification with the lineage removing what they identify with?

Like, is the 'character' of the Tiefling defined by the cringe worthy PHB? Is that it?

EDIT: @Charlaquin yeah, thats what I'm thinking.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Wouldn't that argue for leaving fictionally marginalized in-groups in the game, as allowing marginalized people that outlet of playing an identifiable character would seem to be a positive thing?

Although I guess it argues more for Warcraft-style orcs than Gruumsh-following orcs.
I mean, the better thing would be to improve representation generally, so that marginalized people have characters they can identify with that aren’t monsters.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Like, is the 'character' of the Tiefling defined by the cringe worthy PHB? Is that it?
Can someone explain to me what’s cringeworthy about Tieflings? I mean, it’s been a while since I’ve read their entry in the PHB, but if you want to talk about monstrous characters that marginalized peoples identify with, this is one trans NB who loves her some Tieflings.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
I mean, the better thing would be to improve representation generally, so that marginalized people have characters they can identify with that aren’t monsters.
I'm just wondering if the "being rejected by society because of my birth circumstance" is a necessary factor in allowing the identification. Would players have more identification with those races if you did a full "Blue Rose" of the setting?
 


Justice and Rule

Adventurer
Absolutely, again I've said like 4 times today, remove the bad stuff from Volo's.

The question, is just a question. If people identify with these lineages is the removal of that the basis for their identification with the lineage removing what they identify with?

Like, is the 'character' of the Tiefling defined by the cringe worthy PHB? Is that it?

Sorry, wasn't trying to rip you, just trying to lighten the mood. :)

And I think you can keep the complexities of race and race relations in a game. Like, can you have people distrust Orcs? Sure. We just have to think up more interesting justifications than the classic "Normally Orcs are just evil" sort of stuff. Society is complex, distrust is easy.

Of course, the simpler solution would be @Charlaquin 's:

I mean, the better thing would be to improve representation generally, so that marginalized people have characters they can identify with that aren’t monsters.
 

Scribe

Hero
Can someone explain to me what’s cringeworthy about Tieflings? I mean, it’s been a while since I’ve read their entry in the PHB, but if you want to talk about monstrous characters that marginalized peoples identify with, this is one trans NB who loves her some Tieflings.

"To be greeted with stares and whispers, to suffer violence and insult on the street, to see mistrust and fear in every eye...."

"....Their appearance and their nature are not their fault but the result of an ancient sin, for which they and their children and their children's children will always be held accountable."

"Tieflings subsist in small minorities found mostly in human cities or towns, often in the roughest quarters of those places, where they grow up to be swindlers, thieves, or crime lords"

And in combination with that, the extremely over the top physical change from 2e/3e to 4e, results in a lineage that is seemingly always to be judged as other, and pushed to the fringes of any human society they are allowed to settle in.

Its a bad look, imo.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I'm just wondering if the "being rejected by society because of my birth circumstance" is a necessary factor in allowing the identification.
Maybe? I mean, it’s certainly something that draws me to such characters. As I said in the other post, I love Tieflings, and that’s absolutely an element of them that appeals to me. Heck, I’d even say Tieflings would lose something if that element was removed. The thing is, I don’t think the goal should be to excise all prejudice from the setting. It should be to insure that the in-fiction prejudices aren’t objectively correct within the setting. It’s fine with me if there is a cultural bias against Tieflings, or Orcs, or whatever, as long as the fiction demonstrates those biases to be misplaced.
Would players have more identification with those races if you did a full "Blue Rose" of the setting?
I’m not sure what “doing a full Blue Rose” means.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
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?

Thank you. I had forgotten the name of that argument.

Defenses of "that's how it is in the fictional world!" beg the question of WHY it is that way in the fictional world.

To see why this, and other appeals to, "it is a fiction" don't fly as a broad justification, consider the following:

A person comes into their job one day, and hangs a picture of their boss in the shared kitchen area, and plays darts with the boss as the target. When the boss asks, the explanation, "Well, you shouldn't be offended, because while that looks like throwing darts at you, it is really just a fictional thing that looks like you. We can do anything to a fiction, and not have it mean anything in the real world," is still going to end up with you looking for a new job the next day. And rightfully so.

Your internal excuse for a fictional thing is not relevant to real people outside the fiction. Your choice to make a fiction that looks just like abuse is what's relevant, as is how you defend that choice.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Religion/politics
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.
This is nonsense. the cult in that adventure is a single organization. It is most comparable to ISIS, not to an entire religion.

It’s no different from fighting off the invasion of a country, a secular terrorist group, or a criminal organization. It’s an organization.

If a cult or mafia or nation of gnomes invades a country, them all being gnomes doesn’t make the defenders’ efforts a war on gnomes.


You cannot possibly fail to grasp the difference between a distinct organization that is actively pursuing an agenda of mass murder and a race or religion.
 

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