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

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Justice and Rule

Adventurer
I dont think it is.

I think you clean up Volo's, and either we leave the rest alone as it pertains to setting specific definitions (FR Orcs != Eberron Orcs) or we have another layer of errata that sapient beings are not of a predefined monolithic alignment.

That's not a slippery slope, it's 'apply a patch to alignment'. IMO of course.

I misread what you initially wrote. Mea culpa.
 
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Scribe

Hero
I mean, you say 'patch', I say 'excise alignment's corpse from the rest of the game before it infects anything else'
/shrug

I like Alignment, its hardwired into Planescape and the Great Wheel to a degree I see no value in dropping it.

Changing how its applied to Prime lineages? Go nuts.
 



TheSword

Legend
Supporter
I think that's an excellent idea! Let the DM decide the alignment of any given individual creature. Good thinking.
And the Great Wheel Comes crashing down.

You might not like the Planescape setting but it’s been a big part of the game for a very long time.

I don’t like the idea of jettisoning it without a damn good reason.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I think you’re getting the wrong end of the stick. When I write like, I mean “in a similar way”.

“John drives like Mike”
“Mary looks like her mother”
“Rob types like a computer wiz”
“Claire writes like Maya Angelou”

The fact that mindflayer bodies fulfill essential biological functions doesn’t mean they do it like people do. Otherwise 90% of living monsters would all fall in the same category.
Which is exactly my point: the categories and delimiters you're using are so broad as to include just about everything out there, which at best makes them kinda useless.
 


CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Re: a good-aligned lich...

In our game world there is a cult of necromancers. One of their edicts is that everyone has a destiny, and they must not let anything interfere with that destiny...including death. So it's not uncommon for their members to seek out means of extending their mortality until their destiny is fulfilled. The means of extending their mortality can, and often does, include undeath. Some of their high priests are liches, mummies, and vampires.

But are they evil? Well, that depends on what they consider to be "their destiny." Those who won't rest until they rule over the people of Wherever and slaughter all who oppose them? They certainly are evil. Those who will never rest until the war is ended and every child it orphaned is adopted? They are certainly not evil.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
And the Great Wheel Comes crashing down.

You might not like the Planescape setting but it’s been a big part of the game for a very long time.

I don’t like the idea of jettisoning it without a damn good reason.
It would be fine. Don't panic!
 

Here's where my point of confusion is. Is it morally permissible to insert anything into a fictional game space such that your standard adventuring party can feel justified dropping a fireball on it without interrogating it first? If so, where does that line occur where such a description becomes problematic?

From what I've gathered, I can drop a fireball on demons, no problem. Same thing with undead and most constructs. But fireballing orcs would be problematic. Is the line anything humanoid? Anything sapient and not directly burning down a village?
It's pretty easy to come up with ways to make using violence against the enemy acceptable in a fictional space. The cult is trying to steal your babies and kill them - this is an act of violence against you. It's okay to use violence to make it stop.

Just don't tag it to a whole race as if that's a thorough and complete answer. That's all.

Also: you don't hit the threshold of 'offensive content' just by having characters do something not totally morally acceptable. Playing a game with characters who are racist is not a racist act in itself, nor does it make (or even really imply) that the person doing so is racist. No one is arguing you can't have evil orcs or evil humans. The only part of alignment being objected to is "all orcs (or whatever) are evil" because that's a silly, reductionist way of thinking that parallels racist lines of thinking, so we probably shouldn't do that, or if we do it should be treated as different form the real world. That is, "all orcs are evil" shouldn't be the default but that doesn't mean you can't do that in your own game.

At least, that's how I see it.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
And the Great Wheel Comes crashing down.

You might not like the Planescape setting but it’s been a big part of the game for a very long time.

I don’t like the idea of jettisoning it without a damn good reason.
I don't think the Great Wheel and nine-point alignment are intrinisically linked. You can always describe them as having the alignment axes as flavor with no mechanical backing (much like arcane and divine exist now). Or just find new labels to put on the axes.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
"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.
Appreciated. Personally, I think that looks like a great example of in-fiction prejudice done right. They face mistrust because of their appearance, which they have no control over. They have a reputation for being evil, but no actual biological tendency towards it. Some end up falling into criminal activity, but as a result of the material conditions the prejudice they face has forced them into, not any biological or moral failing of their own. Unlike with orcs, racism against them is not implicitly justified in the fiction. I’m 100% ok with that, and in fact, I like it quite a lot.
 

And the Great Wheel Comes crashing down.

You might not like the Planescape setting but it’s been a big part of the game for a very long time.

I don’t like the idea of jettisoning it without a damn good reason.
Just because it isn't the rule for every setting doesn't mean you can't bring it back and use it in Planescape games.
 

Voadam

Legend
Re: a good-aligned lich...

In our game world there is a cult of necromancers. One of their edicts is that everyone has a destiny, and they must not let anything interfere with that destiny...including death. So it's not uncommon for their members to seek out means of extending their mortality until their destiny is fulfilled. The means of extending their mortality can, and often does, include undeath. Some of their high priests are liches, mummies, and vampires.

But are they evil? Well, that depends on what they consider to be "their destiny." Those who won't rest until they rule over the people of Wherever and slaughter all who oppose them? They certainly are evil. Those who will never rest until the war is ended and every child it orphaned is adopted? They are certainly not evil.
Do you use the 5e MM lich as written needing to feed souls to their phylacteries?
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Here's where my point of confusion is. Is it morally permissible to insert anything into a fictional game space such that your standard adventuring party can feel justified dropping a fireball on it without interrogating it first? If so, where does that line occur where such a description becomes problematic?

From what I've gathered, I can drop a fireball on demons, no problem. Same thing with undead and most constructs. But fireballing orcs would be problematic. Is the line anything humanoid? Anything sapient and not directly burning down a village?
Why is not killing things on sight confusing to you?
 

Democratus

Explorer
This is nonsense. the cult in that adventure is a single organization. It is most comparable to ISIS, not to an entire religion.
Even a real world organization such as the one you mentioned has involuntary members and members who are not actively pursuing violence. To say it's okay to murder them all just makes you another extremist group. Which is another type of bigotry - as I said.

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

"All of them are evil because of the jersey they are wearing" is just as bigoted as killing all of a race.

Evil organizations, such as the ones being created as antagonists, have evil means and therefore can easily have members who were forced into the organization. Murdering them all because of guilt-by-association is also bigotry.

Trading less popular bigotry for more popular bigotry isn't a solution to bigotry. It's just a different kind.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
But ... and I'm trying to understand here ... isn't the premise that disaffected people identify with disaffected races because those races face bias? Take that bias away and why would they still identify with them? After the "grandfather in" period is past.
Again, maybe? But I don’t think that’s a reason not to try to make representation of those races better now. “If we stop presenting races as inherently evil, who will the marginalized people of the future have left to identify with?” seems like really backwards logic to me.
I mean there are things I agree with, no playable race should have a negative modifier or most should have it as one example I haven't mentioned. Beyond that? What could you change but make everybody the same which to me would be generic, boring and eliminate the need for different races.
This “if there aren’t inherently evil races, there won’t be need for different races” argument has never made sense to me, and I doubt it ever will. Different races are cool. Their existence doesn’t need more justification than that.
 


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