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

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MGibster

Legend
I got a hold of my long deceased uncle's AD&D stuff a few years back after the death of my other uncle. There were several books, including the white box, a few miniatures, dice, graph paper, and the remnants of an adventure he was writing. He died in 1982 so this is pretty old school material. One feature of his adventure was a group of Lawful Good orcs the players would encounter. They were LG because a cleric persuaded them to change their ways and adopt a different god. Just a little something I thought I'd share.
 

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Clearly, orcs have been on the wrong side of the line in the past, but that doesn't mean they have to be there in the future. I believe that if kobolds can mutate from goblins to dog people to dragons, orcs can mutate to a form that acceptably non-racist. Unless orcs are a permanently tainted symbol (like, for example, how the swastika is still tainted by Nazis), but I don't really see that being the case.
The issue is actually slightly different.

Orcs are an integral part of quite a few settings. Good or neutral or just atypical orcs are present in significant numbers in the FR and Eberron, and someone told me they were also in Greyhawk in small numbers. Even where they're usually evil, in those settings, they "evil people", not "inhuman monsters".

So it can't happen because it would require massive retcons to all those settings. You could create something like Warcraft did, though, a sort of super-Orc infused with demonic power: Fel orc

Make them even less capable of moral decision, and there's your super-evil destroyer orcs, and you get to keep the other orcs too!
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I got a hold of my long deceased uncle's AD&D stuff a few years back after the death of my other uncle. There were several books, including the white box, a few miniatures, dice, graph paper, and the remnants of an adventure he was writing. He died in 1982 so this is pretty old school material. One feature of his adventure was a group of Lawful Good orcs the players would encounter. They were LG because a cleric persuaded them to change their ways and adopt a different god. Just a little something I thought I'd share.
Just to be clear, I have absolutely no problem with individual campaigns or campaign settings changing how orcs work. As the MM intro says: the alignment entry is just a default.

But if someone chooses to keep them evil I don't have a problem with that either. There is no one true way.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Yeah and the reason we can't do that for D&D Orcs is it's already been established to not be the case for them.

Can be for some world's. But yeah orcs definitely nature so no Gruumsh no problem eg Eberron.

If WotC released a world tomorrow where the orcs were darkspawn or a DM made a campaign like that I wouldn't object.

Giaks were the fodder baddies on Magnamund born in vats.

Drakkar were evil humans but they had been infused with darkness and pacts so they don't really have a choice either.

Xaggash vat born along with Kraan, Zlanbeasts etc.

Darkspawn people's fixed a lot of things.
 

Or...orcs are not humans. They are a race created by a vengeful god. They can be anything we want them to be and in different campaigns they can be nearly human.
Not quite.

They can be anything you want IN YOUR GAME. Totally agree.

In the official text? They need to be compatible with how they appear in most major game settings (this actually harks back to comments you yourself made a while back). In most major game settings, they are people. Often bad people, but people - who are sometimes neutral or good people, who are not mindless destroyers. I'm talking FR/Eberron/allegedly Greyhawk/probably Mystara (guessing, but I bet so) where Orcs are people, most fixated monsters.
 

Can be for some world's. But yeah orcs definitely nature so no Gruumsh no problem eg Eberron.

If WotC released a world tomorrow where the orcs were darkspawn or a DM made a campaign like that I wouldn't object.

Giaks were the fodder baddies on Magnamund born in vats.

Drakkar were evil humans but they had been infused with darkness and pacts so they don't really have a choice either.

Xaggash vat born along with Kraan, Zlanbeasts etc.

Darkspawn people's fixed a lot of things.
Yeah I'm talking MM Orcs can't be like that. Individual worlds could be. I mean, in a specific D&D setting, humans could be mindless destroyers, every single one - it might be kind of a cool setting actually.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Not quite.

They can be anything you want IN YOUR GAME. Totally agree.

In the official text? They need to be compatible with how they appear in most major game settings (this actually harks back to comments you yourself made a while back). In most major game settings, they are people. Often bad people, but people - who are sometimes neutral or good people, who are not mindless destroyers. I'm talking FR/Eberron/allegedly Greyhawk/probably Mystara (guessing, but I bet so) where Orcs are people, most fixated monsters.
According to the MM they're evil. The intro to the MM also encourages you to change them to fit your campaign.

Individual campaigns have no impact on the default.
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Sure, but that's going to change, and it's not fixed according to the MM, IIRC re: the language used.
I also disagree with some of the verbiage (especially Volo's).

But I'm talking about the orcs we have in the MM not what may or may not happen in the future.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I got a hold of my long deceased uncle's AD&D stuff a few years back after the death of my other uncle. There were several books, including the white box, a few miniatures, dice, graph paper, and the remnants of an adventure he was writing. He died in 1982 so this is pretty old school material. One feature of his adventure was a group of Lawful Good orcs the players would encounter. They were LG because a cleric persuaded them to change their ways and adopt a different god. Just a little something I thought I'd share.

I don't think anyone's objecting to LG orcs existing or can't be done.

They existed 30+ years ago.

They're just there to be butchered and killed filling the fodder role.

Whatever they replace them with will have same problem. It's systematic to D&D really. They can dress it up a bit and write nice fluff but at the end if the day something has to fill that role.


Magnamund 80's game world designed by AD&D player.


Giak
Orc/Goblin replacement.

 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
Gibberlings aren't sapient.

Demons etc. are supernatural entities designed solely for the purpose of carrying out evil, not just... people.

I get that, to you, orcs aren't people, but unfortunately since at least the early 1980s, D&D's official writers have frequently treated them as if they were. So they are and have been for a long time.

It's been answered a lot of times man.

Granted for gibberlings (I haven't seen them since Baldur's Gate video game, are they still a thing?) but I disagree that demons/devils are "designed solely for the purpose of carrying out evil". That would be "always evil". And yet, they are not, canonically not since celestials can fall and be demons be redeemed. Such stories predates D&D and are "canonical" parts of D&D. I'd say the exact same problem exist with demons and orcs: either you see them as non-people, and you can ascribe any behaviour to them, or you consider them to be free willed and they are people and shouldn't be treated differently than other people. I think many people are OK with kiling demons is because they are being culturally indoctrinated that "demons = bad guys".
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I don't think anyone's injecting to LG orcs existing or can't be done.

They existed 30+ years ago.

They're just there to be butchered and killed filling the fodder role.

Whatever they replace them with will have same problem. It's systematic to D&D really. They can dress it up a bit and write nice fluff but at the end if the day something has to fill that role.


Magnamund 80's game world designed by AD&D player.

httpss://lonewolf.fandom.com/wiki/Magnamund

Giak
Orc/Goblin replacement.


End of the day a significant portion of the player base wants bad guys to beat up without guilt. I think we will always desire that kind of simplistic escapism.
 


This is a great example of the problem and how it works: bad tropes and stereotypes are created, and they are normalized and used again over time because people got them from fiction that treated them as normal. This is exactly what we've been talking about this entire time: it's not that it's going to subtly turn you racist, but it's going to normalize the language and the usage so that these things continue to get used by the people who were inspired by these works. Old Universal films inspired Ravenloft, and they used those bad stereotypes there, which got brought to modern day when they wanted to use Ravenloft again.

Does this make sense?

No, it doesn't. It sounds like blaming a child for the sins of their father.

It doesn't matter how the trope originated, it's not being used that way now. It's been severed from its origins as an ethnic stereotype. It's akin to refusing to use a GPS because you don't agree with how the UNited States uses its military.
 

Horwath

Hero
Challenging moderation
Why cant we have both?

Eberron Orcs that are more or less same as humans with regards to alignment and can be whatever they want to be.

And Forgotten Realms Orcs, that are hopelessly corrupt by Gruumsh, down to the DNA level.
Some may be born different, by they are culled from the tribe before adulthood as they are seen as weakness of the Orcs.
Even fewer that manage to slip this "filtering" become outcasts of the tribe and are those PC Orcs or very important NPCs that break almost monolith archetype.

MM description of the Orcs can be whatever anyone feels appropriate to envelope multiple settings. Any alignment with maybe slight tilt towards evil and/or chaos?
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Yes but they are not giving any actual evidence of distortions, merely expressing a hot take

Mod Note:
If you are going to claim "SCIENCE!" then the emotionally laden phrase "hot take" should not be part of your discourse.

It is time for both of you to set this topic aside, before someone gets booted from the thread.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Mod Note:

So, perusing the thread at this point, nearly 90 pages in...

The sides are quire clearly set and dug in, pretty much along lines as the last time this topic came up, as we might expect. This serves no useful purpose. Thread closed.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Why cant we have both?

Eberron Orcs that are more or less same as humans with regards to alignment and can be whatever they want to be.

And Forgotten Realms Orcs, that are hopelessly corrupt by Gruumsh, down to the DNA level.
Some may be born different, by they are culled from the tribe before adulthood as they are seen as weakness of the Orcs.
Even fewer that manage to slip this "filtering" become outcasts of the tribe and are those PC Orcs or very important NPCs that break almost monolith archetype.

MM description of the Orcs can be whatever anyone feels appropriate to envelope multiple settings. Any alignment with maybe slight tilt towards evil and/or chaos?
Mod Note: Even though this thread is now closed, there’s still a little tidying to do.

You were booted from this thread a while back, by none other than the site’s owner.


Why are you posting political content on this site? Don't post again in this thread.

By violating this, even so long after, you get a warning point.
 

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