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WotC Older D&D Books on DMs Guild Now Have A Disclaimer

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If you go to any of the older WotC products on the Dungeon Master's Guild, they now have a new disclaimer very similar to that currently found at the start of Looney Tunes cartoons.

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We recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website, does not reflect the values of the Dungeon & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.


The wording is very similar to that found at the start of Looney Tunes cartoons.

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Edit: Wizards has put out a statement on Twitter (click through to the full thread)

 
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Sacrosanct

Legend
That's pretty much my feelings on the matter for the same reasons.

I've always been the believer in recognizing past mistakes and owning them, rather than pretend they never existed. Now, every time someone sees an old product with that message, they will see WoTC own up to it rather than a one time acknowledgement that fades off into nothing if those products also disappear.
 


I believe this is the best choice they could make. Putting a disclaimer inside the book would make you have to purchase it to see the disclaimer, which I think makes no sense at all (and the watermarks already make the books uglier than the originals, with no good motivation for their existence, unfortunately).

Refraining from selling the books would be even worse, for reasons I'll not discuss again. That said, they can and should do better in the future. Some of the products cited as problematic with some very reasonable arguments are not even 5 years old as of July/2020!
 

Mercurius

Legend
That works.

Sounds awfully familiar:

“The cartoons you are about to see are products of their time..They may depict some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that were commonplace in American society. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. While the following does not represent the Warner Bros. view of today’s society, these cartoons are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.”
 






Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
This is probably the most they were ever going to do IMO, at least for legacy stuff. I agree, it won't make everyone happy, but I think what they do going forward is more important by far than agonizing over what someone else did 30 or 40 years ago. Even if this doesn't make everyone happy, it is a positive step, and from a big company.
 

Mecheon

Adventurer
PR speak doesn't work in manners like this, especially when you just slap it on everything. Acknowledge why things are an issue and tailor it to those, don't just slap this on everything and shrug.

Doubt anyone's gonna be really happy with this outside of they "Well, they did something" crew
 



Keefe the Thief

Adventurer
A necessary and long-overdue change that really hurts nobody.

Sad that people have to die before something like this is implemented. I mean, it's not that everybody has suddenly be going "huch, racism??? in my D&D?" when reading those old modules without something triggering a reaction. Everybody could see the cringe once the first Vistani rolled up in his wagon, being all mysterious and ethnic, yet nobody said "perhaps we should add a disclaimer saying "this product continues a long tradition of stereotyping because that's how ye olde goons like Bram Stoker described it and we felt it was deliciously gothic".

Still, finally.
 

A necessary and long-overdue change that really hurts nobody.

Sad that people have to die before something like this is implemented. I mean, it's not that everybody has suddenly be going "huch, racism??? in my D&D?" when reading those old modules without something triggering a reaction. Everybody could see the cringe once the first Vistani rolled up in his wagon, being all mysterious and ethnic, yet nobody said "perhaps we should add a disclaimer saying "this product continues a long tradition of stereotyping because that's how ye olde goons like Bram Stoker described it and we felt it was deliciously gothic".

Still, finally.
I’m really surprised by all the people who are upset that the Vistani are being called out as racist stereotypes. World of Darkness: Gypsies was published two and a half decades ago and it was rightly derided as racist nonsense even if the authors weren’t intentionally trying to be racist. How is it suddenly okay to be racist if the ethnic group is fictional? I really think The Iron Dream should be required reading in schools, because it mocks this idea as the racist nonsense it is.
 

Keefe the Thief

Adventurer
I’m really surprised by all the people who are upset that the Vistani are being called out as racist stereotypes. World of Darkness: Gypsies was published two and a half decades ago and it was rightly derided as racist nonsense even if the authors weren’t intentionally trying to be racist. How is it suddenly okay to be racist if the ethnic group is fictional? I really think The Iron Dream should be required reading in schools, because it mocks this idea as the racist nonsense it is.
I'm not surprised by anything anymore when it comes to people defending stupid stereotypes. "It's just SJWs trying to destroy tradition", "You hate it, stop destroying it" - I've heard it all, and now it's time to draw a line. If ´´ people insist on continuing to ingest their racist stereotypes, the least we can ask of them is to treat themselves to a disclaimer as an appetizer first.
 


I'm not surprised by anything anymore when it comes to people defending stupid stereotypes. "It's just SJWs trying to destroy tradition", "You hate it, stop destroying it" - I've heard it all, and now it's time to draw a line. If ´´ people insist on continuing to ingest their racist stereotypes, the least we can ask of them is to treat themselves to a disclaimer as an appetizer first.
I don’t think they even consume the stereotypes. They seem opposed on principle to anything even remotely “woke”.

Saying that entire races are not inherently good or evil doesn’t sound “woke” to me. Nobody is arguing that humans and orcs as races have internalized anti-green bigotry that they must spend their entire lives atoning for.
 


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