D&D 5E Oriental Adventures 5e: How would you do it?

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Azzy

KMF DM
The Philippines especially are so full of myths and legends of strange creatures/monsters, I wish they would be added to D&D as official content (in fact, a forum member made a pretty good effort to create a 5th edition version of one of my favorite Filipino monsters, the Aswang, a while back).

By the way, this may be a dumb question, but why is the name Oriental Adventures offensive?

Here's a discussion about why the term "oriental" is typically considered offensive to many Asian-Americans.
 

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Coroc

Hero
Well now it gets weird. I respect totally that someone is offended by a term because something is associated with it.

But the classical orient was a rich culture with loads of progress some of it world leading during historic periods in mathematics, medicine , astronomy and other sciences. They invented things like paper, gun powder, chess, found the concept of a number 0 etc. The highly developed martial arts coupled with philosophies are in no way negative. Almost every one loves asian food.

So what association of a medieval Orient has got a negative conotation to american asians living today?

I well could understand if they were offended if compared /associated with some of the mess going on in some of the countries which occupy some of these areas in the present time.

But maybe someone can explain to me because living in europe that fact was totally new to me.
 

Coroc

Hero
Yea now i did read [MENTION=6801286]Imaculata[/MENTION] 's link - People cmon! It is about context!!! I would never call a present person of asian heritage an oriental.
But medieval oriental adventures that is a total different thing.

In fact if we stay with the official product line they took place in Kara Tur not in Orientalistan.

Now that the Name Kara Tur is established you might use it, but still how does someone not familar with that FR sidekick campaign check out that he gets a ninja, samurai and dervish style campaign by the product name?
 

Chuck Ocenasek

First Post
Follow up question. Why is putting every Asian culture in a blender and taking elements for your setting wrong. Have we not done the same to European cultures with most D&D settings?
 

Follow up question. Why is putting every Asian culture in a blender and taking elements for your setting wrong. Have we not done the same to European cultures with most D&D settings?

Ya I'm not sure why either. I'm sure that not all the people who have written them were of European decent and quite frankly I dont give a hoot who writes about fantasy settings that resemble historical cultural settings.
 


TiwazTyrsfist

Adventurer
Follow up question. Why is putting every Asian culture in a blender and taking elements for your setting wrong. Have we not done the same to European cultures with most D&D settings?

I guess I would have to say, because European culture in the time period we use as a basis for Fantasy Settings is far more homogeneous?

Most of our fantasy settings are based on High Medieval to Early Renaissance. Time periods where most of Europe was unified into one or two empires. The Carolingian empire, The Byzantine and Frankish Empires, the Holy Roman Empire. Nearly everyone shared a religion, They were all Christian, through much of it All Catholic (excepting OF COARSE the Jewish and Muslim minorities). While different areas obviously had their own customs and languages, at the same time they were bound by the same laws, had the same religious doctrines, and generally had to learn at least a little of a common language for trade and legal reasons. The term Lingua Franca comes from this time for a reason. It's why fantasy settings HAVE "Common" as a language.

Even after the empires collapsed and smaller monarchies emerged again, ALL THE NOBLE FAMILIES OF EUROPE WERE BLOOD RELATIVES. The Rulers of all the countries started out as first or second cousins, and since nobility was supposed to marry nobility, the sons and daughters of kings married the sons and daughters of kings from other nations, keeping all the royal families linked. Yea, up unto the modern day. Kaiser Wilhelm was the Nephew of Edward VII (King of England leading up to WWI) and First Cousin of George V (King During the war through the late 30's)

So, while Western Europe, yes, does have some cultural differences, they are on the same scale that Brooklyn, Texas, and San Francisco have Cultural differences.


Also, it's worth noting, The process of Blending and Cherry Picking bits and pieces of all White Western European Christian Cultures to make High Fantasy settings, was done BY White Western European Christians (or people of such descent). E.G. JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, et al.
 



ehren37

Legend
So would it be okay to call it Asian Adventures? Or is that also offensive? I honestly don't know. I never knew oriental was considered an offensive word.

Probably a bad idea also, since it doesn't occur in Asia. It's better tied to a specific setting. For example, they didn't call the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide "Eurpoean Adventures".
 

Gardens & Goblins

First Post
[sblock]I wonder if the debate around the word 'oriental' is an 'American thing'? I know it is a no-no according to federal law now. My co-worker's PHD is in the area of Oriental Studies - I've always wondered how that figures in to the debate. I'm originally from the UK but have lived in Japan and Taiwan, having relationships with lovely people in both countries and have dealt with the uglier side of prejudice though never encountered folks using the word, 'oriental' in an attempt to be offensive. They seem to have more than enough physically descriptive terms to choose from! Saying this, I have met some of the most well spoken and behaved people, who have been careful to never use a word one might consider a slur, and yet have displayed utterly disgusting behavior towards people from other countries and cultures. So I'm a firm believe of the intent being more important than a specific word or phrase.

However, with regards to WOTC, being an American company first and foremost, it would be wise to drop the phrase Oriental, simply to reduce the amount of complications it might cause. [/sblock]

If they focus on Japanese culture, I think they should go with, 'The Big Beautiful Book of Weebo Wonders'. There should be a half-naked cat lady of questionable age on the front cover.

Then they could re-brand the PHB as, 'The Original Occidental Handbook for Players'.

;)
 

Azzy

KMF DM
So would it be okay to call it Asian Adventures? Or is that also offensive? I honestly don't know. I never knew oriental was considered an offensive word.
I'm the wrong person to ask, as I'm not Asian. But I don't think it would be.

Personally, I wouldn't refer to it as Asian Adventures. But that simply because it refers to a real-world area and breaks the fantasy vibe. I'd have the same problem with a "European Adventures" for the same reason. Of course, that's just me.
 

Mirtek

Hero
So would it be okay to call it Asian Adventures? Or is that also offensive? I honestly don't know. I never knew oriental was considered an offensive word.
Must be an american thing. Funny how they make a fuss about a term like oriental but are fine with how the vistani are presented in CoS. That would be a no-go from an european POV
So, while Western Europe, yes, does have some cultural differences, they are on the same scale that Brooklyn, Texas, and San Francisco have Cultural differences.
Now this would cause a lot of western europeans to make a big fuss
 

Azzy

KMF DM
Follow up question. Why is putting every Asian culture in a blender and taking elements for your setting wrong. Have we not done the same to European cultures with most D&D settings?

Personally, I don't think it's terribly wrong, but unfortunately that hasn't been done in D&D. It's typically Japanese culture spammed with some other Asian cultures sprinkled in as an afterthought (ooh, have a Mongolian barbarian, a Chinese Kung-Fu Monk, and a Chinese Taoist-style Wizard, with your seven Japanese-inspired classes). I think it'd be better if an fantasy Asian sourcebook actually gave a more equitable amount of space devoted to elements derived from different cultures.

That's why I think that making it a Kara-Tur sourcebook would be a better way to go, as Kara-Tur has countries based on multiple East Asian cultures (of course it has two Japans and two Chinas, but at least it has more that).
 


Azzy

KMF DM
What?

The Germans, the British, the French, and the Italians aren't all exactly the same? Huh.

Well, duh! The Germans have bratwurst, the British have spotted dick, the French have baguettes, and the Italians have spaghetti. ;)
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Now this would cause a lot of western europeans to make a big fuss

I've lived and traveled in Europe, and I've lived and traveled in the US. There is a MUCH bigger difference in culture and attitude between Southern California and Texas, and between Germany and France. Don't let the (mostly) shared English language between the two fool you. The culture is as different as Germany and Turkey, in my experience if I were to make a comparison. California is much more like western Europe with progressive views, and Texas is much more like a theocracy with deep conservative views.

So if western Europeans made a fuss about that claim, it's only because they have never seen the difference between Californians and Texans. There is also more literal distance between California and Texas than most western European countries, which makes a big difference as well.
 
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