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D&D General PETITION: Acknowledge Hasbro's hurtful content (Black orcs, Asian yellow orcs, Native American red orcs)—through an Amendatory Bundle [+ thread]

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dave2008

Legend
Ideally, they would retire the old, racist content and move it to a free historical archive for the people saying they want to look at the racist jokes for the historical value.

It's this stuff that keeps Mystara from getting the proper old nostalgia bait treatment.
I have a hard time understand why having it available for free is a better / good solution. I something is offense, it is OK to simply stop selling it I would think. That is not censorship. If people want to archive it, fine - but that is not on WotC (or anyone really) to do that IMO.
 

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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I have a hard time understand why having it available for free is a better / good solution. I something is offense, it is OK to simply stop selling it I would think. That is not censorship. If people want to archive it, fine - but that is not on WotC (or anyone really) to do that IMO.

I can imagine an argument that it will be available somewhere online bootleg in any case. Putting it in an archive could allow for having the easy to find copy having some explanatory material (maybe an essay) attached to the front.
 

dave2008

Legend
I can imagine an argument that it will be available somewhere online bootleg in any case. Putting it in an archive could allow for having the easy to find copy having some explanatory material (maybe an essay) attached to the front.
I just don't personally see the value in it myself. If the community wants to do that, fine. But the only thing I think WotC should be responsible for is to stop selling it.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
It's this stuff that keeps Mystara from getting the proper old nostalgia bait trtreatment.
I don't think that is the reason.

I say this as some who discovered D&D by way of BECMI at 10 years old and who literally knew only The Known World as THE setting for D&D for years: it's a terrible setting made up of pastiche and cliche and tropes, none of which have aged well. Let it lie in its grave.
 

dave2008

Legend
I don't think that is the reason.

I say this as some who discovered D&D by way of BECMI at 10 years old and who literally knew only The Known World as THE setting for D&D for years: it's a terrible setting made up of pastiche and cliche and tropes, none of which have aged well. Let it lie in its grave.
Pretty much the same for me, except I didn't realize "The Known World" was a setting. We played in our own setting from the very beginning.
 

Enrahim2

Adventurer
The problem is even stopping selling it will make it more prominent. It would be a sought after object on torrent sites. The collectors can start proudly display their expensively bought hard copy. The anti woke will publicise it as another example of censorship, raising awareness (check out scrooge, don rosa news, it is likely more main stream articles written about that work the last week than in the entire rest of the time those comics have been out).

I now also realise even point 2 is might not really viable, as there might not be any serious organisations willing to accept that "ill gotten" money.

So for cases like this it really start feeling most right to quote Beatles' "let it be"
 

This digital product was published in 2014.
It was not changed or updated from the 1988 release. It was simple digitized. Trying to somehow infer it should meet 2014 standards or those of 2022 is ... <bad>.
The Petition is only asking Hasbro to apply that same process looking backward this one time, to the most egregious example of the "pretty troubling stuff." Because Hasbro is still profiting off of this. It's not in the past. It's now. And it's been going on for nine years.
And thanks to you, no doubt, it is now selling more than it was last month. But, I still don't think trying to claim "this one time" is valid reasoning. I'm not arguing slippery slope, just rather that using such a claim is fraught with problems.

Now, according to the summary and response by @The Sigil I do like the idea of taking proceeds from the sale of this and putting it towards inclusivity. Not a fan of a charity contributions though, but I could see some sort of WotC supported program to bring inclusivity to the game. Perhaps sponsoring cons or con attendance, diversity writer's workshops, etc.

edit: you might also want to take a look at the number of likes my first post got. Will give you a lot of feedback on your approach.
 


The Sigil

Mr. 3000 (Words per post)
Exactly this. If you want to make money from something, it's your responsibility.

You can't say 'the past is the past, get over it' while you're making the past the present for profit.
This is an excellent point and has moved me more strongly towards advocacy for "profits from this product ought to be donated to an appropriate charity" (I won't pretend to have great insight on what specific charity this would be). I think this is the appropriate remedy because I do not feel the the product should be pulled entirely nor do I feel the product should be made free for reasons I discussed in my previous post.

I would, however, consider signing a petition asking Hasbro to improve its "content flags," which right now (AFAIK) consist of a blanket note on all old-edition material. That note should remain, but there could be an additional designation for specific works -- basically, "Hey, we know this here is particularly bad, for reasons X, Y, and Z" -- and committing to donate profits from the sale of those works to an appropriate charity.

That still leaves the question of who identifies the works that would get this
That question right there is why I'm hesitant to say we need to go beyond boilerplate. Who identifies the works for which the boilerplate is insufficient? And if you disagree with their judgement, then what? This is of necessity a subjective call, and I'm as uncomfortable with appointing any person or group to do this as I was with WotC appointing themselves judge, jury, and executioner on third-party content with the proposed OGL 1.1 and 1.2 - while the suggestions later in this post of creating a reporting system for WotC to later review and/or crowdsource a fix from the fanbase, also run into the issue - basically, "who gets to make that subjective call? What happens if you disagree with their judgment?"

Trying to "fix" problematic content in a product is basically an exercise in "what line do I need to get across" and that line is going to shift from observer to observer and even in the same observer over time, which means any proposal that requires "problematic content should be rewritten" essentially means every document becomes something to be perpetually maintained every time someone new comes along and takes offense. Again, I don't feel that's reasonable, and I would posit that if new products have been written to cover similar content that do not share these issues, for all intents and purposes the problematic content has already been rewritten.

I mentioned before that Thar in Faerun and Pomarj in Oerth have already received re-writes... but what about settings that are no longer supported with new material? In that case, I would suggest that the place to look is in "generic" supplements that are not world-specific; we need not expect such supplements to re-imagine problematic cultural content specific to a particular setting (otherwise they wouldn't be generic), but we should at least expect to find an absence of carrying forward of problematic material. As a specific example in this case, let me posit that the 3e rules which allowed class & level to be applied to goblins, orcs, etc. and especially the supplement "Savage Species" (explicitly released to provide rules for playing "monsters" as PCs) ought to be treated as the first functional rewrite of "Orcs of Thar" and if Savage Species and other later "rules for humanoids" documents that are not setting-specific have omitted problematic material, this is sufficient to me that the hobby has moved on and any problematic material found in older, non-supported settings has been for all intents and purposes, cured in products going forward. I admit, I do not own a copy of "Savage Species" and thus cannot claim I have thoroughly scanned it to see if it suffers from the same cultural issues Orcs of Thar does, but that would probably be my yardstick as to whether a "re-write" is still needed. (Also, if there is some WotC-published 4e or 5e book that covers "monsters as PCs" that would in turn pre-empt Savage Species' treatment of the subject in my eyes and that would be considered the "current rewrite" to me.)

By way of analogy, for consistency's sake, if there ever comes a time where, for example, the depiction of the topless female form is considered prima facie exploitative of women, I don't expect the 1e DMG and MM to be re-illustrated; rather I expect to find that such depictions do not appear in the "current" DMG and MM and I would find it appropriate for WotC to start donating the proceeds of back-catalog sales (i.e., PDF sales) of the 1e DMG and MM to an organization that is widely agreed upon (not universally agreed as that is probably not possible) to counteract the exploitation of women.

Let each document sit as a product of its time, proof that attitudes and values can change over time; however, when a back-catalog product's content is widely accepted as sufficiently problematic in "today's" environment that it is not something that would be acceptable to produce new (whenever that "today" comes), I agree it's time to stop profiting on it and find a group that can counteract the problems raised by that content and steer future proceeds of the product in their direction instead.
 
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Vaalingrade

Legend
I have a hard time understand why having it available for free is a better / good solution. I something is offense, it is OK to simply stop selling it I would think. That is not censorship. If people want to archive it, fine - but that is not on WotC (or anyone really) to do that IMO.
To avoid the disingenuous accusations of censorship and book burning that come with actually pulling it or even thinking of pulling it. Everything must be available forever or you're a monster.
 

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