D&D General RA Salvatore Wants To Correct Drizzt’s Racist Tropes

Status
Not open for further replies.
In an interview with Polygon, the author talks about how the drow are currently being redefined in D&D, and how he wants to be part of that process.
”But on the other hand, if the drow are being portrayed as evil, that’s a trope that has to go away, be buried under the deepest pit, and never brought out again. I was unaware of that. I admit it. I was oblivious.

Drow are now split into (at least) three types — the familiar Udadrow of Menzoberranzan, the arctic-themed Aevendrow, and the jungle-themed Lorendrow. Salvatore's new novel, Starlight Enclave, helps to expand the drows' role in the narrative.
In 2020 WotC made a public statement about how they would be treating drow and orcs going forward -- "Throughout the 50-year history of D&D, some of the peoples in the game—orcs and drow being two of the prime examples—have been characterized as monstrous and evil, using descriptions that are painfully reminiscent of how real-world ethnic groups have been and continue to be denigrated. That’s just not right, and it’s not something we believe in. "

56EAA729-D9DA-4E25-ADC3-413844BA2021.jpeg
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad


log in or register to remove this ad



Zardnaar

Legend
Noooooooooooooope. It does not. Has -nothing- to do with that.

Humans started out black. All humans. That's not up for debate. Diurnal Black African Humans moved outward to other regions and different pigmentations became more or less useful based on relative distance from the equator. Plus, y'know, Sexual selection.

There's nothing in our biology that makes black skin and white skin, not just the absence of light creating darkness but specifically and explicitly black skin, "Evil" to us.

Hell. Romans didn't have prejudices against black people for the most part. Oh, they hated -everyone- who wasn't Roman. Called 'em Barbarians 'cause their language was "Bar bar bar bar bar" to the Romans. But once an area became part of Rome? Once a person became Roman? Skin tone didn't matter. Not even a white.

Black = Bad came out of wars against the Moors and the Crusades. It was at that point in time people started equating darkness of skin with wickedness or cruelty. When certain texts started getting translated from Latin to English and German it got so much worse. And then eventually the Slave Trade solidified the dehumanization of black peoples.

We shouldn't. But also they aren't there. And we mustn't give legitimacy to the idea that they are.

Roman sources said outright racist things about black people.

Their concept of race was basically white (themselves) black (Ethiopians and Numidians) and pale (Germans).

And tied it to the climate. Naturally the Romans/Greeks and similar colours had the best balance.


Tldr version it's complicated. The records are also very incomplete and very elite heavy. Asians were effiminate (Asia being east of Greece).
 

Hussar

Legend
Seriously people, if we can't have entirely evil races in our games because it's socially unacceptable, we should also make an argument about how it's bad to go around murdering people for gold and power. I honestly believe we as a community should turn it down a notch on the self censorship. It's almost impossible to write anything at all without offending someone's sensibilities.
Still catching up on the thread.

This is an incredibly reductionist argument that no one is actually making. No one is saying we can't have evil races in the game. What's IS being said is we should change depictions of various elements in the game that use racist language to "prove" this race/element is evil. Drow are evil. The only reason drow are dark skinned is because they are evil. Maybe, just maybe, since lots of and lots of real world bigotry ties these two things together, we shouldn't do the same thing in our fiction.

We don't have the same discussion about, say, giants because, A. Giant's coloration is not tied to anything other than physical description B. There are canonically giants of both good and evil and; C. Giant's have descriptions that are largely removed from anything that could be related to any real world depictions of people.

And, finally, D. No one is talking about giants. If people had been complaining about giants and their depictions for FIFTY FREAKING YEARS, then we'd be talking about Giants. But, none of these things are true. However, ALL of these four things are true of Drow.

It's funny, over a thousand novel length, original fantasy (as in not media tie ins like the Forgotten Realms novels) novels are written every year and have done so for the past twenty years. And yet, virtually none of them offend anyone. You couldn't possibly read more than a tiny fraction of the original novel length fantasy novels written in a year. Yet, you are complaining that we won't have anything to write about if we change Drow?
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Why aren't we raging about depictions of Hobbits as a people who typically eat a lot and drink too much...won't that make people think that short people are gluttons?
Hobbits were depicted as mostly decent people, and several of them were depicted as enormous heroes.

Drow are depicted as so evil that one article, thankfully ignored almost as soon as it was published (in Dragon Mag, I believe) on them said that if a drow gets pregnant, the fetuses fight to the death and this feels orgasmically good to the mother. (Which reminds me of things I've seen written by incels.)
 

There's a gulf of light years between being against racist tropes being implemented in the depiction of fictional races and the the idea that PC characters should never act in immoral ways or do evil things.

Even the idea that these are in some way equivalent displays either serious conceptual confusion or bad faith.
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
Roman sources said outright racist things about black people.

Their concept of race was basically white (themselves) black (Ethiopians and Numidians) and pale (Germans).

And tied it to the climate. Naturally the Romans/Greeks and similar colours had the best balance.


Tldr version it's complicated. The records are also very incomplete and very elite heavy. Asians were effiminate (Asia being east of Greece).
So... here's a thing:

Everyone has nasty phrases for people of different races... but that's not Racism. It's a -component- of Racism, but if insults were the end all and be all of racism we wouldn't have the generational issues we have, today. But Racism? It's -ingrained- in society. It's -systemic- in society.

And African Romans? Existed at every level of government except Emperor from the start of the Roman Conquests. EVERYONE did. They'd make local leaders into Plebeians and if they had wealth Senators. And they even had two black Emperors, Both Severus Septimus and his son Carcalla.

African Romans could work any job if they had the skills without significant backlash from society or Redlining and Disenfranchisement or other racist policies that exist, today. Because Romans are Romans, regardless of skin tone.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I was afraid of the dark until my late 20's, personally, because there was an irrational fear of something I couldn't see being just out of sight. It's also why I'm still afraid of the ocean and never get in it.

Also, darkness is used a lot in visual horror media.

As for why people sleep in darkness, it's because for the vast majority of human existence there was no other choice.

In summary, I'm unconvinced that being afraid of the dark is just a cultural construct.

Wonder if that's a cultural upbringing thing.

Here we get taught to swim at a very young age. I don't really remember doing it.

As a kid we played "spotlight". Basically hid and seek at a camp the person looking got to use the spotlight. You had to sneak up on them and tap their shoulder.

Black being evil or whatever isn't universal but it's often associated with death or sickness across multiple cultures.
Notice very few countries have black flags. ISIS used a black flag so erm nevermind.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
So... here's a thing:

Everyone has nasty phrases for people of different races... but that's not Racism. It's a -component- of Racism, but if insults were the end all and be all of racism we wouldn't have the generational issues we have, today. But Racism? It's -ingrained- in society. It's -systemic- in society.

And African Romans? Existed at every level of government except Emperor from the start of the Roman Conquests. EVERYONE did. They'd make local leaders into Plebeians and if they had wealth Senators. And they even had two black Emperors, Both Severus Septimus and his son Carcalla.

African Romans could work any job if they had the skills without significant backlash from society or Redlining and Disenfranchisement or other racist policies that exist, today. Because Romans are Romans, regardless of skin tone.

That was covered in the video. They were 2nd class citizens for the most part.

They could become citizens via military service so logically some of their kids would have been citizens as well. The surviving accounts are a bit vague on that.

They would have been the exception not the rule though.

By modern standards the Romans were a cruel people not really any better or worse than most empires they're all built on blood at the end of the day.
 

Status
Not open for further replies.
Remove ads

Latest threads

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top