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

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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. "

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Zardnaar

Legend
Some dude on the internet quoting a Primary Source through translation into English: Perfectly unbiased and didn't reframe anything into his own perspectives.

9 noted and a further uncounted number of CLASSICAL HISTORIANS who each have translated various works: Wrong, I guess.

Here's Professor Rebecca Futo Kennedy on why she teaches about Race and Ethnicity in the Classical Period:

Search each of the others and you'll find similar works all based on Primary Sources, Linguistics, Geography, Sociology, Anthropology, and other Interdisciplinary understandings. Most of the list I gave you were Professors who spent decades studying this stuff.

And once more: Saying mean things and completely screwing over entire groups of people are different things.

Metatron did also reference that cartoon he had no problem with it. Neither do I as I haven't seen the original BBC she's referring to.

But the Roman empire was a multiethnic state where the Romans themselves were a minority.

We don't know the exact ancestry of most of the Romans you're lucky if you get a few generations mentioned by name.

The records are also very incomplete. No one can trace their ancestry reliably to an ancient Roman family, I think some nobles can to Byzantium.
 

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Metatron did also reference that cartoon he had no problem with it. Neither do I as I haven't seen the original BBC she's referring to.

But the Roman empire was a multiethnic state where the Romans themselves were a minority.

We don't know the exact ancestry of most of the Romans you're lucky if you get a few generations mentioned by name.

The records are also very incomplete. No one can trace their ancestry reliably to an ancient Roman family, I think some nobles can to Byzantium.
Look, the pop history YouTubers are entertaining, but the only one I trust enough to cite in an argument is Matt Easton from Scholagladiatoria. Maybe Jason Kingsley from Modern History and Tod Todeschini from Tod's Workshop, but outside of practical demonstrations that's a BIG maybe. The rest of them I would not invoke at all to dispute historical accounts, and if it's their word against a trained academic in the field, I'm taking the academic's word every time, no questions asked.
 

dalisprime

Explorer
Okay... I'm glad he thinks it should be buried in the deepest pit and never shown again.

But he WROTE about Menzoberranzan. About the Drow. For DECADES. And he was "Oblivious" to the fact that they were presented as an evil race?

Oblivious to the allegorical dark skin=evil and women in power=evil I -might- accept he didn't really think too hard on. But not knowing they were "Portrayed as Evil"?

Don't buy that for a heartbeat.
Women in power = evil? Oh boy we have a stretch and a half. FR have a whole nation led by women that stands in opposition to evil Thayvian Wizards. Silverymoon was a major force for good in the north led by a woman. By contrast we have the male led red wizards, male led black network and so on and so forth. That sexist narrative you're suggesting, simply doesn't exist. People are portrayed as good/evil regardless of gender.
 


Zardnaar

Legend
Look, the pop history YouTubers are entertaining, but the only one I trust enough to cite in an argument is Matt Easton from Scholagladiatoria. Maybe Jason Kingsley from Modern History and Tod Todeschini from Tod's Workshop but that's a BIG maybe. The rest of them I would not invoke at all to dispute historical accounts, and if it's their word against a trained academic in the field, I'm taking the academic's word every time, no questions asked.

Academics put their own spun in things though filtered by their worldview.

I checked the source he referenced and he was correct.

Assuming the source is reliable context matters. All it means is that particular Roman in that particular day probably said words to that effect.

They weren't white supremacists but they weren't champions of virtue championing universal human rights and as late as the dying days if the empire still had a them and us mentality when other groups tried moving into the empire. And often ended badly for the Romans (378, 410, 476AD).

And the late empire was very different to the first century which was different to the 2nd century BC. Hell the Roman "grognards" complained about the youth as well.
 

Academics put their own spun in things though filtered by their worldview.

I checked the source he referenced and he us correct.

Assuming the source is reliable context matters. All it means is that particular Ronan in that particular day probably said words to that effect.

They weren't white supremacists but they weren't champions of virtue championing universal human rights and as late as the dying days if the empire still had a then and us mentality when other groups tried moving into the empire. And often ended badly for the Romans (378, 410, 476AD).
You assume the professors and researchers in the field don't check the primary sources and write their own commentaries on them? And you assume YouTubers don't also filter things through their worldview and put their own spin on things?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
"Ancient spirits of evil! Transform this decayed form to D&D, the Ever-Living!" -- D&D (Citation needed.)
Is this a reference to something? It sounds so familiar but I just can’t seem to place it. I feel like I’m teetering on the edge of unlocking a very old memory.
 

Women in power = evil? Oh boy we have a stretch and a half. FR have a whole nation led by women that stands in opposition to evil Thayvian Wizards. Silverymoon was a major force for good in the north led by a woman. By contrast we have the male led red wizards, male led black network and so on and so forth. That sexist narrative you're suggesting, simply doesn't exist. People are portrayed as good/evil regardless of gender.
No the whole trope that's in play here is an ancient one. You have virile male societies that build empires and then you have civilisations that enter states of decadence. In such societies, so the trope goes, men become effeminate, and women become influential and sexually poweful and the men listen to them and therefore lead the societies further into decline and loss of morals. You still see this trope invoked by islamic fundamentalist groups like Isis.

The treatment throughout much of history of the Empress Theodora is just one example here.
 



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