D&D General "Red Orc" American Indians and "Yellow Orc" Mongolians in D&D


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... However, in the 1970s the notion of "ancient astronauts" became a very popular way to explain/explore the achievements of these non-white ancient civilizations because aliens doing it is somehow more acceptable than those peoples having a capability Europeans couldn't understand. Why this way at that time? (Well, I won't go into it - but reflecting on the specifics could tell us something about the 70s and how those ancient astronaut ideas still resonate in the discourse today.
Good points. That drove me up a wall, too. Thank you.
 

Voadam

Legend
I did not delve into the Mesoamerican motifs of Oenkmar, as it appears to be less buffoonish than the portrayal of "Red Orcland", and also because I am less familiar with the indigenous cultures of Mexico.
You might want to couch your earlier post then with more of a qualifier than the statement "These are problematic facets in GAZ10."
 
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Then with the same logic, can the legion of the dusk, the vampires from Ixalan, to be the ersatz of Spanish conquerors yet or aren't they allowed by the rules of politically correction any more?
Hi LuisCarlos17f: would you explain to me exactly what "same logic" you're referring to?

1) I stated previously that my research is not inherently opposed to using real-world cultures as a basis for D&D/fantasy cultures.

2) Yet it does matter whether the real-world culture is a marginalized / indigenous culture (for example, the Romani culture which inspires the Vistani of Ravenloft), or whether it's a nation-state culture which has a relatively dominant presence on the world stage, for example, Spain; or the German + Slavonic motifs seen in Strahd von Zarovich's name. Both sorts of cultures (marginalized and dominant) could be (and are) tapped as inspiration in fantasy works; yet when tapping marginalized / indigenous cultures, special care ought to be taken.

3) In the specific example you give, the Spanish conquistadors are portrayed as vampires. The general consensus nowadays is that, overall, the conquistadors were greedy, bloodthirsty, and destructive. And so their portayal as vampires is fitting, meaningful, and poignant.

4) In the specific example you give, there are probably no real-world Spanish ethnic slurs printed in the product. That would not be right. In contrast, in GAZ10, there are terms which are very close to racial slurs: "yellow orcs" with "yellow hides," "Oriental goblins" with "yellow skins", and "red orcs" with "red hides."

Which of these "logics" are you referring to?

Do you dismiss all that I wrote as "political correctness"?
 

Voadam

Legend
Please...no more. I can't un-see this :sick:
I was hoping it would be a lot more of this from page 41 of the DM book.

1639808462600.png

Jim Holloway can do fantastic evocative art of humanoids.

Or the cross-eyed stupid humor takes. I much prefer his straight ones for D&D humanoids.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Hi LuisCarlos17f: would you explain to me exactly what "same logic" you're referring to?

1) I stated previously that my research is not inherently opposed to using real-world cultures as a basis for D&D/fantasy cultures.

2) Yet it does matter whether the real-world culture is a marginalized / indigenous culture (for example, the Romani culture which inspires the Vistani of Ravenloft), or whether it's a nation-state culture which has a relatively dominant presence on the world stage, for example, Spain; or the German + Slavonic motifs seen in Strahd von Zarovich's name. Both sorts of cultures (marginalized and dominant) could be (and are) tapped as inspiration in fantasy works; yet when tapping marginalized / indigenous cultures, special care ought to be taken.

3) In the specific example you give, the Spanish conquistadors are portrayed as vampires. The general consensus nowadays is that, overall, the conquistadors were greedy, bloodthirsty, and destructive. And so their portayal as vampires is fitting, meaningful, and poignant.

4) In the specific example you give, there are probably no real-world Spanish ethnic slurs printed in the product. That would not be right. In contrast, in GAZ10, there are terms which are very close to racial slurs: "yellow orcs" with "yellow hides," "Oriental goblins" with "yellow skins", and "red orcs" with "red hides."

Which of these "logics" are you referring to?

Do you dismiss all that I wrote as "political correctness"?

From memory Luis is Spanish. A Greek poster posted something similar.

Essentially WotC is ripping off their cultures but preaching a double standard. Bastardize your own culture instead is my take on it.

Basing anything on a real life culture is inherently problematic if it's not yours even with sensitivity readers who ultimately represent themselves only.
 

That is hardly a comprehensive list from GAZ10.

Hi Voadam, thanks for contributing. I agree that the Mesoamerican motifs in Oenkmar deserve a write-up. I'll consider posting a study of that section of GAZ10. That doesn't invalidate the research I shared so far.

As for the images you shared: Would you be very explicit as to what racial and ethno-national motifs you are seeing in these images?

This thread is not about general silliness. It's about specific racial and ethno-national misrepresentations.

-Travis

View attachment 148525
Nothing about Central American Oenkmarh?

View attachment 148526
Nothing possibly problematic here?
View attachment 148527
 

guachi

Hero
I thought Ylaraum was bad enough. Sold my copy 1995 iirc.

I'm not really offended by legacy products is main point.

The Ylaruam book is straight up Middle Eastern (Arab and Persian) culture with some fantasy bits thrown on top. It wasn't as obvious to me until I became an Arabic linguist and learned a lot about Arabic and Persian culture. The Ylaruam book is the most respectful RPG book I've ever seen that incorporates Arab and Persian culture. So much so that when I played D&D with my Arabic instructors I showed them the book to get their opinion and all of them actually thought it was written by an Arab. They were very impressed by how respectful the entire book was.
 

From memory Luis is Spanish. A Greek poster posted something similar.

Essentially WotC is ripping off their cultures but preaching a double standard. Bastardize your own culture instead is my take on it.

Basing anything on a real life culture is inherently problematic if it's not yours even with sensitivity readers who ultimately represent themselves only.
Hi Zardnaar -- I'd prefer that Luis speak for himself. Could you clarify whether the Greek poster was speaking of Ixalan, or of Theros?

Please note that my research is not inherently opposed to fantasy adaptations of any real world culture. Many, perhaps most, fantasy stories draw upon Real World cultural motifs, including The Lord of the Rings, and almost all D&D worlds, from Mystara to Greyhawk to Forgotten Realms to Krynn to Ravenloft to Birthright to Eberron. Dark Sun probably has the least discernable real-world motifs.

And thus, though I understand that many persons in the community like to assert the argument that it's simply wrong to use any real-world motifs at all in fantasy works, I feel that's a distraction from the specifics of what I'm sharing in this thread.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
The Ylaruam book is straight up Middle Eastern (Arab and Persian) culture with some fantasy bits thrown on top. It wasn't as obvious to me until I became an Arabic linguist and learned a lot about Arabic and Persian culture. The Ylaruam book is the most respectful RPG book I've ever seen that incorporates Arab and Persian culture. So much so that when I played D&D with my Arabic instructors I showed them the book to get their opinion and all of them actually thought it was written by an Arab. They were very impressed by how respectful the entire book was.

At the time (aged 15/16) I thought it gewed a bit to close to real life.

I'm not big on that then or now. Generally a bad idea imho using RL thinly veiled cultures. Inspiration sure but say Maztica hewed very close to Cortez and co from memory.

If I'm paying for a game product originality is nice instead of a badly refluffed history book .
 

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