D&D General Reminder: Spellfire can come out of any body part…


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TheSword

Legend
The more I read about the earliest creators of D&D and their attitudes well into the 2000s towards... literally any minority group...

The more I realize they'd have hated me for existing in their spaces and for all the kindness they might smear over that hatred in favor of the illusion that everyone is equal at their table it just makes me super uncomfortable.

Thank the universe for EN World and other spaces that actively push back against bigotry and do not tolerate it.
I wouldn’t take it too personally. I’m sure had they known more trans/gay/black people then they wouldn’t have the same beliefs. I imagine there are parts of America not to mention the rest of the world where there wasn’t a whole lot of diversity.

The thread was about Ed Greenwood though who always seemed a decent chap to me. I also thought the passage referred to chest rather than boobs, simply because that’s where the heart is. So I think that’s why you’re getting pushback on making it about Gygax.

If we start going for folks for writing/talking about sex then we can say goodbye to Game of Thrones, the Witcher, 70% of fantasy fiction and 60% of movies and TV. I wouldn’t publish it in a game supplement, but the stories people tell in the privacy of their own gaming tables are there’s to tell. It’s not my cup of tea, but I respect other peoples choice to include it.
 
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Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
Imagine being imbued with Spellfire and getting into some poison ivy.
A patch of skin on your arm / leg / neck / hand / wherever starts to weep fluid for no apparent reason and ...
Bzzap!
 

DarkCrisis

Legend
Almost done with with it:

New "interesting" part.

The main character 16 yr old girl and the man (boy) she agreed to marry after knowing him all of 1 day are taken to Elminsters tower for protection. Elminster offers them his bedchambers and basically says to this pair of 16 year olds "Feel free to bang one out, but keep the screaming down." And I get medieval times and adult adventuring age is different from modern sensibilities etc but even that aside some old dude telling a couple to "Feel free to go to town on each other" is very... wow.
 


That's Greenwood's style; characters are all ruled by their id, so when they're in love they're flat-out crazy in love. Also, being a free-love hippie, his characters tend to get it on at the drop of a hat.
Yeah, that would make sense. Elminster's attitude is much more 60s hippie than anything else...and people have argued for years Elminster is Greenwood's wish-fulfillment character.

It's an interesting question what the actual views of a thousand-year-old archmage would be. Could be anything from refusing to date anyone with combined six stats below 108, to fathering (or mothering) hundreds of children over the years (archmages don't go through menopause unless they want to), to long-term plans over hundreds of years trying to raise a brood of the greatest wizards in the Realms... I suspect they'd probably have lived as a different sex for a few decades just out of curiosity.
 

When I first read Spellfire, their ages didn't really bother me, because I was younger than them. Sixteen practically seemed an adult to me. Heck, someone in their late twenties would've been old.

Now that I'm (ahem, much) older, it does come across as a bit creepy. But then again, there's stuff like Piers Anthony's Xanth, which kids routinely read, and is very creepy.

The main character 16 yr old girl and the man (boy) she agreed to marry after knowing him all of 1 day are taken to Elminsters tower for protection. Elminster offers them his bedchambers and basically says to this pair of 16 year olds "Feel free to bang one out, but keep the screaming down." And I get medieval times and adult adventuring age is different from modern sensibilities etc but even that aside some old dude telling a couple to "Feel free to go to town on each other" is very... wow.
 


DarkCrisis

Legend
When I first read Spellfire, their ages didn't really bother me, because I was younger than them. Sixteen practically seemed an adult to me. Heck, someone in their late twenties would've been old.

Now that I'm (ahem, much) older, it does come across as a bit creepy. But then again, there's stuff like Piers Anthony's Xanth, which kids routinely read, and is very creepy.
Yeah I tried to read the first book a couple years ao and checked out about half way through after it got a bit sexist. Read up on the rest of it and yeah... wow that's a lot of sexism.
 

I read plenty of the Xanth books when I was a kid, but when I tried to read one more recently, I couldn't do it. I'm neither a prude nor a "will no one think of the children" sort of person, but it honestly turned my stomach that this was something that was marketed to kids.

Yeah I tried to read the first book a couple years ao and checked out about half way through after it got a bit sexist. Read up on the rest of it and yeah... wow that's a lot of sexism.
 

TheSword

Legend
We sometimes need to wrestle with the fact that people who are nice in many ways can also be not-so-great in many ways.
Okay. But if we were talking about any other poster on these forums we would have to be respectful about it.

I wouldn’t be allowed to make pretty strong allegations about someone for instance without having some pretty strong evidence to support it. At least I would hope this would be the case.
 


Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I imagine there are parts of America not to mention the rest of the world where there wasn’t a whole lot of diversity.
Ooooh, yeah!

My freshman year roomie stopped in the doorway when he first saw me. (He wasn’t racist per se, he just literally didn’t know any black people.) There’s a couple in Kamchatka that insisted on taking a picture of me when I was in a Budapest. They wanted PROOF.

…and I’m more of a caramel than chocolatey or darker.
 

TheSword

Legend
That his writing tends to the immaturely sexist is there for us all to see, and has been quoted.
Well it might be immaturely sexual. I’m not going to agree that it’s sexist. It seems like the writing is pretty indiscriminate between the male and female characters. He put a female lead in a heroic role and described spellfire coming from her breast …. Note not breasts.

That criticism of Greenwood, segued into a pretty strong attack on him and others. But the point is this is a thread about him, he writes on here from time to time as I understand it and I just think people should be more careful.

It’s OK to not like Ed Greenwood books, but as I said, if it was any other forum poster that was being discussed I think you’d have your moderator hat on and be cooling things down.
 
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DarkCrisis

Legend
Almost done with it, the 2nd half is actually really good.

The first half is just bad. I'm sure kids back in the day loved the "And the 2 wizards blasted 2 Draco-liches, 1 Black Dragon, and 2 Archmages to oblivion back to back and then got it on in a pile of gold" (this is not accurate to the scenes but all that still happened more or less).

If I were to do a re-write I'd somehow swap the stuff that happens in the 2nd half with the 1st half. Training, Elminster, deciding on a path. Then obliterating Draco-Liches likes like they aren't an issue.
 

Well it might be immaturely sexual. I’m not going to agree that it’s sexist. It seems like the writing is pretty indiscriminate between the male and female characters. He put a female lead in a heroic role and described spellfire coming from her breast …. Note not breasts.

That criticism of Greenwood, segued into a pretty strong attack on him and others. But the point is this is a thread about him, he writes on here from time to time as I understand it and I just think people should be more careful.

It’s OK to note like Ed Greenwood books, but as I said, if it was any other forum poster that was being discussed I think you’d have your moderator hat on and be cooling things down.
It's interesting to me that we've cycled from 'talking about breasts is bad because it's indecent' in the 50s to 'talking about breasts is OK because sex is OK' in the 90s (when the book was published) to 'talking about breasts is bad because it's sexist' in the 10s and 20s. (In the 2050s? Who knows?)

To me it just says the human animal has the same impulses (often conflicting), and finds different rationalizations based on the time. We all (well, most of us) want sex, but if we have it indiscriminately there are problems. The old morality went away, now a new one comes about to serve the same purpose. But that is my opinion only.

There's also a shift now in the definition of '-isms' from intent (ill will or stereotyping of the group) to impact (produces a negative impact on the group, including emotional).
 
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DarkCrisis

Legend
Weird that this is the Greenwoodism that gets people's goat, when he canonically established Mirt as marrying his own (Adoptive) daughter.
Didn't Elminster raise some of the Seven Sisters and end up hooking up with one?

Anywho, finished the book. I liked the second half. Def comes off as some kind of wish fulfillment book. The level 1 Thief gains THE ULTIMATE POWER and obliterates no less than 3 Dracoliches, 100 cultists, not to mention several monsters and assassins and archmages. Oh and meets, sleeps with (and gets pregnant) and marries her true love within the span of a few days. Plus makes friends with perhaps Faeruns most powerful mages, organization, and a King.
 
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