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TSR Running list of potential problematic issues in TSR era DnD

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Sacrosanct

Legend
How is this going to generate actual good things happening, versus the destruction or censorship of old material?

I'm actually not a fan of the cheesecake/beefcake for religious and modesty reasons.... but if you want to cancel beefcake and cheesecake, you will have to go back a few hundred years to some of the best artists of all history and start putting clothes on their work. Artists like to show muscles and curves as a way of displaying their mastery of their art, or something like that. It's certainly harder to draw a barbarian (either gender) with 20d6 individual muscles on display than it is a person in featureless plate armor.
No one is destroying or censoring older artwork. This is from a go forward perspective.
Also, as an artist myself over the past 40 years, it is not significantly harder to draw anatomy than armor. Both are as low detailed as you want, and both can be very complex if you want. It’s preference. No artist I know insists on drawing anatomy as a way to display their mastery unless their specialty as an artist is anatomy. What an odd thing to say.
 

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teitan

Hero
Running lists like this is just looking for trouble. It's the equivalent of book burning really. Things should be taken with the time in which they occurred and accepted instead of looking for issues with them. Instead focus on not using those elements in your own material than looking at the past and calling what was then innocuous and, like in D&D, harmless, and calling it problematic. It invites accusations of racism, sexism etc. where in the time these terms had a different meaning. Looking for it and pointing it out is an entirely negative approach to progress.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Running lists like this is just looking for trouble. It's the equivalent of book burning really. Things should be taken with the time in which they occurred and accepted instead of looking for issues with them. Instead focus on not using those elements in your own material than looking at the past and calling what was then innocuous and, like in D&D, harmless, and calling it problematic. It invites accusations of racism, sexism etc. where in the time these terms had a different meaning. Looking for it and pointing it out is an entirely negative approach to progress.
Again, no one is burning books. Stop with the hyperbole please. I had two rules I asked. Apparently that was too much to ask....

you could have just ignored this thread...
 

ShinHakkaider

Adventurer
Running lists like this is just looking for trouble. It's the equivalent of book burning really. Things should be taken with the time in which they occurred and accepted instead of looking for issues with them. Instead focus on not using those elements in your own material than looking at the past and calling what was then innocuous and, like in D&D, harmless, and calling it problematic. It invites accusations of racism, sexism etc. where in the time these terms had a different meaning. Looking for it and pointing it out is an entirely negative approach to progress.
Innocuous to whom exactly?

Also I'm pretty sure that the meanings of racism and sexism to the people affected by them have remained fairly consistent.

This is like the people who defend HP Lovecraft's virulent racism by saying he was a product of his time. NO, even for his time he was a virulent racist. Because there were other people at that time who knew that it was vile and wrong. D&D had problematic parts. To ignore it because it seemed harmless to a particular demographic is to diminish the effects that it may have had on other demographics. It's like the people who insist that systematic racism isnt a real problem when they are the least likely to be affected by systematic racism. Instead of diminishing it maybe try and show some empathy. Or at the bare minimum not show up to kick sand in the eyes of people who actually want to discuss this.
 

MGibster

Legend
When you look at the harlot table out of context it seems silly. But if you're creating a table of random encounters in an urban area I don't think it's unreasonable to include prostitutes. Open up Marvel's Savage Sword of Conan issue #1 and our titular hero encounters harlots within the first 1-2 pages (brazen strumpets or saucy tarts as I recall). When you place the harlot table in it's proper context, random encounters of people you might find in a city, it doesn't seem out of place or unreasonable.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
When you look at the harlot table out of context it seems silly. But if you're creating a table of random encounters in an urban area I don't think it's unreasonable to include prostitutes. Open up Marvel's Savage Sword of Conan issue #1 and our titular hero encounters harlots within the first 1-2 pages (brazen strumpets or saucy tarts as I recall). When you place the harlot table in it's proper context, random encounters of people you might find in a city, it doesn't seem out of place or unreasonable.
Two things. First, it WAS silly even at the time, and quickly realized as such almost immediately and thus removed later. Largely because while yes, one could encounter a sex worker in a city, it was unusually robust for an entry, and the implication that sex workers are largely liars and thieves is problematic.

Secondly, the point of this thread was explicitly NOT to judge the game through the eyes of 1979 gamers, but to identify which things of the game back then would be problematic to include in games going forward.

All these posts defending how things were back then completely miss the point. No offense, and not directed at you specifically.
 

MGibster

Legend
This is like the people who defend HP Lovecraft's virulent racism by saying he was a product of his time. NO, even for his time he was a virulent racist. Because there were other people at that time who knew that it was vile and wrong.
And there were a great many who would have agreed with Lovecraft. During his lifetime, lynchings were a common occurrence, the 2nd incarnation of the Ku Klux Klan had millions of members and was a mainstream organization, the Asiatic Barred Zone Act of 1915 just one in a many of a series of laws designed to keep Asians (Chinese mostly) out of the United States, and there was a strong nativist undercurrent as many Americans didn't want southern or eastern European immigrants. I don't say any of this to defend Lovecraft's beliefs, they were abhorrent, but such abhorrent beliefs were not uncommon in the United States in the early 20th century. (And of course there were plenty of Americans who actively worked against those abhorrent ideals held by their fellow countrymen.)

To ignore it because it seemed harmless to a particular demographic is to diminish the effects that it may have had on other demographics. It's like the people who insist that systematic racism isnt a real problem when they are the least likely to be affected by systematic racism. Instead of diminishing it maybe try and show some empathy.
I don't think it needs to be ignored. But is there a point to this besides pointing and feeling good about how much better we are today? There's probably an interesting discussion to be had about why these things were acceptable in the 70s and early 80s when they're not now.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Anti-inclusive content
Two things. First, it WAS silly even at the time, and quickly realized as such almost immediately and thus removed later. Largely because while yes, one could encounter a sex worker in a city, it was unusually robust for an entry, and the implication that sex workers are largely liars and thieves is problematic.

Secondly, the point of this thread was explicitly NOT to judge the game through the eyes of 1979 gamers, but to identify which things of the game back then would be problematic to include in games going forward.

All these posts defending how things were back then completely miss the point. No offense, and not directed at you specifically.

What's the point then virtue signaling? Most of this stuff got purged years ago and isn't included in modern OSR games either.

Hell most OSR games are based off B/X and OD&D.

Also it was a product of its time. Not defending it but that's why it was printed that way.

Go read a housewife book from the 60's. Product of its time.
 

MGibster

Legend
Two things. First, it WAS silly even at the time, and quickly realized as such almost immediately and thus removed later. Largely because while yes, one could encounter a sex worker in a city, it was unusually robust for an entry, and the implication that sex workers are largely liars and thieves is problematic.
Where did you get the impression that it said they were largely liars and thieves? There's a 30% they might have useful information, 15% chance they might lie about having useful information, and a 20% chance they might be working with a thief. Math isn't my strongest subject but they're 80% likely not be thieves and 85% likely not to be liars.

Secondly, the point of this thread was explicitly NOT to judge the game through the eyes of 1979 gamers, but to identify which things of the game back then would be problematic to include in games going forward.

Are we really worried someone is going to bring the harlot table back?
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
What's the point then virtue signaling? Most of this stuff got purged years ago and isn't included in modern OSR games either.

Hell most OSR games are based off B/X and OD&D.

Also it was a product of its time. Not defending it but that's why it was printed that way.

Go read a housewife book from the 60's. Product of its time.
Reread my first post. There you will find the point. And it’s not virtual signaling.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Where did you get the impression that it said they were largely liars and thieves? There's a 30% they might have useful information, 15% chance they might lie about having useful information, and a 20% chance they might be working with a thief. Math isn't my strongest subject but they're 80% likely not be thieves and 85% likely not to be liars.



Are we really worried someone is going to bring the harlot table back?
that’s not how pejorative implications of stereotypes works, and you know it. It was specifically called out how a certain percentage were liars and some were with thieves. If I said, “15% of Jews might lie for money, and 20% of Jews work with thieves”, can you not see the problem of the implication there? Are you really gonna defend that and say, “Well, 85% aren’t liars, so what’s the big deal?”

Also, I’m not worried about the harlot table. I specifically said I knew many of the obvious ones, but as a cishet male, I have blinders on and want to know other things I may have missed. You know, the whole point of this thread.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Reread my first post. There you will find the point. And it’s not virtual signaling.

Why included OSR then? 5E is the current edition.

If you don't like OSR don't play it it's fairly simple. It's not something the designers care about and it's not 1987 and the lead up to 2E.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Why included OSR then? 5E is the current edition.

If you don't like OSR don't play it it's fairly simple. It's not something the designers care about and it's not 1987 and the lead up to 2E.
If you’re not gonna even read my post, I don’t know what to tell you other than maybe just ignore this thread and stop threadcapping if you have nothing to contribute to it.
 

MGibster

Legend
that’s not how pejorative implications of stereotypes works, and you know it. It was specifically called out how a certain percentage were liars and some were with thieves. If I said, “15% of Jews might lie for money, and 20% of Jews work with thieves”, can you not see the problem of the implication there? Are you really gonna defend that and day, “Well, 85% aren’t liars, so what’s the big deal?”
I think it's best that we steer clear of that particular line of discussion.
Also, I’m not worried about the harlot table. I specifically said I knew many of the obvious ones, but as a cishet male, I have blinders on and want to know other things I may have missed. You know, the whole point of this thread.
You brought it up in the first post. It seems to be bothering you.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
I think it's best that we steer clear of that particular line of discussion.

You brought it up in the first post. It seems to be bothering you.
It was just one thing of several that I knew about as obvious problematic issues back then that should be avoided going forward. It didn’t bother me any more than any other item. And none of them “bothered me” per se, it was just a list. Also, you seem to be violating that second rule I asked. So I’ll ask again, if you can’t contribute but instead feel the need to defend those issues, take it elsewhere please.

Seriously, did no one read the OP?
 

ccs

41st lv DM
random_harlot_table.jpg
Ah, one of my favorite tables in any edition of the game. :) Only table better is rolling up loot of Treasure Type H.

This chart?

Sparked quite an interesting discussion around the dinner table. Poor Dad. All he wanted someone to pass the potatoes. Instead his 12 year old blindsides him with questions about what a cheap trollop etc is. He's sitting there in stunned silence with an odd look on his face having barely avoided dropping the potatoes. His 10 & 12 year old kids are staring expectantly at him. And Mom says something along the lines of "This questions all yours honey." & get's up to tinker with something on the stove (I think she was trying very hard not to die laughing).
Dad did answer our questions.
* As an adult I realize this expression is "WTF??? What do I say to this?"

* Has provided a great amount of flavor & amusement (some of it quite juvenile, some considerably deeper) to our games over the decades.

* One of my current 5e players? She found out about this table & used it to roll up her character. Low 80's - Expensive Doxy.
This character & her pre-adventuring background has led to an entire Island nation being added to our campaign!
 
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MGibster

Legend
Also, you seem to be violating that second rule I asked. So I’ll ask again, if you can’t contribute but instead feel the need to defend those issues, take it elsewhere please.
There are likely a lot of people who have never heard of the harlot chart let alone seen it so I thought I'd put it in its proper context. It wasn't just a harlot chart it was part of a larger table detailing random encounters PCs might run into in the city. If you feel as though I'm violating the rules, the proper thing to do is to report my post rather than acting like a moderator. I should have surmised by your opening post that nothing good could come from this discussion and left it alone. That's on me. So I will take my leave of this thread and wish you luck.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
There are likely a lot of people who have never heard of the harlot chart let alone seen it so I thought I'd put it in its proper context. It wasn't just a harlot chart it was part of a larger table detailing random encounters PCs might run into in the city. If you feel as though I'm violating the rules, the proper thing to do is to report my post rather than acting like a moderator. I should have surmised by your opening post that nothing good could come from this discussion and left it alone. That's on me. So I will take my leave of this thread and wish you luck.
Something good already has come out of this thread. That being, issues and potential problem areas I wasn’t previously aware of that I now know to avoid. Sorry you can’t see any value in bringing increased awareness to issues that may be problematic to others. Although it does explain your posts better.
 


Zardnaar

Legend
Why? What's wrong with it? Did the artist fail to follow your instructions? Or were you expecting them to automagically divine that because you'd hired them, that you wanted AA themed art?

I need help here as well. Blacks did wear European armor, there's photos here of pakeha who "went native" with tribal tattoos, moko and Polynesian weapons.

Artist not following instructions?
 

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