D&D General The Art and the Artist: Discussing Problematic Issues in D&D

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I don't actually think most people who unironically like the Imperium are fascists at heart.
Depends what you mean by “fascists at heart.” I don’t think most unironic fans of the Imperium are like full-on Nazi sympathizers or anything. But I think the Imperium especially appeals to people who have a greater than average tendency towards authoritarianism. Very few people are gung-ho fascists, but lots of people are all too eager to fall in line behind a strong leader.
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
That feels like a bad idea since you might as well be reading something else.
I mean… I literally am reading something else. Like, I own a copy of Lovecraft’s complete works and I have read them. But in general if I want cosmic horror, I look elsewhere. He may have originated the genre, but it has grown so much since him and later artists just do it better.
 

Irlo

Hero
Well, okay. But each of your examples sure sounds like people who are responding to something they find offensive. Which I'm not knocking because offense is a perfectly valid reaction.
Hmm. Then I didn't explain myself very well. I'll try this:

One can be aware of the harms done to people without being offended. One can be made uncomfortable by sexually suggestive materials without being offended. One can see exclusion without being offended. One can not want to deal with real world trauma in an escapist fantasy without being offended.

I think often the focus is on offense, and that's not the issue, or not the issue in its entirety. And conflating offense with the other issues leads to those often-seen dismissive claims that we're looking for things to be offended by, or we're offended on behalf of others, etc. To be clear, I'm not suggesting you are doing any of that. But that's why it's important to me to frame this in terms other than offense. Because people can be harmed, excluded, or kept out of games for a lot of reasons other than offense.
 


MGibster

Legend
I've collected far far more 40K then I reasonably should, and the ones I've never finished/played, are all Imperial. It truly is the 'Bad Guy' of the setting to me, and I simply cannot square away what it represents, from the game side lol.
In 2021, I started purchasing and painting an Imperial Knight army. I'm about finished painting the last one I'll get for a while, and I suddenly find myself contemplating Chaos Knights. I have a problem. I've never had a problem playing the bad guys in a war game. I'll play the Germans, the Confederates, the Romans, or whoever.


IMperial Knight_Styrix.JPG


But I think the Imperium especially appeals to people who have a greater than average tendency towards authoritarianism. Very few people are gung-ho fascists, but lots of people are all too eager to fall in line behind a strong leader.
Maybe. I can't say I've noticed this among the people I play the game with face-to-face.

Like, I own a copy of Lovecraft’s complete works and I have read them. But in general if I want cosmic horror, I look elsewhere. He may have originated the genre, but it has grown so much since him and later artists just do it better.
This is certainly true. If you want to run cosmic horror you don't have to directly reference Lovecraft.
 


Scribe

Legend
I've never had a problem playing the bad guys in a war game. I'll play the Germans, the Confederates, the Romans, or whoever.
I think I've probably just spent way too much time (like...way too much) debating, or thinking about 40K. Decades.

The Imperium IS intentionally over the top, it IS satire, and I get that, but even then, I'd never want to 'defend' it. Weird, probably, but it is what it is.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Maybe. I can't say I've noticed this among the people I play the game with face-to-face.
Yeah, fair enough; I haven’t actually played the game, so I can’t speak to that. I imagine though, that most Space Marine players, though they may love the gameplay, the aesthetics, and the story of the Imperium, still recognize them as the bad guys, and wouldn’t want to emulate them. This, from what I understand, is not true of the fascist contingent of the fandom. They actually idolize the Imperium.

This is certainly true. If you want to run cosmic horror you don't have to directly reference Lovecraft.
And hey, I think the Cthulhu mythos is pretty neat. There’s lots good stuff there to be mines for games. There’s just also lots of stuff I think it’s better to leave behind. I wouldn’t run Masks of Nyarlathotep again without significant rewrites.
 

Scribe

Legend
I imagine though, that most Space Marine players, though they may love the gameplay, the aesthetics, and the story of the Imperium, still recognize them as the bad guys, and wouldn’t want to emulate them. This, from what I understand, is not true of the fascist contingent of the fandom. They actually idolize the Imperium.
I think it is also a generational thing. If you came into the hobby when it was new, decades ago, it was understood that they were not the good guys.

GW is not without blame here either. They absolutely had periods where they portrayed things in a more heroic light, without the balance of "oh by the way, these are tortured children who are emotionally stunted killing machines and the Imperium deserves to burn."
 

MGibster

Legend
One can be aware of the harms done to people without being offended. One can be made uncomfortable by sexually suggestive materials without being offended. One can see exclusion without being offended. One can not want to deal with real world trauma in an escapist fantasy without being offended.

I don't agree with this assessment and I suspect you and I use offense in a different manner. And I honestly don't even know how to address that.
 

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