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"The Future of D&D is International" (Inverse article)

Derren

Adventurer
China has burned some RPG books, but it's not some blanket policy but instead mostly dependent on the whims of individual censors (which is it's own sort of problem). China is totally fine dealing with mysticism, fantasy, and violence, the bigger problem they have is foreign mysticism-fantasy-violence.
No, it has nothing to do with it being foreign. There is no blanket acceptance of fantasy and mysticism in China. Undead and Ghosts are a very problematic. The reason mostly forgeign productions are targeted is simply that chinese companies know better what is acceptable and what is not while many foreign companies just assume that it works like in Europe or America.

For D&D to succeed, or even to be allowed in China it has to change, especially when it comes to adventures. That either means that the chinese D&D won't actually be D&D or that WotC decides the chinese market is more important and all future D&D products will follow the rules China has on content.
 
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MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen... Be nice plz n_n
I'm afraid I don't agree. I went to a local game convention last weekend and they were selling rock candy polyhedral dice. The future of D&D is delicious.
Reminds me that my dog used to think dice were candy and he wanted some...
 

gyor

Adventurer
No, it has nothing to do with it being foreign. There is no blanket acceptance of fantasy and mysticism in China. Undead and Ghosts are a very problematic. The reason mostly forgeign productions are targeted is simply that chinese companies know better what is acceptable and what is not while many foreign companies just assume that it works like in Europe or America.

For D&D to succeed, or even to be allowed in China it has to change, especially when it comes to adventures. That either means that the chinese D&D won't actually be D&D or that WotC decides the chinese market is more important and all future D&D products will follow the rules China has on content.
Actually from what I hear printed books aren't as censored as hard as digital stuff by Chinese authorities. You can even find some subversive titles in Chinese book stores. So D&D MIGHT get away with not being censored.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Registered User
There are some differences between the glossary of Spain and Hispanoamerican, but not too much. Here in Spain we can see Hispanoamerican telenovels, "los culebrones" (the big snakes, the nickname for the soap operas, because they are very long, with many episodes).

A Taiwanese company could publish its own third party setting for D&D, and Japan and Korea, but continental China is different. There you couldn't publish World of Darkness. We could search a list of anime and manga banned by Chinese censorship.
 

Derren

Adventurer
Actually from what I hear printed books aren't as censored as hard as digital stuff by Chinese authorities. You can even find some subversive titles in Chinese book stores. So D&D MIGHT get away with not being censored.
That didn't save the Cuthulu books and they were not even intended to be sold in China.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen... Be nice plz n_n
There are some differences between the glossary of Spain and Hispanoamerican, but not too much. Here in Spain we can see Hispanoamerican telenovels, "los culebrones" (the big snakes, the nickname for the soap operas, because they are very long, with many episodes).
But the reverse is not true, beyond some exceptions like -El gran juego de la Oca- Spaniard content doesn't fare too well in Hispanic America -because the lexicon and register is just too different-. On the other hand dubs and productions made in the Bogota-Buenos Aires-Caracas-Mexico-Miami-Santiago circle freely move between both continents and gain widespread recognition. Spain's Spanish is just too insular, and lacks the prestige that -for example- the RP accent has to make up for it.

A Taiwanese company could publish its own third party setting for D&D, and Japan and Korea, but continental China is different. There you couldn't publish World of Darkness. We could search a list of anime and manga banned by Chinese censorship.
Yet it's a huge potential demographic that cannot be ignored, Chinese, Spanish and Hindi/Urdu are the three languages with the most native speakers -other than English-. But yeah continental restrictions in content are hard to work with. We could be talking about getting rid of Celestials, Deities and the Cleric class...
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
What's the problem with ghosts and the undead in China?
Communist party sees it as stupid superstition for old peasants that leave fruit in the fields for luck and food out for Hungary Ghosts. Throw in a side helping of reverence for ancestors.

They want to be seen as a modern industrial nation. They're a bit touchy. No religious freedom either see Falun Gong or the Catholic Church or Xinjiang.

My old lecturer was over there in the 80s and he said there's all sorts of things you can trip up on. For example he used red ink and that was a no no. Only Chairman Mao used red ink.
 
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Mistwell

Adventurer
Hasn't china recently burned a lot of RPG books that were printed over there?
Just one. The Sassoon Files. A Cthulu sourcebook set in...1920s China.

Chinas censorship is certainly a big obstacle for D&D and many other fantasy RPGs over there, especially their stance on undead. But even apart from that, the chinese mentality is very different from the one in the west.
There is no real risk of censorship unless your book features China. As far as I know, they've never censored any other RPG books, and lots of undead books have been printed there.

That didn't save the Cuthulu books and they were not even intended to be sold in China.
Because it was ABOUT 1920s CHINA.
 
That quote might be a bit out of context:

The article talks about the romance of having books, then it goes on to talk about the problems of books and other such props:



And to be honest, it's rapidly becoming non-practical for urban US games, due to the reality of apartments, and other cramped living conditions.
Well it really is a self imposed problem. No one is forcing people to live in the "cool" urban settings, they are making those choices when they do not have to.
 

Azzy

Explorer
No, it has nothing to do with it being foreign. There is no blanket acceptance of fantasy and mysticism in China. Undead and Ghosts are a very problematic. The reason mostly forgeign productions are targeted is simply that chinese companies know better what is acceptable and what is not while many foreign companies just assume that it works like in Europe or America.

For D&D to succeed, or even to be allowed in China it has to change, especially when it comes to adventures. That either means that the chinese D&D won't actually be D&D or that WotC decides the chinese market is more important and all future D&D products will follow the rules China has on content.
There's a Chinese comic book seriers (and an animated adaption) that is all about supernatural martial arts, and feature jiangshi (which are undead), and such. So, I don't know how strict such a censoring is on such topics.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
Just one. The Sassoon Files. A Cthulu sourcebook set in...1920s China.



There is no real risk of censorship unless your book features China. As far as I know, they've never censored any other RPG books, and lots of undead books have been printed there.



Because it was ABOUT 1920s CHINA.
Some games I play are banned in chiina because it's set in the 30s with China fractured and independent Tibet.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
There's a Chinese comic book seriers (and an animated adaption) that is all about supernatural martial arts, and feature jiangshi (which are undead), and such. So, I don't know how strict such a censoring is on such topics.
It's arbitrary and maybe even who bribed who.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Registered User
We are talking about the industry of speculative fiction by non-English-speaker countries, aren't we?

If there is a new D&D Oriental Adventures for Asian players, the "kemonomimi" (animal-ears) as should be a PC race, or do you think hengeyokai are enough?.

The RPGs are little sector of the entertainment industry if we compare it with the videogames, and most of them are made by Americans or Japanese studios. I am afraid the roleplayers are a minority in the geek-fanboys community in non-English speaker countries. But the future of most famous RPGs franchises aren't only in the pencil-&-dices games, but also in other options like videogames, toys, novels, comics or cartoons.

The Japanese manganime industry can create a lot of new franchises and IP (intellectual property), but South-Korea also can publish Manhwa (Korean manga), and I dare to say this has more future than Manhua (from China). Legend of the five rings is a "western" franchise inspired in feudal Japan, but there is also Wuxia rpg "Legends of Wulin" by Eos Press. Maybe a western third company could publish a setting inspired in Asian culture, for example "the Koryo Hall of Adventures" by Red Scale Publishing for D&D 5th is inspired in Korean culture, but it is not only for Koreans.

The future of Chinese fantasy is out of China, and not only in Taiwan, but artists working in other countries without troubles about censorship, and maybe these are the most ferocious anti-Maotists in the same way Cubans living in Miami hate Castrism.

India is a country with millions of citizens, but there the fanboys are a minority. Speculative fiction isn't enough popular in Bollywood to create a blockbuster franchise. Maybe other country could publish a fantasy setting inspired in Indian civilization, like the manga "the legend of the Heavenly Sphere Shurato", or the comic "Spiderman: India".

You shouldn't forget European fantasy isn't only British Island and brother Grimm's fairy tales, but there are a rich folklore from other countries like Spain, France, Italy or Russia. The Witcher is a famous franchise, but it is from Poland.

* Spanish language has lots of different accents, and colloquial lexicon can change in the different regiones. Accent by Mexicans aren't like the Cubans, Argentinians or Colombians, and in Spain the colloquial accent from Galicia, Asturias o Andalucia isn't equal. We notice the difference when the voice actors of cartoons and videogames are Americans or Spanish but usually written books use a neutral Spanish, and more when is a fantasy medieval setting, without the colloquial tone of modern urban age.
 

Derren

Adventurer
Just one. The Sassoon Files. A Cthulu sourcebook set in...1920s China.



There is no real risk of censorship unless your book features China. As far as I know, they've never censored any other RPG books, and lots of undead books have been printed there.



Because it was ABOUT 1920s CHINA.
If you want to see it that way.

It doesn't change that, for example in video games, World of Warcraft had to change all their undead models and Rainbow 6 (modern shooter without any supernatural content) altered their skull icon for indicating kills. Its not that china disallows undead in general, but there are several requirements you have to observe when you have them, including in the art.

We are talking about the industry of speculative fiction by non-English-speaker countries, aren't we?

If there is a new D&D Oriental Adventures for Asian players, the "kemonomimi" (animal-ears) as should be a PC race, or do you think hengeyokai are enough?.

Careful, Asia isn't just Japan.
 
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Mistwell

Adventurer
If you want to see it that way.
Name one other TRPG product which has been censored.

Otherwise, one does not make a trend. The topic was specifically China, and an era of China which represented a free Tibet, which is a politically sensitive topic rather than purely a culturally sensitive one. That's their stated reason for censoring it. I am not justifying their censorship but I don't think it's just "my way of seeing things" to say that is in fact the reason it was censored and that reason does not in fact apply to things like ghosts and undead, which are arguably culturally sensitive topics but which are not politically sensitive ones.

It doesn't change that, for example in video games...
It doesn't change the price of tea either. We're talking about TRPGs, not video games. Chinese censorship isn't uniform across all mediums. Their approach to print is pretty different than their approach to television, movies, and video games.
 
No, it has nothing to do with it being foreign. There is no blanket acceptance of fantasy and mysticism in China. Undead and Ghosts are a very problematic. The reason mostly forgeign productions are targeted is simply that chinese companies know better what is acceptable and what is not while many foreign companies just assume that it works like in Europe or America.

For D&D to succeed, or even to be allowed in China it has to change, especially when it comes to adventures. That either means that the chinese D&D won't actually be D&D or that WotC decides the chinese market is more important and all future D&D products will follow the rules China has on content.
It absolutely has to do with foreign-ness. If you look at the most popular mobile games in China, the ones that include fantasy and mysticism were all developed in China.

http://www.chinawhisper.com/top-8-chinese-gaming-apps-of-2018/

Now I'm not saying D&D in its current form would work in China, the demon/devil stuff is obviously problematic and a skeleton on the cover of the DMG isn't going to work either. But WotC can find a local company in China to partner with, to at bare minimum get the game's ruleset into China.
 
The officially atheistic materialist Party takes a dim view of deviation from Maoist doctrine, though it's not exactly 1979 over there.
Communist party sees it as stupid superstition for old peasants that leave fruit in the fields for luck and food out for Hungary Ghosts. Throw in a side helping of reverence for ancestors.

They want to be seen as a modern industrial nation. They're a bit touchy. No religious freedom either see Falun Gong or the Catholic Church or Xinjiang.

My old lecturer was over there in the 80s and he said there's all sorts of things you can trip up on. For example he used red ink and that was a no no. Only Chairman Mao used red ink.
I thought it might be that, but it just seems pretty arbitrary given all the fantasy stuff they produce nowadays.
 

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