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D&D General The Rakshasa and Genie Problem

That is not SFW and I'd likely write someone up if they had that displayed where their coworkers could see it.
My apologies. As far as I was aware, if it wasn't nude or lewd, it was sufficient to be SFW. I have edited the post to reflect that my opinion of its subject matter is not everyone's, and that people should be cautious clicking the link.
 

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That's the real issue, isn't it? They are wearing the cultural garb of a people while being evil. The hobgoblins in Asian armor had the same problem. Maybe we should eliminate creatures wearing cultural garb or even just drastically reduce the art depicting said creatures.
T-shirts and board shorts all the way.

Alternatively, we can keep the cultural garb and just remove all evil creatures.
 

MGibster

Legend
Do you work in a monastery?
I don't know what environment you work in where it's acceptable to display artwork featuring a scantily clad person with pubic hair poking up through their banana hammock. But I work in a professional office environment and that image is not appropriate. I'm not offended, I didn't open it at work or anything, but it's not SFW from where I'm sitting.
 

MGibster

Legend
My apologies. As far as I was aware, if it wasn't nude or lewd, it was sufficient to be SFW. I have edited the post to reflect that my opinion of its subject matter is not everyone's, and that people should be cautious clicking the link.
No big deal or anything. I'm certainly not cruising this website on a work computer.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
I don't know what environment you work in where it's acceptable to display artwork featuring a scantily clad person with pubic hair poking up through their banana hammock. But I work in a professional office environment and that image is not appropriate. I'm not offended, I didn't open it at work or anything, but it's not SFW from where I'm sitting.
I dunno. My boss wear that all the time.
 

Hey look, things I never said!

In fact, I never said anything about efreet in general. I suggested not having monocultures and singular alignments (with the unspoken implication of not using alignment at all) and not having them be the only representatives of the equivalent of the culture they were lifted from.
Are you ready to tell me about your ideal D&D yet? I've asked twice, and got good answers from others. Again, see a whole of no, with very little yes. One of the yeses I did see was essentially a complete rewrite of the efreet, such that they are fundamentally unrecognizable. Not my cup of tea, but a real answer at least. What do you want out of the game?
 




Sold to him by white Europeans.

I hope you see the irony that you’re saying that the sheikh is a stereotypical Arab because he’s involved in slavery… something he’s being sold by white Europeans. With their history of 400 years of the slave trade.

If a stereotype is applied to everyone, it’s ceases to be a stereotype.

I think people understand now that modern slavery happens in sweatshops in your local city, cleaners trapped expensive townhouses and young women sold the promise of a better life. It’s universal, it’s happening round the corner from you and isn’t restricted to any creed or culture.

I mean, you're premise is wrong because they weren't "White Europeans", they were Albanians, which are not generally considered "white" by European standards and often play into Muslim panics.
 

If you can only see the deliberate, then you miss what a lot of minorities have to deal with. I don't know what to tell you other than you need to be able to look beyond, because if you only see the deliberate you are only seeing a small part of the picture. While you dismiss it as the equivalent of "conspiracy theorizing", your view comes across as a world where subtext doesn't exist.

Again, see my other post, but I think getting more into real world issues is going to get thorny as we've had several mod warnings. Suffice to say I understand the racial and identity issue better than you might think. But I don't we can really spend more effort on that front here.

In terms of subtext. Of course I believe subtext exists. I do however come from more of a history background and have always felt intent is an important consideration in reading subtext. Also whether something is an obvious message of a piece of media, versus a hidden one you have to tease out, I think matters a lot in terms of cultural importance (and believe me I love looking for esoteric meaning in films, literature, etc------I just don't think I put as much stock in the esoteric subtext as you might). Also I think some of these analytical lenses become self fulfilling. That is one reason why when it comes to the question of whether a work of art presents a problem, I think you need a much higher bar than 'it could be read this way'. And I do think there is a correlation to some of the kind of reasoning you see around certain types of media analysis and the stuff we saw in the 80s with concern over subliminal messages in music, the impact of heavy metal and rock n roll on culture, etc. Not only were a lot the ideas behind things like subliminal messaging completely wrong (both in terms of the subliminal messages being and in terms of the power such messages would have), but a lot of the analysis critics were doing of the music and its content stopped once they found the bad thing they wanted to find: they didn't examine the layers of meaning and put it into any kind of reasonable context that the listeners knew it had. So I am not against analysis or delving into subtext. I am wary of people who claim to decode media to find issues with it, and I am wary of just accepting their analysis (especially when it requires an advanced language and decoding system to even see the message that might be there).
 

Again, see my other post, but I think getting more into real world issues is going to get thorny as we've had several mod warnings. Suffice to say I understand the racial and identity issue better than you might think. But I don't we can really spend more effort on that front here.

In terms of subtext. Of course I believe subtext exists. I do however come from more of a history background and have always felt intent is an important consideration in reading subtext. Also whether something is an obvious message of a piece of media, versus a hidden one you have to tease out, I think matters a lot in terms of cultural importance (and believe me I love looking for esoteric meaning in films, literature, etc------I just don't think I put as much stock in the esoteric subtext as you might). Also I think some of these analytical lenses become self fulfilling. That is one reason why when it comes to the question of whether a work of art presents a problem, I think you need a much higher bar than 'it could be read this way'. And I do think there is a correlation to some of the kind of reasoning you see around certain types of media analysis and the stuff we saw in the 80s with concern over subliminal messages in music, the impact of heavy metal and rock n roll on culture, etc. Not only were a lot the ideas behind things like subliminal messaging completely wrong (both in terms of the subliminal messages being and in terms of the power such messages would have), but a lot of the analysis critics were doing of the music and its content stopped once they found the bad thing they wanted to find: they didn't examine the layers of meaning and put it into any kind of reasonable context that the listeners knew it had. So I am not against analysis or delving into subtext. I am wary of people who claim to decode media to find issues with it, and I am wary of just accepting their analysis (especially when it requires an advanced language and decoding system to even see the message that might be there).

Like, I feel like tying such things to "intent" misses casual stereotypes and the harms they do. Like, you should look up the discussion around calling an African-American person "articulate", because I feel like it shows how intent doesn't really matter.
 


The City of Brass has Arabesque architecture and it's ruled by a Grand Sultan, for Pelor's sake. And you know what that Sultan's name is? Marrake al-Sidan al-Hariq ben Lazan.
The Sultan's name in 4E was changed, for whatever reason, to Bashumgarda. I don't know off the top of my head if a name has been given for 5E.
 

Fair enough. I'm not entitled to know. But if you don't say what you do want, and spend your time instead telling us what you don't, you're presenting yourself in a potentially negative way.

I think it's worth noting that while it's good to have ideas about how to change thing, sometimes you can simply think something is wrong without having something in mind to fix it. Like, my solution was just something off the top of my head because you asked, so it's not going to be perfect. I can understand why some people don't want to put themselves out there when they haven't come up with a solution they've really thought about.

The Sultan's name in 4E was changed, for whatever reason, to Bashumgarda. I don't know off the top of my head if a name has been given for 5E.

I can believe that. I'm sure the FR's wiki info could be old, though still the point is that the Efreet are still obviously meant to be coded Arab.
 

I mean, you can disagree with me all you want, but your point is "I don't think they meant that", which doesn't really address the fact that it's still there. And going for the historical defense is very weak given that this is a work of fiction and we can include anything and everything we want. But the only ones where even the good race all have slaves and it is an integral feature of them. At this point this all comes off as pleading not to look at what is directly in front of us, to ignore what our eyes see rather clearly.

I don't think it is ignoring what is in front of us. It is us all examining the same thing, looking at the same data, and reaching different conclusions. That is normal. People are different and assess media in different ways. I am not saying history justifies it being there (the thing that justifies it being there or not is if it works for the setting and adds something useful to it). But the history explains why it might be there. When we make fantasy settings we are usually drawing on historical examples for things like structures to institutions. To be the most likely explanation for why it is there, is they leaned heavily on that kind of source material while developing the Genie. As to why even the good genie have slaves, I don't know. I imagine that is also a byproduct of that, or possibly the byproduct of an involved conversation among the designers where it made some kind of sense to them. Like I said, I think having a good culture own slaves, is a bad idea just in terms of alignment (and again I can easily imagine a conversation that somehow got them there, just like we sometimes end up in very weird places from conversations on threads because logic leads us astray if any of our underlying premises are wrong). And more important, it is not at all clear to me, and to a number of other people in the thread that this is actual stereotype. But I certainly don't think that is why it is there. I think they decided to model genie culture on a particular set of historical examples, and those historical examples had slaves. I am not familiar enough with the realms to know if any other good society has slaves. But I think having good cultures that own slaves is odd given the alignment system.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
But if you don't say what you do want, and spend your time instead telling us what you don't, you're presenting yourself in a potentially negative way.
Also nope.

I get paid for this stuff. Why would I give it away for free so someone can use it as ammo to prove I'm not sufficiently 'D&D' enough for an argument?
 


I think it's worth noting that while it's good to have ideas about how to change thing, sometimes you can simply think something is wrong without having something in mind to fix it. Like, my solution was just something off the top of my head because you asked, so it's not going to be perfect. I can understand why some people don't want to put themselves out there when they haven't come up with a solution they've really thought about.



I can believe that. I'm sure the FR's wiki info could be old, though still the point is that the Efreet are still obviously meant to be coded Arab.
And if that's Vaalingrade's answer, I respect it. But they have stated in other threads that they have run many campaigns over the years, so I think it is reasonable to assume they do have a version of D&D they prefer.
 


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