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General Two underlying truths: D&D heritage and inclusivity


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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Something is always racist because someone says it is.
Really? So the depiction of orcs by Keith Baker is racist depiction of Latinx? Because a lot of people seem to disagree with that. Truth be told I don't even really believe it all that much. On the other hand all races in D&D are described with one standard caricature with easy to grasp traits.

I know I would tweak the orc fluff if I could, that doesn't make your blanket statement true.
 

Hussar

Legend
Kind of funny how one person's interpretation and association of an orc to one ethnicity is a joke that can be dismissed out of hand, while another's is serious and taken at face value and spawns thousands of posts.

Almost like people can read things into text if they want to whether there's actually a connection or not. :unsure:
Tell you what @Oofta, come back in twenty or thirty years. If you can make the same argument then and point to numerous sources that agree with your interpretation, then we’ll take you seriously.

So close yet so far.
 

Hussar

Legend
Considering that they are now attacking your personally shows that you are on to something. Not that it isn't completely obvious to everyone by now.
This from the poster who insists that anyone who has an issue here is inventing reasons to be offended. :erm:

Hey @Oofta, doesn’t that make you feel all warm and fuzzy to know that that’s the people who agree with you?
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Tell you what @Oofta, come back in twenty or thirty years. If you can make the same argument then and point to numerous sources that agree with your interpretation, then we’ll take you seriously.

So close yet so far.
So what part of "I think some of the description of orcs should change" never seems to get through?
 


Hussar

Legend
It’s almost comical. Pretty much everyone agrees that the language is problematic and should be changed, yet even those who agree are still bringing up counter arguments.

It really is bizarre.
 

Cadence

Adventurer
Supporter
And the search for what is actually offensive about orcs continues. Will it ever find something or do we have to do with a general "its racist because someone said it is"?
From multiple posts earlier in this and other threads:

Historic racism often involved othering different groups to justify their subjugation and killing, including into the lifespans of some posting here. Language that closely mirrors that is often used to describe evil humanoids in D&D. That turns off some players and isn't hard to fix.

One set of quotes to compare is:

That poster has more at:

Two blog posts that go into it and got shared a few times were:



The ask isn't to not have orcs or not have humanoids that are evil, it's to take things that seem pretty like people (subject to charm-person, can be PCs, make 1/2 human 1/2 x children) and make the default be open. And then show a variety of worlds reflecting the variety of possibility (including from various published settings.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Well, since that steroetype is "women" I think that is a rather large enough population of the world that WoTC should consider their opinions.

Sure, one trope among many, but why publish it at all? Seriously, is there some "here are the tropes for DnD" book that I'm not aware of?

You seem to think that just making a big list and saying "here are all the tropes of human storytelling, from the innocent, the grand, the racist and the misgynistic, pick what you like" somehow makes things okay. But not only does that still not make the bad tropes okay, we've never once created a book like that for DnD, so why do it now?

If people are interested in the history, they will research the history, we don't need to publish the entire history in every new book.
No, I don't think that (the big list). But it does seem that are people, including yourself, who think we should make a long list of every D&D that is offensive according to a certain ideological framework, and remove them from the game. I disagree with that.

The damsel in distress is a bit of a red herring because it isn't currently the issue; furthermore, damsels are real humans, orcs and drow are fantasy creatures. But the has already been mostly solved through diversifying the depiction of women, but that diversification doesn't erase the damsel. Similarly with what I am suggesting with orcs: broaden the definition, take a big tent approach that supports numerous depictions.

Right, make them people. Make them more complex than just "all orcs in all worlds are X". That is the proposed solution, but people don't want us to take their orcs from some 60 year old magazine away from them. But we aren't, we are changing things going forwards.
I see three options:

1. Keep orcs the same - makes those wanting them to change unhappy.
2. Change orcs, removing traditional orcs from the game - makes those wanting traditional orcs unhappy.
3. Broaden orcs to include a variety of depictions - my guess is that the vast majority will be happy, except for extremists on either side.

I've been advocating for 3, but I'm not sure if you want 2 or 3. It seems "2.2," which doesn't seem the best approach.

As for duergar, well, maybe we shouldn't go there. As you probably guess, I disagree. I see nothing wrong with a fantasy race that takes justified anger too far into evil.
 

Mercurius

Legend
It’s almost comical. Pretty much everyone agrees that the language is problematic and should be changed, yet even those who agree are still bringing up counter arguments.

It really is bizarre.
I don't think the language is problematic, but I accept that some do and that at this point, some finessing would be beneficial so that, at the least, these sorts of endless arguments dwindle (and we can move onto duergar...erk).
 

Hussar

Legend
/snip

The damsel in distress is a bit of a red herring because it isn't currently the issue; furthermore, damsels are real humans, orcs and drow are fantasy creatures. But the has already been mostly solved through diversifying the depiction of women, but that diversification doesn't erase the damsel. Similarly with what I am suggesting with orcs: broaden the definition, take a big tent approach that supports numerous depictions.

/snip
You mean, ... we shouldn't really worry about stuff that isn't an issue right now, and deal with stuff that actually IS an issue right now? But, but, but, that means we'll have to have this conversation again some time in the future because... well... people will always want to change stuff right... so... we shouldn't do anything until we have 100% of all the potential issue ironed out forevermore.

At least, that's the argument that's been put forth in this thread, more than a few times.

But, yeah, you and I largely agree on what needs to be done, and, frankly, I think most people do too. Broaden the tent is probably the most supported option.
 

Really? So the depiction of orcs by Keith Baker is racist depiction of Latinx? Because a lot of people seem to disagree with that. Truth be told I don't even really believe it all that much. On the other hand all races in D&D are described with one standard caricature with easy to grasp traits.

I know I would tweak the orc fluff if I could, that doesn't make your blanket statement true.
My statement is correct. I may have stated it wrong, but what I meant was "You can't have something be racist, if people aren't there to find it racist."
The person I quoted said that "it's racist because someone says it is" and I replied essentially saying, "If people say it's racist, it's probably because it is".

If some BIPOC or Hispanic person comes out and says that Eberron Orcs are racist, or they're offended by them, fine. If you're not in that group, you don't really get to determine if Eberron Orcs are racist against hispanics. Make sense?
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Mod Note:

Folks, the "this is racist/no it isn't" arguments were a large part of what got two threads closed a little while ago. At this point, nobody is actually convincing anyone. Both sides are entrenched - it is an argument to see who gives up first.

I will deny both sides the "win". Drop the argument. Now.
 

Hussar

Legend
Realistically, the "big tent" solution is probably the best way forward for everyone. Those that want any type of orc still get that and, with the broader depiction of orcs, it becomes a template for how to move forward if other bits become and issue. It's really win win for everyone.

Call it the Klingonization of fantasy races. I can't see how that's a bad thing. You still have Klingon bad guys while adding in Klingon good guys. And, hey, Klingons in between as well. Seems like a good idea.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Yes but for entirely different reasons.

The story of the Duergar is that they were dwarves who were tricked into mental slavery, but since they didn't worship Moradin on his holy day (because, you know, the slave masters who controlled their brains wouldn't let them) Moradin abandoned them as unfaithful and cast them out. And, they ended up having to save themselves, their new god being the hero who freed them from slavery

They are evil for hating and attacking the dwarves... which seems completely justified since the dwarves and Moradin essentially abadoned them to slavery and torment for centuries and are blaming the Duergar for what happened to them.

So yeah, I'm all for excising the Duergar entirely.
I honestly can't tell whether a) you're speaking as a Dwarf here and saying Duergar have to go in the fiction, or b) you've an issue with how Duergar and-or their lore are presented and are thus saying they have to go in reality.

If a), all is good. :)

If b), please elaborate.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Look who started the "what is a person" sidebar and your confusion should evaporate. No one arguing for changing the definitions of orcs and drow to remove the racist stuff is arguing that having evil humanoids is wrong. That's a straw man that has been invented whole cloth.
Who was it? I know my first post on that topic was responding to someone else/
 


Saying and being are two different things.
We're not allowed to discuss if it is or isn't racist. All we know is that people complained about it, and it's being changed. I doubt WotC would change something major if it wasn't a significant complaint.

My question from many pages before remains mostly unanswered:
Is heritage or inclusivity more important?

I think the game should be as inclusive as important, even if that requires removing some of D&D's heritage. I've seen people arguing near the opposite, that heritage is more important than inclusivity.
 


Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

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