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General Two underlying truths: D&D heritage and inclusivity


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The issue isn't so much about it being impossible, but of some wanting it to be the only possibility in the book. Having played the game for decades now, I've sampled/played iterations of every race and varying origins from the PHB norm.
They are all valid. Add more, remove none.
I notice you completely ignored the rest of my post.


But, here is the thing with taking the "all are valid" approach. That means making them people and removing their ties of "evil because the gods"

You want evil, raiding orcs who venerate brutal strength? Great. You can have them. But, you can't say that they are that way because Gruumsh made all orcs that way, because we can also have orcish sages writing poetry while teaching the lord's children.

Unless you want to have the PHB present all the settings and a breakdown of what the lore is in each setting, which I think is a bit much.
 

TaranTheWanderer

Adventurer
Can I drill down on this a bit more? What do you mean "realistic" manner? To me, the realistic view of ancient Rome is pretty evil - slavery, genocide, mass murder, civil wars, pedophilia, and I'm sure I'm missing stuff.

Would a "realistic" portrayal of Ancient Rome present it as a "good" empire?
I'm fairly certain that making a broad sweeping generalizations about the an entire real-world culture isn't appropriate. You might have one or two posts on this thread that states exactly that.

This might be why we can't come to a consensus or have a proper discussion. When you can not actually treat real world cultures (past or present) with respect, it’s hard to take you more seriously when you talk about fictional ones.
 
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dfuller1138

Villager
D&D orcs are not LotR orcs. Additionally, as sapient beings, orcs have the freedom to deny the actions of their god and set out on their own path, unless you're there saying that likewise, elves, dwarves and all those sorts can't go and do their own thing?
Iin some interview, Orcs were mentioned as being loosely derived from LotR. Plus, the similarities are all too obvious. Tolkien found his inspiration also, from prior works, no doubt.

Orcs are NOT SAPIENT. They don't even exist except in writing and one's imagination. People in the real world are sapient. DM's are acting when portraying orcs as adversaries.

That's like saying, "The Government is after me". Government is a fiction written on paper that people subscribe to. "Government" is not a real person. People acting in the fiction of government, make government real. People - REAL people - acting as an agent of the agency (government) are the ones who come after you.

People tend to personify fiction. Whether orcs or government. They don't exist except on paper and in our imagination and willingness - in the case of government - to accept the authority of people acting in the fiction of government. We give people the agency of government.

Much like we accept a DM's "authority" when the DM plays the part of the fictional Orc(s) in attempting to kill off PC's.

Are orcs real? No. Do they exist on paper? Yes. Have you assigned them real world agency? Yes. As an example of real world problems? Yes. Do orcs cause real world problems? No. The fiction of orcs is now substituted for a real world problem. True. Now, see below.

This is a legitimate issue that's been raised previously.. This isn't new. This has been something going on for years. Previous editions honestly it wasn't too bad because, they did better than 5E at it. But 5E handles orcs poorly this time around so the issue's hopped up again
Agreed. Orcs are handled poorly. Have the DM write up the rules for High Orcs. Even the 1st Edition AD&D DMG had rules for playing Monsters as PCs. Yes, the rules for doing so have been around for THAT LONG. If 5e fails? Consult 1st Edition. Use imagination. It is what it is there for.

It can be done. I should copyright that and publish my own supplement. But I won't. Someone else do it. However...

High Orcs vs. Orcs... Someone will object: Orc on Orc violence!!! GASP! Remind you of a REAL world situation? That's right. Reinforcing stereotypes in the real world. Class warfare, also. "High Orcs" would be the civilized race bringing colonialism to the Orc savages**. Violence as a means to solving disputes. I could go on and on and on with every objection under known to mankind to show why even portraying High Orcs is stereotyping, violent, etc.

**As a side note, Duck Tales does that. Scrooge McDuck and his nephews represent the Western Civilized nations. In just about every cartoon, they bring Enlightenment by teaching others not of their culture, how to do things. Duck Tales is actually a very offensive cartoon in its portrayal of other cultures. I'm being quite serious. Duck Tales is a thorougly Imperial colonial cartoon. Do children actually realize that when they watch Duck Tales? Is Duck Tales a vehicle of hatred?

And as for certain races being associated with actual real world people? Yes. People have been doing this ever since the first person gave a Scottish accent to dwarves.
Some people will associate races in D&D with real world races - MUCH LIKE YOU ASSOCIATED ORCS AS SAPIENT (you have assigned REAL WORLD AGENCY to a word on paper or screen) to the point of giving them Scottish (or other) accents. See it in movies, IIRC. I've never run across a DM giving a Dwarf a Scottish accent. There was one player who gave his character a Scottish accent and terribly so. That player's ancestors actually came from Scotland. Still a terrible accent and yes, a Dwarf PC. Is anyone going to tell him he was being culturally insensitive? They'd be LAUGHED out of the room.

As for accents, we use what we have. It helps differentiate characters and races and cultures and even sub-cultures. Or we can all speak in a dull monotone. Personally - regarding another game - the Troll accent in WoW elevates the Trolls. They are cool as written and portrayed. Maybe they should have given that accent to the Alliance humans though I don't think that would have gone over very well, in believability. Imagine the Orcs in WoW speaking like a corporate executive. Or maybe a Russian accent. Or better yet, a Birmingham accent from England. It can be done. Will people believe it or will such detract from the work? Mostly the latter.

Exercise: Give a correct accent for a native of the Adromedan Galaxy, who is speaking English as a non-native.

YOU HAVE ALREADY FAILED EVEN BEFORE I GAVE THE EXERCISE FOR YOU TO TRY.

You never will be able to do so. It is outside of human experience. Therefor, human experience is used to give Fantasy "People", their accents that we know of - human accents.

It is thus useless to object to giving Dwarves, Scottish accents. No one has ever heard a non-human Dwarf speak, at least it has never been recorded. EVER. And if we were to give Dwarves another human accent - say, Swahili? There would be someone who objects, GUARANTEED.

Circular firing squad, in the end. Though it was cute (and somewhat irritating on the ears) that the Elf in Netflix's "The Dragon Prince" has Scottish accent. However, the accent did its job. That is, until someone is offended.
 

dfuller1138

Villager
Wow, just so much wrong with this. And, @TaranTheWanderer You might find that no, I don't agree with your points, and you certainly don't agree with mine if you're giving a thumbs up to this drivel.

And, HOA? Now that's a new one. Hadn't run across that one before. I love when people decide to dehumanize the other side of a discussion by devolving into three letter acronyms. Just makes it so much easier to sort out those who want to actually have a discussion from the small minded bigots who, as far as I'm concerned, aren't welcome in our hobby.
Fine. Substitute RULES LAWYERS for HOA. You still won't miss the meaning.

Care to expand upon what is wrong with it or you can just stick with your ad hominem.
 


Hussar

Legend
I don't think so, and I agree that Rome was pretty bad, especially viewed from a contemporary perspective - but I think that can be said about most (all?) empires.

It comes down to how simulationist you want to be. I tend to take the approach of "<insert real world culture>-inspired," which is one of the reasons I'm not bothered by D&D analogs or get in a tiff with how realistic they are. If I'm writing a novel set in ancient Rome, that's one thing, but a "Rome-inspired" fantasy society is quite another.

But if WotC were to publish a series of books covering different real-world societies with the intent of being historically accurate, I would include most of those things and leave it to individual groups as to how to create a campaign.
Ahh, but, now we're talking about something a bit different. It wasn't "Rome inspired" before, but, an a setting based on actual, historically accurate Rome where slapping a disclaimer sticker on the cover would be enough to cover all the bases. If you want to do "Rome inspired", well, then, anything goes. That's a totally different kettle of fish. See below*

I'm fairly certain that making a broad sweeping generalizations about the an entire real-world culture isn't appropriate. You might have one or two posts on this thread that states exactly that.

This might be why we can't come to a consensus or have a proper discussion. When you can actually treat all real world cultures (past or present) with respect, then maybe people will take you more seriously when you talk about fictional ones.
Sorry, no broad generalizations here. Rome engaged in every single one of those crimes against humanity. This isn't really an opinion, it's historical fact. Rome did engage in genocide (Carthage anyone?) Numerous mass murders have been recorded. Multiple civil wars. What specific fact did I bring out that was a broad, sweeping generalization?

* The issue at hand isn't that these things occured or even that other empires are also guilty of them. Human history is bloody and ugly. That's not news. But, it's not the issue.

The issue is, should we just slap a disclaimer sticker on the front saying, "This supplement uses morality that is no longer acceptable, but, was considered good at the time. Please don't be offended." :erm: Seriously? D&D has never been shy about calling out evil before. Why be coy now?
 
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Mecheon

Adventurer
Iin some interview, Orcs were mentioned as being loosely derived from LotR. Plus, the similarities are all too obvious. Tolkien found his inspiration also, from prior works, no doubt.

Orcs are NOT SAPIENT. They don't even exist except in writing and one's imagination. People in the real world are sapient. DM's are acting when portraying orcs as adversaries.

That's like saying, "The Government is after me". Government is a fiction written on paper that people subscribe to. "Government" is not a real person. People acting in the fiction of government, make government real. People - REAL people - acting as an agent of the agency (government) are the ones who come after you.

People tend to personify fiction. Whether orcs or government. They don't exist except on paper and in our imagination and willingness - in the case of government - to accept the authority of people acting in the fiction of government. We give people the agency of government.

Much like we accept a DM's "authority" when the DM plays the part of the fictional Orc(s) in attempting to kill off PC's.

Are orcs real? No. Do they exist on paper? Yes. Have you assigned them real world agency? Yes. As an example of real world problems? Yes. Do orcs cause real world problems? No. The fiction of orcs is now substituted for a real world problem. True. Now, see below.
Pop-culture orcs, and heck, D&D orcs, have evolved a ton since the LotR days. See them going from Lawful Evil to Chaotic Evil in 3E. They're inspired by LotR orcs, sure, but they've become a seperate thing

Within the confines of D&D as a game, orcs are sapient. You're counter-argument is inaccurate as you are describing an organisation chasing someone. "Government" in this case refers to an organisation, not an individual person, much has likewise you would use 'The Mafia' to describe someone. This is irrelevant to the

People write fiction. As such, it is personified. And as such, things are included in in that are reflective of real life. Star Trek is a big ol' example for blatantly personified things reflecting real life. And orcs? Well, they may be unintentional reflections, but there are reflections people have noticed

Agreed. Orcs are handled poorly. Have the DM write up the rules for High Orcs. Even the 1st Edition AD&D DMG had rules for playing Monsters as PCs. Yes, the rules for doing so have been around for THAT LONG. If 5e fails? Consult 1st Edition. Use imagination. It is what it is there for.

It can be done. I should copyright that and publish my own supplement. But I won't. Someone else do it. However...

High Orcs vs. Orcs... Someone will object: Orc on Orc violence!!! GASP! Remind you of a REAL world situation? That's right. Reinforcing stereotypes in the real world. Class warfare, also. "High Orcs" would be the civilized race bringing colonialism to the Orc savages**. Violence as a means to solving disputes. I could go on and on and on with every objection under known to mankind to show why even portraying High Orcs is stereotyping, violent, etc.
High Orcs is a questionable thing when just regular orcs works fine. They exist, they're historically playable, why invent a new race? Well, uh, 3E did that a ton but, 3E is 3E. I question why "Invent a new race" is around when just bringing orcs to a better place is available

and hey I mean if anyone wants to team up for that "Let's make 93 different orc groups that do interesting things with orcs" that someone suggested, I am completely down

Some people will associate races in D&D with real world races - MUCH LIKE YOU ASSOCIATED ORCS AS SAPIENT (you have assigned REAL WORLD AGENCY to a word on paper or screen) to the point of giving them Scottish (or other) accents. See it in movies, IIRC. I've never run across a DM giving a Dwarf a Scottish accent. There was one player who gave his character a Scottish accent and terribly so. That player's ancestors actually came from Scotland. Still a terrible accent and yes, a Dwarf PC. Is anyone going to tell him he was being culturally insensitive? They'd be LAUGHED out of the room.

As for accents, we use what we have. It helps differentiate characters and races and cultures and even sub-cultures. Or we can all speak in a dull monotone. Personally - regarding another game - the Troll accent in WoW elevates the Trolls. They are cool as written and portrayed. Maybe they should have given that accent to the Alliance humans though I don't think that would have gone over very well, in believability. Imagine the Orcs in WoW speaking like a corporate executive. Or maybe a Russian accent. Or better yet, a Birmingham accent from England. It can be done. Will people believe it or will such detract from the work? Mostly the latter.
Accent is one thing, going further into that. Because I sure have seen people just go full Scottish with their dwarves, to the degree of wearing kilts. Applying an accent though? Nothing wrong with that. Its when you go further into things from that

See, the funny thing in Warcraft is you could get an orc speaking like a corporate executive and make it justifiable. Russian accents? Also completely fine. This is because Warcraft makes big ol' varied groups of orcs. There aren't just Orcs, there's varied groups with varied histories. As such, making things more varied, believable, and less just 'all X are X' is the end goal.
 

dfuller1138

Villager
I’m sorry but what was impolite about my post? Strongly worded maybe but impolite?

Funny you call me out for board rules yet ignore the “HOA” comment right above mine.

So, would you care to discuss my point? That people are missing the issue? Slavery in DnD has always been depicted as evil. We’ve got four classic modules A1-4 about how the pcs are meant to go put those slavers in the ground.

Does Dark Sun present slavery as good or just? I don’t think so but as I said I’m not that familiar with the setting.

I’ve never read the 2e Rome sourcebook. How is slavery presented there?
Which has been addressed. I'll repeat it here: replace HOA with RULES LAWYERS and you will still understand the context.

Funny how you failed to address my points in a meaningful manner. An oversight, I am sure.

Now, while A1-4 to address slavery ending in destruction of the slavers in a most geologically violent way? D&D is a fantasy game that gives the option to play?

Slavers.

What do you propose as a mechanism to address that "oversight"? That WotC print rules to forbid slavery in a fantasy game? Good luck with that. I recently ran across someone else's D&D game where a PC had enslaved a goblin. Eventually, the player freed his slave. Or perhaps WotC can include TOS that forbids the use of WotC products in such a manner. Good luck enforcing that.

D&D can be used to portray ANY evil, acted out by PC's. Want to play a Nazi? Not a problem. It can be done. Want to side with Iuz? LG addressed that: you could.

Slavery has already been addressed. Beginning with A1-4. However, as D&D a FANATASY game? One can play a slaver. For another example? Fallout 3 with Paradise Falls. Should Steam and Bethesda yank Fallout 3?

The morality is best addressed by The DM & The Players. The best WotC can do? Is to issue a statement against such and refrain from depictions of slavery. And violence in general. Which means, no more rolls for combat. Absurdity? Yes. However, portrayals of violence - a part and parcel of just about every RPG imaginable? Is a very real issue. Whether one is on the good side, or playing evil.

The use of "evil" in alignments allows such. Its the nature of the game. Dispose of "evil" as an alignment and everyone can play "good". Combat rolls would be debate rolls.

Now there is some extreme content - examples provided elsewhere - in D&D no doubt, the writer's fault. Editors to.

Combat rolls? encouraging violence.
Playing a thief: encouraging theft.
Druids? Paganism.
Depictions of Devils & Demons - Fiends: Satanism.
Assassin class (1st ed): murder
Etc.

The only way to be correct & safe? Is to NOT PLAY THE GAME AT ALL. Players who object to those themes? Should destroy their books. At best, they can run games that feature none of that. Debate rolls! Or WotC could just stop publishing any hint of such in any of their products.

How about a nice game of Deliberation & Debate 6th Edition?

The most effective policing entails:

1. The Players and DM's policing themselves.
2. WotC doing a better job at portraying races and policing their own published content. How the hell did they allow some of those examples to slip through? Someone should be fired.
3. Publishing content that gives players more content to portray other "races" such as Orcs - in a more positive manner. High Orcs would be nice. Again, that will bring in Orc on Orc violence and classism. Someone will find a way to make that point. Absurd to be sure, but it will be done.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Let's examine the defintion of race (Oxford only).

5. (countable] a group of people who share the same language, history, culture, etc.
6. (countable) a breed or type of animal or plant

Humans beings are animals. Quite frankly, I find number 5. to be inaccurate and objectionable now that science is here to inform us about genetics, but it is Oxford.
I'm not sure if it's scientific objections that put it down, as opposed to the word having a variety of meanings, and the one science rightfully craps on is the one most commonly used today. Much of the below is probably not needed - but I thought it was interesting that one of the examples in the OED quotes Dragon Magazine (obviously too late to say why it's being used in D&D, but does give insight into which definition the OED folks think D&D is using).

The online OED gives eight nouns sharing the word race, with number 6 being relevant (1=a rush, 2=a root, 3=a cut, 4=a mark on the face, and 5=a breed of horses, 7=the heart, liver, and lungs, 8= calcareous materials in clay).

6.I. is "A group of people, animals, or plants, connected by common descent or origin."

It starts with (1.a.) in 1547 as "A group of people belonging to the same family and descended from a common ancestor; a house, family, kindred." This quickly devolves through b & c to (1.d.) in 1735 "According to various more or less formal attempted systems of classification: any of the (putative) major groupings of mankind" that usually focussed on skin color and I think is the unfortunate common usage today.

It isn't clear to me though that (1) is the one that D&D uses. It feels like that is coming from something like Tolkien's "race of men" which goes with (3.a.) and (3.b.)

3. Any of the major divisions into which living creatures may be separated. (Chiefly not in technical use.) Cf. kind n. 7.

a. A class, kind, or species of beings other than humans or animals.

1578 T. Churchyard - Thou are not of the race of Gods...

1781 W. Cowper - The FAuns and Satyrs, a lascivious race.

1950 C. P. Lyons - A mysterious race of giants, known as the Sasquatch.

race.JPG


b. The class of humans; mankind. Formerly frequently with the.
human race: see human adj. and n. Compounds 1b.

1667 J. Milton - The happy seat Of som new Race call'd Man.

1727 J. Thomson - The Flux of many thousand Years, That oft has swept the busy RAce of Men..away.

1958 College Eng. 19 175/2 - Tom and Rosasharn underscore the epic idea that all men are brothers because all men belong to the Race of Man.

There is also a 2, 4-6, and II, and a few more sub-definitions (and lots of quotes) for the ones I give above, but I don't think I'm leaving anything relevant out.
 
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dfuller1138

Villager
Religion/politics
Absolutely. Orcs have "evolved" since the LotR days.


Within the confines of D&D as a game, orcs are sapient. You're counter-argument is inaccurate as you are describing an organisation chasing someone. "Government" in this case refers to an organisation, not an individual person, much has likewise you would use 'The Mafia' to describe someone. This is irrelevant to the
Within Fiction, orcs are assigned motivations. Motivations that can be interpreted by the reader, however the reader likes. Every character in written works is assigned motivations. Quite different from "sapiency". Orcs are not sapient considering the proper definition of sapience. Use Merriam-Webster. Orcs are the "bad guys" among many who do "bad things" to others. Orcs are the trope.

Orcs can be DEPICTED as possessing sapience. It is a depiction only. The portrayal of orcs as is, is the actual objection. Sapience has nothing to do with that. Orcs, by definition, are not sapient. There may be the rare depiction or portrayal.

Depictions should not be confused with sapience. It is a very fine distinction.

Orcs have no more agency - and much less agency - than the depiction of govenrment. Orcs are represented by The DM, government is represented by actual people. Neither are sapient. Whatsoever. Depictions and portrayals aside.

High Orcs is a questionable thing when just regular orcs works fine. They exist, they're historically playable, why invent a new race? Well, uh, 3E did that a ton but, 3E is 3E. I question why "Invent a new race" is around when just bringing orcs to a better place is available
They still would be orcs. With culture and portrayals of sapience. And better armor, weapons, and assigned motivations. Perhaps. Basically, a human dressed in an orc skin. The only difference being appearance. What would be the difference between playing a High Orc Paladin and a Human Paladin? Appearances. Why bother playing the High Orc at all when a Human does just as well? The differences would be minor.

Thus no invention of a new race. The portrayal and desciptions would be the modifications. Been done plenty of times.

In the end, if Orcs have to be remediated? Devils & Fiends to. Beholders. Sahuagin. Tharizdun himself. Okay, maybe not Tharizdun. Remediate them all to satisfy REAL WORLD POLITICS. If it is good for orcs? Do the entire Monster Manual and all supplements the same way, with any monster that is portrayed as being capable of thought.

Personally, I think it would be interesting to have High Orcs. Since there is a Multi-verse after all. Perhaps the Humans would take the roll of traditional Orcs. I am sure someone would object to that to.

In the end, D&D is about Good vs. Evil. Too have evil, you have to have "bad guys". And "bad guys" do "bad things". And bad things are described. Could the descriptions of said "bad things" be more ah... circumspect? Sure. The "bad things" are still going to be there.

Arguing for the Rights of a Fictional Race in a Fantasy Game...

Does the portrayal of a fictional race (bad guys necessary for games) increase abusive behavior anymore than violent videogames produce children who are violent mass murderers?

We are now at the point of The PMRC and Elizabeth Dole being right, that D&D promotes abusive behavior (Satanism). This is an example of how far along The Left is in being the The New Right.


As to the original topic? There are limitations to inclusiveness. Changing orcs to fit some real world paradigm in order to reinforce real world behavior? IS NOT GOING TO DO IT. The expression of Heritage? That is evolving.

D&D is inherently objectionable on every level. Necromancy. Demons & Devils. Violence is integral to the game. Depictions of evil can not be anymore PC than Asmodeus being The Supreme Benevolent Being.

Otherwise, turn Dungeons & Dragons into Deliberations & Debates, Robert's Rules 6th Edition.
 

dfuller1138

Villager
I'm not sure if it's scientific objections that put it down, as opposed to the word having a variety of meanings, and the one science rightfully craps on is the one most commonly used today. Much of the below is probably not needed - but I thought it was interesting that one of the examples in the OED quotes Dragon Magazine (obviously too late to say why it's being used in D&D, but does give insight into which definition the OED folks think D&D is using).
Ah, etymology. Thanks for the post. Nice fact regarding D&D being used as an example.
 

dfuller1138

Villager
They're sapient beings capable of their own choices. They're not monsters and have been playable sapient races for years.

Blaming everything on deities is the literal worst counter-argument to this I've ever heard. You'll never complain about how dare someone play an evil elf or a whole bloody civilisation of asshole elves, yet turning that around so orcs have variance and suddenly people tear their hair out at how dare I suggest such.

Monsters are made by their actions, not their race. Choices make you that.

Also, Kill the gods and shatter their thrones.

Speaking of, isn't the only canonical FR purely human-orientated god unquestionably evil (And also linked to Pelor, the Burning Hate)? C'mon. Apply it to everything. If orcs can't be good and have multi-layered things because they have an evil god, apply it to humans. See how far that gets you
Quite frankly, someone should make a Good Orc book. WotC gives plenty of guidance on that. Even 1st ed AD&D gave interpretation on how to create PC's from Monsters and such. If people are angry that Orcs are being stereotyped and encouraging REAL RACISM, then they should sit down and write the damn book. Instead of waiting for WotC to write it for them.

That's why D&D is classified as a "FANTASY GAME". Do what you want.
 

dfuller1138

Villager
Accent is one thing, going further into that. Because I sure have seen people just go full Scottish with their dwarves, to the degree of wearing kilts. Applying an accent though? Nothing wrong with that. Its when you go further into things from that

See, the funny thing in Warcraft is you could get an orc speaking like a corporate executive and make it justifiable. Russian accents? Also completely fine. This is because Warcraft makes big ol' varied groups of orcs. There aren't just Orcs, there's varied groups with varied histories. As such, making things more varied, believable, and less just 'all X are X' is the end goal.
As a FANTASY game... someone do the damn Netbook on Orcs. Just to get it off the table. Stop waiting for WotC. That is the beauty of FANTASY games... you can do what you want using the rules.

Cosplay is nothing new. Some players are enthusiastic. Good for them.

I've got a Goblin NPC pulling the strings on a bunch of PC's, as a mastermind that has the PCs believing he is some crime lord out to establish a larger crime empire. When the truth is, the committing of the "acts of crime" actually involve sabotage of evil organizations - who doesnh't like an arms shipment to a bunch of evil-doers that contains swords that shatter during use? I dont' think it helped that he arranged their incarceration on trumped-up charges just so he could "blackmail" them into his service. For which they are well rewarded. Though, they don't know about that part. Wait until they find out about the smuggling operation between the Drow of The Underdark & his organization, which they will be the negotiators setting up that operation.

But before that? I'm thinking of sending them to enlist in an Assassin's Guild just so they can infiltrate the Assassin's Guild to assassinate the Guild Master so that their Goblin Overlord can take over the Assassin's Guild.

All for good purposes in the end, which will be quite shocking to the PC's.

Right now, they are on their way to a keep to find out who is destroying their Goblin Overlord's supply wagons - which they know that their Goblin Overlord is overcharging on the gov't contract - which will involve the elimination of a rival merchant who is in league with the bandits attacking said Goblin Overlord's supply trains.

Later on, they will be running into some orcish mercenaries they will pay off - if the correct choices are made - to provide security for their detail. Which will certainly confuse the hell out of said PC's.

And never mind the Drow who is their supervisor. Who they now know is a Drow due to a slip-up in the application of a magical item used to conceal said identity.

The Cleric is certainly suspicous since she still can access her spells. Despite being accused of a serious crime, convicted, and imprisoned. Before a somewhat-of-a-pardon was arranged by said Goblin Overlord who framed her in the first place in order to employ her as a parollee (well paid).

I've got Drow. Orc mercenaries (if things go right). A Goblin Overlord. Several PC's. A criminal organization that is a money-making operation with the appearances of a criminal organization, PC's committing "crimes" that actually aid the kingdom (though they are not aware of it). The possible destruction of an Assassin's guild is all laid out - really a hostile takeover and repurposing. Underdark trade to insert the Drow supervisor back into Drow society (somewhat) with the PC's aiding and abetting.

Do the PC's know what is going on? The Players have their suspicions. All of them wrong. With the only inkling something is not quite right? The Cleric still receives her spells.

Now, the Isle of Dread OAR? Trade must be expanded.

Wait until I throw in the medusa (an informant), an evil dragon (a set up by the Goblin overlord in order to negotiate with the dragon for a book he needs), the recovery of a major religious artifact (the job involves telling the PC's that they are on a heist) - resulting in the rewarding of the Cleric, the pirate PC running a ship out to Isle of Dread to sack a temple all in the name of loot (disrupting a nefarious plot), and much... much more.

All while employing a mix of good- and evil-aligned PC's and NPC's (respectively) - because NPC's aren't stupid cannonfodder - to achieve what is in effect the creation of a massive merchant guild house & influence peddling machine run by a Goblin Overlord who has the best intentions of the kingdom and surroundings, at heart - and lots of gold to be made.

And just because of this thread? I might have the Orc mercenaries eventually become a crack strike team in the employ of said Goblin Overlord.

you know why? Because I'm the ************* DM and I can do that. Because it is a fantasy game with rules that allow me to do that. I don't have to wait for WotC to issue corrections.
 
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dfuller1138

Villager
Wait, I'm honestly curious: is there a source for this in the D&D books stating that "good orcs are impossible?"
I dont' know. I subscribe to Rule Zero. As a DM, if I want somewhat good orcs? I'm going to reasonably justify it and insert them into my game. Perhaps and alignment shift.

And just because of this thread? I might have my PC's end up employing Orc mercenaries who (if they survive long enough) eventually become a crack strike team in the employ of a Goblin Overlord who is the employer of the PC's.

you know why? Because I'm the DM and I can do that. Because it is a fantasy game with rules that allow me to do that. I don't have to wait for WotC to issue corrections.
 

Mercurius

Legend
I dont' know. I subscribe to Rule Zero. As a DM, if I want somewhat good orcs? I'm going to reasonably justify it and insert them into my game. Perhaps and alignment shift.

And just because of this thread? I might have my PC's end up employing Orc mercenaries who (if they survive long enough) eventually become a crack strike team in the employ of a Goblin Overlord who is the employer of the PC's.

you know why? Because I'm the DM and I can do that. Because it is a fantasy game with rules that allow me to do that. I don't have to wait for WotC to issue corrections.
Yes, agreed! Lots of ways to, from the perspective of individual campaigns and DMs. It makes me think that it would be really interesting to see a compilation of different approaches to orcs that DMs have taken in their campaigns. Open it up to the community, so to speak.
 

Hussar

Legend
I'm rather baffled by how much people think that we want to change. The only thing that people have ACTUALLY said that should change is the removal of the mirroring language. No one ever suggested that orcs should be good. No one ever suggested 99% of the things people are arguing against here.

The changes needed are very minor and, if they weren't pointed out, most people wouldn't even notice that they'd been changed.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
To the point of MONSTERS!!!But, what about Tieflings? Devils are definitely monsters. So, the defense works right?

Except, what is the lore about Tielfings? In both 5e and 4e it is the same story "Their appearance and their nature is not their fault, but the result of an ancient sin, for which they, and their children and their children's children will always be held accountable."

So, Tieflings are literally the "The sins of the Father." Their ancestors committed a crime, so now they must be discriminated and punished for it, thousands of years later. And, most people agree that is bullshit reasoning for discrimination. And yet, the standard lore tells me that I must engage with it. If I am to take the story of Tieflings as presented, I must have my NPCS shun and discriminate a group of people for their ancestor's crimes.

And again, I don't want that. And other people don't want that.
Some of us don't want Tieflings at all and would be happier had they never been made playable as PCs. (ditto "Half-Demons" from pre-Tiefling editions)

Moradin is Lawful Good. Corellan is Chaotic Good. Garl Glittergold is Chaotic Good.

Can you have a clan of evil dwarves?
An Elven Lich out to destroy the world?
Gnome crime cartel?

Those races were made by the gods, very closely steeped in their traditions. Yet, I do not believe that anyone would really blink thrice at a villainous version of them.

But good orcs are impossible because Gruumsh made them evil?
Yes.

Why? Because Dwarves, Elves and Gnomes each have more than just one deity; and some of those deities ain't so nice; and because some members of those cultures follow those not-so-nice deities.

Orcs, however, only have one deity because - in divine-level reflection of the might-makes-right ethos of general Orcish society - Gruumsh killed and ate all the others. Seems simple enough from here... :)
 

reelo

Explorer
I'm rather baffled by how much people think that we want to change. The only thing that people have ACTUALLY said that should change is the removal of the mirroring language. No one ever suggested that orcs should be good. No one ever suggested 99% of the things people are arguing against here.

The changes needed are very minor and, if they weren't pointed out, most people wouldn't even notice that they'd been changed.
Ok then, how do you describe a warlike race of savage brutes without using the words warlike, race, savage, and brutes? Is it just a matter of opening a thesaurus and looking for different words? I'm serious here, I'm all for more social justice and inclusivity, but I also like my fantasy tropey and old-school.
 

Hussar

Legend
Orcs, however, only have one deity because - in divine-level reflection of the might-makes-right ethos of general Orcish society - Gruumsh killed and ate all the others. Seems simple enough from here...
That's not true in D&D. There are multiple orcish gods besides Gruumsh. Luthic, Ilneval and a few others. That's true in Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms.

Ok then, how do you describe a warlike race of savage brutes without using the words warlike, race, savage, and brutes? Is it just a matter of opening a thesaurus and looking for different words? I'm serious here, I'm all for more social justice and inclusivity, but I also like my fantasy tropey and old-school
Well, this has been asked and answered repeatedly in this thread, but, sure, I'll play again.

See, warlike, savage and brutal are all fine. There's nothing wrong there. That's not the language that's the problem. So, you're already done.

What is problematic is half-orcs make better orcs than orcs. Pair an elf with a human and you get the best of both worlds. Pair a human with an orc, and you get a smarter, nastier orc. That's right out of the PHB.

Then you have;

Monster Manual P 245 said:
Orc Crossbreeds - Luthic ,the orc goddes of fertillity... demands that orcs procreate often and indiscriminately. The orc's drive to reproduce runs stronger than any other humanoid.. and they readily crossbreed with other races.
Does that really need to be there?
 

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