What We Lose When We Eliminate Controversial Content

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Random Task

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It’s interesting that the imperialist/colonialist setup of adventurers heading into an area and rampaging through against the “evil” denizens gets such a pass here.

Someone brought up the polytheistic nature of these settings - which generally seem heavily sanitized. I’m not recalling any famous modules having to do with religious wars in D&D which I’m quite sure would actually happen with gods that have demonstratable real world power attributable to them. Maybe the Cataclysm from Dragonlance, it’s been a long time since I read that.

Somewhat related, other than rumblings about unfortunate goblin or dwarven analogs,I believe Jews are completely absent from these medieval European settings, probably related to the sanitized polytheism angle above.
 

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Autumnal

Bruce Baugh, Writer of Fortune
Then who do you put in his place? Where should people go to find the source of the inspiration behind all the elements in the game that his work ultimately brought about?
Clark Ashton Smith, C.L. Moore, Michael Shea, Caitlin Kiernan, Stephen King, Ruthanna Emrys, and Victor Lavalle. Probably a few others, too. Ramsey Campbell with comments about his Severn Valley stories getting the kind of development that Lovecraft did with his New England.

I would touch on HPL as a historically important instigator whose revolting biases make his work mostly of scholarly interest, and that it’s better to read folks who took his ideas and ran with them to places Lovecraft didn’t and couldn’t go. Robert Bloch, Fritz Leiber, Brian McNaughton (now there’s a dude who needs to be talked up more), Sylvia Moreno-Garcia, Gemma Files, Premee Mohammed, Hailey Piper.

Um, this list would need a lot of trimming and explaining to actually be worth including in something D&D-like. I’d give maybe three authors a short paragraph each, and a sentence each to about a dozen more, for a total of about one column.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
In the course of conversation, it is important to be able to distinguish between a rhetorical flourish and a logical assertion which is central to a position. That way, you don't end up missing the thrust of the argument and wasting your energy on things which can otherwise be passed over.

It might be better to say what you actually mean, and not use those rhetorical flourishes in discussions of touchy subjects. In plain text media it can be difficult to be sure the intent isn't an assertion of truth, and if you add material that could be misconstrued, well, you added it.

If you have to try to push the burden of understanding on the audience, you could have been more clear yourself.
 

Cordwainer Fish

Imp. Int. Scout Svc. (Dishon. Ret.)
folks who took his ideas and ran with them to places Lovecraft didn’t and couldn’t go
Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette have written three short stories that are Lovecraftian horror in the outer solar system; I love them, I wish more people knew about them, and I would be overjoyed if they wrote more.
 

Minion X

Explorer
It's very telling then, when a Black person is doing it, we zoom in on the slavery angle.
As a small historical aside, black slaves were fashionable in Europe among royalty, nobility and other wealthy and influential personages around the 16th to 18th century, and quite a few of these slaves managed to capitalize on their situation and rise in the social hierarchy. Aside from Yasuke, I can at least think of Abram in Russia, who became a noble in his own right, and Kwasi in Sweden. Since they would likely not have left their homes of their own free will and travelled across half the world to serve in a foreign court, their success despite being enslaved is obviously a testament to their ingenuity, and many likely saw a parallell in the Biblical story of Jacob.
 

Minion X

Explorer
Somewhat related, other than rumblings about unfortunate goblin or dwarven analogs,I believe Jews are completely absent from these medieval European settings, probably related to the sanitized polytheism angle above.
The Jews weren't exactly scattered across Europe and the Mediterranean of their own free will. They were expelled from Israel by the Romans after one rebellion too many. That's why dwarfs usually fill that role since Tolkien drew on themes in Exodus when he wrote about their lost homelands like Moria and the Lonely Mountain. Including something similar to Jews in a fantasy setting would probably end up uncomfortably similar to Jews and gypsies.
 

Random Task

Explorer
The Jews weren't exactly scattered across Europe and the Mediterranean of their own free will. They were expelled from Israel by the Romans after one rebellion too many. That's why dwarfs usually fill that role since Tolkien drew on themes in Exodus when he wrote about their lost homelands like Moria and the Lonely Mountain. Including something similar to Jews in a fantasy setting would probably end up uncomfortably similar to Jews and gypsies.
Which is why it's ignored. You could make the argument that D&D like fantasy is trying to be a game where players participate in the historical trappings of imperial and religious conflict while wholesale removing anything that might be nuanced or objectionable. Your reconquista is not against a Moor like people in not Spain, it's against the Drow or something like that. It's fantasy old West without any icky parts.
 

Minion X

Explorer
Which is why it's ignored. You could make the argument that D&D like fantasy is trying to be a game where players participate in the historical trappings of imperial and religious conflict while wholesale removing anything that might be nuanced or objectionable. Your reconquista is not against a Moor like people in not Spain, it's against the Drow or something like that. It's fantasy old West without any icky parts.
If you want to interpret the typical high fantasy story in that light, I'd say they reflect more on the cultural trauma of brutal invasions like the Muslims in Iberia, the Huns and the Mongols from the East, or the Turks. All the many desperate defences of countless Minas Tiriths replay endlessly the desperate Sieges of Vienna, followed by the Battle of Vienna and the glorious charge of the flower of European knighthood that drove the enemy from the field and safeguarded the West forevermore.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
No, but I've played with plenty of women over the years (as early as 1982) , and I've never heard any of the males insist on such a thing whether it was at the table or privately.

I take it that you've never had anyone insist on participating in a Satanic ritual at the table?
Hmm, maybe that's because there's really no such thing as Satanic rituals (actual Satanists don't even worship Satan) whereas sexual harassment is a very real, very common thing.
 

HaroldTheHobbit

Adventurer
Anti-inclusive content and religon/politics.
It’s interesting that the imperialist/colonialist setup of adventurers heading into an area and rampaging through against the “evil” denizens gets such a pass here.
Almost everything related to UN grounds for discrimination, such as socioeconomic class perspectives, as well as broader moral issues gets a pass here. Killing for profit, erasure of art and history, cults of destructive capitalism and using divine power paralleling real world religions for dubious purposes is obviously fine. On the other hand a few narrow bands of identity politics get massive post counts without restriction. So I guess it evens out in the end, and all is well, since there are threads about actual roleplaying too :)
 

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