What We Lose When We Eliminate Controversial Content

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Faolyn

(she/her)
I'm on my phone and so finding it tricky to maneuver and make links to other posts that I'd like to so I'm only, for now, going to reply to this section of your post.

Your final point is - you can tell stories without slavery, which isn't much of a point. I can also tell stories with gravitas and authenticity without devils/demons or murder for that fact. Is that where you want to go? I'm not sure exactly what point you're making with that comment.
From what I can tell, you are saying that not having slavery makes your games "less real." But that's nonsense, and if you can tell stories with gravitas and authenticity without including things like that, why do you need to include things like that?

And by "you," I mean "companies that mass-produce books for an all-ages crowd," not you personally and your home table.
 

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Hussar

Legend
Not every game is for everybody. Thirsty Sword Lesbians looks like a fantastic game, but I have no interest in it. I am not the target audience and that is perfectly fine. There are a lot of games that aren't for me. And quite frankly, if "the hobby" is D&D, then that's a big, big problem. There are other games. Try one of those.

And you honestly see no problem here?
 

Faolyn said:
One aspect of gravitas and authenticity... maybe, if you're actually treating it with the respect it deserves--and by respect, I mean to the actual people who were enslaved and who suffered, both in real life and in the game.
Do you find D&D does this with other aspects within the game such as victims of murder, the family of those murdered, victims of theft, victims of arson, victims of betrayal, victims of brainwashing, victims of fire...etc?
Honestly, I feel all you're doing with your individual/culture exceptions, your genre exceptions and now this respect requirement is shifting goal posts with your criticism. I have no interest in discussing this topic within a sea of ever-changing parameters, exceptions and requirements.
I thought the pushback against controversial content, specifically slavery, was due to how recently slavery existed within US history and how it may affect black RPGers. This other stuff you're bringing up, to me, is frankly noise.

Also, you mention "a period of humanity's history" while ignoring that, unless you are playing a historical game in actual earth, this isn't humanity's history--and in most games, you have plenty of nonhumans who, according to most gamers, shouldn't act like humans with masks on anyway.
Seriously what are you going on about? I said inspired by a period of humanity's history. No one ever said that every species is a slaver? Also to note many of the D&D worlds have predominantly human populations in comparison to other species or at least are the dominant species (FR, Greyhawk, Mystara...etc) And many non-human species within D&D are or have been slavers. Some feast on intelligent life forms. Others use them for sport.

If you actually care about the worldbuilding, then make a world that doesn't rely on being just like Earth.
Hey Faolyn, if you actually care about what I wrote, then please do go back and read up on what my favourite D&D setting is...
 

Scribe

Legend
And quite frankly, if "the hobby" is D&D, then that's a big, big problem.

I think, this probably is the issue. There absolutely is a perception that D&D (and only the official Hasbro version) is the hobby, and as such it must be as safe and generically acceptable as possible.

Hence, the way the game is presented now.

I know your into the GW hobby space, its only a matter of time until this all comes calling for our beloved grimdarkness.
 

From what I can tell, you are saying that not having slavery makes your games "less real." But that's nonsense, and if you can tell stories with gravitas and authenticity without including things like that, why do you need to include things like that?
I said removing it (from published material) is likely to influence our storytelling which has the effect of removing an aspect of gravitas and authenticity from our games/settings IN MY OPINION.
In the same way that excluding linguistics, coinage, taxation, conscription and all those other wonderful items stipulated by @Cadence within our D&D game, removes aspects of gravitas and authenticity. I think if you go back to my exchange with Cadence you will see where I'm coming from. Not everyone cares for all or any of these things, I do in some capacity because I'm a nerd (I wanna use another word, but I'm not sure if it is allowed on these boards). All I was doing with my original post was answering the thread's question and how I could see it affecting our games.

I really think you are looking to argue for the sake of argument here (in Greek they call it the Spirit of Contrariness), when there really isn't one to be had.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
You can indeed, no question there.

However, opening the field to also include edgy and-or "adult" content is just that: opening the field. Fewer restrictions on what you can do-say-create, even if still a long way from "anything goes".

OK.
You can do, say, or create anything you want at your table. I don't think anyone is saying otherwise. But the official books? It's easier to add the darkness than it is to remove it.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I said removing it (from published material) is likely to influence our storytelling which has the effect of removing an aspect of gravitas and authenticity from our games/settings IN MY OPINION.
In the same way that excluding linguistics, coinage, taxation, conscription and all those other wonderful items stipulated by @Cadence within our D&D game, removes aspects of gravitas and authenticity. I think if you go back to my exchange with Cadence you will see where I'm coming from.

I really think you are looking to argue for the sake of argument here, when there really isn't one to be had.
1) So why aren't you arguing that linguistics, coinage, taxation, conscription, etc., be put into the official games?

2) Most people, AFAICT, consider linguistics, etc., to be either cool but unnecessary for the actual game, or just more info that will never be actually used in the game and will likely bore the players if it is used. Why is slavery, rape, et al different?
 

Hussar

Legend
Couple of thoughts.

The comparisons between this and various other things like the satanic panic often obscure more than they explain.

The panic of the 80’s is called a panic for a reason. It was being done by people who had no interest in gaming and based almost entirely on fiction. As I’m not based in any understanding of what role playing was or what actually happened during a game. And it was aimed at shutting down all gaming.

Otoh making rpg products more inclusive is actually being called for by people in the hobby. By people who love the hobby every bit as much as you do. AND it is based on the fact that for most of the hobby’s history and certainly most of genre fiction’s history, these minority voices were naughty word down and excluded. “Don’t like it, don’t buy it” indeed.

Heck we see people comparing promoting inclusion to having crippling physical problems (peanut allergies) or phychological disorders (crippling phobias). And then complaining that authors might have their character impugned for producing works that are are exclusionary.

The history of the hobby (where you mean just DnD or role playing in general) has been filled with outright racist elements. Orcs of Thar. Oriental Adventures. On and on.

Calling for increased awareness in the problems on the genre is not being “morally puritanical”. And there will never be a single solution here. It’s all on different, shifting and really messy sliding scales.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Do you find D&D does this with other aspects within the game such as victims of murder, the family of those murdered, victims of theft, victims of arson, victims of betrayal, victims of brainwashing, victims of fire...etc?
Honestly, I feel all you're doing with your individual/culture exceptions, your genre exceptions and now this respect requirement is shifting goal posts with your criticism. I have no interest in discussing this topic within a sea of ever-changing parameters, exceptions and requirements.
There's no goal-shifting. Horror is different than heroic fantasy.

Seriously what are you going on about? I said inspired by a period of humanity's history. No one ever said that every species is a slaver? Also to note many of the D&D worlds have predominantly human populations in comparison to other species or at least are the dominant species (FR, Greyhawk, Mystara...etc) And many non-human species within D&D are or have been slavers. Some feast on intelligent life forms. Others use them for sport.
You didn't get what I said.

Slavery is one of those things that's a product of our human history, religion, culture, etc. Fantasy worlds are completely different. They have different histories, different religions, different cultures. The presence of magic, both arcane and divine, would make major changes, as would the presence of non-human intelligent species. Even if humans were the only species, they would still have a very different history. You can't say something is authentic when the worlds itself are so different--because you can also easily say that having a fantasy world that never had slavery is also authentic. Or that hasn't had slavery in a thousand years, or that slavery has strict rules which include no abuse and automatically freeing the slave after four years, or that every time a person tries to enslave another, Trithereon (Greyhawk god of freedom) sends a posse of clerics to smite the slaver. They're all equally authentic because you, the GM, are making that world up.

When you say "authentic," what you really mean is "I don't feel like making something else up, but this is dark so it feels realistic."

The only reason many species have been slavers or human-eaters is because Gygax et al needed Always Evil monsters to be killable; they weren't trying to do actual world-building, the type that involves looking at every single aspect of a culture's development and seeing how that affects every other aspect of its development.

Hey Faolyn, if you actually care about what I wrote, then please do go back and read up on what my favourite D&D setting is...
Which is...?
 

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