What We Lose When We Eliminate Controversial Content

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Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Because it's not authentic. You're looking at humans in the real world and deciding that non-human creatures in a fantasy world act in the exact same way.
That's not necessarily behavior inspired by humans:


Given that, it's not hard to imagine that these guys...



...have decided, "hey, maybe those fleshy things that have their skeletons on the inside could be put to work too!"

Heck, maybe the local humans, demihumans, etc., got the entire idea of slavery from their ant overlords.
 

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Oh for the love of...
Exactly my point. Why was the need to discuss the treatment of the victims of slavery within game, meanwhile we don't demand the same thing from the game when sons, fathers and husbands are lost within a devastating war leaving behind a gutted society and destitute & torn apart families?

Why is it always the same slippery slope?
Because you keep going in circles.

Because there are so many bad things in the world that we cannot distinguish differences between them and thus must somehow ban all bad things.
Neither myself nor Faolyn mentioned the word ban in our discussion. Are you strawmanning?

This argument is farcical and unserious: no one wants to ban those things because, in most instances, they come in places that seen as justified.
I'm glad we've found common ground.

And that's not to say you can't have those elements done badly and anger people because it's not hard, but people are often willing to overlook that stuff on its face with the right justification. Those don't exist for things like slavery and sexual assault.
Who is doing the murder, theft, arson = Bad Guys + possibly Good Guys
Who is doing the slavery and sexual assault = Bad Guys

You said no Right Justification exists for slavery and sexual assault. I agree.
What is the Right Justification for murder, theft and arson for the Bad Guys? Because remember they also leave victims behind.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
Batman the Animated Series had an episode where Bruce Wayne wakes up with no memory of who he is in a forced labor camp. He eventually figures out who he is, escapes, and Batman frees all the enslaved people. Is that the kind of safe for kids material you mean?
Sure, that was a good episode. It's also a super hero cartoon, and while Bruce was the victim in that ep, he wasn't put there for the PCs to rescue as part of the game. He wasn't some disposable NPC whose name the PCs won't remember in a session or two, assuming they ever found out in the first place; nor were we, the watchers, supposed to be enjoying his distress, while players are supposed to enjoy the game, even when it means freeing slaves. Bruce was going to regain his memories, escape, and catch the bad guys. No matter what, that was going to happen. Even little kids who didn't realize that writer's fiat meant that Batman couldn't suffer for very long knew that he was the hero and was going to prevail.

Are the PCs in an RPG going to escape? What if they roll really badly. Is the GM going to be the type who has a power trip over enslaved characters? For that matter, are the players even going to want to play as slaves? I don't even mean "are they going to be triggered by this"; I mean "is this a thing that the PCs are going to find interesting?"

Curse of Strahd is still D&D and I still feel like the goalposts are being moved.
No, they're really not. Because different genres are, by definition, different.

Is it or is it not okay to include elements that might trigger someone or are problematic? The answer appears to be yes. I'll grant you that context matters, what's appropriate for D&D might not be appropriate for My Little Pony, but broadly speaking, yes, it's okay for problematic elements to be included in games. Right?
Of course, MLP had a very laissez faire attitude towards mind control--enough of one it put a damper on my enjoyment of the show.

And more importantly, what you're forgetting (both here and when you bring up Batman above) is that TV shows are scripted. Nothing happens in one unless the writers, editors, producers, etc., OK it. There's no PCs to go off the rails or get upset, no GM who's going to go too far or push too many boundaries. The players are active participants, not passive watchers, and are far more immersed in the experience. If people get upset or bored watching a TV show, they can turn it off; it's hard to turn off a game, especially if everyone else seems to be having fun. Social fallacies are a thing.
 

Hussar

Legend
Given the relatively recent addition of rules meant to accommodate characters who have mobility issues I think perhaps it would be better to adjust your framing to recognize that "crippling physical issues" absolutely can be inclusion issue.

Somewhat missing my point I think.
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
What is your goal here? That no fantasy creatures are/should be slavers?
In a fantasy game designed for kids as young as 12, like D&D and it's non-WotC offshoots? Probably not.

In a game written for a more adult crowd? Maybe, maybe not.

Linguistics and coinage could be vitally important clues within an investigation styled adventure.
In my experience, why such a thing can be very important for an adventure, it's actually completely useless outside of it.

I'm the type of person who loves minutia. I have done worldbuilding with tons of teeny tiny details like that, which I adore... and literally nobody cares about it, to the point that once I write it down, I stop caring about it. It becomes just dry history. If you have an adventure that says "the PCs find coins from the Blah Dynasty, which was over 500 years ago," and this coin leads to the plot, then it's an interesting, useful detail, because there's a specific purpose for that detail. If you put it in the setting book, it's boring as expletive deleted.

Basically, ain't nobody got time for that.

What if a PC with the soldier background came across a person that had evaded conscription whose existence conflicted with the PC's Bonds/Ideals/Flaws? How would that social encounter play out? What if the party were bounty hunters, who found out that those they were sent to capture and return had evaded conscription during a past period of war with a neighbouring nation?
This is purely role-playing; it's up to the player to decide, not the game.

(2) Well rape is a horror that sadly still exists today so I feel it is on another level.
So's slavery. There's a lot of slavery still in existence today. The primary difference between now and then is that it's usually illegal today.

Torture (which includes but is not limited to public flogging and other punishments) does exist today, I'm sure many PCs actually partake in it (as least imply the threat of it), because the end justifies the means when we are talking about saving the town, the city, the barony, the nation, the world, the cosmos...etc I guess it is what it is with that. As for torturing PCs or the witnessing of torture - it falls within a thesis's worth of mature territory.
Nobody at my table would allow for torture in any of our games, at least not by PCs. I don't think anybody at my table thinks that the ends justifies the means.
 

Kaodi

Hero
I think the reason romance has mostly edited itself out of the storylines of games is that it is an extremely real and ever-present fact that some players might harbour unrequited feelings (or even requited feelings) towards other players that make the whole topic especially irksome. But most other things, even the most vile and evil, do not have this immediate interpersonal dimension.

Personally if slavery never came up in another game I was in I am not sure I would even think to even note its absence. But in this context where the question has been posed about what is permissible I tend to falter on things that feel inconsistent somehow.
 


So... you would spring enslavement, rape, and torture on your PCs? I'm very glad I'm not in that game.
We're glad you're not, too. :)

You leap to strange and dark places, though. I haven't had a PC captured in any campaign I've run since the early 80s.

But it seems quite logical to me that getting captured by the sort of creatures you normally fight in RPGs would not end well.

Our current campaign is set in the American Revolution, and the British treatment of PoWs in that conflict was extremely horrific. The Americans were not much better.
 

I think the reason romance has mostly edited itself out of the storylines of games is that it is an extremely real and ever-present fact that some players might harbour unrequited feelings (or even requited feelings) towards other players that make the whole topic especially irksome. But most other things, even the most vile and evil, do not have this immediate interpersonal dimension.
:eek: Man, if you could see my group, that thought would make you scream....
Personally if slavery never came up in another game I was in I am not sure I would even think to even note its absence. But in this context where the question has been posed about what is permissible I tend to falter on things that feel inconsistent somehow.
For me, besides historical or canon issues, slavery brings with it a excellent source of RPG and scenario options, especially in investigative scenarios.
 

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