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What We Lose When We Eliminate Controversial Content

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
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Nice way to avoid the issue.

Please, this is not helpful. None of us are required to respond to any and all statements.

Someone inserted themselves into the middle of an exchange. I didn't find that a great move in this instance, and chose not to engage with it, and thought it'd be helpful if I said why.
 

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Bagpuss

Legend
Is Chaosium weathering a storm of controvery? Are the creators being maligned?

No which is why I am hopeful. If you check online you can see people cautious of their products looking for problematic content, and then others worried that they are "too woke" for including female NPC or sample characters, so they are certainly a target of both sides of people just looking for something to complain about.

However on the other hand you have WotC doing stuff like, actively sanitising the Dragonlance setting, rewriting the history of Lord Soth for example. Now he doesn't murder his wife and child, or leave his second wife and infant child to die in a fire, and this is the villain. They changed his history from hiding the murder of his wife and child waiting the appropriate six months of mourning before marrying his second wife. To his wife dying of natural causes, him getting married days later so got kicked out the knightly order for disrespecting his ex-wife, rather than later being found guilty of murdering his wife and exiled then.

He fails to prevent the Cataclysm and gets cursed for that, rather than cursed by the second wife falsely suspected of cheating after he leaves her and their infant child to burn to death, because the Cataclysm comes about as he abandons his quest because he believes the lies about his wife. The main villain of the setting goes from being a double wife and child murder, to disrespecting a corpse as his crime.

We all know infanticide is wrong, we all no wife beating and murder is wrong, having the evil villain of your fiction commit such acts doesn't condone it. D&D and Dragonlance in the 1980's was still aimed at the same demographic, if anything it was aimed at a younger audience, I know I was part of it. So I doubt it is to protect the children. Why do you think they sanitised it?
 
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Alzrius

The EN World kitten
No which is why I am hopeful.

However on the other hand you have WotC doing stuff like, actively sanitising the Dragonlance setting, rewriting the history of Lord Soth for example. Now he doesn't murder his wife and child, or leave his second wife and infant child to die in a fire, and this is the villain. They changed his history from hiding the murder of his wife and child waiting the appropriate six months of mourning before marrying his second wife. To his wife dying of natural causes, him getting married days later so got kicked out the knightly order for disrespecting his ex-wife, rather than later being found guilty of murdering his wife and exiled then.

He fails to prevent the Cataclysm and gets cursed for that, rather than cursed by the second wife falsely suspected of cheating after he leaves her and their infant child to burn to death, because the Cataclysm comes about as he abandons his quest because he believes the lies about his wife. The main villain of the setting goes from being a double wife and child murder, to disrespecting a corpse as his crime.

We all know infanticide is wrong, we all no wife beating and murder is wrong, having the evil villain of your fiction commit such acts doesn't condone it. D&D and Dragonlance in the 1980's was still aimed at the same demographic, if anything it was aimed at a younger audience, I know I was part of it. So I doubt it is to protect the children. Why do you think they sanitised it?
I had no idea the new Dragonlance book did that. What an absolute disgrace.
 

Irlo

Hero
No which is why I am hopeful.
Good to hear. The only Chaosium-related uproar I was aware of the NFT thing a while back.
However on the other hand you have WotC doing stuff like, actively sanitising the Dragonlance setting rewriting the history of Lord Soth for example, so he doesn't murder his wife and child, or leave his second wife and infant child to die in a fire, and this is the villain. They changed his history from hiding the murder of his wife and child waiting the appropriate six months of mourning before marrying his second wife. To his wife dying of natural causes, him getting married days later so got kicked out the order for disrespecting his ex-wife, rather than later being found guilty of murdering his wife. He fails to prevent the Cataclysm and gets cursed for that, rather than curse by the second wife falsely suspected of cheating after he leave her and their infant child to burn to death. The main villain of the setting goes from being a double wife and child murder, to disrespecting a corpse as his crime.

We all know infanticide is wrong, we all no wife beating is wrong, having the evil villain of your fiction commit such acts doesn't condone it. D&D and Dragonlance in the 1980's was still aimed at the same demographic, if anything it was aimed at a younger audience, I know I was part of it. So I doubt it is to protect the children. Why do you think they sanitised it?
I can only speculate, as I haven't followed any of WotC's statements about DL and I'm not familiar with the setting. I seriously doubt they made changes because the high-profile creators were afraid of character assassination on-line, but obviously others would lean toward that explanation. (I would also speculate that the creators will be subjected to as much or more online abuse because they made changes as they would have if they had not.)
 

SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
I had no idea the new Dragonlance book did that. What an absolute disgrace.
Lord Soth was just misunderstood! Back in the day, when Gen Con was in Milwaukee, there was this guy who did Cosplay as Lord Soth. It was terrifying. There was no doubt he was a bad guy.
 

MGibster

Legend
It's really unfortunate that a discussion about RPGs in general has turned into a discussion about D&D. Don't get me wrong, I like D&D, but it's not the only RPG out there, and so far as problematic or triggering elements are concerned, there's more than just slavery. It is not healthy for our hobby to revolve around a single game and for our thoughts to turn towards it and it alone. To quote Profirio Diaz, "Poor RPGs. So far from God, so close to D&D." In my first post in this thread, I said that context is important to me, and I stand by that. I might find something appropriate in one context and wildly inappropriate in another.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
No which is why I am hopeful. If you check online you can see people cautious of their products looking for problematic content, and then others worried that they are "too woke" for including female NPC or sample characters, so they are certainly a target of both sides of people just looking for something to complain about.

However on the other hand you have WotC doing stuff like, actively sanitising the Dragonlance setting, rewriting the history of Lord Soth for example. Now he doesn't murder his wife and child, or leave his second wife and infant child to die in a fire, and this is the villain. They changed his history from hiding the murder of his wife and child waiting the appropriate six months of mourning before marrying his second wife. To his wife dying of natural causes, him getting married days later so got kicked out the knightly order for disrespecting his ex-wife, rather than later being found guilty of murdering his wife and exiled then.

He fails to prevent the Cataclysm and gets cursed for that, rather than cursed by the second wife falsely suspected of cheating after he leaves her and their infant child to burn to death, because the Cataclysm comes about as he abandons his quest because he believes the lies about his wife. The main villain of the setting goes from being a double wife and child murder, to disrespecting a corpse as his crime.

We all know infanticide is wrong, we all no wife beating and murder is wrong, having the evil villain of your fiction commit such acts doesn't condone it. D&D and Dragonlance in the 1980's was still aimed at the same demographic, if anything it was aimed at a younger audience, I know I was part of it. So I doubt it is to protect the children. Why do you think they sanitised it?
Maybe because they didn't sanitize it as much as you think they did. He fails to prevent the Cataclysm because he goes to murder Isolde, who does curse him with her dying breath. As to the question of his prior wife's death, I don't think a revision is entirely unwelcome. After all, if he had murdered his first wife and child, the gods would have really been making a reach offering him redemption. I think the story works more easily if his initial transgression isn't quite so extreme.
 


I know of at least one designer that has decided against revising an RPG they published and were considering a 2nd Edition because it is historical and thus has all sorts of stuff that would be seen as "problematic" content.
Okay, that's an interesting test case. What do they fear will happen if they do go ahead, how reasonable is the fear, and if they did do we think there would have been a reasonable way to do so? We can turn them into a hypothetical designer instead if you don't have that information.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Can't we just get rid of this one bad thing? Of course we can, but we all know that slavery is one of many horrible things that exist in fantasy.

I see this going the other way. A couple of major sources in the space (WotC and Paizo) have chosen to step away from this one bad thing. The following discussion seems to have reacted as if the slippery slope is a confirmed reality, and has blown out to, "OMG, we can't have any bad things! Censorship! Art!"

There is an implicit assertion in this that stepping away from the topic to please an audience is somehow different from stepping in to the topic to please an audience.

If we expect some creators to be "allowed" to address the topic, we must also expect creators to be "allowed" not to address it, and their making that choice shouldn't be a big a deal.

This whole discussion makes me want to ask "why is murder okay to have in fantasy, when it affects so many people in the real world?" The answer is simple: you have things like murder in a fantasy game as something bad happening that you have to stop or somehow make right.

So, I find that to be a partial answer, and a minority part, at that. There are several other points that inform the issue, and the result is that while murder and slavery are both bad, culturally speaking they really aren't nearly equivalent.

If folks cannot get that central point, that not all bad things have the same cultural meanings, this conversation isn't going to go very far.
 

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