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D&D 5E World of Farland Now Embraces Asian, African, and Indian Cultures

The World of Farland has been online thoughout various iterations of D&D for as long as I've been running this website. So, about 20 years. It's a dark D&D setting, ruled by evil lords based on the Seven Deadly Sins, with an tmosphere a bit like if Lord of the Rings had gone the other way. The new Realms Under Shadow hardcover supplement introduces new locations which are not dependent on European mythology. I've been sent a few previews to share!

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The World of Farland, conquered by evil and ruled by the Lords of Sin, has been online for nearly 20 years. It's a best-seller here at DTRPG. But the setting has focused on European-style fantasy up to this point. That changes now...

The evil Wintervale has conquered the continent of Farland. But other lands lie south and east of the Wintervale. Some of these exotic realms are allied with the Shadow and some resist it, but either way, they have been affected by it. These are the Realms Under Shadow...

The Realms Under Shadow are fantastic places reminiscent of the medieval cultures of Asia, Africa (including egypt), and India. This campaign supplement allows you to play a game that is not in the vein of the traditional European style fantasy. Adventure in diverse and amazing places. Battle characters and monsters that are a far cry from your usual RPG experience. This book is compatible with the 5th edition of the World's most popular RPG and is a supplement to The World of Farland Campaign Setting, although it can certainly be used on its own.

This 235 page campaign supplement includes:
  • Detailed write-ups on many unique and diverse cultures
  • 14 new PC races
  • New player options, including 15 new class archetypes and paths; feats; and equipment
  • Calendars and gods
  • New Languages
  • Tons of adventure hooks
  • Important NPCs and locations
  • Seventeen new monsters
  • A full length adventure set in the Realms Under Shadow
  • Much more!
  • All exclusive new content that will never appear on the website.
This book comes with two maps of the geography, and it is now available in standard color hardcover and gorgeous premium color hardcover!
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Sorry if my English level isn't enough good to explain some things.

I can enjoy a tale from "1001 nights" and this isn't cultural appropriation. If in USA dancing and singing "la Macarena" was very popular for those days, why not couldn't they enjoy anything from Latin-Mediterranean culture? Who is going to say "if you are Irish you can't drink gazpacho because it is a Spanish recipe"? ridiculous, isn't it?

I love fantasy where different people learn to cooperate, where elves and dwarfs may become friends although opposite personalities.

I am Spanish, we are a cosmopolitan people and accustomed to miscegenation. In the first century of Christian age Jews were the 10% of population of the Roman empire. 2000 years ago the Latins were the supreme power, and the blonde-haired+blue-eyed from the North Europe were the barbarians, the third world, the poors. Do you remember the conflicts between Normans vs Saxons in the old Robin Hood's movies, and what worries about this now? When after the fall of Roman empire the goths came to Spain, without green card, and became the rulers the coexistence with Latins wasn't good. Both communities with different legal codes, and mixed marriage between Hispanolatins and Hispanogoths was forbidden. Step by step this started to be allowed and in the end both become one community.

If you want to help for a better coexistence and stop hate and intolerance, then you have to defend the respect of human dignity, the base of our rights as persons, against the fanaticism you have to promote these values: good sense against prejudices, patiente (against resentment), faith against fear, humidity against proud, mercy against hate, and understanding about the point of view by the rest, friends or enemies.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Don't we, humans, perhaps initially need to tolerate others and therefore we act respectful, you know before real respect is/can be earned?

There's a bit of rhetorical slight-of-hand here that often happens when the word "respect" comes up. There are two things we call "respect"

1) a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

2) due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.

The first form needs to be earned. The second one does not. We sometimes elide between them, but we shouldn't.

Please raise your hand if you have real issues with the following proposition: As a baseline we should have a modicum of respect for our fellow sentient, feeling human beings such that we should generally not do flagrantly insulting things to their faces just because we feel like it.

This isn't a huge ask. This is The Golden Rule This is Wheaton's Law. This is basic civility.

It is unfortunate that I feel I need to give references for this, but some of you talk like you have forgotten that to live with hundreds of millions and billions of other human beings, we need to give others the tiniest bit of consideration.
 
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Sadras

Hero
There's a bit of rhetorical slight-of-hand here that often happens when the word "respect" comes up.

I can assure you there is no sleight of hand on my part. You might have missed my use of the word "perhaps" upthread which was meant to indicate my uncertainty on this topic and hence this conversation is very much discovery - for myself.

There are two things we call "respect"

1) a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

2) due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.

The first form needs to be earned. The second one does not. We sometimes elide between them, but we shouldn't.

Ah thanks. Yes I had the concern that I was muddling things in my mind.

Please raise your hand if you have real issues with the following proposition: As a baseline we should have a modicum of respect for our fellow sentient, feeling human beings such that we should generally not do flagrantly insulting things to their faces just because we feel like it.

I do not have any issue with this. Our initial conversation started over your comment that respect would be first thought before tolerance. I wanted to say this then, but I will say this now - as I started thinking about that I kind of got into the chicken and egg dilemma. Does tolerance for others come first before auto respect or do we respect all before we tolerate?

Correct me if I'm wrong but I find in your equation - tolerance doesn't even enter the picture.

However having said all that - I find you polarise the issue by making comments like
"do flagrantly insulting things to their face" and "complete jerk" like it is either the one or the other.

Perhaps I identify being respectful as "going out of your way" and you might not, hence you make such a black and white distinction on the choices that are available.

So for instance using rather crude examples
(1) In a queue at a supermarket. I am ahead of someone with only 1 item while I have plenty.
I allow the person with 1 item to go ahead of me. Is it disrespectful of me not to let them go first - I mean can you equate that with "complete jerk" and "do flagrantly insulting things to their face"

(2) Elder gets on bus and stands due to no availability of seats. A youngster does not offer up their seat for the elder. Is that on par with "do flagrantly insulting things to their face" and "complete jerk". I might go with jerk. :)

I have rambled somewhat - but hoping the position I'm coming from is clearer to you and @Gradine.
 

Celebrim

Legend
Does tolerance for others come first before auto respect or do we respect all before we tolerate?

I've been trying to stand out of this because it's quibbling for the sake of quibbling, but since it's gone about like I've expected, I'll try to answer without making it even worse.

So in general, most cultures believe that a person is owed a certain degree of respect without proof that they deserve it. That is, you start with the assumption that a person deserves respect and go from there. And in Western cultures in particular, there is a degree of respect that a person deserves that is inalienable as a result just of being a person. For example, in the 'The Green Mile', there is a character who attempts to treat even people on death row - people who've even lost the right to life - with respect, and the story is about the consequences of that. It's a story with a lot of traditional values and symbolism in it.

And so I can agree with Umbran that it is good to respect and value people as individuals based on their inherent personhood. And I can also disagree with him that respect is more proximal to the problem than tolerance.

The reason is that what we are talking about here is ultimately opinions and actions. We're talking about what happens when someone publishes an 'Oriental Adventures' book and someone is offended by that. You see once that happens, Umbran "respect of the 2nd type" is no longer the operative thing controlling ones actions. What's happened is Umbran's respect of the 1st type has gone wholly missing.

And the problem is that I don't think you can or ought to demand respect of the first type. I think there will be general agreement that a person can have opinions that are not worthy of respect and can perform actions that are not worthy of respect.

So then what? The problem with "multiculturalism" as an answer is that I don't think the people that use the word have seriously considered what culture is. They think culture is costumes and cuisine and things like that, and those are really only the superficial artifacts of a culture. They don't make you a member of that culture. It is as it were what comes out of you and not what goes into you that makes you a member of a culture (to paraphrase someone famous). Real culture is about opinions, beliefs, and actions and any two given cultures will be widely apart on those opinions, beliefs, and actions. Cultures are inherently incompatible.

So the question is never about how we go about living with people who have our respect, because that's easy. There is no challenge there. The question is how we go about living with people we don't think deserve our respect, and who in turn do not respect us as we would wish. Or in other words, what do you do if you are a Native American in Germany who discovers that there is this LARPing community of Germans dressing up in the trappings of your culture and pretending to be "Red Indians".
 
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Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
.So the question is never about how we go about living with people who have our respect, because that's easy. There is no challenge there. The question is how we go about living with people we don't think deserve our respect, and who in turn do not respect us as we would wish. Or in other words, what do you do if you are a Native American in Germany who discovers that there is this LARPing community of Germans dressing up in the trappings of your culture and pretending to be "Red Indians".

I think this example goes to the next step of obligation to act when intolerable occurs but nonetheless
I think that it is still possible to respect the inherent personhood of the people involved in this situation and even to show a degree of tolerance whilst also addressing the ignorance of their actions. It may even go someway to address Sadras earlier question regarding friends and strangers to the extent that respect should be given to strangers and tolerance afforded to their differences, but that friendship often makes the difference moot.

Nonetheless there is an obligation to address overt action such as the Red Indian larp and in this regard education of the ignorant tends to have better results than belligerence, as it utilises the value of respect shown to generate respect for opinion, belief and culture.
 

Celebrim

Legend
Nonetheless there is an obligation to address overt action such as the Red Indian larp and in this regard education of the ignorant tends to have better results than belligerence, as it utilises the value of respect shown to generate respect for opinion, belief and culture.


Yeah, but what do you do when, "Those ignorant people refuse to change! They refuse to accept that my superior and respectful cultural beliefs are better than their inferior and disrespectful beliefs!"

At some point you have to deal with the fact that those LARPing Germans don't feel they are being disrespectful, and have been in communication with other members of your community who didn't treat them as if they were being disrespectful, and no amount of your education is changing their minds.

So do you just keep calling them "ignorant" "jerks" and hope that works? Do you go around feeling disrespected and outraged? What do you do?

You used the world "intolerable". I hope you understand how terrible the implications of that word really are and what the word really means.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
And so I can agree with Umbran that it is good to respect and value people as individuals based on their inherent personhood. And I can also disagree with him that respect is more proximal to the problem than tolerance.

I think I can describe now how it isn't.....

Real culture is about opinions, beliefs, and actions and any two given cultures will be widely apart on those opinions, beliefs, and actions. Cultures are inherently incompatible.

That is... very Orson Scott Card. Given how many cultures have the Golden Rule, though, it is also very probably incorrect, at least among our fellow humans.

The question is how we go about living with people we don't think deserve our respect, and who in turn do not respect us as we would wish. Or in other words, what do you do if you are a Native American in Germany who discovers that there is this LARPing community of Germans dressing up in the trappings of your culture and pretending to be "Red Indians".

Just as there are two things we refer to as "respect"* There are actually two things we call "tolerance".

Tolerance Type 1 - Putting up with your B.S. When a co-worker is really great to be around, works hard, and is helpful, I may tolerate their habit of reheating fish in the office microwave. We do not owe each other this - it is a thing we may extend for our own reasons, because we are under duress, or the like.

Tolerance Type 2 - Recognition that having a different a different opinion, tradition, belief system, likes/dislikes, orientation, or the like does not mean someone should not have my Respect**.

So, really, the tolerance we are (or at least I am) discussing is itself about maintaining basic respect. So, Respect comes first.

A drunken fratboy in facepaint and a feathered headdress, stumbling through a "war dance" - that's B.S. and we have no need to put up with that behavior.

The German larpers? If they are hopping around all, "Whee! I am a Noble Savage!" that's B.S., and we don't need to put up with it. If they are not using it to display cultural dominance, are putting in significant amounts of research and trying to do this respectfully - There's a choice to be made as to whether that behavior should be allowed to continue. I don't claim to be the one to make that choice.




*for clarity: Type 1 - earned, and Type 2 - your inherent due as a feeling, sentient being.

**Resolving Popper's Paradox - when your belief or behavior is about not having Respect or Tolerance Type 2, it qualifies as B.S., and I don't have to put up with it.
 


Celebrim

Legend
We might need to take a step back to unpack this statement a bit, because on the surface it is absolutely horrifying.

Thought you might think that. By all means, unpack it.

I will insist that as much as you may be horrified by it, you believe it and act as if it were true.

For example, Umbran's "we don't need to put up with it" and " a choice to be made as to whether that behavior should be allowed to continue". Even if he isn't currently claiming to be the one to make that choice, he's affirming that it is a choice.
 

Gradine

Final Form (they/them)
Thought you might think that. By all means, unpack it.

I will insist that as much as you may be horrified by it, you believe it and act as if it were true.

For example, Umbran's "we don't need to put up with it" and " a choice to be made as to whether that behavior should be allowed to continue". Even if he isn't currently claiming to be the one to make that choice, he's affirming that it is a choice.

I think you and I might have different definitions for "culture", which helps explain a lot.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
My theory is just be respectful, cultural. appropriation used to be called diffusion.

Every successful culture has done it. I've seen Jordanian kids dressed up as cowboys and Indians so go figure.
 
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Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Yeah, but what do you do when, "Those ignorant people refuse to change! They refuse to accept that my superior and respectful cultural beliefs are better than their inferior and disrespectful beliefs!"

At some point you have to deal with the fact that those LARPing Germans don't feel they are being disrespectful, and have been in communication with other members of your community who didn't treat them as if they were being disrespectful, and no amount of your education is changing their minds.

So do you just keep calling them "ignorant" "jerks" and hope that works? Do you go around feeling disrespected and outraged? What do you do?

You used the world "intolerable". I hope you understand how terrible the implications of that word really are and what the word really means.

At the end of the day it comes down to authority, both in terms of source of authority and respect for that authority.

as a NZ “Maori” I see examples of the haka being performed all over the world, most recently by Japanese school children, but previously by American football players, Italian models, Belgian hipsters and drunken Englishmen.

I consider it my duty to monitor and assess it, the source of my authority being ancestry and knowledge of the subject.

respectfulness is a huge part of the assessment criteria, it’s the reason why Japanese school kids (who were taught by a Maori) and Hawaiian actors get a pass whereas Italians models and drunken English don’t

I raise the Belgian example as I was involved after a group decided to do a mock haka there. My cousin who lives in Flanders gave me a call to address the issue. As an isolated minority in Belgium it required respectful education and calling on the support of local museums to promote the message - which indeed was one of respect

My theory is just be respectful, cultural. appropriation used to be called diffusion.

Every successful culture has done it. I've seen Jordanian kids dressed up as cowboys and Indians so go figure.

the issue is one of Authority,kids playing dress up is one thing, but it becomes problematic amongst adults when those with no connection to a cultureclaim a right to give meaning to cultural concepts or to interpretsymbols and practice for their own benefit. It’s especially so with minority cultures with very little global influence beyond their own cultural artifacts - which is why no one really worries about appropriation of US, Anglo or Chinese culture since those groups have sufficient global influence to define themselves.
 
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Zardnaar

Legend
At the end of the day it comes down to authority, both in terms of source of authority and respect for that authority.

as a NZ “Maori” I see examples of the haka being performed all over the world, most recently by Japanese school children, but previously by American football players, Italian models, Belgian hipsters and drunken Englishmen.

I consider it my duty to monitor and assess it, the source of my authority being ancestry and knowledge of the subject.

respectfulness is a huge part of the assessment criteria, it’s the reason why Japanese school kids (who were taught by a Maori) and Hawaiian actors get a pass whereas Italians models and drunken English don’t

I raise the Belgian example as I was involved after a group decided to do a mock haka there. My cousin who lives in Flanders gave me a call to address the issue.



the issue is one of Authority,kids playing dress up is one thing, but it becomes problematic amongst adults when those with no connection to a cultureclaim a right to give meaning to cultural concepts or to interpretsymbols and practice for their own benefit. It’s especially so with minority cultures with very little global influence beyond their own cultural artifacts - which is why no one really worries about appropriation of US, Anglo or Chinese culture since those groups have sufficient global influence to define themselves.

I was trying to explain D&D to a Maori in the 90s as it's heavily based on European myth and legend.

A Dragon article had Polynesian weapons in it for D&D and he thought it was great. YMMV of course.

Polynesian themes were also in the Barbarians Handbook, not sure how people would feel about that but I'm not a fan of the berzerker thing they borrowed from the Vikings.
 

Being offended by the term Exotic makes no sense to me, it's not insulting, all it implies is an exciting uniqueness to something. I'd love to be called exotic, but I'm Canadian and no one finds Canadians exotic 😞😞. I want to be exotic for once!!!


YOUR EXOTIC!!!!
 

Gradine

Final Form (they/them)
Even if it did, it would prove my point.

It wouldn't at all though. There is a world of a difference between "we need to not tolerate intolerance" and "Cultures are inherently incompatible" as a giant blanket statement. You're not making anything remotely approaching sense at this point.

There is nothing inherently incompatible with culture as a concept or cultures writ large. In actuality, it is hatred and violence that is inherently incompatible with culture.

Edit: This is because hatred and violence are qualities of ideologies, not cultures. The are obviously a number of ideologies centered specifically around these qualities that must not be tolerated; must not be allowed to propagate and flourish if any cultures are to flourish in freedom and peaceful coexistence.

For instance; the Neo-Nazism calls for the eradication of cultures; anti-Neo-Nazi efforts call for the eradication of an ideology. There are not equivalent in any way, shape or form, which is, as far as I can tell, the point you are trying to make in calling insinuating that folks like me or Umbran with our Popper's Paradox are being hypocritical on this point.
 
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