WotC WotC's Chris Perkins On D&D's Inclusivity Processes Going Forward

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Over on D&D Beyond, WotC's Chris Perkins has written a blog entry about how the company's processes have been changed to improve the way the D&D studio deals with harmful content and inclusivity. This follows recent issues with racist content in Spelljammer: Adventures in Space, and involves working with external cultural consultants.

The studio’s new process mandates that every word, illustration, and map must be reviewed by multiple outside cultural consultants prior to publication.

 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Staffan

Legend
Really? I know I'm in a bit of a bubble, but as a fan of the works of both authors, the issues in Lovecraft's works really jump out. I have to stop and take some time to think about Tolkien. The only thing that stands out, and the only thing I recall seeing much writing about, is that is related to it being very male centered.
Tolkien has strict racial hierarchies, with Aragorn being particularly awesome on account of being pure-blood Dunedain, and the Men of Gondor being kinda good but not quite as good as proper Dunedain.

That said, Tolkien seems to have been much less racist than his contemporaries, and famously reacted very poorly to his German publisher asking him to verify that he was "Aryan".
 

We've romanticized and watered down pirates over the last few decades. Here's an example of a Disney pirates designed for children.

View attachment 266910

I'm pretty sure taking another person's property is what being a pirate is all about.
Jake and the neverland pirates isn't 'watered down pirates' it's lost boys playing pirate. the fact that the show has a basic pirate theme doesn't change anyone teen or older from realizing it. I don't care if a 5 year old mistakes a cartoon fantasy of pirates for real world history... no adult or even teen is.

Edit: and the 1 game of pirates we played was pre that show but had more in common with a mixeture or that and jack sparrow (also before that) then any real life pirates.
I wish I remembered the name of the game, it was furry pirates maybe? I remember I was an anthropomorphic armadillo and we had 2 fox and a wolf and a bear.
 

If you complain about Tolkien then you should worry more about the "social darwinism" from lots of titles of current speculative industry. In my opinion the danger is not evil characters doing horrible actions but we have lost good guys with noble values. I have listened lot of people saying bigotry is wrong. And bigotry is wrong, but if we want the end of the intolerance, hate and bigotry then we have to promote the respect for the human dignity, and lots of current authors have forgotten that totally.

When I was a child I enjoyed the old movies of pirates, but later I started to understand Hollywood wasn't telling the truth about English corsairs and the "evil" Spanish empire. Also I watched far-west movies of indians vs cowboys, but later I started to learn other point of view. And the movies of Tarzan. Today a production about Tarzan has to obey some rules for respect for the Blackafrican people. Have you thought any time any things are allowed today, but in a future, maybe a couple of decades, could become politically incorrect because the mind of the society has changed again?

I don't like the word "inclusive" because then I start to suspect others are going to be excluyed.

My opinion is if WotC published the right work about settings inspired in no-Western civilitations, then to learn to respect people from other cultures. Of course this is harder challengue than publishing sourcebooks about crunch.

I suposse the strategy by WotC is to watch DMGuild and the reaction by the fandom. Also WotC should watch the 3PPs because someone could have got some really good idea.
 

MGibster

Legend
Jake and the neverland pirates isn't 'watered down pirates' it's lost boys playing pirate. the fact that the show has a basic pirate theme doesn't change anyone teen or older from realizing it. I don't care if a 5 year old mistakes a cartoon fantasy of pirates for real world history... no adult or even teen is.
I get that and I'm not objecting to it. I simply find it amusing that a bunch of murderers, thieves, and rapist have been watered down to the point where they're fodder for a children's cartoon.
 



I get that and I'm not objecting to it. I simply find it amusing that a bunch of murderers, thieves, and rapist have been watered down to the point where they're fodder for a children's cartoon.
i mean don't we water down everything? fire fighters are not going to die in a fire in a show rated Y either...
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Children's cartoons don't have enough brutal murders in them.

I wish I could say I hadn't heard that argument before. See the above mentioned pizza cutter writers, ne of whom decided to go self-pub because no publisher would let them put lurid descriptions of gore into an 8+ children's book for some reason.
 

Children's cartoons don't have enough brutal murders in them.
and SA... don't forget they said SA too (something I didn't think we talked about on here) it is so odd
I wish I could say I hadn't heard that argument before. See the above mentioned pizza cutter writers, ne of whom decided to go self-pub because no publisher would let them put lurid descriptions of gore into an 8+ children's book for some reason.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Oh god, don't get me started on their attitudes on SA. Two of them spent a weekend arguing that it as necessary for good YA. People are messed up.

Like people talk about how bad 'sanitizing' things are, but the pendulum on the other side is so much worse.

But that's a fight for another forum. A constant, emotionally draining fight against 13 year old edgelords in the bodies of mostly 45-year olds.

For here: if you want to do a racism, whether that's overt in the NuTSR Star Frontiers way or unintentional in the form of not researching and just throwing out a lot of stereotypes, please keep it at your table, far away from the public and for the love of god, don't try and publish it for all to see your ignorance.
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
They're getting there, really.

Getting there? I think they've been there!


Hey, let's watch a movie. Hmmm... maybe something cute for the little kids. Something G. Something with fuzzy little bunnies! I know, Watership Down!

watership-down-rabbit.gif

Oh .... god..... Rinse my eyes out. That's pure nightmare fuel!
 
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Riley

Legend
Getting there? I think they've been there!


Hey, let's watch a movie. Hmmm... maybe something cute for the little kids. Something G. Something with fuzzy little bunnies! I know, Watership Down!



Oh .... god..... Rinse my eyes out. That's pure nightmare fuel!

Spoiler tag, please, Snarf?

There’s a reason I haven’t watched that movie in over 30 years. It’s still too soon.
 
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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Spoiler tag, maybe, Snarf?

There’s a reason I haven’t watched that movie in over 30 years. It’s still too soon.

Well, I don't normally think about spoilers for things from over 30 years ago, but fair point. It's edited.

Hey, we should talk about Old Yeller! Nothing as heart warming as a sweet story of a boy and his dog!
 
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Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
This isn't new or contemporaneous to have strangely targeted content. What is this?



Answer A: a nursery rhyme
Answer B: a lament about houses of ill repute being closed and suggesting "alternative set-ups" at home until they reopen.
Answer C: both of them.

(Song from 1757 and part of children's songs ever since).
 
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Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
When I was a child I enjoyed the old movies of pirates, but later I started to understand Hollywood wasn't telling the truth about English corsairs and the "evil" Spanish empire. Also I watched far-west movies of indians vs cowboys, but later I started to learn other point of view.

Maybe with the Western genre it was knowingly telling tales as part of a conspiracy to legitimate the colonization of the West (and even there, it might have been the same motivation as with pirates, with sheriff vs outlaw being more into focus), but I am pretty convinced that there was no ill intent behind glorifying pirates attacking the Spanish Main. They knew it was inaccurate, but they didn't feel that they'd be telling a better story by having heroes that their audience would find morally repugnant. So they sanitized the protagonist and made the antagonist evil. Entertainment where everyone is equally evil tend to be depressing and those where the good ones are unsympathetic dont't sell well (see Starship Troopers).

Have you thought any time any things are allowed today, but in a future, maybe a couple of decades, could become politically incorrect because the mind of the society has changed again?

This has already happened. Social consensus after the Renaissance up to the 19th century was much more hostile to women's rights than in the earlier eras. Slavery was unheard of in Britain after the 12th century... and then it was legalized to trade them. Society doesn't necessarily advance in a linear way (except probably a tendancy for every period and cultural group to consider itself right irrespective of its choices). Scientific reasoning might be declining as we speak: have you ever heard of flatearthers before the last two decades? (but it might be because the Internet expose us to all sort of lunacy). Maybe in 30 years it will gather enough traction that it will be accepted...
 
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