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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I hope to can say here, but I guess WotC could be interested into Japanase creators to introduce D&D in the Japanase market, and later in South-Korea. China is really a great market, but there is risk of possible troubles, or Chinese publish "pirate" versions.

I try to understand companies to keep their prestige try to be "polite" and politically correct, but some times I suspect there is a double standards, a double yardstick to measure.

D&D is the most politically correct and ideologicaly neutral TTRPG I know, but some "sinnister minister" in Ravenloft.
 

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Starfox

Adventurer
Old and revised versions are listed on there.
Thanks.
I can see how people would be offended by the leftmost picture of the performing Hadoze, and the entire idea of an artificially generated PC heritage is unpalatable. If a PC race has an origin as artificially generated, I think that should be a core element of that heritage's story, not something that's there for no good reason. So a golem-like race is ok to me, the Hadoze less so. Its also weird as it wasn't so in previous versions. The earlier version's Ucle Tom-like fondness for elves seems more offensive to me, maybe that's why the changed it.

I tend to find racial sensitivity somewhat overblown, I am kind of glad there is substance to this argument.

In my own game, gnomes have as one of their roles that they are the underclass in high elven and eladrin society, particularly in the Feywild. Its an upstairs-downstairs kind of plot element. The gnomes are quite happy with this relationship, gladly letting the elves take the political and military roles uncomfortable to them while they focus on the joys of everyday life, and while formally inferior their standard of living is not at all bad. Still reading the original Hadoze I realize my gnomes can be seen as racist.

And yeah, this post is a bit egotistic as it is mainly about myself and my reaction to the issue. Sorry about that.
 


Hussar

Legend
Having just asked what the issue is and then reacted to it below, I give a face to the "what's all this then?" crowd. Some of us just don't know what all the fuss is about and need to be informed.

Oh sorry. I went too far as usual. Sigh. Asking is perfectly fine and understandable. By all means.

It’s that next step. Judging that explanation. Is it “good enough” that we should do something about it? That’s the one that often goes horribly wrong.
 

R_J_K75

Legend
At a different workplace in a major corporation , my job is at least 25% harder because oversight that should happen doesn't happen.
I'm not saying that there isn't incompetence, lack of work ethics, or people being put in positions they are unsuited for, I've seen employees and management do some really irresponsible and stupid things, but I was just saying that Ive worked for some really well run and highly functioning companies. Were they perfect, of course not but you had a lot less bad situations, most people on staff were very professional, knew their job we'll and were left alone to do their jobs, with management stepping in only occasionally as needed.
 

I hope to can say here, but I guess WotC could be interested into Japanase creators to introduce D&D in the Japanase market, and later in South-Korea. China is really a great market, but there is risk of possible troubles, or Chinese publish "pirate" versions.

They might want to consider making different editions, not just translating the text, which I guess is akin to making a different cut for a film.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I'm not saying that there isn't incompetence, lack of work ethics, or people being put in positions they are unsuited for, I've seen employees and management do some really irresponsible and stupid things, but I was just saying that Ive worked for some really well run and highly functioning companies. Were they perfect, of course not but you had a lot less bad situations, most people on staff were very professional, knew their job we'll and were left alone to do their jobs, with management stepping in only occasionally as needed.
The staff can be very professional.

My point is on vigilance and attentiveness. As major corporations get bigger, it gains more and more layers. And it is easier for things to slip through the cracks the bigger you are, the more layers the production run through, and the more time passed since the last incident.

People are screaming "WOTC is insensitive" but it is more likely "WOTC is huge and made tons of money".

If Paizo, GW, or even ENWorld Publishing were that big, they would eventually have a scandal sourced from it's size hindering vigilance of some sort.
 

Staffan

Legend
Forgive me for using your post to illustrate why WotC is right to hire cultural consultants. Because you obviously have good intentions, and you just as obviously don't know what you don't know.
This made a little lightbulb turn on in my head.

You know the Evil Overlord List? One of the items on it is "One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation."

That's what a sensitivity reader/cultural consultant is. It's someone who can look at your work without the same preconceptions as you, and point out flaws in it.

---------

That said, while the treatment of the Hadozee in Spelljammer was rather insensitive and slavery is probably overused as a whole in D&D, I don't think I'd go as far as Paizo are doing according to their recent statement (based on a similar incident). It can still be a strong plot element as long as it's treated with care. The best example is, I think, Eberron's warforged. For those not familiar, warforged are basically mass-produced sapient and kinda alive constructs, built to fight in the setting's equivalent of World War I. They are constructed beings and were considered property, but they can think for themselves and they do have emotions. Two years ago, the War ended with a peace treaty stipulating that the facilities used to construct the warforged be dismantled, that no more were to be created, and the ones already existing would become free citizens (though different nations have implemented this in different ways). This has created a bunch of other social issues. One is that there are now a bunch of absolutely lethal war veterans wondering what to do with their potentially infinite lives. Some take regular jobs, and since they do not need to sleep or eat can often outcompete other people for these jobs, which creates strife (not to mention exploitation of the warforged themselves). They are visually highly distinctive, making them a visual reminder of the War. Some have gathered under the banner of a leader who claims to want to create a new homeland for them, and restart production under his control. These are all really interesting plot elements that are based on these beings recently being released from what was essentially slavery, and I think the Eberron setting would be much poorer without these elements.

Now, this is my perspective as a white guy from Sweden, and while Sweden certainly hasn't been innocent in matters of colonialism and trans-Atlantic slave trade (it's not that we didn't try, we just weren't any "good" at it), we pretty much haven't had any slaves here since the 14th century. So slavery is not an open wound here the way it, and its follow-ups (e.g. Jim Crow, redlining, etc.) have been in the USA. It's very possible that other people with different backgrounds than mine would feel differently about the above issue, but that's how I feel at least.
 

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
They might want to consider making different editions, not just translating the text, which I guess is akin to making a different cut for a film.
They've literally released 5e in Japan. We don't need to guess what they're doing or how it is/isn't angering people in Japan.

It's reception has been okay, mostly because the marketing. I have yet to see the outcry that @LuisCarlos17f expected.
 

They've literally released 5e in Japan. We don't need to guess what they're doing or how it is/isn't angering people in Japan.

It's reception has been okay, mostly because the marketing. I have yet to see the outcry that @LuisCarlos17f expected.

???? It's not Japan I was wondering about (as far as I know, they don't have reasons to censor RPGs and are a rather liberal country) but China who might tick at typical PCs (who often defy or are at odds with established authority). They are already very touchy about video RPGs.
 
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