D&D 5E Yes to factionalism. No to racism.

Oofta

Legend
So here's the problem.

Even if you initially read it that way, at this point, you know that was a misreading, that if we want to put in the most correct English, which no-one here uses, btw, we all (including you and me) don't use perfect English, then it's "Factionalism rather than racialism".

You know that is what the meaning is.

It is not in dispute.

So continuing to dispute is outright bad faith arguing.

I've already given my thoughts on the topic. I don't think factions based on some arbitrary grouping are any better than having the racial descriptions we currently have. It's a game. It's oversimplified. It's not the real world and if we want some core ideas for what someone from a specific race is like it suits it's purpose in the game well enough. If races are literally created by gods, races are the representation of the god's faction. It gives people a core shared understanding that I think is part of what makes D&D work across a broad array of campaign settings.

I disagree with you saying "the words used don't matter because I say they don't". It's akin to someone making an offensive statement an then saying "it was just a joke".

The OP could have easily had a title something like "We should use Factions instead of Race". Then there would be no confusion, no one would look at that and see an implied "I'm right and if you disagree you're a bigot". Word choices matter.
 

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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Maybe all the nonhuman races just aren't important enough to your campaign to have lots of cultural subdivisions. They were created both as a contrast from humans and as a way to highlight a human trait by exaggeration. Are we now saying that using them that way is wrong? Yes or no?
No, we are not saying that. We are saying that past representation has emphasized just how much representation matters. Knowing that, we should keep it in mind going forward and find better ways of doing it.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I don't think factions based on some arbitrary grouping are any better than having the racial descriptions we currently have.

I think it's the core of the problem because, let's face it, it's certainly not all the races that people have issues with in D&D. 99.95% of all races are not mentioned, it's always back to the orc and drow.

Vistanis are human, and they still call problems because of a different type of stereotype than a racial one, this one being cultural (so a "faction") if I understand it. Same as the colons from Maztica, by the way, who are human, it's a culture (of Amn, if I'm not mistaken, and actually even a subculture, a faction.

And then we get (always the same people, by the way), objecting the use of words like primitive, tribal, etc. when these again describe cultures.

So not only does it add more complexity to the generation when actually, as multiple posters have pointed out, the benefit for most players who do not care about the above problems and who just want a simple game to play will probably focus on the races technical effects, but it actually does not solve at all the problem that it is, awkwardly, trying to address...
 

They were created both as a contrast from humans and as a way to highlight a human trait by exaggeration. Are we now saying that using them that way is wrong? Yes or no?
Where they created in that way? I feel like, there's an element of that, but it's only limited part of what was going on. The main issue, since 1E, has been that monocultures don't feel great.

Many settings, all the way back to our good friend Time of the Dragon (Taladas) in October 1989, went pretty far out of their way to avoid monocultures.

I actually think 3E was a problem here (and 4E and 5E largely followed it) in that it basically ignored all of what 2E had done, and rolled back to monocultures, and then various splatbooks relied on these monocultures existing and provided new monocultures for new races. Of course Eberron went the opposite way.
 


Oofta

Legend
Wow that's incredibly unfair portrayal of what I've said. I'm surprised and disappointed to see it from you.

I'm just trying to explain why people have a problem with the title. There is a tendency around here to title threads in such a way that it comes off as "Either you agree with my position or you are [insert negative here]." I assume everybody agrees racism is bad. Of course we say no to real world racism so including "No to racism" in the title is needlessly provocative when there are many other ways to phrase the title to get the point across.

Even if I agreed that factions were better I would still disagree with the structure of the thread title.
 


Lyxen

Great Old One
Where they created in that way? I feel like, there's an element of that, but it's only limited part of what was going on. The main issue, since 1E, has been that monocultures don't feel great.

And then, again, where are the monocultures, even in 1e ? Yes, the PH is fairly generic but so is the one in 5e, but let's take for example Greyhawk, as I've pointed out, it's the same as Eberron, there are multiple and very varied elven cultures, for example, from Celene to Ulek including some very reclusive cultures like the Grugach and the Valley Elves, and at the same time you find elves in large numbers in a lot of countries around the map, for example in Geoff, Keoland, etc.

As for their creation, a lot of the demi-human races were created as derivative of Tolkien, simplified for use in the game, that's all. It was not even a question of culture...
 

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