DnD addresses racism.

Gethsemani

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Nope.

Most RPGs don't have this Rule 0. It is specifically a D&D thing. Elsewhere important decisions tend to be done by the whole group, not just the GM and that works far better.
Most traditional RPGs I've played has some variations on it, whether it is rule 0, GMs fiat or something similar. Either way, the idea that the GM is the final arbiter and can change rules, settings or whatever as they see fit is widespread enough to be a cornerstone of most RP groups. Though I do really like Jason Morningstar's games, in which the group needs to make collective decisions (and they tend to either be without GMs entirely or rotate the GM responsibility).
 

Satinavian

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Surely that's not a system thing, that's a group thing?
Yes, but many systems actually have passages in their rules about how to solve conflicts at the table or how to proceed when customizing rules or settings. Usually in the various "introduction to roleplaying" chapters.

D&D is one of the systems that introduces a Rule 0 explicitely that gives the DM sole authority. That has caused a lot of trouble over the decades.
 

Chimpzy

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Nope.

Most RPGs don't have this Rule 0. It is specifically a D&D thing. Elsewhere important decisions tend to be done by the whole group, not just the GM and that works far better.
Ok, sure, but whether it's the group or an individual (because a good GM respects his group's wishes) who decides, the point still stands, the game is what they want it to be. That flexibility is one of pen & paper's greatest strengths
 
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Satinavian

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I agree. I just really don't like D&Ds take on it and it is really called Rule 0 there. I do frequent D&D boards from time to time and the number of DMs that complained about players leaving them or not agreeing with their idea of fun and insisting they alone were in the right because rule 0 was somewhere in the book was quite staggering.
 
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Terminal Blue

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I think we're shifting the goalposts a bit here. The topic is about what culture you actually identify with and seek representation of in your games, not what culture others think you belong to and how they treat you as a result.
And my point is, for many people these are the same thing.

When you live in a place where your culture is marked and read by others through your appearance, then you don't really have a choice whether to "identify" with that culture. That identification is imposed on you whether you want it or not. You cannot constantly be surrounded by people who perceive you through your ancestral culture without figuring out, consciously or subconsciously, that that culture is a part of who you are, and when you see representations of that culture you know they are talking about you. It doesn't matter how you personally feel about your ancestral culture if that culture is literally written onto your face.

Only white people have the luxury of choosing an ancestral culture to "identify" with.
 
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Dreiko

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And my point is, for many people these are the same thing.

When you live in a place where your culture is marked and read by others through your appearance, then you don't really have a choice whether to "identify" with that culture. That identification is imposed on you whether you want it or not. You cannot constantly be surrounded by people who perceive you through your ancestral culture without figuring out, consciously or subconsciously, that that culture is a part of who you are, and when you see representations of that culture you know they are talking about you. It doesn't matter how you personally feel about your ancestral culture if that culture is literally written onto your face.

Only white people have the luxury of choosing an ancestral culture to "identify" with.
I can see the argument about a subconscious level but no, on a conscious level you always get to choose. It is a lie that you are forced to identify with something you don't because society doesn't treat you as the thing you feel like. Just like how gay people can just identify as being gay despite society's ideas that that's abnormal or deviant, so can anyone else identify with anything.

I think the resistance you'd face identifying with something beyond what your arbitrary characteristics would stereotype you as identifying with would be met with much less resistance than that. And also would make you a more interesting person in my eyes, but that's just me having a soft spot for misfits and heterodox folks.



Oh yeah, being a little dumb and indoctrinated is not a personal attack at all and totally a valid argument.
I think it's an apt comparison because people are indoctrinated to try to find anti-blackness in everything, which is why we got to the absurd point that someone found it in orcs of all things. I do think that's more than a little dumb, too.
So instead of going on random tangents about posts a few pages back that I didn't write, maybe respond to what I actually wrote when you decide to quote my posts?

You're free to re-visit my post with some serious arguments at any time, honestly. But if all you're gonna do is rhetorical fallacies, I'm not going to bother with any serious argumentation and will just point them out.
You're the one who is saying things in bad faith to "apply my style of deflection" without genuinely meaning them, whatever your concerns with my style, I at least am actually saying what I believe 100%, I don't think the tenor of my response to that was in any way out of line whatsoever.
 
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Buyetyen

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I think it's an apt comparison because people are indoctrinated to try to find anti-blackness in everything, which is why we got to the absurd point that someone found it in orcs of all things. I do think that's more than a little dumb, too.
Because it's totally logical and realistic to assume the only reason anyone would disagree with you is because they're brainwashed and stupid.
/s
 

Gethsemani

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You're the one who is saying things in bad faith to "apply my style of deflection" without genuinely meaning them, whatever your concerns with my style, I at least am actually saying what I believe 100%, I don't think the tenor of my response to that was in any way out of line whatsoever.
Maybe you're just not very good at the whole "form an argument"-thing, but most of what you've been doing for the last few posts have been rhetorical fallacies that mostly comes down to personal incredulity ("I don't understand/think so") or sheer ad hominems. It is perfectly encapsulated in the first paragraph of your reply to me:

I think it's an apt comparison because people are indoctrinated to try to find anti-blackness in everything, which is why we got to the absurd point that someone found it in orcs of all things. I do think that's more than a little dumb, too.
You can't see how parts of the Orc stereotype can be construed as racist hence it must not be so (personal incredulity) and thus everyone who sees those connections are, to quote you, "a little dumb and indoctrinated" (ad hominem).

Why should anyone discuss anything with you with 100% sincerity when you'll dismiss them out of hand and insult them if what they are saying doesn't conform to your preconceptions? There's plenty of good faith discussion in this topic, including my first posts, but at some point it is easier to just stoop to your level and dismiss you as a little dumb and indoctrinated, because that's what you'll do to me (or anyone else responding to you) if you don't agree with us, no matter what we write or how well-reasoned our posts. You obviously don't have to agree with anything anyone writes, but it would behoove you to at least maintain a modicum of decorum, respond to the arguments presented and not go straight for the fallacies and insults.
 

TheMysteriousGX

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Each edition is its own thing the way I see it, you can still run campaigns in an older edition, they don't get removed when a new one comes out. When you change something fundamental that exists everywhere, and when you change an edition already out (as opposed to just releasing a 6th edition with these changes, which would be more acceptable) then you cause problems to arise like I described.
Except this isn't "something fundamental that exists everywhere", it's a minor stat tweak that weirdo nerds oppose for philosophical reasons.
In 2nd edition, orcs were generally Lawful Evil instead of chaotic, and had average intellegence. Kobolds were fuzzy dog creatures instead of miniature dragon folks. Neither Kobolds nor Orcs had stat penalties in 4th Edition. 2nd Edition, 3rd Edition, *and* 4th Edition had extensive errata, patches, retcons, and rewrites during their production, to the point of releasing whole new books.

If your campaign absolutely relies on orcs having a textual -1 modifier on intelligence, the fuck
 
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Hawki

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Only white people have the luxury of choosing an ancestral culture to "identify" with.
That's utterly absurd. It's absurd on both the individual and theoretical level.

On the individual level, talk to any person, anywhere, and they'll be able to give you some commentary on their ancestry. Some more than others, but if you think that only white people mention ancestry, you haven't been paying attention. Also telling on the individual level, if you're white, you're far more likely to be called out for "cultural appropriation" (though by no means is this exclusive).

On a theoretical level, again, don't know what to tell you. Off the top of my head, there's a train of thought within Afrocentrism that basically claims all civilizations as Africa's own, in part due to the Out of Africa Theory, in part due to perceived similarities between cultures. The most recent claim of this strain was that Beethoven was black and was whitewashed, an earlier one being that Mesoamerican civilization owes its existence to Africans sailing over. And still on the Old Continent, there was the push by the Muslim Brotherhood to claim that every invention in the continent secretly owes its existance to Islam. But not to be outdone, there's a train of thought here that I can only call Austrocentrism, which posits an Out of Australia Theory, or more subtly, the idea that because Australian Aborigenes have the "oldest culture in the world," they "invented civilization." If you want less recent examples, you can look at Sinocentrism.

Of course, it's mostly nonsense at the end of the day, like identity politics is generally, but the idea of 'claiming ancestry' is no means exclusive to any one particular group. If you're claiming that it isn't, then that means that I have to admit I've been halucinating every time I read/listen to someone 'claim' said ancestry.
 

Trunkage

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That's utterly absurd. It's absurd on both the individual and theoretical level.

On the individual level, talk to any person, anywhere, and they'll be able to give you some commentary on their ancestry. Some more than others, but if you think that only white people mention ancestry, you haven't been paying attention. Also telling on the individual level, if you're white, you're far more likely to be called out for "cultural appropriation" (though by no means is this exclusive).

On a theoretical level, again, don't know what to tell you. Off the top of my head, there's a train of thought within Afrocentrism that basically claims all civilizations as Africa's own, in part due to the Out of Africa Theory, in part due to perceived similarities between cultures. The most recent claim of this strain was that Beethoven was black and was whitewashed, an earlier one being that Mesoamerican civilization owes its existence to Africans sailing over. And still on the Old Continent, there was the push by the Muslim Brotherhood to claim that every invention in the continent secretly owes its existance to Islam. But not to be outdone, there's a train of thought here that I can only call Austrocentrism, which posits an Out of Australia Theory, or more subtly, the idea that because Australian Aborigenes have the "oldest culture in the world," they "invented civilization." If you want less recent examples, you can look at Sinocentrism.

Of course, it's mostly nonsense at the end of the day, like identity politics is generally, but the idea of 'claiming ancestry' is no means exclusive to any one particular group. If you're claiming that it isn't, then that means that I have to admit I've been halucinating every time I read/listen to someone 'claim' said ancestry.
I heard the words 'they need to assimilate into our culture' as the only acceptable way for people to be part of a country far too often. So I dont think you have the claim that you make. Take into account things like the Stolen/ Forgotten Generation and counterparts across the West, many people who stripped of their ancestry and deliberately brainwashed to think it terrible. Many of them never to reconnect to their past.

Like, I don't disagree with your theortical section. It's also talking about minorities of minorities who believe that.

That being said, 'white' has been turned into a broad church that it doesnt mean much anymore. And I really dont understand people's need to connect with the past
 

Hawki

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I heard the words 'they need to assimilate into our culture' as the only acceptable way for people to be part of a country far too often. So I dont think you have the claim that you make.
Those are two different things.

Person A saying "you need to assimilate into my culture" and Person B saying "I claim ancestry" are different statements. Neither cancel out the other. Person A may try to stop Person B from making the statement, but that wasn't the original context.

Take into account things like the Stolen/ Forgotten Generation and counterparts across the West, many people who stripped of their ancestry and deliberately brainwashed to think it terrible. Many of them never to reconnect to their past.
Again, that's true, I just don't see what that has to do with anything. The statement was "only white people have the luxury of choosing an ancestral culture to "identify" with." How does the existence of the Stolen Generation make that statement true? Plenty of indigenous Australians claim indigenous ancestry regardless of skin colour.

Also, there's the implication that this process is exclusive to the West, which is certainly ahistorical, but let's not get off track.

That being said, 'white' has been turned into a broad church that it doesnt mean much anymore.
Generally seems to be pretty specific.

I mean, it's going to vary by country and culture. Personally, I'd much rather see these terms retired, but it's unlikely to happen for a long time, if ever.

And I really dont understand people's need to connect with the past
I can understand it. I think we've all got some desire to know where we came from. It's not a rational desire, but it does seem to be an innate desire. You yourself pointed to the Stolen Generations. It's a reasonable desire to connect with cultural roots.

On the flipside...well, you know the flipside. I've made it clear that I'm not a fan of identity politics. Acknowledging culture and ancestry? That's good. That's healthy. Everyone has the right to that. Letting it define you in totality? Different story.
 

Iron

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I'm under the impression Drow only have just the one good guy, and that's about it, Drizzt. Their society is very lopsided.
 

Gethsemani

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I'm under the impression Drow only have just the one good guy, and that's about it, Drizzt. Their society is very lopsided.
This was briefly discussed earlier in this thread. I talked about it in post 261. Relevant part:
Eilistraee was invented by Ed Greenwood as early as 1991 on the behest of his editor, since the editor wanted a good aligned god for Drow characters. Seeing as how the first official FR campaign setting was released in 1987 one can reasonably state that she's been a fixture for a long time.
 

Iron

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This was briefly discussed earlier in this thread. I talked about it in post 261. Relevant part:
Eilistraee was invented by Ed Greenwood as early as 1991 on the behest of his editor, since the editor wanted a good aligned god for Drow characters. Seeing as how the first official FR campaign setting was released in 1987 one can reasonably state that she's been a fixture for a long time.
I wonder if there's some reason to separate game-lore from gameplay in this general "morality" issue.
 

Gethsemani

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I wonder if there's some reason to separate game-lore from gameplay in this general "morality" issue.
It is the other way around. Players obviously liked the conceit of playing good Drows, so the developers threw the players a bone by adding a good Goddess for Drows to worship. This has since been much expanded on with many splats looking at the Eilistraee cult and developing it and the culture of the Good Drows.

You can look really hard if you like, but the Drow race is a case of when the lore is playing catch up with the gameplay, because players obviously like to play the good renegade from the evil race. No one is trying to separate it, if anything the developers have been trying to keep it integrated for literal decades.
 

Agema

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Person A saying "you need to assimilate into my culture" and Person B saying "I claim ancestry" are different statements.
I'm pretty sure there are plenty of persons A who consider person B's statement largely incompatible with their own out there.
 

Terminal Blue

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I can see the argument about a subconscious level but no, on a conscious level you always get to choose. It is a lie that you are forced to identify with something you don't because society doesn't treat you as the thing you feel like. Just like how gay people can just identify as being gay despite society's ideas that that's abnormal or deviant, so can anyone else identify with anything.
You've kind of got this backwards.

A gay person doesn't wake up one day and just choose to identify as gay. They realise that they are different from most people around them, and they internalize that difference whether they want to or not. The act of acknowledging that you are gay, whether to yourself or to the world around you, is the end point of the process. A gay person who is closeted and pretending to be straight knows, on some level, that they are not. They know that when someone talks about gay people or uses a gay stereotype, they are talking about them even if they don't personally resemble or feel any connection to that stereotype, even if they personally identify with or try really hard to fit into straight culture.

Now, if you live in a culture where most people don't look like you and where people treat you differently because of it, it's the same thing. You're going to realise that you're different from people around you. You know that when people employ a stereotype of your ancestral culture they are talking about you, whether you "feel" personally connected to that culture or not. Refusing to identify with that culture isn't really a choice, because the culture you live in will not be able to interpret that choice as anything except wrong.

Now, you can criticize those stereotypes as reductive and wrong, but on some level you're always going to know that they apply to you, because they do. Culture and race are not entirely distinct.

On the individual level, talk to any person, anywhere, and they'll be able to give you some commentary on their ancestry.
That's not what I'm talking about.

Put it this way, one of the few things I know about my actual ancestry is that I have a Welsh grandparent. Noone will bat an eyelid if I go around talking about my Welsh ancestry and how I feel the primordial call to listen to Tom Jones and wear Leeks, because I look white.

A friend of mine has a Scottish grandparent, exactly the same ammount of their ancestry, but they look south Asian. Do you think they get to express their Scottish ancestry in the same way I would get to express my Welsh ancestry if I cared? Do you think they can go around talking about how Scottish they are without being met with derision. Do you think the people who come up to them in the street and demand to know where they're really from will accept "Scotland" as an answer?

Noone actually cares about your ancestry. They care about the aspects of your ancestry which are intelligible, and in a predominantly white culture that means the things that mark you out as not being white. Refusing to accept that this is how people will see you isn't a neutral choice, it requires a deliberate act of political resistance.

On a theoretical level, again, don't know what to tell you. Off the top of my head, there's a train of thought within Afrocentrism that basically claims all civilizations as Africa's own, in part due to the Out of Africa Theory, in part due to perceived similarities between cultures.
Do you know why Afrocentrism and Pan-Africanism is a thing?

It's because black people in the Americas were systematically stripped of their cultural identity to the point that the only ancestral identity they have is "African". Two black people meeting in the US today could have come from completely different West African cultures as far separated geographically and culturally as Portugal is from Russia, but they would never know, because that identity was obliterated when their ancestors were enslaved. All they have left is the fact that they came from Africa (a continent so big it could hold 3 USAs, and which is more linguistically and genetically diverse than the rest of the planet combined). The desire to find some cultural homogeneity and shared value within that state of being African, and to assert Africa as the origin point of all culture, is a product of the exact thing that I'm talking about here.

It's also a good example of the way in which stereotypes are not always bad. The idea of an African culture or African identity is a colonial idea invented by white people, but to black people who have been robbed of an authentic culture it can be empowering and give a sense of connection to a past which has been lost or stolen. For people whose ancestry is in the middle east or south asia, orientalist representations of the "exotic" and "mystical" orient are sometimes the only representation of their ancestral culture that they have.

It's not that we need to get rid of all stereotypes, it's that we need to create stereotypes that aren't belittling or dehumanizing.
 

Hawki

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A friend of mine has a Scottish grandparent, exactly the same ammount of their ancestry, but they look south Asian. Do you think they get to express their Scottish ancestry in the same way I would get to express my Welsh ancestry if I cared? Do you think they can go around talking about how Scottish they are without being met with derision. Do you think the people who come up to them in the street and demand to know where they're really from will accept "Scotland" as an answer?
The short answer is "no," but you could apply the same criteria to any combination and get a similar answer.

For instance, have a friend who has African ancestry, despite being fair-skinned, and predominantly of Italian ancestry. Do you think he could go around claiming African ancestry without raising similar eyebrows?

Mention any country on the planet and people will have an idea as to what people in that country will look like.

Do you know why Afrocentrism and Pan-Africanism is a thing?
I know why those things are things, I don't know why it disproves my point.

It's because black people in the Americas were systematically stripped of their cultural identity to the point that the only ancestral identity they have is "African". Two black people meeting in the US today could have come from completely different West African cultures as far separated geographically and culturally as Portugal is from Russia, but they would never know, because that identity was obliterated when their ancestors were enslaved. All they have left is the fact that they came from Africa (a continent so big it could hold 3 USAs, and which is more linguistically and genetically diverse than the rest of the planet combined). The desire to find some cultural homogeneity and shared value within that state of being African, and to assert Africa as the origin point of all culture, is a product of the exact thing that I'm talking about here.
Again, true. How does that disprove what I've said?

It's also a good example of the way in which stereotypes are not always bad. The idea of an African culture or African identity is a colonial idea invented by white people, but to black people who have been robbed of an authentic culture it can be empowering and give a sense of connection to a past which has been lost or stolen.
"African identity" really has its roots in the likes of Garvey. It's a reaction to imperialism, not a mandate from imperialism.

Also, this is veering way off topic, but the idea of being "robbed"...it's really going down a slippery road, because while nothing you've described above is false, it's also more or less been a global process across human history, and no-one alive today was there for the 'robbing' you're describing. There's a reason, I assume, that you're claiming Welsh ancestry rather than Ordovices ancestry for instance. And even then, my ancestry is 2% Welsh. I'm not going to "claim" that.

It's not that we need to get rid of all stereotypes, it's that we need to create stereotypes that aren't belittling or dehumanizing.
And does that come back to orcs? Because if not, this has gone way off-topic.