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Douche
2018-11-19, 03:27 PM
This isn't the first time I've made such a thread, but it really irritates me to hear people crying about racism every 5 seconds. I don't know why everyone wants to pretend like there's perfect unity between all factions in the world... Yet if I ran a game where everyone was human, you wouldn't hear anyone complaining about it.

So there's the capital city of the elves. They live in a giant tree, obviously. Further into the wild lands, the lizardfolk have been displaced because of evil cult forces and whatnot... those who did not submit were either slain or fled for refuge with the elves... which, I suppose, would make them refugees. I can see the real-world parallels of making the refugees lizard people.... maybe next time I'll learn from my mistakes and always make the group in power be less human so that people won't read into that facet so much.

The elves have a tier of their giant tree that is meant for guests & outsiders. It is irregular for any non-elves to be allowed higher than the guest level... It just so happens that the party arrived during this crisis where they have a major influx of Lizardfolk. So the guest level is overcrowded.

The party has to speak to the elven leaders because of the main plotline... but because they can't just breeze through everything, there is a literal gatekeeper who is gatekeeping them from entering the city. Only trusted humans are allowed to pass through. But 2 party members are elves so they get to go do the business.... it also helps because the people who were left behind tend to hog all the "screen time" and talk over the more timid party members, so I wanted to give them a chance to shine with their elfhood.

So last time we played, them having to deal with the goal of getting past the guards into the sovereign city of elves who have a right to allow anyone into their city they want, I heard the word racism probably every 10 minutes. Meanwhile, the party members have no problem riling up a riot and getting the poor oppressed Lizardfolk killed, just because they didn't get to go through a goddamn gate. If half the party didn't have a problem going through the gate, I sincerely doubt they would have cried so much about injustice (despite the fact that all the lizardfolk are getting shelter in the designated area for guests).

This is probably a rambling post but I'm just trying to vent here, I guess. If I had to ask a question - am I being a douche here, or are my frustrations justified?

In general, I find people constantly complaining about racial dynamics in fantasy to be very annoying. Some players think it's a clever joke to bring it up, others use it as moral justification for their own violent and selfish actions. How can I introduce factional distrust without people whining about it being racism all the time?

Zilong
2018-11-19, 03:40 PM
This sounds more like an issue of problematic players rather than anything about real/fictional racism. From what I gathered from your description of the events it sounds like those same players would complain about nothing which focuses the spotlight on someone else.

If you’ve not already spoken directly to those players making a stink do that firs. After that maybe a preseason recap of the setting and why this stuff is as it is. Semi- isolationist societies are common enough in fiction and reality that it should be too hard to understand. Maybe everyone forgot the exact circumstances of the world and need a quick refresher.

If the players just refuse to accept the setting premise then there’s not much I can think of other than “**** it, the world burns everyone dies. Next campaign. Terry you’re not invited, you know what you did!”

This sort of scenario, setting aside an ooh flak, can be pretty fun to role play as long as players can keep the racism bits in character. I’m sure the characters may feel a bit miffed, may be not riot inducingly so, but I’m not sitting at your table so I don’t nanowire the in character party dynamics.

redwizard007
2018-11-19, 04:02 PM
Probably a "DM dropped the ball" situation, but there are definitely some elements of "PC douchbaggery."

The easiest way to head this off is an OOC discussion. "Hey guys, above board, the elves never let anyone into the city. They aren't singing the Lizardfolk out. In fact, they've really gone out of their way to make sure all the refugees have been fed and taken care of. It's really been putting a strain on the rest of the population. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. Can we go a different direction here?"

Now if your players want to make you eat your mistake like a sandwich, you can either call them ***** and leave, or roll with it and make factions less race specific in the future.

DMThac0
2018-11-19, 04:05 PM
I will echo that this sounds like your players are being immature about the situation.

I have blatant racism in my campaign, and it's never caused an issue out of character. Heck it's actually been a problem trying to get a rise out of the player's character toward blatant racism against him.

If your players can't take the social dynamics of the game and understand that it's not a personal affront, then they need to learn. Let them gripe about it, and then talk to them and explain why things are the way they are. If the players (not characters) cannot get past this, then they're going to be a problem whenever something doesn't go their way. It sounds like a bunch of people who want their cake, to eat it, and have seconds served to them before they have to ask.

If you can make it work in game, by all means do it. Give them some NPC who tries to get them to see the way of the world. Have something happen where they have to work with this "racist society" and learn that it's a misunderstanding. If that doesn't work, tell them after/before the game and get them on the same page. If that doesn't work...they're just going to be a problem, deal with problems as you see fit.

Frozen_Feet
2018-11-19, 04:12 PM
To the people who think they're being clever or funny, just point to Order of the Stick and say: "the joke's already been done and this guy did it better. Come up with something new."

For the people who use it as an excuse to have their characters do petty stuff, have them suffer the predictable consequences of theie pettiness. By the time some demon comes to them saying "hey man, I really dig your style", they will take the hint.

Mr Beer
2018-11-19, 05:54 PM
Having racism in kitchen-sink fantasy worlds where many races are literally Evil and have high level champions that can decimate armies is not only realistic but completely reasonable in some cases.

Arbane
2018-11-19, 06:22 PM
Having racism in kitchen-sink fantasy worlds where many races are literally Evil and have high level champions that can decimate armies is not only realistic but completely reasonable in some cases.

Oh, wow. I can actually SEE the entire thread catching on fire right before my eyes.

TheYell
2018-11-19, 06:42 PM
Oh, wow. I can actually SEE the entire thread catching on fire right before my eyes.

If you have evil in the game it has to take a specific form. I mean you can't really go around saying, "you come into a clearing and you see people doing evil to one another". There's gonna be piracy, slavery, tyranny, and racism.

Mr Beer
2018-11-19, 06:48 PM
Having racism in kitchen-sink fantasy worlds where many races are literally Evil and have high level champions that can decimate armies is not only realistic but completely reasonable in some cases.


Oh, wow. I can actually SEE the entire thread catching on fire right before my eyes.

I don't see how that's a controversial remark?

Douche
2018-11-19, 07:44 PM
Well I don’t believe that any normal common race can be always evil. Tolkien orcs come out of like a hole in the ground, they don’t have family structures or friendship. In D&D they have babies and stuff. You can’t really rationalize ‘always evil’ when a race has anything resembling human society

Mind flayers on the other hand reproduce by spitting slugs in your ear, so genocide against them is perfectly reasonable.

But regardless, that’s not the point of the thread. The point is that they are fixated on racism, and I don’t think justifications for racism are going to allieviate that

redwizard007
2018-11-19, 07:48 PM
I don't see how that's a controversial remark?

It's not. I'm assuming, and we know what happens when you assume, that the mere word "racism" was expected to cause turmoil. I actually checked the forum rules before I posted just to make sure we were on solid ground, and as long as real world politics don't become involved it looks ok.

My 2cp, is that many games are made better by adding racism, many games are made worse by adding racism, and many games are unaffected by adding racism. It depends on how the topic is incorporated, the light in which the DM portrays it, and the mood of the game in question, but all of that is equally dependant on the players having a shared concept of how the game will be conducted. Everyone needs to be on the same page before it comes up.

Pauly
2018-11-19, 07:58 PM
First point is that the players were throwing an OOC tantrum because the evil DM prevented the loudmouth players taking over the diplomatic role playing event designed for the quieter players. They were simply using “racism” the same way non celiacs claim they need gluten free meals at restaurants, it’s an attention getting exercise so they can feel special.

Instead of causing a riot perhaps the OP should just have had the Lizard folk resist the PC’s attempt at inciting the riot by having their leaders make the points you did. Then if they still want to be douches feel free to show you are prepared to derail the whole plot rather than give in to douchery. Have them thrown in jail, have the High Elves refuse to speak to them, have the lizard people turn against them because they see the PCs douchery as risking their safe haven. You are the DM you have to show you are in control of the NPCs. You have to show that being a douche has consequences.

People often use an OOC “that’s [~]ist” to make you demonstrate you are not being a [~]ist by giving them what they want. In game the best answer is “Yes it is. So what?” because in game being [~]ist is not a big deal. The High Elves go “so yes we are racist, it’s how we keep safe” and the lizard people go “of course they are racist, how else can they keep safe?”.

Darth Ultron
2018-11-19, 08:52 PM
How can I introduce factional distrust without people whining about it being racism all the time?

Well....the obvious would be avoid races and stick to just factions.

So, everyone in Tree Town is an elf. One faction is the 'high' elves, the other is the 'low' elves.

Lord Raziere
2018-11-20, 12:26 AM
If you have evil in the game it has to take a specific form. I mean you can't really go around saying, "you come into a clearing and you see people doing evil to one another". There's gonna be piracy, slavery, tyranny, and racism.

So long as you realize that racism IS the evil your fighting and not the tool you use to fight evil with, its okay.

Bastian Weaver
2018-11-20, 04:56 AM
Tell them "Guys, STFU about fictional fantasy racism, you're irritating me". If it doesn't work, then clearly they care more about fictional fantasy racism than about your comfort.

Mordaedil
2018-11-20, 06:14 AM
Tell them "I'm sorry, that wasn't what I had in mind when I was designing it, can we just abandon the idea that this has unfortuneate implications for real-life comparisons? I didn't take those into account when designing this and I promise it won't be a parallell except accidentally, if at all."

Also don't be afraid to break stereotypes a bit with the lizardfolk being the sympathetic and make the elves a tiny bit racist (albeit in their own eyes, for good reason, being a long-lived race implies grudges going back generations is yesterday to them)

There's nothing wrong with embracing these problems, but to be on the safe side, clarify with your players that these tropes were invented by men who were certainly a bit racist, but that's what we were given to work with and dwelling on it isn't going to help anyone.

Note that I give this advice with the concept that you can't just change this scenario and avoid having troublesome themes in the game at all. I know in our game not everybody is comfortable with all manners of "realistic displays of society", so we generally avoid enslavement, sexual assault or racism as themes in our game. There's still conflict and there's still a need for heroes without needing those specific elements. And there are still some depictions of slavery, prostitution and racism present in the game, but the nature of those elements are almost cosmetic and heavily neutered from how a "mature" book would approach the subject.

Off topic, I know, but if you want a still realistic form of slavery that is a bit more family friendly for your game, look into serfdom and how that worked. It ain't no roses, but it is easier to digest for people.

Whyrocknodie
2018-11-20, 07:48 AM
Meanwhile, the party members have no problem riling up a riot and getting the poor oppressed Lizardfolk killed, just because they didn't get to go through a goddamn gate.

Erm... so, in this part of the scenario it would be the DM who was adding to their own problem. Because the lizardfolk are being played by the DM... so when the 'riling up' is attempted it is simplicity itself to have the lizardfolk stare unblinking at the agitator and then go back to sleep.
"None of the refugees are remotely interested in what you have to say."

With regards to the larger problem, I'd go with the meta-game answer several wise individuals have given above and say "I am not interested in this angle, move on."

16bearswutIdo
2018-11-20, 07:49 AM
You're upset that your players are engaging with your world in a way that makes sense? I.E. they're being actively discriminated against by the elves because of their race and are taking offense. What are they supposed to do, be good little boys and girls and wait patiently in the lower caste while the elves get to go up and gallivant with their own kind?




So last time we played, them having to deal with the goal of getting past the guards into the sovereign city of elves who have a right to allow anyone into their city they want, I heard the word racism probably every 10 minutes. Meanwhile, the party members have no problem riling up a riot and getting the poor oppressed Lizardfolk killed, just because they didn't get to go through a goddamn gate. If half the party didn't have a problem going through the gate, I sincerely doubt they would have cried so much about injustice (despite the fact that all the lizardfolk are getting shelter in the designated area for guests).

Just to clarify:

The sovereign nation of *one type of race* isn't allowing anyone of *any other type of race* into any place other than the "guest chambers", and you're surprised your party is crying racism? And as far as the Lizardfolk, you, as the DM, are the one who decided to let the Lizardfolk get killed. They could have been uninterested in rebellion, they could have been knocked out, or any number of solutions. But you allowed the Lizardfolk to get riled up, thus justifying the idea that the Elves are racist (which, tbf, they are) in the PCs' minds.

Bastian Weaver
2018-11-20, 08:13 AM
The sovereign nation of *one type of race* isn't allowing anyone of *any other type of race* into any place other than the "guest chambers", and you're surprised your party is crying racism?

Geez, I wonder what happens when you people stumble onto "no pets allowed" kind of places. Things must really get interesting.

16bearswutIdo
2018-11-20, 08:20 AM
you people

What do you mean, YOU PEOPLE?

No, but I joke. But really. Comparing pets to sentient humanoid creatures is an INTERESTING take on the situation.

Bastian Weaver
2018-11-20, 08:26 AM
What do you mean, YOU PEOPLE?

Ha! I walked into that one, and I regret nothing.


No, but I joke. But really. Comparing pets to sentient humanoid creatures is an INTERESTING take on the situation.

Because we actually don't have any sentient humanoid creatures in the neighbourhood other than ourselves. Pets are pretty much the next closest thing. Some dogs are smart enough to make signs that are readable from airplanes. Some birds can actually talk to you in your language, which is more than we can do to them.
And still we don't let them into some places because of, well, reasons. It may be dangerous for them. It may be dangerous for us. It may be uncomfortable for both.
I mean, really, dolphins are supposedly nearly as smart as people, and we don't take any effort to let them into most places.

Okay, let's not talk about pets.
Let's talk about the next best thing:
ETIQUETTE.
I mean, what was the last time any of us forumgoers got to see the President or the Queen or whoever is in charge? What about the person in charge of another country? Now imagine we're speaking about people in charge of another race.
There's protocol. There's procedure. There's sweet bureaucracy.
Etc.

redwizard007
2018-11-20, 08:45 AM
Geez, I wonder what happens when you people stumble onto "no pets allowed" kind of places. Things must really get interesting.

Can you identify any part of that comment that added to this discussion?

Edit: already clarified.

16bearswutIdo
2018-11-20, 09:47 AM
Because we actually don't have any sentient humanoid creatures in the neighbourhood other than ourselves. Pets are pretty much the next closest thing. Some dogs are smart enough to make signs that are readable from airplanes. Some birds can actually talk to you in your language, which is more than we can do to them.
And still we don't let them into some places because of, well, reasons. It may be dangerous for them. It may be dangerous for us. It may be uncomfortable for both.
I mean, really, dolphins are supposedly nearly as smart as people, and we don't take any effort to let them into most places.

Okay, let's not talk about pets.
Let's talk about the next best thing:
ETIQUETTE.
I mean, what was the last time any of us forumgoers got to see the President or the Queen or whoever is in charge? What about the person in charge of another country? Now imagine we're speaking about people in charge of another race.
There's protocol. There's procedure. There's sweet bureaucracy.
Etc.

If we have no sentient humanoid creatures other than us, then the best comparison is other members of the human race rather than animals. Any other scenario would be a hypothetical, and we'd just be comparing two hypotheticals.

"Protocol" doesn't mean anything if the protocol itself is racist, which it clearly is. It's not based on any kind of merit other than the race of the individual: the elves in the party were allowed up based solely on the circumstances of their birth. If the Queen decided that she'd only meet forumgoers with light skin unless the dark skin forumgoers proved themselves worthy, that would be racist.

What I don't understand is the DM putting this scenario that clearly screams "RACISM" in the game and then complaining that his PCs are responding to it.

JeenLeen
2018-11-20, 09:51 AM
I think you should talk to your players about how the game is going.

Tell them what you meant to present. Be understanding (or, well, feign some understanding) about how they see parallels to real-life racism and are trying to help the lizardfolk, but also state that such was not the intention, is diverting the game from the actual plot, and bothering you OOC. Ask them to please drop this issue, let the PC elves handle this plot point, and move on to the bigger issue. Maybe note that solving the bigger issue could probably help the lizardfolk return home again. Be willing to retcon some things, like the riot, to appease and smooth.

This is presenting yourself more in the wrong than you probably are, but people tend to respond better when they aren't feeling on the defensive.

Also, ask about if -- outside of this situation -- fantasy racism makes the players uncomfortable. Get their perspective on if they are okay with it being part of the world and not necessarily being evil in all respects. The elves are, in a sense if not specifically, racist towards all non-elves. In this circumstance, that is displayed towards the lizardfolk and the non-elf PCs. Check if that is "not cool" with the table in general. If it is, talk about how to continue playing. (Personally, I hope they'd be cool with it. Offer that it's fine if the PCs display some distaste for it, but ask they don't divert the game to crushing all racism.)

And if your players are just being jerks -- as the case may be -- well, tell them to cut it out. But try a more sympathetic angle first.



"Protocol" doesn't mean anything if the protocol itself is racist, which it clearly is. It's not based on any kind of merit other than the race of the individual: the elves in the party were allowed up based solely on the circumstances of their birth. If the Queen decided that she'd only meet forumgoers with light skin unless the dark skin forumgoers proved themselves worthy, that would be racist.

What I don't understand is the DM putting this scenario that clearly screams "RACISM" in the game and then complaining that his PCs are responding to it.

I think it might be the derailing impact and degree of response, not the response itself. (Plus it sounds like they might be hogging the scene with the riot-raising and such.)
But hence the need for OOC discussion.

denthor
2018-11-20, 09:56 AM
Let's break this down.

What is he running?

Dwarf eaten by giant.

Elf

Have any race look him dead in the eye and proclaim. Elf meat is the tender meat sought by all. My 1/2 orc told a full orc that questioned why I walked with elves and dwarfs. "Isn't it nice to travel with your emergency rations." In front of the party some of whom spoke orc.

This is why so many people hate D&D so few players can speak about it as if it is not real. Me included. I always have to tell people I did not board a plane fly to the Amazon then to key West back to the Amazon and then be home by 1 am Saturday morning. For some reason my vivid description of the game makes them think I can do that.

16bearswutIdo
2018-11-20, 09:58 AM
I think it might be the derailing impact and degree of response, not the response itself. (Plus it sounds like they might be hogging the scene with the riot-raising and such.)
But hence the need for OOC discussion.

I could see that. Makes sense, in that case. Always refer back to the chart.

Bastian Weaver
2018-11-20, 10:10 AM
If we have no sentient humanoid creatures other than us, then the best comparison is other members of the human race rather than animals. Any other scenario would be a hypothetical, and we'd just be comparing two hypotheticals.

Which is what we're doing. Elves are nothing if not hypothetical.




"Protocol" doesn't mean anything if the protocol itself is racist, which it clearly is. It's not based on any kind of merit other than the race of the individual: the elves in the party were allowed up based solely on the circumstances of their birth. If the Queen decided that she'd only meet forumgoers with light skin unless the dark skin forumgoers proved themselves worthy, that would be racist.

Mmhm. So who has better chances to meet the Queen, foreigners from some absolutely different country with different customs who just want to chat to her, or the citizens of the Queen's nations who hang out with foreigners from absolutely different country and just want to chat her? I mean, with our citizens, we can at least make a quick check for criminal records.
And the foreigners are all from, say, some African nation that had never been a British colony. Let's say they're from Wakanda. They're technologically advanced, we don't know how did they get so advanced, we don't know who they are and we don't really know what they want. Chances are we can't even talk to them without a translator.
But they're all black, yeah. And I say, I say, putting the color of their skin before every other factor that plays into the situation is something that I could probably call racism. Maybe.


What I don't understand is the DM putting this scenario that clearly screams "RACISM" in the game and then complaining that his PCs are responding to it.

Because the PCs are responding to it by using people of other race as cannon fodder? Which doesn't exactly clearly scream "MORALITYYYY!" to me.

Bastian Weaver
2018-11-20, 10:12 AM
And if your players are just being jerks -- as the case may be -- well, tell them to cut it out.


Absolutely this!



But try a more sympathetic angle first.


Huh? Why would anyone ever try...
Okay, just kidding. If sympathetic angle doesn't work, by all means move back to plan A.

Jay R
2018-11-20, 02:29 PM
Getting back to your question:

My standard method for ending a discussion that is preventing the game from going forward is an ambush.

Players are spending too much time arguing over tactics? Ogres appear and attack.
Players are arguing over division of treasure? Goblin horde.
Players are talking about non-D&D things instead of the game? "Roll for initiative."

Haldir
2018-11-20, 04:16 PM
Sounds like OP's players got mad because they were told "no" and then used racism to legitimize their tantrum afterwards.

that being said I disagree with the other posters, allowing them to start a lizardfolk riot is the appropriate thing to do rather than outright denying them agency in the matter.

My suggestion would be to shift the reasoning away from just "race" to something else. Some dark secret or potent magic that elves have the knowledge and resistance to, meaning that other races are kept out of Tree City for security reasons.

If the heart of the tree gives off a powerful and deadly magic that elves are acclimated to, then you can make your players feel bad for screaming "racism!" while the elves are literally doing it for the best possible reasons.

"Your non-elven presence would upset our awesome hometree, and peoples houses would start falling from the sky as the tree shriveled and recoiled."

Perhaps there's a long-standing enchantment on the tree that was put into place to protect the home of the elves, and non-elves inside the secure area are psychically disrupted or otherwise burdened. The non-elfin are kept out for their own good, lest they suffer immensely from the ancient curse.

Pauly
2018-11-20, 07:12 PM
Another point is that D&D is set in a quasi-medieval world.

“Racist” as a word didn’t exist until the 1930s (https://www.etymonline.com/word/racist), before that “racialist” had been used from about the 1880s. The idea that it was bad to think other races were different and therefore inferior to your race only really surfaced in the 1800s.

So in a quasi-medieval setting no one knows, let alone cares, about “racism”.

If we go back to the classical era.
- Everyone knew the greeks were intelligent and educated, and the Greeks thought this made them superior to everyone else.
- Everyone knew the Celts were brave individual fighters, and the Celts thought this made them superior to everyone else.
- Everyone knew the Egyptians had an ancient culture, and the Egyptians thought this made them superior to everyone else.
- Everyone knew the Germans were tough, and the Germans thought this made them superior to everyone else.
- Everyone knew the Romans were well organized, and the Romans thought this made them superior to everyone else.
- Everyone knew the Numidians were great horsemen, and the Numidians thought this made them superior to everyone else.
- Everyone knew the Illyrians were cunning, and teh Illyrians thought this made them superior to everyone else.

and so forth. The very idea that there weren’t differences between the races and that your race wasn’t superior to everyone else was unthinkable.

Having your characters talk about racism in game makes about as much sense as having them discuss nuclear physics or smart phones. Just because something is a well known idea in the 21st century doesn’t mean it is appropriate to send that idea into a quasi-medieval setting.

Beleriphon
2018-11-20, 09:05 PM
Only game I've ever seen that gets fantasy racists right is The Witcher. Why? Because it just dumps actual wizards and non-humans into a ersatz 14th century Eastern Europe. Replace any marginalized group with a specific type of character: elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, mages, whatever. Apply historically known hatred of a group of real world people from the same time period and bam instantly functional racists without being a strawman (intentionally at least). The games occasionally push things to a ludicrous level, I'm looking at The Witcher 2 in particular, but I feel that's more of a focus on Geralt having relatively modern sensibilities compared to the rest of his world. If it weren't a clearly medieval setting Geralt would fit in with Shadowrun just fine.

Bastian Weaver
2018-11-21, 09:58 AM
Only game I've ever seen that gets fantasy racists right is The Witcher. Why?

Because it's based on Andrzej Sapkowski's books, and he's a genius and a well-educated man. I loved the dwarf's speech about "nothing wrong with living in a ghetto".

John05
2018-11-21, 11:27 AM
In that situation I'd probably point out that the joke is getting old. "Haha, ok guys, the joke's getting old now." It's out of context, but if they're just having a good time making jokes, it's not a big deal. If it's annoying me, I'd just hint that it's getting lame/old and we can get on with the game. I think most of my friends would get it and we'd move on.

In context/RP, in game? Yeah, the elves might be a tiny bit racist, so what? The lizardmen are alien to them. They're basically strangers.

Personally, I wouldn't care so much, probably let the chips fall where they may. If they manage to kick up a riot with lizardmen through demagogic diplomacy or performance (prose), the elves will cut diplomatic discussions or at worst kill the lizardmen. From the other direction, a few lizardmen, perhaps unfamiliar with elven physiology or elven culture, kills a few fragile elven children (oops, we thought they were adults, and we didn't know how seriously you guys took child safety/welfare in your culture!). Oh well. PC's fault for being simple, lacking nuance and tact. Consequences for actions and all that jazz.

Sure your players' modern, real-world intentions might be good, and i'm sure your fantastic elves are too, but who says Good people can't annoy the **** out of each other.

theMycon
2018-11-21, 11:38 AM
What do you mean, YOU PEOPLE?

No, but I joke. But really. Comparing pets to sentient humanoid creatures is an INTERESTING take on the situation.

Really? Tell me, which species lived in caves and wore fur while the other was swinging naked through trees and dying of exposure? Who was the first to make it into space? Which of us picks up the other one's poop in little baggies




Oh, wow. I can actually SEE the entire thread catching on fire right before my eyes.
Some people have the modern "genocide is always wrong" viewpoint.

Some people have the classical viewpoint of "genocide's the right response to enslaving us after winning a war we started, losing a war they started, or insulting our god; make sure you cut open the pregnant women and dash the babies heads against rocks so you get them all."

A fantasy game takes all types.

John05
2018-11-21, 11:49 AM
Having your characters talk about racism in game makes about as much sense as having them discuss nuclear physics or smart phones. Just because something is a well known idea in the 21st century doesn’t mean it is appropriate to send that idea into a quasi-medieval setting.

Great point, Pauly.

IIRC, I remember a historian talking about PTSD for pre-modern soldiers. They only got it when forced to kill "their own people". They felt pride for killing enemies. Roman legionnaires suffering PTSD their psychological ailment through righteous bloodshed of enemies. It's a relatively recent phenomenon that soldiers get PTSD for killing people outside their culture/nationality/"group".

Universalist ethics and subsequent qualms vs racism was pushed into the Western spotlight by the Enlightenment and by Christianity. Ofc, perhaps our fantasy setting is post-enlightenment, but even then it tends to be the case that such PC sentiments get pushed to the side for most during times of war. You wouldn't have expected Japanese internment camps during peace times.

Mr Beer
2018-11-21, 05:47 PM
IIRC, I remember a historian talking about PTSD for pre-modern soldiers. They only got it when forced to kill "their own people". They felt pride for killing enemies. Roman legionnaires suffering PTSD their psychological ailment through righteous bloodshed of enemies. It's a relatively recent phenomenon that soldiers get PTSD for killing people outside their culture/nationality/"group"..

I've heard that a lot of modern PTSD is due to microscopic brain damage occurring from surviving artillery and other jarring battlefield explosions. Which of course fits in with the widespread 'shell shock' experienced in WWI.

Pauly
2018-11-21, 05:54 PM
Great point, Pauly.

IIRC, I remember a historian talking about PTSD for pre-modern soldiers. They only got it when forced to kill "their own people". They felt pride for killing enemies. Roman legionnaires suffering PTSD their psychological ailment through righteous bloodshed of enemies. It's a relatively recent phenomenon that soldiers get PTSD for killing people outside their culture/nationality/"group".

Universalist ethics and subsequent qualms vs racism was pushed into the Western spotlight by the Enlightenment and by Christianity. Ofc, perhaps our fantasy setting is post-enlightenment, but even then it tends to be the case that such PC sentiments get pushed to the side for most during times of war. You wouldn't have expected Japanese internment camps during peace times.

PTSD seems to have developed as a major military health issue from about the American Civil War.

One theory is that it is the constant presense of a threat that you can be randomly killed by unseen and unpredictable forces that triggers the response. In earlier periods long term veterans were often seen as the best soldiers Napoleon’s Old Guard, Frederichs Prussian Guard, Roman Centurions et al. In these eras the individual soldier’s skill at arms, and therefore their psychological belief that they controlled the situation, made a major difference in survival. The ACW is the first time you get the idea that a unit can be “too veteran”. Ceaser’s legions and Alexander’s phalanx gat rebellious because they were homesick, not because they were jaded by the horrors of war.

My reading of universalist ethics is that it seems to have really developed strongly to provide explanation of why slavery should be morally opposed.

Rhedyn
2018-11-22, 06:19 PM
You told a good chunk of the party that they needed to sit out of the session...

Yeeeaaaah this had nothing to do with racism. Complaining about that was just venting I suspect.

137ben
2018-11-22, 10:30 PM
You told a good chunk of the party that they needed to sit out of the session...

Yeeeaaaah this had nothing to do with racism. Complaining about that was just venting I suspect.

This was my first thought. Although, the details in the OP are somewhat sparse, so it is possible they handled it better (e.g., by frequently switching viewpoints between the two groups of players, or by just having two different sessions with only part of the group in each).


Anyhow, I think one of the most common issues with racism in fantasy is when people creating the fantasy have trouble separating the beliefs of characters from their own beliefs. In the example in the OP, if you decide "elves are racist against lizardfolk," then that's fine. That makes the elves villains. Or, maybe you give the elves some redeeming qualities that make them somewhat less hateable. Having ficitonal characters be racist against fictional people is not a bad thing if that is what you are in to in fiction. (I can also understand that some people may want escapist fantasy where they don't have to be reminded of real-world racism).

But some worldbuilders go further. If you as a GM, out-of-character, say "Under the Totally Objective Alignment System, I declare that racism against lizardfolk is Objectively Good," then you've crossed a line into out-of-character statements. Now you are no longer talking about the racist views of fictional characters, but about your own racist beliefs. People are going to react to that quite differently.

EDIT: Or, this:

So long as you realize that racism IS the evil your fighting and not the tool you use to fight evil with, its okay.

Calthropstu
2018-11-22, 11:13 PM
Sounds like OP's players got mad because they were told "no" and then used racism to legitimize their tantrum afterwards.

that being said I disagree with the other posters, allowing them to start a lizardfolk riot is the appropriate thing to do rather than outright denying them agency in the matter.

My suggestion would be to shift the reasoning away from just "race" to something else. Some dark secret or potent magic that elves have the knowledge and resistance to, meaning that other races are kept out of Tree City for security reasons.

If the heart of the tree gives off a powerful and deadly magic that elves are acclimated to, then you can make your players feel bad for screaming "racism!" while the elves are literally doing it for the best possible reasons.

"Your non-elven presence would upset our awesome hometree, and peoples houses would start falling from the sky as the tree shriveled and recoiled."

Perhaps there's a long-standing enchantment on the tree that was put into place to protect the home of the elves, and non-elves inside the secure area are psychically disrupted or otherwise burdened. The non-elfin are kept out for their own good, lest they suffer immensely from the ancient curse.

The lizardmen are being housed and fed by a foreign entity that graciously accepted them. I see no reason to say "you get a few unhappy lizardmen, but most steer clear of your blatantly foolish words. Elven guards approach, a group of lizardmen at their back. They are here to arrest you."

Kick them out of the city entirely and I am pretty sure they would get the picture. Myself, I'd have their gear permanently confiscated requiring the el en party members to do some serious negotiating to get the stuff back, leaving a choice piece of gear to become "misplaced" for permanent loss.

Then again, I am far more realistic in my approach. Random guys showing up and spouting nonsense isn't going to start a riot. Just try that in the real world and see how far that gets you. Even backed by bardic magic the dc would probably be "no."

Satinavian
2018-11-23, 01:32 AM
The lizardmen are being housed and fed by a foreign entity that graciously accepted them. I see no reason to say "you get a few unhappy lizardmen, but most steer clear of your blatantly foolish words. Elven guards approach, a group of lizardmen at their back. They are here to arrest you."

Kick them out of the city entirely and I am pretty sure they would get the picture. Myself, I'd have their gear permanently confiscated requiring the el en party members to do some serious negotiating to get the stuff back, leaving a choice piece of gear to become "misplaced" for permanent loss.

Then again, I am far more realistic in my approach. Random guys showing up and spouting nonsense isn't going to start a riot. Just try that in the real world and see how far that gets you. Even backed by bardic magic the dc would probably be "no."That is pretty much how i would handle it too.

Drascin
2018-11-23, 02:00 AM
So, you put in a scene with extremely obvious "these people are racist" tropes, used them to exclude half the party from the meat of the session, and are now complaining that your players didn't play along?

Like, even before adjusting for the Internet Law Of Retelllings (retellings are always spun, consciously or not, to make the person telling them look better than what actually happened) this doesn't look great, my dude.

Slipperychicken
2018-11-23, 02:31 AM
You have inadvertently prompted discussion about racism by using it as a core conflict in the story of your campaign, and have targeted most of your player-characters and large highly visible groups of NPCs with an overtly racist government policy which denies them access to critical resources.

If you would rather not discuss racism with your roleplaying group, then I recommend being open with your players about your discomfort or annoyance regarding the topic, figure out why they feel the need to address racism in-game as often as they do (imo this should be obvious, but you need their input to be sure), and talk about what all of you could do to resolve their concerns (including retcons or modification to the story) and avoid further discussion of the topic.


edit: Regarding factional distrust, there are countless ways to do it along lines other than race. One is to have factions which aren't defined primarily by race; they could be defined by region, city, culture, religion, trust in a particular ruler, desire for safety, an ideal such as belief in their form of government, and so on. You can even have factions defined by something as silly as the side on which they butter their bread (as per the Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss). People could be forbidden from entering a city over concerns regarding overcrowding, cost, animosity with their home-faction, the gods' favor, or resource availability. Whether you use fictional-races or human-races, it's also fairly simple to have multiracial factions, or simply not rely upon it to define faction-identity.

Mordaedil
2018-11-23, 02:49 AM
I thought a guy with the username "Douche" had a pretty obvious gimmick.

Slipperychicken
2018-11-23, 02:54 AM
I thought a guy with the username "Douche" had a pretty obvious gimmick.

At GITP, we don't just bite down on bait-hooks, we chew them thoroughly until the insides of our mouths are full of broken teeth, flesh-ribbons, and blood.

Kaptin Keen
2018-11-23, 03:28 AM
Well I don’t believe that any normal common race can be always evil. Tolkien orcs come out of like a hole in the ground, they don’t have family structures or friendship. In D&D they have babies and stuff. You can’t really rationalize ‘always evil’ when a race has anything resembling human society

Mind flayers on the other hand reproduce by spitting slugs in your ear, so genocide against them is perfectly reasonable.

But regardless, that’s not the point of the thread. The point is that they are fixated on racism, and I don’t think justifications for racism are going to allieviate that

I have a reformed mind flayer in my campaign. Trying to be nice, inducting people who want to into the hive mind, and spitting slugs into people's ears only when they are old and infirm and really would rather be reborn as pure mind flayers, yay.

My PC's are surprisingly ok with him (actually, now that I think about it, it kinda has to be a she - even if mind flayers themselves should actually be genderless, right? So confusing).

Bastian Weaver
2018-11-23, 05:54 AM
At GITP, we don't just bite down on bait-hooks, we chew them thoroughly until the insides of our mouths are full of broken teeth, flesh-ribbons, and blood.

Can I has that as signature, please?

Slipperychicken
2018-11-23, 11:38 AM
Can I has that as signature, please?

Absolutely

browngooofdoom
2018-11-23, 12:38 PM
Openly mock them about how boring they must be to get triggered over something that's not real.

Mad Nomad
2018-11-23, 08:53 PM
Another point is that D&D is set in a quasi-medieval world.

“Racist” as a word didn’t exist until the 1930s (https://www.etymonline.com/word/racist), before that “racialist” had been used from about the 1880s. The idea that it was bad to think other races were different and therefore inferior to your race only really surfaced in the 1800s.

So in a quasi-medieval setting no one knows, let alone cares, about “racism”.

If we go back to the classical era.
- Everyone knew the greeks were intelligent and educated, and the Greeks thought this made them superior to everyone else.
- Everyone knew the Celts were brave individual fighters, and the Celts thought this made them superior to everyone else.
- Everyone knew the Egyptians had an ancient culture, and the Egyptians thought this made them superior to everyone else.
- Everyone knew the Germans were tough, and the Germans thought this made them superior to everyone else.
- Everyone knew the Romans were well organized, and the Romans thought this made them superior to everyone else.
- Everyone knew the Numidians were great horsemen, and the Numidians thought this made them superior to everyone else.
- Everyone knew the Illyrians were cunning, and teh Illyrians thought this made them superior to everyone else.

and so forth. The very idea that there weren’t differences between the races and that your race wasn’t superior to everyone else was unthinkable.

Having your characters talk about racism in game makes about as much sense as having them discuss nuclear physics or smart phones. Just because something is a well known idea in the 21st century doesn’t mean it is appropriate to send that idea into a quasi-medieval setting.

I think this covers it far more eloquently than I could have. "Racism" is part of the setting, and should be embraced rather than shunned.

Look at how the Elves and Dwarves interacted in Tolkien's world:

‘Now come!’ said Gandalf. `Pray do not interrupt, my good Glóin. That was a regrettable misunderstanding, long set right. If all the grievances that stand between Elves and Dwarves are to be brought up here, we may as well abandon this Council.’

So to the cave they dragged Thorin-not too gently, for they did not love dwarves, and thought he was an enemy.

If you want more examples from entirely different settings, look at Wizards vs Muggles in the Harry Potter universe, or how Droids are treated in the Star Wars universe.

Races, species, clans, tribes, or religions generally tend to be biased towards their own members. How they react to other groups can vary, though. Some may be more welcoming and inclusive, others may be more hostile towards non-members.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with incorporating this into a campaign setting. It is an excellent way to help provide flavor and context, as long as the players are willing to accept it for what it is; a fictional setting.

One of my favorite games, Shadowrun, had some interesting story lines involving the anti-metahuman group "Humanis Policlub", as well as the neo-hippie metahuman rights activists that opposed them. Some might find this offensive, but I found it to provide a good source of flavor and plot hooks for the in-game universe.

After all, who doesn't love the idea of a bunch of human and elf neo-hippie flower children standing around holding signs that say "ORKS ARE HUMANS TOO!"...
:wink:

Sm3gl
2018-11-23, 09:09 PM
How funny, I point out to my players frequently that everyone they come across is racist towards anybody not of their own race. Then I use the players own racism towards orcs against them by making them help some innocent orc merchants.

As other posters have said racism is a very modern idea.

Personally I love setting moral quandaries for my players of one type or another.

LordCdrMilitant
2018-11-25, 11:16 PM
As an observation, if a plot point seems to be that the elves are racist, then I'd expect discussions of it to come up fairly often.

Racism isn't a modern idea; it's been a thing since the founding of civilization. However, it was fairly recently that we realized that racism is bad. Fantasy in general, and D&D, has a considerable amount of for-granted racism in it's heritage, and exploring this is almost certainly acceptable for a game. However, I would certainly expect the players to notice and interact with it, and not ignore it.

Pauly
2018-11-26, 12:33 AM
As an observation, if a plot point seems to be that the elves are racist, then I'd expect discussions of it to come up fairly often.

Racism isn't a modern idea; it's been a thing since the founding of civilization. However, it was fairly recently that we realized that racism is bad. Fantasy in general, and D&D, has a considerable amount of for-granted racism in it's heritage, and exploring this is almost certainly acceptable for a game. However, I would certainly expect the players to notice and interact with it, and not ignore it.

I think that racism is a modern idea. The idea of racism can only exist if there is an idea such as “egalitarianism” or “universalist ethic” and both of those ideas are modern ideas, egalitarianism starting in the 17th century and universalist ethics in the late 18th. Racism and classism are the negative expressions of the positive idea. For example the original intent of “a jury by your peers” meant lords could judge other lords, but commoners couldn’t judge them.

Undoubtedly those sentiments had previously existed, but hadn’t been codified into an idea until relatively recently. For example Shylock’s “If you prick us, do we not bleed?” speech is basically saying “that’s racist” but Shakespeare needed a full monologue to express what we can say in 2 words.
Also Shakespeare undercats Shylock’s speeach as sophistry by making Shylock’s true motive money not his idealized words.

Going back to the OP. Another way of dealing with it is to allow the players to convince the Elfs to let the lizardfolk in. Then when the party is away they come back and find outbthat the lizardfolk have caused (intentionally or unintentionally) some kind of disaster. Rinse and repeat everytime the olayers try to bring claims of racism into the game, unintended consequences of noble aims have a long history of screwing things up for everybody including the people they are trying to help.

LordCdrMilitant
2018-11-26, 02:13 AM
I think that racism is a modern idea. The idea of racism can only exist if there is an idea such as “egalitarianism” or “universalist ethic” and both of those ideas are modern ideas, egalitarianism starting in the 17th century and universalist ethics in the late 18th. Racism and classism are the negative expressions of the positive idea. For example the original intent of “a jury by your peers” meant lords could judge other lords, but commoners couldn’t judge them.

Undoubtedly those sentiments had previously existed, but hadn’t been codified into an idea until relatively recently. For example Shylock’s “If you prick us, do we not bleed?” speech is basically saying “that’s racist” but Shakespeare needed a full monologue to express what we can say in 2 words.
Also Shakespeare undercats Shylock’s speeach as sophistry by making Shylock’s true motive money not his idealized words.

Going back to the OP. Another way of dealing with it is to allow the players to convince the Elfs to let the lizardfolk in. Then when the party is away they come back and find outbthat the lizardfolk have caused (intentionally or unintentionally) some kind of disaster. Rinse and repeat everytime the olayers try to bring claims of racism into the game, unintended consequences of noble aims have a long history of screwing things up for everybody including the people they are trying to help.

The idea that I'm better than you because I'm part of a specific ethno-cultural group doesn't require modern egalitarianism to exist, it requires the idea of an ethno-cultural group. And the idea that my ethno-cultural group is superior to yours has existed since the first civilizations in Mesopotamia.

Such animosities are well documented in ancient Greece, like the etymology of "Barbarian".


Anyway, to the GM, by choosing to include fantastic racism into your game [and by "include" I mean "make a plot point of"], you have also chosen for your game to take a stance on it. What stance you take is up to you, but consider what actions, events, consequences, and opportunities you want to include in your game carefully in light of that.

Rhedyn
2018-11-26, 09:29 AM
Anyway, to the GM, by choosing to include fantastic racism into your game [and by "include" I mean "make a plot point of"], you have also chosen for your game to take a stance on it. Now that is just not true.

Elements included are not necessarily elements you personally make a stance on. It's possible to just explore a topic. If my games have Kingdoms, that doesn't mean I am taking a stance on representative government.

Psyren
2018-11-26, 10:57 AM
This thread is racist. :smalltongue:

OP, it's diffcult to tell through text, how serious are your players being? Elves being portrayed as racist is not exactly a revelation fantasy-wise (and certainly the actions of the NPCs in your elven city support that epithet), but just because your players point it out repeatedly it doesn't mean they actually expect you to change anything, they might just be poking fun. Like, are they actually upset, or just trolling you for giggles?

If you're asking whether you're doing anything wrong by having your elves behave that way, I'd say no, it's pretty standard for them to treat other elves better than humans. That attitude goes back to Tolkien and possibly even further.


Am I being a douche here

...Way too easy :smallbiggrin:

16bearswutIdo
2018-11-26, 12:43 PM
Now that is just not true.

Elements included are not necessarily elements you personally make a stance on. It's possible to just explore a topic. If my games have Kingdoms, that doesn't mean I am taking a stance on representative government.

The person you're replying to said that the DM's GAME is making a stance on the issue. Which it definitely is, either way. If in-universe this is treated as no big deal, then the stance the game is making in-universe is that it's no big deal.

That being said, it still blows my mind that the OP decided to put a lizardman refugee and racist elf situation into the game and expected his PCs to just ignore it.

Rynjin
2018-11-26, 02:46 PM
You told a good chunk of the party that they needed to sit out of the session...

Yeeeaaaah this had nothing to do with racism. Complaining about that was just venting I suspect.

I'd argue it was good roleplaying. Their DM dropped the ball and omitted half the party from advancing the main plot, and did not provide a sidequest to keep them in the game.

The people left out essentially have three options at this point: do nothing and just listen to the other two players play for a few hours, **** off and do something more interesting than sitting quietly in a corner while other people have fun, or make their own fun.

They chose the latter, biting an obvious plot hook of an indigenous people being slaughtered, driven from their homeland, and treated poorly by their new host nation.

OP comes off as an inexperienced DM that has a hard time thinking on his feet; most others don't tend to freak out and **** talk players that were good sports enough to improvise their own sub plots. Players like that are a GODSEND.

Calthropstu
2018-11-28, 08:01 PM
I'd argue it was good roleplaying. Their DM dropped the ball and omitted half the party from advancing the main plot, and did not provide a sidequest to keep them in the game.

The people left out essentially have three options at this point: do nothing and just listen to the other two players play for a few hours, **** off and do something more interesting than sitting quietly in a corner while other people have fun, or make their own fun.

They chose the latter, biting an obvious plot hook of an indigenous people being slaughtered, driven from their homeland, and treated poorly by their new host nation.

OP comes off as an inexperienced DM that has a hard time thinking on his feet; most others don't tend to freak out and **** talk players that were good sports enough to improvise their own sub plots. Players like that are a GODSEND.

I am going to disagree. Players like that are severely disruptive in context. If you want to make your own sub plot, that's one thing. But this was stupid, and I already mentioned how I'd have handled it. And the OP never mentioned it taking hours. A few minutes of diplomatic talks, a few diplomacy rolls and done is all it really needed to be. A talk to the guards by the elven party members, a couple diplomacy rolls, a provisional registration and armed guard escort for the demi-elven (because it's not demi-humans: elves were there first after all) and presto, gang is back together after about 15 to 20 minutes. Instead, "lets stupidly start a riot FOR NO GOOD REASON OTHER THAN WE'RE IMPATIENT."

That the op handled it improperly is beside the point. This wasn't good role playing, this was bored players smacking the campaign with a stick because lulz.

Psyren
2018-11-29, 10:50 AM
That the op handled it improperly is beside the point. This wasn't good role playing, this was bored players smacking the campaign with a stick because lulz.

I don't disagree, but "bored players" is a GM problem to solve. Acting on that boredom in disruptive ways is on them, but being bored in the first place is on him.

Calthropstu
2018-11-29, 10:57 AM
I don't disagree, but "bored players" is a GM problem to solve. Acting on that boredom in disruptive ways is on them, but being bored in the first place is on him.

Fair point, and I agree. If the gm fails to entertain, it's a problem. But a gm can't be perfect, there's bound to be a little bit of down time blues, especially during party splits. It's part of the game.

Psyren
2018-11-29, 11:08 AM
If I'm reading the scenario correctly, some of the downtime could have been avoided. It might be perfectly realistic for your snooty elf NPCs to tell the non-elf PCs they're grounded the entire time they're in town, but you should still come up with something else for them to do if you're going to be in town longer than a few minutes, unless the non-elf PC players can just go play Smash Bros or something until that segment is over with.

(You = the GM in this case of course.)

Pauly
2018-11-29, 11:11 AM
I don't disagree, but "bored players" is a GM problem to solve. Acting on that boredom in disruptive ways is on them, but being bored in the first place is on him.

Yes and no.

It depends on how long the non involved players were out of action. I think up to 20 minutes is a reasonable time to allow for a subgroup to role play a simple-ish diplomatic encounter.

From my reading of the OP it sounded like the players immediately decided to “that’s racist” and start throwing their toys out of the cot the instant they weren’t allowed into the city.

Psyren
2018-11-29, 01:24 PM
It depends on how long the non involved players were out of action. I think up to 20 minutes is a reasonable time to allow for a subgroup to role play a simple-ish diplomatic encounter.

I dunno, 20 minutes is a bit long to be sitting doing nothing during a game. That's almost a whole television episode that they could have been watching with their leisure time instead. I agree though, this all hinges on how long they were sitting idle.

Mordar
2018-11-29, 03:27 PM
I dunno, 20 minutes is a bit long to be sitting doing nothing during a game. That's almost a whole television episode that they could have been watching with their leisure time instead. I agree though, this all hinges on how long they were sitting idle.

Personally I have no issue with it. After all, this way you're spending 20 minutes watching a show starring your friends and the outcome of the show will directly impact the rest of your game too. in both cases the players are passive, but this might have more impact on them than a YouTube cut of South Park.

Now that being said, it assumes a reasonably well managed scene (by DM and players) that gets to happen in front of them, not in another room.

And if it happens too often that's probably not a good thing either.

- M

Psyren
2018-11-29, 03:38 PM
Yeah, I suppose if it's sufficiently entertaining then the length might not matter. Though you might have a circle of friends that are a little more skilled at improv than mine :smallbiggrin:

Rynjin
2018-11-29, 08:55 PM
I am going to disagree. Players like that are severely disruptive in context. If you want to make your own sub plot, that's one thing. But this was stupid, and I already mentioned how I'd have handled it. And the OP never mentioned it taking hours. A few minutes of diplomatic talks, a few diplomacy rolls and done is all it really needed to be. A talk to the guards by the elven party members, a couple diplomacy rolls, a provisional registration and armed guard escort for the demi-elven (because it's not demi-humans: elves were there first after all) and presto, gang is back together after about 15 to 20 minutes. Instead, "lets stupidly start a riot FOR NO GOOD REASON OTHER THAN WE'RE IMPATIENT."

That the op handled it improperly is beside the point. This wasn't good role playing, this was bored players smacking the campaign with a stick because lulz.

How did they smack it, is my question?

We have no details other than "they started a riot", but unless they personally assaulted guards (which should result in guards fighting THEM, not lizardfolk), the GM is the one who determined that the populace should turn riotous, and the GM is one who determined that the elves should retaliate with lethal force.

In short, the GM started the riot.

OldTrees1
2018-11-30, 05:46 AM
Talk to the players OOC beforehand while they are developing character personalities.

It would be quite common for characters whose lifestyle is personally solving issues they face to personally solve an issue they face. If you want "the PCs to ignore or tolerate an imposition from a source the PCs could try to correct" then let the players know that they should create characters that would ignore or tolerate that imposition.

If a guard asks the PC to turn in their weapons that is an obstacle the PC faces. The PC usually deals with obstacles by defeating them (a rogue hiding a dagger for example). If you want the players to have their characters submit to the obstacle then communicate that because it is prima facie out of character*.

*"prima facie" because there are plenty of circumstances where the players might expect the DM to want the characters to submit and thus the players make the characters that would submit without a prior discussion (obviously this can backfire if the DM did not want the PCs to submit).

The OP wants a world that has some racism between the races but does not want the PCs to act in an attempt to change that detail of the setting. So the OP should talk to them OOC. There might be other issues to address but this is the answer to the opening question.

Goaty14
2018-11-30, 08:17 AM
-Take a shot every time one of your players says "racism" out of character.
-Take a sip every time one of your players says "racism" in character.
-Take a swig every time...

If you're too drunk to DM before the end of the session, tell your players (to the best of your limited ability) that it's their fault that you're like that! :smallbiggrin::smallcool::smallbiggrin:

2D8HP
2018-11-30, 10:18 AM
-Take a shot every time one of your players says "racism" out of character.
-Take a sip every time one of your players says "racism" in character.
-Take a swig every time...

If you're too drunk to DM before the end of the session, tell your players (to the best of your limited ability) that it's their fault that you're like that! :smallbiggrin::smallcool::smallbiggrin:


This plan seems flawless to me.

vasilidor
2018-11-30, 03:30 PM
one possible perspective is that when you tried to get the less active players to come out of their shell a bit, the other players got miffed that they were no longer the spot light and retaliated. to me that screams immaturity.
now on to consequences, if they were successful in starting the riot the elven response should be a rain of arrows on the rioters and a hanging for the PCs if they survive that and are caught after.
if they were unsuccessful, they again should be placed under arrest and then promptly hung for attempting to start a riot.
I would inform my players that attempting to start a riot would have these consequences the moment they started making plans to start a riot because their characters would know this.
Riots get people killed, homes and shops looted and burned. in any believable quasi-medieval setting an execution for any character that failed to escape afterwards should be the result.
And the characters would know this so the players would be informed of the possible consequences.

Arbane
2018-11-30, 04:51 PM
one possible perspective is that when you tried to get the less active players to come out of their shell a bit, the other players got miffed that they were no longer the spot light and retaliated. to me that screams immaturity.
now on to consequences, if they were successful in starting the riot the elven response should be a rain of arrows on the rioters and a hanging for the PCs if they survive that and are caught after.
if they were unsuccessful, they again should be placed under arrest and then promptly hung for attempting to start a riot.
I would inform my players that attempting to start a riot would have these consequences the moment they started making plans to start a riot because their characters would know this.
Riots get people killed, homes and shops looted and burned. in any believable quasi-medieval setting an execution for any character that failed to escape afterwards should be the result.
And the characters would know this so the players would be informed of the possible consequences.

Chaotic Good government at its finest! No, OP didn't specify this was for D&D.

Tanarii
2018-12-02, 02:06 PM
I thought a guy with the username "Douche" had a pretty obvious gimmick.


At GITP, we don't just bite down on bait-hooks, we chew them thoroughly until the insides of our mouths are full of broken teeth, flesh-ribbons, and blood.
Especially ones from a poster that has previously admitted he makes up posts about things occurring in his game regarding controversial things (to make a point!).

Max_Killjoy
2018-12-02, 02:15 PM
Especially ones from a poster that has previously admitted he makes up posts about things occurring in his game regarding controversial things (to make a point!).

Given that admission and the "handle" they use, I'm not sure why anyone ever replies.

And I'm not sure how this thread is still open.

Slipperychicken
2018-12-03, 03:58 AM
Especially ones from a poster that has previously admitted he makes up posts about things occurring in his game regarding controversial things (to make a point!).

I like to think it's mostly been a board-culture thing, for better or worse (IMO better overall), a bias toward assuming sincerity in posts made here rather than dismissing any viewpoint or poster out of hand.

Haldir
2018-12-03, 11:15 AM
To be fair, about 1/5th of the posts were good advice for managing players and their issues.

the other 80% were of course armchair philosophers waxing on whether or not racism in fantasy was acceptable and how. Completely irrelevant AND taking bad bait.

JKTrickster
2018-12-03, 02:07 PM
This isn't the first time I've made such a thread, but it really irritates me to hear people crying about racism every 5 seconds. I don't know why everyone wants to pretend like there's perfect unity between all factions in the world... Yet if I ran a game where everyone was human, you wouldn't hear anyone complaining about it.

So there's the capital city of the elves. They live in a giant tree, obviously. Further into the wild lands, the lizardfolk have been displaced because of evil cult forces and whatnot... those who did not submit were either slain or fled for refuge with the elves... which, I suppose, would make them refugees. I can see the real-world parallels of making the refugees lizard people.... maybe next time I'll learn from my mistakes and always make the group in power be less human so that people won't read into that facet so much.

The elves have a tier of their giant tree that is meant for guests & outsiders. It is irregular for any non-elves to be allowed higher than the guest level... It just so happens that the party arrived during this crisis where they have a major influx of Lizardfolk. So the guest level is overcrowded.

The party has to speak to the elven leaders because of the main plotline... but because they can't just breeze through everything, there is a literal gatekeeper who is gatekeeping them from entering the city. Only trusted humans are allowed to pass through. But 2 party members are elves so they get to go do the business.... it also helps because the people who were left behind tend to hog all the "screen time" and talk over the more timid party members, so I wanted to give them a chance to shine with their elfhood.

So last time we played, them having to deal with the goal of getting past the guards into the sovereign city of elves who have a right to allow anyone into their city they want, I heard the word racism probably every 10 minutes. Meanwhile, the party members have no problem riling up a riot and getting the poor oppressed Lizardfolk killed, just because they didn't get to go through a goddamn gate. If half the party didn't have a problem going through the gate, I sincerely doubt they would have cried so much about injustice (despite the fact that all the lizardfolk are getting shelter in the designated area for guests).

This is probably a rambling post but I'm just trying to vent here, I guess. If I had to ask a question - am I being a douche here, or are my frustrations justified?

In general, I find people constantly complaining about racial dynamics in fantasy to be very annoying. Some players think it's a clever joke to bring it up, others use it as moral justification for their own violent and selfish actions. How can I introduce factional distrust without people whining about it being racism all the time?


Okay this whole first page and a half had NOTHING to do with DnD or DMing. So I'm skipping over all of that. But I am inclined to agree with Psyren. This was a GM issue, not a player issue.

Imagine it from the player's POV.

You have come to the capital city of the elves. You know you have to get past a gate and you know that the gate guardian won't let you through because you're not an Elf.

That's what we call, in the business, a challenge. And challenges require solutions.

One solution could have been: wait here, let the Elves in the party handle it. But that involves splitting the party and players are always nervous about that! As a GM I would definitely not EXPECT the players to default to this choice UNLESS there has been some communication.

The party doesn't know what they're "supposed" to do. Hell, a GM should never have an idea of what the players "SHOULD" do. The GM should, at best, guess what is the most likely result.
And if the GM sincerely wanted the Elves in the party (the quiet players) to talk more - that is done MUCH better than what this was.

The players saw a challenge. They saw resources (the lizardmen) and then saw how they could use one to solve the other. It wasn't what the GM expected.

I don't understand what was being frustrated here. The GM obviously wants them to get through the Gate - was this particular tactic unwelcome? Is it because it was too violent? Because they referred to it as racism?

Was it because the quiet players didn't get a chance at the spotlight?

I'm not sure why the racism part frustrates you at all. It should be the fact that you TRIED to get the shy characters the spotlight, but couldn't. If I was the GM, that would be the frustrating element for me. Not the part where people complained about Elves being racist to Lizardmen.

Capac Amaru
2018-12-03, 10:01 PM
Not being racist is a luxury that we can only afford thanks to thousands of years of development, and the hard work and thought of many individuals.

'Racism' is a default state in a world where things that are different are likely to kill you.

Imagine what it's like to be early man, with the tribe across the hill ready to march over and wipe you out.

Now imagine that a portal opens in your hut, and a grey/purple face tentacle man walks through and sucks out your womans brain while you are frozen in place.

You can't afford not to be 'racist'.

Willie the Duck
2018-12-04, 09:17 AM
That's what we call, in the business, a challenge. And challenges require solutions.

One solution could have been: wait here, let the Elves in the party handle it. But that involves splitting the party and players are always nervous about that! As a GM I would definitely not EXPECT the players to default to this choice UNLESS there has been some communication.

The party doesn't know what they're "supposed" to do. Hell, a GM should never have an idea of what the players "SHOULD" do. The GM should, at best, guess what is the most likely result.
And if the GM sincerely wanted the Elves in the party (the quiet players) to talk more - that is done MUCH better than what this was.

Two things I see all too often in DMs not really prepared to be DMs: Getting upset when players refuse to do the things that the DM always screws them over for doing (such as splitting the party), and having an idea in their head about what the players are supposed to do, and being upset/unable to deal when they inevitably don't. :smalltongue:



Not being racist is a luxury that we can only afford thanks to thousands of years of development, and the hard work and thought of many individuals.
'Racism' is a default state in a world where things that are different are likely to kill you.
Imagine what it's like to be early man, with the tribe across the hill ready to march over and wipe you out.
Now imagine that a portal opens in your hut, and a grey/purple face tentacle man walks through and sucks out your womans brain while you are frozen in place.
You can't afford not to be 'racist'.

Perhaps at the era of tribal dwellers before trade existed. However, most D&D settings (mind you, most D&D settings don't really make sense) are more of the post-classical era, where trade with different civilizations is an important part of life. Racism still exists, but it has competing factors making it non-optimal. That makes it a really sticky wicket to suss out. None of that changes the fact that 'Every time we've seen an ____, someone's brains get sucked out' ought to end in a hail of arrows before you get to explain how you're one of the good purple people eaters.

Mordar
2018-12-04, 03:41 PM
Two things I see all too often in DMs not really prepared to be DMs: Getting upset when players refuse to do the things that the DM always screws them over for doing (such as splitting the party), and having an idea in their head about what the players are supposed to do, and being upset/unable to deal when they inevitably don't. :smalltongue:

While I hear you loud and clear, I don't think the situation suggested in the OP (ignoring if it really, hypothetically or fictionally occurred in a game) is a normal "Don't split the party" situation. They are in a safe area (until they start the ruckus, anyway) and the activity is much more akin to the party splitting up to go shopping. Albus wants to go to the wizard's guild to buy a scroll, Banjo needs new strings for his lute, Cimmerian needs a new horse and Dedicatius has to make his regular stop at the church. Each of those might get 5 minutes of roleplay...should Banjo, Cimmerian and Dedicatius all force their way into the wizard's guild too? Or whip up dissent among the mundanes and pass out torches and pitchforks?

As for ideas in their heads about what the players are supposed to do - again, I understand. But for most adult groups I would think "not start a riot in a currently peaceable city" is a pretty reasonable expectation. Now this (potentially fictional) DM and group know better.

- M

Douche
2018-12-04, 05:05 PM
I'd argue it was good roleplaying. Their DM dropped the ball and omitted half the party from advancing the main plot, and did not provide a sidequest to keep them in the game.

The people left out essentially have three options at this point: do nothing and just listen to the other two players play for a few hours, **** off and do something more interesting than sitting quietly in a corner while other people have fun, or make their own fun.

They chose the latter, biting an obvious plot hook of an indigenous people being slaughtered, driven from their homeland, and treated poorly by their new host nation.

OP comes off as an inexperienced DM that has a hard time thinking on his feet; most others don't tend to freak out and **** talk players that were good sports enough to improvise their own sub plots. Players like that are a GODSEND.

They did have stuff to do while the quiet ones went to the upper city. I switched off between the two halves with at most 10 minutes in between. I actually find it quite interesting to have 2 simultaneous stories going on, makes it seem more like a TV show or a film compared to having everyone present for every single interaction (and subsequently having the domineering party members hog the stage).

The party who were not permitted to pass returned to the tavern and played drinking games while they were given opportunities to get exposition on what the lizardfolk's situation was, why they ended up as refugees, etc. There were also a few NPCs that offered them side activities - one Tabaxi came along and said he was searching for exotic new spices, a Lizardfolk who they ignored earlier came back and told them how their lands were being ravaged because an evil crystal was brainwashing their people.


Anyway, I talked to the party a few days ago when we met back up (after a week off for Thanksgiving). When I explained to them that they were only trying to start a riot for their own selfish reasons, they didn't have any retort so I think my assertion was correct. I also explained to them that their perception of the riot was overblown and that I was too permissive - it was really just a dozen or two angry bored drunks (recall that they recruited their angry mob at the tavern)

To the philosophical argument of the thread, I don't agree with the sensitive types in this thread, but I don't have the willpower to debate it. Suffice to say, providing a space for refugees in your city and giving them all the supplies they need to survive is not racism. If the elves were racist then they'd build a wall to keep the Lizardfolk in their own lands and let them all die. Meanwhile, the custom of the elves has always been elitist and guests are contained on their own tier. But elitism is not racism. Being exclusionary is a close parallel, but not necessarily racist.

A woman's support group is not sexist if they don't allow men. But it is exclusionary. An orc rights group is not racist if they don't allow non-orcs, it is merely exclusionary.

Marywn
2018-12-04, 10:28 PM
I can only think of one thing.
REMOVE THEIR RACIAL PRIVILAGE!

137ben
2018-12-09, 04:39 PM
Especially ones from a poster that has previously admitted he makes up posts about things occurring in his game regarding controversial things (to make a point!).

Wait, what? When did the OP say that?

Talakeal
2018-12-09, 08:58 PM
Wait, what? When did the OP say that?

Not in this thread, but if you look at his post history you will see quite a few such stories in the past, several of which he admitted to making up after the fact. The one about killing his DMs waifu and then going on a rampage to make sure he never dropped out of rage was particularly entertaining.

Calthropstu
2018-12-11, 11:34 PM
Not in this thread, but if you look at his post history you will see quite a few such stories in the past, several of which he admitted to making up after the fact. The one about killing his DMs waifu and then going on a rampage to make sure he never dropped out of rage was particularly entertaining.

Hey, if it's entertaining I fail to see a problem.

Willie the Duck
2018-12-12, 09:27 AM
Hey, if it's entertaining I fail to see a problem.

Who said there was a problem? The issue is, once you clearly and obviously deliberately troll, it's hard to look at a thread you make about inflammatory issues and not suspect the same. Effectively 'boy who cried wolf' syndrome.

Pauly
2018-12-12, 06:41 PM
Who said there was a problem? The issue is, once you clearly and obviously deliberately troll, it's hard to look at a thread you make about inflammatory issues and not suspect the same. Effectively 'boy who cried wolf' syndrome.

However, the theme of the discussion is interesting, even if the OP framed it in a provocative manner.

The question really is “How do I stop players bringing their 21st century values/knowledge into the character’s pre-industrial fantasy world?”

It is a question worthy of discussion.

AMFV
2018-12-12, 10:13 PM
However, the theme of the discussion is interesting, even if the OP framed it in a provocative manner.

The question really is “How do I stop players bringing their 21st century values/knowledge into the character’s pre-industrial fantasy world?”

It is a question worthy of discussion.

I think the best way to do this, personally, is to include things that are bizarre enough to be things that would be present in that sort of culture. Your players might have strong feelings about race based prejudices, framed the way they are in the modern world. But I don't think that was really the kind of conversation they were having in a medieval time (or likely in a fantasy derived world). So instead of a "refugee crises" rip-off, which obviously is going to spark people's sensibilities, you could do something with a wandering band of lizardfolk trying to convince the Elves to give them food, which they'll do with force if necessary, and they might have the force to do it (as with the Peasant's Crusade). The idea of a starving army wanting to sack a city isn't a proper modern idea, retains the kind of race relation sensibilities that you'd have had in a pre-industrial world, and largely maintains the same sort of attitude. Hell, you could even keep the premise with the Elves only allowing the Elf PCs in (a bad idea, but if you really want it) by having them suspect all non-elves of being spies, not because of prejudice but because that was what people thought about in that era.

NorthernPhoenix
2018-12-15, 04:54 PM
However, the theme of the discussion is interesting, even if the OP framed it in a provocative manner.

The question really is “How do I stop players bringing their 21st century values/knowledge into the character’s pre-industrial fantasy world?”

It is a question worthy of discussion.

Why should you do that at all? There's nothing wrong with presenting a world with pre-modern values, but part of the fun of being a Hero is being one of the people who goes against norm and attempting to change the world for the better.

Pauly
2018-12-16, 10:50 PM
Why should you do that at all? There's nothing wrong with presenting a world with pre-modern values, but part of the fun of being a Hero is being one of the people who goes against norm and attempting to change the world for the better.

That assumes
1) Everyone at the table agrees with your political views
2) Everyone else at the table is happy with injecting those views into the campaign
3) That “modern” values are superior to “traditional” values
4) That “modern” values are appropriate for the fantasy world you are in.
5) that any unintended consequences of injecting these ideas will not be disastrous for the fantasy setting.
6) that advocating for “modern” values will not have significant social or legal costs.

If I want to indulge in the fantasy that the world needs to hear about my political beliefs I’ll log onto a politics forum. But playing a tabletop RPG is like going to a sporting match. People make it their hobby to enjoy what unites them, and injecting
politics into anything will make it more divisive and less enjoyable.

For a simple example just look at the OP. The players infecting the world with their political beliefs made it less enjoyable for the DM [and maybe the party members not a involved n the riot].

I happily and regularly roleplay with people I have profound political differences with. Because we leave our modern political differences at the door and enter a fantasy world where we work together and enjoy the game as it is.

Kardwill
2018-12-17, 12:11 PM
People make it their hobby to enjoy what unites them, and injecting
politics into anything will make it more divisive and less enjoyable.


Never thrashed a slaver caravan? Played the baron's daughter that becomes a knight, customs be damned? Tried to get to a peaceful settlement and prevent a genocide in a centuries-old religion war?

Playing against the setting can be quite fun. Of course the setting will probably push back, but overcoming the challenge can be part of the fun :)

And if someone at the table feels uneasy because the theme hits too close for confort... Well then you drop it, of course, because we're not here to make someone unconfortable (the same goes for the GM that uses risky themes and ends up pressing a sore spot and for the player that's ruining everyone's immersion.) But most of the time, it will go easy-peasy, and when it doesn't, you just apologize and retcon it away.

Of course, directly reffering hot topics in your game is risky. But playing the odd one that tries to defend a different type of ideals? It is usually good fun for some players like me, and an easy adventure starter for the GM.

Beleriphon
2018-12-17, 01:57 PM
Of course, directly reffering hot topics in your game is risky. But playing the odd one that tries to defend a different type of ideals? It is usually good fun for some players like me, and an easy adventure starter for the GM.

Of course none of that precludes players or the GM being a clown and calling something an "-ism" of some kind that it actually is not.

Dragonexx
2018-12-18, 03:32 AM
Why should you do that at all? There's nothing wrong with presenting a world with pre-modern values, but part of the fun of being a Hero is being one of the people who goes against norm and attempting to change the world for the better.

This. Also pre-modern values changed to modern values in real life as a result of people going against the norm and attempting to change the world for the better just like above. Why can't the players be those people.

Satinavian
2018-12-18, 06:33 AM
This. Also pre-modern values changed to modern values in real life as a result of people going against the norm and attempting to change the world for the better just like above. Why can't the players be those people.
Because :

a) Modern values are modern ideas. PCs should not be allowed to 'invent' a modern society then they are allowed to 'invent' combustion engines or machine guns.

b) Societal change is not easy. The PCs trying to do that brings them at adds with the whole estalishment. Which is extremely likely to
bi) result in more or less automatic failure because the odds are simply too bad
bii) completely derails the campaign because the intended allies now become enemies and the main conflict becomes something else


Now that doesn't mean it is always wrong to try to change society and modernising it. That can make for a nice campaign in itself. But it is also something that is not appropriate or welcome in a regular campaign.

hamishspence
2018-12-18, 06:37 AM
In D&D, being Good-aligned means having values somewhat closer to "modern" than to "medieval" or "pre-medieval".

This has been fairly consistent for a while.

So, if you're running a campaign with mostly Good-aligned characters, then they can be expected to disapprove of slavery, torture, discrimination, etc, even if the average person in the setting, being Neutral, doesn't.



For example, in 4e's Dark Sun Campaign Setting, a point is made of how Good people do not condone slavery, even if nearly everyone else in the setting, do.

Being pragmatic about how you oppose "societal evils" is permissible - but if you're serious about being Good and staying Good, you do have to be opposed to them, and not condone them.

Pauly
2018-12-18, 07:28 AM
In D&D, being Good-aligned means having values somewhat closer to "modern" than to "medieval" or "pre-medieval".

This has been fairly consistent for a while.

So, if you're running a campaign with mostly Good-aligned characters, then they can be expected to disapprove of slavery, torture, discrimination, etc, even if the average person in the setting, being Neutral, doesn't.



For example, in 4e's Dark Sun Campaign Setting, a point is made of how Good people do not condone slavery, even if nearly everyone else in the setting, do.

Being pragmatic about how you oppose "societal evils" is permissible - but if you're serious about being Good and staying Good, you do have to be opposed to them, and not condone them.

In medieval Europe slavery was considered an evil. Something only a non-Christian would do. There was at least one case in the 1800s where an African slave of an Englishman was freed because in English common law slavery had always been illegal in England (English colonies were a different kettle of fish). English common law traces it’s history back to pre-Norman times, and was first started to be codified under Henry II (i.e. before the Magna Carta).

European attitude to slavery began changing after the Renaissance and appears to be mainly driven by wide scale enslavement of European Christians by Moslems. However the history of European attitudes to slavery fills several books

So in this case D&D’s “good aligned” fits perfectly with medieval attitudes, but is out of step with classical and renaissance attitudes.

Mordaedil
2018-12-18, 07:35 AM
The 1800's were not medieval times...

Satinavian
2018-12-18, 07:40 AM
The 1800's were not medieval times...
That is where the law was tested in court, It was really old law in 1800.

Max_Killjoy
2018-12-18, 07:40 AM
In medieval Europe slavery was considered an evil. Something only a non-Christian would do. There was at least one case in the 1800s where an African slave of an Englishman was freed because in English common law slavery had always been illegal in England (English colonies were a different kettle of fish). English common law traces it’s history back to pre-Norman times, and was first started to be codified under Henry II (i.e. before the Magna Carta).

European attitude to slavery began changing after the Renaissance and appears to be mainly driven by wide scale enslavement of European Christians by Moslems. However the history of European attitudes to slavery fills several books

So in this case D&D’s “good aligned” fits perfectly with medieval attitudes, but is out of step with classical and renaissance attitudes.

There's a lot of horrible stuff people assume was true about the "medieval" period because it was true more recently in one way or another, and they assume that "progress" is a straight line through history pointing towards "better" as time advances. So if there was slavery in the classical period, and slavery in the colonial period, there must have been slavery in all the time between, because it wouldn't go away and come back, that's just "not how things work". Only... it is.

hamishspence
2018-12-18, 07:47 AM
So if there was slavery in the classical period, and slavery in the colonial period, there must have been slavery in all the time between, because it wouldn't go away and come back, that's just "not how things work". Only... it is.
There was plenty of slavery in medieval Europe too - it didn't just disappear:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_medieval_Europe

though it got rare in some areas of medieval Europe.


in English common law slavery had always been illegal in England (English colonies were a different kettle of fish).

That's something of an oversimplification:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_at_common_law

Willie the Duck
2018-12-18, 08:11 AM
Because :

a) Modern values are modern ideas. PCs should not be allowed to 'invent' a modern society then they are allowed to 'invent' combustion engines or machine guns.

Pretty sure if the DM lets it fly, then it isn't just the PCs randomly inventing it, but a shared agreement between players and DM. Much like when the PC invents an Efreeti-powered steam engine.


b) Societal change is not easy. The PCs trying to do that brings them at adds with the whole estalishment.

So the PCs attempt to institute this societal reform, and most of the population treat them like the nutter on the streetcorner yelling at no one in particular about the government and society? Excellent, problem solved!


Which is extremely likely to
bi) result in more or less automatic failure because the odds are simply too bad
bii) completely derails the campaign because the intended allies now become enemies and the main conflict becomes something else

Now that doesn't mean it is always wrong to try to change society and modernising it. That can make for a nice campaign in itself. But it is also something that is not appropriate or welcome in a regular campaign.


So can we just simplify this and say Players trying to be disruptive is a problem, and the specific expression thereof isn't particularly notable?

Douche
2018-12-19, 06:38 PM
2 Things:

1) Every time one of my threads gets over 50 replies someone comes in here acting like they know me or something. It's a forum, not the Nuremberg trials. I don't want a reputation here. I'm just here to discuss the game or concerns I have with interpersonal game issues. Whoever continuously trolls my threads with this (I honestly don't know if it's one person or several) should really find fulfillment elsewhere in their life other than harassing people on web forums.

2) So this campaign is coming to a close soon anyway, and I'm starting to get the group involved with the story of the next one, which as I've mentioned elsewhere is going to be a published campaign. The funny thing is that the book came with suggested backstory fodder, to get people more entwined with the setting. One person wanted to be a half elf, and the book explained how the elf community in this setting is accepting towards half-elves, but will never really look upon them as true elves. Long story short, the elves are elitist from chapter one. I found this funny because it vindicated my depiction of the elves. When I stated this to the group we all had a hearty laugh.

Edit: 3) why the hell are you guys talking about slavery? Also what is Ancient Greece even??? Or serfdom?!?

hamishspence
2018-12-19, 06:49 PM
Edit: 3) why the hell are you guys talking about slavery?

It's a spin off from the complaint that "people complaining about racism in-universe, is anachronistic, because it's 21st century values:


in a quasi-medieval setting no one knows, let alone cares, about “racism”.

Having your characters talk about racism in game makes about as much sense as having them discuss nuclear physics or smart phones.



The question really is “How do I stop players bringing their 21st century values/knowledge into the character’s pre-industrial fantasy world?”

I pointed out that, even in D&D, Good people adhere to modern values - disapproving of slavery and discrimination:


In D&D, being Good-aligned means having values somewhat closer to "modern" than to "medieval" or "pre-medieval".

This has been fairly consistent for a while.

So, if you're running a campaign with mostly Good-aligned characters, then they can be expected to disapprove of slavery, torture, discrimination, etc.

and it was disputed that "disapproving of slavery" is modern - with arguments that medieval people disapproved of slavery too.

Threads often drift into side topics.

Calthropstu
2018-12-19, 09:39 PM
2 Things:

1) Every time one of my threads gets over 50 replies someone comes in here acting like they know me or something. It's a forum, not the Nuremberg trials. I don't want a reputation here. I'm just here to discuss the game or concerns I have with interpersonal game issues. Whoever continuously trolls my threads with this (I honestly don't know if it's one person or several) should really find fulfillment elsewhere in their life other than harassing people on web forums.

2) So this campaign is coming to a close soon anyway, and I'm starting to get the group involved with the story of the next one, which as I've mentioned elsewhere is going to be a published campaign. The funny thing is that the book came with suggested backstory fodder, to get people more entwined with the setting. One person wanted to be a half elf, and the book explained how the elf community in this setting is accepting towards half-elves, but will never really look upon them as true elves. Long story short, the elves are elitist from chapter one. I found this funny because it vindicated my depiction of the elves. When I stated this to the group we all had a hearty laugh.

Edit: 3) why the hell are you guys talking about slavery? Also what is Ancient Greece even??? Or serfdom?!?

If you don't want a reputation, don't post. Reputations are something you gain after having been somewhere for a while. It references your past actions/statements and other information. It's something that develops regardless because it's a noticeable trend. Your posts have a noticeable trend, just as mine do. So like it or not, you will have a reputation no matter where you go or what you do so long as it's a group you regularly visit, be it online or in person.

So yeah, reputation gained.

Mr Beer
2018-12-19, 11:25 PM
2 Things:

1) Every time one of my threads gets over 50 replies someone comes in here acting like they know me or something.

If you don't like the way people judge you for literally the only thing they know about you i.e. what you post, you might like to consider whether your posts are contributing to this problem.

Almadelia
2018-12-20, 05:39 AM
To be honest, fantasy racism existing doesn't mean it's bad. It's actually probably good or at least justified and unavoidable in most settings. Here's the reason:

From Oxford English Dictionary:



racism [noun, mass noun]

1. Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.
‘a programme to combat racism’
1.1 The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

I added emphasis. It should be incredibly obvious that races have objective qualities specific to them - it's literally there in the statblock. In D&D, elves are quite literally more dextrous and more fragile - in Pathfinder, they're straight up smarter. You can't make the argument that "we're all the same" in fantasyland, because you're not all the same. Some races even have straight psychological differences beyond those afforded by being more intelligent or more of an idiot than others. Thus I'm not sure there should even be a complaint about racism - it'd be something like complaining about wizard being treated with caution in a setting without global magic.


If you don't like the way people judge you for literally the only thing they know about you i.e. what you post, you might like to consider whether your posts are contributing to this problem.

Judging a post or a poster for who made the post instead of what was posted is juvenile. I don't recognize him but even assuming he truly does need to change how he posts, that's his problem to fix, and it's the job of other posters to act more mature and simply move on. Even the biggest ******* in the world can still be right or reasonable, and him being an ******* doesn't make him wrong.

hamishspence
2018-12-20, 05:57 AM
In D&D, elves are quite literally more dextrous and more fragile - in Pathfinder, they're straight up smarter. You can't make the argument that "we're all the same" in fantasyland, because you're not all the same.

Only on average though. There are plenty of elves stupider or less dextrous than humans, even when they get +2 to Int or +2 to Dex.

Almadelia
2018-12-20, 06:37 AM
Only on average though. There are plenty of elves stupider or less dextrous than humans, even when they get +2 to Int or +2 to Dex.

But that's the point. On average. What are races if not collections of peoples whose average defines the race? Let's put this in practical terms, if I knew nothing about a specific person but their race and on that I was told to guess whether or not he would make a good archer, and those races were Elf and Dwarf, you would pick Elf just about every single time, because he has a literal racial advantage. Sure, an Elf only has +2 to Dex, but a Dwarf has +0, which means that if we use the 3d6 distribution then there is only a 26% chance of any given dwarf beating your average elf and only a 16% chance that any given elf is actually worse than your average dwarf. You put smart money on the elf. Is it racist? Yes. Is it also reasonable? Of course.

You also have other racial features that have nothing to do with averages, too. Under no circumstances will a baseline human (maybe ARFs, idk) see better in the dark than your generic Duegar who enjoys Superior Darkvision. Every human commoner 1 has more feats than an elf commoner 1 (again without any fancy substitution tricks or flaws). The point is that races in fantasy are differentiated by non-trivial (aka literally mechanically relevant) features that define their race, hell even in books races have differences because when it comes down to it if there's no differences then they don't need to be a seperate race. This isn't even getting to the very real differences that being twice as tall as a halfling, or living one-tenth as long as an elf, or not being a cold-blooded egglayer, or not being undead and thus being healed instead of gibbed by positive energy, would have on worldview and so on. Races are different in fantasy. Racism will exist. I would argue it isn't a bad thing. Racism in real life is considered bad not because of some moral pontification or inherent flaw, but because the facts on the ground are that the differences seem trivial as far as mainstream science is concerned, which makes it incredibly inefficient and illogical to actually apply racist selection logic to anything in real life. In fantasyworld, the races are incredibly different and so racism is literally just recognizing facts. A racist society which prioritizes grey elves as wizards for their spell penetration and intelligence bonuses will do better than a society which chooses, I don't know, lizardfolk (-2 Int). Lack of racism would literally be counterproductive, because it's as if Africans could see in the dark and walk on water, and Caucasians could speak telepathically and talk to animals and trees, and Asians could see ultraviolet and infrared and were also 60% lighter than everyone else. Only an idiot would try to claim they're all the same and treat them that way.

hamishspence
2018-12-20, 06:42 AM
Taking advantage of diversity, does not require racist or speciesist policies.

"Most of the wizards in the city are grey elves" isn't inherently racist.

But "Anyone who isn't a grey elf is banned from studying wizardry and punished if they're caught trying" is racist, discrimination, inappropriate for Good characters, etc.



As BoED points out, Good characters are not OK with discrimination.

Almadelia
2018-12-20, 06:56 AM
Taking advantage of diversity, does not require racist or speciesist policies.
"Most of the wizards in the city are grey elves" isn't inherently racist.
But "Anyone who isn't a grey elf is banned from studying wizardry and punished if they're caught trying" is racist, discrimination, inappropriate for Good characters, etc.
As BoED points out, Good characters are not OK with discrimination.


Reread the definitions of racism (that I posted and highlighted) and discrimination (hint: "to discriminate" means "to tell apart", and "a discriminating eater" means "a choosy eater"). The acknowledgement that one species is literally better than another doesn't require any sort of negative policy. Arguably, the neither does the barring of any species of a -Int race from studying wizardry at the Imperial Academy of Wizards, as it's simply good resource allocation. Even forcing them to not study it on their own time seems like an extremely Lawful, but not necessarily Evil, thing to do, since most of them are doomed and it's going to be largely more effective if they don't get any big ideas about how they're they're one who's different.

>BoED
The Book of Exalted Deeds also tries to argue that having modern views on things is Good because history is teleological, and that for some reason having sex with nymphs on the regular gives you massive bonuses to everything, while falling in love with an undead being is clearly Book of Vile Darkness material because topless elves = hot, getting shagged by zombies = gross. Savage Species also basically contradicts what you're said by famously claiming that more or less, monstrous races are run right out of Good societies while Evil ones accept them for who they are.

The fact of the matter is that fantasy racism exists, is natural, arguably is beneficial, and is honestly rather unnatural to overcome and certainly isn't something to object to when it exists in a fantasy setting. How do you overcome an entire race who is just clean up smarter than you, or luckier than you, or hurts you by being close enough, in your society? Our own historical societies - modern societies - have crumbled for smaller differences.

hamishspence
2018-12-20, 06:59 AM
Savage Species also basically contradicts what you're said by famously claiming that more or less, monstrous races are run right out of Good societies while Evil ones accept them for who they are.

In one of the campaign models, yes. And it doesn't say "Good societies"- just societies in general.

It's also the one that the PCs are encouraged to change (though it's pointed out that the change will be difficult).

The closest thing to "ideal" in Savage Species, was "With Malice Toward None":

With Malice Toward None
(Chaotic/Accepting)

In this campaign model, the prevailing opinion holds that monsters, no matter how foul and evil they may look, are free sentient beings with all the inalienable rights that humans, elves, and every other humanoid species are heir to. The denizens of this campaign are not foolish- they know that many monsters are evil and nefarious. Just the same, they are loath to reject monsters simply because of their origins. The philosophical leaders of this land realize that no medusa or troll really had a choice in how it came into this world, and indeed as oppressed as its upbringing may have been, it is deserving of more sympathy and consideration, not less.

In this world, evil among monsters is largely perceived to be a psychological condition rather than an absolute or genetic one. Most monsters are thought to become creatures of evil or destruction not because of any infernal or diabolic tie, but because of a fear of rejection, loneliness, or some other understandable psychological condition. Even the foulest tanar'ri may in truth be the victim of its own psychoses, and the enlightened people of this world hold out hope that with openness, respect, and even love, the darkest of souls can be redeemed. And who knows? Perhaps they are right.

Almadelia
2018-12-20, 07:11 AM
snip


I mean, I don't know what you mean by ideal. I personally am not someone who particularly cares for "always Evil" or "always Good" alignments except on outsiders, but I'm also not against fantasy racism, which should've been clear enough. I don't see how giants are meant to be accepted in a society of humans. They're too different in too many ways for it to be reasonable. People today have friction over things like the accent in which you speak the same language, let alone the people with blue skin being roughly 15 IQ points smarter than everyone else. If you mean what WotC thinks of as ideal, WotC thinks a lot of things, most of them wrong or self-contradictory - like again, the very strange placement of Nymph's Kiss and Lichloved as aligned feats. The point is that there's literally no reason that every society in fantasy even with only humans has to be tolerant, or that every Good character has to be tolerant, let alone in settings or games where you have mechanically defined differences. In real life racism, one of the usually spouted things is that X group has subhuman intelligence, they're stupid. Well, when you're a member of a race that is objectively smarter than everyone else...

hamishspence
2018-12-20, 07:18 AM
I'm also not against fantasy racism, which should've been clear enough.

I'm not against it existing in-universe - I'm against it being portrayed as appropriate for Good characters, and not "dinging their alignment".


A Good character can be prejudiced - but it should always be seen as a flaw, making them less Good than they would otherwise be.

Almadelia
2018-12-20, 07:25 AM
I'm not against it existing in-universe - I'm against it being portrayed as appropriate for Good characters, and not "dinging their alignment".

Which seems to me ridiculous unless you actually subscribe to Good characters basically just having modern morals, which the BoED itself basically admits is only the case because "we thought PCs would be happier if we called their real life characters Good and made it easier to roleplay their own beliefs as Good characters". Good/Evil needs to be dependent on the setting, not just on what stage of history we happen to be on.

Kardwill
2018-12-20, 09:18 AM
From Oxford English Dictionary:


You kinda missed the most important part of the definition you quoted :


1. Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.

You can aknowledge differences without belittling or antagonizing others. I think those 3 words are a pretty hefty part of the definition, since they're at the very begining of it.

"Most dwarves are sturdier than elves..." --> Simple aknowledgement of that +4 Con
"... thus all elves should be kicked out of the kingdom army, even if they're built like a Buick" --> Fantasy racism. Which can be entertaining, sure (my own campaigns are full of prejudice and injustice, since it give player characters something to fight against or angst about), and is probably socially accepted in the setting, but hardly qualifies as Good.

hamishspence
2018-12-20, 09:37 AM
"... thus all elves should be kicked out of the kingdom army, even if they're built like a Buick" --> Fantasy racism. Which can be entertaining, sure (my own campaigns are full of prejudice and injustice, since it give player characters something to fight against or angst about), and is probably socially accepted in the setting, but hardly qualifies as Good.

Indeed. Having a "hated group" (prejudice taken to an extreme) and Good, generally don't go together:



Eberron: The Forge of War p 108:

Bigotry/Prejudice

"You don't like, and don't trust, members of your hated group. At best, you ignore them when possible. More likely, you are actively rude and off-putting, perhaps even prone to violent outbursts. You have no interest in dealing with these people, negotiating with them, or cooperating with them; you'd rather see them all go away, or even all dead.

It cannot be stressed enough that in a game of heroism, as Dungeons and Dragons is normally played, this is not an appropriate attitude for a good-aligned character."


as does oppressing a group:


Cityscape p156:
Racial Conflict

Most cities that formally oppress one or more races are lawful, while those who informally allow such persecution are chaotic. No good society permits this sort of racial persecution.

Almadelia
2018-12-20, 10:38 AM
You kinda missed the most important part of the definition you quoted :
You can aknowledge differences without belittling or antagonizing others. I think those 3 words are a pretty hefty part of the definition, since they're at the very begining of it.

"Most dwarves are sturdier than elves..." --> Simple aknowledgement of that +4 Con
"... thus all elves should be kicked out of the kingdom army, even if they're built like a Buick" --> Fantasy racism. Which can be entertaining, sure (my own campaigns are full of prejudice and injustice, since it give player characters something to fight against or angst about), and is probably socially accepted in the setting, but hardly qualifies as Good.

I'm mostly using the subdefinition but I would like to point out that 'discrimination' has no negative connotations unless you force one upon it.

"... thus all elves should be kicked out of the kingdom army, even if they're built like a Buick"
On the other hand, it is both natural to bar them from applying as a simple way to shorten bureaucratic proceedings (the same reason why there are jobs which require you to have this or that level of education, or be so-and-so physically - it's POSSIBLE you're good enough anyway, but it's unlikely enough that it's mostly just a waste of time, as well as reasonable and expected that eventually people will scoff at the very idea of an elf going for an endurance contest with a dwarf, which is...well, sure, it's racism, but it's also reasonable, and I don't think it makes sense to accuse every society which acts like it actually exists in that world and wasn't simply exported from 2003 of being non-Good.


snip
Look, WotC ideas of Good and Evil really are very, very arbitrary and, at my table at least, extremely offputting and unfun as it leads directly into very strange character interactions who are by defintion outcasts in the world they seek to change. Good characters may or may not support racism but I surely do not think it should be a deciding or even relevant factor, and I also don't think that it's inherently natural or beneficial for players to 'agnst' about these things or seek to change them. Especially if the players seem to be derailing the normal plot by doing so, because while I don't support railroading, going from "let's stop miss necromancer who tore the sun from the sky from killing everyone" or "let's figure out why this vampire wants our help despite knowing our reputation for killing undead" (both reasonably heroic quests, I'd say) to "let's stop institutional racism, quite possibly justified, against orcs and wraiths in the Kingdom of the Elves" is pretty jarring and likely to be extremely divisive.

As a general rule, unless literally everyone at the table has consistent political views and agrees to play a game at least partially devoted to the resolution and back-patting of said view's eventual triumph, you don't inject present, real world political problems into tabletop games - it brings endlessly cyclic arguments (like this one), meaningless sideplots that don't advance the main plot in any way a DM would've reasonably planned for, and is likely to have at least half of the players throw their hands up in disgust and either outright leave or pull their phone out to watch movies during session time as yet another discussion of the gender pronouns of the kobold prince or another heated call for the racial minorities to rise up and overthrow the shackles of their fair-skinned elven oppressors and generally ends with nobody happy. So basically, while WotC has to cover it because it really is something that either exists or doesn't, both players and DMs should try to avoid it being an active thing, and especially players shouldn't suddenly decide they're going to change things up without telling the DM offscreen they're uncomfortable with this scenario (and honestly I'm not sure they should be - I wouldn't be especially uncomfortable with a mixed-race society with stark and obvious differences in physique and abilities, despite it being unnatural, so I expect other, hopefully mature players to be just as comfortable with a segregated race society despite it being considered immoral). Trying to "fix" things is asking for trouble (though the DM did seem to decide that leaving half the players out for an indefinite amount of time was a good idea before asking beforehand?)

Mr Beer
2018-12-20, 04:52 PM
Judging a post or a poster for who made the post instead of what was posted is juvenile.

This is mostly true which is why I referred to content rather than username.

It's not completely true though because we've all known someone who is an not a nice good person* and we're likely to judge what they say more harshly than if it came from a complete stranger because of prior experience. That harsher judgement may well be valid because it comes from a context of historical ill-will, malice or general dickery from that person.

* I'm specifically not referring to OP or anyone else on this board, this is a more general comment.

Friv
2018-12-20, 08:17 PM
On the other hand, it is both natural to bar them from applying as a simple way to shorten bureaucratic proceedings (the same reason why there are jobs which require you to have this or that level of education, or be so-and-so physically - it's POSSIBLE you're good enough anyway, but it's unlikely enough that it's mostly just a waste of time, as well as reasonable and expected that eventually people will scoff at the very idea of an elf going for an endurance contest with a dwarf, which is...well, sure, it's racism, but it's also reasonable, and I don't think it makes sense to accuse every society which acts like it actually exists in that world and wasn't simply exported from 2003 of being non-Good.

Could not disagree more.

Forbidding people from doing jobs that they are fully capable of, on the grounds that people like them aren't usually capable of doing those jobs and sorting through would be too much hard work? That's not good behaviour. That is racism, and what it leads to is deciding that whichever group you're barring from whichever service is inferior overall, and yeah, that's non-Good. It's not necessarily Evil, but it's not Good.

There are jobs which require you to have specific levels of education. But if you decided to, say, bar anyone from a poor neighborhood from applying to those jobs, on the grounds that poor people mostly can't afford higher education so it's not worth the time to sort through, you are doing wrong.

There are jobs which require you to have a certain level of physical strength. If you bar women from those jobs entirely, on the grounds that most women aren't as strong as most men so there's no reason to let women take the qualifying tests, you are doing wrong.

Same applies for blocking all elves from the army just because most dwarves are tougher than most elves.

Pauly
2018-12-20, 09:03 PM
Could not disagree more.

Forbidding people from doing jobs that they are fully capable of, on the grounds that people like them aren't usually capable of doing those jobs and sorting through would be too much hard work? That's not good behaviour. That is racism, and what it leads to is deciding that whichever group you're barring from whichever service is inferior overall, and yeah, that's non-Good. It's not necessarily Evil, but it's not Good.

There are jobs which require you to have specific levels of education. But if you decided to, say, bar anyone from a poor neighborhood from applying to those jobs, on the grounds that poor people mostly can't afford higher education so it's not worth the time to sort through, you are doing wrong.

There are jobs which require you to have a certain level of physical strength. If you bar women from those jobs entirely, on the grounds that most women aren't as strong as most men so there's no reason to let women take the qualifying tests, you are doing wrong.

Same applies for blocking all elves from the army just because most dwarves are tougher than most elves.

What you’re doing is applying 2000s thinking.

It wasn’t that long ago that jobs like police service and fire service had height and weight minimum requirements. It wasn’t to discriminate against certain people, it was done so there was an objective measure to whether an individual could do the job. So for example if the rules said to enter the police service you had to be at least 170cm tall, that would discriminate against ethnic groups like Japanese or Quechas. But the purpose of the rule wasn’t to discriminate against these groups, the purpose was that police officers were big enough to handle themselves in rough situations.

Yes as time went on different standards have been adopted because people felt that the old rules unfairly discriminated against certain groups. Although there is a degree of pushback against these new rules because there have been documented instances where physically smaller police officers have been unable to handle rough situations.

Just because the people in your group think something is good does not make it objectively good.
For example:
Some people in this world practice slavery. In their minds they consider themsleves to be good
Some peopke in this world practice honor killings. In their minds they are lawful good.
Some people blow up civilians in terrorist attacks. They consider themselves chaotic good.
The people running Venezuela consider themselves lawful good.

This is why it’s important for the storytelling to have a definition of what consists “good” and “evil”, and “lawful” and chaotic” in that world. In most high fantasy world it is accepted that there are differences between the races and that the races believe that their own race is superior to other races in some way and act on that belief. The big city where multiple races live peacefully side by side is a trope that is well used in fantasy to show off modern ideas such as “racism is bad.”

The idea that a fantasy society would accept a different standard of what is “good” does not mean it makes for a fun game if you want to change that fantasy society. It’s like when people use their knowledge of high school science to try to build black powder explosives or steam engines in a high fantasy setting. Importing those ideas can ruin the immersion for other players. Now if everyone else at the table agrees and it floats your boat, go ahead. On the other hand I’ve seen campaigns and gaming groups getting train wrecked because people started bringing their personal politcal beliefs into the fantasy environment.

Almadelia
2018-12-20, 09:54 PM
Could not disagree more.

I don't really care for all these things you're saying. It's not about what's ideal, it's about what's practical. I'm simply pointing out that in the case of a massive differential in numbers such that something like 15% of your given elf is going to be at least as sturdy as your average dwarf then yeah you're more or less just wasting everyone's time and asking everyone else to waste their time on the off chance you're the one who's different is not Good, it's simply selfish. "Too much hard work" is a real and present problem for every society because the hard work you put here is hard work (constantly in demand when it comes to government) that could be used to streamline coal deliveries so winter houses are heated on time or to service the burst water pipe that's forcing people to walk an extra ten minutes to get to the other town pump.


There are jobs which require you to have specific levels of education. But if you decided to, say, bar anyone from a poor neighborhood from applying to those jobs, on the grounds that poor people mostly can't afford higher education so it's not worth the time to sort through, you are doing wrong.
Hilariously enough, these jobs require an education on the grounds that most people who couldn't get past this level of education are probably not trained enough, determined enough, or mentally capable enough to work at it. The few who could've made it anyway or were unfortunate enough to simply never have been afforded the chance? Yeah, tough on them. Why do people have requirements? It's not about wanting to be Neutral Evil for ****s and giggles. Nobody thinks of themselves as Evil except the fiendish outsiders, and those guys think of Evil as something as inherent to their being as skin is inherent to our own.

People have requirements so that we have a quick and easy way to chop down the list of applicants and to make sure the applicants that make it through the chopping block, as well as possible, are capable of doing their job. Grenadiers, firefighters, policemen and watchmen, and artillerymen used to have actual straight up height cutoffs, you have to be at least this tall to earn a living here. Some of the Asian airlines still have that for their service staff because they're looking to cater to the 'prim and proper noble service' look so they only hire young-looking, tall and handsome/beautiful types. Women were barred for quite another reason but had there been a breed of men who were just straight up weaker than other breeds it wouldn't have been weird or unexpected for them to be barred because it was mostly a waste of goddamn time and was liable to be a community liability besides because when you have exactly ten halfshanks in the vanguard unit surrounded by longbeards, and exactly twelve roundears in the mage guard, this causes friction and problems with unit cohesion which is the last thing you want anywhere near anything funded by a government to be a service to its community.

You can call it racist if you like, but you could also call it "saving ourselves a lot of work and bureaucratic confusion and trying to play to our strengths". Sure, you could build an Elven Barbarian instead of going Dwarf. You could go through hoops to get darkvision as a human instead of just starting as a race that had it. But why? It just doesn't make sense, and one of the duties of a government is to encourage its population to try and make some sense.

Xuc Xac
2018-12-20, 11:11 PM
You can call it racist if you like, but you could also call it "saving ourselves a lot of work and bureaucratic confusion and trying to play to our strengths". Sure, you could build an Elven Barbarian instead of going Dwarf. You could go through hoops to get darkvision as a human instead of just starting as a race that had it. But why? It just doesn't make sense, and one of the duties of a government is to encourage its population to try and make some sense.

You're advocating applying the average to the individual. If you say "you have to be 180cm tall to be a cop", that's fine. You probably won't have too many Japanese cops but the rule is fair if it's applied to everyone. It becomes unfair when a 181cm tall Japanese guy applies to be a cop and is turned away because "Japanese people are too short to be cops".

It's not racist to say the average elf is a better archer than the average dwarf. It's racist when you need to hire an archer and you hire the Dex 12 Elf commoner instead of the Dex 16 dwarf fighter because dwarves are too clumsy to make good archers. And wasting resources is a BS excuse. If you're measuring the heights of new recruits at the police academy, you can measure everyone who applies. If you're recruiting archers for the army, you can let everyone shoot at some targets. It won't take any resources away from delivering coal to the cold poor houses or whatever. It's not like the sergeant who drills new recruits is the same government employee who has to go deliver coal and fix water mains in the same day. Having more recruits to test isn't going to eat into sarge's coal delivery and plumbing time.

Almadelia
2018-12-21, 01:50 AM
You're advocating applying the average to the individual.

Yeah, uh, that's how we make policy. Applying averages to the individual. In any case this has gone extremely off topic and the original point is - if 85% of all elves are better archers than your average dwarf, then it probably isn't unlikely that elves believe themselves to be better than dwarves, and also should be unreasonable that this suddenly becomes Evil and in need of fixing. Not every society needs to be a direct analogue of the modern day. Not every society can be an analogue of the modern day. You're using the word 'racist' like it's a triumphant word like it's something to be avoided. But it isn't, because it doesn't really quite matter. I don't see it as automatically evil when there are clear and evident differences between people that have great impacts on their society.

On the topic of resource use - of course, it matters. If you only allow half the population to apply and 20% of the population cares to apply then you only need to look at 10% of the population. If you open up the other half you'll need to look at the full 20% but you'll end up with minimal gain, recruiting 15% more people for 100% more work. Is it worth it? Maybe, but on the other hand, probably not. And while sergeants aren't doing the paperwork for coal running, if there are not that many people applying, then do we really need so many sergeants?

Xuc Xac
2018-12-21, 10:45 AM
On the topic of resource use - of course, it matters. If you only allow half the population to apply and 20% of the population cares to apply then you only need to look at 10% of the population. If you open up the other half you'll need to look at the full 20% but you'll end up with minimal gain, recruiting 15% more people for 100% more work. Is it worth it? Maybe, but on the other hand, probably not. And while sergeants aren't doing the paperwork for coal running, if there are not that many people applying, then do we really need so many sergeants?

You're assuming desire is evenly distributed. If the 20% that wants to apply is in the 50% that is allowed to apply, being racist doesn't save you any time. If everyone knows there's a minimum height requirement, you'll only get applicants over or close to that minimum. If someone who is tall enough applies but you turn them away because they're above average for their race and the average member of their race is too short, that's just stupid. You actually waste your own time by setting standards that don't disqualify them, so you have to deal with unwanted people waiting in line. If you don't want tall dwarves in your archer corps, don't base the requirements on height. Just come right out and say "elves only". If you're British, you can enlist in the British army, but you're not getting into the highland regiments if you're not Scottish.

Why have non-race-based requirements if you aren't going to use them? The entire point of simple standards like height requirements is that you can check very quickly and weed people out as fast as they can walk in to apply. The British army, for example, used to require a minimum number of teeth (two on top, two on bottom, arranged so that all 4 could bite together). New recruit walks in, recruitment clerk says "Show us your teeth", and rejects them on the spot if their smile is deficient.

If you need an archer and you have a choice between an elf and a dwarf, you'd pick the elf if you had no other information because they are more likely to be better. But why would you recruit them without even a basic test like "draw this longbow" to see who is tall and strong enough to be an archer before wasting any time on them? If you have a choice between a 1st level Dex 11 elf commoner and a 5th level dwarf ranger with Dex 16 and you still pick the elf because the average elf is a better archer than the average dwarf, that's both stupid and racist.

Calthropstu
2018-12-21, 12:13 PM
I'm not against it existing in-universe - I'm against it being portrayed as appropriate for Good characters, and not "dinging their alignment".


A Good character can be prejudiced - but it should always be seen as a flaw, making them less Good than they would otherwise be.

Ummm... literally ALL of the D&D campaign worlds feature racial discrimination and animosity. So yeah, I am calling bs.

Dwarves and Elves sometimes work together but they definitely dislike each other strongly, elves HATE humans and only work with them out of necessity. The elves in Dragonlance in particular disliked humans so much that they barred them for over 1000 years from their forest killing most who entered.

In LOTR, the meeting to decide the fate of the one ring nearly came to blows as racial bias reared its head. Racism is very much a part of the fantasy lore. It's literally baked into the setting. Orcs and goblins are universally reviled. Does it ding a paladin's alignment to go orc hunting? I think not. In short, your assertion is simply wrong.

hamishspence
2018-12-21, 12:16 PM
Ummm... literally ALL of the D&D campaign worlds feature racial discrimination and animosity.

And nearly all D&D characters with "racial animosity" are less good than they could be.


Does it ding a paladin's alignment to go orc hunting?

Yes.

But it does not ding a paladin's alignment to go bandit hunting.

And there are a vast number of orc bandit gangs out there.

Result - bandit hunting can seem indistinguishable from orc hunting.



Dwarves and Elves sometimes work together but they definitely dislike each other strongly

In 1e, yes. In 3e, no:

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ElvesVersusDwarves

Dungeons & Dragons:
Since both dwarves and elves are standard hero races, they tend to be on decent terms, though usually not seeing eye to eye on much (typically more like eye to groin). The 3rd edition rulebook mentions that while dwarves and elves don't always get along, if one gets attacked the other will be the first to help them. Much like brothers. This was less the case in the 1st Edition, where the table for racial relations explicitly noted that dwarves and elves had a noted antipathy towards one another. Humans generally tended to be regarded neutrally by all the demihuman races.


"Condemning people according to their race" is very much LE's schtick:

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/description.htm#theNineAlignments

Lawful Evil, "Dominator"
He condemns others not according to their actions but according to race, religion, homeland, or social rank.

Calthropstu
2018-12-21, 12:26 PM
And nearly all D&D characters with "racial animosity" are less good than they could be.

Yet Qualinesti and Sylvanesti are listed as good societies. Were the elves evil for refusing to associate with humans for so long? I would state no. And the fact that, when trouble truly threatened the world at large, they ultimately came to the aid of a group that they strongly disliked proves they are a good people. A good person helps even people they hate or despise because it's the right thing to do. A person who dislikes a particular race jumping in between a child of that race and a coyote is still a good person.

There is nothing inherently wrong or evil about racism. Those who use that racism to justify evil acts are evil because they are doing evil acts. But deciding not to go to a bbq full of a race you dislike? Literally nothing wrong with that.

hamishspence
2018-12-21, 12:27 PM
Yet Qualinesti and Sylvanesti are listed as good societies.

Mostly because the writers of the Dragonlance novels were not writing in 3.0 or later.

That dragonlance elves come across as evil has been a point of contention on these forums for ages.

Calthropstu
2018-12-21, 12:31 PM
Mostly because the writers of the Dragonlance novels were not writing in 3.0 or later.

That dragonlance elves come across as evil has been a point of contention on these forums for ages.

They didn't to me. They came across as aloof and distrustful due to numerous experiences of thousands of years. To them, the Cataclysm was something they experienced. Humans were the direct cause of the loss of half their people. For a race with a low reproduction rate like elves, it makes SENSE to say "no humans."

hamishspence
2018-12-21, 12:42 PM
They didn't to me. They came across as aloof and distrustful due to numerous experiences of thousands of years. To them, the Cataclysm was something they experienced. Humans were the direct cause of the loss of half their people.

And the elves appear to have supported the Kingpriest's genocidal campaigns enthusiastically.

Kish is probably the harshest critic of Dragonlance elves and morality on these forums:



Whether sitting near the top of the Lawful Good Kingpriest's fascist state, or desperately defending their shrinking borders from enemies, "the embodiment of Good" are fascists in Dragonlance. Dwarves are able to hold power without turning into monstrous caricatures. So are humans, and elves, as long as they've been kicked out of elven societies for being insufficiently fascist and rule over humans (thinking of Laurana, here). But elven societies are vile because they're dedicated to Good.

The most unambiguously positive character in the Dragonlance books spells out that good "breeds intolerance, rigidity, a belief that because I am right, those who don't believe as I do are wrong."

This is used to justify elves, within the setting, being essentially Nazis while remaining the embodiment of Good.




Dragonlance elves are culturally racist. Explicitly culturally racist, disagreeing only on whether the inferior races (everyone else) should be avoided or actually Nazi-style eliminated; their primary activity is reflecting on how much better than everyone else they are, and no one in the setting is allowed to even think that elves are not embodiments of good. The closest any character can come is the ridiculous, brain-twisting nonsense that if you're too good it means you're actually evil, which Weis and Hickman present as though it's a brilliant observation which enriches all their readers' lives.


Never, ever, consult the Dragonlance books for a nuanced, interesting, or merely plausible concept of good and evil.

("The Kingpriest of Istar conducted his genocidal crusades because he was TOO GOOD! Most elves you see onstage act like vile bastards because they're the ancient embodiment of good!")

but Kish is far from the only one.

Friv
2018-12-21, 01:38 PM
In LOTR, the meeting to decide the fate of the one ring nearly came to blows as racial bias reared its head. Racism is very much a part of the fantasy lore. It's literally baked into the setting. Orcs and goblins are universally reviled. Does it ding a paladin's alignment to go orc hunting? I think not. In short, your assertion is simply wrong.

Yeah, and that racism almost destroyed the world. The whole point of LOTR was that societies who had traditionally distrusted one another had to learn to overcome those biases and come together against Sauron, or else everyone would die.

Max_Killjoy
2018-12-21, 02:03 PM
Yeah, and that racism almost destroyed the world. The whole point of LOTR was that societies who had traditionally distrusted one another had to learn to overcome those biases and come together against Sauron, or else everyone would die.

Yeah.

A lot of fantasy settings mindlessly mimic the inter-"racial" animosities of Tolkein's Middle Earth, without seeming to realize that those animosities were depicted as damaging and detrimental and counter-productive.

Friv
2018-12-21, 02:29 PM
It's probably also worth keeping in mind, and this may be drifting towards politics so I apologize if it is and will rein it back, that most real-world cultures and nations would be considered Neutral by D&D standards, not Good. An overall Neutral society can have a few mildly evil practices and a few moderately good ones.

hamishspence
2018-12-21, 02:33 PM
An overall Neutral society can have a few mildly evil practices and a few moderately good ones.

I'd say the same. Maybe even "An overall Good society can have a few mildly evil practices and many very good ones".

Same for an overall Neutral or overall Good character rather than society.



Hence my "A racist Good character is less good than they could be" argument.

Koo Rehtorb
2018-12-21, 02:36 PM
I'd say the vast majority of real world civilizations are lawful evil.

Mordar
2018-12-21, 02:43 PM
Yeah, and that racism almost destroyed the world. The whole point of LOTR was that societies who had traditionally distrusted one another had to learn to overcome those biases and come together against Sauron, or else everyone would die.

Well, sort of. Societies *of people that were similar, height and lifespan not withstanding* that had grown apart in recent times (centuries...) had to come together to first fight the society that looked the least like them, and then the guy who those really different looking guys worked for.

Basically "It doesn't matter if you like wine or beer, are 4'3" or live in treehouses...you gotta bind together and beat those guys from the SE part of the world with the sharp teeth and bad hygiene."

There'd be a lot of bad ways to spin this one.

:smallbiggrin:

Calthropstu
2018-12-21, 02:47 PM
I'd say the same. Maybe even "An overall Good society can have a few mildly evil practices and many very good ones".

Same for an overall Neutral or overall Good character rather than society.



Hence my "A racist Good character is less good than they could be" argument.

I feel it has absolutely no alignment in and of itself. It is your reaction to that prejudice that determines alignment. Take a dwarf fallen into a river that can't swim.

"Stupid dwarf. Here, I'll put it out of its misery." *pulls out crossbow and shoots him before he can drown.* or *gets close and pushes his head under the water to force a drowning.* That'd be pretty evil.

Eh, I'm not risking my life to save a mere dwarf. Neutral.

"Dwarves may be smelly drunks, but no one deserves to die like that." *jumps in and saves him.* Definitely good.

The racism itself is merely a viewpoint. How that viewpoint affects your actions and what alignment those actions are is what ultimately determines your alignment. Not whether you think all dwarves are smelly drunks.

Koo Rehtorb
2018-12-21, 02:50 PM
Yeah, and that racism almost destroyed the world. The whole point of LOTR was that societies who had traditionally distrusted one another had to learn to overcome those biases and come together against Sauron, or else everyone would die.

... and then the elves left the world of Man forever to travel to a place where the other races are forbidden to go.

Talakeal
2018-12-21, 04:17 PM
Ummm... literally ALL of the D&D campaign worlds feature racial discrimination and animosity. So yeah, I am calling bs.

Dwarves and Elves sometimes work together but they definitely dislike each other strongly, elves HATE humans and only work with them out of necessity. The elves in Dragonlance in particular disliked humans so much that they barred them for over 1000 years from their forest killing most who entered.

In LOTR, the meeting to decide the fate of the one ring nearly came to blows as racial bias reared its head. Racism is very much a part of the fantasy lore. It's literally baked into the setting. Orcs and goblins are universally reviled. Does it ding a paladin's alignment to go orc hunting? I think not. In short, your assertion is simply wrong.

And a major theme of all of those works is lesrning that everyone is better if they overcome those prejudices.

Saying racism is part of fantasy is one thing, but the people who are saying that it is innapropriate to address these issues in character because ot is interjecting politics and / or modern views are, imo, missing the point.

Aka-chan
2018-12-21, 11:30 PM
I don't really care for all these things you're saying. It's not about what's ideal, it's about what's practical. I'm simply pointing out that in the case of a massive differential in numbers such that something like 15% of your given elf is going to be at least as sturdy as your average dwarf then yeah you're more or less just wasting everyone's time and asking everyone else to waste their time on the off chance you're the one who's different is not Good, it's simply selfish. "Too much hard work" is a real and present problem for every society because the hard work you put here is hard work (constantly in demand when it comes to government) that could be used to streamline coal deliveries so winter houses are heated on time or to service the burst water pipe that's forcing people to walk an extra ten minutes to get to the other town pump.


Except that in a setting with magic, practicality would also be against such a policy. A country that doesn't let the 20th level elven Batman wizard or blaster sorc join the army as a battlemage will straight-up lose to a country that does, because that one elf will turn the tide of a battle all by himself. Ditto for the high-level elven cleric who can throw mass buffs and cures around like confetti, or the druid who can turn into a roc and flame-strike your wooden siege engines. To a lesser degree, it's true even for non-casting classes. Don't want the elven rogue joining the army? I hope you're ready to wake up one morning and find that your army's general got his throat cut in the night by the other side's elven rogue. (Or that the money you were counting on to pay your army mysteriously disappeared from the treasury, or that your supply-line wagons were sabotaged and now the wheels fall off when you try to move them, etc.)

theNater
2018-12-22, 03:01 AM
Eh, I'm not risking my life to save a mere dwarf. Neutral.
Would this person risk their life to save a member of some non-dwarf race?

ross
2018-12-25, 07:46 PM
So long as you realize that racism IS the evil your fighting and not the tool you use to fight evil with, its okay.

The morality of their decisions is for them to decide.

To OP, if your players can't act like adults, kick them. Players are an inexhaustible resource.

Bohandas
2018-12-25, 10:06 PM
Well I don’t believe that any normal common race can be always evil. Tolkien orcs come out of like a hole in the ground, they don’t have family structures or friendship. In D&D they have babies and stuff. You can’t really rationalize ‘always evil’ when a race has anything resembling human society

They do in Middle Earth too. Neither Morgoth, Sauron, nor Sarumon controlled the secret fire and thus they couldn't create life; the orcs were descended from elves whom Morgoth had mutated with black magic. Althougn I suppose that technically they came out of a hole in the ground since Morgoth lived and operated out of a massive subterranean fortress

Clistenes
2018-12-26, 05:16 AM
Yeah, and that racism almost destroyed the world. The whole point of LOTR was that societies who had traditionally distrusted one another had to learn to overcome those biases and come together against Sauron, or else everyone would die.

Not really. The Rohirrim and Gondor had been allies since forever. An alliance of Elves and Humans defeated Sauron when Isildur was king. Moria's Dwarves an Eregion's Elves were good friends. Hobbits were granted land by Aragorn's ancestors. Humans and Hobbits lived side by side in Bree. Wood Elves visit the Men of the Lake and drink together, and they were quick to send help to the Lake after the dragon's attack.

At the beginning of the story everybody is fighting Sauron already, save the Rohirrim, whose king had been ensorcelled. They receive each other as guests. The worst they ever do is to be unpolite.

Even Legolas's dad kept Thorin's party as prisioners only because they refused to reveal their names (he said he would have treated them as guests otherwise), which they did because they feared he would try to steal the treasure. Thorin's later conflict with Elves and Humans was over money not race, too. And they drop everything to fight together when orcs appear...

I guess you could make a case that there was low key racism in that people may think themselves better than other races, but if it is so, there is no obvious change in such attitudes, save for a few characters...

The real racial conflict is with Orcs and with dark-skinned eastern and southern humans, and those are defeated in combat. And Orcs remain vermin to be exterminated (not that they don't give them reasons...).

Arbane
2018-12-26, 01:22 PM
Someone's doing a survey on Racism in TTRPGs (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSecPqOD1mtFQdgMnYdl2XoqqsYfHcoyjQ_oBKY0h1aS-IJ86A/viewform). Everyone here has a lot of opinions, why not give this person a few of them?

Calthropstu
2018-12-26, 01:33 PM
Someone's doing a survey on Racism in TTRPGs (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSecPqOD1mtFQdgMnYdl2XoqqsYfHcoyjQ_oBKY0h1aS-IJ86A/viewform). Everyone here has a lot of opinions, why not give this person a few of them?

I have a feeling that guy's thesis is real world racism existing at tables. I have no desire to fuel such tripe.

Willie the Duck
2018-12-26, 01:41 PM
I have a feeling that guy's thesis is real world racism existing at tables. I have no desire to fuel such tripe.

Or conversely, something on SJW-ism/nannystate/etc./something in the other direction

Regardless, self-volunteered elective survey research is less than useless.

Max_Killjoy
2018-12-26, 01:46 PM
Someone's doing a survey on Racism in TTRPGs (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSecPqOD1mtFQdgMnYdl2XoqqsYfHcoyjQ_oBKY0h1aS-IJ86A/viewform). Everyone here has a lot of opinions, why not give this person a few of them?

On the first page, they ask for where I'm from and my date of birth and my gender.

NOPE.

Arbane
2018-12-26, 02:38 PM
I have a feeling that guy's thesis is real world racism existing at tables. I have no desire to fuel such tripe.

You think it doesn't?

WOW, I envy you.

Calthropstu
2018-12-26, 02:40 PM
Or conversely, something on SJW-ism/nannystate/etc./something in the other direction

Regardless, self-volunteered elective survey research is less than useless.

Especially over the internet, when I can take the survey multiple times with multiple IPs and multiple different responses to skew the results. The guy is asking to be trolled. (No pun intended given the forum we're in)

Calthropstu
2018-12-26, 03:13 PM
You think it doesn't?

WOW, I envy you.

I have had zero trouble with it, nor have I seen it portrayed at any tables. In public games, any such display would result in banning from the game. Any such display is banned here as well. Since this is a topic that can quickly and easily get infractions, I will refrain from further responses to this line.

However, I AM reporting your link as spam as well as phishing. Something kinda stinks here. No real self respecting modern PhD candidate would post that online survey which has ZERO chance of being accepted as usable. And given your response, you look rather phishy to me. And no, I did not spell that wrong.

But I will leave that to the mods.

The Glyphstone
2018-12-26, 04:36 PM
Someone's doing a survey on Racism in TTRPGs (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSecPqOD1mtFQdgMnYdl2XoqqsYfHcoyjQ_oBKY0h1aS-IJ86A/viewform). Everyone here has a lot of opinions, why not give this person a few of them?

Page 1 is identifying data, Page 2 is questions about racism in games, page 3 is...a bunch of questions about the Drizzt books?

Calthropstu
2018-12-26, 06:34 PM
Page 1 is identifying data, Page 2 is questions about racism in games, page 3 is...a bunch of questions about the Drizzt books?

Yeah, as I suspected. I am guessing the writer was Arbane himself. It looked extremely poorly written when I looked at it, and the moment it asked for PII, I left the page fast. Phishing is the only thing that could be... if Arbane's and the guy who wrote it's claims are actually true, then I truly feel sorry for the guy because he is utterly incompetent and has wasted 8 years of his life trying to get a doctorate.

Edit: I feel sorry for the guy even if he IS phishing too though... because he is targeting a demographic that is highly unlikely to fall for it. And it is truly bad to even start with.

War_lord
2018-12-26, 07:46 PM
I have a feeling that guy's thesis is real world racism existing at tables. I have no desire to fuel such tripe.

So there's literally nobody playing D&D who is, even unconsciously, a little bit racist?

Weren't you just arguing that racism is okay as long as it only manifests as not attending social events with those people? Would that not extend to refusing to game with people based on their ethnic background?

Calthropstu
2018-12-26, 07:52 PM
So there's literally nobody playing D&D who is, even unconsciously, a little bit racist?

Weren't you just arguing that racism is okay as long as it only manifests as not attending social events with those people?

You mistake me. I am not saying it doesn't exist, I am saying it isn't brought up at the table or is otherwise not a problem. And yes, racism is opinion. Everyone is entitled to one. But, opinions are like *******s, and if people start airing theirs it quickly starts to stink. People are free to have whatever opinions they like. When it causes a problem, however, they are pointedly asked to leave. And I have only once seen someone asked to leave because they started real world opinion problems. I have seen 2 others pointedly leave a table. Out of the hundreds of tables I have sat at, that makes it less than 1% which means the issue is negligible at best.

War_lord
2018-12-26, 08:06 PM
You mistake me. I am not saying it doesn't exist, I am saying it isn't brought up at the table or is otherwise not a problem.

Not verbalizing something doesn't mean it's not present.


And yes, racism is opinion. Everyone is entitled to one. But, opinions are like *******s, and if people start airing theirs it quickly starts to stink. People are free to have whatever opinions they like. When it causes a problem, however, they are pointedly asked to leave. And I have only once seen someone asked to leave because they started real world opinion problems. I have seen 2 others pointedly leave a table. Out of the hundreds of tables I have sat at, that makes it less than 1% which means the issue is negligible at best.

Leaving aside the idea that racism is just an opinion that people are entitled to. You're really ill placed to comment on the level of racism at RPG tables when you admit that you (and I assume those you play with) seem to have more issue with anyone who would call it out then with the person actually doing it. And aside from that, one person is a terrible sample size for a whole range of reasons.

Arbane
2018-12-26, 08:09 PM
Yeah, as I suspected. I am guessing the writer was Arbane himself.

Nope, not me.

Friv
2018-12-26, 08:24 PM
Yeah, as I suspected. I am guessing the writer was Arbane himself. It looked extremely poorly written when I looked at it, and the moment it asked for PII, I left the page fast. Phishing is the only thing that could be... if Arbane's and the guy who wrote it's claims are actually true, then I truly feel sorry for the guy because he is utterly incompetent and has wasted 8 years of his life trying to get a doctorate.

The thing is, it's pretty hard to get a doctorate with your bachelor thesis, so that's not likely to be a problem.

I might go so far as to say that you may want to consider the degree to which your pre-conceived notions are affecting your perceptions, if you look at this survey and see "phishing" as the only logical explanation for asking for someone's gender and age.

*EDIT* It's still a pretty bad survey, because Page 2 opens by asking if you've ever experienced a specific problem, and then provides single-option answers as though said problem could only ever happen once. My answers would have been "several different situations, several different resolutions, a number of different opinions on the subject."

Calthropstu
2018-12-26, 08:56 PM
Not verbalizing something doesn't mean it's not present.



Leaving aside the idea that racism is just an opinion that people are entitled to. You're really ill placed to comment on the level of racism at RPG tables when you admit that you (and I assume those you play with) seem to have more issue with anyone who would call it out then with the person actually doing it. And aside from that, one person is a terrible sample size for a whole range of reasons.

umm what? where'd you get that from? My personal philosophy at the game table is "No BS." Racism is BS. Falsely calling racism is BS. (Outside of the game of course. You are free to practice character based racism. Stinking dwarves.) In fact, mentioning the race of people at the table (or at other tables) in a disruptive manner would be enough for me to personally can them from my game. Don't start none, won't be none.

In short, outside the game, I don't give a rats ass if you're a kkk, black panther or ISIS supporter. At my table, you're a roleplayer. If you start ****, you're gone. And more than 99% of roleplayers understand that in my experience.

Calthropstu
2018-12-26, 08:58 PM
The thing is, it's pretty hard to get a doctorate with your bachelor thesis, so that's not likely to be a problem.

I might go so far as to say that you may want to consider the degree to which your pre-conceived notions are affecting your perceptions, if you look at this survey and see "phishing" as the only logical explanation for asking for someone's gender and age.

*EDIT* It's still a pretty bad survey, because Page 2 opens by asking if you've ever experienced a specific problem, and then provides single-option answers as though said problem could only ever happen once. My answers would have been "several different situations, several different resolutions, a number of different opinions on the subject."

Missed the bachelor thesis, thought it was doctoral. Fair enough on that. But even so, this "study" isn't worth a damn thing. I know I'd fail someone who pulled this "case study" data out of their ass.

icefractal
2018-12-26, 10:49 PM
In short, outside the game, I don't give a rats ass if you're a kkk, black panther or ISIS supporter. At my table, you're a roleplayer. If you start ****, you're gone. And more than 99% of roleplayers understand that in my experience.If someone wants me or my friends dead, then no, I don't want to game with them. Why in the hell would I?

(Not that it would be ok if they didn't want me personally dead - I'm not cool hanging out with a serial killer even if they exclusively kill people I haven't met, for instance - but the former was my immediate 'WTF?' reaction.)

(Also, pretty insulting to put the black panthers in that particular list. It's like saying "socially atypical people such as psychopaths, roleplayers, and pedophiles")

Friv
2018-12-27, 12:54 AM
In short, outside the game, I don't give a rats ass if you're a kkk, black panther or ISIS supporter. At my table, you're a roleplayer. If you start ****, you're gone. And more than 99% of roleplayers understand that in my experience.

In short, outside the game, you don't care if someone is planning to hurt your friends, as long as they don't intend to hurt your friends where you have to see it.

Calthropstu
2018-12-27, 06:41 AM
In short, outside the game, you don't care if someone is planning to hurt your friends, as long as they don't intend to hurt your friends where you have to see it.

See, expressing a desire to hurt my friends would be disruptive no? But you seem to be under a misconception. You can be any of those things and never hurt anyone. You can subacribe to an ideology without performing violence, or support those doing violence without doing violence yourself... or do you believe the little old lady wearing a "I support our troops" pin is a combatant?

That crap doesn't belong at a table. Politics in general should never enter the picture. If it does, and someone becomes uncomfortable, kill it quickly. Anyone persisting gets a boot.

Xuc Xac
2018-12-27, 08:38 AM
See, expressing a desire to hurt my friends would be disruptive no? But you seem to be under a misconception. You can be any of those things and never hurt anyone. You can subacribe to an ideology without performing violence, or support those doing violence without doing violence yourself...

So, basically, "I want to shoot your friends in the head and dump their bodies in a ditch" is disruptive, but "I want somebody to shoot your friends in the head and dump their bodies in a ditch" is ok because they don't intend to get their own hands dirty.

You might want to raise the bar a little there.

Friv
2018-12-27, 11:30 AM
See, expressing a desire to hurt my friends would be disruptive no? But you seem to be under a misconception. You can be any of those things and never hurt anyone. You can subacribe to an ideology without performing violence, or support those doing violence without doing violence yourself... or do you believe the little old lady wearing a "I support our troops" pin is a combatant?

That crap doesn't belong at a table. Politics in general should never enter the picture. If it does, and someone becomes uncomfortable, kill it quickly. Anyone persisting gets a boot.

Being a member of the KKK is expressing a desire to hurt your friends, unless none of your friends are minorities and minorities are not welcome at your table.

You're saying that if someone goes out, and votes for me to not have rights, spends money on groups that will use that money to try to kill me, and buys supplies for someone to burn a cross on my lawn, and then comes and sits down at a table across from me, smiles, and says, "Hey, no politics at the table", I'm the one who's the bad guy if I say "I don't want to play with you."

It must be nice to be so sheltered that hatred is a theoretical concept for you instead of something that you actually have to deal with in your life.

Max_Killjoy
2018-12-27, 11:49 AM
I had the unfortunately experience of having to expunge a creepy nazi-phile in the local gaming scene from my life... ugh.

There's no way I'd "break bread and roll dice" with one of those again.

137ben
2018-12-27, 07:38 PM
Being a member of the KKK is expressing a desire to hurt your friends, unless none of your friends are minorities and minorities are not welcome at your table.

You're saying that if someone goes out, and votes for me to not have rights, spends money on groups that will use that money to try to kill me, and buys supplies for someone to burn a cross on my lawn, and then comes and sits down at a table across from me, smiles, and says, "Hey, no politics at the table", I'm the one who's the bad guy if I say "I don't want to play with you."

It must be nice to be so sheltered that hatred is a theoretical concept for you instead of something that you actually have to deal with in your life.

When you're a minority, your mere desire to live is accused of being "too political.":smallannoyed:

Arbane
2018-12-28, 01:29 AM
I had the unfortunately experience of having to expunge a creepy nazi-phile in the local gaming scene from my life... ugh.

There's no way I'd "break bread and roll dice" with one of those again.

A rule of thumb I read somewhere and generally agree with: Don't play RPGs with anyone you wouldn't be willing to share a 4-hour car trip with.

Calthropstu
2018-12-28, 10:58 AM
Being a member of the KKK is expressing a desire to hurt your friends, unless none of your friends are minorities and minorities are not welcome at your table.

You're saying that if someone goes out, and votes for me to not have rights, spends money on groups that will use that money to try to kill me, and buys supplies for someone to burn a cross on my lawn, and then comes and sits down at a table across from me, smiles, and says, "Hey, no politics at the table", I'm the one who's the bad guy if I say "I don't want to play with you."

It must be nice to be so sheltered that hatred is a theoretical concept for you instead of something that you actually have to deal with in your life.

In a word... yes. You ARE the bad guy. Unless the guy has started something, is wearing nazi paraphernalia, or comes wearing a "kill all whites/blacks/jews" etc pin, he has as much right to game as anyone else.

In fact , I would boot you in a heartbeat unless others at the table said the same because YOU were being disruptive. Unjustly.

What people do outside of my table is none of my concern.

Calthropstu
2018-12-28, 11:13 AM
Being a member of the KKK is expressing a desire to hurt your friends, unless none of your friends are minorities and minorities are not welcome at your table.

You're saying that if someone goes out, and votes for me to not have rights, spends money on groups that will use that money to try to kill me, and buys supplies for someone to burn a cross on my lawn, and then comes and sits down at a table across from me, smiles, and says, "Hey, no politics at the table", I'm the one who's the bad guy if I say "I don't want to play with you."

It must be nice to be so sheltered that hatred is a theoretical concept for you instead of something that you actually have to deal with in your life.

I have dealt with it quite often actually. I have been assaulted more than once, and am accosted about once a month or so by black racists. I have to listen to the black racist speeches on the bus on a regular basis, with bus drivers doing nothing to put a stop to it. So yeah, I deal with it regularly.

And if any of them wanted to game at my table, I'd let them as long as they didn't disrupt the table with that crap.

Edit: Except the assaults. I sent them to jail (and one to the hospital) and if someone at my table had actively been victimized by another person at the table that's a completely different story.

The Glyphstone
2018-12-28, 11:25 AM
Great Modthulhu: This thread has gone wildly off-topic with little hope of returning it to the rails. Closed.