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Timerover51 July 2nd, 2020 07:49 PM

Changes to D&D
Has anyone else heard the apparently accurate news that Wizards of the Coast, current owners of Dungeons and Dragons, are changing some of the races and no longer having any being "inherently" evil? When running D&D a lot, I did discover that what the race was supposed to be did not mean a lot to most gamers. Lightning Bolts from the Blue Sky and underground kept getting more and more frequent.

Nathan Brazil July 2nd, 2020 08:49 PM

What "race" would that be?

AnotherDilbert July 2nd, 2020 09:02 PM

It seems to be official:

Orcs are no longer evil monsters, just misunderstood "humans"...

Spinward Scout July 3rd, 2020 12:24 AM

I wonder when they are going to retcon The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Nathan Brazil July 3rd, 2020 03:37 AM

I frequent entertainment chats and podcasts. Amazon Prime has a Middle Earth web-series coming out 2021, taking place during The Second Age. The nature of the license

- does not allow for The First Age to be used.
- They cannot contradict anything Tolkien wrote in any of his works
- In using or expanding references, only LOTR and appendices can be used.
- Other sources like the Silmarillion cannot be used or adapted (except to prevent contradictions). The Tolkien estate has final veto on this basis.
- Otherwise they may expand/add characters/etc. as long as the above requirements are met.

So the primary works are safe. The danger is that they are allowed to add characters and stories. And those additions may not mesh well tough not be contradictory per se.

coliver988 July 3rd, 2020 10:03 AM

I play the Fantasy Trip and there are no racial / cultural alignments. Play however you want.

And D&D is really the same - the rules are just there to help set a feel for the basic, broad characterizations. Last D&D game I played a Drow Elf who was not evil which is also why she was tossed out of her clan. I just have a hard time playing evil or bad characters. I blame way too many 70's Disney movies :)

While I personally think things are going way too far as a reaction, I also believe there does need to be a better balance and recognition of differences and how things are portrayed. A lot of us are like fish in the water: we just don't see a lot of the stuff going on.

Which oddly is nicely reflected in Traveller: per the rules race & gender makes no difference for humans. The other alien races we have are painted in broad strokes, and while there are generalizations there are also notes about individuals come in a wide range of personality and viewpoints within that race. Heck - I had a player way back who played an aggressive Virushi! With battle armor. Wish I kept that picture I drew but pretty sure I gave it to the player.

But yes, they are hiring sensitivity readers and all that. And going much farther than this starts us down the path to the political pulpit, and I want to avoid that!

Fovean July 3rd, 2020 11:47 AM

I received this as part of a bundle I recently purchased:

A D&D 5e supplement on Drive-Thru RPG. It posits that you can be a Dwarf raised by Orcs, or a Half-Orc raised by Elves, or whatever combination you like. Mechanically it is very simple, and leads to some interesting combinations if you can support the assumptions in your game world.

Amazon IMO did us all a great service by saving and continuing The Expanse. However I'm not so sure they can do such a good job with Middle-Earth. The recent casting notice for "weird and unusual looking actors" has me thinking they're going in a direction that may not be what we're expecting or hoping for.

Condottiere July 3rd, 2020 01:02 PM

Just some general observations:

1. Role playing games are player driven, and dungeon master guided.

2. If hobbits are carnivorous pygmy cannibals, who have few qualms as to who's for dinner, and how they were invited, that seems pretty evil.

3. Wizards can create new settings where Drows were enslaved by the Fae, and fought for their liberty; as a consumer, you don't have to buy them.

4. Tolkien orcs seem to be the corrupted creations of Morgoth, and going by historical events described there, irredeemable.

5. For more nuances, there's always ShadowRun.

6. Redemption is even harder for the Dark Elves of Warhammer.

7. Unless the actual issue has to do with certain political activists trying to exert control over popular media and promote their agenda, which makes this rather skindeep.

aramis July 5th, 2020 12:44 AM

Yes, Wizards made such an announcement.
No, this isn't a move in a new direction for Wizards, just stepping it up.

It's also worth noting that a good number of players are mildly annoyed, a few are really peeved, and most people don't seem to care one way or the other.

Spinward Scout July 8th, 2020 12:51 AM

So will there be a book called "We're NOT Monsters! Manual"?


Originally Posted by Nathan Brazil (Post 614175)
So the primary works are safe. The danger is that they are allowed to add characters and stories. And those additions may not mesh well tough not be contradictory per se.

Good to know! Thanks!

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