Author Topic: D&D and Race  (Read 4626 times)

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Re: D&D and Race
« Reply #45 on: June 20, 2020, 06:16:09 am »
So, it took a lot of digging in my history to find, but there’s a pair of articles that explains EXACTLY how orcs are racist, and how we might go about fixing that.

Normally, I’d give you a personal write up. Unfortunately, I am hardly in a place to discuss shit in the personally-painful way that we do in these parts with you, Howl, because you’re good at hitting nerves and I just cannot take it right now. That’s not your fault, it’s just a statement of fact. Sorry.

Also, this is well researched and well sourced stuff, and it does a better job than I could in explaining it. (Unfortunately, it often reads worse than fucking academia, but there’s only so much I can do.)

https://jamesmendezhodes.com/blog/2019/1/13/orcs-britons-and-the-martial-race-myth-part-i-a-species-built-for-racial-terror

https://jamesmendezhodes.com/blog/2019/6/30/orcs-britons-and-the-martial-race-myth-part-ii-theyre-not-human

Bluntly put: it’s not unsourced and it’s not simple political correctness, there is a factual basis to the statement of orcs being racist. Not just Tolkien’s orcs, where they were even CREATED INTENTIONALLY as racist caricatures, but in the case of most modern fantasy orcs as well.

I’ve given examples of why in this thread. Either they weren’t enough for you or you missed them. Regardless, it isn’t pure bullshit, and the articles have more receipts to bring to the table than I can collect in my current state.
“I am that worst of all type of criminal...I cannot bring myself to do what you tell me, because you told me.”

“Ever watch that famous war movie? That’s how it’ll be.”
“Which one?”
“The one where everybody dies.”
— Blood Standard, Laird Barron

Remember the fall of Yin Tu.

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Re: D&D and Race
« Reply #46 on: June 20, 2020, 06:46:47 am »
A quick note, both to show how bad my brain is right now that it took me this long after having posted these things and read both of those articles for the third time, and as an actual suggestion if you just want some shit to beat the fuck out of:

Take your orcs and make them obsessed with racial purity and power dynamics and eternal war. They’re low life street fighting gangsters in major cities, but on their home turf they’re the Evil Empire. They like number codes a lot and talk a lot of bullshit about non-orcs coming to rape their women and steal from them. Maybe they have a characteristic battle cry or hand gesture.

Yes, that’s right. Make your orcs obvious neo-Nazis. Now it’s not so racist.
“I am that worst of all type of criminal...I cannot bring myself to do what you tell me, because you told me.”

“Ever watch that famous war movie? That’s how it’ll be.”
“Which one?”
“The one where everybody dies.”
— Blood Standard, Laird Barron

Remember the fall of Yin Tu.

Cain

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Re: D&D and Race
« Reply #47 on: June 20, 2020, 12:21:20 pm »
I thought D&D were going some interesting places with Obould Many-Arrows, though it's unfortunate he was depicted as an exceptional individual. I also have no idea if they retconned that with 5e...probably, given status quo is king in the Forgotten Realms.

Cramulus

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Re: D&D and Race
« Reply #48 on: June 20, 2020, 01:35:22 pm »
One way of looking at it - imagine any real world massacre of native americans. Now imagine that instead of native americans, they are orcs. How much needed to change?

Lots of stuff about the native americans change - their religion, their visual apperance, their culture... they still remain a tribal culture with warriors. But the human's opinions about those orcs? their discussions about why it's okay to subjugate them and take over? none of that changes at all. Practically everything that humans say about orcs in a D&D campaign could have been a real world attitude about native americans.


D&D is constantly reinventing itself... it basically releases the same ideas over and over again, but with a contemporary coat of paint. So we have to ask ourselves, in the year 2020, what do we mean when we talk about a struggle between good and evil? And if the evil you're slaying is a dragon, demons, skeletons, vampires, whatever, then sure--we're good, they're evil, let's do the mash (it was a graveyard smash).

But if our campaign's antagonists are people (and orcs are people - unlike skeletons, they have a culture and religion and all that jazz) - we need a different story than "they are just born evil, and they have low intelligence scores, it's okay to kill them."

Like, many D&D campaigns are accidentally about "what if racism & genocide was good, actually? what if there was a world where genocide was moral? wouldn't it be fun?"

Cain

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Re: D&D and Race
« Reply #49 on: June 20, 2020, 02:36:17 pm »
So, from 1d4chan of all places, I discovered this: https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Ondonti

Lawful good, pacifist orcs.