Saturday, January 14, 2017

All I Wanted Was to Hit the Road with Some Friends and Murder the Hell Out of Monsters!

Last night I got an email from a reader who wanted me to discuss an older Tor article, A Modest Proposal For Increased Diversity in D&D, about diversity in the art of Dungeons & Dragons. For those of you that haven't clicked the link yet allow me to save you the tedium and aggravation of reading a guy excusing himself for being white, male, and calling for diversity to cut to the chase. The author of the article, Mordicai Knode, wants to have people who aren't white in the core books and not just in the oriental supplements. 

I'm in support that sort of thing. Having lots of people of different ethnicities beating the hell out of orcs and goblins; shitting down the throats of giants and slitting the scrots of ogres pleases me to no end. Of course I don't really give a shit whether the characters my players are playing are black, gay, or trans-gendered.  In my games we're not out to explore those themes; here we're all about killing some fucking monsters and looting the treasure so we can by better shit to kill more monsters with in the next dungeon.

I know that some of my readers would like for me to look at the game in a deeper way - one in which I force my players to confront their own feelings about race, sexuality, and gender - but that isn't what my players come to my table to explore. My players like combat, exploration of lost tombs, dungeons, and underground caverns. They like learning bits of lore and building a world together through our shared story where I set up the playground and they build marvelous stories through their choices. But hey, if your players would rather sit around a fire imagining what it's like to be hated because of their skin color have fun with that . . . I guess. 

Judge of Ages by John Harris
We'll be over here. Killing dragons on our floating island in the sky. And orcs, lots of orcs. And looting anything not nailed down. Strike that, the girls remembered their crowbars and sledgehammers! So we're looting everything!

4 comments:

  1. May I lob a conversational hand grenade into the discussion?

    There are no white people on Tekumel. In all the years that I played in Phil's campaign, all the humans we met were in shades of a nice coppery-red and they pretty much all had black hair. (Just like my Second Daughter, as a matter of fact, or just like Third Daughter's husband. Or just like Phil's wife, for that matter.) It being 1974, it was a little difficult to show this, given the state of the art in printing technology of the time.

    Our rule, then as it is now, is that if you show up to play you play. We don't care what you are or identify as; you'll be treated with respect and consideration. We used to call that 'inclusiveness', back in the day, and I'm told by The Daughters that that's still a pretty good description of what we stand for, hereabouts.

    Would I like to see lots of diverse types in artwork? Yes, I would. Do I want to see it mandated by The Gaming Authority? No. We've been here before, with Zak S. and Pundit, and that attempt to dictate a 'politically correct' point of view still leaves me cold. We are, supposedly, all mature adults, able to make our own choices. So, let's make them, and take responsibility for our choices.

    I made my choice about TOR when I read their column on Gary's Appendix N; I don't buy their books. I do not agree with their politics - I don't agree with Vox Dei either, for that matter - so no sale; I especially don;t like being told to buy their books so I can display my solidarity with their cause of the moment.

    Sorry about the rant. Hope it's not too awful...

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    1. It's not awful at all since I agree with you but I do have a question. What are you talking about when you wrote "I made my choice about TOR when I read their column on Gary's Appendix N; I don't buy their books. I do not agree with their politics?" I have no idea what's going on here. Did they write something ugly about Gary? Or about the list? Or were they just snotty in general?

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  2. Have a look at their editorial take on Gary's 'Appendix N'. All of the authors and artists that Gary liked come in for a drubbing as being 'politically incorrect' in some way. It's a big multi-part series.

    http://www.tor.com/features/series/advanced-readings-in-dungeons--dragons/

    Have fun reading it, but don't blame me if your head explodes.

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