Hm... seems like you're using IE. Can I suggest a better browser, such as Firefox, Chrome or Opera? There are other choices too.

If you wanna stick with IE, or can't switch, I'll warn you right now, while most of this site should work with IE, stuff might come up buggy, so you might not enjoy it as much...

Diversity & Dungeons & Dragons

Jun 20, 2020 10:58 pm
Think about pain.

Think about your nerves burning, screaming, pleading, bargaining for clemency. Your universe has contracted to a singularity. There is no world; there is no "you"; there is only pain - like a pure mathematical fact.

Think about it.
Imagine it.

But you didn't feel it, did you?

We've all been in pain, but it's almost impossible to feel it unless it's occurring to you. I don't care how vivid your imagination, how powerful your metaphors and similies - theorized intellectual pain is not pain.

Me? I don't feel like I can talk about these issues. Unfortunately, Keleth, the really nice guy whose house we inhabit, politely asked on the front page...
Keleth says:
If you have a hard time talking about this, or don't want to, consider WHY you don't want to.
The bastard! Making me do something I don't want to do!

I don't have to consider WHY! I already know why I don't want to talk about these issues. It's because I'm clumsy and insensitive with language. It's because I've never experienced nor felt the pain of racism. If there's an I-Spy book of privilege then I'm only missing the "member of the aristocracy" tickbox.

What am I supposed to do? White-splain racism? Quote statistics? Write an equation for an experience that needs to be felt?

I can imagine pain, but it's not the same as feeling it. I can imagine racism, but it’s not the same as experiencing it. Experiencing it Every. Single. Horrible. Day.

Fortunately, Keleth also asked...
Keleth says:
And if you have nothing else, listen, understand, and support those who need it.
...and that sounds like good advice. So, I'm happy to write about what WotC are doing with mechanics, and changes to modules - but on broader issue? Imma shut up and listen, try to understand, and try harder to support.

Especially as just having to listen, understand and support isn't likely to have anybody kneel on my neck until I die.
Last edited June 20, 2020 11:27 pm, a total of 1 time
Jun 20, 2020 11:41 pm
The heart of the matter is that WotC wants D&D to be inclusive. They want to produce a game that everyone can feel involved in and not "othered" in some form. While it is true that the DM is responsible for crafting a game in which their players can participate and have fun, ultimately WotC has created the materials upon which the games are built.

If those materials are written primarily from an Anglo-European Heteronormative Male perspective, there is a chance that the language used can unintentionally be from that perspective. There is a chance the decisions made regarding the mechanics of the rules can unintentionally result in "othering" individuals who do not identify with that perspective. I do not think that the writers of many D&D books intended to isolate or denigrate those that were different from them because for a lot of us, that's how we grew up. I believe that WotC is trying to change that.

For sake of reference, I am a hetero male. I cannot understand nor fathom what women, non-hetero men, or non-binary individuals go through on a daily basis. I can empathize that someone has been wronged or feels pain, but on the whole I am never personally affected by it. I'd like everyone to be treated equally and fairly.

And yet I still find myself calling women "girls" or "guys." I still sometimes say that my wife is hanging out with her "girlfriends," but I never say that I'm having a beer with my "boyfriends." Sometimes I'll accidentally slip some derogative term or colloquialism in my everyday conversation because that's what my normal was. People around me threw around phrases like "Indian Giver" or "They gypped me" around with little regard to the implications. We were never called out on the usage because the affected person or group was not around, and so we thought it okay.

I'm trying to be better. I'm trying to avoid problematic tropes and perspectives. I think WotC is trying to do the same. I think WotC recognizes that what was written in the past may have been the norm then, but now it is not okay. Now it hurts people or perpetuates harmful stereotypes, and those who are affected negatively by this are reminded of their "otherness."

It seems like we all agree that D&D should be inclusive. We may not agree with how WotC is trying to make it possible, and that's fine. Yes, what WotC is doing may be reactionary, but it's reacting to the voice of those who don't feel included.

I suggest that instead of dismissing WotC's actions, we focus on coming up with other ways to achieve the ideal. We try to build upon their intentions and see if we can further remove problematic tropes and language from our games and from our lives.
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