There is a controversy happening in the #DnD twitterers currently.

I’m seeing a lot of (older, white) TTRPG creators today saying, “If you agree to do freelance work, you get what you signed up for. Don’t complain.”

We disagree. Here’s why.

#DnD5e #CandlekeepMysteries
It's perfectly reasonable to want to enter an industry that historically has treated people poorly but want to be treated better.

Imagine someone saying 'don't complain' to a union activist trying to fight for workers’ rights!

#DnD5e #DnD #CandlekeepMysteries
But in this particular case, the issue IS NOT about getting work changed.

An older white man inserted the word PRIMITIVE into the text of a black man whose is well-known for arguing against colonialism in #DnD! Here's why that is exceptionally bad:

Referring to peoples, or their culture of clothes or houses, as primitive is the epitome of colonialism. It implies that another people is advanced/civilized, & these better folk should colonize & civilize the primitive ones, like a parent to a child.
The idea that some peoples are savage and others civilized, and the superior peoples had a duty to lift up the primitives, was traditionally called the white man's burden toward the brown peoples of the world, and it was a vile form of colonialism.
Treating a people as a primitive, savage child that needs another, more developed people to 'parent' them still harms people today. And sticking that baggage into the work of someone who is well-known for critiquing colonialism in D&D is not good.
Freelance culture in #TTRPGs needs to change and this particular case is an example of how that culture can do harm.

We support better treatment for freelancers and we urge folks not to use colonialist language like primitive & savage in the games.

#CandlekeepMysteries #DnD
Finally, we support all of the diverse and amazing creators that contributed to #CandlekeepMysteries. There’s a lot that’s great in that book! We also call on @Wizards_DnD to add guidance to avoid such terms into their style guide in the future.

#DnD5e #TTRPGs

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More from @ArcanistPress

2 Jan
D&D has a race problem.

In @WIRED, @mjgault describes @Wizards_DnD's resistance to changing parts of #DnD lore & rules concerning #race.

They want to retain the game's legacy. Here's why that's a problem:

A core element of #DnD5e is retained from #DnD's earliest days: fantasy races have significant inborn differences that include ability and morality. So, elves are smart, agile, & good, while orcs are strong, dumb, & evil -- they’re biologically savage & menacing.

Why is this a problem, you ask? Because it mirrors real world racism, & lots of folks don't like to play out fantasy racism when they have to deal with it in the real world as well.

Imagine if an RPG required you to role-play being sexual assaulted; it would alienate many.

Read 13 tweets
20 Jul 20
#Race in #DnD:
Racial Essentialism is the view that talents, behaviors, and&personalities can be generalized across groups of people simply in virtue of their 'racial' category. It's the core of real world racism.

So why is it an central part of #DnD5e?
#ttrpg @wizards_DnD
I know, orcs & elves aren’t real. But folks who have suffered racist harm often recognize racial essentialism when they see it, & seeing it when they are trying to make their PCs for #DnD can ruin their fun and alienate them.

#ttrpgs #DnD5e @Wizards_DnD

Imagine including another form of social violence as a necessary part of PC creation in #DnD. Imagine if you had to encounter sexual assault when making your #DnD5e character! Yes, it's pretend. But that still can ruin someone's experience.
#ttrpgs @Wizards_DnD
Read 5 tweets
12 Jul 20
A note on #racism in #DnD:

#Race in #DnD5e is essentialist. That’s what’s wrong with it. That means it ascribes things like ability, alignment, language, & skills to race, when those are clearly cultural/learned.


Now is biological essentialism always bad? No! If you play Pugmire, your PC just is a doggie by birth and that’s the point.

Indeed, it’s not by itself racist or bad to play D&D as written. You aren’t a bad person and those who created it aren’t either. But!!

But the problem is that racial essentialism UNDERLIES RACISM IN THE REAL WORLD. And lots of folks who have experienced real racism recognize that and it makes the game no fun for them.

Real world racists ascribe goodness or evil, innate smarts or violence, to whole races. 3/?
Read 12 tweets

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