Friday, December 31, 2010

Political Wrongness

I have gone on the record by saying the the "4e" game is not D&D, but in a way it is D&D. By "D&D", I don't mean this, but I mean this! You see, back in the 2nd years, T$R was so concerned about the opinions of whores, pinkos, and dogs, they make their line dry and soulless do to strict content control. They even had the nerve to tell players how play their own games with an online document over content control. Folks might say that it was only suggestions for DMs, but folks forget that T$R took to the internet with extreme control and prejudice!

Now, how is WotC like T$R? Simple, part 6 of the Game System License:
Quality and Content Standards: The nature and quality of all Licensed Products will conform to the quality standards set by Wizards, as may be provided from time to time. At a minimum, the Licensed Products will conform to community standards of decency and appropriateness as determined by Wizards in its discretion. Without limiting the foregoing, no Licensed Products will depict in any text, graphical or other manner:
(a) excessively graphic violence or gore;
(b) sexual situations, sexual abuse, pornography, gratuitous nudity of human or humanoid forms, genitalia, or sexual activity; or
(c) existing real-world minorities, nationalities, social castes, religious groups or practices, political preferences, genders, lifestyle preferences, or people with disabilities, as a group inferior to any other group or in a way that promotes disrespect for those groups or practices, or that endorses those groups or practices over another.
On other words, if you what to make a third source book using the 4e rules, then you'll be working with a short leash, because if it seems right for the Hyborian Age (or even the goddamn Bible for that matter. Read it - it has all the sex and violence most "right-mind" Christians scorn when used in other works), then you cant put it into your 4e splatbook! The first two are obvious (and the fan parts), but the last one is the most restrictive, as you cant even put in the normal tropes found in pulp fiction: African bushmen, savage Indians, "yellow peals", Nazis, mongoloids, Bible-thumpers, or any sort of slave or slave-owning people! Hell, you can't even portray bigots, feminists or homosexuals! OK, so no blood-porn and kinky eye-candy art, and no negative portrayals of anyone - w00t, sounds like fun...

FUCK THAT SHIT!!! I am sick of candy-ass settings as much as I hate gratuitous magic-heavy worlds! You might be thinking, how is it good to produce a setting like F.A.T.A.L. that encourages immorality, promiscuity, wanton violence, bigotry, slavery, and negative cultural stereotypes? But the answer is simple: that is D&D at its core!!! Its a game about murderous hobos who brake into the homes of one-sided degenerate folk, so they can butcher them - even their babies - and steal their shit, so they can spend it all on booze, bitches, and magical bling-bling. When you try to downplay these facts, it becomes an awful mess like Conan the Destroyer when it downplayed all the gratuitous aspects that is intrinsic to its own genre. I don't mind the new games being cartoon versions of themselves, but why the hell should they push their diluted world views on independent publishers who what to make a unique and interesting setting under their fancy-ass system? It may seem odd to some that these things are important, or just selfish ideas, but some of the most rich and unique settings in RPG history would have never been able to be published under 2nd edition, or 4e rules. Not just the Hyborian Age, but also Tékumel, Carcosa, and a few others (far too few, in my opinion). Darksun for example, is a world that should never be bound by political correctness, as its a dark world, with morality as broken as their shattered world. For those who believe settings should be child-friendly fairs for their own sake, can all go to Hell!!!

In my games, slavery is not avoided, nor demonized - its just a way of life.
By the way, the old-school RPG blogosphere has been debating the subject of nudity and female portrayals in RPG art. I find this to be a really good thing, as this don't come up much beyond the insipid rambling from the "Pussy Parlor" on the WotC forums, and its good to see people go beyond the "naked slave-girls and chainmail-bikini clad warrior-women are sexiest and stupid" attitude and judge the taste and significances of such art on their own merits. On that note, I would like to take my hat off to Otherworld Miniatures for not just making good minis that look like they have been ripped right out of the old Monster Manual book, but for having the balls to show male genitalia on their miniatures. Don't get me wrong, I don't have an obsession with male genitalia - or monsterus ones for that matter - but its go to see someone present them in a mature and non-obscene way.

Technically, this is "National Geographic nudity".

1 comment:

velaran said...

That Grim/Gritty Stuff:
Gygax would doubtlessly disagree on pretty much every count... Note the changes he made in TLG published material in reference to drug-smuggling. It was pretty much about getting XP, and ruling a domain for his crew, rather than concentrating on aspects he did consider sordid. Generic Demons were there to kill, and Angels weren't in it, 'cuz the players would kill 'em!

In that crapsack world, that most players wouldn't want to live in(preferring Ren/Eval Fantasy instead), don't forget the torture and male rape! Not everybody thinks this stuff kicks ass, dude. Different strokes and different folks, is all. No One True Vision For the Game, ya know.

TSR game worlds:
TSR changed the Demon/Devil names, (not eliminated them) got rid of Half-Orcs and Assassins as PCs(the Evil option was discouraged around mid-80's anyway) out of concern for cashflow(though this variant of Christians[and these were the only ones complaining, not 'fake fems and commies'], wouldn't play a game that didn't acknowledge the primacy of their God anyhow!) not moral uprightness.(Though Evil alignments were still presented in the PHB, oddly.)

normal tropes found in pulp fiction:
The way certain people were portrayed in the originals are ridiculous, most writers simply went along with cultural stereotypes, rather than any real knowledge of the subjects. That's fine for say, REH reprints, but unless you're heavily simulating a worldview held by the writers, there's no need to utilize those ridiculous caricatures.

And no one cares about the portrayal of Nazis as long as they're cannon fodder.

naked slave-girls and chainmail-bikini clad warrior-women are sexiest and stupid:

There should be more portrayals of women than these two particulars is what I saw, not get rid of it all. I'm of that opinion, I like a wide range of art.(Except Comnan portrayals can someone please create armored pics of him from now on, if he's battling? Read the stories, damn. After say 20 years, the bre barbarian fur diaper will be allowed to return :-))

On the male genitalia:

Male gamers seem to be leery of seeing it.(But they share that with a lot of American guys.) I've always wondered about why say, trolls, are like smooth or something, though the rest of their anatomy is correct. On a side note: there are to my knowledge, few bare breasted female miniatures, even if thematically appropriate: i. e. female barbarians, Lamias, Harpies, etc... Weird. Personally, I don't see a problem with 'em.