Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Chris Sims - World Building Imaginary People

If you're unaware, there is a conversation going on right now in the D&D/Pathfinder space about bio-essential evil. To sum it up, after years and decades of having entire races be evil because that is just the way the race is, Dungeons and Dragons made an official announcement saying that the views of race in Eberron and the Explorer's Guide to Wildemount is more in line with their current view of race. That races like Orcs and Drow deserve to be as culturally nuanced and varied as any other race - especially playable ones - and that they would be making changes in that line for the future.

This sparked a huge conversation with many old guards - and some less than savory people - saying this is a problem because smiting evil, and having clear delineated lines of good and evil, is essential to D&D and that this would ruin the fun. It is not an argument that I particularly truck with. I, in fact, am firmly on the other side. You can have blatant, clear, evil without making entire races of sentient creatures with free will and the ability to make their own choices evil because "that is just how all of them are" with a few notable characters like Drizzt who are "one of the good ones," a "credit to their race," or - what they really mean - the exception that proves the rule (i.e. Except for Drizzt, all Drow are evil.)

However, you don't have to take my word for it. Chris Sims has an article up, expanding on a twitter thread and facebook post where he talks about how having Evil not be a trait of race actually costs us nothing when it comes to clear, evil people we can fight while giving us more interesting and better villains.

The beginning of his argument is thus, and I'll let you read the post for the rest. Click the quote to go to the article:

In a fantasy game, we needn’t treat a whole strain of people as evil any more we need to treat every human as evil. Every elf. Every dwarf. Every halfling. The belief that we do for escapist fun, heroics, or moral lessons is a misguided failure of imagination at best.

No comments:

Post a Comment