So, I was driving home and tossed in The Rat Pack Live at the Sands for the ride. I was muttering to myself about Dungeons & Dragons and other fantasy games and how they treat both POC and non-humans as being less dimensional and nuanced. This had been set off by reading through my shiny new pdf copy of Tiny Dungeon 2e, where I was simultaneously elated at the variety of player races and depressed by the stereotypes applied. So, mid-mutter, Sammy Davis Jr came into the set, and I heard his iconic line of “Integration! Integration!” So let’s talk decolonization and integration. And yes, I’m picking on D&D in this, because it set the pattern.
Category Archives: Better Gaming
Old timers and grognards alike in the RPG hobby like to complain. “Things were better back in…”, “We didn’t have or need that when we played in…”, and so on and so forth. But one of the oddest complaints I hear is about how games today, and specifically, D&D, are too much like video games. So let’s take a look at a very interesting cycle of mutual influence, and see what we can learn from it. For ease of bracketing years, I’m going to use console generations for this.
Magic. It’s a core component of fantasy, but is often unevenly distributed and developed. On the outset, this seems sensical, until you dig into it a bit. At that point, other disparities and issues come into sharp relief. So this is a short post on decolonizing magic.
Forgotten Realms has always had a problem with expansion. When it first drew breath as a world for writing for Ed Greenwood, it was Faerûn and not much else. It was a tight package that more or less worked. Then they bolted on Kara-tur and Zakhara, and things got confusing, especially when Zakhara was fused into Faerûnian history as the source of both the Bedine and Calishites, and in the latter case, completely ignored the people in place. However, the recent release of Dragon Heist has changed this, by giving us a solid look at what a Tethyrian looks like. The vibe and coding for the Lands of Intrigue, Amn, Tethyr, and Calimshan, got thrown for a loop, but in a good way.
Speculation and Bringing it Up to Date
So, Durpar. We covered the old information in the last part of this giant post, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, it’s a good place to start this.  This is much more challenging than the Gnolls were, but here I go.