The Summit of Kings. What is it? How is it? Should you buy it? Well buckle up, because this is a review The Summit of Kings by Brandon Dixon!
Tag Archives: Black
Things have been quiet here for a bit. No posts through October or November, and radio silence on what’s going on until now. The facts of the matter is that I’ve been busy with my real world job, infants are as exhausting as they are adorable, and I’m writing a game world. Not just a game world, a whole campaign setting. I’m participating in World Anvil‘s World Ember 2018 competition, and it’s time to lay out some information about Ruin World Iosterra.
This has been a long post in coming, and has undergone several rethinks and adjustments along the way to improve coherency, make it less angry, and to really get the core or this portion. What I’m discussing over the next raft of words are the topics of perception, tokenism, and the creative process. These three areas are often misused and misunderstood by many people who argue for the maintenance of the status quo in SF&F gaming and media.
After the diatribe of the last post, I think it’s time to talk about what makes a good campaign setting for a fantasy RPG. I’ll put this out now: this is my opinion, and I do not speak for the entire POC community on the topic. As a POC gamer, I look for the same things than non-POC gamers do in game. I look for fun, immersion, and emotional investment in what is going on. Some campaign settings make this difficult, others make it nearly impossible. I mentioned before that POC are demanding more recognition, and equal recognition in the worlds of SF&F. The same problems and issues acting as barriers to POC occur in both SF&F gaming and literature, where publishers gleefully whitewash (replace minorities with lighter or white characters) cover art for some books under the belief that people (read: Whites) won’t buy books with non-White human protagonists.  This trend carries on into interior art in the case of game books, and with the assumption that White is the “default” setting of humanity, and everything else deviates from that, and that gamers won’t or don’t want to buy or play games featuring non-Whites prominently. The subject of inclusiveness shouldn’t be an issue, but, unsurprisingly, it is.
“The Chult Event” is my term for the events that occurred during the retcon and revamp of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting for 4e D&D. The Chult Event was the last straw for me, it was one of the catalysts that brought this blog into being. As with most things, it’s best to start with some background on racism in fantasy. It’s not unfair or hostile to say that the genre of fantasy is riddled with racism. Sometimes intentional, sometimes not, it is mostly achieved through the aggressive use of stereotypes and writing tropes, racism by omission, and through substitution (of monsters for human ethnicities).  For all intents and purposes, it happens to further the immersion in and to carefully maintain the comfort zone and status quo enjoyed by the main audience and producers of the product, namely, a white audience. Given the increased and increasing plurality and integration in modern society, where more and more minorities and POC are asking for recognition and fair depiction, this has lead to a clash in the roleplaying and gaming subculture. It has also lead to game companies like Wizards of the Coast (WotC), to (hopefully unintentionally) commit some fairly racist actions that make it hard for POC to invest themselves in their product.