Tag Archives: diversity

Wizards, Business, and Diversity

Wizards of the Coast has just announced the release of a Ravenloft campaign book, much to the excitement of the internet. This came with a lavish release article by Polygon, citing the reimagining and the diversity of writers that expanded the Domains of Dread. And it’s no mild expansion, it claims to have 30 settings and 30 villains. Combined with the recent Unearthed Arcana release, it seems like they’re finally making good on their promises of diversity, right? Well, sort of. On the front of it, it all looks good. But looking back over the history of D&D, and how Wizards have evolved in their curation of worlds, the picture takes on a different meaning.

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Shaky Steps in Unearthed Arcana

For those not tracking, Unearthed Arcana is one of D&D’s oldest and oddest traditions. Originally released as a life line by Gygax for 1e AD&D after TSR’s early financial practices almost sank the operation, it has become a repository for experimental rules and concepts in 5e. Effectively an ongoing playtest effort, classes, subclasses, and more that are close to being publishable often see their first public appearances there. This month saw the release of “Gothic Lineages”, which may mark an actual step towards dealing with some of the issues around race in D&D.

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Decolonization and Integration in D&D

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.

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Backgrounder 003: Rifts Survivor States

Rifts is my eternal problematic fave, and also a source of bizarre, contradictory, and confusing lore. However, something that’s easy to let fall through the cracks of the gonzo setting is that there are actually many survivor states in the post-apocalypse. That’s right, places that directly trace their lineage, governance, culture, and dominant populations back to the Pre-Rifts era. And this Backgrounder as an overview of them!

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