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.
Tag Archives: diversity
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!
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.
When I last left off, I was talking about how a recent image in Dragon Heist changed thing in a good way before going on a bit of a rant about the rampant whitewashing in D&D art in previous editions.  So now it’s time to talk about the Peoples of Southwestern Faerûn, and more specifically how the may not exactly be as they’ve been advertised and described in the past.
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.