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Re: Will the updated evil races be in BG3? [Re: Sordak] #669706
29/06/20 04:45 PM
29/06/20 04:45 PM
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Warlocke Offline
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Originally Posted by Sordak
Only it isnt.
Tolkien is afterall not the final arbiter of fantasy and while his personal cahtolic leanings certainly remind me of modern ideological leanings which are basically just as religious, what we need to understand is that some things are created with one purpose or another.

Tolkien was a christian, christians did afterall try to convert imaginary dog headed people in india.

That doesnt mean that you cannot have any dehumanized Evil Races that specifically are a stand in of a NON EMPHATIC threat.
They could stand for a natural desaster or they could, much like the Orcs in LOTR in many ways did, stand for an ideology, rather than the people belieivng in the ideology.

TL;DR while youre correct, youre also not making much of a point in the debate to be had.

WOTC arent very christian are they. And by their own religion, they are just, ironically, pushing negative stereotypes from fantasy races unto minorities.
By the logic that "If theres a negative stereotype associated with a fantasy race that also was at some point attributed to a human ethnic group, those two things must be connected"
That of course is bullshit.

But thats where this entire debate stems from and why i think WOTC approach is not only wrongheaded but actually wrong by their own standards.


Okay, that was a bit all over the place. I’m not sure why you think I’m suggesting Tolkien was an arbiter of what fantasy should be. I was saying that if the creator of fantasy orcs was himself wrestling with the idea and the implications of an evil race, WotC are not out of bounds asking the same questions.

Your whole premise is a bit of a red hearing. Orcs and Drow in Forgotten Realms lore are not metaphors for some existential threat and they never have been. They originally were just mooks in the monster manual to be killed. The setting is more complex now. WotC, looking back, have decided that the way they described these races as “monstrous and evil” is reminiscent of the way real life ethnic groups were dehumanized. That isn’t pushing any negative stereotypes on anybody. It is WotC realizing a parity in their IP with something they don’t want to be associated with. Your objections all seem to me a great big ado about nothing.

Re: Will the updated evil races be in BG3? [Re: Andrew_] #669707
29/06/20 05:31 PM
29/06/20 05:31 PM
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Sordak Offline
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thats not what a red herring is.
>they were mooks in the monster manual to be killed
and what do you think that is?
DnD was siginificantly less "serious" than other fantasy settings of its time, but gary gygax took his alignment systen seriously.
Yes, they were meatn to be evil.
Wether or not they were meant to be evil to be walking speedbumps (not XP, thats not how old games used to work) is irrelevant to the question.

And for your argument of WOTC "evolving" the concept. Well then see it as two competing arguments.
WOTCs argument reduces orcs to another form of Human, which the setting has plenty of. My argument elevates them to a better storytelling tool.

Also my argument comes from a place of someone who likes telling stories within the genre, WOTCs move comes out of fear of beeing labled Evil by the California crowd.

Re: Will the updated evil races be in BG3? [Re: Andrew_] #669708
29/06/20 06:05 PM
29/06/20 06:05 PM
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A red herring (which I see I misspelled) fallacy is:

diverting attention from the real issue by focusing instead on an issue having only a surface relevance to the first. It can be intentional or unintentional.

So I would definitely label the lateral maneuver to having a side conversation about the validity of evil races as a metaphor for non-human threats a red herring, as that is not relevant to the topic at hand.

>Wether or not they were meant to be evil to be walking speedbumps (not XP, thats not how old games used to work) is irrelevant to the question.

Yes, that is irrelevant. I’m not sure why you are making that point, because I certainly didn’t. I said that they were mooks to demonstrate that they weren’t metaphors.

Yes, Orcs and Drow were originally designed to be evil. I don’t understand what your point is there. The setting already has evolved. Orcs and Drow are now playable races, and can be any alignment. This isn’t new. The new policy is a continuation of the trajectory which WotC was already on. There will still be evil Orcs, but there could also be communities of neutral Orcs living as pastoral herdsmen away from civilization. There will still be evil Drow. I’m pretty sure Lolth will be as cruel as she ever was and that the places where she reigns will be as inhospitable as ever. Now, however, there will be more nuance in how the inhabitants of these communities are characterized. I don’t see the controversy here.

Do you play Dungeons & Dragons with lots of people in the “California crowd?” If you do, a good story teller often adapts their story for their audience. If you don’t, what makes you suspect they would even know or care about what you put into your campaigns?

Again, much ado about nothing.

Re: Will the updated evil races be in BG3? [Re: Andrew_] #669721
30/06/20 05:34 AM
30/06/20 05:34 AM
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Races with nuance, are more interesting than being 100% one alignment or the other. Drizzt was already not Chaotic Evil, so there has been precedence within the Drow for a start.

Not sure what the fuss is about, things change and if anyone wants to run D&D campaigns with purely evil Drow or Orcs then nothing stops them, but now GM‘s have more options (which one could argue they had anyway if they so chose to, it’s just players have to rethink what their initial reactions are and that’s for me a good thing).

Re: Will the updated evil races be in BG3? [Re: Andrew_] #669726
30/06/20 08:52 AM
30/06/20 08:52 AM
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Ah Fallacy Man.
well fallacy fallacy. You seeing a logical fallacy where there is none because beeing on the internet has trained you to look for them has no bearing on the actual argument.

So you lable the point of the entire argument a red herring?
well mabye youre just having a different argumen from the rest of us alltogehter, congratulations.

Youre misrepresenting my argument by claiming they are metaphors, a metaphor and a stand in is something different.
a metaphor is something you use to explain something, a stand in is something you use to make an otherwise boring story more interresting or compelling.

Hence why a race of EVIL people makes for a more compelling case to play a paladin.
and no, "nuance" is not an argment here, not everyhting is improved by bringing moral relativism into it.
The "Goblin babies" dilemma has been played out a few too many times for it to still be interresting. To the point that id argue that Goblin slayers no nonsense approach to it is the most novel way of dealing with it weve had in years.

youre also missing the point about Orcs and Drow. Its no longer a deviation if its the norm isnt it?
Yes, good drow and good orcs have existed in the lore.
Which is exactly why this move by WOTC is irrelevant. They already were there but they were so in a way that was integrated into the world, rather thanone that was made to make an in real life point.

Agian im wondering if youre just projecting here. You appear to be diverting hard.

Not to mention you making nonsense arguments. Where are we? How about you read the thread title. or the URL of the website youre on.
On my table, i can decide what Drow and Orcs are (and especialy i can have them not exist). In baldurs gate 3 i dont get to make that choice. Im at the mercy of a few hacks like mearls and crawford to not force a passionate developer to accept their california drivel.

Much ado about nothing?
I dont know, if its nothing, why are you even here.

Re: Will the updated evil races be in BG3? [Re: Sordak] #669738
30/06/20 02:08 PM
30/06/20 02:08 PM
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Actually, I spend very little time on the internet. I've never been to Twitter or Reddit. I learned about logical fallacies mostly in my undergrad.

Now if the conversation is about whether you should have inherently evil races in the FR lore, and you respond with:

"That doesnt mean that you cannot have any dehumanized Evil Races that specifically are a stand in of a NON EMPHATIC threat."

Then I am sorry, but this is an absolute red herring fallacy. Orcs and Drow are not personified Climate Change or symbols for anything. Therefore, this statement is an abstraction that does not have relevance to the issue being discussed. That is not me having a different argument than you, that is me pointing out specifically where your argument has little bearing. If you don't like that assessment, you could try and mount a counter argument instead of stomping your feet and making a stink out of it. I'd be happy to hear it.

Your distinction between stand in and metaphor is nonsense. A metaphor is language used symbolically, which is to say, standing in for something else. You yourself said that the White Walkers are an analogy for climate change. If White Walkers represent climate change, White Walkers are a metaphor for climate change. That is just what the word metaphor means.

Here are the two definitions for metaphor listed by Dictionary.com

1. a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our God.”Compare mixed metaphor, simile(def 1).
2. something used, or regarded as being used, to represent something else; emblem; symbol.

Neither of them mention explaining anything because that is not what a metaphor is. You might be thinking of allegory.

Your opinion on whether purely evil races are more interesting than nuanced characters is purely your opinion, and you are welcome to it.

"Not to mention you making nonsense arguments. Where are we? How about you read the thread title. or the URL of the website youre on.
On my table, i can decide what Drow and Orcs are (and especialy i can have them not exist). In baldurs gate 3 i dont get to make that choice. Im at the mercy of a few hacks like mearls and crawford to not force a passionate developer to accept their california drivel."

I think it is weird that you think a particular political ideology is emanating from California which is victimizing Larian on the other side of the world. Do you know the prevailing world view of Larian? Do you know whether or not Sven was just wokeAF long before making his deal with WotC? Anyway, BG3 is a 5e game, and 5e, as we have already established, had already moved away from inherent evil races. We all saw the way goblins are handled in the demonstration, so we already know what to expect. This is a solved mystery. Soooo...much ado about nothing?

And, to your question, I am here, in this thread, to say this is a silly concern and much ado about nothing.

"Tolkien is afterall not the final arbiter of fantasy" (I never claimed or insinuated he was)
"Tolkien was a christian, christians did afterall try to convert imaginary dog headed people in india." (This gem that has nothing to do with anything was thrown in with no explanation)
"Wether or not they were meant to be evil to be walking speedbumps is irrelevant to the question." (I never made anything close to that claim, sooo what?)
"a metaphor and a stand in is something different." (Nope, they aren't)
"and no, "nuance" is not an argment here, not everyhting is improved by bringing moral relativism into it." (I never mentioned moral relativism, but that is not the same thing as or implied by nuance)
"Also my argument comes from a place of someone who likes telling stories within the genre, WOTCs move comes out of fear of beeing labled Evil by the California crowd." (does not play with the California crowd)

But not only am I the one making nonsense arguments, but it is actually I who am projecting. You are just charming, you know that? But if you so inclined, how exactly am I diverting? Reading my previous replies I see my posts as being quite on point and that you are the one meandering all over the place.

Re: Will the updated evil races be in BG3? [Re: Warlocke] #669764
01/07/20 08:44 AM
01/07/20 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Warlocke
Originally Posted by Merlex
Not to get into real world politics or religion, because this is a fantasy game. But when Tolkien portrayed Orcs, they weren't about beasts vs humans. Nor were they some underhanded attempt to be racist about about non white ethnicities. Tolkien based Orcs and Goblins on fallen Angels and Demons, and his Elves on Angels of God. That's why they were portrayed as so evil, and Elves as so good.


Elves in Tolkien have nothing to do with angels. The Wizards are angels, Sauron is a fallen angel. And I don’t mean inspired by angels. The Judeo-Christian God exists in Tolkien, though is only just barely mentioned outside of the Silmarillion. So Gandalf is an actual angel of God and Sauron is a lieutenant to Satan.

Tolkien’s elves are personifications of the highest human qualities.

"The Elves represent, as it were, the artistic, aesthetic, and purely scientific aspects of the Humane nature raised to a higher level than is actually seen in Men.” -Tolkien, letter 181

So if orcs represent a subversion, it would be of that. Not angels.


That sounds more right. It's been over 40 years since I studied LotR, so I probably remember somethings wrong.


Originally Posted by Warlocke
Interestingly enough, Tolkien himself agonized about the very subject matter of this topic. He went through several iterations of an origin for the orcs, trying to decide if they had free will, if they could be Saved (Tolkien was very Catholic after all) and what it meant for a race to be evil. Tolkien, though certainly subject to all of the implicit racial biases of the culture and time he grew up in, was profoundly against Nazi ideology and only denounced racial pseudoscientific theories.

So, it’s a complex issue. I think it is worth it for WotC to look into their lore and re-examine the validity of some of their tropes. Goblins, Orcs, Gnolls, Drow and the like don’t need to be inherently evil. In fact, the FR setting is arguably more compelling if they aren’t. So why keep them that way?

There will still be evil monsters to fight; plenty of illithids, lichs, beholders, and demons. But for more mundane, non-eldritch entities, we can have good and bad goblins the same way we have good and bad people.


While I see reality in more strict terms of good and evil, I like my entertainment to be more morally gray. But that wasn't the point of my post. There has been this fallacy going around some circles, that Orcs represent people of color. That's not what Tolkien intended when he created them. And while Tolkien "is not the final arbiter of fantasy" @Sordak, he did invent Orcs. At least in literature. And he didn't do it as a backhanded slap to any specific ethnicity.

Re: Will the updated evil races be in BG3? [Re: Merlex] #669766
01/07/20 09:16 AM
01/07/20 09:16 AM
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Tolkien's Elves as Angels is a very common misconception. It is an easy mistake to make given how immaculately flawless their characterization is in LotR. The only reason I know the letter with that quote about the true inspiration off the top of my head is because this has come up so often. XD

The second part of my post wasn't actually directed as a response to you. I was only planning on being a super Tolkien nerd and correcting the Elves/Angel remark. Then I realized I could throw in some more Tolkienology that was more pertinent to the discussion.

While Tolkien does get some flak for the Orcs, I think that his work has actually aged quite well, considering when it was written. Sauron draws evil men from all across the globe into his army, but Sam has that moment when he questions whether or not these people are truly evil or just misled or coerced into fighting, which clearly is not the sentiment of a man trying to promote racial animus through literature. So, yeah, anybody who claims that Orcs were ever intended as exaggerated and dehumanized non-Europeans is quite certainly mistaken.

Now if only Lovecraft wasn't so atrociously racist. I'd love to be able to enjoy some eldritch horror, but damn, that man just really had a lot of hate in him and wasn't even subtle about it.

Last edited by Warlocke; 01/07/20 09:17 AM.
Re: Will the updated evil races be in BG3? [Re: Andrew_] #669768
01/07/20 09:35 AM
01/07/20 09:35 AM
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>fallacies
Again with this. Fallacies in an internet debate are essentialy nothing more than namecaling.
You accuse me of running a different argument from you, which is a amazing considering that the argument ive been making in this thread predates yours.

Meanwhile instead of joining in the ongoing debate, you decide, with full confidence that the debate is irrelevant "much ado about nothing" and thn you choose to be condescending about it for good measure.

>Orcs and Drow are not personified Climate change
Oh are they not the boogeyman?
How are "always chaotic evil that comes from the underdark to steal people" not the definition of the boogeyman.
Sometimes a Chaotiv Evil Humanoid is just a Chaotic Evil Humanoid specifically made so there is a boogeyman you can fight without getting into ideas that dont fit the narrative created such as "territory disputes" "prisoners of war" or "diplomacy" which you have to do if you want to portray conflicts with humans.

Hence why im saying, they are the boogeyman, im gonna use that term now if you find it less offensive or fallacious.
My argument was that you can use a boogeyman as a stand in for another issue. They are a tool to be used. This argument obviously trancended Forgotten Realms. This should in theory not be a problem to you since you went on to the tolkien debate.

So if you want to ignore that, the core Idea can be summarized as:
The Orc and the Drow exists because it is not Human.

If a Conflict against the Drow should carry the same ramifications as does the conflict with Humans, wed use Humans instead. Theres plenty of villainous nations and wizards around in FR.
Which is the point you still somehow do not adress, because its the point of this very thread.

> much ado about nothing
And thats where youre wrong.
Whats happening is that a narrative element is beeing removed.
And the reason is the simmilarity between the Orc and the Human. As in, they both use tools, they both speak languages, they both have armies.
The distinciton between Orc and Human beeing that one of them is capeable of Evil, while one is Evil by default but perhaps capeable of good.

It is not "much ado about nothing" because WOTC is removing this lable from all those races where this specific scenario can be played out.
Yes illithids are pure evil. Illithids also dont make armies.
Illithids dont work in the same way Orcs do.
Meanwhile Humans already exist.
Removing alwas chaotic evil races decreases the ammount of narrative freedom a writer, a quest designer, a DM that wants to stick to the lore has, meanwhile nothing is gained.
the possibility of good orcs and good drow was always there. Now only it is no longer an aspiraitonal thing or a specific backstory.
The Nuance has been reduced rather than increased.

>Wokeness and Sven
well, unlike you ive been following Larian for a while so i can answer your question that you didnt think id give you an aswer to: no.
Watch the Interviews of Dragon Commander, or go read the Deviantart Blog Post of the Larian artist when Steam had them remove the Original Sin 1 box art.

So no. Not much ado about nothing.

>i was on point
in replying to someone who compared it to tolkien?
your entire post chain here is a reply to one side argument made to further a different argument, made by a different person.
You dont get to decide who or what is or isnt on point.

Hence your accusation of a fallacy is incorrect.

Re: Will the updated evil races be in BG3? [Re: Andrew_] #669770
01/07/20 11:17 AM
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Given the current climate I think they will be strongly considering implementing -in BG3- whatever changes WotC has in mind re ‘races’ going forward. They would be mad not to.

It’s not that difficult to see why some people might get upset about the most obvious visible difference between the ‘Usually Evil Drow’ and the ‘Not Usually Evil’ other Elves being that they are dark skinned. Nor is it difficult to predict that there will be a significant backlash (particularly by the ‘woke’ game journalist fraternity) if BG3 is released with that representation still in place. ‘But they’re just fantasy races wtf!’ just isn’t going to fly anymore, whether it should or not.

I think the entire concept of assigning morality to races will have to go (ie. no ‘Evil Races’). A culture or an ideology could be defined as ‘Evil’, and there could be significant overlap between a given race and an ‘Evil’ culture/ideology, but the difference between defining the culture/ideology as ‘Evil’ and the race itself as *inherently* ‘Evil’ is still important and that message must be consistent. As far as I can tell they have started moving in this direction already, which seems sensible.

I would also recommend being far less liberal with the use of the word ‘race’ and more liberal with the use of ‘species’, which is a harmless change but removes a lot of the heat from the issue. People generally get less upset about speciesism than racism. If you want to have an ‘Evil Species’ it’s probably a good idea to make it physically Very Obviously Not Human, not just human but bigger, human but smaller, or human but with pointy ears etc.

None of this is to say racism can’t exist and be explored within the game world itself of course - that’s a different issue.

Re: Will the updated evil races be in BG3? [Re: Andrew_] #669771
01/07/20 11:52 AM
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I just wish the Americans would stop forcing their retarded politics into video games.

Last edited by Nerkios; 01/07/20 12:15 PM.
Re: Will the updated evil races be in BG3? [Re: Nerkios] #669778
01/07/20 02:18 PM
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The Frog & Hounds
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Originally Posted by Nerkios
I just wish the Americans would stop forcing their retarded politics into video games.

You registered a new account just to say that?


J'aime le fromage.
Re: Will the updated evil races be in BG3? [Re: vometia] #669779
01/07/20 02:30 PM
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Yes

Re: Will the updated evil races be in BG3? [Re: Sordak] #669781
01/07/20 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Sordak

The drama


Omg, you need to chill out. You are going to hurt yourself.

Anyway, it doesn't matter whether or not you made the point long before I did, it was a bad argument back on page one.
If you read this: "Your whole premise is a bit of a red hearing." and see name calling, you need to be less hypersensitive and get real, dude.

I wasn't looking to join the debate. I just made my comment offering my opinion that I was satisfied with the circumstances. You came along and started talking to me. I will totally admit to being condescending. But, I didn't go looking to correct your bad arguments. You offered them, so I just threw them back at you. You have been at least as much as dick as I have been, so I don't feel badly about it.

My favorite part of your post was when you write "Hence your accusation of a fallacy is incorrect," as if you had done anything to prove that in the preceding post. I'm not going to press the point, though. You are a very bad debate partner and I am not getting anything of this, so I am going to stop talking to you now.

You win. Enjoy that.

Last edited by Warlocke; 01/07/20 03:06 PM.
Re: Will the updated evil races be in BG3? [Re: Andrew_] #669793
01/07/20 05:50 PM
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ok :^)

Re: Will the updated evil races be in BG3? [Re: Andrew_] #669826
02/07/20 09:16 AM
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right behind you
My 2 cents:

- This is a DnD game, so it does not matter what Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones or whatever does.
- WotC own DnD and they can make the rules however they want. You can like or not like those rules or changes of those rules, but they are making the rules.
- It is a fantasy setting, so I would be careful to say fantasy race x represents real world issue y. Unless you have a quote from the creator ( in case of BG3 its Larian and WotC) I would not say that orcs represent climate change or something like that.
- Drow (and maybe others) are a playable race or you can have them as companions ( e.g. Nok Nok in PK ). That means you can play as lawful good drow paladin. If it makes sense is a question between the player and the DM ( or the dev in case of a computer game). If it does not make sense to you, nobody forces you to play such a char or accept him/her in your party.
- Personally I like those changes. I like how the goblins are shown in the latest video. They are evil, but they are evil people with their own culture. I think it is wrong to show a sentient race (e.g. is able to speak, uses tools and weapons, . . . ) as mindless monsters.
- While I am against saying "fantasy race x represents real world issue y", I look at goblins/orcs/drow/... in a way I look at aztec, vikings or whatever: They may be evil fom my point of view, they may even be evil from an objective point of view (because good/evil/law/chaos are real in the DnD setting) but it is a culture that makes sense for people who are part of this culture. There may be individuals who are against some aspects of their culture (e.g. Drizzt for drow) but they are forced to leave ( and other races probably not like you too because you are race x) or they have a very hard time in their culture, up to the point of getting killed. (e.g. Lets sacifice the heretic who says that sacrificing people is bad.)
- Stories are boring if they are always the same. PST was a great game because it turned everything upside down. But first you have to establish rules in order to break them.
You could argue that "drow are an evil race" is a good rule because it makes good drow more interesting.


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