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I've been thinking about this issue for a while now but I finally decided to write a topic about it when I saw the changes done to the vampire hunter scene.

In newer patches, when talking to Gandral, Astarion comments:
"I thought all Gur were vagrant cut-throats."
At this, Tav can interject with:
"I knew you were a jackass, Astarion, but a racist?" (new option)
"Ignore the elf, he talks too much."
"What's a... Gur?"
So when it comes to 'jokingly' bigoted comments, Tav has 2 out of 4 answers that show disapproval and 1 that shows confusion. However, no such option is available when he's 'jokingly' racist.

When looking at the stars, if Tav is a halfling or a gnome, Astarion comments:
"I'm not usually impressed by... ah... people of your stature, but you're stronger than I gave you credit for."

After feeding, if Tav tells Astarion that he can only feed on animals, this is what he asks:
"Humans and elves are obviously out but what exactly do you consider an animal? Goblins, kobolds... gnomes?"
If Tav is a gnome, this changes to:
"Humans and elves are obviously out but what exactly do you consider an animal? Goblins, kobolds... halflings?"

After the barn scene, if Tav found it disgusting, Astarion replies:
"Oh, I've seen worse. Gnomes can be... UGH!"

In the Grymforge, Astarion (former slave) disapproves of Tav helping the gnome slaves save their other trapped friends, and approves of letting Nere choke them to death.

(Tangentially related: Thanks, Astarion! I'm so glad you're written as 'player-sexual' instead of race-restricted. smile The sadism, disgust, and animal comparisons drive home your love of all races. /sarcasm)

Suggestion:
Larian, if you can add a line when a companion is saying something bigoted.... just add one line, ok, where Tav can at least react to Astarion's other racist comments. I assure you not every Tav likes being compared to an animal, is comfortable with being shown outright disgust, or enjoys hearing this about another race.

Astarion can stay true to his character concept but let Tav react to it - just as Tav can now react to the vampire hunter scene.


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Originally Posted by Neleothesze
In the Grymforge, Astarion (former slave) disapproves of Tav helping the gnome slaves save their other trapped friends, and approves of letting Nere choke them to death.
This part actualy makes sence, since Astarion is ... well, asshole. laugh

We can obviously speculate about how much of that attitude comes from himself, and how much of it comes from the fact that he was tortured and humiliated by Cazador in few last centuries (aka longer that anyone of us would even remember) ... and however odd that may seem, he really dont know anything else anymore ... and therefore his attitude towards any slaves dont come from sadistic pleasure in tormet of others, but from the fact that it seems perfectly normal to him that weak suffers.
(This is actualy well documented thing.)

Originally Posted by Neleothesze
Astarion can stay true to his character concept but let Tav react to it - just as Tav can now react to the vampire hunter scene.
+1,000,000 ...

Not just in this case ... Tav really need to grow some balls (regardless of his or hers gender laugh ) and get a LOT more options to give companions taste of their own medicine. :-/
Its not just Astarion who would deserve it.

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I agree, that Tav should call companions out more often and preferrably with consequences, like you can with Laez'el as a tiefling. You can tell her basically to get lost, because she makes some harsch comments about tieflings.

I haven't really seen Astarions racist scenes, since I mostly kill him or at least send him away nowadays, but yeah, those comments should be addressable.


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Eh, I'd like *less* in your face racial justice, but I'd be in favor of some naggy responses from Tav if Tav is also allowed to agree that gnomes are short-legged scum and are good for nothing other than being footballs.

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Originally Posted by Fisher
Eh, I'd like *less* in your face racial justice, but I'd be in favor of some naggy responses from Tav if Tav is also allowed to agree that gnomes are short-legged scum and are good for nothing other than being footballs.
You only skimmed my post, admit it. wink

I'll TL;DR it for you: I want Tav to be able to react to Astarion's personal insults, just like others can (gith to Shadowheart, tieflings to Lae'zel, everyone to Gale's diss, everyone to Astarion's vampire hunter comment, and so on).

If Astarion likens your Tav to an animal or acts like you're disgusting and you want to reply "Yep, I'm short-legged scum and good for nothing other than being a football." well... I'm sorry about your self-esteem but more power to you, I guess. smile

In my opinion, if Astarion is willing to insult someone to their face, he should be open to some cognitive recalibration a la the Avengers.


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Originally Posted by Neleothesze
You only skimmed my post, admit it. wink

I'll TL;DR it for you: I want Tav to be able to react to Astarion's personal insults, just like others can (gith to Shadowheart, tieflings to Lae'zel, everyone to Gale's diss, everyone to Astarion's vampire hunter comment, and so on).
Your snarky comment is unnecessary. No, I read the whole thing, and I think your suggestion for "cognitive recalibration" is exactly what I was saying I wanted less of. I think you, in fact, forgot what you wrote.

Just to be clear...
Originally Posted by Neleothesze
Larian, if you can add a line when a companion is saying something bigoted.... just add one line, ok, where Tav can at least react to Astarion's other racist comments. I assure you not every Tav likes being compared to an animal, is comfortable with being shown outright disgust, or enjoys hearing this about another race.
You're suggesting that Tav be able to respond to comments not just about them, but also about prejudice towards others. If you didn't mean that, don't include it in your post. And don't condescend to me when I respond to what you said.

Even if you meant only responding to personal insults, getting preachy and naggy about him being a racist towards you is still something I do not want. I really do not want to be brow-beaten with writing along the lines of "Hey! Racism is bad, okay? Maybe don't be racist, Astarion." even if it's optional. But I said I'd be happy to have those sorts of responses as options if I had other prejudiced responses to give in kind or in agreement.

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The fact that companion characters, and other NPCs are openly racist in the commentary - quite often in this game, just as they are constantly in earlier Larian titles - and that we, as characters have *No* option but to passively accept that behaviour and stand alongside them while they say it, with no recourse to define our own character's personality or feelings on the matter is not good.

It's another instance of the overarching problem that is out inability to characterise our character and to tell the game the sort of person we're playing - and that's something we really need to be able to do, in order to engage with the roleplay of the game.

Lack of ability to self-characterise for the game aside (and that really is the more mechanically major issue), The level of baked-in racism in Larian's earlier games was very off-putting for me. It didn't add to the feeling or flavour of the world, it was just uncomfortable, and was made more so by my character's lack of ability to say anything; the fact that the game treated that behaviour as normal, natural and acceptable, and not worthy of comment, and the fact that supposed heroes and characters held up as strongly good characters also engaged in the behaviour really left an incredibly bad taste in my mouth and soured my experience of the game as a whole. It was a huge detraction that added no value, the way it was presented and handled in D:OS2.

And now, Larian are doing the *Same Thing* here, again, and I don't want it. They're just lacing in-baked racism and derogatory racial language into the everyday dialogue of their scenes, and making everyone act like it's okay, normal, natural and fine - no-one reacts to it, no-one comments on it, and we have zero options to say anything about it, and so are forced, in almost every case, to act like our character is fine with this kind of language. Sorry, but I'm not. It's not necessary to characterise the world, and while that kind of behaviour can and should show up in relevant circumstances and with relevant characters, it should be done in a way that highlights it as bad behaviour, and we should have at least the option to call it out if we don't approve, or if our character doesn't.

Options to define our characters are a good thing; the ability to characterise ourself and how we feel about things is important in a character driven roleplaying game. Fisher doesn't want that option to be present at all, unless there's an option to accept the behaviour as well; good news, there already is. It's the current default, where you listen, abide and accept the behaviour and treat it as though it's entirely normal and okay. that's what we do right now, and we don't have any *other* option at all. If you want the option to double down on it as well, then by all means, make it any option - but right now the 'default' which we are all forced to accept, is to be passively complicit and accepting of it, and that's not okay.

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Originally Posted by Niara
Options to define our characters are a good thing; the ability to characterise ourself and how we feel about things is important in a character driven roleplaying game.

I agree. I would like more options to call the companions/NPCs out on the racist remarks that were mentioned above, too. My Tavs would not just swallow their anger if they were insulted, they would definitely not put up with that.

I would very much like more options to define my Tav's character in dialogue. Since our Tav's lines are not voiced, it should not be too much of a problem to add some dialogue lines, to give players the possibility to react more in character, especially when talking to the companions. Of course, it would be really nice if said companions would react to this, too - this could lead to very interesting dialogues, heated arguments, or maybe even some character development on our companions' side. I know, this would be a lot of work, and is therefore probably not possible.

I like that the option to call Astarion out on his racism in the dialogue with Gandrel has been added. Someone has to rebuke Astarion, and my Tav will be very happy to do that, every time.
His frequent racist remarks are the one thing in Astarion's character writing that really bother me, not every elf noble has to be a racist. He would still have enough flaws without it wink

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Originally Posted by Niara
They're just lacing in-baked racism and derogatory racial language into the everyday dialogue of their scenes, and making everyone act like it's okay, normal, natural and fine - no-one reacts to it, no-one comments on it, and we have zero options to say anything about it, and so are forced, in almost every case, to act like our character is fine with this kind of language.
It kinda always was the case in the setting, though, until WotC started to cover it all with glitter and pink paint because they don't want their newer players to be - gasp! - offended by a fictional setting, which people are all too happy to project real-life issues onto in an even more exaggerated form than they already exist in rather than deal with/face those issues in real life for a change. I do agree that the PC should have more options to bite back to such remarks, though - taking them passively definitely wouldn't work for every character out there.

The double standards for such a mindset do fascinate me, though. Apparently the Witcher's (to name one example) racism plays into the setting and is an integral part of it (which it is, and a lot of narrative points and the state of the world are dependant on it), and nobody lifts a brow, but apparently here it's wrong and shouldn't exist and Larian are bigots for writing it this way. Except, again, this from conception wasn't a glitter-and-rainbows setting, as wasn't any high fantasy out there, and there being "racist" language doesn't mean it's a view that the writers are on board with (take Pratchett, whose setting's centerpiece is basically the fantasy New York City with London sprinkled in, and a lot of racial/immigrant allegories there - at which point is there a hint of support for racism?). To wash it all away and pretend that there is no tension in the world that has (or at least had) plenty of superstition, superiority complexes (Hillsfar, Eldreth Veluuthra), and centuries-old grudges (shield dwarves do hate goblinoids and orcs for a reason, having lost their kingdoms to them) is to hypocritically pretend that everything is fine and open-minded on Faerun - which it sure isn't, no matter how many "morally outdated" labels they slap on their old lore supplements and campaigns.

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Originally Posted by Niara
Options to define our characters are a good thing; the ability to characterise ourself and how we feel about things is important in a character driven roleplaying game. Fisher doesn't want that option to be present at all, unless there's an option to accept the behaviour as well; good news, there already is. It's the current default, where you listen, abide and accept the behaviour and treat it as though it's entirely normal and okay. that's what we do right now, and we don't have any *other* option at all. If you want the option to double down on it as well, then by all means, make it any option - but right now the 'default' which we are all forced to accept, is to be passively complicit and accepting of it, and that's not okay.

+1 to this paragraph. Not sure about this rest, but +1 to this. You want to treat racism as a normal part of the world with many competing races, where each race has its own deity? Fine. You want to call people out for that behavior and consider it abnormal/wrong by reasonable ethical standards? Fine. You want to smack Astarion upside the head for an indirect insult he levels at you? Fine. I think there are ways to reason why there is baked-in racism to Larian's world, especially in DOS2 when the Lizards enslave the elves, the humans slaughter the elves,
the elves seek to conquer the world, the dwarves are doing their own bullshit to destroy or conquer the other races
, and every race is almost a different species with its own patron deity... racism is a response to a world where peoples do not trust each other, and where hostility to foreign ways is baked into their theology and culture, and where xenophobia is more of a defense mechanism than an ideology (a bit reminiscent of pre-Industrial Europe). I see this as feasible in Faerun, but I also think that the cultures and ways of life are so intermixed and entangled with each other... hence "cosmopolitan" in nature... you should be allowed to condemn xenophobic perspectives on the basis of such ethical and practical cosmopolitanism, or to embrace it as a worldview or defense mechanism. In any case, the option should be available for sensible self-characterization. I've been stereotyped enough and called enough slurs in real life that I accept that racist language and xenophobic perspective is a widespread, but learned, behavior. Player agency in the characterization of one's own morality is important.

If you want to play the defensive species nationalist, more power to you. If you want to call out racist behaviors because it undermines the trust you have in your party members and their loyalty to party members of other races... that's MORE THAN VALID... in fact, it's necessary.

On the other hand, I am sympathetic to the idea that Larian shouldn't place too much effort in making us roleplay the party's tone or morality police. Balancing act in writing and all that. In any case, the option should be there. Within the constraints of the world, you should be the person you want to be. That is in the nature of the character-driven RPG, and the idea that a virtuous person would just sit by while someone throws out racial nonsense is contrary to good roleplaying writing, even within a fantasy world, even within Faerun.

Edit: I still think there are places where "fantasy racism" just makes sense. Ex: Lae'zel's racial and cultural chauvinism makes sense and is an important expression of an aspect of Githyanki culture, which seems to be a culture built on expressions of superiority and brutality. The nature of their culture and corresponding worldview is further confirmed by Kith'rak Voss. Astarion's a pompous piece of shit. Let him be a pompous piece of shit. You should be able to agree or disagree with either of them, to varying degrees of intensity, and they should be allowed to respond accordingly in a convincing manner.

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Originally Posted by Brainer
Originally Posted by Niara
They're just lacing in-baked racism and derogatory racial language into the everyday dialogue of their scenes, and making everyone act like it's okay, normal, natural and fine - no-one reacts to it, no-one comments on it, and we have zero options to say anything about it, and so are forced, in almost every case, to act like our character is fine with this kind of language.
It kinda always was the case in the setting, though, until WotC started to cover it all with glitter and pink paint because they don't want their newer players to be - gasp! - offended by a fictional setting, which people are all too happy to project real-life issues onto in an even more exaggerated form than they already exist in rather than deal with/face those issues in real life for a change. I do agree that the PC should have more options to bite back to such remarks, though - taking them passively definitely wouldn't work for every character out there.

The double standards for such a mindset do fascinate me, though. Apparently the Witcher's (to name one example) racism plays into the setting and is an integral part of it (which it is, and a lot of narrative points and the state of the world are dependant on it), and nobody lifts a brow, but apparently here it's wrong and shouldn't exist and Larian are bigots for writing it this way. Except, again, this from conception wasn't a glitter-and-rainbows setting, as wasn't any high fantasy out there, and there being "racist" language doesn't mean it's a view that the writers are on board with (take Pratchett, whose setting's centerpiece is basically the fantasy New York City with London sprinkled in, and a lot of racial/immigrant allegories there - at which point is there a hint of support for racism?). Too wash it all away and pretend that there is no tension in the world that has (or at least had) plenty of superstition, superority complexes (Hillsfar, Eldreth Veluuthra), and centuries-old grudges (shield dwarves do hate goblinoids and orcs for a reason, having lost their kingdoms to them) is to hypocritically pretend that everything is fine and open-minded on Faerun - which it sure isn't, no matter how many "morally outdated" labels they slap on their old lore supplements and campaigns.

+1 to this also. Everyone should be able to play how they want to play, to roleplay how they want to roleplay... I am in agreement with this idea. I am also in agreement with the idea that it is wrong to plaster over a FANTASY setting with glitter and rainbows lest anyone be offended, and only to address social issues in a manner which is completely in line with our real world sensibilities or contemporary values. A portrayal of commonplace racism isn't an endorsement of commonplace racism anymore than portrayals of gratuitous child murder is an endorsement of murdering children.


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Originally Posted by Brainer
Originally Posted by Niara
They're just lacing in-baked racism and derogatory racial language into the everyday dialogue of their scenes, and making everyone act like it's okay, normal, natural and fine - no-one reacts to it, no-one comments on it, and we have zero options to say anything about it, and so are forced, in almost every case, to act like our character is fine with this kind of language.
It kinda always was the case in the setting, though, until WotC started to cover it all with glitter and pink paint because they don't want their newer players to be - gasp! - offended by a fictional setting, which people are all too happy to project real-life issues onto in an even more exaggerated form than they already exist in rather than deal with/face those issues in real life for a change. I do agree that the PC should have more options to bite back to such remarks, though - taking them passively definitely wouldn't work for every character out there.

The double standards for such a mindset do fascinate me, though. Apparently the Witcher's (to name one example) racism plays into the setting and is an integral part of it (which it is, and a lot of narrative points and the state of the world are dependant on it), and nobody lifts a brow, but apparently here it's wrong and shouldn't exist and Larian are bigots for writing it this way. Except, again, this from conception wasn't a glitter-and-rainbows setting, as wasn't any high fantasy out there, and there being "racist" language doesn't mean it's a view that the writers are on board with (take Pratchett, whose setting's centerpiece is basically the fantasy New York City with London sprinkled in, and a lot of racial/immigrant allegories there - at which point is there a hint of support for racism?). Too wash it all away and pretend that there is no tension in the world that has (or at least had) plenty of superstition, superority complexes (Hillsfar, Eldreth Veluuthra), and centuries-old grudges (shield dwarves do hate goblinoids and orcs for a reason, having lost their kingdoms to them) is to hypocritically pretend that everything is fine and open-minded on Faerun - which it sure isn't, no matter how many "morally outdated" labels they slap on their old lore supplements and campaigns.

I think the Witcher example is an imperfect comparison here. Racism in the Witcher is often a plot point and is usually very clearly presented as bad and the racist behavior is meant to be wrong and we're meant to be uncomfortable with it. It's presented as something definitively negative and those racial tensions are a central part of the world's flavor. A lot of the racism in BG3 is presented in a far more blase light. It's often presented as a joke I feel like, not something treated with any real care.

Since I'm only casually familiar with the Witcher series, let me point to Dragon Age as a series I'm way more familiar with. Racism against elves is a major aspect of the lore and worldbuilding of the game, and typically it's treated with the importance and thought that the subject should be treated with. It's an issue central to elven identity in that series, one that's constantly dealt with and addressed, and you get to SEE how horrible it is for people that live through it. Your companions don't casually spout racism and the one time a companion does let their before then unconsidered prejudice slip through, you're able to call it out then and there. The city elf origin on Dragon Age: Origins is raw, grimy and uncompromising in showing just how horrible that kind of racism can get. It shows it as more than just companions laughing about kicking short folk around. Compared to all that, BG3's use of racism is clumsy and cowardly thus far.

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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
Originally Posted by Brainer
Originally Posted by Niara
They're just lacing in-baked racism and derogatory racial language into the everyday dialogue of their scenes, and making everyone act like it's okay, normal, natural and fine - no-one reacts to it, no-one comments on it, and we have zero options to say anything about it, and so are forced, in almost every case, to act like our character is fine with this kind of language.
It kinda always was the case in the setting, though, until WotC started to cover it all with glitter and pink paint because they don't want their newer players to be - gasp! - offended by a fictional setting, which people are all too happy to project real-life issues onto in an even more exaggerated form than they already exist in rather than deal with/face those issues in real life for a change. I do agree that the PC should have more options to bite back to such remarks, though - taking them passively definitely wouldn't work for every character out there.

The double standards for such a mindset do fascinate me, though. Apparently the Witcher's (to name one example) racism plays into the setting and is an integral part of it (which it is, and a lot of narrative points and the state of the world are dependant on it), and nobody lifts a brow, but apparently here it's wrong and shouldn't exist and Larian are bigots for writing it this way. Except, again, this from conception wasn't a glitter-and-rainbows setting, as wasn't any high fantasy out there, and there being "racist" language doesn't mean it's a view that the writers are on board with (take Pratchett, whose setting's centerpiece is basically the fantasy New York City with London sprinkled in, and a lot of racial/immigrant allegories there - at which point is there a hint of support for racism?). Too wash it all away and pretend that there is no tension in the world that has (or at least had) plenty of superstition, superority complexes (Hillsfar, Eldreth Veluuthra), and centuries-old grudges (shield dwarves do hate goblinoids and orcs for a reason, having lost their kingdoms to them) is to hypocritically pretend that everything is fine and open-minded on Faerun - which it sure isn't, no matter how many "morally outdated" labels they slap on their old lore supplements and campaigns.

I think the Witcher example is an imperfect comparison here. Racism in the Witcher is often a plot point and is usually very clearly presented as bad and the racist behavior is meant to be wrong and we're meant to be uncomfortable with it. It's presented as something definitively negative and those racial tensions are a central part of the world's flavor. A lot of the racism in BG3 is presented in a far more blase light. It's often presented as a joke I feel like, not something treated with any real care.

Since I'm only casually familiar with the Witcher series, let me point to Dragon Age as a series I'm way more familiar with. Racism against elves is a major aspect of the lore and worldbuilding of the game, and typically it's treated with the importance and thought that the subject should be treated with. It's an issue central to elven identity in that series, one that's constantly dealt with and addressed, and you get to SEE how horrible it is for people that live through it. Your companions don't casually spout racism and the one time a companion does let their before then unconsidered prejudice slip through, you're able to call it out then and there. The city elf origin on Dragon Age: Origins is raw, grimy and uncompromising in showing just how horrible that kind of racism can get. It shows it as more than just companions laughing about kicking short folk around. Compared to all that, BG3's use of racism is clumsy and cowardly thus far.

This is also a good point. I'm on the fence, still. On the one hand, I want to avoid sanitized worldbuilding for our real world sensibilities... on the other hand, there are better narrative uses of racism than a punchline.


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I agree with Niaras statement. And I find it ok, If the companions have flaws, Like Lae'zel thinking of other raced as inferior or Astarion hating on small races, just let me call them out on it and yes, I'll take the consequences of them leaving or even attacking.


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Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
I think the Witcher example is an imperfect comparison here. Racism in the Witcher is often a plot point and is usually very clearly presented as bad and the racist behavior is meant to be wrong and we're meant to be uncomfortable with it. It's presented as something definitively negative and those racial tensions are a central part of the world's flavor.
I can't really think of many cases where fictional representations of racism, sexism or what else were presented as an endorsement of aforementioned.

Not the biggest fan of the recent push for their forced removal either, since this tends to leave these fictional settings feeling completely toothless.
I would bloody expect a world where entirely different SPECIES like elves, dwarves, orcs, dragonborn and the rest exist to come with a lot of racial tension, mutual preconceptions, disrespectful jokes and what else.

And I'm more than a bit puzzled at the idea of "calling out a companion for being racist", since I'm not sure it makes much sense that in such a setting the "insult" would have much of a grip, if any.
I can't imagine, for instance, calling out Lae'Zel for being a Githyanki supremacist turning into much more than a "Yeah, so fucking what?".

But that won't stop people having stronger opinions about the topic, I'm sure, and I can't really say I care to a degree of being willing to argue about it.

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Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by Gray Ghost
I think the Witcher example is an imperfect comparison here. Racism in the Witcher is often a plot point and is usually very clearly presented as bad and the racist behavior is meant to be wrong and we're meant to be uncomfortable with it. It's presented as something definitively negative and those racial tensions are a central part of the world's flavor.
I can't really think of many cases where fictional representations of racism, sexism or what else were presented as an endorsement of aforementioned.

Not the biggest fan of the recent push for their forced removal either, since this tends to leave these fictional settings feeling completely toothless.
I would bloody expect a world where entirely different SPECIES like elves, dwarves, orcs, dragonborn and the rest exist to come with a lot of racial tension, mutual preconceptions, disrespectful jokes and what else.

And I'm more than a bit puzzled at the idea of "calling out a companion for being racist", since I'm not sure it makes much sense that in such a setting the "insult" would have much of a grip, if any.
I can't imagine, for instance, calling out Lae'Zel for being a Githyanki supremacist turning into much more than a "Yeah, so fucking what?".

But that won't stop people having stronger opinions about the topic, I'm sure, and I can't really say I care to a degree of being willing to argue about it.
+1 to the worldbuilding sentiment. Also +1 for "Yeah, so fucking what?" Honest to God, I hope that's her response if Larian lets you call her out.

Edit: You should be able to use dialogue to make Lae'zel throw hands to demonstrate her superiority if you call her out enough.

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My point isn't that other fictional representations of racism, sexism, etc are presented as endorsements, rather that there are cases where the racism itself is trivialized into something that's "unimportant" or is simply included as an assumed fact of the world and left unexamined. Basically treated as...not acceptable so much as a personailty quirk in the people engaging in it, or even at times just as a joke. In fact Witcher 2 I feel is an offender on that front in the case of sexism. I felt that the game was often rather casually dismissive of women and let sexist language and behavior just sort of...go by. The one example that sticks out clearly in my mind even after not having played the game in a year or two is a dwarf making a "lesbomancy" joke in the middle of what really should have been an important scene, undercutting the drama of it. I'm not sure I'd have noticed the overall trend if it weren't compared to the far better approach the game had with racism.

Basically what I'm saying is that racism, real racism, is a big thing that can and usually does affect victims in most facets of their life. So if a fantasy work is going to include it, then it should be treated as seriously as it is. Imagine if a story just treated torture as a thing that "happens sometimes" and people who committed torture were just seen as people who had an uncouth hobby. That would feel weird, right? Or if a story treated breaking into people's homes and vandalizing their property that way. Those are serious crimes, and the people who do those things are wrong and something should be done about them. To take a specific example from BG3, imagine if no one reacted strongly in the grove to Kahga killing that girl. If it was presented as just, a thing that happens.

Edit: Also I'm curious why you think the insult wouldn't have much grip in setting? Do you mean the insult the companion is making? If by insult you mean our character calling the companion out, then the answer is simple. Whatever our companion's reaction to being called out, if our character isn't able to speak up in protest about our companion's racism, then that's forcing us to play a character who either passively accepts it, endorses it, or isn't willing to call it out despite internally being against it. Which is not ideal.

Last edited by Gray Ghost; 01/08/22 08:01 AM.
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Originally Posted by Brainer
It kinda always was the case in the setting, though, until WotC started to cover it all with glitter and pink paint because they don't want their newer players to be - gasp! - offended by a fictional setting, which people are all too happy to project real-life issues onto in an even more exaggerated form than they already exist in rather than deal with/face those issues in real life for a change. I do agree that the PC should have more options to bite back to such remarks, though - taking them passively definitely wouldn't work for every character out there.

The double standards for such a mindset do fascinate me, though. Apparently the Witcher's (to name one example) racism plays into the setting and is an integral part of it (which it is, and a lot of narrative points and the state of the world are dependant on it), and nobody lifts a brow, but apparently here it's wrong and shouldn't exist and Larian are bigots for writing it this way.

To be clear, that's not what's being asked for. As I said - it exists, and that can and should be presented. What matters is how it's presented, and how a piece of media treats it. Terry Pratchett depicts the strong currents of racism, both macro and micro, as being destructive, limiting and generally a source of people being their worst selves, and often giving in to or holding onto those prejudices are various characters' downfalls. It's shown to be strongly present, but also ultimately not healthy or productive. Vimes is, in his beginnings, a very potently racist character, but he's also clever enough to realise where that behaviour and those beliefs are leading him astray, doing him harm, or causing him to squander opportunities, assets and help - and the contrast is often where he overcomes a bias of that nature, while the figures he is pitted against, and ultimately gets the better of, do not.

Faerun has a lot of racial tension in it, and that adds to the flavour of the space, and it shouldn't be sanitised away, absolutely not. That's different, however, from filling your space with racist language and behaviour, and presenting it as normal, natural, okay and not worth commenting on. Larian treats racism as a joke, or as a 'normal mode of being' - neither is good handling, and it's made worse by the fact that we are forced to play a character that is comfortable with that behaviour and passively abides and accepts it.

==

Larian made their own world space - They created Rivellon. They *chose* to create a world that had deeply god-supported and god-encouraged racism built into its very core, and they wallowed in that gratuitously, had most characters engage in it openly, and even displayed it in the characters that were treated as a goodly and heroic, and had no-one act like it was anything other than completely acceptable. They made that world - that was their choice. They could have built the world any way they wanted, but that was the way they chose to make it. Our characters were made complicit in this as well - it was a backdrop that we were forced to be a part of and even participate in. And it was disgusting.

Larian did not make the Forgotten Realms. They don't have that liberty here. A great deal of racial tension exists in the realms, but it is not treated as a good or acceptable thing by the majority of goodly people, not here. It should not be normalised into everyday acceptance here.

No-one sensible is saying that racism shouldn't exist in the spaces, or that it should be entirely removed (Note: the people that WotC are apparently listening to the most right now are not, on the whole, sensible people, and I'm in the camp that feels that they are destroying the flavour and the soul of their IP with many of their recent moves). What matters is how it is depicted, and how that depiction is then handled.

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Lets just hope they dont missunderstood our intentions here and remove all racism from the game, bcs people didnt like it. :-/


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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Lets just hope they dont missunderstood our intentions here and remove all racism from the game, bcs people didnt like it. :-/
I actually happen to think the discussion here has been fairly nuanced. Maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part.


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