Something I think a lot of fantasy roleplaying fans don’t pick up on is that the reason many games’ depictions of orcs and other “monstrous races” get criticised for being racist isn’t just because they’re dark-skinned and evil.
I mean, yes, there’s that, but it’s also that a lot of the tropes that are associated with orcs and such in fantasy RPGs are literally eugenicist rhetoric -- and, more specifically, anti-Black eugenicist rhetoric -- with the serial numbers lightly sanded off.
Like, you ever notice how common the following elements are?
Being capable of using complex tool and weapons, but relying on raiding and pillaging to obtain them, not because they’re incapable of making them, but because they’re simply too congenitally lazy to do so
Having an intrinsic drive to despoil and corrupt the fruits of civilisation, and in particular, taking pleasure in destroying beautiful things specifically because they’re beautiful
Being treated as childishly superstitious for believing in evil spirits, even though such treatment makes no sense from a worldbuilding perspective because they live in a fantasy setting and evil ghosts are objectively real
Reproducing rapidly and reaching sexual maturity quickly, typically at an age when a human would still be a child, with great emphasis placed on the danger of them “outbreeding” civilised peoples if left unchecked
Lusting for the women of other species, resulting in all manner of twisted half-breeds; “heroic” members of their kind are typically drawn from these half-breeds, who must struggle constantly with their base natures
Seriously, a lot of this stuff is copied and pasted directly from 19th Century eugenicist screeds about the intrinsic inferiority of the Black race -- they basically just scratched out the n-word and wrote in “orc”.
(And no, you can’t pass it off as folks imitating Tolkien without realising what they were doing. While Tolkien’s orcs undeniably employ racist imagery and stereotypes, there it’s mostly anti-East Asian stuff, not anti-Black stuff. The incorporation of explicitly anti-Black tropes into fantasy fiction’s depiction of orcs is a more recent development, and at least some of the folks doing it absolutely knew what they were up to.)
oppression metaphors are almost universally bad but the really annoying thing is its hard to do like. fantasy worldbuilding without acidentally writing something that comes off as one. like im not talking about like hamfisted shit thats obviously drawn from real life oppression its more like... how easily some shit translates into analogy because it already is.
like cultural figures like zombies, werewolves, vampires reflect a fear of disease (among other thngs) so like it only takes a little accidental nudge (or not accidental if youre JK rowling) in the wrong direction to have like. spmething that will be interpreted as an AIDS metaphor on your hands, and a wildly homophobic one at that
idk what the takeaway here is besides just making sure you arent subconsciously channeling your own real world bigotry even if you have absolutely zero intention of making an analogy. its unavoidable that certain things will be interpreted as such so you have to at least make sure you go about it in a way that doesnt make that interpretation racist or homophobic or whatever (and again im talking about like purely unintentional shit, if youre making like anywhere even near detroit become stupid tier analogies you shoud just like. stop writing)
Being a hyperintelligent thousand-year-old god-monster with a brain the size of a Volkswagen, the dragon is able to execute cryptocurrency mining algorithms in its head. It’s sharply increased its raiding in order to make up for the resulting calorie debt, and has used vile sorcery to plunge the land into eternal winter so that its brain doesn’t overheat. Civilisation teeters on the brink.
Oh, to be a child, blissfully unaware of the macro, meso, and micro levels of oppression being created/supported by your favorite author, only knowing her as the woman who has the cool website with the desk and the virtual phone that gives you a secret message when you dial 62442, helping Harry get enough points to go to the Bean Bonus Room in the video games, eagerly anticipating the next Sugar Quill fanfiction, wondering if they’ll ever make a Harry Potter TV series...
That child would have been freaking tf out at this headline.
Inadvisable tabletop RPG premises #137: one of those settings where the backstory includes a big quasi-metaphysical apocalypse to provide an in-character justification for all the rules changes between editions, except the effects of that apocalypse were incomplete, so the world runs on different editions’ rules depending on where you go. The campaign’s inciting incident involves a diplomatic crisis between two neighbouring and nominally hostile kingdoms that are unable to effectively wage war upon each other due to incompatibilities between their respective mass combat mechanics.
We only have a limited time here on this earth. The clock is always ticking, but what if you knew when it was going to stop? We had one year, time is almost up. Memento mori. Unus Annus.
Inspired by the YouTube channel of the same name by markiplier and crankgameplays this set of dice is a tribute to their idea of creating and deleting the channel, of knowing that death comes to us all and that there is no escaping the march of time. This set features a black and white dirty pour to emulate their signature spiral patter and a clear window with hand painted skulls to represent their motif of death. Each die is inked half in black and half in white. This is the ONLY set of this design that will be available for purchase. Edit: And it has sold, all that's left is the memory. Memento Mori.
You literally can’t parody tabletop RPG mechanics because whatever you come up with, I guarantee you there’s a published game that’s used that mechanic in earnest. Challenge resolution by playing dominoes? That game exists. Hit points as a communal resource? Same game as the previous one, oddly enough. Jenga as a pacing mechanic? Yes, in multiple unrelated genres. Resolving factual disagreements via player dance-offs? Yep. A game where player-versus-player conflict means stabbing your opponent’s character sheet with a knife? Funny you should mention it.
Guess who was just DMing a game!
This was low level supervilliany set in Gotham. The aim was to discover batman’s secret identity.
The plan, which i’ll admit threw me off, was to challenge Green Arrow to a fight after kidnapping his sidekick.
Red Arrow (or “Arrow Boy” as people insisted on calling him) was kept in their tiny apartment. This was rigged up to release swarms of deadly scorpions on whoever opened the door, in typical death trap manner.
Then the neighbors barged in demanding to know who was making all that banging.
The resultant catastrophic domino effect ended up with several city blocks aflame, Green Arrow dead, hordes of scorpions running through the street, the elemental force of The Red being summoned to give the scorpions superpowers, a barely controlled alien artifact hurling rubble around, the Batmobile shrunk to the side of a mini cooper and the team accidentally jetpacking into a building.
They may have been beaten up and imprisoned, but still, you have to admit it was one hell of an introduction to the supervillian scene
Hey #DivineKindred fam! May we please have everyone’s attention? Bea & Duchess here. This is an incredibly important announcement, and we need all members to at least read it.
As many of you are already aware, the majority of the admin team has relocated to Tumblr, alongside several of our members. After copious late night discussions and coming to terms with what’s best for #DivineKindred, we have made the decision to permanently relocate our group to Tumblr as of 9/01/2021.
This decision did not come lightly. Due to suspensions, hacking issues, drama surrounding DK for simply existing, and a multitude of behind the scene problems, we feel this is the safest transition to successfully maintain our writing family and the morales we want our group to be known for.
I know this is could be a difficult transition for some of you who are veterans on Twitter RP, but we ask that it’s at least considered. This is not asking you to drop your entire writing on Twitter to join us. This is simply stating that if you choose to keep your membership with us, joining Tumblr is going to be a requirement.
The presence of Divine Kindred on Twitter will be terminated come September 1st. Any affiliation on Twitter at that time will be null and void. Of course a select few of our admins will remain on Twitter with their own private accounts, but to make it certain, this isn’t going to maintain Divine Kindred’s membership status.
One of the many reasons we’ve decided on this transition to Tumblr? Upon signing up, you only will be required to have an active email. A phone number is optional. From there? The possibilities are endless.
For example, Bea and myself have chosen to make our main blog our writer accounts. After that? There isn’t a limit. You can make as many side blogs (aka your characters/ muses) as you’d like. Without repercussions.
Tumblr doesn’t require you to link an email or phone number to these accounts, nor do they lock or suspend. So the anxiety over losing your writing / accounts is over.
If you choose, you can also make blogs private, or even password protected for only you and your writing partner. These are all optional, but it can definitely create a sense of security there.
Not to mention, the actual writing? There’s an edit button, and the posts on tumblr do not have a character limit.
For those who enjoy aesthetics, creativity, and the like, you can have two different themes. One from the perspective of your app from your phone, and one from the perspective of your laptop. All of this is optional if you choose to do so without any limit to your creativity. It isn’t at all necessary, but I know that can make or break.
If this is something you’re interested in? We will be including an in depth how to guide on setting up your account and getting writing accomplished, as well as navigating tumblr.
You will have between now and September 1st to transition with us. We already have 250 + active members and counting, and we would love to see you join us.
If by chance, you want to join us any time after, know we will always accept you with open arms, without making you re-audition.
We have merged our website URL to our tumblr, so everything Divine Kindred related can be found in one spot for your convenience.
You can always reach out to @LilShitBishop or @UnholyPreacher (on Twitter) with your decision. Or alternatively we can always be reached at the following:
We look forward to experiencing this new chapter of #DivineKindred with each of you. 🤍
What strikes me the most about Delta Rune is how it uses metatextual fuckery to create this constant background radiation of unease.
Like, okay, it’s a high concept indie RPG, the characters seem to be aware on some level that they’re inhabiting a high concept indie RPG -- quite literally in the case of Kris and Susie, who portal-fantasied their way in -- and they freely name-check the relevant tropes. By itself this isn’t particularly novel.
As you go along, however, it becomes apparent that these characters aren’t just ironically self-aware: they’re actually putting a great deal of effort into ensuring that everything operates as it does. Yes, they’re living in a high concept indie RPG, but it’s not the kind of high concept indie RPG they think it is. The whole world is being jammed into a mould it doesn’t quite fit, and it would only take a small push in the right direction for things to go badly wrong.
That push doesn’t come in this initial installment, which perhaps isn’t surprising -- you have to establish the formula before you can break it! -- but you can get some interesting results if you try (and fail) to break it on purpose.