Wizards Of The Coast Cuts Racist Lore From Dungeons & Dragons

A bunch of colorful creatures are flying in space.

Image: Wizards of the Coast / Kotaku

Dungeons and Dragons Publisher Wizards of the Coast quietly removed the language from their recently released Spelljammer setting, which has been criticized for racist overtones. While his online D&D Beyond tools no longer contain references to a primate race that becomes “sentient” as a result of enslavement, the physical books already published still contain problematic language, as well as images of the primate race that accurately reflect the show’s racist imagery. minstrels.

New Astral Adventurer’s Guide, a guide to the revived Spelljammer setting, was published last month. Book fast drew criticism for depictions of a primate-like race whose backstory includes enslavement and forced experimentation to modify and develop their physical and mental abilities. Many sources have covered this issue, while many D&D players as well as experts took to Twitter to express frustration and confusion about the ongoing problem of racism that dates back to the origin of the game itself.

Kotaku reached out to Wizards of the Coast for comment.

Dungeons and Dragons not new to matters relating to race and representation. But despite a history of problematic and downright racist depictions of peoples in their fictional worlds, the new Astral Adventurer’s Guide offers knowledge that includes “hadozee”. This is a race of primates who, through slavery and forced experimentation, have become “intelligent”. This fictional story was also accompanied by imagery reflecting real world racist and anti-black imagery from 19th and 20th century minstrel shows.

Wizards of the Coast has secretly removed references to slavery from online rules, which can be found at D&D Beyond, an online store that offers both digital rulebooks and tools such as dice and character sheets. However, the company has given no indication that it will print remastered versions of the physical books. controversial works of art can still be seen in various sections of the site.

The company hasn’t made any public announcements about the hadosi race or hidden updates to D&D Beyond. However, it regularly updates players on the status and updates of the “One D&D” game test, which includes the term “Race” for one of the game’s mechanics – a word that many other TTRPG publishers have omitted as part of a larger effort to eliminate the legacy of racist language in tabletop role-playing games.

This is the latest worry about the racist overtones in D&D follows the publisher’s public commitment to eliminate the legacy of systemic racism in its products and to do so in a transparent manner. In 2020 Wizards of the Coast issued a statement in which he made a commitment to create products that better reflect the diversity of his players. He also undertook to republish recent books such as Curse of Strahd as well as Tomb of Destruction, which also came under scrutiny for what the Wizards themselves called “racially insensitive” text. In its 2020 announcement regarding the diversity and legacy of racism in its products, Wizards also made the following commitments:

We have received valuable information from sensitive readers about two of our recent books. We involve sensitive readers in our creative process, and we will continue to reach out to experts in various fields to help us identify our blind spots.

We are actively looking for new, diverse talent to join our staff and our pool of freelance writers and artists. We have attracted members who reflect the wonderful diversity D&D community to work on books that will be released in 2021. We are going to invest even more in this approach and add a wide range of new voices to join the choir. D&D storytelling.

Sensitive readers, a diverse staff, and changes to the game’s language have all been part of a larger effort by the TTRPG companies to create more inclusive and less insensitive content. However, the most famous RPG in the world with the most colorful history of racist fiction and mechanics continues to struggle.

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