WFRP Social Justice & Representation

For general discussions about WFRP
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Herr Arnulfe
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Orin J. wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:16 am
araby is geographically the area of north africa but is culturally explictly turkish. a lot of cultural mores from the real world were relocated and a few just left out (there's no judism, since they were all zombie'd by nagash before the religion could actually get started, for example)
Depends on whether you're using the 1e Araby which was an Ottoman Empire pastiche, except full of assassins and violent religious fanatics, or the Warmaster version by Rick Priestly which was basically Arabian Nights Persia with elements of early Islamic mythology and Zoroastrianism.
Robin
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totsuzenheni wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:36 am
Robin wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 1:34 am
One thing that would help, I think, would be actively asking some women, some non-white people and some trans folk to write for the game. That's perhaps the best way to see a bit more diversity in the actual material. I was always sad that Server Goddess didn't have time to post more on StS and that there were, apparently, no other women posting to the group.
I would think that it could potentially give the material greater breadth and depth, as well as make it more interesting to many, to have the writers hail from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. To be clear though, i wouldn't want to impose upon someone a duty of representation of their supposed identit(y/ies), both because i think that that would be something of an unjust imposition, and also at the same time because i don't think that being identified, or identifying as or with a given group necessarily endows someone with insight into the experience of that group, in whole, nor even perhaps in part. I think any breadth, depth and interest, such as it may be, would come from the writers' more diverse, individual backgrounds and their different experiences, their different areas of expertise and interest, and their differing viewpoints, rather than their identity in and of itself.
I would agree with that, too. I wouldn't expect any writer from a particular demographic to become spokesperson for that demographic - I just want them to have the chance to write things for the setting that they'd like to see. At the end of that day, that's exactly what I did when I was writing for Warpstone - I wrote stuff that I was interested in, in a style I enjoyed reading myself. My demographic is definitely white, cis, middle class male, but at the same time, I'm someone who likes reading RPG setting material for its own sake (which is mostly what I wrote), but who isn't much interested rules unless they relate to something I'm interested in (and most of my rule-based pieces revolved around magical symbolism). It also represented how I see the setting. Everyone who writes brings something of themselves into their work, and some diversity might help bring something new, interesting, or simply a different perspective.

Regards,

Robin
Herr Arnulfe
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Robin wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:33 pm
I would agree with that, too. I wouldn't expect any writer from a particular demographic to become spokesperson for that demographic - I just want them to have the chance to write things for the setting that they'd like to see. At the end of that day, that's exactly what I did when I was writing for Warpstone - I wrote stuff that I was interested in, in a style I enjoyed reading myself. My demographic is definitely white, cis, middle class male, but at the same time, I'm someone who likes reading RPG setting material for its own sake (which is mostly what I wrote), but who isn't much interested rules unless they relate to something I'm interested in (and most of my rule-based pieces revolved around magical symbolism). It also represented how I see the setting. Everyone who writes brings something of themselves into their work, and some diversity might help bring something new, interesting, or simply a different perspective.
I would say white cis male writers in general could stand to grow a pair and step outside of their comfort zones. The Tales of the Arabian Nights storytelling boardgame was written by non-Muslims so it can be done.
Whymme
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Herr Arnulfe wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:35 am
Which further illustrates my point that mutants are lousy devices for social commentary in WFRP.
Errm, what? IMHO, mutant hatred is the archetypical "they look different, so they don't belong here" type of discrimination.
If you want to set examples of social exclusion, ostracism, persecution, and so on, in an RPG, it doesn't have to be a one-on-one fit with people or groups in the real world.
Why do you insist that social commentary in WFRP has to follow ethnological lines and why should ethnological groups in this world be represented one-on-one by a similar group in the WFRP world? If I would want to put the spotlight on, say, labour market discrimination against Moroccan people in our society, why would I need to use a one-on-one equivalent of such a group in the WFRP world? I think that the message would be clear too if I would use, say, dwarfs as the people being discriminated against.
Whymme
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Herr Arnulfe wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:47 pm
Robin wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:33 pm
I would agree with that, too. I wouldn't expect any writer from a particular demographic to become spokesperson for that demographic - I just want them to have the chance to write things for the setting that they'd like to see. At the end of that day, that's exactly what I did when I was writing for Warpstone - I wrote stuff that I was interested in, in a style I enjoyed reading myself. My demographic is definitely white, cis, middle class male, but at the same time, I'm someone who likes reading RPG setting material for its own sake (which is mostly what I wrote), but who isn't much interested rules unless they relate to something I'm interested in (and most of my rule-based pieces revolved around magical symbolism). It also represented how I see the setting. Everyone who writes brings something of themselves into their work, and some diversity might help bring something new, interesting, or simply a different perspective.
I would say white cis male writers in general could stand to grow a pair and step outside of their comfort zones. The Tales of the Arabian Nights storytelling boardgame was written by non-Muslims so it can be done.
[raises eyebrows] And do you think that TotAN is a representative example of muslim society and culture?
:-)
Herr Arnulfe
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Whymme wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:47 pm
[raises eyebrows] And do you think that TotAN is a representative example of muslim society and culture?
:-)
No, but it's pretty faithful to the source stories. WFRP could do worse than using the Arabian Nights mythology as a baseline for Araby (although perhaps with a more progressive attitude towards sex-changing :) )
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skerrigan
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Theo wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:44 pm
I suppose the last bit is good if you want to make the point that transgender rights are wrong and ridiculous. But that sounds an awful lot like "involving modern gender politics" to me.
Well, it is a thread about that Theo.
Whymme wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:17 am
But that is what those individual GMs and writers add to the setting, and not a given of the setting itself.
This is an excellent point and one that I think it was worth considering. It's not the job of media IMHO to moralise one way or the other, as *gasp* maybe the reader does not need to share the exact same "liberal" views of the author to enjoy the material. I think a lot of recent media has forgotten this in an effort to safely preach to the choir.
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Herr Arnulfe
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Whymme wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:44 pm
Errm, what? IMHO, mutant hatred is the archetypical "they look different, so they don't belong here" type of discrimination.
If you want to set examples of social exclusion, ostracism, persecution, and so on, in an RPG, it doesn't have to be a one-on-one fit with people or groups in the real world.
Why do you insist that social commentary in WFRP has to follow ethnological lines and why should ethnological groups in this world be represented one-on-one by a similar group in the WFRP world? If I would want to put the spotlight on, say, labour market discrimination against Moroccan people in our society, why would I need to use a one-on-one equivalent of such a group in the WFRP world? I think that the message would be clear too if I would use, say, dwarfs as the people being discriminated against.
I agree, substitutions can be helpful as Toby illustrated earlier with the Ogre self-identifying as a Halfling. However, these kinds of substitutions, when a better in-setting analogue is available, suggest a certain avoidance or hesitation on the part of the GM or writer IMO. Now, if a mutant or Dwarf substitute brought something clever to the Araby analogy, I'd be more inclined to buy into it.
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skerrigan
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I've been playing a lot of Vermintide in lockdown and I would describe the Witch Hunter character as definitely the anti-hero, and he gets a fair amount of disdain off the other PCs (often in my view unfairly). He also seems to think he's the main character/leader, which he isn't. :D

I actually like the idea of a (fictional!) world where the Witch Hunts are relatively justified, as they are in Warhammer. *cue Jack Nicholson speech from A Few Good Men*

Witch Hunters definitely range the spectrum from heroes, anti-heroes, villains and even secret was-a-cultist-all-along, which to me is the dullest trope for Witch Hunters.
Theo wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:37 am
Herr Arnulfe wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:31 am
Personally I think WH witch hunters are a similar case. Robert E Howard might not have intended misogyny with Solomon Kane, but given the general public's association of witch hunts, it's a bad look for videogames etc. to be parading Witch Hunters as one of Warhammer's ironic heroes of Order. There are plenty of other Warhammer archetypes - witch hunters should just be used as shady NPCs IMO.
I thought that's what most everyone did. Surely most Witch-hunter NPCs I've seen in any published adventures have ranged from shady over sadistic assholes to utter nutcases. (Admittedly I'm not very familiar with the video games.)

As for Solomon Kane, it's amusing that canonically he's very much not a fan of witch-hunters. "Kane bent above the body, which lay stark in its unnameable mutilation, and he shuddered; a rare thing for him, who had seen the deeds of the Spanish Inquisition and the witch-finders." (from Skulls in the Stars, an early SK story)
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Totsuzenheni Yukimi
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Robin wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:33 pm
I would agree with that, too. I wouldn't expect any writer from a particular demographic to become spokesperson for that demographic - I just want them to have the chance to write things for the setting that they'd like to see. At the end of that day, that's exactly what I did when I was writing for Warpstone - I wrote stuff that I was interested in, in a style I enjoyed reading myself.
That's the word i was looking for: demographic. I still think of Warpstone as the best days of WFRP material. Alas i no longer have them but as i recall it was the very first Warpstone that had rules for prosthetics.
Herr Arnulfe
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skerrigan wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:06 pm
I've been playing a lot of Vermintide in lockdown and I would describe the Witch Hunter character as definitely the anti-hero, and he gets a fair amount of disdain off the other PCs (often in my view unfairly). He also seems to think he's the main character/leader, which he isn't. :D

I actually like the idea of a (fictional!) world where the Witch Hunts are relatively justified, as they are in Warhammer. *cue Jack Nicholson speech from A Few Good Men*

Witch Hunters definitely range the spectrum from heroes, anti-heroes, villains and even secret was-a-cultist-all-along, which to me is the dullest trope for Witch Hunters.
I think the problem was that Witch Hunters were made into WFB heroes (7e? 8e?) which put them officially on the side of Order. It wouldn't take much to make witch hunters suitably anti-heroic though, even with the new Chaos concept. Having witch hunters standing alongside skinhead warrior-priests does make them a bit skeevy by association IMO, and not necessarily in a way that will appeal to new gamer demographics.
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skerrigan
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Heroes in the sense you can have them as a model, but certainly not in the Pure of Heart Hero. The fiction books etc. have always portrayed them as the necessary evil etc.
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Robin
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Herr Arnulfe wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:47 pm
I would say white cis male writers in general could stand to grow a pair and step outside of their comfort zones. The Tales of the Arabian Nights storytelling boardgame was written by non-Muslims so it can be done.
I think that's precisely what's been happening for many years, which has led to a lot of the criticism were seeing now.

The "grow a pair" comment did make me chuckle. Over at RPG.net, that would have received at least a warning for the implication that you need balls to have the guts to do something.

Regards,
Robin
Robin
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totsuzenheni wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:10 pm
I still think of Warpstone as the best days of WFRP material. Alas i no longer have them but as i recall it was the very first Warpstone that had rules for prosthetics.
Thanks for the thumbs up for Warpstone. Yes, I think the prosthetics article was in the very first issue, but it's one of the three or so issues I'm missing. However, it was reprinted in Corrupting Influence, which might be easier to find.

Regards,
Robin
Herr Arnulfe
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Robin wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:49 am
The "grow a pair" comment did make me chuckle. Over at RPG.net, that would have received at least a warning for the implication that you need balls to have the guts to do something.
I meant that we should grow a pair of boobs. :)
Robin
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Herr Arnulfe wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:41 am
Robin wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:49 am
The "grow a pair" comment did make me chuckle. Over at RPG.net, that would have received at least a warning for the implication that you need balls to have the guts to do something.
I meant that we should grow a pair of boobs. :)
:)

To be fair to RPG.net, they'd object to that too! They're very even-handed on this sort of thing.

Regards,
Robin
Herr Arnulfe
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Robin wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:53 am
To be fair to RPG.net, they'd object to that too! They're very even-handed on this sort of thing.
I'm fine with that. After the site gained a reputation as a safe place for minorities, it dealt with a lot of trolling from bigots so they had to clamp down.
Robin
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Herr Arnulfe wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:06 am
Robin wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:53 am
To be fair to RPG.net, they'd object to that too! They're very even-handed on this sort of thing.
I'm fine with that. After the site gained a reputation as a safe place for minorities, it dealt with a lot of trolling from bigots so they had to clamp down.
Yeah, same here. Sometimes I think they go a bit too far, but their heart is in the right place and they're consistent. Given their volume of traffic, I don't think they can afford not to keep a tight rein on things there.

Regards,
Robin
FasterThanJesus
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Robin wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:53 am

To be fair to RPG.net, they'd object to that too! They're very even-handed on this sort of thing.

Regards,
Robin
From my experience, RGP.net objects to anything that isn't overwhelming enthusiastic support.

CapnZap getting banned from criticizing WFRP v4 for example.
Robin
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FasterThanJesus wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 1:06 pm
Robin wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:53 am

To be fair to RPG.net, they'd object to that too! They're very even-handed on this sort of thing.
From my experience, RGP.net objects to anything that isn't overwhelming enthusiastic support.

CapnZap getting banned from criticizing WFRP v4 for example.
As I recall, his various bans and warnings bans resulted from a variety of infractions, not just his feelings about WFRP4.

Plenty of stuff gets criticised on RPG.net, but they do object to edition warring and unrelenting, unproductive negativity. I can understand why - in the latter days of StS the WFRP4 section became tedious beyond belief with the endless criticism.

Regards,

Robin
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