Again, check out post 319, where Gygax (I think he wrote the 1E Monster Manual) says, “Orcs appear particularly disgusting because their coloration - brown or brownish green with a bluish sheen - highlights their pinkish snouts and ears” and then goes on to crib from the anti-race-mixing style book to describe orcs as rapacious brutes who will fuck anything and therefore create all sorts of racial “unsavory mongrels” only some of whom can pass as “true creatures of other stock”. The idea that Gygax in particular wasn’t racist is risible.
D & D got woke and that's good because you should have all been playing that way (or not if you didn't prefer))
Or maybe- you guys are just wrong. Maybe there is no guy with a erect penis in that ice cube, maybe your prejudices are coloring what you see.
No one who knew him thought so. You read one description of one fantasy monster and conclude that he is racist. It is to laugh.
So… bluish-brown or brownish-green with pink snouts (pig snouts, per the illustrations) and ears? That’s… uhh… not great evidence. That sounds like a fantasy monster.
In the Venn diagram, do the circles “fantasy monster” and “racist trope” have any overlap at all?
Sure. And I’m not going to play a game of defining all of them for you (though, again, go back to my specific criticism on Drow). I don’t think this one qualifies.
You can, of course, use Orcs in a racist manner and make them say Ooga-Booga and throw the PCs in a pot and wear bones in their noses as they dance in a circle. That ain’t what’s happening in the artwork you commented on.
You should defer to those who still have a sense of smell, then.
Would those be the same people that think a metal bikini is proper fighting attire for female characters?
Redcloak’s a goblin. I think the OotS orcs on the tropical island were purple. [Edit: Nope, also green; I shoulda guessed that since both Thog and Therkla were green]
I think this is a little unfair towards Gygax. I didn’t know the man, a lot of people have said he could be an ass, but at the time he and others were writing D&D, there wasn’t a lot of critical examination of fantasy literature as it relates to racism. Nor was there a big push towards diversity or inclusion. If you’re going to make the claim that Gygax was racist, do you have evidence besides D&D?
If this is how you judge the influence of racism in society and on cultural artifacts, then it’s clear you don’t know what racism is.
As I said in my reply to DrD above, this is not how one judges the influence of racism in cultural artifacts. No one is under the obligation to prove that Gygax was a racist, any more than every American was at the time. Nothing in this conversation requires that.
When I say someone is racist, I very rarely mean that they are natives of the elemental plane of white supremacy. Rather, I mean that in a specific instance, they have engaged in a racist act, or expressed a racist belief.
So when I say that Gygax is racist, I’m not saying that you can use that to predict everything about his life. I’m not saying he owned a Klan hood or attended lynchings or told racist jokes around the water cooler or called Barack Obama “articulate.” I’m saying that when he described orcs, he described them in a racist fashion. And I think that racism shows up in various other places in the work I’m familiar with from him.
I also thought “goblin” and “orc” were interchangeable terms for the same critter. In The Hobbit, Bolg, son of Azog was a goblin chieftain (who succeeded his father when Dain slew him, so presumably the same species). And in the appendices for ROTK, Azog was an orc chieftain.
Also, where did Peter Jackson get the idea that orcs sprang fully grown from Invasion of the Body Snatchers-style pods? If that was the case, what were those little guys Gollum used to snack on?
Not in D&D. They’re two different things: orcs being larger and stronger.
I think we have to look beyond the narrow issue of skin color.
Old school D&D created a system in which some races were explicitly described as being inherently evil. If that’s not racism, I don’t know how you can define the term.
Gygax was indeed sexist. Not surprising for a 70s nerd I would think. Probably still mostly true until very recently. But I don’t think he was really racist just unaware.
Racist and sexist are two different things. The game was overwhelmingly male nerds when I started I started near the beginning. And yes, most of us were white or maybe Asian. But we had black players too. Where as a girl playing was practically a Unicorn. Extremely rare back then. Probably got way too much attention from the nerds and from the bigger asshole nerds, probably nasty attention.
Black players were just players. Nothing that out of the ordinary. Orcs weren’t stereotypes, they were for no apparent reason piggish. Maybe later they took on a different vibe? But I stayed 1st Ed until 5e basically.
Metal bikinis was less about appropriate gear and more about teen guys being well pretty much gross. (I was one of them, I admit it).