Forum > Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion

No racist characters allowed

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kidkaos2:
So having kind of liked the old Colonial Gothic game I checked out the new version Flames of Freedom on Drivethru and found the designers had gone woke between the old edition and the new one.  It has some general woke nonsense like saying you should, not can, use X cards to prevent traumatizing people in the game and having a Native American man in 1776 that uses "they" as his pronoun, and announcing the development team included

But what I'm interested in here is where in the new game it is against the rules to play a character who is sexist towards women, wantonly kill innocent people, or purchase the labor contract of an indentured servant and you are expected to play characters with diverse religious beliefs.  I wonder what peoples' feelings are about this being included in the rules.  It strikes me as unethical for a game designer to tell players what personality traits their characters are not allowed to have, what religions their characters should believe in, or what actions the characters are not allowed to take.  I've seen recent games that go to excessive lengths to indicate how inclusive they are, but this is the first time I've seen one that makes it AGAINST THE RULES to have a racist character.  On the one hand, it's the designer's game and they can obviously make whatever rules they want, and I'm all for including rules that include game mechanics for personality where appropriate such as in Pendragon, but on the other hand it strikes me as unethical for a roleplaying game designer to tell his customers that they aren't allowed to play characters with certain personality traits and/or aren't allowed to have their characters engage in certain behaviors.  Even though the rules are obviously easily ignored, it still seems to violate the spirit of a roleplaying game.  I'm curious about other players and game designers' thoughts about this.

shoplifter:
Isn't that by the Zweihander guy? Not surprised it's pozzed. I was going to check it out, but not now.

jhkim:

--- Quote from: kidkaos2 on October 14, 2021, 09:29:34 PM ---On the one hand, it's the designer's game and they can obviously make whatever rules they want, and I'm all for including rules that include game mechanics for personality where appropriate such as in Pendragon, but on the other hand it strikes me as unethical for a roleplaying game designer to tell his customers that they aren't allowed to play characters with certain personality traits and/or aren't allowed to have their characters engage in certain behaviors.  Even though the rules are obviously easily ignored, it still seems to violate the spirit of a roleplaying game.  I'm curious about other players and game designers' thoughts about this.

--- End quote ---

I'm not familiar with the specific game - but in general, I don't think every RPG needs to allow every type of character. In some games, it's simply inappropriate to make a merciless lone wolf assassin, for example. TSR's Marvel Superheroes, for example, was pretty clear with its karma system that anti-heroes like the Punisher or Deadpool weren't PC material. On the other hand, some games are intentionally about playing malicious bastards, and it doesn't work to play a goody-two-shoes. Some games there are random-roll personality traits from among a limited set, and you don't get your choice of whatever you like. Some mini-games have only premade characters, and no option to create your own.

I don't think it's unethical for a given game design to only allow a limited range of characters. If you don't like the range of characters offered, you're free to change the game or buy a different game.

HappyDaze:

--- Quote from: jhkim on October 14, 2021, 09:46:15 PM ---
--- Quote from: kidkaos2 on October 14, 2021, 09:29:34 PM ---On the one hand, it's the designer's game and they can obviously make whatever rules they want, and I'm all for including rules that include game mechanics for personality where appropriate such as in Pendragon, but on the other hand it strikes me as unethical for a roleplaying game designer to tell his customers that they aren't allowed to play characters with certain personality traits and/or aren't allowed to have their characters engage in certain behaviors.  Even though the rules are obviously easily ignored, it still seems to violate the spirit of a roleplaying game.  I'm curious about other players and game designers' thoughts about this.

--- End quote ---

I'm not familiar with the specific game - but in general, I don't think every RPG needs to allow every type of character. In some games, it's simply inappropriate to make a merciless lone wolf assassin, for example. TSR's Marvel Superheroes, for example, was pretty clear with its karma system that anti-heroes like the Punisher or Deadpool weren't PC material. On the other hand, some games are intentionally about playing malicious bastards, and it doesn't work to play a goody-two-shoes. Some games there are random-roll personality traits from among a limited set, and you don't get your choice of whatever you like. Some mini-games have only premade characters, and no option to create your own.

I don't think it's unethical for a given game design to only allow a limited range of characters. If you don't like the range of characters offered, you're free to change the game or buy a different game.

--- End quote ---
There's a 140 page preview. The "no racist characters" bit is in general author virtue signaling speak. There's nothing in the rules text that prevents playing whatever type of asshole PC you want.

shoplifter:
^^^
That's at least good to know that it isn't explicitly against the rules, but I guess I don't know why the author even needed to go on a screed about it. I'll check out the preview to get a sense for it.


--- Quote from: jhkim on October 14, 2021, 09:46:15 PM ---

I don't think it's unethical for a given game design to only allow a limited range of characters. If you don't like the range of characters offered, you're free to change the game or buy a different game.

--- End quote ---


I think it's a little different to say that you can't play a character that follows standard 18th century norms in a game set in the 18th century. I think we all agree that those things are wrong, but those things can also constitute an excellent roleplaying opportunity.

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