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Author Topic: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result  (Read 5881 times)

Reckall

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2021, 02:37:25 PM »
Regarding Planescape - my impression is that ever since the collapse of 2E, D&D has been much more limited in how many different official settings it will support. The business logic is that different settings fragment the customer base and make it harder to have network effects, which is D&D's strength. From what I read, Planescape hasn't been officially supported in any of 3E, 3.5E, or 4E.

With "The Manual of the Planes", "The Planar Handbook", the "Fiend Folio" and - I would add, "The Fiendish Codex I & II" you could silently adapt 2E Planescape to 3/3.5E. I did it easily. I always considered these books to be "crypto-Planescape" after Hasbro ditched the original for being "too mature".

BTW, adapting Planescape, crunch-wise, is not difficult. The beauty of the setting comes from the fluff.
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BoxCrayonTales

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2021, 02:39:54 PM »
And if you want gothic horror, D&D isn't exactly the best system to represent it. You might be better off with Cryptworld.

Renegade_Productions

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2021, 02:49:56 PM »
So, no more Planescape? The Planes are a hippie meeting where everybody is welcome?

Most likely. After all, that setting birthed one of the best CRPGs ever made and also depends on the existence of the nine alignments by way of the nine planes around Sigil, and current year D&D can't have that now can it?

  They could just lean heavily on the " 'Good' and 'Evil' are just labels and don't necessarily correspond to the actual morality of the positions--demons can be nice, on occasion, and angels are often tyrannical and judgmental." That would fit in with the 'Balance' ideology that goes back to Dragonlance at least, as well as the general zeitgeist that WotC worships and proclaims.

Can't agree with that, and I can point to a cultural cornerstone from Japan to help explain why it's a bad idea to accept this loss in any way: Shin Megami Tensei

The series has had a good-vs-evil narrative since its earliest days by way of the classic D&D scale of Law, Neutrality, and Chaos. Without that aspect to the games, the creatures you choose to work with, the people you choose to help, and the decisions you make, are insignificant in all things.

That and there is objective good and evil in the world, the latter exemplified by the Year Zero process and its end results throughout history.

Most customers are mindless consumers who don't care about politics or being told how to play. They buy new stuff, play with it until it breaks, then move on to the next product.

All that stuff about "vistani/drow/orcs/w/e are racist, we need to change them!" is ignored by the overwhelming majority of groups. They'll play however they want to play, writer intent be damned.

They're still giving them money, which to WOTC endorses their mindsets and gets them to do more in the same vein, if not worse. That's the biggest danger with going mainstream, because once the clueless masses start buying swill en-masse, guess what's going to come in greater quantities?
« Last Edit: May 25, 2021, 02:53:14 PM by Renegade_Productions »

This Guy

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2021, 02:56:08 PM »
They're still giving them money, which to WOTC endorses their mindsets and gets them to do more in the same vein, if not worse. That's the biggest danger with going mainstream, because once the clueless masses start buying swill en-masse, guess what's going to come in greater quantities?

delicious seethe?
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Armchair Gamer

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2021, 03:20:06 PM »
So, no more Planescape? The Planes are a hippie meeting where everybody is welcome?

Most likely. After all, that setting birthed one of the best CRPGs ever made and also depends on the existence of the nine alignments by way of the nine planes around Sigil, and current year D&D can't have that now can it?

  They could just lean heavily on the " 'Good' and 'Evil' are just labels and don't necessarily correspond to the actual morality of the positions--demons can be nice, on occasion, and angels are often tyrannical and judgmental." That would fit in with the 'Balance' ideology that goes back to Dragonlance at least, as well as the general zeitgeist that WotC worships and proclaims.

Can't agree with that, and I can point to a cultural cornerstone from Japan to help explain why it's a bad idea to accept this loss in any way: Shin Megami Tensei

   I didn't say it was a good idea, just a way for the Dragon of Many Colors and of None to have both Planescape nostalgia dollars and commitment to the doctrines of its infernal masters.

Renegade_Productions

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2021, 03:24:36 PM »
So, no more Planescape? The Planes are a hippie meeting where everybody is welcome?

Most likely. After all, that setting birthed one of the best CRPGs ever made and also depends on the existence of the nine alignments by way of the nine planes around Sigil, and current year D&D can't have that now can it?

  They could just lean heavily on the " 'Good' and 'Evil' are just labels and don't necessarily correspond to the actual morality of the positions--demons can be nice, on occasion, and angels are often tyrannical and judgmental." That would fit in with the 'Balance' ideology that goes back to Dragonlance at least, as well as the general zeitgeist that WotC worships and proclaims.

Can't agree with that, and I can point to a cultural cornerstone from Japan to help explain why it's a bad idea to accept this loss in any way: Shin Megami Tensei

   I didn't say it was a good idea, just a way for the Dragon of Many Colors and of None to have both Planescape nostalgia dollars and commitment to the doctrines of its infernal masters.

I know, but in all honesty, the fewer ideas they get about settings to butcher, the better. Planescape can survive on its own as an old setting translatable to modern times/systems by the actual fans.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2021, 03:30:27 PM by Renegade_Productions »

estar

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2021, 06:56:44 PM »
Hello this is 1984 calling "Alignments are simplistic and dumb". I long found out that D&D works with or without alignment since I ditched it in my AD&D campaigns* back in the day. So take your pick and enjoy. So if the current iteration of D&D want to ditch alignment then (shrug).

*Why? Because my campaign focused mostly on allowing playing to trash my settings. When that the focus the life of the setting become more important and it more of a challenge if it nuanced. The philosophy of Set's religion can be anathema to a follower of Mitra however when there are demons involved then there is common cause. Other types of campaign have other priorities so a three fold or nine fold alignment system is the ticket.

Keep in mind that the whole idea of alignment about because in Dave Arneson's Blackmoor there were player who were part of the forces of Law i..e the good guys and players who were part of the forces of Chaos (the baddies). With the neutrals there to be recruited by one side or the other. Gygax brought that over but made more Law = those who help the players, Chaos the enemies inhabiting the dungeon, and neutral those who were indifferent or could be recruited.

The whole thing in my opinion got blown way out of proportion and taken way too literally. And like much problem that beset early D&D was a result of a lack of a detailed or coherent explanation of how and why Arneson, Gygax, and other actually use the stuff in their campaigns.



Palleon

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2021, 07:01:19 PM »
It's amusing to me that all the negative publicity directed towards WotC's newest D&D products by Pundit and the like is still publicity. These products keep on selling (supposedly better than ever) even if they aren't selling to the same old hands.

As long as they publish five or six player facing classes or races, the 5E product will sell.  It doesn’t matter what the fluff is doing with woke nonsense.  Whoever came up with the idea is a marketing genius.

Omega

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2021, 07:17:06 PM »
So, no more Planescape? The Planes are a hippie meeting where everybody is welcome?

That was Planescape to begin with. Except as a Dickensian meeting place where everyone is welcome.  8)

Planescape itself played loosey-goosey with alignment as well way back and you could not be sure anymore if a devil was evil or a deva good as they very well might not be.

HappyDaze

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2021, 07:18:32 PM »
It's amusing to me that all the negative publicity directed towards WotC's newest D&D products by Pundit and the like is still publicity. These products keep on selling (supposedly better than ever) even if they aren't selling to the same old hands.

As long as they publish five or six player facing classes or races, the 5E product will sell.  It doesn’t matter what the fluff is doing with woke nonsense.  Whoever came up with the idea is a marketing genius.
FFG did something similar with its Star Wars line. Almost every book had a sprinkling of species, gear, and vehicles/starships for players even if the book was primarily aimed at GMs. Yes, even several of the adventures.

UndyingDM

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2021, 01:00:22 AM »
It's amusing to me that all the negative publicity directed towards WotC's newest D&D products by Pundit and the like is still publicity. These products keep on selling (supposedly better than ever) even if they aren't selling to the same old hands.

Maybe the positive publicity is more common than the negative publicity, then. Maybe the concerns about the book's changes from previous editions' versions of the setting are in fact a minority opinion and that most people don't care about it. Keep in mind, the vast majority of D&D 5e players are young, and thus much less likely to care about what Viktra Mordenheim was like as Victor Mordenheim, or what the "Core" was, or whatnot.

Source 1: https://www.enworld.org/threads/2020-was-the-best-year-ever-for-dungeons-dragons.680165/

Reckall

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2021, 01:25:34 AM »
So, no more Planescape? The Planes are a hippie meeting where everybody is welcome?

That was Planescape to begin with. Except as a Dickensian meeting place where everyone is welcome.  8)

Planescape itself played loosey-goosey with alignment as well way back and you could not be sure anymore if a devil was evil or a deva good as they very well might not be.

That was the beauty of the setting, but it still maintained the basic "What?" (Good, Evil) and "How?" (Law, Chaos) moral compass. If anything it was prescient of some real-life issues (ex. "What's the alignment of Guantanamo after 9/11?" "Is torturing demons to extract info that could potentially save millions still a "good" act in a war against them?")

The central point of my 13 years campaign (which started in 1999, so well before these issues hit the RL) was some Gods of Good doing evil things "For the Greater Good" - and the mess that followed. Without Planescape I doubt that I would ever had got that idea.

I do like alignment, BTW. I know that I'm in minority, but I imported AD&D's one into D&D way before we switched to AD&D. I consider it as the first broad stroke to how to portray/understand a PC/NPC.
For every idiot who denounces Ayn Rand as "intellectualism" there is an excellent DM who creates a "Bioshock" adventure.

jhkim

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2021, 01:47:14 AM »
I do like alignment, BTW. I know that I'm in minority, but I imported AD&D's one into D&D way before we switched to AD&D. I consider it as the first broad stroke to how to portray/understand a PC/NPC.

It's fine to like alignment as a matter of personal taste.

Echoing what estar said above though -- it's not like dropping alignment is an SJW thing from the 2000s. The vast majority of RPGs from 1980 onwards don't have alignment. And good drow have also been around since the 1980s.

Reckall

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #28 on: May 26, 2021, 01:53:59 AM »
And good drow have also been around since the 1980s.

And good orcs, BTW. This is why, when I discover stunning "issues" like this one:

https://www.thegamer.com/years-fix-race-dnd-wizards-coast-controversy/

...I always feel half amazed and half depressed. It isn't that the real World, today, has no problems...
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Torque2100

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Re: Ravenloft Bans Alignment, Drow Now Good, Soulless Worlds Result
« Reply #29 on: May 26, 2021, 08:22:01 AM »
I really think Pundit is off base here.  Removing Alignment is easily the most common rule adjustment and not indicative of some kind of SJW conspiracy.  Nor is it incompatible with Fantasy roleplaying.  Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay functions just fine with no alignment, as does Dragon Warriors, and The Witcher and Fantasy AGE and basically every other Fantasy Heartbreaker ever published.

Blaming players for the failures of the Alignment system is an absolute non-starter.  If you have had numerous test cases with a system, and numerous different sets of players have reported the exact same problems while using it, the problem is probably with the system.  DnD's Alignment System, especially the AD&D and onwards dual axis Good-Evil, Law-Chaos system has had 50 years of test cases.  It's just Ockham's razor.

D20 Modern gets a lot of hate, but it has some very good points.  I still love the way D20 Modern's Allegiance system demonstrated how pointless Alignment is and how a better designed system can allow you to have those magical effects in the world and the universal struggle between Good and Evil, Law and Chao without hamstringing roleplay and starting pointless arguments.   It's the same with the OD&D Law vs Chaos Alignment.

If anything, removing Alignment would be a point in 5e's favor.

The fixation on "De-Vilifying" Drow has been around basically since they were introduced.  As I pointed out in another thread, Drow being lead by exotic, hot women tends to trigger the White Knight effect in the Anglosphere mind.

New Ravenloft is pretty horrible, but I think he's reading too much into it.  This is Ravenloft as designed by adult children who have been taught to believe that seeing an image that makes them uncomfortable is literally violence on the same level as being punched in the face.  It would be pathetic if they didn't form angry piranha swarms to destroy people.