Does "racism" RP prevent players from grouping up/socializing/developing plots too much?

TheSpaniard
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Re: Does "racism" RP prevent players from grouping up/socializing/developing plots too much?

Postby TheSpaniard Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:04 pm

It's a fantasy world that doesn't have our modern sensibilities, by our standards it's racist, but in Faerun it's the way of life. Otherwise, let's just all roll humans if people want to RP without that tension. . . Because that's what Faerun is like, a place that's racist because not everyone is born with equal capacity like on Earth.
DirtyGoblin
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Re: Does "racism" RP prevent players from grouping up/socializing/developing plots too much?

Postby DirtyGoblin Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:11 pm

Hence the whole bit where drow are actually a lesser race on the surface, but "ok" underground ;)
khaevil
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Re: Does "racism" RP prevent players from grouping up/socializing/developing plots too much?

Postby khaevil Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:56 pm

I can think of little more immersion breaking for me than people playing like we're all supposed to get along. It doesn't just ruin immersion, it ruins story opportunity. Good story is about conflict.

Ignoring racism is undermining potential conflict, but it's not ridiculous. Even in a racist setting I could see some PCs not being racist. However, I've yet to see anyone actually role playing a character that simply isn't racist, or they would be consistent about it.

That orc PC? A few lines of lousy, immersion-breaking RP away from new best friend. That tribe of goblins in the nearby cave just minding their own business? Slaughter them all for the crime of being worth XP and loot. Seems most "Lolthite" drow are more likely to kill an NPC spider without a thought than say mean things to a sun elf PC.

I believe the problem really has more to do with people being unwilling to stay in character at the cost of power. They aren't role playing a character so much as trying to win a game, and as soon as roleplaying the character appropriately gets in the way it gets shoved aside. Players get along with every PC because that helps them win. Every NPC is an enemy because that helps them win. Get every PC together to farm those loot pinatas and grind those XP bags, that's the best way to win. Winning in this case is gaining a more powerful character sheet.

Far more immersion breaking than racism is the way necromancy is treated. A paladin grouping with a necromancer happens all the time, and it absolutely destroys immersion. A PC not being racist, that's a believable exception to the setting, but there's no excuse for a paladin condoning animating dead. A paladin not committing suicide attacking a lich? Sure. But, just pretending it's no big deal and running around with necromancer buddies? I can think of nothing worse that I've seen so often.

It's a little hard to get a grasp on this, since it's not something that actually exists so we have no experience with it to rely on, but animating undead is inherently evil. These spells are specifically labeled as "evil" in the spell descriptor to inform the players that casting the spell, for any reason, is an evil act. Even true resurrection won't work on someone whose corpse is running around as a zombie somewhere. It must somehow trap their soul. So it's an act forcing servitude on an unwilling soul. I like to think of it as something along the lines of rape and slavery, but committed on the immortal soul instead of the mortal remains making it far worse. An act so evil there is no real-world equivalent.

Freezing someone to death in an ice storm? The act might be evil because of how the spell is used, but the spell itself isn't evil. Burning someone to a crisp with a fireball? Good to go. Disintegrating them into a pile of dust? Not a problem. Raining a meteor storm on their head? So long as you don't animate their remains as an undead servant afterwards it's fine. Even dominate person, which is magical slavery on the mortal being, lacks the evil descriptor associated with spells to animate dead.
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Max Hatchet
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Re: Does "racism" RP prevent players from grouping up/socializing/developing plots too much?

Postby Max Hatchet Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:43 am

i think part of the problem is that people go from extremes with the racism thing.

i have no problem with certain drow being extremely racist but it is not necessarily the norm or even average - altho the vast majority would be fairly racist, believing in their own superiority. Extreme racism could be that they would not wish to associate at all with non-drow.

drow are also excellent merchants and traders

there is an idea for example that its normal for drow societies and cities to COMPLETELY EXCLUDE non-drow.

that drow societies are like an inverse extreme nazi state (an extreme nazi state is somewhere where anyone who does not have white skin, blonde hair and blue eyes is killed off)

its a bit of a bugbear of mine but i repeatedly point out that the FR 3.5 Underdark Book - THE DEFlNlTlVE SOURCEBOOK - states that Drow cities have quite a high proportion of FREE HUMAN RESlDENTS - BETWEEN ONE AND TWO PERCENT - these i would say are primarily traders, shopkeepers and mercenaries

Ched Nasad is described as being 'Formerly a cosmopolitan drow city'

Eryndlyn is described as a 'mercantile powerhouse'

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abowlofgelo
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Re: Does "racism" RP prevent players from grouping up/socializing/developing plots too much?

Postby abowlofgelo Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:12 pm

I wholeheartedly agree that racism among races in the Underdark is key to immersion despite potential fall-outs. This often leads to clashing racial personalities which may even lead to PVP or worse, complete dissolution of the party. (Side note: I happen to find PVP better than completely disbanding the party as the former may still bring about meaningful RP. Take note, RP, and not power-gaming with whoever has the best build.) However, the key here is to always ensure that everyone has fun even with the racial tensions and while our characters may want to tear each other apart or plot behind each other's backs, we're all still enjoying the game.

Correct me if I'm wrong but a potential problem here is that we intentionally avoid the interaction and/or socializing to stay away from the tension that coincides with it. However, that's the beauty of Skullport, it's a sandbox where everyone is forced to play with one another under the scrutiny of the fabled Skulls. This could bring about plots within plots against different factions and intrigues of varying layers!

Not so long ago, my PC, Velkyn, was called a "False Breed" by a wood elf and it was glorious! Probably the first time I've seen a non-Underdark PC stick up to a drow and it was refreshing! A bounty on drow ears was then posted by the same wood elf which then led to PCs reacting to it. A PC may even milk this opportunity and fan the flames further by spreading rumors of mass drow killings to mobilize various factions to action.

My two cents and coincidentally my first post on the forums. =)
SteelStallion
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Re: Does "racism" RP prevent players from grouping up/socializing/developing plots too much?

Postby SteelStallion Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:51 pm

Does "racism" RP prevent players from grouping up/socializing/developing plots too much?
no

The least interesting interactions I've had on this server are by the characters who don't care. Not representing racial dynamics is boring. People saying IC racism stonewalls RP lack initiative and are probably reactive roleplayers who play passive characters.

This is not a problem, it's an excuse for an actual problem that is a lack of interesting plots or characters that drive them, and "less racism" is only going to exacerbate that unless all you're looking for is latte sipping social RP.
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Max Hatchet
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Re: Does "racism" RP prevent players from grouping up/socializing/developing plots too much?

Postby Max Hatchet Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:52 pm

Drama does come through conflict, yes

But that conflict (through racism or whatever) can be subtle and psychological rather than overt or obvious

And the other thing is that while drow are racist and they look down on and/or hate other races BUT they ALSO look down on and/or hate OTHER DROW - so how do you differentiate?


And another thing with drow is they are meant to be duplicitous and two faced - so how they act to your face and what they really think are TWO DlFFERENT THlNGS.

So a drow who is racist and insulting to the face of a non-drow lS NOT ACTlNG in the normal drow way?
TheSpaniard
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Re: Does "racism" RP prevent players from grouping up/socializing/developing plots too much?

Postby TheSpaniard Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:04 pm

And the other thing is that while drow are racist and they look down on and/or hate other races BUT they ALSO look down on and/or hate OTHER DROW - so how do you differentiate?
Easy and to put it simply:

A) Drow look down at other Drow because they think they're better in terms of bloodline, or skill.

B) Drow look down at other races because they think they're born inferior. . .


I don't see how this is a difficult differentiation to make, also, another problem is that players incorrectly assume that PCs go out of there way to be racist. I'll give my character as an example, it's not like he's aware that he's racist, or that it's wrong, he honestly believes all the "lesser" races are not as good. This has been ingrained from birth, and he accepts this as reality. And it makes the RP interesting, because there are nuances and differences between reality, and the character's perception of reality. There's nothing more boring than characters that know everything, because the player happens to have Wikipedia open while playing. So, when everyone is a nuanced Sociology professor and wants to have these modern conversations IC, it destroys good RP.

For example, I've had several people berate Balin for being racist, IC, and it's so absurd. It's like Balin and Tebdax arguing over Medicare for all in the United States, I agree it needs to happen, but IC RP isn't the place for this discussion.

In my example, the players break the 4th wall and call Balin, "racist." I found it some of the worst RP i've ever experienced in my life, because it's indicative that the person doesn't give two-shits about role playing , but instead simply wants to live vicariously through their characters.
Last edited by TheSpaniard on Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Max Hatchet
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Re: Does "racism" RP prevent players from grouping up/socializing/developing plots too much?

Postby Max Hatchet Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:55 pm

And the other thing is that while drow are racist and they look down on and/or hate other races BUT they ALSO look down on and/or hate OTHER DROW - so how do you differentiate?
Easy and to put it simply:

A) Drow look down at other Drow because they think they're better in terms of bloodline, or skill.

B) Drow look down at other races because they think they're born inferior. . .

no, you are missing my point or i was not clear - i dont mean how does a drow rationalise the difference in their heads - i mean HOW DO THEY SHOW lT lN THElR OVERT ACTlONS?

the problem comes that some people think that they can only differentiate by acting towards non-drow in an overt or non subtle way - by being extremely racist to their faces

my point is that most drow would not act this way in a place like Skullport (some might - which is fun!) but most drow are two faced and subtle and their racism will remain hidden for the sake of expediency
khaevil
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Re: Does "racism" RP prevent players from grouping up/socializing/developing plots too much?

Postby khaevil Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:19 am

Every book I've read so far about drow has the drow being very overt about their racism towards all the other races, including the ones in their city to trade. There's even a human they take to Menzoberranzan that they admire the combat prowess of so much they see him as equal to their greatest weapon masters, and talk about him as such among themselves. Yet, they still address him as iblith (excrement) so much it might as well be his name.

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