Monday, 11 January 2016

The Dumbest Shit That Has Ever Been Said About D&D Ever




Scrap has located the worst and dumbest thing ever said about D&D.

Pundit, Dyvers, call off your culture war scouts, you have no need of them.

Zak, back away from the story gamers, for a new titan has entered the field.

You will not believe the dumb..

The dumb.. it has .. somehow fucked itself and given birth to more dumb .. and eaten that .. and grown into dumbzilla.


I just read like the worst acadamic piece about a d&d product ever
like I've read many terrible things written about d&d
but not one with the full terribleness of academy behind it
is it online
you want the link?
edward said
ohhh this is gonna be good
includes such classics as assuming the worst/most absurd reasons behind a decision without proof, damnned if you do damned if you don't , waffling on about stuff being problematic without saying if it is bad, etc
also it has all these sources
and then all these unchallenged assertions
that are crazy
Can Dungeons & Dragons even exist without Orientalism?
what is orientilism?
we just don't know
Starting with white-onwhite orientalism what you take 1000 years of culture and whatever and just mash it together to see whats cool
and then proceed to do exactly the same thing to every other culture on earth.
Oh god they thought the ultra-fluffy welcome-everyone hey-girl-you-can-be-a-samurai pictures in 5e were racist
they did not say that
that book is literally the friendly art teacher of DnD
they said might be problematic
so they have plausible denialibity if anyone accuses them of saying that
which is so fucking wanky
" Although all of these mechanics are presented with an earnest multiculturalist ethic of appreciation, this ethic often surreptitiously produces a problematic and fictitious exotic, Oriental figure"
and weasely
this ethic of apprectiation often surreptitiously produces a problematic and fctiious exotic oriental figure
the amount of outs in that sentence
like the amount of shade it throws without actually being accountable to it
The goal of orientalism is to produce encyclopedic knowledge about an imagined and exotic other.
so weapon lists are problematic
Imma gonna go with my Wilrow Hood defence
which is that it is, in almost ever instance, better to try and to create somethingn no matter how flawed it is
rather than to comment on people who try
I'm going with my sweeping statement about this is why art is garbage today
Oriental Adventures also included a 72-work bibliography that simultaneously relates an appreciation of and authority over the Orient."
they actively told people to go to original sources
the bastards!
"Hey, try reading the Water Margin in translation!"
and why the fuck would anyone want this quackery infesting video games or rpg games?
I just love it how it flims around actually having a definite possession about why anything is bad or if it is bad
or gives a single iota of idea how to do things better
displaying 'authority' is apparently a bad thing?
like, trying to learn lots of stuff about a thing and then teach other people?
hahaha but the guy is constantly stating his authority
but in a scheming vizier kind of way
like "everyone thinks this"
rather than "I think this"
I like it how this guy didn't research enough to realise why comeliness and nwp were in there
because gygax had wanted to dump them in a book at the first opportunity
and OA was the first opportunity
Could this possibly be a troll article
its so fucking fucked in the head its hard to belive its real
I like it how the guy towards the end talks about The value of multiculturalist design in role-playing games is yet to be seen
without talking about , idk , non white people being game designers
and assumes the burden of making non-problematic content is on the white male still
only white people ever matter in articles like this
a white mans burden if you will
we are the origin of, and end point of, all culture
others only live inside our godlike dreams
but our quest for the grail
is to be pure
and only by recognising the problmatic in all things
can we be distinguish ourselves from the bad white people
white people complaining about "white people" in an ouroboros of white people
" Ironically, reductionism in the work of game design is often regarded as a necessary evil. "
" Although Dungeons & Dragons and other role-playing games oweOriental Adventures a debt of gratitude for seeding the ideas which would eventually lead to robust crafting mechanics and secular systems of character development"
I think my brain just broke
Robust Crafting Mechanics
What all of RPGs has been waiting for for so long
it gets weird
. We forget that all of the rich ways that cooking has been developed as a mechanic in role-playing games hold an inextricable historical relationship to the ways that cooking was fundamental to the everyday life of common folk in the Orient.
yeaahh we are deep into the schitzo  zone now
he's talking about his 6 butts now
I was going to do a blog post called 'the dumbest shit ever' and put in a transcript of this conversation
would it piss you off if I did that
hang on , I will just check what I said
yeah go ahead


  1. "Ouroboros of white people" is a:
    1) US Political Party/SuperPAC
    2) Oi band
    3) Upmarket/arthouse remake of "Human Centipede".
    4) Offensive ritual in forthcoming Carcosa Supplement.
    5) Best way to describe a Jam Band concert.

  2. (extremely StoryGames voice) While i don't necessarily agree with all of these points I think it's important to consider this perspective!

  3. With his over-reliance on Said's 1978 work, I think we can all guess what book Father Christmas brought Mr. Trammell last year.

  4. That article had an enormous number of problematic assumptions, and disregards the importance--at the time--that OA had in bringing even the conceptual basis for the idea of Asian culture as more than a vague political threat and stereotype to a generation of kids learning about bigger concepts than they would otherwise ever have had access to without D&D.

  5. That old website about ninjas being mammals and flipping out was more convincing

  6. hm, what's wrong with edward said? this paper is stupid for treating d&d as anything more than a piece of fringe folk art that somehow broke into public but i don't understand what is the problem with said?

    1. The problem with this article is not that it treats D&D as something worth thinking seriously about but that it thinks about it in a garbled, stupid, reductive, idiotic way.

      It is not necessarily the fault of Edward Said that he is a favoured weapon for fuckwits to pick up before they stride into intellectual combat but my personal view is that on reading his name as a reference there is an increasing chance that anything that comes after will be vacant rambling bullshit.

      For a range of other views on Said you can check the comment thread here

  7. frankly i find this essay less stupid than number of posts on or therpgsite that use sjw phantom menace as the straw dog of the hour and chance to be offended by someone else being offended in the bizarre sort of social network as a moebius loop kind of situation. while this text misses any real chance at insight about either 'western' invention of the orient or dungeons & dragons at least it can be debated beyond histrionics that pass for dialogue these days on the net.

    as for fuckwits using edward said as a point of entry into the debate i must confess to being privileged not to have read any. but i suspect that i can not blame him for them as much as i can not blame ad&d at large for horde of dms using player's option rules in the late 90s.

    1. saying something is better than something posted on or therpgsite is a pretty low bar

      it's terrible, how terrible is academic

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. i removed the post because what i just wanted to write was: read said. it deals with broad concepts and while not being holy writ obviously and should be engaged in a critical fashion (like any academic study for that matter) it is important for understanding political and power relations in the last century.

    4. I dont think its dumb or dumbest but based on flawed and lazy research. Using culture theory to demolish pop is overkill like shooting fish in a barrel. and a waste of time. Edward Said or theodore adorno being used as a sledgehammers to flatten everything is a bit lame. There is nothing some academics wont piss on and reduce to bile. Using false claims about history of a text is worse.

      I think the flawed claim about "first use of mechanics in dnd" as evidence of orientalism are simply de-bunnked if you consider unearthed arcana and dragon magazine were the first use of these ideas. Most of essay continues based on these flawed claims about OA. The sexism angle is kind of weak - comeliness introduced just to feminize asian men.

      Actually samurai culture celebrated an earlier era where nobility wore make up and spoke in high voices as conspicuous wealth displays. This deteriorated as constant warfare escalated. Saying certain ideas are american or judaic-christian are a bit weak too. The claims only elite culture/craft matters based on proficiencies.

      Games, novels, films are generally not set in utopias free of these issues - they are about problems that create conflict and drama.

      Really dnd is equally flawed as a reference on medieval europe, mythology, ethics, class but it was never intended to be something you would quote in school - no more than double dragon computer game, power rangers, 80's martial arts movies etc.

      Most ppl look back on kara-tur as racist today and many did when OA came out for steam rolling of china and japan together. I find Rokugan (or whatever its called) the same because romanticizing samurai to me is like romanticizing the SS. This era of japan was clean perhaps compared to europe but it was one of the most extreme isolationist state cults in all history. I lived with a japanese historian and now i just cant see much cool about fuedal era or the faux history still taught in japanese schools. Rokugan creates a universe where supernatural conditions validate samurai necessity. Perhaps in future someone will earnestly write a setting where the SS are necessitated (Norman Spinrad already wrote this as a parody of classic fantasy-sf).

      Orientalism, stereotyping and flawed history are a part of gaming and fantasy culture but it isn't pretending to be realism. It could be gateway to someone developing a interest in history is closest to realism it gets. Realism as a mode doesn't suit escapist tv or games or movies (roll a d1000 - on a 1 you are not a peasant who will be killed if you leave your farm - you must play same way for 20 years not as a one off gritty novelty). History gaming needs to be bent a bit to let female characters have much of a say.

      Race and class in fantasy/sf were well documented by the New Wave of fantasy/sf (moorcock & spinrad etc) in 60s and 70s ad probably haven't advanced much since then. HPL and Tolkien have injustice built into them as feature of the writers but I can still play with them and enjoy them mindfully because I dont use them as political manifestos. Games based on HPL and Tolkien or Heinlein or Hubbard or ee doc Smith work will carry some prejudices with them but I can still learn something from them. Im not going to learn much about anything from a essay like this undergrad student paper.

    5. I guess almost all asian cookbooks are racist too
      use same mystique for orient and exotic fluff text

    6. @cush beni.ameri

      That's completely off-topic though.

      We aren't discussing the merits of Edward Said (or your utterly bizarre assumption that we haven't read him) we are discussing the merits of the dipshit who wrote this dumb paper REFERENCING Edward Said.

      So it's utterly baffling as to why you'd say that.

      Someone goes

      "This is stupid!"

      then you go

      "It's not as stupid as some utterly stupid thing!"

      then I go

      "Well it's still stupid is the point"

      then you go

      "Read this other author!!!!!"

      Like: address the point, dude. Or why post?

    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    8. I'm going to take a moment to remind everyone of my comments policy.

      Zak and cush beni.ameri - you two are banned from fucking with each other on this thread. If you really want to fuck with each other you can go somewhere else and do it.

      If you're looking for an exact definition of "fucking with each other" it's "if you do anything to, or regarding, each other that irritates Patrick to even the smallest degree"

    9. deleted. really don't care too much about fucking these days. parenthood i suppose. not enough energy left.


    10. i care a lot and am deeply disappointed I will never understand what happened

  8. Before DnD got nonweapon proficiencies, it was a game 'simply about warfare.' Yep, there's that deep understanding of what DnD is about. I guess all those OSR games that don't revolve exclusively around warfare are doing such in spite of God and His Academy.

    This article could be seen as the construction of DnD and its proponents as the Other, placing the game within a 'uniquely... Christian (Good vs. Evil) way of understanding the world,' in that DnD is clearly Evil, with its equipment lists and Elephant mounts? Except all issues are too complicated to be boiled down to Good or Evil, even 'a racist and sexist culture of American, Canadian, and British gamers' playing a Murder Simulator.

    Regardless, I cannot wait until this fellow learns of Yoon-Suin. I bet it'll get 5/5 'singular [imaginaries] of diverse people,' wherein we reduce the real world to a single sexist/racist stereotype by playing a game set in an imaginary, not-real place.

    1. Bah, that first sentence in the second paragraph should not end with a question mark. I guess I always sound incredulous when talking about riding elephants.

  9. Well, I dunno. My box of unpainted asiatic style minis (ogre mages, kung fu monks, celestial dragons, samurai, ninjas, and the like) is labelled "Orientalism" in a homage to Edward Said.

  10. Wasn't Orientalism a 19th century art movement about using the Western fantasy of the Turkism Harem to paint dudes in cool outfits and naked ladies ...errr ... umm ... "Circassian beauties"? I mean that art is pretty D&D, I'll give it that.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. As an Asian, I'm offended by the lack of insightful representation of Western civilisation in local RPGs, there is more to white culture than reductionist notions of vikings, feudalism and monotheism

    dude needs to buy yoon-suin and get himself educated.

    1. with i could g+ this comment
      im fascinated by western occultism and dnd fantasy in japan

    2. Occidentalism is an equally fascinating topic. Somebody could write a thesis on the Final Fantasy games alone.

  13. my friend fergus said this about it

    Yeah I did read it. It was very silly and strange. The Comeliness thing was a massive stretch. It seemed more like a game mechanic they wished they'd put in earlier. It was included in Unearthed Arcana.

    They did say a few things that resonated with me. I think a lot of the special rules were completely unnecessary. A katana is just a well made longsword, after all. A samurai is really just a mounted archer with a calligraphy set. A ninja is just a spy. The honour rules were sort of silly and unnecessary, and really only relevant to Japanese culture.

    As much as I love monks, they were always weird, overly specific and had a poorly defined role in the group. Sometimes I wonder if there is a better way monk class could be structured. (They were much better balanced in D&D3, but Pathfinder monks are too powerful.)

    I think "orientalisation" might be a real thing. aka "from the mystic East". A weird mix of fascination and not quite getting that they're just people. If a ninja is supposed to be better than some Euro assassin, make them more high level. It's actually potentially disrespectful to put other cultures on a pedestal like that, saying that they have some sort of Asian racial bonus instead of saying they have good attributes and high level.

  14. I am putting my opinion from g+ here as well

    The biggest things that bother me about this :
    a)the assumption that is only white people who will write rpgs books

    b)the use of the word problematic and allusion to racism instead of talking about how people from the cultures written about engage with these books; what they hated , what they liked, what they wanted to see but didn't etc

    c)assuming the worst, most craziest reasons behind a decision (the inclusion of comeliness by Gygax) without offering any proof or evidence or entertaining a simpler explanation (occam's dung-plough if you will)

    d) word association evidence

    e)that this whole essay could be used to justify Diversity is Too Hard Best Not Try.

    f)It doesn't offer a single idea about how to do things better so see e)

    g)whatever the fuck happens towards the end when he starts talking about NWP and crafting mechanics and actually starts reading like formalised schizophrenia 

    1. hearing how he trolls con talks with his agenda makes him a saddo - his attack on what are common game mechanics makes me wonder what his campaign would be like and reminds me of some of my story gamer friends who claim to be more evolved than me in taste

    2. e)that this whole essay could be used to justify Diversity is Too Hard Best Not Try.

      BINGO, that is the subtext that ran through my head reading the piece. You can't win so why try.

      I would be interested to know about sales in Asia. Did TSR even try?

  15. TSR blended all Medieval European cultures and then layed a thick topping of Modern America ontop of it and its no big deal. Do the same for Asian cultures and its some massive injustice. This article has no real sense of balance.