Tobold's Blog
Friday, December 02, 2022
Removing the trigger

I have been posting here more than once about how the woke thought-police has attacked Dungeons & Dragons for "racial discrimination" against orcs. I didn't agree that the solution should be to remove negative racial stat modifiers, as I think that makes character creation less interesting. No real orcs are harmed when a game gives them a -1 INT modifier, due to the fact that orcs don't exist.

Finally at WotC somebody had the right idea: Orcs weren't the problem. Nobody cares about orcs. The problem was the word "race", because the snowflakes get triggered whenever they hear the word "race". So they came up with a more brilliant plan, which doesn't diminish the game: They simply replaced the word "race" in D&D with "species". Nobody gets triggered anymore, and we can keep playing D&D without persecution.

Meh. I guess species is a more accurate descriptor then race anyways for the varying creatures in D&D.
"Fantasy races" is pretty well shorthand for species and has been for a long time. Anyone that looks at a thri-kreen or an orc and thinks that's equivalent to the minor genetic difference among human populations is a complete moron. The species concepts that most working taxonomists use are much closer to the phylogenetic or evolutionary species concepts, and very few "species" limits are ever investigated with breeding experiments. Unfortunately the biological species concept, which almost no-one actually uses, is the one that most people are familiar with (if any).

I therefore fully expect there to be some completely uniformed bitching about this being a bad idea because half elves and half orcs are a thing. Ligers are a thing too, but no-one claims that lions and tigers are the same species. Nor does anyone take seriously the idea that closely related but morphologically distinct populations existing entirely in allopatry should potentially be considered conspecifics, despite the fact that in the vast majority of cases we have no idea whether they exhibit either gamete incompatibility or post zygotic isolation. That's just not how working systematists actually tend to investigate alpha taxonomy.
The ravers have the bit between their teeth now. Changing a word will do nothing.
First world problems right here...*rolls eyes*
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