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Al-Qadim, Oriental Adventures and problems

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  • #46
    CTPhipps you are aware that Howard wrote the short stories titled "Black Canaan" and "The Last White man" ? He was a good ole boy southern racist who only softened on his views later in life.


    You've been playing around the magic that is black
    But all the powerful magical mysteries never gave a single thing back

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Dwight View Post
      CTPhipps you are aware that Howard wrote the short stories titled "Black Canaan" and "The Last White man" ? He was a good ole boy southern racist who only softened on his views later in life.
      I think I literally called him a racist in my post.


      Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

        This is true, but is poses a question; is it possible to give fictional representation to non-European regions (such as the Middle East and the Far East) without the bad out weighing the good? I don't think they can.
        Like, I sincerely can't agree with that sentiment. The idea that people should only be allowed to write about their own culture because they are simply unable to write something appropriate about any other culture is not only absurd, but it is also dangerous. By that logic, I am not allowed to write anything about Europe, as I am not European (or American, for that matter), and instead if I were to write off a fantasy inspired setting everything I'll write about knights and dragons etc will be racist. More than that, Europe is not just a single culture- so if someone from France wants to write about a Spanish like setting, would it be aotumatically bad and racist? The fact that you divide it into regions also makes it problematic, by that logic- the "Middle East" and "the Far East" are alll a collection of many different cultures. Iran and Egypt, for example, not only don't speak the same language, but also practice a different form of Islam, and it is not a secret that the two countries are not in friendly terms. Does it mean that someone from Egypt simply can't write a fantasy setting which involves Iran? Are Japanese people allowed to write a fantasy setting of China, considering the bloody hostiry of the two countries? Should I feel offended when I see that a anime represents a fantasy version of my own country, just because they try? Because when Magi made a fantasy version of my country, I could have seen that they have did a lot of research in the presentation, and I am actually proud of the rerpresentation. They did their research, bruises and all.

        So yeah, I can not agree with that sentiment. I people are allowed to only write about the world they live in, there is no point for fantasy. For me, someone who didn't travel a lot abroad, reading about fantasy version of other nations was very important to me. I think that by limiting people to write only about their culture would mean they won't be exposed to outside cultures, and cause stagnation as they will live in their own bubble. By not exploring other cultures through various mediums (such as fantasy literature), there will be no representation of those cultures, which would make them "exotic" and "weird" and in turn reinforce stereotypes- and not all countries are "melting pots" where you can just find someone of the "appropriate descent" to help you writing (which, again, other than helping you somewhat to avoid some really big stereotypes, does not necessirly influence your writing abuilities and will not guarentee that no one will be offended).

        Well, that's it, more or less. While I've initially decided that I want to not get involved in this thread beyond my first posts, I felt like I had to respond to that sentiment which I see growing lately in the internet. I'll probably try to not respond again to the thread as I know I will simply not agree with some of the opinions here, but I had to respond to that concept.


        Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

        "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

        I now blog in here

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        • #49
          It's also not actually REAL cultures in Al-Qadim.

          Because there's an enormous dramatic irony here that a lot of people are missing.

          Wait for it.

          *drum roll*

          Al-Qadim isn't based on the Middle East, it's based on the 1000 Tales. Stories about magical foreign lands of romance, spirits, and weird foreigners.

          ...

          Which is why the 1000 Tales were written by Arabian authors about China.


          Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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          • #50
            While I won't deny Howard's racism, one aspect that I still genuinely enjoy about his stories is that his ideal man is a blacksmith's son who believes from the start that vileness is nobles feasting while their neighbors starve.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
              It's also not actually REAL cultures in Al-Qadim.

              Because there's an enormous dramatic irony here that a lot of people are missing.

              Wait for it.

              *drum roll*

              Al-Qadim isn't based on the Middle East, it's based on the 1000 Tales. Stories about magical foreign lands of romance, spirits, and weird foreigners.

              ...

              Which is why the 1000 Tales were written by Arabian authors about China.
              As the one of the authors of Onyx Path's take on the 1001 Nights, if the AznsRepresent crew has objections to Al-Qadim (or frankly to my own work), I would 100% be weighing their criticism far more heavily than my justifications. I haven't started listening to the al-Qadim read yet, but their lived experience outways my fond recollections. 3e's OA got me into L5R and yes, it did spark interest in learning more Asian culture. That is not a get out of jail free card. When Daniel and Steve say there are harmful aspects to that books and it's predecessor ima go on ahead, listen, and not try to excuse that harm with "this isn't about real cultures." The fact that it isn't about real cultures is irrelevant. The harm they cause is. Weird foreigners being right there at the top of the list.

              And while I'm sure you've read the Nights, for anyone who hasn't: they are racist as fuck. Yes, different age, but we don't need to keep propagating it in our age.

              If they want to get around to One Thousand and One Nightmares one day, I will welcome it. I honestly don't think they will, it is a much smaller finish in a smaller pond than OA or KotE. I hope they find it palatable, but I will do my best to take their criticism in stride with grace and do better next time.
              Last edited by Second Chances; 08-01-2020, 12:49 AM.


              Black Lives Matter

              He/His Pronouns | CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon | Deviant (WIP) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf

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              • #52
                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                Al-Qadim isn't based on the Middle East, it's based on the 1000 Tales. Stories about magical foreign lands of romance, spirits, and weird foreigners.
                This is something the participants mention in the reread of Al-Qadim, more than once actually. They point out that 1001 Nights is not Arabian or Persian, and so on but a set of stories compiled in the Middle East about the Far East and bastardized and Bowdlerized by the English and the French. The readers do not appear to be fans of 1001 Nights.

                I will also argue that movies like 7th Voyage of Sinbad, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger , and The Thief of Bagdad inspired the setting more than historical research.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by LostLight View Post
                  Like, I sincerely can't agree with that sentiment.
                  This is more about etiquette and ethics than law. It is not, as a general thing, severely wrong or a crime to write about another culture, but as society moves along it is becoming more and more problematic. We should stop doing these things, stop enabling other people from doing the same thing, and generally mind our own business.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

                    This is more about etiquette and ethics than law. It is not, as a general thing, severely wrong or a crime to write about another culture, but as society moves along it is becoming more and more problematic. We should stop doing these things, stop enabling other people from doing the same thing, and generally mind our own business.
                    And what just have boring generic hero A fight boring villain B? You can have deverse settings and characters with out them being caricatures.

                    Have the bad guy be a evil mad scientist who's asian but not an asian evil mad scientist.

                    Have some class when you create something, read some books, talk to some people. It's not that hard given the ease in which information and ideas can be accessed in this day in age.


                    You've been playing around the magic that is black
                    But all the powerful magical mysteries never gave a single thing back

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                    • #55
                      I suppose the real question is whether it's worth it to update it with authors of the culture.

                      Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

                      This is something the participants mention in the reread of Al-Qadim, more than once actually. They point out that 1001 Nights is not Arabian or Persian, and so on but a set of stories compiled in the Middle East about the Far East and bastardized and Bowdlerized by the English and the French. The readers do not appear to be fans of 1001 Nights.

                      I will also argue that movies like 7th Voyage of Sinbad, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger , and The Thief of Bagdad inspired the setting more than historical research.
                      Indeed, I just enjoy showing off my Masters of Literature certificate. It's all its good for. Wa wa waaaa.
                      Last edited by CTPhipps; 07-31-2020, 08:49 PM.


                      Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                      • #56
                        (Asians Represent just won the Gold ENnie for Best Podcast!)


                        Remi. she/her. game designer.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
                          (Asians Represent just won the Gold ENnie for Best Podcast!)
                          Gods damn yes!


                          Black Lives Matter

                          He/His Pronouns | CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon | Deviant (WIP) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
                            (Asians Represent just won the Gold ENnie for Best Podcast!)
                            Cool. Good for them.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
                              (Asians Represent just won the Gold ENnie for Best Podcast!)
                              Congratulations to them.


                              Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                              • #60
                                Thus far I have found Al-Qadim more informative than Kindred of the East. I really wish the latter podcast had someone of East Asian decent who has experience with World of Darkness because right now it's a little over-reliant on insight from Adam aka WerewolfFeels to provide context which is necessary for deeper analysis than dunking on the obvious cringe.

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