227: Reimagining "Race" in Fantasy Games With Dr. Eugene Marshall

Kickstarter alert! Dr. Eugene Marshall has launched a new project, now live on Kickstarter, called S5E. This is an superhero-centric RPG with vivid comic book-style art and rules that integrate directly with Dungeons and Dragons, Fifth Edition. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sigil/s5e-superheroic-roleplaying-for-5th-edition

Jason is causing some more Good Trouble! This time, he is joined by Dr. Eugene Marshall from Arcanist Press. He wrote the supplement "Ancestry and Culture: An Alternative to Race in 5e," which reimagines how fantasy games present the idea of "race." In essence, Dr. Marshall reimagines the idea of race, breaking it apart into biological, heritable traits (ancestry) and culturally learned traits(culture). Your Orc still has tusks, your Tiefling still has darkvision, and your Savvas is still a giant, sentient rock. This approach simply severs biology from traits that are learned, which opens up space for individuals from different ancestries to be... well, different! This is a direct critique and answer to the idea that all non-human fantasy races, everywhere, act and behave the same (i.e. all Orcs are stupid and barbaric, all Vermlings are garbage-eating savages, etc.). Dr. Marshall helps Jason analyze this core idea and also answer common counter-arguments.

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