By its admission, Dungeons & Dragons is taking a big step towards inclusivity by removing outdated terminology baked into the problematic roots of the fantasy genre.
Effective immediately, Dungeons & Dragons is removing the term “race” from its lexicon. This change has been made in parallel with the ongoing development of One D&D, the evergreen 5th edition of the game.
In the fantasy genre, the term “race” is often used to describe completely different types of creatures, from elves and humans to goblins and orcs.
The term “race” was first used by J.R.R. Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings but has now become standard terminology in most fantasy games, including D&D.
Dungeons & Dragons is now taking a step towards changing this problematic terminology. D&D has been trying to move away from the term “race” since the release of the 5th edition. However, it still relied on the obsolete term when referring to game mechanics. Starting with the latest One D&D playtest, and for all future content, it will use the term “species” instead of “race”. Wizards of the Coast published a blog post explaining its reasoning and process.
In the real world, the term “race” has historically been used to divide and oppress different groups of people.
In fantasy, race goes from a social construct to actual physical differences. It was inadvertently giving space to discrimination that exists in both places. As the father of modern fantasy, Tolkien’s use of the word “race” unwittingly codified the terminology for those who followed. Including popular games such as World of Warcraft.
Dungeons & Dragons has made some sonorous blunders recently. So the transparency and attention shown in its blog is a welcome change. Removing the term is, by most accounts, an intelligent move for the world’s oldest TTRPG.
Nevertheless, players are not yet ready to congratulate D&D for this change.
Other games, such as Paizo Pathfinder, are leaps and bounds ahead of them regarding fairness and inclusivity. Players think Wizards of the Coast needs to catch up. Dungeons & Dragons is looking for feedback on the diction. So players who would prefer a different word, be sure to voice your opinion in the next One D&D playtest survey. This is scheduled to take place from 21 December.
Source: D&D Beyond
This month’s Unearthed Arcana Playtest is accompanied by an important change, as we replace “race” as a term moving forward into One D&D.https://t.co/9gqIP9GwsW
— Dungeons & Dragons (@Wizards_DnD) December 1, 2022