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[Let's Read] The Complete Books of Demihumans and Humanoids

WistfulD

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Social & Racial Disadvantages:
Now we get to the meatiest of the subchapters, and the last of the flavor-based ones.

This whole subchapter revolves around the idea that humanoids are all primitive tribal cultures living on the fringes, as humanity and the civilization it embodies are conquering the world and will ultimately claim it all for themselves; humanity is more numerous, more advanced, more established, and generally the D&D world is a human world... gods, I think I just threw up reading those words.
Generally, I find this to be the most honest and prescient part of the book. I mean, there are a host of issues with D&D/AD&D as Gygax/TSR envisioned it, but at least this chapter is acknowledging this state of affairs. This is the part of the book that is recognizing that the game world, as already established by almost 2 decades of development, is humanocentric, and that it is stacked against the humanoid races. During the Gary era of TSR, it's not even clear that anyone really thought that through. While it opens the door to questions about why nothing was changed, it is nice to see that this issues was at least noticed.
 

VoidDrifter

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Generally, I find this to be the most honest and prescient part of the book. I mean, there are a host of issues with D&D/AD&D as Gygax/TSR envisioned it, but at least this chapter is acknowledging this state of affairs. This is the part of the book that is recognizing that the game world, as already established by almost 2 decades of development, is humanocentric, and that it is stacked against the humanoid races. During the Gary era of TSR, it's not even clear that anyone really thought that through. While it opens the door to questions about why nothing was changed, it is nice to see that this issues was at least noticed.
Well, in fairness, the original AD&D 1e DMG includes an entry where Gygax directly addresses the reader and explains that the very concept of restricting classes and level capping based on race exist because D&D worlds "should" be dominated by humans and human cultures, and the majority of players "should" be humans themselves.

So, yeah, humanocentrism was literally an intentional design aspect kind of from the beginning. Personally, I don't agree with the idea at all, and I am so glad that with the Nentir Vale setting, WotC decided "no, we don't need to follow this line of thought any more".
 

WistfulD

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Indeed. Yes, Gary obviously did address humanocentrism in general and with respect to demihumans. I was specifically thinking of them recognizing what this meant for humanoids.
 

LordofArcana

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When I was younger I just assumed that the human dominance was a temporary thing. Elves are always talking about how humans are primitive savages and how humans used to live in caves when elven civilizations were at their height. Meanwhile human civilization is in full swing but humans are having to deal with primitive savages that live in caves.

It only made sense to me that the future was going to be the humanoids'. It's just that it isn't yet.
 
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