Orcs Can Be Intelligent, Lovable Creatures Too : Long-Time DnD Stereotype Challenged By Explorer’s Guide To Wildemount

Explorer's Guide to Wildemount has been making waves, such as debunking racist myths.


1
1 comment, 289 shares, 1 point

As a game heavily nuanced by race systems, it is but inevitable that stereotypes exist specific to the different races. For example, any DnD player or enthusiast will know that Bards are typically silly, lascivious creatures while Barbarians are generally all brawn and no brain. The key words in the last sentence are “typically” and “generally”, and it is very important that we do not overgeneralise anyone, be it people or Bards or Barbs or Orcs. Speaking about Orcs, their situation appears to be getting some improvement, as DnD‘s new book, Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount, now has an alternative orc race who are not evil, violent meatheads by nature.

The Orcs of Exandria

There are three new subclasses and four new subraces and in the new campaign in Wildemount. One of the new additions is the race called the Orcs of Exandria. They are not characteristically Chaotic Evil, neither are they wielders of a supernatural power which provokes them to be bloodthirsty murderers and purveyors of violence. No, these Orcs can feel empathy, compassion, and love just like any other race. Unlike traditional Orcs, the Orcs of Exandria do not suffer with an inherently low Intelligent stat. Moreover, they don't possess the "Menacing" trait which grants an automatic proficiency in Intimidation. Rather, this alternate race of Orcs can be skilled at Animal Handling, Survival, Medicine, Perception, Insight, and Intimidation (yes, the last one too if you wish).

Historical Racism

Let's not start bashing DnD for being racist and allowing the proliferation of such stereotypes. Yes, the whole race system itself is controversial. However, as a role-playing game, DnD is of course mirroring real life, taking on the concepts which have become normalised through literature, media, and history. For example, J.R.R. Tolkien has characteristically used Orcs and Goblins as evil minions. This falls under the "Othering" theory. Basically, we "Other" someone, or some group, intentionally or otherwise, by thinking of them as some distant entity that is very different from us, very different from the norm.

The Map Of Exandria

Fighting The Grand-Narrative

However, in the 21st century, such biased ethnocentrism must give way to acceptance of variation. We shouldn't marginalise and exoticise. Rather, we should appreciate difference -- whether it be difference of skin color or difference of ideology or difference of character races in an RPG like DnD. Of course, it's just a game, but games are an excellent source (either positively or negatively) of dispersing rhetoric. Thus, a good step is to chip away at these racial stereotypes, and Explorer's Guide to Wildemount has taken one such step in that direction with the humanization of Orcs. Again, it's not essential that all races be equal. Rather, there shouldn't be set patterns for each race. Instead, variation should be encouraged within the race.

Besides this new debunking of stereotypes, there is great excitement about the new book, Explorer's Guide to Wildemount. You can buy it on Amazon here:

Explorer's Guide to Wildemount (On Amazon)

And on top of that, here are some of the best selling Dungeons and Dragons items right now: 

SaleBestseller No. 1
Player's Handbook (Dungeons & Dragons)
Product is for use in the Dungeons and Dragons role playing game; Product Number: WOC A92170000
$27.93
SaleBestseller No. 3
Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden (D&D Adventure Book) (Dungeons & Dragons)
Hardcover Book; Wizards RPG Team (Author); English (Publication Language); 319 Pages - 09/15/2020 (Publication Date) - Wizards of the Coast (Publisher)
$29.97
SaleBestseller No. 5
Explorer's Guide to Wildemount (D&D Campaign Setting and Adventure Book) (Dungeons & Dragons)
Hardcover Book; Wizards RPG Team (Author); English (Publication Language); 304 Pages - 03/17/2020 (Publication Date) - Wizards of the Coast (Publisher)
$29.07
Bestseller No. 6
Dungeons & Dragons
Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand); Justin Whalin, Marlon Wayans, Thora Birch (Actors); Courtney Solomon (Director) - Topper Lilien (Writer)
$4.99
SaleBestseller No. 7
Tasha's Cauldron of Everything (D&D Rules Expansion) (Dungeons & Dragons)
Hardcover Book; Wizards RPG Team (Author); English (Publication Language); 11/17/2020 (Publication Date) - Wizards of the Coast (Publisher)
$29.97
SaleBestseller No. 8
Dungeons & Dragons Mythic Odysseys of Theros (D&D Campaign Setting and Adventure Book)
Hardcover Book; Wizards RPG Team (Author); English (Publication Language); 256 Pages - 07/21/2020 (Publication Date) - Wizards of the Coast (Publisher)
$29.97
SaleBestseller No. 9
Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Guide (Core Rulebook, D&D Roleplaying Game)
Product is for use in the Dungeons and Dragons role playing game; Product Number: WOC A92190000
$33.86
SaleBestseller No. 10
Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual (Core Rulebook, D&D Roleplaying Game)
Product is for use in the Dungeons and Dragons role playing game; Product Number: WOC A92180000
$29.47

Ending Statement

Make sure to share your engaging campaign stories with us on the website.

You can also browse our official Facebook page for checking out engaging Dungeons & Dragons content on Facebook: All Things DnD Facebook Page

You can join our official Facebook group for discussing Dungeons & Dragons with our community: All Things DnD Facebook Group

You can check out our YouTube channel for watching engaging DnD content here: All Things DnD YouTube Channel

Let us know what you think about the idea of a change of ideologies in the comments section!

Source: Comicbook


One Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Choose A Format
Story
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
List
The Classic Internet Listicles
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item