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Monday Lab: Halfbreed

The recent discussion in Actual Play has prompted me to what may be quite a lot of pointed looks at racism in role-playing content. I've made a little video to set local boundaries & standards for all of them, beginning right here. You'll be seeing that link again.

To repeat one of the points from that, because the temptation to stray from it will be so strong, we are discussing fictional characters' racism and racist acts, rather than assessing authors and texts as potentially racist persons and objects.

Here's the first Monday Lab for the topic, which I decided would do best by going in obliquely, as it were, with a focused angle of attack: the half-human player-character.

  • Part 1 (embedded below) concerns mostly orcs and half-orcs
  • Part 2 examines the transformation of "monster races" into the Noble Savage
  • Part 3 examines the edgy minority or the familiar/friendly minority with reference to half-elves
  • Part 4 expands the topic to the wider range of science fiction and pop culture
  • Part 5 digs into the heart or meat of why "half"-ness is its own issue in fiction
  • Part 6 addresses the conundrum of making a half-X "type" when-and-if critiquing it

I've also made my own presentation of the games I mentioned, looking at them in more detail: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. The attached file diagrams and annotates my spoken points.

Please contribute your thoughts! I would especially appreciate some accounts of real-play experiences.