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PC'ing the PC's and NPC's

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As there are some issues around terminology and some valid 'political correctness' concerns, especially within the fantasy genre, any thoughts on such matters and the best approach to resolve any such issues?- for example some people find 'dwarf' understandably contentious - I'm not sure it's as problematic as some people make out though, do dwarves in stories and fantasy exist as any kind of disrespect, I'd say not, but I have seen objections, what do people think about such issues and approaching them, and are there others?

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We see a lot of concern over representation of different races/sexualities in settings, as most fantasy settings are traditionally populated by big strong white men. Usually, my tables are comfortable bending canon and lore to fit a more inclusive mindset (if it fits our intended story and genre) and that usually resolves most concerns. It's up to the DM to allow the world they are playing in to be inclusive, and to agree with their players on the limits to what they consider too offensive to just write off as a product of the setting.

As an ironic sidenote, "Dwarf" was a mythological creature first, and a term for LPs second.

Edited by Kaalamity

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It can be a tricky one of course, there are things that maybe aren't offensive people take offense at where there's that 'is it o.k. or not' uncertainty (like I say I don't think the dwarves of fantasy are offensive, they're just an entity/ species like orcs, elves or dragons or walking talking trees  ..... and the term is quite frequent for plants/animals. Descent has dwarf characters which is what prompted my OP and question), then of course some people don't like some of the magic/ other themes (some people really don't do vampires or some of the closer-to-horror elements) so I guess it partly comes down to player groups, but some things are important so it's always worth trying to remember to look out for potential problems as you work on projects and trying to think outside of any conditioning that could lead you to make bad choices.

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Dwarves as they exist in fantasy fiction are derived from the dwarves of Germanic mythology, and not from real-life people with the medical condition known as dwarfism.  If anyone takes offense at your table, I'd discuss how the fantasy trope has roots in mythology and not in the denigration of real-life people with a real-life condition. But if the person is still upset by it, you can always try to come up with an alternative that doesn't offend, with any number of other alternatives also drawn from mythology. I mean, why not take a page from Tolkien and give your dwarves a fancy autonym, like the Alberich or Kilmoulis?

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I'm not sure that the term dwarf, faerie, troll, etc.. in roleplaying games has ever had the intention of being derogatory. I'm sure a lot of roleplayers, especially ones of my age, suffered from the negative perception of playing these same games.

But if it does offend someone, then coming up with an alternate name isn't too hard, Stoneborn or Earthborn both come to mind for an alternative to Dwarfs.

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Point of trivia, “Dwarves” and “Elves” as the plural form for those species is pretty much a Tolkien invention. Prior to The Hobbit, the accepted pluralization was “Dwarfs” and “Elfs”. Hence, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. Tolkien had such an impact on modern fantasy that his forms have largely taken over when referring to the non-human species. 

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