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Alchemist

Ethnicity of Talisman Characters

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I was reading a previous post about the number of female characters in Talisman, which I think is great.  We've had several girlfriends play and they are always happy to use one of the female characters.  Then I started to wonder why there is very little diversity in the ethnicity of the characters...so I started to break it all down:

  1. Sage: White
  2. Knight: White
  3. Merchant: White
  4. Amazon: White
  5. Highlander: White
  6. Vampiress:..Very White
  7. Elf: White
  8. Rogue: Possibly Hispanic...possibly White
  9. Minstrel: White
  10. Ghoul: Green
  11. Prophetess: White
  12. Valkyrie: White
  13. Gladiator: White
  14. Philosopher: White
  15. Alchemist: White
  16. Troll: Green
  17. Warrior: White
  18. Leprechaun: White
  19. Monk: White
  20. Sorceress: White
  21. Ogre Cheiftain: Yellowish Brown
  22. Wizard: White
  23. Gypsy: White
  24. Thief: White....(that would have been a really bad idea to make him the only Black or Hispanic character)
  25. Necromancer: White
  26. Swashbuckler: White
  27. Assassin: White
  28. Dark Cultist: White
  29. Sprite: White
  30. Dwarf: White
  31. Druid: White
  32. Priest: White
  33. Dread Knight: Unknown
  34. Cleric: White
  35. Magnus: White
  36. Chivalric Knight: White
  37. Dragon Hunter: White
  38. Dragon Priestess: White
  39. Minotaur: Umm...Hairy?
  40. Conjurer: Possibly Black...possibly White
  41. Fire Wizard: White
  42. Dragon Rider: White

There are currently 42 characters.

  • Green: 2
  • Yellowish Brown: 1
  • Unknown:  3
  • White: 35
  • Hairy:  1

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Im not trying to demand a change or complain about the game.  But they've had many opportunities to throw in some variety.  The Amazon, Gladiator, Magnus, Conjurer, Rogue and a few others would have been cool in different races.  I guess you could always paint them how you like.

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I'd like to see more ethnic diversity. If the Zulu, Martial Artist, Ninja, and Saracen are added, that'll offer more diversity. And the Pirate, if he's ever added, doesn't have to be white.

 

The gypsy probably could have been swarthier, since gypsies weren't necessarily white either.
 

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I almost forgot ablout those characters, makes me want to go find my second edition box and look through it again.  I remember a Samurai as well as a Centuar that hasn't been released yet either.  There's no reason the Centuar has to be a male, there's enough hairy looking male characters in the game already, that's for sure.

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Before anything else let me say that I agree, Talisman isn't the best example of diversity in terms of skin color, but I think you approached this subject from the wrong perspective.

First of all, you say that the game lacks "ethic" diversity and then go on to list the skin color of the characters, skill color and ethnicity have absolutely nothing in common, ZERO, NADA, NIX, NOTHING. An ethnic group is a group of people that share the same customs and habits; so a white guy, a black guy and a wolfman that grew up together and eat the same food and laugh at the same jokes are said to be of the same ethnicity.

Another term that was used in this thread in "race". Race is an even less relevant term, and in fact the only time the term race is even applicable is in the context of Fantasy/SciFi. Race, when applied to people, is a term that was used hundreds of years ago when people thought that Caucasians, Blacks, Asians, and the rest, where all different species of animals. In modern times, however, anthropologists (the people who study people) don't even use the term race anymore, because it's archaic and irrelevant. There is ZERO scientific evidence that supports a world view that takes race into account.  If you really want to see an example of race you need to look toward games like Talisman (and other high fantasy). Talisman includes the race of Elves, a race of Humans, and even races of Orge and Orc.  This is the only place you'll find different races because on Earth there is only one sentient race, humans.

So if you actually look at the characters of Talisman, despite the overwhelming whiteness of their skin color, there is a good deal of ethnic and racial diversity.
 

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Thanks for explaining the difference between race and ethnicity. What word do you use when you want to describe a bunch of people of the same ethnicity who also happen to look similar physically, and then say that a game lacks diversity of that?

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Talismanian said:

I think the new underground game from Talisman's creator will please you for PC! Just have a look at Mythgardia from Robert Harris lol

I've checked that out before.  I'd love to find a copy, but they are all sold out.  None on E-Bay either.  I'm wondering if they'll make any more copies.

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Is the Alchemist really white? I think he has the similar skintone as a native american perhaps...

Also Gypsys skin looks a bit yellowish..

Maybe it's just me.

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Hi, I've read the forums for a while but this is the first time I've felt compelled to post.

I'm black and representation, or rather the lack of it, in high fantasy work DOES sting. My family and I love talisman but when my 10 year old stated, with a resigned sigh, that 'of course there wouldn't be any black characters' my heart sank.

It would be no effort. None at all. To to put in a few different ethnicities in stuff like this and yet it would make a big difference.

And John Steed, that post is unwarranted.

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What about a sexual orientation breakdown..

  1. Sage: Straight
  2. Knight: Straight
  3. Merchant: Straight with money
  4. Amazon: God I hope Gay but Straight
  5. Highlander: Straight (hope not Gay)
  6. Vampiress:..See Amazon prob Bi
  7. Elf: Oh god.. Totally Gay
  8. Rogue: Again see Amazon
  9. Minstrel: See Elf but hasn't come out!
  10. Ghoul: N/A
  11. Prophetess: Again see Amazon but Straight
  12. Valkyrie: Again see Amazon but Straight
  13. Gladiator: Straight maybe a bit kinky
  14. Philosopher: Straight
  15. Alchemist: Straight but has a drug prob
  16. Troll: Hehe not going there
  17. Warrior: Straight
  18. Leprechaun: Leave him alone
  19. Monk: See current church for answers
  20. Sorceress: Straight has trouble keeping a man
  21. Ogre Cheiftain: See Troll
  22. Wizard: Straight
  23. Gypsy: Straight Come'on has to be?
  24. Thief: Straight
  25. Necromancer: N/A
  26. Swashbuckler: Straight
  27. Assassin: Very Straight chick magnet
  28. Dark Cultist: Oooo 300 word essay on her
  29. Sprite: "giggles"
  30. Dwarf: Who Knows?
  31. Druid: Very Kinky Straight
  32. Priest: See Monk
  33. Dread Knight: Worried about relationship with warhorse
  34. Cleric: See Monk and See Amazon
  35. Magnus: Has slaves
  36. Chivalric Knight: See Dread Knight
  37. Dragon Hunter: Ooo... Nah Straight
  38. Dragon Priestess: Has Slaves and Dragons
  39. Minotaur: See Troll plus very horny
  40. Conjurer: Really need to see Amazon
  41. Fire Wizard: Ouch!
  42. Dragon Rider: Hehehe

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Hi, I've read the forums for a while but this is the first time I've felt compelled to post.

I'm black and representation, or rather the lack of it, in high fantasy work DOES sting. My family and I love talisman but when my 10 year old stated, with a resigned sigh, that 'of course there wouldn't be any black characters' my heart sank.

It would be no effort. None at all. To to put in a few different ethnicities in stuff like this and yet it would make a big difference.

And John Steed, that post is unwarranted.

 

I agree that John Steed should not have posted that irritating comment. I am white with mixed race children and it's good that there are some characters with darker skin. The thought that a Thief being black is **** right offensive and stereotypical of some racist people!

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I missed the "John Steed" post I gather it was very offensive was it deleted?

I missed it, too, but I suspect it's one of those things where the less said about it, the better.

This is the only place you'll find different races because on Earth there is only one sentient race, humans.

If we're going to talk in technicalities, it's worth noting that we as a species (?) have yet to come up with a proper definition of the word "sentient." Last I heard, there wasn't a single proposed definition of that word that didn't include at least one other animal on Earth besides humans. Except, of course, for the trivial definition: "Sentient = human."

"Sentient = the ability to use tools to make other tools." Chimpanzees have proven capable of building ladders out of blocks and stuff like that, in order to reach bananas in lab environments.

"Sentient = the ability to create art." Whales sing (people even buy the CDs!) If I'm not mistaken, elephants also make cave paintings sometimes.

And so on.

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Hi, I've read the forums for a while but this is the first time I've felt compelled to post.

I'm black and representation, or rather the lack of it, in high fantasy work DOES sting. My family and I love talisman but when my 10 year old stated, with a resigned sigh, that 'of course there wouldn't be any black characters' my heart sank.

It would be no effort. None at all. To to put in a few different ethnicities in stuff like this and yet it would make a big difference.

And John Steed, that post is unwarranted.

 

I agree that John Steed should not have posted that irritating comment. I am white with mixed race children and it's good that there are some characters with darker skin. The thought that a Thief being black is **** right offensive and stereotypical of some racist people!

 

But making the thief white is not offensive at all right?  Here's an idea. How about leaving the characters as they are and using your imagination to think  them up whatever you wish them to be.  Also, the sexual orientation of the characters is ridiculous. What a crazy, PC world we live in.

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Is making the thief white when the vast majority of the generic archetype characters are white offensive? No. 'Course not. It's having that majority in place that's the issue. A couple of good, neutral and evil characters across those generic archetypes (like the warrior, priest, sorceress and yeah maybe even the thief ACROSS A BALANCED RANGE) being black would be so great. And so easy to achieve.

Your comment was offensive in that it was directed to p**s people off. People who you pejoratively described as 'PC'.

Whenever I see 'political correctness gone mad' type statements I look hard at what's being said. Occasionally I might agree that something is amiss. But those occasions are rare.

Political correctness is unwieldy by it's very nature. It can be stumbling and hard to think through. BUT at its core it is a process for positive change. To make sure that everyone gets treated the same. That's good, yeah?

I don't want BLACK TALISMAN, just a talisman where a few faces might look familiar to the people who may be playing it.

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Thinking some more about Googams post; It is true that if the game had all or mostly black characters, white people would notice. And that is a fact that white people should empathize with when considering black people. Ill bet most gamers could care less about skin color, but when your not the minority it is easy to not notice a problem.

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But making the thief white is not offensive at all right?  Here's an idea. How about leaving the characters as they are and using your imagination to think  them up whatever you wish them to be.  Also, the sexual orientation of the characters is ridiculous. What a crazy, PC world we live in.

No not offensive at all please don't try to strengthen or argue a already racist statement. As for the sexual orientation "It was a joke" away of trying to show the sillyness of putting ethnicity into Talisman.

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