Untying Ability Scores from Race (And also; Dealing with D&D's ongoing bullshit)

Dungeons and Dragons has hit a long-deserved, timely and overdue rough patch due to the treatment by Wizards of the Coast of its non-white, non-male, non-cis staff. This has led also to a long overdue re-examining of ties to D&D as a product, its place in our culture, and the impact it has on us as players, consumers and creators.


So it's not easy for me to present even a two-page document of houserules for it, now is it? Isn't that support? Isn't that implicit agreement with D&D on some level?


Well, for my part, no. I've always been vary of doing D&D material. I've been so for a long, long time. But at the same time, critiquing games - and that includes all the attendant things that come with it, including who writes it, who publishes it and who gets hurt by that process - is important to advance game design. We would not be here if not for our critique of D&D and WotC in the first place. And everything I do has been based on critique, or on a perceived lack.


This document was written long before the current issues surfaced, and certainly long before the announced (not legal in Adventurer's Guild and therefore not in organized play) product that's meant to address problematic elements of race in D&D as it is presented. It came from a place of cultural critique, and it's in that spirit that I'm posting it. Not just because I think I've gone further than D&D itself does - "inherent" attributes are extremely close to eugenics and yet they're keeping them - but also in the hope that it gets people thinking about writing something better in the future.


Who knows. Maybe a successor that fits the rest of us will take inspiration from me. Maybe I will take inspiration from me.


In addition to all of the above, I also reiterate a position I have held for a long time; Your games, with your characters and your friends and your adventures, belong to you. They do not and have not ever belonged to WotC corporate or the D&D brand. You can remember them fondly while divesting yourself of corporate branding, because the meaning you found in them belongs to you. Build on that in your own way. And if nothing else, I hope I get you thinking on how to do that.


In the spirit of all of the above, I have also chosen to make this a public post. Please enjoy, and remember that this enjoyment belongs to you.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/10ktan17k-Vb_1jl6p4jhyaQQWUd7pm_aOrZUJsfvguE/edit?usp=sharing

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