Being Unique - My Dislike of the Term Special Snowflake


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Alexandros Satorum wrote:
Uhm, I'm curious if you always portray murder in such a serious way. Do you never had some bandit hunting portrayed in a casual way?

Bandit hunting isn't necessarily murder. I'd actually argue that it's rarely murder.


PossibleCabbage wrote:


I think a charitable reading would be that I was saying that people who like dark fantasy *because* of all the rape and cannibalism are messed up.

Plus, there's a pretty big difference between a book, video game, movie, or a television show which is an experience you need not share with other people and a cooperative roleplaying game which is inherently a social experience.

I will point out that there are game systems for DA and ASOIAF and further you don't exactly need to dig far to find other PnP games that use worlds where one/all of those things are baked into the setting somewhere (obvious examples being the Warhammer RP lines and even things like Star Wars and Pathfinder have slavery being a pretty common occurrence)

Still though, the point I was trying to make is that people have different tastes and just going for a blanket dismissal of folks who lean toward dark fantasy for whatever reason can be seen as pretty rude.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Alexandros Satorum wrote:
Uhm, I'm curious if you always portray murder in such a serious way. Do you never had some bandit hunting portrayed in a casual way?

Bandit hunting isn't necessarily murder. I'd actually argue that it's rarely murder.

I honestly try to cling to the distinction between "Wanted" (for regular outlaws) and "Wanted: Dead or Alive" (for the most notorious and dangerous outlaws) if PCs are sent after some bandits. If the PCs bring in the corpses of the bandits they were supposed to bring it alive, they probably get yelled at and not paid for those bounties (and maybe even charged with something.)


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Alexandros Satorum wrote:
Uhm, I'm curious if you always portray murder in such a serious way. Do you never had some bandit hunting portrayed in a casual way?

Bandit hunting isn't necessarily murder. I'd actually argue that it's rarely murder.

uhm, if we are arguing about grammatical legalistic definitions or something like that, then lest change murder for killing or something.


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You know, as we said before, portaying is not the same as supporting. Some of us might want to portray rape only to show that it's an awful thing but victims can be healed, i.e.
In one of my current games, players met an enemy who was a victim of abuse and had been little more than a sex slave most of her life. She had turned into a terrible person who didn't value her own life and didn't trust anyone. After a lot of great roleplaying by my players she is now a different person and they feel like they had won an epic battle because they feel like they have helped this characyer. I don't see how this could be messed up. I know some people don't like bringing this amount of realism to a game but I know my players and they do


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:
I will point out that there are game systems for DA and ASOIAF and further you don't exactly need to dig far to find other PnP games that use worlds where one/all of those things are baked into the setting somewhere (obvious examples being the Warhammer RP lines and even things like Star Wars and Pathfinder have slavery being a pretty common occurrence)

I think though that Dragon Age is an excellent example of how you can manage dark, gritty, and often gruesome fantasy with very little in the way of sexual violence. Other than the one instance in the Deep Roads in the first game, sexually tinged violence is basically absent from all of the rest of the games, novels, and comics. The writers even go so far as to have altered early drafts of narratives to avoid allusions to sexual violence (e.g. Krem's backstory was changed, as was the "Champions of the Just" quest in DA:I).

I did not mean to paint everybody who likes dark fantasy with a broad brush, but I've been around long enough in this hobby to remember people who were excited about FATAL and I have no compunctions about calling those people messed up. I can only hope they've gotten better in the intervening decades.


Kileanna wrote:

You know, as we said before, portaying is not the same as supporting. Some of us might want to portray rape only to show that it's an awful thing but victims can be healed, i.e.

In one of my current games, players met an enemy who was a victim of abuse and had been little more than a sex slave most of her life. She had turned into a terrible person who didn't value her own life and didn't trust anyone. After a lot of great roleplaying by my players she is now a different person and they feel like they had won an epic battle because they feel like they have helped this characyer. I don't see how this could be messed up. I know some people don't like bringing this amount of realism to a game but I know my players and they do

The development of the character seems quite interesting.

I had a sorceress whose original backstory was that her mother sell her into high level escorting/prostitution, so my sorceress grew up as a highly cynical NE being. I've didn't focused on her backstory though, since the game was played in a more casual way.

Silver Crusade

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
I will point out that there are game systems for DA and ASOIAF and further you don't exactly need to dig far to find other PnP games that use worlds where one/all of those things are baked into the setting somewhere (obvious examples being the Warhammer RP lines and even things like Star Wars and Pathfinder have slavery being a pretty common occurrence)

I think though that Dragon Age is an excellent example of how you can manage dark, gritty, and often gruesome fantasy with very little in the way of sexual violence. Other than the one instance in the Deep Roads in the first game, sexually tinged violence is basically absent from all of the rest of the games, novels, and comics. The writers even go so far as to have altered early drafts of narratives to avoid allusions to sexual violence (e.g. Krem's backstory was changed, as was the "Champions of the Just" quest in DA:I).

I did not mean to paint everybody who likes dark fantasy with a broad brush, but I've been around long enough in this hobby to remember people who were excited about FATAL and I have no compunctions about calling those people messed up.

Yeah, the way I read PC's post it wasn't directed at people who like dark fantasy, but at people who like those specific things in their dark fantasy.


Alexandros Satorum wrote:


Uhm, I'm curious if you always portray murder in such a serious way. Do you never had some bandit hunting portrayed in a casual way?

Good question.

It depends on the story I'm GMing.
Of course I GM a lot of casual stories where I avoid touching some controversial stuff and I don't want to bring so many moral issues to the game.
Now I'm storytelling WotW and I don't think making my players feel bad for what they are doing is the right mood for that story so I portray it in a lighter way.
But if I'm GMing the kind of story where I want to bring such issues as rape to the game I might make those bandits be desperate people with starving families and my players are going to wonder if they are doing the right thing.
There is a mood for each story.

By the way, my last answer was misplaced by the many answers so it looks a bit off, I think. I suspect this one is going to be too.


PossibleCabbage wrote:


I think though that Dragon Age is an excellent example of how you can manage dark, gritty, and often gruesome fantasy with very little in the way of sexual violence. Other than the one instance in the Deep Roads in the first game, sexually tinged violence is basically absent from all of the rest of the games, novels, and comics. The writers even go so far as to have altered early drafts of narratives to avoid allusions to sexual violence (e.g. Krem's backstory was changed, as was the "Champions of the Just" quest in DA:I).

I did not mean to paint everybody who likes dark fantasy with a broad brush, but I've been around long enough in this hobby to remember people who were excited about FATAL and I have no compunctions about calling those people messed up.

You can also throw in the city elf origin in Origins for sexually tinged stuff. I can't speak of the other media since my experience ends with Origins, 2, and the CRB for the RPG.

As for FATAL...people who unironically like that nonsense are double wierdos for liking both the content and the appallingly bad crunch.


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:


I think though that Dragon Age is an excellent example of how you can manage dark, gritty, and often gruesome fantasy with very little in the way of sexual violence. Other than the one instance in the Deep Roads in the first game, sexually tinged violence is basically absent from all of the rest of the games, novels, and comics. The writers even go so far as to have altered early drafts of narratives to avoid allusions to sexual violence (e.g. Krem's backstory was changed, as was the "Champions of the Just" quest in DA:I).

I did not mean to paint everybody who likes dark fantasy with a broad brush, but I've been around long enough in this hobby to remember people who were excited about FATAL and I have no compunctions about calling those people messed up.

You can also throw in the city elf origin in Origins for sexually tinged stuff. I can't speak of the other media since my experience ends with Origins, 2, and the CRB for the RPG.

As for FATAL...people who unironically like that nonsense are double wierdos for liking both the content and the appallingly bad crunch.

B-but it's detailed and realistic!


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Ventnor wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:


As for FATAL...people who unironically like that nonsense are double wierdos for liking both the content and the appallingly bad crunch.

B-but it's detailed and realistic!

*Pelts Ventnor with D10000s*


Rysky wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
I will point out that there are game systems for DA and ASOIAF and further you don't exactly need to dig far to find other PnP games that use worlds where one/all of those things are baked into the setting somewhere (obvious examples being the Warhammer RP lines and even things like Star Wars and Pathfinder have slavery being a pretty common occurrence)

I think though that Dragon Age is an excellent example of how you can manage dark, gritty, and often gruesome fantasy with very little in the way of sexual violence. Other than the one instance in the Deep Roads in the first game, sexually tinged violence is basically absent from all of the rest of the games, novels, and comics. The writers even go so far as to have altered early drafts of narratives to avoid allusions to sexual violence (e.g. Krem's backstory was changed, as was the "Champions of the Just" quest in DA:I).

I did not mean to paint everybody who likes dark fantasy with a broad brush, but I've been around long enough in this hobby to remember people who were excited about FATAL and I have no compunctions about calling those people messed up.

Yeah, the way I read PC's post it wasn't directed at people who like dark fantasy, but at people who like those specific things in their dark fantasy.

You can even have those things in their dark fantasy, as long as they're not glamorized or fetishized.

Kileanna's example of dealing with a former sex slave would seem a good example to me.
Obviously, you've got to be careful and know your audience - a lot of this stuff can be triggery for some people and others just might want lighter fare, but I wouldn't go nearly do far "Anyone who wants dark fantasy with sexually tinged violence is messed up". It depends on why they want it and how they deal with it.

Much like bigotry or anything else negative - depending on the player's wishes and how it's handled, it can be an empowering overcoming story arc or a frustrating slog.


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
You can also throw in the city elf origin in Origins for sexually tinged stuff. I can't speak of the other media since my experience ends with Origins, 2, and the CRB for the RPG.

True, I had forgotten about that one. Still, the trajectory of Dragon Age suggests it's entirely achievable to do grim, gritty, dark, and gruesome fantasy without treading into certain territories.

(One of the things I'm curious about though is that previously the game has presented non-historical slavery as the exclusive province of the wicked empire to the North, and it's looking like that's where the next game is going to be set, so I'm curious what they do.)


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
You can also throw in the city elf origin in Origins for sexually tinged stuff. I can't speak of the other media since my experience ends with Origins, 2, and the CRB for the RPG.
True, I had forgotten about that one. Still, the trajectory of Dragon Age suggests it's entirely achievable to do grim, gritty, dark, and gruesome fantasy without treading into certain territories.

Sure it's possible, but I still wouldn't raise any eyebrows if someone walked up and offered to run a game styled after ASOIAF or Berserk or something along those lines. After all, I'm a fan of both and would love to be part of a game styled after either setting. Other people aren't for whatever reason and that's cool. As you said, RPing is a group experience so (ideally) you pick something everyone's cool with.


Kileanna wrote:
Alexandros Satorum wrote:


Uhm, I'm curious if you always portray murder in such a serious way. Do you never had some bandit hunting portrayed in a casual way?

Good question.

It depends on the story I'm GMing.
Of course I GM a lot of casual stories where I avoid touching some controversial stuff and I don't want to bring so many moral issues to the game.
Now I'm storytelling WotW and I don't think making my players feel bad for what they are doing is the right mood for that story so I portray it in a lighter way.
But if I'm GMing the kind of story where I want to bring such issues as rape to the game I might make those bandits be desperate people with starving families and my players are going to wonder if they are doing the right thing.
There is a mood for each story.

Gotcha.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Is it, though? Part of the magic of fantasy (and of science-fiction, for that matter) is that different races are often different species, and there are actually interesting differences that can be explored.

While, as you say, there are certainly going to be differences between elves and humans living in the same city, they're also going to have a lot in common. At the point where the elf, the gnome, and the human are all paying taxes to the same governmental body, are all dealing with the same weather, all have access to more or less the same things to eat, and all enjoy the same local sporting events or other entertainment, then they're at the very least going to have a lot of common ground on which they can talk and build bonds.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Is it, though? Part of the magic of fantasy (and of science-fiction, for that matter) is that different races are often different species, and there are actually interesting differences that can be explored.
While, as you say, there are certainly going to be differences between elves and humans living in the same city, they're also going to have a lot in common. At the point where the elf, the gnome, and the human are all paying taxes to the same governmental body, are all dealing with the same weather, all have access to more or less the same things to eat, and all enjoy the same local sporting events or other entertainment, then they're at the very least going to have a lot of common ground on which they can talk and build bonds.

Or the elves could be tyrannical despot with little in common with humans. Both perfectly valid option for a fantasy setting.


So the elf might want to do more research and item making while the human might want to rush to the next encounter.

Would giving Drow a greater bonus to hide in the shadows be offensive? What about equally dark skinned humans?

Still a Drow bard might waste that bonus by wearing flashy clothes.


Portraying the differences is not offensive nor it has to be making remarks about them. Saying «drow can see in the dark» is not offensive, it's a fact.
But there are ways of portraying or remarking them that can be offensive.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:


"Yo Kronk, you're a dwarf right? Can you fix my armor? Please? The shoulder piece came loose again."

This is totally an example of bigotry. It's almost as blatant as "Yo Pedro, you're Hispanic right? Can you show me how to hot-wire a car? Please? I left my keys at home."

...

No, it's not. Bigotry is intolerance. What you quoted and your own example are not intolerant statements. They certainly play into stereotyping, and while stereotyping can easily lead to mistakes (or passing judgement on groups rather than individuals), it is not always, nor even usually, inolerant nor negative.

It is common however, to have a problem with stereotyping when it is something negative, but generally gets ignored otherwise.

Besides, you can't escape stereotyping. It is part of how our minds work. Instead, you just have to direct how that stereotyping occurs. I.E. labelling Honor Roll students as a group that is exceptional and desirable, and a group to strive to join. It's still stereotyping, but turned into a tool of positive motivation.


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I don't know if bigotry is the right word, but even if you are not trying to be intolerant, falling into syereotypes is intolerance at some degree. If you take as a fact that all dwarves will know how to fix your armor, is like asumming that a dwarf cannot excel at other things. And even if the dwarf you are talking to knows how to fix your armor he might be offended by such a narrow point of view of his race.
Also, I don't see the honor roll students example as a valid example, as that is something that comes from their own merits not something they are born.


Stereotyping doesn't apply only to aspects held from birth. Stereotypes can be based on anything.

Making a judgement or statement about a group, however you define that group, is stereotyping.

This has advantages instinctually, some of which still apply (it has fangs and claws and is bigger than me, therefore, it might try to kill me if I make it angry), but also has disadvantages, mostly when applied to social groups (i.e. all [insert group] are [insert incorrect description]).

Heck, having character classes is officially codifying stereotypes by saying "if you're [this], then you can do [that] but not [something else]."

In fact, many mmo style games play on this stereotyping, such as giving armor sets distinctive silhouettes for faster and easier class identification, which only matters for the one single fact that you can make a judgement about that character based on their class.

Or any mechanics-heavy rpg group having roles to be filled (dps, tank, healer, de/buff, etc). Heck, earlier in this very thread someone mentioned how it was a negative to "misplay" the cleric class as a non-healer, in which the very concept of "misplaying" a class is built on stereotyping the class even narrower than the mechanics do.

Edit, stereotyping is a built in tool of the human mind. Like any tool, it can work for us, or against us.


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You are mixing concepts here. Stereotypes are never a good thing because they don't always reflect reality and make your POW narrower.
Saying that a honor student is intelligent, or that a human is a mammal is not an stereotype, it's a fact. If you are a dwarf you can see in the dark. It's a fact, because every dwarf who is not visually disabled will be able to see in the dark. If you are a dwarf you can fix my armor. That's an stereotype because not all dwarves are crafters.
You can figure that, being Spanish and having lived in Spain all my life, I can speak Spanish. That's a fact. But if you figure out that I enjoy bullfighting because I'm Spanish, you are judging me falling into stereotypes.


Maybe you should reread the post, but I'll point this out specifically "Making a judgement about a group, no matter how the group is defined is stereotyping"

Primary point, what can be a stereotype is not limited to inherent aspects of a person (i.e. your example of knowing spanish, it doesn't come from your genetics, it was learned).

Secondary point, stereotyping itself is an inherent and instinctive tool of the human mind, and therefore is neither good nor bad, rather how stereotyping is used dictates whether the outcome is good, bad, or neutral. Of course, as it will happen with or without concious choice, if you don't specifically choose to use it wisely, then it wil be used in way outside your control, and potentially outside your notice.

Edit; Definition applicable to this conversation,
"A stereotype is a preconceived notion,"


"Stereotypes exist for a reason!" - Rudy or Charles, Archer.


A stereotype is a preconceived notion about something that can be, or cannot be true. A fact is something that has been proved true.
Making an statement about a group is only stereotyping when that statement is not true for all the members of that group.


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Stereotype Definition: a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.

When arguing semantics definitions are important so here is a common one to help you guys out.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
This is totally an example of bigotry. It's almost as blatant as "Yo Pedro, you're Hispanic right? Can you show me how to hot-wire a car? Please? I left my keys at home."

Yeah that sucks, I get similar comments due to coming from a lower socio-economic area, despite now living in an affluent area with all the respectable trappings, the old stereotypes are always brought up and people (laughingly) make accusations about a range of nefarious 'street smarts' and shady activities as though its automatic that we 'lower orders' would know such things. I laugh, they laugh, then I show them how to hot-wire their car.


Paizo won't put any were squirrels or were rabbits in any bestiaries because they are stereotyped as harmless. Even if they go on a murder spree every full moon, sorry, tough turnips.:(

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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Goth Guru wrote:
Paizo won't put any were squirrels or were rabbits in any bestiaries because they are stereotyped as harmless. Even if they go on a murder spree every full moon, sorry, tough turnips.:(

What about Bunnicula? Could we have that?


Vegetable vampires also seem out.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What are we trying to say, here?


It's topic drift. It was over when I pointed out snowflake was a tool of the alt right.


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Goth Guru wrote:
Paizo won't put any were squirrels or were rabbits in any bestiaries because they are stereotyped as harmless. Even if they go on a murder spree every full moon, sorry, tough turnips.:(

I've had my wrist in a wolfs mouth, been clawed by a hawk, beaten in the head by a swan, nommed by a snapping turtle, had a pitbull latch onto my arm, and been headbutted by a horse.

My worst animal related injury was when i was 10. My sisters fat rabbit got out of the cage and was hopping around the yard. I picked him up... and all 4 legs, with overgrown nails, proceeded to shred my arm of skin from the elbow to the wrist.

My sister of course was screaming about "my poor rabbit" for all the blood I got on it.


Yeah, it seems they have picked it up to use. I've heard and seen the term used for years before them, however, and always in the negative. My first sighting was in '96 or '97 in a text-based game to describe some of the more .. unusual .. ideas for characters that people had.

Silver Crusade

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Goth Guru wrote:
Paizo won't put any were squirrels or were rabbits in any bestiaries because they are stereotyped as harmless. Even if they go on a murder spree every full moon, sorry, tough turnips.:(

I've had my wrist in a wolfs mouth, been clawed by a hawk, beaten in the head by a swan, nommed by a snapping turtle, had a pitbull latch onto my arm, and been headbutted by a horse.

My worst animal related injury was when i was 10. My sisters fat rabbit got out of the cage and was hopping around the yard. I picked him up... and all 4 legs, with overgrown nails, proceeded to shred my arm of skin from the elbow to the wrist.

My sister of course was screaming about "my poor rabbit" for all the blood I got on it.

Fear the Murder Bunnies.


I'm thinking of quitting Forge of Empires because someone called me a snowflake. That's not the only reason, but it's the pertinent one.

I'm thinking of creating an important NPC that if anybody calls anyone a snowflake, she will use control weather to show them what snowflakes really are.


Was it Advanced Players Guide that introduced the Witch?


Yes, the Witch is from the APG.

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