Dungeons & Dragons Principal Rules Designer Jeremy Crawford Confirms Game’s Progressive Direction Towards Race Mechanics

In response to fan complaints about Dungeons & Dragons’ racial mechanics, Principle Rules Designer Jeremy Crawford has indicated that the game’s design team will be moving towards providing certain races with “more acceptable” narratives.

On June 12th, referencing how a new edition of Dungeons & Dragons seems long overdue, popular D&D account ThinkDM tweeted a joke noting how the Orcs, Drows, and Vistanis would consider this lack of an update to be unsatisfactory, particularly due to their race statistics in 5E.

Related: Progressive ‘Nerd Culture’ Outlets and Table Top Creators Claim Depictions of Orcs are “Problematic” and “Racist”

This prompted further discussion with a fan, in which ThinkDM pointed towards “the treatment orcs received in [the official settings of] Eberron and Exandria,” specifically citing how the design team “dropped the Intelligence debuff and the evil alignment” and gave the Orcs a “more acceptable narrative,” and opined that “there’s a fair argument for gutting the entire race system.”

The thread was soon joined by Crawford, who responded to ThinkDM by asserting that “The orcs of Eberron and Wildemount reflect where our hearts are and indicate where we’re heading.”

Related: Psychology Professor Chris Ferguson Accused Of Slavery Apologism And White Supremacy For Arguing Orcs Are Not Racist

When asked by a fan about the “Drow, Vistani, and the other troublesome races and cultures in Forgotten Realms,” Crawford confirmed that “the drow, Vistani, and many other folk in the game are on our radar.”

Crawford also noted that the Gnolls, an anthropomorphic race of hyenas “known for their savage culture and warlike ways,” would also be receiving a similar treatment.

Related: Man Who Claimed Dungeon & Dragons’ Depiction Of Orcs Is Racist Admits “D&D Is Overwhelmingly Not My Game of Choice”

Crawford explained, “Internally, we feel that the gnolls in the MM are mistyped. Given their story, they should be fiends, not humanoids.”

He added, “In contrast, the gnolls of Eberron are humanoids, a people with moral and cultural expansiveness.”

This intended change to D&Ds race mechanics is the latest by Wizards of the Coast made in an effort to make their games more acceptable to wider audiences.

In April, activist and professional Magic the Gathering player Autumn Burchett was introduced as a character in the game’s official canon.

Related: Wizards of the Coast Removes Several Cards From Magic: The Gathering Calling Them “Racist or Culturally Offensive”

Last week, Wizards of the Coast announced that they would be removing several cards from the MtG database for being “racist of culturally offensive.”

At the beginning of the year, a “cultural representation workshop” was held at the Wizards of the Coast headquarters, hosted by game designer and “cultural consultant” James Mendez Hodes:

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