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An Open Dialogue on One Specific Slur


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8 hours ago, DeusVult said:

Not to be a hater cuz ur opinion is valid

but like why did we revive this 


I didn't realize it was dead...?

The thread's still open, no verdict has been reached

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On 9/15/2023 at 1:29 PM, marimbamonk said:

Here are my two cents on this and other slurs in-game:


In my opinion, we should stay away from racial slurs like "darkie" that are based on in-game skin color, especially if the slur could also apply to a real life skin color. Saying "I've seen it used a lot" is just an observation, not something that justifies its use.

Although "spook" has a history as a racial slur, that's basically where its similarity to "darkie" ends. "Spook" itself doesn't have an obvious racial connotation. It has a more popular contemporary definition ("spooky, scary!"), and use of it in-game is to refer to something ghostly/creepy/undead, not something based on its skin color. 


You won't hear either word being commonly used as a racial slur nowadays IRL, but with "darkie", its racial connotation is immediately obvious, so its prevalence really has no bearing on whether or not it should be used. In my opinion, it shouldn't be used. "Coal people" is also a bad idea for all the same reasons.

And for "spook" – would it be a good idea for us to find a different word to use? Sure, it wouldn't hurt; but I'm not that pressed about it, as long as it's only used to refer to ghostly/creepy/undead things. I wasn't even aware of its racist history until I read that ban report a couple days ago.


"Greenskins" for orcs or "greyskins" for dark elves are certainly not as bad, as they have no IRL history or obvious IRL racial connotation. Personally, I usually don't have a problem with those unless it becomes obvious that the player behind the character is just using it as a way to mask being racist IRL, and determining that can be difficult. But ultimately, as I said before, my preference would be for us to just stay away from skin color -based slurs in general, given the extensive history of the concept IRL.


"Midget" shouldn't be used either, in my opinion. Whenever the term is used nowadays, it's almost always in offense. There are many little people who are fine with or even prefer being called "dwarf", but I've never heard of a little person who preferred to be called "midget." It's an offensive real-life word for a real-life group of people, so in my opinion, their comfortability trumps anyone's need to use that word in-game.


Lastly, the word "coon" might appear to have some of the same word qualities as "spook", but it was (and is) used as a racist term far more widely, including a well-known history of racist caricature artwork with the same name. Its only use referring to people has been incredibly racist. I bring this up because not too long ago there was a player on this server for several months who had named their orc character "Kuun'killah." Correct me if I'm wrong, but the orcs have never had to deal with a rampant infestation of raccoons, so one can draw a pretty obvious conclusion as to what that player was really referencing.


We don't have these conversations as often as we should, so I thought I'd cover as much ground as possible given recent happenings. If all these words magically "poofed" from the vernacular of characters in-game, would I miss these words? Not in the slightest.

There are more nuanced ways to express your character's prejudice that aren't as triggering for real-life groups of people.




I'm uncomfortable with the fact that a single Administrator made a decision for the entire server on what racial slurs should and shouldn't be said in our community. This should be a community decision, just like nearly every other decision on LotC that has the unfortunate habit of getting relegated to a select group of officious volunteers.


wAIT, spook is used for black people? I only ever thought it was used for


spooky things


this feels like when i learned jip came from gypsy and gypsy was an ethnic group

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I think random and made up slurs for fantasy races is fine as long as they don't have any real life meaning or similarity to actual real slurs. I don't think people should use genuine irl slurs in roleplay at all.

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