Wizards of the Coast have apologised for terribly portraying an ape-like alien race in Spelljammer.
Warning this post discusses racism.
D&D’s publisher has said;
We wanted to acknowledge and own the inclusion of offensive material within our recent Spelljammer: Adventures in Space content. We failed you, our players and our fans, and we are truly sorry.
As noted in Routinely Itemised: RPG News this week, there have been growing concerns about the racist overtones in the history of the aliens. It’s been a swift reaction. Spelljammer isn’t even out in the physical form in the UK for another 10 days.
Wizards of the Coast acknowledge the description was bitterly dated and loaded with connotations and implications. They say;
The campaign includes a people called Hadozee which first appeared in 1982. Regrettably, not all portions of the content relating to the Hadozee were properly vetted before appearing in our most recent release. As we continue to learn and grow through every situation, we recognize that to live our values, we have to do better.
Throughout the 50-year history of Dungeons & Dragons, some of the characters in the game have been monstrous and evil, using descriptions that are painfully reminiscent of how real-world groups have been and continue to be denigrated. We understand the urgency of changing how we work to better ensure a more inclusive game.
As a result, this language will be changed. Wizards of the Coast can do this straight away in digital but not in physical, as those books are already made.
Effective immediately, we will remove the offensive content about Hadozee in our digital versions – and these will no longer be included in future reprints of the book. Our priority is to make things right when we make mistakes. In addition, we’ve initiated a thorough internal review of the situation and will take the necessary actions as a result of that review.
We are eternally grateful for the ongoing dialog with the D&D community, and we look forward to introducing new, engaging and inclusive content to D&D for generations to come. D&D teaches that diversity is strength, for only a diverse group of adventurers can overcome the many challenges a D&D story presents. In that spirit, we are committed to making D&D as welcome and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.
A side effect of the change and the introduction of the Hadozee will likely now create two versions of Spelljammer.
Differing editions due to controversies and apologies like this create ripples in the collectors market. Early Spelljammer buyers will have versions that become harder to find in the future, but this is not likely the result WotC are looking for.
The digital errata (PDF link) is already out, suggesting that Wizards of the Coast began work very quickly to change the descriptions.
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