When I last wrote about this topic about the trans character in Seige of Dragonspear – and I think at this point this will be my last update on the matter – I had prominently used the world of Shadowrun as an example. This was with good reason it turns out, because the designers of that game have on their official tumblr also weighed in on the issue surrounding Dragonspear.
There is a very good reason why Shadowrun has taken pains to be inclusive in its character options and in the universe that those of us currently writing have been lucky enough to work on in its nearly thirty year history. It’s not only because making the world inclusive is the right thing to do; and it’s not just because the Player Characters are presumed to be from the marginalized, downtrodden, and ignored parts of society that are now and are in the Sixth World reserved for or otherwise filled with racial, ethnic, gender, religious, and other minorities (or majorities—numerosity doesn’t necessarily translate to political power); but at the end of the day, being an inclusive and open world is the right business decision.
This criticism is the desperate cries of dinosaurs as they struggle against the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction. It’s loud and violent, and in the end it’s just as successful.
While this tumblr is supposed to represent the Shadowrun tabletop game, the entire universe and all of the properties share these same traits and considerations. Shadowrun, in video game or tabletop RPG or novel or any other format, will continue to move forward and I expect that D&D, Pathfinder, etc. and Beampod will also continue to move forward because the future is open and inclusive. And if you don’t like it, too bad.
UPDATE: To be clear, these negative comments are in no way “criticism” of the game. It’s whining by bigots trying to impose their own biases on commercial enterprises that have made their position on their fictional universes and in who they hire and promote to continue those universes. This whining does not deserve anything more than to be ignored.
If you don’t like it, you’re free not to buy the product.
It would appear I picked my example of Shadowrun to use in that post very well! I absolutely agree with what they wrote and I certainly hope that the tabletop community continues moving in this direction. It also reminds me that I really do need to get a few more Shadowrun books to round out my RPG collection before I start my new campaign next month.