Friday, March 09, 2007
I finally found a Pulp supplement I can do without.
New Horizons is a new supplement for Spirit of the Century. Each chapter addresses a marginalized group from the pulps, kept outside by their sex, their race, their lifestyle, or their beliefs. In New Horizons you’ll find information about real-life heroic individuals and teams, the challenges they face and some of the solutions they find to the problems of dealing with 1920s society. You’ll also find heroes and villains ready for use, plot hooks, and ties to the mysteries around the Century Club. The life of heroes outside the mainstream may seem as strange as the secret language of Atlantis, but can be as exciting and powerful in play as a zeppelin armada.
I simply don't see the need for it. There comes a point when these things stop being games and become...something else. This may be an ideal example.
When you agree to play an RPG you are suspending reality. RPG's are a dressed up version of "let's pretend". Why would you even want to go where this is going? How is this fun?
I've ran quite a few Pulp games and my players and npc's have run the gamut from Filipino boxers, Australian P.I.'s, Mexican Priests, and an Oxford educated Punjabi physician (who happened to be a were tiger). Never did racism or bigotry show up in the game. It didn't need to. My players and I are all too aware of the historical racism of the period and the ethnocentrism inherent in the pulps, but we chose to ignore it to have fun playing the game. Remember fun?
It's almost condescending in the way Black history month is. here Black people you can have this month, Mexican's you get Cinco de Mayo (whatever that is), Italians you used to get Columbus day but the Native Americans got mad so were gonna have to find you something else...
By creating a supplement of this nature, it seems that the publishers are saying:
Attention ladies and people of color. you now have your own supplement. so if your character is a Wong or a Gomez please convert your PC to comply with this new "special" supplement we have made for all of you.
The publishers may think they are doing something neat or noble but all they are doing is making race an issue where it never was. Justice Inc. Mercenaries, spies and private eyes, GURPS Cliffhangers, Top secret: Agent 13, none of them went to this extreme in making race an issue.
Visit the various Pulp boards. we all know that racism and bigotry is a fact in the pulps. It's discussed and grudgingly accepted as a reflection of the times. We are well aware of it's existance, you dont have to shove it in our face during a game.