Nationality Feats!?!?!?!

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psyclonejack
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Postby psyclonejack » Wed Nov 05, 2003 7:59 am

Our schools condone sexual promiscuity, by dispensing condoms and calling it, "safe sex." If someone is offended, that's OK.

We use public facilities to approve of sexual perversion and call it "an alternate lifestyle," and if someone is offended, that's OK.

We designate a day as "Earth Day" and involve people in activities to worship religiously and praise the goddess "Mother Earth" and call it "ecology." If someone is offended, that's OK.

We use literature, videos and presentations in the classroom that depict people with strong, traditional convictions as "simple minded" and "ignorant" and call it "enlightenment." If someone is offended, That's OK.

We use this public facilities to present the merits of killing an unborn baby as a "viable means of birth control." If someone is offended, That's OK.

A private company prints a thing called National Feats. If someone is offended . . .

Got to thinking about taking offense. . . and Priorities.
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It deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat be rghit. The rset can be a tatol mses and you can raed it wouthit porbelm. The huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter, but the wrod as a wlohe.
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hassanisabbah
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Postby hassanisabbah » Wed Nov 05, 2003 3:01 pm

I don't think your arguements make any sense - I have underlined the salient points below. Now we get to the Nationality Feats, oh yeah they present (intentionally or not) a rather biased, even borderline racist view of several nationalities.
psyclonejack wrote:Our schools condone sexual promiscuity, by dispensing condoms and calling it, "safe sex." If someone is offended, that's OK.
Thats not condoning sexual promiscurity, it pregnacy and STD prevention. Teenagers have sex - ok I didn't - but others will, and I think the educated and rational responce is to encourage them, if they are having sex, to at least try to avoid Sexually transmitted Diseases. Its a rational solution to a classic problem. UK and US have massive teenage pregnecy problems (which the state has to then fund, if they do not go for an abortion), thus it cost more as well then simply giving the girls and boys condoms to use.
psyclonejack wrote:We use public facilities to approve of sexual perversion and call it "an alternate lifestyle," and if someone is offended, that's OK.
Tell that to George Michael, he was arrested, as was Hugh Grant. Infact its illegal for people to have sex in public, hetro or homosexual, if some one is offended, under the public indecency - unless, and here is the weird point, they have gone out of their way to avoid being exposed. Sexual perversion is up to those involved. If both (or all) parties are consenting and understanding, then can any present an arguement by which its wrong for them to indulge their own desires.
psyclonejack wrote:We designate a day as "Earth Day" and involve people in activities to worship religiously and praise the goddess "Mother Earth" and call it "ecology." If someone is offended, that's OK.
But the counter point exists in your constitution for freedom of religeon. Besides you have other religeous holidays. One could point out that you don't have an Athiest day.... Nice balance though, days for everyone. Can't fault that.
psyclonejack wrote:We use literature, videos and presentations in the classroom that depict people with strong, traditional convictions as "simple minded" and "ignorant" and call it "enlightenment." If someone is offended, That's OK.
Not sure what you mean on this - is it an American thing. Of course certain traditional views are arguable an incorrect assessment of the situation. Genetic views of intelligence for example. Schools have a duty to educate on what is known, not install values because they exist. Personally, I believe social sciences and philosophy should be on every childs national cririculum from the ages of 7-16, and religeon should have not involvement with eduction. But thats me. The hardliner :)
psyclonejack wrote:We use this public facilities to present the merits of killing an unborn baby as a "viable means of birth control." If someone is offended, That's OK.
Rather than forcing the situation to become a back street, unregulated affair, where women will still go, just they and their baby will suffer. No one recommends Abortion as a viable means of birth control, just an option over unwanted pregnancies, usually involving parent(s) who cannot afford to have children. Quite a lot of women never have a second abortion, as its not a particually enjoyable experience.
psyclonejack wrote:A private company prints a thing called National Feats. If someone is offended . . .
Because the situation presented in it, is based on some very peculiar or biased views of the people in question. See its border line racism/xenophobic, and thats the problem. Bit like having a feat which meant that Texans got a bonus to damage against black people. See its not nice. :oops:
Last edited by hassanisabbah on Wed Nov 05, 2003 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby khadaji » Wed Nov 05, 2003 3:26 pm

I read the book, before coming to the message board. Instantly I thought to my self that this is going to cause problems.

The way they could have done better would to make just "Human only" Feats, or "Mars Only feast. Or even "Environment" feats. Then let the GM define how they are set.
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Postby Aker » Wed Nov 05, 2003 5:05 pm

hassanisabbah wrote:
Aker wrote:You also get (in many of the South American Countries) to take Jungle Dweller, because obviously you all live in the rain forests and jungle, and not the cities and towns..... :roll:
But is there still wild jungles on 2250s? This really is a sci-fi game :twisted:
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Postby hassanisabbah » Wed Nov 05, 2003 5:48 pm

khadaji wrote:I read the book, before coming to the message board. Instantly I thought to my self that this is going to cause problems.

The way they could have done better would to make just "Human only" Feats, or "Mars Only feast. Or even "Environment" feats. Then let the GM define how they are set.
Yep.

Though some of the descriptions as well of nations are curiously weird views.

Shame because the actual book is fantastic. Maybe rather than national backgrounds, general backgrounds not linked to nations might have been better.
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Postby Chobbly » Wed Nov 05, 2003 8:10 pm

hassanisabbah wrote: Shame because the actual book is fantastic. Maybe rather than national backgrounds, general backgrounds not linked to nations might have been better.
Agree with you totally there. In a way, this whole discussion (which I have read from afar) is both good and a real shame, because it detracts from the rest of the book, which seems to be 95% un-controversial. There are much less typos than in previous Mongoose products, the artwork is improving all the time (I personally disliked the artwork in The Fiery Trial, still bought it though), and the use of new rendered images is excellent.

I could be annoyed by some of the 'stereotyping', but I'm not. I'm English, and exhibit neither savor-faire or unflappable. Heck, I'm so flappable I'm considering flying south for the winter. Some of my NPC will use these traits, some won't. One of my Nightwatch NPC's will have the charming trait, wherever I decide that she comes from. Stereotypes do exist. Part of the fun of playing with stereotypes such as this is that as a GM you can play on your player's prejudices and ignorance. Or at least, I do 8)

I know it's not really my place to say, (first post on this version of the board, and all) but those people who are upset about it are perfectly right to be upset about it. Those people (like me) who may use it, may not, are also perfectly right to not be upset about it.

Me personally, I think this is a good discussion, but I just wanted to say that it's a damn fine book, well worthy of the Babylon Five logo. Roll on the Minbari Fact Book.... (and hello to everyone, by the way!)
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Postby Crazy 'Scaper » Thu Nov 06, 2003 12:35 pm

Chobbly wrote:[Agree with you totally there. In a way, this whole discussion (which I have read from afar) is both good and a real shame, because it detracts from the rest of the book, which seems to be 95% un-controversial.

95% of the book is not only uncontroversial but very, very good. The problem really is with the other 5%. The national write-ups are full of inaccuracies and the stereotypes presented are just plain offensive in many cases. Surely someone at Mongoose (or the playtesters who saw the material in advance) must have realised the hornet's nest that they'd be stirring up!
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hassanisabbah
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Postby hassanisabbah » Sun Nov 09, 2003 5:09 pm

Thats true, the book is fantastic, far beyond the main book. It feels nice and reads well, and is stuffed with useful information and some magnificent illustrations.

Well done Mongoose on all counts except the Nationality feats, which I suppose should at least be commended as a brave idea....
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Postby Judge Walker » Sun Nov 09, 2003 8:15 pm

I've stayed away from this discussion for about as long as I can. I can't say anything on most of the Sterotypes listed, but I can certainly forgive Mongoose's interpretation of Canada...most of our representatives fall into the stated sterotype (the language one anyway), particularly our PM.

Anyway, getting off the Political bandwagon, if the Nation Feats offend you then either buy the book and ignore them, or simply don't buy the book in the first place. Vote with your wallet.
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Postby LoneStranger » Sun Nov 09, 2003 9:55 pm

Judge Walker thank you for saying that, that's exactly the same thing I've been saying but people haven't paid too much attention to.
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Postby jadrax » Tue Nov 11, 2003 4:06 pm

Judge Walker wrote:Anyway, getting off the Political bandwagon, if the Nation Feats offend you then either buy the book and ignore them, or simply don't buy the book in the first place. Vote with your wallet.
Not really an option.
1) It's very rare I get to actually read a product before purchasing it.
2) I actually want to own and use 90% of the book.

I would much rather help mongoose publish better products that arbiterially punishing them financially and giving them no feedback.
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Postby KDLadage » Tue Nov 11, 2003 5:13 pm

jadrax wrote:I would much rather help mongoose publish better products that arbiterially punishing them financially and giving them no feedback.
Jadrax thank you for saying that, that's exactly the same thing I've been saying but people haven't paid too much attention to.
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Postby Judge Walker » Wed Nov 12, 2003 3:10 am

jadrax wrote:
Judge Walker wrote:Anyway, getting off the Political bandwagon, if the Nation Feats offend you then either buy the book and ignore them, or simply don't buy the book in the first place. Vote with your wallet.
Not really an option.
1) It's very rare I get to actually read a product before purchasing it.
2) I actually want to own and use 90% of the book.

I would much rather help mongoose publish better products that arbiterially punishing them financially and giving them no feedback.
Accepted. However, if you check most of what has been said is pretty much knee jerk and re hash. Alright, they goofed in a big way on the Nation Feats. And one or two could be considered as insults...Get over it! It's a game. The point has been ad nauseum. I think Mongoose has gotten the point already.

As to the above;
1) Yes I like to check out the books before I buy as well.
2) If you have read most of the posts here, I think you'd find that the nation feats take up less then 10% of the book. So, you will be using 90% and more.

I have yet to see a "bad" Mongoose book. They are all excellent, and well priced.
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Postby LoneStranger » Wed Nov 12, 2003 6:49 am

As far as the comment about getting input from the general public to help I do not recall seeing that anywhere on this thread however that's not worth arguing over, it's been specifically said now so we can work with it. My opinion about this throughout this thread has been based on the view of "it's out, too late to do anything about it now" angle. Now that KDLadage has specifically stated his/her angle (once again, it's important that we are here, not how we got here) I can and will say that does have merit to do playtesting as well as mention parts of certain books on the website. However I think Mongoose has gotten the point since this is a seven page thread about, what, 20 pages or so of one book. I think they got the point and hopefully will come up with some way to prevent problems like this from coming up in the future.
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Postby KDLadage » Wed Nov 12, 2003 3:01 pm

LoneStranger wrote:As far as the comment about getting input from the general public to help I do not recall seeing that anywhere on this thread however that's not worth arguing over,
I could start prefacing my posts with "This is meant to provide feedback to Mongoose; please consider all opinions here as my request to have future books include/not include the following types of material/rules/considerations/publications standards/et. al. Thank you

;)
LoneStranger wrote:it's been specifically said now so we can work with it. My opinion about this throughout this thread has been based on the view of "it's out, too late to do anything about it now" angle.
A valid angle for this book, and this printing of this book. My possition has been that a good, lively discussion of this can aid Mongoose in its choices for future books (Minbari, Narn, Centauri, etc.) and future printings of this book. I hope I have made that clear. If not, my appologies.
LoneStranger wrote:Now that KDLadage has specifically stated his/her angle
His. Kenneth David Ladage.

;)
LoneStranger wrote:(once again, it's important that we are here, not how we got here)
??
LoneStranger wrote:I can and will say that does have merit to do playtesting as well as mention parts of certain books on the website. However I think Mongoose has gotten the point since this is a seven page thread about, what, 20 pages or so of one book.
True. Having just recently finally gotten my copy, and having been debating on the potential for percieved racicm/bias or what-have-you...

The point is that many people see racism. Many people see the potential for perceived racism (I am in that camp). Many people see a tempest in a teapot.

What is truth? What direction should Mongoose take in the future? What changes (if any) should come in future printings of this book?

If Mongoose has made such a choice, and/or feels that this topic is settled in their minds, then I will quietyl back away and let this topic die. If they feel that this is a topic that they would like more information on, I am more than willing to provide more feedback. If this is left ambiguous, then people (myself included) will pop in from time to time and offer opinions.

Especially as the book continues to sell.
LoneStranger wrote:I think they got the point and hopefully will come up with some way to prevent problems like this from coming up in the future.
Sure. I have no doubt.


I have managed to read most of it (been a bit under the weather, of I would have finished it by now). It is a truly wonderful book. And, my guess is, it would take less than a dozen or so words of change in one chapter to remove any and all troubles that people have had with this book.

I have no doubt that those changes, or changes like them, will come in the next printing. Heck, they may even clarify it in the Companion...
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Nationality Feats and other B5 factbooks

Postby mdraconis » Thu Nov 13, 2003 3:10 am

I don't think that the writers will put "nationality feats" in the other factbooks. However, I would love, (and expect), to see more racial feats in future factbooks.

My group of players have no problem with the limitations of what nationality gets what feat. Some of them have taken the feats for their characters, and others do not.

The game has some short comings, but what system dosen't? All in all, I think Mongoose has come up with a great product! My players can't wait to get their hands on the Minbari Factbook. And neither can I.

The EA Factbook is a good product and deserves our support.

I hope that Mongoose can wrangle up the rights to produce an Andromeda RPG.
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Postby hassanisabbah » Thu Nov 13, 2003 10:34 am

Why not in the other books, provided they aren't human books, its not going to be a problem. Its the fact that the sterotypes related directly to existing peoples and nations :wink:
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Postby KDLadage » Thu Nov 13, 2003 2:01 pm

hassanisabbah wrote:Why not in the other books, provided they aren't human books, its not going to be a problem. Its the fact that the sterotypes related directly to existing peoples and nations :wink:
Well...

Here is my $0.02 worth on that thought.

There is a series of events here that I think need to take place. They are, roughly in order:

1. Mongoose posts a quick 1-page PDF file that replaces the page in the EA book that gives restrictions on the Nationality Feats. Instead of limiting the feats, it states that these are "suggested" or "relatively common" but by no means "exclusive" to the nations involved. After all, there are a lot of Wealthy people that are not Americans and the like...

2. Mongoose continues to publish Nationality Feats in the other racial books, ensuring that they are not restricted to Houses of Centauri, or Casts of Minbari, or Clans of Narn, or what-have-you -- but uses the same "suggested" or "relatively common" but by no means "exclusive" to the houses/casts/clans/whatever involved. After all, it was the Religious Cast that created the Whitestar -- not the Warrior Cast.

3. Mongoose, in their second printing of the EA book, replaces the offending page with the updated page that they had originally published in PDF form in step 1.

Done.

This way, a bunch of cool feats are not vilified any longer; an interesting mechanic becomes one of choices, not restrictions -- and I would bet dollars to donuts that choices was the original intent.

I think this would make just about everyone happy. Granted, the "suggestions" may still cause some grief in the human-based EA book. One might not want to even include them at a national level there out of respect. But that is a decision Mongoose will have to make. I know that I would have no trouble with them being listed as "common" and/or "suggested" feats. But I can certainly see how another person might still have some trouble with it.

So... like I said, that was my $0.02 worth... and I think I still owe you change on that one...
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Postby Aker » Thu Nov 13, 2003 2:54 pm

hassanisabbah wrote:3. Mongoose, in their second printing of the EA book, replaces the offending page with the updated page that they had originally published in PDF form in step 1.
The chapter "Life in the EA" is by far the worst of the book, little more than cliches and a (IMO) chauvinistic view of countries.
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Postby hassanisabbah » Thu Nov 13, 2003 4:25 pm

Hey I didn't write that bit.....

But I pretty much agree with KDLange - Brighten up the Nationality sections (ie don't rely just on Stereotypes) and possibly posit the nationality feats into either continental feats (less risky) or lifestyle packages on backgrounds (much wiser).

As for the other races, well thats less controversial
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