I recently started my first D&D campaign as a DM. I’ve been playing D&D for about seven years, and running my own campaign has been a lot of fun. But as a queer person who’s often read as a woman, D&D has been an interesting world for me – I was the only non-male in my first campaign, and we’re all white. They’re an awesome group of guys and we have a lot of fun, but it’s something I’m conscious of.
I’ve read countless comments on online forums or blogs about D&D are horribly sexist. My favourite was a guy complaining that an official piece of art from an RPG company was “unrealistic” because it depicted a woman fighting a dragon, and in medieval fantasy worlds women would “more realistically” stay home and have babies. Other things I’ve read are about how elves or other fantasy characters can’t be PoCs. It’s not always the most welcoming place to be any kind of minority.
When I started my current campaign, I asked every woman I knew if they wanted to join – at the end of the day, I ended up with one female player. A lot of the other women I talked to were too nervous to commit. But I’ve worked hard to build a world that’s welcoming and interesting, that has challenges but isn’t … uh, gross. I joke that rather than social justice warrior, I’m a social justice DM.
I’ll share some specifics later (I’m at a conference right now!) but I’d love to start a conversation around these issues and what you guys do to make your tabletop role playing games more diverse, welcoming and engaging.
Edited to add: this thread is intended to be for DMs and players to either talk about sucky stuff or really great stuff they’ve encountered or alternatively to talk about what they’ve done to make their games, characters, whatever more inclusive and less problematic.