Potentially offensive material in Iron Empires name list

(zkline) #1

Hi All,

A friend pointed out to me this morning that buried in the list of common Iron Empires names was the potentially offensive sobriquet “Tar baby.” I was startled to find it nestled between Tamas and Tarrak.
I’m not offended myself, on a personal level anyway. But it seems an extremely poor choice in such a generally well put together product, even if unintentional. Surely there is a more evocative and less racially charged T name which could be put in that slot.
I realize this book has been in print for years now, and that any change made would only impact the PDF and presumably further print runs. I was just startled enough to make a post and point it out here, as a quick search doesn’t seem to have turned up any evidence of this topic previously.

I should emphasize that this is the single major criticism I have of what is otherwise a quite lovely book, and a game system I look forward to playing. It just came as a rather unpleasant surprise.

(Moxiethe4th) #2

For anyone wondering, Tar-Baby is a character from the Uncle Remus stories (Late 1800’s), and was a doll that some of the characters made to catch a rabbit, causing it to get stuck while attempting to steal “something” (depending on the telling) when it strikes the figure, and therefore the sticky tar.
However, it is up to debate for many people whether it IS a racial slur, because it is also used to describe something that once you touch, you can’t free yourself of, and has recently been used to describe such issues as the Keystone XL and divorce law.

(Anthony) #3

It’s also an appropriated Native American story, for what that’s worth. I suspect it’s a phrase that has come to be understood as a slur, because people think it sounds like one. Similar to “let’s call a spade a spade” which is truly about shovels.