Author Topic: "baby-stealing", "wayward, scheming" - How to salvage Tuan Mark from cliché?  (Read 2112 times)

tiny rainbow

  • Posts: 381
I read the new threads that popped on this with interest but couldn't find much on it recently, it actually reminded me of RP from other MUDs but of course based on a well-known story setting that had similar debates that can probably be learned from some :) :

http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/main-category/main-forum/the-classic-world-of-darkness/vampire-the-masquerade/839701
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I am not here to create another place to bitch about the mistakes .. made in the nineties and early 2000s. Rather, I am here to ask: If there's a problem, what do we do to fix it? How can we be part of the solution?
http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/main-category/main-forum/the-classic-world-of-darkness/vampire-the-masquerade/1068681-ravnos-controversy
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removes their Vice weakness which will ALWAYS be tainted by "haha G****** steal uncontrollably lol"


As it turns out, our baby-stealing contraption could use some more gypsy hands to assist in its design.  Apps have been extended on the Tan Muark role call for another week from today.
And we are open for a couple wayward, scheming Gypos again.

https://archive.today/2015.07.21-142335/theguardian.com/society/2015/jul/21/gypsy-roma-traveller-police-officers-band-together-beat-prejudice
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challenge that stereotype that sees us as criminals

[..]

 RoughSleeper
22 Jul 2015 11:12
2 3
This genuine event in my survival may make people think twice, if they are open to information:

Whilst I was surviving in the wilds, the Gypsies & Travellers would sometimes drop by.
They fetched me the basic hardware, from 10 miles away, that I needed to survive. They always dismissively claimed that it was stuff that they had loaded into their boots to take to the carboot at the weekend, but had run out of space, so they were letting me take whatever I needed, so that they would have more room for the carboot.

Between them, and a 93 year old blind man, that served in the spearhead of Royal Highlanders ‘B company’ of WW2, behind enemy lines, and who took Bergen Belson, they taught me how to snickle (snare) various wild life; different traps; roadkill; and the basics about the law, of which animals were classed as game, and which I couldn't catch on private land, and which I could. What plants to eat, what not to.

They would often 'sneak' up in the night, and tie a few extra rabbits, & pigeons on my washing line, so that I would wake to a pleasant surprise, and have more food to survive. Certain cuts to the legs of the rabbits, told me who had been.

From 12 miles away, they fetched, 5x 5 gallon water flagons, so that I could fill & have water throughout the droughts. One even took me to a takeaway, bought me enough food for a meal, that lasted me 4 days, and a full breakfast 2 weeks after. Some others, from similar distances, gave me money to survive.
Amongst much, they offered me tents, stoves, and army sleeping bags.

The Romanian transient land workers, on such low wages, would fetch me food from the carboot some Sundays, as they passed. I watched helpless as an old couple, in a very conservative, bigoted, area, had a puncture on a country road, and no one would stop to help them. The Romanian’s put down their bags, changed their tyre, inflated it, and left. The couple was from the same bigoted community. I wonder if this gave them thought to change their views, or just a short respite.

These are people, with a community spirit that we should be proud of, and that so many people try to alienate. Adding extra ammunition to cliché stereotypes to further their own bigotry. These people also have feelings & pride. If they are treat so bad, they won’t humble down, like a kicked dog, they will fight back, and fit in with the clichés set by others.

I am not saying every Gypsy, Traveller, and Romanian transient land worker, is good, or a saint. I have met some that as bad as the worst of us.

https://archive.today/2020.05.07-193852/https://www.gypsy-traveller.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Hate-Crime-directed-at-Gypsies-Roma-and-Travellers-3.pdf
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derogatory or racist abuse e.g. “gyppo”, “pikey,” “knacker”;

focus on cultural identity e.g.caravan or trailer; gypsy chakra or wheel

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stole and used wits to become a force.
..
tricky, wagon loving sort of character

It also seems like it sort of steals (argh) from elves, in the lore Zalanthas has, it seems pretty close to "humans but act like elves"? It also seems like it might also water down the already shallow pool of people willing to play elf characters that's been talked about a lot on threads recently

But I don't know enough about them to make a judgement, this is the stuff I found when searching around, I would be interested to read discussion on this I think :) The RP I have seen from staff playing NPCs of these has been interesting and respectful, there wasn't any of the awkward stuff mentioned on the forums, maybe developing them as something more unique could be the way forward and away from "elves in wagons" aspects maybe
« Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 03:52:56 PM by tiny rainbow »
"A time of ash shall mark the rise of the cities. Days of old shall be new once more."
"The paths diversify, bright strands bring victory, the wrong steps defeat."

John

  • Posts: 4308
Babies use to be codedly stealable (and eatable). They no longer are. I see no value in keeping the baby stealing itinerant trope alive given they've been dormant for quite a while and it would be 100% virtual. They might take unwanted children/adults (human only I presume). But not stealing them.

Riev

  • Posts: 5872
I always considered the "baby stealing" to be Arabet-adjacent. The Tan Muark want to continue their bloodlines, but they realized they can't do it with inbreeding alone. The Arabetti women are Known-known (heh) for seducing military officers and mercenaries so that they can have strong children.

The Tan Muark didn't want to go through all that effort, so they take children instead.

Its unfortunate that 25 years ago, when Gypsy wasn't so much of a pejorative, the term stuck.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8514
It's been something like 70 years since the Maurk homeland of Tyn Dashra got dumpstered and reduced them to a itinerant tribe living out of a gambling den in Luir's. That's time enough for the stereotypes (and the actual practices that spurred them) to die down if players want. I say let the players app in and do what it is they want to do. Don't try and Monday Quarterback them before the game's even started.

I always considered the "baby stealing" to be Arabet-adjacent. The Tan Muark want to continue their bloodlines, but they realized they can't do it with inbreeding alone. The Arabetti women are Known-known (heh) for seducing military officers and mercenaries so that they can have strong children.

The Tan Muark didn't want to go through all that effort, so they take children instead.

My understanding of the practice was that it was the Muarki knocking up City girls, and then returning later to take the kids "home." Kind of a cuckoo's-egg situation.
janeshephard: You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

Miradus: He's not some weird mental abomination. He's just a guy on the internet.

Brokkr

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  • Posts: 1195
Or it could be referencing real life stereotypes about the Romani.

While we couldn't get rid of all the real life parallels in the revamped Tan Muark documentation, there was an attempt to get away from the copy/paste job from real life practices and stereotypes that existed through (hopefully) a reasoned evolution over the last 70 IC years.  In a perfect world, it gives the players who participate a vehicle to move that aspect of the game forward (and hopefully away) from what it was in the past.

tiny rainbow

  • Posts: 381
Yeah that is what I was thinking of too, I didn't know that post was something that actually happened in game :) The babies thing and the "all wayward thieves and criminals" aspect is a really old mythological slur used to justify murdering (the nazis were fond of it https://wikipedia.org/wiki/Porajmos )

https://archive.today/2020.05.08-013525/https://www.slaphappylarry.com/tag/racism/
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Thomas Acton, a renowned Professor of Romani Studies, says that there is no documented case of Roma or Travellers stealing non-Gypsy children anywhere.

[..]societies are notoriously resistant to accept or even consider evidence which challenges the ancient prejudices expressed in folklore
[..]
modern folklore still requires bogeymen. Apart from the Roma, we’ve also had:

    Fairies — originally fairies were used as the bogeyman: “Be good or the fairies will take you!”
    Jews — It was thought Jews abduct Christian children and use them as sacrifice in strange rituals.
    Witches — as portrayed in Roald Dahl’s middle grade novel, in which he explains witches look like everyday women.

Current day stuff in Europe:

https://archive.today/2020.05.08-013948/http://www.errc.org/uploads/upload_en/file/5195_file1_errc-newsletter-1-2019.pdf
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Zsolt Tyrityan of the Outlaw Army said “the Gypsy is genetically-coded for criminality”; and Attila Laszlo of the paramilitary group ‘For a Better Future’ de-clared that “All the trash must be swept

Because of all this stuff I figured just changing the name seemed a bit silly cos whatever name you pick, in the way it was described on the forums it's pretty obvious what it's meant to be hah.

I am glad the staff seem to be looking into it more deeply, I love how the stories of the game grow as the years go past it's really interesting, thank you :)
"A time of ash shall mark the rise of the cities. Days of old shall be new once more."
"The paths diversify, bright strands bring victory, the wrong steps defeat."

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8514
All I'm saying is that if you had let my clan butcher the Maurki in their camps like we wanted, instead of putting on a laser light show, this all could have been avoided.

I wanted to see who could catch babies on their swords.
janeshephard: You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

Miradus: He's not some weird mental abomination. He's just a guy on the internet.

Cind

  • Posts: 1862
    • Tales of the Tan Muark, stealers of children.
These are people, with a community spirit that we should be proud of, and that so many people try to alienate. Adding extra ammunition to cliché stereotypes to further their own bigotry. These people also have feelings & pride. If they are treat so bad, they won’t humble down, like a kicked dog, they will fight back, and fit in with the clichés set by others.

Honestly.... I can think of more than one group that fits this bill very, very well. All of them, really, in their own way. Elves of Zalanthas.

You want to fuck the mind of someone who seems like they are trying to break the game? Be an elf. The mindset shall come to you, and if you are not elf, then you are a half-elf. And honestly, that can be worse.
https://armageddon.org/help/view/Inappropriate%20vernacular
gorgio: someone who is not romani, not a gypsy.
kumpania: a family of story tellers.
vardo: a horse-drawn wagon used by British Romani as their home. always well-crafted, often painted and gilded

7dwarves

  • Posts: 67
I have to ask what exactly is wrong with being baby-stealing, wayward, itinerant in regards to Tan Muark? Because they're supposedly based on a real life ethnic group? Muarki are the most romanticized version of an irl Roma group, so much so that they barely hold any resemblance.

IMO a RL Romani player would be triggered far worse if they read the docs of any elven tribe (or just the docs about how humans see elves), as that's how they're perceived in a country where they present a significant population. That doesn't mean the game should delete a whole race.

edit: sorry, it's not my intention to steer this topic toward elves, I'm just saying that you can't eliminate everything someone might find offensive. Leave it up to the players of Tan Muark which of the myriad stereotypes of Roma they're willing to embrace and play out.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 08:02:41 AM by 7dwarves »

Lotion

  • Posts: 316
IMO a RL Romani player would be triggered far worse if they read the docs of any elven tribe (or just the docs about how humans see elves), as that's how they're perceived in a country where they present a significant population. That doesn't mean the game should delete a whole race.
Stay in your lane

Mentions of baby stealing have been removed from the docs as well.
Example:
https://web.archive.org/web/20200519144832/http://armageddon.org/help/view/elementalist%20culture
http://armageddon.org/help/view/elementalist%20culture

Previously the elementalist culture helpfile explicitly mentioned Muarks stealing babies but that reference has hence been removed. I think there's also a GDB post somewhere of an admin saying that baby stealing as Muark RP is off the table and not a thing.
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A staff member sends:
     "Hi, we don't need you to tell us EXACTLY what you are doing when you quit OOC.  We just need a vague reason.  Thanks."

ay yo im an irl romani player and i dont feel a thing when i see elves because although its fantasy-racism, its less direct than something like, say, rowling-esque goblins with huge noses who work banks representing her own views on the jewish community (and also, elf-related stuff isnt directed at me or my people, so i just go 'ew' a bit and nothing else)

but old muarki infuriated me
come on, they were literally called gypsies, for one, so shut up about what resembles stereotypes more
so theres your "x would be triggered by y" thing disproven
also fuck "triggered" its so overplayed and its just a way of downplaying anyone having an emotional response over anything
haha yeah im soooo 'triggered' over the repeating of stereotypes my people have suffered for generations and that actively led to them being one of the many targets of the holocaust, better put on my blue wig and start making insults about gamer guys amirite internet dudes, ree haha

one fantasy racism: vague, involves stealing and big ears
the other fantasy racism: directly references irl stuff, is basically a walking stereotype built off of years of abuse across nations but with a new IG name, actively uses irl slurs that have irl prevalence, following the banning of an ig slur that was based on an irl slur
gamers: HMMMMMM both are GOOD and INDISTINGUISHABLE
« Last Edit: August 07, 2020, 11:22:07 PM by MatisseOrOtherwise »
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Inks

  • Posts: 1509
Heya. My grandfather was a travelling Romanov gypsy. And elf culture is its own thing. In real life the main pickpocket rackets in London and around Europe are Romani ones, anyone who has spent time in these countries knows what I mean. That sterotype is super valid even now, in many ways, but it still isn't the majority of Romanis who are a very warm and friendly people for the most part.

I strongly approve of the changes to the Tan Muark, but wasn't really offended by them, probably because I have never really played around the old Tan Muark due to them having deadly auto-arrow scripts near their camps much more dangerous than the ones on city walls.

Anyway, good changes with the docs because they weren't very imaginative and broke immersion to be honest, and elves are their own thing, everyone stop assuming for others if they are offended or not.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2020, 07:36:43 AM by Inks »
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Harmless

  • Posts: 2891
(context: active player since '07 or so)

Tan Muark NEVER INTERESTED ME MUCH. This is in contrast to how RL Romani people interest me a LOT.

Purely subjective thoughts on why the Arma Muarki didnt interest me, though I never said any of this at the time as it didn't come up:
1.  They were too close to reality, being that their main cultural tropes strongly resembled stereotypes in the real world,
2.  frivolity and such were a hard fit with the harsh, violent primitive world I was trying to immerse in.
3. They were super rare, and moved around often, and since most of my roles were stationary, didn't click
4. I wasn't into making babies that much, so I never had a baby to steal?

Now that they're changed? I'm fine with new ideas and directions and hope to see some of that come to fruition. I don't think I miss the old lore. Also, I Didn't feel personally offended, but it isn't my culture that was being borrowed from.

Tribal cultures definitely interest me, but my interest has been in virtually every other tribe, or in inventing a new tribe or small family roles.

Disclaimer to ALLL of this: "I guess," because I really lack experience with the Tan Muark
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Lizzie

  • Posts: 8366
Eliminating some of the vernacular probably helped some already. Like it or not though, the Tan Muark has a long history in this game, and their name will bring up the "imprint" of what they had been for well over a RL decade, to anyone who's ever played one, or played with/against one. The shift will be gradual, no one should expect that suddenly everyone in the world knows they're something other than what they've always been.

Consider if a dozen or two Red Fangs weren't at their camp when it was destroyed and went into hiding, bringing their elf children born from SR, SLK, etc and a few breed babies born of violence against Arabet and Seik...

and created a new core tribe and still called themselves Red Fangs. But the new incarnation was not a bunch of thieving, murdering, brutal, violent, gith-loving freaks.  For awhile, no one would believe this because there are just way too many of us who remember what they WERE. If they play it steady though, eventually the rest of us would come to accept the new version.

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The7DeadlyVenomz

  • Posts: 9458
I don't think any of the stereotypes connected with the Muarki need to be changed. I think the elimination of the modern slurs was enough. We keep trying to erase this and that, and in some cases, that's fine, particularly when it's a clear parallel to a modern problem.

But this world is imagined, and in creating the imagined, we draw on inspiration from the world we know, past or present. Let's not worry so much about erasing that part. Make it fit Zalanthas, and I think we'll be fine. I think the current iteration of the Muarki is groovy, and has done enough to separate itself from the Romani people.
Wynning since October 25, 2008.

>craft newbie into good player

You accidentally snap newbie into useless pieces.


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