Modify Djinn Description


Although the central place for design discussion is ##crawl-dev on freenode, some may find it helpful to discuss requests and suggestions here first.

Slime Squisher

Posts: 391

Joined: Wednesday, 7th December 2011, 20:06

Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 21:59

Modify Djinn Description

So, when I initially read this description it rubbed me the wrong way. Later on I found it incredibly offensive. Finally I decided I'd sleep on it rather than making a knee-jerk post. I am convinced this has to change and will outline my reasons. My issue is simply this:

Of the same stock as angels or demons, these spirits have been created from smokeless fire by some deranged god. Unlike regular living beings, they draw their sustenance from magic rather than eating or drinking, although for some reason they can still do the latter - probably due to being unintelligently designed by a creator with no knowledge of evolution.


I find this line to be shockingly offensive and anti-theistic while contributing little of value - and actually *misleading* me when I first started playing my now-XL27 Djinn. While I have personal reasons that I will refrain from going too much into I find that - objectively - it also clashes with the theme and tone of the rest of the game and would like to see it changed. A possible re-write:

  Code:
    Legends tell that the Djinn were created from smokeless fire, having bodies made not of flesh but of a tightly bound magical essence. Unlike regular living beings, they thus must draw their sustenance from magic rather than eating or drinking, although they are still quite capable of the latter.


Or perhaps:
  Code:
      Djinni are powerful magical creatures created from smokeless fire. Though they can eat and drink as they please, their arcane bodies require no sustenance to sustain themselves.  ... Magic is literally their life, to the point of their health and magical powers' being one force, called "essence" (etc.)




Though honestly, this leads me to question just why such a confusing line is included in the description at all, as it leads the reader to the impression that Djinn *require* sustenance in the Crawl sense of the word. . . which they do not (they are hungerless with no alternative food-clock).

Reasons :

1.) Incongruous Tone:
-) Flipping through 10-20 other species descriptions (Minotaur, High Elf, Deep Elf, Tengu, Centaur, Naga, Troll, Human, to name justa few) reveals that the creation-myth/origin-story of these unique species is *NOT* something that is 'uniformly' discussed. Tengu are an ancient race of bird people. No mention of their creation, origin, etc.

2.) Thematically Incongruous - "God":
-) Dungeon Crawl's deities are, for the most part, within the game. The idea that there is a different creator outside of the game who has created the Djinni, Angels, and Demons is at odds with the already rich lore DCSS has developed for its pantheon. It also leads to issues (in my mind) since in-game Angels are servants of TSO. . . which befuddles matters further. So there's a seperate creator god (who is deranged?! And retarded?) that none of the other gods know about?

3.) Anti-Theistic tone:
-) Whether by accident or by intent, Crawl has not been disrespectful of cultural practices, race, sexual orientation, or religious creed thusfar. It's one thing to make up a god and then give it flaws (like, say, Beogh or Makhleb being bloodthirsty evil-doers). This is unlikely to offend anyone and anyone who *IS* offended should seek a different game to play, as this is suspension of disbelief.
But the quoted passage above seems to far more strongly insinuate *THE* god. As in, the IRL Abrahammic God (or perhaps just Islam?).

This isn't "The Binding of Isaac". There's no need to put this sort of 'humor' in the game.


4.) Confusing Wording:
-) The in-depth discussion of their need to eat/not-eat and sustenance actually proves confusing rather than helpful! I went into my first Djinn game fully expecting I had to somehow disenchant magical items in order to 'eat' to keep going. It even uses the word 'sustenance' which crawl *specifically* uses to describe hungering and the food-clock. Why not simply describe them as not needing nourishment but being magically able to eat/drink for pleasure as they desire? Simple.


5.) Trivial Effort
-) Changing the description would take literally a matter of minutes and require no actual development time. Could probably get rid of the (duh!) from later in the description while we're at it.




Now, I have personal reasons why I find this offensive as well. It feels obvious to me that my holy scriptures (The Qur'an) are being at least partially used as a significant source of the inspiration for Crawl's Djinni. As a devout Muslim and proponent of evolution I resent the implication that somehow my all-knowing creator would be ignorant of it. Or, by extension, that my God would be caricatured and mocked.
If my reasons were 100% personal, I might not have taken this step and simply opted to ignore it. But as this forum is *specifically* designed to be a place to discuss aspects of this Game's Design that we think need imroving; and as I believe this change actually lowers the quality of Crawl for all the reasons I've discussed above, this seemed worth posting.

-AHMAD
My Wins 22:
15-runer: OPWz, DECj, DEWz x2, VpWz
Other: DEWz, DrWz, DjWz, KeCj, SpEn, SpWz, SpCj, MuWz, FeWzx2, MiBe x7.

Watch My Weekly Crawl Vids --> http://www.youtube.com/user/BountyHunterSAx <--

For this message the author BountyHunterSAx has received thanks: 7
and into, Galefury, Klown, nicolae, Roderic, Shard1697, XuaXua
User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 5832

Joined: Thursday, 10th February 2011, 18:30

Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 22:16

Re: Modify Djinn Description

My knee jerk response is that PERHAPS the original scribe was referring to a magic user cresting a Djinn whole cloth, not unlike a golem or homonculus, rather than it being anything theistic.

I did not write the description, but that was how I read it.
"Be aware that a lot of people on this forum, such as mageykun and XuaXua, have a habit of making things up." - minmay a.k.a. duvessa
Did I make a lame complaint? Check for Bingo!
Totally gracious CSDC Season 2 Division 4 Champeen!
User avatar

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1881

Joined: Saturday, 7th September 2013, 21:16

Location: Itajubá, MG, Brazil.

Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 22:21

Re: Modify Djinn Description

Djiini where created by Sif Muna, who knows a lot about magic but very little about evolution, so she left an fundamental flaw that reveals its artificial nature. your god was not involved, dont worry.
I would take that as a compliment, actually: nothing in the real world could match that description, because if god exists, its creation is perfect. dont take that too seriously, it is just a game, after all.
-HIRSCH
my posts are to be read in a mildly playful tone, with a deep, sexy voice.

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1888

Joined: Saturday, 9th July 2011, 20:57

Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 22:22

Re: Modify Djinn Description

I also got the impression that the phrasing of the Djinn description was intended as a slam against Islam.
User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 5832

Joined: Thursday, 10th February 2011, 18:30

Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 22:27

Re: Modify Djinn Description

Instead of a giant rant though, this could have been more comprehensibly resolved with, "I take offense at everything after the '-' in the Djinn description. Remove it or change it to something that doesn't read like a slam against a religion."
"Be aware that a lot of people on this forum, such as mageykun and XuaXua, have a habit of making things up." - minmay a.k.a. duvessa
Did I make a lame complaint? Check for Bingo!
Totally gracious CSDC Season 2 Division 4 Champeen!
User avatar

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1891

Joined: Monday, 1st April 2013, 04:41

Location: Toronto, Canada

Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 22:32

Re: Modify Djinn Description

While I totally agree with your thesis and reasoning, I think at this point in time we should just cut Djinn.
take it easy

For this message the author Arrhythmia has received thanks:
archaeo
User avatar

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1881

Joined: Saturday, 7th September 2013, 21:16

Location: Itajubá, MG, Brazil.

Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 22:33

Re: Modify Djinn Description

but it doesn't... T.T
I loved the description, please don't remove it!
well, if you do remove it, Then I get offended by item destruction, please remove it aswell.
my posts are to be read in a mildly playful tone, with a deep, sexy voice.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6394

Joined: Tuesday, 30th October 2012, 19:06

Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 22:48

Re: Modify Djinn Description

I also found the phrase "some deranged god" a little off-putting. I suspect it was someone's in-joke against the actual coder of the race, rather than intended to be a punt at any religion, but It's still overly negative for a race description IMHO.
Spoiler: show
This high quality signature has been hidden for your protection. To unlock it's secret, send 3 easy payments of $9.99 to me, by way of your nearest theta band or ley line. Complete your transmission by midnight tonight for a special free gift!

For this message the author Siegurt has received thanks:
and into
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 22:53

Re: Modify Djinn Description

I thought the "creator with no knowledge of evolution" was the person who designed the species :)
Anyway, at this point, I think the consensus is that Dj is broken and that it needs significant redesign. Since no one is working on it and nobody active seems interested in fixing them, we should at least disable them from trunk. They don't need anymore playtesting.
The code can stay there to avoid rotting, if nobody has stepped up to fix them in a couple of versions, then purge them.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

For this message the author galehar has received thanks:
Arrhythmia

Barkeep

Posts: 3890

Joined: Wednesday, 14th August 2013, 23:25

Location: USA

Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 22:58

Re: Modify Djinn Description

XuaXua wrote:Instead of a giant rant though, this could have been more comprehensibly resolved with, "I take offense at everything after the '-' in the Djinn description. Remove it or change it to something that doesn't read like a slam against a religion."


Well, but his problems with the description aren't just that it is liable to offend, but also that it misleads in certain respects. The OP could stand to be a bit better formatted I suppose, but it didn't read like a rant to me.

At any rate, I agree with OP; I think a rewrite is in order. I like that Crawl takes standard myths, fantasy tropes, etc., and turns them on their head, but in this case the parallel with supernatural beings of a religious heritage is liable to offend due to the (entirely unnecessary) reference to "a deranged god" in the text. Which, aside from potentially offensive, is unneeded and off tone compared to the other flavor text in the game.
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 762

Joined: Thursday, 25th April 2013, 02:43

Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 23:17

Re: Modify Djinn Description

On the specific topic of the thread: This was noticed way back on the first Dj thread so I don't know why it's suddenly flaring up now. I don't see as much worse than Zin, whose arbitrary and long list of conducts is purposely designed to satirize the three main Abrahamic religions.

galehar wrote:I thought the "creator with no knowledge of evolution" was the person who designed the species :)
Anyway, at this point, I think the consensus is that Dj is broken and that it needs significant redesign. Since no one is working on it and nobody active seems interested in fixing them, we should at least disable them from trunk. They don't need anymore playtesting.
The code can stay there to avoid rotting, if nobody has stepped up to fix them in a couple of versions, then purge them.


I just want to reiterate my notion that Dj mechanics would work much better on a god than a species. So a Felid could worship this Dj-god and fuse their MP/HP into essence, receive rF+++ at top piety, cast with glow, etc.
On IRC my nick is reaverb. I play online under the name reaver, though.

For this message the author reaver has received thanks: 2
Roderic, Shard1697
User avatar

Crypt Cleanser

Posts: 719

Joined: Friday, 7th January 2011, 01:43

Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 23:57

Re: Modify Djinn Description

reaver wrote:I just want to reiterate my notion that Dj mechanics would work much better on a god than a species. So a Felid could worship this Dj-god and fuse their MP/HP into essence, receive rF+++ at top piety, cast with glow, etc.


To me, both Dj and LO quirky mechanics fit nice for a god(s) worship rather or at least as valid as a species
duvessa wrote:Christ, you can't remove anything without tavern complaining about it.
User avatar

Tomb Titivator

Posts: 895

Joined: Saturday, 15th June 2013, 23:54

Post Thursday, 13th February 2014, 00:18

Re: Modify Djinn Description

Purge themmmm

Crypt Cleanser

Posts: 746

Joined: Thursday, 5th December 2013, 04:01

Post Thursday, 13th February 2014, 05:03

Re: Modify Djinn Description

Siegurt wrote:I also found the phrase "some deranged god" a little off-putting.


Why is that off-putting when there are actual deranged gods in Crawl? I realize that it may be a moot point since Djinn seem to be going away anyway, and I suppose there's no reason to needlessly offend people, but why would a reference to a deranged god be offensive in a game where you can worship Xom, Makhleb, Jiyva, Vehumet, etc? It seems silly to take any reference to a god as a commentary on real world religions when the game has its own religious Pantheon anyway.

Snake Sneak

Posts: 124

Joined: Wednesday, 15th January 2014, 07:08

Post Thursday, 13th February 2014, 05:11

Re: Modify Djinn Description

Quazifuji wrote:
Siegurt wrote:I also found the phrase "some deranged god" a little off-putting.


Why is that off-putting when there are actual deranged gods in Crawl? I realize that it may be a moot point since Djinn seem to be going away anyway, and I suppose there's no reason to needlessly offend people, but why would a reference to a deranged god be offensive in a game where you can worship Xom, Makhleb, Jiyva, Vehumet, etc? It seems silly to take any reference to a god as a commentary on real world religions when the game has its own religious Pantheon anyway.


Djinn has a clear valence to Islam. We don't get to block the associative leap from Crawl Djinn to Islamic Djinn by playing the "just pretending" card. If there is in fact no "commentary on real world religions intended", and Djinn were to stay, then the flavour text would have to change or the race would have to be renamed.

Spider Stomper

Posts: 195

Joined: Monday, 25th April 2011, 20:48

Post Thursday, 13th February 2014, 05:28

Re: Modify Djinn Description

Yes, this is different. The description contains a direct quote from the Quran, which has Allah creating the Jinn "of smokeless fire" (Quran citation). Imagine if you are actually Muslim. The connection is clear, whether intended or not.

Edit: Here try this: "Mundane and average, Humans were made from the dust of the ground by some deranged god."

For this message the author ElectricAlbatross has received thanks:
Brannock

Crypt Cleanser

Posts: 746

Joined: Thursday, 5th December 2013, 04:01

Post Thursday, 13th February 2014, 06:00

Re: Modify Djinn Description

ElectricAlbatross wrote:Yes, this is different. The description contains a direct quote from the Quran, which has Allah creating the Jinn "of smokeless fire" (Quran citation). Imagine if you are actually Muslim. The connection is clear, whether intended or not.


I was not aware that the quote was directly from the Quran. I still don't think it's particularly offensive, but at the same time, I also think there's no particular benefit to leaving it in if some people are being offended. So I'll agree that it should be removed if Djinns end up staying or getting put back in later.

Spider Stomper

Posts: 195

Joined: Monday, 25th April 2011, 20:48

Post Thursday, 13th February 2014, 06:41

Re: Modify Djinn Description

Yeah to be clear I'm not Muslim either, but still. If someone comes up and says "X might offend people of group Y" the correct question to ask is not "does X offend me", it is "will X offend people of group Y"
User avatar

Spider Stomper

Posts: 195

Joined: Thursday, 14th November 2013, 18:48

Post Thursday, 13th February 2014, 10:13

Re: Modify Djinn Description

This whole thread belongs in the Crazy Yiuf's Corner.
ElectricAlbatross wrote:Edit: Here try this: "Mundane and average, Humans were made from the dust of the ground by some deranged god."

If you get offended by something like that, you don't belong in the internet.

DCSS mocks a lot of stuff, and i don't see how religions should be an exception. (Even when in this case there is no clear connection to the average reader)

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 2996

Joined: Tuesday, 28th June 2011, 20:41

Location: Berlin

Post Thursday, 13th February 2014, 10:45

Re: Modify Djinn Description

BountyHunterSAx wrote:retarded


BountyHunterSAx wrote:But the quoted passage above seems to far more strongly insinuate *THE* god. As in, the IRL Abrahammic God (or perhaps just Islam?).


Don't find the djinn description "incredibly offensive" and "shockingly offensive" and then use phrases like this in your complaint please

For this message the author cerebovssquire has received thanks:
savageorange
User avatar

Halls Hopper

Posts: 83

Joined: Saturday, 23rd March 2013, 11:12

Post Thursday, 13th February 2014, 13:03

Re: Modify Djinn Description

ElectricAlbatross wrote:Here try this: "Mundane and average, Humans were made from the dust of the ground by some deranged god."


An uppity sort of surface-dwelling, hairless ape. Dwarves think of them as fragile, elves think of them as clumsy, and monsters think of them as tasty.


:D

Still, I can't see anything wrong about Djinni description. They were created from smokeless fire. Right, that's taken from Islamic mythology, as are angels from Christian and tengu from Hindu etc. In the end we will slaughter them all. And eat them.

Playing a game without seeing it as a game is rather strange. At least for me. :D
You slash the rat with your +7 +5 cursed slightly rusted very sharp meteoric steel demonic flaming triple sword of speed and pain covered with various bloods and vomit. The rat is not hurt.
The rat bites you.
You die…

For this message the author red_kangaroo has received thanks:
Amnesiac

Slime Squisher

Posts: 375

Joined: Sunday, 15th January 2012, 16:59

Post Thursday, 13th February 2014, 14:55

Re: Modify Djinn Description

Allowing them to drink magic potions increases their odds of survival significantly, so their creator apparently knows more about "evolution" than whoever wrote the description (in th senses of the word in which it is not nonsensical given the description)

Unless it is in fact a slight against their out-of-game creator, which I find kind of weird and mean-spirited (I think the species doesn't work but it has nothing to do with potions) unless he or she wrote it I guess
Last edited by One-Eyed Jack on Thursday, 13th February 2014, 15:22, edited 2 times in total.

For this message the author One-Eyed Jack has received thanks:
cerebovssquire

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1567

Joined: Friday, 21st January 2011, 22:56

Post Thursday, 13th February 2014, 15:15

Re: Modify Djinn Description

The description is clearly intended to poke fun at religion and religious people, and to offend fundamentalists of all varieties. Considering who wrote it there can be very little doubt about that. I think poking fun is fine, but it goes a little too far in this case.

For this message the author Galefury has received thanks:
duvessa

Dis Charger

Posts: 2064

Joined: Wednesday, 9th January 2013, 19:44

Post Thursday, 13th February 2014, 16:11

Re: Modify Djinn Description

I remember a talk about about cutting Dj(and I didn't read this thread), so probably won't need that much fixing in the description... I don't care anyway, personally. Isn't it just tiresome to get offended by every bad joke? :)

Barkeep

Posts: 3890

Joined: Wednesday, 14th August 2013, 23:25

Location: USA

Post Thursday, 13th February 2014, 19:09

Re: Modify Djinn Description

Yeah use of the term "retarded" in OP was hypocritical, but his point remains.

I'm not religious personally; in fact I'm staunchly atheist. (Went to a Catholic school for education, in fact, so I was rigorously trained to be an atheist from a very young age. :) )

However, the description is completely inconsequential to game play and doesn't add anything. It isn't funny and, rather than make someone chuckle, is more likely to come off as lame "lol muslims" xenophobia in the Fox News style. I really don't think that was the intention, but that's because I'm familiar with Crawl and some of the developers (even if only virtually) and that experience makes it easier to assume good faith. But it could leave a sour taste in the mouth of other people, and it would be a shame if that dampened someone's interest (in however small a way) in the game or in the development process behind it. Especially because it is so completely unnecessary.

Also, even on a functional level, the description isn't good. Although granted it would be hard to write a good description for a species that has a bunch of random gimmicks tossed on top of each other, which is why simply removing djinn isn't a bad idea, but whatever.

Zot Zealot

Posts: 1031

Joined: Friday, 26th April 2013, 19:52

Location: AZ, USA

Post Thursday, 13th February 2014, 19:22

Re: Modify Djinn Description

Also it's just hilarious if the description ends up being the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak, and prompted djinn's removal from trunk. I'm all for it.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 8782

Joined: Sunday, 5th May 2013, 08:25

Post Thursday, 13th February 2014, 20:29

Re: Modify Djinn Description

and into wrote:I really don't think that was the intention, but that's because I'm familiar with Crawl and some of the developers (even if only virtually)
You really aren't familiar with the specific developer who wrote the description
User avatar

Tomb Titivator

Posts: 895

Joined: Saturday, 15th June 2013, 23:54

Post Thursday, 13th February 2014, 22:08

Re: Modify Djinn Description

Djinn Blood and Djinn Souls for Makhleb!!!

Spider Stomper

Posts: 221

Joined: Thursday, 29th August 2013, 09:40

Post Thursday, 13th February 2014, 22:15

Re: Modify Djinn Description

I have to admit I got a small chuckle out of the Djinn description, mostly because I thought it was poking fun at the intelligent design crowd.

Nevertheless, bringing references to religion into anything has a tendency to make people cranky, so I'm in favor of just changing the description to something more ambiguous as opposed to making a big deal out of this (assuming the devs don't decide to just remove Djinn entirely). The OP came up with a couple of rewrites of the description that I'd be just fine with.
You hear the distant roaring of an enraged eggplant.

Barkeep

Posts: 3890

Joined: Wednesday, 14th August 2013, 23:25

Location: USA

Post Thursday, 13th February 2014, 23:38

Re: Modify Djinn Description

duvessa wrote:
and into wrote:I really don't think that was the intention, but that's because I'm familiar with Crawl and some of the developers (even if only virtually)
You really aren't familiar with the specific developer who wrote the description


True, but I (would like to) think I'm familiar enough with Crawl development and the community in general that my intuition is correct, and this was simply a joke in rather poor taste, rather than an expression of bona fide xenophobia. That's what I'm saying.

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1888

Joined: Saturday, 9th July 2011, 20:57

Post Thursday, 13th February 2014, 23:50

Re: Modify Djinn Description

and into wrote:
duvessa wrote:
and into wrote:I really don't think that was the intention, but that's because I'm familiar with Crawl and some of the developers (even if only virtually)
You really aren't familiar with the specific developer who wrote the description


True, but I (would like to) think I'm familiar enough with Crawl development and the community in general that my intuition is correct, and this was simply a joke in rather poor taste, rather than an expression of bona fide xenophobia. That's what I'm saying.


you may like to think that, but
User avatar

Spider Stomper

Posts: 195

Joined: Thursday, 14th November 2013, 18:48

Post Friday, 14th February 2014, 11:51

Re: Modify Djinn Description

nicolae wrote:you may like to think that, but

you may like to think that every single person on this earth that ever says anything does it to make fun of a group of your choosing, but that is quite far from the actual truth.

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1567

Joined: Friday, 21st January 2011, 22:56

Post Friday, 14th February 2014, 13:06

Re: Modify Djinn Description

FWIW I don't think xenophobia has anything to do with this. To take inspiration from the Qur'an you first have to know at least parts of it, and that requires being interested and being open to learning about it. I assume it's just an innocent joke about religion taken a little too far.
User avatar

Barkeep

Posts: 4434

Joined: Tuesday, 11th January 2011, 12:28

Post Friday, 14th February 2014, 13:10

Re: Modify Djinn Description

This has gotten pretty, um, not related to GDD. Locked.
I am not a very good player. My mouth is a foul pit of LIES. KNOW THIS.

Return to Game Design Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 4 guests

cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by ST Software for PTF.