The newest Dungeons & Dragons campaign, Spelljammer: Adventures in Space, introduced the Hadozee race via the Astral Adventurer’s Guide. A passage refers to them as “timid mammals, no bigger than house cats,” before likening them to monkeys with “wing-like flaps” that allow them to “glide from branch to branch”.
The text then goes on to tell the story of a wizard who trapped and enslaved the creatures with the intent of selling them, before the wizard’s apprentices befriended the Hadozee and set them free. Fans of the series pointed out certain parallels to the Black experience and history of worldwide slavery, and now Wizards of the Coast has responded.
In a statement on the Dungeons & Dragons website, the company says it wants to “acknowledge and own the inclusion of offensive material” within the text and admits that it “failed” players and fans, and is “truly sorry”.
Wizards of the Coast claimed that portions of the backstory of the Hadozee was not “fully vetted” prior to launch, and that as a result of this the company has to “do better”. It goes on to say that it understands the “urgency” of changing working methods to ensure “a more inclusive game”.
Additionally, the studio promised that the offensive content would be removed “effective immediately” in digital versions, with future reprints of the book also omitting it. Wizards claimed its priority is to “make things right” when mistakes happen, and will be conducting a thorough internal review, leading to taking the necessary actions as a result.
In concluding its statement, Wizards of the Coast thanked its community and said that, “D&D teaches that diversity is strength,” as well as reiterating its commitment to making the game as “welcoming and inclusive as possible”.