Evil Hat posts about Lovecraft. Angers trolls.

Evil Hat Productions, the makers of PnP RPG Fate, Atomic Robo, and Dresden Files, just finished Fate of Cthulhu. They had some thoughts about Lovecraft’s racist writings, and decided to address that elephant in the room right in the game.

The replies are… Well, about what you’d expect. So Evil Hat let them know their publishing stance.

These “fans” are going to have a hard time with the Lovecraft Country show.

That’s interesting, I didn’t even think it was in dispute in any way at all that Lovecraft was racist. I thought the argument these days was whether there was anything worth salvaging from his writing despite the fact that he’s racist. For what it’s worth I believe there is, being a lifelong fan of his writing, but I could see someone feeling otherwise.

Don’t forget the other argument about racism these days which is that it’s perfectly fine.

Evil Hat are such a great company. Their recent Accessibility Toolkit is an incredible resource for thoughtfully approaching those issues in game and accommodating gamers with accessibility needs. And Fate is obviously my favorite TTRPG system of all time by a country mile

Is this racism apparent in his writings? It’s been a long time since I read his work.

Why do these snowflakes react when they can simply “dismiss it?”

“I don’t think you missed much. I didn’t pay much attention either but from what I can gather it was just idiots fighting idiots on Twatter.

Yes. Oh my God yes.

I love what Lovecraft created, but his writing is crazy racist.

Google “Lovecraft On the Creation of”

Well at least he loved cats. That must mean he’s a kind-hearted pet-loving soul, right?

He named his cat what?


Hahaha! My exact reaction the first time I learned about it.

The Rats in the Walls is such a good story, but then there’s that cat’s name just shitting up the text.

Tolerant and inclusive folks aren’t required to be tolerant of intolerance, ya’ dig? But you knew that.

Yeah, I figured everyone knew about Lovecraft’s views by now.

I am pretty tone deaf to these kinds of things, but Lovecraft isn’t subtle about it. I haven’t read the tweets or whatever above but I have to agree with everyone else, I don’t see any wiggle room for discussion. Dude was racist.

That passage in the original tweet gave me a good reading list to go find as well. Always in the market for more modern Lovecraftian stories.

It absolutely is. Yes.

Even Tolkien is very White/Euro-centric. We know very little of people in the “rest of the world”, but most every PoC that does appear in the series works for Mordor.

Yeah. Tolkien writes largely unrepresentative fiction. If you’re a white dude, congrats, 99% of the speaking lines in the series are gonna come from folks who look like you (plus or minus a foot of height and/or some pointy ears)! Which isn’t maximally optimal, but the world does have room in it for fiction about white dudes. Just, you know, it’s a button we’ve been hitting in western civ for basically the entire history of our writing. Oops. We’re getting better!

Lovecraft isn’t bad cuz he forgot to include other groups. He instead goes out of his way to remind us that they’re the other, lesser, impure, etc. It’s a conscious effort of tearing down versus incremental marginalization via unthoughtful omission.

There is pretty much zero chance I’ll ever get to play this game but I’m thinking about buying it just to support this kind of attitude.

I think most of the collections of Lovecraft work I picked up back in the early 90s had intros talking about how racist he was, so it really shouldn’t be a surprise now. I think a lot of them undersold it a bit but it was at least acknowledged.

So I googled “Rats In The Walls Cat Name”, thinking "it can’t be that bad, maybe it’s “Mr Bogangles” or something mildly racist.

Nope. Full N word. Then of course I read the Wikipedia entry on race.

Damn, H. P. You a stone cold racist.

So, I had to go ahead and order this. Not only to support them, but it actually sounds like a fun sourcebook to read, and maybe, just maybe, I can get a small game together in the near future online as well.