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Old Shame / Tabletop Games

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  • Warhammer 40,000 / Warhammer isn't immune. GW regards the Squats and Zoats as "things better left forgotten". However, hints of them do pop up in new material from time to time...
    • In the now-defunct official Games Workshop webboard, posting anything about the Squats would typicaly result in the thread being deleted, and the thread-starter banhammered. It's a common joke that there is a special clock in GW's office counting down to a Squats re-release, but anytime someone asks the GW team to bring back Squats, they have to reset the clock.
      • Predictably, a segment of the fanbase has decided that Squats and Zoats were the bestest thing since sliced squig, and mourn their disappearance as further evidence of GW having lost their soul.
      • Games Workshop has tried to covertly resurrect the Squats in the form of the Demiurg, a race of Space Dwarves under the Tau Empire.
      • The Zoats have returned in Warhammer's Storm of Magic supplement, as summonable monster allies.
      • A number of third-party manufacturers have even begun making Warhammer-compatible "Space Dwarfs," such as the Forge Fathers by Mantic, and numerous fan-made codexes exist to make Squats compatible with the current version of the game. Games Workshop does not allow third-party figurines and fan-made codexes in official events, however they do allow vintage Squat figurines to be used as long as they are drafted and played under different, "acceptable" army's official rules (typically making Squat units into a reskin for the Imperials).
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    • Warhammer Fantasy also has the Firmir, a race of Cyclopean monsters that were essentially entirely excised from the fluff and had their army discontinued. Much of this might have to do with the questionable way they reproduce. Recently they've gotten little minor references in the rulebook, a summoned monster in Storm of Magic and a few Forge World models, but a new book is highly unlikely. Chaos Dwarves also seemed to be going that way, but they recently started get large amounts of reference in the fluff, mostly due to their proximity to the Ogre Kingdoms and their popularity with older players. Every time there's even a hint of something new coming, everyone will declare it's the Chaos Dwarves.
  • Being very much a product of its times, there are more than a few examples of this stemming from the Old World of Darkness:
    • Later editions of Vampire: The Masquerade did their damnedest to sweep everything from the Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand supplement under the carpet.
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    • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, it's probably easier to list the various Tribes who weren't this at some point, to the fans if not the producers, given how much of they tended to rely on ethnic or subculture stereotypes. In fact, more than one fan has suggested that this is precisely why the Spiritual Successor, Werewolf: The Forsaken, cast out all ideas of using ethnicity or subculture (feminists, the homeless, etc) as a basis for werewolf tribal cultures.
      • One of the most infamous would probably be the Fianna, a very stereotypically Celtic werewolf tribe whose history in Ireland had some significant ties to the IRA. Come 9/11, terrorism didn't look so daring and dashing anymore, and the Revised edition of their tribebook severely downplayed the connection between the IRA to the tribe, if not condemning the group outright.
      • Before the Fianna's IRA connections were comparable to 9/11, the Black Furies were amongst the most embarrassing of the Tribes, being essentially an entire faction based on being Straw Feminists — and huge hypocrites to boot. Their second edition tribal book drastically altered its flavor from its predecessor, although unlike the Fianna there was never any formal authorial apology.
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    • World of Darkness: Gypsies was embarrassing for its racist stereotypes and reliance on the whole Magical Romani concept. Later sourcebooks that dealt with the Roma pointed out the book's stereotypes, and explored how actual Roma would likely deal with the supernatural.
  • Gary Gygax said that he regretted a number of rules that he felt pressured to put in various versions of Dungeons & Dragons, singling out psionics, the monk class and weapon speeds and effects versus armor as egregious examples.
    • The sexism of 1st Edition AD&D (most infamously memetic being the "women suffer a -2 penalty to Strength" rulenote  is likewise something which later editions' designers would very much like everyone to forget.
    • Colin McComb has said as much of The Complete Book of Elves, and personally apologized for it on RPGNet. Though, for the record, he says the elves coming off as racist jerks was totally intentional.
  • Magic: The Gathering has its share of old shames, specifically:
    • Urza's Saga block, which was massively overpowered and created the most unfun standard environment in history, according to Mark Rosewater the only block where "The entire team got called into the boss's office and got yelled at." To a lesser extent, any other overly format-dominating cards/archetypes.
    • On the other end of the spectrum there are Fallen Empires, The Dark, and especially Homelands, widely considered the weakest sets. The game, at the time, had been having problems with overly powerful cards, and had corrected too far in the opposite direction. Fallen Empires also has the distinction of being overprinted as well, making cards and packs next to worthless.
    • Magic originally was supposed to be played for "ante": Each player, after shuffling but before drawing their hand, took the top card of their deck and set it aside; the winner of the game got both cards. This made the game a target of anti-gambling laws, and Wizards would eventually do away with the ante rule (and ban cards that dealt with ante). Wizards tries very hard to keep that link between its game and gambling under the table (although it could be theorized that the game's strategic elements make it the perfect "gateway game" to poker, as evidenced by David Williams et al.)
  • Every trading card game gets hit with this. You have this one card that quickly becomes exploited to death by the hardcore players. As a result, the card deemed responsible is placed onto the banlist, never to return to normal play.
  • Exalted has the much-reviled Scroll of the Monk, for writer Dean Shomshak. The first thing he did upon becoming an Ink Monkey was apologize for writing it.
    • A number of the current writers, notably Holden Shearer and John Mørke, have stated that in hindsight, they really wish they hadn't done about half the things that went into late second edition, because they feel the focus on high-Essence play and the spectacular and cosmic stuff papered over the pulp fantasy the game was actually supposed to be about.
  • The Senet cards from Cyberdark Impact set from the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG for having an entire obscure rule created to accomodate mostly weak cards, namely that cards cannot be moved from the position they were played at on the game mat. Konami later admitted that the mechanic was a disaster because no one cares about card position or moving cards around, especially for convenience with the latter. Card-position-matters mechanics were, however, brought back with a vengeance with the introduction of Link monsters; presumably, Konami figured that making the mechanics much more central would bypass the issue.
  • deadEarth is popular on RPGnet for its hilariously So Bad, It's Good "radiation manipulations". Its reputation has prompted its original author make a post, where he reflects on how his 19-year-old self took his first venture into tabletop gaming too seriously where he went afterwards.
  • Dogs in the Vineyard forms a fascinating example, in that it was well received by critics on launch and retains a generally positive reputation as a thoughtful examination of religion in RPG form with interesting mechanics. Its author, Vincent K. Baker, now seems to despise it and wants to let it die, as he feels it doesn't clearly condemn the religious targets he was aiming at.

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