Back in September, Wizards of the Coast addressed the backlash to their latest D&D supplement, Spelljammer: Adventures In Space. Part of the controversy surrounded the depiction of the hadozee, winged monkey people whose lore and artwork invoked problematic minstrel imagery and racist depictions of Black people. In light of this, WOTC announced they would be making changes in response to the backlash. Now, the company has announced a D&D inclusion review policy, one meant to ensure everyone feels welcome at the gaming table.
WOTC's new D&D inclusion review
The announcement for the new D&D inclusion review policy comes from an official post on D&D Beyond. In the post, Dungeons & Dragons' lead designer Chris Perkins explains how the policy will affect publication going forward. Originally, it was at the Project Lead's discretion whether or not any material in a D&D product needed to undergo any outside cultural consultation. For example, Journeys Through The Radiant Citadel had several cultural consultants throughout its production at the discretion of Project Leads Ajit George and F. Wesley Schneider.
Now it is mandatory for multiple cultural consultants to assess and approve all text and artwork for all D&D products prior to publication. Once those consultant reports are submitted, they are shared with the leadership team. The Product Lead then works with the Art Director and Managing Editor on a plan to address the feedback found in the report. The feedback is then compiled and sent to those consultants for additional feedback and approval before publication.
As for how much the new D&D inclusion review policy will affect things going forward, Perkins illustrated that with additional errata for Spelljammer. The changes include stat blocks and rules clarity. There have also been some light changes to creature lore, including the penguin-like dohwar and commerce-oriented mercane. Finally, the book's prewritten adventure, Light of Xaryxis, has had several sections revised. Some of this is to keep the adventure consistent with the changes mentioned above, others make changes to supporting NPCs. This includes the crew of a ship in Chapters 8 and 9 now being hadozee instead of humans. These changes are already live on D&D Beyond and will be incorporated into physical reprints going forward.