Announce Post #3207: Leprechaun Elections

We've all become quite used to St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Lusternia. Every year since 2010 we've run a month-long leprechaun quest that would elect a new ruler for the leprechauns. This year we won't be doing that and I'd like to lay out for you the reasoning behind that decision.

In a nutshell, the quest requires that you become inebriated in order to be able to see leprechauns travelling on highways and mountain roads. They become invisible while drunk, you see. Your job is to help one of the three children of Old Cashel Connlaodh, King of the Leprechauns, now deceased, in a bid for the throne. Gilligan, Eileen, and Seamus require you to either influence or slay those supporting the other siblings.

Last year the quest already didn't quite sit right with us and we've made numerous changes, including lowering the level of inebriation required and reworking some of the other mechanics. But after the month was out, we still put it on our inclusivity map for review. Both for our reasons and because we have received such requests from players too.

What's wrong with the quest? A number of things that will be easiest to explain using the Menestrean Wayfaire for comparison. The Wayfaire's old name was by far the biggest issue with it but on closer inspection, we saw other problems too. It's not wrong to have a wayfaire in the game, or to have denizens dressed a certain way, or to do crystal ball readings, and so on. The problem was that all of it put together, in one place, resulted in a cultural transplant, not an homage. To be inspired by one or two things is natural, but to copy something point blank is not. In addition, some parts of the Wayfaire included damaging stereotypes.

We see that too in the leprechaun story. There is not enough Lusternian lore there, and too much borrowing and stereotyping. We know that some do not perceive the quest as offensive (including some Irish folks and those of Irish descent, we asked around) and find it light-hearted instead. That said, we would still like to rework leprechaun lore and quests to be uniquely Lusternian the way that the Wayfaire is now, or our Haunting celebrations. For many reasons we were not able to revamp it before it was time for the elections again, but believe that running it again while we feel that way about it would not be right. We would like to do it right so we'll be holding off on resuming the story of King Connlaodh's successor for now.

Worry not, however, as there are other things on the horizon for March!
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