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WotC vs Witches

I’ve said this before but I really wish WotC woulda used the name “witch” not “warlock” for the class in both D&D and MtG, with a note saying that “some witches call themselves warlocks instead”. The 5e PHB in 2014 woulda been a perfect time for this change.

Magic had two arguments for why they went with “warlock”. One, to match D&D. A good argument but only highlights what a mistake 3.5 made when they named their class. Second, to not offend real-world witches. An argument that becomes super bad given that they’re still using “witch” in card titles. “Super creepy evil witch hag”. Class: Warlock.🤦🏻‍♀️

This goes back to sexism of the 3.5e era (warlocks were introduced in Complete Arcane). Here’s a heartbreaking example of what this has led to:

Someone’s compendium of homebrew subclasses that has separate witch and warlock classes.

If that were to become canon, that’d mean that all preexisting 5e witches (using the dumb “warlock” name) now aren’t witches anymore.

I get that generally in second-wave there’s a disdain for the “diminuitive” forms like “actress” instead of actor, “aviatrix” instead of aviator and a desire to be more like dudes. (Something that was partially misguided since it undervalues women and buys into society’s male norm.) But warlock are an exception to that! Witches were the main thing and warlock is like the secondary “hey there’s also a dude version of witch”. Warlock was already the diminuitive form. Etymologically it means “traitor”.

Pact-based is exactly what I associate with witches, is what I’m saying. And I’m also saying that I believe that it’s less that they chose a magicky word (“warlock”) and more that they’re going for witch tropes (and are being pretty spot on) and deliberately called it “warlock” out of the same “actress”/actor, “poetess”/poet, “sorceress”/sorceror template but in the case of witch/”warlock”, that was the wrong call! 🤦🏻‍♀️ Woman erasure as per ushe 😭