PDA

View Full Version : The Drow: What bugs you about them?



MesiDoomstalker
2013-02-25, 05:59 PM
My gaming group has a bit of a Drow fetish. Everyone except myself have read through all the R. A. Salvatore books and any books that have Drow as prominent characters. They know the Drow philosophy inside and out and play it very very well. However, its all they seem to play. I grant them one note: I haven't seen a Drizzt rip off from them yet. However, this presents a glaring problem for our games. As it tends to have 3 out of 5 players playing drows, usually all female. And since they know how to play Drow right, they are all snooby dominatrix with superiority complex, are completely unreliable except for saving their own skins and a guaranteed source of unwanted inter party conflict. All this wouldn't bug me if it happened in one campaign. Except it doesn't. It happens in nearly every campaign.

Rant over, what bugs you about Drow? Anyone else have similar experiences with Drow-loving gamer buddies?

kardar233
2013-02-25, 06:08 PM
It bugs me that the "snooty dominatrix with [a] superiority complex" is what most players boil the Drow down to, when there's considerably more character depth than most give them credit for. There's a reason that War of the Spider Queen is one of the few D&D series I've read more than once.

Also, ever since I read the Chronicles of Malus Darkblade I've been overly enamoured with Warhammer's Druchii, which are all the fun bits of the Drow turned up to 11 with extra bloody state-sponsored blood cults.

navar100
2013-02-25, 06:25 PM
The misandry. If there was a race as misogynistic as the drow are misandric it would have been politically corrected removed. Orcs and goblins are often depicted as misogynistic but no where near the veracity of the drow. In any description of them it's just a one sentence blurb if mentioned at all. For the drow, it's all part of the culture.

However, I like them more than the elves. At least the drow are honest about their snobbish pomposity sense of entitlement.

Tsriel
2013-02-25, 07:29 PM
The level adjustments in 3.5e.

Oh, and the R.A. Salvador books themselves. Don't get me wrong, they are great for all the lore, but it pushed a race far too much into the mainstream spotlight.

Vitruviansquid
2013-02-25, 07:37 PM
Drow have all the elven annoying trait of being better, smarter and more beautiful than every other race. Then they turn the obnoxiousness of that up to eleven by also being malicious backstabbers.

What's to like?

ArcturusV
2013-02-25, 07:50 PM
I suppose the main issue for me about Drow, well, several, come down to this:

Drizzl Clones. I got burned out on them REAL fast when I first saw them cropping up. From the twin scimitars to the Emo "Woe is me" rebel against a culture and defender of people who don't understand him.

Color Coded for your Convenience. This is something that kinda irks me about DnD in general. Drow are black skinned. So they are evil. And they are almost completely different from surface elves, not just in culture, but also biology. I mean they're both elves... why does one have low-light vision, and one Darkvision? I used to think it was part of the "Underdark radiation" mutation sort of thing but that's actually been ruled out in several sources. Why does one have innate Darkness, Faerie Fire, and Levitation and the other has a lack of Sleeping? I never liked splitting races into vastly different categories based on coloring. It's not like dark skinned humans breathe underwater and can shoot acid out of their eyes. But we're supposed to accept basically that logic for Elves and other fictional races like Dwarves, Gnomes, etc. If settings had a compelling reason why there was the difference (Like when I assumed it was due to Underdark Radiation mutating the Drow), that's different.

Lack of Mystery. One of the great things about Drow, when they were enemies only? They were freakin' scary. You knew almost nothing about them as the average player. That they liked spiders? That unlike most monsters you fought they worked well as a team and used clever tactics and spells/items like a player would? They were something that made players sweat. No one wanted to run into Drow because the Drow had a better chance of TPKing a group than running into even an ancient dragon. Since they became a playable race however all the mystery is gone. No one FEARS them. No one wonders about them. It's written down and it's a society that seems kind of foolish.

Assassination. I know this is a schtick to make the as Chaotic Evil as can be... but I never liked the "Promotion by Assassination" and granting of that as a way of life. It's just so... wasteful. I mean take the first Drizz't book, Homeland. Right off the bat one brother (A brutish fighter of almost no value to the family) assassinates his highly skilled Wizard brother just so HE can be "First among all the non-women and thus second class citizens" in the house. How can you expect a society to exist, much less thrive, if you are losing what might be very valuable, useful assets just because someone with half their IQ had twice their ruthlessness? I can't imagine where the Drow in Faerun would have been without it. Just think of all the potentially great people who got assassinated before they ever could have done anything of merit. The Melee School class, they lost, what, 50% of their class? Most of it not due to "Clearly Superior" methods but things like a dagger in a guy's chest while he sleeps. They might have lost the next great warleader, someone who could have successfully lead them to a serious victory against the surface elves for... no reason.

That last point irks me. It's "Stupid Evil" alignment territory and it turns the Drow from what they were, a cunning, ruthless enemy for adventurers to face, into something that doesn't have the capability of being a threat to a soggy ham sandwich.

Oversexed. It's a generic fantasy thing... but due to the Matriarchal society of the drow it seems like often the drow women gets far over sexualized, and all turn into violent man eating she wolves. It gets old.

And I suppose to top it off...

Never liked races where it ends up "99.99% of all members of their race are like..." A race of brainwashed clones who all subscribe to the same ideologies, alignments, culture, methods, fashions, etc... just lacks depth. And then no one wants to play the 99.99%. They want to be an exception. And you get burned out on the special snowflake exception to the entirely _____ race after the 8th PC in a row is one of those exceptions that almost never happens... except everyone your party runs into.

Bhu
2013-02-25, 08:36 PM
The fact that their patron deity is CE, and seems willing to take a very active hand in the development of the race and it's society, and yet most drow seem to be LE or NE, and their society with it's rigid rules and castes hardly seems the product of a CE mind.

ngilop
2013-02-25, 08:55 PM
my issues with drow are much like ArcturusV's. Except i took away the opposite ideas from him.

in regards to his fighter killing genuis wizard dude example, to me thats why drow are still down and by down i mean not taking over the world they are too untrusting of ANYthing and too apt to kill person X to get to position Y its crazy
well i completely disagree with his racially charged rant about drow

humans are human whether we have blakc, white, tan or reddish colored skin in the end we are just as human as teh next guy/girl.

drow on the other hadn are a completely different race altogether than standard elves. I guess if he would get past his own prejudices and read some drow lore he would fine the answers.
Corellon cursed all drow to be as black as their treacherous hearts ( hence why they are black) and they have semi divine blood as the actual drow ancestors were descended from a mating with lloth and some random dark elf mage guy. then you add in the radition mutation blah and you get what drow are now.

There are seperate sub-races for all kinds of species in D&D except humans and i could toss out dozens of block =/= evil examples pretty easily deep gnomes ring any bells?

the reason why drow evles, sylvan elves and high elves have different biologies is they are fregging different species


but i disgress it just poeplke getting all worked up over soem insane and beynod reasoning idea of racial injustice completely boggles my mind.

ArcturusV
2013-02-25, 09:05 PM
The Corellean cursed them thing is actually newer lore. When drow really started to become a Player Character Race the lore was as such (As indicated in the ADnD Drow Handbook).

They were already dark skinned elves living in the jungles of the southern lands. They got into a war with Wild Elves, lost, were driven into the Mountains. Fought a war with Dwarves, lost, were driven into the Underdark. Lost a bunch of conflicts until they finally claimed their own cities from someone. Dwegar I believe.

So thus is my memory of the Drow, as it was the first lore/impression that they had as a player race.

I would point out that Drow actually are the same species as any other type of Elf. This is because Drow and other elves can interbreed, and their offspring are fertile and can breed with other elves. In fact that is, as I recall, the Drow God of Men and Thievery's plan to take over the surface world from surface elves. Breed with them until there is no difference. They're not actually different species. Subspecies maybe. But the fact that they can, and do, interbred and have viable offspring means they aren't biologically different enough to matter.

White_Drake
2013-02-25, 09:26 PM
Just like humans and dragons are the same species.

Frathe
2013-02-25, 09:32 PM
(Racism). To specify, I agree with Arcturus that it seems awfully weird that the evil elves have dark skin, and the good elves (presumably) have light skin. Then again, D&D is arguably weirdly Anglocentric and pro-European in general, if you think of how most of the "evil races" like orcs and the goblinoids are the ones who live in tribes--they're "savage". In contrast, the "civilized" humans/demihumans live in organized cities and nations. That's a pretty Eurocentric view.

Ravens_cry
2013-02-25, 09:56 PM
Three things. One, I feel their stated alignment and their claimed alignment really do not match. Two, a society that is spending all it's time in a constant state of war with itself would quickly wipe itself out, or at least not be a major player in local geopolitics. Three, creatures that live generations underground become pale, not dark. Yeah, magic, but it still irks though.
I don't think it's racist, as in most art the black of drow is nothing like the dark brown 'black' of certain human groups, I just think it's a really weird design choice.
I've decided in my next world drow are pallid, pasty creatures, the famous black is complexion basically a primitive sunscreen applied as preparation for raids.

White_Drake
2013-02-25, 10:37 PM
Isn't the whole dark elf thing derivative from the svartalfar from norse mythology? Svart meaning dark or black? I guess this showcases my lack of knowledge on the subject.

KillianHawkeye
2013-02-25, 10:47 PM
Spiders.

That one was too easy, man. Ask a harder one next time! :smallamused::smallbiggrin:

nedz
2013-02-25, 10:54 PM
Isn't the whole dark elf thing derivative from the svartalfar from norse mythology? Svart meaning dark or black? I guess this showcases my lack of knowledge on the subject.

I thought it was from Tolkein's Moriaquenda although this translates as dark elves, it just meant high elves who never saw the light of the two trees, because they lived too far in the east.

Though you might be right of course, because Tolkein did take lots of stuff from north European mythology, but in any event he completely re-worked it.

But then so did E.G.G. and several others since.
Dark elves have been re-worked over and over again.

As to the OP's question: nothing really bugs me about them, I just find them quite dull. Also they should be white skinned, well colourless, since they live underground. Maybe I should add a new twist: Drow = elves with translucent skin so that you can see their internals.:smallcool:

Grod_The_Giant
2013-02-25, 10:56 PM
Just like humans and dragons are the same species.

Not necessarily-- the key is fertile offspring-- that's why horses and donkeys are separate species despite the fact that they can have viable offspring (mules). So the real question becomes "can half-dragons have kids?"

Surfnerd
2013-02-25, 11:03 PM
I like the look of them. Never really got into the lore, the drizzls or any of the other fluffy bits. I can't abide whole races of evil, drives me crazy on any level. Maybe if D&D would have been less absolute with its drow evil drizzl could have been avoided as being the super popular exception.

Jack of Spades
2013-02-25, 11:16 PM
Isn't the whole dark elf thing derivative from the svartalfar from norse mythology? Svart meaning dark or black? I guess this showcases my lack of knowledge on the subject.

Well, Norse dark elves were actually the basis for the Tolkein dwarf...

But, unfortunately, you're right. Never underestimate the ability of fantasy writers to make 12 different creatures out of the same word from mythology. 13 of which will be nothing like the mythological basis.

Ravens_cry
2013-02-25, 11:17 PM
Not necessarily-- the key is fertile offspring-- that's why horses and donkeys are separate species despite the fact that they can have viable offspring (mules). So the real question becomes "can half-dragons have kids?"

Never says they can't, so I guess that really depends on setting. Half-elves and Half-orcs fluff I am pretty sure mentions 2nd generation half-breeds either implicitly or inferring it, so orcs, humans and elves could be said to form a ring species.

Isn't the whole dark elf thing derivative from the svartalfar from norse mythology? Svart meaning dark or black? I guess this showcases my lack of knowledge on the subject.
Yeah, but they weren't evil, I think, or at least not any more so than any other elf. There is a lot of similarity, I think, between them and dwarves. Neither was the Tolkien version evil for that matter.

Winds
2013-02-25, 11:20 PM
For me, it ends up being a dichotomy. I don't mind a mostly-evil race, I don't mind playing against the mostly-evil archetype...

But jeez, so few people do it well.

By example, a good drow deity was revealed/invented/whatever. With that, you have the idea that there are and always have been good drow, who can't beat their evil counterparts and don't want to deal with the rep. Y'know, I'm okay with that.

But the metagaming when it's done badly. Ugh. It takes a bit of work to stay in my character's head when there's so many jokes 'round the table. Metagaming my way into trusting THIS *usually evil race here* when we've been fighting bands of them out for blood for weeks throws a monkey wrench into my immersion.




In short: I don't like having to act on OOC/ignore IC knowledge when I run into members of a given race.

Deathkeeper
2013-02-25, 11:42 PM
Drow have all the elven annoying trait of being perceived to be better, smarter and more beautiful than every other race. Then they turn the obnoxiousness of that up to eleven by also being malicious backstabbers.

What's to like?

Fixed for view of non-elves. Otherwise, this is the best summary I could give.

Saidoro
2013-02-25, 11:43 PM
Not necessarily-- the key is fertile offspring-- that's why horses and donkeys are separate species despite the fact that they can have viable offspring (mules). So the real question becomes "can half-dragons have kids?"
Where do you think sorcerers come from? Their default fluff is "Descended From Dragons."

awa
2013-02-25, 11:48 PM
yes half dragons can have kids the default fluff of sorcerers in 3rd edition is that they have a little bit of draconic ancestor in them if i recall correctly.

I dislike there mary sueness they are the best-est most magical, super awesome fighter that are all sexy and hot and into bondage.

It partial bugs me becuase there are society is non viable.
Okay so it's a society were only the most ruthless prosper and most of there conflict is directed internally fine.

You can have that but you cant also have a matriarchy a society based on absolute ruthlessness of both genders with no massive sexual dimorphism should be about as egalitarian as you can get you have exactly as much power as you can take.

You can have all that back stabbing where your people are so treacherous they will kill even siblings in the middle of major engagements with no warning, but you cant combine that with a large urbanized city surrounded by massively powerful enemies. If your a society of giants where you barely interact with your own species and are able to step on the next biggest threat then this kind of situation can work. If your a one hit die humanoid next to mind flayers and beholder it's not viable.

Guizonde
2013-02-26, 12:08 AM
let's see: they're elves, so that's a big black mark right off the bat, the (very unrealistically and badly done) silly BDSM shtick, the palette swap look, the spiders, the murderously backstabbing tendencies (how does a society prosper with that tendency, anyway?)...

ok, i admit it. if it's got pointy ears longer than an ork or a halfling, i don't like it. still, whereas dark dwarves, evil gnomes, and chaotic humans have established "evil cultures", none are so blatantly different from the other part of the race. it's taken to parody levels.

i'm currently running (as a first dm'ing) the return of darkness PF campaign, and honestly, i'm rooting for the players to go in and kick drow butt majorly.

spoilered for interesting plot but badly done:

-giant magic cannon to bring down a star with enough force to kill a planet. why? so the daaaaarrrrrghhhknessssss can reign once more. that's it? you've got the death star and you're aiming it at yourselves?! idiots.
-they've got a whole city of scoundrels at their beck and call and never reveal themselves or try to take the fight to the elves despite being overwhelmingly more powerful. cloak and dagger has its limits.
-revenge driven antagonist. quick! what do you do? go out and get revenge? nope! brood, skulk, get pawns to start a casino to get cash to build your magic cannon that you could totally have gotten easier by just enslaving the city and using underdark magic to render the city impossible to attack.


i mean, sheesh! this is major derp mode activation on par with rube-golberg-esque card-carrying villain syndrome!
i don't care that they're slavers. i don't care that they're a matriarchy. i don't care that they're into a parody of BDSM. i don't care that they're overpowered. i don't care that they're always chaotic evil (or drizzt wannabes). i do care that they're so fixated on doing their "oooh i'm so grimdark, quick! fetch my whip! i must flay a virgin to within an inch of her life so i may have an afternoon snack! of pain!" that they're rendered completely farcical.
dark elves have the intelligence, skill, and motivation to be beyond fearsome. they're sadistic AND intelligent. so close, yet so far.
look at orks: evil? check! bloodlust? check! spiky things? check! a desire for new victims on a permanent basis? check! so stupid that they'll always fall for the same trap? check! what makes them scary is that they NEVER stop! you can take down 3,742 of them, yet they will come after you. they're implacable. dark elves could be a bazillion and a half times scarier, yet they're too busy applying "beating heart" nail polish on their razorwhips since they're all aloof because they're evil. AAARGH!

this is what i look like when i'm frustrated by wasted potential.

(of note, i have always refused to actually read salvatore's series, so you can take me as an example of what drows come across for a non-initiate)

[/rant]
my apologies to all drow lovers

Mark Hall
2013-02-26, 12:31 AM
The misandry. If there was a race as misogynistic as the drow are misandric it would have been politically corrected removed. Orcs and goblins are often depicted as misogynistic but no where near the veracity of the drow. In any description of them it's just a one sentence blurb if mentioned at all. For the drow, it's all part of the culture.



Little more than a slave class, females enjoy no rights or privileges. They wear rags or nothing at all, huddling together for warmth in completely unlit caverns.

"Women are slaves who live in the cold darkness."



Moreover, Female Ferengi were forbidden to learn to read, acquire profit, talk to strangers, or even wear clothes. They could only leave the house with the permission of the eldest male of the family. Ferengi women traditionally softened food for members of their family by chewing it (though not all females did this).

"Traditionally, women were allowed no part of society; no education, no profit, no interaction with strangers, no clothes."



Orc society is patriarchal; females are prized possessions at best and chattel at worst. Orc males pride themselves on how many females they own and how many male children they sire...

"Women are property. Owning many women is a mark of status. Siring many sons (but not daughters) is a mark of status."



Drow society is strongly matriarchal, with females holding all positions of
power and responsibility in government, the military, and in the home. Males are effective fighters, and can become priests and wizards of minor power. Outside drow communities, they are rarely en-countered without female commanders.

"While women are in charge, men can attain status within society."

Please note that one of those "Women in this society are worthless scum" comes from one of the most successful science fiction franchises of all time. And while, yes, the drow have had a lot more written about their culture, they've also had scads of source books about them.

MesiDoomstalker
2013-02-26, 01:01 AM
Spiders.

That one was too easy, man. Ask a harder one next time! :smallamused::smallbiggrin:

Your cheeky! :smalltongue: What annoys you about them.


"Women are slaves who live in the cold darkness."

"Traditionally, women were allowed no part of society; no education, no profit, no interaction with strangers, no clothes."

"Women are property. Owning many women is a mark of status. Siring many sons (but not daughters) is a mark of status."

"While women are in charge, men can attain status within society."

Please note that one of those "Women in this society are worthless scum" comes from one of the most successful science fiction franchises of all time. And while, yes, the drow have had a lot more written about their culture, they've also had scads of source books about them.

Mark is on to something here. I am in the same boat as a lot of you of how the Drow society should have collapsed eons ago, but the idea of farcical matriarchy isn't quite right. Males can and readily do gain positions of power. They are and will always be below woman unless your the Archmage of the Tower Sorcere (spelling?) and even then, only the lowest women would be below you. But the point is, males have options.

With the self-destructive society, I think it has to do with Lolth more than anything. I've heard claim by many, including my gaming group, the Lolth is probably the most active diety on the material plane in Faerun. I wouldn't doubt that her meddling has kept the Drows from completely collapsing more than once. Whether thats instigating a war with the Druegars or the Mind Flayers to 'unite' the drow against a common enemy or by granting special powers and protections to important females (and males if need be) so they are not easily disposed of, then so be it. Among that, the most powerful players in Drow society (Archmage of the Tower Sorcere, Headmaster of Melee-Magthara, High Priestess of Arach-Tillnith and the Matron of House Benere [I've only read Wrath of the Spider Queen, so Mezzobaran is my reference point]) are all very powerful and all relitievely safe in their positions.

Spoiler alert:
Forgive me I have forgotten names. Even when the Archmage was attacking the High Priestess while she had lost connection with Lolth (and thus couldn't prep spells), she managed to survive attack after attack. If there was open conflict, she would have fallen but that wouldn't have worked out well for the Archmage either. So the main seats of power, even when combating each other, held firm.

Ravens_cry
2013-02-26, 01:19 AM
So, in other words, practically a literal Deus ex Machina?
Geeze, it's like Kender and their god all over again.:smallannoyed:

ArcturusV
2013-02-26, 03:00 AM
Yeah, drow aren't as bad with the sexism. There's always exceptions. There is actual status and worth. Examples I can think of in the novels: Drizzt's father Zaknafien (?) who was an insolent male that was despised by most of the women... but allowed to exist for centuries of insolent behavior against females and such pretty much because he was a freakin' genius and one of the few drow who could take on a room full of powerful noble Drow Clerics and walk away unscathed. The chief wizard (Male) of House Benere, who spawned a female child with a Drow Female Noble of a lower house, and said "Screw tradition, this child has magically talent and I'm keeping her" to the woman.

Granted the patriarchal societies also have their exceptions, I'm certain. Just there isn't as much "Orc-Centric" lore out there comparatively. Least Orcs as protagonists who are focused on instead of random mooks for the heroes to stack up corpses with.

I don't actually think the Drow Alignment is TOOO far off the reality of their society as it tends to be described. I mean yes, they have rules and order and structure like any culture needs in order to survive. But what is the chief law among Drow Society, the one that trumps all others? "Don't get Caught". It's acceptable, understood, and okay to break any rule so long as you don't get blatantly caught doing it (Or don't have some flimsy justification for it). That seems to be the mark of a Chaotic society in my mind. The Rule of Law doesn't exist so much as it's just a pretext. And even then the "Laws" aren't upheld by any real sense of order and duty, they are upheld by the fact that if you fail to uphold their standards (Including Don't Get Caught), you get punished by a cabal of the most powerful members of the society. Not to maintain order, or because it was "Wrong" but because it's aesthetically offensive to them.

Agrippa
2013-02-26, 03:35 AM
I think I understand why drow have black skin, white hair and red eyes, at least on a conceptual level.

http://www.bugbusters.com/images/blackwidow.jpg

Bryan1108
2013-02-26, 06:55 AM
This might just be me but waaaaay back when I was a kid, I read through some of my uncle's first edition stuff and I interpreted the drow as this weird offshoot of the elves. There weren't very many of them and they were very mysterious.

Fast forward to me getting into D&D as the Salvatore books were getting big and the drow were changing from a cult of a few hundred mutants to an S&M race that was being compared to Romulans and it was just less cool.

awa
2013-02-26, 08:02 AM
part of the thing about the orcs/ drow sex relations is the drow make a much bigger deal about it. The other thing that bugs me about it is the male orcs keep down female orcs by not giving them weapons or training. female drow keep down male drow by making sure they are high level wizards and fighters with decades of experience in backstabbing and avoiding back stabbing in a culture were treachery is an admired art form. Tell me which one is more sustainable.

FatR
2013-02-26, 08:53 AM
Rant over, what bugs you about Drow?

(1)Their ridiculous and unsustainable society that doesn't fatally tear itself apart within a year only because authors need to keep the fetish fuel flowing.

(2)The fact, that as written drow currently are not particularly different from orcs and similar savage humanoids from a viewpoint of baseline characters: it's very hard to ever encounter them without things going straight to a battle to death.

(3)The fact, that even in the purely antagonistic role they suck (this is tied to #1), despite being given ridiculous power: they are entirely content to sit on their asses and engage in petty scheming against each other forever, even if they weren't, their society ensures they cannot become a credible threat.


In short, drow to me are a perfect example of how NOT to write an antagonistic organisation/race.

Joe the Rat
2013-02-26, 09:46 AM
Lessee... a mixture of attributes rife with munchkinry (frightening in opponents, a bit over the top in PCs), inherent physical and magical superiority, horrible, horrible social structure based on decadence, infighting, and abusive slavery, the spider fetish... and don't get me started on the whiny anti-hero, who would barely be alive if it weren't for his soul-drinking sword-

What? We're not discussing Melniboneans?

:smallamused:

There's some direct "inspiration" at the roots of it, tweaked with a harshly Matriarchal society and reskinned as Norse svartalfar. From a playing perspective, it's the exotic, mysterious, inhuman nature of them that makes them good antagonists.

Playing one is walking a knife's edge - Drizzt stereotypes on one side, inter-party conflict on the other. I have seen one person play on that edge - unabashedly self-serving and cruel, but recognizing that as the only drow around, her best chance at staying alive was by not screwing the party.

Figuratively.

Thialfi
2013-02-26, 10:24 AM
I am not a fan of the drow evil stupid culture. I know Lolth is supposed to be a big Darwinist, but the rate at which drow screw each other over is breathtaking. How in the world could drow come to be a dominant species anywhere if they breed like elves and kill each other like idiots?

Lord Il Palazzo
2013-02-26, 10:32 AM
Kind of petty, but I don't like the word "drow". Other elvish subraces go by names like "gray elves", "sun elves" and "wood elves"; why does this one need a separate name? It also doesn't help that just saying the word is apt to start arguments about whether it rhymes with "know" or "now". (In the homebrewed setting I'm running, there are dark elves but the word "drow" doesn't exist.)

OverdrivePrime
2013-02-26, 10:33 AM
...
What? We're not discussing Melniboneans?

:smallamused:
:smallbiggrin: Snark on, snarker!

Really the only thing that bothers me about the drow is their hypersexualization that then in turn appealed to some of the guys I played D&D in college with, who then insisted on playing 'suuuper sexy drow dominatrixes'.

It was really more the handful of dudes I knew who played these characters than the actual drow themselves.
To help understand:
I went to an engineering college with a 7:1 male to female ratio
The reactions on my dorm floor anytime I or someone else brought a girlfriend around from outside were positively absurd - it was like the rats following the pied piper.
Seeing the guys in question trying to interact with a woman was absolutely painful. It was every negative stereotype from The Big Bang Theory multiplied by ten.

Anyway, in my normal gaming group, most of us have read the dark elf series and the crystal shard series and some of us (including me) have read a solid 80% of Bob Salvatore's other work when we were teens and in our early 20s. I've never had a problem with Drow with my regular group.
My best friend used to play mostly drow characters, and that was because he was of African descent, in a very white high school, in a very white friend group, playing what was back then a mostly white, middle class hobby where everything looked like scandinavian and germanic mythology. He looked up to Drizzt Do'Urden like an older brother, and to his credit, never played a Drizzt clone.

A couple others in my group would play drow now and again, but aside from one incident where one of the girls played a drow cleric when she was angry at her ex-boyfriend, we never got one of the hyper-sexed 'bikinis for armor and frightening innuendo for tactics' drow.

They've always made pretty cool foes in my game. I bring them out once in a blue moon for a surface raid, or ally them with powerful demons and dragons, and it's all good. Everyone knows enough of the drow to be scared of them, but not so much that they're immediately sick of them.

Elderand
2013-02-26, 12:17 PM
Things that bug me about drows

Dark skin : not because of evil mind you but a subtereanean race as no business being black skinned. I have the same problem with the other subteranean race.

Drow players : either they become posers in a "look at me I'm sooo evil" way or become super special snowflakes of good in a race of evil. Then again the problem isn't exactly with the drows themselves and more with the special snowflakes syndrome and the seemingly rare ability to play evil in a non cartoonish way.

Alejandro
2013-02-26, 12:56 PM
My gaming group has a bit of a Drow fetish. Everyone except myself have read through all the R. A. Salvatore books and any books that have Drow as prominent characters. They know the Drow philosophy inside and out and play it very very well. However, its all they seem to play. I grant them one note: I haven't seen a Drizzt rip off from them yet. However, this presents a glaring problem for our games. As it tends to have 3 out of 5 players playing drows, usually all female. And since they know how to play Drow right, they are all snooby dominatrix with superiority complex, are completely unreliable except for saving their own skins and a guaranteed source of unwanted inter party conflict. All this wouldn't bug me if it happened in one campaign. Except it doesn't. It happens in nearly every campaign.

Rant over, what bugs you about Drow? Anyone else have similar experiences with Drow-loving gamer buddies?

Maybe some of your players are actual sadists or dominatrices?

erikun
2013-02-26, 01:04 PM
What bugs me the most about Drow is when WotC decided to kill off all the good-aligned ones and different factions in Drow society, in order to make them a race of stereotypical evil spider-lovers. And Drizzt clones, oddly enough.

Seriously, why kill every other possible reason for a Drow to be non-evil or at least adventure away from Drow society, then basically had out a "HERE LET'S BE DRIZZT" raccial stat block?

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-26, 01:11 PM
That last point irks me. It's "Stupid Evil" alignment territory and it turns the Drow from what they were, a cunning, ruthless enemy for adventurers to face, into something that doesn't have the capability of being a threat to a soggy ham sandwich.

To be fair, it's not like the human medieval system of hereditary monarchs was much better, yet there were still powers. And drow society is better off than medieval human society by far since the ones actually engaging in the pseudo-darwinistic BS aren't the ones running things.


Oversexed. It's a generic fantasy thing... but due to the Matriarchal society of the drow it seems like often the drow women gets far over sexualized, and all turn into violent man eating she wolves. It gets old.

That's just because they're oversexed in an unimaginative way. I mean, they're perfect for a Cinderella story, aren't they? :smallwink: :smalltongue:




Never liked races where it ends up "99.99% of all members of their race are like..." A race of brainwashed clones who all subscribe to the same ideologies, alignments, culture, methods, fashions, etc... just lacks depth. And then no one wants to play the 99.99%. They want to be an exception. And you get burned out on the special snowflake exception to the entirely _____ race after the 8th PC in a row is one of those exceptions that almost never happens... except everyone your party runs into.

This I agree with very much, but now I need to tell you about some of my drow characters...

Raimun
2013-02-26, 01:13 PM
I don't really have much opinion of the drow. Sure, they look a bit silly with their white hair but apart from that, they're culture looks just fine as an antagonistic race. I mean, they do attack the non-drow and the drow.

I do think dark elves could be cooler and more menacing. For example, Warhammer Dark Elves are really scary and they are only a divergent faction of the High Elves, not a separate species or race. That means false flag-operations are the specialty of Dark Elves. Imagine that.

However, I don't like the obsession some people have with the drow. For example, the group OP is in, has a serious lack of variety. Then again, I wouldn't be any more happier if my group had a similar obsession with the duergar and everyone played only them.

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-26, 01:15 PM
The fact that their patron deity is CE, and seems willing to take a very active hand in the development of the race and it's society, and yet most drow seem to be LE or NE, and their society with it's rigid rules and castes hardly seems the product of a CE mind.

Ah! But while their society is possessed of rigid rules, its record-keepers are so willfully ignorant that as long as no one's there to claim injury, you can do whatever.

Morty
2013-02-26, 01:18 PM
The drow are like a parody that someone actually took seriously. Their society is so evil and treachery-ridden that it devolves into slapstick. And yet they're constantly portrayed as cool and superior to everyone around them. They're the evil race that's allowed to be cool, sexy and PC material while orcs and goblinoids are ugly cannon fodder. I don't like to overuse the term "Mary Sue" and its variants, but drow are gigantic Villain Sues in most of the material related to them.

Synovia
2013-02-26, 01:23 PM
Not necessarily-- the key is fertile offspring-- that's why horses and donkeys are separate species despite the fact that they can have viable offspring (mules). So the real question becomes "can half-dragons have kids?"

Thats the elementary school definition of species, and it kind of breaks down in the real world. For instance, there are dozens of species of poison dart frog in south and central america. If you take two different frogs (one M, one F) and put them in an enclosure together, they'll reproduce and have fertile offspring. They're of different species though because they don't generally hybridize in the wild (but are capable of it).

There's a species of fish ( a livebearer I believe) that is entirely female. They can reproduce asexually, but will occasionally mate with males of a closely related sexually reproducing species to introduce new genetics. Offspring reproduce asexually.

Its cut and dry when you're working with large mammals, but outside of that, its a mess.

Also, could be wrong, but I believe half-elves are fertile, which would mean human and elves are the same species.

Guizonde
2013-02-26, 01:48 PM
I don't really have much opinion of the drow. Sure, they look a bit silly with their white hair but apart from that, they're culture looks just fine as an antagonistic race. I mean, they do attack the non-drow and the drow.

I do think dark elves could be cooler and more menacing. For example, Warhammer Dark Elves are really scary and they are only a divergent faction of the High Elves, not a separate species or race. That means false flag-operations are the specialty of Dark Elves. Imagine that.

However, I don't like the obsession some people have with the drow. For example, the group OP is in, has a serious lack of variety. Then again, I wouldn't be any more happier if my group had a similar obsession with the duergar and everyone played only them.

well, the second paragraph is my main rant, basically. but as i said. false-flag operations, cloak and dagger, and subtlety have their limits. wood elves go on the warpath occasionally, why not drow? they're so powerful they use magic to make pretty buildings rather than melting races(thanks to whoever posted this in another thread where they discuss drow architecture)! this means they're so staggeringly overpowered as to waste magic on superficial goals. and yet they're not masters of the world yet. talk about petty and small-minded.

the parody aspect i don't mind so much (heck, i encourage it occasionnally to see how the character will develop in the dm's campaign), and that goes for drizzt clones/special snowflakes as well. i do however feel like it's too much wasted potential.

regarding same-race groups, it could be really cool to play a drow-commando campaign, especially if they were all LE (to prevent some backstabbing). it'd make off the bat a very well-knit band of adventurers, which frankly is a problem i've come across in my gaming sessions (for example, beyond having my dwarf get stupid-drunk with the halfling drunken master, why am i hanging out with a tiefling, or throwing zings at the halfling on account of friendly racial rivalry? and let's not even talk of the elf rogue)

anyone ever run this kind of "commando campaign"? i've got one brewing with undead victims of iuze, but sadly it's still 5 weeks away.

Zarin
2013-02-26, 01:53 PM
I've always placed the dark-skinned drow in desert environments as it makes more sense to me. If they had really developed in a place with little to no light whatsoever their skin would be milky white and their eyes would be huge and mostly sightless... I imagine a race that develops in a place like the Underdark would be quite a lot like the falmer from elder scrolls lore.

That's what bugs me about drow.

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-26, 01:57 PM
I've always placed the dark-skinned drow in desert environments as it makes more sense to me. If they had really developed in a place with little to no light whatsoever their skin would be milky white and their eyes would be huge and mostly sightless... I imagine a race that develops in a place like the Underdark would be quite a lot like the falmer from elder scrolls lore.

That's what bugs me about drow.

Except sight still functions in the Underdark for 90% of its inhabitants, so camoflage becomes good.

CoffeeIncluded
2013-02-26, 02:02 PM
It's how completely unsustainable their society is, it's just too back-stabby. Why can't there be a drow who wants to gain power for herself, but does so by doing undeniably good things for her nation and so becoming indespensible? Why not have a drow who takes advantage of his race's reputation by running an high-priced inn for adventurers--and guarantees that anyone who stays there will be safe? Adventurers would pay extra for this security, and they'd probably be willing to defend him in a fight. Why not have some drow forced to always be watching their back out of fear of manipulation, but more than happy at the chance to finally deal honestly with someone?

Zarin
2013-02-26, 02:04 PM
Except sight still functions in the Underdark for 90% of its inhabitants, so camoflage becomes good.

The underdark contains no natural light except for occasional patches of phosphorescent fungus, the game can call it "sight" for the sake of simplicity and balance but anatomically speaking nearly nothing in the underdark should see.

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-26, 02:31 PM
The underdark contains no natural light except for occasional patches of phosphorescent fungus, the game can call it "sight" for the sake of simplicity and balance but anatomically speaking nearly nothing in the underdark should see.



I should point out that we really have no idea how extensive the fungus is in the Underdark, and it could easily be "pretty much everywhere", allowing for sight for everyone.

Zarin
2013-02-26, 02:39 PM
I should point out that we really have no idea how extensive the fungus is in the Underdark, and it could easily be "pretty much everywhere", allowing for sight for everyone.

I should point out that it's obviously sparse enough that the Drow would have to develop the ability to see in infrared, at least according to R.A. Salvatore. Which leads me to believe that a more realistic drows eyes would atrophy and eventually become vestigial in an environment like that.

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-26, 02:40 PM
Why not have some drow forced to always be watching their back out of fear of manipulation, but more than happy at the chance to finally deal honestly with someone?


I've actually made drow like this...


(Plus, see my point about human monarchies--they're woefully inefficient too and no one complains about them)

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-26, 02:42 PM
I should point out that it's obviously sparse enough that the Drow would have to develop the ability to see in infrared, at least according to R.A. Salvatore. Which leads me to believe that a more realistic drows eyes would atrophy and eventually become vestigial in an environment like that.


Ah-ha...what?


When did fungus become unable to emit infra-red light along with everything else?

Zarin
2013-02-26, 02:56 PM
Ah-ha...what?


When did fungus become unable to emit infra-red light along with everything else?

Allow me to ask you then, how is dark skin any camouflage from infrared vision as you originally stated?

If predatory creatures in the underdark rely on colors to hunt, then why do the drow have white hair? Why don't they cut it off?

If the fungus emits infrared light as well as normal light, and is indeed abundant enough to allow for normal sight as you say, then why develop infrared vision at all? You would be blinded by all the fungus.

I was merely positing that the drow species evident evolutionary traits (aside from light sensitivity) at least in my opinion, make them more suited for an environment with intense sun, rather than one with a complete lack thereof.

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-26, 03:05 PM
Allow me to ask you then, how is dark skin any camouflage from infrared vision as you originally stated?

Black is the color on the spectrum that absorbs all light frequencies, so both the drow and anyplace without fungus would have that in common, would be my guess.

And to clarify the "without fungus" remark, so that I'm not accused of backpedaling, I'm assuming the fungus is as common in most environments as, maybe...let's say a certain type of bush or moss in a forest. Which makes them noticeable but not on every space.

Or--better example--like the leaves on deciduous trees.


If predatory creatures in the underdark rely on colors to hunt, then why do the drow have white hair? Why don't they cut it off?

Well, first of all the male drow do, as a rule, keep their hair pretty short, and they're the ones in any real risk of predation (out on raids and suchlike), and the evolutionary need might've grown less massive over the many years the drow lived in the underdark. The ease of dealing with the hair problem initially, the possible decrease in predator attacks as time went on, and probably some sexual selection on top of that could've kept hair (plus possible differences in the genes for the different skin vs. different hair, the drow not actually having evolved at all from their original state and the skin just being a coincidence associated with their old environment...really loads).


I was merely positing that the drow species evident evolutionary traits (aside from light sensitivity) at least in my opinion, make them more suited for an environment with intense sun, rather than one with a complete lack thereof.

Oh, it's possible, definitely. :smallsmile:

It's just also possible that it works differently, so...

Mark Hall
2013-02-26, 03:43 PM
FWIW, early drow society (from the Giants and Drow series) was a lot less insane. It kind got built into its crazy unsustainability.

MesiDoomstalker
2013-02-26, 03:50 PM
Maybe some of your players are actual sadists or dominatrices?

I have strong suspicion one is, even if she doesn't know it or willing to admit it. The others are just Drow fanboys.

ArcturusV
2013-02-26, 03:53 PM
Did it ever seem odd to people that the typical Drow hunting/raiding party is usually described as mostly male with just a couple of females? So their combat ratio is something like 8 men to 2 women. Which seems somehow weird for a Matriarchal society in general. Not to mention the drow standard cultural thing of sacrificing any male third in a family, so you never have more than 2 sons in a family but will have something like 5-10 daughters.

Guizonde
2013-02-26, 04:45 PM
Did it ever seem odd to people that the typical Drow hunting/raiding party is usually described as mostly male with just a couple of females? So their combat ratio is something like 8 men to 2 women. Which seems somehow weird for a Matriarchal society in general. Not to mention the drow standard cultural thing of sacrificing any male third in a family, so you never have more than 2 sons in a family but will have something like 5-10 daughters.

the boys are meatshields, the girls are the leaders? :smallconfused:

are drow families big? you're saying a drow family has 7 to 12 offspring. is that a lot, few, or an average?

Synovia
2013-02-26, 04:49 PM
Black is the color on the spectrum that absorbs all light frequencies, so both the drow and anyplace without fungus would have that in common, would be my guess. .

Black absorbs all visible light spectrums. There's no reason to believe that it would absorb infrared. (There's also no reason you couldn't have black skin that also absorbs infrared)

ArcturusV
2013-02-26, 04:51 PM
Well, what examples I've seen in fiction it seems drow having 7-12 children is more of the cultural/racial average family size than anything else. Course this doesn't account for things like additional sons beyond the second who got killed at birth (No telling how many that is), or how many of the children died to plotting/assassination before the family is mentioned and are just more or less ignored (Drow don't seem to care too much about the already dead unless it can be used as an excuse to do something).

I mention the raiding party because you look at typically matriarchal societies (What few I can recall), and you have things like the Military is completely dominated by women, with no (or few) men, and the men usually regulated to non-combative roles like Camp Cook, Camp Harlot, etc.

Just seems weird. I mean if you're already having a demographic that makes your society something like 80/20 Female-Male ratio, then put it so men are naturally the ones most likely to die in combat... the Fighter instead of the Cleric/Wizard in the back... that you'd run into serious sustainability problems with their population.

Zilzmaer
2013-02-26, 04:53 PM
Which leads me to believe that a more realistic drows eyes would atrophy and eventually become vestigial in an environment like that.

Since when did eyes adapting to see a broader spectrum mean you weren't using your eyes? Many species in the real world can see some distance into the infrared or ultraviolet. They still use their eyes.
But if we're talking about Drizzt clones, and Menzoberranzan, that means Forgotten Realms. Why does a multiverse created by two humanoid deities, largely unchanged from it's original form, have to include evolution? Elves didn't evolve from monkeys, or other mammals; why do drow have to have evolved from surface elves?

Zarin
2013-02-26, 05:42 PM
Since when did eyes adapting to see a broader spectrum mean you weren't using your eyes? Many species in the real world can see some distance into the infrared or ultraviolet. They still use their eyes.
But if we're talking about Drizzt clones, and Menzoberranzan, that means Forgotten Realms. Why does a multiverse created by two humanoid deities, largely unchanged from it's original form, have to include evolution? Elves didn't evolve from monkeys, or other mammals; why do drow have to have evolved from surface elves?

note I did say: "more realistic" by which I meant if a large group of people decided to walk down into a black cave and someone else went down there 3,000 (or 5,000 or 10,000) years later what kind of creature they would find, I would guess they would be pale and have glassy, sightless eyes much like fish that swim into dark environs, but there is no way to predict evolution and they could somehow spontaneously develop night vision, however unlikely... Though I will admit elves with their low light vision might evolve differently, I admit.

Forgotten Realms non-withstanding, the first mentions of Drow in D&D states that the elves were torn by discord and warfare, driving out from their surface lands their selfish and cruel members who sought safety in the underworld and blah blah blah became the "dark elvenfolk" or drow. I was going on that assumption of their origin and not a deity handwaving them into existence as they are.

Synovia
2013-02-26, 06:01 PM
Just seems weird. I mean if you're already having a demographic that makes your society something like 80/20 Female-Male ratio, then put it so men are naturally the ones most likely to die in combat... the Fighter instead of the Cleric/Wizard in the back... that you'd run into serious sustainability problems with their population.

You need relatively few males to have a viable reproduction pool. There are species that females are drastically more common than males. One male can fertilize many females.

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-26, 06:01 PM
Black absorbs all visible light spectrums. There's no reason to believe that it would absorb infrared. (There's also no reason you couldn't have black skin that also absorbs infrared)

Fair point on both counts. :smalltongue:

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-26, 06:08 PM
I mention the raiding party because you look at typically matriarchal societies (What few I can recall), and you have things like the Military is completely dominated by women, with no (or few) men, and the men usually regulated to non-combative roles like Camp Cook, Camp Harlot, etc.

I actually wouldn't call Drow society (from what I've seen of it) that kind of matriarchal. It's more like Sparta, where the warrior classes are the highest ranking, and the men within them generally out doing fighting with people. While the men are doing that, though, someone has to run things.


Just seems weird. I mean if you're already having a demographic that makes your society something like 80/20 Female-Male ratio,
When was that demographic suggested? I feel like it's the opposite, if anything... :smallconfused:

ArcturusV
2013-02-26, 06:17 PM
Cultural stuff in their fiction. They sacrifice any male beyond the second born to a family because Lolth/Lloth (Depending on who's doing the writing, they were never all that consistent with the name), hates men for some reason. So any "third son" born to a family got ritually sacrificed as soon as they got shot out of the womb. But then it also says these same families that are limited to 2 sons will have something like 3-7 daughters, or more, because they don't ritually sacrifice the daughters when they are born. The only way they really die is the usual reason, Drow Assassination Promotions.

hamishspence
2013-02-26, 06:21 PM
Cultural stuff in their fiction. They sacrifice any male beyond the second born to a family because Lolth/Lloth (Depending on who's doing the writing, they were never all that consistent with the name), hates men for some reason.

I thought it was only third sons- fourth, fifth, sixth etc aren't at risk.

ArcturusV
2013-02-26, 06:26 PM
Well, it was made clear it was "third LIVING son" though. As pointed out at even the start of Homeland, where Drizzl gets to live only because the oldest son got assassinated by the younger brother just seconds before the baby was going to have it's throat slit. It's apparently not a chronological thing, and once you sacrifice A son you're clear. It's "Do I already have two living sons? Yes? Kill this one."

Lorsa
2013-02-26, 06:43 PM
The Drow doesn't bug me so much. But then again I haven't read the Salvatore's books. I did read Daughter of the Drow (and some book after I think) though and it was okay-ish. I think they can be intriguing if you don't overdo one part of the other of their culture. That being said, the only way I would allow drow as a PC is if the campaign was to be completely played as a drow-centered game where everyone belonged to the same race. Oh and they'd all be males. :smallamused:

Now there's a few things to remember about some things said here.

1. D&D is magical. You can not apply science. Races (yes, they are called races as the 'species' is rather large) did not evolve. It's entirely possible there might be dark skinned creatures living under the surface. Who says they need sun to produce vitamine D or even need it at all for that matter? Besides, dark elves didn't live in the Underdark in the beginning, or at least not in Forgotten Realms lore, core D&D doesn't really have lore. Most creatures living underground have magical darkvision, so again applying science doesn't work. Darkvision is black/white only so being dark skinned could actually be beneficial for concealment (given you can hide the whtie hair).

2. Wherever does it say drow breed at the same rate of other elves? Given Lolth's meddling I assume they breed at a much faster rate, maybe half of human standard, meaning they can keep up a ruthless society better than other elves could. While I certainly don't know this to be the case, I assume it is so. After all, humanity has had a history of trying to kill itself yet it fails - so high fertility and long lifespan implies the death-rate could be high without the society crumbling.

Now that being sad I dislike anything that becomes too one-dimensional and I guess the drow suffers from this too easily. It is however, up to every DM to make them interesting. You don't have to slavishly follow novels (or at least I don't). But there is nothing in the way D&D works in general that says there couldn't be dark skinned elves living below the surface. Again, did I say magic?

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-26, 07:44 PM
Well, it was made clear it was "third LIVING son" though. As pointed out at even the start of Homeland, where Drizzl gets to live only because the oldest son got assassinated by the younger brother just seconds before the baby was going to have it's throat slit. It's apparently not a chronological thing, and once you sacrifice A son you're clear. It's "Do I already have two living sons? Yes? Kill this one."

In my opinion that's just because the drow records utilize 1984-logic, which means that the past only exists within the official records. Meaning when someone is (effectively) legally murdered, the records just say they never existed.

So technically, by Drow legal standards, there was no firstborn and the third actual son is legally considered the second.


That being said, the only way I would allow drow as a PC is if the campaign was to be completely played as a drow-centered game where everyone belonged to the same race. Oh and they'd all be males. :smallamused:



You've challenged me, sir.

I will find a circumstance in which you'll make an exception to these. :smalltongue:

LongVin
2013-02-26, 08:02 PM
FWIW, early drow society (from the Giants and Drow series) was a lot less insane. It kind got built into its crazy unsustainability.

I agree. But, then it got taken over by people who has to one up every previous author and make it more and more extreme.

If you think about the first few mentions of Drow and the Dark Elf Trilogy. It is a messed up society, but it is rather understandable and you can see how it works. Sure every now and then someone gets assassinated or a House gets destroyed, but it is presented as a rare event wtih decades possibly even centuries of plotting and planning just waiting for the pieces to be in place. Sure, you're going to have the insane lone wolf who wants revenge this damn second (think Masoj wanting to kill all the Do'Urdens), but they are held in line by more practical Drow.

However, as we go on in time it gets more insane because everyone has to one up everyone else. Then we get to the War of the Spider Queen series where while Ched Nassad is under attack and everyone is running you have just random common drow stabbing each other to gain a better place in society...in the middle of a slave uprising.

Mark Hall
2013-02-26, 09:18 PM
From a "motivational poster" style image I have:


The fact is that the drow do not live in a matriarchy. They live in a psycho bitchiarchy. Look at their patron deity. Lolth is a crazy teenage girl who really hates the funny feelings that boys give her so she beats them, devours them, and then cries about why no one wants to talk to her. Sometimes she wants to be nice, but she just can't give up that "necro-goth" spasm-anger image she worked so hard to build. She want to go to the prom, but everyone will make fun of her, so she'll just light their houses on fire and kill their babies instead. Her hair is black this week, blue next week, and shaved clean off the week after that. All the while, she's killing everyone who looks at her, everyone who ignores her, everyone who worships her, and everyone who forsakes her. She's practically a goth cheerleader.

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-26, 10:13 PM
From a "motivational poster" style image I have:




...all that fits onto a poster? :smalleek:


*would still love to see it, though*

Gnoman
2013-02-26, 10:41 PM
Forgotten Realms non-withstanding, the first mentions of Drow in D&D states that the elves were torn by discord and warfare, driving out from their surface lands their selfish and cruel members who sought safety in the underworld and blah blah blah became the "dark elvenfolk" or drow. I was going on that assumption of their origin and not a deity handwaving them into existence as they are.

The distinction is less important than you think. In every version of DND that I've seen, the Drow had their own patron god. There's no reason whatsoever that said god couldn't have simply said "Oh, my special children have been forced to live underground! Well, to help them, I'll make their skin dark so that they don't stand out in the dark caverns if their surface cousins come after them, and they can use stealth better if they attack the surface! While I'm at it, I might as well throw in a few other neat tricks that they can used to stay alive in their harsh environment!"

Trying to claim something doesn't work in a DND setting because of evolutionary tendencies is much like saying that the real sun doesn't make sense because nobody has a Spot skill high enough to see something that far away.

JusticeZero
2013-02-26, 10:56 PM
(Racism). To specify, I agree with Arcturus that it seems awfully weird that the evil elves have dark skin, and the good elves (presumably) have light skin. Then again, D&D is arguably weirdly Anglocentric and pro-European in general, if you think of how most of the "evil races" like orcs and the goblinoids are the ones who live in tribes--they're "savage". In contrast, the "civilized" humans/demihumans live in organized cities and nations. That's a pretty Eurocentric view.

Well, yeah, we're building off of myth and books written by Europeans from the days of the colonial/imperial times after all. This is actually one of the things I note a lot - today, it's a lot more common for the "monstrous humanoids" to get their chance to give a voice. Makes me want to make the "big evils" even more alien and unreasonably hard to accomodate, and goblins/orcs just dont cut it for that role anymore. Myconids or some variant thereof, maybe.

My big annoyance is actually that the society does not seem like the sort of society that women would create. It seems like a caricature society created by a very sexist male. I can imagine a variety of cultures that a group of very powerful and sexist women might build for themselves in a hostile environment... None of them even remotely resemble Drow culture.

Swami Monsoon
2013-02-27, 12:00 AM
One day S.M. Stirling will write the definitive Drow novel, and we will all be very, very sorry...

FatR
2013-02-27, 05:41 AM
To be fair, it's not like the human medieval system of hereditary monarchs was much better,
Hereditary monarchy is pretty much infinitely better than the drow system. Here's a hint: a mechanism of transition of power without direct violence is what makes political system a political system, instead of just a bunch of warlords that happen to wage turf wars for a certain territory.

Wonton
2013-02-27, 06:38 AM
Whether it's pronounced like it rhymes with "throw" or "plow".

Teucros
2013-02-27, 06:40 AM
From a "motivational poster" style image I have:

Agreed. Then again, I vastly prefer the Eberron drow.

RPGuru1331
2013-02-27, 06:43 AM
Hereditary monarchy is pretty much infinitely better than the drow system. Here's a hint: a mechanism of transition of power without direct violence is what makes political system a political system, instead of just a bunch of warlords that happen to wage turf wars for a certain territory.

I dunno about infinitely better, unless you are a fan of the succession crisis, but it is still less ridiculous.

There's a laundry list of things I hate about the drow. Number one's the sexism - it's not much of an accident that the only society explicitly ruled by women in DnD is crazy. After all, that's such a crazy idea. That they're then tarted up anyway for the gaze of dudes, despite ostensibly running their society, is icing on that crap sundae. Could probably write a friggin' book on it, but I'll leave it there for 'brevity'. CG Drow are awful, whether they're the ones worshipping the goddess of love in FR or just Drizz't in general. It's too easy to do as well - standard problems with 'race of hats' also applies, but isn't just a Drow thing.

CG Drow aren't just an issue with drow either, to be fair - honorable Scorpion clan members, Abyssal/Infernal Exalted seeking redemption and the like all fall under the same pattern of a seductive exception to the rules.

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-27, 08:31 AM
Hereditary monarchy is pretty much infinitely better than the drow system. Here's a hint: a mechanism of transition of power without direct violence is what makes political system a political system, instead of just a bunch of warlords that happen to wage turf wars for a certain territory.

And for the females running things, the transfer of power is usually none-too-violent. The largest amount of death that occurs often in transfers is the death of one person. Not really too bad.

When a pair of houses "war", that could just mean, at most, the attack of a small part of a house's holdings, not war in the conventional sense. Since the violence is pretty controlled, and doesn't happen too often, the drow structure really isn't that bad.

Hyena
2013-02-27, 08:55 AM
That they're then tarted up anyway for the gaze of dudes, despite ostensibly running their society, is icing on that crap sundae. Could probably write a friggin' book on it, but I'll leave it there for 'brevity'. CG Drow are awful, whether they're the ones worshipping the goddess of love in FR or just Drizz't in general. It's too easy to do as well - standard problems with 'race of hats' also applies, but isn't just a Drow thing. .
Yeah, right. Because we totally know for sure that all black people think the same way, have the same character, have the same jobs and none of them can be different. Ever. Because your race defines who you are.

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-27, 09:09 AM
Yeah, right. Because we totally know for sure that all black people think the same way, have the same character, have the same jobs and none of them can be different. Ever. Because your race defines who you are.



I think you're reading way too much into the drow skin color. It's not the same kind of black, nor do the drow fall into the general stereotypes of blacks.

You could seriously make a better case for orcs being racist than drow.

Now, as to the earlier sexism post...I agree about the "only race ruled by women" point, generally. That's a bit enh. But it's actually a pet peeve of mine when people confuse male gaze with sexism, because they aren't the same. Viewing someone in a sexual sense=/=viewing them as inferior.

Hyena
2013-02-27, 09:17 AM
I think you're reading way too much into the drow skin color. It's not the same kind of black, nor do the drow fall into the general stereotypes of blacks.

You could seriously make a better case for orcs being racist than drow.
I could as well use canadians instead of black people. Or mexicans. Or russians. Or every kind of people that have a wide-spread stereotype, positive or negative. Because, you know, all russians are poor, drunk and uneducated. It's a major problem with role-players - every time they see person in game, they usually don't see actually the person - they see it's race, whatever it is, and expect stereotypes.
Dwarfs are good, they love beer, always mention their ancestors and love to fight. Gnomes are good, goofy and annoying. Elves are good yet a little snobish. Orcs are evil savage brutes, who know nothing except beating people to death with clubs. Male drow are evil and sadistic backstabing schemers. Female drow are evil, sadistic and scheming dominatrixes. And humans, only humans are allowed to be diverse and both good and evil. Everybody is stereotypical - except these guys.
Yet no role player ever will admit out loud that they expect every person IRL to be a walking stereotype, and those, who are not fitting their picture of the world, are "annoying special snowflakes". Weird.

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-27, 09:25 AM
Yet no role player ever will admit out loud that they expect every person IRL to be a walking stereotype. Weird.

EDIT: Whoops, that last sentence you threw in makes your argument make a lot more sense, sorry. :smallredface:


Yeah, the rest of that, I agree with.

awa
2013-02-27, 09:52 AM
the special snow flake is not about acting different its acting completely different.

They don't want to play a Russian who doesn't like vodka they want to play a french knight whose Buddhist and wields a katana and wont shut up about it.

the thing about most drizzit clones is that rejecting their evil race (and whining) are there only character trait so they end up being even less well rounded then a regular drow.

in regards to transfer of power succession crisis are the exception rather then the rule and in drow society ever position functions on back stabbing. your secretary has his job not because hes any good at it but because the last guy forgot to check his drink for poison, and he will spend half the work day trying to make sure one of his underlings does not kill him and watching to make sure you don't kill him for eying your position.

drow need to fear every one. any one above them will try and kill them for there own protection or just because there evil any one below them will try and kill them for the promotion or just because and any one at the same because they are competing with you for attention from higher ups.

Synovia
2013-02-27, 10:08 AM
I think you're reading way too much into the drow skin color. It's not the same kind of black, nor do the drow fall into the general stereotypes of blacks.

You could seriously make a better case for orcs being racist than drow.

Now, as to the earlier sexism post...I agree about the "only race ruled by women" point, generally. That's a bit enh. But it's actually a pet peeve of mine when people confuse male gaze with sexism, because they aren't the same. Viewing someone in a sexual sense=/=viewing them as inferior.

You missed his point.

He's arguing that the complaint about CN Drow is ridiculous. Expecting an entire race to have the same alignment is ridiculous.

I agree with him.

Barmoz
2013-02-27, 10:26 AM
Salvatore, and his fanbois, are what bug me. Drow as a race, have some screwed up features, but not so much that I dislike them just for that. I hate that so many people read the drizzt books and then refuse to broaden their horizons to, you know, books that were actually good... This by itself is a bad thing, but the real tragedy is that it's affected the way they game!

Tengu_temp
2013-02-27, 10:38 AM
Yeah, right. Because we totally know for sure that all black people think the same way, have the same character, have the same jobs and none of them can be different. Ever. Because your race defines who you are.

Spoiler alert: drow elves don't exist in real life, it's not racist to hate them. Not to mention, most people play they drow as one of the three annoying archetypes anyway: the backstabbing assassin, the BDSM-y priestess, or the chaotic good defector.

RPGuru1331
2013-02-27, 10:46 AM
Yeah, right. Because we totally know for sure that all black people think the same way, have the same character, have the same jobs and none of them can be different. Ever. Because your race defines who you are.

Are you trying to use anti-racist terminology to argue in favor of the drow? Now that's comedy. First off, all of the characters that are rebels against Drow society? They're defined by being drow - they're just being defined as outsiders and rebels to drow society. That doesn't actually escape anything at all. That's why I specified CG Rebel Drow or honorable Scorpion Clan members. Those stories aren't just defined by their race (or clan, or whatnot), they're also played out. There's a ton of ways to not be involved in Drow society that aren't 'CG Rebel', if you would like to play a dark skinned elf.

Also, linking drow to black people, explicitly, is not good for the drow at all. It makes the racism naked, rather than slightly veiled.


I could as well use canadians instead of black people. Or mexicans. Or russians. Or every kind of people that have a wide-spread stereotype, positive or negative.
You could have, but you chose black people because you thought they'd score you more internet points. Because the struggles of black people exist for use of internet arguments.



It's a major problem with role-players - every time they see person in game, they usually don't see actually the person - they see it's race, whatever it is, and expect stereotypes.
I'm not sure if you actually read anything connected to roleplaying games at all, but as a rule, everything that isn't human typically gets shunted off into stereotype city by the writing. You're only looking at the symptom, at best.

Also, not all DnD players.


But it's actually a pet peeve of mine when people confuse male gaze with sexism, because they aren't the same. Viewing someone in a sexual sense=/=viewing them as inferior.
I'm not confusing anything. Women are disproportionately sexualized, and frequently reduced to sex objects, including by RPGs. When that stops in the wider culture, and in gaming, we'll talk about how the 'male gaze doesn't equate to sexism', but until disproportionate sexualization is over, then sexualized women will almost always be sexist.

Hyena
2013-02-27, 10:56 AM
You could have, but you chose black people because you thought they'd score you more internet points. Because the struggles of black people exist for use of internet arguments.
Wait, haven't you done it too right now?

Wait, we are moving somewhere into Flamesville. I'll be going now.

Terraoblivion
2013-02-27, 11:00 AM
Wait, haven't you done it too right now?

No. Commenting on others using ethnic metaphors, is not the same as being the one to start out using the.

RPGuru1331
2013-02-27, 11:03 AM
Wait, haven't you done it too right now?

1: No, in pointing out the connection of racism against black people and the drow, I am actually directly attacking one of the many forms of racism, albeit not very vigorously. You used racism against black people to perversely defend a planet-of-hats style race. So no, I did not 'do it just now too'.
2: Tu Quoque is not a defense of your actions, even when it's true.

Hyena
2013-02-27, 11:08 AM
Wait. One last post.
I'm not defending the drow. After all, majority of them (those, who aren't CG rebels) is backstabbing and vicious, a typical monster race. I am attacking the position that ALL drow SHOULD be like that. Because exceptions are "annoying". Well, stereotypes for the win, eh?

Synovia
2013-02-27, 11:14 AM
When that stops in the wider culture, and in gaming, we'll talk about how the 'male gaze doesn't equate to sexism', but until disproportionate sexualization is over, then sexualized women will almost always be sexist.

This is just absurd. I agree with the poster you're responding to, something being sexualized doesn't mean its sexist.

RPGuru1331
2013-02-27, 11:25 AM
Wait. One last post.
I'm not defending the drow. After all, majority of them (those, who aren't CG rebels) is backstabbing and vicious, a typical monster race. I am attacking the position that ALL drow SHOULD be like that. Because exceptions are "annoying".
Not immediately obvious, for one. You're still just using the racism against black people for a point unrelated to the struggles of black people, rather than, yanno, racism against black people.

As to that, the 'exception' that is a rebellion against the stereotype is no less annoying than the stereotype, given that we're discussing fictional peoples. If Drow were real, or if the majority of rebel Drow were actually being done to oppose RL racism somehow, it wouldn't be annoying, but they're not real, and rebel Drow are just done for coolness and specialness, so they are annoying.


Well, stereotypes for the win, eh?
Are you under the mistaken idea that I am the TSR employee initially responsible to them? Otherwise, you're quite frankly missing the source of all this - the actual material.


This is just absurd. I agree with the poster you're responding to, something being sexualized doesn't mean its sexist.

Yes, it's so absurd that women are sexualized disproportionately. That's why everything female has human breasts and most women or female-coded monsters are cleavage monsters with sexualized clothing while dudes have power fantasies for characters who are designed to look cool instead of hot. Make the dudes all generically hot and dressed in flattering armor with ridiculous breast and butt poses, and I'll seriously consider the proposition that sexualized women aren't sexist. 'Til then, you're just grasping at straws to defend your right to cheesecake.

Synovia
2013-02-27, 11:31 AM
Yes, it's so absurd that women are sexualized disproportionately. That's why everything female has human breasts and most women or female-coded monsters are cleavage monsters with sexualized armor while dudes have power fantasies for characters. Make the dudes all generically hot and dressed in flattering armor with ridiculous breast and butt poses, and I'll seriously consider the proposition that sexualized women aren't sexist. 'Til then, you're just grasping at straws to defend your right to cheesecake.

Awesome strawman bro.

Because you're not arguing against anything even close to what I said.

JusticeZero
2013-02-27, 11:35 AM
Right, and the defense often paradoxically belittles women by denying them agency.

The women you see that are highly sexualized tend to know exactly what they're doing: They are exploiting men who are willing to pour out real money to them in return for their image, at rates that are far out of proportion to their ability to earn money flipping burgers or whatever.

A lot of the defenses that make them out as pure victims make them seem as though they are childlike and unable to make decisions for themself without a man to protect them. Women are quite capable of deciding whether or not to dress provocatively, and a lot of them find the advantages of doing so to be worthwhile in a number of situations.

It doesn't remove the fact that the Drow culture looks like something devised by a sexist man on a college campus. It doesn't make internal sense, and it seems like it works directly against the interests of the Drow women.

RPGuru1331
2013-02-27, 11:35 AM
Awesome strawman bro.

Because you're not arguing against anything even close to what I said.

I pointed out that sexualized women are the norm, while sexualized men aren't - that sexualized women are reduced to sex objects, while the few sexualized men are almost never reduced to sex objects. I then said that because of these pre-existing factors that are cultural, sexualization of women was generally sexist. I made it clear that this was conditional, and when these portrayals approach something closer to parity, then sexualization will not be generally sexist.

You said it was absurd and nothing more. If you want me to ascribe a better argument to you, you had darn well better make one.


The women you see that are highly sexualized tend to know exactly what they're doing:
They're illustrations, so they don't have agency at all.


A lot of the defenses that make them out as pure victims make them seem as though they are childlike and unable to make decisions for themself without a man to protect them.
At some point, people will understand that their actions create a wider society, but today is not that day. Anything to protect your TnA, huh?


Women are quite capable of deciding whether or not to dress provocatively, and a lot of them find the advantages of doing so to be worthwhile in a number of situations.
Illustrations don't make decisions. Neither do characters.

Synovia
2013-02-27, 11:45 AM
You said it was absurd and nothing more. If you want me to ascribe a better argument to you, you had darn well better make one.

I said that not all women that are sexualized are victims of sexism. Nothing more.

You've chosen to take that as some sort of statement that I think every woman should be a chain-bikini harlot. If you're going to just make up strawmen, then this conversation isn't worth having.

JusticeZero
2013-02-27, 11:47 AM
..Make the dudes all generically hot and dressed in flattering armor with ridiculous breast and butt poses, and I'll seriously consider the proposition that sexualized women aren't sexist.

Try working out the body fat percentages and muscle sizes of the majority of those men in "cool power poses" some time. I think you'll find that most of them are implausible without extreme use of steroids, very specialized and extreme musclebuilding regimen designed to build muscle mass rather than effective strength, a specialized diet, certain bone length ratios and the like.

Girls thinking they're expected to tart it up isn't cool, but neither is boys thinking they need to pound testosterone supplements and protien shakes because they're not massively muscled. It's more of an equal opportunity exploitative unrealism than people give credit.

I'm pretty tired of pictures of sexualized adventure bimbos in skintight leather, but i'm also sick of the massive bulging biceps of the guys in the pictures next to them.

Terraoblivion
2013-02-27, 11:49 AM
I said that not all women that are sexualized are victims of sexism. Nothing more.

You do know that there's a difference between being sexy and being sexualized, right? The former is about living up to a set of aesthetic norms indicating that a person or a depiction of one is attractive in a given way. The latter purely exists in how people are portrayed and perceived and indicates a focus what sexiness they might or might not have as the paramount concern, regardless of whether it's really relevant to the situation.

As for the big, bulky men, I absolutely agree that they're awful. However, the question is quite different from sexualized women. The women are depicted in order to be appealing to a certain conception of male sexuality. The men are depicted in ways that are considered cool and powerful in order to appeal to men by making them feel powerful by association. Neither give any real thought to women and only one of them is sexual.

RPGuru1331
2013-02-27, 11:49 AM
I said that not all women that are sexualized are victims of sexism. Nothing more.
No, you said it was absurd that the sexualization of women was sexist. I didn't say jack about 'victims', so you couldn't have made a pronouncement on such a statement merely by "What you're saying is absurd". Further, you agreed with the dude whining about how sexualization can't be sexist, who also said no such thing. So I have no reason to think what I said is a straw man.


You've chosen to take that as some sort of statement that I think every woman should be a chain-bikini harlot.

Now you're just playing solipsist. I've chosen to take it as a defense of the status quo - because it is. The status quo sucks, though.


If you're going to just make up strawmen, then this conversation isn't worth having.
In the immortal words of Willy Wonka to Mike Teevee, "No, stop, don't, come back."

Synovia
2013-02-27, 11:51 AM
No, you said it was absurd that the sexualization of women was sexist.
No, and no matter how many times you insist that, it simply isn't true.



Further, you agreed with the dude whining about how sexualization can't be sexist, who also said no such thing.
No, I didn't, and no matter how many times you insist that, it simply isn't true.
If everyone you're arguing with is saying "I didn't say that" maybe you should go back and read things more carefully. You might be the problem


Now you're just playing solipsist. I've chosen to take it as a defense of the status quo - because it is. The status quo sucks, though.

If you want to have this conversation, you need to be intellectually honest. Can you do that?

JusticeZero
2013-02-27, 11:55 AM
I pointed out that sexualized women are the norm, while sexualized men aren't - that sexualized women are reduced to sex objects, while the few sexualized men are almost never reduced to sex objects..
You're right, men generally are not reduced to sex objects. Instead, they are reduced to power objects, which isn't much better. Instead of being ogled for huge.. tracts of land, they are ogled for a huge.. wallet. The girls look down and realize that they, unlike the art, can see their feet, and the boys look around and realize that their boss is wearing a dress and that they themselves can wear normal shirts without tearing the arms out when they flex. Neither one of them is living the unrealistic artistic dream.

RPGuru1331
2013-02-27, 11:57 AM
Try working out the body fat percentages and muscle sizes of the majority of those men in "cool power poses" some time. I think you'll find that most of them are implausible without extreme use of steroids, very specialized and extreme musclebuilding regimen designed to build muscle mass rather than effective strength, a specialized diet, certain bone length ratios and the like.
And? It's not for my benefit that they're like that - it's for yours. And it clearly doesn't affect dudes that much, if your gym membership or lack of acting on it is anything to write home about. Ditto the actual sales of protein drinks and testosterone supplements. Dudes do have some pressure to look like that, but it isn't remotely equivalent.


Girls thinking they're expected to tart it up isn't cool, but neither is boys thinking they need to pound testosterone supplements and protien shakes because they're not massively muscled. It's more of an equal opportunity exploitative unrealism than people give credit.
Because it isn't. Dudes don't generally injure themselves with what could be termed 'exercise' outside of an athletic competition, whereas women have frankly depressing rates of, f'rex, eating disorders, and almost single handedly keep multi-billion industries dedicated to cosmetics and weight loss afloat (though men are catching up somewhat in the latter). It is factually inaccurate to try to pretend sexism isn't so bad, to pretend men are just as put upon by this.


I'm pretty tired of pictures of sexualized adventure bimbos in skintight leather, but i'm also sick of the massive bulging biceps of the guys in the pictures next to them.
If that is actually true, you should just complain about those images instead.

Synovia
2013-02-27, 12:01 PM
Because it isn't. Dudes don't generally injure themselves with what could be termed 'exercise' outside of an athletic competition, whereas women have frankly depressing rates of, f'rex, eating disorders, and almost single handedly keep multi-billion industries dedicated to cosmetics and weight loss afloat (though men are catching up somewhat in the latter). It is factually inaccurate to try to pretend sexism isn't so bad, to pretend men are just as put upon by this.

Men don't hurt themselves trying to look good? really? There's a billion dollar "male enhancement" market. You think thats got nothing to do with sexism and sexualizing men?

JusticeZero
2013-02-27, 12:03 PM
Where do you think the social pressure to maintain the "Glass Ceiling" comes from? Guys see these fantasy images of men being rich and powerful, and they realize that their girlfriend is going to look at that and be dissapointed that they aren't bringing home the bacon in a huge way. So really, it IS affecting women. It's an unrealistic image that reinforces unequal gender roles.

RPGuru1331
2013-02-27, 12:08 PM
No, and no matter how many times you insist that, it simply isn't true.


This is just absurd. I agree with the poster you're responding to, something being sexualized doesn't mean its sexist.

Your words are right there dude.


No, I didn't, and no matter how many times you insist that, it simply isn't true.



This is just absurd. I agree with the poster you're responding to, something being sexualized doesn't mean its sexist.



If everyone you're arguing with is saying "I didn't say that" maybe you should go back and read things more carefully. You might be the problem

Pretty sure that I'm not misreading

This is just absurd. I agree with the poster you're responding to, something being sexualized doesn't mean its sexist.

Good try though, I don't usually see someone gutsy enough to say "I didn't say what I said 5 minutes ago".


If you want to have this conversation, you need to be intellectually honest. Can you do that?

Now that's projection if I ever saw it.




You're right, men generally are not reduced to sex objects. Instead, they are reduced to power objects,
Do you actually watch any form of television at all? This is hilariously untrue. The majority of male leads aren't 'power objects'. Stop poorly aping feminist discourse.


. Instead of being ogled for huge.. tracts of land, they are ogled for a huge.. wallet
I don't know which exact jerk sold you the myth that hypergamy is what you think it is, but there's a lot of actual research showing it doesn't mean what you think it means.


Where do you think the social pressure to maintain the "Glass Ceiling" comes from
It's pretty well known where it comes from - lower expectations of women from workplace managers, and the negative perceptions of women that are created and reinforced by a sexist society. Read some research, seriously. Navelgazing hasn't been anywhere near as good at finding the answers to the universe as you seem to think.


Guys see these fantasy images of men being rich and powerful, and they realize that their girlfriend is going to look at that and be dissapointed that they aren't bringing home the bacon in a huge way.
Considering the overwhelming majority of women already have to work, this is still factually inaccurate.


Men don't hurt themselves trying to look good? really? There's a billion dollar "male enhancement" market. You think thats got nothing to do with sexism and sexualizing men?

Do I think it has anything to do with sexism and the sexualization of men that men try to maintain the ability to have sex? No. Any other easy questions?

(Also, unlike cosmetics, insurance will typically cover these things, so it's more insurance companies footing that bill than it is dudes.)

awa
2013-02-27, 12:14 PM
first we should probably get back to dissing drow but i could not help but make this comment call me a hypocrite.


Scantly clad big breasted women are unrealistic and a male fantasy.

giant bugling muscles are also unrealistic but there still a male fantasy

look at comics actually aimed at women the men are not super muscular usually (you might have to go into Japanese stuff).

JusticeZero
2013-02-27, 12:17 PM
Do you actually watch any form of television at all? This is hilariously untrue. The majority of male leads aren't 'power objects'.
That's correct. They regularly aren't depicted as being powerful. They are depicted as being incompetent buffoons who have to be helped by their wiser female companions. If you put dark skin on every male character in most shows, people would be up in arms about the depiction of the characters reinforcing negative stereotypes.

Do I think it has anything to do with sexism and the sexualization of men that men try to maintain the ability to have sex? No. Any other easy questions?
Those products are often not there to "maintain the ability to have sex", they are described as and intended to be used to go beyond the normal capability, because they have been told that they're just not good enough as they are.

JusticeZero
2013-02-27, 12:22 PM
look at comics actually aimed at women the men are not super muscular usually (you might have to go into Japanese stuff).
Yes, and I would love to see more things where the hero resembled Justin Bieber instead of Arnie. Give me some bishy male heroes who work well in a team and respect their teammates instead of the ridiculous and gender-role reinforcing tropes we're saddled with now.

RPGuru1331
2013-02-27, 12:34 PM
That's correct. They regularly aren't depicted as being powerful. They are depicted as being incompetent buffoons who have to be helped by their wiser female companions. If you put dark skin on every male character in most shows, people would be up in arms about the depiction of the characters reinforcing negative stereotypes.
If you're going to pick an inaccurate narrative, I must insist you stick to it. I thought dudes in fiction were all power objects? Well, alright, I'll deal with this one too, whatever - 'buffoon men' of the role you're speaking of are the heroes of their comedy. It doesn't matter how stupid Peter Griffin, Dr. John Dorian, or Raymond Romano act - they're typically going to be told by the plot that their actions are fine. The women aren't generally 'wise', they're just straight men - and in this era of comedy, the straight man isn't so important a role, because comedy focuses more on bizarre characters interacting with each other than it does the previous duo (which is why, for instance, Ray's wife isn't generally as important to the show as her parents are - she's the straight woman, they're actual characters). And I sincerely doubt that black people would as a rule have a problem with being the main characters who the plot says are entirely justified in their actions and flaws.



Those products are often not there to "maintain the ability to have sex", they are described as and intended to be used to go beyond the normal capability, because they have been told that they're just not good enough as they are.
No, the ones you're speaking of are there so that they can get more women and more sex, and thus increase their standing as men. Seriously, this is pathetically transparent - especially since this is only ever an issue when women see fit to say "I kinda don't like that sexism stuff, folks".

Guizonde
2013-02-27, 01:00 PM
can we cool the flames please? also, can we remember the two key things?

-it's fantasy: no need to bring the real world we're fleeing into it.

-we're talking about elves. everybody who doesn't enjoy bashing elves should try it (it's fun :smallbiggrin: )

let's keep things civilized, people! we're starting to sound like orks bickering

The Fury
2013-02-27, 01:38 PM
can we cool the flames please?

Yes, please! I would like that very much!

Poison_Fish
2013-02-27, 01:44 PM
Just going to point out JusticeZero that you are conflating male power fantasy (Media depictions of expected societal norms of men) with the maintenance and structure of the glass ceiling (A systemic barrier who's methods are varied in keeping women and minorities reaching effective and equal rates of career advancement). You are missing a lot of steps of unpacking to reach that. You'd want to start with a privilege discourse before just finger pointing media depictions and saying that is a causal factor.

As for your specific example, you are leaving out a lot of power differential. If I had to summarize what you are saying it'd be power fantasies affect men's self esteem, therefore bad for women, because glass ceiling (You are in fact implying failure to met power expectations results in the glass ceiling, even if that's not what you intend). What you are describing has far less to do with the glass ceiling and how it is maintained then it has to do with toxic masculinity. Also, it comes off as rather annoying on your part to try and turn a more complex interaction of inequality into some "BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ" statement, specifically because you don't actually unpack any of it. You could make connections, but your implied causation is lacking deeply (never mind far more dominate factors). Some intersectionality to your thought process would also help greatly.

ArcturusV
2013-02-27, 01:58 PM
first we should probably get back to dissing drow but i could not help but make this comment call me a hypocrite.


Scantly clad big breasted women are unrealistic and a male fantasy.

giant bugling muscles are also unrealistic but there still a male fantasy

look at comics actually aimed at women the men are not super muscular usually (you might have to go into Japanese stuff).

I dunno if that's necessarily true. I mean you point out comics aimed at women. The Japanese stuff which usually has the rail thing guys with interesting hair, expressive eyes, etc.

But I can also just point to something like a Harlequin Romance Novel (Clearly meant for women traditionally) and the covers of them invariably have a shirtless musclebound male figure akin to the typical "fantasy warrior" archetype. Even down to the usually shoulder or longer length hair.

I think it's more a case of the "Big burly man" appeals to both sides for different reasons, so that's why it tends to get used. It appeals to men in the realm of "I ideally want to be..." in an RPG context, and it appeals to women in the "I want a guy like that..." RPG context. At least on some level. Then again if the woman (or guy) isn't necessarily into that archetype there's always the highly intelligent but frail looking mages, Elves with their typical svelt instead of burly builds, etc.

But also back to the Drow Topic...

... do you think a lot of Drow Issues would be "Fixed" if, instead of being stuck in some hole in the ground, even if that hole is the size of a small city typically, they lived on the surface, maybe even had regular contact with other Elves, Humanoids, etc, they would be any different? Would this make them a more well rounded culture (It's hard to be homogenous culturally and racially when you're exposed to new ideas constantly). Is it really so much the fault of random authors or more the ideal of the Underdark, the lack of contact with... pretty much anyone except as occasional "random encounters" or once a century raids on some small band of 10-40 surface elves, etc?

RPGuru1331
2013-02-27, 02:06 PM
I dunno if that's necessarily true. I mean you point out comics aimed at women. The Japanese stuff which usually has the rail thing guys with interesting hair, expressive eyes, etc.

But I can also just point to something like a Harlequin Romance Novel (Clearly meant for women traditionally) and the covers of them invariably have a shirtless musclebound male figure akin to the typical "fantasy warrior" archetype. Even down to the usually shoulder or longer length hair.
Harlequins don't usually have beefcakes either, frankly. Fabio has more muscles than the average person, but he doesn't have anywhere near the muscle mass of pretty much any depiction of Conan. Seriously, it's for dudes, not women.


I think it's more a case of the "Big burly man" appeals to both sides for different reasons, so that's why it tends to get used.

It really isn't. Strength is common yes, but not generally the ridiculous builds normally seen on dudes in fantasy.

kardar233
2013-02-27, 02:19 PM
Did it ever seem odd to people that the typical Drow hunting/raiding party is usually described as mostly male with just a couple of females? So their combat ratio is something like 8 men to 2 women. Which seems somehow weird for a Matriarchal society in general. Not to mention the drow standard cultural thing of sacrificing any male third in a family, so you never have more than 2 sons in a family but will have something like 5-10 daughters.

I always got the sense that the "sacrifice of the third son" deal wasn't exactly common. Baenre had at least three sons, and while I can't name a third son in another source (haven't read War of the Spider Queen for a while) I also don't remember any mention of the custom after Homeland.

Malice also struck me as being far more devout than most. Looking at matron mothers and other high-ranking females, most (with the exception of Quenthel) aren't nearly so devoted to Lolth. In my games, I interpret that particular custom as being one of those religious laws that gets kind of glossed over by anybody except the really hardcore types (can't cite any examples here, though).


I'm not defending the drow. After all, majority of them (those, who aren't CG rebels) is backstabbing and vicious, a typical monster race. I am attacking the position that ALL drow SHOULD be like that. Because exceptions are "annoying". Well, stereotypes for the win, eh?

Have you considered that since most drow are backstabbing and vicious, the ones that aren't (the CG rebels) generally tend to die before they get out of the system? Drizzt was very lucky because he had the protection of his family name, his older brother and father. It doesn't really matter how good a fighter you are if you get a knife in the back while you're sleeping, so having those protections are probably all that let him get out of Menzoberranzan alive.

Synovia
2013-02-27, 02:40 PM
RpgGuru, let me straighten this out for you:

ME:


something being sexualized doesn't mean its sexist.

You:


you agreed with the dude whining about how sexualization can't be sexist


There's two options here. Either:
1) You're completely, intentionally ignoring the context of my statement, and the differences between those statements.

2) You think the two statements above mean the same thing. They don't.

"Doesn't" (necessarily implied) and "Can't" mean fundamentally different things.

JusticeZero
2013-02-27, 02:49 PM
... do you think a lot of Drow Issues would be "Fixed" if, ..they lived on the surface, maybe even had regular contact with other Elves, Humanoids, etc, they would be any different? Would this make them a more well rounded culture (It's hard to be homogenous culturally and racially when you're exposed to new ideas constantly).

No, because the Drow culture isn't dependent on being underground. You could pallette swap them into "Jungle Elves" and it wouldn't change anything. And it would still be ridiculous and sexist - male sexism, same as everything else - and not look like a culture that makes sense.

A lot of monster cultures? I can see how they would be that way. I wouldn't want to be one, but I can see how the culture isn't too wonky.

I would be happy to see a female-biased evil culture somewhere. It would probably be one where men are considered disposable slaves and cannon fodder who are required to protect and serve the ladies so they can do all the brain work and spell research. They'd probably reward loyalty in the males beneath them, letting them rise up through service and sacrifice to a somewhat higher level of subservience that is told they are important, but not actually lift them to a level where their voices are tolerated or cared about - just high enough to serve as a model of good behavior for the others to keep them down through diplomacy and politics, instead of needing to hand a woman a whip and expect her to beat these guys down with brute force. Because the ladies aren't endangered, they would probably be known for acquiring a lot of male slaves in various ways. This might mean they are expansionistic too, since no mother wants to endanger her little princess! and there just aren't enough men to serve them. Sure, there would be women who want to serve in the military, but they are generals and the men under her command are conditioned to protect her from danger and hardship.

But that model just doesn't look very, well, Drowlike at all. Actually, it doesn't even map onto the typical Amazon culture either. It might connect with an unusually low number of female children - women are precious and valuable and now they're calling all the the shots, whereas men are a dime a dozen.

hamishspence
2013-02-27, 02:52 PM
I would be happy to see a female-biased evil culture somewhere. It would probably be one where men are considered disposable slaves and cannon fodder who are required to protect and serve the ladies so they can do all the brain work and spell research. They'd probably reward loyalty in the males beneath them, letting them rise up through service and sacrifice to a somewhat higher level of subservience that is told they are important, but not actually lift them to a level where their voices are tolerated or cared about - just high enough to serve as a model of good behavior for the others to keep them down through diplomacy and politics, instead of needing to hand a woman a whip and expect her to beat these guys down with brute force. Because the ladies aren't endangered, they would probably be known for acquiring a lot of male slaves in various ways. This might mean they are expansionistic too, since no mother wants to endanger her little princess! and there just aren't enough men to serve them. Sure, there would be women who want to serve in the military, but they are generals and the men under her command are conditioned to protect her from danger and hardship.

But that model just doesn't look very, well, Drowlike at all. Actually, it doesn't even map onto the typical Amazon culture either. It might connect with an unusually low number of female children - women are precious and valuable and now they're calling all the the shots, whereas men are a dime a dozen.

Hapes in the Star Wars setting feels rather like this.
There's an element of this to the Witches of Dathomir as well.

Both are showcased in Dave Wolverton's The Courtship of Princess Leia.

JusticeZero
2013-02-27, 03:01 PM
Which is pretty awesome that there are some decently thought out settings where it actually looks like a bunch of women got into power and decided "Bah, men are somewhat useful slime" and formed a culture by women for women. But as noted, the Drow do not look like a culture like that. And, I don't know of any cultures like that *in a basic DnD world*. You could certainly rekit someplace to be like that, but it requires an act of active worldbuilding.

ArcturusV
2013-02-27, 03:02 PM
I think though Drow Culture IS based on them being underground... or rather "isolated". The Drow, despite living in the Underdark, aren't really under any constant threats. The few times they were under any sort of threat, like Dwarves starting to mine close to their city, etc, they were able to band together and put aside their Backstabbery...

... until that War of the Spider Queen (Haven't read it, but it was referenced earlier as an example of the Drow backstabbing each other in the middle of a losing battle). Whereas earlier sources had the Drow only necessarily backstabbing one another AFTER victory was assured.

The fact that they are isolated, and have no serious threats (seems just a few random patrols are able to stop all Underdark monster threats), allows them to practice this self destructive culture. They don't NEED to be any better because the only time they actually throw down with anyone is the once in a century raid on the surface world, etc. Plus their isolation means that the dominance of one culture and one goddess never gets challenged seriously. The Drow Male Thief God, Goddess of the Hunt, Elemental Evil God, etc, all can't get traction in Drow society because they are never exposed to new ideas. They're stagnant.

Now if they were put in a situation where they were "Jungle" elves (Their original origin as I recall before they got exiled to the Underdark), and not in some remote area of the Jungle that is so far removed (And unknown) that no one can walk into their city and no one has been there (or knows to go there) to Teleport in... it hasn't changed anything.

But imagine if they were in a situation where they just lived in some Jungle, which they had to share with Humans, Lizard Men, Orcs, Halflings, etc in communities they had regular contact with one another. War over resources, diplomacy, trade. They couldn't be this monolithic Lolth only culture because they would regularly be exposed to new ideas by dealing with these people. Lolth might be dominant, might suppress others, but the ideas are still there. Instead of it being all outcast exiles who worship something else or practice another philosophy to life it's just a minority of the population. Even if it's just a minority, it gives them some depth and cultural variance the standard "everyone is Chaotic Evil... or a renegade outcast" split does right now.

awa
2013-02-27, 03:02 PM
taking them out of the under dark would help fix one of the problems.

In the under dark there are to many strong rivals that would wipe out a society that dysfunctional. On the surface that's not as big a problem.

All the other stuff like the society being more like a parody of an evil society is still there like others have said that's not underground specific.

Jacob.Tyr
2013-02-27, 03:09 PM
I think the thing that bugs me most about Drow is how they can create such polarizing arguments about sexism and racism.

Otherwise... Drow are bad for the same reason other races are bad: people buy into a stereotype of the race and use that as a crutch in place of a backstory.

I'm a CG rebel loaner drow who rejects my people; I'm a lawful dwarf who believes strongly in ties to my clan and loves ale; I'm a snobby elf who thinks hes better than everyone else; I'm a rogue who has to screw the party out of loot constantly.

YMMV with drow, based on the maturity and depth of your players.

Guizonde
2013-02-27, 03:12 PM
I think though Drow Culture IS based on them being underground...


new drow alignment: hipster evil :smallbiggrin:

JusticeZero
2013-02-27, 03:28 PM
I dunno; I like stereotypes as a baseline. One of the games I was in, we were almost all Dwarves. I was the Lawful Dwarven wizard who believed in clan ties, liked an ale now and then but felt that too much would addle the brain, which seemed bad for a Wizard; he had some good Item Creation skills and appreciated good item worksmanship. Very much down the stereotypical line of the Dwarf, but fleshed out into an individual.

Drizzt is annoying though, because he is an abberation from the norm who has become a baseline stereotype. The phrase that comes to mind is "It's like there is a factory somewhere cranking out non-conformists." The existance of so many of the Drizzt types suddenly means that it has to be a worldbuilding challenge to go back and create a source for all of them in their home culture.

But that then exposes how wonky the actual source culture is. It feels a bit like needing to dig open and modify some machinery that has been sitting quietly and not causing any problems before, because of some silly popular request for a goofy function. When you go to put the little tiny tweak in, to your horror you discover that it has the most painfully awful design ever and really just needs to be scrapped and redesigned from scratch. If you never had to add that stupid tweak, you would never have known how awful it was, and now you feel the need to break the warrantee and make it with a less horrible design, but then you might have to tinker with the things next to it and UGGGH.

RPGuru1331
2013-02-27, 04:05 PM
1) You're completely, intentionally ignoring the context of my statement, and the differences between those statements.
It's irrelevant - until and unless there is some measure of actual parity in sexualization, sexualization of women is almost always sexist. I fundamentally don't care about your attempts to wheedle away from this fact. Saying it's 'not necessarily' sexist technically leaves you room to agree with me and be accurate, but that's not very likely given your posts in this thread.


\
I would be happy to see a female-biased evil culture somewhere
That'd be a little thing called 'almost every single matriarchal culture in fiction ever'.


Which is pretty awesome that there are some decently thought out settings where it actually looks like a bunch of women got into power and decided "Bah, men are somewhat useful slime" and formed a culture by women for women. But as noted, the Drow do not look like a culture like that. And, I don't know of any cultures like that *in a basic DnD world*. You could certainly rekit someplace to be like that, but it requires an act of active worldbuilding.
This has almost never been done. It is almost universally from the perspective of dudes villifying women - particularly women like me.

On topic:

I think though Drow Culture IS based on them being underground... or rather "isolated". The Drow, despite living in the Underdark, aren't really under any constant threats. The few times they were under any sort of threat, like Dwarves starting to mine close to their city, etc, they were able to band together and put aside their Backstabbery...
I don't think that would really help, because the idea is still fundamentally silly. THat level of intrigue isn't really precedented, and we've had some pretty crazy societies in that regard. The basic idea doesn't work, and putting it above ground doesn't make it better.

Seriously, starting with the wealthy more-or-less nobility of the Italian Republics, and working backwards from there, would generate something much more plausible. There's a reason Machiavelli is from there (And it's not really relevant whether or not The Prince is a parody for this point).

Synovia
2013-02-27, 04:12 PM
It's irrelevant - until and unless there is some measure of actual parity in sexualization, sexualization of women is almost always sexist.

Its not irrelevant at all. You don't get to handwave someone's argument and then say they said something they didn't.

You're fighting a strawman, and have been for several pages now. Stop it.

ArcturusV
2013-02-27, 04:19 PM
Well less intended on just "Transplant them above ground and do nothing else". Just thinking that if the context of them as being something other than completely xenophobic isolationist were put to the society that you'd naturally end up with writing, canon, and setting work that gave them a more realistic, or at least slightly balanced, culture than what we currently see.

Because I think that's the excuse for a lot of what we do see of Drow Culture. They never have contact with anyone else, and have no real threats to their society. So people feel they have a free pass to keep writing Drow society as this insane vision. They never are put to the sword and forced to defend their beliefs against anything.

RPGuru1331
2013-02-27, 04:26 PM
Its not irrelevant at all. You don't get to handwave someone's argument and then say they said something they didn't.
Your meaningless difference is entirely irrelevant tot he argument I made. You are inventing reasons not to defend your words. 'stop it'. Actually argue against the point I made, or concede. I don't give a wooden nickel for your meaningless wheedling.

The fact of the matter is, my immediate arguments, which you at no point actually managed to gainsay, were against the exact argument of "Sexualization isn't inherently sexist". That you can't even go there, and instead are now whining about a straw man rather than defending your claims? It doesn't surprise me, but it still says a lot about you to onlookers.

Final note on this silly 'ZOMG STRAW MAN' thing? It isn't really different to say sexualization isn't sexist from 'isn't necessarily'. Because you're arguing that sexualization isn't inherently sexist - that implies it's a matter of execution. Therefore, the execution is sexist. That must be your argument - else you have a tangled mess of one, because then you'd be trying to argue the execution makes an inherently sexist thing non-sexist. So don't complain about how I'm 'misrepresenting you' when not only do you not defend your statements even when I don't 'misrepresent' you, I'm not misrepresenting you.

On Topic:


Because I think that's the excuse for a lot of what we do see of Drow Culture. They never have contact with anyone else, and have no real threats to their society.
The actual reasons have nothing to do with being underground. At its core, this interests or amuses DnD writers and they find it plausible. That's not going to get fixed.

Frankly, you could make dark elven Venice - it'd be pretty easy, if the Underdark weren't full of even worse things (But that is also mutable).

JusticeZero
2013-02-27, 04:28 PM
This has almost never been done. It is almost universally from the perspective of dudes villifying women - particularly women like me.
Hence why I am saying "We really need more of this as a normal thing to drop on the map as a stock piece". I do not like sexism. there are a lot of sexist things in DnD. A lot of those things are not portrayed as a good thing and are useful to have around because they can be fought against, but nonetheless it makes me want to even it out a bit more. Drow claim to be this, but aren't.

Also, the Drizzt-clone proliferation increases the probability that a given Drizzt-clone will be involved in a homeland subplot and force me to drag people through the whole ridiculous nonsensical mess of a culture, and that will reflect poorly on my skill unless I retool the whole fricking race from the ground up.

Since they claim to be matriarchal, but don't look like any actual females were considered or consulted during the design of them, any appearance of the standard Drow in my game is going to be dissapointing, and I have to engage in heroic worldbuilding and sociological design SOMEWHERE to make up for it. Alternately I have to veto the Drizzt fans' enjoyment by vetoing what would with a better design be a passable character concept core and a stepping stone for a good character, or at the very least railroad him away from an entire range of interesting subplots.

Starbuck_II
2013-02-27, 04:36 PM
new drow alignment: hipster evil :smallbiggrin:

Wait, are they hipster because they are evil or evil because they hipster? :smallbiggrin:

RPGuru1331
2013-02-27, 04:37 PM
Hence why I am saying "We really need more of this as a normal thing to drop on the map as a stock piece". I do not like sexism. there are a lot of sexist things in DnD. A lot of those things are not portrayed as a good thing and are useful to have around because they can be fought against, but nonetheless it makes me want to even it out a bit more. Drow claim to be this, but aren't.
Why would you then go to 'evil matriarchal cultures' for that?

I don't disagree we could use more fictitious countries like the Queendom of Falena*, but why would you then look for, yanno, evil matriarchies?


*Well, maybe not that exact example, but the overwhelming majority of the useful cast really was women, so I guess there's that - maybe the version in the best ending. And the Queendom of Falena is still inferior to just regular old equality, but in the interim...

JusticeZero
2013-02-27, 04:45 PM
Why would you then go to 'evil matriarchal cultures' for that?
Because we often only belong to and work for one nation. However, as we level up we will need to go and sack and/or commit crimes against archaeology surrounded by a variety of interesting cultures full of people who are trying to perforate us in various ways. It is much easier to respond to said perforation attempts appropriately if we are not having to psyche our Lawful Good heroes up to fight paladins and other heroes who we think are pretty awesome actually.

RPGuru1331
2013-02-27, 04:53 PM
Because we often only belong to and work for one nation. However, as we level up we will need to go and sack and/or commit crimes against archaeology surrounded by a variety of interesting cultures full of people who are trying to perforate us in various ways. It is much easier to respond to said perforation attempts appropriately if we are not having to psyche our Lawful Good heroes up to fight paladins and other heroes who we think are pretty awesome actually.

Why would the PCs not operate for a noble Queendom? Also, that is so entirely counter to how I think about world building that it did not occur to me that you meant 'everything is evil except one country'.

MesiDoomstalker
2013-02-27, 05:05 PM
Wait, are they hipster because they are evil or evil because they hipster? :smallbiggrin:

Yes.filler

JusticeZero
2013-02-27, 05:11 PM
Why would the PCs not operate for a noble Queendom? Also, that is so entirely counter to how I think about world building that it did not occur to me that you meant 'everything is evil except one country'.
First, they often do. Just about 50% of the time actually. I flip a coin for established places that people might actually want to live in and raise a family in. However, a well run and reasonably egalitarian society run by a woman and a well run and reasonably egalitarian society run by a man don't look so hugely different as to jump out at you.

Second, there's plenty of Good aligned countries. Generally if we walk into them, they have us bind our weapons and politely escort us to whoever we need to deal with, listen to us and haggle, then politely escort us back to the border. We are, after all, a heavily armed adventuring party with a few levels, and thus a force that makes the military sit up and take notice.

The whole process tends to reduce the visit to fluff text with a possible side of court intrigue. You don't actually see very much culture in a castle. Remember all the detail about day to day life in the Azure Kingdom? Me either. They went straight to the castle. They saw a bunch of detail when they were sneaking around the evil city later though. Well, until the local powers that be noticed them. then bam, welcome to the castle. Adventuring groups are like that; they're like a cross between Justin Bieber, The Doctor, and a nuclear submarine. They are not to be left unattended wandering around your country when they belong to someone else's.

nedz
2013-02-27, 07:35 PM
new drow alignment: hipster evil :smallbiggrin:

Drow are rubbish. They were cool when they were Underground, but now they are just so Mainstream. And as for that Drizzt: He's just a sell out man.

Seriously now.
What people are complaining about is their fluff.
If you don't like the fluff: then the solution is easy.

Metahuman1
2013-02-27, 09:57 PM
What bugs me the most about Drow is when WotC decided to kill off all the good-aligned ones and different factions in Drow society, in order to make them a race of stereotypical evil spider-lovers. And Drizzt clones, oddly enough.

Seriously, why kill every other possible reason for a Drow to be non-evil or at least adventure away from Drow society, then basically had out a "HERE LET'S BE DRIZZT" raccial stat block?
...

When did they do that?

awa
2013-02-27, 10:07 PM
i suspect it was with 4th edition my understanding is they combined or removed a number of gods

Gavinfoxx
2013-02-27, 10:20 PM
Not necessarily-- the key is fertile offspring-- that's why horses and donkeys are separate species despite the fact that they can have viable offspring (mules). So the real question becomes "can half-dragons have kids?"

Yes, since there are various methods of getting 'less than half-dragon blood' going on. TONS of classes, races, templates, etc.

Consider the 'Draconic' template a big one!

Worira
2013-02-27, 10:23 PM
Drow are rubbish. They were cool when they were Underground, but now they are just so Mainstream. And as for that Drizzt: He's just a sell out man.

Seriously now.
What people are complaining about is their fluff.
If you don't like the fluff: then the solution is easy.

Well, yeah: don't use them. It's not like they have particularly compelling mechanics.

The Fury
2013-02-27, 11:19 PM
Well, yeah: don't use them. It's not like they have particularly compelling mechanics.

Yeah, if you don't use the fluff associated with the drow there isn't much reason to use the drow at all. Maybe you don't like that they're dark-skinned, live underground, and are vicious backstabby little jerks that worship spiders; but if all that wasn't true about them they wouldn't really be drow.
Honestly, out of most of the monster races drow just aren't very compelling for me and supplementary material relating to them did little to change that. I guess that's my issue with them in a nutshell, I just don't think they're very interesting.

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-28, 10:39 AM
I'm not confusing anything. Women are disproportionately sexualized, and frequently reduced to sex objects, including by RPGs. When that stops in the wider culture, and in gaming, we'll talk about how the 'male gaze doesn't equate to sexism', but until disproportionate sexualization is over, then sexualized women will almost always be sexist.



First of all, I'd love to see statistics supporting this "disproportionate sexualization".


Second of all, "reduced to sex objects" is still not the same as "sexualized". One is about appearance, the other's about characterization. You should know this.


Third of all, that more of it is being done to women doesn't actually make doing it to women bad, in the same way that a hurricane demolishing an abuse shelter dedicated only to men isn't misandrist.

Oh, also, I challenge you to call the webcomic "Girl Genius" sexist. Seriously. That would be laughable.

Terraoblivion
2013-02-28, 11:06 AM
Third of all, that more of it is being done to women doesn't actually make doing it to women bad, in the same way that a hurricane demolishing an abuse shelter dedicated only to men isn't misandrist.

Because the actions of thinking, reasoning human beings is directly equivalent to the effects of random chance?

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-28, 11:07 AM
Because the actions of thinking, reasoning human beings is directly equivalent to the effects of random chance?


When the reasoning behind the actions of said human beings has nothing to do with the accused mode of thought? Yes.


In fact...you know what? It's kind of the opposite.


Ever since the freaking 1800s, women deciding to wear less clothing was, in real life, a freaking sign of empowerment. The flappers were, supposedly, liberated women. The requirements of the veil in the middle east? Symbolic of female submission. The women who dress provacatively in spite of the "rape logic" that men supposedly use? Good feminists, all.

So of course, when women are expected to be empowered in a culture (indeed, the ones in power in a culture), what sorts of imagery do you think their artists will conjure up? Will they show signs of submission, or of empowerment?

Terraoblivion
2013-02-28, 11:37 AM
The presence of reasoning and motivation makes the comparison to the weather rather absurd. Regardless of what the reasoning or motivation is, its sheer presence makes for a difference. Also, quite frankly, it doesn't matter what goals or reasons somebody has for choosing to do something misogynistic, or racist or homophobic for that matter, only that they do. Consistently portraying women in a sexualized fashion is sexist, whether the artists realize it or not and unlike a hurricane, they could realize it was and stop portraying women in that fashion.

Also, stop saying things you don't know anything about, it's embarrassing to look at. I'll have you noticed that no one have said that wearing light clothing is inherently sexist nor has anybody claimed that burqas are a sign of female empowerment. It's a matter of how women are presented, not strictly what they wear. You know, nuances, complexities and a holistic view of a given piece of art, rather than a set of rules so simple that a Colossus computer could be programmed to parse them. Still, if you absolutely want something simple, look for the poses. If they're impossible to do in any comfortable manner, or at all for that matter, but they give an excellent view of curves, it's probably sexualized. Costumes that put sexiness over practicality for what they're worn for is another thing that tends to indicate sexualization.

Oh, and about the flappers...Ever noticed how shapeless those dresses were? It wasn't like people at the time couldn't sew something with more figure, you know.

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-28, 11:40 AM
Consistently portraying women in a sexualized fashion is sexist, whether the artists realize it or not and unlike a hurricane, they could realize it was and stop portraying women in that fashion.

Why?

What about that is prejudiced against women?

RPGuru1331
2013-02-28, 11:44 AM
First of all, I'd love to see statistics supporting this "disproportionate sexualization".

So you know that little about your culture? Alright, I'll humor you.
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J057v13n01_03
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11199-007-9278-1?LI=true
https://lirias.kuleuven.be/handle/123456789/367856

Since I don't feel like spending more than a moment humoring basic facts, I'll cut it off at 3 links. Shall I also provide evidentiary support for the air containing oxygen?

Second of all, "reduced to sex objects" is still not the same as "sexualized". One is about appearance, the other's about characterization. You should know this.

That's not where the divide is at all. It's about degree and presentation, not just 'characterization'. Sexualizing women definitionally brings their sexual aspects to the fore.


Third of all, that more of it is being done to women doesn't actually make doing it to women bad, in the same way that a hurricane demolishing an abuse shelter dedicated only to men isn't misandrist.

A hurricane lacks agency. Do you lack agency? Because otherwise, the analogy is even more bogus (Also, there isn't a structural bias against men as an aggregate so). It's misogynist if you, as a person, contribute to the lower status of women. I don't give a wooden nickel what you intend to do, only what you actually do. Because that's what actually changes things - your intent is nothing but perhaps sweet words (Except in this case it's not even really that).


Oh, also, I challenge you to call the webcomic "Girl Genius" sexist. Seriously. That would be laughable.
Trivial. The overwhelming majority of all sexual fanservice is devoted to Agatha or the other women in proportions that please Phil, which if it's in any doubt, just look at the porn he's made of them (actual porn, just so we're clear). The prime antagonist also counts on sex appeal as one of her primary weapons, with Agatha doing so somewhat frequently (although certainly less so). The men are generally more stable, particularly amongst primary characters (compare Zeetha and Airman 3rd Class Higgs). Women are more typically subordinate, even given the principle antagonist and protagonist, than men are.

Now, there's a lot to like and praise there - which I doubt I need to elaborate on since you were apparently expecting me not to have an argument against GG. I wouldn't hesitate to say it's less sexist than everyday society on balance (Which puts it leaps and bounds beyond both print and webcomics on average) - it even occasionally tarts up the men same as it does the women. But only occasionally. And you treated the proposition that GG was sexist at all as laughable. That's pretty funny, but inaccurate. A lot more to praise than be angry at, but problems are still there. How could there not be?


What about that is prejudiced against women?

Dude. Women are reduced to their sexual attributes. Do you think this happens independently of their sexual attributes being on prime display so frequently or something? Because that's most certainly part of it.

Terraoblivion
2013-02-28, 11:46 AM
Let's start with the very basics. Sexism, racism and homophobia is usually not intentional. Generally people don't set out trying to humiliate women for the crime of being women. Instead they set out not giving a damn about women and solely thinking about what will please men and the result turns out offensive simply because no thought was given to not making it so. Is that really a complex concept to wrap your mind around? Or is it the fact that intent isn't the sole thing that matters that's hard to understand?

Arbane
2013-02-28, 12:21 PM
First of all, I'd love to see statistics supporting this "disproportionate sexualization".

You're kidding, right? (http://www.weregeek.com/2013/02/11/)

JusticeZero
2013-02-28, 12:33 PM
Okay, i'm generally in agreement, except for this bit.

Also, there isn't a structural bias against menMen and women both have asymmetrical collections of cultural expectations and priviledges. Men have a good collection, and women have the short straw in a majority of cases... but not all cases.

Men are taught not to complain about hardship, to 'suck it up' and 'walk it off'. Their ability to be around children is curtailed, and they have a set of assumptions of guilt that cripple them in the legal system in certain cases. If things hit the fan and someone has to be chosen for sacrifice to certain death, that person will be male. If a woman is abused by her husband, numerous resources are available to help her. If a man is being abused by his wife, he has no support; there are very few shelters available for them, and womens shelters and feminist groups continually try to sue them out of existance.

I am not going to deny that women are being shafted in a wide variety of ways, and that there is a long way to go before society is equal.
I will, however, note that much of the resistance to fixing things that you see from otherwise forward-thinking people springs from the cold, entitled indifference that they experience whenever any of these issues are brought up. It creates instant enemies and slams doors shut.

Generally people don't set out trying to humiliate women for the crime of being women. Instead they set out not giving a damn about women and solely thinking about what will please men and the result turns out offensive simply because no thought was given to not making it so.
Statements used to belittle or deny the relatively minor but nonetheless meaningful and present concerns that men bring up when the discussion comes up is humiliating to them. It's pretty much communicates that they are being humiliated just because they are men. It communicates that feminist women do not giving a damn about men as human beings, and that womens' happiness overrides any concern they might ever have. There is no thought in it.
And, since these men have just been told that their thoughts are meaningless and that they personally are worthless, their motivation to cooperate in any way to cure the injustice descends to almost exactly zero.

A conversation that on one side was "Yes, you are right, this is unfair, lets sort the rules out to make it fair" is answered with "No, we like it unfair, we just want to take all your advantages and give you some of our disadvantages so that you can be second class citizens", and in the blink of an eye you have raised armies of sworn enemies from the ranks of your former allies. Needless to say, this is tactically stupid.

RPGuru1331
2013-02-28, 12:43 PM
Men and women both have asymmetrical collections of cultural expectations and priviledges. Men have a good collection, and women have the short straw in a majority of cases... but not all cases.

That isn'ta structural inequality, that is BS being piled onto having your greatness extolled. You're supposed to suck it up because as a man, you are the bee's knees. This is as opposed to just BS. The only extent to which structural inequalities can at all be said to be levelled against men is when there are different-gendered oppressions on some other axis - gay men don't suffer the same crap as gay women. Latin@ men don't deal with the same crap as Latin@ women. But that isn't an inequality against men for being men - that's a structural inequality for being <Whatever>, manifested differently against men and women.


I will, however, note that much of the resistance to fixing things that you see from otherwise forward-thinking people springs from the cold, entitled indifference that they experience whenever any of these issues are brought up. It creates instant enemies and slams doors shut.

Maybe if they weren't so typically brought up to tell women "Shut up and deal with it", I might be more inclined to care.


Statements used to belittle or deny the relatively minor but nonetheless meaningful and present concerns that men bring up when the discussion comes up is humiliating to them.
Yeah, in the sense that maligning the primacy men are entitled to is 'humiliation' I guess it is.


t communicates that feminist women do not giving a damn about men as human beings, and that womens' happiness overrides any concern they might ever have.
No, it doesn't. It communicates that hte problems women face are more pressing, and far more reaching. The majority's problems are definitionally not as bad. And again, maybe if you actually cared enough that this was important to you in a way that didn't involve needling women working on sexism, I might be more inspired to care. But it isn't.


conversation that on one side was "Yes, you are right, this is unfair, lets sort the rules out to make it fair" is answered with "No, we like it unfair, we just want to take all your advantages and give you some of our disadvantages so that you can be second class citizens", and in the blink of an eye you have raised armies of sworn enemies from the ranks of your former allies. Needless to say, this is tactically stupid.
This is an outright lie, to pretend this is what happens ever, and it is facially untrue. Frankly, the norm is for women to bend over backwards and try to accommodate these complaints as well as their own. If you want to actually work on the few issues that face men, great - I'll support you. I already do, since there are some groups that actually do. But as long as it's just BS to throw at me, while I try to work in some small way on things that are important to me, I don't care.


If a man is being abused by his wife, he has no support; there are very few shelters available for them, and womens shelters and feminist groups continually try to sue them out of existance.
FYI: The majority of men's shelters are operated by feminists. Your fabrication is duly noted.

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-28, 12:53 PM
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J057v13n01_03
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11199-007-9278-1?LI=true
https://lirias.kuleuven.be/handle/123456789/367856[/QUOTE]


Most of those don't have a good comparison with male sexualization, but the second one is valid. Thanks.



That's not where the divide is at all. It's about degree and presentation, not just 'characterization'. Sexualizing women definitionally brings their sexual aspects to the fore.

To an extent, yes. But a sexualized female character can still have other aspects that are noticed, or even held above that, as, for example, Agatha in Girl Genius shows.


It's misogynist if you, as a person, contribute to the lower status of women. Because that's what actually changes things - your intent is nothing but perhaps sweet words (Except in this case it's not even really that).

Fair enough. Dressing one up pretty remains independent of lowering her status, however. As things like, say, the veil show.


Trivial. The overwhelming majority of all sexual fanservice is devoted to Agatha or the other women in proportions that please Phil, which if it's in any doubt, just look at the porn he's made of them (actual porn, just so we're clear).

But Phil's certainly consulted Kaja on the matter at least once (they're married). so she's at least fine with it.


The prime antagonist also counts on sex appeal as one of her primary weapons,

Well, yes, there are indeed women that do this, though, so I don't see how including one (and it's at best two) out of a slew of female characters that follows this is particularly attitude inducing.


with Agatha doing so somewhat frequently (although certainly less so).

Agatha does so not at all. In fact, the comic takes some pains in the early volumes to enforce the idea that she doesn't do that sort of thing.


The men are generally more stable, particularly amongst primary characters (compare Zeetha and Airman 3rd Class Higgs).

Zeetha is only really all that unstable in the scenes with Higgs, honestly.

Comparing her and, say, Lars, you'll get a different picture.


Women are more typically subordinate, even given the principle antagonist and protagonist, than men are.


Would you say that, for example, Anevka is subordinate? That Lucrezia or Zeetha are?

Hell, Zola's subordination is an act and not a real thing. Bang is held on a very loose leash.

.
I wouldn't hesitate to say it's less sexist than everyday society on balance (Which puts it leaps and bounds beyond both print and webcomics on average) - it even occasionally tarts up the men same as it does the women. But only occasionally.

Fair enough, although you'll have to respond to my counters there. More interesting about this part of your statement to me is that you'd be fine with female sexualization if men were sexualized equally, correct?


Dude. Women are reduced to their sexual attributes. Do you think this happens independently of their sexual attributes being on prime display so frequently or something? Because that's most certainly part of it.

Think, for a second, about, say, Middle Eastern countries. Hell, think about 19th Century America.

Were women ever really tarted up there?

I honestly doubt it's a coincidence that the places that sexualize women the least oppress them the most.

Seharvepernfan
2013-02-28, 12:58 PM
A few things about drow bug me, but most of what bugs most people is mostly misconception.

Misconceptions:
-99.9% all have the same mindset/ideology (plenty don't)
-they're better than everybody else (that's what they think)
-they're oversexed (many hate their sex-lives)

What gets me is; if so many of them die due to backstabbing and being wasted by more powerful drow on trivial things, combined with their low birth rate, how the hell are there still any left?

Another thing is, so many people think that they're just so damn cool (for all the wrong reasons). Kinda like twilight vampires. That's not a design flaw, it's a modern society flaw.

I personally like drow. I think they're interesting. I toyed with not having them in my homebrew world - instead having pale, red-eyed psychopathic underworld dwelling elves who are called "dark elves" who lived solitary, vampire-esque lives as hunters and stalkers. Either way, psychopathic subterranean elves is a workable concept.

I think they have the best-portrayed CE society I've ever seen, thanks to Bob Salvatore. On of his books, Starless Night, gives an excellent view of their society, as does the first book of the War of the Spider Queen series, Dissolution.

The only person I know who ever played drow was my cousin, and yes, they were basically all drizzt clones (CG highly-dexterous warriors). Even when drow weren't an option, he'd play half-drow, just because.

I can be perfectly happy in a setting that has, or doesn't have, drow.

Morbis Meh
2013-02-28, 01:12 PM
I believe this side conversation on sexism should be moved to a new thread... I personally view sexism in any form as despicable, I was raised in a pro feminist house hold and I view my spouse as my partner not my subordinate. We are currently in the process of looking into grad schools and where we go is solely influenced by where she is accepted (she is an opera vocalist so she has a limited selection) and I am more than willing to move for her career (realistically chemists can go anywhere so I will do all that I can to back her up). I will use my advantages to make them her advantages dammit, I will work my butt off so she will get her chance to share her gift because she works so hard and deserves it. I will be damned if she doesn't get her chance because what is important to her is important to me. This may mean nothing to a feminist and they may feel that I am not doing my utmost to fixing the problem but I do what I can. We will raise our children to feel as we do and hopefully it will contribute to the greater good. I am just deeply saddened by the hostility generated by this topic, I am a humanist and I believe that with everyone working together humanity can accomplish great deeds... I suppose I am just naiive :smallfrown:

On topic.... The drow don't bother me per se, I haven't read much on their lore nor do I have any friends overly interested in them. I mostly stay away from them as a mechanics standpoint since their LA usually isn't worth it.

RPGuru1331
2013-02-28, 01:22 PM
Most of those don't have a good comparison with male sexualization, but the second one is valid. Thanks.

No, they all do - just not in numbers in the abstract. Even in the abstract they allude to those differences. If you want the actual numbers, read the research in full. I'm not here to spoonfeed you. I didn't even look hard, because I didn't need to. It's right there though.


To an extent, yes. But a sexualized female character can still have other aspects that are noticed, or even held above that, as, for example, Agatha in Girl Genius shows.

And that gainsays that it's predominantly a difference in presentation and degree in what way, exactly?


Fair enough. Dressing one up pretty remains independent of lowering her status, however
No, it isn't. That's just dudes insisting on maintaining their cheesecake. Either make the men all generically pretty and put them in flattering outfits and abs and butt poses (Also, trim off like 50 to 60% of that muscle mass, at least, jesus), or lose most of the cheesecake - else find an actual middling path, or stop pretending this crap is independent. You don't get to ignore the wider world.


But Phil's certainly consulted Kaja on the matter at least once (they're married). so she's at least fine with it.

I'm glad he's not breaking the rules of his marriage, but I don't see what that has to do with the fact that women are the overwhelming majority of the (sexual) fanservice.


Well, yes, there are indeed women that do this, though, so I don't see how including one (and it's at best two) out of a slew of female characters that follows this is particularly attitude inducing.

Do you have any idea how common the seductive, ruinous woman who brings calamity myth is, and how often that trope works its way into fiction? I'll give you a hint, it's considerably moreso than it is in real life. Again, the problem isn't that a given character exhibits those traits, it's that those traits are so bloody common as to contribute to a wider perception. And it's actually a minimum of 3, 4 if you count Anevka (Though that was more fraternal than sexual, sure)


Agatha does so not at all. In fact, the comic takes some pains in the early volumes to enforce the idea that she doesn't do that sort of thing.

Remember Othar getting pushed out of the emergency blimp? She does, it's just not that common (also when under the Other's influence, but not control). Remember when Klaus did? Or Gil? Me neither.



Zeetha is only really all that unstable in the scenes with Higgs, honestly.

Comparing her and, say, Lars, you'll get a different picture.

Bang and Gil. The minor women in the circus with the minor men. For that matter, the circus owner and his wife. Agatha and Klaus (though mercifully not Gil or Tarvek). Lucrezia and Klaus. Anevka and Tarvek. Violeta and Tarvek. Zola and Gil (even with the deception done). Zeetha and Airman Higgs are the latest, but not the first.


Would you say that, for example, Anevka is subordinate? That Lucrezia or Zeetha are?

Was. She's dead now. Zeetha is, Lucrezia isn't.


More interesting about this part of your statement to me is that you'd be fine with female sexualization if men were sexualized equally, correct?

It's telling how you refuse to just maybe take the compliment. Nope, it can't possibly be a little sexist. As if that were even possible. I didn't even mention the mass extermination of female sparks or the near-utter lack of female soldiers (A few characters, and we did get that unit of gals with drill hair like a comic ago.)

And it's probably the suboptimal way of handling it, because it has a host of other problems, but it wouldn't be sexist.



As things like, say, the veil show....
Were women ever really tarted up there?

I honestly doubt it's a coincidence that the places that sexualize women the least oppress them the most.

You don't even know why women wore so much in either set of cultures, do you? Women were portrayed as lascivicious beasts who couldn't keep their lust in check in Victorian Europe. It ain't much better in the middle east. They were definitionally sexualized by virtue of being women. If you'd like to call that 'not sexualizing women', you're free to try.

Libertad
2013-02-28, 02:00 PM
My primary problem with the Drow are that they're Evil done wrong; D&D is no stranger to evil societies, but the problem is that the one presented by the Drow is too over the top that it stretches suspension of disbelief.

There's also the fact that the fluff text (in both unofficial and 3rd party products) frequently says "Drow are Chaotic, but hierarchal, authoritarian, and based upon a rigid caste system dedicated to serving Lolth. Oh, and they also don't really have laws."

I also notice that Drow PCs are popular concepts, and not just necessarily Drizz't Do'Urdlen clones. Drow of the Underdark, Menzoberranzen: City of Intrigue, the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, and Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms are but a few Wizards of the Coast products which support playing as them. Except the problem in many games is that most societies fear and hate Drow to the point of "attack on sight;" usually the DM either has the party be villified and goes through unnecessary drama, and the Drow PC can't visit villages or interact with many NPCs. All too often the Drow PC option is just vetoed to avoid this kind of thing. A common dilemma with "monster" PCs, and not necessary a problem with Drow in particular.

nedz
2013-02-28, 02:09 PM
Well, yeah: don't use them. It's not like they have particularly compelling mechanics.


Yeah, if you don't use the fluff associated with the drow there isn't much reason to use the drow at all. Maybe you don't like that they're dark-skinned, live underground, and are vicious backstabby little jerks that worship spiders; but if all that wasn't true about them they wouldn't really be drow.
Honestly, out of most of the monster races drow just aren't very compelling for me and supplementary material relating to them did little to change that. I guess that's my issue with them in a nutshell, I just don't think they're very interesting.

I meant re-fluff them, but whatever really.

I use them occasionally and there are things you can do with them, most of which you could do with any race.

JusticeZero
2013-02-28, 02:17 PM
FYI: The majority of men's shelters are operated by feminists.

This is correct, and does not negate what I said. The men's shelter nearest to us when we needed it has been forced out by legal action from a womens shelter. Feminists attacking feminists. I agree that that is really stupid. I can't speak to the majority of cases, just to the one I personally know about.

The idea that these attacks are probably widespread is completely understandable considering how vehemently you have been attacking me when I essentially have been nothing but supportive of your position save for that one point, and have repeatedly noted that fixing it is in YOUR interest.

It does not matter in the least bit how pressing a given stakeholders problems are when you are not talking about a zero sum problem. "Rework society" is not zero sum. We do not need to agonize when we grant deserved rights to a group who has been denied them "Oh gee, we have to find another group of people to treat badly just for the sake of keeping things balanced". Especially when the trivial-to-you issues being raised are issues that rebound to work against womens equality as second order effects.

Men see them, because they have to work around them; women don't see them. This is just the way power works; you don't see priviledge, only restriction. Priviledge is seen by those who don't have them. In this case, men - who have come to agree that they have lots more privilege - are noting that there are a few privileges that they lack.

In many cases, since the privileges in question are often in the domestic sphere, those privileges are ones that they need to perform the duties that we are trying to make equal. If one is to accept responsibility for rearing children for example, they need to have the ability to spend time with children safely and without arbitrary restrictions. Work/home balance issues are here too. Working conditions that are unreasonable to expect women to deal with aren't any more reasonable for men to put up with either, but they never complained about it because guys don't think to complain.

This basic combative attitude, by the way, is the reason why there is a huge number of people in the area I grew up who have attitudes like "I plant trees because I want to help global warming, I walk so I won't pollute, I recycle and mulch my waste and cut back on my meat because I don't want to support all the pollution the animal industry causes, I only get sustainable things - and if I ever see one of those damn Environmentalists i'm going to ram this shotgun down their throat, pull the trigger and dance on their corpse."

Not that it matters. I doubt you are going to read a word i've said except to try to find things you can copypasta to belittle and attack me.

JusticeZero
2013-02-28, 02:24 PM
All too often the Drow PC option is just vetoed to avoid this kind of thing.
This. The whole race has been designed badly, and needs a complete redesign that I just simply cannot be bothered to do just because some player got an idea to play what has become a reasonably common archetype that is linked to a society that I had hoped to just leave blank.

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-28, 02:37 PM
No, they all do - just not in numbers in the abstract. Even in the abstract they allude to those differences. If you want the actual numbers, read the research in full. I'm not here to spoonfeed you. I didn't even look hard, because I didn't need to. It's right there though-


I read later on something about someone refusing to take the compliment? Who was that again?



And that gainsays that it's predominantly a difference in presentation and degree in what way, exactly?

It doesn't. I'm linking it more to the idea that it's independent of lowering their status, because sexualized women can still be fairly awesome in other arenas.



No, it isn't. That's just dudes insisting on maintaining their cheesecake. Either make the men all generically pretty and put them in flattering outfits and abs and butt poses (Also, trim off like 50 to 60% of that muscle mass, at least, jesus), or lose most of the cheesecake - else find an actual middling path, or stop pretending this crap is independent. You don't get to ignore the wider world.

I already follow these rules in my own writing, so I think I'm good with regards to the wider world (about half of my women are seriously fanserviced, half not. I don't outright fanservice men, but that's because I'm not entirely sure how to do it, and I certainly don't do the muscle mass thing. So...)


I'm glad he's not breaking the rules of his marriage, but I don't see what that has to do with the fact that women are the overwhelming majority of the (sexual) fanservice.

Conceded, there.


Do you have any idea how common the seductive, ruinous female myth is, and how often that trope works its way into fiction? I'll give you a hint, it's considerably moreso than it is in real life. Again, the problem isn't that a given character exhibits those traits, it's that those traits are so bloody common as to contribute to a wider perception.

...okay, it's common. Regardless, putting it in there somewhere amongst the multitude isn't really bad.



And it's actually a minimum of 3, 4 if you count Anevka (Though that was more fraternal than sexual, sure)

...who's the third?

I remember Lucrezia, obviously, and Zola didn't really do anything sexual, much, but she manipulated a sort-of love interest pretty well, even if the interest wasn't actually sexual.




Remember Othar getting pushed out of the emergency blimp? She does, it's just not that common (also when under the Other's influence, but not control). Remember when Klaus did? Or Gil? Me neither.

Tarvek did. With Lucrezia, a bit, when he flattered her.




Bang and Gil.The minor women in the circus with the minor men. For that matter, the circus owner and his wife. Agatha and Klaus (though mercifully not Gil or Tarvek). Lucrezia and Klaus. Anevka and Tarvek. Violeta and Tarvek. Zola and Gil (even with the deception done). Zeetha and Airman Higgs are the latest, but not the first.

The minor women in the circus and the minor men are roughly equal as stability goes, as is the circus owner and his wife. I also don't get how you figure Agatha's less stable than Klaus--they're roughly equal (neither of them are pursuing any truly insane agenda, and Agatha and Klaus would actually have come to an accords in the early volumes had Lucrezia not screwed things up).

Meanwhile...as cases where the women are more stable than the men...

Agatha and Gil. Agatha and Moloch (at least post-Castle Heterodyne), Zeetha and Lars, Sanaa and Othar. Plus Anevka (or the Geisterdammen) and Aaronev.

So that's 6 or 7 to 5. Not so bad.



Was. She's dead now.

...how do you figure?


Zeetha is.

Again, how?




It's telling how you refuse to just maybe take the compliment. Nope, it can't possibly be a little sexist. As if that were even possible. I didn't even mention the mass extermination of female sparks

There was no such mass extermination that I recall. Just fewer female sparks born, and those female sparks that do exist are portrayed as some of the most powerful in the setting, so...


or the near-utter lack of female soldiers (A few characters, and we did get that unit of gals with drill hair like a comic ago.)

At best a minor blip on the sexism radar. Soldiers are extras, after all.



Women were portrayed as lascivicious beasts who couldn't keep their lust in check in Victorian Europe. They were definitionally sexualized by virtue of being women. Like I said, it has nothing to do with appearance alone.

...and the response was a general frowning-on of emphasis on appearance. Which didn't help oppression any.

awa
2013-02-28, 02:50 PM
your just going back and forth you should really find a different thread to post in or at least make some comment about drow at the end of the post.

speaking of wich i dislike how they get so much attention and material thrown at them. drow get tons of prestige classes and feats and magic items while races like goblins and gnolls barely get anything at all.

ArcturusV
2013-02-28, 02:53 PM
Gnoll? What's that? +4 ECL because they have darkvision 60' and +1 natural armor or something? :smallbiggrin: But yeah. Also a valid point.

RPGuru1331
2013-02-28, 03:00 PM
This is correct, and does not negate what I said. The men's shelter nearest to us when we needed it has been forced out by legal action from a womens shelter. Feminists attacking feminists. I agree that that is really stupid. I can't speak to the majority of cases, just to the one I personally know about.

I doubt you actually got the whole story, and even if you did, that basically never happens; It's tragic, and once is too many, but it's by no means the norm. And you did speak tot he majority of cases. You explicitly stated, counter to the evidence, that the majority of men's shelters are closed by feminists or women's shelters. That is absolutely not true.



The idea that these attacks are probably widespread is completely understandable considering how vehemently you have been attacking me when I essentially have been nothing but supportive of your position save for that one point, and have repeatedly noted that fixing it is in YOUR interest.
With friends like you, I don't need enemies. You've spent most of your 'supportive posts' actually saying that I am doing it wrong, and should be focusing on your problems, and woe be unto the straight middle class white male. You've even fabricated out of wholecloth reasons why it is in my interest to fix your problems first - I was not the only one to notice the outright lie about the cause of the glass ceiling, after all.

To then take my rejection of this wishy-washy, self centered 'support' as evidence that men's shelters are closed by feminists and women's shelters, contra to real world evidence yet again, is... not even telling, really.


Men see them, because they have to work around them; women don't see them. This is just the way power works; you don't see priviledge, only restriction. Priviledge is seen by those who don't have them. In this case, men - who have come to agree that they have lots more privilege - are noting that there are a few privileges that they lack.

I said 'stop aping feminist discourse', not 'do it more'. It' sreally funny to pretend that crap that holds us back in the domestic sphere is 'privilege', I guess, but that's just how it goes when you don't actually have many problems and are trying to tell women to shut up.


In many cases, since the privileges in question are often in the domestic sphere, those privileges are ones that they need to perform the duties that we are trying to make equal. If one is to accept responsibility for rearing children for example, they need to have the ability to spend time with children safely and without arbitrary restrictions. Work/home balance issues are here too.
Oh please, take ladies' night off my hands if it'll make the lot of you stop demanding access to partial nudity in all entertainment. I've never seen a 'female privilege' list that wasn't overburdened with stupid and wrong, but if you'd like to correct the matter feel free.

Seriously, take my ghetto. I don't want a disproportionate burden of all household and child rearing chores.


Working conditions that are unreasonable to expect women to deal with aren't any more reasonable for men to put up with either, but they never complained about it because guys don't think to complain.
There's nothing about them being 'unreasonable to expect them of women'. You're just trying to nom onto that interesting, false bit of rubbish about disposability now. And I care about workplace safety - it's an issue that affects the poor disproportionately, not just men. But I sure as shooting don't care to have some 'ally' try to lecture me on how I should be doing it to help men because men are just so put upon and how can you possibly not see how men are more important than you (I know damn well that society says men are more important than women thank you very much)

It does not matter in the least bit how pressing a given stakeholders problems are when you are not talking about a zero sum problem.
Uh, yeah, it does. Time, energy, political will, and money are all limited factors. That they theoretically all can be fixed does not change that priorities must be given to order. And the majority always seems to insist that ti's definitionally smaller problems must be solved before we worry about the minority's - that any desire to maybe fix the more dire problems first is mere 'selfishness'. You've been doing it the whole time, and it is hardly novel to you.


Especially when the trivial-to-you issues being raised are issues that rebound to work against womens equality as second order effects.
Kid, you don't know who you're talking to. These aren't just 'trivial to me'. What you've said is demonstrably not as much of a problem. I know exactly how much you are trying to pull the wool over my eyes here.


This basic combative attitude, by the way, is the reason why there is a huge number of people in the area I grew up who have attitudes like "I plant trees because I want to help global warming, I walk so I won't pollute, I recycle and mulch my waste and cut back on my meat because I don't want to support all the pollution the animal industry causes, I only get sustainable things - and if I ever see one of those damn Environmentalists i'm going to ram this shotgun down their throat, pull the trigger and dance on their corpse."

"It's your fault that people don't like you, since you aren't accepting my smarmy, self-centred brand of help that requires you to first focus on my definitionally smaller problems before I even try to help you."

Good lord, are you taking this out of a manual? It's a good thing I'm not actually new to this junk, it suckers a lot of people.


Not that it matters. I doubt you are going to read a word i've said except to try to find things you can copypasta to belittle and attack me.

Am I hurting your feelings by not having read anything new out of your posts? Even your fabrications are well-worn.

On Topic:

I meant re-fluff them, but whatever really.
I caught that first post out of you too, come to think of it. You know, it's a DnD race, not something complex. Re-mechanizing htem is actually easier than actually creating new fluff out of wholecloth, by and large.

JusticeZero
2013-02-28, 03:08 PM
Yeah, and i'd *love* to fluff out the goblins, kobolds, etc. more. I can fit those guys everywhere.

Instead, I end up just using Orcs as a template for Native Americans and mention the orcish ghetto on the edge of major cities.

I ditch the goblinoids completely because I have nothing to do for them. One game, I had a genetic heirarchy of goblin types worked out but the game fizzled before they got to them.

Kobolds end up getting used as a completely ooc junk encounter to deal with the players that annoyingly insist on starting at level 1 to get them another HD so they can actually reliably survive a round of combat with an enemy that uses something bigger than a dagger. They're pretty much just 'tutorial mission' fodder right now, in spite of having a lot of potential to be more. They seem like the kind of enemy that could, surprisingly enough, make for good BBEGs if it werent for the fact that i'd have to build so much onto them for them to get there.

And then you have Drow, which get lots of material that makes everybody want to play themk, and their design is garbage so I have to either ban them or redesign them completely from the outset - i shouldn't have to.

Terraoblivion
2013-02-28, 03:13 PM
Think, for a second, about, say, Middle Eastern countries. Hell, think about 19th Century America.

Were women ever really tarted up there?

I honestly doubt it's a coincidence that the places that sexualize women the least oppress them the most.

You do know that not all of the middle east enforces burqas, right? You'll see a lot of Turkish or Lebanese tv with women wearing quite revealing clothes and heavy make-up. Also, the reason women are covered so much among more radical Muslim and Hasidic groups is specifically because of the view that female bodies are so inherently sexy that they will incite lust in men by their very presence. That seems like a fairly sexualized view of women to me, you know.

Also, at least in some Muslim circles there's an expectation that women look sexy for their husbands, even if they have to cover up to avoid doing so for other men. A view that quite closely mirrors that of the Christian sex manual industry found among American fundamentalist Christians, with the LaHayes being particularly famous for both insisting on the superiority of men and the duty of women to be attractive to their husbands.

Ultimately, you're really only seeing the most superficial aspects of it, without looking at the logic and reasoning behind this behavior. Not just that, you miss the blindingly obvious thing that makes both covering women and demanding that women look hot to men sexist. That is that it's all about how men feel about the women and not about how the women feel about themselves or how they choose to express themselves.

And JusticeZero, you do know that the average woman has almost as much paid work as the average man, on top of that women are expected to do the overwhelming amount of housework, especially in the US. Also, while men are not expected to be around the kids a lot, that doesn't mean that they're scorned for it as long as it's within the limits they set. Forcing a man to do housework or look after his children when he doesn't want to is what's looked down upon and the blame the man gets is for being a wuss who couldn't stand up to his wife, not for transgressing on what is solely for women. Instead a man who does the bare minimum gets praise for being a good father, though again more so in the US than in Europe.

This doesn't even mention that the specific problems men face come from views that are generally to the benefit of men, even if they hurt an individual man. Men not getting much help in the case of domestic abuse stems from the belief that women are too weak to be able to abuse a man and that men are too strong physically and mentally to let themselves be abused. It's obviously harmful to the men who suffer from the abuse, but it's not the result of a structural dislike or devaluation of men.

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-28, 03:21 PM
You do know that not all of the middle east enforces burqas, right? You'll see a lot of Turkish or Lebanese tv with women wearing quite revealing clothes and heavy make-up.

...and those two are some of the more Western nations in the region, yes.


Also, the reason women are covered so much among more radical Muslim and Hasidic groups is specifically because of the view that female bodies are so inherently sexy that they will incite lust in men by their very presence. That seems like a fairly sexualized view of women to me, you know.

Well, yeah, but it's the same sort of view anti-objectification types hold--that the portrayal of the female body results in bad things for women. The only difference is that the right-wing muslims pursue "anti-objectification" stuff in real life, as well.


Also, at least in some Muslim circles there's an expectation that women look sexy for their husbands, even if they have to cover up to avoid doing so for other men. A view that quite closely mirrors that of the Christian sex manual industry found among American fundamentalist Christians, with the LaHayes being particularly famous for both insisting on the superiority of men and the duty of women to be attractive to their husbands.

Still fairly similar to the anti-objectification take, at least when you pair it with other views those people often have. Women who aren't "sexually liberated" are viewed as prudes, after all. While it's true, I'll admit, that feminism of today dictates that even the unattractive women ought to get laid, this only really applies to body types, not attitudes.

And, on top of that, a lot of the women who support the veil support it precisely because they don't want to be objectified.


Ultimately, you're really only seeing the most superficial aspects of it, without looking at the logic and reasoning behind this behavior. Not just that, you miss the blindingly obvious thing that makes both covering women and demanding that women look hot to men sexist. That is that it's all about how men feel about the women and not about how the women feel about themselves or how they choose to express themselves.

For a large number of people, that isn't the reasoning, though.

Terraoblivion
2013-02-28, 03:31 PM
Well, yeah, but it's the same sort of view anti-objectification types hold--that the portrayal of the female body results in bad things for women. The only difference is that the right-wing muslims pursue "anti-objectification" stuff in real life, as well.

So...The view that female bodies are so inherently sexy that men cannot control themselves around it is opposed to sexually objectifying women? Also, it's not about bad things happening to women, it's about bad things happening to men. They lose their self-control and might get hurt feelings when they're turned down. The poor things might even lose control so much that they have to rape the woman who had maliciously dressed in a garment with some kind of shape. The shame for a poor man to lose self-control that much. That's the logic behind forcing women to cover up, regardless of religion. This describes the whole thing as it looks in an American context pretty well. (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/02/10/the-problem-with-evangelical-sexual-ethics-is-there-arent-any/) There are links to an Indian context too and if you poke around his blog a bit, you'll find more posts about the same topic.

JusticeZero
2013-02-28, 03:38 PM
Also, while men are not expected to be around the kids a lot, that doesn't mean that they're scorned for it as long as it's within the limits they set.Which limits? Things like "As long as you don't try to change diapers while away from home, and don't expect to be able to sit at a playground while a child you are taking care of is playing without stirring up suspicion and maybe people in uniforms"?

This doesn't even mention that the specific problems men face come from views that are generally to the benefit of men, even if they hurt an individual man.It's refreshing to see that someone agrees with me for once.
Men not getting much help in the case of domestic abuse stems from the belief that women are too weak to be able to abuse a man and that men are too strong physically and mentally to let themselves be abused. It's obviously harmful to the men who suffer from the abuse, but it's not the result of a structural dislike or devaluation of men.Exactly! :smallsmile: Though I would disagree that men are not being demonized here. The same attitude that says "A woman is too weak to hurt her husband" will say "A woman is too weak to work in *insert combat-and-death-prone career here*". Whether the ability to be chosen to go to dangerous places to die as a redshirt at the whim of someone in power is a desirable privilege or a white elephant I would leave as a personal exercise, but I am very glad to see restrictions prohibiting making that choice in the process of falling away.

Terraoblivion
2013-02-28, 03:47 PM
Which limits? Things like "As long as you don't try to change diapers while away from home, and don't expect to be able to sit at a playground while a child you are taking care of is playing without stirring up suspicion and maybe people in uniforms"?

I mean the limits of the individual man. Basically, a man will not be scorned for looking after his kids as long as he makes it clear that he chose to, then he'll be considered a good father, even if he does the bare minimums. People might half-pity, half-mock him if he's doing it out of necessity, at least if it's a necessity that involves a wife or girlfriend working, having fun on her own or similar.

And you'll have to provide some evidence that men suffer from that great pedophilia scares, because it's a pretty big claim that men can't even be around their own kids outside the home. If it was true, you'd expect it to make a lot of waves that were easily provided evidence of. So if you can't provide that, I'll be forced to assume that it's just hyperbole to strengthen your case of "what about the menz!"

nedz
2013-02-28, 04:14 PM
I have used Drow in some memorable encounters.

I had one group mounted on Clockwork Horses/Mount spells armed with lances not the sort of thing you expect coming at you out of the underdark.

I made some into Warlocks which was interesting, but I could have used any race.

I had some others use the giant mushrooms they grow as a maze like defensive barricade with lots of spells being fired through the gaps.

I upgraded some of their spider pets into Phase Spiders and even Bebiliths. I do remember one encounter on the Ethereal where I described the Bebiliths as looking like the shadow vessels from Babylon 5 as they appeared out of the aether.

So it is possible to do things with them, but it is quite hard.

JusticeZero
2013-02-28, 04:17 PM
It's common knowledge to people in the teaching profession. Which results in less male teachers, which doesn't help the falling performance of male students in absolute terms. (I'd be fine with relative, but absolute is worrisome.) It's this sort've thing as noted below.
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=5670187&page=1
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-14748273
I also recognize that there is far too few women in leadership in the schools; the school district I was in was good about that (and was also headed by a woman) but not everywhere is. I'm highlighting teachers specifically, since they have to work with children directly.

Anyways.

The same attitude that says "A woman is too weak to hurt her husband" will say "A woman is too weak to work in *insert combat-and-death-prone career here*". Whether the ability to be chosen to go to dangerous places to die as a redshirt at the whim of someone in power is a desirable privilege or a white elephant I would leave as a personal exercise, but I am very glad to see restrictions prohibiting making that choice in the process of falling away.

I call it a white elephant, and thusly I don't put many females into roaming NPC military groups even in matriarchal societies. Both males and females tend to value females too much to want to put them into bloody face to face combat as a group, even though their reasons are different, in societies where there are lots of divisions and seperations like a typical fantasy setting.

That said, if the players attack a castle, the hallway behind the fortifications from where the defensive works are operated tends to be heavily female-dominated.

That has the side effect that the military leadership in these societies become more female-dominated the more damage the nation takes. Military people get their promotions through valor in battle after all, and if the women are guarding the walls they don't have much success on the career track as long as your side keep winning on the offense. It's a break from my egalitarian tendencies, but perfect egalitarianism is generally only something you start getting when you see lots of rampant peace like we've had for the past century or so. When you're sending people out to probable death, people tend to suddenly remember evolutionary math and keep their daughters behind the city walls.

A similar effect is behind much of the push to put women into more combat roles today, as I recall, and the whole issue above makes it controversial. Less so these days because modern wars on the techy nation side has very few casualties, removing the horror of seeing battlefields full of bloody bodies of your kin. I'm told the U.S. lost more soldiers to car crashes nowhere remotely near combat zones than to enemy attacks in the last major military action, and people think of cars as safe.

Terraoblivion
2013-02-28, 04:25 PM
Male teachers being under undue suspicion is not exactly the same as all men being it all the time, though. I know about that and certainly consider it awful, but it's not a grand, sweeping issue that all men suffer under all the time.

And about the military discussion. Women are mostly being kept out of front line service because everybody "knows" front line service is a man's job. The Israelis who have quite a lot of front line also have quite a lot of female combat troops, seemingly without it having a meaningful impact on procreation. In fact, the whole procreation thing, outside of an absolutely apocalyptic total war scenario, seems kinda unlikely because in most wars through out history there just didn't die that many soldiers. In fact, one of the things that's remarkable about the First World War is that more soldiers than civilians died. So it doesn't seem like a particularly strong argument against women fighting, though it might well be a convenient excuse people used in addition to the more prevalent one about men being stronger and naturally better at fighting.

JusticeZero
2013-02-28, 04:46 PM
And you'll have to provide some evidence that men suffer from that great pedophilia scares, because it's a pretty big claim that men can't even be around their own kids outside the home.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703779704576073752925629440.html
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703779704576073752925629440.html
http://www.freerangekids.com/cop-suspects-dad-walking-with-his-kid-of-being-a-predator-adds-you-should-thank-me-2/
http://www.mamamia.com.au/parenting/abducting-his-own-child/
bottom letter here.. (http://www.news-journal.com/opinion/letters/letters-on-having-nothing-to-say-trashy-roads-mistaken-identity/article_13fe229f-d657-5627-b453-be9b71a311dd.html)
We really just sort've simmer in this sort've stuff and become increasingly nervous about spending time with our kids. You can see that a lot of that is internalized; the pool for instance was a defensive act.

RPGuru1331
2013-02-28, 04:53 PM
Well, yeah, but it's the same sort of view anti-objectification types hold--that the portrayal of the female body results in bad things for women.
No, actually, because one is grounded in fact, and the other is not. Men can obviously control themselves and women are obviously not so untouchably sexy, but women actually are treated more as sex objects. It's, again, really funny that you can't actually defend your points beyond insisting that sexualizing women is fine. It is abundantly clear what your actual goal is.


Still fairly similar to the anti-objectification take, at least when you pair it with other views those people often have. Women who aren't "sexually liberated" are viewed as prudes, after all.
Holy Logic Pretzels, Batman! What the hwem just happened to the whole thing about how you know, people like me think generic 'bad things' will happen to women (as opposed to the well documented things we know happen)?



And, on top of that, a lot of the women who support the veil support it precisely because they don't want to be objectified.

I never cease to tire of comparisons to muslims as though they're bogeymen. It is fundamentally different for a woman to say 'I want to wear this for my own reasons' than it is to be told 'you will wear this for my reasons'.



For a large number of people, that isn't the reasoning, though.

It was the reason for the societal attitudes of the cultures you cited, dude - or at least, the ones you were trying to use to your advantage. Seriously, this is getting embarrassing.


that he chose to, then he'll be considered a good father, even if he does the bare minimums.
Frick, I've heard of fathers 'babysitting their kids'. Because you know, watching them's the mother's job. The planet's hwemmed up.


It's common knowledge to people in the teaching profession. Which results in less male teachers
So does the promotion of male teachers to administration, but I don't hear you complaining about that. Which is what you've always been doing with every example - it's likely why Terraoblivion pointed out that the negative aspects that hurt individual men are attached to ideals that help men. You don't ever actually go for the root. You want men not to be told 'suck it up', but you don't ever seem to rail against the underlying 'boys are awesome and above those wimpy emotional girls'.


which doesn't help the falling performance of male students in absolute terms. (I'd be fine with relative, but absolute is worrisome.) It's this sort've thing as noted below
What's a male teacher going to do that a female teacher isn't? Provide EVEN MORE attention and fawning? Boys doing bad in schools has less than nothing to do with 'neglect'. They get the majority of the attention and time from the teachers. Seriously, read a study at some point. Navelgazing is not a good way to learn about how the world works.


Less so these days because modern wars on the techy nation side has very few casualties, removing the horror of seeing battlefields full of bloody bodies of your kin.
that was more of a danger for civilians than it was soldiers. If we were trying to keep women safer, we'd give them (heavy, in the modern era) weapons and training in war during or before a war. As, indeed, some societies did, even in the past.


We really just sort've simmer in this sort've stuff and become increasingly nervous about spending time with our kids. You can see that a lot of that is internalized; the pool for instance was a defensive act.

News, not research. Yawn.

Terraoblivion
2013-02-28, 04:56 PM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703779704576073752925629440.html
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703779704576073752925629440.html
http://www.freerangekids.com/cop-suspects-dad-walking-with-his-kid-of-being-a-predator-adds-you-should-thank-me-2/
http://www.mamamia.com.au/parenting/abducting-his-own-child/
bottom letter here.. (http://www.news-journal.com/opinion/letters/letters-on-having-nothing-to-say-trashy-roads-mistaken-identity/article_13fe229f-d657-5627-b453-be9b71a311dd.html)
We really just sort've simmer in this sort've stuff and become increasingly nervous about spending time with our kids. You can see that a lot of that is internalized; the pool for instance was a defensive act.

So the big proof that men are constantly harassed by people who are afraid of pedophiliacs are roughly six or seven bits of anecdotal evidence presented with limited context. I kinda don't really think that these random bits are all that convincing on their own. I can't really say that I've met a lot of men terrified of being called molesters for being around their own kids. And again, if they are such a big problem outside of child care and teaching, I'd imagine it making bigger ripples than this.

JusticeZero
2013-02-28, 04:58 PM
In fact, the whole procreation thing, outside of an absolutely apocalyptic total war scenario, seems kinda unlikely because in most wars through out history there just didn't die that many soldiers.The majority of prehistory has been variants of "apocalyptic total war scenarios"; civilization changes that up but you still don't see the isolated tribes that we've seen sending the girls out to raid. Hunting, sure. Defense sure. Not offense. There are a number of things that people find unsettling that seem to go back to evolutionary sources, and that's one of the ones that fits the model fairly well. The fact that we can get away with it in modern times doesn't change the fundamental unease that people tend to have about it until they build up a better idea of the situation.
And the fact that lots of cities used to get sacked and the women treated very poorly does not offset the fact that the military types were getting sent into the meat grinder more directly. Rather, it just points out that it's hard to defend civilians in a medieval war. Again indicating that a matriarchal fantasy culture is probably going to spend a lot more time on having an awesome defense, rather than on poisoning each other.

Libertad
2013-02-28, 05:01 PM
I encourage everyone to start reporting the off-topic posts. The posters will keep at it until the moderators step in.

This thread is about DROW, not real-world sexism and gender issues which have no bearing on the discussion at hand!

RPGuru1331
2013-02-28, 05:03 PM
Off topic posts: A blight upon the internet when it's about sexism, but perfectly okay when on the subject of the merits of Monks.


The majority of prehistory has been variants of "apocalyptic total war scenarios";
Nope. Take a real anthropology course sometime. The pop culture version has less than nothing to do with reality. If you're actually running low on food, you don't have the means to keep half your population home not gathering food.


And the fact that lots of cities used to get sacked and the women treated very poorly does not offset the fact that the military types were getting sent into the meat grinder more directly.
Civilians die more than soldiers in almost every war. And the civilians seem to be far more likely to be women, which given that militarization rates are almost never that high simply isn't due to the fact that some men are soldiers. You're trying to invent stupid justifications for facts that don't meet reality.

Terraoblivion
2013-02-28, 05:08 PM
The majority of prehistory has been variants of "apocalyptic total war scenarios"; civilization changes that up but you still don't see the isolated tribes that we've seen sending the girls out to raid. Hunting, sure. Defense sure. Not offense. There are a number of things that people find unsettling that seem to go back to evolutionary sources, and that's one of the ones that fits the model fairly well. The fact that we can get away with it in modern times doesn't change the fundamental unease that people tend to have about it until they build up a better idea of the situation.
And the fact that lots of cities used to get sacked and the women treated very poorly does not offset the fact that the military types were getting sent into the meat grinder more directly. Rather, it just points out that it's hard to defend civilians in a medieval war. Again indicating that a matriarchal fantasy culture is probably going to spend a lot more time on having an awesome defense, rather than on poisoning each other.

And I'd again like to point out that pre-industrial and post-flight warfare predominantly hurts civilians, even in proportion to the total number of soldiers and civilians in the warzone. It wasn't just male soldiers sacking cities and raping the women like you make it seem. In pre-industrial warfare it mostly came down to soldiers needing food and to a lesser degree that robbing the local population was an expected part of military campaigns, for warfare after flight it's because industrial capacity and civilian morale is the most important resource for a nation. Only colonial wars far from home are exempt from that, being attempts at establishing or preserving imperialistic hegemony rather than wars about the nation itself. And that exemption only applies to the aggressor, not the country getting invaded, where the civilians will experience as much horror as they do otherwise, often even more as the society collapses around them.

As for your appeal to prehistory...Go read a ****ing history book before spewing drivel. Prehistoric warfare was pretty damn diverse, ranging from complex, large scale iron age societies clashing to cattle raids among tribes of a few dozen members each. The former tends to be a lot like medieval warfare, the latter is way too small scale for either party to risk going all out. In neither case do we have total war engulfing entire societies that are turned purely to the continuation of the war which is what total war is. So, no, prehistory wasn't marked by apocalyptic total war, the kind you'd get if you got high on something and imagined WWII continuing for decades at full strength. And you'd know that if you had even a shred of knowledge about history or what the terms apocalyptic and total war mean.

JusticeZero
2013-02-28, 05:15 PM
So does the promotion of male teachers to administration, but I don't hear you complaining about that.
I also recognize that there is far too few women in leadership in the schools; the school district I was in was good about that (and was also headed by a woman) but not everywhere is. :smallconfused:

I'm a bit curious what sort've tweaks people have had to change their drow into. I've heard Venice, but that's hazy. I just ban them and, honestly, the whole freaking Underdark as it is. I replace it with a fungal mold forest with myconids. I haven't had much trouble with players because I generally don't do a lot with any kind of elves at all. The people I game with the most often all got sick of them back during the AD&D days. I don't live in the same place though, and i'm interested in hearing how people have rekitted them.

ArcturusV
2013-02-28, 05:21 PM
Typically if someone tells me they absolutely want to play a Drow? I tell them, "Okay... but they're just dark skinned elves, just like dark skinned humans. Same stats, same bonuses, same powers. And they live on the surface."

Then they usually spend an hour arguing with me (As the DM) about how all Drow, regardless of if they never lived in the Underdark should have Darkvision, special Underdark based equipment/items, innate magic that other elves don't have, etc. Get pissy, eventually say that because I'm the DM they're okay with it being "just an Elf with different coloration"...

... then try to sneak something past me in game that makes them "proper" drow again.

RedWarlock
2013-02-28, 05:22 PM
Back onto the topic of DROW:

I've used them pretty minimally in my games. My favorite version of them was actually in a setting I wrote up where they were allies with the surface elves. The prime elven goddess (who I called Llolth but have considered renaming) was a trickster fey goddess of spiders, illusions, and magic. CN rather than CE.

The elves lived in a massive forest region which had an overgrown canyon at its core. This canyon led into the Underdark, which was defined as corruptive and harsh by its nature, with vicious predators and predatory societies. Drow who lived below were often, but not always evil, while surface-living drow were almost as varied in alignment as any PC race, tending towards CN like their goddess.

The main effect of this on the game, which did not last long, unfortunately, was that one of my players was absolutely tickled to be playing a CN Elf Paladin of Llolth. The contrast more than anything else hit his buttons.

(In this setting, the various races were directly resulting from the influence of the gods on humans, so humans influenced by the collective fey gods became elves, which when more specifically influenced by the Spider goddess became Drow. The further spider-like creatures, driders, aranea, etc, are those more-favored, or whose ancestors were more favored, by this version of Llolth.)

RPGuru1331
2013-02-28, 05:31 PM
:smallconfused:
Still not reallly the same thing. And even if it were, you still utterly ignored a major causal link to focus on how bad men had it (so bad they're getting promoted).

On Topic:

I'm a bit curious what sort've tweaks people have had to change their drow into. I've heard Venice, but that's hazy.
That was me, and it was a theoretical way to make them plausibly backstabby. I ignored them entirely when I did DnD.


... then try to sneak something past me in game that makes them "proper" drow again.
...yeesh.

ArcturusV
2013-02-28, 05:39 PM
Yeah. It's ranged from...

DM: You can hear something moving around in the darkness, but can't see what it is.

"Drow": ... I should be able to see it. I have Darkvision.

DM: *sigh* I told you that you're just a dark skinned elf. Elves have Low-Light vision, not Darkvision.

"Drow": But Darkvision is a defining trait of the Drow!

Versus...

"Drow": I backstab my sister in order to claim her power and position.

DM: Your patron isn't happy and is looking to have you executed for killing a prodigy who was going to bring great glory and station to your house.

"Drow": But drow promote people based on killing everyone better than you!

DM: *sigh* I explained this to you already...


Been through both of those situations far too often.

Grim Portent
2013-02-28, 05:42 PM
Based on prior comments I feel this may be an unusual opinion, but I dislike the very fact they exist. They're primarily depicted as an antagonist evil opposite race for elves. That sort of thing seems rather dull to me, the idea that you can have a race that only exists to be X race but evil annoys me. We don't treat humans the same, there's no human race with special stats and abilities based on deity preference is there? So why do it for elves?

ArcturusV
2013-02-28, 05:56 PM
Actually Grim, there kinda is? The Vashar from Book of Vile Darkness. They are described as "Humans... but automatically evil... and committed to Deity Killing". With otherwise the exact same stats and bonuses as Humans other than their "Human Bonus Feat" must be a Vile feat... because... Evil.

Though because they have "Alignment: Any Evil" instead of "Alignment: Chaotic Evil" they don't suffer quite as badly from random nonsensical stuff to try to justify their alignment.

Grim Portent
2013-02-28, 05:59 PM
Actually Grim, there kinda is? The Vashar from Book of Vile Darkness. They are described as "Humans... but automatically evil... and committed to Deity Killing". With otherwise the exact same stats and bonuses as Humans other than their "Human Bonus Feat" must be a Vile feat... because... Evil.

Though because they have "Alignment: Any Evil" instead of "Alignment: Chaotic Evil" they don't suffer quite as badly from random nonsensical stuff to try to justify their alignment.

So they're humans with no difference except the list of feats they can pick from for their racial feat?

EDIT: I just flipped through the Vashar entry in my copy of BoVD, I can honestly say they seem to be one of the most unnecessary things in it. Any evil human works exactly the same as they do, the only difference is fluff!

Axier
2013-02-28, 06:04 PM
The Drow, to stereotypical.

If a player plays a Drow, it is USUALLY one of two things:
A Chaotic Good renegade, who hates his own people, and generally male in this archetype or
A Lawful Evil Dominator, especially overly sexualized, and always clad in leather, and almost always a woman.

This is when I make a true neutral psionic Drow, who doesn't care either way.

Weirdlet
2013-02-28, 06:07 PM
I just try to imagine HBO's Rome when I think of drow. Decadent, arrogant, backstabby, but it's not just laws but societal conventions that make a culture. One pressed the advantage while one has it, but one must believe in certain standards and publicly adhere to them if one wishes to be followed by faithful soldiers who believe in those same standards.

Meanwhile, trade has to be done, and farming and harvesting. It's one thing to keep folks in line, but sacrificing an un-offending slave every other Tuesday is a short trip to starvation-ville. Further- it's certainly possible for a bright young talent to be snuffed out by an enterprising subordinate, but that subordinate better watch out that s/he hasn't just damaged his clan's chances against the machinations of other clans. A smart being weighs those factors, of how much a threat something might be later versus how much use it can be now- and watch out for repercussions from their superiors if caught or even suspected.

The priests of Lolth make the rules, yes, but how many of them are there? Many drow believe in Lolth but go about their business soldiering, creating, buying, selling, and making sure they have something that everyone else wants that only they can provide. Let the higher-ups worry about who rules the roost, until and unless such opportunity arises as to join their lowest ranks- and then watch out.

One knows that the backstabs are there, waiting, but in the meanwhile there is a great deal of advantage in at least presenting in a way that will put folks at ease. A matron will do business with a cloth merchant, and pay the price she negotiates- with an added fee for loyalty and/or a knowledge of where his family is, just in case someone contacts him and asks him to slip something into the next order. She could theoretically threaten him into giving up a vast quantity of his finest silks for free, but he will either lose business and leave, or find someone stronger to back him up if he is treated that way- better to cultivate friendly relations and keep a back-up plan on the side just in case. In other directions, a noble drow, much like a member of the samurai class in feudal Japan, *could* theoretically draw steel and strike off the head of any peasant that offended him- but if he just starts doing that in the streets to vast swathes for no reason, people are going to look askance at it and his superiors will be called upon to stop him from disrupting their trade which feeds his coffers.

Boss Tweed from Gangs of New York: "The appearance of the law must be kept- especially while it's being broken." Decide what you want the appearance of the law to be, and have that be the normal facade of drow society- then figure out who's breaking the 'rules' and how good they're being at it. Things only come to all-out war when the rules have been broken, in a way that can be found out by those willing to war over it.

ArcturusV
2013-02-28, 06:13 PM
Yup Grim. Now I've played Vashar before. It wasn't fun. Mostly due to my DM in question rather than the Race and it's Fluff. Where by the end of the second session my DM decided since I was in a Vashar City to start out, that apparently the time was always "Rape O'clock"... I got KOed without defenses, and often DM fiat when I proposed reasonable ideas on how to escape, then raped and such three times in two sessions.

Got to the point where when I finally did get to do something I ritually sacrificed someone who was no longer of use to me (As per Ritual Sacrifices in the Book of Vile Darkness), and my DM decided my "boon" was... "you are not carrying a rape baby"...

:smallsigh:

Saph
2013-02-28, 06:17 PM
Am I the only one who doesn't particularly mind the drow?

As far as I'm concerned, they're another villain group. They're not my absolute favourite villains, but hey, it's D&D more villains means more encounters. Given the rate at which PCs tend to massacre their opponents, you need a pretty excessive supply of villains to keep supplying them with combats.

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-28, 06:32 PM
Alright...Terraoblivion..my computer's not letting me go to your post, so forgive me if I've forgotten some part of your argument.

If I recall correctly, you said that in actual fact that the right-wing Islamists are worried about men going crazy as a result of sexualized women?

That's actually a feminist worry. That sexualization will encourage the abuse of women. It's rather tired BS in my opinion, as well, since the fact of the matter is that the marginalizing of women who want to dress more scantily is far, far worse for said women than the acceptance thereof is for women as a whole. And locking them out of the media, while it may not be nearly as bad as locking them out of real life, still has some effect.


Now, there's another worry possessed by the feminist camp, and it's that sexualization in the media will create a greater pressure on RL women to look like that, to which I say that there are better, more direct ways of dealing with that--say, encouraging and supporting discrimination suits. Also, it's unclear that this has actually increased with changes in attitudes, as well.
----------------------------------------------------------------------



The Drow, to stereotypical.

If a player plays a Drow, it is USUALLY one of two things:
A Chaotic Good renegade, who hates his own people, and generally male in this archetype or
A Lawful Evil Dominator, especially overly sexualized, and always clad in leather, and almost always a woman.

This is when I make a true neutral psionic Drow, who doesn't care either way.

I'd be amused as all hell if said drow was a eunuch. Or a hermaphrodite.

...no, better yet, Castrati. :smallbiggrin:

Arbane
2013-02-28, 06:55 PM
To tie two things together, one of Phil Foglio's old "What's New?" comics for Dragon magazine was about Drow, and he described them as "ruled by a matriarchy that was apparently designed by a man going through a bad divorce."

Pretty much, yeah.

I personally think they'd make more sense as Lawful Evil, not CE - there's nothing like having everyone else in the world wanting you dead to REALLY improve social cohesion.

Terraoblivion
2013-02-28, 07:01 PM
Alright...Terraoblivion..my computer's not letting me go to your post, so forgive me if I've forgotten some part of your argument.

If I recall correctly, you said that in actual fact that the right-wing Islamists are worried about men going crazy as a result of sexualized women?

That's actually a feminist worry. That sexualization will encourage the abuse of women. It's rather tired BS in my opinion, as well, since the fact of the matter is that the marginalizing of women who want to dress more scantily is far, far worse for said women than the acceptance thereof is for women as a whole. And locking them out of the media, while it may not be nearly as bad as locking them out of real life, still has some effect.

Have you talked to a feminist? Like ever. Because while some of the loopier parts of second wave feminism might have held this view, it's not exactly a mainstream part of feminism and has never been. The problems with sexualization in most second and third wave feminism, the first wave didn't really touch on the issue, are that it's an enforced standard that women feel compelled to try to live up to and that female bodies become objects for male feelings, rather than open for expression by the women who actually have them. In short sexualization is wrong for the same reasons as demanding women cover themselves up, which is to say that it robs women of the right to express themselves through how they dress, according to the overwhelming majority of the feminist thought that even cares.

Seriously, stop trying to lecture me on feminism. Unlike you, I know what feminism is, read feminist blogs and self-identify as a feminist and have had that claim accepted by others. Nobody is going to roll over and agree that you're right just because you loudly talk as if you know something. Especially not when you contradict yourself several times in each paragraph.


Now, there's another worry possessed by the feminist camp, and it's that sexualization in the media will create a greater pressure on RL women to look like that, to which I say that there are better, more direct ways of dealing with that--say, encouraging and supporting discrimination suits. Also, it's unclear that this has actually increased with changes in attitudes, as well.

So...Please tell me how discrimination law suits will alter a perceived standard people feel they should live up to? Go on, I'm waiting. I'm sure you have a very good explanation, because otherwise there's no way you could have stated it as if it was self-evidently obvious, right?

RPGuru1331
2013-02-28, 07:07 PM
Oh hay, I missed you


I read later on something about someone refusing to take the compliment? Who was that again?
"You hwemmed up two of your three attempts at evidentiary support" is not a compliment.


It doesn't. I'm linking it more to the idea that it's independent of lowering their status, because sexualized women can still be fairly awesome in other arenas.
It contributes. To wide ranging problems. That you choose to ignore.



I already follow these rules in my own writing, so I think I'm good with regards to the wider world (about half of my women are seriously fanserviced, half not. I don't outright fanservice men, but that's because I'm not entirely sure how to do it, and I certainly don't do the muscle mass thing. So...)
Wait, WHAT!? How in the everburning, everfreezing, evermetallic, everdoomed hells did you get "I follow your rules of making fanservice a thing both genders engage in equally" from "I don't make any men fanservicey, and half the women are". Are these the lengths you'll go to, to maintain your cheesecake?

And even if you followed my rules, (which you didn't, you broke them in a way almost as flagrant as video games do. Remember that 63% figure?) how in the Goddess Madoka's name does that translate to wider society? I didn't just mean 'in what you made'. Sexualization can only be independent from sexism if it is in fact an equally done to characters and people in the wider culture - you would need a magic wand that can change all of society at once. That was to say "Stop pretending this isn't independent", not to maybe give you an out if you happened to be a GM once and don't remember screwing up big time.


...okay, it's common. Regardless, putting it in there somewhere amongst the multitude isn't really bad.
Actually, considering the words '...to calamity', it really is just as bad. Sexy women causing major destruction is something that absolutely reinforces the worst cultural tropes. You could most certainly get away with a sexy woman getting her way with sex, as a character in the multitudes - say, a Smoke Knight field agent really good at getting information or whatnot. I wouldn't necessarily be happy, but in a cast as wide as Girl GEnius, it's overlookable. This ain't just some Femme Fatale. It's the principle antagonist, and she is going to hwem the world up in no small part with her feminine wiles and the seduction of otherwise mostly-virtuous men. Nope. Almost impossible to not add to problems with that, and that 'almost' doesn't mean 'I can actually see a way to do it'. It's a tired trope, and a sexist one, and doing it again is not helping at all.


who's the third?
Hm, I don't recall who I meant either, so until I remember I'll drop that.


I remember Lucrezia, obviously, and Zola didn't really do anything sexual, much, but she manipulated a sort-of love interest pretty well, even if the interest wasn't actually sexual.
'helpless me'. Really. Not at all sexual. Good lord.



Tarvek did. With Lucrezia, a bit, when he flattered her.
flattery is not boobs, and it's how the Geisters dealt with her. Try again.


The minor women in the circus and the minor men are roughly equal as stability goes, as is the circus owner and his wife. I also don't get how you figure Agatha's less stable than Klaus--they're roughly equal (neither of them are pursuing any truly insane agenda, and Agatha and Klaus would actually have come to an accords in the early volumes had Lucrezia not screwed things up).
Because I pay attention. Those dudes were almost to a man portrayed as less insane. Klaus has exactly one mad moment - that's when he has to have a calliope dropped on him because he's shouting "DIE" wielding a clank gun. Agatha constantly has them - it's part of her charm, but it isn't lost on me that Klaus is sane.


Agatha and Gil. Agatha and Moloch (at least post-Castle Heterodyne), Zeetha and Lars, Sanaa and Othar. Plus Anevka (or the Geisterdammen) and Aaronev.
In order... BS (Equally crazy - probably put that on Gil being a teensy bit less so, but it's only a teensy bit so I don't care), BS (Moloch is the frelling straight man. He is the least insane character in the entire cast. That's the frelling point.) Grasping at straws at best (Lars was lovesick, never crazy), actually true, and what the hell how are you even drawing them together (Every other pair actually deals with the other a fair bit but that's like... two panels. And Aaronev is remarkably stable and level-headed if he's the guy who's head is in a jar at the hospital)


...how do you figure?
Her brain is in a box under stormwind. That's as dead as anyone gets in this series. Do you mean Lucrezia's robot duplicate?


Again, how?
To agatha.



There was no such mass extermination that I recall. Just fewer female sparks born, and those female sparks that do exist are portrayed as some of the most powerful in the setting, so...
They're not rarer because they're born less, or at least there's no evidence thereof. They're rarer because they were all murdered to try to download Lucrezia into them. Seriously, I don't think I'm asking for much here.


At best a minor blip on the sexism radar. Soldiers are extras, after all.
The utter lack of female soldiers is a continuing thorn in my and others' side, actually, in fiction in general. Especially when it doesn't fit.


...and the response was a general frowning-on of emphasis on appearance. Which didn't help oppression any.
No, appearance was very, very strongly highlighted - you just couldn't show skin. Because women were inherently sexualized beings, and if they weren't weighted down in 30 kg of clothing they'd jump men left and right. Be less wrong. It's not that hard, these are documented and understood social phenomena.


That's actually a feminist worry.
No. No it is explicitly not one. It is not even a little bit about protecting women, but about protecting property - that's why rape punishes women or ends with their sale to the rapist. Be less wrong.


That sexualization will encourage the abuse of women. It's rather tired BS in my opinion, as well, since the fact of the matter is that the marginalizing of women who want to dress more scantily is far, far worse for said women than the acceptance thereof is for women as a whole.
Pretty fantasy. In the real world, there are so many more sexualized women in the media that you could almost certainly switch out 60-70% of them with non-sexualized women and STILL end up with twice as many as there are sexualized men. Where is this complaint towards sexualized men, also? No, no, this is obvious BS.

What I want is parity, and preferably parity in the least noxious way possible - that likely means toning down cheesecake substantially and bringing up the number of eyecandy men to something beyond 'rarity' levels. You haven't demonstrated any understanding of this in ANY of your posts.

And locking them out of the media, while it may not be nearly as bad as locking them out of real life, still has some effect.
And if I sucked all the oxygen out of the air, none of us could breath. That's about as possible to do too.



Now, there's another worry possessed by the feminist camp, and it's that sexualization in the media will create a greater pressure on RL women to look like that, to which I say that there are better, more direct ways of dealing with that--say, encouraging and supporting discrimination suits. Also, it's unclear that this has actually increased with changes in attitudes, as well.
Who am I going to level an anti-discrimination suit against, exactly? Frick, it's almost impossible to get a frickin' sexual harrassment suit without awesome video tape on your side. Is it really this frickin important to protect your easy and constant access to cleavage? Porn's still free on the internet, for frick's sake; you can surf it at frickin' school with a smart phone and few will notice. What are you even trying to protect, and why?



On Topic:
[quote] Am I the only one who doesn't particularly mind the drow?
Nah, don't worry about it. Most of the people who'd post here mind the drow

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-28, 07:16 PM
Have you talked to a feminist? Like ever. Because while some of the loopier parts of second wave feminism might have held this view, it's not exactly a mainstream part of feminism and has never been.

See, that really is weird, because practically every feminist I've talked to (at least about this) thinks this is the case. You're legitimately the first who hasn't.



The problems with sexualization in most second and third wave feminism, the first wave didn't really touch on the issue, are that it's an enforced standard that women feel compelled to try to live up to and that female bodies become objects for male feelings, rather than open for expression by the women who actually have them. In short sexualization is wrong for the same reasons as demanding women cover themselves up, which is to say that it robs women of the right to express themselves through how they dress, according to the overwhelming majority of the feminist thought that even cares.

Except, here's the catch to that--any sort of legal or social pressure against sexualization does the exact same thing, b, again, marginalizing women who want to be sexualized. (Trust me, they do exist). So you're robbing someone's agency either way.


Seriously, stop trying to lecture me on feminism. Unlike you, I know what feminism is, read feminist blogs and self-identify as a feminist and have had that claim accepted by others.

I self-identify as a feminist as well, have actually read histories of feminism, and routinely discuss topics with them. So no, your definition doesn't actually supersede mine.


Nobody is going to roll over and agree that you're right just because you loudly talk as if you know something. Especially not when you contradict yourself several times in each paragraph.

...I'm sorry, you acted as if Lebanon was a valid example of what the Middle East as a whole was like. You don't get to lecture me on lack of knowledge.

Also, where are these contradictions you speak of?



So...Please tell me how discrimination law suits will alter a perceived standard people feel they should live up to? Go on, I'm waiting. I'm sure you have a very good explanation, because otherwise there's no way you could have stated it as if it was self-evidently obvious, right?

Oh, pretty simple. While whatever standard socially enforced by media constructs may still have the media constructs encouraging it, you're no longer going to be, say, out of a job if you don't dress up.

Like, seriously, how is that not obvious?

ArcturusV
2013-02-28, 07:20 PM
The problem being Hellfire, people who claim Feminism aren't necessarily Feminists.

For example: The woman I dated who claimed to be one. And would do things like kick me in the shins if I dared to open a door for her, or hold it open so it wouldn't smack her in the face. The basic kindness I'd apply to anyone. But then also declared that I was the man so I had to pay for the entire date. :smallsigh:

RPGuru1331
2013-02-28, 07:32 PM
See, that really is weird, because practically every feminist I've talked to (at least about this) thinks this is the case. You're legitimately the first who hasn't.
BS. I'm right here. I didn't say jack about ravenous men. I've never heard that except from people trying to excuse rape. It is not a feminist thing.


Except, here's the catch to that--any sort of legal or social pressure against sexualization does the exact same thing, b, again, marginalizing women who want to be sexualized. (Trust me, they do exist). So you're robbing someone's agency either way.
No, it doesn't. Because it's not 'never sexualize anyone ever', it's 'make it far less common than it is now'. The number of women who want to be sexualized for funsies is not as high as the number of women who are by a wide friggin' margin. And for realsies, given that I've focused on characters in RPGs, video games, and comics so far, women's agencies never entered into it.




I self-identify as a feminist as well
A feminist to whom the most important right is access to cleavage. Fakes are so obnoxious.


have actually read histories of feminism, and routinely discuss topics with them. So no, your definition doesn't actually supersede mine.
Yeah, given the sheer length of wrong you've engaged in, no. I don't believe it for a second, and I don't care even if it's true. You didn't digest or learn from what you read, if you even did. Fer frick's sakes, you're scaremongering about women choosing to wear burqas, which, no.


...I'm sorry, you acted as if Lebanon was a valid example of what the Middle East as a whole was like.
What. No. Go back and read.


You don't get to lecture me on lack of knowledge.
I actually laughed. I don't usually do that. One mistake would, by no means of the imagination, absolve yours, or make her (incredibly short) list of mistakes as bad as yours. And you misread that statement to begin with.


Also, where are these contradictions you speak of?
I highlighted one m'self.


Holy Logic Pretzels, Batman! What the hwem just happened to the whole thing about how you know, people like me think generic 'bad things' will happen to women (as opposed to the well documented things we know happen)?

You engage in a number of them, not all so naked.



Oh, pretty simple. While whatever standard socially enforced by media constructs may still have the media constructs encouraging it, you're no longer going to be, say, out of a job if you don't dress up.

Like, seriously, how is that not obvious?

Because that's not the frickin' issue. Street and sexual harrassment are, the harrassment of your peers is, the opposite gender treating you like crap is. What you're referring to isn't even discrimination, it's sexual harrassment, and that is a hard friggin' sell because dudes never like sentencing their own without overwhelming evidence (and before you say 'beyond a reasonable doubt', that's not the standard of a civil court in the USA)


For example: The woman I dated who claimed to be one. And would do things like kick me in the shins if I dared to open a door for her, or hold it open so it wouldn't smack her in the face. The basic kindness I'd apply to anyone. But then also declared that I was the man so I had to pay for the entire date.

No, that's still a feminist, and frankly, given the cost of makeup, you got off light paying for the date unless she was always au naturale all the time, and also on average dudes get better paid, and pay less to exist. Doesn't excuse the kicking in the slightest, but if she doesn't want you doing those things for her, then just don't. It is literally more effort to annoy her.

I need a lot of fail to discard people from the category of feminist. Like making it clear that your primary goal is unrestricted access to cleavage.

Axier
2013-02-28, 08:25 PM
I'd be amused as all hell if said drow was a eunuch. Or a hermaphrodite.

...no, better yet, Castrati. :smallbiggrin:

Just so you know, this is happening, and will now be a character, either in a campaign of my own, or played by myself as a character.

Also, Eunuch is an umbrella term for those whom are celibate, either from castration or impotence.

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-28, 08:33 PM
"You hwemmed up two of your three attempts at evidentiary support" is not a compliment.

If that isn't, neither is "it's not as sexist as it could be, but it's still sexist!".

I at least acknowledged your point. Gods.



It contributes. To wide ranging problems. That you choose to ignore.

So far, I've at best seen evidence that it contributes to workplace discrimination by making it harder for them to look par (in the news media source).




Wait, WHAT!? How in the everburning, everfreezing, evermetallic, everdoomed hells did you get "I follow your rules of making fanservice a thing both genders engage in equally" from "I don't make any men fanservicey, and half the women are". Are these the lengths you'll go to, to maintain your cheesecake?

I'd be happy to make the men fanservicey, if I had people I could consult on those sorts of matters. Unfortunately, I have no idea what actually looks good to women on men, so I'll need women to help me on that one.

Fair?


And even if you followed my rules, (which you didn't, you broke them in a way almost as flagrant as video games do. Remember that 63% figure?) how in the Goddess Madoka's name does that translate to wider society? I didn't just mean 'in what you made'. Sexualization can only be independent from sexism if it is in fact an equally done to characters and people in the wider culture - you would need a magic wand that can change all of society at once. That was to say "Stop pretending this isn't independent", not to maybe give you an out if you happened to be a GM once and don't remember screwing up big time.

So if, in fact, I'd need a wand to change all of society in order to make a difference, what's the point in changing my individual habits?

Since, again, the larger context is all that matters.



Actually, considering the words '...to calamity', it really is just as bad. Sexy women causing major destruction is something that absolutely reinforces the worst cultural tropes. You could most certainly get away with a sexy woman getting her way with sex, as a character in the multitudes - say, a Smoke Knight field agent really good at getting information or whatnot. I wouldn't necessarily be happy, but in a cast as wide as Girl GEnius, it's overlookable. This ain't just some Femme Fatale. It's the principle antagonist, and she is going to hwem the world up in no small part with her feminine wiles and the seduction of otherwise mostly-virtuous men. Nope. Almost impossible to not add to problems with that, and that 'almost' doesn't mean 'I can actually see a way to do it'. It's a tired trope, and a sexist one, and doing it again is not helping at all.

Well, yeah, but as you yourself did say, Girl Genius is but one of many stories. I'm sure others can pick up the slack on that one...

Maybe even by making a seductress protagonist! No better way to say women who utilize sex aren't evil, yes?





'helpless me'. Really. Not at all sexual. Good lord.

Wasn't sexual when, say, Othar pulled it with Agatha.




flattery is not boobs,

Tarvek doesn't have boobs, like most men. He needs to work a bit more subtly to flirt.


and it's how the Geisters dealt with her. Try again.

And Tarvek. That's even how he describes it.



Because I pay attention. Those dudes were almost to a man portrayed as less insane.

Examples?


Klaus has exactly one mad moment - that's when he has to have a calliope dropped on him because he's shouting "DIE" wielding a clank gun.

He also has a sparked-out moment when he's chastising Gil, and, on top of that, that entire volume focusing on Klaus' behaviour shows him to be quite unstable, literally building a clank just to go chase Agatha, while he's hospitalized.


Agatha constantly has them - it's part of her charm, but it isn't lost on me that Klaus is sane.

As for Agatha's sparked-out moments (sparked out is only a small part of mad), she's exposed to stress--plus actually, personally, building things--a lot more often. So that doesn't make her more unstable, no.



In order... BS (Equally crazy - probably put that on Gil being a teensy bit less so, but it's only a teensy bit so I don't care),

Again, "sparked-out"=/=unstable. Gil isn't sparked out any more often than Agatha, but his stupid ****e is way more noticeable. Nearly every plan he makes is highly screwed up.


BS (Moloch is the frelling straight man. He is the least insane character in the entire cast. That's the frelling point.)

He's also, when with Agatha, a cowering wreck. So, not BS.


Grasping at straws at best (Lars was lovesick, never crazy),

And emotionally swayed way more than Zeetha.


and what the hell how are you even drawing them together (Every other pair actually deals with the other a fair bit but that's like... two panels. And Aaronev is remarkably stable and level-headed if he's the guy who's head is in a jar at the hospital)

Aaronev is the guy that was doing all the brain-uploading. No, he isn't more stable.

And, while there may be a limit to the amount of time he was actually shown on-screen, he was a fairly large part of the story.



Her brain is in a box under stormwind. That's as dead as anyone gets in this series.

...wait, dead=subordinate?



To agatha.

Does a woman being subordinate to a woman really count?




They're not rarer because they're born less, or at least there's no evidence thereof. They're rarer because they were all murdered to try to download Lucrezia into them. Seriously, I don't think I'm asking for much here.

Either way, that isn't really sexist, or at least, I'm not seeing how it is. When was the portrayal of a sick male woman-abuser as, well, an awful individual unfair to women?



The utter lack of female soldiers is a continuing thorn in my and others' side, actually, in fiction in general. Especially when it doesn't fit.

They still, individually, have almost no significance to the story, though.



No. No it is explicitly not one. It is not even a little bit about protecting women, but about protecting property - that's why rape punishes women or ends with their sale to the rapist. Be less wrong.

There are women that support the veil. A fair amount of them. I don't think they're concerned with property.



Pretty fantasy. In the real world, there are so many more sexualized women in the media that you could almost certainly switch out 60-70% of them with non-sexualized women and STILL end up with twice as many as there are sexualized men. Where is this complaint towards sexualized men, also? No, no, this is obvious BS.

You may be right about comics/videogames, but I have a feeling you're off about all media, because there's still TV to consider.

Examples from that?


What I want is parity, and preferably parity in the least noxious way possible - that likely means toning down cheesecake substantially and bringing up the number of eyecandy men to something beyond 'rarity' levels. You haven't demonstrated any understanding of this in ANY of your posts.

Alright then, I'll ask now. A 33.333% sexualizing of both women and men is fine, then?


And if I sucked all the oxygen out of the air, none of us could breath. That's about as possible to do too.

It's what anti-prostitution laws have done. Same with veil laws.

If you mean that it's indeed impossible to get men (and to some extent women) to stop valuing appearance, then what the hell are we curbing sexualization for?



Who am I going to level an anti-discrimination suit against, exactly?

Ahm, your prospective employer? Like you're supposed to?


Frick, it's almost impossible to get a frickin' sexual harrassment suit without awesome video tape on your side.

That's because the consequences of even the accusation of harrassment are way, way worse than the consequences of discriminatory accusations. Plus, I'd imagine it'd be fairly easy to rig up the jury system to favor the women in that regard (say, not requiring unanimous jury vote is my first thought)


Porn's still free on the internet, for frick's sake; you can surf it at frickin' school with a smart phone and few will notice.

Not actually true in my case, but whatever.


What are you even trying to protect, and why?

Well, I'd say the rights of women who are more like the sexualized ones, but you seem to be fine with them.

So, at the moment, I'll say that I'd like a bit less of a censorship-esque mantra of telling writers what to write.

Weirdlet
2013-02-28, 08:37 PM
Just so you know, this is happening, and will now be a character, either in a campaign of my own, or played by myself as a character.

Also, Eunuch is an umbrella term for those whom are celibate, either from castration or impotence.

In the larp that I play in, dark-elf culture is very loosely based on feudal Japan, and I've always said that, were I taller, slimmer and male, I would cheerfully play a drow geisha.

Guizonde
2013-02-28, 08:38 PM
I'd be amused as all hell if said drow was a eunuch. Or a hermaphrodite.

...no, better yet, Castrati. :smallbiggrin:


somehow, somewhere, the drow hatedom has finally received their holy vocation :smalleek: :smallbiggrin:

on the other hand, i think it'd be hilarious for the drow to participate in a "manliness" contest. "poison and torture IS manly!" "not as manly as grating cheese with my abs!" "oh yeah? let's see you filet your enemies with your stiletto heels!" "heels are for women and short people!" "i'll short-people you!"... [ad nauseam] :smallbiggrin:

AgentofHellfire
2013-02-28, 08:47 PM
Just so you know, this is happening, and will now be a character, either in a campaign of my own, or played by myself as a character.

Excellent. I expect frequent updates, my minion. :smalltongue:


Also, Eunuch is an umbrella term for those whom are celibate, either from castration or impotence.

Yup, but castrati actually specifically refers to young choir boys castrated by the Catholic Church so as to keep their singing voices high.

You can see why I find this hilarious. :smallbiggrin:

gooddragon1
2013-02-28, 08:49 PM
Nothing except the evil alignment.

Arcanist
2013-02-28, 09:57 PM
The woman I dated who claimed to be one. And would do things like kick me in the shins if I dared to open a door for her, or hold it open so it wouldn't smack her in the face. The basic kindness I'd apply to anyone. But then also declared that I was the man so I had to pay for the entire date. :smallsigh:

Actually this has happened to me as well from a complete stranger, except she didn't kick me, but she did give me a stern talking to and when I asked why she did it she said it was because it was sexist and then when I didn't hold the door for her she said it was rude... This very much confused me :smallconfused:

Sometimes it feels like the only winning move is to not play at all.

OT: I don't like the drow because I've always wanted a dark skinned beauty to whip me because I've been a bad boy!

But in all seriousness, I have no problem with Drows; One of my best friends favorite race and characters are in fact Drow, because he likes their culture, fighting styles, caste system and religious influence. He's a very artsy kind of guy and for some odd reason always finds a way to influence Drow social structure into his characters backstory without making completely override them; Being a Drow doesn't completely define his characters, but it does play an important part. They are a race like any other to me, I do however have a problem with:


Underfolk: I just feel that WoTC could have gone a better route with these guys...
Tieflings: The artwork for the Tiefling in Races of Destiny looks awful... Seriously, look at that arm (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/rod_gallery/86313.jpg)...
Aasimar: "Look at me, I'm glowing and pretty and everyone loves me!". Imagine how difficult it is to have one of these in your party that is a Vampire without making a Twilight reference.

awa
2013-02-28, 10:25 PM
do people actually play asimar?
Tiefling seem to be much more popular.
Note limited sample size and all that i just never met anyone even remotely interested in playing one.

that is definitely subpar art but ive seen good Tiefling art and i have always like the concept.

Arcanist
2013-02-28, 10:36 PM
do people actually play asimar?

Once. Only once. :smallannoyed:


Tiefling seem to be much more popular.

That's cause everyone wants to be dark and edgy man!


that is definitely subpar art but ive seen good Tiefling art and i have always like the concept.

Yeah~ Tieflings art work is cool, but that was just depressingly awful... That little section was made mostly for humor and although, I do understand the difficulty in communicating sarcasm or humor online. :smalltongue:

RPGuru1331
2013-02-28, 10:44 PM
If that isn't, neither is "it's not as sexist as it could be, but it's still sexist!".

No. "It is less sexist than normal society" is considerable praise for a comic. There is no evidence it is possible to make something entirely non-sexist. To say it is better than normal society - thus leaving the majority of their comic and webcomic peers in the dust, as they are typically far worse than everyday mainstream society - is a high praise. It's just not perfection.


So far, I've at best seen evidence that it contributes to workplace discrimination by making it harder for them to look par (in the news media source).

Read beyond the abstracts. Or even read the abstracts for content. Or do your own research. This is just an embarrassing lack of familiarity with basic material, for a supposed feminist. You may want to tone down the rationalist rhetoric too - it certainly doesn't become you when you're clearly floundering with 101-level, common (academic) knowledge.


So far, I've at best seen evidence that it contributes to workplace discrimination by making it harder for them to look par (in the news media source).

News sources aren't generally sources. What you're telling me is that you're lazy - it's pretty well known that the sexualization of women contributes to the perception of women as sex objects. Two of the linked research articles go into explicit detail on this, within particular media.


I'd be happy to make the men fanservicey, if I had people I could consult on those sorts of matters. Unfortunately, I have no idea what actually looks good to women on men, so I'll need women to help me on that one.

Fair?

Unideal for wider society, but not inherently sexist - I've said so three times. There are myriad problems that have come from the widespread sexualization of women that aren't inherently sexist (They are in modern society because they disproportionately affect women, but we're discussing theory). Unless you're a fan of eating disorders for men, inordinate amounts of time spent on weight loss, absurd standards of fashion and makeup and the like, you would most likely be best served by quite probably substantially cutting down on fanservice for men and increasing it for women. Even a considerable decrease in everyday media would still leave room for a great deal of fan servicey women (which should obviously be roughly matched in number for men), so I don't see the issue from your end.


So if, in fact, I'd need a wand to change all of society in order to make a difference, what's the point in changing my individual habits?

Not what I said. I said 'you can't unlink sexualization from sexism unless you can change it all unilaterally right now'. You can make it less substantial, in your own small way* with content, but it won't instantly make things better nor make sexualization of women not generally be sexist. You can do your job well, and in a small way, it helps other people do well, which will slowly spread change - but none of that means the causal link is gone NOW.


Spoilered because it's a little silly how much of this is taken up by something that is so irrelevant. Girl Genius could literally be perfect and it wouldn't even save print comics, but it isn't.


Well, yeah, but as you yourself did say, Girl Genius is but one of many stories. I'm sure others can pick up the slack on that one...
They're not, and they won't be anytime soon. Because seductresses are a minor evil at best. That's why it's not okay for GG to do yet another one as a bringer of calamity and ruin. Not as great a sin as the myriad successes, but still a blemish on its record.


Maybe even by making a seductress protagonist! No better way to say women who utilize sex aren't evil, yes?

It'd be pretty darn hard to do right. Possibly impossible at this time. I wouldn't be surprised if change was needed to just get to that stage.


Wasn't sexual when, say, Othar pulled it with Agatha.
Othar isn't playing at being a doe-eyed, helpless woman. He said he'd get out sooner or later also, not that he was actually helpless. Helpless women are yet another gender-specific trope of sexualization. Not exactly short on those.


He needs to work a bit more subtly to flirt.

No, he doesn't. You think he does because you don't know what is attractive in men to women.


Examples?

Most of the minor sparks keep their cool except when danger pops up. The women are just friggin' off - Zeetha less so.


He also has a sparked-out moment when he's chastising Gil, and, on top of that, that entire volume focusing on Klaus' behaviour shows him to be quite unstable, literally building a clank just to go chase Agatha, while he's hospitalized.

Oh, okay. 3 moments. That's totally more unstable than Agatha. Eyeroll.


...wait, dead=subordinate?

She was dancing on Tarvek's string. You needed THAT elaborated on?


Does a woman being subordinate to a woman really count?

You're the one who asked about Zeetha. I'd have started with the varied Wulfenbach minions first.



And emotionally swayed way more than Zeetha.

No, he was not shown to be such. He didn't squee. She just wasn't in love. And everyone present knew it.

This is getting ridiculous.


Again, "sparked-out"=/=unstable
....
They are shown to be emotionally volatile, obsessive, rage-driven...


He's also, when with Agatha, a cowering wreck. So, not BS.
For like, 5 minutes. He spends most of it being a sane foil. The one not automatically buying into the ridiculousness.


As for Agatha's sparked-out moments (sparked out is only a small part of mad), she's exposed to stress--plus actually, personally, building things--a lot more often. So that doesn't make her more unstable, no.

How many airships are in Klaus' fleet again? A ton of building is off-screen.


Either way, that isn't really sexist, or at least, I'm not seeing how it is. When was the portrayal of a sick male woman-abuser as, well, an awful individual unfair to women?

The extermination of all special women (or at least, those with the trait that matters most in the setting). Really. Really. My standards aren't high here. It doesn't matter if the dude is hated or gets a medal.

Well, okay, the latter would be worse, but the former isn't really going to make anything okay.


They still, individually, have almost no significance to the story, though.

Which is not even a little connected to my point or the problem.


There are women that support the veil. A fair amount of them. I don't think they're concerned with property.

And that's not generally why they support it. Women generally only even need to support it in western countries. It is a fundamentally different concern from the tale you're trying to peddle of 'Feminists are trying to stop sexualization of women because men are ravenous beasts', which is still not really a thing feminists generally do, as anyone who even cursorily reads and interacts with feminists and their works should know.


Examples from that?

...Fake. Ever watched Idol, survivor, bachelor? How about Wheel of Fortune? Women on the Enterprise, both in TOS and TNG (And I doubt this has changed much) are far more likely to deal with sexualization and its consequences, usually as a result of whatever monster of the week is on. Buffy and Firefly still dealt with overly sexualized women, although less so than normal. Comedies rely on it somewhat less, but the trope of the unattractive buffoon/attractive wife is still a centerpiece for a lot of sitcoms. Speaking of comedies, Futurama had its share of mishaps. Archer, the only one in a form fitting sweater is Lana Kane (Although it does pretty well in general).

Television is swimming in examples, same as any other media. It's not even the one I have the most contact with.


Alright then, I'll ask now. A 33.333% sexualizing of both women and men is fine, then?...

That's probably still far too common. Unless you're a fan of a slew of problems affecting yourself, anyway. Well, I suppose that would be fine for a rave or party scene, but as a general matter of characters...


Ahm, your prospective employer? Like you're supposed to?

My prospective employer is not generally the person punishing me for not being sexualized. Do you even know what business wear for women usually is?

And even if it were an employer, that is the definition of sexual harrassment, not, by default, discrimination. You have no idea what you're talking about.


That's because the consequences of even the accusation of harrassment are way, way worse than the consequences of discriminatory accusations. Plus, I'd imagine it'd be fairly easy to rig up the jury system to favor the women in that regard (say, not requiring unanimous jury vote is my first thought)

No, they aren't. The consquences of an accusation of harrassment generally only amount to the accused being inconvenienced. The consequences of discriminatory accusations are even less harmful. Convictions of either are so absurdly rare as to take it off the table. Nothing bad happens without video tape and a conviction. You are just repeating the same sexist tropes the Star Court pioneered in the british common law. There is nothing true to them.m

And it's only 'easy' if you don't understand what goes into jury selection


It's what anti-prostitution laws have done. Same with veil laws.
Oh, have they? Then I suppose all those examples actually came from a dream I had, because anti-prostitution laws are quite prevalent in the USA. What you mean is that one specific form of it was criminalized - generally disadvantaging the women involved. It's not gone, and even if it were, it wouldn't be everything. Regarding Veil laws, it depends - the set of them meant to ban the veil generally are neutral regarding 'banning sexualization'. The ones that enforce it are based on the inherent sexualization of women, as the mere sight of their bodies will drive men to rash action, so I don't follow if that's what you mean.

You may want to drop the veil examples, it's getting clear you're used to just dropping references to the veil as an unassailable bogeyman, rather than educating yourself on even a few of the issues that surround them.


If you mean that it's indeed impossible to get men (and to some extent women) to stop valuing appearance, then what the hell are we curbing sexualization for?

Fake. It's being curbed because the rate of it seen in media is nowhere near the more or less natural rate of women sexing themselves up for their own interests. I expect it to perhaps be a bit higher, but certainly not where it
is. It causes numerous stresses, many of which have been touched on, although by no means all of them.


So, at the moment, I'll say that I'd like a bit less of a censorship-esque mantra of telling writers what to write.

It's no more 'censorship' than telling y ou that it is blazingly racist to use racial slurs. There are obvious problems. You either avoid them, or don't, and if you don't, you contribute to the problems. 'Censorship' only applies if I am a governmental figure using my authority within the government to prevent what you're doing. It is a favorite rallying cry of the Fake in defense of cleavage, but it isn't remotely close to a factor.

*For the record, I mean that solely in that you're only one person. You could be an author as famous as Stephen King, and it'd still be true.

JusticeZero
2013-02-28, 11:59 PM
I'd be happy to make the men fanservicey, if I had people I could consult on those sorts of matters. Unfortunately, I have no idea what actually looks good to women on men, so I'll need women to help me on that one. .
There was a study awhile back that I recall hearing about in passing that looked into this; the gist of the results were that what men liked were fairly consistent, but what women liked was all over the place. As a rule, they preferred lower body fat levels, but beyond that tastes were unpredictable. Still, you can get some good ideas by just trying to find out what the current pop culture heartthrobs are.
The things that seem to be popular fallbacks that get lots of squeals and fangirls will probably call for *three* beefcake guys:

In body, look for
*A muscular (but not TOO muscular) Walking Shirtless Scene (The good old standby)
*A bishy boy (Justin Bieber fit this to a T, and look at what girls do when they see him)
*An edgy Bad Boy - be they biker or businessman, there is a ruggedness to them

In mind, look for :
*a heroic paladin type who works well with a team, and throws himself into danger to save the innocent
*an emotionally wounded tragic sort, maybe abused or orphaned or something, who soldiers on but is occasionally overwhelmed by it all
*Confidence and Power (not magical) Incarnate

Mileage will vary, hence the variety. Get really good at drawing anatomy so you can have lots of scenes with the guys in various states of undress without having huge and exaggerated muscles.

Kyberwulf
2013-03-01, 06:28 AM
A couple questions. That stuck in my head.
Where did this rule saying they had to sacrifice their 3rd born son? Was this a reference to when Drizzit was born? I thought he was being sacrificed for the specific reason of gaining Lloth's favor for the Raid on the house before them. He was spared because His brother killed his other brother, and to sacrifice both would be an insult to Lloth.

On the subject of Zaknifein. I thought he was only tolerated, and allowed to live, because Malice valued his zeal for killing other Drow. Also he wasn't that bad in the sack.

I actually like Drow.
Only type of elves I do like. lol.

I guess, what bugs me the most about them. Is that their isn't much written about other societies of Drow. Well, when I mean before the Ebberon setting. I was hoping to see how Drow lived outside of Menzobarrenzen... or wherever.

hamishspence
2013-03-01, 07:10 AM
In Servant of the Shard, at the end, it mentioned that Jarlaxle was thirdboy of House Baenre, and that he was "sacrificed to Lolth."

A short story (I think in Realms of the Underdark) shows what happened- they tried to sacrifice him- but the knife didn't affect him. I think the psion Kimmeriel Oblodra might have had something to do with it.

Issabella
2013-03-01, 07:15 AM
For me, at least in FR was the Drow's portrayl as basically having the only competent powerful clerics compared to every other race. Particularly in war of the Spiderqueen where the allied groups could force a stalemate only when the spiderqueen was silent, but when she comes back it's a steam roller.

AgentofHellfire
2013-03-01, 11:07 AM
No. "It is far less sexist than normal society" is considerable praise for a comic. There is no evidence it is possible to make something entirely non-sexist. To say it is better than normal society - thus leaving the majority of their comic and webcomic peers in the dust, as they are typically far worse than everyday mainstream society - is a high praise. It's just not perfection.


Ah. Here we go again, with the setting of completely and utterly impossible goals.

If it's true then, that we cannot ever achieve the standards you yourself are setting, then isn't it kind of ridiculous to have those standards? Couldn't we say, then, that GG is by far a model for comics and more should be like it, rather than saying "nope, not good enough", and then doing nothing to aid the creation of things good enough?

But of course, an actual change in the media isn't your goal here. It's an attempt to induce a change in outlook.



Read beyond the abstracts.

Can't without money I don't have.


Or even read the abstracts for content.

Read them, one of them only said sexualization was there, didn't talk about contributions, another said that female news media anchors were sexualized more than male.

Third one is inaccessible. So...all I'm seeing is workplace discrimination and sexualization, yeah.


Or do your own research. This is just an embarrassing lack of familiarity with basic material, for a supposed feminist. You may want to tone down the rationalist rhetoric too - it certainly doesn't become you when you're clearly floundering with 101-level, common (academic) knowledge.

As someone with this so-holy knowledge, it'd be much appreciated if you contributed to your damn cause and provided me with some.



News sources aren't generally sources. What you're telling me is that you're lazy - it's pretty well known that the sexualization of women contributes to the perception of women as sex objects. Two of the linked research articles go into explicit detail on this, within particular media.

One of them discusses news channels. That's what I meant by "news media source".



Unideal for wider society, but not inherently sexist - I've said so three times. There are myriad problems that have come from the widespread sexualization of women that aren't inherently sexist (They are in modern society because they disproportionately affect women, but we're discussing theory). Unless you're a fan of eating disorders for men, inordinate amounts of time spent on weight loss, absurd standards of fashion and makeup and the like, you would most likely be best served by quite probably substantially cutting down on fanservice for men and increasing it for women. Even a considerable decrease in everyday media would still leave room for a great deal of fan servicey women (which should obviously be roughly matched in number for men), so I don't see the issue from your end.

Again, I gave a number to you. Are you going to agree to it?



Not what I said. I said 'you can't unlink sexualization from sexism unless you can change it all unilaterally right now'. You can make it less substantial, in your own small way* with content, but it won't instantly make things better nor make sexualization of women not generally be sexist. You can do your job well, and in a small way, it helps other people do well, which will slowly spread change - but none of that means the causal link is gone NOW.

Except GG, by being, and I quote, a hell of a lot less sexist than most media, actually is doing that, and it's doing that while keeping all the fanservice.

So I don't see what your issue with it is, and, therefore, what your issue with fanservice is.





They're not, and they won't be anytime soon. Because seductresses are a minor evil at best. That's why it's not okay for GG to do yet another one as a bringer of calamity and ruin. Not as great a sin as the myriad successes, but still a blemish on its record.

Phil and Kaja are not obligated to do absolutely everything to eradicate sexism. They can stop at a certain point, and stopping there is perfectly fine, since, as you said, it's a minor evil and not too much of a contribution to the sexism in the world.



It'd be pretty darn hard to do right. Possibly impossible at this time. I wouldn't be surprised if change was needed to just get to that stage.

Well, tell you what--let's hear your definition of "right". Give me the story you think is closest or something.



Othar isn't playing at being a doe-eyed, helpless woman. He said he'd get out sooner or later also, not that he was actually helpless. Helpless women are yet another gender-specific trope of sexualization. Not exactly short on those.

Othar is playing at being a helpless, tortured soul imprisoned unjustly. That's the closest one can get without violating any sense of continuity.

Zola, meanwhile, in playing (and the playing part is rather important, if not to this discussion) a helpless doe-eyed woman, isn't actually doing it to play to Gil's sex drive. She's doing it to play to Gil's inner hero, and that's how it works. Not really the same as "Sex as a Weapon", no.



No, he doesn't. You think he does because you don't know what is attractive in men to women.

Conceded. I don't particularly think the two times Agatha does it are a mark against the comic, though. They're buried way too damn deep, especially compared to Agatha's overall portrayal, to meaningfully affect reality.



Most of the minor sparks keep their cool except when danger pops up. The women are just friggin' off - Zeetha less so.

...I really don't see this, especially since there's, what, one minor female in the circus?



Oh, okay. 3 moments. That's totally more unstable than Agatha. Eyeroll.

Plus, oh, the entire Mechanicsburg hospital scene



She was dancing on Tarvek's string. You needed THAT elaborated on?

That she lost to a more major character (after some serious effort on his part, with the main antagonist's help) isn't really indicative of some sexist level of subordination. She's still pretty up there on the dominance chart.



You're the one who asked about Zeetha. I'd have started with the varied Wulfenbach minions first.

And I'm not satisfied with your answer, yes.




No, he was not shown to be such. He didn't squee. She just wasn't in love. And everyone present knew it.

Squeeing isn't the only sign of instability. The loss of calm he showed rescuing Agatha was more what I was thinking of.



They are shown to be emotionally volatile, obsessive, rage-driven...

If you were actually paying attention to my post, you'd have realized that plenty of characters have their less stable moments without sparking out, so using sparking out as the measure leaves out a hell of a lot of data.

But you weren't, so you replied with that.



For like, 5 minutes. He spends most of it being a sane foil. The one not automatically buying into the ridiculousness.

...also the one unable to calmly solve a major problem. And Agatha demonstrates the same level of common sense as he does (remember how she figured out how to use the heterodyne charging device?)



How many airships are in Klaus' fleet again? A ton of building is off-screen.

Klaus is most likely not the one who builds those. He has a freaking empire to run, not to mention to delegate to, including loads of sparks.



The extermination of all special women (or at least, those with the trait that matters most in the setting). Really. Really.

Is negative towards women in-setting, doesn't make it negative towards women in terms of portrayal. Your "standards" are ludicrous.




Which is not even a little connected to my point or the problem.

Ahm, yes it is. We're not measuring how sexist the setting itself is, we're measuring how negatively it depicts women. Random soldiers are infinitely less important for that purpose than actual, named characters. [/spoiler]



And that's not generally why they support it. Women generally only need to support it in western countries. It is a fundamentally different concern from the tale you're trying to peddle of 'Feminists are trying to stop sexualization of women because men are ravenous beasts'

So. Freaking. Wrong. (http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=126666&page=1)

Unless Jordanian women are choosing to wear the veil for protection of property, too.


...Fake. Ever watched Idol, survivor, bachelor? How about Wheel of Fortune? Women on the Enterprise, both in TOS and TNG (And I doubt this has changed much) are far more likely to deal with sexualization and its consequences, usually as a result of whatever monster of the week is on. Buffy and Firefly still dealt with overly sexualized women, although less so than normal. Comedies rely on it somewhat less, but the trope of the unattractive buffoon/attractive wife is still a centerpiece for a lot of sitcoms. Speaking of comedies, Futurama had its share of mishaps. Archer, the only one in a form fitting sweater is Lana Kane (Although it does pretty well in general).

Ever watched, say, Law and Order? Were the women all that sexualized there?

Hell, let's look at the majority of, say, dramas and see how much sexualization exists therein--what about Lost, or Heroes, or, hell, House?

And unattractive women do have a niche in comedy. Remember Roseanne?


Television is swimming in examples, same as any other media. It's not even the one I have the most contact with.

"Having a few"=/="swimming in".



That's probably still far too common. Unless you're a fan of a slew of problems affecting yourself, anyway. Well, I suppose that would be fine for a rave or party scene, but as a general matter of characters...

I actually doubt it'd affect me too much--I know I'm not unattractive, at least, so I'm fine there, and you still haven't sold me on any connections to harassment--showing certain people as, among other things, eye candy doesn't cause you to view everyone the same way.



Oh, have they? Then I suppose all those examples actually came from a dream I had, because anti-prostitution laws are quite prevalent in the USA. What you mean is that one specific form of it was criminalized - generally disadvantaging the women involved. It's not gone, and even if it were, it wouldn't be everything.

...are you seriously taking the worst possible interpretation of my post and just spewing forth?

Anti-prostitution laws are, in fact, way too prevalent in the USA, and as a result of their existence, many prostitutes that might otherwise be part of a regulated, safe business are victims of horrific abuse.

So yeah, I'd say that's marginalization.


Regarding Veil laws, it depends - the set of them meant to ban the veil generally are neutral regarding 'banning sexualization'. The ones that enforce it are based on the inherent sexualization of women, as the mere sight of their bodies will drive men to rash action, so I don't follow if that's what you mean.

The ones enforcing it are based on inherent sexualization in the same way the "feminist ideal" is. they deny that a woman's body could ever be shown without increasing (your words): "Street and sexual harrassment".




Fake. It's being curbed because the rate of it seen in media is nowhere near the more or less natural rate of women sexing themselves up for their own interests. I expect it to perhaps be a bit higher, but certainly not where it
is. It causes numerous stresses, many of which have been touched on, although by no means all of them.

...one of which has been proven. Try again.

Terraoblivion
2013-03-01, 11:45 AM
{{scrubbed}}

RPGuru1331
2013-03-01, 12:33 PM
{{scrubbed}}

Darius Kane
2013-03-01, 12:58 PM
What bugs me about drow? I would say spiders, but they're not bugs. :/

hamishspence
2013-03-01, 01:00 PM
Heh. Eberron removed many of the social traits usual to Faerun & Greyhawk drow- elf-hating, matriarchal, affinity with spiders.
They got affinity with scorpions instead.

Poison_Fish
2013-03-01, 02:05 PM
So you happen to know a lost tribe of radical second wave feminists who have lived without contact to the rest of the world for untold eons on end? Maybe you should report them, I'm sure anthropologists would be fascinated.

Seriously, I'd be interested. I've been on and off studying this for years and pretty much from an organizational stand point, feminism has moved far beyond it's 2nd wave routes. Such people do exist, but as far as institutions are concerned, they've learned that to achieve whatever their objectives are, sticking to a non-intersectional viewpoint will impede their success.

On topic: One of the sources to draw inspiration from to making the drow more acceptable is to look at them as an underground empire. From most readings of it, they have a decent amount of productive capacity, they leverage their power over others, and so on. Instead of them existing in the overly ridiculous, they just turn into colonialist jerkwads from down-below. Granted a few changes to their culture would be in order.

NMBLNG
2013-03-01, 02:09 PM
What bugs me about the Drow? Off-topic discussions about sexism. Seriously, get another thread.

I tend to run dark elves a little bit differently when I play them, as they're one of my favorite races to play. I view the cult of Lolth as something that takes the good wholesome deceitful and cunning nature of dark elves, and turns it into something self destructive. Dark elves are still the backstabbers, but smart enough to only back stab when it's worth it.

hamishspence
2013-03-01, 02:24 PM
On topic: One of the sources to draw inspiration from to making the drow more acceptable is to look at them as an underground empire. From most readings of it, they have a decent amount of productive capacity, they leverage their power over others, and so on. Instead of them existing in the overly ridiculous, they just turn into colonialist jerkwads from down-below. Granted a few changes to their culture would be in order.

in Underdark, the drow city Sshamath, City of Dark Weavings, is run by wizards, and, when it comes to surface elves, humans and deep Imaskari, they're never kept as slaves (slaves of those species who escape, come there, and show wizardly knowledge, are treated as free even if their previous owners come looking.

The drow of the city of T'lindhet are the "absentee landlords" of the surface realm of Dambrath, which is governed by their half-drow kin.

Undrek'Thoz, The Segmented City, also welcomes adventurers (in at least some segments).

Mark Hall
2013-03-01, 04:17 PM
The Mod Wonder: I go off to do homework for a few days and this turns into a "whose sexism is more real". If another moderator doesn't beat me to it, I will be back to warn and infract on Saturday.