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Bartmanhomer
2016-02-04, 11:22 PM
In a roleplaying game, do you play character with different genders? And if so, how does it feel to play character with different genders?

goto124
2016-02-05, 01:48 AM
Not much different.

*watches subsequent posts suspiciously*

Ravian
2016-02-05, 02:16 AM
I've played characters of both genders, and it honestly doesn't feel too weird. Then again I haven't actually played a ton of characters (I'm mainly a GM).

Honestly sometimes I actually seem more drawn towards playing female characters sometimes. I don't think I've actually played more women than men, but I feel that most of my female characters have more depth to them.

Don't know why, maybe I just need some more experience.

Occidental
2016-02-05, 02:29 AM
All the time. I've never found it weird in the slightest.

Some people don't ever seem to play the other gender, and I think that's a greater symptom of people generally not playing something that isn't themselves. They'll be an Elven Rogue one time and a Human Ranger the next, but when you actually eyeball the concept its something like "slim, quick, skilled girl". Or "Canny and cynical smart guy who deep down wants to be the hero", or even "Zany little gremlin that gets into all kinds of trouble". I've found that the people that don't do this are either DMs previously, used to portraying anything and everything, or thespians of some description, who can more easily step outside themselves and be someone else.

In the RPG worlds that most people play in, an Elf is simply a Human with a few different attributes and a different look, and men/women have even less to differentiate them. There's basically no reason to play one over the other unless you want one of a few very specific character options in some RPGs.

lacco36
2016-02-05, 02:38 AM
I may get a lot of flak for this but... I don't usually allow my players to play opposite genders. Why? I have had bad experience - most of the players that took this chance were (quite immature) men trying to roleplay women and it felt weird, mostly because they either didn't roleplay women (they played males and just had "female" on their charsheets) or they fell into the traditional trope...I think everyone knows which one.

Once it worked quite well and it was the opposite situation - a young lady playing a musketeer. She told me she wanted to test it and - it was fun and not weird at all, because she really did her homework and got in character. I must say she made a better musketeer than my other players, because...she read the Dumas books at least 20 times, was more familiar with the setting than me and really got into the head of the character.

However, this was a one-shot, and the only occurence when it worked.

On the opposite side, I as the GM usually have to play also women. It feels weird for me a bit, because I can't really get into the head of female characters, but I try. It is quite weird when my wife teases me for doing so :smallsmile:.

Malifice
2016-02-05, 02:45 AM
Im usually playing male characters. Very rarely do I play women. Less than 1/10 (unless a specific character concept comes to mind that plays better as a woman).

I guess I see my characters as a personal avatar of sorts.

lacco36
2016-02-05, 03:05 AM
...and another thought: I avoid roleplaying women because I know that I don't roleplay them well (mostly because I react as a male would). The same goes for elves - I rarely play them, because I don't know how I would roleplay them well. Is it too bad/cruel that I require my players to roleplay the race/gender they select...? :smallsmile:

Malifice
2016-02-05, 03:10 AM
...and another thought: I avoid roleplaying women because I know that I don't roleplay them well (mostly because I react as a male would). The same goes for elves - I rarely play them, because I don't know how I would roleplay them well. Is it too bad/cruel that I require my players to roleplay the race/gender they select...? :smallsmile:

Mate I dont ban any race/ class/ gender/ alignment - as long as it's played maturely.

hymer
2016-02-05, 03:16 AM
(mostly because I react as a male would)

How about reacting as a soldier/fighting wizard/combat medic/whatever you're playing? Are men and women really that different in their reactions? Is gender all there is to a person? Is every woman stereotypically feminine and every male stereotypically masculine?

I usually default to my own sex and gender, except when I play a druid. They're usually the opposite from me.

goto124
2016-02-05, 03:18 AM
I've always wondered about that as well. Not that I've received feedback on my male characters being 'not manly enough' or 'unrealistic' or... I'm not sure, really.

(As you may have guessed, I'm female IRL.)

veti
2016-02-05, 03:30 AM
If you can play an elf or a dwarf or a five-legged reptilian from a binary blue star, then another gender should be a piece of cake. After all, chances are you've actually met people of that gender, so you've got something concrete to base it off, which makes it already a zillion times easier than any of those other choices.

Honestly, if you want a real challenge? Try playing someone double your own age, or with a different skin colour, or mother tongue, or religious background. There are so many things that separate us even from other humans of our own time - I think it's entirely possible that gender may not even be in the top ten.

goto124
2016-02-05, 03:31 AM
or with a different skin colour

You mean, a different cultural background? Remember that races in fantasy means 'elves, dwarves, halflings, lizardfolk'.

lacco36
2016-02-05, 03:38 AM
Mate I dont ban any race/ class/ gender/ alignment - as long as it's played maturely.

I agree with the mature part of the statement. My statement would be: I don't ban any race/class/gender/character (I don't play with alignments), which does not break the setting and as long as it is played maturely, and as long as the player attempts and is at least partially successful (I'm no thespian either) in roleplaying it.


How about reacting as a soldier/fighting wizard/combat medic/whatever you're playing? Are men and women really that different in their reactions? Is gender all there is to a person? Is every woman stereotypically feminine and every male stereotypically masculine?

I usually default to my own sex and gender, except when I play a druid. They're usually the opposite from me.

If I can't get into it's head, I don't play it (except as a GM I can't get so picky and have to play even combos I don't fully understand/can't realistically portray if my players choose to interact with parts of the environment I don't have fleshed out and have to improvise...). So yes, when I play a soldier, I try to think as a soldier would.

As to your other questions - hard to answer and I choose not to answer - I have far too little knowledge about the subject and I will dodge the three questions. And I give little thought to stereotypes.

However, if it doesn't make any impact on the roleplay - why select the opposite gender? I only ask my players not to break my immersion into the game, as I try not to break theirs. I don't see anything wrong with players playing opposite gender if they like to get into the head of the opposite gender or they like to explore the possibilities - but if the character can be changed from "Aelleen" to "Burke" and I see no discrepancy between player's roleplay and the character (this was actual situation, the guy played a male mercenary called Burke in Shadowrun, then switched to Aelleen the elven female bodyguard and he roleplayed them both the same), it breaks my immersion a lot - the same way it would break if a STR 7 wizard picked up a greatsword and charged the orks. And we are not talking about the suspension of disbelief - I can do that a lot, but some things just...don't work.

hymer
2016-02-05, 03:44 AM
I choose not to answer

Rightly so, my questions were rhetorical. :smallsmile:

goto124
2016-02-05, 03:46 AM
but if the character can be changed from "Aelleen" to "Burke" and I see no discrepancy between player's roleplay and the character it breaks my immersion a lot

What.

I've heard similar complaints before. I never quite understood them, and just kept wondering why.

I'm female. I've never seen female characters that broke my immersion or sense of verisimilitude just because they have "masculine" behaviors or features.

Heck, it increases my immersion because I see the variety of behaviors as far more realistic than 'females act like this, males act like that'.

*scratches her head in confusion*


the same way it would break if a STR 7 wizard picked up a greatsword and charged the orks.... suspension of disbelief

I am even more confused now. Do males and females behave THAT differently where you live, so much that "masculine" behaviors in females (or vice versa) just don't appear? Gender-based behaviors seem to be getting treated as much a fact as "women can get pregnant, men can't", and I find this...

Confusing.

Mastikator
2016-02-05, 03:51 AM
I only ever play male characters, I wouldn't be comfortable as a woman, I don't know what it's like to be one so it's hard to empathize. As a GM it's much easier cause then I can just do stereotypes (which in my experience everybody loves, especially when I go over the top).

Though none of my characters have been anything like me, I've played as all kinds of weird characters, just all of them dudes.

veti
2016-02-05, 03:53 AM
You mean, a different cultural background? Remember that races in fantasy means 'elves, dwarves, halflings, lizardfolk'.

In the first place, we're not limited to "fantasy". In the second place, even within the fantasy genre, there are plenty of games where "different-coloured humans" are a thing. And third, even if they're not mechanically different, they can still be roleplayed.

lacco36
2016-02-05, 04:38 AM
What.

I've heard similar complaints before. I never quite understood them, and just kept wondering why.

I'm female. I've never seen female characters that broke my immersion or sense of verisimilitude just because they have "masculine" behaviors or features.

Heck, it increases my immersion because I see the variety of behaviors as far more realistic than 'females act like this, males act like that'.

*scratches her head in confusion*

I am even more confused now. Do males and females behave THAT differently where you live, so much that "masculine" behaviors in females (or vice versa) just don't appear? Gender-based behaviors seem to be getting treated as much a fact as "women can get pregnant, men can't", and I find this...

Confusing.

...I had to check my replies to see if at some point I wrote anything about "masculine" or "feminine" behaviours or features. Please check them too and let me know where I wrote something like that - because I think that at no point did I use any of these terms or alluded to them.

And I will continue not to - it is not my point.

My point is - and I will try to present it as clearly as possible - that if a player selects a character, he should roleplay the character. If I don't see any roleplay, it breaks my immersion. This is the same whether it is gender, class/profession, or background the player selected.

Further explanation of the example with bodyguard/mercenary - at that time I requested so called "20 questions" to be filled out and I had my own version (which, up to date, includes around 261 questions...from which you selected at least 20 and answered them...but I don't use it anymore). The 20 question questionnaires were completely different for the two characters (I would call them "from murderhobo to believable female character in 8 versions of one document" - but the roleplay was not consistent with it. Not even little.

The example with the wizard was meant just like I wrote it - if a wizard did this just because his player thought it was funny, it would break my immersion a lot. If he ran out of spells and was in a desperate situation, desperate enough to even consider the axe as solution, it wouldn't. But I expect the player to try to keep consistent with the character he built as far as possible.

To answer your question about male/female stereotypes in my area: don't know. Why? I don't know all the women. I know that some are very different from men in their thinking/reactions and some are quite close...and some are in the middle. And I have met one, to which I had to explain what her best friend, a girl, could have meant (she didn't understand the basic issue of "why is she jealous of me talking to her boyfriend"). So, again - no answer to your question, because I don't have an answer.

But, based on some discussions with my female friends, I got the impression that they think/react quite differently - and when I asked them about it, they thought the same about me/my male friends. But who knows, maybe I am just a stereotype :smallsmile:

goto124
2016-02-05, 04:55 AM
My point is - and I will try to present it as clearly as possible - that if a player selects a character, he should roleplay the character. If I don't see any roleplay, it breaks my immersion. This is the same whether it is gender, class/profession, or background the player selected.

How does one 'roleplay' gender?

@V: Oh, thank goodness. There must've been a miscommunication somewhere. Good thing we cleared it up.

lacco36
2016-02-05, 05:00 AM
How does one 'roleplay' gender?

Thank you for providing me with clear chance to state: "one doesn't". One roleplays a character. If you roleplay your character in such way, that it breaks immersion of everyone at the table, something is wrong.

And that's all I can say to this topic.

:smallsmile:

Feddlefew
2016-02-05, 08:24 AM
I am disappointed by the lack of bizarre alien biology in this thread. :smalltongue:

Lacco36 has already covered my view, but I would add that their might be setting and fluff things to take into consideration.

AMFV
2016-02-05, 08:32 AM
As a player, when I play characters I use them as essentially extensions of myself. This means that when I play an evil character I use traits which I believe to be my own negative traits, and the reverse for good. When I play a chaotic character I use my own personal subversiveness, and the reverse for law. I can wrap my head around how I would behave were I an alien, or an orc, or a dwarf. Because my race and my origin isn't so fundamental to my identity. I cannot do the same thing for the female gender, since my masculinity is a fundamental part of my identity. For somebody who plays characters unlike themselves I don't suspect this would be an issue


As a DM, I play whatever the story requires.

Madbox
2016-02-05, 08:36 AM
I'm male, and have no problem personally with playing female characters. That being said, playing a female character brings up increased opportunities for other players to make dirty jokes, which make me, with my IRL prudish tendencies, feel a touch uncomfortable. Otherwise, I have no issues.

Frozen_Feet
2016-02-05, 08:44 AM
How does one 'roleplay' gender?

Depends on the in-universe roles and expectations of gender.

A huge amount of traits and behaviors are non-gendered - they are spread evenly across genders, or just not associated with any. Choosing to wash your teeth in the morning versus washing them In the evening might tell something of your character, but probably tells nill of their gender.

Then there are characteristics which are gendered because of their obvious connection to physical sex. Having a penis and testicles is visibly different from having a vagina. In humans, these traits are typically mutually exclusive, so this is where distinction between sexes and genders begins.

For a player, the question to answer is "which sex and gender do physical traits of my character suggest?"

Next, there are traits which occur unevenly across sexes and genders, hence becoming associated with one over others. For example, while there are tall women, on average men are taller, so height becomes a masculine trait. This applies to mental traits as well - f.ex. we have no shortage of aggressive women, but on average men are more aggressive, so aggression becomes a masculine trait as well.

For a player, the question to answer is "how much does my character's other traits deviate from average member of the sex and gender their physiology suggests?" If a player doesn't think very deeply of this question, one of two things typically happens: a) they end up playing a pop-stereotype of their character's sex and gender, or b) they play according to their own sex and gender, regardless of what their character's physiology and environment suggests. These are not necessarily problems, but can be quite jarring if a) other players reject the stereotype or hold different ones, or b) the player's behaviour is massively out-of-sync with their character (think 11-year-old girl acting like a 40-year-old gruff sailor man).

Last, there are traits and practices which have no immediate connection to physical or even mental sex, but have been given genders by the local culture anyway. So red is a masculine color while blue is a feminine color... except in the neighbouring nation, where it's the other way around, f.ex..

This is where a player actually faces most practical questions regarding how to play the gender of their character: "Wait, do I use the male dressing room or the female one, or do I complain about the lack of unisex ones? Do I become a monk or nun? Do I wear a dress or a suit to a wedding? Would I be a King or Queen or something in between? Etc."

These are the decisions which make or break how the character is seen in-universe, and by extension, in the eyes of other players. If the tall blonde Adonis goes around wearing a nun's habit and insists on being called "Sister Oscar", that will probably tip off people that their gender is not the same as that over-muscled barbarian's who talks non-stop about booze and wenches.

Felyndiira
2016-02-05, 09:07 AM
I have no issues playing either gender. In general, my character concepts are gender-neutral, and I tend to follow my concepts and backstory more than any sort of "gender traits" (however they are defined). Thus, I have female characters that go around talking with people about her homespun idea of a Oligopoly + Socialism state, and I have male characters that started off selling flowers on the streets before being pulled into something greater.

Feddlefew
2016-02-05, 09:22 AM
At my table there's been a bit of a problem with people waffling on which gender during character creation.

Then again, everyone played dragon born last time I ran a one shot, and they were stuck deciding between elaborate head frills/horns and being the biggest, scariest characters in the game.

Red Fel
2016-02-05, 09:49 AM
In a roleplaying game, do you play character with different genders? And if so, how does it feel to play character with different genders?

I have done so. I will probably do so again. It feels like playing any character.

I have played male humans. And female humans. And genderless robots. And space creatures. And dragon-things. Sometimes I play a character that looks, thinks, and acts like I do. Sometimes I don't.

I think the most, and possibly only, immersion-breaking thing about me playing a character of a different gender is the fact that my voice might not always fit quite right. I do try to adjust, but my voice has only so much range (it tends to be fairly deep unless I get particularly animated), and so my characters tend to be tall and deep-voiced (because vocal range is frequently associated with height, you see). I can do shorter or cuter characters if I'm able to go cartoonishly high, but that's for sillier campaigns.

My characters' genders, or lack thereof, are generally based on the character. What I mean is that, when creating the image of the character - a complete and mystical whole - a gender emerges. It fits. Sometimes, the character is male. Sometimes, it's female. Sometimes, it's a robot with mystical fire-beams. Sometimes it's a stone-skinned creature who sprouts dragon wings. Sometimes it's an accountant. Like I said, the character grows organically. (Except for the robot.)

I admit that I understand the perspective of crossplay breaking immersion, from an academic perspective, but I don't see it myself. I don't see how me playing a different gender disrupts immersion. I don't generally play personality traits that one could point to as "exclusively" belonging to one gender or the other - indeed, it's my understanding that such traits, assuming they exist, are few and far between. My female characters may be "masculine" or "feminine." My male characters may be "masculine" or "feminine." My sexless construct characters may be "masculine" or "feminine." Or, at any point, any of these characters may be neither. Many of my characters have been described as "sexless," at least personality-wise.

You could argue that, if that's the case, I could simply play a character whose gender matches my own. And you'd be right. With the exception of races that explicitly lack gender, almost any character I create could be male or female. I could easily swap one letter on a character sheet and change a name slightly. But that's not the character I see in my head. And I will continue to make reference to the character I see in my head, even if I've been made to change what's on the character sheet. And that is what breaks immersion.

Comissar
2016-02-05, 09:56 AM
My character concepts typically have no inherent factor demanding that they be Male or Female, so choosing the gender of the character usually comes down to the kind of art I find for them. I think as a result I have a leaning toward playing Female characters, well drawn fantasy art (not the chainmail bikini's stuff) for females tends to be easier to empathise with for me, making it easier for me to work with the concept in my head.

When I actually play in a game, my character's gender isn't really the determining factor for their behaviour. It might make minor descriptive differences, but a lot of the (for want of a better word, I actually rarely play Humans :smalltongue:) humanising behaviours I play them with would be the same in a female or a male. Things like rubbing the back of the neck when thinking, stretching arms above the head when bored, etc. etc. On the rare occasion that a situation comes up where my characters sex actually is relevant, I feel that I'm competent enough to be able to play the opposite sex well enough without falling into sexist tropes.

All of the above mostly applies to forum roleplay, though. I like to think I'm a half-decent writer, but my improv. sucks when I'm live, so the IRL group I play with tends to just get things like "My character does X, my character does Y". It's a little different when I GM, but that's mostly because I have a book in front of me outright giving me how the NPC thinks and acts. That and the party aren't really diplomatically gifted, so the talky bits tend not to last very long :smalltongue:

Necroticplague
2016-02-05, 10:05 AM
I've played 2-ton 3 eyeless-headed balls of tar with three minds and nine hands. Playing someone missing a few parts minor pieces is no big deal.
Of course, this probably varies heavily based on how much one feels tied to there character. I've met one who was always 'themselves, with minor change'. I tend to view characters as all entirely separate from me.
Of course, being intersex probably gives me an odd view of what it means to act as a gender. Man, puberty is tough.

Geddy2112
2016-02-05, 10:21 AM
I am a male, and I play slightly more male characters and female characters, but I rarely think about gender as a major thing in designing a character.

I base most of my characters off of real or fictitious people, so I just go with whatever gender that happens to be. If I want to be Hannibal Lecter, I am going to be a male. If I was playing Clarice Starling, I would be female.

It rarely matters, unless that person's gender impacted their lives. If I was playing a character based on Joan of Arc, being female would be relevant to her backstory more than say, Katness Everdeen.

I also DM, meaning I have to play tons of males, females, races/species with no genders, single genders, robots, and eldritch beings where gender can't even come close to applying.

It is not really a big deal.

Comissar
2016-02-05, 10:24 AM
Of course, this probably varies heavily based on how much one feels tied to there character. I've met one who was always 'themselves, with minor change'. I tend to view characters as all entirely separate from me.

Perhaps straying off topic a little, but I always find this particular subject interesting. For myself, I see my characters as generally representing some aspect of my own personality. I always view it as being an inherent necessity for any character I make, if I'm going to be playing a person, I need some kind of common ground to understand how they'll react to a situation. The aspect (or aspects, rarely can an individual be distilled to one emotion) can be anything, socialite characters tend to emphasise creativity, I've played an evil illusionist who emphasised malice, a paladin would represent my concept of nobility, so on, so forth. The few times I've tried to create and play a character with an entirely alien psyche to my own, I've found that I very quickly lose interest. It's very hard for me to play a character that isn't, at some level, me.

However, I see a disjoint between me and my body. As far as I'm concerned, I am my psychological make up, my body just carries me around. I therefore have no issue playing characters that, physically, have little to nothing in common with me.

A friend I RP with sometimes takes a very different approach, one that I personally find to be unusual. He'll only play humans, and he'll only play males. We've discussed it in the past, and his reasoning is that the sheer number of differences between human cultures can produce very varied reactions, some of which seem bizarre to outsiders to those cultures. Working from that, and taking an Elf as an example, it's incredibly difficult for a human to comprehend just what impact a multi-century life-span would have on a cultural world view. For only playing males, I think he simply feels he lacks sufficient context to play a female character, whereas he has plenty of experience to work from for playing a male.

Given it's a game where people literally alter the fabric of reality with magic, it's an argument that I find a bit bemusing. But then, he does typically stick to martial characters too :smalltongue:

Sitri
2016-02-05, 10:44 AM
Most of the time I have seen cross gender characters, it seems largely unnoticed. Often leading to corrections on pronoun verbiage.

However, I remember one instance at a game store where a guy was playing a female sorceress. He and another guy (both friends of mine and both rather large) started roleplaying flirting with each other. The rest of us at the table just kind of set in stunned silence for a little while like we were watching cybersex without any of the suspension of disbelief.

They didn't go full cyber, but it drug out long enough that when I looked around the table it was clear everyone else was thinking "WTF am I watching?"

Amaril
2016-02-05, 11:10 AM
I'll admit to some bad habits with my characters regarding gender. There are basically two types of characters I play: thinly-veiled self-inserts, who are exclusively male because I'm male in real life, and other characters who I come up with because I actually think they're interesting, who are almost all female. The reason for that, I think, is because I find female characters inherently more compelling, due to ingrained Men Are Generic, Women Are Special (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MenAreGenericWomenAreSpecial) thinking (warning: TVTropes) that I must have picked up somewhere in my life. If someone shows me the classic honorable, heroic paladin character, I'll be bored if that character is male, but if they're female, I immediately like them. I don't want to feel that way, but it's a hard habit to break.

Most of the characters I actually play are male and from the first category, because I find characters like myself easier to portray consistently and I'm afraid to take the risk of doing something more challenging. I will say, though, that I don't think the characters' genders actually affect how they behave very much, if at all.

YossarianLives
2016-02-05, 11:25 AM
I usually play a 50/50 number of male and female characters, though I'd like to try branching out in the future and playing characters who don't conform to the norm. Some characters I play just seem better suited to being male and others female, but I usually don't decide gender until after the basic concept for a character has been created.

CharonsHelper
2016-02-05, 11:40 AM
As a male - my default is to play a male unless the particular character concept/background has a good reason to be female. With a couple exceptions - I generally start a campaign with the concept based around their outlook, and unless that outlook is based around their backstory (ex: a dwarf monk character's outlook was based around the loss of his son and how it tore him up and made him take up adventuring as an almost semi-suicide like Warhammer slayers), I usually come up with the backstory after a couple of sessions of play so that it fits how they feel. So - I've only played female a couple times.

I will also say - I'm wary of players I don't know playing cross-gender, especially males playing females. It's not that I don't know that it can be done well - my first group had a guy playing a female changing and it wasn't a thing - but some guys do so in order to get creepy with it.

Though - I'm also wary of players I don't know being Lawful Stupid paladins and crazy psycho 'CN' characters - so... there ya go.

Necroticplague
2016-02-05, 12:18 PM
Perhaps straying off topic a little, but I always find this particular subject interesting. For myself, I see my characters as generally representing some aspect of my own personality. I always view it as being an inherent necessity for any character I make, if I'm going to be playing a person, I need some kind of common ground to understand how they'll react to a situation. The aspect (or aspects, rarely can an individual be distilled to one emotion) can be anything, socialite characters tend to emphasise creativity, I've played an evil illusionist who emphasised malice, a paladin would represent my concept of nobility, so on, so forth. The few times I've tried to create and play a character with an entirely alien psyche to my own, I've found that I very quickly lose interest. It's very hard for me to play a character that isn't, at some level, me.

However, I see a disjoint between me and my body. As far as I'm concerned, I am my psychological make up, my body just carries me around. I therefore have no issue playing characters that, physically, have little to nothing in common with me.

And I tend to see what I am as very distinct from how I am. My traits as a person are merely masks, to be taken on and off as need be. Characters to play as exist equally as much as 'Necroticplague' does as an internet persona, or as I am in public: they are all just various combinations of thoughts and traits within my leviathan mind. Therefore, anything I can think about is just as valid as anything I am.

Of course, to try and answer inevitable follow up question; If all my personalities are masks, and the body is unimportant, then what am I, once all the masks are removed? Truth be told, I must say, the possibility of finding out is one of the most horrifying things I can contemplate.
EDIT:Or perhaps, like a Yozi, I am most defined by what thoughts I contain.

goto124
2016-02-05, 09:59 PM
I find female characters inherently more compelling, due to ingrained Men Are Generic, Women Are Special (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MenAreGenericWomenAreSpecial) thinking (warning: TVTropes) that I must have picked up somewhere in my life.


As a male - my default is to play a male unless the particular character concept/background has a good reason to be female.

Disclaimer: Personal opinion below!

I personally find that in the media, Men Are Generic Women Are Special (characters are male unless there's a compelling reason to be female) means there're a lot more male characters compared to female characters, and the ratio only gets more lopsided when you consider just the protagonists.

IMHO, this alone makes female protagonists 'special', even especially if they're identical to male protagonists in every way but a few anatomical bits.

Maybe that's why my characters are female unless there's a special reason for them to be male (the exact opposite of Men Are Generic Women Are Special). One of my male character's build on the concept of a 'feminine man', which just feels very different from a 'feminine woman'. Another male character is the stereotypical 'Knight in Shining Armor' with well-meaning misogynism.

ImNotTrevor
2016-02-05, 11:04 PM
I'm the perma-GM of my group and so I often find myself playing both. I have certain tropes that I usually stick to, such as the Gruff But Jolly Bartender who is usually a man, and then his tough and level-headed wife who helps out.

Honestly, the only things that get me uncomfortable are moments of romantic interaction between PCs and NPCs. It's not a COMMON problem, but it comes up sometimes when I play Apocalypse World. (I mean, when everyone has a special ability that is activated by bumping uglies with someone....) Although it is really a matter of fun for everyone, and we have a rule about Drawing the Curtain. (If anyone is uncomfortable, speak up and we'll move on.)

Satinavian
2016-02-06, 03:24 AM
I often play women, probably slightly more often then men. Don't get complaints about it. But then everyone of them is a different character and the gender only a minor detail.
What i never have played are transgender and i am not really interested in it. Might be because i don't care a lot about gender roles in real life.


As for the frequent complaining, i think, there are 3 main reasons :

- Some people simply can't get over a male/female voice. It makes it difficult for them to connect direct spreach with someone of the other sex.
- If players at one table hold wildly different gender stereotypes, it will make the portrayal of a certain gender by one player hard to believe for some others
- Some players are really bad actors/son't care about roleplaying/don't stay in character. If those players play crossgender, this fact is blamed for the resulting poor portrayal instead of the player

Jormengand
2016-02-06, 05:08 AM
I play male, female, neither and both characters, I am a male, female, neither or both character, and any GM who insists that I have to play a genderfluid character to match my own gender is probably having a laugh; anyone - GM or otherwise - who insists that I have to play a male character to match my physical sex gets a 5th-edition PHB to the face.

Sredni Vashtar
2016-02-06, 10:48 AM
I'm male, but as a DM, player, and writer, I play/write any and all types I can. My only caveat is that I have to relate on some level with the character, a sentiment echoed by others here. Granted, I can find common ground with just about anyone and anything, but it's a limitation that exists, however ethereal it may be in practice.

I've had some players who conform their own gender, some who flip-flop back and forth, and some who tend towards the opposite. In play, it often doesn't make much difference, though we tended not to strive for full immersion.

I'm honestly much more curious about how gender fluidity works in a setting where transformational magic and powers exist.

JNAProductions
2016-02-06, 11:29 AM
I play primarily female, though a large minority of male. However, I always play male characters in real life, simply because I am biologically male, and my woman voice is kinda garbage.

Online, though, it doesn't matter, so I can play whatever I want! I've never really tried genderfluid or trans characters, but I might some day.

gtwucla
2016-02-06, 11:32 AM
I can't help but think that being unable to play as the opposite gender represents some lack of empathy, experience, imagination or something. If you can get into playing someone who is not you, then gender shouldn't really cause you to balk, and if you're worrying about jokes... I dunno can't relate.

JNAProductions
2016-02-06, 11:59 AM
I can't help but think that being unable to play as the opposite gender represents some lack of empathy, experience, imagination or something. If you can get into playing someone who is not you, then gender shouldn't really cause you to balk, and if you're worrying about jokes... I dunno can't relate.

For me personally, it's just that other people have trouble suspending disbelief when they hear my deep, manly voice. (I sing bass, so I'm allowed to say that. :P ) Like I said, online, I'm free to play whoever.

JAL_1138
2016-02-06, 12:07 PM
For me personally, it's just that other people have trouble suspending disbelief when they hear my deep, manly voice. (I sing bass, so I'm allowed to say that. :P ) Like I said, online, I'm free to play whoever.

Know what you mean. I already had a deep voice even before I became a chain-smoker. My beard doesn't help me much either when trying to play a female character either, unless she's a Discworld dwarf.

Apricot
2016-02-06, 12:10 PM
I like playing both! All the characters tend to be very much "me" despite the gender, so they tend to have some underlying thread of connection, but it's a lot of fun to bring out all sorts of aspects of myself and see how they can fit so perfectly into different forms of expression. The only thing I can't really shake is having to make them all intellectually oriented in some fashion (not supergeniuses or what have you, but just having some type of contemplation). I like being able to have my characters seriously explore various avenues of thought, especially inhuman points of view, and that can't happen without some kind of intelligent reflection.

That said, I'm generally very uncomfortable with any kind of sexuality expressed by my opposite-gender characters. I'm not the biggest fan of romances in my roleplay anyway, but I will go to pretty much any length to avoid it on those characters.

JNAProductions
2016-02-06, 12:16 PM
I actually really enjoy romance in RPGs, both as a male and as a female. But to each their own.

Jay R
2016-02-06, 12:21 PM
People are using an analogy that I don't think is analogous.

Playing an elf or dwarf is not comparable to playing a female, because there are no real elves or dwarves at the table.

I have no problem playing a swordsman, even when there are other players better than me with swords, because I have in fact fought with swords. I'd be comfortable playing a programmer with better programmers in a game, since I've actually been a programmer.

But I doubt if I would be comfortable playing a bomber pilot in a game with Dirk, since he has been a bomber pilot for fifteen years and I never have.

For the same reasons, I prefer not to play a female these days. Your mileage may vary.

I played a female magic-user named Endora back in the seventies, but there were no women in our game.

[There is another issue - I've seen immature guys playing women primarily as an excuse to talk about sex. I do not want to be lumped in the same category with them.]

Apricot
2016-02-06, 12:23 PM
It's never really been my thing, you know? I'm a fighter, not a lover! Well, not exactly a fighter either, but you get the point.

JNAProductions
2016-02-06, 12:28 PM
[There is another issue - I've seen immature guys playing women primarily as an excuse to talk about sex. I do not want to be lumped in the same category with them.]

Simple solution to those kind of players: Don't play with them, or, if they're only immature when playing women, don't let them play women.

sktarq
2016-02-06, 12:34 PM
Honestly I usually avoid playing female characters.

Firstly I play enough female roles as the DM of other games that it has no novelty/variety value.

Second: It really seems to mess with others at the table. It part because I'm male with a beard et al and also because if I want to explore a more feminine aspect of a character (how she feels about cultural family duties having gone off to adventure-using the ladies-in-waiting gossip mill to solve murders or manipulate to world, or even the characters relationship with her hair) I tend to find the DM and/or other players are put off, and don't have as much fun. This is usually much less true for women and (with a tiny sample size of 3) worst with male-to-female trans players (shrug). But frankly if the officer mess vs ladies in waiting sitting room makes for more fun I'll do the former. So if isn't about bumping uglies/flirting anything that pertains to my character femaleness (screw you spellcheck-maleness is a word but not...) seems to have a significant risk of issues with little gain.

Thirdly-it rarely matters when it should. So many cultures (including modern western culture) have placed different cues of what's important, acceptability etc on the genders. In many games worlds this is if anything stronger (as they are often based on sterotypes plus ages with highly defined gender roles). That's basically fine until I see male v females norms applied everwhere in the story except to the PC's. Should the PC's be able to be exceptions, yes, but that will part of who they are as characters. And frankly it happens to males too where social norms being violated has no consequences (and doing so only for females characters would be asinine to female focused players).

So yeah I generally don't think it's worth it for me to play. Fine with my players doing it (but I warn them of consequences).

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-06, 01:27 PM
Of course, this probably varies heavily based on how much one feels tied to there character. I've met one who was always 'themselves, with minor change'. I tend to view characters as all entirely separate from me.[/COLOR]

I don't think I really get why people do this, but then again I tend to think of 'character as character' and have no real appreciation of any non-physical differences between men and women. I've played characters as male and as female, and generally the problems of bad roleplaying with a female character are just as bad when the player plays a male character.

Now, my first female PC I played was okay, but the second one was horrible. As were the men I played immediately before it and after it. But it's been 2 years since then, and I've gotten to the point where my female characters aren't so bad, mainly just by realising that generally a character's character and gender are different (one of the players in my current group calls this the 'man with boobs*' problem, but the point was I don't consciously differ them, but they end up vaguely different). A female warrior might act differently to a male warrior, but that's because she's spent the last 15 years of her life being passed over as a squire in favour of less competent boys.

* no offence to those mistakenly assigned female at birth. I literally just refers to playing a woman as a man.

Kami2awa
2016-02-06, 04:00 PM
Unless every NPC is the same gender as the GM, the GM has to RP everyone of different genders in the world. I don't see the player characters being any different.

gtwucla
2016-02-06, 08:32 PM
For me personally, it's just that other people have trouble suspending disbelief when they hear my deep, manly voice. (I sing bass, so I'm allowed to say that. :P ) Like I said, online, I'm free to play whoever.

That is a unique, very cool problem to have.

BananaPhone
2016-02-06, 09:12 PM
Yes, I frequently gender-bend.

In honesty I don't find it that hard. I just treat the character as a human being with goals and their own personality (shocking, I know).

If I'm so inclined I might add in some more typically feminine/masculine traits in their background (like if they wanted to have kids early, how inclined towards promiscuity they are etc). But on the whole I see player characters as the exception to the rule, so anything will go really.

The only times when I've actively done something with the gender deliberately was when the setting made distinctions. Like in a Conan the Barbarian low fantasy setting, being a woman meant you either had to have power or you'd be a second class citizen (and spoils if your town got attacked). However in other settings like pathfinders galorian, things are usually more egalitarian so it doesn't matter as much - it's really just a cosmetic skin for a cloud of stats.

However I find most gaming groups and GM's are a little uncomfortable around the idea out of fear of being seen as creepy, sexist etc, so for the most part I rarely encounter it and just base character gender of what will look cooler.

goto124
2016-02-06, 09:30 PM
(one of the players in my current group calls this the 'man with boobs*' problem

* no offence to those mistakenly assigned female at birth. I literally just refers to playing a woman as a man.

Out of curiosity, has anyone ever gotten called out for playing a 'man with boobs', which has nothing to do with trans people but just means 'playing a female character as if she were a male character, but with a few parts swapped'?

Or get called out for playing an 'woman without boobs'. Again, curiosity.

McStabbington
2016-02-06, 09:57 PM
I can't help but think that being unable to play as the opposite gender represents some lack of empathy, experience, imagination or something. If you can get into playing someone who is not you, then gender shouldn't really cause you to balk, and if you're worrying about jokes... I dunno can't relate.

That's more than a little unfair. I play almost entirely WoD, where you kind of have to develop your characters to the point that you take into account such questions as "How does this character's sexuality influence their behavior?" The fact that I almost exclusively play male characters says less about my lack of empathy and more that I know enough about how badly women can be stereotyped that I find the prospect of answering such questions a daunting challenge. It's precisely because of my empathy that I worry I may fall into a stereotype that causes me to avoid the challenge, particularly when I consider that unlike men, who face a binary difficulty of being a man or being a not man, women can fall into a stereotype if they fall pretty much anywhere on the sexuality spectrum. Doesn't like sex at all? That's a trope. Likes sex too much? That's a trope. Likes sex just the right amount? That's playing to a gendered expectation that I vehemently disagree with.

It's not lacking in empathy to look at that and say to yourself: "Eh, you know what, maybe I'd rather face a different roleplaying challenge."

Cazero
2016-02-07, 01:55 AM
Out of curiosity, has anyone ever gotten called out for playing a 'man with boobs', which has nothing to do with trans people but just means 'playing a female character as if she were a male character, but with a few parts swapped'?

Or get called out for playing an 'woman without boobs'. Again, curiosity.

< This unit played a female barbarian "as if she was a man" according to the GM. Not my fault barbarian-y things (decapitate necromancer, stick head on spike, display) are associated with manhood. And to be fair, none of the characters sex/gender was ever made relevant to the game.
Why wouldn't a woman barbarian act with ruthlesness, aggressivity and disrespect for people deemed dishonorable? Being a barbarian is much more defining than wathever she had between her legs/on her chest.

LokiRagnarok
2016-02-07, 02:39 AM
I played a gender-bent character once, in a one-shot (it should be said I have only played five characters overall)

The GM had prepared character sheets to choose from, and after someone else had grabbed the mage, I was left with the female Gnome healer on a pirate ship.

I took that as a challenge. After some players expressed a bit of concern (but no strong objections) about genderbending, I made the character a mother hen of indeterminate but old age, thus preempting any and all attempts at sexualizing her.

The real kicker came when this motherly character had to fight offensively and critted with a shotgun. Suddenly this Gnomish crone had plastered the walls with the remains of one of the attackers. I daresay a male Gnome in the same position would have been less fun.

goto124
2016-02-07, 04:01 AM
I made the character a mother hen

Aaaand I'm imagining the healer is literally a hen, surrounded by baby chickens. (http://www.warrenphotographic.co.uk/photography/bigs/03625-Buff-bantam-hen-with-chicks-white-background.jpg)

This hen needs healer clothes. Staff and robes and such.

Kami2awa
2016-02-07, 04:29 AM
Most of the time I have seen cross gender characters, it seems largely unnoticed. Often leading to corrections on pronoun verbiage.

However, I remember one instance at a game store where a guy was playing a female sorceress. He and another guy (both friends of mine and both rather large) started roleplaying flirting with each other. The rest of us at the table just kind of set in stunned silence for a little while like we were watching cybersex without any of the suspension of disbelief.

They didn't go full cyber, but it drug out long enough that when I looked around the table it was clear everyone else was thinking "WTF am I watching?"

Men are allowed to flirt with each other IRL, you know :P

When it comes to sexual matters, I think the most important rule is not to make other people at the table uncomfortable. For some, that means a ban on any romantic or sexual stuff whatsoever. Others are fine with imaginary characters flirting, having relationships and having sex all the time.

This would also apply to any activity. If your players don't like graphic descriptions of violence, don't turn combat into the rat-killing scene from Eye of Argon. (If they do, still don't, anyone can do a better description than that awful piece of work.)

When it comes to playing the opposite or other gender(s), go for it. In RPGs you can play a dragon, a million-year-old immortal, an angel or a devil... all of these should have much more different mindsets!

If someone says you're playing a "man with boobs", tell them they're just playing a "nerd with magic", and have done with it. So what if your acting is not perfect? Few of us are professional actors and such people spend years learning how to act convincingly.

On that subject, voice actors act other genders a lot. Quite often the voices of young boys are played by adult women (Bart Simpson is, for example).

PersonMan
2016-02-07, 05:34 AM
I often pretty much only play female characters, though I generally have a primary theme or influence that molds who they end up being more than their gender. A warrior from a culture that mixes power and morality ("right makes might makes right"), in which women are expected to be ambitious and power-hungry due to the influence of the culture's primary deity, who openly intends to ascend to divinity as a stepping stone to greater power has enough different influences in their life that I personally don't worry about whether or not they fit stereotypes, especially when they come up in-game. These generally become opportunities to shed some light on the differing cultural context (i.e. a sword-wielder who considers their skills, magic and skilled diplomacy to be the exact same thing in a different 'skin', rather than seeing magic as something other).

http://i.imgur.com/ercmhXb.jpg

Apparently the White Mage Robe doesn't come in sizes for hens...something about being 'made for chicks'.

Âmesang
2016-02-07, 06:08 AM
< This unit played a female barbarian "as if she was a man" according to the GM. Not my fault barbarian-y things (decapitate necromancer, stick head on spike, display) are associated with manhood. And to be fair, none of the characters sex/gender was ever made relevant to the game.
Why wouldn't a woman barbarian act with ruthlesness, aggressivity and disrespect for people deemed dishonorable? Being a barbarian is much more defining than wathever she had between her legs/on her chest.
That's pretty much how I played a Neutral female ranger, a (bit stereotypical) strong, silent, survival-of-the-fittest type. From her point of view a pack of hungry wolves aren't going to care about gender issues in society—they're only going to care about how tasty you are; so, man or woman, if you intend to make your lively hood out in the wild or on the battlefield you'd better make yourself tough.

(Though the long-term roleplaying goal of the character was to overcome her unsocial, self-reliant behavior by adventuring with the group and slowly coming to terms with putting her trust into other people, that there is more to life than physical strength, and that there's no weakness in laughing or crying. Besides, could a group not improve by covering each others faults and amplifying each others strengths?)

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-07, 06:13 AM
Out of curiosity, has anyone ever gotten called out for playing a 'man with boobs', which has nothing to do with trans people but just means 'playing a female character as if she were a male character, but with a few parts swapped'?

Or get called out for playing an 'woman without boobs'. Again, curiosity.

Not in front of the group. The thing is, she does play a man rather well, so I won't be surprised if the guy cross playing rather poorly (although he's generally roleplaying rather poorly, such as coming up with a plan to sacrifice my character's useful reputation for a benefit we already had, and had specifically been told so). Probably at the end of the campaign though.

goto124
2016-02-07, 06:28 AM
http://i.imgur.com/ercmhXb.jpg

Apparently the White Mage Robe doesn't come in sizes for hens...something about being 'made for chicks'.

Thank you very much, ... er...

*checks your profile*

Thank you very much, sir! I like how the robe-turned-hood is torn on one side.

JAL_1138
2016-02-07, 08:37 AM
I'm not certain how a character would be roleplayed significantly differently if female rather than male in a relatively gender-equal setting for the majority of character types.

There's not a lot of difference in how female players in the local Adventurers' League chapter and in other groups I've been in play female characters versus how male players have played male characters, that I've noticed. Is there that much difference between genders, that characters like "snarky, trigger-happy halfling rogue" or "taciturn, cautious druid" or "devout, honor-bound, altruistic paladin" or "bookish, good-natured wizard with no sense of personal danger" (all were female characters played by female players) would play much differently if they were male instead of female? If a male were playing these characters, which are obviously believable female characters when being played by their female players (but which could pretty much be made into believable male characters with nothing but a change in name, possibly physical description, and pronoun), in exactly the same way, would he be said to be playing a "man with boobs"?

I'm not entirely sure what people are asking for when they're asking for the character's gender to be roleplayed, unless the character is described as being very strongly at one end or the other of the spectrum of societal gender stereotypes and that isn't being played out.

sktarq
2016-02-07, 10:32 AM
I'm not certain how a character would be roleplayed significantly differently if female rather than male in a relatively gender-equal setting for the majority of character types.

Because the relatively "gender-equal" societies are rare in the fluff of RPG's. In many cases it doesn't matter because role-in-society issues are droped for "adventurer". In other settings like WoD (esp Vampire and Changling) it is harder to get away from such things. Also in games where the players are expected to become part of the local power structure-gaining a keep (and often marrying into the nobility) was a significant part of mid-to-high level DnD and was often not handled well for female characters. How not well became very obvious if that female character was being played by the 6' bearded bloke across the table.

Honestly the more social role is important to game development the more important gender becomes. Esp since games tend to play in world of "stereotype with individual spice" on a good day.

Apricot
2016-02-07, 11:20 AM
Hmm... well, I guess that in order to support the case that there are men acting like women or the other way around, you'd need examples of characters that are very obviously the opposite sex, right? I can think of a few personal examples of this, which all are people roleplaying opposite-sex homosexuals. I don't believe it would be kosher for me to get into specifics, but in general, what makes it so obvious is the sexual details which these characters pay attention to. There are details of sexual preference that vary wildly between heterosexual and homosexual individuals, in my experience, and so when someone of the opposite sex tries to imagine what they enjoy... hilarious mistakes get made. As my prime example, think of ___ pics, where the two words rhyme. Those aren't intended as sexual harassment so much as a horribly misguided attempt by inexperienced men to offer women the "equivalent" of what they would like. In terms of personality, on the other hand, very little can be properly said. It's just the sex which gives it away.

The way I personally think about the issue is to leave the words "masculine" and "feminine" as roughly indicative of the average characteristics of the sexes, even with the inevitable blurring due to culture and the outright contradictions which can appear as such, and then to remove any moral or normative weight from the terms. In my mind, there is absolutely nothing about a feminine characteristic which makes it unfitting for a man to bear, and nothing about a masculine one which is unsuitable for a woman. A feminine man is just as much a man as a masculine man, and a masculine woman just as much a woman as a feminine one. So when we take a character and change their sex, you do get some slightly different implications for the character, and some minor details of expression are appropriate to alter, but there's nothing which stops that character from being believable as the other sex.

On a side note, the extremely-NSFW webcomic oglaf has some great examples of shoving traditionally sexed character archetypes into the opposite sex. Plus, it's hilarious.

JAL_1138
2016-02-07, 11:31 AM
Because the relatively "gender-equal" societies are rare in the fluff of RPG's. In many cases it doesn't matter because role-in-society issues are droped for "adventurer". In other settings like WoD (esp Vampire and Changling) it is harder to get away from such things. Also in games where the players are expected to become part of the local power structure-gaining a keep (and often marrying into the nobility) was a significant part of mid-to-high level DnD and was often not handled well for female characters. How not well became very obvious if that female character was being played by the 6' bearded bloke across the table.

Honestly the more social role is important to game development the more important gender becomes. Esp since games tend to play in world of "stereotype with individual spice" on a good day.

Are they rare? Other than the differing stats in 1e (the only edition to have them), D&D settings haven't imposed social restrictions on female characters. Some of the more prominent NPCs of the Known World (later Mystara) in BECMI are women. The cover art of B/X before it has a female mage as a combatant against a dragon. Planescape doesn't mention it much, and the published adventures have some prominent female NPCs, and the single most badass entity in it is the Lady of Pain. FR doesn't really discuss social gender-roles aside from the Drow matriarchy, and in later editions there's been more of an effort to show women in the same roles as males in human society. Greyhawk tends to have more male NPCs, true, but doesn't really make much mention of restrictions on women in society. Societies in Spelljammer with strict gender-roles are mentioned as exceptions. Dragonlance doesn't generally indicate medieval social restrictions on women as far as I can recall, with several female warriors, thieves, wizards, and clerics.

Outside D&D, Shadowrun is set in the near-ish future, as is Cyberpunk 2020, and tend to have a reasonable mix of male and female with NPCs, though the art could be a bit cheesecake-y (or hilariously, cringe-inducingly stupid with that one edition of Cyberpunk with photos of plastic dolls for art).

Sci-fi RPGs like Star Wars and Traveller don't tend to have strict gender-roles, what with being in space and whatnot.

Pathfinder's Golarion has many of the "iconic" adventurers be female, and has a relatively even mix of male and female NPCs, from shopkeepers to nobles to the pantheon of gods.

Numenera doesn't indicate sharply-delineated gender roles much, with exceptions being noted.

Could most of them do more to highlight gender equality? Sure. But I'm not aware of a heck of a lot that really spell out that gender roles are wildly different, such as property ownership or inheritance or ability to hold certain roles.

EDIT: There certainly are RPGs set in historical eras where women had fewer rights, e.g., Call of Cthulhu being set in the '20s, and suchlike, or more overtly-medieval grim-and-gritty fictional settings like Game of Thrones, where female warriors are the rare exception rather than the norm, but still.

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-07, 11:38 AM
So when we take a character and change their sex, you do get some slightly different implications for the character, and some minor details of expression are appropriate to alter, but there's nothing which stops that character from being believable as the other sex.

This is the key part, there are minor difference between how the genders act, usually, although this isn't a blanker statement and some people have very few of them (if any). Of course, to use a Dark Sun character archetype, a defiler could be either male or female, and they would act 99% the same, but there would be slight differences. They won't generally come up in a campaign enough that not including them should make a character 'obviously not X', but they do apparently exist (for the record, I don't notice them, but that applies to a lot of stuff related to social matters).

The short answer is, except in very few cases, nothing should be a giant flashing sign that says 'acting like the wrong gender', except if stereotypes exist in world.

This has been your daily helping of useless information, I'm off to plot my Dark Sun campaign.

The Insanity
2016-02-07, 01:58 PM
I play both. I want to try playing some other genders, like trans,, but I haven't yet come up with a concept where any of them would be more appropriate than just male or female.

Feddlefew
2016-02-07, 02:17 PM
Well.

My new (female) character's gender was described as "wizard" by other members of the group. She's was raised by orcs, and I guess it kind of makes sense for arcane spell casters to be treated as a third gender to stop them from taking over the tribe, but it wasn't exactly what I'd intended...

Talakeal
2016-02-07, 03:21 PM
A couple of observations / anecdotes if I may:

First, why do we allow Game Masters, as well as authors and screenwriters of all sorts, to portray female characters all the time but insist that it is impossible for a player to do well?


Also, why is there the assumption that if you play a cross gender character according to or against stereotypes you are doing it wrong? There are lots of people, both irl and in fiction, of both genders who meet or defy gender stereotypes. For example, I would describe my current PC as a cross between Rebecca from Tank Girl, Gaz from Invader Zim, and Riley from The Guild. None of these characters are very feminine in their behavior, and neither is my character, but they are all (imo) compelling characters whose femininity is a big part of who they are even though they don't follow stereotypes.


A story from my last game: One of the (male) players in my last group always played male characters, but was considering making a female character for the next game. When I saw this I asked the whole group if they would all mind playing female characters as I had an idea for an Amazon campaign that I had been kicking around in my head for some time but never got a chance to run.
The male player was ok with it, until he learned that his GF (who is bisexual in real life), insisted that her character was straight and refused to have a lesbian relationship in character. When this happened the player decided he didn't want to play a female character anymore. The entire campaign whenever he had a problem in game (no matter what it was, whether or not it had anything to do with gender, up to and including tactical decisions in combat) he would start bitching about how he "Just can't role-play a female character and the problems in the game are all my fault for making him," needless to say that game didn't last very long.


On the subject of flirting, sometimes you get really weird situations. For example, one of my players dragged his girlfriend to the game even though she didn't really want to be there. Other guys (who also had no interest in playing the game) would then join the game for the sole purpose of hitting on her in character. It was one of the weirdest things I have ever seen.

Comissar
2016-02-07, 04:02 PM
When it comes to roleplaying romances, my rule of thumb is "Don't, unless it's been pre-agreed upon by the involved parties". While I have no experience myself of playing a character who gets hit on without the prior rule in effect, I can see it getting awkward very quickly :smalltongue:

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-07, 05:19 PM
The male player was ok with it, until he learned that his GF (who is bisexual in real life), insisted that her character was straight and refused to have a lesbian relationship in character. When this happened the player decided he didn't want to play a female character anymore. The entire campaign whenever he had a problem in game (no matter what it was, whether or not it had anything to do with gender, up to and including tactical decisions in combat) he would start bitching about how he "Just can't role-play a female character and the problems in the game are all my fault for making him," needless to say that game didn't last very long.


Well, real player problem. I think I've never had a non-straight female character (most of my males tend towards either a 1 or 3 on the Kinsey scale). Playing out a lesbian relationship just seems like a stupid idea to me, I can get why some people might

For the non-quoted parts, I agree with the basics of what you're saying. After my current game I might be in a 5e one, where I plan to play a female tribal half-elf wizard (Abjurer or Diviner)* with the outlander background. She doesn't act particularly masculine, feminine, or wizardly (maybe like a stereotypical sorcerer?). She doesn't rush into combat, but isn't a coward, and is actually asexual and heteroromantic. The character would work just as well as a man, but I feel like a character certain that they have great innate magical talent (nah, she doesn't, she's just learnt wizardry from her dad) and planning to improve her people's station would be more fun as a young woman (well, mid to late twenties).

* I don't like full elves, but the idea of playing the child of a city-dwelling human and a desert-dwelling elf sounds like a fun idea. For the specialisation, I think those two schools feel like what a tribal society would want from it's magicians rather than something like evocation or conjuration, but I'm willing to consider a necromancer or illusionist if both those schools are covered (I'll be joining an existing game).

Sitri
2016-02-07, 05:34 PM
I had an Asura-spawn Tiefling Inquisitor for Pathfinder Society. The race is described as having many hermaphroditic members, and my character was one. I also had a hat of disguise (or something similar, it has been a while) and every holy symbol (wood is cheap and has no weight) available. Every session I would become a different identity, sometimes male, sometimes female, though I kept same mechanics.

I remember being slightly annoyed when people would refer to me as Lorenzo (The name on the character/sign in sheet) instead of whatever name/gender I decided on for the session. It never bothered me enough to complain about it.

EDIT:


Men are allowed to flirt with each other IRL, you know :P



I didn't notice this earlier.

I don't know that it was just the fact that two guys were flirting but the fact that both were your stereotypical fa/tg/uys with one pretending to be a petite, "accidentally" sexy, woman and the other an alpha male.

I bet this happens all the time during cybersex, but for everyone to watch it unfold live was a noteworthy experience.

ImNotTrevor
2016-02-07, 05:36 PM
I think some of these situations being talked about would benefit from a "Draw the Curtain" rule at the table.

Basically, my version of the rule is:
If ANYONE at the table feels uncomfortable with what is happening, speak up. We will skip it. Fade to black, draw the curtain, whatever it requires. This will be done without stopping to question why.

Thanks to this, I haven't really had a problem. When people feel uncomfortable, someone inevitably speaks up (maybe even me) and then its over. We get a very quick summary. "I assume you two didnthe horizontal monster mash?"
"Uh...yes."
"Ok. Scene over."

Then I go to one of the people made uncomfortable and give them the scene. This prevents us from backsliding back in. If the discomfort-causers demand to continue I either tell them to handle it via PMs between themselves, or I tell them to GTFO depending on the severity of the offense.



I had an Asura-spawn Tiefling Inquisitor for Pathfinder Society. The race is described as having many hermaphroditic members, and my character was one. I also had a hat of disguise (or something similar, it has been a while) and every holy symbol (wood is cheap and has no weight) available. Every session I would become a different identity, sometimes male, sometimes female, though I kept same mechanics.

I remember being slightly annoyed when people would refer to me as Lorenzo (The name on the character/sign in sheet) instead of whatever name/gender I decided on for the session. It never bothered me enough to complain about it.

I can't be bothered to remember a new name every session just because you like being unique. I would refer to you as Lorenzo for GM discussion, and any characters who know your real name would be justified in doing so because they understand that you have assumed a temporary identity. A costume.

I don't refer to people by the names of the costumes they're wearing on Halloween if I know their real names. Ie, if Mark is dressed as Batman and I need his attention I don't say "Hey, Batman!" I say "Hey, Mark!"

That's just my call. The NPCs I played as would use the name Lorenzo gave them to the degree I could remember, and I'd request that you keep me in line on that. But for GM talking to and giving info to Lorenzo, they are Lorenzo.

Sitri
2016-02-07, 06:02 PM
I can't be bothered to remember a new name every session just because you like being unique. I would refer to you as Lorenzo for GM discussion, and any characters who know your real name would be justified in doing so because they understand that you have assumed a temporary identity. A costume.

I don't refer to people by the names of the costumes they're wearing on Halloween if I know their real names. Ie, if Mark is dressed as Batman and I need his attention I don't say "Hey, Batman!" I say "Hey, Mark!"

That's just my call. The NPCs I played as would use the name Lorenzo gave them to the degree I could remember, and I'd request that you keep me in line on that. But for GM talking to and giving info to Lorenzo, they are Lorenzo.

Like I said, it didn't bother me enough to bring it up, but I don't think you are describing the situation accurately.

In the PFS groups I played it was common to see people at the table you have never played with before, let alone simply seeing new characters. Character introduction was a regular part of each game for such a large group/turnonver at the locations we played. If keeping up with character names for a session is too much of a bother, "Hey you" would have been the name of 1/3 the table most days.

Also, no one else had in-game knowledge that it was the same person; in fact I never appeared as Lorenzo or used that name at the table. A new identity was introduced every session. His true religion was Norgorber, so this type of massive overhaul was very much a key aspect to the identity/motivations of the character.

In fact one session had written in some fluff that you must look into some crystal and it shows you for who you really are before passing a gate. This was just a "Cool I look at the crystal and go" for everyone. With this character, I chose to become petrified rather than let everyone see my identity. I could have just said "Aw **** it, it is too much bother." But that part of the Roleplay for me was important for that character.

ImNotTrevor
2016-02-07, 07:46 PM
Like I said, it didn't bother me enough to bring it up, but I don't think you are describing the situation accurately.

In the PFS groups I played it was common to see people at the table you have never played with before, let alone simply seeing new characters. Character introduction was a regular part of each game for such a large group/turnonver at the locations we played. If keeping up with character names for a session is too much of a bother, "Hey you" would have been the name of 1/3 the table most days.

Also, no one else had in-game knowledge that it was the same person; in fact I never appeared as Lorenzo or used that name at the table. A new identity was introduced every session. His true religion was Norgorber, so this type of massive overhaul was very much a key aspect to the identity/motivations of the character.

In fact one session had written in some fluff that you must look into some crystal and it shows you for who you really are before passing a gate. This was just a "Cool I look at the crystal and go" for everyone. With this character, I chose to become petrified rather than let everyone see my identity. I could have just said "Aw **** it, it is too much bother." But that part of the Roleplay for me was important for that character.

Then in this case, "name on sheet" becomes more important still because anyone sotting near you who can't remember the name will probably sneak a peek at the sheet rather than ask.

That, or the GM would use the character's actual name and not the alias(and wouldn't be wrong to do so) and others would pick up on it. If you end up coming back a lot, and the GM is consistent, then there's a big chance they'll take note of your character name, at least.

Basically, if you want your alias to be used every time, try changing the name on the sheet every time. Then you might see results.

goto124
2016-02-07, 08:21 PM
There are details of sexual preference that vary wildly between heterosexual and homosexual individuals, in my experience, and so when someone of the opposite sex tries to imagine what they enjoy... hilarious mistakes get made.

As my prime example, think of ___ pics, where the two words rhyme. Those aren't intended as sexual harassment so much as a horribly misguided attempt by inexperienced men to offer women the "equivalent" of what they would like. In terms of personality, on the other hand, very little can be properly said. It's just the sex which gives it away.

Now that's interesting food for thought.

As far as I know, society treats women as being sexy because of her body (parts). Lots of media using 'sex sells' just include a scantily-clad woman, expecting her body to bring in more money. Women's outfits focus on cutting holes in her clothes to show off her body.


https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/67/7b/8c/677b8cc615d7ac343f44fd75ac801829.jpg
http://digital-art-gallery.com/oid/5/547x550_2114_Brell_s_2d_fantasy_warrior_girl_femal e_woman_picture_image_digital_art.jpg
http://cdn.desktopwallpapers4.me/wallpapers/fantasy/1920x1080/2/18813-warrior-woman-1920x1080-fantasy-wallpaper.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/dc/b6/d0/dcb6d0dc2774fd68703f0409e46cb8b4.jpg

This means that men are taught "women are sexy because their bodies are shaped sexily". Or "sexiness is in the body parts".

Are men taught what women like? Are they even taught to think about what women like? Either way, they don't really know, and thus extrapolate from their own experience. "Well, I would like to see her body parts, so she'll like to see my body parts!"

Essentially, the difference comes from society treating males and females differently, and not really letting them understand each other.

ImNotTrevor
2016-02-07, 09:00 PM
Now that's interesting food for thought.

As far as I know, society treats women as being sexy because of her body (parts). Lots of media using 'sex sells' just include a scantily-clad woman, expecting her body to bring in more money. Women's outfits focus on cutting holes in her clothes to show off her body.


https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/67/7b/8c/677b8cc615d7ac343f44fd75ac801829.jpg
http://digital-art-gallery.com/oid/5/547x550_2114_Brell_s_2d_fantasy_warrior_girl_femal e_woman_picture_image_digital_art.jpg
http://cdn.desktopwallpapers4.me/wallpapers/fantasy/1920x1080/2/18813-warrior-woman-1920x1080-fantasy-wallpaper.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/dc/b6/d0/dcb6d0dc2774fd68703f0409e46cb8b4.jpg

This means that men are taught "women are sexy because their bodies are shaped sexily". Or "sexiness is in the body parts".

Are men taught what women like? Are they even taught to think about what women like? Either way, they don't really know, and thus extrapolate from their own experience. "Well, I would like to see her body parts, so she'll like to see my body parts!"

Essentially, the difference comes from society treating males and females differently, and not really letting them understand each other.

Are girls ever taught what guys actually want? (Besides sex)

Probably not. Girls extrapolate from heresay that all men just want sex.

This problem, in my experience, runs both ways. The problem is that our current culture sucks at dating and courting in general. We don't recognize the Date as an opportunity to get to know someone in a 1-on-1 situation, but as a hookup waiting to happen. The first date is supposedly the one that determines whether or not a relationship will start. (Which is BS)

If a person dates lots of people they tend to get referred to negatively. Females are sluts, men are "players" That's not a compliment, in this context. (It is in others, of course.)

I think that males and females ARE different. (Brain chemicals have a pretty big effect on behavior, after all, and they have pretty different chemistries.) They are equals in importance and need for respect, but it is foolhardy to say they are THE SAME.

I think we've shot our culture in the foot with the assertion that for women tl be Equal to men, they must be THE SAME as men. Women have moved into the workforce rather than being mothers to their children, and there has not been a sufficient influx to fill the void. Tv, Teachers, Peers, the Internet, these are now parents who teach the children in this country. And that's not working. I'm not saying women have to fill that gap. But SOMEONE has to. Women, Men, SOMEONE.

But hey, I'm a white male and so I'm inherently evil, according to a wide swath of the Internet. So I guess take my opinion with a grain of salt.

Sitri
2016-02-07, 09:12 PM
Then in this case, "name on sheet" becomes more important still because anyone sotting near you who can't remember the name will probably sneak a peek at the sheet rather than ask.

That, or the GM would use the character's actual name and not the alias(and wouldn't be wrong to do so) and others would pick up on it. If you end up coming back a lot, and the GM is consistent, then there's a big chance they'll take note of your character name, at least.

Basically, if you want your alias to be used every time, try changing the name on the sheet every time. Then you might see results.

The only times it happened were with my closest friends who knew the character in the metagame. But go ahead and tell me again how I was wrong.

goto124
2016-02-07, 09:20 PM
I have not been criticized for playing male characters in an overly 'female' fashion. I wonder if any player (male or female, though especially female) has received the "woman without boobs" argument.


http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/salt_mine.png
This one is a little bland. Pass the saltshaker?

Sitri
2016-02-07, 09:24 PM
I have not been criticized for playing male characters in an overly 'female' fashion. I wonder if any player (male or female, though especially female) has received the "woman without boobs" argument.


http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/salt_mine.png
This one is a little bland. Pass the saltshaker?


One of the girls in my current game always plays male characters. There is a running joke that all of her characters have the Jane* alignment, because she just plays herself as every character.

*Replace Jane with her real name.

Rusvul
2016-02-07, 10:09 PM
I've played both male and female characters. Mostly male, but often when nobody else is playing a female character (regardless of their real-life gender) I'll play a female for a little more diversity in the party. It has very little effect on how I play a character- I build a character and then assign a gender, rather than the other way around.

Dire Moose
2016-02-07, 10:14 PM
I have a very interesting perspective on this.

It was about five years ago that I thought I might like to play as a girl in Pokémon. I kind of flipped back and forth, starting new games a few times, but eventually as I played further, I realized it just felt better, kind of more exciting, than what I'd been doing before. Soon that became more or less normal for me. Try as I might, I could never explain why I liked playing female characters; I came up with excuses when asked, but I never could figure out why or where the idea had come from.

In the fall of 2014, I was part of a play-by-post RP that never got very far, and had made an elf druid based on a previous character I had played. For some reason, again, I had an odd desire to make this character female. I again wavered between the two but chose female because it just seemed to feel better that way. I justified it by claiming only one female character was in the party at that point and another one would help balance things out better. Yet that was still an excuse. I'd been part of all-male parties before and had no issue with it. And when I started getting involved with Pathfinder Society again, I made another variation of the character as a Hunter.

So with that background in mind, let's see how I played this character. For the most part, I played her just like any other character. I played a couple of male characters in other PFS sessions, a ranger and a cleric, and I didn't play her any different than I did them. Her actions were mainly driven by her personal background and motivations to uphold the balance of nature and accumulate more knowledge to benefit her isolated tribe. Her being female was completely incidental to the character, and was only there because I felt I would rather play a female character than a male one. Again, though, the reason why was something I could never really explain.

There were two main ways male players would play female characters. One was to just play them the same way as male characters and ultimately completely forget their gender to the point where everyone referred to them as he/him and there was no notice taken. The other was to play "sexy" characters with high Charisma and exploit that whenever possible. These characters never got mistaken for male, but only because the players were always making a big deal about it. I didn't really fall into either group. I played my character "normally" like the first group, without any sexual aspects (which really never factored into gameplay for me, ever). However, unlike them, making sure my character was perceived as female was very important to me, and I got irritated when the rest of the group kept forgetting and referring to her as male. I frequently found myself having to correct the other players on pronoun usage, something I have never observed other players doing. I am still playing this character, who is now my primary character in Pathfinder Society.

In retrospect, I do not think my experience is typical of how male players roleplay female characters, and given that I have started questioning myself for other reasons, this may mean something.

Apricot
2016-02-08, 12:26 AM
This is the key part, there are minor difference between how the genders act, usually, although this isn't a blanker statement and some people have very few of them (if any). Of course, to use a Dark Sun character archetype, a defiler could be either male or female, and they would act 99% the same, but there would be slight differences. They won't generally come up in a campaign enough that not including them should make a character 'obviously not X', but they do apparently exist (for the record, I don't notice them, but that applies to a lot of stuff related to social matters).

The short answer is, except in very few cases, nothing should be a giant flashing sign that says 'acting like the wrong gender', except if stereotypes exist in world.

This has been your daily helping of useless information, I'm off to plot my Dark Sun campaign.

Yeah - most of the gender differences are little lingual tics, which mean very little in terms of character but mean the world to how our pattern-seeking monkey brains understand that whole distinction. It's kind of interesting to put it into practice.

FallenFallcrest
2016-02-08, 12:56 AM
I am disappointed by the lack of bizarre alien biology in this thread. :smalltongue:

Lacco36 has already covered my view, but I would add that their might be setting and fluff things to take into consideration.

Got you covered on a different topic dedicated to talking about alien biology: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?475707-Single-gender-hermaphroditic-humanoid-race

Anyways, on a similar idea, I have had players play as species that had no gender (4th Edition Shardminds) and it went well. The player was able to roleplay that character very well. The character did act in a unique way compared to the others, sharing in the group's goals, but with a different perspective than the rest of the group. It was fun. I think so long as the character can be played well, it can be very different than the player.

ImNotTrevor
2016-02-08, 04:50 AM
The only times it happened were with my closest friends who knew the character in the metagame. But go ahead and tell me again how I was wrong.

It's not that you're WRONG. Geeze, don't let the butthurt overtake you.

It's that holding this particular group of people to this standard is... overreaching the level of expectation you should be having.

If the only people who used the name were close friends who understood the character on a metagame level, then they wouldn't be wrong in referring to the character by their actual name OOC. If they did it IC, it's probably because they couldn't be bothered to remember the new one when they already have a good one. And you can correct that OOC. "Your character doesn't know their name is Lorenzo. They know their name as ____." It takes 2 seconds to correct. I find it weird that it was so important that you had your character turn to stone over it, but not important enough to take 2 seconds to correct the name once per session.

I mean, you do you, but I think you kinda created your own problem by doing it with that particular group. The concept is Mid-to-High-tier RP concepts. The group seems to have been Zero-Low tier RP concepts. You got what you paid for, as it were.

Necroticplague
2016-02-08, 08:43 AM
It has very little effect on how I play a character- I build a character and then assign a gender, rather than the other way around.

Ditto. Gender, or possible lack (or excess) thereof, is a relative afterthought of the character.

Winter_Wolf
2016-02-08, 06:30 PM
I'm male, I play male characters. I know some people will think less of me for that. But simply put, if as a male I want to play a Schwarzenegger style Conan-esque character no one blinks twice; if I play a Red Sonya character I'll get flak for making some kind of sex object/fetishized caricature of a woman. I don't need that kind of BS at the game, just because I would rather play naturists than plate armor encased juggernauts. Maybe I'm just an unlucky outlier, but I can count the number of mature, reasonable gamers I personally know on the thumbs of my third hand.

I'll play female characters in video games, and I'll do it in first person perspective, but that's single player and I can envision my character however I please.

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-08, 06:52 PM
I'm male, I play male characters. I know some people will think less of me for that. But simply put, if as a male I want to play a Schwarzenegger style Conan-esque character no one blinks twice; if I play a Red Sonya character I'll get flak for making some kind of sex object/fetishized caricature of a woman. I don't need that kind of BS at the game, just because I would rather play naturists than plate armor encased juggernauts. Maybe I'm just an unlucky outlier, but I can count the number of mature, reasonable gamers I personally know on the thumbs of my third hand.

Okay, yeah, we need to work on the assuming every male player's partially dressed female characters are because of pervy instincts. I suggest seeing if they play similar male characters.

Out of interest, I'm going to post a description of my planned next character, gender-neutral pronouns only, and see what gender people think it's closer to.

E is a young half elf raised by their mother in a tribe of elves living on the edge of the desert. E was part of helping setting up their irrigation channels to start farming when they were young, but spent most of their evenings reading books of lore their father left behind, eventually learning to manipulate the arcane forces described within. Eventually the shaman of the tribe took E out into the desert and taught them the secrets of the old magic, declaring them as his intended successor. Since then E has worked on mastering magic both arcane and divine (in game terms, E is a Wizard2/Druid 1).

E's dark skin and black hair stand in stark contrast to the deep green eyes they inherited from their father. Their physique stands between that of a human and an elf, lean but firm. Half of E's face, as well as their left shoulder and arm, are heavily scarred because of an accident as a child involving a flask of alchemist's fire, and a curse from the shaman's son has left their left hand permanently paralysed. E normally wears a white tunic and shin-length skirt along with an elbow-length mantle.

Although occasionally arrogant, E isn't rash, and prefers to think their actions through before committing, using all the tools at their disposal. However, this doesn't stop E from being foolish when it comes to people, and has led them to truly cherish the handful of friend's they've had in their entire lifetime.

Currently E is on their rite of passage, searching the outside world in order to bring back knowledge that will help their tribe to flourish.

Yeah, I've already revealed the planned gender, but I'm interesting to see what people think. Does that sound like a man or a woman to people.

Millstone85
2016-02-08, 07:00 PM
Out of interest, I'm going to post a description of my planned next character, gender-neutral pronouns only, and see what gender people think it's closer to.You missed one gender-specific pronoun, between "most of" and "evenings".

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-08, 07:08 PM
You missed one gender-specific pronoun, between "most of" and "evenings".

Sorry, at that point it I was too busy internally debating on if I should have the father be human or a half-orc.

I forgot to specifically mention this, but when I talk about dark skin, E's black. I was originally planning on copper, but thought that as most of the party would probably be all Caucasian and attractive, maybe I should go for someone who's black and not physically perfect.

goto124
2016-02-08, 07:22 PM
You said 'skirt' :smalltongue:

I've played femle and male characters who sound really pervy in my head, but turn out pervy only when with their love interests. Aka, people who want the pervyness.

Necroticplague
2016-02-08, 07:47 PM
Okay, yeah, we need to work on the assuming every male player's partially dressed female characters are because of pervy instincts. I suggest seeing if they play similar male characters.

Out of interest, I'm going to post a description of my planned next character, gender-neutral pronouns only, and see what gender people think it's closer to.

E is a young half elf raised by their mother in a tribe of elves living on the edge of the desert. E was part of helping setting up their irrigation channels to start farming when they were young, but spent most of their evenings reading books of lore their father left behind, eventually learning to manipulate the arcane forces described within. Eventually the shaman of the tribe took E out into the desert and taught them the secrets of the old magic, declaring them as his intended successor. Since then E has worked on mastering magic both arcane and divine (in game terms, E is a Wizard2/Druid 1).

E's dark skin and black hair stand in stark contrast to the deep green eyes they inherited from their father. Their physique stands between that of a human and an elf, lean but firm. Half of E's face, as well as their left shoulder and arm, are heavily scarred because of an accident as a child involving a flask of alchemist's fire, and a curse from the shaman's son has left their left hand permanently paralysed. E normally wears a white tunic and shin-length skirt along with an elbow-length mantle.

Although occasionally arrogant, E isn't rash, and prefers to think their actions through before committing, using all the tools at their disposal. However, this doesn't stop E from being foolish when it comes to people, and has led them to truly cherish the handful of friend's they've had in their entire lifetime.

Currently E is on their rite of passage, searching the outside world in order to bring back knowledge that will help their tribe to flourish.

Yeah, I've already revealed the planned gender, but I'm interesting to see what people think. Does that sound like a man or a woman to people.

I find that, regardless of common sense, excessive gender neutrality tends to be misconstrued as male for some reason. I've had characters referred to as 'he' when they always used neutral pronouns, even though a physical description had them to not remotely match 'he' as a typical appearance (find any man who's a 37D-28-35 who isn't viewed as at least somewhat feminine and I will eat my own frock).

PersonMan
2016-02-08, 08:15 PM
I think it's because we're more used to using male as neutral than strictly neutral language. It's easier to say 'he' than to stay consistent with 'they', especially in speech.

goto124
2016-02-08, 09:28 PM
Yep, especially 'more used to'. The singular 'they' just isn't used in everyday English yet.

There's a webcomic called Star Trip. One of the protagonists is a shapeshifter who insists on being called 'they'. The shapeshifter usually appears as a female humanoid, because it's the form the other protagonist is most comfortable with. Many readers refer to the shapeshifter as 'she', causing the author of the comic to insist on 'they', in turn causing a few readers to get angry and come up with reasons the shapeshifter should still be referred to as 'she'. I imagine trying to convince these sort of people to use 'they' is futile anyway, and not worth the effort.

I don't make other players refer to my character with anything other than 'he', 'she', or 'it'*. I've talked to these other players and they have told me it makes my character come off as a 'special snowflake', due to their experiences with many other special snowflake characters.

*Not beyond a few posts. Sometimes I rephrase my posts to avoid pronouns altogether, and watch players guess my character's sex. I've tricked people into thinking my male character was female a few times already - having long flowing blond hair helps :smalltongue: I settle on a standard pronoun quickly though.

If I want to use a non-standard pronoun (singular they, sie, etc), I'll talk to whoever I'm playing with, since they're the ones who have to go through the most effort of consciously using non-standard pronouns.

Âmesang
2016-02-08, 09:47 PM
Okay, yeah, we need to work on the assuming every male player's partially dressed female characters are because of pervy instincts. I suggest seeing if they play similar male characters.
This reminds me of why I both love and hate SoulCalibur, because the character creation is great (especially in V), but the "armor break" isn't. If I wanted to play as a female in her underwear, I'd create a female in her underwear; if I want to play as a female dressed as a pirate captain, a sorceress, a warrior, a cowgirl, or what have you… I'd like for her to remain as such from the beginning of the match to the end, even if I do lose a round or two throughout.

I mean, sure, I can understand having a hat get knocked off… but having an entire outfit get vaporized is irritating 'cause it means all of the work that went into the costume was a waste. :smallannoyed: Goes for the guys, too; all of the work that went towards making a recreation of Dr. Insano, and one lost round could mean reducing him to just his pants. No more coat. No more spiral-lens goggles. No more rocket boots. (Though he at least gets to keep his Power Glove 'cause it was designed using stickers which can't be removed.)

…this also reminds me of wanting to find a really, really good photo of the earth's horizon from a very high altitude—the blue of the atmosphere fading into the blackness of space with a field of stars in full view. The above-mentioned sorceress' D&D incarnation wears a noble's outfit of "starlight cloth" (DRAGON #279), and that's how I imagine it; who need's some fantasy bikini when you can wear a fabulous dress that mirrors the beauty of the heavens, complete with shooting stars streaking across the fabric as she moves. :smallcool:


I've played femle and male characters who sound really pervy in my head, but turn out pervy only when with their love interests. Aka, people who want the pervyness.
…and suddenly there's a reason to put ranks into Use Rope. :smalltongue:

Sitri
2016-02-08, 10:15 PM
It's not that you're WRONG. Geeze, don't let the butthurt overtake you.

It's that holding this particular group of people to this standard is... overreaching the level of expectation you should be having.

If the only people who used the name were close friends who understood the character on a metagame level, then they wouldn't be wrong in referring to the character by their actual name OOC. If they did it IC, it's probably because they couldn't be bothered to remember the new one when they already have a good one. And you can correct that OOC. "Your character doesn't know their name is Lorenzo. They know their name as ____." It takes 2 seconds to correct. I find it weird that it was so important that you had your character turn to stone over it, but not important enough to take 2 seconds to correct the name once per session.

I mean, you do you, but I think you kinda created your own problem by doing it with that particular group. The concept is Mid-to-High-tier RP concepts. The group seems to have been Zero-Low tier RP concepts. You got what you paid for, as it were.

I am actually quite interested in seeing how many times you are willing to twist and are how far you will go to tell a stranger on the internet that they had an "overreaching level of expectation" several years ago.

I did once correct the a player that was using the wrong name. When I said "It never bothered me enough to complain about it." I meant that I never expressed discontent at the other name being used. The player took it as for informational purposes when I stated my assumed name and he continued using the other name. He was very capable of keeping up with names, he was Venture Lieutenant of an extremely large area of an extremely large and populous city. He probably DMed for more new characters in a month than majority of DMs see their entire lives.

Of the two players I can remember using the Paper Name, one was the fa/tg/uy from earlier in the thread who was willing to pretend to be a girl getting her groove in front of a table of people, and the other had some of the most diverse characters I have seen at a table; he regularly criticized others for not valuing the RP aspect of the game enough.

Queen's knight to c3. I am actually quite eager to hear new circumstances surrounding events that happened to me several years ago that show my "slight annoyance" was indicative of an "overreaching level of expectation."

ImNotTrevor
2016-02-08, 11:04 PM
I am actually quite interested in seeing how many times you are willing to twist and are how far you will go to tell a stranger on the internet that they had an "overreaching level of expectation" several years ago.

I did once correct the a player that was using the wrong name. When I said "It never bothered me enough to complain about it." I meant that I never expressed discontent at the other name being used. The player took it as for informational purposes when I stated my assumed name and he continued using the other name. He was very capable of keeping up with names, he was Venture Lieutenant of an extremely large area of an extremely large and populous city. He probably DMed for more new characters in a month than majority of DMs see their entire lives.

Of the two players I can remember using the Paper Name, one was the fa/tg/uy from earlier in the thread who was willing to pretend to be a girl getting her groove in front of a table of people, and the other had some of the most diverse characters I have seen at a table; he regularly criticized others for not valuing the RP aspect of the game enough.

Queen's knight to c3. I am actually quite eager to hear new circumstances surrounding events that happened to me several years ago that show my "slight annoyance" was indicative of an "overreaching level of expectation."

"How dare you not know all of these peices of information about this situation I have only given you sparse details about!"

Ok. You win. I wasn't there for this event. Everyone around you was a massive **** for not doing it right, and I'm and even bigger **** for questioning that. Who am I to try and give the benefit of the doubt to the other players. Nay, nay. Your example of exactly 2 people who bucked the general trend of not having particularly high amounts of RP (including one guy who pointed out the lack of RP) clearly means the general trend is a falsification of my own mind. I am scum, I am lower than dirt for ever questioning you, Granter of Knowledge who at no point has ever introduced new information I couldn't possibly have known and/or inferred I was stupid and backwards for not knowing it.

Please forgive me for not referring to the perfect and unbiased video recording of the exact events you referred to and all relevant side information that I have had in my possession from the beginning of this conversation, merely drawing my vague conclusions from the limited amount of data I was given.

You are right, I am wrong.

I never should have questioned the absolute, unbiased veracity of your story as absolute fact as you told it from your singular, perfected perspective.

I am scum, I am destitute of honor, a lowly phlegm-stricken creature of puss and bile wriggling beneath the dirt upon which your feet tread.


Feel better now?


Edit:
For the sake of seriousness: If you expect a 10 from people who regularly produce an 8, then even though the difference between 8 and 10 may be small, you are still overreaching your expectations. Same holds true for expecting a 9. Expect a 7 and be pleasantly surprised more often. (Hot tips from INT)

Did they use the name OOC or IC? Important differences. OOC using the paper name is fine. IC, no. This hasn't been clarified yet and it the biggest potential problem. (Of course, your countermove is to say "they used it IC" even if that's not actually true, because I have to take the information you give me at face value since I wasn't there. Another Hot Tip from INT.)

The entirety of my argument, I suppose, can be summarized thusly.
"The correct reaction to this is to shrug and say 'meh.' Any more emotional investment than that with what sounds to me, based on your description, like an ever-changing group of mostly-strangers may be more emotional investment than you should be spending energy on. After saying 'meh,' you should make a copy of that character and archive it for another group that is more stable and would be able to actually appreciate it."

Personally, from an RP perspective, any character I played would be really suspicious of yours if they changed identities in the middle of a quest/session. Who is this new person? Why do they know our names? Why am I not getting them the hell away from them? They claim to be the teifling from last night? Prove it."
Every. Single. Time. (Provided it was within the same space of interaction, be it within a single session or picking up a quest where we left off in a new session, and the transformation went unwitnessed.)

But hey, I wasn't there. There's probably as-yet unrevealed information that makes me wrong again. Can't wait to see it.

Sitri
2016-02-08, 11:30 PM
"How dare you not know all of these peices of information about this situation I have only given you sparse details about!"

Ok. You win. I wasn't there for this event. Everyone around you was a massive **** for not doing it right, and I'm and even bigger **** for questioning that. Who am I to try and give the benefit of the doubt to the other players. Nay, nay. Your example of exactly 2 people who bucked the general trend of not having particularly high amounts of RP (including one guy who pointed out the lack of RP) clearly means the general trend is a falsification of my own mind. I am scum, I am lower than dirt for ever questioning you, Granter of Knowledge who at no point has ever introduced new information I couldn't possibly have known and/or inferred I was stupid and backwards for not knowing it.

Please forgive me for not referring to the perfect and unbiased video recording of the exact events you referred to and all relevant side information that I have had in my possession from the beginning of this conversation, merely drawing my vague conclusions from the limited amount of data I was given.

You are right, I am wrong.

I never should have questioned the absolute, unbiased veracity of your story as absolute fact as you told it from your singular, perfected perspective.

I am scum, I am destitute of honor, a lowly phlegm-stricken creature of puss and bile wriggling beneath the dirt upon which your feet tread.


Feel better now?

Of course I didn't give all the details up front, my feelings about it were stated as quite insignificant from the start. That alone is a reason to cut to chase, but I also would have never imagined someone else would try so hard to write other details into that story. I find that much more interesting than the story itself.

Edit: To address a bit of your concerns in the edit, it sounds like you are not familiar with Pathfinder Society Play. It is an organized play setting, probably similar to Adventure's League if you know that.

Basically you just bring characters (which most regular players have several; I have a trapperkeeper a few inches thick of characters and the experience pages you get at the end of each session) and you sit down at a table with 3-6 other people and play a 4-5 hour mostly independent game with them. The Venture Captain and Venture Lieutenants for the area largely decide who sits at what table and they tend to DM a lot more tables than other players. While pieces of a year long story were sort of written into the games in later years to motivate you to play scenarios in the order they were written, you can just sit down and play any 4-5 hour game with anyone that had characters in the proper level range on the spot and it worked out fine.

ImNotTrevor
2016-02-08, 11:33 PM
Of course I didn't give all the details up front, my feelings about it were stated as quite insignificant from the start. That alone is a reason to cut to chase, but I also would have never imagined someone else would try so hard to write other details into that story. I find that much more interesting than the story itself.

I added details? When?

I recall saying that we can't automatically blame them as being 100% at fault. But I don't recall assigning details to the situation. I'll have to look back and see if this accusation is true.

(I know I said things like "it was probably the case that _____." Because I was attempting to give your fellow players the benefit of the doubt. More evidence that I'm scum, to be honest.)


Edit: I did say how I personally as a GM would have handled the situation. Man, I really am a horrible person.

Otherwise I only see a lot of "probably" and "might have been" and not a lot of "definitely was."

I have this thing where most people that make these mistakes aren't being belligerent, they're just doing their own thing and "can't be bothered" aka "are too busy doing their thing to worry about the particulars of your thing."

And hell, in my "how I'd GM this character" I said I would request you kept me correct for IC interactions. I would use the actual name OOC because in those situations as GM I'm peering through the veil into the REAL character, not the Identity. "Bob" doesn't get XP. "Bob" Isn't a real person. Lorenzo is, though, and they earn XP. Even then, I would use the assumed name whenever appropriate. "Tell me what Bob does when he sees Lady Tremaline draw a sword on Lord Tremaline." Because the identity may matter to the reaction.

That's just my GM philosophy talking, not am absolute "this is what your GM was doing." Those are different things.

Sitri
2016-02-09, 01:07 AM
I added details? When?

I recall saying that we can't automatically blame them as being 100% at fault. But I don't recall assigning details to the situation. I'll have to look back and see if this accusation is true.

(I know I said things like "it was probably the case that _____." Because I was attempting to give your fellow players the benefit of the doubt. More evidence that I'm scum, to be honest.)


Edit: I did say how I personally as a GM would have handled the situation. Man, I really am a horrible person.

Otherwise I only see a lot of "probably" and "might have been" and not a lot of "definitely was."

I have this thing where most people that make these mistakes aren't being belligerent, they're just doing their own thing and "can't be bothered" aka "are too busy doing their thing to worry about the particulars of your thing."

And hell, in my "how I'd GM this character" I said I would request you kept me correct for IC interactions. I would use the actual name OOC because in those situations as GM I'm peering through the veil into the REAL character, not the Identity. "Bob" doesn't get XP. "Bob" Isn't a real person. Lorenzo is, though, and they earn XP. Even then, I would use the assumed name whenever appropriate. "Tell me what Bob does when he sees Lady Tremaline draw a sword on Lord Tremaline." Because the identity may matter to the reaction.

That's just my GM philosophy talking, not am absolute "this is what your GM was doing." Those are different things.

To my recollection, details you have created referring to the other parties were worded as speculation not fact. They were repeatedly wrong details, but I don't think you ever said "This is what happened." If I were to accuse you of assigning certainty in error, it would be your repeated sentiments that I am sitting in judgement of other players.

I corrected your speculations at first simply because they were wrong, but later because I was amused at how many you want to throw out with so little information to go on and nothing I can see to gain. I don't think you are trying to enlighten me or yourself on the matter, as that doesn't come across in your tone. I can't imagine convincing me to do a 360 on a memory of mild annoyance would be very satisfying for you. So I am baffled. I tell you that you are wrong not to justify judgement on the other players, but to watch something I don't fully understand.

I agree this dynamic does actually create a motivation for me to fabricate details. I have not to this point; I haven't needed to. But it had occurred to me that if you keep throwing out enough possible scenarios, it would be very tempting to as see how far you would go.

ImNotTrevor
2016-02-09, 01:58 AM
To my recollection, details you have created referring to the other parties were worded as speculation not fact. They were repeatedly wrong details, but I don't think you ever said "This is what happened." If I were to accuse you of assigning certainty in error, it would be your repeated sentiments that I am sitting in judgement of other players.

I corrected your speculations at first simply because they were wrong, but later because I was amused at how many you want to throw out with so little information to go on and nothing I can see to gain. I don't think you are trying to enlighten me or yourself on the matter, as that doesn't come across in your tone. I can't imagine convincing me to do a 360 on a memory of mild annoyance would be very satisfying for you. So I am baffled. I tell you that you are wrong not to justify judgement on the other players, but to watch something I don't fully understand.

I agree this dynamic does actually create a motivation for me to fabricate details. I have not to this point; I haven't needed to. But it had occurred to me that if you keep throwing out enough possible scenarios, it would be very tempting to as see how far you would go.

Not very. I think you like being offended. Lots of people do nowdays, so I can't blame you.

I'm not really attempting to convince you of anything other than "Well, I doubt they were being unreasonable or malicious, and I can think of situations in which they wouldn't be in the wrong with their behavior."

There's not much more beyond that. However watching this turn into a way bigger issue than I intended for it to be has been nifty. Perhaps I've been misspeaking this whole time. I'll admit I come across as standoffish more often than I try to, due to mostly posting from work. (Which is often annoying on its own. Spending 3 hours cleaning, washing, touch-up-painting, buffing, and re-buffing the same car that someone apparently used as a staging area for a strange hybrid of MMA, Mudding, and Paintball tends to wear on the psyche.)

Aside from my previous insanely sarcastic post (that was definitely accompanied by legitimate eyerolls at the idea that introducing information previously unknown as proof of my stupidity, because that is, as the kids say, "not cool, bro.") I haven't really been anything other than bewildered that you thought I was accusing you of... anything, really. The mention of the character being turned to stone rather than look in a true-seeing mirror thing (I don't recall the details) just made me confused about the level of caring about it. If I'm only mildly annoyed by the behaviors, I have ample reason to just say "I look in the mirror." And when they ask what I see say "It's me." Done. *shrug* again, not an accusation of mishandling, just what I would have done in that situation based on the info I have about it.

That's it.

(Also, is "speculation" really the same as adding details? I don't think so.)

Arutema
2016-02-09, 02:52 AM
I had an Asura-spawn Tiefling Inquisitor for Pathfinder Society. The race is described as having many hermaphroditic members, and my character was one. I also had a hat of disguise (or something similar, it has been a while) and every holy symbol (wood is cheap and has no weight) available. Every session I would become a different identity, sometimes male, sometimes female, though I kept same mechanics.

I remember being slightly annoyed when people would refer to me as Lorenzo (The name on the character/sign in sheet) instead of whatever name/gender I decided on for the session. It never bothered me enough to complain about it.

This strikes me as more of a flaw with the PFS sign-in system than anything. You sign in with a character name (which the GM expects to match the name entered on Paizo's website, and the GM then reads it off the sign-in sheet and uses it.

For players, have you tried a "table tent"? (A piece of paper or card folded so it stands upright with your name, character's name, and sometimes a character portrait.) The way you describe the character, I could see carrying a deck of them, and drawing an identity at random at the start of each game.

I actually tried a somewhat similar concept with one of my PFS characters, but death to a spellstrike critical in xir first session meant it didn't get very far. Nice to see a similar idea in play.

Vitruviansquid
2016-02-09, 02:53 AM
Looks like some drama's developed in this thread. Let me just duck under it and reply to the OP:

I played characters of both genders and characters of both sexes. Mechanically, I tend to gravitate toward Big Sword Guy/Girl, but my characters' personalities and backstories run the gamut. My groups tend to switch games fairly frequently, so I need new characters frequently anyways.

I tended not to run into any problems because most of my games are with friends from college, or friends I met online and have hung out with for a long time. We implicitly understand nobody is a creep and we probably naturally select for people who aren't complete social misfits. The only time I remember us having a problem with anyone playing a character of a different gender was in my college group, having someone who was a bit socially awkward play with us. He made some kind of healing character (I don't even remember which game this is, any more) that was female, and at one point, he said "okay, I give him some of my... Sexual Healing," and we basically all turned and gave that guy the look of "what the hell did you just say?" Then we moved on.

Sitri
2016-02-09, 01:03 PM
Not very. I think you like being offended. Lots of people do nowdays, so I can't blame you.

I'm not really attempting to convince you of anything other than "Well, I doubt they were being unreasonable or malicious, and I can think of situations in which they wouldn't be in the wrong with their behavior."

There's not much more beyond that. However watching this turn into a way bigger issue than I intended for it to be has been nifty. Perhaps I've been misspeaking this whole time. I'll admit I come across as standoffish more often than I try to, due to mostly posting from work. (Which is often annoying on its own. Spending 3 hours cleaning, washing, touch-up-painting, buffing, and re-buffing the same car that someone apparently used as a staging area for a strange hybrid of MMA, Mudding, and Paintball tends to wear on the psyche.)

Aside from my previous insanely sarcastic post (that was definitely accompanied by legitimate eyerolls at the idea that introducing information previously unknown as proof of my stupidity, because that is, as the kids say, "not cool, bro.") I haven't really been anything other than bewildered that you thought I was accusing you of... anything, really. The mention of the character being turned to stone rather than look in a true-seeing mirror thing (I don't recall the details) just made me confused about the level of caring about it. If I'm only mildly annoyed by the behaviors, I have ample reason to just say "I look in the mirror." And when they ask what I see say "It's me." Done. *shrug* again, not an accusation of mishandling, just what I would have done in that situation based on the info I have about it.

That's it.

(Also, is "speculation" really the same as adding details? I don't think so.)

I think a lot of the new information I introduced was not initially relevant. It didn't become relevant until you created a scenario in which it would falsify.

I would rather have my character turn to stone than have its true identity known because the headspace of that character was important to me as a player. In contrast, it was not worth complaining that other players weren't doing it right because I don't think there is a huge level of responsibility on other players to help facilitate my personal fantasy idiosyncrasies that they have no choice or buy in on. I had, as I have repeatedly stated, "mild annoyance" that a couple didn't take a little effort to help me maintain a fantasy that was important to me, but I also recognized that is not their responsibility; hence the not complaining.


This strikes me as more of a flaw with the PFS sign-in system than anything. You sign in with a character name (which the GM expects to match the name entered on Paizo's website, and the GM then reads it off the sign-in sheet and uses it.

For players, have you tried a "table tent"? (A piece of paper or card folded so it stands upright with your name, character's name, and sometimes a character portrait.) The way you describe the character, I could see carrying a deck of them, and drawing an identity at random at the start of each game.

I actually tried a somewhat similar concept with one of my PFS characters, but death to a spellstrike critical in xir first session meant it didn't get very far. Nice to see a similar idea in play.

Agreed that the sign-in sheet didn't help me any, But this was an abnormal concept in which I was easily an outlier in how I was affected.

It would have been cool to have character tents for each personality. I did use them for some other characters but not this one. It could have been fun. Some aspects of the character didn't develop until meeting other characters, largely religious/political affiliations, but I could have had some tents that were neutral in that regard and still play it up as important.

It was a really fun character overall. I think that was one of my primary reasons for writing about the character, it lead to fond memories for me. The bit about mild annoyance at the name thing was expressing some small level empathy towards trans people, a group of people that have gotten a lot of attention lately but I really know next to nothing about on a personal level.

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-09, 01:21 PM
You said 'skirt' :smalltongue:

Do I also need to type out the tribe's dress code, instead of just what they've decided to wear in 'civilised society'? :smalltongue:


I've played femle and male characters who sound really pervy in my head, but turn out pervy only when with their love interests. Aka, people who want the pervyness.

I have vague experience of this. I still need to create a bard for the sole purpose of flirting with an insecure straight GM. Unfortunately, my current GM would be perfectly willing to roleplay that.


I find that, regardless of common sense, excessive gender neutrality tends to be misconstrued as male for some reason. I've had characters referred to as 'he' when they always used neutral pronouns, even though a physical description had them to not remotely match 'he' as a typical appearance (find any man who's a 37D-28-35 who isn't viewed as at least somewhat feminine and I will eat my own frock).

Yeah, maybe this is why you can catch flak for playing a woman as 'not female enough'.


This reminds me of why I both love and hate SoulCalibur, because the character creation is great (especially in V), but the "armor break" isn't. If I wanted to play as a female in her underwear, I'd create a female in her underwear; if I want to play as a female dressed as a pirate captain, a sorceress, a warrior, a cowgirl, or what have you… I'd like for her to remain as such from the beginning of the match to the end, even if I do lose a round or two throughout.[QUOTE]

This reminds me, because I've only played 2 and 4, when I created a custom character for the first time in 4 I fought a few matches and then tried to work out why my character was in a bra and not her shirt.

I later wondered why fabric made a shattering sound.

I mean, honestly game creators, forcing player-created characters out of their costume in the middle of a match is just annoying. If I made a fully clothed character using Ivy's style, maybe that's because I want people who look like warriors fighting.

See also: why I have most city-state residents wearing robes in Dark Sun. Sure, it's less fanservice, but at least those above the rank of slave won't die from sunstroke.

[QUOTE]…and suddenly there's a reason to put ranks into Use Rope. :smalltongue:

Wait, so your characters aren't all into that stuff?

BigNorm
2016-02-09, 02:28 PM
I don't always play a female PC, but when I do I stand naked on a mirror and tease my nipples. :smallbiggrin: Aw c'mon. You laughed! I know you did! I have never played a female character but after reading this I think it could be fun. I imagine all the hell I'd catch from my wife. (She already calls me a dork and a nerd for playing D&D) I usually immerse myself into my characters and play out fantasy as I wouldn't in real life. I don't think that would change playing a female character. My barbarian is a chaotic good orc who loves kitty cats but fights without abandon or fear of death for his god Kord. My Halfling favored soul of Oladammara who would sell his own mother if he thought she was worth a few coppers. I think I could get into a female spell caster. That would be fun and mysterious. A female barbarian would be just a bawdy as any of my male barbarians and maybe more so. I think what is most important is that we don't take ourselves too seriously and have fun. I think it would be fun to think of what she would do as a character which is exactly what we would do for any other character. In our mind our characters have lives and feelings and things that motivate them. That doesn't change based on gender.

Winter_Wolf
2016-02-09, 04:09 PM
I don't always play a female PC, but when I do I stand naked on a mirror and tease my nipples. :smallbiggrin: Aw c'mon. You laughed! I know you did!.

Actually the first thing I thought of was Wild Bill or whatever his name was from Silence of the Lambs. And then I laughed.

Remmirath
2016-02-09, 07:26 PM
I play plenty of male characters, plenty of female characters, and some that are neither. I don't find that it makes much of a difference. They all have widely varied personalities and traits, and I don't see any reason to limit that one particular box on the character sheet to being the same as the player's. Surely it would be absurd to suggest that people ought only to play characters with the same hair or eye colour as themselves, so why make such a big deal of gender? Doesn't make sense to me. In some cases it may have an impact on personality, yes, but not nearly so much as things that people aren't nearly so prickly about (height, whether the character is left or right handed, their class, species, etc.).

Basically, when I am creating a character, I consider gender in the same category as the other descriptive boxes -- something that it's good to know about the character, especially for when I inevitably draw them, but not particularly important. I've never understood why it's always the first thing one picks in a computer game, and I've never understood why most people make such a big deal of it. It isn't at all important to me personally, and as such, I have made relatively few characters who it is actually important to (it's something that hardly ever occurs to me as a possible character trait).


Okay, yeah, we need to work on the assuming every male player's partially dressed female characters are because of pervy instincts. I suggest seeing if they play similar male characters.

Out of interest, I'm going to post a description of my planned next character, gender-neutral pronouns only, and see what gender people think it's closer to.

E is a young half elf raised by their mother in a tribe of elves living on the edge of the desert. E was part of helping setting up their irrigation channels to start farming when they were young, but spent most of their evenings reading books of lore their father left behind, eventually learning to manipulate the arcane forces described within. Eventually the shaman of the tribe took E out into the desert and taught them the secrets of the old magic, declaring them as his intended successor. Since then E has worked on mastering magic both arcane and divine (in game terms, E is a Wizard2/Druid 1).

E's dark skin and black hair stand in stark contrast to the deep green eyes they inherited from their father. Their physique stands between that of a human and an elf, lean but firm. Half of E's face, as well as their left shoulder and arm, are heavily scarred because of an accident as a child involving a flask of alchemist's fire, and a curse from the shaman's son has left their left hand permanently paralysed. E normally wears a white tunic and shin-length skirt along with an elbow-length mantle.

Although occasionally arrogant, E isn't rash, and prefers to think their actions through before committing, using all the tools at their disposal. However, this doesn't stop E from being foolish when it comes to people, and has led them to truly cherish the handful of friend's they've had in their entire lifetime.

Currently E is on their rite of passage, searching the outside world in order to bring back knowledge that will help their tribe to flourish.

Yeah, I've already revealed the planned gender, but I'm interesting to see what people think. Does that sound like a man or a woman to people.

Sounds like an interesting character. Could be anything. I see nothing remotely gendered about that description. (Of course, I'd probably say that about just about any description you could come up with, so I may not be the best judge here. :smalltongue:)

goto124
2016-02-09, 08:52 PM
I have two characters who come from the same world, and both wear skimpy clothing into battle. The woman wears a chainmail bikini, the man wears a bathrobe.

I think that counts as gender equality.


A female barbarian would be just a bawdy as any of my male barbarians and maybe more so.

In the world of my female barbarian, sexism doesn't exist and has never existed. You're spot-on :smallbiggrin:

Why, she's the woman who wears the aforementioned chainmail bikini, why do you ask?

lightningcat
2016-02-09, 10:37 PM
I almost always play male characters. Although one of my favorite characters was a female half-elf sorcerer/oracle. She was a pyromanic devote, of a fire goddess, and both very girly and somewhat tomboyish. She was also the only character at the table that made gender matter, and there were both males and females playing. Unfortantly, some people wanted he to be the healer instead of the fire slinger she was, ignoring the limited spell selection. The game died before I could go mystic therge.

As a DM/storyteller I ask for any cross gender character's to have a picture, if only to remind me of the proper pronoun. This applies both directions, and would also apply if playing gender fluid or trans, or anything else outside - although that has never happened in my groups. Also, it helps the other players ignore the fact a bearded guy is playing a woman. It really does help immersion.

Apricot
2016-02-10, 12:48 AM
I have two characters who come from the same world, and both wear skimpy clothing into battle. The woman wears a chainmail bikini, the man wears a bathrobe.

I think that counts as gender equality.



In the world of my female barbarian, sexism doesn't exist and has never existed. You're spot-on :smallbiggrin:

Why, she's the woman who wears the aforementioned chainmail bikini, why do you ask?

Is it at least a chainmail bathrobe?

Marlowe
2016-02-10, 01:15 AM
I've played male characters and female characters but I'm stuck for what a character with a "different gender" would be. Maybe a seahorse? An Ooze? Could I play an ooze that dresses like Red Sonja?

Actually, why do so many seem to assume that a female PC has to dress as Red Sonja? I mean, the 70s were a terrible time for everyone but they're over now. I like my female PCs in quasi-miltary uniforms, quasi-18th century duelist lace, or piratin' gear thanks.

LokiRagnarok
2016-02-10, 04:04 AM
Thank you very much, ... er...

*checks your profile*

Thank you very much, sir! I like how the robe-turned-hood is torn on one side.

Thank you also from me as the one who brought this up!


I play both. I want to try playing some other genders, like trans,, but I haven't yet come up with a concept where any of them would be more appropriate than just male or female.
Just saying, trans is not a gender per se. Trans usually refers to being the "opposite" gender than what you were assigned (most likely based on your genitals). Saying trans is a gender is a bit like saying that a multiclassed character is a class.

Lvl 2 Expert
2016-02-10, 05:47 AM
Some time ago, after I realized how badly outnumbered women are in fiction, I decided that whenever I created a fictional character I would think about making it female. I don't play a lot (and tend to get involved in RP's that die quickly for some reason :smalleek:), but I overshot anyway, with four of the five characters I played since being female (the other one, the first of the bunch, being a male dragon), as I realized pretty recently.

Looking back I did reasonably well at it, only one of them became too sexualized. She was supposed to be a James Bond'ish character, but I turned to seduction too often to solve problems. That was kind of weird probably, especially as I am the oldest player at that table. Next time I play her (it's a very irregular game) she'll use the rest of her charisma score more.

Her BMW with rocket launchers was awesome though.

I guess I like playing female characters now. It helps in making a character that is clearly not some version of myself I guess, even when I do keep certain aspects of my personality. The next character I make is probably going to be male again though. Maybe I'll even just make it some version of myself, because that's fun as well.

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-10, 06:43 AM
In the world of my female barbarian, sexism doesn't exist and has never existed. You're spot-on :smallbiggrin:

Why, she's the woman who wears the aforementioned chainmail bikini, why do you ask?

Sounds uncomfortable, I prefer one-piece chainmail swimsuits myself.

Of course, people weren't impressed with my 'Scottish Conan' once we got to the windy valley.

Marlowe
2016-02-10, 06:49 AM
Let me guess, it was ALL worn under the kilt?

goto124
2016-02-10, 07:25 AM
male dragon

That reminds me of a gem from the Campaign Quotes thread...

Logan: "Knowledge: Arcana to tell the dragon's sex."
DM: "Does it matter?"
Logan (OOC): "Yes."
DM: "You see its giant, swinging penis. There, are you happy now? Its testicles are even bigger."

Why Knowledge: Arcana and not Knowledge: Creatures or Knowledge: Dragons, I'm not sure.


only one of them became too sexualized. She was supposed to be a James Bond'ish character, but I turned to seduction too often to solve problems.

I misread that as James-Bond-Girl'ish character, and wondered what was inaccurate about your portrayal of her :smalltongue:


Of course, people weren't impressed with my 'Scottish Conan' once we got to the windy valley.

Head to the highly NSFW Oglaf comics, and look in the archives for the manly barbarians. Have fun!

BigNorm
2016-02-10, 12:09 PM
"She wore an itsy bitsy, tiny winy, yellow, polka dot, chain bikini" I can't imagine that would be comfortable or supportive.

hymer
2016-02-10, 12:12 PM
"She wore an itsy bitsy, tiny winy, yellow, polka dot, chain bikini" I can't imagine that would be comfortable or supportive.

Nor does it fit the melody. :smallwink:

BigNorm
2016-02-10, 12:20 PM
You have to slip the word chain in there quick. I can't remember the last time I heard that song. I'm getting older and still fascinated by bikinis. :smallbiggrin:

BigNorm
2016-02-10, 12:41 PM
Back on topic I think it would be fun to play a female character. I think I would play her as her and focus on her story and background. My orc barbarian is a lot like me: Happy go lucky and would do anything for his friends. He also loves kitty cats and beer. My Halfling of Olidammara is my opposite: a dishonest scoundrel who has no love for anyone excepting only his intelligence challenged warrior Warden. We have a MasterBlaster dynamic going. I want to make my next character a member of the Grey Guard, a burnt out paladin who knows how the church works behind the scenes. This class really reminds me of myself in my career. The way things ought to be done is written but the way things work is quite different. I can see my grey guard rolling her eyes at the exuberance of younger pally's or clerics. Smoking a pipe and swigging strong spirits in an attempt to quiet the horrors she has done in the name of her church and god. Her god continues to atone her as the priests continue to have her commit the dastardly in the deities name. The only pleasure she derives is when she is able to smite the evil. Sometimes that evil is part of the church. It makes no difference to her in that regard. Those who break their oaths deserve death. She does her work looking forward to the day her god calls her home.

I like it! I think I'll run with it next time we start a new campaign.

JNAProductions
2016-02-10, 01:45 PM
Honestly, it might be fun to have everybody make a character, then roll a die to determine gender. So that way it's totally randomized.

Although make sure your players are on board with that first-if your lady friend is uncomfortable playing a dude, don't make her play a man, and vice versa.

Red Fel
2016-02-10, 02:01 PM
Honestly, it might be fun to have everybody make a character, then roll a die to determine gender. So that way it's totally randomized.

Although make sure your players are on board with that first-if your lady friend is uncomfortable playing a dude, don't make her play a man, and vice versa.

Trying to see how that would work out. Roll 1d8...
Female.
Male.
Female.
Male.
Born/constructed without the necessary parts/organs.
Hermaphrodite.
Tragic belt-sander accident. This is what you would write on your character sheet under "Gender."
Roll four times. Apply all results. Become stuff of nightmares.
... Seems legit.

JNAProductions
2016-02-10, 02:11 PM
So for a party of four, let me make some characters, then decide gender.

1-A raging shirtless barbarian of anger and violence
2-An erudite wizard of unparalleled intelligence
3-A Sans expy
4-A sneaky-snoo rogue who likes to steal stuff

And their genders are...

1-Female
2-Quad-gendered! (Female, Male, Hermaphrodite, Male)
3-Female
4-Female

So we have:

A raging shirtless barbarian, who proudly bares her chest as she hacks you apart with her greataxe.

A wizard who, while possessing great intelligence and dignity, also has three penises and two vaginas.

A Sans expy that happens to have breasts.

And a theft-happy roguish woman.

Âmesang
2016-02-10, 04:24 PM
I later wondered why fabric made a shattering sound.
Must have been made by Piccolo's clothes beam, what with his cape and turban being weighted and all.


Wait, so your characters aren't all into that stuff?
Let's just say there's a reason my sorceress' familiar is a quasit. Ruff ruff. :smalltongue: Makes me think she should learn enlarge person. Ah, the "joys" of chaotic evil…

…to be honest, though, I have imagined her as being a teasing-type of flirt; the "look, don't touch" kind. Let's the character be playful without going any further. It's a total stereotype, I'll admit it, but I'm kind of thinking that's one way she shows off her power, that she'd behave that way just because she can, being the vain, clever, cunning, conceited, condescending, self-centered, overly proud (and delusional) kind of caster.

Still needs work, I'd imagine. :smallconfused: Especially with my strong, silent ranger and mother-bear paladin; still, more personality than I give most of my male characters. Hmm.

Lvl 2 Expert
2016-02-10, 06:09 PM
Trying to see how that would work out. Roll 1d8...
Female.
Male.
Female.
Male.
Born/constructed without the necessary parts/organs.
Hermaphrodite.
Tragic belt-sander accident. This is what you would write on your character sheet under "Gender."
Roll four times. Apply all results. Become stuff of nightmares.
... Seems legit.

Those last four sound like they could all fit in the "roll another die" option for one specific score on the percentile die.

If you're looking for realism, and not for interesting belt-sander trauma driven storylines.

Marlowe
2016-02-10, 06:21 PM
"She wore an itsy bitsy, tiny winy, yellow, polka dot, chain bikini" I can't imagine that would be comfortable or supportive.

C'on, mate.

"Itsy bitsy, tiny winy, jingly-jangly, chain bikini". Try that. Unless you know of a way to get yellow polka-dot chainmail.

Red Fel
2016-02-10, 08:33 PM
Those last four sound like they could all fit in the "roll another die" option for one specific score on the percentile die.

If you're looking for realism, and not for interesting belt-sander trauma driven storylines.

Wait... You're not looking for interesting belt-sander trauma-driven storylines?

What kind of sick game are you playing?

goto124
2016-02-11, 12:45 AM
Guys...?

My sides! (http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/31777543/images/1398685586903.jpg)

lunasmeow
2016-02-11, 07:48 AM
Honestly, it might be fun to have everybody make a character, then roll a die to determine gender. So that way it's totally randomized.

Although make sure your players are on board with that first-if your lady friend is uncomfortable playing a dude, don't make her play a man, and vice versa.

This can be either really good, or really bad, for the same reasons that playing an opposite gender can work or not work. People are talking about all different kinds of "reasons" why playing another gender is easy, difficult, and what have you, but it really comes down to one simple thing.

How easily can you put yourself in another person's shoes?

It's easy to pretend to be someone who is very similar to you. Someone who is different in only a few ways. But take a look at say... a fundamentalist Christian and a fundamentalist Muslim. Do you think they could ever manage to *really* put themselves in one another's shoes, no matter how much they claim that they can? I don't. It's all about how attached you are to your real world view. Some people have a higher propensity for being able to separate themselves from their actual self, and pretend they are someone/thing else. Other people can't so easily. It gets easier with practice.

So playing other genders? Will be awkward at first, but some people will just go with it until they get better at it, and some will quit once they see how bad they are. And like any other skill in life, some people start off at a higher level of skill than others. Some so high that they can do it the first time with minor issues if any.

As such, the die idea for gender is a good one, *if* your players are all able to do so effectively, or won't be *******s about it when somebody can't play the opposite gender well, giving that player time to adjust to it and learn how to do it well.

goto124
2016-02-11, 07:50 AM
[insert argument about how differences between men and women aren't really that comparable to religious differences]

Necroticplague
2016-02-11, 08:36 AM
[insert argument about how differences between men and women aren't really that comparable to religious differences]

Yeah. It's way easier to change one's religion than one's sex. You can have a crisis of faith and change that practically overnight. You can't change the latter without invasive surgery and extensive hormones (though gender is a fair bit easier to change than sex).

Garimeth
2016-02-11, 08:39 AM
I may get a lot of flak for this but... I don't usually allow my players to play opposite genders. Why? I have had bad experience - most of the players that took this chance were (quite immature) men trying to roleplay women and it felt weird, mostly because they either didn't roleplay women (they played males and just had "female" on their charsheets) or they fell into the traditional trope...I think everyone knows which one.

Once it worked quite well and it was the opposite situation - a young lady playing a musketeer. She told me she wanted to test it and - it was fun and not weird at all, because she really did her homework and got in character. I must say she made a better musketeer than my other players, because...she read the Dumas books at least 20 times, was more familiar with the setting than me and really got into the head of the character.

However, this was a one-shot, and the only occurence when it worked.

On the opposite side, I as the GM usually have to play also women. It feels weird for me a bit, because I can't really get into the head of female characters, but I try. It is quite weird when my wife teases me for doing so :smallsmile:.

I didn't bother to read the thread, both because I didn't have sufficient time, and because I've been part of several other threads here.

Just wanted to pop in and say I completely agree with what you said, and based off of the first page of comments we agree for the same reasons. I also think that its unfortunate that you expected, rightfully, to receive flak from such an innocuous response. I didn't read the thread though, so hopefully you didn't.

lacco36
2016-02-11, 08:44 AM
I didn't bother to read the thread, both because I didn't have sufficient time, and because I've been part of several other threads here.

Just wanted to pop in and say I completely agree with what you said, and based off of the first page of comments we agree for the same reasons. I also think that its unfortunate that you expected, rightfully, to receive flak from such an innocuous response. I didn't read the thread though, so hopefully you didn't.

Thank you :smallsmile:

I was pleasantly surprised that everyone acted real civil, polite and no flak was received or given (at least I didn't notice anything). Even if there were people who disagreed, everything occured within pleasant discussion (at least that's my view). That's why I like this forum :smallsmile:

goto124
2016-02-11, 08:46 AM
I've been considering potions that change characters' gender identity...

Not sure if that'll go well though.

Comissar
2016-02-11, 09:15 AM
I've been considering potions that change characters' gender identity...

Not sure if that'll go well though.

I'd tread very carefully with something like that, it carries a lot of potential to leave a very sour taste in a players mouth. It's probably comparable to something that fundamentally alters the way a character should be played (e.g. forcing chaoticness onto a lawful character, or good onto an evil. Note, I am very much not ascribing any D&D alignment to any gender identity, these are just the quickest comparisons to make) in that it takes away some of the players agency. It also packs the double whammy of being a tangible real world thing. The concepts of D&D alignment are rather nebulous, but gender identity is something most people will understand, and being told "Save against 'Gender Dysphoria'" is likely to cause more friction than "Save against 'You're a villain now'", and it'd be particularly jarring to have it come up if the campaigns made no/little reference to gender identity prior to that.

Now, all of the above is assuming you're looking to force/trick the players into that kind of situation. If it's something you're actively offering as an option, and the players are aware (and mature enough) to accept it as something that their characters might interact with, then sure, go for it. Even if it's an OOC agreement, and IC the characters are being 'forced' or 'tricked'. Just so long as the players themselves are aware. I'd like to say that I'd give this same advice on the inclusion of any serious real world issue. A fun, campy Adam West style superhero game wouldn't be the place you'd expect to run into the Punisher, for example. Not calling 'The Punisher' a particularly real world character, but the concept of brutal, revenge vigilantism can be.

lacco36
2016-02-11, 09:30 AM
I've been considering potions that change characters' gender identity...

Not sure if that'll go well though.

I agree with Comissar, that this could tick some people off. I know I would try to roleplay it, but I wouldn't be completely comfortable.

However, would you accept argumentation based on "gender of my character has no impact on the roleplay" from a player?


How does one 'roleplay' gender?

goto124
2016-02-11, 09:32 AM
How do players typically roleplay their character's reaction to sex-change, by the way? Not change of gender identity, just the normal old "your body changes slightly".

Comissar
2016-02-11, 09:52 AM
I agree with Comissar, that this could tick some people off. I know I would try to roleplay it, but I wouldn't be completely comfortable.

I'd personally find it an interesting challenge, but I'd want to be forewarned.


However, would you accept argumentation based on "gender of my character has no impact on the roleplay" from a player?

For lack of change in roleplay method? If we assume the potion is a straight "Switch to your gendered opposite", the argument only works if your character is agender. Whilst gender identity may not make up an important part of character behaviour, having it suddenly, and dramatically, altered would probably cause quite some disturbance. The same could be said of suddenly, and permanently, being changed to belong to an entirely new family whilst still remembering your old one. Conceptually, it's difficult to grasp what the implications would be, because it's not really something that happens in day to day life, and it's therefore difficult to relate to. Gender identity may not be an important aspect of a characters overall identity, but in most cases it will still be a part of them. Having that rug suddenly tugged out from under you and hung fashionably on the wall instead would be jarring.


How do people roleplay their character's reaction to sex-change, by the way? Not change of gender identity, just the normal old "your body changes slightly".

Of themselves? Or others?

I think again, it'd boil down to voluntary/involuntary. I played around with the concept all of once, quite some time ago now. The campaign conceit was "Your character is a DnD player, then they become their character", and mine was playing a character of the opposite sex. They went through being super freaked out to a kind of depressed resignation. The campaign died, but had it continued I intended to explore the headspace further, perhaps reaching some kind of acceptance.

Needless to say, that was involuntary from an IC perspective. If it were voluntary, I imagine the character would either have little interest in their physical body's sex, treating it as a cosmetic shift at most (think changelings/shapeshifters), would be just generally curious (Elan?), or possibly even eager (someone who's gender identity does not conform to their sex). It'd also depend on how commonplace such an event is. In a realistic setting, or a low magic setting, it'd be a huge thing, because it'd be practically irreversible. Only people who were 100% certain would go for it without hesitation, and even then, some may come to regret their choice.

If it's way more commonplace, or at least something common enough for your average adventurer to be able to access it fairly easily (think magic items), then it's probably less of a big deal. Something like "Ha ha, Sandra got tricked into wearing the belt of gender-change, what a great college prank. Ok, let's get a remove curse spell up here" :smalltongue:

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-11, 09:56 AM
Trying to see how that would work out. Roll 1d8...
Female.
Male.
Female.
Male.
Born/constructed without the necessary parts/organs.
Hermaphrodite.
Tragic belt-sander accident.
Roll four times. Apply all results. Become stuff of nightmares.
... Seems legit.

Nah, for D&D it should be d20.
Female
Male
Female
Male
Female
Male
Female
Male
Female
Male
Intersex
Neither
Third sex
Race does not have the parts
Both, but not intersex
Switches daily
The sex of the person standing nearest to you
Tragic belt sander accident
Roll twice and combine (stacks)
Roll five times and combine (stacks)



I've been considering potions that change characters' gender identity...

Not sure if that'll go well though.

Sounds potentially hilarious :smallbiggrin:

hymer
2016-02-11, 10:14 AM
How do players typically roleplay their character's reaction to sex-change, by the way? Not change of gender identity, just the normal old "your body changes slightly".

I've never actually come across it. I think my druids (already shapechangers, and out of a tradition that has no particular interest in gender) would react with the least amount of fuss. They might decide it didn't matter, as long as people still recognize them for who they are. The drama there would be when they try to get people to stop babbling about unimportant matters and focus on the job that needs doing, and maybe the reactions of their children, who might need some time to adjust.

But certain other characters could break down completely from this. Characters who are rather vain, sexist or very concerned with the opinions of others might well freak. Proud noble man, heir to the county, warmaker, heartbreaker, unfailingly polite to what he sees as the weak sex: He might even kill himself. That sort of character would probably be the most interesting to see have such a change. And likewise the most horrible to others who had it.

Isn't there a web cartoon about a stereotypically masculine barbarian who gets hit with a curse that turns him into a woman? Mostly played for laughs, but with no scarcity of drama?

Edit: Found it. Exiern (http://www.exiern.com/2005/09/06/so-far/). Might be NSFW where you work.

Necroticplague
2016-02-11, 10:17 AM
I've been considering potions that change characters' gender identity...

Not sure if that'll go well though.

My first reflex was a little internal danger sign.
Then I realized, this probably has less impact on them then a Helm of Opposite Alignment.
Then I realized I f***ing hate helms of opposite alignment.

Seto
2016-02-11, 03:42 PM
I play both male and female characters, in roughly equal proportions. However, it usually clicks better with women. They often end up more developed and more enjoyable than male characters. I don't know why. I have several theories :
- Playing a different gender than my own helps me respect the player/character separation and consider more carefully the character as a finite, internally consistent unit.
- Playing a female character lets me explore and emphasize a different side of myself that I don't get to explore as much in real life.
- Being romantically interested in women, I have an easier time caring about my female characters.

Probably a little bit of all three.

JNAProductions
2016-02-11, 11:32 PM
You can delete your post, you know.

Also, using Red Fel's handy-dandy chart, I'll now be playing an intersex character in my next game!

goto124
2016-02-11, 11:38 PM
Which kind of intersex?

JNAProductions
2016-02-11, 11:43 PM
Naturally androgynous hermaphrodite.

goto124
2016-02-11, 11:56 PM
I read somewhere about the difference between a hermaphrodite and an intersex person. IIRC, a hermaphrodite has both male and female bits between the legs, while an intersex person is male-on-top/female-between-the-legs or female-on-top/male-between-the-legs.

Don't take my word for it - google "difference between hermaphrodite and intersex".

JNAProductions
2016-02-12, 12:02 AM
Google says this:


Hermaphrodite is a specific type of intersex condition. Strictly speaking - True Hermaphrodite is a medical diagnosis where the patient has testicular and ovarian tissue in the same or opposite gonads. The outward representation of the genitals of a True Hermaphrodite can be male or female or ambiguous.

So I think I'm good. That being said, I'll poke around the LGBTAI thread and ask there, since they should know. I'd hate to accidentally belittle or misrepresent someone.

goto124
2016-02-12, 12:18 AM
By the way, settle on a pronoun for that character, if only to make things easier for the DM and the players.

How did this hermaphrodite grow up? What gender did everyone else (especially parents!) simply assumed of your character?

JNAProductions
2016-02-12, 12:20 AM
What's wrong with they/them?

goto124
2016-02-12, 12:23 AM
That's perfectly fine, "they/them" is a pronoun too. Depending on the DM and players, you may run into a bit of trouble getting (plural) them to remember the correct pronoun.

What race is that character? Typical human? Race of hermaphrodites? I imagine an otherwise typical human hermaphrodite would still take on a gender, especially in a society that doesn't really expect a non-binary human.

JNAProductions
2016-02-12, 12:25 AM
Like I said, it's here on the forums (or did I say that?) and people here tend to be pretty good about that kind of thing. Plus it's PBP, so lots of time to think about posts.

Talakeal
2016-02-12, 01:14 AM
I read somewhere about the difference between a hermaphrodite and an intersex person. IIRC, a hermaphrodite has both male and female bits between the legs, while an intersex person is male-on-top/female-between-the-legs or female-on-top/male-between-the-legs.

AFAICT intersex is just the modern socially acceptable term for a hermaphrodite, that term having become somewhat offensive and fallen out of favor.

What you are describing sounds to me more like a pre-op transsexual*.


*Apologies if that term is now outdated and offensive, that wasn't my intent.

SpectralDerp
2016-02-12, 02:34 AM
Does the title refer to gender, or sex? I've never had a player role up a transgender character, but a character with a different sex than the player is a typical thing to see.


AFAICT intersex is just the modern socially acceptable term for a hermaphrodite, that term having become somewhat offensive and fallen out of favor.

What you are describing sounds to me more like a pre-op transsexual*.


*Apologies if that term is now outdated and offensive, that wasn't my intent.

Intersex used to be called hermaphroditism. It's a medical term refering to conditions such as a discrepancy between internal and external genitalia, incompletely formed genitalia, ambiguous genitalia, a discrepancy between genitalia or chromosomes, abnormal chromosomes, or having tissue of both types of gonads.

Transsexualism is sometimes used as synonimous with gender dysphoria, sometimes it is used as the desire to change sexual anatomy to reflect gender. It is unrelated to intersex, but a minority of transsexual individuals have intersex conditions.

Coidzor
2016-02-12, 03:16 AM
In a roleplaying game, do you play character with different genders? And if so, how does it feel to play character with different genders?

Less commonly than I play as my gender.

Most of my characters don't engage in romance or sex, so they're remarkably similar, except that if I'm going to have a character be a spectacle, it'll probably be a guy, because I don't know how to do fabulous as a woman without slipping into sex symbol diva, so my women are skewed more toward being low key in terms of visual elements and overt displays of charismamancy.

So I guess as a result you could say my peacocks are more likely to be men and my ravens are more likely to be women.

Or some other thing about sexual dimorphism in birbs as applies to plumage.

Edit: Once I get away from mammalian humanoids I feel a lot more free to do other genders, like this lizard person I'm building that I might roll to see if female or both.


C'on, mate.

"Itsy bitsy, tiny winy, jingly-jangly, chain bikini". Try that. Unless you know of a way to get yellow polka-dot chainmail.

Enamel? Lacquer? Celestial colored metals?


Wait... You're not looking for interesting belt-sander trauma-driven storylines?

What kind of sick game are you playing?

Well, too be fair, murder bucketing works best when you're the one causing other people to have the tragic belt-sander accidents. :smallamused:

Necroticplague
2016-02-12, 04:52 AM
Google says this:



Intersex used to be called hermaphroditism. It's a medical term refering to conditions such as a discrepancy between internal and external genitalia, incompletely formed genitalia, ambiguous genitalia, a discrepancy between genitalia or chromosomes, abnormal chromosomes, or having tissue of both types of gonads.

From listening to a doctor explain my own condition, I can confirm these. Saying intersex is a broad term is a bit of an understatement.

goto124
2016-02-12, 05:34 AM
if I'm going to have a character be a spectacle, it'll probably be a guy, because I don't know how to do fabulous as a woman without slipping into sex symbol diva, so my women are skewed more toward being low key in terms of visual elements and overt displays of charismamancy.

How do you portray your fabulous guys?


Celestial colored metals?

I googled "goddess", looked at the images, and think you're right.


Edit: Once I get away from mammalian humanoids I feel a lot more free to do other genders, like this lizard person I'm building that I might roll to see if female or both.

New Mexico whiptails! Google it, while I hide in a corner.

Red Fel
2016-02-12, 10:34 AM
Well, too be fair, murder bucketing works best when you're the one causing other people to have the tragic belt-sander accidents. :smallamused:

MurderBucket: It's Still a Thing!TM


How do you portray your fabulous guys?

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd192/xTwilightxAngelx/Buso%20Renkin/Papillion_5.jpg
Warning: Googling Papillon may lead to excessive fabulousness. Or terror.
With lo~ove!

Concrete
2016-02-12, 11:02 AM
I've found that when I play as a female character, I slip into playing it as a stereotypical female, not a specific character. Which is a personal failing, and not something to which I would wish to subject my fellow players.

Coidzor
2016-02-12, 10:55 PM
How do you portray your fabulous guys?

I googled "goddess", looked at the images, and think you're right.

New Mexico whiptails! Google it, while I hide in a corner.

Sort of a mixture of David Bowie, Liberace, Elton John(faudy phase Elton John), Gaston, and Mettaton EX(Undertake). Hold the parts that deal with being interested in other people as anything other than an audience or source of money and publicity, ramp up the love of flamboyant entrances and costuming. So at least a little camp, but rarely bawdily so. I hardly ever actually get to play my peacocks after I make one, though, the games that I make a peacock for tend to dissolve.

I don't think because of my character, since I'm not enough of an artist to overwhelm anyone with the flashy character design.

Y'know, I don't think I've ever googled that before, but it does make sense. I was just thinking of Ysgardian Heart Armor or Heartweave or something or other from D&D 3.5, which was an excuse for magic armor that looked like it was out of Conan or John Carter of Mars or a cartoon or something.

Ahh, Nature. :smallamused: Thanks for the reminder.


MurderBucket: It's Still a Thing!TM

http://i223.photobucket.com/albums/dd192/xTwilightxAngelx/Buso%20Renkin/Papillion_5.jpg
Warning: Googling Papillon may lead to excessive fabulousness. Or terror.
With lo~ove!

The most thing, indeed!

Next time I get to be a super hero, maybe. As it stands, well, posing is important, but they usually haven't been wearing codpieces or sporting bulges... Not that I've yet had to describe their groins, but next time I need to intimidate or cause fear....or hideous laughter...

Vknight
2016-02-13, 04:18 AM
When I first started gaming I was mostly a Gm.
The few times I got to be a player it was 50 - 50 if I would be a male or female.
I've leaned towards females more and more as time has moved on.
There are a myriad of reasons for those choices.
Party dynamic
The Idea works well with both genders so I flip a coin
I like the idea better with 1 gender because the elements it adds to there identity.

A bounty hunter I made in Edge of the Empires gender did not come about until near the end when I needed to figure on a name. After some time I went with a female and it worked out really well.
It would not have worked nearly as well with a male character as how the group dynamic came about.

The Insanity
2016-02-13, 05:14 AM
As an effort to expand my roleplaying horizons I'm thinking about playing an intersex character in the near future. Have any of you played such a character? How did it go?

Frozen_Feet
2016-02-13, 05:25 AM
[Transsexualism] is unrelated to intersex, but a minority of transsexual individuals have intersex conditions.

Technically, it is related: newer research shows a transsexual's brains resemble those of a different sex. (More specifically: in female-to-male transsexuals, key parts of the brain are masculinized, while in male-to-female transsexual those parts are halfway between femininized and masculinized.)

Technically, because intersex literally means "between sexes"; it refers to a spectrum of conditions where a person has mixed sexual characteristics, from tissue chimerism to certain chromosomal anomalies. As another person put it, it's a broad term. Some things under it don't happen for remotely the same reasons.

goto124
2016-02-13, 05:39 AM
We have an LGBTAI discussion thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?386745-LGBTAI-Questions-and-Discussion-thread-II-Make-It-Double/page37&p=20413939#post20413939). It's a better place to discuss trans and intersex issues.

By the way, what sort of setting/theme/type of campaign will gender actually matter in a way that lets the DM and players care? "We need to kill the dragon threatening the city" doesn't seem terribly receptive to this sort of roleplay.

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-13, 06:03 AM
Strange idea, but I myself better able to think of my character as a character, with their own motivations, if they're female, wile I default to 'me, but...' for men (so Father Reichardt is 'me, but as a devote Signature). Anyone else have anything like this?

Satinavian
2016-02-13, 06:38 AM
I've been considering potions that change characters' gender identity...

Not sure if that'll go well though.
I considered once bringing in an easy magical option of sex change. Not for nasty surprises, more because it seemed a pretty small change compared to other tramsmutation magic of the system.

Then i wondered how a society would look like, if everyone would have easy access to sex-change without drawbacks. Would their still be gender stereotypes existing ? Or would they even be stronger as people choose their sex to go with their personal habits, likes and dislikes ? Would there be a strong deviation from the 50:50 ratio in the end ? And so on.

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-13, 07:14 AM
I considered once bringing in an easy magical option of sex change. Not for nasty surprises, more because it seemed a pretty small change compared to other tramsmutation magic of the system.

Then i wondered how a society would look like, if everyone would have easy access to sex-change without drawbacks. Would their still be gender stereotypes existing ? Or would they even be stronger as people choose their sex to go with their personal habits, likes and dislikes ? Would there be a strong deviation from the 50:50 ratio in the end ? And so on.

I thought Alter Self, a 2nd level spell, allowed it?

For permanent and affecting others, Polymorph Any Object could definitely do it.

Sex-change does exist (I think few GMs would have a problem with Alter Other as level 2-3, or even just sex change for a few hours as level 2), it's the permanent that's hard to get to.

A society where most people could cast Alter Sex or had an item of it would probably have fewer gender stereotypes. Assuming a 'generic medical fantasy world' though I expect marriages would require one male member and one female member, excluding sex-change for work (for example, a woman might turn into a man to work as a labourer), although I can see who is who varying through the years.

goto124
2016-02-13, 07:25 AM
Then i wondered how a society would look like, if everyone would have easy access to sex-change without drawbacks. Would their still be gender stereotypes existing ? Or would they even be stronger as people choose their sex to go with their personal habits, likes and dislikes ? Would there be a strong deviation from the 50:50 ratio in the end ? And so on.

"Honey, what would you like tonight?"

:smallbiggrin:


excluding sex-change for work (for example, a woman might turn into a man to work as a labourer)

That depends on how Alter Sex works. Does it increase strength? I figured it wouldn't, since your muscles are still of the same size and [other stuff], if arranged slightly differently. Hormones affect development of the muscles, which has already happened prior to the sex-change.

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-13, 07:46 AM
That depends on how Alter Sex works. Does it increase strength? I figured it wouldn't, since your muscles are still of the same size and [other stuff], if arranged slightly differently. Hormones affect development of the muscles, which has already happened prior to the sex-change.

Oh, I agree with this. I was just using the first job I could think of where one gender might be superior (for clarity, I don't think men vare stronger or that the spell would increase muscle mass, it was just the first idea I had).

goto124
2016-02-13, 07:48 AM
How would easy sex-change affect... the oldest profession? *wink wink*

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-13, 08:13 AM
How would easy sex-change affect... the oldest profession? *wink wink*

Servicing a wider variety of clients? Nudge nudge, wink wink, know what I mean, say no more.

Honestly though, a fourth level Sorcerer with access to Alter Self is probably the best equipped person for such... professional work. They can be whoever you want. (Or, you know, a Changeling)

hymer
2016-02-13, 08:18 AM
How would easy sex-change affect... the oldest profession? *wink wink*

I imagine flint knapping is really not that practically affected by gender or sex. :smalltongue:

Satinavian
2016-02-13, 10:22 AM
I thought Alter Self, a 2nd level spell, allowed it?For D&D (which was not the system i had considered). Even then it is usually for less than an hour, most of the population doen't have access to such magic and the spell is written with a strong emphasis on disguise, implying that you are not really changing who you are. Also, it can do lots of other things.


A society where most people could cast Alter Sex or had an item of it would probably have fewer gender stereotypes. Assuming a 'generic medical fantasy world' though I expect marriages would require one male member and one female member,Why ?
A couple wanting to have offsping could just decide, who will do the pregnancy and change the sex accordingly for that time.

JoeJ
2016-02-13, 11:54 AM
I imagine flint knapping is really not that practically affected by gender or sex. :smalltongue:

Flint knapping doesn't really qualify as a profession, in the sense of something that a person would do full time. It's really more of a basic life skill that everybody has to have to be a competent adult. The oldest profession might have been making pottery, however. In a lot of traditional societies, women produce a large majority of the ceramics, but I don't know of any research indicating that they are necessarily any better at it than men.

hymer
2016-02-13, 11:59 AM
Flint knapping doesn't really qualify as a profession, in the sense of something that a person would do full time. It's really more of a basic life skill that everybody has to have to be a competent adult. The oldest profession might have been making pottery, however. In a lot of traditional societies, women produce a large majority of the ceramics, but I don't know of any research indicating that they are necessarily any better at it than men.

I applaud your pedantry whoeheartedly! Well done! :smallbiggrin:

Lvl 2 Expert
2016-02-13, 08:10 PM
How would easy sex-change affect... the oldest profession? *wink wink*

That's actually a very good question. I'm going to assume the brains of the person don't (really) change, because if they do you're making someone a different person by changing their sex.

Men (individuals mentally self-identifying as) would in all likelyhood still be the majority of the clientele. Most of them most of the time will probably still have sex being a male with someone being a female, because that's how sex is "supposed to work" to them. (Which is more than just a social construct, see point four of this article (http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-1756-i-was-transgender-didnt-know-it-6-weird-realities.html).) But I don't know how many males would jump at their chance to work in the industry. Many straight men might not be too into getting ****ed by other dudes, because that's pretty much the definition of a straight man. (Although even today men who act in straight porn often make gay porn on the side as well, so I might be thinking too prudish here.) But for some of those that are a little further on in the spectrum it may be a different case...

Does hunter or gatherer count as a profession by the way? Or does it only become one as society gets to a point where there is no longer a vast majority doing it?

Necroticplague
2016-02-13, 10:16 PM
Men (individuals mentally self-identifying as) would in all likelyhood still be the majority of the clientele. Most of them most of the time will probably still have sex being a male with someone being a female, because that's how sex is "supposed to work" to them. (Which is more than just a social construct, see point four of this article (http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-1756-i-was-transgender-didnt-know-it-6-weird-realities.html).) But I don't know how many males would jump at their chance to work in the industry. Many straight men might not be too into getting ****ed by other dudes, because that's pretty much the definition of a straight man. (Although even today men who act in straight porn often make gay porn on the side as well, so I might be thinking too prudish here.) But for some of those that are a little further on in the spectrum it may be a different case... Well, generally, it's entirely possible to be disgusted by it, but do it anyway. A few coppers is a few coppers, and if jobs are hard to find, I could definitely see some going through the process of changing for the job. Heck, even gives the benefit of anonymity.

And on the other hand, considering that prostitution often involves more....unusual bedroom aspects, I could also see men who find temporarily being a female for purposes of bedroom activities thrilling but shameful as being a thing, possibly encouraging a more equal distribution of gender among prositutes to service both the normal and this population.


Does hunter or gatherer count as a profession by the way? Or does it only become one as society gets to a point where there is no longer a vast majority doing it?
The latter. When most are hunters or gatherers, a profession is when you don't produce food, instead producing something else to trade for food.

Talakeal
2016-02-14, 12:42 AM
The latter. When most are hunters or gatherers, a profession is when you don't produce food, instead producing something else to trade for food.

Would farmer be a profession in an agrarian society?

ImNotTrevor
2016-02-14, 03:34 AM
Would farmer be a profession in an agrarian society?

Does the farmer produce food only for themselves? If yes, it is not a profession.

Does the farmer produce food in order to engage in trade and receive other things in exchange for what he produces? If yes, it IS a profession.

Economics.

SpectralDerp
2016-02-14, 11:15 AM
Well, generally, it's entirely possible to be disgusted by it, but do it anyway. A few coppers is a few coppers, and if jobs are hard to find, I could definitely see some going through the process of changing for the job.

I'm pretty sure there are ways to make money by having access to magic that are far more lucrative than "a few coppers".

Also, prostitution is highly unlikely to be "oldest profession". There is effectively no evidence for it, the notiong comes from the late 19th century and has since only survived as a meme.

@Frozen_Feet



Technically, it is related

Actually technically, it isn't. The reason you give does not support your conclusion. A woman with a masculinized brain is not necessarily intersex. Internal and external genitalia are sexual characteristics, X and Y chromomes are sexual characteristics, features of the brain are not. It is to be expected that in some transgender individuals, some features of the brain are atypical for their actual sex and this leads to an identification with the other sex, but that doesn't mean their sex is not unambiguous.



Technically, because intersex literally means "between sexes"; it refers to a spectrum of conditions where a person has mixed sexual characteristics, from tissue chimerism to certain chromosomal anomalies. As another person put it, it's a broad term. Some things under it don't happen for remotely the same reasons.

I already wrote this in the exact post you are quoting, what's your point?

Lvl 2 Expert
2016-02-14, 11:53 AM
Does the farmer produce food only for themselves? If yes, it is not a profession.

Does the farmer produce food in order to engage in trade and receive other things in exchange for what he produces? If yes, it IS a profession.

Economics.

So if the hunter trades with the gatherer, they're professionals?

That means that there is no single oldest profession then. As soon as a hungry single mom with two kids to feed has sex with a macho hunter for food both of them become professionals. Unless of course the first trade was between people with the same profession, trading mushrooms for acorns. But that would still exclude the oldest profession from being the oldest profession, as I doubt many people would consider "paying for sex with sex" to be much of a business transaction. :smallamused:

Segev
2016-02-14, 12:00 PM
EDIT:Or perhaps, like a Yozi, I am most defined by what thoughts I contain.And just what are you doing In Creation without wiping your shoes? Look at all that endless silver sand you've tracked everywhere!

Coidzor
2016-02-14, 05:55 PM
How would easy sex-change affect... the oldest profession? *wink wink*

I guess vulnerable boy children would be of interest as brothel fodder the same as orphaned or abandoned girl children?

Ralanr
2016-02-14, 06:14 PM
I skipped through most of this conversation, so I don't know where the rails are right now.

Anywho: when it comes to tabletop or live role playing, I usually play guys because I have this weird idea that if I play a female I have to speak in a female voice. And no one I play with would want that (I know I don't have to. I'm just a bit weird in this regard).

In textual/video RPGs, I'm fine with either. Sometimes I play female characters because the males are stupidly buff or don't have customization options that I like.

So far I've found myself playing bald characters in videogame RPGs.

Course I also decide it based around what the armor looks like or around a character in my head. Or based around which tone of voice I'll be hearing for the next few hours as I attack people.

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-14, 06:43 PM
I skipped through most of this conversation, so I don't know where the rails are right now.

Short answer? A really weird place.

Ralanr
2016-02-14, 07:16 PM
Short answer? A really weird place.

Ahh. The usual then.

Velaryon
2016-02-14, 09:40 PM
I only read the first and last page, so I'm going to stick to the original question instead of the weirdness about prostitution or whatever, though that looks like a bizarrely interesting discussion that I might go back and read later.

I have played female characters in tabletop games, but only once or twice and it's been quite a long time. That's excluding NPCs I play when I GM, of course. It's not precisely that I'm uncomfortable with the idea, but I'd say I'm somewhat less comfortable. It's also going to depend on the group I'm playing with - one group has a player who will automatically hit on any female character or NPC, no matter who is playing them. I'm not gonna get involved in that, so if I do play a female I'm going to make sure it's in a game where there's nobody like that.

When it comes to video games, I will go either way depending on what I feel like that day, or what options the game offers. I have male and female characters in Destiny, I had a female character in Saints Row, but a male character in some other games. If I were an MMO player, I'd probably do both as well.

Lvl 2 Expert
2016-02-15, 01:57 AM
Short answer? A really weird place.

It's a test. The people who are comfortable discussing gender charged issues like that are probably the ones who are also comfortable playing an opposite gender character. :smallamused:

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-15, 03:57 AM
It's a test. The people who are comfortable discussing gender charged issues like that are probably the ones who are also comfortable playing an opposite gender character. :smallamused:

No, don't give it away, everyone will be pretending to be comfortable discussing it now! :smalltongue:

To be fair, I was completely fine with the discussion until Coidzor charmed in with his remark. Then it got to a place that I'm not comfortable discussing (because consent had at least been implied before his post, even if it isn't always in these situations in the real world, the discussion was more on the side of people doing this voluntarily).