PDA

View Full Version : PC handedness.



Talakeal
2019-06-04, 10:00 AM
Something dawned on me the other day, I have never had a player in one of my games make a left handed PC. Occasionally you get an ambidextrous person, but other than that they are all right handed.

I assume that most people just default to their oown handedness, but why? Players dont default to their own height, weight, race, gender, or any other physical attribute, so why are people save averse to cross-handedness RP?

I personally pccasionally make left handed characters, but ten again I am a lefty irl so...

Man_Over_Game
2019-06-04, 10:07 AM
Something dawned on me the other day, I have never had a player in one of my games make a left handed PC. Occasionally you get an ambidextrous person, but other than that they are all right handed.

I assume that most people just default to their oown handedness, but why? Players dont default to their own height, weight, race, gender, or any other physical attribute, so why are people save averse to cross-handedness RP?

I personally pccasionally make left handed characters, but ten again I am a lefty irl so...

Left Handedness is more rare than a height or hair color difference.

Additionally, it's something that only is known when it becomes relevant. How many of your co-workers are left handed? How many are brunettes? You'll likely only be able to answer the second question.

Lastly, when would it ever be relevant in the game? Maybe 50% of all characters are left handed...would you know? I certainly don't ask players what their characters' hair color is.



I think the real point is that right-handed people don't consider their handedness a part of their identity. As a result, they don't consider filling in that information when making up a new identity. Kinda like how you don't mark down your number of limbs. Sure, it could change from person to person, but do you consider it a part of your identity? You, being left handed, are different than the norm because of it, and so it probably makes up a part of your own identity.

Talakeal
2019-06-04, 10:12 AM
Left Handedness is more rare than a height or hair color difference.

Additionally, it's something that only is known when it becomes relevant. How many of your co-workers are left handed? How many are brunettes? You'll likely only be able to answer the second question.

Lastly, when would it ever be relevant in the game? Maybe 50% of all characters are left handed...would you know? I certainly don't ask players what their characters' hair color is.



I think the real point is that right-handed people don't consider their handedness a part of their identity. As a result, they don't consider filling in that information when making up a new identity. Kinda like how you don't mark down your number of limbs. Sure, it could change from person to person, but do you consider it a part of your identity? You, being left handed, are different, and so it probably makes up a part of yours.

In my experiance most character sheets have a slot for handedness.
It comes up frequently in gritty hames with locational damage as well as some of the more tactical games that actually care which direction you are striking from.

Kiero
2019-06-04, 10:53 AM
Worth noting that being left handed is a significant advantage in melee combat, whether unarmed or armed.

Most right-handed people are used to fighting other right-handed people, whereas most left-handed people are used to fighting right-handed people.

Geddy2112
2019-06-04, 10:59 AM
Most weapons and tools are achiral, but shields could very well be. In a system where you can easily lose a limb and it cannot be replaced with a functional alternative, having to learn to fight with your off hand could matter. Most systems do have a penalty for fighting with your off hand, but it is generally assumed you are using your dominate hand to wield a weapon unless dual wielding or something else.
For ambidexterous characters, most systems have feats, traits, advancements, talents, what have you.


Worth noting that being left handed is a significant advantage in melee combat, whether unarmed or armed. Most right-handed people are used to fighting other right-handed people, whereas most left-handed people are used to fighting right-handed people.
From years of fencing, this is incredibly true. The real fun comes when two lefties fight each other. Not a lot of systems with this mechanic though, which would only potentially matter when two humanoids are in melee combat.

Segev
2019-06-04, 11:22 AM
Most weapons and tools are achiral, but shields could very well be. In a system where you can easily lose a limb and it cannot be replaced with a functional alternative, having to learn to fight with your off hand could matter. Most systems do have a penalty for fighting with your off hand, but it is generally assumed you are using your dominate hand to wield a weapon unless dual wielding or something else.
For ambidexterous characters, most systems have feats, traits, advancements, talents, what have you.


From years of fencing, this is incredibly true. The real fun comes when two lefties fight each other. Not a lot of systems with this mechanic though, which would only potentially matter when two humanoids are in melee combat.

I am not a gun enthusiast, but I've been to a firing range a few times. Speaking as a lefty, most modern handguns (that use a magazine or clip - I always forget the technical difference and which goes into a pistol) are chiral. Releasing the safety and fiddling with some of the reloading and slide releases is a lot more awkward until you realize you're supposed to be using your right thumb for it, not fumbling over the gun with your left hand to do it. ^^;

It also took me until well into my adult years to realize that the scissors with the large ovoid loop and the small thumb loop are designed to be comfortable for right-handed people. The direction the plastic guides is perfect if your right thumb is going through it. With the left thumb going through it, there is a hard and semi-sharp ridge at both the back and front end, making such scissors dig into your thumb uncomfortably (and, after a while, painfully). I honestly didn't even think about it other than grimacing at having to use such scissors for years.

Though the funniest thing about the world's right-handed bias that I've encountered is when my brother got me a Razor Naga mouse (it's a mouse with a keypad of buttons where your thumb is) designed for left-handed people. It has the buttons in the right places, and is shaped with the slope to accommodate a lefty rather than a righty. But I can tell it was designed by a righty who over-thought it: the default LMB and RMB are reversed on it. I had to go into my computer settings and switch them to reverse to get them back to normal functionality.

This is funny to me, because it's clear the thought process was, "okay, left-handed people do things backwards. Clearly, they'll need the right and left mouse buttons switched to more easily use their index fingers to left-click and their middle fingers to right-click." In practice, I have used normal mice that have no chirality to them for so long that I just use my middle finger for left button clicks, and my index for right button clicks. That it'd be reversed for righties never crossed my mind.

For the most part, it makes no difference in day-to-day life. But where it does, it's subtle and often catches me by surprise when I realize that what I have thought of as an inconvenience and odd design choice is actually quite sensible if you're right-handed.

Oh, also, apparently I eat "the European way" with my fork and knife: Because I'm left-handed, I keep my fork in my left hand and my knife in my right, and cut and eat without putting down my utensils. Apparently, the most common way for (right-handed) Americans to eat is to use the knife in the right hand, hold the food still with the fork in the left, then put down the knife and switch hands to use the right to eat with the fork. Europeans supposedly just do it the way I do, 85% of them just using their off-hand for the fork. (Me, I'm surprised righties don't just use the knife in the left hand and the fork in the right and not switch.)

That last bit is not well-researched on my part, but anecdotally has been backed up by my limited study after somebody told me about it.

Kiero
2019-06-04, 11:23 AM
From years of fencing, this is incredibly true. The real fun comes when two lefties fight each other. Not a lot of systems with this mechanic though, which would only potentially matter when two humanoids are in melee combat.

The phenomenon is less pronounced, though still present in unarmed combat. I've had fun with it over the years, because though I'm right-handed, for the gross muscular co-ordination required in unarmed fighting, I'm functionally ambidextrous.

My right might be slightly stronger and better co-ordinated, but I'm perfectly comfortable switching stance to fight a lefty. That's thrown a few southpaws off when I choose to match them, rather than allowing them their usual advantage over confused righties.

KillianHawkeye
2019-06-04, 11:47 AM
I remember when I was a kid and I discovered that Link from the Legend of Zelda games was left-handed and I thought that was super cool. As a straight, white male, it's probably the only story I have of seeing a part of myself that isn't normally represented in popular media. Although I later realized that I was more ambidextrous than strictly left-handed.

I'm a little sad sometimes that D&D 3.5 pretty much removed handedness issues from the game, because it eliminates interesting "warrior who lost their primary hand" stories and also invalidates Princess Bride style "I'm not actually left-handed" ploys. I have to agree with not needing to waste a feat to be considered ambidextrous anymore, though.

Khedrac
2019-06-04, 12:12 PM
There's an advantage to D&D 3.5 which did away with handedness - all characters can use either hand with equal flexibility.

Back about 30 years ago we usually rolled either 1d6 and 1d12 - if the smaller dice was the higher number the character was left handed, if the same then ambidextrous.

Mark Hall
2019-06-04, 12:37 PM
Hackmaster doesn't address benefits to lefties, but Ambidextrous characters have a 1 second initiative penalty (but don't suffer penalties for off-hand use).

Character Handedness
Roll (d100) Handedness
01-90 Right
91-99 Left
00 Ambidextrous

Character Handedness (Half-Orcs)
Roll (d100) Handedness
01-20 Right
21-00 Left

Character Handedness (Elves & Half-Elves)
Roll (d100) Handedness
01-75 Right
76-90 Left
91-00 Ambidextrous

Max_Killjoy
2019-06-04, 01:03 PM
Though the funniest thing about the world's right-handed bias that I've encountered is when my brother got me a Razor Naga mouse (it's a mouse with a keypad of buttons where your thumb is) designed for left-handed people. It has the buttons in the right places, and is shaped with the slope to accommodate a lefty rather than a righty. But I can tell it was designed by a righty who over-thought it: the default LMB and RMB are reversed on it. I had to go into my computer settings and switch them to reverse to get them back to normal functionality.

This is funny to me, because it's clear the thought process was, "okay, left-handed people do things backwards. Clearly, they'll need the right and left mouse buttons switched to more easily use their index fingers to left-click and their middle fingers to right-click." In practice, I have used normal mice that have no chirality to them for so long that I just use my middle finger for left button clicks, and my index for right button clicks. That it'd be reversed for righties never crossed my mind.


Funny thing is, I'm right handed, I can use a mouse left-handed... but I need to reverse the buttons because for me it IS mapped to "index finger" and "middle finger"... if I use the "righty" mouse setup with my left hand, I have to slow down and think about which button I'm pushing each time.

FaerieGodfather
2019-06-04, 01:23 PM
I am not a gun enthusiast, but I've been to a firing range a few times. Speaking as a lefty, most modern handguns (that use a magazine or clip - I always forget the technical difference and which goes into a pistol) are chiral.

A detachable magazine is a box with a spring in it. It usually goes into the bottom of the weapon, loading the rounds into the chamber, and you replace it when it's empty.

A clip is just one solid piece of springy metal. It usually goes into the top of the weapon, loading rounds into the weapon's integral magazine before being removed.

In practice, most people use the terms interchangeably unless politics are involved.

Segev
2019-06-04, 02:28 PM
Funny thing is, I'm right handed, I can use a mouse left-handed... but I need to reverse the buttons because for me it IS mapped to "index finger" and "middle finger"... if I use the "righty" mouse setup with my left hand, I have to slow down and think about which button I'm pushing each time.

And that's probably why a righty designing a left-handed mouse thought, "Okay, they'll need the buttons swapped."

Meanwhile, if I wind up using a mouse right-handed, I have no trouble with the standard layout, beyond how awkward a right-handed mouse already is. Swapping the buttons would confuse me, there, too. ^^;

Guizonde
2019-06-04, 02:49 PM
my pc's are all left-handed, left-eyed, and left-footed. like me. easier to mime actions. also, it's a giant middle (left-handed) middle finger to my friends who've given me grief since middle school for my handedness.

paradoxically, i prefer right-handed guns (shot lefty) and guitars (albeit with the strings flipped and played lefty), and i use my mouse with my right hand, since nobody told me that i should flip it.

i'm confusing like that.

Segev
2019-06-04, 03:28 PM
my pc's are all left-handed, left-eyed, and left-footed. like me. easier to mime actions. also, it's a giant middle (left-handed) middle finger to my friends who've given me grief since middle school for my handedness.

paradoxically, i prefer right-handed guns (shot lefty) and guitars (albeit with the strings flipped and played lefty), and i use my mouse with my right hand, since nobody told me that i should flip it.

i'm confusing like that.

People seriously gave you grief about being left-handed as a kid? Wow; I've never heard of that in real life before.

Pauly
2019-06-04, 03:56 PM
Worth noting that being left handed is a significant advantage in melee combat, whether unarmed or armed.

Most right-handed people are used to fighting other right-handed people, whereas most left-handed people are used to fighting right-handed people.

In sports, statisticians have worked out that thereís roughly a 10% advantage in being left handed in opposed sports like baseball, tennis etc.

It is part of why there is a disproportionate number of lefties in elite sports. In games like baseball there can also be tactical advantages in swapping lefties and righties into the line up.

Knaight
2019-06-04, 04:12 PM
This is something I generally just don't bother to specify - much the same way that I usually don't bother with exact height and weight (especially weight, that sort of thing fluctuates at the best of times and adventurers with highly variable levels of exercise and potentially food). I'll have a physical description that will hit highlights and be a coherent description rather than fill out some long list of standard factors.

Eldan
2019-06-04, 04:37 PM
In my experiance most character sheets have a slot for handedness.
It comes up frequently in gritty hames with locational damage as well as some of the more tactical games that actually care which direction you are striking from.

I don't think I've ever seen a handedness box, or seen someone's handedness mentioned in a game. Interesting.

Delta
2019-06-04, 04:48 PM
In my experience, the main thing is just: It doesn't matter.

Ambidextrous characters happen because of dual wield combat, but other than that, in way more than two decades of gaming, I can't think of a single situation where it was a relevant question whether the character was left- or righthanded.

Now, probably, the question could have come up a couple of times if someone had thought of it, but in my experience, people just don't think about, so there's no reason to make it a thing in the game.

Talakeal
2019-06-04, 04:53 PM
In my experience, the main thing is just: It doesn't matter.

Ambidextrous characters happen because of dual wield combat, but other than that, in way more than two decades of gaming, I can't think of a single situation where it was a relevant question whether the character was left- or righthanded.

Now, probably, the question could have come up a couple of times if someone had thought of it, but in my experience, people just don't think about, so there's no reason to make it a thing in the game.

Any more so than eye or hair color?

Delta
2019-06-04, 05:46 PM
Any more so than eye or hair color?

Is that a serious question? Yes, hair color matters infinitely more than handedness.

At least in my games, "What does that character look like?" is a question that comes up for just about any relevant PC or NPC at least once. "Is that character left- or right-handed?" has never come up even once.

Cygnia
2019-06-04, 06:27 PM
In some games (like 7th Sea), being Left-Handed is an advantage you can actually purchase when making your character.

Max_Killjoy
2019-06-04, 06:31 PM
I thought the surprise / secret was not being left-handed...

Luccan
2019-06-04, 07:32 PM
Something dawned on me the other day, I have never had a player in one of my games make a left handed PC. Occasionally you get an ambidextrous person, but other than that they are all right handed.

I assume that most people just default to their oown handedness, but why? Players dont default to their own height, weight, race, gender, or any other physical attribute, so why are people save averse to cross-handedness RP?

I personally pccasionally make left handed characters, but ten again I am a lefty irl so...

I don't think I've ever specified a character's dominant hand. I think in my head it's been the right hand, but that's because I'm right handed. I've never stated it out right.

CharonsHelper
2019-06-04, 07:59 PM
I don't think I've ever specified a character's dominant hand. I think in my head it's been the right hand, but that's because I'm right handed. I've never stated it out right.

Yeah - the only time I ever mentioned it was a lefty bard. And that's only because I've heard that (generally) lefties are more creative/musical because they're right-brained.

But as said above, in virtually any sport being a lefty is an advantage just because it's different. There are a hugely disproportionate number of southpaws in baseball, especially pitchers. (I do realize that sometimes right-handers bat as southpaws for the edge it gives.)

Boxing, fencing, hockey, and tennis all have large advantages to southpaws, though I've heard that there are minor advantages in basketball & other sports too. About the only sports I can think of that it wouldn't be on minor advantage are sports where you aren't really up against anyone, you just have competing scores. (golf/bowling/marksmanship etc.)

An interesting article about it here - https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/21/science/lefties-sports-advantage.html .

As a summary; the less time someone has to react in a sport, the bigger of an advantage being a southpaw is. So in baseball 30% of top pitchers are southpaw, while in squash only 9% are because it's a somewhat slower paced game. Also, apparently cultures which were more warlike historically have a higher % of lefties because of the advantage it gave in combat.

KillianHawkeye
2019-06-04, 08:08 PM
my pc's are all left-handed, left-eyed, and left-footed.

Is "left-eyed" a joke, or is having a dominant eye an actual thing? I've seriously never even heard that before, and never personally noticed a difference between having one eye closed versus the other one. :smallconfused:

Faily
2019-06-04, 08:36 PM
People seriously gave you grief about being left-handed as a kid? Wow; I've never heard of that in real life before.

This can be a cultural and age thing. I know that in my country, it's not that long ago that left-handed people were forced to be right-handed in school (forced to write right-handed and everything, in some cases they'd tie your left hand behind your back to make sure you didn't feel tempted to use it at all). When I say long ago though, I'm talking about my parents'/grandparents' generation. In some cultures, the left-hand is considered unclean and inferior for various reasons.

I'm left-handed, but I don't think I was ever given grief for it as a kid. On the other hand, I sometimes feel like I get looked on as some kind of fantasy creature when people see I'm left-handed. ("omg you're left-handed?")


I think the only games I can think of where handedness has come up for me has been Ars Magica? Either way, it's not something that people can easily notice about a person. And most people tend not to notice unless they look closely because they're just so used to seeing things a certain way. So when you're describing your character it's natural to say "blonde hair blue eyes" because that's something you can tell from meeting a person.

It might just be my personal experience too, but I feel that left-handed people are more likely to have ambidexterity. When I was doing martial arts, almost everything I learned was from the mindset of right-handedness being dominant, like Segev I use fork in my left and knife in my right, I've learned to knit the way right-handed do but for crocheting I do it left-handed, I use my computer mouse with my right-hand, etc...

Squire Doodad
2019-06-04, 09:41 PM
Something dawned on me the other day, I have never had a player in one of my games make a left handed PC. Occasionally you get an ambidextrous person, but other than that they are all right handed.

I assume that most people just default to their oown handedness, but why? Players dont default to their own height, weight, race, gender, or any other physical attribute, so why are people save averse to cross-handedness RP?

I personally pccasionally make left handed characters, but ten again I am a lefty irl so...

I'd imagine that it would be simpler for people to use their dominant hand in-game. On the other hand (*rimshot*) there's...basically no point. It's largely irrelevant, as unless an amputation occurs there is little reason to specify which hand is being used. Sure it is an interesting tidbit to ponder, but odds are one focuses on the more obvious aspects of physiology or someone's personality over hand preference.

A game centered around a world that has an inexplicable dividing issue based on hand preference would be an interesting idea though.

Cluedrew
2019-06-04, 09:48 PM
Is that a serious question? Yes, hair color matters infinitely more than handedness.I'm not sure I have ever called out a character's dominate hand. On the other hand I can think of only one time I called out my character's hair colour, and that is because it was graying. (They were much older than you would expect.)

Max_Killjoy
2019-06-04, 09:55 PM
I had a character who cared about his enemy's dominant hand.

Because he'd make puns about "disarming" them... or say something like "Which was your off hand... well I guess they're both your off hand" after cutting off both their hands in a battle.

The joy of puns and location-based damage.

Guizonde
2019-06-05, 12:35 AM
People seriously gave you grief about being left-handed as a kid? Wow; I've never heard of that in real life before.

oh yes, it was mild teasing, but still: you hear "friggin' lefty" one too many times and it starts to grate.

like faily said, it may be a cultural thing. my dad had his hand tied behind his back at school and he was born in '59 in yorkshire, i was born in '89 in southern france and got treated halfway like a unicorn and a mutant.

@KillianHawkeye: yes, having a dominant eye is a real thing. the usual way to determine which one's yours is to look at your finger in front of your eyes about 6in away from your face. close one eye. if the image moves, it's your other eye that's dominant. if the image doesn't move, that's your dominant eye. only really matters for shooting sports, where being a cross-shot is a disadvantage (shooting with the wrong hand but the good eye, or the reverse).

Hytheter
2019-06-05, 01:34 AM
Funny thing is, I'm right handed, I can use a mouse left-handed... but I need to reverse the buttons because for me it IS mapped to "index finger" and "middle finger"... if I use the "righty" mouse setup with my left hand, I have to slow down and think about which button I'm pushing each time.

Interestingly I've had the opposite experience, and actually surprised myself by getting the buttons right after swapping hands. Mouse precision is another matter though...

I am also equally proficient with either hand in many sports, but if you watched me play those sports you would probably hesitate to say I was ambidextrous.



From years of fencing, this is incredibly true. The real fun comes when two lefties fight each other.

I used to be part of a fencing group that was actually a lefty majority. It was very annoying; I don't think it was really about being used to fighting right-handers since at that point I had probably faced lefties just as often, but something about the way the blades line up in fencing stance just feels wrong in left vs right fighting.

Khedrac
2019-06-05, 02:54 AM
Is "left-eyed" a joke, or is having a dominant eye an actual thing? I've seriously never even heard that before, and never personally noticed a difference between having one eye closed versus the other one. :smallconfused:

Yes, it is a thing, but it doesn't have much effect in today's society.

What it means for me (I am 'right-eyed') is that my left eye is weaker than my right in that I will ususally focus on things to get the right eye in focus witht he left eye only in focus if it can. (Close up you can usually only focus fully with one eye - the difference in location prevents you using both.)
It also means that the prescription for my left eye eye slightly stronger than my right eye (which is pretty irrelevant - I am very short-sighted with added astigmatism).

Talakeal
2019-06-05, 08:13 AM
My dad was born in 1940 New York and was beaten in school for writing with his left hand until they eventually gave up and just tied it to his chair.

I have heard trivia that left handers are the most consistently (not harshly mind you) discriminated against group in the history of the world as virtually all cultures in all periods had some taboo against them.

I personally dont really think about handedness except when someone sees me writing and points out that I am left handed. I have long snce learned to use tools right like mice and scissors right handed and now using them with my left hand feels awkward.


The idea that you dont think about people being different than you unless you can visually see it is a good observstion and probsbly the right answer. Still, it seems weird to me that when people see handedness on a sheet they dont think about it but do for things like hair and eye color.

Delta
2019-06-05, 08:39 AM
Still, it seems weird to me that when people see handedness on a sheet they dont think about it but do for things like hair and eye color.

What's weird about that? Hair color is one of the most obvious visual aspects of a character.

When most people try to describe someone, yeah, hair color is one of those things that comes up first.

"A tall, dark-haired man enters the tavern" is a sentence that has probably been spoken in some variation or another for literally thousands of times in various D&D groups around the world. "A tall, left-handed man" most likely is not, because it's neither obvious nor relevant.

It's just a matter of relevance. Hair color (and eye color, to a lesser degree) is an essential aspect of how you create a picture of a character in your mind. Handedness is not.

Segev
2019-06-05, 09:55 AM
I suppose that I'm reacting to it happening in my lifetime, more than in general. I know my uncle is ambidexterous because he was hit with a ruler when he wrote with his left hand in school, for instance. Never heard of the tying the hand up thing, but I suppose in a way that's less brutal. Glad I never had to deal with that. Then again, if I'd come home crying about it even once, my mother would have metaphorically burned down the school from administration to janitorial staff. And I would have been in a different school very quickly.

Of all the things I got made fun of for, though, being left-handed was never one of them. The worst I get is people being mildly frustrated when they realize I've moved the mouse to the left-hand side of a public computer. Though there are a few funny instances where I was worried my mouse wasn't working only for the person next to me to get annoyed that I'd grabbed theirs and was moving it around the screen. A brief apology was all it took to get over that, though; people tended to be quite understanding of the honest mistake, and even laugh about it with me.

Knaight
2019-06-05, 01:39 PM
The idea that you dont think about people being different than you unless you can visually see it is a good observstion and probsbly the right answer. Still, it seems weird to me that when people see handedness on a sheet they dont think about it but do for things like hair and eye color.

I wouldn't even say I necessarily think of hair and eye color specifically (hair is likely to come up, but often as an incidental factor). Most of the type the aesthetic details are something like "appearance", sometimes with some specific but still abstract examples from a list - and what gets emphasized there varies hugely by character. For one character you might emphasize how they stand, for another you might emphasize how they tend to dress, for another the first thing mentioned is size, etc. A list of standard traits filled in like actual paperwork is generally less useful than looking at what is distinctive about a character.

That's without getting into things like genre. I've really emphasized clothing on exactly one fantasy character, and there were significant reasons for that. Superheroes? Costumes are a whole big thing there, and they're basically always going to be detailed.

I'm not saying I've never defined handedness either, just that it's usually unspecified. Sometimes it's a distinctive thing about a character that gets mentioned, especially in settings where it's a social disadvantage due to prevailing social attitudes (e.g. a lot of historical settings including recent history).

Malphegor
2019-06-05, 02:41 PM
I probably should roll a percentile dice for it...

1-4 left handed

5 ambidextrous

6-100 right handed

Segev
2019-06-05, 03:01 PM
I probably should roll a percentile dice for it...

1-4 left handed

5 ambidextrous

6-100 right handed

Technically, statistically, 15% of people are left-handed. I have no idea what percent are ambidexterous; they're probably a subset of the 15% of lefties, though.

jayem
2019-06-05, 03:48 PM
Is "left-eyed" a joke, or is having a dominant eye an actual thing? I've seriously never even heard that before, and never personally noticed a difference between having one eye closed versus the other one. :smallconfused:

My right eye is the only one that can close independently, and I was (until now) pretty sure my left eye dominated visually.
It doesn't seem as strong as I remember it (I'd say with my finger in front of my right eye it's about 75% transparent and in front of my left 25% transparent)

Mouse I use pure right handed.

Eating I eat something between reversed American and European style. That is to say hold my fork in my left hand, and use that. If I need to cut the knife in my right hand is used fairly clumsily and the fork does the work. If I pick up a glass (right hand) then the knife is forgotten.

Draconi Redfir
2019-06-05, 03:58 PM
Oh, also, apparently I eat "the European way" with my fork and knife: Because I'm left-handed, I keep my fork in my left hand and my knife in my right, and cut and eat without putting down my utensils.

wait, that's not normal? That's how i eat too, and i'm not even Europian. or left handed. i'm a right-handed canadian:smalleek:

think the rest of my family eats like this too... might have adopted it from my parents, as my dad's parents are both immigrants from the UK, and my mother's grandparents came in from hungary.

Gallowglass
2019-06-05, 04:03 PM
wait, that's not normal? That's how i eat too, and i'm not even Europian. or left handed. i'm a right-handed canadian:smalleek:

think the rest of my family eats like this too... might have adopted it from my parents, as my dad's parents are both immigrants from the UK, and my mother's grandparents came in from hungary.

In WWII, the Germans used to watch POWs and used this to separate the Europeans from the Americans. The Americans would hold their fork with the left hand while cutting meat with their knife with their right, then switch in order to use the fork in the right to actually eat the meat. The Europeans would just eat with fork in left, knife in right.

(replace left and right above with non-dominant and dominant, I mean no offense to my left-handed friends)

This is, of course, a generalization. and probably not as true and easily segmented as it was seventy years ago when the world was further apart and less cosmopolitan.

zinycor
2019-06-05, 04:06 PM
I would guess the answer comes down to:

1- Does the game have mechanics related to Handedness?

2- Do your players consider handedness important to the personality or view of their characters?

As for me, I have played a couple of left handed characters, which didn't end up mattering at all, and am pretty sure I forgot on several ocassions about... Not really something that I would consider fun or interesting to play in game, but to each their own.

Segev
2019-06-05, 04:07 PM
In WWII, the Germans used to watch POWs and used this to separate the Europeans from the Americans. The Americans would hold their fork with the left hand while cutting meat with their knife with their right, then switch in order to use the fork in the right to actually eat the meat. The Europeans would just eat with fork in left, knife in right.

(replace left and right above with non-dominant and dominant, I mean no offense to my left-handed friends)

This is, of course, a generalization. and probably not as true and easily segmented as it was seventy years ago when the world was further apart and less cosmopolitan.

Hah. They'd have thought me European, despite my definite lack of any European accent, and atrocious Spanish being my only non-English language.

Kesnit
2019-06-05, 06:45 PM
In sports, statisticians have worked out that thereís roughly a 10% advantage in being left handed in opposed sports like baseball, tennis etc.

It is part of why there is a disproportionate number of lefties in elite sports. In games like baseball there can also be tactical advantages in swapping lefties and righties into the line up.

A lefty batter is going to be a step or so closer to first base. When inches matter, that step can make all the difference.


I'd imagine that it would be simpler for people to use their dominant hand in-game. On the other hand (*rimshot*) there's...basically no point. It's largely irrelevant, as unless an amputation occurs there is little reason to specify which hand is being used. Sure it is an interesting tidbit to ponder, but odds are one focuses on the more obvious aspects of physiology or someone's personality over hand preference.

As others have pointed out, though, a lefty fighting a righty is going to have an advantage. In a game with melee combat rules, making a left handed fighter should give a bonus against a righty, simply because a left handed fighter is going to be more used to blocking attacks to his right side than a right handed fighter would.

Several decades ago, I briefly got into SCA as a fighter. My goal was to dual-wield, so it was recommended that I learn to fight left handed first (I'm right handed) to make the transition easier.


What it means for me (I am 'right-eyed') is that my left eye is weaker than my right in that I will ususally focus on things to get the right eye in focus witht he left eye only in focus if it can. (Close up you can usually only focus fully with one eye - the difference in location prevents you using both.)
It also means that the prescription for my left eye eye slightly stronger than my right eye (which is pretty irrelevant - I am very short-sighted with added astigmatism).

I'm left eye dominant, but my left eye is actually weaker. (I have an astigmatism in that eye.)

Max_Killjoy
2019-06-05, 07:16 PM
A lefty batter is going to be a step or so closer to first base. When inches matter, that step can make all the difference.


Isn't the lefty batter is also facing away from first base in their batting stance?

CharonsHelper
2019-06-05, 08:50 PM
A lefty batter is going to be a step or so closer to first base. When inches matter, that step can make all the difference.

Batting southpaw has the additional raw advantage (besides the ever present "being unusual" advantage of all sports) of having when you "pull" a pitch it goes to the optimal place. It's considered advantageous to hit to right field instead of left field (because it makes it easier for runners to get to third base safely) and right-handed batters will actually train to hit to the right instead of the more natural inclination of hitting to left field. Batting lefty you just do it naturally.


Isn't the lefty batter is also facing away from first base in their batting stance?

Yes, but their swing would shift their balance towards first anyway. It's been tested to death, and batting lefty gets you to first base faster.

ExLibrisMortis
2019-06-05, 10:23 PM
Is "left-eyed" a joke, or is having a dominant eye an actual thing? I've seriously never even heard that before, and never personally noticed a difference between having one eye closed versus the other one. :smallconfused:You can check your dominant eye by looking at a fixed point through your curled finger (or a ring or whatever), then closing or covering your eyes one at the time. When the fixed point appears to "shift" out of the gap, that's because your dominant eye is covered. Your brain is using the other eye as reference point, and that eye, being in another place, looks at the fixed point at another angle, so that the line of sight no longer passes through the gap.

chainer1216
2019-06-05, 10:55 PM
People seriously gave you grief about being left-handed as a kid? Wow; I've never heard of that in real life before.

Oh it happens, but i cant really go into due to forum rules.

ZamielVanWeber
2019-06-05, 10:58 PM
This can be a cultural and age thing. I know that in my country, it's not that long ago that left-handed people were forced to be right-handed in school (forced to write right-handed and everything, in some cases they'd tie your left hand behind your back to make sure you didn't feel tempted to use it at all). When I say long ago though, I'm talking about my parents'/grandparents' generation. In some cultures, the left-hand is considered unclean and inferior for various reasons.

A word for "an evil person" in English literally translate to "one who is left [handed]" - sinister. I am lucky enough to be cross dominant so generally my characters are too; if it matters I always make them left handed since I generally prefer left handed melee combat. I write and computer right handed though.


You can check your dominant eye by looking at a fixed point through your curled finger (or a ring or whatever), then closing or covering your eyes one at the time. When the fixed point appears to "shift" out of the gap, that's because your dominant eye is covered. Your brain is using the other eye as reference point, and that eye, being in another place, looks at the fixed point at another angle, so that the line of sight no longer passes through the gap.
Today I learned that I am left eyed. Thank you.

OldTrees1
2019-06-05, 11:11 PM
There are no Left handed people. There are the Right handed people, and then the ambidextrous spectrum that were born Left handed. Thanks society!:smallmad: I am Left handed, but you will only notice that when I write. For everything else society has encouraged me to be Right handed. As a results I am on the ambidextrous spectrum. I can fail to catch a ball using either hand.:smallbiggrin:

No wonder you only see Right handed characters. We can hide in plain sight. I can fence equally well/poorly with either hand. So why not wield it in my Right hand until it becomes relevant.

Luccan
2019-06-06, 01:08 AM
Today I learned that I am left eyed. Thank you.

Hey, me too! I dunno what that means for me, but thanks ExLibrisMortis.

LordCdrMilitant
2019-06-06, 01:30 AM
I ate dinner using a knife in my right hand to cut my food, and my chopsticks in my left to hold it ;).

I suspect handedness comes up in my game slightly more in my DH/BC/DW games than most, since luck [well, more precisely the weighting of the hit location chart and the fact that most characters firing from cover will be only exposing their arms and head, effectively negating hits to the body and legs] would have it that most characters lose at least one arm to hostile fire in the course of the campaign, and even then it doesn't really matter since a lot of characters take Ambidextrous to be reduce the penalties for dual-wielding storm bolters/meltaguns/revolvers/chainswords/grenades/demolition charges/etc., and most characters who get pieces blown off get cybernetic replacements of adequate quality fairly soon.

I don't ask what handed they are. Usually we find out when their arm turns into a smouldering ash pile courtesy of a plasmagun, and they say "oh, that was my good hand"

Malphegor
2019-06-06, 04:40 AM
I suppose there is a mechanic for it in most d&d editions. off-hand vs main hand, as seen with those newfangled weirdo 'wield two swords at once because I am a living blender' types.

For simulating a Princess Bride "ah, but I know something you do not- I am not left handed!" switcharoo, presumably you'd fight at a penalty for having your weapon in your non-main hand?

I've never played a two weapon at once character before to know what the rules are for handedness, I assume it's like -1 to attack rolls.

Presumably if we homebrewed one there's an argument for a damage penalty on your non-main hand, though personally I find my right hand is more dextrous, easier to manipulate but weaker, but left hand is STRONK! LIKE MOUNTAIN! but is clumsy as hell.

Beleriphon
2019-06-06, 10:19 AM
Isn't the lefty batter is also facing away from first base in their batting stance?

They are, but the advantage is that hits will naturally veer towards third base, meaning that even though they have to turn to run, the time it takes for say left fielder or third baseman to catch and throw the ball to first is longer than the turn. They also naturally have a larger hit zone since right handed pitchers are more likely to throw somewhat towards the outside of the strike box in comparison to right handed batter who will likely have balls be thrown closer to their body.

Segev
2019-06-06, 01:22 PM
A word for "an evil person" in English literally translate to "one who is left [handed]" - sinister. I am lucky enough to be cross dominant so generally my characters are too; if it matters I always make them left handed since I generally prefer left handed melee combat. I write and computer right handed though.This is true! I quite enjoy claiming to be "sinistrous." Though my sinisterity is relatively low, and thus doesn't add anything to my AC.

Maybe that's where you check people's character sheets for handedness? Whether they have dexterity or sinisterity?



Today I learned that I am left eyed. Thank you.Indeed, weirdly, I just found out that I'm right-eyed. Despite it having a stronger prescription than my left, and being left-handed.

I'll check again later, and see if it stays the same, just to be sure I didn't accidentally play a mental game that tipped the scales. Because when I do anything resembling thinking about it, I can see both "rings" to put things around, and have to choose. I seem to naturally bring it up in line that the spot I'm staring at isn't in either ring. ^^;

Beleriphon
2019-06-06, 01:29 PM
This is true! I quite enjoy claiming to be "sinistrous." Though my sinisterity is relatively low, and thus doesn't add anything to my AC.

Maybe that's where you check people's character sheets for handedness? Whether they have dexterity or sinisterity?


Indeed, weirdly, I just found out that I'm right-eyed. Despite it having a stronger prescription than my left, and being left-handed.

I'll check again later, and see if it stays the same, just to be sure I didn't accidentally play a mental game that tipped the scales. Because when I do anything resembling thinking about it, I can see both "rings" to put things around, and have to choose. I seem to naturally bring it up in line that the spot I'm staring at isn't in either ring. ^^;

Prescription strength in glasses doesn't have much do with eyediness, much like having a broken arm doesn't affect being naturally right or left handed. Its the just the eye your brain naturally uses for primary focus.

KillianHawkeye
2019-06-06, 07:32 PM
It's quite telling that we associate such negative qualities by referring to someone as an "under-handed villain" when they're literally just a left-handed village peasant.

Pauly
2019-06-06, 09:17 PM
They are, but the advantage is that hits will naturally veer towards third base, meaning that even though they have to turn to run, the time it takes for say left fielder or third baseman to catch and throw the ball to first is longer than the turn. They also naturally have a larger hit zone since right handed pitchers are more likely to throw somewhat towards the outside of the strike box in comparison to right handed batter who will likely have balls be thrown closer to their body.

In cricket there is a significant advantage in having a combination of a right and a left handed batters at the pitch. The defending team has to rotate their defenders to different positions when the handedness of the batters change. Also the bowler has to change their line of attack with different handed batters which can disrupt their rhythm and muscle memory.

oxybe
2019-06-07, 12:22 AM
My mum is a lefty and had been educated in a right-handed fashion, to put it nicely, by the catholic nuns who ran the schoolhouse she went to.

as for handedness, unless your game goes out of it's way to make it matter, it's likely better relegated as an, pun-intended, off-handed colourful descriptor then hard mechanic that needs codifying.

as for hair vs hand, the first thing most people notice about a person is their face, unless they have a significant disability, like being in a wheelchair, have the clack-clack-clack of a wooden pegleg+crutch or a mass of tentacles writhing from their back because they were experimented on in the farplane by illithid fleshmages.

Black hair, thick eyebrows, grey eyes and a round face do more to describe a person visually then "left-handed, a confidant gait, and no concept of personal space", which may be more useful for characterization, but aren't immediately noticeable.

Kiero
2019-06-07, 09:43 AM
Presumably if we homebrewed one there's an argument for a damage penalty on your non-main hand, though personally I find my right hand is more dextrous, easier to manipulate but weaker, but left hand is STRONK! LIKE MOUNTAIN! but is clumsy as hell.

Speak for yourself. My dominant hand is better in every respect; and in being more accurate causes more harm in addition to being slightly stronger.

John Campbell
2019-06-08, 01:32 AM
My characters tend to default to right-handed, because I am. Though I've had at least one who was specifically left-handed because of folklore/superstition reasons... she was a changeling witch, and so clearly sinister. It literally never came up. I don't think I ever even told the GM that she was left-handed.

Pauly
2019-06-08, 02:01 AM
My mum is a lefty and had been educated in a right-handed fashion, to put it nicely, by the catholic nuns who ran the schoolhouse she went to.

as for handedness, unless your game goes out of it's way to make it matter, it's likely better relegated as an, pun-intended, off-handed colourful descriptor then hard mechanic that needs codifying.

as for hair vs hand, the first thing most people notice about a person is their face, unless they have a significant disability, like being in a wheelchair, have the clack-clack-clack of a wooden pegleg+crutch or a mass of tentacles writhing from their back because they were experimented on in the farplane by illithid fleshmages.

Black hair, thick eyebrows, grey eyes and a round face do more to describe a person visually then "left-handed, a confidant gait, and no concept of personal space", which may be more useful for characterization, but aren't immediately noticeable.

Actually in Asian cultures people often donít notice hair or eye color. Their brains are trained to put black hair/brown eyes as the default setting. I was teaching English in Japan, and one class was surprised, after I had been teaching them for over a year, by the relevation that I have green eyes.

Luccan
2019-06-08, 02:01 AM
Did anyone mention what RPGs left vs right handedness is actually relevant in? I know ambidexterity is relevant in some games, but I'm curious if there are actually any games where single-handed dominance is relevant to the hand and how that impacts the mechanics.

Mechalich
2019-06-08, 02:36 AM
Did anyone mention what RPGs left vs right handedness is actually relevant in? I know ambidexterity is relevant in some games, but I'm curious if there are actually any games where single-handed dominance is relevant to the hand and how that impacts the mechanics.

Handedness has mechanical applications primarily in very crunchy games like Hackmaster or GURPS, where it tends to provide a modest benefit to certain things - like combat - and may also supply a minor penalty to other things - like writing (this is generally no longer a problem due to modern inks, but writing left handed with a quill pen and old-style ink and paper is much more likely to smear).

GenericFighter
2019-06-08, 04:02 AM
There's another non-fencing combat relevance to handedness. Old fortifications would construct spiral stairs so that entering took you clockwise and exiting went counterclockwise. This way an invader going up the stairs had to lead with their left hand but the defender could use their right.

Cygnia
2019-06-08, 11:45 AM
Did anyone mention what RPGs left vs right handedness is actually relevant in? I know ambidexterity is relevant in some games, but I'm curious if there are actually any games where single-handed dominance is relevant to the hand and how that impacts the mechanics.

I mentioned earlier that in 1st Edition 7th Sea, being Left-Handed is an actual advantage you can purchase for your character. It gives you an extra Unkept Die when rolling attacks. And, if your character is from a specific nation, it's cheaper to buy said advantage.

Mark Hall
2019-06-08, 01:26 PM
So, a point was mentioned on the Hackmaster boards when I raised this question, though it was a bit presaged by the handedness chart I posted earlier in the thread...


Character Handedness
Roll (d100) Handedness
01-90 Right
91-99 Left
00 Ambidextrous

Character Handedness (Half-Orcs)
Roll (d100) Handedness
01-20 Right
21-00 Left

Character Handedness (Elves & Half-Elves)
Roll (d100) Handedness
01-75 Right
76-90 Left
91-00 Ambidextrous

In a world with a significant non-human population, why would we assume that left-handedness IS necessarily unusual enough to grant a bonus against other fighters? While humans may lean towards the right hand, nothing says elves, gnomes, dwarves, goblins, or kobolds do.

Sure, only 10% of the human population is non-right handed by the table, but elves are 1 in 4, and half-orcs are almost entirely left-handed, which would imply that orcs almost always are. If orcs are all left-handed, and orcs are a significant threat to most nations (they really are, in Tellene), then knowing how to fight someone who is left-handed isn't a quirk of your training, it's a major feature. You HAVE to be able to face a southpaw, or you're going to wind up with your head on a pike.

Talakeal
2019-06-08, 03:36 PM
Did anyone mention what RPGs left vs right handedness is actually relevant in? I know ambidexterity is relevant in some games, but I'm curious if there are actually any games where single-handed dominance is relevant to the hand and how that impacts the mechanics.

Any RPG with locational damage and crippled limbs for one.

zinycor
2019-06-08, 04:20 PM
Any RPG with locational damage and crippled limbs for one.

So, What are the bonuses on this particular game? As I see it, if people aren't picking to be left handed, on a game with mechanics related to it, it must be either because it is not particularly beneficial to their playstyle to do so or because they are unaware of this benefit.

Mark Hall
2019-06-08, 05:58 PM
So, What are the bonuses on this particular game? As I see it, if people aren't picking to be left handed, on a game with mechanics related to it, it must be either because it is not particularly beneficial to their playstyle to do so or because they are unaware of this benefit.

Or the game does not allow them to pick; it might choose for them, or impose a cost on doing so.

zinycor
2019-06-08, 08:15 PM
Or the game does not allow them to pick; it might choose for them,

Then the reason for them not being left handed would be pure luck.


or impose a cost on doing so.
Then being left handed would be too expensive for the benefit.