Question about playable genders in pfs


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Shadow Lodge **

Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Are players allowed to make hermaphroditic characters? As far as I know it's legal but I'm wanting to verify.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Chester aka Paz

There are precious few mentions of gender in the CRB, which is probably just what Paizo intended. Allowing characters outside of the two most commonly recognised genders seems very much in keeping with the inclusivity that Paizo appear to espouse.

(As long as it's not done to offend/ridicule, of course.)

Shadow Lodge ***

It's not verifiable as to whether anyone in Golarion has any requirement for toilets. According to all the maps, at least.

The Exchange ****

Avatar-1 wrote:
It's not verifiable as to whether anyone in Golarion has any requirement for toilets. According to all the maps, at least.

so... where does all that "stuff" in the sewer come from?!


Hey, cool, I was just wondering this yesterday. Thinking about a half-orc summoner who won't give his/her gender for personal reasons (at first, I was thinking agendered, but then I realized that I know too little about such matters and would probably annoy someone).

I'm thinking Paizo's biggest problem with "hermaphroditic half-orc summoner" will be the third part of that equation, really. ;D

Liberty's Edge ***

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By the rules, you are 100% allowed.

Socially speaking, if handled maturely and in the name of inclusivity and roleplaying exploration, I would expect most players and GMs to happily welcome you at their table. If this is to play some kind of joke character at the expense of intersexed persons, I would expect a less welcome response.

Grand Lodge *****

All I'll say is this. There's one guy (actually our store contact) who I ran for yesterday that has people make perception checks at the beginning of the module to see if they can figuer out "hir" gender.

(Note: I write a hermaphroditic character in a SW group...I've had to come up with gender neutral pronouns :) )

Sczarni *****

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Just FYI, if you use the term "hermaphrodite" you're likely to offend someone.

The polite, medical, official, politically correct term to use is "intersexual".

Shadow Lodge **

Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Hey, cool, I was just wondering this yesterday. Thinking about a half-orc summoner who won't give his/her gender for personal reasons (at first, I was thinking agendered, but then I realized that I know too little about such matters and would probably annoy someone).

I'm thinking Paizo's biggest problem with "hermaphroditic half-orc summoner" will be the third part of that equation, really. ;D

Heh, mine is a hermaphoditic rakshasa blooded, rakshasa tiefling from Qadira. She's a trade princess of one of the kalifs and one of his vudran concubines and has joined up with the pathfinders in order to help establish her own trade empire. While growing up she learned the power her beauty had on others and how it caused others to change their attitudes in order to please her rather than her ideas. Soon she realized that this was most likely brought on by her outsider ancestors (she often looks like whatever gender the observer is attracted to if they are not well acquainted) and in a search to find a solution found the churches of Sarenrae and Sheyln. Soon after that she became an ardent follower of both goddesses and began practicing wearing a burqa in order to remove the distraction of her beauty from interacting with others.

Soon after this she joined the pathfinders in order to help fund the beginnings of her own trade empire and hopes to use what she has learned from her faith in order to break into the tougher markets of Avistan where Qadirans often have trouble building long term ties.

There's more then that about her but I didn't want to gush about a character too much here. Suffice it to say she is more gender fluid and often refers to her more violent and martial endeavors in masculine tenses and sometimes disguises herself as her masculine alter ego, The Black Blade of Qadira, a mercenary prince known for his black scimitar and wearing a helmet fitted with a metal veil to conceal his face. Eventually she hopes to reach her bloodlines full potential and shift between her 2 identities more freely.

Shadow Lodge ***

nosig wrote:
Avatar-1 wrote:
It's not verifiable as to whether anyone in Golarion has any requirement for toilets. According to all the maps, at least.
so... where does all that "stuff" in the sewer come from?!

Food gone bad? Forest animals?

I guess there's the possibility that everyone digs holes. Not sure I want to explore this topic in too much depth.

Sovereign Court *****

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also keep in mind physical body characteristics refer to someone's biological sex, while gender is their culturally identified persona, these do not need to be one and the same. One could have the biological components of a male and identify themselves as female for example (and will typically dress and act appropriately for their gender rather than their sex).

These terms are often used interchangeably, but they are in fact different from one another.

Shadow Lodge *****

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Nefreet wrote:

Just FYI, if you use the term "hermaphrodite" you're likely to offend someone.

The polite, medical, official, politically correct term to use is "intersexual".

That just sounds like you're playing an elf.

Dark Archive **

I'm not entirely sure why someone would be offended by the term "hermaphrodite." It is a term accepted by the scientific community, and is frequently used to denote many hermaphroditic (that is an "official term, yes) entities.

Shadow Lodge *****

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Unless there's a slight of hand check involved I'm rarely concerned with what any character may or may not have under their trousers.

Scarab Sages *****

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The Beard wrote:
I'm not entirely sure why someone would be offended by the term "hermaphrodite." It is a term accepted by the scientific community, and is frequently used to denote many hermaphroditic (that is an "official term, yes) entities.

Hermaphrodite is a term used for animal species that don't have separate sexes and has been used in the past for people with both sets of equipment - which is very rare.

Intersex is the modern scientific word used in most circles not only because it avoids the nowbinsulting word, but also it covers more borderline instances that are less rare (like 1 in 1000 instead of just 1 in 1,000,000).

As an example of a commonly used, in the past, medical term now viewed in by many as insulting or misleading - disabled is in that category. One is differently abled.

Scarab Sages *****

Ryan Costello wrote:

By the rules, you are 100% allowed.

Socially speaking, if handled maturely and in the name of inclusivity and roleplaying exploration, I would expect most players and GMs to happily welcome you at their table. If this is to play some kind of joke character at the expense of intersexed persons, I would expect a less welcome response.

plus you can play a androgynous looking character without being intersexed


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Nefreet wrote:

Just FYI, if you use the term "hermaphrodite" you're likely to offend someone.

The polite, medical, official, politically correct term to use is "intersexual".

I understand that this is a charged issue, but the "polite, medical, official, politically correct term" changes as the years go by. I will try to use "intersexual" from now on, but I would hope that nobody would actually seriously be offended by "hermaphrodite". :P

Quote:
One is differently abled.

If by "differently abled" you mean "less abled". I may be crossing the line here, but I have trouble patronizing somebody in a wheelchair by implying that being paralyzed from the waist down is a "differentability".

Feel free to use these words, and feel free to bring them up to others. Different outlooks never hurt. Just make sure to recognize that people who don't aren't making a statement, and odds are they aren't actually hurting anyone. There's a place to complain about un-PC word usage, and a time to...well, not.

Shadow Lodge *****

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Its hard for someone to know they should have used term x or y without any well agreed upon terms. Much less the flow chart needed when this subject gets going full bore...

Silver Crusade *****

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Pathfinder Cards, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

I don't see any reason why not.

This reminds me of Varsuvious of Order of the stick :D

Paizo Employee ** Developer

It seems like, if you're using the female pronoun when describing the character, that she's in fact a female. If she appears as either gender, then she's likely more androgynous than hermaphroditic.


In "Blood of Fiends" the tiefling has a chance to be born with both physical sex organs (penis & vagina and everything that goes with them) AND be androgynous. For an androgynous hermaphroditic tiefling "half-orc" summoner, that would be an interesting play to begin with. Big and brawny but no one knows how to address them because they look neither male nor female but are both at the same time. That'll be some REALLY creative roleplaying and the background of said character would definitely be just as interesting as the character itself.

As for the original question, there's nothing in the rules saying you HAVE to play a male or female. You could play a character that has no bearing on physical gender or sexual identity such as a human male raised by his mother and eight older sisters and took up housekeeping skills before becoming an adventurer, viewing themselves as a generalized homemaker rather than a male or female. Said character could find themselves attracted to someone who likes to work with their hands (such as a blacksmith or stable-master) and thrive to keep their partner happy in the home.

As long as your DM allows it, you could create your own gender and sexual identity.

*

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I think it’s perfectly legal but I have to wonder why. I’m assuming that because you’re asking, you plan on roleplaying that aspect of the character. I think there’s a lot more leeway in a home campaign with friends, but if I’m sitting down at a PFS table where maybe I know everyone or maybe I know no one, I’m not really interested in hearing about anyone’s sex organs, male, female or anywhere in between. I think you could say your characters intersex and leave it at that.


Actually, we know that it is possible to play an intersex character, and you can even do this after character creation. It is totally a thing.

Sczarni *****

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This thread is rather old, and Necroing it skips past years of dialogue that has already been had on the topic.

Sufficed to say that, today, you are free to go so far as switching gender and/or sex and/or sexual orientation between every scenario, if desired.

But be mindful of your audience. Some character development might be better amongst a closer group of friends in a homegame.

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
The Beard wrote:
I'm not entirely sure why someone would be offended by the term "hermaphrodite." It is a term accepted by the scientific community, and is frequently used to denote many hermaphroditic (that is an "official term, yes) entities.

Just like someone would be offended by the term "negroid" or "mongoloid" which were both scientific terms. Science is a social endeavor, which is affected by both the good and bad aspects of a particular society at a particular point in time.

Sczarni *****

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Hermaphrodite is also no longer used in the scientific community with regards to people.

Slugs are hermaphrodites. People are "intersexed".

But, the person you're quoting made that statement four years ago, and is unlikely to respond at this point.

EDIT: ha! Just realized that *I* partook in this thread back then, too. I retract my statement about the likelihood of someone commenting =P


steelhead wrote:
The Beard wrote:
I'm not entirely sure why someone would be offended by the term "hermaphrodite." It is a term accepted by the scientific community, and is frequently used to denote many hermaphroditic (that is an "official term, yes) entities.
Just like someone would be offended by the term "negroid" or "mongoloid" which were both scientific terms. Science is a social endeavor, which is affected by both the good and bad aspects of a particular society at a particular point in time.

I do find it kind of unfortunate. It has a nice mythological feel to it, for creatures and characters who are more like the mythological source of the term than like real world intersex people.

As The Beard suggests, it is in use in the scientific community for species that combine both sexes. It wouldn't necessarily be incorrect, even by modern usage, to use it for a sapient fantasy species that did so, or even individual cases, like some tieflings. For whom intersex isn't really correct either.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If Ovid's Metamorphoses are used as the basis for hermaphroditic references, it's done in a somewhat demeaning fashion that does not reflect thousands of years of history in the meantime.

Intersex seems to be the best.

...this being said, I have a *truly* fluid Undine who changes on a random basis and could be just about anything, and suggests that they/them/their is an easy enough method of address, and doesn't get upset if folks get confused sometimes... as they are sometimes confused when they first wake up in the morning.

Grand Lodge ****

doc the grey wrote:
Are players allowed to make hermaphroditic characters? As far as I know it's legal but I'm wanting to verify.

I see no reason they should be unplayable. A very small number of game mechanics behave differently for male or female characters, in which case for a hermaphrodite, the answer is "yes". If that's not what the player intended, she should have used a more exact term.


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"Hermaphroditic" also doesn't work as an in-character term in a world that knows neither Hermes nor Aphrodite.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I suspect any individual that fell into the spectrum of intersex or alternate gender expression would be politely referred to as Arshean?


Lucy_Valentine wrote:
"Hermaphroditic" also doesn't work as an in-character term in a world that knows neither Hermes nor Aphrodite.

True, but we're translating. Plenty of words wouldn't work without their historic roots.

Silver Crusade *

thejeff wrote:
Lucy_Valentine wrote:
"Hermaphroditic" also doesn't work as an in-character term in a world that knows neither Hermes nor Aphrodite.
True, but we're translating. Plenty of words wouldn't work without their historic roots.

As a bit of a tangent, but to prove thejeff's point, Star Wars has both a ship called the Millennium Falcon and a person called Rose, yet in the setting there are no falcons or roses. So while saying in Pathfinder that someone made a "herculean" effort might not make sense, I don't think anyone would hold it against you.

Shadow Lodge *****

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Kurgessian effort?


Hell, "paladin" descends from the Palatine Hill in Rome - officials attached to the imperial palace there.

Clearly a nonsense term in Golarion.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Kurgessian effort?

Doesn't roll off the tongue nicely.

Like with Arshean, it's cool to come up with meaningful in-world terms, but we're speaking English and stripping the language of all possible references that wouldn't make sense in a fantasy world isn't really practical, especially on the fly. It also means even most other players aren't going to have any idea what you're talking until you've explained the reference.

I wouldn't have had any idea what "Kurgessian effort" meant if herculean effort hadn't just been mentioned.

Scarab Sages ****

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

The only gender mechanics that I have seen in the CRB are height and weight, which may simply be holdovers from the world’s oldest roleplaying game. I do not recall any PFS scenarios that take height or weight into account. So you should be fine to go ahead and make a character who is intersex, genderfluid, etc.


Starglim wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
A very small number of game mechanics behave differently for male or female characters,

What game mechanics are those? Can you give us a link?


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RocMeAsmodeus wrote:
The only gender mechanics that I have seen in the CRB are height and weight, which may simply be holdovers from the world’s oldest roleplaying game. I do not recall any PFS scenarios that take height or weight into account. So you should be fine to go ahead and make a character who is intersex, genderfluid, etc.

In theory, weight will affect a mount's encumbrance, but that's pretty damn minor and you can easily put a character's weight inside the range for either sex.


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Changelings are always female, and the Gray Maiden Initiate feat is available only to female characters. A few other feats and other items reference gender limitations in a "usually" form.


thejeff wrote:
Like with Arshean, it's cool to come up with meaningful in-world terms, but we're speaking English and stripping the language of all possible references that wouldn't make sense in a fantasy world isn't really practical, especially on the fly. It also means even most other players aren't going to have any idea what you're talking until you've explained the reference.

I think it's still desirable to aim to stop using references, since they don't help communication. "Herculean effort" is itself harder to parse than "major effort" or "difficult" because it requires the other party to understand the word Herculean (which is rather obscure) or remember some stories of Hercules. Similarly, "hermaphrodite" is a term that doesn't contain an internal explanation of its meaning. Intersex is better at meaning intersex, and to describe a creature with two sets of genitals "two-sexed" would actually do a better job.


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Lucy_Valentine wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Like with Arshean, it's cool to come up with meaningful in-world terms, but we're speaking English and stripping the language of all possible references that wouldn't make sense in a fantasy world isn't really practical, especially on the fly. It also means even most other players aren't going to have any idea what you're talking until you've explained the reference.
I think it's still desirable to aim to stop using references, since they don't help communication. "Herculean effort" is itself harder to parse than "major effort" or "difficult" because it requires the other party to understand the word Herculean (which is rather obscure) or remember some stories of Hercules. Similarly, "hermaphrodite" is a term that doesn't contain an internal explanation of its meaning. Intersex is better at meaning intersex, and to describe a creature with two sets of genitals "two-sexed" would actually do a better job.

I guess, but now you're saying don't use valid English because some people might not have the same vocabulary.


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"We next went to the School of Languages, where three Professors sate in Consultation upon improving that of their own country. The first Project was to shorten Discourse by cutting Polysyllables into one, and leaving out Verbs and Participles, because in reality all things imaginable are but Nouns. The other, was a Scheme for entirely abolishing all Words whatsoever; and this was urged as a great Advantage in Point of Health as well as Brevity. For it is plain, that every Word we speak is in some Degree a Diminution of our Lungs by Corrosion, and consequently contributes to the shortning of our Lives. An Expedient was therefore offered, that since Words are only Names for Things, it would be more convenient for all Men to carry about them, such Things as were necessary to express the particular Business they are to discourse on. And this Invention would certainly have taken Place, to the great Ease as well as Health of the Subject, if the Women in conjunction with the Vulgar and Illiterate had not threatned to raise a Rebellion, unless they might be allowed the Liberty to speak with their Tongues, after the manner of their Ancestors; such constant irreconcilable Enemies to Science are the common People. However, many of the most Learned and Wise adhere to the New Scheme of expressing themselves by Things, which hath only this Inconvenience attending it, that if a Man's Business be very great, and of various kinds, he must be obliged in Proportion to carry a greater bundle of Things upon his Back, unless he can afford one or two strong Servants to attend him. I have often beheld two of those Sages almost sinking under the Weight of their Packs, like Pedlars among us; who, when they met in the Streets, would lay down their Loads, open their Sacks, and hold Conversation for an Hour together; then put up their Implements, help each other to resume their Burthens, and take their Leave.

But for short Conversations a Man may carry Implements in his Pockets and under his Arms, enough to supply him, and in his House he cannot be at a loss: Therefore the Room where Company meet who practise this Art, is full of all Things ready at Hand, requisite to furnish Matter for this kind of artificial Converse.

Another great Advantage proposed by this Invention, was that it would serve as a Universal Language to be understood in all civilized Nations, whose Goods and Utensils are generally of the same kind, or nearly resembling, so that their Uses might easily be comprehended. And thus Embassadors would be qualified to treat with foreign Princes or Ministers of State to whose Tongues they were utter Strangers."

-Jonathan Swift, GULLIVER'S TRAVELS

Shadow Lodge *****

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Lucy_Valentine wrote:


I think it's still desirable to aim to stop using references, since they don't help communication. "Herculean effort" is itself harder to parse than "major effort" or "difficult" because it requires the other party to understand the word Herculean (which is rather obscure) or remember some stories of Hercules.

Stories of Hercules are hardly obscure to anyone, much less fantasy geeks. (In a time long ago, a land of myth and legend...)

I see no reason at all why dumbing down ones vocabulary is a desirable aim

Shadow Lodge *****

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quibblemuch wrote:


But for short Conversations a Man may carry Implements in his Pockets and under his Arms, enough to supply him, and in his...

by the gods, this man foresaw the emoji and tried to warn us...


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
by the gods, this man foresaw the emoji and tried to warn us...

This brings up an interesting point, vis a vis the whole "what vocabulary should you use" question. In any given conversation, the likelihood of having, or being within 20 feet of an internet-capable device is exceedingly high. This suggests that we should be able to use a wider range of reference, being able to look up any unshared terms with ease. If someone says "Herculean effort" and I don't know what that means, I can admit ignorance and look up the term or ask someone with a smartphone or tablet to do so for me. Not to do so becomes almost inexcusable in an online forum where the very medium of conversation provides the means to learn what the other person's words mean. Deliberate ignorance is a discourtesy.

And the ease of looking stuff up should mean we rarely run into the kinds of confusions that used to result when you'd have to go to a big cold building full of books and hunt through them for hours just to figure out what some people were saying.

I wish I could say this was true, but my experience argues against it.


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quibblemuch wrote:
when you'd have to go to a big cold building full of books and hunt through them for hours just to figure out what some people were saying.

A dear friend gifted me an OED so that we could resolve those questions right there in my living room.


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CrystalSeas wrote:
quibblemuch wrote:
when you'd have to go to a big cold building full of books and hunt through them for hours just to figure out what some people were saying.
A dear friend gifted me an OED so that we could resolve those questions right there in my living room.

That is the best kind of friend ever.


I used to have a copy of Mrs Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure and Preposterous Words

Best dictionary ever. Who needs one full of all the common words we all already know?


Ok, we're still derailing, but I have to throw this out and then I'll stop.

The Phrontistery.

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