Male creatures / Male beauty / Male gods - what could happen next?


Pathfinder Campaign Setting General Discussion


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I made a thread a month ago about the oversexualization of women in Pathfinder, but really it was relative to the lack of sexualization of men and male creatures that was the issue. I went away for the weekend and was saddened to see that it got locked before I felt the discussion had fully run its course, but I know tempers were flaring towards the end of it there and I know a lot of people (including myself) were pretty on edge.

The reason I feel that discussion of this isn’t fully over is because a lot of the discussion got turned towards specifics of APs and art, and while I don’t think it wasn’t worthwhile, it distracted me from two additional points – the beastiary and the gods – that I wanted to get to in order to fully illustrate my point. I wish that I had been able to follow up sooner, but it took me a long time to get this material together and go through it all to make sure it was internally consistent. I was also debating what I wanted to say for a long time, until I saw a post in another thread stating:

Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
I will admit I hadn't been attending as closely to the boards for this particular concern, but these past few threads are the first I recall people really getting vocal about this & related topics. Let's keep an eye on the published material from here on out & see if matters don't do a better job of equalizing in the next six months or so.

And I thought that I should definitely just raise this last point of discussion sooner, rather than later, since all I want in the first place is a slight shift in the ship’s course. I also feel bad for potentially cutting off discussion of new additions to mono-gendered male/male seducer creatures that were sort of proposed, but didn’t have the chance to get fully explored. When coupled with another post that suggested people requesting changes on these issues be as specific and defined as possible, I realized that I do just want the sore points that I see to be put out there.

To start, I want to make it clear that I love Paizo. I think they’re fantastic and their commitment to certain points has won me over heart and soul. Staff responses in the last thread were awesome and insightful and provided a remarkable amount of transparency into the process and have only served to impress me further. This isn’t an attack or a condemnation of them in any way and I hope that no one reads anything I say in that way either. If nothing else, I just want this thread to be an explanation from an outside perspective of how, taken aggregately, certain things look today. I do honestly hope that some change comes about because of it, but the changes I’m seeking are nothing more than the occasional extra bestiary entry, a tiny bit more art oversight, and/or some of the wording of certain flavor text given to different creatures. Nobody loses out on anything that they wouldn’t be receiving, there would just be a little bit extra for those who aren’t getting it now.

That said, I’m still pretty new to forum posting and generally need more time to think about things that I usually allow myself, so I’m really hoping to not be as waspish as I may have come across before (sorry if I bit anyone's head off earlier!).

Interesting and relevant threads:
Male beauty, female beauty, and Pathfinder deity diversity
Male Love Interests in APs
Build a Beefcake


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The first piece I’d like to start with is a straightforward break-down of the creatures found in the 4 bestiaries, the Inner Sea bestiary, the Inner Sea Gods, and a ‘misc.’ category of leftovers.

The creatures that I wanted to highlight were those mono-gendered creatures that were explicitly stated to have sexual intercourse, implied to be seductive and/or beautiful to the opposite sex, and/or had their reproductive process thoroughly (relative to the space allotted) explained in the text; this is NOT the total list of mono-gendered creatures, and I gave many creatures the benefit of the doubt if their entry used neutral or non-gendered language (such as ‘they’ or ‘them’ to describe them). Similarly, if they were a mono-gendered creature that did not engage explicitly in sexual activity, such as the Maenad or the Baccae, and they’re merely incidentally beautiful (rather than their beauty being a primary component of the creature), I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I also did not go through a lot of older Pathfinder material, such as the Tome of Horrors, simply because I think there would be a ton of gray and questionable stuff in there that I don’t want to get into debating. I could if there is more interest though, I know creatures from the Tome of Horrors are often used in new material.

Again, I want to stress that not one of these creatures is bad. Taken individually, it’s fine that they exist and they do serve a very real and very useful purpose. Some of them are brilliantly imaginative and I think Golarion would be a LOT poorer without them. It is the imbalance of the total number of the mono-gendered females and mono-gendered males, however, that I take issue with, and is also something I don’t think it’s unreasonable to point out.

Bestiary 1
Female Creatures
1. Lilends – Described as a “seductive” woman from the waist up, outrageously gorgeous art and portrayed with a phenomenal lack of cover across her boob-area. Pretty straightforward as a mono-gendered female race with some fantastic eye-candy.
2. Mariliths – Female demons portrayed with attractive female features and explicitly stated by the text to be “lovers of demon generals”. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this because it’s followed by a statement that marilith queens answer to no one, but I’m pointing out that this is a mono-gendered female creature whose sexuality is brought up immediately in a single blurb of text.
3. Succubus – Pretty straightforward. Art implies full nudity, everybody knows what a succubus is and does.
4. Erinyes – Again, not a BAD creature in any way. She’s mentioned because her “sensuous beauty” is specifically pointed out and called attention to. Erinyes are always gorgeous, whatever else they’re doing.
5. Driders – These were made a sexually dimorphic race by the Paizo team, turning the men into hideous males with insectoid faces while the women are still “alluring” and portrayed as desirable and attractive women. No reason is provided for this. They just “are”. In my opinion, this actually was a very poor choice to make because it basically makes no reason for a male drider to not just immediately commit suicide? I don’t really understand why they would choose to live, in any form, at this point.
6. Dryad – Pretty, seductive fey mono-gendered female. Charm abilities and implied nudity picture. Pretty straightforward.
7. Harpy – This is an unusual case where they’re not pretty and not mentioned sexually at all – in the pathfinder entry - but so much material surrounding them is about how they abduct dudes and use them for procreating material before eating them. This isn’t mentioned in the bestiary, but I also cannot remember what I’ve read in other Pathfinder material or from 3.5. Unlike some other creatures, I was not willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
8. Lamia – “Comely” woman with charm abilities and portrayed as evil seductresses in most material. Pretty straightforward again.
9. Medusa – An attractive woman that are described as commonly beautiful and accompanied by more stunning, just amazing art. She is explicitly stated to be a gorgeous woman who keeps male mates for pleasure.
10. Nymph – The quintessential beauty creature. Stated to give special kisses, naked art, blinding beauty and charm abilities, pretty straightforward.
Male Creatures
1. Satyr – This might the equivalent of the nymph and has one of the best, most inclusive Paizo lines I’ve ever read. I love the “trail of awkward questions” and just want to highlight it as one of the remarkable strengths of Paizo writers.
2. Skum – The skum are mono-gendered males that have their procreation (relatively) detailed in a surprise mirror to the hags. In truth, the one example I read of this in a skum village mentioned in an AP was, I know in theory, meant to be “grotesque” in nature but it’s neutral enough that I personally read it as sexually empowered women who were content with their lives as fishwives. So to speak. These deserve a special mention for being the only mono-gendered male creature that is an “evil/ugly monster that is stated to need humanoid females”.

Bestiary 2
Female Creatures
11. Lykriean Azata – Nude little flying chick. I’m actually not sure that they’re all female, but I have never, ever seen a male of this creature in any DnD material. Please correct me if I’m wrong. She’s not particularly sexual or anything, it’s just that it’s a nude little flying chick. Let me know if they aren’t.
12. Scylla – not explicitly stated to be female, so I might be surprised one day. The myth – and the lack of deviation from other creatures origins, such as the incubus – prompts me to err on the side of assuming that they’re all female (with the art suggesting a gorgeous female part attached to the monstrous section). I may be surprised, however.
13. Neried – Gorgeous naked magical nymph from the sea. Pretty standard, think everyone knows what this is.
14. Lamia Matriach – Similar to base lamias, only snakey. Charm abilities, human portion is beautiful, they’re seducers, etc.
15. Siren – Explicitly stated to be strictly female, heads of a beautiful woman, luring song, charm abilities, etc. Youthful and pretty forever, dies of heartache when the sailors they lure escape them.
Male Creatures
No sexy male creatures.

Bestiary 3
Female Creatures
16. Jorogomo – Beautiful, gorgeous woman who mates by first having sexual intercourse with dudes. Yeah she later lays her eggs in them but I want to point out that this is a gorgeous female seducer creature that has charm abilities and has her reproduction methods explained.
17. Rusulka – Beautiful art depicting a fully naked chick. She has charm abilities, is a pretty, hot, evil nymph, basically.
Thraie – The thraie are a race of all-chicks that are explicitly stated to mate with male adventurers in order to continue their hive. Their race will die without mating with human males. They’re all depicted as lithe, attractive women and its’ stated that they don’t care who male consorts sleep with, so long as they perform for the queen (in fact, men are stated to develop romantic relationships with the lower-cast females while still performing a sexual relationship with the queen, who I understand to be the only viable female in the hive).
18. Queen – a “shapely” woman with charm abilities, explicitly stated to spend time with male consorts, is generally a gorgeous hot chick with no reason to turn her down for mating.
19. Seer – “Lithe and beautiful” human-where-it-matters woman. Pretty straightforward.
20. Soldier – More thraie, basically. Not stated to be anything in particular, but fits under general category. Including this entry for completeness’s sake.
21. Dancer* - this is actually from the latest AP but I threw it in here for simplicity’s sake. Lithe, long-legged chick with attractive features that, yes is a bit more (awesomely) buglike than previous depictions but still easily falls into the range of “this is clearly an attractive female creature”.
22. Yuki-Ona – A beautiful snow-woman who uses her attractive appearance to lure men away into the cold and murder them. Other ghosts might appear as prettier than they were in life (banshees, hariango), but in this case, her beauty is an actual, significant factor so she gets included while those others don’t.
Commentary mention: Valkyrie – I didn’t include this creature, though I was tempted based on the art alone. These are chicks dedicated to battle. They’re Viking/barbarian gals, yeah, but she sure isn’t wearing a whole lot of armor, even light armor. The reason I just mention this is because male constructs or male war creatures are typically coated from head to toe in full-plate. Not counting her, not discounting how great she looks, it’s just a quirk I’ll get into when I talk about the gods.
Male Creatures
3. Incubus – the text is straightforward. What irritates me to no end is the unbelievably poor art for this creature. The technical skill of the art itself is not bad, it’s the fact that it is wildly far from the concept of “hot seducer dude”. The art depicts a fairly generic, underwhelming demon that… is just a demon. I don’t know why Paizo made the choice to separate incubi from succubi on such a clear level, making incubi significantly less powerful and… well basically into warriors, but they did. Still, the text implies that they ARE able to serve as counselors and companions and are, in theory, still supposed to be handsome, compelling creatures… nothing I’ve seen has depicted them that way. But mainly this art is an example of where I feel just the slightest bit more oversight could be used; this is supposed to be the bestiary entry for a lusty creature that is in theory the equal to a succubus, and yet… like I said, it’s just generic and underwhelming. The contract devil a few pages later is more alluring and “tempting” than the dude with a sword.
Commentary mention: This has the [url=http://images.cdn.bigcartel.com/bigcartel/product_images/122145687/max_h-1000+max_w-1000/PZO1120_Faun_final.jpg]faun[url], a gorgeous and lovely almost-monodude creature that is way cool of Paizo to include. I felt I needed to balance out the Valkyrie comment.

Bestiary 4
Female Creatures
23. Changeling – explicitly stated to be all-female, “tall and slender’ but otherwise “normal member of father’s race”. Some get bonuses versus creatures sexually attracted to them, art is of a clearly attractive young women in a very revealing outfit.
24. Drakania – Is an attractive woman with attached monster-birthing chamber. Her powers revolve around her shooting out babies. Great villain material! But included because she is specifically stated to be hot, in addition to her pregnancy powers.
25. Huldra – Art is an attractive human woman in the midst of disrobing. She’s stated to be gorgeous and strictly female. They have charm abilities and their sex life is explicitly mentioned.
26. Lampad – Art of a naked underground nymph. Is a naked underground nymph.
27. Leanan Sidhe – Gorgeous woman who kisses people to inspire them.
28. Oceanid – Art of a naked ocean nymph. Is a naked ocean nymph.
29. Rokurokabi – evil “hag-like” creature that would almost slip past except it’s stated that she takes dudes on as mates and stuff. Again, just an instance of the sexual habits of female creatures being explored solely in relation to straight men.
30. Swan Maiden – Gorgeous chick in chainmail bikini. I’ve seen depictions of swan maidens that are not particularly sexualized and I know there’s supposed to be some other stuff about them, but I’m not gonna let a picture this blatant, for an explicitly female race, slide by. Especially when this has been the way they’ve been portrayed most prominently in the past.
31. Voviure – Half the creature is a hot naked chick. The other half is a dragon. Has charm abilities. It was with this creature that I really started to be like “lol, okay, DnD worlds must have some of the most lust-addled men in the universe because at this point how could you ever trust a naked chick swimming in the water NOT to eat you??” Still, fun, quirky creature!
Male Creatures
4. Fossegrim – Fantastic art of a completely naked guy. Fits the nudie-theme for this bestiary, which is awesome to see some equality and is a great move on Paizo’s part! Has no bio or additional text probably due to space constraints on his page, but in comparison to the explained reproduction habits of other creatures, it’s rather lacking. I mean I can probably guess how new fossegrim are made, and I actually prefer it being left open. This way, I could even say that fossegrim are all asexual and just lay eggs! It’s just wonky that his only stated interest is murder and that nothing more about the creature could be fit onto the page. Comparatively, it feels like a disservice.

Inner Sea Bestiary
32. Fungus Queen – Succubi who merged with mushrooms and are now gorgeous mushroom-women. They have charm abilities and are typical sexy succubi, only with more fronds and pollen.
33. Lashunta – The lashunta are one of two sexually dimorphic – favoring females – races in Pathfinder material. They’re a callback to 1960s sci-fi pulp, so men are squat ugly brutes and women are gorgeous amazon babes.
Male Creatures
No sexy male creatures.

Inner Sea Gods (creatures)
34. Dapsara – Attractive blue woman dedicated to beauty. Explicitly stated to be both 100% female and 100% beautiful. There’s nothing bad about this, it’s just that they’re clearly stated to be both of those things and that’s their primary point.
35. Thyrkien Azata – Naked little flying woman. Dedicated to Desna, art of tiny naked chick. Basically little mirror versions of Desna.
36. Vendenopterix – A shapechanger whose base form is stated to be an attractive woman. Paizo does a great job of making them more inclusive, and I think it adds a ton of depth that some of them can come to prefer certain forms or genders, but the base creature is explicitly stated to be a female, following Calistrai’s usual creed.
Male Creatures
No sexy male creatures.

Misc.
Hags: the reason I list the hags here is because it was easier for me to keep track of, and because they, as I mentioned in the skum entry, occupy an unusual role in that they are filled with shades of gray and are portrayed as alternately empowering for women and slaves to their lust/desire to get children off of men. However, the (relatively) high number of hag subtypes, along with exploration of their daughters (in the changlings and other hags) but no exploration of how they relate to their sons and/or brothers, fathers, etc (or the effects of having a hag mother), I personally feel leaves room open for discussion.
Hag subtypes – 37. Green, 38. Night, 39. Sea. 40. Witchfire, 41. Annis, 42. Blood, 43. Graeae, 44. Winter
These hags are sometimes “young and attractive” in the form of the witchfire, regal if winter hags, and disguising themselves to sleep with men and terrify them in the morning in the case of the green hags. Regardless, hags have only had their sex lives described in relation to dudes, they’re usually obsessed with tormenting dudes, and it’s a real shame there’s no way for a “spontaneous” hag to come to be (or for a human witch to transform into one). For all-female species, a surprising number of their depictions in pathfinder material just involve a lot of men. That’s why I list all their subtypes here.
45. Lilitu – “seductive” is the first word describing her. Attractive woman that’s related to succubi, with charm abilities and is slightly sneakier.
46. Veranallia (azata) – An azata hamadryad that is explicitly female and appears as a naked flowery woman.
Male Creatures
No sexy male creatures.

What’s your point
I want to emphasize again that there’s nothing wrong with a single one of these entries (even if I do poke a little fun at them). They’re all great, fantastic expansions of the Golarion universe, and even things like the Vendenopterix being yet another female shapechanging seductress is way cool because it’s like vain Callistria spawned a bunch of little mini-mes to go places and do all the things she can’t! Individually, all of these creatures are great! As a whole, they’re great! It’s just the aggregate instances of them – 46 to 4, and that’s with me being conservative and not counting 3.5 creatures like the Alu-fiend that have made it into paizo material – is something that could be redressed.

And again, this isn’t a push for fewer pretty mono-female creatures, or stating that they should be wearing more clothes, or be less sexy, or anything at all. It’s “well maybe if you add a new female creature, occasionally you could add a new male one too.” Well, one that’s not like a spring-heeled Jack or similar creature, where they’re a mono-gendered creature yeah, but neither their attractiveness nor their sexuality is explored. Mono-gendered female creatures typically are pretty, seductive, and have their reproduction habits (which usually involve copulation with dudes) explained; personally, I think similar treatment for dude creatures should happen too.

The four male creatures that I mentioned (skum, satyrs, incubi, and fossegrim) sometimes get that attention (in the case of the skum and satyrs), and sometimes get great art (in the case of the fossegrim). Because of the rarity of male creatures, the times that they do get unflattering art (like the incubus) matters that much more. Yes, the rusulka is mad prettier than the nymph picture, but that’s 1 of 40-some attractive women, versus 1 of 3 total dudes (not counting the meant-to-be-ugly races).

TL:DR
Of ‘seducer’ creatures and/or creatures whose physically appealing appearance is the crux of their design, there are 46 mono-gendered female creatures to 4 male mono-gendered creatures. Mono-gendered female creatures are commonly gorgeous with some jaw-dropping art, and (unfortunately, imo) only get their social/sex-lives explored in relation to men. Male creatures just don’t get equivalent attention, and/or have lackadaisical art or entries. This is something that’s been happening even through very recent products like the Inner Sea Gods released just this spring, and I don’t think it’s asking too much to request that maybe that number 4 increase alongside whatever new female seductress creatures get released as well.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Gods of Golarion
Same as my stance on the bestiary, nothing about any of the gods, individually, is wrong. It is just a trend amongst the gods that turns things off slightly and I think is, again, just something that happened not out of any one goal or desire, but simply because there’s never been an opportunity to take a step back and see where things turned out.

I’m going to base the bulk of this post off of material from the Inner Sea Gods for the sake of simplicity; same as before, nothing is wrong with any of the material, save for the imbalance between guys and gals.

Starting with the simplest thing, outfit and appearance, I’d like to point out the following:
There are 21 gods listed in the bestiary. 13 boys (Aroden, Iori, Nethys, Torag, Erastil, Gorum, Cayden Cailean, Norberger, Abadar, and Asmodeus), and 8 girls (Sarenrae, Urogthoa, Dsena, Lammatsu, Calistrae, and Shelyn).

Of those gods, 2 appear completely naked. 3 appear in revealing clothing that is either very, very flimsy, especially compared to what is worn by male counterparts, or outright-sexually suggestive. All 5 of those gods are female. 5 of the 8 female gods have deliberate attention called to their bodies. This is internally consistent with how these goddesses have been portrayed in the past and that’s fine. Ex:
Desna
Shelyn
Calistria
Lamashtu
Urgothoa
3 of these goddesses are explicitly linked to sex (Sheyln, Lammashtu, Callistria). No male god has sex as a part of their deity status/stance/core identity/whatever. No male god appears naked, or even in moderately revealing clothing. No male god has his physical attractiveness emphasized or called attention to, either in text or in art.

Sometimes it’s stated that a god like Asmodeus is “darkly handsome” in passing, but his art is always that of a not-particularly attractive devil, and this is similar for other male gods, such as Abadar or Aroden, whose physical appearances are described as “handsome” and are not talked about beyond that. Similarly, all of their appearances across all pathfinder material has them in full-plate armor, despite Abadar being a god of civilization and perhaps simply appearing in classy evening wear, or Erastil being an ancient stone-giant deity that helped guide primitive men out of the wilderness. Erastil doesn’t appear in a leather thong and moccasins though, he wears full-leather from head to toe.

This is the same for all the male gods. Caydan Cailean is a dashing rogue archetype, but doesn’t even have the “unbuttoned shirt” thing going on (in fact his belts go up to his ribs). Gorum is a dude encased head to toe in full-plate armor that shows nothing of his form, because he’s a battle-dude while battle-gals like the Steward of the Skein, or the Valkyries I mentioned earlier, wear form-fitting and revealing armor. Nethys is a master of all magic and could be shown in the enchantment/charm aspect of that, but is not. Iori is supposed to be physical perfection incarnate, but is just sort of an Asian-y guy. Yeah he’s shown shirtless, but the iconic monk Sajan better exemplifies physical perfection than Iori does. Also, just to note, that Iori’s text does not state that he is handsome – just “flawless”, which can be read as you want. Regardless, a shirtless dude with literally zero attention called to his body is not equivalent in any way to women in sexy poses, wearing sexy negligees. He is, at best, equivalent to Sarenrae's marvelously deep cleavage (whom I did not mention as one of the 5, and even then I will still fight tooth and nail to say that they're not at all equivalent).

Norberger, Torag, Zon-Kouthon and Rovagug are not sexualized in any way and the three humanoid ones are clad head to toe again. I realize that the Kyton, Ostarius was developed way later than Zon-Kouthon, but as a god of beauty, why isn’t his form more like that? That would actually explain a lot more about how his religion is able to garner new followers. Gozreh is supposed to be a dual-gendered deity, but the fact that the angry side is an old bearded dude – specifically described as “old” – while the nicer side is a young, attractive female part – specifically described as young – makes me frown and lump it onto this side. It’s a nature deity, what does it care what people think of its two sides? Shouldn’t the nice side be an old kindly grandmother, while the angry side is a brash and tempestuous young man? That would certainly be far more in line with reality… the fact that it is portrayed along that dichotomy does not make me inclined to give it leeway here.

5 of the 8 female gods have attention called to their bodies. 0 of the 13 male gods have attention called to their bodies in any way. Sometimes female desires are even touched on, such as Urgothoa’s desire to “taste Iori’s perfection” or Callistria’s affection for attractive individuals. Those are awesome aspects of these goddesses that flesh them out fantastically. Urgothoa’s alone can be read in any number of ways, and I’m not opposed to any of it. I just think there’s a definite and real imbalance here, when male gods are neutered, armor-wearing guys whose physical appearance is mentioned only in passing – or completely ignored – and don’t have sexual desires or specified taste in any sort of physical beauty, while female deities have that touched on in, relative to zero, great detail.

That’s not to say that Paizo doesn’t do great things. There are exceptions, such as Cayden Cailean, and I want to pull him aside and specifically mention how fantastic and awesome I think he is. He is mentioned to enjoy ‘plowing the furrow’ and expresses lust and other very human traits. His herald is a prostitute friend he’s explicitly stated to have next slept with. I’ve seen commented reflecting positively on his sexuality, even going so far as to say they liked his new gender-neutral language. At the same time, I’ve seen people complain about essentially gay-washing ‘heterosezual characters’ and to me that’s just an incredibly depressing thing to hear. The character is changing and evolving over time, just as Paizo and their material does. Just as real human sexuality is not static, so too does Cayden’s change as language and goals change. More importantly, as a bisexual dude who knows first-hand how easy it is for someone to assume and try to force a category on you – such as gay or straight when I am absolutely neither – I really appreciate the fact that Cayden is just such an extreme departure from all the other male gods.

Again, the fact that the female gods have lives, have lusts, have bodies that they love and are proud of is not a bad thing. I think it makes them way more appealing, way more interesting, and way more compelling than the male gods. I can totally see why they get more attention, why they would be featured on more products, and why they’re so popular. A giant naked star-fairy is way more interesting than “oh another armored dude”. However, this is a genre where the female body has been exploited for attentional purposes for decades, and there are two pieces of fall-out from that;
1) I love Paizo, so I can look hard and think about reasons why Urgothoa’s nudity is an awesome feminist statement and why she’s such a rad character. I totally understand why another person, particularly a person with female parts who is used to male gaze attention, who might be very tired of it at this point, would be absolutely sick and tired of not seeing things she wants to see, even from a very progressive company like Paizo.
2) There’s no immediate and clear counterpoint to this material. I mean the fantasy genre is massive, and people are coming from places that still have bikini chainmail for girls and full-plate for men (which might be the least of the offenses). When looking through important aspects of the Golarion universe – such as the core deities – they’re exposed to some similar stuff. Not to the same level by any means, because Paizo is awesome and I do believe they work hard and ending certain tropes, but they’re not completely inured to more subtle aspects, like this stuff I listed above.

Wow you sure talk a lot. What’s your point already?
Personally, I think there is a TON of room for discussion. Iori's form being so perfect that his appearance can stun - what do people think about that? What about the clearly salient aspects of Nethys's magic - destruction and healing - being as apparent as his charm and enchantment powers? Abadar and Erastil getting pulled away from their warlike appearances, and shifted into more "true to text" outfits - which Paizo has shown they're willing to do with other creatures (such as the Herald of Adoration, who was turned from a plain marble statue to a an amazing herald in the Inner Sea Gods). Where could discussion of this go? Some following topics that I am just intensely curious about:

- There is a LOT of room for new mono-gendered male creatures with a strong, clear emphasis on their physical appearance. The 5 varieties of nymph alone should make that clear!
- Like the seductress creatures I listed, they can be fey, celestial, abyssal, internal, above-ground, underground, magical beast, undead, powerful – weak – anything!
- They don’t have to be ‘seducer’ creatures, just as not all of the creatures I mentioned are seductresses. They can be any creatures whose physical appearance is significant to their interactions. What would people do with that? Where do they think these creatures need to go?
- Post these creatures! Let's talk about them, I'm really eager to see what people come up with and/or where they want to go with things. Similar to the build a beefcake thread, but more race-based rather than specific character! I have a few ideas of my own, but I'm mad curious to see what people do with the sexy dracula idea put forth before...
- My points about the male gods: where should they go? What might be done with them? Is there room for more male gods (there are 5 more than the female gods, already). Do there need to be more gods? Are empyreal lords the answer?
- Suggest your own talking point, what do I know, I'm just a yapping mouth!

addendum: no discussion of rape, please. That topic was nixed in the last thread, and for good reason imo. If you wish to discuss it, please start a thread elsewhere where mods can work more freely. I am not willing to take on that battle and don't want to get caught in a crossfire. there are infinitely more directions to take sexy dudes than rape, so please refrain from that one place.

Liberty's Edge

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I don't have any real input at the moment beyond general agreement and approval for your tone and content. But, well, there that is.

I would probably be inclined to argue (as someone did in a previous thread) that Zon Kuthon is probably as sexualized as Urgathoa in both art and description despite technically wearing more clothing (which isn't very in either case...both are more creepy than sexy looking), while Cayden Cailean is probably as sexualized as, say, Shelyn in description (though, as you note, not generally in art).

All that makes the problem slightly less severe, not nonexistent, though.


A lot of these female pretty monsters are from myth similar to the few male monsters. That holds for most monsters in monster collections as having at least a loose basis in existing stuff. Are there male myth monsters you are aware of that have not been done yet?

Someone in one of the other threads mentioned a celtic male seducer thing I had never heard of, and some Indian stuff I had never heard of. Do you have any specific requests to bring up?

A lot of the male monster to female person archetypes I am familiar with are fairly nonattractive for the male end: Lovecraftian Deep Ones, Mars Needs Women, King Kong/Frankenstein/Creature From the Black Lagoon abducts a pretty woman, etc.

For the attractive male monster themes it is generally not a monogendered classification, i.e. vampires and werewolves.


I found the male Suli in Bestiary 3 pretty hot (pardon the pun)

Sovereign Court

Okay, there's a lot here to chew through. Your points are well made, but I don't think you're saying anything new: at this point Paizo knows what's up with their depictions of sexuality and gender among the iconics, the gods and the NPCs peppered through their products. These boards are ablaze with topic after similar topic. Even if they wish they had been more egalitarian their in design/writing choices, they can't significantly contradict published material without looking like they're pandering or back-tracking. All we can ask is that that future artwork is more adventurous and mindful, and that their writers follow suit. It's a progressive company, and I'm sure there's a lot of stuff they'd love to put into their products that they're not sure a large portion of a fan base is quite ready for.

Changes will happen in stages, but I wouldn't hold my breath looking for complete parity.

That said, there's nothing stopping us, the fans from altering the deities. Online content, done well, can supersede anything in print. I'd be happy the sexualize the hell out of many of the male gods - spice up their portfolios and, by extension, change the sexual palette Golarion.

The Exchange

NPC codex has plenty of guys with muscled chests exposed for all to see. Also plenty of chiseled jaws with handsom features in there.

I didn't do a comparison, but you might like to.

As noted above, remember that most of the bestiary entries are based off mythology, and much mythology involving seduction was involving female type creatures. This was due to male dominated societies for the main part, and the early beliefs of females as the fertility centre of a culture. So, in a game built around mythos from our world, it's no surprise and not disappointing at all.

As for some of the gods you mention, I don't find them sexy at all. Sexiness isn't all about appearance, it's about what they do as well.

Also, take a look through some of the expanded material like the novels. There's a novel where the main protagonists visit a temple is Calistria, and it has as many acolytes who are men as women in there, all of which cater to any taste.

I admire what you're attempting here, but I worry you may be looking through biased eyes. These forums often get a vocal minority which makes things seem much worse than they are. This is an issue that's important enough to make sure that's not what happens. If I get some time, I'll try to find some more from the stuff I own.

Cheers


Xeose4, have you considered what I said in the past about the dichotomy of what players consider equal to what nonplayers consider equal?

The Exchange

A note on beauty as well. Since you mention it in the title, but much of what you talk about is actually "sexy" instead.

Many people don't consider manipulation, mind control, abduction and murderous intent to be beautiful or sexy. As such I feel you can remove large quantities of the monsters you've put in your list. They are evil things preying on weaknesses to destroy what real love and beauty is. The same for the last two gods you mention.

Every Callistrian worshipper I've come across in products has also been about using the players lust against them and manipulating for power and revenge. Again, not something any of my male acquaintances or myself find sexy or beautiful.

This thread and the others you've linked aren't just about art, but also intent. The intent of many things you've discussed is far from sexy.

I think it's also important to discuss what women do find beautiful and sexy. For many, muscled chests and abs satisfy the lust side of things. But for true Beauty and romance issues, many women I know are after stability, security in the relationship, longevity, attention to just them despite other beautiful women around, potential for raising offspring, kindness.

A bit harder to match those in APs that aren't sandboxes, but still something to aim for I guess.

Cheers


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I actually posted a recent post relating to this in the bestiary wishlist thread. I will repost it in my next message. I did want to make some general comments:

On monsters I generally agree. While I might quibble on specific details in the posts, I generally think we could use a bit more diversity. It's especially odd that for instance, with evil outsiders, practically every one which falls in the "seducer/sexy times role" is female, and rather attractive. Again, Kytons are the only ones that avert this trope, with the male "seducer" figure male. I also think this is probably the most easy issue to fix, since it just requires a few new monsters

For gods, you could argue that a couple of goddesses are dressed probably more provocatively than they need to for their roles, although I could think of in story reasons (Specifically I refer to Desna and Sarenrae). But it's probably too late to do much of anything about it. This late in the setting they are not going to significantly revamp the deities. Its good to bring up since the developers will probably someday have to develop pantheons for southern Garund, Arcadia, etc. And there does seem to be more support for demigods and lesser gods who probably fall into this trope, who just haven't received much support yet. Specifically Kurgess and Tsukiyo among the more powerful gods, and various empyreal lords, demon lords, archdevils, and others.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Reposted from the Bestiary 5 wishlist (and if you have further suggestions, please post them in that thread...the monster gurus at Paizo do follow it and listen to suggestions)

Several recent threads pointed out a problematic discrepancy: There are a lot of attractive "female" creatures whose gimmick is seducing men (and yes...sometimes women), but very few creatures that represent attractive "male" with the same gimmick.

People argued that their absence is largely driven by their absence in mythology. which is somewhat true. However, there are some creatures that Paizo hasn't worked on that fill this niche. Note that I am deliberately avoiding the more Satyr-like creatures, which may inspire lust in women but might be considered less attractive. Also this list is far from comprehensive...I am sure a lot of good creatures are still missing, as my sampling of critters for my notes tends to be random and opportunistic.

Seductive and romantic monsters

Amorini = Cupid like spirits of love

Baiste-na-scoghaigh = Shape-shifting lumbering monoceros like beast from the Isle of Skye; propagates race by taking the form of a man and mating with female humans; may kill and mimic different men

Couril = Cornwall/France; tiny fairies with webbed feet and malignant disposition; inhabit ruins and stone circles; can teleport between different standing stones; enjoy dancing, and can force people to join this, which results in death by exhaustion for mortals; often leave maidens pregnant, with the offspring always resembling a village lad.

Encantado = Amazon; Shapeshifting Fairy folk who can take the form of river dolphins. Come from a magical underwater realm called encante. excellent musicians who enjoy parties which they infilitrate to seduce women; crave the pleasures and hardships of mortal life. Can be distinguished in human form by the presence of a blowhole. Can control storms, ensorcel humans to do their will, inflict insanity and illness. Most powerful at twilight; often kidnap people for company.

Gancanagh = Irish Love Talker; male Fey whose touch would completely enthrall a women with lust, to the point that if denied they will pine away and die

Glashtin/Glashtyn = Manx water horse or goblin; appears as a handsome youth with curly hair and pointed ears; attracts victims than shapeshifts into true form to drag them underwater and eat them; only active at night and must return to watery haunts at dawn

Katsura-otoko = Japanese/Chinese; Man in the moon, who spends every night pruning the lunar grove of katsura trees. Incomparably beautiful; beckons to moongazers, and with each beckon shortens their life.

Kishi = Angolan; two-faced demon, with an attractive man’s face in the front and a hyena’s face in the back. Use there human side to attract prey, usually young woman, then devour with the hyena side; incredibly powerful bite

Moon-gazer = Guyana; tall muscular appearing man who appears on nights of the full moon along roads; if disturbed sucks out brains through hands

Nibanabas = Ojibwa/Ottawa; male nymph godlings, which aid people in war and can merge with them to lend them their powers; afraid of loud noises

Perelesnyk = Ukranian; Incubus-like spirit, flies through the air in the form of a fiery dragon; shapeshifter; seduces women by appearing as a deceased lover or husband.

Zmeu = giant warrior, with a magical gem in forehead, who comes from the sky or underworld and can spit fire, fly, and shapeshift; kidnaps young girls to marry them; can take flame form

Not necessarily seductive, but at least related to the topic at hand:

Alastor = Greek; male vengeance demon, avenged wrongs done to women by men

less about sexy times, more about smiting rapists. I will note that Alastor originally started as an epithet for Zeus, and was also derogatory slang for "scoundrel", so could altered to more fit this niche


In one of the other threads like this, I saw people disagreeing about what was sexy for men and then showing examples of more "manly men" that looked exactly the same to me as the "feminine males" that were being decried.

A half decent artist can make a female attractive by adding some T and A (or according to some parting their lips or having them stand in a awkward pose; I don't buy it but supposedly this is a big deal.) I don't think there is any simple add on touch that you can add to any male picture and evoke "sexy" across the board.

Trying to do a tally of sexy pictures on both sides says next to nothing about intent or "fairness" in my opinion, and more about how easy one gender can become visually sexy compared to the other.


I still agree with the OP in general, though I'm not sure there is much more for me to add. I'm pretty sure that Paizo has heard the concerns.

I posted in the previous thread, including pictures of what I personally considered attractive males as examples, so yeah that was probably me. Personal tastes and preferences being what they are, I'm not surprised the pics I posted didn't seem that much different from the 'feminine males' to some. What is considered attractive, beautiful, and sexy definitely varies from one person to the next, and I doubt we'll ever come to a consensus on what is considered such in these threads. Variety is the spice of life, YMMV, opinions, etc.

I will say that it's interesting to see the list of Bestiary monsters. I'd considered going through them to see how many female races there were, but just didn't have the time. Thanks for the list, Xeose4!

The list of monsters from the Bestiary 5 wishlist thread is neat.

Also agreeing that Cayden Cailean is pretty awesome! :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
MMCJawa wrote:

Alastor = Greek; male vengeance demon, avenged wrongs done to women by men

less about sexy times, more about smiting rapists. I will note that Alastor originally started as an epithet for Zeus, and was also derogatory slang for "scoundrel", so could altered to more fit this niche

Is anyone else struck by the irony of an avenger of women sharing an epithet with one of mythology's most infamous rapists?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:

I don't have any real input at the moment beyond general agreement and approval for your tone and content. But, well, there that is.

I would probably be inclined to argue (as someone did in a previous thread) that Zon Kuthon is probably as sexualized as Urgathoa in both art and description despite technically wearing more clothing (which isn't very in either case...both are more creepy than sexy looking), while Cayden Cailean is probably as sexualized as, say, Shelyn in description (though, as you note, not generally in art).

All that makes the problem slightly less severe, not nonexistent, though.

I've seen Zon-Kuthon mentioned as sexualized before. Can you explain why you feel that can be a case? I would argue that they are not equivalent: the first line describing Urgothoa's appearance is "she is often depicted as a beautiful, rave-haired woman from the waist up" and her art reflects this. Yeah, there are disturbing parts, but there are clear parts (the breasts and the face) that are always gorgeous, in all depictions. Zon-Kuthon has no positive words anywhere in his entire description, and only one statement pertaining to parts of his body sometimes having sexualized and/or "obscene" piercings that are meant to be grotesque. None of his art depicts any aspect of him as pleasing or attractive (which is why I wonder if the picture used for the kyton ostarious, which I wish there was an online picture for, could have greater influence on him). (both of this is using text from p.157 and p.162 of the Inner Sea Gods).

I get that there are supposed to be similarities between them, and certainly don't disagree that they COULD be very equatable, were things slightly different, but I don't feel that actually is reflected in the material. I'd really like to know what the other side of this argument is.

I agree about Cayden Cailean and Shelyn not being dissimilar, and I was debating for a long time about how to define Cayden Cailean's active sex life opposite Shelyn's straight-forward sex-positive message. In the end, the removal of mention of Cayden Cailean's proclivities and his stated "average" appearance opposite the statements about Shelyn's "mortal" form being a voluptuous Taldan woman made me err on simply setting him aside as a "good mention" and not really go farther.

Liberty's Edge

xeose4 wrote:
I've seen Zon-Kuthon mentioned as sexualized before. Can you explain why you feel that can be a case? I would argue that they are not equivalent: the first line describing Urgothoa's appearance is "she is often depicted as a beautiful, rave-haired woman from the waist up" and her art reflects this. Yeah, there are disturbing parts, but there are clear parts (the breasts and the face) that are always gorgeous, in all depictions. Zon-Kuthon has no positive words anywhere in his entire description, and only one statement pertaining to parts of his body sometimes having sexualized and/or "obscene" piercings that are meant to be grotesque. None of his art depicts any aspect of him as pleasing or attractive (which is why I wonder if the picture used for the kyton ostarious, which I wish there was an online picture for, could have greater influence on him). (both of this is using text from p.157 and p.162 of the Inner Sea Gods).

Zon Kuthon, both descriptively and in art, is depicted with a specifically BDSM aesthetic. That's not actually inherently sexual, but then neither is nudity, but both are seen as pretty unambiguously sexual in our culture when they come up.

xeose4 wrote:
I get that there are supposed to be similarities between them, and certainly don't disagree that they COULD be very equatable, were things slightly different, but I don't feel that actually is reflected in the material. I'd really like to know what the other side of this argument is.

Again, Zon Kuthon is very sexualized indeed by many standards. He's wearing nothing but black leather/latex and a combination of chains and piercings, and is only unattractive inasmuch as his body modifications go way too far for standard aesthetics. That's not very sexualized by a lot of definitions but then neither is Urgathoa, who's pretty above the waist and naked...and that's as far as her sexualization goes.

xeose4 wrote:
I agree about Cayden Cailean and Shelyn not being dissimilar, and I was debating for a long time about how to define Cayden Cailean's active sex life opposite Shelyn's straight-forward sex-positive message. In the end, the removal of mention of Cayden Cailean's proclivities and his stated "average" appearance opposite the statements about Shelyn's "mortal" form being a voluptuous Taldan woman made me err on simply setting him aside as a "good mention" and not really go farther.

I can see that, but his description also includes 'unashamedly flirtatious' and there's actually quite a bit about his sex life. Add that his pictures are fairly attractive, and I'd put him in the same category as her considering the utter lack of actual discussion of hers.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Wrath wrote:

NPC codex has plenty of guys with muscled chests exposed for all to see. Also plenty of chiseled jaws with handsom features in there.

I didn't do a comparison, but you might like to.

Thanks for posting Wrath, and not to nitpick but I think you raise a lot of the criticisms people have about reading topics about this kinda stuff, and I really do kind of worry that sometimes what concerns me is not clear enough:

I'm not saying that Paizo has zero instances of awesomely attractive male babes in art. It's that when they do, it is for creatures whose physical appearance is incidental and does not factor into the race. An excellent example of this, I feel, is the perfect and very well-thought-out breakdown of the 4 genasai/elemental races: the ifrit, undine, oread, and sylph. Two males, two females, all four having various degrees of attractiveness and showing various amount of skin (with the male ifrit showing an stunning amount and the oread showing relatively little). Another race comparison might be the fully-clad, very attractive male dhampir (bestiary 2) placed opposite the very buxom, very attractive female shae (bestiary 3). Both of these creatures are another excellent example of parity - but not on what I'm talking about. Yeah, the suli male that's depicted is handsome and very, very good-looking. His appearance, however attractive, is not an aspect of that creature. The 40-some mono-gendered female creatures that I listed, however, have specific uses for their appearance, whether it's to charm, denote incredible goodness, denote incredible evil, whatever. 46 female creatures have this as a significant aspect of their lore and abilities. 4 male creatures have similar treatment. Being someone who is interested equally in both, I don't think this is a necessary discrepancy, and I think it serves to detract from the world of Golarion, rather than add to it.

Wrath wrote:
As noted above, remember that most of the bestiary entries are based off mythology, and much mythology involving seduction was involving female type creatures. This was due to male dominated societies for the main part, and the early beliefs of females as the fertility centre of a culture. So, in a game built around mythos from our world, it's no surprise and not disappointing at all.

The choice to use those creatures is still a choice. A conscious one, and the changes made to existing creatures that have established mythos (such as the drider race, or the shift of witch-like lampedes into simply underdark nymphs) shows that Paizo is willing to change existing creatures, whether they're from ancient myth or recent DnD editions. In the previous thread this point was brought up as well, and there are also clear examples of gay heroes, explicitly bisexual male gods, and seductive males from the very same mythology that a lot of these female creatures are drawn from. Those creatures, or any incarnation of them, still aren't used.

Wrath wrote:
As for some of the gods you mention, I don't find them sexy at all. Sexiness isn't all about appearance, it's about what they do as well.

Sexualized isn't necessarily strictly 'sexy' in appearance. What I mean by differentiating between the two is that - yeah, I wouldn't want to touch Urgothoa (for fear of losing it) or Lammatsu ('cause I'm not really into furries) with any part of my body at all. However, both of them have their physical appearance, gender, and body-parts on display. You may not personally be turned on by them, or even by Desna or Callistria, but that's not what's important: sex is implicitly associated with what's shown, and this occurs with more than half of the female gods. 1 of 13 male gods is depicted as a sexual creature at all, and 0 of the 13 male gods have any of their bodies bared in the same way that those five female gods do. The lore and text associated with these deities is some excellent and very good stuff. In fact, reading about Desna, you'd never know she shows up naked to wherever she goes. In fact, even if you did know that, it'd still make sense because she's an ancient, old-as-dirt space-fairy that flies around the sky fighting Cthulhu. What concern WOULD she have with clothes and body-standards?

But as I stated originally, by itself, it's fine. It's the fact that there is no male equivalent - not one even remotely close - that is the problem. None of this serves the story of any of the gods in any way. What does it matter if Desna is in a starlight bikini versus completely naked? What does it matter if Lammatsu is shown in robes that cover her entire form, save for her bare, hugely pregnant navel, leaving everything else completely hidden? What does it matter if Shelyn is shown in a high-necked cloak - artful and painted and incredibly stylized - that covers her from head to toe and doesn't show her body at all?

None of any of that should detract from these gods, interfere with their stories, or change anything about them. Someone can be sex-positive without revealing their own body, just as someone can be free and careless while still wearing clothes. I'm not arguing for covering up the girls in any way; I'm pushing for the dudes to get more similar treatment to what the girls get. Desna is a free-spirited ancient goddess. Okay, so she doesn't wear clothes. Nethys is a crazed, magic-obsessed mage-god who has ascended to divinity on his own power. What's the argument FOR him caring about clothes? What's the argument for Erastil, or primordial Asmodeous, caring about clothes? I think it's a pretty fair question to ask, if you want to build a richer world.

And then finally, I agree that it's not a 'big' issue, and yeah it's not making me leave Pathfinder and it's not something I'm up in arms about. But it IS an area they can improve on. It doesn't have to be this way, it doesn't serve a purpose, it's something that's super easy to change. It doesn't require an overhaul, or a rewrite of any lore, but rather it's just certain notes on how to guide them as they move forward. "Talk more about whether or not Iori wishes to be celibate or not" perhaps, or maybe "Make sure to have the next depiction of Nethys be more like Dr. Manhattan because what does he care?" or something.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Selk wrote:

Okay, there's a lot here to chew through. Your points are well made, but I don't think you're saying anything new: at this point Paizo knows what's up with their depictions of sexuality and gender among the iconics, the gods and the NPCs peppered through their products. These boards are ablaze with topic after similar topic. Even if they wish they had been more egalitarian their in design/writing choices, they can't significantly contradict published material without looking like they're pandering or back-tracking. All we can ask is that that future artwork is more adventurous and mindful, and that their writers follow suit. It's a progressive company, and I'm sure there's a lot of stuff they'd love to put into their products that they're not sure a large portion of a fan base is quite ready for.

Changes will happen in stages, but I wouldn't hold my breath looking for complete parity.

That said, there's nothing stopping us, the fans from altering the deities. Online content, done well, can supersede anything in print. I'd be happy the sexualize the hell out of many of the male gods - spice up their portfolios and, by extension, change the sexual palette Golarion.

Thanks! Yeah, I struggled between a couple great threads (namely, the ones listed above) because I wanted to post this list of the bestiary and the gods, but I didn't want to step on any toes and/or get them closed accidentally (for whatever reason). I know (and would certainly hope!) that none of this is particularly eye-opening at this point. Certain posts like the ones I commented on above, however, made me think that concise, specific feedback about certain material might be appropriate at this time, since this is when it's being discussed.

I also mostly wanted to respond to clarify that I'm not holding my breath for complete parity at all! I mean ~50+ male seducer/sexy/uses-physical-appearance creatures, along with FIVE new/revamped dudes with 2-naked, 3-revealing clothing, 3 sex-related male gods? Like, I mean, lets be realistic: that's some ludicrous stuff right there.

If they even just added say, 6 male creatures that have their physical appearance be a huge part of their race, and change just one or two male gods to be... more akin to the what, and how, they portray the female gods, would alone double the amount of material that I'm saying there's a desperate lack of right now.

MagusJanus wrote:
Xeose4, have you considered what I said in the past about the dichotomy of what players consider equal to what nonplayers consider equal?

No, I haven't had a chance to. I'm sorry, these boards are large and unwieldy to me, and I often have trouble recognizing people (much less navigating topics). Should I have?

MMCJawa wrote:
Reposted from the Bestiary 5 wishlist (and if you have further suggestions, please post them in that thread...the monster gurus at Paizo do follow it and listen to suggestions)

This is a very awesome list and I really appreciate being told about the Bestiary 5 thread. I was hesitant to wade into that, much less post a male-seducer creature (or anything similar, really) because... well, people don't always respond the best. I also just wanted a chance to see what other people interested-in-dudes were thinking about without having to hunt for posts in that massive thread.

I also think it's important to talk about new creatures, ones without origins in ancient mythology, the same way new mono-gendered female creatures (like the thraie, or sexually dimorphic (favoring females) like the lashunta) are introduced. People aren't bound solely to history. Also, male creatures that are simply physically attractive, in addition to whatever else it is that they do (such as an equivalent to the swanmay, or lillend, creatures that are merely beautiful for beauty's sake).

Varisian Wanderer wrote:
Also agreeing that Cayden Cailean is pretty awesome! :)

Hah, high five! Thanks for popping back in, guy :P


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah...I deliberately concentrated on mythology as simply because it's easier to present a list of "pre-made" creatures for the devs to work with, rather than design creatures from scratch that are useful and cool sounding for the game.

The Exchange

Saying that ZK is sexual because of connections between actual pain and torture and BDSM would make any mention of footwear sexual because of foot fetishists......

Liberty's Edge

Andrew R wrote:
Saying that ZK is sexual because of connections between actual pain and torture and BDSM would make any mention of footwear sexual because of foot fetishists......

Right. Or like saying Urgathoa (who cares basically nothing about sex) is sexual because some people find nudity sexual (despite her entire bottom half being a rotting corpse). Which was sorta my point.


Love the amount of detail and evidence you brought to your argument and I agree with most of it including the larger point but I'm a stickler for semantics.

On that note, The section about Hags and Changelings had some things I'd like to clarify.

Xeose4 said wrote:
However, the (relatively) high number of hag subtypes, along with exploration of their daughters (in the changelings and other hags) but no exploration of how they relate to their sons and/or brothers, fathers, etc (or the effects of having a hag mother), I personally feel leaves room open for discussion.

The way that Hags reproduce is by being impregnated by humanoid men, giving birth to changelings and then having that changeling undergo an evil ritual to become transformed into a hag.

The hag normally eats any male children though fluff does mention that they are sterile members of the father's race. Therefore they don't have any living male relatives to relate to. The only way a man comes into this equation is the hapless man ensorcelled by the Hag in order to reproduce and he is usually killed as well unless the Hag wants to torment him later.

If the man lives, then a changeling might be able to have some kind of relationship with their father but this is also highly unlikely. The Hag generally uses her magic to interfere with her daughter's life in order to drive her down a dark path. Chances are the Hag, if she's still alive, would kill the father rather risk their daughter having a positive influence in their life.

The sheer amount of coincidences can be part of a PC's background -after all they are supposed to be special - but the bestiary usually describes the normal system rather the exceptions.

This whole system was upended with the Accursed Bloodline for sorcerers which says "Somewhere in your family history, a hag’s foul influence entered your bloodline. You may actually be related to the hag, or you may still be suffering the effects of a curse that a hag laid upon your kin in generations past. Now the hag’s powers are part of your heritage."

I think it's meant mostly for changelings or possibly the offspring of changelings, assuming they stay good/neutral and have descendants. This could allow for the exploration of Hags and male relations much better than the male Hagspawn. At the very least, it's more likely and it gives some mechanics to back up your story.

Xeose4 said wrote:
These hags are sometimes “young and attractive” in the form of the witchfire, regal if winter hags, and disguising themselves to sleep with men and terrify them in the morning in the case of the green hags. Regardless, hags have only had their sex lives described in relation to dudes, they’re usually obsessed with tormenting dudes, and it’s a real shame there’s no way for a “spontaneous” hag to come to be (or for a human witch to transform into one).

There is one way for witches to spontaneously occur: the mute hag. "When bitterness consumes a woman already steeped in arcane power, that energy may sour, driving her to rip out her own eyes and tongue and burning the light from her soul. This ritual births a strange and horrible creature: a mute hag." There is no mention of whether it is necessary for the woman to be a changeling or not.

Changelings themselves are not really monsters per se. They can be PCs and have more right to be than say Drow or Orcs.

I would like to finish by clarifying that I don't think you're necessarily wrong or anything. You clearly understand the bestiaries in far greater depth than myself and you've done your research. I just know this particular thing because of research I did for my Changeling character.


Larkos wrote:
There is one way for witches to spontaneously occur: the mute hag. "When bitterness consumes a woman already steeped in arcane power, that energy may sour, driving her to rip out her own eyes and tongue and burning the light from her soul. This ritual births a strange and horrible creature: a mute hag." There is no mention of whether it is necessary for the woman to be a changeling or not.

I'm not familiar with them. Where is the mute hag from?


Larkos wrote:


The way that Hags reproduce is by being impregnated by humanoid men, giving birth to changelings and then having that changeling undergo an evil ritual to become transformed into a hag.

The hag normally eats any male children though fluff does mention that they are sterile members of the father's race. Therefore they don't have any living male relatives to relate to. The only way a man comes into this equation is the hapless man ensorcelled by the Hag in order to reproduce and he is usually killed as well unless the Hag wants to torment him later.

If the man lives, then a changeling might be able to have some kind of relationship with their father but this is also highly unlikely. The Hag generally uses her magic to interfere with her daughter's life in order to drive her down a dark path. Chances are the Hag, if she's still alive, would kill the father rather risk their daughter having a positive influence in their life.

The sheer amount of coincidences can be part of a PC's background -after all they are supposed to be special - but the bestiary usually describes the normal system rather the exceptions.

This whole system was upended with the Accursed Bloodline for sorcerers which says "Somewhere in your family history, a hag’s foul influence entered your bloodline. You may actually be related to the hag, or you may still be suffering the effects of a curse that a hag laid upon your kin in generations past. Now the...

I should point out that one of the monsters introduced in Manor of Bitter Tears is the "Caliban", which represents a male child of a hag.

The OP wouldn't be too happy about it though; the Caliban art depicts a 7ft tall hideous roaring monster, as opposed to the delicate and alluring changeling.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

True, although the Calibran is produced by a special ritual and pretty much only exists to be a thug for a hag. Which kind of explains the Caliban's appearance.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Voadam wrote:
Larkos wrote:
There is one way for witches to spontaneously occur: the mute hag. "When bitterness consumes a woman already steeped in arcane power, that energy may sour, driving her to rip out her own eyes and tongue and burning the light from her soul. This ritual births a strange and horrible creature: a mute hag." There is no mention of whether it is necessary for the woman to be a changeling or not.
I'm not familiar with them. Where is the mute hag from?

The Mute Hag first appears mechanically in the Module 'The Harrowing'. Well, she also appears as a Harrow Card long before that. Depending on story interpretation, she may or may not be unique.

On the Subject of Hags, Monosex creatures & such: Tears for Twilight Manor introduced the Caliban, the male 'offspring' of Hags. It is worth noting that Calibans as written are twisted, ugly in both body & spirit, wretched creatures. They are also, unlike Changelings, not available as a PC race, at least not without some significant work with the Race guide. I gave it a go & even with some significant 'paring down' they still wound up being in the mid to high teens, race points-wise.

edit: Ninja'd by Axial regarding the Caliban.


I only knew the Mute Hag from d20pfsrd.com. Thanks, Irnk for the specifics.

I had no idea about the Calibran. The wiki says "Hag babies are usually female. Any male children are normally sterile and are normal members of the father’s race, apart from possibly appearing “wrong” in some subtle way. However, in most cases this is a moot point, as hags generally eat their male offspring." Their source is Classic Horrors Revisted.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Caliban are from a relatively new module, and so probably haven't made it online to all the relevant wiki's.

The Exchange

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Saying that ZK is sexual because of connections between actual pain and torture and BDSM would make any mention of footwear sexual because of foot fetishists......
Right. Or like saying Urgathoa (who cares basically nothing about sex) is sexual because some people find nudity sexual (despite her entire bottom half being a rotting corpse). Which was sorta my point.

But even her they make a point of describing her human looking parts as attractive

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