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Let's Queer Up Starfinder!


Starfinder General Discussion

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I picked up my copy of Starfinder over GenCon, and as I read through it, I'm pondering ways to throw characters around who aren't all cis and straight. Let's start with a quick look through the races!

Androids- Specific thought was given to the notion that a race that doesn't reproduce sexually is going to have a whole lot of agender, genderfluid, and non-binary people, and this is even reflected in the iconic operative. A

Humans- Eh, they're humans. Iconic is explicitly a lesbian though, so that's a good precedent. B+

Kasathas- Nothing really jumps out at me here since they're basically just humans-with-more-arms, but there is a note about barely perceivable gender differences which... none of the artists seem to have caught. C-

Lashuntas- If I am reading between the lines correctly, roughly half of all lashuntas are now explicitly trans, and there is specific language differentiating a given lashunta's actual gender vs. their dimorphic body type. I am absolutely delighted to see that, even if I don't necessarily think the designers meant to do it. A+

Shirrens- Between having 3 genders, and a culture explicitly based around celebrating individualism, this is hands down the race I'm most excited about in the specific context of making queer as hell characters, but also the one with the greatest need to clarify a hell of a lot of things first. Like, what is the whole pronoun situation here? If I had to guess, I'd say males go he/him, hosts go she/her (specific reference in the stat block to 'queens' and all), and females have their own pronoun set going on. This is something that really needs to be sorted out officially before anyone can really properly write about any non-male shirren NPCs.

Also having 3 genders calls for a lot of specialized terminology for attraction. If you're straight, or ace, that's fine. A certain percentage of them being trisexual is a given. If you're specifically only interested in others of your own gender, that's manageable. But, what if you're, say, a host who's only interested in other hosts and females? Or exclusively into males? There is a need here for a fairly robust lexicon. D for now, real easy to up to an A with a well-thought-out blog post or something.

Vesk- I appreciate the women being larger on average and not having breasts as non-mammals, but that's just realism. Potentially some ground to explore with trans vesk doing interesting things to alter the color of their scales, but nothing really hinted at in-text. C.

Ysoki- Explicitly called out as having no real cultural gender signifiers, and a lot of notes about living on the fringes and standing up for each other. B

Moving on to the equipment section...

Serum of Sex Shift- This is the one thing in the book explicitly created with trans characters in mind. It's right here in the core book, comes across as the latest in a line of similar items (to the point where I'm 95% sure Amber Scott wrote this entry), and it is very carefully worded to avoid any awful garbage like "biological sex," language that excludes non-binary people, or you know, the core race with three genders. So, definite A for effort, although there is a definite cis-writer's-take-on-being-trans, come to a decision, hop into a building, tada, one-and-done angle here which is arguably dismissive of what we have to deal with in reality.

And I'm sure when I get the time to read all the way through the setting section I'll find a lot more to comment on (or have a lot to say about the lack of things to comment on) but, this is already a long post for me just trying to get a discussion going.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Host Shirren go by the singular they.

Liberty's Edge

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Violet Hargrave wrote:
Humans- Eh, they're humans. Iconic is explicitly a lesbian though, so that's a good precedent. B+

Technically, we don't know that, actually. She could be bisexual or pansexual just as easily. Or even asexual. All we know is that she once loved a woman.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Perhaps a slightly less provocative title might be in order for the thread?

When I saw the initial thread it felt like it was a trolling exercise, and not a legitimate thread.

As far as the Vesk go, I have to wonder if the females are the dominant gender, or males, or if they are more like hobgoblins in that regard: ie, 'everyone fights, nobody quits'.

I'm already considering possibilities and options presented by a society that really doesn't give two toots about what plumbing or biological functions an entity has, but rather what they are about as an entity.


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Violet Hargrave wrote:
Serum of Sex Shift- This is the one thing in the book explicitly created with trans characters in mind. It's right here in the core book, comes across as the latest in a line of similar items (to the point where I'm 95% sure Amber Scott wrote this entry), and it is very carefully worded to avoid any awful garbage like "biological sex," language that excludes non-binary people, or you know, the core race with three genders. So, definite A for effort, although there is a definite cis-writer's-take-on-being-trans, come to a decision, hop into a building, tada, one-and-done angle here which is arguably dismissive of what we have to deal with in reality.

I don't think it ever actually mentions trans once when talking about it. While very much useful for that purpose, it also has a lot of other useful ones and it's a bit limiting to see it as exclusively such. In a sci-fi game the spy genre becomes a lot more notable and it's non-detectable with magic that it's been used on you so it would make an excellent emergency disguise option or for an actor who wants to get a role they are not biologically lining up with.

There is also the idea of fashion. With how cheap the two elixirs (Sex Shift and Appearance) are, you could very easily have biological fashion go interesting places as it's very easy for people to (relatively cheaply) follow the fashion even if it involves very dramatic changes.

I also see it more as 'Technological progress' rather than being dismissive. Things can get better in the future, rather than being shackled to the present after all.


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I, for one, wholeheartedly support this idea. Queer it the heck UP!!!


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Make a planet of space babes that have zero interest in men and have a completely normal, non-sexualised society.


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Weird that you would assume hosts get "she/her." What's wrong with singular, gender-neutral "they?" C'mon, man. That's the one that can be applied to everyone. Which leads me to this: Why do you need different pronouns for everyone based on something as arbitrary as gender? I think that's boring, limited, and short-sighted.

Assume not everyone goes with a singular "they." Okay, why not? Who breaks from it? Are there androids who view themselves as sufficiently different that they desire an entirely different set of pronouns based on their artificial nature? What about the Shirren hosts; if they do use a sex-based pronouns (as "host" is a sex, not a gender), maybe it's ost/osh? What about Eoxians? Their sex really doesn't matter anymore, since they're all dried up and undead.

I wish they'd included more transhumanist themes. I imagine that'll come later. The more morphological freedom people have, generally, the less concerned they are with immaterial concepts. With the appearance and sex change serums in place, I imagine folks in the setting don't give a crap how you started out. If you feel you are something, don't lament, just be it. All it takes is a single injection. That's why I'd say the dimorphism of the Lashunta does not make "half of them trans," since if they were, they could just drink a potion and be what they identified as. They can identify as both male and Damaya; that isn't a contradiction. Honestly, it feels sexist to imply otherwise.

My opinion: Gender is a silly concept. There are more important things in life than how you think "boys" and "girls" should act. Do what you want, be what you want, and stop trying to force people into molds, one way or the other. People are simple, but they are not so easily quantifiable as that.


Umbral Reaver wrote:
Make a planet of space babes that have zero interest in men and have a completely normal, non-sexualised society.

You've read my mind! Consider also: Make it a star system.


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captain yesterday wrote:
Host Shirren go by the singular they.

That strikes me as just about the worst possible standard to set here, honestly.

First off, as I already suggested, when your cis population breaks down into 3 genders, and you want to refer to one of them as female, it should really be the one that actually carries the children, because that's going to be the closest mapping onto how humans see things. This would also apply to anthropomorphized seahorses, but here we really don't even have the biologist's pedantry to fall back on, since host shirrens contribute genetic material, and thus clearly the "sperm moves with flagella, egg sits there, so that's actually the male" logic doesn't particularly apply.

More importantly though, people in the real world who use the singular they as a pronoun specifically do so because it is the only gender neutral third person pronoun with any traction in English, and we are not using it here as a gender-neutral pronoun. We're using it as a very specifically gendered pronoun. That gets downright confusing, because hey, now what do we say if we're trying not to specify the gender of a given shirren because we don't know it, or how do we talk about non-binary shirrens? And there's kind of a real world issue here over what you're implying about actual people who go by they.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Violet Hargrave wrote:
Humans- Eh, they're humans. Iconic is explicitly a lesbian though, so that's a good precedent. B+
Technically, we don't know that, actually. She could be bisexual or pansexual just as easily. Or even asexual. All we know is that she once loved a woman.

Absolutely true if we're going by her backstory. I could have sworn someone with authority had gone into more detail since though.

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Perhaps a slightly less provocative title might be in order for the thread?

When I saw the initial thread it felt like it was a trolling exercise, and not a legitimate thread.

Really? I'm just used to that sort of phrasing for general catch-all discussions about this sort of thing. Have a better suggestion offhand?

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


As far as the Vesk go, I have to wonder if the females are the dominant gender, or males, or if they are more like hobgoblins in that regard: ie, 'everyone fights, nobody quits'.

I feel like of all the core races, vesk are rather intentionally painted with the broadest brush, not setting anything down past "the big tough warrior race." Safe to assume none of the core 7 have any real sexism, so hobgoblins fits better here as a rough analogy than orcs or gnolls, but there's some interesting cultural implications in the women having the sort of mate-attracting-markings you tend to see with male birds. Dead-lifting displays to turn a fella's head now and then?


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Violet Hargrave wrote:
Shirrens- Between having 3 genders, and a culture explicitly based around celebrating individualism, this is hands down the race I'm most excited about in the specific context of making queer as hell characters, but also the one with the greatest need to clarify a hell of a lot of things first. Like, what is the whole pronoun situation here? If I had to guess, I'd say males go he/him, hosts go she/her (specific reference in the stat block to 'queens' and all), and females have their own pronoun set going on. This is something that really needs to be sorted out officially before anyone can really properly write about any non-male shirren NPCs.

I would assume that in their native languages, they have pronouns for all three. At least in some and assuming the languages have pronouns and/or gendered pronouns at all.

When translating into the common tongue, which we assume doesn't actually have pronouns for 3 different genders, that's where the questions arise.


Violet Hargrave wrote:
Lashuntas- If I am reading between the lines correctly, roughly half of all lashuntas are now explicitly trans, and there is specific language differentiating a given lashunta's actual gender vs. their dimorphic body type. I am absolutely delighted to see that, even if I don't necessarily think the designers meant to do it. A+

I'm not sure which lines you're reading between here.

Any gender can become either body type. Historically, the stresses to go one way or the other were generally forced to a specific gender, now they aren't.
I don't see how that makes half of the Lashunta trans when body type has nothing to do with gender.

Shirren pronouns appear to be 'he' for male, 'she' for female and 'they' for host; but those are obviously translated into Common :)


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Violet Hargrave wrote:
Serum of Sex Shift- This is the one thing in the book explicitly created with trans characters in mind. It's right here in the core book, comes across as the latest in a line of similar items (to the point where I'm 95% sure Amber Scott wrote this entry), and it is very carefully worded to avoid any awful garbage like "biological sex," language that excludes non-binary people, or you know, the core race with three genders. So, definite A for effort, although there is a definite cis-writer's-take-on-being-trans, come to a decision, hop into a building, tada, one-and-done angle here which is arguably dismissive of what we have to deal with in reality.

Could also very much say you're being dismissive of the people who would need that sort of "one-and-done" option to cope. Your experience is not the be-all, end-all; other perspectives are just as valid, regardless of your opinion on them. Dismissive of other people's experiences is a terrible thing to be.

Oh, and "biological sex" is just "sex." Sex is an actual biological term. Getting offended by that makes no sense.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Violet Hargrave wrote:
Really? I'm just used to that sort of phrasing for general catch-all discussions about this sort of thing. Have a better suggestion offhand?

Yes, really.

For some people, it can be perjorative and not a respectful term, despite efforts to reclaim it over the years.

Been thinking about it a bit, trying to recapture the direction and thought of the thread without it being too blunt.

"Expanding Personal Life Needs and Choices in Starfinder" seems a bit too clumsy.

"Transubstatiation in Starfinder" lends too far to religious overtones and doesn't hit the point quite right.

"Transhumanism and the Liberation of the Self in Starfinder" seems to forget that humans aren't as prevalent as they once were in the setting.

I'm spit-balling a little bit, trying to figure out alternatives.


I think for shirren sex the idea is that male means they have sperm, females have eggs, and the host has the 'incubator' plus some certain traits. Unlike humans that seems to be the only biological difference, so I don't think shirren care too much about pronouns. Also they are telepathic as well as having a bug language, so their language might get weird. They is probably best.


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Wikrin wrote:
Violet Hargrave wrote:
Serum of Sex Shift- This is the one thing in the book explicitly created with trans characters in mind. It's right here in the core book, comes across as the latest in a line of similar items (to the point where I'm 95% sure Amber Scott wrote this entry), and it is very carefully worded to avoid any awful garbage like "biological sex," language that excludes non-binary people, or you know, the core race with three genders. So, definite A for effort, although there is a definite cis-writer's-take-on-being-trans, come to a decision, hop into a building, tada, one-and-done angle here which is arguably dismissive of what we have to deal with in reality.

Could also very much say you're being dismissive of the people who would need that sort of "one-and-done" option to cope. Your experience is not the be-all, end-all; other perspectives are just as valid, regardless of your opinion on them. Dismissive of other people's experiences is a terrible thing to be.

Oh, and "biological sex" is just "sex." Sex is an actual biological term. Getting offended by that makes no sense.

Also why shouldn't a sex change be a simple one and done thing in the future? That's like complaining about gay characters not being discriminated against in media because it's not representative of prejuduce they have to face in real life.


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Wikrin wrote:
Violet Hargrave wrote:
Serum of Sex Shift- This is the one thing in the book explicitly created with trans characters in mind. It's right here in the core book, comes across as the latest in a line of similar items (to the point where I'm 95% sure Amber Scott wrote this entry), and it is very carefully worded to avoid any awful garbage like "biological sex," language that excludes non-binary people, or you know, the core race with three genders. So, definite A for effort, although there is a definite cis-writer's-take-on-being-trans, come to a decision, hop into a building, tada, one-and-done angle here which is arguably dismissive of what we have to deal with in reality.

Could also very much say you're being dismissive of the people who would need that sort of "one-and-done" option to cope. Your experience is not the be-all, end-all; other perspectives are just as valid, regardless of your opinion on them. Dismissive of other people's experiences is a terrible thing to be.

Oh, and "biological sex" is just "sex." Sex is an actual biological term. Getting offended by that makes no sense.

This. I was just going to comment on the bit about biology being "awful garbage".

And yes, the thread title did strike me as a bit off, I wasn't sure initially if it was meant positively or was some sort of trolling or something.


In the AP, one of the NPCs is a host Shirren and "they" is the pronoun used.


MageHunter wrote:
I think for shirren sex the idea is that male means they have sperm, females have eggs, and the host has the 'incubator' plus some certain traits. Unlike humans that seems to be the only biological difference, so I don't think shirren care too much about pronouns. Also they are telepathic as well as having a bug language, so their language might get weird. They is probably best.

In the AP that was released the host Shirren introduced specifies that Host Shirren are referred to with gender neutral pronouns, that's just how they do it in their culture, so this is correct.


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DeltaCain wrote:
MageHunter wrote:
I think for shirren sex the idea is that male means they have sperm, females have eggs, and the host has the 'incubator' plus some certain traits. Unlike humans that seems to be the only biological difference, so I don't think shirren care too much about pronouns. Also they are telepathic as well as having a bug language, so their language might get weird. They is probably best.
In the AP that was released the host Shirren introduced specifies that Host Shirren are referred to with gender neutral pronouns, that's just how they do it in their culture, so this is correct.

As I suggested above, that doesn't really make sense. If Shirren culture does gendered pronouns at all, they really should have three, not two and use the plural pronoun for the other one.

More likely, it's how they choose to translate for those confusing species that only have two genders. Possibly as a deliberate decision, possibly as a result of confusion on the part of the first translators.


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MageHunter wrote:
I think for shirren sex the idea is that male means they have sperm, females have eggs, and the host has the 'incubator' plus some certain traits. Unlike humans that seems to be the only biological difference, so I don't think shirren care too much about pronouns. Also they are telepathic as well as having a bug language, so their language might get weird. They is probably best.

Oh yeah, there is a fantastic argument to make for (nearly) every shirren just using they. Not really the sort of social structure that enforces gender roles, being formerly of a hive mind potentially leaving them still easing into the whole singular-address concept, no physiological differences other races can consistently pull out/language not mapping one to one and wanting to save the hassle.

It's just the notion of a happy trio with matching "his/hers/theirs" towels where I have an issue. Three gendered pronouns is fine, no gendered pronouns is fine. Gendered pronouns but only for 2/3 of the commonly occurring genders while the third is ungendered is a bizarre misappropriation of an important real-world concept.

And this really isn't the thread to elaborate on my "biological sex" comment. Alternative phrasing there if you'd like: "Yay there's no accidental invalidation of trans people or dog whistles for hate groups in how this text is worded."


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The fact that most androids explicitly reject humanity's take on gender was one of the first things I got really excited about when my core rulebook arrived! Warmed the cockles of my nonbinary little heart. Would love to see a bunch more species that either have an entirely different take on gender than humans, or that don't have a concept of gender at all... And maybe they have other kinds of social categories that humans have no equivalent to.

I'd also love to see a lot of different ideas of what a family/social unit is. Just, like, give me all of the everyday xenocultural info, I will bask in it forever.

The thing about "they" for everyone, and I say this as someone who uses They/Them, is that it's fine if you don't KNOW someone's pronouns, but ditching other pronouns altogether is pretty uncomfy for people who use those pronouns and may have had to struggle or are still struggling to have those pronouns used and respected.

As for the thread title, I can see where people are coming from, since a reclaimed slur is still a kind of slur, but... I also ID myself as Queer, so I'm happy when I see something labeled specifically For Me. Not sure there's a universally graceful way to handle that, but I can't say I enjoy folks telling queer people to stop using the word they self-describe as. (I would not ID any other real life person as queer without definitively knowing that it was OK to do so)


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SavageCritter wrote:

I can't say I enjoy folks telling queer people to stop using the word they self-describe as. (I would not ID any other real life person as queer without definitively knowing that it was OK to do so)

That's the issue with 'Reclaiming words'. They start being both slur and not slur at the same time, like a bigoted Schrodinger's cat. Other people would be just as justified in saying that the term Queer is offensive to them.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

*enters thread, ready to contribute*

*looks at replies*

*leaves*


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I am not sure what the main topic of this thread is supposed to be? It seems to have been derailed almost immediately which makes it harder to pick up on what the original poster was looking for.

"I'm pondering ways to throw characters around who aren't all cis and straight."

My take on 'finder games is that unless specifically stated otherwise, all NPCs are hero-centric in their orientation. it doesnt help that the game has effects that can force attitudes or behaviours and, this may just be my experiences at least, many players will just play what they want and the GM provides a world that accepts them so that they can get back to telling a story about the surplus doomsday weapon that evil cult #48 just stole from an ancient temple.

So in that regard, throw around the NPCs you create in the same way you did in Pathfinder games? It looks like a very direct port as far as world views and NPC reactions go. Even the serum of sex shift is just a port of a potion that exists in Pathfinder.

As for the notes on species (i think this term is probably better than races for a sci-fa game teeming with aliens) i agree with your takes on Anroids and Ysoki, i feel for the Paizo crew who are going to fight an uphill battle for all of time trying to get artists to depict a "female Kasatha" they are probably going to have to just order all art as male and call out the request with some traditionally feminine aspect to differentiate them. or just give in and either depict all male or have four armed human women. It will be much easier to get Vesk art as its all basically the same body type but with different color palletes.

You have made me curious about tattoos in Vesk culture. Do you think they would associate tattoos with trans culture due to the color alteration?

Grand Lodge

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Not sure how it'd be any different than in Pathfinder tbh. Make awesome LGBT PCs/NPCs. Seems pretty simple.


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Just wait until they stat up the seven gendered maraquoi.


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captain yesterday wrote:
Just wait until they stat up the seven gendered maraquoi.

Indeed. ^_^


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Violet Hargrave wrote:


And this really isn't the thread to elaborate on my "biological sex" comment. Alternative phrasing there if you'd like: "Yay there's no accidental invalidation of trans people or dog whistles for hate groups in how this text is worded."

Thank you for that clarification. I understand that I'm fairly volatile on the subject, and I apologize for... Well, being confrontational. I'm easily exasperated, as I feel like I have strong personal opinions on the issue that are somehow repeatedly dismissed by both sides. Not really the place, I guess. Suffice it to say I'm wildly in favor of transhumanism and morphological freedom, and I don't understand gender. Nothing that I say should be taken as disparaging of trans or non-binary individuals. I just wish things were as clean-cut and simple as an injection or a shopping trip. The subject is wildly depressing. I'm going to go do something else. Sorry. I hope I didn't make anyone's day worse.


I can see this being a political thread and didn't the already say they are cracking down on political and controversial topics?


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Real world politic talk is banned.

Talking about adding more LGBT representation, which is NOT a controversial topic, into the fantasy setting, is perfectly fine.


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Wikrin wrote:
Violet Hargrave wrote:


And this really isn't the thread to elaborate on my "biological sex" comment. Alternative phrasing there if you'd like: "Yay there's no accidental invalidation of trans people or dog whistles for hate groups in how this text is worded."

Thank you for that clarification. I understand that I'm fairly volatile on the subject, and I apologize for... Well, being confrontational. I'm easily exasperated, as I feel like I have strong personal opinions on the issue that are somehow repeatedly dismissed by both sides. Not really the place, I guess. Suffice it to say I'm wildly in favor of transhumanism and morphological freedom, and I don't understand gender. Nothing that I say should be taken as disparaging of trans or non-binary individuals. I just wish things were as clean-cut and simple as an injection or a shopping trip. The subject is wildly depressing. I'm going to go do something else. Sorry. I hope I didn't make anyone's day worse.

Wikrin, for what its worth your posts seem valid and non confrontational to me. Dont beat yourself up over it, save the stamina points for the Space Goblins ;)

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

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Jaçinto wrote:
I can see this being a political thread and didn't the already say they are cracking down on political and controversial topics?

This is not a political topic. This is a thread for people seeking advice on playing a character that they can relate to or that represents them. If you believe that gender and sexuality are inherently political, perhaps this isn't a thread you should be participating in.


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Re: queer as slur, all words for us have been slurs, so


Ok, lets talk fantasy then. We don't know the rate of LGBT in non-human races since they have a totally different biology so putting human standards on them is somewhat unfair. Totally different biology and culture so we don't even know how those sorts of things appear in their species and at what rate, if at all.

Sorry for taking the scientific approach but it is possible that, since we always see a binary in each species representation, that there are two sexes in those species. If they were a tri or more sex species, then perhaps they would have had represented them as well. It is also possible that may not even recognize a gendering system at all. It is also possible there is a species with zero homosexual beings in it at all, or everything is bisexual or otherwise. Perhaps some of them are totally nonsexual and find any hormone based relationships to be inefficient and incorrect as it just gets in the way, and copulation has no purpose save to breed and it is just something to get out of the way to maintain population levels, then go about their way.

I forget the name of it but those Locust based ones. If they are like earth locusts, they may not really have a brain per-say and function on just a nervous system. And thus work more on instinct and not even be capable of understanding those distinctions aside from breeding time to increase numbers.

I don't see it as political. I just see how some topics, no matter how innocent, turn into something political or get really heated. Maybe I am just old fashioned.

Re-read. Derp, I forgot about Shirren and feel dumb. I think a tri sex species is actually kinda neat and I am intrigued and want to learn more about them


Jaçinto wrote:

Ok, lets talk fantasy then. We don't know the rate of LGBT in non-human races since they have a totally different biology so putting human standards on them is somewhat unfair. Totally different biology and culture so we don't even know how those sorts of things appear in their species and at what rate, if at all.

Sorry for taking the scientific approach but it is possible that, since we always see a binary in each species representation, that there are two sexes in those species. If they were a tri or more sex species, then perhaps they would have had represented them as well. It is also possible that may not even recognize a gendering system at all. It is also possible there is a species with zero homosexual beings in it at all, or everything is bisexual or otherwise. Perhaps some of them are totally nonsexual and find any hormone based relationships to be inefficient and incorrect as it just gets in the way, and copulation has no purpose save to breed and it is just something to get out of the way to maintain population levels, then go about their way.

I forget the name of it but those Locust based ones. If they are like earth locusts, they may not really have a brain per-say and function on just a nervous system. And thus work more on instinct and not even be capable of understanding those distinctions aside from breeding time to increase numbers.

I don't see it as political. I just see how some topics, no matter how innocent, turn into something political or get really heated. Maybe I am just old fashioned.

Re-read. Derp, I forgot about Shirren and feel dumb. I think a tri sex species is actually kinda neat and I am intrigued and want to learn more about them

Well, I doubt the locusts would be a PC race and few people argue about sexuality in non-sentient creatures.

I do kind of agree that it would be kind of fun to have more aliens with very different approaches to sex and reproduction - We've got a 3 sexed race, but hermaphroditic races, races that change sex in response to conditions or as part of their life cycle, races with no pair bonding instinct, all sorts of other possibilities.
Any of them could have interesting interactions with our concepts of orientation and identity.

But, they're all going to be played by humans and while it's fun to really stretch for such concepts sometimes, it's more common to want to play out something akin to our concepts of romance, if you're going to deal with it at all - thus most of the races aren't that far from human.

You could just say "no queers in X race", but I'm not sure what's gained by that. It closes off options without opening anything up.


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(Crossposting here as well because it seems to fit:)

I'd actually think it better to come up with three entirely new pronouns for the shirren. Shirren have sperm donors, egg donors, and hosts that also donate additional genetic material. That doesn't really map well to human players' concepts, and so using he/she/they makes the shirren seem less alien. We as players shouldn't box/shorthand shirren neatly into masculine, feminine, and other which I think is what he/she/they puts in the minds of most players.

I think three entirely new pronouns works better. I think it also has the added bonus of letting the players attach their own concepts of personality and social/familial dynamics to individual shirren free of preconceptions and stereotypes based on 21st-century humanity.

Liberty's Edge

Umbral Reaver wrote:
Make a planet of space babes that have zero interest in men and have a completely normal, non-sexualised society.

You just described many amazon cultures often in sci-fi.


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Wikrin wrote:
Violet Hargrave wrote:


And this really isn't the thread to elaborate on my "biological sex" comment. Alternative phrasing there if you'd like: "Yay there's no accidental invalidation of trans people or dog whistles for hate groups in how this text is worded."

Thank you for that clarification. I understand that I'm fairly volatile on the subject, and I apologize for... Well, being confrontational. I'm easily exasperated, as I feel like I have strong personal opinions on the issue that are somehow repeatedly dismissed by both sides. Not really the place, I guess. Suffice it to say I'm wildly in favor of transhumanism and morphological freedom, and I don't understand gender. Nothing that I say should be taken as disparaging of trans or non-binary individuals. I just wish things were as clean-cut and simple as an injection or a shopping trip. The subject is wildly depressing. I'm going to go do something else. Sorry. I hope I didn't make anyone's day worse.

I'm guessing there's some sort of a minefield here, but I'm still lost. Science is hate speech? How do you "invalidate" people, accidentally or otherwise?


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Ouachitonian wrote:
Wikrin wrote:
Violet Hargrave wrote:


And this really isn't the thread to elaborate on my "biological sex" comment. Alternative phrasing there if you'd like: "Yay there's no accidental invalidation of trans people or dog whistles for hate groups in how this text is worded."

Thank you for that clarification. I understand that I'm fairly volatile on the subject, and I apologize for... Well, being confrontational. I'm easily exasperated, as I feel like I have strong personal opinions on the issue that are somehow repeatedly dismissed by both sides. Not really the place, I guess. Suffice it to say I'm wildly in favor of transhumanism and morphological freedom, and I don't understand gender. Nothing that I say should be taken as disparaging of trans or non-binary individuals. I just wish things were as clean-cut and simple as an injection or a shopping trip. The subject is wildly depressing. I'm going to go do something else. Sorry. I hope I didn't make anyone's day worse.
I'm guessing there's some sort of a minefield here, but I'm still lost. Science is hate speech? How do you "invalidate" people, accidentally or otherwise?

Telling a transman, for example, that he's really a biological woman.

There are better ways to talk about this concept, should there be some reason to do so - medical needs for example.


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Jersey Burke wrote:
Umbral Reaver wrote:
Make a planet of space babes that have zero interest in men and have a completely normal, non-sexualised society.
You just described many amazon cultures often in sci-fi.

Except for the part where they're usually sexualized

At least in the older versions, which is where I've usually seen such thingss.

Grand Lodge

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I do think there's an additional caveat to the serum of sex shift being as cheap and readily available as it is. With the future being what it is, and the, to quote Terry Pratchett, "black and white being too busy to beat up on green to hate one another," it's possible that issues of gender identity and sexuality have actually evolved in really interesting ways. Like, changing sex in most places might be like changing a haircut. Like, I fully anticipate infuriated blog posts on the infosphere akin to "my stupid sibling shifted and took my top without asking, which is soooo like them, grumble grumble" and all sorts of things. I wonder if, now that such technology is nearly trivial to obtain and use, if that itself is symptomatic of society treating the idea of gender fluidity as a given. The simple possibility of it is amazing for examining the inherent oddity of how restrictive we are with it now, as well as setting up many an interesting NPC and story-arc. Like, there's so much there. I'm super glad they put it in.

Meanwhile, one can still build off of contemporary issues with gender identity in the future, like a character who escaped some sort of archaic commune and spent up all they could scrounge to get that serum, both to get something they've always wanted and struggled for and as a physical manifestation of their newfound freedom. Or you could even examine characters with racially created sex-based castes this way. Like, I've got an idea rolling around of a CEO of a drow weapon manufacture corporation who has misgivings about selling weapons to criminals (a la Iron Man), and so when she leaves, she transitions to male because he no longer sees himself as the person he was before, and as a direct opposition to his formal role, not necessarily because of dimorphism.

I dunno, I think the fact that such a thing is so ubiquitous means there's soooo much to dig into here. I really like it. My first character will likely spend some of their credits every now and again to drink one.


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Yeah, a lot of my interest there is how it could change up fashion and style. You could legitimately have people following fashion trends go 'Red haired women are fashionable right now, I'll be that'.

People are VERY adaptable to new things and there will be entire generations who've never known a time when changing your looks/gender wasn't something you can do with your holiday bonus.


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I must admit, I'm torn between really liking these options being... well, being clear and available options for our characters, and worrying about my WBL, and what might happen to it in the hands of a character who drinks these serums particularly regularly. I don't think the "I'm saving up for an elixir" goal works too well anymore (they're too cheap for that), but it is pretty reasonable to have done it already and afforded one (or more) in one's backstory now.

Mostly, I feel good for all the space-commoners out there. Many can actually afford this option now. I felt bad in Pathfinder, thinking about poor commoners whose bodies weren't right for them, but who definitely couldn't afford low-to-mid-level adventurer-priced potential solutions.


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I suspect most people still won't be interested - maybe as a one time experimentation.
There really does seem to be something real driving our sense of gender identity. Obviously it'll be great for trans people, but they generally won't want to shift back. The gender fluid may well be happy to shift regularly.
Of course it could all be different with the non-human races.

That it's possible and common will certainly kill most of the prejudice.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thejeff wrote:

I suspect most people still won't be interested - maybe as a one time experimentation.

There really does seem to be something real driving our sense of gender identity. Obviously it'll be great for trans people, but they generally won't want to shift back. The gender fluid may well be happy to shift regularly.
Of course it could all be different with the non-human races.

That it's possible and common will certainly kill most of the prejudice.

I could *also* see it as a form of punishment for egregious sex offenders for a given length of sentence.

Grand Lodge

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I suspect most people still won't be interested - maybe as a one time experimentation.

There really does seem to be something real driving our sense of gender identity. Obviously it'll be great for trans people, but they generally won't want to shift back. The gender fluid may well be happy to shift regularly.
Of course it could all be different with the non-human races.

That it's possible and common will certainly kill most of the prejudice.

I could *also* see it as a form of punishment for egregious sex offenders for a given length of sentence.

Ummmm.....Why?

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jurassic Pratt wrote:


Ummmm.....Why?

If an individual could not comport themselves in a properly respectful fashion and is actively assaulting members of a different gender/sex/inclination, then a perhaps few years in the position of having to share those life experiences and probable dysphoria could be a very vicious punishment?


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With all the sexual dimormorpism of lashunta I think a transgender lashunta might have quite a bad case of gender dyphoria.

Eggs for reptilian races give a different approach to have parents for same sex couples.


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I'm curious to see how the drow will handle it, given they are traditionally a strict matriarchy. Out of anyone, I could see them keeping detailed birth records so that people born male don't try to escape their station.

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