Homosexuality in Golarion


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Mikaze wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
I can confirm if nothing else that Wati has a genderqueer crimelord.
So the player's guide is out and I don't like to jump to conclusions based only on images, but that wouldn't happen to be the character on the left, would it? :)

Nope. Not the character she mentioned.


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JiCi wrote:
Mike Franke wrote:

Just wanted to comment on one part of JiCi's post, the assertion that it was standard to kill people for being gay in middle age Europe. There is a lot of evidence that Homosexuality was not only tolerated but preferred over living single. The general reason for this appears to be that couples are more productive than single people and in a world where life hangs by a thread any boost in productivity was valued.

Of course I am sure there were exception and moments in time where this was not the case but in general middle age Europe did not kill people just for being gay.

I could have sworn that I saw an article on how they mutilate your body 2 times (for 2 "infringements") and then the 3rd time, they outright killed you by execution. Bah... whatever...

The Middle Ages was a 1,000 year period spanning multiple continents and hundreds of cultures that changed as the decades passed. I really don't think we can come anywhere close to generalizing how LGBT individuals were viewed and treated, because there must have been hundreds of different legal responses to the issues. I really wouldn't be surprised if each of you were correct for a few locations and time periods.

Contributor

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Mikaze wrote:

more ssc and Egyptian-flavored gender-ambiguous lillend orgies next time plz?

You could use your getting-stuff-past-the-radar powers for good!

;)

Mixed gender lillend mating balls it is. I can promise nothing however. :)


Todd Stewart wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
|dvh| wrote:
Except nobody's actually having on-page sex in Paizo products.
|dvh| is right. I've looked.
Well there is that Lamashtu orgy in Land of Pharaohs...

Hey, I was absolutely certain that not only would Lamashtu's Flower get cut in development, but I'd probably get an email politely advising me to avoid writing about Lamashtan blood orgies in the future.

And then it stayed in. And then it was illustrated. :D

Bad Todd! Bad!

So, when are you writing something about daemons, kytons and rakshasa?

Contributor

Drejk wrote:
Todd Stewart wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
|dvh| wrote:
Except nobody's actually having on-page sex in Paizo products.
|dvh| is right. I've looked.
Well there is that Lamashtu orgy in Land of Pharaohs...

Hey, I was absolutely certain that not only would Lamashtu's Flower get cut in development, but I'd probably get an email politely advising me to avoid writing about Lamashtan blood orgies in the future.

And then it stayed in. And then it was illustrated. :D

Bad Todd! Bad!

So, when are you writing something about daemons, kytons and rakshasa?

I'd love to talk about what I'm writing, but alas I can't till any particular product is announced, authors listed, and released. I neither admit nor deny I'm working on any particular project at the moment.

But if you want specific things and think I'd be good for them, badger Paizo by sending them emails, or forum posts, or pizza with requests scrawled on the box. ;)


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I was recently discussing with some friends of mine whom I do a lot of online gaming with that every now and then about how I pop into this thread and read a few pages. Each time I realize that my with some people finding homosexuality and such weird would likely suffer a cranial deluge in my games. (^.^)"

Some examples from my campaigns or campaigns I've been involved with.

Our Reign of Winter Campaign
On Fridays I play in a game run by a great GM. My character Agatha is a 25 year Jadwiga witch from Irrisen. Her teacher and mentor is her aunt who adopted her and raised her in the wilderness after her mother was slain by Ulfen rebels when she was a baby. She and her aunt are also lovers (incest AND a lesbian romance! Put that in your pipe in and smoke it! :P)!

My Current Homebrew Campaign
The party's Paladin is currently stuck in a rather rough love triangle. He had a crush on his best friend and fellow member of the templar order that he belongs to, Klari. When he made a move he found out that while she did have feelings for him she was also currently in a romantic relationship with their other traveling companion Myriel.

This led to a rather amusing crisis for him as he struggled trying to decide whether to try and win her away from Myriel - but doing so would hurt Myriel and she was his friend too - or to try and forget Klari as a romantic interest and let them be together, but doing so would leave his heart in the lurch. At one point he even said he wanted to punch Myriel in the face out of jealousy, but he didn't. He realized that was just upset. When he confronted Myriel about it he found out more about her when she confided her darkest secret to him.

Myriel:
As it turned out, Myriel had recently received a promotion from an apprentice inquisitor to full inquisitor and had done so earlier than suspected for reasons she was not proud of. She was living in a training monastery where she was learning the secrets of inquisitor mental subversion and mind-bending, learning to root out those who practice heresy and threaten their country. During her studies she met a young man in the village nearby whom she became good friends with and eventually developed feelings for him.

However, once when she was visiting him she found his door unlocked and walked in to find him. In his room she found a copy of a book that was banned by the country's laws. A variation of the holy teachings that was widely practiced, it was still considered a great heresy by their order and its followers arrested due to the danger they may pose. Despite discovering that he was a member of an underground cult, she could find no fault with him. In fact, she pretended at first as though she had found nothing and he later confided in her despite the risk it posed. He even read portions of the book to her in secret and of this she told not a soul.

However, all was destined to end when she found out that the order had evidence that there was an illegal cult hiding within the village near the monastery and that they would be investigating it soon. Fearful for his safety, she slipped off during the night to warn him in his home, but one of her fellow students saw her leaving and mentioned it to one of the instructors there.

She arrived at his house and he let her in. She told him that the inquisitors would be coming the next day and she wanted him to get out of town. Little did she realize that she had been followed. When the Templar knocked at the door, her friend and crush told her to say nothing except to follow his lead and whatever happened to not cry.

When the templar entered the building he put on a charade where he implied that she had betrayed his trust and that she had made him trust her to discover his secret, etc, etc. She could say nothing, the look of guilt across her face masking her turmoil, but masking it well. As her love was escorted from his home she was commended on ferreting him out as he wasn't even on the list of suspects that were to have been investigated. She was commended for noticing what others had failed to.

She cried herself to sleep and the next day was promoted for her services to her lord and country.

Carrius was torn all over the place. In his heart of hearts he wanted nothing more than to be with Klari, but Myriel too was his friend and he wanted both of them to be happy. He was torn for several in game months as they worked together with the other PCs to root out an underground slaving ring, in which they ended up picking up a pair of vampires as wards that would remain under his protection.

Later he was promoted for his services outside of the country and the order's regular reach, though his harboring vampires was highly suspect and the order less than amused. His superior however was moved by his insistence on protecting even these fiends that he deemed innocent even though he knew that their presence could have had him expelled from his order and stripped of title and ranking.

During a party Myriel and Klari threw for Carrius after his promotion (also in celebration for defeating one of his more obnoxious paladin peers in a duel of honor over the vampires), Klari dropped a rather surprising bomb on the Paladin as Myriel's usually pale face was a deep shade of pink as she did. Klari smiled as she telepathically mentioned to Carrius that her great aunt lived with her two husbands back in the capital, and that such an arrangement wasn't particularly alien to her sensibilities. She had talked it over with Myriel and the two of them were interested in trying a similar arrangement with him.

Flabbergasted by the suggestion he wasn't sure what to think. He liked Myriel alright and was in love with Klari but he wasn't sure if he was happy with the idea of being lovers with the both of them. Uncertain of his feelings on the matter, he turned them down - which initially resulted in the two of them being in a rather sour mood, but life has gone on and he's sorting out his own emotional baggage, his friends, his love-life (or lack thereof) and also a rather peculiar bit of stuff concerning his family bible and sword he inherited not long ago...

Same Campaign...
Speaking of vampires, the party has gotten tangled up with a coven of vampires controlled by a rather evil and narcissistic vampire lord named Vandread. Forced to deal with him when trying to uncover the names and faces of those involved with the slaving operation, the party has encountered quite a few vampires in his service, two of which would go on to travel with the party for some time (a young tiefling vampire named Aliizsa and her friend Miranda) whom Carrius is trying to help to free from servitude.

However, this is about one of the vampires who isn't currently traveling with the party. This is about Vandread's right hand woman and lover, Victoria, and an oddity in the collection of Vandread's apparent harem of vampire spawn. Vandread only turns female servants but Victoria - or Victor to those in the know - is the sole exception.

Victoria as she is known is Vandread's assistant, manager, and assassin for his operation. She is responsible for dealing with the day to day activities and removing pests that become a thorn in his side. She has encountered the party in combat twice and despite being a painful thorn in THEIR side, she has become something of a crowd favorite amongst the players because her mixture of cocky confidence, hidden insecurities, and dominating allure with a strange tendency to inspire empathy in the group has made her into a rather stand-out character.

Victoria:
Victoria - formerly known as Victor in her youth - is the most powerful vampire in Vandread's employ. She commands powerful psionic power that merges with exceptional physical prowess that makes her a talented assassin and martial artist. She is also Vandread's primary lover, and she is devoted to him wholly out of what she believes to be love. She is the only member of Vandread's coven who is male - if only physically.

However, her situation is a bit more complicated. Ripped from her life as a human by her new vampire master she has spent roughly a decade or so in his service and under his command. With literally no family or friends she has developed a sad condition similar to stockholme syndrome wherein she has become devoted to him for he is all she has. On the outside she masks her insecurities with a potent and brimming display of arrogant confidence as she rises above and beyond to prove her worth to her overlord. However this facade masks her deep subconscious fear that she will be cast aside and replaced if she can't continue to remain Vandread's favorite toy.

The party first saw this side of her after defeating her and forcing her back to the nightclub where Vandread makes his lair. They found her having regenerated from her coffin after a heinous thrashing involving a smiting paladin, an angry barbarian, a lot of silver arrows, and a well placed alchemist fire she was struck with when turned into a swarm of bats.

Her expression upon seeing the party was one of regretful indignation. She was ashamed of her failure and she was afraid that her failure would make Vandread lose interest in her. Further complicating these matters was when one of the PCs in the party, a former slave named Jeo, mouthed off to Vandread about his apparent betrayal when he sent his assassin after the party. Having downed an Elixir that granted a +10 bonus to Intimidation some while earlier, she not only shouted him down in his own lair but his attitude was one of compliance. He was intrigued by the ferocity of this one who was so bold as to speak to him in such a way in his own lair surrounded by his minions.

To Victoria's horror, Vandread not only apologized to Jeo and the party, he also gifted Jeo with a magical key that would allow her to step through a door in space. He bid them fair-well with his seemingly sincerest apologies and a rather great excuse for his assassin's presence and the setup that the party found themselves in.

Immediately after the party left, Vandread decided that he had to have Jeo in his coven, for he had to have the woman who would speak to him in such a way, if only out of principle (really, Vandread is a massive a$@%&+@). Now Victoria grudgingly is tasked with apprehending Jeo and bringing her to him, a prospect that Victoria recoils from on many levels, ranging from not wanting for Jeo what happened to her, and the very real fear that she will no longer be Vandread's favorite and then she will be nothing but another of his slaves.

Victoria has unintentionally won the hearts of many of the players. Carrius (a PC) the Paladin doesn't know whether he respects her or wants to introduce his sword to her heart. Aliizsa (a PC) and her friend Miranda both have some insights into her personality because they are from the same coven. Myriel respects her and sees her as a dangerous threat. Klari has no particular opinions about her beyond knowing that she has tried to kill her friends on at least one ocassion and isn't fireproof. Jeo (a PC) seems somewhat torn when it comes to her as on one hand she finds her to be a dangerous enemy but on the other hand she finds her very relateable and is the only member of the party sans Aliizsa who has had to fend off an attack by her twice, leading to an increased rivalry with her. Their roguish companion Jack (a PC) hasn't met her yet, and though he has a soft-spot for beautiful women it is unlikely that he will appreciate her life-draining advances as she carries out her dictated mission.

Now the party must deal with a conspiracy against the crown, obtain proof of the involvement of a powerful noble with the slave trade, and fend off the advances of Vandread's pawns in his game of cat and mouse as they prepare for the inevitable encounter with Vandread himself and his ancient strength. The players have been talking, wondering if they are going to have to have their final encounter with Victoria in their struggle for survival against the vampire lord - or if she is not so far gone as to be unreachable in their final confrontation and a push for liberation from the horrible master she believes she is in love with.

Other "Oddities" (by some posters' perspectives)
- One of my PCs set in the same setting (but different campaign) had two mothers (she was born of a non-consensual union between her mother who raised her and her other mother, a pirate spellsword).
- Jack (mentioned in the previous bit about Victoria) is a shapeshifter who recently seduced a priestess that the party was afraid was a hunter that was after Aliizsa and Miranda. The seduction occurred while he was posing as Aliizsa's mother and the priestess wasn't even into women, but Jack is just so damn charming. It's like the internet meme "Everybody's Gay for Bridget!"
- Jeo discovered during some sleuthing with some Gather Information rolls a bunch of stuff concerning a powerful nobleman. Her excessively good result on the check resulted in her discovering all the plot-relevant information, so the excess information resulted in her finding out that his son was gay and he didn't know it yet, which made the party snicker with amusement when he mentioned that he was going to be meeting his son's special someone later, realizing they were in on the secret before he was.
- Cindy Lou the Halfling barmaid who was working at a Inn/Brothel for madam Merl-Ann (a PC who has since had scheduling issues much to her player's despair). More of a silent partner, Cindy Lou was a slave that was purchased legally in her country to be the foster child of a mourning mother. She lamented that while initially lucky, as she grew up her "mother" wouldn't accept that she wasn't just an eternally youthful girl, while her "father" understood it perhaps a little too well. Despite "omg, you poor thing" that she got from the party, she was pretty casual about it and said that things didn't work out and while she held no grudges and loved both of them for different reasons she was happier being with Merl-Ann who was buying slave contracts and giving them their freedom.

Cindy Lou was also a saucy comic relief character. It was alluded to in some points that she was open to trying all manner of odd things, with the catchphrase "That's gonna cost extra". She quickly became a group favorite, especially after a scene when she was teaching Klari about the fine cuisine that is the fried Chalupa!

Oh, And Before You Get Any Ideas...
The campaign isn't all about people's dragons and their dungeons if'n you know what I mean. Far from it. I GM the campaign for my 15 year old brother who is a member of a group of players ranging from 15-27 years old. The majority of the campaign has focused on high adventure, exciting action, intrigue, trolls, harpies, mercenaries, government conspiracies, rumors of wars, the pros and cons of a powerful religious organization with its ups and downs, ancient mysteries and family secrets, tales of liberation and valor, dark secrets amongst the PCs and their attempts to rise above them, and even a side-plot with a wanted masked vigilante believed to be a ghost by the citizens of a city.

But romance and relationships are part of life, so these things get touched on lightly during the game. Any of that physical lovin' happens "off screen" in a "fade to black" cutscene. Just doin' what people in love do. (^_^)

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've prolly mentioned this already, but....

In my Skulls'n'Shackles game which I'm running, my fiancée plays a Varisian thief-girl-turned-pirate and is having an on-and-off romance with a NPC female aasimar (shh, nobody knows she's angel-blooded) pirate captain.

Yeah, I'm hitting on my soon-to-be-wife by means of a female NPC in a game about pretend dungeons and imaginary dragons. Yes, there are fade to blacks. Yes, the entire gaming group enjoys it. We get to act out a reflection of our romance in-game, in a fashion. If anybody needs Kleenex for the cerebral haemorrhage Ashiel's and my stories might have inducted here, have one, wipe that blood away and get over yourself.


DMs and players can do what they want with NPCs, be for giggles or for "real". Pretty sure that doesn't offend anyone at your table.

I'd like to confirm something that's been bugging since 2 of my posts:

This thing:
The Desna/Shelyn/Sarenrae love triangle.

I'm gonna be quite simple here: Link or it didn't happen.

Where did it start? Is it true? Is it just fan fiction? Was it even explained?

Seriously, this is getting too puzzling... especially since it's something that would come out as obvious.

Silver Crusade

16 people marked this as a favorite.
JiCi wrote:

DMs and players can do what they want with NPCs, be for giggles or for "real". Pretty sure that doesn't offend anyone at your table.

I'd like to confirm something that's been bugging since 2 of my posts:
** spoiler omitted **

I'm gonna be quite simple here: Link or it didn't happen.

Where did it start? Is it true? Is it just fan fiction? Was it even explained?

Seriously, this is getting too puzzling... especially since it's something that would come out as obvious.

First came the writings in the book of Desna, declaring Shelyn and Sarenrae to be her closest companions and sources of comfort. Shelyn who created wonders for her and Sarenrae who mended her wounds after her battles in the void.

Thus did the shipping begin. And the believers rejoiced.

Then came the iconography of Nesoun. And again the believers rejoiced.

Finally did the believers seek out the sage, James of Jacobs. And they cried out, "IS CANON?!"

And verily did James of Jacobs say unto them, "Yup."

And verily did the believers squee.

Silver Crusade

Adam Daigle wrote:
Nope. Not the character she mentioned.

And now I'm extra curious about both that character on the cover and the cover Crystal mentioned. :)

Todd Stewart wrote:
Mikaze wrote:

more ssc and Egyptian-flavored gender-ambiguous lillend orgies next time plz?

You could use your getting-stuff-past-the-radar powers for good!

;)

Mixed gender lillend mating balls it is. I can promise nothing however. :)

<3

And I'm suddenly reminded how different lillend sexuality and family structures might be under their original Planescape flavor, where they could appear male or female but were all biologically female and reproduced parthenogenically...

Silver Crusade

Gorbacz wrote:
If anybody needs Kleenex for the cerebral haemorrhage Ashiel's and my stories might have inducted here

I kind of feel bad that I had to read this sentence again to make sure it said "cerebral haemorrage".

is so mature


Mikaze wrote:

Finally did the believers seek out the sage, James of Jacobs. And they cried out, "IS CANON?!"

And verily did James of Jacobs say unto them, "Yup."

And verily did the believers squee.

Probably the best thing I've ever read.


Mikaze wrote:
JiCi wrote:

DMs and players can do what they want with NPCs, be for giggles or for "real". Pretty sure that doesn't offend anyone at your table.

I'd like to confirm something that's been bugging since 2 of my posts:
** spoiler omitted **

I'm gonna be quite simple here: Link or it didn't happen.

Where did it start? Is it true? Is it just fan fiction? Was it even explained?

Seriously, this is getting too puzzling... especially since it's something that would come out as obvious.

First came the writings in the book of Desna, declaring Shelyn and Sarenrae to be her closest companions and sources of comfort. Shelyn who created wonders for her and Sarenrae who mended her wounds after her battles in the void.

Thus did the shipping begin. And the believers rejoiced.

Then came the iconography of Nesoun. And again the believers rejoiced.

Iconography of what now???

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
JiCi wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
JiCi wrote:

DMs and players can do what they want with NPCs, be for giggles or for "real". Pretty sure that doesn't offend anyone at your table.

I'd like to confirm something that's been bugging since 2 of my posts:
** spoiler omitted **

I'm gonna be quite simple here: Link or it didn't happen.

Where did it start? Is it true? Is it just fan fiction? Was it even explained?

Seriously, this is getting too puzzling... especially since it's something that would come out as obvious.

First came the writings in the book of Desna, declaring Shelyn and Sarenrae to be her closest companions and sources of comfort. Shelyn who created wonders for her and Sarenrae who mended her wounds after her battles in the void.

Thus did the shipping begin. And the believers rejoiced.

Then came the iconography of Nesoun. And again the believers rejoiced.

Iconography of what now???

You now have the keywords to do a Google search. That's what I did.

Squee, indeed!

(EDIT: But entirely NSFW)

Liberty's Edge Digital Products Assistant

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mikaze wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
I can confirm if nothing else that Wati has a genderqueer crimelord.
So the player's guide is out and I don't like to jump to conclusions based only on images, but that wouldn't happen to be the character on the left, would it? :)

Nope. Sadly, the mentioned crimelord does not have a picture. There was also a transgender Pharasmite, but that aspect of their past seems to have been edited out of the final Gazetteer. Still canon, though, so you'll have to figure out which one.

Silver Crusade

Crystal Frasier wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
I can confirm if nothing else that Wati has a genderqueer crimelord.
So the player's guide is out and I don't like to jump to conclusions based only on images, but that wouldn't happen to be the character on the left, would it? :)
Nope. Sadly, the mentioned crimelord does not have a picture. There was also a transgender Pharasmite, but that aspect of their past seems to have been edited out of the final Gazetteer. Still canon, though, so you'll have to figure out which one.

I'm guessing....Anjet Jehuty. On account of the alchemist levels mostly and also because I swear there's some meaning behind "Jehuty" that I can't recall at the moment.

And it turned out the guy I was curious about is still relevant to this thread! :D He's not explicitly made out to be a potential love interest, but he seems like he could easily fill that role. And if so, I believe that makes him the first "bishounen" love interest in an Adventure Path.

I like how that NPC and his partner could easily be taken for fulfilling the standard "yaoi guys" stereotype(you know, the one that almost always sticks characters with "uke" or "seme" roles along with certain formulaic traits), but it isn't quite that and those "yaoi" traits that really are there(like the "emotionally abusive seme" bit) actually seem to be fuelling some dysfunction in that relationship. It seems like they've been set up for PCs to either put that relationship back on track or possibly end it in favor of something healthier, provided they can settle things peacefully in the first adventure.

Dammit, my "relationship counsellor" paladin of Lymnieris would have been perfect for that situation! Augh!

(btw, the Wati article is really good :D )

The Exchange

I have a character i may be playing soon that has the "bishonen" look but is actually a hermaphrodite (as randomly rolled on the tiefling features table in Blood of feinds i think) and im really not sure how the group will feel about him. It is for skull and shackles so im really hoping we do not start off too stripped because i really wanted to wait to explain this one

Liberty's Edge Digital Products Assistant

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mikaze wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
I can confirm if nothing else that Wati has a genderqueer crimelord.
So the player's guide is out and I don't like to jump to conclusions based only on images, but that wouldn't happen to be the character on the left, would it? :)
Nope. Sadly, the mentioned crimelord does not have a picture. There was also a transgender Pharasmite, but that aspect of their past seems to have been edited out of the final Gazetteer. Still canon, though, so you'll have to figure out which one.
I'm guessing....Anjet Jehuty. On account of the alchemist levels mostly and also because I swear there's some meaning behind "Jehuty" that I can't recall at the moment.

Damn.... good guess.

Liberty's Edge Digital Products Assistant

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Andrew R wrote:
I have a character i may be playing soon that has the "bishonen" look but is actually a hermaphrodite (as randomly rolled on the tiefling features table in Blood of feinds i think) and im really not sure how the group will feel about him. It is for skull and shackles so im really hoping we do not start off too stripped because i really wanted to wait to explain this one

Oh lord, did we actually print "hermaphrodite" as a possible random feature for tieflings?

"Hermaphrodite" is not a good term to apply to people. Hermaphrodite is for talking about snails and flatworms. For humans (and tieflings), the world you want is "intersex".


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
I can confirm if nothing else that Wati has a genderqueer crimelord.
So the player's guide is out and I don't like to jump to conclusions based only on images, but that wouldn't happen to be the character on the left, would it? :)
Nope. Sadly, the mentioned crimelord does not have a picture. There was also a transgender Pharasmite, but that aspect of their past seems to have been edited out of the final Gazetteer. Still canon, though, so you'll have to figure out which one.
I'm guessing....Anjet Jehuty. On account of the alchemist levels mostly and also because I swear there's some meaning behind "Jehuty" that I can't recall at the moment.
Damn.... good guess.

funny, i hear jehuty and all i think of is zone of enders.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
I have a character i may be playing soon that has the "bishonen" look but is actually a hermaphrodite (as randomly rolled on the tiefling features table in Blood of feinds i think) and im really not sure how the group will feel about him. It is for skull and shackles so im really hoping we do not start off too stripped because i really wanted to wait to explain this one

Oh lord, did we actually print "hermaphrodite" as a possible random feature for tieflings?

"Hermaphrodite" is not a good term to apply to people. Hermaphrodite is for talking about snails and flatworms. For humans (and tieflings), the world you want is "intersex".

That's "word" Crystal in any "world" :) Hermaphrodite may be technically correct for a Tiefling if both sets of sexual organs are functional. In mythology the (incorrect) assumption was both were functional (in terms of reproduction). Intersex humans irl do not have both functional sets. Who knows with a race in a fantasy game with an interplanar human - fiendish heritage. Some animals do (as you have pointed out) and some animals may switch genders during their lives (referred to as serial hermaphroditism iirc), frogs for example. Not an easy topic to deal with in a game (or irl given our society I'd say). Hopefully anyone who does, in game, has a mature group to play with. And, in real life, a supportive one.


pH unbalanced wrote:
JiCi wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
JiCi wrote:

DMs and players can do what they want with NPCs, be for giggles or for "real". Pretty sure that doesn't offend anyone at your table.

I'd like to confirm something that's been bugging since 2 of my posts:
** spoiler omitted **

I'm gonna be quite simple here: Link or it didn't happen.

Where did it start? Is it true? Is it just fan fiction? Was it even explained?

Seriously, this is getting too puzzling... especially since it's something that would come out as obvious.

First came the writings in the book of Desna, declaring Shelyn and Sarenrae to be her closest companions and sources of comfort. Shelyn who created wonders for her and Sarenrae who mended her wounds after her battles in the void.

Thus did the shipping begin. And the believers rejoiced.

Then came the iconography of Nesoun. And again the believers rejoiced.

Iconography of what now???

You now have the keywords to do a Google search. That's what I did.

Squee, indeed!

(EDIT: But entirely NSFW)

and the google search brought only this thread as results :-)

Liberty's Edge

Crystal Frasier wrote:

Oh lord, did we actually print "hermaphrodite" as a possible random feature for tieflings?

"Hermaphrodite" is not a good term to apply to people. Hermaphrodite is for talking about snails and flatworms. For humans (and tieflings), the world you want is "intersex".

There have been several references to Tieflings, specifically, being hermaphroditic. There's a random feature in Bastards of Erebus, a line about Asura-Spawn in Blood of Fiends, and Avayah is referred to as such in Magnimar, City of Monuments. For the record.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
R_Chance wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
I have a character i may be playing soon that has the "bishonen" look but is actually a hermaphrodite (as randomly rolled on the tiefling features table in Blood of feinds i think) and im really not sure how the group will feel about him. It is for skull and shackles so im really hoping we do not start off too stripped because i really wanted to wait to explain this one

Oh lord, did we actually print "hermaphrodite" as a possible random feature for tieflings?

"Hermaphrodite" is not a good term to apply to people. Hermaphrodite is for talking about snails and flatworms. For humans (and tieflings), the world you want is "intersex".

That's "word" Crystal in any "world" :) Hermaphrodite may be technically correct for a Tiefling if both sets of sexual organs are functional. In mythology the (incorrect) assumption was both were functional (in terms of reproduction). Intersex humans irl do not have both functional sets. Who knows with a race in a fantasy game with an interplanar human - fiendish heritage. Some animals do (as you have pointed out) and some animals may switch genders during their lives (referred to as serial hermaphroditism iirc), frogs for example. Not an easy topic to deal with in a game (or irl given our society I'd say). Hopefully anyone who does, in game, has a mature group to play with. And, in real life, a supportive one.

Given the mythological origins of the word, I'd think it would be a better choice for a tiefling than intersex. Even though it doesn't apply to the closest humans come to the concept.

It also doesn't really make any sense to say that mythology was incorrect about the nature of mythological beings.

Contributor

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Crystal Frasier wrote:

"Hermaphrodite" is not a good term to apply to people. Hermaphrodite is for talking about snails and flatworms. For humans (and tieflings), the world you want is "intersex".

This case isn't quite the same however. Hear me out if you would.

Proteans have also been described as being completely gender-morphic, shifting between male, female, agender, hermaphroditic and anything in-between at whimsy, because they can, and because orange acorn cantata, etc. When I used that word to describe them at times, it's in reference to the biological term which isn't appropriate for humans, because that state doesn't actually exist in humans. But it does in snails, proteans, and some other outsiders and others.

Tieflings however aren't precisely human. They've got some other blood floating in their veins that isn't of mortal origin. So why should mortal biology reign supreme? While it's frowned upon to use the word to refer to intersexed humans, given that tieflings have outsider blood involved, and the use of the term with respect to them refers to actual hermaphroditism, I would think it sufficiently transcends biology and isn't an intersex condition, but what we see in snails. Human intersex individuals may have been labeled hermaphrodite in the past due to ignorance of their state and confusion with non-human biology and mythological personages, but tieflings in this case and some others aren't the same thing. Of course you could also have an intersex tiefling, and that would be perfectly cool as well.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I would think Hermaphrodites (in the snail/worm biological meaning of the world) would be pretty common among Qlippoth descended outsiders.

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Paizo products aren't the last word on what is or is not morally or socially accurate or responsible. We try to be respectful, but this is obviously a situation where no one on the editorial staff understands the negative connotations of certain words, and I was not involved in these books' editing and was understandably not very forthcoming about my biology.

My overall point being, even if you think you have valid scientific reasons for calling an imaginary race "hermaphrodites", it's still a dehumanizing and insulting word for real-world intersex people.

I was hoping to be helpful, but since the reaction to this is entirely people looking to argue for technicalities for when they can use insulting terminology, I'm not super comfortable and am going to withdraw from this conversation and thread.


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Crystal Frasier wrote:
Paizo products aren't the last word on what is or is not morally or socially accurate or responsible.

Just don't let the people in the alignment threads hear you saying it!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thejeff wrote:

.

It also doesn't really make any sense to say that mythology was incorrect about the nature of mythological beings.

That's why it's called Mythology, and not History. Myths can conflict. They often do.


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Crystal Frasier wrote:


My overall point being, even if you think you have valid scientific reasons for calling an imaginary race "hermaphrodites", it's still a dehumanizing and insulting word for real-world intersex people.

I am very sorry when people I would never want to hurt or insult end up feeling that way. I agree you have a really good point and that it is important to be sensitive to these concerns. It would also not normally occur to me that it would be hurtful to anyone to make up a race of humanoids that have really nifty snail-like biology. Because, science is cool and a great source of inspiration for gaming material.

I absolutely respect your right to speak up about how it feels to you and I want to do my best to listen supportively. But what you are saying truly boggles and bewilders me and I really have to spend time working at it and thinking about it to understand. I appreciate your saying it though, and I will try to learn from it and wrap my head around it.

Creating or playing such a character would not be intended to be offensive to other trans* people so much as it would be a reflection of how I feel about my own gender. I'd like it to be okay for me to explore my own not-very-solidly-gendered feelings while being sensitive to my friends who are coming from different places on the gender spectrum. Is that possible? If so, how?


thejeff wrote:


Given the mythological origins of the word, I'd think it would be a better choice for a tiefling than intersex. Even though it doesn't apply to the closest humans come to the concept.
It also doesn't really make any sense to say that mythology was incorrect about the nature of mythological beings.

*sigh* In the ancient world intersex humans were thought to be hermaphroditic irl. That is incorrect. Hence my reference to mythological assumptions being incorrect. I could have made that clearer. If the reference was to a wholly mythological being then it would not have been incorrect...

Shadow Lodge

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
TanithT wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:


My overall point being, even if you think you have valid scientific reasons for calling an imaginary race "hermaphrodites", it's still a dehumanizing and insulting word for real-world intersex people.
Creating or playing such a character would not be intended to be offensive to other trans* people so much as it would be a reflection of how I feel about my own gender. I'd like it to be okay for me to explore my own not-very-solidly-gendered feelings while being sensitive to my friends who are coming from different places on the gender spectrum. Is that possible? If so, how?

Couple of things, strictly from my own POV.

I think that this is one of those situations where the problem really is the word more than the concept. Most intersex people I have known have told me they find the term "hermaphrodite" offensive. I have therefore removed the word from my vocabulary, even though it always struck me as a cool world with interesting mythological underpinnings.

Also, do remember that trans<>intersex. There can be some overlaps, but I have known several intersex people who get quite upset at incidents they perceived as transfolk appropriating an intersex identity. There is a lot of overlap between the two, but they are not the same, and the experiences of people in the two groups can be very different.

As long as you are exploring it in a mature way, no one reasonable should have a problem with you playing an intersex character. If that's what you want to do, give it a whirl, and if it makes your group uncomfortable, then tone down what you need to to make it work.

Just one transwoman trying to share stuff she's picked up along the way...


Probably, some tieflings are intersex, some are bi-gendered and have both sets of genetalia, some are bi-gendered and have one set of genetalia, or even no genetalia, and some are agendered or something else. I have a tiefling character whose body lacks both gender characteristics and the physical equipment entirely, and is a product of mosaic chimerism (merging of two embryos in the womb) caused by the chaotic, corrupting influence of the Worldwound. They also have a chitinous armor covering their skin (represented by the Armor of the Pit feat) and a segmented tail, like a scorpion's but without a stinger.


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Crystal, please don't withdraw from the thread. You have been such a positive and educating force in this thread and you are needed here. The initial reaction of people wanting the word hermaphrodite for a purely scientific meaning is a normal reaction. These people have likely not had close friends or relatives who are intersex, nor have they likely seen the word hermaphrodite used in an insulting or abusive way. Please stay and continue to inform and educate, that is how things will get better. And know that there are people here who support you and recognize the good you do.


pH unbalanced wrote:
I think that this is one of those situations where the problem really is the word more than the concept. Most intersex people I have known have told me they find the term "hermaphrodite" offensive. I have therefore removed the word from my vocabulary, even though it always struck me as a cool world with interesting mythological underpinnings.

I did not know that, and I'm glad I do know that now so I can try to be more considerate. However this knowledge leaves me in a bit of a dilemma, because I literally *cannot talk* about some aspects of the biological sciences if I can't use the term. Is there another word that I could use to describe this aspect of nonhuman biology? Would 'bi-gendered' be okay if I was talking about a fantastic race with snail type reproductive biology?

Quote:
Also, do remember that trans<>intersex. There can be some overlaps, but I have known several intersex people who get quite upset at incidents they perceived as transfolk appropriating an intersex identity. There is a lot of overlap between the two, but they are not the same, and the experiences of people in the two groups can be very different.

Absolutely, which is why I appreciate what is being said so I can learn more. I do think that all of us non-cis/non-het folks are much better off being in solidarity, so while I respect that our experiences are different, I am firmly in the non-cis camp and want to support others who are as well. Even if we are not exactly the same and I may not natively understand or intuit how to be supportive. The term "trans*" with the asterisk is specifically intended to be an over-arching one that encompasses people all over the non cisgendered spectrum, but of course I'd have to leave it up to any individual to decide if they personally want the label or not.

Quote:
As long as you are exploring it in a mature way, no one reasonable should have a problem with you playing an intersex character. If that's what you want to do, give it a whirl, and if it makes your group uncomfortable, then tone down what you need to to make it work.

While I don't generally do super adult themes in my game unless it's actually a plot focus, creating a character or a race that could physically and/or magically express how genderfluid I personally feel would be a healthy and positive thing for me rather than a bad or hurtful thing. I don't know that it'll actually happen, but I'm saying that for me it's definitely borrowing inspiration from my own trans* status as well as from science, and it is definitely not intended to make light of anyone else's intersex or trans* status.

I know that intersex and trans* are different, but given my own experience, making fun of or being mean to someone for not being cisgendered would still internally translate to doing it to myself. So it is definitely the last thing I want to do, and to that end I'm looking for clarification of a word I can use that won't be hurtful to other non cisgendered people whose experiences are different from mine.


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TanithT wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
I think that this is one of those situations where the problem really is the word more than the concept. Most intersex people I have known have told me they find the term "hermaphrodite" offensive. I have therefore removed the word from my vocabulary, even though it always struck me as a cool world with interesting mythological underpinnings.

I did not know that, and I'm glad I do know that now so I can try to be more considerate. However this knowledge leaves me in a bit of a dilemma, because I literally *cannot talk* about some aspects of the biological sciences if I can't use the term. Is there another word that I could use to describe this aspect of nonhuman biology? Would 'bi-gendered' be okay if I was talking about a fantastic race with snail type reproductive biology?

I hope I can help to clarify this a little.

It is not that you should completely remove the word from your vocabulary. You are correct that when talking about science and biology the word hermaphrodite should absolutely be used. It is literally the correct word when talking about animals, insects, etc. biology.

The problem is when people use the word outside of a strictly scientific usage. Casually or derogatorily referring to a Person as hermaphrodite is offensive at best, cruel and insulting at worse. A Person who is intersex is just that, they are intersex. That is the correct term for a Person, not an animal.

Until a person has been on the receiving end of a word that has been re-purposed as an insult to a group they belong to it is difficult for people to understand how insulting that word can be. As a gay man this is something I am very familiar with.

I hope this helps and I hope this doesn't come off as being aggressive.

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Brinebeast wrote:
TanithT wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
I think that this is one of those situations where the problem really is the word more than the concept. Most intersex people I have known have told me they find the term "hermaphrodite" offensive. I have therefore removed the word from my vocabulary, even though it always struck me as a cool world with interesting mythological underpinnings.

I did not know that, and I'm glad I do know that now so I can try to be more considerate. However this knowledge leaves me in a bit of a dilemma, because I literally *cannot talk* about some aspects of the biological sciences if I can't use the term. Is there another word that I could use to describe this aspect of nonhuman biology? Would 'bi-gendered' be okay if I was talking about a fantastic race with snail type reproductive biology?

I hope I can help to clarify this a little.

It is not that you should completely remove the word from your vocabulary. You are correct that when talking about science and biology the word hermaphrodite should absolutely be used. It is literally the correct word when talking about animals, insects, etc. biology.

The problem is when people use the word outside of a strictly scientific usage. Casually or derogatorily referring to a Person as hermaphrodite is offensive at best, cruel and insulting at worse. A Person who is intersex is just that, they are intersex. That is the correct term for a Person, not an animal.

Until a person has been on the receiving end of a word that has been re-purposed as an insult to a group they belong to it is difficult for people to understand how insulting that word can be. As a gay man this is something I am very familiar with.

I hope this helps and I hope this doesn't come off as being aggressive.

I can see, though I wasn't fully aware before, of how it would be insulting to refer to an actual person that way, but it's a little harder for me to see how it's insulting when used to refer to a fantasy person. My understanding is that it isn't just the distinction between "word for animal with these characteristics" and "word for person with the same characteristics", but an actual distinction in the characteristics themselves.

Would a PF outsider who is fully functionally both sexes be considered "intersex"? Because it's not really the same condition as we find in humans.
Or even in other mammals, right? Would a dog, for example, with the characteristics we would classify as intersex in humans be considered hermaphrodite or is that reserved only for creatures like snails and flatworms?


I don't really want to be "that guy", but I feel like this debate has been resolved. I don't want to be a killjoy, but I feel like everything has been said.

Pathfinder has its share of LGBT characters, and homosexuality is something common in Golarion's society. The ONLY thing that you MIGHT wanna know about that is that LGBT characters aren't that numerous, not because they're hiding or are being hunted, but simply because they didn't come out... and even if they did, it might have gotten so little impact that people simply didn't care much about it. A man presenting his boyfriend had the same "impact" as a man presenting his girlfriend... and that's WITHOUT considering interspecies couples. The authors made characters as they see fit to make believable NPCs for DMs to use as they see fit.

There's no harm done making an established heterosexual NPC homosexual, just like there's no harm done making an established homosexual NPC heterosexual. If there is... then blame the DM and/or the players for not accepting it, but by no mean, it's the authors' fault. If one of your players comes out as homosexual, so let him or her be. If you want to introduce a homosexual NPC of your own for your players to interact with, go for it. Nothing should stop you from doing so.

I mean, come on, homosexuality isn't as taboo as it was in the past. It is often accepted and not chatised upon. We had LGBT characters in novels, comic books, web comics, video games, movies and TV series... why not in a popular tabletop game?

Silver Crusade

thejeff wrote:
Brinebeast wrote:
TanithT wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
I think that this is one of those situations where the problem really is the word more than the concept. Most intersex people I have known have told me they find the term "hermaphrodite" offensive. I have therefore removed the word from my vocabulary, even though it always struck me as a cool world with interesting mythological underpinnings.

I did not know that, and I'm glad I do know that now so I can try to be more considerate. However this knowledge leaves me in a bit of a dilemma, because I literally *cannot talk* about some aspects of the biological sciences if I can't use the term. Is there another word that I could use to describe this aspect of nonhuman biology? Would 'bi-gendered' be okay if I was talking about a fantastic race with snail type reproductive biology?

I hope I can help to clarify this a little.

It is not that you should completely remove the word from your vocabulary. You are correct that when talking about science and biology the word hermaphrodite should absolutely be used. It is literally the correct word when talking about animals, insects, etc. biology.

The problem is when people use the word outside of a strictly scientific usage. Casually or derogatorily referring to a Person as hermaphrodite is offensive at best, cruel and insulting at worse. A Person who is intersex is just that, they are intersex. That is the correct term for a Person, not an animal.

Until a person has been on the receiving end of a word that has been re-purposed as an insult to a group they belong to it is difficult for people to understand how insulting that word can be. As a gay man this is something I am very familiar with.

I hope this helps and I hope this doesn't come off as being aggressive.

I can see, though I wasn't fully aware before, of how it would be insulting to refer to an actual person that way, but it's a little harder for me to see how it's insulting when used to refer to a...

Thank you.

As far as I can tell Faultspawn are not what we would recognize as intersexed in humans.

Not only are they most defiantly not even humanoid (spells like hold person, charm person or anything else that has the "target one humanoid" in it do not have any affect on them) despite sometimes having humanoid parents, and sometimes having tiefling parents.

Tieflings can both be androgynous, and likely lacking any sex organs whatsoever. (most likely to be found in members of the Mothreless). Threfore it stands to reason that they would be biologically hermaphorditic as well.

As in they are not intersexed, because their condition is not caused by any mortal thing. They're not human.

They likely have fully functional genitalia of both male and female, and are capable of both siring and bearing offspring. As far as I can tell this fills the definition of a hermaphordite, if we are talking in a biological manner.

Shadow Lodge

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Well, of course, *in Golarion*, hermaphrodite would never be a term that was used, as neither Hermes nor Aphrodite are Golarion deities.

So I would suggest a coinage that includes the names of actual Golarion deities to express the same thing. Perhaps...Arshean? That might avoid real world baggage.

Silver Crusade

pH unbalanced wrote:

Well, of course, *in Golarion*, hermaphrodite would never be a term that was used, as neither Hermes nor Aphrodite are Golarion deities.

So I would suggest a coinage that includes the names of actual Golarion deities to express the same thing. Perhaps...Arshean? That might avoid real world baggage.

Because that refers to members of a religion


pH unbalanced wrote:

Well, of course, *in Golarion*, hermaphrodite would never be a term that was used, as neither Hermes nor Aphrodite are Golarion deities.

So I would suggest a coinage that includes the names of actual Golarion deities to express the same thing. Perhaps...Arshean? That might avoid real world baggage.

They also don't speak English. Everything is translated, including such references.

Though it might be reasonable to make a exception in this case.

Dark Archive

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pH unbalanced wrote:

Well, of course, *in Golarion*, hermaphrodite would never be a term that was used, as neither Hermes nor Aphrodite are Golarion deities.

So I would suggest a coinage that includes the names of actual Golarion deities to express the same thing. Perhaps...Arshean? That might avoid real world baggage.

Probably would work better. Golarion does have a female god of love and beauty in Shelyn, but doesn't really have a male counterpart covering that area. So a portmanteau like Erastelyn or Sheyden might be reaching.

Although if I don't leave this train of thought, I'll spend the next thirty minutes portmanteau-ing the names of Golarion gods and creating composite deities, like Sheython, beautiful leather clad god(dess) of pleasure and pain...


Brinebeast wrote:

It is not that you should completely remove the word from your vocabulary. You are correct that when talking about science and biology the word hermaphrodite should absolutely be used. It is literally the correct word when talking about animals, insects, etc. biology.

The problem is when people use the word outside of a strictly scientific usage. Casually or derogatorily referring to a Person as hermaphrodite is offensive at best, cruel and insulting at worse. A Person who is intersex is just that, they are intersex. That is the correct term for a Person, not an animal.

I would not use the term to refer to a real world human person, because it would be factually incorrect to do so. And now because I know it is also hurtful. I really do not ever want to be hurtful to other non cisgendered people.

A real world human person would not have wings, or a serpentine bottom half, or feathers, or the legs of a spider, or otherwise otherworldly nonhuman biology, so of course you wouldn't use any of those terms to refer to them. Real world people don't have chelicerae or respiratory spicules or gills or compound eyes or chromatophores. A fantasy person might, though, and those are the words I would use to describe their features. My question is whether it is bad to use a biological term in its correct context to refer to those nonhuman, otherworldly aspects? I'm hearing that this particular word might be hurtful, so I will be happy to substitute some other word if there is a good suggestion.

I like "Arshean" as it keeps things strictly on Golarion with no real world baggage, but it would still need some explanation. Eg, "This race is commonly bi-gendered, with individuals likely to be functionally both male and female, able to both bear and sire offspring."

Quote:
Until a person has been on the receiving end of a word that has been re-purposed as an insult to a group they belong to it is difficult for people to understand how insulting that word can be. As a gay man this is something I am very familiar with.

I have a pretty hideous amount of past trauma relating to gender role bullying and and internal gender dysphoria, so I definitely do get it, even if my own experience is not coming from exactly the same place.

Silver Crusade

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Set wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:

Well, of course, *in Golarion*, hermaphrodite would never be a term that was used, as neither Hermes nor Aphrodite are Golarion deities.

So I would suggest a coinage that includes the names of actual Golarion deities to express the same thing. Perhaps...Arshean? That might avoid real world baggage.

Probably would work better. Golarion does have a female god of love and beauty in Shelyn, but doesn't really have a male counterpart covering that area. So a portmanteau like Erastelyn or Sheyden might be reaching.

Although if I don't leave this train of thought, I'll spend the next thirty minutes portmanteau-ing the names of Golarion gods and creating composite deities, like Sheython, beautiful leather clad god(dess) of pleasure and pain...

Starting to think about that may be easy, but stopping thinking about that may be more difficult....!

Silver Crusade

Brinebeast wrote:
Crystal, please don't withdraw from the thread. You have been such a positive and educating force in this thread and you are needed here.

Seconded. I was really sad to see where things went, coming back to the thread. And there's so much more discussion about Wati and Osirion in general to be had here too. :)

I must admit, I didn't really understand how bad the history with that word was for intersexed people, honestly having seen it almost entirely in a biology or fantasy context. Like others have said, this thread has been a real learning experience.

Also seconding coming up with a Golarion-specific term without that baggage. Arshean IS the first thing that comes to mind, but as noted it would get confusing fast.

Silver Crusade

Set wrote:

Although if I don't leave this train of thought, I'll spend the next thirty minutes portmanteau-ing the names of Golarion gods and creating composite deities, like Sheython, beautiful leather clad god(dess) of pleasure and pain...

Oh dammit Set. You just had to plant that seed. ;)

also now considering Sarendeus, angel of hellfire, conquerer of Rovagug, and dark savior of the world.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Starting to think about that may be easy, but stopping thinking about that may be more difficult....!

Seriously. That concept alone has so much potential...

Could be a way for Shelynites to infiltrate Nidal society. Could be a way for Kuthites to do the same beyond Nidal. Could be a heretical belief held by conjoined Shelynite/Kuthite sects that may have some element of truth to it. Could be seen as a deific attempt to rehabilitate Zon-Kuthon.

Hell, that could even be some sort of demigod offspring, born naturally or created, purposefully or spontaneously.

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