New Runelords Player's Guide Art Seems Racy to Some


Rise of the Runelords

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I don't think it's too bad myself. But some do.

In order to keep it from derailing the Ask James thread, I have reluctantly made a home for it here.

Now if I see that conversation continuing in James' thread, I can flag to my heart's content.

Keep in mind the portrayal of women in Paizo products is an old, much discussed topic, so don't freak out too much about it one way or another. If you absolutely must express your opinion, do it here, and remember that you'll get a better results being reasonable than upset.

I'm not baiting anyone. Don't let it get out of hand, I won't have that on my conscience.

EDIT: If you're reading this and thinking "oh god not this again" then please just hide the thread.


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What EL, you couldn't just link it back to the old kotaku male privilege thread? Cause you're so much more reasonable than the rest of us or something? /flamewarfromeverydirection

(Sorry man, I had to.)


I was just being a jackass, cause I'm a spectacular one, but here's my serious answer:

The dude on the left is showing a more typical cleavage window than either of the women. The chick at center does have some cleavage but it's, like, under-cleavage; that's creative! The crazy redhead on the right is a chick but might as well be a dude given her pose and expression; I can't tell if i'm happy to see functional armor on a woman or disappointed because it's not a woman, it's a man with breasts.

Overall I give the piece a B+ to A-; it did surprise me, but only in typical ways.

ART SCHOOL CRIT, SUCKER!!


this topic comment on the "Nudity is bad, violence is OK" thing.

Shadow Lodge

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Can someone post a link to the art, for those of us who haven't seen it? Hard to give an opinion on something you haven't observed.


Tels wrote:
Read an article recently sort of related to malebranche's complaint. Personally, I do dislike it. It's simply one of those things that myself and most of my players mock in today's society (chainmail bikini). It really gets old how each game that comes out, turns females, more and more, into sex objects. I've generally enjoyed a lot of Paizo art as the women are often times more clothed (Seoni and Amiri being exceptions) than most other games. When I see artwork for NPCs, female villains, etc, they've generally got a full set of clothing/armor on, which is a nice change of pace from how things usually are.


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Orthos wrote:
Can someone post a link to the art, for those of us who haven't seen it? Hard to give an opinion on something you haven't observed.

Link to guide


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This is the cover.

Personally, I think it's sad that people are focusing on the cleavage of one girl and completely disregard the other woman to her right that is dressed more modestly.

I think it's okay to have sexy art, both guy and gal. And as long as it's not the only art they provide, that's cool. Paizo provides artwork of all types for all races and genders. I had never seen a black person in a fantasy RPG until I saw the iconic Paladin. And then you have some other well done artwork, like the iconic Cleric with her Arabic complexion. And the barbarion iconic is probably wearing more clothes than most male barbarians in RPG art wear.

Looking through the Rival Guide, for example, there is a great deal of both "Cheesecake Art" and more modest, "realistic" art. It's about equal from what I can tell. And of all of the artwork I've seen, including this one, they aren't in some crazy pose like you see in comic books, and most aren't in some crazed, sexually suggestive position.

I believe there is a place to have sexy art just as there is a place to have violence in games. As long as we aren't over saturated with it, I'm alright with it.


I agree Odraude.

It's also worth considering that the RotRL PF hardcover is going to the single-most expensive Paizo product ever (I think), so they need a very accessible freebie player's guide.

Not to mention, we don't know how bottom of the barrel this picture is until we see all the ones they didn't choose.


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Really? That cover art is risque? Go to a beach sometime. Sheesh.

- Gauss


Gauss wrote:

Really? That cover art is risque? Go to a beach sometime. Sheesh.

- Gauss

Or read Comic Books, Bandes Dessinées and/or Manga.

Play Video Games...

Silver Crusade

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It's a pretty tame cover to be honest.


Belle Mythix wrote:
Gauss wrote:

Really? That cover art is risque? Go to a beach sometime. Sheesh.

- Gauss

Or read Comic Books, Bandes Dessinées and/or Manga.

Play Video Games...

That depends on the Manga or the video game.


Cathegory "Is this clothing or body-paint?"


Touche

Video game counter

Manga Counter

as I said it depends on the manga or video game used as a reference


Belle Mythix wrote:
Cathegory "Is this clothing or body-paint?"

The belly-button definitely makes it body-paint, but here's what I want to know: is that a matter of extreme perspective or asymmetric breasts? (Omigod, who am I to talk, I can't draw in perspective...)


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our society has real big issues with the most minor things.

"hey! lets go play that game where we immagine outselves to be bad-ass adventurers killing sentient beings and taking their treasure its such a holesome way to.... OMG UNDER-CLEAVAGE!!! DEFILER OF MORALITY!!! BURN YOU HEATHEN BOOKS BURN!!!!"

by the way belle.. no nipples = not nude. remember... its not reality that counts... its the imaginary lines we cross.


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Not for nothing, but those things are gonna fall right out if she has to tumble...or swing that sword around...or run...or walk fast...

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Excuse me, I'm off to tell my belly dancer girlfriend that her stage outfit is a blatant attempt to reduce her to a sex object and that she should wear herself modestly while performing, because expressing one's femininity is badwrong.

SHEEEEEEESH.


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Well, I must just put it out there: I'm a dude; any actual woman who wants to comment on the subject has a certain amount of life experience that I won't even try to argue with.

That said, there are plenty of offensive depictions of women out there that I, as a skeezy-creepy-heterosexist will take issue with, and I've never seen Paizo publish any of them.

Liberty's Edge

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I didn't even think "sex" when I saw Lyrie on the cover (or within the pages), neither did my wife when I had her read through the players guide--though, admittedly, my wife feels that there is nothing wrong with strong female characters with breasts/cleavage.

If you looked at that picture and thought it was "fanta-porn", over sexualized, etc., maybe you need to re-evaluate who is actually objectifying women.

EDIT: "you" in the generic sense.

Sovereign Court

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It doesn't matter if the art is sexy or not. It matters if it is apt for the character. The art's job is to bring the characters to life, not re-imagine them in a disbelief-breaking, verisimilitude-ruining way.

If they illustrated a nude Calistrian prostitute doing unnatural things with a wasp I would not complain.

But Lyrie wearing utterly impractical porn-wear to conduct research archaeology in a ruin filled with goblins?

That is just gratuitous.

Oh, and HangarFlying, you are so right, if they put someone's cleavage in the visual centre of a cover image... that makes me over-sexualised... right.

What was that..?

Liberty's Edge

Soooo...you don't remember the original art for Lyrie? Her original dress didn't have any sides for Pete's sake! How was that any more practical? So she's surrounded by goblins, so what? She's not expecting to fight said goblins.

I'm not saying you are over sexualized. I am saying that you are the one doing the objectifying by stating that Lyrie is wearing porn-wear. I don't see porn wear. You see porn wear. The fact that you object to what she is wearing doesn't change the fact that you look at her in an objectifying manner, and are offended by what you see.

Dark Archive

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I personally don't have any problem with it. Especially since with two women on the cover one is a bit cheesecake and the other very practical and the guy is a bit of beefcake. To me it is a nice mix and about the ratio I would be fine with in art in general. As long as we have a nice mix of all kinds of art there can be cheesecake art and i won't care in the slightest. As for it being objectifying, well I don't think it is. But each to their own.

Shadow Lodge

Subjects like this have a lot of stuff to be considered, so presuming it's meant as gratuity might not be as big of an issue as it really is.

If anyone wants to be sure, just make up a modest character and tell her to put some more clothes on, then listen to the GM's response. If it's really a glamered suit of plate armour, then you've got a faux pas on your hands.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
Hitdice wrote:
The chick at center does have some cleavage but it's, like, under-cleavage; that's creative!

It might have been creative forty-something(!) years ago, when Star Trek used a (much more modest) form of it to get round the TV censorship rules of the day. Today, not so much.

I've seen more extreme examples than this walking down the street. Admittedly this was in San Francisco ...


Nope don't see anything wrong with this art.

Liberty's Edge

I can't deny that her bust is larger, but then overall she's a bit shorter and stockier and is more voluptuous as a result than her previous depiction. She is in the center and she is a focal point, but that still doesn't mean that how she is dressed is outside of her characterization.

Silver Crusade

I'd like to throw out another angle on this. I personally don't believe this picture objectifies it's target, for what it's worth, but to continue on.

Suppose it does? So what? In real life one can walk down the street and see styles of dress from hyper conservative to barely legal, and I don't live in one of these larger coastal cities. It's a simple fact different people have different tastes.

Leafing through the player's handbook alone you can see a broad range of styles alone in that. And other artisits, heck same artist in a different pictures, shows different styles of dress. Does every female character have to be a positive role-model?

If we were to go through the book cover to cover and it's filled with double d elf woman with maybe a square yard of cloth between them, then I'd start to worry. But one picture? I'd rather have diversity in my NPCs, including conservative to risque styles of dress.

Just my opinion though.

Liberty's Edge

If the clothing Lyrie is wearing is so objectionable, why are we hearing about this now? Her mini preview was released about five months ago to much praise.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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I removed some posts and the replies to them. Let's see if we can keep this on the rails, eh? Also, flag it and move on.


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Ross Byers wrote:
I removed some posts and the replies to them. Let's see if we can keep this on the rails, eh? Also, flag it and move on.

Great to see you man! Hope we're not ruining your time.

Dark Archive

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Have to agree with theJeff and GeraintElberion: It's the context.

Like Geraint said, if you want to show a woman whose personality or job is that she uses sex to get ahead--fine, she can be as porny as you want. Want to illustrate a fey who lives in the wilderness and doesn't culturally wear clothes? She should be illustrated naked.

The problem is that this character is not a prostitute, or a priestess of Calistria, or a creature of the wilderness. She's a woman living in a pseudo-medieval town. If a real woman wore that in the Medieval era, she'd be raped or beaten.

The problem, in general, is that artists think it's okay to objectify women in the very center of the cover of a product that is not specifically a porn magazine. This is never done to illustrated men in RPG products. It is always done to women.

So this means that (1) our culture still believes that women are valuable people only if they cater to male ideals--they either have to be a sex symbol or a man-in-woman's-body, and there is no in-between, while men can be valuable in many ways--and (2) artists like this assume that mostly men will be reading this product, and thus they need to appeal to the male gaze, which assumes that (3) male RPG gamers are shallow and horny. So it's not just objectifying one woman, it's degrading the hobby and stereotyping male gamers.

Sorry for the rant, but I think this is important.

Dark Archive

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HangarFlying wrote:
If the clothing Lyrie is wearing is so objectionable, why are we hearing about this now? Her mini preview was released about five months ago to much praise.

I suspect this is because not everyone pays terribly close attention to the minis blogs, and also because her boobs weren't right in the middle of a product cover staring us in the face.

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