Playing the other sex


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And this is why people think gamers are socially dysfunctional.

I think of it like being a writer. If a writer only wrote characters of one sex (or gender for that matter), that's not very good writing.

If a writer can only write the opposite sex for raunchy purposes, that too is crap writing. (And sexy writing is better with personalities anyhow)

I am baffled that this is an issue for people at all. There are so many potential responses that aren't "ew girls" or "bam chica wow wow".

I'm shocked that the OP seems to think it might be mechanically disallowed, but considering the number of people who go straight to weird with it, maybe that's not so unreasonable. Except maybe booting weirdos from your game is a more logical response.

</rant>


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
I always like to describe my home game as "An R-rated game set in an NC-17 world." There's all kinds of stuff going on off-screen (ranging from kinky to warped to downright horrible), but only the things the players shine a flashlight on get more than a mention, and none of the really nasty stuff happens as part of the game.

In the game I play a male witch with a very high charisma and a healthy appetite for anything that generates a dopamine response, I handed a note to the GM about his extra-curricular activities one night in town, and the response I got was basically "Uh... OK, but we'll just leave that between us and the female bartender and server will just quietly leave your room in the morning, OK?"

And I was fine with that. As the rest of the party came into his room (he was the party leader) I had him "cleaning up" a few things to give an impression that something really wild and crazy happened the night before.

That was enough to cause the other players to suggest all sorts of stuff that I would never have thought of, and I just smiled knowingly and said "enough of that, time to get down to business" and off we went.

I still get comments from the other players about my witch's bizarre appetites...


Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
I'm shocked that the OP seems to think it might be mechanically disallowed, but considering the number of people who go straight to weird with it, maybe that's not so unreasonable. Except maybe booting weirdos from your game is a more logical response.

I've seen at least one person on this forum who banned it in his (I think) game. And seemed offended at the idea that such a restriction would be enough to drive a prospective player away.


I don't know how to answer this question


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Continuing way off-topic: My favorite episode was when the party wanted to get information from an upscale call girl who might be fronting a robbery-murder ring.

Spoiler:
Jess Door's character Sheraviel "appropriated" royal army funds; houstonderek's character Cadogan used them to book a posh hotel suite and hire the escort for an evening; and TOZ and Cyz's characters staked out the suite as backup, in case things went south. A couple of quick skill checks, and we left it that Cadogan was getting way more than his money's worth, and had failed to get any useful information, when I (as DM) ruled that it started raining cats and dogs outside. This did not please Cyz's rogue, who was stuck out on the balcony for a rather more extended length of time than she'd anticipated.

Shadow Lodge

Ah, good times, good memories.


And to think, I somehow restrained myself from any off-color comments about how Auris was "in the closet" (I seem to remember him hiding there).

Q: Is there a monk in the closet?
A: Don't ask, don't tell.


Back on topic, I was in awe of Mundane's ability to play a character of either gender as naturally as one could ask for, without missing a beat. She should be on Broadway or something.


Wait, what? You mean every time I'm DMing I should only be pretending to be a male character?

If that is not the case, then why should there be any difference when I actually play a character as a PC?

To answer more straightforwardly, I play whichever fits a given character best for both NPCs and PCs. As do all the players in my group. I honestly find this question sort of baffling.


As a player, I've played plenty of female characters. I enjoy playing them. In fact, I intentionally made a point to make a transgender woman for something I haven't played before.

As a GM, I include a lot of female characters in my games, so naturally, I play a lot of females via NPCs. Doesn't bother me. Nobody else finds it awkward.


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Anyone who GMs is not only playing men and women, but animals too.

The Exchange

I'd estimate that over 90 percent of my characters have been male, but that's more because I'm there to unwind, not to struggle with gender roles. Call it intellectual laziness if you like, but I'm just there to game. As for the rest of the table, my characters are indifferent toward the genders of other PCs, because they don't date in the party. ;)

When I GM, on the other hand, I'm a lot closer to that 50/50 balance that I see almost all GMs (unconsciously) struggle with. I urge all my fellow GMs to actually take a count and see if the NPC balance isn't more like 70/30 or worse (and in a few cases, such as Drow High Priestess Painella or the Dowager Duchess, femininity is a non-negotiable part of role, so I'm not sure they'd count.) The good news is that you can rectify that balance at your next session by having the city besieged by 3000 screaming ogresses.


I personally don't, but my GM does -_- he uses the excuse that he doesn't think men have a good reason to play the opposite gender, so why should women?
Of course, when pressed, he said that if he ever specifically had an LGBT player, it wouldn't be an issue. I think he's just paranoid of the idea of having people play out their fantasies.


Most of the time when I read the entry for a class archetype and/or race a mental image immediately springs to mind for such a character, which includes their sex. If not, I roll for it.


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In_digo wrote:

I personally don't, but my GM does -_- he uses the excuse that he doesn't think men have a good reason to play the opposite gender, so why should women?

Of course, when pressed, he said that if he ever specifically had an LGBT player, it wouldn't be an issue. I think he's just paranoid of the idea of having people play out their fantasies.

I would tell such a GM that nothing's stopping a heterosexual man from trying to pursue sexual fantasies in-game (which is not okay to just do). Frankly I take a lot of offense at the idea that, if sex could be an underlying reason for a man's behavior, it MUST be (which, as a hetero-romantic asexual man, is not something i've ever experienced).


Ellis Mirari wrote:
Most of the time when I read the entry for a class archetype and/or race a mental image immediately springs to mind for such a character, which includes their sex. If not, I roll for it.

I've never read the entry for a class or archetype and attributed it to a gender. Ever. So all my characters are male! Logic!... well, mine anyway.


But I play D&D to live out my fantasies, and my fantasies do not end at slaying the dragon, when a princess is involved.

Contributor

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Four of my last five PCs have been female. I will admit to enjoying playing the female PCs more than the male ones.

Being on the trans spectrum myself, yes, to a large extent it's an extension of the same escapism that comes with playing a heroic (or distinctly non-heroic) character, just being able to play as a female character to get away from the outwardly male body I have the rest of the time. It's fun with a dash of liberating.

But I'm an exception perhaps in why people might occasionally play characters reversed to their own gender or outward gender. I suspect for most it's just for variety, or a cool character concept that they feel works better or might be more interesting to play with as that gender versus another. The fact that it isn't the same as their own personal gender tends to be inconsequential I suspect.

I've had virtually all of my players play a character with a different gender than their own at some point, though most stick with one that matches their own body for the most part. I've also never had any of them pick an opposite gendered character just to act out creepy fantasies of the cliche sort. Never run into that sort of thing.


I've done it, others do it, and I'm okay with it.


Todd Stewart wrote:
I suspect for most it's just for variety, or a cool character concept that they feel works better or might be more interesting to play with as that gender versus another. The fact that it isn't the same as their own personal gender tends to be inconsequential I suspect.

I have to say, this is pretty spot-on for me.

It's mostly been unfortunate circumstances and/or social interaction that has ended any sort of real tendency for me to play as anything else.

That said, as Adamantine Dragon pointed out, it's really heavily based on your local groups social mores, customs, comfort level, and so on.

Also, as an aside: "Slap and tickle"? HAHAH! Oh, wow. Yes, yes, I know, it exists and has been a thing, but that's just hilarious linguistically to me. This absolutely does not reflect negatively on Adamantine Dragon or anyone else: I just find it an incredibly funny turn of phrase, to my strange way of thinking. Heh. "Slap and tickle." What'll they come up with next?)


Ellis Mirari wrote:
Anyone who GMs is not only playing men and women, but animals too.

Scandalous!


Ellis Mirari wrote:
In_digo wrote:

I personally don't, but my GM does -_- he uses the excuse that he doesn't think men have a good reason to play the opposite gender, so why should women?

Of course, when pressed, he said that if he ever specifically had an LGBT player, it wouldn't be an issue. I think he's just paranoid of the idea of having people play out their fantasies.
I would tell such a GM that nothing's stopping a heterosexual man from trying to pursue sexual fantasies in-game (which is not okay to just do). Frankly I take a lot of offense at the idea that, if sex could be an underlying reason for a man's behavior, it MUST be (which, as a hetero-romantic asexual man, is not something i've ever experienced).

This is pretty much 100% spot-on for me as well.


MrSin wrote:
Ellis Mirari wrote:
Most of the time when I read the entry for a class archetype and/or race a mental image immediately springs to mind for such a character, which includes their sex. If not, I roll for it.
I've never read the entry for a class or archetype and attributed it to a gender. Ever. So all my characters are male! Logic!... well, mine anyway.

I don't "attribute" certain class roles as "male" or "female" roles (you may have misinterpreted me), but rather as a visual artist, I can't read a description of a character's traits and not form an image of them in my mind. Sometime it's a man and sometimes it's a woman. Sometimes (as is the case with Ellis themself) it's neither. It's not different than my imagining Lieutenant D'Agosta from Relic with brown hair and a thick mustache until it was explicitly said in the text that he had black hair and was clean shaven (which was disappointing, but anyway...)


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I'm a writer and a GM. To the best of my ability, I create and flesh out and bring dramatic life to *characters*, regardless of their gender, background, or even their species. I don't Mary-Sue and self-inject idealized versions of myself into my NPC's, and I don't see any good reason to do it with my PC's either. It's terrible writing and worldbuilding, and it's not much fun for me as a player, either.

As long as I understand that character's background and motivations and the cultural perspective they come from, that means I'm equally comfortable playing a sentient mass of protoplasm as I am playing a character who looks and acts like me. I think that getting into the head of a genuinely alien character is actually a lot more fun than "This character is a wish fulfillment version of me with swords and magic."

Because I myself am solely attracted to male bodied people, I would personally decline to go beyond G rated details in any kind of sex scenes involving my character and a female. But then, I'm not really looking to go beyond a PG rating (for sex, anyhow) at the gaming table at all. It isn't usually the best place to live out those fantasies, not unless you have clear and willing consent from all of the adult participants and you do a whole lot of negotiation ahead of time about everyone's potential triggers as well as their comfort zones and personal preferences.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with group sexual play of any kind. I have no moral qualms with it if everyone is adult and consenting. But, there are a LOT of things that can go wrong with group sexytimes if you don't negotiate clearly and carefully in advance. It is actually a lot of work. You sure you want to put that much effort into the naughty bits, probably at the expense of your plot and game mechanics?

Also, surprising people with group sexytime is not so good. So unless you are very sure that all of your players are happily consenting adults who have the same range of preferences and kinks and none of them have any personal trigger issues or stuff they are uncomfortable seeing or participating in, using the gaming table to play out ANY kind of sexual fantasies is a pretty rotten idea.

I'm pretty wary of the idea that someone could be backward enough to insist that you can't possibly play a cross gender character in their campaign, because how well drawn do you think their NPC's going to be if they don't happen to be the same sex as the GM? How about NPC's of a different species? A GM who isn't capable of playing a character *as a character* rather than as a Mary-Sue insert of themselves isn't a very good worldbuilder. Same story if they can't even conceive of a player who isn't interested in Mary-Sue characters.

If they're rightfully concerned about creeper behavior or offensive gender stereotype behavior, they'd probably be best served by laying down the rules clearly on those subjects anyhow. Sticking to same gender characters is not going to stop either of those problems from cropping up. It's a shallow fix at best, and not an effective one.


Yah the more people respond to it, the less that GM's decision makes sense, because I can't imagine a decent game where the GM is always either an inhuman monster or an NPC of his same sex.


I have more male characters then i do female characters, because i find them slightly easier to play.

Usually, most females i play are somewhat tomboyish, or completely insane. Im terrible at attempting to play a "normal" female. (Don't worry, a large amount of the boys i play are insane too.)

The most sexist stereotype pc I've ever played was a female kitsune enchantress who worships Calestray with almost no strength and insane charisma.

The reason for this is-

I was in a starting up campaign, and the players were to roll randomly for stats, statically assigned, race, and, if they wanted, roll randomly for gender.

I rolled low stats in everything except charisma, witch was insanely high, the highest roll anyone had got for any stat.
I saw this as a challenge to play something uncomfortable and new, and i took it.

Eventually, the format of the game changed to a normal stat but and choice. But i still made her similar to what i had rolled up, because i was presented with a challenge, and dang it, I'm stubborn.


I tend to have characters balance equally of both genders. And some others too.

Of my currently active characters (Pathfinder and Champions) 2 are female, 2 are male and one is a man-sized Amoeba from space.

I play all my characters as people first, then other details second. And the fact my wife is my GM in Pathfinder, and she would slap me upside the head if I was stupid about it helps.


In videogames I tend to play females because 40 hours of staring at a screen is easier when the eyecandy looks like what my mind is geared to want to look at... Can't fight genetics...

In rpgs though I do think both people's perceptions (that I might be wierd for wanting to) and my desire not to be a victim of being 'inappropriately taken advantage of' by those characters when they deem it necessary to prove why you shouldn't... They're totally right. With and against creepers and aholes it's totally wrong to play something they like to play out taking advantage of and victimising in perverse ways...

On the other hand, with my regular group I can play female characters because my regular group is not a bunch of assault fantasy creepers, but I'm surprised how many of those I run into outside of my core group. I don't find myself ever playing them as seductive harlots or confident sassy charmers, or as a device for plying favors and information and distraction using 'feminine wiles' but I do find I primarily use them as ice breakers, healers, singers and dancers and more artistic types... I like my ladies to be beautiful and classy for the most part... Not lascivious and tawdry...

More 'storybook' or 'classic male idealisation' style, which still can kind of be considered as an 'objectification' of women, if you will.

Then again I've never played men as lascivious and tawdry either... The closest I've ever come is my current summoner who's a dude with an eidolon that its mostly 'pretty young biped female' and we have a 'close and physical relationship' but my table would freely admit that their ideas of what's going on behind the scenes in that bond is far more lascivious/tawdry/kinky/creepy than anything I've actually played out in game.

Just not really my style I guess. I'm a married man and I am old. My game sessions aren't as clouded with the rabid hormonal fantasies that clouded my younger mind.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have no problem with Crossplaying. When people do crossplay though I like everyone to have a portrait of their character handy though just so I can bear in mind correct pronoun usage as I go around the table.

I rarely crossplay personally, but that's more because I can't do a girl's voice justice (it's the one special ability I wish I had as a GM), as an amateur voice actor 90% of my character comes across through the voice I use it helps me stay in character as well. If I could do a woman's voice justice though I would totally play a girl :)


I alternate character gender for each AP and set myself the challenge of playing races and classes I would not play.

I find it quicker to create old grumpy straight white male characters because I am an old grumpy straight "white" guy. That why I used to play Dwarves a lot (I haven't played one for 10 years now).

I have to work hard to have a realistic female character.... What I do is before I write up a female character I pick two women from history who are heroes/villains research them and take the interesting parts of there personalities and backgrounds and mash them up.

My last Female character was a combination of Nancy Wake a leader of the French resistance and Coco Chanel.... It was for CotCT and the Baroness was a resistance fashionista, purfumer, Milliner and designer of coture, this got the party into places other characters could not and made me one of the most powerful characters socially and politically in the game.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I rarely crossplay personally, but that's more because I can't do a girl's voice justice

I don't often play women.. But when I do... I like to rock the basso profundo.


Arcutiys wrote:

It can be done by creepers, but much like kitsune and catfolk, I don't assume someone is a creeper if they play whatever gender.

EDIT: Personally, I developed a habit of playing as a female in video games, so when I got in to pathfinder, it was a bit hard to think of my character as a male, but I didn't pick it for the same reason I try not to pick races that have any amount of fur or vaguely Asian origins. The ignorance of others, that is.

That's a very nice everything you have there, it'd be a shame if something was to happen to it...

Didn't realise green exploding ambulant things were into Roleplaying.


One of my recent ideas was a Ninja who everyone thinks is male, but is actually a cross-dressing female.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Vincent Takeda wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I rarely crossplay personally, but that's more because I can't do a girl's voice justice
I don't often play women.. But when I do... I like to rock the basso profundo.

I'm quite sure this is where my playing female characters (especially 'sex-on-a-stick' characters like Mayim) freak people out.

I had been good enough at giving my female characters 'realistic enough' personalities online, that I fooled women into forgetting/not realizing there was a man behind the wheel.*

For me, part of it is simply that my PCs often reflect a certain aspect of my personality, and some of those expressions are female.**

I did encounter one online gamer who only played male PCs. She had bad luck in that all the games with female PCs died quickly.

*

Spoiler:
Not intentionally fooled, rather the character was expressive enough that the persona 'sounded right' to them. (aside: men are pretty easy to fool online)

**
Spoiler:
My own conscience/super ego, for example, manifests as female. I'll let Freud figure that one out.


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invidca wrote:
What's your thought on Males playing females, and females playing males?

To be honest, I don't go around thinking about it at all. Is there some reason I should be?


Matthew Morris wrote:
I did encounter one online gamer who only played male PCs. She had bad luck in that all the games with female PCs died quickly.

My sister used to play male characters exclusively in online games. Mostly because it meant that creeps would leave her alone.

Thankfully, that's gotten a lot better over the last ten years.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Slaunyeh wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
I did encounter one online gamer who only played male PCs. She had bad luck in that all the games with female PCs died quickly.

My sister used to play male characters exclusively in online games. Mostly because it meant that creeps would leave her alone.

Thankfully, that's gotten a lot better over the last ten years.

Back in the days of the unmoderated White Wolf Chat rooms, I ran a female avatar just to keep the HNGs busy so I could talk with my female friends. :-)


I think I know what HNG means from context alone, but I'm still curious what it stands for.

Scarab Sages

The Fourth Horseman wrote:
Also, I don't feel I understand women enough to make an accurate and/or flattering portrayal.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Do you understand half-farspawn tieflings well enough to make an accurate portrayal?

I must refer you back to his first answer...

<runs for cover>


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

I have no problem with Crossplaying. When people do crossplay though I like everyone to have a portrait of their character handy though just so I can bear in mind correct pronoun usage as I go around the table.

)

I agree. I'm a guy but my avatar is the closest I could find to my main Pathfinder character.

Silver Crusade

Orthos wrote:
I think I know what HNG means from context alone, but I'm still curious what it stands for.

I was thinking the same thing, but I think I may have guessed what the acronym means. I'll let him give the definitive and accurate answer rather than guessing, though.


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I've been married for 31 years, and I can tell you with confidence that I understand exactly how a Goblin Sorceress thinks and I will never understand how a Human Female thinks ;)


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I actually think that if you are a male worrying about whether you understand "how a female thinks" then you probably shouldn't play a female character.

I tend to think that females "think" more or less like males "think." I will repeat my quote from Neil Gaiman when he was asked how he wrote such believable female characters. I just pretend they are PEOPLE.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

HNG = Horny Net Geek.

Scarab Sages

Ellis Mirari wrote:
Anyone who GMs is not only playing men and women, but animals too.

And self-pollinating plants, genderless constructs and elementals, hermaphroditic molluscs, self-dividing oozes, self aware gases, intelligent colors....


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Snorter wrote:
intelligent colors....

It's not easy being green.


Terquem wrote:
I've been married for 31 years, and I can tell you with confidence that I understand exactly how a Goblin Sorceress thinks and I will never understand how a Human Female thinks ;)

Amen to that! I apparently married a Gnome Druid.

On topic, I've played tons of female characters. I have a knack for "reading" people and understanding perspectives far outside my own(or so I've been told, borderline Empathic), so playing characters of different genders just feels natural. Over the course of my gaming history, out of over 100+ characters, I'd say about 30-40% of them were female.

Really, it just boils down to whatever the character I see in my head during creation is. If I'm envisioning a female Fighter, or a male druid, they just have to be what I see. I've tried forcing a different gender onto a concept, and it's never worked out. I just roll what I see in my head.

Scarab Sages

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TanithT wrote:
using the gaming table to play out ANY kind of sexual fantasies is a pretty rotten idea.

Especially when it's covered in d4s, or miniatures carrying spears.

Scarab Sages

Matthew Morris wrote:
HNG = Horny Net Geek.

I thought it was 'Has No Girlfriend'.

Silver Crusade

Snorter wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
HNG = Horny Net Geek.
I thought it was 'Has No Girlfriend'.

My guess was going to be Horny Nerd Guy

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