Playing the other sex


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Snorter wrote:
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....

In my experience, I get a lot deeper into the head of my own characters than those I run as a GM.

It doesn't really make a lot of sense to me to say "Well you do it as a GM, so doing it as a player shouldn't be any different." Of course it's different.

Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with playing the other sex, but it's a different thing than doing so as a GM.

Unless your GM is far more immersed in each NPC than any I've seen. Or your players are far less so than I prefer.

The Exchange

Never played females (I'm a male), and as a GM, I find it harder to portray a female than a male. Not sure why, really, but that's the way I experience things - I always feel like my female NPCs are less believable/interesting than the males.


Typically play male, but as a DM often end up playing female NPC party members to balance out the party (and give the sole female player/PC someone to share a room at the inn with). I also add a lot of female NPCs as potential love interests (as well as a few male ones for my female gamer) because although I hate to admit it, I'm a romantic at heart.
I have played female PCs now and then for the sheer RP challenge.
You've got to know your group, though. A lot of people are still uncomfortable with it.


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thejeff wrote:
Unless your GM is far more immersed in each NPC than any I've seen.

For me, if an NPC is potentially important enough to rate a name and stats, he gets a distinct voice, quirks, maybe an accent, elements of backstory that will probably never come up.

Spoiler:
Two priests of Cuthbert in a recent campaign: one came on like a holy-roller Baptist televangelist from Dallas, healing people with whacks of his "holy" cudgel, while the other was more subdued, like a retired down-home Gospel preacher from Mississippi who'd seen to much in his life to keep whacking people with quite that level of zeal. When I spoke in character, the players knew right away who it was. And these were relatively minor NPCs.
For major NPCs, I've been known to actually rehearse for them talking.

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Lord Snow wrote:
Never played females (I'm a male), and as a GM, I find it harder to portray a female than a male. Not sure why, really, but that's the way I experience things - I always feel like my female NPCs are less believable/interesting than the males.

One of the things I'd like to point out is the fact that it doesn't matter whether one can reliably play or portray females well, in terms of non-human-female races.

The reason? Those are different races that don't actually exist***. One of the reasons that uncomfortable situations arise is the fact that we have certain expectations informed directly by real-life experience and, when our real-life experience clashes strongly enough, it can set off uncomfortable experiences for others.

Thus, some people could be quite excellent at portraying wholly fictional half-jellyfish dragons, infernal devils, or oozing aberrant menaces or whatever. They aren't real.

In a way, this follows the ideas of the uncanny valley.

Added to that, almost everyone makes strange choices sometimes, or even if they are perfectly good choices, due to life experience they can seem off*. Enough of those can create a negative reinforcement that ultimately discourages people from exploring those elements.

In other cases, people have parts of themselves that they are uncomfortable with. Regardless of the supportive nature of their local community, they might not want to get in touch with "that side" of themselves (whatever "that side" happens to be)**.

This can be true when people don't want to play a certain alignment (usually, but by no means always, evil) or they don't want to play a certain creature race, or a certain gender. It's a very similar set of mental things: there is something within them that they don't want to tap that they'd feel compelled to tap to "do it properly".

Point in fact, this aversion to their own inner traits might have nothing to do with aversion to the inner (or outer) traits of others. It's just a personal thing.

All of this is often conflated with outer characteristics or how people view those of alternate genders (inner or outer) or other traits, even though those things do not necessarily have anything to do with it.

What I'm trying to say is: people are complicated. Assigning specific motives because someone doesn't play the way you do is probably incorrect for at least a portion of people, even if it is a general trend.

Thus, I, personally, don't find the OP's post or question offensive or rude. I just find it different. Someone who doesn't have the experiences I do, and thus comes to different conclusions.

Despite my self-analysis in this thread, I don't usually think about what's happening. I'd wager most people don't too much. Usually it just sort of happens. Those few instances of examination (because something comes up in game) usually result in the same conclusion that was subconsciously reached anyway.

I'd tend to guess that it's only when those assumptions are challenged (whether or not the challenge wins or the initial assumption does) that most people really deeply consider their consistent choices.

I could be wrong, though. People are complicated.

However, if you're saying that it's a good idea for a GM to be skilled at making <insert gender> characters as "real" as possible without being offensive, I wholeheartedly agree. I'm just pointing out that being a GM and being skilled in that regard does not fully or always equate to being a player skilled at the same thing. And you can be a good GM with stereotypical, cartoonish, or otherwise incorrect portrayals of a gender or outlook different than your own. This biggest thing to take care for is your group's comfort level as both individuals and a whole, and work with that, whatever it is. That will often inform your GMing, and it may look quite different than someone else's as a result.

* As a great example, C. J. Cherryh is one of my favorite authors. I love her Foreigner series. But every once in a strange while something will cross Bren's mind that totally makes me think, "That sounds exactly like my mother." and suddenly I have a very difficult time picturing Bren, and instead picture my mother. Makes for a few hilarious moments in visualization before I go to the next few sentences and get back the proper mental image. Has nothing to do with her rather exceleent skill as an author. Has everything to do with my experiences forming a very strange momentary lapse in the narrative of my imagination.

** Basically, I'm the negative reinforcement example. It's not that I care about it, it's just that it's consistently turned out awkward, and/or isn't feasible, and thus I no longer really try and play them.

*** And, you know, they're not going to get upset over your "inaccurate" portrayal thereof.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Unless your GM is far more immersed in each NPC than any I've seen.
For me, if an NPC is potentially important enough to rate a name and stats, he gets a distinct voice, quirks, maybe an accent, elements of backstory that will probably never come up. ** spoiler omitted ** For major NPCs, I've been known to actually rehearse for them talking.

That's still a lot less focus than a good PC gets.


Tacticslion wrote:
As a great example, C. J. Cherryh is one of my favorite authors. I love her Foreigner series. But every once in a strange while something will cross Bren's mind that totally makes me think, "That sounds exactly like my mother." and suddenly I have a very difficult time picturing Bren, and instead picture my mother. Makes for a few hilarious moments in visualization before I go to the next few sentences and get back the proper mental image. Has nothing to do with her rather exceleent skill as an author. Has everything to do with my experiences forming a very strange momentary lapse in the narrative of my imagination.

As an aside from the "other sex" part: Cherryh, in the Chanur books is one of the very few authors who can do alien point of view well. There were a few points where she got me deep enough in the hani worldview that I could see the alienness of the human character.


I GM a ton, so playing female or male PCs are no real taboo for me. The quote from Gaimen that AD posted is pretty much on point. I know I come up with a broad concept, I browse the internet and find some kind of picture that I think represents the concept even more. I then hone the character in around the picture, adding my own flare and there we go. (In the end the picture tends to determine the Sex of the PC.)


thejeff wrote:
That's still a lot less focus than a good PC gets.

But more than enough to make a male/female distinction pretty clear, I think -- particularly with regards to an awkward/inappropriate representation, which was the point.


You're character's not truly 'optimized' unless you're playing a female though... Thats like a free +1 in awesomeness, with no balancing drawback, right?


I have no idea what everyone is going on about


thejeff wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
As a great example, C. J. Cherryh is one of my favorite authors. I love her Foreigner series. But every once in a strange while something will cross Bren's mind that totally makes me think, "That sounds exactly like my mother." and suddenly I have a very difficult time picturing Bren, and instead picture my mother. Makes for a few hilarious moments in visualization before I go to the next few sentences and get back the proper mental image. Has nothing to do with her rather exceleent skill as an author. Has everything to do with my experiences forming a very strange momentary lapse in the narrative of my imagination.
As an aside from the "other sex" part: Cherryh, in the Chanur books is one of the very few authors who can do alien point of view well. There were a few points where she got me deep enough in the hani worldview that I could see the alienness of the human character.

Oh, I agree. She usually takes my mind into truly alien mindsets and it's pretty awesome.

I'm just pointing out one of the extremely few circumstances that it clashes with my own mind due to my experiences. :)


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I can't help but thinking of one of my favorite authors, Robert B. Perker. His novels are famous for the witty macho banter of the first-person heroes. Then, at one point, he decided to write a series with a female protagonist -- supposedly at the request of Helen Hunt, who wanted to star in the inevitable screen adaptations (the way Tom Selleck was playing Jesse Stone, and Bob Ulrich used to play Spenser, and Ed Harris would play Virgil Cole).

Unfortunately, Parker's grasp of female dialogue and characterization, IMO, weren't the equal of his ambition. Sunny Randall's "voice" always sounded like a weird cross between Martha Stewart and Sly Stallone, which sort of detracted from the whole story, and no film adaptations ever appeared.

I'm not saying he was wrong to try it; just that, if the bestselling recipient of multiple literary awards can't get it quite right, maybe casual tabletop game players shouldn't be too hard on themselves if their characterizations aren't perfectly true to life.

Unless they're creepy, in which case you get thrown in the cellar.


I have mainly played female characters for the last 15 years of a 35-year playing career. Before then it was a 50/50 mix, but I find I enjoy envisaging and playing the female characters more than male (I'm a straight male).

Yes, some of the female characters have been deliberately overtly sexual, but not very many. They are usually neither nun nor tart, and my latest character, a nerdy dwarven Archaeologist (Bard), is about as far from a femme fatale as you can get. The closest she has to a sexual partner is a dwarven locksmith with whom she shares a platonic interest in locks and the theatre (Volioker Briskalberd, for those who know the Sandpoint campaign).

To be honest, the gender is not an issue in the game and I wouldn't dream of playing out a flirtation with another PC who was obviously uncomfortable with the idea. I sometimes play lesbian characters so that I can react to female NPCs in the manner in which my own brain steers me, but just as often play it straight hetero or the character's sex life and tastes are simply not played out in the game.

We never do character voices, by the way, and tend to use miniatures so my playing a female character does not generally cause confusion. I did briefly join a group where they did get confused and referred to the female character as 'he' a lot, but they had more problems than simply remembering character genders and I didn't stick with them for long.

The Exchange

In my group we have 3 males of which i am the only one to play any female characters and do so rarely. We have 3 female players that will play either with one of them almost exclusively playing males characters. My characters come from dreams, they are who they are.


thejeff wrote:
Snorter wrote:
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....

In my experience, I get a lot deeper into the head of my own characters than those I run as a GM.

It doesn't really make a lot of sense to me to say "Well you do it as a GM, so doing it as a player shouldn't be any different." Of course it's different.

Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with playing the other sex, but it's a different thing than doing so as a GM.

Unless your GM is far more immersed in each NPC than any I've seen. Or your players are far less so than I prefer.

But how is any of that a reason to not allow players to play a different sex?

I'm not arguing against people being more or less comfortable doing it. I think everyone's first game is like that. But I don't see the "getting into the head" of a female PC (or vice versa)as opposed to NPC as being so significantly different than it would cause an issue. You are still pretending to be a woman. Either there is something fundamentally wrong with that or there isn't.

The Exchange

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I don't see anything "fundamentally wrong" with it, but nor do I expect everybody's comfort level to be the same. Be astounded if they were, in fact.


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Ellis Mirari wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Snorter wrote:
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....

In my experience, I get a lot deeper into the head of my own characters than those I run as a GM.

It doesn't really make a lot of sense to me to say "Well you do it as a GM, so doing it as a player shouldn't be any different." Of course it's different.

Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with playing the other sex, but it's a different thing than doing so as a GM.

Unless your GM is far more immersed in each NPC than any I've seen. Or your players are far less so than I prefer.

But how is any of that a reason to not allow players to play a different sex?

I'm not arguing against people being more or less comfortable doing it. I think everyone's first game is like that. But I don't see the "getting into the head" of a female PC (or vice versa)as opposed to NPC as being so significantly different than it would cause an issue. You are still pretending to be a woman. Either there is something fundamentally wrong with that or there isn't.

I didn't say that was a reason not to allow it. I don't have a problem with allowing it. I've done it myself.

I'm just arguing against the "GMs do it all the time, so it's obviously not a problem" claim.
As a rule, players spend far more time in the heads of their characters than a GM spends in any one NPC. Players identify more with their character than GMs do with NPCs. Things like that make comparing the GMs experience running an NPC of the opposite sex to a player playing a PC of the opposite sex not very useful.
Obviously, this is a generalization. Some players treat their PCs as little more than mechanical tokens. Some GMs do get immersed in some of their NPCs.

All that said, the only reason I wouldn't allow it is personal experience with a player. There's one guy I sometimes play with, the group consensus shouts down any suggested female characters.


Lincoln Hills wrote:
I don't see anything "fundamentally wrong" with it, but nor do I expect everybody's comfort level to be the same. Be astounded if they were, in fact.

That's not what I meant. I likewise don't expect everyone to have the same comfort level, however I don't buy the justification that I was given for a GM not allowing players to play different sexes if the GM themself is doing without any problems cropping up.


thejeff wrote:
Ellis Mirari wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Snorter wrote:
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....

In my experience, I get a lot deeper into the head of my own characters than those I run as a GM.

It doesn't really make a lot of sense to me to say "Well you do it as a GM, so doing it as a player shouldn't be any different." Of course it's different.

Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with playing the other sex, but it's a different thing than doing so as a GM.

Unless your GM is far more immersed in each NPC than any I've seen. Or your players are far less so than I prefer.

But how is any of that a reason to not allow players to play a different sex?

I'm not arguing against people being more or less comfortable doing it. I think everyone's first game is like that. But I don't see the "getting into the head" of a female PC (or vice versa)as opposed to NPC as being so significantly different than it would cause an issue. You are still pretending to be a woman. Either there is something fundamentally wrong with that or there isn't.

I didn't say that was a reason not to allow it. I don't have a problem with allowing it. I've done it myself.

I'm just arguing against the "GMs do it all the time, so it's obviously not a problem" claim.
As a rule, players spend far more time in the heads of their characters than a GM spends in any one NPC. Players identify more with their character than GMs do with NPCs. Things like that make comparing the GMs experience running an NPC of the opposite sex to a player playing a PC of the opposite sex not very useful.
Obviously, this is a generalization. Some players treat their PCs as little more than mechanical tokens. Some GMs do get immersed in some of their NPCs.

All that said, the only reason I wouldn't...

I think the problem here is that I was responding to a specific incident listed in a specific post, really, which was a GM not allowing male players to play women because he didn't want anyone pushing some sexual fantasies onto the table (and likewise didnt allow women to play men either), when he very clearly is able to write and act as a woman without it devolving into uncomfortable sexual roleplay.


Ellis Mirari wrote:
I think the problem here is that I was responding to a specific incident listed in a specific post, really, which was a GM not allowing male players to play women because he didn't want anyone pushing some sexual fantasies onto the table (and likewise didnt allow women to play men either), when he very clearly is able to write and act as a woman without it devolving into uncomfortable sexual roleplay.

Well, to risk analyzing someone I don't know off of brief description, it may be that he considers GMing different because as a GM you have to portray characters of all types, sexes and any other variations in order to present a reasonable world. The player doesn't have that motivation, so maybe he can't see why a player would want to play a character of a different sex unless he wanted to focus on that sexual difference.

It's not the mere act of portraying a female character that causes problems, but he may be worried about the motivation.

This still says more about the GM than anything else, though it may simply mean he's had bad experiences with guys playing females characters.

Again, I'm not agreeing with his ruling. I just find playing PCs so different from running NPCs as a GM that I don't find the comparison of any use.


thejeff wrote:
Ellis Mirari wrote:
I think the problem here is that I was responding to a specific incident listed in a specific post, really, which was a GM not allowing male players to play women because he didn't want anyone pushing some sexual fantasies onto the table (and likewise didnt allow women to play men either), when he very clearly is able to write and act as a woman without it devolving into uncomfortable sexual roleplay.

Well, to risk analyzing someone I don't know off of brief description, it may be that he considers GMing different because as a GM you have to portray characters of all types, sexes and any other variations in order to present a reasonable world. The player doesn't have that motivation, so maybe he can't see why a player would want to play a character of a different sex unless he wanted to focus on that sexual difference.

It's not the mere act of portraying a female character that causes problems, but he may be worried about the motivation.

This still says more about the GM than anything else, though it may simply mean he's had bad experiences with guys playing females characters.

Again, I'm not agreeing with his ruling. I just find playing PCs so different from running NPCs as a GM that I don't find the comparison of any use.

And I may be an oddball because I really don't see much of a difference on my end or those at my table.

Shadow Lodge

Kirth Gersen wrote:
For major NPCs, I've been known to actually rehearse for them talking.

Oh man I am totally asking your wife about those times when next we meet.


I don't try to do voices, even when playing females. I just don't have the skill for it and know that trying to do voices will just end up creating a parody of whatever I'm trying to do. I just use my normal voice.

Every now and then I'll make an effort for a very special NPC when I'm gaming, but again, I know my limitations and know that if I tried to make a scene more dramatic by coming up with some great voice for the BBEG, the end result would be more likely to have my players rolling around on the floor laughing at my miserable effort to create an accent or change my vocal tone.

So I just talk.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I try to focus more on speech patterns than voices. Verbal tics are much easier on the throat, as long as you can remember them consistently.


Come to think of it(pondering after last night's game), lots of players in my group play different genders. All the time. We don't do voices, we don't draw excessive attention to our character gender unless asked about it being introduced to another character. We just play the characters.

I see a lot of over-analyzing and attempts to decode player motives, but for my group, it's just as casual and nondescript as eye-color.

Our characters are who they are, and going out of your way to alter or enforce behavior based on gender just seems wrong. Nobody knows your character like you do, so regardless of what either/or gender "should" do in a given situation, whatever you do is the correct in-character action.


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I like doing accents for the occasional NPC or PC if I'm either feeling really into it or feeling really silly. It can go either way,


TOZ wrote:
Oh man I am totally asking your wife about those times when next we meet.

Mrs Gersen has no patience with gaming, so I try to leave her out of it.

But the gnome that Cadogan met on the way up into the mountains? I practiced all his lines in my head for an hour while jogging. And the Marquis d'Ansac took me weeks to get right -- I'd be thinking about stuff sometimes and find myself thinking in his voice, using his viewpoint. It's a shame I had to kill him off at the end of the adventure, but I couldn't see any other reasonable outcome, based on where things ended up.

Silver Crusade

Hmm. I've had the issue where I had a character that started as one gender and ended up another through the course of play.

So how did I play that character?

Angry, at first. But not due to the gender swap. That was just the way Nym was back then. Then slightly stereotypical for the opposite gender. Then as a fully developed (half-orc) being, with many of the same goals and dreams--plus a few new ones that happened to be based partially on gender.


Wait, am I the only one with a cross-dressing PC here?


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Not at all. My warrior used to dress as a rogue all the time.


Icyshadow wrote:
Wait, am I the only one with a cross-dressing PC here?

Well, we didn't want to say anything...

This is a joke. This is only a joke. Had this been an actual... I dunno what to call it, "hate post"?... it wouldn't have been made by me.


I havent had a specifically cross dressing PC, but my oracle of bones was pretty androgynous and didn't care about percieved gender. And I did have one NPC that was a female fighter that was mistaken for a man and decided to not correct anyone.

Scarab Sages

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Unless they're creepy, in which case you get thrown in the cellar.

Yeah, but they many of them'd like that.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
The Fourth Horseman wrote:
Also, I don't feel I understand women enough to make an accurate and/or flattering portrayal.
Do you understand half-farspawn tieflings well enough to make an accurate portrayal? Granted, there are fewer of them around to object to how you portray them, but still...

I think you answered your own question.

Silver Crusade

Nope, Icyshadow. I had a fighter once who tried to be a convincing male because she faced certain death otherwise. Long story; it was a Jade Regent AP PC.


Orthos wrote:
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.

I'm currently working on it :P He seems a little bit more accepting than before, but is still worried that the 'one guy' will ruin it for everybody by playing a 'vivacious, busty, redheaded ditz'.

Personally, I feel like with a permanent group that kind of gimmick gets old really fast, but maybe I'm wrong...


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In_digo wrote:


I'm currently working on it :P He seems a little bit more accepting than before, but is still worried that the 'one guy' will ruin it for everybody by playing a 'vivacious, busty, redheaded ditz'.
Personally, I feel like with a permanent group that kind of gimmick gets old really fast, but maybe I'm wrong...

If this suspected potential creeper plays a male character, what is stopping him from bringing his sexual fantasies to the gaming table by, say, asking if he can roll to see how big another PC's breasts are, or if he can roll to rape the barmaid?

Yep, saw both those things happen at a gaming table where everyone was playing a character of the same gender as themselves. Clearly that rule being in place wouldn't have stopped the creepery.

What actually stops a potential creeper from crossing other people's personal and sexual boundaries? You can't really manage that without making those boundaries clear and passing a rule against sexual creepery of any kind. A rule against players having opposite gender characters will only stop one very specific kind of creepiness.

It may be harder to openly discuss those issues and to say, "Right now, we're asking people not to use this table to play out their sexual fantasies, because I'm not sure of everyone's consent level and comfort level and personal triggers. So we can either spend a lot of time and energy having that discussion, or we can just keep the game mostly PG rated with an occasional R for violence or implied offscreen sex when it's actually relevant to the plot."

And let your players make the decision as to whether they want to have that long and complicated negotiation of what they all consent to, or just keep their sex largely offscreen and very much secondary to the adventure plot. The latter is a much simpler and less energy intensive solution, and IMO very few gaming groups have a high enough comfort level with those kinds of negotiations to handle it successfully without things getting awkward and detracting significantly from just being able to play the game.


The Fourth Horseman wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
The Fourth Horseman wrote:
Also, I don't feel I understand women enough to make an accurate and/or flattering portrayal.
Do you understand half-farspawn tieflings well enough to make an accurate portrayal? Granted, there are fewer of them around to object to how you portray them, but still...
I think you answered your own question.

To reiterate what's been quoted earlier in the thread, what one needs to "understand" about women to be able to portray them well is that there isn't anything to understand. They're people that don't look like men.


On a tangential note, next week I'm going to be starting up new game (alternating with my current every other week) that will have a completely new set of freshman/transfer students that I've never played with before, and all the horror stories I've heard in the interim have made me anxious...


I like both male and female characters. My alter ego character is a female half-elf sorcerer. I have rarely played humans however. Strange I just realized that. Even that character was opposite gender however. She was a Monk. This was back in the 80's.


I've played an occasional female here and there since 1981. Most of my friends have played across genders at one time or another.

Only one guy ever had a problem with it, but I will say he did make a lot of trouble, constantly using his characters to "assault" female characters and constantly teasing and badgering male players about what playing a female "meant about their sexuality."

He finally got over it, but it took years for him to grow up.

Other than that, the biggest problem I can remember with playing the opposite gender, is that the other players sometimes forget and call your "her" a "him" or a female player's male character a "her," just because they kind of take it for granted that the player matches the character.


I prefer not to play opposite gender. I've seen far too many players end up with characters who are just a collection of gender stereotypes. I'm afraid of ding that, and not realizing I'm doing it.


Doomed Hero wrote:
I prefer not to play opposite gender. I've seen far too many players end up with characters who are just a collection of gender stereotypes. I'm afraid of ding that, and not realizing I'm doing it.

I think the easiest way to avoid this is thinking about why you are making certain choices at character creation. Is it because it fits who the character is (class, race, background, AND gender) or is it just because of their gender?

Scarab Sages

Bruunwald wrote:

I've played an occasional female here and there since 1981. Most of my friends have played across genders at one time or another.

Only one guy ever had a problem with it, but I will say he did make a lot of trouble, constantly using his characters to "assault" female characters and constantly teasing and badgering male players about what playing a female "meant about their sexuality."

He finally got over it, but it took years for him to grow up.

Other than that, the biggest problem I can remember with playing the opposite gender, is that the other players sometimes forget and call your "her" a "him" or a female player's male character a "her," just because they kind of take it for granted that the player matches the character.

I run into the gender pronoun issue a lot in our current campaign, because I'm the only player running a character of opposite gender.

But in the past we've had several opposite gender characters in the party. On one occasion I ran a male while my husband ran a female. No one in our group minds what gender a player chooses to play. We don't typically have PC romance, so gender doesn't tend to have much effect on game play.

I usually choose a mini first, so if the mini I want to use happens to be male then I'll play a male. The other players usually think of a backstory and use the gender that is inspired by that story.

Silver Crusade

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Like an author or the creator of a TV show, I create characters.

Some are male, some are female.

I then play whichever of them I find most interesting. At a recent count of my 23 most recent characters I've actually played at the table, 12 were male and 11 were female. I'm not deliberately sharing, that's just the way it turned out.

I played with one DM who objected to playing the opposite gender on the grounds that a male could not know what it's really like to be a female, and vice versa. I pointed out that none of us were Laurence Olivier, and he has no objections to any of us playing a different species. I ended up playing a female elf in his campaign.

I also played with a guy who refused to play anyone 'without a sausage'. : /


I played a female CN Half-Elf Alchemist named Ichora the Strange. She basically looks like a genderbent Damiel with long, crimson hair and gold irises.

Playing her was easy because she wasn't all *that* womanly as a character, mainly just eccentric. She's the kind of person who tearfully reminisces about her dead Illithid husband before realizing that it was all just a dream. Or was it? She's energetic, whimsical, and bizarre. You can't really predict what she's going to do next.

In that same game, I had a female elf fighter (played by a guy) suddenly ask Ichora if she wanted to have sex. I didn't really know how to react to that.

In the game I'm running now, I have two males playing female characters (Sasha the Dhampir Paladin and Ambriel the Aasimar Fire-Oracle) and one female playing a male (Donnan the Elf Rogue). None of them are particularly gendered in their portrayals.

...And yeah, sometimes the pronouns get a little bit complicated.


invidca wrote:

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

Me, I like to change it up on every new character. I.E. my last character was male, I'll play a female this time.

Is it aloud in the society games? should it be?

what's your take on this?

You mean, is it allowed?

:D

Of course it is! Fantasy is freedom. I do it once in a while for a different type of character. It has almost always been good fun. I still want to play Oriana Jeggare in other games, but she had her time in Korvosa.


i play a lot of females, rather unusual cases that they possess traits anyone could posses, or in the case of Kyra Steelskin, she was a highly masculine female who desired to be male. she was more of an Orc in personality than the human blooded Suli she happened to be biologically.


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Doomed Hero wrote:
I prefer not to play opposite gender. I've seen far too many players end up with characters who are just a collection of gender stereotypes. I'm afraid of ding that, and not realizing I'm doing it.

This can also happen when playing your own gender. :)

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