Playing the other sex


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You pronounced every single word in your post incorrectly


Tirisfal wrote:
TheAntiElite wrote:

Late to the reply, but I will note that, for me, people have a hard time grokking me playing a female character BECAUSE of my voice. I'm very much so cis-male. I would basically be causing all my characters to have a case of Doctor Girlfriend, or should I say Dr. Mrs. The Monarch?

Yes, I know some find that hot.

My regular way of speaking can be pretty effeminate at times, but I don't go out of my way to "sound like a woman". I might toss on an inflection or accent or two depending on the character, but normally I just use my own voice.

I do some pitch, tone, and inflection experimentation, in no small part due to aspirations towards breaking into voice over work. I have been playing with modulation software and doing vocal vignettes for several characters in an attempt to build a portfolio. Maybe I should post an example.


Slaunyeh wrote:
SeeDarkly_X wrote:
I don't give it a lot of thought past, "I like heroines."
Hi! I'm a heroine addict.

Cute...

I didn't realize this was a meeting of Roleplayers Anonymous.
<_<

Liberty's Edge

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Old topic but I just wanted to chime in a bit as well.

I've seen many posts about this going one way or another and something I've just seen for myself with time is also the reason why some people love to play the opposite gender, some people hate it, some people go both ways and so on and so on.

First, to note, I'm ok with people playing whatever they want to play. I really don't care. Let fun be fun so long as this fun is infringing on other people's fun in very blatant matters (I'm not going into details but there are some things that are universally frowned upon).

I've never really played/created any character I've been attached to that wasn't a guy. When I sit down to play, I'm doing it to throw myself completely into this character that has a piece of me inside of them. All of my characters do in some regard despite their personality, taking whatever part I think I haven't touched upon or explored. My wife plays with me and I really greatly enjoy RPing with her with relationships and all that good stuff too (and she's the same way playing just women).

HOWEVER, the reasons I roleplay/create a character/etc are not always the same as everyone else's and I think, often times, this is where we get lost and why people disagree. We don't all roleplay or game the same way. We don't all have the same interests or desires out of what we're looking for; both out of our games and out of our characters. I want to put myself in the role of my character and see the world through them. I'm most comfortable as a guy so that's how I do it. Some people are most comfortable as other genders and a LOT of people don't necessarily feel this way at all.

Some people play to BE someone or something else entirely. We all escape a bit into our characters but where are we trying to go is different. The stories and experiences we're trying to find are different. If the story and experience you want is whatever gender/race/color/class/blahblah combination than FANTASTIC! If people feel as wonderful as I do after creating and enjoying a character for their own wants and desires, then that's awesome.

This hobby is about FUN and CREATIVITY in my mind and the more people on board for some of that, however they want to get there, is nothing short of wonderful. I can't have fun playing a girl? Tons of people can and woohoo! Don't like playing your life's gender or situation? Other people do so woohoo as well!

TLDR; Keep in mind we all play for whatever reasons and they may not be the ones your playing for. Let people play what they like and are comfortable with and don't pretend to be better than anyone else because they don't do what you think they should do.

Shadow Lodge

I have played pretty much only female characters for the last 15 years.
(before I was playing mainly male characters, and at the time I was very young and probably not mature enough to appreciate a female character)

Then I started to inexplicably lean towards female characters only.
I never understood why I liked them more, until I read the back of a manual.
The whole game is female characters only and on the back it said something that sounded roughly like this: "In stories about men struggles a lot of unnecessary higher proposes usually comes out: Justice, Duty, Honor. With women all becomes personal."

I do not think I agree with the statement at all.
But nonetheless I have to admit, playing the game from a female perspective and with a female psychology in mind I tend to focus a lot less on "we need to complete our quest" and a lot more on my characters developing love/hate relationship with the other characters.

And my most recent male characters that I enjoy to play, they do tend to develop a lot of love/hate relationships, but at the same time they undeniably have a huge feminine side.

I still do not believe that is something inherent to females, but it's undeniable that I feel easier to play certain character dynamics from a female perspective.


I find it just sort of happens. I come up with character concepts usually in a flash of inspiration—I think of a race + class combination, and suddenly I can visualize the character's appearance, personality, and the first inklings of a backstory. Some characters just feel female, and it's something I've never had trouble playing in PbP/online games, which is the only place I've done it.

I really can't think of a pattern to the female characters I've created; they've included a murderous necromancer, a psionic ghoran monk, and (in a current character proposal) a gunsmithing trigger-happy lore oracle.

That said, I also once played a Changeling Assassin (of the Eberron variety) in an evil-themed campaign, who murdered people and stole their identities. The party had no idea he was not, in fact, the lovable female rogue they had set out with at the beginning of his backstory. The whole thing was a very interesting experience, playing a character with a disguised gender.

And I tend to always play female characters in Pokemon games, because they get way more stylish accessories. (And Star Wars games, because it was decreed long ago that my Sith name is apparently "Lady Ga-Ga")


One thing I'm curious about:

as a GM I have to play both genders (and lots of non-human creatures) to the best of my ability, and for all of them (even one of '6 guards') I try to have some hook to run if they're pushed into the limelight, regardless of their gender.

So, to other GMs, are you more concerned about genders when playing a PC than you would be playing an NPC? I don't think I am.


Since it has been necro'd, I will chime in.

I don't think gender usually has all that much overt intentional influence on my portrayal of my character. If a game system doesn't make me write it in or pick an avatar, I will often forget to specify gender at all. But when I pick a gender:

- On some video games I have played female characters for 2 reasons. It is more entertaining for me to watch and also because they tend to block my vision of the scene less. The designers almost always make them shorter and thinner (even their cloths or gear does not usually get out in the way as much) so they take up less of the screen.

- In RPG's I almost always play male characters. Not because playing a female bothers me, but because it sometimes bothers others.

Not sure if I can explain this well, but I'll give it a try.
I probably do not do what everyone would consider an excellent job of playing a lizard folk. However, since no one has really seen a lizard folk, no on really knows what they are like. So if someone does not like my portrayal of lizard folk, I will probably only get a shrug or at most an eye roll out of the situation.
However unless you play perfectly gender neutral, some are going to disagree with how a male portrays a female character. Of those, a percentage will likely get more or less offended. I would say that percentage is small and the level of offense is lower than it used to be, but it is out there.

So since this is a make believe that I have joined for entertainment and to get me out of the house amongst other people, dealing with those offended people is a hassle I just don't feel any need to endure.

In a small regular group that I know well enough, I may occasionally play a female character when it better fits the personality I have come up with. Probably will be starting a female chelish diva this fall.


Hm, one thing I have noticed...

People (as a general, not specific) tend to get more up in arms about a guy playing a female and say, when I play a male.

idk, it seems weird. Even in MMOs I see it a lot. If a group finds out that the female (character) that has been running with them for a while is actually a guy or if you find out your (guy) friend plays mainly female characters, people tend to look down on him a little more than say if people found out that the Male Undead Warlock is actually played by a female....


As i believe has been mentioned a few times, I find that the best characters are those that the gender isn't part of the character. Some of the most memorable characters i have ever seen you could genderswap and they would still be a great character. That said, sometimes it can be an important part of a character's background (see Amiri) so it largely comes down to how and why people play each. Yes I do happen to know a girl who plays much more believeable and enjoyable male characters than her females, and a guy who is the opposite. Why? Dunno, just the way it worked out I guess


SeeDarkly_X wrote:
Slaunyeh wrote:
SeeDarkly_X wrote:
I don't give it a lot of thought past, "I like heroines."
Hi! I'm a heroine addict.

Cute...

I didn't realize this was a meeting of Roleplayers Anonymous.
<_<

Ironically heroin is formatted after the word heroisch, or heroic, when it was first manufactured by german doctors in the mid 1800's. So its not too far off the original meaning there.

Shadow Lodge

I always play male characters; it feels too weird to me to play a female. The one exception is my witch. It doesn't bother me at all if others play opposite genders.

With that one female I do play, she's really the only one I have trouble doing a character voice for, and I don't really like using my own voice when I'm roleplaying a character.


K177Y C47 wrote:

Hm, one thing I have noticed...

People (as a general, not specific) tend to get more up in arms about a guy playing a female and say, when I play a male.

idk, it seems weird. Even in MMOs I see it a lot. If a group finds out that the female (character) that has been running with them for a while is actually a guy or if you find out your (guy) friend plays mainly female characters, people tend to look down on him a little more than say if people found out that the Male Undead Warlock is actually played by a female....

Less so an issue if you're gay, I've found. Of course, that opens up a lot of other issues that really shouldn't be discussed here.

In fact, before I figured out I was actually bisexual rather than gay, people seemed to have a problem with me playing guys, or male avatars, over female characters/toons.

Now, it's more of an "Oh, whatever" when I play any gender. Either it's because I'm bi and thus the "Either or, whatever works" mentality I've seen some people think of that particular sexuality, or I've actually finally met some cool people who don't give a rat's rump... I've no idea.

Just some observations along these lines.

Me? I play whatever I feel will make a more engaging character. If a character's motivations and back story would have more impact as a masculine hermaphrodite, then by damn it, I'll freaking play one.

I suppose being an aspiring amateur voice actor and being able to manage the more husky and sultry or bubbly and childish voices with some believability helps. Though, I have been forced to swear on pain of being grounded from playing for a year, to stay away from the "valley girl", because I supposedly do that far too well.....


I'm a woman, and I usually play more men than women. Probably because I'm used to doing it in MMOs, so I don't get hassled in game by creeps. I prefer to play female characters if they're a more masculine and/or unusual races. Female half-orcs, gnolls, kobolds, etc are awesome.

Sovereign Court

I generally find the major issue is how they portray their character.

I kept finding in games that a lot of players who played the opposite gender tended to be playing a sexual fantasy, the shirtless male glistening with sweaty muscles (Do you not own shirts?) vs the stick thin female with large BREASTS (that have their own gravity given the way some describe them and yes the caps is appropriate in those cases). Both are uncomfortable to deal with on the table. Not to mention the player who played a character with profession dominatrix.

If the player is actually playing a character and not just some sexualised object then it doesn't tend to be as much of an issue. Gender and looks are just part of a character and when played as such I think most people don't have an issue with it.


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 much like me.

Unfortunately I have been mostly turned off of female characters, my first female had the name aglarond, Elvish for Glistening cavern, instantly every single one of the rest of the group, minus the GM renamed her glittering clit, that and constantly being hit on with my other characters eventually drove me from playing female characters unless they were pregens


My main, long term (6 years?), character is a female conjurer, but I've played both male and female characters over the years with the same group. I do, however, have the advantage of playing via text over mIRC, with strict IC and OOC divides. That tends to force players to focus on the characters, rather than player gender.

Over the years I think about half of the (all male) players have played female characters for a while.

Really, I don't view it as any different than playing a wizard, or an elf, or anything else. The game is about telling stories, and gender is just another part of any character you create. I suspect if anyone tried to creeper it up they'd probably get run out of the group.


I’ve played both genders a number of times over the years without much incident from other players, but I don’t make a habit of making characters of any race/gender that are very sexual in nature. Having a deep voice and never doing character voices probably has an effect as well.

I’ve had more than one campaign have a moment where a player goes, ‘Wait, your character is female?’ This was very amusing when playing a female Oracle with charisma in the mid-20’s and the player of the frat-boy wizard realizing he’s been missing on all sorts of roleplaying opportunities of failing to seduce my character.

My favorite was the plot derailing it caused. I was playing an aristocrat in a sci-fi campaign. Near the GM had written a plotline of my king needing to step down with the intention of having my character replace the king by marrying the king’s daughter. Then I point out the glaring hole in his plan, I’m female AND I’ve spent the entire campaign married with a couple of kids. He thought I was messing with him until he reread my character bio from the beginning of the campaign.

I don’t usually have a problem with others playing different genders, as long as it doesn’t get too weird or uncomfortable for the group. The point of RPG's is to play characters that aren't you.


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blood_kite wrote:

I’ve played both genders a number of times over the years without much incident from other players, but I don’t make a habit of making characters of any race/gender that are very sexual in nature. Having a deep voice and never doing character voices probably has an effect as well.

I’ve had more than one campaign have a moment where a player goes, ‘Wait, your character is female?’ This was very amusing when playing a female Oracle with charisma in the mid-20’s and the player of the frat-boy wizard realizing he’s been missing on all sorts of roleplaying opportunities of failing to seduce my character.

My favorite was the plot derailing it caused. I was playing an aristocrat in a sci-fi campaign. Near the GM had written a plotline of my king needing to step down with the intention of having my character replace the king by marrying the king’s daughter. Then I point out the glaring hole in his plan, I’m female AND I’ve spent the entire campaign married with a couple of kids. He thought I was messing with him until he reread my character bio from the beginning of the campaign.

See that seems sloppy to me and not at all a good thing. A sign both that the GM/other players are ignoring your background and description and that you're not doing anything to highlight them either.

If you spent the entire campaign married with kids, did you ever visit them? Talk about them? Ever bring them up at all after writing up the bio?


I am with thejeff on this one... that seems unbelievable unless you simply never role played any of your background.


Yeah, if you have some big specifics in your characters background(like a family that the DM hasn't killed off yet) then that needs to come up reasonably often. Maybe you send a portion of your adventuring loot back home to your kids, maybe you Message them via spells, etc.

It helps keep your character immersed and involved in the setting Most DM's love it when a player cares about things beyond loot and DPS, so it's best to go with it when possible.

Sometimes your PC's background accidentally intertwines with the adventure at hand, and that opens up many new roleplay opportunities:

Spoiler:

My half-golem PC and the party have returned to Kaer Maga(Pathfinder), and apparently a family/faction/whatever here is known for creating golems. So, I pipe up right away and ask about my "maker." The DM perks up(you could see his gears were turning and new ideas were in the works); he had forgotten about my maker being from Kaer Maga. So... sidequest!

It wasn't so much the he had forgotten about my background, or that I didn't bring it up enough; my character has no real ties to anyone in the game outside of the adventuring party. There was little to nothing in my backstory to keep up with; my maker died many years ago, and the party found me.

On topic, I used to play female characters all the time. I still would like to, but the past several character concepts I've played just happened to be male. I just go with whatever the character in my head happens to be.


It was an interstellar sci-fi campaign where the galaxy was just emerging from a collapse and dark age, so we spent large amounts of time away from home with no way to communicate with them. There were only a hand full of sessions that we were even on our home planet. Since down time was fairly non-existant, all references to spending time with my family were basically:

Me: I'm spending time with my family.
GM: OK, moving on.

We were using Mutants & Masterminds, so loot was basically non-existant.


I play both, though I am sure I make a more convincing male character than female (thanks to the deep voice I have, which makes trying to create a more feminine voice rather difficult). Some concepts just feel more "right" as a certain gender than others. It also depends on any awesome art pieces on Deviantart I come across.


I find that sometimes it's not a matter of how you play the character, but rather what the other players think the character must somehow "be."

Two examples.

My current Pathfinder character is a young Human woman who was raised by a stern if loving adopted father, the only Dwarf in the small logging town she hails from. Her biological parents were killed in a Goblin raid some nineteen years ago, and her "Dah" took her in and raised her as his own, as his own child was also killed. She grew up learning how to take care of herself, be assertive, hold her own in a conversation and a fight, and knows how to brew a fantastic lager. She takes no guff from anyone, speaks plainly, thinks that "Can't we just shoot the bloody thing?" is a perfectly acceptable form of diplomacy, and also happens to really like floral print fabric because "It's like carryin' Spring with ya all the time!" She can dance up a storm, loves fiercely, and would lay down her life for a friend in an instant.

It's slightly amusing that despite the fact that I *always* have her hit the fabric shops and dressmakers every time we come in to town, some of the other players *consistently* forget that she's female.

My previous Pathfinder character was a mid-adult Elf who was estranged from his family, was one of the only Evokers in a magical society that relied on misdirection, divination, and illusion to keep itself safe, and had very little time or use for any sort of physical interaction with other people. He cared about his friends, but from a distance - academically and in an almost anti-septic way. When he discovered that he had feelings for another person, a "mortal" at that, he became obsessed with finding a way to keep her alive forever (the game ran with the "Immortal Elf" concept). The obsession became all consuming and eventually he started down a path of making a golem to absorb and contain her essence, all the while drifting farther away from the love she was showing him - his desire to keep her alive and safe blinded him to the fact he was losing her.

On the opposite end of the spectrum from the Gunslinger, above, the other players frequently forgot that the Mage, here, was male, despite my constantly referring to him as "him."

I guess on the positive side, I frequently get GM kudos for playing in character and developing whole people instead of trait-lists. *shrug*


A character just is what they are in my head, and gender/sex/whatever is just part of that. Some characters that pop into my head are just female and that is all there is to it. Some are just male. Others it doesn't matter.


The worlds that my groups adventure in are at least as progressive as our own in terms of sexuality and gender identity. While some of my groups have been fortunate enough to have a female player or two, most have been strictly male. In those cases, we have a party that is so diverse - fighters, mages, rogues, orcs, elves, dwarfs; it simply doesn't make sense that none of the adventuring party is female.

In these cases, I (a gay male) simply take the character concept I had and swap genders; except for a few obvious differences, men and women are exactly the same in terms of capacity in gaming. My apprentice wizard is as easily fleshed out female as male. The poor kid from the slums who grows up to be a paladin? What does it matter her gender? My choice is purely a cosmetic and in some ways, a balancing act to have women represented. I like to think of it as basic feminism: Women Exist and are important.

Up until very recently, I had never encountered people who had problems with gender-bending. Apparently, though, it can become tedious in "Deep Roleplaying" games like Vampire:the Masquerade, if a male player is constantly plying his feminine wiles on other PCs. I think that kind of player might be working out other issues, though (I briefly dated one such player who has since transitioned to a woman).

The point I'm trying to make is: Gender is a small facet of personality. Characters who are single-dimensionally "Female" or "Male" are boring/borderline insulting. Intelligent characters would likely act the same based off of personality, regardless of gender. When in doubt, try this test: If a character is not attempting to flirt or otherwise romantically interact, would they perform this action if they had been gender-swapped?


Granted there are times where gender DOES matter.

For instance, Joan of Arc would have never been as known as she is if it wasn't for the fact that she was so young AND a female.


I only play female. I just can't bring myself to play the opposite. There are several in our group that play opposite genders though. My housemates (a brother and sister) do. The guy is playing a little Dragon Disciple Sorceress and the girl is playing a burly dumb male fighter with a huge sword.


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Oh speaking of other genders and such...

One thing that always.. bugs me a little is how for most races, males and females are mechanically identacle. That makes no sense. For instance, a female cannot get a strong as a male with equal amounts of effort. If you take a female power lifter, she will near always lift less than an equally skilled male power lifter.

There is a reason why the title strongest human on earth always go to males. Their physiology is specifically designed to be big and strong.

/endrant

Sovereign Court

My players are great I love them and all but man they can not play reverse sex at the table. Every male plays a beauty queen lesbian PC and its so annoying. What is funny is that the lady at our table plays the strong silent type male characters. Much prefered over the lesbian beauty queens mind you but its like we dont hear a peep from her male warrior types. Though when she plays a female character they have personality and are involved. I just dont get it.


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PIXIE DUST wrote:

Oh speaking of other genders and such...

One thing that always.. bugs me a little is how for most races, males and females are mechanically identacle. That makes no sense. For instance, a female cannot get a strong as a male with equal amounts of effort. If you take a female power lifter, she will near always lift less than an equally skilled male power lifter.

There is a reason why the title strongest human on earth always go to males. Their physiology is specifically designed to be big and strong.

/endrant

Earlier editions of D&D had gender based limits. It's more realistic, but not as fun. Too much push towards gender stereotypes, even if those stereotypes are realistic.

Assume that the NPCs distribute their stats in the appropriate ways to get the right distribution and that PCs are exceptional individuals.


I guess xD.

This rant partially came from me also reading the thread about breaking immersion and teh two threads just kinda melded together xD


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I wish someone would come over to my newest recruitment and offer to play a character of the "other sex"

Oh, and More Realistic, hummina, wha...Buddy it's a fantasy, the last thing i want is "more realistic" and besides that

there are no glass ceilings in my world!

I also believe (and perhaps I am wrong, I'm no expert) that a man and a woman of equal physiology, mass, and trained to the same degree, will have nearly identicle performance characteristics. Testosterone doesn't make you strong, muscle mass and muscle health, determine strength


okay sure
what do I have to do


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PIXIE DUST wrote:

One thing that always.. bugs me a little is how for most races, males and females are mechanically identacle. That makes no sense. For instance, a female cannot get a strong as a male with equal amounts of effort. If you take a female power lifter, she will near always lift less than an equally skilled male power lifter.

There is a reason why the title strongest human on earth always go to males. Their physiology is specifically designed to be big and strong.

I've posted on this before, with the question, "where does it end?" I mean, say we give females a -2 Str modifier. In my experience, women tend to be better marksmen on average than males, so do we give them a +2 Dex modifier? But women also endure childbirth and live longer than men, so let's give them +2 to Con as well. But most top scientists are male, so let's give males a +2 Int. Oh, but more men fail to complete college because they're too busy playing video games and going to parties; that makes a -2 Wis. However, they're more assertive than women on average; +2 Cha...

Once you get started down that path, there's no stopping. It's a lot better to hand-wave the gender differences in the interst of a better game.

Or, more succinctly... "dragons, realism."


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that is my line


Lamontius wrote:

okay sure

what do I have to do

Well, you have to start with cardio, I think. It’s important to have a good breathing routine, and be able to exercise regularly. Then I'd start with squats, move on to overhead press only when you are sure your back is strong enough and then...

Wait, what are you asking about, exactly. The game, Ohhhhh, right, that makes more sense. It is called "Retro Style 5e Dungeon Adventure Recruitment (now with more House Rules!)" in the recruitment thread, and it is a heavy House Ruled throw back 5e game you might find it kind of weird


already crushed my workout today, bro
as for the game thing, pass


no worries, it is a bit weird after all, but thanks!


Terquem wrote:

I wish someone would come over to my newest recruitment and offer to play a character of the "other sex"

Oh, and More Realistic, hummina, wha...Buddy it's a fantasy, the last thing i want is "more realistic" and besides that

there are no glass ceilings in my world!

I also believe (and perhaps I am wrong, I'm no expert) that a man and a woman of equal physiology, mass, and trained to the same degree, will have nearly identicle performance characteristics. Testosterone doesn't make you strong, muscle mass and muscle health, determine strength

I don't want to go too far with this, but you're assuming a lot with the "of equal physiology, mass, and trained to the same degree", or at least the first two. Not only is there noticable sexual dimorphism in humans, making men tend to larger mass, but even in trained muscular individuals the mass is distributed differently. Beyond that, men tend towards more fast-twitch muscle fiber and women towards more slow-twitch muscle fiber, which gives men more peak power from equivalent muscle mass, though women tend to have more endurance.

While testosterone doesn't you any stronger for a given muscle mass, it does make it easier to put on that muscle mass.

All of which is far below the level of detail I really want to deal with in game. I'd rather encourage exceptional PCs of any gender than push characters to defined gender roles.

There's also absolutely nothing to require that the same biology would have to hold for any other fantasy race. Differences could be less, much greater and in any direction. Which could be interesting to play with in a setting designed for it.


Good points, I think I get those things,remember not an expert, but I think you are right about the general concepts regarding our favorite fantasy role playing game, (Oh, and I don't care what anybody says, Hope Solo is the greatest athlete of our time!)

Silver Crusade

Ability score bonuses and penalties based on gender? B#+&!&#s.

You are responsible for assigning your scores and choosing your gender. If you think what you chose is unrealistic, that's your fault, not the game systems'!

If I chose to give a female human Str 20, then I would have to explain it (just like I have to explain any extreme stat regardless of gender). She might be meaty, beefy, big and bouncy, she might be a pit fighter, she might be statuesque, or she might be petite but have been blessed by her fairy godmother as a baby. Whatever, you choose what ability gets what score, you choose race and gender, so choose what makes sense to you.

Gender-based ability bonuses/penalties are superfluous and limiting. They have no advantages, and do have disadvantages. Using them is totally pointless and foolish.


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Speaking as someone who has trained in heavy armored sword & shield fighting, I can say with all due certainty that if you train a woman to use the natural center of gravity and "hips made for swinging" advantages that she has over men, she will hit as hard or harder than a man of equal or greater size (talking 1.1x to 2.x here, it gets dicey after that). Every time.

Women's hips, especially, are built for a swing that is reversed from men in terms of power. Part of the reason that women put out consistently less power in martial arts is that most trainers are male and (unfortunately) do not train women to reverse their stance to one that enables the woman to use her hips as the power center of her swing.

A normal sword & board fighting stance for a man is (if he's right handed) left foot forward, right foot back, shield on left arm, sword in right hand. You strike by swinging forward with the right hand and stepping forward with the right foot simultaneously. This puts a lever action into the man's hips and this is where the bulk of his power comes from. The remainder comes from the twist of the body at the apex of the swing, which torques the swing into the target. Wham. Impact. Ouch.

A woman's hips are not built this way. If she does this, she will not have the same power, and she will "naturally" hit lighter. This is true in sword fighting, fencing, hand-to-hand martial arts, you name it.

If you reverse her feet, however, and *still* have her do her twist (she may not even need to step in), she will hit like a ton of bricks. I have sparred with many women who did and did not use their hips to their advantage, and you can tell which ones are which.

Basically what I'm saying is that yes, there is an issue of gender dimorphism in Human Beings, but with the proper training and attention to the strengths of those differences, there is *very* little disadvantage to being a woman in a "typical" Fantasy RPG when it comes down to fighting potential.

Or, you know. Realism. Dragons.

Full Disclaimer:
Full disclaimer: One of the people who taught me to fight (something I haven't done in a long time due to physical issues) wrote the book "The Armored Rose" - which specifically addresses physical and psychological issues regarding the topic of women vs. men in these sorts of situations. I've seen her deliver blows that could bend a metal pole. The book is available in print or Kindle editions, and seriously, if you are, or know, a woman interested in doing this stuff, it's a really good resource.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I play female characters about half the time.

In fantasy/scifi games, I play human characters about 90% of the time.

Honestly, I find it far easier to roleplay my own species (regardless of sex) than I do playing a PC that's non-human. I would imagine that any non-human has some level of "other" to their mind and manerisms that far exceeds the male/female differences within humanity.

How do I play a female character? Like a person.


Well see that comes from skill, not raw strength.

I am fully aware that with proper application fo technique, a girl can easily do things that her stregnth or stature would not suggest.

Heck, I am about as petite a girl as you are going to find and I have no trouble flipping larger guys in my Aikido Class because its all about proper technique and application of skill.

But when it comes to simple RAW STRENGTH, a guy will always have the edge no matter what.

Oh and Pathfinder does has 1 race with sexual di-morphism so there is that... its weird alien elf race (I forgot the name)


PIXIE DUST wrote:

Well see that comes from skill, not raw strength.

I am fully aware that with proper application fo technique, a girl can easily do things that her stregnth or stature would not suggest.

Heck, I am about as petite a girl as you are going to find and I have no trouble flipping larger guys in my Aikido Class because its all about proper technique and application of skill.

But when it comes to simple RAW STRENGTH, a guy will always have the edge no matter what.

Oh and Pathfinder does has 1 race with sexual di-morphism so there is that... its weird alien elf race (I forgot the name)

Now, if only more people would do that!

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

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PIXIE DUST wrote:

Well see that comes from skill, not raw strength.

I am fully aware that with proper application fo technique, a girl can easily do things that her stregnth or stature would not suggest.

Heck, I am about as petite a girl as you are going to find and I have no trouble flipping larger guys in my Aikido Class because its all about proper technique and application of skill.

But when it comes to simple RAW STRENGTH, a guy will always have the edge no matter what.

Oh and Pathfinder does has 1 race with sexual di-morphism so there is that... its weird alien elf race (I forgot the name)

What does "simple RAW STRENGTH" mean, though? Ability to lift things? Ability to hit things with a lot of force? Muscle mass? Overall physical size? The application of those things?

"Strength" is kind of an abstract notion. Measuring that abstraction by any application can give you an idea of what "strength" is, but at its core is only a measure of that application (i.e. lifting a given amount of weight in a certain way, delivering a certain amount of force in a certain way). Real-world strength is a lot more complex than a Pathfinder ability score. If a person can swing a sword with comparable effect to someone of a different gender by using their body in the way that's most effective for them, how is that a difference in strength? If everyone were taught to sword-fight as if they has wide hips, then would people with narrow hips be somehow "less strong" if they're not fighting in a way most conducive to their body shape?

I often play female warrior characters, and their high strength score in the game determines how much damage I do and how much I can carry. But both of these are game abstractions, and while I think it's safe to assume that my cisgender high strength lady knight will have a different overall body shape than an equally strong cisgender male character, the ways in which they use their strength and bodies is left to the game fiction. It's not like I have to know the physics of melee combat or play a math-heavy puzzle game to fill up my character's backpack.


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PIXIE DUST wrote:
But when it comes to simple RAW STRENGTH, a guy will always have the edge no matter what.

So, break down your proposed "realistic" adjustments for us. I mentioned above the -2 Str, +2 Dex, +2 Con for females, and +2 Int, -2 Wis, and +2 Cha for males; I assume their inclusion all meets your approval, for the reasons I listed. What other ones would you add?

In Norse mythology, seidr (magic) was considered very unmanly; a male who did it was scorned as such. So we should probably include some sort of modifiers making it much harder for males to be wizards or sorcerers. On the other hand, the Catholic Church doesn't allow female priests, and we have to assume there's some reason for that, so let's assign some modifiers making it much harder for females to be clerics...


Why do men get a +2 int?


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Liranys wrote:
Why do men get a +2 int?

See above. Look at the % of top scientists, mathematicians, and chess players who are male, vs. female. Since we're told to ignore cultural reasons and just look at what's obviously "realistic"...

P.S. Needless to say, I don't think they should.

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