Iconics' genders


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game General Discussion


My playgroup just started playing the card game and when picking characters we found that our character choices obviously were limited if we stuck to our own gender. While we could play characters of the opposite sex, we tend not to in games where we have a choice. This limitation was further constricting when I noticed that all the divine classes (Paladin, Cleric, Druid) were female.

Looking at information for the next set it sounds like we will have the same iconic characters for classes that are repeated, which means that if we can't play a class (as our own gender) now we will never be able to. I would really like to see this changed so that the next set (or sets after) include class/gender options that are counter to what is currently available.


You can always take the skills, powers, and card list of any character and make and opposite gender version using the community use card templates. All you need to supply is a name and a picture.


While I agree that option is out there, I feel it's a bandaid. I would much rather the option of playing the cards as printed. I see no reason to only have male fighters in the official product.


You have to consider the logistics of publishing the game. If they made two character cards for each class, that would be ten banes or boons that couldn't be there instead. Actually, twenty when you include the role cards.

You want a female fighter? Change Valeros to Valeria and use your imagination to replace the portrait; or maybe even draw one yourself if you are artistically inclined.


Rylar wrote:
While I agree that option is out there, I feel it's a bandaid. I would much rather the option of playing the cards as printed. I see no reason to only have male fighters in the official product.

And I see no reason to only play classes of the same gender as yourself. They're not going to completely change what classes they make just because of an extremely specific requirement you place on yourself. That's like if I complained that there aren't enough iconics with names that start with M, because I only play characters with the same first letter of their name as me.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

This has been raised before, though I can't track down the thread (it was several months ago).

Basically it's because they use the iconic characters from the PFRPG. For fans of the RPG, this means they are immediately recognisable and have their own distinct personalities, histories, etc. It also means they have a lot of existing artwork for those characters which is re-used in the card game to keep the costs down.

To the best of my knowledge there are no plans to create a second version of the iconic characters of opposite gender for the RPG, so I would be very surprised if we see them in the card game either.

As such the fixes suggested above are probably the best bet.

Regarding divine spell casters though, Lem is a divine spell caster in the card game, and Harsk can become one part way through.

Hope that helps.


Oroniss wrote:
This has been raised before, though I can't track down the thread (it was several months ago).

This thread?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

That's the one, thanks Hawk.


I understand where Rylar is coming from, because in my play group we always look at the characters of the same gender first. My wife really only likes to play Female characters, as well.

But from the artwork and card availability standpoint, I completely understand not having a direct replacement for all of the iconics. It just doesn't make a lot of sense to print a lot more cards and commission a lot more art.

I am think that I will be using the templates if anyone in my group want to play a character of another gender. I am just hoping that in future sets there is still a good balance of male and female characters.


My only thought on the matter is that I think there should be male and female traits, it could make for some fun. They could make the Shopkeeper's Daughter harder to defeat if you're male, have an ally that does different things based on gender, etcetera.

It just seems like a missed opportunity.


Orbis Orboros wrote:

My only thought on the matter is that I think there should be male and female traits, it could make for some fun. They could make the Shopkeeper's Daughter harder to defeat if you're male, have an ally that does different things based on gender, etcetera.

It just seems like a missed opportunity.

I think it is really only a missed opportunity if they were to make all classes have both genders. For instance, if I liked to play a fighter, and knew that a certain boon that I wanted would not give me all of the benefits, because I am playing a male character, then it is a little exclusive. I know that they are plenty of cards that you can't really use to their fullest, because of the class you CHOSE. But if you are restricted by something that you could not choose, then it really hurts the game.

On a side note, I really do like the idea. I would not mind even seeing cards that are more beneficial for, or even restricted to, certain classes. Once again, though, that is a card which has a benefit for something that I chose at the beginning of the game. This just creates chase items for each character, which I would not mind, because there are already cards that I want based on my starting character.


Erixian wrote:
Orbis Orboros wrote:

My only thought on the matter is that I think there should be male and female traits, it could make for some fun. They could make the Shopkeeper's Daughter harder to defeat if you're male, have an ally that does different things based on gender, etcetera.

It just seems like a missed opportunity.

I think it is really only a missed opportunity if they were to make all classes have both genders. For instance, if I liked to play a fighter, and knew that a certain boon that I wanted would not give me all of the benefits, because I am playing a male character, then it is a little exclusive. I know that they are plenty of cards that you can't really use to their fullest, because of the class you CHOSE. But if you are restricted by something that you could not choose, then it really hurts the game.

On a side note, I really do like the idea. I would not mind even seeing cards that are more beneficial for, or even restricted to, certain classes. Once again, though, that is a card which has a benefit for something that I chose at the beginning of the game. This just creates chase items for each character, which I would not mind, because there are already cards that I want based on my starting character.

Just think of the male/female trait as another stat on the character, like human (which is a trait that does come up in-game). And there could be cards that are better for males as wellas some that are better for females, it doesn't have to be a "this gender is better" thing.


Interesting topic. I can understand Rylar's preference to play a character which is the same gender as the player. I had the same preference for the majority of my gaming life. When playing pen-and-paper RPGs, video games, heck even the board game Life, if I had a choice to pick a gender, I always picked male. I wasn't adverse to playing a character with a different gender, I just liked to personify myself as my character, and that was easier to do when the character was as similar to me as I could get it.

But that changed more recently in video games. When sitting down to start Mass Effect, my wife suggested a female Shepard. So we tried it and now we can never imagine Commander Shepard being anyone other than our tough-as-nails redheaded female commander! Of course it helped that the voice acting for FemShep was much better than that for the male version. This opened up my experiences and showed me that I could personify with a character, even if it was depicted as the opposite gender as I.

I think my point is that the enjoyment of the game doesn't come from the gender of the character you play. But from the experiences of playing the game instead. For a guy, I see no difference in playing as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, or as Lini in PACG as compared to those games if those characters were Larry Croft and Louie the Druid.

Others have touched upon why there are not male and female choices for each character in PACG. Think of it as the card game version of Monopoly. You don't get to choose the breed of dog, style of car, or whether the shoe is a boot or high heels. You can play either game with the characters/tokens provided and get the exact same experience as you would if you had different looking tokens.

But at least there's the option to create custom characters, change the artwork or use your own miniatures, cards, or even Monopoly tokens to represent yourself while playing PACG. Unfortunately, there's just no way to accommodate everyone's preferences (Next people would complain their race, age, or fashion sense wasn't represented) unless you had a true build-your-own character mechanic. Actually, they do: The Pathfinder RPG.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

As a company, I've noticed that Paizo makes sure to represent both sexes as equal as possible. They try to avoid assuming characters are white cis hetero males that love the outdoors and beer. As such, Shayliss Vinder (the shopkeeper's daughter in the Rise of the Runelords adventure path) can target of the player characters in a given party, even if they're all female (not gonna spoil any more about that encounter than that). I really don't see them introducing gendered effects into the card game. It would be sexism for the sake of sexism.

It's a funny idea though.


Castarr4 wrote:
It's a funny idea though.

That's exactly the point! It's a game, so have fun. No need to over think things.


Orbis Orboros wrote:
Castarr4 wrote:
It's a funny idea though.
That's exactly the point! It's a game, so have fun. No need to over think things.

This is a pretty good point. I really wonder what kind of cards they could come out with with gender specific restrictions. I guess there are a lot of things that they could do in the future with, at the minimum, race. I say that because they are already cards that reference human and beast. I think that they could keep using those themes and then expand on that in the future with perhaps gender and class.


I like how they cover classes currently: players with the _ skill (so far only used with arcane and divine). It sorts things out nicely into arcane, divine, and other. Some better seperation between strength and dex characters would perhaps be nice, but I prefer this over just saying one class (which may as well just use names).


Orbis Orboros wrote:
I like how they cover classes currently: players with the _ skill (so far only used with arcane and divine). It sorts things out nicely into arcane, divine, and other. Some better seperation between strength and dex characters would perhaps be nice, but I prefer this over just saying one class (which may as well just use names).

There already is a slight separation because of the melee and ranged skills, and also the weapon proficiency feat. However, it might be a little more interesting if you had to banish a card if you did not have the proper skill, whether it be melee or ranged. This could actually be done for a lot of the specialty skills, come to think of it. It would add a much different mechanic for some of the cards. It would make you think a lot more about which cards you put in your deck. It would add a lot more thinking when it came to rebuilding your characters at the end of a scenario.


Male/female already is a card trait. It's on all the character cards.

Scarab Sages

Some day, maybe they'll release an entire expansion pack of extra character cards (say, a 110-card set with 20-30 or so characters, three cards each, + a couple of banes / boons to suit them) will come out, and we'll all leap for joy at the multitude of characters we'll have to use, and all the choices we'll have - a bard that's not a halfling, a fighter who might actually be a dwarf, an elven wizard...whatever. We'll all go back and play through entire adventure paths with the new characters, and everything will be Grande.


I never understood the gender thing. This is a game. Gender to me doesn't matter. I don't have any care whether a character is male or female, human or elf, good or evil. It is what it is. Take it or leave it. It's like spice, it makes the character have a flavor.

Sovereign Court

wydraz wrote:
I never understood the gender thing. This is a game. Gender to me doesn't matter. I don't have any care whether a character is male or female, human or elf, good or evil. It is what it is. Take it or leave it. It's like spice, it makes the character have a flavor.

To be fair, race actually does matter in this game. AP4 introduced a card (a Henchman I think) that was harder to defeat if you had the Human trait. For now, I agree that gender is irrelevant, especially since they aren't making "Generic Human Male Fighter". They're using actual characters that are part of Pathfinder. Male / female may matter at some point. I can see S&S having certain banes, or even allies, that are harder for females because the ally might not like the idea of answering to a female.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Andrew K wrote:
wydraz wrote:
I never understood the gender thing. This is a game. Gender to me doesn't matter. I don't have any care whether a character is male or female, human or elf, good or evil. It is what it is. Take it or leave it. It's like spice, it makes the character have a flavor.
To be fair, race actually does matter in this game. AP4 introduced a card (a Henchman I think) that was harder to defeat if you had the Human trait.

Jaagrath Kreeg, the Villain of The Fort in Peril

Andrew K wrote:
I can see S&S having certain banes, or even allies, that are harder for females because the ally might not like the idea of answering to a female.

I hope not. If there's one thing Golarion is, it's gender-blind. Not even pirates of the Shackles bat an eye at a woman in charge


Mechalibur wrote:
Male/female already is a card trait. It's on all the character cards.

Oh. Really? Then is it the allies it's not on? There was something it wasn't on that I thought it should have been on.

It should be in some of the banes too, I think.


Orbis Orboros wrote:
Mechalibur wrote:
Male/female already is a card trait. It's on all the character cards.
Oh. Really? Then is it the allies it's not on? There was something it wasn't on that I thought it should have been on.

The allies say race/species (Human, Elf, Halfling, Goblin, Pixie, Animal), but not gender.


Hawkmoon269 wrote:
Orbis Orboros wrote:
Mechalibur wrote:
Male/female already is a card trait. It's on all the character cards.
Oh. Really? Then is it the allies it's not on? There was something it wasn't on that I thought it should have been on.
The allies say race/species (Human, Elf, Halfling, Goblin, Pixie, Animal), but not gender.

That must be it.

It's annoying that my best time to post on here is a time when I can't look at my cards, and there's no database anywhere (that I know of) to reference.

---

I'd add something on topic, but nothing comes to mind, haha.


I had to look at my characters, but there is definitely a section for their gender. So that does beg the question if we will be seeing that play a factor in future APs. Well, I suppose that RotR is not quite completed yet, but we have yet to see anything.

I hope that we get to see more cards interact with more of your character cards. There are limited cards that play on race right now, but I think that it could be expanded upon a little.

I am unfamiliar with the APs, since I do not play the RPG, but are there locations that you travel to that would be more beneficial to a certain race? For instance a human city that would benefit humans, or a wilderness that an elf might be more in tune with, or the hometowns of each of the characters? Are there things of that nature?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My group doesn't care about gender. When we address each other during the game we use either our proper name or the character game; sometimes in the same sentence.

Just for the heck of it, here is the breakdown:
1 male playing a male characters.
3 males playing a female character.
1 female playing a male character.

Each of us picked who we did because we liked what that character did in play. In future game sessions we will be someone different.

We are here to have fun.


Charles Scholz wrote:

My group doesn't care about gender. When we address each other during the game we use either our proper name or the character game; sometimes in the same sentence.

Just for the heck of it, here is the breakdown:
1 male playing a male characters.
3 males playing a female character.
1 female playing a male character.

Each of us picked who we did because we liked what that character did in play. In future game sessions we will be someone different.

We are here to have fun.

We do the same. I just think it would be amusing if some of the in-game cards referenced gender.

A love potion card would be hilarious. Maybe as a promo?
"Decrease the difficulty of a check during an encounter against a card with the gender trait opposite your character's gender by 2d4."

But again, this would require boons/banes to have gender traits.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

I feel confident that I will not approve anything in the game that gives your character an advantage or disadvantage for having a particular sexual orientation. Thus, allies and monsters are very unlikely to get genders.

However, cards that reference your character's gender are not out of the realm of possibility. I could imagine a bane like Sisters of the Golden Erinyes that might have a higher difficulty to defeat if your character is male.


Mike Selinker wrote:

I feel confident that I will not approve anything in the game that gives your character an advantage or disadvantage for having a particular sexual orientation. Thus, allies and monsters are very unlikely to get genders.

However, cards that reference your character's gender are not out of the realm of possibility. I could imagine a bane like Sisters of the Golden Erinyes that might have a higher difficulty to defeat if your character is male.

That makes sense, given today's politics.

I'm glad I don't have to consider stuff like that (because I'm not a designer - if I come up with an idea like this, it can just get shot down, like this :P )

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

In the meantime, if you want a fantasy adventure–themed card game where the mechanics care about gender a lot, try Munchkin from Steve Jackson Games... (and don't miss Munchkin Pathfinder!)


Mike Selinker wrote:

I feel confident that I will not approve anything in the game that gives your character an advantage or disadvantage for having a particular sexual orientation. Thus, allies and monsters are very unlikely to get genders.

However, cards that reference your character's gender are not out of the realm of possibility. I could imagine a bane like Sisters of the Golden Erinyes that might have a higher difficulty to defeat if your character is male.

Mike, are you saying that we might see banes that are more difficult to defeat based on race or gender, but we will not be seeing boons that are more effective for certain races or genders? I guess I am a little confused by your statement.

Sovereign Court

Erician, I was confused at first as well until I reread it. His first paragraph is on sexual orientation (I.e., a character won't be advantaged or disadvantaged because they're attracted to women) while the second is stating that he doesn't have an issue giving advantage or disadvantage for the simple fact that a character is male or female.

At least, I read it that way.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

No, he's saying that no cards will have an effect that might reflect your characters sexual orientation. Which is independent of gender/sex.

So the reason the devil nuns would be harder to defeat for a man is not because he might be attracted to them. A woman could be too. The devil nuns, as I recall from Council of Thieves, target men first because they hate them, or something. Or they hope to convert women to their group, or something. I can check the pfrpg books to check.

Edit: ninjaed.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder PF Special Edition, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
wydraz wrote:
I never understood the gender thing. This is a game. Gender to me doesn't matter. I don't have any care whether a character is male or female, human or elf, good or evil. It is what it is. Take it or leave it. It's like spice, it makes the character have a flavor.

As you've seen already there are gamers who have problems playing characters that don't match their gender.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

Yeah, to be clearer:
If a card cares only what your character's gender is, that card might be okay by me.
If a card cares only what its gender or sexual orientation is, that card might be okay by me.
If a card cares what your character's sexual orientation is, that card will be nuked before you ever see it.


Okay, now that makes a lot more sense. Thank you everyone for the clarification. I was just making sure that I was separating everything where it was meant to be separated. I think I was just a little confused when sexual orientation came into the picture, but that was because I was not reading the sexual orientation aspect of the Shopkeeper's Daughter discussion.

I like that idea a lot, and I think that is in line with what everyone was saying. I think that for sure, sexual orientation should be left out of the equation, but I like the idea that cards may be affected by specifically the gender of your character. It is interesting to think about a card being affected by it's own sexual orientation as well.


Rylar wrote:

My playgroup just started playing the card game and when picking characters we found that our character choices obviously were limited if we stuck to our own gender. While we could play characters of the opposite sex, we tend not to in games where we have a choice. This limitation was further constricting when I noticed that all the divine classes (Paladin, Cleric, Druid) were female.

Looking at information for the next set it sounds like we will have the same iconic characters for classes that are repeated, which means that if we can't play a class (as our own gender) now we will never be able to. I would really like to see this changed so that the next set (or sets after) include class/gender options that are counter to what is currently available.

Why limit that restriction to only gender? Why not ethnicity (or the closest analogue in Golarion)? Or race (you can only be human!)?

Is it a case of "be imaginative, but not too imaginative?"


Mike Selinker wrote:

I feel confident that I will not approve anything in the game that gives your character an advantage or disadvantage for having a particular sexual orientation. Thus, allies and monsters are very unlikely to get genders.

However, cards that reference your character's gender are not out of the realm of possibility. I could imagine a bane like Sisters of the Golden Erinyes that might have a higher difficulty to defeat if your character is male.

I for one appreciate the fact that Paizo appears to consider social justice and equality in its products. Not only is it a sounds business decision not to alienate people, it's also just the right thing to do. I can appreciate the idea that it's a game and there's no need to over-think it but I disagree that considering all types of players is over-thinking things on their part.

Sovereign Court

What about adding a few girdles of gender changing cards? Slap one of those on your card now you are a dude/ette.


LazarX wrote:
wydraz wrote:
I never understood the gender thing. This is a game. Gender to me doesn't matter. I don't have any care whether a character is male or female, human or elf, good or evil. It is what it is. Take it or leave it. It's like spice, it makes the character have a flavor.
As you've seen already there are gamers who have problems playing characters that don't match their gender.

That's why the book leaves it open on creating your own heroes. You're not forced to play the heroes that come in the box. That's actually a lot more leeway than many other board games and video games out there on the market today.

It's easy enough, especially now with the card templates, to create your own heroes, use your own artwork, name them what you want, and print them on cardstock to make them look almost like they came with the game.

Rylar, the OP of this thread, seems to feel that's not enough, though. He/she wants characters printed out of the box that give all options to each gender set, so doesn't seem to agree with the fact that Iconics exist.

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