Homosexuality in Pathfinder


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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As those of us who read the Homosexuality in Golarion thread have seen asserted quite frequently, that thread is supposed to be for Golarion talk only, not for the frequently occurring debate as to what place LGBT themes should or should not have in Pathfinder publications and gaming culture at large. I believe that it is now high time we had a thread specifically dedicated to this debate, so that we can stop dragging Homosexuality in Golarion off topic and then getting our posts removed.

So, let's have at it. I'll start out by expressing my deep affection for Paizo and it's open minded and egalitarian view towards LGBT issues, and I don't believe LGBT themes as presented in Paizo products are at all inappropriate for young children (It's probably better for kids to be exposed to than a lot of the themes in Pathfinder we don't argue about, in fact).


I think "Phil and Dixie" took this about as far as I ever wanted to see it go.


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Not sure what this is supposed to be about. It seems like making a thread about what role potatoes have in Pathfinder.

Kelsey, is there some particular issue that needs to be addressed, or are things basically fine and this thread is about things being fine?

Also, I like potatoes and would gladly include potato themes in any of my games in which food was relevant. In games where food is not relevant, including explicit references to to potatoes would probably seem out of place, but that's not really a big deal.


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Your non-fried potato habits disgust and offend me, and you should pray to Odin to save your soul for your blasphemous lifestyle choice.


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blahpers wrote:

Not sure what this is supposed to be about. It seems like making a thread about what role potatoes have in Pathfinder.

Kelsey, is there some particular issue that needs to be addressed, or are things basically fine and this thread is about things being fine?

Also, I like potatoes and would gladly include potato themes in any of my games in which food was relevant. In games where food is not relevant, including explicit references to to potatoes would probably seem out of place, but that's not really a big deal.

This is the kind of thing that just makes me sick. Not everybody likes only potatoes - all edible plants are of equal value and importance, how can you not see that? I'm sorry, something must be done to stop your hateful stem-tuber rhetoric.

You know who else I bet liked potatoes? Hitler.


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Surely whatever you and your gaming group are happy with is the law of the land, no? Is there a particular issue that needs full and frank discussion?


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Pathfinder is just a system of rules taht allow you to, hopefully, tell a good shared sotry with your players.

I think paizo is already doing a lot in their golarion, no need to do anything in the rulebooks.

Liberty's Edge

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I'm...actually not sure how you include homosexuality in the rulebook line in a meaningful fashion (a picture of two men or two women kissing in a romance section is the only example I can think of). But I'm not sure that's exactly the purpose of this thread.

I did put some thought into how this issue would be handled in my current non-Golarion Pathfinder game involving semi-barbaric Orcs and Humans rebelling against their pseudo-Roman Elven overlords...and decided none of the above cultures gave a damn (though the Dwarves to the North frown on such things...sex should be between married couples for purposes of children). The Human Pantheon I created involves two married Goddesses (the Goddesses of the sun and war, and agriculture and diplomacy, respectively), and a gender-shifting sea god and patron of the transgendered (among other things), and the Orcish Pantheon a Half Orc bisexual, polyamorous, love Goddess, and a gay death God. The Elven Gods are less numerous (a married couple and their three children) and lack any LGBT member (well, the CE trickster God has a fluid gender, I guess)...but they just don't give a damn, culturally speaking. The most powerful Orcish warlord (a 17th level Barbarian) also happens to be gay...and the father of one of the PCs (he was very drunk one night). And the Alchemist mentor of another PC (an Alchemist, obviously) is transgendered...though I'm not sure when if ever that'll come up. Interestingly, I created something like 50 descriptions of major NPCs in the area (most not LGBT) for the PCs to pick connections with...and those two happened to get picked. I could go into more detail if anyone cares.

In terms of OOC stuff...I think everyone in my current Pathfinder group is straight. Huh. Weird. That hadn't been true previously for...quite a while. I'm not sure we ever had a gay player, but there were two bisexual ones until a while ago (one male, on female)...but then one moved away for college, and the other kept gaming with us for quite a while, but she hasn't been playing for the last little bit (though her boyfriend still does).

In terms of how I treat players...I treat my players like players. And mostly like my friends, since they are. So...I dunno what more to say about that.

If this post seems undirected...well, it is. But I don't know exactly what this thread is supposed to be for, so I'm trying to cover all my bases. :)


I feel like this is one of those attempts to get mechanical benefits/crunch out of something that is strictly an RP issue.

The closest I can see to this actually mattering is if it was a Social Trait, but not just a trait that makes you homosexual, but one that includes some fluff about being discriminated against or cast out because of it that gives you like +2 on will saves against attacks from members of the opposite sex, but -2 against members of the same sex or something.

That said, a Trait like that really plays on the 'all homosexuals are attracted to every member of the same sex' stereotype that is more offensive to a lot of homosexuals than simply being ignorant and abhorring it in the first place.

Most traits and/or crunch involving romance in any way is pretty androgynous from what I can tell.


Corvino wrote:
Surely whatever you and your gaming group are happy with is the law of the land, no?

This.

It's your game and your Golarion (or whatever homebrew world you may use). How it works is how you and your table want it to work. Doesn't matter what the writers say; you don't like it, you change it.


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Why does this have to be a thing? Isn't this supposed to be a fantasy setting that can be shaped any way you like? Why force the issue for people that don't feel the need to include any kind of X-sexuality into their games?


Oh, where would these themes come in, adventure paths


Just wait until someone asks and starts a thread about a LGBT paladin.


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I don't see how you can have this discussion without first establishing the setting. "Pathfinder" is just the set of physics and metaphysics in which characters (PCs and NPCs) live. It has nothing to do with sex.

If your setting is Greek, then your male leads are going to banging each other in the hangar while the women stay at home and raise little Greeks. If your setting is Norse, then your male leads are going to be raping village wenches every time they hit the shore line, and probably lopping the heads off any homosexuals they find. If your setting is Japanese, then your samurai are going to be offered the choice of sleeping with village cortesans who are either adult females or underage males, whenever they show up to a town.

I think pretty much all other settings fall somewhere inside those extremes. But any attempt to pull this question out of a setting is meaningless, because it's a culture dependent question.


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Just play it out in your character. I myself consider myself TG so my character is female. I just play her as a female not a TG Half-Elf. After all if gender or preference of gender is the issue, just role play it out. It's simple. Why make a deal out if it at all.

Silver Crusade

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
I could go into more detail if anyone cares.

I'm actually quite curious about that gay Orcish god of death. :)

Liberty's Edge

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Mikaze wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
I could go into more detail if anyone cares.
I'm actually quite curious about that gay Orcish god of death. :)

Well...all my God listings are a bit rudimentary by the standards of full deity articles in Pathfinder, and none of my PCs wound up worshiping him specifically, but...

Marinak is the Orcish God of Death, he is the impartial lord of all death, from cruel murder to merciful ends of those in pain, as well as a God of travel and journeys in his role as psychopomp. As the only Lawful Orc God, he's also generally prayed to by judges and other lawkeepers for aid in being fair and impartial, and is considered the enforcer of contracts and oaths. Orcs thus take oaths quite seriously, despite their generally Chaotic nature...nobody wants to anger the Lord of Death. He is Lawful Neutral, his Domains are Death, Destruction, Law, Repose, and Travel, and his favored weapon is the scythe, as is his holy symbol.

He's very much a Grim Reaper figure, appearing as a tall and slim, pale, Orc in a long dark cloak. He's the elder brother of the King of the Orc Gods and something of the bachelor uncle of the pantheon, though he takes mortal lovers upon occasion. He's also the theoretical patron of male homosexuality, though that doesn't come up a lot, since Orcs mostly don't care and Orcs who happen to be gay tend to follow whichever God suits their other interests. It does mean that being an undertaker, judge, or priest of Marinak, is something of the 'stereotypical' job for gay male Orcs...but that's a custom more honored in the breach.


It only occasionally comes up in my homebrew setting, mostly because my current players aren't that big on the role play of anything. The subject arose somewhat more often in the past. In one country that was the PCs' home base that was modeled loosely on medieval England, there was some mild stigma surrounding homosexuality, but mostly because it was (in that land, anyway) by definition adultery, as there was no same sex marriage. So it wasn't the taboo, but the fact that it involved either cheating on a spouse or keeping people who in theory should be married from starting a family. Overall, not usually a super big deal, unless you were an heir expected to inherit and carry on the family name.

Far away, there is a land of Amazons the players have heard of but never visited (which is unusual, considering their well-travelled status. Human men aren't welcome anywhere in that land but the coastal cities. Male elves from the nearby Mountains of Mourning are not so restricted. Neither are male half elves, and although they do not exist in very large numbers, this is one of the most likely places for half elves (of either gender) to come from in my campaign setting. Supposedly, women in this land often pair up, although if they want girlchildren they will seek out a likely father for brief pairings. What happens to male human children is, oddly enough, not a question any of my PCs (or any of my players) have ever asked.

Then there are the elves. My campaign uses the elven gods that go all the way back to earlier editions of the game. As you may recall, they all have dual names: Corellon Larethian, Aerdrie Faenya, Erevan Ilesere, etc. Those names represent their dual natures--all of my elven gods have both a male and a female aspect, even though most of them are depicted more often one way than the other. Elves, their people, are considerably more likely to be bisexual than humans and consider it normal, far more so than most of them consider sex with humans.

On a related note, my setting's dwarves refuse to use the pronoun "she" or "her" in public in reference to another dwarf, even though it is not at all hard to distinguish the two genders. They consider it incredibly impolite for anyone outside immediate family to acknowledge that a dwarf is female (yes, I stole this from Terry Pratchett).

But none of this is stuff that sets the world very far apart from others. It's just people, doing the weird and normal stuff people do.

Silver Crusade

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
I could go into more detail if anyone cares.
I'm actually quite curious about that gay Orcish god of death. :)

Well...all my God listings are a bit rudimentary by the standards of full deity articles in Pathfinder, and none of my PCs wound up worshiping him specifically, but...

Marinak is the Orcish God of Death, he is the impartial lord of all death, from cruel murder to merciful ends of those in pain, as well as a God of travel and journeys in his role as psychopomp. As the only Lawful Orc God, he's also generally prayed to by judges and other lawkeepers for aid in being fair and impartial, and is considered the enforcer of contracts and oaths. Orcs thus take oaths quite seriously, despite their generally Chaotic nature...nobody wants to anger the Lord of Death. He is Lawful Neutral, his Domains are Death, Destruction, Law, Repose, and Travel, and his favored weapon is the scythe, as is his holy symbol.

He's very much a Grim Reaper figure, appearing as a tall and slim, pale, Orc in a long dark cloak. He's the elder brother of the King of the Orc Gods and something of the bachelor uncle of the pantheon, though he takes mortal lovers upon occasion. He's also the theoretical patron of male homosexuality, though that doesn't come up a lot, since Orcs mostly don't care and Orcs who happen to be gay tend to follow whichever God suits their other interests. It does mean that being an undertaker, judge, or priest of Marinak, is something of the 'stereotypical' job for gay male Orcs...but that's a custom more honored in the breach.

Dig. And thanks for the info!

I love that a different set of expectations and occupational stereotypes spun out of that too, as well as the neatly embedded reasoning for keeping oaths important in a generally chaotic culture.

And now I'm really curious about the rest of that Orc pantheon and culture(and humans and elves). ;)

Liberty's Edge

Mikaze wrote:

Dig. And thanks for the info!

I love that a different set of expectations and occupational stereotypes spun out of that too, as well as the neatly embedded reasoning for keeping oaths important in a generally chaotic culture.

Thanks!

I work hard for verisimilitude in my settings, and it's always nice to be appreciated.

Mikaze wrote:
And now I'm really curious about the rest of that Orc pantheon and culture(and humans and elves). ;)

Well, most of that is probably off topic for this particular thread, but if people are interested I could start a thread in the homebrew section and link to it...


Deadmanwalking wrote:

Well...all my God listings are a bit rudimentary by the standards of full deity articles in Pathfinder, and none of my PCs wound up worshiping him specifically, but...

Marinak is the Orcish God of Death, he is the impartial lord of all death, from cruel murder to merciful ends of those in pain, as well as a God of travel and journeys in his role as psychopomp. As the only Lawful Orc God, he's also generally prayed to by judges and other lawkeepers for aid in being fair and impartial, and is considered the enforcer of contracts and oaths. Orcs thus take oaths quite seriously, despite their generally Chaotic nature...nobody wants to anger the Lord of Death. He is Lawful Neutral, his Domains are Death, Destruction, Law, Repose, and Travel, and his favored weapon is the scythe, as is his holy symbol.

He's very much a Grim Reaper figure, appearing as a tall and slim, pale, Orc in a long dark cloak. He's the elder brother of the King of the Orc Gods and something of the bachelor uncle of the pantheon, though he takes mortal lovers upon occasion. He's also the theoretical patron of male homosexuality, though that doesn't come up a lot, since Orcs mostly don't care and Orcs who happen to be gay tend to follow whichever God suits their other interests. It does mean that being an undertaker, judge, or priest of Marinak, is something of the 'stereotypical' job for gay male Orcs...but that's a custom more honored in the breach.

That is a very cool and interesting concept. I like. A wonderful description, though how he became the theoretical god of male orc homosexuality would be interesting to know, or was it the whole bachelor uncle bit?

Liberty's Edge

The Indescribable wrote:
That is a very cool and interesting concept. I like. A wonderful description, though how he became the theoretical god of male orc homosexuality would be interesting to know, or was it the whole bachelor uncle bit?

Oh! Sorry if that's unclear: It's because he's gay, and known to be. Those occasional lovers mentioned are all men. This fact was mentioned in the quoted text, but I should've re-included it in the actual description.

The bachelor uncle bit is coincidence, as much as anything.


Very very interesting god you have set up there. Kudos

Liberty's Edge

The Indescribable wrote:
Very very interesting god you have set up there. Kudos

Thanks! :)

For more information on the setting that God is from, the Pantheon, and so on, click here. It's not all up yet, but it will be.


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Thanks, I think if this is the quality of your gods I'll be very interested in this.

Liberty's Edge

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I treat homosexuality in Pathfinder as I do real life -- a non-issue. Sometimes it shows up, sometimes it doesn't. So what.


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Sexuality doesn't have a role in my games, so neither does homosexuality.

Would you believe many people on this forum aren't even ready to address sexuality in their lives, let alone their role playing games?

This is a gaming forum. Save the social justice warrior posts for reddit.

Liberty's Edge

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Owly wrote:
Sexuality doesn't have a role in my games, so neither does homosexuality.

Understandable.

Owly wrote:
Would you believe many people on this forum aren't even ready to address sexuality in their lives, let alone their role playing games?

That's...unusual. Significantly so. I'm pretty sure completely celibate players are rarer than LGBT ones, and quite a bit rarer than ones who have some interest in sexuality, which doesn't devalue their lifestyle or playstyle...but does mean something they're not interested in is gonna inevitably come up, since many other people are interested in it.

Owly wrote:
This is a gaming forum. Save the social justice warrior posts for reddit.

This...comes off as pretty unpleasant and dismissive of people who just happen to have different interests than you. You might want to try being a bit more polite if you want people to listen.

Silver Crusade

master_marshmallow wrote:
Just wait until someone asks and starts a thread about a LGBT paladin.

Wasn't there a homosexual paladin in one of the APs?

I've followed the 'Homosexuality in Golarion' thread quite a bit, as well as other hot button issues in that vein myself. Although I'm not sure the focus of this thread. If you're talking about the actual published products, I admit that I'm quite pleased with the amount of LGBT representation that Golarion has. They've made great strides in making LGBT representation, which is very important for the community at large. I appreciate all they've done in this respect, and would love to see it continue (which if you've seen the original thread, seems to be the way JJ wants to continue.)

Irabeth Tirabade may be my favorite inclusion, as the rarely touched on issue of transsexual characters was done in a very tasteful manner, which a few of my transsexual friends really appreciated. It was positive representation that was tastefully done, and it was great to see that in a magical world full of mystery and wonder, there are still people dealing with issues that are quite real to at least some of their players.

I can clearly agree that sexuality isn't for everyone's table beyond the PG-13 limit that Paizo seems to have on their material, but in the same sense, romance is a very important issue, and a driving force in a lot of stories, and it's important to explore all avenues of that romance. While a large amount of tables will 'fade to black' or otherwise handwave anything, the relationship building that goes into two people falling for each other is often a large part of NPC interaction, and thus the scope should be as inclusive as possible (I loved Jade Regent for cannonically making the caravan bisexual to allow for same sex couples, and a friend of mine appreciated being able to pursue whomever they wanted in that scenario.)

I often feel that sexuality has to be taken under the consideration of romance as well, so that LGBT romances can be told, even if anything beyond that never comes into play. Trying to remove romance and saying that it's not important is erasing a large part of literature and storytelling, and makes the blind assumption that everyone is straight until proven otherwise all the worse.

As a whole, I support Paizo in their story telling due to their mature yet tactful use of LGBT characters and their respect for other views and opinions.

But seriously, errata Crane Wing already, it's terrible as it is.

Silver Crusade

N. Jolly wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Just wait until someone asks and starts a thread about a LGBT paladin.

Wasn't there a homosexual paladin in one of the APs?

I think we may have more than a few at this point, but yeah, we've had them since the very first volume of Rise of the Runelords. In fact, I think that may have actually been the first gay NPC in Pathfinder. :)

currently playing a bisexual paladin, didn't realize he was until playing him for some time


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Owly wrote:
This is a gaming forum. Save the social justice warrior posts for reddit.

You act like gaming forums are pristine caches utilized exclusively for discussions about games.


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master_marshmallow wrote:
Just wait until someone asks and starts a thread about a LGBT paladin.

Well paladins can fall in love...


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The core game books are setting neutral and any mention of sex and romance has the disclaimer of "If the individual is normally attracted to you" when it comes to effects and traits.

Do you need more than that?


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I'm with many of the others in this thread; sexuality is in the setting and not the game rules. As there are no rules for sex that are defined by gender there are no rules for homosexuality.

I've included homosexuality in characters and settings but never felt the need to introduce rules for it. It's like having red hair - you note it for your character and play the character accordingly.


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If you're going to force people to deal with controversial, hot button issues then you'd better be prepared to deal with opinions that you don't like. This is exactly why there does't need to be anything specifically mentioned in the rule books regarding x-sexuality.

If you are x-sexual, good for you. Stop asking people to care. If you want it in your games, feel free to include in your games. But please understand that not everyone is going to agree.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So let's start with some robust, balanced rules for sex that ensure Fighters, Rogues and Monks have equal opportunities at playing bees and flowers as full casters do.


Simon Legrande wrote:

If you're going to force people to deal with controversial, hot button issues then you'd better be prepared to deal with opinions that you don't like. This is exactly why there does't need to be anything specifically mentioned in the rule books regarding x-sexuality.

If you are x-sexual, good for you. Stop asking people to care. If you want it in your games, feel free to include in your games. But please understand that not everyone is going to agree.

Agreed in the sense that there's no need for anything about homosexuality in the mechanics (other than the occasional "If the individual is normally attracted to your gender" note already mentioned).

That stuff belongs in adventures and setting material.

At least in PF. In an RPG that was more focused on romance or even erotic situations, there would be mechanics handling sexuality and thus homosexuality.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Ack... Uh... *twitch*

The overwelming things I want to say/rant is mind boggling.

3.5 does have some.. *ahem* adult themed rules for intimate encounters, though it is more genaric in regards to gender, the write up assuming the normal man on woman (or vise versa) type of thing. It could be used between any two pc/npc combination, though.

I have seen some nods to relationships that are not the typical couples in PFS play, though I hasten to say that it was done in such a way as to not intifere in normal game play. It makes for some interesting moments and adds to character interaction.

As far as the psudo science about what is or isn't or how one's being is pre-ordained, I shall leave that alone.


Well, there really isn't anything specifically in the rules regarding sexual orientation, but I don't think the rules system is what the OP was talking about.

I think it's more the presence of more varied sexual orientations in Paizo-official story material about Golarion, particularly in published adventure paths and other stories. As I recall, unless otherwise stated in their backstory, all of the Iconics are bisexual. And the Faiths of Purity description of Shelyn states that homosexual couples are treated no differently from heterosexual couples in the eyes of the goddess of love.

So yeah, I think OP was just speaking of the stance Paizo seems to take in their official stories, which in my opinion is a progressive one.

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