Character Comfort Levels


Gamer Life General Discussion

1 to 50 of 120 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Hi all,

After reading a few different threads, I'd like to delve deeper into this topic. Do you generally only play characters that are of your same race? Meaning that if you are black/brown/white in real life you tend to always play black/brown/white characters in game?

If you are a male, do you only ever play male characters? And for female players, do you only ever play female characters?

Related to that, if one of the other players create a character that crosses gender or racial boundaries from what they are in real life, does that make you uncomfortable?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm comfortable playing characters of any gender, orientation, or color. I mean, even if I'm playing a human, I'm not Chelaxian or anything...

(And yes, I once surprised my friends when I fetched a picture to represent my wizard, and returned with a photo of a young Papuan. But I had said he was Flan (Greyhawk), so the picture looked far more correct than anything else.)


this is a pretty fascinating topic that frequently comes up in conversations my wife Lamontia and I have regarding pathfinder

we have both branched out significantly in this regard in our nearly two years in the hobby so far, although more in how we roleplay our home-game and PFS characters, rather than how they appear

we each have different struggles with this, her and I, so I'm kinda interested in seeing how this thread goes

Sovereign Court

I tend to vary accent and personality more than physical features. I am open to races, though 80% of the time I am a human. I ama male and I dont have an issue with playing a female character.

I am comfortable with others choosing different races and sexes. Though the guys in one of my group tend to play women awfully, and often, unfortunately.


I have played both male and female characters... although it seems more natural to play female. So as far as gender is concerned I stay close to myself I guess. Only branching out to temporarily explore a male concept on rare occasions.

On Race... I am all over the map on this. The stranger the race the better it seems. So on this I have great fun being as far from myself as I can get. I even played a giant ladybug once.

Sovereign Court

Played almost exclusively male characters. Usually with white or off-white skin. Not that I honestly care after a session or two. Dwarf characters usually have darker skin and dark eyes.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think very nearly all of my players have at some point played a character of a different gender than themselves. I myself (white, hetero, cis-male) tend to prefer female characters, but I've also played more than a few male characters as well.

In terms of skin color, non-white seems to be an option reserved for characters with human blood in them — gnomes, elves, and dwarves being basically Caucasian in our setting. Also, we tend to have a good number of non-standard races such as catfolk or minotaurs, for whom skin color is irrelevant.

Amongst the [half-]humans though, while the majority have been Caucasian (as are their players) we've had a pair of twin female African half-elves, a female Oriental warlock, a male African mage, a female Arabian paladin, and a female Native-American ranger. I'm probably forgetting a few others, but to date none of my players have ever batted an eye at anyone else playing a PC with a different gender or skin color. The closest we've come was one player who didn't want to play an African character himself because he felt he couldn't do a good job given some personal issues he had (which we didn't get into). He had no issue with anyone else doing so, and he himself freely alternated between playing male and female characters.


played a few crossgender characters, and only once or twice a human-analogue culture removed from mine. With years, I got more self-conscious about it, fearing that I would fall into ignorant and insulting stereotype without knowing, so I stopped.

When I play human, I play something I can easily relate to. I don't think it is mysogenistic to admit that I can't relate perfectly to a woman's psyche, or racist to pretend that I don't have the baggage to truly understand what it means to be black american, but it feels "wrong" for me to assume their shape, colour, cultural archetypes for cosmetic reasons only.

I don't even have a problem when other people are doing it (assuming they are honest and respectful), I'm just not confortable myself doing it.

So when I want to play "not white catholic french canadian" I play an elf, or a dwarf or whatever. Its not like we have a lack of choices to choose from...


My main character is a wily male human bard/witch, dark-complected, pseudo-Cajun, with a smattering of magic that's a combination of American tall tale, standard wizard, with voodoo undertones. He's been growing genderfluid after having shared his soul with a vampire sorceress, and using his familiar as a conduit for his long-lost girlfriend.

I've got a female half-elf witch, very white, mainly because she's half-elf and half-Issian (that Ulfen-Kellid mix).

My male half-orc skulking slayer rogue is probably closest to me in my own heritage, except that he's gay. Not that it's ever come up, yet. I'm sure no one has noticed.

But heck, Varisian, Garundi, gnome (I mean, I've played a blue gnome before), what have you, most of the time, I don't consider the character to be really any analogue to race, so they end up being whatever.

As for what I am, I'm male, cisgendered, straight, and Latino, although I pass for (and often identify with) white American.

...there's not much in the way of Latino culture in RPGs. Aztecs and conquistadors, yes, but that's not the same thing.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Wrong John Silver wrote:
...there's not much in the way of Latino culture in RPGs. Aztecs and conquistadors, yes, but that's not the same thing.

Well, I mostly see Taldor as a southern/mediteranian Europe and Absalom as a Venue.

As for playing different types of human kinds we are having fun with Legacy of Fire and mostly Kelish and Garundi PCs who make fun of the "funny north folk" who wear to much and get from white to red because they just can't figure how the sun works. And we're a bunch of white frenchy Quebequers!


Wrong John Silver wrote:

My main character is a wily male human bard/witch, dark-complected, pseudo-Cajun, with a smattering of magic that's a combination of American tall tale, standard wizard, with voodoo undertones. He's been growing genderfluid after having shared his soul with a vampire sorceress, and using his familiar as a conduit for his long-lost girlfriend.

I've got a female half-elf witch, very white, mainly because she's half-elf and half-Issian (that Ulfen-Kellid mix).

My male half-orc skulking slayer rogue is probably closest to me in my own heritage, except that he's gay. Not that it's ever come up, yet. I'm sure no one has noticed.

But heck, Varisian, Garundi, gnome (I mean, I've played a blue gnome before), what have you, most of the time, I don't consider the character to be really any analogue to race, so they end up being whatever.

As for what I am, I'm male, cisgendered, straight, and Latino, although I pass for (and often identify with) white American.

...there's not much in the way of Latino culture in RPGs. Aztecs and conquistadors, yes, but that's not the same thing.

You'd like the game I run. I have mine in a Caribbean setting, with a cultural mixture of pre-Columbian Taino/Carib indian, colonial, and modern day Latin American influences. So you can totally be Latino in my games.

Now if only you were in Ft. Lauderdale... :p

I tend to only play male characters out of comfort, but I vary the races and ethnicities. Last Pathfinder character I played was a Mwangi oracle.


Hmm... To be honest, I rarely describe the skin tone of my PC's when they are human. What I do with the character and how I have him act is so much more important to me than the appearance that I rarely even give it consideration.

Although... {sigh} I just realized. As I become more bald I find I am a bit more likely to describe the hair of the character. This probably doesn't say good things about me.

If someone actually asks what the PC looks like I will usually default to extremes. Her skin is so dark it seems to drink in the light. His head is shaven so you can't tell what his hair color is, but from the blindingly pale skin (almost albino) you would guess a red head.

I don't usually play humans though simply because I want something very different from my everyday life. To me that is a large appeal of the hobby.

If a character is not human, the 'otherness' of the race is usually a more than sufficient description.

I almost always play a male character. Not because I'm uncomfortable playing female characters. Just because I don't feel like I'm getting it right.

More than half the time I see someone play a gender other than their RL gender, they play it so over the top that it mostly just annoys the others at the table. {The male player that plays a lesbian female that will have a go a virtually everything living that is encountered. The female player that plays a misogynistic woman hater that tries to humiliate every female encountered. Etc... Ok it was funny when we were 13, but grow up a little.}

Since I don't feel like I can get it right I'm at least a bit concerned that I will come across as one of those annoying people. With people that I know very well (I am confident they will let me know if I'm getting out of line), I occasionally try it. This fall I may be starting a new PC whose concept almost requires a female character.


My character race depends on the idea I have in mind for that character- either their story/background or the math (depending on which path for char gen I'm following).

They are always male- not because I have an issue with guys playing gals or vice versa but rather because we tend to think differently enough that I know I won't be able to do it proper justice.

As for ethnicity- I never think about it when making a character. It usually doesn't come up until I'm looking over the sheet (or hero lab) and come across that blank. Same thing with eye and hair color. I then flip to the pages about that race or ethnicity and see what is appropriate and pencil it in. Light, dark, medium, hair length/color and eye color are all drawn from that and unless it comes up in some odd RP or such, it never is an issue with the character. (i.e. I don't change how they are played based on skin/hair/eye color though the racial ethnicity can change it. taldor plays diff than a chelaxian, at least potentially.)

-S


Tormsskull wrote:

Hi all,

After reading a few different threads, I'd like to delve deeper into this topic. Do you generally only play characters that are of your same race? Meaning that if you are black/brown/white in real life you tend to always play black/brown/white characters in game?

If you are a male, do you only ever play male characters? And for female players, do you only ever play female characters?

Related to that, if one of the other players create a character that crosses gender or racial boundaries from what they are in real life, does that make you uncomfortable?

My race isn't in fantasy games, lol.

As for colouration, I like to play characters a bit swarthy or distinctive.

I like to play female characters, branch out a bit. Monsters and demihumans are also fun as a form of rp and philosophical exercise.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I (white male) play female non-humans and non-elves almost exclusively, with few exceptions. My character's coloration is more determined by the art I find for them than anything else. I've had some dark-skinned characters as a result, though I'd say the majority are lighter.


I'm a white male and I play all sorts. Whatever I feel like at the time. Though my characters, when relevant, are usually bisexual, like myself.


I'm a male and tend to play male characters since it's the default in my mind. I do occasionally take a female if I feel it better suits the character I have in my head.

For race I go with human around 65% of the time since I'm too lazy to read anything beyond the core races and they tend to fit all settings. I do ocasionally take other races and my first character ever was an elf.


Since I started my RP hobby back in 2002 I have played all sorts of characters on either side of the GM screen. I'll play whatever best fits my character concept. I'd say I'm about 50/50

Recently I have stuck with male characters, however, because my current gaming group is rather... stuffy... about crossing the gender lines.

Typically any announcement that I will be playing a female character is followed by a moment of silence by my group, as if I am breaking some sort of taboo.

My group has a habit of referring to their characters in the first person; I've found that using a third person narrative has helped a bit with their "cross-gender" shock. For example, saying "She seduces the guard with her feminine wiles" draws fewer odd looks from my group then "I seduce the guard with my feminine wiles" since I am, in reality, a 6'5 320lb bald and bearded man :).


You taboo breaker you!

One dm I know is also weird about crossing the gender lines.

Some of us don't quite get why (question marks appear above old players that have had plenty of female characters). If I can play the mysteries slender thief in Trine, why can't I do that and add more in an rp game? Rp should always be better and have more options than a com game. I think some are players and dms are still conservative enough that it weirds them out.

Who knows what he would do if we had a transgender jump in.

Roan I am sure your feminine wiles are very persuasive. And don't let anyone tell you otherwise!


DM Under The Bridge wrote:

You taboo breaker you!

One dm I know is also weird about crossing the gender lines.

Some of us don't quite get why (question marks appear above old players that have had plenty of female characters). If I can play the mysteries slender thief in Trine, why can't I do that and add more in an rp game? Rp should always be better and have more options than a com game. I think some are players and dms are still conservative enough that it weirds them out.

Who knows what he would do if we had a transgender jump in.

Roan I am sure your feminine wiles are very persuasive. And don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

It's funny, because I cross gender lines all the time as a GM. Then again, I've also discovered that I'm actually rather capable with feminine wiles; I've had players get flustered and distracted by my portrayals of women. And no, it's not the bog-standard "you're all in the brothel when..."

I'd say the real tricks behind an effective portrayal of the opposite gender are 1) remembering that in most cases, they're just like you, and 2) emulating mannerisms adds the subtle cues that identify the gender of the character. And subtle is what you're going for.


I think cross-gender weirdness others feel is born out of people picturing your character as YOU. Like the GM who sees the 400lb greasy mechanic instead of the sailor moon style magical girl he is playing as.

Cross-gender weirdness in ourselves is from simply not knowing how to react in certain gender situations; for example I was playing a guy once and the GM had a sexy barmaid hit on me... I was totally off balance trying to figure out how a guy should respond and occasionally people still joke about how awkwardly I handled it.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Actually, I think a lot of the cross-gender weirdness comes from experience with players that play caricatures of women in somewhat creepy ways. If you ever saw Gamers 2, that's a bit of what I'm talking about.

Shadow Lodge

I have no problem playing either gender and I think I tend slightly toward female characters even though I am male. I like core races but kinda dislike playing anything too 'weird' i.e. furries, blue people or people who spit fireballs out their rear. But I think the most important perspective in my gaming is I tend to play half-elves/orcs.

I grew up in the 70-80s with an undiagnosed Aspergers before the term was in common use. I knew my thinking was different from others and I often felt like an outsider. I think it helped feel comfortable with what it is like to be not 'quite' human, whether its my half elven summoner whose eidolon was her best friend since childhood to a half orc whose doing his best to 'act human' but doesn't quiet get it 'right'.

I think I take some things not quite as for granted that most people do and I think I bring it to my games. For example the above mentioned summoner gained an Eagle Knight commission. The Eidolon then spent an adventure complaining to an Andoran official we were taking care of about how unfair it was he couldn't get an Eagle Knight commission just because he wasn't humanoid shaped. He then wore his feathers in imitation of the Eagle knight uniform in protest.


I'm perfectly fine with playing any race, ethnicity, and gender for my character. As far as others doing the same, it doesn't bother me one bit. For profiling purposes I'm straight white male.

The only time I felt uncomfortable with a fellow player making a cross-gender was years ago when I still had a tabletop group. One of our group had invited a new player (male) to the table who made an underage female character (I don't remember the details just the creepy concept) who was constantly being blatantly overly sexual with every PC in the group. I remember his character tried to initiate intercourse with every PC and at one point made a very inappropriate comment about wishing the group wizard knew Evard's Black Tentacle....

He was not asked to rejoin us.

The Exchange

As an eternal GM I almost never play a PC, and maybe that's different, but I do play all the NPCs in the game and they of course come from a variety of races, genders etc. I have to admit that the farther away an NPC is from what I am, the harder I find it to convincingly play them. So, for example, my roleplay for old female dwarfs really sucks. I'm not comfortable doing things I know I'm not good at, so I generally prefer to roleplay young human males. Skin color, however, is of no importance to me.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I actually tend to play characters who are quite physically dissimilar to me, so I mostly play females who are nonhuman. If I end up picking a race with highly mutable features, like a tiefling or aasimar, I usually play up my freedom as much as possible, and apply as many oddities in their physique as possible while still preserving aesthetic integrity (For example, a musetouched aasimar I made has grey skin, starry, semi real butterfly wings, long antennae, hair made out of silk, and jewel-like faceted eyes). The reason for this is because I find part of the fun of role playing is exploring a mind and setting that is distinctly not familiar to me.

Obviously because of my trend towards playing the opposite sex, I have no problem when other people do so. Even those people who are notorious for making fanservice characters to appeal to their personal tastes (this extends past straight men making highly promiscuous females, I've seen gamers of all sexes, orientations, and genders do this and similar things) don't tend to bother me unless they bog down the game. The only real issues I have is when people make characters as a means of preaching their real world morals, political opinions, and religion in-game. I actually received great holy hell from a player before because I made a cleric who followed a non judeo-christian god, and it got even worse when they found out she was a lesbian. Needless to say, that group didn't last long.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Wrong John Silver wrote:
DM Under The Bridge wrote:

You taboo breaker you!

One dm I know is also weird about crossing the gender lines.

Some of us don't quite get why (question marks appear above old players that have had plenty of female characters). If I can play the mysteries slender thief in Trine, why can't I do that and add more in an rp game? Rp should always be better and have more options than a com game. I think some are players and dms are still conservative enough that it weirds them out.

Who knows what he would do if we had a transgender jump in.

Roan I am sure your feminine wiles are very persuasive. And don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

It's funny, because I cross gender lines all the time as a GM. Then again, I've also discovered that I'm actually rather capable with feminine wiles; I've had players get flustered and distracted by my portrayals of women. And no, it's not the bog-standard "you're all in the brothel when..."

I'd say the real tricks behind an effective portrayal of the opposite gender are 1) remembering that in most cases, they're just like you, and 2) emulating mannerisms adds the subtle cues that identify the gender of the character. And subtle is what you're going for.

Wrong John Silver, that's the perfect way to RP someone of the opposite gender.

Speaking again about my current game group; no one can usually tell that I am playing a female character unless I a. tell them directly or b. do something obviously telling.

Many years ago I had a GM who was staunchly against roleplaying outside of your IRL gender roles because he thought it would be "weird and distracting." So I, being the sneaky bastard that I am, RP'ed a female in his game anyway. I left the gender tab on the character sheet blank, picked a suitable non-gendered name (Umi) and went to work. I took some steps to hide her gender identitiy from the GM but not from NPCs.

For example Umi woud always wear baggy clothes (Monk) and would typically enjoy the comforts of home (bathes and such) in the privacy of her personal room at the local inn. Later when the party was rescued by a suitable powerful (and quite handsome) male NPC she would say "Can I have your baby?" The GM thought it was a hilarious out of character joke. The other PCs (who I told or who had figured it out by this point) thought the GM's oblivious laughter was even more funny =).

Also, thanks GM Under the Bridge. Indeed, no one can stop me from being fabulous.


Well, I am of American Indian descent (Oneida tribe of the Iroquois), and I rarely play that ethnicity (although I one character I played was of Mesoamerican-like Ethnicity).


I default to nerdy white guy characters, 'cause that's what I am, but I've played all kinds. Don't think I've played humans with different skin tones or LBGT, but I'm not ruling it out. :)

Unless another player uses a really bad accent to roleplay or roleplays immaturely or something, I'm not bothered by whatever character they want to play. We are talking about pretend elf games after all; playing out of gender/color/orientation is the least of the weirdness!

Roan wrote:

Many years ago I had a GM who was staunchly against roleplaying outside of your IRL gender roles because he thought it would be "weird and distracting." So I, being the sneaky bastard that I am, RP'ed a female in his game anyway. I left the gender tab on the character sheet blank, picked a suitable non-gendered name (Umi) and went to work. I took some steps to hide her gender identitiy from the GM but not from NPCs.

For example Umi woud always wear baggy clothes (Monk) and would typically enjoy the comforts of home (bathes and such) in the privacy of her personal room at the local inn. Later when the party was rescued by a suitable powerful (and quite handsome) male NPC she would say "Can I have your baby?" The GM thought it was a hilarious out of character joke. The other PCs (who I told or who had figured it out by this point) thought the GM's oblivious laughter was even more funny =).

Haha, that's hilarious, Roan. :)


I recently counted my characters race, gender, etc and from ten characters eight were male and seven human (half-orc, gnome and kitsune the others) so there is a large tendency for me to play male humans but it's not exclusive.

The decisions have partly been influenced by campaign and group dynamic and partly due to the fact that I will occasionally design a character that is consciously different from my previous few. It seems the statistical analysis is that I do that about 1 in 4 times.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

It honestly depends almost entirely on the character's background within the setting for that particular campaign. As a (hetero) male, I tend to be more comfortable with that gender (and orientation), though.

The ethnicity, gender, race (either way you want to use the term), sexuality, and somatic markers of your character are (IMO) only as important as you (and to a lesser extent the people you game with) make them. It helps if they complement (or emphasize through contrast) the character's culture and development choices, but each character should be a complex, multi-layered individual with the potential to change and grow over the course of their life (just like people in the real world).

Frankly, two-dimensional stereotypes (including the "reverse stereotype" that is basically just the opposite of the "standard" stereotype) irritate me more than someone with a "different" character.


I'm in the group that tends to base the characters ethnicity on the characters background in the campaign. I usually default to white if the campaign is so shallow that there is no real background to choose from. I do male a little more often then female but have played both.


I prefer half-orcs, Dwarves, and Gnomes...which I'm not in real life.

Shadow Lodge

I play all kinds, black, white, green, male, female, whatever. It doesn't bother me in the slightest.


I don't bother to fill in the race bit; let people imagine what they will.

I do, however, play strictly female humanoid characters.


Female heroes strike me as more heroic. One of my chars in a mod is a female fighter off to fight the Dothraki, and you know that is a risky proposition.

Why do you strictly play females MagusJanus?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

That's not a discussion for this thread or this site. It's a topic that hasn't gone well on here and I've learned this is not the place to talk about it. Let's leave it at that.


Very interesting feedback so far. I'm getting ready to try out RPing a dark-skinned female witch character in an upcoming campaign. Found a great image and even a mini that looks quite a lot like her.

Most of my current group doesn't RP much, so I don't see it having a major impact, but it will be interesting to see how the group reacts.

Since I'm usually the GM, I've gotten in the habit of RPing all different types of characters. I don't think it will be difficult to do the same as a player, but I'm trying to keep little notes handy to remind me of the character's motivations, goals, etc. Also I'm going to try to display a picture of her frequently so its easier for everyone else to visualize.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I mostly GM, but when I play, about half of my PCs are male, and about half are female.

I usually play humans, and I will vary the human ethnic group background.

That said, both of the PCs that I'm playing in active campaigns are female: a female human (Varisian) cleric of Desna in a PbP game based in Cheliax, and a female gnome sorceress in a face-to-face Skull & Shackles game.

Until it abruptly ended in April, I had also been playing a male human (Taldan) wizard in a PbP Carrion Crown campaign. That character happened to be gay, although it hadn't yet come up aside from backstory.


I have no problem playing a different race. I played a Maasai type Inquisitor in a couple of adventures not too long ago.


I've only played in a few campaigns, but the groups I've played with haven't had an issue with playing and RPing different races and genders, and I enjoy getting into the mind of characters vastly different than myself. My friend who introduced me to TTRPGs most often plays male, high charisma, megalomaniacs, often to great effect, but he has no problem playing or RPing anything since he GMs a lot.

1st Character : CN Female Human Ninja Kaede:
First ever campaign (run by the friend I mentioned) was book 1 of Serpent Skull, as a female human ninja who generally hid her identity (face, name, gender, etc) as much as possible. I went with a female character because the party was all male. My character's gender never came up and the campaign ended at the first book. It was a lot of our first times playing pathfinder, but even if my character's gender did come up no one would have had a problem with me playing a character of opposite gender.

2nd Character : CN Female Human Rogue Victoria:
My second character was one of two twins, a female human rogue (her twin was a male human sorcerer). The GM from my first campaign was playing the sorcerer, and we played as a duo. Victor and Victoria were their names, both went by the nickname 'Vic', and they were nearly indistinguishable from eachother (Victor was a very beautiful charismatic man, Victoria was a very plain emotionless woman). Again, no one had a problem with me playing a woman, nor was it brought up. Unfortunately our duo was too strong for the campaign (RotRL), so our characters 'left' the campaign.

3rd Character : NG Male Human Rogue Killian:
I rolled up my third character, a male elf rogue, and continued in place of Victoria. He was a rogue who hit like a fighter, could cast some electrical spells, and was the party's moral center (we rolled stats, I rolled stupid well, and was the only good-aligned character). Victor's player left the campaign entirely because he's a very experienced player and didn't want to roflstomp the campaign.

4th Character : LN Female Catsune Ninja Kyuubi:
Fourth character is in an ongoing Skull and Shackles campaign. GM let us go with exotic races, and allowed me to play a Kitsune/Catfolk hybrid for kicks (catfolk natural form but with kitsune shapeshifting magic). Again, a female ninja. No issues with other players, and it becomes more comedic than anything with the occasionally cat shenanigans. Also, only one of the players is playing a male character (player previously mentioned), and has surrounded himself with a mostly female crew.

5th Character : LG Female Aasimar Bard (Arcane Duelist) Kanade:

My fifth character is in an ongoing campaign run by same GM who ran my first campaign, and let us go with some exotic races. I went with a female aasimar bard (arcane duelist) multiclass. No problems with race (party also has a draconic bloodrager tiefling, a vanara monk, a human transmutor wizard, and a mwangi natural weredinosaur alchemist), and playing opposed gender isn't an issue. I also have a very specific idea which I based this character on, so RPing her is easy.

Generally I enjoy playing any race or gender. I sometimes find humans to be too normal, but I have no problem playing a human. If I can I like playing female ninja types, where my forever-GM friend likes to play charismatic male arcane casters. Also, my characters' names almost always start with a 'K' (if that wasn't obvious).


(Straight White Male here) I seem to have weird issues with this topic. I am currently playing a straight white human male but that's only because the character is tied into the setting and my GF's character. Essentially he's white and human because he's the prince of a nation of white humans and straight because he's in a romance with a female character. He could be bisexual but it'd pointless to mention that because who he dates has already been decided.

All my other planned characters are different from me in at least one of those categories. I have an asexual, white, male assassin and a similar cavalier; a bisexual, white, female changeling witch; a male ratfolk who's gender identity I haven't determined yet; and a male, skinwalker ranger.

My weird issue isn't with sexual orientation or gender but with race. I feel weird playing a race that isn't my own. I think it's because my group of friends has mostly white people (all white except one half-White/half-Asian woman) in it. There are two girls and one bisexual so I don't feel as awkward about that but I don't have a really close completely non-white friends. Even my one non-white friend feels no connection to her Asian side and I would look to her to know how a minority might feel about what I'm doing. If I make any mistakes, fall on any stereotypes, or fail to represent the race well, then no one can call me out on it or correct me. I wouldn't really be able to do that.

Also, is it me or have most of the people who have absolutely no problem with playing characters that are not like them GMs? I would suspect it's because you have to play a variety of characters as a GM so you eventually become more comfortable with playing a different gender, orientation, race, etc. over time.


I play whatever strikes my fancy at any given time. When I build a character, I start with a story then figure out what class/race combination I need to fit that story. I've played female characters just as often as male characters and almost everyone else in my regular group does the same. I don't think we've ever had realistic race/sex issues come up in any of our games because we don't enjoy fretting over real world social issues.

Every now and then one of us will make a character of the snobbish racist type but we all understand that it's just for RP purposes. For example, when we ran Kingmaker I made an elven arcane archer that despised humans. Once we started building our kingdom, I took the warden (marshal?) role just so I wouldn't have to spend time in the city. I constantly picked on the cavalier who became king and the female cleric who became the magister. We called the cleric "funkiller" because he (a guy playing a female) always voted against having festivals.

In any case, at the end of the day they're just pretend characters in a make-believe world. As a group we're all for equality for all people in real life anyway. I personally can't fathom treating someone poorly just because of cosmetic differences (and I consider sexual orientation cosmetic) so that translates into how I play the game.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Larkos wrote:
Also, is it me or have most of the people who have absolutely no problem with playing characters that are not like them GMs? I would suspect it's because you have to play a variety of characters as a GM so you eventually become more comfortable with playing a different gender, orientation, race, etc. over time.

There seems to be a tendency in that direction (anecdotally), but whether it's cause or effect is open to debate (do they become better at roleplaying characters different than themselves by being a GM or are they GMs because they are better at roleplaying characters different than themselves?). I've known some long-term GMs that couldn't really roleplay anything different than themselves; needless to say, NPC interactions were skimped on (mostly set the scene, summarize the conversation, and roll dice). Which can be as valid a way to game as spending one or two hours doing nothing but acting out a conversation with one or more NPCs.

There are even GMs that populate their world with nothing but stereotypical NPCs. Or worse, make the campaign world their wish-fulfillment vehicle (usually with an NPC that serves as their avatar).


Dragonchess Player wrote:
There are even GMs that populate their world with nothing but stereotypical NPCs. Or worse, make the campaign world their wish-fulfillment vehicle (usually with an NPC that serves as their avatar).

To be fair, this can be an artistic choice rather than a xenophobic one, if stereotypical =/= offensive. Some published settings feature pretty much anything but stereotypes. In some cases it works and even helps define the ambiance for the game.


Larkos wrote:
Also, is it me or have most of the people who have absolutely no problem with playing characters that are not like them GMs?

I'm one of the few (only?) posters who stated being uncomfortable playing characters too far removed with cultures that I know. Yet I'm an accomplished DM, and a theatre actor (although I admit doing design and tech work exclusively over the last 10 years).

I don't see playing a PC the same as playing a NPC, or be given a role to play. There are things I allow myself to do when playing NPCs or that are allowed for me when assigned a role, but that I won't allow myself if I have the full freedom and responsibility of playing a PC. Personal engagement isn't the same, at least not in my case.


I'm in love with so many different cultures, so that leads to some pretty diverse characters. As a dm, got to be careful of my npcs not being too melting pot if it doesn't quite work with the setting.


I try not to play the same gender, class or species twice in a row.

As for cultural analogs I have not played a Sub Saharan African (or African American in a modern/Sifi game) analog. I am unfamiliar with the cultural aspects, I do not feel that I could do such a character justice.

I am more than happy to play Australian Aboriginal, Papuan, Maori, Pacific Islander, SE Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, European, and Ancient MesoAmerican analogs because my studies have given me a level of knowledge in those cultures that makes me feel I can portray a character without playing to stereotypes.


I only play straight white male humans, dwarves or elves. I just can't connect with a character and identify with it if it is too different from myself.


The 8th Dwarf wrote:

I try not to play the same gender, class or species twice in a row.

As for cultural analogs I have not played a Sub Saharan African (or African American in a modern/Sifi game) analog. I am unfamiliar with the cultural aspects, I do not feel that I could do such a character justice.

I am more than happy to play Australian Aboriginal, Papuan, Maori, Pacific Islander, SE Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, European, and Ancient MesoAmerican analogs because my studies have given me a level of knowledge in those cultures that makes me feel I can portray a character without playing to stereotypes.

Lol, don't want to play a bloodthirsty Assyrian? An archer with fine teamwork with the shieldbearer in the party? Would that be too stereotypical?

Would you instead prefer to play a pacifist archery-hating Assyrian with no teamwork?

1 to 50 of 120 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Gamer Life / General Discussion / Character Comfort Levels All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.