Transgender PCs


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One of my friends has a D&D 4e character who was a Princess of a homebrew bird-people race who was kidnapped by some cult and had their gender changed. still had the personality of a female. I'll see if I can get them to tell their interesting story on here. That character ended up being one of my favorites of theirs.


Bandw2 wrote:
Westphalian_Musketeer wrote:

Which of course then is coercion, which will probably backfire horribly once the heir starts having teenage issues with authority.

Sure, you have a son, but that doesn't help much when he shoots you with a crossbow and then flees the estate/kingdom. Your household is still (royally) screwed.

eh, if they're doing it they're probably prepared for thing kinda shiznaz. anyway, stereotypical nobles will do what stereotypical nobles do best.

Setting themselves up for a painfully ironic yet easily foreseeable conclusion to their lives?


Or you could sometimes play a non-real-life concerns character, such that the goal of the game remains to simply have fun.


It just occurred to me that, given a standard Pathfinder game, where sex-swapping magic exists, the closest you could come to playing a TG character would be the equivalent of a rich guy dressing up like a homeless person and living out on the streets for a while. He can do it, and he can get a glimmer of the experience, but no matter what he goes through HE'LL ALWAYS KNOW that he could walk away from it all whenever he wanted to.

The TG iconic shaman might or might not be physically female, but whichever she is, she certainly knows that she has the OPTION to be physically female if she WANTS to be, without much trouble.

That's a very different situation than the one faced by TG people in the real world.


kikidmonkey wrote:
...if Seal Team Six burst into a room with flash bangs and assault rifles, which one of them may be transgendered is probably going to be the last thing on even the biggest bigot's mind.

I'm still laughing about this, maybe a minute after having read it. Thanks!


sure, maybe it's possible, but that doesn't mean that it'll happen. there is 3 laws of gender bending. As a GM or a player I'm going to attempt to follow them.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FirstLawOfGenderBending
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SecondLawOfGenderBending
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ThirdLawOfGenderBending


Werebat wrote:
kikidmonkey wrote:
...if Seal Team Six burst into a room with flash bangs and assault rifles, which one of them may be transgendered is probably going to be the last thing on even the biggest bigot's mind.
I'm still laughing about this, maybe a minute after having read it. Thanks!

Ironically, the military is so anti transgender that even having a history of seeing a gender therapist prevents a person from being able to enlist.


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Abrir wrote:

sure, maybe it's possible, but that doesn't mean that it'll happen. there is 3 laws of gender bending. As a GM or a player I'm going to attempt to follow them.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FirstLawOfGenderBending
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SecondLawOfGenderBending
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ThirdLawOfGenderBending

Enforcing tv tropes unto a serious real world issue may come off as crass.


Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Werebat wrote:
kikidmonkey wrote:
...if Seal Team Six burst into a room with flash bangs and assault rifles, which one of them may be transgendered is probably going to be the last thing on even the biggest bigot's mind.
I'm still laughing about this, maybe a minute after having read it. Thanks!
Ironically, the military is so anti transgender that even having a history of seeing a gender therapist prevents a person from being able to enlist.

Yeah, I'm going to say it might not be on the target's mind, but it might be on one of the team's mind. And there's certainly some commander back at base freaking out over it.


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Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Abrir wrote:

sure, maybe it's possible, but that doesn't mean that it'll happen. there is 3 laws of gender bending. As a GM or a player I'm going to attempt to follow them.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FirstLawOfGenderBending
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SecondLawOfGenderBending
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ThirdLawOfGenderBending

Enforcing tv tropes unto a serious real world issue may come off as crass.

Generally Gender Bending isn't quite the same as being transgender.

It is kind of a question how much playing around with literary or magical tropes of changing gender comes off as offensive. Would a character like Orlando bother some trans people? Or in a sillier mode, Ranma?


Bandw2 wrote:
Westphalian_Musketeer wrote:

Which of course then is coercion, which will probably backfire horribly once the heir starts having teenage issues with authority.

Sure, you have a son, but that doesn't help much when he shoots you with a crossbow and then flees the estate/kingdom. Your household is still (royally) screwed.

eh, if they're doing it they're probably prepared for thing kinda shiznaz. anyway, stereotypical nobles will do what stereotypical nobles do best.

It would generally be done shortly after birth, depending on what psychological/neurological theories you currently subscribe to (and what the magic actually does) the child would grow up with the same probability of dysphoria or a much greater probability.

Of course, a fantasy world where gender-shifts are affordable and society is still patriarchal runs into the problem of a culture producing nothing but men and thus having no viable breeding stock. See China and India's problem right now. And in most PF worlds women and men are theoretically treated equally so the only reason to force an heir to swap chromosomes is because you need to arrange a marriage and don't have the right ratio of dangly bits.


thejeff wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Abrir wrote:

sure, maybe it's possible, but that doesn't mean that it'll happen. there is 3 laws of gender bending. As a GM or a player I'm going to attempt to follow them.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FirstLawOfGenderBending
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SecondLawOfGenderBending
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ThirdLawOfGenderBending

Enforcing tv tropes unto a serious real world issue may come off as crass.

Generally Gender Bending isn't quite the same as being transgender.

It is kind of a question how much playing around with literary or magical tropes of changing gender comes off as offensive. Would a character like Orlando bother some trans people? Or in a sillier mode, Ranma?

Well if TG is defined as someone who desires to be something other than their birth assigned gender (as determined by gross physiology), then gender benders like Ramma, Natsuru, ect wouldn't be TG. They would be something else that doesn't really come up in the actual world.

If you define TG another way, then they still represent non-real characters who don't go through the same issues as actual TG people.


boring7 wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Westphalian_Musketeer wrote:

Which of course then is coercion, which will probably backfire horribly once the heir starts having teenage issues with authority.

Sure, you have a son, but that doesn't help much when he shoots you with a crossbow and then flees the estate/kingdom. Your household is still (royally) screwed.

eh, if they're doing it they're probably prepared for thing kinda shiznaz. anyway, stereotypical nobles will do what stereotypical nobles do best.

It would generally be done shortly after birth, depending on what psychological/neurological theories you currently subscribe to (and what the magic actually does) the child would grow up with the same probability of dysphoria or a much greater probability.

Of course, a fantasy world where gender-shifts are affordable and society is still patriarchal runs into the problem of a culture producing nothing but men and thus having no viable breeding stock. See China and India's problem right now. And in most PF worlds women and men are theoretically treated equally so the only reason to force an heir to swap chromosomes is because you need to arrange a marriage and don't have the right ratio of dangly bits.

It would also be good to point out that not everyone is a fixed gender. Some people are more like liquid and fill the container given.

We don't have special names for people who have a fixed gender and were born into the associated sex. Nor do we have special names for people who adapt to their birth assigned gender. Neither would express noticeably different behavior that would let us know the nature of their gender.

It's also quite possible for there to exist people who eventually fix into a gender permanently. For such people a magical sex change wouldn't be an issue if done soon enough.


laws 2, 3 would be choice of player, but 1 would need up to the Gm.
for homebrew this could be done, if the player is willing. but as a GM you can only go so far, by making it difficult, and play it for laughs ect. for a few sessions, if the player is really against it then your give them a way out.

Lastly another thing about that has always been debated is how much does a PC knows vs the player. would zee know of the potion/item/spell/curse/... that would allow the change beyond the temporary alter self spell?(for the Roleplayer to deal with this their character(s) may need to restricted to not knowing the options. perhaps the character has to spend time in libraries talking to magical folk to learn how to do so easily.


Marroar Gellantara wrote:
It would also be good to point out that not everyone is a fixed gender. Some people are more like liquid and fill the container given.

Eh... I recently encountered the word "Genderfluid" (on another gaming board, actually) and it made me wonder.

A fluid, or liquid, is something that conforms to the shape of its container.

The idea of "genderfluid" effectively asserts that society can in fact determine the effective gender of at least some people.

This would seem to reinforce the notion that some heteronormatives have that it is important that they control the gender exposure of young people, in order to assure that they be more likely to grow into heterosexuality. It would seem to justify their fears that "exposure to gays will make my kid gay".

It would also seem to fly in the face of the notion that homosexuality isn't a choice. The last time I checked -- what was admittedly a while back -- the idea that homosexuality was a choice wasn't considered very progressive.

Not sure if certain people really want to open that box.


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Werebat wrote:
kikidmonkey wrote:
...if Seal Team Six burst into a room with flash bangs and assault rifles, which one of them may be transgendered is probably going to be the last thing on even the biggest bigot's mind.
I'm still laughing about this, maybe a minute after having read it. Thanks!

Actually...


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
boring7 wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Westphalian_Musketeer wrote:

Which of course then is coercion, which will probably backfire horribly once the heir starts having teenage issues with authority.

Sure, you have a son, but that doesn't help much when he shoots you with a crossbow and then flees the estate/kingdom. Your household is still (royally) screwed.

eh, if they're doing it they're probably prepared for thing kinda shiznaz. anyway, stereotypical nobles will do what stereotypical nobles do best.

It would generally be done shortly after birth, depending on what psychological/neurological theories you currently subscribe to (and what the magic actually does) the child would grow up with the same probability of dysphoria or a much greater probability.

Of course, a fantasy world where gender-shifts are affordable and society is still patriarchal runs into the problem of a culture producing nothing but men and thus having no viable breeding stock. See China and India's problem right now. And in most PF worlds women and men are theoretically treated equally so the only reason to force an heir to swap chromosomes is because you need to arrange a marriage and don't have the right ratio of dangly bits.

It would also be good to point out that not everyone is a fixed gender. Some people are more like liquid and fill the container given.

We don't have special names for people who have a fixed gender and were born into the associated sex. Nor do we have special names for people who adapt to their birth assigned gender. Neither would express noticeably different behavior that would let us know the nature of their gender.

It's also quite possible for there to exist people who eventually fix into a gender permanently. For such people a magical sex change wouldn't be an issue if done soon enough.

isn't the word, for someone who behaves or acts or is both male and female, called androgynous?


Marroar Gellantara wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:

You need to open your eyes, sheeple. Gender, Race, Sexuality; these are all meaningless in Pathfinder.

The party talks over you, ignores you when you bore them and only cares as far as you can reward XP/Gold/sexual gratification. You live less of a life than a dog, cast aside when the choice of who to save is between you or "a real person".

The in-born, eternally damning quality of a being in RPGs, my friends, is being an NPC.

#NotAllNPCs

"It's actually about ethics in campaign log journalism."


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Werebat wrote:

Eh... I recently encountered the word "Genderfluid" (on another gaming board, actually) and it made me wonder.

A fluid, or liquid, is something that conforms to the shape of its container.

The idea of "genderfluid" effectively asserts that society can in fact determine the effective gender of at least some people.

This would seem to reinforce the notion that some heteronormatives have that it is important that they control the gender exposure of young people, in order to assure that they be more likely to grow into heterosexuality. It would seem to justify their fears that "exposure to gays will make my kid gay".

It would also seem to fly in the face of the notion that homosexuality isn't a choice. The last time I checked -- what was admittedly a while back -- the idea that homosexuality was a choice wasn't considered very progressive.

Not sure if certain people really want to open that box.

This is getting off-topic, so I'll make one comment here. You're misunderstanding genderfluid. The idea isn't that a genderfluid person's identity is shaped by society. It's that it remains fluid in spite of the binary system of gender that society as a whole enforces. So it's kind of the opposite of the way you're describing it.

Also, you're conflating sexual orientation (gay, straight, bi, asexual, etc) with gender identity (trans, cis, genderfluid, etc.) Two different things.

Anyways, that's getting away from the topic at hand, and could be better discussed elsewhere on the board.


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I have a bi-gendered or androgynous tiefling witch in PFS. All responses have varied from ignoring the matter entirely to very favorable so far. I usually don't get to tell my backstory except in PbP.


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Yeah, I was hoping this topic would stick to how people approach building TG Characters. It's pleasant to just idly entertain thoughts for a brief time, maybe look at different fluff and crunch that lends itself to such characters.

I wonder what views are of women and males in Irrisen, where a woman (a very ugly/fiendish/evil one, but still identified as female), the Baba Yaga, took over the nation in a blitzkrieg and established a permanent winter. Wonder what interesting circumstances that makes for transgenders.


Bandw2 wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
boring7 wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Westphalian_Musketeer wrote:

Which of course then is coercion, which will probably backfire horribly once the heir starts having teenage issues with authority.

Sure, you have a son, but that doesn't help much when he shoots you with a crossbow and then flees the estate/kingdom. Your household is still (royally) screwed.

eh, if they're doing it they're probably prepared for thing kinda shiznaz. anyway, stereotypical nobles will do what stereotypical nobles do best.

It would generally be done shortly after birth, depending on what psychological/neurological theories you currently subscribe to (and what the magic actually does) the child would grow up with the same probability of dysphoria or a much greater probability.

Of course, a fantasy world where gender-shifts are affordable and society is still patriarchal runs into the problem of a culture producing nothing but men and thus having no viable breeding stock. See China and India's problem right now. And in most PF worlds women and men are theoretically treated equally so the only reason to force an heir to swap chromosomes is because you need to arrange a marriage and don't have the right ratio of dangly bits.

It would also be good to point out that not everyone is a fixed gender. Some people are more like liquid and fill the container given.

We don't have special names for people who have a fixed gender and were born into the associated sex. Nor do we have special names for people who adapt to their birth assigned gender. Neither would express noticeably different behavior that would let us know the nature of their gender.

It's also quite possible for there to exist people who eventually fix into a gender permanently. For such people a magical sex change wouldn't be an issue if done soon enough.

isn't the word, for someone who behaves or acts or is both male and female, called androgynous?

There are various terms, but that was not what I am referring to.


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KenderKin wrote:
Or you could sometimes play a non-real-life concerns character, such that the goal of the game remains to simply have fun.

A quick response to this post and others suggesting something similar. (Why bother, it's all about the loot, etc.)

That's cool if those are the sorts of Pathfinder games you prefer. I'd expect that in a lot of games (maybe most) it'd barely come up if at all. Go forth, slay monsters, and have ye fun.

But for some people, it can also be fun, and satisfying, to inject some of one's real-life experiences or concerns into a game, or to explore those experiences and concerns even if one hasn't dealt with them in real life. Particularly when those experiences are so underrepresented in fictional media in general, and heroic fantasy in particular.

That's part of where I was coming from. (I'm currently undergoing transition myself.)

The other part was, as I said in the OP, thinking about how Crystal integrated Shardra's gender identity into both her backstory and into the larger setting of Golarion. Specifically, giving us some info about being transgender within dwarfish culture.

So, I was wondering what, if anything, others had come up with that tackled or explored the same sorts of questions.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

honestly, apart from clothing, i don't think pathfinder/golarion actually cares what gender you are in human society. Drow, that's a different story, and probably much more complicated, but humans? nah, men can run nurseries and women can be blood crazed mercenaries.

so I prose a question, how would a transgender work in Drow society, which is largely matriarchal. I wonder if what you're born as is more important than your current set, since the Women REALLY don't want to see men with substantial power.

in fact what form is TG likely to come about? a man longing for the power he could attain as a women seems like something that could come about, but i can't think of why a woman would want to be male in a society which largely uplifts females.

of course they're all chaotic evil, so a good number of people are being tortured left and right for no good reason, but what ever. :P


Westphalian_Musketeer wrote:

Yeah, I was hoping this topic would stick to how people approach building TG Characters. It's pleasant to just idly entertain thoughts for a brief time, maybe look at different fluff and crunch that lends itself to such characters.

I wonder what views are of women and males in Irrisen, where a woman (a very ugly/fiendish/evil one, but still identified as female), the Baba Yaga, took over the nation in a blitzkrieg and established a permanent winter. Wonder what interesting circumstances that makes for transgenders.

Thanks, yeah, that's what I was hoping for. Thanks for typing up that long NPC background earlier.


Bandw2 wrote:


so I prose a question, how would a transgender work in Drow society, which is largely matriarchal. I wonder if what you're born as is more important than your current set, since the Women REALLY don't want to see men with substantial power.

I think, in this scenario, that would be an express ticket to Stab-town, for the male to female.

As for the female to male? Probably treated as a mental disease, which...would again be treated with a knife in the spine.

Drow aren't known for their compassion and empathy.


Bandw2 wrote:
of course their all chaotic evil, so a good number of people are being tortured left and right for no good reason, but what ever. :P

In such a society your comfort is irrelevant. Any TG drow would probably be persecuted for their maleness. Whether that be acquiring the male form, or being born male and thus tainted.

In such a society, TG persons would have the highest murdered rates, have difficulty finding gainful employment, and would be more or less treated like crap.

Defiantly has no parallels to possible patriarchate real world societies...


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
kikidmonkey wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:


so I prose a question, how would a transgender work in Drow society, which is largely matriarchal. I wonder if what you're born as is more important than your current set, since the Women REALLY don't want to see men with substantial power.

I think, in this scenario, that would be an express ticket to Stab-town, for the male to female.

As for the female to male? Probably treated as a mental disease, which...would again be treated with a knife in the spine.

Drow aren't known for their compassion and empathy.

yeah, probably don't expect to see him pronounce around declaring his/her intentions. probably will knife people who find out as well.


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Bandw2 wrote:
honestly, apart from clothing, i don't think pathfinder/golarion actually cares what gender you are in human society. Drow, that's a different story, and probably much more complicated, but humans? nah, men can run nurseries and women can be blood crazed mercenaries.

Well, I'd counter that you could still tell interesting stories about being transgender even in an accepting society, particularly from a world-building perspective. This is one thing (of the many things) I really appreciated about Crystal's backstory for Shardra. Her parents are very accepting of her gender identity, once they're aware of it, but the details are still compelling, as is what it tells us about dwarfs in Golarion.

Edit to add: Or to put it another way, society may not care what gender they are, but the trans character themself is most certainly going to care.

Bandw2 wrote:

so I prose a question, how would a transgender work in Drow society, which is largely matriarchal. I wonder if what you're born as is more important than your current set, since the Women REALLY don't want to see men with substantial power.

in fact what form is TG likely to come about? a man longing for the power he could attain as a women seems like something that could come about, but i can't think of why a woman would want to be male in a society which largely uplifts females.

Those of us who are trans women in real life actually give up our apparent maleness within a society that largely uplifts males and frequently devalues women. We most definitely begin to experience the problems that non-trans women have to deal with, but we move ahead with our transition regardless. I don't see why there couldn't be trans males (female to male transitioners) among the Drow from that perspective.

Also, if you're talking about a male Drow who changes gender in order to attain the power that Drow women have, that's not the same thing as a character being transgender. It's actually quite similar to something that is sometimes said derogatorily toward real world trans men, that they transition in order to gain male privilege, or to avoid being oppressed by society.

You could tell a story like that, but that's not the kind of thing I had in mind in my original post.

On the other hand, yeah, I'm curious as to what the background for a trans Drow character (PC or NPC) would be.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

it's mostly that i felt people weren't getting into the story for a human society trans as they would meet little to no resistance. thus the character can do what ever they wanted in this regard and few people would truly bat an eye.

so i brought up a race i've been looking into recently, since it seems to probably be the exact thing that would abusively beat this sort of stuff down. and not to suppress people, oh no, they're just chaotic evil and see someone mixing the gender bucket as fair game to empower themselves, or a possible threat even if a small one.

i mean what if all my servants started getting ideas?

also, i think it does constitute TG just from a chaotic evil motivation.

largely they would make the change secret however which i think is the biggest difference, in that they don't want to be "accepted" as who they are, but as a new person altogether.


Bandw2 wrote:
also, i think it does constitute TG just from a chaotic evil motivation.

TG normally means the gender is an end in of itself not a means to an end.

The drow in question would be transsexual. But may not be transgender. They could be transgender post transition if being male was something they were compelled to be but did not realize that till after the change. Such a person may stay physically female though for other motives outside of personal gender comfort.

It's not like pain and suffering is in short supply in a drow society. Sometimes you only get to pick the source.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
also, i think it does constitute TG just from a chaotic evil motivation.

TG normally means the gender is an end in of itself not a means to an end.

The drow in question would be transsexual. But may not be transgender. They could be transgender post transition if being male was something they were compelled to be but did not realize that till after the change. Such a person may stay physically female though for other motives outside of personal gender comfort.

It's not like pain and suffering is in short supply in a drow society. Sometimes you only get to pick the source.

yeah the Drow wants power to command and lead people. This is a social gender construction for the Drow, it's the same way TG feel more comfortable or happy being considered the other gender.

so to, will the drow, he feels his personality will be better reflected as a leader, and thus feels female from a drow perspective.

though, i can understand the misunderstanding in my intention. Drow aren't humans nor do they have a society that is mimiced truly in a human society in RL. Females physically more often manifest more latent magical energy, and is why they keep higher status. so the male drow want's to do that, and socially feels more female thusly.

basically, the distinction in drow society, is men are fighters and servents, while women are mages and leaders. if a man wants to be a mage and/or leader, he is acting feminine in drow society.


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kikidmonkey wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
this made me realize, not having a male heir shouldn't be a problem in pathfinder.
Heh, "You drink this potion RIGHT NOW MISSY!"

I came close to having that happen to a potential PC of mine. She was the oldest of three daughters (ranging in age from 16 years to one month) in a noble family and was given the option of drinking an elixir of sex shifting -- although she properly figured out that it wouldn't work out too well since she was a teenager at that point and too well known as a female. The next thing she knew, her youngest sister became her baby brother and displaced her as the heir of the family.

I am almost thinking I should play the baby brother (with no conscious memories of ever being a baby girl). In what ways would his unremembered time as a baby girl affect him years later?


David knott 242 wrote:
kikidmonkey wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
this made me realize, not having a male heir shouldn't be a problem in pathfinder.
Heh, "You drink this potion RIGHT NOW MISSY!"

I came close to having that happen to a potential PC of mine. She was the oldest of three daughters (ranging in age from 16 years to one month) in a noble family and was given the option of drinking an elixir of sex shifting -- although she properly figured out that it wouldn't work out too well since she was a teenager at that point and too well known as a female. The next thing she knew, her youngest sister became her baby brother and displaced her as the heir of the family.

I am almost thinking I should play the baby brother (with no conscious memories of ever being a baby girl). In what ways would his unremembered time as a baby girl affect him years later?

Oof, that's gotta be grating. What Golarion country? And what became of the youngest sister?

KSF wrote:
Westphalian_Musketeer wrote:

Yeah, I was hoping this topic would stick to how people approach building TG Characters. It's pleasant to just idly entertain thoughts for a brief time, maybe look at different fluff and crunch that lends itself to such characters.

I wonder what views are of women and males in Irrisen, where a woman (a very ugly/fiendish/evil one, but still identified as female), the Baba Yaga, took over the nation in a blitzkrieg and established a permanent winter. Wonder what interesting circumstances that makes for transgenders.

Thanks, yeah, that's what I was hoping for. Thanks for typing up that long NPC background earlier.

"Aim to please, shoot to kill."

- Official motto of the Chernasardo Rangers


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
also, i think it does constitute TG just from a chaotic evil motivation.

TG normally means the gender is an end in of itself not a means to an end.

The drow in question would be transsexual. But may not be transgender. They could be transgender post transition if being male was something they were compelled to be but did not realize that till after the change. Such a person may stay physically female though for other motives outside of personal gender comfort.

It's not like pain and suffering is in short supply in a drow society. Sometimes you only get to pick the source.

I think you may actually be using the "no true Scotsman" fallacy.

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Here's something interesting I've noticed in this and other discussions of transgender fantasy characters (hopefully this won't be too off-topic):

In the same threads there are people saying:
-that on Golarion, your gender matters less than it does on Earth in terms of what discrimination you face, so anyone should be able to transition if they need to, no problem
-that on Golarion, royal parents will used elixirs and cursed girdles to change their children from daughters to sons (so to speak), because apparently despite the lack of or reduced gender discrimination on Golarion only male heirs can ascend to the throne?

These aren't necessarily the same posters (and indeed, this is a hazily recollected trend rather than my going through every thread about this general topic with careful documentation), but I see them crop up in the same places.

In any case, to get back on track closer to the original purpose of this thread, I think it would be interesting to play a transgender character in the upcoming (next year I believe?) Hell's Rebels AP. Cheliax is one of the few places on Golarion that's explicitly sexist, and a rebellious trans woman of the nobility could pursue a means of transition as both an important part of becoming the person she needs and wants to be, as well as a symbol of rejecting the power and privilege of the Diabolical regime that misgenders her as male. It also makes the question of "Where do you get an Elixir of Sex Shift/Shardra's fantasy HRT-equivalent?" question less a question of gold and more of a personal quest.

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Westphalian_Musketeer wrote:
What happens if half of the transgendered PC's party dies, and they have to start adventuring with a new one that doesn't know they were born of a different biological sex? That's another potential prompt.

Wouldn't that be the absolute ideal situation?

I could see many trans PCs and NPCs deliberately cutting ties with their past, to ensure that everyone they deal with has only ever known them in their new, improved, identity.

No-one to remind you of your past, no-one to accidentally refer to you by the wrong pronoun, no-one to bring up your old social faux-pas?
Oh, the day when you were caught in the 'wrong' restroom, and were pilloried in the town square, as a 'peeper'! You remember all their faces, every rotten fruit and even some rocks, all the names they called you, and you swore you would even the score.

Kill everyone who ever knew the old you.
Kill them, and burn all the bodies beyond hope of raising.
It's the only way to be sure.


Snorter wrote:
Westphalian_Musketeer wrote:
What happens if half of the transgendered PC's party dies, and they have to start adventuring with a new one that doesn't know they were born of a different biological sex? That's another potential prompt.

Wouldn't that be the absolute ideal situation?

I could see many trans PCs and NPCs deliberately cutting ties with their past, to ensure that everyone they deal with has only ever known them in their new, improved, identity.

No-one to remind you of your past, no-one to accidentally refer to you by the wrong pronoun, no-one to bring up your old social faux-pas?
Oh, the day when you were caught in the 'wrong' restroom, and were pilloried in the town square, as a 'peeper'! You remember all their faces, every rotten fruit and even some rocks, all the names they called you, and you swore you would even the score.

Kill everyone who ever knew the old you.
Kill them, and burn all the bodies beyond hope of raising.
It's the only way to be sure.

True, from a certain point of view.

OTOH, losing (or killing!) every relative, friend or even casual acquaintance you've ever had is a hard thing for me to consider ideal. Certainly traumatic, if nothing else.


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Westphalian_Musketeer wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
kikidmonkey wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
this made me realize, not having a male heir shouldn't be a problem in pathfinder.
Heh, "You drink this potion RIGHT NOW MISSY!"

I came close to having that happen to a potential PC of mine. She was the oldest of three daughters (ranging in age from 16 years to one month) in a noble family and was given the option of drinking an elixir of sex shifting -- although she properly figured out that it wouldn't work out too well since she was a teenager at that point and too well known as a female. The next thing she knew, her youngest sister became her baby brother and displaced her as the heir of the family.

I am almost thinking I should play the baby brother (with no conscious memories of ever being a baby girl). In what ways would his unremembered time as a baby girl affect him years later?

Oof, that's gotta be grating. What Golarion country? And what became of the youngest sister?

Her family fed her that elixir of sex shifting that the oldest sister refused, of course.

I imagined that this all was taking place in Cheliax.


mechaPoet wrote:
-that on Golarion, royal parents will used elixirs and cursed girdles to change their children from daughters to sons (so to speak), because apparently despite the lack of or reduced gender discrimination on Golarion only male heirs can ascend to the throne?

It's not that only male heirs can inherit. It's that under certain circumstances it's beneficial to have male heirs who can father a child with the heir of the family you want to have an alliance with.

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Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:
-that on Golarion, royal parents will used elixirs and cursed girdles to change their children from daughters to sons (so to speak), because apparently despite the lack of or reduced gender discrimination on Golarion only male heirs can ascend to the throne?
It's not that only male heirs can inherit. It's that under certain circumstances it's beneficial to have male heirs who can father a child with the heir of the family you want to have an alliance with.

True, but (without actually checking this) I feel like every time someone suggests it, it's either talked about without mentioning gender or in the context of turning a daughter into a male heir. It just reinforces, for me, the disconnect between people talking about the ostensible gender equality on Golarion and the Golarion that some posit where no one ever mentions that turning a son into a female heir is politically desirable.


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did you kill a linnorn y/n
welcome to ruling


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I did come up with a background where a certain male NPC was referred to by the title of "King Father". He was the widower of a ruling monarch in a country where only women could rule.


are you a free captain of the shackles y/n
have you won the captain's regatta y/n
do you have the electoral support of the pirate council y/n
welcome to ruling


mechaPoet wrote:
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:
-that on Golarion, royal parents will used elixirs and cursed girdles to change their children from daughters to sons (so to speak), because apparently despite the lack of or reduced gender discrimination on Golarion only male heirs can ascend to the throne?
It's not that only male heirs can inherit. It's that under certain circumstances it's beneficial to have male heirs who can father a child with the heir of the family you want to have an alliance with.
True, but (without actually checking this) I feel like every time someone suggests it, it's either talked about without mentioning gender or in the context of turning a daughter into a male heir. It just reinforces, for me, the disconnect between people talking about the ostensible gender equality on Golarion and the Golarion that some posit where no one ever mentions that turning a son into a female heir is politically desirable.

That's correct, logically we should see both versions about equally often. Or perhaps not: there is some degree of sexism in Golarion, just much less than in most Earth societies. Or rather, some societies are sexist, when the writers writing an adventure or a story in that society feel like exploring sexism. It's a rather wibbly-wobbly thing.


Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:
-that on Golarion, royal parents will used elixirs and cursed girdles to change their children from daughters to sons (so to speak), because apparently despite the lack of or reduced gender discrimination on Golarion only male heirs can ascend to the throne?
It's not that only male heirs can inherit. It's that under certain circumstances it's beneficial to have male heirs who can father a child with the heir of the family you want to have an alliance with.
True, but (without actually checking this) I feel like every time someone suggests it, it's either talked about without mentioning gender or in the context of turning a daughter into a male heir. It just reinforces, for me, the disconnect between people talking about the ostensible gender equality on Golarion and the Golarion that some posit where no one ever mentions that turning a son into a female heir is politically desirable.
That's correct, logically we should see both versions about equally often. Or perhaps not: there is some degree of sexism in Golarion, just much less than in most Earth societies. Or rather, some societies are sexist, when the writers writing an adventure or a story in that society feel like exploring sexism. It's a rather wibbly-wobbly thing.

Also many people in our world where sexism is still a thing and was even more so back in the days from which we get our ideas of kings and heirs and princesses and the like are likely to default to the "male heir" version without even noticing, if they're not thinking about sexism or reversing or avoiding sexism when they're writing.

Scarab Sages

thejeff wrote:

True, from a certain point of view.

OTOH, losing (or killing!) every relative, friend or even casual acquaintance you've ever had is a hard thing for me to consider ideal. Certainly traumatic, if nothing else.

Traumatic? Or liberating?

There's no drama potential in a character having a happy, uneventful and publicly-supported transition. If you're going to do that, they may as well just begin as the right gender.
It'd be like Hamlet meeting his father's ghost, and having him reveal "Don't be angry, son. I ignored your mother's advice, and ate some bad clams. No foul play, at all. And I gave her and your uncle my blessing to marry, before I shuffled off this mortal coil.".

Happy people are boring. You want the option that gives most fuel for shaking a fist at the uncaring gods, and bellowing a monologue of scenery-chewing wangst.

For those who want an evil PC, or NPC antagonist, killing everyone who witnessed your former humiliation and despair, and who could (deliberately or accidentally) ruin your newfound status, is an understandable motivation for committing all kinds of mayhem, that is far superior to the usual "I guess I'll do something awful, because I wrote 'evil' on my character sheet", or "I will sit here in my black spiked armour, pulling wings off flies, and cackling my trademark Evil Laugh, just because.", which passes for characterisation from many GMs and players.

It's also a potentially sympathetic motivation, which is what all the best ones are. Some PCs (or players) who have faced bullying and discrimination may ask 'Should we stop them? Maybe they have a point?'. Who may argue that no-one should intervene unless it appears harm will come to innocent non-participants.


I feel that the gender change issue would likely be based on the world that you're playing in and the GM you're playing with. With magic being able to do... whatever... I find that the gender changing stuff would be more commonplace and maybe even more accepted. Heck - it may not even be something people consider an issue at all because its so easy to attain. I mean... who would even know in a world where people rarelly even leave thier village thier entire life?

On the flip side though, if you're playing in a Drow society, the matriarchy is going to do anything and everything they can to keep that sort of magic out of the hands of men because it underminse their societal constructs.

Like I said, it really comes down to the GM and the world your characters are surounded by. It only plays into the background if you want it to.

I played a Doppleganger character once that nobody was aware of the original race.

DominusMegadeus wrote:

You need to open your eyes, sheeple. Gender, Race, Sexuality; these are all meaningless in Pathfinder.

I would take this more to heart, if you didn't start off calling everyone sheeple. Sheeple being a term that pretentious jerks like to use to think that they know more than other people, and have a more open or enlightened mind. If that isn't the case, then instead you're saying that everyone else is stupid and extremely closed minded, which is just an insult to us all. Either way, there is no winning by using the term.


TheJayde wrote:
I feel that the gender change issue would likely be based on the world that you're playing in and the GM you're playing with. With magic being able to do... whatever... I find that the gender changing stuff would be more commonplace and maybe even more accepted. Heck - it may not even be something people consider an issue at all because its so easy to attain. I mean... who would even know in a world where people rarelly even leave thier village thier entire life?

Equally it could be something that the decadent nobility plays around with and the common people never even consider.

In a world where people rarely even leave their village, the girl who's really a boy may wind up married off with 3 kids before even considering the possibility of transition - unless he runs away to be an adventurer.


The appropriate use of 'Sheeple' in a pathfinder-esque context.

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