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Eh, whatever.

What do your characters ususally drink whenever they want to crash in a tavern for a while? Tea, coffie, ale?


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As I noted before all the tempers flared, the unique realities in a fantasy world for transgendered characters are worth experiencing. For example, the elixir of sex shifting is super imperfect as a solution (see below for what I mean) but it overcomes a hurdle that the best advances on modern medicine has yet to overcome - it gives you working plumbing (which means being able to reproduce).

Meanwhile we have a lot of interesting magical solutions to adapting to this strange condition. Spells like disguise self and alter self can allow people to fake it or live temporarily in a body that feels more appropriate for them (and magic items like a hat of disguise or custom shapeshifting ring or something can make it more practical to keep up for long periods of time).

There's interesting interactions that could be explored about the nature of sex and gender and how magic can turn reality on its head. For example, if a couple of lifelong friends ended up stumbling upon a girdle of masculinity/femininity and one ended up donning it, only for them to eventually end up in a romantic relationship that wouldn't have happened otherwise. Finding out that a character's mother Jacklyne used to be Jackson might explain why the character's mother seems to know so much about the life of a young boy but little about the life of a young girl (because she's only been a woman for the past few decades).

It invites exploration for how different cultures might look at things differently. If the majority of the world mirrors reality, then we can begin to explore new concepts and press our experiences into new directions through imagination. It gives us a chance to really push down on the "what if" button. Exploring different ideas and things leading up to different kinds of "normal" for those fantastic places. And we can learn from those experiences and explorations. Roleplaying and story telling is cool like that.

About the Elixir
The elixir of sex shifting is a wildly imperfect tool for achieving a male or female version of yourself beyond simply changing your most fundamental biology. The elixir explicitly notes that you are instantly recognizable as the person that you were before, to the point it cannot even be used to improve a disguise that you are someone else (let that sink in for a bit).

That means that if this guy drinks the elixir, anyone who's ever seen him will instantly recognize him as the same person (what with the narrow hips and burly beard and stuff). That is miles from a particularly feminine woman.

In a similar fashion this lady drinking it isn't going to make a particularly masculine looking man (what with the wide hips and large breasts and stuff). Because again, it explicitly cannot even slightly make you look like anything other than instantly recognizable as the same person.

Meanwhile in reality, while our advanced medical knowledge cannot perfectly fix the plumbing we can do a mighty fine job of fixing the aesthetic aspects that make us feel like the appropriate sex (which is heavily connected to self image). So the elixir has different pros & cons.


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From a world building perspective, it's interesting to ponder what sort of ways this sort of thing might be addressed by different faiths, areas, and social classes. In an area where mages were very commonplace (such as an arcane academy) you might find that young mages tend to re-orient their perspectives on the world and such when they start learning spells that can allow them to walk in other peoples' shoes for a while (stuff like disguise self or alter self can easily allow them to spend some time as the opposite sex or at least perceived as such, which can give them new perspectives on things).

In our reality, there were religions that required men to castrate themselves before becoming priests. What if there was a religious group that only took priests or priestesses and those entering the clergy were expected to become physically male or female? How would they respond to a character who thought this was unnatural, or a character who insisted on doing priestly roles or duties without changing? What if in a fantasy culture (even a small subculture) conforming to your natural gender identity was seen as an act of nonconformity because that was pretty odd indeed to a group of creatures or a race (such as changelings) that frequently change genders?

There's a lot of interesting possibilities that could be explored. Imagine, if you will, a goddess like lamashtu taking favor with their priests who change their genders to give birth to monsters. Would it seem all the more bizarrely lamashtan when you find out that a particularly devoted male has altered his body to get knocked up by strange beasts to give birth to abominable monsters? Squicky, yeah? O.o


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Ashiel wrote:
That's entirely true, but perhaps unfortunate. Pretending something doesn't exist has never solved anything in the history of ever (that I know of at least).

Uh... It defeated Freddy Krueger, IIRC. :P

Ashiel wrote:
X-Men wouldn't have been the positive influence that it was for many people if bigotry wasn't a defining feature (and having characters that had experienced bigotry for other reasons be more sympathetic to the mutants for having "been there" to an extent is all the more humanizing).

To be fair, while prejudice and acceptance became a central theme to X-men, mostly, they use "mutants" in place of whatever discriminated group they want. How well this is done varies greatly from writer to writer, of course...

Nothing wrong with using non-existent groups to point out bigotry and prejudice, of course, but it does fall into the same category of "no one cares what you are, as long as you're not a half-orc". Which is not bad... As it allows the product to discuss themes such as bigotry and prejudice without hurting or offending anyone, who might have to deal with more than enough of that crap in real life.

That said... It can stretch or even break suspension of disbelief if it isn't explained/presented in a sensible way ("How come these ignorant peasants from medieval world are so accepting of every minority when that is far from being the case in our far more enlightened and informed world?").

e.g.: in a setting where humans are constantly competing/fighting against another race, it makes sense that humans would ignore all differences in favor of uniting against their common enemy... But in a world where most humans never/rarely see any inter-racial conflict and/or never/rarely even see any non-humanoid beings, one would think some humans would have some prejudice against some other humans.

I'm not sure my words are comprehensible... Hopefully I was clear enough to avoid confusion.


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Ashiel wrote:
(stuff about the elixir of sex change)

Well... To be fair "recognizable" is not really the same as "always recognized by everyone".

As I understand it, that line was meant to say that the character becomes more or less a gender-bent version of him/herself (same ethnicity, apparent age, girth, hair color, etc)... So someone who was aware of that person's transformation, they would be able to recognize him/her...

I imagine it as something like the similarities between brother and sister that look like each other.


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Well, it says...

Quote:
Upon drinking this elixir, a character permanently transforms their biology to take on a different set of sexual characteristics of their choice. While the imbiber's physiology changes dramatically and their features adjust slightly to take on the new qualities, the imbiber is still recognizable as the same person. The character has only minor control over the specific details of this new appearance, and the elixir grants no benefit on Disguise skill checks or similar checks.

Let's look at this how it actually functions. You are still recognizable as the same person, and the changes aren't drastic enough to provide any benefit on Disguise checks. Let's think about that for a moment.

Again, the elixir doesn't change your features enough for this guy to not be recognizable as the same person. It's not even "looks similar", it's recognizable and grants no benefits as a disguise. Imagine for a moment that changing into the completely different sex doesn't even make it harder to notice you're the same person.

It's not a matter of "You really look like this guy I know" it's literally "Hey you are that guy I know...except now you have a uterus?". :P


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Put another way.
This is Ranma as a guy.
This is Ranma as a girl.
This is Ranma as a girl (using the elixir of sex shifting).

:P


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>grants no benefit on Disguise skill checks or similar checks.

It also grants no benefit on Disguise skill checks to be recognised as a different(i.e. former) sex. I should think it implies some degree of visual changes, at least enough to visibly change sex.


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I sorta have a different take on this stuff. To me it seems a little weird, depending where you are, that it is considered unusual.

One thing that the game has a lot of is shape shifters of various types and tokens. Tons of them. Never mind the illusionists and people with various items and so forth. The psychology of entities without a strong tie to a specific form is quite fascinating because of how hard it is for us to conceive of it.

Now obviously regions that don't have a strong magical presence probably would find it weird, but areas that do often have to share space with creatures from beyond mortality in every form that may take, as well as people who generally defy gravity and so forth. Probably becomes about as remarkable as every other crazy wizard who does things for reasons. Might not be conducive to true understanding, but it'd be less remarkable, particularly since compared to the guy who animates hedge animals it's on the grand scheme way less flashy.

But I definitely get the issue of Anevia and Irabeth. Anevia's origins just never came up for the pcs when I ran it. I didn't see a reason why she'd bring it up, and they never asked. Far as they cared, she's just a tomboyish girl who sleeps with the half orc lady who takes care of their city when they aren't there. They spent way more time wanting to get to know the CE Barbarian who surrendered to them in book 2 who I have absolutely no background information on and thus had to invent things for.

Honestly, they never seemed interested in any of the listed npcs and gravitated to any I had to invent. Well cept the demon lord anyways. Who always seems to end up more popular than Iomedae from the threads I read. Funny how that works out. You've no idea how many faithful of the succubus queen I've seen since I ran that now.


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Joking aside though, it creates a wellspring of questions. If playing a transgendered character (or a character who has underwent some sort of magical sex re-alignment), what sort of things are going to come up?

Victoria made use of the Disguise skill, which makes it surprisingly easy to pass for the opposite sex with a little practice. The -2 for disguising yourself as a different sex is largely offset with a rank or two and overshadowed if it's a class skill, and that's before any other modifiers such as from Charisma. Largely bolstered in effectiveness since most people don't get a check to see through the disguise unless they're actively interacting or intentionally observing you.

Are there any alternatives or supplements to using the elixir to complete the transformation? Perhaps the difference is made up solely through skills, clothing changes, and confidence? What sort of hurdles might we have left to climb over after downing the magical drought of shifting?


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Klara Meison wrote:

>grants no benefit on Disguise skill checks or similar checks.

It also grants no benefit on Disguise skill checks to be recognised as a different(i.e. former) sex. I should think it implies some degree of visual changes, at least enough to visibly change sex.

Well, I mean if you had some dude (or some girl) and they're runnin' from somebody, broke line of sight and chucked the elixir, the person would still recognize them as the same person unless they made a disguise check along with it.

Which, incidentally, you can already do per the Disguise skill. And the elixir explicitly notes that drinking it grants no benefits when applied to a disguise. Literally changing sex wouldn't even throw the person who was just chasing you as a guy/girl a moment ago. Because you are recognizable as the same person and it gives no benefits when being disguised (not even a little circumstance bonus). :|


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Icehawk wrote:

I sorta have a different take on this stuff. To me it seems a little weird, depending where you are, that it is considered unusual.

One thing that the game has a lot of is shape shifters of various types and tokens. Tons of them. Never mind the illusionists and people with various items and so forth. The psychology of entities without a strong tie to a specific form is quite fascinating because of how hard it is for us to conceive of it.

This is something that I tried to touch on with changelings/doppelgangers in Alvena. To many of them the concept of a sexual identity can end up being pretty superfluous, though some can even lose track of their identity at all.

Quote:
Now obviously regions that don't have a strong magical presence probably would find it weird, but areas that do often have to share space with creatures from beyond mortality in every form that may take, as well as people who generally defy gravity and so forth. Probably becomes about as remarkable as every other crazy wizard who does things for reasons. Might not be conducive to true understanding, but it'd be less remarkable, particularly since compared to the guy who animates hedge animals it's on the grand scheme way less flashy.

This is a great point and super useful for thinking about these things from a world building perspective. How weird is weird, so to speak. This is something that is worth considering when it comes to deciding how magic relates to the world too.

Also, would it have any influence over how people perceived the character? Might they think it a magical oddity perhaps? Maybe a reincarnate got awry? Would they try to dispel or remove curse their malady only to be left a bit stumped? :o

Quote:

But I definitely get the issue of Anevia and Irabeth. Anevia's origins just never came up for the pcs when I ran it. I didn't see a reason why she'd bring it up, and they never asked. Far as they cared, she's just a tomboyish girl who sleeps with the half orc lady who takes care of their city when they aren't there. They spent way more time wanting to get to know the CE Barbarian who surrendered to them in book 2 who I have absolutely no background information on and thus had to invent things for.

Honestly, they never seemed interested in any of the listed npcs and gravitated to any I had to invent. Well cept the demon lord anyways. Who always seems to end up more popular than Iomedae from the threads I read. Funny how that works out. You've no idea how many faithful of the succubus queen I've seen since I ran that now.

There's something kind of adorable about the PCs picking up the NPCs like lost puppies isn't there? :P

The number of "throwaway" NPCs that end up becoming popular with the players is pretty staggering. Victoria was a throwaway NPC actually. As was "Jum Jum". The Paladin's future squire, Miranda, was also a throwaway NPC. In fact, most of the people the party ended up very close to were just extras. XD


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Fair few options I figure. The usual answers that make anyone good at disguise still work. Disguise self, alter self and so forth. Polymorph any object would be a superior but way harder to achieve option to begin with. Those less moral could also use magic jar.

But specifically in dealing with the elixir... Disguise would be as good as ever probably, but one could use surgery too. Possibly fleshwarping or demonic implants too :p. Equip succubi bits, maximize femininity!

...Damn it I'm thinking of too many ways for a villain to do this stuff. Darn brain! Mm. Another method could be hypnosis perhaps. Or a modified version of that one psionic ability that makes everyone think you're beneath notice. Claim to be a tiefling, they're all mutants anyways.


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Icehawk wrote:

I sorta have a different take on this stuff. To me it seems a little weird, depending where you are, that it is considered unusual.

One thing that the game has a lot of is shape shifters of various types and tokens. Tons of them. Never mind the illusionists and people with various items and so forth. The psychology of entities without a strong tie to a specific form is quite fascinating because of how hard it is for us to conceive of it.

Now obviously regions that don't have a strong magical presence probably would find it weird, but areas that do often have to share space with creatures from beyond mortality in every form that may take, as well as people who generally defy gravity and so forth. Probably becomes about as remarkable as every other crazy wizard who does things for reasons. Might not be conducive to true understanding, but it'd be less remarkable, particularly since compared to the guy who animates hedge animals it's on the grand scheme way less flashy.

But I definitely get the issue of Anevia and Irabeth. Anevia's origins just never came up for the pcs when I ran it. I didn't see a reason why she'd bring it up, and they never asked. Far as they cared, she's just a tomboyish girl who sleeps with the half orc lady who takes care of their city when they aren't there. They spent way more time wanting to get to know the CE Barbarian who surrendered to them in book 2 who I have absolutely no background information on and thus had to invent things for.

Honestly, they never seemed interested in any of the listed npcs and gravitated to any I had to invent. Well cept the demon lord anyways. Who always seems to end up more popular than Iomedae from the threads I read. Funny how that works out. You've no idea how many faithful of the succubus queen I've seen since I ran that now.

>Honestly, they never seemed interested in any of the listed npcs and gravitated to any I had to invent. Well cept the demon lord anyways. Who always seems to end up more popular than Iomedae from the threads I read. Funny how that works out. You've no idea how many faithful of the succubus queen I've seen since I ran that now.

You are surprised people gravitate to a "god, except with blackjack and hookers instead of praying"?

>Because you are recognizable as the same person and it gives no benefits when being disguised (not even a little circumstance bonus). :|

Yes, but they could still recognise your current gender, and that you have switched it, at least that's how I understand it.


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Icehawk wrote:

Fair few options I figure. The usual answers that make anyone good at disguise still work. Disguise self, alter self and so forth. Polymorph any object would be a superior but way harder to achieve option to begin with. Those less moral could also use magic jar.

But specifically in dealing with the elixir... Disguise would be as good as ever probably, but one could use surgery too. Possibly fleshwarping or demonic implants too :p. Equip succubi bits, maximize femininity!

That's an interesting idea actually. Combining some hard medicine with magic to solve the issue, perhaps?

Quote:
...Damn it I'm thinking of too many ways for a villain to do this stuff. Darn brain! Mm. Another method could be hypnosis perhaps. Or a modified version of that one psionic ability that makes everyone think you're beneath notice. Claim to be a tiefling, they're all mutants anyways.

Hahaha. XD

Isn't there some sort of body sculpting spell somewhere?


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YEah but for corpses, so that'd work if you were a necromancer. Corpse sculpt a corpse, raise as fast zombie, make good use of gentle repose, done! Magic jar it and run around!


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Hm, you could use polymorph any object to transform a person into a corpse temporarily, cast sculpt corpse, and profit?


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Ashiel wrote:
Hm, you could use polymorph any object to transform a person into a corpse temporarily, cast sculpt corpse, and profit?

Wouldn't that be permanent?


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Not sure the spell let's you temporarily kill someone and then de kill them. I mean, it's then the best death effect spell if so.


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Klara Meison wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Hm, you could use polymorph any object to transform a person into a corpse temporarily, cast sculpt corpse, and profit?
Wouldn't that be permanent?

Well you could dispel it. :o

Icehawk wrote:
Not sure the spell let's you temporarily kill someone and then de kill them. I mean, it's then the best death effect spell if so.

Well you can turn them into inanimate dead things like rocks so it seems legit. :o


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If I take their head off then dispel them, does it reattach?


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Icehawk wrote:
If I take their head off then dispel them, does it reattach?

Allow me to generalise that question. How do things map into one another when polymorphing? E.g. how many legs will a druid be missing if they were wildshaped into an octopus when they lost 5 tentacles?


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Icehawk wrote:
If I take their head off then dispel them, does it reattach?

Well the spell says:

Quote:
Damage taken by the new form can result in the injury or death of the polymorphed creature. In general, damage occurs when the new form is changed through physical force.

So I would assume if you turned someone into a rock and smashed it with a hammer, dispelling it wouldn't be pretty. In the same way if you sliced the head off someone and dispelled it, likely bad for their health.

That's what I get out of it anyway.

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