How do you handle homosexuality and transgenderism in your campaigns?


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Hama wrote:
I treat all my NPCs orientation as completely and utterly unimportant unless a PC wants to know. And then I roll percentile.

But did you make a table?


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Musical interlude two

Liberty's Edge

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@DM Under The Bridge:

You never clarified what you wanted me to cite. Please do and I'll cite away.

Aranna wrote:
Wait... People actually play as someone who wants to switch genders?! Why? Why not start out with the gender you want to play as?

Uh...them being the gender they desire to be doesn't mean they aren't trans*. Playing someone born in a male body who's since used magic to arrange to be physically female is still playing a trans* character even if that all happened in their backstory.

And that's on top of all the reasons people have already mentioned to play a pre-transition character.

To put it another way:

What you're asking is similar to asking why anyone would play a character who is poor (or grew up poor) rather than one who is rich, or one who had abusive parents rather than wonderful ones. Sometimes people want to play someone who has had to deal with adversity in their life, and possibly even still is dealing with it.


LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:


One of the drawbacks to running a quasi-historical game, at least using something like the PF system, is that you have to decide what God thinks of such things in your world.
Not really. The gods in Golarion, outside of Razmir, are notorious for NOT making public statements on their positions. There are at least two factions of Sarenrites that are in violent disagreement, yet the goddess continues to supply the priests of both with spells.

Actually...while gods don't make pronouncements on a daily basis, they do regulate spells and "class features". Also Alignment is real and elemental aspect of reality that can be discerned with low level magic.

In real life, clerics of a religion can make pronouncements based on their interpretation of religion, and its up to the individuals listening to those clerics to judge the validity of those statements within the context of spirit of the religion.

In Golarion, a cleric of Shelyn or a paladin that preaches against homosexuality is going to eventually lose their abilities and stop pinging as good. Any true followers of a religion of Good Alignment is going to be supportive of LGBTQ folks, gender equality, etc, while neutral religions either are...well ambivalent or would wonder why their priests are so focused on a concern they don't care about.

It's prominent that the only religions with a strong misogny vibe are Asmodeus and Kotschei (sp?).


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Aranna wrote:
Wait... People actually play as someone who wants to switch genders?! Why? Why not start out with the gender you want to play as?

Because you want to play as someone who wants to switch genders? Because you want to play through the experience of both deciding you want to change and of how that changes you?

Or alternatively, have characters that are attempting to cope with being presented with situations beyond their control and how they progress down that conflicted path while still remaining on the hero's journey?

Weird. I always insist on playing Aroden.


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DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Hama wrote:
I treat all my NPCs orientation as completely and utterly unimportant unless a PC wants to know. And then I roll percentile.
But did you make a table?

d100% 01-96 would be straight. Reality is hetero/cis normative.

But then Golarion's not reality, so your DM could make it FATAL 2.0 or Yaoiland if they wanted to.


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I will also add in, as others have stated, that their are biological underpinnings to gender dysphoria...it's not some sort of cultural phenomena, any more than people "choose" to be gay. So if you want to argue that it didn't "exist", than you would need to argue that the biological processes behind gender orientation are somehow different than they were in the past, or the environment regulating them was different.

Alternatively...it might not be that transgender people were "common" as today because a transgender person would have suffered extreme persecution, and thus would have stayed in the closet, committed suicide, faced societal sanction, or otherwise hid there condition. Even then though I am not certain historical evidence of trans people is completely lacking. There are certainly many examples of saints adopting male personas, not to mention folklore around female popes and such to indicate that gender dysphoria existed back then, even if it wasn't well understood.


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captain yesterday wrote:
Musical interlude two

I'm just waiting for you to rickroll us.

DM Under the Bridge wrote:
Sarenrae has a bet going with some of her handmaidens as to which sect will come out on top.

I'm guessing she's "Chaotic Good" just like Gorum is "Chaotic Neutral"?

MMCJawa wrote:
In Golarion, a cleric of Shelyn or a paladin that preaches against homosexuality is going to eventually lose their abilities and stop pinging as good. Any true followers of a religion of Good Alignment is going to be supportive of LGBTQ folks, gender equality, etc, while neutral religions either are...well ambivalent or would wonder why their priests are so focused on a concern they don't care about.

I'm gonna be That Guy and disagree. I believe that bigotry, or irrational dislike of any kind, is not going to turn you evil as long as you do no harm by it. Preaching against homosexuality is a form of bullying, and that paladin would lose her powers. Being of the "love the sinner, hate the sin" philosophy and silently judging people even as they try to feign full support because they don't want to hurt anyone's feelings? That paladin is going to struggle mightily (because they are completely wrong), but it's not an evil act or grounds to drop them to Lawful Neutral.

I believe that "half-orcs are bastards, monsters, and some, I assume, are good people" dwarf paladins and "call me old-fashioned" clerics of Erastil can be Good simply because Good people can be heavily, heavily flawed. What it really comes down to for me is, "Do they do any harm? Do they fail to do good?" Most bigoted paladins will eventually have to either get over their prejudices or face the consequences. But that's not automatic.

I'm going to clarify my views on paladins so people who disagree with me will know why and not derail this thread talking about a class feature: For insight, I also fully believe a paladin can have a substance abuse problem. I believe paladins can have some real problems as long as those problems don't outright interfere with their Code. Nothing in the Code, by my reading, says the paladin must fairly love all living things.


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captain yesterday wrote:
Musical interlude two

Musical torture interlude #2

Recovering from previous song


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what the deuce is a rickroll?

you guys gotta a problem with good music:-)

edit: although Irontruth gets it, love me Lou Reed:-)


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Projectionist misplaces slides for actual discussion; puts in fourth musical interlude to buy time.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Projectionist misplaces slides for actual discussion; puts in fourth musical interlude to buy time.

Darn it, now who got that shunning thread locked.... :-D


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The fifth musical interlude


Kobold Cleaver wrote:


I'm gonna be That Guy and disagree. I believe that bigotry, or irrational dislike of any kind, is not going to turn you evil as long as you do no harm by it. Preaching against homosexuality is a form of bullying, and that paladin would lose her powers. Being of the "love the sinner, hate the sin" philosophy and silently judging people even as they try to feign full support because they don't want to hurt anyone's feelings? That paladin is going to struggle mightily (because they are completely wrong), but it's not an evil act or grounds to drop them to Lawful Neutral.

I believe that "half-orcs are bastards, monsters, and some, I assume, are good people" dwarf paladins and "call me old-fashioned" clerics of Erastil can be Good simply because Good people can be heavily, heavily flawed. What it really comes down to for me is, "Do they do any harm? Do they fail to do good?" Most bigoted paladins will eventually have to either get over their prejudices or face the consequences. But that's not automatic.

I'm going to clarify my views on paladins so people who disagree with me will know why and not derail this thread talking about a class feature: For insight, I also fully believe a paladin can have a substance abuse problem. I...

Actually I don't disagree...note that I used the term "preach"

If a cleric or a paladin is preaching and trying to make a community run out its gay members, or otherwise creating a distrustful/hateful community towards certain individuals based on that viewpoint, than they will probably fall. The same would happen if a Paladin refused to lay hands on a person in need because they were trans, or gay. Basically I don't think the good or neutral gods police the thoughts of their followers, just how they act on them.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

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Idea: in my next campaign, no characters will be cis AND straight.

Liberty's Edge

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We handle it in the same way we handle grippli, elves and dwarves. Its no big deal.

Grand Lodge

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thejeff wrote:


Again, I'm quite happy playing with moral ambiguity and with different cultural mores. I'd just rather not do it with a system in which some can literally ask the supreme moral authority for the answer. The typical fantasy world isn't one of those, since the various Gods aren't actually supreme.

Pathfinder may be the system, but AFAIK on Golarion, not even clerics get to directly quiz their god on anything. At most, they might get an answer from a highly placed intermediary.


LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:


Again, I'm quite happy playing with moral ambiguity and with different cultural mores. I'd just rather not do it with a system in which some can literally ask the supreme moral authority for the answer. The typical fantasy world isn't one of those, since the various Gods aren't actually supreme.

Pathfinder may be the system, but AFAIK on Golarion, not even clerics get to directly quiz their god on anything. At most, they might get an answer from a highly placed intermediary.

A deity might not come down directly and say "Bad Priest..NO". But gods do withdraw power from those who don't roughly follow the dictates of their faith. A cleric of a good god that can't cast spells like her colleagues is going to get some second glances.


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With any of this you have to take your players into consideration. There are some that are not willing to deal with some of the intricacies of gender and sex without the usual assortment of jokes and humor, others that will see it as trying to insert real world politics and problems into a game of hack and slash, and others that want to focus overly much on the topic as a proxy to what they cannot solve in real life -- I've had the last on the topic, on drugs (one more argument about the merits of marijuana would probably have put me in the insane asylum), women's rights in a fantasy setting and so on.

I try to work out a lot of these things in my notes and either ramp down or up how much the players know about it based on their interests and ability to handle the topic maturely.


LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Again, I'm quite happy playing with moral ambiguity and with different cultural mores. I'd just rather not do it with a system in which some can literally ask the supreme moral authority for the answer. The typical fantasy world isn't one of those, since the various Gods aren't actually supreme.
Pathfinder may be the system, but AFAIK on Golarion, not even clerics get to directly quiz their god on anything. At most, they might get an answer from a highly placed intermediary.

You can use a Phylactery to see if an action will affect your standing with your deity. That's the lowest level approach.

Higher level Clerics and other divine casters can Commune and ask more direct questions. Possibly answered by intermediaries admittedly, but are those intermediaries really going to get basic questions like: "Is slavery ok?" or "Should we burn homosexuals at the stake?" wrong?

You can also use Planar Ally to summon and talk directly to some of those intermediaries. That should help with the trickier questions that don't boil down to "Yes/No" quite so easily.

It really should be hard for clerics in PF settings to be seriously wrong about their god's intent.

And as I said, I don't care so much about Golarion, since there none of the gods are actually the supreme moral authority. There can be conflicts and differences of approach between them. That's much harder to justify in a quasi-historical high fantasy setting. Which is why I don't like that approach and prefer to keep my real-world religions more vague.


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Musical interlude, old school edition

Liberty's Edge

Totes McScrotes wrote:
d100% 01-96 would be straight. Reality is hetero/cis normative.

That sort of statistic is a little problematic because all the research is done in today's society where many people are reluctant to admit to any non-heteronormative desires.

Particularly, a lot of people who identify as straight might well be at least a bit bisexual and not wanting to deal with the stigma associated with that.

Which in no way means straight, cisgendered, people aren't a pretty big majority (we really are), but another cultural context might well up the number of self-reported LGBT people by a fair bit.

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
DM Under the Bridge wrote:
Sarenrae has a bet going with some of her handmaidens as to which sect will come out on top.
I'm guessing she's "Chaotic Good" just like Gorum is "Chaotic Neutral"?

Actually, for the record, it's the opposite. Sarenrae is the Goddess of Redemption. She's trying very hard to give the warlike slavery-tolerating factions of her Church in Qadira a chance to redeem themselves before she is forced to step in and handles the situation (possibly with cleansing flame). She may already have waited too long because she's too merciful, but that's the rationale according to James Jacobs, whose word is controlling in instances such as this. I believe Inner Sea Gods mentions something about this as well...

And she's Neutral Good, again for the record.

LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Again, I'm quite happy playing with moral ambiguity and with different cultural mores. I'd just rather not do it with a system in which some can literally ask the supreme moral authority for the answer. The typical fantasy world isn't one of those, since the various Gods aren't actually supreme.

Pathfinder may be the system, but AFAIK on Golarion, not even clerics get to directly quiz their god on anything. At most, they might get an answer from a highly placed intermediary.

There are magical ways to get a pretty good idea. Phylacterties of Faithfulness and the Commune spell leap to mind immediately, for example. So random people might not know such things, but the higher ups of the Church certainly can and will if they care to ask.


Musical interlude, new school edition.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Totes McScrotes wrote:
d100% 01-96 would be straight. Reality is hetero/cis normative.

That sort of statistic is a little problematic because all the research is done in today's society where many people are reluctant to admit to any non-heteronormative desires.

Particularly, a lot of people who identify as straight might well be at least a bit bisexual and not wanting to deal with the stigma associated with that.

Which in no way means straight, cisgendered, people aren't a pretty big majority (we really are), but another cultural context might well up the number of self-reported LGBT people by a fair bit.

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
DM Under the Bridge wrote:
Sarenrae has a bet going with some of her handmaidens as to which sect will come out on top.
I'm guessing she's "Chaotic Good" just like Gorum is "Chaotic Neutral"?

Actually, for the record, it's the opposite. Sarenrae is the Goddess of Redemption. She's trying very hard to give the warlike slavery-tolerating factions of her Church in Qadira a chance to redeem themselves before she is forced to step in and handles the situation (possibly with cleansing flame). She may already have waited too long because she's too merciful, but that's the rationale according to James Jacobs, whose word is controlling in instances such as this. I believe Inner Sea Gods mentions something about this as well...

And she's Neutral Good, again for the record.

LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Again, I'm quite happy playing with moral ambiguity and with different cultural mores. I'd just rather not do it with a system in which some can literally ask the supreme moral authority for the answer. The typical fantasy world isn't one of those, since the various Gods aren't actually supreme.

Pathfinder may be the system, but AFAIK on Golarion, not even clerics get to directly quiz their god on anything. At
...

On the other hand it could be less depending on how you parse the boundaries. Allot of these categories, face it' don't really have hard edged definitions.

Grand Lodge

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MMCJawa wrote:
gods do withdraw power from those who don't roughly follow the dictates of their faith.

I can just imagine the player's reaction if a GM EVER said to the player that his cleric PC can't cast spells any more, or was denied any specific spell that the character prayed for... Would go over like the proverbial passing of gas in church...

It's something that as a DM, I would do (provided that the player of a cleric was playing the character rather flippantly towards his deity/religion), but I know that many players on these boards don't think it is the GM's place to take anything away from a player's character, especially standard class abilities.


Digitalelf wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
gods do withdraw power from those who don't roughly follow the dictates of their faith.

I can just imagine the player's reaction if a GM EVER said to the player that his cleric PC can't cast spells any more, or was denied any specific spell that the character prayed for... Would go over like the proverbial passing of gas in church...

It's something that as a DM, I would do (provided that the player of a cleric was playing the character rather flippantly towards his deity/religion), but I know that many players on these boards don't think it is the GM's place to take anything away from a player's character, especially standard class abilities.

Depends on how it's done. As in many things, execution is paramount to reception.

Regardless, this is a topic for a different thread.


Going to try and sum up my view (again).

I don't think the game world should necessarily mirror the real world. Just because something is the cause celebre IRL, does not mean it should figure prominently in the game.

Rather, that because WE (the people playing the game) are modern people with greater social awareness, we are capable of crafting our games so that they are inclusive to any player, even if those players are not present. This isn't to say that bigotry cannot or should not exist in the game, but rather that it should exist in a way that excludes targeting anyone who might actually be sitting at the table with you.

Racism against elves? Sure, that can be a thing.
Racism against black-skinned humans who you depict as liking breaded chicken, water melon and stealing? That shouldn't be a thing.

Especially when it comes to issue involving sexuality and gender, you don't know who at your table might identify as something that isn't obvious. People keep these things secret for decades. They still keep them as secrets even now.

If these things never come up in your game. No worries, but it's the potential reliance on historical precedence to exclude them from existing that makes me bristle.

I suspect that several of us are much closer to agreeing on this than our posts suggest so far.

Shadow Lodge

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Digitalelf wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
gods do withdraw power from those who don't roughly follow the dictates of their faith.

I can just imagine the player's reaction if a GM EVER said to the player that his cleric PC can't cast spells any more, or was denied any specific spell that the character prayed for... Would go over like the proverbial passing of gas in church...

It's something that as a DM, I would do (provided that the player of a cleric was playing the character rather flippantly towards his deity/religion), but I know that many players on these boards don't think it is the GM's place to take anything away from a player's character, especially standard class abilities.

Yeah, most people here that if a GM doesn't provide a Magic Mart with exactly the magic items everyone in the group wants, they're a horribad person who should be banned from roleplaying forever.

Denying a cleric their spells would likely go over like a lead lifejacket.


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Irontruth wrote:
No worries, but it's the potential reliance on historical precedence to exclude them from existing that makes me bristle.

Honestly, I don't see how historical precedence could be used to exclude them. They're here now. They were there then.

It's one thing to say, "I really don't want to hear about your determined seduction of so-and-so. In short, you are successful; we fade to black." It's quite another to say, "You can't play a homosexual/transgender character, because they're not historically verifiable." That's so far beyond unreasonable I'm not sure how I'd respond if a DM told me that.

Now saying, "You're a hero(ine). But declaring your love for this person who happens to be the same sex as you in the Dauphin's throne room isn't the brightest idea in the world" is reasonable, historically speaking.

The fact that some don't like that is, frankly, TFB.


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Jaelithe wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
No worries, but it's the potential reliance on historical precedence to exclude them from existing that makes me bristle.

Honestly, I don't see how historical precedence could be used to exclude them. They're here now. They were there then.

It's one thing to say, "I really don't want to hear about your determined seduction of so-and-so. In short, you are successful; we fade to black." It's quite another to say, "You can't play a homosexual/transgender character, because they're not historically verifiable." That's so far beyond unreasonable I'm not sure how I'd respond if a DM told me that.

Now saying, "You're a hero(ine). But declaring your love for this person who happens to be the same sex as you in the Dauphin's throne room isn't the brightest idea in the world" is reasonable, historically speaking.

The fact that some don't like that is, frankly, TFB.

Depends on the situation. It could make a very nice emotional capstone for a campaign. There would have to be a very good motivation and the Dauphin would have to owe you. Not be done lightly, but it could work.

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