Girls in gaming groups


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One of the things I've enjoyed but been surprised about, is how its not an issue being a girl in a RPG gaming group. Most times I'm the only girl in the group but no-one has batted an eyelid.

I know RPG playing is very much seen as a geeky guy thing but I think more women are giving it a go.

Quick survey... who here has a girl in their group... and is she treated with the respect she unquestionably deserves!! ;))

Liberty's Edge

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I'm currently playing in three games and running another. Two of the ones I'm playing in each have one woman in them (different women, for the record). The one I'm running has 3 women in it (and only two men other than me), one of whom is the woman in one of the games I play. The fourth game (sadly) has no women in it.

That's maybe around average for me and games I've been involved in historically? Maybe below average, actually. I'd say we've gotten two or three men for every woman, on average, but that still leaves a lot of games with two women or so.

And of course they're treated with respect. Or as much respect as anyone is, anyway. I try very hard not to play with sexist a@*&%&#s.


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I think the real division in my gaming group is "programmer/math nerds/engineers" and "liberal arts/story driven" types. Those categories tend to have much larger clashes and personality issues.


I have three games. One has one girl out of six players. Another has 2 girls out of four players. The last in a five player game with no girls. So it averages out to one girl per game. All are treated fairly, I think.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Of the four campaigns I currently play in, only one of them lacks a female player. One of them has more females than males.


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Tangaroa wrote:
I think the real division in my gaming group is "programmer/math nerds/engineers" and "liberal arts/story driven" types. Those categories tend to have much larger clashes and personality issues.

Only because liberal arts majors have cooties!


Tangaroa wrote:
I think the real division in my gaming group is "programmer/math nerds/engineers" and "liberal arts/story driven" types. Those categories tend to have much larger clashes and personality issues.

As a male programmer/former physics major, who had a wonderful female sf/fantasy author as a GM for many years, I haven't seen such clashes.

Not in a group with any women at the moment. Not in a group at all actually. The gaming circles I ran in back in college and the years right after, which included the aforementioned GM, generally had multiple women. The group I wound up for some years after that only had one off and on.


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Every game I run (which is 90+% of my gaming) has at least one or two women in it. Being that those two are my wife and daughter, I may not be typical. Most tables are three to six players.

As far as treatment, everyone in my games is treated correctly, or the table will be adjusted. I have, sadly, booted players and lost supposed friends over this.


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My wife plays when I play/run. Her sister is a 3.5 grognard but they're not allowed to play at the same time anymore. Even without my wife I've mostly played with groups that have at least one woman.

I will say that I do have somewhat of a prejudice. In my experience women are either the best or worst to play with, with no in between so I've become wary until a session in. As I played more this has been less and less true but overwhelming early experience has still given me a kneejerk reaction.


I have 2 different groups I play with weekly. My Thursday Roll20 group has one female of 5 players. My weekend rl group has 2 females of 6 players. One is a role player and the other is a rules lawyer.

And yes, the are all shown the respect they deserve. LOL...


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I disrespect all of my players equally

Paizo Employee Designer

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Removed a post. All gamers deserve respect.


A TPK cares naught for your genders and sexes.

As an actual response, I currently run two groups, one of which has one woman out of four players. The other has three women out of four players.

Currently playing in one group, with a possible second coming up.
The current group has one female player (out of four again), and the upcoming group is a bit larger.

Currently looking at... 8? I think it's 8 players, 6 of which are women. The GM for that possible game is also a woman, and a member of every other group (as a player).

Don't know about other groups, but it's not uncommon at all for a woman to play in the local games here.

Scarab Sages

Two games. 1 woman out of three players in one game, 2 women out of four players in the other.

Why would I treat my friends disrespectfully?

Sovereign Court

Currently none. And I've been playing mostly exclusively with men for the past 10 years.

Women in my games are a breath of fresh air I must say.

I'm preparing a new game that I wll run exclusively for female players.


My wife is our current GM, we have 1 other female in our group, plus my wife's sister plays in a group of her own.


I've got two groups I currently play with (I'm GMing Skulls and Shackles and I'm playing Iron Gods via Roll20). In both of them, we're all male. I've had women play in groups before. The vast majority of the time it's fine. We did have one guy who was frequently saying inappropriate things to one of the women and ended up booting him from the group over it.

Dark Archive

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I'm a woman who has been playing Pathfinder weekly for over 2 years now (and monthly for a few years before that) and GMing as often for nearly that long. When I first started playing Pathfinder, I thought like the OP did---isn't it great that all that sexism is an exaggeration. It was when I started to GM and take a bigger leadership role in the community that I realized that the sexism was still there, just a lot subtler than I thought it was.

I always had the occasional case of things not being okay. The time the guy suggested that my paladin was a woman and should thus distract the guards with her feminine wiles, and when I said "No," the table pressured me to "take one for the team." The guy who always played ditzy girl characters because "that's what women are like." The new player who said that the Adowyn pregen he was playing couldn't lift stuff because she was a girl.

When I started GMing was when things got worse, though. Every GM has to deal with argumentative players and players talking over them, but I had to deal with it all the time, more than the men whose tables I played at. Sometimes when I would try to enforce rules, I would be met with outright hostility. The men around me either didn't notice or didn't think there was anything to be done about it.

Eventually I stopped running for people I didn't know. I just didn't feel comfortable with it anymore. If a player gave me a hard time, I didn't know if they were just a difficult player or if they were giving me a hard time because I was a woman. I hated feeling that way.

So now I still play Pathfinder. I love Pathfinder. But I only invite people I feel comfortable playing with.


There used to be 3 women in my group of 6 players. Unfortunately, one had to recently drop out because of her job.

Sovereign Court

Two gaming groups of 6 peeps and one female in each group (different gals).

However, I go to several board game nights that are probably 60% (female) to 40% (male) for the record!


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Ralphie O'Reilly wrote:

I'm a woman who has been playing Pathfinder weekly for over 2 years now (and monthly for a few years before that) and GMing as often for nearly that long. When I first started playing Pathfinder, I thought like the OP did---isn't it great that all that sexism is an exaggeration. It was when I started to GM and take a bigger leadership role in the community that I realized that the sexism was still there, just a lot subtler than I thought it was.

I always had the occasional case of things not being okay. The time the guy suggested that my paladin was a woman and should thus distract the guards with her feminine wiles, and when I said "No," the table pressured me to "take one for the team." The guy who always played ditzy girl characters because "that's what women are like." The new player who said that the Adowyn pregen he was playing couldn't lift stuff because she was a girl.

When I started GMing was when things got worse, though. Every GM has to deal with argumentative players and players talking over them, but I had to deal with it all the time, more than the men whose tables I played at. Sometimes when I would try to enforce rules, I would be met with outright hostility. The men around me either didn't notice or didn't think there was anything to be done about it.

Eventually I stopped running for people I didn't know. I just didn't feel comfortable with it anymore. If a player gave me a hard time, I didn't know if they were just a difficult player or if they were giving me a hard time because I was a woman. I hated feeling that way.

So now I still play Pathfinder. I love Pathfinder. But I only invite people I feel comfortable playing with.

Sounds like some crappy situations. Was this when you all were really young or something? It just seems like such idiotic behavior.

Dark Archive

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MeanMutton wrote:
Ralphie O'Reilly wrote:
Assorted complaints
Sounds like some crappy situations. Was this when you all were really young or something? It just seems like such idiotic behavior.

This was all within the last 2 years. It is... what it is.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Ralphie O'Reilly wrote:
MeanMutton wrote:
Ralphie O'Reilly wrote:
Assorted complaints
Sounds like some crappy situations. Was this when you all were really young or something? It just seems like such idiotic behavior.
This was all within the last 2 years. It is... what it is.

Sorry to hear that. I noticed in my local PFSOP region (before I quit) that while debates (such as rules disputes) between two males tended to be a clash that was resolved only by a book or a stern GM, debates between a male and a female tended to involve the female submitting while the male took a teacher/parent-style tone. I always had to wonder whether that submission was learned before or after joining the local Organized Play scene. :/

To the original topic: I recently started a new campaign, and although it's a play-by-post (and therefore nothing's known for sure, because internet), I *think* that somewhere between 1 and 3 of my five players are female. (And for comparison, three of the PCs are female.) I hope that by the end they would all answer in the affirmative about the respect thing. :)


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Ralphie O'Reilly wrote:

I'm a woman who has been playing Pathfinder weekly for over 2 years now (and monthly for a few years before that) and GMing as often for nearly that long. When I first started playing Pathfinder, I thought like the OP did---isn't it great that all that sexism is an exaggeration. It was when I started to GM and take a bigger leadership role in the community that I realized that the sexism was still there, just a lot subtler than I thought it was.

I always had the occasional case of things not being okay. The time the guy suggested that my paladin was a woman and should thus distract the guards with her feminine wiles, and when I said "No," the table pressured me to "take one for the team." The guy who always played ditzy girl characters because "that's what women are like." The new player who said that the Adowyn pregen he was playing couldn't lift stuff because she was a girl.

When I started GMing was when things got worse, though. Every GM has to deal with argumentative players and players talking over them, but I had to deal with it all the time, more than the men whose tables I played at. Sometimes when I would try to enforce rules, I would be met with outright hostility. The men around me either didn't notice or didn't think there was anything to be done about it.

Eventually I stopped running for people I didn't know. I just didn't feel comfortable with it anymore. If a player gave me a hard time, I didn't know if they were just a difficult player or if they were giving me a hard time because I was a woman. I hated feeling that way.

So now I still play Pathfinder. I love Pathfinder. But I only invite people I feel comfortable playing with.

Only gaming with people you're comfortable with is something that I think transcends race/gender/religion/sexual orientation and falls into the "good policy in general" category. So much can go wrong when gaming with absolute strangers, and there are alot of creepy people out there.

Sovereign Court

Ralphie O'Reilly wrote:

I'm a woman who has been playing Pathfinder weekly for over 2 years now (and monthly for a few years before that) and GMing as often for nearly that long. When I first started playing Pathfinder, I thought like the OP did---isn't it great that all that sexism is an exaggeration. It was when I started to GM and take a bigger leadership role in the community that I realized that the sexism was still there, just a lot subtler than I thought it was.

I always had the occasional case of things not being okay. The time the guy suggested that my paladin was a woman and should thus distract the guards with her feminine wiles, and when I said "No," the table pressured me to "take one for the team." The guy who always played ditzy girl characters because "that's what women are like." The new player who said that the Adowyn pregen he was playing couldn't lift stuff because she was a girl.

When I started GMing was when things got worse, though. Every GM has to deal with argumentative players and players talking over them, but I had to deal with it all the time, more than the men whose tables I played at. Sometimes when I would try to enforce rules, I would be met with outright hostility. The men around me either didn't notice or didn't think there was anything to be done about it.

Eventually I stopped running for people I didn't know. I just didn't feel comfortable with it anymore. If a player gave me a hard time, I didn't know if they were just a difficult player or if they were giving me a hard time because I was a woman. I hated feeling that way.

So now I still play Pathfinder. I love Pathfinder. But I only invite people I feel comfortable playing with.

I'm really sorry about that.


MeanMutton wrote:
Ralphie O'Reilly wrote:

I'm a woman who has been playing Pathfinder weekly for over 2 years now (and monthly for a few years before that) and GMing as often for nearly that long. When I first started playing Pathfinder, I thought like the OP did---isn't it great that all that sexism is an exaggeration. It was when I started to GM and take a bigger leadership role in the community that I realized that the sexism was still there, just a lot subtler than I thought it was.

I always had the occasional case of things not being okay. The time the guy suggested that my paladin was a woman and should thus distract the guards with her feminine wiles, and when I said "No," the table pressured me to "take one for the team." The guy who always played ditzy girl characters because "that's what women are like." The new player who said that the Adowyn pregen he was playing couldn't lift stuff because she was a girl.

When I started GMing was when things got worse, though. Every GM has to deal with argumentative players and players talking over them, but I had to deal with it all the time, more than the men whose tables I played at. Sometimes when I would try to enforce rules, I would be met with outright hostility. The men around me either didn't notice or didn't think there was anything to be done about it.

Eventually I stopped running for people I didn't know. I just didn't feel comfortable with it anymore. If a player gave me a hard time, I didn't know if they were just a difficult player or if they were giving me a hard time because I was a woman. I hated feeling that way.

So now I still play Pathfinder. I love Pathfinder. But I only invite people I feel comfortable playing with.

Sounds like some crappy situations. Was this when you all were really young or something? It just seems like such idiotic behavior.

Honestly, much of that is pretty much expected behavior, especially the GM stuff. The specific player stuff is common, but pretty easy to call out.

The GM stuff though is trickier and subtler. There's a lot of research suggesting that's how men and women interact in mixed groups. Men talk over women more. Men interrupt women more. Men ignore women's contributions to the conversation - most blatantly to the point of dismissing an idea then praising it when a man restates it.
All of this without real intent or often even being aware of it. The studies often do things like record a meeting, ask the participants about it and then compare those responses with the actual record. Even the women usually overstated how much women had contributed and understated how much they were interrupted or dismissed.
I'm not saying this to bash men or anything. We're trying to change centuries of socialization. It's really hard.

You probably do it. I do it, though I try to be aware and catch myself. And I'm in real life about as non-assertive and non-pushy as they come.


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I'm the only female player in two of my three regular-ish campaigns, the other is a four player group made of two couples. I've never had any issues with sexism in any of those groups.

I was (very pleasantly) surprised when I started playing PFS to discover that there were a lot of female members - this might be specific to the UK, but it feels like at least 30-40% of the players I meet at cons are women. That's a lot higher than in other RPG or LRP groups I have known.


I'm part of two groups, though there's some shared members between the groups. (Me, the GM, and the GM's girlfriend, and incidentally we all live together in the same house.)

Our Monday group only has the one woman mentioned above. For a while, our Friday group had as many males as females, and since one male was the GM, that meant we had more female players than male. Unfortunately, one of the women players had to give up the game to take care of her kid.


My last group had one woman out of 5-6 gamers, and she was treated like everyone else. This sunday I played a session with a new group, which has 4 out of 7. Two of the four were treated just like every man gamer I've ever known, but the DM treated his wife and daughter poorly a couple of times.

HeHateMe wrote:
Ralphie O'Reilly wrote:
So now I still play Pathfinder. I love Pathfinder. But I only invite people I feel comfortable playing with.
Only gaming with people you're comfortable with is something that I think transcends race/gender/religion/sexual orientation and falls into the "good policy in general" category. So much can go wrong when gaming with absolute strangers, and there are alot of creepy people out there.

While it is true that strange gamers are a mixed bag, I'm not so quick to assume that strange gamers create the same number or type of problems for DMs, regardless of a DM's gender. Unlike Ralphie, for example, I'm a guy and I've not once experienced a strange argumentative player. Usually they're just maddeningly flaky.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ralphie O'Reilly wrote:


So now I still play Pathfinder. I love Pathfinder. But I only invite people I feel comfortable playing with.

This is the key for me as well. I'm not a woman but as a person of color I've run into my share of issues with gamers where I now feel it's important to cultivate gamers who are of at least like mind and similar temperament. It doenst mean a "blacks only" group but at least a group made of decent human beings who are at least a little capable of functioning in social situations who are not sociopaths.


My Pathfinder party is composed of three women and three men.

A D&D 5th edition party I am playing includes one male GM, me, two other men, and two women.

A Dresden Files party with the same GM as above includes me, another two men (different than the D&D), and two women (one of whom is also member of D&D party).

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

My home game only includes one guy out of the five of us, and two of us are nonbinary. It's going great, mostly I think because I only invited people I liked and trusted.

My local PFS scene is very male-heavy, and I've definitely had some uncomfortable and disrespectful interactions with my female characters.

The Exchange

The local con scene here comprises of mostly guys. Regular groups - mostly guys. I can count the number of female players here on one hand. Can see we don't have much female presence here.

I tend to be on the rule-lawyer side of GM, and if one of my players(I don't care male or female) does something rules dodgy, I'll call them out on it.

Its a pet theory of mine that they're more females in PBPs, then in campaigns in RL, afterall on the internet, no one would know that you're a Cat.

Never had gender discrimination on my characters. Though once I had a "Yes, Mommy."on a male character when I was telling a halfling not to do something.


I've just realized that I've never been in an actual group (that I can recall) without at least one female in it. Huh.

EDIT: Considering I pretty much play exclusively with my wife, these days, it's not surprising. But I remember the group that I was introduced with had a female and any time I've ever played with a group larger than the two of us, there has always been a significant female presence other than just my wife. That's pretty cool!

(And yes. Yes, she's treated with the respect she deserves. :D)


I apparently live a sheltered life. About 25 years ago I played in a group of about six or seven players. One of which was female. The other was a different group and again one out of about six were female. Since then, no girl gamers at all.


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All but two of my players in the past 28 years have been females...they outnumber the males 3-2

Shadow Lodge

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Tacticslion wrote:
I've just realized that I've never been in an actual group (that I can recall) without at least one female in it. Huh.

Me either. My (future, at the time) sister-in-law introduced me to the game and has been in all my groups since. In the years after I've added three more women to our groups, and overall the total now stands at three female, four male, plus one female who doesn't play anymore but likes to listen in on sessions.


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Some of this has been discussed before.


There are four women in my current gaming groups (only three recently). Mostly people's wives or girlfriends, and all but my wife have been in the hobby for a VERY long time.
As far as how they are treated, good I guess? One guy pushes his girlfriend's buttons on purpose and says some things that raise my eyebrow, but that is more their relationship than anything related to the table.


One woman in my current group and most groups that I have run for the last eight years have had at least one woman. I have not seen any problems but I only game with close friends.


My gaming group was originally 3 couples. One couple moved away and then the two remaining wives no longer wanted to play. A few guys were added (including me) and for the last 10 years it has been the same 5-7 guys that's made up our gaming group.


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My RPG experience has been entirely male-centric until relatively recently; 30+ years and half a dozen regular groups and nary a female in sight. It wasn't anything I or my gaming buddies tried to do; it just fell out that way.

Two years ago, I decided to pass the generational torch to my kids; I have three children, all girls. I now run a regular group for my two oldest and their friends, all female. One of their friends also runs her own weekly group. The majority of the D&D club at their high school is female.

I plan to try RPing with my youngest (she just turned 8) as soon as I can get a copy of Monte Cook Games' No Thank You, Evil!. Or maybe someone can tell me how Ponyfinder runs? She's a big My Little Pony fan...

Anyway, I think that whether a group is male- or female-majority makes about the same difference as anything else; if everyone's having fun, it's all good.


I met my gf in an all-girl player group (the GM was male and I co-GMed). She has three regular plus one very irregular gaming groups. She's the only girl in two of them. In one of the remaining another player's wife plays with us, and in the other a female friend of ours from out of town who visits now and then.

As for respecting women and treating them as equals, I'd like to say "well, obviously". I cannot recall anything particularly sexist going around, at least nothing said in earnest (we can have some pretty horrible humor, but that includes all terrible topics so it doesn't really count as sexist). Certainly nothing like Ralphie's experience has happened at our tables that I can remember.
I have asked my gf from time to time if she feels there is any sort of sexism in the games. As far as I can remember, the closest thing to this is one of our male players likes to play women and can't really play the other gender properly (his women tend towards flamboyance and promiscuity). And said player is such a nice guy in all other respects it is usually filed away under 'annoying but ultimately harmless character defects' rather than 'offensive character defects'.


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For years I had women in my gaming group, then time and life separated a lot of us for awhile. My wife quit playing in 2000 after a decade long campaign ended and the other couple in the group divorced. At one time I had more women than guys in the group.

But in the last several years (too many) it's been only guys. It's only been in the last 4 years or so that I've had women rejoin the group. They're all long time gamers and only get to play occasionally due to work and personal constraints (and one moved home then had to move away again to look for work), so I'm down to 4 women in the group who only play very rarely. It's a shame, too. They're usually the best roleplayers. And they've always been treated with respect and can give as well as they get from the guys, so the jokes and jibes are pretty much equal on both sides. One of my guys is pretty misogynistic, but he restrains himself when we have women players.

On a related note, I once knew of an all woman group back in the 2e days. There were about 6 people in the group and they were the most bloodthirsty bunch of cutthroats I'd ever seen. They'd attack and kill EVERYthing they came across if they got the notion to. They scared me... lol


As of late I haven't actually managed to play any Pathfinder, but in a 3.5 campaign I'm in 1 of 4 players is female and I'm also GMing an Og Unearthed campaign where 1 of 5 is female. There's unfortunately a fairly small female gaming presence in my town, so it's a rare day when I hear of a campaign that's not male dominated. I only game with people I know well, so any possible sexism is something people are well aware of before coming to the table (and honestly, most of it comes from the female players at my tables anyway, so that point's almost moot).


Right now my party consist of all guys, with an occasional 2 other women that cycle in and out of the party. Back in college, our partys consisted of about half and half. I insisted on fair treatment for everyone who decided to play. After all, if you are not respectful of your players, they won't come back. If people were being rude to another player whatever their sex, I always pulled the offender off to the side and gave them a friendly suggestion to tone it down or leave the group. It rarely ever came to that, but when it did, the offenders didn't even realize they were doing something wrong. It always ended up in an apology. I've gamed with some really good people in my gaming career.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

<-- is an actual woman who plays TTRPGs and is on the Internet! :O

I'm the only woman in my gaming group (just by chance). There's one guy in our group (our current GM) who is a bit...traditional when it comes to views on gender roles, but it comes across more in the game (playing female NPCs as the GM, subtly avoiding hitting female characters in combat, etc.) than it does in interacting with me-the-person. He actually considers me-the-person one of the table's "experts" on the game, and isn't afraid to ask me gameplay questions all the time.

The rest of the group couldn't care less that I'm a woman - they don't feel any need to censor themselves around me, and I'm treated just the same as any other player. And I think that's actually an important point: I deserve respect because I'm a person joining in a collaborative recreational activity, not because I'm a woman. I'd be just as irritated if they were putting me on a pedestal or treating me with kid gloves as I would if they were disrespecting me.

I also GM a Roll20 game (with a couple of people in common with the IRL group). So far, it seems those people in common are reacting to me exactly as they react to the IRL GM - those inclined to pay attention pay attention, those inclined to get distracted get distracted, and those inclined to interrupt interrupt. Overall, I've been fortunate; while I'm not likely to ever get into well-reasoned feminist discourse with most of them, everyone treats me as a person who happens to be female, not as if being female is my entire identity, which I'm thankful for.

Scarab Sages

Three of my regular players are women, two are men. I for once don't remember ever treating someone with less respect because of gender.

Liberty's Edge

My current weekly AP group has one woman (my wife), but we have a pretty diverse mix otherwise...

We have:

A gay guy,
A black guy,
A ginger (ugh, we know!),
A musician! (I know, right?)
and a cantankerous old fart... (that would be me)

Now our PFS in this area seems to be about 70-30, but every now and again we get a lot more female players/GMs, but that tends to be because most of our female gamers either work or have school on our game days.

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