How can I get women to join my campaign?


Advice

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Grand Lodge

Maybe instead just play with people who are interested and don't worry about their race/sex/gender/orientation and have fun?

Silver Crusade

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Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Maybe instead just play with people who are interested and don't worry about their race/sex/gender/orientation and have fun?

How do you know those other people aren't interested?

Here's the thing, people of other race/gender/orientations are interested, but they're probably shy or feel unwelcome or uncomfortable in a group full of men. So you could just play with the vocal group that you currently have, or you could open a seat up for someone who's been wanting to play, and make sure they and everyone else at the table doesn't feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. Opening the hobby up to more people isn't a bad thing, having more players isn't a bad thing, whereas apathy and stagnation is.

Grand Lodge

Oh, I certainly wasn't trying to suggest not inviting all sorts of people.

I wouldn't be playing most of my games if I hadn't asked friends/coworkers if they'd be interested.

When I said "people who are interested" I meant either expressed interest to you or who you asked and were interested.

Silver Crusade

Jurassic Pratt wrote:

Oh, I certainly wasn't trying to suggest not inviting all sorts of people.

I wouldn't be playing most of my games if I hadn't asked friends/coworkers if they'd be interested.

Exactly, it's on you as a GM or a current player to get people to join, not just wait until someone very vocal about joining pops up.

Silver Crusade

Jurassic Pratt wrote:
When I said "people who are interested" I meant either expressed interest to you or who you asked and were interested.

And who all are you asking?

Grand Lodge

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I was trying to say that it's more that it's about finding people who wanna play Tabletop RPGs and suit you playstyle rather than seek out specific types of people based on those categories.

Which I find to be a weird criteria to search by.

Silver Crusade

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Jurassic Pratt wrote:
I was trying to say that it's more that it's about finding people who wanna play Tabletop RPGs rather than seek out specific types of people based on those categories.

*nods*

Yes, sorry about that, I'm still waking up.

Grand Lodge

No worries!

Silver Crusade

Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Which I find to be a weird criteria to search by.

Eh, not so much when those categories of people have been excluded from the hobby for the longest time and are still being excluded. So if you're asking everyone, and I do mean every man/woman/non-binary person if they might be interested in then sweet. Not every group does that.

Grand Lodge

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Ah, that's fair enough. I sometimes mistakenly take my own groups and how they formed (just asking everyone I knew if they'd be down to play an TTRPG) and assume its the norm.

Silver Crusade

Unfortunately not.


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the problem is a lot of people feel a bit vulnerable about the fact they play DnD and other table top games because it had the fat guy in his mums basement devil worship negative stigma attached to it.

For a lot of people asking someone if they want to play with you is quite a vulnerable thing to do, so people tend to try and workout from hanging out with people how they think they'd react before playing.

I think thats why some people end up not asking people. I personally don't have this issue as I have probably an unhealthily thick skin but I have in the passed asked people who have replied by calling me a freak or laughing in my face. Both things that have happened, the person who called me a freak was a dude, the person who laughed in my face was a woman. Both in the passed 6 months.

I could imagine that reaction being one of the main reasons that people are hesitant to invite people to join the hobby.


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ColbyMunro wrote:

I am running a west marches game, which means the game can consist of anywhere between 12 and 20 players who alternate in and out of sessions. Despite getting a large number of people interested, I'm having issues convincing my female friends to sign up to play. I would really enjoy the diversity of gender because I think generally women tend to be more focused on character development and interparty politics which would be a good counterweight to the more masculine murder-hoboism method of playing (although I'm a feminist and recognize that women too can be murder hobos.) I think of myself as pretty good at managing any sort of weirdness that might arise concerning sexual harassment between people or characters.

That all being said, what could I be doing wrong in this department? Any ideas? It's not like I don't have any female friends who would be interested in D&D/Pathfinder, I just seemingly can't grab their attention for this game.

Women are interested in RPG, you only have to search around you, in your job, school or whatever environement you can have... Trying to convince them by showing how it is played at your table...

Concerning women style of play, many of the women I've played with were murdering hobos, playing dumb barbarians or violent paladins... so be prepare to face the same different gameplay for women than the men's...
Avoid thinking to be the defender of the lady in distress, women can perfectly defend themselves, consider women around the table as players. No more no less..


If you want to find people in your area to play with, Warhorn is the website for you. :-)

Sovereign Court

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Yondu wrote:
ColbyMunro wrote:

I am running a west marches game, which means the game can consist of anywhere between 12 and 20 players who alternate in and out of sessions. Despite getting a large number of people interested, I'm having issues convincing my female friends to sign up to play. I would really enjoy the diversity of gender because I think generally women tend to be more focused on character development and interparty politics which would be a good counterweight to the more masculine murder-hoboism method of playing (although I'm a feminist and recognize that women too can be murder hobos.) I think of myself as pretty good at managing any sort of weirdness that might arise concerning sexual harassment between people or characters.

That all being said, what could I be doing wrong in this department? Any ideas? It's not like I don't have any female friends who would be interested in D&D/Pathfinder, I just seemingly can't grab their attention for this game.

Women are interested in RPG, you only have to search around you, in your job, school or whatever environement you can have... Trying to convince them by showing how it is played at your table...

Concerning women style of play, many of the women I've played with were murdering hobos, playing dumb barbarians or violent paladins... so be prepare to face the same different gameplay for women than the men's...
Avoid thinking to be the defender of the lady in distress, women can perfectly defend themselves, consider women around the table as players. No more no less..

Hilariously that's been my experience most of the time when I had women in my group. Only had one woman who wanted to play a Fairy Princess out of six.


The worse murder hobo I had was a grown up woman.

In real life she was cheerful and tried to be sweet, demanded a lot of hugs and dressed like a cabbage patch kid doll.

In game she was playing a NG Centaur that she pictured as naive, cute and caring.

In fact, he always tried to attack enemies, corrupted allies, people who contradicted his character... Once her character was training with some allied rookies and he attacked them without dealing non lethal damage to them, taking them into negative hit points in a single blow. I suggested him to deal non lethal damage and she explained that with an INT of 8 her character didn't know that he could do that. When I told her that he should know she almost cried and accused me to be telling her how to roleplay her character.

She continued using her low INT as a justification to be disruptive and attempting to foil negotiations that the other PCs had. Finally I changed his alignment to CN and she was about to cry. I never asked her to stop roleplaying as she wanted, I just made consequences to happen, but she went mad as she couldn't see her character as anything but good.

Honestly, she roleplayed like CE in the worse way possible.

In my group of players it's difficult to find other female players. Here where I live most girls think that this is a mostly male hobbie and are a bit wary about trying it, specially in all male groups. I've had a few girls in my gaming group but none stayed long (the one I mentioned before mostly because she didn't fit, as everybody thought she craved for too much attention and didn't like her gaming style).

As a female gamer I fit into most stereotypes about being more interpretative, but most of my male players are like that too, so I don't think that it's a determining factor.

Silver Crusade

How can i get women to play in my campaign?

You go in front of any person who identifies herself as women, and ask her if she would be interested in playing.

Try to present the campaign as it is, bloody, holy, murdering hobos, political war, settlement development, etc.

If she is interested, she will play, if not, she wont.

You should not worry about selecting players based on anything except their interest in playing. Have a session 0, clarify their questions and make a statement saying that this is a game, no harass of any kind should be allowed, not having fun is forbidden, and enjoyment is a must.
If anyone is not agreed with that, that person can leave.

Personally i have played some games with different genders, there was nothing new that specific genders could add to the game that i havent seen on other players, regardless of gender.

Regards.-

Scarab Sages

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As some others said about hostility, if you want people to join, AND STAY, write up a small Code of Conduct, and post that for everyone who wants to join. Mention it when you advertise or talk to people. Make sure it mentions you are inclusive, diverse, x-friendly group and also what you will not tolerate: interrupting, harassment, etc. Finally you can even ask when people sign up if they have any triggers or topics they'd like to avoid.

(also a hint: DO NOT write or say anything that you wrote up there about why you want women. As you can tell, women don't like it.)

But with a code of conduct, you will eliminate anyone who does not want that environment, (and that might create a hostile environment for women, POCs, and LGBTQ people), and instead attract a more diverse playerbase. Because you send a message right away that you will protect players.

In addition, it gives you something in writing you can use to kick out troublemakers.


The best you can do is run a good game at a table where inappropriate behavior (this includes both the creep and the spotlight hog) doesn't get tolerated. You can't control other people's feelings.


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I did not read every post in particular, but guys...really? Writing a Code of conduct and creating safe spaces, so that women and men can Play a board game together?

This is no BDSM session (at east I hope so). It should be common sense to act appropriately in Society, no matter if with women or men.

In each of my Pathfinder Groups there is at least one woman, mostly about half of the Players. There has never been any issue regarding gender Problems. In fact sexual Topics are mostly initiated by the Girls, even the ones with a "harrassing" note.

But as I believe the question in this thread was not about gender studies and feminism, I'll add some tips that might help:

- People in general shy away from Groups of People whom they don't know. They like to Play with friends. So either try to get together lots of already established friend circles (or are you friends with each female individually?) or have some parties where you invite those you want in the Group. They might get to know each other in a one-time-Meeting and are not obliged to Play a whole campaign with guys they might not even like.
- start with smaller Groups. Maybe have some test gaming sessions so they become familiar with the mechanics. If my first Pathfinder round was with about 20 People, I might not have started in the first place.

Silver Crusade

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Safe word is what you're thinking of, not safe spaces. And no, it is not all that "common" so the willingness and calls for codes of conduct and creating of safe spaces for players is very much needed and the people who ask for such things should not be dismissed. Absolutely under no circumstances should a GM or player ever fell uncomfortable or unsafe while playing with other people.

Just because you haven't personally witnessed any problems does not mean these problems don't exist.


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Here's the thing about safety. People might not want to play in your giant game full of strangers because they don't feel safe in that situation. How do we combat that problem? We try to make them feel more comfortable in that situation. No amount of "you don't need my assurances that it's going to be fine" is going to make anybody feel better, particularly when these protestations take the place of assurances that things are going to be fine.

I mean, I'm lucky enough to be in a situation where when I game with people I don't already know, I'm able to insist that I GM for at least the initial session (run a one-shot say.)

But I want to underline that a Pathfinder game with 12-20 people is not exactly the standard way of playing, and having that many people might exacerbate a lot of problems, which is why one ought to be really proactive here. I'm not exactly sure why someone wants to run a game with that many people, but I'll just take that as an axiom.


Uhm, I'm playing in a world of darkness campaign that have quite a lot of players, perhaps more than 20. However, they don't go all the same day, I'm basically the only one that have not missed a single game in the last 4 months.

The campaign is quite open to new people. We play in a public place, and basically anyone that want to play can go and play. So we have new players regularly, including plenty of women.

So far, to my knowledge, no women have felt intimidated. I guess, not acting like weirdos, treating people like people and the DM treating players equally have been enough.


Based on 40+ years of gaming, stereotypes are there for a reason or reasons. Gaming women/girls are more likely to pay attention to the niceties of RP and politics than males as a rule. A wife was playing one night and asked all manner of 'stupid' questions the 'guys' had never thought to. They would happily focus on the first thing I mentioned and ignore everything else. Going back into a dungeon by the same path, She asked about 'silly' things like the walls. Turned out there were panels that folded back with shelves behind (just like the room we played in) revealing skipped loot. She also took time to learn the languages of the baddies.

'Guys', as a rule, fall into the Murder/Hobo mold so easily because it takes less effort. Guys are lazy that way. A femme M/H is a nightmare of death, ever alert for whatever it takes to be a touch deadlier. No post-adolescent male can equal the brutal efficiency of a lovingly crafted pet character of any of the females at our table. I don't object because they move the game along when some blowhard starts a spiel about a rule they don't like (last game nite).

Then again, the women that I know joke that sexual harassment will be noted...and graded!

And the 'mature' lasses at the table prefer to be called 'girls'! Then again, they all think they're still 18. All are grandmothers.

Scarab Sages

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Prof Lowenzahn writes: (stuff)

If the question is "how do we get people to play if they are the people who historically have complained about bad treatment?" Then yes; absolutely, the answer is to tell players up front you will not tolerate bad treatment of each other, because only then will those players who are loathe to join feel comfortable enough to try again.

Having a game that is friendly for anyone to join is not a given. And even in many cases the women that have played with us have already been through a process that weeded out other women that wanted to play but stopped. Some have even said "I'm like one of the guys". So pointing to them, or to our own experience, means little, because we have created cultures/groups around us that we are not aware of doing. And not everyone has experienced the same thing.

There are a LOT of people out there that have been abused, harassed, who have quit. Already you can point to Cons that get a rep for not protecting women are seeing their attendance fall. As long as every time Paizo or WOTC makes an effort to be inclusive we see the internet explode with rage, there is still a problem. We'll know we don't "need" to do these things when the complaints about doing them stop.

We already writeup what we expect of characters, telling people what we expect of players is not a big jump. It's no different than managing expectations.


Rysky wrote:
Absolutely under no circumstances should a GM or player ever fell uncomfortable or unsafe while playing with other people.

As a GM or player, I can set expectations for conduct and hold the rest of my table to them, but I can't make anyone feel comfortable. Likewise, I can make sure that a person is safe, but whether or not they feel unsafe is not under my control.

Just run a good game at a table where you ensure respectful, decent interpersonal conduct. If you do that, then you've done your part as a feminist/ally/whatever, no matter what the sex/gender ratio at your table ends up being.

Silver Crusade

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unforgivn wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Absolutely under no circumstances should a GM or player ever fell uncomfortable or unsafe while playing with other people.

As a GM or player, I can set expectations for conduct and hold the rest of my table to them, but I can't make anyone feel comfortable. Likewise, I can make sure that a person is safe, but whether or not they feel unsafe is not under my control.

Just run a good game at a table where you ensure respectful, decent interpersonal conduct. If you do that, then you've done your part as a feminist/ally/whatever, no matter what the sex/gender ratio at your table ends up being.

By taking steps to make sure the gaming space is safe and inclusive you can in fact make people feel comfortable and safe, not because your forcing them to feel safe, but because they genuinely feel safe coming into a welcoming and friendly enviroment.

That's what you should do as decent human being, not just because you give yourself a title and think of yourself in a certain way.


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Prof. Löwenzahn wrote:
I did not read every post in particular, but guys...really? Writing a Code of conduct and creating safe spaces, so that women and men can Play a board game together?

Don't mock it. It can be very valuable for groups that are comprised of people who do not know each other outside of the game.

It may be unnecessary overkill for a group where the players are all long-time friends with established boundaries. But if you are opening your group up to new folks outside that core friendship circle, then it is absolutely appropriate. It lets that outsider, who is stepping into a vulnerable position, know that an adult is minding the store.

Edited to add: It's not a coincidence that The Pathfinder Society has a formal code of conduct.


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A secondary benefit to instituting a code of conduct is that in case you get a new player who reacts vehemently against the notion of treating everybody else with respect and appropriate sensitivity (possibly ranting about "triggered snowflakes" or something), that's a pretty good indication that this person is probably not someone you want in your gaming group. It's good to catch those types of people early, I find.


Rysky wrote:

By taking steps to make sure the gaming space is safe and inclusive you can in fact make people feel comfortable and safe, not because your forcing them to feel safe, but because they genuinely feel safe coming into a welcoming and friendly enviroment.

That's what you should do as decent human being, not just because you give yourself a title and think of yourself in a certain way.

I don't think we really disagree in terms of how people should be expected to behave when in a gaming group (or just, you know, in general), but I think in this case you're still putting the GM and the table in the situation of, rather than being judged on their conduct, being judged based on the outcome. This serves to validate the ideas that it's somehow the GM's responsibility to try to attract people of one demographic or another and that failure to do so reflects poorly on the GM and their table. Needless to say, that's an idea that I strongly disagree with.

TL;DR I don't think the makeup of your table should be used to measure your success or failure as a GM.

Silver Crusade

unforgivn wrote:
Rysky wrote:

By taking steps to make sure the gaming space is safe and inclusive you can in fact make people feel comfortable and safe, not because your forcing them to feel safe, but because they genuinely feel safe coming into a welcoming and friendly enviroment.

That's what you should do as decent human being, not just because you give yourself a title and think of yourself in a certain way.

I don't think we really disagree in terms of how people should be expected to behave when in a gaming group (or just, you know, in general), but I think in this case you're still putting the GM and the table in the situation of, rather than being judged on their conduct, being judged based on the outcome. This serves to validate the ideas that it's somehow the GM's responsibility to try to attract people of one demographic or another and that failure to do so reflects poorly on the GM and their table. Needless to say, that's an idea that I strongly disagree with.

TL;DR I don't think the makeup of your table should be used to measure your success or failure as a GM.

It absolutely is the GM's and the group's responsibility to attract people, but I haven't mentioned anything about "success" or "failure" of GMs. I could care less if you as a GM "succeed" or "fail by whatever measure you put for yourself. If someone doesn't want to play because they are not interested, okay. But why are they uninterested? Do they find it boring? or If they do manage to say they wouldn't be comfortable then that means you should probably take a look at your group and how they act. If a specific demographic is avoiding you and your group that should probably tell you something.

Silver Crusade

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The absolute clunkiness of the original post aside, the amount of dismissiveness and defensiveness directed towards the question of "how can I make this space more inviting for women?" is really disheartening.


Rysky wrote:
It absolutely is the GM's and the group's responsibility to attract people,....

No it's not. Nobody have the responsibility to be gain the interests o other people to play in their games.

The Exchange

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steps in, looks around, opens mouth ... and just thinks better of saying anything. Just decides to walk away. Getting to old for this, most of this thread is just depressing...

Silver Crusade

Alexandros Satorum wrote:
Rysky wrote:
It absolutely is the GM's and the group's responsibility to attract people,....
No it's not. Nobody have the responsibility to be gain the interests o other people to play in their games.

Um yeah they kinda do if they want more people to join and play in their games. If you're not looking for more people it's a moot point. But if you are then you cannot sit around and simply hope more show up eventually.


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It's absolutely the GM's job to try to attract players -- a game that never has enough people to run productively should be a red flag to any GM -- but no, beyond the common decency that everyone here agrees should be part of every gaming experience, it's not anyone's job to try to attract specific types of people to a gaming table.

If a player says that the don't feel comfortable at a table that I'm a part of, then that immediately prompts me to evaluate what's going on at the table that I might not have noticed. It doesn't, however, compel me to agree with that player at all. If I take stock of the situation and don't find anything to be the problem, then hey, I'm sorry you feel uncomfortable and hope you find another table. No one is entitled to a seat at a game, and I have no interest in entertaining unreasonable demands for accommodation.

The same goes for claims of feeling unsafe. If there's a player at a table that has a history of harassment that I'm not aware of, or if there's some other threat to anyone's safety, then absolutely bring it to my attention. If harm were to somehow come to one of my fellow players as a result of participating in my game, then I would feel responsible for allowing that to happen. But if all a person can come up with is that they "feel unsafe" but can't give anything specific, then sorry, I hope you find a game that's more to your liking.

Other people's temperaments and/or mental health situations are not within my direct control, and I'm not going to put the rest of my table through a situation of feeling like they're walking on eggshells just to meet some arbitrary demographic quotas.


I heard Warhorn is a thing, maybe check that out.

Other than that, just ask. Women are people too, they want the same thing (fun) everyone else does. :-)

Sovereign Court

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Rysky wrote:
Alexandros Satorum wrote:
Rysky wrote:
It absolutely is the GM's and the group's responsibility to attract people,....
No it's not. Nobody have the responsibility to be gain the interests o other people to play in their games.
Um yeah they kinda do if they want more people to join and play in their games. If you're not looking for more people it's a moot point. But if you are then you cannot sit around and simply hope more show up eventually.

Totally true. If you are looking for players, it's up to you to make a game enticing - you cannot just wait for someone to knock on the door at your house and ask if you're running PF. You attract players on the basis of all kinds of things that you control, like:

* What game are you running? If you want Pathfinder players, run Pathfinder. This sounds obvious but it illuminates the fact that there are lots of choices that you make that affect what kinds of players you will get.
* Are you doing outreach? On play-by-post on the boards, people make Recruitment threads to let players know that they're running a game. People post on forums and Facebook and on the posterboards at local game stores to find players. If you want new players and you do nothing to let people know that you are looking for participants in a game, that's on you.
* Do people know what style of game you're running? If you are running a hardcore old-school "take 'em as they lie and maybe your character dies" game, this will appeal to a different player base than "we are telling an interactive story and when you decide to do things, your character can probably do them, but the important questions are about what you do and why you do it, not whether you can." So if you are running a game that has a very niche appeal then you will have to go out of your way to evangelize it and find the people who will like it.

And all that means that likewise...
* If you want women in your game, you need to make your game a safe and fun space for women. You need to recognize that there are common complaints that women in gaming deal with, and you have to be prepared to address them, and to let players know that you're going to address them. You have to convince them that your game is the game where they will have fun and they won't have to deal with garbage.


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captain yesterday wrote:

I heard Warhorn is a thing, maybe check that out.

Other than that, just ask. Women are people too, they want the same thing (fun) everyone else does. :-)

Basically this. We run 2 or 3 tables every Wednesday at our FLGS, and every week we have 3-6 female players from across the age spectrum. Just run a good game and be good to each other. If your table fills consistently, then you're doing it right.


Would running a game where the group is all women be possible?

Then after they are introduced to the genre and game system and comfortable with RPing (I am assuming these are all new to the pastime, correct me if I am wrong) then you could introduce the players to other groups?


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nosig wrote:
steps in, looks around, opens mouth ... and just thinks better of saying anything. Just decides to walk away. Getting to old for this, most of this thread is just depressing...

The stories of history can be depressing (especially when you learn about history that is measured in weeks and months instead of years), but positive, productive discussion about how to make tomorrow better than yesterday are always a good thing. Heightening awareness is always a good thing.

Of course, awareness is nothing without action, but I see movement in the right direction out there. Sometimes it is frustratingly slow, and sometimes there are setbacks, but the movement is there.

It also helps to get these regular reminders that "improvement" does not equal "solved" so that we, as a community, do not get complacent.


Bwang wrote:

Based on 40+ years of gaming, stereotypes are there for a reason or reasons. Gaming women/girls are more likely to pay attention to the niceties of RP and politics than males as a rule. A wife was playing one night and asked all manner of 'stupid' questions the 'guys' had never thought to. They would happily focus on the first thing I mentioned and ignore everything else. Going back into a dungeon by the same path, She asked about 'silly' things like the walls. Turned out there were panels that folded back with shelves behind (just like the room we played in) revealing skipped loot. She also took time to learn the languages of the baddies.

'Guys', as a rule, fall into the Murder/Hobo mold so easily because it takes less effort. Guys are lazy that way. A femme M/H is a nightmare of death, ever alert for whatever it takes to be a touch deadlier. No post-adolescent male can equal the brutal efficiency of a lovingly crafted pet character of any of the females at our table. I don't object because they move the game along when some blowhard starts a spiel about a rule they don't like (last game nite).

Then again, the women that I know joke that sexual harassment will be noted...and graded!

And the 'mature' lasses at the table prefer to be called 'girls'! Then again, they all think they're still 18. All are grandmothers.

Not sure if serious.......


have you tried asking?


I really like the idea of a code of conduct for the game. That will be instituted regardless on who ends up playing.

On another note, I do kind of feel like the success or failure of my ability as a GM is to pull people in and retain their interest. Dungeons and Dragons / Pathfinder is a huge part of my identity, and probably my primary hobby at the moment. I really love introducing people to this game and watching the realization on their face when they learn they can do anything in a world I've built for them, and tearing down the walls of the fat kid satin worshipper basement dweller is something is important to me. For whatever reason, no game i've ever run has had a single woman make it past character creation. If I can't learn how to interest a group of people that encompasses half the world's population than I must be doing something wrong and that's unacceptable to me.

Also since people keep bringing it up and I havent put it this way in the thread yet: I totally acknowledge that I f!+@ed up in the way I stereotyped people earlier and I'm sorry about that. Won't happen again.


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Rysky wrote:


The absolute clunkiness of the original post aside, the amount of dismissiveness and defensiveness directed towards the question of "how can I make this space more inviting for women?" is really disheartening.

You'd probably have more success if you looked at this from both sides of the debate.

People who feel like they are doing everything they can reasonably be expected to do and still find that they are having limited success feel that they're being scorned for having limited success. In spite of the fact they're doing everything they can reasonably do, they're feeling judged for the outcome not the input. Beyond doing everything they can (which they feel they have done) there is nothing more they can do, so scorning them for failure isn't really fair.

I think from reading this thread over again thats why people are getting offended.

That is just what I'd gathered from reading the thread and I might be well off but I think that is why you and the OP are getting the response you perceive to be negative.

EDIT: to put it another way, your not giving the people who're doing their best any credit, rather simply scorning them for failing.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

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Hey, OP. What's up?

Alright, now that we've established a casual tone, you can read everything I'm gonna say in a nice, conversational way.

First off, kudos for running a West Marches campaign. They seem neat, although yours seems to have developed under different circumstances than the original one.

I think you're moving in the right direction. That includes both your initial drive to figure out how to make a more inviting and inclusive environment and the way you've handled the (admittedly not always subtle) criticisms and advice you've provoked in this thread.

It sounds like we can latch onto a concrete example here to work on: you have a friend who is interested in playing, but she's worried about being the only woman there. Now, this problem is compounded in an interesting way by the West Marches format. If I remember the West Marches rules I read a while back, it is supposed to be the responsibility of the players to handle the work of scheduling the game. However, this rule was developed in the context of having a bunch of players clamoring to play, whereas you seem to be doing a lot more outreach.

Here comes the recommendation: you already have one woman interested in playing - ask her for recommendations. If she wants to play, she probably knows other folks who would be interested, but haven't had the opportunity. This also plays well into the West Marches style, in that you can coordinate the scheduling of this game such that you don't have to include anyone in particular. It could be a group of just your one friend and her invitees. That way you can avoid their anxiety of trying to play an RPG with random dudes (especially for those who have no or little experience). Be explicit when you bring this up that you want to make that friend more comfortable. Encourage her not to invite any men or masc folks.

Again, double kudos: West Marches is neat, and thanks for being open to some social criticism. Good luck!


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:


People who feel like they are doing everything they can reasonably be expected to do and still find that they are having limited success feel that they're being scorned for having limited success. In spite of the fact they're doing everything they can reasonably do, they're feeling judged for the outcome not the input. Beyond doing everything they can (which they feel they have done) there is nothing more they can do, so scorning them for failure isn't really fair.

Agreed and seconded. As long as one tries their best that is all one can do. As much as I would want more female gamers in our group I'm also not going to bend over backwards to do so either. If I need more players I put up ads online asking for a male or female player(s) to join. That's it. If I get new players so much the better if not and the game falls apart because of not enough members in the group that's life.

The Exchange

I've been trying really hard to avoid posting on this thread - but I guess I just have a low WIS (poor Will Save) and I feel compelled to post a couple of comments...

About the usage of gender specific pronouns... Current American English has a shortage I have noticed in the past. Perhaps all fellow gamers out on the boards can help me out here...

When speaking of a group of "Male Humans", a person (me) will normally say one of three words. "Men" and "Boys" are the words that have (sort of) corresponding words for "Female Humans" (those words are "Women" and "Girls").

Then the word "Guys" pops up. Normally considered to refer to "Male Humans", though I have been known to use it to refer to a group of Humans including members of other genders.

derailing tangent:

and have been forcefully "corrected" by an individual who I had included in the group. They didn't want to be referred to by that "gender specific" term... so at that point I fell back to using the term "Citizens" - felt like I was in a game of Paranoia. "Youse Guys need to..." became "Friend Citizens, the Computer would like you to..."

What term corresponds to "Guys" when talking about persons of a "non-male" gender? I really don't think "Dolls" is going to work...

"Men and women" - "Boys and girls" - "Guys and..."?

Or do we just need to start referring to each other as "Citizen"? (I'm going to feel like I'm playing in an RPG set in the Paris Commune of 1871...).

Perhaps "Ladies and gentlemen..."? Seems like a mouthful. I am (partly) from the South, so I guess I could say "Y'all..."... yeah, that might work.

Silver Crusade

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Nosig,

Some women are fine with 'guys,' especially if you make a comment the first time you use it. The corresponding term I've heard is 'gals,' often used as 'guys and gals.'


Gals? is there a consensus on how people feel about Gals?

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