Character Sexuality


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Silver Crusade

So it seems that Pathfinder is a system that doesn't shy away from the fact that sex is not only a thing, but something that people do (and enjoy doing).
Anyway, that's not my question. My question is how do you handle character sexuality, personally or as a GM. I'm wondering because before he met me, my Fiance rarely thought of that aspect of his characters. What about you, oh internet?


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General assumption (that's basically shared by Paizo) for me is that everyone's bi unless said otherwise. At least when I'm behind the screen. Easiest to deal with and grants players with the maximum amount of waifus/husbandos.

Off the screen I tend to follow my own poison, so bi chars abound.


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It depends entirely on the preferences and comfort level of the group (after all this is a game you can plausibly run for 8-year olds).

But, for example, my regular college D&D group rolled 1d8-1 for Kinsey score (reroll 8s, consecutive 8s roll on a subtable) with racial modifiers (elves are shifted one towards the middle, dwarves are shifted one to the nearest extreme.)

As a matter of course, I use the X-Card system to cut off anything that makes anybody at the table uncomfortable. With that as a safety net, you can let things fall where they may.

Silver Crusade

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Tarik Blackhands wrote:

General assumption (that's basically shared by Paizo) for me is that everyone's bi unless said otherwise. At least when I'm behind the screen. Easiest to deal with and grants players with the maximum amount of waifus/husbandos.

Off the screen I tend to follow my own poison, so bi chars abound.

I approve of your brand of poison. So far I've had bi characters, a gay character who stayed gay, and a gay character who turned out to be a little more Jack Harkness than expected. Oh and an Asexual character. And a 16 year old kineticist who spends 90% of her time as a fox and became very disturbed when the two low charisma characters in the party were forced to disrobe because of a magic whammy.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

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Since the subject of diverse sexualities has not always gone smoothly on our forum, I'd like to take a moment to remind everyone that if you cannot be tolerant of folks that identify outside of heterosexuality, you are welcome to leave this discussion. Bigotry, bickering and intolerance to/of/about this subject will be removed. If someone makes remarks that are offensive flag it, do not engage and move on.

Silver Crusade

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Sara Marie wrote:
Since the subject of diverse sexualities has not always gone smoothly on our forum, I'd like to take a moment to remind everyone that if you cannot be tolerant of folks that identify outside of heterosexuality, you are welcome to leave this discussion. Bigotry, bickering and intolerance to/of/about this subject will be removed. If someone makes remarks that are offensive flag it, do not engage and move on.

Thank you for that. I will make sure to ignore any farts, because I know where those come from.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I don't usually decide on a character's sexuality at creation, but it often becomes apparent as I play them. Often other character traits lend themselves to a certain sexual identity. I've had gay, bi, and straight characters.

I'd say my baseline is mostly asexual until it comes up, though.


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Real RPers determine sexuality by rolling d% at creation and comparing it to overall census rates to figure out where they land on the Kinsley Scale.

I am not a real RPer, however, so I just sort of decide based on an arbitrary sense of 'what seems right' and go from there. As a result I have one gunslinger who is a little too into explosions, and the bigger the better.


KingOfAnything wrote:

I don't usually decide on a character's sexuality at creation, but it often becomes apparent as I play them. Often other character traits lend themselves to a certain sexual identity. I've had gay, bi, and straight characters.

I'd say my baseline is mostly asexual until it comes up, though.

Opposite for me. If I plan on diverging from my usual mold, it's usually something that's baked in from the start. I had a paladin that I basically set up from the start to be asexual (seeking familial redemption/retribution, can't go distracting yourself from the task!). Guess it boils down to what you consider important about your char's background and where you consider default in terms of sexuality.


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KingOfAnything wrote:

I don't usually decide on a character's sexuality at creation, but it often becomes apparent as I play them. Often other character traits lend themselves to a certain sexual identity. I've had gay, bi, and straight characters.

I'd say my baseline is mostly asexual until it comes up, though.

Occasionally I have a concept that will only work with a certain sexual preference, but for the most part this is more or less how I and my players make their PCs. As was said above, when I GM i write all the NPCs as bi unless I have a reason not to. My CotCT game basically became one big dating sim with some adventuring speckled in between as a result.


I tend to assume my character is bi unless I have a specific idea in my head during character creation towards their sexuality
Which is atypical for me.


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Sexuality rarely comes up at my game table. About the most that gets brought up is "My character is married/has a significant/etc" with the specific pronoun in place that to convey gender.

Honestly we don't spend time on it because we don't have time to focus on each individual character's preferences (and it would be boring for the other players).

So other than maybe a brief mention of it, it doesn't really come up.

If for some reason their is a NPC that is romanced, it's usually a fade to black moment and we skip ahead. Again, other players aren't interested in exploring your sexuality at the expense of their game time.


I've played a bunch, but since I'm bi that's my default. I've played gay, straight, and aesexual as well. Some characters I know as I build, others it's not an issue I think about until it comes up in story.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As long as there's no Magical Realm crap going on, it doesn't really matter.

Silver Crusade

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Sexuality is rarely a major component in the games I've played/run. Not by design, as far as I know, but just because it's not something anyone was significantly concerned with in the context of the game. Flirtation is probably the most saucy it gets.


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KingOfAnything wrote:

I don't usually decide on a character's sexuality at creation, but it often becomes apparent as I play them. Often other character traits lend themselves to a certain sexual identity. I've had gay, bi, and straight characters.

I'd say my baseline is mostly asexual until it comes up, though.

My approach has been very similar to this. Occasionally, my character's sexuality is part of their character concept (I've played a character that was part of a husband/wife duo, and another character that was designed as a flamboyant playboy vigilante), but much of the time, the character ends up "telling me" their sexuality over time through roleplay.

I was extremely surprised to discover, for instance, that one of my most iconic characters (Gulthor, my Hellknight in Wrath of the Righteous) was gay. I hadn't given any thought to his sexuality until he was hit on by a female NPC and I realized that he had absolutely no interest in women at all, and would be far more interested and comfortable in the presence of other men.

I've had asexual, bisexual, and homosexual characters over the years, though as a cisgendered heterosexual male, most of my characters tend to default to cisgendered heterosexual characters.


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It depends on the game. Most fade to black after flirting and once it has been determined where things are going, so to speak. We've had a wide assortment of different sexuality over the many games and many years, with the broadest assortment coming on one of my trips through college years ago. My own characters, on those rare occasions I get to play, vary as well depending on the character's background and decisions made when creating them.


This usually isn't a thing in my group. An occasional "so bad its good" pick up line/flirt may come up, but that's it. Sex did come up in a Call of Cthulu game, but only to distract someone while we ransacked her office. Aside from jokes, we just glossed over the event.

Sex/sexual preference won't come up when I'm GMing unless the players bring it up (probably).

My characters basically end up asexual. More important and interesting things to do than shag some random character. If I were to play a worshiper of Calistria, Arshea, Noticula or other similar deities I'd choose while writing the backstory.


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It's an amusing situation to watch when characters get something like the Shard of Lust artifact from the Shards of Sin.

Spoiler:
Shard of Lust (Major Artifact)
Aura overwhelming enchantment; CL 25th
Slot none; Weight 1 lb.
DESCRIPTION
The Shard of Lust is made of a deep red djezet alloy. As long as the Shard of Lust is carried, its owner can use suggestion as a spell-like ability once per day, gains a +2 insight bonus on saves versus enchantment spells, and gains a +4 insight bonus on Initiative checks.

Curse: The owner becomes narcissistic, and is sickened whenever he has not engaged in sexual relations with another creature within the past 12 hours. While the owner wears any sort of armor or magic item that occupies the body slot, he is staggered.

Make sure you keep a wand of Unseen Servant handy. And if your GM quibbles over whether it's a creature, threaten to buy a wand of Mount instead.


Sexual preferences are not something I include in my characters at creation. I generally wait for the character to tell me what their preferences are.

So far only three of my Pathfinders have given any indications: My monk is asexual/demiromantic; my sorcerer is very much bi, but she's very professional and saves any hanky-panky for off-duty; and my kitsune has shown an interest in women, though I don't know how he feels about men yet.


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I've had some pushy gm's in the past regarding IC sexual content and its resulted in some of the worst and most uncomfortable rp experiences in my life, so now i go out of my way to make non-sexual characters (very young, very old, hideous, nonhuman etc etc) and if the gm doesn't take the hint from that I tend to just ghost the table.

Silver Crusade

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Ryan Freire wrote:
I've had some pushy gm's in the past regarding IC sexual content and its resulted in some of the worst and most uncomfortable rp experiences in my life, so now i go out of my way to make non-sexual characters (very young, very old, hideous, nonhuman etc etc) and if the gm doesn't take the hint from that I tend to just ghost the table.

That was NOT cool of them.


Mystic_Snowfang wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
I've had some pushy gm's in the past regarding IC sexual content and its resulted in some of the worst and most uncomfortable rp experiences in my life, so now i go out of my way to make non-sexual characters (very young, very old, hideous, nonhuman etc etc) and if the gm doesn't take the hint from that I tend to just ghost the table.
That was NOT cool of them.

Nope but its also a more common event than discussions of it would indicate because most (5 of 7) of the people ive talked to who've undergone the same sort of discomfort at a gaming table do like I did, and just ghost it for a different group or hobby.


I've always played it that sexuality is something you define in making your character.

Silver Crusade

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Ryan Freire wrote:
Mystic_Snowfang wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
I've had some pushy gm's in the past regarding IC sexual content and its resulted in some of the worst and most uncomfortable rp experiences in my life, so now i go out of my way to make non-sexual characters (very young, very old, hideous, nonhuman etc etc) and if the gm doesn't take the hint from that I tend to just ghost the table.
That was NOT cool of them.
Nope but its also a more common event than discussions of it would indicate because most (5 of 7) of the people ive talked to who've undergone the same sort of discomfort at a gaming table do like I did, and just ghost it for a different group or hobby.

The table I play at is pretty comfortable with sexuality (with my character dragging off an NPC at one point because there was a good chance everyone would die).

We're also very comfortable with the scatological. And Monty Python.

But they don't mix with the sexuality portion.


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If you're not mixing monty python with your sexuality you are objectively doing it wrong.

Silver Crusade

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Ryan Freire wrote:
I've had some pushy gm's in the past regarding IC sexual content and its resulted in some of the worst and most uncomfortable rp experiences in my life, so now i go out of my way to make non-sexual characters (very young, very old, hideous, nonhuman etc etc) and if the gm doesn't take the hint from that I tend to just ghost the table.

Yeah, forced role play is generally pretty awkward, forced sexual role play is downright wrong. I've done it in LARP settings, and the chemistry really has to be organic, otherwise it's just super uncomfortable or super creepy.


I just ask the GM if my paladin of Arshea gets the "could feasibly be attracted to me" bonus to diplomacy or not. I've seen that handled a number of different ways, including tossing a die vs the Kinsey scale.

Silver Crusade

RealAlchemy wrote:
I just ask the GM if my paladin of Arshea gets the "could feasibly be attracted to me" bonus to diplomacy or not. I've seen that handled a number of different ways, including tossing a die vs the Kinsey scale.

My Tiefling has that. Didn't help that most of the people he was around were irritatingly homophobic (and dudes). But they WERE bad guys. Of course, he can toss out a +14 diplomacy check with ease.


My characters are generally monosexually attracted to the opposite sex. One or two have been asexual, or maybe just haven't found anybody there's interested in. And then there was the priestess of Lamashtu in Skull and Shackles, who had ... interesting dreams about krakens.

Our table generally does "romantic attraction exists and can be engaged in; details are usually fade-to-black."

Silver Crusade

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tonyz wrote:

My characters are generally monosexually attracted to the opposite sex. One or two have been asexual, or maybe just haven't found anybody there's interested in. And then there was the priestess of Lamashtu in Skull and Shackles, who had ... interesting dreams about krakens.

Our table generally does "romantic attraction exists and can be engaged in; details are usually fade-to-black."

Yeah at the table we've got that rule too.

Of course I'm going to be MARRYING the GM in a couple of months, so yeah there is that.


My tables are mixed men and women but no LGBT folk. Sexuality tends to come up very seldom behind adventure, political intrigue, and exploration. Sometimes there is romance and coupling, but its flirt and then fade to black for sex.

So far all my characters have been straight both male and female. I thought about exploring different sexuality, but my table doesnt handle this well. (I got a couple guys that like to make supermodel lesbian characters) so attempts would turn out to be caricatures and highly offensive. Fortunetely, the group is excellent at other aspects of RP and takes the game seriously and are hella fun.

Silver Crusade

World's most interesting Pan wrote:

My tables are mixed men and women but no LGBT folk. Sexuality tends to come up very seldom behind adventure, political intrigue, and exploration. Sometimes there is romance and coupling, but its flirt and then fade to black for sex.

So far all my characters have been straight both male and female. I thought about exploring different sexuality, but my table doesnt handle this well. (I got a couple guys that like to make supermodel lesbian characters) so attempts would turn out to be caricatures and highly offensive. Fortunetely, the group is excellent at other aspects of RP and takes the game seriously and are hella fun.

You could try making an asexual character if you wanted to try something outside of your norm and wanted to avoid stereotypes.


It doesn't come up very often in my games - I play games that tend to be more about fantasy and adventure than romance, although I have no problem with people who want more social content - but I do tend to note my characters' preferences and interests for the occasional times when it's mechanically relevant.


I've rarely had sexuality pop up in game, but recently had a series of sexual encounters crop up naturally in the course of the game. It wasn't planned, but it has been interesting and has added a humorous element that I did not anticipate.


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Man, I was really expecting the trolls to have hit this thread by now. Keep up the good discussion, guys.

A more on topic note, I usually have some idea of where my character's preferences might lie before the question comes up. Granted, this is mostly a range between heterosexual, asexual, or too odd to place on a traditional spectrum. My group has been very good about playing various sexualities well and handling sex with a level of levity, maturity, and humor.


In our campaigns, romance exists but anything beyond that is fade to black. I generally don't think about my characters' sexualities until circumstances arise in-game. During downtime, the GM may ask if characters are interested in meeting someone and/or roll to see if any NPCs express an interest in a PC.

That said, after years of adventuring together, my bard and another player's ranger got married. He (the bard) is pretty and she (the ranger) kicks butt; it's an interesting pairing. I also have a female drow wizard who has had dalliances with men and women but is far more interested in acquiring power than a mate.

Finally, I had a rogue who was gay and was smitten with the party monk (the rogue liked broad shoulders and the monk often wore nothing but a loincloth---who says chaotic and lawful alignments can't find common ground).

Silver Crusade

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Master Han Del of the Web wrote:
Man, I was really expecting the trolls to have hit this thread by now. Keep up the good discussion, guys.

In my experience here, the threads on "controversial" topics like sex, race, abortion, etc seem to go relatively smoothly with only occasional trolls (granted, I haven't read every thread, so YMMV). It's the rules things that seem to really get things heated. Jumping over a 10' pit, hide in plain sight, anything about Paladins; those are the dangerous threads.


Quote:
My question is how do you handle character sexuality, personally or as a GM.

I can't see how something other than flirt-fade-to-black would work out well for most groups.

To RP sexuality seriously and significantly would push things into the My Guy territory. Right? Like who here has rushed romance and had success? To do it right would suck up too much time at the table.

I guess if you had only two players and their characters were into each other?

Still, not my thing to RP sex and related actions. If I want romance I'll watch this.

Silver Crusade

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I am rather amused that to so many sexuality boils down to "who does my character want to bump uglies with"


I've had ace, straight, and pan characters before. Like some others, it tends to be an unknown variable until it comes up. Then there's the play-by-text I'm trying to set up where the party is trapped in a demiplane run by a succubus >.>


In my perspective, there are three potential answers to character sexuality: yes, no, and hell no.

Yes is "whatever, its cool". This tends towards the 'assume bi, and just go with whatever people are up for'. I might tend away from graphic depictions of anything, of course- no, I don't need to know why your rogue has a whip....

No is 'lets just skip that, and keep things civil'. This is the assumption when there might be disagreements, or possible discomfort, with various forms of sexuality. If there might be problems with one person's sexuality, then I avoid everyone's, since singling out isn't cool.

Hell no is the 'lets glaze over the orc and lamashtu sections of this adventure and kill some dragons'. This is when there are.... issues. Table top RPGs like this tend to be dark (since there is only so much you can fight in the happy gumdrop forest), and thus they can encounter some dark themes. Obviously... not everyone is comfortable with that. So just focus on other themes- violence, theft, betrayal, ambition, etc.

I suppose there could also be a theoretical 'hell yeah', in that things get crazy. But besides a good old grapple with a succubus, I wouldn't be personally comfortable enough to do this with anyone.


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I don't usually think of my character's sexuality before I start playing them unless it is an important part of their concept. I'd rather explore it in game and see what comes.

My changeling had strong impulses towards males, which came from her green hag heritage. And her impulses weren't exactly healthy as they compelled her to cause harm. But she never fully gave to that impulses and was able to enjoy with a male. But she ended falling for a woman, and I was surprised, as I had thought of her as straight because her impulses were directed only towards males. In the end she was uninterested on anyone but her female lover. As she found out, her impulses weren't all her own, but imposed by her hag mother.

My ninja started her story as a prostitute (her disguise to infiltrate the town) and she had sex with anyone, men or women, as she had such detachment from her own self that she saw her body as a tool. She didn't enjoy sex nor she depised it. But he ended having feelings for a male and finally came out as a straight female despite having had sex with women too.

So as characters don't stop surprising me and I love it, I don't label them and let them develope in the most interesting way for them and the story.

As a GM I never take assumptions on what the PCs or NPCs are as soon as it isn't pretty obvious (and even then, I am always open to the option that a straight or gay character could end being bisexual in the end) and let the story talk for itself.

I love seeing the characters grow up and develope, so I don't try to label or limitate them.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Most of my characters are heterosexual and cisgendered, because having not so much as gone on a date since 2006, I kinda don't have the subject at the forefront of my brain most of the time and revert to societal defaults because I'm honestly not that interested in the subject.

The exceptions are the result of conscious choices which are made, generally as a thought exercise (for example, in the fan-run Winter Court 5, my Daigotsu bushi was an essentially aromantic near-asexual, just to watch her bounce off of people in a cultural setting where you're supposed to get married and produce children).


Kileanna wrote:

I don't usually think of my character's sexuality before I start playing them unless it is an important part of their concept. I'd rather explore it in game and see what comes.

My changeling had strong impulses towards males, which came from her green hag heritage. And her impulses weren't exactly healthy as they compelled her to cause harm. But she never fully gave to that impulses and was able to enjoy with a male. But she ended falling for a woman, and I was surprised, as I had thought of her as straight because her impulses were directed only towards males. In the end she was uninterested on anyone but her female lover. As she found out, her impulses weren't all her own, but imposed by her hag mother.

My ninja started her story as a prostitute (her disguise to infiltrate the town) and she had sex with anyone, men or women, as she had such detachment from her own self that she saw her body as a tool. She didn't enjoy sex nor she depised it. But he ended having feelings for a male and finally came out as a straight female despite having had sex with women too.

So as characters don't stop surprising me and I love it, I don't label them and let them develope in the most interesting way for them and the story.

As a GM I never take assumptions on what the PCs or NPCs are as soon as it isn't pretty obvious (and even then, I am always open to the option that a straight or gay character could end being bisexual in the end) and let the story talk for itself.

I love seeing the characters grow up and develope, so I don't try to label or limitate them.

Pretty much this.

I don't usually think about a characters sexuality from the outset, but let it develop during the game, if it feel like it would be appropriate to that character and that particular game.
They tend to end up Straight or Bi, though...


I'd just assume the character has the same sexuality as the player. That should give a fairly accurate representation of different sexualities at your table.

But personally, I usually stay away from sexuality at the game table, because I don't want to gross everyone out. I assume sex is something that happens in the background, like shaving or going to the bathroom.


Mystic_Snowfang wrote:
World's most interesting Pan wrote:

My tables are mixed men and women but no LGBT folk. Sexuality tends to come up very seldom behind adventure, political intrigue, and exploration. Sometimes there is romance and coupling, but its flirt and then fade to black for sex.

So far all my characters have been straight both male and female. I thought about exploring different sexuality, but my table doesnt handle this well. (I got a couple guys that like to make supermodel lesbian characters) so attempts would turn out to be caricatures and highly offensive. Fortunetely, the group is excellent at other aspects of RP and takes the game seriously and are hella fun.

You could try making an asexual character if you wanted to try something outside of your norm and wanted to avoid stereotypes.

Most of my exotic races end up being asexual, that has more to do with lack of opportunity than anything else. I also second the motion that I don't start with a detailed backstory, personality, or sexuality of a character, but let that develop through play. I think id need the right table to explore further and I don't have that right now.

Liberty's Edge

My characters are (usually) technically straight, but functionally asexual as I'm not interested in that side of roleplaying.

For the last couple of years though, I've been the GM so it's been the Pathfinder standard of NPCs are bi unless otherwise stated. Anything blatant is still "fade to black" though.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The PC admiral in our Skull and Shackles campaign has flirted with, cajoled, or threatened nearly all of the NPCs she has ever encountered. She has since slept with several characters of both sexes, both for pleasure and for favors (even got a hefty discount from Old Rickety Squibb!). She long ago earned the monicker "Whore Queen" for her penchant of rescuing women in bad situations and turning them to a life of piracy. Her fleet is called "The Whore's Own," her flagship "The War Wench" and her most powerful squadron "The Ride Tide" which is lead by their first ship, now dubbed "The Moist Wench."

Our group (all men and women in their early 30s) generally practices a "fade to black" narrative when such things occur, not due to comfort issues, but more to get on with the story and action.

Probably the most uncomfortable thing I've ever encountered while roleplaying was when my female halfling sorcerer was captured by evil men, stripped nude and repeatedly tortured/violated while suspended off the ground by chains in a dungeon. The GM was a gifted story teller, but was a little too vivid in his descriptions for the table's comfort. What's worse, I didn't have any say in the matter. Totally didn't feel like my character after that. Anyways, my halfling escaped soon after, then picked up Silent Spell and Still Spell so that, that could never happen to her again.

I like to think that, that experience is why we do "fade to black" now at our table. The GM remains on good terms with us, hosting the occasional (less vivid) game for us even today.

I personally have played characters of both genders that were straight, gay, or bi, as well as transgendered characters, cross dressers, and characters without gender (both with and without any sexual interest in gender). Such choices have surprisingly little impact/focus in our games though.


I guess heterosexuality is the norm in most tables I've played/DMed. However sexuality doesn't come as often, there have been plenty of Pc/NPCs that could be one way or the other and I would never know.

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