How common is this? A woman's bad experience at a Pathfinder Society session


Pathfinder Society

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I'm extremely new to RPGs (be it Pathfinder or anything, really), so I've no background for this question. I ran across a reference to Mysty Vander's account of an extremely distressing experience at a Pathfinder Society session:

see here, at Aspiring Halfing

A friend who is more closely connected in the Pathfinder Society assured me the wheels are turning at Paizo to try to address this event (I do realize that whatever Paizo does, there will be a lot of ramifications, so they've got to be deliberative).

But I'm wondering: does this happen often? Have others experienced this?

4/5 Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

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I'm afraid so. Not often, but I've seen it happen. I was at a table with a woman (early-mid 20s) with her level 2 character, and because she was low-level, the GM assumed she didn't know much about the system and used a really condescending tone to her, as if she was 12. During a break I got to chat with her and she said she'd been in a home campaign for 2-3 years now, and she definitely knew the rules.

Something similar happens with Magic: the Gathering. Also a male-dominated hobby, I've seen men get beaten by women purely because they underestimated them. I know by now that age and gender are no indication of capabilities. I've been beaten by kids still in primary school. It's just a bit sad that just because of gender, people don't give you a chance at proving yourself.

I wanted to add platitudes like "only jerks do that," and "if you look around for a bit, you'll find people who aren't like that," but that's no help to you. But then again, neither is clamming up. But yeah, even though I didn't say anything in my example, there are people who look out for this sort of stuff, and there will be consequences. I just hope it doesn't happen to you.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

*reminds self to trim said neckbeard*

In the grand scheme of things, Paizo is probably the best company suited to address this sort of occurrence. They're run by a diverse group of individuals with a woman in charge of the company and the PFS side. They publish inclusive scenarios and adventures with diverse characters. More so than I've ever experienced in other gaming systems.

And not just the gender divide. Their stories include positive depictions of race, age, ability and orientation. As a gay man, I feel included whenever I encounter a gay protagonist or a same sex couple where their orientation isn't the focus of them being there.

The company has provided the framework for acceptance. It's just up to the players and local venues to adopt it. Understandably at different rates across the country.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Eastern Eurasia-Africa

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Check out the Community Behavior Policy.

4/5 Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

Okay, I've had a chat with my RVC, and I need to stress that in my example the GM might've been just a jerk in general, not specifically towards women. Said GM has been jerky towards me as well, so it might just have been a case of him being himself, rather than being misogynistic. Not sure if that helps or not, but yeah.

3/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

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I can speak only for my experiences and no one else's, even locally.

I actually showed up to a PFS game only because, once I registered on the Warhorn, I could see other women signed up for the same event. There was not only another woman playing in the same game as me, but a woman was GMing one of the other tables. I had a fantastic experience and I immediately knew that I'd be back.

I was still a little bit nervous; there were a lot of different people playing locally and it was mostly men. Someone suggested I talk to Pirate Rob, who had then just recently stepped down from being VC. I still remember Rob saying that he felt like he could vouch for 95% of local players, but that he couldn't vouch for everyone and that he wouldn't necessarily know if someone was an issue. I remember feeling very reassured that he acknowledged that, and I always felt like Rob would believe me if I did have an issue. (Incidentally, Rob, I'm not sure if I ever mentioned how much that conversation meant to me but thank you. Also, organizers, this is a much better answer than "That doesn't happen here.")

I kept attending PFS events. A couple months in, I went to a game with Venture-Captains John and Wendy-Ann Francis, and I got to ask Wendy-Ann about her experiences, which had generally been positive.

Two years later, I play what I've described as an "unhealthy" amount of PFS, and I have a VA title of my own. After playing dozens and dozens of games, there have been small issues here and there, but I've found most people knock it off with a brief correction. When I did have a problem with a player (I was actually the GM for the game), I reported it up the Venture-Officer chain. It was taken seriously, and the situation was handled swiftly and to my satisfaction. Thankfully, I've never experienced anything like what was described in the linked story.

In my experience, PFS has been a very welcoming environment. I hope that more women try it out, but I totally understand the fear of what could happen, and I suspect most women who play Pathfinder do so exclusively in home games with people they already know. For me at least, I'm so glad I was brave enough to try it out and got to discover and become a part of the wonderful community here.


Thanks for the responses, all. This is encouraging.

If it wasn't clear above: I myself happen to be a dude. But I have immense respect for Paizo (confession: I'm an active PACG player), and it's important to me that egregious behavior is not allowed to run rampant.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

In my local lodge, nor in any Con games that I have played, have I seen any poor treatment to player because of their gender. I have not really seen any poor behavior really.

I can imagine it happening. The only way to combat it is for others, males and females, to stand up to the person and let them know that what they are doing is not acceptable. If it is the GM, everyone at the table should stand up and leave if the GM does not change immediately.

Scarab Sages 5/5

As a VC, I saw very, very few instances of poor behavior, and those I did see were pretty innocuous (if any can be classified as such) compared to the story linked in the OP. And when those minor issues did crop up, I addressed it right away, and from what I saw after the fact, the issue cleaned itself up. The individual was not aware that their actions were affecting the woman GM as they did, and so from that point onward, they used that newly gained awareness to do better.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

Nefreet wrote:


The company has provided the framework for acceptance. It's just up to the players and local venues to adopt it. Understandably at different rates across the country.

I feel like Paizo doesn't do a particularly good job of providing a complete framework. The severity of harassment that they have to deal with is not something they should be hoping players and local venues should adopt more than force.

Edit:
Mainly I've seen this be an issue on the forum.

The Exchange 1/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

My children and I have played PFS for almost two years now. We play regularly at our local lodge as well as Conventions. I have a pretty 19 y/o daughter and four boys. My daughter has never told me she has ever had a problem with any GM's or players. I nor any of my children have ever seen or experienced anything like what was described in the article in question. Perhaps we have been fortunate, perhaps we live/play in a good area I don't know. We have attended about 12 Cons in three states over the last year and a half, playing in dozens of games and have never seen or experienced behavior like that. Hopefully we never will! I will not tolerate behavior like that at tables I GM or play at and my children have been raised the same way.
I personally believe that, at least in PFS, these are isolated incidence and will do everything I can to make sure they stay that way!
I also believe that Paizo goes the extra mile to investigate and deal with problems when they are brought to their attention and feel that they promote a culture of inclusivity.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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MadScientistWorking wrote:
I feel like Paizo doesn't do a particularly good job of providing a complete framework

What more do you want to see from Paizo?

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

Bob Jonquet wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:
I feel like Paizo doesn't do a particularly good job of providing a complete framework
What more do you want to see from Paizo?

Well for one thing when people cop to being transphobic as a PFS GM and act abusive to developers don't just delete the posts and act like it didn't happen. Im still really furious about that.

Edit:
Also get rid of the transphobic scenarios or just excise the paragraph.


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I honestly have felt more welcome at pfs than at my home.

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

While I have seen unacceptable behavior at PFS tables, my local VOs know not how to react to it once it has been brought to their attention (which might just result in them calling me to deal with it).

However, all the instances if have seen generally fall into the "don't be a jerk" territory, and I am not aware of any situation where gender was a factor.

In general, this is a very welcoming community, but sometimes people are just not a very good fix for another.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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MadScientistWorking wrote:
Well for one thing when people cop to being transphobic as a PFS GM and act abusive to developers don't just delete the posts and act like it didn't happen. Im still really furious about that.

I disagree. I do not want to read that crap at all. I would prefer the commentary be excised and the individual punished accordingly (ban hammer, etc). Just because it was deleted does not mean they are acting like it didn't happen and they do not owe the public commentary on what action was taken. They are fairly consistent that when someone posts something inappropriate, they remove the post and replace it with their own reminding people of the forum rules.

MadScientistWorking wrote:
Also get rid of the transphobic scenarios or just excise the paragraph

Paizo's staff is made up of a large number of people very aware of and active in addressing Xphobic, harassing, and inappropriate behaviors. Those staff members simply would not allow such things to exist given their experiences and devotion to safe gaming spaces. I'm confident that if they had published such content (by their estimation) it would have been removed. I certainly trust the judgement and perspective of those who are part of a marginalized community moreso than my own or the general public.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

To make the extraordinary claim that Paizo is transphobic will require extraordinary evidence.

Grand Lodge

I've been playing tabletop RPGs since 1979, and I can say stuff like that absolutely happens...especially with male gamers my age and older who grew up with RPGs primarily being a male dominated hobby.

I notice far less of it now than I did 20+ years ago, but that does not mean it is not still a fairly common occurrence. Some of it happens maliciously, but it seems like more often than not it happens out of ignorance and/or social awkwardness from not being used to working with female gamers. I've seen the same thing happen with older GMs dealing with younger male gamers too...they make assumptions that just because someone is in the teens to twenties that they can't possibly know what they are doing...which in my experience is often the opposite of true.

From reading that woman's article on the incident, she comments repeatedly about how she is dealing with some pretty severe anxiety issues, which certainly compounded the issue.

I consider myself to be very fortunate to have played with a number of amazing female players over the years, and the local PFS group has several great female GMs and players, and is coordinated by an amazing female GM, who knows how to handle things when people behave poorly (as either a player or GM).

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I can't speak for MadSci, but I know that I felt extremely uncomfortable at my store when they hosted The City of Strangers scenarios, both because of the scenario's content and the players' reactions. Having a vile ugly-man-in-a-dress stereotype in the scenario is pretty much an open invitation for players to make transphobic comments, and it's hard to tell them to stop when (a) you feel extremely self-conscious about it to start with, and (b) it's right there in the officially sanctioned, Paizo-written scenario. I almost didn't come back to PFS after that, and only one person would have ever known why.

They've said that they're done putting Miss Feathers in scenarios, but as long as the original scenarios are legal for play, it's going to keep being part of PFS. At this point, Kaer Maga is almost entirely tainted for me as a result - I don't want to run anything that even mentions it. (When I ran Feast of Sigils, I glossed over her as a local - fortunately, my players were mostly newbies who hadn't heard of her. Yet.)

That's just my opinion as a trans girl, though. *shrug*

The Exchange 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

It absolutely does happen, how can it not when you get this many people together. But it's rarely as over the top and brazen as Mysty's experiences.

There are also just small behaviors that might make someone uncomfortable if they were new or didn't know the people involved very well and it can be really difficult for people to voice to a new person that they arent comfortable with their jokes, etc and it can be tricky to deal with.

Also, I can say that Paizo does have a chunk of material both old and recent that really misses the mark with this stuff. Miss Feathers being the most prominent example, but the vigilante talent Companion to the Lonely is something they have published relatively recently and which can be VERY problematic regardless of who is at the table but that I could see making female players especially uncomfortable.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Kalindlara wrote:
Having a vile ugly-man-in-a-dress stereotype in the scenario is pretty much an open invitation for players to make transphobic comments

I don't understand this point of view.

Would you have preferred Miss Feathers to be passing?

Seems to me the perfect in-character opportunity to educate any transphobic players out-of-character.

We specifically selected those types of scenarios for GaymerX, the California "Queer Space" Convention.

I circle back to the impetus being who's GMing, who's playing, and where it's happening. If you have a (whatever)phobic GM/player/space, it doesn't matter how well intentioned the material was. But that's not the fault of the publisher.

Liberty's Edge

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Kalindlara wrote:
Having a vile ugly-man-in-a-dress stereotype in the scenario is pretty much an open invitation for players to make transphobic comments, and it's hard to tell them to stop when (a) you feel extremely self-conscious about it to start with, and (b) it's right there in the officially sanctioned, Paizo-written scenario. ... That's just my opinion as a trans girl, though. *shrug*

And it's a totally valid opinion. I'm trans as well, and I LOVE Miss Feathers. I've enjoyed every scenario where she makes an appearance, from her first obviously male-bodied, female-gendered, loud and proud self to her later transitioned and female-bodied self.

I expect a lot of that is due to the fact the GMs I've played those scenarios with all role-played her respectfully (and gleefully). The one young male player who got a bit out of line was immediately put in his place, completely in-character by the GM, in the hallowed tradition of drag queens and burlesque show stage managers everywhere.

That said, I'm in Seattle. If I were playing in a location where people were willing to make those jokes at my table, I might well feel differently. If GMs and players were willing to make those jokes at my table, KNOWING I'm trans, I would be flat done with those people.

While I see your point, it's a terrible thing to ask a gaming company to never include people like you in their games, because they might get made fun of. Invisibility is its own, silent force of destruction. Paizo posted a blog post a few days ago, for Transgender Day of Visibility, highlighting some of the trans pre-gens, NPCs, employees and VCs of Paizo. Check it out, if you haven't already!

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

...I actually contributed to the blog post. ^_^

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Nefreet wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Having a vile ugly-man-in-a-dress stereotype in the scenario is pretty much an open invitation for players to make transphobic comments

I don't understand this point of view.

Would you have preferred Miss Feathers to be passing?

Seems to me the perfect in-character opportunity to educate any transphobic players out-of-character.

We specifically selected those types of scenarios for GaymerX, the California "Queer Space" Convention.

I circle back to the impetus being who's GMing, who's playing, and where it's happening. If you have a (whatever)phobic GM/player/space, it doesn't matter how well intentioned the material was. But that's not the fault of the publisher.

I don't want PFS to come with the possibility of having to suddenly become an educator, dealing with people who could be dismissive, hateful, or even dangerous. And I don't think "here's a horrible stereotype" is really the best springboard for any of this.

Anevia Tirabade and Rexus Victocora? (Or for a PFS-specific example, the shaman from The Solstice Scar.) Yes, excellent. A stereotype used to demean us and rile up hatred against us... less so.

The players' reactions to the material is the players' fault. But the material being hurtful on its own? There's not really anyone else to blame than the writer, the developer, and the company that they represent.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
keerawa wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Having a vile ugly-man-in-a-dress stereotype in the scenario is pretty much an open invitation for players to make transphobic comments, and it's hard to tell them to stop when (a) you feel extremely self-conscious about it to start with, and (b) it's right there in the officially sanctioned, Paizo-written scenario. ... That's just my opinion as a trans girl, though. *shrug*

And it's a totally valid opinion. I'm trans as well, and I LOVE Miss Feathers. I've enjoyed every scenario where she makes an appearance, from her first obviously male-bodied, female-gendered, loud and proud self to her later transitioned and female-bodied self.

I expect a lot of that is due to the fact the GMs I've played those scenarios with all role-played her respectfully (and gleefully). The one young male player who got a bit out of line was immediately put in his place, completely in-character by the GM, in the hallowed tradition of drag queens and burlesque show stage managers everywhere.

That said, I'm in Seattle. If I were playing in a location where people were willing to make those jokes at my table, I might well feel differently. If GMs and players were willing to make those jokes at my table, KNOWING I'm trans, I would be flat done with those people.

While I see your point, it's a terrible thing to ask a gaming company to never include people like you in their games, because they might get made fun of. Invisibility is its own, silent force of destruction. Paizo posted a blog post a few days ago, for Transgender Day of Visibility, highlighting some of the trans pre-gens, NPCs, employees and VCs of Paizo. Check it out, if you haven't already!

I'm desperate to move to Seattle so I can feel that kind of ease. I probably wouldn't be quite as uncomfortable at the table under such circumstances.

That said, I'm also not excited about "if you don't like this stereotype, you don't want transgender people included at all". Please don't imply that I'm saying that. (If that wasn't your intention, forgive me for misunderstanding.) I've included trans characters in my own contributions to Paizo material, and I hope to continue doing so. I'm just extremely uncomfortable with this one early depiction.

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My experience playing in City of Strangers (1) was a bit more positive and affirming than some approaches I've heard of -- but this may have been informed by a GM that was aware and sensitive of the situation, and the fact that my character in the scenario was male-in-mind(but not body yet) themselves and a follower of Shelyn.

I could easily see it being turned to a non-affirming and horrible play experience, though.

Especially with overblown caricature.

I've also seen tired GMs misgender Shardra when I've been using her as a pregen, with nowhere near the malice I encountered in a former campaign where it was easier to sit down with a completely alien race than it was to sit down with a female character(with no transgender elements, even).

Back on original topic, the above mention was my play experience in a

Different:
AL
Campaign, and nothing is more frustrating than sitting at a table and being treated like the stereotype of a 'gamer partner' read: girl/boyfriend/spouse by one of the other players at the table.

Particularly when one has thirty years of gaming experience and the person performing the treatment in question wasn't even *born* when one started gaming.

It is hoped that the OP's linked situation is being investigated and handled appropriately to the improvement of the campaign and inclusion.

Grand Lodge

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Miss Feathers has been the highlight of the evening both times I have run across her...of course one time she was run by a gay male GM and the other a bi female GM, and the groups stayed respectful.

I could definitely see some groups handling a character like her VERY poorly though.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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Guilty of that. Learned it from the GM who ran it from me, propagated it onwards a couple times. I'm glad to see the campaign leadership being aware and taking steps on that front.

The Exchange 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

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For me being in the South, I get nervous any time elements like Miss Feathers come up in a game I run publicly, particularly at my store that is more out in the country than the other or at a convention setting because you just...never know what people are going to do or say in reaction to topics like this.

Feast of Sigils was probably the most nervous I ever was heading into a game because not only did I have to represent Miss Feathers, but also the topic of sex workers - it went well and I feel like I handled it well, but once you leave urban environments with our political culture the way it is, man, I can totally feel where kalindlara would not be super comfortable putting herself out there like that.

Grand Lodge

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I've got one character who is an openly pansexual follower of Calistra who is a sex worker when not running errands for the society. I could definitely see myself not wanting to roleplay that character in a group with certain close minded types.

Thankfully, the vast majority of players and GMs in my area are very tolerant and open minded.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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Slyme wrote:
follower of Calistra who is a sex worker

I have to say that I've seen waay too many middle-aged white male juvenile delinquents playing this character that I have almost reached the point I will ban the character from my table (if the GM) or walk (if I'm a player). I realize that not everyone is a jerk, far from it, but this particular character trope seems to be sooo frequently played offensively that I simply cannot tolerate it anymore. When players introduce their characters at the start and I hear this type of description, I immediately respond with something to the effect of, "and we will not be role-playing that aspect of your character at this table." Sorry, not gonna do it. Hate me if you want, call me closed-minded, a prude, whatever, but I'm done risking the safe gaming space on the outside chance its one of the few who play this trope without being offensive.

The Exchange 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

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I am in agreement with Bob on that one. Its just not a subject I feel comfortable roleplaying especially not in public spaces and especially with people I am unfamiliar with. Compound that with the fact that when I have rolled with it the result was....super cringe and its just not something I want much to do with.

Its why character options like Companion to the Lonely just make my eyes roll.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Yeah, I usually try to avoid those characters/options (or, if necessary, just leave them in the realm of background/implication) for the table's sake. By the same token, I like the Calistrian obedience, but it can be uncomfortable to ask for adjudication. Easier to set them aside, sadly.

Scarab Sages 5/5

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Kalindlara wrote:
keerawa wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Having a vile ugly-man-in-a-dress stereotype in the scenario is pretty much an open invitation for players to make transphobic comments, and it's hard to tell them to stop when (a) you feel extremely self-conscious about it to start with, and (b) it's right there in the officially sanctioned, Paizo-written scenario. ... That's just my opinion as a trans girl, though. *shrug*

And it's a totally valid opinion. I'm trans as well, and I LOVE Miss Feathers. I've enjoyed every scenario where she makes an appearance, from her first obviously male-bodied, female-gendered, loud and proud self to her later transitioned and female-bodied self.

I expect a lot of that is due to the fact the GMs I've played those scenarios with all role-played her respectfully (and gleefully). The one young male player who got a bit out of line was immediately put in his place, completely in-character by the GM, in the hallowed tradition of drag queens and burlesque show stage managers everywhere.

That said, I'm in Seattle. If I were playing in a location where people were willing to make those jokes at my table, I might well feel differently. If GMs and players were willing to make those jokes at my table, KNOWING I'm trans, I would be flat done with those people.

While I see your point, it's a terrible thing to ask a gaming company to never include people like you in their games, because they might get made fun of. Invisibility is its own, silent force of destruction. Paizo posted a blog post a few days ago, for Transgender Day of Visibility, highlighting some of the trans pre-gens, NPCs, employees and VCs of Paizo. Check it out, if you haven't already!

I'm desperate to move to Seattle so I can feel that kind of ease. I probably wouldn't be quite as uncomfortable at the table under such circumstances.

That said, I'm also not excited about "if...

I think I remember a post coming out about Mmiss Feathers shortly after the fully transitioned scenario (Feast of Sigils I believe). Paizo acknowledged (through John I think) that the City of Strangers could be insensitive, but was written before the knowledge of how to do so respectfully was gained. But in consultation with a newly hired and highly respected trans employee, they reportrayed Miss Feathers in the new scenario.

They made the conscious decision to leave the old scenario as is, and did not retire it at the suggestion of that employee. Of course consideration for the fact it's a two parter and highly important for the Shadow Lodge story line and eventually Eyes of the Ten, the implications of retirement on two seasons of plot would be extremely impactful.

Finally, retiring the scenario would also draw undo attention to possible negative stereotyping. I'll admit, when I ran City of Strangers the first time, I probably perpetuated that stereotype. But as I learned, I changed how I viewed and portrayed things.

Perhaps removing the potential bad also removes the potential for learning, understanding, and furthering respect. Of course, your experience of feeling uncomfortable is not invalid, and I apologize for my part in any insensitivity that may have contributed to someone else feeling uncomfortable. But without this scenario, and without the subsequent dialogue,I may not have learned.

Liberty's Edge Developer

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Bob Jonquet wrote:
Paizo's staff is made up of a large number of people very aware of and active in addressing Xphobic, harassing, and inappropriate behaviors. Those staff members simply would not allow such things to exist given their experiences and devotion to safe gaming spaces. I'm confident that if they had published such content (by their estimation) it would have been removed. I certainly trust the judgement and perspective of those who are part of a marginalized community moreso than my own or the general public.

That's absolutely not true. Stuff slips by us all the time, either because it's subtle or specialized enough that we never notice it, or because X minority never saw the text (or we just don't have X minority as employees), and there's a LOT of bad material from much earlier in the product lifecycle. Miss Feathers from PFS and a LOT of the awful Edgar Rice Burroughs-inspired material on the Mwangi Expanse both stand out as the later.

Just because a company employs a few minorities does not mean they're incapable of screwing up, and it's better we know when and how we make mistakes so we can try to do better in the future, rather than dismiss complaints.


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I actually somehow remember not having my rplayers care about miss feathers that much being trans and running the city of strangers. Then again I like kaer maga overall and had already found out about miss feathers from the campaign setting book. Then again I had a gorilla animal companion in a dress when I ran city of strangers Which seems ok in Kaer maga moreso than anywhere else.

3/5

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Crystal Frasier wrote:


That's absolutely not true. Stuff slips by us all the time, either because it's subtle or specialized enough that we never notice it, or because X minority never saw the text (or we just don't have X minority as employees), and there's a LOT of bad material from much earlier in the product lifecycle. Miss Feathers from PFS and a LOT of the awful Edgar Rice Burroughs-inspired material on the Mwangi Expanse both stand out as the later.

Just because a company employs a few minorities does not mean they're incapable of screwing up, and it's better we know when and how we make mistakes so we can try to do better in the future, rather than dismiss complaints.

Can I just how amazing you all are for acknowledging this and working so hard to include all of us LGBTQ types? It means a lot to me and my crew that you work so hard to include us, and doing so even has started conversations that I never expected to have.

I was even approached by a local GM on how to appropriately portray a certain non-binary gnome, and my girlfriend's face has lit up at great portrayal of trans characters. We haven't run across miss feathers yet, but I think i'll go out of my way to be the one to GM that one locally to make sure that Miss feathers gets the respectful portrayal she deserves. Thank you again, all of you, for recognizing our existence... it's a weird thing to say thank you to someone for that, but when your so deprived of it, it can mean a whole lot.

Dark Archive 5/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tallow wrote:
As a VC, I saw very, very few instances of poor behavior, and those I did see were pretty innocuous (if any can be classified as such) compared to the story linked in the OP. And when those minor issues did crop up, I addressed it right away, and from what I saw after the fact, the issue cleaned itself up. The individual was not aware that their actions were affecting the woman GM as they did, and so from that point onward, they used that newly gained awareness to do better.

Andy, we also set the tone that that behavior would not be tolerated under any circumstance. It started with us and filtered out to the stores. We set the example of what was and was not acceptable at our game days. That's why any issue we had was minor and cleaned up well.

Scarab Sages 5/5

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jon dehning wrote:
Tallow wrote:
As a VC, I saw very, very few instances of poor behavior, and those I did see were pretty innocuous (if any can be classified as such) compared to the story linked in the OP. And when those minor issues did crop up, I addressed it right away, and from what I saw after the fact, the issue cleaned itself up. The individual was not aware that their actions were affecting the woman GM as they did, and so from that point onward, they used that newly gained awareness to do better.
Andy, we also set the tone that that behavior would not be tolerated under any circumstance. It started with us and filtered out to the stores. We set the example of what was and was not acceptable at our game days. That's why any issue we had was minor and cleaned up well.

This is true. I think its a very salient point that community health starts from the top with a good example.

Grand Lodge

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Bob Jonquet wrote:
I have to say that I've seen waay too many middle-aged white male juvenile delinquents playing this character that I have almost reached the point I will ban the character from my table (if the GM) or walk (if I'm a player).

Which you are perfectly within your rights to do. I specifically made this character as a counter to all the typical Calistrian characters I have seen...which tend to be ultra-sexed up dominatrix types. I tend to focus mostly on the vengeance and trickery aspects of Calistria when I play him (Notice the fact that he is a male character, not the typical female stereotype). It does occasionally come up where I can roleplay his more intimate aspects, but so far he has only managed to seduce one person in game, and didn't even end up sleeping with them...just harmless flirting to gather information.

3/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

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So two things that I think are really important to point out:

Because this is in the Organized Play forums, we are unlikely to hear from women who have had bad experiences as they most likely left Organized Play entirely and wouldn’t be posting here. Positive experiences like mine are still good to share, but this will be a biased sample.

Organizers, please, please, please don’t assume that there are no problems just because you haven’t seen them or heard about them. Some behaviors don’t happen in front of other people or might be subtle enough to escape your notice. Many people who experience unwelcoming behavior aren’t going to report it; they’re just going to quietly never return. When someone does report something to you; that’s actually a good sign! It means that person trusts you and the system to handle it. But a lack of reports doesn’t automatically indicate a lack of problems.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Slyme wrote:
Bob Jonquet wrote:
I have to say that I've seen waay too many middle-aged white male juvenile delinquents playing this character that I have almost reached the point I will ban the character from my table (if the GM) or walk (if I'm a player).
Which you are perfectly within your rights to do. I specifically made this character as a counter to all the typical Calistrian characters I have seen...which tend to be ultra-sexed up dominatrix types. I tend to focus mostly on the vengeance and trickery aspects of Calistria when I play him (Notice the fact that he is a male character, not the typical female stereotype). It does occasionally come up where I can roleplay his more intimate aspects, but so far he has only managed to seduce one person in game, and didn't even end up sleeping with them...just harmless flirting to gather information.

I think this whole thread is an incredibly interesting and informative conversation. If nothing else, it led me to that blog post, which slipped by me. I am mainly just observing, reading, and hopefully learning.

On the topic of Calistria worshippers:

Spoiler:
I've made 2 Calistria worshippers, and both have purposefully focused on the vengeance aspect. The first was my Gunslinger/Inquisitor of Calistria for Rise of the Runelords. He was a very dour Halfling, and his "lust" manifested in a deep love of and devotion to a Calistrian sacred prostitute who was murdered. Thus driving his quest for vengeance.

The second is an Unchained Rogue who I'm mostly playing through Emerald Spire. She's unofficially a member of the Wasp Queens, as I don't think an actual prestige class or way to gain official membership exists. Maybe I should purchase the thieve's guild vanity to represent that.

Anyway, there is more to Calistria as a deity than lust.

Silver Crusade 5/5

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Bob Jonquet wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:
I feel like Paizo doesn't do a particularly good job of providing a complete framework
What more do you want to see from Paizo?

I can't answer for Mad Scientist but I'll answer for myself.

I think that Paizo needs to be far more proactive and visible in confronting problems that arise. I think that they need to have a stronger and more visible policy in place that addresses this kind of thing.

I am in the area where the incident with Mysty happened (I was NOT at the table in question but I was probably sitting within 30 feet of it). I think that Paizo handled the issue badly. The issue (and, IMO, the handling of it by Paizo) has damaged the local PFS reputation.

Silver Crusade 5/5

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Auke Teeninga wrote:
Check out the Community Behavior Policy.

I think that policy is not sufficient. I also think that the policy (after being improved) should be in a far more visible location.

Sovereign Court 1/5

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A wise crone once said.... "*Always* beware a chaste Calistrian."

Grand Lodge 5/5

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Wise words...

Scarab Sages 5/5

Paul Jackson wrote:
Bob Jonquet wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:
I feel like Paizo doesn't do a particularly good job of providing a complete framework
What more do you want to see from Paizo?

I can't answer for Mad Scientist but I'll answer for myself.

I think that Paizo needs to be far more proactive and visible in confronting problems that arise. I think that they need to have a stronger and more visible policy in place that addresses this kind of thing.

I am in the area where the incident with Mysty happened (I was NOT at the table in question but I was probably sitting within 30 feet of it). I think that Paizo handled the issue badly. The issue (and, IMO, the handling of it by Paizo) has damaged the local PFS reputation.

It is hard to form an opinion, one way or another, on this topic, when the details we know are, "Paizo handled it badly." I can't just take your word for it.

Silver Crusade 5/5

Tallow wrote:


It is hard to form an opinion, one way or another, on this topic, when the details we know are, "Paizo handled it badly." I can't just take your word for it.

That is absolutely fair. Unfortunately, at least some of what I know I'm not at liberty to reveal. And other things are probably better not aired in public.

I probably shouldn't have commented at all. But its too late to delete my earlier posts.

Shadow Lodge

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I'm just going to go out on a limb and say if your character introduction is more that 75% sexualization, you're probably being creepy.

If it's more than 90% sexualization AND you're cross-playing, you're definitely being creepy.

Don't be That Guy.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Makes me semi-want to create a hyper masc version of what the OP in that other Forum described:

"As Andro runs towards the enemy his massive chest flexes and ripples like a stallion, his perfectly chiseled bu–"

You get the idea ^_^

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