A modest request...


Prerelease Discussion

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...please ban 'boob plates' for all armor and clothing (unless it's some sort of fancy gown/dress).

Thank you.


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Except for drow. Some things are just classics~


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"Classic"

Yeah, right. Classic objectification, classic male gaze, classic sexual harassment.

Sure, let's keep all that "classic" stuff. They're only drow women, they obviously don't matter.

Oh, you were "just joking"? So I shouldn't be upset?

That's pretty classic too.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


...please ban 'boob plates' for all armor and clothing (unless it's some sort of fancy gown/dress).

Thank you.

Agreed. Let's keep our weapons and armor functional. There is much more to sexiness than mammaries.


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I dislike "boob plate" and think it looks ridiculous, so I would prefer to see it done away with.

However, the realities of the publishing industry being what they are, I'm not sure it's worth delaying a book in case an artist doesn't follow instructions, which I believe has happened a few times in the past.


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Why all the pretence? Why not just include honest nudity, both male and female, I'd be a OK with that.


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I also agree with the OP.


CrystalSeas wrote:

"Classic"

Yeah, right. Classic objectification, classic male gaze, classic sexual harassment.

Sure, let's keep all that "classic" stuff. They're only drow women, they obviously don't matter.

Oh, you were "just joking"? So I shouldn't be upset?

That's pretty classic too.

No joke, and elf men and women don't even do it for me. Too... angular.

I just think it's an iconic image.

As for everyone else, yeah, ditch it.


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Don't Pathfinder Drow wear spider-silk bodysuits for their "form-fitting" armor anyway?


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No I see the Drow boobplate Drow would wear it BECAUSE it offends you.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Don't Pathfinder Drow wear spider-silk bodysuits for their "form-fitting" armor anyway?

Lycra drow confirmed :D


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


...please ban 'boob plates' for all armor and clothing (unless it's some sort of fancy gown/dress).

Thank you.

Also any armor that leaves your vital organs exposed is not armor. So no more plunging necklines, exposed cleavage or bare midriff armor. It's just silly. "Oh yeah, I'm going to put armor on my limbs but leave nice big openings where my heart, lungs, liver, kidneys etc are. This is a good plan and will totally not get me killed."

I don't mind as much when it's just clothing. But armor has a purpose.


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Hey that steep neckline is very distracting. It makes it harder to focus on sword play!


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Hey that steep neckline is very distracting. It makes it harder to focus on sword play!

Oh I don't know, I think it helps focus on a target.


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I feel like "if you're willing to go into a swordfight with a plunging neckline" you should be one of those people who can have a super-high AC without armor, so you don't need to "sex up" the armor because there isn't any to speak of.

I for one welcome our new "sultry monk" overlords.


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Sajan was a trendsetter before it was even trendy?


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I tried to find medieval accounts of female armor. There is nothing definitive that I have found to date, but there is an over-arching narrative of "masculine" women when armed. That makes me think armor may have been gender-neutral, which is probably the right place to start.

That said, I think the games are too prudish. You can have (slightly) more mature art without changing equipment in a non-functional manner to be more sexualized (like boob plates).


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...a few months back they found some warrior remains and the archaeologists that found them were baffled because the armor was not gender-specific, but the warrior under the armor had a female bone structure.

It makes narratives like Eowyn in RotK plausible and believable, rather than "Hur hur boob plate you're no man I'll just not fight you" which *didn't happen*.


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I mean, the main reason that one wouldn't expect women's plate armor to be form fitting is that historical plate armor worn by men was worn over a whole lot of padding which was about as curve-accentuating as a puffy winter jacket.

Metal armor that would be worn right up against the skin would be really uncomfortable and wouldn't really protect against any "bashing" kinds of attacks


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
totoro wrote:

I tried to find medieval accounts of female armor. There is nothing definitive that I have found to date, but there is an over-arching narrative of "masculine" women when armed. That makes me think armor may have been gender-neutral, which is probably the right place to start.

That said, I think the games are too prudish. You can have (slightly) more mature art without changing equipment in a non-functional manner to be more sexualized (like boob plates).

There's some late Medieval/Renaissance artwork depicting women in armor. It's shown looking almost identical to male armor, except sometimes with a skirt over the leg armor portion. (like, actual large cloth skirt)


Normal Armor: I agree. This kinda of armor should be atleast grounded on reality, if male/female armor isnt equal, then female one should still also make sense.

Magic Armor: Honestly if the succubus, or whatever else, has a string that acts like a full plate, i wouldnt have a problem with it. Magic should not have to be grounded on reality, unlike normal one.

Liberty's Edge

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Yeah, I'm pretty much on board with this statement.

Having characters who don't wear armor dressed in a provocative manner is fine (and many drow and succubi fall into this category, though some gender balance in this regard would be appreciated...male drow, for example, should actually be more sexualized than female drow if anything), but armor actually looking like armor would be really nice.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, the main reason that one wouldn't expect women's plate armor to be form fitting is that historical plate armor worn by men was worn over a whole lot of padding which was about as curve-accentuating as a puffy winter jacket.

Metal armor that would be worn right up against the skin would be really uncomfortable and wouldn't really protect against any "bashing" kinds of attacks

Yeah, you'd have a gambeson under the plate(although less padded then one that is serving as armor by itself), and depending on the era and region could possibly have a mail shirt under it too, or simply voiders, patches of mail sewn into the gambeson to cover gaps. The chest also tends to be domed to provide more glancing surfaces. So there's plenty of room for mammalian protuberances. The closest to form fitting that plate armor gets is the greaves (lower leg), where having a proper fit is very important. The calf holds it up, if it just slides down then it puts too much pressure on the foot making just walking take too much effort.


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Nox Aeterna wrote:

Normal Armor: I agree. This kinda of armor should be atleast grounded on reality, if male/female armor isnt equal, then female one should still also make sense.

Magic Armor: Honestly if the succubus, or whatever else, has a string that acts like a full plate, i wouldnt have a problem with it. Magic should not have to be grounded on reality, unlike normal one.

Just give the succubus high sex or natural armor.

Liberty's Edge

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Just give the succubus high sex or natural armor.

If unintentional, this may be the best typo ever.


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Was definitely unintentional. Phone autocorrect. S should be d.


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+1 on no boob plate.
I've never worn actual fitted plate mail, but from personal experience I can tell you that that old standby the chain shirt does an excellent job of de-emphasising the female figure, being heavy and having a tendency to flatten the chest.


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Who cares if it’s “what happened in medieval times”? The depiction of weapons and armour in fantasy is hardly guided by historical accuracy.

When you’re drawing women, don’t aim for the way you think men want to see them. Draw them the way they want to be seen.


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The problem, Steve, is that there is a lot of creative bias out there towards such things, because that is always what gets the commissions and contracts.

So it's a 'false confirmation' of armor that doesn't even work right and then folks go "Well, it 'looks' good, why the complaints?"

The closest analogy I could think of (and we DON'T see this in typical art) would be if all male armor had a massive freaking 'codplate' that stuck out a good six inches or so.

Not only would it not protect, but it'd invite attacks to a tender location.

So too, the 'boob plate', and why it needs to go away.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


The problem, Steve, is that there is a lot of creative bias out there towards such things, because that is always what gets the commissions and contracts.

So it's a 'false confirmation' of armor that doesn't even work right and then folks go "Well, it 'looks' good, why the complaints?"

The closest analogy I could think of (and we DON'T see this in typical art) would be if all male armor had a massive freaking 'codplate' that stuck out a good six inches or so.

Not only would it not protect, but it'd invite attacks to a tender location.

So too, the 'boob plate', and why it needs to go away.

Not that I'm taking a side or anything but their is in fact real life armor like that made for just the reason you would think.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:


Not that I'm taking a side or anything but their is in fact real life armor like that made for just the reason you would think.

But is it the sort of thing people would feel comfortable wearing on the battlefield where one swing could maim, even on a glancing shot?


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:


Not that I'm taking a side or anything but their is in fact real life armor like that made for just the reason you would think.
But is it the sort of thing people would feel comfortable wearing on the battlefield where one swing could maim, even on a glancing shot?

I mean I probably wouldn't wear it in the first place. People would think I was compensating for something...

Plus I would just feel silly.


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Codpieces had a pretty short lifespan in armor design. Partly because it's hard to ride a horse with them, and partly because they had a short lifespan in normal fashion. They then became an object of ridicule. I think they were mainly on tournament foot-combat armor, and largely a way to show off. Mail skirts and plate flaps (faulds) were more common groin protection. Sometimes there was an item that was basically a mail diaper. Ian LaSpina has a great video on groin armor if you're at all interested. Well all of his videos are awesome if you're interested in armor.

/tangent

Back to boob plates. I guess they could potentially serve a role as a decorative thing for showing off. But unlike codpieces, they don't actually increase protection so it doesn't make as much sense for tournament armor where maximum protection was a goal along with maximum showing off. Maybe they could be like the classical muscled cuirass, and used as a sign of rank. But I still find them silly.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

The problem, Steve, is that there is a lot of creative bias out there towards such things, because that is always what gets the commissions and contracts.

So it's a 'false confirmation' of armor that doesn't even work right and then folks go "Well, it 'looks' good, why the complaints?"

My point is, this shouldn’t be a consideration. (I’m viewing this more broadly than just armour - it’s part of the bigger issue of art direction).

If women express concern about the way they’re being depicted “that’s how things were in medieval times” is an irrelevancy. Equally “that’s how things weren’t” is inviting debate on something that shouldn’t matter.

The art for pathfinder should be concerned about representation of women and that’s where the debate should be centred. The debaters should be women and boys should do ourselves a favour and just listen.

Hygiene back then was pretty lousy - how about men argue over whether all the iconics should be dirty and missing half their teeth?

Liberty's Edge

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Steve Geddes wrote:

My point is, this shouldn’t be a consideration. (I’m viewing this more broadly than just armour - it’s part of the bigger issue of art direction).

If women express concern about the way they’re being depicted “that’s how things were in medieval times” is an irrelevancy. Equally “that’s how things weren’t” is inviting debate on something that shouldn’t matter.

The art for pathfinder should be concerned about representation of women and that’s where the debate should be centred. The debaters should be women and boys should do ourselves a favour and just listen.

I think this is taking it a bit too far, personally. It's sort of a Stormwind Fallacy for art in a way. Nothing about making art realistic makes it ignore representing women properly, nor does anything about representing women properly ignore realism.

The two are not incompatible at all and people who want both can be pretty easily satisfied by some of the same things.

Steve Geddes wrote:
Hygiene back then was pretty lousy - how about men argue over whether all the iconics should be dirty and missing half their teeth?

Totally off topic, but this is mostly a myth. Hygiene standards have varied wildly from time to time and place to place, and saying anything about it in regards to any but the smallest possible periods of history (ie: down to the decade and specific city) is gonna get weird and inaccurate really quick.

Also, Golarion is not Medieval Europe and does not behave the same way culturally (it's polytheistic, with universal literacy and a drastic reduction of many widespread prejudices such as misogyny and anti-LGBT sentiments as compared to Medieval Europe). Assuming a relatively modern hygiene standard (at least in terms of number of baths) is totally reasonable.

This sort of 'it's not Medieval Europe' sentiment is also partially applicable to armor (inasmuch as stylistic stuff can be very different) but only somewhat since what kind of armor is protective and functional doesn't change with culture (hint: boob shaped plate is not helpful, leaving a bare chest is a good way to get stabbed in it).


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For non-magical armor I am down with the clown as it were. Boob plates from an armor design standpoint are dumb. They deflect inward trapping the blade in such a way that they direct the total force of a chest thrust directly toward the heart.

Armor is designed to push AWAY from vital organs. It is angled to stop that kind of thing from happening.

Short of ceremonial armor you'd never see it.

"Feminine full plate"

I mean? Come on.

You're wearing a layer of cloth padding to soften impacts, a layer of chain armor over that, then the plate.

No woman's curves are accentuated by a puffy winter coat. The chain alone compresses the chest to reduce curves. So any boob plates would be 100% for decoration and they'd be a decoration that would be a detriment in battle.

Until Magic Armor comes into play.

Magic armor breaks all the rules. Glamoured Plate Mail can look like a g-string bikini if the maker wants it to.

In that case an attractive person may want to look sexy while being protected without sacrificing defense. It's a powerful magical enchantment though. Not a common thing.

Liberty's Edge

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HWalsh wrote:

Magic armor breaks all the rules. Glamoured Plate Mail can look like a g-string bikini if the maker wants it to.

In that case an attractive person may want to look sexy while being protected without sacrificing defense. It's a powerful magical enchantment though. Not a common thing.

This is absolutely true, though if we're talking about art, it should probably be showing actual common armor types, not this sort of unique exception to the rule.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Hygiene back then was pretty lousy - how about men argue over whether all the iconics should be dirty and missing half their teeth?
Totally off topic, but this is mostly a myth.

I didn’t know that. However, I’m glad there is, in fact, something to debate.

That helps the point.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

My point is, this shouldn’t be a consideration. (I’m viewing this more broadly than just armour - it’s part of the bigger issue of art direction).

If women express concern about the way they’re being depicted “that’s how things were in medieval times” is an irrelevancy. Equally “that’s how things weren’t” is inviting debate on something that shouldn’t matter.

The art for pathfinder should be concerned about representation of women and that’s where the debate should be centred. The debaters should be women and boys should do ourselves a favour and just listen.

I think this is taking it a bit too far, personally. It's sort of a Stormwind Fallacy for art in a way. Nothing about making art realistic makes it ignore representing women properly, nor does anything about representing women properly ignore realism.

The two are not incompatible at all and people who want both can be pretty easily satisfied by some of the same things.

Just to be clear, I don’t think they’re the same thing, nor compatible, nor incompatible with each other. They are (as you observe) unrelated.

The question of whether PF art should include boobplate is unaffected by the realism or otherwise of such depiction. It’s an issue of appropriate representation and debate as to the “realisticness” of those depictions is both distracting and irrelevant.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

Magic armor breaks all the rules. Glamoured Plate Mail can look like a g-string bikini if the maker wants it to.

In that case an attractive person may want to look sexy while being protected without sacrificing defense. It's a powerful magical enchantment though. Not a common thing.

This is absolutely true, though if we're talking about art, it should probably be showing actual common armor types, not this sort of unique exception to the rule.

Exactly:

Arlena the Paladin of Arshae appears to be wearing armor that has a plunging neckline, heart-shaped chest port hole, a bare mid-drift, exposed upper thighs, a lingerie-like set of armored briefs, and six inch armored stiletto heels.

She has glamoured magical full plate and worships Arshae.

That is fine. That isn't what it actually looks like, it's magic.

Lia the Paladin of Iomedae has bulky full plate with a holy symbol and looks about as feminine as a linebacker for the Buffalo Bills who's sex can't be determined when her helmet is closed.


My gold standard for fantasy armour.


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That's a very intriguing standard, Artificial.

Someone brought up via private message that there may be a concern about one gender or another weighing in on this and making the whole argument a bit dismissive of the tastes of another gender.

That's a legitimate concern, and there's no good way to address it directly without ALSO being dismissive of the tastes of other genders.

Cards on the table, I tend to identify as male, and 'boob plate' just looks *really effin' uncomfortable and impractical*.

Even with the reasoning of 'it's magic' it still kind of makes me feel 'bleh' when I see it.

Truth in text:
Sex-based pornography tends to make me a bit ill. 'Boob Plate' feels like a gateway to that sort of thing, which may ALSO be why I do not like it.


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The whole topic is a whole pile of meh to me. Realism and historical accuracy checked out of Pathfinder since day 1 (and history never even made it to the hotel to start with) and general practicality was never exactly a high priority on the design list looking at the art.

Golarion is already a complete kitchen sink running nearly entirely on "what looks/sounds cool." Boobplate, loincloth+big honking sword, pauldrons so huge someone from Warmachine would call them excessive, doesn't matter as far as the setting is concerned, just make sure it's visually appealing.


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I enjoy a little bit of risque in my art. I can see it needed to be toned down from where it was once upon a time, but I don't think it needs to or should disappear entirely.


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Here's the thing though- Paizo has house standards for Art.

So goblins have to have big heads, gnomes have wacky hair, Dwarves are about 4 feet tall, Pathfinder trolls have a specific look, etc.

So how much trouble is it to include in the art guidelines:
"Impractical looking armor shows that the wearer is not concerned with protecting themselves in combat in their current outfit, so is generally to be avoided unless 'this person is using magic' or 'this person really is impractical' or 'this is not what they fight in' is your intention."

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