A modest request...


Prerelease Discussion

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Silver Crusade

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I like the feminine form. I like breasts. I like cleavage.

And tangent but just to put the whole picture out there, I regularly commission smut of my characters.

I hate boobplate. I hate cleavage in plate armor. It's pointless sexualization that breaks versimilitude (unrealistic weapons don't get flak for the simple fact that they are made solely out of the coolness factor, not sexualization). I don't have a problem with sexual characters or them wearing sexy outfits, but this is a sticking point for me, moreso when it's applied to a character that isn't in any other aspects sexual in nature or personality.

Asking for it to not be implemented in Second Edition and being met with counters of "you're removing something already there" precisely highlights the reasoning for requesting it not go in in the first place. Once it's in, it's in. It's a precedent. People can point at that example and say "See! Bikini armor/boobplate is totally a legitimate armor in Second Edition."

It's a precedent for not only Players and GMs but also other artists as well, if they're submitting art for Pathfinder they may mistakenly believe they might have to sex it up to get their portfolio selected (art revision notes for making characters for games are a f@%%ing trip, I highly suggest reading them if the artist makes them available).

And then there's presentation. Numerous women on here have claimed they have no problem with boobplate. But there's plenty of women who aren't comfortable with it. Who are less inclined to play in a game where that image is advertising.


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It might be useful to talk about specific cases. I think the following four examples exist on a continuum.

For least sexualized I have in mind Brienne of Tarth. (example).

Next up maybe Seelah. She's got boobs sculpted into her plate armor, but she remains pretty modest by fantasy art standards. (example)

Next up we have Amiri. She has a pretty inexplicably bare midriff. (example)

Next up I'd like to suggest Alias, of Curse of the Azure Bonds fame. This is maybe the most famous chainmail bikini of my youth. (example)

I haven't included a link of the next tier because I think they're generally too distasteful. Past Alias I think we start drifting into just soft core porn (sultry drow sorceress, I'm looking at you).

Personally I find Amiri and Alias too silly for my tastes but I'm not morally offended if other people draw the line in other places. Alias in particular pulls me out of the fantasy world and makes me just think "why would anyone wear that silly thing"? A blanket rule that says the Seelah illustration is too sexy seems unnecessarily prudish to me, but who knows. Maybe Seelah is driving women away from the hobby and Paizo would do better with art no sexier than Brienne, who knows? I doubt it, but its not like I have any crunchy data on the question.


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theGlitch wrote:
1of1 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I don't think "when I am splattered with gore and viscera from the ogre I just finished disemboweling" is really a good time to be sexy.
You're right. Dragon gore is far more suited to my skin tone. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡° )
It goes quite well with your natural complexion. I myself am a mechanical being, so it would probably get stuck in my gears and clog everything. My maker hasn't done a very good job in creating me (*sad beep)

I recommend upgrading your casing to a set of ergonomic plates overlaid with a flexible, fluid proof coating. Homunculus skin works wonderfully, but if you're short on blood donors, cadaver skin or alchemically treated leather also work. The best part is that you can shape it however you want. Eight legs? Seven nipples? Maybe more... Imagine...

That's just an idea, though.
Your creator made you what you are, but only you can make you what you will be.
You be you, and may the Whisper in Bronze guide you to tommorow.

Silver Crusade

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Ring_of_Gyges wrote:

It might be useful to talk about specific cases. I think the following four examples exist on a continuum.

For least sexualized I have in mind Brienne of Tarth. (example).

Next up maybe Seelah. She's got boobs sculpted into her plate armor, but she remains pretty modest by fantasy art standards. (example)

Next up we have Amiri. She has a pretty inexplicably bare midriff. (example)

Next up I'd like to suggest Alias, of Curse of the Azure Bonds fame. This is maybe the most famous chainmail bikini of my youth. (example)

I haven't included a link of the next tier because I think they're generally too distasteful. Past Alias I think we start drifting into just soft core porn (sultry drow sorceress, I'm looking at you).

Personally I find Amiri and Alias too silly for my tastes but I'm not morally offended if other people draw the line in other places. Alias in particular pulls me out of the fantasy world and makes me just think "why would anyone wear that silly thing"? A blanket rule that says the Seelah illustration is too sexy seems unnecessarily prudish to me, but who knows. Maybe Seelah is driving women away from the hobby and Paizo would do better with art no sexier than Brienne, who knows? I doubt it, but its not like I have any crunchy data on the question.

Okay first off, bare chainmail against flesh ow ow ow ow ow ow...

But your last bit brings of a salient point. Seelah, in all the art I've seen of her, has never been portrayed as a sexual character* (which is not the same as saying she isn't sexy, I do find her very attractive), and yet her chest piece is emphasized and sexualized. A good partner point I've read would be the discussion between Isabella's (from Dragon Age) voice actress and character designer in DA2. Her outfit (which is very tame by sexy outfit standards) was explicitly made with the mindset of "how fast can I take this off?". Isabella is a very sexual character, she is down to f+!! (from the discussion). Her outfit, and her wearing it, isn't jarring in the slightest to me, whereas someone like Seelah wearing boobplate is.

*she did wear a lovely red dress in one piece I believe, though she did not seem to be happy about it.


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1of1 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I don't think "when I am splattered with gore and viscera from the ogre I just finished disemboweling" is really a good time to be sexy.
You're right. Dragon gore is far more suited to my skin tone. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡° )

Nothing says 'I'm awesome' like wearing your foes blood, and not yours, all the while managing to do so in skimpy armor! ;)


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Here's a perhaps more productive way to go about this: rather than barring women from being sexy in this fantasy game (because wanting sexy women = objectifying them), what I'd love to see is keep all the sexy women, but then get female heterosexual artists to draw the men in the most sexy way they can. The biggest problem with these sorts of products is that the men are typically drawn in a way that males want and the women end up being drawn in a way that the men want. Given sex sells, why not target both sides equally?


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Here's a perhaps more productive way to go about this: rather than barring women from being sexy in this fantasy game (because wanting sexy women = objectifying them), what I'd love to see is keep all the sexy women, but then get female heterosexual artists to draw the men in the most sexy way they can. The biggest problem with these sorts of products is that the men are typically drawn in a way that males want and the women end up being drawn in a way that the men want. Given sex sells, why not target both sides equally?

No one is arguing against sex! More sex is good (Game of Thrones)! What isn't good is perpetuating old, unnecessary, tired tropes.

Silver Crusade

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Here's a perhaps more productive way to go about this: rather than barring women from being sexy in this fantasy game (because wanting sexy women = objectifying them),

No one is calling for that, and the parenthetical text is false.

The issue with your suggestion is that it's not going to get the intended results because A) every artists still has to follow what they're being paid for and B) the differentiation applies to all artists (because artists are people), het cis woman A will like a certain type of man vs het cis woman B, vs gay cis man liking a certain type of man vs gay cis man B, etc etc etc


graystone wrote:
1of1 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I don't think "when I am splattered with gore and viscera from the ogre I just finished disemboweling" is really a good time to be sexy.
You're right. Dragon gore is far more suited to my skin tone. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡° )
Nothing says 'I'm awesome' like wearing your foes blood, and not yours, all the while managing to do so in skimpy armor! ;)

Aye, it's part of why I think Amiri looks like a total bad ass. Still, if you aren't wearing at least a little of your own blood, it probably wasn't a very good fight. I need to get down and dirty to feel that physical satisfaction. If I'm not at least bruised after a beat down, then I need a stronger dance partner.

It's really all a matter of taste, though. All of it.


Wild Spirit wrote:
What isn't good is perpetuating old, unnecessary, tired tropes.

That's the thing though: I never got that memo about female fantasy armor being old, unnecessary OR tired. Maybe they forgot to put me on the mailing list... :P


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graystone wrote:
Wild Spirit wrote:
What isn't good is perpetuating old, unnecessary, tired tropes.
That's the thing though: I never got that memo about female fantasy armor being old, unnecessary OR tired. Maybe they forgot to put me on the mailing list... :P

Just google the phrase "fantasy lady armor comic" and you will see this nonsense is nothing new

Liberty's Edge

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As I noted earlier, and I think is true of most people objecting to boob plate, I find it distasteful because it generally (though not always, I suppose, given the mention of 'chiseled male chest sculpted armor') breaks my suspension of disbelief more or less purely for purposes of titillation.

If I want my suspension of disbelief broken so things will be sexier, I will go watch porn, thanks all the same. I don't need or want that in my RPG artwork. Especially if it makes some people feel uncomfortable (which it absolutely does).

Now, I don't think anyone is arguing we need to get rid of all sexy illustrations. Some (including myself) think that sexually charged pictures of women should not vastly outnumber sexually charged pictures of men, but that's not actually the same thing at all.

No, people are arguing that sexualizing women in unrealistic ways makes them feel uncomfortable and is generally unpleasant.

For those making the 'I want my art to be fantastical' argument, I ask the following: What about putting the same kind of sexualized armor on men? Because, frankly, I don't think I've ever seen a sexualized man in full plate or a cod piece on any male armor in Pathfinder's art. Doing sexualized armor for everyone would be an odd art style, but it would be consistent and say things about the world that are interesting, rather than simply reinforcing unfortunate trends in the real world.

But that's not something I've seen in Pathfinder, and under the circumstances I'd prefer not to see things go in that direction now.


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I'm just amused over the spirited debate about "boobplate".

I think the only example that shows up relatively commonly over the course of the books as arguably sexualized is the iconic inquisitor.
Possibly a bunch of "one offs" here and there I admit I don't pay that much attention to the artwork as to catalogue every affrotn to my sense of decency.

Players tend to commit greater crimes than artwork.

The rest just seemed to be tacked on(heh) to say "yes this is female".

Liberty's Edge

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graystone wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
suspension of disbelief
Out of ALL the things in the game, like giant sized weapon wielding barbarians, THAT is a bridge too far?

What I actually said was:

'breaks my suspension of disbelief more or less purely for purposes of titillation.'

The bolded part is actually the important bit. I'm willing to have my suspension of disbelief violated for purposes of making the game more awesome. Or more fun. Or easier for new players. Or several other reasons.

But like I said above, having it violated to make things sexier? Nope. And, as stated before, especially not when it makes a significant number of people uncomfortable and causes them to enjoy the game less.


graystone wrote:


So it's totally realistic to have armor that's made for aesthetics as well as practicality. If the greeks wanted to look like they had 'ripped' abs and pecs, it seems...

There is a limitation on this. You'll note said aesthetic notes do little to interfere in the structure of the armor. Features like "cleavage window" or "upraised bits to make the girls rest more cofrtably" have never been a feature.

Liberty's Edge

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graystone wrote:
Is it though? Or is it more to make it simple to differentiate between male and female characters? I see it much like the eye/hair color in anime: The use unusual colors to easily tell characters apart. I'm sure a more appealing profile is another factor, but I doubt it's the only one.

I don't have too much trouble distinguishing between the Pathfinder Iconics (for example) without this sort of thing. I don't think most others do either. It's not like their face shapes, skin tones, or gear aren't super distinctive already.

graystone wrote:

Secondly, I've seen Hoplite armor that comes with sculpted abs, a belly button and nipples... From 700 BC... The current theory is that "It was mostly aesthetic: The introduction of toned armor seems uniquely Greek — and the reason is more aesthetic than functional. There was no structural reinforcement that came from having six-pack outlines or little stylized nipples. "All the abstracts were for show," Brice notes. That's not limited to the cuirass — the crest on the helmet made a warrior look taller, but also made him look good.

"It seems possible," Van Wees says, "that even when thoroughly covered up, they liked to appear as naked as possible." There's also evidence that sometimes the cuirasses were painted, since archaeologists have found traces of red paint."

So it's totally realistic to have armor that's made for aesthetics as well as practicality. If the greece wanted to look like they had 'ripped' abs and pecs, it seems unrealistic to say other armor aesthetic are wrong.

As I mentioned earlier, if they introduced a culture where everyone did this (men and women) I'd actually be totally fine with it. Heck, someone earlier mentioned the Grey Maidens, and having run CotCT and knowing their history, I'm fine with them having such armor as well (for various reasons involving their specific situation).

What's weird (and clearly for purposes of titillation) is women everywhere having this sort of thing while no men do anywhere. And that's what I'm objecting to.


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I feel as though my biggest problem in the art is when a character is depicted as "sexy" but the context the character is in makes it completely nonsensical for the character to want to be sexy in that situation.

So like if a character is attending a fancy party or is meeting a lover, it makes sense she might want to make a striking impact and will dress accordingly. But if she's shopping for fruit or going to the library we can leave the high slit dresses in the armoire.

But any time someone is going to go to the trouble of "putting on plate mail" it's either to show off in some military exercises or similar ritual (and situations like this are why "parade armor" is a thing) or to go into a dangerous place and fight giant spiders and be menaced by ghouls. Nobody in their right mind is going to elect to affect "sexy" when they're going to fight giant spiders and get menaced by ghouls (or at least, it's not going to be very common)- neither ghouls nor spiders are easily distracted by cleavage or other implications of breasts.

Now sure, a character could be ambushed by menacing ghouls at a fancy dinner party, this is a thing that happens in these games, but can we at least dress people so that they are prepared for the tasks they are attempting to complete?

Grand Lodge

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TarkXT wrote:

I'm just amused over the spirited debate about "boobplate".

I think the only example that shows up relatively commonly over the course of the books as arguably sexualized is the iconic inquisitor.
Possibly a bunch of "one offs" here and there I admit I don't pay that much attention to the artwork as to catalogue every affrotn to my sense of decency.

Players tend to commit greater crimes than artwork.

The rest just seemed to be tacked on(heh) to say "yes this is female".

Yeah. The Iconic Inquisitor, Imrijka I believe, not only has "boobplate", but Victorias Secret push up boobplate so that she can ...what, rest her chin on it? It just looks silly. *Sorry Wayne*.

I do like the hat, though. Even if it does look like it might interfere with the archery.


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Meanwhile Seoni just traipsing about the dungeon in her "mage armor".

#castermartialdisparity2018


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Maybe just like Valeros picked up a shield and Harsk put away the crossbow, we could get Imrijka some new armor?

Like work a cool Pharasman "spiral of bones" pattern in there in lieu of "Look! Breasts!"


TarkXT wrote:

Meanwhile Seoni just traipsing about the dungeon in her "mage armor".

#castermartialdisparity2018

Let casters be magical and martials practical.


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Wild Spirit wrote:
TarkXT wrote:

Meanwhile Seoni just traipsing about the dungeon in her "mage armor".

#castermartialdisparity2018

Let casters be magical and martials practical.

But what if my armor is magical? How many pluses do I need before I can show off my 6 pack?

#paladinsofshelyn


TarkXT wrote:
Wild Spirit wrote:
TarkXT wrote:

Meanwhile Seoni just traipsing about the dungeon in her "mage armor".

#castermartialdisparity2018

Let casters be magical and martials practical.

But what if my armor is magical? How many pluses do I need before I can show off my 6 pack?

#paladinsofshelyn

There are no 'plus armors' and 'plus weapons' in PF 2.0.


TarkXT wrote:

Meanwhile Seoni just traipsing about the dungeon in her "mage armor".

#castermartialdisparity2018

All while getting the bonus of a chainshirt without any of the mali for level/hours. #truedisparity indeed

Silver Crusade

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Maybe just like Valeros picked up a shield and Harsk put away the crossbow, we could get Imrijka some new armor?

Like work a cool Pharasman "spiral of bones" pattern in there in lieu of "Look! Breasts!"

Agreed, give her awesome armor to go with her awesome hat and duster.

(tangent, she's in the comic Spiral of Bones by Crystal Frasier which just shipped volume 2 I believe, it's really, really good)


Wild Spirit wrote:
TarkXT wrote:
Wild Spirit wrote:
TarkXT wrote:

Meanwhile Seoni just traipsing about the dungeon in her "mage armor".

#castermartialdisparity2018

Let casters be magical and martials practical.

But what if my armor is magical? How many pluses do I need before I can show off my 6 pack?

#paladinsofshelyn

There are no 'plus armors' and 'plus weapons' in PF 2.0.

Hate to break it to you but there certainly are +weapons (and very likely +armor as well). +weapons now add an additional weapon die to per + by the by.

Liberty's Edge

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Wild Spirit wrote:
There are no 'plus armors' and 'plus weapons' in PF 2.0.

Off topic, but we do know there are +1 weapons and +4 weapons. Assuming the same is true of armor is pretty reasonable.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Wild Spirit wrote:
There are no 'plus armors' and 'plus weapons' in PF 2.0.
Off topic, but we do know there are +1 weapons and +4 weapons. Assuming the same is true of armor is pretty reasonable.

OK, my bad.


I just want to know at what point my magic armor can show off all the hard work I've been doing at the gym.


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TarkXT wrote:
I just want to know at what point my magic armor can show off all the hard work I've been doing at the gym.

Since glamered armor can appear like whatever you want it to and still provide all the same protection somehow, you could just put on plate mail and have it look like short shorts.

Going whole hog (ahem) like this is perhaps preferable to trying to make plate mail look like plate mail that also shows off your rad bod.


TarkXT wrote:
There is a limitation on this. You'll note said aesthetic notes do little to interfere in the structure of the armor. Features like "cleavage window" or "upraised bits to make the girls rest more cofrtably" have never been a feature.

I thought the thread was about chest plates being formed for ladies... If we're talking about chainmail bikinis, that's different. Though, with the advent of weapon mods and nimble, some parts cut out might make sense as it lowers the AC.

PS: if you look at the hoplite images, you'll see actual abs and pecs are molded and afforded places for a weapon to catch: from a practical standpoint an unadorned piece would have worked better. Secondly, I have no evidence that "upraised bits" would alter structural integrity. Third, having a greater number of female armor wearers in pathfinder should accommodate the same aesthetic choices for them.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
I don't have too much trouble distinguishing between the Pathfinder Iconics (for example) without this sort of thing.

But would you if they have a helmet and unisex armor? And would you note the iconic and a normal guy next to each other if they wear similar Unisex armor?

Deadmanwalking wrote:
As I mentioned earlier, if they introduced a culture where everyone did this (men and women) I'd actually be totally fine with it.

Why would you need a culture? Why couldn't it be a blacksmith/armorer that makes that kind of armor? I mean we have people that buy gold armor and ornamental ones. Why is it SO hard to imagine a style of that kind of armor without a culture behind it.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
What's weird (and clearly for purposes of titillation) is women everywhere having this sort of thing while no men do anywhere. And that's what I'm objecting to.

Maybe we should petition that the new pathfinder have more nipples on male armor then?


Wild Spirit wrote:
I suggest you try fencing in this 'magnificent' outfit you so fervently defend and then return to tell us your opinion. :)

How do you know I don't? ;)


Rysky wrote:
(tangent, she's in the comic Spiral of Bones by Crystal Frasier which just shipped volume 2 I believe, it's really, really good)

Hopping in on the tangent (sorry), I guess the plot could be considered good, but considering this is the official cover. It just makes me cringe, especially in the spirit of this thread.

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