[Closed] Non-Binary Gender Inclusion but with a Contradiction


General Discussion

1 to 50 of 176 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.

At first I thought it was really impressive that Paizo has the statement of "Your character might challenge binary gender notions..." but then later, on page 164, there's the skill feat called 'Close Match' which says "You’re androgynous, look a bit older or younger than you are, or look like you might have an ancestry other than your own. Choose a different gender, an age other than your own, or an ancestry the same size as yours..." which makes it sound like you can challenge binary gender notions but you still have to appear as either male or female unless you take a feat.

You may want to change the wording on the feat, Paizo. And probably the name of it. May I suggest:
"You look a bit older or younger than you are, or look like you might have an ancestry other than your own. Choose a different age other than your own, or an ancestry the same size as yours..." (Basically, remove the gender detail from the feat so that you're not contradicting yourselves.)


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'd also like to see the "Gender" designation removed from the character sheet.

There's no room for skin color, or hair color, or eye color, or height and weight.

The first page is cramped trying to make room for all the data that make a mechanical difference in the outcomes of the game. Why is gender there?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

11 people marked this as a favorite.

I'll go one further and say I'd like to see the word "gender" removed from all game mechanics.

In fact, a quick search of the rulebook shows that the Close Match feat is the only rules text that contains the word, "gender." The gender-based penalty on disguises mentioned in Close Match feat doesn't actually seem to exist in anywhere else in the rules, making the Close Match feat the only instance in the game of gender having a game mechanical effect on one's character.


21 people marked this as a favorite.

There is a working mechanic for gender so I have to disagree with all of you. Not to mention just because you challenge gender tropes doesn't mean people see you as you see yourself, so the close match has validity.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
ApexCarnie wrote:
There is a working mechanic for gender so I have to disagree with all of you.

Page? Quotation?

Or are you just pointing out that this feat exists?


5 people marked this as a favorite.
CrystalSeas wrote:
ApexCarnie wrote:
There is a working mechanic for gender so I have to disagree with all of you.

Page? Quotation?

Or are you just pointing out that this feat exists?

Chapter 8 page 281. Gray Maiden a prestige class specifically for women.


I haven't been through the whole book yet, but if I come across more I'll post it.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
ApexCarnie wrote:
Chapter 8 page 281. Gray Maiden a prestige class specifically for women.

Page 197, "Trigger Stimulus" allows you to have a spell such as Magic Mouth react to someone based on perceived gender.

Searching for Gender, Male, Female, & Sex have no other results coming up.


Warped Savant wrote:

Page 197, "Trigger Stimulus" allows you to have a spell such as Magic Mouth react to someone based on perceived gender.

Searching for Gender, Male, Female, & Sex have no other results coming up. [/-QUOTE]

Pages 288-289 Deities
Contains multiple references to femininity/masculinity (and several with no descriptor.) :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Now, with those two things being mentioned, how should they be dealt with?

Magic Mouth doesn't appear to have a way to deceive what it's looking for. Let's say the trigger is "any elf" and then a human with the "close enough" feat that pretends to be an elf gets too close to it how does the spell react? The feat allows you to not take a penalty to your Deception check but it doesn't look like you can roll against the Magic Mouth. Trigger Stimuli are tricked by disguises so I assume the GM has to decide the DC based off of... something.
(Side Note: I don't see any penalties listed for disguising yourself as an ancestry that you aren't a part of. I'm confused what penalties this feat is supposed to remove...)

Gray Maidens... I have no idea. They seem like such a weird thing to include in the game.

I guess I should change my original statement of "You may want to change the wording..." to "Why have this feat at all? It looks like it should be removed as it doesn't appear to do anything."


RumRogue wrote:
Warped Savant wrote:

Page 197, "Trigger Stimulus" allows you to have a spell such as Magic Mouth react to someone based on perceived gender.

Searching for Gender, Male, Female, & Sex have no other results coming up.

Pages 288-289 Deities

Contains multiple references to femininity/masculinity (and several with no descriptor.) :)

Yeah, and none of those look to have any mechanical effect. They're stating the gender of the gods. (Unless I'm missing something...)


7 people marked this as a favorite.
CrystalSeas wrote:
I'd also like to see the "Gender" designation removed from the character sheet.

Better option than "Gender" on a character sheet? Pronouns.

Because what societal role someone is expected to fill, or what's in your pants matter much less than "how people should refer to you", since that one is going to come up a whole lot.

Since "how do you pee" won't come up, and you can wear your hair or dress any way you can summon with your imagination, but people are going to want to slip a "she" or "him" in there from time to time since referring to people with names and titles exclusively becomes awkward.


8 people marked this as a favorite.

Why is an order of badass women that's been part of Golarion lore forever something that doesn't make sense for inclusion? I'm genuinely curious about how you feel about it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
master_marshmallow wrote:
Why is an order of badass women that's been part of Golarion lore forever something that doesn't make sense for inclusion? I'm genuinely curious about how you feel about it.

I believe it's canonical that the Grey Maidens welcome trans women, isn't it?

I figured it was just the sort of club that people who don't identify as women wouldn't want to be part of.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
master_marshmallow wrote:
Why is an order of badass women that's been part of Golarion lore forever something that doesn't make sense for inclusion? I'm genuinely curious about how you feel about it.

I'm completely indifferent about them as I've never encountered them as a player and I've never used them as a GM.

But I'm not that familiar with Golarion lore unless it's something I've specifically looked into for a character or game I've ran. I'm fairly certain the first time I saw anything referring to them was the Playtest blog post that was talking about archetypes.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Warped Savant wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Why is an order of badass women that's been part of Golarion lore forever something that doesn't make sense for inclusion? I'm genuinely curious about how you feel about it.

I'm completely indifferent about them as I've never encountered them as a player and I've never used them as a GM.

But I'm not that familiar with Golarion lore unless it's something I've specifically looked into for a character or game I've ran. I'm fairly certain the first time I saw anything referring to them was the Playtest blog post that was talking about archetypes.

A Gray Maiden was on the back of the Pathfinder 1st Edition Core Rule Book.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

I've just noticed that I'm not the only one to bring this up in the past two days:
First Thread
Second Thread
Third Thread

And thankfully James Jacobs has already responded to one of them Over Here:

James Jacobs wrote:

This is an excellent bit of feedback. It's important for us to aim for feat descriptions that don't imply that choices like this rely upon things you can't select until 2nd level or higher.

You can and should be able to make choices about your character's gender from the very start, just as you do all other choices in that regard, without the implication of the rules saying otherwise.

Thanks again for pointing this out!

Moderators: Perhaps these should all be combined into one?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:
I'd also like to see the "Gender" designation removed from the character sheet.

Better option than "Gender" on a character sheet? Pronouns.

Because what societal role someone is expected to fill, or what's in your pants matter much less than "how people should refer to you", since that one is going to come up a whole lot.

Since "how do you pee" won't come up, and you can wear your hair or dress any way you can summon with your imagination, but people are going to want to slip a "she" or "him" in there from time to time since referring to people with names and titles exclusively becomes awkward.

Your concern seems way too niche for a fantasy game with an already niche fan-base let alone a playtest Of a new system. The, why include it at all, portion is probably because someone felt under represented, so Paizo being a bunch of decent people tried to be as inclusive as possible.

Besides if we're being honest about the setting of this game, where you can die at a moment's notice, a character's societal role is much more important than a character's subjective view of themselves. The statement made about gender, was more than likely an inclusive one to let fans know it's cool rather than a 'we're going to dedicate resources to make this a mechanical function of the game'.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't understand your complaint.

Including *only* the pronouns lets me know what to call you, which involves no subjective view of themselves, and is the thing about someone's identity that will come up from other people perspective much more than anything else.

Like the reason we have names on character sheets is so we have something for other people to call you, so why not pronouns for the exact same reason? A character's inner life is something that we generally explore (if at all) through play not through how we fill in fields, and "what is your name/what are your pronouns" is pretty much a surface level part of identity.

Shadow Lodge

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Warped Savant wrote:

At first I thought it was really impressive that Paizo has the statement of "Your character might challenge binary gender notions..." but then later, on page 164, there's the skill feat called 'Close Match' which says "You’re androgynous, look a bit older or younger than you are, or look like you might have an ancestry other than your own. Choose a different gender, an age other than your own, or an ancestry the same size as yours..." which makes it sound like you can challenge binary gender notions but you still have to appear as either male or female unless you take a feat.

You may want to change the wording on the feat, Paizo. And probably the name of it. May I suggest:
"You look a bit older or younger than you are, or look like you might have an ancestry other than your own. Choose a different age other than your own, or an ancestry the same size as yours..." (Basically, remove the gender detail from the feat so that you're not contradicting yourselves.)

That still doesn't really solve it, as the feat is essentially "Passing" as a pickup. I get the want to remove the gender portion, but the racial connotations are still there, and if we're looking to remove the whole complicated and nasty problem that is the cultural currency of "passing as an ethnicity, sex, etc. you weren't "born" as" from the mechanics list, they should probably remove the whole thing save in the most fantastical or pseudo absurd instances.

In other words, a feat that says you "pass" as a cis woman or a Spaniard more easily is not going to look good if you want to attract people who are ya know, people of color who have to deal with needing to pass to survive or trans people who are quite tired of the comparison. Feats like childlike, that lets halflings pass as a human child though, that might work.

Maybe make the feat something like "Nondescript" or "Doppelganger descended" and just expand it. Say something like, "Your features are so androgynous and/or nondescript that you have far greater ease disguising yourself as others." then just give the bonus to all other ones in the same size category. So like, a human with the feat could be really good at making themselves look convincingly male, female, orc, elf, maybe dwarf when they squat, black, SE Asian...

Basically change it from the "Passing" feat, to the "he's basically play dough, he can look like whoever". Makes it more fantastical, more interesting, helps decouple from both problems.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I don't understand your complaint.

Including *only* the pronouns lets me know what to call you, which involves no subjective view of themselves, and is the thing about someone's identity that will come up from other people perspective much more than anything else.

Like the reason we have names on character sheets is so we have something for other people to call you, so why not pronouns for the exact same reason? A character's inner life is something that we generally explore (if at all) through play not through how we fill in fields, and "what is your name/what are your pronouns" is pretty much a surface level part of identity.

So, no it's not. Pronouns are actually objective language tools used to describe people based on sex or number. To say it has to do with they're inner life means it has to do with subjective perception, not objective observation. However, relating back to the game; way too niche for a playtest


16 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I believe it's canonical that the Grey Maidens welcome trans women, isn't it?

As much so as I can make it. Having a trans woman as one of the "subfaction leaders" hopefully helps. ^_^

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I figured it was just the sort of club that people who don't identify as women wouldn't want to be part of.

It's made somewhat complicated by the nature of the Gray Maidens, especially their origins. Lots of forced recruitment and such.

The Adventure Path doesn't give a lot of detail, since it's not terribly relevant, but I believe the original set would have included anyone who identified and presented as female, and met the Queen's standards for beauty and strength and such. Post-Ileosa recruitment, to whatever degree it occurs, presumably differs by subfaction, with the Scarlet Rose being more open-minded and the Erinyes Company holding tighter, more misandristic standards. Either would accept trans women as readily as cis women, though... a woman's a woman.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
doc the grey wrote:
Maybe make the feat something like "Nondescript" or "Doppelganger descended" and just expand it. Say something like, "Your features are so androgynous and/or nondescript that you have far greater ease disguising yourself as others." then just give the bonus to all other ones in the same size category.

I really like this idea!

And bonuses are something that actually make sense based on the rules of the Playtest. (Way more sense then negating a penalty that isn't actually there.)


10 people marked this as a favorite.
ApexCarnie wrote:
So, no it's not. Pronouns are actually objective language tools used to describe people based on sex or number. To say it has to do with they're inner life means it has to do with subjective perception, not objective observation. However, relating back to the game; way too niche for a playtest

I disagree, since I do not see there as being literally any *objective* language tools, as all meaning exists as intersubjective consensus within a linguistic community. Pronouns are literally "what is the appropriate replacement for the the person or object in the sentence" and will vary from language to language (e.g. many languages have a third pronoun used for unspecified individuals which might have any gender with no obvious parallel in English.)

But the "So, what do I call you?" question is one that is easily understood and translates across cross-cultural and linguistic barriers. Having "pronouns" be the relevant field anticipates there being ancestry options which don't necessarily have notions of gender (e.g. Ghorans) or which have gender options which are not directly translatable to common ones (like if we ever get a Pathfinder version of Shirrens, though I don't think they're quite liberated from the hive mind yet.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Warped Savant wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
Maybe make the feat something like "Nondescript" or "Doppelganger descended" and just expand it. Say something like, "Your features are so androgynous and/or nondescript that you have far greater ease disguising yourself as others." then just give the bonus to all other ones in the same size category.
I really like this idea!

Excellent!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Warped Savant wrote:

At first I thought it was really impressive that Paizo has the statement of "Your character might challenge binary gender notions..." but then later, on page 164, there's the skill feat called 'Close Match' which says "You’re androgynous, look a bit older or younger than you are, or look like you might have an ancestry other than your own. Choose a different gender, an age other than your own, or an ancestry the same size as yours..." which makes it sound like you can challenge binary gender notions but you still have to appear as either male or female unless you take a feat.

You may want to change the wording on the feat, Paizo. And probably the name of it. May I suggest:
"You look a bit older or younger than you are, or look like you might have an ancestry other than your own. Choose a different age other than your own, or an ancestry the same size as yours..." (Basically, remove the gender detail from the feat so that you're not contradicting yourselves.)

Yup; this has been noted in another thread and it's certainly something that needs to have its flavor text adjusted.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Maybe I'm being dense, but how does "Choose a different gender" force binary only? A non-binary selection can also be different gender, I think.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Zaister wrote:
Maybe I'm being dense, but how does "Choose a different gender" force binary only? A non-binary selection can also be different gender, I think.

In a linguistic sense, gender is used to denote a binary typically with a "neuter" for things that opt out of the distinction. I imagine there's still some portion of that usage still floating around in its modern usage causing confusion.

You're right though, it doesn't really imply a male/female gender choice, but it does imply you could greatly alter your appearance by going along different gender distinctions. For instance, if you were to use the Basque animate/inanimate gender distinction, you could use this ability to appear to be a statue I suppose. Heck, you could use Tuyuca genders to disguise yourself as entirely hypothetical. That disguise would probably be tricky.

Liberty's Edge

ErichAD wrote:
Zaister wrote:
Maybe I'm being dense, but how does "Choose a different gender" force binary only? A non-binary selection can also be different gender, I think.

In a linguistic sense, gender is used to denote a binary typically with a "neuter" for things that opt out of the distinction. I imagine there's still some portion of that usage still floating around in its modern usage causing confusion.

You're right though, it doesn't really imply a male/female gender choice, but it does imply you could greatly alter your appearance by going along different gender distinctions. For instance, if you were to use the Basque animate/inanimate gender distinction, you could use this ability to appear to be a statue I suppose. Heck, you could use Tuyuca genders to disguise yourself as entirely hypothetical. That disguise would probably be tricky.

In a linguistic sense, gender has nothing to do with people and their genders at all. Grammatical gender is only binary in some languages, and some (like English) eschew gender altogether.

Shadow Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

If my character encounters another in the game what will be there first impression? Im believe, perhaps wrongly but please point it out, that initial perception will be one of two things, male or female, or androgynous to some degree where that distinction is not apparent. I have no way to percieve if a person is trans, intersex or of no identified gender, so my initial perception is one of the above, how can it be anything else? Please explain to me if im wrong here.

It then part of a roleplaying opportunity or a social contract to elicit any ‘gender’ preference.

On that note i see no reason for gender on the character sheet. It has no mechanical effect on the game, is a highly personal issue that everyone has very strong opinions on (just look up) that are better dealt with through actual communication.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
ApexCarnie wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:
ApexCarnie wrote:
There is a working mechanic for gender so I have to disagree with all of you.

Page? Quotation?

Or are you just pointing out that this feat exists?

Chapter 8 page 281. Gray Maiden a prestige class specifically for women.

Women, or those who identify as women?

Paizo could solve a lot of this by referring to these things on the basis of sex, not gender. That is what they obviously are referring to when they use gender half of the time in relation to skillchecks or effects.

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Thaboe wrote:
ApexCarnie wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:
ApexCarnie wrote:
There is a working mechanic for gender so I have to disagree with all of you.

Page? Quotation?

Or are you just pointing out that this feat exists?

Chapter 8 page 281. Gray Maiden a prestige class specifically for women.

Women, or those who identify as women?

Paizo could solve a lot of this by referring to these things on the basis of sex, not gender. That is what they obviously are referring to when they use gender half of the time in relation to skillchecks or effects.

No, they are in act referring to one’s gender.

1 to 50 of 176 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion / [Closed] Non-Binary Gender Inclusion but with a Contradiction All Messageboards