Playing a character of the opposite gender


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Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Online—VTT

Ferious Thune wrote:

I kind of wish Calistria would get some canonical adjustments to how she’s represented and they way that everyone views her (similar to how Zarta has evolved). It’s like you can’t make a character who worships Calistria without all of the comments at the table turning lewd. A lot of that is on the players, but the source material could help with it.

My two Calistria characters have been more focused on her Vengeance aspect. A male halfling hard-boiled detective Gunslinger/Inquisitor, and a female half-elf 8 CHA Unchained Rogue modeled after the wasp queens who takes her job extremely seriously. Even that one backfired on me a little, as the table comments turned to somewhat mocking of her appearance, as though that should be the important thing about the character since she worships Calistria.

I think mocking someone devoted to the Goddess of vengeance is... possibly one of the dumbest things someone could do, people who think that's a good plan should just stamp "stab me here" on their forehead and be done with it.

I've also focused far more on the trickery and vengeance aspects of Calistria when I play followers of her, I'm not sure why so many people get stuck up on the lust part since it's imo the most boring aspect of her, but I suspect it's mostly younger and less mature players in general.

Scarab Sages 4/5

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I don’t think Calistria herself needs to change, because I don’t really think the intent was ever that she represent the characters people create and expect from her. It’s more about stressing that in the material that is published about her. Which I don’t really think Paizo has done a terrible job with. It’s more that people have focused on a very small aspect of her and some reminders that isn’t really what she’s all about would be helpful.

But on the topic of how gods are represented in world, it’s not like Paizo hasn’t changed large aspects of deities before (see Sarenrae as her worship is viewed in Taldor).

Scarab Sages 4/5

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Richard Lowe wrote:
I think mocking someone devoted to the Goddess of vengeance is... possibly one of the dumbest things someone could do, people who think that's a good plan should just stamp "stab me here" on their forehead and be done with it.

Oh, but for those pesky PvP rules. :)

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

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Ferious Thune wrote:
My two Calistria characters have been more focused on her Vengeance aspect. A male halfling hard-boiled detective Gunslinger/Inquisitor, and a female half-elf 8 CHA Unchained Rogue modeled after the wasp queens who takes her job extremely seriously. Even that one backfired on me a little, as the table comments turned to somewhat mocking of her appearance, as though that should be the important thing about the character since she worships Calistria.

My Calistrian is a ranger who adheres to the vengeance aspect but is asexual. It’s always interesting to see who picks up on the hints about her religion.

Ferious Thune wrote:
Richard Lowe wrote:
I think mocking someone devoted to the Goddess of vengeance is... possibly one of the dumbest things someone could do, people who think that's a good plan should just stamp "stab me here" on their forehead and be done with it.
Oh, but for those pesky PvP rules. :)

Woe be to the gnome who went around plucking hairs from the entire party to use as spell foci. He ended up waking up on the return trip with his head shaved.

Sovereign Court 1/5

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"A wise saying I've heard and recommend be taken to heart is "Beware a chaste follower of the Savored Sting.. People still do need the freedom to be foolish, however."

Feza is a scandal-hunting follower of Calistria. Being clad scantily would interfere with her sacred tasks.

> ^ <

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

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Richard Lowe wrote:
I suspect it's mostly younger and less mature players in general.

In my experience, not the former unfortunately, but certainly the latter.

4/5

I play a paladin of Arshea occasionally, using the redeemer AT. The focus of the character is the idea of using the power of love to turn people back to good. Yes, she is a Dark Archivist as well, and wants to help Zarta find the path back to good.

5/5 ⦵⦵

I’ve been thinking about this topic about cross gender character role playing.

I’d say about 40% of my PFS/SFS characters are female. Most of my characters are loosely based on someone real of fictional. All my characters have personality flaws of some sort, many have Biass, and each has catch phrases that I use only with that one character. Some are really silly some are much more deep with real world personality quirks/flaws. With that background about how I develop a character personality for PFS and SFS. I do know why I make a character female.

I’ve been GMing for almost 40 years I routinely and normally role-play female NPC’s the party encounters. So, I’m very comfortable in that role. But most PFS GM’s are male and most don’t cross gender role play very well. So, when I have a character that has a personality flaw/quirk that is cross gender dependent I get much more traction and good role playing when I make my character female so I’m in a role I’m fine with and It lets GM’s role play in their comfort zone.

For example, my very first PFS female character thinks everyone else is beneath her and she uses her super good looks to take advantage of the opposite sex. So, if there is a role -playing encounter where there is a NPC male that we are having problems getting information from. I will literally describe to the GM how my character is flirting. I will often tell the GM (after reminding him of my picture and Super high Charisma (32),) Something like- ” I walk up really close behind him barely brushing up against him, I let him smell my scent and I lightly blow in his ear.” If that doesn’t work I might go on further and start hinting at something special later. As soon as she gets what she wants the guy is dumped. She doesn’t give a s%~$. She just used him and spit him out. In real life this could be done by any gender to any gender.

Not all my female characters are so dark. My latest SFS character is constantly worried that men won’t take her seriously, so her catch phrase is “I’m strictly professional, so, no touching”. She uses that in the character intro and whenever the characters are squeezed into close physical proximity.

Not all my character have cross gender personality quirks, but the one’s that do I almost always make females due to the role playing traction I get by allowing gm’s to play in their male comfort zone.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Yes. Thunderlips is terrible to behold.

UH..... WUT?

Spoiler:
I have toned down his description based on how others reacted. I have also reigned in the stupidity of both him and his familiar based on others at the table. He’s a big dumb barbarian that happens to wear silken ceremonial armor of a certain cut.

Grand Lodge 5/5

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"Bolt Vanderhuge say Thunderlips is fine competer!"

Scarab Sages 1/5

Bolt Vanderhuge wrote:
"Bolt Vanderhuge say Thunderlips is fine competer!"

"I' tha' wha' th' call' 'at, Bol'?"

3/5 ⦵⦵ Contributor

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roysier wrote:
For example, my very first PFS female character thinks everyone else is beneath her and she uses her super good looks to take advantage of the opposite sex. So, if there is a role -playing encounter where there is a NPC male that we are having problems getting information from. I will literally describe to the GM how my character is flirting. I will often tell the GM (after reminding him of my picture and Super high Charisma (32),) Something like- ” I walk up really close behind him barely brushing up against him, I let him smell my scent and I lightly blow in his ear.” If that doesn’t work I might go on further and start hinting at something special later.

This would make me extremely uncomfortable. Extremely.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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I play non-female characters occasionally, though the vast majority of my characters are women. In general, I don't have any issue with cross-gendered characters at my tables, as long as they are played respectfully.
The sex part is where it can go completely sideways if I don't know every single player at the table well. This isn't just for cross-gendered characters, by the way. If I'm playing with a group of friends, sure, we can explore more sexually flirtatious characters, because I trust them, they trust me, and we know that if anyone's uncomfortable they will speak up.
In public games, however, it can be extremely unpleasant. I've certainly had situations where it goes beyond making the table unfun (which sucks in its own right), into me literally not feeling safe around that person. And I've found that it can be very difficult to speak up with strangers when their portrayal has crossed a line. Even with the amount of experience I have with gaming, it isn't easy, and sometimes I can't get the words out.
I know that no one wants to be the person inadvertently putting a damper on someone else's experience. So it all goes back to avoiding the tropes and tendencies that are most likely to make other folks uncomfortable. Because people won't always tell you.

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

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Just out of curiosity why isn't there more stringent rules for what is simply sexual harassment? It's a pervasive enough issue that there should be a policy in place but?????????

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

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I almost never play female characters these days, as opposed to my early teens when it was about a 50/50 split. If I really examine why this is so, it’s probably because since then I’ve seen so many men playing offensively stereotyped (or just poorly stereotyped) female characters and have decided that the easiest way to avoid falling into that trap is to avoid playing female characters.

Earlier posters are right; it’s often the desire to create a memorable character that leads to the stereotypes. So we try to create characters with a funny personality quirk. While a man playing a male character might decide to play up a collection of buttons, overwhelming ego, fondness for marching songs, or love of cabbage, the same player might look at his female character and decide to play up “is woman.” So we get ditzes (complete with valley girl accents), man-hating feminists (“see, I’m making fun of myself!” [no you’re not]), and ladies who obsessively clean everything and complain about dirty adventurers.

And then there are what I refer to as the “wish-fulfillment” characters. Female PCs who act in ways their male players wish women would act around/towards them. It can occasionally be darkly amusing to see someone unconsciously acting out their desires but far more often (and far too often) it’s just plain disgusting watching a man put his female character in pornographic situations and insist he’s “just doing it to be funny.”

You can play cross-gendered characters. But it requires a degree of awareness that is depressingly uncommon.

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

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Adam Yakaboski wrote:
Just out of curiosity why isn't there more stringent rules for what is simply sexual harassment? It's a pervasive enough issue that there should be a policy in place but?????????

Do we need more of a policy than "if someone tells you to stop, stop. If you persist, you will be asked to leave"?

2/5

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I'm more comfortable playing the opposite gender than many people I've played with, in large part because I GM at least as much as I play, so I have more experience with RPing multiple genders on a regular basis.

Approximately 1/3 of my PFS characters are female. Part of the reason for the choice is to have more variety in what I play (I have currently have 14 PCs with XP, so having some be women was inevitable), part of it is that some characters felt more right to me as one gender over another.

I don't have any NB characters yet, though I've considered shifting my female tengu cavalier that way. (As a bird in heavy armor, her gender presentation is practically nil anyway.)

On a related note, very few of my PFS characters are overtly sexual. That's an area that can be fun to explore in a home campaign where everyone is comfortable with it, but it gets awkward REALLY fast among strangers and casual acquaintances in a public venue. I have one character that I first played in a campaign-style module, where her colorful romantic history became rich fodder for some dream-haunts the GM had to invent. Afterwards, I recreated her at 1st level for regular PFS play, and I think her bisexuality has been mentioned exactly once since then (when she turned down a seducer-healer's "gift" as too creepy, and disloyal to her partner). My only other confirmed sexually active character is my Calistrian cleric, but his profession (oldest) is strictly a downtime pursuit, and he dresses like a prude the rest of the time. (I also only play him in our occasional home PFS game.)

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

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Wow, I knew I was balanced, but didn't know I was THAT balanced. Just ran the numbers on my characters, totaling organized play and home games. 44 characters, of which I've got 20 male, 20 female, 3 other, and a female eidolon with a (male) vestigial summoner which I'm not sure how to total. (21 of them have at least one name that ends in "a", but I'm getting better about that.)

When making a character I just go with what fits them better. 73% of my characters were built around an ability or synergy of abilities that I then expanded on to make the character, the remainder were built on a personality or story concept (most of such characters were for home games. If just Organized, it's 90% built around abilities). At some point in the development, a gender comes to mind for them and I roll with it.

Being honest, in organized play, the roleplay doesn't really get very deep. An accent, a personality quirk, and some motivations are about all you get most of the time. It's rare that the scenarios let WHO the character is matter. So playing any given type of character isn't that hard. While deeper roleplay would be nice, this is close to my preferred type of game, actually. The plot is what's important and characters exist to further it. (This is a conflict with my home game friends, for whom the plot exists to further their characters. Our GM's work hard to strike a balance). Think about how many Dr Who episodes are about the Doctor showing up and solving the problem then going on their way again - rarely does the plot seek them out. That's perfect for me. Note that this doesn't preclude deeper roleplay - Dr Who can delve deeply into the character without the Doctor being the target of the plot. But that deepness doesn't translate well to organized play due to time constraints and variable GMs.

Going into the other part of the discussion, I have three characters for whom sex is a prominent part of their story. Only one of those is openly flirtatious at the table (my naiad). And yes, it's heavily tailored to how well I know the people at the table. The others are handled off-screen with out of character questions.

Sovereign Court 5/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kate Baker wrote:
roysier wrote:
For example, my very first PFS female character thinks everyone else is beneath her and she uses her super good looks to take advantage of the opposite sex. So, if there is a role -playing encounter where there is a NPC male that we are having problems getting information from. I will literally describe to the GM how my character is flirting. I will often tell the GM (after reminding him of my picture and Super high Charisma (32),) Something like- ” I walk up really close behind him barely brushing up against him, I let him smell my scent and I lightly blow in his ear.” If that doesn’t work I might go on further and start hinting at something special later.
This would make me extremely uncomfortable. Extremely.

I will second this. I have walked away from a table that I was playing where someone was doing this because it made me so uncomfortable.

Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Online—VTT

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roysier wrote:


Not all my female characters are so dark.

I'll be absolutely honest, no insult is meant but I feel that this portrayal may be being received in a way you're not aware of since that description did not come across as remotely 'dark' at all to me, rather I personally found it 'inappropriately creepy and sexualised'.

In a home game where everyone has bought in and agreed to play with that sort of character sure, but we're talking about Organised Play, there's no game I want to sit down at where someone starts describing things like that, it just comes across as a very disturbed wish fulfillment to me.

If you're playing a character like that then simply saying "I flirt with them" is as far as you need to go, the rest of the table understands what you mean, there's no need for anything more and it certainly isn't adding anything imo.

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

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I don't really play across gender.

I have an agender Kitsune who has simply 'forgotten' what their natural form is because they change faces so frequently and a single elves wizard who is so macabre that her gender is what it is so she can wear gothic dresses.

I will say that Paizo brings some of this on themselves. When companion to the lonely, calistria, urgathoa and arshea Divine Obediences are all somewhat recently written mechanical options that are PFS legal we have to expect that this sort of behavior is what the result will be. I may simply audibly groan when such things come up but a less invested player may instead decide to never come back.

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

Tim Emrick wrote:
I'm more comfortable playing the opposite gender than many people I've played with, in large part because I GM at least as much as I play, so I have more experience with RPing multiple genders on a regular basis.

It’s not a matter of experience IMO. It’s more an issue of being exposed to players outside your regular play group. Virtually everyone who plays a character that is differently gendered, is LGBTQ, disabled in some way, etc. thinks they are playing it just fine until someone is offended. There are a lot more people who think what they are doing is okay when it’s not, than those who doing something they are perfectly aware is offensive. The post above is a good example. I’m fairly sure that roysier thinks his character is perfectly fine and did not expect two people to be offended by it.

Grand Lodge

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My general rule for organized play boils down to "Is it appropriate to play this in front of someone else's child?" If the answer is no, I either don't do it, or explicitly play the character in question with a group of adult friends who I know won't object to it.

I generally try to avoid anything sex related in tabletop RPGs...it might be fantasy adventure...but it's not that kind of fantasy adventure. I have one character (described a few posts back) that has anything related to sex at all, and I only play that character with friends, and even then I keep it PG-13.

5/5 ⦵⦵

Kate Baker wrote:
roysier wrote:
For example, my very first PFS female character thinks everyone else is beneath her and she uses her super good looks to take advantage of the opposite sex. So, if there is a role -playing encounter where there is a NPC male that we are having problems getting information from. I will literally describe to the GM how my character is flirting. I will often tell the GM (after reminding him of my picture and Super high Charisma (32),) Something like- ” I walk up really close behind him barely brushing up against him, I let him smell my scent and I lightly blow in his ear.” If that doesn’t work I might go on further and start hinting at something special later.
This would make me extremely uncomfortable. Extremely.

I was pulling an example I only actually did a few times many years ago. And only if the GM played along and the table was more heavy on deep role playing. That much detail came out very few times. But she is dark using her sexuslurty to take advantage of people is something I have seen and experienced many times.

Basing characters off real people with real problems can go too far. It's the exact opposite of what Bob said in one of the opening posts that he doesn't like cross gender players because they can't know what it's like.

Anyway I do apprecite the feedback that it is oversly sexualuzed and creepy to most folks. Even though I don't role play like that anymore it will reinforce me to steer away from that next time I'm struggling to put a characters personality together.

2/5

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Slyme wrote:
My general rule for organized play boils down to "Is it appropriate to play this in front of someone else's child?" If the answer is no, I either don't do it, or explicitly play the character in question with a group of adult friends who I know won't object to it.

As a parent, I very much appreciate this attitude (and it informs many of my own choices). My own kids are 15 and 14, and have had some pretty comprehensive sex ed courses, so they *will* understand the adults' references now--and call them on it if necessary.

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

roysier wrote:
...Bob said in one of the opening posts that he doesn't like cross gender players because they can't know what it's like

No, that's not what I said. Someone asked the point of this thread. I merely pointed out that some people suggest you cannot play a character type unless you have real-life experience to know context. My objections are not cross-gendering, they are with a very specific character depiction.

Bob Jonquet wrote:

The general suggestion from some is that a player should not depict a character with a significant difference than their real self because they lack the understanding and context of what it means to be someone from that group. Playing such things as different gender, sexuality, disability, ethnicity, religion, etc. Since you don't actually struggle with the challenges that face people in [that] group, you lack the understanding to know when something you depict is offensive.

This is perhaps an over-simplification of the issue, but gives you the gist. There was a suggestion in another thread of there being issues with players gender-bending their character so I believe that is the genus for this thread.

5/5 ⦵⦵

Bob Jonquet wrote:
roysier wrote:
...Bob said in one of the opening posts that he doesn't like cross gender players because they can't know what it's like

No, that's not what I said. Someone asked the point of this thread. I merely pointed out that some people suggest you cannot play a character type unless you have real-life experience to know context. My objections are not cross-gendering, they are with a very specific character depiction.

Bob Jonquet wrote:

The general suggestion from some is that a player should not depict a character with a significant difference than their real self because they lack the understanding and context of what it means to be someone from that group. Playing such things as different gender, sexuality, disability, ethnicity, religion, etc. Since you don't actually struggle with the challenges that face people in [that] group, you lack the understanding to know when something you depict is offensive.

This is perhaps an over-simplification of the issue, but gives you the gist. There was a suggestion in another thread of there being issues with players gender-bending their character so I believe that is the genus for this thread.

I stand corrected that's how I understood it when I read it.

5/5 ⦵⦵

Anyway her is my list of female characters – I said in a previous post it’s about 40% of all my characters were female. But counting them up I only have 7 female characters out of 36. So it’s actually less than that.

Dakin -Female Oracle mentioned above who uses her sexuality to get people to do what she wants. Example I gave above sometimes came out depending on the gm and the players at the table. She’s super powerful and 18th level she doesn’t need to flirt anymore she just gets her way.

Lt. Orlov - Female Jadwiga Winter Witch. The only reason she is female is it fits her Jadwiga Witch story. She is a low charisma character because no one like a witch.

Peppery - Female Gnome Oracle –very playful, childish, like a gnome, I made her female mainly because It felt right to ask boys if they thought she was cute (her catch phrase) and it seemed a better fit for someone who was obsessed with her own green hair.

Vesironia - Female Priestess of Calistira – Overtly sexual I never played her at a table with kids. I don’t play her anymore because everyone else at the table would take things I was saying as sexual when they weren’t intended to be, and that led to sex jokes for the rest of the game which I grew tired of. This character main motivation was trying to get people to brothels.

Aerys – Dark, moody, an alcoholic, who is bitter of men. I lightened her up from earlier levels. She was too dark and bringing table fun down.

Anastatia – Based off Anastatia Romanov, very Victorian morales, and finds any hint of physical intimacy as repulsing.

Stella SFS – I came up with the name first and someone immediately yelled stela at me in a Marlon Brando type of way. Now I use that in her character as a recurring nightmare she has and doesn’t understand and she freaks out if a player does it at the table. Also I mentioned her in a previous post she thinks guys like her for her looks and reminds them to keep it professional she is also repulsed by anyone getting to close to her “ No, touching” is her catch phrase.

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

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I don't think sharing basic character concepts is effective at all in this conversation. Generally speaking, it is how the player depicts the character during gameplay that exposes problem behavior. And as I said above, in my experience rarely to never does a player know what they are doing is offensive until its pointed out to them. [Almost] everyone thinks their character is just fine. Sometimes you would think they know better, but everyone has a different environment they were brought up in. What is perfectly okay for one, is not for others. If no one ever pointed out an issue, you will probably assume its okay. That's why we have so many scantily-clad, hyper-sexualized temple harlots that are high-tier or even seeker characters. People exposed to those characters (and their players) were unwilling to confront the player about said character.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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Roysier wrote:

Anyway her is my list of female characters – I said in a previous post it’s about 40% of all my characters were female. But counting them up I only have 7 female characters out of 36. So it’s actually less than that.

The thing is that unless you're playing with the same group all the time people are only going to see one of your female characters. And if thats the temptress it's going to leave a very negative, not balanced, impression. Limited sample sizes and all that.

5/5 ⦵⦵

Anyway my characters get deep at times because for me role playing is substituting for theater acting, and in theater acting you dig very deeply into character motivations, desires, flaws, etc. Some plays are comedies others are dramas. While developing a theater character there is a very open communication with cast members and directors in this process, ideas are shared openly.

But I do need to lighten up with characters. Those are lessons I've learned by playing characters in organized play.

I need to find a balance of fun character development and not off-putting to others.

It's not the same as developing a character for theater. Simply put the cast, crew, director, and audience is not the same.

Silver Crusade 5/5

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Sometimes I play female characters because of the art :-). My artistic abilities are pretty much limited to googling a description and, on more than one occassion, by far the best pictures just happened to be female :-).

Which can lead to a different but related problem. Sometimes I'm utterly unable to find a picture of a female character that is NOT extremely sexualized. Which is generally NOT what I want.

5/5 ⦵⦵

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Roysier wrote:

Anyway her is my list of female characters – I said in a previous post it’s about 40% of all my characters were female. But counting them up I only have 7 female characters out of 36. So it’s actually less than that.

The thing is that unless you're playing with the same group all the time people are only going to see one of your female characters. And if thats the temptress it's going to leave a very negative, not balanced, impression. Limited sample sizes and all that.

In certain places this may be true but I rarely play these days with people who I have not played with before and most people know I have some crazy ass characters. I usually get compliments on them but occasionally i get feedback that I should tone it down which I do.

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

Paul Jackson wrote:

Sometimes I play female characters because of the art :-). My artistic abilities are pretty much limited to googling a description and, on more than one occassion, by far the best pictures just happened to be female :-).

Which can lead to a different but related problem. Sometimes I'm utterly unable to find a picture of a female character that is NOT extremely sexualized. Which is generally NOT what I want.

I am pretty sure I have created characters in PFS because the archetype or prestige class art really dragged me in. While I never got to play my devoted muse, I had a lot of fun with my death druid.

Sometimes art just inspires you and in that case, the gender is very much set most of the time.

Scarab Sages ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Netherlands aka CptJames

THUNDERLIPS! wrote:
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Yes. Thunderlips is terrible to behold.

UH..... WUT?

** spoiler omitted **

I mean...there was that one incident with multiple chickens...which while I thought was hilarious, I can totally understand why people might get uncomfortable!

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

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Adam Yakaboski wrote:
Just out of curiosity why isn't there more stringent rules for what is simply sexual harassment? It's a pervasive enough issue that there should be a policy in place but?????????
Do we need more of a policy than "if someone tells you to stop, stop. If you persist, you will be asked to leave"?

Speaking as the person whose said and done an uncomfortable thing at the table and got called out for it I will attest to how disastrously it can go out for the person saying please stop.

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

Would a different policy have changed that outcome?

Dark Archive 5/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Hargrave wrote:
THUNDERLIPS! wrote:
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Yes. Thunderlips is terrible to behold.

UH..... WUT?

** spoiler omitted **

I mean...there was that one incident with multiple chickens...which while I thought was hilarious, I can totally understand why people might get uncomfortable!

It is also reading the table and knowing who is and who is not comfortable with that kind or style of shenanigans.

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

Thankfully, if I'm sitting down with Thunderlips I have already prepared myself for that. :)

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Thankfully, if I'm sitting down with Thunderlips I have already prepared myself for that. :)

With calden caydens Alchemical bonus to the saves vs. wisdom damage?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Rhode Island—Lincoln aka Upaynao

All Thunderlips aside, I think its important to explore other personas in this hobby. Obviously not ones that are disruptive or hurtful to others. Lacking the first-hand knowledge as to how those characters behave should invite introspection into ... well... how those characters behave.

Steven, do you remember having to tone down Thunderlips? If so could you describe the mental/social process?

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

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You'll have to ask Leg o' Lamb that. I do recall having to step outside of my ifrit supremacist and consider how a racist, misogynistic character might look despite the comedic aspect. I took him out organized play into a game with Erik Keith at PaizoCon and realized that the strangers I was playing with might have been uncomfortable with his usual lines of taking them on as retainers in his court. When I play one of the twins now they are still arrogant and delusional about their status and power but I avoid touching on them taking slaves and the like.

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Is there any previous threads that one can point too. That discuses in organized play what are people's thoughts about characters flirting with or seducing npc's? As a gm I encounter it here and there and roll with the amount of role playing the player does. using their comfort level. But stopping at any intimacy beyond kissing and daying something like " ok, it's the next morning", No on has ever said a thing to me about it being inappropriate. As a player if the table players and gm seem right at a particular table, I sometimes do it myself if it's a characteristic that is developed into that characters personality, such as the character mentioned above who uses her sexuality and uses flirting as a weapon to get what she wants from men.

It's off topic for this thread, so if there is not a previous discussion to piggy back on I'll start a new thread.

Dark Archive 5/5

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Gregory Rebelo wrote:

All Thunderlips aside, I think its important to explore other personas in this hobby. Obviously not ones that are disruptive or hurtful to others. Lacking the first-hand knowledge as to how those characters behave should invite introspection into ... well... how those characters behave.

Steven, do you remember having to tone down Thunderlips? If so could you describe the mental/social process?

There was a table at one PaizoCon past where a woman had an adverse reaction (Wow... WOW... WOW) to my standard character intro speech for THUNDERLIPS!. She did not say "This makes me uncomfortable" or "Can you please not refer to it as a 'chest pelt'?" but it was very clear she had an issue with the way I described him. Within thirty seconds I knew one player at the table had an issue. So I just played a regular barbarian for that scenario and that was that. The chicken was a chicken and nothing more.

If a GM or another player asks me to keep the chicken jokes to a minimum or none at all before the game starts I will happily comply.

Spoiler:
For those that don't know, THUNDERLIPS! has a mauler chicken familiar named THUNDERCOCK!. As cock is another word for chicken there are usually a lot of bad puns and jokes thrown around. Standard first round of combat is as follows:

Free action rage
Full round action I hurl my (chicken) at the critter
Chicken enters MAULER MODE!
5' step

And yes I burned several feats to get a chicken familiar. As a barbarian. It usually has more hp than almost every other PC at the table.

3/5 ⦵⦵ Contributor

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I don't like to have my PC be hit on (by other PCs or NPCs) and I don't like to see NPCs be hit on.

It's also a dangerous line of thinking (and I'm not picking on one person here; I've seen it a few times) to believe that if no one said anything, then it must have been okay. It is very hard to speak up in these situations to say that something is uncomfortable.

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Kate Baker wrote:

I don't like to have my PC be hit on (by other PCs or NPCs) and I don't like to see NPCs be hit on.

It's also a dangerous line of thinking (and I'm not picking on one person here; I've seen it a few times) to believe that if no one said anything, then it must have been okay. It is very hard to speak up in these situations to say that something is uncomfortable.

Most local people know what your thoughts are about this so I don't think you see it as much as it happens. People just don't do it when you are playing at the table. It's easy for me to shut it down as a player but my concern is as a GM is it OK at some tables and not others or is it never ok because it is too distasteful for too many and thus should always be shut down.

I should add that Paizo does not ban it from play. There are prestige classes such as Deadly Courtesan that focuses on abilities a courtesan would use. There is also a Deific Obedience for Calistria where you get a mechanical game benefit for either sleeping with someone in the past 24 hours or sleeping naked under the stars.

Dark Archive 5/5

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Kate Baker wrote:

I don't like to have my PC be hit on (by other PCs or NPCs) and I don't like to see NPCs be hit on.

It's also a dangerous line of thinking (and I'm not picking on one person here; I've seen it a few times) to believe that if no one said anything, then it must have been okay. It is very hard to speak up in these situations to say that something is uncomfortable.

Yes you have, to me in a different thread in fact, and you've also sat a table with me. If I can see that someone is uncomfortable, I adjust my style of play.

3/5 ⦵⦵ Contributor

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This is certainly something that I bring up a lot, but it’s because I’m in a position to.

I remember being that new player, sitting through behavior that made me uncomfortable, too nervous to speak up about it.

Could the people at those tables tell that I was uncomfortable? Could the GMs? I don’t know. Maybe I hid it well.

But that’s why it makes me nervous when people assume that they’ll be able to tell when someone is uncomfortable with what’s going on at the table. Because either people couldn’t tell I was uncomfortable or they could tell and continued with the behavior anyway.

I’m not going to sit here and tell people what is and isn’t okay for every table and every PC. I couldn’t if I wanted to. And I’m really not trying to pick on any individuals in this thread. There are many folks here I have played with and had a wonderful time with. I just think this is an important conversation to have to make Organized Play safe, comfortable, and positive for every player.


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Tim Emrick wrote:
Slyme wrote:
My general rule for organized play boils down to "Is it appropriate to play this in front of someone else's child?" If the answer is no, I either don't do it, or explicitly play the character in question with a group of adult friends who I know won't object to it.
As a parent, I very much appreciate this attitude (and it informs many of my own choices). My own kids are 15 and 14, and have had some pretty comprehensive sex ed courses, so they *will* understand the adults' references now--and call them on it if necessary.

I would generally appreciate this as well in an open/public gaming group. I'm a lot more forgiving with the idea of established groups having and understanding what is acceptable within their own.

But I'd say, as far as 'role-playing' specifics of something, the above is a really good rule of thumb. If I question that being appropriate, I would fall to the mode of 'newspaper report'. Rather than describing the specific ways a character flirts, I'd stick to a general description or summary of the action. 'Try to convince them to let us by.' Without having to dive into the specifics.

Ok, I have to say I'd try to stick with an initial reaction to someone with 'assuming positive intent'. as people can get honestly offended by something that is not intentional, or not even inappropriate. I'm not discrediting their feelings, I'm just saying, I don't think that the most appropriate response is, if you offend someone, you are booted from a game.

Instead, we need to get better at finding a way to make sure people feel comfortable enough to be able to express when something is making them uncomfortable, and the people I would want to play with, would do their best to work with it and adjust or clarify. You can't assume you are ever going to be able to pick up any clue by someone very different from yourself to know you have made them uncomfortable. [They laughed... they must have liked that joke... nope they might have just laughed as a coping mechanism, because they can't believe that just happened.]

Actually, with that in mind, would it be reasonable to have a suggested practice of discussing a sort of rating-target for a game session, so people have a shared understanding of what their expectations or preferences are. As potentially simple as using moving ratings for a starting point. If half the players would suggest G (how do we do this with combat, ok-maybe cartoon violence, or not resulting in lethal damage, ok) or PG13 while another half are tossing out, they were thinking somewhere between R or X. If you know that at the beginning, you are probably better off, since you almost assuredly would discover that at some point in the middle.

You could even discuss any known areas of concern. For instance, it was a long time ago, but I ran across someone who was uncomfortable with a character as being played as very religious and vocal about their faith. Playing a paladin that would be openly thankful to their deity for good favor or magic, or even suggesting to others the party could donate something to the local church was offensive to them personally as a player. I honestly considered it something very common and natural for some instances of a typical cleric. I had to adjust my character to not offend them. It annoyed me at first, but in the end I was willing to do so, since I wanted to play and it was clear it was honestly a problem for him. I discovered that after my character was made, not before, so I had to silence some of my character's activities. I still donated from my own earnings, and made my choices based on their faith, but didn't talk about it.

It reduced my fun a little bit, but it was better than not playing. Being inclusive mean including people that are different than you. That means being willing to include someone who doesn't believe the same thing as you. It might mean tolerating something that might otherwise offend you, if you can realize that is isn't intended to offend you. But yes, it also includes being willing to leave some things off the table if they aren't really necessary in the game, if you realize it will offend someone else at the table.

Lets take a player who is highly excitable and enthusiastic. This sort of player, you could easily imagine might frequently, without realizing it, interrupt other players at the table in the heat of their excitement in playing. I know people who get to the point of being physically agitated by being interrupted. In the name of being inclusive, I would suggest that there should be an effort by the table as a whole to be told of, and recognize that the physically agitated player is getting that way because of being interrupted. And that player should try to reign in their behavior as physical agitation can be viewed as being disrespectful and generally disruptive to others. But obviously it doesn't stop there. The table needs to also help the one who keeps interrupting, to understand that that is disruptive as well, and seen as disrespectful, and they need to do what they can to help that player work on reigning in that behavior as well.

The other players need to understand the person used to interrupting may not simply be able to 'stop'. And the person who gets interrupted may not simply be able to 'stop' their agitation and the potential effects of it. But who knows, maybe the two can help each other, with the help and encouragement of the other players, and may come to become closer friends, for trying. Note, I didn't just say... the person interrupting is the root cause of the issue, because they aren't solely the cause. Often one minor thing triggers someone else who has a more specific response that escalates things back, or triggers someone else's response that ends up tipping over the situation.

So should one perhaps discuss an expected rating system at the start of a game/campaign with new players or new environment, to establish an expected baseline? Should there be a defined way of flagging that someone is beginning to feel like it is heading towards an uncomfortable place? Perhaps an escalated signal to say you have arrived there if it happens that fast?

But yes, I think the core of this is being mutually respectful. I don't believe that the real issue is someone playing a different gender. It comes down to the perception that the person is being disrespectful in how they are portraying someone. That isn't something that only happens because of gender.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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Loreguard wrote:
Actually, with that in mind, would it be reasonable to have a suggested practice of discussing a sort of rating-target for a game session, so people have a shared understanding of what their expectations or preferences are. As potentially simple as using moving ratings for a starting point.

I would be actively annoyed at having to go through such an activity before a game. If someone suggested it, I would set the mental filters to a level that is both mentally taxing and fun sponging.

Quote:
Playing a paladin that would be openly thankful to their deity for good favor or magic, or even suggesting to others the party could donate something to the local church was offensive to them personally as a player. I honestly considered it something very common and natural for some instances of a typical cleric. I had to adjust my character to not offend them.

No. You didn't.

The complainer isn't always wrong.
The complainer isn't always right either.

Social norms are a very odd thing. They're an emergent property from the individuals competing and sometimes contradictory desires.

A number of people want to do activity B C much

vs

Z number of people don't want to do activity Y amount X much

There is a level where enough people in a group want to do a thing (in this case role play a character where their following a specific deity is a big part of their character) where the few people that are actively annoyed by it aren't entitled to make everyone else stop their fun just for them.

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