Gender and Sexuality in Golarion - Page 3
Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 21 to 29 of 29
  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Charlaquin View Post
    I like that. It leaves room for the possibility of addressing gender and sexuality, while removing the necessity of dealing with it. Those who want to examine gender inequality in their roleplay have the opportunity to do so, and those who want to escape to a world where those inequalities are negligible can do so as well. I might adopt this for Human societies in my own games.
    Thanks! The things you wrote were mostly my driving points to take this approach. A bit of expanding on the idea:

    Without going too deep into the rabbit hole of gender norms and roles and such in the real world, I generally keep them, just to make the setting more relatable and help with suspension of disbelief and because, at least in the case of humans and similar races, they have causes to exist, cultural and evolutionary both.

    However, as I said, it's a fantasy world. The direct interference of gods and their diversity in society and culture could shift the cultural side of it. Also, magic in general makes physical differences a bit less relevant (although, to point back to the earlier point, most of the population don't have direct access to magic).

    Also, the sheer existence and wide-range acceptance of adventurers (and societies, like the Pathfinders and many other) as a thing suggests a very important factor, IMO: that the population in general is more accustomed to the idea of people very much not conforming to the mainstream norms, than people probably were, for example, during the middle ages. There are just more room for the individual, to take up a lifestyle that isn't associated with their gender, or sex, because society is just seeing more of that, day-to-day, especially in cosmopolitan places, as an example and even idolize succesfull examples. It's just more common, so society, in general isn't as antagonistic toward it, or befuddled about it, though, at a population-level, the mainstream norms still stand. You just have more leeway to move around them, or ignore them altogether, as a person, if you want.

    Personally, I like to take advantage of the fantasy aspect of the game. As with matriarchal drow in Forgotten Realms, it can be fun to play with non-Human peoples having different cultural views on gender and sexuality. Maybe dwarves have very strict gender roles but those roles are very different than what we see in Human society. Maybe elves, with their fluid nature, don’t have a cultural concept of men and women, but have a completely different understanding of identity and how it relates to physiology. Maybe gnolls are even more intensely matriarchal than drow. Maybe gnomes consider experimentation with one’s sexuality, gender identity, and gender presentation not only normal, but expected to a certain degree (I mean, gotta hold off The Bleaching somehow, right?) A fantasy world opens up all sorts of possibilities for looking at sex, gender, and sexuality in different and interesting ways.
    If anyone wants to explore those themes in the game pointedly, I'd agree, those are rather interesting and good examples to take advantage of the fantasy aspect, as you've said. Or, even if not in the focus, they could be rather interesting background parts to flesh out a race, or culture, absolutely!
    Last edited by PMárk; Monday, 23rd July, 2018 at 01:42 AM.
    XP Charlaquin gave XP for this post

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN, USA
    Posts
    1,325
    Depends upon the campaign. Most of the 5e games are run are standard fantasy. Most of the world is binary with gender roles somewhat modeled on the real world, with the exception of greater female participation in war and governance than in today's world, much less medieval Europe. But players are free to play any kind of character they desire. For the most part, it just doesn't come up.

    That said, one reason I love fantasy and science fiction is thinking up alternative worlds and ways of being. It is fun to explore other possibilities. What would a society look like if reproduction was asexual or if children were all clones (either natural clones or through science/magic). What if would gender mean if sex could change (i.e., like 5e Eladrin)? What what a society look like when the members could have more than two sexes (not gender, actual different physical mating types: clam shrip have male and two varieties of hermaphadite, the protozoan Tetrahymena thermophila has seven distinct "sexes," some fungi have tens of thousands of mating types, for example).

    Similarly, it can be interesting to play games in societies are strongly patriarchic or matriarchic.

    If you expect to play a game where you have a setting where gender and sex will be play an important role in the campaign and you expect the players to play characters that conform to the setting, you should discuss with the players first. Some may not be comfortable--or simply have no interest--in playing in such a campaign.

  3. #23
    To answer the OP:

    The way I deal with sexuality in my game is : women are women. Men are men. They do all sort of strenuous and enjoyable things together, which I sometimes allude to for the benefit of my players (who are mostly male these days), if it serves the ovearching story we are telling together.

    Gender in the modern sense of "the feminist gender construct" doesn't appear in my games, because I don't subscribe to this particular point of view.

    When I play in Pathfinder I mostly excise the "inclusionary universe" thing since it does not appeal to my sensibility.

    Reading those forums sometimes wakes my contrarian side, which does make me explore the stereotypical gamut of medieval patriarchal behavior during the games I referee.

    My players and I enjoy ourselves a great deal.
    Last edited by Lychee of the Exch.; Wednesday, 25th July, 2018 at 01:36 PM.

  4. #24
    I want to add something : human men are men, and human women are women. Fantasy races behave differently, because exploring in what ways they differ from humans is interesting, as other people have said in that very thread.
    XP MNblockhead gave XP for this post

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    133
    I am extremely proactive about inclusion in my games, and designed my setting accordingly. It's great to see more mainstream publications finally starting to lean this way too—women, people of colour and people under the LGBT+ umbrella have spent quite enough of our time being sidelined by TTRPGs in the past, and remaining "neutral" on social issues only ever reinforces the current balance of power.

    Since you could already drown in the number of RPG settings mostly recycling medieval European social ideas, it's also vastly more interesting (to me, of course) to do virtually anything else.

    Since the default mode for mainstream fiction is to require justification any time a marginalised person is cast, I use the opposite perspective; basically, nobody of importance is going to be a straight white cisgender man unless I can think of particular reason they need to be. Funnily enough, if you are anything but this artificial default, it makes for a much more interesting and relatable world.

    That's not to say that every culture in my game world embraces equality, of course; the fascist theocracy pushes white male human supremacy, for example, and the barbarian gnoll clans are almost always matriarchal (they are based on hyaenas, after all). One nation was founded by singular female hero, so the ideal of a mountainous warrior woman is an important cultural touchstone for them, while another is strongly concerned with family lineage, so they tend to be obnoxiously heteronormative. One of the player races is naturally psionic, with a degree of shared racial consciousness and a cultural belief in reincarnation, so they find human ideas of gender and class to be virtually incomprehensible. The important thing is that the setting, as a whole, takes deliberate measures to welcome people who have often been excluded in the past, and demonstrate that their fantasies are recognised and validated as much as those of anybody else.

    Because fantasy is for everybody's escapism, right? If Rory's fantasy is being a seven foot tall monster-slaying badass, and Clay's is not having people hate them for being queer, there's no reason there should be several hundred FRPG settings for one, but barely any for the other. And since my fantasy is equal parts of each one, I have little use for a game which doesn't accommodate both.
    XP Charlaquin, MNblockhead, Aldarc gave XP for this post

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN, USA
    Posts
    1,325
    Quote Originally Posted by Lychee of the Exch. View Post
    I want to add something : human men are men, and human women are women. Fantasy races behave differently, because exploring in what ways they differ from humans is interesting, as other people have said in that very thread.
    Though why should fantasy humans--especially in high magic settings--not diverge from IRL norms. Heck, spend enough time reading up on different cultures throughout history and you will find some norms that differ radically. How much more in a fantasy world?
    XP Aldarc gave XP for this post

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by MNblockhead View Post
    Though why should fantasy humans--especially in high magic settings--not diverge from IRL norms. Heck, spend enough time reading up on different cultures throughout history and you will find some norms that differ radically. How much more in a fantasy world?
    Most definitely agree. The reality of magic alone would inescapably alter the presumptions and norms about human gender and sexuality. This sort of paradigm is what I appreciate about settings such as Eberron and Numenera. (I suspect that you would argue that Planescape also follows a similar set of assumptions.) Magic changes how humans engage the world and view human "norm."
    XP MNblockhead gave XP for this post

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    133
    Quote Originally Posted by Aldarc View Post
    Most definitely agree. The reality of magic alone would inescapably alter the presumptions and norms about human gender and sexuality. This sort of paradigm is what I appreciate about settings such as Eberron and Numenera. (I suspect that you would argue that Planescape also follows a similar set of assumptions.) Magic changes how humans engage the world and view human "norm."
    Heck yes. I remember when we first found Alter Self in 3e D&D. "Wow, so sex reassignment is magically trivial for several classes? Okay surely now they have to start veering away from gender essentialism..."
    XP MNblockhead gave XP for this post

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Fox Lee View Post
    Heck yes. I remember when we first found Alter Self in 3e D&D. "Wow, so sex reassignment is magically trivial for several classes? Okay surely now they have to start veering away from gender essentialism..."
    Midwives, priests, and have genuine healing powers that can significantly reduce childbirth mortality rates for infants and mothers? Women have magical powers that can make them walking artillery pieces? You find out that you have been married to a changeling or polymorphing dragon who has been switching between genders their entire life?

    If you are not familiar with it already, you may also be interested in Green Rose's Blue Rose setting.

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Similar Threads

  1. Comfort withcross gender characters based on your gender
    By bubbalin in forum *General Roleplaying Games Discussion
    Replies: 334
    Last Post: Monday, 11th June, 2018, 05:36 AM
  2. You and Your Characters: Gender and Sexuality
    By Fox Lee in forum *General Roleplaying Games Discussion
    Replies: 58
    Last Post: Wednesday, 15th May, 2013, 09:43 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •