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How often do you play a differently-gendered character when gaming?

How often do you like to play a character of a different gender than yourself?

  • 1. I exclusively play characters of different genders than myself.

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • 2. I often play characters of different genders than myself.

    Votes: 18 18.9%
  • 3. I sometimes play characters of different genders than myself.

    Votes: 42 44.2%
  • 4. I rarely play characters of different genders than myself.

    Votes: 23 24.2%
  • 5. I never play characters of different genders than myself.

    Votes: 11 11.6%

  • Total voters
    95
  • This poll will close: .

Snarf Zagyg

Bargle's brother, Argle.
When reading the "bearded female dwarf" thread, I started thinking that maybe my reaction wasn't that common simply because I don't play female characters very often.

And by very often, I mean ... at all. It's just not something that I have ever done. On the other hand, I have known players that have enjoyed playing characters of different genders than themselves. I would say that in my limited anecdotal experience it seems more common now than in the past, but that could just be what I've been observing.

I thought I'd try to make a poll.

I guess this is necessary to say today- please don't make this political. I apologize in advance if I used any incorrect verbiage (gender/sex/etc.).

The poll is from 1-5. 1 is always play different gender(s) from yourself; 5 is never play different gender(s) from yourself. The others are in between.
 
Last edited:

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Gradine

Final Form
This is a complicated question to answer for me for numerous reasons, but I went with "mostly" for the reason stated above: I am the GM in my group.

Prior to my transition I played mostly male PCs when I did play; I did play a few female characters. Since then I have gotten a few opportunities to play, in which case I've played cis female characters, which I still would not necessarily qualify as the "same" gender as I identify as.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Bargle's brother, Argle.
@DMMike
@Gradine

Thank you both for your response (and I appreciate the response gradine- I was trying to be sensitive in the wording).

That said, I think the DM role (which requires you to undertake multiple people) is different than that of a player. I was just thinking when I was reading that other thread - this is a roleplaying game, and we often play against type, but it is still the overwhelming default to play the same gender. I think?
 

Gradine

Final Form
That would be my expectation; my friend group is probably very atypical in this regard. For instance, in the current game I'm running, all six of my players a cis; one of my two male players is playing a female PC; all four of my female players are playing male PCs.
 

FaerieGodfather

Aberrant Druid
As a GM, I regularly play female characters. As a player, I run about 50/50 between male characters and genderless characters.
 


This is something I do as GM quite a bit. But I think as a player I tend to lean more toward playing male characters. Definitely not exclusively, but mostly, I'd say. It's probably a few different factors that contribute to this, but I expect the biggest is that I tend to invest or inhabit in a PC more than in the NPCs that I run as a GM, and so it's easier to relate? Or maybe that's my perception of it? I don't know. I don't generally notice a huge difference when I have played a female character, so it's hard to say.

I also tend to play human characters in D&D and other games that allow alternate races. This is why I think it's a kind of "easier to relate" kind of thing.

Our group is made up entirely of male players, so I imagine that plays a part in it, too. But there are several who play female characters very often. There's not a significant change in the way other players handle that.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
At this point, unless I have some specific concept in mind, I flip a coin.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
I tend to play male characters, historically exclusively so. I'd probably be more likely to play gender neutral or fluid than female. To answer this question entirely honestly is actually kind of intense. We all have habits, but how often do we really try to articulate them? Anyway, great thread.(y)
 

Snarf Zagyg

Bargle's brother, Argle.
I tend to play male characters, historically exclusively so. I'd probably be more likely to play gender neutral or fluid than female. To answer this question entirely honestly is actually kind of intense. We all have habits, but how often do we really try to articulate them? Anyway, great thread.(y)
Some of these replies have been great, and have confirmed what I was thinking; I think it is more common today to play different genders than in the past.

It's interesting; roleplaying has a lot of great aspects, and while you can view it just in terms of being a game, I also think it helps people explore things in a way that maybe hasn't always been traditionally approved of. I was thinking back in the past when people I knew growing up who tended to make more non-traditional RPing choices (for that time) were late able to express themselves in a different, and positive way, outside of the game.

But while I've played all sorts of characters (aliens to elves to lizardpeople to gaseous forms, rich to poor, weak to strong, smart to .... well, more like myself), for whatever reason, I've always exclusively played male characters. It's something I hadn't really considered before.
 

Ringtail

World Traveller
I didn't use to understand why you would want to, but after a group that regularly played different genders as well as becoming more open-minded towards gender I changed my mind.

I still have only played 1 female character and in a different group than above. No friction from my friends but they misgendered my character A LOT and it took a lot of work to remedy. It still happens but they correct themselves after they say it so I'm happy with that. I'm willing to play more characters who are of the opposite gender but really when I have a character concept that works for it. I'm also interested in some non binary or androgynous characters, particularly an elf or a half-elf
 

atanakar

Hero
I once had a Female Paladin with AD&D in the early 80s. That campaign didn't last very long. Can't recall any push back or sexist antics.

Later during 2e the DM let me play an annoying female Sprite after the death of my character. They met her on the road. It was fun for about 3 games after that the players were annoyed with the Spite (not the fact that she was a female) and asked me to play something else. I created a new character.
 

I didn't use to understand why you would want to, but after a group that regularly played different genders as well as becoming more open-minded towards gender I changed my mind.

I still have only played 1 female character and in a different group than above. No friction from my friends but they misgendered my character A LOT and it took a lot of work to remedy. It still happens but they correct themselves after they say it so I'm happy with that. I'm willing to play more characters who are of the opposite gender but really when I have a character concept that works for it. I'm also interested in some non binary or androgynous characters, particularly an elf or a half-elf
We hang index cards over the DM screen, usually just with name on the front and name and key stats for the DM. I started photoshopping custom ones with art off the Internet. It really helps everyone remember gender.

I’ll post one when I’m on my computer.
 

Since I GM about half the time, I get plenty of time RPing each. As a player, I found myself doing so more in my youth (high school & college), but as I got older, the less desire I've had. There's a lot more work involved, and constantly keeping to the character can be a chore (especially if you have to keep reminding other players). I don't play verbally challenged characters for the same reason (such as the 5E D&D Kenku or the zen riddle talking monk).
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
I'm extremely guilty of just playing idealized versions of myself for every character., so yes same gender.

The trickiest part of playing female characters is finding less-than-outrageously-hot artwork to use as avatars.
Check out r/ReasonableFantasy This is a place to share and appreciate fantasy and sci-fi art featuring women who are not over-sexualized. Some fashion is fine, but skimpy outfits purely for the sake of being sexy are not appropriate for this subreddit.

This sub is not about practicality of subject matter, weapons, or armor; simply a place to share women who are not defined by sexuality.
 

Mallus

Hero
Half the time? No, wait, probably less.

My current Labyrinth Lord PC Pontius Pilateson is a dude (he's also Pontius Pilate after being kidnapped by Vikings, going native, and pledging himself to the World-Serpent). Last female PC is played was Black Swann LaVey, an actress and diabolist.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
As a player, most of my characters these days are not of my own gender, and that's how I voted. Over the long run it probably totals about 50-50 as current times are somewhat cancelling out times past. :)
 


the Jester

Legend
As a pc, about 50% of the time.

In fact, I'm currently running some peasants through the 'funnel' in Dungeon Crawl Classics- basically, you start with a bunch of 0-level peasants and after an adventure or two, the survivors hit first level- and I am running two males and two females.

I just made a character for a 5e game; she is female.

My previous two pcs for 5e are male, although one has a cantrip that lets him change gender, so 'he' is 'she' about half the time.

My Call of Cthulhu pc is male; my pcs for that gm's last game, which was Deadlands, were one male and two females.

My pc for that gm's previous superhero game was male.

Before that, he ran a Mage game. My first pc there was male, my second was a biological female but she was pretty much a trans-man.

So for the last few games I've played, there have been seven (biologically) male and six (biologically) female; one of the females was a transman and one of the males was, hmm, arguably genderfluid? Although I'm pretty sure he was actually asexual, but it never came up.
 

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