5E Inappropriate breasts on female monsters

Thank Dog

Villager
Well my knowledge comes from breeding reptiles and while I know that there are some that don't follow the standard of laying eggs and not nursing most do as the same with mammals the main definition of a mammal is a warm blooded animal that gives live birth and nurse its offspring and yes there are exceptions.

Half the discussions we have here could be classified as silly since we are dealing with a fantasy game. But that is part of the enjoyment having discussions like should dragons have boobs.

Personally I hate the argument that you can't have realism in a fantasy game it is old and trite.
But you're not even using realism in your arguments for realism. Species are nothing more than a human created classification system for scientific purposes. Making the claim that a species in a fantasy universe can't deviate from what is expected in an artificial classification system is disingenuous if you know and understand reptilian biology. Different evolutionary paths could quite easily result in dragonborn with dragonboobs. Evolution doesn't conform to a set of guidelines. A species will either change or die out. It just so happens that dragonborn in the D&D universe evolved boobs.

Or they didn't. Honestly, I don't care. Short of needing a picture for your character, what difference does it really make? Don't like dragonboobs, say your female dragonborn doesn't have boobs. Boom! D&D magic.
 

Nivenus

Villager
It does bother me a little. I think it overly sexualizes breasts, promotes a cisnormative view of women, and is unnecessarily anthropocentric. I do think the idea that every female PC needs large breasts and armor that displays them prominently is highly suspect and one I'd rather not feature in my games. But it's not something I'd usually pick a fight over.

I will say this: for dragonborn, the concept at least is justified somewhat by the fact that (according to a Dragon article) they actually do breastfeed their hatchlings. Since dragons have, since 3e, been considered non-reptiles that's not exactly beyond the stretch of my imagination. But at the same time it's obviously an ad hoc justification they added on after the fact, much like the various justifications for Power Girl's outfit in DC Comics.
 

Elf Witch

Villager
Indeed. Fantasy without realism would just be weird and unrecognisable. That is just a very cheap excuse to not have to think.



I think that anything that can make girl gamers feel less excluded is good. Women are underrepresented as it is.
If breasts help some I'm all for it, it is a very evident clue to gender for humans.

(A preponderance of buxom girls with weird and unpractical clothes do bother me, though. And it does bother many of my women gamer friends. The new PHB is rather good in that respect.)

As is the fact that so many of the female roles and monsters are clearly oriented just toward men, as seducers or sexual predators.
If it makes female gamers feel more represented then fine. I just know that the female players I know don't really have a passionate view about boobs on monsters. Now we do get sick of bog boobs on all superheroes and female adventurer and don't get us started on stripper armor and stripper poses. To me I prefer them not to have it but I am not going to be upset or bothered if they do. I just prefer the idea that not everything look and act in a human manner it makes it more interesting to me. In my world dragons for example don't have gender they are magical creatures and reproduce magically.

I have not had a chance to look at the new PHB but I have been hearing good things about the artwork.
 

Elf Witch

Villager
But you're not even using realism in your arguments for realism. Species are nothing more than a human created classification system for scientific purposes. Making the claim that a species in a fantasy universe can't deviate from what is expected in an artificial classification system is disingenuous if you know and understand reptilian biology. Different evolutionary paths could quite easily result in dragonborn with dragonboobs. Evolution doesn't conform to a set of guidelines. A species will either change or die out. It just so happens that dragonborn in the D&D universe evolved boobs.

Or they didn't. Honestly, I don't care. Short of needing a picture for your character, what difference does it really make? Don't like dragonboobs, say your female dragonborn doesn't have boobs. Boom! D&D magic.
First of all no one said they can't deviate. And since I am a human it makes sense that I would be influenced by human created classification systems.

As I said I prefer that they look more reptilian and why I prefer that. I also like the idea that monsters don't necessarily conform to human standards which is why I prefer no dragon boobs.

And if you honestly don't care why are you posting? And again part of the enjoyment of discussion on DnD boards is conversations about things like this at least to me it is.

And again in your game at your table you can do what ever you want the same as I can.
 
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Nivenus

Villager
Species are nothing more than a human created classification system for scientific purposes.
While technically accurate, that kind of misses the point of the classification, which is to provide a meaningful way of differentiating different kinds of lifeforms and grouping them together on the basis of biological similarities. A squirrel really is closer to a human than it is to a lizard (or a jellyfish). The fact that they're both mammals reflects that.

Is the system perfect? No. At some point, the line between what classifies a species or subspecies becomes a blurry one and defining what is or isn't a genus (or a family, order, class, etc.) is always a process of consensus and debate. Sometimes we find that old categories we thought were meaningful actually aren't really and so new categories are created instead. The class reptilia is itself one such category: we now know that crocodiles are actually more closely related to birds than lizards, snakes, or turtles, resulting in the creation of new clades like archosaurs and lepidosaurs.

But to claim that the word "species" is completely meaningless and arbitrary is to be ignorant of the actual biological significance involved in taxonomy.
 

Shemeska

Adventurer
Humanoids and PC races are invariably going to have aspects that players can associate with and understand, and especially when they're assumed to be options to play as PCs that's important. As such, having common human sex characteristics makes it easy for most players to associate with them and get into character.

Stripping some of those aspects away is, to be frank, annoying and it only seems to occur with men complaining about female traits on female creatures.
 

Nivenus

Villager
Humanoids and PC races are invariably going to have aspects that players can associate with and understand, and especially when they're assumed to be options to play as PCs that's important. As such, having common human sex characteristics makes it easy for most players to associate with them and get into character.


I think that ascribes far too little intelligence to players. I'm sure players can see a female kobold or lizardfolk and understand it's female even if it doesn't have breasts.
 
It doesn't bother me, but I would prefer it to be different, yes, at least in some cases.

Two reasons for this:

- I don't see why every character race needs to tread the same ground. One of the big advantages of fantasy is that the game (and settings) can explore all sorts of weird and wonderful options.

- I find that an awful lot of D&D's races are closer to "humans with funny noses" than anything more exotic. Anything that takes away from that is a good thing, IMO.

So I would prefer it if Dragonborn were differentiated by giving the males a war-crest or similar. I would prefer it if Warforged weren't male or female (or "male personality" or "female personality") at all, and likewise Shardminds. And so on.
 

Thank Dog

Villager
And if you honestly don't care why are you posting?
Because you and others are making an issue out of something that doesn't need to be an issue so I'm trying to argue that it's pointless to argue about it :)

But to claim that the word "species" is completely meaningless and arbitrary is to be ignorant of the actual biological significance involved in taxonomy.
I wasn't saying it was meaningless so much as I was saying that applying our understanding of taxonomy based on our definitions to an alien world is disingenuous when the only knowledge we have of species on said alien world is that they're "this way". If you want to argue realism then you have to accept that an alien world evolves in alien ways and all of that isn't even taking into account magical effects that are pretty much the ultimate "spanner in the works".
 

StooNasty

Villager
Don't care. If a cheeseburger had boobs I'd get over it. If I can accept a floating eye that shoots lasers I can accept a Minotaur with D-cups.
 

transtemporal

Explorer
Why would Minotaur have udders? They only have bovine heads, and possibly legs depending on the artist. Their torso's are human. Do you think they have four stomachs and are herbivores as well?
Also, have you seen those versions of minotaurs that actually look like cows? They look terrible.

Cool Minotaur
http://guides.gamepressure.com/mightandmagicheroesvishadesofdarkness/gfx/word/166834255.jpg

Bad Minotaur
http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2013/023/d/2/wip_minotaur_by_butterfrog-d5qry1x.jpg

But yes OP, I generally agree with you. It would be weird if Thri-kreen female turned up with breasts for example.
 
All she's saying is that giving female members of non-human species breasts helps them appeal to the majority of female gamers who do have breasts and can therefore relate to them more easily.
This is really unconvincing to me.

- I don't see why every character race needs to tread the same ground. One of the big advantages of fantasy is that the game (and settings) can explore all sorts of weird and wonderful options.

- I find that an awful lot of D&D's races are closer to "humans with funny noses" than anything more exotic. Anything that takes away from that is a good thing, IMO.
Putting the gender stereotypes issue aside, this pretty much nails the rest of it for me. Since my early days with RPG I've felt a lot of value in the idea of trying to play even elves and dwarves differently from humans with mere pointy ears and short stature. I understand that some people aren't interested in the roleplaying aspects but prefer to see e.g. elves as a +2 Dex stat block, which IMO is a different but fully intelligent way to play characters in a game, and it is not the point here. Less so, people who choose fantasy characters but fail to make them fantastic at all. If it's players' choice then it's not an issue (and it certainly isn't easy! for instance, how can you really imagine how a creature that lives 1000 of years would think and feel about life?), but I do expect that serious designers will take RPGing seriously, and see value in the diversity of different roleplaying experiences. Making all creatures roleplay the same is indeed a form of dumbing-down the game, although having creatures look as human as possible is only part of that process.
 

aramis erak

Explorer
Also, have you seen those versions of minotaurs that actually look like cows? They look terrible.

Cool Minotaur
http://guides.gamepressure.com/mightandmagicheroesvishadesofdarkness/gfx/word/166834255.jpg

Bad Minotaur
http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2013/023/d/2/wip_minotaur_by_butterfrog-d5qry1x.jpg

But yes OP, I generally agree with you. It would be weird if Thri-kreen female turned up with breasts for example.
As far as I'm concerned, you labeled those backwards.

Now, I went and asked my wife - a rather buxom woman, she is, too... and her response is to indicate she'd rather not see "dragonboobs" nor equivalent. When I asked udders or human-style mammaries on female minotaurs, she had no opinion.
 

Ragmon

Explorer
Hi all, just adding my 2 copper pieces to this thread.

First of all. Leave the female/male BS at the door, and lets move on to something much more sensible for this thread.

BIOLOGY.

Lets go with the basics.
  • If a creatures young don't suckle ofter being born then there is no need for breasts nor nipples.
  • If a creature gives birth to suckling young then:
    • Does it give birth to a bunch of young? More nipples/breasts.
    • Does it give birth to only a few or singular young? Then A pair will do.
    • Variants may include marsupials.
  • Talking about marsupials, another major variant is the duck-billed-platypus. Birth via egg then suckling.

Now since humans are animals and assuming D&D's naturally evolved races are the same, then the above mentioned logic should apply.

Thus:
  • No breast for lizard folk, shaugin, mind-flayers, gripply, koa-toa... and other reptilian and amphibian and fish people.
  • If lets say catfolk give birth to a litter then it would make sense for the female to have multiple nipples.
  • Dragonborn, depends, if they suckle their young then breasts make sense.
  • Created races...depends on what the creator intended.
  • Minotaur, its not the race originally, it was born as a deformed man. But it evolved slowly into a race of its own in fantasy games. Just use the Tauren from Warcraft if you want to use a minotaur race.

Again, a bit of science makes sense of it all, then you discover that the platypus exists and messes up conventional biology. :D

In adition: A non-human race might/should idealise other characteristics as appealing/sexual. For instance a race in Guild Wars 2 named the Asura, idealize ears the bigger the better.
Or maybe brighter and/or more varied colored scales of a lizardfolk.


As a bonus, during the development of Guild Wars 2, there was an interesting debate about a humanoid cat-like race called the Charr. More specifically should it have human breasts or cat-like nipples/breasts. In the end this is what they came up with:

ArenaNet guy:
"Finally, there was the matter of the chest. It really didn’t make any sense to have boobs on a charr female, particularly with all the effort we took to make her sleek and fierce. We thought they should have no breasts at all or at least hide them under some fluffy fur. Above all else, we needed to be true to the race, of course! There was still some debate, however, so I gave them a choice: either be subtle and downplay the breasts (it wasn’t a point of the race, anyway) or go full-on realistic. Yes, that’s right —none or six!! But really, the armor augmentation required for six boobs would be just as ridiculous, so none it was!"

bechdel.jpg

- these are both female charrs.

In closing:
  • Use science and common sense as much as possible.
  • Be creative, humans are one of many races in D&D,thus human ideals won't exist in other races, heh, not even other human societies idealize the same thing.
 

Sage Genesis

Villager
I think dragons should be drawn gender neutral making it hard to tell just what sex they are. I feel that way about most lizard type creatures. Now if they are humanoids or mammals that is different.
But that is part of the enjoyment having discussions like should dragons have boobs.
In my world dragons for example don't have gender they are magical creatures and reproduce magically.
I also like the idea that monsters don't necessarily conform to human standards which is why I prefer no dragon boobs.
Ok I got to ask... you are aware that when people here talk about "dragon boobs" they're talking about the females of dragonborn, a humanoid PC species? And not actual dragons? I'm pretty sure no edition of D&D gave boobs to actual dragons and nobody here argued that it should be otherwise.
 

SoulsFury

Villager
Also, have you seen those versions of minotaurs that actually look like cows? They look terrible.

Cool Minotaur
http://guides.gamepressure.com/mightandmagicheroesvishadesofdarkness/gfx/word/166834255.jpg

Bad Minotaur
http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2013/023/d/2/wip_minotaur_by_butterfrog-d5qry1x.jpg

But yes OP, I generally agree with you. It would be weird if Thri-kreen female turned up with breasts for example.
I also think you got those a bit backwards. The first one looks like a hairy demon minotaur, or maybe WoW and Mr. T collaborated to create it. The second looks like a minotaur.

The real question is: Why has no one ever seen a dragon with back? I mean, don't you guys fantasize about Tiamat with a lot of junk in the trunk? How many boobs does a five headed dragon have? 10? 6? 2? You are worried about a dragonborn with boobies when there are far more pressing matters.
 

Viking Bastard

Adventurer
Heh, the issue of dragonboobs came up at our then-all-female table (except for me, the DM) during a session a while back, when one of the girls decided to make her new character a dragonborn. I brought up, in passing, the debate about dragonboobs. (My position pretty much mirrors [MENTION=22424]delericho[/MENTION] upthread.) I didn't intend to make it into a thing.

One of the players became annoyed at the idea of "nerds never let girls have anything fun" (fun = boobs, in this case). Another of the players meanwhile found the very idea of dragonboobs downright sexist. Then they argued about which was more sexist for a while. Several points from this thread came up.

I remained silent, at first amused, but soon regretting having brought it up. Then I realizes that the player who actually wanted to play a dragonborn wasn't participating in the argument. Turns out she didn't have many thoughts on the subject, remained non-committal to what was or wasn't sexist, but she'd like her lizard to have boobs. Like in the pictures. So her lizard-witch had boobs that never got mentioned again.

What struck me was that they both made a pretty good case for sexism.
 

Thank Dog

Villager
I want to know why I am not represented in pictures of male fantasy figures. I, like 1 in every 18 other males on the planet, have a condition known as polythelia. I feel that this lack of realistic character art is discriminatory and illogical.
 

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