5E Inappropriate breasts on female monsters

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Does it bug you when creatures that logically shouldn't have breasts are illustrated with them in D&D art?
Not really.

In the previous edition, Dragonborn, Minotaurs and Shard born females were all given breasts, even though Dragonborn are reptilian, Minotaurs would logically have udders, and Shard born aren't even biological. I think monsters and PC races should only be drawn with breasts if: 1) they would logically have them, or 2) they are traditionally depicted as having them. What do you think...?
1) "Logic" isn't really a good argument in a game with dragon-people, mythological beings, and animate crystal people. None of those things are logical to begin with.

2) Those things in 4e are all PC races. When you play a character, it should be identifiable to you. Female players who play minotaurs and who want to do so as female minotaurs shouldn't have to imagine some totally alien anatomy every time they want to climb a ladder. Characters are also often representations of aspects of the player, so having human gender signifiers is important because the players have those signifiers.

It's fine. More than fine.
 

Vic Ferrari

Villager
It's never come up, but, lizard-folk have never had breasts, as far as I know, so the only problem would be dragonborn and shardminds, but I have yet to see either in action (which I am grateful for).
 

Vic Ferrari

Villager
1) "Logic" isn't really a good argument in a game with dragon-people, mythological beings, and animate crystal people. None of those things are logical to begin with.

This excuse has never sat right with me, just because you are playing a fantasy game does not mean you have to get completely absurd, some basis/grounding in reality I find can enhance the "fantasy" experience.
 

Viking Bastard

Adventurer
This excuse has never sat right with me, just because you are playing a fantasy game does not mean you have to get completely absurd, some basis/grounding in reality I find can enhance the "fantasy" experience.
I agree with your disagreement on "logic" not mattering in fantasy--creating a believable fantasy setting, be it in fiction or play, requires heavy amounts of logic.

With that said, I don't think logic (especially high fantasy logic) has anything to do with "realism". More than not, I think the "realisms" in D&D tend to break down once you bring logic into it.
 

Paraxis

Villager
This excuse has never sat right with me, just because you are playing a fantasy game does not mean you have to get completely absurd, some basis/grounding in reality I find can enhance the "fantasy" experience.
To me the reality of a fantasy world is not science but magic, in my D&D worlds evolution is not a thing. The gods made the humans, elves, dwarves, etc..

Dragons or dragon gods made the dragonborn, so the breasts are there because they wanted them there not because of biology. Dragonborn might produce milk they might not, to me it doesn't matter the reason for why the dragons made dragonborn females with breasts could just be purely for looks.

When the creation stories of dwarves include being forged by Moradin and this is a fact that you can commune with Moradin and confirm, you don't need to ask questions about biology why do dwarves have X or Y, it all comes down to because the god Moradin created them that way.
 

Sadras

Explorer
How is this ridiculous (IMO) thread getting so much traction. Is it merely the B-)s' allure of the word "boob"?
 

mcbobbo

Villager
Gamers often forget that the game is intended for use by modern humans, and so the norms of the time outweigh a lot of other factors.

What good is your biologically accurate game if nobody buys it?

Remember the quote where WotC said they tested it with focus groups? That's the /thread, right there, in my view. If you want to change the majority view of society and then have them retest it, then by all means do. But let's not get the cart before the horse.
 

Paraxis

Villager
How is this ridiculous (IMO) thread getting so much traction. Is it merely the B-)s' allure of the word "boob"?
I believe the answer is, Yes!

But yeah art is great to argue about because it is entirely subjective to the viewer, there are master pieces that sell for millions of dollars I would not hang in my bathroom, there are some album covers I would frame and put on display in my living room.

Past the whole art thing, the discussion about sexism is good to have but in this case it does seem like there is good arguments on both sides so no real headway can be made there either.

Then we get into the whole biology/science vs magic thing and that is completely up to individual DM's and their worlds so back to the whole art is subjective thing, in this case the art being the created fantasy world.

In the end on this topic no one is right or wrong, those are the threads that can stretch on and on.

But yeah boobs. ;)
 
Hi, I'm a woman who has taken up this cause, since men seem to miss the whole point..


Dragon born and Shardmind are PC races ( I guess Minotaurs can be) as a woman I want to play a woman. I identify some pretty basic features, and on a visual level Breast and hips are the easiest. I have no doubt that if a male PC was forces to visually represent themselves as a ken doll down there the explosion would be huge...

I have met only 1 woman gamer who had a problem with "Dragon boobs" but I've meet dozens of men who do. On the other hand I can count more woman gamers then I have fingers who would consider it an insult to woman everywhere to make anyone have to deal with "Well our fantasy race that can be made anyway we want have to not represent women"
I find this all very funny. When I am creating a character and want to play a man, then I play.......

.....wait for it....


A MAN! :lol:

If gender is of any importance at all then the first thing to be dismissed from consideration is a pet rock with legs.

If I ever did decide to play a rock, then I wouldn't really consider it a man or a woman. It's a rock.
 

Nellisir

Adventurer
Sadras said:
How is this ridiculous (IMO) thread getting so much traction. Is it merely the B-)s' allure of the word "boob"?

I dunno; it's kinda odd. What I find REALLY interesting is how many participants are either real old-timers here, or practically brand new. There are names cropping up I haven't seen in _years_.
 

Nellisir

Adventurer
Nellisir said:
An upright bovine would have a massively protruding sternum.

Well that's just gender prejudice. Bishōnen males everywhere are now offended. You have offended Justin Bieber and 90% of the Japanese male population.
I'm not sure why 90% of Japanese men want massive sternums with a keel-like ventral projection. Does it involve a game show? Because I don't understand Japanese game shows either.

Who's Justin Bieber?

;)
 
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Desdichado

Adventurer
It's always interesting where people draw the line. A humanoid race that looks reptilian and may be descended from dragons is fine even though it may have unrealistic body structure, tails, and wings. But add breasts and suddenly there is a problem.
It's certainly possible that a great many gamers fail to understand the definition of the word "humanoid." Like the first post, for example, that suggested minotaurs should have udders. Why? They're mostly anthropomorphic, not "bovimorphic" That statement was actually completely false. The same thing happens with reptilian humanoids. Biologically speaking, it makes so sense for a creature with a thick fleshy tail to be bipedal at all, unless it has a forward-facing torso. No reptilian bipeds (which really means only the dinosaurs and maybe a few poposaurs or ornithosuchids) has a vertical facing torso with forelimbs (i.e., arms) that are located on the sides and oriented in a sprawling instead of vertical format.

It also doesn't make any sense for creatures without fleshy mouths and lips in a pretty human-like format to be able to speak in any language that a human can.

Why aren't any of these details important enough to draw gamers' ire, but monster boobs are?

Political correctness is my guess. Nothing else makes any sense.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
The only one that ever weirds me out is when the Sphinx is given breasts. Otherwise no.
Breasts on the sphinx go back, in terms of classical representation, to at least the 16th century, so there's some precedent for that. (Of course, D&D uses history and mythology for exactly as much as its convenient, but still it's not like this idea was pulled out of thin air.)

With regards to the larger point about "realism" in fantasy, I feel that there are two points that need to be made (and others have done so already; I just want to underline them):

First, "realism" is not the same thing as "internal logic and consistency in the game world" (though it's often used as a shorthand for it).

Second, I'm of the opinion that fantasy game worlds use a presumption of "functions as per the real world unless told otherwise." So we'd assume that a female non-mammalian creature doesn't have breasts unless we're given evidence to the contrary. Since we're given evidence to the contrary in the case of female dragonborn, then we move on to the corollary of the above rule - "when told otherwise, the fantastic overrides the realistic, with no regard for real-world 'natural' laws."

So in other words, I don't find it "unrealistic" that female dragonborn have boobs - simply put, the basic conceits of a fantasty game (particularly one with prevalent, powerful magic and interventionist deities) mean that anything is up for being changed from our real-world expectations, and in this case the game has exercised that inherent option. (That's not even mentioning that we have egg-laying mammals that nurse their young in the real world anyway, so this is hardly a stretch of the imagination.)
 

Vic Ferrari

Villager
Breasts on the sphinx go back, in terms of classical representation, to at least the 16th century, so there's some precedent for that. (Of course, D&D uses history and mythology for exactly as much as its convenient, but still it's not like this idea was pulled out of thin air.)

With regards to the larger point about "realism" in fantasy, I feel that there are two points that need to be made (and others have done so already; I just want to underline them):

First, "realism" is not the same thing as "internal logic and consistency in the game world" (though it's often used as a shorthand for it).

Second, I'm of the opinion that fantasy game worlds use a presumption of "functions as per the real world unless told otherwise." So we'd assume that a female non-mammalian creature doesn't have breasts unless we're given evidence to the contrary. Since we're given evidence to the contrary in the case of female dragonborn, then we move on to the corollary of the above rule - "when told otherwise, the fantastic overrides the realistic, with no regard for real-world 'natural' laws."

So in other words, I don't find it "unrealistic" that female dragonborn have boobs - simply put, the basic conceits of a fantasty game (particularly one with prevalent, powerful magic and interventionist deities) mean that anything is up for being changed from our real-world expectations, and in this case the game has exercised that inherent option. (That's not even mentioning that we have egg-laying mammals that nurse their young in the real world anyway, so this is hardly a stretch of the imagination.)

Bingo, but then I generally agree with you.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I think people are relying too heavily on the assumptions that are borne of a very vague and mostly osmosis based understanding of reptilian and mammalian biology. I mean, if you're going to use "reptiles don't lactate" as a reason to hate on dragon-boobs, then you should probably actually understand the evolution of lactation. There are birds and fish that lactate.
The birds that "lactate" do so through their stomach linings. Kind of difficult to get external breasts from that. And in most cases, both sexes lactate, so even if somehow that stomach-secretion led to external breasts, they'd be on both genders. Oh, and the substance they produce is more like cheese than milk in texture - so I expect suckling is right out. Ouch.

And there is a fish (the discusfish) that secretes nutrients for young from its skin. I know of no others.

The major point here is that while there are other species that do produce some nourishment for young, they all have *separate* evolutionary origins. So, "there are birds that lactate" is not really an argument that is relevant. They do so in a manner that is so different that it argues for completely different physical and behavioral characteristics, not everyone having a pair of major breasts on their chest.
 

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