View Full Version : D&D: Random Ideas about Fluff for Gender Identity

2014-11-10, 05:41 PM
So, I decided to write up some ideas about gender variance for D&D stuff, as optional fluff. Here's what I got.

(And yes, this is the thread that got so many lovably-neckbeardy responses from /tg/. I kind of realized this might be a better forum for this. I apologise for my lack of writing skill. These are notes and rough ideas more than anything, and just how I'd do it. People can adjust things and use as much or as )

Humans: Varies greatly, it is well known that they usually stick to male and female, though agendered, bigendered, and other gender identities exist. There are, of course, many cultures in the world, and transgendered humans can either be celebrated or shunned, or anything in between, same with nonbinary humans.

Elves: Elves are well known for androgyny, which tends to have some merit, what with the sometimes-depicted-as hermaphroditic god Corellion. Perhaps because of this, elves tend to have far more gender-variance than other races. This does not detract from them being smug pricks though, of course. Transgendered elves are somewhat less common.

Devils: Many devils, being entirely centered around power and control, have little regard or care for the way one pit fiend considers themself or whatnot, and thus nonbinary or transgendered devils, even the occasional succubi, are not unknown.

Archons: Archons can typically be seen as agendered, though many appear as and identify with some gender or another.

Just some random thoughts. Any ideas?

2014-11-10, 06:11 PM
Corellon is sometimes hermaphroditic?

Honest Tiefling
2014-11-10, 06:20 PM
I would see gender being a option only allowed to the higher ranks of devils, much like other freedoms. Lower ranking ones are whatever gender their superiors decide, usually the same one as the rest of their units to promote unity, discipline and conformity.

2014-11-10, 08:14 PM
Androgynous behavior is not the same as androgynous gender identity. Personally, I wouldn't have elves have any higher rate of gender variance than humans, unless something in the fluff specifically refers to gender ambiguity.

Jeff the Green
2014-11-11, 02:51 AM
Androgynous behavior is not the same as androgynous gender identity. Personally, I wouldn't have elves have any higher rate of gender variance than humans, unless something in the fluff specifically refers to gender ambiguity.

While this is true, Androygnous gender identity does tend to lead to androgynous behavior, and one can imagine that a species with much less sexual dimorphism than humans might put less stock in the gender binary. I think the idea is to produce new fluff rather than merely extrapolate from existing stuff.

Anyway, my 2cp:

Despite being otherwise conservative, dwarves are relatively tolerant of atypical gender expression and identity and trans* dwarves are relatively common. It is particularly common for trans-male dwarves to become priests of Moradin and trans-female dwarves to become priestesses of Berronar Truesilver. This may be due to the same factors causing the elves' gender variance.

Changelings have enough plain identity problems without having to worry about gender identity. Most just have one gender they spend most of their time in and try not to think about it much.

Even if they have gender, no psychologist or sociologist has managed to sit down with one long enough to tackle the issue without being implanted or going mad from the inane ribbiting first.

2014-11-11, 06:31 PM
Orcs, bugbears, hobgoblins, ogres, trolls and the like have clear enough distinction amongst themselves (it's probably scent during heat etc.), but since they all tend towards being big, muscular and ugly on the outside and aggressive, hateful and domineering on the inside, even the most feminine orc/ogre/whatever woman resembles a man to human sensibilities. As such, some humans refuse to believe there are orc/ogre/whatever ladies in the first place.

Gnolls follow the same pattern as hyenas, largely inverting human expectations of gender. Among gnolls, females are the larger, stronger and more aggressive sex; they even have pseudo-penises. Males tend to be the submissive ones. A strong, assertive male is seen as something of a deviant and maybe homosexual. Females being submissive towards other, stronger females, and female homosexuality is seen as pretty normal, but woe betide a physically imposing female if she acts sexually submissive towards a smaller female; such is seen a symbol of weakness.

Oozes... don't have sex. They reproduce via splitting. However, some of the more intelligent ones may develop gender if exposed to sexual beings. An asexual ooze might try to visually approximate the creature/sex combination it associates with its gender traits. Ie., a submissive ooze-being with a penchant for cooking and childcare who lives in a patriarchal human society where such traits are predominantly considered feminine might try to appear like a human female. The same slime, living in a gnoll society, might try to appear like a gnoll male.

Constructs too are sexless, but they are often built to resemble one sex or another of some living species. As such, their gender tends to match whatever traits their physical shape was intended to represent, eg. a construct fashioned after a stereotypical human female will act like a stereotypical human female. As constructs are usually mindless artifices, this is generally enforced by whatever programming and preconceptions their maker had or placed upon them. Weirdness ensues with free-willed constructs or when the elemental bound to one takes over. A free-willed construct might adopt gender traits grosly in conflict with its outer shell, but feel no conflict about it, as it is sexless and feels no body dysphoria. F.ex. a ruby golem made to look like a dainty princess might act with all the tact and refinement of a brutish, drunken barbarian, speaking in a low baritone to boot, and only be mildly amused by any dissonance pointed out byt humans. Alternatively, they might go the same way as oozes, mimicking whichever creature/sex combination their traits are most identified with. A big bulky clay golem made for housekeeping might take to wearing a blue ribbon and an appron to signify its femininity.

Elementals don't have sex and don't assign genders to traits. Other sapient creatures might, though. For example, humans might think of Earth elementals as male or masculine because they are big, strong, solid etc. Or Water elementals as female or feminine because they're supple etc.