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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Playing Races, Genders, Sexual Orientations, and Sexual Identities with Respect

    In my experience the differences that alienate people from one another exist solely in our own minds. Whether that's gender identity, ethnicity or sexual orientation everyone shares a majority of the same basic needs from comfort to companionship to entertainment to nutrition. The manner in which those needs are expressed or fulfilled might appear to "vary wildly" but really what does that even mean? When you choose to focus on what makes someone different instead of finding a shared framework or experience to enable communication you become "part of the problem."

    This is especially true in a Tabletop RPG since the fundamental goals usually center around resolving potentially deadly conflicts. If a group of 10 Goblins ambushes a group of 3 fighters what will dictate those fighters' responses isn't their sexuality or gender identity but rather the fact that they all swing swords for a living. In this case, as with the vast majority, sexuality, gender and/or identity are utterly incidental to the events if you as a player were to try to insert those things, or assign them some sort of significance relative to the response then you're being disrespectful.

    That's my two paragraphs on the matter.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Playing Races, Genders, Sexual Orientations, and Sexual Identities with Respect

    So again... to clarify:

    I'm talking about method acting in an traditional RP settings in regards to playing races, gender identities, and sexual orientations.

    I'm humbly requesting we not attempt to make this about cosplay, or attempt to explain why there is no need to roleplay these aspects of a character.

    I'm going to change Post 1, in hopes that a re-write can keep things on topic. I think this thread can help myself and others who wish to include these aspects of their character into their roleplay, and I'd like it if we can all accept this specific topic as a foundational concept.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: Playing Races, Genders, Sexual Orientations, and Sexual Identities with Respect

    Ok, as for method acting :

    I don't roleplay human races. There is nothing about race that should change behavior thus there is nothing to act out.

    I do roleplay non-human races. Emphasis is on biological differences. E.g. when acting as a cold blooded lizard i act sleepy when it is cold and nearly hyperactive when it is unusually warm.

    I do roleplay cultures. Now most RPGs i play do have extensive source material about cultures. Most of those cultures don't exist anywhere in the real world, even if sometimes there are obvious influences. I tend to make sure i know the culture of my PC.
    But even in this case there is nothing that seperates certain cultures from others. There are no special options handled differently from regular characters. All of my many character's cultures are somewhat foreign to me. I actually never really played someone from my own time and place.

    But yes, playing culture is the most important thing. How to do that... well, that completely depends on the culture. But the small differences count. E.g. if the culture of your character is big on numerology (and the setting sepplement is nice enough to include a breakdown about which numbers are deemed important and why and what the associations are), you could pay attention to number. Comment on lucky ones. Feel uneasy about unlucky ones. Be inspired to interpret events in connection with the hidden meaning of the numbers present.



    I don't tend to play homosexual characters. But the sexual orientation is so unimportant that i hav not even decided for all my characters what kind of sexual partners they prefer. It hardly ever comes up. And i certainly would not play a homosexual any different at all. There is literally nothing to being gay than what kind of romantic avances your character would undertake or how he/she would react to those received. It is not any more important than if your character prefers blond or brown hair of or likes beards. Also most of the time the other players will never know if your character is gay or not.

    As for gender idendity, well, that is linked to gender roles. As you are most of the time playing in other cultures, your character will have experienced completely different gender roles than you the player know. Which makes those concepts a bit difficult. Someone who might be Trans here and now might be not in the game world and vice versa. Playing a trans person even works only if the game culture has significant detail about gender roles.
    Personally i never played a real trans character. I played one character defying gender roles but tried to do so by leaving her home region to a more fitting place where she can now do the jobs she likes but in turn is treated dirty foreign barbarian/monster. I have some other character who i decided is gender fluid. But only because until the end of caharcter generation i still had no mental picture of either a male or a female character. Which is kind of rare.


    I don't really do accents. Because i am pretty sure i can't speak accents convincingly. I do change my voice a bit to fit the character. I do include proper nouns and words without a direct equivalent in the original language. I make sure beforehand i can pronounce those properly. That might take quite a lot of time if your language is missing certain sounds. But it is worth it. Nothing illustrates the foreigness as clearly as using words the rest of the players can't even repeat.
    But you should really take a character name the other players can pronounce. I made this mistake once.
    Last edited by Satinavian; 2018-03-01 at 08:28 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Playing Races, Genders, Sexual Orientations, and Sexual Identities with Respect

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    Take the character in your signature, Carric Hollmion, for example. Even if Carric were a different gender, sexuality than you, and trans as well, there are other characteristics he has which are likely to be far more intrinsic to his character and more removed from your reality than gender, sexual preference and ethnicity.
    Ok, this is a good start, sort of. We can take Carric and really flesh him out. He's a direct copy/paste from the build instructions for a Ranger from DnD Beyond, so he started out very vanilla. I won't say I put a lot of work into his character, because he was built more for learning a new system than for RP purposes, but I'm willing to go down the rabbit hole, if this keeps the thread on topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    For example, the simple fact that Carric is a Wood Elf is probably more of a difference from you than sexual preference or gender would be - not only is he more biologically different from you than any human race my some margin, his culture is also more different, the reactions he receives from other races will be more distinct than any human ethnicity. He is a ranger and skilled in a range of weapons, and presumably you are not, which again is probably more of a difference from you than (say) gender would be. If you are not chaotic neutral and do not subscribe to his motto of "when I'm strong I'll take what I want", that ideological difference is probably larger then (say) sexual preference would be. If any of his ability scores are very different from yours that is another difference which probably has more bearing on his day to day life than his gender/sexual preference. Being an adventurer in a magical world is more different from you than being (say) trans in this world.
    I acknowledge that gender identity and and sexual orientations are finer points to RP than say, whether or not you can cast spells. In fact, that's the whole point of why I like to roleplay this way. For me, the RP gets more enticing when we really dig in to the finer points of being a person, rather than just being an adventurer.

    Here's a bit of exposition to Carric's backstory. It's a bit more ham-fisted than how I tend to play, but like I said... he's vanilla on purpose.

    Spoiler: Carric's Posted Backstory
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    Carric Holimion comes from a special tribe of Wood Elves who haunt the western stretch of Neverwinter Woods, not far from the High Road. Even amongst wood elves, they are considered a bit feral, and have been known to commit acts of banditry against wealthy merchants and low ranking nobles. The Holimion clan simply believes that if the merchants really wanted their possessions, they would've hired better protection.

    The elves were generally tolerated because they never killed anyone who didn't pursue them into the woods, and they often handled other larger, more sinister threats, like goblins, orcs, and bugbears, which would've otherwise infested the region. However, Carric led a raid against one of Lord Nasher Alagondar's caravans, and succeeded, but not without getting noticed. Soon his face was plastered all around the High Road from Neverwinter on north with bounties. His clan used the winnings from the otherwise hugely successful raid to donate to local farmers, tradesmen, peasants, and the occasional guard to buy Carric's anonymity, but it wasn't long before it became obvious to the tribe that this life was no longer safe, or affordable, for Carric. Seeing no other recourse, Carric left his home and family to vanish into the safety of anonymity and avoid the ire of the legendary fighter turned lord.

    Because of this, Carric is generally untrusting of local officials, and members of society in general. He generally prefers the company of the creatures of the wild, but he has come to appreciate the generous nature of local commonfolk, since they have come to see him as a Robin Hood archetype, in a manner of speaking.


    Matters of Race:

    I don't usually play elves. I don't enjoy their fluff. But for crunch, it made sense. The Wood Elf concept seemed like a more exciting variant to play out, so I went with it, bleeding in barbarian tropes and mixing it with a Robin Hood vibe (if Robin Hood weren't so goody two-shoes). I thought about why Wood Elves would be distinct from any other Elf, and decided, based on their descriptors and bonuses that it was because of their more feral nature: preferring to live in the wilderness and enjoying the thrill of the hunt. Due to the setting the campaign is placed in, I thought about how the geographic location and social pressures might effect their ecosystem and social patterns. I decided to use references from biological and ecological sciences when humanity encroaches on wildlife and how they adapt. Monkeys, bears, raccoons, and birds will often find ways to adapt to the encroaching civilization through acts of banditry and vandalism, often overturning trash bins, raiding unsecured kitchens, or even picking pockets (in the cases of monkeys) to get the food they desire. I took from this aspect and decided that the Holimion Clan were bandits. But how did they thrive as bandits? This must mean they had a certain code of honor amongst themselves. Might makes right was the flaw I rolled, and I could see aspects of that amongst many pack/herd creatures. The social hierarchy is preserved through displays of power, competency, and deception. Though their clan is not inherently evil, it would be decidedly selfish and anarchic. I got all that from race.

    Matters of Gender:
    I chose male for simplicity. I found a cool picture of a wood elf, and it happened to be male. But to determine what that meant, I looked at the setting and in the fluff I was hashing out for my clan. The setting is Neverwinter, which is topically gender neutral, but built and played male-dominant. Therefore, while I made some assumptions about how men would be treated in a social patriarchy. Amongst his clan, he would receive no benefits or setbacks from his gender. They're interested in ho good you are at providing supplies for the clan, not the specifics of how you fill out an outfit. However, in civilized regions, which have unfortunately become his home due to his exile, he has come to expect a certain degree of special treatment. This makes him brash and presumptuous, which is only exacerbated by his might makes right mentality. Those with badges or mantles of authority are both a challenge and threat to his level of comfort and entitlement, but he curbs his desire to posture with enough wisdom to know he has a bounty on his head. Therefore he chooses to pick the fights he can win. However, if the presence of another male of higher rank and status threatens his influence amongst the local townsfolk, he's likely to push back, either through force or guile.

    Matters of Sexual Orientation:
    I play him demisexual, because that's what I can easily relate to. Really, that was for ease of RP, more than anything. If I were to think harder about it, I can look into early tribal cultures and see plenty of examples where heterosexual bonds were strongly encouraged as constructs for the continued survival of the clan/tribe. Therefore, I could probably play him as at least passing-straight, in the construct of duty. Perhaps even though he is capable of having romantic feelings for transfemales or males, he feels a cultural pressure to focus his romantic energies on females or transmales with functioning female reproductive capabilities. This creates a struggle within himself, especially if he has found a life partner for whom he is discourage from pairing with. Perhaps that partner lives in the clan and Carric can't see him again, or he forms a romantic bond with an NPC in the city he can't explore. Or perhaps something less tragic. Maybe there is a special someone working in the local tavern that doesn't know exactly how to handle his advances and hasn't decided if he/she likes the attention or not, but Carric has hearts in his eyes and is giving it his best shot to prove he is worthy of said tavern workers affection. Of course, he could also be enjoying the relative freedom he gets from not suffering the clans agenda to be fruitful and multiply. Maybe now, he is entering the world with open eyes and an open heart. It certainly opens up a lot of avenues for RP. Would he reject true love because of the agenda of procreation? Would he shed the manifestos of his clan and open his heart to any present possibility of love? Would he continue to remain predominately closed hearted and assume a martial life, which would be perfectly well suited given his circumstances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    I suppose what I am trying to say is that every time you roleplay you are roleplaying someone who is far further removed from yourself in terms of experience and outlook than another human who has a different race, gender or sexual preference would be. If you manage to play wizards (or even fighters) how hard can it be to play someone who is the opposite gender?
    That really depends. The more basic the template, the easier the RP. In a world where males and females are all homogenized and androgenous, it's not a challenge at all. Simply play whatever comes naturally. But in a world there there are power struggles, gender wars, racial elements, social constructs, theological constructs, political constructs, ecological and economical constructs, it gets a little trickier. In fact, the more subtle and more intricate the change, the more challenging it is to play it out.
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: Playing Races, Genders, Sexual Orientations, and Sexual Identities with Respect

    Quote Originally Posted by inexorabletruth View Post
    So again... to clarify:

    I'm talking about method acting in an traditional RP settings in regards to playing races, gender identities, and sexual orientations.
    Playing Races (Ethnicities): You play the same character except they look different and potentially have a different name. The character's experience with prejudice and discrimination is often based around directly being treated worse in situ or living in a poorer area. Ask people of actual minority ethnic groups for anything more specific than that.

    Playing Races (Cultures): Character may have traditions which seem strange to others (since forum rules dictate that we should be trying to avoid real-world politics as much as we can, I'll use Brom from the Inheritance cycle as an example: he was considered weird because he had a cultural habit of knocking three times on any doorway he passed through which was common where he was from but not where he went to). This may require some inventiveness - what kind of things do Muldhorandis do that would be considered weird in Neverwinter? The character's experience with prejudice and discrimination is often based on cultural erasure and misappropriation, for example using the religious or traditional symbols of the culture as throwaway fashion statements.

    Playing Races (Species): Character may be subjected to prejudices in the form of exaggeration of real traits (for example, orcs have a -2 to intelligence, which means that orcs tend to be slightly less intelligent than humans on average, but that the top 50% of orcs are at least as intelligent than 37.5% of humans and more intelligent than 25.93% of humans. They're generally portrayed as being a lot dumber than that, though). This is analogous to some of the ridiculous exaggerations around sexism.

    A lot of the differences in cultures may be accounted for in terms of physiology; in terms of jewellery, for example, elves may think that humans and orcs are weird for putting sharp pieces of metal through their ears, noses and even tongues in the name of fashion (piercings, basically) because elven ears are a little more delicate. Orcs, on the other hand, may think that human piercings are unimpressive. Where physiology doesn't come into it, it makes sense to have a lot of the same traditions pop up between species some elves have tea ceremonies and some of them play tribal drums much like different cultures among humans. Just because someone is a non-human species doesn't mean that they're going to play into a species-wide culture, after all.

    Playing Genders (Absolute Genders Such As Male and Female): Characters are influenced by gender stereotypes and norms. Female characters may feel a need to be a home-maker or feel a need to defy this gender role or feel the need to have a freedom to choose between them. Prejudice and discrimination takes the form of assuming lesser ability, exaggeration of real but negligible differences (usually looking like a more extreme version of the orc example above in terms of assumptions about physical capabilities), sexualisation, and a disregard for women's choices, as well as enforced gender roles. Your character will have been impacted by all of this if she's a woman (or indeed if he or they are AFAB), but also men have to conform to gender roles or make a big point of breaking out of them, and suffer from a level of boys-don't-cry emotional suppression. These gender roles may be different in different societies.

    Drow are weird and I'm not familiar with them beyond the female-dominant aspect. Elves have a more androgynous culture and fewer gender roles. IIRC orc culture expects everyone to be combat-capable and has a more masculine set of gender expressions for everyone. Of course, this will be different between different settings.

    Playing Genders (Relative Genders such as Transgender and Cisgender): Trans people will have had a period, sometimes more than the entirety of their childhood, where people tried to socialise them into the wrong gender, but they experienced it as their own gender. A trans girl who hears the "other boys" shouting sexually explicit things at girls experiences that from the perspective of a female onlooker, rather than a male one, even if no-one realises that yet. This generally leads to trans people either deliberately playing into stereotypes in order to pass as their gender, or eliding them entirely. Prejudice and discrimination are often via physical and sexual violence, denial (legal or social) of trans people's gender, and making gendered spaces inaccessable. In extreme cases people treat trans people as though they have a contagious disease. The number of barriers to basic social acceptance can make trans people very world-weary very quickly. Many don't bother arguing back when harassed because they'd never get anything done.

    Playing a nonbinary character would basically rely on the amplification of a lot of the above problems. Playing a genderfluid character would essentially be the same only even more so - in fact, some people who are nonbinary or genderfluid don't express their gender identity in its entirety immediately (case study: I was assigned male, identified as that up to 15, realised I was genderfluid, lived as male in meatspace and female online for a while, then female in meatspace and nonbinary online, and am now trying to live openly as genderfluid in both). Trying to play a genderfluid character without being one is going to provide a lot of problems - even I haven't yet tried to play another genderfluid character because how individual genderfluid people react to gender.

    Playing Sexual Identities (Orientations Such as Gay and Straight): Your character's relationships may be treated with scorn; they may feel ashamed or believe their preferences make them a pervert. I played a lesbian character on these forums and honestly, her struggles with her own sexuality provide a good example of how someone's sexuality can become an important trait, so I'll leave this explanation at that as far as lesbian and gay are concerned. Also note that bisexual characters may feel pressure to "Choose one or the other", and characters - even straight ones - may question or be unsure of their sexualities.

    I have no idea whether to fit asexual in this category or the next one, but the idea that asexual people are "Broken" runs rampant in some cultures at some times.

    Playing Sexual Identities (Intensities Such as Demisexual): These nuanced concepts don't tend to be well-developed at the level of societal advancement D&D is - indeed, most games are - implied to take place at. Plus, there tend not to be people saying that demisexuals are terrible in the same way as there are for homosexuals, though there are enough saying that they don't even exist to be getting on with. Someone who is demisexual or even someone who is asexual may be unable to express themselves because the terminology doesn't exist for them to do so yet (oh, and this can be a problem for trans people too, while we're at it).

    Playing Sexual Identities (Polyamoury and Other Things I've Missed): The idea that monoamoury should be the norm or that there even should be a norm is somewhat manufactured, but sometimes polyamoury is shamed much as promiscuity is, especially among women. Characters who are polyamourous may have difficulties explaining this to potential lovers and other people.

    There are a few other ways in which someone's sexual preferences can come into play. If you want to go hard-mode, try a different chronophilia on for size.* I'm sure there are a bunch of other things because sexuality is complicated.

    *Please don't try this unless you know what you're doing.

    Playing Neuroatypicalities: You can also have a go at playing someone whose mind just works slightly differently from normal, or indeed a lot differently from normal. Remember that people's reactions to them will also inform how their neuroatypicality affects them. An autistic person will get along a lot better in a society full of people who are very literal-minded than a society full of abstraction and metaphor. A person with dissociative identity disorder will get on a lot better in a society which doesn't paint them in a negative light. People with social anxiety often do better when invited to speak rather than in societies where conversations are very informal. Also remember that neuroatypicalities are the subject of a lot of stereotypes - be clear on what each one does and how it can vary between people. For example, the idea of people with dissociative identity disorder having dangerous splinter personalities is mostly a myth - they just have multiple personalities who can sometimes get along and sometimes not, and all of whom have the same continuity of existence from the original personality.

    Intersectionality: This is a slightly complicated fact of being any combination of oppressed groups. Intersectionality is entirely Googlable, but the ultimate point is that it's to do with the problems which arise specifically because of the conjunction, or indeed intersection, of minorities (or oppressed majorities, in cases where that is the case). This can take some turns in fantasy that it can't in reality. For example, a human woman can escape to elven lands to avoid sexism, but a drow man can't, because the elves hate drow. Of course, he can always take his luck with the humans and try to enjoy his newfound status on the top of the gender heap, but he won't be well-treated in human lands either. Non-fantastical examples include racism in LGBT communities and homophobia in black communities causing LGBT people of colour to be excluded from conversations about LGBT issues and also from conversations about black issues. Transgender lesbians can find themselves the subject of backlash from cisgender lesbians who, having spent a lot of their time convincing people that no, they are fine dating women thanks, reject them on the basis that they think that trans people are trying to trick lesbians into having straight sex.

    In a world with fantasy "races" (species), this problem can turn up a lot of extra questions which a setting would need to answer for someone to be played faithfully. How are trans people treated in orc culture, where everyone acts somewhat masculine anyway? How about orcs living in human societies? How about drow culture - is it even possible for someone assigned male to be treated as a woman in drow culture, and would a trans man keep in the closet to keep the benefits of being a woman in drow society? Goblins have a variety of different skin tones: is there racism within goblin societies?

    Stuck in the Middle (Bisexuality, Mixed Heratige and so Forth. Also, Half-Elves): If you're playing a character who has a trait that can be construed as being between two "Sides", expect them to be rejected by members of both "Sides", as the oppressed group lumps them in as an oppressor and the oppressing group lumps them in as undesirable.

    Turning Prejudice on its Head (Noughts and Crosses, the Drow, et al): Honestly, this is mainly useful as a how-would-you-like-it talking point - if you want to represent oppression in a way analogous to the real world, it's better not to do it. But it's kinda interesting to build a setting, or part of the setting, around it. Notably, sometimes this does actually happen, but it's so spectacularly microcosmic by comparison to standard prejudice[Dubious - Discuss] that it's probably not worth exploring if you're only just dipping your toe into the "Playing nonstandard things with respect" waters.

    Taking Out the Prejudice: In one of the D&D computer games, one of the characters...

    Spoiler: Genuinely a spoiler
    Show
    The Valsharess in Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark


    ...tries to seduce the main character, and you can tell her you're not interested in women. The interesting thing is that the conversation goes, as far as I recall, the exact same way irrespective of your character's gender - she tries to seduce you if you're a woman and there's no option to be horrible about her preferences; you can tell her you're not interested in women if you're a man and she'll give you the same response as if you were a woman. It's not like the game didn't have the capacity to alter the conversation based on your gender, either. They just chose to have sexuality be no big deal.

    Removing the prejudice means that you have diversity but not proper representation. Diversity is good in its own right: it gives people a chance to identify with characters and feel like their existence hasn't just been completely glossed over...

    Spoiler: Genuinely another spoiler
    Show
    Although the female seductress villain being bisexual is probably a little overplayed


    ...but it doesn't actually represent a lot of the struggles of their lives. If you do this, then people of minority ethnicities will have no real problems or functional differences from people of majoritiy ones, LGB people will work like straight people except with different genders involved, trans people will still suffer from dysphoria but that gets a lot better if you coat the world in universal acceptance, and neuroatypicalities will still suck but people handling them better will make them a lot easier to deal with. Essentially, it allows you to emphasise that these subgroups of humanity (I'll get to orcs in a moment) are pretty similar apart from the random crap they're put through just for being who they are.

    It may be a good idea to do this in regard to different species. The greatest strength of playing with the prejudices against orcs - that it has no real consequences if you mess it up - is also its greatest weakness: it has no real consequences if you get it right, either. Certainly, exploring the prejudices surrounding different fantasy species is good practice, but once the training wheels are off, it's potentially better not to do it because it isn't really analogous to actual prejudices and is just distracting from any real point you might have had.

    Oh, on that note, avoid superherophobia (for lack of a better word) like a plague. Oppression isn't so bad when you can react to it by turning the offending person into a newt. Part of why being trans sucks is because you're vulnerable. Part of why being black sucks is that there are systems of oppression that are bigger than you. Hatred of people with magical powers that can topple nations rings hollow as an analogy to any real-world prejudice. Yes, it may be realistic that people would resent their magical nature: do not spend screen time elaborating on this. It's a tired plot device which honestly lacks any power as a social commentary and is often used as one (or inferred as being one) anyway.

    Putting it all Together - Building Legion: So, suppose I want a character whose primary character feature is a neuroatypicality, Dissociative Identity Disorder, which means that they actually have multiple personalities. This is a request that loads of people ask for help with: how do I build someone with multiple personalities?

    First, Google. Put "Multiple personality disorder" or "Dissociative Identity Disorder" into Google and you'll get the Wikipedia page up pretty quickly. Read through the information. People with DID usually have one name that they're holistically known by and often take a nickname: because it's a nickname, we can use a name like Legion. Hey, we're overplaying the DID thing, right? Next, people with DID often have multiple genders, so we can slap on genderfluidity (we're still in the "Work out what essential born-with traits this person has" stage, so we don't have to worry yet about how any of this affects Legion's life). People with DID tend to have anxiety, trans people tend to be autistic, and members of minority groups tend to suffer from depression, so you can build up some interesting neuroatypicalities. If you're feeling adventurous, fit in a pansexual/demisexual sexuality on them, with demisexual being only for some genders and not others, oh and let's have one of the personalities be asexual too.

    Oh, we need to make sure we're fitting the setting: if it's a real-world setting you're gonna be a human. If the story's set in, say, the UK, then they're likely to be white, but let's throw in something minor there... pick a minority ethnic group, let's say the Parsis, and have it be in that group. It looks outwardly white, but because Parsis are patrilinear rather than percentage-based, it can have as much connection to India as a tiefling does to the hells and still be a Parsi.

    We've had a look-in on a lot of different protected characteristics, now, let's build Legion's actual personality. We've noted that it has DID, so they're actually going to have four different personalities for four different, well, personalities (or rather, identities). One of them can be outgoing and aggressive, one kind and passive, one dark and brooding, and one innovative and obsessive. We can build these personalities a bit more, but let's look at how the minority groups fit in here: being outgoing and aggressive is something that a man who had people questioning his masculinity (say, because his alter-ego was a woman) might have developed, so we can give those to the male personality and have them be things that he's developed from a reaction to other people's view of him. You can have a woman who's afraid to open her mouth because of her voice sounding male, but kind because she's seen first-hand the kind of harm that being unkind can do. And so on and so forth.

    Not everything has to be relevant. What does Legion being a Parsi have to do with the dark and brooding personality of one of its alters? Not a bloody clue, to be honest. But that trait probably comes from the erasure of nonbinary people and therefore the internal existential crisis that a quarter-person with people trying to convince it that it doesn't exist suffers from. Being a Parsi doesn't have to do more than give Legion a funny surname (if this is a modern setting, it won't just be able to go by a nickname for anything that's remotely official).

    Their backstory can feature these qualities - remember, being part of an oppressed group or having neuroatypicalities can affect many of your interactions. For example, Legion may have had trouble with teachers at school because its different style of learning (autistic, remember) didn't mesh with the way things were taught at school. It's probably going to have had a fairly nasty backstory in places - trans people don't tend to get to have happy childhoods or adolescences or honestly lives - it's going to have prejudices play into everything, from trying to hide who they are, to trying to work out who they are, to trying to live as themselves and getting backlash from other people. If you're going to write LGBT characters commonly, be prepared to write a lot of backstories involving bullying and sexual harassment at best.

    So this character's personality, backstory, and how it goes through its day-to-day life (even filling out a form can require several extra stages if you're trans) are all affected by the subgroups it's in. In an ideal world, Legion would be able to live without having to think about how persecution, oppression and honest ignorance will affect it today. In the real world, however, it has to spend a lot of time explaining how it's affected by these things. Rather than having the argument each individual time, though, it prefers to organise these thoughts on a page...

    ...and post them on forums under the username "Jormengand."

    (Okay okay I know that most of you saw that plot twist coming, but shoosh. Point is, our lives get hella complicated, hella fast, because of these characteristics - and it's not just a thought experiment: it's like that in real life too. Props for asking how to portray these things faithfully rather than just rushing in.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Rather than having the argument each individual time, though, it prefers to organise these thoughts on a page...

    ...and post them on forums under the username "Jormengand."

    (Okay okay I know that most of you saw that plot twist coming, but shoosh. Point is, our lives get hella complicated, hella fast, because of these characteristics - and it's not just a thought experiment: it's like that in real life too. Props for asking how to portray these things faithfully rather than just rushing in.)
    I had to snip it for space, but this was brilliant, and you are a treasure. May I link your post to my signature for future reference when I'm building a character?
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    Quote Originally Posted by inexorabletruth View Post
    I had to snip it for space, but this was brilliant, and you are a treasure. May I link your post to my signature for future reference when I'm building a character?
    Absolutely! I'm just glad you're finding my ramblings useful (I'll admit that being in all these minorities kinda skews your perspective on what will be obvious to members of majorities and what they'll find hard to grasp because they haven't experienced it.).

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    It's also worth noting that, in a fantasy setting with the right magics (or a sci-fi one with the right supertechs), gender dysphoria and even body/mind dysmorphias can be remedied far more effectively than in the real world.

    If you're a transsexual, it's actually possible to go and find a cursed belt (or pay a cleric for a bestow curse spell) that will swap your sex. And there's none of the complications that stem from our real world limitations on such surgeries.

    The presence of these solutions may enrich the setting and story, if you play them right. They may also cheapen the drama and the story you want to explore, however, if you don't. One of the most reviled kind of PCs you'll find on sites like livejournal's bad_rpers_suck are fix-it Mary Sues who walk up to other players' characters who have life-altering disabilities that, in setting, made sense, and created interesting aspects about them...only for the Sue to bat her magic healing eyelashes at them and solve that problem.

    So the realities of the setting as defined by both mechanics and fluff just need to be considered. Some things that are serious problems IRL just aren't in games. And vice-versa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    It's also worth noting that, in a fantasy setting with the right magics (or a sci-fi one with the right supertechs), gender dysphoria and even body/mind dysmorphias can be remedied far more effectively than in the real world.

    If you're a transsexual, it's actually possible to go and find a cursed belt (or pay a cleric for a bestow curse spell) that will swap your sex. And there's none of the complications that stem from our real world limitations on such surgeries.

    The presence of these solutions may enrich the setting and story, if you play them right. They may also cheapen the drama and the story you want to explore, however, if you don't. One of the most reviled kind of PCs you'll find on sites like livejournal's bad_rpers_suck are fix-it Mary Sues who walk up to other players' characters who have life-altering disabilities that, in setting, made sense, and created interesting aspects about them...only for the Sue to bat her magic healing eyelashes at them and solve that problem.

    So the realities of the setting as defined by both mechanics and fluff just need to be considered. Some things that are serious problems IRL just aren't in games. And vice-versa.
    +1 this. (+4 this? Do I get to +4 things because I'm 4 people? )

    Honestly, if we assume 3.5 for a second (I blame Segev he started it) I'd just remove the Girdle of Masculinity/Femininity from the game and have it so that nothing short of possibly Wish and Miracle (or nothing at all if your characters are high enough level that Wish and Miracle are two-a-penny or even castable) can fix mental disorders. This does, OTOH, cause problems relating to physical disabilities: preventing Regenerate from regrowing lost limbs can cause problems if one of the other PCs was relying on it to fix a lost limb and can force people to play a disabled character when they don't want to and won't play it well.

    Though, one other point is that just as being trans would still suck if you remove the prejudice aspect but keep the difficulty of transitioning aspect, the converse is true. Playing in a setting where sex reassignment is a quick thing but people still have their prejudices, then playing in a setting where sex reassignment isn't quick and easy but people are accepting of trans people, and then playing in a setting similar to the real world, can be an interesting way to make a similar point to the intersectionality point I mentioned: the combination of prejudices against you and a generally sucky experience can hit harder than either of them individually.

    (Although of course by this point you'll have played three different trans characters and spent screen time exploring the way that being trans affects them, which may cause the other players to get a bit sick of hearing about trans issues. Admittedly, the part of me that's annoyed about having to hear about trans issues every day just to validate my own existence wants to tell them to suck it up, but rightly or wrongly, people eventually take issue with all this being brought up all the time. Bear in mind that you can explore the pseudo-intersectionality issue of the combination of prejudices and inherent difficulties in just one character anyway.)

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    True, but pinning down the economics of such an issue is a matter that varies from edition to edition, setting to setting, and system to system.

    Also, in matters of gender identity, things like that aren't always clear to the individual attempting to define themselves. Societal pressures can still easily play a role in muddying those waters even further. Identity often comes through struggle, and struggle develops (for better for worse) our character.

    Also, wealth and social class can bring about other stalls or impediments to simply spell-blasting your way into a new gender. In your example, you mention the cursed item that changes your gender. I can't remember which source text it's in. But it's probably at least $1000 GP to make in 3E 3.5 setting (which is the setting I'm most familiar with) to craft, and most likely much more expensive to buy outright, unless someone is dying to unload it because it was supposed to be a Belt of Giant Strength and the spell went wonky.

    Considering WBL for an adventurer, the soonest they could get such an item is somewhere between 2nd and 3rd level: enough time for them to have become a fully developed adult and travelled a bit to earn the XP and GP forced to present a gender they do not identify as. For an NPC class like Commoner or Expert, we're looking at a maximum wage of 14 GP per week at level one to save up for that belt while paying their bills and taxes. Sure a disguise kit or makeup kit (if we want to dig into Book of Erotic Fantasy) can help with this. But ultimately, one could argue that it is way easier to get a transition surgery and hormones today than it is to magic the problem away in a fantasy setting.

    Also, owning a belt that changes your gender doesn't erase your past. It doesn't change the fact, that for much of your formative years, you struggled with an image in the looking glass that didn't match the image in your heart. It didn't change how you were perceived, acted, and were treated all those years you were saving or training to buy or craft such an item.

    Although, I will say... that's an interesting quest point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inexorabletruth View Post
    Also, owning a belt that changes your gender doesn't erase your past. It doesn't change the fact, that for much of your formative years, you struggled with an image in the looking glass that didn't match the image in your heart. It didn't change how you were perceived, acted, and were treated all those years you were saving or training to buy or craft such an item.
    Oh, absolutely. In fact, having the belt (or spell-based solutions) might actually bring the trans experience closer to the modern real-world trans experience because of the fact that sex reassignment surgery is available in the real world (although it's pretty much impossible to get before the age of 22 for any trans person born in 1997 or earlier, 21 for anyone born in 1998 or 20 for anyone born in 1999, at least in the UK (the minimum age to start transition changed recently (nested brackets are fun!)) whereas even if you wait until you start adventuring, you might be able to get access to sex-changing magic at 16 or 17 depending on character class in D&D).

    It's more an issue with regenerate/heal and disabilities, honestly - I doubt people are going to treat you differently if you used to have a disability to anything like the extent they do if you have one right now, and miracle treatments like that don't exist in the real world (we're getting there with blindness, though).

    Still, just... be careful with items that can fix that kinda thing up. Also if you're the DM (or the DM is amenable to this kind of idea) consider a homebrew spell that's more analogous to real HRT than one which magically does the whole thing all at once. Oh, and proper sex reassignment surgery F2M does not work properly yet, so a quick-fix spell can make the F2M experience in your campaign unrealistic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by inexorabletruth View Post
    Also, owning a belt that changes your gender doesn't erase your past. It doesn't change the fact, that for much of your formative years, you struggled with an image in the looking glass that didn't match the image in your heart. It didn't change how you were perceived, acted, and were treated all those years you were saving or training to buy or craft such an item.
    This is an interesting point to examine. Let's replace "gender identity" with "obesity."

    This is actually something that CAN be 100% changed with sufficient effort, provided a moderately healthy underlying frame. (i.e., yes, I know some people have disorders and injuries that make this impossible, and I'm not fat-shaming anybody here except possibly myself...so let's use me as an example.)

    I'm 250 lbs and 6 feet tall, and that isn't due to muscle. I have a notable amount of fat in my torso. I've been told I carry it well, and I'm inclined to agree; the way I dress and the way my fat distributes, I don't look obese. Just a little chubby. But I can assure you, if I were in swimwear, the appearance changes considerably. Still not looking "obese," but definitely "fat." I couldn't play Santa Clause, but I would be one of the unpleasant examples of why beaches aren't paradises of hot bods.

    I am healthy enough and lacking in any real injuries or disabilities that, if I were to hire a slave-driving nutritionist and a tyrannical personal trainer, and allowed them to force me into a schedule, diet, and exercise regimen, I could probably get to a nicely sculpted physique that would make me look pretty good. If I looked at myself in the mirror then and saw tone without flab, I would definitely like what I saw better than I do now. I can also tell you that my mental image of myself is such that it is moderately surprising and disappointing to realize how fat I am when I look at myself with objective appraisal in the mirror. (Admittedly, I don't think of myself as "muscular and toned" either, but I do think of myself as not-as-fat-as-I-am).

    I say all of this to get around to the point that, if I found myself looking in the mirror and saw something that looked closer to my mental image of myself, or at least something I was happier with (e.g. the toned figure I could be with sufficient work and dedication and tolerance for low blood sugar headaches until my body got used to the idea that it shouldn't be storing so much as fat), I don't think the past of seeing a body that is surprisingly unappealing in the mirror would have a negative impact on my appreciation for seeing something I did like.

    Now, there might be residual low self-esteem if it had been ground into you by others, and certainly any hateful behavior directed towards you should your preference be considered "bad" would still be something to worry about. I mean, if there's stigma for wanting to swap sexes, there's probably stigma for having done so. Having a secret you have to keep, no matter how easy, is stressful. However, if it's just a pressure to either put up or shut up about it (the closest I can come to the pressure to "stop being fat" and get physically fit that social stigma can apply in the case of being overweight), then getting done with it would be seen as laudible, I think. If there's no need to keep a secret, it's just a past dissatisfaction you've overcome, I can't really see that "lingering" too negatively.

    Quote Originally Posted by inexorabletruth View Post
    Although, I will say... that's an interesting quest point.
    Could have political implications, too. Imagine a kingdom whose rules are for primogenitor and who wants to keep the crown in the current royal family, but the only scion of the line is a princess. The quest is to find a belt of gender-swapping to turn her into a prince. Maybe she's even an action girl who's a PC or who's joined the party as an NPC they must escort as she dresses up as a boy to get herself fully used to it as she commits to the quest, herself.

    I could even see tensions arising over romantic entanglements between her and a male or female member of the party. If male, does she give up the quest and stay a girl? Convince her male lover to swap sexes as well, so he (now she) can bear children for the royal line? Do they try a homosexual relationship? If she and a female fall for each other, the question of whether sexual preference swaps with the belt comes up. And whether the non-princess girl in this relationship is falling for the masculine image the princess projects, or for...the girl the princess is. Will they still have chemistry when she becomes a boy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Still, just... be careful with items that can fix that kinda thing up. Also if you're the DM (or the DM is amenable to this kind of idea) consider a homebrew spell that's more analogous to real HRT than one which magically does the whole thing all at once. Oh, and proper sex reassignment surgery F2M does not work properly yet, so a quick-fix spell can make the F2M experience in your campaign unrealistic.
    Male to female transition also isn't "working properly" as it stands, to my knowledge. Not if you want full functionality.

    But what either wants is, I suppose, really even more specifically personal than just the choice in general, so I'll leave them to it. Hopefully they can find as much contentment or even happiness as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    I could even see tensions arising over romantic entanglements between her and a male or female member of the party. If male, does she give up the quest and stay a girl? Convince her male lover to swap sexes as well, so he (now she) can bear children for the royal line? Do they try a homosexual relationship? If she and a female fall for each other, the question of whether sexual preference swaps with the belt comes up. And whether the non-princess girl in this relationship is falling for the masculine image the princess projects, or for...the girl the princess is. Will they still have chemistry when she becomes a boy?
    This is also absolutely a problem for real trans people, incidentally. Oh, and you could have a "fun" time if she does use the belt and then realise that transitioning tends to be a bad idea if you're cisgender.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Male to female transition also isn't "working properly" as it stands, to my knowledge. Not if you want full functionality.

    But what either wants is, I suppose, really even more specifically personal than just the choice in general, so I'll leave them to it. Hopefully they can find as much contentment or even happiness as possible.
    It's close enough if you're not actually planning on reproduction (if you are, then the technology needed to do the surgery exists but the social progress isn't there) to the effect that it's generally impossible to tell the difference.

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    I'd sign up for that game!

    Also, I'm now considering making a transfemale or gender fluid PC who is actually saving up for the belt/girdle. Little PC sub plots are fun, and I always reward that kind of thoughtfulness in the fluff when I run games... which is most of the time.

    To use an example here in the Playground, Haley Starshine had this whole secret objective to free her father, and Elan had his evil twin subplot, has Durkon has a slew of subplots in the air right now. It makes for great immersion and really thickens out a campaign.
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    While the "saving up for the magic item" subplot wouldn't apply, if you want to play genderfluid, Exalted's Lunars have a Knack that explicitly lets them swap at will. There's also a Hearthstone (3 dot, water aspect, IIRC) that lets the attuned owner of the associated Manse do the same.

    Could probably do the same with a Changeling (D&D/Eberron) or any sort of shapeshifter that has omnimorphic capabilities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    While the "saving up for the magic item" subplot wouldn't apply, if you want to play genderfluid, Exalted's Lunars have a Knack that explicitly lets them swap at will.
    ...though this can run straight into the problem of cheapening the experience, of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    ...though this can run straight into the problem of cheapening the experience, of course.
    Agreed. The journey is more important than the destination on this type of RP.

    But while that may cheapen the experience for, say, the changeling, it could open up other avenues for other types of gender/race/any-body-type experiences in game.

    For instance, changeling, by their fluff, are generally mistrusted. Add a bit of misunderstanding and perhaps jealousy to the social dynamic, and you have a boiling hotpot for xenophobia.

    "Must be nice... change who your are at will! Must be just dandy to not have to work for it and earn it like we do! Where do you get off telling us to be free to express ourselves without the constraints of social pressure? This is my body! This is what I'm stuck to work with!"

    Envy is an ugly thing if allowed to fester. And a race that can just redefine itself at will could be a big bright target for all that anger from those who are, for one reason or another, dissatisfied with their current appearance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inexorabletruth View Post
    Agreed. The journey is more important than the destination on this type of RP.

    But while that may cheapen the experience for, say, the changeling, it could open up other avenues for other types of gender/race/any-body-type experiences in game.

    For instance, changeling, by their fluff, are generally mistrusted. Add a bit of misunderstanding and perhaps jealousy to the social dynamic, and you have a boiling hotpot for xenophobia.

    "Must be nice... change who your are at will! Must be just dandy to not have to work for it and earn it like we do! Where do you get off telling us to be free to express ourselves without the constraints of social pressure? This is my body! This is what I'm stuck to work with!"

    Envy is an ugly thing if allowed to fester. And a race that can just redefine itself at will could be a big bright target for all that anger from those who are, for one reason or another, dissatisfied with their current appearance.
    This also runs straight into the superherophobia thing I mentioned initially, though. You basically have to choose whether you're trying to be terribly clever and interesting, or actually make the thing work. And as Wizards of the Coast themselves will tell you repeatedly, trying to be too clever and interesting at the expense of more valuable design goals is one of the main mistakes people make.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    ...though this can run straight into the problem of cheapening the experience, of course.
    Why? I recently received some flak for asking a Golarion-specific question to the Trans community here, one dealing with the Rivethun, a tradition that starts by overcoming sex first and moves on to race. Apparently set people on edge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Why? I recently received some flak for asking a Golarion-specific question to the Trans community here, one dealing with the Rivethun, a tradition that starts by overcoming sex first and moves on to race. Apparently set people on edge.
    "Overcome" how?

    But the point is that in the real world, gender and sex do have a synęsthetic relationship and it's not possible for trans people to just "Overcome" sex. If you have a game where they don't have that connection and people can just shrug their shoulders and ignore what their sex is, then you lose any ability to say anything truthful about real-world trans experiences, and you spread the lie that trans people's existences are the backlash of a sexist society, which is already a falsehood that directly contributes to our oppression. So I'm not surprised it set people on edge.

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    Hmm. I want to help, but I may need more explanation.

    The Pathfinder Wiki for the Rivethun is a stub, which doesn't help for shedding context.

    Can you elaborate? I know nothing about PF lore. I spent all my free time learning D&D lore, and was sated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    "Overcome" how?

    But the point is that in the real world, gender and sex do have a synęsthetic relationship and it's not possible for trans people to just "Overcome" sex. If you have a game where they don't have that connection and people can just shrug their shoulders and ignore what their sex is, then you lose any ability to say anything truthful about real-world trans experiences, and you spread the lie that trans people's existences are the backlash of a sexist society, which is already a falsehood that directly contributes to our oppression. So I'm not surprised it set people on edge.
    Overcome in the sense that you're handed the "tools" to actually have a choice and have that choice all over again, whenever you like. The "cost" is "just" being prepared to move on to a more fluid state that comes along with overcoming to be "locked in" to only one body type, which is actually a quite challenging thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by inexorabletruth View Post
    Hmm. I want to help, but I may need more explanation.

    The Pathfinder Wiki for the Rivethun is a stub, which doesn't help for shedding context.

    Can you elaborate? I know nothing about PF lore. I spent all my free time learning D&D lore, and was sated.
    Hm, ok, I“ll try but will keep it short. The Rivethun are an ancient dwarves tradition, heavily based on animism, shamanism and the power of change. One of their core fundamentals is that a dysfunction (agony in the classic greek sense of the term) between soul and body will lead to a higher state of awareness for certain aspects, the same way that a Fighter in plate mail will develop the muscles and callouses to handle that. A Riventhun will generally work towards transcending boundaries, starting with the flesh and aiming towards doing it to the soul. Riventhun can be broadly categorized into the "occult classes", meaning not arcane, not divine, the "power source" is just you.

    Rivethun Psychic Disciple: https://www.aonprd.com/PsychicDisciplinesDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Rivethun
    Rivethun Emissary PrC: https://www.aonprd.com/PrestigeClassesDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Rivethun%20Em issary

    Concept-wise, it tackles some of the issues that crop up with a "high fantasy, high magic" game and I“d actually take a bet that not even Jorm has the problem of not been born an angel.
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    The general take-out should be that once a fantastic scenario a character is facing gets sufficiently outlandish, no-one can really tell you how to play it right by virtue of there being no real precedent.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Concept-wise, it tackles some of the issues that crop up with a "high fantasy, high magic" game and I“d actually take a bet that not even Jorm has the problem of not been born an angel.
    I mean, actually, I wasn't born an angel, and this has caused me persistent problems...

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    The general take-out should be that once a fantastic scenario a character is facing gets sufficiently outlandish, no-one can really tell you how to play it right by virtue of there being no real precedent.
    This is...false.

    No matter how "Outlandish" something is, it can still be portrayed in ways that lack verisimilitude, and ways that are harmful via analogy, however tenuous, to real concepts, or ways that imply falsehoods about the real world. There are certainly ways that people can advise how to avoid those things. Precedent doesn't come into it.

  25. - Top - End - #85
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    Default Re: Playing Races, Genders, Sexual Orientations, and Sexual Identities with Respect

    Good grief.

    Play a character. Play a realistic character. If where your character comes from as a person is realistic, I don't see how it can be offensive. If your character's sexual preference (for example) is nothing more than a punchline, that's offensive, but then, you're not really playing a character. You're playing a punchline.

    There is no problem if I play a damsel-in-distress princess type who expects the world to revolve around her, and my justification is:"Her aging father and his servants doted on her and she's grown up very spoiled."

    There is a problem if I play a damsel-in-distress princess type who expects the world to revolve around her, and my justification is: "She's a woman, that's how they think."

    Male, Female, Gay, Straight, Black, whatever. When it all comes down to it, we're people, and you can't cut us into neat groups. In the end, the identity that matters more than anything is the identity of the individual. Some religious folks act like the worst stereotypes of religious folks. Some gay folks behave like they're straight out of some poor-taste camp gay comedy routine from the 90s. Those people are people and they have their reasons for behaving the way they do. Think through where your character is coming from and work out how they behave and you can't go too far wrong.

    Maybe you'll be way off in terms of some aspect of something you haven't experienced, but I honestly doubt that comes up very often.

  26. - Top - End - #86
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    Default Re: Playing Races, Genders, Sexual Orientations, and Sexual Identities with Respect

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    Maybe you'll be way off in terms of some aspect of something you haven't experienced, but I honestly doubt that comes up very often.
    In my experience of people trying to play characters with traits they don't have and haven't looked into, it comes up all the time.

    I also love how you're ridiculing the effort someone has put into playing a realistic character by telling them to play a realistic character.
    Last edited by Jormengand; 2018-03-02 at 04:12 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #87
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    Default Re: Playing Races, Genders, Sexual Orientations, and Sexual Identities with Respect

    This conversation is getting into why I'm deeply skeptical of most assertions of symbolism and allegory in fiction (and gaming), and deeply skeptical of the idea that authorial intent doesn't matter ("death of the author").

    If it's a symbol or an allegory simply because at least one person can see it that one, we're left with... what?
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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  28. - Top - End - #88
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    Default Re: Playing Races, Genders, Sexual Orientations, and Sexual Identities with Respect

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    This conversation is getting into why I'm deeply skeptical of most assertions of symbolism and allegory in fiction (and gaming), and deeply skeptical of the idea that authorial intent doesn't matter ("death of the author").

    If it's a symbol or an allegory simply because at least one person can see it that one, we're left with... what?
    I'd definitely agree that here, intent matters. If you're honestly trying to play, say, a genderfluid character when you yourself are cis, and you mean no harm with it, then that does matter than if you're playing a genderfluid character because you "want to play a freak for once". With that in mind, though, your actions also matter, and cannot be salvaged solely by good intentions. Let's say, for instance, you play a born-male character who wishes to be female. As a male, the character is generally a take-charge, kick-ass kind of person, but as soon as they get a Girdle of Femininity or a Sex Change spell or whatever, they immediately become a quiet, demure, shy, and meek person? That's gonna be offensive, since you are who you are, and sex wouldn't stop someone from being a BAMF if they were before. Even if you had the best of intentions with this character, your actions didn't follow that through.
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  29. - Top - End - #89
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    Default Re: Playing Races, Genders, Sexual Orientations, and Sexual Identities with Respect

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    Think through where your character is coming from and work out how they behave and you can't go too far wrong.
    This is literally the first part of what this thread is about. The rest is about discussing methods you use to get to that point, or helping others attempting to flesh out a character to do so. That's why this is in the RP forum, and not in any other discussion forum.

    I haven't forgotten about you, Florian. I just haven't had time to look through the links you gave me, and I have to go pick up my son from school. It would help to mention what kind of developmental quandary you are experiencing in the back story or within the context of setting/RP.
    Last edited by inexorabletruth; 2018-03-02 at 04:49 PM.
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  30. - Top - End - #90
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    Default Re: Playing Races, Genders, Sexual Orientations, and Sexual Identities with Respect

    Quote Originally Posted by inexorabletruth View Post

    That really depends. The more basic the template, the easier the RP. In a world where males and females are all homogenized and androgenous, it's not a challenge at all. Simply play whatever comes naturally. But in a world there there are power struggles, gender wars, racial elements, social constructs, theological constructs, political constructs, ecological and economical constructs, it gets a little trickier. In fact, the more subtle and more intricate the change, the more challenging it is to play it out.
    Well your world is Forgotten Realms (the character sheet refers to the Neverwinter Woods), and while there might be gender wars and racial elements (as in different human races) and social constructs, these are relatively minor themes relative to the fact that it it is a high fantasy setting. They certainly all take a backseat to themes like tension between humans and non-humans etc in terms of importance and degree of tension.

    I guess what I am saying is that if you are working toward realistically roleplaying your character, understanding their sexuality, race or gender is not going to get you very far. The part of who they are which is likely to have a much bigger influence on their perspective etc is things like whether or not they know magic or have super combat skills etc, what race (as in human or elf or ogre etc) they are, and the simple fact that they live in a world with dragons and other such creatures. You are putting in a lot of effort when the reality is that you will be left guessing at how to roleplay the vast majority of the factors that influence who your character is.
    Last edited by Liquor Box; 2018-03-02 at 04:49 PM.

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