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Thread: Intersex PCs

  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Intersex PCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Vahnavoi View Post
    That's not a refutation of essentialism at all if the core idea is that the person's identity as the gender they "turn out to be" is a fundamental part of their self-identity, determined at birth. It's merely a refutation of gender physicalism in favor of gender idealism.
    In principle, you're right. In practice, I think the overlap between misogynists and transphobes is telling...as is the amount of sexism being "justified" by physical characteristics of men and women.


    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I really don't think including a field for sex is nearly as controversial as you are making it out to be.
    I don't think you understand my position. I don't think that including a field for sex is "controversial". I think that sex is not the most important blank on a character sheet. That is, in fact, the only position I have taken in this entire discussion, and I took it in opposition specifically to someone who claimed it was.
    It can be a useful descriptor, but only when combined with others. If all I know about your character is that he's male, I know basically nothing about him except what pronoun to use. Ask me to draw or describe them, and I'll be way off base. Tell me that they're a dwarf, or a barbarian, or that their strength is 18, and I'll get much, much closer to your strong dwarf barbarian guy, because those blanks are more descriptive than the sex field.


    As I said, radical feminism and modern trans theory are, afaict, fundamentally incompatible philosophies. While someone CAN use a difference in philosophy to be a bigot, it is obviously not a requirement.
    I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. "Yes, radical feminism is used to justify transphobia." It feels like a decent start to a response, but it's missing something. Like, for instance, how your position is different from the bigots'?

    If we are defining class that narrowly, what games outside of D&D even have classes?
    These games.
    But even games without classes have other blanks. Shadowrun has races, cyberware, etc, for instance. And they have other more informative blanks. I'd argue that knowing a character is 6'4" or an unusually low Toughness score is more informative than gender.

    Ok, so what are we disagreeing about then? We both agree that sex influences someone's appearance, but does not determine it. Are we just arguing about the relative skill?
    A significant part of this disagreement seems to be about what I'm arguing. Which has been very frustrating.

    Unless they are wearing a mask, I would say sex. Maybe you are different, but I look at people's faces first and foremost. And if they are wearing a mask, well yeah, I guess, but you might as well ask to take eye color off of a character sheet because they might be wearing sunglasses.

    The thing is though people change clothing. I would expect most characters to spend most of their lives out of their "adventuring garb" while changing sex is somewhat rarer and a more serious event. And even so, most clothing is designed for one sex or the other; even armor made for women is a different shape than armor made for men.
    1. I never notice a person's face first unless they're close enough that I can pick out details as soon as I see them. If there's any significant distance between us, I'm going to notice their clothes first, because most clothes are bigger than heads. Moreover, I'm going to notice what's unusual about someone first, and most characters (and many people) have more unusual things in their clothing than in their faces.
    2. Male and female faces are statistically distinct, but they aren't radically distinct, even if you exclude feminine-looking men and masculine-looking women (who exist). A three-piece suit and a tracksuit, on the other hand, do look radically different, and there aren't any three-piece/tracksuits that look like track/three-piece suits.
    3. Outside certain gender-specific clothes like dresses, I'd argue that clothing made for men and women looks pretty similar within any given category. A suit jacket made for women is going to be cut differently than one for men, but you're never going to mistake it for a women's tracksuit jacket. (Assuming tracksuit tops are called jackets.)

    In short: I call your bluff.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    I'm not ignoring a problem I am just ignoring what the traditional character types are expected; what the default or stereotype is for that role. Not that it is perfect every time, hence my comment about the hardest part, but usually once I catch an assumption writing a character who doesn't follow it is usually fairly easy. So I know what the stereotype is for a lot of character types. But I "ignore it" in that it doesn't change what I think my character should look like.
    It sounds like we have different ideas of what it means to "ignore a default". It sounds like you mean "don't use the default option," but I meant "ignore the presence of a default option".
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    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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    Default Re: Intersex PCs

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    I don't think you understand my position. I don't think that including a field for sex is "controversial". I think that sex is not the most important blank on a character sheet. That is, in fact, the only position I have taken in this entire discussion, and I took it in opposition specifically to someone who claimed it was.
    It can be a useful descriptor, but only when combined with others. If all I know about your character is that he's male, I know basically nothing about him except what pronoun to use. Ask me to draw or describe them, and I'll be way off base. Tell me that they're a dwarf, or a barbarian, or that their strength is 18, and I'll get much, much closer to your strong dwarf barbarian guy, because those blanks are more descriptive than the sex field.

    The text you are quoting is in response to Psyren, not you.

    That being said, I still disagree with everything you are saying here, but I don't really think there is anything objective to argue over at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. "Yes, radical feminism is used to justify transphobia." It feels like a decent start to a response, but it's missing something. Like, for instance, how your position is different from the bigots'?
    Not sure if I can come up with a good analogy here that doesn't violate the forum rules.

    Maybe try looking up the difference between TIRFs and TERFs?

    I don't support any sort of discrimination towards trans individuals, and my only real objection to philosophy is the amount of labeling and gate-keeping I get. If you want to go into specifics we can, but I am not really sure if it is an appropriate line of discussion for this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    These games.
    But even games without classes have other blanks. Shadowrun has races, cyberware, etc, for instance. And they have other more informative blanks. I'd argue that knowing a character is 6'4" or an unusually low Toughness score is more informative than gender.
    Do note that most of those are either very old systems or D&D derivatives.

    But yeah, I know they have other blanks, which is why I was comparing classes to professions, but then you told me you were exclusively talking about classes.


    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. "Yes, radical feminism is used to justify transphobia." It feels like a decent start to a response, but it's missing something. Like, for instance, how your position is different from the bigots'?


    [url=https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ClassAndLevelSystem]1. I never notice a person's face first unless they're close enough that I can pick out details as soon as I see them. If there's any significant distance between us, I'm going to notice their clothes first, because most clothes are bigger than heads. Moreover, I'm going to notice what's unusual about someone first, and most characters (and many people) have more unusual things in their clothing than in their faces.
    2. Male and female faces are statistically distinct, but they aren't radically distinct, even if you exclude feminine-looking men and masculine-looking women (who exist). A three-piece suit and a tracksuit, on the other hand, do look radically different, and there aren't any three-piece/tracksuits that look like track/three-piece suits.
    3. Outside certain gender-specific clothes like dresses, I'd argue that clothing made for men and women looks pretty similar within any given category. A suit jacket made for women is going to be cut differently than one for men, but you're never going to mistake it for a women's tracksuit jacket. (Assuming tracksuit tops are called jackets.)

    In short: I call your bluff.
    Not sure what "bluff" you are referring to. I just disagree.
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  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Intersex PCs

    It depends. If they want to be intersex, fine. I'll probably ask whether they identify as male, female or neither but it doesn't particularly matter since I generally run combat heavy generic fantasy games where gender identity is window dressing. And some races may be intersex/indeterminate anyway, for which binary gender identity would be atypical.

    I have occasionally run games set in real-world times and places which considered sex and gender to be synonymous. Intersex people would be unlikely to identify as such. Adults who identify as a gender they were not assigned at birth would need to "pass" to avoid problems.

    Players who want to break these norms would usually be welcome to do so but could expect pushback from mainstream society and may be rendered useless in some social situations (as would other characters from the non-dominant demographic).

    TL;DR didn't read, generally "yes no problem", occasionally "yes but".

    EDIT

    Concerns about non-binary choices = edgelord aren't a problem IMO. I'll probably pick that up before Session One if the player's intention is to be an edgelord and their chosen line of attack is gender identity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    In principle, you're right. In practice, I think the overlap between misogynists and transphobes is telling...as is the amount of sexism being "justified" by physical characteristics of men and women.
    Not what I'm contesting or talking about at all. Mine's more of a philosophical point that becomes relevant when you try to bring these sets of beliefs into a game. Let me show you what I mean by using fantastic tropes:

    In a setting with True Names, who you are, the essence of your being, is decided by that Name. So even if you are born physically a human, if your True Name defines you as a dragon, you are a dragon, anyone who knows your True Name will acknowledge you as a dragon, and by realizing your own True Name, possibly, you will physically turn into a dragon, because that is your True Form. (Example inspired by Ursula Le Quin's Earthsea series.)

    It should be easy to spot how this applies to sex and gender. For example f you are given a feminine Name, you are a woman - because femininity is an archetype, an ideal, something more fundamental than just the temporary physical state of your body. You can be made to look, think and behave like a man, but this will not change your Name and who you truly are. At best, it just means living in denial of your true identity, at worst, it is a form of spiritual harm.

    That's essentialism, but more importantly it's the exact kind of essentialisn that you'd find in a fantasy game. And if you look, you can see it underscoring thoughts and behaviours of real people. I didn't choose True Names as an example by accident. Real people believe names are identity. That's why choosing a new name upon transitioning is such a big deal, why "deadnaming" someone is bad and why some people ritually burn their old personal records when receiving new ones. There's mundane psychological factors behind all these behaviours, of course, but those psychological factors gave rise to the idea of True Names in the minds of ancient people and from there they've trickled into fantasy.

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    But you are still going to have to describe your character at some point, and I imagine most people are going to want a description of at least your biological sex, even if that is androgynous or intersex or whatnot.
    Aside from the fact that a solid sex/gender dichotomy is untenable, why wouldn't pronouns or words like woman or androgynous or whatnot work? Why would someone need to know a character's "biological sex"?
    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    "Would you mind playing a male character this time, because you are really bad at playing a woman."
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    Default Re: Intersex PCs

    When I was lad, long long ago in the times of fairies and dragons,

    where was i going with this... hic..

    Ah yes, i was watching a school play. The school play was Camelot. There was a Merlin and an Arthur and Knights of the Round table. There was romance and everything.

    And the entire cast was girls, because this was a parochial school for girls only.


    Roleplaying has been a form of Theater for a really long time. Ever since Gygax took the minis games of strategies and assigned importance to dialog and narrative, we have been part thespian, part historical tactician.

    Playing the opposite sex is 100% mandatory for DMs, or the entire universe only has 1 gender except the players.

    Playing a non-sex is also 100% mandatory for DMs who have things like gelatinus cubes, evil robots, golems, and so on.

    Sometimes gender differences don't matter. For example, if you are playing a short scene with a Treant, whether you are a male tree or female tree makes nearly Zero difference,

    unless you are replaying the Seduction scene from Last Unicorn.

    But D&D has been genderfluid long before it became a political topic. So has theater. Shakespeare? Greek Plays? Playing different roles is normal.


    As to this intersex stuff, well that's just one more role challenge, and if you've spent a few hours playing rocks and trees, or sexless robots, its probably not very interesting. In anime, they have all sorts of characters that look like the opposite sex. Women who look like men in Project A-Ko. Men who look like women in 70% of all modern anime. That goes back to the japanese Novel Tale of Genji. China and Korea have that aesthetic as well. Back in Advanced Dungeons and Dragons days,

    So did American rock stars.

    kiss, poison, white snake, boy george, dead or alive, etc.

    Gender Bending is completely normal in Theater and Pop Music.

    Did you know there's a cross dressing girl in almost every Chinese Drama? I just finished perhaps 250 episodes of Chinese shows, ranging from historical dramas to martial arts tragedies to magical plane shifting goddess romances with Fox and Flower incarnations, and other than everything being in Mandarin, they ALL have at least one cross dressing girl in them.

    The Mulan effect is ancient. There's even cross-gender characters in the Mahabharata, including one scenario with Arjuna.

    So lighten up.
    Last edited by anthon; 2020-12-31 at 12:01 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TaiLiu View Post
    Aside from the fact that a solid sex/gender dichotomy is untenable, why wouldn't pronouns or words like woman or androgynous or whatnot work? Why would someone need to know a character's "biological sex"?

    Yikes. I'm sorry that happened to you. What does that even mean?
    How do you arrange dynastixally relevant marriages without knowing the sex of a person ? Gender is not a concern when deciding where someone can fit in a family tree. Sex is.

    Considering how powerful PCs often get, that can come up in every other campaign in settings where marriage is important way to form alliances or where a strong aristocracy based on lineage exist.
    Coincidently, if you are a species that can't produce offspring with any race that is common where the group is, NPCs are consideribly less interested in the PCs sex.


    As for description, another mechanism is at fault. If something is not mentioned, people fall back to some default in their imagination. If someone is not described as particularly muscular or fat or lean or tall or small, they get imagined as "average". I've even seen more than enough cases where race/species was not mentioned and people fell back to "human". Ethnicy is assumed to be the most common of wherever the character hals from or the game starts unless further mentioned. And while there is no clear case for hair, people tend to assume the presence of hair unless the description includes "bald" and that it fits the ethnicy.

    But for sex there is no default. That is why people want to know whether they should imagine a man or a women. That is even more so the case as the above "default to average" demands a pretty average male/female body.
    Now a description as "andogynous" or stating that the person is really hard to pin down from look alone does solve that issue as well because it carries roughly the same amount of information about the look as the sex does. But without it, something is missing.
    Last edited by Satinavian; 2020-12-31 at 02:32 AM.

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    for a moment I thought I had something to say, but then I thought better of it, this is not the place for it.
    That said I have an android character in Starfinder that does not believe that gender applies to it anymore than it does for a toaster. It refers to be called an it and will not acknowledge you if you try to call it he, she or they. he is male, she is female and they are plural. It is singular and none of those other things.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    How do you arrange dynastixally relevant marriages without knowing the sex of a person ? Gender is not a concern when deciding where someone can fit in a family tree. Sex is.

    Considering how powerful PCs often get, that can come up in every other campaign in settings where marriage is important way to form alliances or where a strong aristocracy based on lineage exist.
    Bah, give adopted children full rights, or let nobles without children nominate heirs. What's more important is that you avoid a chaotic transition, which means an heir (that the other key position holders don't dislike) exists.

    Now true, if you're being historically accurate such things are generally not socially acceptable. But that's why I called out more historically accurate games earlier in the thread as being cases where maybe sex actually matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by vasilidor View Post
    for a moment I thought I had something to say, but then I thought better of it, this is not the place for it.
    That said I have an android character in Starfinder that does not believe that gender applies to it anymore than it does for a toaster. It refers to be called an it and will not acknowledge you if you try to call it he, she or they. he is male, she is female and they are plural. It is singular and none of those other things.
    I've never got the 'they is plural and therefore bad' argument, but that sounds perfectly normal for a Starfinder Android. I remember the book calling out turn being all over the gender spectrum and some engaging in body modding to express that. An android insisting on being it would fit right in.

    I've developed one setting that did have gender neutral pronouns, but they were explicitly a corruption of they/them/their. The result of people making a slight difference over centuries to make things a little more clear.
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    Default Re: Intersex PCs

    They has been used as singular in certain contexts for centuries (indeed, someone complaining about singular they/them while unthinkingly using it for the very hypothetical person they're talking about is something of a meme), so even if you want to quibble about it as a personal pronoun that's not an issue. Not to mention going back even further "you" was strictly either formal or plural (not unlike the French Tu/Vous distinction).

    Plus it's more or less been accepted as the goto gender neutral pronoun (to the point that certain works with gender neutral characters who everyone wasn't sure how to refer to have started using it ) anyway (with neopronouns being the alternative).
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    Default Re: Intersex PCs

    Quote Originally Posted by BisectedBrioche View Post
    They has been used as singular in certain contexts for centuries
    It's actually older than the singular use of the word 'you', since the thees-and-thous were what was originally used for that, and singular they appears in the Canterbury Tales. In a form of English which is barely legible to modern audiences, at that.

    And whoso fyndeth hym out of swich blame, / They wol come up and offre a Goddés name.

    This dates back to the late 14th century, over six hundred years ago.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scots Dragon View Post
    It's actually older than the singular use of the word 'you', since the thees-and-thous were what was originally used for that, and singular they appears in the Canterbury Tales. In a form of English which is barely legible to modern audiences, at that.

    And whoso fyndeth hym out of swich blame, / They wol come up and offre a Goddés name.

    This dates back to the late 14th century, over six hundred years ago.
    Which is odd as IIRC he (as a southener) he tends to use "he, her, hem" for the 3rd person plural (which is even more confusing).
    That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seeke.
    But yes, for a Robot to be pedantic according to a rigid and simplified grammar, sounds quite in character.
    Last edited by jayem; 2020-12-31 at 10:26 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    How do you arrange dynastixally relevant marriages without knowing the sex of a person ? Gender is not a concern when deciding where someone can fit in a family tree. Sex is.

    Considering how powerful PCs often get, that can come up in every other campaign in settings where marriage is important way to form alliances or where a strong aristocracy based on lineage exist.
    Well... since this is a game that may have access to magic and/or super science, why would sex matter?
    Cloning, divine magic, arcane homunculus, polymorph, full body conversion, birth creshes, ect. With powerful pcs biological restrictions ( if you even have them in game) dont have to be restrictions.

    For that matter, the sociology/ political make up of the game need not match how we currently have marrages work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KaussH View Post
    Well... since this is a game that may have access to magic and/or super science, why would sex matter?
    Cloning, divine magic, arcane homunculus, polymorph, full body conversion, birth creshes, ect. With powerful pcs biological restrictions ( if you even have them in game) dont have to be restrictions.

    For that matter, the sociology/ political make up of the game need not match how we currently have marrages work.
    That's actually kind of really horrifying. The idea that you could be forced to change your sex / gender to make you fit into an arranged marriage is a level of body horror I don't think I want in my campaign.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scots Dragon View Post
    It's actually older than the singular use of the word 'you', since the thees-and-thous were what was originally used for that, and singular they appears in the Canterbury Tales. In a form of English which is barely legible to modern audiences, at that.

    And whoso fyndeth hym out of swich blame, / They wol come up and offre a Goddés name.

    This dates back to the late 14th century, over six hundred years ago.
    The thing is, them is always used to refer to an unspecified third person who could of either gender. One out of a pool of possibilities rather than a known individual.

    Quote Originally Posted by vasilidor View Post
    for a moment I thought I had something to say, but then I thought better of it, this is not the place for it.
    That said I have an android character in Starfinder that does not believe that gender applies to it anymore than it does for a toaster. It refers to be called an it and will not acknowledge you if you try to call it he, she or they. he is male, she is female and they are plural. It is singular and none of those other things.
    That is a very interesting character trait, but I don't think its technically correct; no pun intended. "It" is defined as an inanimate object, which a sapient robot clearly isn't. I can see a primitive AI insisting they were not a person to avoid emotional attachment, but one that is advanced enough to have hurt feelings over the wrong pronoun probably doesn't fit that category, so it more comes across as an active attempt at distancing oneself from humans.

    Quote Originally Posted by TaiLiu View Post
    Yikes. I'm sorry that happened to you. What does that even mean?
    No idea. I could come up with a lot of guesses, but I was far too embarrassed to actually ask at the time and instead ghosted the whole group.


    Quote Originally Posted by TaiLiu View Post
    Aside from the fact that a solid sex/gender dichotomy is untenable
    Could you please elaborate on this? I am having trouble parsing that sentence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    As for description, another mechanism is at fault. If something is not mentioned, people fall back to some default in their imagination. If someone is not described as particularly muscular or fat or lean or tall or small, they get imagined as "average". I've even seen more than enough cases where race/species was not mentioned and people fell back to "human". Ethnicy is assumed to be the most common of wherever the character hals from or the game starts unless further mentioned. And while there is no clear case for hair, people tend to assume the presence of hair unless the description includes "bald" and that it fits the ethnicy.

    But for sex there is no default. That is why people want to know whether they should imagine a man or a women. That is even more so the case as the above "default to average" demands a pretty average male/female body.
    Now a description as "andogynous" or stating that the person is really hard to pin down from look alone does solve that issue as well because it carries roughly the same amount of information about the look as the sex does. But without it, something is missing.
    This. Very much this.

    Although I would like to add, many people do default to male if no gender is specified. As I think I mentioned upthread, I once didn't specify my character's gender in a Werewolf the Apocalypse game. In werewolf you tend to have Hollywood Native American names like "Talking Bear or Laughing Skunk" so my name was androgynous. When several months in I mentioned my gender (it came up because we were choosing mates) everyone insisted that I had told them I was playing a man and acted like I was trying to pull a fast one or something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    How do you arrange dynastixally relevant marriages without knowing the sex of a person ?
    Wait, wait, wait. Back-up.

    You are playing a game where players are arranging dynastic marriages? Or are you arranging dynastic marriages between the player characters? If so that is cool but I don't think it is very common.

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    Dynastic marriages aren't a rare plot point in my games, yeah. Never between PCs so far, though. I did have a PC who ran away from an arranged marriage once, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    Wait, wait, wait. Back-up.

    You are playing a game where players are arranging dynastic marriages? Or are you arranging dynastic marriages between the player characters? If so that is cool but I don't think it is very common.
    Sometimes PCs arrange, sometimes NPCs arrange. Usually the marriage is between a PC and an NPC, but we did have political marriages between PCs and cases where PCs arranged marriages between NPCs as well.

    We often play politic heavy games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    That's actually kind of really horrifying. The idea that you could be forced to change your sex / gender to make you fit into an arranged marriage is a level of body horror I don't think I want in my campaign.
    I think the implication is that it's more of a "The court wizard will polymorph you into a female toad. Once he's done, lay your eggs into this cauldron. It will be taken to the Dux of Austbridge, who will be polymorphed into a male toad to fertilize them. The wizard will handle the process of turning the resulting child back into a human to serve as your heir." sort of thing. Or possibly two blood samples and al alembic sort of thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    How do you arrange dynastixally relevant marriages without knowing the sex of a person ? Gender is not a concern when deciding where someone can fit in a family tree. Sex is.
    I think other people addressed this already. But if you really wanna guarantee biological children, there're a wide array of concepts that you'd want to appeal to other than "sex," which is, again, incoherent. "Fertility" is probably an important premise. "Genitalia," perhaps.
    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Could you please elaborate on this? I am having trouble parsing that sentence.
    It's common for people to refer to a sex/gender distinction. Hence strings like: "her gender is female and her biological sex is male." But it's hard to make sense of this in any literal way:

    (1.) What does "sex" refer to? If it refers to a set of biological traits, then what is the sex of an individual who only has a proper subset of said traits? What exactly are the biological traits that separate the sexes?

    (2.) How useful is the concept of "sex" for humans?

    (3.) How do you distinguish between "gender" and "sex" in any clear-cut way?

    There's also the problem of transmisogyny and transphobia. Calling someone biologically x whose gender is y is obviously not a great thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    No idea. I could come up with a lot of guesses, but I was far too embarrassed to actually ask at the time and instead ghosted the whole group.
    I would probably leave too, actually. It's a lil bit of an alarm bell re: the group.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaussH View Post
    Well... since this is a game that may have access to magic and/or super science, why would sex matter?
    Cloning, divine magic, arcane homunculus, polymorph, full body conversion, birth creshes, ect. With powerful pcs biological restrictions ( if you even have them in game) dont have to be restrictions.

    For that matter, the sociology/ political make up of the game need not match how we currently have marrages work.
    I rarely play D&D.

    In most cases the available magic would not have allowed to do that or only with prohibitive drawbacks.
    In settings and magic systems where those options readily exist, they are used. But i didn't have an arranged marriage in any of those so far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BisectedBrioche View Post
    They has been used as singular in certain contexts for centuries (indeed, someone complaining about singular they/them while unthinkingly using it for the very hypothetical person they're talking about is something of a meme), so even if you want to quibble about it as a personal pronoun that's not an issue. Not to mention going back even further "you" was strictly either formal or plural (not unlike the French Tu/Vous distinction).

    Plus it's more or less been accepted as the goto gender neutral pronoun (to the point that certain works with gender neutral characters who everyone wasn't sure how to refer to have started using it ) anyway (with neopronouns being the alternative).
    Honestly, I was the one to bring it up as an issue back on page 1, and my contention with is solely on grammatical/syntactical grounds. I will, of course, respect those who wish for that to be used as their pronoun, and use it accordingly.

    It was also mentioned upthread that "they/them" gets used because coming up with a new word out of whole cloth didn't seem to "stick" with most people. So "they/them" continues to get used. And I admit that I do not have a better solution.

    But, on a deep-seated (and solely grammar-nazi-related) level, it galls me to use a plural pronoun to indicate a specific, singular individual whose identity is known. This is the same part of me that internally vomits when someone says "irregardless". That really is my only beef with that use of the word.

    But it's my problem, not theirs. I recognize that I have weird quirks about what words should and should not be used. "Polyamory", for example, is a terrible word. Mixing Greek and Latin roots into one word...it's a linguistic Frankenstein. Should be "Polyphilia".


    Quote Originally Posted by Scots Dragon View Post
    It's actually older than the singular use of the word 'you', since the thees-and-thous were what was originally used for that, and singular they appears in the Canterbury Tales. In a form of English which is barely legible to modern audiences, at that.

    And whoso fyndeth hym out of swich blame, / They wol come up and offre a Goddés name.

    This dates back to the late 14th century, over six hundred years ago.
    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    The thing is, them is always used to refer to an unspecified third person who could of either gender. One out of a pool of possibilities rather than a known individual.
    Thank you Talakeal.

    "They" when used in singular for an unspecified person is grammatically correct. And it's true for today's grammar as it was for Chaucer.
    Last edited by RedMage125; 2021-01-01 at 11:11 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Does anyone have any experience with running a game for intersex PCs or the like? Any advice on how to avoid the pitfalls, or ideas about what the pitfalls even are?
    I play most tabletop games with my father, brother and/or wife plus a few friends in their 20s and 30s, so thats my reference point.

    My table keeps to a vague ‘PG’ rating, its just the most convenient setting for everyone to play at without hitting bad moments. Sexual content is mild at best, if it does come up it’s downplayed (like the classic ‘fade to black’ sex scene).

    So the sex/gender/orientation of a player and/or character matters zero in a mechanical sense and near zero in a narrative one. If they want to draw attentipn to it thats fine, it’s a character trait and honestly will probably have more bearing on the game than alignment anyways.

    RPGs are about roleplaying, its in the name. Usually as someone that isnt yourself. Playing as someone with nonstandard sexy bits to me isnt that different to playing someone woth the opposite sexy bits. Chances are you wont ‘do it justice’ but as long as there is no malicious intent and nobody else your playing with becomes uncomfortable i see no reason to stop it from happening.

    Also, the belt of genderswapping has been a thing in D&D for decades so yeah, for those that feel strongly about including it there is probably more benefit than those that feel neutral or mildly against it (your table might differ).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    I rarely play D&D.

    In most cases the available magic would not have allowed to do that or only with prohibitive drawbacks.
    In settings and magic systems where those options readily exist, they are used. But i didn't have an arranged marriage in any of those so far.
    Most of my examples are not dnd either, just general magic and science games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KaussH View Post
    Most of my examples are not dnd either, just general magic and science games.
    Most magic systems don't provide working clones or arcane homunculi for family building. What you usually can get is cosmetic alteration and fertility control. Polymorph might or might not work. Sometimes it is self only, sometimes the duration not enough or it has other limitations.

    And why even go through all those hoops if you could just chose the correct species and sex for your arranged marriage ?

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    I'm a cisgender gay guy who STRONGLY identifies as male gendered (I suspect I even have a mild form of dysphoria from my visual presentation not being as masculine as my mental image for myself; but that's a whole other psych paper..). I work out and lift weights to degrees others would consider excessive, trying to lose fat and show muscle. I have a footlong beard, and I feel a thrill when I notice more fuzz on my chest or shoulders popping up. I modify my hormone levels to get as hypermasculine as I can. (and no, it's not dysmorphia, I see myself very well, there's no deception there. Totally different thing.)

    I also love, trust, and support my friends, family, and loved ones who identify as trans, enby, agender, and so on. (Also, I'll say one thing for an earlier mentioning of "queer" as a blanket term. Self-identification, and usage for broad categorization like "queer theory" in academia, are okay, but it still has enough stigma that applying it to others in absentia is potentially offensive.)

    Some folks have a very strong gender identifier in their minds. Some folks don't. And most people don't think about it very hard, because they've never experienced any amount of mismatch or dysphoria that would cause them to question it, and never talked to someone about how theirs differs, so they don't realize other folks have a different amount of identifier, whether less or more, and thus they assume that it's like that for everyone. (It's like how some people don't figure out they're colorblind until later in life, just because the circumstances never really came up to make them examine it.) Folks who want to get rid of all gender norms are probably folks who don't have strong identifiers, and assume everyone else is like them internally, and the world would be better off for it. They don't understand as easily how folks think who DO have strong identifiers.

    2020 put a LOT of stress on my gender identity, because I'd been able to make so much progress in my physical condition, getting my body more overtly masculine, less fat, more muscle, than I'd ever managed, that when the gyms closed for months and my condition backslid, and I gained a ton of weight back, and I realized how close to my gender-presentation euphoria I was, because I lost it. It put me in a REALLY dark place that I won't get into for the sake of trigger warnings.

    But it really helped me understand how others think and feel about gender.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    "Polygamy", for example, is a terrible word. Mixing Greek and Latin roots into one word...it's a linguistic Frankenstein. Should be "Polyphilia".
    That felt off, so I looked it up. Polygamy IS accurate greek, it's all greek going back to roots. Same as "Monogamy", all greek. (Wiktionary lists it going through ecclesiastical latin, but it's greek at the base, for "monos-", "poly-", and "gamos".) Latin's corresponding prefix is "multi-", not "poly-".

    Recorded since 1591, from Late Latin polygamia, from Ancient Greek πολυγαμία (polugamía)
    Ecclesiastical/late latin probably bastardized in a lot of things, but that happens to a lot of languages over time.
    Last edited by RedWarlock; 2021-01-01 at 07:38 AM. Reason: oops; redundant phrasing

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    Honestly, I was the one to bring it up as an issue back on page 1, and my contention with is solely on grammatical/syntactical grounds. I will, of course, respect those who wish for that to be used as their pronoun, and use it accordingly.

    It was also mentioned upthread that "they/them" gets used because coming up with a new word out of whole cloth didn't seem to "stick" with most people. So "they/them" continues to get used. And I admit that I do not have a better solution.

    But, on a deep-seated (and solely grammar-nazi-related) level, it galls me to use a plural pronoun to indicate a specific, singular individual whose identity is known. This is the same part of me that internally vomits when someone says "irregardless". That really is my only beef with that use of the word.

    But it's my problem, not theirs. I recognize that I have weird quirks about what words should and should not be used. "Polygamy", for example, is a terrible word. Mixing Greek and Latin roots into one word...it's a linguistic Frankenstein. Should be "Polyphilia".
    I used to be the same way when I was younger. But as I learnt more about languages, I came to realise linguistics should be descriptive, not prescriptive.

    I live in a country with a lot of weird pronunciations (I was born near the city of Loughborough - two ough's, both pronounced differently ). These came about because the pronunciations changed as people used them without writing them down, but the spelling remained the same (creating a fascinating set of shibboleths). So which is the right one? Obviously what people call it now, because anything else wouldn't be useful. A purely logical analysis on the words for something leads to the simple conclusion; "It works because it's consistently called that, no matter why". Someone barging in to "correct" things only makes communication muckier; not somehow more correct.

    By the same reasoning, a person's pronouns are like their name; what they say goes. Trying to "correct" them on either is as futile (and rude) as telling the locals of a town or country you know what its called better than them (and as a Briton, I know precisely how well that goes).
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    Unfortunately we Britons also have to deal with some nastiness WRT trans issues lately. Makes some of the more tonedeaf stuff in this thread look pretty tame.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    A game setting does need to be designed to be fun and functional to game in.

    But there's more to good worldbuilding than piling the "parts to game in" on a big pile.

    Farmland isn't there to be adventured in, primarily, but one assumes it's still there and part of the landscape -- just because adventurers don't go there often doesn't mean it doesn't or shouldn't or needn't exist.

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    Isn't that the truth...
    Hi, I'm back, I guess. ^_^
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedWarlock View Post
    That felt off, so I looked it up. Polygamy IS accurate greek, it's all greek going back to roots. Same as "Monogamy", all greek. (Wiktionary lists it going through ecclesiastical latin, but it's greek at the base, for "monos-", "poly-", and "gamos".) Latin's corresponding prefix is "multi-", not "poly-".



    Ecclesiastical/late latin probably bastardized in a lot of things, but that happens to a lot of languages over time.
    So..I meant "Polyamory" from the get go (hence why I said it should be "polyphilia"). Turns out, I misspelled it, and it auto-corrected to "polygamy" and I did not catch it. You're right, Polygamy is all Greek. But "Polyamory" is the aforementioned Linguistic Frankenstein.

    Multiamory or Polyphilia would be correct. "Polyamory" is...etymologically disgusting.
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    So what? Why does it matter if the word I use to describe my relationship(s) mixes language roots?

    Unless I'm trying to get a cheap laugh out of somebody. But I think Unknown Armies and it's section on what schools of magic are called says it best. Most people do not care enough about language roots g to switch to a 'correct' word.
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