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Thread: Intersex PCs

  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grek View Post
    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.
    This was actually not far from the plot line for a Cyberpunk adventure in the supplement "When Gravity Fails". Except the PCs were sold into prostitution and had their minds hijacked with personality modifier chips. I'm reminded of those magical curses where the person can talk about anything except exactly what needs to be communicated to lift their curse, like their name or identity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    So what? Why does it matter if the word I use to describe my relationship(s) mixes language roots?
    Technically using the word is mixing languages to begin with since it’s being used as part of a sentence in English.
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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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    Quote Originally Posted by Scots Dragon View Post
    Technically using the word is mixing languages to begin with since it’s being used as part of a sentence in English.
    Shhhhhhhh, we might run out of words if the prescriptivists catch on!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I have noticed that a lot of RPG books these days are going out of their way to be more inclusive of characters who do not fit into "traditional" concepts of sex and gender; for example recently when creating characters for Delta Green I saw the character sheet has gender check boxes for male, female, and other, and I have been advised to add something similar to the character creation chapter in my own game.

    In the past, I have had players come to me wanting to play intersex characters in games I was running, and I always said no; mostly because I assumed they were doing it for fetishistic reasons and would creep out the other players.

    But now I am starting to think that maybe I should ease up on it. I mean, character's genitals are never referenced in the game as is, why would that suddenly change if they were "nonstandard"?

    But, I still am afraid that people would either do it for fetishistic reasons, or just as an attention getter; but then I wonder if that is necessarily even a bad thing? And then I think that some players would be creeped out just by seeing the "other" box ticked on another player's character sheet.


    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?

    Thanks.


    Also, trying hard not to offend anyone with my language, but I am kind of unsure about terminology, so if anyone has any suggestions to improve that I would love to hear them.
    It really depends heavily on your group, who you want to associate with, and why. None of the transwomen in our group transitioned to Schrodinger's gender, so "other" probably wouldn't be very popular with our group if it was intended to identify people similar to us. Further, I can confirm that there's an unfortunate number of people in these hobbies that certainly would be very fetishistic with "other" as a gender, to the point that oversexed gender-abnormal characters on RPG discord servers have become something of a "that-guy" meme for a lot of people I've met, so I sympathize with your concerns.

    That said, "other" can mean a lot, including just having no sex at all, which might be appropriate for things like oozes, constructs, or elementals. Even in those cases, they might actually have gendered personalities such as in the case of the sapient swords in Tales of Destiny (old PS1 game) or Warforged, since there are discernible differences between masculine and feminine personalities and behaviors (because if there weren't then there would be no such thing as male or female genders at all and by proxy the transwomen in our group would be invalid).

    Honestly instead of having some sort of checkmark system like "male, female, other", most every character sheet I've ever seen just has it as a blank write-in, which is probably for the best since you can write in whatever you want, even if whatever you want is completely made up nonsense that can only exist in an RPG capable of producing a 20th level psionic sandwich. It's pretty much a blank check to do as you will and that's probably the best way to handle it.

    --

    All that being said, having some sort of physical or mental non-conformity to typical sexual norms can make for compelling characters as a facet of them, not necessarily as their whole. It could be something that motivates or demotivates them. There's been quite a few characters in my campaigns that have certain gender-based quirks that have influenced their lives and experiences. One example was a character of mine named Faith. She was a powerful knight, but part of the reason she became a warrior was because of a sexual birth defect that made her incapable of having children and made her less suitable as a mate in their society, so instead of settling down and getting married she tried to serve her family in a less traditional role and became a knight as a part of a religious order. During the course of the campaign, she eventually fell in love with another PC who saved her life (with the sentiment being mutual), and later still another PC devised a way to restore her ability to have children, at which point she and the aforementioned romantic interest settled down to rule a keep and the surrounding village and have a family.

    Another character that springs to mind was a vampire NPC who was biologically male but was otherwise female in both identity and mannerisms. Due to not having access to sufficiently high level magics to make any sort of permanent alterations, she instead lived as a woman using the age old method of getting good at passing via Disguise checks, and was sufficiently good enough at it that she would pass in any normal social interactions. Even then, it was one aspect of her character, not the whole. It was just one of the difficulties or complexities of her life that made her human, not wholly dissimilar to other difficulties people face such as having an estranged family because you decided to be an adventurer instead of taking over the family business, or being the only dwarf/elf couple for a hundred miles. She surely didn't draw attention to her non-conformity (and wouldn't want to) and the PCs had no clue initially until they overheard her having a verbal spat with some of catty vampires in her coven that referred to her as Victor instead of Victoria to taunt her.

    But even in both of these cases, marking anything other than "female" or maybe "female (see notes)" on a character sheet's descriptive bits would feel very inappropriate since it wouldn't be anything that were outwardly obvious to anyone in the way that hair, skin, eye color, height, and similar attributes would be. These would only be things that you would be aware of in very specific contexts or in confidence between the characters (such as when the aforementioned knight told her love interest that she couldn't have children and he should find someone else that wasn't a 'dead end', and such personal interactions are very character developing moments).
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    From my personal viewpoint, people are (needlessly) hard to understand, computer code is easy to understand, so lets start with an anecdote about programming:

    In Object Oriented Programming, the equality of two objects is determined by the output of a function (often, but not always, defined by one of the two compared objects). These functions need not be the same, such that "A.equals(B)" might evaluate to true, but "B.equals(A)" evaluates to false.

    Likewise with gender (and sex, including intersex): What an individual's gender or sex, or even what "values" are available, is dependent on what evaluation function is being used, which is in turn dependent on who is doing the evaluating. Some might see gender is an intrinsic value of individual, that only said individual can determine, while others view it as extrinsic, determined by external factors such as genitalia, chromosomes, secondary sexual characteristics, behavior, etc., often according to societally set standards. Still others use different evaluations for different purposes (e.g. the requirements for classification of personal attraction vs. mating/life partner vs. social role/status can be quite different).

    Thus the answer to what an individual's gender is "it probably depends on what evaluation method is being used."

    So why have it on a character sheet? Because it forms part of the character and probably affects interactions between the PC and NPCs (and potentially other PCs), even if mechanical differences have been excised from the game. If, for example, to pull an example out the air, the Order of the Stick were attacked in their rooms at an inn (where traditionally Haley and V share a room and the boys bunk together in another room), the party might fair very differently depending on whose rooms were attacked first (potentially assuming the whole party's isn't alerted and their first action is not to group up).

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    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.
    But then, from where will spring all of our lovely political plots and intrigues and civil wars and intra-family assassinations? From whence will spring completely incompetent and supremely arrogant ***holes who are so supremely convinced they inherently better than the "low born peasants" be they the PCs or their allies?
    Last edited by Sharur; 2021-01-03 at 05:09 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharur View Post
    But then, from where will spring all of our lovely political plots and intrigues and civil wars and intra-family assassinations? From whence will spring completely incompetent and supremely arrogant ***holes who are so supremely convinced they inherently better than the "low born peasants" be they the PCs or their allies?
    Getting rid of the requirement for heirs to be biological children doesn't get rid of any of that. A nominated heir, or even an elected monarchy, means that the nobles are suddenly competing for a much bigger prize.

    Imagine the drama when guilds start fighting for a vote.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Honestly, for a D&D setting something like the Imperial Exam system crossed with Fairy Tale Questing for the hand of the Prince(ess) in marriage makes a lot more sense. There's clearly some extreme variance in competency between the average and the best available and competency is based largely on surviving adversity, not on inherited advantages. (Being rich doesn't give you more XP!) Obviously you want to set up some challenges where you need to be at least this good to pass, get confirmed by the local clergy to possess the appropriate moral characteristics, get checked by the local wizards to make sure you're not cursed/under any compulsions/secretly a doppelganger and then ultimately asked to go on some sort of quest to fully prove your worth (read: go adventure and get as many levels as you can before the current King dies). Couple that with the ability to marry/adopt anyone the King says so into the family and have them be a legitimate heir and there you have it.
    Last edited by Grek; 2021-01-03 at 01:07 PM.

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    Presumably the king is the strongest adventurer out there (ignoring for a moment how adventuring skills don't necessarily overlap with good rulership skills like diplomacy and governance and instead focusing on just being so strong that no other adventurer can stroll in and take the crown off your head by force), and also commands the resources of the state. If they do have children, why wouldn't they want to give their children every advantage possible and leverage their significant advantages towards that end?

    As long as people still have the urge to leave nice things to their kids and the things they leave are significant enough, hereditary positions will tend to pop up in practice even if they aren't officially written down anywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anymage View Post
    Presumably the king is the strongest adventurer out there (ignoring for a moment how adventuring skills don't necessarily overlap with good rulership skills like diplomacy and governance and instead focusing on just being so strong that no other adventurer can stroll in and take the crown off your head by force), and also commands the resources of the state. If they do have children, why wouldn't they want to give their children every advantage possible and leverage their significant advantages towards that end?

    As long as people still have the urge to leave nice things to their kids and the things they leave are significant enough, hereditary positions will tend to pop up in practice even if they aren't officially written down anywhere.
    It seems unlikely that your typical ruler is a super badass adventurer type, nor would they need to be, anymore than a ruler of a nation IRL needs to be something like a top-class navy seal. The power of kings and queens has always been the social influence they wield, since a mob of peasants could grab and hang a king from a tree like a festive pinata; their knights to decide that they're ruining the country and assassinate them; etc.

    Likewise, It seems unlikely that unless succession by conquest or subversion was the norm (which would probably produce chaos) most rulers would vary wildly in combat potential, and you would pretty much never have cases of "boy-kings" and the like.

    I think it's probably more plausible that generally rulers have specialized staff for things like a personal guard, magicians, intelligence agents, and patriotic loyalists and such for many of their doings. Or in the case of obviously evil rulers, they dangle carrots of benefits of a corrupt government to people who would happily oppress others but not have ambitions to rule the country themselves (similar to how evil dictators IRL have goons that could easily murder the evil dictators themselves but don't because their lives as goons are more comfortable than the poor people they are oppressing).

    EDIT: That said, there is a pretty good precedent for high level individuals (adventurers or otherwise) to also be hyper competent in things, it seems likely that they do become rulers if that's something that interests them; and with the countless ways of attaining immortality or pseudo-immortality, some countries might actually be incredibly stable due to having the same good ruler for generations because magic is awesome like that.
    Last edited by Ashiel; 2021-01-04 at 02:24 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashiel View Post
    It seems unlikely that your typical ruler is a super badass adventurer type, nor would they need to be, anymore than a ruler of a nation IRL needs to be something like a top-class navy seal. The power of kings and queens has always been the social influence they wield, since a mob of peasants could grab and hang a king from a tree like a festive pinata; their knights to decide that they're ruining the country and assassinate them; etc.
    This, adventurers are generally too mobile to form a political power base. Although pre-3e D&D did assume that at 9th level you settled down into researcg or politics, it also assumed that you were nowhere near the level of king (I believe the Rules Cyclopedia points out that you'd have equivalent resources to a Baron, and honestly a rather impoverished one if you built your own castle/mansion). But at that point logistics and politics are supposed to take up much, much more of your time than adventuring.

    In many games it can be even harder to justify. Your mage might have incinerated the authority, but they can't hold onto power if they can be killed from half a mile away with a sniper rifle. And whole destructive power is great, abuse it too much and you've got nowhere to rule.


    it's why in 3.X most rulers are either 2nd-3rd level Aristocrats or Experts, or have one on hand. They're much more likely to have the skills to hang onto power.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    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.
    I'm going to quote what I said in regards to this, to answer your question.
    Quote Originally Posted by ME, earlier
    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".
    This was a related tangent in regards to the topic...vis use of "they" as a singular pronoun, and how my issue with it is purely grammar-based, but also recognizing and acknowledging that I am very particular about "right" and "wrong" grammatical issues. And that such is my own hangup.

    So the answer to your question is: "Nobody said that it did matter if the word you use mixes language roots." It was a tangential statement in relation to a subject of discussion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Aside from 5E D&D (and those that omit "fluff" entirely) I cannot think of a single character sheet which doesn't have a place to mark one's sex.
    I just looked at my gaming library, and I found several of them.

    - Fate Games (Fate Core, Dresden Files RPG, Bulldogs!, Dresden Accelerated, Legend of Anglerre, spirit of the century... Yeah, I'm a Fate Fanatic ^^) : Those character sheets only have a "description" field, and a "species" field when genre-appropriate.
    Fate is a system built around what is important for the PCs. Characters, and what makes their identity, is at the heart of the system. Yet the description field is freeform, so that you can put whatever you please. If sexual or gender identity is important for your character, then you'll probably integrate it to one of your aspects (Small sentences describing what your character is about, their core concept, their trouble... that get to orient the gameplay and the story), but it's the player's decision to put them there or not.

    - Apocalypse World : a very "story first" game. And with sex rules, to boot! (Every "character class" has a gameplay effect when they have sex with another PC) But no "gender" or "sex" box on the character sheet, only a general "looks" box. There are prompts during character creation to fill that "looks" box, and one of these prompts is "male/woman/ambiguous/transgressive/concealed", so the player explicitely don't have to write down wether their character is male or female.

    - Monster of the week : an Apocalypse World clone about buffy-like monster hunters. Same as AW, but without the sex/gender stuff in the prompts. For example, the "looks" prompts for "the Chosen" character class (Buffy-like chosen ones) are : "Kid, teen, young, burnt-out / Fresh face, haggard face, young face, haunted face, hopeful face, controlled face / Preppy clothes, casual wear, urban wear, normal clothes, neat clothes, street wear"

    - Monsterhearts : an "Apocalypse World" clone that is explicitely about exploring teenage drama and sexuality. Yet, there are no "sex" box on the character sheet. There are prompts to fill out the "identity" field, but they are about "name", "look", "eyes" and "origin", and there is no reference to sex nor gender in them (for example, the "look" prompts for the "mortal" character class are "quiet, desperate, awkward, beautiful, displaced")

    - Heroquest : A game with freeform stats, set in an antiquity setting with very strong traditional gender roles. Yet, it's up to the player to decide if they want to put their sex/gender in the "distinguishing characteristic" field, or even to have a stat like "strongest steadwife of the Dundealos tribe"


    Sure, I also have a lot of games with a "sex" field on top of the character sheet. Mostly older, traditional ones. But all the games I just presented are "narrative first, game later" RPGs, and yet, every one of them let the player decide if they want to talk about their PC's sexual characteristics, and how they want to describe them.
    And sure, many players will put stuff like "a black-haired, amber-eyed, man in his mid-tenties with twin daggers and a slender build". But it's nice to have the option to put something else.

    After all, who would check under the furs of your wookie warrior? ^^

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    I've heard tell of a game that does have a gender selection but that does it in an unusual way.
    Ne/nem/nir pronouns.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kardwill View Post
    snip
    That is kind of proving my point though.

    AFAICT, those are all narrative games, and none of them have any sort of prompts for how to describe your character on the sheet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Powerdork View Post
    I've heard tell of a game that does have a gender selection but that does it in an unusual way.
    Having read the entire article, I am now significantly more confused than I was when I started.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powerdork View Post
    I've heard tell of a game that does have a gender selection but that does it in an unusual way.
    Yeah, I'm confused, While I get that the game is based on a genre and concept I ave zero experience with, I just don't get it. To mde this doesn't sound like gender. I'd argue those are 'presentations', which are to me a very different thing to do with how the person decides they will interact with the outside world.

    Which is something more RPGs should talk about, and darn I need to change something on the character sheet for mine (and now I'm much happier with it). But the difference and interaction between gender(/sex) and presentation is something that's important to people and society and one that deserves to be explored.


    For the record, this is how my game currently deals with this stuff:
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    Outward Presentation is a description of what you show the world. This is where physical sex would go, but it's about how you want to be viewed and the means you use to achieve it.

    Inner Thoughts are about what happens behind the scenes, the methods and facts your character uses to make decisions. Gender identity, or lack thereof, may or may not be involved.

    Driving Objectives are what you think you want. Pretty simple.

    Defining Events are moments in the backstory and gameplay that reinforce any of the above.

    I'm still working on how they'll impact the game, it might end up boiling down to them each giving an additional Trait but I want to try to link them in with some kind of metagame currency.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    I'd argue those are 'presentations', which are to me a very different thing to do with how the person decides they will interact with the outside world.
    My reaction was "well I am glad it spoke to you because I don't get it". Also I think it might be the opposite, who are you on the inside. I know several characters who I could easily describe as "Lighthouse in the Darkness" or "Rusted Sword", but that isn't really there gender. Although the Lighthouse one would probably describe their gender as "Doesn't Matter" instead of male/female/nonbinary so there is some ground for more exotic descriptions. But really Apocalypse World's system is about exotic as I can get before I start loosing track.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Aside from 5E D&D (and those that omit "fluff" entirely) I cannot think of a single character sheet which doesn't have a place to mark one's sex..

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    That is kind of proving my point though.

    AFAICT, those are all narrative games, and none of them have any sort of prompts for how to describe your character on the sheet.

    The games Kardwill mentioned do not "omit 'fluff' entirely." They are, in fact, very fluff-heavy. You appear to be moving the goalposts by declaring that "narrative" games don't count.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 137ben View Post
    The games Kardwill mentioned do not "omit 'fluff' entirely." They are, in fact, very fluff-heavy. You appear to be moving the goalposts by declaring that "narrative" games don't count.
    Keep in mind that I specified the character sheets rather than the game itself.

    More than that, I was specifically talking about character sheets that had fields for descriptive details (age, height, weight, sex, ethnicity, hair color, eye color, etc.). I honestly wasn't even thinking about character sheets that just had a blank space where you can write whatever description you want without prompting.

    Although, in my experience, narrative games don't really care about the fiction so much as they do about telling a dramatic story. They tend to operate on "fridge logic" rather than concerning themselves with the details of the world. For example, Apocalypse World's power which allows you to simply enter a scene whenever it would be dramatic regardless of where you were previously in a sort of "Jason Voorhes teleports when he is off camera" sort of way.
    Last edited by Talakeal; 2021-01-06 at 10:30 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    My reaction was "well I am glad it spoke to you because I don't get it". Also I think it might be the opposite, who are you on the inside. I know several characters who I could easily describe as "Lighthouse in the Darkness" or "Rusted Sword", but that isn't really there gender. Although the Lighthouse one would probably describe their gender as "Doesn't Matter" instead of male/female/nonbinary so there is some ground for more exotic descriptions. But really Apocalypse World's system is about exotic as I can get before I start loosing track.
    I mean, again, this is a genre I have no experience with. But I really would not have put 'gender' on that field and we could quibble all day and come up with admit fifty better words if we really want to because we'll all see these terms as receiving something different. It's definitely a setup that speaks to a certain variety of people, maybe more than one kind of person. But I feel they there's a lot is important context that the authors are leaving out because they've either said it before or think it's obvious.

    Although I'm not innocent of describing my gender in nonstandard ways ('magic 8 ball' is a particular favourite), to me these tend to be fairly easy to explain if people don't get them ('reply hazy, ask again later'). So I'm really wondering what the context is that would in theory allow me to make the link, assuming there is any.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Our sex influences (but doesn't determine) nearly every facet of our physical forms, as well as having some degree of influence over psychological, social, and fashion. To me it is a very useful descriptor. Along with age and race, it is used in virtually any descriptor you will hear if someone is trying to locate someone, for example a missing child poster or a police bulletin.

    Likewise, sex appears on every piece of identification I own and I need to input it in the vast majority of forms I fill out. Aside from 5E D&D (and those that omit "fluff" entirely) I cannot think of a single character sheet which doesn't have a place to mark one's sex.

    I really don't think including a field for sex is nearly as controversial as you are making it out to be.

    Also, I may be emotionally a bit too close to the issue to give an unbiased answer. Being able to play as a female character is very important to me, and as I child I would frequently get into trouble from my parents or other kids for being the "weirdo who pretends to be a girl" that being told there shouldn't be a place for sex on the character sheet feels like being told to get back in the closet. Obviously that isn't what you meant, but it is how it feels to me on a raw emotional level.
    I'm not at all saying you are wrong for wanting a dedicated field for gender expression. I personally think such a field is inherently less practical than simply encouraging it to be included as part of a much larger freeform "background", "outlook", or "expression" space, given the concept's potential mutability/fluidity (even day-to-day or moment-to-moment for some) as well as how many possible permutations of the concept there are, but your game can certainly have a shorter and more traditional line for it like the D&D 3.5 sheet does. That practicality is why I'm highlighting the official sheets of more modern games, like D&D 5e and Pathfinder 2e, as positive examples to draw from, because I believe they came to a similar conclusion with their own designs.

    Where I do think your understanding might potentially have flaws however, is in your continued conflation, or at least a seeming lack of precision, when using the terms "sex" (especially the term "physical sex") and "gender." When you say something like "being able to play as a female character is important to me" I'm not at all disputing that (in fact I wholeheartedly agree that being able to express your character's identity is important), but I'm also not clear whether you're referring to sex, gender, or both simultaneously; which attributes you believe play a role in that expression, and whether or how the game plans to enable gender identities/expressions that don't fall neatly into discrete buckets like "male," "female" or intersex."

    And you're correct, many traditional documents like driver's licenses and loan applications do have such a field - but I would counter that that field's presence on those documents has caused no small amount of pain and frustration for trans/nonbinary individuals too. "Lots of existing documents have that field" is Appeal to Tradition, which is a fallacy for a reason.

    So to take this all the way back to the opening post - this thread began with you asking for any potential pitfalls when trying to be more inclusive of nuanced gender expression to be brought to your attention. All I'm trying to do is highlight one such potential pitfall - namely, quite literally "othering" any gender expression that doesn't fit neatly within a box labeled "male" or "female" like the Delta Green game did, but also highlighting that a short freeform field labeled "gender" or "sex" may not be that much better for such a nuanced concept. That's all I'm saying

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    So to take this all the way back to the opening post - this thread began with you asking for any potential pitfalls when trying to be more inclusive of nuanced gender expression to be brought to your attention. All I'm trying to do is highlight one such potential pitfall - namely, quite literally "othering" any gender expression that doesn't fit neatly within a box labeled "male" or "female" like the Delta Green game did, but also highlighting that a short freeform field labeled "gender" or "sex" may not be that much better for such a nuanced concept. That's all I'm saying
    The thread was and is about intersex characters, not gender expressions. Intersex is a term used for biologically not male or female, it has little to do with gender and is certainly completely different from nonbinary.
    Last edited by Satinavian; 2021-01-07 at 09:11 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    The thread was and is about intersex characters, not gender expressions. Intersex is a term used for biologically not male or female, it has little to do with gender and is certainly completely different from nonbinary.
    It is a broad medical term with a long and complicated history which ties into the way sex and gender are described, classified and treated by society. It doesn't exist in a vacuum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    The thread was and is about intersex characters, not gender expressions. Intersex is a term used for biologically not male or female, it has little to do with gender and is certainly completely different from nonbinary.
    We've been discussing gender identity as well as physical sex since page 1, it's not exactly off topic by this point.

    Looking at the games I personally own, the rough trend seems to be: rules-heavy includes a sex or gender box, rules medium (roughly Fate level) includes a description box, and anything goes for rules light. Not a hard and fast rule, D&D 5e is noticeably missing sa dedicated sex box despite being rules heavy*. but a rough trend.

    * It's trying to be rules-medium, but insists on having tons of combat-related rules. And I can already here the 'you need rules for combat' crowd lining me up to tell me I'm wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    We've been discussing gender identity as well as physical sex since page 1, it's not exactly off topic by this point.

    Looking at the games I personally own, the rough trend seems to be: rules-heavy includes a sex or gender box, rules medium (roughly Fate level) includes a description box, and anything goes for rules light. Not a hard and fast rule, D&D 5e is noticeably missing sa dedicated sex box despite being rules heavy*. but a rough trend.

    * It's trying to be rules-medium, but insists on having tons of combat-related rules. And I can already here the 'you need rules for combat' crowd lining me up to tell me I'm wrong.
    Will you accept a “dammit 5 why couldn’t you decide on plenty of rules for combat AND skills, or few for both”?
    By the metric of being wholly dependent on the GM for noncombat interaction Fighter is an NPC class.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I already mentioned this in another thread, but it makes perfect sense to me. As a radical feminist myself, I find gender to be a harmful social construct that should be abolished. At the same time, modern trans theory seems to hold to opposite ideals, that gender is something that is special and sacred and a vital part of everyone’s identity afaict.
    Not quite. From what I understand, Trans theory* holds that for some individuals, their gender is important to them. This should be respected.
    I've seen no-one insisting my gender is important since (to me) it's fairly low on my list of identities



    * This may be skewed by the people who are likely to stay in my friendship group
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    More than that, I was specifically talking about character sheets that had fields for descriptive details (age, height, weight, sex, ethnicity, hair color, eye color, etc.). I honestly wasn't even thinking about character sheets that just had a blank space where you can write whatever description you want without prompting.

    Although, in my experience, narrative games don't really care about the fiction so much as they do about telling a dramatic story.
    The amount of character description on PbtA sheets isn't large, but it's more than what D&D generally has.

    I mean, "eye color", really? Yes, I eventually notice eye color, but it usually comes behind several things like "style of clothes"*, "build" (height/weight doesn't really cover it, it's both over-precise and insufficient information), "scruffiness", "physical demeanor" (how someone stands and moves, their resting expression), and "distinctive features" (sometimes eye or hair color is a distinctive feature, but not always).

    While short PbtA-style descriptions don't necessarily get people picturing the same thing, I think they usually get people picturing a compatible thing in terms of theme / style. Meanwhile, you can know that a character is [male, 6'1", 190 lbs, brown eyes, black hair] and still have not only a different mental picture but an entirely different impression than the creator did.

    *I know this is covered by inventory, technically. But I'm not a fashion expert, and so saying something like 'loose, colorful, trendy clothes' or 'army surplus survival gear' actually conveys more information than listing the exact articles of clothing which I'd probably have to look up.
    Last edited by icefractal; 2021-01-07 at 08:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Intersex PCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    Not quite. From what I understand, Trans theory* holds that for some individuals, their gender is important to them. This should be respected.
    I've seen no-one insisting my gender is important since (to me) it's fairly low on my list of identities



    * This may be skewed by the people who are likely to stay in my friendship group
    I once had a discussion with my girlfriend on if the legal concept of gender should be abolished. I'd go into it more but I can't here, suffice to say that for some goals it's the 'short term hassle, long term ease' option and the opposite for other causes.

    I doget annoyed by having to put down my gender for things that don't need it, especially as a lot of the time I don't have the option to go nonbinary. It might be a cause of me disliking it on characters sheets (I'm a bit more ambivalent on sex fields, but wouldn't mind seeing them go). Then again my gender identity wanders between 'lightly male' and 'lightly female' and my sexuality between 'more attracted to women' and 'I wish I had the confidence to ask cute boys out', I'm not exactly in a large enough demographic for most form makers to care about.


    Oh, for the record, if I was putting things on a character sheet in the order I tend to find them important when imagining someone:
    -Relative height
    -Weight/size (it helps build a silhouette)
    -Hair colour
    -Hair length (almost never on character sheets, why?)
    -Skin colour
    -Clothes they're wearing, including what that tells me about the gender they're presenting (again, why is it rarely given it's own section?)
    -Hat?
    -Eye colour, but only if we're comfortable enough to make eye contact
    -Oh look it's a kitty!
    -What's tucked between their legs

    Notably people's order of importance will be different, I think eye colour is more important to most people than to me, but honestly making that list Going back to a characyer sheet I've designed for a game I've paused development on made me realise just how much space I'd given to the 'hair' field based on the assumption it'll include length/style.
    Last edited by Anonymouswizard; 2021-01-07 at 08:59 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    Intersex is a term used for biologically not male or female, it has little to do with gender and is certainly completely different from nonbinary.
    How do you define "biologically not male or female," especially in an RPG context? Chromosomes? Anatomy?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    How do you define "biologically not male or female," especially in an RPG context? Chromosomes? Anatomy?
    I can think of a few ways: robot, digital AI, golem, alien species that doesn't reproduce sexually, spirit of an abstract concept above any meaning of biology, technically ghosts are dead and thus don't have biological parts and thus cannot be biologically anything, same with any intelligent undead such as vampires, liches, and so on (they are technically necrological in nature), elementals are pre-biological beings in that are living fundamental forces that can lead to biology's existence but themselves are not biological, animated objects don't have biology, and neither do energy beings...

    there is a lot of things that aren't really biologically anything in rpgs, so its really broad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    I can think of a few ways: robot, digital AI, golem, alien species that doesn't reproduce sexually, spirit of an abstract concept above any meaning of biology, technically ghosts are dead and thus don't have biological parts and thus cannot be biologically anything, same with any intelligent undead such as vampires, liches, and so on (they are technically necrological in nature), elementals are pre-biological beings in that are living fundamental forces that can lead to biology's existence but themselves are not biological, animated objects don't have biology, and neither do energy beings...

    there is a lot of things that aren't really biologically anything in rpgs, so its really broad.
    All of which are valid character concepts, but don't really fit with "Intersex" either. (Well, maybe the alien species does, but somehow I don't think a game like Starfinder is what the OP had in mind.)

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
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