Gender violence in gaming

Because this thread seems to be happening across multiple different threads in a manner that is approaching thread hijacking, I thought maybe we should just go ahead and make a thread for talking about the issue of gender based violence, and how it can rear its head within games, and at the gaming table. Up front it seems important to point out that this is a serious topic that some people might have more personal experience with than others and as such a conversation demands respect if it is going to be able to happen at all. 

I guess one of the first set of questions I have for others, because my RP groups have always tended to be a bit non-traditional, is:  how common, and in what forms does gender violence occur at your gaming table, or in your games? How is it handled? ANd do you think it is a problem?

Gender violence would be violence perpetrated against another person because of perceived gender identities. This could include sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence, gay bashing, homophobia, hazing, or other violence that seems to have its root in the gender of the person being violent or the person experiencing the violence.
It's not very common in my games.

It's sort of present, in a simulationist sort of way; my worlds tend to be "realistical" and so they feature gender conflict in the background.
However, I've never had players perform or roleplay acts of gender violence, and I generally try to avoid picturing it in my stories unless it has a significant role. One thing I noticed is that whenever I do portray gender violence in my games, the culprit never gets away with it; from the party's ranger paying a visit at dusk to the local farmer who slapped his wife in front of the group to the group pursuing a group of bandits they weren't interested in to put a permanent stop to their actions after they saw what they did in a village they visited, my male players become extremely (and graphically, I promise you) vengeful when a villain is caught being gender-violent.
Interested in reading about a Dark Sun 4e game? Here's the blog of our current campaign. My homebrew Dark Sun material: - the Lord of Blades, a melee oriented Kaisharga/Dead Lord
I haven't been in many campaigns that were roleplaying-oriented enough to ever go beyond cops and robbers level (except in LARP). I did play a female character from a very patriarchal society, who had been abused when she was young, but it was more a guideline for myself on how to play her, it was never elaborated on in the game.


I played with a DM who was heading in this direction (establishing that since his world was medieval, women were treated like trash and men would casually insult female adventurers for the lulz), but it stopped when I objected too much (I don't mind a patriarchal society if there's a reason, but building a world as taken out of a MMORPG, and then adding heavy-handed misogyny for no apparent reason, is not acceptable in my book).


from the party's ranger paying a visit at dusk to the local farmer who slapped his wife in front of the group to the group pursuing a group of bandits they weren't interested in to put a permanent stop to their actions after they saw what they did in a village they visited, my male players become extremely (and graphically, I promise you) vengeful when a villain is caught being gender-violent.

I have a feeling that wouldn't be well received in some of the groups I've played in. Or at least, if that ranger was good, he might suffer alignment consequences for disproportionate retribution.
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Oh good God, why do you even ask? You know whats going to happen... Everyone is going to circlejerk eachother as not having experienced that, and just create strawmen of how anyone who does that, or would even tolerate that is a sicko and ironically go into demented detail about what they'd do to them. The truth is noone has the balls to make a D&D game that's anti-woman and anti-gay, because irl human beings are wholly lawful neutral to lawful evil and constantly need to whank off the cultural norms. Which ever since the 18th century has been romantiscizing women and excusing sexual deviance in the west. And rather then change that, it's just become more extreme.

I would love to see a ranger with favored enemy: women just for the lulz. It'd atleast be different. And would ward off those annoying chaotic neutral male playing females I hate so much... If only the ranger didn't suck so bad in third edition. I suppose in fourth edition you could just roleplay the favored enemy, and maybe make homebrew powers/feats to accomodate it. Like I'd make a paladin who has a detect evil ability, specifically designed to sniff out sexual decedance. With minor auras being fleeting thoughts of infidelity, to the all encompassing aura of the **** house...

Luckiely fourth edition does not simply imply alignment isn't a straight jacket, but actively practices it by not putting alignment in the rules. (Or atleast not as visibly as in 3rd edition and prior) This means my paladin can be as mean, ruthless, maybe even "evil" as he wants. And still exist within the confines of how I see him, rather then how the DM sees him and have to hope my DM spares my character's soul and doesn't turn him into a warrior npc... (Like paladins in third edition really needed that anyway. They were tier 5)

God-damn I wish there was a FATAL d20. I love that book, but I definitelly don't feel like attempting to run or play in a game with such draconic mechanics! As far as personal gaming experiences, no. I havn't had the pleasure of being an overly misogynistic or gay bashing game. And my gaming career has suffered cause of it. That sounds friggin' awesome. Not that I'd immagine I'd do half the crap that was meationed in the FATAL handbook. It would just be a breath of fresh air from the self indulgent bullcrap of self loathing we're supposed to endure. Ain't the whole point of an rpg to get away from the mondays of real life? Besides... when there's demons attacking your soul and dragons eating entire villages. Smacking a woman around for speaking outside of form just doesn't have the sortof shock value it would have in a mundane world like ours... Which was kind of why it was so stupid in AD&D and in alot of standard third edition games poison/disease was delighted as "evil warfare". Oh, I'm sorry! Did I kill you all painfully with cancerous lumps and collapsing lungs? I'll make sure to be more considerate next time and just take a sword and stab you in the ribs. I'm sure your families will be ever so grateful and think I'm an okay guy...
My D&D games are never dark/gritty enough for gendered violence to be appropriate, and as a player/GM I would not be happy about it happening at the table.

If I was walking into a game that I knew was darker/grittier I probably wouldn't react with as much hostility out-of-game, and my in-game reaction would depend on the RP as the game would, I imagine, be much more RP focused to begin with.  
Resident Over-Educated Ivory-Tower Elitist [You don't have the Need-to-Know for that, citizen]
Oh good God, why do you even ask? You know whats going to happen...


Take two of these…

sign07.gifwarning_acid.gif

…and call me in the morning.
Advice for DMs: When you are ad lib or improve DMing don't self-edit yourself. Some of the most fun you'll ever have is by just going with whatever crazy thing crosses your mind based on what your players are doing. Advice for Players: When your DM is ad libbing there are bound to be plot holes and inconsistencies that crop up. You'll all have a lot more fun if you just roll with it instead of nitpicking the details.
Previous Advice
Advice for DMs: Always dangle a lot of plot hooks in front of you players. Anything they do not bite you can bring back and bite them later. When considering a new house rule ask yourself the question "Will this make the game more fun?" Unless the answer is a resounding yes don't do it. Advice for Players: Always tell the DM not just what you want to do but also what you are hoping to accomplish. No matter how logical the result is it will never happen if it simply never occurred to the DM. "That's what my character would do" is not a valid excuse for being a disruptive ass at the table. Your right to have fun only extends to the point where it impedes the ability of others to do likewise.
I think that there has maybe been some confusion about what I was asking. First of all, there is currently a prtty off-topic debate going on in another thread about **** as a potential threat to capture and whether or not the consequences of that are the same for male character versus female characters (a joke to be laughed off, versus a serious threat), but I think it also raises questions about the gender of the players and whether or not the situation changes based on the gender of the player regardless of the character's gender. 
But I also remember Errato posting about acts of gender violence, specifically women bashing comments, occurring at the gaming table itself outside of the game and many of the men at the table being willing to condone such behavior.

JimProfit -  I am really glad that I have never had the misfortune of stumbling across this FATAL game because it sounds pretty terrible to me. **** and gay bashing present enough in the real world that I really don't see the pleasure in getting to "escape" by glorifying and romanticizing those kinds of behaviors in a role playing setting.

I think that most role playing steers clear of ****, domestic violence, and overt forms of misogyny, rightly, because "terrible evil" can be encompassed in the form of  rampaging dragons, undead, and diabolical wizards, ie. violence and domination in a form that is less problematic for audiences than the forms violence and domination take in the real world.


The problems I have heard other people put forward about that is that it creates somewhat of a disconnect for them as role players because it doesn't make sense to them that the evil invaders would kill and steal, but draw a line in the sand at engaging in gender violence. I can sympathize with that, but as my primary role playing group any more includes a child, I am also ok with letting the realism slide on this account. 
More problematic for me is that when evil is always supernatural terrible evil, it is pretty easy to justify killing the problem and then the day is saved. I think the good queen or king who is holding the kingdom together against a horde of evil invaders, but also has obvious issues with the gender of her or his children makes for a more interesting narrative and encourages role playing outside of its evil, kill it. Is including this kind of challenge that includes gender issues and potential gender violence going to lead the party down a path towards the kind of game Jim profit is suggesting? (which would totally not be worth it to me.)


I think that there has maybe been some confusion about what I was asking. First of all, there is currently a prtty off-topic debate going on in another thread about **** as a potential threat to capture and whether or not the consequences of that are the same for male character versus female characters (a joke to be laughed off, versus a serious threat), but I think it also raises questions about the gender of the players and whether or not the situation changes based on the gender of the player regardless of the character's gender. 
But I also remember Errato posting about acts of gender violence, specifically women bashing comments, occurring at the gaming table itself outside of the game and many of the men at the table being willing to condone such behavior.

If it's OK with you, I'd prefer not to continue the latter discussion unless this thread start heading in that direction by itself. Not that I mind the subject (it actually bothers me that people treat it as a taboo), but it tends to get threads closed.

As for the first subject, I actually forgot an instance of gender based violence in my first post. From the other thread:


 a GM once had all our characters seduced by succubi/incubi, and when the guys found out they were hot, they all deliberately failed their will save, while my (female) character resisted. Because for those guys, the thought having sex with hot women was very appealing, and they didn't consider the lack of consent a problem (I'm sure they would if it happened in real life, but it just wasn't something they thought about), while my character was quite clear about not wanting to have sex with anyone against her will, regardless of how hot he was. If the situation had been similar to Boraxe's example (edit: an object shoved up a certain orifice) instead, I'm pretty sure their characters would have fought at least as hard as mine.

EDIT: These boards need an adult section.


JimProfit -  I am really glad that I have never had the misfortune of stumbling across this FATAL game because it sounds pretty terrible to me. **** and gay bashing present enough in the real world that I really don't see the pleasure in getting to "escape" by glorifying and romanticizing those kinds of behaviors in a role playing setting.

FATAL is a joke. Most people who know about it think it's an elaborate example of trolling, and the rest just wish they could believe that. It collects every bad RPG cliché, from rampant misogyny, racism, and homophobia, to needlessly complicated and dysfunctional rules (it includes stats for urination and tables for body orifice circumference). In a famous review, it was called "the date **** of RPGs", and in an almost equally famous 'rebuttal', the author objected to this statement on the basis that the game didn't mention dating. If someone makes a positive reference to it, it's a fairly safe bet that they're trolling,


The problems I have heard other people put forward about that is that it creates somewhat of a disconnect for them as role players because it doesn't make sense to them that the evil invaders would kill and steal, but draw a line in the sand at engaging in gender violence. I can sympathize with that, but as my primary role playing group any more includes a child, I am also ok with letting the realism slide on this account. 

It's often as much a matter of details. You don't need to know exactly what was done to the villagers before they were killed or robbed, you just need to know they're in need of help/vengeance. I'm fine with these descriptions in more mature games, but one thing I've found to be problematic, is when DMs make it too one-sided. If you don't have any grasp of the horrors of war and oppressive cultures apart from that women were treated like dirt and raped, you're not fit to DM (or possibly even play) a game like that.
I don't normally include sexual violence in my games cos play D&D to have fun and enjoy ourselves and that is something we find neither fun nor enjoyable.

I did use it once to great, and unpleasant, effect in a two-player game I ran years ago.

One PC was a priestess of a Goddess of Love. One of her sacraments was to have sex with the faithful. Essentially, they prostituted themselves for the goddess as part of their faith and were actually quite were regarded for it (a lot like Companions in Firefly, though this game predated it). Pretty much the greatest assault one could commit, and the greatest offense to the goddess, was **** of a priestess.*

The priestess was on an errand one day when she was set upon by what she thought were mere bandits. Things got serious, though, when it became clear they meant to **** her. Cue the second PC who happened upon this scene. Being a devout servant of all the gods he took great offense at his assault. He attacked and together they killed the bandits, only then discovering they were actually followers of a foul cult who desired to bring down the gods.

Now in this case the attempted **** was meant to show these guys meant business, to spur the PCs on to stop them. It was effective, but it was also quite unpleasant. It wasn't sexually explicit - the second PC truned up before it got that far - but the assault ended up feeling a little too raw and we required a break afterwards for everyone to kind of get their heads together again.

It was very effective and really brougt home the denger this cult presented, but I've no desire to go that route again. My games tend to be very dark and gritty, but were I ever to employ sexual violence as a storytelling tool again I will do so in a much more oblique "fade to black" manner.


* Note: All of this came from the player (female) whom I worked with to blend it into the cosmology and society of the game.
Advice for DMs: When you are ad lib or improve DMing don't self-edit yourself. Some of the most fun you'll ever have is by just going with whatever crazy thing crosses your mind based on what your players are doing. Advice for Players: When your DM is ad libbing there are bound to be plot holes and inconsistencies that crop up. You'll all have a lot more fun if you just roll with it instead of nitpicking the details.
Previous Advice
Advice for DMs: Always dangle a lot of plot hooks in front of you players. Anything they do not bite you can bring back and bite them later. When considering a new house rule ask yourself the question "Will this make the game more fun?" Unless the answer is a resounding yes don't do it. Advice for Players: Always tell the DM not just what you want to do but also what you are hoping to accomplish. No matter how logical the result is it will never happen if it simply never occurred to the DM. "That's what my character would do" is not a valid excuse for being a disruptive ass at the table. Your right to have fun only extends to the point where it impedes the ability of others to do likewise.
I have a feeling that wouldn't be well received in some of the groups I've played in. Or at least, if that ranger was good, he might suffer alignment consequences for disproportionate retribution.



Mmh, I can tell you that my experience has been that when confronted with gender violence the general reaction among players and DMs was the opposite; the most common comment would be "you're a good character, you can't let him get away with that".
Interested in reading about a Dark Sun 4e game? Here's the blog of our current campaign. My homebrew Dark Sun material: - the Lord of Blades, a melee oriented Kaisharga/Dead Lord
I'm currently playing an extended game of In a Wicked Age (we take turns mastering, and the plots are improvised out of semi-random elements from session to session, rather than planned, BTW). That has included some sexual coercion and violence, though very equal-opportunity regarding both physical sex and sexual orientation. Plus, the title of the game really says it. It's PvP Sword & Sorcery. And the sexual stuff isn't hugely prevalent, taking it's place along with all the other nasty things it's possible to do to people (as well as non-violent but potentially sneaky seduction).

In D&D? A long time ago, when my friends and I were confused and miserable teenagers on perpetual hormone overload, some icky and OoC hurtful sexual violence made it into a D&D game. Now we're older and wiser.

In general I like to not sanitize the background notion of gendered violence completely away from even moderately serious games, because people are nasty and opinionated bastards who tend to do things like that (along with many other sorts of badness), and a world where an eye turned towards gendered violence meets only blank greyness will seem flat to me, BUT I don't run or quietly tolerate games where gendered violence is overblown into a permanent primary consideration for anyone not a straight male.

In my current primary D&D game (where I'm a player, not a DM), racially based violence is a far bigger deal than gendered, understood as violence between imaginary but human ethnicities in the game. That has been a quite serious theme.
I played with a DM who was heading in this direction (establishing that since his world was medieval, women were treated like trash and men would casually insult female adventurers for the lulz), but it stopped when I objected too much (I don't mind a patriarchal society if there's a reason, but building a world as taken out of a MMORPG, and then adding heavy-handed misogyny for no apparent reason, is not acceptable in my book).



Was the world really the problem or was it your problem and you decided to make it the groups problem?
As a PC you could have had a chance to change things if you could deal with it for a while.
If your DM had said "This is the way things are and no one in the world could ever change it" I can see that being upsetting and warranting a discussion. But, hey, it probably made you feel really good forcing change of the whole world with no effort and making everyone else play in the mystical (b)land of "Everyone's Equal Because I Say So", which is what's unacceptable in my book.



I played in a game (3.5e via Neverwinter Nights RP server) where Sorcerers were not even second class people.
They had to earn the "privilege" to be treated as second class people.

All magic users were legally obligated to register themselves and submit to any demands the government magic guild made or they would face death, life imprisonment in anti-magic cells, or subjected to experiments. They were subject to bad treatment by NPC's including random insults and even a "witch hunter" (vigilante) group who killed any Sorcerers they knew of regardless of whether they were registered or not.
You'd be surprised how many people had at least one level of Sorcerer even knowing this.

Most people, including me since I usually play mages, had serious problems with this anti-magic setting at first.
(Some of) The player characters secretly plotted to change this, and eventually succeeded...
No thanks to me since I was playing a government rule loving TN (leaning toward LG) Human Wizard. (Though he did want better treatment for Sorcerers.)

Some of them went through hard times after being found out as "witches" becoming a slave for a noble, being locked up, among other things.
The work they did and the time and effort it took to be a real hero to the people made the outcome all the more satisfying.

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Most of the feelings I hear on any sex is that it is to be avoided. The exception is the random Barmaid (or Bartender) seduction by the PC's, and if they make the choice to seduce an NPC for some gain.
If a villain is said to have comitted ****, that is as far as the detail should go. Never put a PC in the place of being raped.
"Internet moderators have as much intelligence as the Sahara Desert has rain." - RubicantX ORC's are not known for high Int stats.
My not having **** in games I DMed is less about not offending women at the table and more of bad personal memories of one of my first DMs who was **** happy. It didn't matter whether I played a chick or a dude, dwarf or elf, good or evil, chances are by the end of the first or second adventure I was going to end up with something put somewhere without my consent. My male human cleric gets dropped to zero hitpoints by orcs? Imprison him, beat him, and put orc penis up his cornhole. My female elf wizard get dropped to zero hitpoints by bugbears? Imprison her, **** her, and now shes pregnant with an unabortable(trust me I tried) half elf/halfbugbear abomination.

All that crap was embarrassing and generally made you feel like ****. As a result, I decided it was best not to subject my players to that nonsense. I make up for it by having no issue killing off characters like it was a dang WW2 war movie.
Dark Sun DM starting October 18th 2010 Level 4 Tiefling Orbizard Level 3 Tiefling Telepath Psion

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D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium



Was the world really the problem or was it your problem and you decided to make it the groups problem?
As a PC you could have had a chance to change things if you could deal with it for a while.
If your DM had said "This is the way things are and no one in the world could ever change it" I can see that being upsetting and warranting a discussion. But, hey, it probably made you feel really good forcing change of the whole world with no effort and making everyone else play in the mystical (b)land of "Everyone's Equal Because I Say So", which is what's unacceptable in my book.




I would say much depends on the players, the DM and the environment.

For example, misogyny is hardly a problem in my girlfriend's everyday life. If anything it's more present in our gaming group (girls always get - often unwanted - special treatments from nerds) and while she does jokingly complain about it from time to time, she never did complain about ingame misogyny.

She actually complained to me when I had a very realistical, historical world and I wasn't playing out the misogyny.

One thing to consider is that heroes generally win. She didn't mind misogyny because in the end she was the one left standing. The fact that villagers may take her less seriously as an adventurer than the 7 ft tall half orc barbarian made landing the killing blow on the troll invader only sweeter.
In fact, misogyny started being a problem in one game only because our DM started to frustrate us with constant failure. We spent months and months basically losing every conflict we got into (we literally spent 4 months trying to rescue 2 party members and ultimately failed, and that killed the game) and at that point, with all the frustration and problems, she felt the misogyny was added punishment.

One of my past female gamers, when I asked her how she felt about me putting some misogyny in the game, she said something like "It's just another monster to fight, and since it's a very personal enemy, it makes my character more interesting".

I doubt there's an universal reaction and approach to these issues.
Interested in reading about a Dark Sun 4e game? Here's the blog of our current campaign. My homebrew Dark Sun material: - the Lord of Blades, a melee oriented Kaisharga/Dead Lord
Our main line is that sex and sexuality are rather irrelevant to most of the stories we might be running.

Occasionally, a player might have a fling, or even a relationship, but it will mostly take place off-screen. (certainly no graphic descriptions)

I once introduced an NPC who inflicted gender based violence on another NPC, to demonstrate to the players his absolute immorality. (he was a 'travelling art merchant' who had  a large cart with several statues, that were actually petrified people. The PCs witnessed him un-petrify one of the female statues and then use a domination collar to have his way with her)

Once, a PC of mine in a starwars game had an egg-cell stolen and used by the main villain to create offspring between him and her. (certainly not ****, but still a violation, and a gender based one)

Basically, we're all adults, and if we feel something like this is appropriate in the context of the story, we will include it. But we won't go out of our way to.

Of course, most of our games are 'dark and gritty'. If we do run 4-colour, we certainly have none of this.
I played with a DM who was heading in this direction (establishing that since his world was medieval, women were treated like trash and men would casually insult female adventurers for the lulz), but it stopped when I objected too much (I don't mind a patriarchal society if there's a reason, but building a world as taken out of a MMORPG, and then adding heavy-handed misogyny for no apparent reason, is not acceptable in my book).


Was the world really the problem or was it your problem and you decided to make it the groups problem?
As a PC you could have had a chance to change things if you could deal with it for a while.
If your DM had said "This is the way things are and no one in the world could ever change it" I can see that being upsetting and warranting a discussion. But, hey, it probably made you feel really good forcing change of the whole world with no effort and making everyone else play in the mystical (b)land of "Everyone's Equal Because I Say So", which is what's unacceptable in my book.


So, because she didn't hijack the campaign to go on a grand quest for gender equality in-game, her annoyance with the bad treatment of women in-game is not relevant or legitimate? Really?
I played in a game (3.5e via Neverwinter Nights RP server) where Sorcerers were not even second class people.
They had to earn the "privilege" to be treated as second class people.

(Some of) The player characters secretly plotted to change this, and eventually succeeded...


So... you identify strongly and personally with sorcerers?
I played with a DM who was heading in this direction (establishing that since his world was medieval, women were treated like trash and men would casually insult female adventurers for the lulz), but it stopped when I objected too much (I don't mind a patriarchal society if there's a reason, but building a world as taken out of a MMORPG, and then adding heavy-handed misogyny for no apparent reason, is not acceptable in my book).

Was the world really the problem or was it your problem and you decided to make it the groups problem?
As a PC you could have had a chance to change things if you could deal with it for a while.
If your DM had said "This is the way things are and no one in the world could ever change it" I can see that being upsetting and warranting a discussion. But, hey, it probably made you feel really good forcing change of the whole world with no effort and making everyone else play in the mystical (b)land of "Everyone's Equal Because I Say So", which is what's unacceptable in my book.

Damn, you must be the first person who thinks that the reason WoW is bland, boring, inconsistent, and doesn't encourage roleplaying, is that there aren't enough players and NPCs telling the female characters how worthless and inferior they are, and making rudely sexual comments all the time for no particular reason.

This must be the first time I'm actually glad that a guy (from what I recall) is gay, for the sole reason that he wont feel sexually inclined to seek out girls for his "The king turns to the female player and say "You suck, you're good for nothing but sex", and then proceeds to tell you about your quest" kind of games. Really, misogyny for the lulz=depth, a lack of contempt for women=blandness, and they say the SCUM manifesto had the wrong idea?

Really, misogyny for the lulz=depth, a lack of contempt for women=blandness, and they say the SCUM manifesto had the wrong idea?



Oh ****. I thought the concept of the man-hating feminist was hyperbole. I now see that it is reality. I guess its time all of us men packed our bags and got ready to be put in death camps.
Dark Sun DM starting October 18th 2010 Level 4 Tiefling Orbizard Level 3 Tiefling Telepath Psion

12.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

Oh ****. I thought the concept of the man-hating feminist was hyperbole. I now see that it is reality. I guess its time all of us men packed our bags and got ready to be put in death camps.


Speaking of hyperbole…
Advice for DMs: When you are ad lib or improve DMing don't self-edit yourself. Some of the most fun you'll ever have is by just going with whatever crazy thing crosses your mind based on what your players are doing. Advice for Players: When your DM is ad libbing there are bound to be plot holes and inconsistencies that crop up. You'll all have a lot more fun if you just roll with it instead of nitpicking the details.
Previous Advice
Advice for DMs: Always dangle a lot of plot hooks in front of you players. Anything they do not bite you can bring back and bite them later. When considering a new house rule ask yourself the question "Will this make the game more fun?" Unless the answer is a resounding yes don't do it. Advice for Players: Always tell the DM not just what you want to do but also what you are hoping to accomplish. No matter how logical the result is it will never happen if it simply never occurred to the DM. "That's what my character would do" is not a valid excuse for being a disruptive ass at the table. Your right to have fun only extends to the point where it impedes the ability of others to do likewise.

One of my past female gamers, when I asked her how she felt about me putting some misogyny in the game, she said something like "It's just another monster to fight, and since it's a very personal enemy, it makes my character more interesting".

I doubt there's an universal reaction and approach to these issues.



THis is why I think talking about it as an issue is worth my time, because I think there are interesting and positive things that can come out of including some gender violence in a role playing game, but I can also see it turning into something that could be really disturbing for some audiences. It seems like getting to know your players pretty well is necessary for constructing deep plots that contain potentially difficult plot material for some folks. I kind of wonder if this plays out much differently on play by post type Role playing where none of the players know each other or if it would pretty much be the same as at a table. I have DMed a PbP D&D game where characters have had pretty graphic experiences of sexual violence as a part of their background and then she nearly killed another PC in a friendly staff fighting tournament when he made triggering comments. The other PC pretty much stopped posting shortly after that episode, but had said that he might have to drop out anyway for RL reasons and so I never found out if the two were related.
Was the world really the problem or was it your problem and you decided to make it the groups problem?
As a PC you could have had a chance to change things if you could deal with it for a while.
If your DM had said "This is the way things are and no one in the world could ever change it" I can see that being upsetting and warranting a discussion. But, hey, it probably made you feel really good forcing change of the whole world with no effort and making everyone else play in the mystical (b)land of "Everyone's Equal Because I Say So", which is what's unacceptable in my book.

Even asking suggests that you don't know, which makes your subsequent tirade both presumptuous and disrespectful. Cool your jets and don't jump to conclusions. Besides which, the entire setting being hostile toward one of the PCs, regardless of the reason (or lack thereof), unfairly singles out that character's player. The group has a responsibility not to heedlessly screw over any of its members for lulz, because that is hostile to the player. Stringing one player along and bullying them for the amusement of the rest of the group is what's unacceptable.
I played in a game (3.5e via Neverwinter Nights RP server) where Sorcerers were not even second class people.
They had to earn the "privilege" to be treated as second class people.

(Some of) The player characters secretly plotted to change this, and eventually succeeded...


So... you identify strongly and personally with sorcerers?

I'd like to know that, too. Sorcery is who you are, not something you do? It's who you are in real life, and you felt personally singled out and persecuted by this? Really, RubicantX, you just equated practicing magic with being female? It boggles the mind.
Really, misogyny for the lulz=depth, a lack of contempt for women=blandness, and they say the SCUM manifesto had the wrong idea?


Oh ****. I thought the concept of the man-hating feminist was hyperbole. I now see that it is reality. I guess its time all of us men packed our bags and got ready to be put in death camps.

This construction isn't as much of a semantic parallelism as you think. She was saying that example of rampant, senseless mysogyny was just as bad as the SCUM Manifesto, and that if one is decried, so must the other be. She was not saying that the SCUM Manifesto had the right idea.
His Sorcerer to Female analogy is applicable in terms of talking about singling out the player indirectly by singling out their character (the first point in your post).  I know plenty of settings that have had anti magic, anti race, anti whatever elements. Because players tend toward avoiding doubling up on character types inside a party, its very often that the anti- ends up targeting just one PC (ie, you say 'Ok, in this world, Wizards are hated' - you still probably only have one wizard in the group).  Its by their own choice, as well, unless you don't tell them much about the world before chargen.  

Obviously, if being the hated whatever constantly gets their character screwed over, its not going to be fun, but that is generically bad DMing.  Conversely, a lot of people try to be part of the hated group specifically BECAUSE its likely to get them plot focus/spotlight time/etc.  Heck, I had one game (3.5) where I restricted spellcasting severely due to deep hatred/stigma, removing most of the 'good' caster classes and only allowing people to play the goofier, suboptimal ones (the hatred had simply wiped out those pure casters).  Despite this... the party ended up being comprised ENTIRELY of spellcasters.  If you have a group thats concerned with roleplaying at all, this seems like a natural and likely outcome much of the time: people gravitating toward the drama, seeking out ways to hook themselves into the conflict of the setting, etc.

At a first glance, highlighting anti-female discrimination because a player can be female IRL (and not an orc or a warlock) seems plausible, but I don't know that it holds up as a problem in and of itself (unless the DM really has an agenda).  You might not be an orc or a warlock IRL, but MOST D&D players, not being the highest elite of society, have probably dealt with being excluded, being outsiders, being mistreated for some reason that they have no control over at some point in their life.  Fighting for the underdog is something that resonates with most people (because most people, again, are not at the top) which is precisely why its such a common thematic element to throw in the mix.
THis is why I think talking about it as an issue is worth my time, because I think there are interesting and positive things that can come out of including some gender violence in a role playing game (snip)

There is no doubt that gender based violence, and gender issues in general, can be interesting and bring depth to a campaign, as can a number of other social issues such as class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and religion. However, more often than not, it seems to be used as a cheap gimmick to make a world seem 'dark', 'authentic', 'nuanced', 'gritty' etc., without actually putting a lot of thought into it, and without it providing any difficulties for the majority of players (i.e. males).

For some reason, I have seen precious few girls line up to tell me how rewarding and and plausible it is to play in a sexist world, but I have heard plenty of guys saying that if I don't accept difficulties for my roles that their roles don't have to deal with, it means there's something wrong with me. To me, that just seems cheap.


I've played a lot of LARP, and there's one conflict that almost always stands out: Who's going to get the powerful roles, and who'll have to play the minions. There are always more people who want to play influential roles, both because roles can act as wish fulfilment, and because influential roles are simply more fun to play. There was frequently a problem with people playing less influential characters getting bored, and people spending a lot of time (in or out of game) gaining power for their characters, which led to resentment and a too deep investment in the characters in question (for the wrong reasons).


This conflict to me seems very similar to what happens when some characters are placed below others, and/or victimised, based on outside factors rather than the players' own choices of character (in this case, many people have trouble cross-playing, and some DMs wont even allow it, meaning that playing a member of the opposite sex is not as simple as playing a different character class – I've seen a lot of people who changed their class/race all the time, but always played the same gender, but never anyone who played different genders all the time, but never changed class or race). The players who're put on top will often be very busy explaining what a great experience it is for everybody (and how they sometimes choose to play characters on the bottom too so it's totally fair), and will frequently be oblivious to how things look from the other side.


spoilered for size

Of course, some people find it challenging to play oppressed or low ranking roles, but at least in LARPing, those are usually the players who've already had their share of powerful roles (and know they can get more), and have a network of people to make it work. I played in a Vampire campaign with a character I always intended to be submissive to the clan elders, but after having experienced how dependent you become of others to make things interesting, I got rid of my elders so my character became the leader of her clan (and stayed there for over a year, until I dropped out), not because it fitted her personality, but because it allowed me to create my own fun.


In a medieval inspired campaign, I got praised for being just about the only young noblewoman who didn't sleep around, because the girls playing noblewomen got so bored by their roles (seriously, there's a reason women have such a long history of being resentful towards patriarchy: It sucks) that they tried to create sexual scandals mostly to get the male players (whom they depended on to involve them in the game, having no outside authority themselves) to pay attention to them. My character's sister and sister-in-law both had affairs with some of the enemies of our house (and the sister-in-law furthermore decided that having just one of my character's brothers wasn't enough) for no reason except the lulz.


So when someone approaches me with the attitude "Guess what? We're going to play a game in which you're going to be a peasant and we're going to be part of the nobility, so your character is going to be saddled with a butt-load of problems that we're completely free of, and you get to be restricted in ways we aren't, and as a bonus, your character get to be treated like dirt for the whole time and it'll all relate to real issues that we don't give a damn about. And it's totally going to be so challenging for us not to have to worry about our social standing the way you have to, and it'll make the campaign really gritty that bad things will happen to your character, and it's going to be so exiting that we'll be influential and you wont" I'll probably remain sceptical.


That's not to say it can't be done well, but the way misogyny has become synonymous with depth, plausibility, and good roleplaying in certain circles really bothers me. It encourages DMs who otherwise don't include (m)any social issues in their game to just slap it onto whatever world they've otherwise created, regardless of whether it makes sense. And again, it's so cheap. It reminds me of the GMs and senior players in certain LARP games, who get to play whatever they like and choose to give themselves the most powerful roles more often than not, lecturing newer players on the joy and challenges of playing a peasant in a feudal society.


There's such a holier-than-thou mentality surrounding it, so many people feeling entitled to tell you what's wrong with you if you don't like the role they planned for you, and so many people who feel no obligation to actually make violence and oppression multifaceted, affecting many characters in many different ways, because simple misogyny has somehow become such an accepted and praised DMing and roleplaying technique that it is considered its own justification.


In my opinion, when someone includes sexism against women in their campaign, particularly of the heavy-handed variety, they should be expected to explain themselves, just like people are usually expected to explain themselves if they include sexism against men. There should be some meaning behind it (and "it's medieval" only counts if you're also including all the other aspects of that time that people usually forget about), there should be some negative aspects in it for males too, there should be some variation between different cultures (and especially different species), there should be exceptions, it should fit into some overall system etc.


And yet, I've rarely seen anyone being asked to justify sexism against women in a game. On the other hand, objecting to it certainly makes a good deal of people assume the worst of you. Even explaining that the sexism you objected to mostly consisted of insulting women for the lulz, rather than having any actual purpose, and assuring that you don't mind a patriarchal society if it has some more thought and consideration to it than "women were treated like trash in medieval times, female characters are going to be treated like trash here, despite it not being a very medieval campaign" wont absolve you from the crime of having offended the concept of misogyny. Because misogyny=depth, and a lack of misogyny=blandness and a lack of dimensions.



I've reached the conclusion that including gender based violence and discrimination against women is actually, as a rule, the easy way out. It's relatable, so you're not forced to use your imagination or familiarise yourself with any strange concepts in order to include it, it's one of most the archetypical (if not always correctly implemented) medieval cultural traits so it'll give a campaign an authentic historical flavour with little effort required, it's acknowledged as horrible and thus able to serve as the mandatory grittiness that every intelligent story is apparently supposed to contain, and yet, since the majority of gamers are still male, it can have ridiculously few consequences (and even be less personal as a bonus) in a lot of campaigns, and can thus enable many people to feel good about playing a dark campaign without actually touching anything uncomfortable for themselves.


But as easy as it is, it doesn't always make for a good campaign. Every single DM/GM/Storyteller I've played with who bought into the misogyny=depth school of thought has done a terrible job of implementing it in a way that added to the story (instead, it became nothing but an annoying undercurrent, completely superfluous to the actual game). I'd say that the main reason this subject needs to be approached carefully (as does the subject of gendered violence against men, but that's for another post), is not that it's deep and complicated and sensitive, it's that it's actually a freaking cliché, which often serves little purpose except making a campaign seem superficially adult, while adding absolutely nothing of value to it. The challenge will usually be to either take the cliché and do something interesting with it, adding nuances, or to tone it down to the point where it doesn't overwhelm all the other social, political, and psychological conflicts and issues in the campaign.

But as easy as it is, it doesn't always make for a good campaign. Every single DM/GM/Storyteller I've played with who bought into the misogyny=depth school of thought has done a terrible job of implementing it in a way that added to the story (instead, it became nothing but an annoying undercurrent, completely superfluous to the actual game). I'd say that the main reason this subject needs to be approached carefully (as does the subject of gendered violence against men, but that's for another post), is not that it's deep and complicated and sensitive, it's that it's actually a freaking cliché, which often serves little purpose except making a campaign seem superficially adult, while adding absolutely nothing of value to it. The challenge will usually be to either take the cliché and do something interesting with it, adding nuances, or to tone it down to the point where it doesn't overwhelm all the other social, political, and psychological conflicts and issues in the campaign.



'This is a really interesting point that I haven't thought much about before. Thank you for bringing it up. It seems like one of the keys is that if you are going to bring it into your campaign as a plot element, it needs to be a lot more thought out than, "this is just the way it was." and include capabilities for the PCs to be active agents of change, the same as you would handle other antagonistic campaign elements. It also seems like using it to single out a single PC while giving other PCs a potential lift is a bad idea (all the guys can be heros just fine but what is the deal with that woman that runs with them?)
There is no doubt that gender based violence, and gender issues in general, can be interesting and bring depth to a campaign, as can a number of other social issues such as class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and religion. However, more often than not, it seems to be used as a cheap gimmick to make a world seem 'dark', 'authentic', 'nuanced', 'gritty' etc., without actually putting a lot of thought into it, and without it providing any difficulties for the majority of players (i.e. males)



That's a pretty sweeping generalization.
For us the point was that we were playing in gritty worlds; I had games where barbarian empires would invade the civilized world, and yes, where they conquered, women were raped, but men were killed. I had the players stumble into an assaulted village; women and children were gone (they later saved the prisoners, and yes, some women had been abused). Men were still in the village, their manhoods cut off and them impaled on greased poles.

We had games were matriarchal elven societies had the warrior women cut the last phalanx of the opposable thumb and the right ankle tendon of all male boys around the age of 10 to prevent them from becoming warriors; we had games about racial genocide, we had male players being tortured by the Inquisition for being black, african demons and we had players risking being burned at the stakes for being witches (and we're talking of a male elf ranger here).

Dark, gritty games exist and there's stuff going on in them that makes gender violence seem something pretty tame; and still gender violence made us all more uneasy than impaling or torture, and so we skipped it more often than not, but removing it all together would have killed any sense of authenticity.

For some reason, I have seen precious few girls line up to tell me how rewarding and and plausible it is to play in a sexist world, but I have heard plenty of guys saying that if I don't accept difficulties for my roles that their roles don't have to deal with, it means there's something wrong with me. To me, that just seems cheap.


I would never question you based on my male friends' perception; however, in the last week I interrogated my girlfriend, my sister and the female gamers of my gaming club, and I foundt none of them to share your concern.


Some of them are those who complained about me skipping gender violence in worlds that were otherwise realistical or gritty. They had a plethora of different reasons - from liking the idea of having a fantasy environment where sexist, discrimination and violence was something you could fight and punish, to them saying it was unfair that they had to face gender violence in real life but their fantasy heroine was spared, to them saying that they wanted an immersive world and imagining a primitive world with more advanced parity than our own was just disruptive. I think they may be influenced by the fact that they live in a fairly un-sexist environment, but they seemed to be a lot more relaxed than you seem to be on the issue. Case in point, my girlfriend loves sexist arseholes she can beat up ingame; and not always it's something she can defeat or win, and sometimes she has to take it, but she shares the opinion of the other player that it's added dept to add to the character.



This conflict to me seems very similar to what happens when some characters are placed below others, and/or victimised, based on outside factors rather than the players' own choices of character (in this case, many people have trouble cross-playing, and some DMs wont even allow it, meaning that playing a member of the opposite sex is not as simple as playing a different character class – I've seen a lot of people who changed their class/race all the time, but always played the same gender, but never anyone who played different genders all the time, but never changed class or race). The players who're put on top will often be very busy explaining what a great experience it is for everybody (and how they sometimes choose to play characters on the bottom too so it's totally fair), and will frequently be oblivious to how things look from the other side.


Once again, my experience differs.


At some point in our "fantasy medieval europe" game we attracted the attention of the Spanish Inquisition. They were on a hunt to eradicate elves from the world; they also didn't appreciate our Nubian barbarian.


So the game became mostly about them, and they were discriminated to the point that we needed to disguise the elf and he had to sleep in the woods when we took lodging in tavern... and he loved it. Every bloody minute, until our DM made the idiotic mistake of having them captured and removing them from the game for almost 3 months. But before that, "discrimination" and racism made that player's gaming experience a lot more enjoyable.


I remember another situation. We reached a village whose mayor (or the count) had just been murdered. The housemaid is in jail, framed for the murder. Turns up the village is your typical back-of-the-woods community, and they're taking the easy way out (girl + druidic religion + dead guy = witch). As they prepare for a trial and burning her at the stake, we find out that her boyfriend helped her out (according to the villagers) but he's not getting burnt because he's a guy. Our female player isn't too happy about it.


In the end we manage to uncover the truth, and prove she's not guilty; however, the village still wants to burn the witch. We get to the place and our female player jumps on stage and challenges anyone to try and put on the fire. One of the villagers yells to the group "You let a woman talk for you?" and the party's fighter grins "Only if she orders me so" and whips out his two handed axe. (We ended up taking the girl and her boyfriend with us for a while).


 


 


In my opinion, when someone includes sexism against women in their campaign, particularly of the heavy-handed variety, they should be expected to explain themselves, just like people are usually expected to explain themselves if they include sexism against men. There should be some meaning behind it (and "it's medieval" only counts if you're also including all the other aspects of that time that people usually forget about), there should be some negative aspects in it for males too, there should be some variation between different cultures (and especially different species), there should be exceptions, it should fit into some overall system etc.



Again, not my experience. When I tell my players that the invading army is sending guys to the mines and girls stay home and may be forced to entertain soldiers, and fighters are getting their right hand cutted off, I never hear the girls say "so unfair that the girls get raped!".

Besides, history has always been biased toward men. A fantasy world is much like the Middle Age; it's a barbaric age where physical strength dictates how the power ladder works; and since women are on average weaker than men, by removing sexism in fantasy worlds you're either saying that men in those worlds are more enlightened than they've been in ours (they still have human sacrifices and wage war for superstitions but they're well past sexism!), or that (and this is the most disgusting thing in my opinion), the not-so-worth women are absent from fantasy world, replaced by the much more interesting gender called MagiWomen, who are fundamentally men with boobs, having the same average physical characteristics than guys and being much worthier of room in a fantasy novel than our ordinary, puny real life ones. Bleh.

While sexism emerged as an issue a few times among our female gamers, much like guys for them the most important thing is suspension of disbelief; there's nothing in the rules saying that halflings are on average weaker than humans (well, not anymore) but if most of my players want to roleplay the fact that most child-sized creatures are weaker than humans, and 18 str halflings are freaks of nature.
To a lesser extent, my female gamers expect me to behave accordingly with women, because they have a terribly hard time "zoning" in a world where genders work radically differently from how they do in ours.

Incidentally, I only run one D&D game with a female DM; she had a rule. Female characters could decide to take a -2 Str penality to get +2 to Dex or Cha. Male characters could get a -2 Wis penality to get +2 to Cos or Cha. Most women took their penality, almost no male took his. Being "weak" is much better than being dumb.

And yet, I've rarely seen anyone being asked to justify sexism against women in a game.


It's realism. Seriously, how much issues do we discuss here every week about how sexist our world is, but if we try to recreate a realistical environment in our fantasy one, we need to justify it? If you tell me pulling it off well is hard, I agree, but no justification is needed, much like no justification is needed for having orcs hating elves.


On the other hand, objecting to it certainly makes a good deal of people assume the worst of you. Even explaining that the sexism you objected to mostly consisted of insulting women for the lulz, rather than having any actual purpose, and assuring that you don't mind a patriarchal society if it has some more thought and consideration to it than "women were treated like trash in medieval times, female characters are going to be treated like trash here, despite it not being a very medieval campaign" wont absolve you from the crime of having offended the concept of misogyny. Because misogyny=depth, and a lack of misogyny=blandness and a lack of dimensions.


I'm completely unfamiliar to the concept of "insulting women for the lulz". I cannot know the dept of roleplay of your groups, but it's not something I can relate to thinking of mine.


Once again, NOTHING gets guys uneasy as gender violence in my games. Most of the time we historically had no girl at the table and still gender violence was what caused the strongest reactions - more then murder, more than torture. I can only assume you're rather unfortunate with the male guys in your gaming life I fear .


 


I've reached the conclusion that including gender based violence and discrimination against women is actually, as a rule, the easy way out.


I deeply disagree; few things are harder to handle well than gender violence. However, removing sexism and gender discrimination completely from our games definitely becomes an issue if we have female gamers at the table, because while if it's an all guys table we can simply put MagiWomen in the game and forget about it, girls will notice and girls will question it; at least, that's my experience.


it's acknowledged as horrible and thus able to serve as the mandatory grittiness that every intelligent story is apparently supposed to contain,


It's a drop in the sea of grittiness. However, it's very hard to run a story about a barbarian army conquering and performing a racial genocide which includes replacing the people in the invaded country with their own and excluding ****.


and yet, since the majority of gamers are still male, it can have ridiculously few consequences (and even be less personal as a bonus) in a lot of campaigns, and can thus enable many people to feel good about playing a dark campaign without actually touching anything uncomfortable for themselves.


It depends; I've never seen a player perform an act of gender relevant violence, so if you see those happen performed by players and they get away with it, the issue isn't gender violence but the people you play with.


Besides, who says it's not uncomfortable for the male players? One of the incredibly few episodes of gender violence I played out was when one of my players was adventuring and his stepbrother (it was an epic level game) infiltrated his mansion and abused his wife. The player was very touched and very uncomfortable.


(as does the subject of gendered violence against men, but that's for another post)



Isn't "gendered" violence against men the norm? If the world is realistical and most warriors are men, they get most of the violence. As in cut of limbs, crucifixion, impalement, being eaten by a monster who usually feeds on trash, crossbow bolts in the stomach...
Men don't usually get gender violence or sexual abuse because most of them are straight and most of them would rather lash on women (not only because they're "weaker" but because they prefer them as a sexual target). This is a case were looking for parity really runs the risk of shattering ANY form of quality in your storytelling; I just come from a thread where my observation that a group of bandits would probably consider abusing a female adventure was answered by saying that the female bandits could carry strapons. I don't know if I should laugh or cry.
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I deeply disagree; few things are harder to handle well than gender violence.


My emphasis, and the point worth picking out of this discussion. Gendered violence is seriously icky stuff on many levels. That doesn't mean it should be blanket banned (which I haven't seen anyone here advocating), but if you're going to do it, take the effort and do it well.

Also, strapons aren't a necessity for carrying out acts of sexual violence.
Besides, history has always been biased toward men. A fantasy world is much like the Middle Age; it's a barbaric age where physical strength dictates how the power ladder works; and since women are on average weaker than men, by removing sexism in fantasy worlds you're either saying that men in those worlds are more enlightened than they've been in ours (they still have human sacrifices and wage war for superstitions but they're well past sexism!), or that (and this is the most disgusting thing in my opinion), the not-so-worth women are absent from fantasy world, replaced by the much more interesting gender called MagiWomen, who are fundamentally men with boobs, having the same average physical characteristics than guys and being much worthier of room in a fantasy novel than our ordinary, puny real life ones. Bleh.

Or, you know, that physical strength isn't the sole deciding factor in a fantasy world?  4e has 25 classes.  Of those 25, only 5 of them must use Strength (and it only applies to 7 more classes as a possible secondary or optional primary).  That means that well over half of all people who actually matter in the world don't rely on physical strength to any real degree, and only 20% of them have to be strong. 

In the end though, I think the real place where you differ from most, or at least everyone I know, is that simulation of reality is important to you for some reason.  I really don't understand that, honestly, but knowing that is what you care about, I can see your case.

Of course, if you really do want simulation, then we should maybe discuss your group's gross misunderstanding of medieval Europe, especially the Inquisition and witch trials.  ;)
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Or, you know, that physical strength isn't the sole deciding factor in a fantasy world?  4e has 25 classes.  Of those 25, only 5 of them must use Strength (and it only applies to 7 more classes as a possible secondary or optional primary).  That means that well over half of all people who actually matter in the world don't rely on physical strength to any real degree, and only 20% of them have to be strong.



While this is absolutely true, remember also that PCs are supposed to be a tiny minority of society, so applying the ratios of PC classes to the world at large isn't really helpful. PCs are going to be the exceptions, rather than the rules.
That's a pretty sweeping generalization.
For us the point was that we were playing in gritty worlds.

And as I said, gendered violence against women is one of the cheapest and easiest ways of making that clear. It doesn't mean it's always wrong, but it's not exactly the mark of quality a lot of people seem to think it is.

I would never question you based on my male friends' perception; however, in the last week I interrogated my girlfriend, my sister and the female gamers of my gaming club, and I foundt none of them to share your concern.

But none of them have acted sickeningly moralising about it to my face either. Interestingly, most of the girls who act condescending towards people who're sceptical towards the use of casual misogyny, tend to be a lot more obviously hostile in other areas, whereas the guys are often fairly normal and seem to do it as a matter of habit.

they wanted an immersive world and imagining a primitive world with more advanced parity than our own was just disruptive.

Why? Civilisation doesn't move in a straight line from oppression to egalitarianism, and parity is not nearly as advanced a concept as many of the social institutions promoting bigotry today and in the past. Not to mention that other animals are, by all accounts, more primitive than us, and that doesn't prevent them from having a variety of gender roles.

Again, not my experience.

It's not your experience that people who include heavy-handed sexism against women in their campaigns are expected to be able to explain themselves? Yes, I agree, that's why I wrote that in my opinion, they should.

Besides, history has always been biased toward men. A fantasy world is much like the Middle Age; it's a barbaric age where physical strength dictates how the power ladder works; and since women are on average weaker than men, by removing sexism in fantasy worlds you're either saying that men in those worlds are more enlightened than they've been in ours (they still have human sacrifices and wage war for superstitions but they're well past sexism!), or that (and this is the most disgusting thing in my opinion), the not-so-worth women are absent from fantasy world, replaced by the much more interesting gender called MagiWomen, who are fundamentally men with boobs, having the same average physical characteristics than guys and being much worthier of room in a fantasy novel than our ordinary, puny real life ones. Bleh.

1: Physical strength has not dictated how the power-ladder worked in plenty of cases. To give a few examples: Tribal elders, Romans, aristocracy, money, religion.

2: The world of D&D contains a lot of creatures who aren't human, and giving them all human physical differences, and slavishly modelling all their societies after human cultures, is lazy – which is fine if you don't feel like putting too much thought into your campaign world, but if that's the case, why did you bother spelling out the misogyny in the first place?


3: Technical prowess has often beaten physical might, even in more primitive times. Adding magic to that equation just lessens the impact of physical strength even further.


4: There is nothing implausible about a culture which is cruel, barbaric, and/or oppressive, and yet doesn't count oppression of women among it's many atrocities. The government of China, for instance, while employing torture and committing human rights violations left and right, is very keen on gender equality, and you yourself brought up the example of missionaries who were deeply racist, exploitive, and prone to forcing unwanted change on African cultures, and yet still wanted to liberate African women.


5: Even though you find it hard to imagine different forms of societies, you really shouldn't be surprised that many fantasy fans don't share that problem. Modern gender roles are a result of a mixture of human nature, and thousands of years of cultural development, affected by a multitude of outside factors. Change any of that, and you change the gender roles.


It's realism. Seriously, how much issues do we discuss here every week about how sexist our world is, but if we try to recreate a realistical environment in our fantasy one, we need to justify it? If you tell me pulling it off well is hard, I agree, but no justification is needed, much like no justification is needed for having orcs hating elves.

One look at D&D should tell you that realism is pretty far down the list of priorities, and yet, the game actually does give some explanation for why elves hate orcs – in ages past, Corellon Larethian put out the eye of Gruumsh, the god of orcs, in a fight. Also, Garl Glittergold collapsed the cave of Kurtulmak (god of kobolds) as joke, and there's an ongoing enmity between Corellon and Lolth, which explains why drow are matriarchal (and that can of worms has definitely been explained, criticised, justified, and elaborated upon countless of times), and was carried over into 4E.

Many 'Races of....' books also contain some description of why various races are at odds. And of course, D&D isn't usually very deep, realistic, or gritty in itself, so the fact that these things are even explained (well or not) indicates that the bar must be pretty low if you're just declaring that it is so, without even considering the underlying causes or the purpose of your conflicts. And for that matter, the idea of a racial hatred between elves and orcs originated in LotR, where it is definitely explained.


And while we can agree that it is hard to do well, it is also, from what I've seen both in real life and here, ridiculously easy to just do. No consequences, no explanation needed, and everybody who doesn't go along is just a spoilsport who likes to force change on the whole world with no effort (which is funny, because that indicates that putting misogyny into the world actually required an effort in the first place).


I'm completely unfamiliar to the concept of "insulting women for the lulz". I cannot know the dept of roleplay of your groups, but it's not something I can relate to thinking of mine.

A lot of the games I've played in have been fairly relaxed, and focussed on adventure more than social issues (think David Eddings more than George R. R. Martin for level of depth). But because so many of you wonderful fellow D&D players have laid the groundwork for getting misogyny in gaming accepted not only as neutral and unbiased, but also as something unanimously positive and right, it means that even DMs who otherwise make no attempt to explore social issues, or make their campaign worlds realistic and internally consistent, sometimes include it just because.

Once again, NOTHING gets guys uneasy as gender violence in my games. Most of the time we historically had no girl at the table and still gender violence was what caused the strongest reactions - more then murder, more than torture. I can only assume you're rather unfortunate with the male guys in your gaming life I fear .

It's been mixed. Most gamers are alright, but the few that aren't tend to be able to get away with more than in less tolerant social circles.

I deeply disagree; few things are harder to handle well than gender violence. However, removing sexism and gender discrimination completely from our games definitely becomes an issue if we have female gamers at the table, because while if it's an all guys table we can simply put MagiWomen in the game and forget about it, girls will notice and girls will question it; at least, that's my experience.

Why do you assume it's the women who need to change? Say what you want about physical strength, but the footsoldiers who constitute the majority of an army actually aren't very powerful compared to the generals, landowners, merchants, and priests, who don't rely on physical prowess at all. You're looking at a social issue, not a physical issue.

It's a drop in the sea of grittiness. However, it's very hard to run a story about a barbarian army conquering and performing a racial genocide which includes replacing the people in the invaded country with their own and excluding ****.

If you're aiming for grittiness, sure. But a lot of D&D games don't, especially not to that degree. And there's always a distinct possibility that it wont just be a drop in the sea, but rather a lake surrounded by dry land.

Besides, who says it's not uncomfortable for the male players? One of the incredibly few episodes of gender violence I played out was when one of my players was adventuring and his stepbrother (it was an epic level game) infiltrated his mansion and abused his wife. The player was very touched and very uncomfortable.

That reminds me of a comment that the murder of several women (explicitly because they were women) wasn't an attack on women, because it must also hurt their fathers and brothers. It's a bit like saying "apartheid is really hard on us white people, many of us have black friends!".

Isn't "gendered" violence against men the norm? If the world is realistical and most warriors are men, they get most of the violence. As in cut of limbs, crucifixion, impalement, being eaten by a monster who usually feeds on trash, crossbow bolts in the stomach...

I wouldn't consider women abusing each other to automatically be gendered violence, so I'll not do it for men either. If violence in which the people committing it, and the people receiving it, just happened to be a certain gender, automatically counted as gendered violence, then all violence would be gendered.
A fantasy world is much like the Middle Age; it's a barbaric age where physical strength dictates how the power ladder works;


Only if you want it do be. Just cos our Middle Ages were a certain way does not mean a fanatsy game loosely inspired by them must be the same.

and since women are on average weaker than men, by removing sexism in fantasy worlds you're either saying that men in those worlds are more enlightened than they've been in ours (they still have human sacrifices and wage war for superstitions but they're well past sexism!), or that (and this is the most disgusting thing in my opinion), the not-so-worth women are absent from fantasy world, replaced by the much more interesting gender called MagiWomen, who are fundamentally men with boobs, having the same average physical characteristics than guys and being much worthier of room in a fantasy novel than our ordinary, puny real life ones. Bleh.


No, it's saying "this is a game, not a history lesson".

You can run your games however you wish, but trying to paint your take on it as the only correct and real one is patently absurd. The D&D universe is not our universe. The humans of the D&D universe are not the humans of ours. In the D&D universe males and females have the same mental and physical potentials because they are a different species, it has nothing to do with you derisive sarcasm and arrogance about "MagiWomen" and "men with boobs".

However, it's very hard to run a story about a barbarian army conquering and performing a racial genocide which includes replacing the people in the invaded country with their own and excluding ****.


It's not hard at all, actually. The Vikings are pretty much the prototype for the D&D barbarian raider and they they did not ****. Even Conan himself, the archetype of the fanatsy barbarian was not, to the best of my recollection, a rapist. So why then should it be so hard to imagine a barbarian invasion sans ****?
Advice for DMs: When you are ad lib or improve DMing don't self-edit yourself. Some of the most fun you'll ever have is by just going with whatever crazy thing crosses your mind based on what your players are doing. Advice for Players: When your DM is ad libbing there are bound to be plot holes and inconsistencies that crop up. You'll all have a lot more fun if you just roll with it instead of nitpicking the details.
Previous Advice
Advice for DMs: Always dangle a lot of plot hooks in front of you players. Anything they do not bite you can bring back and bite them later. When considering a new house rule ask yourself the question "Will this make the game more fun?" Unless the answer is a resounding yes don't do it. Advice for Players: Always tell the DM not just what you want to do but also what you are hoping to accomplish. No matter how logical the result is it will never happen if it simply never occurred to the DM. "That's what my character would do" is not a valid excuse for being a disruptive ass at the table. Your right to have fun only extends to the point where it impedes the ability of others to do likewise.

In the D&D universe males and females have the same mental and physical potentials because they are a different species, it has nothing to do with you derisive sarcasm and arrogance about "MagiWomen" and "men with boobs".




Exactly my point.
In D&D, men get to be like they are in real life; women, however, need to be changed, because they're clearly unworthy of being represented as they are in real life.

If I wanted to make the same kind of ungrounded and hilarous extrapolation I've seen used against me before (when someone suggested I was saying that **** isn't a problem if the raper is attractive), I could accuse you of fantasizing about a perfect, ideal world were women don't actually exist aside from their sexual role.

It may be my mindset, and it may be wrong, but the idea that I can translate men as they are in D&D and they are fine but I need to fix women to make them work in the game isn't something I want to support.
Interested in reading about a Dark Sun 4e game? Here's the blog of our current campaign. My homebrew Dark Sun material: - the Lord of Blades, a melee oriented Kaisharga/Dead Lord
Or, you know, that physical strength isn't the sole deciding factor in a fantasy world?  4e has 25 classes.  Of those 25, only 5 of them must use Strength (and it only applies to 7 more classes as a possible secondary or optional primary).  That means that well over half of all people who actually matter in the world don't rely on physical strength to any real degree, and only 20% of them have to be strong. 

In the end though, I think the real place where you differ from most, or at least everyone I know, is that simulation of reality is important to you for some reason.  I really don't understand that, honestly, but knowing that is what you care about, I can see your case.

Of course, if you really do want simulation, then we should maybe discuss your group's gross misunderstanding of medieval Europe, especially the Inquisition and witch trials.  ;)




I'd be much more inclined to discuss the historical inaccuracies if you didn't just hint at the idea that classes would fix society.
Bear in mind I never said it was an historically accurate; aside from the obvious fact that the Inquisition never pursued the goal of having racial genocide (particularly not against elves, for some reason) or that the Inquisition isn't a middle age institution, in our game, which was set in the year 1347 (making the Inquisition an anacronism) the Inquisition was an order of divine casters aiming at eradicating arcane magic and arcane races from the world, and led by a dracolich in disguise. Incidentally, in our 1347 Europe Leonidas was alive and was a dwarf. I digress, but there were probably a total of 25 years or so of Historical studies sitting at the table; historical accuracy was never a goal, history was an inspiration.

But once again, I'm having an hard time focusing because now I'm picturing farmer communities were wives who picked caster classes are fixing sexism one fireball at a time.
Interested in reading about a Dark Sun 4e game? Here's the blog of our current campaign. My homebrew Dark Sun material: - the Lord of Blades, a melee oriented Kaisharga/Dead Lord
In the D&D universe males and females have the same mental and physical potentials because they are a different species, it has nothing to do with you derisive sarcasm and arrogance about "MagiWomen" and "men with boobs".



Exactly my point.


If that is indeed your point then you have, to date, utterly failed to make or support it in any way.

In D&D, men get to be like they are in real life; women, however, need to be changed, because they're clearly unworthy of being represented as they are in real life.


In D&D Neither men nor women are portrayed as they are in real life.

If I wanted to make the same kind of ungrounded and hilarous extrapolation I've seen used against me before (when someone suggested I was saying that **** isn't a problem if the raper is attractive), I could accuse you of fantasizing about a perfect, ideal world were women don't actually exist aside from their sexual role.


You could, but since that is both asinine and baseless I can't imagine why you would.

It may be my mindset, and it may be wrong, but the idea that I can translate men as they are in D&D and they are fine but I need to fix women to make them work in the game isn't something I want to support.


If that is what you imagine is the case then you are simply wrong. Both men and women are different in D&D than in real life.
Advice for DMs: When you are ad lib or improve DMing don't self-edit yourself. Some of the most fun you'll ever have is by just going with whatever crazy thing crosses your mind based on what your players are doing. Advice for Players: When your DM is ad libbing there are bound to be plot holes and inconsistencies that crop up. You'll all have a lot more fun if you just roll with it instead of nitpicking the details.
Previous Advice
Advice for DMs: Always dangle a lot of plot hooks in front of you players. Anything they do not bite you can bring back and bite them later. When considering a new house rule ask yourself the question "Will this make the game more fun?" Unless the answer is a resounding yes don't do it. Advice for Players: Always tell the DM not just what you want to do but also what you are hoping to accomplish. No matter how logical the result is it will never happen if it simply never occurred to the DM. "That's what my character would do" is not a valid excuse for being a disruptive ass at the table. Your right to have fun only extends to the point where it impedes the ability of others to do likewise.
In the D&D universe males and females have the same mental and physical potentials because they are a different species, it has nothing to do with you derisive sarcasm and arrogance about "MagiWomen" and "men with boobs".



Exactly my point.


If that is indeed your point then you have, to date, utterly failed to make or support it in any way.

In D&D, men get to be like they are in real life; women, however, need to be changed, because they're clearly unworthy of being represented as they are in real life.


In D&D Neither men nor women are portrayed as they are in real life.

If I wanted to make the same kind of ungrounded and hilarous extrapolation I've seen used against me before (when someone suggested I was saying that **** isn't a problem if the raper is attractive), I could accuse you of fantasizing about a perfect, ideal world were women don't actually exist aside from their sexual role.


You could, but since that is both asinine and baseless I can't imagine why you would.

It may be my mindset, and it may be wrong, but the idea that I can translate men as they are in D&D and they are fine but I need to fix women to make them work in the game isn't something I want to support.


If that is what you imagine is the case then you are simply wrong. Both men and women are different in D&D than in real life.

If all you wanted was trying to insult me, you could have at least skipped the quoting. The waste of space is saddening.
Interested in reading about a Dark Sun 4e game? Here's the blog of our current campaign. My homebrew Dark Sun material: - the Lord of Blades, a melee oriented Kaisharga/Dead Lord
I'd be much more inclined to discuss the historical inaccuracies if you didn't just hint at the idea that classes would fix society......But once again, I'm having an hard time focusing because now I'm picturing farmer communities were wives who picked caster classes are fixing sexism one fireball at a time.

Yeah, that is not what I was saying at all.  I specifically mentioned how the only people that matter in the world have classes.  None of those farmers matter, compared to people who can punch gods in the face.

And once there are enough prominent women that can rip you limb from limb with their minds, regular women are going to get treated better and better with time, as people realize, "if that woman can kick a demon's teeth in, this woman might be able to do the same to me!"  It doesn't take a genius to make that mental leap.

You also have to consider the impact religion would have on this.  Non-fundamentalist forms of Christianity have easily made the most significant impact on getting women treated well, and Catholic priests don't literally call laser beams from the sky to smite their enemies like they do in D&D.

I would imagine that the good deities and their followers would do a lot to make sure the female population in a D&D world was treated better.

But really, again, I think your main problem when dealing with this whole issue is that you are really interested in simulation, but D&D has evolved in a different direction.  It is absolutely not a simulation game anymore, and personally, I am thrilled about that.
Heroes Don't Need Special Gear to Be Heroic - A guide to removing magic item dependency and smoothing out advancement. Reinventing the Workday: A Shift Towards Encounter-Based Resources - A guide to abandoning daily resources
And as I said, gendered violence against women is one of the cheapest and easiest ways of making that clear. It doesn't mean it's always wrong, but it's not exactly the mark of quality a lot of people seem to think it is.



If your point is that just adding gender violence doesn't make a world gritty (or a game good), we perfectly agree; my point is more along the lines that having a believable gritty world without gender violence is nigh impossible, or at least requires some extensive work that risks being even more sexist than gender violence (as, at least in my community, the MagiWomen issue is perceived as worse).

But none of them have acted sickeningly moralising about it to my face either. Interestingly, most of the girls who act condescending towards people who're sceptical towards the use of casual misogyny, tend to be a lot more obviously hostile in other areas, whereas the guys are often fairly normal and seem to do it as a matter of habit.


I'm not sure I follow you here; I can only tell you what my experience had been. I can tell you that at least one of my gamer girls had an attitude that I could sum up as "as a women, I have it harder in real life; I prefer to play a heroine I can relate with in the department too. Watching her having an easier life than me would be disruptive". I don't know how this relates to what you were trying to say, tho.


 


Why? Civilisation doesn't move in a straight line from oppression to egalitarianism, and parity is not nearly as advanced a concept as many of the social institutions promoting bigotry today and in the past. Not to mention that other animals are, by all accounts, more primitive than us, and that doesn't prevent them from having a variety of gender roles.


I think we're making some wild topic hopping here. What do you define as "gender violence"? When we started, I was simply thinking of things like a husband shutting up his wife by hitting her (and seeing no social consequence), or winning soldiers taking advantage of the women in places they conquered.
Exactly because parity isn't something we can claim to have reached even today. Less than 2000 km from where I live there's countries where a man who is unfaithful to his wife pays a sanction to the state, and a woman who is unfaithful to her husband risks death. Less than 1k kms from where I live, 15 years ago, women were mass-raped in a process of genetical and racial clearing. It happened in Europe, in the 90s.


I repeat, in the vast majority of our games, we stay well away from that kind of thing because it makes US uneasy. It makes me uneasy to tell my players that such a thing happened. However, there are times where cutting that out would simply make no sense.


It's not your experience that people who include heavy-handed sexism against women in their campaigns are expected to be able to explain themselves? Yes, I agree, that's why I wrote that in my opinion, they should.


I respect that, but as long as sexism isn't heavy handed I haven't seen anyone in my groups asking for explanations. I think this is a case where every gaming community is different. Maybe if we had someone who used gender violence in an inappropriate way the problem would have arised. However, I've never seen any female gamer offended or surprised by any event of gender violence depicting in our games, in 20 years. It must mean something I guess.


 


1: Physical strength has not dictated how the power-ladder worked in plenty of cases. To give a few examples: Tribal elders, Romans, aristocracy, money, religion.


Religion? I don't know, I'm thinking of all the major religions even today, and heck, even Buddism is sexist. Tribal elders being potentially female hardly affected the balance of power between gender - one needs to be careful about using famous exceptions, because they're often relevant as such, exceptions. Think Queen Dido in the Enead: sure, she was one hell of a modern heroine creating a country and ruling it, but the epic is nauseatingly persistent in reminding you how EXCEPTIONAL that was for a woman.


Now incidentally Roman Law is one of my college fields of expertise; the issue is complex - Romans were extremely sexist for todays standards but probably revolutionary for their time. Women had a lot of power - it was almost exclusively economical power, and it was almost uniquely tied to the fact that for Romans family was paramount, and it wasn't rare that women had the onus of bringing on a legacy, but still it happened.


Still the Romans had difference consequences for murdering a free man and murdering a woman, for example. Gender discrimination is, sadly, just a fact of history.


I'm not advocating that D&D games SHOULD have gender violence or gender disparity; actually, for the most part, it's better if they don't. I think the vast majority of games I played worked fine without it, and probably better. In gritty games, inserting gender violence is a natural process however. Just that.


 


2: The world of D&D contains a lot of creatures who aren't human, and giving them all human physical differences, and slavishly modelling all their societies after human cultures, is lazy – which is fine if you don't feel like putting too much thought into your campaign world, but if that's the case, why did you bother spelling out the misogyny in the first place?


Incidentally, I think all "gritty" games I've played featured humans as the dominating race, with others being depicted more in "fairytale" than strict D&D terms. The elves hidden in the forest, dwarves living under the mountains, and most humans thinking they were just legends.


However, the fact that those societies weren't tainted by misogyny was a very relevant plot element in at least one game. In that game, we took some refugees to a sylvan elf community, and seeing them react to the fact that among elves males were wizards and sages and women were warriors and leaders made for some interesting RP.


 


3: Technical prowess has often beaten physical might, even in more primitive times. Adding magic to that equation just lessens the impact of physical strength even further.


Now, I understand I put a very unique spin on this, and I may be completely off the hook... but why didn't this happen on this planet?


Why, when today we have firearms, violent sexism is still so common in so many areas of the world?


To me, going and saying "in this world, fantasy women made it right" is fundamentally a criticism towards the real women of the real world. I think women in our world did all they could to fight the unfair disadvantage they were put in. Going to my female gamers and telling them "in this fantasy world, these women achieved what your gender couldn't even today in 1000 less years!" doesn't make me too comfortable. If I can skip the issue altogether, I prefer, but actually the most heated gender discussions I had with female gamers in my group revolved around this.
At least two of them felt that having parity in their fantasy, medieval world (for the reasons you listed, such as the fact that it's technically possible for a woman to take a man in a fight) was this close to saying that the real women of the real world didn't manage to achieve that because they were lazy or cowards.


I understand your experience is probably extremely different.


 


4: There is nothing implausible about a culture which is cruel, barbaric, and/or oppressive, and yet doesn't count oppression of women among it's many atrocities. The government of China, for instance, while employing torture and committing human rights violations left and right, is very keen on gender equality, and you yourself brought up the example of missionaries who were deeply racist, exploitive, and prone to forcing unwanted change on African cultures, and yet still wanted to liberate African women.


This is an excellent example of why inserting gender violence in your games should never equal to making it a standard, or taking it for given.


For example, my grey-skinned barbarians invading the world considered their women as equal. Women had elite fighting corps and when the barbarian armies charged, women and men were mixed. Their military leaders were mostly men but their divine casters were exclusively women, etc.


 


5: Even though you find it hard to imagine different forms of societies, you really shouldn't be surprised that many fantasy fans don't share that problem. Modern gender roles are a result of a mixture of human nature, and thousands of years of cultural development, affected by a multitude of outside factors. Change any of that, and you change the gender roles.


I'll ignore the insult, and remind you that I never said it SHOULD be like that. I'm exposing my perspective on the matter and why I feel the need (I can't really say I like) to add gender violence in games where I feel it's relevant. Just that; if it's too stupid or unimaginative for your tastes, it should be extremely easy to ignore my arguments.


 


One look at D&D should tell you that realism is pretty far down the list of priorities, and yet, the game actually does give some explanation for why elves hate orcs – in ages past, Corellon Larethian put out the eye of Gruumsh, the god of orcs, in a fight. Also, Garl Glittergold collapsed the cave of Kurtulmak (god of kobolds) as joke, and there's an ongoing enmity between Corellon and Lolth, which explains why drow are matriarchal (and that can of worms has definitely been explained, criticised, justified, and elaborated upon countless of times), and was carried over into 4E.

Many 'Races of....' books also contain some description of why various races are at odds. And of course, D&D isn't usually very deep, realistic, or gritty in itself, so the fact that these things are even explained (well or not) indicates that the bar must be pretty low if you're just declaring that it is so, without even considering the underlying causes or the purpose of your conflicts. And for that matter, the idea of a racial hatred between elves and orcs originated in LotR, where it is definitely explained.



I would argue that sexism is even better documented and "explained", but we would clug the thread with unnecessary text.


Incidentally, I always foundt the "your god hit my god so we will hate each other forever" a fantastic parody of real life religious stupidity.


 


And while we can agree that it is hard to do well, it is also, from what I've seen both in real life and here, ridiculously easy to just do. No consequences, no explanation needed, and everybody who doesn't go along is just a spoilsport who likes to force change on the whole world with no effort (which is funny, because that indicates that putting misogyny into the world actually required an effort in the first place).


A lot of the games I've played in have been fairly relaxed, and focussed on adventure more than social issues (think David Eddings more than George R. R. Martin for level of depth). But because so many of you wonderful fellow D&D players have laid the groundwork for getting misogyny in gaming accepted not only as neutral and unbiased, but also as something unanimously positive and right, it means that even DMs who otherwise make no attempt to explore social issues, or make their campaign worlds realistic and internally consistent, sometimes include it just because.


I'll ignore the insults again, and remind you that none of the girls in my group ever felt offended by what we wonderful women offending players did. You're jumping the gun here.


 


It's been mixed. Most gamers are alright, but the few that aren't tend to be able to get away with more than in less tolerant social circles.


Mmh, have you tried bringing up the issue in front of them? Most "hohoho sexists" I've had the displeasure to play with proved to be quite the paper tiger when challenged.


Why do you assume it's the women who need to change? Say what you want about physical strength, but the footsoldiers who constitute the majority of an army actually aren't very powerful compared to the generals, landowners, merchants, and priests, who don't rely on physical prowess at all. You're looking at a social issue, not a physical issue.


Then why didn't it work in our world?
Where did women go wrong here? If it's so easy, how did they fail so bad?


I think for millennia women have been extremely aware that they were being discriminated, and probably tried to fight back. I may be completely crazy, but simply saying that this was just one of many possible outcomes would feel like insulting all those women who fought and failed to try and change things in our world. I know my female gamers were quite tenacious on the issue.


 


But a lot of D&D games don't, especially not to that degree.


Luckily, you can have phenomenal D&D games without ever touching gender violence for a second.



Interested in reading about a Dark Sun 4e game? Here's the blog of our current campaign. My homebrew Dark Sun material: - the Lord of Blades, a melee oriented Kaisharga/Dead Lord
I'd be much more inclined to discuss the historical inaccuracies if you didn't just hint at the idea that classes would fix society......But once again, I'm having an hard time focusing because now I'm picturing farmer communities were wives who picked caster classes are fixing sexism one fireball at a time.

Yeah, that is not what I was saying at all.  I specifically mentioned how the only people that matter in the world have classes.  None of those farmers matter, compared to people who can punch gods in the face.

And once there are enough prominent women that can rip you limb from limb with their minds, regular women are going to get treated better and better with time, as people realize, "if that woman can kick a demon's teeth in, this woman might be able to do the same to me!"  It doesn't take a genius to make that mental leap.

You also have to consider the impact religion would have on this.  Non-fundamentalist forms of Christianity have easily made the most significant impact on getting women treated well, and Catholic priests don't literally call laser beams from the sky to smite their enemies like they do in D&D.

I would imagine that the good deities and their followers would do a lot to make sure the female population in a D&D world was treated better.

But really, again, I think your main problem when dealing with this whole issue is that you are really interested in simulation, but D&D has evolved in a different direction.  It is absolutely not a simulation game anymore, and personally, I am thrilled about that.



Nothing to say about this, honestly.

I agree on most points; I still like my gritty games, but you made sense and if you feel that makes your games better, you win.

Interested in reading about a Dark Sun 4e game? Here's the blog of our current campaign. My homebrew Dark Sun material: - the Lord of Blades, a melee oriented Kaisharga/Dead Lord
If all you wanted was trying to insult me, you could have at least skipped the quoting. The waste of space is saddening.


If I had intended to insult you you'd know it. Trust me. ;)
Advice for DMs: When you are ad lib or improve DMing don't self-edit yourself. Some of the most fun you'll ever have is by just going with whatever crazy thing crosses your mind based on what your players are doing. Advice for Players: When your DM is ad libbing there are bound to be plot holes and inconsistencies that crop up. You'll all have a lot more fun if you just roll with it instead of nitpicking the details.
Previous Advice
Advice for DMs: Always dangle a lot of plot hooks in front of you players. Anything they do not bite you can bring back and bite them later. When considering a new house rule ask yourself the question "Will this make the game more fun?" Unless the answer is a resounding yes don't do it. Advice for Players: Always tell the DM not just what you want to do but also what you are hoping to accomplish. No matter how logical the result is it will never happen if it simply never occurred to the DM. "That's what my character would do" is not a valid excuse for being a disruptive ass at the table. Your right to have fun only extends to the point where it impedes the ability of others to do likewise.
If all you wanted was trying to insult me, you could have at least skipped the quoting. The waste of space is saddening.


If I had intended to insult you you'd know it. Trust me. ;)



Jolly! I will rest easier now Laughing !


Interested in reading about a Dark Sun 4e game? Here's the blog of our current campaign. My homebrew Dark Sun material: - the Lord of Blades, a melee oriented Kaisharga/Dead Lord
In D&D, men get to be like they are in real life; women, however, need to be changed, because they're clearly unworthy of being represented as they are in real life.


In D&D Neither men nor women are portrayed as they are in real life.



But they are being played by real-life men and women who bring real-life gender attitudes with them to the game. Those gender attitudes are going to influence the DM's setting and NPCs and the players' characters alike, even though it's a fantasy game.
In D&D, men get to be like they are in real life; women, however, need to be changed, because they're clearly unworthy of being represented as they are in real life.


In D&D Neither men nor women are portrayed as they are in real life.



But they are being played by real-life men and women who bring real-life gender attitudes with them to the game. Those gender attitudes are going to influence the DM's setting and NPCs and the players' characters alike, even though it's a fantasy game.




There's a layer of truth in what Boraxe is saying; when considering heroes, D&D characters are like comicbook heroes.

I mean, the strength difference between men and women (or the average strength difference, to be more precise) matter for nothing in terms of figthing dragons: a human being has no chance against a dragon.
If you're willing to believe a man can kill a dragon, or parry a fire giant's sword, you need to believe a woman can too and will prolly look better doing it.

Interested in reading about a Dark Sun 4e game? Here's the blog of our current campaign. My homebrew Dark Sun material: - the Lord of Blades, a melee oriented Kaisharga/Dead Lord