Male DM, Female gamers.

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I am in the final stages of preparing a campaign for a new group-one that includes a number of female gamers (one of which is my significant other).  I have had very little D&D gaming with female gamers before, and have not actually DM'd during those games.  So heres the topic in question, what should I be aware of, not only in myself, but in the other male gamers that may be incondusive to a comfortable environment for the women in our group?  I think I have a pretty good grasp of obvious scenarios that could cause problems, I'm looking for more nuanced activities that male gamers may be unaware are bothering their female counterparts.  Thank you in advance.

BTW-I understand the basic premise of "ask them what makes them uncomfortable"-I just want to cover my bases as best as possible and I have found a good deal of value can be drawn from this forum.

Unnecessary background stuff:
I've been DMing around 8 years, I'm brutally impartial, fair, and a stoic.  I don't let personal relationships interfere with my DM ruling-even to the point of being detrimental to those relationships (they will get over it.)  During my college education I took some Women's studies courses on the side, so I'm familiar with feminism and not a total dolt when it comes to gender studies and relationships.

...and in the ancient voice of a million squirrels the begotten chittered "You have set upon yourselves a great and noble task, dare you step further, what say you! What say you!"
Don't think of them as "female gamers".  Think of them as individuals.  Do you know them?  Well, that should give you some idea of what they like and might dislike.  Trying to generalize almost always fails because no individual fits any given generality perfectly. 
honestly most of the time you wont notice the diffrence. 
Most female gamers that i know want simply to be treated not different that others.

You should run your game....business as usual
Be sure to explain to them that the farting is just part of the experience of D&D, beautiful in its own way.

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I agree with the above posts, but have a bit of input.

If you know these ladies, one of wich you said was your better half, then everything should be fine by all means.  The problem is I guess that you wouldn't know how they'd RP or how your Bros might react to having "smexy fem'fatales " in the party, or even if your lady friends play male characters.

I play in many current groups now.  I've ran D&D for a few years now myself with a few female gamers, and of couse, the every-day Bro's game.  Three of my male party members are currently playing female characters.  I've not known them to play a male, however I have only played D&D with two of them for a short while.  Now one of these guys is a friend who I've played a few games with and he plays a decent character, but these other two guys play the poster children for "bikinimail".  Their character "sketches" are printouts of CG female video game characters who are very....bouncy.


I've told you this story for this reason.

I've seen the exact opposite of this with female players.  I've gamed with a number of lady friends over the years, all solid RPers.  The first was a buddy's girlfriend, but that game actually worked out, except when they both "had to leave bacause the girlfriend forgot something at her place".  We'd have to wait an hour for thier return.  She only lived fifteen minutes down the road.  Look for this if your guy friends take a liking to your new players.

now I've played D&D with another of my lady friends who actuallt played a smashing wizard.  I had absolutely no problem with her gaming, as she played a strict, no nonsense female necromancer.  This was a blessing, compared to one of my last female gamer friends, who constatly plays male characters.  These male characters are usualy very androgonis(spelling?)  and often homosexual.  This is not really a problem in game as she hardly ever did anything about it, but she'd mention the fact four times a game and it would get on everyone's nerves just that she would throw that fact about her character in the PCs face.

Now there's no problem in playing what you want, and i hope your game is as excelelnt as it can be, but just keep on the look out for anything wierd like this.  These are true stories, and I don't mean to tell you how to play, I'd just like to point out some things on the broad scope of thing that could happen.  Keep an eye out for anything that unnearves your players and yourself, and bring it to your party's attention if you need to do something about it.

How I've fixed my situation is I've ruled no cross gener characters in my games from now on.  everyone likes it, and my group is mature enough now that a "female gamer" can join the table and nobody would push the subject of who's seducing who.

The other thing to look out for is to be warry of cat fights and drama bombs.  We got alot of that too whith multiple female players at the table.  nobody was happy then.  REALLY keep an eye out for this.
I agree with the "treat like them like normal players, there's nothing special about being a female that enjoys playing a game"

The only thing I'd like to add to that is: "Make sure your other players know this as well, as most people don't join a D&D game to have other people try to hit on them".

As long as everyone treats them as regular people and not some glorified vision of the perfect mate, it all should go over perfectly. 
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I have always played in a mixed group. Yes one of them was my SO but I don't think that would have changed anything. Treat em as normal. The stereo type might be that they are more likely to role play in general, but I think that if you have gamed with enough people already you would have had to deal with that anyway.
I have a friend who is doing a girl gaming night, she plays it pretty much the same way she plays with a mixed group. However she pays attention to individual tastes more than everything else. Example: One player likes spiders so she has a spider familiar and turned all the spiders in the dungeon to drakes.
Ant Farm
I totally agree with everyone is equal at the table.  The only difference I've noticed are girls are more apt at rping and guys more apt at strategy.  Nothing wrong with any of this at all.  Mind you this entire thread reminds me of 'gamers 2:rise of dorkness'  :D

I go to encounters every week and am the alternative dm if we need an extra table.  I still often run into new male players who will sit next to me as a fellow player and tell me what to do or how to do things on my turn.  If anything to be aware of, in my opnion, the other players telling them what to do, or SUGGESTING loudly and overrunning them.  honestly it doesn't happen often, but it does happen.  After all girls know how to play too  :P 
Don't be creepy.   Don't hit on the girls in or out of the game.  Remember everybody wishes to be treated equally as a gamer.  The basic rules of social ettiquette still apply, be respectful to all individuals at the table.  Social dynamics are different in same gender groups from mix gender groups, its important to remember that.  But there are no differences in social norms for mix gender gaming groups and any other mix gender groups.  I'll give the advice I give to teenagers before going to a teen dance, act like ladies and gentlemen.
Just be normal. And you might want to tone down the sexism and the whores everywhere if that's the kind of setting you run.

And if you want to include romancing and you aren't familiar with what females are attracted to, you might want to educate yourself in that so that you can include some attractive men in your game.  
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I agree with pretty much everyone.  Just treat them normally, ask what they might expect/desire to get out of the game, and try and meld it with what you and the male members of the group might be looking for in the game.  Often, it's not all that terribly different, anyway, so there's not so much to be changed or otherwise altered from the usual play-style.  Also, I'd say you might want to establish before your players start making characters if you'll allow cross-gendered PCs; some DMs find them tolerable, some fear stereotypes.  Just make sure that it's across the board; don't ban male players with female PCs if you don't likewise ban female players playing male PCs.

As a female gamer and DM myself, I've found that perhaps the only thing to worry about is in a group where people were unfamiliar with one another.  Sometimes that leads to people thinking the female player can be taken advantage of or bullied into doing something they might not have initially intended, because the male player might think he knows better or that he just want the female player to do something to make the situation better for him.  I had that happen the one time I tried DMing for an unfamiliar group, where one of the players consistently tried to bully me into a situation where he could do what he wanted, having already ignored my previous demand that the game was only a good/neutral game to make a CE PC, until I forcibly removed him from the game.  Basically, just make sure that everyone's aware that you are all equal at the table, and that if they wouldn't order one of their male gaming friends what to do in a situation, they should therefore not do so with a female player.

You said you've had a little experience playing with females in the group, so you clearly know that not all female gamers are built alike.  I assume you know enough to not presume that all girls are going to come to the table with a "pretty-pretty princess" character, or are going to want to do nothing but fluffy roleplay while hiding on the sidelines when combat comes up.  Just try not to come in with too many presuppositions, I'd say, and wait to see what they come up with.  You might end up with something that'll totally blow your mind.
As a female gamer and DM myself, I've found that perhaps the only thing to worry about is in a group where people were unfamiliar with one another.  Sometimes that leads to people thinking the female player can be taken advantage of or bullied into doing something they might not have initially intended, because the male player might think he knows better or that he just want the female player to do something to make the situation better for him.  I had that happen the one time I tried DMing for an unfamiliar group, where one of the players consistently tried to bully me into a situation where he could do what he wanted, having already ignored my previous demand that the game was only a good/neutral game to make a CE PC, until I forcibly removed him from the game.  Basically, just make sure that everyone's aware that you are all equal at the table, and that if they wouldn't order one of their male gaming friends what to do in a situation, they should therefore not do so with a female player.


I don't think this has got anything to do with familiarity or gender.
Some people just aren't fun to game with, and the easy solution is to kick them out of the group. 
Some people can be really nice out of game, but be terrible players. And vice-versa. 
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Just realize there are somethings you would say during a session with a group of guys that you SHOULD NOT say with a girl present.

Anyway, I've played with some, and as long as they are focused and know what to do (just like everyone else), it works out fine.  
Don't be creepy.   Don't hit on the girls in or out of the game.  Remember everybody wishes to be treated equally as a gamer.  The basic rules of social ettiquette still apply, be respectful to all individuals at the table.  Social dynamics are different in same gender groups from mix gender groups, its important to remember that.  But there are no differences in social norms for mix gender gaming groups and any other mix gender groups.  I'll give the advice I give to teenagers before going to a teen dance, act like ladies and gentlemen.

As a DM, if your putting in romantic elements for the male members then do likewise for the female elements. After all if a male player is playing a female and finds a bit of romance for his character then why can't a female playing a male character or a female playing a female character.
If the player clearly isn't into this part of a campaign, then drop it as they arn't enjoying themselves.

Female players, IMHO add a very interesting style of roleplay to a game and it has had a positive effect every game I've had one or more females in it.

I don't generally tone any parts down unless it's quite evident that the player finds the elements distasteful( but that's the same if the player is male or female).



We did end up with the infamous DM's Girlfriend in a previous group... she didn't seem to care much for the game, and she could freqently bring the game to a stand-still to quote Monty Python and the Holy Grail and flirt with the DM.

However, every other woman I've ever been in a role-playing group with has been right at home in the game, and didn't require any special treatment. 

Not many of them seemed to care as much for "grittier, darker and edgier" settings, generally aiming for a more high-fantasy style, and they seemed to prefer characters I feel are a bit more "playful" than I'm used to (cat people and that sort of thing), but that might just have been the handful of women gamers I've ever gamed with. 

On the other hand, the only player I've ever DM'd with that has ever said "I'll torture the captured Orc to get information out of him" was a woman!  I said "An Intimidation roll, just to scare him?  Roll a D-Twen-", and she replied, "no, I start breaking his fingers, one by one, until he talks...." That came as a total shock to me, as the characters had nominally Good alignments, and I was expecting simply a good-cop/bad-cop routine with an Intimidation or Bluff roll, or some other conversational response.  All the guys I've ever role-played with regularly would have found the idea abhorrent, so I never expected "the fairer sex" to suggest it.  (I wasn't prepared to go there, and had to stop the game a while to kind of house-rule for future reference that I'm not prepared to DM torture, murder, or other Evil actions in a game.)  So, don't let them fool you - they can be just as vicious and bloodthirsty as any male gamers
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri

When I was DMing we usually had a couple of girls that played.  One thing that is probably a generalization but most of the guys were very combat orientated, they liked the challenge of a close battle and beating the odds which I generally stacked against them.  But the girls were more roleplay orientated and preferred the social side.  So I would perhaps make sure, as with any group, that you understand what kind of playing styles they prefer so you can cater to everyone.

I've only been playing DnD for a couple years and just started DMing. In every campaign I've been in (about 6 or 7 now) there has been at least one female gamer. In my first campaign, we had a DM that was, to be quite honest, terrible at it. This DM let this friend of ours, we'll call her Sara, join. She and the DM had been friends for a long time, and before long it turned into "What's Sara doing? Is everyone going to follow her? Petey, did you just say 'no?' Too bad. You follow her anyways." It quickly got boring for everyone, including Sara, and we all quite. Another incident occured a couple months ago. I was DMing for the first time (because I was interested in doing and a few friends schedules kept them from playing in other campaigns that my circle of friends were a part in). One guy wanted to be a Cleric of Lastai. I didn't want to say no to anything and I didn't know that this guy took "God of love and pleasure" to mean "God of Sex". His character proceded to act like a sex crazed person. The one girl that was playing with us, and one of the guys (who was playing a female PC), I noticed started looking rather awkward. I just told the guy playing the cleric to calm down while we playing, and talked to him later to straighten things out.

Sorry for the long story, but I figured it would help me make my point, that as long as you don't go out of your way to show anyone special treatment and when things of a certain nature get brought up, pay attention to other peoples body language to see if anyone seems like they mind. Also, don't assume anything. I noticed a lot of people saying that girls usually like to RP more than fight, but the two girls that played in the first campaign I was in, liked fighting stuff more than any of the guys did. In fact, I think both of them always pick classes that do a lot of melee fighting.
Don't be creepy.   Don't hit on the girls in or out of the game.  Remember everybody wishes to be treated equally as a gamer.  The basic rules of social ettiquette still apply, be respectful to all individuals at the table.  Social dynamics are different in same gender groups from mix gender groups, its important to remember that.  But there are no differences in social norms for mix gender gaming groups and any other mix gender groups.  I'll give the advice I give to teenagers before going to a teen dance, act like ladies and gentlemen.

As a DM, if your putting in romantic elements for the male members then do likewise for the female elements. After all if a male player is playing a female and finds a bit of romance for his character then why can't a female playing a male character or a female playing a female character.
If the player clearly isn't into this part of a campaign, then drop it as they arn't enjoying themselves.

Female players, IMHO add a very interesting style of roleplay to a game and it has had a positive effect every game I've had one or more females in it.

I don't generally tone any parts down unless it's quite evident that the player finds the elements distasteful( but that's the same if the player is male or female).



It's also important to remember what is an in game romance and what is using the role playing as an excuse to hit on another gamer.  I say, keep all the drama on the game table and in the game.  But you make a great point.

As an added note, I've played in groups where the women have played men Pcs and the men have played women pcs.  We have a group of friends open with the idea of cross gender role playing.
im going be honest, the "female gamers are better at RP" and the "male gamers are better at battle tactics" is not always accurate, or at all in my experiance.

I have found that many of the builds female gamers bring to the game table are more or less the same as the builds male gamers bring and that both genders come up with more or less the same ideas as most logical people would.

the one thing i do find is that when a female gamer has an idea about what to do or where to go next, it is usually better recived by the male members of the group.

another thing, i find that male gamers oftin attempt to help female gamers in tactical situations, usually without being asked, im pretty sure many female gamers would end up making the same similar/better/worse tactical decisions as any male gamer, they just usually have some guy in their ear asking about other things.
Thank you all for the responses I enjoyed reading them and a few of them have raised some very good points. 

For anyone curious because of my other posts this will actually be my second weekly group.  I'm now doing both a Saturday and Sunday group-fortunately I won't be DMing both of them simultaneously for the forseeable future as one of the other DM's in my Saturday group was kind enough to blackmail me into running a game for him-in exchange for getting to play in his game =). 

When I set out to build this group I looked specifically for female gamers, with the hopes of building a group of 80% female or more, only recruiting males or once we had run out of viable candidates.  I know that may seem odd but I'm really tired of DMing for 'straight white males'-even though I am one.  I'm happy to report I'll be one of only two straight white males in this new group, so that should help create an intersting play dynamic. 

...and in the ancient voice of a million squirrels the begotten chittered "You have set upon yourselves a great and noble task, dare you step further, what say you! What say you!"
Mmh, now I want female gamers in my group... :P
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In my experience, most women are a little timid when it comes to role playing as in speaking in character, etc.  I think that is because the women I have played with were for the most part inexperienced role players.  When asked, most are into the game story and participating in that story motivates them to show up to the game.  But I have never met a woman who shyed away from engaging in combat during a D&D game.  Girls like to kick ass in combat just like any guy.


To put it succinctly:

1. I know a lot of men who would simply love to wade into an army of Goblins and kill, kill, kill and kill some more until their characters eventually succumb to the massive horde of enemies and die a glorious death. In my experience, this kind of adventure would bore women to tears (hell it'd bore me to tears too). In general, all combat and no RP makes for a bad adventure  but this is doubly true when women are at the table. As a DM whose just starting down the path of DMing for the fairer gender, I would say try and strike a balance between RP/exploration and Combat, siding with the former when in doubt.

2. Men are dogs, especially single men. Make sure all the men at the table understand that the ladies at the table are off limits. Trust me, this will prevent a lot of headaches.

3. Women tend to like Elves, and more specifically Drow. I don't know why they just do. Doesn't matter which setting, they just like Drow.

You treat women players the same as any other player. You ask them what sort of things they like in a game, and tailor it to them.


If you have a male player who doesn't understand that this is DND time, not singles mixer time and makes the lady gamers uncomfortable AND they seem uncomfortable handling it themselves. Ask them if they want you to step in. If they do, take the male player aside and explain that at the table is not the sort of place for that and it needs to stop. If it keeps up find a new male player.


If you have a male player being a sexist ass, and it makes anyone uncomfortable do the same as above.


If you have female players hitting on male players and/or being offensivly sexist, do the same.

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Don't make assumptions about female players preferring roleplay. Just like with male players, it's just a stereotype. Just ask them if they like that kind of thing. I know my girlfriend would have more fun in a "hack down Goblins until you're kneedeep in their corpses" then a political intrigue campaign, and she's still a female player.
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Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.

This is a very mature group of people with the average age somewhere in the late twenties and the average education is at the senior level in university so I'm not terribly worried about blatant sexism or bullying. 

This forum has pretty much put my concerns to rest, aside from some of the posters pointing out that some male gamers have a tendency to think female gamers need help all the time there does not appear to be too many behaviors that I wouldn't have otherwise noticed and addressed immediately.

To reiterate, I was primarily questioning if there were any bad habits male gamers may be unaware of that are causing problems.  Harrassment, sexual comments, and sexism all go without saying-and are terribly obvious in many cases.  Unconsciously sexist remarks may be less noticable to some males but I don't believe anyone in this group speaks that way-i.e. likening a weak character/NPC to female reproductive organs, or comparing whiny people to a woman.  Sexist, and apparantly many men are oblivious to it.

Thank you all again, I think my inquiry has been satisfied.
Detoxifier

...and in the ancient voice of a million squirrels the begotten chittered "You have set upon yourselves a great and noble task, dare you step further, what say you! What say you!"

On the other hand, the only player I've ever DM'd with that has ever said "I'll torture the captured Orc to get information out of him" was a woman!  I said "An Intimidation roll, just to scare him?  Roll a D-Twen-", and she replied, "no, I start breaking his fingers, one by one, until he talks...." That came as a total shock to me, as the characters had nominally Good alignments, and I was expecting simply a good-cop/bad-cop routine with an Intimidation or Bluff roll, or some other conversational response.  All the guys I've ever role-played with regularly would have found the idea abhorrent, so I never expected "the fairer sex" to suggest it.  (I wasn't prepared to go there, and had to stop the game a while to kind of house-rule for future reference that I'm not prepared to DM torture, murder, or other Evil actions in a game.)  So, don't let them fool you - they can be just as vicious and bloodthirsty as any male gamers



Im DM'ing currently a game with 2 female players and an NPC in the party. They tied up and torture-murdered a guy for info.

Interesting info
In psychology tests where a puppy was set on a shock plate, the ones that shocked the puppy the most were female.

In another psych test, people were told to shock a person to test his memory (The real subject was the person hitting the "shock" button) The shock was fake, but most of the people who "shocked the person to unconsiousness/death" were female.

Interesting.

Makes me want to perform social experiments with my female gamers. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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I think the thing to take away from it is that with ladies in RPGs, the only thing you can count on is that, whatever you expect, you'll probably be surprised, so it's probably best to throw away any stereotypes or expectations and treat each one as an individual.

Considering some of the threads I've seen lately, about what to do about new male group members who apparently step in from left field and go so far against the grain of the existing group that tempers flare, I'd say the same for male gamers as well:  assume nothing, learn as much about what the individual wants, believes, and expects as you can, and try to find ways to meet those wants, beliefs, and expectaions in the middle.

I would say, then, that your biggest problems are likely to be assumptions about what women want and enjoy or would be offended by, and the natural biology of any mixed group of young men and women confined in a small room together in a relaxed social setting.  Of the two, I think the assumptions might be the most difficult one to work around.
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
The only rule I enforce at my tables is no gender bending so guys dont play female PCs and the girls dont play male PCs that way nobody is offended with sexist stereotypes. I have only had one enjoyable experience with players playing the opposite gender and that was a couple playing together, she was playing a male half orc and he was a female half elf... never laughed so hard in my life but it was mostly because the two knew each others boundaries and worked on their character backgrounds together so they had an RL and RP relationship.
I don't allow gender bending as well, but that's just because it reduces serious roleplaying in my opinion.
I might allow a trusted player to gender bend, though, if he can convince me it'll work. 
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in my group there is a very hot female nerd who plays a female, scruffy, ugly and hippy druid. during the session my mind lays my picture of the druid over her real apperance so that i am not distracted.
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The only rule I enforce at my tables is no gender bending so guys dont play female PCs and the girls dont play male PCs that way nobody is offended with sexist stereotypes. I have only had one enjoyable experience with players playing the opposite gender and that was a couple playing together, she was playing a male half orc and he was a female half elf... never laughed so hard in my life but it was mostly because the two knew each others boundaries and worked on their character backgrounds together so they had an RL and RP relationship.



I don't allow gender bending as well, but that's just because it reduces serious roleplaying in my opinion.
I might allow a trusted player to gender bend, though, if he can convince me it'll work. 



I find all the objections to cross gender roleplaying on this forum interesting.  In all my years of role playing I have never met anyone Dm or player object to another player's cross gender character.  But that's just one gamers experience.
I've never heard of it before, either, but if they've found it to be a disruptive enough problem to cause it to be one of the few lines they don't allow the group to cross, then that's understandable.

However, I think that I, as a guy, would require a lot more to offend me than a woman doing a bad job of cross-playing a male character. 

In fact, it seems to me that in a game rife with bad role-playing stereotypes of every alignment, of every class, of every cliche'd fantasy Race, and of the grotesque translation of theme-park version of various real-world cultures into cardboard theme-park fantasy cultures, sexist stereotyping in a mixed group of role-players might just be the most mild, interesting, refreshing, and educational form of bad role-playing most groups would be exposed to.
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
I've never heard of it before, either, but if they've found it to be a disruptive enough problem to cause it to be one of the few lines they don't allow the group to cross, then that's understandable.

However, I think that I, as a guy, would require a lot more to offend me than a woman doing a bad job of cross-playing a male character. 

In fact, it seems to me that in a game rife with bad role-playing stereotypes of every alignment, of every class, of every cliche'd fantasy Race, and of the grotesque translation of theme-park version of various real-world cultures into cardboard theme-park fantasy cultures, sexist stereotyping in a mixed group of role-players might just be the most mild, interesting, refreshing, and educational form of bad role-playing most groups would be exposed to.



I feel the same way.
As for the concern about male players pushing unwelcome advice on female players about how to run their characters... the one player I've known who was most problematically pushy, is female.

(Not that her advice wasn't sound... of the four DMs at that table who were running 4E D&D games, she was the most experienced.)
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
I've never heard of it before, either, but if they've found it to be a disruptive enough problem to cause it to be one of the few lines they don't allow the group to cross, then that's understandable.

However, I think that I, as a guy, would require a lot more to offend me than a woman doing a bad job of cross-playing a male character. 

In fact, it seems to me that in a game rife with bad role-playing stereotypes of every alignment, of every class, of every cliche'd fantasy Race, and of the grotesque translation of theme-park version of various real-world cultures into cardboard theme-park fantasy cultures, sexist stereotyping in a mixed group of role-players might just be the most mild, interesting, refreshing, and educational form of bad role-playing most groups would be exposed to.



That's one of the most messed up, yet potentially accurate, statements I have ever read.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Not sure if that's meant as a good thing or a bad thing, Salla.  I've been in a messed-up, cynical mood this week.

Not sure how that previous post sounded outside of my own head, but what I was getting at was that I have much higher hopes of men and women gamers having the desire, will, interest, and framework to meet on middle ground and do something positive about it when bad cross-gender role-playing appears, than I do for any example of bad role-playing that I can think of.

Or, perhaps more accurately, I have much lower hopes of anything constructive being done to improve the quality of bad alignment, "Class", "Race", and culture stereotyping in role-playing and campaign design.  These other sorts of stereotypes are ingrained so deeply, and I suspect gamers' minds are so closed about them, that I actually expect hostile reactions to attempts to improve the state of any of these aspects of role-playing.
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
Not sure if that's meant as a good thing or a bad thing, Salla.  I've been in a messed-up, cynical mood this week.

Not sure how that previous post sounded outside of my own head, but what I was getting at was that I have much higher hopes of men and women gamers having the desire, will, interest, and framework to meet on middle ground and do something positive about it when bad cross-gender role-playing appears, than I do for any example of bad role-playing that I can think of.

Or, perhaps more accurately, I have much lower hopes of anything constructive being done to improve the quality of bad alignment, "Class", "Race", and culture stereotyping in role-playing and campaign design.  These other sorts of stereotypes are ingrained so deeply, and I suspect gamers' minds are so closed about them, that I actually expect hostile reactions to attempts to improve the state of any of these aspects of role-playing.



I tend to treat Stereotypes as cliche's; to be avoided at all costs.  While I don't expect every character to be entirely original it is nice to see the player actually make an attempt at creating someone who is multi-layered and dynamic.  The problem with stereotypes is that they are flat and flat is simply not realistic.  Flat can be fun, and theres nothing wrong with a flat appearance, so long as there is some kind of layering built into the storyline for the individual.

I find that the moderate application of 'why questions' pushes a player to find an explanation to form that starting seed for the driving forces of their personality and development.  I find the further you push a player to develop a character the harder it is to mirror that stereotype, it is one reason I include substantial amounts of sandbox time in my games, aside from having a group that heartily takes advantage of it-my players almost write my games for me sometimes.  When a player has to find something to do with their free time they must begin finding reasons for why their character partakes in those activities.

I haven't received any 'hostile' reactions to pushing character development.  I have gotten players who were almost baffled by the lack of direction before, but they almost immediately catch on because of the rush of activity from the other players in the group. 
...and in the ancient voice of a million squirrels the begotten chittered "You have set upon yourselves a great and noble task, dare you step further, what say you! What say you!"
For the record, I've generally had few complaints about any groups I've been a part of. 

Sadly, I think the "What's a DM to do" and "What's a Player to do" forums are full of examples of what I was referring to, though.  Even so, I think the gender stereotypes seem to be among the least of the problems I've seen so far.
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
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