Female Satyr

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So, now that the disturbing flame war that was the CharOp Satyr thread got locked while I was catching up on it and preparing a post, I thought I'd put my (actually constructive) solution in the correct place.

Let's say I have a female Satyr concept in mind, call her Sara the Satyr Skald.  I start by asking my DM if he's willing to handwave the Satyr sex restriction, but he's meek and deferential and scared to violate rules, so he tells me that, like it or not, my Satyr is male because the darned text box says so.  Okay, cool, I can work with that.

Solution: I play Sara the Satyr Skald anyway, just as I would have.  Out of character, if anyone asks, then yeah, I guess she's technically a dude.  But she identifies and presents as a female, and I'm playing her as a female.  People might be a bit confused, but your average townsperson (outside the Feywild, at least) probably hasn't met too many Satyrs before, anyway.  That Wizard with enough Arcana background to know that all Satyrs should be male might give me a sidelong glance, but whatever.  In character, if anyone asks her, Sara is a lady, and what that involves physically is no more your business than what female dragonborn do with those lumps on their chests.

Gender has no mechanical influence on anything.  If anything, most D&D settings are MORE gender egalitarian than 21st century America, if only to make sure people are free to make those choices without in-game fluff penalties.  The little grey box dictates that Sara the Satyr Skald has man parts down there somewhere, but (mythological role of Satyrs aside) if you're in the kind of campaign where your character's genitals come into actual use that needs to be described to the table, house rules are the LEAST of your concerns.  Since the dice don't care what my character's biological sex is, and the NPC's are unlikely to care what my character's biological sex is, is there any reason I or my character need to care?

Sure, playing a (basically) transgendered Satyr might be a little bit of an awkward, overly-postmodern fit for your campaign world.  But play it up!  If it makes your DM feel awkward, it's his (or her) fault for being a curmudgeon about a meaningless rule and forcing you to respond creatively.

Thoughts?  Is there any reason the "all Satyrs are male" rule would actually prevent anyone from playing their female Satyr character?  Is "male" even a defined game term?  Pretty sure it isn't...

(I didn't make it through all 68 pages of the last thread to see what exactly got it locked, but I hope we can avoid whatever those problems were over here.  I really would like to have a constructive discussion of this particular aspect.) 
Satyrs are the male version of Nymphs, mostly. Hence the whole "they're always male". Frankly they should've just made a "Fey" race and said the males are goat legged and the females are gorgeous.
Fluff-wise, a female saytr doesn't make sense, and I wouldn't allow it in my setting, but if it's your game, go nuts.

Standard Answer to all 5E rules questions: "Ask your DM."

Fluff-wise, a female saytr doesn't make sense...

Please justify this statement. Because as we learned from the thread mentioned by the OP, there are quite a substancial number of people that see absolutely nothing wrong conceptually with a female Satyr. No more than a female Minotaur, a male Medusa, a male Harpy, etc. The only thing that it isn't is consistent with the mythology from which it originated, but neither are any of these other races that I just mentioned, so that doesn't sound like a valid reason. Other explanations that came up based around the concept of the Satyr either just sound sexist, as if women can't also be lustful and so on, or just lack imagination, as though the presence of female Satyrs would need to stop Satyrs from lusting for Nymphs.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
It's not a matter of being consistent with the original mythology. It's a matter of being consistent with the core concept of the creature. Gender isn't central to the concept of the minotaur, medusa, or harpy. For the saytr, however, it's one of the defining characteristics. A female saytr is like a minotaur that doesn't have horns and is half-fish. Sure, if you wanna call it a minotaur in your world, have at it, but it doesn't stay true to the IDEA of a minotaur, as is traditionally held.

I'm a fairly traditional guy, myself. If you want female saytrs in your game? Cool. More power to ya. Fish-man minotaurs? I applaud your pioneering spirit. Sparkly vegetarian vampires? Whatever floats your boat.

But they aren't ever going to be in my game, and you'll do nothing but confuse people by applying those names to things that defy the concepts most central to the titles.

Standard Answer to all 5E rules questions: "Ask your DM."

We should do a poll.

"Did you know there were no female Satyr before D&D told you so in their new statblock?"

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess we'll get at least a 50% say "There aren't? That's news to me." rating. Probably higher. Far too high to put this restriction in, at any rate.
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For the saytr, however, [gender is] one of the defining characteristics.

Please justify this, because I do not see it at all. The defining characteristics of a satyr to me are upper half of a human, lower half of a goat, often play flues and other wind instruments, often overly sexual and lustful in nature, related to faugns and nymphs and other fey creatures. Nothing about that suggests to me anything exclusively male. I don't know where people are getting this strong idea anyway that Satyrs must be exclusively male or else totally violate the point of being a satyr, because that's not even the case in all literature and mythology that they make an appearance in. Check it out.

If you want female saytrs in your game? Cool. More power to ya.

Which would be great if we weren't mechanically restricted from creating them. That is the crux of the issue. Not necessarily the default fluff but the mechanical rule that enforces it. To go along with your example, nothing in the mechanics for the Minotaur bar me from playing one that doesn't have horns or from playing one that's half fish. I'm free to reflavor that if I want to. Playing a female Satyr, on the other hand, requires much more drastic measures in house ruling.

Again, because I want to emphasize the point. It's totally fine that we have different conceptualizations of the Satyr, and if you want to adhere to classical mythology and keep Satyrs as exclusively male and Harpies as exclusively female and so on and so forth, then I would not dream of standing in your way. However, I would like the exact same freedom to interpret game elements in the ways that I feel are most relevant to my character and to my gaming group.

Satyrs, like centaurs, embodied masculinity for the Ancient Greeks. It is understandable why developpers chose to make them all male.

Yes, that's exactly why centaurs are currently restricted to being male... Oh wait.
But really, those ideas of masculinity are just outdated and sexist now. If anything, I think that this alienates some players.

Personally, I like that designers had the courage to chose fluff for their creation.

That's fine, but there's no reason to force that onto everybody through needless mechanical restrictions. I don't think it unreasonable of me to request that stuff like this with no mechanical impact anyway simply be kept in the fluff where it belongs.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
It's not a matter of being consistent with the original mythology. It's a matter of being consistent with the core concept of the creature. Gender isn't central to the concept of the minotaur, medusa, or harpy. For the saytr, however, it's one of the defining characteristics. A female saytr is like a minotaur that doesn't have horns and is half-fish. Sure, if you wanna call it a minotaur in your world, have at it, but it doesn't stay true to the IDEA of a minotaur, as is traditionally held.



I beg to differ. The core concept of the medusa is that she was a woman so beautiful that she turned the heads of gods away from Aphrodite. It wasn't until a relatively obscure dragon article that the concept of male medusae (called maedar) even entered into D&D. IIRC, the very first mention of the Maedar in a Monster Manual wasn't until 3.x. I'm fairly sure that the first mention of a female Minotaur was also in AD&D 2E when they needed a self-sustaining population of Minotaurs to run an empire (Time of the Dragon, the Taladas boxed set for Dragonlance). Until then, it wasn't necessary to have female Minotaurs (and the fluff of the Dragonlance setting has the Minotaurs being created by the Greygem of Gargath as it passed a tribe of Ogres).

The very definition of Harpy (a shrill woman) is gender charged.

I'm a fairly traditional guy, myself. If you want female saytrs in your game? Cool. More power to ya. Fish-man minotaurs? I applaud your pioneering spirit. Sparkly vegetarian vampires? Whatever floats your boat.

But they aren't ever going to be in my game, and you'll do nothing but confuse people by applying those names to things that defy the concepts most central to the titles.



Depictions of female Satyr have been in art since the Renaissance, so it isn't like the concept is that incongruous. There is nothing wrong with carefree, lusty beast women to go with the carefree, lusty, beast men. Just as there is nothing wrong with having male tree spirits (after all, plants are both male and female).

To the OP:

Rock on with your female Satyr, or your male Hamadryad. the ancient Greeks won't care, and neither should your DM. By creating such a concept, you are adding to his world if he is inclined to be open-minded.

Which would be great if we weren't mechanically restricted from creating them. That is the crux of the issue.


Really? You can't hand-wave that one little sentence away? It has ZERO mechanical effect anyways. It might as well say "All saytrs have brown fingernails." Who cares?

Seriously, I think that's what bugs me the most about people who complain about the saytr thing: you're carrying on about NOTHING. You want female saytrs in your game? LITERALLY NOTHING is stopping you. The writers have one particular take on saytrs, and they decided to write that bit of fluff into the book, but you are by no means required to care.

Standard Answer to all 5E rules questions: "Ask your DM."

It's the same thing as saying "Really? You can't hand-wave a 3.5e Paladin's alignment restrictions away?"

It's not that you can't.

It's that you shouldn't have to.

I mean; you're also literaly saying "It does absolutely nothing". Then why the hell is it a mechanic?
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Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
Really? You can't hand-wave that one little sentence away?

I can, but not everybody has that luxury. I'm not just thinking of myself here. The OP's scenario is not unlikely.

It has ZERO mechanical effect anyways. It might as well say "All saytrs have brown fingernails." Who cares?

Exactly!

You want female saytrs in your game? LITERALLY NOTHING is stopping you.

Except for the fact that the mechanical stat block disallows it.

The writers have one particular take on saytrs, and they decided to write that bit of fluff into the book, but you are by no means required to care.

The fluff isn't nearly as problematic as the crunch. The crunch is the road-playing roadblock that the OP is needing to try to get around.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
It's the same thing as saying "Really? You can't hand-wave a 3.5e Paladin's alignment restrictions away?"

It's not that you can't.

It's that you shouldn't have to.

I mean; you're also literaly saying "It does absolutely nothing". Then why the hell is it a mechanic?


In 3.5E, alignment had mechanical meaning and significance. Gender does not, in any edition.

And in 3.5's heyday, what kinds of arguments were the most asinine and pointless? The Alignment/paladin-code ones. That's why this annoys me. It's the same thing, and I'm not talking about the "rule," I'm talking about the complaining.

Actually, the amount of pointless, exaggerated complaining is what I dislike most about this forum in general.

EDIT: If I sound really angry in this post, I appologize. I'm extremely tried right now, and I may be getting a little cranky. 

Standard Answer to all 5E rules questions: "Ask your DM."


In 3.5E, alignment had mechanical meaning and significance. Gender does not, in any edition.



Well, it does now, because if you pick "female" you're not allowed to play a Satyr.
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Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

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

So here a different take on it, and some people may disagree on dogma and stuff, but anyway:


There are three aspects to sexuality:



  1. Sex - your physical parts

  2. Gender - how you identify yourself

  3. Orientation - which sex/gender you are attracted to


So sure, you can play a female satyr.  She is sexually male, but gendered female.  Now how you term her orientation might be another matter.  There are a number of real world example of people who's gender and sex do not match.  Chas Bono is one.  I think it would be a great roleplaying opportunity.


Because of the blurring of sex vs gender and better understanding of it in the world today you see thinks like Australia allowing a third option of "X" when listing sex on a passport specifically for people who are physically one way but live the other.


Don't get hung up on it, just have fun with it.


TjD

It's the same thing as saying "Really? You can't hand-wave a 3.5e Paladin's alignment restrictions away?"

It's not that you can't.

It's that you shouldn't have to.

I mean; you're also literaly saying "It does absolutely nothing". Then why the hell is it a mechanic?



This.  THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Well, with the exception of Mr. Durriken, this got completely away from my questions and just turned back into the old thread.  I guess I should have expected that.

To the people who are saying "all satyrs are male in the games I run:" What would you do with my Sara the Satyr Skald example?  I mean, technically she's male, but would you disallow the character because she claims to be female?  That seems a little silly.  I could certainly see disallowing it because it violates your intended tone, if you're the kind of hands-on DM who needs to make those decisions about the characters your players play.

Again, because your Satyr is unlikely to actually use his (or potentially her) genitals in play, the character's actual biological sex seems unlikely to be an important issue.

I really have no problem with the sexual dimorphism argument for Satyrs and Hamadryads as different "races" statwise, but if Sara the Satyr Skald doesn't actually violate any crunch rules and the DM prohibits her on "awkward fluff" grounds, then the crunch wasn't actually the sticking point that prevented my "female" Satyr from seeing play, the awkward fluff was.  Which is exactly how it would have worked if the "all Satyrs are male" was outside the crunch box as several people are suggesting, 
It's the same thing as saying "Really? You can't hand-wave a 3.5e Paladin's alignment restrictions away?"

It's not that you can't.

It's that you shouldn't have to.

I mean; you're also literaly saying "It does absolutely nothing". Then why the hell is it a mechanic?



This.  THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS.



Based on my example above, I would argue that it isn't a mechanic, it's just made to look a lot like one.  But if you play it to the letter of the law and ignore all the attached fluff from "your character is male," it doesn't really create a problem.

The poster who compared this to the somewhat idiotic alignment restrictions on some of the recent E-classes had a wonderful point, including that alignment restrictions are more obnoxious than sex restrictions, but equally easy to ignore.  Just like there's nothing to stop me from writing "Lawful Good" on my Cavalier of Sacrifice's character sheet and then playing him like a selfish and unpredictable sadist, there's nothing to stop me from writing "theoretically male" on my Satyr's character sheet and playing her like the female she is.

Show of hands: How many of you, in the course of your 4e experience, have ever felt the need to describe or even imagine your character's genitals?  For anyone who's raising their hand right now, my argument is invalid, I guess your character's biological sex is a crunch issue for you.  For everyone else, it's a flavor concern that got shoved in a stupid place, and should be houseruled or, lacking a houserule, fragrantly ignored without violating Da Rules to play the character you'd like to play. 

I'd say your DM is afraid of "awkward fluff", possibly in real life.  Play her as transgendered.  What's he gonna do about it.  I would be putting the finishing touches on Marvelous Awesome, a flamboyant gay bard, right now for Encounters (he would be marvelously accessorized and awesomely equipped), but another guy wanted to play a bard, so I dropped it.  The only touchy thing would be that there are three pre teens at the table, but 2 are mine and I am perfectly comfortable with them being exposed to LBGT stuff.  They've been to same sex wedding where my wife co-officiated.  I don't have anything to prove either, married 16.5 years with 4 kids.  It's just roleplaying.  It's for fun.  I was also looking forward to seeing my son react to my bard hitting on his pixie!  And the stories he'd tell Mom after the game would be fabulous.


Besides someone else playing a bard (and he's DM'd a couple season, so he deserves to play the character he wants) the only reason I wouldn't have played that is if the mother of the other kid (the mother plays too) had asked me not to.  Because it her daughter I would have done it.  I was going to check with her first.  But in the company of just adults, if they aren't mature enough to handle it... 


TjD 

I can't see any reason to disallow it.  Then again, I let a player play an anthropomorphic squirrel using the elf mechanics, so ... eh.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I can't see any reason to disallow it.  Then again, I let a player play an anthropomorphic squirrel using the elf mechanics, so ... eh.



Yeah, that's much more my style.  I've had players on several occasions who have either a radical reinterpretation of a race/class or want to play a race that doesn't remotely exist in 4e, and as long as I can find them a race/class chassis that follows the rules and doesn't break anything, I've never seen any reason to stamp my foot and insist that everything has to be the same color and shape it's listed as.

I mean technically, if I play a 5'5" human (or a 230 lb human), I'm violating the rules about what humans can be  just as much as if I play a female satyr.  After all, height and weight ranges for every race are included in the racial statblock, so they're just as much a crunch rule as ability scores.  But you never hear about a DM disallowing a character based on height variance, do you?

Few things:


1) the male medusa is as far back as 2nd edition.


2) as long as you dont try to work a mechanical betifit out a thematical difference, have at.


3) Sara's grandfather was a satyr, has a daughter with an eladrin, that half-satyr has another daughter with another satyr. Now you have a 3/4 satyr eladrin who is female, as per mechanics when a elf and half elf have a child it is counted as a full elf for statistical purposes.


4) Girdle of femininity/masculenity.

So pretty much from what I can gather, no one would mind the heavy hint to "Satyrs SHOULD be just male." as long as it wasn't listed as a mechanical restriction.
So pretty much from what I can gather, no one would mind the heavy hint to "Satyrs SHOULD be just male." as long as it wasn't listed as a mechanical restriction.



That's basically it, yes.
Epic Dungeon Master

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.
So pretty much from what I can gather, no one would mind the heavy hint to "Satyrs SHOULD be just male." as long as it wasn't listed as a mechanical restriction.



That's basically it, yes.



Scruffy the Janitor

Second
So pretty much from what I can gather, no one would mind the heavy hint to "Satyrs SHOULD be just male." as long as it wasn't listed as a mechanical restriction.



That's basically it, yes.





Second



Third.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
This is how I would handle it if I were DM:
Someone in my campaign wants to be a female satyr: I allow it, and that is considered normal in the setting.
No one in my campaign wants to be a female satyr: In my setting, all satyrs are male.

The thing is, even though I'm in the party that thinks female satyrs shouldn't really be a thing, and if I had it my way they wouldn't be in the setting, I'd never let it get in the way of what the player wants for their character.
 
EDIT: also the joy of dnd being a pen and paper game is that you can just say "screw it" and do whatever because there is nothing stopping you from doing it however you feel like it. Like giving a dwarf +2 int +2 chr if you want. Of course, I've never had a rulemonger dm so I can see the problems some people might have with it being a "rule".  
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If a player came to me with a female satyr I'd either modify the cosmology of the game world to make room for them, or find out what about the satyr was essential to their character concept and build a race to fit.  It's not as if satyrs are the only D&D creature that's a frolicsome human with goat legs.


Masculinity is inherent to the satyr concept, so it's the concept that needs modifying.  The mechanics don't change based on what's under the loincloth.  
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Masculinity is inherent to the satyr concept...

1) That's not true. Rather, it's that certain things that we associate with masculinity are inherent to the satyr concept. These things are not necessarily associated with masculinity in all cultures, and they certainly don't need to be associated with masculinity in the culture of a fantasy race like the Satyr.

B) Even if that were true, what's wrong with women being masculine? Or acting in ways that we normally associate with masculinity? This is a game where female barbarians can be exactly as strong and tough and fearsome as male barbarians, so I'm going to go with the answer of "Nothing".

#) PCs are special. They don't have to do a single thing supposedly inherent to their race's concept, at least certainly not when it comes to behavioral expectations. As it stands, I could play a very, very feminine Satyr that's biologically male and would not violate the rules at all despite being counter to the fluff.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Just use the mechanics and call yourself a faun. Male or female, and they fill the same role.
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I don't think I'd allow this if I were your DM.  Because you already said the DM decided satyrs are all male, so this seems like you just trying to go around or ignore him.  I mean, I'm not sure I'd rule it that way myself, but if I did make a ruling and you tried to do this I wouldn't let you.  But whatever.
I don't think I'd allow this if I were your DM.  Because you already said the DM decided satyrs are all male, so this seems like you just trying to go around or ignore him.  I mean, I'm not sure I'd rule it that way myself, but if I did make a ruling and you tried to do this I wouldn't let you.  But whatever.

I agree partially with Salla and pals, but also this.

Players should respect campaign settings, their fluff and rules.

ALBEIT ALSO, a good dm shouldn't balk at allowing stuff that may work if thought well, around the box and all.

What if she was THE lone satyress, born of some.. fated reason, bye xample? 
Players should respect campaign settings, their fluff and rules.

There is no good reason for a player to respect a campaign setting or a campaign setting feature that the player did not agree to prior, at least certainly not when the feature in question has absolutely no bearing on the plot or tone of the campaign but gets in the way of characters anyway.

If I'm playing in your campaign, and I want to play a female satyr, and the campaign setting isn't strictly based on greek mythology, and the campaign's plot has absolutely nothing to do with Satyrs being a single-sex race, and you have no good reason to believe that my character would disrupt a single thing about the game's plot or tone, and you disallow it anyway just because you don't like it... Then no, I will not respect your decision or your campaign setting. Why should I?

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Generally speaking, players should respect campaign setting restrictions, and campaign setting restrictions should only exist when they're really important to the campaign.

"There are no Paladins because the main point of this whole setting is 'no deities'" is perfectly fine.

But I disagree with "You can't play an Elf because I've never imagined Elves in this world". So you haven't, who cares? Start doing it. Grab a random piece of unexplored wilderness, put a small tribe of Elves that don't venture out of there woods, and then play the one guy that left his tribal Elven village.
It's not going to destroy anything about the setting. He'll just be an oddity wherever he goes.

It's the same with Satyr. Unless it's a real key issue that there are no female Satyr, let the player have his female Satyr. You have  an entire world you can mess around with as DM, let the player have his one little piece of input.
Epic Dungeon Master

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.
Players should respect campaign settings, their fluff and rules.

There is no good reason for a player to respect a campaign setting or a campaign setting feature that the player did not agree to prior, at least certainly not when the feature in question has absolutely no bearing on the plot or tone of the campaign but gets in the way of characters anyway.

If I'm playing in your campaign, and I want to play a female satyr, and the campaign setting isn't strictly based on greek mythology, and the campaign's plot has absolutely nothing to do with Satyrs being a single-sex race, and you have no good reason to believe that my character would disrupt a single thing about the game's plot or tone, and you disallow it anyway just because you don't like it... Then no, I will not respect your decision or your campaign setting. Why should I?


Because otherwise you can't play in my game.  If the DM won't budge, you can't just... play anyway.  If the DM said "no elves", you wouldn't just show up to play your elf anyway, would you?  I don't even care about the satyr thing.  Screw that.  The real point is the idea of just ignoring the DM and trying to play something he said not to.  At this point, you should just find another game, because I have no clue why why you'd want to be in his or why he'd let you.
The "I rule this game and I'm allowing you to play" is a very specific subset of DMs. It's also, from my experience, one mostly held by entitled DMs who think they own the game and are the Supreme Ruler of it.

It's slowly becoming a more and more outdated way of looking at the DM role. Most modern games assume that you're playing with friends, and that the DM is just another player at the table, not someone atop an ivory tower sending down divine decrees to the plebs.

If the DM says "no Elves" then players will most likely respond with "why not" and if the DM doesn't have a good reason (and a thematic one, at that. not a "don't like them"), then the DM should just allow Elves and stop feeling superior to the rest of the table by enforcing his rules upon people who are just there to have a bit of fun.

Unless you want to be an old-school DM, in which case you really shouldn't be surprised if you end up with people who fit the exact same criteria you do; "guys that are looking for players outside of their group of friends, because their friends don't want to play in their games anymore".
Epic Dungeon Master

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.
I don't DM at all, or want to.  I also wouldn't likely make any of these rulings.  That's the not the POINT.  From the OP's post, the DM did make such a ruling.  The books say satyrs are male, so he can't play a girl.  I don't understand why someone would try and just... ignore that.  Surely nobody thinks a DM would just shrug and move on?  As a player, I would never try that, and as a DM I would never allow that.  I don't get all these posts that boil down to "Screw what the DM said you couldn't play, just show up with one anyway".
Because apparently, the player wishes to play such a character. My point was that the DM doesn't get to set all the rules on his own. It's a group activitity, and if the players wish to play a certain kind of character then the DM shouldn't disallow it unless he has a very good reason (such as "no female satyr") being crucial to the campaign setting.

Nobody's suggesting a player should "just ignore it", but people are suggesting the DM shouldn't "just say no" either. If the player really wants to play a female Satyr because he has that kind of character, the DM shouldn't block him "just because".
Epic Dungeon Master

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.
The DM's not posting here, you aren't suggesting anything to him.  And apparently he DID block him "just because".  And you can't change that by telling the OP to ignore it, which yes, is exactly what's been going on.
To the player I would, actually, suggest he ask the DM to explain why a female Satyr isn't allowed.

And, but this is a personal thing, if the DM said "because I said so", I'd find a new DM.
Epic Dungeon Master

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.
It's a give and take thing.  If the DM is always always shooting down the players' ideas then that can get quite frustrating.  If the players are always badgering the DM to justify everything that goes on in the game, then that is also frustrating.  If someone is willing to run games for me, then I will generally err on the side of not giving them too much hassle.

On an only slightly related note, why is all the outcry about female satyrs?  Nobody seems to be kicking up a great fuss because they wanted to play a male hamadryad and the rules prevented them from doing so. 
I heard that they are making a new video game, where you control the Netherese flying citadel of Sakkors, raining death on your helpless enemies below. Working title: Mythal Command.


On an only slightly related note, why is all the outcry about female satyrs?  Nobody seems to be kicking up a great fuss because they wanted to play a male hamadryad and the rules prevented them from doing so. 



This was explained (and Hamadryads discussed) upthread. Satyrs were spoiled first, so the first threads were about Satyrs. Every argument for a female Satyr also applies to a male Hamadryad, so there is no point in rehashing the same argument wearing different clothing.

I'm all for female Satyr, as enough other Greek myth has been altered in D&D that I don't see the point in holding fast to this particular dinosaur. In addition, from the Renaissance on, ther have been depicitons of female Satyr in artwork, so it's not like the idea of a female Satyr is new ground or controversial. I'm also all for male Hamadryads (many plants are both male and female, either at the same time, or spontaneously changing to suit the needs of the population), as there is no good reason to restrict Hamadryads to female, either.

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