Wandering Monsters: Hellenic Half-Humans

How well does the centaur described here match with your sense of the iconic D&D creature?
Yeah, I recognize that as a centaur. 

And how well does the satyr described here match with your sense of the iconic D&D creature?
Yeah, I recognize that as a satyr. 

And how well does the harpy described here match with your sense of the iconic D&D creature?
Its siren song lures me in!

Male harpies? Male nymphs and dryads? Female satyrs? 
Yes. The game should reflect the changing times.  (Im for more options, IMC i can always decide that they have no female counterpart if desired)

Does my refinement to the minotaur make the race description better, worse, or the same? 
Better, and it's just about right.
For your consideration, my respose to the column:

"I resist the idea of creating male nymphs or female satyrs."
Really? Because your description of Satyrs is entirely sex-neutral, avoiding the question at all, and is therefore PERFECT because it lets us project our own additional assumption onto the creature.

Please realize that this question about whether to include male dryads or female satyrs is NOT about your specifically stating that they exist. You do not have to say that they exist to satisfy the camp that sees many of these single-sex creatures as problematic. Rather it is about not precluding their existence when doing so is unnecessary. All that you have to do is keep the description open to interpretation, just as you've done here with the Satyr, just as D&D has done with many of these creatures in the past.

If you want examples, check out the Dryad's 4E MM description or the Harpy's 3.5 MM description. The strength of these descriptions is that, if you believe these creatures should be exclusively female, their descriptions will let you go right on thinking that because they make no mention of males of these species. At the same time, if you believe that these creature should represent both sexes (or, in the case of the Dryad, a hermaphroditic creature, which makes the most since because it's an oak tree spirit), their descriptions will let you go right on thinking that too because they make no mention of any sex exclusivity.

This brings up the flaw in asking which D&D version of a creature is the most iconic, because often time, multiple people can look at the exact same description of a monster and walk away with different interpretations of it, and that is a GOOD thing. I guarantee somebody walked away from your description of the Satyr thinking they were exclusively male (apparently even you yourself?) while I walked away from it thinking how great it was that the door was open again for female ones. This Satyr is the perfect example of a win-win.

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!
I am good with descriptions open to interpretations as explained by C_C
Part of me wants some of the monster description room mention settings in order to broaden the view of these types of creatures. Just mention that "in some settings, X is Y" and be done with it. My minotaurs aren't cursed (the large savage minotaurs come from the noble medium ones) and my harpies are both sexes (though males are rarely seen). Monster lore sound be accessible to new DMs and DM who don't want/need to change from convention while still encouraging others to customize their worlds.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

I always preferred to think of the creatures with one gender as highly sexually dimorphic species.



The succubus and the incubus are the same 'species' - but the sexes look very different.

The satyr and one(all of?)  of the various nymph types are the same 'species' - but the sexes look very different.


Etc.


And in some other cases, the answer is clear - it just isn't particularly family-friendly.  There is a reason why races such as the Harpy are known for kidnapping travellers - and a reason why they often lay eggs not too long afterwards.  It just doesn't make for good copy in a game.


The same goes for the Dryad ("...if near a male with a 16 or greater charisma,  the dryad will use her powerful charm person spell....If a person is taken away by a Dryad there is a 50% chance they will never return and if they do return it will be from 1 to 4 years later.... ).  Clearly the Dryad also keeps the male around for child care during those first few years as well.

So there are only female dryads, succubi, nymphs etc (and only male incubi and satyrs) - because the opposite gender looks and behaves so differently that we see them as entirely different creatures.


Carl
these creatures are based om greek mytoligy, if a creature based on mytoligy i woulden't mins a line in there mentioning where ine insperation came from.
 
The succubus and the incubus are the same 'species' - but the sexes look very different.

This succubus/incubus thing is one of those dichotomies that never made a bit of sense to me. They're they're the exact same thing only one is female and the other is male? But they're both shape-shifters? No, that makes no sense. What makes far more sense is that succibi and incubi are the same thing, not even different sexes of the same species but actually the same thing. When it takes the form of a women, people call it a succubus, and when it takes the form of a man, people call it an incubus, bit it's the same creature. Anything else just makes no sense. It's not like there's ever been anything preventing succubi from taking male forms with their shape-shifting abilities or incubi from taking female forms with their shape-shifting abilities, and I know that at least 3E, 3.5, and 4E all statted succubi and incubi as totally identical.
EDIT: Yeah, the 4E MM even outright says that Succubi use "their shapechanging abilities to appear as attractive men and women".

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!
Personally, I was disappointed with the description for Centaurs. Even in Greek legend, Centaurs were not predominantly Chaotic Good and nature-y (although Chiron, the classic "heroic mentor" was, he was an exception rather than a rule). Instead, Hercules fought wild, brutal tribes of wild Centaurs every bit as bacchanal as Saytrs and even more dangerous. I'd like to see these types of Centuars acknowledged within the rules - and what's more scary than a thousand pounds of berserking doom charging at you?

The others in the article were fine - not great, but the Harpies sounded fairly interesting. 
* Centaurs should be designed like potential future PC class. If bairaurs from Planescape were PC race centaurs too.

* I don´t mind the canon, for me satyrs can be male and females. About background...I can´t imagine them like a bunch of stupy but happy hippies-like who are for all day drinking, dancing and playing music (and eating magic moshroom and licking toads) while in the next region orcs are making a genocide againts the wood elves or a shifter tribe is being slavered by a red dragon.

* I don´t like the idea of harpyes like creatures with parthenogenesis (only if it is a option). I would rather the idea sometime some harpyes could be hot bird-woman..(it can´t worse tha avariels/winged elves or raptorans from "Races of wild"). 

* The gamers can choose the background they want, if we want a male nymph we could use the name "efebus" or "kouros". 

* A "subrace" of minotaurs could be a PC race. If they is a future module about monter/racial classes....the minotaur should in one of the first places of the list.

*  The male arpy could be the "mandulis" or "meruel".

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandulis

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

The Centaur description could use some more savage elements. Make them more chaotic and less good, probably varying by tribe/family. That makes them easier to use in game. Satyr description is fine, though I think Satyr is probably one race that is well suited to being updated to include both sexes. Either that or go with the theory that Satyrs and the various Nymph groups are really one race where the two sexes are nothing alike. Harpy on the other hand, I would rather not see converted. None of these issues are that important though, none of these are core monsters in the same way dragons, undead, demons and devils are. Getting the iconic monsters right is critical, the rest have more room for playing around with later.

I'm not happy with Minotaurs, but I'm not sure any solution would make me happy at this point. There are so many radically divergent views of the race, and I don't like most of them. I like the idea of a Minotaur race but part of the point would be having a large playable race. I see the medium variants as being cop outs or campaign specific weirdness. Unfortunately, there are enough medium minotaurs at this point that they probably can't be dropped and there needs to be playable versions for some campaign worlds. Having Minotaurs variants that are playable that are both medium and large would be difficult and redundant. This is particularly annoying here because Next's mechanics allow for a large race far more easily then 3e or 4e did. In both 3e and 4e, the advantage of having bigger weapon dice was huge because it stacked across multiple attacks or multiple [W]. This means most of the reason for the medium Minotaurs is gone, but they can't simply be wiped out because they have too much history.

When it comes to mythology, use D&D mythology and forget about anything else.    D&D has a right to its own brand. 

For that reason, I fully support Taladas minotaurs.


I fully support Taladas minotaurs.


Yes me too! I dream of a D&D Next version of this:


 
I always preferred to think of the creatures with one gender as highly sexually dimorphic species.

Which is great, provided a gender isn't completely absent.
It's also nice when radical dimorphism is detailed out roughly as well as Medusa/Maedar, or maybe we can add in a humanoid analogue of an anglerfish (just to be really creepy).
For your consideration, my respose to the column:

"I resist the idea of creating male nymphs or female satyrs."
Really? Because your description of Satyrs is entirely sex-neutral, avoiding the question at all, and is therefore PERFECT because it lets us project our own additional assumption onto the creature.

Please realize that this question about whether to include male dryads or female satyrs is NOT about your specifically stating that they exist. You do not have to say that they exist to satisfy the camp that sees many of these single-sex creatures as problematic. Rather it is about not precluding their existence when doing so is unnecessary. All that you have to do is keep the description open to interpretation, just as you've done here with the Satyr, just as D&D has done with many of these creatures in the past.

If you want examples, check out the Dryad's 4E MM description or the Harpy's 3.5 MM description. The strength of these descriptions is that, if you believe these creatures should be exclusively female, their descriptions will let you go right on thinking that because they make no mention of males of these species. At the same time, if you believe that these creature should represent both sexes (or, in the case of the Dryad, a hermaphroditic creature, which makes the most since because it's an oak tree spirit), their descriptions will let you go right on thinking that too because they make no mention of any sex exclusivity.

This brings up the flaw in asking which D&D version of a creature is the most iconic, because often time, multiple people can look at the exact same description of a monster and walk away with different interpretations of it, and that is a GOOD thing. I guarantee somebody walked away from your description of the Satyr thinking they were exclusively male (apparently even you yourself?) while I walked away from it thinking how great it was that the door was open again for female ones. This Satyr is the perfect example of a win-win.

While I prefer the exclusive concepts of these fey creatures (female dryads, harpies, nymphs, & sirens; male satyrs); I wouldn't be opposed to descriptions that don't specify that they are without the opposite gender counterparts.

I would like them to suggest that the myths are typically portrayed as female (or male - satyr), with no actual mention of the opposite gender being given. Then you get the best of both worlds: gender specific mythos (for those that like them traditional) but only suggested in myth and not exclusive in fact (for those that want them to be multi-gendered).

I always preferred to think of the creatures with one gender as highly sexually dimorphic species.

Which is great, provided a gender isn't completely absent.
humanoid analogue of an anglerfish (just to be really creepy).



Dude...no.

I am okay with vastly different sexually dimorphic species.  It happens a lot in nature, so it isn't that irritating to me.
I fully support Taladas minotaurs.


Yes me too! I dream of a D&D Next version of this:


 



James seems to have been confused about the Taladan Minotaurs though.  The League of Minotaurs is composed of Minotaurs much like the Ansalonian Minotaurs.  Hopefully they will get that right if and when they release a Dragonlance Next product.  That would DEFINITELY be a good way to draw me into the system.  Though if they did make one, I would prefer they didn't treat Taladas as a redheaded stepchild version.
It's just inevitible that someone's going to see a humanoid whatever and say "I want to be the [rule 63] of that!".  I don't know why, but it happens.
Personally, I was disappointed with the description for Centaurs. Even in Greek legend, Centaurs were not predominantly Chaotic Good and nature-y (although Chiron, the classic "heroic mentor" was, he was an exception rather than a rule). Instead, Hercules fought wild, brutal tribes of wild Centaurs every bit as bacchanal as Saytrs and even more dangerous. I'd like to see these types of Centuars acknowledged within the rules - and what's more scary than a thousand pounds of berserking doom charging at you?

The others in the article were fine - not great, but the Harpies sounded fairly interesting. 



I'm with you on the centaurs, I don't think this really matches up with either myth or past history in D&D.

Does anyone else find, it weird and redundant how the harpy description starts, you know the line it is a medium monstronsity, with it being already printed in the stats.  Nothing wrong with it just seems like unneccasary repatition.

About harpyes... if I am evil harpy and I lay a fertille egg every two years... I don´t want headaches about look for mor food for the nestling, I would break the egg or I sell it to a wizard.


We have got two version of D&D harpy

 

The ugly old woman with wings...

or the "hot chick" 

 

Subraces could be allowed.




(The harpy from Marvel Comics was a Hulk´s enemy, a mutated Betty Ross). 



Harpy from warcraft.



Cute harpy baby from TV serie "Hercules: the legendary journeys", in the episode "Beanstalks and Bad Eggs"








Other option could be younger and older types. Young type would be the hot chick, and the older the "digievolutioned" form, more powerful (and horrible). 

 

He isn´t a harpy but a raptoran, PC race from "Race of wild". Maybe some harpies could monstrous mutation of female raptorans. 



* Can you find the difference between a angel and a harpy?



 The answer is : five years of marriage. 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

They should separate harpies from sirens.
I was going to suggest that they make the "medium minotaurs" into a true race, and then have the curse turn these true minotaurs into the massive, ogre-like ones. It's a lot more sensical and straight forward than having a curse turn men into ogre-like minotaurs and then involving migration and evolution to make the playable ones.

A distinctive name would also help; I would suggest making them different subspecies. Blackhorn Minotaurs (orge-like) and Gilthorn Minotaurs (human-like) or something.
They should separate harpies from sirens.



That occurred to me too.  AFAIR, "classical" harpies didn't have the charm-song, that was the sirens.  The harpies were a pair/trio of winged bird women who tormented King Phineus by stealing his banquet food - their name means "that which snatches."  They were wind spirits, and personified the destructive power of the wind. 

The confusion with sirens didn't happen till Roman times, as the sirens were also sometimes depicted a bird-women (but not always).  However, their origin, powers, location, and basically everything about them is completely different than the harpies.

I'd be prefectly happy distinguishing between the two, if James is sticking to "classical" definitions.  There are various ways of combining the woman and bird parts to make them visually distinct, and they certainly have different "domains" - destructive winged air spirits vs. charming (as in, they charm people) water spirits.

As for parthenogenesis and single-gender species: .  Not this again.  There's a perfectly long and legitimate history and precedent for it.  There's no reason a creature can't be defined as male or female.  In the case of harpies, dryads, satyrs, etc, it has nothing to do with sexism (the example of the succubus/incubus is a good example there), it's just part of their inherent nature.  Nothing wrong with that.  Just like saying "grass is green" or "circles are round."  If you want the grass to be a different color or a circle to have corners, that's your perogative, but there's nothing wrong with providing a standard definition as a starting point from which individuals can build as desired.
PS - Oh yeah, minotaurs.  I don't care for the "bestial curse" origin at all.  What's wrong with just making them a natural species with some distinct subcultures?  You have high and sylvan elves, why not high/civilized and bestial minotaurs? 

If anything, I'd go the reverse route from where James started.  The minotaurs are a naturally occurring race, just as humans, elves, dwarves, etc are.  At some point a subculture of demonic Baphomet worship developed, and these minotaurs (with some help from their patron) devolved into hulking brutish killers.  The civilized minotaurs could look on their bestial cousins with anything ranging from pity to scornful "look what we could become if we give in to our base nature" to sheer disgust and revilement.  In turn, the bestial minotaurs see their civilized cousins as too soft and weak to claim the power that is rightfully theirs.

That strikes me as more plausible than "they started out as cursed demon worshippers, but some turned nice along the way."  It's the basic law of entropy - unless order is maintained, everything devolves and deteriorates.  The vice versa is just too foreign a concept for me to accept, even in a fictitious oncology.  YMMV.
In the case of harpies, dryads, satyrs, etc, it has nothing to do with sexism, it's just part of their inherent nature.

That would be true if those creatures were real, but they're not. They're inventions of people, and they were invented in the ways that they were as reflections of classical sexist ideas, whether intentionally or not, and their continued use in those ways perpetuates those ideas. You cannot hope to understand this perspective if you are not willing to look at mythology, however classical it may be, with a critical eye. "It has a long history and precedent" is simply not a good reason not to question or change something.

Besides, realize that most of the people who want alternative interpretations would just like for those alternative interpretations not to be inherently precluded. See my first post in this thread to see what I mean. Leaving things like this open to interpretation is a win-win, so why would anybody be against that?

Just like saying "grass is green"

I love this example because, believe it or not, that too is a culturally dependant statement. Did you know that different cultures and languages group colors differently? Just as we here see and refer to Lime Green, Apple Green, and Spring Green as different shades of the same color, so do some other cultures and languages see and refer to Violet, Red, and Orange as just different shades of the same color. The opposite is also true, with some cultures seeing Lime Green, Apple Green, and Spring Green as entirely different colors, just as we here see and refer to Violet, Red, and Orange as entirely different colors.

See, even these "simple statements" that we make, like that grass is green or that dryads are female, are made through cultural lenses that we can and should examine.

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!
* Here in Spain Sirena is siren and mermaid.

* There is other option for harpys, the infected winged, like flying creature from zombie videogames. (For example a freak mutation by influence of Far Realm).







Hangedman, the first boss from "House of Dead".



Harpy from videogame "Serious Sam".


From Castlevania.






For me the no-zombie infected freaks are one of the most terrorific monsters. (Infected aberrations, not undeads).

* There are two type of harpy

- with wings and arms (the classic D&D harpy or the raptorans)

- without arms but wings with claws. 

 ----

If you were a satyr, and the orc tribe wish kill you, how would you try survive if you can´t run away always?  

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

About harpyes... if I am evil harpy and I lay a fertille egg every two years... I don´t want headaches about look for mor food for the nestling, I would break the egg or I sell it to a wizard.


We have got two version of D&D harpy

 

The ugly old woman with wings...

or the "hot chick" 

 

Subraces could be allowed.




(The harpy from Marvel Comics was a Hulk´s enemy, a mutated Betty Ross). 



Harpy from warcraft.



Cute harpy baby from TV serie "Hercules: the legendary journeys", in the episode "Beanstalks and Bad Eggs"








Other option could be younger and older types. Young type would be the hot chick, and the older the "digievolutioned" form, more powerful (and horrible). 

 

He isn´t a harpy but a raptoran, PC race from "Race of wild". Maybe some harpies could monstrous mutation of female raptorans. 



* Can you find the difference between a angel and a harpy?



 The answer is : five years of marriage. 



Funny thing about harpies, mermaids, and succubi is that no matter how depraved, evil, or primitive they are they always find time to get a nice looking top to avoid offending Puritanical sensitivities.

In the case of harpies, dryads, satyrs, etc, it has nothing to do with sexism, it's just part of their inherent nature.

That would be true if those creatures were real, but they're not. They're inventions of people, and they were invented in the ways that they were as reflections of classical sexist ideas, whether intentionally or not, and their continued use in those ways perpetuates those ideas. You cannot hope to understand this perspective if you are not willing to look at mythology, however classical it may be, with a critical eye. "It has a long history and precedent" is simply not a good reason not to question or change something.

Besides, realize that most of the people who want alternative interpretations would just like for those alternative interpretations not to be inherently precluded. See my first post in this thread to see what I mean. Leaving things like this open to interpretation is a win-win, so why would anybody be against that?

Just like saying "grass is green"

I love this example because, believe it or not, that too is a culturally dependant statement. Did you know that different cultures and languages group colors differently? Just as we here see and refer to Lime Green, Apple Green, and Spring Green as different shades of the same color, so do some other cultures and languages see and refer to Violet, Red, and Orange as just different shades of the same color. The opposite is also true, with some cultures seeing Lime Green, Apple Green, and Spring Green as entirely different colors, just as we here see and refer to Violet, Red, and Orange as entirely different colors.

See, even these "simple statements" that we make, like that grass is green or that dryads are female, are made through cultural lenses that we can and should examine.




That doesn't mean the colors themselves look different, just because the noun or the adjective noun used to describe them sounds different. Truth be told we can never be sure of what another person perceives yet a spectrometer will give a consistent wavelength or set of wavelengths for any particular object and as long as a group of people have an idea of what person x is reffering to it's sufficient for casual conversation. But our descriptions of things like green and yellow are very imprecise by nature of what we can perceive and describe with our own senses and brains.

Did you know that different cultures and languages group colors differently? Just as we here see and refer to Lime Green, Apple Green, and Spring Green as different shades of the same color, so do some other cultures and languages see and refer to Violet, Red, and Orange as just different shades of the same color. The opposite is also true, with some cultures seeing Lime Green, Apple Green, and Spring Green as entirely different colors, just as we here see and refer to Violet, Red, and Orange as entirely different colors.

See, even these "simple statements" that we make, like that grass is green or that dryads are female, are made through cultural lenses that we can and should examine.



I have to admit, that’s new to me.  Slightly but not entirely off topic:
Show
Would you be able to provide us with some citations of that?  Because I'll admit, my studies and experience as a lighting technician have taught me that you can categorically define color as the visible product of energy at particular wavelengths.  By definition, red is the light produce by energy at these wavelengths, orange is the light produced by energy at different wavelengths, etc.  There are a number of variables which can affect that particular color, and many of these results have been given "common" descriptive names, such as lime green, apple green, and so on.  The various interpretations of those colors will vary - what is "lime green" to me may not be the same as to you - but by definition, the color is categorized as green due to its inherent properties.
  I have never heard of anyone trying to pass off that violet/purple, red, and orange are all variations of the same color (mostly because they aren’t), and I’d be interested to see some examples of that.

But, to bring it back on topic, all that to say: one can state that grass on Earth is green, by definition.  And one can state that rotifers of particular species are all female, by definition.  This leads me to believe that one can therefor state particular imaginary creature are also green or female or whatever by definition.  There is nothing to be implied or read into those definitions, beyond whatever you bring yourself. 

To bring it a little closer to home, we could do this: In D&D, a fighter uses weapons, not implements, by definition.  A wizard or cleric casts spells, by definition.  A dragon is a very powerful creature by definition.  How is that different than saying a harpy is female by definition?

Again, read whatever cultural subtext into it that you will, but I maintain that providing creatures with inherent, defining qualities is in and of itself not a bad thing.  Carry on, Mr. Wyatt.


And that’s all I have to say about that.

That doesn't mean the colors themselves look different, just because the noun or the adjective noun used to describe them sounds different.

True, but the point of what I was saying is just that it's incorrect to paint such supposedly simple statements as being simplistically objective. Rather, even statements sometimes regarded as simple can becomes more complex, involved, and culturally relative when somebody actually takes the time to examine them.

Would you be able to provide us with some citations of that?

I'm having trouble finding the original paper (as well as this really awesome youtube clip) that I originally read about it, and I'm lazy, so I'm just going to link you to these two wikipedia pages as starting points for your own research, if that is satisfactory. I'll continue looking, though, especially for that awesome youtube clip...

EDIT: The video appears to no longer be available for some reason, but the experiment that it depicts is described here. Basically, in this one culture and language, colors are grouped differently such that, given a group of squares that look identical in color to us, they are easily able to point out the one of a different color. Simultaneously, given another group of squares that we could easily pick the odd one out from, they have more trouble.
Not what I was looking for but this article demonstrates the idea with a more familiar language, Russian, which splits what we would group together as blue into two distinct groups.

By definition, red is the light produce by energy at these wavelengths, orange is the light produced by energy at different wavelengths, etc.

Yes, but what labels apply to what spectrum of wavelengths is what's culturally relative. Here, we define wavelengths including a, b, and c with the collective label of "red" and wavelengths including d, e, and f with the collective label of "orange", but somewhere else a, b, c, d, e, and f may each be given entirely different labels and not considered part of the same collective label, and somewhere else still, a, b, c, d, e, and, f may all fall under the same collective label. Make more sense?

This leads me to believe that one can therefor state particular imaginary creature are also green or female or whatever by definition. There is nothing to be implied or read into those definitions, beyond whatever you bring yourself.

There is always something to be implied or read into when it comes to fiction of our own creation, whether we intend them or not. The fiction that we create is a projection of our experiences and thoughts, and so any time something imaginary is constructed, the question of why it was constructed that way can be asked.

Let's look at Sirens for just a second. The way that these creatures have often been conceptualized and used in fiction are as sexually charged adversaries for sailors, and they are also generally depicted as female. But why are they generally depicted as female? Well, there's an actual reason, and that reason is because sailors of the time were male, essentially exclusively. So, you see, the depiction of sirens as female stems from the conventions of a society of sexual disparity. If that disparity were reversed, sirens would be male, as that would then reflect the theme for sailors that were essentially exclusively female. What I argue is that, since we're playing D&D, some of us would like to escape the gender disparities of the real world and maybe have a world where sailors are not exclusively male or female, which then necessitates that both male and female sirens exist in order to continue making sense and remain relevant. (And note that I haven't even gotten into the question of sexual orientation.)

In D&D, a fighter uses weapons, not implements, by definition.  A wizard or cleric casts spells, by definition.  A dragon is a very powerful creature by definition.  How is that different than saying a harpy is female by definition?

Because those other things aren't reflections of things like real-world sexism, racism, homophobia, and so on that some of us would desperately like to leave behind or subvert when we construct the fantasy settings that we would like to play in.

I maintain that providing creatures with inherent, defining qualities is in and of itself not a bad thing.

Of course not, but I'm not arguing against providing creature with inherent, defining qualities. I'm arguing against provoding creatures with inherent, defining qualities that are reflective of real-world issues D&D should allow us to escape or subvert. Questioning what inherent, defining qualities we provide creatures with is also not in and of itself a bad thing. ;)

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!
Fascinating. After putting the greens in Gimp i could see the difference when they were side by side. The jpeg artifacts and monitor make it hard as hell to see the "right" one when all of those little squares are looking slightly different in terms of brightness and whatever.  I wonder if there are some genetic as well as cultural factors at play. Supposedly some women are tetrachromats and I would not be surprised if you lived in the jungle that average green sensitivity would be higher then an Eskimos for example.
The response I posted in the Wandering Monsters page as an explanation to my vote:

The Centaur and Satyr was ok... Personally I would make them unaligned and more savage.
Fey embody the wilds and thus they should be much about 'wildness'. But, just make the default 'warrior' of these races more like a barbarian than a fighter and they are ok.

The harpy gender question... 
Most of these creatures (nymphs, harpies etc.) breed with humans in the myths, consenting or not. In some myths the resulting offspring is allways a (harpy, nymph, etc) and in some myths the child is human if it happens to be born a male. I like this version the best.

As for the medium and large minotaurs... 
Is not the obvious solution that an ogre cultist gets turned into a large minotaur and a human cultist becomes a medium minotaur when affected by the same curse?
(I can see the campaign hook right in front of me with a frost giant-minotaur with cleric or warlock powers that is worshipped by large cult/tribe of minotaurs, humans and ogres believing him to be Baphomet himself)
The harpy gender question... 
Most of these creatures (nymphs, harpies etc.) breed with humans in the myths, consenting or not. In some myths the resulting offspring is allways a (harpy, nymph, etc) and in some myths the child is human if it happens to be born a male. I like this version the best.


About harpyes... if I am evil harpy and I lay a fertille egg every two years... I don´t want headaches about look for mor food for the nestling, I would break the egg or I sell it to a wizard.


We have got two version of D&D harpy

 

The ugly old woman with wings...

or the "hot chick" 

 

Subraces could be allowed.




(The harpy from Marvel Comics was a Hulk´s enemy, a mutated Betty Ross). 



Harpy from warcraft.



Cute harpy baby from TV serie "Hercules: the legendary journeys", in the episode "Beanstalks and Bad Eggs"








Other option could be younger and older types. Young type would be the hot chick, and the older the "digievolutioned" form, more powerful (and horrible). 

 

He isn´t a harpy but a raptoran, PC race from "Race of wild". Maybe some harpies could monstrous mutation of female raptorans. 



* Can you find the difference between a angel and a harpy?



 The answer is : five years of marriage. 



Funny thing about harpies, mermaids, and succubi is that no matter how depraved, evil, or primitive they are they always find time to get a nice looking top to avoid offending Puritanical sensitivities.




Except for in the AD&D 1st MM....



Carl
While I don't think having male only satyrs, etc is sexist (or a problem), I also don't think it would hurt to avoid directly spelling it out in the monster description.  That said, that still leaves a bigger question: the art.  Should the art depict female satyrs, male harpies, etc?
And the big question is:  What happens when a satyr or dryad puts on a Girdle of Femininity/ Masculinity?


Carl
And the big question is:  What happens when a satyr or dryad puts on a Girdle of Femininity/ Masculinity?

#DIV0

And the big question is:  What happens when a satyr or dryad puts on a Girdle of Femininity/ Masculinity?

#DIV0




After I posted that I had a stray thought.....



An item that is cursed with a gender change.  The only way to remove the curse is to put it onto something it could not affect - i.e. a creature with only one gender.....


Carl    
Should the art depict female satyrs, male harpies, etc?

Actually, I think that the art is a great way to help suggest the traditional depictions without restricting us to them. With a description like what we have now for the Satyr from this article and artwork depicting a male, with a description like what we had in 4E for the Dryad and artwork depicting a female, etc., we leave the text open and show the most classical form of the creature as the example, while still having that only be the example. A great example of this in action is the 3.5 Harpy.
In other words, even as an ardent advocate of leaving the descriptions of these creatures open to interpretation when it comes to their sex, I see no problem with the default visual examples of these creatures being ones that adhere to more classical interpretations, as long as those examples are still tasteful.

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!
Why harpys and other female evil creatures cover their breast? Why deties don´t allow it, if they did it Chuck Norris would be sent to punish them.

---

* I suposse the harpys can breed with other humanoids, and the sons would be the raptorans.

* Other creatures like harpyes: Gamayun, Alkonost, karyobinga, kinnara. They could be subraces of harpyes.



---

The canon AD&D "male harpyes", the kyries from Dragonlance.



And the simurghs from al-Qadim.



"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

An item that is cursed with a gender change.  The only way to remove the curse is to put it onto something it could not affect - i.e. a creature with only one gender.....

Sooo... intentionally catch a bad case of amoebic dysentery, and the girdle falls off?

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