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  • File :1197968243.gif-(73 KB, 500x601, rpsdeluxe.gif)
    73 KB Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)03:57 No.911890  
    Heya /tg/. I DM a D&D game, and a few sessions ago one of my players mentioned casually as a tangential sort of thing that there are very few female NPCs in my games. This is true; my setting is a world that seems completely normal but through strange coincidence the party never meet more than about three or so female characters (not including barmaids, shopkeepers, and similar Unimportant NPCs). This isn't because I think LOL -4 STR. Not at all. But I do have this weird psychological issue relating to women. I can't stand to see them hurt. Anything beyond a cut finger or a few bruises and it starts to disturb me on a visceral level. I can accept a male wizard or whatever getting an arrow through the chest or getting the flesh burnt off his bones by dragonfire, but make it a female wizard and it's just... ugh. And given that I usually run a rather gritty and bloody game and all my players have pretty high breaking points when it comes to violence, well, you get the idea. As such, female characters, particularly the sort that might get involved in combat, are few and far between.

    Anyway, as far as I can tell my players weren't really caring about the trend or really picking up on it, but recently a character got killed. I've got an all-male group, but we're all pretty heavy roleplayers and have played some pretty outlandish things (the gay thri-keen comes to mind), so I suppose it was bound to eventually happen; the guy whose character got killed has rerolled a female character. A female *barbarian*, the single most combat-heavy class.

    Any suggestions?
    >> Lord Licorice 12/18/07(Tue)04:10 No.911918
    This thread seems like it could be quite epic.

    I've noticed the same thing. Clearly it's psychological; in American, Canadian and British society, males are brought up with the mindset that females are special, frail and fragile, and to be protected. I could watch a hundred male characters get hacked to teeny screaming chunks, but I *notice* a female character getting killed. It definitely is a kind of gut reaction; for me it's not nearly as strong, and I have no qualms about describing, say, damage done to a female PC or NPC, but in books or on TV or in movies, there's some emotional hangup about a girl getting hurt compared to a boy.

    A similar phenomenon: animals. Dozens of men ripped to shreds, we go so far as to LAUGH at some of the violence. But the moment an innocent cat or dog gets so much as kicked, people get immediately turned off about the movie, or they freak out and cry. Even perceived threats of violence are enough to make people flinch, and no, it's not specifically just a chick thing.

    There's some weird disconnect there... animals don't have the same capacity to think or feel or love that we do, and yet we hold them to some elevated status of innocence and purity and never want to see anything even remotely bad happen to them. Similarly, and speaking from a male American perspective, we hold women in some special column of "do not harm, never let harm come to them." Yet, if a male and a female are brought to injury or death in the same manner, most people will feel bad for the female and not for the male.

    tl;dr - You're just going to have to work on it, and this may be your opportunity to break through it. It's not even a matter of desensitizing yourself to female bloodshed, it's realizing that for one, it's just a game, and for two, you should hold them both in the same high or low regard.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)04:10 No.911919
    Stop being a dumbshit. It's a fantasy game where sexual equality is generally considered to be a norm.

    See, your problem isn't -4 Str, it's -4 Con. Just drop the shit. It's a game, not real life.

    Yes, in the real world, it's generally wrong to hit people with swords and clubs, especially those who are weaker (women and children). But this is D&D. There are warrior women who are motivated by every single thing that a man can be motivated by.

    So get over yourself.

    Or, if it still really bothers you, introduce a female villain who can go toe-to-toe with the female barbarian, if that somehow makes it more acceptable.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)04:14 No.911927
    Russian soldiers once quartered a female Slav sniper using tanks.

    The real world seems to disagree with your "violence towards women" philosophy... if you want to be more realistic, include women warriors, and pull no punches. Consider that if it DOES bother somebody, then you're probably doing something right. If on the other hand it's just "lol I hack off her arm" as per usual, and the only one being disturbed by this is you, well, frankly, maybe you should consider turning down the general level of violence.

    tl;dr Don't discriminate, eviscerate!
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)04:20 No.911939

    You people clearly don't play enough Mortal Kombat or Unreal Tournament, where women get mutilated every few seconds and it's no more disconcerting than when it happens to the guys.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)04:21 No.911941
    Or watch slasher films, where the primary victims are bubbleheaded blondes that smoke pot and have sex.
    >> Lord Licorice 12/18/07(Tue)04:22 No.911949

    I don't really count cartoony violence, or even videogame violence for the most part. It has to be particularly engaging or notable... or horrifying. Watching Sonya get her head kicked off in MK doesn't apply for me, though it probably applies for OP.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)04:24 No.911956
    So go watch one of the Saw or Hostel movies (if you can actually sit through those horrible films) and then tell us how they make you feel.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)04:25 No.911958

    Well, it's not so much that I have a philosophy against violence towards women or that I'm trying to be "realistic" or even that I'm intentionally being sexist; I personally don't have any real problem with the idea of including equal-opportunity blood and gore in the game, but if I do, it just so happens to seriously freak me the fuck out.

    Running a generally less violent game is a good idea. Might even consider tossing around a few other systems or settings as a change from the current campaign.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)04:26 No.911963
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    >the guy whose character got killed has rerolled a female character. A female *barbarian*, the single most combat-heavy class
    Considering the type of game you run, what you have here is the possibility of ending up with a sexy, tough-as-nails amputee.

    >> Lord Licorice 12/18/07(Tue)04:27 No.911964

    Hmm... that raises a good point. Usually I'm absolutely rooting for the bad guy to slit their pretty little throats. But again, it's not quite "serious" violence. In books or films where the violence is out of the ordinary, perhaps, or when the victims of violence are innocent, I feel "worse" for a female victim than a male victim.

    Ehh, it's 4:25am and I can't really think straight anymore. For the most part I like watching people get blown up and killed regardless of gender, but ON THE WHOLE I feel "worse" for females getting killed than males, and as I mentioned before, the fact people are traumatized by a puppy getting kicked when they've just watched an hour and a half of human entrails getting splattered all over the camera is lulz.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)04:27 No.911966
    >>animals don't have the same capacity to think or feel or love that we do

    Where'd ya get that one, chief? Lol furfag declaration incoming
    >> Rival Wombat 12/18/07(Tue)04:30 No.911975
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    I could see being bothered by graphic descriptions to violence to females. In this case, remember that with the amount of HP a barbarian has most damage is going to be totally superficial, so a few bruises, cuts and scrapes should be the worst she suffers, even taking 20+ HP hits from Ogres.

    As far as the "not many females" thing in your games, I'd just shrug and tell my group that you don't play them well or like seeing them hurt, so they are rare. Most groups won't care, past that explanation.

    Girls injured or in pain can push a big button for lots of people. Just think about people's reactions to Rei.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)04:31 No.911978
    Well, fair enough, but reading your post, I thought of you as the type who might.

    That is to say I've heard my fair share of arguments that "No wimminz in the Gears of War sequels or expansions plz becuz women getting Chainsaw'd is wrong".

    Makes me sick.

    Believe me, I understand if someone just can't deal with certain levels of violence, but comments like that make it disgustingly obvious that they're either underaged b&'s or easily offended wannabe-"Christians" that say "all violence against women should be censored but hacking a GUY in half is perfectly okay because hey that stuff's in the Bible".

    Clearly they never read about all the horrific acts of violence towards women in there, like the dogs that ate that woman's face or about how women's hands should be hacked off if they attack a man's balls.

    The Old Testament tends not to pull any punches, and some guy saying he wants his kids "to learn the right kind of values" by saying he refuses to play Gears of War with his kids if they include a female model, well, that smacks of retardation, ignorance, and hypocrisy.

    ... sorry for the rant, I had to let it out.
    >> Lord Licorice 12/18/07(Tue)04:32 No.911983

    I despise those kinds of movies and I can't figure out why people enjoy watching them. (I did like Saw 1, it was a mystery-suspense more than torture-horror; 2 and 3 were just stupid, never bothered with 4.) Using Saw 3 as an example, I felt bad when that chick gets frozen... but then again, mostly because she was pretty much an innocent bystander and the main fuckwit character should have saved her, the dopey asshole. The lawyer drowning in rotting pig entrails was lulz.

    Hmm. Maybe these are the wrong kinds of examples. I can't really find examples that fit what I want to say. Slasher fics and Mortal Kombat ain't it, that's for sure. And now it's... 4:32 in the morning, so my ability to pull up other movies in my head that made me go "aww, that poor woman died" amidst a backdrop of other violence aren't coming.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)04:33 No.911984

    Those movies are trash, and I don't just say this as someone who feels similer to the OP, but as a movie nerd. Horror movies were good when the violence was implied and the people felt suspense.

    Alternately, the only good type of horror movie with lots of gore is the classic zombie movie. I tend not to mind chicks getting killed in those as much as I mind seeing, reading, or hearing about violence done on women elsewhere. Because it's a fucking zombie movie, you can't argue with that.

    Also, I tend not to care too much about seeing animals being kicked.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)04:33 No.911988
    People's reactions to Rei?

    Isn't it usually "fap"?

    I'm serious, Rei can be blamed for starting a number of "women covered in bandages" fetishes.
    >> Lord Licorice 12/18/07(Tue)04:36 No.911997

    1/10 for nonsensical statement.
    >> Rival Wombat 12/18/07(Tue)04:37 No.912000
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    I think that's the thing. Lots of males respond with an instant protective/possessive/attracted impulse when they see Rei clearly in pain and trying to fight.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)04:39 No.912002
    There are people who actually say that?

    You'd think they'd try to keep their kids from playing a game where folks can get their heads shotgunned off or bodies hacked in half with chainsaws, regardless of gender. Sounds like someone's got a real screw loose. "Remember kids, violence against others is okay just as long as they've got man-parts!"
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)04:39 No.912005
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    The girl in bandages fetish is an old one and was deliberately played at by Sadamoto when he designed Rei's character. He even said as much in an interview. It plays on the OP mentality of girls as weak, fragile and needing to be protected. In the series, the sight of Rei bloodied up and broken, but still ready to pilot an EVA, was what pushed Shinji to get out there and kick ass (or rather, cower in fear). Of course, during the series Rei's character is shown to be not weak or fragile but strong, hard and brittle. It's an interesting play on the stereotype, which is probably why it fascinates. OP could learn a thing or two from Eva when it comes to hurt-women-as-motivators.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)04:41 No.912008
    I blame the misandry in media for reinforcing the negative male stereotypes.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)04:46 No.912018
    Okay, well, let me say that I thought Asuka's death scene in EoE was one of the best things about Evangelion, and she was my favorite character. And no, I'm not some sick guro fetishist...

    But rather, it's because it illicited some serious emotional reaction, you know? Sure, she was an evil shrew, but she was kicking ass and by all rights she should have one. Instead they push the "lolwhut you're fucked" button and she gets positively fuuuucked uuuuup. And you know, I was like, stunned.

    But it made the whole thing very memorable, and is likely the one part of the movie that really stands out the most clearly in my mind. The gravity, the weight of that entire event... you can see a woman get shot off-screen, but seeing a HEROINE die on-screen unjustly... well, you can see that I'm just trying to say that it makes the story -better- by being able to affect someone in -some- way.

    If it's just another "throwaway" fatality, well, it's not quite as interesting, is it? In a campaign with a high level of violence like the OP's, it should be less "lulz gibz iz funneh" and have a much more profound effect on the players.

    What I mean is, that ultragore special that the OP is GM'ing works better for a game that promotes several ways to solve a problem... players might feel more inclined to solve things without violence if violence has that profound an effect on characters they care about, you know (and no, I don't even necessarily mean their own, as the OP has proven that people tend to laugh and shrug and roll up another if their fighter gets decapitated). But if they see a female NPC they've grown attached to for whatever reason get eviscerated because of a bonehead mistake on their part... yeah, that might have some weight to it.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)04:49 No.912028
    >should have won
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)04:56 No.912059

    OP here. I really like the idea of running with the CONSEQUENCES! thing big time; it's already a pretty CONSEQUENCES game, as you inferred, but stressing that even more would probably make the players play even more carefully and try to avoid bad stuff happening even more.

    I might need to make it more forgiving, too, though, because the more consequences, the more chance of a silly mistake or a few bad rolls having a rather significant affect.

    anyway, there's been some very good and helpful advice in this thread; you might not've seen that now-deleted post where I whined for some replies and promised to scan my copy of Ctech when it arrives in return for some, but I will indeed scan it.
    >> Lord Licorice 12/18/07(Tue)05:03 No.912083
    >If it's just another "throwaway" fatality, well, it's not quite as interesting, is it?

    Maybe that's what I was trying to say. If a character's death is intended to be poignant, there's more emotional weight when a female is injured, in trouble, or dying/killed than a male.

    Maybe it's not even specifically females, but people or things society and culture holds as sacred and not to be harmed, to be protected. Women, children and animals would fall into that category. It's like taking a character and stacking emotional chips onto it to pull the heartstrings of the viewer/reader/player.

    Let's see if I can work it out a bit better:

    - A man is killed. (0)
    - A man's best friend is killed in a heroic or tragic act. (1)
    - A man's wife dies. (2)
    - A man's wife is killed by the bad guys. (4)
    - A man's wife is killed by the bad guys, on-screen. (7)
    - A man's wife is slowly eviscerated by the bad guys, on-screen. (10)

    - The Hero sacrifices himself at the end of the film. (5)
    - The Heroine sacrifices herself at the end of the film. (8)

    Aha, and now I've figured it out: events that go against expectations and are against cultural taboos raise the emotional stakes.

    Jesus, I'm rambling again. 5:02am now. I'm going to bed. More to think on for the morrow. At least I found the word I was looking for, in this case taboo.
    >> Lord Licorice 12/18/07(Tue)05:07 No.912097
    Also. What the hell is that in your pic, OP?
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)05:09 No.912102

    Dunno, was going through my completely unsorted image folder for an image to use for this thread and saw it, and figured it was WTF enough to toss in.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)05:14 No.912118

    Too bad that the HP system really doesn't fit into that kind of describing. If all she gets from those attacks, that would've ripped lesser people to halves, are just bruises and scratches; then why the hell would she need to either rest for several days or use hundreds of gold pieces worth of healing potions to recover from those 'few bruises, cuts and scrapes'?

    The way Hit Points go up with levels is to make those heroes look really legendary, since it would only be fitting for a level 10 Barbarian (clearly superior to normal people in D&D) to be able to continue fighting even after she has lost a liter or two blood, had her stomach pierced by few crossbow bolts and had half of her skin burnt off her. That's just the way high level barbarians work.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)05:16 No.912122
    I'm >>912018, and I'm glad you found my post useful.

    I have to admit, at first I intended to turn this into a shitstorm by using previous and well-documented "-4 STR" copypasta to get this thing sagebombed and off the front page, but before I hit "submit", I thought about it more, and re-read your post more, and decided that it was actually a pretty good topic and not necessarily any kind of well-disguised-insidiously-sexist-rhetoric.

    What Lord Licorice said is basically true, sometimes people flinch more just because of what society has taught them, wether they want to admit it or not. You grow up in a culture and even if you try to rebel against it every chance you get, some things are just in your nature. Naturally this isn't true for absolute everyone ever, but that doesn't invalidate the statement.
    >> Rival Wombat 12/18/07(Tue)06:40 No.912384
    I'd personally argue that the impulse to protect a female from injury and harm is as much biological as it is social. For males there is a major advantage to protecting females from harm, if your interested in passing on your genetic material.

    From a species survival standpoint, males are more expendable. Not to put too fine a point on it, but a viable population requires far less males then females.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)06:44 No.912391
    Wombats aren't supposed to talk.
    >> Rival Wombat 12/18/07(Tue)06:46 No.912396
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    Wait, what?

    Run! There onto us!
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)06:46 No.912397
    Yep. And then ten thousand years of social interaction tacked on honor and duty, so that goes double.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)06:49 No.912402
    >>912396 Run! There onto us!
    >There onto us!
    >There onto
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)06:54 No.912418

    I honestly don't see how this is something that needs to be 'worked through'. A desire to protect others, regardless of its motives, is never a bad thing.
    One doesn't have to think of women (or anybody) as frail and fragile to want to protect them.
    It's good thing that people give a shit.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)06:56 No.912421

    I think this too, but the military machine doesn't want caring and sharing individuals. It wants killing machines.
    >> Rival Wombat 12/18/07(Tue)06:59 No.912427
    Well, the way you do that is with the bunny!

    On the first day they give you a bunny. And at first it's just a fucking annoyance, another bit of kit you have to take care of when your already swamped. After a couple weeks in training? It's your best friend and your in fucking hell. That little rabbit hears your every secret and it's the only thing in the world that is happy to see you when you at last make it back to the rack.

    Then on the last day, they make you kill the bunny.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)07:03 No.912435

    In general, not. But when the GM can't bring himself to give the front line fighter of a group a beating then it's become a problem.
    >> Anonymous 12/18/07(Tue)11:16 No.912804
    There was some writer, can't recall who, who said if there was no reason for them to be male, he made characters female. Which struck me as weird, pointless and kind of the opposite of what you're doing.

    But it raises a good point - In a lot of cases, gender isn't going to matter at all to a character's personality. So just toss a die unless you can think of a reason they should be one or the other, and play them like you would normally play them.

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