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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Something personal

I usually do not write about my personal things, as long as they do not interfere with my hobby. And this is that exception. Since january I do not have personal life as the chairman of the sexology association at my university I'm organizing a conference about transgenderism, and while I'm doing it I've met a lot of indirect hostility toward my cause. Rant mode off.
So merging these two my interests(that is tg and rpg) I was thinking about incorporating transgender and lgbt themes into my campaign. And I don't have in mind such things as lesbian ninja vampire or some such. As for incorporating these themes I'm thinking about increasing verisimilitude of a campaign not changing it into something (imho)naive as Mercedes Lackley prose or offending sexual(and gender) minorities.
Do you do it at  your table, if so how do you incorporate aforemensioned themes?


  1. Ages ago I read a post on a forum discussing someone's campaign in which elves had 3 "social genders", whilst still having 2 "biological genders". To elves the differences were quite clear and obvious, but to outsiders, not so much. There were female elves, male elves, and male elves that presented as female, and had feminine facial features and body shape. There was a lot more to it than that and I am presenting it quite crudely, but it was quite an interesting post with a lot to consider from a tg standpoint.

  2. I have a hard time trying to portray females alone. While I've portrayed effeminate, male NPCs its never been a conscious effort. I'm thinking back and the one character I had was a very rich and powerful member of the city-state. He was a eunnuch so I played him neutral of gender. It was interesting and seemed to make him more dangerous.

  3. Man, that is a tough one, I would agree with Tim above. It would almost be a situation where the NPC and or character would just be gender lacking, that being said "sex" has never been "on the table" in my games.

    I have toyed with the idea that certain types of Elves may not have the same "issues" with sexuality that humanity may have, however like I said, since sex has never come up in a game well...


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  5. @Eric, I wasn't thinking about sex(i.e. intercourse). I was thinking more about gender expression, i.e. gender specific social roles and idiosincracies of non-heteronormative gender identities. As for the sexual intercoure I always "do it" behind the scenes.

  6. I always found it strange that men fighters were warriors but women had to be valkyries in an old campaign I was in. And they were a tough as nails class to boot. Then there is the witch class doing the rounds. I think most versions of that have a gender specification as well. I don't recall there being any 'male only' classes.

    In ancient or traditional societies, from which D&D and its dms draw much of their imagery and cosmology, transgendered people were often seen as representatives of the gods (oracles in Greece) or the spirit world (native Americans). I think most players wouldn't bat an eyelash at a tg PC or NPC in one of these roles, whereas they would in others.

    Finally, curses and cursed items can reassign sex. The old 'girdle of opposite sex' was a cursed treasure to punish players, remember? "My fighter became a chick!?! That sucks." In another light, one of those would fetch big bucks today, and people would pay good money to be sexually reassigned without invasive surgery if magic were real.

    Hope these thoughts help. Good luck with what sounds like an interesting experience.

    1. The part where you've written about oracles and native american "two-spirited" is what I was thinking about writing this post. How cool It would be to have those "two-spirited" shamen in the elven society or sworn virgins(like the albanian ones) or make a brotherhood of dwarves in the likeness of theban army. The usual cilches would be preserved but with a refreshing twist.

  7. I should add that Oglaf.com is a D&D style fantasy comic with loads of LGBT themes and memes running through it. Do give it a read.


  8. In the high middle ages, mortality from disease was high; 25% in infancy, then again another 25% by twelve years of age. War, conflict and criminal violence were also common. Female family members were often called upon to assume many roles traditionally reserved for men. Hence, women often enjoyed a legal status not allowed in the ancient world that unfortunately was redacted in the late middle ages and the renaissance.

    A review of the guild rolls of 12th century Paris, reveal that fully 1/3rd of the masters were women. Ancient culture wasn’t so hung up on sexuality as one might believe. As an adult you were expected to fulfill your societal role; marriage and children. Sexuality was a private manner.

    To keep from offending the general populace, Roman emperors would often adopt their significant others and maintain the expected facade of virility.

    A woman in the high middle ages sometimes would retain her family’s surname upon marriage. Female professionals and guild members usually held the rank and property pertaining to their craft or vocation separate from that of their husbands. However, even in extremis, no European nation trained women to be warriors.

    from the Teaching Company, see
    The Middle Ages by Phillip Daileader