Human Women in D&D

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Elise
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Human Women in D&D

Postby Elise » Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:17 am

Being something of a traditionalist and disgusted by leftist egalitarian nonsense I do not allow females to be Fighters/Paladins/Rangers or lawful good Clerics. I also impose Strength maximums on human women. I catch a lot of flack from the largely Humanist/liber gamer forums, but that's both a physiological and cultural reality. Medieval Christian cultures did not know of women cavaliers. Even if they had the desire and requisite athletic ability (unlikely) they wouldn't be trained. Note I am not saying women can't fight - but they can no the background required to be Fighters or Priests of God.

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Re: Human Women in D&D

Postby ArchAngel » Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:41 am

"Cultural reality" tends to bear little importance in a fantasy setting, and allowing your character to break out of social norms and be a sort of "Joan of Arc" fighter or leader can be pretty rewarding. The concept of mechanic advantages and disadvantages on gender is an interesting idea and one I toyed around with, giving men a strength bonus and women a charisma or wisdom boost?

When I make these sort of decisions, and I leave the gender open to however my players want to RP it, I try to keep it about gameplay and enriching a game world and not about any political agenda.
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Re: Human Women in D&D

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:38 am

In the older rules sets for AD&D, there were ranges for strength and physical height that were different between male and female characters. The downside was that the advantage always went to male characters. Balancing it like ArchAngel suggested would have been a good way to handle it.

In general, I think they did away with those kinds of attribute limits because while the average male is stronger than the average female, player characters don't necessarily have to fit that pattern. Heroes who go out and slay dragons for a living are going to be much stronger and hardier than the common person so it seems pointless to worry too much about it. Now, would there ever be a female character who is the match of a guy built like Conan the Barbarian? Well, not in the real world (excluding female bodybuilders... but I think we can agree that's an extreme case) but in a fantasy world... maybe. Perhaps the female character comes from an Amazon-like culture where the women tend to be much stronger than the males. It's all a matter of DM preference.

It's true that in real history, women almost never received the necessary military training to be effective warriors. The exceptions to this do stand out, and make great models for a player character in a game. ArchAngel mentioned Jeanne d'Arc. There's also Boudica who I recently started to learn about as I've gotten into historical wargaming.

In terms of holy warriors, it's true that most Christian denominations do not have female clergy (unless you count nuns as clergy) as is also the case with Judaism and Islam, but in a fantasy setting the rules of the various religious groups can be anything, and there is plenty of historical precedent for priestesses.

Since player characters in most campaigns represent the very elite of the cultural setting, female characters in the adventuring party can very easily be justified by thinking of those examples, even if the cultural setting of the game rarely has females who stand out in this way.

D&D isn't a reality simulator. You don't have to replicate historical norms and attitudes. Using an historical setting as a template is a great way to get started, but never be afraid to mold your campaign setting to suit your own tastes and the tastes of your players.
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Re: Human Women in D&D

Postby Sstavix » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:51 am

It comes down to the campaign setting, really. If your setting is based off the society of our middle ages, then go for it. However, take note that you may end up alienating any female gamers that may want to sit at your table.

Here's an idea - what if you did allow, it, but said character was one of those rare exceptions, like Boadicea or Hua Mulan. Said character would, of course, have to struggle with the stigma of being a woman trying to do a "man's job" (if they were even exposed as a woman - history has shown numerous examples of women trying to sneak into combat roles while disguised as a man). It could lead to some interesting, character-building opportunities to roleplay.

And, as already mentioned, if you're sticking to a pure fantasy setting, toss those rules out the window. In fact, if the campaign setting features the Greek or Roman pantheon, it may be difficult to justify "no female rangers," considering Artemis / Diana's role in that theology.

You also have to keep in mind the purpose of a game - to have fun. If you and your players are content with your rules and enjoy the game, then go ahead and roll with it. If others take issue with it, or it leads to more arguments than actual playtime, you may want to reconsider the rules, or your players (and if you're running out of players, maybe take another look at your rules).

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Re: Human Women in D&D

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:09 am

... if the campaign setting features the Greek or Roman pantheon, it may be difficult to justify "no female rangers," considering Artemis / Diana's role in that theology.
The Greek/Roman setting is a great example for that sort of thing. When I mentioned priestesses earlier, it was ancient Greek religion I was thinking of. Greek culture also had the Amazon Warriors which, while a little paradoxical considering that neither the Greek nor the Roman societies produced female warriors, the fact that they existed in their mythology suggests that they were open to the idea in fiction, if not in reality. There do exist examples of female warrior societies in history though, like the Dahomey of Africa as one example.
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Re: Human Women in D&D

Postby DollFaceKilla » Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:05 pm

Being something of a traditionalist and disgusted by leftist egalitarian nonsense I do not allow females to be Fighters/Paladins/Rangers or lawful good Clerics. I also impose Strength maximums on human women. I catch a lot of flack from the largely Humanist/liber gamer forums, but that's both a physiological and cultural reality. Medieval Christian cultures did not know of women cavaliers. Even if they had the desire and requisite athletic ability (unlikely) they wouldn't be trained. Note I am not saying women can't fight - but they can no the background required to be Fighters or Priests of God.
I am a gamer girl and a Christian (Mormon).
I would not play in a game where those were the restrictions unless it was a specific scenario and even then I would be hesitant. I agree with Arch Angel in a fantasy world, there would be none of our historical "norms." I almost never play a human woman anyway (I am always an elf) but it would definitely take a lot of the fun out of the game if those restrictions were in place. I like feeling like I could be anything that I wanted to. The point of the game is to have fun and taking some of the realism of what you are out of it is what makes it fun. In a D&D world I get to be more than what I am. I get to play someone else who is different, who can set out and help save the world instead of being just one of billions. I have created a Female Elf Paladin before, a 1/2 Dark Elf Ranger, and a whole slew of Clerics. I don't usually make them lawful good unless there is a specific reason to. I find Lawful Good too restrictive but I would be turned off if I didn't have the option just like with all of the other restrictions you mentioned.
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Re: Human Women in D&D

Postby ArcticFox » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:42 am

Found an example from the Bible. Read Judges Chapter 4 about Deborah, who led men in battle from a chariot.
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

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Re: Human Women in D&D

Postby ArchAngel » Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:27 am

I ain't gonna lie. The whole warrior woman thing: pretty hot.
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Re: Human Women in D&D

Postby ArcticFox » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:09 pm

I ain't gonna lie. The whole warrior woman thing: pretty hot.
:fistbump:

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"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

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Re: Human Women in D&D

Postby ArchAngel » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:13 pm

Boom.
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