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Thread: Gender preference

  1. #1
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    Gender preference

    What are your thoughts on males playing female characters and vice-versa? Do you have a preference? What makes the determination for you?

    As an aside, do you have problems with people who tend to "gender swap" with their characters?

    Discuss.
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  2. #2
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    In theory, people can play whatever they feel like as far as I'm concerned. When it comes to Trek aliens whose gender differences aren't necessarily the same as humans anyway it really shouldn't matter.

    In practice, for basically human species I think most people are better off playing the same gender as themselves only because playing a different person is hard enough, much less trying to swap genders. Of course I could be biased because most of my friends barely stay in character anyway
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  3. #3
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    Well, I made the experience that males playing females usually end up with cliches and not a real character. I think it takes at least some experience to play such a role, because at least for some females are as "alien" as Andorians
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Mappin
    What are your thoughts on males playing female characters and vice-versa? Do you have a preference? What makes the determination for you?
    I stick pretty much with male characters (I think I've only played two female characters in the past 20 years). Mainly for simplicity's sake. One familiar aspect of the character helps ground me enough to play the other differences...

    As an aside, do you have problems with people who tend to "gender swap" with their characters?
    Generally speaking, no. However, I've only met two guys who can play convincing women out of the dozens of people I've gamed with. Not very good odds. But if they're willing to try... ::shrug:: Maybe I'll meet # 3.
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  5. #5
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    In the most memorable and lasting of the few times I've roleplayed, everyone was their own gender, not neccessarily counting the Narrator. But one quick game I was involved in every player was male and we were told to be female elves, apparantly because they had better abilities. I guess this was to be just a dungeon crawl, I created the character but wound up not actually playing.

  6. #6
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    Since I almost exclusively GM nowadays, I'm obviously required to occasionally cross-gender. I think I do a decent job of it (especially since I normally don't need to go into much psychological detail for most of the NPCs I run); which reminds me...I should make one of my upcoming antagonists a female knight...

    However, I'm certainly more comfortable in my own skin, so males are certainly easier to play for me. But, I've played a couple female characters in my time (considering I've been playing for 25 years, I've had quite a few "lives" ), just to do something different.

    Personally, it doesn't bother me to have players playing across gender, as long as they're not offensive about it.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Burke
    Generally speaking, no. However, I've only met two guys who can play convincing women out of the dozens of people I've gamed with. Not very good odds.
    Pat had to have been one.
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  8. #8
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    I enjoy playing more unexpected female roles -- like a tough-as-nails female dwarf fighter in D&D (whose catch-phrase has become: "I might be a she-dwarf, but I've got balls!") or a female Tellarite counsellor who thinks she’s hot stuff (and is, in Tellarite terms). I think I do a good job on my cross-gender characterisations, certainly better than the average male playing their female character as a lesbian.

    As for females playing male characters, the two female gamers in my group can rather convincingly play male characters. In fact, one of their PCs, a male Ferengi, is perhaps the most chauvinistic persona I've ever seen! Very nicely done.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Mappin
    Pat had to have been one.
    Yeeeaaahhh... Wait. I mean, no.
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  10. #10
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    I play, unintentionally, an exact 50/50 split of male and female characters. My group accused me of only playing females so I wrote down a list of all the characters I'd ever played and surprised them ^_^

    Honestly I never put much thought into gender. I tend to just assign a gender to a character based on a whim or because the idea of a character suits one gender better than the other, or if I'm playing a character based on another I tend to switch the gender from the original to give the new one a bit more originality.

  11. #11
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    Mostly I play male characters, but occasionally I've played a female - mostly Elves.. there's just something about being an Elf that suits being a woman.. mostly 'cause I'll get called one eitherway

    For some reason my female characters have a reputation for being psychotic and mercurial - can't think why? Actually one of my current females had the unfortunate incident of being killed then reincarnated, as a Bug bear She got changed back eventually (and I even managed to wangle keeping the bonus attributes with a miracle spell!) But everyone still insists she sounds like Babs of babs cabs in the leage of Gentlemen (You just have to be British to get that one )
    Ta Muchly

  12. #12
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    Played both. My favorite character was a woman. And no...they weren't all lesbians.

    I've found cross-gender stuff works fine for certain player, not for others...

  13. #13
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    Thumbs up

    Figured I should answer my own question.

    I have no problem with males/females playing the opposite gender, as long as there's a defining purpose. I've gamed with several men (by example) who tended to play female characters...badly. By the same token I've gamed with multiple male gamers who played extraordinary females...and no, they weren't lesbians. (Strangely, the most notable lesbian or "bi" female character I've had in a game was played by a woman.)

    Personally, I enjoy playing female characters. It adds a new dimension and "difficulty" if you will. In fact I enjoy it so much that I sometimes find myself setting quotas for future characters. "Okay, the last two have been female, my next character -- in whatever game -- should probably be male." Yea, it sounds silly but I don't want to be like that first example up above.

    Mostly I enjoy exploring some of the RP relationships that have arisen. I've been married, had twins, lost a daughter, avenged a husband, lost a fiance, and suffered from multiple personality disorder (no, not all the same character). Sure, I could have done it with a male character but I'm not too sure it would have been as interesting. As a male I'm all too aware of the pressure of society to put on a straight face and suffer pain in silence.

    For those that absolutely refuse to try a character of the opposite gender, I can respect their desires. I would also encourage them to give it a try; you might be surprised.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Mappin
    What are your thoughts on males playing female characters and vice-versa? Do you have a preference? What makes the determination for you?
    I think it is the strength of the player. Not everyone is as strong as other players and not every player can play every concept. It is like acting. If you can play a role great and if you can not it sucks. When someone is playing an RPG character that they can not play. It tears down the game and the player's fun. This goes for Gender Bending. Not every male can play a decent female and not every female can play a decent male. I have doubts with all the gender bending on both sides of my game, I am running. I am not sure anyone can play the PCs they are playing then again I have not played with them yet. I am giving them a chance. Gender bending is the same if someone can play any concept. Player can do it great. If player can not change character.
    I play my strength. That is what I play. I experiment all the time. I have played both genders and I preffer one over the other. Infact my preference my GM's/ST's etc preffer me to play.
    What determines should be the strenght of the player and if the ST is willing to give someone a chance. I like giving chances then seeing what people can do. People surprise but mostly disappoint. I like to see what someone is capable of. You need to test them in gaming to find out.

    My favorite character was a cross gender and to this day one of the best characters I ever played. Character was not gay or anything but grew up and evolved in the 4 years I played it. It was fun and to this day no character has ever come close.


    Quote Originally Posted by Don Mappin
    As an aside, do you have problems with people who tend to "gender swap" with their characters?

    Discuss.
    Yes, but I think that is something that you find with experience STing someone. Once I see if they can and can not play it. I won't let them. Yeah it is being stern, but if people are blowing concepts so badly they are not having fun it takes away from their fun and others. Trust me I have seen it way too many times.
    Hey my opinion

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  15. #15
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    Personally I always play male characters, although I did have a point where my AD&D Drow Fighter-Mage had put on a girdle of masculinity/feminity. That did not last too long, but was an interesting diversion.

    The only exception I can remember is when I played in an all-lady superhero group in a very short-lived Marvel campaign. The players were a mix of women and men.

    As a GM I have to play all sorts of role, and we tend to find that gender is less of an issue. As I have been around a while (34 this year!) I like to think I have as good an idea of what women are like as it is possible for a guy to have to role-play one convincingly. Well, at least well enough so that my players dont roll their eyeballs heavenward at every chance!

    I have only gamed with a handful of ladies, and I must say, they tend to have the best developed characters. Some of the guys are of the "there's a bunch of numbers, that will do" way of thinking, which pretty much p*sses me off. I much prefer rounded characters, with real personas and motivations.

    Cheers

    Tas
    "Wherever you go....there you are!"

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