The Forge Archives

Archive => Indie Game Design => Topic started by: Ian Freeman on June 19, 2001, 11:50:00 AM



Title: Racial/Gender mechanics
Post by: Ian Freeman on June 19, 2001, 11:50:00 AM
It tends to be pretty common in RPG for differents races/species to have different statistical modifers. And, it is very rare for this to apply to genders.

Who here uses these sorts of modifiers (for gender and race), and why/why not?

Personally, I never use either from a purely gamist perspective. Simply put, it doesn't mattter whether it's a troll or an elf (or a man or a woman) with strength +3, it's still a strength of +3. I will just include a comment that, yeah, trolls tend to be stronger but if you want a strong troll you just gotta pay the points


Title: Racial/Gender mechanics
Post by: Jason L Blair on June 19, 2001, 11:58:00 AM
I don't and the reason is, admittedly, political and philosophical. I have high doubts about the supposed differences in potential based on gender and race (don't let Ron hear that, he's a biologist, shhh :wink: ). Aside from that, though, if someone has a strength of X, then their strength is X. That's it.





Title: Racial/Gender mechanics
Post by: James Holloway on June 19, 2001, 01:05:00 PM
Pendragon has a gender mechanic, and is about the only game I can think of that does. Ladies have weaker physical characteristics than men, start with a different skill set, and get more dice in Appearance.

It produces sissy, pretty women, which is pretty much in keeping with the genre.


Title: Racial/Gender mechanics
Post by: JSDiamond on June 19, 2001, 02:53:00 PM
For gender, no, -and if someone needs a reason I simply point out that 'adventurers' are a cut above the rest to begin with.

For race, yes. But for me it's about sci-fi alien civilizations, different gravity environments, different atmospheres, etc.

J


Title: Racial/Gender mechanics
Post by: Ron Edwards on June 19, 2001, 06:29:00 PM
Hi there,

I just remembered the rules in Castle Falkenstein by which female characters take "stun" damage from profanity in their hearing.

I have been considering that my next game will address gender concerns directly, and that one element of its design will include different rules or expectations for male and female PLAYERS.

Best,
Ron

P.S. Oh yeah, I just thought of the very significant issue in Orkworld, which is that female characters will almost certainly get pregnant, sooner or later, if one is using the Winter rules. This may seem like a "duh," but the point is that in Orkworld, the rules themselves bring the phenomenon into existence, rather than cause-and-effect role-playing events.

[ This Message was edited by: Ron Edwards on 2001-06-19 22:32 ]


Title: Racial/Gender mechanics
Post by: james_west on June 19, 2001, 08:31:00 PM
My first thought upon starting to read this thread is that you'd only need such mechanics in a strongly simulationist game (cf, Edwards' example of women taking damage from profanity). How to use them in this context is fairly obvious,

However, it occurs to me that in the real world, the differences between the way the genders think is the source of a vast amount of conflict (and thus fiction) and so it ought to be possible to provide a mechanic which facilitates this for more narrativist games.

So: instead of thinking of differences between genders as a reason to change character resources, it might be interesting to think of them as a way to facilitate story, and if this is true, what sort of mechanic might do the trick?



Title: Racial/Gender mechanics
Post by: hardcoremoose on June 19, 2001, 08:32:00 PM
I have a gender-based mechanic in my game Appalachia Now.  Since the game is about inbred, moonshine-swilling hillbillies, I figured how much more offensive could I get?  So in my game, hillbillies have a stat called "I Ken Count Dis High", which represents the maximum total they can apply towards a task resolution (where the total is equal to their Hobbie score + the roll of 1d20).  A male's base "Countin'" stat is 21 (10 fingers+10 toes + 1...errr, you can figure it out).  A female's is 22.  Of course, you add your Book Lernin' score to this base...


Title: Racial/Gender mechanics
Post by: Zak Arntson on June 19, 2001, 09:39:00 PM
Check out today's Head of Vecna article on http://www.rpg.net where Hilary Doda talks about female fighters.  It's all about combat, but I can see it affecting games with weapons.


Title: Racial/Gender mechanics
Post by: Ron Edwards on June 20, 2001, 06:03:00 AM
This is to respond to James,

Exactly. That's exactly what I'm considering in terms of designing an RPG.

Best,
Ron

P.S. And just to muddy the waters, Castle Falkenstein's design is one of those uneasy mixtures of Narrativism and Simulationism. Therefore it's possible to interpret the female/profanity rules as genre-faithfulness in the Narrativist context, rather than Simulation; and it's equally possible to interpret them in the sense you describe (Simulationist).


Title: Racial/Gender mechanics
Post by: Damocles on June 20, 2001, 10:54:00 AM
Quote


P.S. And just to muddy the waters, Castle Falkenstein's design is one of those uneasy mixtures of Narrativism and Simulationism. Therefore it's possible to interpret the female/profanity rules as genre-faithfulness in the Narrativist context, rather than Simulation; and it's equally possible to interpret them in the sense you describe (Simulationist).


Personally, I interpret them as tongue-in-cheekist.