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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 84 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Gender rules revealed [Sex & Sorcery]  (Read 19615 times)
Uncle Dark
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« Reply #30 on: December 07, 2002, 10:40:32 AM »

Ron,

Perhaps the fact that so many people aren't getting it the first time through is a substantive criticism (albeit implied).  I mean, we aren't talking Joe Gamer here.  These are people who enjoy thinking in deep, convoluted ways about designing and playing RPGs.

Your original posting was very clear about who was doing what, about what was a player action and what was a character action.  It was clear in a very logical way.

But some pretty smart monkies are still not getting it.  The question becomes, "why?"

I see two possibilities:
1) The whole sex/gender issue is one that is very emotionally loaded.  People bring huge (often unconscious) assumptions to the table when sex/gender is discussed, and clean logic does not always penetrate it.  You may need (or may already have, forgive me if I'm going over old ground here) a beat-them-with-a-blunt-instrument section of text to disarm those assumptions.

2) The metagame play here is so disconnected (arbitrary?) from the in-game play that people are having a hard time seeing why the players' gender matters for character actions that they're inventing spurious connections to make it make sense.  I dunno how to handle this one right now.

Lon
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Reality is what you can get away with.
xiombarg
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« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2002, 12:25:13 PM »

Quote from: Uncle Dark
But some pretty smart monkies are still not getting it.  The question becomes, "why?"
I gotta agree with Lon on this one. Sure, different genders bring different perspectives to the table, so encouraging mixed-gender groups is good, and it's an interesting and new idea. But why do it? I mean, if it's not about sex, why shouldn't you be doing it anyway regardless of the content of the game? And... to pick another loaded area... why not do the same about race? (Admittedly, the concept of "race" is murkier than the idea of gender...)
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Kirt "Loki" Dankmyer -- Dance, damn you, dance! -- UNSUNG IS OUT
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #32 on: December 07, 2002, 02:00:39 PM »

Hi Kirt,

You tangled up yourself in a pretzel only to end up saying what I said in the first place: regardless of whether in-game content is about sex-stuff, male-female interaction among the real people is a valuable component of powerful play.

That's it. Adding in-game gender/sex content (not as a constraint) is optional.

Oh, and Lon, you ain't seen anything like the blunt instrument I'm bringing to the text in this regard. (Ha ha! You know, I've been waiting all my life to be able to say that to Lon. I didn't know I was waiting for it, but I was.)

Best,
Ron
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Uncle Dark
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« Reply #33 on: December 07, 2002, 04:49:01 PM »

Ron,

I can't wait to see your blunt instrument.

Lon
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Henry Fitch
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Posts: 149


« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2002, 06:39:35 PM »

Maybe I'm misunderstanding this. Basically, your reasoning is that real-world gender interaction makes the game better, so you'll give an in-game benefit to those who use it? Seems like the kind of rule that a lot of all-male groups will just ignore. Sort of like how a lot of "cheaper version" RPGs used to limit characters to a certain power level, as an in-game incentive for the real-world action of shelling out more money, but as far as I know most people who didn't want to buy the expensive version just guessed at the experience requirements and went ahead anyway.
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formerly known as Winged Coyote
Seth L. Blumberg
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Posts: 303


« Reply #35 on: December 09, 2002, 10:04:17 AM »

Quote from: Uncle Dark
I see two possibilities:
1) The whole sex/gender issue is one that is very emotionally loaded....

2) The metagame play here is so disconnected (arbitrary?) from the in-game play that people are having a hard time seeing why the players' gender matters for character actions that they're inventing spurious connections to make it make sense....

I'll take door #2, Lon.

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Well, Azk'Arn, the insectoid-fantasy, Heavy-Metalish setting I'm presenting in the supplement, has a pretty hefty gender-specific content in terms of demons. Basically, demon reproduction is what sorcerers tap into....

This is what confused me. I saw this, and the rules about player gender for the same setting, and (being a sapient lifeform, and therefore being driven to find patterns even where they do not exist) assumed there was a connection. I urge you to make the lack of connection between these things extremely explicit in the text. (Yes, yes, "blunt instrument," ha ha, but that was about Lon's issue #1, a different matter entirely.)
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the gamer formerly known as Metal Fatigue
Christopher Kubasik
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Posts: 1153


« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2002, 01:26:52 PM »

Hi Henry,

Let me take a shot at this:

Yes, all male groups can ignore these rules.  (In fact, they will have to.)

They're in place because Ron anticipates that mixed-player-gender rituals between PCs will simply make the play more fun.

Let me offer again the game of Twister.  Eight men can play.  Four men and four women can play.  I see the first as being an exercise in simple contortion, the second as laughter and fun.  Same rules, different experience.  Why?  Mixed gender.  Something happens when actual men and actual women do things together that's different than mixed sex.  Ron seems to think this will add fun.  I suspect he's correct.

Take care,
Christopher
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2002, 01:32:14 PM »

Hi there,

I spent a fair amount of time yesterday examining this issue regarding the supplement as a whole. It goes like this.

Chapter 1 is all about role-players, in terms of how characters aren' real and don't really do anything, and also in terms of among-group comfort levels regarding content. Think of this as coming up out of the water entirely just for a minute.

Chapter 2 is about the two story types I've described earlier. This is interesting, because it's a bridge: from players to game-content. Think about this as being chest-deep (back) in the water.

Chapters 3 and 4 develop those two story types in detail. Now we're submerged.

Chapter 5 (Azk'Arn) combines the two story types. We're still submerged.

Chapter 6 is about the players again, as such. We've come out of the water again, looking back at Chapter 1 again, in light of some of the recent underwater experiences.

It's silly to say that in-game content has nothing to do with among-players interaction - the whole point of the supplement (Chapters 1 and 6) says the opposite.

However, the side-issue of the player-gender rules (and they are a side-issue, no matter how many of you try to read them as the "point") is firmly set in Chapter 6 alone. You could combine them with heavy in-game gender content, or you might not. It doesn't matter, because the people-level (out of the water) is the "real" one. It's nifty to think about how that might relate to in-game-content (stuff in the water), and actual connections may well arise via play for a given group, but how you feel about that, and how that plays out in your own group, is up to you.

Best,
Ron
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