Female vs male character attributes and skills

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Female vs male character attributes and skills

Postby Jtarz » Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:42 pm

I am wondering whether you plan to give female characters gender-specific attributes and skills (at least in terms of probabilities at the outset). A female would tend to start with lower strength but higher endurance, for example, making cleaving or bludgeoning weapons a poor choice but magic and roguery arguably a good choice (unless the player deliberately "masculinised" her for some reason...)
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Re: Female vs male character attributes and skills

Postby ChrisHallett » Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:51 pm

So you want the second game to garner more flak for being 'sexist' than the first?

Attributes and skill sets should be identical for the sexes, only different for races and axioms.

The only difference between the sexes should be character graphics, voices, and dialogue gender associations.
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Re: Female vs male character attributes and skills

Postby Jtarz » Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:16 pm

Political correctness is a bane! Strength and endurance differentials between the sexes are well established, and don't need defending. But differentiating on the basis of race!! now that would need defending...maybe, though, given the Olympic results you could have a "Jamaican" category that is endowed with especially high speed!!
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Re: Female vs male character attributes and skills

Postby Unclever title » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:06 pm

My thoughts on the matter, as stated in a previous thread.

Unclever title wrote:Taking real life into account in the differences between the sexes the averages don't always average out. :) However there are exceptional people of all kinds in both. The Main Character of the Eschalon story is clearly an exceptional person. Thus gender shouldn't affect the stats. Unless of course the player chooses the stats specifically because of the Character's chosen gender, but that's a whole 'nother animal.


Believe me, I'm just as annoyed by political correctness.

But it's really just probably not worth the hassle to get into, to be honest, especially considering the players have enough control in the stats to begin with to make choices at their own discretion with the gender selection at the beginning.
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Re: Female vs male character attributes and skills

Postby Evnissyen » Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:14 am

Political correctness gets a bad rap. I think too many people condemn it without really thinking about the reasoning(s) behind it all. Sure it can get out of hand from time to time, but... better to be conscious of things than ignorant.

(For example: the issue with Don Imus was not about political correctness being carried too far... it was about the fact that too many radio hosts do not seem to respect the power of their voice and take responsibility for their behavior. They're like children, and they cry "political correctness" whenever anyone suggests that they're being childishly irresponsible.)

That said, I would agree with staying away from any specifications of strengths or weaknesses based on gender. Just because you're a female player who wants to play a female, that doesn't mean you should be urged by the game biases to play a spellcaster... and just because I'm a guy that doesn't mean I should be urged away from spellcasting if I choose to play a male character.

Also, there are plenty of women who join the armed forces and are capable fighters... just as there are plenty of male artists around. Men are not all the same, and women are not all the same. It's dangerous ground when you try to lump them all together (which too many people seem too fond of doing... I'm sick to death of hearing about the differences between men and women, and even more sick of hearing about how all women think or how all men think. Everyone's different, for chrissake. I've met too many girls who do not fit the mold that so many people seem so eager to set for all women in the world. Same with guys.).

I mean, for example... American society seems to have established this myth that all guys like big breasts. Well, I don't like big breasts, so there. And these sorts of myths have a detrimental effect upon society. Also, only dumb guys feel threatened by smart girls. (I think many of the guys on these forums can confirm that.) I could go on... but I feel I'm starting to rant.
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Re: Female vs male character attributes and skills

Postby Unclever title » Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:52 am

I can confirm the appeal of a smart girl for sure. :) My annoyance with political correctness stems mostly from how restrictive it can become due mostly to people who get offended at the drop of a hat or are looking to be offended due to their own prejudices. It makes it difficult for someone to say what they think or feel sometimes.

But that's what the internet is for. :mrgreen:
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Re: Female vs male character attributes and skills

Postby BasiliskWrangler » Sun Aug 24, 2008 1:12 pm

I say to hell with political correctness! While I dislike sharing much information about a game before it is ready for everyone to play, I think perhaps I could share with you how we are currently handling this in Book II. If you plan on complaining, do it now. :wink:

From Book II character editor:

MALE:
While exceptions do exist, males are generally larger than females. With greater body mass, males on average tend to possess higher maximum strength than females. Selecting to play a male character grants you a +1 Strength bonus.

FEMALE:
Females tend to be of smaller build than males. With less body mass and a slighter frame, females are often more nimble and graceful than males, resulting in a +1 Dexterity bonus.
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Re: Female vs male character attributes and skills

Postby Scryler » Sun Aug 24, 2008 1:26 pm

BasiliskWrangler wrote:MALE:
While exceptions do exist, males are generally larger than females. With greater body mass, males on average tend to possess higher maximum strength than females. Selecting to play a male character grants you a +1 Strength bonus.

FEMALE:
Females tend to be of smaller build than males. With less body mass and a slighter frame, females are often more nimble and graceful than males, resulting in a +1 Dexterity bonus.


Interesting. I don't have a "politically correct" complaint with doing it this way.
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Re: Female vs male character attributes and skills

Postby devinv » Sun Aug 24, 2008 1:48 pm

I can't imagine anyone having a legitimate complaint with this on political grounds, gameplay maybe but it's such a small difference anway. How many levels do you need to go up to render a +1 irrelevant? Not many. Why you picked dexterity is of interest to me though. As an encouragement to have female characters finesse their way through the game instead of powering through it? When I think of the major differences between men and women, size and strength and violent behavior comes to mind for men, and endurance and multi-tasking ( true in my experience ) and cooperation for women. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that most players aren't going to care about differences between the sexes as long as they are minor, since they're going to be building and changing their character as they see fit anyway. Class differences are what people care about and what they're going to be focusing on when crafting a character.
Since I'm thinking about it , I'd like to say I really enjoyed choosing the axiom and place of birth of my character as a creative way to begin customizing him and give him more ... character. It's like giving the character a name or choosing the sex, it may not change the game in concrete terms, but in subjective terms it make the experience more personal and more satisfying.

BasiliskWrangler wrote:I say to hell with political correctness! While I dislike sharing much information about a game before it is ready for everyone to play, I think perhaps I could share with you how we are currently handling this in Book II. If you plan on complaining, do it now. :wink:

From Book II character editor:

MALE:
While exceptions do exist, males are generally larger than females. With greater body mass, males on average tend to possess higher maximum strength than females. Selecting to play a male character grants you a +1 Strength bonus.

FEMALE:
Females tend to be of smaller build than males. With less body mass and a slighter frame, females are often more nimble and graceful than males, resulting in a +1 Dexterity bonus.
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Re: Female vs male character attributes and skills

Postby BasiliskWrangler » Sun Aug 24, 2008 2:02 pm

devinv wrote:Why you picked dexterity is of interest to me though.

In the Olympics, Men's weightlifting differs from Women's in that Men can lift more; nothing to debate there. But Women dominate in Gymnastics in terms of grace, flexibility and balance (which is why they don't have Men's Balance Beam. :wink: )

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Re: Female vs male character attributes and skills

Postby devinv » Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:05 pm

You win.

Now you've got me thinking...it _could_ be that a person can't achieve the highest levels in both strength and agility, simply because their enormous size would prevent them from balancing easily or striking quickly. If you've seen sin city then you remember the fight between marvin and the little kid with the glasses; a quintessential contest of strength vs. agility. I've observed the same is often true with people of very high intelligence: they often have trouble making moral or social choices, a quality that could loosely be described as a lack of wisdom, at least in their younger years. I realize this is outside of the boundaries of what is considered traditional old school rpg, but there are some interesting possibilities there. You already did something similar with light vs. heavy armor: neither is the 'best' armor for every play style or situation. People accepted the tradeoffs and rolled with it ( no pun intended ) as they did with encumbrance. Maybe this could be carried over into weapon selection if not character attributes. I think most people accept the idea that no one melee weapon is better than another in all situations, that it matters more that you use whatever you are most proficient at, or what the situation calls for.

BasiliskWrangler wrote:
devinv wrote:Why you picked dexterity is of interest to me though.

In the Olympics, Men's weightlifting differs from Women's in that Men can lift more; nothing to debate there. But Women dominate in Gymnastics in terms of grace, flexibility and balance (which is why they don't have Men's Balance Beam. :wink: )
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Re: Female vs male character attributes and skills

Postby Dragonlady » Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:30 pm

Okay, I can see the st/dex male/female decision. After all most women can multitask at the same time and learn it from an early age. Taking care of rugrats, cooking dinner, answering the phone and setting the table all at the same time takes a lot of dexterity! :lol:
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Re: Female vs male character attributes and skills

Postby devinv » Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:35 pm

Yeah I was thinking about my sister while writing the last post-- she doesn't really feel like she's doing anything unless she's doing 2-3 things at once, and she has twin boys. Multi-tasking isn't really part of most games, but if I had to squeeze it into the mold I would call it dexterity and concentration.

Dragonlady wrote:Okay, I can see the st/dex male/female decision. After all most women can multitask at the same time and learn it from an early age. Taking care of rugrats, cooking dinner, answering the phone and setting the table all at the same time takes a lot of dexterity! :lol:
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Re: Female vs male character attributes and skills

Postby Unclever title » Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:00 pm

Not to mentions that Strength and Dexterity both being physical traits are safer to distinguish. :mrgreen: Mental differences is where one might get into trouble, but a single +1 is perfectly acceptable even so.
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Re: Female vs male character attributes and skills

Postby tiresius » Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:25 pm

Why bother with built-in perceived differences (even as small as +1 to a stat) ? It just opens it up for debate on the whole stereotype/PC stuff that always comes up.

No difference gives complete freedom to the player when building their character. By spending their own stat points they can have a girly man or a manly girl, or something else that might confuse you in a bar. :?
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