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Vox Day: My orc and troll fighting game won’t have any women in it, because that wouldn’t be historically accurate

If you want historically accurate male-on-male combat action, the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association Board of Directors Simulator 3000: 2011 Edition is the way to go
If you want historically accurate male-on-male combat action, the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association Board of Directors Simulator 3000: 2011 Edition is the way to go

So our old friend Vox Day is working on a video game. And he’s decided to make a bold and unprecedented choice in his design of the game: he’s not going to have any ladies in it.

But it turns out this choice has nothing to do with anything so pedestrian as misogyny. In fact, it was the only rational choice he could make. Let’s let him explain. He has such a way with words. (He’s apparently some sort of writer.)

I am a game designer. I am designing and producing a game that does not, and will not, have a single female character in it. This is not because I am misogynistic. This is not because I do not women to play the game. This is because putting women in the game makes no sense, violates the principle of the suspension of disbelief, and will not make the game any better as a game.

Well, that makes sense. I mean, the game is probably some game that has to have only male characters to be believable. You know, like Dance Party with the American Presidents or the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association Board of Directors Simulator 3000 or something like that.

I am the lead designer of First Sword, a combat management game. The game has orcs and men, elves and dwarves. It has goblins and trolls. But it has no women.

Uh, wait. It’s a combat game filled with orcs, goblins and trolls, but putting women in it would “violate …  the principle of the suspension of disbelief.”

Because the game is a gladiator game. Women cannot credibly fight as gladiators. We don’t put women in the game for the same reason we don’t put bunny rabbits or children in the game.

Well, why not? You put fucking orcs in it. Why not make a combat game with bunny rabbits?

Actually, someone already did that. It’s called Overgrowth. And it’s supposed to be pretty good.

Putting women in the game would be an act of brutal sadism, an act of barbarism even by pagan Roman standards. While the Romans did occasionally put female gladiators in the arena, they were there as a comedic act.

Really? This is a VIDEO GAME. You can do whatever you want with it. It is really harder to imagine a woman being able to fight a man than it is to imagine entire races of imaginary humanoid creatures?

We could, of course, throw out historical verisimilitude. But we’re not going to. Because we value that verisimilitude far more than we value the opinion of a few whiny women who don’t play the sort of games we make anyhow.

Historical verisimilitude? Historical verisimilitude?!

YOU’RE MAKING A GAME ABOUT ORCS AND TROLLS.

ORCS AND TROLLS DO NOT EXIST.

THEY HAVE NEVER EXISTED.

THERE IS NO HISTORY THAT INCLUDES ORCS AND TROLLS.

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seraph4377
6 years ago

Lord, I don’t know where this meme comes from…I mean the whole elves and dwarves fighting like cats and dogs meme.

Tolkien again. He had a whole rich, complicated history where two races of essentially-good beings end up at odds because of a history of betrayals, long-remembered grudges, and an inability to understand each other’s way of life, all of which are healed at least symbolically in Gimli’s love for Galadriel and friendship with Legolas.

Everyone after him had a stereotype.

Falconer
6 years ago

@leftwingfox: Mind. Blown.

Falconer
6 years ago

@seraph4377: I think you’ve got that backwards.

Gimli/Legolas OTP.

freemage
freemage
6 years ago

So wait, wait–you’re playing a gladiator OWNER in this steaming mess of a game? And yet you still can’t play a woman?

Doesn’t that sorta kinda completely detonate the remnants of his oh-so-laughable claims of historical verisimilitude. Women in Rome could own property. Gladiators were property. Women could TOTALLY own gladiators. So the player (who, if the game isn’t utter shite, should at least have a basic avatar that appears during buying/selling phases, and possibly cheering during the bouts) should totally be able to pick a woman avatar.

Fibinachi
6 years ago

Falconer: One of the great things about Pathfinder is that it can be free:
http://paizo.com/prd/

Having all the rulebooks in a searchable, freely available website is SO helpful, especially in the era of iPads and net gaming. (We’re currently playing the game with D20 Pro and Google hangouts, since I moved away from the gang in the middle of a campaign.)

But but but

But that’s not true! You guys got the wrong completely free source of all pathfinder rulebooks.

This is the right one.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/home

That one has the general Pathfinder Society updates (Blood of the Moon, Cheliax, Varisia, so on) + everything from Dreamscarred Press’ psionics line and anything else that they’ve been given permission for from thirdparties – which includes the pathfinder rework of the Binder, the Occultist, from Radiance House, here http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/3rd-party-classes/radiance-house/occultist – and everything else, all indexed and searchable as well.

It has everything from Paizo as well as other people, plus a fair amount of extra tools and so on.

Pathfinder is great. It has more than one system reference document. It’s brilliant.

seraph4377
6 years ago

Falconer – I don’t disagree with you, though I’m sure it would set Tolkien to spinning in his grave. I do hope that the fanfic you’ve read (or written) on that score is better than the utter dreck that I have (read, that is).

Fibinachi
6 years ago

@Fibinachi: Re Pathfinder — I haven’t bought into Pathfinder because my 3.5 is perfectly serviceable, and anyway I have plenty of other RPGs that need love, like True20 and the aforementioned Savage Worlds. I have shelves of GURPS books; the system’s just not for us but the sourcebooks are invaluable.

Anyway, I remember one adventure published in Dungeon waaaay back before 3.5 was even published, where this unfortunate NPC was seduced into a private garden by a courtesan, where they were both killed by a plant monster so someone else could get his hands on a valuable contract for vanilla beans.

And there should be sex workers all over Waterdeep, but I don’t recall seeing any in any game resource. There’s probably some in one or more of the novels, which were more daring (I remember being somewhat shocked when one of the Drizzt books broke the Passionately Sexless wall with an explicit mention of a woman’s nipples; but I was like 15).

I actually combined the two, rather than pick one. Options for some classes are better in Pathfinder – for instance fighters and rogues get some slightly better things. One example is reworking sneak attack so it applies to more creature types (undead, for instance), who instead of being immune either take half or the entire thin – so I use those versions for people who want to play those classes.

Also, Sorcerer bloodlines are brilliant from a character perspective, roleplaying intro and customization view. It’s just pure joy, which helps separate wizards from sorcerers more than the distinctions of 3.5.

On the other hand, I totally get what you’re saying re: 3.5 being servicable, I have a library of random sourcebooks and tend to run a terrible, abyssal kludge of Iron Heroes, True Arcana, Thieves World, Iron Kingdoms and Standard 3.5 with a light garnish of online homebrew and a few other things. I couldn’t imagine giving up the sheer ability to find things and rules for most anything (“I wonder, Fibi, can my wizard use these broken parts of a golem to create some kind of robot servant?” “Oh, I guess I can have a look at the Iron Kingdom sourcebooks for that…”)

But yeah, it is odd that so much standard 3.5 world building just…. avoids any kind of oddity, despite being, at times, so very odd. You have more fleshwarping, dimensional entities that feast on laughter or tears than you do two guys kissing. It boogles my mind. Like Vox Day, actually. He can conceptualize of a fictional roman empire that fights trolls, orcs and goblins, probably using some magic (Throne of Bones mention “dreadful magic of the elves”), heroes and mighty men… but women fighting is impossible.

It’s like this cornucupeia of beautiful imagination totally brought low by a complete inability to actually think about things being different. It’s an odd person who thinks Witchkings that summon the undead is more likely and reasonable than a woman killing a man with a sword.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Falconer – OT but it’s been suggested that Tutankhamen died in battle. He had injuries consistent with being run over by a chariot.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Fibi – yeah, well they’re not actually afraid of Witchkings or trolls or orcs or whatever. But real-world stuff, like women not being their sexthings, or men getting sexy together? That’s threatening.

Karalora
6 years ago

@thebobgoblin

Thanks for bringing The Blue Rose to my attention! I’ve only just started reading the core rulebook, but it already looks more satisfying to me as a setting than the “standard” D&D setting. As a Pagan I especially like the pantheon of deities, which seems so much more natural and organic than the Forgotten Realms pantheon where you could just cross out the deities’ stated portfolios and write in character classes instead–there’s a god of rogues, a god of paladins, etc.

Falconer
6 years ago

@kittehs: Yeah, ISTR Tut had a broken leg about the time he died.

And yeah, he reconciled with the priesthood of Amun and forsook the heresy of Atenism that his father created.

But I like the idea that this guy, who was there for some of it (I figure he died before Akhenaten did), is still holding his old grudges and is mistaken about some things. And it’s an RPG anyway, it’s ephemeral and doesn’t need a whole lot of research.

… Um, is this something I should drop? Does it make you uncomfortable?

Shaenon
6 years ago

quoth Medb; “the High King of Erin himself was my sire… Of daughters, had he six: Derbriu, Ethne and Ele, Clothru, Mugain and Medb, myself, that was the noblest and seemliest of them.

“‘Twas I was the goodliest of them in bounty and gift-giving, in riches and treasures. ‘Twas I was best of them in battle and strife and combat. ‘Twas I that had fifteen hundred royal mercenaries of the sons of aliens exiled from their own land, and as many more of the sons of freemen of the land. And there were ten men with every one of these hirelings, and nine men with every hireling, and eight men with every hireling, and seven men with every hireling, and six men with every hireling, and five men with every hireling, and four men with every hireling, and three men with every hireling, and two men with every hireling, and one hireling with every hireling. These were as a standing household-guard,” continued Medb; “hence hath my father bestowed one of the five provinces of Erin upon me, even the province of Cruachan; wherefore ‘Medb of Cruachan ‘ am I called.

“…’Tis I that exacted a singular bride-gift, such as no woman before me had ever required of a man of the men of Erin, namely, a husband without avarice, without jealousy, without fear. For should he be mean, the man with whom I should live, we were ill-matched together, inasmuch as I am great in largess and gift-giving, and it would be a disgrace for my husband if I should be better at spending than he, and for it to be said that I was superior in wealth and treasures to trim, while no disgrace would it be were one as great as the other. Were my husband a coward,’twere as unfit for us to be mated, for I by myself and alone break battles and fights and combats, and ‘twould be a reproach for my husband should his wife be more full of life than himself, and no reproach our being equally bold. Should he be jealous, the husband with whom I should live, that too would not suit me, for there never was a time that I had not my paramour.”

From The Cattle Raid of Cooley, an Irish saga first recorded in the 11th or 12th century (but probably much older).

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Sexism in the game is virtually non-existant.

And then

In the case of this character, the arc is that she and her sister both ran with a small-time gang as teens before the gang was squeezed out by the more powerful organizations. Her sister the thief decided to “go straight” and become a scullery maid at a ramshackle tavern, while she went into prostitution as the “least bad choice”, with her species putting her at a competitive disadvantage to the humans and half-elves in the field.

If the first part is true, then the second part doesn’t make much sense, especially if this is one of your major female characters. Having all the named/significant female characters in a fantasy society be sex workers is something that a lot of male authors have been called out for. I’m not sure there’s any good reason to replicate that pattern unless her being a sex worker is integral to the plot in some way that you’re absolutely sure isn’t due to sexism.

leftwingfox
6 years ago

Fibinachi: Oh yeah! Our last three campaigns were Golarion-based adventure paths from Paizo, and the campaign I’m designing is kind of in responce to some of my criticisms of those. 😉 That’s why I’ve been sticking with the Paizo PRDs, rather than those. Yours are better references for those who want to play freeform, of course.

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
6 years ago

Okay, I know the topic here is more fantasy than science fiction oriented, but I’ve been half remembering a story lately and I wanted to crowdsource trying to figure out which one it was in order to increase my chances of being able to find it again.

It was written from the perspective of a sentient dog working as a guardian for a performer (she was either an actress or a singer but either way she was a megastar beloved by nearly everyone) who was going out to visit protesters or rebels on one side of a war. I think she was also either very sick or injured and hiding it, a fact which made her willing to take extraordinary risks in an effort to bring the war/conflict to an end. To that end I think she was working with someone to stage an event that would take her life and shock people into an end to the conflict. Meanwhile, her handlers sent the dog to watch over her and he watches over her actions but doesn’t quite understand them.

Oh, and he likes pretzels, which is one piece of recurring dialog that keeps sticking in my head and providing the handle that lets me pull the drawer in my memory containing this story open just enough to peek inside at the above.

It may have been published in Omni Magazine, and might have been from the mid to late 80s, it wouldn’t (I think) be from as late as the 90s.

leftwingfox
6 years ago

If the first part is true, then the second part doesn’t make much sense, especially if this is one of your major female characters.

Oh, she isn’t the only named character, nor the most important plot-wise. She’s simply the most contentious, which is why I was seeking a second opinion on her specifically.

Plot-wise, her sister the ex-thief innkeeper is the character who interacts with the player the most.

Amongst the other named characters: The nation is named after the woman paladin who founded the trade city; the current ruler of this nation is a queen, the ruler of the major vital faction and her key advisor are both women. One of the named characters who played a key minor role in an earlier part of the adventure was elected as the boom-town’s mayor (which I’ll be playing up in the official campaign), as well as some of the key contacts/plot-tokens.

Once the campaign is done, I’ll probably do a little more gender balancing as well to make sure that I’m not falling prey to male bias… you know, the one where guys see 17% of the cast as women, and believe that’s equality.

Oh and the primary villain, who is played as an incredibly dangerous force largely offscreen, similar to Sauron. None of these other characters are defined by their sexuality, and the only act of seduction referenced is more of a religious conversion than a romantic one.

leftwingfox
6 years ago

Reading that again, “plot-tokens” sounds much more belittling than I intended it to be. Sorry about that.

leftwingfox
6 years ago

gillyrosebee: Wish I could help. Sounds like a great story.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

If she’s just one character of many then that should be fine. It’s just if I sat down to a game where, hey look, it just happens that the only options for female characters are “sex worker” or “maid” that I’d be side-eyeing the whole thing and making Grumpy Cat face.

Imperator Zor
Imperator Zor
6 years ago

Lets look at two of the founders of the Fantasy Genre: JRR Tolkien and L. Frank Baum

JRR Tolkien (writer of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit) was a very broadly speaking conservative (in that he did not like modernization and held Romantic views in the past), yet even he added a few female characters of prominence, Lobelia Sackville-Baggins gets more character development than most of the male secondary characters or Aragorn and Eowyn Shield Maiden of Rohan plays a major role in the third book, defeating the Witch King. It is quite clear that she has been trained in arms for logical reasons of defending herself and others.

L. Frank Baum (writer of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its various sequels) not only had the most important and powerful characters in his Oz stories be female (Dorothy and the Witches) but was actively involved in the woman’s suffrage movement in the early 20th century.

Fantasy has a history of strong female characters in it which goes back to it’s beginning. This guy is simply being a crank.

leftwingfox
6 years ago

If she’s just one character of many then that should be fine. It’s just if I sat down to a game where, hey look, it just happens that the only options for female characters are “sex worker” or “maid” that I’d be side-eyeing the whole thing and making Grumpy Cat face.

Actually… that just revealed a potentially significant blind spot.

Players enter the campaign in multiple ways depending on their background; and two of the three ways are lead by named women characters who are relevant later in the campaign (A good witch and an elven ranger). The primary way in is by caravan from the main town, where the catfolk sisters are the only two named female characters the players are introduced to at that point. So if all the characters enter that way, then someone playing might actually get that impression. Whoops.

I should probably change the gender of the grizzled veteran or the socially awkward priest…

seraph4377
6 years ago

Imperator Zor – It’s interesting that you bring up Lobelia Sackville-Baggins. From the perspective of feminist literary criticism, I’d say that she’s even more interesting than Eowyn. Eowyn is an epic, extraordinary figure. She’s the kind of Strong Female Character that amounts to just another exotic character type – toss her into the story for flavor, or for an interesting plot twist, but it doesn’t say anything about real-world women.

Lobelia is ordinary. She’s unpleasant. She’s loud and abrasive. She’s a petty thief, but doesn’t think of herself as such because she feels she’s owed Bag End and all its contents. And yet her sheer orneriness makes her a hero in the Scouring of the Shire. She was ready to fight back against people much more dangerous than those she usually pushed around, long before the members of the Fellowship returned to inspire the rest of her neighbors. That does say something.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: Brandi

A little number some of you may have heard of called F.A.T.A.L.

*SHRIEK* How dare you speak its name! Get thee hence, demon! And take your dice with you!

RE: Skanky Tits

She was the only girl in the room so they thought it would be reeeally funny to rape her character.

What pleasant guys. The first guys I played D&D with insisted on me playing a female character so they could hit on me in-game as well as out without fears of gayness. When I refused, they created an absurdly overpowered magical item to forcibly genderswap my character.

Needless to say, I haven’t played D&D in almost four years.

RE: Historophilia

Tales of the Otori for example, Fantasy set in Pre-Modern Japan with Magic Ninjas? Yes please.Brilliant female characters? Political machinations? Even more yes please.

Ooh, who wrote that? I might be interested. And also, if you liked that, try and chase down a copy of Sasha Miller’s Ladylord. It seems to be common in libraries, and it’s one of two epic fantasies I’ve ever liked, taking place in a fantasy land based off Feudal Japan. The other main people you meet are ostrich-riding Tuareg-equivalents.

Just don’t listen to the cover blurbs, because they’re awful.

RE: leftwingfox

LBT: The bureaucratic orc sounds awesome!

She was so much fun, in part because she was surrounded by chaotic characters and players. To make things even more interesting, she was overwhelmingly a defensive magician; I think she had maybe one offensive spell in her arsenal, and it backfired due to bad dice rolls. I still have her character sheet, and would love to someday play her again.

RE: Imperator Zor

I sort of love my child self for getting so into Oz. Despite some of the dark happenings in those books, it was probably one of the FRIENDLIEST worlds I could find. Non-human folks were treated as people with rights and respect, women and girls did awesome things, there’s an interesting trans slant to Ozma that I’ve seen beautifully exploited in fanfiction… it’s good stuff!

vaiyt
6 years ago

Éowyn? You mean the one who went to war because she wanted to die for her unrequited crush on Aragorn? Then there’s an entire chapter about Faramir being condescending to her and treating her desire to be a warrior as a phase or a childish whim – and she basically agrees and they go live happily ever after wheeee.

seraph4377
6 years ago

Éowyn? You mean the one who went to war because she wanted to die for her unrequited crush on Aragorn?

The movies make it look like she just wants to stab something before she gets too old (war not being a whole-life type of sport), and that her going off to war was unrelated to her crush. Are the books different? It’s been a long time since I read them.

leftwingfox
6 years ago

LBT: Oh jeez… =(

The first time I had a girl in my gaming group is still one of my favourite RPG stories to tell. She was a family friend, and I introduced her and her little brother to the “Toon” RPG. So, after quick character generation, and a basic explanation of the rules, I start.

Me: You are walking down an alley, when a big yellow bulldozer starts bearing down on you. What do you do?

Her brother: I dodge the bulldozer.

My brother: I dismantle the bulldozer.

Her: I’m driving the bulldozer.

(shocked silence, laughter)

Me: Right! Make your rolls folks!

The next 20 minutes ended up being a free-for-all cartoon battle across town, which was probably a hell of a lot more fun than whatever I was planning on doing originally.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Imperator Zor,
It’s too bad the movies didn’t carve out a space for Lobelia.

I love the Oz books. Glinda is such a feminist icon for me. She is easily the most powerful and intelligent person in Oz. She has that book that tells her everything that’s going on in the world so she literally knows everything. She can use a spell to fix any problem, but she only does it as a last resort. She doesn’t have a huge ego and isn’t a glory hound. She lets the others in Oz be empowered too. I love that she teaches the humbug Wizard to become a real wizard after the fourth book.
As much as I love the movie, it kills me that they made Glinda a pink tulle clad pretty princess instead of the elegant, sophisticated and wise woman she is in the books. The movie version is what everyone thinks of when they think of Glinda and it has colored all the various retellings too.

Sorry to go on so long. I’ll just seize on any rare opportunities to discuss the Oz books. They’re some of my favorites even as an adult.

thebobgoblin
6 years ago

@Karalora,

Yeah, Blue Rose is a recent find for me, and I really like it. One of the things that made me search it out was the odd dichotomy of every review I read of it (while trying to learn more about the True20 system in general), which all boiled down to, “innovative rules because streamlining, stupid setting because girly gayness.”

Turns out I like the setting a lot more than I like the rules. I found its opening analysis of the difference between what it calls the “romantic fantasy” genre and the default D&D genre to be pretty insightful. It really highlights how gendered the default D&D setting is, without engaging in any kind of polemics. That was a subtle touch.

I have a majority-female gaming group, and though I haven’t introduced the Blue Rose setting to them, I’ve found that it fits in well with the kind of characters they already conceive and play, anyway. Some of the women in my group are big Mercedes Lackey fans, so I think they’d dig Blue Rose a lot.

That said, I’d rather play in Blue Rose than GM it, so I’m probably going to introduce it to my group near the end of our current campaign, when we start thinking about what to play next. Maybe another player will get the itch to run it.

jadebscarlett
6 years ago
Reply to  2-D Man

Let’s be fair I’m sure orcs and trolls are way more pleasant than Vox Day.

10knives
10knives
6 years ago

I’m actually working on some tabletop RPG stuff right now.

One’s a modern fantasy setting, based around conspiracies of hidden magic operating in the modern world and a pocket dimension full of monsters and magical resources (no elves or dwarves, just humans) – I wanted to be a kind of “medium fantasy”, where you get loads of magical stuff flying around but the campaign focus is on commerce, politics and everyday issues. Incidentally, one of the major details of the setting is that 75% of the entire Mage population is female, and several important factions that control territory in both the mundane world and the pocket dimension can ONLY recruit women because ONLY women can learn their signature magic.

The second thing I’m working on is a GURPS conversion of the D&D setting Ravenloft, remixed a little to cut out some of the sillier stuff and focus the upcoming campaign on discovering the hidden Awful Truths of the world.

And if Vox Day really wants “historical verisimilitude”, then why the fuck is he even making a game about gladiatorial combat rather than FARMING? For fucks sake, any given person any time and anywhere would probably be closer to working to provide food for whoever than actually fighting anything. You get a hell of a lot more people focused on getting food than killing if you look at the general history of humanity.

thebobgoblin
6 years ago

@10 knives

And if Vox Day really wants “historical verisimilitude”, then why the fuck is he even making a game about gladiatorial combat rather than FARMING? For fucks sake, any given person any time and anywhere would probably be closer to working to provide food for whoever than actually fighting anything. You get a hell of a lot more people focused on getting food than killing if you look at the general history of humanity.

Not to mention, they’d more likely be the victims of roaming bands of knights/samurai/centurions than be members of those groups. There’s been an awful lot of random rape & murder carried out by such heroic types while en route to their glorious quests. The whole genre of fantasy fighting games sides with the perps to a large extent.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Let’s be fair I’m sure orcs and trolls are way more pleasant than Vox Day.

That’s a very low bar! 😀

kittehserf
6 years ago

But I like the idea that this guy, who was there for some of it (I figure he died before Akhenaten did), is still holding his old grudges and is mistaken about some things. And it’s an RPG anyway, it’s ephemeral and doesn’t need a whole lot of research.

… Um, is this something I should drop? Does it make you uncomfortable?

Uncomfortable? No, not in the least, I thought the description of Grudge Guy was funny, and just threw in the bit about Tutankhamen’s injuries ‘cos it was interesting. He usually has been depicted as some weedy kid. The game reminded me a bit of Pratchett’s Pyramids .

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: weirwoodtreehugger

You have good taste. The Tin Woodsman was always my favorite, and I blame it for my adulthood fascination for robots, cyborgs, and golems. Now THERE was a character who took the “emotionless machine” trope and smashed it into the ground!

kittehserf
6 years ago

I have to confess (somewhat shamefacedly) that I didn’t enjoy the first Oz book nearly as much as the film – probably because I’d seen the film so many times and so long before. I do like that Dorothy’s a stronger character (which I already knew) but overall, no, it didn’t have the emotional pull the film did. I haven’t read any of the other books, though – maybe I should.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: Kittehs

I remember liking The Land of Oz a lot, but Mr. Baum unfortunately didn’t actually like writing the Oz books very much and was pretty apparently sick of them after a while. If you want something more awesome that he wrote, you might like to try Queen Zixi of Ix, if you can find it.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Sounds a bit like Conan Doyle getting fed up with writing Holmes pretty quickly.

10knives
10knives
6 years ago

“Not to mention, they’d more likely be the victims of roaming bands of knights/samurai/centurions than be members of those groups. There’s been an awful lot of random rape & murder carried out by such heroic types while en route to their glorious quests. The whole genre of fantasy fighting games sides with the perps to a large extent.”

1) Sandor Clegane account spotted. /joke-and-a-reference
2) I think that’s a subset of the larger phenomenon of war fiction glossing over civilian casualties (also classism) – not many video games actually show firefights between soldiers wherein unlucky civvies are caught in the middle. Spec Ops The Line has some (duh), some of the Modern Warfare games had a few, one map of Civilary Medival Warfare had an entire objective of one team being the slaughter of serfs…I have actually spent a few idle moments wondering if there’d ever a team deathwatch shooter where non-aligned AI locals would factor in – running around in a panic, possibly getting shot by accident, maybe attacking with improvised weaponry if you pissed them off…

Karalora
6 years ago

@thebobgoblin

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a great time playing D&D, but it does have certain patriarchal and imperialist assumptions baked in. I’m mostly familiar with 3.0/3.5, which never comes out and says you have to build your character along traditional gender lines nor includes any rules to that effect – and indeed, the example PCs include things like a female paladin and a WOC monk – but example NPCs are far less likely to break stereotypes, and published adventure scenarios tend to revert to kidnapped princesses and winning wars (as opposed to averting them or protecting civilians from the fallout). Plus stupid things the developers just couldn’t let go of from earlier editions, like the drow.

Falconer
6 years ago

@karalora: One of these days I’ll trawl through my collection of DUNGEON Magazine and tally up the Damsels in Distress. I want to say that there’s fewer of them in the modern era, but that might just be wishful thinking.

I do remember one where a (woman) paladin has been killed and her soul is being devoured by a giant undead monstrosity that’s using the energy to power its mojo.

bekabot
bekabot
6 years ago

While the Romans did occasionally put female gladiators in the arena, they were there as a comedic act.

Whatever happened to “women aren’t funny?”

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

Women aren’t funny. Laughing at women is funny.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

I can see how an MRA would find women being stabbed with pointy things hilarious. Congrats, guys, you’ve managed to beat the latter days of the Roman empire for perversity.

10knives
10knives
6 years ago

Eh, if there’s anything Whose Line is it Anyways taught us, it’s that good comedians (male or female) can make a bit out of any prop – so not real Classical Era weaponry?

Seranvali
Seranvali
6 years ago

For those interested in looking at tabletop RPGs that aren’t based on western sources:

Mr S and I have been working for some years now on a world that’s based on Asian cultures and literature, in particular China, Japan, Tibet, India and Korea. It’s also matriarchal. We wanted to see what matriarchy might look like. We also doubted very much that it would just be a reversal of roles and that portraying it that way would be lazy design. Since there are no matriarchal societies existing now and may never have been any to give us ethnographic analogies we had to be a bit more creative and come up with something new.

It’s on Mr S’s gaming and model blog and open source so people are welcome to download it and take a look.

I don’t want to post the link here, however, because the site contains information about both of us that I don’t want trolls getting hold of so if you’ll email me at seranvali@gmail.com, I’ll be happy to give you the address.

Ally S
6 years ago

::waves at Seranvali::

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

I am soooooo far behind, but pet fish?

“We don’t have laws against enrolling your pet fish in public school, because no one would do that as fish don’t benefit from school and don’t want to go.”

No no, we don’t have laws against it because fish prefer to create their own schools! Or just skip school altogether and go their own way (FGTOW?)

katz
6 years ago

No no, we don’t have laws against it because fish prefer to create their own schools!

*rimshot*

Seranvali
Seranvali
6 years ago

Ally? Was that a wave for a link?

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

Yeah, women being able to do things is less believable than fucking orcs and goblins and elves.

That is like on 10 billion different levels of depressing and misogyny, I don’t even…