Friday, March 8, 2013

Who Dies Trying To Free You From Heads & Hamstrings Your Gnolls?

Stacy--a fine GM, and proprietor of Frivology--wrote this.

When I say Stacy is smart I mean it, but, although she says what she has to say unusually well, the ideas she's articulating here aren't unusual to me at all.

Basically: I have never, in my entire life, (except in RPG forums) ever met anyone who called themself a feminist, a woman or both, who would disagree with any of this:

Happy International Women's Day!

Please Observe the Following:

If today, you get the urge to make a post about how amazing you are towards women by creating special rules that dictate how you draw, write, interact with, or game with women, you're missing the point.

Drawing a woman in "reasonable" armor does not further equality, it furthers a particular artistic aesthetic that some women (but certainly not all) are interested in. It does nothing to further equality other than give you happy feels in your tummy, and appeal to those people.

Making specific rules at your table to cater to what you've determined are sensitive issues for women does not further equality - it strengthens negative stereotypes. If you want to make rules that deal with your player's feelings, don't say it's 'for women'. Again, not all women are sensitive, not all women are sensitive in the same ways, and not all women need or want special rules at the table.

Lastly, please avoid getting smug about your recognition of "privilege". No one wants to hear how you've recognized you're an asshole because life is so much better for you than for women. That does nothing to further equality.

So today, if you truly want to celebrate women, don't demean them, don't force them into stereotypes, don't assume that any one person or any one group of people can assume what all (or even a majority) of women need. Realize that women, just like men, are all different people with different needs, different wants, different aesthetic desires, different bodies, different emotions, different sensitivities, and different reactions.

Today, if you truly want to support International Women's Day, show us some of the amazing things that women have done that you love, not what you've done to make the world a safer place for poor, wittle old me.

So, to pay my Stacy Tax:

Last night, oh my brothers and sisters, I was in Rappan Athuk and surrounded by gnolls. We had bearded them in their horrible lair, we were outnumbered and I was trying to burn them. It was my first day in the dungeon and one hit would've killed me.
So I'm grateful to Caroline Pierce who--despite having been born with only one hit point and being at minus two damage on account of her crappy strength--gamely slipped in to backstab the first gnoll I was fighting for (a much appreciated) 2d4-2 damage.
...Likewise I am grateful to Mandy Morbid, who ran in when the gnoll noticed Caroline and kept it busy busy, giving CP time to hamstring it.

...and none of us can forget Kimberly Kane, who died last night trying to save a fighter she barely knew when he was swallowed whole by a giant, powerful and arbitrary magical head made of mysterious stone.
So I thank you, ladies, and the Zelkor's Ferry branch of The Devildog Slaughterfist Memorial Life Insurance, Hogbreeding and Asset Seizure Limited Liability Company thanks you. You are all totally metal.


kesher said...


Bruno said...

A 1 HP character? Ouch!

AsenRG said...

Rolling for HP does that, as well as Con penalties.

But I gotta agree, that sounds great! What we want to know now is, did the PCs survive?

Zak Sabbath said...

Lost 2, 3 survived

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to make a serious, non-porn, black-and-white, 40's-set film noir movie and cast Kimberly Kane as the lead.

Unknown said...

Small world. The fighter in our group was devoured by the exact same stone head. However, unlike brave Kimberly, his group simply waited around for the head to spit him back out. While they sat around comparing recipes, he slowly suffocated to death. Sad. I'm assuming from the 1hp comment that you are playing the S&W version; we are using Pathfinder.