Monday, March 05, 2012

Super disappointed... some of the forum community today after reading a bizarre thread suggesting all kinds of ways to dock Strength stat points and STR related skills from female PCs. The posters tried to make up for it by suggesting male PCs should lose points in Wisdom and WIS related skills. Because, you know, women are weak and men are dumb.


Targeting a group, making up rules to limit that group, and pretending the limitations are "based in reality" isn't cool. I consider it a form of bullying. I grew up with a lot of bullies. They told me the reason they bullied and teased me was to "make me stronger." Yeah...that doesn't work. What it did do was slowly isolate me and help me decide not to have an opinion anymore.

Never mind that asking for these things to be written into the rules of a fantasy role-playing game is completely pointless. PCs are created by generating random stats. Some of them will be super strong or smart or graceful, others not so much. Imagine if you rolled up a PC with a 10 STR and were told, "Oh,  you're playing a girl? Subtract another point." Your male PC has a WIS of 10? "Sorry, now its a 9. Because dudes are dumb. And forget about making a successful skill check if there is a pretty girl in the room! But only if she's pretty. If Charisma is her dump stat, you can make the check."

If I was learning a new game and the GM told me that, I'd never come back. I don't think I'd make it past that point. "Oh, really? How about I keep my stat point and not play this?"

The entire point of the thread was to make sure female characters were weaker because it was "realistic." Translation: Wahhh, my girlfriend's dwarf fighter got a bigger hit than my dwarf fighter. Okay, I might be exaggerating a bit there, but why else does it matter? And don't start listing sports stats to back it up. It's a fantasy world. Why the sudden fervor over realism in a world of enchanted swords, flying dragons, and magic spells? DRAGONS! Yeah.

The D-Team responded and said it was not worth alienating half the customer base to add gender variance rules. Some of the posters decided to try getting it published in HackJournal because then it would be official. Good luck with that, guys. I just might start using some of my powers as a HJ editor. ;) Because this kind of thing is pointless and hurtful and has no place in the core rules of a game.

If it is so important to your group that all of the women be weak and helpless and all of the guys be a little dumber than the girls, house rule it. And then take a good long look at why it is so important to you to keep a segment of the population down.