APG: Alliance Players Guide Beta Feedback

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Denise

Newbie
Can we please read the suggested modules on page 93 and address how deeply sexist they are towards women?

“Monique is a little “French” waitress who flits from place to place with her tray and who is often seen dusting high places much to the delight of Gino. Players will assume that her dumb demeanor and attitude is really a cover, but—surprise!—she really is what she seems to be.”
 
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zehnyu

Squire
Can we please read the suggested modules on page 93 and address how deeply sexist they are towards women?

“Monique is a little “French” waitress who flits from place to place with her tray and who is often seen dusting high places much to the delight of Gino. Players will assume that her dumb demeanor and attitude is really a cover, but—surprise!—she really is what she seems to be.”

Seriously?
I had not yet read the player's guide, and scanned it after seeing this message. I agree with Denise. Is there a better module example that can be used that gets the 'simple module' point across, with better representation if possible?
 

Krystina F

Artisan
I had not yet read the player's guide, and scanned it after seeing this message. I agree with Denise. Is there a better module example that can be used that gets the 'simple module' point across, with better representation if possible?
Please note the Diversity Committee specifically requested that this entire module be removed from the manual for a variety of reasons. This request was ignored.
 

Krystina F

Artisan
Can we please read the suggested modules on page 93 and address how deeply sexist they are towards women?

“Monique is a little “French” waitress who flits from place to place with her tray and who is often seen dusting high places much to the delight of Gino. Players will assume that her dumb demeanor and attitude is really a cover, but—surprise!—she really is what she seems to be.”
Please note the Diversity Committee specifically requested that this entire module be removed from the manual for a variety of reasons. This request was ignored.
 

Amber-Rose

Newbie
Oregon Staff
Seattle Staff
I appreciate that the module on page page 93 is prefixed with a disclaimer excusing the sexist elements as satire of the Bond movies and similar media, but I don't think that it is a particularly appropriate mod to be the example we would be effectively promoting as the "standard". Not to mention it will be the first outlined example potential new players will be seeing. The mod feels like its playing to the tropes without criticizing or subverting them, which makes it come off less like satire and more like what it claims to be critical of. (Perhaps in action it succeeds in what it claims to be attempting, but it doesn't do that in print.)

Please consider replacing it with another module example that doesn't rely on sexist and insulting stereotypes.
 

Kevar

Fighter
Seattle Staff
Marshal
There are many who are already discussing the intro modules use of tropes and sexism (as satire) so I want to talk about it from a bit of a different angle.

I don't feel that the into mod should rely on pop-culture references. We have an amazing game that spread across the US and Canada with an awesome culture. I think that we should highlight things that make Alliance unique in the intro mod that first time players will be reading when deciding to play Alliance. The module that is in the 2.0 book is from our old book (1.3) and I think we as a game have built so much since then! Beyond that LARPing has become far more well known and social acceptable in the last decade. Which is awesome. So we should leverage that and show off what makes us unique. New players should be able to read the module in the theater of their mind and get beyond excited for their first event. Referencing OOG things may draw the reader away from that teaser that could get them excited for Alliance for years to come.

That is my two additional cents regarding that mod - and I will be digging through the rulebook in the next few days to assist with public proof reading!


Thank you all for your extremely hard work! I really appreciate that the community is involved in some of this editing legwork and that we will be able to have a nicely refined book in just a few weeks!!!
 

A.mungo

Artisan
Marshal
Outside of pop-culture references, are we honestly at a point where we dont have anything other than sexism to draw on for inspiration? Is it such a focal point of the powers that be that we couldnt include a puzzle room mod, or a survival scenario, or literally anything else that is not demeaning to half or more of our population as a public facing scenario? We have literal decades of experience to draw on. Committees we have formed to get away from this type of blatant stereotypical nonsense. Is this really how we choose to shoot ourselves in the foot? I beg you all to please look at this outside of just hard box text rules, and ask what are we portraying and supporting as a front facing document. Is it inclusive, or do we even care if it is inclusive? I for one am dissapointed. I believe we are better than "sex sells".

If you agree, please reach out to your owners as apparently the committees are being ignored.
 
The first sentence in the description for Humans, "Humans are, in essence, they are the default race", is SUPER clunky and should be edited for smoother flow.

Also doubling down on the critique that if the best example mod available is a James Bond parody (that doesn't read as a parody), then something new needs to be written; even aside from everything going on with the Monique character, I think it says something about the game if we're pulling directly from pop culture for our sample mod rather than an original concept, and that something isn't necessarily great.

I can see the argument being made that the mod has to be relatable to new players, and there's merit to that point, but out of all the pop culture to rely on for a medieval fantasy game, why choose James Bond? It's a strange choice (at best) to draw on inspiration from the modern spy genre with gadgets and tech when we have Lord of the Rings, a dozen Final Fantasy games, Game of Thrones, ATLA, and a dozen other slightly less popular medieval fantasy cultural icons to draw from.
 

hbirdgirl

Newbie
I am adding my voice against the lazy sexist intro mods, I also find it really disheartening that this was already addressed by the diversity committee before this release and they were ignored. Wasn't the point of the diversity committee to help traditionally marginalized groups have a stronger voice to avoid the mistakes this game of the past (slurs/blackface/blatant sexism)? I have been so excited in the past few years about the changes this game has been making, but right now it feels like they are pay paying lip service to future changes by being able to point to the fact that we have a diversity committee, but then this committee is unheard about what seems to be an obvious choice of sexist language? Let's do better please.
 
I am not okay with the sexist and immersion breaking presentation of the Sample Module in the Players Guide p.90-96.

As others have pointed out the fact that we have to "excuse" the use of sexist tropes in the name of satire means that already recognize that we should not be doing it. The writing and design are uninspired and ultimately a regression.

I would implore that the Sample Module is altered to something else. I am certain there are plenty of teams or individuals who would be happy to write something that is not only more appropriate in tone but in setting.

Alliance has appeared to put in time, effort, and energy to make the game more welcoming and inclusive with the alteration of the Sulunari, Dark Elves, and Oathsworn. We have outlined that topics of Religion, Gods, ****, and Sexual Assault are not appropriate topics.

But somehow, in this instance, we fail our awareness of how tone-deaf and dismissive this Sample Module is with the excuse that it is satire, we are attempting to explain our way out of this mistake with what is tantamount to "it's just a joke."

The fact that the Diversity Community already voiced its concerns and the Module survived indicates we still have a ways to go in our efforts of inclusion and diversity.

Change the Module. It is as simple as that.
 

Krystina F

Artisan
There are many who are already discussing the intro modules use of tropes and sexism (as satire) so I want to talk about it from a bit of a different angle.

I don't feel that the into mod should rely on pop-culture references.
This was one of the many reasons the Diversity Committee felt it should be removed, as it was thematically inappropriate to our genre and that there are much better examples we can use from our own world.
 

Layn

Newbie
The sample intro mod is bad. In so many ways, and should be completely redone with the help of the diversity committee:
  • There are 3 girls; 2 bond sex chicks and 1 ditsy sex chick. Like... come on.
  • There are 5 different extremely non standard items to use which require more than a basic level of understanding of larping, and don't help new players at all learning the other ropes of the rules.
  • An unpickable lock? Why? Characters have devoted XP and real world time to be able to solve problems in this manner, and this issue could so easily be solved by a bodyguard keeping routine watch on the door so it would be easy to quickly open with a key, but a challenge to do with picks (someone might have to make a distraction for the bodyguard to make some more pick time for instance)
  • Silly underwear for props... Are we so childish that we need to play pretend by having a ditsy girl spill water on a guy's pants, then remove them revealing the hilarity of undergarments? oh my.
  • It's poorly written in the book. Who is the audience for this? It just doesn't read well on either side of the fence.
  • If there is a specific warded room, with a huge pile of money, and I find a way to get inside (DFM, convince the bookkeeper to let me in, ect.) do I get all that money? Does that destroy treasure policy for that event?
The Glossary right below this mod is also written very poorly and could use proper insight from the diversity committee and an editor. Here are my choice failures: (my comments in parenthesis)
  • Battle Magic: Spells that are not Formal Magic. (Maybe say 1st-9th circle spells.)
  • Death Countdown (Needs to be refined and corrected, such as being corrupted does temporarily stop your death)
  • FOIG: “Find Out In-Game.” Said frequently to players who ask in-game questions while out-of-game. (This feels condescending)
  • Full Boat: Having every Spell Defense possible active on you. We have no idea where this phrase originated. (Why the 2nd sentence if you don't explain the origins of the other terms? First sentence is clunky)
  • Hawley-Smoot Tariff: An important piece of legislation that, in 1930, established strict controls on imports into the United States. Actually has nothing at all to do with the game; we just like the way it sounds. Do people use this in our game? Never heard it before. What in tarnations is it doing in the book?
  • "Mundania: The real world. (You know—where we go when we’re not playing Alliance games.)" (sounds childish imo)
  • Mundane: A person who does not play Alliance games; especially one who does not understand why people enjoy these things—like our bosses and teachers. (Firstly, do we want to put slurs in our core books? Secondly, I have had bosses and teachers play in LARPs with me...)
  • Nounverber: A character with a typical fantasy name such as “Dreamseeker” or “Shadowwalker” or “Deathbringer.” (Seems like a derogatory term to use, but I have not seen it's usage)
  • OOG: Stands for “Out-of-Game.” Not to be confused with the sound you make when hit too hard in the stomach by an orc with a huge club. (Second part seems superfluous)
  • PC: Player character. Everyone who is not an NPC (see above) (Can we stop using negatives to define things?)
  • PC Basher: A player who earns game money and items primarily by killing and robbing other players. Not a very well-liked person. (More derogatory slurs... Also just because the writer doesn't like this person, doesn't mean I or others don't as well.)
  • Turtling: Crouching down and hiding behind a shield so that no legal targets are available for your opponent to hit. This is not allowed. Do not do this. (I believe this is now in fact allowed in 2.0 right?)
Thats all for now, but from what I see here there is gonna need to be a lot of work put into this if we want to do it right.
 

Feldor

Scholar
Marshal
In 2.0 Guard was renamed to Block. So that's correct.
I think that was an unfortunate choice. Block is commonly used in talking about combat and comes across as a generic term, as opposed to Guard which felt like a specific mechanic term - if you'd like a great example of how this could add confusion, look at the counteract skill description, where block is used repeatedly to describe a situation that in no way involves a Block. With that said if this change persists, most defense skill updates need to be updated to use the term Block then, because in many other places in the rulebook they are otherwise referred to as a Guard.
 

Paladin of Earth

Newbie
Moderator
The new Rule Book is available as a beta read. There will be some typos and other minor mistakes, and then the final version will be made available in a few months and will be available as a paperback as well.

The new Rule Book is split in two, with a Players Guide having the advice sections and other important information that you probably don't need to access as frequently as the Rule Book. There are rules and policies in the Players Guide that you have to know, though.

Both books laid out to be easier to read on mobile devices and computers.

You can help us. Point out any mistakes you find (use this thread).

We'll do the index after all the changes are made (in case some things end up moving to different pages).

Players Guide: https://alliancehq.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/players-guide-2.0-beta.pdf
 

Azath

Newbie
Oregon Staff
I appreciate the effort that has gone into this and the update to 2.0 generally. However, in addition to being needlessly clunky, the use of "she or he" specifically invalidates people like myself and several other current players in our chapter who don't use those pronouns for ourselves. Singular they or generalized nouns like "player" or a class name are preferable in hypothetical language.

I really love the community in my chapter and have found it to be very accepting and supportive while I have transitioned. I want other players to be able to find that sense of community, but unfortunately exclusionary and stereotyped language like this and the cases already pointed out present unnecessary red flags to potential players. As a player generally and a chapter staff member especially, I want to be able to present this material to our players without reservations.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I started playing Alliance in February of 2011. I was no newcomer to LARPing, but Alliance Seattle provided me with a community that I always wanted and never found.

A great deal of my personal growth, positive experiences, and most treasured friendships are at the hands of incredibly strong, inspiring, and awesome women who participate in this game, both in-game and out. I could literally fill the rest of this post with the names of those who I've seen have such incredible impact.

Many, many gaming communities still struggle with acknowledging the presence and prevalence of toxic misogyny, casual assumptions about women in general, along with conscious and/or subconscious expectations of women in our community. It happens everywhere. It happens here.

In the Pacific Northwest, very, very few of our marshals are women. We are overwhelmingly male, disproportionate with our actual playerbase and even with our staff numbers. As far as Seattle games go, I still see women getting talked down to. I still see women getting dismissed or ignored. I saw a female shield-fighter try to organize a line with fellow combatants at our last event and nobody acknowledged her. At the same event, I saw her trying to make a counterpoint with another male player, and he just straight up talked over her.

I have seen women who struggle with anxiety because they fear standing up for themselves. So they just do what will create the least friction for themselves.

I have to ask myself....if I was a young player, and I saw these examples being provided as representation of female stereotypes...would I feel comfortable to come to a game that says "Be all you can't be?"

Are they really being all they can't be when things like this still happen?

Those women who have come before and have helped develop and carry this organization at so many different levels? They deserve better than this. And the women of now and those of the future deserve better representation in the literature of our organization and of our game.

I do not believe that this was written in an attempt to intentionally undermine women...but that's the problem. We are so casual in our misogyny that we do not recognize it. We need to take a step back, we need to absorb, and we need to process. We need to recognize that there is basis for these passionate, outraged responses that deserves acknowledgement and course-correction.

I certainly hope we take those steps, as an organization. We have already shown we can change. We need to continue to change.
 
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