Character Gender-Bending

Would it be allowed for a player to play a character of the opposite gender?
As far as I know, there is nothing in the rulebook expressly forbidding character gender-bending, and this is a game that encourages us to "be all you can't be". If we can play a dozen different races that don't exist in real life, I don't see the problem with a female player playing a male character or vice versa.
Yes, there is the potential for confusion as to the character's gender IG, but a quick "what do I see?" could remedy that. What are your thoughts on the subject? Should a player ask permission from the chapter where they're playing before creating such a character? Would you (honestly) feel uncomfortable interacting with such a character?

- Amelia
 

Inaryn

Knight
This is (or at least there was, haven't seen it in a long time so it might be gone) a ritual flaw that changed your gender.
 

Toddo

Knight
HQ Staff
Marshal
This is probably better suited to the rules forum for an "is this allowed" call.

On a personal level I wouldn't disallow it if I got a PC character history that said a lady was playing a male and would not be uncomfortable interacting with that character.

But:

The main Kingdom of a chapter (i.e. the location where the game takes place in the majority of events) is required to have a society that treats both genders equally under the law and makes no distinction based on gender as to a person's eligibility for nobility/guild membership/land ownership/etc. There should not be an advantage or disadvantage to playing a male or female character. As far as "put hand on head, state gender" goes I'd prefer not to see that as it pulls you out of RP, typically at the first impression stage of an IG relationship. Beyond that, I can't say I'd care much one way or the other and would support someone's wish to do so, especially in the case of a transgendered player.
 

Jim

Scholar
My personal thoughts are that I have no issue with it if it is done well, which is to say it isn't just being done for a laugh as a regular PC. Drag (King or Queen) can be about being funny, but with actual gender-bending PCs I think that needs to be done with a measure of respect; we are at a time when the trans community is gaining visibility and needs support. I would want all players to feel welcome at my game and not like someone is mocking them, but I do also want to let players explore their creativity and the stories they want to tell.
 

Mobius

Squire
Many of rules lean toward a "if you can't Rep it, you can't do it" philosophy (there's a caveat about Giants in the Monster section). Added to the "you can't make yourself look like a race other than you are" ruling makes me think this would be an edge call. I can see plenty of Marshall's allowing it, but it's a pretty slim thing.
 
Jim -
I agree wholeheartedly. When I asked the question, I assumed that any such character would be played respectfully and with a reasonable amount of effort put into "passing" with costume, makeup, ect.

Toddo -
While it's true that gender doesn't give any IG advantage in Alliance, it does have an effect on the story being told. Even in our real-life egalitarian society, when you pick up a fantasy-medieval adventure novel with a female protagonist, you are going to read it with different eyes than you would if the protagonist was male. A female Harry Potter or a male Xena would have changed those series completely. Anyway, I digress.
 

Toddo

Knight
HQ Staff
Marshal
Amelia, I agree with the literary/TV references, but this is a different medium. If a person's game experience is being impacted by their character's gender then this is a major issue and they need to talk to the chapter's customer service people and the chapter's owner immediately.
 

Inaryn

Knight
I had a human once... her name was Leona. She went by Leo. She was decidedly pretty masculine in attitude and general appearance. I didn't pad and wrap (I just have too much to pull that off) but people still treated the character as more of a dude than a lady. It was very much part of the character's story of reinventing herself in a world that had been reinvented around her.

It can be done and I think as long as the comedy gets left for Drag Race, if you want to play it and can do it, go for it.

And if your chapter or other players don't like it, you come play in SF. ;)
 

jpariury

Duke
It would have one rules-enforced game effect: whether or not you were a valid "target" for the victim of a Love/Love 9 effect.

We've had players/plotsters/npcs play opposite their sex. I play a transvestite of the Eddie Izzard variety as one of my NPCs. I don't really see it as being much of an issue.
 

youthculture

Fighter
Caldaria has housed gender-bending characters and we've never had an issue with it. I think if I could physically pull off playing a male character, I would definitely do it myself too.
 

Morganne

Fighter
I think I'm confused from some of the responses. Just to be clear, are you talking about going Twelfth Night style and playing a woman playing a man, or are you talking about actually playing the opposite gender?
 

Robb G

Baron
it's something i have wondered about myself. I've seen it done alot on the NPC side.. never seen it done on the PC side... and yet it's very common in MMO's
 

Gandian Ravenscroft

Knight
Chicago Staff
Marshal
I know a female player who has a long time played male PC (If any of you know her in-game: Kovu). She gets away with it very well.

Ironically, due to a severe flaw on the ritual she cast this last weekend, Kovu is now female.
 

Toddo

Knight
HQ Staff
Marshal
Weren't those flaws were removed a while back?
 
If you can rep it, you can do it. If you've got DD's, it'll be hard to bind that flat, but I'm sure there's a way. However, my question with this is how it would interact with a character who is simply pretending to be the opposite gender, like Alanna from Tamora Pierce's Tortall books (for those of you who don't know, she pretends to be a boy for eight years while training to be a knight). Depending on the in-game local culture, cross-dressing may be a viable in-character option to get something they want or to disguise themselves, and like dressing up as another race, it could potentially cause some confusion. I'm sure a quick hand on the head and an explanation of a character actually being male or female in the case of a cross-dressing player would solve it, though. I support allowing the play of the opposite gender, if properly physrepped. Hmmm, now I've got an idea for an alt... :D
 

RiddickDale

Squire
Moderator
Public Relations Committee
Toddo said:
Weren't those flaws were removed a while back?
Could have been somewhat of a CS thing since its RP only.

The player is ACTUALLY female and race changed into a race where you can't very easily pretend to be the opposite gender.

Knowing the player as I do... that is likely what happened.
 

Mobius

Squire
Anazstaizia said:
...However, my question with this is how it would interact with a character who is simply pretending to be the opposite gender... Depending on the in-game local culture, cross-dressing may be a viable in-character option to get something they want or to disguise themselves, and like dressing up as another race, it could potentially cause some confusion.
This is where I think the primary problem sits. The rules are fairly straightforward that one can NOT disguise oneself across Racial lines, so ¿why the exception for gender? So, you can play a character who IS the opposite gender, that's fine; but ¿playing a character who is PLAYING the opposite gender isn't fine? It seems like an uneccessary can of worms.

Granted, the few Chapters where I've seen regular PCs play opposite gendered characters it was generally a non-issue (at worst, it was a couple second head-scratcher). It leads to a few pronoun problems when trying to sort between references to the player or the character, but that's about it.
 

Toddo

Knight
HQ Staff
Marshal
The rules about disguise are for IG trying to pass as another race. You are allowed IG to dress as a member of the opposite sex. The question here is about playing against your OOG gender.
 
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