Interwebs Treasures #4

Some reviews of D&D Next (also known as 5th Edition).

I am having a hard time recognizing this as “real” D&D. I am old.

Other stuff I found this time:

I have a few observations on sexism and gaming. A few thoughts. I don’t pretend to be a scholar in this area, so cut me some slack if I’m way off base, but do comment if you wish.

  1. I have only DMed one campaign in which we had female players. This was when I was in my mid 20s, and I ran a game for my wife, a female friend of ours, and straight male friend, and a gay male friend. I’m assuming this may not be a common mix of players, but times have changed and I could be wrong. All of these people were highly educated – working on or having Masters degrees or PhD in some heavy subjects. It’s been said that women are not attracted to gaming because of the complexity of the rules. I don’t know about this, because I’m not a woman. I can say that these two women had never played an RPG before, and they LOVED it. The truth is that once a player has created a character, and has some understanding of what the character can do, the player doesn’t need to know a lot of rules. The Game Master needs to know the rules. The players just need to tell the DM what they want to do.  So if women really are generally averse to games with tons of rules, it really shouldn’t matter for RPGs. Over time everyone picks up the rules.
  2. People get very attached to their characters. Young people in particular, but I think everyone can get very psychologically caught up in the game. Thus, it is entirely possible for an act of violence or intimidation happening to a character in the game to be very much real to the real-world player on the receiving end. When my 15th level thief got killed in the Tomb of Horrors when I was 15, I was BUMMED! And I wasn’t even being harassed by a horny DM.
  3. I’ve read some stuff lately about women at conventions being harassed, in particular when they are involved in Cosplay. Dear men: because a woman decides to dress as a sexy Thor, and regardless of how well she succeeds, she is not giving you permission to act like an ass. There is no contradiction in a human being wanting to have fun and be sexy whilst simultaneously not wishing to be verbally or physically harassed, groped, etc.
  4. To sum up: if you are gaming with someone, it is incumbent on YOU to help that person feel welcome, respected, and appreciated at the table. Err on the side of caution.

 

One response... add one

I’ve been fortunate in mostly not encountering the sorts of behavior described in your links. In one of my groups, we did have a guy who used sexist language on occasion, but he was also a generally obnoxious and pushy jerk who ruined everyone’s fun, so he was eventually released (not soon enough, though).

There are RPGs that seem to attract a higher-than-average percentage of females. The games created by White Wolf (now published by Onyx Pathway) come to mind, especially Vampire: the Masquerade, in which characters are vampires involved in Anne Rice-type stories in a contemporary setting.

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