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Default Single Protaganists in RPG's?

November 21st, 2007, 07:50
Thank you! Now I know what they looked like in color . Back then, I had a black&white TV set… and while my 2600 is still functional *and* I have an emulator somewhere, I haven't played either of these games since the late Eighties.

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November 21st, 2007, 08:46
I play different sexes in totally different ways. My male characters are extensions of myself. Perhaps it's my paternal instinct or something, but my female RPG characters are more daughter-like to me in a way, like I'm some fatherly deity guiding them and caring for them. It's strange.

I dont think I can ever post without me then reading, and wanting to either correct something grammatically or whatever a minute or two later, or add something. I'll edit a one-sentence post. I mean, like every post. It's strange, maybe I just type too fast or something. I never get everything out the first time, and I dont want to double post either. Ive been doing this a long time, youd think I'd have it down by now, ya know.

I might drink too much caffiene

edit- HA! SEE?
Last edited by xSamhainx; November 21st, 2007 at 09:08.
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November 21st, 2007, 09:02
I like the picture of you tenderly caring for your female toons, Sammy. Didn't you have a Wood Elf in Sacred? Now I'm picturing her being guarded by her huge, intimidating tiger mount in Sacred 2.

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November 21st, 2007, 09:39
Yes! Foaming Squirrel, the fearless Wood Elf! I wanted a tribal and woodsy name for her, yet unexpectedly fearsome. What could be more unexpectedly fearsome than a raging squirrel?? They let their guard down, and BAM it's all over! ='.'=

I was using Foaming Squirrel long before that web cartoon thing too, btw, it was one of my favorite deathmatch names. I oughtta sue him for copyright infringement or something. I can never use that name again without someone accusing me of ripping off this "Foamy" joker. Pisses me off!
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November 21st, 2007, 13:01
Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
Rina brought up her complaint of a forced male protagonist in Eschalon. Similar complaints have been recently about the Witcher for a variety of reasons. Other games have this such as Tomb Raider.

Is it sexist? Does it show a lack of poor game design?
Having a more narrowly defined protagonist makes plot writing easier, and isnt in itself a sign of sexism.

The argument has been made that the characters are designed for the story in mind but some players don't like the paths they inevitably forced to make. They argue that this kind of design is inflexible.

Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
The biggest complaint is that female gamers are underrepresented and when women are portrayed its as some sort of male fantasy made with triangles.
Complaints about underrepresentation of certain character types (be it women, Asians, or Africans) is often rather irrelevant and stems from modern PC conceptions of what a world should be like. I for instance recall (rare, but they happened) complaints about Medieval II Total not featuring female generals or the like.

The latter argument has a lot more merit. Chainmail bikinis and Lara Croft's present in gaming are undoubtedly sexist. And I think that is rather unsurprising, given that historically the vast majority of the games with such artwork (including PnP RPGs) have been a pastime of late teenage boys. The only long term solution is to bring more female players on board.
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November 21st, 2007, 13:59
I'm not bothered by no choice in gender. And I don't see it the least bit sexist either, what about race, sexual orientation, and belief? A lack of an option does not equal discrimination.
I have no issue playing as any female character, though do tend to disregard those where a certian area contains a high and unrealistic polycount.

With a party of characters, I usually have it mixed 50-50.

But after reading this, it's come to my attention that I have hardly ever played a female character when given the choice. Most of the time I select male and the portrate that nears a guy with a simmilar haircut to my own.
The possibility that i've missed out on a number of choices and options would have me return to something, if only the time was avaliable.
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November 21st, 2007, 23:49
I would have liked to have the choice in both the witcher and Two Worlds of selecting a female. Can you imagine the dialogue in The Witcher? lol Even in NWN my visits to the ladies of the night were funny at best, or just stopped dead. I do see how it would create problems for the devs but it would be nice to see a few more games out that have the option.
Maybe that would be a good addon for one of them…………..The Witcher, change your sex and see what Visima has to offer now!

Bart and Corwin should just admit that when it gets down to it, I will have the final say.
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November 22nd, 2007, 00:20
In party games I play balanced 50:50 male/female groups.

In single player games I play 70:30 male/female characters.
male: mostly sword fighter or cleric
female: mostly rogue, ranger or druid

I like some games that are forcing me to play a female - for example:

The Longest Journey
A dance with rogues (NWN 1-Mod)
Beyond Good and Evil
Noone Lives Forever 1+2

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November 22nd, 2007, 00:26
Well I am usually a sword wielding fighter in all games I play, though I have played a few casters in NWN. I prefer to hit them first however and ask questions later. And I always play a female when I can.

Bart and Corwin should just admit that when it gets down to it, I will have the final say.
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November 22nd, 2007, 23:43
Choice is always good where possible, so I would prefer as many options as feasible or makes sense. That said, sometimes a developer has resource restrictions or story conceits and these are reasonable things; both developer and player need to accept some portion of the market will be lost with these decisions.

I cannot, however, see the lack of a female protagonist as remotely sexist or any sort of feminism issue. Poor representation of females, such as chainmail bikinis or sterotypes? Absolutely! No female protagonist? No different to Kult and other games only offering a female protagonist.

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November 23rd, 2007, 00:41
Speaking of Chainmail Bikinis!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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November 23rd, 2007, 08:32
that was a funny comic!
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November 23rd, 2007, 10:41
I usually pick the female protagonist if given a choice and that is entirely for sexist reasons. If I'm going to spend the next 30-60 hours starring at someone's butt I prefer it to be a woman's butt

Seriously though, I'm not playing myself when I play a game. Sure, I'm having a hard time playing someone very different from my own convictions and haven't been able to complete any game as an evil character yet, but I'm not playing ME. Consequently I don't give a hoot who or what I play but to be perfectly honest, I DO prefer games with some degree of predetermined parameters (Gothic, Witcher, etc) because of the narrative options such predetermination provides.

For the most part (though there are exceptions they are rare) story vs. freedom/customization is a slider bar. The more focus you have on telling a good/complex story the fewer choices you can safely give the player and vice versa. I, for one, will ALWAYS pick the great story over the multiple choices, but then again I don't play games to "play" them. I play games to "experience" them.

In short, if there is a reason why I can only play as Trunky the pink elephant then I don't mind.

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November 23rd, 2007, 17:27
I have no feminist in me screaming for justice. To be totally honest, I really don't care as long as the game is worth my money. I just like playing my own gender when I can. It helps me get into character more I think. I can come up with those witty retorts in my mind much faster if I am the girly one in the game already.

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Bart and Corwin should just admit that when it gets down to it, I will have the final say.
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November 24th, 2007, 01:40
I tend to rather play not female characters, although I sometimes do it.
For example if the male version is too … warrior-like. I most certainly wouldn't play a Rambo, if I had any choice.

For example, I most certainly prefer Archers, if I can have them, and I often have the feeling … well, following the cliché of a brutal, close-combat warrior-type (sword, hammer etc.) who is of course male, and a swift and agile female archer.

And I don't believe that many games were ever made to completely disturb this cliché.

This is imho mostly due to 70-80-90 % of ALL developers being male. Or maybe that's a cliché, too.

Who buys RPGs ? Who buys other games ? I once read that Myst and The Sims were mainly - and massively ! - bought by women. And I almost assume that WWII games are almost only bought by men - no matter which age.

RPGs are often about might & power ("Might & Magic"). Who actually wants to play with that ? "Becoming" a character that becomes more & more powerful ?

Is this really a women's thing ? Or rather a men's thing ?

Has this something to do with real world role models ? I recently read a short note about a scientific study which revealed that men would rather copulate with good-looking women - and women with "mighty men". Cliché fulfilled ?

Would women want to become all-powerful characters ? Or rather men ?

These are the questions I ask myself. And I'm quite sure they have something to do with sales as well.


By the way, "Kult - The Heretic Kingdom" is the only RPG I know where you can only play a female character - apart from "Gods - Lands of Infinity" maybe.

I would *really* see one day an RPG that was 90-100 % made by women … I'd wonder how different it would be …

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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November 24th, 2007, 10:06
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November 24th, 2007, 11:06
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
It is almost no point in trying to change the mind of a true feminist they are both unreasonable and blind. In Sweden everything should be equal… so now the haircut for male and female has to cost the same or it is discrimination… nevermind that cutting a female's hair takes twice as long on average!
Price of cutting hair should depends on their lenght no matter if they are female or male hair (males sometimes have also long one) - that would be fair yeah.


I'm female and I can say I more often paly with male characters (when I have choice) - it's just more fun to be someone else in the game. I don't make my alter ego in games.
When we are talking about rpgs I think there should be games that allow you play diffreant characters and games that give you pre-defined character but in the same time give you good story connectted with character (PE: T - I don't imagine playing there female version of nameless one ).
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November 26th, 2007, 19:21
I prefer playing cRPGs with Pre-Gens unless the games specifically focus more on combat and mechanics rather then the story. Story is almost always better when you have a set character because then the creators of the game integrate the character into it. If the story is crap anyway, then you hope that they at least give you a very good fighting\leveling system so at least you can have fun with that.

I prefer RPGs to be given a story to follow, kind of like reading a good fantasy novel or a movie. If I wanted to create my own story I'ld go play MMORGs or play D&D on pen and paper. At least there you have people who can look at what you've created, in a single player RPG, who are you creating your own story for? No one else is going to see it.
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December 8th, 2007, 02:10
Fixed main character bring some important things :
- Allows much more easily to setup a background for the main character and this adds a lot.
- Allows to build a psychology, that breaks RPG rules but adds a lot to story density.
- Allows to have voice acting also for the main character, that adds a lot.

I don't say all CRPG should use this choice but all those possibilities adds a lot to story and mood building so it's great that some CRPG do this choice. Often in party CRPG with NPC in the party I get much more attached to the NPC than to my main character.

That doesn't mean that CRPG making this choice should use only a male, for me a nice ass is a much better choice to look at during long hours of playing than a bunch of muscles and an ugly face. The point is that only partial identification occurs and it's not a problem if it's the other sex.
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