RPG Women

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RPG Women

Postby Wagner_Darksteel » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:44 am

Hello all.

I came to talk about a polemic subject: women playing RPG.

I learned RPG (in the time of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, breaking heads to calculate TAC0) from my cousins, that learned RPG from a friend, that in his turn, learned RPG from a woman (and what woman if I may add...). Therefore, female players, for me, were always a welcome addition to the table.

But I was wrong, as they were terribly rare on those times. I live in Brazil, most of the books were in English, so I thought it was simply because of languages issues... I was wrong again. Brazil is the fourth country in number of RPG players (after U.S.A, Japan and China), and from this number, only 1/10 are female.

I tried to "convert" my three sisters, wife and step-daughter. One of my sisters play better than some of my friends. The others don't play, but I'll keep trying. They have a complete different vision than male players. The ability to, actualy, ROLEPLAY are the rule for most of them, not the ability to make combos and slay foes with numbers, as, I admit, I do.

Female GM are magnificent. I'll never forget the one time the group was inside a poorly made wooden house, we were fighting a bandit chief (that ended up being a werewolf, a real one, not like twilight) and I used a fireball and the DM brillantly started to explain how that put the house on fire, adding complications due to the heat and the smoke, and starting a countdown before the wooden house would crumble with us inside. Problem is, male DM played too much video games, and if they summon a Giant inside a building, nothing happens but the adding of the giant in the game, nothing like how that would remove the roof, letting the sun beams enter and burning the vampire (that was my 12 years old sister idea against a vampire-boss that was kicking the party's butt).

Still, this only proves (at least proved to me), that females are just as (usually more) capable players than males, and yet they are in a terrible minor number. RPG is as attractive to men as to women, as male and female characters (usually) do not have mechanical differences.

Why then, I ask you all, there are so few female players? And what the big companies are doing to attract this obviously ignored shared of the "market"? I foresee that whatever RPG company starts to invest in bringing more gender diversity to the tables will profit wonderfully.

What you all think?

p.s: Forgive any grammar erros please, English isn't my first language.
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Re: RPG Women

Postby Etarnon » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:20 am

I'v almost always had multiple female players in most of my roleplaying groups.

The biggest problem is very often the male players cannot keep it professional, asking the females for dates (one time while a game was going on), or commenting on sexual aspects (whether she is there or not), and similar things. Guys making low brow locker room jokes that most women do not want to deal with.

My own 21 year old daughter has outright said she does not want to play in a Star Wars SAGA game I'm running, because she doesn't want to be the only girl in the "sausage fest".

The second biggest problem is a lone female player blends in. but with two, or especially three, it often becomes this kind of alpha female competition for dominance.

Other than that female players do well, and tend to think globally, rather than tactically, though there are some female players that make excellent strategists and tacticians, but many times it's just a case of too many guys, worrying about numbers to hit, how much damage, and there's not enough story for the female player with most GMs (who tend to be male).

I like having female players in my groups, but I almost always have to advise the guys I am gaming with before the ladies show up to keep it clean and professional, especially groups of late teens to mid 20's.
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Re: RPG Women

Postby timemrick » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:49 pm

The D&D campaign I ran in high school was all guys except for my younger sister who played on and off for the first year or two. We were all pretty damn immature, and the game suffered because of it. *shudder*

In college, I had occasional opportunities to game with women, and wish I'd had more. (This was 1989-92, when there really weren't a lot of female gamers, as far as I could tell. The number of women in the hobby has grown slowly but steadily since then, at least in the US.) The two best role-players in the D&D campaign I ran were both women who were a little older than the rest of us. One was a recent college grad who'd be gaming for years; the other was a young prof who had only played in one game before mine. Unfortunately, neither could continue playing after the first year due to real life interfering, and we were diminished as a result.

Since I moved to Boston, MA, almost 20 years ago, I've rarely played in a game that wasn't mixed, and I vastly prefer it that way. There's a huge college population here, so it's fairly easy to find *someone* to play with through college clubs and local game stores. At the time I met my wife, her (mostly female) gamer friends were introducing her to the hobby, and she was promptly hooked. Since then, I've only played in one long-running game that was all-male, and most of my gaming groups have been roughly equal numbers of each gender. My wife and her best friend have played in every campaign I've run in the past 15 years, which none of my male gamer friends have.

Women's motives for playing RPGs aren't significantly different from men's--to have fun with friends, to tell a shared story, to slay monsters and take their stuff, to escape into a more exciting world for a while, and so on. Depending on where you live, you may have to work harder to find them, but they're almost always there, somewhere. And if you're lucky, you might find some other women who are willing to give our hobby a try and then keep coming back.
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Re: RPG Women

Postby thenatural20 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:21 am

I play a lot of solo games with my wife, and there is one other girl in our usual gaming group, but more the most part I have not experienced a lot of female roleplayers. Both of them did play Dragon Age RPG with me and another player once, and they got VERY violent with the thugs attempting to take a city elf in one of the published adventures.

Aside from that exception, my limited experience with women playing rpg's is that they play things very differently. They are much better and handling multiple motiviations and keeping track of all the emotions their characters may be going through at a time. Even the most clever roleplaying guys tend to default to smashing things if one or 2 ideas aren't working for them.
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Re: RPG Women

Postby Eldaran » Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:33 am

I'm running a group of 6 (With 3 women) and I didn't notice any difference. They are all beginners and just want to bash some skulls or earn money. (They are now in Jail because they accepted the Ransom in "An Arls Ransom" >:D )
One girl (actually) accepted the ransom at once, the other one after understanding how much 50 gp are and the last one only after I told them that they don't have to hurt the children. compared to 2 men joining at once and one being against it. (he still followed the group)
I love to play with so many different people and personalities and haven't seen any difference between men and women.
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Re: RPG Women

Postby Melyanna » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:42 am


female player here - I've been playing for about 20 years now and many of my female friends play, too.
Where I live and among the circles of people I know, the ratio of female players is abut 1 in 3 or 4, though things changed a lot since the beginning, when I was treated like some kind of unicorn or other rare beast.

While what the OP said is still tue (ie: companies having guys on mind as their main target audience), years ago it was much, much worse.

Personally, I ejoy playing with men and women, though men sometimes have a kind of crude humor that is a bit too much (and while girls are usually good at both playing male and female characters, guys tend to suck when they try to play female characters - though I am sure there are some brilliant guys that can do both very well).

I hope for a time when players will be just players and there won't be the need to add that "female" qualifier anymore.
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