Piestar
 member, 797 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 07:59
Re: Over reaction?
No clue what Living City is/was, but yes, that sounds pretty mean.
Jewwk of Shuu
 member, 3 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 12:44
Re: Over reaction?
In reply to Piestar (msg # 20):

Since you're looking for reasons others might get upset:

In the late 80's early 90's, I GMed ad&d 2e for some buddies. One of them was a sexist pig always pinching barmaids and being immature/offensive in that sort of manner (we were, like, 10-12 at the time so keep that in mind, please).

I used a "cursed" Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity from the 2e rules to teach the player a gentle but pointed lesson by giving him a taste of his own medicine. The other players were wise enough to see what was happening, and role-played the "lesson" to a "t."

Of course, my friend got pretty upset about it at first. But, it was the impetus for a quest, and we dropped it pretty quickly once my friend upped his consciousness a bit.

In our case, at least, societal attitudes towards sex, gender, and their supposed "roles" were what caused the player to get upset. He didn't want to "be a woman" who had to deal with all the crap he was willing to inflict upon women.

I'd very much like to think that societal attitudes regarding these matters have advanced over the years.
Starchaser
 member, 821 posts
 Shoda mo tsumoreba taibok
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 13:41
Re: Over reaction?
In reply to Jewwk of Shuu (msg # 33):

Ah, I remember 2e. It was a little earlier than you though (mid eighties). We were all immature adolescents and so most of the bickering was about who was grabbing the most gold / xp. I think we were too young at the time to worry about issues like sexism or societal issues.

I tried to play Call of Cthulhu with them. They didn't like it. It scared the hell out of them.

And there's a issue in itself. First off, although I love the work of H.P.L. he was a racist, sexist bigot. Plus the main setting (1920s America) was not the kindest era to women or other nationalities or other sexualities. It can be hard sometimes to handle that in game and remain sensitive to the issues involved.
Jarodemo
 member, 909 posts
 My hovercraft
 is full of eels
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 13:52
Re: Over reaction?
I think my reaction would be based upon the game setting. If it was a serious, gritty fantasy world then I would think the gender-change magic would seem stupid and out#of-place, and it would annoy me, and I would probably say so to the GM (but not quit, unless other issues were in play). If the game was a more light-hearted, even silly game then I would probably laugh and be happy to RP it, likely in an over the top panto-dame way, or constantly examining my new boobs. I would also expect the Gm to have some way of reverse it the effect.

As to the issue of playing a character of a different gender/sexuality, I tend to shy away from it. I am a 40+ white hetero male. I have tried a few female PCs over the years and they always ended in some cheesy stereotype that I didnít like so the character eventually fizzled out. I have never tried a LGBTQ+ (did I get that right?) character for much the same reason, I worry it would come across as crass and insulting, I have recently played several non-white characters and have found that more comfortable.

Playing an elf wizard or a half-orc cleric doesnít faze me. I am happy to play those with as few or as many stereotypes as I want, because they donít exist in the real world so I canít offend anyone with my interpretation of their behaviour or appearance.
Sir Swindle
 member, 280 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 15:09
Re: Over reaction?
Your guy was triggered. It's always an overreaction, by the basic definition. Just like someone who was assaulted might freak out about an assault in your game.

To be clear we are talking about pure penis granting magic not mind altering magic that changes a gender identity? That second one is a lot harder to play.
Low Key
 subscriber, 249 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 15:59
Over reaction?
From reading the OP and this thread, there seems to be an assumption that the GM was running a great game, every indication was that everyone was happy and having fun, and then suddenly a player went "character gender switch? Bye!"

Now, that may be what happened.

Or, maybe it was a horrible game, and after weeks of putting up with a playgroup they weren't getting on with the player used this as an opportunity to leave.

Maybe the GM was terrible, and after three sessions of listening to villain monologues and being moved about with no agency the first thing the player was able to actively do turned out to be a 'haha, gotcha' moment, and after an hour of listening to the GM gloat about it the player decided to leave.

There also seems to be an assumption it was a D&D type setting. What if it was a historically strict Regency era romance game? A surprise gender swap in that would dramatically change the way your character could interact with the world. Especially if it were a setting with no magic and no way back.

Maybe it was a skeevy GM who gender swapped the character so their pet NPC could 'romance' them and the player just did not feel comfortable staying in the game

And, yes, the above are extreme.
But I've heard plenty of 'bad GM' stories as bad or worse.
And a lot of the rumination on why the player might have left assume just as extreme behaviour on the player's part.

On a more moderate (for both sides) level, it's already been mentioned that the player could have been trans or had some sort of gender dysphoria that meant that stepping away from the situation was a sensible and proportionate reaction.

Or, maybe everything was ok but the game just didn't click, and the player took this as an opportunity to step away.

Whatever the reason, I don't personally see a person leaving a game they don't enjoy as an over reaction.
Tipping the table on your way out, yes, that's a bit much.
But, as others have pointed out, if you're not into a particular game, leaving is reasonable. I don't see how the why of 'gender swap' rather than 'any other reason' would suddenly make that unreasonable or an over reaction
Starchaser
 member, 822 posts
 Shoda mo tsumoreba taibok
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 16:19
Over reaction?
In reply to Low Key (msg # 37):

Whilst I agree with your points, Low Key. The impression (and forgive me if I'm wrong) is that the player left with no communication as to why. Now barring the trigger issue (which would make them unable to stay or give a reason I suspect) isn't it polite to at least explain WHY you are leaving a game? Even if it's just a 'sorry, I'm not feeling it' explanation.
Low Key
 subscriber, 250 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 16:48
Over reaction?
I think the whole point is that the player DID communicate why they were leaving (and therefore that they were leaving).

As far as I know all we have to go on is:
quote:
one of his characters put on a the magic item that changes your gender, and the player freaked out. Quit the game, maybe stopped being that GM's friend.


Which, yes, paints it as 'player inexplicably did this unreasonable thing'
But, since it was written by the GM, and presumably from the GM's point of view, I took the emotive language with a pinch of salt.
Most bad GM's don't go "well, I was running an appalling game and being utterly unreasonable..."

And, no, they didn't say "I'm leaving because of this. Here are the details of why that was the catalyst for me leaving the group"
I don't think they owed that level of explanation.
As you say 'sorry I'm not feeling it' is enough, so why don't you count 'I don't like the way the plot went' as enough?

And since the OP asked for reason why the gender swap magic item might cause someone to leave a game (or, at least, that's my reading of it) I'm kinda not sure what you're asking me or why...
'Can I have potential reasons for this?'
'Sure, here are some'
'I don't disagree, but I think the player should have done this'
Ok, but what's that got to do with what I wrote? And, as written above, they did do that.
(Sorry if the tone on that is off. It's a genuine 'have I missed something?' question because I feel like I have, with my understanding of what's happening to hopefully show why I'm asking it.)
Alex Vriairu
 member, 443 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 18:40
Over reaction?
Ok, after taking some time to try and write a response, and stopping, and starting again and again.  I... have to say for me, this would be a bit of a deal breaker, for a few reasons.  One of which is simple, I am naturally trans, and my characters are a way to play a version of me that I find better than real life.

Two, my characters ARE me, or at least in part, are a Part of me.  they take some facet some idea some... ephemeral thing, and grow that into something of they're own.  They aren't words on a page to me, or concepts or Ideals, they become... More.  It's why I don't allow certain things to Happen to them: No permanent maiming (temporary is ok) No death, ever.  (You can render someone unable to continue the campaign without killing or maiming them.  IE if an injury takes to long to heal, well, your going to need a new character.) and no changing core aspects without my prior approval, or OK.  Race, gender, sex, class... what have you.  Because as I said, these characters are Parts of me given form and existence, to change or harm them permanently feels as if it would be an attempt to either change or invalidate that part of myself.
praguepride
 member, 1742 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 19:38
Over reaction?
This. Some people view their characters as just another form of entertainment. Boil 'em, mash 'em, turn 'em into a stew, it's all fun. I imagine this kind of player would find it fun or interesting challenge to deal with that kind of curse.

Other players invest in their characters, tie themselves to them. For better or for worse that character's success is their success and vice versa. These players can take even minor setbacks very hard, much harder than other people might expect because again their identities are entwined.

Finally you add to that the idea that gender reversal "cursed" items are a product of a time when nuanced discussion of gender and identity wasn't very common place and you have a recipe for disaster.

Whether it hits home to you or you're not bothered by it, I think you should consider very strongly the fact that the gender reversal magic items have been dropped by every major RPG as editions have gone on. Not to make this gender focused they have also dropped the alignment flipping cursed items as well as ultimately while some players might enjoy this, many others HATE being told that their character now has to act a certain way.

From a gameplay design perspective taking away player agency is not a good design strategy. Instead you add things that give players agency (for example, you can appear to flip genders via a Hat of Disguise to better aid infiltration and subertfuge) but forcing a character to now be a different race/gender/alignment tends to be shied away from because the small upside just isn't worth the potential alienation of your players.

That being said if you know and agree with players ahead of time nothing stops a GM from adding them in on their own but that should be a discussion between players and GMs and not a standard part of a module or anything.
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 356 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 20:23
Over reaction?
Just to drop my two pennies in -

Any time a GM forces a player's character to become something other than what the player envisioned, it's potentially a recipe for disaster.

If I wanted to play a random character other than the one I had created for a game, I'd sign up to join games with pre-gen characters handed out randomly. The very fact that a player creates their own character often means that's the character the player wants to play. That should be respected by the GM.

Now, as for the question posed by the OP -

If this was a case of 'here's this great magic item, and you can use it but if you do it results in X happening', and the player had the option to use or not use it, then yes - leaving was an over-reaction.

If it was a case of 'here's a cursed magic item that you're stuck with, and it does X, but I promise you that there will VERY SHORTLY (like, within a single session or two at most) be a means available to remedy that', then yes - the player leaving was an over-reaction.

If it was a case of 'too bad, so sad, you put on a cursed magic item that does X and now you're screwed and have to play a character that isn't the one you wanted to play until/unless the party manages to stumble across a means to rectify it', then NO - leaving was not an over-reaction.
Piestar
 member, 799 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Sat 16 Jan 2021
at 01:54
Re: Over reaction?
In reply to Jewwk of Shuu (msg # 33):

Sounds like an issue well dealt with, glad the guy learned from it.
Piestar
 member, 800 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Sat 16 Jan 2021
at 02:00
Re: Over reaction?
Alex Vriairu:
Ok, after taking some time to try and write a response, and stopping, and starting again and again.  I... have to say for me, this would be a bit of a deal breaker, for a few reasons.  One of which is simple, I am naturally trans, and my characters are a way to play a version of me that I find better than real life.

Two, my characters ARE me, or at least in part, are a Part of me.  they take some facet some idea some... ephemeral thing, and grow that into something of they're own.  They aren't words on a page to me, or concepts or Ideals, they become... More.  It's why I don't allow certain things to Happen to them: No permanent maiming (temporary is ok) No death, ever.  (You can render someone unable to continue the campaign without killing or maiming them.  IE if an injury takes to long to heal, well, your going to need a new character.) and no changing core aspects without my prior approval, or OK.  Race, gender, sex, class... what have you.  Because as I said, these characters are Parts of me given form and existence, to change or harm them permanently feels as if it would be an attempt to either change or invalidate that part of myself.


Excellent! After so many off-point responses, it was great to hear from someone who was actually my target audience.

It had never occurred to me to consider my characters as being that kind of an extension of myself, and it is interesting to consider things from that perspective.

Curious, to what degree do you discuss with game runners your expectations as to the limitations of what you are willing to have happen to your character? For example death is so common in my experience to my characters, I would think you would certainly want to make clear that you did not want that line to be crossed, as to many games it is a frequent event.
Piestar
 member, 801 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Sat 16 Jan 2021
at 02:02
Over reaction?
In reply to Low Key (msg # 39):

Hey Low Key, I think the point I failed to explain very well was that if this would not have upset you, then I wasn't asking you anything. I was solely looking for people who would have felt the same way. Sorry I wasn't very clear on that.
Piestar
 member, 802 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Sat 16 Jan 2021
at 02:11
Re: Over reaction?
I am intrigued by this statement...

praguepride:
Whether it hits home to you or you're not bothered by it, I think you should consider very strongly the fact that the gender reversal magic items have been dropped by every major RPG as editions have gone on.


Is this true? I have browsed the the D&D 5E DMG, and it is still listed in there. On page 298 is it listed as a possible 'trick' caused by a magic item. (If you roll a 14-16) I don't have access to a lot of RPG rule sets anymore, but should I be surprised that the book doesn't even seem to address this as a possibly problematic affect of a magic item?
Piestar
 member, 803 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Sat 16 Jan 2021
at 02:14
Re: Over reaction?
SunRuanEr:
If it was a case of 'too bad, so sad, you put on a cursed magic item that does X and now you're screwed and have to play a character that isn't the one you wanted to play until/unless the party manages to stumble across a means to rectify it', then NO - leaving was not an over-reaction.


Sadly I have asked for clarification and gotten no reply, but yes, making such a thing unreversable could be a problem for a lot of players.

Wow, how long does a reply have to be to get past the 'don't quote so much' code I wonder? I trimmed your reply as far as I can, seems to me.
tmagann
 member, 690 posts
Sat 16 Jan 2021
at 02:34
Re: Over reaction?
Piestar:
I am intrigued by this statement...

praguepride:
Whether it hits home to you or you're not bothered by it, I think you should consider very strongly the fact that the gender reversal magic items have been dropped by every major RPG as editions have gone on.


Is this true? I have browsed the the D&D 5E DMG, and it is still listed in there. On page 298 is it listed as a possible 'trick' caused by a magic item. (If you roll a 14-16) I don't have access to a lot of RPG rule sets anymore, but should I be surprised that the book doesn't even seem to address this as a possibly problematic affect of a magic item?


That's not exactly a standard cursed item that can only be dispelled by a wish (which has a 50% failure rate) or dity. Which is what it was from Greyhawk to 2nd edition DMG. Now it's buried on a chart giving ideas to DMs...and is one of 5 such ideas given on that result.

Although, reading that entry, it occurs that Alignment change devices don't  seem to exist as standard cursed items anymore, either.

And that's the thing: It's something for a DM to consider (rather than a standard item) these days. There's likely a good reason for that.
Alex Vriairu
 member, 444 posts
Sat 16 Jan 2021
at 05:48
Re: Over reaction?
Piestar:
Curious, to what degree do you discuss with game runners your expectations as to the limitations of what you are willing to have happen to your character? For example death is so common in my experience to my characters, I would think you would certainly want to make clear that you did not want that line to be crossed, as to many games it is a frequent event.


I'll be honest, it is a very limiting factor, but one I stand by.  There have been games, or systems I've wanted to try, and just can't because it is such a limiting factor.  But I do always try to offer Alternatives, to death that give the same mechanical result.  After all, the point of a character dying as I see it, is removing them from the adventure/game/setting.  You can do that, in a multitude of ways that would allow someone to continue to exist.  It just seems so many people are married to the idea of death as an inevitability that I've mostly given up on the site and hobby around here.

I understand, that my view point is...irregular to say the least, and it has indeed cost me interest in quite a few games, but it's still something that's important to me.  I'll also say I didn't used to be this rigid.  But if I went on to explain why, I'd probably derail the entire thread.

Suffice to say https://pluralityresource.org/plurality-information/ gives a good overview of my situation.  I hope the link doesn't violate any rules, but if it does, feel free to Rmail me and I'll send it that way. In fact, if you really want you can rmail me anyway.
Piestar
 member, 804 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Sat 16 Jan 2021
at 07:25
Re: Over reaction?
I can see how games like Call of Cthulhu would be a problem, or Paranoia, which is outrageously fun, but dying is very much a part of it. If you don't die, you aren't playing it right! What about Vampire, the Masquerade, where in a sense you start as dead, being a vampire?

Checked out your article. Heavy reading! I find in life self-awareness is a great step forward in living a content life. I wish I had known asexual was an acceptable option when I was a kid.
Alex Vriairu
 member, 445 posts
Sat 16 Jan 2021
at 08:29
Re: Over reaction?
VtM could be fun, I'd have to check it out myself more thoroughly.  And yeah, it is... heavy reading. More than I, we, really expected to share on this site.  But it seemed, like as good a time as any to share it, and promoting awareness, especially as it relates to the topic at hand, seemed fitting.

See, for me, my character's started to become well, more than characters.  And I doubt anyone here would be ok, with friends and family of a sort being changed or killed off, on a dice roll. *smiles*
Piestar
 member, 805 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Sat 16 Jan 2021
at 08:31
Re: Over reaction?
Thank you, you have really answered my question, wish I could shut down the topic now, I feel like you have given me some real insight.
facemaker329
 member, 7302 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Sat 16 Jan 2021
at 09:04
Re: Over reaction?
Piestar:
What about Vampire, the Masquerade, where in a sense you start as dead...


I would guess games like that are different, because you are choosing to create a character that's already in that state.

A lot of it is player expectation.  If you're generally against the prospect of your character dying, you're not likely to play games like paranoia, where character death is almost a given.  And while I would have been very upset to have many of my characters die, I was perfectly game 5o try playing Aliens--which is the only game I know of where GMs are encouraged to have players create multiple characters because of the attrition rate...characters WILL DIE in that game, and your focus kind of shifts from "I want my character to live" to "I want my character to have a cool, cinematic death."  (Out of the platoon that started that game, we had one character survive...because she critically botched getting out of the APC and sprained her ankle.  I was just happy that none of my three Marines got taken and impregnated by the Aliens...)

It goes back to that idea of "THIS is the character I want to play."  If it's a game where character death is likely, and that's a deal-breaker, most people will avoid joining that game.  But if it's a game where characters usually survive, and one person's character doesn't, that's likely to be upsetting to that person on some level.  Changing significant details about the character can be likewise problematic, as I mentioned in an earlier post...it stops being the player's character and becomes the GMs funhouse-mirror copy of that character, which the player has to run...whether that's the intent of the GM or not may be irrelevant to the player.
Piestar
 member, 806 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Sat 16 Jan 2021
at 09:31
Re: Over reaction?
I find Vampire a particularly interesting point of discussion, because if you relate to your character that closely, would be happy playing someone who is, by the very nature of the game, intrinsically evil?
I have only limited experience with the game (a series of bad game masters, bad players, or both) but I assume you still have to drain blood from people.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15986 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Sat 16 Jan 2021
at 10:53
Re: Over reaction?
Piestar:
wish I could shut down the topic now

Have you considered saying, "Mods, I have what I want, please close the thread." or something?
Piestar
 member, 807 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Sat 16 Jan 2021
at 11:01
Re: Over reaction?
No, I don't think you guys work for me, it wouldn't occur to me.

As it is, you can delete the entire thread right now and I would be happy with it, I got my answer.