Piestar
 member, 785 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 00:12
Over reaction?
Okay, this didn't happen to me, but there is a guy on FB asking this question, and I am wondering if anyone has any insight.

According to the original poster (OP) 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.

I can't grasp why anyone would be upset by thing, but I am a very small sample size by myself, are there any players out there who would get very upset? I am really curious what would cause such a reaction...

This message had punctuation tweaked by the user at 02:47, Sat 16 Jan.

MrKinister
 member, 102 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 00:26
Over reaction?
I would imagine such a reaction would come from someone who very strongly identifies with their gender, and may have a (strong?) reaction against the other gender.

But you'd have to ask that person specifically. I've never seen that. The worst reaction I would ever imagine would be a lot of giggles or a hearty "WTF?". =)
Jewwk of Shuu
 member, 2 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 00:28
Over reaction?
In reply to Piestar (msg # 1):

That reaction seems...drastic. To say the least.

If player has an issue they should immediately raise it with GM; GM should immediately be sympathetic.

Player and GM should work together to remove whatever one person is uncomfortable over.

Mutual respect and empathy should help each come to a suitable compromise or solution.
RanzarthPhx
 member, 43 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 00:39
Over reaction?
Being as I wasn't there can't really say. It really depends on some background elements too, was this discussed prior, was this put in just to mess with said player, etc.
Piestar
 member, 786 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 00:42
Over reaction?
In reply to RanzarthPhx (msg # 4):

I am specifically asking for people who would share that person's reaction. You're in the same camp as me...
tmagann
 member, 689 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 00:51
Over reaction?
As I recall, there used to be a cursed magic in earlier editions that did just this. It doesn't exist anymore. I assume that's for a reason.

The implication here being that enough folks were bothered by it for it to go away during the changing cultural attitudes of the last 45 years.

Personally I don't see a big deal, but then, I don't play my characters such a way that gender makes much of a difference.
Shannara
 moderator, 3876 posts
 When in doubt,
 frolic!
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 01:32
Over reaction?
I always thought these particular cursed items were ... juvenile.

I will admit that I react very negatively to things that fundamentally change the character that I signed on to play.

While I wouldn't stop being someone's friend over it, unless there was a way to reverse the happening, I'd likely have that character leave to go searching for a cure.

At best, it seems like a silly way to disrupt a game for a giggle to me.

This message was last edited by the user at 01:33, Fri 15 Jan.

jdtucker
 member, 56 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 01:37
Over reaction?
When I was younger and my characters were based on facets of my real life I would have freaked out by a belt of femininity / masculinity.  AD&D before 3rd edition had stat limits much lower for physical stats but I was a poorly liked teenager with few friends.  I would have thought it an assault on my identity - it wasn't like I was getting any attention from any of the girls.

Fortunately I'm much older and more mature now.
facemaker329
 member, 7299 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 01:54
Over reaction?
It's intriguing, the kind of double-standard we have regarding an individual's sexual identity.  I remember in college (twenty some-odd years ago), while playing on a MUD, making a comment and having someone respond, "That's awfully het of you...", but I'm pretty sure if it had been a female making the comment, or if the comment had been made about another male, there would have been no similar response.

Some people are deeply disturbed by the prospect of playing a character that doesn't match their gender.  We encourage people to respect the identity of homosexual or transgender individuals.  In the same way we respect that, maybe we should have some consideration for people who are uncomfortable with the prospect of any kind of gender-fluidity in themselves.

Yeah, I think it was an over-reaction.  But I don't know the individual in question.  There could be background circumstances that make that happening some kind of perfectly valid trigger...maybe he spent years becoming male and having a female identity thrust back on him was just one too many spoons to deal with.  Maybe he's got a personality disorder that makes it difficult or impossible for him to treat that happening to his character as something less than a personal attack.  Maybe he'd just had a really cruddy day and that was the last straw.

Yeah, most of us would probably treat it as no big deal.  A lot of us would probably laugh about it and either throw ourselves into playing the new twist or make removing the cursed item a major focus of the character.  But as Shannara pointed out, not everyone would respond that way.  I probably wouldn't quit a game over something like that...but I certainly wouldn't appreciate it.

And it would definitely make me question whether or not I wanted to play with that particular GM.  If it wasn't the only incident that had sparked my ire, it could very well be enough for me to say, "Okay...I was on the fence but this made up my mind...this game isn't for me."
Piestar
 member, 787 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 02:19
Over reaction?
In reply to Shannara (msg # 7):

I am trying to get more information from the GM about the circumstances, the tale is so scant I wonder if there isn't more going on.

Back in the day I used random charts a lot for treasure, so such a thing might have popped up by accident. Still, a character showing that  much pset about it would probably make me ret-con it.

That said, in my games most people would simply use it as cause to generate a quest.
Piestar
 member, 788 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 02:21
Over reaction?
In reply to facemaker329 (msg # 9):

You make some valid points, especially the transgender perspective. I would never put any of my trans friends in to the position I don't think.

My real reason for posting was to try and garner perspective, and I think your post offers that. Would be nice to actually hear from someone who would be upset by it, but that isn't always possible.
Piestar
 member, 789 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 02:22
Over reaction?
In reply to jdtucker (msg # 8):

That makes sense. I have played in a few RPG's where my character was based on myself. I don't think it would have bothered me anyway, but I can see how that might be more of a problem for some.
CaptainHellrazor
 member, 95 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 02:27
Over reaction?
I have encountered several players on RPoL that have reacted abnormally to several different situations, almost all of them seemed to ignore that fact that they were playing GAME and not just a board game but a ROLE PLAYING GAME.

In my experience, every game improved after those players left or were removed.  If a player cannot or will not adapt to your playing group then you are probably better off without them.  This is not about your intolerance or your groups' intolerance, this is about the insecurity or intolerance of the offended player.  Being offended is a choice they made, now you have a choice to make.  For me it was very easy but not everyone reacts the same way, I can only relate my own experience but intolerance, hate and abuse are not acceptable in my games.
donsr
 member, 2157 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 02:31
Over reaction?
 Lets look at this, from a 'hobby' POV?... I know, My own characters,  I would be very upset if a GM/DM  switched thier genders...Insulted...and yes?  mad.

 You put alot into your characters, heavy RP games have the back stories, and all the moments in the game,  of those characters. Male or female.. growing through the game.

 Now?..if you have a 'one off' game..or  just  run modules?. it shouldn't matter. But think of it?... why is there even that kind of  Magic item? Is it  supposed to be  funny? A player that puts  all that work into thier charcter  and  suddenly they have to change genders?

 is it  supposed to punish the player and character?  As  a GM/DM i wouldn't have this kind of item in my game? but my games  are  campaigns with the whole thing based  on RP. I would never say.." Just Kidding, you're a girl now"

 if  its  just a 'mess around'... 'we're here  for a week  or two game"..it shouldn't matter. But when you  have something that changes  the  artistic creation of  someone's character?... well.. this is the other side you're asking about
Piestar
 member, 790 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 02:37
Over reaction?
In reply to donsr (msg # 14):

Yes it is, nice to hear from someone who really feels that way. Are there other things that would upset you as much, or perhaps more? What if the GM changed your race (like with the reincarnation spell) or even more bizarrely, your class? (Can't think of an example of that happening, to be honest.)

I guess the question I am asking is does gender hold some special place, or is it anything you would consider a major change?

Just to put my mindset in play here, I really would not care if my gender were changed. I say that just for context...
donsr
 member, 2158 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 02:43
Over reaction?
 think about  what it is when you   create a character  in a game, that is   goign to   be a Long RP game...  the first three things on everyone's  omind  is  Race, Class  and gender..and..it depends  on what they have in mind, which one  will be first?

 I had a  character  brought back and was a kobold?.. didn't like it one  bit..but.. the gender was the same?....

 Gender..whether it's  PC or not?  is important... in my most active  game, I have a  great woman who plays   a Male   Xeno-Bio-tech...she's great!... I have a  Guy who plays a Lady Fighter  pilot... another Guy plays a Lady med tech, and  a lady trooper..

 it  doesn't matter what the player's  Gender is... it matters what they put out there..what they are building...

 again?..if its  just a 'clown around game' or an off the shelf Module, it shouldn't matter..but in heavy RP games, where you're builing..it will matter a whle lot1
Winter51
 member, 169 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 02:46
Over reaction?
In reply to Piestar (msg # 15):

I can see where that can be a fun roleplay opportunity, the change of race or gender and have seen some people really have fun with it. Personally, I would not put an item like that out unless I was nearly 100% sure the player would either find it a challenge or be amused by it. I have a couple of current players I would never dream of trying something like this with because of the inevitable meltdown it would cause.

Back in the early editions of DnD, I thought that it was intended to be good fun and never suspected anything else. I suppose I can see both sides of the argument and one really has to use some discretion and common sense but on the other hand, if one would terminate a friendship over a game, one probably has bigger issues than a little roleplaying dysfunction.

And donsr is right, a lot of work goes into a character, a player should have a say.
RanzarthPhx
 member, 44 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 02:53
Re: Over reaction?
Piestar:
In reply to RanzarthPhx (msg # 4):

I am specifically asking for people who would share that person's reaction. You're in the same camp as me...


I guess what I was trying to say, while we are both in the same boat. Whether this was an overreaction or not really came down to what conversations were had prior. Things like gender change can be a big issue currently, some people may have no issues, others may for various reasons.

Thinking about this further, this ultimately falls on the DM though either because they didn't have the conversation prior or did not make quick corrective steps once it happened and the reaction occurred. Whether it's an overreaction eventually doesn't matter.
Piestar
 member, 791 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 03:10
Over reaction?
In reply to Winter51 (msg # 17):

Sadly I think for a lot of people it is such a non-issue they wouldn't think to ask. The whole point of the game is the things that happen to your character, and someone else has a lot to say about that. I never consider any character 'mine' to the degree where I would get that upset about it.

I think the key, of course, is to react as quickly as you see the player is upset, but I know some GM's who are so married to the idea of the rules they would struggle with showing that level of flexibility.
Piestar
 member, 792 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 03:11
Re: Over reaction?
In reply to RanzarthPhx (msg # 18):

Oh absolutely, I am not looking for the right or wrong of the situation though. I am trying to understand the mindset of someone that attached to their character. For me it is about trying to see the perspective of people that are different from me.
CaptainHellrazor
 member, 96 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 03:21
Re: Over reaction?
The DM is running the game and puts in way more time and effort into a game than players do.  Players can choose to play the DM's game or not play it but as a DM I would not allow a player to dictate terms.  Bottom line, without the DM there is no game, just like in sport, without a referee there is no match.

If a player cannot accept the decision of the DM then they should not be playing the game.  Where is the fun in playing a game if the player always gets what they want?  There are worse things to happen to a character than a sex change.  If a player can enjoy a game where there is the possibility of getting killed then it borders on hypocrisy to complain about anything less than death!  As I said in my previous post, it's a game.  If you don't enjoy it then don't play and don't ruin the game for everyone else.  Further more, it's a role playing game, embrace the role.

In the first versions of RPG's you had to roll dice to get ability scores and there were minimum requirements to be able to play specific kinds of characters.  Pandering to players and letting them create any kind of character they want seems to defeat the purpose of playing the game if there are no actual challenges.  Let your players have whatever they want whenever they want it and see how long the game lasts when they get bored because there are no more challenges.
facemaker329
 member, 7300 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 03:26
Re: Over reaction?
Piestar:
...or even more bizarrely, your class?


I had that happen to my character in a Star Wars game.  But it was an alternate timeline version of the game, and EVERYONE's characters got switched up.  It was also a face-to-face game that we'd been playing for years (my character had been used for most of a decade, retired, then pulled off the shelf again at the GMs request because of a one-off for a friend coming back into town, and we all realized we missed him (the character) so I kept playing him for a few more years...), so we all knew each other very well and the GM didn't put anyone in a situation that they found uncomfortable or offensive.

Personally, I found it very intriguing, because it gave me a chance to see how similar the character could be to the original while being almost antithetical to the original (the original character was a bounty hunter who was basically a Force-denier and thought everyone claiming to believe in the Force or the Jedi was delusional...the alternate version was a Jedi Master who'd been trained by Anakin Skywalker--who, in the alternate timeline, had never turned to the Dark Side.)

As a further wrinkle, after the time-space...whatever...that bounced us all into that alternate reality, he had each of us roll to see if we remembered our original selves.  It became a series of changes...and through them all, mine was the only character who had absolutely no recollection of his original self...)

All that said...I can see where something like that could be upsetting to a player.  If it had been a different GM...if we hadn't played for so many years and known each other so well...if someone had been singled out for it while everyone else was left in their original character...I could see people being upset by it, because those weren't the characters they created to play.  The GM starts changing defining traits of a character like that, and suddenly it stops being the character you wanted to play, and becomes a character the GM wants you to play, and that's not always the same thing.  And if you don't know the GM REALLY well, it's hard to trust that there's going to be a payoff for becoming the guinea pig.
Piestar
 member, 793 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 03:32
Re: Over reaction?
In reply to CaptainHellrazor (msg # 21):

I've read similar comments to yours many times, but again, not what I am looking for here. Way off point. I am trying to understand why this would be a deal breaker for a player.

That said, as a DM myself, I don't see a reason not to be sensitive to real life issues. If I had a player whose mother was dying of cancer, I wouldn't have cancer strike their loved on in my game. If a player was a rape victim, I wouldn't have their character undergo any even remotely similar. As a DM, I not only control the world and the characters circumstance, I control my own actions and my own game.

I can only assume this was traumatic for the player, and I am not going to berate a person for that.
Piestar
 member, 794 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 03:35
Re: Over reaction?
In reply to facemaker329 (msg # 22):

That sounds like a fun game, and an interesting experiment in role-playing. It sounds like the change was consensual though, which I think might be part of the issue here.

I have known players very devoted to their character, some to a degree I could never grasp. My first DM could be rather brutal, and she killed a LOT of my characters. When I became a DM she opted to play in my world with her favorite character, and when he died, she literally never forgave me.

That said, your chance to play the same character as such a diametrically opposed class, while trying to remain the same person, sounds very cool.
OceanLake
 supporter, 1149 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 04:34
Re: Over reaction?
In a game, my character had her/his sex changed. That precluded what might have been an interesting bit of role playing later. However, as with Tiresias, maybe the sex will get changed back.
soulsight
 member, 316 posts
 Reality is 10% perception
 and 90% interpretation.
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 04:40
Re: Over reaction?
Can't say that I've ever seen the 'gender reversal' plot become a deal-breaker for anyone, but I did play with someone that quit after some magic McGuffin shuffled identities and the DM required us to accept a random species change. The player in question refused to be a human, and quit the game soon thereafter.
It's possible the reaction wasn't so much about what gender was what so much as it was about the character built within the player's brain would have required a drastic change and the player was unwilling to make the effort.
Piestar
 member, 795 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 05:01
Re: Over reaction?
In reply to soulsight (msg # 26):

I would like to hear that persons side of things. Obviously you shouldn't play in a game you don't enjoy, just curious about the mind set that makes things like that a deal breaker. Certainly it is legit, everyone has a right to their own deal breakers. Me, I dislike GM's who ignore my character, but it is deal breaker when they get upset about me pointing it out and asking they address my question or action.
Bastian
 member, 45 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 06:35
Re: Over reaction?
Personally I think that the player over reacted and that the gender switching magic item was the last straw that broke the Tauntaun's back.

The player had probably some other issues at home/work/wherever and perhaps had only the game as a "constant". While D&D can help people with many things, it's not meant to be a tool to solve one's psychological or emotional issues.

If a friend and player would pull one like that on me, I'd worry what else is going on in my friend's life.

PS: I would encourage people to put in a gender switching belt or whatever but there should always be the option to remove it/break the curse.
Starchaser
 member, 816 posts
 Shoda mo tsumoreba taibok
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 07:36
Re: Over reaction?
Late in the game here but I'd be extremely offended by this and leave the site...

...only joking!

But seriously, maybe you should talk to them? As has been pointed out there may be underlying reasons why they reacted that way that you are unaware of. Past trauma's gender reassignment issues, anything really.

I used to get so upset by extreme reactions from people on here over stuff but I'm coming to realize that a lot of people have hidden issues and triggers for their behavior that make them react in extreme ways at times. The trick is to understand that and not take it personally.
Piestar
 member, 796 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 07:39
Re: Over reaction?
Honestly if I knew the people involved I would, but it was very third-person. I just brought my question here because we are all role-players here, or at least so I am assuming.
Brianna
 member, 2232 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 07:49
Re: Over reaction?
I remember a player years ago in Living City whose character had had a gender change.  IIRC the party was told the change was temporary for the purpose of whatever their mission was, and they found out too late it was permanent.  One did not give up an LC character they'd had for any length of time, they had invested time, money, travel, etc to build to where they were.  I always thought that was mean on the part of the one who wrote the module; after all this wasn't for people they knew, but would be run for strangers at conventions across North America, possibly even the world.  The player hated it, but worked around it by having the character dress in androgynous loose clothing, but of course that didn't always work in the close quarters of an adventuring party.  I've never minded playing cross gender (I especially remember one game where we realised the three men and three women were also playing three males and three females, but with everyone playing opposite!) but I can imagine being upset about such a fundamental change in a beloved character.
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.