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  1. #1

    Gender Parity in Birthright

    Hi everyone,

    One thing I've noticed when reading the Birthright materials is that, taking its cues from historical Europe, it's a very male-dominated place. Most of the heroes, villains, and NPC regents are male, for example.

    That's fine for a historical game, but I like a bit more gender parity in my fantasy gaming. Plus, nothing I've seen in Birthright would suggest that naturally occurring bloodlines have a preference for the male sex, so it seems that apart from the use of investiture, there should be as many female regents as male regents.

    I'm thinking about just changing some of the male NPCs to female, to balance out the gender balance a little.

    Has anyone else done something like this already? Anything you'd particularly suggest regarding important NPCs to gender-swap?

    (Oh, and also I'm going to assume greater presence of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender NPCs in the world, something which wasn't addressed much if at all back in the TSR days.)

  2. #2
    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    Um, the White Witch, the Lamia, the Banshegh, the Chimaera, the Harpy, the Hag, the Succubus and Dame Wither are all female awnsheghlien. There are not many canon ehrsheghlien but the Fae is female and the Faun is non-specific. I added the Lioness as a female bardic ehrshegh.

    Sorontar
    Last edited by Sorontar; 09-19-2014 at 02:30 PM.
    Sorontar
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  3. #3
    Senior Member arpig2's Avatar
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    female monsters, sure, but as the OP pointed out, precious few actual rulers/regents.

    I have never actually run or played in a campaign set in Cerilia (or any published setting for that matter), but I have a few ideas that might work.
    First and foremost, make elves matriarchal/matrilineal, just switch the gender of just about every elf mentioned. Think about it Ruobhe Manslayer takes on a whole new dimension if female.
    Call me Bob.
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    Member Arentak's Avatar
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    Queen Liliene Swordwraith
    Duchess Eriene Mierelen
    Duchess Laela Flaertas
    Baroness Fhiele Dhoesone
    Duchess Eluvie Cariele
    Mhaellie Bireon
    Baroness Marlae Rosoene
    Medhlorie Haensen
    Hermedhie
    Mhistacai
    Sarae Sommerlin
    Queen Isaelie
    Mhaire Cwllmie

    I think the OP hasn't perused Ruins of Empire sufficiently. Its loaded with female rulers.
    I like PBEM's.

  5. #5
    Senior Member arpig2's Avatar
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    Not meaning to sound dismissive, but that is a very male interpretation of it, while there are indeed a scattering of token women in each role they are a definite minority and an oddity that requires some sort of special back story to explain, but that is to be expected as the setting is heavily imitative of historical androcentric medieval and renaissance earth cultures.

    Now to transform the Anuirean culture to something more egalitarian would be a major undertaking as it has the most existing detail already worked out, but the other cultures, being less well defined, can be more easily modified. For example, the Vos can easily be modified to a matrilineal society without having to alter the outward seemingly male dominated warrior society. The Mohawks had what appeared to be a very male dominated warrior culture and yet were matriarchal in government, so it is entirely plausible that the Vos could be the same way, using the very ancient truism that a woman always knew which child was hers, but a man could never be entirely sure as justification.
    Call me Bob.
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  6. #6
    My point isn't that there are no female rulers, villains, or heroes, it's that there's a greater imbalance than I'd like.

    I mean, ideally I'd like to see 50%. I don't know if anyone's run the stats but I am pretty sure the dozen or two listed here aren't half of the population.

    Anyway, if you don't like the premise of my thread and you think the gender balance in Cerilia is just fine for your gaming, that's cool. But in such a case I'd appreciate it if you just moved on to the next thread instead of trying to tell me that there's no need?

  7. #7
    Arpig, that's a great thought. I like the division of women as the leaders/thinkers/generals and men as the somewhat expendable grunts. Thanks for sharing!

  8. #8
    Senior Member arpig2's Avatar
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    Hey, you're more than welcome. Making up weird stuff and adapting things is one of the main joys of DMing.

    Just play around with any sort of idea, and see if you can make it into something cool.

    For example, going with our Vos example, the seeming contradiction of a matrilineal and matriarchal society dominated by a predominantly male warrior class can be resolved by making the female rulers elective rather than hereditary, or only partially hereditary (meaning they have to come from a certain clan or tribe), and restricting the vote to those men who have made it to full warrior status (maybe something analogous to knighthood or the "brave" status among the plains Indians).

    That way, you have women actually running the place, but the male warriors, as the electors, are the most important segment of the population and have to be pandered to by the prospective rulers (let's divide the law holdings up between these hopefuls), which opens up the possibility of some really fun political in-fighting normally absent in most Birthright campaigns.

    It also allows for some social stresses, maybe a group of the warrior types thinking that they should actually rule, maybe with a temple of a male god inciting the trouble from the shadows, or maybe an elite all woman warrior group demanding the vote as well.

    Like I said, take an idea and play around with it, see where it leads you.
    Call me Bob.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member arpig2's Avatar
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    I don't know just where, but that basic model (men elect women leaders) is going into some setting or other of mine at some point.
    Call me Bob.
    My Zaidan-Tai site: http://bobsworlds.x10.mx/Zaidan/
    My Zaidan-Tai PBEM: http://nrggames.proboards.com/
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    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    A perspective often used in fantasy is for the women to control the churches and the men to be the military leaders. One holds the hands and the other holds the hearts. Of course, what we are talking in this thread is about making each gender be universally represented, not giving them dominance in a particular area.

    However, it is important to remember that Birthright (wisely) doesn't consider all domains to be the same. I am not just saying that Anuireans are different from the Brecht. I am talking about Boeruine being different to Talinie which is different to Diemed. The role of males, females and other subgroups is up to the culture. Some may be matriachies, others patriachies, some may choose the nature (or lack) of control by other means. Guilds may be different to provinces which may be different to temples. You should not expect all of Cerilia to see equal distribution of power.

    Sorontar

    ps. Many female awnsheghlien are regents
    Sorontar
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