jessicalprice:

quendergeer:

lesbianmooncolony:

rambleonamazon:

jessicalprice:

wesschneider:

Now that the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Class Guide has been out for a few days, and people are loving Shardra and all the other new iconic characters, I thought I’d draw a bit of attention to the one thing I wrote for the book. It’s just one wondrous item that appears without illustration on page 229. I wrote a version of this on the Paizo message boards months ago and managed to finagle a revision into this book with the blessing of the entire creative staff and great edits by amazonchique, jessicalprice, Logan Bonner, Judy Bauer, and others.
As far as game rules go, it doesn’t do much—you can certainly find more min-maxy items—but I wanted to make sure players and GMs had concrete rules backup for including such backgrounds and stories in their games. It’s not meant to suggest that this is the only way characters can change their sex in the Pathfinder RPG or that any character needs to take this, but it’s an option for folks who might want it and a rules departure point for any  related effects you might want to create.
Beyond that, though, we always say the Pathfinder RPG rules let us tell the stories we want to tell, so I wanted to make it clear that stories about amazing individuals overcoming challenges and being exactly the people they want to be are absolutely among the stories we want to tell.
This text currently appears in the Advanced Class Guide but will also soon be included along with all the rest of the Pathfinder RPG rules, for free, on the Pathfinder RPG Reference Document.
I hope folks dig this little potion and find it helpful for creating exactly the sorts of characters they want to play and for telling even more awesome stories!
~W

As Wes notes, this is about providing options. If you want a character to have struggled and overcome in an unsympathetic world, you can do that in Pathfinder, and in the Golarion campaign setting. There’s plenty of room in the world for it — there are plenty of not very nice people and places in Golarion. But there are also items like this, and people and religions and organizations that will see being trans* or nonbinary or genderfluid as neutral or even positive. Tell your story, the way you want to tell it.
And if you feel like Golarion doesn’t have room for people like you, let us know. 

Pathfinder staff saying that not only are there magical versions of sex reassignment in their game, but also aknowledging that you don’t HAVE to use them and that this one potion isn’t the only way to be trans in their world. These are people who get it. And when they don’t, they ask.

okay but can i coat all my crossbow bolts in this, shoot my enemies in the leg, thus turning them into girls and making them no longer my enemies
honestly this makes me a teeny bit uncomfortable but i cannot put my finger on why

it has the same problem as any wish fulfillment sex swap magic/scifi: it assumes the binary sexes are stable bases from which to switch from and to in the first place.
If I’d stumbled on this as a tiny nerd girl (as I stumbled on polymorph self, the deck of many things, and THAT FUCKING GIRDLE I would have loved it and secretly come up with dozens of scenarios in which I could use these things then never do so because I knew instinctively it would invariably play into existing discourses of transphobia (and sexism, for that matter - this was a time when it was even less acceptable for boys to play female characters than it is now).
Buying into cissexism, though probably still sadly essential for babby trans awareness of themselves in a cissexist world, is never going to be any sort of long-term solution and probably slows us down in the long run.

You’re right — I agree that the language isn’t ideal. The thing is, though, I’m not sure how to make the language ideal. 
It’s difficult to create something that’s going to make sense to people that aren’t already knowledgeable about these issues (I mean, a lot of people didn’t even get that our transwoman iconic character was a transwoman) that doesn’t at least suggest a gender binary. Our rules text gets read by a very large audience from many different walks of life, and if we didn’t talk about sex here (heck, we may be confusing them by not talking about gender here), we aren’t sure that they’d have the first clue what this magic item is actually talking about. 
We did do our best to avoid strictly binary language about sex and gender here. You’ll notice we didn’t say it flips your sex, or changes you to the “other” sex. If you’re aware that humans aren’t actually confined to two distinct sexes, your character can absolutely use this to get to where they’re trying to go as far as physical configuration.
Plus, as I noted above, this isn’t intended to be the only way to transition, or to suggest that non-cisgender people even have to transition. There are cultural institutions, like the followers of the deity Arshea (and even some of the larger religions), that celebrate genderfluidity, non-binary approaches to gender, and the different ways to be male or female. The campaign setting materials, adventures, and fiction have a much richer spectrum of characters and approaches.
We try to provide multiple options to people (and characters that represent those different approaches), instead of One Right Way To Do Things, but rules text, as a single option, isn’t a terribly nuanced or ambiguity-friendly place. 

I am incredibly glad to see Paizo addressing the variety of gender experiences people have had.

jessicalprice:

quendergeer:

lesbianmooncolony:

rambleonamazon:

jessicalprice:

wesschneider:

Now that the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Class Guide has been out for a few days, and people are loving Shardra and all the other new iconic characters, I thought I’d draw a bit of attention to the one thing I wrote for the book. It’s just one wondrous item that appears without illustration on page 229. I wrote a version of this on the Paizo message boards months ago and managed to finagle a revision into this book with the blessing of the entire creative staff and great edits by amazonchique, jessicalprice, Logan Bonner, Judy Bauer, and others.

As far as game rules go, it doesn’t do much—you can certainly find more min-maxy items—but I wanted to make sure players and GMs had concrete rules backup for including such backgrounds and stories in their games. It’s not meant to suggest that this is the only way characters can change their sex in the Pathfinder RPG or that any character needs to take this, but it’s an option for folks who might want it and a rules departure point for any  related effects you might want to create.

Beyond that, though, we always say the Pathfinder RPG rules let us tell the stories we want to tell, so I wanted to make it clear that stories about amazing individuals overcoming challenges and being exactly the people they want to be are absolutely among the stories we want to tell.

This text currently appears in the Advanced Class Guide but will also soon be included along with all the rest of the Pathfinder RPG rules, for free, on the Pathfinder RPG Reference Document.

I hope folks dig this little potion and find it helpful for creating exactly the sorts of characters they want to play and for telling even more awesome stories!

~W

As Wes notes, this is about providing options. If you want a character to have struggled and overcome in an unsympathetic world, you can do that in Pathfinder, and in the Golarion campaign setting. There’s plenty of room in the world for it — there are plenty of not very nice people and places in Golarion. But there are also items like this, and people and religions and organizations that will see being trans* or nonbinary or genderfluid as neutral or even positive. Tell your story, the way you want to tell it.

And if you feel like Golarion doesn’t have room for people like you, let us know. 

Pathfinder staff saying that not only are there magical versions of sex reassignment in their game, but also aknowledging that you don’t HAVE to use them and that this one potion isn’t the only way to be trans in their world. These are people who get it. And when they don’t, they ask.

okay but can i coat all my crossbow bolts in this, shoot my enemies in the leg, thus turning them into girls and making them no longer my enemies

honestly this makes me a teeny bit uncomfortable but i cannot put my finger on why

it has the same problem as any wish fulfillment sex swap magic/scifi: it assumes the binary sexes are stable bases from which to switch from and to in the first place.

If I’d stumbled on this as a tiny nerd girl (as I stumbled on polymorph self, the deck of many things, and THAT FUCKING GIRDLE I would have loved it and secretly come up with dozens of scenarios in which I could use these things then never do so because I knew instinctively it would invariably play into existing discourses of transphobia (and sexism, for that matter - this was a time when it was even less acceptable for boys to play female characters than it is now).

Buying into cissexism, though probably still sadly essential for babby trans awareness of themselves in a cissexist world, is never going to be any sort of long-term solution and probably slows us down in the long run.

You’re right — I agree that the language isn’t ideal. The thing is, though, I’m not sure how to make the language ideal. 

It’s difficult to create something that’s going to make sense to people that aren’t already knowledgeable about these issues (I mean, a lot of people didn’t even get that our transwoman iconic character was a transwoman) that doesn’t at least suggest a gender binary. Our rules text gets read by a very large audience from many different walks of life, and if we didn’t talk about sex here (heck, we may be confusing them by not talking about gender here), we aren’t sure that they’d have the first clue what this magic item is actually talking about. 

We did do our best to avoid strictly binary language about sex and gender here. You’ll notice we didn’t say it flips your sex, or changes you to the “other” sex. If you’re aware that humans aren’t actually confined to two distinct sexes, your character can absolutely use this to get to where they’re trying to go as far as physical configuration.

Plus, as I noted above, this isn’t intended to be the only way to transition, or to suggest that non-cisgender people even have to transition. There are cultural institutions, like the followers of the deity Arshea (and even some of the larger religions), that celebrate genderfluidity, non-binary approaches to gender, and the different ways to be male or female. The campaign setting materials, adventures, and fiction have a much richer spectrum of characters and approaches.

We try to provide multiple options to people (and characters that represent those different approaches), instead of One Right Way To Do Things, but rules text, as a single option, isn’t a terribly nuanced or ambiguity-friendly place. 

I am incredibly glad to see Paizo addressing the variety of gender experiences people have had.

thelethifoldwitch:

Imagine Hogwarts after the Battle, after the War, sure –
But imagine Hogwarts’ students, after their year with the Carrows and Snape.
Imagine a tiny little first-year whose porcupine pincushions still have quills, but to whom Fiendfyre comes easily. The second-year who tried to go back, to fight; whose bravado got Professor Sinistra killed, as she pushed him out of the way of a Killing Curse. The third-year who perfectly brewed poisons, hands shaking, wishing for the courage to spike the Carrows’ cups. The fourth-year who throws away all of their teacups, their palmistry guidebooks, because what use is Divination if it didn’t see this coming? The fifth-year who can barely remember what O.W.L.S. are, let alone that she was supposed to take them. The sixth-year who can’t manage Lumos to save their life, but whose proficiency with the Cruciatus Curse rivals Bellatrix’s.
Imagine the seventh-year who laughs until he cries, thinking about the first-years who will fall asleep in History of Magic while their story is told.
Imagine the Muggleborn first-years left alive, if there are any: imagine what they think of the magical world, when their introduction to it was Death Eaters and being tortured – by their classmates –for having been born.
Imagine the students who went home to their parents (or guardians, or wards, or orphanages) and showed them what they’d learned: Dark curses, hexes, Unforgiveables; that Muggles are filth, animals, lesser. Who, yes, still can’t transfigure a match into a needle – but Mum, there’s a hex that can make you feel as though you’re being stabbed with thousands. (Don’t ask them how they know.)
Imagine the students who will never be able to see Hogwarts as home.
Imagine the students Hogwarts has left, when it starts up again – the lack of Muggleborns, blood-traitors, half-bloods, dead and gone – the lack of purebloods; the Ministry would have chucked everyone of age (and possibly just below) in Azkaban for Unforgiveables, wouldn’t they?
Imagine how few students there are left to teach; imagine how few teachers are left to teach them.
Imagine the students who can’t walk past a particular classroom, who can’t walk through a hallway, who can’t walk into the Great Hall without having a panic attack or breaking down. Imagine the school-wide discovery that the carriages aren’t horseless after all; that everyone, from the firsties to the teachers, can see Thestrals.
Imagine the memorials, the heaps of flowers and mementoes – in every other corner, hallway, classroom; every other step you take on the grounds.
Imagine the ghosts.
Imagine the students destroying Snape’s portrait, using the curses, hexes, even Fiendfyre they’ve been taught how to wield – it has to be restored nearly every week; Snape stays with Phineas Nigellus semi-permanently. (None of the other portraits will welcome him. His reasons do not excuse his conduct.)
Imagine the students unable to trust each other – everyone informed on everyone, your best friend might turn you in.
Imagine the guilt that everyone carries (it should have been me, it’s my fault s/he’s dead, I told on them, it’s all my fault), the students incapable of meeting each other’s eyes because it’s my fault your best friend, your sibling, your Housemate, your boy/girlfriend is dead.
Imagine the memorials piled high with the wands of the dead. Imagine the memorials piled high with the self-snapped wands of the living.
Imagine the students who are never able to produce a Patronus.
Imagine Boggarts being removed from the curriculum because Riddikulus is near impossible to grasp, even for the sixth- and seventh-years. Because their friends and families dead will never, ever be funny.
Imagine the students for whom magic feels tainted.
Imagine the students who leave the wixen world – hell, the students who leave Britain entirely, because there’s nothing left for them there.
Imagine the students who never use magic again.
(Image source.)
(From the mind of the wonderful lavenderpatil, a keen look at how students might be after war.)

Man, now I want hella fic exploring a truth and reconciliation commission in Hogwarts and the Ministry.

thelethifoldwitch:

Imagine Hogwarts after the Battle, after the War, sure

But imagine Hogwarts’ students, after their year with the Carrows and Snape.

Imagine a tiny little first-year whose porcupine pincushions still have quills, but to whom Fiendfyre comes easily. The second-year who tried to go back, to fight; whose bravado got Professor Sinistra killed, as she pushed him out of the way of a Killing Curse. The third-year who perfectly brewed poisons, hands shaking, wishing for the courage to spike the Carrows’ cups. The fourth-year who throws away all of their teacups, their palmistry guidebooks, because what use is Divination if it didn’t see this coming? The fifth-year who can barely remember what O.W.L.S. are, let alone that she was supposed to take them. The sixth-year who can’t manage Lumos to save their life, but whose proficiency with the Cruciatus Curse rivals Bellatrix’s.

Imagine the seventh-year who laughs until he cries, thinking about the first-years who will fall asleep in History of Magic while their story is told.

Imagine the Muggleborn first-years left alive, if there are any: imagine what they think of the magical world, when their introduction to it was Death Eaters and being tortured by their classmates for having been born.

Imagine the students who went home to their parents (or guardians, or wards, or orphanages) and showed them what they’d learned: Dark curses, hexes, Unforgiveables; that Muggles are filth, animals, lesser. Who, yes, still can’t transfigure a match into a needle but Mum, there’s a hex that can make you feel as though you’re being stabbed with thousands. (Don’t ask them how they know.)

Imagine the students who will never be able to see Hogwarts as home.

Imagine the students Hogwarts has left, when it starts up again the lack of Muggleborns, blood-traitors, half-bloods, dead and gone the lack of purebloods; the Ministry would have chucked everyone of age (and possibly just below) in Azkaban for Unforgiveables, wouldn’t they?

Imagine how few students there are left to teach; imagine how few teachers are left to teach them.

Imagine the students who can’t walk past a particular classroom, who can’t walk through a hallway, who can’t walk into the Great Hall without having a panic attack or breaking down. Imagine the school-wide discovery that the carriages aren’t horseless after all; that everyone, from the firsties to the teachers, can see Thestrals.

Imagine the memorials, the heaps of flowers and mementoes in every other corner, hallway, classroom; every other step you take on the grounds.

Imagine the ghosts.

Imagine the students destroying Snape’s portrait, using the curses, hexes, even Fiendfyre they’ve been taught how to wield it has to be restored nearly every week; Snape stays with Phineas Nigellus semi-permanently. (None of the other portraits will welcome him. His reasons do not excuse his conduct.)

Imagine the students unable to trust each other everyone informed on everyone, your best friend might turn you in.

Imagine the guilt that everyone carries (it should have been me, it’s my fault s/he’s dead, I told on them, it’s all my fault), the students incapable of meeting each other’s eyes because it’s my fault your best friend, your sibling, your Housemate, your boy/girlfriend is dead.

Imagine the memorials piled high with the wands of the dead. Imagine the memorials piled high with the self-snapped wands of the living.

Imagine the students who are never able to produce a Patronus.

Imagine Boggarts being removed from the curriculum because Riddikulus is near impossible to grasp, even for the sixth- and seventh-years. Because their friends and families dead will never, ever be funny.

Imagine the students for whom magic feels tainted.

Imagine the students who leave the wixen world hell, the students who leave Britain entirely, because there’s nothing left for them there.

Imagine the students who never use magic again.

(Image source.)

(From the mind of the wonderful lavenderpatil, a keen look at how students might be after war.)

Man, now I want hella fic exploring a truth and reconciliation commission in Hogwarts and the Ministry.

Elves in Alcina.

goblinsociety:

acaranalogy:

inklesspen:

goblinsociety:

So, there’s this stereotype about elves that they’re all nobility, coming from largely from humans. That’s because elven standards of living in premodern times were really high across the board, and elven society was organized such that everyone from the top down had a specific name and assigned role. Along with extended families working their patron spirit into their iconography, it all seemed like a system of peerage and heraldry to humans.

So, every elf knows their role from birth, and there’s a hugely-stratified society, which makes it so the effectively-immortal elven leaders can (and did) try to keep things as static as they could. Elf society bends towards the reactionary pretty hard.

It also means that, as the world modernized and elves didn’t, the need for enchanted items and fancy elven handicrafts fell off, and the export economy, that most elven states were based around, went to shit.

So now we have this modern world where elven nations, with centuries if not millenia of intense patriarchal traditions, are becoming unstable. Humans don’t have much sympathy for the lords and ladies of the forest coming to their cities, and life’s pretty difficult all around. Life is pretty tense if you’re an elf, and even worse if you’re born female, since your role in life starts off sheltered in your father’s home, and ends sheltered in your husband’s home.

So it’s not really that surprising that, when they try to integrate with other species, elven women are starting to realize that they can make their own path. They can cast off their family totems, and adopt the spider, and live however they wanted, and work with like-minded women. When elves encountered broader society, the drow were practically inevitable.

This is really cool!

(See also the previous post.)

A large part of the drow shtick, in D&D, has historically been that they’re a whole lot like the player characters. They have character classes, and fit into the archetypes: in an age where you had goblins and maybe goblin chiefs, you had sneaky drow rogues, you had spellcastery drow priestesses and wizards, you had drow warriors with two swords, etc, etc, etc on for a lot longer than anyone else. They have tons of their own weird magic items. They come as badass loners occasionally, but more often they come for you in full-on adventuring parties.

The drow culture you’re outlining here and in the previous post goes a long way toward explaining and preserving that: of course they’re a lot more like adventurers than the ordinary elf, they’re the elven adventurer counterculture, they’re outcasts and runaways who prize flexibility and independence and castelessness and traveling somewhere anywhere outside of the elven homelands and doing something interesting for once, and I think that’s fantastic.

Here’s another thing that may or may not fit with your setting. It has to do with putting an entirely different light on the old “drow are major players in the slave trade” shtick. Putting it under a readmore because obviously this is gonna be a long post touching on slavery and human trafficking and a lot of people may not want that on their dash.

Read More

This is really cool. My initial thoughts were that drow-as-subculture/declared identity belonged in a more modern setting, which was how Alcina ended up being an early 20th century industrial era thing. But I really like this, and how it makes them work in a more traditional fantasy world. It’s definitely making me take some time to examine my assumptions about how to build a world that fits them. (Though, parenthetically, I think that both versions are great and I kind of want to build things around both.)

And to continue the slavery topic, after a break: 

Read More

Read under the read-mores. It got better!

diacrit:

hanesonly:

I almost forgot my briefcase!

it contains important lab results

get out

diacrit:

hanesonly:

I almost forgot my briefcase!

it contains important lab results

get out

(Source: awwww-cute)

Elves in Alcina.

goblinsociety:

So, there’s this stereotype about elves that they’re all nobility, coming from largely from humans. That’s because elven standards of living in premodern times were really high across the board, and elven society was organized such that everyone from the top down had a specific name and assigned role. Along with extended families working their patron spirit into their iconography, it all seemed like a system of peerage and heraldry to humans.

So, every elf knows their role from birth, and there’s a hugely-stratified society, which makes it so the effectively-immortal elven leaders can (and did) try to keep things as static as they could. Elf society bends towards the reactionary pretty hard.

It also means that, as the world modernized and elves didn’t, the need for enchanted items and fancy elven handicrafts fell off, and the export economy, that most elven states were based around, went to shit.

So now we have this modern world where elven nations, with centuries if not millenia of intense patriarchal traditions, are becoming unstable. Humans don’t have much sympathy for the lords and ladies of the forest coming to their cities, and life’s pretty difficult all around. Life is pretty tense if you’re an elf, and even worse if you’re born female, since your role in life starts off sheltered in your father’s home, and ends sheltered in your husband’s home.

So it’s not really that surprising that, when they try to integrate with other species, elven women are starting to realize that they can make their own path. They can cast off their family totems, and adopt the spider, and live however they wanted, and work with like-minded women. When elves encountered broader society, the drow were practically inevitable.

This is really cool!

(See also the previous post.)

Aw yeah, it’s katsu curry time.

Aw yeah, it’s katsu curry time.

pupuroon:

raisehelia:

rendigo:

I’m hoping to hit a few cons this year, so that means prints! I finished this up between commissioned and comic work, and I really couldn’t be happier. Sailor Moon was what made me really start taking art and comics seriously, if 10 year old Rennie could see this she’d completely flip

also you can get it as a print!

LOOK AT HOW PRETTY THIS IS OH MY GOD

Jesus christ Renni you fuckin OWN THAT

this is mega adorable