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Old 06-04-2019, 09:23 PM   #1
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Sexually Dimorphic Races [Fantasy]

I am curious how many people use sexually dimorphic races in fantasy campaigns. If you do, do you keep the same point values between the sexes or do you have different point values for the sexes? Do your players like the added variety or do they find the idea of sexual dimorphism distracting?

An example of sexual dimorphism from one of my setting are the High Trolls. The Hugh Trolls are the remnants of an ancient civilization that survived the devolution of their species through retreating to the mountains of the world. When humans evolved, they were capable of driving the Low Trolls into the swamps of the world, but they found an opponent that they could not defeat in the High Trolls.

Female High Troll [200]

Attribute Modifiers: ST+10 (SM+1, -10%) [90]; HT+4 [40]
Advantages: Appearance (Attractive) [4]; Less Sleep 4 [8]; Magery 3 (Troll Magic; Based on HT, +20%) [42]; Regeneration (Regular) [25]; Reproductive Control [1]; Unaging [15].
Disadvantages: Berserk (12-) [-10]; Lecherousness (12-) [-15]

Males High Trolls [200]

Attributes: As above
Advantages: Fit [5]; Regeneration (Regular) [25]; Unkillable 1 [50]; Unaging [15].
Disadvantages: Berserk (12-) [-10]; Phobia (Sun; 12-) [-15]
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:19 AM   #2
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Sexually Dimorphic Races [Fantasy]

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
I am curious how many people use sexually dimorphic races in fantasy campaigns. If you do, do you keep the same point values between the sexes or do you have different point values for the sexes? Do your players like the added variety or do they find the idea of sexual dimorphism distracting?
In my current fantasy campaign, dwarves, ghouls, men, selkies, and trolls are all sexually dimorphic. Well, technically, dwarves are trimorphic, having neuters as well as males and females. The difference is modest for men and extreme for trolls; for one thing, trolls have average IQ 9 and trollwives have average IQ 11.

Of the six players, one of the men played a male ghoul and one a trollwife; the women played a female ghoul, a male nixie, a male nixie, and a female selkie disguised as male. They seem to enjoy the variety of gender options.
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Old 06-05-2019, 01:30 AM   #3
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Sexually Dimorphic Races [Fantasy]

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
I am curious how many people use sexually dimorphic races in fantasy campaigns.
I have done. Also some multi-sexed and mono-sexed races, though rarely were they PCs.

Well, and also generally do do to at least a small degree with most races and species (including humans), because real species tend to have at least some physical differences between sexes.


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If you do, do you keep the same point values between the sexes or do you have different point values for the sexes?
No. Vive la différence! To me, points are a tool to help roughly estimate the general level of significance of the stats of a character, in order to express general limits and tradeoffs to players building characters.

And the stats and traits of everything in the game, are to me tools to represent what is there in the game world and situation. The reason for them being what they are would never be to make the points come out in tidy numbers.

It would seem entirely backwards to me to let some desire for equal points determine what the description of a type of character were, or to force the points to be equal between descriptions of two sexes of the same species because of some meta notion of the rectitude of them being equal in GURPS points.


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Do your players like the added variety or do they find the idea of sexual dimorphism distracting?
My players tend to like that the game system are used as tools to represent the game situation, so they can immerse in it. They like that the characters tend to get stats that make sense for what they're supposed to be. They like that the GM has creatively detailed things in interesting ways, including the differences between the sexes of various people. It's just one of the many details though and I don't remember people seeming distracted by it, but only in a few odd cases have PCs needed to be chosen from particularly inhuman races.
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: Sexually Dimorphic Races [Fantasy]

The templates haven’t been built yet - largely because I still need to decide if each race will have some sort of unique ability - but I’m playing around a bit with sexual dimorphism in my Oubliette setting. The nornu (giants) and malofae (catfolk) have roughly-Terran levels of sexual dimorphism (so both genders use the same template, but males are more likely to have above-average ST). Pixies have a slightly greater degree of sexual dimorphism (albeit probably not enough to result in separate templates), but halflings have a strong degree of it (males are brawny with ST 7, females are shapely and have ST 5, and the Extreme Sexual Dimorphism trait isn’t off the table). Dwarves are somewhat androgynous, leaning toward masculine (dwarf women can grow beards, although following contact with the other races they typically opt not to), while elves are highly androgynous, leaning toward feminine.
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: Sexually Dimorphic Races [Fantasy]

In my settings, sexual dimorphism or lack thereof is generally a 0-point feature. The physical differences between males and females of various races are generally not worth points, and sometimes it's not always easy to tell males and females apart (lizardfolk are like this, but sometimes so are Dwarves*).

The only time I've played with that kind of sexual dimorphism is in my Star Wars conversion, with Devaronians and Twi'leks**. Most of the time, it's not worth it. If I came up with a race where, for example, men had horns, sharp teeth, and claws, and women didn't, then I'd probably just give a gender lens for the differences rather than two completely different templates.


* It's the beards. :)
** Originally Devaronian women had white fur and no horns, but more recent sources removed the fur; and have you ever seen an overweight unattractive Twi'lek woman?
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: Sexually Dimorphic Races [Fantasy]

In my one fantasy setting with non-human sapients, one (the felinoids) have distinct gender roles but sexual dimorphism is milder than humans. The other (reptilians) has significant sexual dimorphism, with females being larger and being highly prone to aggression during nesting season.
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: Sexually Dimorphic Races [Fantasy]

I don't usually make races with extreme sexual dimorphism but I have occasionally used them in games where they came as part of the setting. One was RuneQuest where Aldyrami are Elves if male and Dryads if female. If I were to convert them to GURPS they would be of different point values. Similarly I have used the unnamed race from Thomas Burnett Swann's Day of the Minotaur/Forest of Forever where the males are all minotaurs and the females all dryads. Again, if I were ever to do them using GURPS, they would have different point values. Given that the sexual dimorphism is so extreme as to be virtually different species, my players didn't find it distracting, just "a god did it" weirdness.

From a science fiction view, I haven't used GURPS War Against the Chtorr yet, but it has a race with extreme sexual dimorphism to the point of looking like different species as well. If I recall, it's the unintelligent pink bunnies (female) and one of the more intelligent invaders. They also would be of differing point values.
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: Sexually Dimorphic Races [Fantasy]

In a science fiction setting, I've considered generational dimorphism. When a mommy alien and a daddy alien love each other very much, they make a potted plant together. Then it drops seeds that turn into babies.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:39 AM   #9
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Default Re: Sexually Dimorphic Races [Fantasy]

I haven't generally used PC races with extreme sexual dimorphism, though inhuman things can be quite extreme.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: Sexually Dimorphic Races [Fantasy]

My undersea fantasy ideas tend to include a race based heavily on certain kinds of Anglerfish. The males are cat-sized nonsapient salt water tadpoles that exist only to reproduce by getting absorbed, while the females are fishy humanoids with a single glowing antenna, huge needle-like teeth, and featureless, pitiless black saucer eyes.
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