Non-binary gender options

NerakhNerakh Member Posts: 14
With the recent release of a third, non-binary gender in Imperian, and its implementation in Starmourn, are we coming any closer to a similar option being included in Aetolia?

I understand that generic IRE code treats gender as a question of "Is it female? No? It's a man." rather than checking for x or y or z, but it doesn't seem like too complex of a thing to change - we've weathered worse before.

I'm not looking to push for this kind of thing to become the next immediate project, but I'm curious to know where we stand on this. Is it on our to-do list? If not, is that because of resources/policy/actual lore reason?

Would very much be interested in an answer from the pools!


  • MacavityMacavity Chicago, IlMember Posts: 870 ✭✭✭
    I totally support this.. I was recently wondering if it was possible to use them/they pronouns over the traditional him/her his/hers pronouns
    “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
    Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” 
    ― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

    Veritas says, "Sorry for breaking your system Macavity."
    Veritas says, "My boss fights crash Macavity's computer now."
  • RhyotRhyot BloodlochMember Posts: 574 ✭✭✭✭
    Just to play devil's advocate here.....

    I don't really think this is a necessary priority. If you don't want to identify as a specific gender, then that is all well and good. You can't expect the entire game to surrender to you just because of such. Everyone in Aetolia is either "born" male or female, giving the presence of him/her. There's an actual artifact that enables people to already swap gender.

    Furthermore, even if you don't identify as a him/her, other people will identify you as a him/her because that is the basic course that human language and identification of an individual goes. People will even mis-identify you based off the idea of your name. Does it sound feminine? Does it sound masculine? Are their interactions more feminine/masculine? I've often confused Lexen to be a female as the name sounds feminine to me, but the character is actually male. (Sorry @Lexen!!)

    Even though society is pushing forward and people are coming out more (props to all of you), we need to remember that this is a game. As @Teani said, there are FAR MORE important things on the list that need to happen. A change about non-gender binary is, in my opinion, so far down on that list it is probably irrelevant.

  • NerakhNerakh Member Posts: 14
    Yeah I was trying to say that I was not advocating to put this on the table right now, just wanted to see if we intended to do it At Some Point.

    Thanks for answering!
  • HavenHaven World Burner Flight SchoolMember Posts: 2,398 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Cool stuff... Although I dread the idea of slogging through and updating all my combat triggers. ;-;

    Might be more worth for me to just suck it up and switch to mudlet and abandon MUSHclient.
    ¤ Si vis pacem, para bellum. ¤
    Someone powerful says, "We're going to have to delete you."
  • ZailaZaila Pacific TimeMember Posts: 547 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Being unfamiliar with Imperian and Starmourne, am I understanding correctly that the question here is about adding a third option for how people's pronouns show up / what gender they show up as in official game records (honours, etc.)?

    If yes, I'm curious what the current official lore rules regarding character's biological sex and presented gender? For example is it lore-appropriate for my "female" character to have a functional penis? If yes, what is the official determination lore-wise as to what gender your character is? The way I have reasoned it when running into characters who RP being biologically different than their "official" gender is that your "official IC gender" isn't so much a record of your biology but determined instead by whatever the IC version of a public records office is (which is also how I reason HONOURS information being freely available) but I am very curious how close-or-far this reasoning is to what is intended.

    And I think what muddles this reasoning the most is that the gem/pill seem intended to be switching your biological sex as opposed to your public-records-official gender, but that change automatically changes both to new biological gender, which gives the impression that they are lore-wise intended to be one in the same.
  • FezzixFezzix Member Posts: 328 ✭✭✭✭
    Zaila said:

    I think what muddles this reasoning the most is that the gem/pill seem intended to be switching your biological sex as opposed to your public-records-official gender, but that change automatically changes both to new biological gender, which gives the impression that they are lore-wise intended to be one in the same.


    Would this override bloodlines and the biological requirements for reproduction? Where is this in the lore for mortal characters? Would nonbinary players have to choose what sex organs they have? Would they have both? Could they functionally be either the "mother" or "father" of a child at any given time without having to use the sex change artifact? Could your HONORS line be changed to whatever you want, but your genitalia require the artifact?

  • RasaniRasani Member Posts: 207 ✭✭✭
    There's such an odd focus on genitals for what is just a marker. People don't actually get pregnant with other characters, it's all rp and bloodlines. Frankly, it's as easy as having your bloodlines just have two parent markers instead of specifying which is which. People can rp that out because, again, nobody is ACTUALLY becoming pregnant in anything other than a desc change.
  • FezzixFezzix Member Posts: 328 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2019

    "It should go without saying that bloodlines are permanent and irrevocable. After all, you cannot change who your biological mother and father are!"

    That implies pregnancy, even if pregnancy/childbirth mechanics do not exist in the game and it is entirely RP. Just because something is RP or a temporary "desc change" doesn't mean there won't be lore behind it to justify the canonical accuracy. And genitals are kind of necessary for a "mother" and "father" to exist.
  • RasaniRasani Member Posts: 207 ✭✭✭
    Of course it does, but what I'm saying is there is no MECHANIC for pregnancy. People don't type in a command and have mechanical changes to their experience based on pregnancy. That bit is all rp, so all that is really required is a switch from Mother Father to just Parent in the Bloodlines code. (A pain to code I am sure, which is why this should be an 'at your own pace' project than a priority)

    There are already plenty of folks with gems, and players who have parents that are sometimes of the same gender as a result of gem use and already players who play trans characters. It's not that hard a switch to make.
  • ArbreArbre Arbrelina Jolie BraavosMember Posts: 2,094 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Rasani said:

    a switch from Mother Father to just Parent in the Bloodlines code

    ...I thought they already did this?

  • RasaniRasani Member Posts: 207 ✭✭✭
    Been ages since I looked, maybe they do in which case it's even more of a non issue.
  • SaritaSarita Empress of Bahir'an The Pillars of the EarthMember Posts: 807 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It was changed a while ago. Bloodlines show P1 and P2 now.
  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,113 admin
    edited July 2019

    The gender requirement was removed from bloodlines a long while back. The helpfile has been changed to clear up any confusion with the father/mother requirement.

    The administration considers pretty much anything sexual personal RP to be just that, personal RP. We're not going to approve or disapprove of whatever you do in private. By allowing 'more' genders, we're essentially just talking about adding more pronoun choices.
  • ZailaZaila Pacific TimeMember Posts: 547 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes, but: what is the actual lore-supported facts regarding presented gender and biology? Are they intended to be one in the same or not?

    New players have asked me this question, it would be really nice to have an answer available other than "the admin won't get you in trouble for what you do". That isn't what players want to know. What they want to know is "What is Lore-Supported RP"
  • NavaNava Member Posts: 10
    I really don't understand the need for an admin ruling on which bits go where, who gets whom pregnant, and who calls whom daddy.

    Let people play out whatever gender/sex story they want for their character. Then also let other characters react to that story however their players want.
  • TeaniTeani Shadow Mistress SwedenMember Posts: 2,190 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2019
    Nava said:
    I really don't understand the need for an admin ruling on which bits go where, who gets whom pregnant, and who calls whom daddy. Let people play out whatever gender/sex story they want for their character. Then also let other characters react to that story however their players want.
    Some people can get touchy when it comes to this topic, and want more clarity and permissions to back up their rp. Sometimes this is because they have been treated poorly in real life by idiots who don't have an open mind, sometimes for other reasons. There is a whole thread about this topic on Starmourn's forums.

  • RasaniRasani Member Posts: 207 ✭✭✭
    I'll be honest, I doubt the admin have considered it because most people tend not to. I can't fathom a reason it would go AGAINST lore for someone to be nonbinary or trans, because well, that'd be absurd and also people would do it anyway.

    I will say however, the phrase "is my gender supported by lore" is hilarious.
  • NerakhNerakh Member Posts: 14
    I think the question is relevant in a universe where form is dictated by intent and womb-choice - while a trans woman can be born with male genitals in the real world, the development of the child is dictated by chemistry and genetics. In Aetolia, magic and consciousness has a marked effect on what pops out from the mystery box. Could be that, with things having been designed to bend to intent, all those characters who -would- have been trans are instead born to the sex that appeals to them.

    Whether or not people are born to a sex that matches their gender, though, I like the idea of having a non-binary option - if only to make it easier to play someone androgynous or intersex, or simply for a character that does not include gender as a part of their identity.
  • TeaniTeani Shadow Mistress SwedenMember Posts: 2,190 ✭✭✭✭✭
    There are people who have played androgynous in this game. I recall a number of them even from back when I started out in 2006. In a way it makes me sad to read you want to make things easier, because to me that sort of just hampers creativity.

    It's the same as adding all the new aliases to designs, when instead you could use your creative mind to describe what you mean in the long descriptions (instead of describing something as a bowler hat, say it's a short-brimmed hat with a rounded top). Only in this case, you roleplay your character in front of others and allow them to get a chance to get to know who your character truly is beneath the less important exterior.

    I know I'm over-simplifying things here, so please don't bite my head off. Also, in a world such as Aetolia, I imagine people are a bit more accepting of awesome differences. 

  • PhoeneciaPhoenecia The Merchant of Esterport Somewhere in AtticaMember Posts: 793 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't think wanting a mechanical non-binary option hampers creativity at all. The reason I say this is because there have been instances of people wanting to create characters that are completely genderless or androgynous where figuring out their actual sex is a mystery. In many of these instances, because the game has your sex as an easily identifiable thing, more often than not as opposed to playing along with the 'ambiguous' aspect, people will just go and say 'oh you're male/female because that's what the game says'. 

    Back when I got the disguise gem, I was a little disappointed that you couldn't disguise your gender along with living/undead, or race because I loved the idea of disguise shenanigans. Ended up picking up transmutation so I could play the whole 'yeah, I can make myself look like whatever I want' angle.
  • RhyotRhyot BloodlochMember Posts: 574 ✭✭✭✭
    Can you not just play what you want and how you want?? Lore isn't necessary to make sure that what you're playing isnt valid. Its YOUR character. And even if it isnt validated by lore, its YOUR character.

    Secondly, if you run into people who dont like what you play... We have an IGNORE function. Its a great tool to use. You dont need admin intervention telling you "yes you can RP as this." Or "No, you cant RP as that." Just RP it. Nobody is really going to care how you play your character. And if they do, thats a whole lot of not your problem.

    This is a game. Play how you want. You shouldnt always expect an admin to back you up as they have bigger and better things to worry about. 

  • ZailaZaila Pacific TimeMember Posts: 547 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for the lore-y answer, I know it's a "oh good gravy, don't make me think about this, this is awkward, I just want to go e-stab some baddies and rack up internet points" topic for lots of folks.

    Would this mean that my internal reasoning of HONOURS information being the IC conflagration of a public records office combined with a D&D Gather Information check is on point? Therefore not necessarily being wholly "accurate" so someone could potentially RP a character that didn't "match" their HONOURS info in some way?

    For the record, my desire for an explanation is because I want to be able to combat against people who poo-poo others' creative RP as 'not being lore-supported' with "here is why that is okay: (insert admin supported rationale here)."
  • NavaNava Member Posts: 10
    Imvra said:
    I well understand the want for explicit rules to guide your own development, but half the time these are also wanted as weapons to police others in something that is very personal and that is not an environment we want to foster.
    This had been my concern. But your response is both balanced and informative. Thanks, Imvra. Appreciate you.
  • RasaniRasani Member Posts: 207 ✭✭✭
    Unfortunately, stating outright that these things don't exist already gives people all they need to try and tell people "no you can't do that because lore".
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