Things I’m Not Writing

You know what’s really tempting?

It’s really tempting, when I see the Fake Geek Girl meme going around, to sit down and write a three-screen rant about my geek credentials.  Like how I literally don’t remember how old I was the first time I saw MOVIE, how my bedtime story when I was six was BOOK, how I can quote along with EPISODE of SHOW, how I play GAME, GAME, and GAME.  Name-dropping characters at every turn, of course.

Screw that.

I am a geek because I say I am, and if you don’t like it you can go pound sand.

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Epiphany

I was reading Tsock Tsarina’s post about one of her recent designs, Two Cassandras, and came upon this quote:

The gift of prophecy is itself a dubious one, perhaps, but all the versions of the story seem to agree that Apollo’s initial intent was to confer a benefit on Cassandra, as such. Not without strings, however; and when she refused him the sexual favors he had come to expect in return, he turned it against her, depriving her of the power of convincing others, by spitting into her mouth during one final kiss.

So…what you’re saying is that Apollo was, essentially, a Nice Guy™?  “I gave you this nifty present and you even kissed me and now you won’t put out!” That is something I have never thought of before and it’s kind of cool to realize that people were jerks in the same kinds of ways even all that time ago.

Granted, there was a bit I found less compelling, as seen here:

(That there were kisses at all appears to support Aeschylus’s contention that in rejecting Apollo’s advances she was renegeing on a promise she had made him.)

No. No it does not. Not to get all shrill or anything.  Because, you know, people get to change their minds.

But still.  The concept of Apollo the Nice Guy™ is vastly amusing to me, for some reason.

More Images

Player’s Handbook 3.5(July 2003): 

female male unknown female dress passive female dress neutral female dress active female stance passive female stance neutral female stance active male dress passive male dress neutral male dress active male stance passive male stance neutral male stance active
25 40 0 0 7 18 2 13 10 3 11 26 2 24 12
38.5% 61.5% 0% 0% 28.0% 72.0% 8.0% 52.0% 40.0% 7.5% 27.5% 65.0% 5.3% 63.2% 31.6%

 This has the same caveats as my last post on the subject, and some additonal notes:

Two of the male “passive dress” notes are in fact naked, both line drawings from chapter headings with the relevant bit carefully smudged out; one of these is a half-and-half, with the left half of the body naked and the other in full plate. I listed it as two different images. One passive stance is Krusk, the iconic barbarian, as the iconic cleric Jozan steps on his head to climb a cliff–Krusk may be helping, but one of the definitions of “passive” we’re using is “doesn’t want to be doing this”, and Krusk has a look of pain on his face. Lidda, the rogue, shown as an example of what happens when Use Magic Device goes wrong, was listed as passive; she is active when dodging a ray because she’s being attacked but is doing something about it. None of the miniatures in the combat chapter are listed because they’re hard to identify as humanoid, much less male or female, just by looking at them. The small figure blocked by prismatic wall seems to be male, but I could be wrong, and is listed as passive. The target of raise dead is about as passive as it’s possible to get, and was listed as such.

Images

Was poking around and found an interesting article on images of women in game materials.  So I decided to do a little data collection of my own, using roughly the same guidelines that the person who wrote the article used.

A few changes and notes: Where the image was a picture of an example character with stats, I checked the text for gender if it wasn’t glaringly obvious; the original checks did not allow this.  There were a couple of examples (e.g. the dervish) in which female characters were wearing basically bikinis, but were engaged in combat; I listed this as active dress if the class was one that did not depend on armor for defense (didn’t provide armor proficiency, had Evasion, etc).  By analogy, men in fur loincloths were also described as being in active dress.  There were a bunch of pictures of things like trolls, where I felt unable to guess gender despite an overall masculine feel; I listed these as unknown, which led to instances–again, the dervish–in which figures that probably should have been counted as male were in passive poses, but weren’t counted.  Bahamut, Tiamat and Lolth were listed (and coded as being in neutral dress) , as they all have definitive genders though none is strictly humanoid.  The picture of the knight protector includes a figure who is pointing in a way that implies “the trouble is over there”; I listed it as passive since it didn’t seem to be intending to help.  The Red Wizard being guarded by the Thayan knight was likewise called passive, along with all characters worshipping Tiamat.  There was one character noted as female because it appeared to be Lidda, the iconic rogue. 

Complete Warrior (Dec 2003): 

female male unknown female dress passive female dress neutral female dress active female stance passive female stance neutral female stance active male dress passive male dress neutral male dress active male stance passive male stance neutral male stance active
39 78 58 0 2 36 3 13 22 0 8 67 12 29 35
22.3% 44.6% 33.1% 0% 5.3% 94.7% 7.9% 34.2% 57.9% 0% 10.7% 89.3% 15.8% 38.2% 46.1%

 

 Complete Divine (May 2004):  

female male unknown female dress passive female dress neutral female dress active female stance passive female stance neutral female stance active male dress passive male dress neutral male dress active male stance passive male stance neutral male stance active
39 43 30 1 10 28 4 10 25 1 6 32 8 15 21
34.8% 38.4% 26.8% 2.6% 25.6% 71.8% 10.3% 25.6% 64.1% 2.6% 15.4% 82.1% 18.2% 34.1% 47.7%

All in all, this is not bad.  The two instances of passive dress, for example, are a succubus and a man in a straitjacket, though one might argue that the rainbow servant should also count.  The overwhelming preponderance of active dress and stance are easily ascribed to the nature of the pictures; they are designed to showcase classes and actions.  Most passive pictures were chapter headings or the opponents of the main character, such as the drunken master’s bar brawl and Hennet’s webbed ghosts.  There are still more men than women, but the women are in general doing things–though, oddly, the only people shown casting healing spells are male.

I have other D&D books I’d like to check, including the PHB, the Epic Level Handbook, Manual of the Planes, Heroes of Battle, Complete Arcane and Complete Adventurer.