Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable


Although the central place for design discussion is ##crawl-dev on freenode, some may find it helpful to discuss requests and suggestions here first.

Tomb Titivator

Posts: 909

Joined: Thursday, 3rd January 2013, 20:32

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 09:49

Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

Why should mermaids get to have all the mesmerizing fun?

Sirens I get: it's a mythical creature, traditionally female, that sings an enchanting song to lure sailors to their deaths. But mermaids don't have the same direct association with mesmerism, as far as I know. And as long as the game considers sirens to be a separate species, I have to wonder why it is that Crawl contains mermaids who can mesmerize the player, and merfolk who cannot.

Frankly, I suspect it is the unintentional result of sexist and heteronormative assumptions.

Merfolk are obviously mermen. The gender-neutral catchall "folk" is here co-opted to normalize the masculine, as though the default sex for any mer-person is male. Meanwhile the mer-females' femininity is explicitly called out, then used to marginalize them into a separate, gender-specified group. The label "maid" conjures a patronizing history of servitude towards, and sexual repression and/or exploitation by, men: the barmaid, the milkmaid, the (presumably virgin) handmaiden -- all are routinely sexualized as objects of male fantasy, and historically lack significant social and economic power. The mermaid of Crawl is no different. Scantily clad, she is clearly a lesser warrior than the better-armed merfolk (to say nothing of the impaler, javelineer, or aquamancer). In fact, the only thing that makes her dangerous at all is her alluring femininity, which the player -- who, apparently, is assumed to be a heterosexual man -- cannot resist.

What about the hetero women or gay men who play Crawl? Where is the sexy merman whose alluring masculinity will have the same mesmerizing effect?

Crawl does a lot of things right in the way of gender parity. The many feminine Uniques are a testament to the variety of roles and personalities that can be embodied by female characters when the effort is made to craft them as whole individuals -- even in a game where concepts like "story" and "character" often verge on abstraction. I love that many of the enemies that most terrify me in this game are women.

On the other hand, I also like that Crawl's monsters are, for the most part, ungendered. The majority of humanoid monster species, including gnolls, kobolds, centaurs, elves, ogres and trolls, look neither particularly masculine nor especially feminine (most of them just look ugly). This is even largely true of orcs, although the recent tiles update to single-strap robes for priests and wizards could be interpreted as a bit risque.

But the point is that there are precedents that suggest how to deal with the mer-sexism. We can fix this.

Therefore, be it proposed:

  • Mermaids should be merged with vanilla merfolk, so the nominally gender-neutral label "merfolk" would become truly gender-encompassing. The tile could be redesigned to be more gender-neutral, or they could have a 50/50 chance to generate with either of the existing tiles.
  • Any individual vanilla merfolk that would generate with throwing nets should instead have a 50/50 chance to generate with either nets or the Mesmerize ability. The odds could be higher or lower, of course -- the goal would be not to change the difficulty of Shoals in any meaningful way. So probably it should be more like (spawn rate of merfolk with nets)/(spawn rate of mermaids).
  • Stats for the merged species should be balanced between the two original species. They're already pretty similar, but mermaids grant almost twice as much XP -- presumably because Mesmerize can be so dangerous. I don't know if there's a way to tie the XP for an individual merfolk to whether or not they received Mesmerize in the coin toss, or whether it would need to be a single fixed number that reflected the overall risk posed by the merged species. Either way, I'm sure it can be balanced to minimize the effect of the change.
Wins (Does not include my GrEE^Veh 15-runer...stupid experimental branch)

For this message the author tedric has received thanks: 9
Arrhythmia, Ataraxzy, duvessa, ElectricAlbatross, evktalo, Lasty, nicolae, pumpyscump, TeshiAlair

Halls Hopper

Posts: 85

Joined: Sunday, 15th April 2012, 08:40

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 10:20

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

omg, is this crazy yiuf?

FR: add elf chicks so minmay will actually advise doing elf.

Tomb Titivator

Posts: 832

Joined: Wednesday, 17th April 2013, 13:28

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 10:24

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

RIP easy mermaids.

The easier fix is to simply rename mermaid to something else, e.g. merfolk mesmeriser (I'm bad with names) and change the description. I guess the tiles would still be a problem? Maybe make them more androgynous?

Interestingly, I always thought aquamancers were female (probably because of Ilsuiw) and I don't play tiles much so I never notice. Console reasons: play console for a more gender-equitable experience.

For this message the author DracheReborn has received thanks: 2
duvessa, tedric

dck

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1650

Joined: Tuesday, 30th July 2013, 11:29

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 10:26

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

is this thread for real

For this message the author dck has received thanks: 2
Bloax, Cheibrodos

Spider Stomper

Posts: 195

Joined: Monday, 25th April 2011, 20:48

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 10:57

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

I support this proposal, for real

For this message the author ElectricAlbatross has received thanks:
tedric

Sar

User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6418

Joined: Friday, 6th July 2012, 12:48

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 11:02

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

gender binarism ugh

what about trans* merpersons

For this message the author Sar has received thanks:
tedric

Dis Charger

Posts: 2064

Joined: Wednesday, 9th January 2013, 19:44

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 11:12

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

wrong subforum

Dungeon Master

Posts: 115

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 19:43

Location: Oulu, Finland

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 12:03

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

Gods are also ungendered in Crawl, and intentionally so. Crawl development has striven for some level of "gender neutrality", and I'll admit clearly gendered standard monsters (mermaids, edit: sirens) have bothered me a bit.

That said, conflating merfolks and mermaids and coin-tossing if they have Mesmerize or not does not sound like an elegant solution. I would try to keep track which of the merfolk, if there are several on screen, had the ability. edit: DracheReborn's suggestion for simple renaming and retiling the mermaid monster seems ok to me.

--Eino

For this message the author evktalo has received thanks:
tedric

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 29

Joined: Friday, 20th September 2013, 13:25

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 12:10

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

I sometimes wonder if GDD is some kind of secret scientific study on Poe's Law.

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1217

Joined: Sunday, 14th April 2013, 04:01

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 13:01

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

Yeah I agree with the "merfolk mesmerizer" option. It is also in more line with the race/job approach crawl takes to other monster types.
Three wins: Gargoyle Earth Elementalist of Ash, Ogre Fighter of Ru, Deep Dwarf Fighter of Makhleb (0.16 bugbuild :( )

For this message the author TeshiAlair has received thanks:
tedric

dck

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1650

Joined: Tuesday, 30th July 2013, 11:29

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 13:26

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

If anything were to happen at all, the only thing that I hope comes from this atrocity of a suggestion is the removal of sirens alongside their unique behavior and the introduction of some sort of completely bland merfolk hypnotist that is basically a mermaid with better HD but less so than a siren.
Note that gameplay-wise it is good to have two different sources of mesmerization, one drastically weaker than the other one (that is to say, if sirens behaved like mermaids and had no gimmicks they would be good enemies), so if gameplay is at all a consideration on these matters another politically correct version of the aforementioned merfolk hypnotist would be good.

Of course I don't think a perceived issue such as this warrants at all brutally butchering the flavor of shoals and severely impairing the clarity of the monsters it contains, which is something that has already seen enough damage lately.

For this message the author dck has received thanks: 3
Leafsnail, Tedronai, yokelz

Spider Stomper

Posts: 224

Joined: Monday, 19th November 2012, 04:56

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 13:55

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

The entire purpose for this thread is moot since this "alluring femininity" actually has nothing to do with mesmerization, "the mermaid chants a haunting song." That this is a powerful magical attack is made more apparent by the fact that you literally cannot move away from the mesmerization source, which would presumably be untrue of sexuality with all but the least robust of self-control. Especially when the source of this mesmerization proceeds to try to kill you.

Considering that mermaids are much more likely to kill you than plain merfolk I'm also not sure where you got the idea that they are inferior warriors. They are not "mermaid javelineers" or "mermaid aquamancers" I don't see how them not being experts at such skills is a complaint. In light of this, mermaids without specific training are actually more deadly than other merfolk.

So, considering you are not commenting on a monster marginalized by sexim but rather a powerful and dangerous warrior-enchantress, I have to assume that you are imputing your own presuppositions on sexes to these monsters.

Finally, Crawl is set in an entirely different, fictional universe. These cultures represented would have their own ideas on gender roles and the like. Applying our own values to them is silly.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 14:00

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

This is GDD, so I feel allowed to chime in. And my comment is: what the heck?

Gameplay > Interface > Flavour > Policital Correctness

For this message the author dpeg has received thanks: 14
Bloax, Cheibrodos, Implojin, Leafsnail, Marbit, moocowmoocow, onton, RBrandon, wesleyshaver, zrn and 4 more users

dck

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1650

Joined: Tuesday, 30th July 2013, 11:29

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 14:02

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

phew

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3160

Joined: Sunday, 5th August 2012, 14:52

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 14:08

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

I also have been bothered by the way merfolk are unnecessarily gendered in a way that no other race is, and I think that a straight-forward rename on mermaid is the best option: merfolk singer, merfolk mesmerizer, etc.

On a different note, I'm disappointed that so many of you have the initial reaction of "Someone wants less artificial gender binary? Crazy Yuif!" The dev team of Crawl have already done a lot to indicate that they support a game that's not specifically pegged to hetero-normative gender by making most monsters and gods gender-neutral, and by (recently) removing the beauty descriptors from all the female uniques -- descriptors that were not present for male uniques. Even if you don't support this goal, you should be able to acknowledge that the people building the game do.
Last edited by Lasty on Friday, 7th March 2014, 14:38, edited 1 time in total.

For this message the author Lasty has received thanks: 2
pumpyscump, tedric

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3160

Joined: Sunday, 5th August 2012, 14:52

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 14:13

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

dpeg: "political correctness" is a label that gets used to stifle any attempt to increase the ability of marginalized groups to act in the public sphere and be seen as fully capable individuals. The poster is just asking for the game not to unnecessarily reinforce stereotypes about masculine and feminine roles. As a side benefit to gameplay, it's not at all clear that a "mermaid" will mesmerize you, whereas it's quite clear that a "merfolk mesmerizer" would, and a "merfolk singer" would at least invite the player to check their description to see what they do.

For this message the author Lasty has received thanks: 5
archaeo, duvessa, pumpyscump, savageorange, tedric

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 14:14

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

I wonder if there is a console vs tiles divide here? To me, all these merfolk monsters are the same letter, with different colours. They have names, and I am happy with them because they relate to mythology (classical Greek mythology, so I am even happier).

For this message the author dpeg has received thanks:
tedric

dck

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1650

Joined: Tuesday, 30th July 2013, 11:29

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 14:15

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

Dowan is described as the cute one while Duvessa is "plain-looking" but I guess since that doesn't fit in this twisted vision of the descriptions of unique enemies that makes it somehow wrong to be attractive and female at the same time I should just ignore it. Of course there is no problem with Nergalle being ugly as sin.

For this message the author dck has received thanks:
Amnesiac

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1888

Joined: Saturday, 9th July 2011, 20:57

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 14:19

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

dck wrote:Dowan is described as the cute one while Duvessa is "plain-looking" but I guess since that doesn't fit in this twisted vision of the descriptions of unique enemies that makes it somehow wrong to be attractive and female at the same time I should just ignore it. Of course there is no problem with Nergalle being ugly as sin.


Nergalle isn't ugly as sin anymore: "A withered sorceress, exceptionally cruel even by orc standards."

Anyway I support the proposal of making merfolk gender-neutral (though I also know that it's not likely to actually happen).

For this message the author nicolae has received thanks:
tedric

dck

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1650

Joined: Tuesday, 30th July 2013, 11:29

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 14:23

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

It's funny because the racist part of the description is acceptable while the harmless statement about the orc in question being ugly is not.
Some crawlers.

For this message the author dck has received thanks: 2
Bloax, dpeg

Tomb Titivator

Posts: 832

Joined: Wednesday, 17th April 2013, 13:28

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 14:30

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

dpeg wrote:Gameplay > Interface > Flavour > Policital Correctness


FWIW, there is a gameplay improvement.

TeshiAlair wrote:Yeah I agree with the "merfolk mesmerizer" option. It is also in more line with the race/job approach crawl takes to other monster types.


It's not immediately clear that a mermaid is more dangerous than a plain merfolk, but it is established in the game that races with professions are more dangerous than plain ones (orc vs orc priest/wizard/warrior). So naming it a merfolk mesmeriser or whatever would be consistent with that.

To be honest, I'm amazed by the pushback. Minor suggestions to change flavour appear all the time, some get accepted, some don't, but this particular one seems to be pressing a lot of buttons.

For this message the author DracheReborn has received thanks:
tedric

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3160

Joined: Sunday, 5th August 2012, 14:52

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 14:34

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

dck, you're (intentionally?) missing the point about uniques: the problem isn't that female uniques were described as having a specific level of attractiveness, it's that female unique descriptions almost all mentioned a description of their level of attractiveness, while male uniques do not. The point is that the descriptions were rendered from a "male gaze" perspective in which females were almost always evaluated for attractiveness and males were not.
User avatar

Snake Sneak

Posts: 120

Joined: Monday, 21st February 2011, 02:43

Location: Tennessee

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 14:53

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

I propose Norris be described as a Hottie McHotterson.
The green ugly thing basks in the mutagenic energy from your post and changes!
User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 4358

Joined: Wednesday, 23rd October 2013, 07:56

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 14:57

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

Merfolk mesmerizer would be good.
DCSS: 77: ...SpWz{OgGlTrMo}{CeWnMfBeMiSk}DrEE{GrFiFoGl}DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}DDAr
HaCKSpAEGrTmDgFEDsCjGhMoHuVM{HaAMBaEn}{HuMoHOWn}DsWzDDHu{DgWnGnBe}FeIE
{MiEnMfCj}SpNeBaEEGrFE{HaAKTrCK}DsFESpHu{FoArNaBe}FeEE{HOIEMiAE}GrGlHuWrGnWr
Bloat: 4: RaRoPrPh{GuStGnCa

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 15:00

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

Lasty: My wife is working (earning more than me), we pay a lot of attention to avoid the pink trap for our daughter. Equal rights are important (and as I said somewhere else: misogyny is despicable and should be fought everywhere). All that said, I don't see *anything* wrong with mermaids and sirens. As long as they kill player characters like everyone else, who's to complain?
Last edited by dpeg on Saturday, 8th March 2014, 09:31, edited 1 time in total.

For this message the author dpeg has received thanks:
tedric

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3160

Joined: Sunday, 5th August 2012, 14:52

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 15:14

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

Dpeg: I didn't mean to impugn your commitment to gender equality. I only meant to draw attention to the way that "political incorrectness" is a phrase usually used to blow off concerns rather than substantively address them.

I actually don't really mind sirens, in part because they're a clear reference that relates to their in-game functionality. I'll restate my objection to mermaids, though:
Gameplay: What a "mermaid" does is not at all clear from its name.
Theme: Why should it be that only female merfolk can mesmerize, while only (implicitly) male ones can carry nets? Regardless of which gender is stronger or weaker, why should this race and this race alone have two roles distinguished by gender, while all other races have their roles distinguished by professions?

For this message the author Lasty has received thanks: 2
Ataraxzy, tedric
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 431

Joined: Tuesday, 13th September 2011, 17:34

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 15:18

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

Merge sirens and mermaids, calling the result "sirens." Why does Shoals need two mesmerizing monsters, one of which is completely non-threatening? Remove the maintain range thing; while they have you mesmerized they just stand still and shoot conjurations or throw stuff at you. Otherwise they do their best to stay in water.

dck

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1650

Joined: Tuesday, 30th July 2013, 11:29

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 15:38

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

@lasty: But Norris has a healthy tan, Frederick is svelte and Dowan is handsome -and there's nothing wrong with those descriptions. Changing Agnes into an old spriggan version of Harold with no characterization didn't improve her flavor and making the comically dressed Margery into a bland dragon armour clad fighter with a troubled childhood didn't do her any favor either. The only other uniques that brought up beauty without being explained by theme or race (Arachne and Kirke/Ilsuiyw and the Enchantress) were Josephine, Nergalle and Erica and this is not because of the "male gaze" crap you're hallucinating but because they are uniques with little flavor and making a statement about their basic appearance gives the player some idea of what to even imagine.
To give you some perspective, those were two out nineteen and one was described as such for comedy's sake.

@ontoclasm: Because they pose two different levels of threat and it's interesting to have an enemy that can be killed quickly and is only dangerous in conjunction with other monsters (which may not even need to be very dangerous themselves with the mermaid around) as well as an enemy that is tougher to kill, can actively pull you closer through your mesmerisation and is still dangerous when alone.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 15:46

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

In addition to what dck said, I think it's generally a good idea to have several monsters using the same mechanic: we have an early constrictor (so that by Snake you have seen the mechanic in a harmless version), we have monsters that go invisible before you meet the first always-invisible monsters etc.

Tomb Titivator

Posts: 853

Joined: Thursday, 29th August 2013, 18:39

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 15:52

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

I actually think an earlier mesmerizing monster would be cool, right now you may well see a siren before you see a mermaid. Mermaids would be out of place in D or lair, but maybe something else? "Hypnotic eye" or the like.

Also lol@this topic.

Mines Malingerer

Posts: 53

Joined: Thursday, 11th October 2012, 11:33

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 15:59

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

"The Scandinavian näcken, näkki, nøkk, nøkken, strömkarl,[5] Grim or Fosse-Grim were male water spirits who played enchanted songs on the violin, luring women and children to drown in lakes or streams."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neck_(water_spirit)

For this message the author Kalma has received thanks:
tedric

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 508

Joined: Tuesday, 1st November 2011, 00:36

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 16:23

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

I take it you know that mermaids are the actual mythological creature and merfolk are basically made up, right? There's also the fact that mermaids were also associated with shipwrecks.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3160

Joined: Sunday, 5th August 2012, 14:52

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 16:24

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

dck, I feel like you're trying to avoid understanding what I'm saying. Again, what I was saying wasn't about having descriptions that actually describe the unique, including their physical attributes. It was about how often the descriptions of female uniques specifically refer to their level of attractiveness as compared with male uniques. Before the description changes, the following female descriptions explicitly mentioned female attractiveness:

Arachne: "she has the youth and beauty of a human female"
Duvessa: "A plain-looking elven fighter"
The Enchantress: "A beautiful spriggan woman"
Erica: "A comely spellweaver."
Ilsuiw: "A cunning merfolk water-witch, who uses her beauty and spellcraft to draw unwitting adventurers to their deaths."
Josephine: "A hideous crone"
Kirke: "A beautiful enchantress."
Nergale: "A withered sorceress, exceptionally ugly even by orc standards."
Roxanne: "A beautiful sapphire statue of a famous earth mage who disappeared after a catastrophic spell failure."
(9/19)

And only the following male ones did:
Blork: "A particularly fat and ugly orc"
Dowan: "A beautiful but vain elf"
Ribbet: "A handsome prince before he was cursed"
(3/35)

Further, two of the female uniques had a description that consisted purely of a description of their attractiveness (Kirke, Erica). Overall 9/19 explicitly-female uniques had their attractiveness expressly defined, and only 3/35 explicitly-male uniques had their attractiveness defined.

For this message the author Lasty has received thanks: 4
archaeo, BobIsDead, duvessa, tedric
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 502

Joined: Wednesday, 7th March 2012, 13:25

Location: Lexington, KY, US

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 16:39

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

Merfolk are not male-only: Ilsuiw for example is a female merfolk, not a mermaid. I just removed some language in the description that could have implied that (and was unnecessarily gendered either way). Mermaids are a separate genus entirely (though they were considered related to player merfolk: I changed that).

The tiles should probably be changed to reinforce this.

For this message the author neil has received thanks: 4
archaeo, brendan, DracheReborn, tedric

dck

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1650

Joined: Tuesday, 30th July 2013, 11:29

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 16:43

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

Being svelte and being an 80s prototypical surfer doesn't count as a descriptions of attractiveness but saying that a statue is beautiful does, got it.
Ignoring all theme and connotations carried by simple things like race and name particular uniques draw from (Arachne and Kirke) is fallacious and not nice.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3160

Joined: Sunday, 5th August 2012, 14:52

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 16:58

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

If you're making the argument that we should include certain descriptions of physical traits as descriptions of physical attractiveness the list becomes something like 12/19 versus 6/35.

If you're making the point that of course the female uniques are expressly meant to be attractive because they're based on myths about attractive female characters, then why are you presupposing that only female mythological characters have defined levels of attractiveness?

Of course, that implies that I should take your argument at face value, when your clear message is that you have no interest in whether there's a gendered bias in Crawl, and even less interest in trying to address one if there were.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 634

Joined: Sunday, 22nd September 2013, 14:46

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 17:07

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

Calling a female unique ugly or beautiful is generally just an indication that there isn't much flavour there, in the same way that calling a male unique a mercenary used to mean. I think it's safe to say that there are a people here who, indeed, have no interest in whether there's a gender bias, given that gameplay should trump flavour in general.

For this message the author wheals has received thanks: 2
brendan, tedric

Tomb Titivator

Posts: 853

Joined: Thursday, 29th August 2013, 18:39

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 17:09

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

Why are you citing descriptions of woman uniques that were patched out, and not citing the descriptions of men that were patched out? That's pretty disingenuous. You could have made your point easily enough while being honest, why do you have to compare apples to oranges to make it look worse than it is?

You missed some that are still in as well:
Wiglaf - A fat dwarf wearing a stupid-looking hat.
Ijyb - A small and twisted goblin, wearing some ugly blue rags
Frederick - A svelte fighter-mage who wears a gold-rimmed monocle
Crazy Yiuf - A withered old gnoll with a long silver beard
Snorg - A particularly corpulent troll with a short temper and a sizable gut.

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 508

Joined: Tuesday, 1st November 2011, 00:36

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 17:23

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

Yeah if they've been patched out then surely that implies the problem has already been fixed.

Shoals Surfer

Posts: 280

Joined: Monday, 17th December 2012, 16:04

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 17:28

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

Phaw too bad, the only reason for reading the discriptions in this game were the jokes and the blatant disregard for political correctness.
aka: Innameasone and electricaloddity

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1217

Joined: Sunday, 14th April 2013, 04:01

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 17:46

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

Is anyone actually going to argue that merfolk mesmerizer is more clear than mermaid? FFS if mermaid matters that much, name it mermaid mesmerizer.

Also, anyone else want to make Terrence the sexy male unique and give him mesmerize so that early players can get exposure to mesmerize?

Aside on the Dowan/Duvessa thing: I've always super appreciated that the female character here was the tougher fighter, but Dowan was the frail mage.
Three wins: Gargoyle Earth Elementalist of Ash, Ogre Fighter of Ru, Deep Dwarf Fighter of Makhleb (0.16 bugbuild :( )

For this message the author TeshiAlair has received thanks:
tedric

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 16

Joined: Saturday, 18th December 2010, 02:10

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 18:09

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

I don't care for the gender talk, but I do like the idea of 1) making Terence less dull and 2) introducing mesmerize earlier. Something along the lines of:

  Code:
A dashing but slightly unhinged bard, Terence uses his magically alluring voice to lure fledgling adventurers into the bone shattering blows of his trusty mace.


Maybe give him a codpiece or something too.

For this message the author psyshvl has received thanks: 2
tedric, TeshiAlair

Blades Runner

Posts: 552

Joined: Tuesday, 10th April 2012, 21:11

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 18:19

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

This leads us to a more serious problem: the discriminatory abundance of phallic shaped weapons. Name me one soft, curvy shaped weapon. Am I supposed to believe that women are not as capable of killing as men? What kind of message does this send to impressionable children? I get it, it's a man's world *sigh*, but we're not living in the stone age any more last time I checked.

For this message the author moocowmoocow has received thanks:
Sandman25

dck

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1650

Joined: Tuesday, 30th July 2013, 11:29

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 18:41

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

Only if he gets actual lyrics about how much he's gonna beat you up with his mace.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3160

Joined: Sunday, 5th August 2012, 14:52

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 18:49

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

johlstei wrote:Why are you citing descriptions of woman uniques that were patched out, and not citing the descriptions of men that were patched out? That's pretty disingenuous.


I'm going to try saying this one more time: I only included explicit references to the attractiveness of the unique. I excluded other descriptors that could be taken to imply a level of attractiveness (svelte, lithe, nimble, fat, scarred, etc.). I'm talking about pre-patch because this is all in relation to my assertion that one of the motivators for the physical description change that did happen was to address this (and I may have been wrong about that motivation -- I am just inferring).

This is becoming more and more of a distraction from the main topic of the discussion. No one has actually offered a good reason not to name mermaids to something that actually highlights what they do instead of just highlighting their gender.

Abyss Ambulator

Posts: 1205

Joined: Friday, 8th November 2013, 17:02

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 18:58

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

When proposing a change, the onus is on you to offer a good reason to make a change, not on everyone else to come up with reasons not to.

That said, it makes no difference to me whatsoever if they're called "mermaids" or "Mer-people, who, although they appear effeminate, may be male or female, also they can mesmerize you"

Also, all merfolk are male? Where does the game say that?

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 16

Joined: Saturday, 18th December 2010, 02:10

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 19:01

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

Mermaids and sirens kill sailors by luring them into drowning with their singing in mythology, Mermaids and sirens kill adventurers by luring them into stabbings with their singing in Crawl. It is not that much of a leap in logic, and I'm pretty sure their ingame descriptions make this clear. No one is confused about what they do when they first encounter one in Crawl unless they've lived under a rock, in which case they probably don't get what any of the enemies in Crawl are in the first place.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3160

Joined: Sunday, 5th August 2012, 14:52

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 19:02

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

damiac wrote:When proposing a change, the onus is on you to offer a good reason to make a change, not on everyone else to come up with reasons not to.


Read the thread before posting. Reasons were already given. Some gave responses against making the change but w/o reasons.

damiac wrote:Also, all merfolk are male? Where does the game say that?

It doesn't, as of two and a half hours ago.
http://s-z.org/neil/git/?p=crawl.git;a=commitdiff;h=9730105c08dd

dck

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1650

Joined: Tuesday, 30th July 2013, 11:29

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 19:03

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

@damiac: See if you want to keep your paranoia going you have to cling to what you can, so you have to work with tiles being cannon and thus making every single enemy merfolk is a dude just like every ogre that isn't erolcha is a dude.

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 508

Joined: Tuesday, 1st November 2011, 00:36

Post Friday, 7th March 2014, 19:10

Re: Proposal: Make monster mer* more gender-equitable

Lasty wrote:This is becoming more and more of a distraction from the main topic of the discussion. No one has actually offered a good reason not to name mermaids to something that actually highlights what they do instead of just highlighting their gender.
I can't tell if you're being willfully dense or just ignorant, but "mermaid" doesn't just highlight their gender. It links them to the mythology of mermaids, creatures generally regarded as ill omens who sink ships. "Merfolk Mesmerizer" by contrast is just clunky and has no real basis in anything.

For this message the author Leafsnail has received thanks: 2
Bloax, dck
Next

Return to Game Design Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by ST Software for PTF.