Friday, July 26, 2013

Discussion: How Do You Determine Character Sex?

Yesterday's post brought up a couple of things, including 2 comments about how gender bending is common in folks groups. With that in mind, I figured I'd ask today how folks determine their character's sex?

Personally, I tend towards one of two methods. The first method is if when I have the concept for the character it is very strongly present in my mind with one sex or the other I will tend to go with that. Now, for this to happen that image has to stay immutable while contemplating the character over a day or two. Not as strenuous as it may sound considering how frequently I think about characters and how long it usually is between conceptualization of a character and actually building stat blocks.

However, sometimes a strong presence of one sex or the other doesn't stand out. The character could go either way. For those I look to percentile dice. I default to a 60% chance for a male character. This comes from the old random character generation in Heroes Unlimited 2nd Ed Revised from way back in the 90s, but it has always stuck with me. Then I add 5% either way for every character of one sex or the other. So, for example, if I were to do the roll right now there would be a 75% chance of a male character because my last 3 characters have been female but the one before was male.

This second method seems kind of silly spelling it out. I mean, why not just acknowledge the trend and go against it? And honestly, I'm not sure. I like leaving it to chance. Often times different aspects of a character get accentuated if it is a male or a female character for a lot of the concepts, and I don't just want to shut the possibility of them away just because I am on a streak.

So how about you? Anyone with strange rituals? Anyone just swap off? How about just keeping all your characters to one sex or the other? Sound off in the comments.


  1. I default to male characters, my GMs don't even ask any more. The players I know who gender bend all go for the character concept-method and don't leave it to the dice.

  2. I tend to gravitate towards female characters, partly because no one else in my groups tends to play them. But I will go with whatever has the strongest concept when I build the character. And on the rare occasion that I do not have a strong feeling one way or the other, I roll a die.

  3. I tend to play characters that I'm thinking about introducing in campaigns I DM in. This helps me flesh out ideas about their character and give me ideas on how I will use/introduce them in the campaign.