I put an update up over at the Nefertiti Overdrive Kickstarter page about the use of alternate characters and genders. For those of you not backing Nefertiti Overdrive yet (wait, you haven’t back my Kickstarter yet? Thanks. Thanks a lot) this is what I wrote:
If you’ve downloaded the preview characters (the link is in Update #1, available only to backers) you will have seen that each character has an alternate of the opposite gender. Sometimes, the name has been changed (from Princess to Priest), sometimes it’s just the backstory (the Spartan and the Spartan) and some are greater diversions (the Amazon and the Scythian or the Monk and the Keralite).
I know that many role-players are cool playing whatever gender (my all-male group in Ottawa is playing an all-female PC group), but sometimes people have likes or dislikes when it comes to genders. The alternate characters allow players to choose a role without worrying about the gender. If a guy wants to play the Leader, but doesn’t want to play a female PC, he can play the Priest.
But there are no mechanical differences. Those Qualities and their ranks are linked to the roles, not the genders. I’m not necessarily trying to make a statement, I just want to make it easy for everyone to play in a way that is comfortable for them. The adventure “Crossing the Millers” for Sword Noir has a love triangle at its centre, but I try to stress in the opening that the genders and sexuality of the characters are fluid – they have defaults, but the important parts are their roles and their relationships.
I’ve been able to do one better here, by providing both genders.
Now, go back my Kickstarter! Do it now!