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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 55 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Trollbabe- the feminine touch  (Read 2388 times)
James V. West
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« on: February 23, 2002, 10:43:02 PM »

I was just thinking...Trollbabe is the first rpg I've ever seen that actually limits you to one gender. So this seems to be a game that's all about girl power, yet written by a man. Is there some kind of disconcordance in here somewhere? I don't think there is. He's already stated in another post that the best critics and editors are female. I'm sure he's already put the game idea up against a stalwart female screening panel to determine if it's hitting its intended goal or not.

But I was telling a friend a little about it and his first response was that it sounded cheesecakey. Now, this response was based almost totally on the game's title and after I explained what I knew of it in more depth, he was impressed with the idea.

This has been touched on in another thread, but I wondered if anyone had any further insights or opinions about it. The game has not been released so we all know very little about it. But based on the teaser info, what is your feeling about the game's premise? Sufficiently female-empowered? Too narrowly focused? Or perhaps the female aspect doesn't really matter to you. In that case, what do you make of the actual rules? The idea of setting scale--and that scale can then never be changed? The value and use of relationships to accomplish what you want out of the story?

I see the trollbabes as a bridge between the uncivilized world of trolls and the civilized world of humans. They seem to represent the highest potential of both peoples, yet, from what I've seen so far, don't necessarily occupy an exclusively high standing among either race (am I getting this right, Ron?).
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Valamir
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2002, 11:54:43 PM »

I'm similiarly puzzled James.  The more I hear about the game the more intrigued I become, but I'm left wondering...what of what we have heard so far really needs to be restricted to *female* Trolls and what is the point (besides raising eyebrows) of the title?

I can't help but wonder if the idea of a game called "trollbabe" where everyone plays a female troll wasn't some late night somewhat tongue in cheek brainstorm and that now the game might have grown past its somewhat cheesy origin.

Or, it may just be that the title and female orientation are actually vital and closely tied to the nature of the game in ways that have yet to be revealed.

I'm certainly waiting to hear more.
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Ben Morgan
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2002, 12:31:44 AM »

As one of the people who's doing artwork for the game, Ron has placed an enormous amount of trust in me by providing me with what I'm guessing is a first draft of the rules (it might even be in the "pre-draft" stage, I'm not sure).

At the risk of talking out of turn, the rules are, in short, absolutely fantastic. Ron has firmly re-established his well-deserved position as Cult Master and Grand Champion of Revolutionary Roleplaying Concepts(tm).

From what I can tell, the scale can be changed from adventure to adventure (usually, though, I would guess it generally goes up, starting at a one-on-one level and slowly working its way up to epic-level), and is a terrific mechanic.

As far as appeal to a female audience, I wouldn't be the best judge, as I'm estrogen-impaired :). However, Ron has stated in the artist's guidelines that he'd like us to lay off the big boobs, and that in itself I feel is a big first step in the right direction.
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-----[Ben Morgan]-----[ad1066@gmail.com]-----
"I cast a spell! I wanna cast... Magic... Missile!"  -- Galstaff, Sorcerer of Light
Tim Denee
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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2002, 02:50:14 AM »

Have you seen the episode of Futurama where they crash-land on the planet of the gigantic barbaric women?

Every time trollbabe is mentioned I'm taken back to it.


Neanderthalic woman: "This our comedy club. Humor here funny in different ways. It not reinforce stereotype. Comedy come from character, real situation, not abstract craziness"
Bender: "Translation: boring"


FemPuter: "DEATH!"
Fry and Zap: "Oh no!"
FemPuter: "BY SNOO-SNOO!"
Fry and Zap: "Yes! Woohoo!"
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James V. West
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2002, 05:41:36 AM »

Quote from: Valamir

Or, it may just be that the title and female orientation are actually vital and closely tied to the nature of the game in ways that have yet to be revealed.


I think we can trust Ron to make sure that there's a reason we're playing female trolls only. So far, the game is sounding wonderful. I love the idea of playing only female characters and only female trolls specifically. It's a fantasy game, but all notions of a multitude of classes and races are remeoved because we know up front what form our character will take. And it seems like we'll have an infinite amount of space to play with regarding our characters within the provided framework.
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Dav
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2002, 12:34:05 AM »

Having played the game twice now, I must say that there is a definitive reason for playing only females.  That reason is quite simply: image.  

Well, actually, there is also the fish-out-of-water theory, the unbalancing impact of playing cross-gender for men, and the smug happy impressions of women watching men struggle with it, as well as the fact that a chance to go WAAAY over the top with not only racial conflicts (think one-drop theory, you are too human to trolls and too troll to humans), but also with gender biases prevalent in fantasy-game thought makes you more than a weapon-toting badass with a bone to pick.  Besides, women are better at relationships, which the game revolves around.  

That and subtle reinforcement of female stereotypes within character creation creates a HUGE conflict between character concept goals and character process goals, which is what gives everything the hilarious-yet-serious mein pervasive in the Trollbabe universe.

Besides, guy trolls suck.

Dav
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2002, 06:24:54 AM »

Hello,

First, I would greatly appreciate it if people would not wander up to someone and say, "Trollbabe!" and then come back and say, "He didn't like the title." No one has seen the finished game. This kind of sound-byte whaddayathink is a waste of our time.

I should like to remind you that "Sorcerer" was considered a lousy title by anyone who heard it, backed up by about eight reasons that I heard over and over. I did not ask anyone on this forum whether Trollbabe is a good title. I also do not think discussions of titles in isolation is a useful issue.

Second, James has misquoted me. I do not think women are necessarily better critics or editors than men. I do think that consulting a number of women, especially non-gamers, is an excellent tactic for judging artwork and layout.

Third ... and related to the pre-judgment thing ... I am not disposed to discuss any gender issues regarding Trollbabe. Absolutely no revelations about "what Ron means" by this game are forthcoming. I will clarify some things: (1) characters are not female trolls, (2) all player-characters are female, (3) the game has no "behavioral" attributes (ie psychological descriptors or scores), and (4) the game's reward system is totally customized by the player, through play itself.

As for any judgments or wonderings about the game based on title or anything else, please restrict them to the issues of play that have been revealed, rather than speculating.

Best,
Ron

Editing this in: it's possible that some people missed http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1455">this post in which I discuss the issue of the Scale of adventures.
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James V. West
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2002, 01:27:26 PM »

Certainly didn't mean to misquote you, Ron. You have my apologies. I don't even remember what thread it was on that you mentioned finding that women have a great sense of what works best, but you did mention it here at The Forge. Perhaps I should have used the word "good" instead of "better". ;-)

I started this thread for one reason: I find the game very intriguing and I wanted to hear what others were thinking. The other posts hadn't generated many comments and I thought I'd toss a log on the fire. I just talked about the few ideas from it that had been on my mind, such as the title and the single-gender orientation. No big deal.

over and out

JVW

P.S. I feel the need to clarify one more thing. I've never engaged in a discussion specifically about the game's title with anyone. But upon mentioning the game to a friend, he did responded first to the title. But he's a bit cranky anyway.
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Valamir
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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2002, 01:49:25 PM »

Yeah, I certainly didn't want to step on any toes with my comments.

Where I was trying to go is simply this.

I've seen a post on some really cool sounding mechanics involving stakes and scale and building networks of relationships.

I've seen other posts describing Female Trolls with largely human features except for their horns, etc, and how the game is called "Trollbabe" specifically to create some juxtaposition of psychology stuff I don't really understand but sounds interesting.

What I haven't seen, and maybe we won't see until the game is released, is anything that specifically ties the two together.  What is it about Trolls, and Female Trolls that allow them to tie into the game mechanics better than say playing a feudal Knight trying to negotiate complicated family and liege relationships (which admittedly would pique my interest at first blush more than female trolls).

My musings (which have been answered) was whether this was a kernal of a game idea that grew into something far larger than it was originally intended to be.  That is clearly not the case, so now I shall await the eventual revelation of the "missing link", whether here in the Forums, or in the eventual game itself.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2002, 01:57:53 PM »

Ah. Nicely stated, Ralph.

The missing link is the relationship mechanic, which is central to character improvement. It improves the character's effectiveness by providing more "re-roll" capability. This capability is very important in play, as it is customized by the player, in each conflict, to determine the risk factor of the resolution system.

More importantly, since trollbabes start with NO relationships, the player has full power to determine what sort of relationships the character develops - which then in turn plays directly into the character's mode of dealing with problems.

As for what this has to do with being 6'10" with horns, and substantially female, and being continually identified with Group A by Group B, and with Group B by Group A ... well, OK, let's say that it connects up nicely for people who've seen it.

Oh, and James, no harm done. I appreciate your concerns, and I'm very happy with how the game provides answers, or at least context, for dealing with them. I'd simply rather that the game do so, as opposed to (say) me doing so.

Best,
Ron

Editing this in: Trollbabes are not female trolls. Male and female trolls exist; male and female humans exist; trollbabes are female but neither human nor troll (or both, as you see fit).
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Valamir
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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2002, 02:09:23 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards

As for what this has to do with being 6'10" with horns, and substantially female, and being continually identified with Group A by Group B, and with Group B by Group A ... well, OK, let's say that it connects up nicely for people who've seen it.


Well I look forward to seeing it.

From the sounds of it the concept should be quite adaptable.  There are many Group A / Group B situations out there.

I'm thinking something around the time of Ivanhoe, with Saxon nobles who are too Norman for their Saxon Families and too Saxon to ever be truely accepted by the Normans, striving to put together their own network of supporters and forge new family alliances.

Or again a similiar situation in Spain during the reconquesta, or heck, the lot of immigrants in the 20th century U.S.

Alot of ground for sharp social commentary in the guise of fantasy adventure there it sounds like.
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