See Page XX: October 2011

October is by far the best month of the year, not only for the prevelance of pumpkins but also for the gentle underlying feeling of ‘I want to be scared this month’. Of course, at Pelgrane Towers, every month feels like this when dealing with the Mythos but for those outside, we have lined up some tasty, terrifying treats for you. First up is the monthly round-up of all things Pelgrane from Simon Rogers. Then we have an extract from Adrian Bott’s RPG Miscellany on how to make the most of your in-game failures. A guide through the narrative construction process of DramaSystem by Robin D Laws. A short Trail of Cthulhu demo game from Steve Dempsey, perfect for introducing players to GUMSHOE. Check out the new playtesting opportunities for October. 8 new desktop wallpapers and a Design Your Own Apocalypse Competition with fantastic prizes.

Articles

Out Now

  • Hell Fire by Adam Gauntlett, Trail of Cthulhu scenario set in 18th century London.
  • Lorefinder print pre-order, by Gareth Hanrahan, combining the GUMSHOE System with Pathfinder
  • Invasive Procedures print pre-order, by Gareth Hanrahan, in celebration of Halloween, our scariest scenario is coming to print.

Page XX Poll

What kind of language do you prefer in roleplaying books?

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8 Responses to “See Page XX: October 2011”

  1. Ralf Schemmann says:

    As for language, I like a mostly even split between male and female pronouns, such as when the GM is referred to as “she” and players as “he”.

  2. Dae says:

    An even spread of male/female

  3. Steve says:

    I really hate it when I read stuff like “A player can choose to keep her result or roll again,” when “keep their result” works just fine and leaves the gender determination to the reader.

    White Wolf mixes the he’s and she’s all the freaking time and I find it very distracting.

    If it’s a sample RP session, however, it’s great to represent both genders in the example. E.g. “Helen rolls an 18, handily beating Rob’s pathetic roll of 4. Now that her character has won the arm-wrestling contest…” etc.

  4. Christopher says:

    Love the white wolf method of alternating between male and female. Perhaps not a coincidence that their games were the first where I saw about an even mix of male and female players and gms.

  5. John says:

    If you use plural nouns, they are gender neutral. Please don’t mix singular verbs and plural nouns, which is much more distracting, and grammatically incorrect, than switching between he and she.

  6. AndrewTBP says:

    I like the convention that GMs are female and players are male like in HeroQuest 2.

  7. Christopher Smith Adair says:

    I prefer gender neutrality or inclusion, and ideally, this should be done with as little grammatical contortion as possible. If the sentence can be written with plural pronouns, then “they” works great.

    If a non-specific term like GM, Investigator, PC, and NPC can be used, then that’s great. I’m happy to see “he or she” or “him or her,” though I realize that can get burdensome. I prefer the pronouns to agree; I’m not fond of something like, “The Investigator can use their…,” but it’s preferable to “The Investigator can use his….” I’ve no desire to see “s/he.”

  8. Philip Minchin says:

    Actually, using plural nouns as gender-neutral placeholders has a long and respectable grammatical pedigree. I’ve also seen turn-of-the-20th-century children’s books which use “it” when referring to a person (child) of indeterminate sex, as in “Jane, Timmy and the Brat shook their heads; each held its own hanky tightly and refused to share” or similar. (It sounds weird now though.)

    As a rule, I prefer gender-neutral language when speaking in general terms (which in modern usage means they/them/their) and approximately-alternating male and female (with attention to equal distributions!) when speaking of specific people. The GM/player split mentioned above is a good place for this – again assuming there’s a fair mix of both genders in both roles. I also don’t mind the use of iconic characters’ genders in class description material, such as Wizards and Paizo have done in the past.

    I hate punctuation in my pronouns too. It’s better than sexism, but there are superior alternatives.

    Finally, I don’t mind non-traditional pronouns if it makes sense for the person described, and I think there’s room for such people to be visible in gaming material.

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