Species/Gender Ability Modifiers

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by C. J. Williams

Be warned. This article explores waters that have caused disturbance on many occasions. That being said, and this being a public magazine, the Star Frontiersman cannot be held responsible for views expressed in this article.

It’s no secret that there are differences between the genders of the Human race both physical and mental. These differences are spoken about often. Science has shown that over all, women are a bit smarter than men in general understanding of the things around them. Likewise, though there are very strong women out there, women are generally not as strong, physically, as men (I speak of how much they are able to lift, pull or push). Technically, we could give modifiers (bonuses and penalties) to both genders up and down the ability list. Women clearly have higher bodily dexterity, men are better at hard logic (something many woman will admit), men have stronger leadership skills, but women have more likeable personalities over all. But to list modifiers for each and every one of these for both genders would be impractical. So several questions arise about how we can accomplish recognizing the differences to the satisfaction of everyone.

It can be noted that it is not that women’s getting a negative modifier to strength in other gaming systems irritates women that calls to mind the word “sexist”, it's that there's nothing that gives them a bonus in another area, or gives men a negative modifier in an area to balance out the equation, thus demonstrating extreme sexism. Women are equal to men, not in every way (sometimes better, sometimes not as good), but in that the differences balance out, which women have fought hard to prove for a very long time.

So, in the interest of fairness, it was considered giving both genders either 1) bonuses to one ability for Females and a different one for Males, or 2) penalties in the converse. That would help, but then this proves a disadvantage or advantage to Dralasites not having those gender modifiers, depending on which is used. Applying a bonus and a penalty to each of both genders solves this, but is a little too much in the stat modifier area. So then both a bonus and a penalty need to be applied to just one gender. On that matter, women might not like the adjustments going to them, because the adjustments are always shoved off on the women. However, when you apply the bonus to men, a woman of a stronger opinion might think "that should have been applied to us in the converse so that we go above normal in a stat, men always get to go above normal". Additionally, the Human male was used as the base of all the stats to begin with. In the end, this actually makes the Human Male look very bland. These things being so, rest assured these have not just been shoved off on women, but gives women the opportunity to rise above the norm with the bonus. That brings us to the following.

Human females are most known for having "women's intuition". This meshes with the fact that women always seem to know things that men are just clueless about no matter how coldly logical a man is. Thus, the human females get +5 to Intuition and -5 to Strength. That covers the most obvious differences between the sexes and gives women a leg up in intelligence over men and recognizes their inherent limit in physical strength in comparison.

Now we have to consider whether gender affects the alien races. Dralasites have no clear distinctions between male and female. In fact, each Dralasite experiences being male, female, and androgynous during different stages in their life, so they get no adjustments. Vrusks, also, could be unadjusted as they seem to be depicted as having little difference between Vrusk genders in the AD rules. Now with Yazirians one would think that the males should get the adjustments to offset the Human females getting them, but when they are given such modifiers, then we really offbalance the Yazarian male in comparison to the other races, because we can’t reduce their deficiency in strength or stamina for their small stature, so we would end up increasing one of the other bonuses. Therefore, since Female Yazirians are larger than male Yazirians, we can give them a Strength modifier (which might earn the plaudits and appreciation of women and become an attractive solution to the above difference if it seems unpalatable) and a penalty to Dexterity for their size.

With that being said, below is what is hoped to be a fair and balanced Racial Gender Ability Modifier Table below:

Dralasite +5 +5 +0 +0 +0 +0 -5 -5
Human Female* -5 +0 +5 +0 +0 +0 +0 +0
Human Male* +0 +0 +0 +0 +0 +0 +0 +0
Vrusk -5 -5 +0 +0 +5 +5 +0 +0
Yazirian Female -5 -10 +5 +5 +0 +5 +0 +0
Yazirian Male -10 -10 +5 +5 +5 +5 +0 +0
* Human characters, both male and female, still get +5 to any one ability score. These points apply to only one ability, not to both abilities in a pair.

It is the hope and intention that this table presents a proper recognition of sexual differences without insult. Please address any comments or complaints about this article to “C. J. Williams” care of Bill_Logan@MyWay.com.