I don’t find the answer after so I post here.
I am a french GM, I own both french and english core rules and I will begin my campaign in a week.
The player who play the captain whant to have a trait “pretty”, I have searched my books ans saw no rules to gain traits except the species (his character is human) and maybe an handicap (like Jordie’s VISOR).
Should I allow it ?
Thanks & regards,
First: Welcome to the club.
Regarding the trait: You might want to re-read page 76 of the core rules (desolée; je n’ai pas les règles en francais) where traits are defined.
In principle, players can have personal traits and are actively encouraged to make suggestions to the GM on new traits. But. I think a personal trait should be neutral and neither an advantage nor a complication. Simply, for balancing reasons. Take Geordie’s Visor. Of course, he can see a spectrum much wider than most other species (and certainly most humans), but if taken from him or damaged, he is completely blind.
Regarding the “pretty” trait, I have some reservations. I, personally, would probably not allow it, because it brings sexism in my game as a regular trope. I had this before, I did not like it very much. But this is up to you and your group. Please discuss this with your players, before you allow it.
(Besides, since you used “he/his” for your captain’s player: If he’s playing a cis-male, the appropriate trait would probably be “handsome”; some Americans once told me that “pretty” is for females and “handsome” for males. May the native speakers around correct me, please!)
Thanks for your answer, yes you are right about sexism, I haven’t thought about it.
While the sexism thing is huge as a reason to not allow it. I would also say it is too vague in a star trek sense…out of the thousands of sentient species in the galaxy all of their standards of “pretty” are vastly different i know the show portrays even that klingons have found human females repulsive and to an andorian she very well would hold no sex apeal and be hideous without antennae. So human “pretty” willi not get you anywhere either
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Given that Star Trek began as a TV show, and is thus always influenced by the Hollywood aesthetic (and Gene Roddenberry’s opinions regarding women and sexuality, plus the influences of other producers in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s), it feels almost a given that the cast of a Star Trek game should be attractive anyway - there’s always been an element of sex appeal in Trek, with a variety of intentions and end results (Grace Lee Whitney, the actress who played Yeoman Rand, pushed for the design of the now-iconic TOS uniform… but then we get to the likes of Seven of Nine and T’Pol, wearing uncomfortable skin-tight catsuits for unconvincing reasons).
So, in that light, a character with an Attractive trait (or some other synonym of it) would need to stand out, even amongst that general background level - they’re not just “pretty” or “handsome” or whatever, they’re attractive enough that it could actually affect the difficulty of tasks they attempt (one way or another - don’t discount the possibility of it making things more difficult either).
So, nothing wrong with using a trait like that… but consider how significant you’re making that particular character detail; the moment you make something a trait, it has the possibility of influencing the tasks the character attempts.
There are some RPGs (e.g. Savage Worlds) that have “Attractive” as basically a Talent you can take. It improves social interaction. So I don’t find anything wrong with it inherently. But I feel that Star Trek should be somewhat beyond physical attractiveness.
yes I know that, I have Savage Worlds
Before that question from that player and the discussions on that topic I never questionned the sexism issue that kind of Advantages/traits/benefits could bring to a game…
I think I will not allow these now in my games
Well, you could still allow it, but the character has to be so attractive that it is not always positive but could also lead to problems.
And exactly this is the point I made bad experiences, because then the group (especially the player with the respective trait) tends to reproduce every-day sexisms and other stuff I don’t enjoy in my games. Don’t get me wrong, sex and gender equality politics and everything around those topics is fine for games and especially the moral themes are perfect for a game of Star Trek.
But at least I don’t want to have that as a regular, recurring trope.
All I’m saying is: please be sure you want to focus on a character’s looks and how others react to it on regular basis. If you’re fine: enjoy!
I could see allowing this trait to be taken as having advantages and disadvantages in different scenarios.
It could allow the captain to play the character’s attractiveness as an advantage when negotiating with some people that they’d like to try and manipulate. Others might be jealous or dismissive and then it could be a a disadvantage in those scenarios.
Ultimately it depends on if you think it is appropriate for your group whether to allow it or not, its okay if the people at the table don’t mind, its not okay if it becomes a problem.
Thank you for ll your answers.
I have discussed it with the player and the group nothing to use this Trait on the condition it is used in useful ways and not to indulge in sexism. The player plays a female captain who just got her first command : an old Miranda in 2371 and the player who not want to seduce its way but wants to be confronted to paternaliste officers and not always be taken seriously, she knows she’s pretty but don’t use it as a mean, she doesn’t like to seduce and this is not the reason she is in Starfleet. So I think I will let him use this Trait for his character as long as it is used ethically, denouncing sexism for instance. My players are matures so it should go well but if this is not going properly, I will remove the Trait, simple as that.