Female Adventurers

Posted: 2 December 2011 in Reflections

One way in which the typical RPG setting differs from real-world history is the prevalence of female adventurers; they are much more common in fantasy adventure than they were historically. (Not that I have a problem with their prevalence; for a long time, my gaming groups had more women than men in them.)

However, there have been times when women were more likely to be in positions of power, typically when there are not enough men to fill the traditional male roles – for example, shortly after the Black Death, or working in industry during World War II, or the case of the Albanian Sacred Virgins.

So, if your fantasy setting has significant numbers of lady adventurers, mayors, and so forth, it’s likely that at some point in living memory a disaster struck which dramatically reduced the population, and possibly had a disproportionate impact on men.

That’s going to have a knock-on impact in other areas too; specifically, if there aren’t enough people to go around, those who are available have more bargaining power – enter higher wages, better working conditions, and more social mobility.

Oh look, the typical RPG setting has that, too.


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