So I’ve been listening to a new podcast, it’s a pair of women talking about topics dear to their hearts: Dungeons & Dragons and Feminism.

Obviously as its a podcast they have less visual element (though they do an excellent job in describing key points) but I felt this one was particularly relevant since it included them talking about some academic studies done on the gender related trends in the art of Dungeons & Dragons.

I highly recommend checking out the podcast and giving them a follow on their twitter. Among other things, they also post their sources so you can review for yourself.

They upload at the start of the month, and are currently polishing up their latest recording so now is a great time to drop in and give them some encouragement.

– wincenworks

This Instagram account, mind_flayer_meltdown has been re-titling classic Dungeons and Dragons covers with hilariously accurate commentaries.  These particular examples are glorious.

Of course, sometimes they get political and it’s just perfect.

It’s easy to dismiss this as “product of its time” or just something of by-gone days, particularly as the current management of Wizards of the Coast and the connected companies have been very actively trying to do better – but its important to remember that these are essentially formative works both in tabletop roleplayiing games and fantasy in general.

That’s… that’s a problem.

– wincenworks

(h/t: Slovenly Trulls for drawing my attention to this gallery of masterpieces)
Specific sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

eschergirls:

cover of Zenescope comic's escape from monster island with a brunette woman in a boba fett outfit except with her back bent 90 degrees and the outfit being a skintight boob window version

Originally published at: https://eschergirls.com/photo/2021/07/01/way-escher-girl

Mandalorians are trained in many forms of combat, such as the battle bikini rubber spine style.

(Cover of Escape From Monster Island #1, Zenescope Entertainment)

Okay, now we’ve all recovered from the psychic damage caused by this… not-anatomy, I’d like to make matters worse. This is the “cosplay variant” cover which I guess means its “inspired” by a cosplayer… possibly in the same creepy manner J Scott Campbell was with some of his personal artworks.

In order to find out who they did this to, I had to do a worrying amount of searching: It’s Leeana Vamp (who I have met in person and can confirm, she is very lovely) cosplay of Boba Fett, lingerie version specifically:

I was also able to confirm that they did not credit her, contact her regarding it or even respond to her tweet asking about it:

Now that may not be all of it – because early in the searches my first thought was that based on the face and hair, it was inspired this is the cosplay by Lauren Browne and was very confused why they’d altered her outfit so much and removed her tattoos.

That’s because in a lot of Vamp’s cosplay pics, she’s wearing pants (conventions are usually family friend events) and the helmet… because Boba Fett; and Lauren just happens to look a little more like Generic J Scott Campbell Paul Green Babe.

It’s almost impossible to match a “likeness” with in individual using this “style” typical of companies like Zenescope, which take objectifying women to new levels. Neither Zenescope, nor the artist himself gives any vague credit to any cosplayer.

And he has a whole calendar of this shit that Zenescope is selling (note, this artwork was from 2016 ):ites, he doesn’t follow groups run by cosplayers – he looks at those creepy as fuck “sexy cosplay girls” sites/groups that don’t credit the models and are avoided by cosplayers because of the comments sections.

And he has a whole calendar of this shit that Zenescope is selling (note, this artwork was from 2016 and the current year is 2021):

So what I’m saying is: Fuck Zenescope

– wincenworks 

Saoirse from Empires and Puzzles
Referred by @jesuswasbatman

This one is particularly interesting, because Saoirse does have many traits that we don’t often get to see in heroines.

  • Advanced age
  • Powerful stance
  • Evidence of experience (scars and muscles)

However, when juxtaposed with, Anzogh, the first male barbarian I could find, looking in the 5 star heroes, she also serves as a great example of how media tends to present female barbarians differently.

The key consideration on this work is why is the armor and why the specific placement and design of the armor? Why this design? Particularly if its a more complicated design than regular armor.

Anzogh has a ridiculous cow skull on his belt, and a strap across his chest, bone bracelets to emphasise how little he has – it conveys that his is powerful and needs none of the convenience of civilization (like armor). Sometimes these characters have massive pauldrons to give them a more menacing silhouette

Saoirse has armor on her arms, and bits of her legs, the gaps in her armor are not to show power or independence, but to showcase her body from tits to hips. It’s to assure you that despite these weapons, her age and being on the battlefield… she’s got it going on. Generally when characters like this get shoulder, hip or thigh armor it’s to accentuate their hips and frame their torso pleasingly.

This is, of course, completely redundant. She’s got it going on, she’s an experienced woman with immense power – that is a guaranteed recipe for unmitigated horniness from large portions of the audience. Her appeal comes not despite these things, but because of them. There is absolutely no need to give her a battle bikini with a flimsy loincloth.

In conclusion, she’s better than the average bikini armor babe, but still such a missed opportunity for a genuinely great design due to general trends of female armor design that lead to the prevalence of the bikini armor babes (and the shortage of truly empowered men).

A powerful topless barbarian woman she ain’t.

– wincenworks

In it’s “golden age”, the pen and paper Vampire: The Masquerade was distinct from Dungeon and Dragons (and copycats) due to its heavy focus on social and other non-combat solutions.  The game of course had combat, but much like in the original Bloodlines game it was generally fairly clumsy and heavy focus on it was generally heavy focus on making it as short and decisive as possible.

This made it notably popular with people who were sick of dealing with people who’d taken to expressing their toxic masculinity through superior knowledge of statistic math – and that included a lot of women.

I say all this so you’ll see that it makes perfect sense that they’d incorporate a Battle Royale variant of the upcoming Bloodlines game, and naturally show that this was going to apparently involve running around in lingerie and a leather jacket with a reverse grip on two swords in over the top action scenes.

Even more logical that in this modern fantasy game, where they could use countless items of real world gear as inspiration they apparently decided to go with this bizarre mix up gear that looks like it was randomly selected by an AI with a list of “cool” items.

This is truly the apex of Creepy Marketing Guy’s influence.

– wincenworks

‘Brown Dust’s (now renamed to Brave Nine) Kiria. Hope you didn’t think the other bingos we did for this game were the worst they got! 

Based on her description blurb, I think she is an ex-patrol guard in an empire, turned…. assassin? Which her design definitely communicates. Um. She’s the “black scorpion” which is on her scarf. And her entire ass being out I guess communicates her… desire for justice being loud and clear. Or something. I’m also not super sure how her ass is turned 90 without the rest of her leg rotating also… We’ll chalk it up to ninja powers.

And this is the less ridiculous (though not by much)  version of her. Behold, the “improved” version!

The only thing that got an upgrade is that scorpion hood, and it doesn’t even look that good.

-Icy

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@thegreqtlilac​ submitted (and Ozzie bingo’d):

To be completely honest, Summoners War probably has way worse cases of terrible female armor if you go through their monster collection, but what’s worse about this one is that she is the reward for getting through the second scenario area of the game, which means EVERYONE has her, so you have to see this monstrosity all the time. 

I always feel so weird about the clash of chibi AND “sexy” aesthetic. Trying to have a cake and eat it too.
There’s really not much to add about the costume itself, other than this being too painfully generic to even register. BUT it did strike a rare diagonal bingo, so congrats to Summoners War, I guess?
I am sorry for all the players who are subjected to multiple copies of this running around inside the game. 

Thank you for the submission! 

~Ozzie

denilsonsa submitted and Icy bingo’d:

Bingo-worthy, shows how male and female characters are not treated equally. The contrast is very clear at this game cover art, and it summarizes bikiniarmorbattledamage in one picture.

Y-yeah it sure does…. ughh

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Honestly, what is even the point? You might as well be naked, going into battle looking like that. She doesn’t even look like she belongs in the setting. Also for people not in the know, this is NOT a dating sim where you’re a stud (?) with long flowing hair who’s looking for a sexy girlfriend. This game is about fighting and conquering for your royal family. With troops that wear bikinis, apparently. Fantasy~

At least the dude (the player character) has some nipple accents on his breastplate to even it out?

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Though personally, I would have just taken away 85% of his armor. When will game devs give the people what they want? 😔

-Icy

earth-to-dragons submitted (and Icy bingo’d):

Could you guys cover something about Angela in the new Trials of Mana game? Ive been playing it but its honestly difficult just because every time I look at her outfits it makes less sense! Although I dont think Riesz is any better…

A spell-caster lady in a video game who dresses for the beach? It’s more likely than you think! This is from the recent remake, where you would think the developers would want to modernize their designs. 

You would think.

The red is her original outfit (pictured above the bingo), which is apparently the outfit a magician from a cold country wears (even though it’s in magical spring, but it’s still described as cold). The blue are added in from her worst class option… the magus.

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Why have nice things when you can cry over the sympathy pains of imagining scale mail on your crotch?

-Icy