Prostitution? Meh. Selling a service for cash, no worse than any other independant mercenary type. Yes, a prostitute that becomes a concubine isn't a prostitute any more, but a mercenenary that takes a job with the Borsail Wyverns isn't a merc any more either. In both cases you are in the service of a single employer, and on your honour not to take any jobs on the side without express permission. Some customers might be considered pitiful, if it is believed that higher prostitutes is the only way they can get a little loving. Then again, some people would consider needing a bodyguard to be pitiful, since it shows that you are unable to protect yourself. If you can make more money as a prostitute than you could at the Zalanthan equivilent of McDonalds, good for you, that's using your strengths. Both prostitutes and mercenaries should plan for their futures though, because chances are that you won't be able to make top-dollar in that carreer for more than a few years.
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Porcelain skinned beauties? Not a problem for me. Maybe they don't go outside much, or maybe they have a skin mutation that blocks UV, preventing the skin from reacting with either burning or tanning -- that would be a pro-survival mutation. Barring mutations, maintaining a "F-me" description should take some effort, but it is far from impossible. First you need an excuse to be living slightly above subsistance level, like most PCs do. Then, instead of spending that extra cash on elite gear, you spend your money on soap, oils, extra water for washing (a sponge bath can make a little water go a long way) and maybe some perfumes or other scenting agents. You also need to buy protective clothing like a cloak, veil, gloves, and maybe a parasol (and since you want to show off that skin you take off the protective cloathing when you go indoors, and put it on again every single time you go outdoors, which is a pain in the ass but not especially difficult).
Juvenile features can be a pro-survival trait, as long as there are people willing to take care of you. For the most part F-me descriptions express juvenile beauty: soft skin, little or no body hair, no wrinkles, no sags, a full set of nice white teeth, big eyes, helplessness, light musculature, etc. These are things you expect to find in children and adolecents, and some people find them attractive in adults (hence all the young teenage fashion models). Mammals are programed to want to take care of babies, and things that look like babies, otherwise we'd all eat our young when they were a week old, just to get some sleep. :twisted: Some people stay baby-faced as adults, and choose to take advantage of that. Slap on an hour-glass figure or a massive member and you've got yourself a grade-A peice of meat.
Of course if this is a mutation or genetic, then it ought to happen as often to boys as to girls. The NPC population does sport a fair number of pretty, weak-looking males, so I'm happy.
* * *
Muscle-bound freaks? Not a huge problem either, though they should be as rare as the pretty young things. Getting the bulky muscle of Hurcules or Conan takes a lot of food from a young age, plus ample supplies of high-protien, high-calorie food while training, the leisure time and resources to waste time on exercises that make you bulkier and more muscular looking (without necessarily making you any more effective at putting those muscles to work) and possibly some chemical enhancement. I'm not talking the "normal" musculature you might find on a blacksmith or a stoneworker, but the sort of bulk that goes way past fitness and really starts heading towards dangerous -- those vein-popping freaks that win body-building competitions. It's ok for dwarves, muls and giants, but is wierd in humans and downright obscene in half-elves or elves. Outside of people raised in military Houses and slaves raised as gladiators, it is as out-of-place as dewy skinned beauties. Not impossible, but rare and requiring a lot of upkeep. Admired by some, reviled by others as an obvious waste of resources.
* * *
Plumbing isn't an issue for me either. In most Earth primates the males are noticably bigger and stronger, on average, than the females of the same species. That isn't the case in many other species, including some mammals, no one thinks a momma bear is a big weakling. Even if they are built more or less the same, the differences aren't as big biologically as they are made out to be.
In highschool they made us take something called the Canada fitness test. I freely admit that I sucked mightily in many of the catagories, especially the ones that had to do with sprinting. However, in the strength test (measured with a handheld squeeze thingie) my score was in the 90th percentile for girls my age, and the 50th percentile for boys my age. That means that I was stronger than 90% of girls, but also stronger than 50% of boys. Theoretically I could have thumb-wrestled the hell out of half the boys I knew.
And that is in a society where strenth is strongly pushed as a virtue for boys, but not pushed for girls. Most boys will be stronger than most girls, but very few boys will be stronger then every girl, and very few girls will be weaker than every boy. There is a huge overlap.
I also submit that each of the 4 stats stands for a huge range of things.
Agility covers manual dexterity and the ability to do standing backflips, microsurgery and bellydancing, the ability to hold a paintbrush with your toes and the ability to dodge bullets. It probably has something to do with kinsthetic sense, and the other senses to a lesser degree.
Endurance is the ability to resist punches, resist poisons, resist disease, survive childbirth, survive a sword thrust to the belly, longevity, resistance to pain, survive falling off the shieldwall, chop a cord of wood, run a long way, general health, survive famine, survive drought, to resist passing out from psionic activity, etc. Someone with middling endurance might not be "average" at all those thing, she might be very good at somethings and very poor at others. Nice springy bones would help you survive falls, but wouldn't be useful against poison. A fat reserve will help you survive famine, but won't help you run from Allanak to Luir's.
Strength affects how much you can carry, how hard you hit, what kind of equipment you can use, what you can benchpress, what you can shove, how well you can hold a door closed, how good you are at tug-of-war, how firm your grip is, how high you can jump straight up (fancy jumps also require dexterity) how hard you kick, how good you are at standing your ground against a hit, how far you can hurl when you projectile vomit, upper body strenth, lower body strenth, back strength, knee strenth, all kinds of strength. Obviously a real person may be better at some kinds of strenth than others, so you could consider your strength score to be the average of all your strengths.
Wisdom. Ridiculously, wisdom encompasses every single measurable mental activity. Wisdom is your ability to detect a trapdoor and your ability to do algebra, how quickly you learn new things and how well you remember old things (fluid intelligence and crystilized intelligence), your creativity, mental flexibility, powers of reason, problem solving, debating skills, common sense, spidey sense, magickal potential, ability to spot and resist or reverse a scam, raw cunning, linguistic ability, statesmanship, spelling, ability to detect if your outfit matches or clashes ie. fashion sense, pattern matching, the ability to compellingly tell a story or make a speech, ability to detect the connections between things, ability to determine quality of objects, ability to detect regional accents and class differences, ability to predict consequences of actions, and on and on. Very few people, if any, are good at all of these things, so you get the Absent Minded Proffessor archtype, a person who is simultaniously a genius and completely clueless.
To me this means that it is perfectly reasonable for a person of either gender to get a high score in any statistic, because each one represents a wide range of things. High agility can just as easily mean the potential to be a demon at needlepoint or brain surgery as it could the potential to master kung fu or ballet, and it doesn't have to mean that you have the potential to excel at all of them. Stats are coded, but that doesn't remove the ability to roleplay your individual strengths and weaknesses.
* * *
Offspring. The production and possession of offspring does fall more heavily toward females than males. It is easily possible for a male to reproduce without realizing it, but nearly impossible for a female to do the same. One explanation for the development of marriage is that it allows men to know who their offspring are. In a world without paternity testing or monogamy, there are likely to be many children whose paternity is unknown. In a world without marriage and legislated child support, there will probably be a fair number of men who neither know nor care that they have children. No one forces a woman to tell the father about the pregnancy, and no one forces the father to give a damn. Of course many men will actually WANT their children and all the responsiblity that entails, but not all.
There is going to be some social fall out from that. Single mothers will be more common than single fathers. Many children will not know who their fathers are (many others know both parents, and many will know neither parent, but that is beside the point). Women are going to be more likely to shoulder the burdens and reap the benefits of their own children. Being pregnat sucks. However, being old and having no offspring beholden too you also sucks, because there aren't any old folks homes. Children are valuable: they can work, you can sell them, and most are tied to you for their entire lives. What does a poor fellow who has no children (that he knows about) do when he needs help from his family and his parents are dead?
I think the situation in the Zalanthan cities would naturally lead to matralineal inheritence, in other words tracing your ancestry through your mother's family line. You know who your mother is, you know who your mother's sisters and brothers are (your matrilineal aunts and uncles), you know who your mother's sister's children are (your matrilineal cousins) you know who your mother's mother is, you know who your mother's mother's sisters and brothers are, and so on. You also know who your mother's children are, your brothers and sisters. You know who your sister's children are, you know who your sister's daughter's children are, etc. The men born to your female relatives are your male relatives. The men who impregnated your female relatives may or may not be known, but they are not family. In general, the children born to your female relatives are more important to you than the children born to the women your male relatives were having sex with. The guy that was having sex with your mother 3/4s of a year before you were born is less important to you than your mother's brothers -- the guys that fucked your mom may wander off at any time, but your uncles are family forever.
Just a few thoughts.