Super Heroines, Etc., Creates a More Inclusive Role-Playing Community

Changing the landscape around role-playing games, this organization trains and supports women and gender nonconforming people to run their own games.
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Photograph courtesy of Carolyn Noe

If you spend enough time around the people who conduct role-playing games (RPGs), you’ll notice the players are predominately white and male. But geeky girl nonprofit Super Heroines, Etc., is doing its part to change the landscape with its Adventure Goddesses program, which encourages women and gender nonconforming people to take turns leading an RPG campaign to learn the ins and outs of being a game master (or GM) in a safe, judgment-free environment.

Photograph courtesy of Carolyn Noe

“GMing can be intimidating for new players,” says Carolyn Noe, SHE’s executive director. “It can be much easier to start with a group of friends who know you and will be supportive even if you don’t have all the rules memorized.”

Noe notes that many of SHE’s participants were interested in running games, so the organization partnered with Cincinnati Adventurer’s Guild to launch Adventure Goddesses. Last fall, five women played an introductory game of Dungeons & Dragons and swapped GMs during each session. The next campaign is underway and will wrap up in May.

It’s a big time commitment—three to four months—but Noe hopes that participants will come away with more than GM skills. “You’ll also make great friends,” she says. “Just remember, the game is meant to be fun.”

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