Representing Players’ Gender (RPG) Content: The Order of the Slate

The following was an idea sparked from my first article here. It is easily adaptable into any fantasy campaign, though it could find a place in any game.

 

ORDER OF THE SLATE

“Our natural inclination is to define ourselves, using limited language to label and, inevitably, chain our very potential to a narrow view of what we could be. We, of the Order, divest ourselves of all labels and, in doing so, see our potential magnify infinitely.” – Ei, Jaq of the Order of the Slate

 

Origins

The Order of the Slate is a severe monastic tradition born from the Non philosophies, wisdoms collected by a transcendent figure known only as Non. This spirituality teaches that by ridding oneself of labels such as gender, sexuality, and social class, all things become possible. This process of gathering potential and removing self-limits grants an individual the ability to become anyone they want or need to be. Warriors study these wisdoms for an unmatched prowess in battle; artists learn to expand their creative expression beyond the conventional; and others find a oneness with the Multiverse.

 

The Devoted

Slate monks take those concepts and embody them as a discipline. While the temples politely asks followers to refrain from self-labeling, the Order demands it. As monks, individuals strip themselves of any distinguishing traits including nationality, status, attraction, and gender. Their heads are completely shaved, don robes of grey, and the neutral pronouns ni/nim are adopted. A rigorous diet and balanced physical training evens out all body types. Some Slates undergo a chirurgeon’s scalpel or alchemist’s potions to change their bodies to a more genderless state, though this is generally not required.

 

Training

Training within the Order focuses on viewing the world objectively. In their formal education, Slates learn only the facts of the natural world and its nations’ histories; the societies, in which, they will have to survive outside of the monastery. To that end, they practice a variety of combat styles and are instructed in subterfuge and disguise. Those monks who have proven themselves are free to venture back into society. After which, many of them serve as mediators, ambassadors, and spy masters without equal.

 

Mastery

Only a handful of Slates ever achieve the level of “Jaq”. Normally a common term for a multi-use tool, a “Jaq” monk has mastered Non adaptation and developed the mystical ability to mimic others’ talents. Through disciplined observation and muscle mimicry, Jaqs can copy any skill or ability they witness such as a warrior’s special attack, a thief’s lockpicking, or even a wizard’s spellcasting. The skills don’t stay and must be restudied each day to use them again. However, this talent makes Jaqs invaluable team members and fearfully, unpredictable opponents.

 

A few of the Non wisdoms are provided in the comment section if you want to spice up the description of this spirituality. Further, I am working on a Pathfinder 2e archetype for the “Jaq”. If you’re interested in it, feel free to reach out in the comments.

About Winter Phoenix

A 20+ year tabletop veteran and storyteller, Winter is dedicated to providing LGBT+ people of all types and ages spaces where they feel safe to express themselves authentically.