Friday, April 14, 2017

All Races Have Two Mammae!

When I was in high school I played Shadowrun with a few friends. It’s a roleplaying game that takes place in a cyberpunk future. You could play as a human, elf, orc, troll, or dwarf. I remember my friends giggling over the Shadowrun rule book’s descriptions of the different races. Each race had a description of game-relevant stats (+4 strength, +6 body, -2 charisma, etc.), along with various other attributes like average height and weight. One item listed for each race was “2 mammae,” mammae being an obscure term for mammary gland. That is, FASA corporation (Shadowrun’s creator) saw fit to remind Shadowrun players that each race had two boobs. They did this even though this was a common feature to all races. I’m imagining a committee meeting at FASA as the player’s guide was being written:
Committee Note-taker: Okay, next race. Elf. Average height 6’1”,  average weight 160 lbs, 32 teeth. Anything else, guys? (a hand shoots up, note-taker emits a long-suffering sigh) Yes, Jenkins? 
Jenkins: Two mammae. 
CN: Dammit, Jenkins! All races have two mammae. 
Jenkins: Not necessarily! 
CN: Look, if we do the “two mammae” thing, the players are going to think FASA is staffed by a bunch of incorrigible boob-fiends. 
Jenkins: I’m just saying, people will be wondering. Like, does a troll just have two human-like boobs, or two long rows of nips like a nursing sow? 
CN: Okay, show of hands on the “2 mammae” thing? (Jenkins’ hand goes up, nobody else’s does). Overruled. (Pulls a sheet of paper out of a manila envelope.) Next race, the… twelve-titted wood nymph? Dammit Jenkins!

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