I realise that topics on gender can be sensitive, so I hope this isn’t offensive.
Don’t know if I’m going to continue with this as I’ve only planned the first two chapters so far (enlisting and boot camp, so it’s not even going into the story yet), but I do have some thoughts going forward if it ever comes to that.
A bit of context. This takes place in the turn of the 20th Century. For reasons, the pc came to French Algeria to enlist in the French Foreign Legion. Since the Legion only recruits men, the setting itself is gender-constrained. I still included a gender selection as typical of CoG, and wrote “I disguised myself as a man” for a non-male pc.
But that’s also where I feel the “disguised” part falls apart. You would be treated as a male legionnaire (referred as he) either way. There will be no distinction whatsoever in the narrative, no matter the pc’s real gender. Because females are not allowed to join the Legion, nobody knows or is allowed to know if you actually are female - they all need to believe you are a man for the story to go on.
CoG game universes are usually more egalitarian than this, or if the pc’s gender does matter, options exist for alternate but equivalent plotlines. But if you’re stuck in the outpost in the middle of the Sahara with 40 other men for the next two months, with evil officers breathing down all your necks, and about a week’s marching away from anywhere, there can’t exactly be diverging storylines. Your peers and officers know you as a man (and you can’t reveal otherwise if you aren’t), so why would you be treated any different?
At one point you’ll meet up with your older brother (it’s always a brother - either he enlisted first and you went off to find him, or you disappeared and he enlisted to find you), and I can see some extra dialogue (not dialogue choices though) happening here. Something along the lines of “Are you nuts?” if the pc is female.
The only part of gameplay I can think of so far is different sets of characters you can romance (out of a pool of befriend-able NPCs) instead of being able to flirt with everyone, but that’s limiting your choices instead of making real variation… and anyway is more of an additional side thing and not the main storyline.
Am I better off genderlocking this character?
Thanks for your help and opinions.