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For years and years I’ve found myself staring in amazement at fantasy art. Everybody knows the pictures that I mean: they’re on the covers of magazines, on posters and even in rule-books! They picture scenes from role-playing games and fantasy worlds: monsters, heroes, evil wizards and happy hobbits.
But it’s the heroines I’d like to talk about today, and more specifically, their outfits. Find your books and magazines, and take a good look at the female fighters and wizards. I’ll bet 90 % of them are wearing not much more than their underwear, or a chain mail bikini.
It doesn’t end there. Try to buy a normal looking, female fighter figurine, like a nice paladin in field-plate. I found one in the ten years that I have played role-playing games.
It is beyond me why any sensible girl would go off into the deep dark dungeons wearing just two tiny bits of chain mail. Do not underestimate the drafts in an old dungeon. You’d have to carry a really warm cloak or blanket to sleep in, or do all these dungeon-bunnies have a hunky fighter to snuggle up to at night?
You’re highly unprotected. If the only chain mail you’re wearing is your underwear, why bother at all? It’s like racing your motorbike without a helmet, bungee-jumping without the rope, or preparing your own Japanese blowfish.
They can’t all be that stupid, can they? Most fighters would prepare for an adventure very carefully: check their food, their equipment, and their weapons. But hey, let’s not wear any armour today!
Besides, I figure it would be a serious distraction for some of your party-members. It might give you an element of surprise when encountering a lost and desperate troop of brigands though. That’s about the only reason I can find to go adventuring in your undies.
Mind you, I have nothing against bikinis, even chain mail ones. Rather it’s the timing that’s important. I’d happily go to the beach in them, preferably accompanied by a strong, handsome member of the party wearing nothing but his chain-mail swimsuit. But in a precarious situation, I’ll take all the help I can get: a sharp sword, someone to cover my back, and lots and lots of armour!