On Hearthling Generation and "They"

In the initial new selection screen, Hearthlings have changeable genders and they can switch between male and female. The use of They as a gender neutral pronoun seems awkward especially when you can wildcard he/she in the code according to the player’s preference.

“Alu Bezir can never seem to keep their emotions in check, so they become happy or sad much faster than normal”

This is such an awkward sentence it hurts. It’s like nails on a blackboard.

“Alu Bezir can’t seem to keep [her,his] emotions in check and becomes happy or sad much more quickly than normal”
“Alu Bezir’s emotions change like the wind. [Her,His] mood swings between happiness and sadness far more quickly.”

Please go through and read all of these aloud. English isn’t easy but this is the first encounter a player has with their new Hearthlings and how they will feel about them and I believe word choice matters. I know we came up with many of these descriptions during a stream and it shows. Stylistically they’re all over the place in terms of formality of language and cadence as well. Just as great art for a game needs cohesiveness, so does great writing.


Didn’t get to checking the update yet, but i’d agree if that’s how it’s written

I’d personally prefer a more simple one like a list

Traits :

    • becomes Happier or Sadder faster


    • Having a conversation raises bolth Hearthling’s happiness

Mind that i can’t find a good enough word for that trait since i’m not a native speaker


That would be even simpler and better for localization. I know that translation, especially when it comes to idioms, can get tricky.


Even without code there are multiple gender neutral pronouns to choose from, (perself (derived from person), for example.), to use.

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“Alu Bezir is emotional and becomes happy or sad much more quickly than normal”

“Alu Bezir has issues keeping a balance with their emotions and is very fickle”

No need for a sex identifier.


Why not change the sentence: “Emotions are something Alu Bezir can’t seem to keep in check becoming happy or sad more quickly than normal.” this way you avoid his and hers…

Have fun, Kyth.


It was 5am so I wasn’t feeling particularly creative. Just throwing out suggestions to get the ball rolling.

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While it would probably be relatively easy for the developers to change, it’s not like saying “they” or “their” is grammatically incorrect. It was heavily accepted and part of every day speech in the early modern era, and is even more so today- even Oxford still recognizes its use as far as I know.
In my opinion, it fits having the way it is now since Stonehearth gives off an early era vibe anyways.

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I just realized that @Brackhar should probably see this page…

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Style is just as important as grammar. If grammar gives you structure then style makes it sound right. If there wasn’t a set of buttons right above the Hearthling stating their gender and they were little genderless minions, I might agree even but it’s right there a few pixels up.

I’m uncertain what you mean about an early era vibe. If anything, many of the descriptions lean towards modern colloquialisms.

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It’s in the sense that most games where you fight goblins, orcs, and skeletons are set in the mid-late medieval era, and while the game has a lot of modern styling to it, you’re still in a state of time where the villagers build the houses and defend themselves with swords, pikes, bows, and magic. Using “they” fits with the old-timey vibe in a way.
Keeping in mind that I’m still neither for nor against switching everything to he/she, it still feels alright the way it is now.

I think I figured it out. Whenever the description uses their name instead of “This Hearthling” it grates.

This Hearthling, they’re an ok guy.

Bob Buildit, he’s a great guy.


Been there more times than not :slight_smile:
*Would have replied sooner but gremlins ate my interwebz for 3 days :stuck_out_tongue:

I think the actual problem with these trait descriptions is that they are written as if a employer is writing a reference for an employee.

What I think would be better is if they were written in a way that made it feel as if the hearthling themselves had written there traits down for the player to see.

“My emotions sometimes get the better of me and I get bad mood swings.”

“I’ve always wanted to be a Knight, it’s my dream to spend my days defending what I love.”


i like this make the more people like