Well, variation is a primary concern and I know that sounds cheap but hear me out.I have read a more extreme of an existing webnovel, in which the protagonist enters the game world of Fantastic Three Kingdoms; later, he becomes a divinity in the game, and all the
major characters are effectively his daughters.
The title is Daughters of the Three Kingdoms. It is filled with fairly x-rated contents and is totally beyond logic; even so, why applies logic to entertainment and pure fun?
Why would you introduce a few female officials and generals in Three Kingdoms? What are your intentions?
One thing I really don't like in some mainstream Three Kingdoms works is that everyone but the Three Sworn Brothers look like middle-aged men with beards, usually wearing helmets and/or hats.
As if to say 'Ignore me. I'm generic.'
In my opinion, changing a historical figure is questionable but it's not as bad as inviting the audience to outright ignore them.
Your opinion might vary on that statement.
It really depends on how far I can get away with it. I'm being strategic and making it dependent on the character's relationships with others.
For instance, Xiahou Shang was married to Cao Zhen's sister. In my take on it, Cao Xiu's gender-flipped so they're married. Since they both fought on the Wu warfront, it can develop their bond.
Liu Bei's wife was Lady Mi and therefore Mi Zhu and Mi Fang were in brothers-in-law. In my take on it, Mi Zhu and Lady Mi are the same person and she's a strategist as well as a noble lady.
It follows a pattern like that. Of course I'm not trying to pair up everyone but the relationship some characters have with others plays a key here.
Believe me, this idea was quite a while ago when I was younger and more naive. But I've tried to put a lot of thought and work into it and I'm trying to be as strategic as possible.
Again, this is a historical fiction and it's always up for question how far you can claim a change in the character's gender or race is just for artistic purposes (Insert Troll face here) but I don't want to be one of those people who don't care what the historically-minded crowd thinks so I want to be sure I don't go too far.
Even in the case of ancient history which is, taken by and large, still quite vague, I don't intend to stretch the truth to breaking point and I need other people's advice to ensure that.