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Zugh
10-18-2011, 08:06 PM
Whats your opinion on romance, love, and marriage in a D&D game? I'm a DM, and Im torn on the idea of romance in a campaign. Some people think its good motivation, others think its a distraction from the plot itself. In my only experience though, it was really fun.

We had two characters in my game once that were homosexuals; Yeah yeah, like it or not thats what they did. At first, I didnt wanna allow it because I dont wanna encourage homophobia. But they were mature, nobody made any wise cracks, and believe it or not, having homosexuals made for a very interesting plot. The characters twisted what was originally a plot about wandering into the Shadowfell into a game of finding peace and acceptance in a religious and overly-traditional society, by means of fighting rioting towns people and negotiating with religious and political leaders. In my experience, marriage and romance in a D&D game can lead to a very fun game, even if its not the kind of romance you would expect.

Whats your opinion?

MuslixtheMighty
10-18-2011, 11:16 PM
I don't remember the last time I have dealt with romance in a RPG. As long as it is done well, mature and in context with the game, then I think it should be welcomed for it will add to the story. When it gets out of hand (obscene gestures/favortism/in game and out of game merging romances), then it starts taking away from the fun.

nijineko
10-19-2011, 12:42 AM
my experience was between a male and female character, both being run by males. we felt uncomfortable rp'ing towards each other in that way, so we held a couple of out-of-game sessions figuring out the likely dynamics between the two based on backgrounds and personalities. that gave us a number of stories and "incidents" to allude to in game and appropriate pre and post relationship-start personalities to work with. we skipped over the personal-private lovey-dovey stuff in-game. that all occurred during down time. the rp was excellent and accurate, and convincing. occasionally we would update with new stories to keep it interesting. it worked out quite well for everyone.

hopesfirexx
10-23-2011, 10:40 PM
It can work, yes. Though I've had some rather awkward experiences on the matter. The gist of what I believe is this: D&D shouldn't be a go-between for real romance. As long as the players can separate fantasy from reality and can tell when they are roleplaying and when they aren't, then I'd say that it's alright. By that I mean that love can be a seriously sore topic sometimes, and it has an annoying habit of creeping in and clouding judgment. If they can't separate themselves from the aforementioned playing styles, don't allow it. Or things WILL get awkward for the rest of us. You'll have to be the judge of your players, though.

DMMike
10-24-2011, 08:08 PM
Second hopesfire.

Stop and look at your favorite, or all?, fantasy movies. Romance, romance, and well, romance. I'd say the only good reason to leave it out is if the players get goofy with it.

Thorn
10-30-2011, 01:12 AM
If done well it could it as interesting as some of the D@d novels. But players and Gm. views are also important.

Malruhn
10-30-2011, 01:34 PM
I don't like the idea, personally. I don't mind a PC getting romantic with an NPC, but between PC's there is WAY too much of a chance of getting personal. What happens if one of the characters dies? With "friends", there is sadness, but the players might go overboard if the PC's are in romantic situations.

I vote no.

Aramil Swingblade
11-04-2011, 03:11 AM
I'm in this 4.0 game right now where the DM let something happen that goes along with this topic. We had a ranger in our group that was hitting on every girl in town and finally he rolled a nat 20 on a charisma check, so he seduced her. we'll he let the romance happen now in the town of Thunderbrook the ranger has a wife and 3 kids to support, he lets this happen by saying that he has to give his family a portion of what he finds to feed them, but in return he's had some festive parties he's been allowed to go to cause his wife became friends with people in town and got invited. While at the party he got hired for a job and other cool stuff. so he allows it to happen like that.

Obah Bason
11-08-2011, 10:01 AM
I have had good success with PCs falling for Succubi, or Nymphs & Dryads etc that have seduction as part of their repertoire, but anything beyond that inevitably devolves into creepy innuendo that adds nothing to the game whatsoever. Seduction and lust are fine, but love and romance just flat don't work. I have not run a game in over 5 years that has not been a mix of male and female, but I still would not do it. If the players want to get lucky at a party thrown in their honor, great, but adventurers should not have families.

DMMike
11-25-2011, 01:29 PM
I just watched A Knight's Tale. More romance! So how do you include it in the game without it getting weird?

My first guess is to put as much metagame distance as possible between the DM and player, i.e. use third-person interaction (instead of 2nd or 1st), and maybe even paraphrase your dialogue.

DM: The beautiful princess says that she demands Krarg's presence at the Royal Bathhouse, for...security. Of course. And she winks.

Krarg: Krarg balks a bit and says smiling that he'll see if there's time amidst his barbarian blood-squelching.

Otakar
11-27-2011, 05:50 PM
We had two characters in my game once that were homosexuals; ...... a plot about wandering into the Shadowfell into a game of finding peace and acceptance in a religious and overly-traditional society, by means of fighting rioting towns people and negotiating with religious and political leaders. In my experience, marriage and romance in a D&D game can lead to a very fun game, even if its not the kind of romance you would expect.

Sounds like Broke Back Mountain :). I think that probably worked because of the maturity of everyone involved. I personally have a tough time making it work. I'm in a game now where the DM's wife plays. One guy keeps hitting on her in character. He says he's used to that amd his wife's okay with it too. I think more along the lines of NPCs and PCs. It takes a strong role playing DM to make that work. I lean toward combat. If you are a great story teller and actor, go for it.

Savannah
11-27-2011, 07:54 PM
As long as you have mature players and both people (player-DM or player-player) involved are comfortable with it, why not? In my pbp games, I have one where my character has a crush she won't admit to herself on another PC, and another I'm DMing where two players are plotting to have a romance between their PCs (and if one of the players hadn't agreed, I'd have found an NPC romantic interest for the other PC, as his player was the one who started it).* To my mind, romance just makes the PCs more well-rounded people.

*And one instance where an NPC orc thought the PC human was a real cutie-pie. That was played more to make the PC squirm, however -- the player thought it was hilarious.

DMMike
12-02-2011, 02:24 PM
What does romance add to the game? Some PCs will acknowledge a wife/girlfriend/man-chunk and the extent of it is: "oh, that person just stays at home."

Having significant others means a character has more to protect than himself. Or a romance could be an opponent trying to defeat the character in a non-combat manner. Or...?

Otakar
12-03-2011, 05:59 PM
What does romance add to the game? Some PCs will acknowledge a wife/girlfriend/man-chunk and the extent of it is: "oh, that person just stays at home."

Having significant others means a character has more to protect than himself. Or a romance could be an opponent trying to defeat the character in a non-combat manner. Or...?

This is a good point. I have a copy of the "Testament" rules for 3E and those rules encourage the Isrealite characters to be married. If the DM and players collaborate well they could end up with a pretty good theme for the characters' dependents.

fr49200
12-21-2011, 07:53 AM
Personally I don't really mind when PC's role play being in love (I've had that before) but I can see where it would get awkward. My 3.5 main character happens to be a lesbian, but she only ever hits on NPC barmaids or Important female NPC's. If I see someone at the table is good at role playing i tend to try though lol. As a DM, I would only allow it if the players are sensible about it and can make it interesting.

Otakar
12-21-2011, 07:58 PM
I do admire people who can role-play well. I'm not really one of them. I get embarassed when I try to get deep in character. I like it as a plot hook. I have a Testament supplement. In it the Isrealite characters are expected to marry. Romance doesn't really need to be part of it though. Kind of like Fiddler on the Roof. :)

fr49200
12-22-2011, 08:00 AM
I always tell people who get embarrased about rp'ing to take it in four easy steps:
1) roleplay your character just like yourself, what you would do in that situation.
2) roleplay yourself turn to 11. exagerate all of your natural reactions.
3) roleplay yourself drunk. no inhibitions and think at the top of your mind.
4) roleplay the opposite of yourself. The hardest part and the one that requires acting skills.
I also advise to speak normal. NO "thee" or "prithy". just talk normal. like in forgotten realms or something. this is how i learned to roleplay anyway.

Sascha
12-22-2011, 12:10 PM
As with most things, it's going to vary between groups. Best thing to do is talk about it as part of the pitch, or as part of a new player orientation, before *any* of it hits the table.

I really like romance in games, though the last one that had it as an active part of my character's interactions was ... a while ago. The last two D&D characters I had (paladin, bard) didn't directly deal with the subject, though the paladin had it as part of her background (the ending of that relationship is why she went off adventuring). The bard, well, she was a bard stereotype - all the motions, but no substance (the "lover, not a fighter" poster girl :p). The last character I had in a stable, healthy relationship was in a Shadowrun game, of all places. What amused us about that bit was how long it took for her 'Runner partner to realize she was gay, as it wasn't openly stated in-game; the player figured it out early, but it took the character the whole year of play.


<snip good stuff>
I'm not sure playing your opposite requires acting skills, any more than the other steps. Unless you're in for character immersion (which is a separate ball of worms). Of course, this advice (which is excellent, by the way) only addresses one form of roleplaying, the play-acting style. Other styles (such as author style, how I play) aren't as focused on defining the act as first-person performance.

fr49200
12-23-2011, 07:24 AM
Of course, this advice (which is excellent, by the way) only addresses one form of roleplaying, the play-acting style. Other styles (such as author style, how I play) aren't as focused on defining the act as first-person performance.

Would you be able to explain Author-style to me? I've never heard of that style of roleplay before.

Sascha
12-24-2011, 07:54 AM
Would you be able to explain Author-style to me? I've never heard of that style of roleplay before.
Where the 'traditional' model is framed like theater (GM as director, other players as principal actors), this is more like a writing team on a series (GM is head writer, other players are the staff writers) - the role everyone is playing is one step up the meta-chain. "In-character" can be first- or third-person narration, rather than strictly first-person. It really gels with games where everyone at the table has a greater form of narrative control than in the traditional setup. Under this model, the GM is a specialized player, rather than auteur storyteller and the non-GM players get more world manipulation ability, as well.

Fate-based games (Spirit of the Century, Dresden Files, etc.) are good examples of this type of roleplaying, baked into the design, though it can be done with any game.