Thursday, July 12, 2012

Kissing and other acts of love in roleplaying games

When we were teenagers there were acts of love in games more often than when we were kids. But we didn't detail these scenes too much because it was a little awkward. We used simple methods for the outcome of kissing and other similar actions.

Basically it was a roll what needed both charisma (or similar) and luck from a roll. Sometimes if there was an appropriate skill it was also used. It was actually really simple. For example roll under charisma and the lower the result is the better the love result was. Or sometimes roll die and add charisma bonus (or appropriate skill bonus or something else) and the higher the number is the better the outcome.

Picture from Deviant Art user:
It was simple. Two characters or character and npc withdraw to their privacy, some dice were rolled and the result of "love" was described by GM from outrageous catastrophe to really pleasing experience.

In fantasy games without birth control (or if character didn't use any or birth control wasn't available at that time) there was a 10% change that female got pregnant. I remember that there was at least two adventuring males with wives and a kid waiting for them to return from their next adventure, thanks to d% roll result!

It was realistic touch. Ok, not sure if 10% roll when humping without pig intestines is realistic, but the outcome I mean. You get some action and there's a possibility that you reproduce. But the nice touch was that generally player characters took care of their offspring and usually they married the woman they impregnated. The result was that the loot from adventures was not all spent on new equipment and bars but share of it went to their family.

Family And Kids

It was kind of a fun. My character never had kids but I remember in Warhammer Fantasy RPG one character having a nice secure lake house, a wife and a child and my character even if not related was honored as an uncle! It was fun to return from the adventure to this fellow characters own house and be welcomed by his little family. Totally different feeling of downtime resting at someone's personal house with his family than spending downtime at a tavern drinking cheap beer (wine for elves).

Also one time two male player's characters were a couple. They didn't describe how they got it goin' with characters but instead when rest of us slept in 6 person tents and they went to their private tent together no one in our group had to say anything. We knew that maybe that couple made love - or didn't at that time. It's was the same thing with real life couples. We assume they are intimate together and we don't have to guess will they have sex today after they get home from our party.


Picture from thetorchonline.
But is intimate relationship important for characters in roleplaying games? Maybe. It is part of ongoing character background story. It can give GM adventure seeds (usually lame: your wife's been kidnapped by orcs/evil wizard/monster/mysteriously lost). It can also give other options for downtime and adds some depth in playing character's role.

Most of the adventurers are single. But when they are not, they are a little different and usually they have other things to think about than clearing a dungeons and how to spend money between.

In the beginning of the game relationships can be also adventure hooks. I remember using this twice:
In Vampire: The Dark Age character was a mortal with a husband. Point was that the husband was going to die what made character who he is and reasoned her embrace into vampirism.
In All Flesh Must Be Eaten player character has a husband who turns into a zombie. That makes zombie outbreak more personal when you loose someone really close. Well, the husband obviously isn't close to player as it is to character when you have played a couple of sessions with that husband and it needs a lot of drama playing and immersion from player, but it worked fine (note: we quit playing that right before the turning of husband into a zombie, because my player didn't like it as it was too sad. I think it worked!)


This picture could literally be from our
Blue Rose campaign.
Source: unknown
When playing with your fiancee it is easier to roleplay love between two characters. There are no other people who could get awkward so it is just up to you two how deep you want the characters relationship to be in description. Good example is Blue Rose with PC and NPC with homosexual relationship. It was awkward for us to play (in detail) and I bet it would be have really awkward with a group because of that detail. So with a group we wouldn't have had a change to study and go deep into that homosexual relationship between the heroes. Even though it was awkward it was a good experience as a roleplayer.

In Finnish rpg based on comic called Praedor there is a whole tribe of homosexuals. If I recall correctly the point is that warriors are softened by love so they fulfill their sexual desires with other warrior males. But in the comic two of these fierce warriors were not just "butt-buddies" but lovers.

In my early games there were few homosexual characters (realistic ones, not fag parodies) and they rarely had relationships. They just liked same sex but were like ordinary characters like others. As there was no sexual action added they were just like your average adventurer character but their written background had just this little twist, they are homosexual. It didn't affect anything. Some people in real life think that homosexuals are sexual predators ready to get it goin' with any male in range but in game they were just like other people.

Basic Need Of Love

Like normal people roleplaying characters usually have basic need for love. Some characters have relationships and some players tell that when spending their hard earned gold in a tavern they toss few gold for a harlot and that's it. It's just a detail. I think many adventuring characters are a little afraid of engaging into a relationship because they aren't around that much.

What About You?

In comment section below tell your experiences of love, relationships and sex in roleplaying games!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have in the past formed a loving relationship with another character. In the current continuity she is the mother of my character's child. Sadly my character died making sure they would both live, so He's not there to carry on the relationship.

The only strange bit for me was that the player who ran my better half, a lovely woman named Claire, was married to another one of the players, who had to watch the two of us flirt, and describe - in limited detail - what we got up to. He was very decent about it all, I think I felt more awkward than he did...