PDA

View Full Version : Men, Women, and Romantic Situations in RP



shimmercat
2009-05-15, 02:46 PM
My current gaming group is a bit of an anomaly: We are split evenly down the center, 3 men and 3 women. This has never happened to me before. I've always been the only woman, sitting around the table with a bunch of guys. Everyone in my current group with the expection of me and my husband DM, are new to D&D.

In all of the games I've played previously, romance (between PCs or PCs and NPCs) has been either non-existant or entirely started by me (and usually shot down pretty quickly). In this game, we've discussed romance a lot more heavily, and have even RPed out some scenes (we supplement with optional PbP RP). Nothing too heavy, but people asking other people out, a kiss or hug, come-ons. The PCs and NPCs often have sexualities: I'm playing a (male) bisexual, one of the other (female) PCs has homoamorous tendencies. The female players seem much more interested in this than the male players. The male DM seems about in line with the female players, but he's kinda a girl at heart, anyway. XD

Have other people had experiences with this? Are female players more likely to want to RP relationships and romance? Are games different when the table is split evenly between the sexs, or is female-majority? This is an RP-and-plot-focused game overall, so is that skewing the way I'm seeing things? We also have no gay men in our group (although one of the women is gay) and so I wonder if that changes things. What are people's opinions of romance and non-explicit sexual situations in these games, overall?

(Note: I'm not talking about Book of Erotic Fantasies or anything like that. Just that our characters do HAVE sex drives and romantic ambitions, and sometimes they are mentioned. XD )

Edit: After noticing the "brothel" thread going on concurrently, I want to stress that we are all in our 20s, my brother is a player (so there will NEVER be sex discussed in-session more than "and they hook up"), and the romance is for the most part very light-hearted and optional. I just am wondering what trends others have noticed.

Telonius
2009-05-15, 02:51 PM
I haven't had any actual in-game experience of it. But that's because we all discussed it prior to playing, and decided against it. In general, I'd say that whatever your group enjoys and is comfortable with, should be fine. Since you're apparently already talking about it fairly well, I don't think there will be any problems. Though I would suggest that the DM should tell the players that if the game is ever moving in a direction they're not comfortable with, to let him know ASAP (even if privately by email after the fact).

shimmercat
2009-05-15, 02:56 PM
I'm almost interested in this from a sociological point of view, honestly. Our game is working just fine. There is basically an unspoken agreement among everyone that you don't have romantic situations with the two PCs who haven't expressed interest so far... until they express interest.

Behold_the_Void
2009-05-15, 03:00 PM
I've a reasonable amount of experience roleplaying on Livejournal which is an incredibly female-dominated medium for RP, and romance (especially homoerotic relationships between two men) tends to come up a lot more. The game I first joined was a game where a (female) friend was harping on myself and my roommate incessantly to join talking about how great it was because of all the gay sex and angst.

We were... less than predisposed.

When she finally broke me down (more with the intention of coming in and causing a bit of ruckus with a very manly and straight character) was when the dynamic started shifting. My roommate and I, as well as a few other guys in the RP, brought other dynamics in, and the game became much more light-hearted as people stopped taking it so seriously. A few more guys joined in and while romance still exists in the game, I don't think it's anywhere near as prevalent any more (a number of the relationships that are going on right now are being carried out by male players, interestingly enough), so I don't know if that was the "men" dynamic or if it was just the group or what.

Of course the off-shoot RP that my roommate and I made is very guy-oriented, and while we do have a number of female players there is very little in the way of romantic involvement in it. Of course, there's a much more prevalent ongoing plot (as opposed to the other RP which involved everyone sitting around waiting to get all their memories back) and it's much more combat oriented, so that probably contributes as well.

valadil
2009-05-15, 03:03 PM
Romance is usually skipped over in our tabletop groups. If it ever happens it's because there's a girl instigating it. It's a lot more common in LARPs though.

I think part of the reason is that our tabletop games are based on adventuring whereas the LARPs are about acting. I'm willing to play along at a romance plot in a LARP, but it's usually a little awkward. Part of the tension I experience in that situation comes from the fact that every single time my character flirts with a female character, I wonder if there's something else going on besides what's happening in game. It's distracting. It breaks my immersion to have to step back out of character like that and I don't like having my game disrupted in that way.

That said, I haven't LARPed in a while and I'm pretty sure I was single whenever I was LARPing (which I'm sure is entirely coincidental). I'm not sure how I'd feel about a romance plot while occupied.

Starscream
2009-05-15, 03:04 PM
Currently everyone in my group except me is a girl (in both real life and as their characters). As I'm the DM, that means we have a single gender party.

So no, there hasn't been any sort of romance going on, other than a brief discussion as so whether or not making out would give them a circumstance bonus on distracting a guard (Very yes).

skywalker
2009-05-15, 03:09 PM
Though I would suggest that the DM should tell the players that if the game is ever moving in a direction they're not comfortable with, to let him know ASAP (even if privately by email after the fact).

I like this advice. Personally, I think the reason why a lot of people don't have romance in RPG situations is because they're just not used to it, because most DMs don't really introduce that direction, or let things go that direction if players bring it up.

D&D is also not really a relationships game, it's a game about killing things. There aren't rules for relationships, which means some people don't even think about them.

For me, personally, I've only twice been in a female-majority group, and it hasn't changed the mood of the game in the slightest. The women were, quite possibly, more interested in killing things than the men. I've played with bi and asexual men as well, and I noticed no difference between them and some straight guys I've played with. I think it comes down to individual personality.

When I started playing RPGs, I was interested in playing a "ladies man." We were playing Call of Cthulhu, and the Keeper was completely open to me romancing a female NPC. Since then I've always kept that option in my head. I'm almost always trying to seduce another PC, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.

I've also taken to playing female characters simply for their intrinsic value. Sex is another weapon in the female character's "toolbox" so to speak.

Not to say that our girls aren't interested in sex. I introduced a female NPC recently, and my girlfriend said "Are you sure it isn't a guy?" I found out later she likes when I use male NPCs because then she gets to flirt with me. :smallcool:

Tsotha-lanti
2009-05-15, 03:20 PM
Women are usually socialized more toward interpersonal stuff, so you might expect this to result in a statistically higher interest (i.e. not higher per person but higher per population) in interpersonal stuff in stories. RPGs tell stories, ergo...

Personally, playing MUSHes, people of both genders seem more interested in romance than the actual game (which gets well annoying if you're trying to play a Lovecraftian mystery horror game, or really anything with a theme and plots).

Meanwhile, most of our long-time campaigns (a group entirely made up of guys for the last 15 years or so) have involved PC romance with NPCs, for various reasons. In our most recent Gloranthan Heortling campaign, for instance, most of the players are interested in getting their characters married, but mostly because it's a social expectation their society has of them. In our old and incredibly long D&D campaign, the monk was trying to get away from an arranged marriage and the fighter was involved with a wizard and being seduced by a succubus.

I find interpersonal dynamics between PCs and NPCs absolutely essential to a good campaign, because they are such a big part of making the players feel like their characters are part of the world. Tying them to people and places like that is a great way to set up motivations for adventures.

shimmercat
2009-05-15, 03:45 PM
For the most part, our romantic RP has been very lighthearted -- crushes, flirting, stupid pick-up lines, OOC spin-the-bottle (with dice with our characters initials on them). The exception to this is when we recently lost 2/3 of our PCs AND NPCs to Weird. Things got very serious there, although I think that was mostly simply because that was a very, very traumatic event for the survivors, romance aside.

In my male-dominated games, even silly crushes were discouraged, which I thought was strange.

I know that homoerotic pairings are REALLY popular with the female-dominated online RPers. XD This is actually the first character I've played (out over close to a dozen) that wasn't straight, though... and he's a lot of fun.

Mikeavelli
2009-05-15, 03:58 PM
I game in an all-male group; I came in to this particular one a little later than the other players, and have found that many of the other players characters have relationships with NPC's in the game, girlfriends, wives, etc. NPC's to be held hostage if the need should arise.

But they take it seriously. Occasionally they have conversations, and these consist of the players flirting with the DM. Most of them are unambiguously straight, too. It's weird.

Quietus
2009-05-15, 04:05 PM
With the addition of women to the group I game with, things definitely took a very different turn. Before, I can think of only a single in-character relationship; And that was more of my character a "regular", whom I visited whenever I was in a particular town and could afford her attentions for the evening. It did start to become a story hook, and she would have had requests for my character once he'd gotten strong enough, but he got weakened and eventually turned into a Meenlock.

Now that we have women in the group (one in particular), however, I've seen the incidence of in-character relationships go up. Now it's rare to have a group where there isn't at least ONE couple among the party, which is fine; At first, it was creepy and way-too-much, but the rampant crazy-monkey-sex-after-every-fight thing has died off somewhat. Of course, that may have something to do with the fact that she's decided she's pregnant.. :smallsigh:

Tengu_temp
2009-05-15, 04:23 PM
I'm running a PbP game where all but one of the players are male, and all but one of the characters are female (no, the female player does not play the male character). At least two romantic relationships are slowly forming, both of them lesbian - although I doubt if any of them will ever do anything non-PG rated on-camera. It's all very cute overall and doesn't detract from the actual plot - on the contrary, it reinforces it - for example, one of the PCs went into a berserker rage when the enemies downed her "best friend", and thanks to good rolls (I guess that fate has a good sense of drama) managed to one-shot one of the villains.

Of course, I'm cheating a bit here, as most of my players are shippers, and the setting only encourages that sort of thing.

DamnedIrishman
2009-05-15, 04:40 PM
Personally, playing MUSHes, people of both genders seem more interested in romance than the actual game (which gets well annoying if you're trying to play a Lovecraftian mystery horror game, or really anything with a theme and plots).

I have noticed this. I remember once playing a particularly flirtatious character on one such game, and every now and then having to explain to someone that although I did just roleplay flirting with them, and did come back to their private room, I have absolutely no intention of getting involved in mudsecks (is that word allowed?).

Mark Hall
2009-05-15, 05:05 PM
It's happened a few times with my games, and a lot of it depends on the people and their out-of-game relationship.

1) We had a Rifts game where I was playing a female psi-stalker. She fell into a relationship with a Mexican Headhunter. The guy who was playing the Mexican and I would sit on the couch and cuddle to screw with the other players, but we mostly just rented a room together when staying "on the economy."

2) Currently, I'm playing an utter horn-dog (a nice change from my previous curmudgeon). He spends a good portion of his time hitting on our Deva (his position in the marching order? "Behind the Deva." This actually makes a degree of tactical sense, having a tough leader at the rear of the party... but he's also being a horndog). Our Deva's player is the only girl in the group, and the fiance of another player, and is cool with it... it's just my character being my character.

Really, it comes down to who is comfortable with what. Any time it turns really physical, you look at the curtains blowing in the window, and everyone has big smiles in the morning. If it turns real-life real, then you make sure they keep it to a level of "friendly" that everyone is comfortable with.

SilverClawShift
2009-05-15, 05:12 PM
My group basically ignores romantic interaction. We find it problematic because of the akward fact that, even if you're flirting with an NPC, someone sitting at the table is forced to flirt back. Or not. Which can also be akward.

The only romance to date our table has seen was between me and another player (a dread necromancer and an evil-leaning archivist). It wasn't akward at the time, but it got weirder and weirder even though we both kept trying to joke about it to lighten the mood :smalltongue:

Never since.

Fhaolan
2009-05-15, 05:17 PM
The groups I play with are both split about 50/50 with respect to gender. I will call them Group A and Group B for reference.

Group A: We are all stage performers of one type or another, and ages range from 35-45. 3 guys, 3 girls. The campaigns we play tend towards chaotically light-hearted, with the occasional melodrama thrown in just because. Romance shows up, but always from unexpected directions, and physical details happen 'off screen'.

Group B: Also 3 guys, 3 girls, but a different mix of people from different career paths. The ages are about the same, except for one girl who is in the late 20's. The campaigns we play tend towards more action-adventure, and romance of any kind hasn't really cropped up.

So with this limited sample size, I would have to say it's likely that it's not the fact the group has women in it, but the specific people involved.

Rhiannon87
2009-05-15, 05:24 PM
The group I'm in is also mixed, 5 guys and 3 girls. There's relationships in pretty much all the games, to varying degrees. In one game, it's a bit of a soap opera-- there's a flirty sorceress, an aggressively pansexual cleric, a flirty bard, and a holy liberator who keeps insisting there's burning sexual tension between him and the paladin. It's entertaining and frequently hilarious; someone's tent got set on fire in a fit of jealous rage once. We tend not to get into graphic descriptions of anything, it's mostly "And so the two of us disappear for a couple hours."

In another game (much more serious business), there's only one in-game relationship, and the characters are played by me and my boyfriend. (In some instances, probably not a great idea, but we pull it off pretty well. IC fights do not spill over into RL. Go us!) Their relationship and issues are part of RP, but they don't distract from the plot... sometimes they tie into it, as my character is kind of driving the plot at the moment. As a group, we tend to do a lot of "outside" conversations via IM; it's conversations that happen in game, but we didn't want to sit around for hours and have deep heart-to-heart talks. This isn't just for the romantically involved characters either; my character and the crazy wizard have lots of chats during our watches. There was another couple, but both of the characters involved in it died.

And in the game I'm DMing, two of the characters are kind of sort of flirting with each other. It's entertaining.

I think it might be less a function of men vs women, as good roleplayers. Everyone in this group is very, very good at character development and interaction. It's not always the women in the group who initiate relationships, although admittedly we do tend to be the ones who go absolutely nuts and start writing extra stories and setting up the conversations. But it's all part of RP, for us, and I think it adds a lot of character dimension and possibility.

Who_Da_Halfling
2009-05-15, 06:06 PM
The group i DMed and played in this year has 2 girls and 4-5 guys, with one of the guys in a long-term relationship with one of the girls. Romantic RP never really came into the game, mostly I think b/c the group didn't really like RP all that much anyway. The couple essentially just said they were a couple in game and that was the end of it. We're all pretty young and inexperienced players, though, so it could just be that we weren't entirely comfortable with that level of play.

I suspect it is more of a personal thing than a sociological gender thing. Both the girls in my group were the ones who most enjoyed rolling tons of dice and killing things. In fact I'm pretty sure most of the encounters were mainly them handling the monsters (that's what happens when they're playing the Wizard and Cleric in one campaign and the Warmage and Druid in another).

-JM

Alleine
2009-05-15, 06:27 PM
My groups is all guys. Even when someone is playing a female character, you're still basically hitting on another guy and none of us are homosexual. We occasionally joke about the main NPC chick, but that's mostly because its fun to watch our DM squirm. Otherwise, no, there is pretty much no chance of anything at all happening. It would be far too awkward.

Zanatos777
2009-05-15, 06:28 PM
The game I am currently running actually has a love triangle going (all participants are male players). A barbarian girl, a war veteran, and a civilized barbarian from a rival tribe. The romantic plot has become increasingly important, so much so that I think the main villain will actually be killed by an NPC ally they are trying to free. All the players seem to like it so we have just rolled with it.

Swordguy
2009-05-15, 07:14 PM
The groups I play with are both split about 50/50 with respect to gender. I will call them Group A and Group B for reference.

Group A: We are all stage performers of one type or another, and ages range from 35-45. 3 guys, 3 girls. The campaigns we play tend towards chaotically light-hearted, with the occasional melodrama thrown in just because. Romance shows up, but always from unexpected directions, and physical details happen 'off screen'.

Group B: Also 3 guys, 3 girls, but a different mix of people from different career paths. The ages are about the same, except for one girl who is in the late 20's. The campaigns we play tend towards more action-adventure, and romance of any kind hasn't really cropped up.

So with this limited sample size, I would have to say it's likely that it's not the fact the group has women in it, but the specific people involved.

Pretty much same here. My main group is all actors/actresses - and romance in the game isn't even an issue compared to the stuff we've had to do onstage, in front of a packed 300-seat house (yeah, YOU kiss a guy onstage, 8 shows a week, in front of your wife, who's playing the guy's husband, and with both your parents and in-laws in the audience.).

Honestly, unless players actually start IRL taking clothes off at the table, it won't even register.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-05-15, 09:16 PM
So, you might find this interesting: Bliss Stage (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BlissStage)

As far as I know, it is the only game with an explicit Relationship Mechanic, much less one where the Relationship Mechanic is central to the entire game. That, mixed with the in-depth RP encouraged by the system, means that you can get into very "touchy" territory, very quickly.

Having played a few games of it (and currently adapting it to work in a more Fantasy-style setting) I've seen a lot of this, and all in person.

My observations:

(1) Player Gender Mix has a huge effect on tone
In an entirely male group and in a evenly mixed group, relationships function as normal - nobody has unusual problems with their RP. However, in a game with a gender imbalance (usually the one girl, many guys situation) people get a lot more cautious about such things. Now, none of the groups has gone the Purple Prose method of sexual RP but even "normal" relationship RP became a lot more strained with an imbalanced group.

(2) Player Familiarity is an even larger determinant of tone
When everyone in the group has known each other for a long time, RP is both easier and has more flourishes. It is much easier to RP a relationship with someone you know well than with someone in a PUG; and tone can go to greater extremes in a very familiar group.

(3) Relationship RP does not seem to be dependent on Player Gender
The best general RPers are also the best Relationship RPers. The two strongest relationships I've seen both came from men - one played my sweet & caring girlfriend (my character was a playa too :smalltongue:) and the other was a sexually abused and increasingly deranged woman who had once come between my older brother and his best friend. Likewise, the women who were not experienced RPers were hesitant at RPing relationships.

So, in short, player familiarity seem to trump both gender mix and player gender when it comes to relationship RP. The greater the sense of comfort in a group, the easier it is for people to RP relationships of varying intensity. Now, in a situation where players have pre-existing relationships it may become a lot more awkward to RP relationships unless everyone is extremely comfortable with RP - say, actors.

Saph
2009-05-15, 10:23 PM
Have other people had experiences with this? Are female players more likely to want to RP relationships and romance? Are games different when the table is split evenly between the sexs, or is female-majority?

I'd say yes to these. The normal ratio for games at our club is about 5 guys to 1 girl, and romance rarely comes up except for teasing and jokes. The times I've seen games with a 50/50 split, though, relationships and romance almost always come in sooner or later. Part gender differences, part group dynamics.

I've met the odd male gamer over the years who's interested in relationship RP and who'll initiate it off their own bat, but very few. On the other hand, I've known quite a lot of guys who won't start anything themselves, but who'll respond and play along if someone else does.

- Saph

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-05-15, 11:32 PM
It all depends on the group. I was part of 1 club in college where relationship RP was pretty normal(there were rules on the rate of time passing v. the real world so you knew how long pregnant PCs were out for), where it was handled maturely and I never saw anyone who was uncomfortable. Then my D&D group, made up of people who I met through the club, who handled relationship RP fairly well when in the club, almost never touched relationship in our personal games, and were scarily bad when they did. No clue why, but it happened.

Aik
2009-05-16, 01:25 AM
I see your Bliss Stage and raise Breaking the Ice. (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/12/12397.phtml)

Ravens_cry
2009-05-16, 01:49 AM
I have done romantic chat role play on both an ordinary chat room set aside for and my brief dalliance in Furcadia. But doing it at the tabletop? Ah. . .no.
I once had an effeminate elf druid hit on the bartender. He wasn't gay, he had just never seen a man with breasts before. Honest.

Talic
2009-05-16, 01:49 AM
I find that women are both more likely to draw relationship aspects into D&D, and to explore alternate sexual views. I think this is less a gender thing, and more of a demographic. The guys that play d&d, largely, are young guys, and often, aren't exactly the football homecoming crowd.

The girls? Well, look at a girl in a gaming store. They're generally treated like A-list actresses at malls. I'm surprised they don't get autograph requests.

The disparate level of confidence? Plays a factor. People that are less confident are generally less willing to explore the unusual.

Not to mention? For me, at least, gaming isn't often about relationships. It doesn't have sexual undertones. It's a time where I just strive for the awesome.

I guess, then, that gaming is really all about fantasy fulfillment, for most. Some people want the heavens to tremble with their power... others? Prefer something more subtle. It's all good in the end, I suppose... And everyone can learn a lot about their gaming group by what their friends/players choose to focus on.

Mando Knight
2009-05-16, 02:26 PM
Pretty much same here. My main group is all actors/actresses - and romance in the game isn't even an issue compared to the stuff we've had to do onstage, in front of a packed 300-seat house (yeah, YOU kiss a guy onstage, 8 shows a week, in front of your wife, who's playing the guy's husband, and with both your parents and in-laws in the audience.).That... is amusing. I have to go to more theater. :smalltongue:


Honestly, unless players actually start IRL taking clothes off at the table, it won't even register.
Or if the players otherwise forget that it's just a game and they should really just relax (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MST3KMantra)...

shimmercat
2009-05-17, 07:53 AM
People brought up some really interesting points here!

Because of my own experiences and because women DO tend to be more relationship-oriented than men, I just assumed that gender played a part how likely someone was to be interested in romantic RP. But looking back on it... although I was pretty good friends with the guys I was playing with previously (they were my husband's roommates and I spent a lot of time with them), they were all a bit socially awkward, especially around girls. I was "safe" as far as a girl goes, because I was in such a long-term relationship with my now-husband. But an RP relationship that went beyond REALLY basic flirting would have been out of their comfort zone.

This current group is for the most part much more comfortable with each other and sexuality/romance in general. We are also really pretty good friends, like the previous group. Social confidence is higher, on average.

I've only ever played with one actor before, and not in a long-term game, so I hadn't even thought about how that would effect this, but I suppose it would make a big difference!

And now I will wank about our game for a bit. XD One of our NPCs (english male, and a deckhand of our ship) asked out our PC druid (asian female). Both of them are really shy, a bit socially awkward characters, so the relationship was really, really low key. My character, the cleric and captain of the ship (german male, and as captain, the boss of the NPC) asked out the druid. She didn't realize it was a date and went along with it became really obvious this was a date (this was a HILARIOUS RP). She told him that she was already seeing someone, and he backed down, disappointed and embarrassed.

Time passes, and the druid and NPC get a little closer, although because they are both so shy, it's pretty slow going. Then our big baddie shows up and casts Weird on the ship. The druid and cleric both survive (Wisdom casters, after all XD); the NPC, along with most of the rest of the ship, dies. Guess who can cast the Rez spells? The cleric, of course. The cleric is REALLY Good, and he still has feelings for the druid, so he goes out of his way to Rez the boyfriend NPC first (after all PCs are Rezzed), going so far as to sell his item of Con to pay for it and dropping his hp by 1/4. (I really hope I don't regret that. :smalleek: ) He just wants her to be happy... it's pretty bittersweet.

It's a bit frustrating because the cleric and the druid have better chemistry than the druid and the NPC, and I think they would make a better couple. But I suppose it's all up to the druid, in the end!

ocato
2009-05-17, 08:13 AM
I can count the women I've had present at a tabletop game on one hand, and all of them were the girlfriend/fiance/wife of another player. Every so often a male player plays a female, and we crack jokes or ignore it entirely. Sadly, character development and RP aren't big factors in most of the games I play. Of course, that doesn't stop me.

My friends might think I'm just being contrary when I argue with the cleric and paladin over their treatment of an NPC, but I know that my character has been looking to the divine duo as a sort of guide as he slowly turns back to good after a jaded life as a pawn in the immoral schemes of others. When the big 'N's on his moral compass start moving around arbitrarily, he gets confused and upset. But that doesn't stop the 'Cowardly Wizard' from suddenly risking his life to pull the cleric out of the necrotic zone of an evil ritual, thus figuratively saving his own soul by maintaining the means for his redemption.

Granted, if the hairy 40 year old across the table started making eyes at me or roleplaying his character giggling and telling mine that he'd look cuter without the floppy robes, it might take me a little while to get used to that.

lady_arrogance
2009-05-18, 03:53 AM
This may be bit off-topic, but...


My groups is all guys. Even when someone is playing a female character, you're still basically hitting on another guy and none of us are homosexual.

I disagree. In my opinion, characters are different from their players, like character of actors in TV/movies/theatre aren't those actors themselves. Straight actors can play gay roles, and married actors can play non-married or even have a on-screen relationship with other actor.

It's fiction, roleplaying and acting, and in my group, people, both male and female, are aware of this.

If my character is flirting with another character (player sexes do not mean anything, it's how the characters are played, which matters) I do not feel like hitting that character's player. I feel like my alter-ego hitting this other person(that other character).

Satyr
2009-05-18, 05:36 AM
I disagree. In my opinion, characters are different from their players, like character of actors in TV/movies/theatre aren't those actors themselves. Straight actors can play gay roles, and married actors can play non-married or even have a on-screen relationship with other actor.


I would even say that it is mandatory to differntiate between characters and players, not pnly for potentially arkward romatic situations, but in the rest of the game as well. Players who take anything bad that happens to their characters as a personal offense are just terrible. While it is certainly nice to feel a connection between yourself and your character, a certain distance should always stay there.

Gorbash
2009-05-18, 06:01 AM
In games I've played in, romance is limited to nailing bar wenches. :smallbiggrin:

Tsotha-lanti
2009-05-18, 06:30 AM
If my character is flirting with another character (player sexes do not mean anything, it's how the characters are played, which matters) I do not feel like hitting that character's player. I feel like my alter-ego hitting this other person(that other character).

Ouch!

What is this, Orc flirting? "Thog like you! *coy punch in the fangs* "

Kaiyanwang
2009-05-18, 07:25 AM
In the games i DMed generally players, more or less have relationships of this kind.

I can divide my male players in two groups:

- Group A: Romantic relationships are part of the RPG. One, the Bard//Hexblade overall, had relationships with MONSTERS too (generally fey, but one time a Pennaggolan - he didn't knew :smallbiggrin:)

Group B: "I'm Epic now, I want a family" kind of player. Wedding and similar are in an extent, more power to gain, building a dinasty.

Women surprisingly (???), are less "serious" in game, and even less romantic. On the other hand, I noticed a veeery interesting thing: in a campaing i almost eradicated the main races from many places (Baatezu subtle invasion) every male player was thinking about revenge.

The female one (Elf Druid) tried to find another elf to mate and avoid extinction. Maybe even in game, women have inside their hearth the strenght of the unending life! :smallwink:


As a general rule, anyway, NOTHING between PC and PC. Always PC-NPC.

AslanCross
2009-05-18, 07:05 PM
- Group A: Romantic relationships are part of the RPG. One, the Bard//Hexblade overall, had relationships with MONSTERS too (generally fey, but one time a Pennaggolan - he didn't knew :smallbiggrin:)



...he had a relationship with a flying, disembodied undead head-and-guts monster? :smalleek:


I DM for my students/former students, and at the time we started they ranged in age from 14-16. My group started with 2 male and 4 female players, each playing a character of their own gender and orientation (all of them are straight to the best of my knowledge). The male paladin and the female swashbuckler had a budding romance in-character, although the swashbuckler's player had to quit and we agreed to plot-kill her character to give the paladin some angst.

The female cleric's player begged me to give her a love interest with a villain---the primary evil cleric was supposed to be a middle-aged man, but thanks to her he turned into a blond, blue-eyed young man. They only met once in battle, however---the campaign ended prematurely before they could meet again. For people familiar with Forgotten Realms, she's a cleric of Kelemvor. He's a cleric of Bane. Something's not right there. And sometimes she goes on creepy daydreams about him. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Yandere)

The female rogue just got herself a lot of uncomfortable attention from drunkards due to having to go undercover as a tavern dancer, and getting drenched and knocked unconscious after a rather problematic encounter right afterwards.

EDIT: Oh, the female rogue was rather possessive (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Tsundere) of the male elf wizard, though. Much nonlethal damage was dealt once in a while.

The female wood elf ranger was largely asexual, but the other girls were trying to see if she had a hidden romantic side (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Kuudere). Nothing ever came of it, though.

Tsotha-lanti
2009-05-18, 09:39 PM
...he had a relationship with a flying, disembodied undead head-and-guts monster? :smalleek:

Pretty sure the point of the monster is that it rips off your head and spine and uses your body as a shell or something, isn't it?

Olo Demonsbane
2009-05-18, 11:10 PM
If relationships happen IC, they are never between players and almost always off camera. They usually crescendo when the game actually ends...for example, my character, a NG Human Cleric (Olo Demonsbane, actually) fell in love with a Nymph Druid NPC that the DM kinda let me control during the battles. We had a very friendly relationship that ended with marriage after the DM got tired of me one shotting monster 20 levels higher than I was and ended the campaign.

Ravyn
2009-05-18, 11:16 PM
Most of the groups I've been in since I got to college have incorporated romance at one point or another. First one, it was mostly NPC/PC. Second game, there were no less than two couples within the main party, both halves of each played by female players, and the character left out of the equation (at least, the second character that particular player played) tended to hit on anything that moved to make up for it.

Then I moved to my online group, and things got interesting. First game, I was the only girl in the group and running, all players but one had male PCs--and by the time it was over, it seemed like most of the group had in some way dealt with relationship stuff. Second game, I was playing, still the only girl in the group; PCs started with 2 male, 2 female, one of the guys playing one of the guys quit, the other ended up being the main point of a messy love triangle involving my PC and an NPC (amusingly enough, resolved in favor of the NPC, though things got messy when yet a third NPC interested in the guy was added, and....), we added another male player/female PC (non-romantic, but does occasionally hit on some of the NPCs), and.... well, it's also the first game I've seen in which all but one of the original cast was married by the second full arc, and the PC brought in after that (male player, male PC) manages to be more sappily obsessed with his SO than the rest of the group put together with their spouses. I wonder if the online format makes it less awkward to explore that kind of plotline?

Kaiyanwang
2009-05-19, 02:01 AM
...he had a relationship with a flying, disembodied undead head-and-guts monster? :smalleek:


:smalltongue:

The party met the Pennaggolan disguised as a local low-rank noblewoman.

They were host of the castle, and after several creepy situations they started to be suspicious.. but the Pennaggolan did not show his true aspect for a while.

The Bard//Hexblade is very good with women, we can say. When they realized the truth, it was too late (he was charmed too). Great RPG and great combat session. A "manifested" Pennaggolan is scary.

Levyathyn
2009-05-21, 12:53 AM
I have, unfortunately, never had the occasion to roleplay with women. To be honest, it's just where I live. =\ What I notice in games (which I usually run) is an almost complete lack of 'romance' as most would define it. The all-male groups I play with often have the Sudden Roll of Potential Scoring whenever they enter a tavern, and some of them have thrown small food items at me if I neglect to include at least one gorgeous woman per bar in every city. It's mostly bluster and just for laughs, like when our Chaos Sorceror (charisma 21) left empty handed, while two other players (cha 12 and 14 respectively) managed to roll well enough for 'accompanyment'. Needless to say, all of the romantic plots are limited to PC/NPC only; as my groups are largely inexperienced, I imagine heavy romantic roleplaying with another man is something that'll take time to grow fond of. And since I'm being honest, I'm not really comfortable with it myself.

To touch on something Saph mentioned, I happen to be shy in real life, and would be a little (Read also: Very) hesitant on initiating a romantic plot with a female player, but if she started one up, I doubt I'd have a problem keeping up. Of the many times I've played with women (online, of course), romantic plots have never come up. So basically, it's a slow and steady process; Making inexperienced players tackle the prospect of love and marriage can be a useful way to bring them fully into the experience.

One last thing: This seems like a mature group of gamers, and I was wondering if anyone here ever had a rapist villain. At the other end of the spectrum, I can make any bad guy absolutely unredeemble by throwing this in there, and I always seem to have gamers mature enough to handle it. I only used it once, but it made the villain much more hateable (is that a word?) and memorable, while providing even a good, noble character with cause to doubt their actions in not killing the man. As I said before, I haven't played with women (at the table, at least), so it really never came up in game other than rumor and gossip. Has anyone else used this tactic, and if so, was it as effective a tool? And would it bother anyone of you, women or men?

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-05-21, 01:16 AM
One last thing: This seems like a mature group of gamers, and I was wondering if anyone here ever had a rapist villain. At the other end of the spectrum, I can make any bad guy absolutely unredeemble by throwing this in there, and I always seem to have gamers mature enough to handle it. I only used it once, but it made the villain much more hateable (is that a word?) and memorable, while providing even a good, noble character with cause to doubt their actions in not killing the man. As I said before, I haven't played with women (at the table, at least), so it really never came up in game other than rumor and gossip. Has anyone else used this tactic, and if so, was it as effective a tool? And would it bother anyone of you, women or men?I've had a couple. The key with keeping it from offending anyone, IMHO, is to make sure its not marginalized. Don't say essentially 'he's evil and he kicks dogs and steals from orphans and rapes widows'. Make it, not the only evil thing you mention, but make it a major one, and don't use it for shock. Use it as a way of conveying that he is truly horrid, but without using it to turn him into just someone the party Paladin can execute without worry.

ocato
2009-05-21, 03:06 AM
...he had a relationship with a flying, disembodied undead head-and-guts monster? :smalleek:


I DM for my students/former students, and at the time we started they ranged in age from 14-16. My group started with 2 male and 4 female players, each playing a character of their own gender and orientation (all of them are straight to the best of my knowledge). The male paladin and the female swashbuckler had a budding romance in-character, although the swashbuckler's player had to quit and we agreed to plot-kill her character to give the paladin some angst.

The female cleric's player begged me to give her a love interest with a villain---the primary evil cleric was supposed to be a middle-aged man, but thanks to her he turned into a blond, blue-eyed young man. They only met once in battle, however---the campaign ended prematurely before they could meet again. For people familiar with Forgotten Realms, she's a cleric of Kelemvor. He's a cleric of Bane. Something's not right there. And sometimes she goes on creepy daydreams about him. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Yandere)

The female rogue just got herself a lot of uncomfortable attention from drunkards due to having to go undercover as a tavern dancer, and getting drenched and knocked unconscious after a rather problematic encounter right afterwards.

EDIT: Oh, the female rogue was rather possessive (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Tsundere) of the male elf wizard, though. Much nonlethal damage was dealt once in a while.

The female wood elf ranger was largely asexual, but the other girls were trying to see if she had a hidden romantic side (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Kuudere). Nothing ever came of it, though.

I would be incredibly self conscious about seeming like a creepy older guy if I was in that position, especially if I was running a game with tavern dancer plots and female students who really wanted me to RP their romantic interest. I'm not making an accusation. The opposite, actually. I commend your/the group's maturity and seriousness in keeping your game fun and mature instead of weird.

BloodyAngel
2009-05-21, 03:39 AM
I too had a villain who was a rapist. He even tried his hand at "assaulting" a female PC. But my group is pretty open-minded and mature. The villain in question was a minor one. A big, quiet fighter with a tendency to be violently brutal in fights, who they later found out had been kicked out of the army. He was part of a small party of mercenary rivals that the group ran into occasionally. He was a Chaotic Evil bully, who thought he owned anything he could take by force, and the group was oddly fondest of him at first, because he seemed quiet and simple, compared to his two comrades. (A complete jerkass male fighter/rogue and a prissy, manipulative female beguiler)

The whole thing came to a head when the "rival" party broke up. They'd been forced into a temporary alliance with the group a time or two, but bad blood was there. Finally, things got odd, and the villain of our piece tried to have his way with the beguiler... a pretty frail, non-combatant thing. The fighter/rogue came to her defense, and one of the PC's came to HIS defense, when he started getting beat silly. Even though it was only a fist-fight in an alley... it ended up a tense and memorable scene, and remarkably brutal. The PC knight fought like a lion, and even though the villain almost overpowered her, she was helped by her former rival, and the two not only prevailed, but worked out a lot of their issues, and became allies of a sort afterward.

The character had more to him ASIDE from being a rapist... but it was that part that made the group hate him. Granted, I'm a woman and I ran that game for a group composed mostly of the same. A male DM running a villain like that for a female group might not go as well. I think, at the very least, you should never have a PC or their loved ones abused like that, unless the player is fond of the angsty stuff, and mature enough to handle it. Talk to them first. I have some pretty masochistic players, myself.

AslanCross
2009-05-21, 04:17 AM
I would be incredibly self conscious about seeming like a creepy older guy if I was in that position, especially if I was running a game with tavern dancer plots and female students who really wanted me to RP their romantic interest. I'm not making an accusation. The opposite, actually. I commend your/the group's maturity and seriousness in keeping your game fun and mature instead of weird.

The tavern dancer thing was the player's idea---she'd picked up some ranks in Perform (Dance) originally intended for Shadowdancer, but she multiclassed into Swordsage instead. She thought she might as well use them to make herself a...distraction. I'd like to add that the most disturbing part about this were the bystanders (other members of the creative writing club) who RPed the drunks ogling her a little too convincingly---aforementioned player being stalker bait. Needless to say I banned bystander participation after that.

As for the romantic interest---honestly I was mostly at a loss as to how I would RP him. I kept him off the radar and planned only to bring him back into the equation way towards the end, where he helps out the PCs for the last stretch of the arc villain's castle, and he turns on them in the end (turns out he was dominated the whole time and it was an elaborate plot to draw the PCs into a death trap)---after which he is executed in front of the PCs when the BBEG reveals himself. (She asked me for a sob story.) We never got there, though.

Michaelos
2009-05-21, 06:33 AM
I know in the D&D I've played with my Wife, she likes sticking people together as couples. We have:
Her Druid Cohort and the High Priestess of Pelor.
Her Dwarven Sub-Commander and his Wife.
Her Two Moogle Sub-Commanders.
Her Town Doctor and the Ex-Princess who became his assistant.

Levyathyn
2009-05-21, 04:31 PM
I've had a couple. The key with keeping it from offending anyone, IMHO, is to make sure its not marginalized. Don't say essentially 'he's evil and he kicks dogs and steals from orphans and rapes widows'. Make it, not the only evil thing you mention, but make it a major one, and don't use it for shock. Use it as a way of conveying that he is truly horrid, but without using it to turn him into just someone the party Paladin can execute without worry.


The character had more to him ASIDE from being a rapist... but it was that part that made the group hate him. Granted, I'm a woman and I ran that game for a group composed mostly of the same. A male DM running a villain like that for a female group might not go as well. I think, at the very least, you should never have a PC or their loved ones abused like that, unless the player is fond of the angsty stuff, and mature enough to handle it. Talk to them first. I have some pretty masochistic players, myself.

That's what I'm talking about. A mature, well rounded villain with actual good qualities and bad. Not someone so smooth and innocent they go unnoticed, and not someone so horribly evil they pee black. Just a regular person with ulterior motives in a position of power. With wants, dreams, and possibly a family. The groups I tend to find around my area these days, they don't really have the experience in RPing to handle a lot of grey areas, so I often use the "blacker than midnight" villains to get them into hating them in character, but I hope to drop the midnight-tinted glasses someday and throw difficult choices in there, hopefully for a good-aligned group.

Justin B.
2009-05-21, 05:31 PM
The only girl we game with is my girlfriend. She's not very good at seperating game actions from real actions, and she's not a very good roleplayer either. However, no one seems to care that the character is her with some fun abilities because she contributes and everything is fine.

The rest of the group is male. Romances would be very weird, and not at all our style.

Aedilred
2009-05-21, 07:24 PM
My group (PbP, which I think makes a difference) is all male, although we have two female PCs. Early on, the party knight, who's kind at heart but a bit of a chauvinist, had a massive falling-out with the huntress, whose player (I think he's a bit younger than some of the rest of us) got rather annoyed, reacted badly both in and out of character, and had to be calmed down by pointing that the opinions of PCs don't necessarily match the opinions of players, and that the knight's attitude was totally in line for the setting.

The knight, though, gets on fine with the other female PC and they're currently running a sort of scam in which they're pretending to be engaged- though the way things are headed, and given both the way both players are acting, it might soon become more than a facade.

On the other hand, one of the PCs, while information-gathering in a tavern, happened across a young lady who was very keen to get to know him a bit better *wink*. Despite the OOC urgings of the other players and the potential contacts that might result, he refused to take it any further... as it turned out, entirely because he would have felt uncomfortable RPing a love scene with me.

Bearing this in mind, and given my experiences with previous groups, it seems that it's not necessarily a question of whether men prefer a different style of RPing to women, it's just that some people are more comfortable with more immersive RP than others. The guy who baulked at the love scene (I said nothing on the subject, thinking it would be more amusing to see what the players thought) seems to prefer a more superficial game, while some of the others prefer to get more into character. So far, fortunately, we haven't had any problems.

I have to admit I've not done any serious gaming with girls/women though- we've had a few tagging along but they've always been existing players' girlfriends and have never actually had enough interest to make the experience worthwhile for anyone.

RuthieA
2009-05-21, 08:28 PM
I'm currently playing in my first ever role-playing game (3.5 edition Dungeons and Dragons), and love, including romantic love, is a major theme of our game. Our group is mixed (one male DM, one female DM, two female players--including myself-- and four male players). One of the male players is my real life boyfriend, and our relationship sort of carried over to our characters (although it's a bit different from our real life relationship--mostly because our characters are much more screwed up than we are), and it's become a major motivation for my character. The other female player in the game has a NPC romantic interest, although he stays mostly in the background. None of the male players, aside from my boyfriend, have expressed any interest in romance.

As for how it's treated in game, it started out rather lighthearted, but I think it's gotten a bit more serious as the game has progressed (probably because we've developed our characters a bit more). There were a few jokes about my character being flirted with by our starting town's...Captain Kirk-esque...wood elf, and completely missing what he was saying due to being rather sheltered. But there has also been a bit of angst, again involving my character (I tend to focus on the role-playing aspect of the game the most), as she's a very good and innocent healer in romantic relationship with a morally gray, although ultimately well intentioned, necromancer.

Personally, I think romantic relationships add an interesting dimension to the story in the game, but I suppose it would really depend on what the players want and on what makes sense for their characters. I think the relationship my character has has helped me develop her motivations and why she chooses what she chooses--it also makes her a more complex character because it's both one of the reasons she's so screwed up and one of the main things keeping her alive.

woodenbandman
2009-05-21, 08:32 PM
I can usually be counted on to play the chick, but otherwise my group is a total sausage festival (just like in vienna). It's a bit weird because my gaming group will usually devolve into endless laughter if one of my characters tries to do the hippity dippity (and I just generally don't really do that much of that kinda stuff, but at least I shake it up and play the girl).

Romance in the game usually, for our group, gets weird if and only if 2 PCs are involved. If it's PC on NPC, it's usually fine. For instance I had an archivist who read the Book of Erotic Fantasy and made the Paladin of Freedom into a man. That was awkward.

shimmercat
2009-05-24, 07:27 AM
Mini-necro, because I've been too busy to check my own thread. :smalleek:

I've seen a couple of people say that PC/PC romances are bad. While I've never been in a group where a valid relationship has come out of this, I'm finishing up with my cleric having a MAJOR crush on our druid, and it hasn't been weird (well, not out of game XD ). Although in this case, both players are straight women and either married or close to it. So it's very clear that this is not romance between the players.

As for rapist enemies... I would be all for it, but my husband-DM... well, in a previous game, his female character was raped by her own brother. Without that DM consulting my husband first to make sure it was ok. It was not cool -- probably the biggest mistake I've ever seen a DM make. I have no issue with rape occurring in a realistic game, but it should never never never never happen without consulting the player first. Certain things need to be consensual in RL, even if they aren't in game.

Chiron
2009-05-24, 08:11 AM
In my experience, this is generally a female player phenomenon, but there's a caveat there: RP Experience is also a big factor. Through the Uni Gaming club I've RPed with your standard kick in the door players of either sex, and some detailed RPers as well. I find it's generally the older guys over the younger ones who are better at RP, and when the girls who are more-familiar with RPGs flesh out their characters more. But the whole relationship business is quite rare. The other issue is if it's PC/NPC romance, how the DM is going to handle it. That's also down to age there.

I remember one situation with my old gaming group. A halfling barmaid was making eyes at my character, who decided to pursue this, but somewhere partway through the process of wooing the DM decided that the barmaid was playing a prank and lead my character upstairs and locked him in a second-floor room of the inn. Then he fell off the side of the building trying to climb down to the street.

My Ex got me briefly into PbP on LJ and other places, but I found it too slow and wasn't really into the way things played out. Though, I do have a preference to playing in groups with female members now thanks to this experience. Because generally, women approach RPGs differently, and this can help educate some of the male players about the meaning of roleplay.

My current group is something of a mishmash of sexualities and genders. We have a married couple, a female-male transgender and his girlfriend, myself, and two run-of-the-mill 17-year-old guys. In the first campaign I played with this group, the characters of the second couple developed a gay relationship over time. While I've never seen the married couple play characters in a relationship They've only been both on the same side of the DM-screen in one game I've played with them.

Myself. I haven't had a chance in a long time to play a character with a wish to get into a relationship... Being the only Nycter in a humanoid civilisation makes romance difficult, and I would say my last character was too obsessed with his arcane works to consider the idea.

Tengu_temp
2009-05-24, 08:28 AM
I see no logic in thinking that inter-party romance is bad - if anything, it's more engaging for the parties involved than PC-NPC romance, and puts less pressure on the DM on top of that.

As for rape - indeed, it's one of the things where you must have clear, ooc consent from the player before you pull anything like that on a PC. Otherwise things will get bad.

lisiecki
2009-05-24, 02:14 PM
I have had in character romances.
However, I always play beastaphilies, and only once has some one played a griffin.