View Full Version : PCs in love: Inter-party romance

2009-09-06, 02:22 AM
Tabletop roleplaying games are about playing roles. Some people just consider this as taking up the role of a fighter or a wizard - that is, their role in combat. Others like to get completely into character and base all their actions on what their character would do.

This can be rather fun - if you develop your character well enough and act according to their own motivations, sometimes they can even surprise you. Sometimes this can apply to making poor decisions in combat when you, as a player, know better; but sometimes, a character can surprise you in a way that you couldn't possibly prepare for. They fall in love.

If you're in a roleplay-heavy group that makes a clear distinction between player and character, like I am, this can be a really fun experience. However, it's easy to see how many people would be uncomfortable with the prospect. Also, having in-character romance coincide with out-of-character romance can be a headache. Nobody plays tabletops to watch a couple make kissyfaces at each other through the entire session.

One of my characters is currently involved in a strange sort of romantic story with another party member, and we're both having a lot of fun with it. One of the other players seems to be interested in getting in on some of the drama, as well, and is planning on introducing a rival to my character for the other party member's affections via taking the Leadership feat. (I'll go into more detail later maybe.)

What have your experiences been like for inter-party romance? Is it something to be avoided or another fun aspect of role-playing that you relish in? Has it ever lead to any OOC awkwardness?

2009-09-06, 02:34 AM
I've always wanted to try it, but... it's never happened for me.

2009-09-06, 02:36 AM
I've always wanted to try it, but... it's never happened for me.
When you find someone you really love and can share your fictional life with, then it's magical.

I've been married to the same scantily-clad sorceress girl for 2 years in a game and could never be happier. The eldest son is off to fighter college and that is a bit different from the family trade but we aim to be supportive.

2009-09-06, 02:45 AM
Happens all the time. It's a great way to motivate characters, and allows for interesting combat situations...

And, ahm, other things, sometimes.

2009-09-06, 02:46 AM
It seems like the kind of thing that would be interesting, but I've never seen it happen without an OOC romance between players taking place as well.

Probably the biggest stumbling blocks are:

1. Almost no one plays another gender, and almost all of us are heterosexual males (and thus so are our characters). Reasons for the lack of cross-gender characters are varied, but the biggest thing is it's hard to do without either throwing it in everyone's face constantly or just glossing over it ('Wait, your character is a chick?').

2. The women/girls I've gamed with were usually significant others or children of other people at the gaming table. Thus, it can get awkward.

3. All of us spend so much time trying to find love/keep the love we've got outside the game that gaming would stop being an outlet for stress if emotional content got too heady.

Temet Nosce
2009-09-06, 03:29 AM
Closest I've come is a relationship between a major NPC and a PC (while I was DMing). The NPC (which had formerly been around only occasionally, and was eventually going to turn out to be mentally enslaved and betray the party) started having reasons to be around a lot more often, gained the trust of the party, and ended in a tragedy when after being forced to betray the party the party managed to kill the BBEG anyways and then one of them went on to kill the NPC. Was fun, albeit I disliked having anything that close to a DMPC (although I kept it out of combat mostly).

2009-09-06, 03:44 AM
I've played an equal mix of male and female characters, but I play them all as more-or-less asexual beings. I would never RP an inter-party romance unless the other player suggested it and nobody at the table was going to feel awkward about it, myself included. To be honest, if the other player wasn't a girl I at least liked that way, I think it would feel very awkward.

2009-09-06, 03:48 AM
Honestly, I'd like to try it sometime, but it'd be something I'd do as a way to build up an IRL romance with the player in question. Basically, it'd be a nice way to begin or continue a real relationship away from the table.

2009-09-06, 04:07 AM
In my current game, my character (male naga wizard) is falling in love with the character my friend plays (male human swordsage).

It's going really well and we're having a lot of fun with it. We've yet to ee if he'll feel that way about my character though - they're best friends.

2009-09-06, 04:16 AM
My (female, human) wizard once had a one night stand with the (male, elf) paladin. It might have been more had the campaign not soon ended for unrelated reasons.

2009-09-06, 04:44 AM
WAAAAAY back... AD&D I think it was 1998?... my friend played a male human fighter who wears only a loincloth and I played a scantily clad female enchantress(remember how in AD&D, you needed a secondary stat to qualify for school specialization, and Enchantment/Charm was, of course, charisma)

We're both guys btw. But anyway, our characters weren't in love, bet the DM would dump us into these aweful social encounters where there would seem no hope. The Paladin will try to talk through it all the way, but when our efforts screw up, the fighter and I start having wild monkey sex where the story scfrews up.

Say, The mayor throws us into jail to be hung at sunset. No spells.. no weapons... bend bars lift gates attempts fail (lol)... nothing to do but wait for our deaths... hey fighter, lets have sex right here on the prison floor with the paladin watching? Right on!

I can't recall how we got out of that with our lives.

Anyway. Same dood, the fighter got into a RL relationship with a girl when their V:tM characters fell in love. A nosferatu and a Lasombra antitribu no less.

My 3.5 bard once got into a bizarre love triangle between two npc's, one of which was a copper dragon bard and a aasimar bard. At least my bard was a girl and those things were both d00ds and they were gay for each other. I slept with both of them just to make me feel better about myself.

2009-09-06, 05:01 AM
When you find someone you really love and can share your fictional life with, then it's magical.

I've been married to the same scantily-clad sorceress girl for 2 years in a game and could never be happier. The eldest son is off to fighter college and that is a bit different from the family trade but we aim to be supportive.

Emphasis mine. But really, what other kind of sorceress would you want? :smalltongue: :smallbiggrin:

And cupkeyk? Let me say, that was pure evil! But also awesome! :smallbiggrin: That poor paladin...

Me, I have no experience with inter party romances. Mostly because all of the players in my group are straight guys and we don't feel like doing it. Second, we're more the "crush-smash-kill" kind of party. And last but not least... our campaigns usually don't last long enough for something like that to develop.

But I certainly wouldn't object to trying something like that, were there a receptive roleplaying partner to be had :smallsmile: As long as everybody is cool with it, of course.

2009-09-06, 05:13 AM
While it would be an interesting development, I fear that I myself would have a hard time distinguishing IC from OOC.

But it would be a fun thing to try, with the right character.

2009-09-06, 05:25 AM
I have Gmed when inter-party sex went on, but not romance. Thankfully they had a tent and much of it was left up to the imagination.

And there was the fact that she was a plant designed to lead the heroes to the big bad...

2009-09-06, 05:49 AM
Emphasis mine. But really, what other kind of sorceress would you want? :smalltongue: :smallbiggrin:
My sorceresses have always opted for more utilitarian clothing. One of them was almost invisible, so she could have got away with it if not for extreme paranoia, but the other was 70 feet tall when she waded into battle, so modest clothing was essential to avoid... embarrassment (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e5/Attackofthe50ftwoman.jpg).

2009-09-06, 06:02 AM
My sorceresses have always opted for more utilitarian clothing. One of them was almost invisible, so she could have got away with it if not for extreme paranoia, but the other was 70 feet tall when she waded into battle, so modest clothing was essential to avoid... embarrassment (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e5/Attackofthe50ftwoman.jpg).

I can't seem to find that jpeg of susan storm-reed in a strip club with trays of body paint and the crowd was rooting for her to "put it on!"

Grey Paladin
2009-09-06, 06:06 AM
In person it would feel too awkward, but I've done it many times in either online groups or NWN roleplaying servers. My favorite character ever was an epic assassin-turned-housewife.

The Dark Fiddler
2009-09-06, 06:18 AM
I'd love the chance to try it myself. Unfortunately, my group doesn't seem to be a roleplaying heavy group. Although I think it'd be a fun sub plot to have a stalker for one of the PCs go evil when they deny him/her.

The biggest problem with this in my group is that we're all guys and all play guys, and while I don't have a problem with playing girls (just haven't yet) or sexualities other than heterosexuality, 2 of my players are rather outspoken against homosexuality.

Guess I have to file it under "try sometime, but under a different group".

2009-09-06, 07:41 AM
I'm a big proponent of romance in RP games, but it really does depend on your group. Some groups handle it really well, and some can't at all. My group handles it well, as we have very defined relationships with each other. (It's two solid het couples, a straight man, and a gay woman, so there never any ideas that any romantic feeling might be IRL.) That said, while everyone at the table is cool with the romance, not everyone participates.

Our game has 3 romantic-ish situations going on. 1. The female druid PC with a male NPC are happily-ever-after in love. Miss Druid also had Mr. Cleric PC (my character) as a suitor, which became a rather messy (IC) love triangle. She picked the NPC in the end, and Mr. Cleric had to suck it, which he did, because he's bisexual, therefore: 2. The male cleric PC with a gay male NPC (who happens to be the brother of the NPC with the druid). This is a sex-based relationship and both characters know it. But hey, it works for them, especially because the NPC realizes that it keeps Mr. Cleric from eying his brother's girl. (This is the primary game and obviously is a bit complicated. 8D )

And then we have a secondary game that is much less serious and uses NPCs from the first game (to give the primary DM a break while he studies for his PhD qualifier tests). In that game, 3. Mr. Monk PC has a big crush on Miss Bard PC. That one hasn't gone that far yet, but both players are very interested in getting the characters together (and they are REALLY REALLY cute together) so it's only a matter of time. This one in particular has a very large class difference between the characters, and that adds an interesting dynamic. "Monk" was used for "bar-fight brawler" in this character. He's a sailor and a former cage-fighter. She grew up wealthy with nuveau-rich parents. Should be enjoyable.

Also, someone mentioned starting a IRL romance with an in-character romance? That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. Not that I don't think it could be DONE, but it just sounds like a really... almost creepy way to hit on a girl. Just sayin'.

2009-09-06, 08:01 AM
My VtM character was awkwardly in love with his (npc) Toreador friend. Everyone thought it was because she blood bonded him, but he loved her before that. Awww

2009-09-06, 08:14 AM
During my Heavy Rp period (AD&D 2nd Edition), we had a long period with only male players around the table.

Even in those campaigns, sometimes our characters fell in love with each other: Torreth (my human male fighter) and Skie (J-C's female elven thief) on Ravenloft, where their love blossomed in the darkest hours and became the saving light and redemption of their souls.

In another campaign with me as a DM, two of my players decided to create a couple who adventured together, two necromancers.

Later when we had female players introduced into the group, there was already romance and love involved in the game, so there was no awkwardness when romance, love and betrayal continued to be part of the weekly RPG session. In all of these campaigns, our characters also usually picked up dependants and /or significant others played by the DM.

Kris Strife
2009-09-06, 08:20 AM
Also, someone mentioned starting a IRL romance with an in-character romance? That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. Not that I don't think it could be DONE, but it just sounds like a really... almost creepy way to hit on a girl. Just sayin'.

I don't think it was being used as a way to hit on the player, but that it started out IC and they decided to move beyond that and try IRL as well. Not only that, but its much easier to be charming or say what you have in mind, when its Dan the Bard taking the risk rather than yourself.

2009-09-06, 08:48 AM
I think its always a fun par of the game My Dread necromancer ince fell in love with the partys rogue/wiz whos my good friends wife. I guess it all depends on the level of maturity overal. Really makes for interesting comments i really really want to send undeadites at the bbeg but all my zombies are being fleshy walls so she wont be hit by a stray arrow :P

2009-09-06, 09:39 AM
Anyway. Same dood, the fighter got into a RL relationship with a girl when their V:tM characters fell in love. A nosferatu and a Lasombra antitribu no less.

My fiancee and I LARP as a Nosferatu (me) and a Daeva (her), though the characters are only close friends with a level 3 blood bond. (They were friends before the bond and took the bond because they were friends.)

Interestingly, we met though a tabletop VtR game, although there was no IC romance. I was actually playing a female character because of the character concept I had. Her first character was really creepy until the party killed her. (It was justified. She was, in the words of her ghoul, "BAAAAD PEOPLE!" My fiancee told me later that she wanted to see how long it would take us to kill her.) Her second was more likable, but rather asexual.

Captain Six
2009-09-06, 10:07 AM
I haven't had a complete romance in a campaign yet but the search for love keeps popping up as a character motivation. I can recall two, actually my two online characters, who have developed feelings for a party member. At points it's obvious that they feel this way, especially OOC, and no one has told me to cut it out yet so....yeah.

2009-09-06, 10:21 AM
I agree with a lot of points above... it depends on the group. The group I'm in is actually a pretty even mix of men and women; we've got two couples in the game, and one of the girls has a boyfriend who doesn't play D&D. Romance tends to be a pretty standard thing, actually. In one game, we had a bloody soap opera: a CN sorceress and the DMPC CN bard hooked up, the pansexual CG cleric who hit on and slept with as many PCs and NPCs as he could, and the weird sexual tension between the female paladin of Lathandar and the holy liberator of Sune. The paladin was also occasionally sleeping with the cleric.

In our other, more serious game, my PC and my boyfriend's PC are a couple. We were dating before we made those characters, and the fact that we are dating makes RP'ing some of our interactions a lot less awkward. We manage to keep the PDA to a minimum; our characters aren't very touchy-feely, so we've not sitting on one side of the table making out the whole time. We also had a cleric (played by a gay guy) and a druid (played by the girlfriend of another player) as a couple, but the druid died 'cause the player moved away, and then the cleric died in a tragic fight with demons. So for a while we only had one couple... then my boyfriend's character's brother (the pansexual cleric from the other game!) showed up as an NPC and hooked up with our insane female wizard (played by the DM's wife). Good times.

So, yeah, romance in an RPG can totally work, as long as all the parties involved are good roleplayers and can handle it.

2009-09-06, 11:20 AM
I've seen it really happen when two of my players (both men) came up with the idea beforehand. That minimalized the awkwardness. It's too strange to do spontaneously.

2009-09-06, 11:42 AM
I guess it's example time, since the wee-hours of the morning aren't the best for explainin things.

I've had interparty romance and PC-NPC romance on both sides of the screen. It's fun as long as the roleplayers in question are mature enough to distinguish between OOC and IC. Its the characters getting it on, not the players.

First example: While I have had a lot of characters romance other 'characters' in the story, they were either cohorts or never appeared in the game at all. This was the first PC-PC one I did. Friend of mine was playing a star elf bard, I was playing an (Hold your breath for this) Ibixian/Minotaur priestess of Eldath. Her mercy and demeanor (and the bard falling in love with her) caused him to repent for his sins and alignment shift alllll the way from CN to NG - Just for her. Course, she was a bit daft...

He confessed his love to her right as she was starting to notice that her lifestyle wouldn't let her live long. It wasn't long after that she had to make the decision to turn herself to stone to save the rest of the party (Crushing wall trap. Yes, I know.)

After the revelation of a 'contract' that the bard could use to bring her back (Normal stone to flesh wouldn't work since it was voluntary) the campaign sort of fell apart, but the plan with the DM was to make her a Saint, and after the main story arc ended, she and the bard would move into a small mountain settlement and just live quietly together. Thats 'canon' in my mind.

Second example is PC-NPC with me behind the screen: Nautical campaign. A cleric of Heironeous (Known from this point forward as Big-H) is mopping the deck and he spots a girl floating face down in the water. He fishes the white Darfellan out and proceeds to save her. Yaaay all is happy.

He gets to know her and eventually they become somewhat close. He learns about her background (She was all white - considered an omen of sorts among the Darfellan. She was used as a political bargaining tool and traded off to some tribe leader where she had a bunch of kids and was generally treated as a baby-machine.).

They pass by her old settlement, of course overrun by undead sahaguin. He keeps this information from her. He ends up losing contact with Big-H and must make a pact with another deity in order to save the Darfellan (again) after she's fatally wounded in battle. He gives up his sight for her. Much later in an underground/underwater city (Of Lemuria if you get the reference. It's led by a dragon.) she confesses that she has feelings for him, despite being bound by marriage. He finally mentions that they passed her village... Probably bad timing. He stops her from having sad-sex with him, and the adventure continues.

They part ways after the party heads into an evil tower being powered by limbo (Some of you might remember that.) In they go, they kill some stuff, then find out that the ship was sucked into the Limbo-Storm and destroyed, the crew scattered around the tower (Most of them dead.) The cleric goes a bit loopy and starts doing things out of his alignment (Which was LG.)

Boss Chamber number 3 - The Darfellan is there, being mind-controlled by another NPC the party befriended (He was thought dead having been blasted by the ship.) He was the Lich's apprentice, and the Lich apparently had an easy time of dominating him after digging him out of the sea. They defeated the encounter (With *that* NPC's love interest breaking the spell with a quick kiss. But that's another thing altogether.) and the cleric and the darfellan were reunited.

Relationship-wise, that's where that campaign is now. It's still running and in case my players are reading, I'm not gonna mention what could happen in the future :P

Third example is PC-NPC with me on the other side of the screen: Female changeling rogue/assassin dealy. She gets mixed up in a massive resistance movement where the leader is an armor-clad-masked-caped-whatever man who refuses to reveal his identity. She's eventually appointed as his personal bodyguard and (After proving her loyalty by killing her childhood-friend-turned-enemy) they get a bit close. As a result, he starts making tactical decisions he normally wouldn't because her safety is now a priority. Then he gets captured.

Now, my changeling is Lawful Evil. She took his place and continued on with the plan, thinking him dead. A mind-link of sorts is established, and her dreams are wrought with visions of him being tortured. She manages to pull through and continue the plans they made together, and gets the (meager) support of another nation. The bad guy army attacks and there's a new face among the enemy generals and a collar around his neck (You can probably see where this is going.)

After fending the enemy army off and destroying the collar, the two are together again - but not without *some* sour feelings on his part because she didn't come for him. He officially hands command over to her thinking himself too weak to lead (What with the whole 'letting himself get captured' thing.) and that's where the campaign is now. The two are pretty much a well-known couple among most, if not all, of her officers (the other party members.)

Whew. I'm sure I have some more examples, but for D&D - thats pretty much the main three.

2009-09-06, 04:41 PM
inter-party romance

[Grammararian rulesmith]
What you're describing is actually intra-party romance (within-party romance), or inter-PC romance (romance between PCs). Inter-party romance would be romance with a member or members of a different adventuring party.
[/Grammararian rulesmith]

2009-09-06, 04:58 PM
I do RP with my girlfriend in the same group, but I am the DM pretty much always so having a relationship in character would be strange, what with all the switching of monsters on my side and all.

Anyhow, our group is starting on also doing a one piece like Mutants and Masterminds game, and I am a player in that. My character is a steampunk gentleman known as ďThe Top HatĒ her character however is a escaped government experiment best known as Franken-gekko so thatís not really going to work I suppose, we were pretty sure her character didnít have any gender to start with.

Now Iím thinking about it the other guy in the group is playing an actual female character. A light based fairy character to be precise. Yea, heís queer, and verry gay about that. His character has been doing the light effects for my characters intro speeches and all, he is a true gentleman adventures pirate after all. He can do with some dramatic backlighting. But building up some IC romance there would get just a spat to weird I think.

The only reason I stick up with weird parties in my game is because I know real life isnít any more logical at times.

2009-09-06, 05:04 PM
My very first group (made up of 12-15 year olds) had quite a bit of romance in it.
-The aasimar paladin and the tsundere (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Tsundere)human swashbuckler had a budding romance, but since the swashbuckler's player quit I decided to kill off her character in a dramatic way, which caused the paladin to act all depressed.
-The half-elf rogue had a rather obsessive and possessive crush on the elf wizard, which involved a lot of non-lethal damage being dealt.
-The human cleric of Kelemvor was in love with a recurring enemy cleric of Bane. (this was really hard for me to write into the story)
-The wood elf ranger (the most mature player in the group) seemed frigid and asexual compared to the other members of the party.