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View Full Version : DM Help A really weird situation came up last week



Sniccups
2018-12-01, 08:03 AM
We started a new campaign in a new world a few weeks ago, and it's been going pretty well. In terms of geography and wildlife, the setting is somewhat based on Australia. (Because it is a perfect habitat for weird, dangerous magical stuff.) Naturally, one of my players (who is a pretty archetypal Loonie (https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheLoonie)) wanted to play a sentient marsupial of some sort, so we ended up homebrewing a wallaby race.

That's not the issue, though.

The issue is that she commented on the attractiveness of an NPC, in character. I wouldn't have a problem with that normally, but the NPC was human (or human-looking, at least) and her character is literally a sentient wallaby. It's even weirder because there are wallaby NPCs in the campaign as well.

What should I do now?

Seto
2018-12-01, 10:01 AM
Hm... Why exactly would you need to do anything? Is it disturbing the game in any way?

As a GM, you're responsible for the coherence and believability of the world. You're NOT responsible for her character's personality, quirks, and internal coherence. If it was just a joke, or a remark that was mostly out of character, it's really not a problem. Let it slide. If it was in-character and she wants to be a humanophile sentient Kangaroo, it's admittedly bizarre but that's her prerogative. It's really not a problem, let it slide. If it was more than a remark and she was actually trying to hit on the NPC, that's really not a problem. Respond like the NPC would. Like "what the hell, I'm not interested in talking animals, such disgust", or possibly "hell yeah, I'm a furry, let's get rockin'", depending on his personality and the world and atmosphere you want to build.

So ask yourself why you think you need to "do something" about it. If it's one of those previous situations, I don't see the problem. If on the other hand, you find it problematic for another reason, such as: "I'm not comfortable with romance in my games" or "this is taking too much game time and I don't want it to be a focus", then identify this as the actual reason, and tell her about it OOC.

Me? Tell me if I'm wrong, but I suspect it's a problem of tone. You're probably thinking "this doesn't make sense, a Kangaroo wouldn't act that way, she's hurting the coherence and believability of MY world". Two solutions: tone is not that important to you, and you would rather allow the players freedom to be quirky if they have fun that way. In that case, like I said, take a deep breath and let it slide. Or the other solution, if tone IS important to you, is to crack down on this and mention it OOC. I wouldn't go that route, though. Because honestly, if you're fine with players you characterize as "loonie" and you allowed them to play talking kangaroos, the game probably already allows for a silly tone.

Sniccups
2018-12-01, 10:21 AM
Because honestly, if you're fine with players you characterize as "loonie" and you allowed them to play talking kangaroos, the game probably already allows for a silly tone.

Okay, yeah, I guess it is kind of a silly question. I just find it really weird that she chose to flirt with a humanoid NPC when there are wallaby NPCs in the game as well.

Jay R
2018-12-01, 11:19 PM
Why is this different from a human commenting on a sleek lion, a beautiful deer, or lovely horse, or a pretty cat?

JNAProductions
2018-12-01, 11:21 PM
Why is this different from a human commenting on a sleek lion, a beautiful deer, or lovely horse, or a pretty cat?

Depends. If it was "Man, that person is lovely looking!" that's similar.

If it's more along the "Man, I'd love to [REDACTED FOR SQUICK] that person!" that's a bit odder.

But, as Seto said, if it's not making the game less fun... Who cares?

Sniccups
2018-12-02, 07:36 AM
Why is this different from a human commenting on a sleek lion, a beautiful deer, or lovely horse, or a pretty cat?

Well, she specifically referred to him as hot, so theres that.

Altair_the_Vexed
2018-12-02, 08:38 AM
Well it worked out for Tank Girl and Booga...

https://womenwriteaboutcomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/BrettParsonsTGBooga.jpg

The Insanity
2018-12-02, 09:54 AM
Okay, yeah, I guess it is kind of a silly question. I just find it really weird that she chose to flirt with a humanoid NPC when there are wallaby NPCs in the game as well.
Is the player a sentient wallaby?

KillianHawkeye
2018-12-02, 11:57 AM
Okay, yeah, I guess it is kind of a silly question. I just find it really weird that she chose to flirt with a humanoid NPC when there are wallaby NPCs in the game as well.

It's not really any stranger than humans and elves in D&D, or humans and orcs, or any other combination of races. Do I have to mention HALF-DRAGONS?? Inter-species relationships in a fantasy game should not really be shocking to anyone anymore.

Vinyadan
2018-12-02, 12:24 PM
Why is this different from a human commenting on a sleek lion, a beautiful deer, or lovely horse, or a pretty cat?

Dougal: I-I think I think I have a lyric.
Ted: Right. Lyrics. Go ahead there, Dougal.
Dougal: What's it called again?
Ted: My Lovely Horse.
Dougal: Right. How about this? Er... "My lovely horse, I want to hold you so tight, I want to rub my fingers through your tail, and love you all night..."
Ted: Dougal, Dougal, Dougal, stop there! Keep out of the whole area of "being in love with the horse".
Dougal: Oh, right.
Ted: Right. We're more friends with the horse. We want to jump around and have a good laugh with it.
Dougal: Right. What about, "Take this lump of sugar, baby, you know you want it?" Something like those rap fellas would write.

Altair_the_Vexed
2018-12-03, 09:33 AM
Dougal: I-I think I think I have a lyric.
Ted: Right. Lyrics. Go ahead there, Dougal.
Dougal: What's it called again?
Ted: My Lovely Horse.
Dougal: Right. How about this? Er... "My lovely horse, I want to hold you so tight, I want to rub my fingers through your tail, and love you all night..."
Ted: Dougal, Dougal, Dougal, stop there! Keep out of the whole area of "being in love with the horse".
Dougal: Oh, right.
Ted: Right. We're more friends with the horse. We want to jump around and have a good laugh with it.
Dougal: Right. What about, "Take this lump of sugar, baby, you know you want it?" Something like those rap fellas would write.
Ted: We have to loose that sax solo!

Sniccups
2018-12-03, 07:11 PM
It's not really any stranger than humans and elves in D&D, or humans and orcs, or any other combination of races. Do I have to mention HALF-DRAGONS?? Inter-species relationships in a fantasy game should not really be shocking to anyone anymore.

Yes, yes it is. All humanoid races are part of the same genus (in my canon, at least) and dragons are inherently magical animals. Wallabies, however, are as far away from humans as snakes are from turtles, have a very different reproductive system from humans, and have no such inherent magic. It would take a pretty weird and powerful wizard to make a human/wallaby hybrid, so it stands to reason that the overwhelming majority of humans and wallaby people would NOT be attracted to each other.

Honest Tiefling
2018-12-03, 07:13 PM
Well it worked out for Tank Girl and Booga...

I was going to ask if the players recently saw that movie...

But is there a potential reason the character might have made the remark? I mean, if you want a distraction I can't see why a wallaby coming up to you and hitting on you wouldn't suffice in most cases. Or was it to annoy the NPC, maybe see how collected they'd be in a strange situation?

Sniccups
2018-12-03, 08:00 PM
Okay, so we had another meet yesterday, and a lot of stuff related to this happened:

She established that her character is pansexual, and is in fact attracted to humanoids. (She also attempted to establish this as a trait for all wallaby people, but that REALLY doesn't make sense.)

She also decided to list "overly flirty" as a flaw on her character sheet, so I can't really argue with the way she's playing her character.

At one point in the session, we were at a tavern, and she decided to try flirting with a patron in order to get them to buy drinks for her. After rolling horribly on the charisma checks for every other wallaby in the bar, she then decided to flirt with some humanoid patrons, which led immediately to a 20-minute argument between her and another player (who tends to be argumentative) over whether I should even give that a chance of working. (Much to the annoyance of the other players.)

Here's what happened (paraphrased) when I attempted to resolve this:
Other player: What would you do if, say, a goat flirted with you in a bar?
Her: I would buy it a drink!
Me: But just for the sheer novelty of being flirted with by a goat, right?
Her: Exactly. Isn't this the same situation?
Me: Well, no, because the people in this city have been living with your species for hundreds of years.

I'm not actually sure if I was right, though. It would be pretty silly to be flirted with by a marsupial that's a quarter your size. This whole thing is still open, anyway, because the other players had to go home at that point. I really have no idea what to say about this.

Mr Beer
2018-12-03, 08:24 PM
Non-issue for me, I fade to black for sexitimes but consenting adult PCs can flirt if they want.

Avista
2018-12-03, 09:02 PM
Just for context, how flirtatious is this? Is it like 'bugs bunny or ani-maniacs go ga-ga over stereotypical hot chick in a childish cartoony way' or is this closer to 'I am not touching that corner of the internet with a 10-foot pole' and making people uncomfortable?

I once played an overly-flirtatious half-elf, and part of the fun was trying to see how many dates he could land himself, or how many rejections he'd get. One could argue that a wallaby is no different than a half-elf and is just another race variant, or go the other way and say wallaby is way too alien of a race and no one would understand why it's even a thing. You have the authority to let NPCs roll with it, but you also have the authority to put your foot down if it goes against the structure and society of your story. There is no right or wrong answer here - the judgement is in the DM's eyes. In the end, this is your world to build, not hers.

lunaticfringe
2018-12-03, 09:21 PM
Don't have her roll next time just let her wallaby hook up with some one to save time. If this is going to keep happening in every inn it's going to wear on other players and you. Probably not a bad idea to pepper in some negative repercussions:

Stds, Serial monogamous stalkers, spouses & SOs of her partners looking to kick her ass.

Not in a slut-shamey way, have her roll a one night stand check. low=creepy/weird/bad stuff, high=fun/love???

Pauly
2018-12-03, 09:51 PM
Shes basically roleplaying a furry.
I would run away screaming because furries ruin everything they touch. Ive seen it happen 4 or 5 times closeup with cons Ive been involved in.
However if your tolerance levels for furries is higher than mine, just keep control over the sexitimes and have flirting end in failure reasonably often. Players who want to be supersexy often end up taking over the spotlight and either derailing the game or driving away other players.

KillianHawkeye
2018-12-04, 07:43 PM
I still don't understand why two sentient beings can't have a relationship, or sex, even if they aren't compatible enough to reproduce? Historically, people have sex with animals in real life, people get emotionally attached to their pets in real life.

We're talking about a wallaby creature that is intelligent and capable of having meaningful conversations with members of other species here. Why is romance so out of the question?

Koo Rehtorb
2018-12-04, 11:03 PM
She established that her character is pansexual, and is in fact attracted to humanoids. (She also attempted to establish this as a trait for all wallaby people, but that REALLY doesn't make sense.)

Why? Frankly, this whole topic is coming off as this subject makes you uncomfortable but you don't want to just say that so you're trying to prohibit it based on realism concerns. They're a fictional race, they can have whatever traits you want.

If the idea squicks you out then just be honest and say that. It seems like a weird thing to be hung up over to me, but I'm not you.

Sniccups
2018-12-05, 01:53 PM
Why? Frankly, this whole topic is coming off as this subject makes you uncomfortable but you don't want to just say that so you're trying to prohibit it based on realism concerns. They're a fictional race, they can have whatever traits you want.

If the idea squicks you out then just be honest and say that. It seems like a weird thing to be hung up over to me, but I'm not you.

I know it's a weird thing to get so hung up on, but I always find myself puzzled by the weirdest things. I have had to put books down for days in order to figure something out when basically anyone else would just keep reading. I once had to pause a Monty Python movie because the plot was going in a confusing direction. So I am uncomfortable with it, but for a different reason.

I'm just trying to figure out how two totally unrelated species that really look nothing alike could be physically attracted to each other after only being in contact for a couple hundred years. Maybe her character is just a weird kind of person, but it just doesn't make sense for her to expect the average human to be able to reciprocate.

Koo Rehtorb
2018-12-05, 02:46 PM
I'm just trying to figure out how two totally unrelated species that really look nothing alike could be physically attracted to each other after only being in contact for a couple hundred years. Maybe her character is just a weird kind of person, but it just doesn't make sense for her to expect the average human to be able to reciprocate.

If a thing exists, there is a subset of people that are attracted to it. I do not find it implausible that with two groups of sentient humanoids living together for centuries mutual attraction could be relatively commonplace. It's also not implausible that society has deemed it taboo and the PC in question would be considered a dirty pervert. Take your pick, just be aware that it's you making the choice, you're not the neutral champion of verisimilitude in this situation.

But really, think long and hard about if it's worth shutting down your player's attempts to help with world building. Games are usually better when everyone has input on what the setting looks like.

weckar
2018-12-11, 10:27 PM
This thread is starting to skate awkwardly closer to real-life racism with every argument made. Maybe we should filter a bit.

comk59
2018-12-12, 09:57 AM
I mean, a non-human who is not especially attractive in a conventional sense but is nonetheless overly flirty to humans feels more like a funny character quirk than anything else. Isn't that trope is used for comedy all the time? Who here remembers Fisto? Or that one robot from fallout 4? Wow, when I say it out loud, fallout has a lot of robots that want to bonk you.

Silly Name
2018-12-12, 11:04 AM
OP, did you watch Futurama? Remember that episode where Amy (a Mars-born human) and Bender (a robot) fell in love? And then Amy later fell in love with Kif, a vaguely-humanoid alien with a really weird biology? Or, still being in the realm of sci-fi, all the alien ladies who were infatuated with Captain Kirk?

Fantasy and sci-fi have their large share of examples of inter-species romance and attraction, weird as it may be. Just open the D&D 3.5 Monster Manual and see all the "half-X" templates. I mean, half minotaurs were a thing! I get that it can be weird and off-putting, but unless the player is trying to constantly derail the game to talk about the sexuality of the character and what they would get up to with the NPCs, it shouldn't be a problem. A casual remark about the human NPC being hot seems hardly something that could disrupt your game.

Mr Beer
2018-12-12, 05:20 PM
Just open the D&D 3.5 Monster Manual and see all the "half-X" templates. I mean, half minotaurs were a thing!

LOL, never mind about where half-minotaurs came from.

Quertus
2018-12-12, 06:14 PM
The heart wants what the heart wants. I don't need to start listing all the diverse living and inanimate things that humans IRL want, do I?

Don't hurt your head/heart trying to understand how humans can fall in love with statuary, just accept that they can, and move on.

I don't remember much biology, but maybe a humanoid marsupial and a human wouldn't be reproductively compatible without magic. So what? That's no different from a pair of gay (is that a gender-neutral term?) lovers, is it?

I mean, I can imagine most of my characters being rather turned off at being flirted with by a pint-sized marsupial, but, IMO, it's no stranger than some the humans who have flirted with me IRL, and less strange than what some humans are attracted to IRL.

KillianHawkeye
2018-12-13, 12:48 AM
LOL, never mind about where half-minotaurs came from.

Listen Bobby, when a minotaur and a non-minotaur love each other a lot, the Gods send a roc to deliver a precious half-minotaur baby to be their new son or daughter. It's the miracle of life!

Sniccups
2018-12-15, 05:00 PM
I did say average human. No doubt there are some humans who would be interested in a relationship with a furred twelve-kilogram mammal (maybe more halflings than humans, at least they're closer in size) but I just don't think there's a very good chance that she could've found one of those people among the two dozen patrons of the bar they happened to be in.