Role Playing Tips - By Johnn Four
ROMANCE IN GAMES: IT'S THE CHASE THAT'S FUN
I had the opportunity to have a very enjoyable roleplaying
discussion with a few Roleplaying Tips Weekly subscribers
this past weekend. And the topic of character romance in
games came up. I put in my 2 cents worth and absorbed all I
could. Here is a brief review of what was said and some tips
for handling romance in your own campaign.
It was agreed by all that romance can be a great addition to
a roleplaying campaign. It allows new conflicts and story
lines, new types of NPCs and fun interactions. But there are
good and bad ways to deal with it.
If the situation just devolves into sex, then just roll a
dice and get on with the story. If the player wants to
explore a fantasy of this nature then draw the line and give
that person a 1-900 number to call--then get your game back
Roleplaying romance, in my opinion, is just like a treasure
hunt. And just as rewarding. The fun is in the chase and the
challenges along the way. When I think of romance, I conjure
up images of Victorian times where society put a large
number of restrictions upon acceptable relationships between
men and women. And this is where the fun and challenge lies.
It's one thing to have a goopy conversation between lovers,
but it's quite another to try to win some "alone time" with
a another, protect reputations, prove your worthiness as a
suitor, be polite and unoffensive, win over the parents-in-
law, gain community acceptance, and find a truly compatible
Imagine a scene where the player must figure out how to pass
a secret note to someone they are attracted to in order to
arrange a meeting. Then the party must act as a team to
protect the two during the meeting from being discovered. As
a GM you can probably think of many wrenches to put into
And then, after the meeting, what will happen when the two
meet in public--at a party for example. They must act as if
the secret meeting never occurred or raise suspicion. Yet
they really did have that meeting and will feel compelled to
converse intimately instead of as strangers. A true
And what about the lady's father? What if he's a 19th level
And think about this. If a person who bristled with weapons,
smelled like an orc and had some kind of dungeon-crawling,
treasure seeking deathwish came up to you and asked your
hand in marriage, would you accept? And get a load of their
name. Would you want to be known as Mr. or Mrs. Thromgar The
As you can see, romance can become a very complex and
entertaining endeavour in your games.
For your campaign, think of the Victorians and come up with
a few social rules that govern (and restrict) relationships
between men and women, dwarves and elves, etc. What kind of
social roadblocks does your society have that would make
romance like an exciting treasure hunt?
And as I said, if things should progress beyond
conversation, just roll a dice and get on with it. It's the
chase that counts.
Have more fun at every game!