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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Bugbear in the Playground

    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: NPCs (attempting to) Romance PCs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Lemming View Post
    Players: Have you ever seen NPCs fall for, flirt with, or attempt to romance player characters?

    DMs: Have you ever had any of your NPCs do this? For non-creepy reasons?

    Everyone: As a DM, how terrible of an idea is it for me to do this? I'm not interested in any of my players that way, and I would only be doing this for the potential role-playing opportunities - and, knowing my players, the potential hilarity that is likely to ensue.
    Make sure none of your players is interested in you that way. (One time, I hit on an NPC, not aware that the DM was interested in me and took that as confirmation that I was interested in him, too. I wasn't.)

    Also, ask, because that's the polite thing to do.

    And do it in a tasteful way. But if you really don't want to hit on any of the players, you probably don't have any motivation to be distasteful about it.

    If you just want comedy, you could introduce the whole thing via a third party. I had a female DM do a "there's this woman who is very impressed by how strong and capable you are, and she is very insistent that you should meet her son" thing. It was a lot funnier than it would have been with the guy himself being an annoying admirer, as it was clear there was no threat of assault, just annoyingness. (At least I think it was meant to be annoying ... but I was bored at the time and decided to ask some questions about this guy and the proposed match.)

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Dallas, TX

    Default Re: NPCs (attempting to) Romance PCs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    It was YOU!

    I'm too senile to remember how I learned this very important lesson, but I loved your story, and can remember it, and use it as my goto example whenever this comes up.

    I hope you don't mind.
    I donít mind at all. I can keep my words private. Or I can post them to the Internet. I was never naive enough to believe I could do both at once.

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Spamalot in the Playground
    DigoDragon's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Orlando, FL

    Default Re: NPCs (attempting to) Romance PCs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chauncymancer View Post
    Once one of my players made the observation (I consumed a lot of noir at the time) that any NPC flirting with a party member should be immediately shot dead, as they were inevitably either the monster of the week or one of the villains.
    Dang. And here I was thinking that I would like to have the experience of an NPC flirt with a PC of mine. So many dangers of being an adventurer. XD

    As a GM the only time I did the above flirt where the NPC was a monster of the week, I made it rather obvious to avoid leading the player into the wrong idea. He was fine with it, mostly cause he got to use some acting skills to pretend to be into the NPC, just long enough to cleave the NPC in twain when they got close up.
    Digo Dragon - Artist
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  4. - Top - End - #34
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Re: NPCs (attempting to) Romance PCs?

    To be fair, at least with current cultural conventions in gaming. Spiders are an example of something that I don't think you should have to warn your players about beforehand unless you were already aware that it was a problem, and would be something to deal with in the same way Jay did in his game, resolve it quickly and file it away for further reference.

    Romance however... it's far more common to have a bunch of negative stuff around romantic stuff than it is to have arachnophobia. Also there's a much greater likelihood that the characters and the players will be more intertwined in that respect. I think that this is definitely an ask-first and tread lightly area.
    My Avatar is Glimtwizzle, a Gnomish Fighter/Illusionist by Cuthalion.

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Bugbear in the Playground

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    Jun 2018

    Default Re: NPCs (attempting to) Romance PCs?

    It depends a lot on your group. We have a group that has played together for more than 10 years (and which includes two couples), so we know how far we can go without really having to ask. It also depends on the game you're playing. If you're playing Scion and you have a Scion of Aphrodite as NPC or in the group, it's kinda Obvious flirting (and probably more) is going to happen. Of course, you don't have to be graphic in your description. As said before, the fade to black is quite useful.

    We even had two PCs have sex in-game before and one of the PCs in our L5R group has a Cersei-Jamie Lannister type of background. And we have a player who almost Always takes the local version of the good looks perk (and uses them). It's no big deal in our group.
    Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett

    "Magic can turn a frog into a prince. Science can turn a frog into a Ph.D. and you still have the frog you started with." Terry Pratchett
    "I will not yield to evil, unless she's cute."

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Dwarf in the Playground

    Join Date
    Mar 2018

    Default Re: NPCs (attempting to) Romance PCs?

    It's been a long time since I had a campaign that didn't have a wedding in there somewhere. Players would actively become upset if there wasn't NPC to PC romance, or at least the possibility of it. Some players love it, some players hate it. I've had a player who actively enjoys sleazy guys badly hitting on, belittling, and refusing to take no for an answer with her characters, as long as there's an assumption that either immediately or later on in the campaign she gets to deliver them their comeuppance.
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  7. - Top - End - #37
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Guizonde's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Default Re: NPCs (attempting to) Romance PCs?

    i had a dm roleplay my character's loving wife and teammate (i played a tribe of arms-merchant rabbits), along with his 200 offspring. worked well, especially since the dm and i loved creeping out the rest of the table by calling each other pet names in stereotypical german accents.

    my pf dm made sure EVERY SINGLE barmaid/server/hostess hit on my half-drow inquisitor. the more it happened the more i sank into my seat due to the awkwardness until i just accepted that my inquisitor was just that charismatic. at first, it was because i recoiled, so my dm teased me with it, then it became a running gag, then eventually i one-upped him by buying out a restaurant that way. i will say for the record: getting hit on by a duergar and licked by a frog person in the span of 5 minutes is bloody weird.

    as a dm, i've had npc's flirt playfully with characters. on two occasions where the players felt flattered and reciprocated, one evolved into a tender lovestory between the pc's fighter and an npc inkmaker (yup, complete with a happily ever after epilogue, because i'm that corny), and another was a fade to black. to wit, and here are the facts i the dm and the two pc's involved, know: female npc is impressed by male npc's shooting. female pc and female npc propose to celebrate with drinks. male pc is too shy to refuse. they start drinking and carousing until a fade to black. they wake up, female npc is sleeping on a desk wearing a sombrero, female pc is sleeping on a stack of file cabinets, and male pc is sleeping hanging from a coat rack. i refuse to think about what happened, and both pc's agree it's much funnier if they never explain or elaborate on what the hell happened that night between their characters. but, they roleplayed it to the hilt. after that black-out, their pc's became great teammates, developping synergies i hadn't thought of. they also invented a toast that involved balloon animals, for comedy purposes i hope.

    as you can see, i tend to be very evasive with the details first and foremost because i don't want to force relationships onto players. in general, i'll have a private word with the player mid-session on how they want to proceed, but away from the rest of the group. i've toyed around with the idea of a flirtatious npc who wants a better tip, but i've seen how it plays out with my pf inquisitor above... it's very hard to rp a waitress flirting for a better tip, so i've so far avoided it. could be credible, but the juice ain't worth the squeeze.
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  8. - Top - End - #38
    Dwarf in the Playground

    Join Date
    Apr 2015

    Default Re: NPCs (attempting to) Romance PCs?

    Yesterday I GMed a story where the PCs are guiding a group of apocalypse survivors to somewhere safe, pretty much like Moises guiding the Israelites (they are all anthropomorphic animals BTW).

    There is a mouse lady called Carmine who lost her husband and now oversees her beloved children. I didnít plan any romance, but looking at her background made me realize that it was natural that she would try to take the opportunity to find a new father for her kin, and who could be more suitable than the leader of the caravan which is a PC?

    So, she has begun flirting with this PC. I rather not to use any dice and let the player decide with RP if he accepts or not to correspond her, that way is the player who can set whether he feels comfortable with the situation or not.

    So far, he hasnít corresponded her, mostly because the PC knows that Carmineís husband is now a vengeful spirit that is following the caravanís progression and the PC is aware that taking Carmine as a mate will enrage this demon.

    To sums things up, the PC was rather clumsy rejecting her and so she was left rather confused and intrigued. My future plans are that this NCP hasnít resigned just yet and will try to approach him once again, but if the PC clearly rejects her again, she will retreat to the background, just letting him know occasionally that if he approaches Carmine, she is still interested. Unless things happen in game that let this particular NPC lose interest.

    That's mostly how I develop romance in the games I GM. I don't plan romance, I just review my NPC backgrounds and let the PC know the NPC intentions, then is up to the player to decide if she/he desires to feed that thread.
    Last edited by CombatBunny; 2020-01-27 at 04:33 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #39
    Titan in the Playground
    Knaight's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: NPCs (attempting to) Romance PCs?

    I'm not sure I've ever had a romance start in a game. I have run and played scenes involving romantic relationships that were already there, and it's not been awkward. In one case two of these romantic scenes were the backdrop to some of the best roleplaying I've ever seen, and also some top notch dramatic irony (two characters with unrelated relationships, one of which really needed to end, talking about the value of sticking through when times are hard, giving advice good for their own situation but exactly wrong for the other).

    That said, my group is chill with romance, and there are other factors here. The two involved in dramatic irony were both pregens with relationships spelled out, which both means that players could steer clear of them and that any risk of in character romance being interpreted as out of character flirting* was removed by the same character selection process. The other example I can think of involved a Fiasco playset creating a romantic entanglement in character generation, which naturally went to hell with a terrible betrayal because that's how Fiasco rolls.

    *Not that there was any.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

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