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  • romance in the World of Darkness

    I have been playing White Wolf/Onyx Path games since the fall of 1991, a few months after V:tM first came out. In that time, I have a found as a general rule, female players are much more willing to get involved with romance subplots than are male gamers. Even my best male players mostly tolerated my passion for romance because I ran a really good game in other respects. They almost never initiated romances on their own, whereas my female players frequently did so (almost always with NPCs, there was very little romance between PCs unless the players were a couple in real life). Has anyone else found this to be true? Has anyone had a different experience? Just wondering...


    Colleen


    My name is Colleen. My favorite song is "Wildwood Flower." My ambition is to write the complete history of the White Wolf/Onyx Path universe.

  • #2
    Originally posted by JulianMoon View Post
    I have been playing White Wolf/Onyx Path games since the fall of 1991, a few months after V:tM first came out. In that time, I have a found as a general rule, female players are much more willing to get involved with romance subplots than are male gamers. Even my best male players mostly tolerated my passion for romance because I ran a really good game in other respects. They almost never initiated romances on their own, whereas my female players frequently did so (almost always with NPCs, there was very little romance between PCs unless the players were a couple in real life). Has anyone else found this to be true? Has anyone had a different experience? Just wondering...


    Colleen

    I don't want to say I've had the exact same experience. But I definitely noticed many of the female gamers I've played with were like that. At least, they were when we were playing World of Darkness games. Shadowrun and D&D, not so much.


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    • #3
      Originally posted by JulianMoon View Post
      I have been playing White Wolf/Onyx Path games since the fall of 1991, a few months after V:tM first came out. In that time, I have a found as a general rule, female players are much more willing to get involved with romance subplots than are male gamers. Even my best male players mostly tolerated my passion for romance because I ran a really good game in other respects. They almost never initiated romances on their own, whereas my female players frequently did so (almost always with NPCs, there was very little romance between PCs unless the players were a couple in real life). Has anyone else found this to be true? Has anyone had a different experience? Just wondering...


      Colleen
      There is a difference, I think, in the experiences men and women seek out in rpgs, but I think a more important determinant in whether to feature romantic subplots is group maturity and the scope of the game. Romance is suited for players who can handle it. It takes a certain emotional and intellectual investment not to get bored or treat in-game affection like a joke.

      All my werewolf players (male and female) have mates and/or children in game, and they tend to roleplay that very well... but I admit it is kind of taxing on me. It takes a fair amount of storyteller CPU to roleplay the words and actions of a husband or wife for 4-5 Garou, especially if you actually want to put some thought into them and have them be more than cardboard proxies or fucktoys. I tend to cede a lot of creative control over their families to the players in that regard.

      I also run a D&D game, and that group is basically exists to kill dragon cultists and drink booze... I love 'em, but they are newer players still getting the hang of roleplaying in general. At this point, trying to get them to roleplay out scenes with romantic interests would be awkward and futile.
      Last edited by The Laughing Stranger; 12-21-2016, 04:25 PM.

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      • #4
        Laughing Stranger: Fascinating! Except for one wedding between two PCs who were in love IRL, I never had an in-game wedding, let alone kids. All my subplots revolved around the chase, the whirlwind romance, the excitement of forbidden love...Yours seem more about the stable, quiet side of love, which is awesome too.


        My name is Colleen. My favorite song is "Wildwood Flower." My ambition is to write the complete history of the White Wolf/Onyx Path universe.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JulianMoon View Post
          I have been playing White Wolf/Onyx Path games since the fall of 1991, a few months after V:tM first came out. In that time, I have a found as a general rule, female players are much more willing to get involved with romance subplots than are male gamers. Even my best male players mostly tolerated my passion for romance because I ran a really good game in other respects. They almost never initiated romances on their own, whereas my female players frequently did so (almost always with NPCs, there was very little romance between PCs unless the players were a couple in real life). Has anyone else found this to be true? Has anyone had a different experience? Just wondering...


          Colleen
          Something like that. Sexes differ, females and males have different focus, expectations and interests in life and also in gaming and it shows in rpgs, where you're basically imitating life. Of course I mean those things in general, there are always exceptions but trends are trends. The two sexes generally also read different kind of books (or focusing on different aspects of the same books), watch different series on tv etc. That's natural.

          I think one of the main reasons why WoD appealed to and brought a lot of female gamers to the scene is because the games, especially Vampire are more intrigue/social machinations focused and in that, romance and, well, relationships of any kind in general are playing, or at least could play a big part, so the game could incorporate their interests and expectations more easily than an average merry-go-round-saving-the-world-bashing-evil D&D game. Also, the gothic trope of doomed romance is somewhat hard-coded into the vampire thing.


          If nothing worked, then let's think!

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          • #6
            I've seen the same group (almost entirely female, but definitely didn't turn away male players) run through a wide variety. Some tumultuous wild rides to Harlequin formula to almost sedate and normal.

            Lord knows I've seen 'Twilight' from a dozen groups years before the movie. (With various gender/creature combos)

            As long as everyone is comfortable, it's all good.

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            • #7
              I had this, but not as highlighted. I have some male players that like to role-play romance and such, with varying degrees of focus and frequency, in various systems and settings. My players usually don't change too much on this regard when playing other games. And I did both torrid romance and calm marriage, and so much else. I remember a DnD one where one of the players wanted to be a victim of Stockholm Syndrome. So many things happened at that table that, after some months of almost daily games, the guy become the most freakish hero in the realm, redeemed through various simultaneous means (including using magic to impart empathy into an utter psycho). Overwhelmed by a sense of responsibility to his victims, he ended up in: a double marriage with his main victims, both PCs, one being a once-proud elf now addicted to BDSM, and the other his own sister, whose soul he had bargained with a demon in the past. Understandably most people who found it had a hard time believing the guy was now only trying to mitigate damage.

              On the other hand, the most psycho player I ever had was a female. She played along with her boyfriend, and it was amusing to see the couple. He was all for social role-play and complex interactions. She was full time trying to have a fight with anything that moved. We played both DnD and WoD, same results. Once she was a Get of Fenris, and somehow found out where the local Elysium was being held. She simply went on, and the group ended having to fight her to prevent she from walking in the middle of the vampires without any plan whatsoever.

              That said, mostly females tend to be more for the social role-play and a good dose of romance, while males look out more for fights and feats.


              Eu prefiro ser essa metamorfose ambulante,
              Do que ter aquela velha opinião formada sobre tudo,
              Sobre o que é o amor, sobre que eu nem sei quem sou.
              É chato chegar a um objetivo num instante,
              Eu prefiro ser essa metamorfose ambulante.

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              • #8
                I never really experienced this.

                Even back when I was in high school and my group consisted of me and 3 other dudes, romance and romantic entanglements were always a huge part of our games. Their characters ended up in relationships and having families, which has played a huge role in the direction that stories have gone. And, my gaming group has become more diverse over the years, romance has remained a pretty defining staple of our games, sometimes to the surprise of new players who join our groups.

                Honestly thinking back about past campaigns we've done over the last decade, I'm hard pressed to think of any where in-character romance didn't play a huge role in some form, in coloring that particular campaign.

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                • #9
                  Not exactly here or there, but I really enjoy storytime with monteparnas!

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                  • #10
                    AnubisXY: That's awesome! I wish I played with more guys like you.


                    My name is Colleen. My favorite song is "Wildwood Flower." My ambition is to write the complete history of the White Wolf/Onyx Path universe.

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                    • #11
                      on my werewolf game, family is quite important. most of the PC's have kids one way or another.


                      Forum's Official's Joker and Trickster. Pardon my bad english, aint my first language (I Speak Spanish).
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                      • #12
                        I've had male players interested in IC romance. Pity the redcap kinain hasn't hit puberty yet. Our motley has seven childlings and a quieter sort of love. At least when the sluagh and the Garou aren't tearing each other to shreds. The redcap kinain makes popcorn and watches.

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                        • #13
                          Me and my ST are both ladies and definitely use character romance. It's not necessarily a given or something she'll indulge just because you want it, though - some of her NPCs are interested in romance or generally developing a closeness and intimacy with others, but some aren't. They each have their own views and personalities.

                          Also in our group is a man who plays a Ventrue woman, so...I'm not sure where he falls in this demographic? His character is interestingly nuanced on the matter. She uses sex and intimacy in power plays, but at the same time she seems to crave real closeness with other people and puts a genuine effort into making her herd, and ghouls, and the mortal NPC she's romantically pursuing happy. It's not a conventional kind of romance being played, so I'm not sure whether it counts or not.


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                          • #14
                            That sounds wonderful! That definitely counts. I mostly used to be an ST, but I did play a Toreador antitribu woman on the Path of Cathari who always had to fight the antitribu weakness to cause cruelty and pain to her numerous boyfriends (she was kind of a serial monogamist). Her romances almost
                            never ended happily, but they still count.

                            On the flip side, I played in a really long D&D game back in law school where I played a male half-dragon wizard (I buried my feminine side IRL back then in my quest to be a successful lawyer). Anyway, he fell in love with and eventually married his female henchman, and they lived happily ever after until the final session when she died at the hands of the Dark Pharaoh.

                            Thank you for answering, Chesh. This conversation makes me miss the days of actually playing RPGs instead of analyzing them.


                            Colleen Alma


                            My name is Colleen. My favorite song is "Wildwood Flower." My ambition is to write the complete history of the White Wolf/Onyx Path universe.

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                            • #15
                              I think the point is the gender of the player, not the character, and if romance is present in any form as something the player appreciates to explore.


                              Eu prefiro ser essa metamorfose ambulante,
                              Do que ter aquela velha opinião formada sobre tudo,
                              Sobre o que é o amor, sobre que eu nem sei quem sou.
                              É chato chegar a um objetivo num instante,
                              Eu prefiro ser essa metamorfose ambulante.

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