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romance in the World of Darkness

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  • #16
    That's why I'm not sure whether it counts. Technically speaking, the character is pursuing romance. However, it's playing out in a way where I can't tell if it's because the player is actually interested in exploring romance, or if he's focused more on his character's personal story and this romance is kind of a...milestone? In her growth.

    It's been mentioned IC that the mortal man she's pursuing strongly resembles someone she loved in life (so from her backstory) and that's a big part of why she's attracted to him. Also, the way she goes about letting him court her seems like it's just one of the many projects she's working on. On one hand, she's wooing and training her herd, on another she's maintaining intimacy with her ghouls, and in between it all she schedules in dates with this guy, who is completely unaware of what she is and what she's doing with fairly large groups of other people. I only mention that last part as an issue because the character herself wants him to think she's "innocent," in her own words, so that their relationship feels exclusive. All these different groups/pursuits are compartmentalized from each other in her life.

    It's really interesting to watch her story unfold and all of this play out. I'm just not convinced the player cares about romance as more than a personal plot device.


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    • #17
      How interesting. My characters often compartmentalize their lives as well, so I can totally relate. On the other hand, the
      PCs I talked about above take romance
      very seriously. My female vampire once juggled six boyfriends at once before finally
      picking the one she was truly in love with.
      And my male wizard threw himself into battle with suicidal abandon when his wife was killed and nearly died before helping the other players finally defeat the Dark Pharaoh.


      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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      • #18
        Originally posted by JulianMoon View Post
        On the other hand, the PCs I talked about above take romance very seriously.
        That's much more my style. My little Gangrel neonate is in a relationship with an elder Gangrel, and she's doing her best to treat it as a true partnership. Their strengths and weaknesses already complement each other - he's lonely and painfully socially awkward, and my young, lively girl draws him out. My Gangrel is painfully young and weak and trusting, and he mentors her about the word of darkness and helps protect her.

        They work so well together that even though the elder hates clan Ravnos - hates them - he's been more or less tolerating the fact that one of my girl's best friends in the city is the local Ravnos rake, who often comes into the club where she works to talk and hang out. Her boyfriend is not happy with their friendship, of course, but it's been working out alright so far, because she never hides it from him when she's seen the guy and can offer proof that the Ravnos does right by her, no harm. I've loved watching my gal and this NPC slowly grow into themselves with each other's help.


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        • #19
          The only romance-focused Vampire game I played was between me and my boyfriend, it went quite smoothly (if not tragically) as the characters ended up a victim of their homophobic, aromantic, apathetic sires who just happen to hate each other's guts. Here you have two males who were willing to play a romance game, though my advice to you is that the participating players should be already romantically involved so it doesn't turn into a caricature of a love story.

          A little maturity in handling the scenes (and dialogue) doesn't hurt either.

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          • #20
            In a related question, how do you deal with highly sexually active characters? I have had players of Sorcerer characters (made with Hedge Wizard rules) who were throwing seventeen dice at -2 difficulty when they were seducing members of the opposite sex, so they were tearing through lovers at a frightening rate (an average of ten successes on seduction rolls).

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
              In a related question, how do you deal with highly sexually active characters? I have had players of Sorcerer characters (made with Hedge Wizard rules) who were throwing seventeen dice at -2 difficulty when they were seducing members of the opposite sex, so they were tearing through lovers at a frightening rate (an average of ten successes on seduction rolls).
              In our game, my ST (and I) prefer to roleplay out most social encounters. I might go a whole session without making a single roll besides perc+alertness (V20 stats) to see things in the environment and perc+awareness to read people. It lets us delve into the characters' mindsets in a way that leaving things to dice rolls don't, and it allows for better realism because I can't get away with anything like convincing an NPC to do something just because of 17 dice.

              Edit: If you prefer dice-rolling, maybe a good way to slow down those sorts of weird social encounters is to impose penalties based on the NPCs themselves. For example, if you're only giving them a -2 penalty because of straight stat mechanics, maybe the next NPC a player tries to seduce has not only heard of his wanton ways, but her best friend had her heart broken because of his antics. -5 penalty for each of those, because she is not at all disposed to liking or respecting him from the get go, adding up to a total of -12 penalty.
              Last edited by Chesh; 12-24-2016, 11:57 PM.


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              • #22
                Chesh, your player dealing with romance in a non emotional way isn't the same as he not enjoying it. He choose to pursue those as his PC's interests, and he is investing time and effort in the result. That's the point.

                I remember a character of mine, an NPC that is mostly defined by love. Her original version was for Requiem, a Daeva Dragon, but I have been using her in WoD as a Brujah.

                The core idea is an elder vampire who was once a monster, a killing machine embracing the throes of Frenzy. At some point, she realizes what she became and go through the painful effort of climbing that too elusive Humanity ladder.

                Well, the method she finds is to relate to mortals again, and to let them teach her through living what is to be one of them. Sooner or later it means romance. And them all that passion that makes clan Brujah twitch is released as obsession not for an idea, but for a person.

                Currently in a chronicle she's even married, happy and deeply worried. Something about her husband being a PC Silver Fang prince... But her only concern is for him, now. She took a severe decision for an elder. She won't live more than him.

                Shawarbaaz, though I'm in a relationship already in this case, I never felt any necessity for such. First, I didn't felt it degrading to a caricature of a love story when lacking IRL relationship, nor do I think that such caricature is something wrong, if it is what fulfills the group. Maturity is thoroughly needed, though.

                Aya Tari, this depends a lot on context. By itself, I see nothing wrong. Fictional characters can excel in a lot of endeavors, and sex don't need to be an exception.

                So, what's the matter? How are you feeling that it degrades your game?


                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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                • #23
                  Anyway, for anyone willing to run a romance game I recommend the Requiem supplement "Strange, Dead Love" it's focused on the CoD but it could be useful for running cWoD games too.

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                  • #24
                    No, I do not feel that it degrades the game, I find it amusing, but I have had plenty of players who have been disturbed by playing with people who play highly sexual players. I tend to rely on dice mechanics to keep for making those players uncomfortable.

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                    • #25
                      Sex is a complex matter. You do well by keeping things as dice rolls, but it is always good to talk with players about this in the game. Some players can deal well with this theme, and I played with some that find great drama through interpretation of this facet of the characters' lives. Others can be offended by this in several distinct manners.

                      A player I had started the painful path of recovery from trauma through role play of those issues. It was not something we could do lightly, though. The theme is too much complex.
                      Last edited by monteparnas; 12-25-2016, 01:35 PM.


                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        @OP Men and women don't tend towards enjoying entirely the same forms of entertainment. There's always exceptions, of course, but I think you'll fine more male fans of mindless high octane action films and more female fans of cheesy romance films.

                        I personally usually have characters that are ambitious to a fault, to the point where anything that could inhibit their ambitions is tossed aside. I have had characters in relationships, but they tended to be rather short and tragic as my characters priorities came into conflict, and whomever he had been having a relationship with inevitably lost. So it sounds a pompous, but my characters tend to be have "more important" things to worry about, for certain values of "more important".

                        Chesh, that sounds pretty normal to me. A lot of people compartmentalize their lives to a pretty extreme degree. If you only have one aspect you're hanging on to that's relatively normal, not wanting it exposed to your tendency to get people addicted to your blood and cultivate people like cattle to feed upon seems rational.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                          In a related question, how do you deal with highly sexually active characters? I have had players of Sorcerer characters (made with Hedge Wizard rules) who were throwing seventeen dice at -2 difficulty when they were seducing members of the opposite sex, so they were tearing through lovers at a frightening rate (an average of ten successes on seduction rolls).
                          Put the "I" back in ST.

                          But regarding the main topic, one of the groups I was in the longest was run by a male GM running a mixed group, and he seemed dead-set on making sure every player character had an NPC SO in every game. It was weird. I guess he's been married so long that's just more relatable to him.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                            In a related question, how do you deal with highly sexually active characters? I have had players of Sorcerer characters (made with Hedge Wizard rules) who were throwing seventeen dice at -2 difficulty when they were seducing members of the opposite sex, so they were tearing through lovers at a frightening rate (an average of ten successes on seduction rolls).
                            ​At those numbers, eventually he just might seduce someone scarier than he is. (Or someone close to that person can be scary.)

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by EvilTyger View Post

                              ​At those numbers, eventually he just might seduce someone scarier than he is. (Or someone close to that person can be scary.)
                              I think that sounds like a cool idea. Several things come to mind that could turn out anywhere on a scale from a somewhat disturbing experience to a really really bad one.
                              For a simple thing, I guess a Fallen's (from Demon: the Fallen, if those exist in your chronicle) immunity to mind control might be applicable. The options are pretty much endless though.


                              Regarding romance: I too made the experience that it seems different for male and female players as a general trend as others have said before.
                              Personally (male player here) I once had a little romance in game when our werewolf pack spent some time on a seelie Fae court, with a Sluagh no less (an NPC). It wasn't something exremely long term though since while we did spend a while there we of course had to leave again. It was an interesting episode though.

                              Right now we play a Hengeyokai game where our Same Bito has something like a "romantic" (as far as the word can be applied to the race) relationship to another Same Bito from another Sentai. Right now he fears for her life and the lifes of their unborn children (yes, that would be the first known Same Bito / Rokea Metis' and its a pretty big deal in game).
                              My GF plays a Tengu who got into a relationship with another Tengu (also an NPC) which recently ended tragically when he died hurrying to come to her aid. It's even more tragic because the help was not needed in the end. She just couldn't reach him in time because we were kinda stuck in the mirrorlands meanwhile.
                              Lots of ingame drama in that game right now as you can see.

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