Romance comes in many forms and is role played easier than it is lived. Sometimes we find these situations awkward and are unsure how to handle our best friend falling in love a the sultry barmaid. Perhaps the evil enchantress disguises herself as a traveling woman, interested in the adventuring parties biggest hitter. There are many forms of in game romance, and lots of ways to get it to move naturally within the game.
One player, two characters.
Sometimes one player will play two characters. I personally as a DM do not prefer this because I find my players don’t get into character as well. If this happens and the player chooses to have them be lovers, then you need to assert the fact that it’s everyone’s game. If he starts arguing with himself and interrupts the flow of the game then he’s gotta cut down on characters. Although, having two characters that double as lovers can be a great team.
I once had a character who was an Assassin coupled with a Berserker, it was really cool in my mind. The idea of a slender dexterous woman being tossed up to the top sail of a ship by a pirate Berserker and ambushing boarding intruders. They were pirates, if you could not tell. In either case, it wasn’t as cool to the players around me since they didn’t quite envision it the same way. My mistake was I didn’t think of the other players and how it would affect a long term game. So, I decided to keep those kinds of ventures in one on one games.
If you are playing one on one, sexual details and other ‘romantic nick knacks’ don’t need to be described in great detail. It’s unnecessary and can often times make people uncomfortable. Especially if you are describing a romantic relationship between yourself and your other self…
The Gamer’s Girlfriend
If your buddy brings his girlfriend along, and she wants to be his character’s woman, this may cause issues, so tread softly! DM’ing this can be an issue as she may want to divert all the attention to her and her relationship. Try keeping her involved in the game and sidetrack her from any potential arguments, mishaps, or awkward moments in game. Find her niche, what she likes and throw those in encounters and such (See 4th Ed. Dungeon masters guide pg.8 for a list of player motivations). Don’t avoid her or get angry that she needs to involve herself. You are trying to avoid conflict so do it tastefully.
If in the end it just isn’t meant to be, let your player know upfront. Pull him aside and tell him that his significant other is a detriment to the game, and despite his wanting her to be there it just isn’t conductive to the atmosphere. Hopefully your players are mature enough to take this as it is and not react negatively.
NPC x PC Romance.
This can be for many reasons, it can be deceitful or true, plot twist or just for the heck of it. A PC may seek out love, or you may be hinting at it. When doing PC and NPC romance try not to make the NPC seem desperate or too cold. Give them a personality. Don’t turn them into cliche’s or a stereotype, remember it’s just another character. Sometimes, NPC and PC relationships just don’t work out, when this happens remember to make it look intentional.
Two things a DM should always have are a backup plan and a motivation for a story element. Meaning, no matter what you choose to do as a DM, it should be conductive to your story goals. Players don’t show up for a game session to aimlessly footle about. There needs to be something more, something fantastic.
This post was provided by Dungeonmastering.com expert Krystal. Dungeons and Dragons has always been a passion of hers. She got her start in her wee little years by crawling on the table eating miniatures and dice. She’s been a menace to DnD games around the world ever since!