22 January 2009

Love In An RPG

Despite the fact that your average RPG will be rife with jaunty skull splitting and base quests for filthy lucre the topic of affairs of the heart never really presents itself to go with the power fantasies and the fortune fantasies.

I don't anticipate that No Dice will be much different. Part of the core book, the seemingly interminable and yet incredibly useful part, is a guide for players and Hosts to the roles present in various dramatic situations. I'm using an off the shelf taxonomy of these situations and several of them deal with the topic of love.

It isn't entirely impossible that a Role Playing character could get involved in some sort of affair but it is extremely unlikely. Although No Dice does away with the need to be described entirely in terms of how effective you are at turning people's insides into outsides it's still not an effective tool for role playing a burgeoning romance.

I think the central problems inherent in the role playing of a romantic affair are two fold. Firstly you only have two choices of partner as a player, a non-player (and hence the GM) or another player.

If your entire group is made up of members of the same sex this could be awkward. However it's not inconceivable that a determined group could grit their teeth and try to rise above it.

Enter problem the second. It is nigh on impossible to role play a romance in a room with three or four other people sitting around like lemons. Part of the joy of role playing is that it's immersive and nothing un-immerses you like trying to ignore the mercenary, the thief and the hacker waiting for their turn in the spotlight whilst you exchange sweet nothings with your imaginary partner.

So I don't think No Dice will be the game to buck this trend. Given the circumstances this might not be such a bad thing.

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