2016-01-11 Sex

I agree with Zak in his post An Art Lesson From the Late Goblin King. That doesn’t mean I want sexy poses on all the artwork. It’s just like Zak says: “If you want more Bowie-sexy and less cleavage-sexy in your game art, ask for it and blame art directors if they don’t give it to you” – that means you can say that you regret the choices made for this product or that product, or that you would have liked the sex be more like this and less like that, but to claim that sex has no role to play in gaming is silly. Are there such people? Perhaps they don’t want it on the covers because it makes them uncomfortable? Or perhaps talking about sex with their kids makes them uncomfortable? I think the thing is that some people feel that if there is going to be one game, then let it be D&D or Pathfinder, and let it cater to the lowest common denominator, and let it still be the most awesome thing ever, and they don’t realize that this won’t ever work. If you believe in playing a role-playing game with kids without letting them know that sex exists, then perhaps you need a very particular game... And there’s room for that, too. The problem only shows up if everybody wants this one game to be for everyone.

I remember a visiting kid leafing through my D&D 3.5 Players Handbook and remarking that all the women are half naked. Having to talk about marketing people using sex to sell was an awkward conversation to have, but then again, people need to have this conversation with kids sooner or later. So the point is, again: blame art directors, but don’t throw the kid out with the bathwater. I absolutely want sexy characters in my games!

Where does sex show up in my games?

Pendragon was easy. We played the Great Pendragon Campaign and our knights married and had children and wives ran away or where kidnapped and all that.

When I ran a game of Burning Wheel, there was a great scene involving a priestess asking a player character to elope with her. The session report is rather dry: “Hendoras tries to seduce Melissa so that she’ll reveal the location of Alara’s diary. Melissa in turn wants him to forget all about Alara and elope with her! A duel of wits ensues, ...” I remember a very emotional scene. Perhaps wishful thinking?

Whenever I run Lady Blackbird, the issue of true love comes up in the end. Does the pirate king love the lady or not? I try to make it as heart wrenching as possible. And what about the bodyguard. Did she love the lady, in secret?

Sex and love, seduction and faithfulness, orgies, forbidden love and celibacy, all these things regularly come up when I run Mountain Witch. This is a game about temptation and trust. And nothing cuts deeper than love and betrayal.

In my D&D, there have been paintings turning into portals leading to hell where evil wizards consorted with demons (and the party was invited to one hell of an orgy); every now and then there are monsters, mostly hags and the like that would like nothing more than a child by one of the player characters and in exchange they’ll let them go, or teach them spells, or whatever monster hags do; there have been non-player characters falling in love with player characters (far too rarely!). I’d love to see some more characters falling in love, player characters getting romantically involved, child bearing and raising, sexy demon princes and princesses, and I totally want to work on that. I want D&D to be more flirtatious, more human.

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