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Author Topic: Impossible Romance (Pyramid poll & rpg.net thread)  (Read 3182 times)
jrs
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Posts: 373


« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2004, 09:45:24 AM »

I'm not sure that I would be interested in a game that is patterned after romance novels.  That won't stop me from throwing my two cents into the pot.  I suggest the wrong man, the right man, and something else.  That is, the option to reject romance.  I know that this doesn't follow formula but it would provide more variety to any endgame scenario.  And, it would allow the game to address the stereotype that every woman must end up with a man.  

Julie
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2004, 09:47:37 AM »

Hello,

I will modestly point out that Trollbabe works just as well for primarily romantic conflicts and themes as it does for violent or mystical ones. A couple of games I've run have gone in this direction with no pain or need to push for it on my part.

Best,
Ron
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Lxndr
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Master of the Inkstained Robes


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« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2004, 09:49:13 AM »

I'd also be strongly tempted NOT to require a specific choice of ONLY one individual.  Polyamory is just as valid a choice as mon-amory.
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Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
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Scourge108
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« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2004, 11:48:50 AM »

Depends on how closely you follow the genre.  In typical romance novels, while the heroine may well go through several men, it's traditional that there is one man she's destined to be with (and it's usually the one her family hates).  Of course, I don't particularly like traditional romance novels, and probably wouldn't play such a game regardless.
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Greg Jensen
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2004, 12:35:49 PM »

We've been over this before. I can't remeber if it was in this thread:
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=932

Or in another. But we've hit this hard previously.

Mike
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John Kim
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« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2004, 11:39:49 PM »

Well, my Vinland RuneQuest game has featured an awful lot of romance.  However, my experience has been that in-game romance works best (in fact only works at all) when it isn't explicitly planned.  Thus, for example, when I talk over with a player about how her PC will have a relationship with someone and try to foster that, it falls flat.  But if I have a bunch of NPCs and there is various personal interaction, then romances often result.  

Thus, even though I have gotten a lot out of the romances, I don't think I'd be into a romance novel genre game per se.  I would definitely consider something like a genre where romances are important but not the whole point, like soap operas (cf. Soap) or lost-world romances (cf. Aaron Allston's Lands of Mystery).
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- John
M. J. Young
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« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2004, 11:44:46 PM »

Quote from: Jesse Burneko
If you're serious about developing this further I suggest compling a list of elements that you believe make up the formula.  As I said before, see if you can get a hold of Harlequin's own writing guide.  Then see if any suggest game mechanics and go from there.

O.K., if I can suggest something mechanical for this
    [*]The win condition has to be that the girl winds up with the guy;[*]The obstacles have to be such that she can't get to that win condition directly;[*]Therefore there should be some sort of resource accumulation (call it "wisdom of experience" perhaps?) that acrues through the "wrong guy" events;[*]There should probably also be some chance factor, such that at any moment a player can decide to parlay the resource into taking a chance for the right guy, which means either winning the game or going down in flames.[/list:u]
    Well, it's a sketch. Any thoughts?

    Matchmaker is very interesting; I'd really like to try it sometime.

    --M. J. Young
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    M. J. Young
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    « Reply #22 on: February 18, 2004, 11:48:49 PM »

    Addendum: I've had a lot of character romance in games, too. I did a Game Ideas Unlimited article on it long ago, but since most of you don't have access to Gaming Outpost anyway I won't dig up the link right now. Maybe if we're still talking about this in a few days I'll go find the article, read it over, and summarize some of what I learned.

    --M. J. Young
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    Tomas HVM
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    Posts: 244


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    « Reply #23 on: February 19, 2004, 01:00:42 AM »

    Quote from: M. J. Young
    O.K., if I can suggest something mechanical for this
      [*]The win condition has to be that the girl winds up with the guy;[*]The obstacles have to be such that she can't get to that win condition directly;[*]Therefore there should be some sort of resource accumulation (call it "wisdom of experience" perhaps?) that acrues through the "wrong guy" events;[*]There should probably also be some chance factor, such that at any moment a player can decide to parlay the resource into taking a chance for the right guy, which means either winning the game or going down in flames.[/list:u]
      Well, it's a sketch. Any thoughts?
      I have the game. It's all written, but for two of the start-adventures. It's called Romanse!, wich is Norwegian for "Romance". The game is written to make romances in the great romantic tradition; where all depends on love, and the right love is only ONE, and the obstacles are mandatory.

      It is set in a fantasy Spain called "Marmadura". Kings, nobles, knights and very flirtatious women. Both setting and system has great emphasis on sex, to the degree that male and female players have different character-sheets, reflecting their different upbringing, dominating temperaments and possibilities in society.

      Servants come with a unisex charactersheet, as they are not to engage in romantic endeavours. However; they are free to engage in sexual relationships, and may enjoy much of this while the rest of the party strive to reach the high romance!

      No more time at the moment. I'll have to come back with more info on it.
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      Tomas HVM
      writer, storyteller, games designer
      www.fabula.no
      Tomas HVM
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      Posts: 244


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      « Reply #24 on: February 19, 2004, 04:10:53 AM »

      More info on the RPG
      Romanse!
      (Norwegian for "Romance")

      The game is written to make RPG-romances in the great romantic tradition; where all depends on love, where only one love is the right one, and the obstacles are grave.

      It is set in a fantasy land called "Marmadura", a land with a spanish feel. The setting is ripe with royals and nobles, heroic chevaliers and lurking charlatans, powerhungry cardinals and pious monks, cynical bankiers and lusty traders, and women both silly and smart. It comes with a fully developed fantasy world, based on european cultures (both spanish, french, german, italian and polish flavour may be chosen), all depicted in a beautifully detailed atlas. The culture is dominated by a monoteistic religion based on the cardinal virtues and deadly sins of the medieval christian church (easy for players to relate to), and of course with a holy land ready to be saved from the Demons of the desert (and they are real demons, of course, riding on fire-spitting demonbirds).

      Ordinary gameplay is based on three pillars;
      - the friendship between the main characters
      - the romance between main characters and their chosen ones
      - the intrigue of the nobles.

      The game come with ample advice on how to develop all three pillars into rich and playable drama, within the context of one campaign. The friendship is meant to be played out with subtle means, in a low key tone of drama, building from variable alienation into real loyalty and respect. The romance is meant to be high pitched and melodramatic, bound by flaming desires, and destined to bring divinity or disaster to the character. The intrigue is meant to be an elegant display of cynical machinations, played out in a setting of polite conversations and blending scenery, focusing on people of substance, celebrating the game of power itself, and ruining all thoughtless players of the game.

      The three pillars of the game is designed to fill the campaign with a multitude of opportunities for good gameplay. At the same time the pillars are meant to contrast eachother, to create interesting twists and turns in the game, bringing players from romantic escapades, to cool conversations and subtle signs of friendship, within a single game session.

      Both setting and system has great emphasis on sex, to the degree that male and female players have different character-sheets, reflecting their different upbringing, dominating temperaments and possibilities in society. It also offers some unusual rules for play, such as;
      - restricting the players to play characters of their own sex
      - establishing one "first-lover" for each game session
      - the formal use of all other characters as "helpers" for the first lover
      - making the players act in accordance with a strict social hierarchy
      - defining the different modes of play, and adhering to them, for each pillar in the game

      Servants come with a unisex charactersheet, designed to be crude in comparison to the elegant noble sheets, to reflect the servant status, and to reflect that no servant may be first lover. However; servants are free to engage in sexual relationships, and may enjoy bedsports in abundance while the rest of the party strive to fulfill their emotional desires.

      The game has been tested for the last two years, and have proven to stand up to both female and male players with a wide range of motivations for such a theme. Most players who've had a chance to try the game, are convinced of it's qualities, and more than willing to engage in romantic endeavours again.

      Only problem is; I've recently started work on a series of five novels, and did not finish the game before this work started, so now the game has to be finished in my spare time. And I will not publish it before every detail is perfect.

      PS: any serious game publisher inclined to pay me for a two months break in novel-writing, are welcome do so, thereby giving me the time to finish the game, and also securing the rights for themselves, to publish any english version of it... :)
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      Tomas HVM
      writer, storyteller, games designer
      www.fabula.no
      talysman
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      Posts: 675


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      « Reply #25 on: February 20, 2004, 01:33:55 AM »

      Quote from: M. J. Young
      O.K., if I can suggest something mechanical for this
        [*]The win condition has to be that the girl winds up with the guy;[*]The obstacles have to be such that she can't get to that win condition directly;[*]Therefore there should be some sort of resource accumulation (call it "wisdom of experience" perhaps?) that acrues through the "wrong guy" events;[*]There should probably also be some chance factor, such that at any moment a player can decide to parlay the resource into taking a chance for the right guy, which means either winning the game or going down in flames.[/list:u]
        Well, it's a sketch. Any thoughts?


        that's sort of similar to the "Hughes High" game I mentioned above, except that since I'm taking Teen Romantic Comedies as a model, there are no restrictions on whether the player characters are male or female. I analyzed the structure of the typical Teen Romantic Comedy as:

        [list=1]
        [*] one or more characters express a desire for sex/love/prom date/popularity;
        [*] simple obstacles (usually rivals, but often unrequited love, clique/peer problems, or mundane school problems) are introduced;
        [*] multiple scenes with the various characters attempting to overcome the obstacles occur;
        [*] the hero(ine) "hooks up" with someone, sometimes the person they desire, sometimes someone else -- and usually one or more minor characters also "hook up"; almost everyone wins in the typical Teen Romantic comedy, except sometimes the rival or very mean teacher.
        [/list:o]

        one thing I left out of this analysis is the usual movie gimick of the reversal of fortune: two-thirds of the way through pretty much any hollywood movie, there will be some kind of "false ending" where the main character seems to have succeeded by his/her own standards, although it's not the ending the audience is hoping for. then, there's a sudden dramatic setback -- and only after this does everything finally work out.

        I could probably emulate this formula by conceiving of "Hughes High" in two parts, normal game and endgame; once a player's Score! reaches a certain minimum, the player can opt to cash in a significant chunk of points to trigger endgame. no one can win until someone reaches the needed number of points during endgame.

        my only problem is figuring out what the difference between normal mode and endgame should be.
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        John Laviolette
        (aka Talysman the Ur-Beatle)
        rpg projects: http://www.globalsurrealism.com/rpg
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