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Romance, Marriage, Pregnancy and having Children.


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I always thought that the joke marriage in Fallout 2 is the best.

Your spouse will always cling to you (can't be dismissed) and she/he WILL and WILL die in the wasteland because she/he is so weak.

Not to mention they are so lovey-dovey to the point of silly.

To be honest, I took the frailty of the spouse in FO2 as a challenge. Managed to get her through all of the game to the Enclave base where the auto-turrets (IIRC) chunked her. It was sad. :(

 

;)

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@Cultist: Poe's Law, son. Re-reading while no longer sleep-deprived, it's now obvious you were joking, but there are so many idiots on the internet that assuming stupidity is a pretty decent default stance.

 

Seriously, though, this discussion isn't as bad as people are making it out to be. Aside from a few fools who mistake name-calling for intelligent argument, both sides have been doing reasonably well in making their cases. I'm still of the "trust Obsidian to make the right call" group myself for the specific case, and of the "romance is really nice when done right, but better not done than done poorly" in general.

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Aspiring author, beer connoisseur, and general purpose wiseguy

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I am new here so forgive me if it already covered and common knowledge on these topics, if it is I ask you to point me to the article/s so I can read up further on the subject/s.

Its a reoccurring topic.

 

AHAHAHAHAHHAH

 

...although...

 

its more eternal than reoccurring. I don't think we get a break in between.

Edited by Drowsy Emperor

И погибе Српски кнез Лазаре,
И његова сва изгибе војска, 
Седамдесет и седам иљада;
Све је свето и честито било
И миломе Богу приступачно.

 

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Because I always killed Aerie when she was in ogre form, I never saw the inventory-baby. Is that for real?

 

That's a good question and something I never heard about before. Are you saying you could have a baby with Aerie?

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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you could

a friend of mine and me played BG2 with my savegame a looooong time ago, and then i had to walk away for some 10 minutes

as it happend, the baby was born in that 10 minutes (right inside a dungeon :D ) and my friend did overwrite my old savegame after that, so i couldn't load after i came back and missed it

there you go, my personal trauma with BG2 :(

Edited by lolaldanee
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this thread is getting rather long fast.

 

and how they add to the realism of party interaction


o rly?

The thing that comes closest to this is soldiers in the field, so it would be interesting to know what their behaviour tends to be like in this regard nowadays, where men and women often serve together. Do they foster romances? Do they even tend to have sexual relations with each other? Do they tend to drift off into deeply emotional discussion?

Unless these questions are answered and someone can tell me why this is also how it should be in RPGs, I'll continue to view CRPG romance as highschool fantasy roleplaying.

 

 

well i am in the military and we have training about stuff like this constantly, not so much due to the healthy relationships (which are so rare they are almost nonexistent), but due to the unhealthy ones.  when in field you develop bonds with people due to the fact that you are cut off from normal social outlets, therefore when you are on watch for 2 hours at night you talk with the person you are on watch with, and thus get to know them.  if they are of the opposite sex they become friends, which means that normal romantic relationship is out of the question (not to mention regulations and constant dangers).  both guys and girls get horny, which leads to sex.  sometimes both parties decide to continue the relationship further, and thus romance is born.  once out of the field the stresses relax and personalities flex back to normal, which usually causes romance to fail (this flex period causes a high divorce rate even among non infield relationships).  as groups rotate new connections are made and isolation from the old occurs, this leads to non steady relationships.

 

so in order of common occurrence:

  1. deep friendship
  2. sex
  3. temporary relationship
  4. permanent relationship

you can further divide each point further to get a more comprehensive list, permanent relationships are always on the bottom (which are the ones always depicted in games).

 

I'm not sure that really compares to the adventuring party.

Its probably more like Marco Polo traveling to the east combined with Howard Carter discovering Tutankhamen's tomb laced together with the Conquistadors running roughshod through the Americas with just a dash of hot military army-on-army action and the occasional purchasing of supplies from the locals and terrorizing their livestock for flavor.

Or, imagine maybe more practically its like an old military clipper where the hard work and long hours might not lead to anything happening during the tour (although not impossible either) but shore leave tends to be where the action was at, so to speak.


I think neither Marco Polo's expedition or the crew of a navy ship are valid comparisons, numbers being one thing. The dynamics are simply different in a small group of 6 people max. While it may be more intimate in a way, OTOH no one can really let their guard down while you're a) in hostile territory or b) navigating the seedy underbelly of a medieval city/ prancing about on the slippery ground of feudal politics, and RPG companies tend to be always at a or b.
I think where my example falls short is that, with adventuring companies, they make their own rules, i.e. no one tells you that you can't have sex or hold hour long discussions of your traumatic past. They could do that.

I think time is a critical factor; most RPGs don't have a timed main quest. You can take all your sweet ass time. I guess that when you are whiling away the time resting in a grove for days, some romance may start to blossom.
But this is usually at odds with the story; you're supposed to get somewhere or someone, or else. Drastic consequences etc. That's why I find it so irritating when all of a sudden, someone's petty private life takes center stage.

 

with few people in a group you still get relationships forming, the issue is how fast do they form?  which has everything due to compatibility of the personalities at the time (which is different when they retire).  most games don't last long enough for any real relationships to form, so ya they are a sort of high school relationship, which rarely lasts.

 

i feel that if romances are done they should cover the spectrum, which means gay/straight/bisexual/monogamist/polygamist/serial monogamy/rape/casual sex/etc.  focusing on the least likely to occur just because it is the most socially acceptable seems a bit off for a genre that is about freedom of choice.

 

BG2 had a socially acceptable pedophilia in the aerie romance, she had just recently 'flowered' which mean she was in human terms 14-16, and she acted like it too.  a bit hidden but that was understandable (avoid controversy), but it was different which is a big plus, modders have added in gay romance and deep friendships, and even incestual (imoen), so a modded BG2 is pretty diverse, though no studio has yet to touch such breadth of romantic choices.  it may be too much trouble though so i won't be broken up if romance isn't in.

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Methinks that in-game reproduction would be quite problematic to deal with. Pregnant people make poor adventurers. Perhaps if Obsidian does go with romance, they'll steal a note from DA:O and the Witcher: whatever disaster the PC witnesses at the start of the game leaves them permanently sterile as a side-effect. Whether this is to be lamented or celebrated is left to the PC, and perhaps a way of adding an interesting wrinkle to romances with characters who like the idea of having a flock of children herding about when the mayhem is done.

 

ASIDE: I for one approve of the idea of inventory babies... if and only if they are properly integrated into this cooking system we've heard so much about, of course.

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Aspiring author, beer connoisseur, and general purpose wiseguy

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Jamoecw, sorry to put my nerd-hat on but Aerie was an elf. In AD&D canon she'd be fifty or sixty years old by the time she tumbled out of puberty.

 

I've hacked her to death dozens of times and never felt bad about it.

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Let us be honest here, the reason most people are on here clamoring for romances is because of bioware's games. Almost no other dev creates the multiple choice romances. So to come on here posting about wanting romances, then saying 'well I don't really like bioware romances' is being disingenuous.

 

The reason why people want romances is because of Bioware. Not anyone else.

 

Now romance in games is not as limited, as you see it come up in many other titles, the difference, it's singular and forced. That means no choice, more often then not the PC is male(straight) and the interest is female. The romance is pushed down the player throat as the writer tries to create an emotional attachment with player. An example of this, is Triss from the Witcher games, I for one do not want to see a Triss anywhere near PE.

 

 

Aurora Engine game [From BioWare (Neverwinter Nights series) -The witcher used this engine], Mass Effect game or Dragon age game with out romace, would not be the same game. Romances are apart of the stories/aspects of the games in some form or another. PE with no romance would just feel wierd and could then be argueed not on par with it's predecessors.

 

FO:NV had no romance, was a better game than all of those mentioned. Icewind Dale 1 & 2 which are infinity engine games had no romance. So no, it wouldn't feel weird that PE had no romances.

 

As to why why some responses are glib:

 


Debate about this subject, has been done and done, and done. Nothing new will be seen, and no new insights will be gained. When this thread dies the participants will return to their corners and await the inevitable next round.

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Aerie baby? I recall that.

 

 

But regarding romances...what makes a good or bad romance is highly subjective...because of what people find attractive.

 

People have different oppinions of Elenee, Aerie, Jaheira, Viconia, Morrigan, Leliana and others (Allistair, Zevran, Anomen, etc..)

To some Morigan is the perfect woman and perfect romance. Others are compeltely indifferent to her. Others again hate her.

The smae goes for every character.

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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Jamoecw, sorry to put my nerd-hat on but Aerie was an elf. In AD&D canon she'd be fifty or sixty years old by the time she tumbled out of puberty.

 

I've hacked her to death dozens of times and never felt bad about it.

 

Also historically and even in certain countries in modern times the moment a girl was "flowered" it was acceptable for her to be married. So she could be 12 or 13. This wasn't seen as pedophilia  at all

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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What? No, "This isn't Project Eternity: Harvest Moon?" ;]

 

I saw my biggest issue with this well explained multiple times, but the first I saw was this (particularly the part in bold):

 

The main point of contention I've seen is that romances have this tendency to overshadow many other companion interactions and story elements. Sure, some people love them, but if their presence could be harmful to the experience of other players, surely you can understand why they would oppose them.

[...]

Characters [can] lose depth and reactivity in their overall interactions, because that is reserved for the romance path. Sometimes it's because their optionality is "pursue romance path or have nothing else to do with a certain character", which is not an equal choice and not very optional, actually. Sometimes it's because the story has to bend over awkwardly in order to acommodate their presence. The points are various and I don't remember them all, but they are legitimate points, and should not be ignored.

 

This is exactly it. I don't care that it's a romance, it is that so many are so poorly written and make a character feel far less fleshed out and believable than if they were not romantic interests. Because a game often limits the story and character for anything outside the romance. Because I don't care about a romance at all, but because of these limits I am cut out of any of the character, or any of the story related to that character.

 

If the romance isn't simply done to pander and lazily tacked on, where it contracts from the game's writing otherwise, and doesn't take away from the character and story otherwise, then I'm fine with it; I'll congratulate the fans going for romances. If Obsidian finds a way where the romance is valuable to the story in some way, I would support it. It otherwise suffers as a bad gimmick that drops the quality of the game.

 

That was a big issue I had with Mass Effect 2: if one didn't or couldn't romance a squadmate, the level of development, character, etc. usually was bare minimum or didn't exist.

 

I want to see some honest bromance/womance/adoptive-brother-or-sister/family content. That's a content area in which Obsidian can make real inroads because most games don't have that kind of textual nuance, besides PS:T.

 

The concept of various kinds of interaction is a great idea, and it hasn't been done enough. But it would be cool to see in Project Eternity.

 

After re-read the posts here and in in particular the one above me of the absolute hatred for romance. I am starting to think that those that flat out hate it are the type of players that don't read the dialog and narrative.

For those that read every line, and feel that every choice matters and is important, romance lends itself well to the story.

 

No. One does not require an interest in romance or sex to be interested and engaged in dialogue, story, or RPG's. Not all writing or story revolves around it. Even heavily romanced Bioware games. Nor does it need to or should.

 

And this comment would imply that writers such as Avellone must not pay attention to dialogue and narrative.

 

To deny others of those options is unfair of you when you have the choice to go that path or to not. To say that you don't them in there because you wouldn't choose it or don't want to be faced with the choice (oh noes so many options to chose from, my brain) is dumb. On the argument that a romance changes the very nature of an NPC (their roll in the party/viewpoint/story) that may be true. Although that could maybe not bad a bad thing, if you don't romance them, the game/story ends up one way, if you do ends up another way (replayability).

 

In the same post that you are arguing other players might deny you of an option they can avoid, you appear to be dismissing the possible lack of genuine choice for them. Though I may be misunderstanding you.

 

The very point is that it is -not- an option for people who do not want to romance, not that there are too many. Forcing a romance to develop a character is cheap replayability that forces a player to trudge through a largely identical game to see one character that was locked away because the PC didn't want to mush dirty parts with them. If the player doesn't want to do the romance, then they don't get to see the character at all, at any point. That's a no-choice choice. A false option. For players that play the wrong gender, it is not even a false option - unless you're saying players should be railroaded into what gender they play, too, just to get the story out of a genre famous for its attention to story.

 

That stifles development entirely for many, and destroys any possible non-romantic development for the character themselves. Not everyone, if anyone, is purely defined by their romances, and characters can easily be dynamic and/or well written through other means.

Good examples off the bat are Boone, the Burned Man, and Veronica from Fallout: New Vegas, or Joel, Ellie, and Marlene in The Last of Us, or Bastilla (non-romance version) in KOTOR, Sten in Dragon Age: Origins, or a bunch of -minor characters- in Demon/Dark Souls. These are just games I've played (again) recently.

 

In fact, there are plenty of characters ruined, or essentially absent/pointless to anything platonic, because of poorly written, ham-fisted romances. Again, in KOTOR, although Carth was never even close to a great character, made me roll my eyes or cringe in pain and humor to the terrible, cheesy romance lines that made a bad 1950's film feel genuine.

 

Any Infinity Engine game, Aurora Engine game [From BioWare (Neverwinter Nights series) -The witcher used this engine], Mass Effect game or Dragon age game with out romace, would not be the same game. Romances are apart of the stories/aspects of the games in some form or another. PE with no romance would just feel wierd and could then be argueed not on par with it's predecessors.

The only game I can agree with that is Mass Effect 2, but that is a flaw, not a strength.

I understand that romances can be appealing, and that some are well done, but even those well done usually can be done in another way that doesn't involve romance at all (e.g. "The Power of Friendship"). More options the better, romances that fit, are believable, and have purpose (such as thematic value) are great, but every one of the other games that I've played were great because of everything else. Because I don't usually do the romances. And they stood completely on their own merit outside of that.

 

As someone who plays for the game and for the great story, I wouldn't even blink if the romances were deleted from the content.

 

Also, as pointed out earlier, Fallout: New Vegas had no romances whatsoever, and its story doesn't feel out of place without the romances. It is also, currently, the best story I've seen in any game. Both for the well-done and clever writing itself, and for the amount of options and freedom it gave.

 

I could see my claim debated against Last of Us, or Planescape: Torment (haven't played that yet). Neither of those had romances. This isn't to say a game is bad for having them, but it isn't necessary.

Additionally, under the categories you mentioned, Planescape: Torment, Fallout 1, and Baldur's Gate didn't have romance options (though I heard BG's DLC changes that). From what I have seen of the latter two and heard of the first, they are excellently written and provide more choice and options than some of the more recent RPGs that also fit in the list you provided.

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PS:T does actually have romances, though not in the biowarian style but rather executed in good taste and with meaning for the plot and characters. It's a good example of how romance should be done - when it is a part of the particular story being told, not for the sake of having romances in the game.

Edited by centurionofprix
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The romance is pushed down the player throat as the writer tries to create an emotional attachment with player. An example of this, is Triss from the Witcher games, I for one do not want to see a Triss anywhere near PE.

 

How can you hate such intimately detailed and involved romances like this?

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PS:T does actually have romances, though not in the biowarian style but rather executed in good taste and with meaning for the plot and characters. It's a good example of how romance should be done - when it is a part of the particular story being told, not for the sake of having romances in the game.

Ah, I see; that's really cool. Thank you for the clarification. :]

Edited by Tick
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...Why can't they just play japanese dating sims and leave well enough alone.

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И погибе Српски кнез Лазаре,
И његова сва изгибе војска, 
Седамдесет и седам иљада;
Све је свето и честито било
И миломе Богу приступачно.

 

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Maybe a hint of a romance, as part of a story, and not necessarily with a party member.

 

In general, romances are ok with me, but not like a sim where you just choose who to bed.

 

Maybe something like Planescape:Torment? There is no romance a la Dragon Age, still there was some small development, mostly dialogue stuff though.

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PS:T does actually have romances, though not in the biowarian style but rather executed in good taste and with meaning for the plot and characters. It's a good example of how romance should be done - when it is a part of the particular story being told, not for the sake of having romances in the game.

 

Nah, Planescape didn't allow you to have that deeper interaction and connection with party members that a sexual experience provides. That was the one thing unrealistic about the game for me. The ideal Romance implementation for me is BG2 or the DA series where you can court Morrigan and Isabela

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Well, as long as we have decent options to deal with situation.

 

Disturbing news character : I am pregnant, you were the only man i have been with!

 

Depending on class, Wizard;  Dont move! ...Potentis Abortus Paro!

                                  Fighter; I think this is gonna hurt you more than me! Much more...

                                  Thief; Now you see me, now you dont...you still se me, oh well, this is a lock i cant pick...um, ever had a taste of Black Lotus powder?

                                  Priest; GOD HELP ME! GOD... GOD...GOOOOOD...

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PS:T does actually have romances, though not in the biowarian style but rather executed in good taste and with meaning for the plot and characters. It's a good example of how romance should be done - when it is a part of the particular story being told, not for the sake of having romances in the game.

 

Nah, Planescape didn't allow you to have that deeper interaction and connection with party members that a sexual experience provides. That was the one thing unrealistic about the game for me. The ideal Romance implementation for me is BG2 or the DA series where you can court Morrigan and Isabela

 

 

So do you think Divine Comedy would have been deeper if Dante ploughed Beatrice?

 

But seriously folks. Taking Planescape as an example,

sex with Grace would not have made for deeper interaction because having her spread her legs for the Nameless One would have compromised the idea of the character for the sake of satisfying horny players.

Instead, her hopeless vow at the end to spend an eternity searching for TNO was brilliantly done. It's romantic, and it's as deep as you can possibly get, and it works as a natural extension of what the character is like.

 

 

Edited by centurionofprix
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PS:T does actually have romances, though not in the biowarian style but rather executed in good taste and with meaning for the plot and characters. It's a good example of how romance should be done - when it is a part of the particular story being told, not for the sake of having romances in the game.

 

Nah, Planescape didn't allow you to have that deeper interaction and connection with party members that a sexual experience provides. That was the one thing unrealistic about the game for me. The ideal Romance implementation for me is BG2 or the DA series where you can court Morrigan and Isabela

 

 

So do you think Divine Comedy would have been deeper if Dante ploughed Beatrice?

 

 

To be fair though, Le Morte d'Arthur would have been a bit different without "The Book of Sir Tristrams de Lyons" and "Sir Launcelot and Queen Gwynevere" as would Orlando Furioso without Ruggiero and Bradamante...

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Jamoecw, sorry to put my nerd-hat on but Aerie was an elf. In AD&D canon she'd be fifty or sixty years old by the time she tumbled out of puberty.

 

I've hacked her to death dozens of times and never felt bad about it.

which is why i said in human terms.  though now that i think about it, jaheira is your adopted mom, and khalid was your adopted dad (being godparents and your other parents are dead).  so in a month or less after your dad dies you bang your mom, hmmm, BG2 really was doing things differently.

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