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Author Topic: Brainstorming: What Scenarios Would Hinge Upon a NPCs Sexual Orientation/Preference?  (Read 2523 times)

jeff37923

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OK, we have talked about having NPCs with sexual orientations and/or sexual preferences outside the norm being shoehorned in to adventures and settings by publishers, so my question is now where would they fit in naturally and organically to an adventure or setting? What scenarios or settings would hinge upon a NPCs sexual orientation and/or preference? Where would it be important to the structure of the game?

My immediate thought was of some heavy role-playing scenarios, like if the PCs were part of a royal court and had to deal with palace intrigue on a daily basis. Say the ruling monarch prefers his own sex to the opposite sex for getting laid. This will cause problems with the kingdom in that there will be no clear line of succession when he dies. So does the court take a politically arranged marriage and ensure that the queen conceives a child by any means necessary and claim the child as heir in order to secure the lineage? Will the PCs be enlisted to help protect the heir and the secret? Or will they be hired to uncover the mystery and expose the ruse for the travesty that it is? Either way, the fate of a kingdom and possible civil war hangs in the balance.

I'd love to read what possibilities can be dreamed up!

GeekyBugle

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Quote from: jeff37923;1108932
OK, we have talked about having NPCs with sexual orientations and/or sexual preferences outside the norm being shoehorned in to adventures and settings by publishers, so my question is now where would they fit in naturally and organically to an adventure or setting? What scenarios or settings would hinge upon a NPCs sexual orientation and/or preference? Where would it be important to the structure of the game?

My immediate thought was of some heavy role-playing scenarios, like if the PCs were part of a royal court and had to deal with palace intrigue on a daily basis. Say the ruling monarch prefers his own sex to the opposite sex for getting laid. This will cause problems with the kingdom in that there will be no clear line of succession when he dies. So does the court take a politically arranged marriage and ensure that the queen conceives a child by any means necessary and claim the child as heir in order to secure the lineage? Will the PCs be enlisted to help protect the heir and the secret? Or will they be hired to uncover the mystery and expose the ruse for the travesty that it is? Either way, the fate of a kingdom and possible civil war hangs in the balance.

I'd love to read what possibilities can be dreamed up!

Besides yours? None that I can think off that would make me want to play in it.
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tenbones

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I honestly have never had an actual adventure revolve around, specifically, any NPC's or PC's sexual preferences. Have they been "things" in my games- sure. But outside the usual jealousies, and court-intrigues that would be associated with such things, nothing overtly specific.

In most cases for my games - where sex in-game is a matter of wild-west/sailors - PC's come into port/town - they hit the saloon/tavern which may/may not have brothels, and the PC's do their thing, fade to black - unless there's some sub-plot. For instance in my long-running Realms game, one of my players is a the Duke within a kingdom. He secretly owns this place called the Seven Veils - a tavern, inn, and brothel that caters from the banal to the most exotic of tastes. The NPC that works directly for him who is the madam is a bi-sexual assassin/bard that does have the ability to polymorph which she uses liberally. The purposes of pleasure seeking are obviously there but it's been a tremendous source of information gathering too.

When PC's get into distinct relationships, I've had female and male players do the whole bit - get married in-between adventures, have kids. The whole deal. I've had NPC partners get assassinated, the souls of their in-utero children pulled from their body - kicking off an adventure for the whole party that starts a war between the Gods and the Lords of Hell. All kinds of crazy shit. But it's never just about the sex. It's about the context of everything surrounding it.

So I guess the first place I'd start is in the "culture" you're playing in. In my case we started in the Great Rift-  where it's extremely xenophobic and racist against non-dwarves. And most of the party was non-dwarf. So immediately normal politics informed some of the sexual politics to the ruling species of the culture. In other words non-dwarves were bad enough. but non-dwarves having sex with one another or with other non-dwarves, was pretty gross to the Gold Dwarves of the Rift. Never mind *their* idiosyncracies and inborn prejudices.

Some cultures wouldn't care. Some would. It depends on the degree and how much you want to make it a "thing". For me - it's certainly an opportunity to create conflict and therefore adventure. After all - the Trojan War... Helena... etc.

Steven Mitchell

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I'm more of the wild adventure type than cultural nuances being the main focus.  I have never done a campaign anything like it, but I would assume a campaign based on Greek city states would fit--or a fictional analog.  In a culture of old/young mentor/follower with distinctly separate cultural areas for marriage and procreation, I would expect it to naturally generate all kinds of conflicts along those boundaries, and thus be fodder for the events of the game.  It wouldn't merely be about sexual orientation, but it would certainly sometimes be about it.

tenbones

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Quote from: Steven Mitchell;1108953
I'm more of the wild adventure type than cultural nuances being the main focus.  I have never done a campaign anything like it, but I would assume a campaign based on Greek city states would fit--or a fictional analog.  In a culture of old/young mentor/follower with distinctly separate cultural areas for marriage and procreation, I would expect it to naturally generate all kinds of conflicts along those boundaries, and thus be fodder for the events of the game.  It wouldn't merely be about sexual orientation, but it would certainly sometimes be about it.

Absolutely!!

In more "advanced fantasy cultures" - I weight the culture based on its traditions and what level of corruption and decadence is assumed "normal". Most of the time I'm doing sword-and-sorcery fare where the PC's end up being adventuring road-dogs on the frontier, picking at the bones of dead civilizations... sex is a pastime that *could* turn into something. Depends.

But when I'm doing the court-intrigue stuff, sex is a tool, weapon, treasure, that can be used to drive adventures. But rarely ever the "point" of the adventure, or the NPC for that matter.

I've had straight players play gay/bi PC's, and vice versa. Even then, it's never been a big deal - even when my female player, who is playing a lesbian elf, that wants to sleep with all my female NPC's... (/salute Adonia) simply as an in-game thing her PC tries to do... but it was more of an affectation than anything else, and it certainly wasn't the behavior of the player in real life.

Doc Sammy

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Hmm, I might actually have a few ideas in mind...

1. A major NPC of notable influence is in the closet and is trying to keep that secret for a variety of reasons (personal, legal, social) but is being blackmailed by a major antagonist. The PC's discover this and decide to help them take out the one who is extorting them and in exchange for keeping the secret, will provide major boons for the PC's in the form of favors, equipment, resources, or allies.

2. This next scenario is one that is pretty hardcore and 18+ and it would have to be done tastefully with a skilled DM and players.

Imagine a campaign or scenario set in either New York during the second half of the 1970's that is centered around the dark and secretive world of the gay leather community. Think Cruising (1980) meets The Warriors (1979) with a dash of Hellraiser (1987) and set in the crime-ridden hellhole streets of 70's New York, a sort of mashup of survival horror and criminal procedural. PC's could be a gang of leather men fighting and brawling with rival gangs in the city (not just other clubs, but also your more traditional gangs) and having to deal with both the ultra-corrupt NYPD and the Mafia.

This second scenario could actually incorporate homophobia as a conflict or plot device given the setting, and I'm sure your average gangbanger, mobster, crooked cop, or hoodlum in 1970's New York was pretty homophobic.
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"Hinge upon" is a bit dubious, but in the past I've had brothels serve a variety of roles. One such brothel had a headmistress that was an information trader, training her girls and boys to become part of a larger spy network to gain illicit secrets (generally after performing 'the act' with clientele) she could barter with and sell. She and members of her network alternated between being a thorn in the side of the PC's and acting as a valuable (if fickle) asset. It relates to sexual orientation insofar as using it as leverage and as a tool to assist with the manipulation of big-name NPC's who partake in such activities (many of which spin out into political issues, financial interests being put at risk, secrets being ousted and traded, etc.). Her personal orientation was dubious and I never fully decided, but it was implied she was bisexual due to her recruitment strategies.

In a cyberpunk supers game I ran, there was an adventure centered around a big-time club owner (lesbian) who was being stalked (increasingly violently; leaving her bodyguards dead and put on display, etc.) by a fanatical cult targeting her for the "immoral crime" of unknowingly recruiting some of their (ex) female members as dancers/strippers, as well as having a brief love affair with their leader's ex-wife. She hired the PC's to figure out who was targeting her, why, and to solve the problem.

In the same campaign as above, there was a gay arms dealer with a great deal of influence and a glowing reputation for never backing out of a deal; his orientation didn't play into things much, aside from his interactions with one of the PC's (an attractive male boxer with telekinesis, played by a girl). As an arms dealer though, he facilitated a LOT of the PC shenanigans as well as the overall complex relationships between various gangs and mafias in the area. The first real "mission" of the campaign, actually, started with him bargaining with the PC's to locate a stolen illegal arms shipment he was on the hook for.

Largely, sex itself (and therefore sexual orientation) isn't a primary facet of any of my games, though it is included generally. I see it mainly as one of many means of creating interpersonal drama or complications between NPC's, less so PC's but it is possible and has happened.

(Edit: thinking back to the cyberpunk supers campaign, I think it was interesting that my [gay] brother chose to play the most stereotypical, straight-laced, puritanical schoolkid genius/mastermind given the setting. It lent some great contrast to both the character and the rest of the campaign world)
« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 04:52:49 PM by Antiquation! »
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S'mon

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I've had events hinge on the heterosexuality of NPCs - when they fall in love with PCs. :)

trechriron

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Quote from: S'mon;1108991
I've had events hinge on the heterosexuality of NPCs - when they fall in love with PCs. :)


Here's the thing. I believe if there is any content that requires sex in some regard... you can easily swap it out for homo or bi-sexual characters/NPCs.

Sex is sex. Seduction is seduction.

IN FACT...

You could easily swap this out, in real time, to adopt this subject to any PC's sexual orientation.

The only other things I can think might be sexual orientation focused would be a "cursed" magic item that randomly changes your sexual orientation. You could contrive a complicated plot thusly;

1) A local noble's hetero son finds the cursed magic item in his parent's treasure trove and puts it on.
2) As the weeks roll by he discovers how much he enjoys being gay, being delightfully surprised how well he takes to it.
3) The PCs are no a quest to destroy a lich's power. The first step is to destroy every cursed item the Lich ever made. They know of 12 items, have already destroyed 10, and have (through much trial, investigation and travel) finally located item #11. The aforementioned item.
4) The PCs eventually discover where it is and who is wearing it. They start by confronting the young man.
5) He refuses. He loves being gay and will not go back to traditional hetero sex and relationships.

Now the PCs have to figure out a way to get back the magic item AND then destroy it.

This could be construed negatively in many ways if you were so inclined.  "gayness is a undesired state unleashed by a curse?"

You could likely come up with several fun entertaining quests that were tangentially related to a person's sexual orientation but you are likely to offend someone.

Now, most LGBTQ+ people in our hobby are not as upset about adventure content as they are about REPRESENTATION. The argument being there are far more hetero white characters than other kinds (traditionally). This has and continues to be addressed in modern products. So, unless you want a game that where sex is an important characteristic? It likely wouldn't matter.
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grodog

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Quote from: S'mon;1108991
I've had events hinge on the heterosexuality of NPCs - when they fall in love with PCs. :)

Yep:  my PC proposed to an NPC in thedungeondelver's Monday night AD&D campaign =)

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Omega

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There have been one or two modules wayyyy back that had at some point potential complications if a PC were male, or female.

One I still have is Day of Al'Akbar. If a female PC with a comelyness of 13 or better was spotted by the city's brothel owner. She reports this potential harem addition to the sultan for a reward.
Not sure if that odd draconian in the Dragonlance module counts?

Others where orientation were a factor I cant think of any. But I'd lay good odds that there is probably at least one somewhere amidst the mini modules in Dungeon or Polyhedron.

DELETE THIS

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Sounds like the start to a really fucked up Amber campaign...

The_Shadow

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There's no scenario where a simple gender swap can't be done more or less on the fly as required.
Scenario calls for the bar wench to seduce a PC for plot reasons. But PC is gay.
So, have a gay bar boy. Simple, done. There's no reason to make sex/gender/orientation a big deal in any written material. Don't like it, change it.
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Omega

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Oh yeah. Tomb of Horrors. The old gender & alignment flip trap.

Spinachcat

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In my Mazes & Minotaurs game, when you meet the clerics of Aphrodite and Hera, they'll be female and mostly angry at each other.

As for gender/sexytime, I find most gamers don't care about that stuff. They want an exciting adventure where they fight monsters and villains and get goodies, and for most of them, the less nuance, the better.