I Want Sex & Chocolate with my Greyhawk


My brain has not been agreeable lately, but it has been a while since my last post, and I don’t think that this fog will lift on its own, so I think that it is just time for me to write incoherent rambles and, hopefully, shake off some of this rust.

I’ve been Dungeon Mastering World of Greyhawk, which is a new step for me. I am used to running games exclusively in Ravenloft settings, true fantasy is a brand new step for my personal gaming. I have played fantasy settings, namely Forgotten Realms, which I never really cared for because of all of the baggage that goes with it. Too much information is a problem, and that problem also infected my Ravenloft setting, however not to the incurable extent that it did to the Realms. Greyhawk attracted me first because of the history of it, and second because its incompleteness. There is a lot of stuff left completely open, and I find that completely brilliant! Of course, by nature I am a horror junky, thus my Greyhawk will be much darker and mysterious then what was probably intended, however that is the beauty of the setting, isn’t it; The ability for the world to work for you, instead of the other way around?

I’ve never really been all that attracted to fantasy. When I was a kid I enjoyed Pierce Anthony’s Xanth series, I read many books from that world; and as a teen I got into the Death Dealer series, which was based on the art of Frank Frazetta that I really enjoyed, but I find most fantasy novels to be unreadable, else so big that they are overly intimidating. The Conan series was like that to me, I prefer hardbound books over paperbacks, and with large series such as Conan, it can be very difficult to find #1. I know that my wife has a couple of Conan books in her collection, but, like I said, I don’t want to read a series out of order.

I also really got into the Red Sonya comic book, it was both sexy and violent, thus my love for that comic is a given. Sex and violence are two very important aspects to fantasy fiction which is a must have for me. If there aren’t any naked hot chicks getting sacrificed to greedy and evil gods, I just don’t find anything all that fun about it! Which goes into another problem with D&D, and that is the refusal for most male players to ever play female characters. Why? That just doesn’t make much sense? Of course all of my females that I’ve ever played on a full-time basis were super sexed up cheesecake babes who wore the awesome chainmail bikini. OH YEAH!!! I enjoyed putting them into danger and seeing if they could get out of it. A private little bit of erotica at the gaming table, but I tend to do that with all of my characters. I have always found danger to be sexy, and D&D can really satisfy this need.

As a DM, I will admit to not putting any blatant erotica into my games, nor introducing any sexual relations within the game itself. I think that that aspect is just too predicable, and if a PC gets married or finds romance then that is just an open invitation to abusing the players significant other, besides, we do stick to stereotypes. Adventures are supposed to be unobtainable. We don’t role-play bathroom breaks, so why would we role-play other private moments? Besides, there is just something creepy about a group of guys sitting around a table in the basement and getting all romantic about stuff. That and half of my players are females, and they most definitely wouldn’t appreciate that . . . well, not in any serious way. I do remember some hilarious games between just us guys where we used one of those infamous SEXUAL charts that were just uproarious! Oh, you rolled a 1, you prematurely finished and the whole village will be laughing at you tomorrow. I suppose that you know a game is going south when you introduce one of those charts into the plans, huh?

11 comments:

Zzarchov said...

Well, I hate to point it out..but the reason I would discourage male gamers playing girls is in-case they play the cheesecake chainmail bikini playing girl you mention as

1.) that would probably offend female players at the table.

2.) A bit of erotica in a group setting is wierd for most people, including me. Im also the type of person who does not sit around and watch porn with other dudes. Thats creepy (at least to me).


But each group has their own dynamic and flavour, I would not expect everyone to be a prude like me and my group.

Timeshadows said...

It can be challenging to find the correct mix of elements in any RPG group.
--In the past, my players have been my friends prior to the game, and simply took my adventures with a grain of salt during the session, and afterwards asked whether what my NPCs were espousing, or what the theme of the session(s) suggested were my personal philosophy on the subject (regardless of what that was, including interrogation/torture, domestic and/or childhood abuse, etc.), and we would discuss things that had happened in greater detail.

Since I began running for strangers (who have become friends and/or lovers through gaming), I have frequently surprised, if not shocked the players with my portrayals, and this has led to blank faces with blinking eyes, or even heads turning away in unease.
--I have found that dialing-down those bits has helped folks with less tarnished consciences than my own still see into the world I unveil, and vicariously (or would that be doubly vicariously?) learn of or first consider some strange, frightening, and disturbing aspects of reality in a safe manner through the game.

I have self-edited my fiction, as well, for the readers' sake, but smiled wryly at the knowledge of what the scene had actually contained in its raw form, often wondering how much of it others in a more 'bruised' state pick up on those things not said.
--Ultimately, though, the discipline to write the story, or game the session in a manner which draws folks back to my worlds is both a good and necessary step of growth, both personally, as well as artistically.

As long as your audience enjoys your particular brand of entertainment (and content), then its achieving its intended goal, whether one of simple fun, or deeper meaning.

Best,

Carl said...

I have been mulling over why more men do not play female characters lately, as that has been my experience as well. All the women who play in my group are playing female characters, all the men are playing male.

Personally, I find that a bit boring. I am not about to make an RPG character that is a manager at a grocery store, because I play RPGs in part to experience a different world than the one I inhabit. So why would I only play a male PC? I already have a lot of experience being a male, why not branch out and try something different? My last three characters were all women, of very different types (and none were the chainmail-bikini wearing sort), and I had a blast role playing from a different perspective.

rainswept said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Lord of Excess said...

First let me say that despite living in Utah, I'm no prude and the gaming group I usually game with is anything but prim and proper. Frequently conversation so obscene and vulgar it makes stereotypical "locker room" talk seem tame. That said I have to agree this question really presents an interesting dilemma and an age old one. As a player and a GM anything that can be done to further flesh out (bad pun I know) ones world and characters is cool. Love interests are part of life and as a heroic adventurer saving the day (or stealing it ... depending on your game) ... one would naturally anticipate interest from members of the opposite sex. As stated by the other posters ... its creepy. Do I really want to sit around a table with gamers and weave an erotic tale? In any group I've ever played in over the past 15 or so years ... I would have to say ... NO. I don't want to talk about sexual/romantic stuff with mostly guys at the game table. This brings up a larger discussion about games like Houses of the Blooded (a great John Wick Fate-esq game) which is essentially the antithesis of standard D&D. You are a "blooded" noble in charge of holdings, engaging in political intrigue and romance. I'd love to play that game, its exquisitely well done, I don't think I could ever find a group that could A) pull it off and B) I'd feel comfortable doing that with. Perhaps if my wife would be willing to bring four hot girl friends into the game and one of them would run it ... ok ... maybe then. But baring that ... playing in any game with a high degree of romantic interest and any type of detailed "erotica" ... just not going to happen.

Timeshadows said...

What I continue to be dismayed over, though, is the idea in this culture of ours, that bodily violation with melee and ranged weapons is somehow both:

a). Less 'intimate' than sex
b). More acceptable to 'fantasise' in a game

Why is it that it's OK to talk about tactical violence upon intelligent creatures with one's buddies, but not seduction or love?
--Kinda explains why the world is as effed-up as it is, IMO. ;)

Ripper X said...

I don't know guys, maybe I am just a pervert but I've got no problems discussing sex, or listening to others talk about it.

I remember once two players who were dating in real life played a couple of elves that were married, now they were in that beginning stage of their relationship where they were always spooning and carrying on. That was a bit uncomfortable, but they would be like that regardless of what we were doing.

I've never played a character that was in a relationship with another player at the table, I think that that would be uncomfortable, but now that I think about it, it could be funny as hell . . . but I wouldn't want to waste my playing time on a joke.

Anonymous said...

Do yourself a favor and read some Conan stories. They are not one big multi-part saga that must be read in order, they are individual, stand-alone adventures... collections of short stories that were not meant to occur in any particular order. Any story is as good a starting place as any other. Heck, the first one published is generally considered to be the last chronologically, for those who try to arrange such things. Even the author said they were not in order, and were written as if he were sitting by a campfire with Conan as he told stories of his adventures, remembering them out of order. Just read 'em, especially given your stated love of sex and violence in fantasy!

Brooze the Bear said...

For all the chained maiden aficionados, here is a plug for insex the website. Enough about that.

Pornographic elements aside, I can't see why you can't have serious approach to vilance and human relationships ina D&D game. For instance. In Ken Follet's fiction, a thief who is caught stealing monastery's candlesticks is sentenced to death by skinning alive. He describes accurately what happens at the executions and several people in the crowd getting sick. Neither horror, nor erotic, just disturbing. is there a reason why something like this shouldn't happen in a D&D game?

How about female players and NPC being pressured into sexual relations with in-game villains? Acts of rape? One of the reasons that Tolien's LOTR is not considered "Serious Literature" is because it does not deal with the issues of Love, Sex, Death and God. Or to be more abrupt, human sexualuty and mortality. I don't see a reason why you can't have a D&D game which deals seriously with issues of life, death, evil, and power.

With regards to players marrying and falling in love. I don't see why not, but as Kipling has one said: Stories about boys end with boys becoming men. Stories about men end when man finds his woman. Reasonable endgame to a career of adventuring (untimely demise aside).

SHARK said...

Well, I hope I don't come across as too weird or perverted here, but...well, in all my campaigns, besides all the standard stuff of a campaign--there's lots of sex, and complex relationships. True, most of the guys didn't start out terribly comfortable or even skilled in integrating sex and relationships into the campaign along with politics, war, dungeon crawling, and so on, but in rather short order, they got the hang of it without feeling *icky* or embarrassed.

I suppose that salient development occurred one, based on who I am, and the fact that they know and trust me, as a friend and DM, that the development of sex and relationships is simply something between their characters and some other characters. It's all imaginary, and just that. They have fun with it, and so do I. It just seems like something that a normal character is such a world--just like our own--would also enjoy and be concerned with.

Two, several players in the campaigns are women. The women definitely are interested in sex, romance and relationships, and both encouraged me to include such, and were receptive to my efforts at portraying such, and further developing relationships, sex and romance in the campaigns. Oftentimes, the women are more eager to engage in a fun party and develop conversations and relationships with the men of their interest than they are in stomping orcs. Certainly, not only such relationships of sex and romance, but their offshoots--such as dealing with the drama of revealing a relationship to the *female* character's parents, sorting out what her brothers say and do, their mom, and that whole fallout, working through the different tensions and points with their family members, while also seeking to preserve and pursue their romantic/sexual interest, almost develops into it's own *mini-game* within a game. And of course, the girls are always interested in gossip, who's fucking who in the group, who has intentions on fucking a henchman or an apprentice, or whatever, or helping one of their girlfriends get over a recent break-up with some knight, and get hooked up with someone new and hot...well, on and on.

Sex, Romance, and relationships can be integrated and developed into a campaign. It has been a lot of fun, and it inspires other adventures, and deeper relationships and motivations for all characters involved. Yes, sometimes it can be provocative, alluring, and erotic. It is also dramatic, fun, and develops deeper and richer detail to the characters and the campaign.

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK

Anonymous said...

I often had no problem integrating sex and relationships in my campaigns but alas I am Spanish and Spain seems to have a somehow less prudish attitude towards sex than the English Speaking countries, despite being profoundly a Roman Catholic country.

Sex has just come naturally to the campaigns, from the bard trying to get some with wenches in taverns to the Paladin falling in love and ending up with a family after a couple of year expanding campaigns, we have regarded it with the seriousness of real life and none my male or female players have had any trouble with it.

It has been hardly the focus but it comes from time to time, the same way complex politics, war attrocities and other things do.

But I digress, for the things I read on gaming websites I've been blessed with quite an open minded and mature group apparently, even if our attitudes in the gaming table hadn't really changed that much since we were teens, it seems to me that our cultural background had a lot to do with the way we treat the themes in the campaigns.

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