Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sexuality in D and D: The Spoony Bard

Who's Scruffy Looking?

I just saw an article about a study that says having sexual intercourse one to two times a week can boost your immune system. I have also noticed that when I am playing a character with any personality I tend to be edgy, occasionally even inappropriate. I’m not entirely sure why that’s so, but I think it may have something to do with really liking the scoundrel as an archetype.

 I won’t speak for everyone’s experience, but most of my games have had at least some degree of sexuality involved in them. If they had movie ratings they would tend to PG-13, but I have had occasional moments of R or even NC-17. It is an important aspect of the game, but can make people very uncomfortable. Additionally, it can be very difficult to do well. It can easily distract from the game if it is overdone. On the other hand when used correctly sexuality can add another dimension to the game making it feel more like a real world. If it is done well it can be a fun addition to the game, as long as everyone is on board.

The first thing you need to keep in mind when thinking about adding an element of sexuality to your game is the other players. D and D is a family game. Obviously you want to be careful about bringing in PG material in your game if you have kids in your game.

Even beyond the obvious many people might be made uncomfortable by any amount of sexuality in the game. There are many good reasons for this. If someone is uncomfortable with it at the table then you need to respect their wishes. D and D is a cooperative game, and generally you are playing with friends. I submit the first rule of D and D is Wheaton’s law.

Don't you wish this blog post was rated R?
The best thing to do is to have a discussion with the other players about general table etiquette. It’s always good to set good expectations for things at the table. Once you have set some expectations about general table etiquette you should discuss whether any amount of sexuality is allowed, and if so how much. In many games some degree of innuendo would be appropriate, say a PG or PG-13 rating. Like I said I enjoy at least a little bit of innuendo in my games.

If you do allow sexuality in your games there are a lot of complex issues that you may deal with.  Often it is better to simply hand wave some of the complicated issues away. There are times when it might be interesting to roll with some of the issues. One of the best games I was in had one of the PC’s get pregnant. It was really funny, because though she had a bit of a reputation for some reason, she was actually a virgin. My friend ran with the story and it turned out to be an excellent diversion. She even turned the story into an excellent fictional account for a creative writing class.

Oh my god he is doing what to inspire courage?
If you are interested in adding a bit of sexuality to your games there is an excellent resource for you. The Book of Erotic Fantasy has an excellent discussion of the ideas as well as some wonderful resource material for the game. Though it is written for 3rd Edition D and D much of the material is useful for any game that features adult content. I will say that one time I played a Spoony Bard who had training in perform sexual techniques. If you aren’t aware in 3rd Edition many of the Bard’s features keyed off being trained in perception. I will give you a minute to get the image of my Bard Inspiring Courage with that skill out of your head.

D and D is supposed to be about fun. It’s a time for you to get together with your friends and take a break from the real world grind for a few hours. As long as you are careful not to upset anyone at the table adding a little spice to your game can be a wonderful thing. If you have any Spoony Bard stories feel free to leave a comment or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Until next time remember don’t let your DM tell you no. It’s always “Yes and…?”

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