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#737090 20/11/20 11:31 PM
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I thought I'd get this topic away from poor Minsc.

I personally find this to be a hang-up of modern RPG romance, that detracts from characterization

If my character's romance as a woman is a copy and paste of their romance as a man I consider that a failure of writing, because it doesn't reflect very common world experience, even for a high-fantasy medieval one.
By that token if every companion is just a vessel for my MC's attention, it detracts from their characterization.

I don't know what the general consensus on this is, it can also be a touchy subject because a large reason for its appearance in games seems to be a shortcut to add homosexual romances to a game, I'm interested in having all types of relationships represented (and playing them) but I think that much like anything else that makes your character less distinctive I think making all romances available to all characters detracts from their characterization.

I'm making this topic because I'd like to know how people feel about it in general. Pro and Con.

Last edited by Sozz; 21/11/20 02:53 AM.
Sozz #737094 20/11/20 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Sozz
I thought I'd get this topic away from poor Minsc.

I personally find this to be a hang-up of modern RPG romance, that detracts from characterization

If my character's romance as a woman is a copy and paste of their romance as a man I consider that a failure of writing, because it doesn't reflect very common world experience, even for a high-fantasy medieval one.
By that token if every companion is just a vessel for my MC's attention, it detracts from their characterization.

I don't know what the general consensus on this is, it can also be a touchy subject because a large reason for its appearance in games seems to be a shortcut to add homosexual romances to a game, I'm interested in having all types of relationships represented but I think that much like anything else that makes your character less distinctive I think making all romances available to all characters detracts from their characterization.

I'm making this topic because I'd like to know how people feel about it in general. Pro and Con.


Pro: I agree that I would prefer characterization that makes sense. Would be great to have a mix of every possible companion with a fixed personality, and be able to position our protagonist clearly as well, to be read by others via Insight check, for example. More personalization, less illogical/broken interactions.

Con: It probably wouldn't happen because I don't feel we are making an impact on game design decisions, but it can be a Pro point for some.

Sozz #737096 20/11/20 11:43 PM
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Yeah, but that won't happen. Imagine pissed hetero part of Astarion's fanclub if he was only gay. All those pretty drowish girls wasted.

Sozz #737098 20/11/20 11:46 PM
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Romances in games are always going to be tricky regarding this, imo.

The reson some people might like Herosexual or Playersexual romances is that for people who generally don't see themselves represented in other games with regards to their sexuality, being able to flirt with and romance whoever you like, without facing rejection, can be freeing.
On the flipside, it's just not realistic. In real life, everyone has their preferences, sexualities and other reasons for being attracted to who they're attracted to. It's hard to get immersed in a world where everyone likes everyone, and has no preferences. But some people don't give a shit about realism in this regard, so it all comes down to preference, hah.


Honestly, in my opinion, playersexuality is just lazy with regards to representation. As a member of the LGBT community, I think that going "Oh you can just fuck anybody!" does not solve the issue of meaningful and well written LGBT characters in gaming. Instead of basically erasing all sexualities, why not make some straight characters, some gay ones, and some attracted to all genders. This is something Dragon Age did (in the first and third game, at least), and the romances in those games are extremely popular.

Also people are just going to create mods to get with whoever they want anyway, so in the end it doesn't even matter lol.

Sozz #737101 20/11/20 11:48 PM
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They kind of qll have to be pan though, at least the otgin characters as they will eventually be player inserts too

Sozz #737102 20/11/20 11:48 PM
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I much prefer the slightly credulity-straining conceit that we just happen to have met a bunch of bisexual people (which could happen, there are presumably at least thousands of them in Faerun, if not more), then the less ideal situation of people being disappointed that they cannot romance their favorite character while playing as their preferred gender. I remember a friend of mine who really wanted to love Dragon Age: Origins, but actually he ended up hating it, because he couldn't romance Alastair as a guy. I've seen tons of posts across the internet expressing angst that a particular character is only straight, or only gay.

Sozz #737106 20/11/20 11:54 PM
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make every companion in the game a gay man

Last edited by alice_ashpool; 20/11/20 11:56 PM.
#737135 21/11/20 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Atlus
I'm the opposite, I prefer playersexual for some of the reasons you listed (2020 never represented in games crowd, unite), but I also think that when it comes to most characters in RPGs, they're nothing that actually distinguishes them as just straight. I think that by the very nature of adventuring that companionship would matter significantly than to someone you're attracted to that you may see for a few weeks before you put your upmost faith into another person and hope they'll see you through your travels. That, however, is likely become I'm demisexual and perceive things through that view.

Well, I'm gonna have to disagree with you on the "nothing that actually distinguishes them as just straight" point. Even when a developer/writer hasn't explicitly named a characters sexuality, we live in a heteronormative society. It's pretty much unspoken that Straight is the "default", unless you've made it very clear in your setting that that is not the case.
Also, I'm not sure I understand what you mean in the second part regarding companionship, but that could just be my tired brain lacking reading comprehension, lol.

Originally Posted by Atlus
A counter I would say to your dragon age comparison is that people were HEATED that they couldn't be with Alistar. Overall, I don't think gaming has "good writing" these days (due to market surveys, analysis, profit projections) and I'd rather have a character that is open to being romantic with the person they are risking their lives for as a personal decision than to read some writer's perception of LGBTQ issues because, honestly, that's 90% of the time garbage filler that gets forced through the tubes. Most writers can't even write women (or non bog standard sarcastic anti-heros with a heart of gold) well, and those that can get struck with -- "I like her but can she be nicer?"

This is fair, I'd completely forgotten the whole Alistair thing. Probably because I was too busy being sad about Morrigan not being romanceable (God bless modders for making that dream come true). Also I'm still mad that Sera was such a badly written character. The Dragon Age franchise is so bad at writing lesbians that aren't either evil, annoying or just bad. Sigh.

I guess I was just looking back at Dragon Age with rose tinted glasses, thinking about Leliana and Josephine, whose romances I absolutely adored.
You're absolutely right in that we've got a long way to go with LGBT characters, and writing in general, before we'll ever see more than like one or two well written LGBT characters in all of video games. The best solution would be more LGBT writers and game prodcuers.

Sozz #737136 21/11/20 12:59 AM
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Hard disagree
First of all sexuality is not a character trait.

When games have strictly gay characters they are usually

1. Not relevant to the main story
2. Very flamboyant
3. Morally bankrupt
4. Their romance quests are about beeing gay

When games make companions "herosexual" it allows everyone to pick and chose, there is no drawback for anyone.
Also characters are not written with stereotypes in mind and their romance quests can for once be about more then beeing sad about how gay you are.
I think in bg3 the characters will not / can not end up as "vessels for your MCs attraction" since their attraction is based on your actions.
Yes its not realistic to have all companions be pansexual but its also a game about wizards and dragons. Not to mention you wont even notice them
beeing pan unless you play through it again as a different gender.
And again why or how do you expect a romance to change if the gender of those participating changes?

zeel #737140 21/11/20 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Verte
Yeah, but that won't happen. Imagine pissed hetero part of Astarion's fanclub if he was only gay. All those pretty drowish girls wasted.

Hedonistic Sybarite centuries old undead vampire doesn't seem like a bad fit for a pansexual
Originally Posted by zeel
The reson some people might like Herosexual or Playersexual romances is that for people who generally don't see themselves represented in other games with regards to their sexuality, being able to flirt with and romance whoever you like, without facing rejection, can be freeing.
On the flipside, it's just not realistic. In real life, everyone has their preferences, sexualities and other reasons for being attracted to who they're attracted to. It's hard to get immersed in a world where everyone likes everyone, and has no preferences. But some people don't give a shit about realism in this regard, so it all comes down to preference, hah.


Honestly, in my opinion, playersexuality is just lazy with regards to representation. As a member of the LGBT community, I think that going "Oh you can just fuck anybody!" does not solve the issue of meaningful and well written LGBT characters in gaming. Instead of basically erasing all sexualities, why not make some straight characters, some gay ones, and some attracted to all genders. This is something Dragon Age did (in the first and third game, at least), and the romances in those games are extremely popular.

Also people are just going to create mods to get with whoever they want anyway, so in the end it doesn't even matter lol.
The first point leads to what I think must be a big divide between two types of players, people who play RPGs to self-insert, and people who are more interested in taking on a role unlike themselves, because I'm more interested in the later, I find myself more amenable having things taken out of my hands by the story, world, etc.

The second point has a lot to do with why I don't like when this happens in games, if your character is just a cipher to the NPC because they've been written to respond to you and the circumstances of the relationship without regards to any distinguishing attributes then it's very easy for me to see the seams in the writing, different input same output means the input becomes perfunctory, and the relationship is a little more meaningless because of it. If you want to write characters who are bi-sexual that's good but you have to at least address it for it to be at least a little bit believable, instead of what we usually get, people who avoid the topic because they've been written to cater to all of takers.

#737149 21/11/20 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Atlus
I think that this is a muddy topic that gaming doesn't deal with very well. Is it "consensual" to be able to talk a specific character into boning you by using walkthroughs/guides/etc and does it gamify sex? I don't particularly have the answer but I've had great discussions on it.
I've personally never understood how the question of consent comes up in these discussions, we're dealing with interactive fiction, everything happens subject to our willing disbelief and is help by the illusion of choice, that said I'm very much against the kind of writing you're talking about that treats relationships as very one sided, with rare exceptions in RPGs you are always the active participant in any interaction with your companions, and since the advent of "friendship points" a very unrealistc meta-game around relationshipping takes over from what should be something driven by roleplaying, you know like you would hope would be a big part in a (R)ole(P)laying (G)ame *sigh*

Sozz #737153 21/11/20 01:17 AM
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Dragon Age Inquisition continues to be a good example on this subject.

Sera is Female and gay. You can't romance her as a dude. She also has a serious thing for Qunari - if you play as a Female one, she is ON YOU. Thirsty does not begin to describe.
This is a good thing. I'm not 100% with it on Sera personally, but she's more of a person... because she simply will not jump you just because you're the MC.

Dorian is Male and gay. Same deal. Nothing quirky in the race department, but Qunari continue to offer different lines and quirky chats.
This is a good thing. He doesn't go against his baseline and core for you. He'll even explain this further if you full on friendship him.

There's others, one will not romance Dwarves/Qunari - for example. This continues to be a good thing in my books. Not everyone wants to jump what the real world consider a smoking hot Drow, some people want an honest Human fighter - or a Gnome, because well... they happen to be a Gnome too.

DOS2 opened the door to romance all 6 Origins -- and whilst it made for some of the funniest cringe scenes after a certain part of the game -- looking at you Narrator! -- I feel it to be a little out of place for BG3.
We got a brain bug. We need it cured. We can hear the thoughts and whatever of the other victims. Great.
This does not automatically make them - what I call - greedy. My understanding of the Origins we have access, Lae'zel is the only one who's culturally Bisexual or pansexual or some other varient.

I'd be 100% sold on some of the Origins if they flat out went "ew". No amount of BFF'ing to hop over. I'd be a little sad if it was Shadowheart, won't deny she's smokin' - but I'd also not mind that, because why should she? Consent and timing are things. I don't think the whole premise of the game is good timing and hey, she might not like 'that'. I can dig that. That has depth. Might not, make me like her more? But it'd feel more real honestly. You need that in a game this big -- can't have them all cookiecutter simps for the MC. You can have 1 of those. Period. Everyone else needs to have something about them.

Sozz #737157 21/11/20 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Sozz

Hedonistic Sybarite centuries old undead vampire doesn't seem like a bad fit for a pansexual


This is exactly the reason i like "herosexuals" in gaming. He doesnt have to be a straight persons idea of a pansexual and he was hopefully not written with that intention.

Originally Posted by Sozz

The second point has a lot to do with why I don't like when this happens in games, if your character is just a cipher to the NPC because they've been written to respond to you and the circumstances of the relationship without regards to any distinguishing attributes then it's very easy for me to see the seams in the writing, different input same output means the input becomes perfunctory, and the relationship is a little more meaningless because of it. If you want to write characters who are bi-sexual that's good but you have to at least address it for it to be at least a little bit believable, instead of what we usually get, people who avoid the topic because they've been written to cater to all of takers.


The situation, your actions and your character are the input for your relationship. In your quote the only "distinguishing attributes" left over to account for are gender, a thing that does not fundamentally change the nature of a romance. You claming a relationship is less meaningful because you could have been a different gender when it happened does not make sense to me.
Also please dont force a "i am a bisexual" line into every characters romance stories....
Ferún seems to be a fictional setting where gender and sexuality are not relevant to society so i dont see why characters would have to "adress their sexuality" when you talk to them.

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Originally Posted by gorto
....Yes its not realistic to have all companions be pansexual but...

Originally Posted by zeel
On the flipside, it's just not realistic....But some people don't give a shit about realism in this regard...

Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
I much prefer the slightly credulity-straining conceit...


What's going on here guys? It sounds worryingly like settling

I'm not going to take this as a worthy compromise, expect better story-telling and they'll give it to you.

Sozz #737159 21/11/20 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Sozz


If my character's romance as a woman is a copy and paste of their romance as a man I consider that a failure of writing, because it doesn't reflect very common world experience, even for a high-fantasy medieval one.


I personally enjoy the lack of sexism tbh.

Sozz #737161 21/11/20 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by zeel
The reson some people might like Herosexual or Playersexual romances is that for people who generally don't see themselves represented in other games with regards to their sexuality, being able to flirt with and romance whoever you like, without facing rejection, can be freeing. [...]

I can't speak to how prevalent this reason is, but another big reason is just not wanting to be locked out of contact because of your chosen in-game gender. Take DAI; I had a friend who liked Cassandra (the obvious best romance option) but couldn't romance her because Cassandra is straight. Should my friend be locked out of this content because they chose a female PC at the beginning of the game?

Is the (slight? depends on who you ask) improvement in companion characterization/personality/realism worth forcing players to install playersexual mods or replay the game as a different gender to romance their preferred NPC?

gorto #737166 21/11/20 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by gorto

Originally Posted by Sozz

Hedonistic Sybarite centuries old undead vampire doesn't seem like a bad fit for a pansexual


This is exactly the reason i like "herosexuals" in gaming. He doesnt have to be a straight persons idea of a pansexual and he was hopefully not written with that intention.

Originally Posted by Sozz

The second point has a lot to do with why I don't like when this happens in games, if your character is just a cipher to the NPC because they've been written to respond to you and the circumstances of the relationship without regards to any distinguishing attributes then it's very easy for me to see the seams in the writing, different input same output means the input becomes perfunctory, and the relationship is a little more meaningless because of it. If you want to write characters who are bi-sexual that's good but you have to at least address it for it to be at least a little bit believable, instead of what we usually get, people who avoid the topic because they've been written to cater to all of takers.


The situation, your actions and your character are the input for your relationship. In your quote the only "distinguishing attributes" left over to account for are gender, a thing that does not fundamentally change the nature of a romance. You claming a relationship is less meaningful because you could have been a different gender when it happened does not make sense to me.
Also please dont force a "i am a bisexual" line into every characters romance stories....
Ferún seems to be a fictional setting where gender and sexuality are not relevant to society so i dont see why characters would have to "adress their sexuality" when you talk to them.
You're making me conflate an aspect of a relationship with it's totality, which is why I said the relationship is a little more meaningless instead of completely meaningless, I do think gender has an effect on a relationship, it can also not have one, what I want is for that not to be taken for granted.

I'm not sure what "I'm a bisexual" line would be like, it sounds a bit on the nose, but that's most relationships in RPGs so I can see that happening, maybe when the game is released they'll be able to more organically develop relationships throughout the story, instead of it falling on you like a ton of bricks at once.

As for Astarion, I thought it was a little funny but 'a little funny' doesn't hack it these days, I get it.

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#737170 21/11/20 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Atlus

I think that this is a muddy topic that gaming doesn't deal with very well. Is it "consensual" to be able to talk a specific character into boning you by using walkthroughs/guides/etc and does it gamify sex? I don't particularly have the answer but I've had great discussions on it.


In this game everyone wants to bone you, and you have to aggressively turn everyone down to not get boned. Guides.. Lul.

Kadajko #737172 21/11/20 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Kadajko
Originally Posted by Sozz


If my character's romance as a woman is a copy and paste of their romance as a man I consider that a failure of writing, because it doesn't reflect very common world experience, even for a high-fantasy medieval one.


I personally enjoy the lack of sexism tbh.

I guess that's the part that strains my credulity :\

mrfuji3 #737174 21/11/20 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Originally Posted by zeel
The reson some people might like Herosexual or Playersexual romances is that for people who generally don't see themselves represented in other games with regards to their sexuality, being able to flirt with and romance whoever you like, without facing rejection, can be freeing. [...]

I can't speak to how prevalent this reason is, but another big reason is just not wanting to be locked out of contact because of your chosen in-game gender. Take DAI; I had a friend who liked Cassandra (the obvious best romance option) but couldn't romance her because Cassandra is straight. Should my friend be locked out of this content because they chose a female PC at the beginning of the game?

Is the (slight? depends on who you ask) improvement in companion characterization/personality/realism worth forcing players to install playersexual mods or replay the game as a different gender to romance their preferred NPC?

As someone who replays BG:2 every so often you can be sure I've got the all genders/all races mods turned up in order to see everything in one go, but I don't know If I would have wanted my first play through of that game to have been without those constraints, if that makes sense.

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