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I don't think making "romance" options playersexual means they must inherently lack depth. There are so many other facets of personality that can be explored that it doesn't need to be a defining trait.

For example:
  • Are they introverts or extroverts?
  • Do they think ahead or do they "fly by the seat of their pants"?
  • Are they empathetic to others pain/suffering or do they enjoy it?
  • Are they stoic or expressive?
  • Are they introspective or rooted in the sensory world?
  • Is their humour silly, dry, or non-existent?
  • Are they thoughtful or selfish?
  • Do they prefer to do things in a structured, consistent way or are they mercurial?
  • How do they deal with stressful situations (anger, humour, anxiety etc.)?
  • Is their decision-making pragmatic or emotional?
  • Do they like being the centre of attention or are they private?


Those are all extremes, so they might be one way in one situation but not in another. Why? Those are just a few of the things that could be explored to define someone's personality and flesh them out.

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You can miss out of potential dialogue and facets of the characters though when they're playersexual though.
Cassandra in Dragonage: Inquisition is my first thought of an example. You can pick the 'romance' choices as a female and eventually, it comes to a head and she talks to you. A businesslike, harsh, stoic and proffessional person is awkward, nervous even when she explains that she's been pretending not to acknowledge the flirting and wants you to stop because she's not interested and you're clearly not getting the hint. People aren't 'baseline bi' in real life, but this is a game with elves and magic and wizards and dragons and brain-eating squidpeople so while I certainly would prefer a character to be a set sexuality (or they think they are-imagine the writing potential for an npc falling in love with what they think of as the 'wrong' gender) but... eh. The simple fact for me is; I don't care enough to howl in outrage over this, I would just like people to acknowledge that it sandblasts down a potentially interesting part of a character to bland nothingness.

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Originally Posted by Some_Twerp753
You can miss out of potential dialogue and facets of the characters though when they're playersexual though.
Cassandra in Dragonage: Inquisition is my first thought of an example. You can pick the 'romance' choices as a female and eventually, it comes to a head and she talks to you. A businesslike, harsh, stoic and proffessional person is awkward, nervous even when she explains that she's been pretending not to acknowledge the flirting and wants you to stop because she's not interested and you're clearly not getting the hint. People aren't 'baseline bi' in real life, but this is a game with elves and magic and wizards and dragons and brain-eating squidpeople so while I certainly would prefer a character to be a set sexuality (or they think they are-imagine the writing potential for an npc falling in love with what they think of as the 'wrong' gender) but... eh. The simple fact for me is; I don't care enough to howl in outrage over this, I would just like people to acknowledge that it sandblasts down a potentially interesting part of a character to bland nothingness.

In fact, this is not the case and the "parts" that you are talking about are present in game.

For example, Gale and Wyll had romantic relationships with women in the past. Gale also pays attention to Shadow when they first meet. These are a kind of "flags", both of these characters so far look more like straight man. Shadow also looks like a straight girl. Why? Because in her "romantic dream" (if she's not lying) there was a man. These "flags" indicate character tastes. Writers prescribe these details (but not very clearly), developers leave choice to players, how they want to perceive it and what they will do it at all.

Yes, I think it's a bit strange if Gale approves of an affair with a male character. But you know what? The other player may see it differently. And in the end, he may fall in love with this particular character. He doesn't need another, but a well written gay character, he wants only this one. Because of the personality. And then what to do? Play as a female character? But this is a role-playing game, with choices, where you most often want to create something that you want for role-playing, and not only "for romance with a character", but you also want this romance.

That's why it's easier to "make everyone bi", let everyone decide for themselves "who is who", flags with characters personalities do not go anywhere. If someone "breaks" atmosphere by ignoring these "flags", then this is their own business.

Of course, this is only EA and my own impressions of the characters. But I am sure that there will be more of these "flags", and you will be able to better understand for whom this romance was written more, if, of course, you want.

Last edited by Nyloth; 15/04/21 11:47 PM.

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Originally Posted by Nyloth
In fact, this is not the case and the "parts" that you are talking about are present in game.

For example, Gale and Wyll had romantic relationships with women in the past. Gale also pays attention to Shadow when they first meet. These are a kind of "flags", both of these characters so far look more like straight man. Shadow also looks like a straight girl. Why? Because in her "romantic dream" (if she's not lying) there was a man. These "flags" indicate character tastes. Writers prescribe these details (but not very clearly), developers leave choice to players, how they want to perceive it and what they will do it at all.

Yes, I think it's a bit strange if Gale approves of an affair with a male character. But you know what? The other player may see it differently. And in the end, he may fall in love with this particular character. He doesn't need another, but a well written gay character, he wants only this one. Because of the personality. And then what to do? Play as a female character? But this is a role-playing game, with choices, where you most often want to create something that you want for role-playing, and not only "for romance with a character", but you also want this romance.

That's why it's easier to "make everyone bi", let everyone decide for themselves "who is who", flags with characters personalities do not go anywhere. If someone "breaks" atmosphere by ignoring these "flags", then this is their own business.

Of course, this is only EA and my own impressions of the characters. But I am sure that there will be more of these "flags", and you will be able to better understand for whom this romance was written more, if, of course, you want.
Only half of what @Some_Twerp753 is talking about is in the game. Gale and Wyll do discuss their romantic relationships with women and Gale even rebuffs Astarion. But there is no mention of any sexuality when the player pursues romance (or, more likely, when Gale and Wyll pursue romance with the PC). There is no Cassandra moment, when the NPC acts to reinforce earlier dialogue/backstory. The companions can all be bi, sure, but some type of "I've never been with a man before" dialogue, acting nervous, and/or not actively pursuing male PCs would be more consistent with their (stated) history and personality flags.

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Hey, I am all for player sexuality. And while I really do appreciate that Larian makes our companion come to us instead of "forcing" us to pick romantic options in order to trigger future romances, I really do wish there would be more obvious "friendzone"-options early on. Some dialogues that very obviously are meant for those who do not want to pursue romance with that particular companion - AND PLEASE, LARIAN. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don't wait until the game has the character standing there in front of you with flowers in hand.

If I had to pull an example, I'd bring DA:O to the discussion. I'll say that I absolutely loved the way one could handle Leliana - she hinted at liking your character physically, and you could just give her some responses that were so obvious friendzoning and her approval rating would move from the romantic flags ("interested" etc) to friend ("warm"), yet there seemed to be no harm done. She seemed happy with it and honestly, she seems a bit ... Spectacular to hide feelings if there were any so I don't believe I got deceived. Nor did I lose any approval rating (quite the opposite, I gained approval). Everybody walks out happily!

... HOWEVER, when it came to Alistair... Oh dear god, it was a fucking disaster. I thought of him as a silly brother so I got kinda weirded out when he started flirting. He started dropping romantic hints and I had no way to turn them down without being mean, so I picked as neutral options as possible - and well... Then there finally was the time when he came there asking for more and neutral options lead to kissing and intense music. I struggled for far longer than I am willing to admit to attempt to find a way to shut the romance down without being a dick - but honestly? It seems like it just wasn't possible. In the end I had to just tell him "yeah no, we're just friends" as he asks if he believes I could ever develop feelings for him (with the saddest puppy eyes I've ever seen in a game), ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS - NOT JUST ONCE (and this MUST have been a bug). I am not sure what went wrong with my play-through, but I just kept getting romance scenes with Alistair through-out the entire night when I was playing and I felt so horribly bad for shutting him down over and over.

Honestly - one could OBVIOUSLY argue that "but that could happen irl too so it is only appropriate" but Hells... That experience was nothing short of unpleasant, imo. And I might be overreacting, but I cannot even think of the game without feeling awkward and sad for not being able to stop the romance before it got that far (if you think I am reacting out of proportion now, then you should have seen my chat history with my brother who urged me to play DA:O while I was having these struggles - half of the conversation is in caps). I really did not want to hurt Alistair by turning him down the way I had to in the end - but I couldn't find any brakes to the development in time to stop it from being basically a full on proposal decline (and I looked REALLY hard from the beginning since I already had made my mind up about my character not wanting to tie down - especially not with a human, but rather just return to her clan one day). I still cannot start my saving in DA:O without severe feelings of regret and disturbance, so now I am wondering if I should just trash my current save and start-anew with a companion that *could* be an appropriate romance for Alistair, but that is not gonna be anytime soon considering my current feelings for the game...

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Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
I think it's more than just the gating, it's a) the change of facial expressions and b) dialogues on the day after. I see SH as the nod to Viconia. Both clerics of Shar, same dark-seeking-the-light theme, same divide between the persona and the private. If you played the Viconia romance she spends about half of it trying push you away -- every other conversation ends with an insult. The last thing she says before abandoning her hard shell is "in trust lies death" apparently a drow saying and a foreshadowing since your romance does lead her to her death.

Yes, SH was always intended to be Tsundre but after patch 3 she lost the on-again / off-again quality of the Viconia romance and Shadowheart dropped the hard shell waaay to easily and waaay too quickly.

This is a crisis of faith story. Shar isn't about hope and new beginnings -- that's Lathander. Shar is about loss, pain and hidden resentments. What do you do when you worship loss and find hope?

Pretty sure the answer isn't: spend the next day smiling and flirting.

Make this its own feedback thread?

It shouldn't just be page 9

As for the pros and cons of playersexual companions...well my signature says it all.

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Originally Posted by mrfuji3
Originally Posted by Nyloth
In fact, this is not the case and the "parts" that you are talking about are present in game.

For example, Gale and Wyll had romantic relationships with women in the past. Gale also pays attention to Shadow when they first meet. These are a kind of "flags", both of these characters so far look more like straight man. Shadow also looks like a straight girl. Why? Because in her "romantic dream" (if she's not lying) there was a man. These "flags" indicate character tastes. Writers prescribe these details (but not very clearly), developers leave choice to players, how they want to perceive it and what they will do it at all.

Yes, I think it's a bit strange if Gale approves of an affair with a male character. But you know what? The other player may see it differently. And in the end, he may fall in love with this particular character. He doesn't need another, but a well written gay character, he wants only this one. Because of the personality. And then what to do? Play as a female character? But this is a role-playing game, with choices, where you most often want to create something that you want for role-playing, and not only "for romance with a character", but you also want this romance.

That's why it's easier to "make everyone bi", let everyone decide for themselves "who is who", flags with characters personalities do not go anywhere. If someone "breaks" atmosphere by ignoring these "flags", then this is their own business.

Of course, this is only EA and my own impressions of the characters. But I am sure that there will be more of these "flags", and you will be able to better understand for whom this romance was written more, if, of course, you want.
Only half of what @Some_Twerp753 is talking about is in the game. Gale and Wyll do discuss their romantic relationships with women and Gale even rebuffs Astarion. But there is no mention of any sexuality when the player pursues romance (or, more likely, when Gale and Wyll pursue romance with the PC). There is no Cassandra moment, when the NPC acts to reinforce earlier dialogue/backstory. The companions can all be bi, sure, but some type of "I've never been with a man before" dialogue, acting nervous, and/or not actively pursuing male PCs would be more consistent with their (stated) history and personality flags.

> "I've never been with a man before"

Only if they are written as bisexual, but I believe they are not written as bisexual, which is why there are these flags. This is why I say writers prescribe these details but not very clearly(!).
There is no mention of any sexuality, and there won't be, because in fact not all of them are written as bisexual. It's obvious. You're just allowed to make a choice, but the writer doesn't write every single one of these characters as bisexual. At least that's what I believe.

For example, someone playing a female character may decide that Gale is straight, but then phrase "this is my first time with a girl" will ruin everything. That's choice I'm talking about. I don't remember Larian saying "all our characters are bisexual", they just said that their attitude towards you will depend on your actions, not race or gender. But it's not same.

Also I don't remember that in Dragon Age 2 there were any references to sexuality in the same way, there were only "flags". The irony is that in DAI, Cassandra was not bi and a similar line was given to her for REJECT mc.


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Pathfinder Kingmaker made it mostly right. You have some characters that are straight (Valerie, Tristian), some bisexual (Octavia and Regongar). I think there was no one straight homosexual, but maybe I don't remember, since I didn't actively look for it.

The only things I didn't like were:

(1) I couldn't romance Amiri with either sex, because she is some kind of original character
(2) It was far too easy to break up Regongar and Octavia. They basically immediately dump each other for the player.

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Originally Posted by Nyloth
> "I've never been with a man before"
Í like this idea ...
It would be funny as hell, if he tells you after night spend together. laugh


I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

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Originally Posted by Arne
Pathfinder Kingmaker made it mostly right. You have some characters that are straight (Valerie, Tristian), some bisexual (Octavia and Regongar). I think there was no one straight homosexual, but maybe I don't remember, since I didn't actively look for it.

The only things I didn't like were:

(1) I couldn't romance Amiri with either sex, because she is some kind of original character
(2) It was far too easy to break up Regongar and Octavia. They basically immediately dump each other for the player.
That sounds awful, the only options for homosexual characters are a couple you have to break up? No thanks.


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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Originally Posted by Nyloth
> "I've never been with a man before"
Í like this idea ...
It would be funny as hell, if he tells you after night spend together. laugh

Actually, a sexually inexperienced companion/man would also be something new & kinda interesting. It's always a bit weird how everyone is always great at sex ^^


Originally Posted by fylimar
That sounds awful, the only options for homosexual characters are a couple you have to break up? No thanks.

Nope, you can enter into a three way relationship. I was only complaining about how *easy* it is to break them up because I consider that bad writing. As stated before, I wish characters to have their own mind & while it might certainly be possible to break up lovers, there should be a good reason for that.

I looked it up now. The options for bisexuals & homosexuals in Pathfinder Kingmaker are:

(1) Octavia, bisexual, in a relationship with Regongar, you can either go for a polyamorous (3 way) relationship or break them up
(2) Regongar, bisexual, in a relationship with Octavia, you can either go three way or break them up
(3) Kalikke and Kanera, twins sharing a body, bisexual
(4) Nyrissa, secret romance which I think is attainable with either sex

Options for heterosexuals:

(1) Valerie, straight
(2) Tristian, straight
(3) DLC, Maegar Varn, straight

-> So, they basically have a lot of straight & bisexual romances.

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Originally Posted by Arne
It's always a bit weird how everyone is always great at sex ^^
I see you didnt slept with Lae'zel, did you? laugh


I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Originally Posted by Arne
It's always a bit weird how everyone is always great at sex ^^
I see you didnt slept with Lae'zel, did you? laugh

Nooo, did I miss anything?

Actually I played too nicely & failed at all romances. And I'll probably only start a replay once a sorcerer class has been introduced & maybe some romances that are more appealing to me.

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Originally Posted by Arne
Pathfinder Kingmaker made it mostly right. You have some characters that are straight (Valerie, Tristian), some bisexual (Octavia and Regongar). I think there was no one straight homosexual, but maybe I don't remember, since I didn't actively look for it.

The only things I didn't like were:

(1) I couldn't romance Amiri with either sex, because she is some kind of original character
(2) It was far too easy to break up Regongar and Octavia. They basically immediately dump each other for the player.

I just didn't like it. In romance with a male character, Regongar said something like "next time, be rude :)", and I immediately realized that I would not pass his romance as female character, I buried him, lol. For sure, Regongar should say a different phrase to a female character, but I already know about that phrase for a male character, so no thanks. And I'm not even talking about the FACT THAT HE'S ALREADY IN A RELATIONSHIP. >..< And then we have Tristian.... A TYPICAL FEMALE ROMANCE... for those who love snot. Not fun at all. It's like... I have no choice at all. That's why I prefer DA2 way, clarifications spoil my experience, like "that my first time with..." I don't want to know, I don't like it.


Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Originally Posted by Arne
It's always a bit weird how everyone is always great at sex ^^
I see you didnt slept with Lae'zel, did you? laugh

I also have information that Wyll's "blade" is not so good, haha


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Originally Posted by Arne
Actually, a sexually inexperienced companion/man would also be something new & kinda interesting. It's always a bit weird how everyone is always great at sex ^^

Not entirely new, there's Alistair. You can have a funny conversation with Leliana about his possible lack of competence.

Originally Posted by Arne
I looked it up now. The options for bisexuals & homosexuals in Pathfinder Kingmaker are:

(1) Octavia, bisexual, in a relationship with Regongar, you can either go for a polyamorous (3 way) relationship or break them up
(2) Regongar, bisexual, in a relationship with Octavia, you can either go three way or break them up
(3) Kalikke and Kanera, twins sharing a body, bisexual
(4) Nyrissa, secret romance which I think is attainable with either sex

Options for heterosexuals:

(1) Valerie, straight
(2) Tristian, straight
(3) DLC, Maegar Varn, straight

Wow. I've spent decades grumbling about the lack of romantic options for straight female characters in video games, and I also grumbled about it (among other things) while playing Kingmaker, but holy snickerdoodles... for a gay male character it is so much worse...

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Originally Posted by Nyloth
I just didn't like it. In romance with a male character, Regongar said something like "next time, be rude :)", and I immediately realized that I would not pass his romance as female character, I buried him, lol. For sure, Regongar should say a different phrase to a female character, but I already know about that phrase for a male character, so no thanks. And I'm not even talking about the FACT THAT HE'S ALREADY IN A RELATIONSHIP. >..<

Waaaait, Octavia also said something about liking to have a certain, magical whip. Of course it's not revealed what happens if you give it to her (to my knowledge), but the implication is kinda there.

And I would remind everyone that a certain Imoen was talking a lot about kinky stuff... most people just missed it :O

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Originally Posted by Arne
Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Originally Posted by Arne
It's always a bit weird how everyone is always great at sex ^^
I see you didnt slept with Lae'zel, did you? laugh

Nooo, did I miss anything?
Maaaybe laugh


I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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Originally Posted by fylimar
Originally Posted by Arne
Pathfinder Kingmaker made it mostly right. You have some characters that are straight (Valerie, Tristian), some bisexual (Octavia and Regongar). I think there was no one straight homosexual, but maybe I don't remember, since I didn't actively look for it.

The only things I didn't like were:

(1) I couldn't romance Amiri with either sex, because she is some kind of original character
(2) It was far too easy to break up Regongar and Octavia. They basically immediately dump each other for the player.
That sounds awful, the only options for homosexual characters are a couple you have to break up? No thanks.
It's a depressing trend in rpgs. There are same sex romance options, but they are frequently bisexual, at the same time there are heterosexual-exclusive options. So heterosexual characters can romance whoever they want, while same sex options are limited to one or two non-exclusive options (if they exist at all, far from a given esp in older games.

Hell, even with the whole 'playersexual' thing Larian is going with, you can tell that every companion is written as 'heterosexual default' bar Asterion.

Learning that Pathfinder went that they not only went that route but made breaking up a couple a requisite thing if you didn't want to be bisexual polyamorous got a big 'what the hell' out of me back when I found out.

In regards to the whole 'playersexual' thing. 'everyone's bi' isn't perfect, but way better than the alternative which has historically tended to be 'here's a token playersexual character of each gender, everyone else is a heterosexual-exclusive option'. Which is just the same problem except it's less visible to people who only want heterosexual options.

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Originally Posted by Leucrotta
It's a depressing trend in rpgs. There are same sex romance options, but they are frequently bisexual, at the same time there are heterosexual-exclusive options. So heterosexual characters can romance whoever they want, while same sex options are limited to one or two non-exclusive options (if they exist at all, far from a given esp in older games.

I'm sorry, but that's almost exactly reflecting real world demographics. You have something like 70% straight, 20%-30% bisexuals and maybe 1% pure homosexuals.

The funny thing is that games like Pathfinder are maybe the the most representative you can possibly get. & if you deviate from that, you start to actually discriminate one or the other group.

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Originally Posted by Arne
I'm sorry, but that's almost exactly reflecting real world demographics. You have something like 70% straight, 20%-30% bisexuals and maybe 1% pure homosexuals.

The funny thing is that games like Pathfinder are maybe the the most representative you can possibly get. & if you deviate from that, you start to actually discriminate one or the other group.
Source on those numbers? I'm finding sources that claim a much more even split between those that self identify as bisexual vs homosexual.
I wouldn't call "equal # of romance options for heterosexual and homosexual players" discrimination against the straights. Like, sure, it doesn't reflect real world demographics. But who cares about that? The important thing is that ^ promotes inclusivity, making games a much more friendly place for those who are often persecuted irl, while still retaining equal opportunity for all.

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