On The Subject of Romance in Roleplaying

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Hana

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So, romance. Love it or hate it or completely indifferent to it, romance is quite often a recurring theme or even center of a story in roleplaying. While it can be overdone or executed badly, the emotion of 'love' is quite a powerful motivating force for characters, and it has a draw for a lot of people due to the positive and fantastical notions surrounding it.

My question to you readers is:

Is romance essential for you when you roleplay, or can you see it as something that is just another plot device to further your story? Does it happen planned or spontaneous for you?

A majority of members on Iwaku are drawn to roleplays with the romance tag in it.

What draws you to this theme in your roleplaying?​
 

Alphakoka

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Is romance essential for you when you roleplay, or can you see it as something that is just another plot device to further your story? Does it happen planned or spontaneous for you?
No, yes, never had an RP last that long.

What draws you to this theme in your roleplaying?
thesmut
Never really paid attention to that specifically.
 
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Turtle of Doom

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Is romance essential for you when you roleplay, or can you see it as something that is just another plot device to further your story? Does it happen planned or spontaneous for you?
Romance is not essential, but good interaction between characters is. Whether they are love interests, best friends, frienemies, rivals, nemeses, whatever the interaction between them is super important. Sometimes it can be used as a plot device, sometimes it's just a fun bit of flavor, and I've had it so that it's both planned and spontaneous. Sometimes a planned romance doesn't work out because the characters simply do not click, and that's fine. I'm really big on not forcing relationships in my stories.
What draws you to this theme in your roleplaying?
Mostly the character development and interactions that can happen because of it. But romance is never my number one focus in any given story. At the most it's a subplot.
 

Greenie

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Is romance essential for you when you roleplay, or can you see it as something that is just another plot device to further your story? Does it happen planned or spontaneous for you?
Romance for me in a story is kind of like fries when I order a burger or fried chicken. It's usually there, it's nice, but it isn't a necessity with which I wouldn't be able to enjoy my food, or in this case, roleplay.

I like spontaneity in my romance. When it's planned that two characters have to end up together, it takes away some of the fun and suspense.
 

Nav

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Romance is so common in roleplays because it's something we all, as human beings, share, except on the most extreme of circumstances. We all experience love and our basic human psychology demands we seek it. It's easy to relate to and while guns/drugs/whatever else you see in roleplays is exciting, it's not usually something we can emotionally tie ourselves too as deeply as something fundamentally basic as love.

Thaaat being said, I enjoy romance in my roleplays and it is definitely a plot device to further the story, as is everything. For me, it's not an essential plot device, but one I definitely enjoy. I've used both planned and spontaneous romances, and I don't always prefer one over the other. It definitely depends on the person I'm playing with.
 
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Onyx

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Honestly I'm going to be honest and say that yes, romance is basically essential for me, because I'm a romantic and also a fucking hermit with social anxiety who lacks that kind of interaction IRL. If not romance, then I enjoy some kind of twisted dependent mock-romantic relationship (abusive relationships, Stockholm Syndrome, other horrible shit). I don't like easy romance (usually) but I like it to happen eventually.

I'd like to say that it's not essential but I might as well be honest with myself and everyone else lol. 8)
 

Kagayours

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Romance is so common in roleplays because it's something we all, as human beings, share,
*raises hand* I'm aromantic. I honestly don't relate to romantic stories, because I just never feel that way about people. That doesn't mean I avoid romance in RP's -- after all, I can't exactly relate to living in a medieval setting and using magic, but that doesn't stop me from RPing such things. But still, my point is that I just... don't have romantic feelings for people. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I realize I don't exactly represent the majority, but, you know, it's still not completely universal, so, check your privilege.

AAAAANYWAY,
Is romance essential for you when you roleplay, or can you see it as something that is just another plot device to further your story? Does it happen planned or spontaneous for you?
Just another plot device. Certainly not essential -- as I don't think I've ever gone out of my way to look for a romance-centered RP. (Except for like... once, and then I quickly felt like I didn't know what I was doing and I dropped it.)

As for whether or not it's planned, well... I was going to say that it depends on the circumstances, but, honestly, romance plots usually don't happen spontaneously for me. The closest thing to a "spontaneous" romance is when I and another player in the roleplay start shipping our characters together, and then we want them to form a relationship -- but, even the desire to ship them is usually triggered by some sort of spontaneous interaction, so... I guess that's a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation.

And then there are the times when it's a bit more planned from the start -- like when I play a character who's supposed to be a hopeless romantic, in an RP that had very few female characters at the time, and I knew from the start that he would start crushing on one of those female characters as soon as he met her. But that was planned out because I thought it would make sense for his character, not because I had a strong desire to play out a romantic plot.

What draws you to this theme in your roleplaying?
*shrugs* I'm really not drawn to it. o_o"
 
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Nav

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*raises hand* I'm aromantic. I honestly don't relate to romantic stories, because I just never feel that way about people. That doesn't mean I avoid romance in RP's -- after all, I can't exactly relate to living in a medieval setting and using magic, but that doesn't stop me from RPing such things. But still, my point is that I just... don't have romantic feelings for people. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I realize I don't exactly represent the majority, but, you know, it's still not completely universal, so, check your privilege.

AAAAANYWAY,

Just another plot device. Certainly not essential -- as I don't think I've ever gone out of my way to look for a romance-centered RP. (Except for like... once, and then I quickly felt like I didn't know what I was doing and I dropped it.)

As for whether or not it's planned, well... I was going to say that it depends on the circumstances, but, honestly, romance plots usually don't happen spontaneously for me. The closest thing to a "spontaneous" romance is when I and another player in the roleplay start shipping our characters together, and then we want them to form a relationship -- but, even the desire to ship them is usually triggered by some sort of spontaneous interaction, so... I guess that's a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation.

And then there are the times when it's a bit more planned from the start -- like when I play a character who's supposed to be a hopeless romantic, in an RP that had very few female characters at the time, and I knew from the start that he would start crushing on one of those female characters as soon as he met her. But that was planned out because I thought it would make sense for his character, not because I had a strong desire to play out a romantic plot.


*shrugs* I'm really not drawn to it. o_o"
"Romance is so common in roleplays because it's something we all, as human beings, share, except on the most extreme of circumstances"

You should finish my sentence if you're gunna quote me and not truncate my sentence at a comma. ;D

Thanks!
 
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Elle Joyner

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I think romance is important in a story... When it is utilized properly. So many folks overplot romance in roleplays, deciding too early that two characters should be coupled before there is actually any writing established. Chemistry isn't just something that occurs IRL... It occurs in writing, too. Sometimes characters just don't mesh... Or other characters mesh better. It's important that romance should feel natural and also that it doesn't become the sole purpose of the storyline (unless it's a romance plot... Then duh lol).

Basically tho, romance can add a lot to a story when handled appropriately. It gives you something to root for, worry about, on a different and sometimes deeper level than solitary characters as well as adding an element of softness in what might be a harsh environment. I like romance because it's a nice pause from grimdark, sad elements... And because it offers some challenging obstacles that might not otherwise crop up.
 
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Kagayours

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"Romance is so common in roleplays because it's something we all, as human beings, share, except on the most extreme of circumstances"

You should finish my sentence if you're gunna quote me and not truncate my sentence at a comma. ;D

Thanks!
I neglected to quote that part because "the most exteme circumstances" sounds like it's meant to refer to people who are, I dunno... emotionally scarred/traumatized to the point where romance doesn't appeal to them anymore, or people with developmental issues. I just wanted to highlight that even beyond such "extreme" cases, it still isn't universal. I for one certainly find it a bit weird to have my aromanticism filed under "extreme circumstances".

Sorry for not explaining that in my initial post, though.
 
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