How active should ROs be in romance subplots?

This was coming up in the "Gay representation in CS games’ threads and I thought it might be better to make a new topic than take that one off course. Basically, would you as a player rather have ROs that try to initiate a romance even if the player hasn’t necessarily tried for their romance path (or even, as mentioned in the other thread, if they aren’t the player’s preferred gender), or should the player always be the one to make the first move? Or a combination where the RO only makes a move if the player’s shown interest first?
This … may be relevant to my WIP :slight_smile:


I personally in RL am used to being the one approached, just like I’m not used to leading in a dance so there is a certain part of me that finds it odd when in games my character has my hands on my partner’s waist while I dance with her or being the “hunter” in the romance. Mind you its a little thing and I get over it if the romance is well written, but its always something I notice.


Well, you’ll have to see if it fits the RO’s personality.

Example: As an RO in your game, @Lizzy probably wouldn’t be the one approaching the MC.

However, for some other ROs, it might be more likely that they approach the MC.

Basically, for realism, how would actual people behave. Have your characters act like how a real person would act in these situations.


Ideally it depends on the story and the RO’s personalities, but…

Well, I like being approached, but subtly and no means no. And if my mc turns someone down or hints they are unwelll with the flirting the RO should stop.

Most flirt options in the game from the mc makes me uncomfortable because they are so hilariously direct and times. I just usually headcanon them away, to something a little less obvious. :sweat:


I guess a game I should throw out here for this is Waywalkers 2, not sure how other pathes went but I romanced Kess and when it came to the ball it asked if I was going to ask or expect to be asked.


In my game or CoG games in general? I do admit to being guilty of that at the moment :laugh: though it’s partly because I want to really clearly signpost the lines that trip a romance flag. Otherwise you get the ninjamance problem. Though I would really like to give other options for less direct MCs! It’s just a question of how to approach it :confused:

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I will turn down whatever npc that dare to trying forcefully romance him her they. I normally take the lead in rl. I am not shy and I very sincere to say Boy I found you attractive an d interesting d o you want a date or do you feel the same?. When it is the guy who came to me I am on my guard and my experience was clear they only wanted sex with no other intention . Like literal sex without dinner or gave me his name. Some received well placed kicks and man y insults. In gmes is same stuff all is I WANT BANG YOU NOW AND YOU DON’T HAVE CHOICE IN THE MATTER. HELL if i have choice or not go eat poison .


I wouldn’t want to make the player feel uncomfortable, is my main concern.


Oh please, the scene on the wall when I looked into her eyes…THAT was the magic, not the accident as a kid…

I personally feel it depends on the character’s personalities. It’s more realistic that way. Some will be shy and never make a move, simply wait and hope the MC will notice them. Some will use subtle flirting to test the waters, and if the MC doesn’t respond, or tells them to stop flirting, then they will get the message. Others will be more blunt, even crude in their approaches, either because they are overly confident, or on the contrary, because they are far from confident and are afraid of being too subtle, but will also have an out: being able to say it was all just a joke if the MC rejects them.

Unless there is a very good plot reason, I don’t think it would be realistic for the ROs to know about the MC’s orientation without having been told. So I think that in general, advances from the ROs shouldn’t be suppressed just because the MC wouldn’t be interested because of their gender.

In the other post, @poison_mara brought up the important point that no matter what, the player shouldn’t feel harassed, or feel like a RO is forced on them. So giving the player multiple clear ways to reject the RO is important. This can be done by just saying they are not interested (without necessarily taking a huge hit to the relationship if the RO is rejected with tact) or by informing them of the MC’s sexuality.

Since not everyone has the same conceptions of what exactly constitutes flirting (especially if it’s subtle), it could be helpful to tag the flirty options the MC can pick as [Flirt] or something, just to make it extra clear to everyone.

Options like this to give or take the lead are nice and immersive. I’d love to see more of that.


I don’t think most people would mind if a no from the player means bloody no and boom. That’s it. No more advances from rejected.
But… best to wait and gather more information.


Choice of romance part 2 and 3 Half of the history is Mara saying is not interested or de Vega or Mendoza more than 12 times After those 12 THEY DARE TO TRY TO BANG ME IN THE EPILOGUE IF I WIN AS QUEEN. LITERALLY TRY TO ENTER IN MY BED AS LOVERS OR CO LEADERS … My rage is so high that i cannot replay the game


Choice of Romance irked me that I felt like there was pressure for me to cheat on the Queen, I played it 100% in love with her, even when she lost her mind…so sad. I wish there had been an ending where we could have been happy ever after.


@poison_mara So would a less demanding approach from the NPC be ok?

@Lizzy Someone got that scene? :joy:

Well, mostly in general. Yours are Awoken, right? It wasn’t that bad in there.
And too be fair I understand your pain. I too struggle with how to signpost it. Just as I think it is better to be obvious than a ninja when it comes to this… It still makes me uncomfortable, though. Espically if the MC is in a position of power over the RO.

For my own work, I’ve personally thought of just giving up on subtly and clear mark actions as a ‘flirt’ somehow.

If you mark options as [Flirt], you don’t have to give up on subtlety, quite the contrary.

I personally would like for more NPCs approaching the MC instead of always having the MC being the one to do all the work. I like to play hilarious direct MCs, sometimes, but similar often I would wish to be able to play a shy or even oblivious for romance MC what in a good number of games means either ending up playing out-of-character or skipping the romance.

So I say give me some NPCs that try to approach the MC. But like others already said: Make sure to give one option that is enough to end any advances. I don’t like to repeat myself and a game pretty much always coming back to ask me “but are you sure?” Is terrible annoying and will most likely lead me to despise said character/option.


Okay; so what about a character who is the sort of person who really doesn’t take “no” for an answer, and just keeps flirting/hitting on the MC? I know that we’d probably all hate the character, but is it wrong for the author to write such a character?


If you give me at least an option to hurt them in the end for the annoyance, I say go on.


I refer you to Mara, for this one.