Interconnectivity in RO paths?

I’ve had this on my mind for a while, but most IFs I’ve seen have their romance paths be weirdly… exclusive? By that I mean there isn’t any interactions with others in regards to the relationship. Not many have opinions on it, and if there are any, they’re just throwaway “Oh, get a room you two,” or “I’m so happy for you guys!” etc. What are your thoughts on having outside characters react more to the relationship, and have their own opinions (good or bad) on the fact that it exists?

(I’ve been planning for this to be the case in a WIP I have, considering all of the characters have complicated feelings about eachother and have spent a considerable amount of time together, but I wanted to see what people’s thoughts on this topic is.)

Edit: I feel like I didn’t explain what I was talking about very well, so I’ll quote a response I made further down in this thread-


I’m always up for more NPC autonomy/interactivity.


I enjoy it immensely when characters that you haven’t romanced end up together. Prime example, Tali and Garrus in mass effect getting together in ME3 if you haven’t romanced either of them. Or, to use a CoG example, Beaumont and Trevelyan in Royal affairs ending up dating by the end if you haven’t romanced either of them.

But outside of romance, I would like it if, for example, two characters that are rivals, end up hating the MC if they start dating their rival.


I’ve always been a fan of when a IF does that. Even just fairly minor mentions or reactions from other characters can help a lot with making the IF feel more reactive or alive.


Depends on the type of thing the other characters are reacting to for me personally.

But that’s only because even fictional PDA tends to make me feel second-hand embarrassment and will usually take me out of a story briefly (like other characters don’t even have to say anything just knowing that they never left the room and are just sitting waiting for their next cue will set it off xD); it’s never been enough to turn me off of the story itself, but enough to make me put it down for a bit and come back later after the embarrassment wears off.

Otherwise (especially since the above is just my personal problem with a specific version of reactivity from other characters), I’ll echo the other posters and say that more autonomy for other characters and their relationships is always a good thing.


I love this idea, it would definitely add immersion if your relationship is more recognised by different characters in the story.

It would also be cool if the MC, for example, flirted with several ROs at the same time, ROs would acknowledge this and react in some way rather than ignore it till MC is locked-in with one RO (and then MC most likely won’t be able to flirt with others anyway).

Another thing that would be nice is the ability to choose how MC reacts to such comments: are they eager to discuss their relationship with others, or are they annoyed by it and want people to mind their own business, or do they simply not care what people think?

Different ROs could also have different opinions about people’s comments, and this could even lead to disagreement with the MC (like if MC likes to talk about their relationship with other people, but RO wants to keep it more private). There are many possible interesting scenarios to explore.


Wynne or other companions discussing your romance in DAO was always one of my favourite things! I love this type of thing so much! :heart: :heart_eyes: It always makes the world and characters feel a little more alive for NPCs to bring up things that realistically might be on their minds, I feel.


I love this kind of thing- it makes the characters and the world come to life.


I like characters reacting to your romances a lot! It’s sometimes fiddly to implement (I have cold chills about the congratulations-or-checking-in phone-calls at the end of Royal Affairs, or indeed the “I’ve noticed you seem into someone else, where are we at?” chats) but makes the world feel a lot more responsive.


Reacting how?
A couple of skippable lines of acknowledgement?
Jealousy for dramma sake?
“I ship them” lines?

Could be an interesting feature, could also be a pointless and soulless addiction.

1 Like

How about Asher and Hyacinthe? More NPC interactivity does indeed add depth and realism. And implementing a flirt counter before you get your beau isn’t a problem. Exploring more of relationship dynamics is definitely a plus.


I admit I wasn’t aware those two could end up together. I only exclusively romanced one of those two. I have a type, it would seem. :wink:

Oh, nothing like this- (though, jealousy could be something that happens, but only if it makes sense for the character.) I was thinking more like… one of your siblings starts dating a coworker, and it makes sense for your character to be weirded out by it and make that known. Where romancing an RO has more stake beyond just “do I like them like that?”, and can affect your relationships with other characters.


My thoughts say that if you can bother writing all the required variations (and depending on the amount of NPCs and the things they would react to, the number could get astronomical), go wild. I’ll definitely enjoy seeing it, but it’ll be a lot of work.


I don’t think it’s necessary for a good IF or romance, but it is always nice to see! Wins big appreciation points from me as a player.

1 Like

As someone with a great affinity for flavour text, I would certainly enjoy it.


I’m having trouble conceptualizing what that might mean, but that’s probably because I can’t imagine having that kind of reaction, myself. I rarely have an opinion about my acquaintances having romantic relationships.

Unless you mean jealousy and love triangles, but that’s another matter.


I like it. Even more, I’d love the chance for my MCs to talk to friends about their LI. Especially the annoying ones, lol.


Judging by the replies on this thread, I don’t think I explained the concept all too well, dshfbsjdsnsjd.

I’m in much the same boat as you in this case, but what I was trying to get at is this: a lot of the ROs in IF’s don’t… really know eachother, and if they do, they don’t really know eachother in a way that directly affects their opinion on the MCs relationship with an RO. My question is, would readers enjoy the RO’s backstories being connected and them having their own convoluted personal relationships (using this term loosely in a nonromantic form,) with eachother, to the point where the MC’s interaction with any of them in that form shakes up the status quo. Where romancing one RO will change how the other ROs see you, AS WELL AS their own relationships with eachother, rather than the romance path affecting only the MC and the RO.

As an example; you’re an RO, and so is your coworker, who you sort of hate for a convoluted backstory reason. Neither of you are much focused on changing this hatred of eachother, but the MC, your best friend, gains insight on them that you don’t have, gets closer, and starts dating them. How does this change things between you and the other RO, who’s now dating your best friend? Stuff like that.


A tangent, but regarding your example… now I want to play a game where you’re not the MC (in the sense of your role in the story… you’re obviously MC in mechanical sense if you’re the PC) but instead one of the ROs :sweat_smile:

1 Like