Making ROs like you based on your stats?

Stats? Yes. Skills? No.

RO only interested in MC with a high ethics bar: good.

“Level up combat six more times to get the girl”: not great.

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If handled well, I actually think the skills aspect would be interesting as well. I can only imagine that fulfilling a certain need would endear someone to another as much as a exhibiting a certain trait would.

It would offer an opportunity to give some characterization to the RO as well. Whether by giving something to have in common them or just showcasing that character’s priorities or appreciation for utility.

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I like the way the Lost Heir handled it. Even if you didn’t have a high enough stats in the one they prefered, there was a way to still date them if you had a high relationship with them and were charismatic enough. Jess could be romanced with Evil character, but if you were Good she was still available if you had high Charm and relationship with her.

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What about “you can pick a couple different stat combos at the start, one RO(and there will be more than one) is okay with most, but there are two she doesn’t like.”

I really want to avoid stereotypical good/evil in my story.

I want to avoid “charisma makes everyone like you” as well.

Exactly what I was thinking when I considered this.

“Doesn’t like” as in “locks you out of romance,” or as in “acts as a source of conflict/makes things harder”? I’d strongly prefer the latter. I think that type of reactivity could be interesting, and, if done well, add a lot to characterization. (Of course, then you’d want to consider balance in the other direction – if I only have preferred stats, is the relationship more shallow/am I missing a bunch of content?)

Can you give an example of a skill that would bar you from a romance? I get characters being put off by personality traits/ethics, but I’m not sure I understand skills in themselves. Like, “an archer killed my family so I refuse to date you for your 5% in archery” seems…off. On the other hand, “you chose this course of action, which worked because of your skills, but it is a choice antithetical to my whole being so of course I’m not going to date you now” makes a lot of sense.

I don’t know what type of game you’re working on, but one thing that can annoy me is if a game is highly stats-dependent, but relationship building and stats are highly connected (e.g. you spend time training a specific stat with a specific person, and that’s the only way to build both that stat and that relationship). I get that it makes some narrative sense, but it feels restrictive. In games that are less stat-dependent (so I can spend time training a skill I don’t actually care about, and it won’t doom me to failure), this is less of an issue.

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I was working on a game which locked off 3 ROs based on body type, intellect, and offered rivalmances based on a politics stat. Biggest issue is it had me writing 10 different romances for 5 characters. I hate writing romance

I like the idea of stats having this effect (in my own WIP, I do something sort of similar). Although I’d be careful that those stats and choices aren’t so rigid that they are at the expense of the rest of the game and the narrative.

For something like this… if I chose my stat combos, and my first interaction with the RO was finding out that those stat combos had a small negative effect, I’d be fine with that. But if the reader was completely barred from romancing that RO just because of that stat combo without any warning, it could quickly feel like the game is unfair and is being difficult in a bad way.

So I think if the game is more stats-based, and the reader knows the effect of stats, it’s easier to accept having the ROs be affected or even barred because of them. :thinking:

This idea always falls a bit flat for me, because it usually translates to “you have to have a character roughly the same as the RO you pursue” and the characters I enjoy playing are not necessarily the ones I’m interested in dating (in fact, in a large number of cases, the RO my MC is most similar to is the biggest turn off). My favorite game romances let me be the exact opposite of the RO in many ways.

I’m not against doing extra legwork to get around stat deficiencies, mind. If I get romance boosts from practicing swords with RO, but I can make up the difference if I say, sacrifice a few extra turns to hang out with them, then it’s fine.

But otherwise I just end up caught up in metagaming and min-maxing stats and lose out on some of the fun (I actually stopped playing most visual novels because of this). I’m not sure that stat-combos really fix that kind of issue, either?

This I do enjoy. I don’t get to experiment half as much in some games as I’d like, just because I have to dedicate points to charisma to get along with people. Though are you planning on still making it possible to befriend (almost all of) the cast in a playthrough?

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This.

Also you can make it like MC can easily romance a person if they have x ability and mid-high x stat, and if they don’t the person is still romanceable if they have very high x stat, x empathy and x resolve

It’s up to you to you really your the author lol.
but I would say that I usually like the opposite attract romances so unless it’s one stat I probably won’t romance anyone.

Personally I don’t like it most of the times.Theoretically it could be interesting.But more often than not,people just make it superficial like if you had high ambition,then you can’t romance the maid.Or the typical they are the same kind of people so they match thing,while I’m a sucker for opposite attraction.

I don’t think I would like romances being locked behind stats, most of the time.
For the same reasons other have stated.

What I think is a better way to do it, is to give the reader more options to raise relationship stats based on stats.
If it’s possible to raise relationships by

  • Having a type of personality they like,
  • Making choices they like,
  • Having similar hobbies/jobs,
  • Having similar backgrounds,
  • Other stuff in the same vein,
  • And, of course, flirting and spending time with them,

That makes the RO both more defined and still possible to romance for most people.

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I’m not a fan of RO locked behind the MC 'sstats but if it is not requirement but more of an incentive, it would understandable since some people with the same interest get along most of the time.

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I think it’s a good idea. Obviously, not everyone is going to find you attractive or interesting enough for them to get in love with you. The thing is you character has to be one with a strong personality, MC has to be well made. If not, the idea it’s not gonna have any sense.

I think it depends more on how it’s explained in game. If an RO would automatically hate me just bc I have only 30% combat or magic stat that doesn’t make sense imo, but if I lose relationship points bc I failed to act heroic during a fight or failed to save the RO in question or something like that bc my MC is too weak or too much of a coward etc. that makes more sense. I also get the idea about how ROs with a preference are more realistic, but that doesn’t have to be everything. A good example of how it can be done well would be Thea from The Lost Heir series: she has a preference for physically strong people but that doesn’t make it impossible for a magician or bard MC to romance her either.

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I have never ever seen that do well in no videogames nor visual novel nor IF. If becoming SCHEDULE MATHS PRESSING X TO BANG A character. Rinse and repeat with each romance choice. Nobody will care to see anything just download the internet walkthrough with all CORRECT choices a game turn into guess what the game.

To point reach certain cog level where a character negates to date me bacause i was 22 intelligence not 24. also that gated me out any other possible romance i imagine that romance choice is in the bar with a Iq text saying sorry we have kissed but your math is not enough to bang go away looser.

It doesnt matter your actions as helping character or doing missions in fact you could be an ass and romance her if you have 24 …
If you want tied romance tied it to PLAYER actions that make sense due opposite attracts even if need more time. I could understand if X prefers super intellectual people that people had extra scenes with character prior due character likes that more but no close romance in half because a weird random number

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I remember there was a similar discussion earlier.

Unless the MC has explicitly done something to offend the RO (intentionally or otherwise), I don’t think barring a romance would make sense. Personally, I do believe that some stats or features attributed to the MC might make them more appealing to an RO and therefore make it easier to romance them. It should function more as a bonus modifier though. :thinking:

For example, let’s say there’s a character named Alex. Alex likes MCs that are impulsive. Additionally, the MC did an optional side quest for Alex. At some point, something like the following code would be in place:

*if impulsive > #
  *set alex_bonus +5
*if alex_sq
  *set alex_bonus +10

Then, ultimately, when you run the check to see if the RO is interested, the check would be something like: *if (alex_relationship + alex_bonus) >= #.

I figure it’s the kind of addition that might add a little bit of flavoring for some characters without making attaining the romance more difficult/unattainable for others.

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Well said. that is what I am trying to say. Another thing is character being clear in what he she them prefers. I mean if character is gay lesbian poli ace … I want to know it organically but clearly. Because is how life works. If I flirt with someone that is gay They clearly say Sorry Not interested. Because if not we could end with players frustrated as hell due Npc is flirting back half of time and suddenly say NOPE FRIEND ZONE. I am looking at you Mass effect 2 Tali…

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Hmm. I’m in favour of making RO’s (as well as other characters in general) more reactive to your skills and stats. For example, commenting and expressing opinions about the MC’s skills or personality, and maybe flirting based on them.

But I’m not so sure I would favor locking or gating RO’s based on it. First of all, some RO options may already be gated for things like gender, preferences, etc. So unless you are looking to add many RO options, it seems unnecessarily complicated. If what you are really going for is simply adding more roleplaying flavor and realism, a lot of that is happening in the dialogue. Tailoring some dialogues and scenes to show characters are aware of the MC’s choices and personality, etc.

The potential problem I can see with gating, is RO’s ending up too similar to the MC, and not leaving a whole lot of room for different play styles. I’m also a fan of “opposites attract” romances–the drama and rivalry can be just as fun! I would say it’s possible to have RO’s react and comment on your stats, without necessarily locking them out or requiring certain percentages.

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