Romance options and preferences

I’m currently wondering whether to ask the players or not if they prefer to romance male or female characters. So far I’ve been trying to ask as little as possible regarding this, and just let players romance however they want (i.e. all RO are available to all players). Now, I understand that this may be offputting to some players (being given the option to kiss a character of the same/opposite sex, depending on their preference). I cannot quite decide what is the best way to do things.

Do you think it is better to ask the player what types of characters they are interested in?

  • Better to ask player what characters they are interested in (to avoid players being offered choices they might not be happy with)
  • Better not to ask (player can just romance everybody)
  • Either showing or not showing is ok
  • Some other solution? (let me know…)

0 voters


I voted for asking first, though it depends a little bit on how you write it. Something I’m very wary of with the ‘everyone is romanceable approach’ is the narration establishing characters as attractive/romanceable and therefore implying that the MC is romantically interested in them even when you’re roleplaying a character who wouldn’t be interested in them. This is always a risk of course, but I personally find it much more jarring/unpleasant when, for example, my lesbian MC thinks of a male character in a romantic/flirty light than if she were to do that with someone who just isn’t her type


Maybe you can have an option that clearly states [Begin Romance] among the flirtation/normal choice. This way, the game doesn’t need to imply that the MC is attracted to any RO unless the romance option is chosen.

1 Like

I don’t really mind either way (as long as I get to romance the cute guys :blush:). Both sides can have issues: as @Celtic_Rune says, it’s not fun to have the game basically deny your sexuality. That said, I’ve also seen games where I’m shown a male character and have to feel attracted to him specifically (rather than men in general) to be gay. I feel that either way can work fine, if it’s done well.

1 Like

I think it is better to ask, since you can immediately block other RO routes and making sure that the player won’t access them and trigger by simple choice.

After, you can re-ask. Something that in Guinevere or Gwenevere was done. (Sorry the name is difficult!) Maybe the player met the other RO and felt that they may be attracted, male or female. Thus making him bi, but only for that character.

In brief, i feel that yes, asking is important, but do not limit. Give them again the choice a little bit later.


Cosigning this as someone who’s mostly but not exclusively into women. It’s a spectrum, not a binary or even a quadratic :slight_smile:

I voted that asking the player what gender the MC is interested isn’t necessary, though that is very much personal preference because while my MCs tend to choose women, I like having them flirt with everyone.

I do think that in that case, the story shouldn’t make assumptions about the MC’s sexuality, though. So remarking that a character is attractive is fine, having the MC show interest without the player’s input however is jarring. If that doesn’t happen, I see no problem with leaving the player to romance whoever they fancy without plainly stating the MC’s sexuality beforehand.

Just don’t imply that the MC is attracted (sexually or romantically) to someone they are not romancing and it should be fine.

Asking is fine for those who are strictly into one gender and non-ace/aro, but I have yet to see anyone ask in a way which didn’t feel jarring (and sometimes triggering) to me.

There is so many sexualities that you are not going to be able to cover them all, so if it is not necessary just don’t assume.

Also I can count on one hand the times mine where included, so, yeah, it is a little sour grapes from me. But it is annoying.

Part of me want to say that she doesn’t care, but a little part of me would prefer being asked. Expecially if is the case of having ROs being the ones starting the flirting (of course all depending on context) less awkard moments.

Ok, so following advice on this thread, I’ve tried to do the following (see below). Any suggestions on how to improve, or if there is anything objectionable are welcome (I’m half asleep writing this, no curtains in my new apartment, so I woke up super-early and a bit hungover, so sorry if I didn’t think something through correctly…).

The memories of high school and your hobby at the time bring you back to the memory of your first kiss back then.

#His name was Cody, a nerdy boy who you had fancied for a long time. We used to do our homework together.
*set attracted_to “men”
*set intelligence +2

#Ralph. He was into sports, and had a great body.  We used to train together. 
    *set attracted_to "men"
    *set strength +2
#Beautiful Gwen, the president of the chess club. She would always beat me, but I greatly enjoyed the games. 
    *set attracted_to "women"
    *set intelligence +2
#Strong Rachel, the top athlete in the school. Often, we would go to the gym together. 
    *set attracted_to "women"
    *set strength +2    
#Well, I actually first kissed Cody, but a few weeks later I kissed Rachel. 
    *set attracted_to "both"
    *set intelligence +1
    *set strength +1
#Raquel was my first love. But, little did she know me and Ralph also had a thing going.  
    *set attracted_to "both"
    *set strength +2

#I kissed Gwen. But, secretly I fancied Ralph.
    *set attracted_to "both"
    *set intelligence +2
#Actually, I didn't kiss anybody. I'm not really that emotionally attracted to people in general. 
    *set attracted_to "none"
    *set psyche +2

Eh, I’d say that this went against my recommendation: I shouldn’t have to feel attraction to any one particular male to feel attraction to males. If I had to play through the MC’s high school years, I’d probably like one or even both of Cody and Ralph, but I don’t want to just have one of them forced upon me.

(Also, why do the girls get epithets, but the boys don’t? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: )


I personally don’t love an option at the begining that says something along the lines of “Do you like men, women, both or neither?” I’d prefer to be able to react to each NPC differently as they come along. Even if some characters have a “flirty” personality, as long as you can turn them down flat if you want and don’t keep getting pushed at them. In saying that, if there’s genderflipping happening for that purpose, you kind of need to ask, but I prefer it to be less immersion breaking than being asked outright as above, and kind of mixed into the story more. That probably annoys others though if it’s not obvious enough though so something like you’ve got above would probably be fine


My personal preference as a player is to just have the option to romance anyone. But various people in the below thread raised the point that it can be stressful or frustrating having to repeatedly rebuff characters’ advances or restate your orientation to different characters, which made me decide to include self-definition even if it’s not something that matters much to me when playing.

Personally, I’m not a fan of setting my MC’s sexuality by way of remembering a past partner/crush. Mostly because I like to play my MCs as focused on things other than romance for most of their lives, or at least their teenaged years, and because these random character names are just that - random people that have no bearing on the narrative and on my character.