Unsatisfactory ROs?

Me again. Still conceptualizing stuff. For a potential game I just made a list of no less tha 10 ROs…

And then I realized that they’re basically almost all damaged goods in one way or another, and the possible game wouldn’t allow for the length and breadth to really overcome these. To give you an idea, one person literally can’t be touched, another is obsessed with something that’s impossible to achieve, one is still pining after the love of his life. Out of the ten only three have no major issues. Those three are respectively hunted by agents of a foreign power, wanted for questioning by the local authorities and socially awkward.

Now I’m curious what people think. Would it make more sense to stick with the whole bunch and basically give players merely the option of taking the first tender steps towards a relationship with the possibility of a sequel allowing for further progress along that path? Like not a happy end but at least the option of having one down the line. Or would that be unsatisfactory? Reducing the number of ROs down to four or five plus a fling or two might allow for something more in-depth but reduce the number of options.

Just curious what people think.

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Not overly interested in ROs myself, but I think in general it’s better to have fewer options that are more fleshed-out. Four or five characters with real depth to them are likely to make much more of an impact on readers than ten paper cutouts.


It depends on your skills as an author. If you are able to fashion 10 characters into believable NPC companions, then I say: more power to you.

If you’re not sure, start with 4, work on them until you think they are able to stand on their own as characters and then go forward from there.

Inclusive options are very important within the CoG model but if you are writing for Hosted Games, you get more leeway - use that freedom to see how you do before trying to accomplish the golden ring. (Unless you think you can grasp that golden ring of course).

One way I handled it, is I spaced out introducing my npc characters. Two were introduced in the opening scene … four more introduced a bit later … and four much later in the story. That way I felt I was able to flesh them out and try to get the ones I had viable before adding more.


To add to the other replies, sometimes, not allowing a character to be an RO can make them more interesting.

You see, when you make a char as a potential RO, the expectation goes up. If the character doesn’t meet this expectation, people can get disappointed. So, don’t up the expectation :open_hands:t4: :rainbow:

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I would tend to agree with the above three suggestions: best to focus on a few really solid options first. If you find room for the other planned options after that, than by all means, allow those characters to shine, but it’s probably a good idea to start small.

Eiwynn’s suggestion to space out the introductions of characters would likely help; at the very least it would ensure each character makes a distinct impression. The only concern I would have with that approach is that it might mean the characters that appear later don’t have enough space in the story to have as big an arc as the earlier introduced characters, but there are a few ways to work around this problem, and you seem like a savvy sort of writer, so I suspect you can figure out how to pull it off without me writing an essay on the topic. (To summarize what I would say, as I can’t help myself: Introduce in the first half, develop in the second, if possible. That should make each arc feel as full as the others, in my opinion.)

Best of luck!

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This. No need for a lot of ROs, but give the ones you choose real depth. Readers need to feel that the romantic/sexual tension is real and the relationship should feel realistic, and not “MC flirts once and they’re already married”.


I’d rather have a good well-written romance than the choice between 5 flat characters who have slightly different dialogue and no input on the world around them. Honestly quality over quantity, people remember and will reminisce about it (if it’s well written and feels personal) and even give the game another run jut to do it all over again.

Just on principle, I’m going to point out that I don’t classify this as “unsatisfactory” in theory. “Unsatisfactory” to me would be if you hurried up and “fixed” everyone so we could have the Big Kissy Scene despite not having the time to develop on it. Budding promise of romance can be touching in its own right, so long as you give me enough of a hint where it’s going and/or a followup.

In general, agreeing with consensus. Start with a handful and work in others as you go. Even if my usual “type” isn’t on the roster, I can have fun romancing a well-developed character from a limited cast.

Oh, and make sure each RO is adding something different! No sense having the same arc for different characters.