For context the game is a harem drama, revolving around court intrigue and politics, forbidden romance, politics and backstabbing. All the good soap opera stuff. Reader plays a concubine in the harem trying to survive and maybe rise the ranks. The emperor is a RO and already married. This marriage has political implications that affect the plot. However since it is a political marriage made when he was a boy and she’s ~8 years older than him, there isn’t much love or romance involved, at least from the emperor’s side. I’m wondering if given the context, this might still make people iffy.
Marriage is sacrosanct to me, so marriage is usually off-limits when I read/play an IF. I am not sure, but historically, being part of a harem annulled any prior marriage if I remember correctly.
I wouldn’t. Affairs of the Court, for example, has a married monarch.
Of course, you can always suggest the Henry VIII solution to such problems. (Be careful not to be Henry VIII-ed yourself.)
I would be interested in that kind of love story, I like drama, I love drama. And if there is no love in marriage, then I will not even have the pangs of conscience. And this idea for a game sounds exciting. I haven’t seen many published (or demo) games where the love interest is already married (I can only remember the “Infamous”) Especially if we can act like a rat, lol. So yes, I would definitely play.
What type of harem are we talking about here? There have been a lot of different types historically. More commonly as a supplement rather than replacement for marriage. Wives for alliances and concubines for prestige were fairly common with varying connections between the two. Conversely the modern understanding seems to be more along the lines of “I get all the waifu.”
Personally I would find it interesting, as I’m not overly invested in marriage as an institution it would be more a kink than moral quandary. But you would probably have some pushback and somewhat limited appeal. If you want the next big title this probably won’t be it, but it would have an audience and I would give it a shot.
I would gladly Romance that married Ro
Bro this is drama and i love angst and drama+ it’s a game after all not real life and we don’t see such options here so…yeah I’m romancing such a Ro
I live for drama and love cheating (only in games and when I play an asshole). The more drama the better. Sometimes you just gotta be a #bitch!
Yeah I can see how you feel that way. The vibe that I’m going for with the culture and world building is that it’s not only fine for the emperor to have “extra marital” affairs, it’s expected. Though it wouldn’t even be seen as cheating as we understand it.
There will be many Henry VII solutions to several problems.
Thank you, I’m glad you enjoy the concept! And yeah the state of the marriage isn’t great… they’re more akin to legally bound roommates except they each have their own room.
Great question. The game is loosely based on Sassanid Persia and is influenced by eastern culture. Someone described it as choice of romance in the East and I agree.
Glad to hear it’s not completely a turn off! I also think you’d enjoy the ambition/ruthless route.
Only if my female MC is in the personal/private harem for the empress and she was the RO.
Insist on a male emperor and/or male MC and there is no way I’d ever consider reading the story.
I love it. The neopersian era is fascinating and has plenty of depth to pull from. And is largely unexplored in the west. I’ll keep an eye out for your work.
Thank you! And I agree, reading 1001 nights especially I think there’s a lot of inspiration to draw from.
Personally, it all depends on how you write the story and if I’m in the mood for drama.
• Can you make me feel something for a man with a harem? Cause that’s hard enough without him being married on top of it since harems just give me the ick tbh. But if there’s a spark, or a meet-cute moment and the RO isn’t some cold duke of the north archetype, then I’m down to explore it.
• Is it obvious there’s no romantic love/pining between either wife and husband? Because if there is, that sucks and I’ll dodge it. But if they’re platonically close then I’m very interested to learn more about their connection and how they interact. Bonus points if the wife isn’t secretly evil.
• Are they both each other’s pawns for power, or is it imbalanced in the emperors favour? Because then I’d feel sorry for her. Married to a man with a harem (possibly pining, oof) and wielding little power as a woman in a male-dominated hierarchy sucks, especially if they don’t like each other— no matter how evil she may be possibly written. I’d always empathise and want to side with her.
• Does the wife have other lovers on the dl so I don’t feel bad for her being pushed out if her husband genuinely falls in love? It would be cool for her to have her own life outside of her leader, since she is older than him she could have found love much earlier in life, and I’d wanna support that.
• Is my character being strung along and is just a favourite in a fraternity of lovers, or are they both genuinely having feelings? Because I need romance in a romantic interest to keep me hooked, and I don’t wanna cringe the whole time if my MC is just blindly simping a man with a billion lovers.
Idk, these are just ideas that would make it more digestible to me as someone who doesn’t like harem-leader love interests. Sorry for the lore dump! I got a bit carried away lol.
Anyway, the thing is, I tend not to self-insert when I play these games so it’s easier for me to disassociate from the main character, but I still won’t romance a character if I feel like my MC is just another bedmate who occasionally gets extra attention. It’s gonna be hard enough being bullied by other concubines that want the Royal D and I’d rather not be running a race against political snakes that could poison me for a man who treats my character like a favoured pet lol. Let alone a married one!!!
TLDR: So long as you have other RO’s for the more monogamous players you should be fine. People love drama, so you do you and we’ll eat it up!
Say will we have we the choice of gender?
I know that there is an audience for this.
I am not part of that audience.
I appreciate the time you took to write this and for raising some valuable questions!
I’ll certainly try and there is a planned meet cute. I would say the emperor’s personality is up to personal preference, but there won’t be any pressure to play his route.
I’ll say their relationship is a bit more complicated. She is older, and not an insignificant player in the grand scheme of things. Yes she’s had her lovers and sort of views the emperor as a child? They met when he was young and she’s had that image of him in her mind ever since. The imperial family needed her alliance and she has her own court around her. I won’t say she’s portrayed as stereotypically evil or anything but she’s ruthless in her own way and mainly crafted by her own experiences which influence how she acts. If anything, she will only view the Mc as a threat is she believes they’re eroding her influence on the emperor.
I’m not sure if you’ve read about Hurrem sultan, but once Suleiman fell for her he didn’t visit any other women. That’s the direction I’m trying to take the emperor’s path towards, though they’re many variables at play. For example if your playing the path of power and ambition are are using the emperor or if you genuinely want a romantic partner. They’ll also be other love interests for the Mc both male and female but yeah the emperor can genuinely come to love Mc and marry her, making her empress.
I’ve planned it to be gender locked to female.
Nice. I only play female!
Awesome! I know it’s a niche but streamlining it allows me to go more in-depth.
I rather have a Harem, not be a chicken for the rooster so hard pass.
I get it! This game is geared more to lovers of court intrigue and drama.