Courting

edited December 2009 in Story Games
Tell me about a game that makes courting as prominent and fun as combat in D&D. Does it exist?

Comments

  • Breaking the Ice is 100% courting.

    The best part is that the mechanics totally encourage courting on a player level too, in a couple cute ways.
    You decide something that's different between the two players (gender's an easy one, if applicable), and then switch it - each playing the other player's real life trait.
    It asks you to try and portray the other person realistically and favorably... ie, to get them.
    It also asks you to look at a fictional relationship, at the end, and make a judgment call about whether the relationship continues past the game, which is a pretty thinly veiled look at what people define a successful relationship as.

    1. The fiction is about courting and dating.
    2. The play level asks players to try and get one another, and to come to an understanding about what another define as a successful relationship.

    Courting ftw.
  • Someone needs to create a mechanic for courting in Burning Wheel — it could be loosely adapted from the "Battle Of Wits". The tricky bit would be that the parties in courting aren't necessarily opposed, so what would the stakes be?
  • This is totally promoting my own game but Love is my Weapon just had an awesome post about the mechanics of love in Bliss Stage which you might find interesting.

    yrs--
    --Ben
  • Posted By: snejSomeone needs to create a mechanic for courting in Burning Wheel — it could be loosely adapted from the "Battle Of Wits". The tricky bit would be that the parties in courting aren't necessarily opposed, so what would the stakes be?
    In "traditional" courting (which is what springs to mind from the word, rather than 'dating' or 'building a romantic relationship'), the man is the instigator. The woman may be interested or disinterested but in any event her interest is assumed to be less than the man's. Since women are assumed to be irrational creatures, the man must bribe and (tastefully) seduce his way through this formal process of flowers, poetry and the many other un-manly things which women are interested in. Eventually he wins her over, that is, he replaces her lack of interest with assent to his desire (women have no legitimate desires themselves so what she wants is never of any actual interest in the process).

    In dating or modern day relationship-building, you're right, it's much more egalitarian and both parties can develop or lose interest. I don't really see that as courting, though. Courting, to me, is a much more patriarchal activity.
  • In Houses of the Blooded, there are rules for romancing.
    The stakes are whether or not the romance "takes".
    Out of your die pool, you put aside some dice as a wager, and roll the rest.
    The person you are romancing has to match your wager, and both of you need to succeed (get over 10) in order for the romance to keep going.

    The higher the wager, the stronger the romance, which is translated mechanically by taking a Level X Aspect, where X is the wager.

    There's this fun game of setting aside big wagers to trigger a big romance, but wanting to make sure your partner can "keep up".
  • Diaspora.

    For social conflicts, you draw some weird abstract map and then move people's opinions around on it. You meant fun like 4E, right?
  • I kind of meant like JD said, though I don't know if I'd put it in such patriarchal terms. One party (man or woman, or even other) has an interest that the other doesn't necessarily share, so you need to make beautiful offerings--of gifts, of eloquence, of song, of poetry, what have you--to draw the other out.

    How might you try to court an NPC, and gauge whether or not your efforts have swayed him or her, in a fun way?
  • Posted By: jasonI kind of meant like JD said, though I don't know if I'd put it in such patriarchal terms. One party (man or woman, or even other) has an interest that the other doesn't necessarily share, so you need to make beautiful offerings--of gifts, of eloquence, of song, of poetry, what have you--to draw the other out.

    How might you try to court an NPC, and gauge whether or not your efforts have swayed him or her, in a fun way?
    Definitely houses of the blooded, though in that game, either the man or woman can become the predator and prey.
  • Heroquest can do that. The previous edition has a great example of an extended contest where the die rolling part happens across a long period of game-time, between adventures.
  • Posted By: jasonI kind of meant like JD said, though I don't know if I'd put it in such patriarchal terms. One party (man or woman, or even other) has an interest that the other doesn't necessarily share, so you need to make beautiful offerings--of gifts, of eloquence, of song, of poetry, what have you--to draw the other out.

    How might you try to court an NPC, and gauge whether or not your efforts have swayed him or her, in a fun way?
    The problem is that disinterest is not really that, er, interesting. Either it becomes interest, in which case now we have a relationship that can be strained or blossom and bear fruit, or it becomes hate, in which case now we have a relationship that has some tension in it, but so long as it stays "polite disinterest", there really is not much happening there. This is why love at first sight is such a common dramatic premise. ("Skip over the "meh" part of a relationship and get to the crashing waves and swelling violins!") This is particularly true if the woo-ed is supposed to be portrayed as having any kind of agency at all (which courting, as I note, more or less implies they don't.)

    To put it another way, let's go with your idea that the idea of courting isn't inherently dysfunctional in this case. The suitor is presenting gifts and art and walks around the park because they feel the person sought is interested in them, and it's not deceptive because the suitor's gifts/art/offerings are genuinely appealing to the suitor as well. The problem is that once the sought begins to reciprocate the interest, you have to face the possibility that they are going to express something or present something that makes the suitor go "ugh, um, really?" and call the whole thing off. The only way a courtship goes all the way through to a happy, functional relationship is if both parties develop shared interest in each other and that can't happen so long as it's one person making the moves and the other receiving them. In other words, you have to stop courting and start doing something more mutual to get to a mutually pleasant ending.
  • But in this kind of courting, isn't the female supposed to at least feign disinterest to strengthen her position? If what she wants and what she is supposed to do are at odds this can be more interesting, from her perspective at least. From the suitors, I'd imagine it to be the same unless there's a lot of subtle stuff going on.
  • Posted By: JDCorleyIn other words, you have to stop courting and start doing something more mutual to get to a mutually pleasant ending.
    Yes, I agree. Mutual attraction would mean you've reached the successful end. When s/he spurns you, you've reached the unsuccessful end. What about the attempt to gain the other's interest? On the predatory end, seduction; on the more innocent end, courtship. No relationship ever begins with equal, mutual interest, and "love at first sight" doesn't happen all that often outside of movies. In fiction, lots of stories focus on that first approach--think of Cyrano de Bergerac, or really any tale of unrequited love. You don't have a functional relationship until it reaches that mutual state, but getting to that place has inspired a lot of fiction. It also seems like something that could translate into some very fun gaming, too.
  • In a game of Poison'd I played recently, one of the deck hands tried to court a girl with poetry, hand holding and gentleness. When it failed, he tried to rape her and got his dick chopped off. It's a subtle old game.
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