Ah, L’amour… It’s that time of the year again where we celebrate all things sweet, sentimental, seductive and sexy. The vast open worlds of D&D are no different.
Last year we brought you an in depth article about love, sex and seduction in D&D and how to go about DM-ing such interactions. It’s a fascinating read, do check it out.
But what about the player? How does your character even find themselves in that situation? In most D&D campaigns there will always be one character who will try to seduce almost anyone, after all, “Roll for seduction” is a thing. But what about love, romance and relationships? Let’s take a look…
Love in D&D…
With long campaigns and character progression, like in any story, comes the inevitable development of relationships between characters. Bonds are formed and broken, friendships are built and strengthened and sometimes even love or lust will grow. When you’re an established party of diverse adventurers who spend as much time together as you do and go through trials, trauma and dangerous encounters together, a closeness is bound to be formed between your characters.
A whole new world…
Now, don’t get me wrong – investigating, looting and battling monsters are fun as hell, but, especially during long campaigns, you tend to want to dig deeper into your character’s psyche. Building relationships and romances is a great way to explore other facets of your character’s personality and gives players the golden opportunity for more role-play in your campaign. It also allows for your backstory to become a real part of your game-play.
You can decide how you want to play out your love story. Maybe your usually-confident bard has become completely smitten by the hard-as-nails elven ranger, and is too shy to mention anything. Maybe your character suddenly starts acting weird around their NPC crush, the whole party notices and some friendly teasing ensues. Maybe your character is the hero type who throws themselves in the path of danger to save their beloved from harm, or the jealous type who really doesn’t like the way that mercenary NPC is looking at your favourite bar wench. However you want to play it, it brings new dimensions to your character.
D&D romance in pop culture…
The popular online D&D channel, Critical Role, did this very well in their first campaign. Dungeon master extraordinaire, Matthew Mercer, used the budding relationships between his players’ characters as a way to bring more depth and story-telling to their campaign, and pulled it off like a boss! They even had an in-game wedding and they had fun with it, decorating the set, getting dressed up and even designing special wedding rings for the couple. Their characters even went on to have a baby!
This kind of happy event, however, opens itself up for a DM to throw in some last minute intrigue. It is D&D after all, so don’t be too surprised if a lich decides to crash your wedding or the evil wizard your party has been hunting sends a horde of beasties to ruin your nuptials while your guard is down.
In any event, this is a very popular trope and [SPOILER] the disastrous, first-attempt wedding of Barry and Iris in the popular series, The Flash, comes to mind, when a group of Nazis from an alternate dimension attacked, just as the ceremony was about to kick off.
Protip: DMs draw their ideas from practically everything so always be on guard and hide some weapons in your wedding ensemble. You can thank me later.
It’s very important to remember that role-playing a fictitious relationship is just that – fiction – and is all just a bit of fun. I recommend role-playing the relationship with your partner, ideally, but if your SO doesn’t play, choose a close friend to share the fun with, discuss beforehand how you’d want it to play out and what your respective boundaries are. If you are in a relationship, remember to discuss this with your partner as well. Be considerate to what they would be comfortable with, so that everyone can have fun with it.
D&D in love…
However you and your significant other choose to spend your Valentine’s day, there’s always a way to incorporate your love for role-play games in your celebration. (not like that, get your head out of the gutter… Or don’t, if you’re into that, that’s fine).
The usual romantic candlelight dinner for two thing is absolutely lovely, but why not change it up a bit and have a one-on-one D&D session with your partner this year? Create some characters, get dressed up, put on some music, light a few candles and transport yourselves into a magical world where you could meet and fall in love all over again. Our characters give us the freedom to explore certain aspects of ourselves, our relationships or sexuality that we may not feel comfortable within the real world, and can help to open communication with your partner about their wants, needs, expectations and how they see your future together.
D&D can be a really great tool to bring some fun into your relationship. My fiancè is a DM, so naturally, with both of us being big D&D fans, we wanted to incorporate that in our nuptials. When we first got engaged, we discussed the possibility of having our wedding ceremony be a short one-on-one session, with a DM friend leading the “ceremony”. It’s something we decided against, at the end of the day, as families can be very traditional about such things. We have since found other inventive ways of incorporating our fandoms into our big day (totally getting married in a castle!).
Play & Learn…
If you and your significant other are both D&D fans, I recommend incorporating one-on-one campaigns into your relationship as a fun new way of spending some time together. If your partner, however, isn’t currently into D&D, it’s a great way to introduce them to the game and share your passion. It can also be a fun activity where they can learn more about you and why you love D&D so much. After all, relationships are all about finding new ways to gain better understanding of each other.
Remember to be patient and respectful of your beloved noob, and give them the freedom to play their character in way that’s most comfortable for them. Your loved one’s game-play may even give you better insight into their personality and how they perceive things, if you pay close enough attention. Most importantly, have fun together. So what if you fudge the rules a bit and make things up along the way? The point isn’t to follow the book, it’s about the two of you and strengthening your bond in a safe space. So let your mutual weirdness shine bright and enjoy it for what it is.
Romantic gifting in D&D.
Completely stumped on what to gift the D&D-lover in your life? Well, look no further, Fam, we got you!
First of all, we love dice! No really, we can never have too many dice, and a set specially gifted to us by our “Shnookums”? That’s bound to give you some good-luck dice juju. There are some really pretty sets out there that won’t break the bank and if you’re considering getting your beloved noob their first set to use in your romantic one-on-ones or the campaign they might be joining, you’ll definitely find something with a personal twist that they would adore.
Cool shirt, Bro…
How about a cool shirt? There are some really funny and adorable ones online and us geeks do so love to display our geekiness for the world to see. With both male and female varieties and a wide range of shapes, sizes and designs available, you can find your Boo something really awesome they’d look great in.
Knowledge is power!
Books or manuals, they might not yet have, are always a really thoughtful gift for for the die-hard D&D aficionado. Wizards of the coast LLC, the games publishing company responsible for D&D, in partnership with Critical Role, have recently announced the release date for The Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount, and the D&D world is buzzing! It’s currently on pre-order, so why not gift your honey the paid pre-order confirmation and watch them excitedly await their loot? If your D&D fan hasn’t started a hard-copy collection yet but would like to, check out the range of manuals with gorgeous illustrations to help them get started… That’s a whole bunch of birthdays, Christmases, anniversaries and valentine’s days worth of not having to scramble for perfect gift ideas! You’re welcome!
Do you have any nifty D&D related Valentine’s day ideas? Why not tell us how you’re celebrating Valentine’s day this year, or share with us your stories of introducing your partner to D&D in the comment section. We’d love to hear from you!
Happy Valentine’s day, D&D fans!