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The Lusty Barmaid

Imagine your character at a tavern.  He or she is sitting at the bar finishing an ale.  The lights are low, the bard in the corner is playing softly, and the sounds of talking and laughing complete the ambiance.  Once the last drop of ale slides down your throat, the barmaid slids another tankard in front of you before you even have time to put the one in your hand down. “This one’s on the house,” she says with a wink.  What do you do?

Most of my characters would probably hit on the barmaid.  Whether it be a desire for more ale or to have relations, a lot of characters would agree with my sentiment.

But where does this leave our GMs?

As Tom pointed out in his post, sometimes this is the perfect opportunity to make the GM uncomfortable.  Whenever sex comes up in games I’ve been in, it turns into a game of Chicken until eventually someone loses and the scene fades to black (side note: they address this in the showCommunity).

Now the question is why I’m writing a post about this.  The first reason is that the summer convention season is almost upon us (namely Gencon and Origins).  Also, sometimes we need some guidelines for roleplaying, especially when we’re roleplaying with people we don’t know and, even people we do know.  Joking around is all well and good, but when you have a character acting out something as personal as sex, when does the joke go too far?

Roleplaying is all about trust.  Most people are not performers, so, at first, sitting around a table pretending to do something can feel a little weird.  However, I will assume most of the people reading this have learned or are learning to enjoy it.  Usually, the more comfortable you get with roleplaying, the more you trust the people you are roleplaying with.  Usually, random shenanigans are not enough to break this trust, but when sex or other complicated matters arise, it starts to get sticky (giggidy).

Every conversation we have is a balancing act. Usually, someone making things a little weird is just trying to be funny.  I know when my friends do this, we joke around about it for a little bit and then eventually we get tired of it and let the scene fade to black.  However, if a stranger and I did this in a game at a convention or something, I would start to feel really uncomfortable really fast.

Honestly, when it doubt, just stahp.  Or, if you’re unsure, just ask.  Sometimes you’ll be surprised by the answer.  Even if it’s a shaky yes, sometimes the best thing to do is just let it fade to black.

As you can probably tell, our posts get really weird if we haven’t posted for a while.  Our schedules will clear up a lot during this summer so be sure to check back to the website occasionally.  We’re hoping to roll out some new games and we will also (hopefully) be running some games at Gencon and Origins.

-Fade to black-

Fiona L.F. Kelly (@FionaLFKelly)
Fiona L.F. Kelly is a writer, editor, and podcaster. She has published numerous articles about all things gaming and pop culture on websites all across the internet, was also a writer for Trinity Continuum: Aberrant 2e, and has been published in books and magazines. She is an editor for the pop culture and media website GeekGals.co. In addition to her writing and editing, she has also been a guest and host on several podcasts. She hosts the Project Derailed podcast Big Streaming Pile, produces and performs on Fables Around the Table, and plays the githyanki pirate Rav’nys on Tales of the Voidfarer. Buy her a coffee: ko-fi.com/fionalfkelly

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