5E CoS: Full of child peril and death, but lacking...
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  1. #1
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    CoS: Full of child peril and death, but lacking...

    ...the thing all good Gothic Horror films and novels are chock full of: SEX!

    Well sensuality, mostly. I find it kind of a 'softball' move to go to the 'child ghost' and 'child sacrifice' shtick to create peril and mood but - as far as my reading indicates - completely gloss over the inherent sensuality of the Gothic Horror tale. Am I missing something? I'm not asking for Keanu Reeves getting seduced by a coven of Vampresses... Vampressi (I dunno), or other over the top excesses from modern movies attempts at the genre. Rather I'd like the subtle under currents of tittlating sensuality you get in Bram Stoker's original novel, or - if you've read it - Carmilla.

    What about the implicate sexual struggle found in Frankenstein? The disturbingly erotic tone of Wuthering Heights?

    Anyone have any suggestions to add a some sexual dynamism to the adventure?
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    This is the edition where they removed sexuality though. I guess they assume that GMs that want that can add it into their game. I've always found that that sort of thing doesn't work in my group anyway. If it happens its done off camera.

  3. #3
    DM: You awake from your uneasy slumber and see a rotting, spectral woman with hair flowing wildly as if from a strong wind hovering over your bed reaching out at you

    Player: I take off my pants

  4. #4
    To be fair, it wasn't until my fourth session of CoS that one of the players tried to have sex. It was with one of the Vistani owners of the Blood of the Vine tavern, and he was really playing his "I fall for a pretty face" flaw to a T.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaran View Post
    This is the edition where they removed sexuality though. I guess they assume that GMs that want that can add it into their game. I've always found that that sort of thing doesn't work in my group anyway. If it happens its done off camera.
    Yeah. I've never had great luck with romance/sensuality in my games, either. My current group is me as DM, with a bunch of (straight) guys, my wife, and my daughter. None of the guys is a deep enough roleplayer to want to have a romantic conversation with me. My wife and I don't figure anyone wants to hear us have a romantic conversation and (again with the not overly deep RP) it would be awkward weird for her to RP a relationship with another guy while I'm DMing. Since my daughter is 13, take any discomfort anyone at the table already has and multiply it by pedophilia -- even if she's not part of it, RP is an intimate enough hobby that she's right there.

    Over all, I'd say having very much sensuality in most RP groups falls apart for two reasons:
    1) We're not professional actors. Sure, people in Hollywood engage in some level of romance with people they aren't attached to all the time in the name of the show. We're doing this for our own entertainment, not the audience's. There just isn't a part of me that's entertained by pretending to flirt with that out-of-shape, married, middle-aged dude sitting across the table from me. Even when one of the other wives plays, I'm not interested in them, either -- not entertaining, and not worth any potential fallout from misunderstandings.

    2) RP is a group activity and it's intimate enough that everyone at the table is generally engaged. If you're attached to someone outside the game (sometimes, even if you're not), you can get away with a bit of banter, but most folks don't really want to be included in anything that fits the bill of "sensuality" between two other players sitting at the same table. It's too personal. You can get away with violence because that's pretty abstract to most players, especially when done against orcs, zombies, and dragons.

    I could see it working if hinted at between two NPCs ("Strahd's gaze settles on Irena, smoldering"). It's a fine line, though.
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    @Dungason: I can give you many links to free adult websites if you need to scratch that itch .
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    This is a module written for all ages, so I'm not surprised it's a bit PG.

    If you want to add it in, it would be easy enough. People dream of sensual encounters only to wake up to a ghost or have the beautiful woman turn into a corpse. Female vampires try to seduce players, etc.

    A written mod should be the starting point for your campaign, not the end-all-be-all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duganson View Post
    ...the thing all good Gothic Horror films and novels are chock full of: SEX!

    Well sensuality, mostly.
    Have you seen who Strahd picks as consorts? Gertruda isn't described as ugly. The three "wives" weren't thrown out of his bed because they ate crackers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaran View Post
    This is the edition where they removed sexuality though. I guess they assume that GMs that want that can add it into their game. I've always found that that sort of thing doesn't work in my group anyway. If it happens its done off camera.
    See above. Sexy ladies are Strahd's thing. Oh, and guess what? So is at least one hot guy (Escher). Rahadin may or may not meet your criteria of hot; depends on how much you view the sexiness of elves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oofta View Post
    This is a module written for all ages, so I'm not surprised it's a bit PG.
    I remember some PG movies with some pretty risque subject matter. Police Academy was PG, right?

    But a windmill of hags grinding up children they bought off of desperate parents and reselling the ground up children as pastries to (potentially) said parents or strangers is not my idea of PG.

    A swamp filled with bloated zombies that when you kill them they disgorge swarms of poisonous snakes that attack...not PG.

    A fallen angel sewing the body parts of grave-robbed women together to create a frightening Frankenstein bride for Strahd and forcing a town to live in abject fear of the reprisal of his insane, mutated asylum-dwellers...not PG.

    Considering my tastes, I'm no prude; I'm just saying I think you guys might've read a different thing than me.
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    But the nice thing about Victorian-era sexuality is that it's hidden. You're not allowed to talk about that stuff because it's not proper! But in a horror context you can have a lot of symbolism -- tons of sexual symbolism -- and create a lot of sexual tension. It works (I think) precisely because it makes people uncomfortable, and mixing it with scary stuff doubly uncomfortable. Are you scared of the monster, or scared of your own improper feelings?

    I think this can work really well in an RPG although it sounds really difficult to pull off. I've never seen it in person. I think it's because our hobby is very improv, and doing anything subtly requires a lot of forethought, practice, rough drafts, etc. It may also be because most players do not want to really be scared in a horror RPG, they just want their characters to be scared. So we avoid things that are truly scary -- like flirting with a married person in front of all your mutual friends. So, too much sexual symbolism will get too genuinely scary and be bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by neuronphaser View Post
    Have you seen who Strahd picks as consorts? Gertruda isn't described as ugly. The three "wives" weren't thrown out of his bed because they ate crackers.



    See above. Sexy ladies are Strahd's thing. Oh, and guess what? So is at least one hot guy (Escher). Rahadin may or may not meet your criteria of hot; depends on how much you view the sexiness of elves.



    I remember some PG movies with some pretty risque subject matter. Police Academy was PG, right?

    But a windmill of hags grinding up children they bought off of desperate parents and reselling the ground up children as pastries to (potentially) said parents or strangers is not my idea of PG.

    A swamp filled with bloated zombies that when you kill them they disgorge swarms of poisonous snakes that attack...not PG.

    A fallen angel sewing the body parts of grave-robbed women together to create a frightening Frankenstein bride for Strahd and forcing a town to live in abject fear of the reprisal of his insane, mutated asylum-dwellers...not PG.

    Considering my tastes, I'm no prude; I'm just saying I think you guys might've read a different thing than me.
    Ok, it's PG-13.

    But sexuality is a topic fraught with landmines and is something best left up to the discretion of DMs.

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