Pregnancy and newborns...

delph

Explorer
Hi, my playgroup got new situation. One our party member is pregnant... So my question is - how usual is it in yours play, how did you deal with it.

we are playing DnD 5, and She is Wild Sorcerer, so she can't cast, because mutating is in game... especially in crit fails.

EDIT:
I corrected title

I'm not in real need of advice, just curious about it.
We (players) are 5+GM, all of us 30+, 4 have own family, fun fact - pregnant is that one without family in real life.
We are in a really magic world (Sword Coast - Waterdeep), so when I can get pregnant (natural or magic) we can do abortion same "easy way"
 
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delph

Explorer
It's good to say, She have magic quickened pregnancy. 1 days - 1 month. So She Is disabled for 5 days from now. And we are in town based campaign (Dragon Heist)
 

CapnZapp

Hero
If those five in-game days translates to being restricted no more than a couple of combats, and the player is generally onboard with the character's pregnancy, I see no problems here.

I have no practical suggestions however. What works for one group won't work for another.

If nothing else, try as little rules modifications as possible - remember, you've already shut down the character's spellcasting.
 

Blackrat

He Who Lurks Beyond The Veil
In all my years playing, I remember exactly one pc whose npc spouse was pregnant, while he went on saving the world. Never have a pc themselves been pregnant.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
It's been a while, but one long-running AD&D 2ed campaign had a number of pregnancies over the decade it ran. It also featured a stable of characters so that temporarily retiring one to RP-only was fine, strongholds and other homebases with hours of meaty RP around them, and a decent amount of downtime.
 

delph

Explorer
Did the player choose this situation, or was it handed to them by the DM?
dice choose - player was in making love with her lover (also magic user - wizard) and some magic drugs... And DM hit a dice - rolled 1, so he made her pregnant with magic quickening...
 

GrahamWills

Adventurer
This is actually quite an interesting thread. It's one of those "things that happen in real life that RPG groups tend to avoid" situations. Romance and Sex are really important in pretty much every era, and a staple of the general genre, and yet we tend to shy away from them in actual play. I guess pregnancy is one of those things.

People can spend a lot of their life pregnant and still have to do normal stuff. Queen Victoria was pregnant for a cumulative seven years of her reign (and she hated it) but had zero problems being a kick-ass ruler. It's certainly a handicap for adventuring, but I've seen blind, one-armed, one-legged, clumsy and short-sighted characters (not all at once), so I can't see any a priori reason not to play a pregnant one.

Our group is a bit different. We're a mix of genders and all 40+ (as of a couple of months ...) and have been playing together for a long while. We typically do have more realistic characters, romance and love-life wise. We also quite like randomizing for serious life events as a spring-board to roleplaying.

So for pregnancy, we specifically have had a random roll determine pregnancy for one of our characters relationships (it destroyed the relationship), and we've many times rolled randomly for falling in love/lust (arguably not a terrible model of reality ...) with pretty strong effects. It works for our group, so I don't think it's just limited to young players, or is even an intrinsically weird idea. I think it's just unusual.

I have recently been playing a pretty insensitive male character in 13th Age (Fantasy d20 game), who is engaged to a female NPC, but they are currently separated due to, well, him being a dick. They're still in love, though. We finished that campaign, and I'm going to play that NPC as my character for the next campaign. So now I'm thinking it might up the stakes a bit to have her be pregnant. Practically it should make little difference -- I'm pretty sure we can have the final few weeks be in downtime, but maybe not!

In our group, if people make, or accept randomly, a roleplaying choice, we try hard not to penalize it. So we wouldn't make a primary ability impossible. Also, harm to young children is almost always unwanted in RPG games (and D&D5E's default stye would not allow it), so I'd simply be clear that no matter what happens, the child/pregnancy will not be in any danger apart from dying if the parent dies. Do whatever you need to within the rules or out of it to make that the case, but the goal of the game is to have fun -- if you can't make that happen, then probably best to avoid the subject.

It's a rarity indeed, but if you think you can have fun with it and not cause painful situations, go for it!
 

the Jester

Legend
I love generational games- that is to say, games in which enough time passes for pcs to have kids who themselves become the next generation of pcs.

My 5e campaign has featured a five-year downtime break. Before or during that period, a number of pcs had kids (including two pcs who got married and have had one, or 13, depending on how you count- there was some divine intervention shenanigans involved, resulting in 12 warforged 'children' coming to the two).

I actually have a "wooing" downtime activity written up for pcs who want to start families.

I've had pcs in my game have kids in 1e, 3e, and 5e so far.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
People can spend a lot of their life pregnant and still have to do normal stuff. Queen Victoria was pregnant for a cumulative seven years of her reign (and she hated it) but had zero problems being a kick-ass ruler.
Yes, but she didn't have to literally kick ass. Adventurers aren't doing "normal stuff".

It's certainly a handicap for adventuring, but I've seen blind, one-armed, one-legged, clumsy and short-sighted characters (not all at once), so I can't see any a priori reason not to play a pregnant one.
The tendency for the baby do die, for one thing. To be.. perhaps painfully blunt, magic-strewn action-adventure and miscarriage go together rather nicely :/
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
dice choose - player was in making love with her lover (also magic user - wizard) and some magic drugs... And DM hit a dice - rolled 1, so he made her pregnant with magic quickening...
This feels like a DM calling for a roll on a whim without thinking through the consequences. Which happens to us all from time to time.

And this highlights why I dislike roll for everything mentality.

I only want a roll if something is uncertain and the outcome pass or fail progresses the game forward. IE I have talked to ALL my players before hand about pregnancy/child rearing/child loss and the potential emotional weight of such topics and and we agree it's something we want to explore in the game.
 

uzirath

Explorer
It's good to say, She have magic quickened pregnancy. 1 days - 1 month. So She Is disabled for 5 days from now. And we are in town based campaign (Dragon Heist)
She may be able to cast spells after five days, but she's hardly going to return to the character that she was before. She will have a baby! By any realistic measure, that's going to be a permanent, life-altering event for the character and, if the player wants to continue playing the character, for the campaign as a whole. Is there a supplement that discusses the waitlists for quality daycare in Waterdeep?
 

Ulfgeir

Explorer
I have a character in Mage: The Awakening who is a single mother. The character is 31 or so and the daughter is 12 I believe. In short, she got pregnant just as she was starting at university. The character nonetheless persevered and got her phd in psychology (and is quite good at medicine as well). She used to work for the FBI Behavioral scientists group, hunting don serial killers and so on. It was wearing on her and too much travel, so she later volunteered for a local joint-force group in Boston where she would join with local cases. Turned out it was the kind of group that most other departments sent the people that had really ticked of some of their superiors.. A "promotion" of sorts...

--

Then in our Scion 2e: campaign my character who is a daughter of Skadi, got pregnant. She is happily married to a mortal. Unfortunately Loki took an interest in her when she was 17 (all character were students a private school in Denver, and we were at a spring break in Rio De Janeiro when the campaign started. afterwards we fast-forwarded 10 years). Back then he took on the the appearance of my character, and really made out out wit lots of other people. And yes, he made sure that there was witnesses. Oh, how I hated him for that. For a teenage girl, reputation is everything. He was supposed to give me a message to seek out Skadi when I got home to Denver.

And later, it turned out that the locked away my characters husband in Alfheim/Vanaheim (where Freya is living), while he took the shape of my husband. Of course something happened so all passages in/out of there was and still barred for months. Odin is working on solving it, but so far no success. Did I mention that there was a prophecy that if my character would get pregnant and get twins, they would later cause Ragnarok. You know Aesir and their inescapable fate... short story, After months, I found out that he was Loki. Did a pregnancy test. Of course positive. Damn it. Ok, time to schedule an abortion, but first we had to go to the Olympus to celebrate the return of the oracles. There some time-shenanigans happened and I was suddenly 3 months+ pregnant even though no time had gone on earth, and thus too late for a n abortion. Both Frey, Skadi, and Apollon expressed that it would be a blessing if I drowned my children. And once back from the Olympus, we had to journey to another dimension to save the world by relighting the First Flame. For us it took over a year, but time flew slower there. So on Earth 1 month. We succeeded, and then it was basically time for my character to give birth (I was met by a very frantic Loki who had called in Frigg as a midwife, and hired some viking warriors to accompany me to protect the babies). We will fast forward another 2 years or so to make my character more mobile. Right now the babies are a few months.

And woe to anyone who harms her children. Her calling-ratings are Hunter (4), Lover (1), Warrior (1). So far her titles are: The relentless She-Wolf of Winter, Ranger of the White Forest, Lady of the Wild Hunt.

Yup, she will hunt you down... And yes, sooner or later my character will accept the she and Loki is severly fatebound to each others (Loki personally spend 10 years+ on earth, while having an avatar running around playing family to Sigyn and so on), and she will join him willingly. Hey, the sex was divine... ;) as players in the campaign we know that her husband though is Doomed.
 
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Pregnancy could be handled so many different ways in an RPG. But this kind of a pregnancy...

dice choose - player was in making love with her lover (also magic user - wizard) and some magic drugs... And DM hit a dice - rolled 1, so he made her pregnant with magic quickening...
... can only result in a baby that is stolen by a BBEG, saved by the party, then put on a bus to live with relatives, only to inexplicably turn up as a teenager in the next campaign. After proving the teenager really is the offspring, aged through <magic-babel>, the offspring turns out to be completely EVIL (all caps required) and must narrowly escape the party. Some time later when the party least suspects it and is fighting another completely random BBEG, it is suddenly revealed that the offspring was helping the BBEG. Then the party is forced into a final battle where the mother must choose between saving the lives of the party members or sparing the life of the offspring who is begging for forgiveness and claims they were forced to help the BBEG against their will (but can they really be trusted?).
 

Celebrim

Legend
Hi, my playgroup got new situation. One our party member is pregnant... So my question is - how usual is it in yours play, how did you deal with it.

we are playing DnD 5, and She is Wild Sorcerer, so she can't cast, because mutating is in game... especially in crit fails.
It's come up a couple of times, though I've never had a game go so long that the child grew up.

In the first case, the player retired the PC so that she could be a mom.
In the second case, the player solemnized the relationship to the now pregnant NPC by marriage, and we rolled up adult stats, alignment, and personality for the new child (complete with an astrology system for influencing the random rolls), which were then adjusted by age to represent the character at any stage of life from infancy to adulthood.

But your question seems less concerned with respect to the infant, as to the complexities of pregnancy.

That's come up even less, but from a theoretical standpoint, we've normally treated the mother has providing magical and spiritual protection for the infant which is normally how it is treated in fiction. A really important work in this regard could be Diana Wynne Jones's 'Castle in the Air' which has pregnancy with magical complications.

In the case of mutations, I'd generally rule that any mutation (or any other sort of shape change) that effects the mother effects the child to an equal but not greater degree, and conversely any successful saving throw by the mother also protects the child. So while your PC may like the motherly PC of my experience decide that the life of the child is so much more precious than there own, they can't risk that, I don't think that you should separately punish the mother PC with separate risks for the child beyond those that PC is herself risking. As a practical matter, we tend to view the child as harder to kill or effect than the mother, and that the mother's body is a pretty full and complete shield.

Things like abortifacients, teratogenic agents or other poisons that more particularly affected infant development than adults have not come up, and given the sensitive nature of such topics I'd not breach them without some sort of agreement with the player. (If so, see books like the Miles Vorkosigan series for possible inspiration.)
 

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