Ars Seduction

I have a player who's companion is a secretive Redcap that tries to keep their feminine gender a secret, using an enchanted girdle when outside of the covenant. Not only her gender, but even her shapeshifting talents are something she tries to avoid advertising. Otherwise, she's a dedicated worker among the Redcaps.

She wants babies. Ideally, Bjornaer babies out of hope that their Heartbeast talent will increase the chances of producing shapeshifter offspring (skinchangers are way more likely). The biggest hurdle is the fact neither of us are 100% comfortable roleplaying the whole 'seduction' portion of the storyline. We're fine with the lead up of finding an eligible bachelor, infiltrating their covenant to get an idea of their chances, and even the fallout should the magus ever finds out they slept with a shapeshifter for the purpose of producing more of her kind. But the scenes that involve getting close and convincing him to lay with her for at least a night; those are awkward for both of us.

This is where figuring out rules for a tryst to be both fair, consistent, and circumvent the need for RP for those scenes. Yes, I am fully aware that I can just throw an arbitrary EF for Pre+Charm and call it good, but I don't trust my gut instinct and I want something that can be used again (which is a non-zero chance with this group) and therefore maintain consistency.

I would challenge myself mentally to "roleplay" the scene in my mind. Find out what makes this discomfort, talk it over with the other player, maybe talk about it off-game. Romance and intimacy can be really rewarding to roleplay.


Trust your gut!

Start with a really low difficulty. Because "she's available and willing" seems very much like a default roll of "just don't botch!" Her personality and attractiveness and ability to seduce already goes into her total. Raise the difficulty if he is pious, if she finds the target unattractive (harder to seduce someone repulsive to you!), if he knows that she's a Shapeshifter, if he's married or entangled, if he's gay, if he knows she just wants his sperm. Lower the difficulty if he has a lustful personality trait, raise it if women intimidate him. Etc.

Note that the only consistent element is the default starting point of "in general, it is safe to assume that guys are easy." Everything else is circumstantial, so the modifiers you use for the next case might be totally different.



I would base it on intrigue, with a variation on the roll to impress for recruiting agents.

Deceptive Shapeshifter maga "stealing" the seed of a Bjornaer magus to breed more Shapeshifters. There's no way this could end badly in a canon Mythic Europe at all... :unamused:

Why should it end badly? The Bjornaer need never know anything happened. Sex is normal, even in Mythic Europe.

(Not wanting to rp sex is also normal. Wanting to rp during sex, normal too. Rolling a d10 while rping during sex, not so normal. Rolling botch dice while rping during sex, that's a whole new level of different.)



If it is too uncomfortable for the players (story guide included) to roleplay, then of course using the dice is fine. Knowing where to draw the line is different for everyone (as it changes with everyone) but that comes with the territory.

Additionally the roll can change depending on methodology; getting the guy drunk enough to do it and not remember would be Carouse, Intrigue works for being subtle (might be folk ken too), Guile for pick up artist type lines and of course Charm.

The question is where is the line in this case; which varies depending on the RL people involved. I know people who couldn't handle even a fade to black roll situation because the NPC was drunk.

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful but this one of those things that works better when you know the person.

There is another option - just pick a result that makes sense for the story.

If you're uncomfortable playing it out, don't. I certainly wouldn't. I can immediately spot a number of things in this scenario that make it uncomfortable.

However, what is the goal of this? Is the maga in question after any kind of lasting relationship with the father, or is she happy with him being unaware of the result of the union?

If there's an NPC magus who would make for the most interesting father in the ongoing story of this (which would most likely involve the child), I'd honestly just set aside a block of time and say 'one thing leads to another, and by the end of the season it is obvious that the maga is pregnant.'

She wants more children, ideally shapeshifters; and doesn't care about the father beyond their seed (so obviously a Bjornaer without a longevity ritual). She presumes the chances of a shapeshifter are highest when at least one parent has Heartbeast. The ultimate goal is to politically dominate House Mercere through sheer numbers by having a notable percentage be directly of her lineage, and much headway has been made since she's already hatched 7 Gifted skinchangers.

If you are uncomfortable - both of you - to play the scene, dont' rp it.
You can abstract it and still gauge the success of the endehavour:

  • Ask the player how is identified the right NPC "mate" ? (does the PC listen to gossip, or even spy on the NPC, does the PC pays/bribes redcaps and grogs to get info)
  • Ask how the PC approaches the NPC ? (offer NPC's favorite cake, use potion of love and what not - why did the NPC suffers from warping :smiley:, that was a mighy potion of Love, Potency and Forgetfullness all in one).

For each of these actions, assign a number, tally the numbers and according to the total intepret the results. You can even communicate to the player the scale you will be using before the game!
With results from, "Dismissed!", to "Faithful partner" (long term relationship) and everything in between ("One night stand, bitter aftertaste", "A passionate, memorable but unique night", "Too drunk to remember - both of them or only of them").

The best way to go around it, is to turn it into a fun, comedy episode. Think of Joey (from Friends) or even the Big Bang Theory and make it something funny. Twist the rules and the background if needed.

And one last advice, if the player (not the PC) really wants it to happen, don't role dice - that's the surest way to have to use some DM fiat to make it happen. Just use the scale of success and when the PC tries something comments her results "That's a bit clumsy, but charming" or "How can he resist that !?!". You can still take in consideration the PC's skills and characteristics, but only to flavour your comments, not to determine the end results (*Despite your unsual appearance, PC X seems intrigued and possibly attracted to you" or "Your charming techniques make this socially awkard labrat dances to your tune".

It is a bit arbitrary, but we are playing RP to have fun, not racing for a price.

Current plan is thushly:1. Knowing of potential Bjornaer is through two techniques[list]a. Combing Mercere mail records with a very high Intrigue score & standard RP
b. Social interrogation of Joseph Miller (PC) after his return from the last Gathering of Twelve Years2. Arrive to their covenant for a mail delivery, staying for the customary three days (standard RP scene)
3. Surreptitiously revert to female form/dress to get to know Bjornaer better (Intrigue & Guile checks)
4. Seduction: Pre+Charm vs EF 6 +/- relevant personality modifiers - 3 if staying for a seasonBotch means either the Bjornaer treats it as more than a one-night stand or something else story-inducing[/list:u]As it stands, the redcap is going to aim for seducing the Bjornaer who have just initiated at the last Gathering of Twelve Years (least likely to be under longevity ritual). This means a selection of about six males for the Redcap to investigate. I'm not going to make entire character sheets for them, just a simple bio

Sounds like a good plan.
And it could be the beginning of the legend of a seductive ghost, feeding on the life force of young mage, then disappearing for ever :slight_smile: (or until somebody start to sue them for a pension :mrgreen: ).

Do you want faeries? Because that's how you get faeries... 8)