Friday, March 20, 2009

Transcribing Hardkore Sex Rules

Those of you who know me better than just from what you've read of my past 2 posts here know that I'm writing out a game system currently. The majority of the development was worked on by a good friend of mine Dixon, between '98 and '03. The long development cycle was due to his drive to perfect the system leaving it perpetually unfinished until a computer crash wiped out most of his work. In 2008 though Dixon found a CD backup of some of his work, and I persuaded him into letting me take over and finish the project so that it can be published. It's been a year since I've taken over the project, piecing together incomplete editions of multiple iterations of a game that I playtested 5 years ago has been alternately nostalgic and frustrating, but now finally I'm starting to see a playable game taking shape.

The working title of this game is called Hardkore and it's designed as an adult simulation-based Role Playing Game. I can't disclose much more about it than that at this point but today I'm transcribing an old page of one of the features that made Hardkore an adult game, the sex rules.

Sex has never been well represented in RPG's in my opinion. In most cases it's ignored outright by game developers, and even when attention is given to one of the most basic instincts of humankind, it's looked at with an immaturity akin to a bunch of junior high kids giggling at a porno-mag. Something I find rather astonishing considering role-playing is about telling a story, and better than 80% of all stories are essentially derived from 'Boy meets girl...'

I understand that it's pretty awkward to sit around a game table with a bunch of your buddies and act out a romantic scene. In most cases I wouldn't want to, so our sex rules attempt to abstract all the sweaty moaning and whispered sweet-nothings into a bit of a narrative summary that I feel is quite realistic. However there's one thing that you might have picked up on that's missing and that's how can an RPG approximate that basic human desire to get layed? Sure we know it's there, but what makes players actually want to use these rules?

Well... that I can't tell you yet, but rest assured it's there and I think it's suitably awesome.

So now I leave you with Dixon's original introduction to the Sex chapter, which brought back a bit of nostalgia for me. Enjoy.

A Brief Rant on Sex [Or Lack Thereof] in Gaming

"What the fuck? Sex in RPG's?"



Because your character should have realized by now that they have to take life to the edge and live every minute to it's fullest... you never know if it might be your last.

Because sex is a big part of countercultures and freedom movements, and this is an adult-orientated game based on counterculture and a freedom movement.

Because game writers are willing to write 20+ pages of detailed descriptions of how to maim and kill people, but are either too terrified or too puritanical to write even one lousy fucking paragraph about sex or romance in RPG's.

But mostly...

Because we can.

You see, we think there is a place for sex in gaming, more-so if you intend to play your character with any degree of humanity to them. Do you have to use these rules? Of course not, that's why they're optional.

These mechanics will allow you to flesh out a character, bring a new level of detail and depth to your character's relationships with their romantic partners, and (hopefully) enhance your roleplaying experience. It will also allow social oriented characters the opportunity to strut their stuff in that other battlefield we call the bedroom.

You know, love and war and all that...

That said, our position is that if it might enhance your roleplaying experience then there isn't really any reason not to include mechanics for romantic activity. If you or your GM is uncomfortable with gaming this aspect of life in detail, then don't. It's no big deal.

~Dixon Steele

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