This isn’t a tough one. I’ve had a couple of really long-lived groups over the years, but the one that was a constant for 18 years of those was my ex-wife. I’d already had a pretty good handle on my gaming style — cinematic in how I structured adventures and scenes, I had a certain patter already, but playing with her in the group before and after marriage for that long, she was the main driver of how I play, simply because she always being in the group.

As an inveterate romance novel reader, I tailored stuff to address that aspect of her personality. Where before romance was mostly off-screen, it moved to front and center. Similarly, play moved from PG to R (and occasionally X)…that’s what the audience wanted. At the same time, the games that we were playing tended to showcase that sort of play — Victorian sic-fi like Space: 1889 and Castle Falkensteinwhere social drama can drive a session as well as a punch up or mystery.

It colored things deeply enough that, even though we’ve pulled back from the extremes of that style of gaming, adult themes, romance and/or sexuality, still permeate play…and that’s alright: my players are all adults. If you can’t handle some blue scenes, you should probably stop gaming and go get laid.

 

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