Tossing some romance into a campaign is a fun way to enhance roleplaying, make players squirm, and make sure their characters get dragged into the next adventure. GMs should have some fun with the PCs when they play a romantically inclined NPC—and one way to have fun is to make that romantic partner, whether male or female, a grasping, greedy little groupie. Just don’t clue in the character until it’s too late!
Why a Groupie Would Date a Hero:
• Money to Blow: Most heroes quickly become rich, rich, rich. Who else regularly brings home hoards of treasure or suitcases of unmarked creds that can all be blown courting a sweetheart? And heroes can be so careless with their cash, too…. Good thing they’re always going off to get more!
• Cool Gifts: Let’s face it, heroes give the best gifts around. Cool magic swords, tiaras from slain vampire queens, still-unreleased prototype cyberware … the girls and guys who date heroes can quickly become the envy of all their friends.
• Seldom Around: Nothing can be more tiring than to have a hero hanging around all the time, telling the same tired old demon-slaying or spice-running stories over and over. Fortunately, heroes seem to always get called off for some new mission or another, making spending their money so much easier.
• Great Genetics: Most heroes are truly genetically gifted. Even the ones who aren’t superheroes often have incredible bodies, brains, or both. Men and women with an eye toward raising a family will certainly choose primo hero DNA for their kids.
• Very Heroic: A hero won’t think twice about slaying a dragon or storming a death star or even punching out a tax man. As long as they’re in town, they can be relied on to pull your keister out of the coals … and even if they’re not, you know they’ll be around soon to save you from that fate worse than death.
• Big Support Group: Heroes have so many useful contacts! Even if your sweetie isn’t around, he or she has friends, family, contacts and agents who can be called on for help. And if some of them are cute, too, well, all the better…..
Why a Groupie Would NOT Date a Hero
• Paranoid: Most heroes are really paranoid, which means putting up with a lot of silliness like letting them wear their armor and carry their weapons on dates, and always having to put up with a Truth spell or lie detector test when they start getting on one of their “are you really who I think you are?” jags.
• Lots of Enemies: Of course, that paranoia isn’t always undeserved. Dating a hero is all too often an adventure in itself, since his or her enemies are always storming in and trying to take you hostage. Being captured is a total inconvenience.
• Strange Priorities: Most heroes don’t understand how important it is to be in fashion and keep the house neat and remember to walk the dog. They’re always distracted by the urge to save someone or stop some crime or another. And there you are, stuck doing the laundry again.
• Loony Friends: Heroes attract really weird people, and they don’t seem to mind if these social misfits hang out with them. It can be totally embarrassing to be seen in public with a talking monkey or a lecherous android or some wild-eyed prophet, but you’ll never be able to convince your sweetie to dump them.
• Come with Curses: Although they’ve got great genetics, a lot of heroes also come with unsavory family curses or dark secrets like really being a clone or a vampire or something. Be sure to check their background out very carefully before you decide to start a family.
• Always Tempted: Incubi, succubi, femmes and hommes fatale, sex-droids, the Beefcakes from Planet Beachboy … you never know what carnal temptations your sweetie may be facing! It could drive a jealous NPC crazy.
Originally written February 26, 1999
Image Source: The Elder or Poetic Edda; commonly known as Sæmund’s Edda. Edited and translated with introduction and notes by Olive Bray. Illustrated by W.G. Collingwood (1908)