Taking One for the Team. Sex in Savage Worlds

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Sexy stuff ahead. At last night’s Savage Worlds game night in a 50 Fathoms Pirate campaign, I decided to have my Wild Card character, Shaka Zulu (modeled partly on the character of Selena from 28 Days Later) seduce another Player’s character, Rags (an Asian martial arts expert who might look kind of like Seraph from the Matrix).

It was awkward (The other dude was clearly wondering what the hell was going on, even as he decided to just go with it. Our GM had us do some Agility dice rolls for fun and all was good, I suppose. To be sure, this was not a live-action RPG).

Sex in roleplaying games usually is awkward. That’s why it rarely happens (at least in roleplaying campaigns I’ve played). But I had my reasons for going there. Perhaps more than the other Players realized.

A little background, here. I’d chosen the Vengeful, Overconfident and Greedy Hindrances and was playing those flaws to the hilt — to the point that my anti-social behaviors were actually putting other members of the Party in danger (Not least from Shaka’s attempt to shoot one of them in a bar over a relatively minor provocation). I also went a bit beyond the required anti-social directives of my Hindrances when our Party discovered that Rags was Wanted by some big Pirate Goon; I basically told him that if someone was after him, that put the rest of us in danger and Shaka wasn’t going to put her life on the line for some shmoe she met on a slave ship (Long story). I suppose it was in keeping with the Vengeful Hindrance in an abstract way.

I was having fun with playing a badass initially, but soon I felt like I’d painted my character into a corner. How was Shaka supposed to continue hanging out with her fellow characters, much less lead them (as had been her habit, stemming partly from her Overconfident nature), if this antagonism kept up?

For the past session or two, I thought the issue would work itself out naturally. I kept taking deliberately over-aggressive and risky actions, believing that my character might just end up dead (which is still a possibility) and I’d just create a new, less surly character. But I kept winning my dice rolls and Persuading the rest of the group to go along with my mischief, so by midway through last night’s session, Shaka was still alive and very much in charge.

Midway through the evening’s game and there was a bit of a lull. The Party had successfully raided an island, scored some gold bullion and were beginning to struggle to figure out what to do next. One of the characters had reached out to her Connections to get some info we needed, but we were going to have to wait for a response. That left us twiddling our thumbs in a pub.

We had some Interludes there where we explained our backstories, but nothing connected to each other prior to our winding up in the hands of pirate slavers — and it was looking more and more like none of our goals really aligned (Shaka was determined to get back to her home in Africa. The rest of the group had other priorities). Which begged the question… why were we still staying together?

I had faith that our experienced GM would provide us with some new goal in a timely fashion. But I figured, why make him do all the work? How could I help build some team solidarity, move the plot forward and evolve my character at the same time?

The little mechanisms in my head were stirring: To review, because of my Hindrances and the way I’d roleplayed my character, Shaka had no logical reason to stay with the group.

Bingo. The solution jumped out at me…

In real life, we don’t always make logical decisions. They may seem logical at the time, but in retrospect, we see that our emotions (or hormones) made us do things that might not be in character. These actions might even be completely out of character, or antagonistic to our ultimate goals.

We usually roleplay characters in RPGs like perfectly logical decision-makers, weighing the odds of succeeding at various short-term goals (eg. slaying a dragon, stealing a jewel or climbing a ladder while gargoyles nip at your heels). That’s natural, but it can also lead to predictable game-playing. And being predictable ain’t fun.

The solution to Shaka’s problem was obvious. She should, at least for a moment, cast rationality aside and do something unexpected.

If she wanted to care about the group and instantly start sharing a common goal with at least one other member of the adventuring Party so as to remain a member of that group, there was a simple solution: Fuck Rags.

There were three other members of the group, but they were less than optimal choices. One was Randy Riptide (is there a better porn star name in the history of RPGs?), but the Player who owned him was away from the session and it seemed a bit of an imposition. Mantil, the MacGuyver of the group, was a possibility, but only because the character was male. There was nothing else specifically to recommend him as Shaka’s chosen stud. Candy Pop, our resident Princess adventurer, is a chick, and Shaka ain’t a fan of the ladies (and whatever Candy Pop’s preference was, she was probably not a fan of the easily-provoked psycho who tried on multiple occasions to murder her). Shaka wanted a man.

If Shaka screwed Rags, she’d kill two birds with one stone. She wouldn’t just have a reason to stay with the group; she’d now have a reason to at least tolerate the presence of the Wanted character who endangered them all. Besides, Shaka’s a fighter. I thought she might be more attracted to a tough-as-nails martial artist than anyone else in the group.

And that’s when Shaka propositioned Rags for a night of hot loving. He did refuse at first, put off by the weirdness of it all. But later that night, after Shaka and Mantil rescued Rags from his Enemy’s messenger, he gave in. Agility rolls ensued.

On the fifth roll, Shaka scored an 11 (Success and a Raise). I don’t actually know what that means, but I think Shaka and Rags probably had a fun time… hopefully, paving the way for more fun times for Shaka and the rest of the team.


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