Romance Rules in D&D
Many years ago when I worked at FFG we had a tradition of posting some kind of April Fools product every year. During the height of the d20 explosion FFG was making the Legends & Lore series of d20 books and one of our April Fools announcements that year was a new upcoming title, “Romance & Relationships.” The graphic designer even put together a lovely fake cover — all in pink, of course.
Alas the interwebs have failed me and I can find no record of that cover art, but I did find this lovely review [dead link removed] someone made of the fake product, and the sale sheet text we wrote for it:
Romance & Relationships
Fighting demons from the abyss and saving the world can be lonely work, and even the most savage barbarian or cunning rogue needs companionship at some time. Romance & Relationships introduces complete d20 System rules for dating and marriage, from first meeting to lifelong partnerships.
New skills like Small Talk and Wine & Dine and new feats such as Sex Appeal and Smooth Talker give your characters the tools they need to compete in the brutal fantasy world of dating and relationships. An important equipment section gives expanded rules for fine clothing, covering social modifiers for clothing, and a complete guide to accesorising. New prestige classes such as Cassanova and The Ex give expanded options and development paths for characters in social campaigns. But new abilities and mechanics alone won’t put a beau or belle at your side — roleplaying is key. An in-depth DM section covers advice for incorporating roleplaying conversations, wooing, and poetry.
People Wanted This Book
It was a funny April Fools product, but here’s the thing: people wanted this product. We had a slew of comments and email from people who didn’t realize it was a joke talking about what a great idea it was. For months and month and even a year later I would see people asking about it and whether it was released yet. When they were told it was a joke, more often than not they asked that someone serious consider publishing it.
FFG never did publish it — we were pretty certain there wasn’t enough demand, even if the subject was taken seriously. Of course the level of demand that FFG needed to justify a product was much higher than for most d20 publishers at the time. But in today’s world of PDF games and print on demand services, I’m kind of surprised that no one has pursued a D&D supplement like this one. Not that I’m interested in getting back into that game — I’m happy living in a world of dice.
I suppose that most publishers — even indie ones — can’t imagine that there is a core of gamers seriously interested in a supplement filled with rules to govern their RPG relationships. And I have a sneaky hunch that there just might be enough of them that this book would actually sell decently.