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Vas

Keeping Pregnant/New Parent Characters Involved and Interested

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Posted (edited)

So I'm in a dark/mature FC and most of us are essentially specialists and contract killers. It's a nice group of people and I enjoy it very much. 

 

We do have two members whose characters have gotten married and are now both expecting children.

 

In my experience RPing, I had always avoided having kids IC since it was always difficult for me to roleplay knowing that I would virtually always have a new very high priority in everything. For some people, getting married and having a family is a big achievement and I understand that! That being said, I think these characters in my FC do still want to RP, but just aren't seeing how when in theory they would need to be around their infant fairly constantly. Both of them seem fairly sparse now that their characters are well along. 

 

I'd be happy to throw situations at them to keep things interesting, but I'm just not sure how to really help them want to keep playing their characters. I'm also a little new to RP over video games with this many characters and don't know much about this topic. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas or experience in this that can help in making sure these players don't feel trapped by their decision. Thanks in advance!

 

Edit: Thanks for the responses! I should clarify, I am an officer of our FC and addressing the issue of two separate couples feeling stalled in their RP due to their pregnancies. All four of these members do still want to play, but are in a lull. Anything I would bring in to change things up and give them fresh content would of course be discussed with them OOC beforehand! I understand this is not my responsibility, but as long term members and friends I don't mind helping them brainstorm possible routes for their characters going forward. 

Edited by Vas

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As some whose character is now the father of twins I can see a part of the dilemma. Yet this is the sort of thing that really should be discussed between the players and their rp partners. When embarking on this sort of thing in RP communication with one's RP partner is an absolute must. One you have to understand what each person wants to still be able to do with their characters regardless of things happening in the character's personal life. The next step is to think of ways together on how to go about it. Some times one person doesn't really want the combat scenes and stuff so their character tends to handle a lot of the responsibilities that way while the other is off doing things such as Mercenary jobs and the like. Another way I've seen it is when both characters are in such a job position and both players want to commit to that they utilize NPCs, such as family members or hired nannies, to ICly care for the children when neither parent is able to be there. It's all about the two who are in this spot coming together and talking it through, expressing their character's view point and what their character wants. Hell this doesn't even have to be done OOCly as it makes a lot of sense for this sort of discussion to happen ICly as well. Either way that communication needs to be there so both people involved are happy with how things are playing out with their respective characters.

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Much like in real life, some places are just not appropriate for children. RP venues like bars, mercenary houses and your contract killer hideout probably qualifies.

It's not out of the realm of IC plausibility and does not OOCly make you a jerk for making them "No Baby Zones." It's also important to keep in mind they they chose this direction with their characters and it is not your responsibility to keep them supplied with RP tailored to their needs. I think the NPC caretaker suggestion is fabulous and would suit this couple quite nicely. That way Junior (who is likely also an NPC) is taken care of , they can keep playing the grimdark killer angle and you don't have to design events around them.

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Posted (edited)

I agree with what Teadrinker said in that this was their own decision and it's not your job to find a way to work around it. There's nothing wrong, of course, with offering them suggestions and trying to help. Some sort of NPC babysitter is a pretty simple solution and one I've seen employed by most people I know who RP characters with young children. If they don't like that alternative and want to have their characters there for their child full-time, they could always retire their characters and make some new alts who can get back into the action, or fully retire the family to their happy-ever-after and fantasia their characters into new ones. Or, perhaps they'll decide to take a break from the heavier RP and do some domestic, family-oriented RP in the meantime. Ultimately, they'll have to communicate and make that decision for themselves.

Edited by Faye

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Posted (edited)

I'm probably not someone who should be commenting on this but what the heck. I'm of the opinion that having kids means you should retire a character more often than not. The special cases are things like giving up the kid (they can be taken in by family members and seen often but are still given up), one parent being so wealthy they can hire nursemaids and caretakers and such, and of course one parent being an NPC that stays with the kid. It has just never been realistic to me to see excuses like a kid being with a family member almost every day or a person of modest income being able to pay someone full time to take care of their kid. But it's entirely possible this opinion is just too heavily rooted in my modern day expectations and is more feasible than I realize.

Edited by Mermaid

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They are players that happen to be pregnant, that is their choice. The RP is how they play their characters in situations with all the "baggage" they have added to them.

 

I would avoid doing anything specific to the char without direct permission as this is in the same  area as god modding. Clearly NPCs you control will have to take things into account, but PCs have their own players that will react as their players see fit.

 

The biggest challenges I have had RPing pregnancy is making it part of growth over a long period, it does not end with a birth or such. It is also more than just physical, there is the whole.. being a parent things that should be changing character's views on the world. Also holding to it and not pushing it aside when that becomes convenient.

 

So from responding to those who are RPing pregnant I would push the wider areas that are nice evolving aspects and ignore any of the physical based pregnancy-drama.

 

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There's a non-negligible amount of people who roleplay pregnancies and children without actually wanting to, you know, roleplay pregnancies or children. Parenting is a full time job and in my experience, most folks trying to throw a rugrat into the mix are just doing it for flavor or attention. Warren's met a lot of new parents who adore their tyke for a week or five and then the kid is an afterthought.

 

As far as what you can do? Involve it as much as the players do. If there's a magical absence of supervision because your players don't want to have the burden of actually thinking out their actions and the consequences? Fly with it, just pretend the kid doesn't exist. On the other hand, contract killers would have a reputation, and if there's a plot available for, say, kidnapping said babu? That's a lot of character growth and a rewarding experience once all is said and done.

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As been said time and time again, it's a VERY exhausting process. I hope that both players know the following actions, social obligations (no bringing your baby to a murder hall), and consequences of agreeing for their characters to become pregnant. I've done it for one character in World of Warcraft long ago and learned a few things from some mothers who actually had advice for translating such a thing into a kind of fictional narrative. Ultimately, it's up to your players to decide what they want to do with this. There's a lot of room for potential character development and growth here. Onwards to help.

 

I had 2 characters (Yvonne Vulioux and the first iteration of Towering Peach) who both had children. They were NPCs and had various ways of interaction and RP alongside the duties they had and being a parent. For Yvonne, she had a situation that was much closer in nature to your RPers. She needed money, did odd jobs and darker aspects of RP. What I did was have her say she would hire a nanny (NPC) for her daughter while out on these events. When in a place where she could take her daughter, Yvonne would do so. Interaction with and without the daughter character changed her dramatically. When the daughter was at home, she was much more colorful with her language, cruel, and impatient. When her daughter was near, she became a completely different person. She minded her tongue and never cursed, became cheerful and trying to push her daughter to learn from the world around them and more patient. Yvonne had a child and kept her routine darker nature to her, but would have moments where her motherly side showed through, like being troubled by the sound of people crying as it reminded her too much of the child, and do whatever she could to make it stop.

 

Towering Peach took a slightly different approach. She was an old roe who came across an unlucky orphan and more or less just offered to take her in for a while until she could be handed over to a good home. They ended up bonding close enough that she outright adopted the child and would be there whenever she could. Even without the child around, she would always mention her to everything she met. They might have not been related by blood, but Peach loved her child with all of her old heart. When I eventually retired her character for a young version, I had the old Hellsguard retire from her job and move closer to Limsa where she could devote most of her time to the kid.

 

These two examples are the most common in stories, and for good reason. They're easy to relate to, even if we haven't known what it's like for a person to feel like if they're on the other end of the spectrum. The important thing to do this RESEARCH.

 

No seriously, tell the players to do research on this if they haven't already. Look up things until their eyes melt and then do it more. Most people just jump headfirst into a character idea without the proper research and soon run into walls that they don't know how to overcome. Pregnancy is one hell of an experience for women, and no two are the same. Have them look up the effects, what it does to the body, how it changes them as a person, all the juicy parts. Their character could just be scared at the thought of giving birth while working in this dark environment, do something hasty and that they don't think all the way through. There's a lot of angles you can take with this, but it depends on if they want to stick with it for the full run. If they intend on dropping the child entirely, it's probably best for them to reconsider.

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Being pregnant and having children doesn't mean being excluded from RP.  In fact, these can be good sparks for RP!

 

Just look at history, plenty of women have continued to do crazy things well into their pregnancy. That doesn't mean they should, but it's happened. Of course, in a world like Eorzea, a pregnant woman runs huge risk of losing the child if she goes adventuring into a dungeon or such. One could RP being a woman who has to be told when it's time to stop for the good of the child (whether the woman listens is another matter).

 

Also, there's no reason why a pregnant couple can't still spend time with friends. They can still go to taverns, guild halls, events, etc. Oh sure, some places may be 'a little rough', but why should that stop them from going? You think everyone just suddenly stops doing what they like just because there's a bun in the oven?

 

And once the child or children are born, again, that doesn't mean their social lives are over! They can still go place, still go on adventures. Sometimes they may need a babysitter (whether an NPC, or RP'd out), but other times they can bring the kids along. You can have feeding time, changing diapers, crying, tantrums, people getting all cutsey... all sorts of RP when the kids are around.

 

Instead of thinking how pregnancy limits a character, think of the opportunities for RP! Think of how it can be incorporated, not only in their lives, but in the lives of those around them.

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Have them play neglectful parents.

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Posted (edited)

All those hours where you aren't logged in the game? They are taking care of those NPC burdens and the time you spend RPing is after they got it all sorted and tucked them to sleep. Problem solved.

Edited by Koro Dotharl

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