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The Lovers' Handbook $3.95 $3.36
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Ryan G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/21/2019 16:36:01

I got it as part of the RAINN bundle and opened it up out of curiosity, to see if it was as ridiculous as other D&D "erotic" publishings. I was, however, completely surprised and impressed by the advice and discussions inside. It covers a vast array of considerations, ranging from the role sex/romance can have in a campaign, how you can best employ tropes, how you can organically foster these character connections, and how specific races would view things such as attraction. The writing is concise and frank when it can be, but explains both real world and D&D concepts in a very understandable way. There's a lot in here that honestly would be beneficial to a readers' real world interactions, especially along lines of respecting boundaries. It respectfully and intelligently covers many issues relevant to the bundle I purchased it in.

One of my players identifies as ace/demisexual, but she is playing a classic lusty bard. I was pleasantly surprised to see such things covered. There's so much valuable content condensed into this product, it makes me wonder about the author's background, as it wouldn't surprise me if they literally work in a field that interacts with these concepts.

The art could easily be considered hokey (intentionally so, imitating romance novel cover art), but don't let that dissuade you or make you think this isn't a seriously worthwhile product. I opened it with very low expectations, but now I feel pretty much any DM could benefit from reading through it, if not just people in general. It may leave you thinking more analytically about not just your campaign but the real world and other media, too.

tl;dr: This is surprisngly good and filled with very well-considered advice, informative even beyond the expected scope. Appropriately, this feels like a real labor of love and I recommend it, even to those who wouldn't normally think to buy it.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thank you so much for your incredibly flattering review!

If you were curious about my background, I think I speak a little on this in the free player companion, The Lovers' Guidebook. I'm personally demisexual myself, so I completely get where your bard is coming from! I also have a very good friend who's asexual, who still writes sexualized characters. I think to some extent, our distance from sexuality leads us to view it through a somewhat more analytic lens. I don't have to personally experience sexual attraction to postulate on what it would be like to be attracted to an elf or an orc, or have a ton of fun coming up with creative flirtations based on those attractions. While I don't work in a field that deals with romantic subjects, my husband studied psychology and I've always had an armchair fascination with psychology, so that also contributes to my tendency to research and analyze.

I've also been a roleplayer for roughly twenty years now, and I'll freely admit that most of that role-playing experience was not at a table with dice, but online in text-based RPGs that were strongly narrative driven. I've role-played romances for over half my life, and I even met my now-husband through one of these online RPGs, and he and I continue to roleplay with one another five or six days a week. I've dealt with the uncomfortable situations, the awkward private messages, and the extremely problematic characters and "romantic situations", and I wanted to write this supplement to help impart some of my own experiences and hopefully share some wisdom with other players who are facing these things for the first time. I'm so grateful to hear that you think my words will be valuable in that regard.
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The Lovers' Handbook
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