Last Reavers game session, I suddenly found myself playing a new RPG of pregnancy and pirates, we’ll call it “P&P” for the time being… This is the kind of pickle you find yourself in as a GM when sex is a component of your gameplay.
As background, this Viking barbarian/serpent shaman druid PC named “Serpent” has become involved with a half elf wizard woman named Samaritha (an NPC). Or at first he thought she was a half elf, turns out she’s a serpentfolk in disguise (they can alter their form). As he is all snake themed anyway, this turned out to not be a dealbreaker and so they’re an item.
Anyway, it started innocuously enough – Serpent was just BSing with the other PCs as they were buying supplies about how “Samaritha talks all the time.” Another PC suggested getting her pregnant, and the rest all jumped onto that discussion mainly just to make Serpent uncomfortable (though oddly, they all took the assumption that a pregnant woman would talk less at face value… I’m the only one of the group with a kid so I had to restrain myself from pointing out the flaw in this cunning plan…). They then talked about it again later at a bar, while at the same time asking around trying to gather information on a female pirate they are chasing, which led to the novel rumor that the fled pirate is pregnant with Serpent’s love child and he’s tracking her down to make an honest woman of her. So I thought it was a joke and they were all just busting his balls about it.
But the idea took root with frightening swiftness. Given that he’s a human and she’s a serpentfolk it would seem to be a somewhat intractable problem but the other PCs were seriously going to look into fertility potions/magic and the like to help their buddy out! (This is all before Samaritha is consulted on this plan of course).
And next session, Serpent totally sat Samaritha down and had a “let’s have a baby” conversation with her. She reveals that serpentfolk aren’t able to reproduce any more, that’s a big problem with their race. They had found a serpentfolk egg in stasis back in a previous adventure (taken from the Green Ronin Freeport trilogy by the way) – I had been downplaying that, and she’d stashed it, but now they discussed raising it as a backup plan – but I was surprised how invested everyone was with really making a pregnancy happen. And it got even a little more complicated because all serpentfolk born after a long, long time ago are degenerate barbarian types and they thought about doing some divination to figure out how the baby might turn out, that is if they could even conceive in the first place… The rest of the PCs had long left the joke part of this around and were quite engaged in this whole discussion and wondering how to make it happen.
I’ve never had having a kid come up in a campaign before so I guess I’m looking for advice… Though there’s a lot of different layers here. How could it happen with a serpentfolk and a human, just technically? How’s pregnancy at sea on a pirate ship going to work (and I guess it’s not like a full pregnancy, but semi and then she’ll lay an egg or something)? The odds are all against it but PCs have a way of making “things that haven’t happened in millenia” happen… I do keep a half decent edge to my game world where the difficulty and brutality of medieval life is present… Will I get on a government watch list for Googling “serpentfolk reproduction?” I don’t know, thoughts?
I am gratified, though, by the work I’ve put into the NPCs and the realistic feel of the campaign, and the investment of the PCs in the game world and their own characters, that this would even come up. For them to see Samaritha not just as a faceless NPC or “arm candy” is great, and to be immersed in the world enough to care about things other than “killing things and taking their stuff” – well that’s what roleplaying is supposed to strive for in my opinion.