You know how to fight monsters and hunt for treasure, but romance in D&D is a whole different adventure. If you aren’t sure how to approach flirting in D&D, it can feel silly and downright uncomfortable. On the other hand, a D&D romance between PCs (player characters) or with an NPC (non-player character) can add depth and fun to your group’s game.
So let’s talk about DnD flirting! Matt from Improv and D&D has provided this article with helpful tips for how to be respectful and have fun while flirting in character. You can check out the video here if you’d rather watch, or keep reading for the full guide!
Hey y’all! I’m Matt, and today we’re gonna talk about flirting in D&D! Namely, how to do it properly to avoid making your fellow players and DM uncomfortable—and of course, how to have fun!
D&D Flirting and Group Dynamics
First, please be aware of your table dynamics. It might make sense for your character to flirt with an NPC or with another character, but recognize (and respect) what the DM or player is comfortable with.
If you’re in a campaign and you’ve got an idea for a romance, then you can talk with the table about it. See where everyone’s at, including those players who aren’t involved in the flirting. And of course make sure that whomever you’d like to flirt with is going to be cool roleplaying that with you.
If someone isn’t comfortable with it, don’t take it personally! It’s not a reflection on you. There are many reasons somebody might not want to play out a D&D romance. For example, typically a group consists of a bunch of friends, and it can be hard to “flirt” with your best friend at the table (even if you’re not technically being yourselves). Things can get even hairier if one player is in a real relationship with someone else at the table.
This is why the best first step is getting the okay from everyone at the table (perhaps during session 0) and agreeing together that it’s just a scene in a game.
Share Your Ideas
Sharing your character ideas and plans with the group can make it easier for others to play along with flirting in DnD.
For example, if you want to play a character that flirts a lot and constantly gets rejected, then tell everyone! They can feel comfortable kicking your character to the curb because it’s an element of the character that you want! Everyone can be in on the fun of building great character moments together.
The same thing is possible if you want your character to have a full romance or a rocky relationship or any other dynamic with an NPC or player character. The more your group understands your character goals (and agrees to play along), the more fun everyone will have.
Don’t Mix D&D Romance with Real Romance
Next, recognize that flirting in the game is NOT a way for you to make a move on another player at the table. If you have feelings for a fellow player or DM, you should avoid trying to play them out with your character. Those situations can get confusing and personal very quickly. If a character reciprocates, then it can give false hope. Or if a character rejects your character, then you might feel hurt for real.
If you find yourself juggling real-world feelings inside the game, consider talking to that player outside of the game to clear the air and set appropriate boundaries (talking it out is a good rule of thumb for ANY conflict at the table).
Consent is Key
Perhaps the most important thing to remember with romance in D&D is this: consent is key, and it can be taken away at any point. This is true for everyone at the table, whether they’re directly involved in the flirting or not. Always pay attention to your group: listen to what the characters are saying, what the characters are doing, AND what the players are saying and doing. This is the foundation for being a good fellow player.
If anyone at the table becomes uncomfortable at any time, you can “fade to black,” steer the scene in a different direction, or even retcon to change what happened in the story—whatever you need to do to jump back to having fun. DnD flirting has the potential to become uncomfortable very quickly, so pay close attention to how the group feels at all times.
I think of any flirtation, whether it be on stage or at the table, as being like a negotiation. If you’re the initiator, you’re the person presenting the proposal to the group. The character being flirted with decides whether or not to accept your proposal. Everyone else at the table can also provide input through direct action, a reaction, or body language. Stay in tune with all of this so you don’t cross those lines or miss any great ideas!
Everything your character says or does is an “offer.” Pay close attention to the other character’s reaction (their “counteroffer”) and react accordingly. Listen carefully to what they say next in the back-and-forth to understand if this character is accepting or rejecting your “offer.” This is the basis of any good roleplaying, but especially DnD flirting.
Beyond the words, you also need to take in the other elements surrounding those words, like facial expressions and body language. If someone is saying something that seems positive but their body language is closed off (i.e. turning or looking away, folding arms, etc.), that could be a signal that your “offer” was rejected.
Try to understand why they reacted that way. Is it because you didn’t listen to what they just barely said, and you pushed forward with what you wanted to say? Is it because you said something that may have offended them? Or are they playing their character and signaling to you, as a player, that they want the scene to go in a certain direction?
If you aren’t sure how to read their reaction, it’s always okay to take a break and check in. You can even ask them straight up what their character wants and where they’d like the exchange to go. Once everyone is ready, you can jump back into the scene.
At first, DnD flirting and romance might feel a little awkward or silly. But if you play it right by talking with your group beforehand, identifying the reason behind your character’s flirting, checking in with everyone during the scene, and listening carefully to your scene partner, then you can make some incredible stories. Just remember to be respectful and, most of all, have fun!