Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Osric: perverted or pragmatic?

I brought in a new PC for the World of Alidor campaign, a barbarian/scout called Osric the Slayer Osric was inspired by Conan (of course), a lesser know Howard character named Black Vulmea, and King Osric, Max Von Sydow's character from the first Conan movie. The basic conceit is that my guy is Sydow's Osric before he usurped the throne, the same way the Conan stories tell of his days before he wore the crown of Aquilonia upon a trouble brow.

In our latest adventure the PCs befriended a band of centaurs who helped us fight a band of invaders from across the sea. As is normal for our DM, we were each handed a stat card for one of our allies. If we want the NPCs to help, we're responsible for running them. Unlike previous occasions these centaurs had no real personal info, so we were left to give them an identity if we so chose. I named my centaur Uthrekka the Amazon Centaur.

At one point during the adventure the PCs and our half-equine allies were camping out in a forest on a chilly night as autumn was setting in. The DM narrated something like "you huddle together for warmth". This left Osric with two options: share a blanket with one or more of the other dudes in the party or attempt to canoodle with a woman who is a horse below the waist. The DM didn't really express an opinion on Uthrekka's behalf, so I got to make the call. At the time the choice seemed obvious: when in a doubt a semi-babe is better than no babe at all.

It was never made clear how far things went with Uthrekka. My own boudaries leans towards being circumspect about such matters at the game table and no one else asked for the details of Osric's and Uthrekka's night together. Heck, I was so coy about the whole thing some of the other players may not have even realized anything unusual happened.

Whatever happened that night, the situation raises some interesting questions. What are the cultural and legal boundaries for inter-species coupling? We know that half-orcs were outcasts in most pre-3E settings, but nowadays those guys are pretty tame stuff in a world full of templated half-dragons and half-fiends and whatnot. Is sex with a dragon bestiality even though they can be fully consenting adults? Are half-fiends citizens with full legal rights or abominations to be put to the sword? These are the kind of questions that could come up in any D&D campaign, not just the World of Alidor.

Then there are the questions surrounding Osric and Uthrekka's particular situation that I need to answer at least to my own personal satisfaction. What happened that night? Could Uthrekka be pregnant from the encounter? Is a half-centaur a viable hybrid? Do they still have feelings for one another? Is one party in love and not the other? And if they did have sex, what won't this guy screw? My mind boggles at the cross-species couplings that present themselves by a simple flip-thru of the Monster Manual. Maybe the best answer for all concerned is that they cuddled to keep warm and leave it at that. Not the most titillating of all possibilities, but this is a D&D campaign, not Furry: The Yiffing.
Would your PC?