Hot Guys Making Out

October 3, 2011

I got to play Ben Lehman’s Hot Guys Making Out – the yaoi game of a nobleman and his ward falling in love and getting it on.

It’s a ton of fun, and, I think showcases how much more we can do with romance and roleplaying. Also! It may be the first queer focused roleplaying game that gets published (I’d love to hear if others exist!).

HGMO uses standard playing cards with the Jokers included. There’s a unique property about HGMO: you can never fail. The cards aren’t whether you succeed or not – they exist to limit what things you can DO in the scene and to pace the scene.

There’s 3 regular things you can do on your turn during play:

– Describe your character acting decisively and effectively
– Talking about your feelings, or inner monologue
– Describe the scene/environment

Thing is, the two principal characters are limited in these – the noble can’t talk about his feelings or emotional landscape without certain cards, and the ward can’t act effectively without certain cards – so you find yourself forced into situations in play where the tension exists solely because of this divide in ability and communication.

There’s also 3 special cases which do things as well:
– The ward can increase the emotional intimacy of the relationship by playing a Queen
– The noble can increase the physical intimacy of the relationship by playing a King
– Anyone can increase the Threat to the relationship by playing an Ace.

As you can see, the game enforces the Seme/Uke roles pretty hard core.

So, the cards serve as creative constraints, pacing devices, and stop you from simply solving situations. Also – there’s no character sheets, no stats, no hitpoints, and no character based resources – everything is based on fictional positioning/Story Capital per Emily Care Boss.

There’s no rules telling you how far to take any given description. Our game was pretty tame, though it involved a horse riding rescue and later applying healing salve to wounds along the back from the maid beating the ward. Ben noted other groups play super raunchy from the get go.

Anyway, this is a damn fun game and I recommend it highly. You can play in short rounds and it doesn’t take long and the rules are pretty easy to pick up.

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