HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT PROFANITY IN RPG MAKER GAMES?

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UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
7380
Just got the idea for this topic after checking out random screenshots today and making a sort of :\ face at some of the lines of dialogue containing profanity. Basically, how do you guys feel about profanity both as a game maker and a game player?

People have said in the past that they don't mind profanity if it's done tastefully, but just what is tasteful profanity? I feel like tasteful and profanity are two words that extremely contradict one another!

I've always shunned myself from writing profanity in my games after I reached a certain level of experience with RPG Maker. In my younger years, there would often be a fuck here or a bitch there, but these days? Damn and hell are pretty much as profane as my characters will get. A lot of times, I feel like you just have to sit back and ask yourself, "does my character need to say fuck/shit here? Even if they're a form of degenerate/tough guy/etc?"

It often just feels really unnecessary, and I'm likely to take points off a game if it contains more swearing than I fancy simply because I find that it more often than not feels completely out of place in RPG Maker games. It just often comes across as being very hokey most of the time, especially since I get an "I curse just because I'm a bad ass" vibe from many characters who swear. I don't know, it just makes dialogue feel more... crude? Meanwhile, if you don't use profanity, you get to be more creative with your character's language. You can make up expressions that fit your own self created world that can define a character's displeasure more than a "FUCK YOU" or something.

How do you guys feel about it? Is there an amount of profanity in RPG Maker games that you consider to be an acceptable level? Do you like using it or not? What words do you guys like to use instead if you're averse to using profanity in your games?
I used a fair amount of profanity in my last game. To be fair, it was set both in the modern day and in a building on fire, so it seemed natural. Some people don't like it and argue it rarely adds but it adds punch and who swears and who doesn't can say something about your characters.

It's generally easy to find an alternative to swearing, though, I'll admit.
I think I've outgrown the "I'm too mature to swear" phase.
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
7380
Who said anything about being too mature to swear? It's all about the context in which it's often used in RPG Maker games (spoiler: badly).
As a 31 year old I swear like a sailor - not because it's 'cool' but because it's who I am. I swear. A lot. And people who don't like that can either ignore it or go fuck themselves twice. (Except Mum. Love you Mum~<3)

The thing is, in your game you aren't the character. It should be used when the character in question needs to express themselves, not when you need to. A priestess isn't likely to swear often (if at all) and if she did, it would most likely be soft swearing - damn, hell and the like. Compare that to a soldier in the midst of a war, with bodies dropping like flies. They'll swear like it's going out of fashion (most of the time) because who can be bothered to watch their tongue when the next breath might be their last? Also, they need a way to vent their frustration at being in the position they're in.

So, don't ask if you should use swearing. Instead ask if your character does and in what situations. (I mean, it's perfectly plausible to have a teenage character who grew up around soldiers swearing like the dickens. It'd be a main part of their experience growing up - but only in the standards that they live in. For example, around their mother figure they'd be more likely to hold their tongue, and if they're trying to impress a princess or be seen in a good light by others. However, get them in a high-stress situation and they might not hold back.)

Another thing to think about is how the language is used. If you're using it for shock factor - that is, to show your character being OOC in certain situations - , having it dropped all the time won't convey that well. Showing a contrast in how a street urchin acts around someone they're trying to get into the good books of/they respect or fear, having them swear often and then pull the polite act works wonders.

Lastly, keep in mind what kind of society your characters live in. Is it normal for certain groups to curse? Do they have their own cursing (swearing on a certain deity or in a certain language)? Are there certain words that are harsher than others or taboo in polite society? What about gestures or expressions and phrases?

For me, if it makes sense that the character will swear, I won't edit it out, and players that complain can go fuck themselves (unless they have a point in which case they can unfuck themselves). As long as it makes sense in the context of the game and society and character, I'll use it.
Before you can answer this, you really have to think about the context of this whole thing.

The question is not so much 'profanity in RPG Maker games', but 'profanity in the context/setting of the average RPG'. Many RPGs have and do take place in a fantasy medieval setting, and while yeah, there were curses that we associate with that setting, most of them were limited to 'hell' or 'damn' and whatnot. After that, it gets murky, 'shit' is used, although pretty sparingly, 'bitch' is either also pretty rare (or its used as its literal meaning), and 'fuck', being percieved as a linguistically 'modern' word, is very rarely associated at all with a medieval setting.

Now, with different games and different settings, this is a moot point; the Fallout series, taking place in a post apocalyptic, violent, ravaged future, would be really weird if there wasn't profanity. Same goes for say, the Grand Theft Auto series (protip: criminals curse a lot in real life also). It's realistic for those settings. But many RPGs take place in the fantasy-medieval setting, and by extension, so do many RPG Maker games. Is it concrete that those settings don't lend well to cursing? Probably not, but it would definitely be a mold to break, and one to be approached with creativity and caution.
Medieval Swearwords:
Sard – before the word fuck existed (it started to be used by the 15th century), sard was the word people in medieval England used to describe having sex.

Cunt – Mohr notes that during the Middle Ages, this was the word typically used to describe a woman’s vagina, even appearing in medical texts. If you were in town looking for a prostitute, you might get directed to Gropecuntelane.

Churl, dog, bastard, villein, scullion, bloody, whore, slattern, prick, arsehole, whoreson, lackwit, strumpet, tosspot, drunkard...
And more!
A
Artless

B
Base Court: lower, lowest
Bastard: scoundrel
Bawdy: vulgar
Bootless: uncessful
Bootlicker
Brain Boiled
Bricon: fool, blackguard, poltroon
Bride of a Troll

C
Churl/Churlis: low-born, crude
Colverd/Culvert: villainous
Cox Comb: conceited
Craven: cowardly
Cuiver Maleis: accursed, wicked
Cur/Whelp: worst of the litter
Currish: hostile

D

D'anvie/Fis a Putain: liar, trickster
De put aire: unclean, foul looking
Dolt
Dull/Dim witted
Dunce
A dogs butt in your face

E
Esceor: debauched person, lecher

F
Faus Lesengier: traitor
Fel/Felon: treacherous
Fils de bas: bastard
Fils Puitan: son of a prostitute
Fool-born: dim witted

G
Glos: greedy
Glos Pautonnier: gluttonous evildoer
Goatish: lecher
Glus: glutton
You goat dung
You pig filth

H
Hag: a wich, ugly woman
Halfwit: baffon
Hedge-born: low, lowly
Horeson: one whose mother is a prostitue, low birth rank

I
Idiot: fool
Ill-bred: not of good stock
Ill-nutured: harnful, unkind

L
Le Lingnage desloial et felon: born from an unfaithful and wicked lineage
Lichieres Pautonnier: wicked, evil doer
Losangier: deciever, flatterer, rogue
Lousy: dirty, louse
Lumpish: unintelligent

M
Maggot Pie
Merdaille: scumy people
Milk Livered
Miscreant: wrong doer, villain, criminal

O
Orguillus: haughty

P
Paltonier: lying rascal, rogue, scoundrel
Paynim: crude
Plume Plucked: shamed, dishonored
Puterelle: whore
Put: dirty, ugly vile

Q
Quailing: fearful

R
Reeky: unpleasant smelling
Roguish: dishonest
Rough Hewn: unrefined
Rump-fed: grown from the back end
Ruttish: boring

S
Sarasyn/Saracen/Muslim: worshipping the devil
Saucy: impertenent
Scold: aggressive witch
Scut
Shrew: aggressive
Spurgalled: bile, venemous
Surly: ill-tempered

T
Termagent: loud, quarrelsome
Tricheor: deciever, trickster

V
Varlet: rascal
Vex: exasperate
Vilain: low status person
Villein/Villain: low status servant or slave

W
Wayward: unperdicatble
Wench: harlot, slut
Whey-Faced
Witch: uses black magic, ugly
Wretch/Wrecca: exiled or criminal


And even more~

MEDIEVAL INSULTS

You can three words, preferably prefaced with “Thou” or “You”. Kudos to cool combinations!


Artless
Bawdy
Beslubbering
Bootless
Churlish
Cockered
Clouted
Craven
Currish
Dankish
Dissembling
Droning
Errant
Fawning
Fobbing
Froward
Frothy
Gleeking
Goatish
Gorbellied
Impertinent
Infectious
Jarring
Loggerheaded
Lumpish
Mammering
Mangled
Mewling
Paunchy
Pribbling
Puking
Puny
Quailing
Rank
Reeky
Roguish
Ruttish
Saucy
Spleeny
Spongy
Surly
Tottering
Unmuzzled
Vain
Venomed
Villainous
Warped
Wayward
Weedy
Yeasty
base-court
bat-fowling
beef-witted
beetle-headed
boil-brained
clapper-clawed
clay-brained
common-kissing
crook-pated
dismal-dreaming
dizzy-eyed
dog-hearted
dread-bolted
earth-vexing
elf-skinned
fat-kidneyed
fen-sucked
flap-mouthed
fly-bitten
folly-fallen
fool-born
full-gorged
guts-griping
half-faced
hasty-witted
hedge-born
hell-hated
Ill-headed
Ill-breeding
Ill-nurtured
knotty-pated
milk-livered
motley-minded
onion-eyed
plume-plucked
pottle-deep
pox-marked
reeling-ripe
rough-hewn
rude-growing
rump-fed
shard-borne
sheep-biting
spur-galled
swag-bellied
tardy-gaited
tickle-brained
toad-spotted
urchin-snouted
weather-bitten
apple-john
baggage
barnacle
bladder
boar-pig
bugbear
bum-bailey
canker-blossom
clack-dish
clotpole
coxcomb
codpiece
death-token
dewberry
flap-dragon
flax-wench
flirt-gill
foot-licker
fustilarian
giglet
gudgeon
haggard
harpy
hedge-pig
horn-beast
hugger-mugger
jolthead
lewdster
lout
maggot-pie
malt-worm
mammet
measle
minnow
miscreant
moldwarp
mumble-news
nut-hook
pigeon-egg
pignut
puttock
pumpion
ratsbane
scut
skainsmate
strumpet
varlet
vassal
whey-face
wagtail


There, you should have more than enough words for your typical Medieval-based RPG. Enjoy and spread the swears~<3
When I see a game like this I cringe (fill in the dots for yourself):

"You're just a F...ing b..ch and I f...ing hate, you f...ng c..t."
"Oh, just shut the f... up. I'm tired of hearing your f...ng mouth."
"No, you shut the f... up. F... this, I'm going for a f...ng drink."

And then people who write this try to justify it that it's for realism sake. No, people don't talk like that in real life, at least most people. They'd talk more like:

"You're just being a F... b..ch."
"Shut the f... up, I'm tired of hearing you speak."
"Whatever, f... this, I'm going for a drink."

So for me, it's not so much about it's use, as much as how it's used. I'd prefer a game without it if it can't be done right.
I don't mind profanity in games, but it often feels tacky in RM games. Little pixel people cursing is just funny in a bad way. If the writer manages to establish a "voice" to a character that curses, then it might work fine.
author=Mobh
I don't mind profanity in games, but it often feels tacky in RM games. Little pixel people cursing is just funny in a bad way. If the writer manages to establish a "voice" to a character that curses, then it might work fine.


Hehe, I think I kinda can agree to that... ^^
NeverSilent
Got any Dexreth amulets?
6133
It's true that the use of language can convey a lot about the personality of game characters, and swearing is one possible way of showing how they think. You all explained this well.
However, there's another aspect to this question: The player's viewpoint. The reason we even bother to talk about this is because profanity is what it is, and some/many people can feel offended by it. Now, I won't pretend I never use coarse language or something. But a noticeable "swearing is cool" attitude in a game can annoy players, especially if it seems overused. It is perfectly possible to create a game (even in a modern setting) where no swear words are used, and it won't necessarily be awkward. After all, when we write the lines for characters, we're not going for naturalistic or hyper-realistic dialogue. In reality, people make mistakes or utter incomplete sentences. In games these things are usually omitted, because it would be disturbing for the player. The same goes for profanity: If there is no good (in-game) reason to use it, then why use it?
What I'm trying to say is that profanity, when used at the right moment, can be of great effect for immersion, but if it's overused or used in a tasteless way, it can potentially cost you players.
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
7380
author=Mobh
I don't mind profanity in games, but it often feels tacky in RM games. Little pixel people cursing is just funny in a bad way. If the writer manages to establish a "voice" to a character that curses, then it might work fine.


Totally. The thing is that a lot of us here aren't professional writers, not even close. We're just hobbyists hoping that what we pump out is enjoyed by the masses as much as it is by us, the authors. Because of this, I think that a lot of us sometimes have trouble grasping when it is a good opportunity for a character to swear, and when it is not a good opportunity. When it's done at an inappropriate moment, or done in a manner that just feels excessive or a bit out of place, it just ends up feeling... I dunno, kinda hokey?

The examples amerk are ones I've actually seen in some games I've played and, while it didn't make me dislike the games (that would be silly), it did ruin the specific scenes for me and really hurt the immersion that the game had built up with me for these particular moments.
It depends. Art is art, but accuracy to real speech is different from storytelling.

It's about the feelings the developer would like to evoke in a player. Let's say there's a whole game where no one says so much as a "damn". Then, the final boss, someone close to the player, is suddenly throwing every expletive out there, right before the end. It would have a different meaning than just accuracy-to-speech.
Problem is only when I want to show it to others.

It's like with watching Game of Thrones, it's so epic you want to show it your whole family, but then you think of all the blood and sex scenes and are like "Better not watch it together".
The same way I feel about profanity in other art forms: if it is used sparingly and appropriately, it can be effective. If it's overly profane for no reason, that's just lazy writing.

Anybody ever play any of those terrible Final Fantasy romhacks that didn't edit much except having Kefka say 'fuck you bitch', etc.? Yeah. Or the sister on Dexter--I always had to roll my eyes whenever she opened her mouth.

author=Liberty
A priestess isn't likely to swear often (if at all) and if she did, it would most likely be soft swearing - damn, hell and the like.

I would *love* to see a game with a foul-mouthed axe-swingin' hard-drinkin' priestess.
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
7380
author=nurvuss
Or the sister on Dexter--I always had to roll my eyes whenever she opened her mouth.


Ugh. Jennifer Carpenter is a talented actress, and I cringed whenever she had to throw out another barrage of expletives. The character could hardly go two sentences without cursing, it really was overkill. A lot of people I know couldn't stand her character simply because she swore so much, and it often didn't even fit the tone of the scene.
The line about Arche kinda tickled me to be honest--if I recall, that's the only bit of inappropriate profanity in that translation (correct me if I'm wrong, it's been over a decade since I played that version). If the characters continued speaking like that, I would've been annoyed and probably would've stopped playing. Moderation is key!
author=UPRC
People have said in the past that they don't mind profanity if it's done tastefully, but just what is tasteful profanity? I feel like tasteful and profanity are two words that extremely contradict one another!



I think that "tasteful profanity" is profanity that accurately reflects and gives a faithful impression of how people really interact with each other and the situations they find themselves in, rather than being inserted with the intention to seem "mature" or "edgy." I don't think that there's anything inherently distasteful in the words themselves.

author=UPRC
\ You can make up expressions that fit your own self created world that can define a character's displeasure more than a "FUCK YOU" or something.


I use this sometimes, if I'm working with a game where modern swearing feels out of place in the constructed setting (you'll see a bit of this in Dragon Fantasy: REMADE when it comes out, for instance,) but I think this sort of thing is much more likely to come off as hokey and affected than ordinary cursing is. There are some authors who're well known for their ability to come up with interesting, novel language, usually sci fi authors exploring unfamiliar societies and such. The overwhelming majority of writers are not known for this, and for good reason. It's much easier to do badly, and most authors who attempt it end up embarrassing rather than distinguishing themselves.

My recommendation is that authors be neither afraid nor eager to use swearing in dialogue. It's just another way that people talk. If you're planning to show off how mature you are by using it, chances are you're not ready to do it well. But if the most natural and realistic way for your characters to talk in a given situation includes profanity, then trying to find a way around that is likely to sound silly.
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