With the gameplay mechanics and in-game effects of player marriage finally being tweaked and refined, marriage so far has had its content barrier end with the ceremony’s finale for player marriages and the actual act of union as well as possible related cards for nonplayer marriages. Would you agree that children could be the next possible step in terms of relationship-related story? There would be initial issues with this, considering the varying possibilities for a partner and one’s ability to have children in the differing relationships of the Neath. Many players do not have a set sex as far as the story is concerned and players with a non-human lover may not even be able to reproduce considering we aren’t sure if Snuffers and Rubbery Men can bare hybrids with humans (what would come of that? living human candles and lovecraftian humanoids?). Failbetter could simply avoid this issue by going along the lines of what Skyrim did by having adoption as the only option for offspring as to avoid the issue of cross-species relationships with the inability for hybrids and to not exclude relationships other than male-female relationships from having an entirely separate option to have kiddies. Having solely one option as adoption would certainly make things easier for the team to develop the content and to include all players equally. On the other hand, considering that the current system doesn’t exactly determine players as a set sex, a system similar to Sunless Sea’s scion mechanic could be put into place where the method of receiving the child is to the choice of the player, not to mention that such restrictions are a real-life factor for many LGBT couples and would only be considered mechanic-wise should the player choose so. Players with inhuman lovers could even be rewarded with new lore by learning if such hybrids could exist via either having a not-so-human offspring or being required to adopt. Adoption could even be a viable option for those who wish to become a parent but wish to avoid the bonds of marriage or have simply not yet had the chance to enter them.
As to go about how such a thing would be done is another question entirely. Should such a thing be a process like how playerXplayer marriages are or would an instantaneous choice with an immediate result be more appropriate? I feel as though requiring a lengthy process would be the more enjoyable option for extra lore and the feeling of accomplishing a new experience in the game, as well as having including in the potential humor of gaining nightmares from dealing with food cravings or from the legal hell that is the adoption process. Don’t even pretend that Failbetter couldn’t strike a comedy goldmine with that material, they most certain could and definitely would given the chance. How to track such a progress or to properly judge what the costs for it should be are uncertain to me, but I’m sure people far intelligent and experienced than myself could certainly fill in these blanks. Also, just a suggestion, but perhaps an option could be available for those who which to remain without an heir. Perhaps they could choose an option to receive an item or quality such as "Absence of an Heir 1" or something similar to that effect. That way, players that would not or couldn’t have one with their preferred means would still have something to gain from the new content.
Where this would lead to is uncertain. This could possibly be the end for such content, or perhaps a card would be opened to spend time with the family and bond as such, providing a new source of content and story for roleplayers and items, connection gains, and quality increases/decreases for those with more practical goals and ends in mind.
I’d like to hear what you all think of this and what you believe would be best to implement in such new content as well as how the subject should be approached and what would be best appropriate.