What is love? Not wanting to be alone, to have a counterpart in life; be it a satin sheathed concubine, a partner equal in every way, or even a masterful, protective lover. Denied, this emotion turns to desperation for attention, left in the dark it withers into bitterness and hate. It is a powerful, core emotion that cannot, and will not be denied.
While this may be more intense than the avenue of the average game, the lowly love potion, the focus of many a movie (Love Potion #9) and story is noticably abscent from the gaming milieu. Of course, a large amount of this can be written away for the fact that most view the love potion as a female fancy and most games are written to a largely male, largely single, largely adolescent/post adolescent audience.
The Citadel has quite a few husbands and fathers among it’s ranks, no strangers to the wiles of love. (If there are any wives and mothers, I cant think of them off the top of my head, apologies) I think there is a sufficient level of maturity for such an article here, if not in the pages of Polyhedron, or Dragon, or whatever D&D mag is called.
I would break this down into three main avenues of interest.
1. Love, looking for that special someone. This would be the realm of divination magics, or joint conjuration, possibly even ressurection of lost loves. The modern analog being the match site, or dating company.
2. Lust, or the booty call. sometimes a prostitute isnt quite right, or inconvenient. Or perhaps it is a way to create a summon prostitute spell, or a spell-like item to convey a would be john to the brothel, outside of illegal grounds. Potions that foster love would fall into this area, as would most charisma enhancing items.
3. Showing Off - bigger is better, for the ladies and for the fellows. The list of false potions, oils, and magical devices should be a scoll in it’s own. Spam is full of this sort of offer.
Additional Ideas (3)
The standard love potion must be consumed by the person who is to fall in love with the next person he or she sees. In stories much hilarity and embarassment ensue as the lover-to-be lays eyes on the wrong person.
This sort of potion would certainly be illegal since it is tantamount to a permanent or semi-permanent life-rape drug. Marriage vows would be destroyed by a single dose, free will is subverted to the command of an unknwon substance. While oftentimes the Cauchemar may mean well, the end result is someone being forced to another's will, regardless of their own. Is this not one of the core themes of evil?
Voyeur, peeping tom, pervert. The usage of the term Cauchemar is just as derogatory. A Cauchemar is a person, generally a male who uses love potions, or charisma enhancing magics/spells to seduce women to his own ends.
The Cauchemar is a taker, and generally is bound up in his ability to have any woman he desires. The most famous have been the villians of epics, where they attempt to seduce a noblewoman but are thwarted by the noble knight/hero.
Political ties have been formed, alliances forged and all that has to happen is for the young ones to marry to seal the deal. Unfortunately one or both are unwilling, having found love elsewhere (with an adventurer perhaps?) and extraordinary measures must be taken. Just before the marriage a servant enters their private room carrying decanters of wine (love potions) for both.
Twist #1: The vain female (or male or both) looks in the mirror as she sips the wine.
Twist #2: The servant sips from one cup before entering the room (for hilarious sequences)
Twist #3: The female/male sips from the cup and looks at the servant before he exits