Celibate Hero
rating: 0+x

White hands cling to the tightened rein,
Slipping the spur from the booted heel,
Tenderest voices cry, "Turn again,"
Red lips tarnish the scabbarded steel,
High hopes faint on a warm hearth-stone
He travels the fastest who travels alone.

(from) L'Envoi to The Story of the Gadsbys Rudyard Kipling

Basic Information

Some heroes just aren't into romance. It could be because he feels that love would be a distraction from his duties. It could be because he's afraid his dangerous lifestyle will put any loved ones in danger1. Maybe he had a bad experience with love in the past and he's sworn off women. Maybe he has religious reasons. Or he's gay, although the true celibate will avoid sex of any type.

It could be a sign that he is pure; it could be a sign that he is dedicated; it could be a sign that he has a stick up his butt and needs to loosen up. No matter what the reason, the Rule of Comedy will mean that women will throw themselves at him.

It may also be the result of all of the succubi, glammered hags, fae and other sex crazed monsters out there…

In many fRPGs it may simply be that his player has created a min-maxed murderhobo that exists solely to kill things.

It isn't easy being the Celibate Hero.

See also the chaste hero - a very similar trope which can be hard to separate from this one.


Game and Story Use

  • Paladins are traditionally assumed to be Celibate Heroes
    • Although this can be eminently subvertable - Jim Butcher's character Michael Carpenter is often cited as an excellent example of how to play a Paladin and is married with seven children.
    • Typically western fantasy has a hazy image of the paladin being something like one of the Western Martial Orders (Templars, Hospitalers, Teutonic Order, Knights of St James) … who were essentially monks and therefore sworn to poverty, chastity and obedience under a version of the Rule of Benedict. These monastic orders are rarely, if ever, implemented in game.
    • Galahad, of the Round Table, is another ur-example.
  • Depending on the campaign, romance might not necessarily come… uh… up. But if it does, having one of the characters be Celibate can be a source of character tension and fun.
  • A more meta reason may be that the hero used Charisma as a dump stat, has no social skills and spends all of his time down a dungeon killing things. He may be ridiculously wealthy but spends it all on magical weapons and armour (or on feeding those mysterious gold-fuelled spells) and so isn't getting any that way either.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License