Marriage Encounter is a retreat-like weekend enrichment program for married couples. It is offered under many faith expressions, including Roman Catholic, Jewish, Lutheran, and others. All the expressions use a common outline, but each emphasizes their particular faith.

It is an experience designed to give married couples the opportunity to learn a communication technique that they can use in their daily lives. The emphasis of the Marriage Encounter weekend is on the communication between husbands and wives. The weekend provides a conducive environment for couples to spend time together, away from the distractions and tensions of everyday life, while encouraging them to focus on each other and their relationship. It's not a retreat, marriage clinic, group sensitivity, or a substitute for counseling. It's a unique approach aimed at revitalizing Marriage.

Section from The Real Life RPG

It happens to every person at some point... well most every that live long enough and haven't taken a vow of chastity for one reason or another (religious reasons, or a steel clad pair of briefs that has a lock and a lost key).

The marriage encounter does not happen to everyone - its occurrence is a function of the charisma, intelligence, personal nature, and dexterity ("did you know I can put by feet behind my neck?"), and of course, gender of the person and the desired life partner. The base chance of a marriage encounter is 1%. This should not dismay those who are looking for such an encounter - given an environment with a large number of eligible people, one of them may be the One.

The base chance of a marriage encounter changes depending on the gender balance of the area the person is in. Certainly, a straight male will have low chances for a marriage encounter in a gay bar, or most any pub in Silicon Valley ("you mean there is only one woman in here?!"). Other factors influencing the marriage encounter include the save vs sexual desperation for both parties and the modifier of the amount of flesh visible as a total percentage (this is strongly influenced by charisma). The closer the intelligence scores of each party, the higher the chance of the marriage encounter. Please realize, that the game master should take into consideration that there is a class of men who are seeking women with low intelligence scores, high dexterity and charisma who are seeking men with a sizable package savings.

Upon finding a person that has resulted in a marriage encounter, the next steps are

  1. Getting to know each other
  2. Fooling around
  3. Shacking Up
  4. Forever and Ever
Each stage takes 1d10 dates to progress to the next step. This is an open ended system where a roll of '9' indicates '9 and roll again, adding the result' and a roll of '0' results in reseting the state back to meeting the other person. Such a roll often results in searching again for another marriage encounter after updating each individuals preferences.

One should note that it is possible to have several marriage encounters at the same time. Some individuals (society tends to relegate them to the 'evil' group) will attempt to skip stage I and proceed directly to stage II where as much time is spent as possible. Discovery by a partner of such activity often reduces the reputation score and results in all encounters ending. A small chance of one encounter continuing exists (though often reset back to stage I with a +5 modifier to any rolls). This is often seen in the Jerry Springer Forum. Other cases include instances where all parties of the marriage encounter are looking for a larger group to go on "expeditions" together in dark areas under the sheets. If all individuals are interested in this, please see the section on polyamory in the Alternative Guide To Life expansion set.

Some cultures have an arranged marriage. In these cases, relatives select a mate from a pool of possible candidates. Use appropriate tables for the culture and region to generate such an individual.

With the modern age of computers, it is not infrequent for people with shy dispositions to meet people "on-line". In these cases, charisma is rarely a factor until later steps (if at all) and instead all tests that would otherwise be made against charisma should be made against intelligence instead. Realize that in may cases, the save vs. sexual desperation should be a forgone conclusion.

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