I enjoy romance in Role-playing Games. It adds to the exposition of the characters, it creates bonds with the setting and other PCs and fuels the drama in ways standard Role-playing Game devices do not.
The main thing to remember is that romance is almost entirely organic in play. PCs will find the oddest things to be romantic interests. A millennia old ur-sergeant and an emergent AI have been two of the weirder examples. The trick as a GM is to just be ready when a player or players show an interest in another PC or NPC.
I haven't really had the issue of romance come up in any of the games that I have been involved in aside from maybe a reference in a characters background. My preference though is that if it does come up at all, I'd rather it tend to stay in the background rather than be the focus of any interactions. As a game master I don't set up scenarios in which romance is a central, or even a secondary, theme in the game. I don't necessarily take issue with the idea of romance in role playing games, its just not really a story I care to tell or focus on.
To me, the risk of the game bleeding over into real life for the players at the table is not really a risk I'd care to take either. The effect that it could have on the group dynamic when player characters engage in romantic relationships in-game could potentially be a pain in my back side, so as a game master I would probably redirect players that became too enmeshed or try to focus the narrative on their character's romantic relationships with each other.
A character wanting a romantic relationship with an NPC is a little different, but even so I would probably make this more of a tertiary focus of the game when possible because, again that is just not what I prefer to focus on. The game master is usually the one who sets the scene, and as such it is unlikely that I would set up a scene in which the player character has an overtly romantic interaction with an NPC.
If a character wants to seduce the barmaid, alright fine, but I'm not playing out that scene; its likely to take the form of "So and so's character disappears to his room with the barmaid and isn't seen again until the next morning." I'm not going to play out the actual flirtation dialogue and I don't want to read or hear anything about the specifics of how that character and the barmaid spend their time together.
I enjoy adding romance to a game. It always adds some spice. Romance can add impact to the game if done right. A PC romance with a NPC can add story hooks for the Dungeon Master. It adds a weakness for a character that can be exploited by a good Dungeon Master.
Much of this is dependent on the group of players though. If the players only want to go from slaying one group of monsters to the next without much out of combat action it is unlikely to appeal to the group. A group that really gets in character and immerses themselves in the roleplay would definitely benefit from a romantic aspect being added to the game.
Just wondering if anyone tried to romance another character but the character wasn't having none of it? Did it reach to a climatic fight or did the offending character simply give up? How would that play out in a game where both characters had to work together?
I enjoy romance in Role-playing Games. But I concede it has to be handled carefully. As a GM, I leave the idea up to my players, and I make sure I have a good sense of their maturity level. Therefore if it were a player with whom I was totally unfamiliar, at best I would put relatively willing NPCs in their area, such as members of the same faction as the PC, or with similar goals, or the staple of someone they need to rescue/save.
With people I have known and gamed with for some time, if I feel they can handle it, it is more fun when the person with whom they have developed a relationship is in an opposing faction, working towards different goals and such. That sort of melodrama can lead to some cool scenes for the player, and for the others to watch as they unfold.
Still, the romances are not the focus of my adventures. But they can add a great deal of flavor. And in some campaigns they are almost essential. I used to run 7th Sea (Obviously the original version, not the new one), which is a true swashbuckling setting, and Romance (Note the capital R) is part and parcel of swashbuckling. One of the PCs was a Vaticine priest from Castille, and when I had a young woman for whom he had been confessor declare her feelings for him, I knew the player (A friend of roughly 25 years at that point) would relish it. I just did not know how he would play it. Would he succumb to temptation? Would he do his best to let her down gently? I was confident he would not be cruel, but that was about all. In the end he let her down gently. But then sometime later the group was asked to escort this young woman (The Fate Witch grand-daughter of an important Vodacce prince) to be used as a bargaining chip with a notorious pirate, the look on is face was priceless. From my days running James Bond 007 (More sex than romance, unsurprisingly), through Justice, Inc. And 7th Sea, it has been a great element of my games, but never the main element.
As a player, I find it a lot of fun. Again it needs to remain a secondary (Possibly tertiary) plotline, since the rest of the group can get bored if it takes up too much time. And it can be fun to be a character who is intimidated by the opposite sex, meeting someone a bit more experienced, even aggressive. Again, if the GM and player(S) can handle it, it can be entertaining for everyone involved.
Temptation is an interesting concept. Will that be based on the player saying whether his character is tempted or rolls against wisdom? Love makes you do crazy things so who knows. *laugh*.
Unless a character has some sort of official weakness for the opposite sex, or there is magic involved, it is totally up to the player, in my opinion.
That's where the issue of playing your character or playing yourself comes in for me. If your character has a low wisdom and meets this gorgeous blond babe in the party and for some reason she takes a liking to him, then how can he say no?
In your scenario the priest had a religious conviction, but even priests can fall to someone of incredible beauty or enchantment. I suppose its good to let the player decide rather than force them to role-play their character into that position, but then again isn't that what role-playing is all about?