Version two of this guy, a.k.a. Elliot, redrawn now I’m a bit more used to Clip Studio. Also without using Cheap Hair Trixx™ to hide the fact that, a) drawing ram horns is hard, and b) drawing ram horns coming out of the side of a “human’s”1 head is even harder.
Elliot is our game sept’s resident misanthrope and hacker.2 His hobbies are: telling the player characters’ they’re dumbasses; being extremely loyal to Lex, the son and heir-apparent to the sept’s current leader; secretly writing dirty fanfic; and keeping hundreds of cockroaches as pets in his trailer. If he has to go out in human public, he paints his horns in candycorn stripes and pretends he’s a Homestuck cosplayer.
Not pictured in this version’s laziness: Elliot’s tattoos of Cockroach and the Prophecy of the Phoenix.
Reading up on Monster of the Week before our game and…
My big Issue with PbtA games is they tend to be both, like… too prescriptive and too vague, all at the same time? Like stats and abilities are all super-simplified, which is fine, but then… moves are super prescriptive at the same time? Like, try and play for e.g. Monsterhearts as an investigative game—which, spoiler alert, we did—and see what I mean. Because of the way Moves are structured in that game, there’s basically no way to convey in-character information independently of player deduction, unless you resort to, like, some kind of precognition/supernatural intervention mechanic, which often ends up feels really GM-ex-machina-y.
More adventures in sketch doodling.
This is Elliot, a metis Glasswalker NPC from the W:tA game I’ll be running on (hopefully) Tuesday. He is so angry and so surly because I didn’t bother cleaning up his sketch1 before messing around with coloring it, so his face is kinda wonky. Oops.
- Always flip your images, kids! [↩]
So I’ve probably mentioned before that I’m not… always enthusiastic about the trend in indie tabletop RPGs towards making deeply intimate games that focus on psychological trauma and interpersonal drama (see Monsterhearts, Bluebeard’s Bride, and Ten Candles, for example). Not to deny that these games can be fun, but they’re also sort of the TTRPG equivalent of Oscar bait; focusing on the cheap evocation of emotion rather than anything necessarily substantial.
Oh, and also? They’re an absolute nightmare when it comes to people using them as an inappropriate form of therapy. So, yanno. There’s that.
- What awesome race can I play? (Horns/tails preferred.)
- What awesome clothes can my PC wear to look awesome at all times?
- Who are my love interests and what tragic story can I console them through?
- Combat, I guess.
I’m sure no one had high hopes for anything called Fantasy Adventure to Adult Lechery, but oh my god does it get so much worse than you could imagine. [Massive content warning for just about everything, but specifically misogyny, sexual assault, racism, and homophobia. The dudes writing the review are also, uh, doing so In The Style of The Time, i.e. the early 00s, meaning there’s a lot of casual ableism thrown in on their end, too…]
Thought One: I’m sure that there’s a market out there for indie adult-themed RPGs that, like, aren’t racist, misogynist, cissexist, heteronormative messes. Surely these must exist, right? Like, there’s nothing inherently wrong with having an RPG that focuses on sex and the mechanics thereof; even weird sadomasochistic noncon body-horror nightmare-fuel transformation fetish sex.1 So why is it that whenever I hear about one of these games—and, yes, I’ve heard of more than one—it’s because they’re not just awful, but always awful in exactly the same way?
Haha. Yeah, that was a rhetorical question. We all know why.
Thought Two: It was coincidence that I happened to stumble across this review—months ago, by the time this posts—at the same time incel terrorism happened to be in the news, but I couldn’t help but think about the latter while I was reading the former. It’s not just the raging misogyny, either, but something about the whole… I dunno. Pungent mix of misapplied pseudo-academic bullshit and walking Dunning–Kruger cluelessness.
Thought Three: On the plus side, this review lead me to the game KULT, which, while it will not be Everybody’s Bag Baby, is definitely mine. So… there’s that, at least.
- Like, there is a non-negligible market for this stuff in the erotica space, that’s both written by and for women. So it’s not like it’s some exclusively male thing. But what does seem to be “exclusively male” is the whole “trying to pass off your sexual fetishes as ‘historically/biologically accurate” thing. [↩]