This medieval fantasy city generator is very Relevant to My Interests…
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.
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. [↩]
For my fifteenth birthday, I was given $40 to buy myself a present. That present? My Very First Tabletop Roleplaying Book, Litany of the Tribles vol. 1, a sourcebook for White Wolf’s Werewolf: the Apoclaypse game. (Why that book? Well… because they had it in the shop. And I had no idea how RPG books “worked”. Needless to say, my very next purchase was the actual core rule themselves.) To say this game changed my life is probably both hyperbole and an understatement; Liesmith‘s Lain, for example, had his first incarnation as the totem for our W:tA game, which was set in the proto version of Pandemonium City.
I spent pretty much all my teen years playing various versions of White Wolf’s World of Darkness, primarily Werewolf, Vampire, and Changeling. Yeah, the games both have and had issues—even to my un-woke, pre-internet teen self—but I adored them then and still adore them now. To the point that I spent hundreds buying up the various 20th anniversary editions from Onyx Path which, honestly, I thought did a fantastic job of keeping the “old WoD feel”, while simultaneously updating and smoothing out some of the… less great elements that had been present in the originals.
So when I heard about Vampire‘s 5th edition, I was cautiously optimistic. Even if it wasn’t going to be developed by Onyx Path, but rather a new studio under the same name as the original, White Wolf. The New White Wolf, or nWW, if you will. Because the *20 books were great… but they were also kind of “stuck”, in that they were designed very much as updated versions of old material, not new sourcebooks in-and-of-themselves. So to have things like an updated metaplot? Yeah. I could’ve been down for that. (Also, I really want more content for Demon: the Fallen…)
And then? Then I read the initial 5e alpha rules. Y’know. The one that had “Triggered” as a vampire clan weakness.
Oh, nWW, no.
Since then, everything I’ve heard from the nWW has pretty much gotten worse and worse, right up to the current point, where it’s… getting pretty hard to deny that the nWW is throwing 5e straight at the edgelord wannabe fascist alt-right scene. Which… for a game that introduced me to things like class politics, feminism, and queer activism?1 Yeah. 5e can basically fuck right the fuck off, and take its entire fucking dev team with it.
… talk about ruining someone’s childhood. Ugh.
(Also, while I’m on the subject: Why am I suddenly not surprised to learn the nWW is owned by Paradox Interactive? Because, yeah. I enjoyed Stellaris well enough but holy shit that game’s fandom is an alt-right anime Nazi trashfire. Yikes.)
- That Litany of the Tribes vol. 1 really was… formative, let me tell you. [↩]