I seem to tackle or arouse controversy in a lot of things that I do. This isn’t necessarily through any deliberate attempt to be controversial or difficult but more to do with the fact that I simply don’t give two tugs of a dead dog’s cock, at least when I’m producing my own stuff. There are limits of course, but they’re my limits, I’ve no real respect for other people’s particular prejudices or tastes and I don’t expect them to have any real respect for mine.

I’m interested in controversial subjects, religion, politics, sex, violence, different interpretations of history and events. Controvesial subjects attract and interest me and I’ll tend to pursue ideas regardless. Self publishing gives me that freedom to pursue these topics without having to be fearful or to concern myself with purely commercial considerations. Controversy DOES sell sometimes, but it doesn’t always. Hentacle and Cthentacle do very nicely thank you but Final Straw – arguably a better game to play – didn’t do very well at all. The subject was, perhaps, a bit too near to the knuckle for the US market and that pretty much doomed it. Shame, because I bloody love that game. Controversy isn’t  a seller by itself, good gameplay isn’t a seller by itself and even the two together isn’t a seller. (Sex, apparently is though).

Satire’s always a bit controversial and the whole Shadow World line is nothing but satire really, cutting it fine on various things, including most lately the kind of perverted shit that turns up in fanfic and slashfic. How that’s going to pan out… well, we’ll see how people react over time.

Where I seem to run into problems is with people who either read too much or too little into what I write. When I talk about the English language they presume there’s a concern or goal there that goes beyond correct use of the mother tongue, when I write about hentai tentacle porn, hookers or female gamers they take it on its face and don’t bother to explore the subtext which, most often, conforms to their viewpoint. You really can’t win and, much as I like argumentation, I like argumentation where a point can be made and stick.

If anything recent encounters with these sorts of reactions have strengthened my resolve to keep exploring these topics in this way because, if nothing else, it makes life interesting, creates buzz and engages the community in discussing interesting things.


Cantrip Comprehensive: The School

(Shamelessly ripping off from my own school experiences)

Cantrip Comprehensive is situated in the small town of Blackchurch in Wiltshire, England. Blackchurch is an almost entirely unremarkable town noted only for a brief zombie infestation* and the fact that the local populace seem to consume more drugs than the population of a much larger town, perhaps a side effect of the presence of the school.

The school was originally built to cope with an influx of magic(k)ally interested children in the mid 1960s. It was built to replace an old TB hospital that was present on the site before and has lead to the presence of a couple of coughing ghosts that make assemblies a noisy event and one that’s often even less interesting than they normally are.

The school is divided into four ‘blocks’ which surround a ‘lovely’ expanse of asphalt which passes for a recreation ground. A rather sad patch of grass is at the back of the school is where Bigpitch and other sports are played, half the size it used to be since part of the playing fields were sold off for a new housing estate to be built.

1. The Old Block – Once the site of the TB hospital this red-brick victorian building is hot in the summer and cold in the winter, creaking, draughty and – frankly – in need of pulling down. Magic(k) and history is in its every brick which is part of the reason they don’t dare tear it down.

2. The New Block – Not so new really since it’s a concrete and sheet-metal, brutalist monstrosity from the early 1970s. It’s grubby, smells faintly of plastic, has a depressing atmosphere and houses most of the alchemical and other more technical classes, which means it has burnt out a few times, though never been destroyed. Each time it is redecorated as cheaply as possible and somehow ‘flame retardant’ is never on the list of priorities.

3. The Community Block – This is where the indoor sports ‘arena’ is, along with the ‘community area’ which is used for fund-raising events and as a clubhouse for the sixth form.

4. The Huts – ‘Temporary’ buildings that have been there as long as anyone remembers, they’re even worse than the Old Block, even though they’re much newer. They’re due to be replaced ‘any day now’.

The whole area is protected from prying, mortal eyes by a massive Nerf spell that bolloxs up the eyesight of anyone looking towards the school so that they only see normal goings on. A variety of pocket realms serve as special classrooms and as the staffroom, away from troublesome and interfering students.

*Referencing the infamous Blood! scenario with the deadly Fray Bentos Pies.

Cthentacle: At the Mountings of Madness UNLEASHED!


New characters and new cards for Cthentacle, expanding the game into the exploration of the frozen antarctic and the strange, horny, terrors that dwell there.

  • Explore with Inga Hostein and doughty sailor Bligh.
  • Thrill to the things of the elder things.
  • Gasp in horror at the Brain in a Jar and the power of SCIENCE!

Includes a new way to play, The Investigation!

You can buy At the Mountings of Madness HERE

You can get the base game Call of Cthentacle HERE
You can get the first expansion The Dunbitch Horror HERE
Or the Squamous Value Pack (All together) HERE

Cthentacle’s originating game Hentacle is also available in bargain-collection form HERE

There is a Hentacle art book HERE and a Cthentacle art preview book HERE

We also have limited hardcopy of Call of Cthentacle, Dunbitch, Hentacle and Sloppy Seconds available for purchase, please contact via our website for information on ordering these.

@grimachu on twitter.