The idea is to run short sessions 1-4 games, once a week, of every game that I own. This will showcase the sheer variety of games and systems out there and create a repository of practical game knowledge and hard play-testing. So if you’re up for a smorgasbord of gaming goodness, answer the questions.
Tag Archives: games
#RPG – Actual Fucking Monsters: Breaking the Limits, the AFM Companion RELEASED!
This product is too spicy for DrivethruRPG, which means I cannot use their promotional tools etc, and I can’t link to it off their site. I would greatly appreciate it, therefore, if you could spam the ever-loving shit out of this link everywhere, so that people can be aware of it and buy it direct.
Vielen danke, kiitos, merci, arigatōgozaimashita.
This companion volume to badly named but well-executed horror RPG Actual Fucking Monsters is bigger than the original! 120 pages of content for your Actual Fucking Monsters games, too spicy for Drivethrurpg.
- We’ve got random character generation if you’re into that sort of thing.
- We’ve got a whole wedge of new Monster Powers so you can dissolve your foes with vomit or get in touch with their feelings.
- Want to play a dark, evil magician? Got you covered.
- Want to introduce boring stuff to worry about, like, ‘humanity’. I don’t think you should, but we’ve got you covered anyway.
- Want to fight against the Monsters as a Hunter? You can do that now, with more details on the Hunter organisations from the main book, and new ones! Along with revised Hunter ‘Powers’.
- Want to run your games safely without some absolute head-end crying to mummy that they didn’t know a game called Actual Fucking Monsters was about Actual Fucking Monsters? Details for the M-Card game insurance policy are included.
- Need victims for your Monsters to do horrible things to? We’ve got a random victim generator and 100 pre-generated victims!
- Player advice on how to have fun in an Actual Fucking Monsters game? You bet your sweet arse.
- Some ideas for artefacts, and some examples.
- A (very scant) idea of a sort of setting beyond the implicit. Learn where Monsters fit into the world.
- And lastly, a long-ass example of play, to help you grok with fullness.
This is a Post-Mort.com and Lulu.com exclusive, so please, inform everyone you can that this is up for sale!
#RPG – The Lost Biker Culture of Gaming
NB: Biker culture is quite different in the UK than in the US. If you are wearing the patches of a ‘rival’ club in the USA, you will more than likely get a right shoeing. In the UK… eh, not so much. Still, while you can view my ‘cut’ as a parody, I see it as a homage and as a show of respect to MCs around the world. Even so, I tried looking for a local club to get permission from, and there aren’t any, other than a little band of recreational weekend warriors. Be careful about wearing cuts or patches wherever you are, and keep the local culture in mind.
One of the things I miss about the RPG subculture is the no-fucks-given, middle-finger-extended way in which it used to embrace the childish ‘satanic’ accusations. This was done through the embracing of heavy metal and other subcultures, including that of biker clubs (MCs).
It’s not necessarily the music that I miss. Bolt-Thrower were never really any good, but going into a Games Workshop to find yourself surrounded by metalheads and bikers made you feel at home. Contrary to appearance, they were also, always, the sweetest most welcoming guys in the world. Of course, the corporate culture changes at Citadel/Games Workshop around 1990 and they stopped selling RPGs and gave the metalheads the heave-ho to project a more family-friendly appearance. More’s the pity.
Gaming, like headbanging and like joining an MC, used to have a bit of an air of danger to it even though it was nerdy as fuck. Without that culture, I’d never have found my style. I’d never have found my tribe. I’d never have seen Slayer live (and that’s a kill-or-cure life experience let me tell you). I would not have continued into goth, industrial and many of the other significant influences in my life.
I wanted to pay my respects to the lost tribe of gamers. I wanted to ground my current identity in my past. Not for nostalgia, but out of respect and as a constant personal reminder.
I first hit on the idea of making a ‘Gaming Club’ cut way back in the day, when I was a mere sprog and when AD&D was in its dying gasps. I didn’t have the money. I didn’t have the time. I didn’t have the Internet back then, though I did have a heavily patched blue denim jacket – as many metal fans did.
I was reminded of that idea when I finally deigned to catch up on ‘Sons of Anarchy’, which would have been around 2015, or so I guess. Still, I didn’t have the spare cash or the time to put into the project. Short of a few web-searches for custom patches, it didn’t amount to anything (plus I was preoccupied with Gamergate and related issues).
Most recently, two crucial things made my idle idea come to fruition. Firstly I played (and enjoyed) Days Gone and even in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse the biker culture, brotherhood and the symbolism of the ‘cut’ were a big deal in that game. Again, it reminded me of the old idea. I also had started buying cheap stuff from wish.com to add production value to my videos and my gaming. Suddenly, I could get an affordable black denim vest. I had the motivation, and it was easy to do. A quick search around Etsy and I found a place that did custom patches for a reasonable price.
Then it all came together.
It does put a smile on my face to don my ‘GC’ cut. Hopefully, it also conveys to others the sense of pride and place I have in the gaming community and its history.
The original ‘Rollin’ 20s, Lake Geneva Originals’ shirt was too complicated to turn into patches, but you can get it HERE.
#RPG – Actual Fucking Monsters RELEASED!
Aren’t we all just a little tired of shiny, brooding, romantic, tragic monsters with their ‘woe is me’ whining and carrying on? ‘Monsters we are, lest monsters we become’. Well, fuck holding onto your humanity. If we’re going to be monsters, let’s be Actual Fucking Monsters.
Drawing inspiration from works like Nightbreed and an endless array of 80s horror flicks and their revivals, Actual Fucking Monsters is a game of monstrous creatures doing horrible things and being tracked down and destroyed for it. You don’t win, you live fast, leave a bloody swathe in your wake and then are cut down by the forces of vengeful humanity.
Is that fun?
It sure as shit is.
#RPG – Roll Up! Roll Up! Welcome to The Carnival of Grimness!
Genties, Ladymen and children of all genders!
Cast your functioning sensory organs in something approximating this direction and gaze in awe and wonder at the cavalcade of entertainment and dysfunction on show!
Step this way, and for the low, low fee of your attention you will find diversions most deviant, entertainments most exciting and writings most wicked. We practically (but not actually) guarantee your satisfaction and amusement!
Behold, the hall of Social Media! What distractions and horrors may lie inside these darkened halls?
Perhaps you seek the cheap thrill of voyeurism to be found in the unblinking gaze of Madam Narcissist!
Will you test your mettle and your patience in the Blue Bird Arena?
Perhaps one of our fabulous freaks, Bookface will entertain you with his mind reading tricks, targeted advertising and most diverting groups?
There are new attractions too, wild and untamed creatures from the furthest reaches of the internet, untouched by Amazon or Google. Dare you risk the Tent of Bulbs, it’s burlesque titillations or its house of games?
Try your luck against the Honest Interlocutor to see if you have the gift of the Gab, win yourself a stuffed frog.
Away from the hoi polloi are the caravans, offering delectations to our more discerning visitors.
If you are of a more cerebral nature, our players will entertain you with dice-based diversions or play out stories for your entertainment. There are books too, but the odds are you already Reddit…
Perhaps marvellous mechanisms will better meet your motivation, in which case sign up for a ride on our Steem-powered rollercoaster? It rises and falls with the speed and terror of a cryptocurrency’s value!
Finally, at the centre of our little circus, you will find the Astounding Arena of Audiovisual Announcement, where your eyes and ears will be tickled by recordings from The Great Beardini!
Don’t forget to visit our concession stands on your way out.
Here you can buy your own versions of our games and books.
Apparel to clad your fragile bodies and protect them from the elements.
Boards, cards, dice and devices to distract you from your imminent mortality.
Not to mention other, miscellaneous junk and tat we’re trying to get shot of.
Finally, can I perhaps tempt you with a season ticket?
For as little as a single of your Earth dollars, you can gain access to the carnival and the ringmaster as much as you may care to spend your time here, not to mention getting plenty of discounts on our other diversions.
We accept Many, Forms of Currency.
Failing that, please leave a tip in the jar on your way out.
And failing that… well… the trolls always need to be fed.
#RPG – Tales of Gor – The Turian Gambit RELEASED
Buy it HERE in PDF
Buy it HERE in hardcopy
Long ago something precious was hidden amongst the wagon people to keep it safe. Now it seems something else – a key to the Game of Worlds – may be hidden amongst the savage and vicious people of the Plains of Turia.
This booklet contains an adventure, heavy on tribalism, diplomacy, and ingratiation, as well as additional rules for chases and pursuits – as well as the games of the Wagon People.
Ta Sardar Gor!
Inside #Gamergate Hardcopy RELEASED.
You can now purchase Inside Gamergate at Lulu.com
Check the Lulu.com front page for discount codes, you can enter LULU20 at the moment (September 2017) for 20% off.
The hardcopy book will also be available through Amazon – and potentially other sites – in the next 6-8 weeks.
Meanwhile, if you prefer the ebook version, you can also get that via Amazon HERE.
Please leave reviews wherever you buy it and on independent sites like Goodreads. This is an independent publication and relies on your goodwill and word of mouth to get out there.
While you’re at it, check out our cover artist’s sexy Patreon.
#RPG – Word Wizards RELEASED!
An RPG based around using words to complete tasks, rather than using mathematics. Compatible with popular word-tile games and great for learning spelling and vocabulary in a game setting.
Designed to encourage the use of words and to help kids with language the way many games help with mathematics, Word Wizards should help with vocabulary, spelling and teaching about synonyms.
Buy it HERE
Hardcopy can be purchased HERE.
#TheTriggering – Commemorative Discounts!
The Triggering is a social media event (#TheTriggering) proposed by libertarian commenter and reporter Lauren Southern as a sort of ‘online demonstration’ in favour of free speech and free expression and to raise awareness of Social Justice Warrior interference and threats to those fundamental human rights and to a free internet. Lauren knows better than many the kind of problems that face free speech advocates having both been thrown out of a protest for staging a counter-protest and, more recently, being assaulted (with a bottle of urine no less) for having a different opinion.
The ‘public square’ is increasingly in private hands and under private control, but is also being used by proxy to censor and control opinion. Whether it’s Twitter’s dubiously Orwellian ‘Trust and Safety’ council or Zuckerberg cooperating with the German government to suppress negative stories about immigration, we have to admit that there is an issue and it’s an issue that has been thrown into sharp relief by the conflicts on college and university campuses and the febrile atmosphere surrounding almost any piece of entertainment that intersects – however fractionally – with PC hotbutton issues.
You don’t have to agree with people to agree that they have a right to speak. I’m a left-anarchist and a pragmatic socialist, yet I support Lauren Southern’s right to espouse her Libertarian ideals. I worry about the demonisation of immigrants, but I believe people have a right to express their concerns about that (and genuinely worrying stories are being suppressed there too). There’s suggestions recently that media companies, including social media companies, are going to collude to exclude and undermine Trump now. I would gladly gnaw my own leg off if it would prevent Trump being president, but he has a right to express whatever opinions are most popular at the time and will win him votes. That’s democracy, that’s freedom, that’s the principle of free speech.
I’ve made games and presented ideas that people find objectionable and I’ve been censored, pilloried, boycotted and banned for it (or, more often, for ideas that people have assigned to me) so I’m presenting some of those ideas (games) under discount to participate in #TheTriggering because not only have these games ‘triggered’ people, but shilling a product on a hashtag will ‘trigger’ a whole other set of people.
Exercise your free speech and free expression today. Say something controversial. Air an opinion that might upset someone. Buy some porn, read 1984 or Huckleberry Finn, post a ‘problematic’ joke. Flex those rights and shake the tree, see who actually believes in free speech and who doesn’t.
And for those SJWs blocking the tag, or anyone that posts on it… you’re proving that we don’t need censorship and that you’re capable of maintaining your challenge-free bubble all by yourselves. You’re also proving the need for this event – which I hope becomes as annually celebrated as Draw Mohammed Day.
DISCOUNTED GAMES FOR #THETRIGGERING
Discounts are available for 48 hours ONLY, ending on the 11th of March.
The Little Grey Book [Pay What You Want]: A simple party game that plays off the hypercritical panopticon of social media.
Hentacle [Marked down to $2.50]: A comedy print-and-play card game of tentacle rape, which is such an absurd concept it’s just inherently laughable. Apparently some people fear for the welfare of drawings and genuinely fear being molested by cephalopods. #TeachOctopiNotToRape
Cthentacle [Marked down to $2.50]: A slightly different and simpler/faster version of Hentacle, but with a Cthulhu theme and many, many horrendous Lovecraftian puns. Of note is that poor, dead racist HP Lovecraft’s head used to be used as the World Fantasy Award prize, but this was changed due to conerns about his racism. Short of a visit by Herbert West I don’t really see how Lovecraft’s racism could really be a problem for anyone any more. He’s dead. Then again #RhodesMustFall so apparently we have to erase history and ignore influential figures for wrongthink. Down the memory hole…
Privilege Check [Marked down to $2.00]: The less privileged you are… the more privileged you are. This was the basic hypocrisy behind ‘the progressive stack’ which came to prominence during the Occupy movement. Equality, apparently, is not a good way to treat people and the best way to cure *ism is to be *ist. Irony is missing from a lot of dictionaries it seems. This game triggered the hell out of a lot of people when it came out and it’s a bluffing/tactical card game that mocks the progressive stack.
Gamergate Card Game [No discount, sorry!]: This was SO triggering that it, unlike the material above, was censored off my usual sales site. This despite it containing no graphic depictions of tentacle sex, nor any off colour jokes about racial/gender/etc politics the way Privilege Check does. Just invoking the name of the consumer revolt was sufficient to bring down a gang of crybabies to get it taken down.
If you’re interested in our other products, though none are really as controversial, you can grab our catalogues, which make it easier to find stuff than using the site navigation.
#Gamergate – For Great Ethics Versus Against SocJus – FIGHT!
With so many enemies now crushed and defeated beneath Gamergate’s armoured boots, with increased ethics all around and with the separate but related victory of Chairman Pao being removed by the glorious counter-revolutionary wing of the Reddit Revolt, GG seems to have turned in on itself a bit and a divide that has been felt before (with the exit of Internet Aristocrat and others) has reared its head up again.
Are we fighting for ethics in game journalism – and ONLY ethics in game journalism, or are we fighting against the authoritarian censors of the Social Justice mob? What is appropriate to post on the tag and what isn’t?
Let’s get a couple of things out of the way quickly first.
- You can’t control the hashtag. People can and will post whatever the fuck they want on it. You can’t control other people’s output, only your own. If someone spams a lot of stuff you’re not interested in, mute them or something. Jesus. This isn’t difficult.
- Proposing a new hashtag is going to go down like a cup of cold sick. There’s strength in unity and some shitposting, spam and off-topic or semi off-topic material isn’t the end of the world. By all means, go make a new tag if you like (#mediagate was tried, I believe) but it’s unlikely to garner the same traction and impetus that #Gamergate has.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at the ethics part.
The fact is, games media has been corrupt since forever with in-house magazines, bribery, extortion, threats (mostly coming from distributors and publishers rather than studios, to be fair) and because this was the status quo people kind of navigated around it while quietly seething. This was financial corruption, where threats and money are used to protect and further the bottom line.
This was all ‘background radiation’ to Gamergate, what made it achieve critical mass was a different kind of corruption. Political corruption and agenda pushing, initially exposed via Literally Who’s sexual shenanigans but much, much bigger than that. Political corruption is when threats, coercion, ideological naivety, bribery and shaming are used to push an agenda and socially engineer.
What, I think, made this blow up so hard was that the indie scene (like many other indie scenes in music, tabletop games and elsewhere) had become synonymous with activism, not independence. The kinds of people making these activist, high-concept games were looking down on popular games and their audiences (as exemplified recently with the meltdown of hate and arrogance from Tale of Tales when their housework simulator failed to excite audiences). When people looking down on and criticising you for your moral failings turn out to have feet of clay, people get understandably upset at the hypocrisy.
One of the greatest tragedies of all this, for me, is that it was a massive missed opportunity for games media to sort its life out. Here was a massive consumer uprising which could have been leveraged against those companies offering bribes, threatening to remove early access, bullying for higher scores AND to assert press neutrality against egregious ideological corruption. Backing, using or surfing Gamergate could have allowed the press to assert themselves – with popular backing – against distributors, publisher and PR flacks and could have been used to regain trust.
And that exposes the first part of the problem in trying to separate these issues into two separate things. The big reason the games media didn’t do the right thing here is because whole wings of it ARE SocJus and that is seemingly the entirety of their identity and raison d’etre. When you ask for them to act ethically you’re asking for them to act against their core beliefs and personal identity. As we’ve seen, many think the ends justify the means and many think opposing their means, means that Gamergate is against their ends (Gamergate is not anti-diversity, anti-women etc, it is broadly very liberal on these things as a whole. It just values creative freedom higher and prefer organic, consenting change).
This entanglement of the ethical issues and the SocJus issues shows why the two are inseparable.
Another reason to include the fight against SocJus within Gamergate is that it builds alliances. There’s people in other communities who have, or are, facing the same kinds of issues that Gamergate has, from Sad Puppies in fiction, to ConsultantGate in tabletop gaming (and everything around it). There’s issues of this sort all over the place and things are starting to turn. Just as with Gamergate itself, internally, we’re stronger together.
Another aspect to this is that a lot of these other enterprises feed into games.
If writers are suffering in this way, generally, then writing for games will suffer by extension.
If artists are suffering in this way, generally, then art assets for games will suffer by extension.
If the internet becomes more controlled and legislated, then games are harder to sell and may fall afoul of the same legislation.
If shops are pressured into censorship then the same applies – and this is doubly true of online sales platforms and payment processors.
Let’s try an analogy.
Say your local political situation is horribly corrupt. The local council is full of shills for companies and they’ve all been bought off.
Voting them out won’t really solve the issue, money can buy whoever else is elected.
Changing the rules could work, but it’s almost impossible to change the rules in a system that is already corrupt.
Say you do manage to change the rules. Congratulations, you now have ‘ethics in local government’, but there’s still financial corruption everywhere else. Contractors that the government uses, the unions, companies are still offering bribes at every level, interest groups are still lobbying – sometimes via underhanded means, and on a national level the parties are still compromised – and they select the candidates.
Only fixing ‘local government finance sourcing’ does practically fuck all to repair the broader issue.
To point to another, analagous example, unwinding the Satanic Panic of the 80s (we’re now in an Ism Panic) came about because everyone came to reject it. The groups being attacked and smeared, the media, the science. There was a broad group – if not a full-on alliance – of people all saying ‘this is bollocks’, and they were able to prove it.
Trying to separate these two strands is impossible, because just as the threats to gaming used to come from a broader cultural movement of the religious right, now it comes from the authoritarian left. If you want ethical journalism and free expression, you have to take an holistic approach to understanding it.
If you don’t want to, then don’t, but you’re not going to be able to stop anyone else anyway – so the whole discussion is fucking pointless.