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.
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.
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.
I figure I might do a companion booklet for AFM, with some rules variations, clarifications and ideas. Ideas for longer, ongoing campaigns, ideas for playing as hunters, rather than monsters, some new Monster Powers people have suggested and so on.
If there’s something you’d like to see covered, leave a comment here on or social media and I’ll see what I can do for you here, before I fully put it together for the companion.
Here’s a few things that have come up from readers and players already…
Apparently this wasn’t clear enough, but Slippage (the physical/material manifestation of your powers and Monster nature) kicks in involuntarily when your Satiation drops below a certain level. Place the slippage from each power in order (typically from least to most obvious manifestation) matching to each die type of satiation from the bottom up.
d4 – Cloud of Sulpherous Mist.
d6 – Fanged maw.
d8 – Red skin
Most of the time it’s anticipated that your Mask describes your human ‘cover story’, or what you do or did before you became or Monster, or besides being a Monster. Some Monsters might feel that they no longer need a cover identity or can do without one, or were never really human in the first place.
In those instances a standard Mask might not be appropriate. Masks don’t have to be these human identities or tasks, you can use them in these instances, like a secondary nature, or to describe what kind of Monster you are in some more explicit terms.
Example: Mr Thinner is a manifestation echo of The Slender Man. He has never been human and in addition to his Stalker Nature, he decides to take Sinister as his Mask, with the skills Intimidation, Stealth and Persuasive under it.
New Power – Dormancy
You can subside into a state of hibernation or dormancy and rest, maintaining your Satiation for longer but rendering you – to all intents and purposes – comatose until the end of your dormancy. Depending on the power level you can awake (and roll for Satiation loss) every 5/6/8/10/12 days, or part thereof decided by you when you hibernate. While dormant you are insensible (until and unless harmed) and cannot defend yourself. Your metabolic activity, body heat and so on are also virtually imperceptible during this time.
Slippage: Slabs of body fat, coated in webbing, mucous ooze, chitinous fragments.
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.
The new Postmortem Studios web store is up and running! We’re still adding products and engaged in a steep learning curve on all this stuff, so if you run into any problems please do let us know! Otherwise everything should work, with digital delivery.
We’ll be expanding our inventory, offering physical products, second hand products and integrating things like our Teespring store as we move on into the future.
My intention is also to create a (relatively) safe place to publish challenging and controversial content for others, though we will, still, have to conform to the demands of payment processors. If you’re a gaming or gaming related publisher who has been stung by censorship, get in touch (grim AT postmort DOT demon DOT co DOT uk) and we’ll see what we can do.
Not all of our products are up just yet, but we’re getting there.
What constitutes my community? Is it my audience? The people I talk to most regularly? My usual gaming group? My patrons on Patreon?
I don’t really even know what would constitute ‘my community’! I have pages for my company and for me on Facebook. I’ve got communities on G+ but nothing is hugely active. So I guess to talk about my community I have to talk about who my audience is.
- My community has a sense of humour, frequently a dark sense of humour.
- My community cares more about fun than about politics, even though my material is frequently political (just it tends to be implicitly so, rather than explicitly so).
- My community is neither wedded to the ‘new school’ Indie style, nor traditional roleplaying.
- My community likes trying new and different things.
- My community is less squeamish about sex and violence than most.
- My community is interested in transgression and controversial topics.
- My community appreciates that my work has ‘layers’.
- My community cares passionately about the hobby, protecting and improving it.
The raw stuff of magic exists in a separate realm from the main, material reality and is channelled into the reality and made manifest by various forms of practice. At its base magic is the source of everything, every rock, every tree is just a material expression of magic. The same way a sphere passing through a two-dimensional plane manifests as a growing and shrinking circle. Magic is brought through and made into things – effects, items, fireballs and so on – by patterns of speech, gesture, writing, patterns and other configurations. Raw magic rarely makes it through to the real world, and so it is rare, mystical and valuable…
I shouldn’t get embroiled in this, especially right now, but this has been turning up everywhere and passed around by people who should know better. So here we are.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to take a look at this: “Tabletop Gaming has a White, Male Terrorism Problem”. Then take a look at the gallery below. Then reflect on why ‘listen and believe’ is such a terrible idea, what has happened to the atheist/skeptic community and pause to recall the depredations of Wertham, Pulling, Thompson and Sarkeesian.
That’s as much time as I’m going to spend directly on that post, and I’m not even going to make the usual set of debunkings and rationalist arguments. I’m not going to point out, at length, the inherent racism and sexism of the article or that its accusations are just that – accusations.
I am, however, disappointed that so many people unquestioningly and uncritically regurgitated that post everywhere, and that the slightest bit of misapprehension or skepticism has been – as usual – characterised as misogyny.
Instead, let’s talk about something positive.
I’ve been gaming for some 30 years. In all that time I’ve found gaming to be a very inclusive, very liberal, very accepting, very caring place. All my best friends are gamers, indeed I think all the best people are gamers. I’ve never, in any other area of life, met such an accepting, open, warm hearted bunch.
Gamers are awesome.
Sure there are creeps and very rare nasty incidents, but by and large we take care of our own and we don’t need to stoop to bullshit to do it.
I’m at a LARP which is winding down. We’re chatting and waiting to leave, one of the girls is just quickly pulling on some jeans for the walk home when a guy oversteps the mark and tries to wedgie her.
He’s lucky to still have his teeth.
We’re in a big, packed hall when a woman suffer a wardrobe malfunction. Without a word being said a group of burly chaps form a human changing screen so she can change into her spare clothes without being seen.
A couple break up minutes before a game session. We cancel, we commiserate, we make sure they’re both OK and can both get home safe.
“That guy’s creeping on me.”
We haven’t seen it, we’re not about to just throw him out, but we take it in turns to keep an eye on him. Turns out he is a creep and a few quiet words later the problem is solved.
The non-gaming girlfriend of someone at the event turns up, drunk, sits down at a table and – unbelievably – gets a vibrator out of her handbag and sits it on the table. Switching it on. Without prompting someone sits with her to talk to her, distract her and to ‘disarm the device’ so everyone else can carry on unmolested.
The guy causing problems is obviously and pitiably, quite mentally ill. He’s taken aside and gently – and with compassion – calmed down and banned from attending, with the minimum of fuss and drama.
This is the gaming community I know. The one I’ve encountered year in, year out. In America, in the UK, at LARP events and conventions, at tabletop games big and small, at stores and model shops and trade fairs. Its a community where people look after each other and when there’s a problem they come together and they deal with it, as a group. As friends and colleagues and people with a common cause.
Gamers want more people to be gamers and it doesn’t take pointless policies, spurious accusations or abject virtue signalling to make it so. Indeed that tends to create the opposite. If you pretend there’s a problem when there isn’t, or you make it seem bigger than it actually is, you create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Imagine, if you will, a restaurant that made a big song and dance over how they took steps at every stage to ensure nobody was poisoned. Nobody expects to be poisoned when they eat out and most places don’t act like this is a big threat. So what’s going on at this place that they have to make such a big fuss about it?
Gaming is great. Gamers are great. Encourage and spread the good and there’ll be more of it. If you’re going to spread the bad, be sure of what you’re talking about and be sure you’re advocating things that will make people safer, rather than merely making them feel safer – at the expense of the things that make gaming great.