#Gamergate: Attitude Polls

The Political Compass was a good way of having an immediate way to counter people’s claims that #Gamergate is a right wing, reactionary, conservative movement but arguments still persist. Arguments that Gamergate is about ‘bullying women’, or denying criticism (I know, hypocritical already) and all the rest.

I know some people see it that way and I know why they see it that way (because they’re being lied to constantly and because it plays into a pre-existing false narrative).

What I see is a movement that is finally standing up against censorship, politicisation and abuse from the very sources that are supposed to be acting in our interests as consumers. I see witch hunts dressed up as criticism, and then I see counter-criticism dressed up as witch hunts. I see people held up as not being accountable, I see the denial of conversations about the issues in favour of pronouncements. I see a line in the sand against this creeping malaise that has infested tabletop gaming, SF&F and many fandoms as a whole. ‘The long march through the nerd institutions’.

I continue to be disappointed in friends and coworkers, especially those who – like me – lived through and experienced previous moral panics in music and D&D, buying into this moral panic because it dresses up in the language of equality and fairness.

It’s my hunch that Gamergate is full of people who, like me, want to see more diversity, more mature plots, more experimental and artistic works, but don’t want everything to be forced to fit into a narrow, ideological, inoffensive pigeonhole. People who want art to be created by the creators, to their vision – whether singular or aggregate – without these kinds of interference, bullying, force, collusion and – yes – conspiracy.

Please answer the polls honestly, I know some people will try to distort them one way or the other, but still it might help to have something like the political compass results that we can point to.

For those who want to see more diversity, FOAMYOs.


Snapshot of results. Keep in mind it was an open poll based on accusations, so the questions were not well crafted and a troll presence was definitely there. Even so, I think it’s useful




Does Postmortem Spam You Enough?

I’m a touch curious chaps and chapettes. Being British and all, I find it very difficult to pimp my wares without getting horribly self-concious. So I’d love to know if you think I blither on about my stuff enough, or not. If you feel like being difficult and not fitting the poll, comment on this post.

Cloak of Steel (Mantel D’Acier) News/Poll

I can now reveal to you that I was in negotiation to use the Heavy Gear 2nd Edition rules-set to power the next incarnation/edition of Cloak of Steel. Unfortunately those negotiations fell through at the last minute and so the prospect of a new edition of the game is now set back (perhaps not a horrible thing since I already have so many other projects – big and small – on the go).

It does leave me with a problem though. I no longer know what system to develop the new edition of Cloak of Steel for. I was rather dead-set on using HG2 as the Silhouette system is simple, graspable, scalable and easy to use for things like minis gaming if people wanted to take it in that direction. Now I don’t know quite where to go with it.

Cloak of Steel is a fantasy game with magitech and anime stylings, it draws inspiration from Escaflowne, Sakura Wars, White Knight Chronicles and a host of other influences drawing them into a fantastical version of Europe on a magical flat Earth with a detailed background and a distinctive array of cultures, peoples, religions and technologies. It’s also one of our only games to be translated (into French) as Mantel D’Acier.

Developing a new system would be frought with problems at this time and extremely time consuming.

Using Pathfinder wouldn’t fit the theme/mood of the game without a great deal of rules tweaking to make it work. It would also too closely resemble the old d20 version, which I want to move away from.

Xpress – our house system – isn’t as suited to high octane adventure and doesn’t scale to the kinds of mecha and vehicles that this game would include particularly well and would get bogged down at this scale of play for similar reasons that the same thing happens with Exalted.

OSR systems are manifestly unsuited, class/level does not – IMO – suit this style of play.

Wayfarer/RQII – Too gritty, unsuitable.

FATE, I like FATE and I’ve already done some makeshift conversion work but I don’t like putting all my development work in one basket.

D6 system, could work, but I have two projects developing for D6 at the moment and it might not be good to have three all together at once.

4C, an open version of the rules that powered Marvel Superheroes back in the day. Simple, fast, eminently scalable but possibly too simple.

At the moment I’m leaning towards FATE, using a modded version of the Agents of SWING rules set.

Opinions? Suggestions?


Postmortem Studios Customer Survey

How satisfied are you with the quantity of Postmortem output?
Not at all satisfied
Somewhat satisfied
More than satisfied
Completely satisfied
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How satisfied are you with the quality of Postmortem output?
Not at all satisfied
Somewhat satisfied
More than satisfied
Completely satisfied
pollcode.com free polls
What’s your favourite line?
FATE (Agents of SWING)
6-Pack Adventures
100 Series
Historical Farce (Tough Justice)
Beer and crisps (Invaderz, Urban Faerie)
One offs (Ace of Hearts)
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Would you be willing to join a demo/promo group?
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Would you/will you buy Postmortem merchandising?
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Is it Grim’s writing or Postmortem’s ‘vision’ that keeps you coming back?
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Where do you prefer to purchase PDFs?
Indie Press Revolution
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Where do you prefer to purchase print books?
Shops, via Cubicle 7
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S.W.I.N.G.ing London?

Is a Swinging London sourcebook something that would interest SWING players?
Carnaby Street?
Mary Quant?
The music.
The fashion.
Spy digs and headquarters, nefarious groups and a London centred adventure?

Agents of SWING format poll

What format would you prefer for SWING?
A5 thick, chunk of a book 200 plus pages (traditional Indie format)
A4 slimmer book (My more normal format, 150 pages perhaps)
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Poll game?

So, if I start a community participation poll game, what’d you like beloved audience?

What should I base a regular poll game on?
Zombie Horror (Blood!)
Spy-Fi (Agents of SWING)
Crime Caper (Future project idea)
B-Movie Weirdness (’45)
Other – Leave a comment and I’ll re-poll if something grabs me.
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The Trials & Tribulations of Printing Pornographic Card Games

First to give some reference to the pricing poll yesterday, the question was ‘how much would you pay for a professionally printed version of Cthentacle’. To which the answer seems to be that you’d pay around £10-12 or $14-18 in monopoly money.

For your money that would get you:

  • 64 plastic-coated cards
  • A 4-page rules booklet.
  • A clear plastic presentation case.

The quote I got covered all that, plus shipping to me at a per unit price of around $14. Now, ideally I’d want to mark that up by about 50% to cover the time, effort, cover costs in case I didn’t sell them all etc, so that, ideally, should be around $21, or £14. Doesn’t look like that’ll do if I want to sell any, so I need to look at ways of cutting costs.

I could:

  • Ditch the booklet, knocking down the per-unit cost by $2, leaving the rules on rules cards with a weblink to a downloadable booklet of extra rules.
  • Ditch the plastic box and go with a plain white tuck box, but I can’t get art on it unless I order 500 units – fat chance. This would save around 20 cents per unit.
  • Not bother with the plastic coating – M:TG never bothered, I could up the cardstock GSM to compensate a little, but I don’t know how much this would save.

Opinions sought!


Getting any card game printed POD is a major league effort, if it’s a pornographic card game you’re going to find things even more difficult. Getting Hentacle and now Cthentacle printed has been a big, long, pain in the arse, fraught with issues.

The first time I got any printed I went to my local printer in Andover. This was, needless to say, traumatic. People know me on sight around Andover and surrounds, even if they don’t know me personally and the print shop was right near the centre of town and staffed entirely by women. Nevertheless I got the job done by them, though their card quality wasn’t that great, very bendy indeed and very pricey. The worst part was being informed that the cards had been guillotined by a lovely little old lady who was almost due for retirement, considering what the cards depict that was severely blush inducing, as was the moment when the rather lovely young lady in the shop started opening the boxes when I went to pick them up, offering to check that they were OK.

Heart stopping.

The local printer wasn’t any good for long term printing, the quality wasn’t that high and the costs were way too high so I was forced to look elsewhere.

Oh boy, is the printing world full of scam artists. There’s a lot of companies in India or China that are professional and handle a lot of card printing for ‘The Big Boys’ but if you’re not printing at least 1,000+ units you can forget it and they often have extremely exacting printing specifications and if you don’t/can’t meet them, you’re boned.

The smaller scale businesses are either run as close knit family firms ‘Print porn? Are you out of your sick little mind?’ who kindly send you Christian tracts by e-mail after you explain what you want printed or are run by people who are a ‘little bit dodgy’ in the same way that a rat is a little bit covered in fur*, naming no names that rhyme with ‘Ben Shit-Pan’. No fewer than three POD companies I approached and were willing to take on the job went bust practically overnight and it got to the point where I wondered if I had the kiss of death.

Fortunately a friend came to the rescue and it wasn’t a printing source I’d ever really considered before, due to the assumed cost and quality issues. I mean, who would think of using FedexKinkos to get their porno card game printed? The quality was as good as I could hope for – outside full on professional printing – and with the dollar as shafted as it was at the time it was cheap as chips. Unfortunately that shop recently ‘upgraded’ its printers and now can’t do accurate duplex or cutting any more. So I’m tossed back out on the street.

There’s a distinct feeling of deja vu all over again, going back to the local printer they’ve now been taken over and have a company policy of ‘not doing adult material’ with an implied comment of ‘you worthless scum, never darken my doorstep again’ and the other local printers haven’t even deigned to send me a reply. A chinese printer sent me something incomprehensible but which did say they only really took runs of 500 minimum, so that was out.

In between all that I’ve had offers from three different companies down the years to take Hentacle at least professional, one had it optioned for a year and did nothing, another offered money then dried up and disappeared and the last is still in negotiation but has to be very careful because of their licensed properties, leaving all that in limbo.

The company I’m currently talking to is expensive (see above) but has great – and communicative – customer service. Unlike others who – in mid negotiations before have suddenly stopped communicating. Others have not replied, given abuse or sounded eager and then not gotten back to me again. Here’s hoping I’ve finally found somewhere I can get a deal together and get a new game out there!

Next time I’ll save myself some bother and do a game about good, wholesome, honest violence!

*I’m re-reading Neverwhere, you’ll forgive the literary indulgence.

Cthentacle Hardcopy Poll

Please take the time to fill out this poll and I’ll give you the cost breakdown tomorrow. The PDF sells for $7.50 incidentally, so one might normally reckon on hardcopy selling for $11-15 on that basis.

How much would you pay for a professionally printed and boxed Cthentacle set?
$8-10 (5-7quid)
$10-12 (7-8 quid)
$12-14 (8-9 quid)
$14-16 (9-11 quid)
$16-18 (11-12 quid)
$19-20 (12-15 quid or so)
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