I dont know about the rest of you, but when I started gaming... it was a considered an evil and rebellous hobby. Banned by churches and put right up there with satanic heavy metal music as something no child should ever be allowed to enjoy.... and me and Jack Black loved em both and at the same time.
I think that greatly enhanced the attraction of D&D to new and young gamers... gaming was evil, the quick and attractive lure of the dark side worked very well for TSR and brought about what we now call the golden age of gaming (right durring the iron age of comic books for that matter)...
Now I know Hasbro isnt going to let us go all satanic etc, or start putting bare nippled slave girls on the covers of every book...
I wonder how the system will handle more adult themed issues in the game.
lets be honest... the best TV shows on right now are "Game of Thrones" "Boardwalk Empire" "Dexter" "Sparticus" "true blood" "strike back" "Sons of Anarchy" and all the other shows which come on after 10:00 PM, mostly on cable due to serious adult content.
Just like these shows I want my game to include "some" sex (though generally I'm too embarassed to describe the details of this in a game), gory violence, brutal and depraved antagonists, serious moral delemas (what does the paladin do when the anti-paladin burns his daughter alive and screaming right in front of him and says if he dosent want his other daughter to die, he'll kill an innocent child and loose his soul etc.),
and all the standard evils common to great fantasy and horror books and novels... human sacrifice, rotting corpses and necromancy, demonic rituals, vile and evil alien gods, etc. etc.
you guys got any thoughts on this? will there be another "book of vile darkness" or have we seen the end of adult themed D&D books?
I have nothing against a more "mature" line of products, but I would rather they keep that stuff separate from the main product line.
In general, if a story can be told without those elements, then including them will not enhance it in any way.
Your initial premise is as wrong as can be. Much of the so-called 'mature' tv out there if derivative hackwork which mistakes T&A and blood for character development. Don't get me started on what passes for 'mature' books.
On the contrary, in the wake of the Harry Potter phenomenon, and the breakout of Disney channel and Nickelodeon, this is the golden age of children's media and literature.
Turning D&D into one more gore and sex fest would be a disaster.
I don't think this is necissary. A DM could easily run that type of thing if he wanted to, but it doesn't need to require the R&D team's attention.
@ Professor- I guess the shoddy hackwork is the reason these shows sweep the emmys every year and win almost every major award for television exellence, sorry your arguement is not holding water.
@avric- then why is there a "song of fire and ice" RPG? clearly somebody saw the sales potential in making RPG rules specifically to cover the adult themes in those books.
I think this is very much a subject that should require the R&D team's attention. If its what people many people want (regardless of if they admit it publically or not), and it will sell more books, why wouldent WotC want to put out another "book of vile darkness" complete with the hack n slash crit charts, fun with corpses necromancy guide, etc. I'd buy it, so would most gamers I think...
how high were the sales of BoVD in comparison with the other 3.0 titles anyway? I seem to remember it was one of the highest selling books in the line, and people were greatly dismayed when they refused later printings as hasbro didnt like it... If I remember right...
As a HUGE fan of low and dark fantasy like Game of Thrones and the works of R.E. Howard, I would LOVE to see a more mature line of D&D products.
But, I'm totally cool if it never happens, too — because I can keep making my own mature-themed campaigns (and I have for a long time).
D&D was never evil, but instead just an easy target until the next easy target (i think that might have been Nike shoes) came along.
'Adult' subjects such as love, sex, rape, perversion, real moral dilemmas (as opposed to fantasy ones), slavery, suffering and deep psychological stuff have all been part of our D&D campaigns at points. It's up to each group to chose to play such a game.
Nothing is stopping anyone from playing a dark and gritty campaign with current rules.
While it would be interesting to see some materials in that vein I feel that it is quite remote from the 'standard setting'.
Books like 3.5E Vile Darkness just felt a bit silly in my opinon..
While putting rules on adult stuff (2ed carnal guide) makes for a very funny read, it is more comical than really 'adult' or dark or gritty. We did use some spells from the carnal guide just to give some captured spellbooks a bit of flavour (Unseen Pervert and Power Word: Strip ftw) and once also the rules for damage to the child if the mother uses magic while pregnant although modded a bit.
Still, if I would really want to play an RPG going off the deep end.. then I would play Kult or something instead of D&D..
OD&D was for ages 12 and up.
AD&D 1E was for ages 10 and up. This was the edition that spawned the "angry parents" era.
AD&D 2E was for ages 10 and up, despite the removal of devils, demons, and all nudity.
4E was for ages 12 and up.
Looks like D&D has always been built with children in mind...even at the height of the satanism / occult / drug-induced idiot phase. It was seen as "evil" because idiots got high, killed each other, and mommies across the country found D&D a wonderful scapegoat under the leadership of paranoid conspiracy-theorist Patricia Pulling. In turn, churches condemned it, adding to the craze. I'll never forget that episode of 60 Minutes that had both Pulling and Gary Gygax on it.
She died of cancer in '97 (the same year WotC purchased TSR...hmm...), and shortly thereafter the devilish / suicidality buzz died off. By the time 3.5 came around, it was just a funny joke to the new players and a sore memory for those of us who went through it. It is a tradition as old as money...controversy creates cash. I have no doubt the media buzz about D&D stimulated sales during 1E. However, simply slapping boobs and devils all over the D&D books will do nothing positive for either WotC or Hasbro. That and, as most of us know, most things labeled "mature" are about as far from mature as something can be. It's more typically sophomoric attempts at sexuality and shock-value, none of which carry any value for the game.
While I did enjoy the 3.5 BoVD (far more then the 4E version) for the rules it had that i wouldn't have thought to introduce into my game otherwise I would never say the entire DnD line needs to go the direction your suggesting. Sure, let their be some books that offer "official" drugs of the DnD world, rules for sadism, masichism etc etc. Yes its easy enough to figure such things out for ourselves, its what i did for 4E when necessary. But If you have books like the 3.5 and 4E line it is alot easier to add in the "dark" and "mature" (i use that term loosely) into a game then it is to remove such prevalent themes as having demons eating babies and devils raping mortals on every cover.
Now i won't go so far as some to say that the elements that make Spartacus, Song of Fire and Ice, and other similiar shows popular wouldn't help in any way shape or form, but i agree that making such elements the focus of DnD would, in fact, hurt the brand. Everything in moderation.
I have nothing to add to this discussion other than to point out that it's a Song of Ice and Fire. Come on, people.
"I guess the shoddy hackwork is the reason these shows sweep the emmys every year and win almost every major award for television exellence,sorry your arguement is not holding water."
No, they sweep the awards for the same reason the New York Times created a new subcategory of bestseller for children's works: because if they didn't exclude children's works, they might not be able to compete with them. The dominance of children's media, particularly in books, is unquestionable.
The hobby was never "evil." Some games and some gamers were, no doubt, but not D&D as a whole. And that's a good thing. If you want to play Fatal, it's elsewhere.
OK I lied. I will be serious for a second just to say this:
Writing a D&D book "for mature readers" is much like playing an evil character in a D&D campaign. When done well, it can be fantastic and add a lot to the game (see The Complete Book of Necromancers). Sadly, most often, it is done badly - as an excuse to be controversial for the sake of controversy.
In other words, write a good book first. Don't let the need for a "for mature readers" label stop it from being published. But don't print up your "for mature readers" label first and then write a book to stick it on.
actually found my own info on wiki under reception...
Ken Gustafson of Silven Publishing authored a positive outlook. "Overall," Gustafson wrote in August 2003, "Book of Vile Darkness is quite possibly the best supplement that Wizards of the Coast has put out in recent memory."
Much of the content and concepts of Book of Vile Darkness have since been reprinted or adapted in source books without the "Mature Audiences Only" label. Rules for drug use had in fact already been printed, while later material included corrupt spells, vile feats, possession, and detailed discussions of demon lords.
Nobody is suggesting that D&D has to be toned down to the toddler level. But making supplements which require black plastic covers and a driver's license is going to make it harder to market the game as a whole to the broad audience it needs to succeed.
Because a wikipedia article says it. it must be so! Nay, Because a quote from the critical reception section of a wikipedia article says it, it must be so!
Seriously, the Book of Vile Darkness is a novelty. It's not an important thing R&D should be focusing on. Especially as an early release. Anyone who wants to run a more "mature" game can, without that book's help (and I put mature in quotes, because if you think that adding gratuitous sex and gore and drug use, and all the other "goodies" that the Book of Vile Darkness provides, you probably don't have a firm grasp on what maturity really is). However there are plenty of things that the developers should be focusing on, and this is not one of them, in fact I can do a list of all the things that come before it in priority, and I'll still have probably left stuff out
Core rulebooks (Including not only the basic core rules, but the various different modules that they promised us from the get-go)
Advanced Rules Modules (because you know they're going to make books for these; you're deluding yourself if you think all the modules will be in the core rulebooks)
At least one Iconic campaign setting
Several non-iconic campiagn settings
Advanced non-module books (complete X a la 3.x, X Power a la 4e, PHB II, ect)
More Monster Manuals
Campaign setting guides (Manual of the planes, cityscape, Book of the underdark, ect)
That's a ton of things to get to before you get close to focusing on stuff like "The Book of Vile Darkness."
I like my games dark and/or mature, and the most fun I've ever had in D&D was playing evil characters. With that in mind, I'd love to see the evil option get quality support. That's not to say that we need a whole lot of mechanically evil options, though there should be some.
There are a few things that a quality "evil option" book needs to focus on.
1) Evil alignments. The book needs to clarify the difference between evil and omnicidal.
2) Evil groups. How to assemble, maintain, and motivated groups of evil-aligned characters. How to choose adversaries for evil groups.
3) Evil societies (or evil institutions, like slavery, in non-evil societies). How do evil societies work? What holds them together? Why do non-evil societies tolerate evil institutions? etc.
4) Ritual sacrifice. This is one of the rare mechanical elements. Evil magic is about blood, and bone, offering human (often virgin) sacrifices.
Actually, the wikipedia article doesn't even say that. The review quoted by Baalbmoth ifs from a vanity press self publishing operation. It says not one word about sales. Apparently he's simply making that part up.
What it *does* mention, at length, is the ugly controversy which surrounded Vile Darkness' publishing, including the apology eventually issued by Paizo for printing excerpts.
This idea is just getting worse and worse, isn't it?
Black plastic covers? Whoa...whoa...whoa..."mature" does not mean "D&D Gone Wild!" or "Elves Do it in the Dark! Vol. 3"
It just means "mature" as in MATURE; That is, mature people can handle some nudity or adult themes here and there, they can handle some graphic violence, and they can certainly handle themes of drug use. In other words, something the ESRB, might consider.
really finding myself agreeing with Mecha and bahel
@ professor: um actually no... the WIKI article says is...
Paizo president Johnny Wilson issued a statement defending the magazine material. He drew comparisons between the growing Book of Vile Darkness controversy and that involving the video game Mortal Kombat. He also argued that "publishing a guide to the atrocities and perversions that put the VILE in EVIL" allows role-playing that is "truly heroic" in contrast, while citing real-world examples of horror and heroism, such as the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Vietnam War, and World War II. Nevertheless, he did offer a partial apology, remarking that the introductory content outside the sealed sections was "as offensive (or more so)" than what was within them.
so a 90% defense and 10% "partial" apology, only for what was written on the outside of the article. It seems the only thing getting worse here is your ability to fact check.
@ avric: its clear to everyone that Gygax sold his soul to the devil so that he could create the most successful tabletop RPG of all time...
Over the years and after the intellectual rights have changed hands over and over, also seeing Pathfinder's sudden success, I think now is the time that the devs have to step up to the plate and re-commit themselves to honoring the original agreement with the dark one.
All I'm asking for here is for Perkins and the other devs to find a crossroad, draw a circle in chalk, sign in blood a contract offering their souls for the guarenteed success of D&D Next, set it on fire, toss it into the center of the circle, then whip off their clothing and dance naked while yelling "come and get it! come and get it!" to the denezins of the netherworld.... and maybe killing a goat or something...
I mean really, these people already work for division of Hasbro, you seem to think that I'm asking for them to do something unusual for them, or trying to get more work out of them or something. sheesh...
all kidding aside.. I think Mecha is dead on when she says there needs to be sections in the core books outlining both how to play and run for an evil party, as well as some suggestions as to how a DM can get the vile in their villians, and their antagonistic societies, after all, true diabolical evil is part of the "living world" these people are creating.
Later we can hope for a BoVD (lol book of VD strikes me as funny) but seeing as how most players will be adults, I am hoping for more adult material right from the get-go and will only serve to increase sales.
btw.. pathfinder is rated as being 13 and up, but I am playing in rise of the runelords AP right now, and we are going through runeforge and each section of the dungeon is devoted to one of the 7 deadly sins.... what we found in "Lust" I'll just say... I dont think I'd repeat the book description to my 13 yr old nephue...
just because something isnt labled or marketed "only" to adults, does not mean there cant be more adult content.
I've never found any particular need for book support in order to make a game gritty/violent/ADULT SEX TIMES, even though puttin' sex times into the elf fighting game is basically the dictionary definition of a mature thing that mature people want to do, so obviously a mature mature individual like myself is all over that. There's approximately one useful bit of support they could give evil campaigns, and that's DM advice, because running evil campaigns has quite a few special challenges, both in terms of general party cohesion and in terms of managing discomfort. (Non-evil campaigns have discomfort management too, of course, but it rarely comes to a head the way it does in evil campaigns.) What rules do mature mature adult sex situations need, exactly, that aren't more generally covered by the system's very light interpersonal interaction mechanics? Ink drawings of succubus full frontal aren't a rule. They're a picture of boobs. A random roll table of synonyms for "viscera"? A list of fifty hardcore spooky things that could totally happen in a dungeon or something, and there's like chains and stuff, because chains are hardcore and mature?
D&D, I feel, has actually generally been fairly grim for a product marketed to people so young. (Age suggestions are typically a bit conservative, not permissive). This is especially true if your defintion of grimness involves a lot of reading between lines, rather than "the axe goes all the way into his skull and his brains GOOSH OUT THROUGH HIS EYES."
I've gamed... near, if not exactly with, enough fifteen-year-olds to know that people who want Game-of-Thrones-style sex 'n' violence generally tend to figure it out without needing grimness sugar-pasted onto every page. It's possible to put together an argument regarding appealing to a "mature" audience, but I'm guessing based on how the game's been put together recently that this is an Our Market Research Shows thing in the other direction.
@Lesp- well, I dont really know what rules or optional rules sex may need to have, maybe the chances of pregnancy/disease? Rules for what happens when some races breed with others? (dwaf gentics not creating half dwarves when mated with humans etc) I think a little of that could be necessary.
As to what rules "evil" needs... I think the BOVD had some good stuff in there about torture, etc. some was a bit over the top but I'd rather have it than not have it. and if you've got evil devil/demon and evil god worshipers, it might be good to descibe what some of their rituals, goals, and activities may be, after all this is a pretty standard BBEG territory for most campaigns.
and seeing as D&D next is totally trying to appeal to old grogs like me... some of this would be part of their targeted marketing strategy.
after all, I remember at age 14 or so, just after looking at the Deities and Demigods nude and gory pictues... that it and all AD&D books were rated for ages "9 and above" lol.
I'm sorry I am categorically against anything that makes D&D more like F.A.T.A.L so no thank you.
let me put it this way...
you have two choices, your villian can be the ever cheezy skeletor or jack the ripper...
Skeletor may be fun for the PC's to fight, and eventually defeat if nothing more than the corny dialog, but it will always be kind of a meh victory, because Skeletor is kind of a meh villian.
but Jack the ripper... more books have been written him than about jesus, he is iconic, he is the epitome of an evil psychotic rapist and killer of women. If you run this right, your players will come to HATE jack... not their characters... the players themselves, and when they finally bring the justice and end him. that emotion of victory and right being might will be much much more rewarding than if they faught just another hokey filled with ebil villian. This is why horror and revenge based movies have such a huge emotional draw, they are morality plays where you worry for the victems and cheer for the hero and they bring a sense of relief and rightness when jason or freddy meets their end.
I dont want games with skeletor, he bores me.
@mesterwart3 - had no idea what F.A.T.A.L was before I read it here, so looked it up and...
because I suggested I want my game more like a conan book, or because I want adult topics and themes like Game of Thrones, your suggesting that would make D&D more like an RPG where the only goal of the PC's is to rape or be raped? really?
you sir are ridiculous, and I forbid you from ever posting again.
Developping demonology with its specialists in a neutral way is enough for D&D.
Writing down what is obvious from the described profiles of evil D&D material is a waste of paper IMO. Because if some people do not find it obvious, it's useless to put their nose in it.
In short, D&D should just do what they do with half-humans. We all know what should be the life of most of them, but a lot of people prefer to think about half-races as perfect diplomats between their parents instead of outcast having to fight twice to have the same consideration.
I'm not saying that one way or the other is better, just that D&D should stay coherent and stop these poor "evil" supplements that are just guides to upgrade the violence level and bring more modern monotheism stereotypes than real exploration of ultimate evil.
Just an example of preconception, the Pandora's box myth.
Modern conception : Pandora obeying her curiosity made a terrible mistake, and all the evil that escaped the pithos is the worst thing that could happen to humanity.
Ancient conception : Pandora was the instrument of Zeus, and all the evil that escaped the pithos is the best thing that could happen to humanity, as adversity is what made the humanity able to evolve and gave it the potential to become better.
I think D&D should stop beeing ambitious on the philosophical side, being hindered with alignments as it is.
This entire discussion suffers from the idea that adding gore and porn somehow add depth to the game, or to anything for that matter.
Happily, the market has already spoken on this. I don't know how many products D&D publishers have actually had to publicly apologize for, but it's not many. There will be no torture porn rules for the new edition.
The primary demographic that needs to be captured to make D&D financially successful is males 14 to 21. Go back and look at the history of the hobby.
Is this good, or politically correct, or fair, or moral? No. It's just accurate. You need that audience, and the best way to get them is to appeal to the fact that this demographic prides itself on rebelliousnes. Load the books with things that make anyone outside that demographic purse their lips disprovingly, and those inside will love it.
Would it be awesome if the game could appeal equally to all genders and ages? Absolutely! I would LOVE that. But that kind of soft universality runs the risk of of not appealing to the "engine" that will drive sales.
So the question is, do you gamble on trying to make everyone happy, or do you target a narrower market you think you can domiinate?
Whichever way it falls, there is only one unquestionable truth; the descion will be based on market analysis and financial projections and not morality.
Capitalism is awesome.
If you think the future of the hobby should be limited by those to whom it has appealed in the past, you're thinking too small. Women and girls, ages 10 & up, make up a much larger portion of the reading public, are much more likely to engage in social and imaginative play than males, and these days play more games than boys do to. WotC is not going to alienate them to appease a few goons who think guts and porn are "mature."
I respect that you have a differing viewpoint professordaddy. I don't think our discussion can really proceed meaningfully until one of us can provide RPG market research to support our anecdotal theories though.
again, why are people (like you professor,) so fixated on porn? sex happens, even in fantasy, but sex and violence are not the only two things that make content "mature." murders, are not necessarily "violent" but it is part of the adult content, so is blackmail, so are many crimes... but all you want to bring it back to is porn porn porn.
but no, of course sex cant be part of a fantasy story, I mean, the idea that a dragon may only want to have virgins sacrificed to feed its evil hunger has never been a part of a fantasy story right?
come on man, and if the market has spoken as I showed very clearly earlyer... its shown that adult situations ARE what most gamers want.
how about this, Jamie lannister was just a so-so villian, up until he had sex with his sister the queen, and shoved a child out of a window for witnessing it. At that point, Jamie and the story got interesting.
Until then it was just another swords and knights fantasy. you think incest and the brutal crippling and/or murder of children is something your going to see on the next installment of the wizzards of waverly place? you think that isn't adult content?
adult and mature content has its place in D&D, all I'm asking for is
1) that they devote a few pages to running evil parties in the core books.
2) that in the future they devote "some" adventure paths to mature or adult content similar to whats seen on these award winning shows with the off the charts neilson ratings.
3) that they include a few more details about evil religions, cults, and monsters motivations, goals, tatics, and more nefarious abilities.
why is that such a bad thing? why does that make me a pervert and some how turn D&D into F.A.T.A.L?
I agree with Hocus smocus; the label "mature" usually just means gratuitous sex and violence, usually mashed up together in an unsettling way. Actual maturity means dealing with difficult issues with multiple implications. Instead of an antipaladin burning the paladin's daughter to death and coercing him to murder kids (pretty ham handed), what if the villain tempts or tricks the hero into commiting a seemingly small sin for what appears to be a greater good? Then the hero learns of the greater implications of their actions; will they tell everyone what they have done and try to fix it? Will they pretend they don't notice? Will they try to cover it up and fix it themselves? That could be an interesting and really mature story. It could have all kinds of sex and violence in it, but also some actual tension.
I do think the core of the game should stay rated PG. I play this game with my kid as well as with other adults. I don't want to have to constantly screen out the wildly inappropriate stuff.
but Grey does that mean we cant have a few pages on running evil parties in the core books? or some supplements that do target more mature themes? cant we have a PG-13 game with some R rated optional rules or non-core encounters?
As long as it's not another book that defines 'Evil" mechanics as "You must be this big of a **** to the other players to get this benefit." I'll be fine.
Again, the market has already spoken on this issue. The one time D&D ventured into this territory, they got protests from their own authors and ended up apologizing. Not going to happen again just to please a few who think torture and incest need to be covered by official imprimatur.
and again professor, you dont read the links you claimed to examine...
Much of the content and concepts of Book of Vile Darkness have since been reprinted or adapted in source books without the "Mature Audiences Only" label. Rules for drug use had in fact already been printed, while later material included corrupt spells, vile feats, possession, and detailed discussions of demon lords
yes, again the market has spoken and what the market said was...
we want more!
the "mature" material was REPRINTED AND SOLD AGAIN! so IT DID HAPPEN AGAIN and WAS COVERED BY OFFICIAL IMPRIMATUR.
can you please try to find a way to keep being more wrong? its actually becomming entertaining now.
The OP makes one pretty huge mistake in his argument:
The super-adult stuff should only be added if it goes towards making the theme of what it's in better, or only if it fits/relates to the theme. It should not be added just for the sake of it being in there.
Baalbmoth, you will nor that what for reprinted were new mechanics, none of it related to actually playing evil characters, torture, incest, or the other material you've expressed admiration for in this thread.
It simply won't happen in D&D. Good.
Its interesting that almost no one here is saying "well maybe there can be something like that for you, as a module" when more and more of us are slowly moving towards that attitude for everything else. I don't want DnD to be what the OP describes. But I don't see a book directed at giving fluff and mechanics to the stuff the OP talks about. Drugs, torture, advice on running evil campaigns/PCs/NPCs, etc etc.
Just responding to the OP:
I agree, D&D had that real stigma attached to it. They even went so far as to get rid of all overt mention of demons and devils from 2e (course they showed up but their role was significantly reduced).
I remember when my mom told me she mentioned that all we wanted for christmas were D&D books to her coworkers and they got really funny with her.
And I think D&D can and should have a mature undertone. It's a mature game that requires maturity to play successfully. The groups got to work together socially outside the game to make the game work in play, everyone's got to be big enough to set some of their own preferences aside to make the game work. That's mature behaviour. This isn't really a kid's game, basically.
But I don't think WOTC/Hasbro has the balls to do it. I think they'll chicken out on that front and try to keep the game "for kids" and it'll be up to the players to bring the maturity back into it. I'm sure that maturity will be worked in by the fan base because we're mature people and enough of us aren't shy about dealing with mature content in a table top rpg.
And that's probably OK. High fantasy isn't especially gritty stuff, and apart from the plate mail bikini most of the conventions are pretty tame. I don't really want to see a D&D book that's got some kind of ultragoth dark fantasy theme in its artwork 'cause that's not really D&D to me, but it'd be nice if they didn't shy away from the nasty stuff when it's called for, like a supplement on the nine hells or a necronomicon sort of supplement should be pretty grim stuff.
As an aside, one thing I've never been very comfortable with is sexual stuff in game. My basic level of involvement with D&D sexual encounters is to have the player in question roll a fort save to see if they get the clap.
sex has a place in D&D just as much as violence, I agree with Lokiron that sex makes people uncomfortable around a gaming table, makes me a bit too which I already stated is why I dont get graphic in its description but...
ancient societies punnished prostitution and adultery, often with death... why? because the behivior led to people having sex outside of wedlock, often with forigners or military who often carried diseases. These diseases with no antibiotics or treatments were a serious threat to a small community. from that you get wacky cults and outragous religions and the view of sex itself being evil.
incest has been mentioned as well, anybody see the mini-series "Rome" royals and affluent familes seemed to engage in it quite often, and yes it was severly looked down on. it could also provide story hooks and plots as it does in Game of Thrones.
saying if sex is in any way a part of a plot your game, your really playing F.A.T.A.L is ignorant and stupid.
its kinda funny, everyone here is saying they are ok with almost silly levels of graphic gore and violence, but having a king cheating on his wife with a succubus from the evil church down the street means your a sick pervert who should be playing F.A.T.A.L the rape rpg... seriously whats wrong with you guys?
I, for one, do not particularly care to have my hobby a source of scorn and derision again.
It's Dungeons and Dragons, not Debasement and Deviltry.
If people want/need rules for whether their character is good in the sack, then sure, make a little splat book for them.
The same for the people who want/need rules for nipple piercings and conditioning behaviour through torture.
I'd rather be able to play/run my Heroic Adventure game without wasting page after page on how eating disorders are a Vile Feat, or what the gestation time for an Elf raped by an Orc would be, and what the chances of conception are besides...
I have other games I can spend time and money on.
One that deals with the mature themes of duty, self-sacrifice, personal advancement vs upholding the well-being of your family or society, and the virtues of social stability weighed against freedom and truth.
So, no, I won't be buying FATAL, nor will I be buying FATAL if it has a D&D logo.
kadim- yeah AD&D had rotting corpses all over the place, demon lords, full frontal succubi, but it had an age rating of 9 and above... lol. I think its always been the worst kept secrete that D&D says its for kids, but really its got a lot of adult (or heck juvinile) subject matter, and your right, I think the balls on this donkey are about the size of BBs and they wont risk anything that could pull any controversy, but one can hope.
side note, somebody was saying that D&D does not want to try and compete with videogames etc? thats a lot of hogwash, 4e was all based around the VTT getting up and running so it could directly compete with WOW. and regardless of the subject matter if your going after kids and teens, your in competition for their time and interest, so yes D&D is in competition with X-box, all video games, etc.
which is another thing I find funny... people seem totally ok with their kids playing mature rated videogames like Halo, MoH, assassins creed, dishonored, borderlands or GTA (with the prostitution murder killing innocents and endless profanity) but even suggest that an RPG may contain even a smiddgion of the same sort of material and suddenly your a threat to society. wtf?
so Verd- so does that mean all reproduction in your game happens by asexual budding, IE if an elf and a orc accidentally bump into eachother somebody's pregnant? theres no such thing as marrage in your world or having children? is it like people are assumed to be having sex but if you have a PC that wants to marry and have kids with an NPC then you have to plug your ears, close your eyes, and start yelling "NA NA NA I'M NOT HEARING THIS IM NOT HEARING THIS!!!!"
I tend to agree. It being an rpg there is scope for a lot of pretty freaky stuff, but as much as I want a game to include as many options and encourage as many ideas as it can, I think D&D being high fantasy and relatively tame is OK. At the most, a few supplements that hook into the system is all I want to see.
I should be clear: I don't want that stigma back. I don't really see what constructive purpose that could serve.
@verd then dont buy the mature "supplement" and (clearly there are many who will.) but your also saying you dont want pages "wasted" on demons, demon lords, really evil and vile monsters, which have ALWAYS been part of D&D. btw what fantasy books do not contain the subject sex in some fasion? toklen had it, in conan books it was all over the place, so what are your games like; wizard of ozz? harry potter (oh yeah there was sex in that too) um... what? what books do you pattern your game on where sex is not some form of plot device?
@Doc- heh get ready for people demanding you go play F.A.T.A.L seems to be a pattern here... btw ya made me think... gender equality... there was this fantasy show I remember, it had plots and elements based on rape, homosexuality, bizzare sexual acts, seduction, orgys and group sex,... oh yeah and it was also played in a prime time time slot, on a non-cable channel, was rated as PG and was called "Zena the Warrior Princess"... I sort of remember it being slightly popular... there was also this show called buffy the vampire slayer, and another called Angel... then there was a show called "beauty and the Beast" where romance scenes came close to beastiality... come to think of it, there are a lot of fantasy shows like that...
Nobody has issues with demon lords or scary monsters. A lot of that stuff has been in every edition but 2e, it just that the graphic stuff isn't explicitly stated. This is for very good reasons. It keeps the content age neutral and gives audiences who don't want to get to graphic an easy out without taking away a lot of the fun toys (demon lords, Savage monsters, ect.) without in any way hampering folks who want things more graphic.
And the reson we are bringing up F.A.T.A.L is because it is what you are asking for. Juvinile shock value graphic sex and violence to show off how "dark", "cool", "mature" and "hardcore" the game is (and by extension you the player are). That is pretty much F.A.T.A.L's MO and the game is widely ridiculed as one of the worst games every published because of it.
Mature content isn't darker or more graphic. Mature content is more complex and deep story that explores important questions and concepts in an adult manner. If you want to put that in a book go for it. Sex and gore? Not unless you want to get equated to a F.A.T.A.Lite.
I am not surprised that many people don't want to buy supplemental material with extra evil, dark, sexual, and violent themes. I am, however, surprised at how many would actually oppose such material from even being printed.
And the F.A.T.A.L. argument is ****ing lame (excuse my language, but sometimes cursing is called for), as that game's features are stupidity smeared in blood and semen. It actually has an item, a jar, that forces every man touching it to, unless they save, ejaculate in it with a chance of impregnating it in which case it gives birth to a boy whose lack of of penis (not testicles) makes him ever frustrated.
If any of you really think that is what Baalbamoth, or I for that matter, would want to see in dark supplemental material, you are either complete morons with no capacity for empathy or insulting beyond what I think is acceptable within this forum.
So please, voice your opposition in a way that does not insinuate that Baalbamoth is a sick, perverted, deviant, rapist, psychopath who might as well play the garbage that is F.A.T.A.L.
That said, I do see your point in preserving the image of D&D, and not being american, I probably don't see the same issues with (let's call it) "dark material".
What exactly do people want to see? Every edition has demons in it. That's not new. "Roll for getting knocked up!" is exactly the sort of silly, juvenile sort of thing that people roll their eyes at. D&D can and does have orgies, weird sex stuff, and any sort of creepy demon gore you could want, if you want it; it just doesn't have random rules for that kind of thing, because they're not important. It doesn't have orgy rules, and it also doesn't have normal fancy party rules. It doesn't have rules for getting the clap, and it doesn't have rules for congenital or foodborne illness.
I actually think that, while they'd never, ever do it, rules for sex/splattergore/spoooooky demons and stuff might actually sell fine as a supplement, because when you're fifteen a table for interspecies sexy times is edgy to tha max, and the notion that now it burns when your character pees because you bungled your sexy time check is hi-larious instead of a source of rolling-based eyeball strain, and mom would probably faint if she read about how depraved these cultists are. Yeah! Mountain Dew!
But seriously, kids like feeling like they're pushing boundaries. It's part of growing up. It just that that isn't really the sort of business I suspect WotC considers themselves to be into.
" I am, however,surprised at how many would actually oppose such material from even being printed."
For the same reason I would oppose airing an explicit sex and gore show on a child-friendly or even teen -oriented television network during primetime hours. It would mean parents, and consumers mature enough not to need that trash, could no longer trust material from that source. It would taint the whole brand.
Happily, the adults in charge of the D&D property will likely be mature enough to avoid such infantile material.
@Caeric: not me sir. I got into D&D specifically because my mormon parents told me it was evil and my other-side-of-the-tracks buddies, who they didnt like me hanging out with, all had the red boxes.
Next thing ya know I'm playin D&D durring lunch and recess in gradeschool at age 10 and intoducing all the rich OC kids to it, and aparently causing a quite panic among the PTA (which I didnt find out about till after my teens) when most of the guys at my school asked for the demonic satanic D&D for christmas. ahh.. memories...
@ Meste- humm... so in Game of Thrones, the evil preistess seduces the would be king, so she can get pregnant, then strips and flops on the ground where in great pain she gives birth to a shadowy demonspawn, which then appears from nowhere running the the admirable hero and enemy of the preistess/would be king through with some kind of smokey shadowsword.
dark? most definately, cool? yeah I think that sorta nailed it, mature? couldent get much more, hardcore? yeah extremely... goofy rape mechanics and innane juvinile depravity, no pretty much the exact opposite of that.
would I like to see and pay for rules covering how an evil preistess could give birth to a demonspawn, the rituals and materials required, the chance of survival for both mother and child, the cost to the father (level drains maybe?) absofrigginlutely I would, and again... clearly there are a lot of other gamers who would too.
@Lokiron high five and I'm always kinda shocked when there are people who just chime in "your a pervet go play F.A.T.A.L." because they think its building their junor moral nazi credit points or something. I dont care really if people disagree with me I only wish they'd actually voice their own real well thought out and hopefully open minded opinions rather than just jumping on a band waggon.
@Lesp: Kids? I'm 42, and I think the average watcher of Thrones, Rome, Deadwood, etc. all. is probably around middle age... what do you think the average age of a gamer currently is? I'll tell ya this... I see a LOT of grognards at conventions. Just because a gaming company may want to attract a younger audience to keep the game selling far into the future does not necessarily mean that is who their core consumers are (likely 26-35 year old males, who would drop cash in a second for a book like this regardless of how much they may protest it in public or online).
@Professor then why did the adults release the 3.0 version in the first place? ya know a lot of those same guys are probably still on the payroll... and saying "it was the best suppliment WotC had released in a long time"... and likely had very high sales figures... I think your going way out of your way to convince people of a lie you really wish was true. "I think thou doest protest too much..."
It's a pretty simple calculation, in my mind. Mature content is easy for people who want it to add, but hard for people who don't want it to remove.
".... the existence of mature themes in no way dictates that they must be played out in graphic detail (though some will likely want to). For example,an evil PC torturing an enemy for information doesn't need to include graphic descriptions of the actual acts of torture. The DM and group can easily be comfortable with cutting away from the action...."
If it's going to be that vague then it doesn't need to be covered in official game materials at all. Good.
I pretty much agree with everything Hocus said up there,
I dont think D&D will ever get back to the "That Johnny kid is BAAAAD... I bet he listens to satanic metal music, smokes pot, and plays D&D!" (and I did) though I do have nostalgia for the era...
by my teens my room was covered in DIO, Ozzy, and D&D posters, when I'd walk by in a biker jacket in school kids would make the sign of the cross with their fingers, and I'd use sharpies to draw upside down crucifixes on my palms to flash back... and this was in grade school... yeah D&D was part of the rebellion, and I'd agree it isnt really now... (and I'm not sure what is... republican party support? go green or death? no idea) and wont ever be again.
(PS. I once threatened a fat-camp counselor with a knife when he threw chewing tobacco and cooking oil all over my Gigax signed AD&D books, and got kicked out of fat-camp... had I known it was that easy I would have done it earlyer and maybe saved the books!)
BUT (back on topic..)
Evil parties (running them playing them etc) need to be covered in core, including hooks on how to keep the evils together (blackmail, magic contract, under penalty of death, etc).
Demons, devils, undead, summoning, and necromancy as well (assuming a monster manual is part of core)
Personally I think brothels and courtisans should have some minor coverage (an NPC class etc) but nothing much more than that.
and I would like to see some info on how marrages, political unions, churches etc each handle the topic of marrage (does god XYZ demand celebacy, are marrages open or monogamous, etc) even if this is handled from setting to setting.
Likewise I'd like to see how crime is handled from place to place. (judical champions? trials, high courts and low courts?) and what the crimes are and encur what penalties (death for adultry or not even a crime?) I have supplements that offer some good guidelines for these, but never really seen anything in D&D go into too much depth and wish they would.
but when it comes to splat books third party and otherwise... yeah I'd like it to be open, go ahead and cover pregnancy = death in ogre rape, litters of orks killing most of their weak brothers and sisters before they can walk etc. as well as everything else, sex magic, plague bringers, vile cult practices, rules for torture, gods and neither creatures making pacts for souls and sacrifice, devil worship for fun and profit etc.
lol what do you have against people who use their religious freedom to choose to be pagan rather than the christian norm? and if I have a medical card and live in a state where it's legal for someone of my age, who are you to tell me what medication I can and cant use? do you consider yourself a biggot?
but the point of that statement was that those were the things people associated with D&D at one time, and some of us had to deal with a lot of crap for participating in this hobby. now days in a lot of places, medical marijuana, sweedish deathmetal, and D&D are all mainstream.
I love progress...
1) satanism is paganism, as is any religion not christian.
I agree with the general sentiment of the OP, DnD should not be afraid of having edge what can I say we have edge by default just look at the classes:
Just look at HP no matter how you cut it have spells in your book/game/thing it doesn't matter if you fluff it as their powers comming from loving bunnies, if their power doesn't explicitly mention [insert RL object/person of worship here] it's heresy.
ok to settle the first part... "From its earliest beginnings, Christianity spread much more quickly in major urban areas (like Antioch, Alexandria, Carthage, Corinth, Rome) than in the countryside (in fact, the early church was almost entirely urban), and soon the word for "country dweller" became synonymous with someone who was "not a Christian," giving rise to the modern meaning of "pagan."
Forget what you assume are my sick twisted needs, thats your own demons talking. If you need a game of singing trees and skipping elves to help you deal with your damaged psyche fine.
All the things you mention are the REAL after effects of what happens when a loved king starts a campagin to raise a crusade into the holy lands. Its not fantasy, its history.
All I want is the slider on my game to be able to go deeper into the real than the game you want to run. Thats it. its not perverse its not wrong its just prefrence.
How is my desire to run a more realistic game, with a more realistic world, and my desire to have realistic rules for the worst aspects of human nature going to ruin your game where such rules can easily be ignored, or such rules must be bought as a supplement?
I've already worked on the SED unit (serverly emotionally disturbed) ward of a mental hospital on and off for four years, and I've seen and heard the worst that humanity has to offer, your little stories arent frightening to me, and my tower is far more dark than ivory.
Ok, let's try and make this simple.
1. I agree with baal in that I would like to see much of what you are asking for. As long as it is a supplement. Which is a concession I think you seem to be ok with.
2. What's with these competing horror stories? You can't trust the other is telling the truth any more then you could believe me if I claimed to be a syrian rebel (spoiler: I'm not).
3. Baal, you want us to convince you why you should care about things like DnD's image with the public? Let's try this, WotC knows its target demographics, they know what they need to do to try and make a game most of us will like. Their willingness to scrape ideas or add things when we complain proves this. If WotC ignores. The PC social climate of today then they look bad, they lose money and then they fail to bring DnD back to anything even mildly reminiscint of popular. If DnD fails then you donMt have a game to play, except for what you already own and can continue to happily play regardless of what WotC does. you. Manage to write a third party BoVD I might actually be one to buy it. But deciding all you care about is what will make the game good for you alone is anti-thetical to the idea of what DDN is supposed to be. Everyone will have to make some sort of concession, at least yours might be something you can add in to DDN just as easily as you would have to ADnD.
4. Everyone else against Baal, what is with the hyperbole? Half the stuff you acuse him of wanting he hasn't mentioned. (Whether he actually does want rules on screaming virgins I can't say) but atleast try abd act appropriatly civil. The rest of these boards have figured out how to respectfully disagree. (Mostly) you guys here are all stuck somewhere in Meliore it would seem.
How about no, how about we make gaming so acceptable that there is no social stigmata against it at all? Make tabletop gaming as socally acceptable as videogaming, a lot of people do it and videogamers are as broad of a spectrum as any other hobby.
Gaming should be about acceptance and openness not "lets go in the corner and play games that exclude.
With that said, there are places for "adult" games. much like every other hobby. but that shouldnt mean that every game should. there is a game for a song aof fire and ice? good does D&D need to emulate it now? probably not.
if anything D&D should try to become that all encompasing gateway game that leads people to more games, and it can only do that if it doenst try to become an outsider.
No, I do not need rules for screaming virgins... I like Sparticus, I liked Troy, I liked 300 and am looking forward to the sequil, when I invision whats going on in combat thats what I'm imagining. I understand if other people want to see a tiny cut and somebody falls over, etc. ok, but I'd actually like to get some realistic combat rules in there... its always bugged me a bit that an ork can chop away at somebody like 40 times knock em to negitives, and they suffer nothing for that (no disablement, no problems just getting healed popping up and goin back to fightin.)
regarding the openess of D&D... I've played in a lot of different DM's games, no two were alike (assuming they wernt focusing on some adventure path or something, honestly I try and avoid non-sandbox games) and thats kind of the beauty of 5e its supposed to let us ALL do what we want and I know there are a lot of people out there who share some of my desires for 5e and entertainment choices.
about videogames... there are some flagship games but for the mostpart the market is open, if were looking at fantasy MMO's its WoW... and I hate WoW... and AOC did nothing for me but annoy the crap out of me with all its bugs. if anything that is acceptable in a videogame is acceptable for a rule in D&D we got no problems.. ya ever play mafia? how bout GTA, how bout "the godfather" how bout any one of the "real crime" games... everyting I mentioned is going on in those, and parents still buy them for their kids completely ignoring the "mature" lable. did you even recognize whats on the ESRB for Halo?
Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language
and thats all that I'm looking for as a supplement to D&D, intense rather than cartoon violence, blood and gore, some sexual content, and strong language suitable for a 17 yr old.
@ahern- good points, I'm very torn on the whole "gotta make da moolah or the game will die" idea... I saw what happened with 4e as the perfect example of what happens when you decide to go for money, try and make a game only for mass appeal, and how it can corrupt an entire system and company. not saying anything about the mechanics really, just that there was a severe disconnect between the previous editions of the game, and 4e, and there wasnt any sort of effort or concessions to bring along their core grognards. now their seeing the error of their ways and trying to make a game for everybody, I still dont know if I'm going to love or hate what they end up with, but your right, if somebody doesnt print up the rules I want, I probablly will.
I can understand reservations to the "make money or die" scenario. And I don't mean to say DDN is the make or break edition. But each "failed" edition means that the next one has to do even better. I think a main difference between 4E (my preferred edition) and DDN is WotC tried to make money with 4E. DDN they still want to make the money but they realized they can't do that by focusing on that goal. So now they are focusing on making people happy, assuming that if they succeed they will make the money they need.
And just for fairness sake. I already called others on hyperbole with things like screaming virgins, but your being just as bad saying everyone else wants little cuts and skipping orcs. I don't imagine sparticus in my DnD games, but I don't imagine looney toons either.
Easy answer. Release Ravenloft after the 5e Forgotten Realms base game comes out.
Post Your Reply
Please login to post a reply.