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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

So, Just How Offensive is Alpha Blue?

How offensive is Alpha Blue to my eyes? Not very.

Sure, the subject matter may seem juvenile to me (and I'm going to still run with the tagline Porky's meets Babylon 5 / Deep Space 9) and it might not be something I'd run, but on the offensive meter it doesn't hit the level I'd expected. Alpha Blue does not go to Eleven. Maybe six or a rounded up seven.

Now, while there is a noticeable amount of outrage for the inclusion of the poorly named Rape Machine (easy enough to find as it's listed in the nicely hyperlinked Table of Contents and then sits by it's lonesome on the page you are taken to) the description of the use of the machine is actually fairly tame. I suspect if +Venger Satanis had named in the Unwilling Fuck Machine it would have both fit the setting better AND not have generated the amount of outrage we're seeing.

Hell, maybe the Rape Machine is not what generated the complaint that has temporarily (thus far) removed Alpha Blue from the virtual shelves of OBS. Maybe it was someone offended by The Interstellar Caliphate.

Interstellar Caliphate you say? That is so Politically Incorrect. It's there, over the top, campy and politically incorrect as hell like the rest of Alpha Blue:
According to the Interstellar Caliphate, those who refuse
to submit before the will of Allah are considered infidels
and shall be made to suffer. And suffer they do under the
oppressive, religious imperialism carried out by their
ghazi troopers. 
While the entire faction does not go to such ideological
lengths, the Interstellar Caliphate is full of extremists.
Many of whom believe that if they die in service to their
"holy war", they'll be granted 72 cyber virgins in paradise.
Color me not offended but I'm sure some would be. It is a work of fiction and I suspect no infidels were made to suffer in the writing of this work. Oh, and it's a decent hook for an evil cult. BTW, my great aunt was a Catholic Nun and I wasn't offended by their depiction in Far Away Land, which also went with a humorous approach.

As for the Unwilling Fuck Machine (Trademark Pending) -
Originally built as an automated penetration device, the
templars of a dark god modified it to rape unwilling
subjects. These templars used the device as punishment
for disobedience, but soon the rape unwilling fuck machine
became a public spectacle that satiated their twisted lust for                                           pain and degradation. 
There are certainly templars aboard Alpha Blue - some
probably worship demonic deities. Chances are that one
of those cults will have a rape unwilling fuck machine for
"cleansing the palate".
(edit - we have some formatting issues - live with it ;)

Not there for PC use, it's there as a plot hook. An evil device used by templars of a dark god. Kinda like a sacrificial altar in the fantasy game / dungeon of your choice. No detailed description of how it works. Four simple sentences.

Now rape is and of itself is a four letter word and I'm sure just the word itself is offensive and hurtful to some. I understand that. I do think Half-Orcs in AD&D are far more offensive than this, as Half-Orcs are the result of the forcible rape of another race by an orc. A player race whose whole existence is based on rape. It sure as hell isn't love.

What does offend me in Alpha Blue is the amount of "white space" left unused on many of the pages. Oh, and the women with the 70's hairdos. My God what a painful recollection to have forced on one unwillingly. That which is seen can not be unseen.

I may mine Alpha Blue for some of it's tamer random tables but on the whole it probably won't see much use at my gaming table. I do, however understand the appeal it has for others. Porky's meets Babylon 5 / Deep Space 9 certainly has an audience even if it isn't me.

edit: DungeonMastahWieg - Bingo!


  1. I don't know that I find it offensive... rather, I have the same reaction to AB that I have to seeing a crudely drawn penis on the wall of a restroom stall.

    1. Hmm.... on a second look, is the machine supposed to be a nod to "Down in the Park" by Gary Numan?

  2. Does anyone even know what actually happened. Was it the crybullies who took it down, or something else?

  3. I am assuming that the policy Wieck announced back at the end of the last Affaire Desborough went into effect after someone reported Alpha Blue. So far everything that has happened has done so according to the procedure Wieck described. A report, the reported product temporarily removed for the review, and that's as far as we've got right now.

    1. And as per usual it appears there's no grounds for it. Whether that stops it being pulled of course...

    2. Desbororugh and Raggi are probably two of my favorite designers (next to Laws and Kenson), if both of them were completely pulled, I think I would stop favoring (or shopping) on OBS. I will not go on my SJW rant yet, because I am not 100% sure it was because of a crybully attack. Honestly I don't even care for the author or the work in question, its just a matter of principal.

  4. Heh. I thought Tubeway Army as soon as I heard "rape machine."

    Still not my style of book, but it's making me think I should go see Gary Numan again this summer . . . he's doing all of Replicas. So thanks for sucking money out of my concert fund man.

  5. Regarding the Caliphate, Tenkar, there was an entry in the book claiming that 33% of Muslims in the setting were terrorists or terrorist sympathizers, page 89:

    "Within the Interstellar Caliphate, most space Muslims are peaceful, Allah worshiping citizens of the universe. Unfortunately, roughly a third were radicalized into warlike jihadists by dark prophets who mysteriously came from the deserts of Toga-Togo. These black robed clerics perverted the Qur’an to their own advantage. Many believe they actually serve some nameless and malevolent godlike entity."

    I think that the problem is less "there are people who use an interpretation of Islam to violent ends, and so make great villain material" and more "one in three Muslims are working for the villains."

    1. I read this as "there is a state under an evil regime, supported by roughly one third of the population". Nothing offensive there imo, and btw there could be Muslims living outside the Caliphate so it wouldn't be "1 in 3 Muslims".

  6. After it was brought to my attention, I wondered if the Interstellar Caliphate was just a teensy bit too offensive to Muslims. Luckily, there was time to add a little bonus content on page 89. I'm speaking of the Elvehjem Azahd.

  7. I have not read the book, but it seems all you did was take something that exists in real life and took it a step into a future setting. As to offending Muslims, no matter what you do they will be offended. Offended them is a good thing as it shows you will not submit to dhimmitude.

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  8. About a year ago. I wrote an article about how I wish major publishers wouldn't include art (like the cover of this book) on mainstream offerings because owning one makes me feel like a creepy misogynist. (Not that that really applies here. This is clearly a niche product). But I don't think products like this, even with the Caliphate and the UFM, shouldn't exist. Stick em behind a warning page, maybe some tags so people don't wander in by accident and bam, problem solved. In addition, if someone complains, stick them behind the clickwall with an "under review" tag and let them sit there while you review to determine if they should stay there permanently. That seems like a sensible compromise to me.

    1. You've clearly missed the meaning of "crybully". The fact that a single complaint can effectively result in the indefinite impoundment of an author's goods without effective recourse is a wonderful opportunity for extortion and harassment by those that are so inclined. This "compromise" is not sensible in the least, because the author loses every single time, at no cost to the complainant. Imagine how well it would go at your local dead tree shop if you demanded that they take stuff in the "naughty section" off the sales rack because you don't like it.

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    3. I don't think I ever said that the goods in question shouldn't be available while under review. Putting it where you have to click a "I saw there was a complaint about this don't care, still want to see it" allows for sales while still offering a reasonable level of care. It's more equivalent to my flgs putting the "naughty section" behind the counter or my local drug store putting adult magazines in sealed plastic bags, both of which are things that have been done successfully for years.

  9. Half orcs don't come about that way in my world.

  10. Half orcs don't come about that way in my world.