Sunday, June 12, 2011

Reaction From Outside the Blogosphere - LotFP's Weird Fantasy is "D&D Porn"

Yesterday, at the Gathering of Fools, one of the gaming items I brought to give away was the extra copy of LotFP's Weird Fantasy Rules & Magic book.  I got the extra copy as I preordered the Grindhouse Edition Boxed set.

The Tunnels & Trolls 7.5e Boxed set lasted mere seconds after hitting the table.  Damn, but that was grabbed fast.  Weird Fantasy was the second thing that grabbed attention.  The questions started with "Why is there a Pilgrim on the cover of a D&D book?" but quickly turned to "Holy shit dude!  Where did you get D&D porn?  And why?"

That was the reaction of my old gaming group to the full page art plates in Weird Fantasy.  Over the years, I've given out copies of C&C Player's Handbooks, Osric, Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry, Dark Dungeons and even had them fight it out as generic 1st level fighters for a copy of the Swords & Wizardry White Box.  The above is a main listing, I've given away other odds and ends.  One of my friends calls the collection that he has gained one of the coolest things he owns.

Never before has any one accused - maybe "accused" is too strong a term - let's say "voiced the opinion" that I brought over D&D Porn.

Heck, it's not that they were offended.  Mildly disturbed perhaps, but none of us are prudes.  Most of us are parents tho', and it never really occurred to me before that there might be products in my gaming collection that would be best stored out of the reach of children.  I've been too close to the whole blogging / insiders view of our hobby that I failed to see the forest for the trees.

Now, the nudity that was in the earlier Deluxe Edition of Weird Fantasy was more "artsy" then "porn" in my opinion, as I sit here and compare the two.  I think it is the erect penises and obvious sex act that puts the Grindhouse Edition over the edge.  Well, at least that's what got the initial reaction from the guys yesterday.  I found myself trying to defend the rules, not the art, but I shouldn't have had the need to do either.

In the end, it found itself a new home.  Wall Street Wizard should find a lot of cool gaming ideas held within that book.  He will need to keep it out of the reach of his curious young ones, which is a shame, as the book itself does not read of sex acts or anything else of the sort.  A picture says a thousand words, so perhaps James felt the less actually said, the better.  All i know is, if me and my fiancee decide to have children, I don't have all that much I will need to keep out of their hands, except the Weird Fantasy Grindhouse Edition Boxed Set, which is a shame.  It didn't need to be that way, and as written it is a good system to introduce new gamers to the hobby.  Just don't pass the rules on to any under the age of 18 ;)


  1. I think Greg has held that view for a while, that for a commercial project, the art is really a bit much.

    I like the idea of such a thing as an underground zine of some kind, but anything else turns me off, especially the the "Look at me! I am so dark and edgy and dangerous!"

    Generally, subversives don't have to advertise the fact that they are beyond the pale.

  2. It's so weird how lately these observations are coming to light by folks who are into 'old school'.

    Remember Frank Frazetta paintings?

    John Norman's Gor series?

    The cover of the OD&D supplement Eldritch Wizardry?

    It was only after the witch hunts started in the late 80's and caused the whole hobby to change directions that what was essentially an adult product got toned down for children.

    I'll be curious to see how this turns out.

  3. It might have something to do with the people who were teenagers when they were looking at Frazetta abnd reading Gor are now grown up and have kids of their own...

  4. @ADD Grognard - I'm not commenting on nudity - I think the cover of the Weird Fantasy box is a beautiful piece of art.

    The piece that offended, or got the reactions, was the full color piece of the woman with the medusa mask in hand, he male lover turned to stone as he is obviously entering her from behind. Two other victims are seen, one with a fairly engorged penis (and his tongue out as if he was using it when he was turned to stone) and another holding his penis in two hands.

    Sorry, I must have missed this type of art on the covers of the hundreds of fantasy books i read in the 80's and 90's.

    As for the Gor series.... I bought the first dozen or so at a dime apiece back in the late 80s. I lasted a book and a half.

  5. I hope nobody was under the impression that I was kidding when I put the 18+ disclaimer on the box.

  6. @JimLotFP-And the entrance to your site even is clearly marked as well.

    And I'm not trying to rag on anyone's sensibility, just that 'old school' includes things like these. And what about Heavy Metal magazine? The sex and weirdness ran rampant. EVERYONE read Heavy Metal back then.

    Just a different time is all I'm saying.

  7. I think Zak's note on the back dust jacket flap for Vornheim sums it up:

    "Although this work is not specifically "intended for adults", the author of this book has no children and constantly forgets that other people do, which may or may not be reflected in its content. Nervous parents should probably read it before letting their children get their hands on it, and adults stupid enough to imitate the morally repugnant practices (slavery, human sacrifice, animal cruelty, copyright infringement, etc.) described herein because they read about them in a book about a game should probably stop reading books."

  8. "Remember Frank Frazetta paintings?

    John Norman's Gor series?

    The cover of the OD&D supplement Eldritch Wizardry?"

    Never read Gor, but since we're talking about art, let's keep it there.

    I'd be ok keeping a copy of Eldritch Wizardry on my bookshelf. I would not be ok, with my son seeing a copy of the Grindhouse Edition. One of the reasons I haven't bought the game yet, is because I don't want to buy an RPG I have to hide, to make sure my seven year old doesn't decide to go looking through daddy's cool RPG collection and come across it.

    I'm not bothered at the idea of him running across some Frank Frazetta Boobage. Not something I would show him, but I wasn't much older than him when I ran across my own father's Frank Frazetta art books. I think he'd survive the experience.

    But, the Grindhouse edition is a bit more hardcore than that and I would have to hide it in the closet, or something.

  9. James says it better then I could have. There is nudity and there is "porn". The cover to the Grindhouse Boxed set is "nudity". The art I referenced - "Porn" or damn close to it. The thing is, it has no need to be there. It is there for the "shock" value, little else.

    When games releases the "no-art" version of Grindhouse, if her ever does, it will be PG-13 at worst ;)

  10. there is a no art version of the PDF available - I like the rules and dropped James a line early on, and he pointed me to the link (free versions of both deluxe and grind house).

    I'm still hoping a player friendly version of the rules and magic gets made (maybe keep it pg 13) but in the meantime, we've got the PDF printout with no pics.

  11. I have a Michael Parks print, hanging behind my chair:


    The other day, Brisco asked me "Why is that lady showing her butt?"

    At his age, I don't want to have to explain anything more complicated than that. :)

  12. And honestly, that medusa pic was designed for humor, not titillation. All the medusa's bits are covered up, and I don't expect anyone to get excited over petrified woodies.

    Looking at the 250 reference photos trying to figure out which angle and positions were the best was not the most awful work I've had to do as publisher, however.

    There are a few pieces in the box where "woohoo!" is the idea, and those would be the Blackie Ritchmore, Frost Giant's Daughter, and Ollam Onga pieces, but two of them probably fail because the idea to do "sexy male" pieces, and I'm probably not the best judge of that sort of thing. I think we hit a home run on the Frost Giant's Daughter though.

  13. I'm just glad to see some parents who take responsibility for their children. I have worked corp. video game sales and have been in knockdowns with parents about why they shouldn't buy Grand Theft Auto for their 9 year old. I had to take one lady outside the store to explain it to her and she almost had a stroke.

    As for 'porn'...not really...graphic, yes, but not porn. Porn has a definition and this item doesn't fit.

    And really we have to be careful when it comes to fantasy RPGs. Think about it-they are generally centered around a race war mentality where you kill them and steal their stuff :)

    (Come on, ya gotta laugh a little...you know it's funny)

  14. @James: Do boobs and wieners feature in your games a lot? I'm guessing the blood and guts does, but I wasn't sure about the other stuff. How much of the artwork is based on stuff from your home games?

  15. Characters get laid, suspected NPCs get stripped looking for satanic teats, it happens but we don't dwell on it; it happens and we go on to the next thing same as checking traps or whatever.

  16. Some groups roll a d20 to see if you find traps, others go into great detail about how they're searching.

  17. Screw all that d20 stuff!

    If they don't search thoroughly, they should miss the enchanted ampallang.

  18. @beedo - I see a character sheet for the Grindhouse edition and the art free rules for the Deluxe edition, I don't see art free rules for the Grindhouse edition.

    I'm using the link I have in the upper left for Jim's site.

  19. Tenkar - the art-free PDF is available here:


    It is located under the link to "LotFP Discussion Forum" and above "LotFP Grindhouse Edition Character Sheet PDF" on the LotFP site.

  20. the above link gives me this message:

    404 Error

    You have reached a page that has gone bye-bye! Or you have followed a bad link!
    If you are looking for the RPG website, go here.
    If you are looking for the Heavy Metal website, go here.
    If you are looking for something else... you are out of luck.

  21. Ah, found the link on the blog site, not his web site. The website still links the deluxe rules. Damn it Raggi, you're confusing the shit outa me! ;)

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. crap... blooger deletes the end of the link... adding it to the Free Fun list on the upper left of this page

  24. If they don't search thoroughly, they should miss the enchanted appalling.

    I don't really want anyone at the table to go into great detail about how they're forcibly stripping some NPC to see if she has monster boobs. :-/

  25. Good conversation here, everyone has their own style of play and their own campaign nuances. If there are elements of a particular product that concern me, I tend to either not buy it or give it away once I have mined it for good material. It would be worthwhile to explore the potential divide between the acceptance of violence in most games and the absence of sex (other than gender reference of a character or NPC) in most settings. I don’t think it is because players are all prudes or uptight about sex, but rather the presence of sex in their own lives and the absence of actual violence (especially killing) in their lives. I have had some interesting conversations regarding this and may have to babble about it over on grievous injury. Most players don't seem too unsettled if they hear about orcs raping and pillaging a village, but if they were given a detailed description of it I suspect many would walk away from the gaming table and not return. Besides, if a player said that the detailed Rated-R or beyond description was awesome, I’d be more than a bit unsettled. But I imagine that some would not.

  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. Padre, I'd love to read your thoughts on the matter. I have a few more of my own. As you pretty much said, its the detail that seems to be the kicker.


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