Would you buy a rules free/light evil/mature product

Would you purchase an evil/mature game product if available?

  • Yes, I'm a consenting adult

    Votes: 10 13.3%
  • Yes, if I were a consenting adult

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No, I prefer my heroes to be good when they kill things

    Votes: 34 45.3%
  • Maybe, depends on who wrote it and how it was presented

    Votes: 31 41.3%

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I'll admit I could have used better examples than what I did. As for evil pursuits I would agree the best example would be along the lines of Midnight, only from evil's point of view and not the whole last remnant of good. The whole mature concept would be fantasy more in line with some of the more reknowned fantasy art that never makes it into an RPG. such as Frank Frazetta, Boris, Julia, even Olivia though hers tends to more sci-fi. I'm talking more than just the artwork though and angeling more for the feel that is portrayed in stuff similiar to those pictures. World of Darkness has a mature feel to it as does Conan but they still fall into the PG-13 aspects which is okay, but if the average age of gamers is college age then why can't a mature themed fantasy portraying evil be presented?

I agree that "mature content" tends to become sophomoric if exposed to the younger generation of gamers, but it still can be done and I'm sure there's a market for it. The key as indicated by the survey so far is that it would really depend on who wrote it. An evil Elric style campaign where everyone is anti-heroes to some extent might work.

I know that there are mature themed settings out there, but the majority of them is still presented from the traditional point of view of good versus evil or are completely different genres, namely horror. Dragon Age if played according to the video game could definitely fall into the mature catagory, but GR has rightfully chosen to target the masses by making it a PG-13 game (at least so far). Once in awhile certain modules touch on the subject, but overall I'm not aware of any straight up evil based settings that whole heartedly present themselves from start to finish as evil fantasy.

I hope that clears things up a bit about what I'm trying to discuss.


An evil/mature campaign world for evil PCs

This one doesn't make sense to me. You can play evil or good in most any setting.

Ravenloft has world rules to discourage evil characters (ultimately turning them into NPCs through the influence of the dark powers after they go too far) but even son I've run a succesful ongoing Ravenloft D&D campaign with evil PCs.

How would a campaign setting be specifically for evil PCs?

I'm still wondering why "mature content" has become a synonym for "sophomoric"...
It's not necessarily; I think the "Book of Vile Darkness" themed adventure in Dungeon was extremely well done, and one of my favorite modules in a long time. Plus, stuff like George RR Martin, Steven Erikson, Joe Abercrombie, Glen Cook and others certainly show that fantasy fans have a market for "mature content" that isn't sophomoric. The RPG side of fantasy publication hasn't really managed to execute their stuff quite as well, or at least as successfully.

That said, the original question is way too vague. Would I buy rules light mature products? Well, what rules light mature products? Book of Vile Darkness was OK, although not exactly rules light. Green Ronin's Book of Fiends was actually much better, much more mature... but also not exactly rules light. The Book of Erotic Fantasy is a bit of a joke 'round my neck of the woods; I wouldn't ever have considered anything like that to be a worthwhile addition to my RPG collection.

I certainly wouldn't automatically not buy a rules light mature product... but honestly, I'd be skeptical of it, and I'm certainly not craving that kind of material in any way that I would ever go buy anything like that sight unseen just because it's rules light and mature, or whatever.


Mod Squad
Staff member
Plus, stuff like George RR Martin, Steven Erikson, Joe Abercrombie, Glen Cook and others certainly show that fantasy fans have a market for "mature content" that isn't sophomoric. The RPG side of fantasy publication hasn't really managed to execute their stuff quite as well, or at least as successfully.

Well, here's part of the reason, I think. "Mature" has two related meanings:

1) Inappropriate for younger audiences

2) Having emotional and intellectual breadth and depth that is not usually found in younger people.

The choice to save money for the future, rather than spend it on short-term frivolities, is a "mature" decision, but it contains no content that is inappropriate for younger audiences. Leather, drugs, skin, and titillation by particular sexual foibles is inappropriate for younger audiences, but usually isn't handled with any emotional depth to speak of.

George RR Martin's novels have both, linked hand in hand. And, to manage it, he has to use a whole lot of verbiage - those books are long for a reason. Does your typical game book really have the page count and writing talent (and understanding of real human nature) to pull off both meanings at once?


First Post
I chose "No, because I prefer my heroes to be good", because that is closest approximation of my actual answer.

My actual answer is "No, because in the conext of RPG products, 'Mature' is an autoantonym."

I would buy rules-light products.
I would buy non-rules specific products.
I would buy a product aimed at a mature audience, in that I'd like to see some topics handled like collapse of society, ethics of primogeniture, reasons for civil wars, what happens after plagues, etcetera.

I absolutely don't want to see a book about RPG "evil" (IE, drugs, pierced genitals, drinking blood, defiling corpses, worshipping demons)... as all of those "evils" seem rather petty and unworthy of desigining a campaign or plot around when compared to the examples above.
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First Post
I chose yes. But as mentioned previously in this thread, there is a big difference between "mature evil" and "immature evil". I'm not interested in a supplement that puts gold values on prostitutes and sex toys. But I would be very interested in a rules-light supplement that would assist a DM with designing truly evil villains. And such a discussion would definitely include stuff like the psychological effects of murder, rape, and incest...but it would also need to include stuff on how to make evil redeemable as well.

The worst evil is the kind that you can see yourself becoming...not evil that seems so alien its easy to dissociate.
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Well, if your goal is to evoke the feel of a Robert E. Howard story illustrated by a Frank Frazetta painting... that's a worthy goal and one I could definitely be on board with. My question then would be, how do you plan to achieve that goal?

I think the "Age of Conan" MMO is instructive here. AoC billed itself as a "mature audiences" game. Turns out, AoC's idea of mature content is "gore and naked women*." You can ogle bare nipples but you can't have sex; you can suffer gruesome injuries but they disappear instantly. The mature elements are just a veneer--you could turn AoC into a PG-rated game with no more than a reskin. That's not something that interests me. If all I wanted was pictures of bare nipples, the whole Internet stands ready to supply them.

I'd want such a setting to delve into details, including prurient stuff but also non-prurient--food, water, shelter, the realities of survival in a decadent and primitive world. That would go a long way to evoke that flavor. (I'm not sure why you think of it as an "evil" setting; I would be more inclined to describe it as "amoral.")

[size=-2]*No naked men, mind you, just the women.[/size]
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Victoria Rules
The BoEF was a poor attempt at filling a gaping hole in the D+D game: there are no rules or even guidelines for things like:

- pregnancy (chances? effects on character while adventuring? effects on combat? gestation period for different races?)
- inter-racial reproduction (what can breed with what? at what odds of success? how are the stats-looks-racial modifiers of the offspring determined?)
- childbirth (boy, girl, or other? twins? odds of survival of child? of mother? chance of deformity?)
- children (how do parents' stats affect those of child? guidelines for costs of upbringing? incorporating children into your story?)
- birth control (how? failure chances? racial attitudes toward such?)

As for sex, what I'd like to see is some guidelines on general racial attitudes and preferences; these can be as explicit (or not) as required.

If someone published this as a hard-copy book and did it well, I'd buy it.

Lan-"I could write it myself but I haven't got the patience"-efan


My answer is a "Maybe, depending" but it's more like, "you'd have a hard sell ahead of you." It would have to be a great product for me to really want it - evil content for evil content's sake isn't my cup of tea.

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