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Flame Princess/Flame War Marketing

As a general rule, I’d prefer that people don’t assume I have Asperger’s — not that I have anything against those who suffer from the most self-diagnosed flavor on the Autism spectrum.

It’s just that we as role-players tend to often joke about subjects that other people don’t find funny, we quote movies that no one else thinks are awesome and we we tend to make fun of shit that really isn’t funny — like Asperger’s.

And some of us for some reason not only don’t know when we’ve crossed a line, but we don’t realize there was a line there to begin with. And inevitably, those of us who occasionally quote Monty Python to each other get lumped in with the guys who make rape jokes to the solitary girl in the elevator. Is it fair? No. It’s guilt by association, and it sucks. But it’s a fact of life.

That’s why things like F.A.T.A.L. make we wince. I’m not saying it doesn’t have a right to exists, I’m just saying there’s something wrong with your brain for thinking up such a monstrosity.

So when the RPG blogosphere got it’s collective panties into a twist about the artwork in Lamentations of the Flame Princess: Grindhouse Edition, I had to check it out.

So after reading dozens of forum posts and blog articles decrying LotFP, I bought it. That’s right, I bought something to look at the pictures — like Playboy or Penthouse back in the days before the internet.

Not only did I buy LotFP to look at the pictures, I did it because of the negative comments I’ve seen.

So is this an example of the law of unintended consequences? Or is this an example of reverse psychology marketing? I can’t say.

But after perusing LotFP Grindhouse Edition, I will say this: the books that make up this game have some of the best art direction I’ve seen in an RPG.

There are dozens — probably hundreds — of line art illustrations by various artists in a variety of styles. Yes, some are graphic — and there are too many instances of cocks to suit my tastes.

It’s clear however that a great deal of thought was put into layout and presentation. ┬áHere we have an independent RPG publisher who understands the importance of artwork to help set a tone. Granted: it’s a dark and disturbing tone, but there’s certainly nothing that make me as a role-player want to hide my head in shame.

Some of the artwork appears to repeat from page to page, but it actually  changes as you page through the book. As I was scrolling through page by page, it was too subtle for me to catch the first time around, but I noticed it on a second perusal.

Like I said, I can’t speak for the game, as I only looked at the pictures. Now that I know it’s not the next F.A.T.A.L., I’ll give it a read and write a proper review later.

Written by

Stu Venable is the producer of Happy Jacks RPG Podcast and writer and editor of DoucheyDM.com. He is founder and director of the Poxy Boggards and a member of Celtic Squall. He holds a degree in Journalism and Public Relations from California State University, Long Beach. He is a husband and a father. He hates puppies.

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3 Responses to "Flame Princess/Flame War Marketing"

  1. Victor Von DaveNo Gravatar says:

    I wasn’t all that keen on checking the game out, so the whole controversy sort of blew over my head – but what you say intrigues me enough to look for a copy to at least flip through the pictures.

  2. Geek GazetteNo Gravatar says:

    It’s funny I read through the Flame Princess and realized pretty quickly it wasn’t my kind of game, so I never bought it. It just didn’t appeal to me. After all the fuss made about the game lately I actually considered purchasing it too, just because of the negative attention. I don’t want it and have no desire to play it, but the guy has a right to publish whatever he wants. His fans also have the right to play and enjoy it, if that’s their thing. I’ve bought several of the OSR games simply to support the great work they are doing. I don’t play most of them since I generally play 2e or Pathfinder, but some of the stuff is really good and it can’t hurt to support them.
    Also I didn’t remember the pictures in Flame Princess being so incredibly offensive in the copy that I saw so I figured if nothing else I’d get it for the pictures too. I’ve since changed my mind and bought some 2e and Pathfinder books with that money, but I did consider it.

  3. SirGuidoNo Gravatar says:

    There is a guy here locally that loves the game. He brought it to my local shop to run, but I was already in the middle of playing Fiasco at the time so couldn’t check it out. It seemed like the ones who did check it out enjoyed it though.

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