Monday, March 12, 2018


So, this question was recently posed at the end of a Ten Foot Pole review for Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport...

"What's the point of all the penis imagery/juvenile themes? Not a complaint. Just curious and interested in why you think your work needs that?"

Rather than reply to this comment with something short like "Because I can," which isn't very illuminating, I thought, why not do a blog post about it?

The simplest answer is that I like comedy, I like things that are funny, I like being funny.  I think humor is one of the strongest qualities of both man and art - it reveals, deflects, digs deep, allows us to remain on the surface, and keeps us from taking things too seriously.

The vast majority of RPG content is serious, almost nobody writes for laughs.  Maybe that's because if what they write is taken seriously that means they'll be taken seriously?  I don't know.  But the exclusivity of humor in RPGs is one of the things that attracts me to it.  If most people are doing one thing, I like to go the other way.  That's just who I am.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, RPGs are a great medium for shared storytelling and cooperative imagination. But they also have a stumbling block or two. Without audio and visuals (besides the GM's voice and a few illustrations and possibly miniatures with terrain), RPGs lack the visceral punch of movies, TV, comic books, music, and novels (which is a different story entirely - campaigns are not novels, though we should take cues from them).

In fact, music is a good analogy - before the music video, you had the album cover art and maybe a few pictures of the musicians on the back.  Otherwise, you had to go see the concert and then it was just a bunch of people on a stage playing their instruments.  Even after MTV's heyday, a lot of today's music is consumed visually. 

So, what's my point?  That RPGs need a helping hand.  More than passing around a picture of a dragon or ginger-bearded tavern keeper, our gaming sessions are better if they incorporate strong imagery based on classic tropes, material the players have experienced in the movies, TV, and novels. I ask you, how many characters would have ever used a whip if not for Indiana Jones?

The familiarity of humor is also an "in." It's an imagination boost!  Laughter is universal, even though not everybody thinks the same things are funny.  My comedy can be weird and dark; it's occasionally juvenile and often rooted in sexual themes.  Plus, there's the whole sleazy angle which I love for entirely different reasons and is a blog post for another time...

In conclusion, my answer to why I think my work needs such things is this - comedy is gold!


p.s.  There are still quite a few Kort'thalis Publishing books that aren't full of penile juvenilia.  Such as... Dead God Excavation, Blood Dark Thirst, The S'rulyan Vault I and II, and anything with "Like A Fucking Boss" in the title should have a minimum of frothing vaginal tentacles (uncircumcised).  That's the Venger Satanis guarantee!