While the rest of the community flocked to FFG's Star Wars line, I decided to walk behind the movie store partition that smelt like urine and shame, to take a look at some of the good stuff. The naughty stuff.
Enter Alpha Blue and its high octane, sleazy adventure: Girls Gone Rogue.
Zardoz mankinis, space pistols that look like they were made by ACME, fishbowl helmets, psychic orgasm machines, mind condoms, kinky pleasure bots, and space station brothels that are so vulgar and hedonistic Mos Eisley would blush. Venger Satanis doesn't fuck around and I dare say he has outdone himself with this one.
Ian Christiansen, my resident RPG drug dealer, set me up with some of that Alpha Blue jenk and I got hooked. Four games later, my mind is racing with ideas of running my own sleazy campaigns. Green alien women, metallic bras, and neon drinks. Oh my!
There are a couple of things that make Venger's game excellent, and I don't think I would be doing them justice unless I addressed each in kind. So to kick off my drunken reflection, lets start with something near and dear to my humble lizard brain; the system and the dice!
Alpha Blue uses a d6 system where a result of one through three is some kind of failure and four through six is some kind of success. The better suited you are to a task, the more d6s you get to roll to determine your result (you take the highest value). In combat, damage dice explode on 6s, which leads to some pretty compelling upsets. Just ask Ian, who's NPC got Bob Barkered by laser nunchuks, Happy Gilmore Style. The aggressor in question got like 6 or 7 explosions in a single damage roll.
This roll structure plays well off of the character creation which is set up to make you spectacular, deviantly kinky, and all shades of fucked up. At a glance, the options might seem to be sparse, but the special table, mutation table, and alien table add a deceptively high level of diversity and customization. We are talking Tim Burton levels of depravity and strangeness, like space dwarf assassins made out of gelatin. This gives the GM a good range of characteristics to judge your task competencies upon. Since Venger emphasized ease of use with random tables and a well laid out process, you can pump characters out amazingly fast.
And those characters will be memorable! Alpha Blue draws upon a vast data receptacle of sleazy sicfi knowledge to help you blend your character into the setting. My most recent character, who took part it Girls Gone Rogue, came onto the scene wearing leather that looked like it belonged to a He-Man cosplayer that was a little bit too much into BDSM and the color orange. Add that to the fact I was a dwarf and was carrying a Chewbacca rip-off bowcaster, and the picture really starts to come together.
This leads into one of the funnier parts of Alpha Blue, which are the fetish and sexual fantasy tables, possessing such gems as characters who get off to "clowns, carnivals, and circuses" or "Humanoid Furniture." This fostered some funny events in our games, and believe it or not, even helped my last character avoid catching a maliciously engineered STD whose purpose was to shanghai us into service, like Snake Plissken in Escape From New York.
Now that I think of it, most of the tables created by Venger are grade A bad ass. Take one of my personal favorites, the "look what fell out of the time warp" table, whose results contain hilarious and bizarre shit like: a giant plastic donut, Don Knotts and Tim Conway, the Harlem Globe Trotters, the Kool-aid Man, and the Flying Dutchman. And don't even get me started on some of the more perverse tables, like "walking in on people" or "venereal diseases". Something juvenile in me can't help but grin when I read the name of a drug titled, "Thunderfuck Uranus."
The game has its eccentricities, but believe me when I testify, it adds to the charm. I recently heard the game got pulled from OBS stores while it was under review, which really rubbed me the wrong way. If you aren't familiar with the controversy, you can put your mind at ease. Cooler heads prevailed and the game has been white listed, supposedly giving it some kind of amnesty from more attempts at censorship by the angry puritan types.
Unfortunately, I dealt with my fair share of schmucks over the issue. Ian Christiansen and I admin a large Facebook group based around gaming online and general RPG discussion. When the subject of Alpha Blue made its rounds to our little slice of paradise, it was met by the types of 'liberal bigotry' I use to write off as Fox boogeyman stories. But of course, it is real, and it is as non-negotiable as ever. This is the camp that are fans of "thought crime" and think that it is morally punishable (you may know them as SJWs). Well, as is usually the case in our group, we dolled out warnings for the bullshit and handled our business accordingly. We got called rape apologists a few times, but that is pretty much par for the course when you are dealing with people who covet drama like water in a desert.
This tangent of course brings me to another point: Alpha Blue is honest about its sleaziness and it stays trues to its vision. Is it dirty, perverted, and deviant? Yep. Does the game include a villainous device called a rape machine? An entire paragraph. Don't I find this morally reprehensible? No and people who don't like it can go fuck themselves for trying to impose their wills on me. In general, the world could do with a little less judgmental attitude.
The bottom line is, despite what the naysayers may lead you to believe, Alpha Blue is good fun. The games I got to play in were action packed romps through hilarious satire, sexy throwbacks, and legitimately compelling science fantasy/fiction. Ian Christiansen, our Game Master, did a great job bringing Venger's vision to life. I can't wait to GM it myself next week.
If you read this and fist pumped, "preach it brother man preach it," you should check the game out. I highly recommend it!