1980s Dungeons & Dragons panic revisited

I can actually say that my first rpg session was a one shot game of Freak Legion. The times I’ve played Freak Legion or Sabbat games have been far more depraved than playing evil parties in D&D. Although those all have just about always been one shot games meant for blowing off a lot of steam.

1 Like

‘Kill Puppies for Satan’ is also a fairly strong contender: not only are you evil, you are evil in the most banal, sordid, petty ways possible. A real evil-because-you-have-screws-loose, devoid of any glamor or amoral redeeming characteristics.

Violence: The Game of Egregious and Repulsive Bloodshed is also a contender; but far too self-aware to be genuinely depraved. It may have torture mechanics and a discussion of what you need to roll to successfully decapitate someone with a circular saw; but it is more a commentary than a game.

Honestly, that is (aside from the sheer stupidity) what always surprised me about the D&D panic: yeah, you can cast spells; but a lot of the classic environments and formulations are pure, flat, moral absolutism if the sort that seems like it would appeal to the people who did the freaking out. A game world where ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are just as real as physical properties, that sort of thing.

1 Like

I take exception to your “pretty much” qualifier.


Really? No mention of FATAL?

There are a lot of games with adult themes, and many of them are excellent. Apocalypse World is a hugely influential game leading to many other games using the system; from small but fun games like Night Shift to more well known titles like Dungeon World to extremely detailed niche games like Saga of the Icelanders. I recommend any of these games.

However, my current favorite “mature audiences only” right now is Degenesis which has a strong fan base in Europe and recently came to the US with a new edition. The setting and game are interesting post-apocalypse stuff and while not unique it has a strong sense of character and is sort of the head of the trope spear from a chronological viewpoint. The budget must be huge, including hype trailers and beautiful artwork. The book design is the best I can think of, they actually cared about making a beautiful book that is still a book - unlike a company like Fantasy Flight Games which make great looking books that are terrible as books. All around a system I wish I could get people to play with me.


I thought of fatal as I was replying and figured it would come up.

Night Shift sounds fun.

Comprehensive review of F.A.T.A.L.

1 Like

Holy crap - other than the occasional door knocker, I grew up without ever having seen this sort of madness. I seriously thought that was a parody as I skimmed it.

Most famous page:


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.