By Christopher Helton
Gaming 'zines are seeing an explosion in popularity again. It seems after so many years of gaming blogs pushing out a lot of the interesting content for games that print and handcrafting are coming back into vogue. One of the more exciting of these 'zines is Stacy Dellorfano's Randomocity. Not dedicated to a particular system or style of play, each issue of Randomocity is curated by Dellorfano around a specific theme. The second issue, now out, is an all-women issue themed around Lust.
Where the previous Horror-themed issue had articles written for specific game systems, the content in this issue has a more general focus that allows it to be used for a number of different games. Highlights of the issue are Meguey Baker's article about bring sex and intimacy into you're your roleplaying games, and Helen Y's Luxuria setting for the Fate Accelerated rules. Ethel Buster contributes a Mad-Libs style story, The Other-Rescuing Princess Files, that can go humorously wrong quickly. The series of intimately themed random tables from Annah Madriñan are entertaining and amusing.
Baker's article is intelligent and maturely handles the material. She works some great tips for both players and game masters into her brief article, with great advice for both sides of the screen. In a hobby where violence is considered a proper solution to any conflict, it is good to see advice for interactions with other forms of swordplay being brought out into the open.
Luxuria, the setting created by Helen Y, would not be out of place in an issue of Heavy Metal/Metal Hurlant. The core concept of the setting is that people must experience lust on a daily basis in order to maintain the quality of their life. This leaks out into society, and the larger world, as much of the interactions and occupations of the world have an erotic tint to them. The setting is an interesting one, and with the right set of players, I wouldn't mind exploring the world and its ideas.
The art in this issues is phenomenal, from the Satine Phoenix cover, to interior art from Sarah Richardson, Kristi Centinaro, R. de Rien and Gennifer Bone.
It is good to see people making content for games that doesn't fit the norm in such a fearless manner. Gaming really needs more boundary expansion that deal with mature subject matter in a mature manner. Too often you will see sexual content handled in a juvenile manner that does nothing but demonstrate that the people writing such things are trying to titillate and failing. We shouldn't be afraid of sexy content, or any sort of mature content. Most of us are no longer 13-year olds and we can handle talking about grown up things, or including them in our games.
If you want something out of the ordinary for your gaming you need to check Randomocity out. The previous Horror-themed issue is available at the above link as well (which, in the interest of disclosure features a Swords & Sorcery setting created by me), and issue three is supposed to come out later this year.
Be warned that this issue is mature themed, and not for all audiences.
Christopher Helton is a blogger, podcaster and tabletop RPG publisher who talks about games and other forms of geekery at the long-running Dorkland! blog. He is also the co-publisher at the ENnie Award winning Battlefield Press, Inc. You can find him on Twitter at @dorkland and on G+ at https://plus.google.com/+ChristopherHelton/ where he will talk your ear off about gaming and comics.
Christopher has a crowdfunding page to help raise money to defray the costs for going to the Gen Con gaming convention and cover it for his Dorkland! blog and Bleeding Cool. Please click here to go to the page and help out.