Given a pad of paper, a pencil, and a year's time I would be hard pressed to come up with a list of three products less needed than The Valar Project's "Book of Erotic Fantasy." After all, did we really need the juvenile sexuality of women in chain mail thongs accelerated to sex golems and spells that cause orgasms? Sitting around with a bunch of your friends and playing out awkward NPC romances wasn't good enough for you? The guys can get together and pretend to be orc women who get pregnant and contract magical venereal diseases! The aversion of gazes at that role playing session will probably cause some sort of gravitational anomaly.
Against my better judgment I managed to pick up a copy of the Book of Erotic Fantasy from ebay for fairly cheap with the intention of reviewing it. For several months I agonized over how to approach such a review. The book is so terrible that just paging through it was making me laugh out loud and I knew there was no way I could top the inherent comedy contained in its pages. Every single page features at least on cringe- worthy item; if not in the text then in the laughably Photoshopped and sometimes disturbing nude photos.
Rather than giving you a rough overview of this beast and waxing sarcastic about its glory I have decided to take you through it from cover to cover, pointing out the star attractions like a tour guide.
The book begins with an earnest introduction that asks "why would sex be left out of RPGs?" and attempts to conclude that society is ready and mature enough for hardcore orc on storm giant fucking. They of course ignore the fact that the core demographic of RPGs is maladjusted soda-swilling male nerds who start laughing when they think about the word "vagina". A bunch of guys sitting around a table eating Doritos and farting up the place should not be spending a lot of time on imaginary sex discussions.
Following the introduction the game spends about 20 pages just talking about generalities of sex and how they should relate to role playing games. It's your basic touchy-feely shit like "By avoiding (or embracing) the stereotypes of gays and lesbians as they are seen in the real world, you and your players can create something unique and interesting". Oh yes, toot toot Valor, I'm sure every role playing group sets out to kill a dragon and then contemplate society's sexual intolerance.
Sexual healing tends to produce wanton lens flares.This first chapter really sets the tone for the rest of the book in that it is pretentious, extremely dry (lots of charts about marital fidelity), and unnecessarily ham-fisted. Do they really need almost ten pages to explain how the hokey D&D alignment system relates to sexuality? Oh my, what a revelation, dominatrixes are Lawful Evil and I never knew it during all my trips to Club Spank.
Things do pick up a little in chapter one as the book delves into the various reproductive habits and practices of the fantastic races of D&D. I was amazed to learn that all elves are bisexual, gnomes are extremely horny all the time, and many orc females die during childbirth. Here are a few life-lessons that you can learn from this portion of the first chapter:
Half-elves have difficult puberty.
Dryads retreat to their trees during pregnancy.
Brothels that service orcs generally charge by the minute.
Aroused female ogres exude a powerful musk that can be sensed by males a league away!
Minotaurs have sex doggy style.
The real meat of the Book of Erotic Fantasy begins with the second chapter. Not satisfied with the vague "Charisma" score, the kooks over at the Valar Project have added a new attribute called "Appearance". This determines how attractive a character or NPC is, and to help explain this there is a chart demonstrating the Appearance scores of various monsters. For example, zombies have an Appearance score of only 1 while giant owls are much hotter with their 10-11 Appearance scores. Will-o'-wisps are downright stunners with their drool-inspiring hotness of 20-21.Why couldn't they have gone with illustrations? WHHHHHHHHYYYY?!!One of the more interesting topics covered in the second chapter is the host of venereal diseases that the Book of Erotic Fantasy introduces to D&D. Azure Balls turns an unfortunate character's testicles blue. Whore's Delight causes a character's genitals to secrete a paralytic poison. Chapter two also includes a bevy of positively worthless Feats for your character to learn like "Sterility" and "Submissive Demeanor". The inclusion of feats such as these indicate that the makers behind the Book of Erotic Fantasy basically intend people to run entire campaigns based around having sex. If this idea sounds good to you then you probably have a lot of surprisingly nerdy stripper friends.
Chapter three focuses entirely on the wonderful new character and prestige classes that are unique to the Book of Erotic Fantasy. These classes range from the downright silly (Tantrists and Sacred Prostitutes) to the exceedingly pointless (Harem Guards). Not surprisingly the real high point of this chapter comes from the erotic fanfiction quality flavor text.
"Please make yourself comfortable," said Damio, putting a pinch of incense on the brazier. He sat on the edge of the bed and looked about nervously. Damio slinked over and sat next to him, placing her hand on his thigh. "First time here soldier?" Again, he only nodded in reply, too shy to say anything. "Well, don't worry, you're in capable hands," caressing the bulge in the front of his pants.
That excerpt is from the flavor text for the Sacred Prostitute, whose powers include healing people with sex, healing people better with sex, and restoring spells with sex. They're sort of like clerics only they are worthless in combat and role playing them requires unparalleled shamelessness.
Chapter four introduces a huge quantity of new magic spells for D&D that you would have almost no reason to ever use. I've selected a few that I thought were particularly idiotic and included an excerpt from their description. My comments have been added in italics.
Blessed Seed - This spell infuses you with celestial energy that infuses your sperm or womb with power. Peter North look out.
Cursed Orgasm - The next time that the subject achieves orgasm, he is wracked with incredible pain that causes 1d6 points of damage per caster level. Let's hope this monster we're fighting decides to stop and jack off.
Innocence of the Virgin - Once touched, the creature affected by this spell loses all knowledge of sex, sexual techniques, and methods of reproduction. I won't let you kiss me because I don't want to have no babies!
Liar's Curse - Each time the target lies, the [target's genitals] become larger. Honey, can I cast Liar's Curse on you? We need a cave to set up camp. Also helpful for crossing ravines.
Orgasmic Vibrations, Mass - As orgasmic vibrations, except this spell affects multiple creatures. Very popular at raves.
Image as seen on hundreds of Geocities websites.Chapter five continues by introducing a wide variety of new items, most of which you will find less use for than all the sex-related spells in the previous chapter. Magical dildos, hiring prostitutes, sexy armor, aphrodisiacs, and enchanted bondage gear are all present. There is even a random table of treasure that I guess you can find if you defeat a dragon that runs an adult bookstore. Hey, I rolled an 87, looks like I just found myself a potion of reverse gender! My favorite item by far in this chapter is the "Ghost Sheath"; a cock-ring that lets you have sex with ghosts. Slimer is in for a surprise when I get home from work.
Chapter six covers some uninteresting fertility gods (although the picture of the pregnant goblin goddess is amusing) and a number of seemingly unrelated monster archetypes. The only really interesting creature in this chapter is the pleasure golem, which can be summed up as a cross between a Real Doll and Frankenstein's monster. There is also some vaguely disturbing furry race called the Felids which are essentially people with furry paint on.
Chapter seven is the last chapter and by far the funniest. It includes a hilariously awful random adventure idea table that is overflowing with embarrassingly terrible adventure ideas. Have a look for yourself and keep in mind that the text is the ENTIRE text for each of these ideas. As before my comments on each are in italics.
3 - The mayor of a large city has recently announced that he is gay. The players must line up and be given blowjobs by the mayor or a magical volcano will erupt and impregnate the orcs nearby!
15 - A roving band of minstrels has come into town, sleeping with anyone they can. Lead singer Gary Glitter was last seen at Ye Olde Daycare Center.
17 - A strange comet passes overhead rendering all living creatures sterile for an entire year. Uh oh, can the players wait a year to have a baby or do they have to have one right now?!
31 - A medusa petrifies lovers in the act of sex then leaves the statues in the public square for all to see. Punk'd! That wily medusa! How embarrassing is that?!
51 - As they enter into heat, a normally serene tribe of centaurs begin assaulting anyone that comes near. Step 1: Avoid humping centaurs.
61 - An ogre falls in love with the local lord's daughter. The players must stop the evil ogre and his wise-cracking donkey minion.
72 - A lesbian dwarf has been exiled from her clan and asks the adventurers to help her get her lover out as well. I think this plot is recycled from The Big Book of After School Specials.
99 - While out in the wilderness, one of the male adventurers wakes up with a blue bow tied around his penis. Isn't the punch line to this joke "want to go camping?"
The last hurrah of the Book of Erotic Fantasy is an embarrassing Phil Foglio comic (which should be embarrassing enough on its own) in which he implies that the Book of Erotic Fantasy will actually inspire gamers to go out and meet women. The chances of this book having a positive impact on anyone's life are roughly equal to the chances that staring at the sun will cure cancer.
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