The Worst RPG Covers of All Time

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TristramEvans

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Who's Chris Chan?

Well, that's a rabbit hole. An ostensibly autistic person who is at once one of the worste human beings to ever live, but at the same time the most trolled and abused by online bullies in the history of the internet. CC wrote/"illustrated" a Sonic the Hedgehog/Pokemon fanfic comic called Sonichu that quickly devolved into one of the most disturbing personal revenge fantasies that's ever existed, wrapped in rabid racist and homophobic sentiments. They've assaulted numerous store owners, from hitting a gameshop owner with their car to macing a videogame store employee after throwing a violent fit over a Sonic the Hedgehog videogame. And they've been tortured by people online since their antics began, with an entire website devoted to trolling them.

There are numerous documentaries on Youtube one can find about CC, including GenoSamual's deep-dive currently on part 45 which is well over 60 hours thus far, to Beneath the Bridge's series specifically on the Chris Chan Trolls. The classic introduction is this overview by Sachumo.

This short one covers the comic Sonichu itself
 

raniE

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What actually was the content of that book? Was it like just a catalogue of Slaanesh-esque sexy monsters like Succubi, or were there actual attempts at rules for "Adult Situations"?

It had a lot of stuff (it's 190 pages). Partly it was an attempt at discussion of using sex and sexuality in roleplaying, but it also had rules for "adult situations" as you say, as well as creatures, spells, items etc.

The table of contents:

Chapter 1: Love, Sex, & Roleplaying.
In this chapter, the topic of sex and roleplaying
is discussed; topics include love, seduction,
and humor, as well as how sex applies to
race and alignment.

Chapter 2: Rules, Skills, & Feats.
Pulling back the curtain to reveal new rules
including different uses of skills, magical
techniques, and the "mechanics" of sex in
the game, this chapter offers several new
feats that focus on sex, sexual techniques,
and sexual magic.

Chapter 3: Base & Prestige Classes.
This chapter includes new base classes, as
well as several sexually oriented prestige
classes. Some classes are designed for use
by the players, while others are designed
with NPCs in mind.

Chapter 4: Magic.
This chapter has a new spell descriptor,
as well as new spells, domains,
and new, sexual uses for
commonly used spells.

Chapter 5: Items.
Mundane, quasimagical,
and magical sexual equipment,
including sex toys, bondage gear, lubrications,
and alchemical items that are meant
to stimulate the mind as well as the body
are detailed here.

Chapter 6: Gods & Monsters.
Deities and creatures that focus on sex, lust,
and passion are defined in this chapter.

Chapter 7: Adventures & Organizations.
One-hundred adventure ideas, plus sample
groups and organizations that embrace
sexuality with a gusto are presented in this
chapter.
 

raniE

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Most Swedish rpgs have had rather good covers of the years. Early on they often licensed existing artwork. The famous Stormbringer by Michael Whelan, currently lurking in my avatar, was the cover of Drakar och Demoner for I think three editions and is associated enough with the rpg that a book detailing the history of the main Swedish rpg company of the 80s used it as the front cover too. Later swedish rpg companies have used a lot of really good art (the Trudvang editions of Drakar och Demoner got international fame for their art). But in the 90s, things went wrong sometimes.

The company Neogames used Keith Parkinson art for the covers of their fantasy game Eon, and quite good original art for the historical game Viking, but then there was their cyberpunk Neotech line. This was the cover of the 2nd edition.

Neotech 2 cover.jpg
Just look at that. What the hell is going on? The background is clearly pasted behind the real models, and they are in terrible outfits and standing around in the worst kind of "posing for a photo" poses.


Here are a couple of supplements, showing it was a style choice they kept going with.
Neotech euro.jpg
Neotech Offensiv.jpg

God I hated those covers.
 

Lychee of the Exchequer

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This cover looks like Chris-Chan drew it.



View attachment 24261 ^_^
Yeah... this one has clearly been drawn by an unfortunate denizen of this "Age of Ruin". You can feel the brain-damaging radiations.

Though I honestly admire the guts of the artist exposing this creation to the (rpg) world... It has a certain "Fuck You !" quality ^_^.

... Hell ! I might even like this cover ! What's wrong with me :-p !?
 

Neon

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I'm really enjoying this thread.

Like some have already said, some of these covers are so bad they become good from a satirical point of view.

I'm going to cheat with this submission of an interior piece of art found in Mongoose Traveller 2e. I credit this one piece alone for stopping me from buying anything from that product line. Pity, because I'm really interested in the system, but gah...


1605706356574.png
 

Tulpa Girl

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The monochrome cover actually looks badass for a fanzine or something of the era. The right arm is really the only thing really bad about it.
Agreed about the zine feel of the cover. I've got nothing against covers like this for small press stuff of that era.

Although the right arm is more obvious, there's something about the left arm that throws me off. It kinda reminds me of a hind leg of a horse or something similar.
 

raniE

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Agreed about the zine feel of the cover. I've got nothing against covers like this for small press stuff of that era.

Although the right arm is more obvious, there's something about the left arm that throws me off. It kinda reminds me of a hind leg of a horse or something similar.
Oh the left arm looks a bit wrong too, for sure, but as you said it isn't that obvious and so doesn't strike me as really bad, just sort of a general "not good".
 

Tulpa Girl

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Oh the left arm looks a bit wrong too, for sure, but as you said it isn't that obvious and so doesn't strike me as really bad, just sort of a general "not good".
Part of what's throwing me about the left arm is the way the hand is drawn. With the lack of definition for the fingers and the triangular shape, combined with the odd angle and musculature for the arm it makes me think more 'hoof' than 'hand'.

I guess what annoys me about this piece is that it is otherwise this close to being pretty decent in a lo-fi sort of way.
 

Nobby-W

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I'm really enjoying this thread.

Like some have already said, some of these covers are so bad they become good from a satirical point of view.

I'm going to cheat with this submission of an interior piece of art found in Mongoose Traveller 2e. I credit this one piece alone for stopping me from buying anything from that product line. Pity, because I'm really interested in the system, but gah...


View attachment 24270
Mongoose's art direction used to leave quite a lot to be desired, especially around the Mgt1e era - I've seen way cringier stuff in the rulebooks. These days, I think it's better than it was, but their covers are still nothing to write home about.
 

Villein

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I have a personal affection for this game because I met the designer at my first con and received a signed copy, and he was very kind to a group of snotty 15-year olds trying to upend his demo scenario. Nevertheless:
1605719341908.png
 

Shipyard Locked

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This one might be controversial, but I'm really just focusing on the bizarre chick on the right. The other two characters can stay.

kNJU5az.jpg
 

James Gillen

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Who's Chris Chan?

JG

Well, that's a rabbit hole. ...
There are numerous documentaries on Youtube one can find about CC, including GenoSamual's deep-dive currently on part 45 which is well over 60 hours thus far, to Beneath the Bridge's series specifically on the Chris Chan Trolls. The classic introduction is this overview by Sachumo.

I'll take "More Information Than I Wanted To Know" for $200, Alex.

JG
 

EmperorNorton

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Man, I thought I understood the Chris Chan thing but apparently I had just very surface knowledge of it.
 

raniE

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Another Swedish one, this time Götterdämmerung (which later became Lex Occultum in English), the first edition cover of the players' book. Not the worst of the lot, but once you start thinking about how that hat fits onto that head you won't unsee it. And no, coneheads were not a playable race.
1669142140982.png
 
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