The stated intention of this book is to explore, within the context of Hot Chicks: The Role-Playing Game, the twin themes of sex and horror, both individually and in their interaction. So even those who don't mind the odd bit of innuendo or scantily-clad individual may find this a bit extreme. Be warned, but not put off: decide for yourself if discussions of sexuality, torture and the like have any place in your games or on your bookshelf. The idea is that, should you wish to explore such matters in the context of your Hot Chicks game, herein are the details and the game mechanics necessary.
Warnings duly given, the first topic is that of sex, beginning with an analysis of its importance as a primal urge and how, in civilised society, most folks go about getting some. And how others, less civilised, do not care (or actually prefer) that their partner is not willing to indulge. Sex and horror can also go together, and not solely in a perverted way - fear and sexual urges often heterodyne, each heightening the other. Ask any horror movie director! This can be used to good effect in a role-playing game as well.
There's a discussion of the game mechanics involved, so if you want to go into detail - and die-rolling - when a sexual encounter occurs during your game, you are now equipped with the necessary rules. Sometimes it can be important to the story to know how successful that encounter was, perhaps attitudes will change, and it can also make for a memorable game session with a mature group of players who are comfortable with taking such matters to this level. Next is a section with the means to determine if, given a male-female interaction, pregnancy occurs. That certainly can have an effect on your game's storyline! For those who do not know, there's an outline of the course of a pregnancy and the effects that it has on the expectant mother. Then things turn darker, with forced sex (defined as one partner being an unwilling participant, no matter just how they have become involved) and the psychological results of such trauma... as well as all the other things that can affect you as a result of problems with your sex life. Fortunately, there are also some notes on recovery, whether you find your own coping mechanisms, seek help or develop additional mental flaws in the process.
Next comes a discussion of torture and interrogation. While interrogation is about information gathering, torture is not always... and anyway, the information gained is not necessarily reliable. Mechanically, attempts are being made to reduce the victim's willpower - and if you do not want to go into the gory details there is enough in these game mechanics to discover the outcome by means of die rolls alone.
Then comes a collection of new merits and flaws which characters can choose (or have forced upon them!). It's an interesting selection, and in many cases - such as the Boardroom Shark merit for example - looks at power and dominance (or submissiveness) rather than the sex or horror themes being explored elsewhere in the book. However, the merit Stallion is more explicit, available only to males it means that you are impressively equipped in a certain part of the anatomy - and gain bonusses to seduction attempts if you are in a position to make your endowment obvious! This section is followed by one on new martial arts (headed by a picture that leaves grave doubts as to the artist's knowledge of anatomy!). These should possibly be called 'marital arts' as they include Wang-Fu (exceptional control of the male member) and Tweeter-Fu (the female equivalent). There are also some new cyberware options and new psionic abilities, and a new superpower involving tentacle generation. New magical spells round off this part of the book.
Next comes a whole catalogue of new 'tools' - from marital aids to bondage equipment and worse. These are followed by so-called housing options - modifications such as soundproofing and security systems - and new vehicles like a hearse. The drawing of this is even less anatomically-accurate than most of the people depicted elsewhere!
The next section is one on Villains and Victims. It looks at the sort of people who inhabit the inner darkness, and provides some helpless victims ready for noble characters to rescue. Complete with character sheets and notes on what they get up to and why, the villains are ready to be used as opposition in your game. There are also some Freak Deaky Tentacle Monsters(!), the authors seem to have a fondness for tentacles, as well as a selection of victim types.
This is followed by the GM's Section, which starts off with a discussion about the use of sex and horror themes in games: how to decide what is appropriate for your particular group of players - and which bits are best avoided. There's a random generation table you can use to create a villain and situation, and a whole bunch of adventure seeds you can develop further.
This won't be for everybody, but can - with the right group - create stories that will be remembered for years to come.
Return to Inner Darkness page.
Reviewed: 20 June 2009