Saturday, October 02, 2004

I like it when people send me free stuff.

Erol Otus fan Dave Stephens was so kind as to send me a still-in-shrink copy of Alma Mater, the high school role-playing game. Thanks, Mr. Stephens! Otus did the cover art and roughly half of the illustrations for this game. As soon as I get some free time I'm going to add an Alma Mater page on the Erol Otus Shrine. It's kinda weird seeing Mr. Otus work with non-fantastic subject matter. I'll have to re-read the tripod terms of service. I'm not sure if I can publish the illo for the page devoted to rules for dating, seduction, teen pregnancy, etc.

The game itself is kinda infamous for its crass and cynical portrayal of surviving life in a public secondary school circa 1980. Sex, drugs, and violence are featured prominently in a typical Alma Mater adventure. I've known a few people on who own a copy, but I don't recall anyone actually claiming to have played it. A first glance AM is like a lot of other experimental games of the early eighties in that it carves out an unclaimed subject matter or genre and applies a heavy chart-based simulationist approach to the material. All in all, I'd probably rather be playing either incarnation of Teenagers From Outer Space. Still, the B-grade game enthusiast and sadistic GM in me would probably give Alma Mater a try as a con game, in much the same way that I plan to slog through World of Synnibarr at WinterWar.

BTW, if anyone reading this wants to send me some free gaming crap, just drop me an e-mail.

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