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Book of Erotic Fantasy
Publisher: White Wolf
by JK R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/13/2007 08:20:09

This book attempts to take a serious look at sex and sexuality in fantasy RPGs, specifically D&D. As such, it largely fails, not because it isn’t serious, but because it just isn’t all that good.

To begin with, there’s the artwork. Someone, somewhere, decided that photography would be the best way of illustrating a book like this, rather than drawings. Unfortunately for them, it really doesn’t work. It’s just too obvious that the fantasy elements result from either low-quality Photoshopping, or from cheap costumes, which makes the whole product look rather shoddy. Incidentally, very little of the artwork is even slightly erotic, which is rather a good thing when the book is trying to be serious. (It is, however, difficult to tell whether this was a deliberate decision, or a lack of skill at this sort of thing on the part of the photographer).

But the appearance of the book, while distracting, is a peripheral concern. What about the actual substance? There is some good material in here, but a lot more that’s mediocre. The best section overall is that on deities in Chapter 6; they actually make some sense and would add something to a campaign. There are some other good bits here and there, including discussion of marriage, celibacy, childbirth, and other relevant topics, as well as the attitudes of the various alignments and character races towards sexuality.

But a lot of the book does not rise to this standard. The character classes, for instance, are uninspired, and most of them are fairly standard fantasy tropes with mention of sex thrown in to make them more ‘adult’. For instance, while a Voyeuristic Seer certainly could use his powers to spy on his nubile young apprentice in the bath, he’s really no different from any other sort of seer in terms of his abilities. Most of the feats are similarly unimaginative.

The selection of magic items is at times, downright strange. Many of them have absolutely nothing to do with the ostensible subject matter of the book at all, and its quite a puzzle what they’re doing there. I could say the same of some (though not, to be fair, most) of the creatures.

Overall, this book is not as good as it could be, or should be. It’s a valid topic for an RPG book, even if it won’t suit some people’s campaigns, but it deserves better handling than this. The subject has been handled better before (Naughty & Dice from Sabledrake, for instance), so its not that it can’t be done. More effort needed!

[2 of 5 Stars!]
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Book of Erotic Fantasy
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