The Book Of Erotic Fantasy


I feel I must say it takes quite a bit to shock me, but now that I have read the entirety of The Book Of Erotic Fantasy published by Valor Project, Inc. I am shocked. What I am shocked about is not the presence of exposed breasts, the usage of the word "fuck" or the presence of devices known as cock rings (these are all things I am already pretty familiar with) but the fact that the sexual content is handled in a mature manner suitable for game use.

I feel I must say it takes quite a bit to shock me, but now that I have read the entirety of The Book Of Erotic Fantasy published by Valor Project, Inc. I am shocked. What I am shocked about is not the presence of exposed breasts, the usage of the word "fuck" or the presence of devices known as cock rings (these are all things I am already pretty familiar with) but the fact that the sexual content is handled in a mature manner suitable for game use.

I Never Thought It Possible

I never thought I would see the day when a company released a well executed book on eroticism in the gaming medium. Eroticism is an aspect that is prevalent in fantasy across other mediums such as film, comic books, and art but has been sadly lacking in the gaming medium. Now, we that desire it have a tome that answers the call firmly and fully.

Warning, Mature Content

What this book is not is smut or pornography. This work offers the use of mature themes with regard to sex both in the excess and absence thereof. The writers of this book have gone to great lengths to make sure their work is not just another fantasy porn book with a gaming slant.

I, for one, prefer to feel like an adult most of the time.

Another positive aspect of this book's application of the subject matter is the fact that all the themes were dealt with in a mature manner. There have been quite a few sex books for gaming floated around the internet and among other places, but they all failed because they made someone feel like they were in junior high again. I, for one, prefer to feel like an adult most of the time, even when I'm gaming and especially when I'm thinking about sex.

As many of you may be thinking, I am aware that mature content is not something new to the gaming industry. All of the products released by Black Dog Game Factory are the best examples of this. What makes The Book Of Erotic Fantasy stand apart is apparent in it's title; it deals exclusively with eroticism. It is the first book to deal with sex exclusively. While many of the Black Dog books had sex in them, they were not focused on it.

Surreal Eroticism Visualized

In supplement to the written content of The Book Of Erotic Fantasy is simply the best artwork I have ever seen in a gaming related book. Considering the absolute vast amount of gaming material I've seen, this is really saying something. The art, done by Hypnox Photography, is a surreal blend of live photography and computer generated effects. This method is a nicely done departure from the typical drawn or painted artwork typical to most gaming books. From a purely artistic standpoint, this artwork is amazing; when coupled with the other content in the book, it becomes so much more.

Well Received By Most

The Book Of Erotic Fantasy was first revealed to the public at the Indianapolis GenCon in July of 2003 where it was an amazing success. Since then it has been reviewed by several independents, including EN World, d20 Magazine Rack, and Geek Speak Weekly, to name a few. While I'm sure there are some who are offended or outraged at the release of this product, I haven't been able to find even one negative review. It seems virtually everyone who has seen this book has enjoyed it for one reason or another.

Let The Games Begin

Reading this book, besides the obvious stimulating effects it would have on anyone, made me instantly want to incorporate it's rules and details into my current game as both a player and a GM. Judging from the responses I have seen online, I would have to say I am not alone in this. Boy are my friends gonna be surprised when I have rules to back up my actions of spontaneously crawling into their laps. In character of course... at least that's what I'm going to tell them...

Check out Valar Project, Inc and The Book Of Erotic Fantasy along with the awesome work done by Hypnox. Also feel free to look at some of the other glowing reviews for The Book Of Erotic Fantasy at EN World or Geek Speak Weekly.

I have a hard time understanding how your average gaming group consisting of five or six guys and maybe the odd female are going to incorporate sexual situations into a campaign without everyone getting all squicked out.

Also, I agree it doesn't really belong at a gaming table.
I like to see myself as having an open mind. If it works for you, go ahead and use it. But I simply fail to see how adventuring, roleplaying, and dungeon crawling, can be enhanced by an entire book dedicated to it.

The closest I would probaly come is an npc trying to seduce a PC, for instance like a succubus. And if they did "do it" persay, it wouldn't be graphical.

As everything in the gaming community, I'm sure that this has its niche; however, it won't be at our table. This is a facet of "reality" in fantasy that we, as a group, don't feel that we need to incorporate to enjoy the game.

I'm definitely not casting any stones here-- to each their own, eh? Things like this book, though, will certainly turn potential "customers" away from the gaming community. It would be interesting to hear TSR/WotC/Hasbro's take on this.

IMHO, I think that the majority of players that see (or even read?) this book will be thinking, "Oh, get a life."

But that's just my $0.02

This is the first positive review that I've seen of it. It generally gets slammed - not for adult content but for being cheesy. I've had sex come up in games but don't see a need for rules to govern it. It also forces players to make a choice - if they spend skill and feats on on stuff in the book, they are weaker in everything else. I've browsed it and just don't see a need for more rules.

Here is a more typical review. It's Something Awful so of course they are harsh; but they give examples of the actual contents

I'm on the fence on this one.

I can certainly understand and agree with the sentiment that sex has no place at the gaming table.

And, yet, I try to make games as realistic as possilbe. That would include sexual scenarios, no? I mean, since the PC's are THE PC's...they're gonna end up at a bar, where sexual things happen. Should that be covered in detail? I don't know...

I'd be a little weirded out by incorporating romance into a game...

I haven't read this book...but, I can't help but think that it might have useful material. I mean...what if the PC's go to a depraved and decadent city...maybe the GM needs some source material to throw in. He / she can describe things that the players doesn't necessarily have to be things happening to them...things the GM might not have thought of on their own.

Again...this might not have a place at the gaming table...

...but as a fellow who utilizes the Book of Vile Darkness as much as I can, I can't justify a stance against it.

It's probably one of those things that should be used in appropriate portions...and within the context of the game.

It would be interesting to hear TSR/WotC/Hasbro's take on this.

Shortly after this book was published TSR/WotC/Hasbro added a "quality standards" provision to the d20 license so they could revoke it. (Link)

I don't play D&D, but if I did I would have nothing to do with a group that used this book much. Maybe if I got into one of those mythical all-eligible-female gaming groups I'd have to review this position, but even then it could just end up being intensely awkward.

I don't think this supplement is aimed at the standard group of guys/girls that get together to roleplay. I personally would be very weirded out playing in a group of my friends with graphical sexual interactions. However I *would* be more open to the idea of playing a one on one with my wife using some of these rules. True we probably would end up laughing through a lot of it, but then again...that usually happens in our typical gaming groups anyway. I guess my point is that this would probably be best taken with someone you are intimate with, and not a beer-and-pretzels-dragon-stomping-good-time sort of group.

While I agree that your "average" gaming group may not want to incorporate this material into a game, I think its pretty clear that this book is not intended for an average group.

My group, for instance, runs a very story heavy and political game, where personal relationships are very important. Though I didn't anticipate this, it has worked quite well, even though 7 of our 9 participants are male. The game masters (3 including myself) have been very sensitive to how far players want to go with this sort of thing. Some players don't want to have in game sexual relationships, others want to fade to black at appropriate times, others may want to go farther, but I like the fade to black technique :)

The sex is a tiny part of game, maybe 1% of group roleplaying time and 1% to 5% of individual roleplaying time. But the relationships formed between PC and NPC (and PC and PC) serve to motivate many of our stories. A pair of homosexual lovers were recently seperated when one (NPC) was captured in battle. Now the PC has a challenge that goes far deeper than just "you're friend was captured."


I think that's a point that really hits the nail on the head here. I haven't read the book, so I don't know who to believe on the "awful" to "epiphany" scale of reviews the thing's getting, but honestly:

If sex isn't already a comfortable topic of discussion in your gaming group, no book full of guidelines for putting sex in the game is going to suddenly make it comfortable. So the stereotypical "geek's poker night" gathering isn't going to have much use for the thing.

On the other hand, I resent it that people are slamming the book on the unspoken assumption that such a stereotypical group is the only valid target audience for an RPG publication.

Personally, I haven't been part of a "boy's night out" group like that for fifteen years. These days, I always play in mixed groups, and our games always skew toward the ribald. Heck, in the best campaign I ever GM'd, all the ladies chose to have their characters become professional strippers as a a cover for their covert ops.

That game never actually went X-rated; and, no I don't say it was my best game just because it got sexy -- it was also a fast-paced, involving, cinematic-style action adventure that kept the players constantly panting for more.

My point is, there are already a zillion books out there to appeal to the "traditional" gamer, and there's not a bloody thing wrong with putting out one book that won't. I'm not likely to buy it. I'll probably never even read it. But given a choice between that and the latest cousin of the Monster Manual, full of wholesome, old-fashioned things to bash, I'd have to leaf through the Erotic Fantasy book to decide for myself if it had anything new to add.

I could see how many would be uncomfortable using this in their campaign, and though I wouldn't use it with my current group... we are the typical 'beer-and-pretzels' group... I have been a part of groups that could use this sort of resource. After all, isn't role-playing (as opposed to Roll-playing) all about interaction? Maybe I'm a bit abnormal (and I think not), but I can't remember the last day I as a person hadn't thought of sex in some way, shape, or form, and it is maybe once a month sex isn't a topic in some conversation I have throughout the day. I guess my point is, it is a part of my life, and I think any realistic portrayal of a character will have some element of sex involved, even if it is just an undercurrent.

*And those are my 2 cents worth :)*

This book has gone over very well in our group. We are a small group and allmost equal in the male to female ratio. Of course the girls usually take a liking to each other.....

Anyway, the point of the review is that I thought the book dealt with the subject matter on a mature level. It's not a bunch of dick and fart jokes like I expected. Overall I like the book. The book isn't a 'sex in D&D' book, though it could be. It deals with relationships at all levels and all styles. it uses a movie rating scale so you can use it however you like to play, from G to X. I personally tend to play at the R level as most folks do. I have played at the X level but she and I didn't get a whole lot acomplished in the game....

All the bad reviews I have read for it were written by people who obviously hadn't read it. The ones I found that were good reviews all read pretty similar to the one I wrote. For the most part people like it if they read it but like has allready been said it's not for everyone.

I hadn't intended my comments to be considered a "review"; just my opinion on the place for this type of material in the gaming community. By all means, if this is for your group, go to it.

I've practically grown up on DND/ADND and although it is a fantasy game, many of us strongly feel that this level of this topic needn't be addressed-- it was usually left up to the individual player's imagination. Probably because it could be awkward for a group to sit around a table waiting for one player to get his rocks off.

Again, if this is what your group likes, then by all means! However, IN MY OPINION (re: not a review), a book published on this doesn't help the gaming community's image.

Yet another of my $0.02 worth.

And as we all know everyone is entitled to their opinion. I think it fills a niche within an allready niche market that I don't think had been adequately filled before.

Just my two coppers worth.

My problem with this book, is pretty much that I cant for the life of me imagine why you would have to have an entire book on the topic.
I mean, let's look at what kinds of things wich realistically come into play in a campaign not revolving around sex.

STDs - No harm in having one or two of those described along with other diseases. Makes players think twice before bedding the barmaid. ;)

Spells & Magic - No really, I mean, if we humans had access to magics, I bet we would use it to enhance our sexlives before throwing fireballs. But more interesting is the midwife-aspect of healing. In a medieval world world where bloodlines and heirs are evrything, think how useful an abortion or prophylactic spell would be. Or a fertility spell when you need that heir ASAP. And really, the love spell/potion is really too much of a classic to be left out of any self respecting magic system.

Conception - Here's an interesting thing. If we go back to the whole heirs&bloodlines thingy, this is a really big deal. I mean once you've managed to get a politically and economically sound catch, making heirs is important. Of course, that isnt really about sex. Rolling once per intercourse is just silly. Once per month/year or so should be enough to find out if an heir is produced. In this case, the act itself isn't important, only the result.
When the result is less important, like deciding wether that barmaid the PC spent the night with in that last inn has gotten a lot rounder next time the PC's roll in... well, couldn't that just be left up to the GM?

The act itself - Well... is this really important? I mean the events leading up to it and such, sure, but the act itself. The James Bond style should work just fine, ie the couple starts kissing, tumbles to the bed, disrobing... CUT!
A short intermisson later, we cut back to the couple, smoking in bed. I mean... is there really a need to get more graphic than that, unless something out of the ordinary occurs during the act? (Like ninjas bursting through the window during the act. During such occasions, it could be useful to know who's on top, tied up or suspended from the ceiling. But this shouldnt be a problem to get through without getting very graphic.)

Relations & Orientations - I could be useful to know something about the world around you and it's moral standards. In a kingdom where they execute sodomites (no at all uncommen in our own medieval day) you probaly shouldnt be standing around with "Will Bugger For Food" sign.
But really, what is acceptable and what isnt should really be brought up in the campaign setting.

In short, this is pretty much what is needed to be included. For most games, bunched up, this would cover a page or possibly two at the most, without any need to get graphic about it.

My fantasy game of choice - Eon (available only in Swedish) has pretty much got it all.
STDs - Two are described among the other diseases. The most graphic about the is probably the names (rough translations: "Bluecrotch" and "Flaystick") wich, as an added bonus, sound disgustingly painful.

Spells & Magic: There is the prophylactic and the abortion spell, as well as fertility and lust/love spells, as well as potency spell. Once again, a few suggestive spell names (Barallon's lasting stand, The magnificent monolith of Ekivokus, Madrianna's unchecked lust) is about as graphic as it gets.

Conception - basically the heir-making bit is covered with a roll per month for a steady couple. Modfiers applies for being very active or cautios. Thoroughly unexciting. Accidental conceptions is not covered by the rules (but the disadvantage Bastard child can be rolled up during character creation).

The act itself - Nothing, nada, zip. There is a character trait called 'Amor' to give an idea of how interested the character is in pursuing romantic interested (yup, this is the one affected by the lust/love spell) as well as the seduction skill, but they're just the means of getting there.

Realtions &Orientatns - Covered, as it should, in the campaign setting material.

Now, if you feel compelled to go beyond this, you're probably better off engaging in "the other kind of roleplaying".

Oh. This turned out kinda rant-ish. And big.


Wow... A bunch of male geeks are apparently uncomfortable about sex. Who woulda figured?

Wow... Someone who doesn't have an account posted a one line trollish generalization. Who woulda figured?

Well then ... I do not deem this book necessary per se, but consider it an amusing bit, like a cherry. While I have better ways of spending 35 bucks, I don't think it was an all that bad idea. Someone might make use of it.

Another thought: do you think it will ruin the image of gamers in the eyes of those who already think lowly of them much more? Think about it - what will matter to a fundamentalist christian/whathaveyou more - a book about demon-summoning and sacrificing damsels, or a book about sex in the game?

Then, I personally prefer to have my campaigns also fade to black just the right moment, and they got X-rated very rarely, BUT in my opinion, the addition of gods with a sexual/fertility aspect and spells and creatures with a strong sexual aspect can help D20 to become more fleshed out.

But then, I strongly refuse the idea of having a 'Sex' - skill. Unless it matters, it is totally unnecessary, and if it does matter who passess out first ... say, add level, constitution and charisma, and substract some amount for age, and things like being not in best shape (drunk, wasted, tired). Any half-competent GM can figure this out for himself, and does not need a special skill for it.

And as for the pregnancy thing - given that PCs tend to be rather young and healthy, and choosing similar partners, you could state that about 1 or 4 (?perhaps?) liaisons in the female's fertile period will result in conception. Roll a die, or leave it upon your discretion. My opinion is the following: unless the PC wants a child, or it would be nice for a plot or to educate the player about responsibility, do not 'force' offspring upon the PC.

To summarize: I don't deem this book necessary, but consider it an amusing and interesting piece of work.

If you're interested enough in such things in your RPG...write them yourself. The act of trying to do such will help you decide whether or not you're actually that serious about it, and will help you decide if they're too damn awkward to use before you bring something really weird to the table. After all, if you can't even make yourself write it without blushing and giggling a lot, do you think it will perform in your game? Just an idea. Feel free to ignore.

When I saw this book my jaw dropped, I really wanted to look at it, but I was pissed because it was sealed in plastic and I had to buy the damn thing before I could look at it.

So I said "what the hell", and like a moron blew like $34 on it, even getting rolled eyes and smart ass looks from the game store guy who sold it me.

Anyway, after reading some of it and looking at all the pictures...(which by the way, are "so so artsy" and quite "boring" IMO}... I think this book would have been better off made for some drama politoco RPG game like "Vampire" or "Immortal".

I passed the book around to my d20 gaming friends who all thought it was really stupid, and thought I was stupid for buying it, so I dumped it off on one of my other friends who thought it was cool, and he doesn't even game.

Anyway, I give credit to the people who made it, they did a good job with the material, I just would like to see how an "erotic d20 game is played", cause I just can't picture it. I seen this type of stuff in Vampire LARPS, to the point where the players should have really just gotten a room.

Joel, I would really be surprised if you could cover ALL of those topics in two pages.

Heck, just the bare essential sex-related spells would take up that much space... and that's just the ones you mention.

It's really funny, but the list you give is pretty much the table of contents for the BOEF.

The fact is, there are lots of people out there who play DnD around a table (or through IRC or message boards) who want a less Victorian way of dealing with the less violent parts of life.

"Yes, sex happens, babies happen, roll the dice, summarize, and get to the FUN part... the blood!" is fine for a lot of groups out there... but killing monsters and taking their stuff is just the beginning for others.

I should post the logs of the IRC game I am organizing that will use this book. I think a lot of otherwise imaginative people have trouble imagining what using it would be like.

"Joel, I would really be surprised if you could cover ALL of those topics in two pages."

*checks his copy* *nods* Have to say, it's about right. Although those are in different sections of the book, not concentrated on one page.

"Heck, just the bare essential sex-related spells would take up that much space... and that's just the ones you mention."

Nope, not necessary. There are four of them, not counting the various effects you can combine to create a virtually infinite amount of spells (pornographic or not). One is Passion, raising or lowering the person's amorous inclinations. Potence increases... well, physical readiness, or lowers it. Seduction speaks for itself. And finally, Conception messes with those childbearing chances.

"It's really funny, but the list you give is pretty much the table of contents for the BOEF."

Then why did I hear rumors about "Nipple Clamps of Exquisite Pain" and similar pseudomodernistic rubbish?

"The fact is, there are lots of people out there who play DnD around a table (or through IRC or message boards) who want a less Victorian way of dealing with the less violent parts of life."

It's their prerogative. I personally believe in creating a plausible experience, where elves don't walk around wearing latex masks and ball gags. All these prestigue classes and mystical objects seem to impose a very contemporary present-day view on what some consider "edgy" sexuality upon a medieval setting, which is a severe turn-off for me... pun not intended. :)

I think Sorcerer's Sex and Sorcery does an excellent job of dealing with the subject- by not focusing on whether the stuff in game is "R or X rated", but rather on the interactions between the players themselves. The issue of getting squicked out is rather the focus, finding the comfort zone of the entire group, and how to use what you have for fun, dramatic play. It certainly works a lot better for maturity than either glossing things over with 12 year old giggling by everyone at the table, or weird obssessive group arousal narration.