5 thoughts on “Cavaliers of Mars Kickstarter is live!”

  1. Hey! I don’t have a better way to contact you without becoming a Patron, and I have a question before I’ll feel comfortable buying Miserable Secrets: How much sex is there? It seemed to be pleasantly out-of-focus in the earlier development, but then your post about the Humors rather seemed to emphasize that aspect of the night. I quite like what I’ve seen of the rules, though.
    On another topic, is there an established forum to discuss your games? I’d like to share my thoughts on Miserable Secrets’ theology (like: Nobles are actually a much better fit for the second Estate, because it’s associated with the Moon), but I don’t know where to go.

    Cheerfully yours
    – Horatio Von Becker
    (This didn’t show up the first time I posted it. If this winds up doubleposting, I apologize.)

  2. That’s a hard question to answer, especially because I don’t know where you personally draw the lines between sex, romance, and reproduction.

    1) I don’t remember writing anything sexually explicit.

    2) There are a number of things that state or imply people are having relationships in the setting. There’s section on vampire brides (“The Beloved”) which you can see on the Patreon page, which is pretty much entirely about what happens when a vampire wants to marry a human for love.

    3) There are also comments about “love” that can be read in different ways.

    4) There are a lot of references to parentage, mainly revolving around inheritance and “legitimacy.”

    5) Some things in the book can be read as being either references to romantic or platonic relationships. For example, the card “Ex-Confidante” suggests intimacy, but doesn’t say whether it’s romantic or not.

    6) There’s some discussion of detective genre icons like the “(Femme) Fatale,” and the gothic novel’s relationship with sexuality.

    7) Some of the stock art is sexualized. For example, one of the pictures of Medusa is pixel art in the style of a Game Boy Advanced Castlevania Medusa — no nipples, but she’s clearly not wearing a shirt.

    I hope that helps you make up your mind!

    I don’t maintain a forum for my work. If you’d like to discuss it, I recommend https://forum.rpg.net, where I’m a frequent participant.



  3. Thank you for replying! None of the things you mentioned crossed the line for me (and I have followed the public posts quite avidly), but the Night/Sanguine section’s focus on ‘pleasures’ rather than ‘rest’ was worrying – I know (some) vampires are traditionally a sex metaphor, but I’d prefer to avoid that. (Partly because the appeal I find in playing Weird Christians – which as an LDS nerd hits pretty close to home – is rather sullied if the game presumes non-christian sexual values.)
    Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. < < the Night/Sanguine section’s focus on ‘pleasures’ rather than ‘rest’ was worrying – I know (some) vampires are traditionally a sex metaphor, but I’d prefer to avoid that. >>

    That’s basically because the game’s written from the perspective of buying into the “official” ideology. And the Noblesse, being vampires, do their partying (including sex, but also, y’know feasts and getting drunk and stuff) at night.

    As for Christian sexual values, well… the game as a line isn’t _exactly_ going to have those. Given that agriculture is currently going awesome for the peasants and the Noblesse want a good food supply for themselves, they’re pretty encouraging of any population growth — “be fruitful and multiply.”

    There are also unconventional means of reproduction, which may or may not appear in supplements. Alchemists can do some interesting tricks with inducing pregnancy, for example, so partners who are gay or otherwise not intra-fertile can still have children. And Dream-Thieves literally reproduce by being so in love that they conceive telepathically.

    Adoption is also widely practiced, because while food is plentiful, wars and disease create a lot of orphans. Many of these adoptions are pseudo-professional — a single woman may adopt a child to carry on her craft — while others are just “poor kid, lost their parents.”

    You can also become a sworn sibling to someone you have a platonic relationship with, which can make them your heir. Think a kind of “battle brother” thing, except also it could be “blacksmith brother” or “girl I play football with every Saturday.”

    So legal family and legal lineage often have nothing to do with sex or even marriage. But they also _can_ — if you’re a commoner, you’re free to declare a child you had out of wedlock your heir.

    Many of the customs the people of Christendom follow predate the current Church. They come from a post-apocalyptic era where mortality was incredibly high due to the mining of fuel and other materials for the Thinking Machines. Some of those people were Christian, but many were (and still are) from other religious traditions with different views on sexuality. Although scant details are provided in the core book, there are actually a lot of faiths in Christendom — the Church of the Grail is simply the one that holds all the political and economic power right now.

    All of this means the Church mostly doesn’t mess around in people’s relationships. As long as _some_ of them are having a lot of kids, the ruling class is getting fed, and that’s the divine order.

    And fair warning, there’s going to be a supplement which deals with the Church’s theology, which doesn’t heavily concern itself with sexual values. There are (probably, haven’t written it yet) only six spiritual/natural virtues and six deadly sins. Lust isn’t on there, though if a particular bishop wants to write a condemnation of sexual debauchery among their flock, it’s pretty easy to fit it under one of the other sins.

    The writing team so far comes from multiple religious backgrounds, and you’re going to see that reflected in the way the Church (and maybe other faiths) are depicted. The Church takes a lot from Catholicism as practiced in various parts of Europe in the middle ages, but if you look at backgrounds like Evangelist in the core book, that’s definitely more of an American non-denominational-but-protestant approach to religion.

    Some of this can be viewed through the lens of history. William the Conqueror inherited the Duchy of Normandy without being a legitimate son. Other stuff is just fantasy; having a feudal aristocracy made up of vampires opens weird new places for theology to go. For example, the politics of having heirs when you’re near-immortal changes a lot, and focuses less on bloodlines, which in turn means the sexual rules for the upper class are going to be different from what you might expect.

    Uh, and then also, I’m queer.

  5. (I beg your pardon. The strictly-cishet nature of “traditional Christian sexual values” completely slipped my mind, and regardless of my personal disinterest in exploring alternate sexuality/gender/etcetera, I’d never intentionally complain that you provided the option!)
    Other things:
    *I assumed it was the “standard ideology”, but shouldn’t there be a mention of rest, too? I assume most peasants are still diurnal (which provides a pretty weird and interesting class marker as I think of it,) and sleep is pretty important to people. Either way, you’ve reassured me.
    *If inheritance is a thing, and it’s almost entirely directed by the parents’ will, competitions for it are going to be pretty cutthroat. So if the church preaches social stability (as I recall you mentioning on Patreon), they’d need to deal with that, and it’s much harder with out-of-wedlock he-said-she-said. Saying spares go off to become monks (who conveniently donate blood on a regular basis) is useful, but only goes so far.
    *The cloning thing is pretty neat! I like gothic mad science, and the idea of building children has had a place in my heart since I was young. (The psychic reproduction thing is weird, but infomorphs usually are.)

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