Sunday, April 25, 2010

RAHH GIL SMASH STUPID COLOR FORMATTING RAAAHHH





iped out, we are, me bitch-ezzzzzzzz. Twelve straight hours of running AMPUTHEATRE at the UBCon will do that to a man. Had to nurse a little bit of burnout before I could blog again. You see, in preparation for both SIMCON and UBCon, I built upwards of thirty to forty Slasher figures to debut with the new official smaller scale, as well as a new board. Along with the Chenille Macabre work, both for Etsy and as custom. And before this sounds too much like whining, I'll point out that I love the monsters I built for Etsy this week, and one of my commissions is turning out even more awesome than I originally thought.

And another wonderful cure for burnout is fan mail. I've gotten some recently, and I really do appreciate this because it's nice to know that my stuff is actually being seen and read. LiveJournal decided that this fan letter from Sincubus would look awesome if it were in white text on a white background (lemme guess, my format settings) so I'll take this time to answer some questions for you all. (He submitted his own ideas for characters as well, which is too cool, so hit that link, highlight the text with your mouse, and check out Sincubus' stuff.)

I want to say that I’m really surprised that this INSANELY (good) game of yours is so hard to find on Google and the rest of the net that it almost made me slam my computer to the ground out of stress because I wanted to view some of the missing profiles so badly...

Interrupting: We lost our original .url for a while there. It's ours again. Look for it soon! Continue:

I would have thought that when I would type Boomslang (for example) in on Google that I would find tons of pictures and information about her... but all I get are Dutch versions of tree vipers... (boomslang means tree snake in Holland) too bad...

I would have thought to find tons of fan-sites of AMPUTHEATRE because the characters are really well thought out; they in fact are ten times as good and one hundred times more original than the characters of one of my other favorite games Mortal Kombat.

Maybe you can tell me where to find the profiles of:

Boomslang
Scounch One-Ear
Dr.Thoth
The Toll
Nest (I’ve never seen him, but he probably has something to do with rats or killer bees right?)
The Bloodbeards
The Brunswich Eel
Urameshii
Vrakk
Dr.Ghanger
Copscotch
Mark Deck
Ling Chi
Maneater
Headcount
Mamba
Pirate Blackwell
Deathwish
Y'Shakaa
Epitome
The She-goat
Greasefire
Zamov
Heartstopper
Kali
Cycad
Scarmaker
Imbarhu
Tusagti
Tsatsara (that really cool voodoo witch)
Nefelia
Malmignatte
Varga

And are there more Slashers I forgot about? (and which are not on the main-site profiles)

For the first time in life you made me feel bad I’m not a millionaire, because if I was I would buy all characters, stages and items from you instantly, because I’m a very bad collector, I want them all in one buy, I have no patience for one by one collections.

I've been feeling bad that I'm not a millionaire for a long time. Flattery gets you everywhere with me.

The main reason that AMPUTHEATRE characters seem to come and go is because the game rules are constantly being revised and updated. When major rule changes occur- for example, adding a Steal basic attack and the concept of Desperate Measure Evil Deeds- that means major Slasher rule changes occur. And out of the tons of Slashers this game has, the most popular ones are the first to be updated. So Jinglebunny, Crucifiend, Gnash, Gutwrench, etc., they get top dibs. Urameshii and Varga are already back; they received raves at UBCon and will have Slasher profiles up shortly. Y'Shakaa and Scounch One-Ear are coming back too; they happen to be two of the favorite slashers for Roc City Roller Derby Penalty Box Keeper Grief Erickson to play, and I'd rather not piss him off.

Nefelia is back, but she's been reborn as Black Annis. I've wanted to do the evil environmentalist for years- the left-wing extremist who performs actual documented methods of animal cruelty against human beings. She just took a few tries (and figures) to get right.

Here's the finished figure. And now it looks as if I've begun writing first-person perspective Slasher bios...

“My real name is Janice Sewickley, but the tabloids call me “Black Annis” after the mythical witch who wove her dress from human skin. So be it. I’ll be a witch if that’s what it takes to convince mankind that fur is wrong. But what does infuriate me is how often the press affiliates me with the Humans for Animal Rights Movement- I left that bunch of poseurs years ago! What kind of ‘Earth First’ outfit tolerates ‘controlled hunting’? Or owns a website? Blasphemy. I seek to completely free Mother Earth from the crushing advance of technology. My latest victory for Terra is the liberation of Her rarest and most powerful children. The Wardens of AMPUTHEATRE were torturing proud, innocent animals such as Sunderella and Xenichthys by forcing them into combat with known murderers. I did what was necessary: I felled the walls of Correctional Facility Alpha with carefully placed explosives, releasing man and animal alike into the wild. What matters is that the animals are no longer oppressed- the Slashers unleashed upon the country are of no importance.”

As if you didn't have enough to concern you while you were battling off Gnash and Crucifiend, Black Annis has a Save The Whales Evil Deed that lets her perform an Onslaught against anyone who tries to hurt a Monstrous Slasher. Her Shark Finning lets her rip off a limb and deposit her victim elsewhere, and her Chinchilla Grip is an AWESOME death move- she breaks her victim's neck by pulling straight up, detaching the vertebrae and turning them into a spastic kicking Trap in their last helpless moments.

Supposedly this is the best way to procure the fur from a chinchilla. Ah, AMPUTHEATRE- the research I do for you...

I'd shower, but I have to finish this post. Malmignatte is also back, but she's been redesigned as Portia. What the hell; I'll repeat the post:

Unruly and bratty, Amanda Goode was enrolled into the convent at The Church Of The Cleansing Moon at the age of six. After three years of trying to living up to the challenging Catholic ideals, she discovered The Church’s grim secret- virgin girls were bled out to rejuvenate the strength of the Mother Superior. On the run with this knowledge, Amanda was rescued by road travellers who eventually revealed themselves to be acolytes of the notorious Spider Cult. Her conflict of faith made her easy prey to the spell of the high priest Lycosus. Seeing much potential in the young girl, Lycosus educated her in the Cult’s arcane sorceries. Amanda was ultimately transformed into the grotesque Portia (named after a genus of jumping spider). The sheer distance of her leaps and the strength of her venom (the most toxic in all the Cult) hastened her prominence within the Cult, as well as to Lycosus’ side as his betrothed. Though much too young to legally compete in the AMPUTHEATRE, Portia nonetheless breaks into the arena to liberate her high priest and lover.


I know what you've been wanting: "Gil, we don't have enough reasons to despise Lycosus!" Portia has the longest range Charges in AMPUTHEATRE, and her Safety Line Desperate Measure lets her land outside her victim's Counter-Range if the Charge goes wrong. Her coolest attack is the Headdesk; she leaps up, pulls her opponent's head into the earth, and slides away in one fluid motion.


Most of the other characters will return over the weeks and months to come (Zamov and Ling Chi were cool!) but for now I will discuss characters that you shouldn't expect to return any time soon:


Dr.Ghanger was our version of Shang Tsung. He was the world's fastest plastic surgeon, and he could reshape his own appearance to resemble (and perform the attacks of) any Slasher that wasn't on the board. The sheer complexity of this character did not make him popular to play, so he's on the bench for a while.


Mamba was a fierce lady biker with her own motorcycle, and she performed attacks while riding. This became a pain-in-the-ass. In her numerous playtests she kept falling off the bike, and other Slashers would try to ride it which complicated everything immensely. So I wrote some bullshit about how only she could start the bike due to electromagnetic boot plates, leading to a Slasher sheet printed in size 4 font to explain how everything logically worked and oh fuck it! Plus I didn't make the Maisto motorcycle she was always photographed with, and while it's no secret that I borrow accessories here and there for my game, the bike is too big a chunk of work to pass off as inoffensive sampling.

Mamba is out of AMPUTHEATRE, but she lives on in both Riptease and Imbarhu. Riptease is the roller skating psycho, and Imbarhu rides a demonic steed- which disappears if he's dismounted.


Kali isn't coming back; plain and simple. It sucks, because she was very popular as a Slasher- very strong, four arms, a Thuggee henchman who leaned into the arena to throttle people. Two reasons she gone: first, originality. Kali simply isn't my concept. Second: religious imagery. The Indian Black Earth Mother is still held sacred by many Hindus- to wit, Matchbox got in trouble when they included Kali in their Monster In My Pocket toys. They changed her name to Four-Armed Woman. Oh, the horror...

But Gil, you have Crossface in the game; why not Kali? That's right. Crossface. Not Jesus. AMPUTHEATRE Character Design rule #363: make practitioners of religions, not the gods themselves. One day I'll make a Thuggee warrior for the game, once I get past how relatively uninteresting they were. Seriously. They didn't have mystics or magic or anything- all they did was strangle people. Hell, my mom can strangle people. There's no AMPUTHEATRE figure of her.

If you miss Kali, she lives on in both Kaiaphas (who has four arms, and has the added bonus of not looking a thing like a Mortal Kombat Shokan warrior) and Varga, who has adopted the Thuggee Throttle and transformed it into her own Scold Bridle. It's the exact same move, only instead of a turbanned throttler, Varga has Brank: an obese prison disciplinarian with a ball gag:

Hope that works for you; it does me. I wanted a hefty female orderly in the game somewhere, but very few people wanted to play such a character. And if you still miss Kali, well she's currently available for sale at the Etsy store. As the Queen of Destruction. With swords!


Epitome. And speaking of characters that no one wanted to play... pull up a seat kids, because I only want to discuss this once. I don't like to talk about what I will and won't do in this game, but eff it. This is why we playtest.

Epitome was a white supremacist boxer. I got the idea from when Cassius Clay announced his affiliation with the Nation of Islam and became Muhammad Ali. So I thought, What if that happened with a white guy? He'd be an AWESOME villain! Sure the subject matter is abhorrent, but Marvel Comics has TONS of evil Nazis like Baron Blood and the Red Skull, and you can buy German WWII model kits and soldiers at your nearby hobby shop. So why can't I do this...?

I was proud of the story. I still am. Epitome wanted to fight the Slashers and score one for the "Master (bating) Race", but he was afraid to absorb their impure blood. So he sunk his championship fortune into a black market blood serum called Plasmogen which destroyed any Amputech entering his body. The trouble was that Plasmogen lacked the platelets of his regular blood- forcing him to wear a respirator, and it was a deep purple in color, turning his skin a faint lavender. So there was the excellent E.C. comics-inspired twist- his own idiotic hate turned him into what he hated the most- a handicapped person of another color. And a feminine color at that. I thought This is good, this is poetic justice, this is a great concept.

The trouble is that once you place Epitome on the game board, the irony doesn't follow him. NONE of my playtesters wanted to play a racist. Even one as goofy-looking as Epitome. Even one with a Resist score of 1d10 (so it was quite clear that was a moron). Even after I had him renamed the pejorative "Lilac" (his real name was Lyle, and Jinglebunny was teasing him). My wife hated him, my friends hated him... I'm not exactly sure of the rationale that lets people accept fictional mass murderers but NOT fictional racists, but there you are.


Well that's not entirely true. The Red Skull has his loathsomeness tempered by the fact that Captain America keeps kicking his ass. Similarly, wargamers recreating D-Day in plastic and dice rolling take pride in knowing we stomped Hitler's ass. What clinched everything was the one time when I was demoing AMPUTHEATRE for some black students, and when I went to get a new Slasher, there was the Epitome figure staring back at me. Um, no. HELL no. "Trust me, this is all awash in comic irony," I imagined myself saying through a bloodied mouth jammed with a lavender pipe cleaner figure.

I still liked Epitome's character design, but changes to the story (he's friends with Y'Shakaa!) deadened its initial impact. So Epitome sits on my shelf, where he'll stay.

But I do have a new boxer character lined up, sporting Epitome's non-racist-asshole attacks, and he'll debut soon. So please play him when you see him.

...And yet people still play the homophobic shitheel Crossface! WTF!?


Thanks so much for writing, Sincubus. I hope this answered some of your questions! Don't forget: AMPUTHEATRE is on Facebook where I announce meets and new happenings as well!

Copscotch and Mark Deck? Dude. I don't even remember uploading them. Maybe I do have way too many characters...