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Shadows Over Normandie: Achtung! Cthulhu» Forums » General

Subject: Is the "Suicide" token in poor taste? rss

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fightcitymayor
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So when you reach into the bag of Madness tokens for a Deep Ones "Terror Check" penalty, one of the possible tokens is a "Suicide" token which dings you for 1. Now, mechanically, I can see taking damage as a valid penalty to a Mythos threat, but to name the counter "Suicide" (with the little death head skull) seems somewhat out of line with the otherwise goofy, cartoony, caricature-laden game style that Devil Pig is going for.

I find it somewhat jarring, and wish they would have referred to it as something else (get creative, "Telepathic Blast", "Dark Wound", "Necrotic Backlash") because I don't find suicide to be particularly funny-gamey-ha-ha.

Just wanted to put that out there, obviously YMMV.

p.s.
And before someone attempts the familiar "But why don't you have a problem with Nazis then?!?" my response is that the Nazi party dissolved in 1945, while sadly people are lured into suicide every day in every nation of the world we live in right now today, and it's really not a joke or a clever name for a game mechanism. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among persons aged 10–24 years in the United States.


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Jonathan Maisonneuve
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Firearms are also a major cause of death, yet you do not complain about it.
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I haven't received my copy yet, so I can't speak with direct experience about the "tone" of the game, and if the name of the token doesn't fit very well.

Generally speaking, anytime you have a game about the Cthulhu Mythos, insanity and mental illness should be an expected feature of the game. But to the extent that the game has a more "cartoon" like feel, then yeah, they cculd have used a less serious name for the token with the exact same effect.

Then again, while it may be in poor taste, it seems pretty minor in comparison to the outrage surrounding the use of "slaves" in Five Tribes. You pick your battles (pun intended).
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Pete Martyn
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Wildhorn wrote:
Firearms are also a major cause of death, yet you do not complain about it.
He's still allowed to find suicide more distasteful than firearms. It's not inconsistent or hypocritical -- we all have things that we find more unpleasant.

Given the source material I don't find it jarring, myself -- Lovecraft had a few characters either take their own lives or at least wish for death. And though this is a little cartoony, it's also a game about Nazi occultists so a darker tone doesn't seem inappropriate.

I get where the OP is coming from, though -- suicide is unfortunately all too relevant for a lot of people. I work in mental health, and I've known a few people who have attempted suicide (thankfully none who have lost their lives) and as such any game with a "suicide" rule/token/whatever would raise an eyebrow for me.

I'm not one to advocate censorship and I have some downright evil games in my collection. I'd still play this one for sure and am not personally bothered, exactly. But I think it's also good to have a dialogue about something like this in a public forum, because yes, perhaps something else could have been chosen. Maybe some other designer will decide that he or she would like to use language that's a little less likely to generate that kind of jarring reaction?
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X. Nostradunwhich
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Wildhorn wrote:
Firearms are also a major cause of death, yet you do not complain about it.
And grenades, tanks, mines, artillery, airstrikes. There is a lot of death and horror in any war. Mines are still an issue to this day and can cause a lot of suffering.

I am sorry if that word bothers you, I really am. I would recommend you leave the token out of the bag if it bothers you. The important thing is you enjoy the play of the game.

That is my point of view on it anyway. YMMV.

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Mike
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The Cthulhu Mythos does not ever end well for anyone. There are no happy stories, so I think you have to keep that in mind for any game that tries even a little to keep within that theme. People are driven insane and die all the time in the stories, often by their own hand because they cannot deal with what they've uncovered and learned about humanity's place in the universe. So for me, death by suicide is just another facet of the mythos. If dark and no win situations bother you, these are not the stories for you my friend. SoN is built around those stories, so I think we should expect even more darker things ahead.
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Norman L.
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I think the goofy art style is to help soften the otherwise heavy and serious subject matter. If the game consisted of super realistic art with real people's faces would you still be inclined to buy/play it? Suicide is as much a part of war as the other aspects demonstrated in the game so for the sake of an authentic experience it should be included. Soldiers battles aren't just fought in the trenches or on the battlefield but also within their own minds (especially in this case because of the Old Ones/Lovecraft influence). War is as psychological as it is physical and I'm glad the designers took that into account. If you were to think of someone overtaken with "madness," wouldn't you think that suicide is something they would do?
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Truls Rostrup
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More interesting is the fact that "suicide" is not really what it says, it just means take one damage (which for many units is survivable). "self-abuse", anyone?
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TheDarkKnight wrote:
The Cthulhu Mythos does not ever end well for anyone. There are no happy stories, so I think you have to keep that in mind for any game that tries even a little to keep within that theme. People are driven insane and die all the time in the stories, often by their own hand because they cannot deal with what they've uncovered and learned about humanity's place in the universe. So for me, death by suicide is just another facet of the mythos. If dark and no win situations bother you, these are not the stories for you my friend. SoN is built around those stories, so I think we should expect even more darker things ahead.
Fully agreed.
The Mythos is a terrible thing.

And besides: The Suicide token gets flak for being in poor taste, but things like the Catatonia token get a free pass?
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Jake Waltier
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I agree with the OP but then again I also find any cartoonish portrayal of war to be in poor taste, including most of the art for Heroes of Normandie.
 
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Just another Mike
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It's a game. It will be alright.
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Is the suicide token in poor taste? Nah. It wouldn't offend me, and I'm generally considered the more, ah, prudish and fuddy duddy member of our group. I don't believe it would likely offend any of the friends I game with either. I don't think our group is that different from most groups out there, so take it as you will.
 
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Rockpaper Scissors
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In my opinion this whole game is in poor taste.
 
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Rockpaper wrote:
In my opinion this whole game is in poor taste.
I tend to play Devil's Advocate quite a bit in my mind to try and figure out other people's point of view. Not sure I can find a connection to yours. The "whole game?" That is a pretty broad judgement.
 
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Rockpaper Scissors
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TheDarkKnight wrote:
Rockpaper wrote:
In my opinion this whole game is in poor taste.
I tend to play Devil's Advocate quite a bit in my mind to try and figure out other people's point of view. Not sure I can find a connection to yours. The "whole game?" That is a pretty broad judgement.
Well the base game gets on my nerves with its cartoonish (though nicely done) art, which I feel trivializes the subject matter. But then to go and add a *Cthulhu* expansion? Of all things? To a World War II game? A *Cthulhu* expansion? It just really pushes my buttons.
 
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Rockpaper wrote:
TheDarkKnight wrote:
Rockpaper wrote:
In my opinion this whole game is in poor taste.
I tend to play Devil's Advocate quite a bit in my mind to try and figure out other people's point of view. Not sure I can find a connection to yours. The "whole game?" That is a pretty broad judgement.
Well the base game gets on my nerves with its cartoonish (though nicely done) art, which I feel trivializes the subject matter. But then to go and add a *Cthulhu* expansion? Of all things? To a World War II game? A *Cthulhu* expansion? It just really pushes my buttons.
Ok, I get it. Everyone has something that gets on their nerves and this game does it for you. From what you've written, I don't think there is any changing your mind so I definitely won't try. I don't agree with the game "trivializing" the subject matter (but respect that you do), and like everything else you don't like. LOL!
 
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While I respect fightcitymayor right to be concerned, I am not that worried about the use of this word. TO me, there are a lot of things found in many games that are describing harsh and unsavory things. The idea of one being worse than another is a very subjective thing.

However, I would understand if fightcitymayor were to remove this chit from the game when they play. We all should know our limits.
 
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Christopher Westphal
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Rockpaper wrote:
TheDarkKnight wrote:
Rockpaper wrote:
In my opinion this whole game is in poor taste.
I tend to play Devil's Advocate quite a bit in my mind to try and figure out other people's point of view. Not sure I can find a connection to yours. The "whole game?" That is a pretty broad judgement.
Well the base game gets on my nerves with its cartoonish (though nicely done) art, which I feel trivializes the subject matter. But then to go and add a *Cthulhu* expansion? Of all things? To a World War II game? A *Cthulhu* expansion? It just really pushes my buttons.
I dunno. For me, the main game with the Cthulhu stuff added, not to mention the Metahuman/Werewolf expansion, would give a really fun Hellboy/Hydra (as in Captain America) feel to the game.

Certainly not anywhere near the first game to pair WWII with the Cthulhu mythos.
 
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