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Subject: Anyone else not crazy about the art/style direction but really interested in the gameplay? rss

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Erik Lox
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I'm just wondering if there are others that are hesitant to pull the trigger on this game because of some of the models/art but really like the gameplay and survival horror type theme.

Anybody in that boat that actually played the core game and was it worth it?

I'm currently signed on for the base game plus gamblers box pledge for $300 (BF). I'm really on the fence though. The actual gameplay looks fantastic and enjoyable, but I would be embarrassed to show some of the minis/pinups, but so far the core stuff seems ok.

I've seen some gameplay of the lion hunt, screaming antelope, and butcher and none of that bothers me. Stuff like the pinups and expandable things like wet nurse definitely do though.

Is the rest of the core game more like the stuff I've see (lion, screaming antelope, butcher) that isn't over the top sexualized? The core game models at a glance seem ok and I don't mind the horror theme, but how about the story/art in the core game that I can't see at a glance?

I know all this is entirely subjective and everyone is entitled to their preferences and therefore I would never ask for anything to be changed by the creator. I just want to know what's really in store for the core game.

Obviously I took a shot at the gamblers and if there is stuff like nightmare Adam I could just resell that online hopefully (depending how he is depicted, but if the art shown is any indication... no thanks).

Sorry for the long post and thank you for your thoughts/experiences.

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I would love to hear responses. The theme for me is whatever, but the gameplay of such a long campaign seems great. I am a bit turned off by the combination of violence/sexuality. I have no complaints about anyone who wants that sort of thing, but I'm curious how much of it shows up in the elements that are needed for game play content (ie not pinups).
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Andreas Palm
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You're in rough waters, friend. It is perfectly fine to dislike a game for being rude, crude or nude but your position has been claimed by the actively offended. Good luck getting a constructive discussion on this topic during the current year.
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David Winters
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Sadism / misogonism themes are huuuuuge turn offs for me. I was all in devil lantern until I looked at the expansion lists on their website and saw the x rated ones. Im no prude, but i dont want to spend $$$$ on a game i have to hide when my nephew comes over. It also seriously limits the crowds you can play with. I dont think Im ready to have a resin sculpted vagina in my board games.

The groups i play dice rollers with are mostly females so it would be awkard, and the groups that are dudes prefer no dice. I really want to like this but I cant see spending the $$$$. Minature market price on the top 20 bgg titles is $962, for comparison. For those prices I want a game with more global appeal.
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Adam Canning
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Grimlox wrote:
Is the rest of the core game more like the stuff I've see (lion, screaming antelope, butcher) that isn't over the top sexualized? The core game models at a glance seem ok and I don't mind the horror theme, but how about the story/art in the core game that I can't see at a glance?


There is non-sexual nudity in the art work.

Spoiler (click to reveal)


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Hellena Handbasket
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The rulebook has a couple pages you'll want to cover over if you're playing with more sensitive folks. I'm specifically thinking of the brain trauma table, which has naked man bits on it. The sculpts themselves are generally fine. You might have some small issue with the Phoenix due to it having a carefully sculpted cloaca with human hands coming out of it. That part of the model's vaguely optional, though, since the cloaca is a separate part of the model that you don't necessarily have to glue into the slot set aside for it.

Edit: As another note, most of the more... interesting models in the Kingdom Death range aren't actually expansions to the game. The Wet Nurse and Forge God aren't, for instance. I've heard folks being turned off by the Lion God and Gorm expansions, and I could imagine the Sunstalker causing a stir, but folks don't seem to have much trouble with the others as far as I can tell.
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Nathan Ehlers
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FWIW, the pinups have nothing to do with game play material. They're stylized interpretation of things within the game. The actual armor kits don't look anything like the pinups that use them as the source material. The gameplay stuff doesn't have much in the way of cheesecake figures. However, gruesome perversion of traditionally sexualized images is on of the aesthetic themes of the studio. Fetuses, penises, vaginas, breasts, and both traditional gender aesthetics show up in contorted and distorted ways throughout all the art content. A couple of examples:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
the phoenix model has a very detailed anus with the hand parasites protruding out of it. There's even a monster AI card that involves the hands dragging a warrior into the rectum. The Sunstalker model has long protrusions from it's chest area which are sort of nipple/eyes. It also has a series of tentacles (kind of a flying squid monster thing) that resemble penises (one particular tentacle is really bulbous on the end). The maw of the Gorm appears quite vaginal and the overall design looks like somewhere between a human fetus and a rhino.


Also the rulebook has lots of naked people in it. Nothing I'd call pornographic (at least, I don't think depicting naked bodies in a charnal pit is meant to be arousing...but maybe I'm missing something), but if nudity is a baseline turn off, know that you won't be showing this thing around the office.
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David Winters
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The wet nurse has a nude, drugged pregnant woman with sculpted vagina positioned as if she is about to be, or just has been, sexually violated by the monsters penis shaped tail.
 
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Richard Sampson
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Worth mentioning that the wet nurse (which I assume people are having the most issue with) is not part of KDM (at least currently) and is not included on any level. It is part of the broader KD universe but is completely separate from this game.
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Erik Lox
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Great replies so far thank you.

The image shown of the artwork in the book doesn't bother me.

I think the gorm/sunstalker stuff is expansion only? Is this right? Sounds like the kind of stuff I would not put on the table.

I like the idea of just not gluing on the sculpted cloaca for the Phoenix.
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Norman L.
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correct, they are expansion only. In fact they are current expansions and not included in your pledge so you have nothing to worry about (for now).
Just be patient and wait out the remainder of the campaign, by then you will be able to see all that is offered and whether or not its right for you.
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David Winters
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Oh I thought the wet nurse was part of the game! I should have looked at its component list more closely!
 
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Emmit Svenson
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Bookswinters wrote:
The wet nurse....


...is not a part of this board game and never will be. Neither will the horrific-fertility-themed Mother or Grandmother, nor the castration-themed Forge God.

The Lion God and Sunstalker have sexual body horror as part of their design, but I wouldn't say misogyny is an element of that.

The Lion Knight's entourage is kind of coded like a harem, but not explicitly so.

The Spidicule's lure is a mutilated female corpse, so a possible trigger for folks sensitive to gendered violence.

When you say sadism, I get the idea that you mean eroticized cruelty, which isn't really a factor. For one thing, sex between survivors is consensual, per the rules. Monsters will do all kinds of horrible things to survivors, but nothing sexual...well, I guess the Spidicules might lay its eggs in you. But that's not really what we're talking about here, I think.

If I'm wrong, and you just don't like the idea of a game where people suffer unavoidably, then this is not the game for you. This game is cruel by design; survivors die, go mad, are mutilated, and fall to fates worse than death. Murder, suicide, death in childbirth, cannibalism, and fantastical body horror are routine. A major theme is whether the survivors are any better than the monsters they hunt.
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Grimlox wrote:
I'm just wondering if there are others that are hesitant to pull the trigger on this game because of some of the models/art but really like the gameplay and survival horror type theme.

Anybody in that boat that actually played the core game and was it worth it?

I'm currently signed on for the base game plus gamblers box pledge for $300 (BF). I'm really on the fence though. The actual gameplay looks fantastic and enjoyable, but I would be embarrassed to show some of the minis/pinups, but so far the core stuff seems ok.

I've seen some gameplay of the lion hunt, screaming antelope, and butcher and none of that bothers me. Stuff like the pinups and expandable things like wet nurse definitely do though.

Is the rest of the core game more like the stuff I've see (lion, screaming antelope, butcher) that isn't over the top sexualized? The core game models at a glance seem ok and I don't mind the horror theme, but how about the story/art in the core game that I can't see at a glance?

I know all this is entirely subjective and everyone is entitled to their preferences and therefore I would never ask for anything to be changed by the creator. I just want to know what's really in store for the core game.

Obviously I took a shot at the gamblers and if there is stuff like nightmare Adam I could just resell that online hopefully (depending how he is depicted, but if the art shown is any indication... no thanks).

Sorry for the long post and thank you for your thoughts/experiences.



I think you will not like the rulebook illustrations...
If that's an issue, just skip that game.
 
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Henry Akeley
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I have to say I would like this game a lot less if it had a different art style/theme. Its that inescapable horror theme with a dash of Lovecraftian horror that makes me adore this game so much. If it was more generic fantasy or what have you I would like it a lot less.

Also......I don't have a problem with buxom women in the art. In any game related book there is zero sexual art. Its really only the pin-ups that do that (yes I own several of those).
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baylock wrote:
I think you will not like the rulebook illustrations...
If that's an issue, just skip that game.


Yep. Watch Nick's and Drive Thru's reviews. The illustrations are part of the rulebook, and obviously you can't play without that. But you can definitely sell off the miniatures (you'll have to sell of any gameplay) and make enough back to pay for your pledge. Heck, you could make enough that you can rip out any illustrations you don't like, and take a sharpie to whatever else you don't!
 
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Rob
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Bookswinters wrote:
The wet nurse has a nude, drugged pregnant woman with sculpted vagina positioned as if she is about to be, or just has been, sexually violated by the monsters penis shaped tail.


How creative.
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Erik Lox
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Epidemius wrote:
I have to say I would like this game a lot less if it had a different art style/theme. Its that inescapable horror theme with a dash of Lovecraftian horror that makes me adore this game so much. If it was more generic fantasy or what have you I would like it a lot less.

Also......I don't have a problem with buxom women in the art. In any game related book there is zero sexual art. Its really only the pin-ups that do that (yes I own several of those).


No big deal with the buxom women or straight occasional nudity in the rulebook if it's like the one that was shown earlier. Might earn an eyeroll at the table but that's all. It's really just the sexuality of the pinups and sexual horror flavour to certain expansions such as wet nurse/gorm that wouldn't make it onto my table. Based on the answers so far it sounds like the core game shouldn't be an issue and any minor things like the Phoenix thing might be avoidable.

I'm totally cool with the violence, general horror/survival theme and gameplay.
 
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Erik Lox
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Sam and Max wrote:
baylock wrote:
I think you will not like the rulebook illustrations...
If that's an issue, just skip that game.


Yep. Watch Nick's and Drive Thru's reviews. The illustrations are part of the rulebook, and obviously you can't play without that. But you can definitely sell off the miniatures (you'll have to sell of any gameplay) and make enough back to pay for your pledge. Heck, you could make enough that you can rip out any illustrations you don't like, and take a sharpie to whatever else you don't!


Would you say the illustrations are similar to the one posted earlier just showing nudity in a non-sexual way? I'm fine with that. I just don't want illustrations of sexual horror or sexual violence.
 
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Robbie Lyons
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Ehh...there seem to be two kinds of sexual content in the game. To disturb and to titillate.

To disturb are things like...the Sunstalker's foremost 'appendage', the chained up slave girls around the wet nurse, that kind of thing. Sexuality and horror make for a great combination. They're tied to us on a primal level, but that same deep connection is what can make it so uncomfortable to talk about. A monster that preys on that can be amazingly creepy. Giger's Alien, for example. Wholeheartedly approve.

To titillate...you have the pin-ups, the anime style girls, images like the one dahak posted. This, I'm less crazy about. A monster with a penis is a bizarre, threatening creature. An ostensibly regular woman with breasts bigger than her head comes off as pretty juvenile. I don't mind sexuality, even explicit nudity, but when the subjects are portrayed in such a shallow way (visually!) it seems contrived. Yes, the survivors don't have a lot of clothes, they're in an almost prehistoric survival situation. But they also all have perfect hair and don't seem to suffer from malnutrition based on their sculpted physiques.

The anime art style that gives every voluptuous woman the face of a 12 year-old girl is creepy too, but that's a problem with all anime and not just KD:M.

All that said though...the overly titillating stuff doesn't seem that prevalent. Most survivor minis are quite well-armoured and proportioned (White Lion boob window notwithstanding), and the gameplay/setting/narrative all look amazing. So none of the negative points I have are dealbreakers for me.
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Emivaldo Sousa
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To me, the style IS the game.
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Erik Lox
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zinho73 wrote:
To me, the style IS the game.


Fair enough, for me I'm interested in the survival horror gameplay, brutal encounters with monsters, and hard decisions on how to develop survivors and the settlement. Which I hope is possible to enjoy without penis tendrils and pinups haha.
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Hellena Handbasket
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Grimlox wrote:
Sam and Max wrote:
baylock wrote:
I think you will not like the rulebook illustrations...
If that's an issue, just skip that game.


Yep. Watch Nick's and Drive Thru's reviews. The illustrations are part of the rulebook, and obviously you can't play without that. But you can definitely sell off the miniatures (you'll have to sell of any gameplay) and make enough back to pay for your pledge. Heck, you could make enough that you can rip out any illustrations you don't like, and take a sharpie to whatever else you don't!


Would you say the illustrations are similar to the one posted earlier just showing nudity in a non-sexual way? I'm fine with that. I just don't want illustrations of sexual horror or sexual violence.


Correct. There are some rather gory illustrations that have naked people in them, but nothing overtly sexual. Some of those illustrations are fundamentally disturbing, though. The brain trauma table I mentioned earlier has a naked man bleeding onto the stone face landscape the game takes place in and the Hand's showdown page depicts the hand holding an infant and standing over the naked corpse of its mother. (This particular image you can find online if you want to vet it before buying.)
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Joshua Nash
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Canjul wrote:
Ehh...there seem to be two kinds of sexual content in the game. To disturb and to titillate.

To disturb are things like...the Sunstalker's foremost 'appendage', the chained up slave girls around the wet nurse, that kind of thing. Sexuality and horror make for a great combination. They're tied to us on a primal level, but that same deep connection is what can make it so uncomfortable to talk about. A monster that preys on that can be amazingly creepy. Giger's Alien, for example. Wholeheartedly approve.

To titillate...you have the pin-ups, the anime style girls, images like the one dahak posted. This, I'm less crazy about. A monster with a penis is a bizarre, threatening creature. An ostensibly regular woman with breasts bigger than her head comes off as pretty juvenile. I don't mind sexuality, even explicit nudity, but when the subjects are portrayed in such a shallow way (visually!) it seems contrived. Yes, the survivors don't have a lot of clothes, they're in an almost prehistoric survival situation. But they also all have perfect hair and don't seem to suffer from malnutrition based on their sculpted physiques.

The anime art style that gives every voluptuous woman the face of a 12 year-old girl is creepy too, but that's a problem with all anime and not just KD:M.

All that said though...the overly titillating stuff doesn't seem that prevalent. Most survivor minis are quite well-armoured and proportioned (White Lion boob window notwithstanding), and the gameplay/setting/narrative all look amazing. So none of the negative points I have are dealbreakers for me.


Really well put. I tend to agree with all this.

I've had to really look at my stance on how women are often portrayed in fantasy in general and in our board game neck of the woods.

For me, the nudity in KDM fits the theme. It makes sense to me. As opposed to the often-seen "bikini chainmail" you see elsewhere.
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Caleb Kester
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I'm not a huge fan of the style of the monsters. However, I love the gameplay and the player models are amazing. I'm passing on some of the pinup models (I'm looking at you pinup wetnurse) but overall it's not too overly bad.

I was comparing it to some of the Descent and arcadia minis the other day. Some of those monsters are hideous and grotesque, some of the heroes are overly sexual. KDM's fault is the minis are so good of quality that it just makes things a lot more apparent.

However it's growing on me. It's such well design game (both in gameplay and in art) that it's hard not to fall for it.
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