2007-02-12 : Metal

I learned from John at Dreamation this year that indie rpgs are metal.

Every once in a while, someone emails me asking to trade for kill puppies for satan. Often but not always I reply; it depends on the day and the state of my inbox. When I reply, I always say that my favorite thing to trade for is music. This time, the other day, she comes back with some mp3s by a band her fiancé plays in.

I don't know from metal, but I'm like, dang, this is good stuff. This doesn't sound like anybody's fiancé's band, it sounds like the real thing.

Turns out that, yeah, they're kind of the real thing. They've been around since the 90s, they have like ten albums. Cool!

I'm working on a big post about how as a teenager I was trained to be an exorcist. Meanwhile, Solace, for John and the rest of you.

\m/ \m/

1. On 2007-02-12, Ben Lehman said:

One of the awesomest experiences of my life was going to a speed metal show in Beijing.  These guys were clearly practicing in empty lots out in the outskirts of town—their dirty clothes and scruffy looks weren't very effected.  But they all had awesome long hair, and just got up there on the stage and screamed and screamed about their lives while the crowd just fucking smashed each other.  My friends stayed out of the pit, trying to maintain a modern indie-kid ironic detachment, but I just jump in and started headbanging with the Chinese guys.  In China, where crowds would often part around me and point and stare and giggle at the strange foreigner, it was the one time I was ever in a crowd where it was clear that no one gave a flying fuck that I wasn't a local.  We were all there to smash each other up, scream, and throw up the horns.  Just a bunch of crazy humans, and damned if we didn't get that shit done.

The name of the band was "Suffocation."


2. On 2007-02-12, Matt Kimball said:

I'd like to read the case for indie rpgs being metal.  I mean, I like metal, and I like indie rpgs, but it's not patently obvious to me that they are the same thing.  Although, if they are, I suppose each becomes a little bit cooler.

Oh, and if I can buy you a starter set of Opeth CDs in exchange for a printed copy of Mechaton, I'm totally in for that.  That's even more awesome than directly buying a copy.

Of course, Mikael ??kerfeldt isn't my fianc??, or anything.


3. On 2007-02-12, Neel said:

Heavy metal lost me when the lead singers shifted from copying Ozzy Osbourne's voice to copying Cookie Monster's.

So, the moral is: rpg designers, don't imitate Cookie Monster or I will not play your game. Copy Ozzy Osbourne instead!


4. On 2007-02-13, Vincent said:

Matt, I think the argument for goes like this: INDIE RPGS ARE METAL! \\m/


5. On 2007-02-13, Matt Kimball said:


I see.  With the addition of the horns to the argument, I must admit, there is nothing more to say!

I must ask, though, since jesus is metal, and since indie-rpgs are metal, are indie-rpgs jesus?  (Is metal transitive?)


6. On 2007-02-13, Kirk Mitchell said:

I'd say the Cookie Monster is pretty fucking metal. \m/ And also that Indie-RPGs are Jesus. They save my meat robot mind.

I'd love to be able to type "Jesus" into the human/cylon tester.


7. On 2007-02-13, Ben Lehman said:

Kirk—You can already type "human."

Also, I will now write the GIVE BEN ALL YOUR COOKIES! RPG.  Just for neel.


8. On 2007-02-13, Kalyr said:

Indie gaming as underground metal is a very good analogy. Does that mean traditional RPGs are prog-rock?

Comparing indie gaming with indie music (or indie's ancestor, punk) isn't as good.  I loathe indie music, which is all about style and attitude, with the actual music as an afterthought. Can't say that about metal.


9. On 2007-02-13, NinJ said:

It completely boggles my mind that anyone thinks of metal as anything but homophobic crossdressing tough guys is carefully torn leather.

Metal made the transition to The Man even faster than Punk did.


10. On 2007-02-13, Kalyr said:

Don't forget, metal obeys Sturgeon's Law.  So, probably, do indie games.


11. On 2007-02-14, Neel said:

Ben: I like you enough I'd give you cookies even without an rpg. :)


12. On 2007-02-14, Larry Lade said:


So, you won't mind when I characterize all science fiction as a bunch of crypto-fascist white men with blind faith in technological progress, then?


13. On 2007-02-14, Vincent said:

If this thread becomes a stupid internet argument thingy I'm'a be wicked cranky.


14. On 2007-02-15, anon. said:

And then there's me, who's working on an indie game that really is Metal.  It's called Uml??ut and everything.

It started out as a setting for Contenders, but it seems to have a life of it's own...


15. On 2007-02-15, Rich Stokes said:

D'oh, that was me being an eedjit and not putting my name in.

I mean, how many times have you looked at a metal album cover and thought, "Man, that'd make a sweet scene in an RPG!"?  SO I figure it's time to put that to actual use.


16. On 2007-02-15, Kalyr said:

Reminds me of this:

Not actually a real band, but a spoof webpage I knocked up for an internet based Call of Cthulhu game I was playing in about five years ago, and sort of took on a life of it's own.

More than one person has been fooled into thinking it was a genuine band.  Not only that, some of their music has even been recorded :)


17. On 2007-02-16, Neel said:

Rich, I ran that game in college. It was run using a mutant offspring of Theatrix and Over the Edge, and the setting was based entirely on my collection of Black Sabbath CDs. One player had in fact sold his soul for rock and roll. When he spent a Plot Point he could activate it and boss around undead and demons, or alternately he could rock out.

It was where the phrase "he's cursed by God—with superpowers" entered my vocabulary. :)


18. On 2007-02-16, Larry Lade said:

Ooch. Point taken, V.


I have the reverse—a scene from an RPG that I thought would be a sweet album cover.


19. On 2007-02-19, Luke said:

I love Mad Max. I had the chance to see it on the big screen a couple of years ago and it's an amazing experience. Shotguns, highways and revving engines; leather boots and vendettas; no excuses. Very metal.

Anyway, perhaps my dear friend Vincent would be interested in more? Deeper? Faster? Harder? Oh, and utterly unironic. Irony is for losers. Metal is serious.

Just say the word. I can make a "Music to Smash Robots By" collection or perhaps a "I Hear My God Calling; His Throat Issues a Terrible Roar" mix. Your call.


PS: Nice find, Vincent! You definitely made a good trade.


20. On 2007-02-20, Vincent said:

Luke, yes!

(If deeper faster harder is a pick list, sign me up for deeper. Much harder or faster and I'm afraid my ears, grown soft on bluegrass, will bleed.)


21. On 2007-02-22, Axel said:

"Destroy the Orcs" by "3 inches of Blood" is what I think of when thinking Heavy Metal + Role-playing.
That they look like role-players who liked heavy metal of my acquaintance from when I was 15 probably has something to do with that.

Here's the video - it's watchable like a train wreck:

I'd intended my first post on your forum to be a bit more erudite but I couldn't resist this thread.


22. On 2007-02-22, Vincent said:



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