"Honey, I have an important announcement to make," I said, as I am wont to do when I am home with nobody else in earshot but Wen.
"Yes?" she tiredly asked.
"I am giving up on this whole F.A.T.A.L. exercise," I told her.
I really wanted to try and finish, but honestly this could be the first RPG "book" that has ever made me actively angry just by reading it. And yes I know all about HYBRID.
I did however persevere long enough to read ahead to some of the stupider tables in the manual. You really can’t avoid this, as the whole thing is laid out so badly that finding the next referenced section you’re looking for turns into an exercise in random page flipping and hoping you get lucky; this is of course a futile expectation as nobody ever gets lucky when reading F.A.T.A.L.
The following is a very brief sampling of the horrors herein, from only 7 pages of this monstrosity:
01-50 Jar of Jacking-Off: Whenever a male opens this jar, they must pass a Drive sub-ability check at TH 21 or be compelled to force their fuckstick into the jar. Once inside, the jar will inexplicably grip it firmly and jerk it to completion, even against the will of the opener. Upon completion, the cummer must roll 1d100. If the results are 01-10, then the jar becomes pregnant. If the jar is pregnant, it will not allow itself to be opened, but will care for the fetus within, which will be heard screaming by others within 1d100 feet day and night.
After 9 months of fetal torture, the child will be born and the jar will break. If the jar is broken during its pregnancy, then the dying and twitching fetus will explode after 1d6 rounds of twitching. The explosion will cause 1d4 LP of sonic damage to all within 1d4 miles. Baby parts are inexplicably everywhere.
26-50 Rapeseed of Raping: If a character swallows this seed, they will attempt to rape the next member of the opposite sex in sight regardless of age.
68-100 Stone of Spermicide: This black stone may be rubbed across the manhood of a male prior to copulation. If so rubbed, the female will not become pregnant no matter how much sperm the male releases. This stone is (4 + 1d6) inches in circumference. If this stone is forced deep inside the vagina, the female will not become pregnant, but it is very difficult to remove and may prevent the entire manhood from being able to enjoy this moist cavity.
51-75 Bracelet of Bitchery: This bracelet does not function for a male character. Whenever a female character wears this bracelet, she will loudly complain and whine to all around about worthless things for 1d12 hours each day. If this bracelet is worn for more than 1 month, then any male to whom she complains is 10% likely to attempt to strangle her and pound her head on the ground until death.
I wish to God I was making any of this up. The spell list is no better, containing such wonders as Pestilential Pudenda, Puddle of Crud, Seal Orifice (just what you think), Spermicidal Sphere, Wet Dream… it’s just an unending disaster. The random magical effects table requires rolling 2d1000 to get a random effect, including:
- 0003. Caster immediately tries to rape the target creature for 1d20 rounds and has amnesia about it.
- 0008. Caster gives birth to a clone through their manhood/vagina. The new clone is 1d6 levels higher.
- 0010. Every time the caster casts a spell from now on, chunky defecation squirts down their leg.
- 0033. Target immediately begins to sniff and lick the ass of the caster for 1d4 rounds.
- 0041. Caster gains a fecal breath weapon: 30 long, 30 diameter, 3/day, results in – 3 TH for 1d4 rounds.
- 0061. Caster has a permanent hard-on — manhood or nipple, depending on gender.
- 0085. Two gay ogres appear within 30 radius and begin to butt-plug as if there is no tomorrow.
This is up to 0085 out of 1999. And it’s not even all of the idiotic effects up to 0085.
As far as actually trying to play the game, forget it. People better than I have tried and failed. Even when you strip out the 90% of the game which is unnecessarily grotesque and "sexual" (in quotes, as reading F.A.T.A.L.. tends to make people less interested in sex than before), what you wind up with is a boring AD&D clone that uses percentile dice or higher for everything, with character classes that you cannot choose and, in some cases, cannot actually advance in (the "Clerk" class may, if all you do is clerk for someone, get to level 2 in 85 years), and mechanics that make no sense whatsoever, assuming you can find the rules you want and they’ve been finished.
So forget it. There are some games and movies and such that are indeed so bad, they’re funny, but this isn’t one of them. It might seem sort of sick-humorous in abstract, but once you realize that this thing is 1000 pages long, it becomes more of a psychological case study, or a guide for sociopaths. Not a good one, either.
In closing, I echo the sentiment expressed by the best summarizing sentence from the RPG.net review of this "game":
"So, basically, saying that this game should be burned is an insult to fire."