Friday, May 21, 2010

Naughty Erol Otus - Banned Illustrations

1982 saw the release of a high school-themed RPG called Alma Mater. Many game stores banned this product for its sex, drugs, and violence. Although I've often heard about this game, I've never personally seen a copy of it.

From what I understand, the game is a pretty straight-up old school RPG. The character classes are Loser, Average Kid, Brain, Jock, Cheerleader, Criminal, and Tough. The game takes place over four years, and players score points in categories like Social Success or Academic Success, with the goal of meeting class-specific victory conditions. There is a skill system that includes stuff like Drinking, Cheating, and Studying. There are also simple rules for dealing with various challenges like acne, pregnancy, and dope addiction.

Probably the most remarkable aspect of this game are the zinger illustrations by Erol Otus. Enjoy:

(CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE)


I thank Kellri for posting these scans to The RPG Site a few years back.

14 comments:

  1. @Paladin: Alma Mater was published by Oracle Games in 1982. It was written by Steve Davis and Andrew Warden.

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  2. Oh man... Wow! This is really going to throw my "all Erol Otus art reflects stuff in the world" game for a bizarre and interesting loop.

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  3. So ill ... I was playing D&D to get away from 80's high school. This is truly the worst possible nightmare.

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  4. Is it just me, or do all of the names on the Yearbook page sound like they're from the same country as "Erol Otus"?

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  5. My Dad did the typesetting for this game, when he worked for Maritime Photoengravers (I believe MP is credited on the title page).

    I'm so old-school, my Dad did the typesetting for Alma Mater.

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  6. My kingdom for a copy of that game.

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  7. Does the Devo and Dead Kennedy's graffiti mean Otus was a fan?

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  8. I've heard Otus was a big punk rock fan. In fact there is another Dead Kennedy reference of a mutant wearing a neckless with a " DK" logo that he illustrated for the original Gamma World GM screen.

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  9. Ain't nothing in the world get Black Dynamite more mad then some jive ass sucker who can't piss straight!

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  10. Thanks for the memories. Had a lot of fun playing AM at Acadia U. in the '80s, with the authors. BTW, the author names listed are pseudonyms (but I shall say no more...)

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