The version of the Monster Manual that I own (an orange spine), which includes this illustration of the sylph, says on the cover that it is for ages 10 and up. The versions of Deities and Demigods/Legends and Lore published around that same time have lots and lots of topless deity types... again, "for ages 10 and up."
This makes me wonder about the recommended ages that I'm going to list for the upcoming box set. That was 1983. This is 2010.
"For Adults Ages 13 and Up" That's what I planned to put on the back of the box, riffing off of the Holmes age recommendations (at least I'm not calling it an Adult Fantasy Role-Playing Game as the Holmes version did, haha!).
The front is going to have something that resembles the original Creature Generator cover, but done by an artist and not done as a photographic composite (as was the original plan). Monster woman with no reason to be wearing clothes, so she isn't. So that will be a big declaration that "This isn't for the little ones."
I started as a kid, but I really do believe that RPGs really aren't intended to be children's games. Also, whereas I'm 35 and have never had alcohol, and never even kissed a girl until I was 19, it's really not at all unusual for teenagers (and I am talking 13 year olds) to be drinking and screwing and smoking and snorting (not to mention their violent whoring video games and looking at rotten.com or whatever the gross site is these days). Acting like people are so mentally fragile at that age that boobies in media will warp them is more than a little naive. This isn't a value judgment, it's reality.
Not to mention, even if they are complete angels, over in this country it's apparently not unusual for families to take sauna together. Butt-ass naked. When I was preparing for my first visit to this place, my ex had sent me a tourist brochure... that included a family - mother, father, son, daughter - naked together. My first thought was "oh god, this doesn't count as child porn, does it? This was sent to me in the mail!" Yes, I can be just as much an American prude as anyone.
There are not going to be any sexual situations depicted in the exterior or interior of the box. This is not going to be in any way a pervy woohoo! kind of release. Not a kiddie game, but not an Adult Game by any means. But some of the art specs I've handed along are of classic (or classic to me) scenes from literature that have characters "naked as the day," and I haven't given any special instructions on how to portray that. There's a good chance indeed, especially from an artist from this country, that nothing will be thought of delivering art that is literally balls-out.
The safe thing to do is not to do it. Swaths of cloth drawn to just happen to cover up this bit, a convenient tree branch to cover up that bit. But I figured if I'm already going to go ahead with an insane project that I'm willing to go into debt for (and the wife even had me sign a pre-nup so she doesn't get sucked in), if I'm really going to produce the product I want to see, I shouldn't hold back. If I'm going to risk it with a fancy presentation and expensive artists, I should at the very fucking least be able to hold it in my hands and say, "This is everything I imagined it would be." As if I'm pissing away that grand opportunity to be that mass market smash hit I would have been otherwise? Spare me.
When I went to Rome last year, and toured the sites and the museums, I notice that someone at some point had gone around to all of these marble statues and smashed their cocks off. Seriously. Nude male statues everywhere, thousands of years old and many in otherwise great condition, and the vast majority had vandalized genitals.
I am not going to wander through the streets and alleys of my game and be a cocksmasher.
I'm just going to have to trust that you'll all be adults about this. Adults, 13 and up.