On the OSR New Wave: Mel Black of Monster Manual Sewn from Pants

The OSR is currently today, vibrant in a way it has never, ever, been. The ideas are bright and strange and more creative than can be believed.

I've interviewed some of the most prolific and creative bloggers in the OSR with some non-standard questions. Today we are talking with Scrap Princess, neé Mel Black about gaming. 

I first became aware of Scrap Princess via her sewn work while searching for monster images. Soon after Zak Sabbath noted her creativity and originality and since then I've been an ardent follower of her blog A Monster Manual Sewn From Pants. She produces beautiful stuffed creatures that are available for sale here. I am eager for certain people to get to the age where they will appreciate a beholder made from scrap material and treasure it so I can commission her to make one.  They are seriously beautiful, handmade, and something much better than you can find in a store. I suggest you go purchase or commission via email one right now!

I've engaged her in discussion before and her mind is sharp like tacks. Like a jar full of tacks that stick in your hand because you weren't smart enough to make your original point clear enough. That and some of her reimaginings of settings and environments are bizarre and immediately gameable. She is the chaotic outer metaphor that your mind retreats into familiar narratives to avoid. 

Also, her art is bad ass.

If you break out a little and follow and read scrap you will be a better person for it. 

See more here!
Pitch me on you and your blog right now before I get bored and stop reading this article!

I have more ideas than I know what to do with. So I drag them out and leave them apeishly glaring at in the light, the stink of spray paint and rust around them. 

Which cartoon not named "Dungeons & Dragons" is  most like Dungeons & Dragons?

That cartoon would've been a pretty a pretty stink game of D&D. Look I'm just gonna say every cartoon you grew up with. As in they are actually garbage and you can do a lot better with their ideas than they ever did.

If you ran across a group of baby orcs in a game;  what do you do with them?

Give the d.m shit for trying to do some meta-humour bullshit.

You all have highly creative blogs. Bryce over at tenfootpole.org has reviews of adventures that are simple and direct, mostly involving killing things in rooms and getting +1 swords. Describe your philosophy behind why those aren't good enough for you?

Dunno about "good enough"  I think we are trying to do completely different things. The main thing being I like my ideas more than other most other peoples, and if I wanna see anything I want out there I need to do it myself.

What is the most important house rule or change you make to the game?
I guess the a  halfa hours rest heal half your hitpoints one. (in full: below half => half, above half ,below full => full. Must feel safe enough to be able to let guard down.

What's your favorite edition and why?
I don't have one. They are just different collections of body parts for Frankensteining.

Thieves? Clerics?
Thieves is cool. Although I am fond of the thief as combat ninja , I write them more for their out of combat skills. 
Clerics. Ugh. I fucking hate their nigh-monopoly on healing, especially as someone who runs a lot of  fighter types, where your  hitpoint points are your "encounter currency". I ditch them generally , or make them far more eclectic. Dislike the turn undead , "light against the dark stuff" , civilization vs the weird stuff that they seem to drag in as well.

What are your thoughts on the proliferation of rulesets for sale?
Not much. Yay I guess?

How long before the inevitable saturation occurs and we go though the classic fox/hare die-off?
Don't know , Don't care. As long as there is imagitive  players and g.ms who cares?

Do you get to play? 
Yes, thanks to g+ hangouts. Yay for that

What is your favorite class?
Fighters or any class with a good ratio of destructive capacity to cunning required.  

There is an alternate universe where the tedious 1980's sitcom was bypassed and instead replaced by D&D. What is the worst thing about this alternate reality?
Everyone is going to make this joke but "tedious sitcom D&D".  Imagine the Dorkness Rising but a 1000 fold. Fuck that noise. 

What is your favorite base version to use?
I don't even know. It's such a mongrel now. Um the "52 page rule book" on http://rolesrules.blogspot.co.nz/ is pretty dang good.
3rd edition maybe? Like ditch most of it though, mainly  just for the spell layout and the fact that it has already ditched most of the weird rule artifacts I dislike

You gain the ability to summon anyone living or dead, and if they are dead, grant them a permanent corporeal form. You take this radical power and do the only logical thing with it. Build a bunker where you force anyone you wish to play Dungeons and Dragons with you. Who do you summon? Who is the DM and what are everyone's characters?

Actually I would rather play with my mates than some people I have heard of but don't know. Margaret Mahy maybe?

Which is best: Adventure, hexcrawl or mega dungeon? Why?
Adventure. I've been getting increasingly frustrated with the pacing on hex-crawls and mega-dungeons. Both as player and g.m. 

What is your own personal appendix N?
Polish surrealist painters, concept design books for film, half remembered illustrations for children, China Mieville, cartoons, real world mythology and history. Noir Deco. College. Ladytron. Yat Kha. Akira Kurosawa 
Large , awkward and menacing sculptures. Hong Kong action cinema. Disatisfaction, disquietude and distemper

What can we expect from you in the future?
More, Louder

Look at and buy Scrap Princess's work


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