First of all, let me state that I hate how "sex" and "violence" are always lumped together discussing the appropriateness or maturity of content, because they are completely different things that should probably be handled in separate conversations. The only reason I use them together in this scenario is because I suspect the biggest sticking point for most people will be the area where "sex" and "violence" blurs.
So how much violence is too much? For some players, just saying "You do 10 damage. He dies." is all the violence you need and they don't even think about it. For others, they want it to be really graphic, with descriptions of severed intestines spilling blood and feces onto the floor coupled with the sounds of ribs popping and tendons snapping. Does that turn you off from a game? Is it the responsibility of the GM and players to decide, or should the level of gore be suggested by the game itself?
a few years ago and most of the feedback was "we just fade to black and hand-wave the details." Yet from what I've been reading lately, there seems to be a market, or a least a sizable niche, for games that aren't afraid to shy away from sex.
I am fascinated by Lamentations of the Flame Princess, and I know there are a lot of fans of that game in the circles I frequent. When I first checked out the free (no-art) basic rules, it seemed like a really cool, streamlined retro-clone. It wasn't until I started digging a bit (and saw the actual art!) that I realized how incredibly dark and horrifying it is. There's a lot of sex and violence in there and the two are intrinsically tied together. On the other hand, it's still not as explicit or obscene as some of the stuff I've read from White Wolf. The LofFP modules (at least the ones I've read) mentions and implies a lot of sexual violence but doesn't spell it out too explicitly. It's kind of like it passes the buck to the GM, expecting them to take responsibility for putting that stuff in the game, even if the module kinda assumes that you will. It's a fine line that I think is brilliantly played even if no one in their right minds can argue that LotFP is isn't set in a dark, sexual world.
Full disclosure for bringing up this topic: I'm trying to find a sweet spot for the game I'm tinkering with. I know I want gore, blood and guts, but I'm wondering how much "tits and ass" should go in there along with it. To clarify, the violence in my game is so over-the-top that it's almost cartoon-y. Should the sex be the same? Should it be dick jokes and high school toilet humour? Should I steer clear of it altogether? I feel like it should be broached in some fashion.
giant crab lice and +1 magic wands of vibration. Should it just be left at that tongue-in-cheek kind of level, and leave the rest up to the player's and GM's imagination? That would be my gut reaction, but dark stuff seems to be all the rage these days. Do folks want this included in their games?
As an average RPG fan and gamer, what level of sex and/or violence are you comfortable with/want in your games?