Rules of Engagement for the Admiralty

The highest tiers of pledges in the Planet Mercenary Kickstarter are the Admiral levels. At this level you get something we in the genre-fiction business refer to as “tuckerization,” which is when your name gets used in the core book.

The most prominent current examples of tuckerization in Schlock Mercenary are Strohl Munitions (named for my friend Dan Strohl, who was the first person to spend money on Schlock Mercenary artwork) and Reverend Theo Fobius (named for my outgoing and irreverent friend Ted, who was often referred to as “Reverend Ted” back in the day.) These people paid nothing for this consideration. Other people have been less flatteringly tuckerized in the strip. Colonel Krum is the result of one such tuckerization, and killing her felt wonderful.

But if you’re paying for the privilege as the Admirals are, there must be a bit more structure. Here are the ground rules:

  1. The final result must be unanimously approved by me and by the tuckerizee. If we can’t reach an agreement, money will be refunded.
  2. Tuckerizees need to get in touch with Howard as soon as they pledge, so their names can be worked into the text in a timely manner.
  3. Full names won’t get used. Unless you have an unbelievably awesome name like Cannon Hamaker, who drew this, we’ll be using just your first or last name.
  4. With permission, names may be further morphed. Designer Alan Bahr’s name appears in the book as  “Phubahr,” a prominent low-cost weapon and armor manufacturer. This is how “Ted” became “Theo,” and how “that crazy woman who rear-ended me” became “Krum.”
  5. If you are pledging as a HIGH ADMIRAL, your name will become an in-universe corporation, and it will get a logo whose design is NOT subject to unanimous approval. This logo is free for personal use, like Twitter avatars, or desktop wallpapers, but can’t be used as a logo for your business.
  6. Admiral reward leves make poor gifts, and are impossible surprise gifts. See point number 1. The person whose name is being tuckerized must be apprised of the matter. Also, many people are uncomfortable with expenditures of this size being made in their behalf.
  7. All these rules are subject to change or exception except for number 1. Aaaand number 5, but it’s not really a rule, per se.

We don’t want this to seem restrictive. We want it to be awesome. Tuckerizees become canon, not just in the RPG, but in the Schlockiverse. I can’t promise when or if I’ll use them in the strip itself, but corporate names will be frequently invoked by players, and locations named after you may end up being the places where their characters’ component molecules settle after a particularly bad die roll.

14 thoughts on “Rules of Engagement for the Admiralty”

  1. If a group of us pledge and manage to get together enough money for admiral or high admiral, how are you planning to work that?

    Also I think if I managed to pledge that level you’d have to morph my name rather than use my last name, as I think the Barrett Firearms Corporation might be a bit miffed. Or complemented, you’d have to ask them.

    1. Give me the names of all the principals and I’ll come up with something. It’s not hard. I’ve done it before. The hard part will be coming up with something that all the principals sign off on, because there are now 3, 4, 5, or more votes required instead of 2.

  2. Question about rule 5- would that only apply apply to High Admiral, or would it be acceptable to use a picture of the NPC or Location from rear admiral as a personal twitter avatar or Facebook profile picture?

    1. There’s no promise of associated artwork with locations and NPCs. That said, any of the art that is provided digitally can be used as avatars and the like.

  3. If our names are particularly boring, would we be allowed to make up a name for use instead? Subject to approval, obviously.

  4. The text refers to contacting Mr Tayler on pledging at an Admiral level but not how to do so? Through the schlocktroopers contact us page?

  5. Would it be possible (pending unanimous approval of course) to submit the name of an original fictional character we’ve created for tuckerization instead of our own Real-Life name?

  6. @Les: I’d really rather not use something like this, because it comes with possible legal baggage. Suppose I get a movie deal, and the deal hinges upon me selling them that exact name. Suddenly I have to get you involved, even if just to sign something that says “it’s okay, you can use the name.” Or suppose YOU get a movie deal, and it hinges upon me reprinting all of the books that have this name in it?

    Tuckerization works best when I’m taking a real person’s name and creating a fictional name from it. It’s cleaner that way.

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