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:
- The final result must be unanimously approved by me and by the tuckerizee. If we can’t reach an agreement, money will be refunded.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.