Saturday, August 18, 2018


These are mostly bad.
Lamentations of the Flame Princess, the role playing game publisher, reintroduced me to trpgs and I’ve bought $100s of their products and love most of them, legit lit. ok reviews:

Zzarchov is talented so it’s weird to see something so bland. The crux is either melted-together maggot men, some summoned demons, or some one-off magic items. The layout is standard “constantly refer back to the map on page one” stuff. It’s a dungeon with some basic features and no strong attractions. None of this is inspired.

INTERIOR ART: Scrap Princess’s pieces are nothing special, for Scrap, meaning they’re moody and fun but nothing is huge or central it’s just accents.

The most interesting of the bunch, this is basically a lotfp prestige class based around menstruation. Takeaway is, there’s no referee-only information, so this could be a very gory player’s tool and would work best as managed by a player.

However there are several unwieldy elements-- tracking rituals and the timing of the moon’s phases, overspecific bonuses/penalties. Also the blurriness of the in-fiction cult writing, like the use of capitalized pronouns and only capitalized pronouns to refer to the goddess and her cult, is just bad literary technique. The last couple pages which clarify some of this content read as sort of an apology for the unclearness of the text.

INTERIOR ART: the soft compositions of Rachael Tew here seem like DeviantArt quality, not much detailed, sketched together pictoral symbols. really did not enjoy these.

Easily my least favorite although Raggi is usually my go-to. This just details some samey mushroom mans (I do like how they’re “mans”) and some like mushroom monsters. There’s no dungeon, nothing feels clever or interesting, it’s like a joke.

There’s a couple good bits: the psychadelic f/x table is decent, the mushroom king is kinda good.

It's like if Slügs! just had same-y boring slügs.

INTERIOR ART: Serviceable and cute and detailed illustrations by the Magnussons albeit they can’t do much to help.

My favorite of these. Rient’s writing is inspired and well-informed when describing a medieval hamlet. I feel educated on what any such hamlet would be.

Nonetheless the central premise: “The point of this adventure is to provide the players with a little slice of the world they can get invested in, then to cruelly rip it from them to see what they do about it” is flawed, for my use. No hamlet is particularly special enough to deserve all this detail in my games. To go into detail is suspicious- if we play Lamentations of the Flame Princess there’s misery around most corners.

That being said it might work. I have a player who would loves personal and peaceful detail like Fraulein Gela and she (the player) would possibly get sucked in. These characters are well-written enough to stick in my mind after one reading. The end result would be yet another terrible outcome from hope which is a commonality in the games I’ve ran.

This writing is skilled enough to be subtle, it’s effective, and simple, and the she-creature at the end is a concise image attached to a long table with fucked-up shit on it. My group might not be a match and I have doubts that the structure of the module-- luring people into safety with a detailed hamlet-- is a good bet.

INTERIOR ART: pretty good and has an impressive full-page piece featuring two snake-bellied mutants which sold me on the mutants. that full-page illustration of snake mutants is detailed and moving and graphic and beautiful. art by Journeyman

Common between the texts:

covers:  Yannick Bouchard’s covers are shocking and attractive as per the usual.
copyediting: lots of errors which are slightly inconvenient, in one case a table has a duplicated entry. the errors are often quite obvious, it’s strange to see this from this publisher

Copyediting errors.

overall: I have these pdfs in my back pocket, but I’m not tempted to run any of them, even fragments of them, very much at all. That’s a huge departure from my lotfp experience. They do not seem high quality or innovative (exception: OSR2 - ed).

thanks to +K Yani for purchasing GTFO for my review.

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