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Obscene Serpent Religion
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/24/2017 11:47:45

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This little pdf clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 28 pages of content, so let's take a look!

All right, the trope of the serpent cult is probably one of the oldest and most tired ones out there; throughout the pulp genre, horror, etc., serpents and snakes are one of the creepy go-to-critters for evil cults, rivaled only by spiders and bats. At one point, I was surprised to come to the realization that "Is evil, worships snakes"...well, does not really make for a good rationale if you take a closer look.

This is where this book comes in - it depicts everything you need to add some depth to your serpent cult...or constitutes a perfect one-stop-shop package to get a properly detailed serpent cult for your game. That being said, the emphasis here is on EVIL serpent cult. Capital letters. This is not a pdf for kids or the faint of heart: If the cover was not ample cue for you, the very layout and aesthetics of this pdf borrow heavily from black metal aesthetics. This means in particular that, if nightmarish artworks of long-haired dudes, mutilated corpses and ample gore, full-frontal nudity of males and females and drawn depictions of human sacrifice make you uncomfortable...well, then this is not for you. This is very much adult content. I mean, come on, what did you expect? It has "Obscene" literally in the title. If, however, you have a hearty collection of black/death metal cds, you'll have seen MUCH worse in the artworks and probably appreciate the fact that each artwork mirrors to some extent a style favored in cover and interior artworks of darker metal subgenres. Personally, I can appreciate that...but then again, I have a twisted, dark sense of aesthetics. Speaking of which - the fact that the abbreviation for this book is "OSR" and the black metal font of the author's name on the cover just add to that very thoroughly constructed overall impression.

All right, still here? Great! The cult depicted herein would be the Circle of Constriction (CoC...get it?) and we begin with the 6 (of course!) commandments of the circle, all of which you could easily poach. Beyond details on worshipping serpents, revering art and uttering sibilant holy tongue twisters (several provided!), these generally make sense from a dark and twisted way: "The Goddess is mother and murderess, holy above all others. The Goddess slithers through endless rain in a paradise of wounded birds and slow rabbits, her realm populated by children stillborn by umbilical strangulation..." Yeah, told you I was not kidding when I said "dark."

6 sample identities of the Goddess are btw. provided, though you can easily mix and match - from Cihuacoatl to Ningishizda and Renet, the entries themselves are similarly well-written. The faith must go further than commandments, obviously - thus, 6 tenets of the faith are provided, the first of which would be the self-injection of sweet nectar, a draught created from the willingly granted blood of sentient serpents that can provide a variety of benefits, depending on snake type: Adders extend threat range to 18+; Mamba can deliver 2/day poison bites, while Diamondback injection enhances saves.

Obviously, ophiophages need to be killed and a proper devotee must walk the gallery in the halls of undulation. Oh, and serve Saint Siavaca, perhaps the most nightmarish of beings herein: She had her arms and legs surgically removed and now moves by means of a serpentine harness of steel; she also had her jaws broken and reset, with metal fangs inserted. She subsists on a diet of heretics and infidels and new members must guard her while her hair is shorn or while she feeds. And yes, one artwork depicts her in her horrific glory, directly under a gutted corpse of an unfortunate victim...

The completion of the quests of the hexagram may hold ritualistic importance for the cult or raise one's standing within it, provided deep cover (or a very twisted campaign) is what you're going for: These include the theft of organs, lethally forcing a serpent into the body of a heretic in a public place (and getting away alive...), plunging someone into the darkest depths of despair, preventing the birth of children destined for greatness/goodness...yeah...have I mentioned that this is a toolkit to make a really EVIL serpent cult? Beyond these quests, the pdf also sports a brief 2d6-based mission generator: Roll 1d6 for the first part, 1d6 for the second, there you go.

A total of 6 sites of religious importance for the cult, from a snake-men village to the lair of the fabled True Hydra and the Glade of the First Kill, the places evoke a sufficiently dread sense of foreboding. But why follow the Goddess? Well, a total of 6 powers can be found here: The first lets you animate organs of corpses, which act as ambulatory spies (told you: Gory!), gaining scales...or a hiss that prevents any lies. Questions answered with it must be answered truthfully...if you're a mammal. Transmitting brief messages via a quasi-telepathy and decapitating victims, looking into their eyes and discerning some truth from that. Yup.

With 4d20, you can generate name, surname, epithet and situation of serpent cultists on the fly. Another sequence of 3d6 lets you generate encounters on the fly. The pdf also provides the benefits of imbibing sable nectar, sweet nectar mixed with the blood of a half-serpent being (like a medusa etc.) - this draught can have unpleasant side-effects, but may provide a total of up to 10 different bonuses, each of which lasts 1d6 hours.

Where there is orthodoxy, there must also thrive heresy; even in an admittedly twisted serpent cult. In this case, that would be the existence of Scarlet Nectar - it is sweet nectar mixed withs erpent blood, lasts 1d8 hours and has a benefit depending on the snake used: Pit viper blood nets you the ability to detect body heat up to 100' away, while mangroves render you invisible while in a tree.

Finally, the pdf does contain a new creature, the skin vessel: Skins of powerful persons who are filled up with serpents alongside thin tubes, animating the horrific conglomerate. More alien, these things, usually little more intelligent than zombies, sometimes gain sentience...and have a habit of believing people to not be real...though they'll happily talk to your skeleton or organs...which need liberation in the eyes of many of these grotesqueries.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are pretty good, though the rules-language, in spite of being intended for LotFP and similar retro-clones, could be a bit more precise. The 2-column-layout is peculiar: Following the Black Metal booklet aesthetics, the presentation of the text leaves quite some space at the top and bottom of the page, so yeah, not the printer-friendliest file to print out. The cover is provided as a separate .png. The b/w-artworks are pretty impressive if you have a penchant for dark and disturbing imagery, even more so if you have a decent black/death metal collection - each artwork quotes a certain CD in motif, aesthetics or composition. So yes, this very much is a kind of concept-pdf. The electronic version comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks for your convenience. I don't own the PoD-version of this one, so I can't comment on it.

Rafael Chandler's "Obscene Serpent Religion" is very much a well-written excursion into a nightmarish serpent cult. Next time your jaded players yawn at a priest of Seth, are bored by yuan-ti, snake-men, what have you...or even contemplate that these guys aren't so bad...this is your toolkit. From the villainous quests to the disturbing practices, this makes snake-cults EVIL again. Not "slightly edgy and misunderstood", frickin' depraved and EVIL. Capital letters.

Oh, and there is another thing:

This is "Pay what you want".

If you end up being offended, you can simply delete it, but if you've read this far, you'll probably have figured out by now whether or not this could be for you and your group. It should btw. also be noted that the lulu-PoD is REALLY cheap - it is an at-cost offering that nets 0 profit. Personally, I wholeheartedly believe that this worth a tip. It may not be for everyone, but if you're not faint of heart, like the visuals and want to make a serpent cult appropriate for really dark fantasy or horror...well, there you go, this does a fantastic job at the task at hand. Just keep it out of kid hands and if you're easily offended or disturbed, do yourself a favor and skip it.

With this toolkit, you'll be good to go. Now if this was a commercial venture in the traditional sense, I'd probably go for something in the 4.5/4-star-range (with the caveat to beware due to the explicit nature), but considering that this is Pay What You Want, I absolutely will round up and give this a small bonus. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Obscene Serpent Religion
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The Starship From Hell
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/23/2017 03:56:42

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 44 pages, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 3 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 39 pages of content, though these are formatted for the A5 ('' by 9'')-size, which means you can comfortable fit 4 of these pages on a given sheet of A4/US-letterpack paper, making printing this out pretty economical.

Okay, confession time. I am one of the weirdos that had more fun watching Primer than with all of the Star Wars franchise combined. I'm a fan of hard scifi, you know, the "boring, talky" movies sans kewl explosions and space battles. At the same time, I am a big fan of Dr. Who and can derive enjoyment from Star Trek. I also love Firefly. But know what? The type of scifi that first captured my imagination in my formative years was Alien. I managed to watch it at a family gathering while everyone was occupied. Ever since then, I was in love with dark scifi as well. Whether it's the alien-franchise and Giger's art in general, the Darkseed games or, well, event horizon. These movies may not have the intellectual stimulus I enjoy from a cerebral perspective, but something about the silent, dark spaces between the worlds grabs me. Dead Space I (let's never talk about the sequels...) blew me away and in its aftermath, I was pretty much determined to make a module on a hellish starship where everything went horribly wrong.

Said endeavor was put on the back burner due to the trademarked complications and obligations that life tends to throw our way and so, that idea was put on the back burner, but certainly not forgotten. fast forward a couple of years and I happen to stumble over a small pdf - this one, to be more precise. It's FREE. And it's basically a system-neutral generator to make a starship from hell adventure set-up in about 10 minutes.

The process is ridiculously simple: You roll 1d10 for ship type - autonomous, biotic, etc. Then, you roll d10 for ship category - these basically modify abstract ship attributes that may be low or medium - shields, weapons, maneuverability. After that, the horror-aspect sinks in: You roll a d20 to determine ship class. If you roll an innocuous scow...it has been hauling the same cargo around for a dozen years, but sans making a single delivery....and there would be a ship that collects the bodies of unwanted fetuses and one battleship manned by corpses animated by cybernetic augmentations. Yeah, I totally can't see those going wrong... ahem. Need a name? Roll twice on a 50-entry-strong d%-table.

That's not where it ends - you roll 1d10 for a passenger class: Biosynthetic constructs, for example...that unfortunately have relapsed to their default mode of operations in view of a lack of communications...you guessed it: Find and eat other species. Suicidal members of a lunar cult may want to crash the ship into an inhabited moon to scour infidels or fanatical religious devotees - these groups certainly can make for deadly adversaries. Insane psychos on their own do not suffice, though: Hence, you may roll 1d12 and look up a phenomenon heading the way of the ship: Like a 200 Km/s Moreton wave from a solar flare, the destruction of a stellar dreadnought Plaguebearer, guided, seemingly intelligent clusters of dark matter - the respective angles are unique and interesting.

Why would the PCs be here? Well, there are 12 reasons provided for your convenience...which conveniently also double as potential goals or antagonists: Rogue A.I.s, hull breaches...or even simple radiation. Mix and match for more nastiness.

Oh, and at this point, we haven't even reached the 20-entry strong threat table that range from the surreal to the nasty: There would e.g. be portals to worlds where sentient bacteria and viruses wage war, using all other species as vessels; there would be all life forms of a nearby planet going dark, dying at once; subjective perception between different PCs; cannibal killers, chrysalises waiting to hatch... And finally, there would be 20 secrets - like a virus that may kill everyone past puberty, sentient ships...or the weird fact that everyone is highly pregnant aboard, regardless of gender...

The second section handles the crew and NPCs: 10 crew ranks, 50 titles, 100 names as well as 20 personality traits and 20 areas of expertise allow you to quickly generate basics. 10 general factions to which the NPC may belong, 9 sample home planets - all handy to gain a basic grasp on the character in question. Two d20-tables, one to determine the location of a character on the upper and one for the lower decks. The pdf also features no less than 20 relevant NPC-possessions as well - and these include holographic recordings of a PC committing a brutal murder s/he can't remember...

Don't have the time for all of this dice-rolling? Two pregens complement the pdf, one with 2 and one with 3 NPCs. The pdf closes with an appendix of 12 bits and pieces.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no grievous glitches. Layout adheres to a 1-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes with excessive bookmarks. The pdf has no artwork, apart from the cover, which is included in .png-version, with the back cover as a separate .jpg. Additionally, a .doc-version's included. Oh, and the pdf is open content.

Rafael Chandler's "Starship from Hell" is an awesome one-stop-shop adventure-set-up. This pdf literally delivers a great basic adventure-skeleton in just a couple of minutes. The entries are diverse, creepy and manage to invoke a sense of threat I thoroughly enjoyed - many hint, tantalizingly, at entities and conglomerates beyond the ken of the book and do their job: They inspire. While the crew-section is slightly less legendary than the ship-section, this still is a great pdf. And it's FREE. It costs zilch. Nada. Nothing. Frankly, this is good enough to pay for - being FREE makes it one amazing file...and well worth 5 stars + seal of approval. Want to bring some dark scifi-goodness? You have no excuse not to pick this up right now.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Starship From Hell
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Roll XX: Double Damage
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/23/2016 13:05:05

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page foreword/how-to-use, 1 page ToC, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 27 pages of content - these pages are formatted for A5 (6'' by 9''), which means you can comfortable fit 4 of them on one A4-page, should you elect to print this out.

So, what do we get this time around? In contrast to the first Roll XX-book, this one has a more limited scope: In general, the questions and answers are framed by an aesthetic that could be summed up as dark fantasy. The general formula has also evolved, if you will. Take a look at the first first question, innocent enough: "What's on the banquet table?" You roll a d10 for a first dish and one d10 for the sides. You'd for example get "Mortrews and peas with saffron." However, that being done, you may elect to roll another d10 for the "However..."-part of the respective entry. These caveats range from the innocent "the food's old and rotted away" to the creative ("The food's actually not food but parts of a gelatinous cube, properly carved and dyed into appetizing shapes.") and finally, the horrific - in the latter instance, guests have been gutted, their entrails looped around plates and tureens.

Now not all of the entries adhere to this formula: There are questions that feature only 10 replies to choose from, sans meta-modifications like this: When deciphering ancient, dwarven runes, you may for example stumble over a PC's name, generating paranoia via the insinuation of the PC being a liar...or one can find out that the current hero of the Northern clanholds has actually fallen in battle...a long time ago...so who's on the throne?

Thing to find in dust-shrouded sepulchers can carry unpleasant side-effects are nice and the effects of sprung traps similarly are neat...though e.g. a reference to manticore venom somewhat puzzled me, considering that the majority of fantasy games I know off do not feature poison amid the builds for these beings, mythologically-correct though the reference may be. These fluff-only quick and dirty trap effects certainly can help an experienced GM, though personally, I think that the system-neutral formula here works a tad bit less well.

More fun, at least for me, would be a quick "new threat"-generator, which can yield results like: "It's the Plague Minotaur which increases its strength in direct proportion to the extent of its injury." Origin-lands of demons and the things you can find on corpses as well as an amorphous blob-generator make sense to me.

The pdf also contains a monster generator, which sports 10 sample names, 10 descriptions, 10 patterns, 10 victims and 20 appearances that can be combined with one another. Beyond these cosmetic aspects, 10 appendages and 10 abilities, 10 defenses and 10 general attribute (armor, health, intelligence) are featured - all in all, a nice way for a GM looking for a unique threat, but starved of time and creativity to get the creative juices flowing.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious glitches. Depending on the length of a given d10-array, you either have a 1-column or 2-column standard in layout, sometimes mixed on one page. The pdf is b/w and bereft of artwork, but does come with extensive bookmarks, which allows for quick navigation of the electronic file.

Adam Burke, Rafael Chandler, Mason Deming, Matt King, Jim McCann and Jon Schweitzer have delivered a fun little GM's helper-type of tool...and better yet, it is actually PWYW! This means you can literally check this out sans risk and leave a tip you'd consider appropriate. Personally, I firmly believe that this is worth getting; there are some nice ideas and dressing-components to scavenge from this, even though the file does stumble a couple of times over its system-neutral aspect. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of this platform due to its PWYW-nature.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Roll XX: Double Damage
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Roll XX
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/23/2016 13:03:00

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive book clocks in at 103 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial,3 pages of ToC - leaving us with 98 pages of content. The pages themselves are designed for an A5 (6'' by 9'')-standard and if you print it out, you can easily fit 4 pages on a given page.

So, this is one of those books that you don't think you need - but sooner or later do. It is, in short, a massive GM-inspiration/dressing book, but unlike most: Where usually, you get pretty generic dressing to generate details, this book deals with questions and their answers: Basically, you look at one question, roll 1d20 and there you go. Or, well, you just read all and choose, you know?

The questions generally range from the generic to the specific: If you ask "What's in the treasure chest?", you may find prophetic poems, written in blood, profane copper, starving blood ants, Vecna's OTHER hand, Pan's Flute...you get the idea. Other questions herein pertain, for example what else may be required for a certain potion; what the orc chieftain is wielding, etc.

Now here is the catch: This book is not solely devoted to the fantasy genre, in spite of the impression elicited by the front cover: In fact, this is not only system-neutral, it also covers a lot of bases: Beyond the first chapter, devoted to fantasy, we have one for superhero RPGs that provides replies to the burning question where the villain's secret lair might lie or what apparently-useless-her-powers may do.

Aficionados of science-fiction similarly may enjoy a whole chapter, wherein starship passengers, malfunctioning equipment and the like are covered. Personally, I am very much partial to horror, so the table containing cryptic anagram clues alone made this well worth getting: Fans of CoC: How long do you need to solve "I've misery: red mists"? Great and useful: Reasons why you (or someone else) can't see the horrible entity. The horror-chapter is pretty extensive and this, for me, is great news.

But perhaps your tastes are more aligned with modern gameplay - so if you need some notes for modern gameplay, rest assured that this pdf delivers those as well: What's in that duffle bag? What is that sentry babbling about? What's that bottled liquid? From the mundane to the majestic, the pdf delivers a broad spectrum of notes...and you obviously may, at any time, simply only print out the genre of choice you need.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a no-frills b/w-1-column-standard and the pdf comes with excessive bookmarks - each question gets one, which means that using the pdf via an electronic device if comfortable and dead simple - a must for a book like this.

Adam Burke, Rafael Chandler, Mason Deming, Matt King, Jim McCann, Gary Bowerbank, Bill Collins, Keith Keffer, ASH LAW, Tony Love, C. W. Marshall, Brianna Sheldon, Stuart Templeton and Graham Walmsley deliver one amazing, useful GM tool. Oh, and two things: It's completely open-source and it is PWYW. You can pay whatever you can afford for this neat book and frankly, it is worth getting; it is worth leaving a tip for this nice toolkit and I encourage you to download it and see for yourself; more often than not, the entries can actually inspire their own narratives and plots. All in all, a fun pdf, well worth getting - 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Roll XX
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Roll XX: Double Damage
by Ignacio R. D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/22/2016 11:28:10

A.L.U.C.I.N.A.N.T.E. Esto tienes que probarlo!

A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. You have to try it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Roll XX: Double Damage
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SlaughterGrid
by Denis M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/05/2016 15:45:31

While purile and revolting, this is fully worth the purchase price for the resurrection mutation tables and the collection of weird magical items, mostly of limited use, and all dangerous to use. It is enough to break the cycle of humdrum plus whatever items, and make magic scary again.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
SlaughterGrid
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Lusus Naturae
by Troy V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/29/2015 07:19:07

The book crashed with Abstruct, and burned with damn near every single monster that proceeded after it. It's just a digest book of grimdark, perversion, and referee delusion all in one and turned up to eleven. I'll stick with the Monster Manual.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Lusus Naturae
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Lusus Naturae
by VE P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/12/2015 03:22:12

Rafael Chandler brings the grisly, twisted weirdness from first monster entry to last. Each entry provides enough hooks to easily unpack into a whole adventure.
Chadler's writing is tight and punchy, delivering everything you need to know in an easy to follow style. Artwork is full colour with some nice variations of style and is easy on the eye (if not on the soul). Some nice additional features includes a sugested pseudo-ecology/mythos linking some of the monsters together and unique death conditions that trigger when a monster is slain, some of which are beneficial and some are goddamn catastrophic. These monsters would all port very easily to any OSR game with a horror flavour, and Im probably going to transplant a few into other horror games, the material is that rich.

Professional product, worth your time, not for kids (except the cool ones).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SlaughterGrid
by Sven F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/25/2015 02:48:14

Deadly, funny, scary and, above all, weird. Like any good OSR module it needs more prep or, even better, a dose of imaginative improvisation at the table. Really stoked to inflict this on my players!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SlaughterGrid
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Lusus Naturae
by Timothy H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/14/2015 07:04:24

This collection of disturbing beasts defiled all other monster manuals, devoured them alive, and then vomited their digested remains into new quivering forms. I'm glad this tomb of messed up creatures is now in my hands. Great Stuff!!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lusus Naturae
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Lusus Naturae
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/14/2015 01:26:58

All day, I've been quietly wanting this PDF and quietly lusting over the insanity inducing madness of these monsters. There isn't really an easy way to talk about the monsters within this tome, from the moment when I received my copy of The Lusus Naturae I've pretty much been all over this LoFP download. Look do me and yourselves a favor and go grab this book now! Right now! To say that this is not work safe is an understatement and its very well done in what it does. The description of Lusus Naturae is Lusus Naturae is a bestiary for Lamentations of the Flame Princess (and other old-school games), featuring 103 face-melting monsters. And it lives up to the hype. This book isn't for kids and this is a strictly adult book of monsters that go far beyond the usual suspects. The Lusus Naturae is a book of monsters in the way that body horror is a genre, for those who don't know what I'm talking about here's a definition: body horror, biological horror, organic horror or venereal horror is horror fiction in which the horror is principally derived from the graphic destruction or degeneration of the body. Such works may deal with disease, decay, parasitism, mutilation, or mutation. Now you can add this book to the definition as well. Each monster has been carefully constructed by Rafael Chandler and his artist to get the most out of his horrors. The artwork is very evocative and well done capturing the mood, methods, and blood guts as well as gore of each monster. And what monsters they are, I'm not entirely sure if Gennifer Bone is a mad woman or simply a demented genius or a bit of both but her art captures the insanity that these horrors bring to the table in The Lusus Naturae. Forget Lovecraftian, these things are enough to give Pinhead of Hellraiser fame nightmares and that's exactly what you get. Nightmares that can be fitted right into the background of adventures right into the Lamentations Of The Flame Princess universe. Each monster is an adventure into themselves. Seriously well done monsters that dovetail into the setting history and of one another. If you liked the Teratic Tome then grab a copy of The Lusus Naturae. Each and every monster is an adventure of horrific proportions waiting to happen to a party and most have histories that dove tail with one another. This makes the Lamentations of the Flame Princess campaign resound within itself when it comes to laying the foundation of further adventures for a party should they survive the experience of encountering some of the ancient and weird horrors. You get the Lusus Naturae pdf itself, the text of the pdf, the artwork of Gennifer Bone, book cover, and a boat load of some of the coolest monsters I've seen this side of Event Horizon. But who cares this is simply another bunch of gross out monsters! Right??! Wrong, what your getting are monsters that are both personal horror things from beyond the pale and things that could easily be plugged into other LoFP setting books such as Carcosa. The reason why the multiple downloads is pretty simple and quite brilliant. There's the DM's book of Lusus Naturae as the monster book, the text of the pdf for adventure construction, Gennifer Bone's art book as a pdf of player handouts and to show your players exactly what sort of horrors that they will be encountering during the adventure. And I say during the adventure because each and everyone of these monsters meets the LoFP rule. Each and every monster for an adventure should be unique. And believe me they are. Each one is drawn deep from the weird depths of the mind of Rapheal Chandler and uniquely put together by Gennifer Bone. These are monsters that are more like interconnected adventure events then simply another monster to run into during the course of some random roll on an encounter table. Plus these are not simply weird but PC altering in strange and completely twisted ways. There's a random monster generator table that has about the same level of a splatterpunk goodness as the rest of the monster book and then some. You can generate literally thousands of Lusus Naturae monsters by the score. And then there's the 'things found in a monster's lair' table which gives even more LoFP setting material goodness.

Now there is a ton of potential here for the LoFP Dm to sink their teeth into this putrid slime filled mass of a book. Lusus Naturae encapsulates some of the ideas I've seen kicking round Raggi's creations for sometime now. That the powers and gods of the universe are inimical and incredibly dangerous to our universe on a mind boggling scale. Some of these monsters are world enders in every sense of the word but there's a sense of history and twisted horror filled adventure that follows in their wake. This is a book of monsters that is the way that monsters should be, open, dangerous, completely unpredictable and utterly unforgettable. Personally speaking in my estimation this isn't simply another monster book but a system for creating horrors that go way beyond the pale. Because this is a LoFP this book will work with any number of OSR games. Especially Swords and Wizardry, OSRIC with some adjustment, Labyrinth Lord, and especially Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea. This book's creations are open game content and the whole shebang was created with the OGL, so read it and get cracking on making these horrors a part of your old school campaign. I'm completely and utterly happy that this book came my way and five out of five in my mind.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Teratic Tome
by Aaron T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/07/2015 21:31:47

I'm only part way through this book, and I'm blown away. This is the perfect cross between 1e AD&D and DCC RPG. I want to get this bound with an orange spine. The entire production makes it worthy to sit beside my old-school TSR books. This is what they should have put out instead of Legends & Lore. The writing, the art, the layout and fonts are all spot on.

I can't wait to unleash some of these horrors on my players!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Teratic Tome
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SlaughterGrid
by Brian S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/27/2015 09:35:59

I think the other reviews were very complete. While I really like reading it, I can see it being a hard sell to some players.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
SlaughterGrid
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Pandemonio
by Ryan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2015 04:16:47

I highly doubt the other reviewer, Oliver, gave this a fair examination.

This is simply a bad cut & paste job of previous editions of the rules. Same artwork, same everything, with a couple rules changed, and huge, game ruining formatting errors.

Creatures do bonus damage to character classes that don't exist in the rules. Character classes get bonuses against creatures that don't exist in the rules. Creatures are described as being spawned by spells that don't exist in the rules. Erelim angels have access to special spells called Benisons. What's a Benison? Who knows, they aren't referenced any other time in this book. Several creature entries are simply cut off because the person doing the copy-paste from the previous edition of the rules didn't realize the text went on to the next page. The general write ups for 'what is an angel' is literally just a copy paste of the 'what is a demon' section, with the word 'angel' stuck in there using a wordpad find and replace by the looks of it- and who ever did the finding and replacing didn't even bother to replace any other words, so you'll read about angels spending Wrath to do things, even though that isn't a stat they have. Problems like that abound.

This is a shoddy product by somebody who was in a hurry. That said, it is a shoddy edition of one of the best indy RPGs out there, so there is still plenty of awesome material here. Unfortunately, if you are already a Books of Pandemonium GM, there is nothing in this book that you don't already have, and if you are new to the setting, the above problems will make aspects of the game practically incomprehensible- Crusaders are immune to the spells of Archons. What's an Archon? Who knows, they are never referenced again. That's one of the two abilities that defines 'Crusader'.

Imagine the normal chaos and confusion of trying to learn a new rules system, without the confidence of trusting the author to actually explain the reference in a coherent way. See a mention of a rule you don't recall? Maybe it's somewhere in the book, or maybe it's a reference to something from a previous addition that they forgot to cut out. Good luck skimming the book for something that may or may not be there in the middle of a session!

As a fan of the Books of Pandemonium from which this product was squeezed, there is no way, no way, this deserves five stars to be highly regarded.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Pandemonio
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Roll XX
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/09/2015 01:10:02

So there's apparently an entire back system of weird random charts that I wasn't even aware of. This is a part of the Roll 'XX' family of game books which is really a nice piece of work and slight of hand bit of editing on Neoplastic Press's part. I ran across the title last night whist playing that Thundarr game. So what is it? Well its a hundred and one pages of sheer awesomeness packed into a genre bending dose of utter weirdness wrapped up with character after chart of game neutral goodness that can be used right across the campaign board. And its open source. According to the Rpgnow blurb: Roll XX is a system-agnostic book of random tables for fantasy, sci-fi, superheroes, and horror role-playing games. Packed with adventure hooks, story seeds, NPCs, magic items, spaceships, demons, and locations, Roll XX features 90 questions and 1800 answers. And it's open-source! All proceeds from this book will be used to purchase clothing for the orphans at the Noel Children's Home in Kenya.

I've never heard of the Noel Children's home in Kenya but I know a great piece of gaming real estate when I see it. This is one of those rare titles that can be applied straight across the gaming board and while I favor the 'old school' approach to my gaming materials this book can be used to seed, grow, and expand campaigns at a rapid and somewhat staggering rate with the mind boggling amount of charts in the 'XX' line of books. From post apocalyptic, horror, modern, and old school fantasy this is a book with a chart for it. The fact that its an organized and concise execution of a book is an added bonus. The book covers most of the major areas of gaming in one go. This is the adventure construction set and random set of charts that your going to want. This book is inventive, dangerous, and somewhat insidious because it allows the DM endless options to mix and match their creative juices in the form of charts that can construct and add all kinds of high end and low end options to a campaign, encounter, adventure, and more all at the toss of the dice. So I can easily see using a nice and tidy portion of this book as fodder into a post apocalyptic or sword & sorcery campaign. The material here in some of the charts easily covers such a wide range of material that adapting isn't a problem. Narrowing the focus might be though and that's not the product's fault so much as the DM.

So say that you really love the charts in Roll XX and you want to use them in your own games or even 'gasp' a published adventure? Well friends this is an open source supplement and it can easily be done with a simple mention and personally some back pointing to Neoplastic press. This allows this system to sit right in the back of your campaigns and where the rest of the XX lines of books comes in. There's a certain amount of style and grace to having something like this system adding itself quietly in the backdrop of your old school adventures. The book clocks out at a jam packed one hundred and ten pages but boy it is it wall to wall ideas in a nicely wrapped can of gaming goodness. Needless to say, pick this one up and toss Neoplastic a few gold pieces for their well deserved efforts. Very nicely done folks.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Roll XX
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