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Bad Myrmidon
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/26/2017 06:10:16

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This module clocks in at 52 pages, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page encouragement, leaving us with 48 pages of content. These have been formatted for booklet-size (A5 or, approximately 6'' by 9''), which means you can fit up to 4 pages on a given sheet of paper. I tried it and the text remained legible. The PoD-version sports the hex-map, which in the pdf is inside, on the back, in color.

Why encouragement? Well, yes, this module was originally penned for the benefit of Mandy Morbid, with artwork by Gennifer Bone and Wayne Snyder, cartography by Dyson Logos and content mainly by Rafael Chandler, though James Edward Raggi IV did write one of the hexes.

It should be noted that this module is intended for adults and sports some non-graphic, but pretty explicit descriptions. Easily offended folks should probably not play this.

All right, that out of the way, this module takes place in a weird and fantastic Greece, setting-wise, to be more specific, the island of Leuke. Fans of NGR should have a relatively easy time adapting this. Rules-wise, we have descending AC, HD notes instead of THACOs or the like and saves orienting on classes - "saves as fighter" - you know the drill. Whatever OSR-system you're using, you should have a pretty easy time using this booklet.

Now, this is, to an extent, the story of Achilles and Penthesilea...or rather, it's aftermath. In order to explain more, though, I'll have to go deep into SPOILER territory. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

All right, only referees around? Great! Achilles fell in love during the Trojan war, but Agamemnon took his "maid" and he subsequently decided to ditch the war - Patroclus disguised as Achilles fought the war...and Achilles was pretty happy: All the glory, none of the risk - what's not to like? Patroclus, however, died and Achilles, not the bravest and a pragmatic, took a gazillion of magic items and defeated Penthesilea. After the war, he spread his artifacts in certain safe-houses, temples if you will - guarded by his faithful disciples...who are every bit as cowardly and pragmatic as Achilles himself. Leuke is the place of such a temple.

The first part of this module would be a hexcrawl and it serves to introduce the messed up power-struggle the PCs find themselves in: You see, the myrmidons of Achilles are under attack - the amazons have come to wreak bloody vengeance upon them. Worse, Penthesilea and her sisters all have returned as undead and have no compunctions slaughtering anyone in their way. Exploring the hexes of this island, the PCs can find a colony that practice a combination of polyamory, ritual mutilation and rhaphanidosis. If you don't know what the latter is...I did. It's...unpleasant and a picture that's hard to exorcise from one's head. Quasi-mythological creatures like hawk-boars that well could have existed, animal/human hybrids, strange totems and more can be found: A maddened settler leader responsible for a massacre, GIs that fell through time and space, blood-vines and a murderous sword containing the soul of Polyxena are just some of the things PCs can encounter - have I mentioned the demon lord in love with a furrier? The hex that is the disorienting playing ground of a trickster god? The ancient sorceress awaiting reincarnation into one of her daughters...and torture. Demons, myrmidons, amazons - if it moves, it may well deserve being run through...this is a hell-hole of an island.

The most gleefully disgusting bastard would be a greasy, fat old man, ostensibly a priest, who prides himself in having broken his "brides for sale" - even if the PCs agree to pay his price, he wants to watch the consummation of the marriage...and if the PCs go through with it, they'll get massive bonuses...but either way, if the PCs are halfway decent beings, they'll run the sod through and nurse the brides back to health...and guess what? That's a really, really smart move: These characters are actually damn strong assets! (as in: the lowest level is 9th...) Speaking of not all being as it looks: There actually is a lich-demon, who f not slighted, is really helpful and benevolent! Have I mentioned the hag that slaughtered a village and is now selling bread made from the ground bones? Told you: Hell hole.

And no, I have not even begun listing every hex's unpleasant surprises! The second part of the module would be the exploration of the temple of Achilles, a 26-room-dungeon, where the behavior of myrmidons and the truth of Achilles' behavior can be unearthed by the PC. If they are not killed by Talos...and if they can get past the deadly traps. Heck, they may even be warned if they can decipher an anagram that may provide the clue to defeat Penthesilea...if they do not run afoul of her sisters. Oh, and tinkering with magic can be...unpleasant. Reversed gravity and collecting floating platinum pieces may have dire results. Have I mentioned the gravity/time-distortion. The leader of the myrmidons is avoiding death at all costs, like his idol...ostensibly until the PCs find his craven behind...for, ultimately, all of these guys and gals probably make even hardened murder-hobos look like shining paladins...

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no issues. Layout adheres to an easy-to-read one-column b/w-standard with over-the-top b/w-drawings - and yep, the amazons often are scantily clad or nude, but depicted in a very cartoony manner. The pdf per se has no bookmarks, which would constitute a comfort-detriment...however, Dak Ultimak contributed actually a version with full and excruciatingly-detailed bookmarks. The cover and hexcrawl map in color are included as high-res jpgs. We don't get a player-friendly, key-less version of the dungeon-map, which is a comfort-detriment.

So, Rafael Chandler has written a nightmarish vista of a truly vile place in a mythological Greece...that is pretty much all killer, no filler. This is really dark, but it is dark in a winking, gleeful manner. The oddball and weird components serve as nice counterpoints and there is another thing: It has seldom felt so good to murderhobo. I'm big into roleplaying solutions, investigations, the like. Here, saying "Fuck it!" at one point and just killing off everyone felt actually rather justified. There is no gray area here, no doubts - just vile bastards that need a good whacking with the pointy end of the muderhobo stick.

If you're looking for family-friendly fun, look elsewhere.

If you're looking for a really dark and messed up, but also really fun old-school module, however, then this delivers in spades.

Oh, and it's FREE. Not even PWYW, but FREE. It's really, really hard to argue with that price, particularly considering the quality of the module: In sheer content, creativity and professional depiction, this blows a lot commercial modules completely out of the water. So get it NOW! Better yet, there is a PoD-version for at-cost printing. I kid you not. I actually got it. Because I enjoy this blend of the messed up and creative and because I had a glorious time running this. It's not for everyone, sure, but if you like LotFP, DCC, etc., then this is definitely worth checking out.

Again, it's FREE. And better than many, many commercial modules. Even just for hacking hexes or scavenging dungeon-rooms/traps, this is well worth taking a look at. This would, even if it wasn't free, probably rank at 4.5 or 5 stars on my scale - as a FREE offering, it represents one of the best free books I have ever had the pleasure to review. My final verdict will hence clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bad Myrmidon
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SlaughterGrid
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/16/2017 06:36:12

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This module clocks in at 48 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page inspirational music (which partially reads like a metal playlist I'd make - including favorites of mine like Amorphis, Enslaved, Nile and Shape of Despair - metalheads, check it out!), 2 pages of advertisement, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 41 pages of content. The pdf is accompanied by jpg versions of the maps featured herein as well as jpgs of the graphical representation of a puzzle featured in this pdf. Front and back cover in full color all included as jpgs as well.

All right, so if Neoplastic Press' superb Teratic Tome (Seriously, check it out - it's PWYW for the pdf, print at cost via lulu for the amazing hardcover!) was no indicator for you and if you're not tipped off by the less than subtle name ("SlaughterGrid" could be the title of a Cannibal Corpse- or Bloodbath-song...), this is a module for adults only. This does not belong in the hands of kids (though I would have laughed my behind off about it in puberty...).

Reading the backstory (which you can fill in via randomly determined components) makes this clear: You see, SlaughterGrids are massive constructs created by the insane and genocidal halfling race under the command of their patron deity Elizabeth Lack-heart...some readers may think that sounds familiar. Yep, this shares a mythology with the background information hinted at in the Teratic Tome and the tone here is dark...though not necessarily so in play.

We get lists of suggested random encounters for the levels of the complex of SlaughterGrid and begin with the PCs exploring the mini-hexcrawl conveniently provided before the module's heart, the dungeon-crawl through SlaughterGrid, begins. The pdf summarizes basic thieving abilities and how they're notated herein, chances for lifting heavy objects and a basic mechanic to outwit creatures and lure them into traps. Not the biggest fan there since the engine (+1 per cleverly used item) can be cheesed horribly. The standard currency would be gold, though LotFP referees will have no issues due to the presence of a particular type of being in the dungeon - but more on that in the SPOILER-section.

Magic item-wise, the multipurpose magical flatworm eggs that interact in interesting manners with stimuli, invite experimentation - they can be used as bombs, to float, generate light or darkness...Pretty cool.

Now there is no way for me to state this without minor spoilers, so there we go: The theme of this dungeon is reproduction and unbirthing/peri-natal anxiety, somewhat akin to a representation of some of H.R. Giger's works. The dungeon is intentionally seriously over the top, bloody, gory and uses imagery that must be considered to be sexual in nature. Artworks depict one of the BBEGs with a vagina dentata that extends over most of her torso and another monster basically consists of genitals. If that type of imagery offends you, then steer clear of this module.

Okay, the disclaimer out of the way, let's get to it. This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

All right, still here? Great! The landscape here is not nice. The hexcrawl will pit the PCs in combat with several of the new monstrosities depicted herein and already has hints of the reproduction system leitmotif - namely the theme of monsters requiring material to build nests. Humanoid encounters are not better, for the area is known for the war between Silver and Gold, equally despicable civilizations that practice human sacrifice and worse. Granted, the war's over, but paladins will have a hard time here: Visiting a the domain of the victors, the PCs can try to thwart the sacrifice of children, but will incur the ire of quite a few folks if they do so. Elves and halflings encountered are about as nice as the monsters (in fact, some monsters are nicer) and an assassin may actually prove to be the most civilized traveling companion the PCs can find here. There is serious wonder to be found within these hexes as well, though - like a zone where a chunk of earth floats, affected by reverse gravity...and there are...interesting magical boots to be found here...but also a potentially hilariously lethal death. It should be noted that the hexcrawl-section does sport suggestions for additional hexes, which is a nice bonus.

Now entering SlaughterGrid is done via a rather inconspicuous entrance...which would be the equivalent of the buried, enormous, roughly female-shaped automaton. The entrance to SlaughterGrid would be the automaton's pelvic mound, with level one being the equivalent in structure of the automaton's genitalia regarding room-structure etc. Once the PCs have stumbled into the complex, the ceiling drops - they are imprisoned in the complex and have to make their way through SlaughterGrid to see the light of the sun again.

Which brings me to the complex itself: SlaughterGrid has three levels - Uterus, Bowels and Belly, with the leitmotifs being pretty much evident right there. The dungeon sports quite a bunch of amorphids, basically icky oozy foes that can be bottled and weaponized and a specific parasite-like thing that is responsible for the absence of clusters of gold: The mighty Gold-whore (aka aurumeretrix) can smell gold and are drawn to it - clever adventurers that notice this peculiarity can employ these powerful predators to thin the lines of their foes.

Each of the rooms has a descriptive section and some game-relevant information below in bullet-points. While this makes the presentation pretty economical, it also breaks the flow of the overall text and sometimes, subsequent bullet-points elaborate on earlier ones, which makes the implementation of them feel a bit haphazard. This represents my most pronounced formal gripe against the module. Also: Etched messages are sometimes in bullet-points, sometimes in the other text - as a whole, the concept hasn't been implemented too well.

But back to level 1: Here, the PCs can make first experiences with the deadly slimes and undead that inhabit the place...as a relatively helpful cave goblin potentially notes, undead kill you and you stay that way...which brings me to the most pronounced selling point of the module, as far as I'm concerned: You see, in level 1, the PCs can find an ovum. Whenever they die within the complex, and they WILL die, A LOT, they'll be reborn, naked and bereft of negative conditions etc. from the ovum. This thing can even be taken from its place and lobbed around the dungeon! Downside, though: Each resurrection carries a significant chance of horrible mutation, as determined via a massive table.

Within the bowels, goblinoids, orcs and the like worship the grossly mutated and utterly delusional Kaiva Grey-Nail, one of the villains of the dungeon and aforementioned magic-user with the body-sized maw in the middle that extends to her vagina - said magic-user has underwent the process so often, she now is barely recognizable as humanoid. Meanwhile the exit lies within the belly, the domain of dread pseuod-otyughs and crypto-otyughs that worship the progenitor: This of that...thing as an oversized vagina fish-slug-thing with breast-like sacs and penis-hands. No, I am not kidding you. This thing has a means to exit the complex, but demands an evil oath...or violence ensues. The aforementioned puzzle pertains a ziggurat with symbols, btw. - solving it can also allow for a means to exit the place.

Now, there are a couple of things to be aware of: This dungeon is gleefully, dickishly lethal. Save-or-die is pretty common among the obstacles and creatures encountered and the PCs will be pretty outclassed if they don't take care. The "unlimited lives"-aspect and the mutation can change PCs horribly or provide some seriously strong abilities. And yes, the table is truly 100 entries strong. We also get pregens and a brief name generator. Know what my issue with this module is, though? It's not the visuals or the difficulty. It's that SlaughterGrid has this amazing premise...and only uses it to justify being a meatgrinder of a module. The ovum and resurrection-trick could be used for a plethora of unique puzzles: "Okay, so, if I draw this level, the corridor will reconfigure and I'll b trapped here, starving to death...but I can just give you my stuff, kill myself, reemerge and the path's clear!" Why is there no correlation between dying to one of SlaughterGrid's slimes and the mutations you get when emerging from the ovum? "We have to pass that fall of lava - so let's find one of those red slimes, get killed and see if we get fire immunity..." Sure, this would be comical and not very serious...but that's invariably the tone the module will get anyways, unless your players can take this much more seriously than mine did. In short: The resurrection mechanic...isn't used for anything interesting and its presence feels like an unrealized gimmick, used to justify excessive deadly force. Heck, the pdf MENTIONS that the ovum can be used for creative solutions to problems, even gives examples...but the module, frankly, doesn't need that. You can brute force it.

Same goes for NPCs. The pdf makes no sense there. See, the goblins, trolls, otyughs...once killed, they supposedly just stay dead? Same goes for Kaiva? I don't get it. Kaiva obviously HAS resurrected multiple times, so why doesn't this work for other living beings that are not the PCs? Or if it is SUPPOSED to work for them as well, why is that mentioned not even once in the whole text? If NPCs are supposed to also regenerate thus from the ovum, is there a sequence in which it rebirthes the fallen? If you start to logically think about this module, its interesting and creative premise comes apart pretty hard, which is what made this not work for me. Sure, you can add all these things in...but why bother? It's a solid dungeon, but it also has some serious gaps in its internal logic.

As mentioned before, the module contains a lot of creatures (same format as in the Teratic Tome).

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good on both a formal and rules-level - while both could be improved upon, you generally have a pretty decent idea how things should work and I noticed no overly jarring accumulation of typos. Layout adheres to a b/w 2-column standard and is pretty printer-friendly. As mentioned before, the artworks in b/w are well-made, but provide images that are not for everyone. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. As a pretty big detriment: The okay maps don't come with player-friendly versions sans secret rooms or map key - you'll have to draw them yourself if you want those gone.

This could have been a delightfully icky and bonkers, utterly over-the-top gorefest of death and rebirth with smart puzzles a truly amazing environment and stomach-turning strategies the PCs could use. This has all the makings of one of these truly unique, inspiring dungeons with its own rules and tricks that work only within it. Unfortunately, SlaughterGrid falls really flat of its own premise and instead devolves into a pretty fun, lethal dungeon-crawl. But that's all it offers when it could easily have gone for excellence. A halfway capable referee can make this a disturbingly slimy gem of a module - all the building blocks are here. What has been assembled from them, alas, didn't blow me away.

Now, I got this module back when it still cost $3.33. For a commercial module...I'd consider it to be an awesome concept, seriously hampered by its execution and thus settle on a verdict of 3 stars. However, since then, the module has become FREE, its PoD option an at-cost offering. And honestly, I know A LOT of PWYW modules and content that wished it was this creative and well-done. Being FREE increases the value of this module for me and grants it an additional + 0.5 stars. Now, due to the structural issues, I'd frankly usually round down for this one...but at the same time, a referee committed to working with the module, expanding and revising it, may well consider this to be an amazingly wicked gem. It is hence, its free nature and my in dubio pro reo policy that I will thus round up to 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
SlaughterGrid
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Teratic Tome
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/03/2017 05:56:37

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The pdf of this massive book clocks in at 118 pages, 2 pages of editorial, 1 alphabetical list of monsters, 2 pages of art-credit, 1 page author bio, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with a massive 110 pages of content. My review is mostly based on the hardcover print version, but more on that in the conclusion.

First a word of warning: This is a tome of MONSTERS in the literal sense of the word; the creatures herein are not for the faint of heart and the target demographic of this book would obviously be adults. The artworks does contain gruesome nightmare fuel, the text mentions explicit and gory details and the pdf does feature nudity. So if any of those disqualify this book for you, well, you have been warned. If you have triggers, I'd also strongly suggest skipping this one.

All right, only people left that can take the look into the abyss? Great. Remember, you have been warned.

We begin this book with one page of explanatory notes regarding monster presentation - treasure tables, movement rates and a THAC0 (here called TAZ - target Armor Zero) should provide no issues. We have, obviously, descending AC here. The page also explains how to roll d10000, for example. In short - in all brevity, it makes reading the entries easy.

So, what exactly is this? The easiest way to picture this book would be as a dark fantasy/horror monster manual. Have you ever bemoaned that there is no LotFP-MM? Do you need creatures for a twisted dark fantasy game? Look no further. I am so not kidding you, but be warned - this is not for the faint of heart!

The monsters herein could be categorized in various ways, the first of which would be "twisted takes on classic creatures" - take halflings. They are thoroughly vile creatures that worship Elizabeth Lack-Heart as their patron goddess. They also arrange their settlements in a way that tries to spell, on a civilization-level, the name of their goddess...and all good deities beware if they succeed. Instead of providing whole classes of dragon, the book provides 10 venerable dragons, all of which are unique beings with their own powers, tricks and background story and range from over 10 K XP-values to a massive over 50K XP moloch, namely Uchorah-Thanaphor, atrous dragon. The arrival of this harbinger of doom is preceded by strange shifts in weather, unexpected outbursts of violence and suicides and worse...

How can you make gelatinous cubes, as a concept, weirder? Well, the pyramidal version herein sports translucent, blue eyes. Lesion ghouls would be charred corpses, coated in a layer of carnivorous insects. Obsidian golems are actually magical mechas, fused with elven warriors that can never escape their horrid prison- absolutely insane, elven pilots with even more bloodlust than their xenophobic brethren, mind you. Aquatic gnolls actually are lawful creatures with terrible, lamprey-like, ringed mouths.

What's the worst you can think of as an origin myth for beholder-like entities? Well, there would be the audiences as a monster class: Lumps of flesh, stitched together by the halflings of the tenebrous crypt, to act as collective vessels for the mad necromancers. "Then, Shauva Tiridan, the mad mage, took their eyes" - and created another creature, basically eye-spiders. Clever way to get past any possible copyright issues...and the audiences are disturbing indeed, featuring, for example, a lump of swollen, buboes-covered mass with a central maw and 5 perpendicular tentacles ending in moray-like snapping jaws.

You will have noticed at this point that the book makes excellent use of the space it has due to the relative brevity of OSR-stats, providing detailed, often inspiring and pretty dark angles to use the particular monsters, more than one of which has a serial killer style modus operandi to slay and choose its victims. Partially, these are explained in the way the creature was made, for there are quite a lot of unique adversaries herein - like the Tutor, who abducts people in love and tries to force them to kill one another...and even winning in this horrible game will not prove solace. Told you. Allcaps monsters. The grossly mutated and unstable Pearl Riverbend, with grotesque spitting serpent appendages and oversized hands may be considered to be tragic, while e.g. the Cruhardac, a being that abducts groups of people to create art from the viscera and leave the last one alive would be many things, but tragic is not one of them.

As you may have noticed, many of these beings basically have an adventure's seeds already included in their presentation. Another leitmotif would be disgusting creatures conjured forth to hunt down those that have sinned in some way: Whether versus a deity, by being unfaithful, etc. - chances are that some agent of retribution (read: Sadistic overkill levels of vengeance) can be found within these pages. More than one of these creatures is btw. not above inciting such events themselves, ensuring that they always have a sufficient amount of sinners to punish...

Speaking of retribution - the three kritarchs, dread servants of the goddess Nemesis (play the Arch Enemy song as boss theme), also get full stats here. Horrid amalgamations of flesh and steel like the Magistrate speak of the fall of mythic Mecha-Zel; several of the creatures within this book hint at legends and places you can easily discard...or develop further. The same goes for more than one of the legendary adversaries herein: Like Malchior, the thief that stole death's secrets - who is now looking for an anointed successor. Or Baskra, who seeks to goad powerful mortals into foolish decisions that cause untold misery by the use of his dream-implantation powers and his masterful wielding of most people's fear of death.

How would you picture the dread Chimæra queen? "[She] has the torso of a humanoid female. From between her shoulders juts a cluster of green tentacles ending in 3 black claws. Her arms are long, and her body is covered in pale, green thorns. Between her legs, there's a pale blue tentacle, from which grow several smaller tentacles. This main tentacle ends in her head, which is topped by white tentacles that writhe around her face. The Queen's tongue is long and grey and dry, ending in a wad of tissue tipped with spikes. Her legs are pale blue with dark brown spots, each ending in three spikes." The amazing thing is that the artwork manages to portray this monstrosity as a plausible, utterly alien and frightening THING. Though the angle presented for her is even cooler: You see, she is basically interested in forcing evolution's hand...and she likes the thrill of hunting armed prey.

There also would be demons and devils, particularly of the unique-and-very-powerful variety...or an insane, old hag that likes stitching her victims to her patchwork flesh...and her colorful house and giant stuffed animals in the yard make pretty clear who the intended victims of the seamstress are, right? Have I mentioned that these are MONSTERS? That this book is DARK?

Even ole' Pantagruel is not the gentle giant you remember. He has sailed the oceans and now he's back. Good news: When you lay eyes upon him and have less than 2 HD, you're dead. Bad news: The giant is utterly insane and on a killing spree of kindness: What he has seen beyond the seas has convinced him that all creation, every living thing, should get a mercy-killing post-haste...to avoid the horrors to come. He's btw. the titan on the full-color cover image, as far as I could tell.

The book also features encounter tables by type and level, just fyi!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are impressively well-done, I noticed no grievous glitches. Layout adheres to a no-frills two-column b/w-standard that is pretty printer-friendly. Now, if you like dark artworks, then this will have you smile from ear to ear - each and every monstrosity herein comes with an impressive piece of b/w-artwork depicting the creature, the vast majority of which obviously are originals made for this book. The pdf version comes with excessive, nestled bookmarks.

Again, if you have a trigger, if you have issues with depictions of really dark and gory material, then this is not for you. This is pretty much a black metal -level dark bestiary full of thoroughly vile, despicable, dastardly things that literally not even the most righteous paladin would blink an eye at killing. Thought the BoVD's critters were bad? Pfff. Believe me, they are really tame in comparison.

If you're looking for nice creatures for a family-friendly game, this is not for you. This is the antithesis of that and you won't be happy with it.

What I'm trying to say is that this book has a very specific target demographic and those that do not fall into this demographic will probably be shocked, disgusted, etc.

That is very much intentionally the case. Rafael Chandler's book does not try to be a bestiary for everyone.

The teratic tome's mission statement is, I quote: "This enrichidion of entities should only be used by DMs inclined towards malfeasance, sadism, and base wrongdoing." I'd disagree there - sadism doesn't really have anything to do with it. The creatures herein are hard, deadly and often disturbing; an abundance of them will make a campaign feel dark indeed. But, from a design point of view, I did not consider them to be sadistic or dickish - they are easy to run and don't provide juvenile "Haha, you lose!" mechanics.

In short: If you are looking for creatures that are perfect for a dark fantasy or horror game, including a VAST array of unique foes, then oh boy, you won't find anything better or more vile out there. Even if you're playing another system like PFRPG or 5e or even Esoterrorists/Fear Itself/etc., you'll find your share fair of wicked ideas in these pages.

Not sure whether this is for you? Well, here's the deal: This is PWYW as per the writing of this review. When I got this book, I paid its former asking price of $6.66 for it and it was worth every cent. In fact, I got the hardcover as well - which, btw., is an orange-spined, gorgeous thing that seamlessly fits next to your old-school gaming material...and which can, at this point, be similarly bought for an at-cost price. That is damn impressive for a book of this quality and means that, if you're even remotely interested in a book of truly EVIL things...then you should definitely check this out.

Personally, I love some disturbing horror in my game; not all the time, but this book most definitely delivers that component in spades. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Teratic Tome
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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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