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Vacant Ritual Assembly #1
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Vacant Ritual Assembly #1
Publisher: Red Moon Medicine Show
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/07/2015 22:29:49

Vacant Ritual Assembly is an OSR (primarily Lamentations of the Flame Princess) focused ‘zine published by Red Moon Medicine Show. They are done in B&W and provide a mixture of house rules, inspiration, adventures, maps and interviews.

Issue 1 starts with some house rules and recommendations for inspirational reading/ viewing/ listening. Next is the ghoul market, where all sorts of interesting (and occasionally distressing) items are for sale, two of the inhabitants of the market (the Skinsmith, who rebuilds flesh, and Vespero the Antiquarian, a fixer) are described in greater detail. A handout for Vespero’s shop in the market is provided as well. A petty god, Luminari, Lady of the Golden Lamp, gets a brief but evocative description. The adventure locale of the drowned village of Brahnwick is presented with maps of the area and surviving building. An interview with Chris McDowall, author of Into the Odd is included. And it concludes with a map and blank key to Greycandle Manor.

Overall, a good collection on interesting resources and you can sample it inexpensively as it is Pay What You Want.

All of the issues of VRA have interesting and inspirational material, while light on rules they provide a wide range of old school wackiness and adventure which should be usable in any game (though requiring a bit more work to adapt to something like Pathfinder).

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vacant Ritual Assembly #1
Publisher: Red Moon Medicine Show
by VE P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/10/2015 00:22:10

Neat little zine for horror fantasy. Packed with great ideas. Definitely picking up more of these.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vacant Ritual Assembly #1
Publisher: Red Moon Medicine Show
by Eric F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/27/2015 13:31:55

So I'm always late to the party and when it comes to fanzine doubly so, issue number #2 of Vacant Ritual Assembly is already hitting the stands and I'm just learning about the zine now. Its sort of like an underground zine that back in the late 90's would have hit the streets if you were into the sort of dark and weird that is Lamentations of the Flame Princess all in one fetid place. Reading through Vacant Ritual Assembly is sort of like turning into an OSR indie horror movie at about four A.M. and coming into the middle of the movie. You stay up to watch it, you know your enjoying it but you just not sure what the hell you just saw but you enjoyed the hell out of it. This zine has everything that I loved about old school horror gaming with a dangerous Lovecraftian sensibility and none of the pretentiousness of other BS rpg stuff. It simply presents a solidly done horror OSR kick in the head. Besides some dangerous and weird artwork. Vacant presents some actual useful content for Lamentations of The Flame Princess in an easily digestible form. The Goblin Market is actually one of the best setting set pieces of the zine. It presents a small Lovecraftian ghoul colony who trade with the living, the damned, wizards, and madmen all in one place under a chapel. Very dangerous and deadly wares are traded here but your PC's will never be the same. The Skin Smith - This is the sort of demon who can do resurrections and alterations to your PC's but man the horror factor is very high. Vespero the Antiquarian is the sort of guy whose business ideals and interests intersect with those who do business with macabre and weird. The guy however can be down right nasty and could be a dangerous NPC as all those who are in a LoFP campaign can be. Luminari, Lady of the Golden Lamp is the sort of minor goddess who can make things very interesting and downright weird for a set of PC's. She's exactly the sort of a goddess who you want to use as part of a one shot adventure. Brahnwick is Dead: one part adventure and one part throw your PC's into a flooded town inhabited by madmen and with weird occult bits happening around their ears. An interview with Chris McDowall about his new opus Into the Odd. Shrugs I'm here for the Lamentations of the Flame Princess material. If your looking for more information about Into the Odd then this is your interview. Greycandle Manor: An abandoned manor on the edge of town, which makes a perfect side encounter for use as a location between Lamentations of the Flame Princess adventures. The PC can be used as is and used just to make the PC's very,very, nervous or filled with those NPC's you've been itching to use. Go grab this issue right now and get cracking with the material as part of a horror themed campaign. This is a tight,tight, well done fanzine. Vacant Ritual Assembly is the sort of a fanzine that replaces so many things that have been missing from OSR horror gaming for a while. It presents a bunch of actual usable elements and dares you to put them into your games. There's no manifesto simply a whole bunch of well assembled parts to install into a Lamentations campaign. The ghoul market frame work is the corpse from which everything else is hung and that is part of the form and focus. This issue really pulls everything that I love from the Kult rpg and puts it in one easily useful package. Everything in this issue is perfectly focused and useful for a Lamentations of the Flame Princess campaign. Fact is that I can see using this material in a number of OSR horror games and still coming back to raid this material time and again. That my friends is utility. And that's what makes this product utterly useful in my mind.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vacant Ritual Assembly #1
Publisher: Red Moon Medicine Show
by Sophia B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/14/2015 04:10:30
http://dieheart.net/vra-zine-one/

What do you need to know?

Vacant Ritual Assembly is a brand-new OSR zine by Clint Krause from Red Moon Medicine Show. The PDF is Pay-What-You-Want at Onebookshelf, the print version costs USD $ 4 with worldwide shipping(!).

So, what’s the deal?

The zine stems from the author’s own Lamentations of the Flame Princess-campaign. That means that the content is usable with most old school games. Overall, the material is influenced by LotFP’s weird tone so depending on your campaing world it will fit in right away or only might be useful as inspiration. The first issue of VRA has some interesting stuff. The Ghoul Market introduces a thematic way for your players to spend money. I like this idea because of its strange flavor: there are ghouls (of course!), spider demons, undead slaves and the Skinsmith. The Skinsmith is a demon that can resurrect you from death for a price and some creepy side-effects. Vespero the Antiquarian might be the most utilitarian entry of the magazine. In the end, he is some kind of fixer for unusual items and can be a quest-giver, too. The illustration by Sean Poppe is really nice as well. Furthermore, there is Luminari, a firefly goddess and Greycandle Manor, a simple map of an estate where you need to fill out the map keys/contents yourself. VRA also features a location based adventure called Brahnwick is dead. It is placed inside a flooded village and has some escaped mad inmates from a sanatorium and a lake monster. It looks like a nice macabre run. The issue closes with an interview with Chris McDowall about his new game Into the Odd. This was a fascinating read as I am excited by this game.

Look

The zine comes with 22 pages of content in black and white. The illustrations are very good except one which is just a rough doodle. The maps are made professionally with Adobe Illustrator. They look modern and are easy to read. The layout design is solid: font choice, use of tables, block text etc. are good. The electronic version has no bookmarks but with 24 pages total that’s not a necessity. Nonetheless, I would appreciate it. The paper quality of the print version is a bit flimsy but for $ 4 I can’t really complain. All things considered the production quality is astonishlingly high.

The Good

The material is interesting and weird. The quality of this new zine is good. It’s a free PDF (with tip-jar, pay-what-you-want) and a cheap investment if you want to have the print version. I am very happy about the low price point. As an European I’m used to sorrow when it comes to shipping costs from the US.

The Bad

If you don’t need the strange and creepy in your adventures there isn’t much to use right away. VRA clearly shows its roots from Lamentations of the Flame Princess.

The Ugly

Nothing really. Take a look at this, it’s a cool thing for your old school needs. It is a worthwhile investment if you like strange things in your OSR game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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