In lieu of of my B/X game this weekend, one of the members of our group wanted to test out Lamentations of the Flame Princess, which is cool because I’d been wanting to give the system a spin at some point but sure as hell wasn’t going to be buying the books myself.
And yeah, there’s some really gross art in there. One of the players was kind of apprehensive of the system, but we were promised that it would be weird, but not gross fantasy. Part of the purpose was to test out a random dungeon/content generator he’d come across and we’d been dropped into a setting supposedly influenced by Gormenghast. I haven’t read the books, and my girlfriend stopped watching the show just a little ways in (she’s super grossed out by breast-feeding), so I’m not really familiar with Gormenghast, so I was reminded more of Kowloon Walled City, given its narrow streets, improbably tall buildings with cramped and crowded rooms & halls. But anyway, the basic premise is a huge germanic fortified city with a river running through it, and on the east side of the river, a huge section of town has been abandoned for about 100 years because of some disaster that was magical and almost certainly necromantic in nature.
One of the snags we hit with his random generator was an impossibly crowded room. I don’t remember what it was (some sort of antlered monster), but we opened a door and were told that there was pile of sleeping humanoid monsters in a corner of the room.
Me: How many are there?
DM: Let me check… ::starts rolling::
Me: :: notices it’s a d10:: Oh god, there are 37 of them, aren’t there?
DM: Holy crap… ::still rolling:: No, just 31.
Me: I close the door as quietly as I can and suggest that perhaps there’s honest work to be found on the west side of the river.
Joking aside, we didn’t give up, and instead checked out another building. In true OSR fashion, we proceeded to take everything not broken or nailed down to fence on the other side of the river. Our magic user got Floating Disc as his level 1 spell, which meant it only took us 3 nights to haul out half a dozen decorative statues from the parlor one of the buildings.
We ended up not fighting anything, but I did have to perform an emergency tracheotomy on the cleric who got hit with a poison dart; I’ve never been in a game where having a signal whistle was NOT useful!
In other news, J’Rhazha died this weekend, so maybe I won’t write up that piece on the 15 minute workday after all. But damn! We killed a black dragon, a giant python, and some kind of treant from the Fiend Folio only to be TPKed by a pack of hatchet wielding grimlocks. 😦
I also finished Summa Elvetica by
Satan Theodore Beale. I wouldn’t call it a classic, but it was a fun little story. I could kind of see some of the grander designs that Beale may have had from the outset, perhaps like a high-fantasy Canterbury Tales where each of the characters get to tell stories of their encounters with Elves and how it’s shaped their views of the elves and how those views are shaped by their own beliefs and convictions, but as it stands, we get a brief look at Christian pseudo-Rome, a couple stories on the road to the Elven Court and some swashbuckling at the climax. Summa Elvetica’s few twists and turn are rather predictable, but feel more as though they reward the reader’s foresight rather than treat them like idiots. Other than a few incredibly gruesome deaths, Summa Elvetica is ends up being a story that leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy and wanting to loan it to your mom’s Sunday School class.
Finally, the stuff that went down at CalEx (registrants with a booth were kicked out and banned for wrongthink) was super disgusting, but rather than try to articulate how disgusted I am, I’ll just share a few links:
Lucien Maverick – Free Speech Doesn’t Mean Much
James Desborough – #Gamergate – Conventions, Calumny and Badgers
Suitably Bored – The Mary Sue: Fear Mongering Journalism at its Best
Update: Just a couple days, the Honey Badgers have raised over $13,000 for a legal fund in seeking action against Calgary Expo.