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Qelong
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/23/2013 11:11:26
This is a rather fine classic 'exploration' adventure, a setting that is adventure of itself and rather fun to wander about in, discovering the wonders and horrors of a far-off land.

The land has been squabbled over by a couple of extremely powerful ancient beings who really ought to know better, who have left it in a bit of a mess - ripe, of course, for brave and intelligent adventurers to profit from exploring and discovering here. Loads of detail is provided to help you make the setting come to life as the adventure proceeds, provided that is you can read it through overly-heavy background 'ghosted' images behind the text (fortunately, the PDF is layers and you can turn this off), and can get the PDF width right with an awkward double-page spread (pages 2-3) which throws everything off and will be a pest to print.

There are loads of rumours to whet the party's appetite, judiciously spread around their normal stamping grounds they will be begging you to run adventures here. Once they do arrive, there are copious notes about the environment and other dangers with which they will have to cope (inculding a really nasty environmental poison...). A wide river, lotus fields, canals, strange edifices called stupa (temples to ancient gods) and more dot the landscape, and there are encounters aplenty wherever you go. There is also an extensive bestiary replete with angry ghosts, armour-stealing peasants, elephants and other creatures that'll eat you, dead or alive.

It is very much a sandbox: you are provided here with all the tools to enable the party to explore Qelong and have many an adventure wherever they decide to go. There is a beautiful map showing you where notable locations are, coupled with vivid descriptions of what is to be found at each one. Enjoy your travels.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Qelong
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Better Than Any Man
by Jonas B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/04/2013 13:25:23
Amazing adventure. My first exposure to Lamentations of the Flame Princess, but after reading this, for sure not the last.

Very dark and funny, and a great read in itself.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Better Than Any Man
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Better Than Any Man
by Sam H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/28/2013 07:40:41
Pretty amazing art and fiction, not for the squeamish. A strong combination of history and horror!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Vornheim: The Complete City Kit
by Noah S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/02/2013 00:07:05
A buddy of mine on G+ recommended Vornheim, solely for the clever rules about buying up objects and pricing things on the fly. Well, suffice it to say that there is a wealth of interesting and useful tidbits scattered liberally throughout this work. The setting is wonky and novel, with very little Tolkien and plenty of Hunter S. Thompson. I don't frequent Zak's pages, but I do get occasional updates on his particularly useful house rules, and almost all of them I incorporate into my game (MY DIRTY LITTLE HEART OF LIES SAYS THAT I MADE THESE THINGS UP AND I COULD HAVE THOUGHT THESE NICIES UP MYSEL) Ahem. The fact of the matter is, Zak doesn't think like you do, and you could never have thought these interesting things up. Snakes as spellbooks? Pssh. That's as cool and as novel as the backside of a pillow, with a Poppy Z. Brite book underneath, with interesting and suspicious stains on the special pages.

The "house generation" rules are great guidelines and a good skill to foment in your braincase, the random NPC and hook charts are delightful, and the art is nice, too. Hey, you could spend that 9 bucks on tasteful porn, but spend it on this instead and get your brain thinking in a different and more fun direction! Or whatever! I don't judge.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vornheim: The Complete City Kit
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The Seclusium of Orphone of the Three Visions
by Erik W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/02/2013 13:27:11
Excellent. Evocative. I see a campaign growing out of this.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Seclusium of Orphone of the Three Visions
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LotFP Rules & Magic Full Version
by Rob M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/25/2013 09:55:41
The latest printing of the LotFP rules has the publisher breaking from their tradition of compact box sets with a beautifully designed hardcover. Largely this is the same rules that appears in the Grindhouse Edition, with the exception of an overhaul to the layout and the addition of rules for early modern firearms and armor.

At this point I feel that there are enough reviews of LotFP as a game that I don't need to go into much detail in that regard. However, I do want to reiterate that this is an excellent game. I would go so far as saying that it is the best retroclone on the market. The changes that it makes to Basic Dungeons and Dragons are all excellent and greatly improve the game experience. When I run a game of "D&D," even with elves and dragons and magic wands everywhere, I use LotFP. It's just a good game.

Also, LotFP has the best character sheet I've ever seen. Everything a player would need to know is displayed clearly with no mental math and no rules memorization. Other game publishers can learn a lot from these character sheets.

If you want to see why this is such a great set of rules, even for high fantasy games which it is not intended for, check out the free no-art version.

So is the art worth paying $5? Definitely.

LotFP gets a lot of attention because of the art in its products, especially the core books. The art alone is the reason for the 18+ warning on the cover and has caused quite a bit of controversy. I have some mixed feelings about the art because I feel it draws too much attention away from the rules and presents the game as specifically a horror game. I know that's how James Raggi, the creator of LotFP, runs his game, but the rules do not demand any specific setting or tone. That aside, the artwork in this book is amazing. Many of the pieces from the early editions return and other less evocative works are replaced with art that better captures the weird fantasy vibe.

The way that the artwork is integrated into the layout is also spectacular. When reading the no-art version, keep in mind that every large block of white space is filled with something awesome in the full version.

The major addition to the rules is the appendix for early modern firearms and armor. These rules clearly are the product of diligent research and playtesting. The price of the book is worth it for these rules along, as they go so much further than reskinned crossbows. The artwork is also essential for this appendix as if gives you a crash course in early firearms, complete with detailed illustrations of these awesome but wholly unfamiliar weapons.

With this edition I really think LotFP has established its place as a leader in the OSR movement. It's a testiment to the quality one can expect from the publisher and a beautiful packaging of my favorite old-school ruleset.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
LotFP Rules & Magic Full Version
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Fuck For Satan
by Rob M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/25/2013 08:48:22
With a name like that, how could I stay away?

Fuck for Satan is the a short adventure written by James Raggi, which means it is deadly and ridiculous is all of the right ways. What makes Fuck for Satan stand out is the way that its ridiculousness is no longer aimed at the players. Now the referee is the target.

I'm going to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, because I can fore see this being a very popular module in the LotFP crowd and I'd hate to ruin the fun for anyone. Referees who have run Death Frost Doom will especially want to run this adventure, as it makes for a very fitting sequel. It also ties in nicely into Better Than Any Man with its Swiss location.

While Fuck for Satan takes place in the developing LotFP setting of early modern Europe, it can easily be translated to any fantasy setting. Just replace "Geneva" with your favorite major fantasy city and "Satan" with Orcus, Slaanesh, or any other evil fantasy god. That said, I don't know if players will get the same sense of sleazy occult fun with an entity other than Satan himself.

There is a dungeon in this adventure and it live up to Raggi's reputation for meat-grinding, trap-filled death holes. The traps are everywhere, almost unavoidable and very, very regrettable. Luckily, the dungeon is relatively small when compared to Death Frost Doom and the Grinding Gear, which puts much less pressure on the referee to memorize the many mechanics of Raggi's complex traps.

And yes, there is fucking in this adventure, and yes, the fucking is for Satan. That said, you don't need to worry about any uncomfortable psycho-sexual horror on par with Death Love Doom. This is the fun kind of fucking. Well, maybe "fun" is a strong word...

At five bucks, Fuck for Satan is a no-brainer. If you like killer dungeons with gonzo monsters and reality-warping magic, buy this book and run it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fuck For Satan
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Better Than Any Man
by JERRY M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/09/2013 15:51:47
Another great LOTFP adventure from Mr. Raggi. I admit, I use these in some of my other games and sometimes modify the outcomes so that there is at least a small possiblility of surviving (sorry Mr. Raggi) but this is one of the best.

One question though.

The version I got here had the color illustrations disabled for printing. How do I get them to print?

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Better Than Any Man
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Better Than Any Man
by Mark H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/05/2013 22:25:29
Five horrific adventures in one book, tied together around the doom caused by holy wars. Fantastically gross and disturbing, and perhaps no way to win. The art is the usual fantastic torture porn common to LotFP, and earns the 18+ warning. The maps are excellent, and in the PDF hyperlinked to the encounters.

Unlike a typical Free RPG Day book, this has only a link to the free rules online, so it's all adventure. While it's mostly usable with any Old-School game, it only fits the tone of LotFP.

Give Raggi your money, read this, and take as much of it as you need for your demon-worshipping heavy metal fantasy horror gaming.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Better Than Any Man
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/05/2013 15:54:46
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2013/06/21/tabletop-review-better--
than-any-man-lamentations-of-the-flame-princess/

Our last look at this year’s Free RPG Day is with Lamentations of the Flame Princess. We’ve had high praise for the game, along with releases like Carcosa and Vornheim. What can I say? James Edward Raggi IV and the other people involved put out some high quality stuff.

I have to admit I thought it was odd that LotFP was participating in Free RPG Day as the event is generally geared to bring either new gamers into the hobby or old gamers to a new system. Considering how polarizing LotFP can be I was curious how they were going to run their offering. LotFP isn’t the most rules heavy system and oftentimes, Raggi’s stuff can be classified as system neutral because you can fit it into many a setting with little to no work, so how would Quick Start Rules work? Well, it turns out LotFP said, “Fuck the Quick Start Rules! Here’s a full fledged adventure that you’d normally pay a big wad of cash for. Thanks for buying our crazy stuff!” In truth, Better Than Any Man feels like it was written for those who already are into Flame Princess releases as a reward for supporting the company rather than a, “Psst. Hey you. Buy our core Rulebook!” However, the astute reader will note that inside the adventure is a link to download the full core rulebook for LotFP, albeit art free. So while at first glance, Better Than Any Man seems to be the least welcoming release to newcomers out of the Free RPG offerings, a closer inspection shows that it’s the MOST. After all, what would YOU rather have? A sixteen page set of scaled back rules for a game meant to make you buy a fifty-sixty dollar book, or a full length, nigh 100 page adventure that also gives you a digital copy of the core rulebook FOR FREE? It’s wasn’t a hard choice people.

That said, the reputation of Lamentations of the Flame Princess might have hurt the Free RPG Day release a bit. At the first gaming store I went to, the proprietor hid his copies of Better Than Any Man which he said he did to prevent kids from looking at the art. You had to specifically ask for it by name to pick it up, which kind of defeats the point of getting into a NEW gaming system, no? While I was there, only a single person asked for it while no one else thought to. They were too busy debating between Star Wars, Pathfinder and Shadowrun Quick Start Rules. At the next store, which was a comic store, Better Than Any Man was on full display because the store was more than a little ignorant on role playing games. They had a small game section but it was mostly board games and a little bit of D&D and Pathfinder. Well, I did get to see the amusement of a nine year old picking up Raggi’s adventure and flipping through it, see the extremely well done pictures of severed heads, severed hands, a guy’s wang being infested with insects and so on. Well, the parent of said child wasn’t too happy something with a big “18+: EXPLICIT CONTENT” red circle on it was open for perusing and made the kid pick something else (I think it was Star Wars), but you could see the kid was completely mystified by the pretty pictures which shows that sometimes, it’s the art, not the rules that first draw a person into a system. I can’t imagine a group of nine years olds actually PLAYING LotFP although I really do want a video podcast of someone attempting this now… My point of both of these stories is that in each case, LotFP lost potential new fans because of the game’s reputation and/or presentation. I’m not saying Raggi should care and I’m definitely not saying LotFP should make things more open to a younger audience – just that it’s interesting to note how people, both brand new to the industry and who actually revolve their lives around it react to this game.

Now, on for the adventure! Clocking in at a whopping ninety-six pages, Better Than Any Man is not only the biggest Free RPG Day release of the year, but it’s actually bigger than some LoTFP adventures I’ve purchased. That’s an insane deal of awesome proportions. The adventure itself is extremely detailed and could, in fact, be considered a campaign rather than an adventure due to the inclusion of eight different dungeons, a potential open-ended time travel aspect of the adventure and the fact characters will spend eight days running around a big chunk of Germany trying to limit the damage done by invading Swedes and a malevolent Insect God who wishes to engage in a pretty hefty amount of genocide. I can’t even begin to imagine how someone would run this highly detailed and intricate affair in a single gaming session – unless all the characters die horribly in that first day’s attempt. Now that might be intimidating to people picking up a LotFP release for the first time, but I personally think it’s great. You’re not getting a four hour one-shot freebie but something that will last you weeks or even months simply for going, “I want the one with the hentai monster on it” as your Free RPG Day releaser of choice. There’s just so much content in this thing I don’t know where to begin!

Better Than Any Man is a pretty open ended adventure. You’re giving a rough timeline of events for how things will go if the PCs fail to make any progress and/or die horribly, but other than that, you are given locations, dungeons and random encounters that can occur in any order the person running the adventure sees fit. As Better Than Any Man is so open ended, it’s something only a highly experienced DM/GS/Storyteller/Keeper/Whatever will be able to run smoothly, and even then, only after reading the adventure several times and scrawling out how his or her version of the adventure will flow. Besides the whole inclusion of The Thirty Years War and some real players from it, PCs will also encounter a town run by seven sorceresses and their strange monstrous sidekick/pets, an ancient God wishing harm on all of humanity, a time travelling wizard who likes cutting up children and may be the lesser of multiple evils and even more crazy crap being thrown at them. Players may have to gather information via weird sex acts or some light BDSM. They might engage in a battle with Scooby-Doo style zombies. One might get transformed into an Avatar of the Insect God. One might come away from this with a pair of hands growing out of his nut sac. As I said, there is a lot of weird shit in this adventure that is highly memorable and will either having you fully embracing Lamentations of the Flame Princess or declaring that your first exposure will be your last. I can’t honestly say this is my favorite adventure for the system, but it’s definitely one that will help you make your mind up about whether you want to invest in the game or not almost immediately, which is what I feel a Free RPG Day Release should do.

Artwise, there are some graphic images, but nowhere near the level of gore and nudity you’d find in other LotFP releases. I can honestly say I think this is the least amount of genitals I’ve seen in a LotFP release of this size! Your feelings on eviscerated vaginas aside, the art really is spectacular in the piece, which is all the more impressive because it’s a free release to the general public lucky enough to scoop one up. Just the sheer attention to detail, quality and production values makes this my favorite release from Free RPG 2013 and honestly, I wasn’t sure if I was going to even pick this up until I got there. You damn near got an (ick) Pathfinder review instead of this!

I should also add that the cover of this adventure comes off, because when my wife picked it up to see what it was (and grimaced when she saw it was a LotFP release…) the actual adventure slid out onto the floor and she remaked, “Wow, that’s some bad production values right there.” In fact, it’s not. The inside cover is a map of the region you and your troupe will be playing in and the cover is designed to come off to provide both a visual aid to the gamers and to help a DM know where everything is in location to each other and with handy dandy page references to each. I like this, but I will admit that if you don’t except this, you probably will drop the content onto the floor the first time you pick it up.

All in all, I was thoroughly impressed by Better Than Any Man. While it’s not my favorite LotFP offering, it is by far the most impressive offering out of the Free RPG Day 2013 offerings. You’re getting a full campaign AND a digital version of the (art free) core rulebook! How could you pass this up. While I’m not sure if Better Than Any Man will be released outside of this Free RPG Day event, either physically or digitally, it is well worth tracking down even if you have to pay a few bucks for it. This is an adventure that will not only test players, but the DM running it as well. I’d definitely recommend it to fans of the system, albeit less so for people who are unaware of what LotFP is all about. This might not be your first foray into the system.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Dungeon of the Unknown
by Jeffrey G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/24/2013 12:16:33
Great value for the money, overall.

Like all OSR themed products, it has some pretty capricious deadliness that only sadists afraid of high-level campaigns or player empowerment. Full disclosure, more of a Pathfinder home-rules kind of DM.

That isn't important though, what is important is it is a wonderful source for creation of an advanture, standa-alone rooms, treasures, challenges, and a classes of creatures that may be adapted to any OGL.

What would be sensational, and is a lot to ask from $5.00 Pdfs is some maps adaptable as images for virtual tabletops for the tactical types. Something like that, people like me would pay even more for.

As I said, I highly recommend it!

Cheers,

-Jeff

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon of the Unknown
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Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/10/2013 17:46:27
This is a well playable adventure that's tasty and filling, with the right amount of sourness. I'd definitely go for the Opportunist ending.

Incidentally, it makes good use of this variant's take on Law and Chaos, possibly offering source detail for fey regions.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess
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Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/04/2013 15:09:43
This adventure is dark, weird, bizarre and quite wonderful, very old school and wacky. If you do not mind letting something a little outre loose in your campaign world, then give Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess a try, I do not think you will be disappointed.

Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess is a short module for the Lamentations of the Flame Princess weird fantasy RPG but compatible with most OSR style games (or similar games, I ran it with Pathfinder).

The basic plot is straight forward, recover and rescue a group of displaced halflings for a reward of course (this is old school, people are not expected to do thing because they are nice). They must be tracked into the Dark Wood, which comes with a fantastic set of random encounters, to find out where the halflings have gone.

Where they have gone is a literal land of milk and honey with gingerbread houses and everyone is happy or else. Perfect poodles, animated teddy bears and impish cupids enforce mandatory happiness on the surviving halflings. To free them, an ivory tower must be stormed, a fairy queen defeated and, possibly, dark deals must be made.

While the structure of the adventure seems humorous, it is a very dark humor and the stakes can be very high. One of the best modules I have ever read and that it also plays well, just makes it perfect.

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

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Vornheim: The Complete City Kit
by Rob M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/17/2013 15:42:17
I purchased Vornheim after hearing about how great it is at helping GMs create a sprawling metropolis for their fantasy game. Little did I know that it would become the basis of my next campaign.

Zak S. has put together some of the most imaginative and interesting adventure hooks and tables I've ever seen. Everything in this book will cause a GM's mind to race with possibilities. I based four adventures on Vornheim and barely scratched the surface.

I highly recommend Vornheim as an essential sourcebook for any OSR gamemaster.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vornheim: The Complete City Kit
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People of Pembrooktonshire
by Niles C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/12/2013 12:09:29
Sick, twisted and thoroughly despicable.

These words, and many like them, are well used to describe both the author Mr Raggi and the characters described in this book.

Given that I am running a game set in this horrid little backwater this very evening I leave it up to you, good reader, to decide how I feel about this product.

If you guessed "Heartily Recommended" then you are correct.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
People of Pembrooktonshire
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