Demon Codex Lochs is the second sourcebook for Third Eye Games’ Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. API is a modern setting that some, including myself have described as Joss Whedon’s “Men in Black”. Demon Codex Lochs is the first “racial” sourcebook and it covers the history, culture and home dimension of the fish people known as Lochs.
The Book Itself
Demon Codex Lochs is an 84 paged paperback printed in black and white. My copy is a POD version from lulu.com. I also have the pdf, which is identical. The cover still uses the theme as the first two books which is a black background with a blood spill, along with a burning city silhouette and a centered main theme pic, in this case a Loch. I still really like the covers and the continuing them, it catches my eye while not seeming flashy or going overboard. While having not counted this book seems to have more interior art, and better quality than Canada’s. It might actually be the better quality that makes me think it has more quantity.
Pre-Chapters (Pages 3-7)
The book begins with a 3 page fiction piece that starts the story of Jonah the continuous Loch character through all or most of the fiction pieces in the book. It is a good mood setter for the content. After the short story is the title page and table of contents.
Chapter One: The Endless Ocean (Pages 8-19)
The first chapter is all about the history of the Lochs, known as the Sedrone in their home dimension. It tells the tale of the Lochs mighty Empire in its glory and its fall to oblivion. It describes how many different factors went into their downfall, from disgruntled slaves creating the Contagion to destroy their masters to the conquering of the Sedrone’s Empire by the foreign Voltics. The chapter really brings home a truly alien and foreign dimension when compared to Earth and starts to show a side of API many may have overlooked, that is to say that API can be played in other locales besides Earth. This really makes me happy as I had been rolling around the idea of running API as a Star gate Dimensional hopping squad game. And helping to go right along with my idea the chapter ends with references of API’s doings in the Lochs home world of Domainya. This includes the Agent in charge and a secret base of operations located in Domainya and the Sedrone’s plea to API in helping reclaim Domainya for themselves. The chapter leaves open the future of Domainya and who “wins” in the long run with options such as the slave rebels gaining control, the Sedrone reclaiming their lands, the Voltics retains their stronghold or some other player entirely.
Chapter Two: Mission to Earth (Pages 20-31)
This chapter deals with the races of Domainya and how they interact on Earth and with API. The Sedrone have asked API for their help in reclaiming their Empire’s original lands, as a result API has decided to help them and has made Lochs a legal race on Earth. Voltics have been deemed illegal and a threat due to their conquering ways and their soul stealing capabilities. API spends a good amount of time trying to learn how to stop, use and destroy the Contagion. There have also been many experiments done on the phenomena that Lochs can mate with humans, though the delivering parent is killed. Another problem for the Sedrone is the division in their own ranks. Older Sedrone that remember their home dimension well are very traditional and try to keep Sedrone culture and ways their norm, however the newer generations are becoming Earth otaku and are ditching their own culture for the fresh cool ways of Earth and humans. The more Earth-ized are more likely to respond to the term Loch, where as the older grognards try to keep the name Sedrone and despise the Earth term.
The chapter continues with lots of information on the underwater locales of Earth such as API’s many underwater bases and the jealousy of the Ondine, who consider themselves Earth’s natural heirs to the oceans. The Ondine, also known a Sirens or Mermaids, have been on Earth for centuries and do not like the Sedrone and other Domainya races encroaching on their territory.
Chapter Three: Loch Collectives (Pages 32-44)
This chapter describes several groups directly linked to Lochs or Domainya and its races. These are:
--The Aquatic Alchemists- Originally a form of magic used only by the Sedrone, Aquatic Alchemy is a powerful magic that has been mastered by the Scryers, one of the slave races of the Sedrone. Aquatic Alchemy allows the user to see the future or gain answers to questions by gutting a living creature and divining the answers from their organs.
--Deep Green- Deep Green is a plastic corporation that dumps their toxic waste into the ocean this has caused the deaths of many aquatic races and started a guerrilla war between them. Most at Deep Green are clueless to the real enemy, but some of the high ups have reason to believe in the existence of non-human intelligent races from clues and bodies left from dumps and attacks. This is a good hook line and sinker for an adventure.
--Forgotten Tribes- Many Lochs appeared in South America when travelling to Earth. And decided to create a village where they could die in peace, leaving behind much of the beliefs of the normal Sedrone population. And in Peace they lived for many years till a journalist killed their leader. This caused a split in the tribe between those who were weak and close to death and those who would hunt and kill all that got in their path.
--Hooks- the Hooks are the Lochs equivalent to an Elite Police force that’s job is to hunt down criminals. With the Sedrone Empire no more they are now more of mercenaries and are often hired by API, especially in instances involving aquatic demons.
The Hope Foundation- the Hope Foundation is run by Lochs and has the goal of repopulating the Sedrone race no matter what the costs. They will do anything to find a way to destroy or get around the contagion including some very questionable tests and experiments.
--The Red Steps- the Red Steps are those Lochs that came to Earth and saw that humanity was the powerhouse, and decided they must destroy humans. Or at least to make them a slave race in Sedrone’s new Earth Empire. So far API is clueless that this group even exists.
--Superior City- Superior City is a large Ondine city in the Great Lakes. Recently the Lochs have been going to battle with the Ondine and trying to take over parts of this area. Little does anyone know that the Ondine are protecting one of their most converted magical artifacts here, the Trident of Poseidon.
Chapter Four: Aquatic Tools (Pages 45-67)
This chapter has playing tips for Loch PCs and new rules for the API game. After the playing tips there is a new Passion, Redemption. This new Passion allows the characters goal to be redemption and it is good it was added as many Lochs would probably be trying to fulfill this goal. After this are new Gifts and Drawbacks for Lochs and other aquatic demons. Next is new aquatic equipment including cybernetics. Next is a list of Aquatic Alchemy items which are essentially magic items made from living creatures using Alchemy. Next is the Antagonists section giving stats for new creatures and races that may be encountered by the PCs. Last are the playable races they are:
--The Linx- the Linx were a Sedrone slave race, in fact they made excellent slaves because a Linx inhabits four bodies instead of one. This makes them capable of doing many tasks at the same time. They do however suffer from small frames and stature.
--The Ondine- Original Earth Aquatic race, the Sirens do not like the other aquatic races coming into their territories. Ondine can grant other races to breathe underwater and have voices that are beautiful.
--Scryers- Scryers are another of the Sedrone’s slave races and self taught masters of Aquatic Alchemy. They have the ability of magical sight allowing them to see any magical creature or traces of recently used magic.
--Voltics- the Voltics are even more brutal in the conquering since than even the Lochs. Their ability to siphon the life out of creatures is too be feared and the major reason they are illegal by API’s standards.
--Half-Lochs- The last race are the Half-Lochs. A rare occurrence of the mating between a human and a Loch can result in a Half-Loch being born. They look closer to human with some Loch qualities like tougher skin or webbed fingers, but they gain an ability neither parent has, the ability to Chameleon.
Adventure One: Deep Run the Tunnels (Pages 68-73)
The first adventure takes the PCs into Domainya and API’s secret HQ there, the Box. It is a good introduction for the PCs to the world of Domainya and the foreign culture and alien ways of the world. The PCs will encounter the rebels and come face to face with the Voltics.
Adventure Two: Jaws snapping in the Dark (Pages 74-79)
The second adventure pits the PCs against a “mad” scientist and his experiments on Lochs. His horrible and vicious mutants start a trail of blood and murders that the PCs must investigate to find what and who is behind it all.
Index and 3 Advertisements (Pages 80-84)
The book finishes with a 2 page index and advertisements for Third Eye Games, 3EG’s T-shirts, and the next sourcebook API Worldwide Europe releasing in June.
I was expecting the racial books to end up like Vampire the Masquerade’s clan books, but have been very surprised that it has ended up being more of a race book and a dimension book. I had the original feeling from the core book and Canada book that the author expected play to always stick to Earth, but this book has shown me quite the opposite. Domainya is heavily detailed and the book makes for describing and conveying a very foreign world ripe for the PCs to explore.
Style I am giving a 4. The artwork was much better in this book than the previous sourcebook and there were no serious problems of the Black and White artwork not printing well such as had been in the other two books. The cover is eye catching as always.
Substance gets a 5. API has been a very exciting setting for me. I absolutely love the world and the more I get the more I like it. It has a lot of potential and is a type of setting I don’t feel has been beat to death. This book did a good job of bringing a lot more uniqueness to the setting and has me waiting for more.
[5 of 5 Stars!]