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The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children
 
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The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children
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The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/09/2017 04:46:22

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This module clocks in at 58 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page back cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, leaving us with 55 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review is mostly based on the physical version of the book (36 pages – layout was redone for the pdf!), which was kindly provided by one of my friends/supporters. It was thus moved up in my queue as a nonprioritized review. The physical version of the module comes with a detachable cover – on the inside is the full-color map of the dungeon featured within this module.

There are a couple of different things you need to know about this module to understand it. The previous FreeRPG-offering by Lamentations of the Flame Princess, the absolutely PHENOMENAL “Better than any man”, was met with some obvious misunderstanding; it was partially boycotted etc. for its mature content in both violence and the few, subdued sexual themes. It was designated as a module for adults, ages 18+. I don’t get it. At all. Anyway, this is not where things stopped – instead, there were some seriously messed up claims about the, admittedly, dark themes of the module – it was supposedly about “killing children.” It was supposedly extremely random, unfair, etc. – the claims kept piling up. While BTAM is hard and unforgiving, as anyone who has actually read the module can attest, these claims have in common that they’re patently FALSE.

Well, you know what happens when you poke the bear, right? So, this time around, we get a module that is based on all the things that folks complained about. An unforgiving, merciless, extremely random module that is, in a way, about killing children. Kind of. But not really. That being said, this is NOT a module that takes itself seriously. It’s perhaps the most ironic, sarcastic module I have ever read. If the basic premise, its adult content (it’s 18+ for a reason), sounds like something you’d hate, then steer clear. Similarly, if you don’t have a sense of humor and if your player can’t get into a mindset of playing a ridiculously lethal, highly random meat-grinder, of experiencing “funny” deaths, then you should probably stay away.

If you’re still undecided or repulsed, please continue reading:

One of my basic tenets in RPGs is that I simply don’t want to see kids being slain. In the end, we’re playing a game, and while the death of children can make for high stakes, the PCs should have at least a chance to save them. I usually strongly object to PCs being faced with kid “enemies” – i.e. adversaries that primarily exist to be vanquished.

In this case, I am okay with the premise, though – and you’ll soon see why, when I’m discussing the storyline. In order to do so, though, I have to go into SPOILER-territory. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.

..

.

All right, only referees around? Great!

So, in a small town, something weird happened – women from the age of 14 to 48 suddenly all freak out. Andrew is missing. Who is Andrew? Well, no one seems to really know – the women claim that they gave birth to a blond, blue-eyed kid named Andrew. Their families and other kids have never hear of Andrew and confrontation of multiple women exhibiting the same phenomena does not yield help either. The premise is eerie, horrific and gloriously weird and could easily be scavenged in a variety of cool ways. The women are, understandably, distraught about the loss of “their” individual Andrew – so, in order to reestablish peace, it’ll take some investigation on behalf of the PCs.

The truth is pretty much guaranteed to end any discussion of whether you should take this module seriously: Arthur Presterton Stuart-Lethbridge, former member of the clergy, found himself enamored with the dark arts of sorcery. He found a cave with strange crystals and found a neural interface, using his mystic powers to tap into the crystal. Which proceeded to dump 22 centuries of knowledge right into his brain – basically, he had our world’s internet and more downloaded straight into his brain, leaving his identity in tatters. In its place, there was the powerful Wiki Dot Pod, an amalgamation of entities worshipped by the “aliens” (aliens or…well, you know, impossibly futuristic versions of us…) who left the crystal there. His brain is suffused with useless trivia, brands, basic urges – you name it. His demeanor changed to reflect an amalgamation of all bad super villain/dictator tropes. He did not gain wisdom, alas – and so he did what you’d expect with the crystalline machinery, considering its potentially gene-altering powers – he proceeded to…how to put that delicately…hump one of its valves. The eponymous crystal children began appearing. And so, now he plots for WORLD DOMINATION! Of course!

You see, the telepathic computer inside the crystal can splice together DNA – it can create owlbear-like things and has some norms that it adheres to. If only one sample of sexual reproduction is provided, it will begin scanning the vicinity – once it finds a genetic match, it telepathically extracts a DNA sample from the living match and generates – bingo, a crystal-headed kid. Andrew.

How could anyone take this seriously?

Okay, okay, so, the kids – they actually have an interesting mechanic – namely a tree: As long as many of them exist, they are individually weak – but the more crystal-headed kids your PCs elect to murder-hobo, the tougher the survivors become – the more hit points they’ll have, the more HD and the more mêlée damage they’ll inflict. Which is an interesting set-up, critter idea-wise. (Easy to reskin, if the concept of crystal-headed children offends you and yours…)

Anyways, here’s the thing – neither Wiki, nor the crystal-headed children are per se hostile – short of attacking him and/or messing with his stuff/private rooms/etc., Wiki will be…kinda nice. As far as completely bonkers guys go. The only crystal-headed children that are hostile would be some mutated rejects – the early prototypes, if you will – 4 of them can be found, locked away in one room of the dungeon. Fun fact: The crystal-headed children will obey their parents (who recognize them as “their” Andrew) flawlessly. You can make that a statement on stifling creative impulses, a scathing commentary on both private and public education – or you can just take it in-game and use the distraught mothers to solve the adventure without having to deal with killing them. Yes. That’s generally possible. Unlikely, but yeah.

Sooo, the dungeon. The dungeon actually has next to nothing to do with the story, the children, or Wiki. It basically is the rebuttal to the claims of randomness. Cranked up to 11. In the dungeon, there are colored buttons. A ton of them. At the end of dead-ends. There are 10 (!!!) tables of random effects for pressing them. These include getting an alien implant – upon exiting the cave, basically unbeatable super-aliens arrive. Two factions of them. They vaporize everything. There’s a chance that the planet’s destroyed. Why? Because random. The button pressed also influences a room, where liquid boils – and, you guessed it, random effects for vapors and contact, depending on color. Yes, the majority of effects are not benevolent. There is also a sentient gas that can generate a direct link to a deity for believers. Oh, and the gas thinks that character number 1 entering it is the standard – after that, it tries to adjust other life forms. A PC may also inadvertently fuse his head with a 15-ton disk of crystal, becoming the crystal king – who may command all crystal-headed beings. Hey, another way to solve the module sans killing everything! (Okay, you’ll be stuck with a massive, crystal disk on your head…but yeah…)

The random encounters are similarly weird and potentially may offend devout Christians – the crystals, at one point, try to soothe the PCs, generating a comforting image to lead them – Jesus Christ. Who bleeds bread and fish when cut. Yes, there’s an image. There are also a couple of beings in containment crystals – a fighter, a lizard-beast without heads, but two rear-ends (cue insert Futurama jokes…) and a being that constantly exudes glue. Because…you know….That’s why!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious issues. Layout adheres to a nice two-column b/w-standard. The pdf sports color maps, the print copy only has the overview map in color. The artworks by Gennifer Bone in b/w are well done. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and with customization layers as well as internal hyperlinks to the map. That being said, none of the layers allow you to turn of the annoying numbers on the map – which means that there’s no real player-friendly version of it. Cartography is btw. not bad – it does its job.

James Edward Raggi IV’s adventure is significantly less grotesque and horrible than I frankly figured it’d be. Seriously, after all the complaints and screaming online, I thought that this would be a grimdark monster of a module, something stomach-churning, something despicable.

It’s none of these things. If your PCs are inclined to murder-hobo everything…then yes. Then this will be a pretty dark affair. Heck, it can turn out that way, even if you don’t plan it. Because: Random! That being said, it is so hilariously outrageous and over the top in its characters, the premise, etc. that I really don’t get why anyone would take it at face value.

Which brings me to the more relevant point: Is this a good module? HECK NO. It’s random as all hell. The premise is mired, at least RAW, in intentionally atrocious design-choices. The dungeon is, by design, so random that it’s nigh unbeatable. If you value your characters, game world, etc., then steer clear of this module. Would I pay for the print version? Nope. Sorry. I’m a collector, yes, but just for its shock-value and funny moments? Nope.

That being said, at the same time, this does have its merits, if only for a special set of audiences: Do you and your group share a really black sense of humor? Can you enjoy deliberately dickish design, laugh about it on a meta-level? Can you laugh about ridiculous, potentially really unfair PC deaths? Then this may be worth checking out – the electronic version is PWYW, after all! I can see myself enjoying this module under very specific circumstances: Namely, when I’m playing a one-shot at a con, am really drunk and playing with a group of likeminded, similarly inebriated and fun-seeking individuals. In such a context, this may be a hilarious blast. In a sober state, personally, I did not consider the module per se funny – the premise? Yeah, you can work with that. Even some aspects of the dungeon. But the dungeon itself is so mired in utterly random ridiculous events and actions that it would annoy the heck out of me in a sober state.

In a nutshell: This is not the antichrist of modules; considering its genesis, it’s more playable than anticipated. But its flaws make it hard to recommend this as anything more than a curiosity. If you want excellence, get “Better than any man.”

How to rate this? Well, honestly, I should probably rate it lower regarding its design, but since I can see value in the farcical nature of the module, my final verdict will be 2.5 stars, rounded up due to the PWYW nature of the pdf.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/19/2016 03:19:51

If you like gonzo and dungeoncrawling with hints of perversion, this adventure's for you. This was too random for my tastes, altought the tables did have some interesting entries in them.

But it's free, so no complaining. Also, surprise end of the world is always a plus in my book.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Marcus Q. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/24/2016 15:29:55

I had the pleasure of playing this in a one shot with a great Referee. The setting stayed true to the "weird" that LotFP is known for. It was interesting and not so combat oriented. The exploration and puzzles were wild, and the overall experience was a great one. I would recommend this one without a doubt.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by cesar j. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/05/2016 06:18:10

This was the first adventure I've run with this game, and works amazing. I used to literally almost step by step and it worked excellently. And I used my usual group game and a couple of sessions of play away from home with strangers and the result was quite different, but always fun ... this adventure has essential elements that are unique to the game -and his spirit- and generally it is easy to assemble so that you may bring your players from their classic vision of "the dungeon experience", using the same rules as always, but proposing a different attitude to play ... as an adventure game start, and also free, I think it's an excellent product (greetings from Chile !!)

Para jugadores de habla hispana_ Esta ha sido la primera aventura que he corrido con este juego, y funcionó asombrosamente. La usé al pie de la letra prácticamente paso a paso y corrió de manera excelente. Ya la he usado con mi grupo de juego habitual y en un par de sesiones de juego fuera de casa con desconocidos y el resultado fue totalmente distinto, pero siempre muy divertido... esta aventura tiene elementos esenciales que son propios del juego -y su espíritu- y en general es fácil de montar de manera que saques a tus jugadores de su visión clásica de "la experiencia del dungeon", usando las mismas reglas de siempre, pero proponiendo una actitud de juego distinta... como aventura de inicio, y además gratuita, creo que es un excelente producto (saludos desde Chile!!).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Justin B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/26/2015 14:32:38

The introductory section of the adventure is fine, but the rest is incredibly bad and obviously phoned in nonsense. The final random table entry reads to the effect of, "12. I'm bored with these stupid pointless tables, you think of something."

The first few rooms are pretty interesting, and could probably be salvaged or just set to work on their own without the rest of the dungeon. The majority of the dungeon is winding, useless hallways (attempting to draw these was excruciating, and eventually we just started narrating everything.) Everything in the remainder of the dungeon is a pointless death trap with no possible purpose, theme, or use. The players have no reason to explore the dungeon and no way to understand any of it. My players would later state they preferred the Tomb of Horrors... read into that what you will.

After the initial amusement of murdering children wears off, the children themselves are agonizing to combat*. No one wants to sit around slogging through one hundred of the same, boring enemy (children.) Attempting to group them up so that a large number of them could serve as singular enemies would ruin their primary mechanic.

  • Protip: Don't play this module with someone who just miscarried.


Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Edward V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/31/2015 18:56:42

This module for Free RPG day has really nice art, a really nice layout and map. The module itself deals with what you believe to be an ancient stone, but what is actually some sort of complex alien machine whose purpose is well beyond your knowledge. There is a lot of alien technology through the lens of characters who just can't understand it in this adventure. Some aspects of this adventure are written to be gross and/or offensive, and some people may find that in bad taste. I, however, found the really strange descriptions of things happening in the first few rooms pretty refreshing, because they will evoke genuine feeling in the players.

Lamentations modules usually "go big" and have some sort of lasting effect on the player characters or the campaign, and there's plenty of that here. A series of Things You Want To Touch But Shouldn't will tempt the players. Some of the worst effects are rather benign and up to the Referee's interpretation (such as, "You get cancer.") Overall fun. Very weird. Not recommended for people who are deathly afraid of bodily fluids.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by jay m. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/07/2015 08:17:41

I had no problem stripping out some of the more lurid facts of the setting and using this module in my S&S campaign.

I didn't have to use much of the module as its awesome creepiness made the PC's leave after only briefly exploring some of its rooms and halls. A success by every measure.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Troy V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/20/2015 05:26:50

I downloaded this adventure out of pure curiosity after I heard good things about the LOTFP's rules, but I soon discovered that the subject matter of this module is so crude, brutish, disgusting, and vulgar that I can't run this with any of the members of my RPG group.

James, you can make a Weird Fantasy RPG that laughs in the face of player knowledge without copious profanity and lewdness, aberrant procreation, and implanting treasure directly into the skulls and brains of innocent minors. You weren't even trying. The lack of effort is obvious.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Daniel J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/23/2015 00:17:28

I would call it more of a cruel joke than a proper adventure, but that's part of what LotFP seems to be about. There are dozens of ways the characters can horribly die or become mutated in this adventure, and with precious little pay-off compared to the risk. Added to that the jarring ridiculousness of the "villain", this is truly a mindfuck, and if run honestly, will, in my opinion, with very good chance result in a TPK.

I liked some other LotFP adventures, and this has a lot of good ideas too, but it's still unique among them, and - in my humble opinion - not in any wholesome way. I probably wouldn't run this for a party that's not completely drunk or stoned. :)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Christopher G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/28/2014 16:58:00

Forget that the publisher gave the printed version of this adventure away for free at game stores on Free RPG Day. Forget that they're essentially giving the pdf away for free here (Pay What You Want.)

This is a solid adventure, not just a solid adventure "for free."

The reason that I keep coming back to Lamentations of the Flame Princess for adventure-fodder is Mr. Raggi's drive to do something different and engaging, and I'm not talking about the "shock" value that a lot of sourpuss reviewers seem to be obsessed with. The draw of Doom-Cave for me, as with so many LotFP publications, is that the basic assumptions about mechanics in D&D are called into question, and are circumvented in playful, engaging ways.

For instance, many D&D players have resigned themselves to drawing up dungeon maps with the space available on a standard 8.5"x11" sheet of graph paper, with very few new permutations or configurations still possible after 40 years of continuous box-drawing. In Doom-Cave, Raggi took the basic idea of teleportation portals and slides/pits from the original game, and added just a slight twist to it in the way that characters move around this map. Hallways don't intersect in the ways that players will expect them to, and it will take a very clever group of mappers to figure out exactly what's going on. The upshot is that expectations will be subverted, and a little bit of mystery is reintroduced to the game.

The titular Crystal-Headed Children take run-of-the-mill monsters and tilt them on their heads. Forget the moral question of whether players are willing to kill children, since 1.) That's what most panty-waist reviewers will get hung up on, even though the adventure doesn't REMOTELY require the PC's to kill any of the children in order to be successful, and... 2.) Any DM who has a problem with them being kids can just reskin them to be goblins, or kobolds, or Republican candidates, or whatever anyway, and... 3.) Their game stats are the more interesting aspect of them as a monster regardless of what they look like. I won't spoil what's so special about the kids as monsters, but it seems every bit as innovative and fun to play out as the monsters presented in last year's "Better than any Man" adventure. And those were some WEIRD monsters, mechanically and fluffwise. Again, the players won't know exactly what's going on with the kids unless they start hacking away at them, in which case the PC's will deserve everything that they get.

The dungeon itself is a fun crawl, and the apparent "villain" of the piece, Wiki, will be a grand NPC for any DM to roleplay. His motivations, as well as those of the Crystal-Headed Children, are not cut and dried like the typical evil humanoid races of bog-standard RPG's. There's nuance to them, and a grey area that provides a playground of delights for any creative DM to mess around in.

In short: It's a solid dungeon crawl, it's got unique monsters with bizarre stats, and the players will really have to work for it if they want to discover everything that's going on here. I highly recommend that you have a blast with this adventure. I know I am.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Joshua B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/26/2014 08:27:14

"The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children" pales in comparison to some of the other adventure module offerings from LOTFP, including last years far superior Free RPG Day offering, "Better Than Any Man." Why? With Doom-Cave, the author (and not for the first time) has produced something that, while creative and a decent read, doesn't strike me as producing a quality tabletop experience. Too many of Mr. Raggi's modules, including this one, seem like they would be better suited as short fiction in a collection of weird tales than as RPG adventures DMs and players are actually expected to use effectively.

While playtesting has allegedly occured, I suppose we are left to believe that the test groups enjoy an RPG session that will often consist in large part of the PCs pushing inscrutable buttons and then rolling on random table to see to what degree they are reward or screwed. In fact, after a point, this entire module starts to bog down under the weight of random tables that are either non-sensical or so beyond the knowledge of anyone without the module in their hands, that you wonder what the purpose is served by the PCs even exploring this cave complex.

I'm all for bucking the hidebound conventions of typical fantasy RPG settings and trying something creative and unique (though those who love this module probably don't believe that by now!). This module certainly achieves that, especially with the intriguing initial setup. But if the product degenerates into a theater of the bizarre where PCs and the dungeon they explore just become a machine for (dubious) black comedy, then I'm out.........just not for me. If that's your thing, then you might very well rate this product differently.

Really I just feel this module, while creative and possessing good production value, just isn't well designed as a module leading to a good play experience. The humor also fell flat for me, though I certainly didn't find it offensive, shocking, or worthy of any kind of censorship. I just didn't find it funny; PCs hacking down hordes of children and strange dudes screwing alien machines just seems like a very puerile sort of humor. That's fine, but I needed more than that to make up for the poor adventure design. Maybe you'll feel differently.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Andrew K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/25/2014 03:21:58

Another example of the game design theory of, "if I use enough f-bombs and try to be 'edgy' they won't notice how mediocre (at best) this module is."



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/21/2014 06:16:05

Originally published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2014/06/26/tabletop-review-lamentations-of-the-fame-princess-the-doom-cave-of-the-crystal-headed-children-free-rpg-day-2014/

2013′s Free RPG Day saw Lamentations of the Flame Princess take part with their controversial release, Better Than Any Man. As the back of this year’s release mentions, several stores banned or outright hid the release for their customers. I can confirm this as one of the stores I went to did just that. However, even a Pikachu loving fool like myself walked away extremely impressed with Better Than Any Man. it was a top notch solid affair from beginning to end and it walked away with our “Best Free Release” in the 2013 Tabletop Gaming Awards. This year, LotFP is back with a new adventure that is actually one of the zaniest, cruelest and funniest release they have put out yet. Born of spite and black humour, The Doom Cave of the Crystal Headed Children is exceedingly cutthroat, extremely lethal to any character that enters it (probably best as a one shot if you are at all attached to your characters) and there is a good chance you will be massacring double digits worth of four year old as if they were goblins or orcs in some of those other fantasy style role playing games. You’ve been warned.

So not only does the adventure have one of the weirdest and most honest titles I’ve seen for a recently released adventure (Go OSR!), but it also has a great story hook. Characters enter a village where over 100 madwomen claim to have given birth to a small blonde boy named Andrew four years ago. All of these Andrews are different people mind you – it’s not the same one kid. Crazier yet, the mothers all know the different Andrews but no one else in the village knows what they are talking about and can not remember these women ever giving birth to children similar in name and look all at roughly the same time. Also, these women were quite sane up until recently, so what the hell happened? That’s why games have PCs – to figure crap like this out all while gaining an excuse to murder and pillage!

This story hook of course brings characters to the doom cave where they will indeed encounter many children with crystals embedded in their craniums. Surprisingly, this is one of the more mundane things in this adventure. You will face crazy button that will do anything from improve your stats to give your character incurable cancer via severe radiation poison. There are possible alien abductions or the extinction of all life on the planet including bacteria. Heck, both may happen in your play through. As such, I reinforce my earlier comment in this review that The Doom Cave of the Crystal Headed Children is best played as a one shot unless you are pretty much born and bred on Dungeon Crawl Classics or LotFP and thus have learned not to invest any emotional ties to your characters at all for they exist only to die in horribly unspeakable fashion. At the very least surviving characters will end up with at least some stats switched around and having to live with the stigma of being a child murderer – even creepy semi-automaton test tube baby ones.

Aside from the children, The Doom Cave of the Crystal Headed Children is pretty much your standard dungeon crawl in layout, form and function. It’s the specific encounters and NPCs that truly separate this adventure from the pack. For example, you don’t really have an end boss or bad guy behind the story hook. You have a guy who fucked around (literally) with strange alien doo-dads. He doesn’t really seem like a bad guy, even if he has a super villain laugh and an army of toddlers. Most bad guys destroy and murder wantonly in these fantasy games. Wiki Dot Pod…is just kind of there doing his own thing for the most part. Sure he THINKS he should rule all that he surveys, but he’s pretty content sitting and staring at a big crystal all day.

As well, there aren’t a lot of monsters or antagonists to fight in this adventure. Well, aside from the crystal headed children, but you might not end up fighting with them. They might actually become quasi allies or guides to the dungeon for your team. Unless of course, your players stick sharp things through soft things that scream and bleed first, and converse second. Then they have to deal with an army of tiny kiddies bent on their demise. No, for the most part, players will be killed by their own greed and curiosity. Death or painful maiming is in nearly every room, but it will only be encountered if characters do stupid things like explore or examine the cursory details of their surroundings. As this is a RPG, this is most likely the course of action people will take and thus their characters will die in manners ranging from a dungeon collapse caused by a sailing ship to being wiped from existence by an omniscient alien jellyfish. My personal favorite is when a character becomes The Crystal King and discovers that with great power comes a nigh permanent headstand. Treat The Doom Cave of Crystal Headed Children as you would the Tomb of Horrors in the hands of a GM who does copious amounts of hallucinogenics, because the effect WILL be similar.

Overall, I absolutely loved this adventure. It’s a very dark and funny piece. In fact, I kind of felt like I was playing HOL rather than LotFP during my time with this piece. I think it’s best kept out of the hands of young children though due to mature (and gorey) themes and gamers that treat our hobby as SERIOUS BUISNESS with no room for mirth. For everyone else, this is a terrific oneshot that really highlights how bizarre and macabre Lamentations of the Flame Princess can be. It’s such a crazy piece that I can see it polarizing some gamers, especially those new to the hobby who might walk away worrying that every adventure involves ejaculation, encountering Jesus Christ and having your feet transmogrified into those of a pachyderm. Would I play this adventure again and run it for friends? Damn right! Would I give it to someone completely new to tabletop RPGs? Oh my, no.

I do feel that The Doom Cave of the Crystal Headed Children was by far the best release for Free RPG Day 2014 which gives LotFP that honor two years running. Even better, if you pick this up, there a link to not only download last year’s Better Than Any Man, but also the core rulebook (sans art) for Lamentations of the Flame Princess. That’s insanely awesome and makes hunting down this adventure all the more worthwhile. I can’t wait to see what LotFP has for us next Free RPG Day as this is one area where they definitely put all the other competitors to shame.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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