Fuck for Satan (2013)
James Raggi IV (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)
Oh James Raggi. You had everyone going there for a second. The God that Crawls was nice, had some good ideas and was playable. Better then Any Man was a magnificently executed historical weird adventure. You were showing signs of improvement. Everyone was holding their breath. It was only a matter of time before your rebellious instincts would turn you from the beaten path and back into the shitswamp, fully conscious and with dual middle fingers raised proudly towards the heavens. Quality is, after all, not avant-garde.
Fuck for Satan is a literal joke that you play on your poor players in order to demonstrate your contempt for and power over them. In this one Raggi essentially goes full retard. We are through the looking glass here. Whether you like this adventure or not depends on your sense of humor, proclivities, player base and gender identity. As an adventure, I don’t like this. As a possible reference for a psychological study of the mind of James Raggi IV it should be required reading.
We start with an author’s foreword that 1) drags on too long and 2) serves as a declaration of war against the thought-police of rpgdom (we all know who they are and what needs to be done, compile lists and sharpen your knives, it must be done swiftly and without mercy). The author lists his goals as follows, displaying his habitual Dunning-Kruger-esque prose and style (or is that Kruging – Döner, extra sambal + Garlic):
1) To stand out and make something distinctive – Goal Succeeded 100%
2) As a fuck you to the thought police – Goal Succeeded 100%
3) To fuck with people and watch them suffer for no reason – Goal succeeded 100%
Based on this data, one may conclude that the adventure should therefore receive a 10, on the premise it manages to achieve all of its design goals, but unfortunately Raggi forgot to include objective 0) to make people have an enjoyable time and thus we are stuck with this.
Anyway, something is rotten in the Swiss village of Schwarzton. 20 days ago, a mysterious meteor struck the ground and some livestock, and eventually children have started to disappear. The villagers are farmers but are otherwise not expounded upon. The point is that there is no reward, save some elligable farmers daughters (and sons, though this is less appealing the adventure states, correctly). The adventure recommends you let an old man in a tavern contract the adventurers (true to form), and provides exposition in a somewhat funny rant by an old man.
“Missing young people? Yeah, I heard those rumors, but I wouldn’t believe them. See, all those rumors were started by the shepherds out in the hills, and I don’t trust those shepherds. They are not honest men. If they were, they’d work their land instead of just walking all over it. If you ask me, I think they’re all just looking for an excuse to screw sheep all day long. Awfully suspicious that these people would disappear into the hills with no human companionship, hmmm? And they get so jealous when you touch one of their precious sheep. Yeah, they’re always looking to say something that will distract you from the truth.”
And so on and so forth for 3 pages of this 29 page adventure. The party is directed to an old devil-worshipping site in the hills. This dungeon is essentially, a trap lined with some bait. What sells it and I must give full credit to James here, is that in front of the cave, the party finds a celestial almanac with a cryptic message by an unknown individual stating that the dungeon IS in fact, a red herring, the players will only find danger and treasure here and the best course is going back to the village to investigate. Also a very stern admonition not to do something. A nice mindfuck actually.
If the players follow the instructions of the book they draw the attention of the Twinkling Star, who hates the GM and essentially gives the players a boon for the next adventure to pay them back for this one. So many levels of meta. Boons like handing over your notes and maps to the PCs for 60 seconds 45 minutes into the adventure, GM can’t do hidden rolls and players get one reroll (or as I call it in my Dark Heresy campaign, 30 minutes of play), email your character sheet to Loftp so Twinkly may alter a single thing about it or the most powerful NPC gets reduced by half (but the HD may be added to other creatures on a 1 HD per creature basis). Verrrry meta-gamey, and meant to offset the fact that this adventure has tomb-of-horrors+ death traps in it.
Let’s get to the meat and potatoes of the adventure. The dungeon proper. An old cave temple belonging to the Du’van Ku (the death-worshipping civilisation from Ragg’s Death Frost Doom). I’m on the fence. It is ultimately a death trap with some appropriate bait (coral crown, golden chalice, silver pieces, apparent relation to the plot) to draw you in, but some parts are really well done. A skull-faced statue with a hollow, lighting it reveals two secret doors through the light shining from its eye-sockets, a coral crown on a pressure plate with a sandy floor trap etc. Some of the traps are interesting and require cleverness to avoid, others are arbitrary bullshit where you pull handles and fucking take permanent statt loss like a little bitch. One traps (the Eye of Many Eyes) is interesting in concept (once you see the Eye at the end of a long stairway any attempts to leave the stairway are futile) but fucked in execution (you can only escape by putting a human heart in a basin, meaning character death if you do not have a retainer, but your buddies could theoretically bring one if you meta-game). I understand that this is the idea, but is that fun?
There is a room that animates your poop, causing first a voiding of bowels and then a battle with your own animated turds.
The monsters in Fuck for Satan are creative and all have unique abilities. A bizarre animate writing creature that comes to life upon the reading of a cursed book and a dick monster that feeds on bad luck (The Luck Sucker). None of them really need to fought in order to complete the adventure, and the dick monster gets stronger the more natural ones you throw, an interesting concept and an unusually complex array of abilities for what is essentially, a joke monster.
Even if the players complete the dungeon, which is by no means a certainty, the cult or the missing children are not here. Further investigation within the village reveals a secretive cult within the village. They are a band straight men that have sex with eachother thinking they are women and worshiping a giant phallic creature that crash-landed here 20 days ago. The dick-alien makes everyone do gay. They have almost nothing to do with the overall plot (the alien apparently tried to communicate telepathically with a bear, causing it to gain a limited sort of Bear-like self-awareness). The animals that were missing were the farmer’s own, sacrificed to the alien because they believed it was hungry.
Who then took the missing children then? A bear. A bear did it. You have a 1 in 10 chance per day of meeting the bear as you wander through the valleys looking for the children. The end.
Pros: Certainly a unique and distinctive adventure, unlike any other your characters have ever experienced. Not a terrible dungeon.
Cons: Very likely to be funny to a specific type of player, leaving the rest bored, frustrated or angry. You can use the money to buy a real adventure instead?
Bottom line: Fuck for Satan is a literal farce. As far as playable farces go, it is not terrible. The juvenile humor and silly antics are likely not to be to everyone’s taste, but if reading this review has made you chuckle or smile you might give it a spin. My personal recommendation is that you skip it and buy something better with more content instead. There is just not enough here to justify a purchase. 4 out of 10.