Kristopher Carosella (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)
Jesus christ. So you’ve been out of it for a while. You had a meltdown, people are basically taking day-jobs slandering your name on the internet, your prize buck got cancelled and he made himself so disliked everyone basically went along with it and you shit yourself. You pull a strategy straight from an 80s winter sports movie which miraculously fucking works because deep down people love you, and now you are in limbo. It’s the second Act of the movie, you are at your lowest, your team got dealt a crushing blow. The coach is yelling and spitting in your face. Your girlfriend, which by now is just a sandbag and a bucket with several extremely sticky holes stabbed into it, looks upon you with dismay upon her painted face. You have to show the people that you still got what it takes. You look upon yourself in the grimy mirror with cracked fist markings, nine-inch nails plays in the background. This is the story of James Raggi IV, erstwhile lord of the OSR. We are goddamn rooting for you James, but shit like this is not going to win the war.
I suppose you think I’m about to break down how you should run games or tell you about
how I can’t perform sexually because I’m uncomfortable… man fuck that! Not this Ref! I get it in and I
could give a shit less how you run your games.
Deep sigh. Dissapointed shaking of head. Sharp stabbing pain in the frontal lobe. Maybe someone else wrote the foreword?
Asterion is an 11-page “Adventure” featuring the titular Minotaur, the Bull of Minos. One full page describes the origin story of the minotaur. It’s the myth of the minotaur. You know it. Re-iterated. The adventure as described should essentially be a Funnel in the labyrinth where you kill the minotaur. Everyone is given sword, shield, spear, two torches. Supplementary monsters are half-human half-minotaur hybrids from the captives the Minotaur fucks. Could be good.
It should be a funnel, but they handled it abstract. Why? Why do you do this to me? Anyone, literally anyone with 1 hour of free time, can write 20 fucking edgy encounters on a random D20 table. The idea is that you move through the maze abtractedly, with 1d4 portals between each encounter having a cumulative chance of being ‘grabbed by a bull calf’ and either killed, eaten or dragged to Asterion with no further explanation. I guess if I am charitable this would be an encounter with the bull Calves? Sample encounters :
1……..Shit: bull patty. 50% chance purple bioluminescent mushrooms are growing out of the patty. The shrooms produce a purple light and can either be used as a candle or eaten (if eaten, they trip balls!!)
15……Madman: a short corridor enters into a room, and there’s a madman in the middle who raises his hands in the air and begins laughing maniacally. In his hands is a huge homemade double-ended dildo, with two human penises flanking about a foot of thick intestine. The penises seem to have a bone shoved in them to keep them stiff, and it’s all crudely stitched together. If the party is familiar with the story, they might recognize him as the craftsman who has lost his fucking mind in the Labyrinth. In his madness, he has turned into a dom, and yes, he’s dressed like a leather daddy with chains and metal studs as well, because why the fuck not!. All around him are other sex toys he has crafted out of the flesh and bones of tributes. Currently, there is a nude, young, handsome man, probably a tribute, tied into a swing from the ceiling, gently rocking back and forth; ball rope is wrapped of thick intestine. The penises seem to have a bone shoved in them to keep them stiff, and it’s all crudely stitched together. If the party is familiar with the story, they might recognize him as the craftsman who has lost his fucking mind in the Labyrinth. In his
madness, he has turned into a dom, and yes, he’s dressed like a leather daddy with chains and metal studs as well, because why the fuck not!. All around him are other sex toys he has crafted out of the flesh and bones of tributes. Currently, there is a nude, young, handsome man, probably a tribute, tied into a swing from the ceiling, gently rocking back and forth; ball rope is wrapped tight around his swollen, purple nuts, and he has a “horse-tail” shoved up his ass, which is really just a femur with long human
hair glued on. Oh, yeah! And a ball-gag. There is also a large wooden box with a Gimp chained inside (see below). If the madman notices the party, he will ask them to try out his new toy; if they decline the offer, he will go into a fit of rage and then rush the party, swinging the massive dildo around his head as a weapon.
The Mad Craftsman: Armor 14 (like studded leather), Move 140’, 2 Hit Dice, 7hp, double-headed dildo (like staff, requires two hands) +1, 1d4, Morale 7.
The Gimp: really a Fighter, but he has been broken. Armor 14 (like leather, full-body Gimp suit), Move 120’, 4th Level Fighter, +5 to whatever attack it might make with a weapon, Morale 4.
20…...Secret room: the King had this section of the Labyrinth built just for him. In the center of the room is the Wooden Cow the craftsman constructed for the Queen. The room has barrels and crates around the walls (I don’t fuckin know what’s in them! Again, just make some shit up!!). If they stay hidden long enough, another secret door opens up, and the King will come in. He will strip down naked and climb into the Wooden Cow. A few moments later, guards bring in the Majestic Bull–
And so on. You wanno do edgy? There’s a long history of Lotfp doing edgy. Towers Two is edgy. Death Love Doom is edgy. They are, also, more or less well-crafted adventures. Even Kiel dont’-look-at-my-browser-history Chenier’s Night at the Oompah-Loompah-Rape-A-Torium tried to at least cover up his fetish under some dungeon dressing with actual gameplay. It wasn’t good but he did try. You are presenting this material, which is already of dubious quality and relies on shock value frankly, but you are leaving the actual design work in the hands of the GM. My problem isn’t that you made a room where you see King Minos getting plowed by the Sacred Bull (which you didn’t statt btw), my fucking problem is that this isn’t an adventure. I have to plunk down 11 bucks for a shitpost?
Tom Cadorette is listed as Editor? HEY TOM. FAGGOT. HAVE HIM DRAW A MAP NEXT TIME. Look at a room like this:
17……Mosaic tiles: tiles fill the entire room, silver like a disco ball, with a multitude of colors dancing in them. If the room is entered with a torch, save vs. Magic or be dazed for 1d4 rounds as the room appears to light up and spin around like a disco ball.
And then you figure out this room only makes sense if you have a real location with a random encounter frequency so that there is a chance of monsters coming in while you are dazed. Or maybe you can lure creatures back here. Use the map against them and set some sort of ambush. Some sort of chokepoint. Yeah! Instead fucking nothing. No treasure, no magic, no secret doors. Torches and light sources are theoretically accounted for but time is fluid and time between encounters is not measured or described. Hammer away at things and watch gross sex stuff. If you run out of rooms or whenever you are fighting one of the far superior Minotaur Hybrids and it moos BLAMMO a fight with Asterion that you can’t plan for, can’t do anything smart with, you could maybe join him and eat human flesh I guess (which is a good impulse). Even if you win, you are probably dead.
Then you get into the monster descriptions (lavish 2 page spread), and the Bull Minotaurs, which have 4 different attacks. Why so much detail when everything else is so stripped down? So the combat would be more exciting? Is Lotfp a detailed tactical combat game with multiple attack forms? Or is it a B/X clone with influences from CoC and WhFRPG?
Listen, I get it. Lowbrow entertainment has its place. I like 80s action movies, fastfood, Hobo with a Shotgun, Enter the Ninja, japanese Tokusatsu and Psycho-Goreman. You want to make an andrenaline fuelled slaughter-fest that you can spin up in no time, run in an afternoon, everyone puts peyote in their absinthe and then everyone goes home and jerks off to Cannibal Corpse songs or whatever it is the Degenerate market segment does post-game. But you have to put in the work. Go full on DCC funnel, everyone gets 3 randos, no backstory, dump them in the Maze, give them a chance to get out (as written death is all but inevitable), figure out a way for people to apply some sort of intelligence to improve their chances of success (otherwise you are not making a game you are crafting ‘an experience’) and if you are going to make light sources a thing then make sure there is actually a chance of running out. Maybe there’s an opportunity to lure away the Minotaur-hybrids and then trap them somewhere or whatever. The point is, something that isn’t throwing dice at eachother and screaming at the top of your lungs while Minotaurs are having oily gay sex in the background (only 50% of the funnel should be solved in this fashion). I’m sure you can do something clever with obscene puzzles requiring you to find a switch in the front of a brass bull and you can only enter in via the rear and then the trap is that you are stuck while a well-endowed iron bull golem enters or whatever. This is what a lifetime of internet does to a man. I understand intuitively the wave-length you are tapping into and tell you you are scratching the surface.
It’s not like it’s impossible to do something good in 11 pages. A single small cut anyone? Tales of the Scarecrow anyone?
You wanna get back up? Make something that is good. The OSR is a wasteland, there’s less coming out and most of it is as crap as ever, maybe more. Your biggest competitors are a swedish catpissman afraid of invisible nazis that caters to emotionally unstable teenagers that stink up itch.io with crayon-color cries for help in module form and a doorstopper retroclone of Warhammer Fantasy run by a sociopath that has no reason to exist now that Cubical Seven has the actual licence. You know how to make and edit a good adventure. You’ve done it a dozen times before. Bryce, a man who literally reviews everything, doesn’t even look at your shit anymore. There’s third party Lotfp shit that came out last year that is great. The setting works, the concept works, the fanbase is dedicated, so what is your fucking problem? I talk to your fans sometimes. Intelligent, dedicated, real-ass motherfuckers. And then this fucking slop.
I’m going to give Lotfp a do-over and count this as a Shitpost in module form. Don’t fail me again.