Tag Archives: LotFP

Tales of the Scarecrow

Image from LotFP Blog

The most recent mini-release (8 pages long) from Lamentations of the Flame Princess is Tales of the Scarecrow. It is not really a module, even in the old site-based module sense. Instead, it is a collection of several loosely connected game elements which can be used as a small scenario (perhaps a random encounter) or as a grab bag of game elements. It consists of:

  • A monster/hazard
  • A location associated with the monster
  • Some NPCs for the location
  • 3 magic items
In this way, it is similar to The Magnificent Joop van Ooms. Discussion and some potential spoilers follow the period tower. Overall, my verdict is that some of the specifics could have been stronger from a game design perspective, but the atmosphere was good and I got some ideas from it.


The ambiance of the location is wonderful: a perfect circle of surprisingly verdant corn no matter the season, with a mysterious farmhouse in the center. The whole thing is, as you might suspect, a trap. It is a rather difficult trap to escape once caught, but not impossible. The creature that underlies the whole thing is suitably creepy and creative; I particularly like the side view diagram. The NPCs (2 of which are already dead and 1 of which is dying) are not particularly interesting; they are adventurers that have been previously trapped, and function more as a way to explain the presence of treasure (and treasure is certainly necessary to justify the danger of the scenario).

As a referee, I greatly enjoy the interplay between clues and traps, and would have liked to see more clues included in the scenario part of the module. As is, it is not bad, but it does require somewhat arbitrary experimentation to figure out the trick to escape (of course, players may be able to devise their own solution as well). If I ran this, I would slightly modify Richard Fox so that he fits into the solution to the hazard. Without such a modification, I think this scenario might be a bit too difficult for low level characters and a bit to easy for high level characters (flight, for example, would totally defeat the trap).

What about the 3 magic items? The sword is cool in conception, but I don’t care for the mechanics because they require the referee to potentially keep track certain results between sessions (too much bookkeeping). The dynamics of the thing are interesting though; it has a fixed chance of harming anything that is rather higher than would normally be the case, but it has an even greater chance of not actually attacking the right target.

In addition to the sword, there are two magic books. The first one is a grimoire (“Malleus Deus”) that contains magic-user versions of cleric spells in addition to the ability to rob clerics of the ability to cast the cleric versions of those same spells. I dig the diabolist description. Some replacement names for the cleric spells from LotFP would have been appreciated though so that players wouldn’t know that they were about to cast a re-skinned version of cure light wounds (or whatever) without some thought though.

The second book is weirder, in a game mechanics sense. It is a bit of collaborative storytelling masquerading as a magic item. Basically, players are incentivized with XP to come up with the weirdest and most dangerous explanation for the titular scarecrow, and then that is the way it is. This seems to contradict the previous explanation of the scarecrow earlier in the scenario, so I can only assume that the book is magical and characters are somehow using it to change reality, but this is not spelled out. Really, this is just an extradiegetic excuse to engage in some storygaming. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I know it won’t be to many people’s tastes. I like the random XP bonus chart though, and that might be fun to use (say, after every adventure) as a sort of “survival bonus” totally independent of this particular scarecrow book. Too many games don’t last into the mid or high levels, but just jacking up XP rewards is also unsatisfying.

(I got a PDF copy of this because I supported the crowd-funding campaign for the hardcover LotFP Rules & Magic book. I’m not sure when it will be available for general purchase.)

Solutions? The monolith owes you none

Image from LotFP store

Let’s talk about agency and horror. A big part of horror is not being in control, and perhaps being in situations that don’t make sense. Horror movies use all kinds of techniques in an attempt to achieve this effect, from dissonance in music to odd camera angles. The general trajectory of a horror story usually goes from mundane reality to twisted reality, and then back to mundane reality after the denouement, though sometimes in a way that things can never be the same again (the is a common trope of Lovecraft, due to possession of some forbidden cosmic knowledge).

Agency is, in some ways, the exact opposite of this, and undermines horror to the extent that you have it. True agency implies that the world around you is understandable, is amenable to problem solving, and that ultimately the choices that you make matter. Agency is also what much old school gaming philosophy is based around. It’s the why nonlinear dungeons are prized, and why the sandbox is held up as the setting ideal. On the one hand, roleplaying as a medium is uniquely suited to horror, because the player identifies with the PC in a direct way that is almost impossible to achieve in other forms. On the other hand, choices that matter undermine the sense of helplessness that is intrinsic to horror.

The Monolith from Beyond Space and Time is thus in a tricky place, trying to straddle the somewhat incongruent genres of cosmic horror and gaming that preserves agency. At its best, Monolith presents some truly wonderful vignettes, set pieces, and innovative mechanics that can be used with any traditional fantasy roleplaying game. It also contains some absurdities, however, ostensibly in an effort to evoke the sense of paradox and impossibility of Lovecraftian horror. A few brief notes about the presentation of the module before I continue to talk about the content. The illustrations by Aeron Alfrey are wonderful and unique, and fit the mood perfectly (the lightsurfing invaders image is a particular favorite of mine). The layout is also clear and lacks distracting background images that compete with the text (a problem that has marred some past Lamentations releases). This is the best looking Lamentations module to date, in my opinion.

It’s impossible to talk about this module intelligently without giving anything away, so consider this a spoiler warning. You can jump down to the paragraph that begins “This module is a welcome reminder” if you want to totally avoid spoilers. Despite the hedged praise I have above, there are number of encounters and aspects of Monolith that just don’t seem like they would work very well in a roleplaying context, mostly because of predetermined endings.

Consider, for example, the Owls’ Service encounter (this is beautifully written, by the way, and works much better as a short story than it does as an encounter). In it, the players encounter a clearing with some large owl statues and a skeleton which are surrounded by tangled vegetation. There is no way out, and just to make that clear, here is the advice that the referee is given (page 14):

Slicing through the plants slowly drains HP through sheer exhaustion: 1 point per hour, or whatever is necessary to deliver the message. Parties or players desperately interested in prolonged, miserable combat with an unkillable foe too wet to burn and too deeply rooted to extract should be rewarded: suitably crawly wandering creatures, down where the plants hide them, begin striking for heroes’ Achilles tendons. Meanwhile, sap takes the polish off metal or lacquer surfaces as vines entangle straps and buckles holding armor on. The kindly Referee can provide a fighter’s corpse, pinned by thousands of plant roots and vines, the body slowly becoming the thing that killed it. If players seem particularly slow to get the point, the fighter wears ruined armor just like one player’s, down to the same maker and year stamped on a rivet or vambrace: armor now a useless, scummed-over basin for more plants. Moving back toward the clearing is considerably easier: the plant barrier effect seems directional.

The real meat of the encounter is similarly meaningless in terms of gaming content. There is no way to learn about it, defeat it through skillful play, or even avoid it. It is merely a way to inflict a tragic fate upon a PC. As Raggi writes:

Solutions? Explanations? The Monolith owes you none.

The Owls’ Service is a great story, but a terrible encounter. Inescapable tragedy is horrific (it is the source of the horror in the Oedipus cycle, for example), but I’m not sure it has any place in a roleplaying game, at least when applied to PCs. There may be exceptions for games with a very limited objective. Paranoia, perhaps? Or Call of Cthulhu? I don’t really have experience with either. In any case, I think that Monolith is marketed to games interested in weird fantasy, not inescapable fate. Also, many of the consequences of this module only flower in the context of a campaign that continues; it doesn’t really deliver its payload as a one-shot (the same thing is true of Death Love Doom, the other recent Raggi module, which I will probably cover in a future post).

The plateau encounter is another example of a “screw you” encounter that is impossible to avoid. The characters suddenly find themselves on a plateau and “turning around and going back is not an option” (page 15). Any attempt to descend the cliff safely results in damage as if they fell the entire distance, but jumping off the cliff is completely safe, and there’s not really any way to determine this from the player’s perspective. Further (same page):

If a character jumps off the edge in despair with the serious intent of committing suicide (Referee judgment), the character of course does not die, and they get to reroll all of their ability scores, keeping any results that are greater than the original values.

I consider this encounter to be a total failure from the design perspective, though it has potential to be interesting with a bit more infrastructure, especially if the hazard is also a shortcut of some kind. That would provide an interesting choice.

Here are a lot of things things that I liked, too. The mist encounter. Why should geography always work as expected in a fantasy world? Does anyone remember the enchanted forests from some of the Zelda games? This effect is similar, though I also believe it could use some clues. The community of hedonists is well crafted, if you like moral dilemmas (and this one is much more interesting than the standard “monster babies” dilemma). The great weapon whose wielder is also its sheath.

There is a fascinating bit of agency inversion at work in this module, though it does not live up to its promise. PCs have almost no agency at all while in the valley (most of the valley encounters force the players to engage with them, and don’t allow players to affect the outcome in meaningful ways). However, once they get inside the monolith, there is no physical layout at all. Expressing a desire for something causes it to manifest. If you desire the exit, it appears before you. If you desire something to fight, that triggers an encounter with monolith denizens. There are many other examples of locations keyed to player desire rather than game world spacial relationship (and it is worth noting that the module has no maps). There is something really interesting about going from no agency to absolute agency, which might actually work if the lead-in encounters weren’t quite so crude in their drive to force players to experience the referee’s cool thing no matter what they do.

Despite these seemingly harsh criticisms, this module is a welcome reminder that these games are what we make them; there are no limits. Why not make dungeons where certain aspects can be mentally adjusted by the PCs? Why not mess with time? Who cares if the economy of the starting village is upended by loot from the dungeon? The consequences of these things are the stuff that memorable games are made of. As referees, we are often too cautious, not wanting to rock the boat for fear of “unbalancing” a campaign. To quote Heath Ledger’s Joker again:

Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos. Oh and you know the thing about chaos, Harvey? It’s fair.

That is, in the end, the rub, and the reason that I can’t wholeheartedly recommend Monolith. There are parts of it that are not fair. There are no clues to many of the tricks within, which would be required for an agency-preserving game. Exactly what fair means in the context of a tabletop RPG deserves a more thorough treatment that is beyond the scope of this post, but I would be curious if anyone else who is familiar with the contents of this module would argue that it is fair.

Scout Draft

The scout is a warrior with wilderness skills. Most commonly, they are outriders and skirmishers for armies, but may also be trappers, hunters, hermits, or barbarians.

  • Hit die: d6
  • XP advancement as fighter
  • Attack bonus as cleric
  • +1 individual initiative
  • +1 missile attack
  • Hide: wilderness 5 in 6, underground or in civilization 2 in 6
  • Bonus to “getting lost” throws (see below)
  • Tracking 5 in 6 (one check required per 6 mile hex)
  • May use any weapons and any armor (though armor penalizes stealth)

Adventurers have a chance to get lost when adventuring in the wilderness. Standard probabilities by terrain type can be found here. A party that contains at least one scout improves those chances by 1 pip in each category, and thus will never get lost in average terrain, will get lost on 1 in 6 in moderate terrain, and on 2 in 6 in difficult terrain.

Edit: changed attack bonus progression from fighter to cleric based on comments.

This is the third of my human replacements for the demi-human classes. The scout is a substitute for the halfling. My first attempt at a halfling replacement was actually a monk, but monks don’t fit all settings (though I am still fond of that saving throw dodge mechanic); I think the scout is more general. The scout is intended to represent the ranger archetype, though without the magical accretions that have built up around that class over the years (animal companions, druid spells). Incidentally, I would probably allow any character class to have an animal companion using standard retainer and morale rules if they role-played it out.

As Charlatan notes on the ACKS forum, this is very similar to the ACKS explorer class. I have been considering this replacement for the halfling class from before I knew about ACKS (credit should probably go to this post over at B/X Blackrazor and this comment by BlUsKrEEm). My scout does not rely on a general skill system (like the explorer relies on ACKS proficiencies), so I still think there is some independent value to an explicitly B/X ranger option.

My other demi-human replacements are the fighting magic-user (for the elf) and the scientor (for the dwarf). I’m very happy with the fighting magic-user and the scout. I like the scientor, but it is only appropriate for a certain kind of science fantasy or gonzo campaign.

Originally, my ideas for dwarf replacements included a morlock racial class (not really appropriate now, as I’m going for all human PC classes) and a dungeoneer class. Perhaps it’s still worth writing up the dungeoneer for use with a more vanilla B/X setting. Or maybe I should just ditch the dwarf archetype (underground mechanically-oriented class) entirely or replace it with something entirely different like a necromancer (but then that deviates even more from the core B/X seven classes).

The problem with the dwarf class is that, absent the culture elements, the dwarf is not a very distinctive class mechanically. And, in a traditional D&D game, pretty much everyone is a de facto dungeoneer. This is an argument that I have seen made about the thief too, but I think it is even more true for a potential dungeoneer class. Any other ideas for a new human class that can take on the dwarf abilities?

Death Frost Doom

I’m surprised it has taken me so long to get around to reading this. I’ve had a copy for a while, and Death Frost Doom is one of the best known and most talked about OSR modules. I know it has been used in many campaigns (just off the top of my head: Maliszewski’s Dwimmermount, Beedo’s Gothic Greyhawk, FrDave’s Lost Colonies). What can I say? I am overwhelmed by quality content, both new and old. Be warned, this post contains spoilers. I want to discuss the module in detail, and there is no way to do that without revealing some secrets.

Unlike many modules, this was a quick and engaging read. Everything feels like it belongs, and I already feel familiar enough with the map and framework to almost be able to referee DFD from memory after one read-through. The location, details, and monsters are that memorable.

I do have a number of concerns regarding the module though. I’m somewhat surprised about this actually. DFD seems to have more “problem” areas for me than other LotFP modules (even compared to the thematically much weaker Weird New World). I’m going to discuss what I don’t like (it might even end up being the bulk of the post) but I don’t want that to overshadow my final impression, which is that this is a fantastic scenario. It has one of the most compelling NPC antagonists (Cyrus the vampire) that I have seen in any module, and smart players will likely be forced to work with Cyrus to survive. PCs can truly leave their mark on the campaign world via the module endgame. How many modules playable by first level characters can make that claim? Because of the lack of reliance on simple fight encounters, this module should also be easily convertible to the rule set of your choice (even something dramatically different than traditional D&D). The only major changes needed would be stats for some of the monsters in zone 3. Many of the magic items that can be found in the module have both powers and drawbacks (without being just “screw you” cursed items). More magic items should be like this.

I’ve been in the process of seeding my current Nalfeshnee Hack campaign world (unfortunately, I don’t really have an evocative campaign name yet) with LotFP modules for a while now, and plan to use all of them, even Carcosa (I had previously placed a huge wasteland to the east called Urndach; this will use the Carcosa hex map). That’s right, all the Raggi modules and LotFP releases are going to be played (assuming we get to them) using a 4E-derived ruleset.

The PCs have already found a number of the Dwarven stone books from Hammers of the God (I created a set of 3 x 3 pages containing all the books so that I could shuffle them and give them as individual handouts) and a magically obscured treasure map leading to that module’s dungeon. I think foreshadowing in adventures is a valuable technique that really builds the sense of a living world, and there’s really no excuse not to do it in a sandbox world where you are likely to have a number of different locations prepared anyways. For another example, the PCs came across the fabled Pilz brew in a tavern, but the highly regarded beer was strangely flat and disappointing. (That one is not about a Raggi module, but you get the idea.)

On to Death Frost Doom. The first problem I noticed was a number of “site only” magic items. By site only, I mean items that might cause problems in a long-running campaign, either because they are too powerful or might otherwise upset some aspect of game balance. I detest this practice. It reminds me of using thieves to steal magic items back from PCs. One room in the cabin has two examples of this (page 8 in the print copy). The first is a mirror that doesn’t show chaotic (or evil) characters:

The mirror looses its magic if it is moved, but will regain its power if replaced in this spot.

The second is a clock that can stop time:

Removing the clock from the wall or damaging it in any way permanently removes its magic (even placing it back on the wall will not restore it).

There is not really any narrative grounding why either of these items work this way, and certainly nothing that the PCs could discover (without resorting to DM improvisation). If the mirror was used to detect spies, why would that only be useful in one location? If you’re going to put something interesting into a module, and PCs are creative enough to liberate it, they should be able to use it. If it is of a nature that would be problematic in a campaign, then it should not be included at all. There are much better ways to handle this, such having a limited number of uses. Or, in the case of the mirror, why not have a pond, or a fountain, that only reflects lawful and neutral characters? How do you move a pond? And yet, the restriction does not feel contrived (it doesn’t even feel like a restriction).

I plan to leave the mirror in, but it will work anywhere. The mirror itself will be a full size heavily gilded standing mirror, so it will be difficult to transport. This might end up becoming an interesting campaign item if the players are able to recover it. And it might also prompt me to think more about how alignment works in this particular campaign. I will probably just remove the magic properties from the clock. I need to think about this a bit more, because there may be ways that enterprising PCs could use the clock to forestall the the module endgame, and I don’t think there is any need to make this module harder.

The second problem that I noticed was the “read aloud curse” mechanic. Basically, the referee is instructed to write down an inscription on a piece of paper and hand it over to the person controlling the reading character. If the player reads the inscription out loud, bad things happen. (Generally, you go around the table making saving throws until someone fails and then the bad stuff happens.) This doesn’t work for me because I am not strict about in character and out of character speech. I suspect many campaigns are like this. Generally, if something is not clear, I will clarify: is your character saying that? I do this often enough that (I think) it is not a flag for the players (they certainly don’t seem to make wiser decisions). In this case, such clarification totally would not work. On top of the note it would give away the trap. I either need to work this mechanic in beforehand using less deadly situations, or redesign these traps.

Like other Raggi maps, the DFD dungeon consists of several zones (3) connected linearly by choke points. There are several different entrances from the surface to the different zones, but they are designed in a way that makes it highly unlikely that any other than the cabin trap door (which is obvious) will be used for anything other than exits. This is not a problem; I just want to make the structure clear.

There is a trick that must be figured out to move from zone 1 (temple quarters) to zone 2 (the crypts). Zone 2 is connected to zone 3 by secret doors. I am ambivalent about the secret door choke point design. It is also used in Hammers of the God. In a small dungeon, I think this has the potential to needlessly limit the play experience. These areas which are access-controlled by secret doors are not megadungeon sublevels or areas with special treasures. They are integral parts of the location. I’m not convinced that making access to core parts of the location a reward for exceptional play is good design. I will not change the secret doors in location 22, but I have decided to describe them in a way which will likely stand out and prompt further investigation. Specifically, they are going to be bricked-up archways that use bricks of a different color. In other words, I’m making them easy to locate secret doors. Players don’t always catch things that seem like obvious tells to me, so I don’t think this completely gives the secret doors away. This also seems to fit the location better.

Despite these issues, I’m greatly looking forward to running DFD. It fits nicely with a number of background elements that I have already worked into my campaign, specifically several dread lich gods which used to rule as sorcerer kings in the distant past. I’m curious to know whether others have adjusted any of the module aspects that I mentioned.

Carcosa in detail

In Carcosa, almost all of the identifiable tropes of D&D are gone, yet the essence remains. There are no dragons, demi-humans, magic-users, or magic items. There is little overlap in the bestiaries other than the oozes, slimes, molds, and jellies (which are cleverly recolored to fit the setting but otherwise pretty much the same).

The LotFP version of this book has a somewhat odd status. Originally, Carcosa was published as a supplement to the 1974 D&D rules. Though that was seen as presumptuous by some, it made the intended use of the book obvious, at least to someone who was familiar with OD&D and its supplements. Carcosa the saddle-stapled digest book was easily identifiable as the same sort of book as, for example, Supplement II: Blackmoor. This new release of Carcosa is not, in and of itself, identifiable in the same way, though it is still the same sort of book at its heart. This is not a problem for me, but may be for someone less familiar with the OSR community and OD&D in general.

I have organized my thoughts around the entries in the table of contents, which I arranged into several groups of related items and reordered. These groups represent the five different types of content in the book.


  • Sorcerous Rituals
  • Monster Descriptions
  • Carcosa Campaign Map

These sections are the most tightly bound to Carcosa the setting. The most impressive thing to me is how integrated all these different parts are. Most games separate these parts (think about the PHB, Monster Manual, and campaign setting split of most D&D products). For example, with every monster is a listing of relevant rituals. And many rituals require components which can only be gathered in specific locations (or must be performed in particular locations). I suppose you could steal a hex here, a ritual there, and a few monsters, but if you just pick and choose bits from these sections, you will not be taking advantage of these linkages. This is a template for how to put together a really engaging hexcrawl campaign. Make all the different categories of rules and setting interrelated. The way the pieces fit together, the whole is definitely greater than the parts.

I would love to see a reworking of the classic D&D magic system along similar lines. Take all the original spells, flavor them up, and then scatter the components required over the hex map. Up the power a bit so that they are more impressive, and also include elements like making spell X only functional at certain times or in certain places. I would be all over that.

  • Space Alien Technology
  • Technological Artifacts of the Great Race
  • Technological Artifacts of the Primordial Ones
  • Desert Lotus

Now we come to the toys. That is, things that PCs might play with. The Space Alien Technology functions, I imagine, much like the magic items function in other games (though obviously with a different flavor). There is a random generators in the back for Space Alien Armament also. The “technological artifacts” are likely to be rarer (like artifacts in D&D). You will notice that three of those four categories are the technology of higher-order beings, which highlights one of the main themes of Carcosa (and, in turn, of H. P. Lovecraft, one of Carcosa’s spiritual progenitors): the universe is a vast and unknown place which was not built for the comfort of humans.

Other than humans (the only option for PCs), there are three other major types of being. Space Aliens are about what you would expect from the name. The Great Race is something like Robert E. Howard’s Serpent Men. And Primordial Ones (also called the Old Ones) are incomprehensible, mostly disgusting, Cthuloid entities (many named creatures taken directly from the pages of H. P. Lovecraft). This forms a hierarchy of beings, with humans on the bottom rung, followed by Space Aliens and the Great Race (I’m unsure which of those should be considered more sophisticated or powerful), with the Old Ones at the top of the food chain. Humans don’t really have anything to their name, other than sorcery (which is really just borrowed from the Great Race).

All of these are well-crafted and evocative, and could easily be dropped into any game, or inspire your own artifacts.

Fungoid Gardens of the Bone Sorcerer

This is an intro module. It also functions as a nice template for how to detail a village without going overboard. Paired with a nice, quick method of randomly generating a village layout (think something like Vornheim), and some practice using such a system on the fly (I’m still getting there), I think this is all you need.

The module is a single 10 mile hex blown up into sub-hexes of 704 yards and includes a number of mini-encounters, adventure hooks, and one small dungeon. I wonder how many such hexes Geoffrey has detailed for his own campaign?

Random generators

  • Spawn of Shub-Niggurath
  • Space Alien Armament
  • Random Robot Generator
  • Mutations

This is the most setting-agnostic part of the book, and all of these random generators are easily repurposed, even for games with less gonzo flair. Mutations could be used to add flavor to NPCs, or as the result of a botched spell. The random robot generator is also a random golem (or automaton) generator in clever disguise. The Spawn generator cranks out minor (though still dangerous) Cthuloid entities.

These parts of the book are very strong, and should be useful to every old school ref. One can’t have too many random monster generators (at least, I am far from my saturation point).

New rules

  • Characters
  • Dice Conventions

At first I felt like the sorcerer class was superfluous. My concern was not originally about balance (the sorcerer might be fighter+, but that comes at the cost of slower advancement). Here is Geoffrey’s explanation for why the Sorcerer is a separate class:

I imagine Sorcerers as men who had to spend 10+ years learning the intricacies of the esoteric language of the lost Snake-Men, and twisting their minds in such a way as to be able to comprehend and effectively perform sorcerous rituals. (Consequently, I can’t imagine any Sorcerers under the age of 30.) Being able to do this is a lifetime commitment. There are no dilettante Sorcerers. Nobody could ever say, “I’m not a Sorcerer, but I’m going to spend the weekend learning how to conjure and bind the Inexpressible Presence of Night.”

And that makes sense to me. It would have been nice if he had said as much in the book. I would probably differentiate the sorcerer a little more, just to emphasize that very difference (a different hit die would work, but for the dice conventions). Also, if sorcerers have spent 10+ years mastering the intricacies of sorcery on such a primitive world, why do they get the same base attack bonus as fighters? I would probably cut that in half, or go the LotFP route and have sorcerers never get better at fighting. The game would also function if you imported any classic set of classes, and allowed anyone to perform rituals given the proper components and configuration, though the feel would change slightly.

I think the dice conventions are important, though they are likely to seem very foreign to many readers. They show the level to which D&D can be hacked and still maintain integrity. I believe a similar idea was originally introduced with either Arduin or Tekumel (I haven’t read either yet, but vaguely recall someone mentioning that on a forum). Personally, I don’t think I would like to re-roll hit dice (and with variable dice type to boot) for every combat, but the idea of re-rolling hit dice per-level or per-session is intriguing. And it means that you might catch Cthulu on an off day (though one might argue the same thing could be achieved with less overhead by just rolling hit dice, as you could still roll all ones). I think there may be a typo in the dice conventions table lookup example. A minor issue, but still unfortunate given that I can see this section being confusing to some.


This is a fantastic book, and a fantastic toolbox for classic D&D. It is perhaps the most aesthetically attractive book in my RPG collection. Oh, and did I mention the art? It is wonderful. All by Rich Longmore. I like the unity. This is art direction done well. Like the Planescape of Tony DiTerlizzi (which is a setting that I have come to not particularly care for, though I still adore it for the art). I didn’t expect this, but I find myself wanting to run Carcosa out of the book, no house rules, completely on its own merits (I had planned on just using it as a toolbox).