I now interrupt your regularly scheduled Ropecon report with a review. It’s the newest Lamentations of the Flame Princess release, Death Love Doom, written by James Edward Raggi IV! It was released at Ropecon, I picked it up on Friday and read its 20 pages during the next two days, while I was lounging about behind the RPG desk. It’s in black and white and has the covers separate from the pages in that old-school style, with maps on the inside covers. The inside illustrations are by Kelvin Green, for which I am grateful.
This is because Green has a cartoony style, especially compared to some of the other illustrators for LotFP. The reason this is important is that apparently Death Love Doom started with James thinking up scenes from the sickest gorno his mind was capable of and then phrasing that into art orders. The module was written around those.
The end result is that Death Love Doom is not for everyone. If it had been illustrated in a more realistic style, it would be for even fewer. I’m not exactly sure it’s even for me. Some of the artists he asked turned it down after seeing the art descriptions. It’s labelled for ages 18 and over, and for very good reason. Also, in the preface, James tells that the entire module is a metaphor for his divorce with his first wife.
So of course, being the sensitive and mature gentleman that I am, I figure that kind of emotional mess completely justifies the blood and guts and pussies and cocks and dismembered children.
Just be glad I have no art to illustrate this entry with. However, that’s enough about the gore. Is there anything else to this work?
Well, I wouldn’t be bloody writing up a post about it if there weren’t. Once you wipe away all the blood and entrails, you have a rather good haunted house adventure, with a compelling, tragic backstory that the players actually have a chance of finding out (not easy, but it doesn’t have to be).
Like usually with the OSR stuff, there’s no plot as such, just a few hooks that might get the characters interested in exploring the Bloodworth Estate, some miles outside London in 1625. There’s just the backstory, the location, the villain and the adversaries.
Wiping away all the blood might be inadvisable, though, since, well, it’s a horror adventure. The horror in Death Love Doom comes from the blood and guts, and removing them would diminish the impact of the adventure. There’s even a page about how to run the adventure and deliver the horror. James has an enviable skill of writing horror adventures in such a way that just reading them drives a chill down my spine. Death Frost Doom is similar, in this respect, and the two modules share a thematic link.
So, Death Love Doom is a good adventure. It’s also not for everyone. If you like the films of Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento and can sit through Cannibal Holocaust and Hostel, this will probably be right up your alley. If not, you may want to give this a pass.
You might want to check with the players, too.
Death Love Doom isn’t yet actually available for purchase currently, but the estimated release date is August 8th, along with The Monolith from Beyond Space and Time. I paid €6 for my copy at Ropecon, so even if you find it not to your liking (and you have been warned), you won’t have dashed your offspring’s hope of ever attending college.