Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Reveiw & Commentary On The Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess Adventure By Zzarchov Kowolski For the Lamentations of the Flame Princess Rpg and Your Old School Campaigns

Grab it Right Over HERE
  Its just about six A.M. and I'm not entirely sure what the hell Zzarchov Kowolski's fairy tales were as a kid but Lamentations of the Ginger Bread Princess is an inversion of every single fairy tale trope on the books. This is only about twenty pages long yet it can be spread out over at least three or four days of game play. And the PC's are not going to be happy about it at all.  I went to James Raggi IV and asked for a review copy of this module with the full understanding of what it is. Well, according to the the Drivethrurpg blurb:
Sometimes you want to play an adventure where you can recapture that feeling of childlike innocence. And, sometimes, wishes do come true.

LotFP presents more hard biting horror: Now with unicorns, gumdrops and rainbows! By Zzarchov Kowolski (Gnomes of Levnec, A Thousand Dead Babies)  for character levels 1-4. 
This is an interesting gonzo over the top pink laden fairy tale adventure.
Definitely don't believe Drivethrpg reviewer Troy V  who describes this adventure as and I quote here, '
Interesting tables and encounters, but the results of some choices and punishments depicted for unhappiness are unsettling, gruesome, sick, and wretched, and my players would not stand this adventure in whole as written, and neither do I.' Excuse me whist I take acceptation to this review and Troy V's reviews on the whole are done with a sense of malice for the Lamentations of the Flame Princess rpg and their product line as a whole on purpose. While, preparing for a Winter Lamentations of the Flame Princess game I came across at least eight reviews of his on Drivethrurpg and found them with all the same opinion verbatim and some of them varied just enough to be vile and on purpose about it. So I'm taking exception to his reviews and I'm going to show you how to run, deal with and use some of the LoFP modules.   Is the Lamentations of the Gingerbeard Princess adventure  twisted and utterly sick? Yup, it certainly is. I had no idea that Zzarchov Kowolski had written this module but I'm not surprised at all. I seem to be drawn to his adventures. So what is Lamentations of the Ginger Bread Princess? Well, its a fairy tale inversion  adventure involving a bunch of factions and hobbits in a mechanically pretty well done style. This adventure revolves around a Dark Woods setting and all is not happy in this fairy tale land. Not because this is a Lamentations adventure but because this adventure touches on the darker, nightmare aspects of a LoFP fairyland. Power gamers are going to be in for a very bad time in this adventure. Because there are lots of pop culture fairy tale high weirdness for the PC's to encounter. This module takes full advantage of that fact;the real reason is that this module is so weird is looking at fairy tales as adults we see the inherit creepiness of them. Yeah, this module takes full advantage of this fact in spades.

This whole adventure centers around the Dark Woods location, the maps fit the adventure, there are at least three or more NPC's that  I can see using and without spoiling the demented fun there's lots that can be done with this adventure. One place that Zzarchov Kowolski excels at is taking existing preconceptions about mythology and pop culture legends and twisting them around like balloon animals. No more so then with this adventure and yes this will be your characters if your not careful. Because in fairyland, PC's are in for a very rough time. These will be your PC's bones which will be play things for the Fey.

Do I love this adventure? Yes, I do because last year I actually got a chance to check it out and almost die in it. There are several interesting wrinkles in this adventure because this is a Kowolski adventure and mechanically its a really wild ride to play in. I suggest several read through though before attempting to play. There are two or three major play areas and some very dangerous encounters straight out of the gate. What's going to keep the PC's right in the middle of the action in this module is simple human greed straight out of the gate because from there on out it get's weird in a majorly twisted way. If your thinking that this is a one trick pony like an episode of Robot Chicken, the Simpsons, etc. in the way that it plays with popculture fairy  icons? Not a chance, this is a LoFP module that takes those and wrecks them in spades. There are some issues with this module its not perfect by any means, the layout, graphic design, and some other elements leave something to be desired. But that doesn't detract from using the adventure. It not on sale at the moment and runs about four dollars over at drivethru. There will be other sales coming up and I do think its worth picking up.

Using Lamentations Of The Ginger Bread Princess
For Your Old School Campaigns

For the love of God, use this adventure as a separate realm from your regular campaign. The elements of Lamentations of the Ginger Bread Princess are weird to say the least. But if you don't mind using it for a one shot over the top bit of fun. Then by all means do so.
Once upon a time I worked in a toy store for an after high school job and as soon as the lights started going off in the stuffed animal or doll  toy section things got creepy kinda weird. That's the same feeling I got reading Lamentations of the Ginger Bread Princess.

We have a tendency to think of fairy tales as fun little romps through fairyland and
Zzarchov Kowolski has shown me time and again that's not the case. Lamentations of the Ginger Bread Princess could be used as a mid level bridge gap trap adventure. The idea here being that your PC's blunder into the situation (God help them if there is a hobbit in the party) and the hi jinks happen from there. But there is another possibility as well, take the fey factions in the adventure & add them into the back story of The Land of Unreason for A Red and Pleasant Land. 
 Does the vampiric meta fiction setting of AR&PL fit the background and tone of Lamentations of The Ginger Bread Princess? Possibly in a real nightmare fuel sort of way and given the way that clever DM's are at using a bit of slight of hand waving to make this fit I'd say yes.
Now that being said there are plenty of other uses for using Ginger bread Princess, for example the adventure could be used with other old school campaigns as a sort of nightmare bridge gap with a game like Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea where the PC's have to think their way out of the dark nightmarish land of Fey.
But wait there's more kids, I've seen time and again folks using LoFP products with the Dungeon Crawl Classics. There are several over the top elements in Gingerbread Princess that could fit right into the DCC zone for spell casters and gasp Patrons with a bit of work on the Dungeon Master's part.

More over then simply the utility of this adventure Gingerbread Princess gives a solid look into the realms of the Fairy in LoFP and a clever Dungeon Master could with a bit of work take these guidelines and create their own Fairyland realm. Something that I'm going to be doing very soon.This adventure also makes a great holiday run through adventure for Halloween coming up or even as a Christmas themed blood letting adventure.

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