Monday, April 13, 2015

Review and Commentary On The Lusus Naturae From Neoplastic Press For The Lamentations Of The Flame Princess Rpg & Your Old School Campaigns

  All day, I've been quietly wanting this PDF and quietly lusting over the insanity inducing madness of these monsters. There isn't really an easy way to talk about the monsters within this tome, from the moment when I received my copy of The Lusus Naturae I've pretty much been all over this LoFP download. Look do me and yourselves a favor and go grab this book now! Right now!  To say that this is not work safe is an understatement and its very well done in what it does. The description of Lusus Naturae is Lusus Naturae is a bestiary for Lamentations of the Flame Princess (and other old-school games), featuring 103 face-melting monsters. And it lives up to the hype.  This book isn't for kids and this is a strictly adult book of monsters that go far beyond the usual suspects. 
  The Lusus Naturae is a book of monsters in the way that body horror is a genre, for those who don't know  what I'm talking about here's a definition: body horror, biological horror, organic horror or venereal horror is horror fiction in which the horror is principally derived from the graphic destruction or degeneration of the body. Such works may deal with disease, decay, parasitism, mutilation, or mutation. Now you can add this book to the definition as well. Each monster has been carefully constructed by Rafael Chandler and his artist to get the most out of his horrors. The artwork is very evocative and well done capturing the mood, methods, and blood guts as well as gore of each monster. And what monsters they are, I'm not entirely sure if Gennifer Bone is a mad woman or simply a demented genius or a bit of both but her art captures the insanity that these horrors bring to the table in The Lusus Naturae.
Forget Lovecraftian, these things are enough to give Pinhead of Hellraiser fame nightmares and that's exactly what you get. Nightmares that can be fitted right into the background of  adventures right into the Lamentations Of The Flame Princess universe. Each monster is an adventure into themselves. Seriously well done monsters that dovetail into the setting history and of one another. If you liked the Teratic Tome then grab a copy of The Lusus Naturae. Each and every monster is an adventure of horrific proportions waiting to happen to a party and most have histories that dove tail with one another. This makes the Lamentations of the Flame Princess campaign resound within itself when it comes to laying the foundation of further adventures for a party should they survive the experience of encountering some of the ancient and weird horrors.

Grab It Right 
You get the  Lusus Naturae pdf itself, the text of the pdf, the artwork of Gennifer Bone, book cover, and a boat load of some of the coolest monsters I've seen this side of Event Horizon. But who cares this is simply another bunch of gross out monsters! Right??! Wrong, what your getting are monsters that are both personal horror things from beyond the pale and things that could easily be plugged into other LoFP setting books such as Carcosa. The reason why the multiple downloads is pretty simple and quite brilliant. There's the DM's book of Lusus Naturae as the monster book, the text of the pdf for adventure construction, Gennifer Bone's art book as a pdf of player handouts and to show your players exactly what sort of horrors that they will be encountering during the adventure. And I say during the adventure because each and everyone of these monsters meets the LoFP rule.  Each and every monster for an adventure should be unique. And believe me they are. Each one is drawn deep from the weird depths of the mind of Rapheal Chandler and uniquely put together by Gennifer Bone.  These are monsters that are more like interconnected adventure events then simply another monster to run into during the course of some random roll on an encounter table. Plus these are not simply weird but PC altering in strange and completely twisted ways.  There's a random monster generator table that has about the same level of a splatterpunk goodness as the rest of the monster book and then some. You can generate literally thousands of Lusus Naturae monsters by the score.
 And then there's the 'things found in a monster's lair' table  which gives even more LoFP setting material goodness.

Now there is a ton of potential here for the LoFP Dm to sink their teeth into this putrid slime filled mass of a book. Lusus Naturae encapsulates some of the ideas I've seen kicking round Raggi's creations for sometime now. That the powers and gods of the universe are imical and incredibly dangerous to our universe on a mind boggling scale. Some of these monsters are world enders in every sense of the word but there's a sense of history and twisted horror filled adventure that follows in their wake.
The Vitiator by LadyRedfingers
This is a book of monsters that is the way that monsters should be, open, dangerous, completely unpredictable and utterly unforgettable. Personally speaking in my estimation this isn't simply another monster book but a system for creating horrors that go way beyond the pale. Because this is a LoFP this book will work with any number of OSR games. Especially Swords and Wizardry, OSRIC with some adjustment, Labyrinth Lord, and especially Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea.  This book's creations are open game content and the whole shebang was created with the OGL, so read it and get cracking on making these horrors a part of your old school campaign.  I'm completely and utterly happy that this book came my way and five out of five in my mind. 

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