Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Reconsidering The Realms of Crawling Chaos Book From Goblinoid Games For Your Old School Campaigns

Realms of Crawling Chaos is a book that I've been missing now for the better part of a year after the Mutant Future & Labyrinth Lord Advanced game campaign I had going collapsed in on itself after a bitter divorce of a 'friend'. Yeah, the same friend who walked off with my copies of Labyrinth Lord, Mutant Future, and The Advanced Companion from Goblinoid Games went missing. Such stuff happens on occasion. But recently with events that have happened to Ryan Denison (coauthor of Mutant Future) 
I've been thinking a lot about running a Mutant Future/Realms of Crawling Chaos/ Labryth Lord Advanced campaign. Thanks to the generous support of my other half on Valentine's day I got physical copies of these books in my collection once again.

Realms of Crawling Chaos is one of my all time favorite OSR titles and has a ton of useful bits and pieces of Lovecraftian madness within it. For the better part of a year now its been a five dollar title on Drivethrurpg for a long while now and it still strikes a cord with me. It clocks in at sixty five pages of old school Lovecratian flare. The Cthulhu mythos by HP Lovecraft and his circle of writer friends  has always been associated with Original Dungeons and Dragons ever since it made its appearance in Dragon magazine. The book opens with a primer chapter on how to use the Cthulhu mythos in OSR games with various chapters and examples. The book really sets the stage for mapping out a campaign in a world of dark fantasy with headings such as The Insignificance of Man”, to “An Uncaring Natural World” and “Science as a Double Edged Sword”.Then we jump right into several races of Lovecraftian goodness including the human Deep One Hybrids known as the Sea Blooded, Subhumans ( a hybrid race of human and Voormis), White Apes, and a White Ape hybrid race. Each of these races get's a snap shot for both regular OD&D and the Advance Labyrinth Lord treatment. There's no ghoul class but there are several fan variations that can be found with a bit of Googling.
Then we get a new treatment of the classic summon mythos monsters and a brand new class of LL spells known as formulae. Many of these spell require very expensive elements and can be very dangerous in their own right for PC's.
The bestiary chapter has all of the classic monsters and races of Lovecraft and includes just enough variety to keep players guessing. All of the classic Lovecraftian artifacts are here as well from the Silver Key to the Mi Go brain cylinders. All of the iconic and classic monsters are here.
Finally we get to have a complete psionic system for Labyrinth Lord, this is a chapter that seems to cause the most frustration in DM's and players who read Realms of Crawling Chaos. The system is meant for the monsters and NPC's. There is advice for adding this system to the Mutant Future rpg. The real truth is that this system should have been ported over to Labyrinth Lord there's a bit of a hole here but still its a damn nice addition to the Goblinoid Games library.
The whole affair is rounded out by an appendix on forbidden and blasphemous tomes. This is a key piece to the product and nicely done. Finally we get a full biography of Lovecraftian sources, novels, short stories, and more.
So is the book still worth getting and having in the gaming  library? Yes as a matter of fact it is and for me its really nice to have this back on my gaming table. I forgot just how damn useful a book this is and all of the Lovecraftian OSR additions it presents for use at the gaming table. The book is still a four out of five and well worth the price of admisssion in my humble opinion and I've got plans for Realms of Crawling Chaos so stay tuned! 

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