Friday, July 15, 2016

Carcosa, Dark Cults, DCC Mutant Crawl Classics & OSR Sandbox Setting & World Building Development

Alright so the other day I went on a bit of a rant about my personal cut off point for OSR & old school material. Apparently some people thought I lost my mind or what little of it I have left. There have been some really interesting and exciting OSR developments over the past three weeks or so. Right off of the top is the fact that Dark Cults has both a pdf and print run on Lulu. Do yourself a favor and go pick that addition to the Dark Albion setting up. Its a top drawer supplement & I'm a big fan of the author's stuff. I had the book at the table the other night and my players weren't happy about it at all. Why?! We shall see in a moment why.

One of the most versatile and dangerous cults in Cults of Chaos are the star cults, these are cults that have contacted things and aliens from outside who may only be contacted or summoned during certain times of the year or seasons when the stars are right. This has been a part of mythology, history, etc even before HP Lovecraft put pen to paper or ribbon to typewriter and they're some of the most dangerous cults in the book. These kinds of cults could easily operate in a post apocalyptic wasteland or right under the noses of inquisitors for centuries. Due to the fact of social rank playing such an important role in the Dark Albion setting these are perfect mid level and upper crust cult, in the wastelands these sorts of cults can offer all kinds of benefits and hooks for the DM to exploit for adventures.The aliens are sort of like the traditional Grays but even more metal and dangerous doing Lovecraftian alterations, giving techomagical gifts & even more.

This file comes from Wellcome Images

So what does this have to do with Carcosa? Quite a bit, Geoffry McKinney released four Carcosa modules into the OSR wild for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. According to the Lulu description;"Each of the eight Carcosa modules serves as a complete sword and sorcery setting for the play of AD&D, and they can also be combined to form a larger campaign area. Four Carcosa modules are now available, and four are forthcoming." This all ties into expanding the world setting of Carcosa from its Lamentations of the Flame Princess into the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons system. How does this impact upon the LoFP Carcosa system? Well it doesn't basically this puts Carcosa line where it belongs in its author's hands. James Raggi Jr. has always let his authors control their material and its one of the reasons why I love his take on the OSR. Besides giving his authors control over their corners of LoFP's books, the authors retain control of their creations & material. So the author decided to take Carcosa into the AD&D format on his own. Each of the modules stands independent and on its own is a hex crawl unto itself according to author;"
The modules are primarily hex-crawls. Each module has a one-page introduction to Carcosa, then it describes the various geographic features of the hex map (printed on the back cover), and finally it has descriptions (averaging about 140ish words each) of various points of interest on the map. These points of interest comprise the majority of each book. Some of the hex descriptions have various tables in them."
Right the back story of Carcosa makes these adventures excellent to use and seeing this photo of Wayne Rossi made me order them and these are the last OSR material I'm going to be order for awhile.

One of the factions on Carcosa are Grey like humanoid aliens in saucers armed with all kinds of weird technology who are very dangerous and keep exploiting the locals while doing the same to the Lovecraftian gods. The best part is that Carcosa has come up to Advanced Dungeons and Dragons first edition stats. The reason is that now it opens up the system to the gonzo or Carcosa and Dark Albion is ripe for an alignment with these two but wait there's more. Because of the system alignment a DM could in now set ASE1: Anomalous Subsurface Environment I & II by Patrick Wetmore  on Carcosa without any conversion.

Because of the very nature of these cults and their astrology connection they make perfect foils for the wastelands because of the connections with everything from hunting, navigation to farming the stars & seasons are important to the very survival of communities and individuals. This could be used as a lead in for a Crawling Under A Broken Moon campaign in Merica. Where the very stars and their movements determine life in the wastelands.

All of this is great fodder for that ever increasingly funded juggernaut of Mutant Crawl Classics and I've already heard of friends working on the conversions for such an operation. The wastes of Merica and Mutant Crawl Classics go together like mutated peanut butter and jelly. According to Jim Wampler:"The felinoid is out of the bag! Our next MCC stretch goal is a digest-sized booklet called The Data Orb — an entire booklet of sage advice on how to survive the terrors of Terra A.D., written specifically for the system by none other than TSR veteran Tim Kask! The Data Orb will be a free PDF for most backers and has been added to the print block pledge levels along with the adventures. This booklet is both a great read AND a useable in-game artifact for the PCs!" 

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