Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Review & Commentary on The NeoPlastic Press's 'The Demonic Tome' By Rafael Chandler A Pay What You Want' Setting Book For Your OSR Or Old School Campaigns

"The world's last line of defense is a group of ultra-violent cannibals wielding unholy magic. They needed a hero, but instead they got you." Demonic Tome is available now! This OSR sourcebook (previously released as Dread: The First Book of Pandemonium in 2002) features magic, demons, setting information, and enchanted shotguns."

Two days ago with zero fanfare & absolutely no announcement that crazy metal headed bastard of the OSR Rafael Chandler released 'The Demonic Tome' onto an unsuspecting OSR as a pay what you want title.  "Dread: The First Book of Pandemonium in 2002, and later re-released as Pandemonio. This book contains previously published material." I've been waiting for this title going all of the way back to December of  2013 or so! Two days ago I look on my friend's wall & no gout of hellfire or spewed slime but 'The Demonic Tome was on Drivethrurpg
How do you describe this one hundred & thirty two page OSR  supplement/modernish campaign setting!? Well try & imagine the Bible's  Book of Revelation combined with White Wolf's Hunter The Reckoning but with an OSR death metal  paint job this is 'The Demonic Tome'! The setting is the world of 'now' but through the lens of 'Chandler vision'. There's firearms of course in 'The Demonic Tome' because there has to be! The PC's are gonna need all of the help they can get. 
Rafael Chandler ⛧ ( -

Don't let that smile fool you! 

Each of the old D&D character classes are now almost modern arch type PC classes & they are balls to the hunters of the demons & demonic! The clerics & wizards have some of the most twisted spells to hit pages of a supplement! Both cleric & wizard's spell levels hit nine & they are nasty,brutish, & very violent! 
 Here's a clerical spell as an example;
Duration: 1 round per caster level
Range: Self/5'
When this spell is cast, the Disciple's hand is transformed into a monstrous claw, and she can vomit up a huge quantity of black bile. If the Cleric hits with the claw, she inflicts 1d3 damage, plus 1 per caster level, and if she has been injured, she recovers that same number of hit points (up to her maximum). If the Cleric instead chooses to vomit on her prey, the monster must save vs. Spell or take 1d3 damage, plus 1 per caster level (and again, the Cleric may recover that many hit points, if she's been injured)." 

This is just the sort of demonic modernish brutal weirdness I'm talking about!  With dungeon master's section events start to make sense with species of demons & their ilk showing their true colours! Take for example the 'defiler' species; "Defilers A Defiler demon will possess its victim (known to Disciples as a skell) and force that person to commit evil acts. When tracking a Defiler, the Cabal doesn't always know who the skell is. Often, all they know is that something weird is going on. To exorcise a demon from the body of a skell, a Cleric must perform a Rite (described in the Cleric spells section). The demon can also be injured (and killed) once the skell is dead." 

If this sorta stuff seems vaguely familiar that's because many of the themes of 'The Demonic Tome' are echoed in 'The Teratic Tome'! In point of fact 'The Demonic Tome' might be considered the demonic minion book while both Lusus Naturae & 'The Teratic Tome' are the upper tier & boss books respectively torn from the Books of Pandemonium! The Books of Pandemonium serve as the bridge adventure element to this damned  corner of the Chandlerverse. Even the situation in LoFP's 'No Salvation For Witches' could lead to the modern world of destruction portrayed in 'The Demonic Tome'. 

If there is a theme to the Chandlerverse then it exemplifies itself in the Narcosa setting that weaves & bobs its way through the 'higher then a kite drug plane.' There are hints here & there in the Demonic Tome that Narcosa is there sitting & waiting its turn! 

With all of the recent Lamentations of the Flame Princess controversy  its nice to see Mr.Chandler coming back into the OSR fold with his recent Metallic Tome kickstarter. And because of the infernal nature of the  elements of  'The Demonic Tome'. These two universe settings  might not only be connected but different aspects of the same campaign setting. 

But is ' The Demonic Tome' any good?! Well the demons are original, nasty, & are part of a twisted S.O.B's OSR campaign. The demons themselves are far from the standard Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual first edition  demons or are they?! 
While the 'Demonic Tome'  demons are absolutely nasty, twisted,  dangerous because these demons are laid out in an OSR fashion the Vrock & its ilk would feel right at home next to a Qavaad's machinations  or feeding on the remains of issoac's victims! 

And this is part of the strength of the OSR based products. Being able to adapt & overcome many campaign difficulties while mixing & matching what the dungeon master needs or wants for his or her campaign. 
As a pay what you want title I think that 'The Demonic Tome' is well worth your time & money. As a part of the expanding Chandlerverse?! 'The Demonic Tome' is invaluable for an addition to the DM's tool box! Glad to have my copy from my local printer! 

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