Thursday, April 7, 2022

OSR Commentary On Black Box Books -- Tome Three: Cannibals and Confusion By Kirt A. Dankmyer From Ivanhoe Unbound For Your Old School Campaigns

 Now we've been revisiting Geoff McKinney's Carcosa recently & digging through my old campaign notes I came across a reference to Ivanhoe Unbound's Black Box Books -- Tome Three: Cannibals and Confusion By Kirt A. Dankmyer. And these monsters, races, and magick are a perfect addition to Carcosa according to the author Kirt A. Dankmyer; "Four of these six ANTAGONISTS are based loosely on Clarke Ashton Smith! As for the OTHER TWO, one STRANGE CREATURE comes from authentic myth and legend, and one FOE comes from inauthentic myth and legend that I wrote last week!


1. Stats for an Avatar of Mordiggiel, corpse-devouring Angel of the DEAD!

2. The SKINNY on the Clergy of Mordiggiel and the way they have been CHANGED by association with their DREAD LORD!

3. The forbidden DETAILS of the Graedigg, half human, half FIEND, master of illusion!

4. The tale of the HEADLESS Akephalos, who DEVOUR MEN WHOLE when they go MAD!

5. The secrets of the clever Fögr, who HIDE their VUGLAR HABITS behind DISQUIETING MASKS!

6. And finally the TABOO-BREAKING RITUAL that will bring forth WRATHFUL EMANATIONS from a man's soul... or a Graedigg's soul.


Ever feel your CLERICS and MAGES need more RANDOM TABLES?'

WHO DOESN'T? Well, our CHAOS MAGIC system has got you COVERED! For every ADVANTAGE, there is a DISADVANTAGE, or at least a GOAT! " 

These races fit the weird & wonderful of Carcosa quite well and given the ten mile size of the hexes of Cacrosa these monsters have more then enough room to appear. And that's some of the advantages of these monsters they quite nicely fit the cultclassic 'B' movie asthetic of Cacosa. And add to this the fact that these races have been inspired by Clarke Ashton Smith & everything becomes clearer. 
We get some unexpected weirdness not directly taken from Lovecraft or Jack Kirby. 

Sprinkling these races & entities throughout the Carcosa setting allows the DM to make Carcosa his own and gives a greater range to the occult forces on the Weird Tales aspect of the campaign. 
Add into Carcosa another alternative magick system & things take an unexpected turn giving PC's even more magical options for their wizards without having resort to the more powerful and icky occult rites that belong to the villains. And this comes into the grip of the Chaos magick of Cannibals & Confusion; "During character creation, with the permission of the referee and all the other players, a Magic-User or Cleric can be declared to be a Chaos Devotee. The character cannot be Lawful in alignment, and a Chaos Devotee Cleric must worship an appropriate god, like a trickster deity. A Chaos Devotee is exactly the same as a normal Magic-User or Cleric in nearly all respects. The only difference is whenever a Chaos Devotee casts a spell, they roll on the special tables below to modify the effects of the spell. First, roll for a Chaos Blessing." 
Ok, not one player I know is going ask permission to play a Chaos Devotee and even if they are a nice one these PC's don't seem to last at my table. These are at best temporary PC's who always seem to get themselves killed. 

And this is one of the aspects of the Carcosa setting, its that deadly all on its own. Numerous times has the Lovecraftian aspects or mundane aspects of Carcosa claimed a victim. Its simply part of the landscape so have a few PC's available. 

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