I managed to pick up a copy of Lamentations of the Flame Princess: Grindhouse Edition and I arrived a couple of weeks ago. This has given me enough time to review it, and just generally poke at the guts a bit to see how it seems to work.
I like it.
I bought it originally because I really want to support not just the OSR, but folks who are putting out a quality product with decent design values. LOFTP meets this criteria. I also like supporting people who aren’t afraid to do things that might offend other people. LOFTP:GH certainly fits the bill in this department as well.
After now looking at all of the art and reading the game I am rolling my eyes and thinking to myself, “This is it? This is what people have been having apoplexy about?” Really!?!?” I know I am somewhat jaded, this is somewhat normal given my profession, my research interests in my profession, and the general types of literature that I like to read. But seriously, people need to relax or somehow otherwise buy a clue if they think that this game is the end of Western Civilization. Sure there are some breasts, and some graphic violence (in a very cartoonish style I have to add), but I hate to break it to all of the OSR folks out there – as I mentioned before I worked in a comic book shop in the 80’s and this is very, very tame compared to some of the independents that were published back then (let alone now). Have any of you read the original Crow for Pete’s sake? Or ever looked at any copy of Heavy Metal magazine?
Anyways, enough of that! Let’s get to the actual game.
This is a simplified and streamlined OD&D, not anything remotely resembling either B/X or AD&D. This is a fine thing in that Raggi has also made the decision to create a very specific flavor of game setting rather than try to make it generic. You could certainly use it in a world of your own unique and different design, but I think that might be missing the point somewhat. Now, it’s a combination of the artwork and the writing, but I think “Solomon Kane” when I read this, or “Bran Mak Morn” or “Conan” – I could just as easily move towards “Averoigne” (ala Clark Ashton Smith) if I wanted to, and even as exotic as Glenn Cook’s “Dread Empire” or “Black Company” novels. But in any case, we’re talking a much more low-magic setting than standard OD&D, or even Leiber’s “Fafherd and the Grey Mouser” tales. Though if you wanted to go high-magic in this setting, Moorcock’s “Elric” novels would work really nicely I think.
Ok, maybe not, but it would be an interesting experiment.
I like the encumbrance system. A lot. I’d already started to adapt it for my Home Brew system from the Free PDF available and I’ve pretty much decided to adapt it for my AD&D game. I’ll see about posting my version in a bit. Combat is nice and simple, a bit too simple for my tastes, but that’s part of why I play an AD&D mod. Magic has a great flavor, and I really love monsters as unique beings. It’s a bit further than I go in my games, but in general the major opponents in my games are humans, humanoids, and demi-humans (along with undead and lycanthropes) – you don’t run into a bunch of chimera or manticores or whatever in my campaign world unless you are going out of your way to find them. As many people have said, the spin on the thief as the “specialist” also makes a great deal of sense. Finally, while I’m not generally a fan of the “race as class” idea, it seems to work here for whatever reason.
I look forward to buying Carcosa when and if I get the chance, and I talked my spouse into contributing to the post-Kickstarter for the Adventurer Conquerer King System to get me a holiday gift when it came out – another pair of OSR offerings that I think deserve extra looks.