Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Death Frost Doom Adventure For The Lamentations of The Flame Princess rpg Writing by Zak Smith and James Edward Raggi IV Part II Death By Frost Review

Death Frost Doom is an adventure that literally draws you into the center of its world like a black hole of wintry death. This is a place that has gone beyond the pale of mere myth and legend into a world of all its own. And the adventurers are drawn up into the module's magick and malevolence. This is a horror movie starring your PC's and the situations described are ones with an internal world all their own. You've just stumbled into the world of Death Frost Doom. 
                                                          Grab It Right Over 

So what the hell is it about DFD that is so intriguing? The writing, the plot, or construction of the adventure or perhaps Zak Smith's writing? Maybe the artwork? None of the above really. There's an internal mechanism of menace to the adventure that makes it part investigation, part dungeon crawl, and part monster menace all rolled into one package.

There's a nice quality of high weirdness and depravity to the events of DFD that give the DM plenty to work with. And if played correctly with a solid group of players will have them experiencing something akin to Evil Dead part two and some dark twisted European fairy tale on steroids. Adding to mix is the cover art (in color) was done by Yannick Bouchard and the black and white interior illustrations, cartography and design were done by Jez Gordon.  All of those seem to add to the total feel of the adventure and it can be added straight into a pre existing LoFP campaign with little issue.  Heck this could be added straight into any horror themed campaign. There are reminders and echoes of old Gothic European, Romanian, and Russian  legends in DFD. This is adventure that Ravenloft wouldn't have the balls to pull off, and yet the horror elements bring some new stuff to the LoFP. There is a totally new take on the undead in this adventure that has some very cool implications for your LoFP adventures if you decide to take this option on board your campaigns. Lots of miliage of this adventure if you decide to adopt some of the ideas, mythology, and high weirdness that lurks between the pages of DFD. As a frame work to me at least this adventure has a ton of potential to take your adventures in some dark and dangerous directions!
This is an adventure that pulls heavily from the legendary roots of its own mythology and deals with its encounters as a series of events set in motion with balance and terror all in one. Something that really well done horror movies try to do. But be warned this is a horrific module that can and will wreck PC's if dumb decisions are made.

So is Death Frost Doom worth the price of admission? Yes I not only think so but I actually one of the essential LoFP books because of the way that it handles the game's material. This is a solidly dark and disturbing read,run, and rabble through the underbelly of the Lamentations universe for characters. I'd put this adventure high on the list of runs for a mid level group of LoFP adventurers. Five out of five for a reinvention of a fantastic adventure. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Death Frost Doom Adventure For The Lamentations of The Flame Princess rpg Writing by Zak Smith and James Edward Raggi IV Initial Impressions

I own and ran the first Death Frost Doom years ago and was both shocked and surprised to see a completely revised and expanded version of Death Frost Doom. But I spend a good part of the early morning going over this adventure.  These are my initial impressions of Death Frost Doom.

I approached James Raggi IV for a copy of this pdf about two days ago and downloaded it prepared for something of a total party kill adventure. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a stone cold horror adventure done in the round robin way of isolated Heavy Metal album covers and European myth & legend. Where as the first Death Frost Doom was a scattered tapestry of horrific elements, Zak Smith has rewritten the entire adventure from the ground up to weave every morbid facet of this adventure as a whole. And its done very well. The cover art (in color) was done by Yannick Bouchard and the black and white interior illustrations, cartography and design were done by Jez Gordon. These elements are all done very, very, well. From just a look over of the material we're plunged into a peusdo European world of horror and twisted dark mythology with an entirely new take on the undead. 
Grab It Right Over 

Everything in this module echoes so far the charm of a romp through the darkest corners of imagination with bits of Lovecraftian adventure throughout out the first couple of pages. To get into the ins and outs of this module is like looking at a horror film with a subplot that runs through it in a smart and very well way. There is the feel of European legend here mixed in with horror films then set on high and poured into a setting waiting to spring on the PC's. And I'm not talking about a total kill straight out of the gate. Instead what we're looking at is an adventure that takes full advantage of the horror tropes in well done but different way. Ways that actually fit into a wide variety of old school quasi- historical backgrounds and setting for which Lamentations of the Flame Princess is well known. This adventure can not only seamlessly fit into the back space of existing campaigns but can be used to generate entire local sub spaces for such. The adventure elements add an entire sub mythology and myth to the adventure. This is something that Zak Smith has done before as an author and designer. I see this all of the time on his blog but to see it done in an adventure using the old Death Frost Doom material is something else entirely.
Straight up this is a very well done adventure and I'll get more into it in the second part. My intial impress is that not only can this adventure work for Lamentations of the Flame Princess but I would use this adventure for other old school rpg's as well. I'm thinking here of OD&D with a dark horror theme or even Cthulhu Dark Ages. The conversion would be quite painless and easy to accomplish. Death Frost Doom is an adventure of supernatural horror and intrigue with a veneer of OD&D. This is not a light weight adventure but one that needs far more attention then it has been getting.  Please remember these are only my initial impressions of the adventure.  But for those DM's already running a LoFP campaign who bought the original adventure, go back and grab this one. This is a completely different animal then the first adventure and be prepared for that. More coming up in part II.