Friday, 6 June 2014
RPGPundit Reviews: Fuck for Satan
This is a review of the LotFP adventure "Fuck for Satan", written by James Raggi, published by LotFP. The print edition I'm reviewing is a small 32-page booklet-style paperback, with a full-colour cover (of a flaming skull that doesn't actually appear in the adventure), and the interior is black & white with a few very attractive illustrations.
I suppose that, being the most foul-mouthed RPG celebrity around, it was kind of inevitable it would come to this. This is the adventure I was born to review.
But "Fuck for Satan" is ultimately not nearly as intense or extreme as its name would suggest. Its very far from what I had imagined; I had certainly expected a sophomoric rebellious-teenager type of adventure full of ridiculous evil-for-evil's-sake type of posturing, a kind of Carcosa-on-steroids. But that's not it at all; Fuck For Satan really fails to live up to what the name might suggest: it's mostly a kind of silly romp, and the title is much less some sort of manifesto as it is a kind of pun on a plotline of the module.
Thank god for that! As recent reviews proved, there's little worthwhile about cheap gory rebelliousness that takes itself way too seriously, like some 15 year old who thinks that he personally is the first human on earth to have ever discovered punk music. On the other hand, something well willing to mock itself can occasionally end up providing a work of crazy genius. Fuck for Satan just about gets there.
As usual, I will avoid going into excessive details about the adventure itself. Let's say that the entire thing is, far from really controversial, more of one long Penis Joke. The action starts in a town called "Schwartzton", where the villagers are in a panic over several missing children, suspecting that they have been kidnapped by a satanic cult that they think gathers in an ancient site in the hills. And, as has already been heavily-reported, there is indeed a vaguely penis-shaped monster involved. But you won't find anything here along the level of Carcosa's ritual child-sacrifice. On the contrary, what you do end up finding is pretty ridiculous.
Which is not to say this adventure isn't also potentially deadly. The dungeon complex which forms part of the dungeon is incredibly dangerous to low-level characters and includes a couple of demons that are utterly fucking awful (including one that is literally a "Shit demon"), and a number of traps that will almost certainly cause casualties to all but the most cautious of parties. There is in fact one (magical) trap that can only be escaped if at least one character dies, and there's no other way around it; so GMs that don't want to put their D&D party into that kind of position may need to slightly modify the adventure.
There's a general joking attitude in the text; and there's also a couple of things that are just dumb, including a ritual that has a total meta-effect (not even on this adventure, but on the next adventure you run), which reads to me as pointless filler, and which I'd suggest you ignore.
A lot of this adventure is made to screw with the players: its a 'shaggy bear' story (literally, in that there is in fact a bear involved), the dungeon is very high risk with relatively little reward, the evil cult is actually mostly comic relief. But all that said and done, the adventure actually works, to my surprise. I know this, because I ran it last week when half my Dark Albion party went missing, so the other half chose to run an adventure with their secondary characters rather than risk Castle Dracula with only half the crew. The overall opinion was that the adventure was a bit of a mindfuck but also interesting and worth playing.
Fuck For Satan succeeds because it laughs at itself; its intentionally "edgy" but in a way that shits all over the very notion of edginess, its the polar opposite of the sort of syndrome visible in products like Carcosa where they treat offensive ideas and extreme gore as though it were totally serious. So to my surprise, I recommend it.
Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Solitario Horn + Gawith's Navy Flake