“Beyond Mere Lotophagi” in Green Devil Face #6

IMG_20160317_0001So, I’ve been pretty busy lately—baby, work, game prep, life—but I figured I’d pop up in and mention that I just got my contributor’s copy of Green Devil Face #6, the recently restarted Lamentations of the Flame Princess zine.

There’s a bunch of great stuff in it: a piece on diseases for the Early Modern historical setting by Andre Novoa (author of the recent “The Squid, the Cabal, and the Old Man” adventure), with globalization considered; a nasty monster designed by John G. McCollum; some tables for generating bizarro relics—and also, I think, a clever proof on how much objects illuminate worldbuilding—by Paul Keigh, who wrote “Dreams of the Lurid Sac” (published as one of the Psychedelic Fantasies series). There’s also a fantastic adventure generator close to my own heart, Christopher Paul’s “A Belgian Farmhouse,” which was inspired by a love I share: the author’s passion for Belgian farmhouse ale. Paul was one of the contributors to Narcosa a while back, and blogs at The Grue Next Door.

(I have a feeling he’s going to dig the adventure I finished up and sent to James Raggi a while back—also inspired by a love of Belgian beer, even if I set it just over the border in Westphalia.)

In any case, I guess means I’m probably the newbie in terms of the OSR scene, and it’s flattering to be in such good company for my first actual tabletop RPG publication. My own little contribution, “Beyond Mere Lotophagi,” is basically an adventure generator that should work with any fantasy RPG; you can use it to randomly generate fantastical drug epidemics in urban centers, along with the outline of backstory, who’s involved, important locales, and more. It’s inspired mostly by stuff I’ve read about the Gin Craze, but there’s some Arthur Machen, Philip K. Dick, and the odd snippet of fairytale weirdness and Breaking Bad mixed in.

The issue is well worth your €2.20, if you’re someone who’s into gaming and looking for some fun stuff to add to your arsenal. You can buy it here.


7 thoughts on ““Beyond Mere Lotophagi” in Green Devil Face #6

    1. Hi Wongoon! Hey, didn’t know you played RPGs!

      Huh, I get the same error: I’m guessing Green Devil Face must have sold out. But never fear, the PDF versions for the earlier issues are on RPGNow, so I am guessing it’s just a matter of time till #6 becomes available in digital format…

    1. Have you found a local group? I find for tabletop RPGs, the best thing is to find an experienced group who can show you the ropes… though, at the same time, I’ll admit my favorite experiences were all with newbie groups who didn’t know the rules, and were learning the ropes while also trying to roleplay and have fun. (Sometimes over-familiarity with the ruleset can end up creating certain play habits, etc.)

      If you’re looking at exploring the landscape, I’d say you couldn’t go wrong trying out a variety of different groups, games, and playstyles… for which, visiting an RPG con would be the best way to dive in headfirst. (Because they allow you the chance to sign up for games of different kinds with enthusiastic players and GMs.) Is there an annual con in your neck of the woods?

      1. Thanks for the advice! I had a look around and found “Gamex 2017” at the LAX Hilton. I watched a couple of games — an elaborate wargame (?) with figures, buildings, and fields that took up a whole table. It was a re-creation of an actual battle between Napoleon and Slavic forces. I also watched “Call of Cthulhu,” a role-playing game. The players were humorous, kind of a peanut gallery. And I actually played and helped beta test a card game called “Stupid Users.” Folks were pretty enthusiastic. Thx again

        1. Hey,

          Sounds like a good time was had. I should confess I’ve never had the chance to go to a sizeable gaming con. (The closest I’ve come was a min-con down in Kwangju, and that was mostly board games.) I grew up on the Canadian prairie and the gaming community at that time was just too small—and I was too young—to really get anything going. By the time I was in a city big enough for a community or events, I wasn’t really playing anymore. (And a lot of the gamers would have been playing in French, as it was Montreal.)

          If you’re still interested in game-writing, I’d advise you to try hook up with a group that plays the kinds of games you found most interesting. Starting out as a player, and then looking at systems that interest you, is a good way to learn about systems and play styles and so on. There’s also threads about the “must try” games out there, like this one. It’s not a terrible list, though of course mine would differ a little. (And I haven’t tried all those systems myself.)

          My own list would probably be split instead between story/indie games and traditional RPGs. Fiasco and Dread would both be on the list, as would some flavor of D&D (as that’s the glue of common experience that holds the hobby together—I run Lamentations of the Flame Princess myself, but there’s tons of D&D retroclones and many non-clone versions of D&D to try, and you’d benefit from trying multiple ones to see what balance of rules versus rulings you like), and one of the various World of Darkness games from White Wolf/Onyx Path, likely Vampire or Werewolf though I’m partial to the less-played Wraith: The Oblivion myself.

          (I’m looking to widen out my playing experiences, and the Apocalypse World system, Fate, Gumshoe, and Call of Cthulhu are all on my list of games to try when I get a chance, along with some more experimental/freeform indie games.)

        2. Oh, and you should be able to find groups if you look online (meetups, perhaps). There’s also probably a regular open table night at most of your local tabletop game shops…. and I imagine there are a few good ones if you’re in or around Los Angeles!

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