Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Reading No Salvation For Witches

Anyone who passed up on the Pay-What-You-Want campaign for this book is going to feel bad.

No Salvation for Witches (henceforth referred to as NSFW) bursts from the twisted mind of Rafael Chandler like a hungry botfly larva, bringing forth blood and pain that is sure to infest any campaign it touches. It may be the quintessential Lamentations of the Flame Princess adventure, at least after the publisher settled on its historical, anti-Tolkien setting. Everything is terrifying and wants to kill you. Don't touch anything because it's probably not worth the sanity-shattering effects. And if you happen to make it out alive, the entire world will be thrown into chaos. It's a beautiful adventure.

It's hard to talk about the content of the adventure without risking spoilers, so I will tread very lightly. The main hook is that the player characters will find themselves stuck in a magical dome that is centered on a small priory. A sect of revolutionary witches have taken over and have begun to perform a ritual that will change the entire world, but it is already having dire effects on the locals. Horror is everywhere. With it's terrifying monsters and horrible visions, NSFW is an excellent choice for a Halloween game session.

NSFW is probably the first of LotFP's adventures that I actually want to run in the pseudo-historical setting rather than converting it to some sort of weird fantasy world. The paranoia, feudalism and misogyny of 17th century England is pretty important to the tone of NSFW. I suppose it could fit in a backwards, isolated community in a high-fantasy world, but it will be hard to justify a dragonborn or tiefling character when a woman's literacy or choice in fabric is enough to label her a witch.

The book itself is 64 pages long, but that is not to say that it is a massive, epic adventure that will take up multiple sessions. The page count largely is due to the formatting and design of the pages, which means larger text and a helpful amount of white space. Unlike many adventures, I could see running much of NSFW right out of the book rather than notes. That is not so say that NSFW is a low-prep module. It isn't, as plainly stated in the author's introduction. There are many NPCs, creatures and items in the small area around the priory, and it would serve the GM to be ready for anything.

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