*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 23, 2014, 10:31:51 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 32 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Author Topic: Supplement V: Carcosa (split)  (Read 7572 times)
rabindranath72
Member

Posts: 26


« on: October 01, 2008, 03:57:53 AM »

Slightly related, this might be an interesting campaign for Sorcerer & Sword:

http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=32059

Logged
Finarvyn
Member

Posts: 133


WWW
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2009, 08:59:35 PM »

Slightly related, this might be an interesting campaign for Sorcerer & Sword:

http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=32059
I recently picked up this book, and yes it does seem like it has some Sorcerer potential. It's a tough and gritty fantasy world, more like Howard than Tolkien.

Rabindranath, have you tried this, or are you simply speculating?
Logged

Marv (Finarvyn)
Sorcerer * Dresden Files RPG * Amber Diceless
Forge Member since 2004
OD&D Player since 1975
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 17707


WWW
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2009, 06:55:11 AM »

The above were split from [Sorcerer] Hyborian Age as a S&S setting. I recently purchased it so will follow up here soon.

Best, Ron
Logged
Valamir
Member

Posts: 5582


WWW
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2009, 09:23:07 AM »

I had occassion to flip through this book last week.  I found it...wierd.  And, for my tastes, pointlessly so.

The world is populated by people of different colors.  I don't mean different colors like our world...I mean crayola colors.  There are Purple Men, and Green Men, and Orange Men, and Rasberry Sherbert Men...ok, I made that last one up, but there are like a dozen different colored people.  Fortuneately the book goes to some length to assure us that these different men cannot interbreed, so thankfully there won't be any Mauve or Chartruese men running around.

And apparently getting high on Lotus is a major preoccupation of these people because, slim as the book is, several pages are dedicated to describing the various magical effects of different colors of Lotus...yes, like men, Lotus comes in a whole bunch of different colors.

And while they're all high on Lotus they sacrifice virgins and try to summon the dark eldritch magics of the Cthulhu-esque gods.  I didn't study the list of rituals...perhaps the gods come in a rainbow of fruit flavors too.

And then there are aliens and lists of alien tech.  Now the image of wielding a sword in one hand and a laser blaster in the other isn't all that wierd.  What is wierd is that the alien ray guns do different damage depending on what color you are.  Yep, you can get the ray gun that does 2d6 damage...+1d6 vs Purple Men.  Near as I can tell, there's a different kind of gun for each type of man you might want to shoot.

Even way back when I was 10 and playing Old School D&D my group would have looked at this and said...wha...?
Logged

Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2775


WWW
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2009, 04:33:02 PM »

Strangely enough, everything I hear of this product seems really fun and colorful to me. Usually D&D stuff seems bland and pointlessly weird, but those colored mankins, say? They're cool for me, I could see all sorts of weird fantasy scenarios in a game like that. Even aliens seem like a fine counter-point to the Cthulhoid gods when the setting doesn't apparently have the usual everything goes D&D style. Ancient inhuman creatures who bred colored men as arcane material, Cthulhoid gods and aliens make for a remarkably consistent and ambitiously different fantasy setting, it seems to me. I've bought into the setting without even seeing the product.

It'll be interesting to see somebody proficient take a stab at a review - if I had a habit of buying rpg stuff without immediate intent to play, I'd get this one instantly.
Logged

Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
James_Nostack
Member

Posts: 726


« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2009, 04:07:21 PM »

Ralph, Carcosa only makes sense in the cultural context of the Old Skool D&D "renaissance" going on, on the web, which is ostensibly about appreciating the design priorities prevalent during the early days of the hobby.  Several games have been created in this vein, including Encounter Critical, Mutant Future.  Some very good discussions of this stuff can be found at Grognardia, Jeff's Gameblog, and, as an example of this stuff in use, World of Thool.

There's been a lot written in this little community about the literary influences on D&D, which extends from various High Fantasy writers (Dunsany, MacDonald) through the Pulp Guys (Howard, Lieber) to Horror (Lovecraft) to the writers of Weird Fantasy.  There's been an equal emphasis on some of the satanic edginess that used to give the game some cred among the Black Metal crowd back in the day, before the game got all censored in the 2e days. 

Thus, as a matter of genre, Carcosa sets out to be an extremely bare-bones Setting, with virtually no Color or Situation, and a fetishistic appreciation of random d100 charts.  In terms of content, Carcosa is an attempt to create a thoroughly non-Tolkien-ized version of Dungeons & Dragons, as far into Pulp and Horror as the rule set allows, with a strong emphasis on all the demonic sacrifice stuff that freaked people way-the-fuck-out in the early 80's.  (The hysterical negative reaction to Carcosa among gamers in 2008 is extremely interesting to me, but surely off-topic.)

I think Carcosa is a flawed product, in large part because the most horrifically transgressive thing the author can conceive of is human sacrifice, and because it's not at all clear how the OD&D mechanics (dungeon delving, quick highly-abstracted combat) supports the Pulp & Horror experience.  But the setting would actually make a pretty nifty spin for Sword & Sorcerer

I believe the author wrote that he was inspired by Sword & Sorcerer, but had never read Sorcerer's core rules nor played the game.
Logged

--Stack
greyorm
Member

Posts: 2293

My name is Raven.


WWW
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2009, 08:44:44 PM »

From what I've read of it, sexual assault and drug-use are included as transgressive acts as well. I'm rather jazzed to learn about the magic lotus stuff, being that I've had a rough draft of the same idea written up for 3E for some time.
Logged

Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Clinton R. Nixon
Member

Posts: 2625


WWW
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2009, 01:16:54 PM »

I need to buy this in order to have a more educated opinion, but the author's notes about his D&D game imply that he uses a sorcerous ritual structure that almost exactly mirrors the rituals in Sorcerer.
Logged

Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
James_Nostack
Member

Posts: 726


« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2009, 07:36:36 PM »

Yes, it does.  There are the same six rituals, all of which (except the banishment-analogue) involve rituals requiring human sacrifice and/or rape, described clinically in the text.  As an example,

Quote from: Geoffrey McKinney
The Ninety-Six Chants of the Leprous One: This ritual takes a little over three hours to complete. Thirteen Yellow (non-virgin) females of at least 60 years old are the required sacrifices. The sorcerer must slay each by smothering her with a bag made from the leathery bark of a particular mutant tree in the Mutated Forest. Also required is a chain at least 12í long and at least 1,000 years old. Upon the ritualís completion the Leprous Dweller Below will be bound to the sorcererís will for seven days.

This sort of content doesn't bother me much at all, but it's not to everyone's taste.  These rituals are described in a way as to interact with the Carcosa race and class list, the bestiary, and the map, and is well-done overall, but does remove some of the spontaneity of creating this stuff at the table.
Logged

--Stack
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 17707


WWW
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2009, 09:44:01 AM »

Just in case anyone was considering it ...

There's already been a weary, predictable, and nauseatingly pious outcry (well, a couple voices, merely loud and repetitive) about whether the Carcosa book is offensive, permissible, should-be-banned, immoral, or whatever the fuck.

No one's gone there yet here, but pre-emptively, let's not.

Best, Ron
Logged
Valamir
Member

Posts: 5582


WWW
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2009, 01:20:31 PM »

The content of the rituals doesn't bother me at all.  But I would be interested in a discussion as to their purpose.

In the grand scheme of "what am I going to fill up my page count with", I don't see the logic of using that much space on that sort of content.  Logically it would seem to me that anyone interested in this sort of thing already has the background to invent their own grotesque hoops to jump through; or just give one or two as examples to set the desired tone.  Given all the other things that could have been expanded upon about the setting...choosing this over all else seems strange to my mind.
Logged

James_Nostack
Member

Posts: 726


« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2009, 04:45:04 PM »

Ralph, the short answer is that different gaming sub-cultures prefer different amounts of Setting/Color/Situation.  Many of the Forge designers and players, for example, have no use for "Campaign Settings" that take up hundreds of pages.  But for the tight-knit Original D&D community even the dozen or so pages of setting common in Forge games is considered excessive.  So, for this group, Carcosa's minimalistic setting is, if anything, too intrusive, a break from the setting-less OD&D Supplements like Greyhawk and Blackmoor

But the longer answer is that the Rituals are actually a little bit like adventure-seeds or Situation.  That ritual I cited below, for example, links characters to the Mutant Forest, a chain forged in an earlier age of the world, a village of folks whose grandmothers have been kidnapped, and of course, a ghastly creature from beyond the stars.  Along with anybody who's already gotten word of ritual and seeks to co-opt or prevent it.

In a way, it's a bit like Charnel Gods, where the Summoning ritual is presumed to include some kind of Dungeons & Dragons style quest, subsumed into a single roll.  But, since Carcosa is a Dungeons & Dragons supplement, you get a bunch of Lovecraft-meets-Lindsay style adventure prompts.

Overall, I'm probably in close agreement to you, but that's because I'm not really the intended audience, which is a small group of people who are totally committed to exploring and explicating the earliest version of Dungeons & Dragons and playing in a manner reminiscent of whatever was going on in the hobby circa 1974. 

Logged

--Stack
greyorm
Member

Posts: 2293

My name is Raven.


WWW
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2009, 05:37:11 PM »

In the grand scheme of "what am I going to fill up my page count with", I don't see the logic of using that much space on that sort of content.  Logically it would seem to me that anyone interested in this sort of thing already has the background to invent their own grotesque hoops to jump through; or just give one or two as examples to set the desired tone. Given all the other things that could have been expanded upon about the setting...choosing this over all else seems strange to my mind.

I'm going to disagree with James. It's D&D, Ralph, old school. This isn't "make that stuff up yourself" territory. Old school D&D is folks who want (or make) rules and descriptions for all the things that might possibly happen in the game: if bloody sacrifices to elder gods are an option, they want them described so they're being done "right" in play (hence, the on-going success and publication of Dragon, and things like write-ups of rules for orgies). If something exists -- if some specifically named action can be taken -- then it must be described in the rules.

I think, though, the best answer is: er, ask the writer?
Logged

Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 17707


WWW
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2009, 05:55:34 PM »

Hey, hold on a minute. I am seeing this discussion tank because no one can tell what it's about.

Ralph, it kind of hinges on you. If you are asking how this supplement fits into the D&D zone, historically or otherwise, then people can answer. But if you're saying that to you, and in your experience, it doesn't, then such answers will seem like arguing with you or telling you that you're wrong or limited or something. The proper response on my or others' part in that case is, "Yes, I see how it would be weird."

Best, Ron
Logged
James_Nostack
Member

Posts: 726


« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2009, 07:25:36 PM »

In an attempt to be useful: a One Sheet,

Carcosa
Tone - Cthulhu meets Conan.

Humanity - Moral Progress, maybe.... (I always falter at this step, because it seems to me that in every sorcerer game I've ever read about, the humanity defintion works out to Compassion in practice.  But that might just be me).  At Zero Humanity, you devolve into a shambling ape-creature, a brutish madman knowing only the simple pleasures of fornication and cannibalism.

Lore - knowledge of the inter-dimensional sciences which shatter Time and Space

Sorcerers - proto-scientists, "natural philosophers," historians, scavengers, laboratory assistants, failed experiments

Demons - the reality behind our illusions of progress and civilization.

Rituals - bloody spectacles of genocidal human sacrifice and rapine, whatever atrocities make you think our species is better off dead.

Logged

--Stack
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.16 | SMF © 2011, Simple Machines
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!