Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Review and Commentary On The OSR Adventure - Something Stinks in Stilton From Melsonian Arts Council For The Lamentations of the Flame Princess Rpg System & Your Old School Campaigns

Something Stinks In Stilton is the latest Lamentations of the Flame Princess adventure from the makers of the Undercroft OSR fanzine and its a very challenging and humorous adventure in the old school tradition. Oli Palmer does an excellent job of creating a horrific and surprisingly weird little tale of cheese, heresy, and horror with a decidedly dangerous supernatural spin on the usual LoFP game tropes.  I'm happy to say that it works in spades. I'm reminded here of the dark iconic spin of humor from early White Dwarf magazines  and the  Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy Role Playing game. There are echoes here of gallows humor and horror by turns.

This is a very different take on the horror and supernatural themes of the Lamentations game system and  Something Stinks in Stilton gives the players  everything that they're going to need to survive this surprisingly interesting little romp in the countryside investigating cheese making and the dark consequences of the region's  past. The plot is very English and really takes the weird aspect of Lamentations in new directions;"
In the 13th century, Stilton produced amazing cheese. Then the Church came and suddenly the cheese trade died out. Now it’s 1730 and the village of Stilton has started producing great cheese again.You intend to find out why." 
An adventure into darkest Cambridgeshire for levels 1-3 and they do mean that. This adventure could easily be one of the most memorable or disturbingly comedic romps a group of players will be put through. Like many of the Lamentations of the Flame Princess adventures this one is going to change the lives of those who accept the investigation into the dark practices going on in and  around Stilton. I've been to Stilton and I'm happy to report that the cheese is real as well as very good tasting. But after reading this adventure; well I'm not sure I'll be able to have any for a long while. There is a surprising amount of body horror and truly nasty bits mixed in with a solid investigative adventure. The NPC's here are well constructed and the lay out of the 1730's locations are very, very, well done. Cartography and locations are simply evocative of the countryside locations. The comedy is very black and British, it reminds me of some of the more iconic BCC productions where the humor is gallows and very twisted. The adventure focuses on the local  setting  and brings home the horror on a one to one basis for the PC's. This is done in a very iconic and twisted way. This is the basis for how the PC's are brought into the deep end of the twisted imaginings of Stilton. There is death, danger, and dismemberment waiting in equal turns in 'Something Stinks in Stilton' make no mistake about that and it waits in the form of Bovine terror. There is a fair bit of dungeon crawling in Something Stinks in Stilton and its very messy as well as dangerous. At its core this is a very tightly written and well thought out adventure. A nice evening's entertainment that could take a few sessions pf play to deal with.

This is an adventure that takes full advantage of the conceits of it's writer's and designer's strengths and then expands upon them to reach a climax that is at once darkly humorous and more then slightly deranged.  PC's playing Something Stinks in Stilton are in for a hell of a ride. But is this a playable adventure and worth the download or printing cost? In a word yes, the ideas presented in Something Stinks in Stilton are original and very well done. Its worth the money and your time. For a low level adventure this is one to get for the Lamenations of the Flame Princess system or for dungeon master's looking to get the PC's into a weird and more then slightly twisted adventure. Five out of five for a great adventure with the potential to turn into a mini campaign.

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