Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Quick Vornheim Review

- The layout (and especially the black borders) make me feel like I'm reading a 90s-era newsprint hardcore zine; when I'm flipping the pages I'm half expecting to see ads for Bovine Records and Capitalist Casualties seven-inches or interviews with Rorschach, Dystopia and Assuck.

- The general vibe of the material really makes me think of Fairy Tales; the surreal fucking Fairy Tales that exists in a never-was Victorian-Medieval Dreatime. As Talysman pointed out in a discussion on the Hill Cantons regarding what era D&D is set in, it can be argued that D&D takes place in the anachronistic, iconic world of Fairy Tales. For some reason I imagine the city of Vornheim as a Dreamlands analogue of Prague.

- It's an innovative product, but it shouldn't be; that not an indictment of Vornheim but of what RPG products are generally produced. Vornheim is full of flavorful, useful and inspiring proceedural D&D tools and random tables; and it's a damn shame that more books like this haven't been produced.

- There's less art than I expected.

- It's appropriate that LOTFP is publishing this, as it's definitely a sibling to Carcosa (and the whole Greyhawk, Blackmoor, Kalibrun, Arduin, Cinder, etc. tradition); notes and materials developed in a DMs campaign presented as a palatte of resources (note that to me Carcosa is a kickass campaign setting BUT ALSO an amazing DMs toolkit).

- ...D&D mohawks... *sigh* ...however that's one of the best D&D depictions of a flail I've ever seen.

- I would have likes grid-lines of some kind for the "hand tables," just for the sake of "less visual/mental processing cycles."

Overall it's something I find theoretically useful as well as entertaining and inspiring; I rate Vornheim 1 Slaughter "Strappado."


1 - A reference to Telecanter's Receding Rules! Awesome.
2 - I sure didn't describe what's actually inside the book; good thing the press release covers that.
3 - The Maggot Naga pretty much demands statistics.


  1. For the record, having Mandy in D&D garb on the cover was a specific request from James. So blame him.

  2. Ah-ha! Now we know that James has a fetish for having women from real-life depicted on the covers of RPG products!

    I'm just cranky from "mohawks everywhere in real life" fatigue...

  3. Apparently they haven't reached Niagara, Ontario yet...

  4. Well that took a while to read but the payoff in laffs was well worth it!:)

    Conversely to my above opinionm, I do think it's awesome that a dude in the band photos for Sarcofago's I.N.R.I. and the skelton mascot for Slaughter both have mohawks...

  5. @ Zak

    It's still 1982 in large parts of rural Ontario.

  6. @huth

    About once every 2 months I get reminded there are still these places where people believe in god and have TV haircuts. I think it's really cute, actually.

  7. It sort of looks like Monkeybite! I didn't realize it thumbing through the PDF, but you're right. I wish was a review section, and in that section there was a division dedicated to reviews of Spazz records.

  8. @Zak - In California it looks cute. In Alabama... :)

  9. P.S.

    For some reason I imagine the city of Vornheim as a Dreamlands analogue of Prague.

    You might've just sold this to me.

  10. Whoa, didn't know about the reference until your review, thank you. Really nice of Zak.

    Prague is beautiful and only Krakow is higher on my places I wish I could live.