Monday, February 29, 2016
Lovecraftian Thing A Day No.60: Carcosa - For Adults Only!
Carcosa is a supplement written by Geoffery McKinney for the Lamentations of the Flame Princess and other OSR (Old School Renaissance) retroclone roleplaying games - basically modern rewritings of classic/original Dungeons & Dragons rules. Carcosa is essential a Lovecraftian OSR sandbox, and one that stirred up considerable controversy when it was released a few years back - primarily due to its explicit content. Indeed, one can find the following 'trigger warning' on the product's webpage: 'Warning: For Adults Only! Contains explicit descriptions and illustrations of vile black magic and violence'. Nice. In fact, if you are of a nervous disposition or easily offended, it's probably best not to visit the webpage itself (which of course you are now going to do, even though I haven't provided a link), as this itself contains an image of a woman having her eye poked out - which not only renders the proffered warning on the site pointless, but also doesn't help much by way of addressing accusations of misogyny that have been levelled at the book.
All of which left me pondering whether or not to include it as part of this series. Carcosa is, however, a beautifully-produced book, and thankfully most of the graphic material is in the writing and not the illustrations. In addition to which it is perhaps one of the better attempts at realising a truly weird, horrifying and nihilistic Lovecraftian setting for D&D. An interesting - if sometimes disturbing and unsettling - read for both gamers and Lovecraft fans alike.