Not exactly my intention, but I'll take my kudos where I can get them.What we end up with are dinosaur-riding sorcerous cavemen exploring ancient ruins and pursuing the Greys for their nifty rocket launchers while being pursued in turn by Nyarlathotep and some undead mummies.
Why? Fuck you, that's why.
Snagged for the ad campaign.
And that was certainly not my intention. At the end of the day, any review -- and this one is no exception -- is largely (almost wholly) subjective. Personally, I've never cared for Rifts, I got tired of Exalted's all-gonzo-all-the-time, and I never had a real hankering to play Synnabar. Kitchen-sink settings like those never turned me on, but I do understand that they work for a lot of people (with, perhaps, the exception of Synnabar). I do find it a little odd that, when it's SenZar, it's laughable, and when it's a retro-clone, it's "noble and pure of intent," but honestly, that's probably another conversation for another time. What I would say about this review is, frankly, don't take my word for it. Feel free to pay the cost of admission, and decide for yourself if it's to your liking or not.Setting aside the taste question - either you think the Cavemen Dinosaur-Riders with Rockets are cool or you don't and one isn't right and the other wrong - I think the review does the product a disservice by substituting snark and preferences for any kind of objective (or even objective-seeming) review). Much like the Caveman-thing, some gamers like a broad-strokes setting, such as Carcosa, that doesn't tell you who the Space Aliens are, and other gamers don't. Fine; great. The review could tell me it's the former without also implying that I am foolish for liking that kind of thing.
I will say, as a final thought, that I just don't think that Carcosa is a very "LotFP" product.
"Let the scenario and the setting and the situation decide what monster would be appropriate ... don’t pull one out simply for the sake of filling out Room 5b on a map. Players can tell when something is inspired and when something is included 'just because.'" LotFP Referee's Book, pg. 48 (Grindhouse Edition)
"All magic items are artifacts, unique items of great power, and not mere tools or trinkets or armaments ... Magic items should never be placed 'just because,' and magic items should never be treated as standard elements to a game ... Most magic items have no obvious combat or adventuring function, and many will not be portable." LotFP Referee's Book, pg. 56 (Grindhouse Edition) (Substitute "magic" for "Space Alien technology.")
"Strange ideas, perhaps inspired by a movie or odd item in the news, demand to be included in the game ... (S)acrificing the integrity of a
campaign for the sake of a passing fancy is not worth it. Many campaigns have been tanked as a result of, 'I have a great idea!' Whenever you have an idea that you want to put in the game that at first seems out of sorts, just ask yourself 'Why?' Not in real world terms, but in game world terms. 'Why is this here? Why is this happening? Why? Why? Why?'" LotFP Referee's Book, pg. 66-67 (Grindhouse Edition)
I'll reiterate something that I mentioned at the beginning of my review: I really like Lamentations of the Flame Princess. I like it because, to me, it makes sense, not only in terms of "fixing" some of the weird rules of B/X, but in terms of paring out the randomness that I've never liked in earlier editions of D&D: random encounter tables, random treasure tables, wandering at random through a hex map, and facing the random stuff that pops up in each hex. I read through LotFP and thought to myself "Nice! Someone's recast the rules-light, DIY-friendly B/X as a storytelling engine, rather than as a collection of random tables to be hacked through."
Carcosa does a complete 180 on that vibe.
I don't understand why Raggi decided to publish Carcosa as a LotFP supplement (though if I had to wager a guess, I'd say it was for the shock value; it seems the sort of thing that the editor of a Scandinavian Heavy Metal magazine might do...). But in doing so, I honestly believe that he undercut a number of the ideas that make LotFP a superior B/X clone.
As always, your mileage may vary.