Worst. Modules. Ever.

NobodyImportant

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Why?

I liked Carcossa and didn't quite get why it freaked people out. It wasn't really a module though.
It’s clear that the author finds child rape to be an irreplacable part of any pulp setting, and he spends far too much page space not only contemplating how one might rape a child in-game, but also defending his depictions and talking about just how heroic he is for writing these atrocities. I think I’m well within my rights to feel deeply uncomfortable about the entire situation.

You are however correct in stating that it is not a module. “Worst settings” may be a worthwhile thread of its own.
 

wheloc

Cardassian Tailor
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I do think Carcosa deserves to be on this list, but not for the reason many other people here evidently do. I'm fine with how magic is portrayed, I just think that aside from the magic and some wonky hit-dice mechanics, there's not much to recommend the setting.

There's a tendency in sword-&-sorcery-styled games to tell us that magic is evil, but not to show us why it's evil. This always has me wanting to play the one good necromancer, who only animates ethically-sourced skeletons or somesuch; which leads to arguments around the table as to WHY something is evil, but many games don't give us any details to actually figure it out.

In Carcosa, McKinney takes another route: he doesn't moralize about the nature of magic, he just dryly tells us what rituals you have to do to get the magic to work. Yeah, most of it is pretty evil, but there's a sliding scale of evil. If you want to try and play a "good" sorcerer, you can. Banishment is the only type of magic that doesn't require human sacrifice, but that's still useful. Though don't adventurers tend kill a bunch of people anyway? So maybe ritually sacrificing a few of your enemies to summon a nightgaunt isn't so bad? Of course that's a slippery slope, but to me it's an interesting slope.

If no one wants to play a Sorcerer (and really, that's the right decision) then at least the party has the information it needs to determine how it wants to treat any NPC sorcerers they may encounter.

People seem to feel this is torture porn, but the descriptions aren't lascivious, just matter-of-fact depictions of horrible things. Still horrible, of course, but it is supposed to be a horror setting. There's also no hint that anyone thinks these things are OK to do (then again, the book isn't really interested in cultural notes about the setting
like that).

Like I said, I do think Carcosa is a boring horror setting, so I'm not inclined to comb-through the spell descriptions in search of what the author may-or-may-not be obsessed with. If y'all tell me there is a preponderance of virgins, then I believe you, but it's not like McKinney invented the concept of virgin sacrifice.
 
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Bruce Redux

Not flying or biting
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I'd say that Castro's prophecy is basic nihilism, born of the unique intersection between his own society and what cosmic truth he dimly apprehends.
I love this whole post. You've put some important cosmic-horror concepts into way better words than I would at the moment. Thanks. :)
 

Kreuzritter

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for something less stomach churning, I understand that the TMNT&OS adventures Truckin' Turtles and Turtles Go Hollywood get a lot of flack from Palladium fans for reasons such as being openly cartoonish
 

Ramidel

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There's a tendency in sword-&-sorcery-styled games to tell us that magic is evil, but not to show us why it's evil. This always has me wanting to play the one good necromancer, who only animates ethically-sourced skeletons or somesuch; which leads to arguments around the table as to WHY something is evil, but many games don't give us any details to actually figure it out.
D&D never really tried to sell "animating the dead is evil" as a moral principle - they just stated it. By Heroes of Horror, I think they just gave up, admitting that a focused necromancer can be perfectly good otherwise, but their powers are still evil because shut up, and their familiar summoning was still linked to the Lower Planes because they got warlocks and necromancers mixed up again.

Speaking of undead, Crucible of God from the Gehenna book for VTM doesn't even try to be subtle about its denial of player agency.

Please note that this episode involves grossly unfair treatment of the players’ characters. The characters become Destiny’s bitches. At every stage, examine the characters’ actions for ways that things might go wrong and make matters worse — and have that happen. In particular, remember that you, as Storyteller, can make Cainite powers fail at any time.
The game tells the ST to railroad the PCs for maximum fuck-you from start to finish, and forces them into a theological deus ex machina at the end if they don't want Tzimisce to eat the entire world.
 

GaoGaiGar

Is anyone REALLY a
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in their defense TMNT&OS was, at the time, firmly about Palladium's attempt to emulate the gritty, violent TMNT comics by Eastman and Laird
Palladium jumped on TMNT really early. The comic started in '84 and the game came out in '85. The core rulebook character descriptions don't even get up to issue #12 of the comic. It doesn't touch on Casey Jones becoming a friend and ally of the Turtles, for example. The cartoon didn't start until the end of 1987 and their license didn't cover that version of the characters, but the audience for it was huge, so they had to do something. Plus Eastman and Laird had given up on doing the comic themselves around then, turning it over to a rotating series of guest creators who could do whatever they wanted with the Turtles, so their source material was getting a bit thin.
 

Raveled

Hail Tzeentch!
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I don't know if this counts as a module, but one of the adventures for Heroquest (the best game ever made) had the heroes going down in a haunted gold mine. The basic layout was a central chamber with four directions that each lead to a dangerous fight. Beyond the fight was three chests; two of them were trapped and the "correct" one had a pile of gold so heavy that if you were carrying it, you could only move -- no attacking or casting spells. If you successfully lugged these piles to the end you discovered... They were just illusions and actually bags of rocks. The real treasure was the friends we made along the way to be found by randomly searching rooms. Normally that's very dangerous because you could uncover additional monsters but in this one scenario the only wandering monster was... the ghost of the wizard who set the whole thing up. Who would steal the bags of gold if you were carrying them, laugh at you otherwise, and then disappear.
 
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