UPDATE, APRIL 10TH: FULL COLOR
Thanks to everyone who backed this project, Lusus Naturae reached its first (and only) stretch goal: full color illutrations throughout. Thanks so much!
ABOUT THE PROJECT
• Lusus Naturae is a horrific bestiary featuring 100 new monsters.
• A 6"x9" hardcover, approximately 160 pages long; features a durable binding and high-grade paper.
• Funding pays for artwork, printing, and shipping.
• Uses the Lamentations of the Flame Princess system (thus, it's compatible with many other old-school role-playing games).
• Stretch goal: full color interior artwork!
Back it now so you can torment your players later!
Lusus Naturae ("Freaks of Nature") is a collection of grotesqueries that will break the bodies and hearts of your player characters. If you like horror in your old-school gaming, then you'll enjoy this bestiary.
It uses the Lamentations of the Flame Princess system. LotFP is a dark and violent tabletop role-playing game of horror/fantasy, and it's part of the "Old School Renaissance" family of games.
Each entry In Lusus Naturae is accompanied by a black-and-white illustration by Gennifer Bone. She's executing all the artwork, because I love her style, and because she gets where I'm coming from. I enjoy things that are broken, hideous, and upsetting; she's good at illustrating these notions. We're a great team.
The 100 viscera-chewing monsters in this book include:
- Pain-fueled Algionauts, bestowing power upon those who mutilate themselves
- The pitiless and insectile Blight, which hungers for the agony of tormented newlyweds
- The self-birthing Porphyrogene, eternally seeking the origin of feminine power
- Vitiators, which methodically disembowel those who ignore entreaties to abandon sobriety, virginity, and abstention of all kinds
- The thin and lonesome Wending Skirl, howling its soul-deadening grief in frozen woods
- Methodical and elegant Monstructs, which build their Citadel of Perpetuated Joys from the bodies of children
They derive strength from fear, they nurture hate, and they reshape human flesh. Bereft of conscience, these entities inspire torture, manipulate time, and establish new religions in lightless ocean depths.
They are sadists, manipulators, predators, and colossal monstrosities that are only peripherally aware of the actions of two-meter-tall mammals on an inconsequential telluric planet.
For the first time, I seek to draw upon the legends of my Peruvian ancestors, including:
- Machukuna, the ancient ones who saw their doom when the Sun was created, and fled to deep waters (where they wait);
- Sarara, a feathered horror summoned from the darkest pits of the underworld by foolhardy sorcerers;
- Chuyanchaki, shapeshifters who always forget one important detail;
- Supay, lord of death, who rules over all demons from his throne in Ukhupacha;
... and many others!
In 2013, I published Teratic Tome, a bestiary for OSRIC. This monster book bulged and pulsed with heinous terrors. The critics said:
- "I can only presume that Chandler dreamed up these monsters while smoking weed mixed with the ashes of Ed Gein, since what's here are uniformly twisted beings." (Shane O., DriveThruRPG.com)
- "I felt disturbed reading parts of this and uncomfortable in others, much like a good horror fiction novel. And yet I kept flipping the virtual pages. Like an addict. There can be no higher praise." (Erik Tenkar, Tenkar's Tavern)
- "Suffice to say that it comes with my highest possible recommendation." (Michael Gibbons, Metal Earth)
- "If you would imagine, for a moment, if H.P. Lovecraft and Clive Barker collaborated on an AD&D monster manual, you would have the Teratic Tome. Honestly, I don't know if I need any more to this review than that one sentence." (Christopher Helton, Dorkland)
- "Short form: holy balls is this an impressive book. If you like old school and you like freakishly scary and horrifying monsters, BUY THIS BOOK!" (Keith J. Davies, In My Campaign)
Now it's time to create something even nastier!
Though I love the Tome, and all the other books that I've created, they've all been published through print-on-demand services like Lulu and CreateSpace. With this project, my intent is to create a high-quality printed book with features that aren't available via POD.
Funding will pay for artwork and printing. If we exceed our goal:
$16,660 : Stretch Goal
- All images are upgraded to color.
- Some images are upgraded to full-page.
- Layout by Jez Gordon (Scenic Dunnsmouth)
We're not ruling out the possibility of a second stretch goal, but we won't cross that bridge until we come to it.
1. If things get weird or messy, I'll fix it. My first RPG (Dread: The First Book of Pandemonium) was published in 2002. There were only 100 copies made. Some got lost in the mail. I mailed replacement copies to my customers, even though it ate into the profits (international shipping is a beast, I tell you). Why? Because it matters. This is about getting game books into the hands of people who will use them while throwing dice on the table, simple as that. I took the same approach when I started publishing print-on-demand books via Lulu in 2007. People get what they pay me for.
2. I'm keeping it simple. Not going to complicate my first Kickstarter with shirts and keychains. You can get the PDF or the print book. Incidentally, this is as cheap as either version is going to be -- if you don't back the project now, you can always pick up the book later, but it's going to cost more.
3. Pre-orders come first. I know, you're not supposed to think of it as a pre-order, because you're all investors. Hell with that! I don't have investors. What am I, some kind of Nickelback-loving suit-and-tie office drone? This is a pre-order. Lusus Naturae won't be available to the public until every backer has received what was paid for. After the pre-orders are delivered, I'll sell the remainder of the print run to anyone who wants a copy. The book will then be sold via print-on-demand services, but minus the color artwork and glossy paper. If you pre-order now, you get a higher-quality book for a lower price.
Risks and challenges
Sure, it's a gamble, having one person illustrate an entire book, but the end result will be a consistent art style. I think it'll be cool. Worst case scenario, Gennifer's hometown gets nuked or maybe invaded by Triffids, so I make arrangements with a different artist to finish the project. I don't think that the nukes will be a problem (not sure about the Triffids), but I believe that Gennifer will get the job done because she's a professional.
She's done work for Wicked North Games, Rite Publishing, Necromancers of the Northwest, and Lamentations of the Flame Princess. In addition, she's contributed artwork to several of my books, including Lacerations of the Slain Priestess, ViewScream, Bad Myrmidon, and Teratic Tome. She's never missed a deadline for me.
I've written an entire monster book before, and most of Lusus Naturae is written already. In 2013, my output was 1,017 pages and 291,000 words, including The Starship from Hell, Teratic Tome, Pandemonio, Viewscream, SlaughterGrid, Roll XX, Bad Myrmidon, and two Lamentations of the Flame Princess adventures. That doesn't count the writing I did for my day job -- I work as a story designer and scriptwriter in the video game industry, and I've spent the past decade working on multimillion dollar projects for Sony, Ubisoft, and a dozen other companies. I have experience delivering content on a deadline, and I am hungry for this project because it's full of the kind of NC-17 material that I can't get anyone in the video game industry to greenlight.
While this is my first Kickstarted project, I've contributed to three other crowdfunded RPGs: Jason Morningstar's Durance, Clint Krause's Don't Walk in Winter Wood, and Jim Raggi's Lamentations of the Flame Princess Referee Book. In all three cases, my contributions were delivered on time.
If the funding is a lot higher than anticipated, this will be a good thing, because it will result in a prettier book. However, it has the potential to affect the delivery date, because of the increased workload. If we hit the stretch goal and go full-color, then we'll still deliver the book in 2014, but it might be in November or December. No surprises -- you'll know well in advance if that's the case.
NOTE: Lamentations of the Flame Princess is a registered trademark owned by James Edward Raggi IV, and is used with permission.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
With the exception of the Lusus Naturae PDF, they will all be delivered on April 12th. The Lusus Naturae PDF, of course, will be delivered later in the year.
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