Monday, March 26, 2012

Dim Carcosa, or darn that Shub-Niggurath... dim Carcosa.
About 10 days ago I managed to run a G+ session of Geoffrey McKinney's Supplement V: Carcosa, now available in a gorgeous edition bound in human, some sort of extremely tactile substance. Sadly, my own copy is a printed-out version of the original edition, as it were, but as soon as I become independently wealthy, I'll spring for the Finlandian volume.

I've wanted to game in Carcosa ever since it first came out, but seeing as how at the time my oldest son was usually playing in our sessions, I needed to bide my time. G+ sessions are by there temporal nature (for me at least) kid-unfriendly, so I finally got my wish. I grabbed the Carcosan Grimoire (extremely helpful, and I believe its contents are included in the current edition), hunted down my copy of Fight On! #4, containing Geoffrey's Carcosan intro adventure (also now included in the revised edition), and was ready to go. Will and Shane joined me online, having already created basic characters (both Fighting Men--no Sorcerers this time out). I decided on the ODD rules, but with the stat bonuses from Labyrinth Lord, just 'cause. I also started them both out at second level, since there were only two of them. We Carcosa'd them by choosing color and, from the Grimoire, by adding names and a specific item of clothing for each, which gave us:

  • He of Mercy, Neutral Green Warrior, wearing Translucent Chains. (Will)
  • The Unanswerable Wind, Lawful Ulfire Warrior, wearing Precious Chains. (Shane)
I started them right on the southern edge of the desert, spending the night in burnt-out ruins while in search of treasure. They swiftly encountered a gigantic flying edifice shaped like a kneeling woman clutching at her veiled face, which loomed out of the black night and settled next to their campsite. A being inside sent them on a dream flight across the desert and into caves on the far side, where they viewed a disturbing statuette of greenish-black stone, somewhat reminiscent of a Great Old One whose name rhymes with "Hulu". The entity suggested they retrieve the statue, and waking to find the edifice gone, they decided to comply.

Thence followed the gathering of dried Black Lotus leaves from an enigmatic statue; a quick and brutal fight with some yellow cannibals; more antagonism involving White Lotus zombies and the death of The Unanswerable Wind; the discovery of a heretofore unnoticed captive of the zombies, a Chaotic Blue Warrior named Uttermost Grace of War; the drinking of a potion in an alchemist's lab which promptly turned UGoW into a green man (much to the delight of He of Mercy); an avoidance of a group of Deep Ones; and the final death of both Warriors in battle with a foul Spawn of Shub-Niggurath in the form of a bone-white arachnid creature with burning yellow eyes and plethora of small fanged mouths as they back-tracked through a storage room. Thus the adventure ended, though not before rolling up two new characters:

  • The Uttermost Ravishment, Orange Warrior, wearing a Leather Robe
  • Shining Life of the Eyes, Orange Warrior, wearing Tight Weapons (?)
Immediate synopsis: We had a blast! It's such a weird setting, I don't think any of us really knew what to expect from encounter to encounter. The wacky dice-rolling turned out to be a lot of fun. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'll use this type of dicing whatever version of ODD I'm running. It's great because it really makes combat uncertain and actually exciting, and you're throwing all the dice all the time, which is always fun.

I'm excited to run it again, and in the quest to find some character sheets, I was tipped off to a limited-edition Carcosan game-aid, which I'll share more about as soon as it arrives in the mail...


  1. Only question is: When do we go back?

  2. Need another player?

    By the way, do you know the source of that awesome picture?

  3. This is inspiring weirdness, and pitch-perfect. I'd love to play, if you have a slot.

    I have a Carcosan flailsnails character but she's never actually managed to get to Carcosa. Which is a pain because she's hit 5th level and she would really like to start phase 2 of her plan: liberate her brethren from the depradations of sorcerers.

  4. @Will: That's always the tougher question to answer, but I'm hoping no more than a couple of weeks.\

    @Brendan: Sure! You can find me on G+ under Aaron Kesher; add me to your circles, and you'll be on the list.

    The picture is from:

    I found it searching Google images for "dim carcosa".

    @richard: Thanks, and sure--just find me on G+. That's pretty funny that you have a 5th lvl Carcosa character who's never been to Carcosa; if she joins us, though, all I can guarantee are depradations... :)

    I probably should make flailsnails compatibility official, too...

    1. Excellent, added on G+. Let me know when you are thinking about playing next.

    2. You are in the Gaming Circle, and will henceforth be notified!

  5. This adventure sounds fun! Also looking forward to hearing about your next game.
    I have been working on a Carcosa campaign, though have never actually played true OD&D style Carcosa yet.

  6. @Maedar: Have you seen the adventure? The pdf of that issue of Fight On! is pretty cheap, and if you're into Carcosa, worth the price for that adventure alone!

  7. I definitely plan on picking it up at some point.

  8. My orange guy's name is Utter Ravishment. I rolled one less on the name table than before. Funny that all my names started with U though.

    > the drinking of a potion in an alchemist's lab which
    > promptly turned UGoW into a green man

    In addition to turning me a hideous color, he also got bulging eyes from another potion. Really should have used that feature when dealing with the deep ones. ;) Found a video of his last moments with the spawn though:

  9. In addition to turning me a hideous color, he also got bulging eyes from another potion. Really should have used that feature when dealing with the deep ones. ;)

    That's right! That would've been AWEsome!

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaay... :)

  10. Brain gets a little fuzzy at 2 AM. ;)

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