Every Week It's Wibbley-Wobbley Timey-Wimey Pookie-Reviewery...

Friday 6 December 2019

Friday Fantasy: More Than Meets The Eye

More Than Meets The Eye: A Short Adventure with Lots of Tentacles is one of four short scenarios for use with Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantasy Roleplay released by Lamentations of the Flame Princess at Gen Con 2019, the others being Barbarians of Orange Boiling Seas, Menagerie of Exiles, and Zak Has Nothing To Do With This Book. Written by Kelvin Green, the author of Forgive Us and Fish Fuckers – Or, a Record, Compil’d in Truth, of the Sordid Activities of the People of Innsmouth, it is like several other scenarios from the publisher, set in the early modern period of the opening decades of the seventeenth century. It is also a sequel of sorts to the author’s scenario for adult Referees and players, the aforementioned Fish Fuckers.

From the start, including the title and its vibrant cover, it is obvious that More Than Meets The Eye is a weird, fantasy homage to a certain franchise of films involving giant robots capable of transforming into everyday objects. Not only is its location called St. Michael’s Bay, but the antagonists of the bay are transforming aliens, though not robots. Instead they are squidy, squidgy, tentacled aliens—shoggoths?—capable of transforming into everyday objects. This is depicted on the front cover and in a really good illustration inside the book. This transformation theme runs throughout the scenario, whether it is objects transforming into aliens (shoggoths), or the player characters into another race or Class, or simply into goop. There is a certain sexual element to the scenario, but it is not quite as prurient as that of Fish Fuckers.

Like the aforementioned scenario, More Than Meets The Eye is set in the West Country, but Cornwall rather than Devon, begging the question, “What exactly, does the author have against the people of the West Country?”. A light has been in the sky over the coastal village of St. Michael’s Bay or there has been violence in the coastal village of St. Michael’s Bay following a light has been in the sky or nothing has been heard from the leading men of the village, Ernest and Henry Hastings, and their business associates want to ensure that they are all right. These are the reasons to bring the player characters to the village of St. Michael’s Bay, which absolutely has to be the best use of the director’s name under any circumstances and well, it is set in Cornwall, home to Saint Michael's Mount (if there was a French version, there has to be a joke in there about Le Mont-Saint-Jean-Michel-Jarre).

What is going is this. St. Michael’s Bay has been invaded—twice. First by a group of shape-changing aliens in the past, fleeing a civil war amongst their kind. This group has recently been awoken after millennia of hibernation and in the process, the second group, come to Earth to capture the first. Which leads to a confrontation and a stand-off, one which the player characters are likely to break. Depending upon the outcome, there is a chance that the player characters might end up with a—unsurprisingly, given that this scenario is for Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantasy Roleplay—weird spaceship, which is not actually as bad as it might seem. After all, there are any number of scenarios published for the roleplaying game and other Old School Renaissance roleplaying games which are set in weird locations, for example, Barbarians of the Orange Boiling Sea, which could be reached by a spaceship.

Physically, More Than Meets The Eye: A Short Adventure with Lots of Tentacles is well presented, with some really quite entertaining artwork. The book could be better edited though.

More Than Meets The Eye: A Short Adventure with Lots of Tentacles lives up to its title. It is short, probably providing no more than a session or two of play—though if the player characters get hold of the spaceship, it opens up all sorts of possibilities. It also has a lot of tentacles and no, you do not want to get close and personal with any of them! More Than Meets The Eye: A Short Adventure with Lots of Tentacles is also bonkers, but it is the best version of Michael Bay throughout all of time and space.

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