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Friday, 7 October 2022

Friday Fantasy: Green Messiah

Green Messiah
continues Kelvin Green’s assault upon the small English village. Not content with dumping giant, Transformer-like fleshy aliens in More Than Meets The Eye: A Short Adventure with Lots of Tentacles on a village in Cornwall and then screwing—literally—with the inhabitants of a Devonshire in Fish Fuckers – Or, a Record, Compil’d in Truth, of the Sordid Activities of the People of Innsmouth, Devon, he does it again with the more simply titled, Green Messiah. However, Town Littleworth, the victimised village—or horrified hamlet—is in Sussex this time, so it is not the West Country being targeted by the author’s ire. The scenario though, is another case of the author taking a well-known intellectual property and inverting it to parodic effect. So in More Than Meets The Eye, it was The Transformers series of films directed by Michael Bay and in Fish Fuckers it was H.P. Lovecraft’s ‘The Shadow over Innsmouth’. So what does 
Green Messiah invert? Most obviously upon reading the scenario, it is the origin story of the superhero, Superman, but as the author suggests another inspiration could have been the film Bright Burn, which also inverts the Superman story. In addition, Green Messiah is inspired by The Invasion of the Body Snatchers—the author wrongly suggesting that the 1978 version is better than the 1956 original—and another of H.P. Lovecraft’s short stories, ‘The Colour Out of Space’, along with its recent film version. Add in a heavy dose of Men in (Puritan) Black as mulch and what you have in Green Messiah is a rich, peaty affair which may well change the Game Master’s campaign, but both her and the Player Characters will have fun playing it.

Green Messiah is a scenario for use with Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantasy Roleplay. Like other scenarios for the retroclone, it is set in the game’s default early Modern Period. Specifically, in 1630 England, so it would work well with several of the other publisher’s titles or equally easily adapted to the retroclone of the Game Master’s choice. The story begins in 1624 when an alien spacecraft crash lands just outside an English hamlet. Upon investigating the site, a couple discover that the strange object contains a strange, alien baby, but being childless, the couple adopt the young boy as their own and name him Robert. The surname of the couple? Clark. In the following six years, the boy grows up strong and strange, green-skinned, pointy-eared, and black-eyed, almost Elf-like—were there actually any Elves in 1630 England or Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantasy Roleplay, loved by his adopted parents, though he cannot truly understand the concept. An enormous tree grows in the centre of the hamlet, the ‘Great Tree’, over four hundred feet tall and fifty feet in diameter, and from atop its foliage, Robert begins plotting his domination of first Town Littleworth, then England, and beyond, the world. Exactly as he is programmed to do. For Robert is the seed of a plant space-empire, sent to Earth to grow and make a better world. Already, Robert has begun sending out his Radicinoids, ambulatory, carrot-like tubers that replicate and replace humans. Otherwise, all is well in the hamlet of Town Littleworth.

However, the appearance of the Great Tree and the strange goings on in Town Littleworth have attracted the attention of outsiders. The Seekers of Love is a cult of non-conformists who see in Robert the Second Coming of Christ, consisting of genuinely nice, peaceful folk. Officer ‘J’, Officer ‘M’, Officer ‘M’, and Officer ‘H’—either agents for the late (or not so late) Doctor John Dee or members of the armed wing of the Royal Horticultural Society (here pre-empting its actual founding in 1804)—have been assigned to investigate the reports of odd plants and weird fruit in the hamlet or signs of alien activity in the English countryside or… A quartet of bandits actually has very little interest as to what is going on in the hamlet except that back in 1622 when its members were on the run from the law, they buried their ill-gotten gains in a field on the Clark family farm. Now they have returned to claim their treasure, which is a bit difficult owing to the grove of alien plants and vegetation which has grown on the very site. Enter the Player Characters…

Green Messiah suggests numerous reasons why the Player Characters might also become interested in the situation in Town Littleworth. The least interesting of which is that they might just be passing through the hamlet. Others include searching for the bandits’ lost treasure, being employed by a wizard or alchemist or horticulturist to collect samples of the strange plants in the hamlet, searching for a missing friend (who of course, has been replaced by a Radicinoid), extracting someone from a cult formed by a bunch of non-conformists which is based in the area, and more…

Green Messiah is all set-up and a solidly described situation. It clearly explains each of the factions present in Town Littleworth and their motivations, including Robert, his adopted parents, the Seekers of Love, the Men in Black, and the bandits. The notable locations in Town Littleworth are also described in detail, including the Clark farm and its alien Grove, and those places associated with Robert. These include the Great Tree, its Roots—the nearest that Green Messiah gets to a dungeon, the Trunk, and the Top of the Tree. In other words, the Great Tree dominates both the hamlet and the scenario, it literally looms large… And it is here that the Player Characters are likely to have their confrontation with Robert after having explored the Grove and perhaps ferreted through the Roots, before climbing the Trunk.

Green Messiah is also one big ‘What If?’ as well as a number of smaller ‘What ifs?’ The big ‘What If?’ is what happens to Robert if the Player Characters do nothing and what happens if they decide to intervene. After that, answers are given to questions such as ‘What if one of the Men in Black has been replaced by a Radicinoid?’, ‘What do the cultists of the Seekers of Love do if Robert is killed?’, and ‘What happens if a Player Character actually eats a Radicinoid?’. (Yes, really.) There is even a set of guidelines for having a Radicinoid as a Player Character, including its Class abilities. Which is perfectly possible should the Player Characters stop (as in kill) Robert, but one of their number also dies and/or is replaced by a Radicinoid…

Rounding out 
Green Messiah is a table of all twenty of the weird fruit found to be growing in Town Littleworth, its own ‘Apendix N’ of inspiration, a table of random names for random inhabitants of the hamlet—replaced by the Radicinoids or not, and the various NPCs to be found in its environs. The inside of the front cover contains a fetching map of Town Littleworth and a quick description of its key features.

Green Messiah is very well produced. The slim, but sturdy hardback feels good in the hands and whilst green predominates, judicious use of colour makes the interior stand out. The cartography is also good, and the scenario is written in a light tone and with a very knowing wink. If there is anything missing, perhaps a countdown or reaction tracker could have been included that would have helped the Game Master determine Robert’s responses to the Player Characters’ actions as they go about Town Littleworth and attempt to find out what is going on in the hamlet.

Well written, well presented,
Green Messiah is one of the more engaging releases from Lamentations of the Flame Princess for quite some time. Not a little ridiculous, Green Messiah is an entertaining and fun scenario.


  1. This is the first LOFP release in a while that I've been super keen to pick up --- thanks for the writeup!

  2. I think you'll find I am quite correct in my views on Invasion of the Body Snatchers. ;)

    Thanks for the review! It's very kind.