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Friday 11 November 2022

Friday Fantasy: Wight Power

So that title. Is it racist? Is it not racist? In the homophonic sense, because after all, that it is what it sounds like, it is racist. As written and thus spelt, not it is not. That is because it is both an amusing Dungeons & Dragons pun and an amusing geographical pun. Clever puns, even. Puns that play upon Dungeons & Dragons because one of the main monsters in the scenario is a wight and geography because the scenario is set on the Isle of Wight, just off the coast of southern England. However much the scenario is not racist—and it is not, even down to the negative admonishment to adherents of extreme Right Wing politics that ends the book—and however much the title involves a pair of puns, there is no denying the fact that the title is provocative. And intentionally so, given the publisher’s reason for publishing a book with this title, essentially a ‘screw you’ and because he can. So bear that in mind, given the publisher, if that and the title is enough to put you off Wight Power, then this review is not for you—and that is fair enough.

Wight Power is a scenario for use with Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantasy Roleplay. Like other scenarios published by Lamentations of the Flame Princess it is set in the game’s default early Modern Period. Specifically, in 1632 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. Even more specifically, it is set on the Isle of Wight in, around, and below a ruined monastery, Quarr Abbey, abandoned following the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII. Here an archaeological dig is being conducted by Priest Joseph Duverney, a Catholic scholar and his order, and guarded by a band of Landsknechts mercenaries led by Alfonso Gutierrez. Tensions are running high between the Catholic scholar and his order and the Landsknechts mercenaries, as one of their number turned up dead and another is missing. The Player Characters might become involved in the location because extra muscle is required and neither faction can trust the other to conduct an investigation into the death; there are several workers from the surrounding area and beyond missing, and they are hired to find them; or because they might be locals who have become aware of strange goings on at the ruin and want to investigate. The scenario itself assumes that the first option is selected, perhaps backed up with a few entries from the rumours table.

So what is going in Wight Power is definitely weird, definitely apocalyptic, and definitely involves the Second Coming. Though not the Second Coming that you might imagine, involving as it does the cloning of the holy prepuce, a decidedly genuine and holy relic. Which of course, is not going to go to plan. So to be fair, if there is anything that is actually offensive in Wight Power, it might be that it is sacrilegious. Besides the Second Coming, the scenario involves the undead, an actual saint of necromancers, St. Cyprian of Antioch, and rising tensions between both groups that constantly threaten break out into actual violence. If the Player Characters are brought into investigate both the disappearance and the death, the scenario initially plays out as a murder mystery. However, it is not that, as there are very few clues to be found, little to be investigated, and there are areas where the Player Characters are forbidden from entering. This is intentional and designed to pique their curiosity. The likelihood is that the scenario will play out in one of two ways. Either the Player Characters will ignore their instructions, enter the areas they are barred from, and discover both what is going on and how weird it is, and probably trigger the Second Coming or get caught up in the tensions between the order and the mercenaries such that the Second Coming occurs anyway. The former is more interesting than the latter. Either way, the Player Characters have a big galumphingly disaster on their hands and unleashed on the Isle of Wight.

In terms of plot, Wight Power is underwritten. In terms of background and detail, the scenario contains an embarrassment of riches. A complete background to the whole affair, a timeline, three detailed NPCs—Priest Joseph Duverney and Alfonso Gutierrez, plus the captain of the Landsknechts, maps of Quarr Abbey, plus the catacombs below, full details of the means and result of the Second Coming, and both St. Cyprian of Antioch and the Clavis Inferni, the book he wrote. There is a lot here and whilst some of it is useful in providing background material, not all of it is necessarily relevant and the Player Characters are not necessarily going to find out what is really going on.

Physically, Wight Power is cleanly and tidily presented in full colour. For the most part, the artwork is presented in bright, colourful silhouettes, which are for the most part, neither interesting nor evocative of anything. The cartography is okay, but in places, the details on the maps could match what is described in the text—especially in the catacombs. It is well written and fairly easy to grasp what is going on despite the wealth of information provided.

Ultimately, despite the provocative nature of its title, Wight Power is another ‘hidden, apocalyptic monster waiting to be unleashed, whilst surrounded by monsters’ scenario. As presented, its background is more interesting than the underwritten plot, the overall impression is underwhelming, and beyond what the NPCs are trying to do in that plot, Wight Power is simply a Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantasy Roleplay scenario, but not a standout Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantasy Roleplay scenario.


  1. Your repeated comments about underwritten plot tell you may not understand the sandbox concept: write situations, not plots. Do not railroad you characters into a plot, nor even have an expected outcome. The purpose of a timeline is to know what happens if the players do nothing, and also to have some idea of what should change when the players start interfering (i.e. the timeline itself may change, radically from that point forward, and with each new decision of the PCs).

    Literally the "Adventure Design" section of the LotFP Referee book has "Step 2: Introduce PCs to the location/situation. Step 3: Step back and see what happens without having an investment in any particular outcome."

    No plot is a FEATURE not a bug.

    1. Whilst I will thank you for reading my review and taking the time to comment, I will not thank you for your assumption that I do not understand what a sandbox is. So let me correct you. You are wrong.

      In the case of Wight Power, I simply do not think that there is enough of a hook or story or plot to get the Player Characters involved and keep them involved. That is why I regard it as being underwritten, especially in comparison to the plentiful background.

      In the meantime, thank you again for your comment and I genuinely hope that you recover from being wrong very soon.