Tabletop Review: A Single, Small Cut (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)

A Single, Small Cut (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)
Publisher: Lamentations of the Flame Princess
Cost: $2.00
Page Count: 11
Release Date: 05/09/2014
Get it Here: DriveThruRPG.com

A Single, Small Cut is an adventure for Lamentations of the Flame Princess by author Michael Curtis, who I normally associate with Dungeon Crawl Classics. He’s written some great adventures for that system like Intrigue at the Court of Chaos, The Old Gods Return, and The Sea Queen Escapes. He’s also the author of The Chained Coffin which is currently on Kickstarter and smashing through stretch goal after stretch goal. Since I enjoy his stuff it and it’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a LotFP release, I thought I could kill two birds with one stone with this one.

A Single, Small Cut is a short little adventure than can be played in a single session. The PDF is eleven pages long, but only seven pages are the actual adventure. The other four pages are the covers, the title page and a map. The adventure is mostly text. Mechanics only show up in the form of three antagonist stat blocks and a large side bar about the adventure’s MacGuffin. This means you can easily convert A Small, Single Cut to other fantasy games if you prefer, but the flavor and atmosphere will remain LotFP style weirdness no matter what you convert it to. The adventure is designed for six Level 3 characters, but the text does say you can adjust it to higher or lower levels if needed. So all, in all, A Small, Single Cut is a pretty flexible adventure.

In many ways, A Single, Small Cut is about the hypocrisy of religion and a look at how many zealots become the very thing they hate, if not worse. In this case, we have the Order of Kites who have pledged to stamp out heathens in the name of the Church by any means necessary. The leader of this order used a small red bell to summon an extraplanar creature known as The Corrector of Sins to the world. Yes, it’s pagan magic that probably invokes a demon, but hey – there were horrible pagans to uproot and eviscerate! Upon the leader’s death, the demon summoned by his bell was no longer able to be controlled, so it was buried with their leader and left undisturbed for decades (although how did they put the Corrector back after they realized it could no longer be controlled).

This is where the adventure starts as well as where the PCs come in. A magic user and his band of rogues have discovered the whereabouts and powers of the bell and have decided to claim it for their own, not realizing it no longer functions as it did all those years ago. To get it, they are willing to murder the entire congregation of a local church. Unfortunately for everyone involved the Corrector of Sins has special abilities related to humanoid corpses and is pretty ungrateful to the band of baddies who have summoned it to this plane anew. Can the PCs stop both a cadre of mortal evil doers as well as a being beyond mortal comprehension? What ensues is a three way dance of chaos that players will be lucky to survive.

The adventure, as I have previously stated, is a short one. It can easily be played in a few hours or less. Most of the experience is combat related. You get a short set up of talking heads at the beginning of the piece (which I suppose could become extremely long and drawn out depending on the group makeup, but it is unlikely) followed by madcap violence as each of the three sides tries to do away with the other. Honestly I think there is more story in the backstory setup than the adventure itself, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As the adventure is so short and straightforward, it can definitely be used to introduce people to the LotFP rules-set. There are several plot threads left dangling at the end of the affair thanks to the amount of back story provided. This means curious PCs and enterprising GMs can probably create a few adventures from the aftermath…if anyone survives the experience, that is. The entire affair is a lot of fun and has some definite macabre comedy moments, such as what happens when if the players find the bell.

I really enjoyed this piece. It’s definitely a weird and memorable adventure and highlights the strengths of both Curtis’ writing style as well as the old school mix of cruelty and bizarreness that is LotFP. With a price tag of only two dollars, fans of either DCC or LotFP will definitely get their money’s worth out of this purchase. Again, the adventure should be playable in an hour or three depending on the troupe’s play style (Hack and slash Vs talking heads). Whether you want to play a session but don’t have enough time or are looking for something short and sweet to showcase what LotFP is all about, A Single, Small Cut is an excellent option you should strongly consider.

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