So I've been trying to put together the "Strengths of LotFP" post to accompany the Weaknesses post that went up six weeks ago. I've been having trouble because I was trying to format it like a clickbait listicle that would be all rah rah cheerleading hooks that would make existing fans feel good about their support while also enticing new or lapsed people to come on in... especially with all the new books going on sale soon. You know... marketing.
But it just wasn't working. Over a month of agonizing over it, and nothing was coming. Of course it wasn't working.
The strength of LotFP is that such horseshit simply does not apply.
In 2009-2010 we were doing dark-tinged fantasy, but it still fell within the parameters of the mainstream RPG fantasy flavor. After the first boxed set sold out very very quickly and I realized this could be a going concern and that my plan to scam the Finnish government out of startup money had failed because I'd actually created a viable startup with their money (oops), the "ok we're doing this for real now" was accompanied by a the switch to the imagery and branding of the Grindhouse boxed set... because if I was going to do it for real, I wasn't going to hold back.
So what is Lamentations of the Flame Princess?
- It is the feeling I got when my father gave me a crate of Conan the Barbarian and Savage Sword of Conan comics the previous tenant had left behind in the new apartment he'd moved into, and at six years old I was reading things like A Witch Shall Be Born and Horror from the Red Tower and Hawks Over Shem thinking I'd stumbled onto something mythical and magical, what with all the gore and even nudity found within, and now I want to give you that feeling of poring over the forbidden.
- LotFP is when my father took me to see the rated-R Conan the Barbarian in 1982 when I was only seven years old, and I want to give that feeling of being allowed to see something you maybe shouldn't to you.
- LotFP is getting into Dungeons & Dragons with the Mentzer red box in 1984 at the age of nine going on ten and having entire new worlds opened up by this new hobby, and I want to uphold role-playing's promise of being able to do anything you can imagine, for you.
- LotFP is the feeling as a ten year old of getting the three AD&D hardcovers and delighting in being treated as an adult in the language and art in a product labeled for ages ten and up, and I want to give that same feeling to adults now.
- LotFP is my ten year old self not being able to read the Monster Manual at night because so many of the pictures were too scary for me to handle, and I want to give that feeling to you as an adult today.
- LotFP is my discovery of Weird Al Yankovic with his In 3D album and being immediately drawn to Nature Trail to Hell all about extolling everything great about slasher movies while also poking fun at their cliches, and I figure that's a great attitude to have to all this stuff.
- LotFP is me going over to a friend's house every day after school at one point in the mid 80s because he had cable and MTV was showing the Young Ones and Monty Python and my prepubescent self couldn't believe the absolute chaos I was watching... and I want to give that feeling to you as an adult today.
- LotFP is my father taking my ten year old self and my six year old brother to see Return of the Living Dead... and he facepalmed right there in the theater contemplating what he had done when Linnea Quigley started dancing naked in the graveyard, my brother had nightmares for a long time after seeing the movie, and I of course loved it, and I now want to make things that cause all of these reactions in other people.
- LotFP is my family getting a VCR when I was 11 or 12, and we immediately rented Friday the 13th from the local video store, watched it... then I ran back to the video store to rent Friday the 13th Part II, watched it... then I ran back to the video store to rent Friday the 13th Part III, watched it... and continued on however long it was open until we ran out of Friday the 13ths to watch, and now I hope like hell we're making stuff that when someone tries one, they run right out for more afterwards.
- LotFP is me renting A Nightmare on Elm Street from the local video place and it scaring the living shit out of me, so I would frequently bother the local video store DEMANDING to know when part 2 would be released for rental, because one definition of "good" is something that draws that reaction out of me and I want to draw that reaction out of you.
- LotFP is me renting Toxic Avenger from the local video store in 86 or 87, starting a lifelong adoration of Troma and low budget "trash" horror... while also being terrified because the lo-fi nature of the movie made its effects seem more genuine and real to me, like I wasn't sure if I was watching a snuff film or not and what kind of sicko makes something like this... and I'm sure LotFP delivers that feeling to you.
- ... and LotFP is also seeing Toxic Avenger at Night Visions in 2014 and being disappointed that it was a cut version, and being pretty rude to guest of honor (and personal hero) Lloyd Kaufman during the Q&A about why there would even be a censored version in the first place.
- LotFP is my mother showing me Flesh for Frankenstein (aka Andy Warhol's Frankenstein) when I was 11 or 12 when our family got our VCR and she was wanting to show me the weird horror movies she was into before she had kids... and my discomfort realizing that this really was a bit much... and now wanting to give that feeling to you as an adult today.
- LotFP is me at 17 first discovering Napalm Death, then Carcass, Cathedral, Morbid Angel, Entombed, Deicide, Death, etc. etc. etc. and learning about and becoming a part of this worldwide underground, parallel world that had fuck-all to do with the mainstream, that never had to compromise, and the deeper I dug the less the artists cared whether anyone liked them or not... and I'm still digging 29 years later.
- LotFP is my reaction when my first girlfriend, a Wiccan, wanted to teach me about paganism, and so she showed me The Wicker Man... and now I want to give you that same sense of "what in the actual fuck are you trying to tell me?" today.
- LotFP is my going to see Event Horizon in 1997 thinking it was just a sci fi spaceship movie and wondering why my girlfriend at the time showed up with a teddy bear to hold, and being absolutely delighted that there was an unexpected horror genre switch... and I hope more of you would surreptitiously slip in LotFP adventures in your regular RPG campaigns and watch players freak right the fuck out.
- LotFP is my experience of seeing Gone Fishin' with my girlfriend in 1997, because hey Joe Pesci and Danny Glover were fun in the Lethal Weapon movies, and as it turns out it was one of the worst and most unfunny comedies of all time. My girlfriend wanted to leave, and so I pretended in the theater that it was the funniest movies I've ever seen because A- I don't walk out of movies, and B- her severely agitated discomfort was definitely something to see... and I definitely want to bring that feeling to you.
- I went to see The Beyond when Tarentino's Rolling Thunder toured it around the US in 1998. It was a midnight showing in a swanky shopping mall's movie theater, and the movie showing in the room immediately before was Hope Floats... LotFP is the look on all the yuppie couples' faces as they filed out, they had to run the gauntlet of us freaks lined up for some Fulci. LotFP is the movie being preceded by classic horror movie trailers and the whole place cheering as the words "It has been a number of years since I began excavating the ruins of Kandar..." rang out and we all knew what it was. LotFP is the crowd enthusiastically cheering during the main feature when a little girl's head was blown off.
- LotFP is also laughing along with the rest of the crowd at a Night Visions showing of Atroz in 2013 because the movie tried way too hard (BARBED WIRE DILDO!) to the point of comedy.
- LotFP is my seeing The Blair Witch Project at a small theater before its wide release, and being so affected that afterwards I wandered around the streets of Atlanta in a fugue state, the summer afternoon sun seeming very dark... and I want to give you that feeling.
- LotFP is also my seeing The Blair Witch Project on its opening night of wide release with a packed house and seeing in real time a crowd going from confusion to rejection and knowing there was a great divide between me and most people... and I want to give you that feeling even more.
- LotFP is my starting to collect uncut cult classic films in the late 90s, and deciding to have a date over to watch some classic horror and then maybe a bit of rompy pompy... and never having seen it before, I thought I Spit On Your Grave would be a fine film for this. I was so affected that I actually lost all sexual function for some days, and I hope to recreate that feeling for you.
- LotFP is my finally buying all of Lovecraft's work in 2002 after years of seeing it referenced in movies and music, and I definitely, definitely, want to bring that feeling to you now.
- LotFP is my seeing Babadook in the theater and having a complete panic attack when they did the monster reveal, I actually thought I was going to die on the spot, that was so well done... and I want to give you that feeling.
- LotFP is watching Squid Game with my girlfriend and being so jealous that she's trembling and crying at the violence and drama and wishing that I could feel everything I watch as deeply as that... and I hope I can do that for you all.
But LotFP is also burning hatred for those who wish to restrict what people are allowed to imagine, or what media other people are allowed to have ready access to.
- LotFP is complete contempt for Mary Whitehouse and her National Viewers' and Listeners' Association and the pressure it put on British media.
- LotFP is complete contempt for the PMRC and everything it did to make life miserable for musicians.
- LotFP is complete contempt Pat Pulling, Thomas Radecki, and every parent, teacher, reporter, police officer, anyone that had anything to do with creating the atmosphere that resulted in my mother sitting me down to watch Mazes and Monsters like it was a fucking documentary, anything that contributed to a police officer coming to my elementary school to talk to us about the dangers of heavy metal and role-playing games (YEAH THAT WORKED REAL WELL YOU FUCKERS), anything that contributed to putting Gary Gygax on 60 minutes, anything that contributed to the Angry Mothers from Heck attitude at TSR and their capitulation and infantilizing the game.
- LotFP is complete contempt for the people that put the Dead Kennedys on trial for their artwork in the Frankenchrist album, the people who put Mike Diana in jail for comics they didn't like, for putting 2 Live Crew's music on trial, for the public pressure and government action after Janet Jackson's Superbowl performance.
- LotFP is complete contempt for content standards (Hays Code, Comics Code) which restrict creativity, and rating systems as they become guides and limitations for creative works rather than simply describing content.
If you support the banning of creators or creations, blacklists or blackballing, or making it more difficult for people to acess creative works that you don't like, you are a wicked person. There is nothing on this Earth worse than a censor.
So there it is, describing the ethos of LotFP through example. Maybe not the slickest marketing, but if it can reach the people who connect with the vibe, then who gives a shit about the rest.
Although if you're wanting more traditional hype and testimonials, check out what LotFP's fans say about the game here.
Concerning the upcoming releases... we'll be doing a livestream on Sunday on our Youtube channel to introduce the new books, and before that we'll have some more specific information in this space about all the new releases...
It's our biggest release cycle yet. We're releasing ten new items. Eight for sale, and two bonus items.
Four should be fine for general audiences. (but what do I know, I thought Blood in the Chocolate was going to be fine for general audiences before people started telling me how awful some bits of it were)
Two would have been fine for general audiences if we didn't decide to do up the art all LotFP-like.
Two will cause frowny faces to those who think frowny faces are the thing to do.
Two will be absolutely indefensible to those who think creativity needs to be defendable.
My life, and the lives of everyone involved with LotFP and who plays LotFP will change on Monday.