Lusus Naturae is Live in PDF

A-Z 2015 "L"Lasus Naturae is now available in PDF at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow. In fact, it comes in three forms: hyperlinked PDF, “art only” PDF so you can show your players (“print them at work, it might make more time for gaming!”, says Bad Advice Guy), and a “text only” PDF for ebook readers and tablets and whatnot. All text written by Rafael Chandler, all art by Gennifer Bone.

It’s no secret that I like Rafael Chandler’s work. He writes freakish and macabre monsters, and Lusus Naturae continues the trend. They are not for the timid or easily disturbed, and they’re not for all groups. However, he wrote it to support Lamentations of the Flame Princess, and I think it is a good fit for people who like that game.

I had early access to the PDF and spent some time (most of Sunday, really) reading it.

One of the things I find he does with his monster books, that I rarely see done to this degree in others, is associate the monsters with each other. Many books might mention a couple of associations (vampires create vampire spawn, gnomes and kobolds are enemies, and so on). There are few of them, and they are quite limited.

Rafael goes rather beyond that. Lusus Naturae has slightly more than one hundred monsters listed. I found there were enough relationships to warrant mapping them out, resulting in the relationship graph below. This graph is not present in the book, but I find such things helpful for me to understand relationships.

Lusus Naturae Relationship Map. Blue lines mean 'created', green is 'likes/allies', red is 'hates/enmity', purple is 'summoned', black is 'other'. Dashed lines mean the link is mentioned elsewhere but not directly where used. The two grey nodes indicate non-monster elements that are mentioned by more than one monster.)

Lusus Naturae Relationship Map. Blue lines mean ‘created’, green is ‘likes/allies’, red is ‘hates/enmity’, purple is ‘summoned’, black is ‘other’. Dashed lines mean the link is mentioned elsewhere but not directly where used. The two grey nodes indicate non-monster elements that are mentioned by more than one monster.)

There are several obvious groups here (creatures summoned by the Ideologue, or created by Davinia Marrow, and so on), but the groups are not entirely distinct. There are some interactions between them.

This doesn’t take into account the number of entities named but not defined. There appears to be a rich implicit setting behind the monsters, just as there was with Teratic Tome, that makes me want to learn more.

But never, ever visit. This is a bad, unsafe, unhealthy world.

The cover of the book itself should be a pretty clear hint. I’ve reduced it to thumbnail so it’s not as vivid as it would be at full size.

This is a picture of an abstruct, a monster that builds Citadels of Perpetuated Joy from the bodies of dead children.

This is not the worst thing in here.

Lusus Naturae Cover

Lusus Naturae Cover

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