Lusus Naturae Injects Nightmare Fuel Into Fantasy RPGs

Lusus Naturae Injects Nightmare Fuel Into Fantasy RPGs

Lusus Nature translates to "freaks of nature" and... yeah. Its got those.

You know, sometimes I think that the monsters in tabletop fantasy games just aren't scary anymore. They're just too safe for work Beholders are fearsome, sure, but they're just ravenous beasties in the end. They don't inspire fear in dungeon crawling player characters. Apparently game writer and designer Rafael Chandler agrees with me. Hence, his Kickstarter for the Lusus Naturae, a bestiary for old school RPGs like the first few editions of Dungeons & Dragons, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, or Adventurer Conqueror King System. Chandler's primary inspiration are the kinds of oddly specific horrors that exist in folklore, demonology, and the covers of death metal albums. "[These monsters] derive strength from fear, they nurture hate, and they reshape human flesh. Bereft of conscience, these entities inspire torture, manipulate time, and establish new religions in lightless ocean depths," he says. Further, Chandler is drawing on his Peruvian heritage for his monsters - using inspiration for new horrors that certainly haven't appeared in the distinctly western-slanted traditional D&D bestiaries you're used to.

I've taken a look at some of Chandler's previous efforts in this vein, and they deliver on the kinds of gore-fueled terror that he's promising. Trust me when I say that these are monsters in every sense of the word.

Lusus Naturae is on Kickstarter right now. Its funding campaign ends April 12.


This looks entirely relevent to my interests, as in I just may have to bring my jumper cables...

God dang it...

Well, there's another project I'm backing. The arty side of me is really digging the designs, and the part of me interested in PnP games is interested in the horrors to toss at people.

I tend to be sceptical of PnP games that try to sell themselves primarily on the art or other paratextual elements of the book. They tend to be far more expensive than the actual quality of the game merits. The last two "art book" RPGs I got (In Nomine and Degenesis), while beautiful books were pretty crap games.

@ JonB: Thanks for the kind words, man! Appreciated.

@ FalloutJack: Right on!

@ cursedseishi: Yeah, I love Genn's art. She has a great sense of the macabre. As for the horrors themselves, I'm working on some truly nasty stuff this time around...

Well, I'm interested. I tend to love horror in my games so I'd like to see what else is created.

@ Cenobite85: Thanks! Most of my work in tabletop games is horror-themed, and most of the games I play in have a dark tone to them. And cool handle -- I'm a Hellraiser fan as well. (Except for the last, um, 7 movies in the series.)

This looks really awesome... I'm so tempted to throw $30 at it to grab all his books.

@ Alar: Thanks!


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