Review: The Cult of the Still Lady

The Cult of the Still Lady is the latest product from Sine Nomine Games, a free 12-page download which (amongst other things) acts as a teaser for Other Dust, Sine Nomine’s post-apocalyptic RPG due out later this year.

It can also have the serial numbers filed off and be used as a crazed psychic cult on some world in the Stars Without Number milieu – the game systems are "fully compatible", and it looks as if Other Dust will explore life on Earth after the Scream, in the same way that Stars Without Number explores post-Scream life among the Terran Mandate’s orphaned colonies.

CONTENT

The file opens with a page and a half of background, explaining what happened to Earth’s foremost psychics in the immediate aftermath of the Scream (the psionic catastrophe which destroyed civilisation 200 years ago in game time), and how this led to the formation of the above-mentioned crazed psychic cults.

This is followed by eight and a half pages on one such, the Cult of the Still Lady. There are sections on the Still Lady herself, cult hierarchy, cult artefacts, a new psionic discipline for the Cult, statblocks and descriptions for nine NPCs/monsters (and believe me, in this Cult it can be hard to tell which is which).

Finally, there is a page of GM tools, allowing him to generate the purpose and equipment of any Cultists encountered.

FORMAT

As with all SNP products, the internal format is basic; two-column black and white text, no page backgrounds. I like it that way, and so does my long-suffering printer.

SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT

None, actually; it’s fine as is. I think that’s the first time I’ve said that in a review.

CONCLUSIONS

The Still Lady herself is an horrific opponent, but her atrocities are driven by her own insanity, and I actually felt repelled by her acts and sorry for her at the same time.

I’m not sure if I’ll follow Other Dust, as planet-bound post-apocalyptic RPGs aren’t my cup of tea, but I can see myself stealing ideas from it for a Dumarest-style campaign in which the PCs move from adventure to adventure, seeking the long-lost mother planet, Earth; and once they arrive, they find the Cult waiting for them.

Actually, now I think of it, that’s quite an exciting idea. I’ll add that to the list of campaigns to run later. Another possibility is to recycle it in a fantasy game where Chaos Cults feature prominently, such as Warhammer or SNP’s Labyrinth Lord worldbook, Red Tide. It would also provide a useful enemy in a horror campaign.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5. (This probably-not-very-coveted rating is achieved when I think: Wow, I have to use this right away, somehow.)

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