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The Sense of the Sleight-of-Hand Man: A Dreamlands Campaign for Call of Cthulhu
Publisher: Arc Dream Publishing
by Erik B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/12/2017 14:26:26

This so called campaign, I'd say more of a grand private dimension of descriptive brainstorming about how both horrid and beautiful the Dreamlands can be, is made in a way as if David Lynch (the Twin Peaks director) would've suddenly decided to write a Call of Cthulhu setting and meandering story for the game of the same name. BUT. The really fantastic thing above all is how astonishing the photo-realistic drawings are! I cannot begin to emphasize enough how those drawings (or paintings?) add to the overall feeling of the book and its written contents. I am breathless. If the book had been made without the drawings/paintings it would still rank highly as an atmospheric text on the setting and general lands of dreams, and doubly so as it also conveys new and constructive ideas on how RPG rules on dreaming can be constructed to actually convey a true feeling of doing just that! But as the book also includes the pictures, it makes the weird and otherworldly feelings of the place bleed off onto - and under -the reader's skin, creating a crawling sensation of being there, confronted with things no sane mind was meant to see.

The one complaint I have against the overall product of this book is that there's not enough sense of investigative purpose for the player characters because of an endless string of survival tests. Atleast I don't think there is, I haven't run this with my Call of Cthulhu player friends. But what I mean is, even if you are in a nightmare dreaming and suffering in strange surroundings, you don't stop fighting against the forces of horror. You want to live! But because that becomes a central focus for the players during most of the campaign, the sense of wonder I dread will fast trickle off and be replaced with dull matters of defense. And matters of defense in that manner tends to be expressed in mucho talk of game mechanics, in other words: the death of roleplaying and general feel of weirdness. The weirdness that the author of this campaign so aptly has constructed rules for, for that exact purpose! In this way the campaign, I fear, will work against itself. So I wonder: how much was i play-tested before creation?

To conclude: I am steadfastly recommending all GMs of H.P. Lovecraft RPGs to go buy this book. It is a wonder. Something that actually grows its own 'static field of weirdness' on the shelf that it ends up on. Because it's that good. But to really reach the potential it could've had, it need one heck of a Keeper/gamemaster to make it just that, in spite of all the good things it holds.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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The Sense of the Sleight-of-Hand Man: A Dreamlands Campaign for Call of Cthulhu
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