Saturday, May 5, 2012

Armchair Reviews: The Mythos Dossiers (for The Laundry RPG)

I've done reviews for the other two books for The Laundry RPG here:

The Laundry RPG
Laundry Files: Agent's Handbook

And now I'm reviewing their latest book: The Mythos Dossiers.

Interesting and detailed depiction of a very familiar desk in the novels of The Laundry series. I shan't spoil anything.

The Mythos Dossiers is an interesting supplement / sourcebook. The presentation and content of the sourcebook to emulate actual files that would be found in the intelligence dossiers. Like the novel, these files are codenamed rather interestingly: BLUE HADES, ANNING BLACK, EQUUS STELLAR, PLUTO KOBOLD, etc. and are more or less consistently used throughout the sourcebook across all 'files', reinforcing the feel of working for a bureaucratic agency dealing with the supernatural.

The formats of the files found in the dossiers are many and varied: there are letters, handwritten and typewritten; there are transcripts of recorded interviews; there are photos that are vague yet suggestive; there are diagrams; there are situation reports and assessments; and so on.

Some of them are quite humorous, such as the BLUE HADES interview; others are terrifying in their implications. Even better, the more files that you read in each dossier, the more you learn about each topic -- players and GMs may end up drawing connections between things that they wouldn't have seen taking each file individually.

GMs can use this sourcebook as inspiration for scenarios and campaigns. They can also hand out entire dossiers grouped by codename to get PCs ready for a scenario tackling that dossier. They can also hand out files piecemeal, allowing the PCs to learn more and more as an adventure or scenario progresses.

I love this sourcebook -- it feels true to both inspirations: the classic Call of Cthulhu handouts and The Laundry novels.
I neglected to mention that there are game mechanics and stats for certain things not covered already in the main RPG book.

I have to say that this source really seals the deal for me -- I must run The Laundry despite my utter ignorance of the U.K. intelligence community. The ASTERION SNARL material alone give me enough for a non-mythos centered campaign that would be fantastic lead-in to the bigger menaces in the world of The Laundry.

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