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THE LAUNDRY - A RPG based on the Laundry Files novels by Charles Stross


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the-laundry.jpgThere are things out there, in the weirder reaches of space-time where reality is an optional extra. Horrible things, usually with tentacles. Al-Hazred glimpsed them, John Dee summoned them, HP Lovecraft wrote about them, and Alan Turing mapped the paths from our universe to theirs. The right calculation can call up entities from other, older universes, or invoke their powers. Invisibility? Easy! Animating the dead? Trivial! Binding lesser demons to your will? Easily doable! Opening up the way for the Great Old Ones to come through and eat our brains? Unfortunately, much too easy.

That’s where the Laundry comes in – it’s a branch of the British secret service, tasked to prevent hideous alien gods from wiping out all life on Earth (and more particularly, the UK). You work for the Laundry. The hours are long, the pay is sub-par, the co-workers are… interesting (in the Chinese curse sense of the word), and the bureaucracy is stifling – but you do get to wave basilisk guns and bullet wards around, and to go on challenging and exciting missions to exotic locations like quaint, legend-haunted Wigan, cursed Slough and Wolverhampton where the walls are thin. You may even get to save the world. Just make sure you get a receipt.

The Laundry roleplaying game is based on the award-winning Laundry series (The Atrocity Archives, The Jennifer Morgue, The Fuller Memorandum) by the even-more-award-winning Charles Stross.

In this book, you’ll find:

•Computational demonology, summoning extradimensional horrors, and three ways to use a shotgun to banish alien monsters.

•A history of the Laundry and the other occult intelligence agencies

•Classified briefings on known threats and monstrous horrors

•Streamlined rules for character creation, investigation and combat

•Three ready-to-play missions

By Gareth Hanrahan, Jason Durall and John Snead. 278 pages. Published by Cubicle 7 September 2010.

Edited by Trifletraxor

Ef plest master, this mighty fine grub!
b1.gif 116/420. High Priest.

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  • 2 months later...

I've only made it to the section on Sanity, but I would have to say that this is the cleanest version of the core rules yet. Very well laid out and easy to read. Good description of the rules and options. An excellent production.


Edited by SDLeary
craptastic grammer
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Ran the third scenario as a one shot at the local club last weekend. It was good fun. It's a nice cleaned up system but still suffers from skill bloat and what appeared to be an awful lot of overlapping skills. The magic system was pretty opaque and it feels like I've got to go back over it again to try to understand what, for example, pre-installed apps do and how long they take to do it. The writing is superb. Having only so far read the Atrocity Archives, which I found disappointing, the rpg book feels better and more engagingly written than the source material.

The only other thing that I was little disappointed with is the scenarios. The first is just a little too thin, the second just a little too obvious and the third too complicated for people who don't know the source. The third is *great* and I ended up running it but it was a big ask for the players.

Still and all, it's the best thing I've seen for BRP so far by a country mile.

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The writing is superb. Having only so far read the Atrocity Archives, which I found disappointing, the rpg book feels better and more engagingly written than the source material.

That remark is spot on! The fiction it is based on can be clunky and even cringe worthy at times but the basic idea behind it is endearing enough to make it worth sticking with it. The game book takes the concepts and really does a much better job of bringing them to life. Getting the PDF with the dead tree book is always nice but with the set up and concept of this game it really came into its own - I have printed out some of the 'in character' style parts of the book to use directly as hand outs and 'you'll need to read this' preparation.

My circle of gamers have been bugging me for ages to run a game in our local town (Brentwood, essex, UK) and I think this is the game for that. I'm currently knocking up a secneario for just that with the laundry RPG. using Obsian Portal as wiki as a back up and should be running in a few weeks. :)

Morality is herd instinct in the individual. - Friedrich Nietzsche

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things. - Rene Descartes

It is kind of strange watching your personal history become costume. - gadgetgir

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  • 3 months later...

Looking forward to the Agents Handbook, any idea on an ETA for that?

It took longer than normal to write, due to some schedule issues, and I'm not sure where it is in the queue for production.

C7 is very, very busy with a few new games they're trying to get wrapped up for Gen Con, so I don't know if this'll be out by then.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Loving the Stross books and the RPG so far, just bought the Black Bag Jobs supplement and the scenarios therein seem like stuff I can genuinely use so far.

Looking forward to the Agents Handbook, any idea on an ETA for that?

Just picked up BBJ and is does look good - albeit I was slightly non-plussed to discover that in this setting Rockall is apparently in the North Sea (east of the UK) and not the North Atlantic (west of the UK, where you will find it in the real world)...


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