The Kickstarter was run at the beginning of the year and once again has shown that Crooked Dice deliver quickly and efficiently on the Kickstarter campaigns. As of writing, the smaller and miniature focused pledges have been delivered and the larger, MDF heavy (literally), pledges will start shipping shortly.
Lurkers From The Deep is the first 'feature pack' for 7TV. Feature packs promise to be narrative campaigns for the different iterations of 7TV (this one focuses on Pulp) and seem to be a natural development of the broader in scope Programme Guides.
This feature pack takes 7TV: Pulp in the direction of Lovecraftian horror, with more than a few intertextual references to 'The Shadow Over Innesmouth'. However, the Cthulhu Mythos isn't the only influence at play, as you'll see later.
The box itself, an old VHS video case, is a beautiful homage to the budget movies we'd rent fron the local video store in the 1980s because somebody else had rented Clash of the Titans.
The artwork not only evokes the (soon to be dashed on the rocks of disappointment) excitement and potential of obscure film rental, but has been designed with the same sense of wear and overuse the boxes in the store alway had.
The box is packed with rules, profile and other game cards, MDF tokens and the stretch goal miniatures from the Kickstarter campaign (these won't be in the standard release, but have clearly been popped in here for convenience during the dispatch process.
The 84 page Episode Guide contains background, not only to the story of the campaign, which focuses on the forces of law and order tackling the somewhat amphibious denizens of Marshport in the attempts to raise something Eldritch from the deeps, but also for the production of fictional film serial, along with five scenarios, character bios and some really nice maps.
The maps tie directly to the buildings that were part of the campaign, and so I'm going to need to improvise an reinterpret elements because I simply don't have the space in my house for that much MDF.
As seems to be traditional no with the 7TV: Pulp releases, there's also a movie poster postcard to add to my collection.
As expected with 7TV there are cards galore. There is a stack of Profile cards for the specific characters involved in the action - although you do also need cards from 7TV: Pulp. Cliffhanger Cards, Gadget Cards and Macguffin Cards are included to allow you to tailor the generic decks to some specific genre features of LurkersFrom The Deep.
MDF counters and widgets add a bit of thematic flair to proceedings. The yellow and brown bits seem to combine to create an on/off switch for one of the scenarios, whereas I think the cardboard ritual tracker is used in the final fight.
And then we move onto the miniatures, which include the stretch goal freebies: Professor Jemima Wittwood, Newshound, Doctor Fiske, Occult Investigator, two themed macguffins and a set of historically accurate heads for US Rangers (the Rangers miniatures released by CD assume that WW2 surplus was used for the costumes).
Wittwood and Fiske are specific characters for Lurkers From The Deep, whilst the others are generic Pulp miniatures. After playing his scenario, Fiske is destined to join my Mad Science cast: the University of Salem's Lost Faculty of Cryptobiology and Pseudoscience, he'll fit right in.
I opted for the Heroes pledge, which comes with 8 heroic miniatures, four of which are federal agents. These will probably end up pulling double duty as gangsters at times.
They are clean casts which have the characteristic Crooked Dice lack of clutter and needless detail. Something which I've commented before makes CD miniature fast and enjoyable to paint. It's also worth noting that one of the agents is a woman - it's always welcome to see good quality female miniatures which avoid the unnecessary objectification that litters the hobby.
If you look closely at the other half of the Heroes pledge, regular readers of the blog might recognise why I went for this option.
From left to right you have: Howard Ashton (gadgeteer), a technical genius who is a 'stark' contrast to the military he works with; Colonel Julius Roth, armed with a Thompson, for when you have to kill every m**********r in the room; a 'strange' spiritual custodian, I'll probably add a cape to him; Agent Maggie Stone, I've got her 'pegged' to work with a certain star-spangled super soldier.
Yes. They're adding to my Marvel project.
Finally we have the Dangerous Dames, which aren't actually anything to do with Lurkers From The Deep, but I added them to my pledge for other projects.
The Jungle Lord (Lady) is destined to be converted into Eve from my Freedom Force team, whereas I'm not sure about the Renegade Royal, but I'm sure there is something sci-fi I can do with her (they came as a two pack and I wanted the other model).
So that's it for Lurker of the Deep. I like the format of specific scenarios, although I will be adjusting layouts and casts as my miniature collection dictates. Having pre-prepared stories which are different from the standard missions offers narrative potential that I sometimes am to lazy to create for 7TV for myself.
I'm looking forward to playing.
Admittedly, the tally takes a bit of a hit, but Crooked Dice miniatures don't really worry me, as they never take long to paint. I'm planning to paint what I need for each scenario in turn.