“Better Than Any Man” is better than the best adventure module I’ve ever read. It transcends that paltry distinction, because when I was done reading it I had gained more than knowledge of a cool adventure. My views on tabletop games had shifted. The bar for monsters, and art, and adventures was set higher. I knew, before placing my big ol’ Lamentations of the Flame Princess order, that nothing I read would top it.
“Fuck for Satan” isn’t “Better Than Any Man.” In fact, if I’d read FFS first, rather than BTAM, I probably would have stopped reading halfway through and given up on Lamentations of the Flame Princess altogether. In Raggi’s own words, this is a “screw-you dungeon.” There are numerous occasions when even I–having read the adventure in full–have no idea how I would survive if I were a player. I’m all in favor of punishingly difficult, but FFS is sadistic. I can only imagine there are players out there who are either significantly more skilled, or significantly more amused by cheap deaths, than I am.
That being said, the book is hardly without value. In fact, it’s chock full of amazing ideas. “The Twinkling Star” in particular is so fucking phenomenal that I literally called my buddy on the phone so I could read that section of the book to him. And when my girlfriend got home, I read it to her. I had never given serious consideration before to the positive potential of meta gaming. The idea that the players have leverage over the GM is gods damned delightful. You can be sure my players will encounter something similar to Twinkly sometime soon.
Come to think of it, anything surrounding the dungeon is fantastic. The generic setup leading to a humorously unrewarding payoff; the hilarious, and needlessly long old man rant which you’ll never actually use in the game; Twinkly; the titular fucking in the name of Satan, performed by well meaning, brain-addled twits; and the giant walking penis creature who just wants to go home. These elements make me want to run the adventure. But these elements make up less than half of the module.
The bulk of the module is a dungeon which I do not think I could survive. If I was being careful to the point of draining all of the fun from the game, I think I’d still die. If the GM let me read the adventure before running the dungeon, I think there’s still a pretty fair chance I would die.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t good stuff in the dungeon too, though. There’s a monster living inside of a book called the Half-Realized Poorly Conceived Terror which I’ll definitely use at some point. And “The Eye and the Basin” is super cool–though perhaps a little harsh. Part of me thinks it would work fine if players were only required to cut off a finger to solve the puzzle. But another part of me really likes how it’s written, with players needing to kill and gut a hireling (or fellow PC) and sacrifice their heart. The Luck Sucker is also ballin’.
Final verdict: read Better than Any Man. If you like that, then maybe consider Fuck for Satan. There’s a lot to like here, and even if you never run it, you’ll enjoy reading it. Whatever other flaws it might have, I couldn’t put it down until I had read it all the way through.
Oh, and P.S., Jri-Khan is a cool dude. I might make him a recurring NPC in one of my game worlds.