The release of As Above, So Below takes the number of books in the Laundry RPG line-up to nine, so today we thought we’d take a closer look at those, and how this latest supplement fits into your games.
There 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.
But there are two places where your typical Laundry PC does not tread so lightly, places where they do not return from in one piece if their mission takes them there: the deadliest of (occult) warzones, and (far deadlier) the corridors of power. As Above, So Below describes the occult engagement protocols employed by the Special Forces, as well as details about high-level meetings, politics and status games; two spheres where the average Laundry player character never goes. Decisions get handed down from on high at the start of a mission (your manager orders you to investigate…) and the final confrontation often gets handed off to the Special Forces (having uncovered the Cthulhu cult, the player characters need to hold out until OCCULUS arrives to clean up). As above, so below and the average Laundry PC is somewhere in the middle.
At least, that’s how the Laundry RPG has worked up until now. With the release of As Above, So Below, your games can be expanded into this hitherto untrodden territory, allowing your players to swap their regular Necronomiphone-touting, computer-programming, geek chic T-shirt wearing PCs for a hard-bitten Special Forces soldier or an even harder-bitten politician, at least in the short term. And there’s no reason that any of the scenarios included in Black Bag Jobs, Unconventional Diplomacy and the like can’t be spiced up in this way. After all, you’re really just giving your players more rope…
And with these rules, there’s nowhere for the players to hide, no way for them to avoid making the hard decisions…
The Laundry RPG Core Rulebook
The Laundry Roleplaying Game is based on the best-selling novels by Charles Stross. In the game, you play officers of the Laundry, that eccentric and underfunded agency dedicated to protecting the United Kingdom from unthinkable horrors. The Laundry uses the Basic Roleplaying System – the same system that powers the classic Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game (so you can easily convert adventures from one game to the other). As Laundry staff, you're trained to deal with the weird and ghastly spawn of the Mythos, you're equipped with the best equipment your committee-approved mission budget can buy, and you've got back-up on call from the SAS.
All of that means you're only terrifyingly underprepared, as opposed to completely screwed, when the shoggoth hits the fan.
Supplements for The Laundry RPG
The release of As Above, So Below takes the number of Laundry supplements to 8, ranging from collections of scenarios to new rules for magic and expanded background on cults. You can find all of these supplements in any good game store, or order them from our webstore or DriveThruRPG now!
Black Bag Jobs contains six self-contained missions for your Laundry campaign. From the war-torn hillsides of Afghanistan to the corridors of power in Whitehall, from yoga lessons in Devon to the end of the world, it's time to break in and steal the secrets of reality.
The Agent's Handbook is the indispensable player’s handbook for the Laundry, including rules for creating veteran Laundry operatives – or agents who might not be entirely human – as well as new gear, special training, expanded rules and notes on occult espionage. The Agent's Handbook: for those employees who, on the whole, would prefer not to be devoured by alien space gods. Everyone else, form an orderly queue for Cthulhu.
The Mythos Dossiers contain extracts from the murkier reaches of the Laundry's archives, a selection of unexplained encounters, unverified reports, uncorrelated data, loosely organised by whatever codeword seemed to fit. The truth exists in the unseen connections between them. The Mythos Dossiers contain dozens of reports, handouts, eyewitness accounts and deranged speculation about the horrors of the Mythos. Read them at your peril…
License to Summon explores the dark side of Computational Demonology and arcane science within the Laundry, as well as the magic of other agencies... and other entities. New spells, new gadgets, new ways to end the world!
God Game Black expands on the revelations of The Apocalypse Codex novel, wherein the Laundry undergoes something of a ‘restructuring’, and sends your own games hurtling towards Armageddon.
Cultists Under the Bed delves into the murky realm of the cultist and the conspirator, detailing eight of the nastiest, most tenacious foes of the Laundry and dozens of minor ones, providing the GM with plenty of instant threats to throw at the players – just add SAN loss!
Unconventional Diplomacy comprises six SAN-challenging adventures, each with a distinctly international flavour, taking in such scenic delights as civil war-torn Central Africa, Poland, Washington DC and the murkiest locale of them all – the US Embassy in London.
Finally, As Above, So Below, is the most recent release for the Laundry, covering both the Special Forces and the politicians of Whitehall, and including rules for playing both in your games as well as three new scenarios.
Pre-order As Above, So Below print + PDF at the C7 webstore
Buy As Above, So Below at DriveThruRPG
The Laundry RPG webpage
The Laundry RPG supplements
Buy The Laundry RPG at the C7 webstore
Buy The Laundry RPG at Drivethrurpg