German Review of KULT: Divinity Lost

Discovered this review of KULT: Divinity Lost. It is in German but nothing Google could not fix. So, if you understand German or just want to learn about what other people think about KULT: Divinity Lost it is here to check out:

https://www.teilzeithelden.de/2019/01/20/ersteindruck-kult-divinity-lost-powered-by-the-apokalypse/

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Preview Folder KULT: Divinity Lost

Since I like all kinds of Kultish things I would love to lay my hands on the Preview Folder that they made for KULT: Divinity Lost. I don’t know how many folders they did but it would be a cool thing to have. Also, it is cool to see pictures of creatures that clearly are designed for KULT but is not published in any of the books released in the Kickstarter.

Found some pictures from the folder online.

Ten reasons why I like KULT: Divinity Lost

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I had a discussion with a person on the facebook group KULT rpg fans. There I listed 10 things that I really like about the new edition of KULT. And then I was asked by the owner of the Beyond Elysium blog to put my list on Razors Through Flesh so here we go: 

1. It feels like old KULT but it is not old KULT

First edition of KULT is a child of the 90s and I love it to death. But it just don’t hold up as well anymore. And the thing with this new edition is that unlike previous editions that just built on the first edition and pushed in more and more weird things in it, KULT: Divinity Lost rewrites everything. It is a completely new game but it is still true to what KULT is. And it feels modern, fresh and spiritual to me.

2. The old Metaplot is Gone

Do you remember the old Metaplot? Astaroth gathering his armies of Damned Legionaries in different military bases around Elysium to “conquer” the illusion by force incarnated as the Antichrist? Well, I was never a fan of that idea. Now it is a struggle to gain control over the illusion via the principles, be able to “slither” in and gain influence. That is something I feel much more interesting.

3. The system actually creates great, personal, horror stories.

The whole concept of using the Dark Secrets to build the stories around the characters and that there are several chapters to guide you as a GM just works very well. And the rolls creates excitement and drama that pushes the story forward. But it is as not “indie” as the original Apocalypse World. I would say it is a perfect balance for a horror game.

4. It’s not Splatterpunk.

It is less focus on weapons, action, and shooting down razides with machine guns. The writers of old KULT have said that they made a game for teenagers and I guess it shows. The writers of new Kult go more for the drama and I find that more interesting.

5. The Art & The Layout

The books are amazing when it comes to the artworks and the layout. The gold print, the religious symbolism. Heck, I would say the core book could stand on its own as an art book.

6. The Archons & The Death Angels

In old KULT they were always a bit vague and strange but here I feel they have come to their right. They feel like a vital part of the machinery of the Illusion. The insight how they bind us with their principles and how they sort of seep into everything makes them feel… intriguing.

7. Different kinds of stories

The Quick Play scenarios that have been released are all very different. They push KULT in new directions that I did not expect (but I am very glad for). Everything from survival horror on jungle islands, crime scene investigations, disturbing family dinners, surreal art exhibitions and intrigues between lictors during the US presidential election campaigns.

8. Less 90s Cenobite Fashion

Old KULT was very much Hellraiser in style and tone and that hasn’t aged well. I am really happy with the new direction for the Nepharites and their more religious style. The creature design in general feels much more interesting.

9. The Setting

The setting is better written. I love the feel of Metropolis, the weird mysteries of Inferno, Gaia, the Underworld, Elyisum and its strange lure. It is just more vibrant. The texts in old KULT just don’t hold up as well anymore while the ones in new KULT, to me, is just amazing in atmosphere. Take the earlier editions of KULT and go through the setting chapters and compare it with the new edition and you will see how different it is. And according to me in a good way.

10. It feels connected

When I read KULT: Divinity Lost I just get a feeling that things fit together in a way that old KULT did not succeed with according to me.

An old and abandoned KULT: Divinity Lost development blog

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I found something very interesting. On tumblr there was an early development blog of KULT: Divinity Lost. It was written during 2015 by the Creative Director Petter Nallo. Sadly there aren’t that many posts and I guess it sort of died off when the game was Kickstarted. The blog is called The Halls of Flesh.

Even though things have not been updated from a long time it gives a bit of insight in the creation process of KULT: Divinity Lost. Here are some of the insights:

1. There is a Swedish Comic Artist called Lars Krantz that have used themes of KULT in his comics.

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2. Petter Nallo wished they could have artworks with movement in the core rules and posted this one as an example:

I agree, it would be cool!

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3. It is revealed some of the music Petter Nallo was listening to while writing KULT:: Lustmord, The Hellbound – Hellraiser II Soundtrack, Sopor Aeternus, Limbonic Art and Atrium Carceri (which of course is part of the official KULT soundtrack).

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4. While working on the Mythos for KULT: Divinity Lost Petter Nallo also revealed Concept Art that he had made to the first iteration of the game The Prisoners of the Illusion (some of it can be seen on this blog post where I talk about that project). One of the artworks was shared by Clive Barker himself on his Facebook Page.

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This is the Artwork that Clive Barker himself shared on his Facebook.

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5. Also, one the blog one of the coolest Nepharites I have seen is also displayed. And I can see how the concept of it survived. It is now the Nepharite Weaver in the Core Rules on page 325. But to be honest, it is something with this version I prefer. It has something delicate about it. Petter Nallo reveals that it was inspired by a passage from the Clive Barker short story The Hellbound Heart:

“The woman beneath was grey yet gleaming, her lips bloody, her legs parted so that the elaborated scarification of her pubis was displayed. She sat on a pile of rotting human heads, and smiled in welcome […] Their rot was beneath her nails, and tongues- twenty or more- lay out in ranks on her oiled thighs, as if awaiting entrance”

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An Early Concept of Weaver, a Nepharite serving the Death Angel Gamichicoth.

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6. There is also a really early post regarding inspiration of the style of the Tarot Cards. Check out more about them here.

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6. The Indie Game The Cat Lady is mentioned as an inspiration for KULT.

Playing “The Cat Lady” a game that truly is Kult in many ways. From grotesque murders, dark cities, secrets, mental institutions to dream worlds and purgatories.

And “Death is only the beginning” is a phrase that could describe this indie horror game in one sentence. So if you are into indie games and point and click adventures check it out. You can find it both on Steam and on Gog.

/Petter

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7. Finally the movie The Cell is mentioned as an inspiration. And I can clearly see how the Nepharites has been reshaped into something more magnificent based on this movie.

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It was a treasure to find this development blog and it saddens me that it did not continue I would loved to have learned more about the process and the sources of inspiration.

KULT Grand Slam!

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The biggest (and only) RPG magazine in Sweden has a yearly contest where their reader may vote on what games they have liked the best in numerous categories. There were over 800 people voted and KULT: Divinity Lost won Gold in every category it was nominated.

Rules

Campaign Setting

Cover

Illustrations

Design and Layout

Campaign (The Black Madonna) 

Gaming Accessories (The Tarot Cards)

Scenario (Seven Sisters)

Best role-playing game 2018

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And also, the best podcast was Red Moon Roleplaying which has a lot of great KULT material.