The KULT Collectible Card Game

There was a Collectible Card Game for KULT. Driven by the success of the CCG Doomtrooper, Äventyrsspel (then publishers of KULT), decided to explore the KULT setting. It was made to resemble a tarot game in one sense and the idea is that you as a player are fighting for the souls of mankind. And that is what I find as one of the most intriguing parts. You as a player portrays one of the Archons or one of the Death Angels.

You are that power that tries to sway the souls of mankind and at the same time use them to destroy your opponents base of power.

According to the publishers the game did okay, but it was not worth the effort and was seen as a bit to dark and strange by players in general.

The designer of the game has still a page dedicated to it where you can read the complete rules, find card lists and much more:

http://www.thewinternet.com/games/kult/index.html

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Why Razors Through Flesh?

The title of this blog comes from the movie Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth and is a quote from the lead cenobite, the Hell Priest, or as he is mostly known: Pinhead.

Here is the scene where the quote is uttered:

“Pinhead: Unbearable, isn’t it? The suffering of strangers, the agony of friends. There is a secret song at the center of the world, Joey, and its sound is like Razors Through Flesh.

Joey: I don’t believe you.

Pinhead: Oh come, you can hear its faint echo right now. I’m here to turn up the volume. To press the stinking face of humanity into the dark blood of its own secret heart.”

The movie isn’t really a favorite for me. I think it is a big step away from the first two Hellraiser movies and breaks some of the rules that Clive Barker created. They changed the role of the Cenobites and added some strange turns to the mythology. And well, the Cenobite with a CD player in his stomach is still a trauma I haven’t really gotten over yet.

But the quote stuck in my head. I even printed a T-shirt with it. Now, long lost.

For me Razors Through Flesh reveals that which is beneath. It can be an act of self harm but it is also a search for relief. It is the search to expose (or handle) the hidden, the forbidden and the shameful. It can be painful and it is something that most people would never do. But here, on this blog, we will cut deep into the Flesh and find all the DARKNESS within.

So, this blog post will be ended with one last quote from the Hell Priest: “Down the dark decades of your pain, this will seem like a memory of Heaven.”

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Ten Things Regarding the Origins of KULT

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In the book about Äventyrsspel (the Swedish company that developed and published KULT) there is information about all the games they published including KULT. It is only in Swedish but I have here compiled the information from that chapter.

Some things I have touched on before, such as the list of changes they demanded for the second edition of Kult. But here are some other things that are said:

1. The Idea behind KULT came from Nils Gulliksson. He was fascinated by Clive Barker, Stephen King, Dean Koontz and comics such as Sandman and Tapping the Vein. He put together the larger concepts of what KULT should be and then they decided to find writers that could handle the project.

2. Gunilla Jonsson and Michael Petersén was hired to write the game. They had previously written games such as Mutant and books for Drakar & Demoner for Äventyrsspel. They added a lot of the occultism and gnostic context.

3. It was a struggle between Nils Gullikssons more visual and gritty vision and Gunilla and Michaels more drawn back and more subtle idea of the game. But in the end they all agreed that it was a good thing because it was what made KULT so unique.

4. Johan Anglemark was the project lead that handled the meetings and compromises between the two sides and is seen as a key figure to get KULT working as a project. He was also, just like Michael and Gunilla heavily into science fiction and complex world building.

5. KULT was aimed at teenagers. Not a new audience but towards the old Äventyrsspel Audience that had grown up and wanted something more adult and dark.

6. They weren’t at all prepared for the Moral Outrage. In fact, they were quite surprised by it. But the moral panic was a fact and KULT caused all Role Playing Games to be banned from most kind of stores. If you want to learn more about the moral panic you can dive into it here.

7. The book Legions of Darkness was made with material that was not included in the core book but written at the time. The Swedish version, Mörkrets Legioner, featured the angel that is now associated with KULT in many ways. While the US version features the cover of the Black Madonna.

8. Several scenarios for gaming conventions were written for KULT and played in different gaming conventions around Sweden at that time. The most famous of these tends to end with the players skinning the pope alive.

9. Taroticum was planned to be a much bigger campaign similar in scope as the Black Madonna. But it was cut down already during the planning stage so no extra material was ever written. There was a plan of a tarot deck but they were scrapped at the same time.

10. The Nepharites, the Razides, The Damned Legionaries were creatures created for KULT but then sort of was moved over to Mutant Chronicles and given a different role in the mythos and a rehashed visual style.

 

 

 

 

Mood music for KULT: Divinity Lost

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Geeknovaera on one of the KULT groups on Reddit created this great collection of mood music to use with KULT: Divinity Lost. There are really nice collections that creates haunting atmosphere in many different categories.

I do own the official KULT soundtrack but I find that this music can be a handy thing to mix up it with. And to find tunes for your own personal play lists!

So, enjoy the dark tunes!

Sci-Fi Atmospheric: Spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/s3kg0w50k3i9u64qq6z6h8d96/playlist/4mgWF2xaqKcI97uF1TTvya?si=lrrl5Ad6TNGDQbIKIRAUmQ

Apple Music https://itunes.apple.com/br/playlist/sci-fi-atmospheric/pl.u-AkAmmNkCW5N525?l=en

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Dreamy: Spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/s3kg0w50k3i9u64qq6z6h8d96/playlist/6wp3iHbbPw1Lc63CI9T2tt?si=_URb9XaNQFaN9DR81r_nvQ

Apple Music https://itunes.apple.com/br/playlist/dreamy/pl.u-PDb40gZFPvmvLv?l=en

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Disturbing: Spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/s3kg0w50k3i9u64qq6z6h8d96/playlist/18YC1ZwDR7daGWAwckLYNS?si=CBwG1Og_RWCq7e1FM4l_yg

Apple Music https://itunes.apple.com/br/playlist/disturbing/pl.u-LdbqE7vCjYLYxY?l=en

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Mesmerizing: Spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/s3kg0w50k3i9u64qq6z6h8d96/playlist/6OZwRjEn8BtOs4WUrk3om7?si=0OciKoWHS-uVhfqnbe1h9Q

Apple Music https://itunes.apple.com/br/playlist/mesmerizing/pl.u-6mo4lGvfl7M7B7?l=en

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Eerie: Spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/s3kg0w50k3i9u64qq6z6h8d96/playlist/58Jd6D2bbr2wbKgVdn9E7M?si=E_oF7YTMQZeQT1P1cTUGAg

Apple Music https://itunes.apple.com/br/playlist/eerie/pl.u-6mo4lDmhl7M7B7?l=en

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Hypnotic: Spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/s3kg0w50k3i9u64qq6z6h8d96/playlist/0VoggjrJO74Cku6nDs9ZXW?si=IZxOU7x8TvO5cXj-vUW1rQ

Apple Music https://itunes.apple.com/br/playlist/hypnotic/pl.u-vxy6kNxslbGbzb?l=en

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Haunting: Spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/s3kg0w50k3i9u64qq6z6h8d96/playlist/0tHdgCPXpBCSvuvNrzROfl?si=ZoEcKfp9TkOW8q3fx0iiTA

Apple Music https://itunes.apple.com/br/playlist/haunting/pl.u-LdbqqeBTjYLYxY?l=en

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Suspenseful: Spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/s3kg0w50k3i9u64qq6z6h8d96/playlist/3C2XyUp72iOeCvtUvhpTfD?si=YUIBWYrUSemeFbRrnIKHTw

Apple Music https://itunes.apple.com/br/playlist/suspenseful/pl.u-b3b88G9S5MmMyM?l=en

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Unsettling: Spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/s3kg0w50k3i9u64qq6z6h8d96/playlist/0I0PzvLyhTqaIYZvDxnHwK?si=5x4Gxx4dSImM8ZcYXgHIRA

Apple Music https://itunes.apple.com/br/playlist/unsettling/pl.u-PDb44vVCPvmvLv?l=en

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Unnerving: Spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/s3kg0w50k3i9u64qq6z6h8d96/playlist/4mP5onRv311x1DfKjKXzGY?si=BDnWr1VmT62bCBAPollraA

Apple Music https://itunes.apple.com/br/playlist/unnerving/pl.u-Ymb00XqTZRpRPR?l=en

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Magical: Spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/s3kg0w50k3i9u64qq6z6h8d96/playlist/08SJXeIzXhIAmdrjTsk6sJ?si=BT0BMzWBT6aIciiW1XaLOQ

Apple Music https://itunes.apple.com/br/playlist/magical/pl.u-vxy66A4IlbGbzb?l=en

The Flaying Knife (artifact)

 

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This curved blade was the prized artifact of a gathering of Jackals worshiping Hareb-Serap in Kashmir. Their leader used it in their rituals where they flayed their sacrificial victims alive. It was stolen by a Magician of Time and Space and brought to the US. It was there traded to a Death cult living in the subway system of New York City. Either it is still there or it has wandered on to some new owner.

The flaying knife have the following MAGICAL EFFECTS.

  • When you flay the skin from a victim you may dress a person in the skin (including the flayer). The skin will fold around the individual and become one with that person. The person will assume the exact identity and even have the same voice, retina scan, blood type and DNA as the original wearer. The skin can be pulled off, which is a painful and time consuming task, otherwise it will start to become gray and smelly and peel off in about a month. If you smear it with human blood it will revitalize itself and stay fresh.
  • The soul of the victim that is flayed is claimed by Hareb-Serap if no other pact or force have already claimed the soul.
  • The knife is bound to Hareb-Serap and if someone dies with the knife on his or her person that soul will be claimed by the Raven of Dispersion.
  • The flaying knife seeks to keep its wearer alive. An NPC fighting with the knife gets two extra wound boxes. A player can take one additional critical wound.
  • If the wearer of the knife performs a magical ritual that involves a human or animal sacrifice that person gets +1 to the roll.
  • If the knife is a long time in an area (about 2 square kilometers) conflicts and angry outbursts will become more common. People will get short tempered and agitated. This is the presence of Hareb-Seraps principle. Any creature tied to Hareb-Serap (including Jackals that serve him) can feel the vicinity of the knife if they are in the area. They cannot pinpoint its exact location but can feel if it is in a building or on a certain floor. And if it is being moved.

STORY HOOKS

  • The Jackals from Kashmir have arrived and they are looking for their prized artifact.
  • A cultist uses the knife to assume the identity of someone one of the Characters knows.
  • A Lictor wants the knife found and destroyed.
  • It ends up in a pawn shop by mistake.
  • Player needs the knife to assume a false identity.

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Here you can Download the artifact as a PDF: The Flaying Knife PDF.

The Illusion Translated

Here is another guest article by Auburney!

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Fellow Kultists,

Many of you may know that KULT: Divinity Lost started its existence in the early stages as an AW-hack called Prisoners of the Illusion (Illusionens Fångar). During that time, the great creative minds behind the game made some early artwork for it, a lot of which is extremely inspirational and can be of use to GMs of K:DL as well.

These early stages are covered in more detail here on this very blog, for those who want to read up on it.

Amongst the great artwork shown there, there is one that especially caught my attention: it is The Illusion, by Petter Nallo.

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Now, this is without doubt a powerful and highly evocative image! It does a great job of conveying the nature of our prison, the influences of the Archons over it, and how we puny humans are kept distracted and whipped into submission.

Unfortunately, not everyone reads Swedish.

So we decided to translate it to English. Basilides Thelema provided the texts’ translation, and I visually edited them into the pic.

Here is the final result of our efforts, brought to you with friendly permission from Petter Nallo himself:

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You might show it to your players, to give them a sense of the setting the game will take place in. Or perhaps to convey what it feels like for a character to See Through the Illusion and glimpse at the malicious machinations underpinning it.

Or you can just use it to get yourself inspired for your next scenario or campaign.

We have shown you the Truth. What you do with it now, is up to you alone.

What is Divinity Worth?

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I have been in a very dark mental state. The family issues and the crippling depression that came over me again. Like an old friend that overstays its welcome. But it made me think and I have come to realize that KULT: Divinity Lost is a game that asks a profound question?

What is Divinity worth?

The Illusion is our prison. That is true. We are kept small and feeble. Also true. But what will our divine selves be? If we infuse ourselves with unstoppable power, we just strip ourselves of morality. We indulge in whatever desire there is. What are we then?

To me it sounds like we would be the same as the most greedy capitalists. Only thinking about themselves and exploiting all others. Tyrants without sympathy or heart? Can we truly be “good” if our power is limitless.

So I ask you? What is Divinity Worth?

What would you think of your godly self?