Monday, December 5, 2011

Kult - as a comic book

Some of you might have heard of Kult? It was a Swedish horror rpg, first published in 1991. It was translated to a bunch of languages, English among them, and sold quite decently. It was quite intense and didn't shy back from some fairly gruesome stuff. In the process it proved that controversy can be quite good for the bottom line.

Now Dark Horse have put out a comic book, a mini series in four parts, based on the game. Naturally, I couldn't just let such a thing pass, so I picked it up.

While the idea of a comic book based on a rpg is not new (anyone have read some of that dreadful D&D comics? I have read both the really old ones and the new ones), I thought it would be interesting to see if they had managed to capture the game in any way in the book.

For those who don't know much about the game an its setting, I can summarize the game system as BRP divided by 5 and all the rolls by d20. It's nothing special, except that I seem to remember some funkiness in the combat system. The setting was where the game really shone.

It was a gnostic world view, but with the twist that the moral was that all the pain and suffering is of our own choosing, and by gnosis can you transcend into godhood. Heady stuff. Uncovering more and more nasty stuff and then realize that it was all done by you, and unto you, was potent material for a very personal horror. Sadly, most of the supporting material focused on the nasty stuff in graphic detail, where violence and gore was never really more than effect, and the gnostic elements were never really explored that well.

Sadly, the comic goes to the heart of the metaphysics and the fight for the dual nature of reality, the one part where the game is at its weakest. I mean, who really cares about big fights wherein the dark creator of the world duke it out with someone with too many claws and teeth for their own good?

Kult was very much like Mage in its first edition. In that game reality was a prison and by discovering your own potential you could break free into total freedom. Kult in contrast was about how breaking free was encountering the shivering existentialism at the heart of reality, freedom through total denigration of your self. It doesn't travel that well unto the pages of a comic book.

Anyway for those who feel curios about the comic check this link.

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