It's a retro-clone, or more accurately a house-ruled retro-clone (in as much as it doesn't attempt to replicate the original D&D rules to the letter but rather use them as groundwork, modernising them with ascending AC (instead of THAC0) etc.). The boxed set of the game sold extremely well (and sold out), mostly because of good reviews, forum feedback, glorious art, fresh approach to the game and so on. So the author/publisher, James Raggi has decided 2011 is going to be a "go big or get out" year. Either he makes his little enterprise into something big, recognisable and profitable, or he'll quit publishing.
(btw, if you don't know Raggi, he's a rather cult-like figure when it comes to authoring old-school dungeons and traps and a unique voice in the Old School Revolution scene).
So what he did was to first announce that LotFP (both the name of the game and the publishing company) will be reprinting the very very infamous "Carcosa" by Geoffrey McKinney, this time as part of the LotFP rules. Carcosa got A LOT of bad rep in certain circles because it was an extremely amoral, cynical and Lovecraftian setting for oD&D (published in 2008). Amongst other things, it describes extremely cruel and horrible rituals (involving murder, rape and paedophilia) used to summon Things Man Was Not Meant to Know.
Now, if you know Raggi, you know he's pretty much a metal guy. His adventures are full of garish images, undead, darkness, despair and horror, including Lovecraftian themes. It seems like a natural fit. And Carcosa's new magic system might indeed convince me to buy the darn thing (since I'm not really a fan of the Vancian magic).
Now, some (or a lot, depending of how you look at it) of OSR people are already crying foul. They hated Carcosa when it came out, many were sceptical of Raggi's take on the game, and the two products combined make some sort of unholy union for them. They're happy that "it's moving away from D&D", because in their eyes, it has nothing more to do with D&D (or, to be precise, D&D as they see it: exactly the same game they started playing 40 years ago). It's a weird scene.
Along with the reprinting of Carcosa, there will be a release of a new product by McKinney "Isle of the Unknown". Nothing is really know about that one.
And now, Raggi has announced that he will also be publishing a "Vornheim City Kit" for the game, authored by none other than Zak Sabbath, the guy behind D&D With Porn Stars. And you have to admit, it makes a hell of a lot of sense. If you read Zak's blog, or if you've seen his drawings or seen him on "I Hit It With My Axe", you know he's an alternative guy, with a punk attitude, goth garb and a sense for the sexy, horror and, khm, edgy elements of the game.
A nice trio. All things considered, LotFP will be a company to look out for in 2011.