All posts by Chuck

I've been a gamer, a geek and nerd for about 30 years. Any questions?

Terror in the Streets

It’s been a while since I did a review of any Lamentations of the Flame Princess products. I know. Part of it is that there hasn’t been anything that I was really interested in. Well, I haven’t been paying attention and this one dang got by my radar.

There’s been already quite a bit coverage of this one. But I’ll sum it here and my random thoughts. The elevator pitch is the Three Musketeers vs Jack The Ripper. So it’s “historical”. Heck there’s more about 17th century Paris that I expected. So there’s that. As written, this is a totally mundane adventure. There’s nothing magical or supernatural about it. But there options to include those elements. There’s also stats for the Musketeers and even Cardinal Richelieu who is the coolest NPC in there.

I never do spoilers but suffice it say the whole adventure is a “chase the serial killer”. The clues are well laid out and if the party thinks they can follow them to the end. So it’s cool adventure and not what so many have expected from Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Sure it gorey and icky but it ain’t a nega-dungeon. And I really enjoy Kelvin Green’s writing style with just the right amount of humor and breaking the Fourth Wall now and then. So it’s evening entertaining to read.

I admit that I usually don’t run adventures as written any more. I take them more as inspiration and guidelines and let the players, dice, and little improv carry the story. The toughest part in my mind is trying to run this adventure in a different setting. To get the entire feel of the adventure , you need a location that matches the political and social climate of 17th Century Paris. Not too hard to do if planning on using later in a campaign and already have such a place outlined but just dropping it into any campaign that would be challenge.

An interesting idea did pop into my head. You could easily run it as one shot and use the Musketeers as pregrens. I know there’s only three but Lady De Winter is in there so that gets you up to four.

You can pick up Terror in the Streets over on DrivethruRPG or on the Lamentations of the Flame Princess site.

OGL 1.1 and #OpenDnD & What to do

I just feel like I said even more on this. First, I’m not a lawyer. Second, I know some folks are getting tired of hearing about it. Well, I think there needs to be more screaming about it.

There’s already been plenty of analysis and commentary about what it all means so there’s no need to rehash that. And it’s safe to say that nobody is happy. It’s not a good deal for anybody but WOTC. So what to do about?

People are already doing the standard things. Boycotting WOTC and the upcoming movie. Cancelling DNDBeyond subscriptions. Cancelling pre-orders. Keep it up. There are already Change.org petitions. Here. Here. And here. Sign one. Sign all. There’s also an open letter site set up. Sign there too. Will this make a difference I don’t. But there’s more.

Keep up the pressure on WOTC. Post often. If you’re like me then Facebook knows you’re a gamer and you’ll see ads for D&D and DnDBeyond. Leave comments. They might get deleted but do it any way.

Amp up the pressure on licensees. We’re not sure who they all are and they probably have an NDA but let them know that if they support this then you won’t support them. That means everybody from the rando who sells licensed socks to Wizkids who makes miniatures. Sure your comments might get deleted and they probably won’t respond but they will be on the phone to WOTC saying that they need to do something about this.

I shouldn’t have to tell you to be polite about it but do be terse and professional.

There’s a couple of other groups I want to call out. The “It Doesn’t Affect My Table” crowd. Maybe it doesn’t. But it does affect so many other creators and tables. Show a little empathy out there. And the “I Won’t Stand Along Side This Bad Person” crowd. There have been arguments that have gone on for years about specific individuals. Just put that aside for a while and focus on the major threat to the RPG community. We argue that stuff later. In order to protect a community from bad actors, you need a community left. I’m not saying that any body has to be friends or forgiven. There’s a larger danger to everyone so burn down the whole thing just to get at few people.

So got out there and use the Internet.

I Think We’re At The Wrong Party

Remember back around Halloween with my DIY torture table. Well, I wasn’t so fond of it and went shopping around and grabbed up some stuff from Reaper Miniatures.

The rack and iron maiden are both Reaper Bones and the figures are both metal. I didn’t try any new techniques or anything on any of these. Just painting away.

Yeah, I know a pretty simple little project. They don’t all have to major engineering feats.

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White Box Wednesday: Multi-Classing

I think this is the best way to finish up my series on classes by being a just a whee bit heretical. There really weren’t any multi-classing rules and, well, the races (especially the Elf) were the replacement.

This isn’t about that age old debate of race vs class. Do it how you want. I got no problems with that. Heck, I’ve done it both ways in various campaigns. But I do tend to lean a bit more towards the multi-classing option. Here’s my thoughts. You can use the four basic classes and then combine them to make most of the other classes that go beyond the basic four. Want to be paladin? Ok that’d be a Fighter-Cleric. Assassin or Ranger; Fighter-Thief. Bard; Thief-Magic User. Yes, i know those aren’t exact correlations. And you’d need to do a little more tweaking for Ranger. But you get the idea. Go right ahead and flex those creative muscles and work things out. Bend those rules.

Here’s the crunchy bits on how I handle. First, the decision to multi-class is made at 1st level and what classes the character has. The character has all the the abilities and weaknesses of all their classes, So the Fighter-Magic User can’t cast spells in armor. You could house rule that magic armor is OK. That’s up to you. For the attack bonus, use the better. Average their Hit Points. For the Saving Throw, use the worst one but use all of the bonuses. How many XP to level up? Just add them together. That way the character levels up in all of their classes at the same time.

This little technique may sound harsh but it keeps things simple especially with combining the XP into one lump sum. The character progresses slower but all the leveling happens at the same time. Just the price to pay for having all those abilities. What about racial level limits? Well. use them if you want to. I’ve rarely had it be an issue but it can happen in a long campaign or one with lower death rate.

Thanks for stopping by. Next week, I might spells or monsters. Just wait and see.

Like this post or others? Want to see more behind the scenes rants and stuff. Want to support the blog? Check out the RPG Pig Pen on Locals or the Patreon.

2023 Predictions

And of course, I have to do some predictions for this year. Like most folks, I’m expecting One D&D and WOTC to dominate what happens.

Photo by Emily MacDonald on Pexels.com

I really don’t think there’s going to be any big shake up’s in the old school scene. Sure there will be the continued drama of the day. But any major shake ups will be centered around a specific publisher or designer and not based on any trend. There might be some renewed interest if WOTC keeps pissing off their fan base.

But WOTC. Oh they are going to shake stuff up. And I doubt any of it will be for the good. This is all opinion and speculation. I don’t have any insider knowledge just life experience dealing with executive type. And I’ll admit some of this might not happen until 2024.

Bye Bye: DM’s Guild and old TSR stuff. First, the license for One Bookshelf isn’t eternal. Second, WOTC has taken down old PDF’s before back in about 2007. And third from the corporate mindset that’s competing against yourself. If you want folks to go to One D&D then cut out other options even if they are your options. They’ll view that there’s monetization but trying to force those folks onto One D&D.

The D&D Movie will flounder. Sure lots of folks are excited. I admit that even I’m a little excited. But a lot of folks were angered or at least apprehensive about the OGL 1.1 and angering fans before a major release like a movie might not be a good idea. And basically, they’ve admitted that it’s basically a long commercial sooo. There’s that.

Nothing super special but I wanted to throw these out there. Maybe I’m wrong but we shall see.

And Addendum No. 1

I wrote this all yesterday and that was before James Raggi posted a new video up on Youtube. So my guess is that there’s going to be some drama coming soon to the old school scene. Yeah, I didn’t see that one coming.