Category Archives: News, Rants & Reviews

The Jovian Visitor

I said I’d do more Lamentations of the Flame Princess this year and here’s more. And before any one asks. This review was already in the queue before all that other stuff happened. So let’s get on with the review.

This is a tough adventure to review. Mainly, because I try really hard to avoid spoilers and since it’s a mystery it’s full of spoilers. And that’s the first point. This adventure isn’t for anybody but for reasons that most would think. It’s because it’s a mystery and takes more detective work than sword work.

The Jovian Visitor clocks in at 22 pages was written by Glynn Seal. It’s a good adventure. The plot is pretty standard one. The party gets hired to locate some stolen books and gets involved in a cult’s crazy plan. LotFP has a reputation for having icky adventures and adventures that the party can’t “win”. Well, it has none of those icky things folks. So don’t worry about that. Also, if the players follow the clues and play even half way smart they could get through the adventure rather easily. If any thing does horribly wrong then it’ll probably be because the player characters used kick down the door dungeon tactics rather than subtler approaches. And if they do really screw up, well, it’s pretty much end of the world.

Like other LotFP adventures, The Jovian Visitor takes place within an historical context; Florence in this case. I think that Jovian Visitor would be a good companion adventure to Terror in the Streets which is set in Paris. These two adventures would fit well together within the same campaign.

As of this writing, there’s a huge PDF sale on at Drivethru and a Print Sale on at the Lamentations EU and US webstores. Check out all the stuff.

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Black Sword Hack Ultimate Chaos Edition

I didn’t back this one on Kickstarter. If I’d seen it, I probably wouldn’t. But I heard a bunch of good things about it. So I grabbed up the PDF.

Black Sword hack UCE is game that’s heavy into the greater Sword & Sorcery genre. Think it of it as throwing together Elric, Fafhrd & Gray Mouser, and Conan. It leans really heavy into the Elric. It’s kind of in the name, Black Sword Hack. There’s things about it that I like and then there’s things that I don’t.

Let get the things that I don’t like out of the way first. Mainly because they’re all based on my own personal tastes and bias. Black Sword Hack uses the roll under your stats and player facing combat. Now, I don’t mind occasionally using roll under. I just don’t like as the primary game mechanic. I’ve been using roll high for so long that it just short circuits my brain. So that’s all on me. Also, it uses player facing combat. Some folks like it but I just don’t. I guess it’s just the psychology of the players that went a monster is attacking then the monster should be rolling. I realize that these points are totally personal taste. You want to play that way. Fine. I don’t have any problem with that. And that doesn’t mean that I don’t plan using it and adapting a lot ideas into my own home game.

Character generation is pretty cool. Instead of picking a class, character have origins; Barbarian, Civilized, and Decadent. Each Origin has several Backgrounds and few Background that are Unique. Pick two Backgrounds according to your Origin and one more Background that can be from any other Origin except Backgrounds that are Unique to the other Background. And that’s pretty much it. Each Origin has 7 to 10 Backgrounds which means there’s plenty of combinations to create a very customized character. Bravo!

The other thing that I really like are the spells. This mainly because that they are mostly NOT just D&D spells rehashed and reworded. This is very good thing and magic is CHAOS! What does that mean? Well, it does use a roll to cast system. Bad things can happen if you poorly. But some spells may work just too well on a Crit. For example, Spontaneous Combustion will set a target on fire. Roll too well and everybody gets set on fire. I like it!

There’s also rules for Demonic Pacts, Fairie Ties, and Twisted Science. These are nice add on’s and the book says use whichever you want depending on your campaign. Each of these adds unique powers and abilities to characters but many do come at a cost. And can’t not have Rune Blades. I did mention Elric earlier. The book does round out with plenty of random table and inspirational ideas to use in your game.

At the start of this review, I said that I wasn’t that fond of the underlying roll under system. Well, there are a couple of good systems that I can think of the I will probably porting the inspirations into. That’s Deathbringer and Knave. Both these games are light weight and easily hackable to merged with many of the ideas of Black Sword Hack. And yes, in case you are living under a rock, Knave 2nd Edition it out on Kickstarter as of this writing.

I’m pleased that I picked up Black Sword Hack UCE. It’s got some cool ideas that I plan using in the future. You can pick up Black Sword Hack Ultimate Chaos Edition over at the Merry Mushmen’s website.

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White Box Wednesday: Delving Deeper Companion

Let me say again that it’s hard find new things coming out for White Box style play. I, for one, really like it. But onto this week’s rant.

Delving Deeper is another of the White Box clones that can fold into an existing game. It’s got a cool take on the rules and you can see my previous rant about it here. And I just heard about a Companion.

This is really great resource with extra rules, rules clarifications, more spells, handy tools for your campaign, more classes, and just down right useful material. Heck, there’s a bunch of stuff you could use in other styles of old school games. There’s some nice material in there to add to your GM notebook. I’m not going to do a long rant about this one because it’s free. So it’s well worth checking out over at Immersive Ink.

Thanks for stopping by the blog. And yes, I know this is a really short post.

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Magic Eater for Lamentations of the Flame Princess

Peter, Peter, Magic Eater. It’s been a while since I did a review of something for Lamentations of the Flame Princess. And one of my goals was to write more about it this year. So here you go.

So I grabbed up this little adventure because it actually looked pretty interesting to me. And it is. I like it. Here’s the elevator pitch along with the primary adventure hook. Somebody steals the party’s magic items and chaos follows. What kind of chaos? You see there’s this cult that has some guy in a basement. And he eats magic items and then has magic poop. Yes, that’s it. It’s got a good and nasty dungeon crawl. Get ready for encounters and traps, folks. And the final fight with the Magic Eater will be chaotic and extremely challenging one. So, all in all, a good adventure for Lamentations. It falls right up my alley.

But wait there’s more. Magic Eater feels prime for Dick & Fart Jokes. So, the Magic Eater is the fart joke. And we have a bonus encounter that’s the dick joke. Another Rough Night at the Dog & Bastard is pretty simple and requires the PC to interact with the NPC’s. That’s what it’s all about. No dungeon. Just the crazy interaction between the NPC’s. Oh and there’s a sex cult that could cause some interesting problems.

Magic Easter is written and illustrated by Kelvin Green. I know some folks don’t like his writing style and his inside jokes within an adventure. But personally, I love it. It’s better than a wall of text.

So go check out Magic Easter at DrivethruRPG or on the LOTFP Webstore.

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White Box Wednesday: Forgotten Tales of Sword & Sorcery 2nd Edition

Yes, I know. I missed last week. I was busy with the day job and working on this. Besides, I can use my own blog for a little self promotion.

This is one of my best sellers on DrivethruRPG and I was well along to finally getting around to writing a fun a little supplement. And then the whole OGL drama hit. That threw everything into chaos for everybody. Well, I stepped back and started thinking about what to do.

I decided to step back and redesign the game to be OGL free. That also means that I can do bunch of updates and refinements that I think make the game work more smoothly. And remember those classes? Well, those are going to get added in. And I’m adding a bunch more detail on the implied setting. Right now, I’ve roughly doubled the page count. And yes. It still will be compatible and inspired by White Box play. And I might take a few other liberties along the way including some updated art.

The original edition of Forgotten Tales of Sword & Sorcery will remain available in PDF on DrivethruRPG and POD on Lulu. That is unless the OGL gets revoked. Then that will a whole other ball of wax.

So this is the initial announcement. I’ll make many more as the project gets nearer to release and I go on a crazy marketing binge. If you want to see some behind the scenes rants and other craziness then join the RPG Pig Pen Locals community.