Tag Archives: Lamentations of the Flame Princess

Thinking about Lamentations of the Flame Princess, again.

My brain is wandering back to LotFP again. Yes, I’m still angrily waiting for that damned Ref Book from many moons ago. But when I start think about doing something darker and weirder than normal, I just can’t help myself.

I’ve been watching Lord Matteus’s LotFP Youtube videos and dropping by his blog. I mean I hadn’t really paid much attention to the game for a couple years so I just felt that I had to get back into the swing of things and it was good place to start.

There’s been a lot of stuff that’s bounced around the old brain pan over the last couple of years. So lot’s of new ideas and thoughts have settled in there plus I’ve accumulated a lot of gaming material. One thing that’s popped into my head is that Lamentations is 95% attitude and 5% rules. Let me explain. The rules are primarily Basic D&D. Sure there are few tweaks, adjustments and additions. But at it’s core, it’s Basic D&D. That’s not a bad thing. There’s the simplicity of play and the lethality of play that fit right into the vibe. But the heart and soul of Lamentations is the attitude. The mood. Let’s face it you could go to your gaming group and say that you’re going to run Keep on the Borderlands with OSE and you get one reaction. Say you’re going to run it with Lamentations and you’d get a totally different reaction.

All this gets me to my happy Frankengame place. It’s no secret that I really like the Deathbringer rules. There’s lots of attitude and mood that comes in line with my interpretation Lamentations. In the first paragraph of Deathbringer, it plainly says, “It is not a game so much as a “kit”—a toolbox of hacks to create a fast-paced, grittier game.”

It’s a tough call on exactly what I’m going to do. But this is the kernel of an idea to start my planning for next campaign. Don’t worry. Crunchy bits will be on the way.

White Box Wednesday: Adding a Little LOTFP

I’m pretty sure somebody has already thought of this. Heck, I might posted about it before on the old blog or somewhere in the archives of this one. But I think it’s cool to go back to the idea and play around with it a bit more.

So White Box uses the X in d6 mechanic for a lot things including skills. Well, so does Lamentations of the Flame Princess but with a little more detail. So why not kit bash these two ideas?

For the first point, let’s start with Attribute Checks. I like using x in d6 for these in White Box using a simple breakdown that lines up with Attribute modifiers so it come out like this:

  • 3 to 6: 1 in 6
  • 7 to 14: 2 in 6
  • 15 to 18: 3 in 6

Plus I like throwing in a bonus (increase the chance by one) based on Class. This maxes a character out at a 4 in 6 chance.

  • Fighter Types: Strength or Constitution
  • Thief Types: Dexterity or Charisma
  • Cleric Types: Wisdom or Charisma
  • Magic User Types: Intelligence or Wisdom

Now on to skills. This isn’t a complete list. You can go with as many as you want or that fit your campaign. Here’s where you can run to LOTFP and just grab that skill list.

Healing, Languages, Mariner, Skulduggery, Stealth, Survival, Thievery. Most are self explanatory except Skulduggery and Thievery. This is my own idiosyncrasy. Thievery is against the environment or objects like pick locks, and finding and disarming traps. While Skulduggery is against people like picking pockets, sleight of hand, and disguise. The exact list that you use in your campaign is up to you. And there’s nothing wrong with asking a player what they want their character to be good at.

All the Skills start of at 1 in 6. Thief types increase Skulduggery, Stealth and Thievery to 2 in 6. If you’re allowing Rangers or Druids then they would increase Survival to 2 in 6. Now use higher of the character’s Intelligence and Wisdom Modifiers. Since this is White Box, the best you’ll get is +1. So increase one skill by one.

When a character levels up then they pick a skill and roll a d6 like a normal skill check. If they FAIL then the skill goes up by one.

So go out there and hack those rules and make them do what you want for your campaign.

Lamentations of the Flame Princess, duh.

I rewatched the awful Solomon Kane movie over the weekend. Sure I may be a wee bit prejudice against since I had read Howard’s original stories. So it’s not that good of a movie. But the opening sequence is pretty cool. So at least that’s worth a few minutes of your time.

This got me thinking. Wow. Wouldn’t a Black Powder & Black Magic game be fun? Like a total idiot I spent about 45 minutes googling what was out there and it was right there on my shelf. Buff coats and all.

LOTFP has got weird magic, gritty rules, and some decent black powder rules (but they could a little clean up and made a little easier). Throw in a few those 2nd Edition play test rules and there you go. Sure the LOTFP adventures took a turn to the total negadungeon, whack weird stuff. The core game is basically on this theme.

But wait there’s more. Or should I say that I can’t leave well enough alone. Running with the Black Powder & Black Magic theme pretty much means that the good old Elves, Dwarves, and Halflings are out. But what to throw in their place?? Hmm. I think it’s time to make note of what I said in the About the Blog, “I ain’t no scholar.” So which leads us to what Fifth Edition calls Tieflings and Aasimar but let’s look a little more closely at these.

Tieflings well they’ve got demonic ancestry and Aasimar basically have angelic ancestry. While D&D has the Cambion as a half-fiend, if I do a little research online then I come up with Cambion as the offspring of an incubus, succubus, or other demon and a human. And if we do the same basic thing with Nephilim which (depending on which source you are looking at) is the product of the union of human and a fallen angel. So yeah one of your parents did the horizontal shuffle with a demon or an angel.

So what we do with these in a gritty LOTFP game? Easy make them racial classes. Even easier, it’s already done. Magic-User becomes the racial class for Cambions and Cleric becomes the racial class for Nephilim. That does leave Fighter and Specialist as “human” only classes but that doesn’t mean that a human character can’t be a priest or a student of the arcane. It’s just that their power is no where near that of those whose blood is tainted and a tad bit of house ruling.

And to keep things grim dark, well, because these characters actually have cool magic powers, there’s a good chance that they might end up getting burned at the stake or splayed out on some scholar’s table for vivisection.

There you go. As Elvira says, “Unpleasant dreams…”

What’s Next? Part 1

Yes, it’s time again for me to start thinking about what to run next. I know that my little gaming group is only a few sessions into the 5E game but I always start planning months out. And there’s a lot reasons I’m doing it on this one.

It’s all about really coming to grips about what I really like. I’ve always leaned more towards Sword & Sorcery and coloring outside of the lines just a bit but never going full Edgelord. Never go full Edgelord. I really love house ruling, kit bashing, and just tweaking rules. And lastly. 5E is just really loosing its luster for me. Sure, when it first came out. I liked it. And I still think it’s a good game system for a vanilla modern D&D setting. But I just think it won’t work that well with kind of game this going to turn into.

I went a long time without going “Oh wow! That’s cool.” But a few publishers really sparked my imagination. Planet X Games with the Phylactery Zines and Magic & Shit; the wild and crazy adventures by Dark Wizard Games; the Black Label adventures by Art of the Genre; and finally the recent Kickstarter for Hypreborea. To put it simple, these folks are talking my language. A little pulpy, grind house, B-Move Inspired weird fantasy material with a dark sense of humor without going full on Edgelord. So I have to fully admit that this sort of thing is right in my wheelhouse.

My first step is come up with what game I want to use the foundation/chassis to build this campaign around then start adding bits and pieces to make the characters fit the setting/genre.

I know I’ve ranted a lot about Barbaric! And it has a lot going for it. It’s an easy system for new players to pick up. Character generation is very quick and easy. And it’s cheap. (I won’t need to be asking players to shell out a bunch of money). There a couple of things going against it. Most of my players are only familiar with d20 based games (especially 5e) and I have so much material that based on old school d20 games on hand. I suppose I could convert the adventures and stuff. But it add another layer to any GM prep time and, well, I’m lazy. And I’m not sure how well it would work for a long term campaign.

I’m also looking at White Box. So it fulfills the cheap for the players and d20 based. The rules are very simple and I’ve done plenty of hacks on them. The only minor thing is converting monster damage and spells from later editions like BX or even AD&D. It wouldn’t be that hard. So that’s a definite possibility.

Swords & Wizardry has been my go to old school game for a long time. Some of the group even played in Blight Campaign. Easy to house rule and convert on the fly. The monster stat blocks are really easy to use and there are ton of monsters available. So yeah there’s that one.

Old School Essentials/Labyrinth Lord OK, these two are basically the same game. I did run a Labyrinth Lord game for the group and they liked it. I do have to say that OSE is the old-school darling of the day and is laid out and organized much better. Lamentations of the Flame Princess also basically has many of the same rules and some interesting spells.

Hyperborea has taken a lot my attention of late and the setting itself is very close to whole vibe I’m going for. While there are some extras from AD&D era, I don’t think it’s anything really overwhelming.

These games for me start with the best frame works to start working from. Sure I do love me some Dungeon Crawl Classics and Castles & Crusades does have a special place in my heart. But so much of what I’m planning is a total Franken-Game. Grabbing the best bits from various games or just being inspired by them. So yeah there will bits and ideas from all of the above but right now I’m trying to think which one I’m going to hack apart and put back together with the extra ideas and inspiration. What’s strange is that I’ve already got 40 pages of notes that I’ve copied and pasted from old house rules, random ideas, and various inspirational material. So needless to say, the final setup will have a bit of a different vibe going for it.

So I guess this really long post is a gigantic teaser about what’s coming up here on the blog and maybe on my Patreon.


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Happy Anniversary: LOTFP Ref Book

Well, it’s been a year since the last update on Indiegogo as of this writing. What can I really say? According to that they’ve got the complete draft and no follow up after that on Indiegogo. There was a little update in December on the LOTFP Page: “But now it’s time to advance again. Looks like the next releases won’t be to the printer until March or so (five months later than I’d hoped… sigh) and then the release cycle after that… seriously… the Ref book. So I need to conserve resources for all that, but there is much to do between now and then.” So maybe some months after March? I dunno.

I want to laugh but Raggi’s been sitting on the other people’s money (including some from me) for a long time. The last video on Youtube was basically, we’ve got a plan and we’re coming back! I can only take this as, we’re trying to keep the lights on (after last year’s financial troubles). But then everybody has had some pretty tough times last year.

Plenty has been written about the missteps and faux pas that have occurred over the past years so I’m not going to reiterate all that crap here. But I will say this, if the goal is to rebuild the brand then a good place to start is fulfilling those past commitments or at least be more transparent about what is going on.