Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lamentations of the Flame Princess new Rules & Magic PDF download

If you are a fan of LotFP or curious about the game now you can download rules and magic PDF for free!

Go check it out right now! It looks great!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Chainmail bikini statted

Chainmail bikini is one kind of armor that possibly cannot protect you that much. Here's stats for the chainmail bikini and what it actually does.

AC: No change.
Price: 50 gold (silver for LotFP)

If the opponent doesn't hit you roll d20 against your Charisma. If the roll result is below your Charism the opponent is awed and cannot attack you for your Charisma modifier + 1d3 turns (minimum 1 turns).

Every 1000 gold (silver for LotFP) extra you invest in your chainmail bikini you get +1 to your Charisma modifier when wearing it.

Chainmail bikini cannot be used with any other armor (except with helmets and shields if those are separated from other types of armor).

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hattifattener from Moomin - perfect creatures for rpg

I'll just leave the link here. I think that Hattifattener are perfect creatures for any fantastic or even horror roleplaying setting. Go check these little creeps out!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

[LotFP] Alternative skill system with DC

I am perfectly happy with the skill system in Lamentations of the Flame Princess but I cannot help myself when I think alternative rules. I don't necessarily use those myself but I like to create. Here's an alternative skill system for LotFP what is similar to newer Dungeons & Dragons editions.

Difficulty Class

Difficulty Class (DC) is a target number minimum needed for the skill test for a success. DC is determined by the Referee according to the situation. DCs are:

10 - Routine
15 - Challenging
20 - Tough
25 - Hard
30+ - Extreme

Skill Test

Roll d20 and add skill score (1 to 6) and ability modifier. If the task is something character class is supposed to be good at add also ½ of the level (round down).

Formula: d20 + skill + ability modifier (+ ½ character's class)

If the result is higher than the DC the task is a success.

Natural 20 is always a successful result except in Extreme difficulty class

Natural 1 is always a botch. Character doesn't only fail but something unexpected and negative happens.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mutant Future - No guns for 1st levels

The title says it; in Mutant Future starting characters can't buy guns and firearms. There are two equipment lists: basic equipment for character creation purchase and the complete equipment list.

My experience being a Mutant Lord (wasn't MF game master called that) is with one player, one character around ten gaming sessions. And I am new with the game and genre. Well the Thundarr style (my Mutant Future is more like Fallout at the moment). But I think that's cool... the no guns part of the beginning.

This far my player's character has seen guns. Some pistols, hunting rifles and shotguns. Yet she doesn't own any. Funny part is that she had a change to loot some guns but she's kinda new to games where a big point is to collect loot.

But the funny thing is that she's totally ok at the moment being without firearms (or something even bigger). She only has a knife as a weapon. I am curious to see when she tries to get her first weapon to shoot with.

But there's a funny thing. Her character is an android and one of its abilities is to transform into an unicorn shape! Maybe that's one big reason she isn't that interested in firearms (yet) because her character can trample with hooves and stab with horn.

I am curious how you and your players feel about starting characters being melee only? One thing I am especially curious about: when you start Mutant Future with your 10th character doesn't it get a little old? To not buy weapons but gain those anyways somehow during the adventures? Or do you at some point just allow starting characters tho obtain some (or suitable) weapons? Share your experiences!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mutant Chronicles the movie

Mutant Chronicles the movie is loosely based on the roleplaying game with same title. If I recall there's also a collectible card game called Doom Troopers. I haven't played Mutant Chronicles RPG but I do remember owning some cards of the franchise. I cannot say how loosely the movie is based on the RPG though..

Anyways. About the movie and some roleplaying thoughts.

Mutant Chronicles is set in the future where four factions rule the world and are in a war. In the battlefield during an attack ancient horror - The Machine - is revealed. Mutants with right hand as a sword type of appendix appear and drag wounded soldiers into the depths of The Machine to be transformed into mutants.
The end of the world is at the beginning.

Old faction wars are soon forgotten as humankind has a new enemy. People are evacuated off the Earth but there's no space for everyone.

Luckily one religious order has an answer for the apocalypse. They have an ancient artifact what is supposed to destroy The Machine. And they also have a nifty ol' book tutorial to do it. Ron Perlman as brother Samuel naturally agrees to take the task and the rest of the adventurers hop aboard as they get free tickets to give for their family for example. For their quest brother Samuel has the book and the party has the artifact to destroy The Machine and swords that are supposed to be effective against the mutants.

The journey begins in the depths of The Machine to destroy it. This is where the action starts as they shoot and fight their way down there. And people die too.

Also one is transformed into a mutant and another halfway transformed. He looks a little twisted then and acts aggressively, otherwise he is okay.

I liked the movie. There was adventure, action and a cool story. And The Machine was awesome! Take  Silent Hill and Kult roleplaying game's Metropolis and that's what The Machine looks like.

The mutants are tough but the swords are supposed to kill them faster, so let the swords have lots of damage against the mutants (or penalty to AC if mutants' HP isn't that high).

Drawing the maps should be easy. Give players sweet maps (look at Zak Smith's work for example) and some pages of the book to use in the game and as a prop. Let them fight their way down, survive, find a right path, see some horrors and finally try to figure out how to place the artifact in the core of the machine to destroy it (SPOILER: It flies away instead of blowing up as it is a spacecraft).

I think Savage Worlds could be great for the pulp style (not too familiar with SW though) but probably Mutant Future (Gamma World 1e or 2e) could work well too as the rules are simple and player characters have more HP in the beginning than in other D&D versions and clones (in MF hit die x CON).

I think Mutant Chronicle the movie could be converted into a really cool adventure. And the movie wasn't bad either. It wasn't perfect but I enjoyed it a lot. Worth 4 stars for me!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

[Mutant Future] Thaumielsamael NPC

Thaumielsamael looks a little like ettin, but
less ogre-ish and more human.
Thaumielsamael is a mutant but even for a mutant he is a strange person. Actually Thaumielsamael are two persons in same body with two heads. They are former married couple what have merged together. Naturally this is not always easy and it is not rare to hear Thaumielsamael arguing with itself.

Thaumielsamael lives in the old farmhouse with their also mutated dog and perfectly normal horse and pony.

STR: 15 (To hit, damage, open doors: +1)
DEX: 13 (AC -1, Missile attack, initiative +1)
CON: 12
INT: 14 (Technology roll modifier +5%)
WIL: 15
CHA: 9 (Retainers 4, Retainer morale 7)


Aberrant form (Large arms, damage +1)
Mind thrust (3d6 dmg, 50ft, once every two rounds)
Force screen, greater (5d6 damage resistance, once per day)
Vampiric field (45ft radius, 2d4 hp per round in the radius, reserved extra HP)
Damage turning (3d6 damage relflect, +1d6 every turn)

Axe 1d8+2
Shotgun 3d6/1d6

Friday, November 16, 2012

[LotFP] Taking the quest from Joop van Ooms

Continuing this:

Liv and Christian B. Yale agreed to take the quest. They must retrieve a manuscript that has some information about "The Book" (reference to The God That Crawls adventure). They both will get 500SP and all the expenses are paid. They also get an extra retainer (Roger the retainer) to handle these expenses.

But before Liv and Christian leave Joop van Ooms wants to paint a portrait of them. The portrait is life like but the background is strange. There is a portal where the characters are smaller and behind the characters is yet another portal where characters are even smaller and so on. Christian as a Cleric is really uncomfortable with this "demonic painting".

Liv asks about the painting but Ooms only answers that they will find out later or sooner but he hopes that they will not find out...

The travel begins from Amsterdam to Norway. It's chilly there so first purchase is winter clothing. From  Norway harbor town they take a cart and start their travel to mountains where they are supposed to go.

At the mountains there's a small village and they ask about this graveyard but the villager is unfriendly. He seems to be really superstitious and the graveyard area in question seems to be something the villager doesn't want to talk about at all. No worries, the party can find their way there. So they leave the village and head to one particular mountain.

At the mountain the cart driver doesn't feel comfortable anymore and he leaves the party and two retainers there. The party starts to climb the mountain...

SPOILER ALERT! Now I start writing about Death Frost Doom adventure. So if you are a player and will play DFD at some point in your life stop reading now! Your Referee will hate you if you read beyond this point!

When the treeline ends there's a cottage. It looks horrible. There are animal carcasses, furs and blood around it. Even some dead smaller animals are hanging from the tree branches. Liv hollers but no one seems to be around.

While Liv peeks inside the cottage Christian takes guard. Cottage is untidy and no one seems to be home...

Next time they meet Zeke!

Vampire: the Masquerade rules mod for FARP

I am planning to run Vampire: the Masquerade (Revised) FARP. It is focused on politics and conversations between the characters but there's always a change you need rules for some resolutions. Because this FARP will focus on political power player characters being primogens I thought that the normal rules and character stats are too wide. So I narrow those down.

Vampire: The Masquerade FARP Rules

Character Stats And Creation


Physical, Mental and Social.
Points 5/4/3


Talents, Skills and Knowledges.
Points 5/4/3


Clan Disciplines: 7 points
Other Disciplines in ST's permission: 3 points

Find out your clan and other disciplines from V:tM Revised rulebook or consult your ST.


Randomly determine each rolling 1d10. Only results 6 - 10 apply.


Choose your humanity betweeb 6 to 8. Lower humanity score gives more flexible morality but restricts the maximum of Self-control when higher humanity's morality is stricter but self controlling becomes easier.


Courage + D10 (Minimum 8).




All characters are assumed to have access to almost everything what is realistic and suits the character description. For special items or really expensive or powerful items consult the ST. For armor and weapons V:tM Revised rulebook is used or consult your ST.


ST hands you secrets and or motives you should keep for yourself. Don't let other players know them. These are important how you play your character and the story.


ST gives primogens relationships towards each other. Play these accordingly!


Define five different retainers and detail them. These are important people for the primogen.
Two of the five retainers are vampires inside the clan. What they are like, what are their specialities.
Two of the five retainers are ghouls or people who work for the primogen. Who are they and what are their specialities.

Those four retainers are known for every other primogen, but there is one "secret" retainer only the primogen in question (and ST) knows about. Who he is, what he does and why is his identity and purpose kept a secret?


Character description is really important. Try to detail character as well as you can. It might be important during the game and your role.



Ability + Attribute. Roll 1d10.
Great success: Roll result exactly Ability + Attribute. Successes are roll result +2
Success: Roll result lower than Ability + Attribute. Successes are roll result
Failure: Roll result higher than Ability + Attribute.
Botch: Roll result is 10. Roll again. If the second roll his higher than Ability + Attribute


To hit and damage: Physical + Attribute* roll result + weapon damage
Subtract opponents Physical (and if dodged + Talent) roll result + Fortitude + armor
Inflicted damage is equal to to hit roll after opponent characteristic subtraction


Initiative: Roll 1d10 + Physical OR Mental which is higher. Act in order.
One action per turn. If character or opponent decides to dodge he cannot perform any other actions that turn.
Shouting and other minor actions are performed without losing a turn.


When primogens gather they have full blood pool. It is assumed that they have fed before a meeting.


As the characters are already more powerful than normal starting characters experience doesn't need tracking.


Willpower can be used normally for automatic success of 3 successes equal to die roll.

Regain one willpower point whenever character does something spectacular or meaningful in a bigger picture.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

[Interview/preview] Magicians - The language learning RPG

Magicians: The language learning RPG

What if you could learn a foreign language via playing a role-playing game? Soon you can. Magicians is a modern role-playing game set in Seoul adding Korean folklore, superstitions and mythology to create an unique and dense fantasy setting.
In this game characters learn magic while they deal with high-school and university life and learn the mysteries and horrors of the world. There's lots of strange things going on under the surface.
The magic system is really interesting. Your character learns nouns and verbs used to cast spells. And spellcasting is only not in-game. You actually have to pronounce what your character is casting! The magic system allows players to cast more advanced spells as they learn Korean. That is sweet. Imagine Harry Potter where you use these magic words. In Magicians you spell Korean to cast spells.
There are also cards that help building a plot and adventures without preparation. These cards are drawn each round to get unique adventures every time cards are drawn.
Each player needs a set of cards and their characters to begin the game. Magicians is a diceless system. You only need cards and some Korean speak and you are ready to go!
Magicians: The language learning RPG sounds interesting enough so I decided to dig deeper. And what would be better source for information than the author himself!

Hello Kyle. Thank you for your interest in my blog and thank you pointing out your project. In the Kickstarter site you already have written some background for Magicians, but would you like to review it shortly here?

Sure! What I usually tell people is that it's Harry Potter, set in Korea - it's Harry Potter-like in that when the students are around the school and its surroundings there are a lot of fantasy elements that don't blend with a modern-day setting like haunted forests inside the mountain the school is on, catacombs and dungeons, and other such areas I drew inspiration from Asian influences like Journey to the West and The Three Kingdoms along with Korean mythology, folklore and fantasy; instead of seeing things like orks and trolls, dragons and goblins, you still get dragons, just the Korean kind that live in water and achieved their power from yeouiju (think dragon ball!), dokkaebi, which are similar to goblins but can turn invisible and summon any item in the world to them, three-legged crows that live in the sun, bonghwang and other cool creatures you don't normally see in fantasy games. However, when the students are in Seoul, I wanted there to be some cool urban fantasy elements so it's more like The Dresden Files where it's modern-day but it has all these layers hidden just beneath the surface for those that can practice magic and I draw on Korean urban fantasy, superstitions and folklore for cool ideas like an underground magic scene that uses chicken-blood tattoos or embed sesame seeds in their skin as a magical ritual or dogs that barter and collect souls and that wear the face of their victims, which all come from urban legends which I twist for the setting, or superstitions still in use in Korea like whistling at night draws snakes and ghosts to your door, insects shouldn't be killed at night because they could be carrying someone's soul in them or that crows and mice can turn into you or steal your soul by eating your finger or toe nails. It's a big, unique playground to play in I think.

Why did you choose Korean to be the language to be used and learned in this game?

I choose Korean because it's the only second language I speak at a level I'm comfortable with teaching and, since my major is Korean education - teaching Korean to non-native speakers, I'm going to be using the game as a basis for my thesis paper as well. Korean is a really cool, unique language that is really easy to learn and get into but is very deep, interesting and is very different from any other language I've seen. In particular, Korean Hangeul, the alphabet, only takes a few hours of dedicated study to master completely since it's phonetic and was made expressly for easy learning by a Korean king. 

Can a group of players start playing and actually enjoy the game with zero knowledge of Korean? What kind of tools does the game give for the group to start with?

I wanted the game to be something that people could jump into with very little knowledge of Korean, especially for people who hadn't played an rpg before, that's why I set it in modern day and added in all those cool elements but I also created the basic system which uses only 13 words to cast spells. In order to play the game at lowest level of difficulty (there are 3 tiers that build on each other as you learn and get better at Korean) you just need to learn those 13 words as you play the game and get better at pronouncing them. The game uses a smartphone dictation app to check you pronunciation so it's something you can practice and get the hang of even when you aren't playing the game. 

I understood that basically more advanced you get in Korean more advanced things characters can do in the game. It's like while you advance in Korean your character kind of advances also. Is this right?

It's not so much that the more you advance, the more advanced things you do - at any tier of difficulty you can cast any spell you want. There are 7 nouns and 6 verbs at the basic level, you choose one of each to cast any spell you can think of. The nouns consist of the elements - fire, water, earth, wind and then there is also living things and the five senses. For verbs there is create, damage, transmute, remove, compel, and perceive so it works a lot like Ars Magica. The second tier of difficulty takes away that archetypal approach so you have to choose your own noun and verb to suit the situation and build your vocabulary. The third and final tier has you speaking in full, complete sentences and learning grammar patterns you can plug your new-found vocab in and out of as well as learning more target vocab which are tied to types of magic. For casting spells having to do with time magic, you first need to learn numbers, to cast telekinetic spells you learn relative position, directions, etc.

Korean mythology and folklore sounds really interesting. How much tools does the game give to work with? Does it provide superstitious folklore, monsters and other?

I've got a whole bunch of setting material that's going to be in the book - Korean superstitions, folklore, creatures and monsters, urban legends all given a twist so that they all fit into the world of Magicians and so that people can use them in their own games if they want to mine some cool Asian influences for their own games. 

You pledged for 3000 dollars but currently are in over 23000 dollars. How do you feel?

The response the game has been really amazing - I really didn't expect it, I thought it would be this tiny niche within a niche that liked the game but what it turned out being was that it was interesting for all kinds of groups. People who want to just learn another language like the idea of another tool to do so, rpg gamers in general are all educated to begin with and are always looking for something cool and the fact that you can learn more of something and a useful skill while doing something that you already love doing is an awesome proposition I think.

 Can you actually learn Korean with this game?

Of course! The main idea behind the game is the same process that is applied universally when learning any language, first you start out with pronunciation, learning the alphabet, then you start learning some words and building your vocabulary, then you start learning grammar patterns that you use that vocab in as well as target vocabulary associated with language you'll use and need when speaking in everyday life - directions, time, adverbs and adjectives, past and future tense, etc. Not only will you learn Korean with this game but the core of the game is so universal that it will be easily hackable for other languages as well - which is why I'm putting out the "hack pack", a stretch goal we at 15k, which will detail expressly how to hack any and all aspects of the game - the setting along with the themes and tone you want to set and, especially, for different languages as well as some fun ideas for use with other languages that work differently than Korean, like those that use gender, etc.

(Kyle also provided me with this fun little comic about learning Korean in 15 minutes (LINK).)

But what is your roleplaying history?

My dad first introduced my twin brother and I to D&D back when I was in elementary school but it didn't really take as I got into computer rpgs more like Bladur's Gate and stuff; I didn't actually start gaming again until I came to Korea when 4th Edition was released - the guys over at Penny Arcade did an actual play podcast series that made me want to get back into it and I wanted to meet some more people and make some friends so I looked for and found a group and got started. We played 4th edition for awhile but I really got into it and was soon buying and reading rpgs both to play and just to read, I started GMing for the group and have run lots of great games - Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Burning Wheel, Burning Empire, Mouseguard, Pathfinder, With Great Power,  Fiasco, Cathulhutech and all kinds of other stuff. I started designing roleplaying games as well but more as thought exercises and for fun - my first rpg I designed was a solo one to see how it would play, I made another one to teach how to play go-stop, a Korean gambling game that uses hanafuda cards and then I came up with a language-ed game after teaching English, reading about dictation apps and trying to incorporate elements I love from books about learning magic like Magicians, by Lev Grossman (the game started out as a IP project for Magicians, hence the name with Lev Grossman on board but the rights ended up getting sold to Hollywood for a tv show), Harry Potter, the Earthsea books or The Dresden Files.

Final words from you. What would you want to say about the project and what would you like to say for the people who already pledged and for those who are interesting of it?

To all the people who have backed the game, helped got the word out or both I'd like to say thank you! For those who are interested I'd say come to the kickstarter page and check it out! I've got actual play videos of the first few rounds of a game so you can see how it works along with a video of how the smartphone app works as well. We've already hit the 20k stretch goal which was for a Japanese hack of the game by Andy Kitowski, of recent Tenra Bansho Zero game and kickstarter success and at 30k we unlock a Chinese supplemental system for traditional Chinese by Jonathan Walton, creator of the Geiger Counter RPG, among others, so if you're interested in the idea but not so interested in the Korean language element of it we might have you covered!


The Kickstarter campaign page can be found in the following link. The project will be funded on Monday Nov 19, 12:00am EST so now is the time if you want to hop in!

Campaign link:

All the pictures are from Magicians roleplaying game.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fading Suns using dicepool is stupid - mod time!

There are some people behind Fading Suns who created some White Wolf products. And you can see the effect.

The basic system I like. To do a task add Attribute and Skill together and roll under with d20. The higher the result is more Victory Points you get. Victory Points determine how well you succeeded. Roll exactly the same and double the Victory Points. Simple.

But damage is tricky one. Add weapon damage to Victory Points. That is your dicepool of d20s. Every d20 over result 13 is one point of damage. That is stupid!

I haven't tested this at all but this could be how it works also:

The dicepool of damage would be the target number to roll with d20. The amount of the damage is equal to d20 result.

So for example if weapon damage is 4 and you get 4 victory points from to hit roll you have to roll 1-8 to deal that amount of damage. If the result is 9-20 you:
  • Don't inflict any damage
  • You only deal 1 point of damage
  • You only deal damage equal to to hit Victory Points (or weapon damage which is lower)
(The above needs testing.)

If you roll exactly the same result as weapon damage + Victory Points you get +2 damage as a very successful hit.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

[LotFP] To make ability modifiers affect skills

I like LotFP's simplicity but there's one thing I am not so sure about. Character abilities don't affect skill success propablities. No matter how dextrous you are you are as good in Sleigh of hand that the next guy.

This is a small modification if you want abilities to affect skills.

You can re-roll skill roll as many times as you have ability modifiers for a related ability but the minimum of skill rolls is always one.

For example if your character uses Sleigh of hand and your DEX modifier is +2 you get to roll the skill roll twice and pick the better result. If DEX modifier was -1 to -3 you only roll once.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Oddities in the Darkest Space - seriously?

In my last post I wrote how I had this dream I created a scifi rpg. Now I cannot get the idea out of my mind. Here's something I've been thinking.

- It uses modified LotFP rules
- Character classes are from LotFP with some tweaks. Re-naming them and changing a little the rules
- There is no magic but psionics instead. Basically it's M-U spells re-skinned
- There is no Cleric class but a "Medic" (or something). Cleric spells modified so it's this weird computer thingie what has these "powers" like Clerical spells
- Psionics don't learn spells. When they level up they find new abilities rather than learning those
- "Medic" can find chips (scrolls) to use or upload to their computer thingie like M-U spellbook
- Weapons have two values for damage. First is what dice you use and second for firearms when the clip is empty. For example weapon with damage 2/d8 shows that it does d8 points of damage and there is 2 in 8 change the clip must be reloaded
- Mass Effect video game doesn't count ammunition, I won't either. You just need to spend one turn changing the clip/recharging the weapon/let the heat go down
- Demi-humans are actually aliens. Those are based in Halfling, Dwarf and Elf character builds with modifications
- d6 skill system propably where "Tech" class is most advanced in skill usage
- Stances are aggressive, normal and defensive where there are slight modifications for AC/AB like in LotFP
- Encumbrance is from LotFP but CON modifier affects the first encumbrance point. (CON bonus 0 is 5 items, CON bonus +2 is 7 items before first encumbrance point)
- There are powershields what can nullify damage if damage result is in right range

Now I am thinking will I write whole thingie from a scratch or make a small add-on for LotFP explaining the modifications used. So basically you would need LotFP + OitDS to run it. It would save a lot of work writing for me saving time for fluff.

The greatest question is will I write this at all? I like Fading Suns a lot but the rules I'd like to use would be more LotFP like for simplicity. In the other hand I could just use Mutant Future but I want to keep it as its own game/setting/feeling. Also I prefer ascending AC over descending.

So, now the big questions are:
1) Will I write this?
2) Should I use LotFP but only write all the modifications?
3) Should I re-skin LotFP?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Started Mass Effect the second time and wrote scifi rpg in my sleep

Picture from Bioware website
Yesterday I started playing Mass Effect with PC again. I had started it earlier but didn't like PC gaming. Now I got gaming room with a nice armchair to sit when using PC so PC gaming is much more enjoyable.

Don't know yet how good Mass Effect plot is but I like the system how it works.

After playing Mass Effect I moved into bed and watched some movie before fell asleep. And in my dream I wrote scifi rpg! Here are some ideas I got from my dream:

- Game is based on LotFP rules (races as class, ascending AC, encumbrance system etc. etc.)
- It had a silly name: Oddities of the Darkest Space - Weird science fiction
- There are power shields what protect any damage in shields range. So if shield's range is 2-5 all damage results between 2-5 are nullified. Shields have charges how many times they can nullify damage before recharging it (Fading Suns style)
- To hit and Damage is D20 + AB + weapon damage solid + d against armor class. The amount of damage is the difference of AC and To hit roll (I think base AC should be higher than 12... maybe 15 or something).
- Weapon clip is empty when you roll weapon damage d equal to "empty" score. For example if weapon's damage die is d6 and "empty" is 1-2 you roll that damage result you need to reload
- Magic is replaced with psi-powers modified magic rules

Those above are the rules I was writing in my dream. It's a mix of LotFP, Fading Suns and Dungeonslayers I see.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Playing LotFP: Meeting Ooms

Group of two adventurers (player character and non-player character) with one retainer. PC is Elven specialist (combo class) and NPC is Fighter Cleric (combo also). I decided to use The Magnificent Joop van Ooms book as a seed for future adventures.
Elven specialist's name is Liv and fighter-cleric is called Christian B. Yale.

Party is at Amsterdam after they delivered an item there (this happened before game starts, they are 1st levels afterall). First task is to find a place to stay. I ask player to roll d50 for random encounter and a swarm of kids surround them. Christian is a good person so he gives 5cp for the kids. Liv doesn't but she notices one kid standing behind Christian. That kid is actually a pickpocket with 2/6 skill but he fails. Liv doesn't notice that attempted theft but she is suspicious and commands kid away. The swarm of kids move to next person. Really big black man in extra fancy clothes. And they go to an inn.

Next morning in breakfast a well dressed man invites them to a party. They just need to ask Joop van Ooms anywhere and they'll find the place. Gotta buy fancy clothes and get ready.

During the day Liv is asked to sign a petit to clear harbor area from trash but a set of jugglers are distracting the very moment. Liv is suspicious and doesn't want to sign it. This was a random encounter also.

In the evening they find easily Ooms residence because it really stands out. Inside there is a party going. Same man who invited Liv and Christian is surrounded by four ladies. The man called Henry XIII isn't that comely but chicks like his attention. Henry asks girls to leave and he greets new guests. Liv and Christian also see the same black man dancing in his cool clothes. His dance is a mix of traditional European dance and tribal African dances. He is really good and there's people watching him.

Third person is Joop van Ooms surrounded by some people who talk to him. Joop doesn't look that interested but he is really good in this kind of conversations. Joop dismisses the people to meet new visitors.

Joop has a conversation with Liv and Christian. Asking questions and telling stuff. He decides to show his 1st floor gallery room with "practice" art. Then he asks if Liv and Christian as adventurers would like to do a job for him. To retrieve a document of information. What kind of information? Information of some kind of book (The Book from The God That Crawls). Liv and Christians agree to take this mission.

Some Thoughts

Only dice rolling were random encounters. Lots of talking and stuff. You don't necessarily need dice for a good session.
Nothing important really happened. This was like an intro for next adventure (Dead Frost Doom) and all the adventures to become.
I bought The Magnificent Joop van Ooms because of this. To kick campaign going! Also player death could suck, but Joop is a magnificent painter, so that thing is handled now!

Player doesn't know this yet, but to Norway they will travel! And there's Death Frost Doom they need to "enter" to gain that document.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Die of luck, unfortune and die

Picture from colorbox.

"The Die" is in a beautifully crafted box with velvet inside. The die looks to be made of black bone or similar material. The pips are small blue diamonds.

If the die is touched with bare skin it will get stuck until it is rolled. When die is rolled ask player a number between 1-6 and ask him to roll one d6.

If the d6 result is exactly the same player said character dies.
If the roll result is higher next d6 die rolls will automatically success (or give highest possible result in damage, with potions etc.)
If the roll result is lower next d6 die rolls will automatically fail (potions don't heal etc.).

The die is worth 1000gp (sp if Lotfp) if right buyer is found.

[Review] The Magnificent Joop van Ooms for LotFP

The Magnificent Joop van Ooms is not an adventure. It is a small sourcebook for Amsterdam in 1615 and one magnificent person and his servants living there.

The book is small only 18 pages long what makes it easy to read and memorize.


The cover art is really cool expanding to back cover. In cover you see Joop van Ooms messing with a painting of adventurers and, well, one of the adventurers is messed up also. The cover is stunningly done.

Inside the pages are in greyscale, the font is easy to read but a bit small and layout is clear. Pictures are great in black and white and the style reminds me a bit of some of the old World of Darkness art. Usually LotFP books' art are done in painting like style but this works also if artist(s) is/are great.

The Setting

Joop van Ooms lives in Amsterdam in year 1615. There are only two pages worth of information about Amsterdam focusing into The United Provinces and commercial scene of that period. Because the book is set in historical Amsterdam Referees can easily expand the details using various sources from historical books and internet. This both saves space from the book itself and gives Referees freedom to include extra details as many as they wish.

In my opinion even though this books is supposed to be in real Amsterdam it is easy enough to include in your favorite setting you use. Mostly because The Magnificent Joop van Ooms doesn't go to deep in the location description.

Rules Part

There are basically only two additional rules. One is chart for selling and buying in black markets and other is a random encounter table. The random encounter table has 50 possible encounters but some of those are pairs with a minor difference. Some of the encounters can be also seeds for adventures.

The black market table I am really disappointed at. You roll 2d6 + Cha modifier to see the result of selling and buying. Mostly it affects is the item available and what its actual price will be. There are also some boring extra effects after failed or successful transactions. But these are really, really dull.

After natural 1 & 20 chart what gives various effects and not just bonus to damage this was a huge disappointment. You can quickly see what price you sell or buy and does the vendor like you or not but that's it.

Joop van Ooms

There are three NPCs. Joop van Ooms, his guard and his lackey. All of these three are interesting persons but still easy to play.

Rules-wise Joop is a Magic-User but basically it only means his HP and savings. He doesn't use spellbooks, spells, spellscrolls or anything magical Magic-Users usually tinker with. Joop van Ooms magic is in his art and crafts.

Joop can alter reality - or cast spells - using arts like architecture, paintings, sculpturing, poems and so on. He is also an engineer like Da Vinci and he has created a couple of advanced crafts. Other seems to be useless but another can be a blast with "wrong hands".

There is also map for Oom's personal residence. How magnificent person he is his home is a little boring. The focus is in what Ooms is in person and what he can do and not where he lives. His residence is basically for hosting parties and creating arts.

The description of Ooms is interesting. He is really extraordinary person with his fanbase but also enemies.

Adventure Hooks

The book also gives possible adventure hooks. As adventure hooks these are not that detailed but that's the point. They give ideas and inspiration to put player characters involved somehow in Joop van Ooms. I think the adventure hooks are broad enough and easy to use.

The Number 8

Nice little detail is the number 8 Joop van Ooms avoids. In several different contexts it is present. And it is no good.

Final Words

The book is nice little piece of introduction to 1615's Amsterdam focusing on Joop van Ooms as a character, adventure hook and a background for adventures. It is quick to read and easy to memorize and simple to use. Only flaw is really boring black market table what could have been more interesting. It works yes, but is dull.

If you are looking for yet another LotFP adventure this is not for you. But if you want something you can use as a small inspiration for your adventures this is a great little book. A lot of work to use this is left for Referee but it gives you a good starting point for interesting play.

The official product page:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

...and everyone dies and world ends

One thing I try to figure out in Raggi's adventures is why there are some incidents, random rolls or triggers what either kill characters without any change to survive or destroys the game world/setting/whole goddamn rpg universe.

I don't know the truth and design philosophy behind these things, but here's some thoughts of mine.

Who uses these things?

Let's say that something happens in the adventure and Referee reads that that's the end of everything. Game over. Start again (well, if Raggi didn't say that's it for good). Or there's a random encounter roll what's only purpose is to kill characters right away. How many Referees response to these incidences saying "okay" and putting their rpg books away continuing the evening with Monopoly. Or how many players would think "that was frikkin' awesome"?

I think most of the player groups just ignore these effects. Most of the players. Some might find humor in these. "Lol this adventure ends now because you rolled result 8 from the encounter party" or "uh why did you do that guys, now the setting world is destroyed... forever! That was awesome!"


Are these some kind of (inside) jokes that Raggi doesn't think anyone will use but puts those things in his books just for laughs? Or is it some kind of homage for real oldschool adventures where this kind of things possibly happened back then (I don't know)? Or is it just to annoy people or boost some kind of "I am baddest mofo Referee out there"?

Oh, and what about painting your nose yellow because of meta game laughing? Share me some pictures around the gaming table where this really happened.

New Possibilities?

If character dies you can create another one right? But if character dies without a reason it is annoying. But could there be a possibility? Character is now ghost like creature, or new character is decided to be an incarnation of old with some quirks, advantages and disadvantages? This is up to Referee what he can make out of the situation.

And if whole party dies or world is destroyed Referee could take totally different direction for the rest of the campaign. Afterlife adventures characters trying to get back to life or even timetravelling when worlds collapse to prevent the apocalypse.

If Referee doesn't ignore these happenings and doesn't take those too literally he can continue adventure with a twist.

What Do You Do?

Have you played Raggi's adventure where character or party randomly died or setting was destroyed? How did you handle it? Did you start new game or did you continue with a twist? Or did you just ignore the effect?

Friday, October 26, 2012

This weekend I'll run DFD with slightly modded LotFP characters

Finally it is here. The day when I'll finally play a roleplaying game. Because in Finland we don't have official Halloween I'll place our Halloween on this weekend. And the game I chose we play is LotFP and the adventure will be Death Frost Doom.

But there's a minor modification for characters. I only have one player this weekend but I want to fill more character class slots. So party will have character, NPC as a character and some retainers.

The character and NPC character will both be dual-classed. This means that in character creation:

  • Player chooses two classes for his character and I choose two classes for my NPC.
  • Savings will be the better ones from the two classes.
  • Experience needed will be from the class with higher requirements for leveling.
  • Character will have benefices from both classes (for example Fighter-M-U would have +1 to AB and ability to cast spells.
  • Dual-class characters can act twice per turn in combat - one action per character class.
Reason for dual-class characters is that there is less characters to play for both me and the player but more "characters" to act in combat. Actually the combat part is not that important in LotFP but it is good to be there.

Also character death is modified as I am planning to use same two characters (player and NPC) in other scenarios and adventures also. So if character dies s/he is out of that adventure but can start next adventure with half of his experience. The level is not affected but character death will affect character advancement. More often you die more time it takes to gain next level.

I also use rules modifications from my last post. In example Elven magic and other minor mods.

But what if player character dies before adventure is solved? There are two options... Character can start from the beginning where he left with experience points penalty or she can choose to make a living retainer her next character and continue right away. Or dead character can sort of sacrifice one retainer to resurrect.

Hmmm... Maybe character can get some kind of magical amulet what's power is to resurrect character when sacrificing the life of someone else. But that would need a morality test from the remaining NPCs. When character is resurrected his HP will be the current HP of sacrificed retainer (but no more than maximum naturally).

To get enough starting equipment and retainers I think I'll give character the starting funds of both of his/her class.

Friday, October 19, 2012

My house rules for Lamentations of the Flame Princess

Referee and Magic book cover.
First I want to say that I like Lamentations of the Flame Princess rules. The rules are simple, easy to handle, fast and easy to modify. The rules don't need much modification in my opinion but these are some preferences I generally like in roleplaying games. Biggest modification is how Elven magic works. I thought Elven are too similar to Magic-Users so I wanted to make their magic a little special and different.

Here are the modified rules I currently use.

Exploding Dice
When you roll damage and get highest result of any die roll again and add. So for example with d6 result 6 you roll again for 3, so total damage would be 9.

Natural 1s and 20s
I use LotFP Natural 1s and 20s d30 table for this. OR player can choose with natural 20 to deal 2x damage or with natural 1 inflict 1x damage to self.

Halfling Speed
Each race has same basic movement rate. Halflings are smaller and faster thus if the party is pursued Halflings are the last ones to get attacked, captured or anything else what happens after pursuit. (Idea from here.)

Character doesn't die at HP 0 but is incapacitated. Character permanently dies when his negative HP reach his Constitution score. Characters with HP 0 or below cannot heal naturally.

More Experience Points
Because killing monsters and opponents is not the goal of LotFP monsters will give 10x experience than normal. The reason is that every player character will most probably die eventually and I like player character advancement. Also if player played really well or character did something really exceptional I reward experience points from that. Usually 50 - 250.

Elven Magic Is Unnatural
Elves don't learn magic from books or studying. Their magical abilities are innane. It's in their blood and souls. Elves cannot learn new spells by researching nor can craft magical items. They can brew potions though.

Elves gain random spells when they reach new levels. Elves can know as many spells as they could normally memorize per day. When Elf gains a level randomly determine what new magical powers he learns as many per level as the difference of memorized spells is per level. If you roll same spell as your Elf character already knows, roll again.

Elves don't need to memorize spells. They can bend reality and cast them by willpower. To successfully cast a spell roll Save versus Magic + attempted spell level. If the save is successful the spell is cast.

If Save versus Magic is failure spell is failed and Elf suffers spell burnout and cannot cast spells before resting. Time needed to rest is 6 hours + attempted spell level.

If Save versus Magic spell die roll is natural 1 roll D30 Random Catastrophic Spell Chart (coming up!).

[LotFP] Holy Guardian class

I am playing an J-RPG style game with my Android phone called Inotia 3. It is actually really good and well done rpg if you do like J-RPGs. But as a J-RPG it is not an RPG compared to P&P games. You basically follow the plot, cannot choose what you say or do. You gain experience to upgrade already known skills or buy new skills. And you hassle with equipment. But I enjoy it a lot.

And it's free from App store! Here.

Anyways my main character is a Templar. One of his powers is healing. When used he heals the character in party with lowest health points left. And this is an inspiration for new Lamentations of the Flame Princess character class.

Holy Guardian

Holy Guardians are fighters who have devoted their life to protect others in the name of their God. Their mission is not to slay the evil but protect others doing it.

Holy Guardians must sacrifice 10% of experience gained for their God who provides their power. Whenever experience is gained Holy Guardian gains 10% less than normally would.

Experience points level progress: Same as Fighters
Hit points progress: Same as Fighters
Saving throws progress: Same as Clerics
Special progress:

  • Every 5th level (1, 6, 11, 16) gain +1 to AC.
  • Healing surge. Once per combat Holy Guardian can use his turn for a healing surge. Healing surge heals the character of lowest current HP based on Holy Guardian's level. Even if Holy Guardian has lowest HP left healing surge doesn't heal him but the character with second lowest HP left.
Level 1 - 1d4
Level 2 - 1d4
Level 3 - 1d6
Level 4 - 1d6
Level 5 - 1d8
Level 6 - 1d8
Level 7 - 1d10
Level 8 - 1d10
Level 9 - 1d12
Level 10 - 1d12
Level 11 - 1d12 + 1d4
Level 12 - 1d12 + 1d4
Level 13 - 1d12 + 1d6
Level 14 - 1d12 + 1d6
Level 15 - 1d12 + 1d8
Level 16 - 1d12 + 1d8
Level 17 - 1d12 + 1d10
Level 18 - 1d12 + 1d10
Level 19 - 1d12 + 1d12
Level 20 - 1d12 + 1d12

House Rule

  • If you use exploding dice (roll the highest score again for example in damage) you can use rule of exploding dice also in healing surge.
  • If healing surge roll is 1 from any of the dice rolled healing surge doesn't work but instead deals damage to Holy Guardian himself. Roll that die again.
Example: Holy Guardian level 14 decides to use healing surge. Other characters in party are Elf and a Magic-User. Elf has 15 hit points left, Magic-User has 18 left and Holy Guardian has 25 left. Healing surge will heal Elf who has the lowest HP.
Holy Guardian's player rolls 1d12 + 1d6 and gets scores 1 and 5. Elf will gain 5 HP from the d6 but as the d12 score was 1 Holy Guardian's player rolls d12 again for new result of 7 what is the amount of damage he suffers.
Next round the hit points of the party are:
Elf 20, M-U 18, Holy Guardian 18.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Other options for turn undead

The Looney DM posted about turn undead in his blogpost. His point was whatever cleric's deity is he is always carrying turn undead power. But there might be a solution to customize this power.

Thanks for The Looney DM for finding proper art first!
Art from GIS for Turn Undead
Base rule for turn undead is that you get an amount of HD you can turn. If we keep that in mind we can customize this power for other clerics of other deities. Let's just keep in mind that there's always the HD what tells how many things you can affect! Also the time turn is in effect is the effect other clerical abilities from different deities are in effect.

Cleric Of Undead Or Necromantic Deity
Instead of turn undead cleric has power to control undead. Handle controlled undead like retainers... but without free will.

Cleric Of Illusion Deity
Instead of turn undead cleric has a power to create an illusion. The HD determines how many npcs and monsters are affected. Keep in mind that mindless creatures cannot "see" or be affected with illusions (use illusion spell for frame).

Cleric Of War Deity
Instead of turn undead cleric can raise morale for his party members up to HD. Raise morale gives +1 to both AB and AC for the time turn undead would otherwise be in effect.

Cleric Of Peaceful Deity
Instead of turn undead cleric can calm enemies up to HD. Calmed enemies stop attacking the party for the turn undead time. Chatic evil, demonic and such entities cannot be affected without spending double HD for each.

Only few examples to work with other powers from the deity except turn undead.

Monday, October 15, 2012

[forwarded] What are your "must-play" games for designers?

Ryan Macklin made a post where he asks what three games in your opinion are the ones game designer should play. Go check out the post in link above for details.

My three games following the rules above would be:

Lamentations Of The Flame Princess
LotFP is two things. D&D 3rd edition made more simple or OD&D made more straightforward to play. But there are more. Rules are simple and extra lite. The take on monsters is different as monsters are not meat sacks you beat but unique and strange entities. There is also great Tutorial and good article type chapters from Raggi. There are also several small rules you could say are house rules or improvements but what make LotFP a little different.
LotFP makes old fresh and totally playable straight out from the box. Great read and improvement to old.

My Life With Master
I haven't read or played many indie games with focused rules for its genre and setting. But MLWM is one with a great impact on me. The rules do focus on few topics but you can still use those for almost everything an adventure and roleplaying involves. And there is end game and ending conditions. And it is a short read.

World Of Darkness
For full benefices one should be familiar with old WoD games. In nWoD rules are improved and every splat book uses the same rules as a base for a game. There are some things I don't like that much but the difference and improvements compared to old splat books with rules what are the same but still different is what makes this an important rules book. But without comparing nWoD core book to oWoD rulebooks it doesn't work right.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

God that Crawls and other new LotFP items

This week I received Lamentations of the Flame Princess adventure God that Crawls. In addition I got fixed Green Devil Face #5 tables for natural 1 and 20. I expected it to be a4 print but it is a sturdy double sided card. Really cool looking. But because of that I have to join the d30 club.

I also got my Gardening Society membership card. It is freaking cool and damn weird. If you didn't know you would be all what in the earth with it. No spoilers about the text. Join the club to find out!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

[LotFP] Two classes - one character

So I am planning to start running those LotFP adventures I own. I plan to run those as adventures and not a campaign. If character survives the adventure he'll get back to town to get ready for second adventure. No need to detailed down-time this time.

I know that most of the Raggi adventures can be ran with 0 level commoner or 15 level fighter equally. But still I'd like to include some character rule options for player to use. This is the solution I am planning to use.


There will be two main characters. Player's character and one NPC. Player will roleplay her character normally and I as Referee will play NPC as a character. Only difference is that player uses the resources of NPC's class. So it is up to player to use spells, special abilities etc. of the NPC. Basically player plays 1,5 characters this way.


Only two main characters but there are more than two character classes with special class specific abilities. So player character and NPC will be dual classed with both their classes' abilities. The class combinations will be most likely:

  • Magic-User - Specialist. To be in background support and general tinkerer.
  • Figter - Cleric. To be the one who takes initial blows and supports (think about cleric in chainmail with mace or something else more battle orientated holy man)
Rules For Dual Class

  • Experience and levels. The character will follow the experience table of higher need. For example if Magic-User class needs 1200 exp and Specialist class needs 900 character will level up when he reaches 1200 experience points.
  • After leveling. Character will get both benefices of his classes. Fighter-Cleric will get +1 to AB and access to new spells. Magic-User-Specialist will get new spell slots and points in skills.
  • Hit Die. Hit dice will be thrown from both classes and the average of those results will be HP addition. For example Magic-User-Specialist will roll d6+d8 (if I remember right). If total result is 10 character will gain +5 HP.
  • Bonuses to Save. Character will use better Saves. If first class has Save versus Death 15 and other Save versus Death 14 the latter will be new Save.
I Will Get It Right Later

I am not totally sure about those numbers etc. I have to refer to the rules book and make final decisions with it. But that is the plan I think I am going to use at this point. Some adjustments might apply when I finish this.
I will post final result (or beta what ever) when I got time to create it.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

No time to play

Past two weeks I haven't had time to play nor think about roleplaying and games. Moving is so time consuming. Last night I wanted to play so bad...

Anyways next time I play I'll run Lamentations of the Fame Princess' adventure Dead Frost Doom. I think it will be easier to start with an adventure instead of jumping right into a campaign.

I hope I get faster internet soon. I got some ideas I'd like to blog about...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Raggi (LotFP) and monsters

This is how I see it.

In raggian games (adventures and modules typical to James Raggi) there are monsters but they are unique. In Raggi's core rulebook Lamentation Of The Flame Princess there is no monster manual nor section for monster stats. Only example how to create a monster using a vampire.

The point is that monsters should be weird, horrific, unique and strange instead of just bunch of experience sacks for player characters to fight with.

Raggian adventures focus in the scenario and what is happening, why it is happening and what player characters will do about it if they even can do anything about it. Or the player characters encounter weirdness in their travels and adventures.

It is more important to give players a whole scenario what is "the monster" of the adventure. The whole adventure in between the beginning and ending is the monster. It is more important to experience, observe, manipulate and possibly survive the adventure than introduce individual monsters or groups of monsters to encounter in a series.

But there are monsters. These monsters have a reason and background why those are there. These monsters aren't randomly placed around to give some entertainment in dice rolling. No. These monsters are there to make the adventure more horrific.

The experience rules support this. You don't get that much experience points by defeating monsters. The treasures are what you get experience from. Most likely because of that players are encouraged to come up with other plans to defeat or go around them.

And some monsters (as they basically are unique) have really nasty special abilities. Save versus death is not uncommon. In LotFP there are no those +1 magic weapons and if you use game system with lots of magic weapons you can't kill a monster too hard for LotFP characters to kill because of that. Why? Immune to magic is what Raggi will stamp those with.

In fantasy roleplaying games player characters tell that they attack the group of orcs with axes, spells and whatnot. In raggian games Regeree tells how the orcs screw up characters. And it is not always about monsters dealing HP damage to characters. No. They can screw up characters in many ways.

And there are not only monsters. There are places, items, surroundings what are like monsters to characters ready to make players cry for mercy. It is cruel and deadly but at least there are great SP rewards to gain... if you survive long enough to get out!

Possible spoilers ahead of Death Frost Doom, Death Love Doom and The Monolith From Beyond Time and Space.

DFD: There are undead. Some of these are more powerful individual persons but most of them (thousands in the end if things go bad) are just walking corpses with not that impressive stats. But the stats are not the point here. You can fight an undead or two, but that is not what the adventure is about. The adventure is about the evil undead vampire lord's deed. And about thousands of dead starting to walk and conquer surroundings.
So you do find undead stats, but who cares? There are bigger things going on in the adventure. You don't just go there, kill all the zombies and get back to claim your reward. No. You are lucky if you survive and if you do survive, there's going to be a heck of a mess around.

DLD: There are monsters. Really powerful entity and its human slaves controlled by parasites. You can fight them, but that is again not the point. The point is to experience the horrors of this adventure and see how screwed up it is. Even though player characters "win" this adventure, it still will eventually take place somewhere else wreaking grotesque havoc like it has done when player characters find about it.

The Monolith...: Again, some monster stats. One big fishie what you can fight to destroy it... but it will come back as it is in time limbo. Monster guarding monolith? You basically cannot fight it. Monsters within monolith are easy to kill as long as you are in different "place" than they. The point is not to kill the monsters. There is no point in monolith except explore it.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ikuisuuden Laakso is now available in English as Valley of Eternity

Long time ago I posted about my new games I got, and Ikuisuuden Laakso was one of them.

Now Ikuisuuden Laakso is available in English named Valley Of Eternity.

You can get it PDF or print from DriveThru RPG:

A penguin roleplaying game about everyday heroes and fate as an outcast, reserved for those who are in any way different from their fellows. Inspired by western movies, Valley of Eternity features a bit of comedy with serious undertones.
Designed mostly for one-shot adventures, Valley of Eternity is a good entry-level roleplaying game with a simple setting and deep meaning.

-Text from DriveThrough RPG product description.

Got my Monolith and other goodness

Long wait rewarded with above items. I finally got my The Monolith From Beyond Space And Time. But also two extra items. Death Love Doom was published almost the same time so I added it and a bonus for waiting for The Monolith so long people also got Green Devil Face #5.

The Monolith From Beyond Space And Time is the main product of the trio. It is thicker than it was meant to be with great menacing art. And the valley is great place to put your adventurers in and the Monolith... haven't read that far yet!

Death Love Doom has a reputation being repulsive, but I found it awesome. I do like horror and core and all the grotesque but I see how Referees should be really cautious who they play DLD with. There are some taboos people find disturbing - genitalia and kids, both mutilated.

Green Devil Face #5 is Raggi's Fanzine of Lamentations Of The Flame Princess and it is sweet little trinket full of interesting small items you can use in your games. For example nasty raggian trap and alternative experience rules. There is a big layout botch with natural 20 (critical success if you will) table but it will be fixed later. Well, nothing that a real Referee cannot cope with and fix himself.

These three items in one package provided almost overwhelming excitement and awe.

Raggi did it again producing two great new products and a fun additional ideas in GDF.

Don't forget to visit the official LotFP website:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Some fantasy equipment when I couldn't get sleep

Last night I had trouble getting sleep. I wanted to try to focus on something instead of just thinking and stressing about dozens of things. What I started to think about was fantasy equipment. These I was thinking when I tried to get some sleep:

Weapon stats are really simple and suit well for any edition of D&D including various clones.

Knuckles Of Weakening
Knuckles of weakening are nasty looking with devilish carvings and dull spikes. They were crafted for slavemaster Harrington to make too strong and rebellious slaves easier to handle.

Damage: 2d4+d6
Special: Every 5 points worth of damage victim looses 1 point of CON.

Biter Sword
Biter sword is Lich king Maradukai's personal weapon crafted from enchanted bones. The blade has dozens of tiny mouths that bite when sword hits.

Damage: 1d8
Special: Additional damage d4 for a number of even result of 1d8 damage. For example 1d8 roll 6 deals 6 damage + 6d4 in addition.

Helmet Of Screamer
This metal helmet is crafted to resemble a harpy. It gives 1 to AC and once in encounter wearer can scream.
Special: Scream. Save versus or stun for 1d4 turns.

Mace Of Healing
This mace is in shape of healer god's logo. It doesn't inflict damage but when successfully hit it heals 1d8 damage. If hit is a miss, target suffers 1d8 damage.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Naming characters

For me naming characters is easy when I have time to put thought behind it. But sometimes when I have to come up with names quickly for npcs it can be harder. Sometimes using name generators is not possible or it feels just lame option after you have clicked dozen times and you haven't got any name that you want to use.

Problem with name generators:
It takes time to find a suitable name.

Then I start to look around. Author of the book scrambled or altered is a good option. Or taking a product name to use or alter slightly. One Vampire: the Masquerade sheriff's surname was Crusti. Crusti is a brand of chips, but it sounded like dramatic old European vampire name, and still does. One motorbike driving gang leader Brujah was Heller inspired by Hell's Angels. Heller is actual surname I found out later so it was good and suited him.

There are dozens of names for npcs I have created from different real person names and product names this way.

But name can be also from items or other things. For example Straw McCloud can be a Fading Suns Charioteer pilot (I have a straw next to me and it's been more cloudy than clear summer).

Few examples I do right now using my surroundings.
- Toby Diskos (Tobacco and Diskos sports club pennant)
- Ash Tray (that's lame and obvious but could work)
- Rod Ernest Orwell (Rodeo energy drink)
- Toby Yellow (Yellow table)
- Orlando Trax (X-Tra Orange Cakes)
- Evira Glass (Evira company sticker and glass bottle)

It is easier to create more fantasy type names than realistic names this way. These names could work with scifi or fantasy setting better than modern world. Fantasy names are easier to generate. Just scrabble a lot.

In comments you generate names using these methods!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New oldish games of my choice [OSR]

I never actually played retro games (70's and early 80's) and got interested in OSR and retro clones thanks to RPG Bloggers feed. Then I started to find out what I have missed back then when I didn't like  older Dungeons & Dragons and I realized that I had missed the whole point.

Now my choices for retro are:
- Lamentations Of The Flame Princess for weird and horror fantasy
- Mutant Future for science fantasy and post-apocalypse
- Labyrinth Lord as all around retro-clone for fantasy adventuring

For some reason I didn't like any d20 systems but when I played D&D 3.x I did like the basic simplicity of it. Roll d20 adding bonuses trying to get as high result as the difficulty is that time. I didn't like all the rules because I thought many of them were really unecessary for fun gaming and just did slow play down.

Then how LotFP was advertised and how it looked caught me and I got it. It was a big positive surprise to find out it basically used D&D 3.x system stripped down from all the things what made playing slow. Then I started to dig deeper and liked the idea of Gamma World and found that Mutant Future is now available update of it. I had a change to read almost all the rules of Gamma World first and second edition and found out that Mutant Future is really close to these originals. At first I thought that THAC0 style combat resolution was awkward but realized that it is actually like any other roleplaying system. You just need a table or two to play it. Other rules are really simple. That's why I also downloaded Labyrinth Lord to use in fantasy instead of using D&D 3.x which I only used like 1/5 of the rules.

Also LotFP, MF and LL are really easy for players to adapt. My player isn't really technical so these three games I mentioned are great. You roll your character, fill in the remaining information, buy equipment and are ready to play! No point buys. No character tweaking or optimization, no special rules to know. And it is easy for GM to track player character's capabilities also.

One awesome feature is also how easy rules are to adapt. Character is doing something there are no rules or abilities marked in character sheet? Just roll d20 under ability and apply modifier from -4 to +4 based on the situation. That's easy! You don't need rules to cover everything when you can roll under ability. Or GM can just roll d6 and rule what change something is to happen based on character and situation.

I love how simple retro gaming actually is. For some reason I always thought it is really complicated and roleplaying was more rules than playing and acting it out. Like Raggi has said, it is not important what characters can do but what they do. In OSR it is you the player who decides what his character does instead of checking out your character sheet can your character do it.

Also my player likes retro systems in gameplay. And it's easy for me to say what die she must roll and what number she needs to score. In LotFP I ask her to roll d6 and tell the result if her character finds a trap or in Mutant Future I tell her to roll d20 and add 2 to the result and try to get less than her DEX to climb that roof.

With retro games there is more time for actual story when rules don't take time to figure out for every single die roll.

At first I didn't like the idea of lack of skills for example. But who needs 30 to 100 different skills? You have speech but you cannot barter because you don't have that skill. That's bullshit. In OSR characters always have a change.

Now I feel that I could run every game with ascending or descending AC. It's too much work to convert games though, but the idea is so much better in retro gaming. For example Vampire: the Masquerade claims to be a storytelling game but the rules are clumsy. Vampire: the Requiem (and new World of Darkness) made rules a little more straightforward but still it is a little clumsy to be called storytelling.

What do you think? Can OSR/retro games be more storytelling after all with rules?

Marching order is important

Before I dug into some OSR games I never actually thought about marching order. I thought it is just silly and more like a feature you need in computer games (for example Baldur's Gate). But now I have read both Mutant Future and Labyrinth Lord and thanks for them marching order is now really important. Not only in oldschool adventuring but also in modern games.

Sometimes in any game player characters are venturing in city streets or strange planets and an encounter happens. Then I start to figure out who is standing where and players usually tactically tell then their location. But if the marching order was used that hassle would be not happening as player characters are already in position and I just would have to locate the enemies.

Picture from
Marching order is not some technical game rule to follow. It simply tells in what order and formation player characters are venturing. Who is in the front row and who is in the back and are there some characters scattered around walking nearby and are some characters protected in the middle. When this all is decided before any encounters it gets more interesting. I have found out that without marching order most powerfully defensive characters are always in the direction where enemies attack. This time in the front and next time in the back. Players get this small cheating tactical phase of announcing their characters' locations but it is not realistic. Or very exciting.

So, thanks to Mutant Future and Labyrinth Lord I will from this post use marching order in every game I GM.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mutant Future character creation with comments

Finally downloaded Mutant Future to read. Did read it immediately and now after few days I am playing it. And now I will create a character for it. Let's check out the character creation!

Mutant Future Character Creation Step By Step

First we roll stats. Anyone familiar with D&D and clones knows that there are 6 stats which are: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Willpower and Charisma. There are three methods presented for Abilities:
- Roll 3d6 in a row
- Roll 3d6 and put where you like
- Roll 4d6, drop lowest

I choose to roll in a row. My Ability results are: 9, 9, 10, 13, 5, 6. What? I would consider this a hopeless character and re-roll! I bet my GM would say I must keep the following results and that is okay with me. So let's roll again and hope that results won't suck that much. My new (now to keep) results are:
Strength: 11 - Modifier to hit, damage and forcing doors: 0
Dexterity: 8 - AC+1, Missile Attack and optional initiative modifier -1
Constitution: 9 - Poison and Radiation save throw modifiers 0
Intelligence: 12 - Technology Roll modifier 0%
Willpower: 14 - Willpower is used as it is in mental combat
Charisma: 9 - Reaction adjustment 0, Retainers 4 and retainer morality 7

Really around average results, but let's move on.

Next, choose the race. Options are: Android (three types), Mutant Animal, Mutant Human, Mutant Plant and Pure Human. Each race has different benefices. I choose Mutant Plant because... well... in what game you get to play a mutant plant? This and I take it!

So as a Mutant Plant I get these stuffs:

- 1d6 HP per point of CON = 3, 6, 6, 4, 6, 4, 4, 1, 6 = 40 (Nice!)
- 2 plant mutations and 1d6 human/animal mutations divided equally between physical and mental (if unequal I'll decide the remaining). I rolled 6 and get total of 8 mutations! This mutant plant is so fucking mutant! I roll 3 physical and 3 mental human/animal mutations.

My mutations are (rolled randomly 2 plants, 3 physical human/animal and 3 mental human/animal):
- Injected poison sap (poisonous vines PC can use to attack. Poison is randomly rolled = 6d6 damage but with succesful save ½)
- Abnormal size (d20 roll result is 15 and my mutant plant is 20 times larger than "normal specimen". Does that mean that normally my mutant dandelion would be... a dandelion with intelligence? What about mutant oak x15 in size?)
 - Reflective epidermis (d8 roll tells that my character is immune to electric damage)
- Pain sensitivity (Don't know pain, player doesn't know current HP. It's GM data)
- Toxic weapon (30' toxic attack and effect randomly rolled to 8d6 damage or ½ with save)
- Flight, psionic (can fly movement of 10 x WIL)
- Phantasmal damage (when I get damaged some weird shit goes on in my mind and I get double damage)
- Mental phantasm (can make realistic mental projections one sees but isn't real when touched)

Final touch? Rolling 3d8x10 for starting money (got 90) and purchasing equipment (too boring to write and read).

And my character is done!

Crazy mutant plant 15 times larger than normal dandelion (yep, mutant dandelion) what has two different poisonous attack (though at first level 1 per turn), immune to electric damage but vulnerable to other kinds of damage. It can fly and cast mental illusions.

What are your Mutant Future character creation experiences like? Is your current character totally gonzo or post-apocalyptic survivor?

Monster creation made easy

Little trick to create an original monster. Roll some dice, look around, let your imagination run wild. This is easy and simple trick but it needs a little work for your imagination to do.

This is good for weird games (LotFP) where monsters are more like unique than stock. Can be used also with weird and fantasy science fiction to create unique monsters and mutants.

Step 1
Roll 2d4.

Step 2
Look around and take as many random things and items that catch your eye as d6 result was. Write down.

Step 3
Let your imagination run wild and write the monster description based on step 2.

Step 4
Stat it.

Let's test it right now! I want to create something for Mutant Future. I got roll result 5. My random things are:
- Window
- Energy drink bottle
- Lighter
- Pen
- Ruler

Now I start writing. I just let my fingers do the job and won't spend too much time to think.

The long and thin body (pen) of the monster is transparent like a glass (window) showing its entrails. It is half alive half synthetic powered by lightning storms (energy drink) what it stores to power itself. It's movement is fast leaping (ruler). It shoots fire (lighter) from its mouth.

No. Enc.: 2d4 (4)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 160 (40)
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 5
Attacks: 2 (fists, fire breath)
Damage: 1d4/2d8
Save: L9
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: I

Lost world adventure - Haven't done it

If this isn't awesome I don't know what is!
I have played roleplaying games for 19 or so years now. But I can't remember I have ever ran a lost world adventure. By lost world I mean for example a forgotten valley or some other place with dinosaurs and primitive tribes and forgotten temples.

Why? I don't know. When I was a kid I liked dinosaurs. I read all these books about dinosaurs in library and had my share of Dinoriders but still didn't include those in my games. Why didn't I do it because it would have been an obvious adventure to play? I don't know.

But I bet if I played AD&D back then (I didn't like it stupid me) it would have been different. Why? If I had played and liked AD&D in Monster Manual there are dozens of dinosaurs waiting to be used in an awesome way. So if I were an AD&D gamer there would have been all these dinosaurs right in the rules book waiting to be used.

I bet that if I would have played AD&D back then I would have been playing lost world type of campaigns with dinosaurs. Now I am 30 years old so should I finally make it happen? Not a big AD&D fan today either but luckily there are all these retro-clones to be used with AD&D MM.

Oh and check out that Dinoriders picture up there. That + roleplaying games would be mind-blowing!

Have you played lost world type games with dinosaurs? Did you do it when you were a kid or later as a nostalgic awesomeness? Or does the little kid inside you still like dinosaurs?

Oh, and fuck you science!