Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Raggi youtube episode 1

Nuff said, now watch:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Plan for A-Z challenge ready

I was supposed to take a nap, but instead started to think about upcoming A-Z blogging challenge of April. I am so excited about it. Last year I had some scheduling problems and some posts delayed... This year I will do it better, with three posts per letter, per day. And I got themes now. Last year it was this and that like flea-market collection. But this year, my A-Z challenge themes for each letter are:

1. LotFP and other traditional fantasy game stuffs.
2. Random table
3. General resources, material and thoughts.

That's right. Each day (except Sundays, except first Sunday, which i 1st day, when it all starts!) each letter gets not one but three posts in three different topics.

If you don't know what A-Z challenge is or want to refresh your memory or want to join yourself if you already haven't, check this website. It contains all the information what you want to know.

Interview: James Edward Raggi IV

James Edward Raggi IV is author of Lamentations Of The Flame Princess roleplaying game, several successful adventures and publisher of roleplaying material. You can find James in his blog ( and website ( He also runs his own webstore of roleplaying games material ( ).

For me personally Lamentations Of The Flame Princess was the game what ignited the spark (more like
bonfire!) of OSR and andventure fantasy gaming. Naturally, I wanted to interview him. So here it is, my
questions for James Edward Raggi IV and his awesome answers.

Before we start, could you quickly repeat your roleplaying history?

I started gaming somewhere around my 9th or 10th birthday in 1983 with the Mentzer Red Box. My early
gaming was mostly TSR stuff like D&D, Marvel Super Heroes, Star Frontiers, etc. The next big phase of my RPG life was the "generic systems" and I was hugely into GURPS and HERO for a long while. Along the way I of course experimented with a lot of other games like Bureau 13, Justifiers, DC Heroes, TMNT, Robotech, MERP, Warhammer RPG, and more.
Just as important in those early days were computer RPGs, most notably Ultimas IV-VI, but also Wizard's
Crown/Eternal Dagger, Bard's Tale I and Dragon Wars, Zork and other Infocom stuff.
I guess I should note that I was never a wargamer, never into Vampire or Magic (in the early 90s I found it
difficult to play games I wanted to play because these games got so huge, so White Wolf and Wizards of the
Coast became "The Enemy"), missed Traveler, Tunnels & Trolls, and my brief experience with the Chaosium system (in Runequest III and Elfquest) didn't go so well back in the day.
In the 2000s I've gotten some key "indie" releases, most notably Sorcerer, Burning Wheel, and Dogs in the
Vineyard, (and the superhero trifecta of Truth & Justice, Capes, and With Great Power) but those were all pretty much for reading and I never played them beyond a couple sessions of Dogs. I am not so hot at such
"character motivation" style play. My thing is more "I make adventures without knowing/caring who the PCs will be" and let the dice fall where they may from there. Seeing how they interact with the adventure is the entire fun of it.
These days of course I'm all about things that get included under the Old School Renaissance banner, basically different things based on and tweaked from D&D circa 1974-1983. So easy to tweak and running games is easy since it's been in the blood for over a quarter century. A new coat of paint and a fresh approach (since I'm late 30s now instead of pre-teen as when I started) and the gaming is better than it's ever been.

What did inspire you to write your first gaming material and did you know back then that some day you would be a publisher?

I like writing and publishing - I did homemade comics when I was really really young, trying to sell them to
neighborhood kids, did my own metal zine for just about a decade (which I keep saying I'll revive...) so when I started doing RPG stuff, of course it was for publication!
My first abortive attempt at publishing RPG material started in the early 2000s before I even realized there were places on the internet where people talk about RPGs, but everything that I've "written" (which is an entirely different process than just prep for play) has been with publication in mind.

Did you know that Lamentations Of The Flame Princess would be as popular as it is now when you started to write it?

Nope. Since my interests tend to the obscure (my favorite bands are Hammers of Misfortune, Cathedral, and Reverend Bizarre, and I'll be going to Comus and Arcturus gigs this month, my latest DVD buys include movies like The Woman and I Sell the Dead, to give you some idea) and even within those scenes I don't feel I have a lot in common with other fans of things I like. Hell, I find my taste greatly differs from a lot of people in the OSR, so it is a very pleasant surprise to have a fanbase of my own.

Is the rumor true that you made LotFP rules mostly to publish your own adventures? There's 
already Grindhouse edition which is improved but what was the case with original plan?

I want LotFP to be as large a company as possible, and just publishing adventures for other peoples' games,
especially in a scene that doesn't have a lot of retail presence, is not a good strategy for getting shelf space. The original idea was to publish a game under my own brand to get into shops so then all my other stuff would get picked up too.
That idea got muddled when I went for broke and made a dream box set instead of a more sensible and safe
presentation. "If I don't do it now, when will I?"
And that first box sold like hotcakes. Even the diehards, who already have 4234 or so OGL-enabled more-or-less similar variants of The Game, bought it by the hundreds. I didn't expect that. And it helped get me into an ever increasing amount of stores, so mission accomplished there.

I understood that you use Basic Fantasy (please correct if I remembered it wrong) a lot for your OSR gaming. But how about LotFP. Do you play your own game like it's no tomorrow?

I played Basic Fantasy from late 2007 - early 2010, then I did a few sessions of Labyrinth Lord, but of course once I made my own game I switched everything over to that.

In LotFP Grindhouse what do you like the most? Simple characters what focus on what they are 
doing instead of what they can do (your thought) or elegant encumbrance system or something else?

What I like most is the response it's gotten: people use it, talk about it, come up with their own house rules for it, there's another publisher who releases material for it... As a writer and a publisher, the system, the details, the flavor, all of that is secondary - I have ideas for madcap sci-fi, modern zombie holocaust, and superhero games that all have different flavors that would use their own systems. The important thing is that what I have done - no matter what it happens to be right now - has made a connection with people. That's how you know you did good.

As a Referee, what are your best three and worst three qualities?

Best quality: I come up with some righteously heinous shit to throw at the players. :D That's basically it, I'm an idea man.
Worst qualities: I do my best improv work when there's already a framework in place. Give me a module and I can handle whatever the players want to do within the context of that module, but when it comes to pure improv without anything in place, I'm not so great. I see my role in the game as a referee, and if the playing field and the opposing players aren't pre-determined, it's a bit difficult to be an impartial ref at the same time I'm coming up with things for them to do. Much better to have the "adventure writer" hat on in prep and "Referee" during play... but doing that proper preparation is something I'm a bit lazy about.

You are a Referee but do you play as a player character? Ever?

It's difficult in Finland. When I run a game, I'm in charge, so I can say "This game will be in English." My Finnish is crap for boring reasons, I can read a bit but can't really follow a spoken conversation, so joining someone else's group is difficult. I don't want to be rude and demand these other people to run games in English for my benefit.
It's also difficult for me to wrap my head around the concept of "one-shots" for RPGs so when I do get to play other things they tend to be board or card games.

What are best and worst things for both roleplaying gamer and publisher in Finland? Were there 
any problems with LotFP and later with LotFP store because of your location?

The worst thing about being a publisher in Finland is that 95% of the customers are not in the country, and in
my case the majority are across an ocean. Selling role-playing material is hard enough without those shipping

What about Finnish gaming community? In your opinion is there any and how good is it?

I don't really interact with the community as much as others (I'm constantly surprised how everyone seems to
know everyone else since I just have contact with a few people at a time), but I think it's a nice big healthy
community based on three things: Fantasiapelit is a well-stocked store so there's a local point to get new
material, Ropecon is a good-sized convention with lots of gaming and plenty of people hitting the vendor room, and most importantly it's never ever a problem to find new players if need be. Even before I ran a publishing company it was easy to find more players than I knew what to do with both in Vaasa and Helsinki.

What about other Finnish game publishers? Past few years there's been many new products.

I really don't keep up on too much new stuff whether from Finland or elsewhere. Even the OSR stuff I carry in my shop are for the most part just for sale and they aren't things I'm personally interested in. I think it's great that people have ideas and follow through and make games and it's awesome that people buy them and play them, I like talking to other designers at conventions and hearing the ideas, but at the end of the day I'm most interested in what I'm doing. And it's damned difficult to try to get any of these people with ideas of their own to write something for me...

Thank you for your time mr. Raggi. One last question. If I could buy only three items from your  
Lamentations of the Flame Princess store (link) what would you suggest me to get?

The businessman in me says Grindhouse box, Carcosa, and Isle of the Unknown, because those are the most expensive.
The gamer in me says Carcosa, Isle of the Unknown, and Vornheim, since those aren't game-specific so you'll be able to get inspiration for whatever it is you're playing.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

When you don't want to roll HD

Don't want to roll HD for enemies? There is a simple way to handle HD. Usually in monster statistics there is average of hit points for HD marked. Or you can simply calculate it.

Without rolling HD you can easily assign them.
25% of maximum hit points for weak enemies
50% of maximum for normal enemies
75% of maximum to strong enemies
100% of maximum for bosses and really powerful enemies.

Weakling orcs (1HD) would have 2 hp, when normal orcs have 4. Seasoned warrior orcs would have 6 hp and orc chief would have 8.

Simple and fast.

[OSR and D&D3.x] Thoughts about alternative HD

I think character hit dice and monster HD work fine for certain type of games. But still I think about other solutions and alternatives. It doesn't necessarily mean I am seeking for better or other way to work things out but am interested in thinking how things could be done otherwise.

I was reading this topic at and got few ideas from it. These ideas I write here are more or less my own and mainly influenced by the topic I linked here.

Hit Points Rolled Before Encounter

One idea is, that if character is fully rested he rolls his hit points before the combat encounter. Basically roll HD equal to your level + con modifier x your level. For example 2nd level fighter with con bonus +2 would roll 2d8+4 to determine his hit points. These hit points remain as long as character is fully healed and are rolled after it again.
So if that level 2 fighter rolls 15 hit points and suffers 5 damage he is after that combat in 10 hit points. He doesn't roll his hit points again before he is healed to his original 15. When he is healed, his hit dice are reset and he will roll them again for next encounter.
Advantage in this is that your character is not tied to certain amount of hit points but disadvantage is you never know how many hit points you might have. You might get a burst with a lucky roll and have higher hit points this encounter but next encounter after healed you might roll poorly and have low hit points.

HD As Soaking Damage

This was an interesting idea. Basically you got HD based on your level and when character suffers damage, you roll hit dice + con modifier to soak the damage. For example if character is hit with d6 damage and suffers 4 damage, player first rolls 1HD + con modifier and sees how much of that damage is soaked. If one HD is not enough for that damage, he rolls as long as there is no damage left.
But if after rolling HD soak there is more soaking remaining than damage, what happens? Are those lost or are those left over for next damage?
Example 1. Character is level 4 fighter with constitution modifier of +2. He suffers 7 points of damage. Player rolls d8 + 2 and gets result of 6. 1 damage is left behind and he rolls d8 +2 again for a result of 4. Damage is fully soaked.
Option: But as there was after second HD soak roll only 1 damage and soak result was 4, three damage was not necessary to soak. So 3 points of damage soak was left over. Was it wasted and character has now 2HD soak left, or does that remaining 3 points move to next damage soak?

If remaining soak doesn't move to next hit it means that characters have basically less hit points than just rolling total hit points. Let's do a little math here. Character with 4d8HD +2 con modifier per HD.
1st soak: 6 points of damage, player rolls 1d8+2 = 5. Second soak roll is 4 so damage is soaked.
2nd soak: 5 points of damage, player rolls 1d8+2 for 8. Damage soaked.
3rd soak: 7 points of damage, player rolls 1d8+2 for 9. Damage soaked, no HD left to soak damage any more (character is in 0 state after next damage or negative beyond 0 depending on in what point character dies.

In those three attacks total damage was 18 what character soaked with 4 HD. But if he wouldn't have soaked them, he would have (5+4+8+9=26 HP) 8 hit points left. So basically soaking without benefices of remaining HD results character would have a lot less total HP than if he had rolled his HP in this case.

Character with 1d8HD +2 con modifier would have average of 6,5 hit points per level. In my opinion if damage is soaked the remaining of soaking result should carry on to next attack. Or characters would generally have less hit points than normally would...
1st soak. 6 points of damage soaked with first HD roll 5. Second HD roll gives result of 5 also. There was one point of damage left so character can have +4 from remaining soak roll to next soak.

Why Bother

Rolling dice is part of gaming in my opinion. And rolling dice is fun. I can also see how soaking damage with HD could be fun and exciting but is it necessary? If your soak result doesn't carry on to next attack, it makes characters possibly weaker in hit points. If the remaining soak result is carried to next attack the result is that HD soak is just more complicated way of dealing with damage. Rolling soak could be exciting in combat. You could soak well and shrug off damage, or you could soak poorly and have to burn your HD.
But even if it could be fun in my opinion it just slows down the game and makes it more random.

I could try out this soaking option to try it out but I think it is not a good addition to game. It slows things down, makes things more random and so on. Random is good for hit and damage, but should character's durability also be random? Not in my opinion...

One Step Further - HD Soak + Stable Hit Points

While I am at it, I'll make it more complicated but in a way I could use it (if it wasn't unecessary for rules and over complicated).
From level 2 every second level (4, 6, 8...) character gets soak HD and every other from first level (1, 3, 5...) he rolls his stable hit points. When damage is dealt character rolls soak HD and if there is damage left, it is decreased from his stable hit points. Also if there is soak points left after damage, he gets an additional burst for his stable hit points.
Example: Level 5 fighter without con modifier (to keep things simple) rolled his hit points for first level 5, third level 3 and fifth level 7 for total of 15 hit points. In addition he has 2 HD from levels 2 and 4.
Fighter suffers 4 damage in first round and rolls another of his available HD scoring 3. There is 1 damage left he decreases from his rolled hit points. Second round he suffers 6 damage and rolls his remaining HD scoring 8. He shrugs the damage off and adds 2 temporary hit points (adrenaline surge if you will). Next round he suffers 5 damage but doesn't roll soak HD as there is none remaining. He uses his temporary hit points 2 left from last soak HD roll and takes remaining 3 points of damage from his rolled stable hit points. (If character has con modifier, it is calculated normally to rolled hit points and rolled HD soak!)

This would be the way I'd use it. But it is complicated. You would need maximum hit points (rolled), current hit points (damaged), available maximum soak HD dice and soak HD dice left. Temporary hit points remaining from soak roll you could just add to current hit points.

One Step Further Method - Healing

How to heal HD for soak? If for example normally character would heal 1 HP per 8 hour rest character would heal 1HD per it's average result x 8 hours rest (40 hours per 1d8 if rounded down). For 1d8 HD every 4 points equals 1HD soak die of regenerated hit points via potions or magic. Character would first regenerate his stable hit points and when they are at maximum he starts to regenerate soak points.
For example 2nd level character with 3/6 hit points and no HD would first regenerate 3 hit points and after it his HD.

NPC And Mosters

For NPC and Monsters I would only use HD rolls to keep things more simple for Referee. So with NPC and monsters do what you would usually do. Randomly determine HD by rolling or assigning hit points in the scale of HD results.

Last Words

These are just ideas based on topic. I think these make playing slower and more complicated in addition to needless randomness. But if I would use soak HD I'd use "one step further" method combining rolled hit points and HD soak. It would be both stable rolled hit points and extra variation by soaking with HD. But in my opinion D20 game fighting should be simple and fast. Roll to hit, roll damage, mark damage on hit points. Does it have to be more complicated than that?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Player's comfort zone

As I started playing with beginner I started to think I have to find out his comfort zone. I have played with my girlfriend and I know what she is okay with and what is too much.

I will rate these questions from 1 to 3.
1: No way!
2. Okay with it if it's in good taste.

Basic questions will be:

Is player ok if religion (real-life or fantasy) is present in game. How much religion and pantheon can be dealed in campaign? Is religion for any reason uncomfortable topic for player?

Can there be sexual themes? Could player character have sex with other characters and how detailed this would be? Should there be sex in normal life of game world, or should sex just be one detail not needed at all. What about forced sex or perversions or unnatural sex? Could character interrupt scene of raping or should it be changed to assault? If player character is having sex should the scene be skipped or should it be described? If description is ok how detailed it should be?

Occultism, dark arts, sacrifices
How much occultism there can be in game? Is player comfortable with dark rituals and demons? How detailed rituals should be, are human sacrifices ok or should occultic rituals be handled with softer tone. How much detail there should be in rituals or is description of "some sinister and dark ritual" enough.

How detailed death should be? Is enemy defeated or does his head splatter all over the place and guts flow to the floor? Are there just bodies or horribly mutilated bodies? Are there worms or do the worms crawl the rotten flesh in high detail? What about innocent people? Is it ok that innocents suffer?

Depressive Themes
How dark and depressive game can be? Should things never go too depressing and desperate? Is player comfortable with depressing themes or does he want lighter touch. In what detail player is willing to go describing and playing his character's mood? If player himself is vulnerable to depression how can he handle themes like this?

I am all the way to 3. But I am experienced player and know well how to put aside my own feelings if it suits the character or situation. I don't mix with real life what happens in game. Naturally I can feel disgusted, sad, or repelled but it is just a game. Some people are more sensitive and it should be respected.

Are there any other points to add to my list of topics that should be considered when playing with others? Point of having fun when gaming is that no one feels uncomfortable. Sometimes it's good for the game to feel a bit uncomfortable but if it is overwhelming I don't see advantage in that. Playing should be fun for everyone including being afraid or disgusted of the Rotten Maggot King Of Dark Temple but sometimes it might be just enough for someone. Not everyone of us enjoy funeral doom metal and splatter movies.

IndieGoGo campaign for LotFP adventures

What is The Monolith from Beyond Space and Time?
The Monolith from beyond Space and Time is a 32 page A5-size adventure written for the LotFP Weird Fantasy Role-Playing Grindhouse Edition game, but also directly compatible with other "Old School Renaissance" systems and the classic 70s and 80s games that spawned them. The adventure is written by James Edward Raggi IV with additional material by Kenneth Hite, with all artwork done by Aeron Alfrey.
The adventure is a wild one. Suitable for use in absolutely any campaign world, suitable for character levels 0-∞, absolutely any GM can use this for their game. Inspired by Lovecraft (but leaving out Cthulhu, the Necronomicon, and all such references and equivalents!), the Monolith adventure features an alien structure which phases in and out of time and space. (The title, it is descriptive, no?) The adventure is about the player characters encountering and dealing with the alien environment caused by the Monolith's presence and the effects it has on those in the physical world.
I'll go on record now and say this is going to be one of the wildest adventures your group will ever play.
What is The God that Crawls?
The God that Crawls is a 32 page book containing an adventure (+ foldout map section) written for LotFP Weird Fantasy Role-Playing Grindhouse Edition game and directly compatible with other "Old School Renaissance" systems and the classic 70s and 80s games that spawned them. The adventure is written by James Edward Raggi IV with artwork by Jason Rainville.
The adventure, for character levels 1-2, presents the God that Crawls, its lair (a three-level dungeon!), and the cult that worships it. Fairly standard setup twisted and made interesting and horrific in the LotFP tradition.
For more information, check:
17 days left and counting!

[LotFP] Beginners first EVER rpg session

I ran LotFP for first-timer using Google Documents. We both had priviledges to modify it and the gaming texts were written there. We used also msn for rules and off-game conversation.

This was a success! I enjoyed it and liked how my first-timer adapted roleplaying. Also he enjoyed it. We played in Finnish so I have to translate the game here. This is how it went with comments from me.

Beginning of the game: Your character is a traveller. It doesn't matter where he comes or where he is heading to. He walks his own path. As a Magic-User he hasn't found his place in society. Society cannot offer him where his destiny is or in smaller places people are way too superstitious.
Walking the road in rainy evening character starts to be tired and cold. Next to road there are fields and few houses and barns. Houses and barns look like they are deserted recently.
After fields and buildings there is smoke from chimneys and lights from windows visible...(I wrote this pre-game so player can take his time to think about the beginning setting.)

(I told player to write his character's thoughts about the surroundings and situation. This is how he wrote:)

  • (hmmmh.... huooh...
  • no God...
  • Abrakadabra!
  • Nice place this is. No one around :)
  • I wish I could get chicken soup made by my mom
  • Come Bowser (character's dog)
  • On the road again... Memories spring to mind on the road again...

(This was interesting. I gave player free hands not to do anything but describe what his character is thinking. I can see a little shyness and being kinda lost here, but everything started to go very well after I wrote my first description.)

Referee: Road goes through the village. Around the village is simple and traditional fence. At the gate opening there are two guards standing. The other looks like he hasn't held spear that much in his life. The other looks more seasoned even though both are hicks.

*Runs panicking towards the guards* Horrible! This is terrible! Pack of highwaymen are robbing travellers!

(Note: Player used * describing what character does. This is from mmorpg I guess. Also player decide himself about these highwaymen, but I told he has free hands to describe the situation. I informed him that it's Referee's responsibility to describe and decide situations, happenings, surroundings, other characters and player's responsible is to respond on these with his character. But I was okay with his idea of highwaymen now.)
Referee: Guards startle and especially inexperienced one is worried. "I was afraid of the worst. Where do they commit their crimes? We don't take part in highway business, it is count's problem. We defend our village." Older looks at Cameron eyebrows wrinkled. "Unless you are one of those robbers?" His grip tightens around the spear.

Highwaymen are soon here if you don't do anything! That will be the end of your precious little village.

Referee: More experienced orders the younger one. "Run to the village and summon the men!" Young does what he is told. More experienced guard starts to survey squinting his eyes. Field of vision is poor because of the weather.
"Are you up to a fight, youngster? I guarantee it will be appreciated in this village!"!”

Player: Oh, I could defeat three of the likes of you even my hands tied.
(Funny thing is when he was rolling HP 1d4+CON he thought that's not much. Still character is the main hero and better than others. Or is this his characteristic to be arrogant with high self esteem?)

Referee:Guard nods his head. "Good, I like your attitude." Through grey weather figures are seen closing up. "Here they come!" Guard says. "My name is Mark, if we die this night." He advances slowly and determined towards the goons.

Player: Follows the guard. Thinking: "What will this become..."
(I am not sure but I think player and/or character is a little worried about the inevitable combat.)
Referee: Goons advance in two rows. In front row two are running armed with short swords. Behind them three advance calmly. Older guard was prepared (wins initiative, second is Cameron, third goons) so he hits other goon with his spear and pierces his shoulder. Goon growls and lapses to ground. Second robber targets Cameron but Cameron finds time to stab him with dagger first. Goon is wounded and slashes Cameron, but misses.
"You doin' good?" guard asks and courageously advances three other goons in the back.
(LotFP rules are simple and player adapted them fast enough. At first I told what to roll, what to add or decrease from the roll and asked him to tell the result. Later he did rolls all by himself and declared the results. I naturally asked how did he come up with that result and he explained the process right. He asked once if he is doing right what is good also to confirm is being a little unsure.)

Player: Sure Thing!
Now you get what you are asking for, filthy thief! I yell and slice goon's throat. Goon falls down. Not yet dead, but incapacitated. In small time he is history.
(This was interesting. Player declared his action and then rolled dice. I told him that enemy is now 0HP so out of combat. I told player he can write what happened but reminded that it is not gory because it was exactly 0HP. This is how player described it all by himself.)

Referee: Cameron notices that the guard has killed one goon but two remaining are all over him. It also looks like guard Mark is wounded.Cameron näkee, että vartija on surmannut yhden rosvon, mutta kaksi on hänen kimpussaan. Näyttää myös siltä, että vartija Mark on haavoittunut.

Player: Cameron attacks from the behind to other goon. Sturdy hit with a staff should do the trick.
(Player himself described attacking from behind and this was ok for me as goon was busy with guard. Reward was bonus to hit ignoring goon's dex modifier entirely! I told him, that was a good idea.)
Referee: Goon falls down. Other goon fighting with guard slashes him with hand axe across his chest. Guard falls down on his knees and the blood splatters. With his last strength he swipes the goon wounding him on the leg.
(I told player, that I play by same rules as him. Even when guard fought the three goons when Cameron fought other. I roll dice like he does.)

Player: Cameron strikes wounded goon with his dagger.

Referee: Cameron misses. Goon grins bloodlust in his eyes, because all his four comrades are either dead or in weak condition. Goon rises his axe and strikes Cameron. Luckily the strike not only misses but also goons grip slips because axe's shaft was wet of the rain. Axe flies over Cameron into the bushes. Goon looks confused holding nothing but an empty fist.
(Yep, critical failure. It's obvious for me that natural 1 is always a miss but then you roll again. If second roll is a success, it's only a failure. If second roll is also a failure then it's a critical fumble. Something what sucks happens. I explained this to player why that happened what happened.)

Player: Cameron strikes soil with his staff. Bowser runs eager to join the combat.
(This was interesting. First player wrote Cameron strikes his enemy. I asked for a roll, but it was a miss. I was going to edit the text only to see that player unprompted had done it already. This was cool! He asked can his dog battle also and I said yes. His dog is kind of his second hand in combat. He can declare it's actions and roll to hit and damage. But I told that dog has morality, which is 9. If dog looses ½ or more of it's HP or is in life threatening situation I roll 12. If I roll over 9 the dog flees.)
Referee: Cameron's dog digs his teeth on goons pantleg and goon falls down and cannot manage to get up anymore (0HP, defeated). Goons are defeated now. Guard is laying on his side next to Cameron. From the village voices are heard and light of the torches visible when a couple of other guards and few of the village men with pitchforks are coming to the location - late. Guard immediately tells how this stranger Cameron saved him. A couple of the other guards would otherwise arrest the remaining goon, but are cautious about Bowser still hanging on.


I liked this. I remind that the guy I played with was a first-timer. Never before played any p&p rpg. So it went really well. LotFP was a good choice because the rules are so simple to learn. I could see the learning curve in this short game immediately.

I will game master this like encounters. Chapter 0 was the beginning encounter. Just a story what and where.
First Chapter was a combat encounter obviously. Player character decided those highwaymen to be there but I let it be. In future I'll be more strict.
Second Chapter will be more socializing in the village. I will write a small briefing so player can jump straight away where the action is. No need him to play how he walks to the village etc. That saves game and keeps game focused in action or situations.

I have this adventure in my mind I will put Cameron through. Now he's proven his capabilities and courage to the village and is rewarded with free food and place to stay. But village elder is curious could Cameron help the village with their problem...
Reward? Magic!

Player character is Magic-User with only "perception" spells. No buffs, defensive or attack... So reward could be an opportunity to learn combat spell. Interesting thing was that he didn't show any interest in looting bodies at all. I will reward him some sp. Villagers loot the bodies and give character his share.

Experience... gosh, that I had to house-rule. I declared that out of five goons character got 3½ worth of experience. According to rules that would be 35 experience. Problem? Fucking slow advancement! I want him to experience advancing in levels, but 35 experience when 2250 is needed is lame. It will take literally ages to advance in levels and because we play using internet the gaming won't be regular I guess. So he would be stuck forever in first level. My solution is xp multiplied by 10. So instead of 35 I rewarded him 350 experience. And being a good first-timer 50 extra (telling him what he did well and where he earned this bonus). 400/2250 sounds better in my ear.
How I handled experience would make Raggi kill me though.

Looking for next session. This was fun!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

[Shared post] Holmes character creation as a dungeon map

This is so cool I just had to share it (I include picture in this post):

Also go and read this post from The Mule Abides blog where I found this picture:

By Doug @ Blue Box Rebellion

Starting to play LotFP with my online friend

When I played mmorpg Perfect World I met new people. Even though I haven't played PW for a long time I still have some friends left from that time. One of them I am good friends with.

He has never played traditional rpgs but I have talked about them quite a lot. He has created a character for my YDIN game and knows the basics. We were planning that I'd run him YDIN test game but it never happened.

Yesterday I talked with him in msn and asked if he would like to play Lamentations of the Flame Princess with me and it was ok.

How will we do it? I got this idea using Google documents. I will create new document and give him priviledges to modify it. If he is also in the document, we can both write it same time and there is also a chat box next to the document.
The chat box is used for off-game talk. For example rules, what he should roll and general explanations and for additional details. The document itself is used for the game text. Basically similar to farp (forum action role-play) but in real time.

I as Referee will use cursived text to separate my writing from his. I will write what Referee's usually talk during the game. Here's an example how it would work.

Referee: You will see smoke from a bonfire in the distance. Air smells like burning corpses.

Player: I will cautiously advance trying to stay low.

[In chat window:
Me: Okay, roll for sneaking. 1d6
Him: Okay... got 1
Me: Success]

Referee: You manage to stay hidden in shadows and bushes and see some dark ritual in practice. Hooded cultists are burning freshly sacrificed human corpses.

And so on...

I also created quick rules for LotFP taking simply the parts player might need. For example how to roll to hit, how magic works etc. I also will create new document for character sheet he can view from Google documents and edit there so he doesn't have to download or print anything.

I haven't used Google documents this way earlier and am eager to try it out in practice.

First quest of character will be located in a small village plagued by rumors of huge dog in the fields. Some rumors talk about werewolf. Major of the village asks character to break legs from the rumors as people refuse to work late in fields. Are the rumors true or is it just superstitious blabber? Is there a huge dog or wolf plaguing the town or is there an actual werewolf...

I will ask him can I post the game here. It will be interesting to play with first timer and I'd like to share the experience here.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Got my copy of Isle of the Unknown

Ordered it last Thursday morning, got it today. 7 days from order and I am now a proud owner of Isle of the Unknown. I also got PDF version of it and couldn't help but check it out also. IotU is really colorful product. Art is great, layout is good. It is really nice product with hard covers.

I also tossed that extra 5 EUR to the price and got this fabric-type map of the isle and also two sided poster with expanded cover art on the other side and big map on the other. The poster looks awesome.

Isle of the Unknown hard-cover book, poster and map.

Pictures of my copy of Lamentations of the Flame Princess

Game was really well packed.

LotFP box is stuffed with awesome. Three books, character sheets and tiny set of dice including two d10s. Other is for rolling d100.

Cover art is stunning. At first I didn't like Referee cover picture but it is actually pretty old-school in a good way.

Normal set of dice left, LotFP dice right.

Comparing LotFP book size with a random encounter (Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook 3.0)

Back covers of LotFP books are stuffed with handy tables.

Layout is really simple and easy to read (even though some headline fonts are a little unclear).

Both black & white and colored art included.

Freebie character sheets and OGL.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Finished Fallout 3, finishing Fallout inspired RPG

Finished playing Fallout 3 yesterday. I had four weeks break playing it and only played it for two hours yesterday and got ending credits. What a bummer! It felt like it ended suddenly. That's what I get having a break playing a game. Anyways, wanted to continue so I bought and downloaded Broken Steel. Broken Steel continues two weeks after main game and new level gap is 30. Back to exploring and avoiding main quest for now.

Anyways, playing Fallout 3 inspired me a lot. I wanted to create! So I decided I'd make a roleplaying game inspired by Fallout 3. My first draft was too complicated. It used Fallout 3 rules but there is a difference. Where Fallout 3 is a video game and computer makes all the calculation it was too complicated to use as a pen and paper roleplaying game. So I started over.

Here's an overview of my post-apocalyptic game:

- Focus of the game is to survive. Collecting resources and doing quests in a sandbox world.
- Game is inspired by traditional roleplaying games (OSR d20) but is modified.
- There are six characteristics similar but slightly different to traditional rpg's (some have different names, wisdom is perception).
- It uses skill system. Skills are in range of 1-100 and every tenth skill point gives +1 to task (Attack Bonus for combat, bonus for stealth roll).
- Game uses DC (called Difficulty Value or DV) what you roll against. For example if DV is 15 to sneak past guard you roll d20 + agility modifier + sneak skill modifier (if sneak is 53 you get +5).
- No character classes. You roll your stats, add points to skills and that's it. No restrictions. There will be backgrounds but they don't affect character creation.
- Experience is gained from defeating enemies and completing quests. Loot doesn't qualify as experience as it has its own important function in surviving. Some special items could be rewarded with xp though (lost data etc. but those usually are quest related items or otherwise mentioned to be worth xp).
- Combat damage is included in combat roll. Roll to hit, opponent rolls for defense. Difference is damage dealt. Weapons affect to hit roll instead of rolling separate dice for damage.
- Opponents have morality. They might flee the combat.
- Inventory uses slots instead of book keeping of weights.
- Equipment must be maintained or they break. That's why scavenging is important.
- Characters gain advantages each level gaining special bonuses. These are what make a difference between player character's (heroes) and others.
- Most of the opponents are human, but there are mutants, robots and monsters to be fight also.
- Traps, environmental hazards and radiation are included.

Rules are basically retro style with skill system. Goal is to make rules work smoothly and easily and the focus is in adventuring. I will write this for my own use, but if it's ok enough I'll share it. I am working on understanding OGL and will include it. At the moment rules are 90% written.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Cradle of Rabies blog now has forum

"I decided to include a forum in my blog. This is a tool to make discussions easier as sometimes discussion via comment section can be a little complicated. Currently no registration is needed and I hope that doesn't cause problems. Mainly I am a little worried about spam bots. So, if there's a blog post and comment section is not enough for your thoughts be free to add new topic for it here. I hope everyone uses common sense about rules how to behave. This is a public forum after all."

Quote from forum post "Announcements".


You can also access forum from the "pages" section next to Downloads.

I accidentally Old School RPG Planet is this bad?

Started reading d20 Dialectic blog (you commented my post and I checked who you are and liked your blog) found that funny little banner with wizard shooting spell what reads OSR! Curiously I opened the link and got to (Old School RPG Planet). Started checking it out and...

OH my dear God!

I have accidentally spammed it's RSS feed! Sorry guys!

[LotFP] Character dies... my solution

My style of gamemastering is about adventures and characters. My player is focused on her character. If character dies adventure dies with it. You can roll new character and continue with small briefing but my player wouldn't like that.

Tough, someone might think. But that's the way it is.

Starting LotFP I was a bit nervous of character death. My player is not that interested in fantasy adventuring (weird or not) so I was afraid that if her character dies she looses interest. Tough you might think but I want to play weird adventures.

So I had to find a solution.

When character should be dead something happens. Here's an example from Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back (I hope copyright people don't take the video off, but it's the "wumpa" scene where Luke Skywalker looses consciousness (character dies rules wise).

The idea is when you die, something bad happens. Luke is captured in monsters cave in a really bad shape. He manages to escape but is in low hit points.

When character should die according to the rules story doesn't have to end. You get a little side-quest or additional scene. In top of that there should be a penalty for dying. Decreasing level is too much trouble so I decided character doesn't loose levels but looses ½ of his experience points.

I also use rules for negative hit points (Death and Dismemberment chart by Trollsmyth) where you might even loose your limb! I will blog about that later. (Note! Negative hit points are modifier to roll. For example from a hit dealing damage what decreases hit points to -5 roll 2d6-5 and then check the chart. More negative HP you have more serious the blow is! If you had -5 hit points already and suffer 2 damage you are at -7 and roll 2d6-7 this time and consult the chart!)

So if you are level 7 (1000 xp per level for simplicity) and had 7500 xp when you "resurrect" from the dead (resurrect is wrong term, but survive as in above video example) you only have 3750 xp left. I think that is reasonable penalty. If you are stupid (or unlucky) to die a lot your level progression is slowed down a lot.

This might be wimpy for TRVE KVLT OSR MASTERS but it's a good solution for our needs. Sue me for being wimpy Referee.

My own OSR logo

I have found OSR basically late last year and the beginning of this year and wanted to add OSR logo on my site. But I thought it is not right. I am no OSR veteran... So I created my own OSR logo.

Here it is.

Pretty cool, eh?

[LotFP] Guards and laws of Nurmberg

City of Nurmberg is human city and all demi-humans are despised (2 hindrance to reaction rolls for demi-humans). Guards keep town in order but northwest are they leave alone. It is the worst part of the town and guards don't have any interest in it as long as the trouble and the rabble stay there. Sometimes guards go there in their free time to drink without consequences and use cheap harlots as they please. Otherwise well behaving guards might be real troublemaker where law is not supervised.

Guards are no chatters. They leave people alone as long as they behave.

Minor violations cost sp (1d4 x 10 sp), small stocks (1d6 days) but more severe (medium) means jail time for 2d6 days X severity. More severe crimes mean 2d6 years of jail time and murders or crimes against duke or priest are death sentence by hanging. Gallow is in the middle of the city in marketplace and executions are welcomed amusement. It is Referee's decision if violation is minor, small or severe. Demi-human's crimes are always one step more serious (minor becomes small, small comes medium but rarely medium is death sentence).

Main chief of guards is the duke but who actually is leading and managing them is guard captain Hubertus Reimann. He is really strict man but age starts to show in him. His grey short hair and well cared beard radiate auctority.
He is not usually seen in public as he spends his time mostly managing and planning in either duke's castle or in the main guard barracks.
Hubertus Reimann is also the judge of the city.

2HD (10), AC like Plate Armor, Damage d8, Save as 0 lvl Fighter, Morale 11

There are two guard captains. Other is responsible for defensive units (city walls and gates) and another for streets.

1HD (6), AC like Chain Armor, Damage d8, Save as 0 lvl Fighter, Morale 10

There are total of 50 other guards. 30 of them responsible for defense (city wall, gates and close surroundings) and the rest 20 are responsible for the streets.

1HD (4-5), AC like Leather Armor, Damage d6, Save as 0 lvl Fighter, Morale 8

Overview of my first LotFP session

I was Referee with one player. Player's character is Elf called Evyn.

Pre-game: Her character was wet and cold and got to city of Nurmberg (pseudo-fantasy Europe, Germany). Guard pointed her to a tavern but was really unpleasant and overlooked her (because she's Elf). The tavern is is located in a really bad neighborhood but tavern itself was really nice and owner is also an Elf. There were no other customers even though the prices are cheaper (no one likes Elf in this town and as far as tavern owner knows he's the only one living here).

Game: Character eats and gets to his room. Morning and it is time to pay. Tavern owner is not present and character sees hints of brawl behind the desk. Blood drips are at backroom storage's door and character heads there. In storage there are vegetables, dried meat and wine barrels. One shelf looks like it's been dragged, there are marks on the floor. Evyn moves the shelf and there is narrow staircase down. Character advances it.

Down there is narrow passage and walking it Evyn sees flicker of a torch. She approaches quietly and sees inset where is simple bed and a shelf with few books. Tavern owner the Elf is tied and gagged and city guard is mocking him. Evyn decides to save her kind.

Guard has leather armor (AC 14) but he doesn't see Evyn. Evyn rolls and gets +3 AB and +2 for attacking behind. She shoots guard with bow rolling d20 and gets a result 15 + 5. Guard is hit for 5 damage and is dead (4HP nobody).

Evyn ungags Elf who tells that another guard went somewhere and is returning soon. Evyn hides behind the corner readying her rapier. Guard walks in and Evyn surprises him rolling d20 + AB +3 + Attacking from behind +2 scoring 20. It's a hit against leather armor. Evyn rolls damage. 7 from d8 and guard dies immediately.

Evyn scores 20 experience from two killed guards and loots 10 sp. She unties Elf who is nervous about the bodies but says he'll find someone to hide them (bad neighborhood where money talks). Elf tavern owner also promises that Evyn can stay and eat free as long as she wishes for saving him.


We skipped all how character got there and why were he walking to the city and where was she coming. We decided it doesn't matter where she is coming and why, but what will she do when she gets there (game starts).

I decided to test combat rules, that's why the situation was a bit clumsily carried out. But we both agreed a couple of first sessions should be test runs rather than real play. Combat was super fast and easy. Reward was obviously XP, small amount of money and temporary reason to stay in the town (free lodging).

The actual game was not special at all. Pretty stupid actually. Really simple and straightforward but we are at the demo stage. Gotta know the rules before the real adventuring starts, right? Now character has place to stay at town without expenses (motivation to stay longer) so I can focus on the incidents there. I already created NPC relations using Vornheim: The Complete City Kit's NPC relationship generator and somehow will make an adventure out of it. It's about corruption, secrets and horrific secret. It's up to player what she will do about it but I will ask her to play it out (it's mini introduction adventure). After it I will take game to next challenges. Player will meet his company (Referee side-kick character to help in adventures) and later when I get Isle of the Unknown that's where they end up (shipwrecking naturally).

I noticed on problem though. Elf needs 3000 xp. 1HD opponents give 10 XP each so character needs to kill 300 opponents to level up! And combat is lethal. That sucks. Of course treasure XP helps this but I have to get my player interested in treasures first. I houseruled that if player comes up with really neat ideas I give her extra XP for it. Otherwise character will be 1st level for the next year if she doesn't die trying.

Except the XP problem I really liked LotFP rules and Vornheim: The Complete City Kit had a nice and inspiring rule to create tension and mystery in city relationships. I will post that later, but there are duke, merchants' guild-master, priest and city troublemaker involved in this.

Simple attack fumbe table for traditional games

Can an attack be fumbled (for example natural 1). If it can sometimes it is up to GM to decide what happens. This simple little tool helps it.

Roll d6 to see what fumble does:
1-2 - attack is missed and balance is lost. Loose next turn.
3 - attack is missed and character staggered. Loose next turn and AC like hit from behind (or similar).
4 - attacker looses grip and drops his weapon.
5 - attacker manages to wound himself. Roll damage and divide it by two. Round up.
6 - attacker manages to wound himself as above and looses balance like in 1-2 roll.

I will use this in my LotFP game. (natural 1 is fumble and natural 20 is roll damage dice twice).

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My first LotFP combat was quick

Quick in a positive way.

Guard with leather armor around the corner. Character surprises guard and rolls 15 with Ranged bonus +3. Arrow deals 5 points of damage and guard has 4 health points. Arrow travels through guard's back and bursts his lung.

15 seconds.

Another guard is coming and character hides next to corner. Surprise with rapier. Leather armor doesn't help with another 15 roll and 7 damage is enough to kill the guard as he is passing by.

This took only 11 seconds because we already knew how it works.

This I call adventuring. It doesn't take five minutes to consider all those options before even getting to roll etc.
This was fast, simple and brutal.
Me gusta.

20 quick questions for LotFP I started to run

So, started to run Lamentations of the Flame Princess so it is time to answer 20 questions (I have found here:

1. Ability scores generation method?
3d6, can toggle two

2.How are death and dying handled?
0 hit points roll death and dismemberment table (link). Negative hitpoints give their value negative modifier to roll (more hitpoints lost, more likely wound is severe or lethal).

3. What about raising the dead?
Extremely rare and legendary.

4. How are replacement PCs handled?
Same level, ½ xp. Quick intro how replacing PC continues possible adventure.

5.Initiative: individual, group, or something else?
Player characters individual, monsters and NPC group.

6. Are there critical hits and fumbles? How do they work?
Natural 20 doubles damage rolls, natural 1 something bad happens (weapon drops, next turn lost etc.)

7. Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet?
No. Helmets are included or not in armor. It's style question.

8. Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee or do something similarly silly?
Yes, how LotFP rules state.

9. Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything?
Need to run from some of the encounters. Excitement is not always killing things but also being afraid of them.

10. Level-draining monsters: yes or no?
XP drainers. No level loss but XP loss.

11. Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death?
If there is save versus death yes. But those are really rare and hinted beforehand of danger.

12. How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked?
LotFP has really easy to follow encumbrance system, so strictly.

13. What's required when my PC gains a level? Training? Do I get new spells automatically? 
Relatively safe and relaxed place needed (out of dungeon). Spell get depends on class according to rules except house-ruled Elf.

14. Can it happen in the middle of an adventure, or do I have to wait for down time?
Down time.

15. What do I get experience for?

Killing and looting mainly. If something really really awesome happens from player's wits it is rewarded.

16. How are traps located? Description, dice rolling, or some combination?
Specialist and Elven can roll (and other with skill search). Otherwise traps are found if player discovers them (describes where to look and how).

17. Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work?
Morale works like in rules. Roll d12 against morale value if retainers ordered in direct danger (or ½ hit points lost). If failure, retainer is not pleased, flees or in worst case resigns.

18. How do I identify magic items?

With special spell.

19. Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions?
Magic items are extremely rare and potions expensive. Magic items are not stock goods.

20. Can I create magic items? When and how?
Magic-users can create wands and staffs like rules state.

21. What about splitting the party?
Only one player so not an issue. But party splitting could be otherwise possible. Then I'd just Referee in turns for both parties.

Instaregion from Zak's blog - my version

I love this! I have to create my own version of this for my own use. Basically drop dice and see where they land and that's there. Except I will determine what features are in a certain hex.

For example if I drop dice for graveyard and an inn I'll feature those in the location where character is. Basically it is random encounter table + random location generator.

For example if characters are travelling from town A to evil wizard's tower B I drop dice for this random location table and that's what's between the travel.

I might create a second table to determine what dice I roll. Like if there is location encounter or not on the way. For example 10% change to 4 location encounters, 50% change for 2 and 10% change for nothing (fill the gaps). Also second table could tell what dice to use.

Dice determine what the location's adventure, danger, size or some other level is.

Basically it goes like this.

1. I roll if there's a location encounter that day of travel
2. If yes, I roll what dice I use to determine it
3. I drop the dice which I got
4. I see where dice land and what it's level is
5. Table separately to see are they hostile or what (use LotFP NPC roll)

I roll for location encounter and get 2 for a result. Then I roll and get d4 and d10 which I drop on the location encounter plan and get graveyard with result 3 and inn with result 9. I roll to see are they hostile or what and get nothing special for the graveyard but inn is a bad place.
Then I spend few minutes and few sentences to describe the place.

"There is old cemetary besides the road. It is rather small and looks deserted. Everything is old and it is not visited for a long time. There are no population nearby so the cemetary must be really old. Later there is an inn. It looks equally deserted but the dead have rised from the graves of nearby cemetary and now are located at the inn and are hostile."

I love Zak's blog. It is so inspiring and the guy is full of ideas!

I had to order Isle of the Unknown

I have gone crazy with Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Since I took it in my hands from my shelf where it had lied for months I couldn't put it down. I have known Isle of the Unknown since it was published but never actually payed any attention to it. Then for some weird reason or fate I started to read about it and was sold. I wanted it. So I ordered it today. Now I am waiting for it.

I already have:

Lamentations of the Flame Princess Grindhouse Edition
Vornheim: the Complete City Kit
Death Frost Doom

Check out Isle of the Unknown description at LotFP website and visit the webstore to buy awesome prints, PDFs or both.

What does LotFP webstore's "About us" section tell? It says:

"We're awesome and we sell awesome stuff. Give us some of you money and we'll give you some of our awesome stuff."

And it is true.

Creating a character for Werewolf: the Apocalypse

I have Werewolf: the Apocalypse 2nd Edition and never have created a character for it. Actually I haven't played it either. It's only few years I've owned it. Forsaken I played but decided to buy Apocalypse as old World of Darkness suits my taste better.

Anyways. This will be both easy and challenging. Easy because it uses same basic mechanics of Vampire: the Masquerade I have used a lot but challenging because I am not familiar with all the differences like Renown, Rage, Gnosis and Tribes, Gifts and so on. So I have to do a little bit reading to make decisions on what I want. But let's get started.

Step One: Character Concept

First I have to choose Breed, Auspice and Tribe. I have no idea what they are so I have to start this with some inspection. Let's see...

Breed means what my parents are. Garou (werewolf in setting) are only allowed to breed with human or wolf but not with each other. Options are homid (human), metis (Garou to Garou love) or lupus (wolf). It states that metis characters have deformities and checking out that they are basically forsaken. Yeah. My character is metis.

Auspice is under what phase of the moon my character was born. Auspice is like astrological sing giving a hint of personality and also affects initial rage and gifts. I choose Ahroun: Full Moon; Warrior the slayer, mad man-wolf, Rage incarnate. Suits with my deformed body but still also some more philosophical loner would be cool. But this is my first time Werewolf character and I want to rip some butt! my Initial Rage is 5 and beginning Gifts are Razor Claws, Inspiration, The Falling Touch.

Tribe I choose from simplified list describing them narrowly at this point. I have a little idea what different tribes are so I won't read all 13 (times two pages or something) now. Bone Gnawers (vagrants of the streets of the city, well informed but universally despised) or Get Of Fenris (savage and blood thirsty largely of Norse descent and proud of it. They dominate rural towns). I have had my share of urban modern campaigns with Vampire: the Masquerade so I will choose Get Of Fenris.
From Tribe I get Initial Willpower 3 and Gifts Razor Claws and Resist Pain. I cannot get these backgrounds: Contacts or Mentor.

Step Two: Choosing Attributes

This is easy from Vampire: the Masquerade. There are three Attribute categories Physical, Social and Mental each containing three Attributes. I divide 7/5/3 points in them all starting with one dot.
Primary is Physical: Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 4
Secondary is Mental: Perception 4, Intelligence 1, Wits 3
Third is Social: Charisma 1, Manipulation 4, Appearance 1

Step Three: Choosing Abilities

Abilities are skills divided in three categories each containing ten abilities. I got to spend 13/9/5 points for them each starting at zero.
Primary are Skills: Animal Ken 3, Firearms 2, Melee 4, Leadership 1, Stealth 1, Survival 2
Secondary are Talents: Alertness 2, Athletics 2, Brawl 2, Dodge 1, Intimidation 1, Primal-Urge 1
Third are Knowledges: Enigmas 1, Medicine 1, Rituals 3

Step Four: Advantages

I can choose Backgrounds with 5 dots and they are Fetish 2, Kinfolk 1 and Rites 2.
Gifts I get one each from Breed, Auspice and Tribe. My gifts are: Sense Wyrm, Razor Claws and Resist Pain.

Renown I start with three dots which I distribute as my auspice demands. Not sure if I do this right... But my Renown dots are: Glory 2, Honor 1, Wisdom 0 found in one chart. Good (or close) enough.

Step Five: Finishing Touches

Now I write down my Rage 5 from Auspice, Gnosis 3 from Breed, Willpower 3 from Tribe and my Rank 1 because it says so.

Last thing to do is spend freebie points. Each starting character has 15 of them I can distribute where ever I want but different things cost different amounts of them. I want more willpower, so my Willpower is now 8. I also want more Rage rising it to 8. Two remaining points I use to get Dodge to 2.

And because I am a metis I have to choose a deformity. Madness it is. I like the description and my character write up would be awesome!

Last thing I need to do is flesh up my character. Write background, motivations, determine my Fetish and Rites and other details. There are questions and answers to help this. Also the Pack can be determined with questions helping the job.