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.