(17 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

I don't think anything prevents that, and I don't think that is bad thing. Research would cost 2,700sp for a guaranteed success, which probably won't be affordable until a Magic-User reaches 2nd or 3rd level.

Creating each scroll would cost another 3,600sp each for a guaranteed success. Of course, you don't need to spend the full amount, but you might fail the roll and lose everything.

However, you can double that cost to 5,400sp for research and 7,200sp per scroll unless the Magic-User has access to a 6,000sp library of materials.

So one scroll would cost the Magic-User about 12,300sp... anything less would risk losing significant portions of that money and having to start over.

A Magic-User will be around 4th or 5th level when that amount of money is acquired (unless they are investment savvy or the campaign is treasure-heavy). It is a choice of how to invest the character's hard earned resources, and the adventuring that goes into building that library and gain the funds for research and scrolls should be interesting itself.


(8 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

No, sometimes characters die if they make poor decisions.

How did you play the bandits? How did the players react to what you were doing?

Old-school play rewards creative thinking and planning.

I am starting to think that encumbrance should directly and significantly penalize combat stats like attack bonus and saving throws. This is drawn a little out of the 2nd AD&D rules. My thought runs thus: hit players with a penalty in an area they really care about (combat) and they will immediately respond by carrying less gear and making harder choices about what to carry... which is the whole point of encumbrance rules anyway, right?

I think an optional skills section, with a discussion about different skills that could be added to the game and how they might affect the game, would be more useful than just outright adding new skills.

Witch-Hunter concept sounds very interesting. Would you adjust the saving throws or create a subsystem around magic-resistance?

I don't quite see what the Conquistador concept offers that a Bushcraft and Stealth Specialist build wouldn't already offer.

Have you thought about moving demi-humans to the appendix and then using the extra space in the core rules section for a few of these new classes?

What about adding an option for Specialists to increase attack bonus by spending skill points? That allows you to cover all sorts of fighter/specialist hybrids without adding new classes. Fighters would still be unique in having more hit points, better saving throws, and combat options.


(4 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

That is correct. You can house-rule in the damage bonus if you want.


(23 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

There are not rules in the Rules & Magic book on how to play monsters as the Referee. Those rules are in the Referee Guide.

I cannot remember what the exact rules from the Grindhouse Referee Guide are, but here is a good option for any old-school RPG: monsters have attack bonus (or THACO, or whatever) and saving throws the same as a Fighter of level equal to a monster's hit dice.

So a 2 HD monster in LotFP would save like a level 2 Fighter and have an attack bonus of +3.

The scarab would have an attack bonus of +6 but only have 1d8 hit points and save like a level 1 Fighter.


(23 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

Yes, the Fighter has an extra 0 level line in the chart, as do all the demi-humans, for 0 level NPCs.


(23 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

I don't think there is anything in the book about ability checks in general, though Strength checks are used in the grappling rules. There might be something in the Referee book, but I don't own the Grindhouse edition, so I cannot tell you precisely.

In general, OSR games tend to handle ability checks in one of several ways:

1. Roll 1d20; if you roll under the ability score you are checking, then you succeed.
2. Roll 3d6; if you roll under the ability score you are checking, then you succeed.
3. Two characters roll 1d20 and add the relevant ability score modifier; higher total wins.
4. Roll a saving throw instead if it makes sense (example: save vs. Breath Weapon to duck away from a passing swarm of insects).

You can use whichever makes sense to you.

I tried searching for play reports of Better Than Any Man, couldn't find any, then decided to write up my own. This game took place nearly a year ago, but the good times are still fresh in my mind.

Referee: Myself, first time OSR referee

Dr. Ludwig: Specialist, old man, doctor, points in Tinker and Search
Stanos: Fighter, sword and chain man
Sister Miriam: Cleric, leather and mace girl
Novelious the Strange:Magic-user, also goes by "The Unmanned" due to some unspecified past embarrassment

Hirelings: Gunter the Linkboy

The players started off south of Wurtzburg, heading north into "adventure and treasure" (we were running this as an in-between game, so I just tried to get them into the action quickly). They encountered the witch trials, questioned the logic of the Prince-Bishop, then a fight broke out where Novelious cast a Sleep spell that put down the half-dozen guards in one round while all the on-lookers and officials ran full tilt from the fight.

The players gained a great respect for Magic in LotFP, then headed north trying to find the fleeing accused witches, which they discovered were not witches but knew about a town in the north called Karlstadt run by a coven of witches. Since the players knew they couldn't show face in Wurtzburg, they headed north.

Stanos made a mercenary friend of Hans in the refugee camp while the others entered the town to figure out what the heck was going on. Stanos learned from Hans that the Swedish army was headed this way, decided to scout north from high-ground, saw the Glass Tiger stalking some kind family along the road, decided to attack the Glass Tiger, and was promptly killed by the magical creature.

In town, the players are disturbed by the Watcher's creature, but they make a good impression when they mentioned saving the accused women near Wurtzburg. Sister Miriam heals a little girl with plague in the plague alley and makes a new friend. Dr. Ludwig visits the crazies in the asylum building and learns about weird bug monsters in the wilderness near Goblin Hill.

They visit the Joy, get a little info because Novelious wants to prove his manliness by giving the Joy the best she's ever had, and then pick up a ranger friend from the Black Forest who was mostly in town for the wenches (new player, Specialist with Bushcraft and Stealth). They visit the Defiler in the graveyard, learn that a couple players know Spanish, and luckily not identified as undead.

At this point the party regroups (Stanos' player is now playing Hans), decides to look for Stanos, then decides it is too much work and his is probably dead, then decided to just head to the haunted house to the north they heard about.

Exploring the barn, the players figure out the haunting is just a bunch of guys pretending, find the secret tunnels, and either kill or capture them all. They interrogate the leader, get the secret map, then open some secret doors and find the zombie-bug-worshipper, which they promptly kill. Dr. Ludwig is a little more convinced that giant bug monsters might be in the forest somewhere, and the group decides to use the barn as their base from now on.

Ranger guards the base (player dropped out of the game) while the little girl, Mary, that Miriam picked up in Karldstadt is assigned "ghost noises" duty.

The others head to Goblin Hill, find the militia headquarters, get attacked, but Sleep saves them again. They are confused as to why the militia is attacking them, but decide to explore some more. They fight more militia and find the caves entrance around back, successfully figuring out what the secret map indicates.

They do a little exploring, finding the toilet hole that leads up into the base. And they find that magical golden bug amulet in the old priest room in the temple area. They spend a lot of time fighting Giant Ants in the ant caves, but turn back at the big cavern.

Next night's rest, the golden bug attacks Novelious, nearly kills him (Miriam saves him by digging it out of his chest with her knife), and it caught in a jar and shot with a pistol by Dr. Ludwig. Novelious ends up with a cool chest scar, and the party is one bug's worth of gold richer.

They try to enter the militia headquarters, are tricked by a cultist into just walking in, then get hot oil poured on them, barely surviving and they run away.

They spend a couple days resting at their base, then return to find the Swedish Army encamped at the militia base. Another player joins, a Fighter working as a mercenary for the Swedish. They negotiate and get some papers from the Swedish general to let them explore the cultist base in return for info and guidance through the insect temple and ant caves. They collect some of the leftover treasures in the cultist temple, including playing around with the magical mirror. They know that Karlstadt has burned at this point, but it seems that the Defiler is still alive somewhere in the region.

They lead some Swedes down against the giant ants, but the commander decides to retreat once they take heavy losses in the main cavern. The commander decides to blow the caves with gunpowder and cannon, which the players agree to, knowing they can re-enter the caves via the toilet in the base once the Swedish army moves on.

That is where we left off... some players left and we started another game. We might pick it up again at some point, but I also want to run this module with another group I play with. I think it can go really different each time depending on where the players start and what level they are.


(5 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

So... what do you think is the best LotFP module for Halloween?

1. Death Frost Doom
2. Death Love Doom
3. Forgive Us

These three seem like the most obvious choices. What about other publishers?

I want to Referee something for Halloween. I would rather save Death Frost Doom for when I can get my hands on the new hardcover book and have time to make it a multiple-session affair. Your thoughts?


(23 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

No outright prohibitions, but Magic-Users and Elves cannot cast spells at certain levels of Encumbrance.

I suppose after I typed all that... I could more directly answer your question.

I would say that Better Than Any Man is appropriate for PCs of any level. Higher level PCs will have more options available to them for handling some situations, and they might be able to outright defeat some enemies that lower level PCs will need to deal with through other means (running, negotiation, etc.). However, none of the areas are impossible for lower level PCs.

If you run this module with 1st level characters, then the story that develops will probably look very different compared to running the module with 3rd or 5th level characters... it should be fun either way.

I had some 1st level PCs working through the adventure. They did well enough; especially helpful were the morale checks forced by fire-arms during the first round of combat, which scared off monsters on more than one occasion. The main town in the module, Karlstadt, involves NPC interaction and dialogue rather than combat, so level is less relevant. There are a few enemies that are too tough for 1st level PCs, but LotFP modules are designed to be deadly and require players to flee or think creatively.

It is very much a sandbox, and the players could easily spend all their time at the Infinite Tower (which does go both up and down infinitely) without interacting too much with the other elements. Or they could spend all their time exploring the areas under Goblin Hill, or they could... you get the idea.

Players making good choices in any of the areas will do better than players making poor choices, regardless of character level. Some areas and monsters are just too dangerous to tackle with a sword, regardless of character level, and the players would do well to think of other solutions.


(23 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

It is no longer a special ability, but it is part of the Cleric spell list.


(23 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

Yes, that is technically correct. However, it wouldn't break the game if you decided (as a gaming group) to give Halflings a greater Stealth skills in dungeons too, perhaps a 3 in 6 chance?


(23 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

Elves and Dwarves can use the Press and Defensive fighting maneuvers like a Fighter.  In addition, Elves will have more hit points than Magic-users.

Lastly, the statement is an artifact from older editions of the game, where Elves did increase in fighting ability and could use swords and armor (which Magic-users could not use). LotFP does away with some of those elements in favor of more focused classes, but the result is Elves which are more Magic-user and less Fighter.


(23 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

Nope... it was funded as an Indiegogo project awhile ago. I think the estimated release date is "future," but it will be pretty awesome when it does come out.

Until then, you could download the free Labyrinth Lord rules (http://www.goblinoidgames.com/labyrinthlord.html) and just use the Referee/Labyrinth Lord sections for monster rules. Really, most else of what you need is the in the Rules and Magic book already.

Clerics are often suspected of heresy. As adventurers, they operate outside the normal channels of ecclesiastical authority. A cleric's ability to perform miracles might make her popular with common folk, but bishops will be suspicious of the challenge to their authority.

Large gifts of treasure to the church will encourage most priests to look the other way...

Therefore, clerics and magic-users are both outcasts. They might not agree with how the world works, but neither can deny the powers of their companions. They can survive better together.

At the end of the day, they are both adventurers and treasure-hunters, which matters more than philosophical perspective.


(3 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

Torches are listed as a normal encumbering item, so they take up one slot each. Anything listed in italics is counted as non-encumbering, but some items "stacked" together take up a slot.

I would say maybe a dozen wooden spikes would take a slot, but only half that or less of iron spikes would take a slot (since they are heavier).

A flask of oil is already encumbering, so I wouldn't bother figuring out how many could fit into a pouch, which are for holding sling bullets (up to 20) or collecting small items that players encounter (stuff you wouldn't put in a bottle perhaps).

Oddly, pouches are encumbering but sacks are not, though I would imagine that a sack is larger. I imagine this represents that pouches are conveniently hanging off your belt, holding items for ready-access. Empty sacks are folded up and stuffed into your backpack; they only encumber you when you carry loads of treasure in them.


(5 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

Calcidius would be very alert for any chance to break free from his prison. If the players unintentionally release him, then he should probably receive a surprise round. If they are all prepared to jump him when the barrier is broken, then let the contests 1d6 roll determine whether they stop him or he kills them all.


(3 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

I can say from experience that running Better Than Any Man with the free Rules & Magic is great... I was running that (first time OSR referee) for my group a few months ago, and we all had a blast.

I haven't run any of the other modules yet, but here are my top five from just reading through them:

1. Tower of the Stargazer: An interesting location for players to explore and a great way to start a new campaign.

2. The God that Crawls: I really want to throw some players into this sometime. Bunches of weird and dangerous items for the players to mess with... if they can out maneuver the monster in the maze-like dungeon.

3. Quelong: A small hex-crawl map with lots of weird stuff to explore. Once you've run players through Better Than Any Man, the survivors and new characters can be sent off to Quelong.

4. Hammers of the God: One of the first modules I purchased. Thought it is more traditional fantasy rather than Early Modern period, it is just great weirdness and exploration.

5. Weird New World: Because once my players gain enough levels and resources, I want to put something really interesting out there in the vast frozen north and see if they can figure out how to find it. This is a huge hex-crawl type adventure with lots of empty space, and I am looking forward to one day seeing players figure out how to navigate a ship and crew across the expanse of ice and the dangers that lurk amid the mountains and tundra.

But it really depends on what you want the modules to accomplish for you.

If you want small, simple stuff to add wherever needed, then get these: 1) Tales of the Scarecrow, 2) A Single, Small Cut, 3) Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess.

If you want weird dungeon locations, then get these: 1) God that Crawls, 2) Hammers of the God, 3) Monolith from Beyond Space and Time, 4) Tower of the Stargazer.

If you want hex-crawl maps, then get these: 1) Quelong, 2) Weird New World, 3) Carcosa, 4) Isle of the Unknown.

I would play through some of Better Than Any Man first, then figure out what direction you want to take the campaign (or future campaigns), then buy some modules that fit what you want to do.

Some elements of "Better Than Any Man" are very non-magical, especially the backdrop of the the Swedish army marching on Wurtzburg. However, I think the problem with such a request is: 1) most people play adventure games to experience weird and supernatural things and 2) normal-world stuff is a little easier to think up on your own than mind-bending horrors.

However, a "normal adventures" product that focuses on providing small adventure sites and situations to make the campaign world feel more "normal" overall would be welcome, and it would make sense regarding of the ideas presented in LotFP about how the weird needs to be juxtaposed against the normal.

It could be one or two large random encounters tables with lots of normal Early Modern European situations that could easily be dropped into any country or any campaign, giving the Referee a nice resource for making sure that not every encounter ends with tentacled horrors.

1. A clear definition of "weird fantasy" to accompany the list of authors and metal references.

2. Mention the implied setting of the Early Modern Period, but also the publishing of "out-there" stuff like Isle of the Unknown and Carcosa.

3. Your focus on adventure content rather than rules supplements.


(4 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

It sounds like you just have crafty players.

My only thought would be this: did the wizard know how many were in their group? Would he have realized that one of their number was missing and might be sneaking up behind him?

That seems to be the main wrinkle... was he too easy to jump from behind? How distracted from looking for threats can a mad, paranoid wizard be?


(4 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

What have you already looked at?

The Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs is a good place to start.

I just picked up the Dungeon Alphabet on PDF recently. For each letter of the alphabet, there is a short paragraph or two about a Dungeons & Dragons related thing, such as "G for Gold" or "T for Traps." The advice and insight is good, and each entry is also accompanied by old-school art and a random table related to the item (such as a list of odd book titles for "B is for Book").