(16 replies, posted in Crowdfunding Forum)

JimLotFP wrote:
Tauther wrote:

OK. As a southern guy, I bet on the Suomi pride!

FOLLOW ME on Juhani Seppälä's Normal for Norfolk!!!

Or... yeah. Here's a guy who has a plan.

Follow him. big_smile

Um... wink

Suddenly I feel like I'm in that Monty Python movie. You know the one. The one about the guy who got nailed to a cross. I think his name was Brian.


(5 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

Specialists being as good as the fighter at hitting stuff isn't really a problem, since:

"The Specialist must be unencumbered to use any of the class abilities, and must have Specialist Tools (see Equipment section) to use Find Traps or Tinkering."

The +1 to hit is a class ability too. Yes, the specialist will be good at hitting, but he won't be able to take a hit due to being restricted to leather armor. Also, his hit die is smaller than the fighter's.

Some notes on version 0.04

Am I reading this correctly:

Saving throws are:
Paralyze, Poison, Breath Weapon, Magical Device, Magic. A character's Con modifier improves Save vs. Poison difficulty, his Wis modifier improves Save vs. Cleric spells and his Int modifier improves Save vs. Magic-User (and presumably Elf) spells. The saves versus spells are further modified on a case by case basis by the spellcasters casting stat (Wis and Int respectively). No ability affects the rest of the saves (Paralyze, Breath Weapon, Magical Device). The description makes a reference to "save vs. poison or disease", but the actual saving throw tables make no reference to disease saves.

My thoughts on this:
- The table doesn't need it, but the character sheet probably needs two slots for the save vs. spells. Either that or discard the Int modifier to Magic-User spells and replace it with Wis.
- Save vs. Breath Weapon is about dodging, isn't it? Should a character's Dex modifier affect it?
- Save vs. Magical Device is pretty much a save against a spell as well. Should Wis and Int affect this? Say, a Wand shooting Magic Missiles.
- If you want to include more stats in the saving throws, how about using the Charisma modifier on one of the saves? For instance, have Charisma modify either Paralyze or Magical Device.

Jim wrote:
Fighters will begin with +2 bonus, whereas all other starting characters get +1 and unclassed 0 level schlubs get +0.

I want to make the fighters important, but not SUPERKILLER. Maybe the 1 or 2 point starting AC difference won't make that much of a difference on the player side, but since monsters will use the Fighter bonus I didn't want to screw PCs.

I can be argued with on this point, though. smile

I think normal, unarmored AC should be 10. This way an average mook hitting another average mook hits half the time, which makes sense to me. There is also the issue of being compatible with at least some versions of the game, for instance, I'd imagine you might draw in some players who have experience with D&D 3.5, and/or have been alienated by D&D 4th edition, and are now on the look out for a lighter game system (me, for instance).

I also think Fighters should be special, but not at the expense of the whole AC thing getting thrown out of whack for a somewhat arbitrary-seeming reason. BUT I think non-Fighters should also get better at hitting things as they get levels.

Here's some ideas:

Give Fighters +1 to hit every level. Give every other class +1 to hit on every even level. This means they get better at hitting, but only at half the fighter's speed. If you really want to give the fighter an additional boost to hitting starting at lvl 1, give them a class ability which gives them +1 to hit with a weapon they are familiar with. Call it "Weapons Expert" or some such, which would be +1 to hit with a weapon with which they have prior experience. Or with a weapon group of their choice (one-handed, two-handed, pole-arms, bows, what have you). If you want to make them progressively better with more levels, "Weapons Expert" could give an additional +1 to hit every four levels.

Another way to boost the fighter is give them a similar class ability called "Armor Expert", which would grant them +1 AC when wearing armor they are familiar with. You could make this class ability get better every four levels as well. This way the Fighter would be better protected while wearing armor than, say, an elf wearing the same kind of armor. Come to think of it, the Dwarf would be a natural candidate for this particular class ability as well, as the archetypal dwarf is usually heavily armored.

What do you think? Breaking the mold too much?

Greyharp wrote:

And now we're in danger of side-tracking James game feedback thread.

I find adding two numbers together to be a LOT easier than asking for a number and then cross-referencing it with another number on a table on my character sheet. In fact, most of the time I don't even use my character sheet during a game, except to record damage and inventory. Numbers I remember, tables of numbers I really don't like at all.

But lets agree to disagree and leave it at that, shall we? wink

Greyharp wrote:

No? It hurt my brain just reading it. I must admit that I don't understand the thinking behind making something harder, not easier. The old way, the original way, is simply this:

What's the monster's AC?


OK, I need a... [glances at character sheet]... 13 to hit it.

You misunderstand me. That's the math behind the ascending armor class. You put the end product of that on your cheat sheet or character sheet and all you have to do is:

"What's the monster's AC?"


"Ok, I hit (since my roll plus my To Hit of +1 is 16, but I won't bother saying that out aloud)."

or alternatively, if your GM doesn't feel like telling you the monster's AC just yet.

"My total is 15. Do I hit?"

"No, you miss. Next time, roll better."

Also, you're obviously trying to make a point of the old, original way being somehow better Just Because its the original way. In this case it isn't. Its Just Old. smile

Greyharp wrote:

I guess I'm an old fart, I LIKE the "clunky to hit -table" and am not a fan of either Ascending AC nor having to sit at the table adding figures in my head. Give me a table I can quickly glance at and I'm a happy man. My vote is for traditional descending only...but, and it's a big but, you need to base this decision on your desired market, balanced with the need for compatibility. Glad it's you making the decision James, not me.

Either you are adding figures in your head since you would have to add your dexterity modifier to your roll anyway, or you'd have to make a table for yourself on your sheet, which would have the armor class and dexterity modifier already added. Neither of these actually requires the game book to have the original table, which would just list base attack bonus (or have the classes with said BAB) on column one, armor class on the top row and required target number to hit cross-referenced.

"Oh, the orc has a chain shirt (+4) and a shield (+1) and my Level 1 Fighter (bab +1) has +1 Dex. I need to roll a 13 to hit."

I really wouldn't call that too difficult. Then again, even though I'm old enough to classify as an old fart, I don't consider myself as one. wink

As for the desired market, I got the impression that James is aiming for new role-players, current role-players AND the old school scene. The new players would grasp a simpler (e.g. one without a reversed table) much easier, the current role-players would be most familiar with the D&D 3+ style armor class, and the old school scene would just house-rule everything to their liking, since that's what they've been doing for 30 years now anyway.

Ascending vs Descending armor class.

In my opinion neither of the alternatives presented is as simple and elegant as a simple base attack bonus and AC starting at ten. Introducing BAB (fast, medium and slow progression per level) is also an easy way to address the issue of different classes getting better at hitting stuff. Just give Fighters +1 to hit each level, Dwarves, Elves, Halflings and Specialists +1/2 rounded down to hit each level and clerics and magic-users +1/3 rounded down to hit each level. This change would enable you to get rid of that clunky to hit -table altogether.

I just had a quick gander at the rules, and a few things sprung to mind.

Since every edition is different, and even all of the retro-clones have their own peculiarities; the kind of things you have to eyeball when using, say, modules from one version with rules from another edition, why even bother with keeping things just because "it was there in the older editions"?

For instance, you've remarked on having to include halflings just because they are in other games, and at the same time, your own dislike for said class (as a PC class) is quite evident. On the other hand, your rendition on halflings in Insect Shrine is just brilliant, and definitely worthwhile, except they have little or nothing at all to do with the halflings that players play.

Why not do away with halflings as a core race/class altogether and just make them an "NPC-class", with some rules in an appendix for those who really want to run PC halflings?

You're doing away with some of the fiddly bits in some of the older games, like for instance encumbrance, and micro managing item weights and such. Why not do the same to some other parts of the game, which seem to be there just because that's the way its always been done, although there are (in newer versions) better, and easier ways to present the same thing. I'm of course talking about the descending armor class, which, in my opinion, really isn't worthwhile. Its just inelegant when compared to ascending armor class, or some other variations out there, for instance Dragon Age RPG which has an ascending defense value (mainly from Dexterity and shield), and armor that reduces damage (as Damage Reduction in some editions).

Looks good. I'd crop a centimeter or two off all the sides to bring out the details a bit more, and place the Grinding Gear -text so that its an equal distance from the top and right side edges.

Is there going to be any other text on the front page? Say, "A dungeon adventure with a mean streak by James Edward Raggi IV" or "from the creator of Death Frost Doom", "by James Edward Raggi IV", "Lamentations of the Flame Princess", or some such, centered at the bottom of the page.

I just put up a wiki-page for my own work in progress Labyrinth Lord campaign. So far its just a short introduction to OSR-gaming, and some campaign outlines. The idea is casual gaming for rainy days, using Labyrinth Lord as a system and both old an new modules as gaming material. The whole page is unfortunately in Finnish.



(13 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

Sounds catchy. Sure, I'd buy that module. If only to put it to the test after such boastful claims.

I'd consider changing this sentence:

JimLotFP wrote:

After the death of the wealthy innkeeper of The Grinding Gear, rumors were rampant that he had constructed a tomb that was theft-proof.

To this:

After the death of the wealthy innkeeper of The Grinding Gear, rumors were rampant that he had constructed a theft-proof tomb.

Then again, I'm not a native English speaker. wink

barrataria wrote:

I'm a little confused by this... Labyrinth Lord is restating an entire ruleset.  I like it and am glad it exists but I don't think it's "new".  Or I'm not understanding you. 

As to your second query, I would start reading the oldest stuff first.  In general the chaff will start to overwhelm the wheat as you move forward.  Also, you'll be able to ignore quite a bit as things are repackaged and reissued for "new editions".

You're absolutely correct in that LL isn't really new material as such. Its a pretty faithful version of the Mentzer B/X game. I haven't really done a comparison for the actual differences, although I've been told there are a few small ones here and there.

Yeah, I decided to do just that. So far I've re-read the Mentzer Basic and Expert sets and have started on the Grand Duchy of Karameikos Gazetteer, just to get a feel of the setting for most of these older modules. Next up, I'll probably start perusing the modules, starting with Keep on the Borderlands, and other B Series modules.

Any pointers on where to go for good new material? Anything by Expeditious Retreat Press or other publishers you'd recommend?

"So, guys... I'm having second thoughts about entering this dungeon. See that 20 foot high pile of bodies over there? I think those used to be adventurers." big_smile

JimLotFP wrote:

You know, things like "The pile of bodies is not nearly that massive in the module. And that building in the distance there should really be closer."

Everything is there, just not exactly in the right place or right amounts. big_smile But I think I'm going to go with it anyway. "Gee, we need to make the picture less exciting to match the situation exactly," is probably not a good policy for front covers.

If the picture is more exiting than the description in the module, why not just change the description to match the picture? wink

Anyways, the front cover is what sells the module. It should be as evocative as possible. Matching it up with the actual content is of secondary importance in my opinion. I still remember a lot of those old D&D modules specifically because of the covers.

I'm a recent OSR-convert, and so far all I've read that's actually new material (as opposed to original 70's and 80's material) is the Labyrinth Lord core book and everything from LotFP. I was wondering if you guys could give me some pointers and short descriptions on which books/pdf's from which publishers I should look into next? I'm predominantly interested in adventure material usable with LL with as little conversion as possible.

While on the topic; I've recently gotten hold of a few gigabytes of old, scanned TSR books. I'm currently in the process of sifting through it for stuff I'd want to use in my own games. Any pointers there? Which ones are top notch, and which ones should I definitely avoid as a complete waste of time to even read?

I'm not sure what you mean by exaggeration impression. Could you elaborate a bit? I'm assuming it has something to do with artistic liberties taken which add to the style or mood, but detract from the functionality as described in the text? Anyway, kind of hard to comment on whether or not this is a problem without knowing what the illustration depicts in the first place.

Ah, well. I'll just wing it. Say its the picture of the main villain's palace. The text says there's a moot and drawbridge, but these are lacking from the picture. I'd still use the picture as reference material in my games. I'd just tell the player's "It looks like this, but there's a moot and drawbridge here." So, the answer would be no, I don't think what you're describing is really a problem at all.

I pretty much modify all the modules I run. This might mean cutting unnecessary combat scenes, adding personal interests for the characters, adding plot-hooks I know my players or the characters they are running will respond to favorably, or adjusting the power level of the NPC:s (can go either way, really).

I agree to an extent that running a ready-made module allows a GM to be brutal on the characters and do stuff he wouldn't normally do, since at least some of the "blame" after, say, a TPK will land on the module instead of on the GM's poor judgment. However, something as severe as a total party kill needs to be justified by something other than "hey, its a killer module, don't blame me".

How much setting material do the adventures include? What are the page counts? Can you give us any estimates on how many game sessions or hours worth of material each of these are? Are we talking three, five, or ten game session adventure archs here? Is the material "system-free" in the vein of, say, No Dignity in Death?


(216 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

I'm a 34 years old Finn living in Espoo, Finland, with around 20 years of RPG experience. I started out with the Finnish translation of the "red box" Basic Set, but didn't get hooked on RPG's until the Finnish translation of Runequest. Since then I've played around a few dozen different game systems actively. A few years back I was playing White Wolf games almost excusively, and for the past few years now I've played pretty much D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder RPG exclusively. More on this rather egocentric topic on my blog. Recently, in my never-ending search for the "Perfect Game", this time motivated by the need to find a game with considerably less crunch, I've become aware of the so-called Old School Renaissance.

So far my foray into lands thus far unknown have included the purchases of pretty much all of the LotFP-stuff, an English language version of the red box, a whole bunch of AD&D setting material, and a print version of Labyrinth Lord, which should be on a shipping crate on a ship somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean as I write.

What originally drew me to LotFP was the article in the recently deceased Finnish RPG magazine Roolipelaaja.