***SPOILERS***
Previously, we had three PCs and one replacement create some havoc in the early areas of the module. They'd just opened the tooth door when we called it quits.

We started things back up with Moldvay D&D, new characters a week later: cleric, magic-user, thief.

They were incredibly cautious, did everything right (almost), were pumped about being able to create flesh golems, found the One Ring … but then they burned the plant.

Bad scene. They scrambled to find secret doors while the dead were banging out of the crypts. The dice were not with them. No secret doors found. The dead entered the hallway to the altar room. The cleric turned four of them while the dead were still out of torchlight. More frantic and fruitless searching while the cleric held them off. But eventually the dead pushed through.

The thief climbed up the skeleton statue but fell halfway up. Cracked his head on the altar. Dead.

The MU jumped into the pit to kill himself.

The cleric climbed up the statue and held himself out of reach of the undead for a time, but, of course, they kept pouring in and tore him to bits.

The end.

Just got back from tonight's first foray into Death Frost Doom.

I was GMing. Playing, we had MINER, COOPER, and MASON, all 0-level commoners, of occupations you can tease out.

For drinks, some Bud Platinum thing and some Abita stuff. For eats, meatloaf cake and fresh ceviche.

I started them at Zeke's cabin. Each of them had something/someone precious to them either taken by bandits or destroyed by bandits. They had nothing to lose, we stipulated, and were seeking the place the bandits were holing up. They were holing up in the DFD mountain. Bad idea. I populated the complex with bandits in various states of dismemberment.

The guys talked with Zeke for a while and got him to lead them up the mountain. Our commoners have 1, 2, and 3 max HP respectively. Zeke gives them the spiel, and off they go.

They scout the house, super cautious like, and proceed to burn everything that's not bolted down.

This may have something to do with running Tomb of Horrors the time before.

They started the bonfire outside the cabin with the magic harpsichord. Then they broke the painting over it and burned it too. Then all the facing-you-when-you-walk-in chairs. Then the time travel clock. And then the big huge book of the dead that Zeke copies out of. Then they figure: you know what? He's probably going to be unhappy about that (n.b.).

The only things they didn't burn were the deer head, the purple lotus powder, and the mirror.

MINER's eyes lit up when he found the lotus powder. He took a spoonful, felt it tickling his nose, and immediately grabbed the mirror and cut out lines for everyone. Everyone else said "You first." MINER said sure.

The random effect was to lose max HP. MINER only had 1 HP anyway; so it's like whatever. Guy's got more HP than sense. He's drugged out of his mind for 15 minutes, and they keep the powder and move on through the trap door. The guys tie a rope around the petrified cabin door to keep things steady and start exploring the complex proper.

They go around stomping on skeletal hands, reconfiguring them on pedestals, pushing open Dead Sign doors with their eyes closed, and finally they come to the big chapel. Poor COOPER. It seemed so legit to start playing that organ, but of course he failed his save. A killer performance. MINER made his save, though: yellow mold? Pfft.

WELCOME TO THE OSR MOMENT: COOPER's player: "I'm dead!? But I have 3 HP!" ME: "It's save vs death. It wouldn't matter if you had 800 HP." Him: "So what do I do?" Me: "Just roll up a new guy." Five minutes later, back in the game.

So they leave MINER's body there and head to the surface to recharge and rest. And then MINER gets to thinking: I bet that crazy mountain man is going to kill us. MASON doesn't want to have anything to do with the killing, but then COOPER's replacement character SMITH comes up the mountain, childhood friends, of course. MINER cues him in on the sitch, and SMITH is like, well, of course we have to kill this guy.

But how to kill Zeke? Zeke would take them in a straight fight no problem. MINER's player asks SMITH's player, "Hey, do you have any bellows?" And, you know what? SMITH's player had already written that down in his gear. So, yeah. They fill the bellows with the remaining powder and blow a big poof in Zeke's face while he's offering them dessert-squirrel. Overdose. Dead. And there's some residual powder remaining in the bellows (n.b.).

Poetically, the trio digs a grave for Zeke and carves a headstone for him. He's the first grave you come to now on the ascent: "CRAZY ZEKE." The party rehydrates some jerky and makes a fine stew. Turns in the for night. Now, back to the dungeon.

MINER of course grabs the cursed items from the altar. He doesn't know their cursed yet. After some exploration of the rest of the available complex, they're at a bottleneck: how to get through the tooth door? MINER cuts his palm with the cursed dagger and offers the blood to the altar. Try again. After a while, they figure they need a fresh tooth. I say yep. MINER volunteers. He's got 1 HP, remember; so why not? He gets SMITH to blow the residual powder in his face, and when he's hallucinating nice and fine (he actually rolled the same result again on the d100 table), SMITH breaks out a tooth with a horseshoe. Drop in the basin, and blam: new area opened.

And that's where we had to quit. I imagine they guys will make it through in one more session. We had an awesome time, and, James, you did a great job creating atmosphere for this thing. The whole way, the "bad scene" vibe was smacking everybody upside the head.

We started Tomb of Horrors with LotFP tonight!

I only had two players, and we decided we were just going to run through this dungeon, right? So we hit on this Dark Souls inspired mechanic: when you die, you "respawn" at the "bonfire" outside the dungeon. All stuff you had on you is still with your corpse (and if your corpse is down a bottomless pit or annihilated, so is your loot). And we stocked the "bonfire" area with pretty much any mundane equipment and all the magic items given for the pregenerated characters in the module.

We had brave players: they took a pair of level 1s in there: a specialist and a fighter. No magic user!

We had a lot of exploration, and here's how things went down:

First off, they died of thirst when they got trapped between a protruding wall section and some false doors.

Then they got eviscerated by a gargoyle of such a higher level that any attack would automatically hit and kill them.

(However, next time around, they came up with a devious plan to trap the gargoyle in a pit trap. It worked. Well on their way to level 2 just from that.)

Then the fighter fell down a 100' pit and died.

And now the piece de resistance: the specialist voluntarily climbed into the Green Devil Face and was annihilated. The fighter cut the rope tying them together and didn't suffer the same fate, but some sweet magic loot was thus annhilated as well.

LotFP worked great for this. We were up and running in no time without having to worry about weapon speeds and so forth.

4

(7 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

I started to downconvert all currency, but I gave that up midway through because, basically, I wanted the PCs to be able to buy some cool adventuring stuff. If I were playing a straight-up, for sure, this-is-a-thing-we're-definitely-going-to-continue campaign, I wouldn't do this.

The monsters were easy to use on the fly. I absolutely love LotFP's AC system for this. You don't even need to consult monster statblocks. You just eyeball it: is the monster like an unarmored, lightly armored, medium-armored, or heavily armored human? And then you just use the corresponding AC value. For HP, I only consulted the statblocks for larger, more significant creatures. For everything else, I just assumed 1d8 hp doing 1d6 damage (or poison, if the monster is a poisonous kind of thing, like a centipede).

Now, again, if I were running this in the context of a certainly continuing campaign, I'd simply remove most of the monsters and make most humanoid monsters simply humans. The stats don't really even need to change. And the whimsical stuff in the dungeon proper (like the kobold market) would need to go. You'd keep the layout but have the place ruined and abandoned, haunted, filled with vermin, etc.

All that to say, you don't need to worry about sourcebooks. You can get away with the above eyeball-conversion/approximations for HP/AC/damage, and, for everything else, just tune in to your GM-instincts. Rule confidently and don't worry about how things are "supposed" to work. Just ensure that they feel right for LotFP.

For instance, there's this level where some ogres have a gym, basically. They're lifting big rocks for bench press. It's perfectly D&D but not appropriate for LotFP. If you're doing things on the fly, you're going to think: "This doesn't feel right." So just obliterate it. The ogres aren't there. It's not a gym. Or keep *one* ogre, don't explicitly call him that, give him like 4-5HD to make him a significant threat, and make him bellow from the shadows. There: converted. And the beauty is that you can do these things off the top of your head.

Oh, and remember reaction rolls: not every wandering pack of wolves is going to attack the PCs straight off. Having the PCs see a bunch of things that are standoffish enforces a sense of reality and tension.

We started an (I hope) continuing sandbox campaign with LotFP tonight. I've got a bunch of modules prepped: all of LotFP's, plus Stonehell Dungeon and Tomb of the Iron God. None of us have ever played anything pre-3.5e D&D; so it's a bit of an adjustment. Me? I'm already there. And I think most of the players were bought in. We always have one guy who's a 4e diehard, but there you go.

I can't remember the character names, but there were 2 fighters, and halfling, and a dwarf. They were pretty poor starting out, but, through pooling their resources, they managed to get reasonable armor and equipment and set off for Stonehell (although, of course, they didn't know of it as such).

During the session tonight, they made 2 forays into the dungeon. The first foray cleared the north half of the gatehouse; the second cleared the south half and explored the roof. None of the encounters were really an issue. The goblins in the gatehouse (5 of them) had a great reaction roll toward the party, half of whom decided to use it to slaughter everyone there. The other two PCs jetted and closed the door behind them. Afterward, though, everyone was cool.

Upstairs, they found the satchel and wine cask guarded by the giant wasps. A quick dash in and out secured the satchel. For the cask, they took an hour or so and smoked them out by breaking a hole in the door with a previously purchased crowbar and lighting a fire right next to the door, wafting in the smoke with a cloak. It was just mop up from there on out.

But then new logistics problems appeared: this cask is *heavy.* It's got extra-vintage wine in it. What do they do? At this point, they figure they might as well head back to town and sell this junk. They've got the (correct) feeling that it's going to multiply their current net worth by 2 or 3 times. So they heft it between them for a hard two-days march back into town.

After selling and reequipping, they've got a horse, a cart, and a guard (paid double so he'll travel with them), Jonathan Witcherton, who got dishonorably discharged from the legion for some reason and has this thing for potatoes for some other reason. By now they've pooled corporate assets, elected officers (e.g., VP of Human Resources, VP of Execution), and they're back to clear the south portion of the gatehouse.

They do, with the halfling taking potshots from the roof and the wandering wildlife, and then, what do you know, it's 8.30p.m. game time and midnight realtime. That's when we break. They're taking the horse into the gatehouse for the night and giving Jonathan Witcherton the night off-duty, hoping for an increase in his morale score (which is terrible: 4, although they don't know that).

So, yeah, not a whole lot *happened* aside from the goblin-slaughter and the barbarianish fighter's near-death experience with giant centipede poison--a save right on the money. Oh, and a Bushcraft success let them gather enough of the poison for a lethal dose. And I was like "Do y'all have a container for that poison?" And the barbarian said "I've got a pint of beer in a glass here." So now they have poisoned beer. You know, in case they ever need it.

*But,* even though not much happened, I had a blast. I think, at the end, everyone was getting a handle on the flow of the game. It's a much different experience than any RPG we've played so far (D&D3.5-4, plus a variety of indie stuff). I'm really hoping this campaign continues. In particular, I'm looking forwarding to seeing the contrasts between playing this classic-style megadungeon module and playing LotFP's modules--especially Death Frost Doom.

6

(216 replies, posted in LotFP Gaming Forum)

I'm Daniel. I'm 27 and from Alabama in the southeastern US. I started with RPGs via D&D3.5 in college. I've always been the GM. My group of friends has always played RPGs on and off. We started out, as I said, with D&D3.5, and we had a blast with it. When everyone came back from various grad schools, we kicked into 4e, and everyone found it lame (except for a new player we picked up, who had never played anything pre-4e).

Anyway, from dissatisfaction with 4e, we've done a few indie games (Dogs in the Vineyard, Poison'd, Apocalypse World), and those have been a lot of fun, but sometimes you just want to head into the dungeon, you know? So I tried fooling around with 4e to make it so that I could stomach running it. Unsuccessful. It's just not my taste.

So when I found LotFP, I thought: jackpot. Thanks for making such a great product. This really hits the sweet spot of what I was liking in 3.5e (and was already well on its way out in that edition, in fact).