Topic: Stats for monsters

I'm planning on running the death frost doom module for my group tomorrow. As i was reading the adventure it mentioned a couple of times wights, ghouls and zombies but i can't find anywhere any stats or guidelines for these monsters.
Am i missing something?

Re: Stats for monsters

If you have the new version of DFD then stats are on Page 57. They are all just willful (or at least semi-willful) walking corpses. Don't worry too much about how the writer used different names for basically the same thing. Maybe he used different words so the writing would not be repetitive and stale or maybe he was just fucking with the GMs that buy his book.

Re: Stats for monsters

There are different versions?
Mine is from 2009

Re: Stats for monsters

The one I have is copyright 2014 so apparently I have the new one and you have the old one. I don't know anything about the contents of the old edition. Are there any stats at all?

Re: Stats for monsters

No, there are no stats anywhere, that's why i thought there might be some sort of bestiary or something for common monsters. Or maybe it was referencing some other adventure.

At this point I'll just make up the stats myself and hope I'm not making it too hard for my players XD

Re: Stats for monsters

In some of the older modules, stats are missing.  I think it's assumed you would use Labyrinth Lord or Basic D&D stats.  You can google search for these.

Also, you may be eligible for at least a PDF upgrade.  I would e-mail James Raggi to check on that...

Re: Stats for monsters

I did not want to to create another topic about monsters so I'll use this one.

My question is about monsters in general. I'm planing my first LotFP session and I'm not quite sure how to pick the right monster for my players. There are 3 of them. Am I correct to assume that a normal monster would have 3 hid dice if all (3) PCs are 1st lv?
I guess I'm too used to CR and monsters in 5e. What is the relationship between PC and monster "hardness"? Can anyone suggest or share their method?

Re: Stats for monsters

The quick and easy answer: there is absolutely no relationship between monster difficulty and PC level in LotFP or other OSR games.


The idea is that it's up to PCs to decide whether they can take on the threat or whether they should flee for their lives.

The monster they're facing might be 1 HD and easy to kill (but look absolutely terrifying). It could look like a small child and have 50 HD. It could look like a small child, have 1 HD, but turn anybody who attacks it inside out killing them instantly (or not killing them and now they are a horrific monstrosty themselves).

The primary focus of LotFP is NOT combat, so you will find there is little support for adventures where the primary concern is for PCs to go and fight and kill a monster. 

That said, it doesn't mean that you can't set this up for your players.

If you can answer the following questions, I may be able to guide you in the right direction:

1) Will your players (and you) be okay with the party being utterly destroyed by the monster?
2) Are they interested in a monster that might only be defeated through non-combat means?
Such as:
-procuring a particular item
-interacting with NPCs to figure out the monster's weakness
-interacting directly with the monster to see if it even needs to be defeated (can be reasoned with?)
-joining forces with the monster?
3) Are they interested in facing a few monsters and learning when to fight and when to run?
4) Would they be up for problem-solving and role playing over combat when defeating the monster?

Any other information you can provide?

Re: Stats for monsters

Crunk Posby wrote:

The quick and easy answer: there is absolutely no relationship between monster difficulty and PC level in LotFP or other OSR games.

I did explain to them that LotFP is quite different from 5e in this aspect, that "monster" is not a title easily applied to everything. That that what is described as being monstrous is indeed a thing to be afraid. I think that our first try of LotFP will be 2-3 sessions of us "unlearning"everything that is so engrained from 5e.

Having that in mind I planned 1 session to be just a bit more than introductory to "new" mechanics. 1st half - social interaction and exploration - without all of those 5e skills they will be forced to be more imaginative and resourceful. 2nd half - combat - they are used to fighting, with all their proficiencies, bonuses and such and this will feel very strange to them. I do not plan to introduce an over zealous ogre to wipe them out. Not yet. That is left for the last session.

Second session - dungeon crawl where they could not rest where they want, when they want. Here, I think, where they will learn about HP regeneration and healing.

Lastly - one of two options: Deadly monster, if they will miss all the clues how to kill/disable/avoid/learn; The same monster, tough, but not deadly, if they at least get a few clues right.

And here I'm stuck - how to give them a monster that would not feel totally unbeatable? I do not want to add hit points to it in the middle of the fight, or fudge my rolls, or just to drag the fight out, just to make it interesting for them. I need a method how to come up with monsters that is ... sustainable (if that is the word here. Sorry - not a native English speaker).

To answer your questions:

1) My players has already been killed off 2 or 3 times. Not all at once, usually one manages to escape (he dies later smile ). We have been playing for 2.5 years now and death is just an inconvenience for them. I have been itching to try more "gritty", darker version - thus LotFP.

2) While there is a couple players bet on killing and smashing their way through monsters, that is not what others enjoy to the same extent. But as killing monsters is THE WAY to get xp in 5e - it's mostly killing. They like (and I understand completely) the feeling of accomplishment, progress and reward that comes with it.

3) I want to smack them in their faces with the cold realisation of dread and panic and an overwhelming urge to run!

4) Not always but I think yes.

Players are my friends, 32 years on average. 3 guys, 1 gal. Been playing 5e for 3 years. Want to shake them out of the "safety" they feel they are in smile

Re: Stats for monsters

Okay, I have a few suggestions...

First, I'll share how I introduced my players, all coming from Pathfinder, to LotFP:

First, we played A Stranger Storm, which is currently available for free in the Referee book:

-This includes a mystery to solve, lots of role playing and NPC interaction, and introduces the "unfairness" of LotFP - there is a 50% chance that a character is lost just by interacting with certain NPCs - but the kicker is, players may not know this until later in the session! There is the added bonus that players are very likely going to fight an exact version of themselves. They will learn first hand how to handle themselves in an exactly evenly matched fight.

Second, we played The Tower of the Stargazer:

-This module feels very much like a traditional dungeon crawl, except it features many LotFP twists. My players learned that they simply cannot save everybody and for the first time in their RPGing careers, actually abandoned their comrades to death. It was a rough but necessary lesson! smile

Third, we played Better Than Any man:

-This is the whole kit and kaboodle. Players will be required to analyze situations, NPCs, encounters, and monsters. Should we talk are way through this? Fight? Lie? Help them? They must make choices, none of which are "perfect" and then face the consequences of those choices.

Finally, we played The God That Crawls:

-This teaches the players how to manage food and light, that sometimes the monster is simply unbeatable and running is the only option, however, getting as much gold as possible is the only way to level up. They MUST learn how to run, track light and food, and encumbrance, while getting as much loot as possible and hoping to escape with their lives (and XP).

After these four lessons, I think the players were finally suited to LotFP and we've been playing weekly for the last 5 years! I wouldn't do it any differently if I had to do it again.


Now, if you are intent on creating mini-encounters and not using modules, here's what I'd do for a "balanced" monster encounter:

First, I think the assumption you made about giving the monster(s) the same HD as the players is more or less fair. Just keep in mind that in reality, monsters break all sorts of rules, so this is never a sure thing if you run a pre-made monster.

Second, you can use basically the same stats as the adventurers either combined into one monster or multiple monsters.

Third, give the monster some interesting powers that you know the players can overcome, but will take some puzzling to figure out.

For inspiration, check: Fire on the Velvet Horizon, the monsters in Better Than Any Man, or use one of the Slugs from the free Slugs book and adjust its stats. (It doesn't even have to be a slug, you could just use the stats on a different body...but, honestly, why shouldn't it be a slug!?:)

Re: Stats for monsters

Oh my God - yes, a thousand times yes - Slügs! Ehem, back to the issue...

I did not want to use modules as they are comparatively long (or at least I think so) and as it is supposed to be only an introductory games I decided on mini-encounters. The idea to use adventurer stats for monsters is terrific, as is the mirror fight. I'll give A Stranger Storm a more close look, as I skipped through it when I read the referee guide.

I wanted to get the Fire on the Velvet Horizon but ... the format and the layout freaks me out. I LOVE Veins of the Earth, it is the best setting book I read, but FotVh - I can't even. My OCD kicks in and I can't focus smile Better Than Any Man - the sheer size and scope frightens me - that is not the place I'd like to start in.

Thank you, Crunk, for your help.

Re: Stats for monsters

Better Than Any Man is long, but it's actually an interesting read. If you have the time, I'd suggest just reading through it even if you don't want to run it, and then use just a couple of parts of it for your mini-encounters.

It's basically a sandbox style book with many different adventure sites, NPCs, monsters, and encounters that could be pulled out and used by themselves.