Topic: Old notes on interview I did for The Games the Thing

A while back I helped Ron Blessing interview James Raggi and Zak Sabbath for The Games the Thing. This was before I had ever seen the game, so I had to do a little research beforehand!

I recently found my notes and thought it would be fun to post them to see how my thoughts have changed or stayed the same (mostly stayed the same!)


Lamentations of the Flame Princess Game Notes
Old school – broad sense more open free-floating social contract based gaming

First – no mention of Karl Edward Wagner?

Box – Corrugated one piece box
Dice – small bag
10 character sheets
3 perfect bound books

1st book tutorial
Adventures with map –23 page solo adventure
Very Moldvay

2nd book
How to make characters
4 classes and 3 race classes
Somewhat draconian character generation procedures. 3d6. In order. Rolling up seven characters (one for each class), 4 were deemed unacceptable by the “sum of bonuses less than zero rule” but then again I might have remarkably average dice. Except for the discarded characters, no remaining character has a stat less than 8 or more than 15.
66 rolls    Not one roll over 15 - 5% chance of occurring
Key distinctions – only fighters increase BaB
Specialist (which interesting because it’s really more of a generalist whereas the other classes are specialist or to use a common term skill monkey – why go with roll low instead of add to die?
Characters – Leader type ?
Dwarfs (not Dwarves) are damage sinks
Halflings are sneaky
Fighters hit things
Clerics have access to all spells
Elf is a MU/fighter
Alignment – game construct only, no “moral compass” Chaos and law are manifestations of arcane and divine power. “Everyone who has ever lived is neutral.”
Can’t say how much I love the Summon spell – it is what makes the setting weird for me and is very Conan-esque

3rd book
This is where the attitude and definition of Weird fantasy comes in. What makes fantasy (or any other genre for that matter) weird? There’s no attempt at explanation for Why things are the way they are. It’s simply enough that they are there.
Some GMing tips like minimizing fantastic monsters so that they will be more amazing and terrifying
Where are the Monsters? Tough love approach fails for me “I didn’t give you any monsters because I want you to make them up yourself.” In my mind a pencil (joke!) and a bestiary would have made this actually complete. Instead I didn’t really have time to make up monsters (at least to my satisfaction) so I went scrounging other old-school sources, luckily a conversion table for many OSGs is provided.