Saturday, September 13, 2014

Lamenting the Paladin

 Paladin – A New Class for LotFP

One of these guys could totally be a paladin. It's just hard to tell because
it's two dudes murdering each other...
Who is this?

Some few are called by higher providence to be the hammer that falls in the darkness. Some few are called to be baptized in heathen’s blood. They are to be the shining, wrathful embodiment of divine providence.

They have been called many things and served many masters.

Paladins do not preach; they practice. When they are called to protect the faithful, they do. When they are called to slay the wicked, they do. When they are called to tend the sick, they do. These faithful few are granted divine power to stand as stark, unyielding exemplars of their faith. They can be joyous or wrathful, smiling or stern, kind or demanding, but a Paladin will always stand strong in whatever it is he/she knows to be true.

They may be remembered by history as heroes or horrors, but they will be remembered -or else they would never have been called.

Examples: Gawain, Roland, St. George, Prince Five Weapons, Hospitallers, Nihang, Shaolin Monks, etc.

Advancement - As Dwarf
Hit Dice - 1d8 – Minimum 6 HP.
BAB - +1
Saving Throws - As Cleric.
Alignment – Lawful

Class Abilities and Restrictions:

Chosen Weapon - Paladins receive an additional +1 to hit with a particular type of weapon. Common choices include sword, club, spear, hammer, and fists.

Call Steed – Once in his/her lifetime, a Paladin may summon a completely loyal and fearless mount. This mount need not necessarily be a horse; however, its hit dice will be equal to the Paladin’s at the time of summoning.

Miracle – Once, and only once, may a Paladin ask for some major miracle from his/her deity (or deities, there is nothing to prevent a Paladin from worshiping an entire pantheon).

Caveats: Entreaties for miracles outside the ethos or desires of the deity/deities will not be granted. Additionally, miracles should be more preventative that active. For example stopping a volcanic eruption from happening to save a faithful village is fair game. Causing a volcano to erupt to destroy an enemy village isn’t. However, causing an earthquake to block a mountain pass, and therefore prevent an invasion would be allowed.

Outside of those vague restrictions, a miracle can be pretty much anything the character desires. This includes the ability to raise from the dead a number of folks equal to the wisdom score of the Paladin. Major miracles may be requested post mortem. (And yes, this does make Paladins sort of a walking reset switch for TPKs.)

Circle of Hope – Paladins are called to strike out against the twisted magics and unnatural forces of this wicked world. To that end, the Paladin and all the innocent* within a 10 yard radius receive a bonus to saving throws vs. baleful magic equal to the Paladin’s level + his/her Charisma Bonus. Even spells and magical effects that normally do not allow saving throws can be saved against within the Circle of Hope.
*Magic-users by their very nature are not innocent and can never benefit from a Circle of Hope.

Wrath of God – Paladins are often referred to as “The Hammers of God” in certain sacred texts. This is not without reason. Each Paladin, under some certain circumstance, is capable of doling out incredible amounts of damage. The circumstance is to be chosen by the player and approved by the DM before play. Popular choices include: when unarmed (think kung-fu monks), while on errand for the rightful King (classic), when acting with the explicit blessing of a church superior (better kiss that bishop’s ass), while defending the innocent or weak (your fellow murder-hobos don’t count as either), or when acting in the name of love (you troubadour, you).

When under this circumstance, Paladins receive a bonus to damage equal to the maximum damage a weapon can do. A mace, for example, would deal 1d8+8 damage.

Example: Sir Gawain was supposed to have waned and waxed in strength with the sun. His circumstance could be “During Midday”. Within 2 hours either side of noon, Gawain may deal 1d10+10 damage with his lance.

Sacred Oaths – A Paladin that breaks his/her word must engage in a burdensome quest to restore his/her honor. Until this is completed, the Paladin does not have the Miracle and Wrath of God abilities, additionally he/she cannot benefit from his/her own Circle of Hope.

You Probably Don’t Want to Play This if…
  • you don’t want to be a good guy.
  • you don’t want to roleplay a zealot.
  • your fellow adventurers want to be really, really evil.

Lamentations of the Flame Princess & the LotFP abbreviation are totally © James Edward Raggi IV.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Several First Level Cleric Spells

So I have a thing for sale! It's an adventure stated up with Lamentations of the Flame Princess in mind. "Little Devils" is a one page dungeon about a hill full of asshole devil-kids. It comes with printable, individual stat blocks (which I found helpful when I ran this crazy thing.) It's on sale for fifty cents for a week or so. Also my other thing, "The Wretched Grasp", is now Pay What You Want.

To celebrate, here are a bunch of cleric spells... even though I got rid of clerics. Of course now anybody can cast them... assuming they're insane enough to risk contacting gods, spirits, and/or demons.

Bible Spells
(Rituals to attain these spells often include: self-flagellation, fasting, eating only uncooked foods, never cutting one's hair, and constructing as well as living in wilderness hermitages for long periods.)

Stick to Snakes – This spell converts a cudgel into a ½ HD snake for 1 turn. Constrictor (+2 to wrestle, 1d4 damage) or Poisonous (Bite for 0-1 damage, save vs. poison or take 1d8 damage. If the save is failed, the victim must make another save vs. poison the next round or suffer 1d6 further damage and 1 Con damage. If the second save is failed, the victim must make on final save vs. poison on the third round or suffer another 1d4 damage and 1further Con damage.). The snake(s) will obey the spoken orders of the caster. At levels 3, 6, and 9 the caster may convert one additional stick with this spell. 

That last sentence only applies to Magic-users. In fact all casters are considered to be level one unless they are magic users. Magic users, of course, just use their actual level.

Part Waters – Moves up to 1000 cubic feet of water out of a given area per caster’s level. The spell lasts so long as the caster maintains concentration. (Clever use of this spell can give you and your buddies safe passage across dangerous streams, and then drown all the assholes behind you.)

Spells from Rustic Deities, Tree Gods, Animistic Spirits, Etc.
(Rituals to attain these spells often include: eating the heart of a wild animal the petitioner killed him/herself, making ceremonial raiments from materials gathered by the petitioner, and orgiastic revelries.)

Rustic Pipes – By playing reed pipes or whistling a bird’s song for one hour, the caster may ensure that his/her encampment will be unmolested by all natural things for the night. Additionally, the encampment will awaken to find potable water and easily found forage nearby (enough to supply a group of four with food and drink for a day.

Untrod the Path – This causes the signs of passage upon any one path to be removed for up to one linear mile. This spell does not function within city walls.

Befriend the Beast – This spell causes a single natural animal to regard the caster in the best possible light. (Solitary predators, for instance, are still what they are though the tiger would be less likely to hunt the caster.)

Blessed Rain – A gentle rain miraculously falls over a 12 yard (11 m) radius for 1 turn. Those who remain under the shower for its entire duration receive one randomly determined benefit. Those who remain unclothed in the blessed rain receive two benefits (ignore rerolls).
  1.  Healed of 1 point of damage.
  2.  Healed of 3 points of damage.
  3.  No normal animal may harm the subject for 1d6 days.
  4.  Know no thirst for 1d6 days.
  5.  Feel the run of wild in your bones (subject can act as though Hasted for 1d4 hours, this is a dangerously addictive state of being).
  6. Be cleansed to the core, (Acts as Delay Poison; additionally, the character receives a permanent +1 to all saves vs. poison [does not stack]).

To call forth this spell, the caster must be under the open sky (aka outside).

Whisper the Wind – The caster knows many secrets and may whisper these things into the ear of any single being within 50 miles. The message travels on an actual breeze at roughly 7 mph (11 kph) or 10 fps (3 m/s) to reach the target. The phrase must be spoken through a specially prepared, soaring bird’s feather (eagle, buzzard, falcon, etc.) in a single breath.

Refuse the Way – All the things of nature know the caster to be an ally, and will aid him/her when called to. This causes all natural things within a 20 yd. (9 m) radius to prevent the passage of the caster’s enemies. In dense foliage with an abundance of small insect or animal life, enemies move at ¼ of their normal movement rate and take 1 point of damage for every 10 feet traversed (from insect stings, rough limbs, briar thorns, rodent bites, etc.). In light foliage with less available animal life, enemies move at ½ of their normal movement rate and take 1 point of damage for every 15 feet traversed. This spell does not function without nearby plant, animal, or insect life. Creatures larger than most rodents may ignore this call to aid if they so wish.

This is a William Blake, again.

Death Gods, Chthonic Type Deities (Note that Chthonic Deities would also be concerned with fertility and the whole life, death, rebirth cycle...)

(Rituals to earn these spells often include: burying valuables in the earth; standing vigil over some living thing as it is born, grows, and withers into death [many cheat this by growing sprouts and then not watering them, still it takes a fucking while]; meditating in lightless caverns.)

Consecrate Dead – Ensuring the dead remain dead and are whisked away to the appropriate hereafter is of the utmost importance to many cultures, deities, and spirits. A consecrated corpse may never be raised from the dead nor turned into the undead. Up to 12 corpses + the caster’s Level and Wisdom Modifier may be consecrated in a single day.

Travel the Black Path – Walking the bleak halls of the dead is within the power of the caster, though most have the wisdom to avoid it.  With this spell, the caster and up to 8 companions may travel to within 1d6-1 miles of a desired location. This takes 1d6 hours of traveling through the halls of the dead for every 100 miles between the caster and the desired locale. There is a 1% cumulative chance per hour traveled that one of the companions or the caster may not be allowed to exit the realm of the dead.

Yawning Chasm – a 10 foot long, 5 foot wide, and 10 foot deep chasm can be opened within 25 feet of the caster. This chasm remains open for 1d6 rounds, then closes. (Save vs. paralyzation to avoid be swallowed up. If someone rolls their save number exactly, his/her/its bottom half get's buried in whatever the ground/floor was made out of...)

Eyes of the Dead – The subject’s eyes turn whitish blue, like those of a corpse. The subject will be effectively blind, only able to see beings that are near to death. Saving throw negates. 

Lamentations of the Flame Princess & the LotFP abbreviation are totally © James Edward Raggi IV.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Three Paragraphs about Dwarves

Introductory explication: This doesn’t count as one of the paragraphs. Dwarves in the setting I’m working on, and should be running in tomorrow, are basically vikings. In fact, they are literally vikings. They are vikings who issue forth from their Nordic mountain fortresses, take to the sea, and plunder worthless humans settlements. Of course it’s like 1750 so their chain and axes are passé and somewhat outmoded, but dwarves don’t quit. A dwarf can take a musket ball to the guts and just keep churning through, axe still reaping blood. So when five or six longships show up, folks are scared shitless, even while hiding behind cannons and guns. There’s no way to tell if the dwarves come to slaughter and loot or have come to trade. That is until somebody winds up dead, or silver changes hands. Dwarvish steel is the highest possible quality and extremely valuable.

(Dwarves are mechanically unchanged from the LotFP standard.)

Dwarves are stolid. A dwarf cannot lie. Dwarves are physically incapable of it. Should a dwarf break a promise, he/she will slowly wither into nothingness. They are good to the very letter and spirit of their word, which is why they rarely promise anything (and try not to speak unless necessary). Dwarves, unsurprisingly, have a very demanding sense of honor. It is very easy to insult a them, and death is the only possible repayment. If your grandfather accidentally insulted a dwarf, you must die. Insults are, evidently, hereditary in dwarvish culture. (Some scholars believe these inherited slights are the motivation behind dwarvish attacks.)

Dwarves are grim. Dwarves do not laugh. Certain blasphemous legends claim that Loki once tricked Odin into fucking a pile of stones. Dwarves have maintained their mother’s sense of humor. If you see a dwarf laughing, he/she is an outcast from dwarvish society. (In fact if you see a dwarf alone, more than a few hundred yards from a longship, he or she is almost certainly an outcast.)

Outcasts don’t really seem to recall their former home and family. Their past is a half-remembered fever-dream of purpose and contentment. The only piece of their previous life an outcast can distinctly remember is the Great Shame which caused his/her exile. So, while outcasts are the only dwarves that can laugh, they rarely do. (Besides which, everyone hates them. Almost every person has lost some friend, relative, or storied ancestor in a dwarvish attack. Being a dwarf is kind of like having a visible swastika tattoo and visiting a holocaust museum.) However, the outcasts are rarely melancholy or emo at all because dwarves are refusal. Dwarves do not quit. Not ‘til they’re dead.

(All PC dwarves  are outcasts.)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

How do you take your tea?

The goblins of Feywode, that dangerous fairy-tale other-place which borders some few worlds, are of course personifications of petty human emotions.

But what then of the Goblin Farm, and do you drink the tea?

The goblins at the Farm are helpful, friendly, and kind. Sure they smile their crooked smiles, showing their crooked teeth, but there is genuine glee in their shining eyes. They are truly pleased to have you as a guest.

But do you drink the tea?

So far as the sages know, this is only place in the Feywode where the opium-smoke tendrils of Narcosa do reach. Nevertheless, the Goblin Farm appears to be quite wholesome and pastoral.

Sure the goblins grow some hemp, but they’ll offer you the finest rope you’ve ever seen and refuse even a half-penny in payment. If you do show some interest they’ll gladly give to you of their finely carven pipes, as well. Oh those are certainly poppy fields, but don’t they just glow so red, in the morning sun? However, have you a game knee then shall their apothecaries give to you finely incensed tinctures of the poppy’s dew.

Ah, and their great brews: those fields are barley and rye, and there, just past them to the south, yes just there, are those not the finest sun-soaked vineyards your eyes have ever seen? Their beer is blessed good, hearty and light, sweet and sound. Their wine would make the sourest sommelier weep so sweetly. And that whiskey? It tastes of summer days, smoky evenings, and oak shaded back lanes. Try them all, they won’t insist, the goblins just smile and bring you all the more.

But do you try their tea?

They’ll feed you full of barley stew and melons overripe. They’ve such cheeses as to please any and all types.

But would you take some tea?

And did you see, that mirrored pond? It is where the blessed lotos grows. Some fine plum-blushed mornings, I’ve seen them there, goblins you see. They dig amongst the lotos roots in some strange, old-fashioned goblin revelry.

As you see, ‘tis such a grand place, and I shall never wont to leave.

Oh but won’t you try some tea. Can’t you see their sacred motions, portioned so carefully? How they start to offer, but shake their heads so nobly?

They want to share, but can’t be rude and are so afraid you might refuse, oh won’t you take some tea?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Staff of the Flesh Smith

An ancient wizard, well versed in the transmogrifies of living flesh, forged this staff as his penultimate achievement. It was a powerful tool, aiding in his mad quest to fold back the bounds of nature.

The staff itself is a strange combination of blackened bone, bronze, and lizard flesh. At its top, a large uncut ruby is embedded into the head of a fire-blackened thighbone. The bone is sunk into a long twisted haft of smoothly polished bronze. Towards the staff’s bottom, the dead metal slowly fades into living, scaled flesh ending in a razor-tipped claw. (Can be used a spear or staff). Any spell-casting class may use the Staff of the Flesh Smith (Clerics, Magic-users, Druids, Necromancers, Gnomes, or Whatevers [Though Druids and Lawful characters will feel a strong aversion to the staff]). 

The staff radiates powerful magic, to the point that even non-spellcasters can sense it. Those with the staff in their possession are subject to strange dreams each night. 

Roll 1d6:
1-2 - Dream of old bones, moldering under leaf litter on a forest floor. Every time a character has this dream, he or she will become more certain of where these bones are located. The compulsion to visit them will grow.*
3-4 - Dream of an old man dying in a strange tumult of arousal and fear.
5 - Dream the Whispered Command Word to [Roll Again: 1-5 Embed; 6 Transpose Flesh]. 
6 - Dream the Whispered Command Word to Mold Flesh.


If a character in possession of the staff becomes greatly angered by a living being (regardless of possessor’s class), the staff will Lacerate the subject of the possessor’s rage. When there is some confusion as to whether or not the possessor has lost his/her temper, the possessor may roll a d20. If the roll is under his/her Wisdom Score, the character maintains control of his/her temper. If not, the Laceration occurs.  

Lacerate (+1 Modifier) – Painful wounds suddenly burst open all over the victim’s body causing 2d6 damage. Additionally, the victim has a penalty of -1 on all actions until he/she has healed 1 hit-point. Save for ½ Damage. (This power also exists as a level 2 spell.)

Embed (+1 Modifier) – This power embeds a small item into the flesh of a living being. The item can only be removed by cutting it out or the use of Mold Flesh. If the item happens to be a wearable magical item (such as a ring or bracer), the subject does receive the benefit (or curse) of the item. (This power also exists as a very rare level 1 spell.)

Mold Flesh (+2 Modifier) – This power causes the flesh of its subject to become as malleable as soft clay in the hands of the caster for 1 turn. This can be used for the closure of wounds or more unusual or torturous effects. Unwilling victims can save at +2 to avoid this effect. If used to close-wounds/heal a victim, it can heal up to 4 hit-points worth of damage (up to 12 hit-points worth of damage if the caster has knowledge of anatomy). Regardless of the purpose to which the flesh molded, it is agonizingly painful experience. (This power also exists as an extremely rare level 2 spell.)

Transpose Flesh (+4 Modifier) – This extremely powerful effect causes the flesh (muscle, skin, claws, hair, horns,) of two beings to be swapped. Their skeleton and other internal organs remain in place and functional, but their outer layers of flesh will be permanently changed. (This power also exists as a level 5 spell. It is written in a single spell book, hidden away and lost. Though one could carefully study the staff to recreate this spell...)

Adjudicating Flesh Swaps – These effects are either gained or lost depending on how the swap works out for the victims. 
Scales or Thick Hide  + or - 2 AC
Strong/ Tough Flesh – + or - 2 to Strength and Constitution or Double/Half Damage and Hit Dice for Monsters.
Natural Attacks – One Victim may gain a natural attack of 1d3, 1d4, or 1d6 while the other victim potentially loses a natural attack (or now has a weaker attack). 
Additionally, there may be other consequences as dictated by the logic of situation and adjudicated by the Dungeon Master. (e.g., swapping the flesh of an octopus and a human may make the human unusually flexible and give him/her suction cup grips but require that his/her skin stays constantly moist. The octopus would probably die without its porous skin.) 

Example: Sir Havart’s flesh is swapped with that of the Black Dragon, Viscivialistross. Sir Havart now has supernaturally resilient flesh covered in glossy black scales (+2 to his AC, when unarmored and +2 to both his Strength and Constitution). Viscivialistross is now covered in tender, pinkish flesh (-2 to his AC, ½ Damage From Attacks, ½ Hit Dice); flesh that is so comparatively soft, it is beginning to split under his great weight.
All subjects of this spell (even willing subjects) must roll a Saving Throw. If either of the two creatures successfully Save, both suffer the effects of the Laceration Power at full (12) damage. Each subject will also be stunned for 1 round.

Charges - The Staff of the Flesh Smith doesn’t contain a certain number of charges; rather it works according to forgotten magical cycles, tied to the phases of the moons and stars. After every use of a Power, intentional or not, roll 2d6+ Modifiers. These modifiers are cumulative (so using Mold Flesh after twice using Lacerate means rolling 2d6 + 4). Any roll over 15 results in the staff being rendered   useless until the next full moon. The cumulative modifiers reset each day at midnight.

*If a character does find these specially enchanted bones** (those of the Staff’s creator), the Staff will attempt to Transpose Flesh. If the possessor fails his/her saving throw, the flesh will be ripped from his/her bones, and Andron Comutus the Flesh Smith will rise again!

**Andron Comutus actually carved both the subtle seeking spell and flesh stealing spell into his still-living bones while making use of the “Mold Flesh” spell. He was not a man to trifle with…

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Demonic Rituals and Your Average Joe

Last time, I wrote about trashing the cleric class, giving that spell list to magic users, and adding in some mechanics for mystic rituals. If you haven't read that article, please do. This post won't make much sense otherwise.

Anyway, a really obvious question comes up, what if just-some-guy performs a ritual?

Well, just-some-guy has to make a Saving Throw vs Spell with a -1 per-spell-level penalty. He is, however, entitled to a bonus based on his ability score modifiers for Charisma, Intelligence, and Wisdom (these could of course be another penalty). Failure results in something like a permanent, irreversible Charm Person being laid upon the would-be Sorcerer. He/she would always view everything about the deity/entity/spirit in the best possible light. (This is where incongruously enthusiastic Slime God cultists come from.) Failure for spells of Level 3-4, results in a Geas (GM's choice as to what it's about) and a Charm Person being brought down on the guy/gal. Failure on spells of fifth or higher levels, result in complete removal of the unfortunate would-be Sorcerer's mind; he/she is now simply a meat-puppet controlled by the entity. Rolling a 1 on any of these Saving Throw checks, results mind-shattering insanity.

Magic Users don't have to make this check for spell rituals of a level they can cast, because their rudimentary training is sufficient to shield their brains from alien influence. (Drawing forth the strange energies of the Feywode seriously rattles the old brain-box.) If, however, a Magic User is attempting a spell ritual at a level he/she is unable to normally cast, the Saving Throw check applies.

And now I have contrived a mechanical reason for weird, slavish cultists following the inscrutable demands of alien entities. Enjoy.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

No More Clerics

I do not like clerics. They don't fit their supposed niche as holy warriors. They're just sort of half-assed spell casters who only use blunt weapons for… reasons. They aren’t anything like St. George, a Knight Templar, nor Sir Gawain. Paladins actually fill that role and do it well while looking the part.

I did/do like specialty priests in 2e. In fact when I ran 2e, I only allowed specialty priests. If you wanted to worship a god for magics, you should look like you worshiped that god, instead of say, looking like a dude/dudette with a mace who said “Thor” instead of “Zues” or “Jesus” or “Whateverius”. So while I've been busy house-ruling LotFP, I've decided to drop clerics entirely.

Yet, there is a long tradition of gods, demons, and godlings granting folk magical power via ritual in history, myth, and literature.

So I gave all the cleric spells to magic users, with some caveats. 

To be able to cast any particular spell from the cleric list, a wizard must seek out forgotten demonic grimoires or lost holy texts. Therein, he/she will learn the sacred/blasphemous rites with which to entice power from some particular demon/godling/angel/saint/whatever. (None of these powers will have a monopoly on any particular spell so a character can seek out a different source if a ritual happens to be too repugnant. [Unless, of course, you want a particular power to have that monopoly on a spell for some reason.] These spells are castable daily, in addition to the character's normal magic user spell slots. One cleric spell cannot be traded for another

Here is a short ritual generator, to give you an idea of what sort of rituals I was thinking of…

Just roll three d4s, one d6, and interpretate.  

Click to Enlarge
How often does a caster have to deal with this nonsense?

Level One – Once, perform the appropriate ritual but once.
Level Two – You’re going to need to ritually appease the god-thing annually.
Level Three – Commence with the rituals upon the equinoxes and solstices. (It’s like a quarterly report.) 
Level Four – You gonna need to do that there ritual on the equinoxes and solstices; additionally the spell will require an expensive and/or difficult to acquire material component. The material component is not consumed upon casting. (Examples of material components, statuette of the god from an ancient temple, one pound of discarded hawk feathers, a liar’s pinky finger, ashes from a hero’s funeral pyre, a big-ass ruby, space honey, etc.)
Level Five – Upon the equinoxes and solstices do yer ritual; additionally the spell will require an expensive and/or difficult to acquire material component. The material component is consumed upon casting.
Level Six – The would-be caster must first build a shrine to the god/whatever and perform the appropriate ritual there each month.
Level Seven – The would-be caster must first build a public temple to the god/whatever and perform the sacred ritual there each week.

Alternatively, the caster could convert X number of heathens or corrupt X souls to obtain his/her holy/unholy spells.

X defined by Spell Level
Level One – 2 Souls; Level Two – 4 Souls; Level Three – 8 Souls; Level Four – 16 Souls; Level Five – 32 Souls; Level Six – 64 Souls; Level Seven – 128 Souls.

If a magic user wishes, he/she can give up 2 of his/her 3 starting magic user spells to be able cast a randomly determined Cleric Spell. It will be assumed that he/she already sacrificed enough souls or completed the appropriate ritual or whatever. (This will of course give the character two spells to cast daily at level one but with fewer options.)

Those who master both ritual and academic magics are known amongst the initiated as Wizards. Those who seek the indirect path to mystical strength and rely on fickle entities for power are commonly termed Sorcerers, Witches, or Warlocks. Finally, those who abstain from entanglements of forgotten godlings and other petty spirits term themselves Mage or Magi. (Common folk, of course, simply call them all scary as fuck and burn such folk at the stake [if the common folk think they can get away with it].)

Alright, so if clerical magic comes from demons or angels or whatever, where does the other kind of magic come from?

Do you just want me to design your whole setting too?

Anyway, it comes from the Feywode, Álfheimr, the Land of the Hidden Folk. This is a twisted, dreamscape that mirrors and intersects with the mundane world but is inhabited by fairies, angels, demons, and other weirder things. It’s also full to the brim with “Creation” or “Chaos” or “Terrible Radiation” depending on your perspective.

Academic magic teaches specific, repeatable mental and physical practices which breach this other world and draw off some of its power. This power is then carefully directed by the magic user to accomplish a specific task. 

Every time a magic user learns a new spell from the magic user list, he/she must make a saving throw vs. spell with a penalty equal to the spell level. (At the DM's discretion, wisdom, intelligence, and/or charisma modifiers may be applied to this roll.) If he/she fails this saving throw, roll on your favorite horrible mutations chart. If you are a dick, you can make starting characters roll saving throws for their beginning spells too…

(For my home campaigns, I allow/force magic users to spontaneously learn a single spell when they obtain access to a new spell level. This happens overnight, and the character may sacrifice a night of sleep to feverishly record the spell into his/her spell book. Of course, he/she may instead immediately cast the spell to divulge his/herself of its influence [and therefore not have to chance a roll on the mutations chart].)

And that’s what I’ve decided to do with Clerics and to Magic Users.

Lamentations of the Flame Princess & the LotFP abbreviation are totally © James Edward Raggi IV.