Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Couple of Simple Ideas

Firstly, I've not been blogging much lately, at least not on this blog. Partly it's because I was getting a little bit burnt out, partly because I've started a daily creative writing blog, and partly because I'm working on a few small projects I'd like to sell to you. Add to that the one year old crashing around the apt. plus my day job, and the result yields fewer blog posts.

On to things you might actually give a shit about.

1 - Improvised weapons, some really, really simple rules. I usually run LotFP so tacking on complicated subsystems isn't something I want to do.

An improvised weapon (like a piece of firewood, a broom handle, a mallet, or a saw) wielded single-handedly does 1d4 damage. It also breaks on a natural 20. If it is something really fragile (like a moonshine jug), it breaks the first time you score a hit with it.

Something smallish you are using as a weapon, that wasn't meant to be a weapon (like a quill knife, a straight razor, or a wooden stake) does 1d3 damage. It also breaks on a natural 20. If it is something really fragile (like an icicle), it breaks the first time you score a hit with it.

Something largish you are using as a weapon in two hands (like a walking staff or a bar stool) that is not actually designed to kill people does 1d6 damage. If it is something really fragile (like a half full amphora), it breaks the first time you score a hit with it.

Often when an improvised weapon breaks, the resulting pieces can also be used to hurt people. d6  stool breaks to d4 stool leg breaks to d3 pointy bit of wood.

But what about a felling axe, stupid? Trees are way harder than people and axes don't break all the time.

Right you are, dick. Sturdier/heavier things like crowbars, wood axes, sledgehammers, and such, instead fly free or get jarred out of a character's hand. They really are not balanced properly for murder. This happens on both 1s and 20s and requires 2 combat rounds to retrieve. That means there's a 10% chance that you should have had a real weapon.

2 - Bucklers

This one is easy. A buckler functions exactly as does a shield but only for melee attacks.

3 - Wear and Tear

This one is a bit in the development phase but the basic idea is that each broad type of armor and weapons (and other stuff probably) has a certain number of adventures it can endure before needing to be repaired. At double the repair number most need to be replaced.

Leather Armor has a repair of 1 adventure. Just one outing to the dungeon and you're already having to stitch it back together or replace some cuir bouilli scales or whatever. After the next adventure you gotta buy some new shit.

Chainmail has a repair of 3. Going to have to replace a significant number of the rings after a few trips through the Troll Fens. Three troublesome hexes after that and you're gonna have to buy some new shit.

Shields have a repair of 1-3 depending on construction.

Platemail has a repair of 3, but importantly doesn't have to be fully replaced until 3x its repair point.

Wooden hafted weapons like polearms, most axes, and spears have a repair of 2.

Metal hafted weapons (like really fancy maces, axes, and warhammers) and well-made full tang swords/daggers/knives have a repair of 3 and don't need to be replaced until triple the repair number.

And if you spent all last session just talking to some demon, that probably doesn't count as an adventure for this purpose.

4 - Into the Odd is pretty fucking awesome. I'm really looking forward to running it soonish, and I think about game stuff with it in mind all the damn time. Really simple, straightforward rules with great atmosphere. You should check it out.

5 - I'm done now, I think.

6 - Yep. Done.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Narcosmos Monster: The Pentapods


“Space is a strange thing, no matter where ya go in the multiverse. The space above and outside most worlds is big, mostly empty, hostile to life, and full of just really weird shit. And big, by gods, most of ‘em is big. And when ya consider that there’s practically an infinity of worlds, well it makes less sense for anything to not exist. Space hamsters? Sure, I seen ‘em. Whales a’wrigglin’ through the void, well, I seen that too. Worlds made of pure fire and moons o’ frozen yella slime. Yep. Space is godsdamned weird.”

-            Braet Belquin, noted planar explorer and sometime spelljammer captain.

The Pentapods aren’t really all that strange, considering they’re from space. Their head-pods stand at about 3 feet tall, and all five of those pink rubbery tentacles can stretch out to about six feet. They move in long graceful arcs and seem to find the idea of straight lines unappealing. Pentapods communicate telepathically and appear to have some sort of innate bio-kinesis, especially with slime molds, from which all their odd technologies arise.

At the heart of every Pentapod asteroid ship is a central nervous system of bio-engineered slime molds, performing all the tasks normally accomplished via circuitry (or magic) and mechanical means. They even keep certain specialized pools which synthesize various keratin-based tools onto the ends of their tentacles.

Five pairs of eyes are evenly distributed across their cylindrical head-pods. Even without this, sneaking up on them is nearly impossible, due to the 12 yd. range of their psychic awareness/telepathy. A strange bulbous sphincter sits atop the head-pod; this is the apparatus through which they breathe and expel waste. (They sometimes do this spontaneously when startled.) The central bottom part of the creatures contain several sets of gills and a tooth lined sphincter which serves as a mouth. Pentapods usually consume simple organisms like algae and bacterial mats. They can consume other organic material, but it usually gives them gas: it’s chlorine to be more specific.

Long ago, their swampy verdant homeworld was usurped from them by a cruel race of bipedal horse-monsters. Ever since then, the Pentapods have spread across the galaxy looking for a new world to inhabit. They seem to be driven by an insatiable curiosity and a distrust of beings with bilateral symmetry.

That’s great and all, bud, but how do these things get me high?

Well that’s a bit of a sad story, but you asked.

You see by some fluke of evolution, the brain-chemicals produced by Pentapods while frightened induce ridiculous euphoria in humans. After its gruesome harvest, this golden-green liquid is drunk by users under the street-name “Happy”. It’s addictive effects last for about 1d6 hours. Here’s the kicker though, any pain felt by a Pentapod significantly reduces the effects the “Happy”. Unfortunately bipeds are very clever and many have discovered some terrifyingly consistent ways to put out a good 
product. "Happy" farms are some of the worst places in the galaxy.

[Stats]

1 HD
Movement 30’
AC : 12
Attacks 5 (Though only three may be used against a single target)
Damage 1d2 via constriction or by Weapon
Axe Tip – 1d8; Syringe Tip 1d2 + Poison; 
Claw Tip – 1d3; Pincher Tip – 1d3; Spear Tip 1d6 (can receive charge for double damage), Probe Tip – 1d4.
Special –
Telepathic Awareness and Communication 12 Yards. Never Surprised by a thinking being.

Has an almost innate understanding of biology, anatomy, and medical science. A Pentapod colony can cure most diseases encountered within 1d20 weeks. Previous experience prevents most colonies from offering aid or succor to bipeds.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Mouth of Many Teeth

This is one of the Fetishes from my new book, Fetishistic Arcana.



Construction

First gather you together a set of dead folk's teeth, each tooth from a different mouth. Put them all firmly into an artificial jaw of the best construction you can muster; it must be closed off by a backing of sturdy, black fabric. Then sew into the fetish a tongue from a great orator.

(The better crafted the fetish is the longer it will last: Crude Construction 1d6 uses, Good Construction 3d6 Uses, Masterful Construction unlimited uses. Note that the tongue rots normally, though this will not affect the fetish. Removing the tongue before it sloughs off on its own, however, ruins the enchantment.)

Effect

When Speak with Dead is cast through this fetish, an intact mouth is not required, just some piece of the dead person or an extremely valued possession.

With each use of this fetish, there is a 2% chance that the spirit of the deceased will permanently inhabit the artificial mouth.

---

So that's copied straight from the book, but here's a bit more.

Why does this fetish matter?

Well, I guess you may not be using Lamentations of the Flame Princess (all of the fetishes were written with that ruleset in mind). Maybe your ruleset doesn't specifically require an intact mouth for Speak with Dead. Well finding the ancient king's favorite pinky ring is probably still easier than finding his skeleton. And when you gotta have some ancient exposition, you gotta talk to some ancient folks.

Also, that 2% chance of permanent habitation could be a big boon. In fact it could be the point of the fetish. PCs could try to raise that chance with things like summoning circles or negotiating with the deceased. In fact I'd knock that % up to 50 if they put some effort into it.

That's the whole point of Fetishistic Arcana, to get characters to do weird shit for magical reasons.

Anyhoozle, you can buy my book here.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

I awoke dreaming of encounter charts…


What finds you in the wilderness?

1- Nothing, a great, existential nothing - Landscapes quickly shift to empty, wide desolation. Even so, the stars are distant and dim. Sunsets happen quickly, when you are not looking. There is no breaking beauty only ugly open isolation.

2- Fear, ancestral and barely remembered – It stalks you. Staying in shadows it is always nearby. You know it is near; you smell its hateful musk wherever you turn. It knows you know. You can feel its toothsome smile on the back of your neck.

3- Beauty, a velvet-lined trap – It is perfect here. Brookes babble merrily. Birds sing a slow but cheery song. Soft powdery scents slide through the gentle breeze. The sun shines gently, a perpetual golden haze. Numbing joy fills your every fiber. The ways out are harsh, sharp, and uncomfortable: mazes of thorns that keep turning back to this blessed place. Why would you leave this flowered forest? No task has meaning here.

4- Lust, a strange visitor – Androgynous and achingly beautiful, an ethereal being beckons you from the path. The clinging perfume of honeysuckle and overripe fruit caresses your nose. Desire burns hot in your belly. Hunger flares within your chest. The being will never step towards you; this perfect creature was meant to be pursued.

5- Gluttony, a boisterous bacchanal – In the midst of the food-starved wilds, satyrs and fauns call you by name. Their voices are song, and they dance about great tables. Rough-hewn boards are loaded with piles of sausage and cheese, great jugs of sweet wine, flowing fountains of brown beer, heaps of ripe peaches, many legs of hot ham, great white loaves of buttered bread, cakes of exquisite shapes  scaled in sugared almonds, game birds baked with honey & thyme, and here and there punctuated with candied castles. The feast never ends, and it is very rude to exit before the host gives you leave.

6- Envy, glittering prizes always in another’s grasp – In this place, golden necklaces are scattered about the path, and your companions gather them with ease; all you find is painted lead. When you best shining knights and claim your winnings, their armor and swords turn to rust and dust. Your companions gloat in their new finery.

7- Greed, easy conquest and rich rewards – Here even the shepherds hold kingly jewels. The roughest smith can craft lordly arms. Jeweled dragons are kept as pets like cats. Within this bitterly cold valley, the next village always has better things: finer armor, softer beds, richer brews. And always for a shilling more than you can afford. Gold is easy to find here, but there is never quite enough of it.

8- Wrath, hellish heat and hot rage – It is far too hot here. The vistas slowly shift to reds and yellows. All beings here challenge and belittle you. A knight might ride by and call you craven; he will laugh merrily when you strike him. The very stones whisper your secret failings. Roots and shrubs mock you and titter at every failure. It is all but impossible to stop fighting until all your enemies lie bleeding before you.

9- Sloth, viscous and slow – The air is thick; it pushes back against you like water when you move. It is hard breath unless you are still. Your eyelids droop heavily. Crickets halfheartedly strike up their song. Should you sleep you might never awaken, but you will dream of lazy days and still contentment.


10- Pride, cool success awaits you – The breeze is cold but refreshing. Things come easily here. The grass sings in the wind of your greatness. Even the rudest villages know your name. They sing songs of your glory. Feasts are held in your honor. They’ll beg you not leave. Nothing comes easily in the surrounding hills.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Go Buy Deep Carbon Observatory... Go On Now... Get.


I have been searching for some time now for the perfect words to describe Patrick Stuart’s writing style, to encapsulate in brief his stunningly unique voice; in this, I have failed. However, I keep circling back to two words that I believe will suffice: poetic and ineffable.

Patrick has a way with words notable for both its brevity and hint towards expansiveness. “Kill them. Make them afraid. Explain nothing.” “The water of the river is ripe with life, over-full with predators. Pike and strange pale squid flit to and fro. Cuttlefish can barely be seen; camouflage flows across their pigmented skin like paint. ¶ Upriver, in the distance, rises a column of smoke or grey cloud. The only other signs to mark the sky are carrion birds. Columns of their moving forms make black signals in the grey air, sketching spirals over the accumulated dead.” 2 brief paragraphs, 5 sentences drown an entire valley and kill most of its occupants.

(The assonance, consonance, sibilance, and false rhymes conspire to give the paragraphs far more weight than they could hold at a glance. This prose is so full of prosody that it breaks like the damn and floods the mind with wild and sickening images.

The columns in the sky both mirror and presage the horrible column/ stalactite hanging down into the bleak, black void below.)

Less poetical things to note:

Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) is an 85 pg. adventure on A5-ish sized paper, perfect bound and soft cover. It is greyscale in its entirety. It is stunningly written by Patrick Stewart and evocatively illustrated by Scrap Princess. I was graciously awarded a copy for this review. DCO costs $10 Digital or $13.30 Dead Tree.

The adventure begins in the drowned city of Carrowmore where a series of terrible situations await the PCs. Much has been written about this introduction, and with reason. There are no good paths to choose. The best one can hope for is to save some few of these folk by intensely focusing on achievable objectives.

The manner in which this bewildering array of horribleness is presented is pure genius. That tiny bit of design alone is nearly worth the price of admission.

DCO then moves forward from the very real and very human tragedies of Carrowmore into a surreal and sodden landscape in which the barriers between water and land have been shattered. There are ruthless magical killers, giant lake fauna, ridiculous magi, floating sarcophagi, hydrological golems, corpse filled toads, and much, much more. Several sessions could be spent exploring the valley and the drained lake, depending on how goal-driven vs. curious the PCs may be.

The main show is the Observatory itself. The place feels as though it was produced through time by an esoteric and sadistic society operating under completely alien values to observe an even more alien existence below them.

In case you haven’t decided if Deep Carbon Observatory would be to your taste, here are a few more things from within this slim folio.

  • A result from an encounter chart: “A chunk of Ambergris in the hands of a corpse being attacked by a Giant Carnivorous Platypus.”
  • Slave Spells: “Reduce Scars… Ease Greif”
  • A core sample from a stratum of rock that is actually an infinite reduction of vampire bones.
  • An allusion to this.

There is much more that could be said, but I don’t want rob you of the adventure of reading or playing this thing.

About the Art:

It’s good. It’s all in Scrap Princess’s splintery style. That’s the sort of thing you love or you hate (or you feel another way about). I especially liked the By Frosens, the Neptunium Child, and the Pale Giant. Her style can be viewed here.

Also, the maps are fine, though could have been more clearly labeled considering the size they were ultimately rendered to.  I expect I’ll have no problem using the vertical map of the Observatory proper when I get a chance to run this thing. I’ve ran a few dungeons with only side view maps without any issue.


Oh I’m going to run this fucking thing. I just have to wait until my players level up some and are foolish enough to go to the Feywode. (DCO doesn’t really fit in Fantasy Colonial America, but would work just fine in fairy-land.) Judging by the stat blocks, I’d run this unchanged for parties between levels 3 and 6 depending on the cleverness of the players and the size of the group.

Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth:

Patrick has described the layout of DCO as functional; I believe this is a fair assessment. The utilitarian layout suits the subject matter well enough and everything you might need at any particular moment will be within a couple of pages. Ideally you wouldn’t need to flip more than one page. We'll really you wouldn't have flip around at all in a perfect book, but meh.

The copy I got seems to have a lighter greyish cover rather than the bolder blacks I’ve seen in other copies. All the art is similarly washed-out, which is a shame because I find that Scrap’s style looks best in high contrast.  Though I must add that none of this harms the usability nor my enjoyment of DCO.

Also, I don’t like many of the names. They’re a bit all over the place: some vaguely Mesoamerican, some vaguely Dutch, some just overwrought fantasy names. Really though, the names in a module are the thing I imagine get changed more than anything else, and Patrick’s choices here will work in just as many settings as they wouldn’t.

Overall Verdict:

Go buy this fucking thing… It’s incredibly good and very, very interesting.


As soon as I run it, there will be a play report. Until then,

GO BUY THIS FUCKING THING!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Things from the Feywode


Fey means both strange & otherworldly as well as being marked for death. Wode comes from the Middle English and may refer to wood as a material, wood as in a place with many trees, and finally utter, raging madness. The Feywode has been known by many names:  Álfheimr, Sídhe, Otherworld, and quite possibly Elysium, Hel, and Hades.

Creatures from the Feywode, possibly all living things there, are symbols of human concepts made physically extant.

For instance, goblins are pettiness, but it is hardly that simple. Nothing ever is. One goblin may be the sad satisfaction of a pointless lie believed. Another may be schadenfreude. Still another may be the spiteful bitterness of spurned lovers. Feywode creatures often have an experiential element to what defines them. In a sense they feed off these particular experiences; the creatures exist to perpetuate these feelings and experiences because without these feelings and experiences the creatures would not exist.

Then there are still those things in the Feywode which are even more abstract, godlings and fairy lords and the like. These things have a great deal more power and rarely interact directly with our world. In fact, the more abstract the basis for the being, the more powerful it is, and the less time it is possible for it to exist in our world. This is why one rarely sees Eris floating down the street, but also why world changing things like the Trojan War occur when she deigns to intervene in human affairs.

Suffice it to say, the shifting alliances and labyrinthine politics of the Feywode are a topic best left to scholars more erudite than I.

Other Examples:

There are more types of fairies than there are tears in the ocean. There is a certain affinity to wildness that vaguely ties all the types together, but that very defining trait makes each one stunningly different from the last.

Sugar Plum Fairies – These tiny violet glowing creatures resemble youths with buzzing insect wings on their bare backs. They exist to perpetuate the joys of surprised children; children pleasantly surprised by finding berries in the forest, surprised with small toys from their parents, surprised by
finding candy in unexpected places.

Sprites - This is a broad class of smallish beings that delight in shocking the unwary. Some just tie knots in your hair as you sleep (feeding on your vulnerability and irritation) others, like the will-o’-the-wisp, thrive on false hope fading to despair.

Angels are universally beautiful, but universally dangerous too. Though they represent virtues and graces many of these beautiful concepts cannot exist without being preceded by horrors. There can be no grace under fire without there first being flame. And woe to you who dance with angels of mercy. There is no mercy without a stunning imbalance of power from which to begin.

With demons at least, you’re dealing with something quite direct, usually. Only prudes (and people with more important tasks at hand) need fear beings of lust. Demons of fear and rage and hatred and larceny and other such foul things are at the very least, rarely beautiful. I am not sure what this says about cosmology or virtue or metaphysics; again, I expect scholars wiser than I shall debate this for ages to come.

Gnomes are interesting in that they live entirely in our world. This possibly lends credence to the position that some part of them is actually composed of the frustrations of great men fallen before their work is done.

In conclusion, well, what conclusion can one possible draw on a subject like this? In conclusion, I suppose, there is none.

-

Fraederick Maypole of Merry Mount the II, Chronicler and Occasional Poet.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Failed Save vs. Charm Person

A recent internets discussion got me to thinking about mind control magics, geases, compulsions and the game play mechanics/procedures thereof.

Here’s the short version of what I’ve decided: I don’t ever want to tell a player what his/her character is doing. I may, however, under certain circumstances tell a player how his/her character feels about something.

Fail a save vs. Charm Person:

“You know. You deep down know that this guy is great. His very presence is a joy.”

The rest is up to the player.

Fail a save vs. sylph pheromones*:

“You are drawn to her. You want her. You need her. She is one of the single most attractive beings you have ever met.”

The rest is up to the player.

Approaching the mega-crypt of Blinknod the SOUL-FUCKER!:

“You all feel a deep sense of foreboding: a tightness in the pit of your stomachs, a painful chill runs through your bones, every scar you’ve managed to collect from your years as grave-robbers and monster killers burns with a new vigor…”

Again, player does with his/her character as he/she feels fit.

But oh no people may just ignore this and then do what they want! /s

Yah, I don’t really want to play with somebody that didn’t see potential fun in a new magically induced character foible. In reality, I’ve never actually played with anyone that wouldn’t react to the statements above in some way. So if these people do exist and they play RPGs, fuck ‘em. They aren’t important.

As has been pointed out by many other people, designing games based upon the hypothetical actions of assholes is a shitty way to go about game design.






*Dwarves, of course, get a bonus of +∞ to this save.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Some More Scattered Thoughts

Hey! All my products are on sale for 33% off. That means you could buy everything I'm selling for $1.51. Go get them. Halloween sales don't last forever.

There's the "Wretched Grasp" which is about a terrible quivering glowing monster that hides/hunts in plain sight. Then there's "Little Devils" which is a 1-ish page adventure about tiny, dangerous, annoying child-devil monsters. Finally, there's "Mutations Mutable". It has mutation-y things in it.

---

I ran some Lamentations of the Flame Princess this week. And finally, somebody rolled up a fucking magic-user, a magic-user who failed every single saving throw and got mutated from each of his starting spells. I got to use my MUTATION CHARTS!


The results: Fangs, Fangs, [turn page] Way too high body temperature. Marco, played by my buddy Joe, has a fever of around 107-110° (42-3° for most of the world), all the time. He is physically painful to touch.

Ralfery, the surly ass Dwarf played by my wife, had previously been cursed with skin covered in powdery, flaking pine bark. All because he wouldn't join the cult of an enthusiastic and quite chatty spider.

I started them off in their underoos (well, the Dwarf was naked) as prisoners in the dungeon. Their own equipment having been hidden away in the treasure room.

A selection of quotes:

"Goddamnit, I put on the dress."
"...Battle Boner™..."
"Why is it always gross?"
"The Dwarf is surely dead." ←Followed immediately by the dwarf hollering and thereby confirming his lack of dying.
"I'm going to just sort of bare my fangs and yell to intimidate them."*

*Paraphrased

The adventure itself was The Long Fall by +Matthew Adams. I don't think I can Fuck Yeah! this adventure hard enough. I did make Sgrat a general godthing of vermin rather than rat-spiders, though. I have some spidery things I want to spring on the players later...

It has been a while since I've ran somebody else's adventure. Actually, I've rarely ran any published adventures at all. Let me think. The list reads: That one adventure that takes place below Shadowdale that came with the 2e Realms Boxed set, The B-story from "Dead Gods", "Tomb of Horrors", 1/4 of "Harbinger House", the "Diva Spark" ran from memory after reading it a few weeks beforehand, and "Faction War". Other than those, I just stole bits I liked from various sources.

I think I should step out of my own headspace for D&D a bit more often.

Speaking of, I've got a review copy of "Deep Carbon Observatory" I should be reading instead of sleepily typing this. Unsurprisingly, given that the author is +Patrick Stuart, it is very good. By the way, if you are not following his blog False Machine, fix that error. (While you're correcting this error, you may as well go ahead and read everything by +Arnold K. of Goblin Punch, too.) I will give a full review of DCO once I've read and fully digested it.

---

Also, I've stopped using initiative entirely. Everybody just roles their attacks or casts their spells or whatever all at the same time. Saves a smidge of time in combat, makes things feel a bit more dangerous/chaotic, and leaves the option of mutual annihilation on the table. Thus far I am pleased. I'm not certain the players even noticed.

So yah...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Defining the OSR... Nah, Just Kidding, This One's about Halflings.

Quick Sales Pitch:

My Mutations Mutable supplement is still for sale. It's got 29 distinct mutation types and over 80 specific mutations, plus a first level spell: Creation Unbounded, and three mutation-y magical items: The Returning Vial (sometimes you come back... wrong); The Pipes of Abandon (Do you ever just wanna DANCE? Well you do now!); finally the Stranger's Wand (Hint... the stranger may be in your new reflection). Get it here.

Like this guy but shorter, less neckbeard.


On with the Show:

Halflings are quiet, introspective sorts not given to companionship.

Some scholars suspect that one to two percent of almost all human populations are comprised of halflings, not that most would notice this. Halfling communities, such as they are, are always influenced by the local human culture but remain far more pastoral and contemplative.

Halflings are humanness made small, self-limiting. Solitary walks and contemplative journaling are the very height of entertainment. They are like an entire race of Henry David Thoreaus.

Settlements often spread out across miles of quiet, wholesome countryside. Households are solitary affairs. Married couples keep separate bedrooms and interests. Spouses can go for days without seeing each other. Children move away from home as soon as they are able.

These homesteads take pride in being almost entirely self-reliant. Halflings tend to be masters of make-shift repairs and improvisation. Those few halflings with specialized skills, the type needed by their fellows, often consider their abilities a great but necessary burden.

Though, halflings are not entirely antisocial (else they’d be extinct instead of dwindling). Visiting friends and relatives of an evening is an acceptable and necessary part of the culture. It is then that halflings swap quiet conversations, finished journals, and look for companionable mates. The species must be continued after all; that drive is still in them, dulled though it may be.

Halflings rarely have more than one offspring and almost never more than two. The birth of a third child is a cause for celebration. It will result in the largest mass of individual halflings in a single place (and what is likely to be the single loudest event) in any generation. (Though it is extremely rare, human parents have been known to produce halfling offspring.)

On occasion a halfling will set out for a stroll, and simply never stop meandering. These halflings might be considered quite queer if other halflings really considered these wanderers at all.

“… Oh, have you seen Thimwald of late?”
“No, his house is empty. He had a well-made stove. I carted it off to my place when I saw it going to rust. He must have left.”
“Ah, I see. Well like I was saying, I was under that willow tree, the one Thim wrote about, last night. I’d been looking at the stars for some time when a thought occurred to me. We are much like these stars. Spinning and tilting slowly in fixed positions we can barely begin to comprehend…”

Do not take from this that halflings are some monolithic culture, secretly living the exact same way all across the globe. The traits mentioned above are fairly common to many halfling cultures, those or traits much like them.

For instance, there are places in the Far East where halflings live communally. They spend their lives in painfully close proximity; working, eating, and sleeping within a few feet of their fellows at all times. Mating is handled by lottery, and most of their days follow patterns set centuries beforehand. All the while, they attempt to achieve perfect solitude through meditation and introspection. They bide their whole lives trying to compose their own personal mantra.

In certain other times and sundry places, song, sculpture, lyric poetry, and many other art forms have been driving forces amongst halfling societies. Ancient chroniclers wrote of the aching beauty of halfling tragedies performed on the sacred days. Currently,  most professional ballet troupes will have a halfling or two in their midst.

But do try to remember this, too: not every halfling is the same. Their cultures tend to emphasize individual thought above all else. This has bred as many monsters as it has quiet poets. Let us not forget the blood wake left by the Little Emperor nor the Sapphic vice-laden beauty of the Pale Poet’s unforgettable verses and strange slavish cult.

Halflings are all around us, but you’re not likely to notice. Unless, of course, one of them wants you to, and that is not very likely.

Halflings are unchanged from LotFP standard.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

BERSERKERGANG!

Berserkergang! yet another Cleric Spell.


Level: 1

Duration: One Battle

Saving Throw: None.

Area of Effect: Self.

Ritual:

The Supplicant and 3 doughty warriors from his/her culture must head out into the wilderness (this as much for the tribe’s/clan’s/village’s safety as anything else). The three warriors will take positions forming the points of a broad, equilateral triangle with the Supplicant in the center. After a long silence, the warriors must begin to blow their battle-horns or pound upon their great war-drums in an unceasing cacophony. The Supplicant then will attempt to enter a state of pure battle-frenzy, a place of shear action and absolute rage. Supplicants often scream, hyperventilate, and wildly lay about them with spear, axe, or sword. (It takes [3d20 + Wis Modifier] minutes and a failed Saving Throw vs. Spell to enter this state of frenzy. Succeeding in the Saving Throw, requires another 1d20 minutes and another attempted Saving Throw failure. Drinking alcohol to excess reduces the time needed by 1d20 min. Ingesting hallucinogenic substances also reduces the time needed by 1d20 min and negates the need to fail a Saving Throw. [Drinking mead steeped in psychotropic mushrooms reduces the time needed to frenzy down to 1d20 + Wisdom Modifier minutes).

After the frenzy is entered, the Supplicant is (usually from a distance) anointed in the blood of a predator he/she has killed. Enemy warriors definitely count as predators. The Supplicant must then be choked or beaten unconscious. (That’s why the warriors need to be doughty.) If this is not accomplished within an hour or so, the Supplicant will never be able leave the battle-frenzy. Some claim that the Supplicant will slowly morph into a raging beast with the head of whatever animal’s blood he/she was anointed in. (Which would explain the prevalence of bear-headed ogres in the northern wastes).

Description:
When a character enters into the Berserkergang, his/her consciousness is consumed entirely by adrenaline-soaked bloodlust. He/she will feel absolutely no pain. He/she will be capable of great feats of strength and stunning displays of violence.

While in a berserk state, characters receive a +1 to hit and +4 to damage. They are also considered to have an additional +1 modifier to their Strength scores for performing actions such as busting down doors, lifting portcullises, and throwing big ass rocks at folks.  Additionally they receive no damage as they are hit by enemies. The DM instead notes what damage is to be rolled. (Damage from extreme things like having a boulder dropped on your head or falling into a vat of anti-matter should be rolled immediately. Berserkers aren’t actually invincible.) Berserk characters cannot be healed magically. Finally, Berserk characters receive a +4 to saves against calming or mind-affecting spells (such as Sleep or Feeblemind).


The character cannot exit from the berserk state until the current battle is over. The battle is not considered to be over until all enemies have been slain or are completely out of sight. Once the battle is done, the DM will then roll all damage done to the Berserker at once plus an additional 1d6. The Berserker is probably now dead. C’est la vie. Well, c'était la vie.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

There are Just too Few Mutation Charts





How to use this chart:

Take the 8 of the following mutations you like the most (or hate the least [or whatever]) and cut and paste them into a numbered word/open-office/google-docs/wordpad/etc. document

When mutations occur (and they totally should occur), roll a d8 and a d6.

If the same mutation gets rolled twice, swap it out for one of the extra mutations. 

Generally speaking, the Higher the d6 roll, the more pronounced the mutation.

Mutations typically occur overnight, unless otherwise noted (or it'd be funnier to make it instantaneous).

If you can hide the mutation, unless otherwise noted, reaction roll penalties do not apply.

If you happen to roll the same mutation type more than once, swap it out from the chart for a different mutation.

This was written with LotFP in mind so of course change what needs changed if you're playing some other game for some reason.

Terms:

Replaces – New rolls of this mutation replace the previous versions of this mutation.
Stacks – New Rolls of this mutation stack with the old afflictions.
Reverses – Rolling again means the affliction is reversed.
As Above – Mutation victim suffers from the above listed d6 effects as well.

Mutations:

Player Choice – Player chooses character's mutation. Only roll 1d6. Player must choose based on the short descriptions. Players should never see the chart.


  • Scaled Skin – 1-2  Psoriasis; 3-4 Ichthyosis Vulgaris (often-itchy patches of fish-like scales on skin, -1 to reaction rolls from superstitious folks); 6 Covered in actual fish or reptile scales (+1 to AC and -2 to reaction rolls with normal folks). Replaces.
  • Changed Eyes – 1-4 Unnaturally Colored Iris (Any color of the rainbow, Player Choice); 5-6 Unnaturally Shaped Pupil (Examples: star, hour glass, triangle, snake eyes, cat eyes, goat eyes, etc., DM’s Choice.) Replaces.
  • Dragonfly Stuff – 1-2 Sprout Vestigial Dragonfly Wings (-1 reaction roll from normal folks if hidden, -4 if not hidden); 3-5 Develop Insect Mandibles (-4 reaction roll from normal folks if not hidden, voice takes on a clicking note, 1d3 bite); 6 Shed your silly human-skin (You are an anthropomorphic dragonfly now, -6 to Cha, +2 to AC, Can fly at normal walking rate). Stacks. Ignore rerolls.
  • Changed Mouth – 1-3 Extra Canine (painfully presents itself overnight, sleep is impossible); 4-5 All teeth are now pointed (-1 to reaction rolls with normal folk); 6 No lips! (-2 to reaction rolls from normal folks, slurred words, drooling constantly). Stacks. #4-6 Reverses.
  • Boils – 1d6 never healing boils. Must be periodically lanced to relieve pressure.
  • Colored Skin – 1 Faint (Barely noticeable in full sunlight, Any color of the rainbow, Player’s Choice); 2-4 Significant (Noticeable in decent lighting, Any color of the rainbow, Player’s Choice); 5-6 Bold (Noticeable in any lighting, Any Color, DM’s Choice). Replaces.
  • Extra Finger – 1-2 Extra finger on one hand (-1 reaction rolls with normal folks); 3-4 Extra finger on both hands (-1 reaction rolls with normal folks); 5 Sickle-like claw grows on outside of one wrist (1d4 damage, -4 reaction rolls with normal folks); 6 Scorpion stinger grows on the back of one hand (1d2 damage, Sv vs. Poison or additional 1d8 damage and stunned for 1d4 rnds, -4 reaction rolls with normal folks). Stacks. 
  • Flesh pockets – Develop 1d6 flesh pocks. Replaces (1d6 new flesh pockets develop, the others close, objects inside them are now embedded inside the mutatee).
  • Bat or Flying Squirrel Stuff – When this is rolled the mutatee must choose either Bat or Squirrel. This decision cannot be revoked. 1-3 Develops Bat or Squirrel fleshed skin flaps hanging from wrists to knees and lightened bones (-4 reaction rolls from normal folks, -4 to Con, can glide for no damage from drops of at least 40 feet with at least 80 feet of horizontal movement); 4-5 Body is now covered in Bat or Squirrel flesh; 6 Vocal chords are replaced with Bat or Squirrel vocal chords (Mutatee can now only screech (bat) or chirp and bark (squirrel), if bat was chosen then the mutatee can Scream 1/turn [Beings with hearing must Sv or be stunned for 1d2 rounds]). As Above. Replaces.
  • Motile Vines – Sprout 1d6 motile vines (Int check to control the vines’ slow and clumsy movement, DM’s Choice as to location, -1 to reaction rolls from normal folk [-4 if they can tell that these are growing from the caster and not worn], reduction in ration needs by 10% if mutatee is in sunlight for 4 hours that day.) Stacks.
  • Egg Laying – These wizard eggs have a 50% chance of being “normal” eggs, 25% chance of giving the consumer mild prophetic visions, and a 25% chance of being poison (1d4 damage and wretch for 1d4 rnds, sv for ½ damage). 1-4 Lays one egg, immediately; 5 Lays an egg when frightened; 6 Lays an egg daily. Replaces.
  • Snake Tongue – 1-3 Tongue is way too long; 4-5 Tongue is forked; 6 Actual snake’s tongue (can taste the air now, +1/6 for searching where smell is relevant, the snake whose tongue you have hates you, it will find you eventually). As Above. Replaces.
  • Extra Mouth – These generally bitchy mouths can be painfully sewn or stapled shut, but only with silver, gold, or iron. 1  Stomach (this mouth literally grumbles whenever the mutatee is hungry); 2  Above Genitals (complains when mutatee has not had sex lately, gives terrible advice); 3 Palm (1d3 bite-slap, complains about the flavor of whatever is being held); 4 Tongue (this extra mouth has very sensitive taste buds resulting in a restricted diet, will loudly complain if this restricted diet is ignored); 5 Chest (speaks whenever the mutatee has strong feelings, often in the form of terrible poetry); 6 Pate (speaks the mutatee’s inner monologue aloud). Stacks. Rerolls reverse.
  • Multiples – Mutatee splits amoeba-like into multiple smaller copies of him/herself. These copies each have the complete memories, goals, motivations, etc. of the original mutatee. Completely consuming a copy restores that much mass and stats to the unconsumed wizard. If anything other than spilt blood is not eaten, there is no effect. It’s likely best just to boil ’em whole in a big pot, just to be sure. 1-4 Twain (physical Stats [Str, Dex, Con] are split between the copies [round up]); 5-6 Triplicate (physical Stats are split between the copies [round down]).



Other things to say:

You can totally throw in your own creations or your favorite purloined mutations into this, duh (and why wouldn't you?).

Also...

I'm selling a mutation focused supplement, with a much more expansive version of this chart.

Blurb:

"Creation, Life, Chaos, Death, Beauty, Mutation, Change, and Destruction: These are one in the same. Do not fight your fate. Do not tempt the multi-verse. Nothing has permanence. Learn instead to love this mutable world and the unique opportunities it can provide you. Learn to love your mutable and oh so plastic new form. Grow...

Mutations Mutable is a rotating mutations chart geared towards old school play. You'll also find details on a strange new spell and a few mutagenic magical items. Constancy is the hobgoblin of little minds or something like that... Hobgoblins are meant to be slain."

Get it here.

Enjoy the Weird.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Bard Mark II [electric boogaloo]

So before I get into rehashing my version of the Bard for LotFP, I'd like to throw out a couple brief ideas.

1 - I have a bit of a problem. I don't get to roleplay as often as I'd like too. Neither do most of the people that I play with in person. I want my players to be able to advance characters but also to be able tryout a bunch of different classes and character concepts. So, I thought to myself, why not just let the players get the experiences points. 

Say your character "Brenda the Elf" has earned 1700 xp over the past 3 sessions, and she is still lvl 1. You show up to the 4th session and have a really cool idea for a Specialist character. You roll up "Thim the Specialist" and since you have 1700 xp, he is a lvl 2 Specialist. During this session you do something preposterously clever and wind up with 1300 xp, bringing your total xp to 3000. Next time you play, Brenda can come back from foreign climes as a level 2 Elf or you could choose to play Thim the too-clever level 3 Specialist (or roll up another character starting with 3000 xp.) If, however, the character you are currently playing dies, you lose all your xp. So if Thim dies, Brenda does too (or comes back as a lvl 1 Elf again [because of time warps or negative energy or magic or whatever]).

This is not a genius idea. It's too simple for somebody else to not have thought of it. There's probably a better version of it somewhere out in the wilds of the internet. Feel free to point me in that direction.

2 - Chaos (alignment), Change, Creation, and Destruction are all the same thing. Law (alignment), Order, Stagnation, and Authoritarianism are all the same thing. The only alignment that's really in Humanity's best interest is Neutral... Discuss.

Anyway, on to that class that everybody hates but I fucking love.

the above by William Blake

This is my version of the Bard after some reconsideration. It’s written with Lamentations of the Flame Princess in mind.

Who is this?
This is the person who knows that a well-placed smile or just the right words have far more power than a sword or a spell. He/she can pick up on very subtle social cues, and always seems to know the right things to say.

Bards are also typically performers of some kind: whether the formal recitation of epic poetry, erotic dance, historical lecture, proselytizing, playing an instrument, juggling, gossip, or anything in between.

Examples: Skalds, Troubadours, Warrior-Poets, Master Manipulators, Cult Leaders, Mountebanks, Wandering Minstrels, Con Artists, Savvy Politicians, Libertines, and Charming Rapscallions.

Advancement - As Specialist
Hit Dice - 1d6 – Minimum 3 HP
BAB - +1
Saving Throw/s - As Cleric
Alignment - Any

Class Abilities :

Preposterously Charming - Bards have a permanent +2 on all Reaction Rolls (in addition to whatever bonus his/her Charisma may provide).

Inspire - Once per day per level, Bards can provide a bonus* to a single action attempted by a companion. For every +1 given the Bard must spend 1 minute boosting the confidence of his/her companion. This can take the form a few words and a pat on the back, a brief recounting of a cultural hero's accomplishments, a well-chosen greeting card, or anything in between. The Bard can opt to give less than the full bonus as time-saving measure.
For Specialist skills, have the character roll two dice and take the better of the two.
*Inspired Bonus by Level
Lvl     Bonus
1-2      +1
3-4      +2
5+       +3

Mesmerizing Performance – Beginning at level three, once per day Bards can use a performance to achieve the equivalent of a Charm Person spell. Only a single sapient creature with at least neutral regards towards the performer can be affected. The affected need not understand the language of the performance (if any), unless language is somehow key to the performance. For instance, the movements of a dancer are obviously not language specific and even a poet could possibly rely on the rhythm and sound of his works to woo across languages; however, for a gossip or a lecturing professor, language would remain a barrier.

You probably don't want to play this class if...

  • your group never uses reaction rolls. 
  • even sapient monsters are always considered hostile.
  • you don't want to talk your way through the campaign world.

(I really like Gnomes, too. I guess I'll never be one of the cool kids.)

Also, my adventure is totally... not on sale anymore. It will cost you a pittance more. Please buy it anyway. I think it's pretty cool. Also, you can totally preview all the important parts of it, to make sure you will think it is cool, too. (You will... [maybe]). Anyway, it is here.

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

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I Like Kobolds

Just take a look at those ridiculous little lizard dogs. You just know their language is full of yelps and snarls. They sort of seem like slapstick incarnate, and in some ways I guess they kind of are. They yelp and run and essentially throw marbles and banana peels in your way. They're weak and cowardly but, by necessity, clever.

For instance, their traps take on some damn interesting, innovative, and ill conceived components from time to time. Those are the ones that get remembered (these faulty, Rube-Goldbergian machinations), because somebody walked away from them. Just as often kobold traps are brutally, viciously efficient, but most don't walk away from those. (If some do, the story's not as likely to get passed around at the dives murderous hobos frequent.)

All kobold warrens are heavily trapped. Kobolds are weak, singularly and not that strong in numbers. Kobolds are viscerally aware of this fact. It is ingrained in their culture. It is an inescapable, basic truth. We are weak; we must not be slow. We are not mighty; we must be clever.

Kobolds prize inventiveness and surreptitiousness above all else. (Elsewise the Kobolds likely would no longer exist in a world of humans and ogres and other fearsome things.)

Kobolds do not fight to the death*. They will flee (or try at least). Fleeing is central to their very way of life. They own almost nothing that cannot be worn or tossed into a sack while running.

Typically, their abodes are extemporaneous, utilitarian, and devoid of decoration. They adorn themselves instead. Body modifications, garish clothing, and jewelry (when it can be had) are wildly popular amongst kobolds. It is not unheard of to find that beneath all the filth, a kobold is wearing robes of the finest silk, filched from some wizard's estate. Perhaps the sack carried by another is actually an elaborately stitched tapestry, missing from the priory, oh these many years.

Ya, Kobolds will steal. They'll steal anything not nailed down that might be useful. (Given enough time, the nails won't stop them either.) They don't see it as theft, though, merely survival. If kobolds happen across your  fields, you'll lose 1/3 of your crop at the most, typically less. They don't steal, really; they gather, and they scavenge.

Now, don't get me wrong, they are monsters. When a kobold clan moves into the area and takes 1/4 of your flock and a 1/3 of your garden, you might not make it through the winter. That's monstrous.

But, keep in mind, a human menace would probably take all of both, and your daughters too.


* When they've failed utterly and have no way out, Kobolds will of course fight tooth and nail to live or protect their young. They probably won't be fighting to kill or for vengeance or anything like that, though. They'll probably just be fighting for a chance to run.

----

BONUS CLASS

LotFP Kobolds

Exactly as Halflings buuut, the 5/6 to Stealth in the wilderness becomes a 5/6 Tinkering when setting up traps. The 3/6 Bushcraft becomes 3/6 Stealth. Also everybody probably hates you.

----

Hey, if you are looking for slapstick monsters, check out Little Devils. It's a one page dungeon I wrote and statted-up for LotFP. It's still on sale because I forgot to un-on-sale it. There's a preview there on Drive-thru that pretty much gives everything away, so check it out, yo.


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

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.

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 roleplay a zealot.
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.