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.



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.