Tuesday, August 11, 2020

A table of Spanish names

Tanto monta, monta tanto, Isabel como Fernando

Is your party in Castile? Aragon? The manifold colonies along the Empire on which the Sun does not Set? Herewith a table of Spanish names to anchor your NPCs and come off all prepped and stuff.

By all means, kill your darlings... but by golly, name them first!

Monday, July 27, 2020

A table of French names

A fellow Lamenter on the official Facebooks asked for a French name generator. Little did he know I already had one made up for a module I wrote...

Whether your game takes place in Weird France, Weird Wallonia, the Way of Saint James, the Caribbean or other lands Francophones roam, you know your players will want to pin the name on the NPC Frenchie.

So, to Brotherhood! To Bluster! To Bloodshed!

A 2d12 table of names that are French

Caveat: I am not a French speaker, so do let me know if something here is way off.

*Moustache twirling intensifies*

Sunday, July 26, 2020

A table of Polish names

My good friend Andrew Knapp recently ran me and two other players through a three-shot set in Weird 17th century Poland. It was an excellent module, full of small town intrigue and fickle folktale creatures and apparitions. So, I was inspired to make...

A 2d20 table of male and female Polish names

(I can't for the life of me figure out tables on Blogger so you'll have to put up with the screenshot version for the moment)


- Not all of these are 17th-century vetted, but I did purposefully go with more old fashioned and rare names in many cases, to create that "reality effect".
- Versions in parentheses are diminutives, used as nicknames.
- Female family names with two versions: the first one on the left is for unmarried women (maiden name), the second on the right for married and widowed women (married name).
- I am not a Polish speaker. If something here is way off, do let me know.

Don't forget to leave a generous offering for your Domovoi when you go off adventuring!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Mythical Greece with LotFP

It's hard to beat the Oddysey and Illiad when it comes to poetic carnage, and it's hard to beat Lamentations of the Flame Princess when it comes to DnD. So why not both?

Herewith a few house rules to play LotFP in Mythical Ancient Greece.

- Spears do 1d8, Javelins do 1d6.
- Reskin all other weapons and armor to fit the setting. Art of the period is really helpful in this regard, and it is all over google.
- If the characters are in the army, everybody gets a spear, javelin, shield, helmet (+1 AC) and sidearm (most likely a short sword) by default. See below for other armor.

Demihumans are ok, but they are basically human in appearance and they are reskinned as demigods:

- Elf: one Olympian parent
- Halfling: child of a dryad and a human father
- Dwarf: child of Hephaestos and a human mother.

A "Dwarf" can choose to train in Tinkering instead of Architecture and takes half damage (rounded down) from non-magical heat. Extra style points if you have some kind of physical deformity.

The default body armor is a breastplate (AC 14, counts as an oversized item).

- If you are playing a Human or "Halfling", you have a 1 in 10 chance of owning a breastplate.
- If playing an "Elf", the chances are 3 in 10.
- If playing a "Dwarf", the chances are 8 in 10.

Choose a patron deity (if "Demihuman", this will be your divine parent), an appropriate name, epithet and parentage (I encourage stealing liberally from Homer and his contemporaries) and you are good to go. Sing, flame-haired muse, the miseries of your player characters!

I've put together a small module based on the Illiad that I've used to playtest this hack to many deaths, shits and giggles. I may publish it at some point so it shall remain hush-hush for now, but in the meantime feel free to use these house rules for your own homebrew, your shameless thieving of the Greeks (what are they gonna do, rise from their graves and sue you?), _____ of the Unknown, Bad Myrmidon, you name it.

(If running a multi-session game, you might want to tie XP to Fame in addition to treasure.)

Now go forth and referee until they all fall to the ground, their armor clattering!

My systems and their playtests to date

These are my systems. There are many like them, but these ones are mine.

Last year I wrote two and a half systems. This post is about the two that I wrote all by my lonesome.

Don't Sleep! There are Snakes is a one-page system. I wrote it in under two hours on an ennui-filled night and published it on a fresh drivethrurpg publisher account the next day. It is based on a single D100 resolution mechanic (originally a Tim "Samwise Seven" Harper idea).

The basic concepts of the system are simplicity, player skill (roleplay over character sheet) and a single physical attribute that doubles as hitpoints.

The system is available on Drivethrurpg as Pay-What-You-Want. I had a lot of fun playtesting it a couple months ago using a pulp 1930s adventure of my own design titled The Golden Lion below Sacsahuamán. I plan to self-publish that adventure in a form easily used with either this system or your Old School game of choice, so the recording of the session remains private for now. Don't Sleep! There are Snakes made for quick play, holding up well to the stress-test in my opinion.

Any similarity to the professor's exploits is "purely" "coincidental".

The Thulean Hack was written on another restless evening and is based on the skeleton of The Black Hack. It is my attempt at taking some ideas from Myfarog 2.6 and reimagining them in the spirit of the old school style of play.

The basic points differentiating this system from Black Hack are:

- Constitution as Hit Points, which makes first-level PCs more beefy but severely curtails level creep
- Differentiating the playable classes even more, including making the Warrior much better at combat than every other class, and strongly tying the classes into the setting
- Willpower replaces Wisdom, the morale mechanic being Willpower-based and affecting PCs as well as NPCs, possibly severely
- Shields make you harder to hit
- A freeform magic system encouraging player improvisation and tied to burning Intelligence.

The system has been playtested twice so far:

The first game on that list was based on my version of the Myfarog 3.0 setting. Myfarog 3.0 is rules-wise practically identical to 2.7, itself an errata version of 2.6. The setting, originally based on European barbarian antiquity, has however been turned on its head by an apocalyptic event laying waste to all major civilized settlements. While this inversion can be summed up in a blog post and hardly justifies publishing a new edition of the game, I found its post-apocalyptic fantasy premise very intriguing. I combined it with a creature from Dolomite folklore, the Anguana, and ran with it.

The second playtest was ran by my friend Ethan and was based on Native American myth from the upper Midwest.

All in all The Thulean Hack played pretty painless. This proves, at the very least, that Black Hack is hard to fuck up.

If you play these systems yourself, let me know how it went!

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Dark Sun with LotFP

A common question I hear asked about Lamentations of the Flame Princess is if it is easy to use with other settings. To which I answer with a resounding YES.

Dark Sun is my favorite TSR DnD setting, and it is naturally a good marriage with LotFP, with its unforgiving approach to lethality and its openness to the possibilites and dangers of Weird Magical Horror.

In the last couple years I ran a few sessions in the setting. Out of those games, and inspiration from Adventures in Parn and the original 2e box set, and in collaboration with Marquis Hartis, I put together the following document. If you use it, let me know how your Lamentations through Athas went!

Friday, July 17, 2020

Gondor calls for aid

Lamentations of the Flame Princess, DnD-adjacent indie publisher extraordinaire, is in serious financial trouble at the moment. Below is what you -yes, you- can do about it.

Due to a confluence of unfortunate factors, most of them outside of James Raggi's control, LotFP finds itself in some serious debt, to the tune of several tens of thousand euro. Among these unfortunate circumstances are:

- A hike in Finnish postal service prices
- Canceled projects and canceled reprints due to fallout from the Zak S controversy, and
- The temporary closing of the US webstore (now reopened) among other pandemic-related distribution hurdles and canceled conventions.

All of these things made 2019 and the first half of 2020 a very bad stretch for LotFP sales, which in turn made it very difficult to repay the company's business loans.

In a gamble for the future of the company, Raggi has put out four new books:

The Deck of Weird Things, a campaign supplement (limited edition)
Fermentvm Nigrvm Dei Sepulti (Black yeast of god's grave), an adventure
Big Puppet, another adventure
Adventure Anthology Blood, a bible-sized adventure compendium comprising several out-of-print LotFP books (The Grinding Gear, Hammers of the God, Weird New World, No Dignity in Death: The Three Brides, and People of Pembrooktonshire) with all-new layout and 100% new art by Kelvin Green.

I bought all four last Monday on release day. Since the PDF versions become available as soon as the order is completed, I was able to peruse all four books, especially The Deck of Weird Things, which I incorporated into my weekly game last Tuesday.

Every one of these books has my ardent recommendation and I consider them money well spent. I will write up a proper review of Deck of Weird Things in the near future.

To get more details about the books, their pricing, and a more thorough account of the financial situation, I encourage you to go here and get it from the horse's mouth.

(There's also new T-shirts)

Some important considerations if you want to take the plunge and help an indie brother out:

- If you want to support the company financially, buying from the official webstores is much better than buying from Amazon or other venues.
Fermentvm, Big Puppet and Blood are available on both the US and EU stores, but Deck and the fancy slipcase for the Blood, Fire and Death Adventure Anthologies are only available from the EU store. However, if you get Deck and use the promo code WEIRD (case-sensitive) at checkout, the shipping on the entire order is free. This is a great opportunity to get you some stuff from the EU store without having to pay those pesky Finnish post prices!
- Some books at the EU store are very low in stock (Broodmother Skyfortress, Isle of the Unknown) and some are limited editions (Midvinter) or will not be reprinted (Blood in the Chocolate, Vornheim, Frostbitten and Mutilated). That, coupled with the fact that the near future is not likely to see reprints of any book (since new product sells better and faster than reprints), makes this a very good time to feed your Lamentations collection.
- Log into the store and add your shipping address to your account to get the correct price displayed. By default, prices at the EU store include VAT, but if you are outside Europe the price will not include that tax.
- If Finland will not ship to your country at the moment because of Covid, there is a workaround. See the official LotFP Facebook group for help.

In short, if you want to see Lamentations of the Flame Princess continue to put out outstanding products, go buy some of these outstanding books right now!