Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Flame Prïncess Cult, a LotFP zine


Old School Hero Jeff Rients has edited a LotFP zine going on issue #6 at the time of this posting. It features writing by Jeff, Zak S, Tim Harper, yours truly and many, many other creative Lamentations enthusiasts. The issue that sees the most time at my Tuesday game table is number 3, but every single one of them is worth your while.

Brook no delay and go download and print off your copies right now!

Flame Prïncess Cult

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Shakespearean Fight minigame


A ragged youth enters.

YOUTH: Let each man do his best. And here you draw a sword, / Whose temper you intend to stain / With the best blood that you can meet withal / In the adventure of this perilous day. (Henry IV part I 5.3.96-99)

He exits.

A Shakespearean Fight is cinematic, dramatic, and primarily punctuated by dialogue. This minigame generates opponents, dispositions (reactions), initiative, and a progression leading to a result, optionally (read: optimally) death. This game, besides of course the Bard, takes inspiration from Venger Satanis and Eric Holmes. Every mechanic in the game is resolved by a roll on a d6.

To begin, Shakespearean names are generated (see Names table below). Then, players roll to determine their disposition towards one another (see Reactions table). Then initiative is rolled, the highest number going first.

Each round of combat represents an exchange of blows and at least one exchange of lines of dialogue. See tables below for some dialogue options. Both players always exchange blows, even if the lower in initiative is declared dead after being wounded by his opponent. This makes it possible for even the victor to die before the duel is done.

When rolling an attack, interpret the results thus:

1. Abject failure. Roll on Missing. Opponent rolls on Taunt. Optional Retort.

2. Miss. Roll on Missing. Opponent can Retort.

3. Inconclusive, barely miss. Opponent rolls Laud. Optional Retort.

4. Inconclusive, barely hit, no Wound. Roll on Taunt or Retort, opponent rolls on opposite.

5. Hit, causes Wound. Roll on Taunt. Opponent can Retort.

6. Impressive hit, causes Wound. Opponent rolls Laud. May roll Taunt or Retort, if former, opponent Retorts.

If wanting to keep things basic, a player dies after being wounded twice (roll Death, followed by survivor rolling Elegy).

However, the table is encouraged to lengthen the fight as long as may prove dramatic by making the wound threshold higher, either by consensus or by Stage Director decision. Note that doing this raises the threshold for both players.

This game does not strictly require a stage director (GM). If it includes one, then he will participate in the description of the attack roll results, and of other scenery happenings, etcetera.

Once more onto the tables!

Names (trochaic)

1. Duncan

2. Malcolm

3. Percy

4. Seyton

5. Osric

6. Fabian


1. Abject hate

2. Bloody vengeance

3. Derision/Condescension

4. Curiosity/Challenge

5. Respect

6. Great admiration


1. Opponent says as an aside: O, this boy lends mettle to us all! (Henry IV part I 5.4.24)

2. (Defeatedly) I was adored once too. (Twelfth Night 2.3)

3. Opponent says: By my soul, I never in my life / Did hear a challenge urged more modestly, / Unless a brother should a brother dare / To gentle exercise and proof of arms. (Henry IV part I 5.2.54-57)

4. Come, sir, I will not let you go. (Twelfth Night 4.1.38)

5. Opponent says: Thou wouldst be great, / art not without ambition, but without / the illness should attend it. (Macbeth 1.5.18-20)

6. Either thou I best, / Or else my sword with an unbattered edge / I sheathe again undeeded. (Macbeth 5.7.23-25)


1. Then yield thee, coward, / and live to be the show and gaze o' th' time. (Macbeth 5.8.27-28)
2. My voice is in my sword, thou bloodier villain / Than terms can give thee out. (Macbeth 5.8.9-10)
3. 'Sblood, you starveling, you elf-skin, you dried neat's tongue, you bull's pizzle, you stock-fish! (Henry IV Part I 3.4)
4. A weasel hath not such a deal of spleen as you are toss’d with. (Henry IV Part 1 2.3)
5. Get thee to a nunnery. (Hamlet 3.1)
6. I prithee, Harry, withdraw thyself. Thou bleedest / too much. (Henry IV part I 5.4.1-2)


1. Yet I will try the last. Before my body / I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, you fool, / And damned be him that first cries "Hold! Enough!" (Macbeth 5.8.37-39)
2. But, seeing thou fall’st on me so luckily, / I will assay thee. And defend thyself. (Henry IV part I 5.4.33-34)
3. Full bravely hast thou fleshed / Thy maiden sword. (Henry IV part I 5.4.132-133)
4. What, is it a time to jest and dally now? ((Henry IV part I 5.4.59)
5. And God forbid a shallow scratch should drive / one such as I from such a field as this. (Henry IV part I 5.4.11-12)
6. What, what? Nay, then, I must have an ounce or two of this malapert blood from you. (Twelfth Night 4.1.44-45)


1. Turk Gregory never did such deeds in arms as you have done this day. (Henry IV part I 5.3.48-49)
2. Come, my young soldier, put up your iron. You are well fleshed. Come on. (Twelfth Night 4.1.38-40)
3. (As an aside) Pray God defend me! (Twelfth Night 3.4.314)
4. Thou dost fight masterly. / My life upon't, young though thou art. (Twelfth Night 2.4.25-26)
5. O Douglas, hast thou fought at Holmedon thus, / I never had triumphed upon a Scot. (Henry IV part I
6. As easy may I the intrenchant air / With my keen sword impress as make you bleed. (Macbeth 5.8.12-13)


1. The earthy and cold hand of death lies on my tongue: no, Percy, thou art dust, and food for-- (Henry IV part I)
2. The rest is silence. (Hamlet)
3. O, I am slain! (Hamlet)
4. Now my spirit is going; / I can no more. (Antony and Cleopatra)
5. Thou know'st 'tis common; all that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity. (Hamlet 1.2)
6. The foul practice hath turn'd itself on me. Lo, here I lie. Never to rise again. (Hamlet 5.2)


1. Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier's debt. / He only lived but til he was a man, / The which no sooner had his prowess confirmed / In the unshrinking station where he fought, / But like a man he died. (Macbeth 5.8.44-48)
2. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. (Twelfth Night 2.5)
3. Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. (Macbeth 5.5)
4.To die, to sleep / To sleep, perchance to dream - ay, there's the rub / For in this sleep of death what dreams may come. (Hamlet 3.1)
5. Fare thee well, great heart / Ill-weaved ambition, how much art thou shrunk! / When that this body did contain a spirit, / A kingdom for it was too small a bound, / But now two paces of the vilest earth / is room enough. (Henry IV part I 5.4.89-94)
6. Dissolve, thick cloud, and rain, that I may say / The gods themselves do weep! / So, fare thee well. / Now boast thee, Death, in thy possession lies / A lad unparalleled. Downy windows, close, / (he closes his opponent's eyes) And golden Phoebus, never he beheld / Of eyes again so royal. (Antony and Cleopatra 5.2.354-355,374-378)

This post was made as part of a group project for a University course. Consulted works include the quoted plays and the card game Great Shakespearean Deaths. Many thanks to Tyler and Natavie for valuable input.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

MYFAROG: an edition comparison


This is a straight up comparison between MYFAROG 2.6, 3.0 and 4.0 with a little bit of critique/editorializing thrown in. I do not own 1.x so that will not be included; the few things I say about the first edition are all second-hand knowledge so let me know if I got anything wrong.

Basics & tldr bullet list

- The game has had four numbered versions to date. Version 1 and further tweaked versions numbered 1.x were released as limited print runs and are all sold out.

- Version 2 was a rules overhaul intended to streamline the game and fix some bugbears. It also included some relatively minor changes to the setting. The mechanics changes were significant, and as is usually the case, these changes came with their own problems, of which the 2.6 release was an attempt at addressing. 2.7 is simply an errata version of 2.6.

- A number of splatbooks with optional rules and gameable content came out around the age of Version 2. The version 2 corebook and splats were released as POD through Amazon and are no longer available.

- Version 3.0 included a big apocalyptic twist to the setting, including the addition of many Tolkienesque/D&D tropes. It also featured some mechanics changes, most notably with playable races and the magic system. This version was also released through Amazon and is also no longer available, making versions 1 through 3.0 only available through secondary markets.

- From version 3.0 on, all the splatbook stuff is included in the corebook.

- Versions 3.3 and 4.0 (the second is an errata version of the first with different cover art) are currently available from Amazon and feature changes to the core mechanics intended to further streamline the game, as well as more setting changes, which reverse the apocalyptic event of 3.0 but preserve the Tolkien/D&D elements.


Base resolution mechanic: 3d6 + mods (roll high) against a target number.

Combat/other mechanics:

Simulationist, HEMA-inspired bent. Using Conan or Wuxia logic will get you killed in a big hurry. PCs trained in combat are significantly better at it than those who are not. Attacking an unwitting or helpless target is extremely unforgiving for the target. Armor absorbs damage, shields make it harder for you to get hit. Fighting prowess helps with defense as well as offense. A lot of rolling during combat if using most of the subsystems.

Morale subsystem which also affects PCs. Slow healing. Somewhat crunchy encumbrance system. Big emphasis on survivalism and travel.


Thule is based on folklore going back to European Barbarian Antiquity, think Frazer's The Golden Bough, Tacitus, European folktales, pre-Christian paganism and animism and a bunch of original research. Feels very different from D&D, Tolkien, and other Appendix-N type fantasy. There is a clear emphasis on Germanic barbarians, but room is left for further tailoring.

Every player option mechanic hooks deep into the setting, particularly Life Stance.

The game uses Proto-Norse for a lot of names of setting-related stuff, Proto-Norse being assumed by the game to be the Thulean common language. 

The game bestiary is again heavily influenced by European folklore, which is evident in the terminology, which is again different from D&D and Tolkien. As an example, in the game, the name for undead is "troll" ("screamer"), while the name for giants, dragons and other session-ending beasts is "ettin" ("giant").

While there are also clear influences from Lovecraft and the Roadside Picnic novel, the setting is very unique when compared to other RPGs.

Player options:

Races: Native, Elf-born, Deity-born, Fairling, Wood Elf race-class. Arbi and Khemetian (both foreign to the default setting) as PCs possible but the book does not recommend it.

Social Classes: Noble, Freeman, Thrall, Outlaw.

Life stances: Traditional, Religious. These basically refer to the character's worldview in regards to mysticism (animism vs polytheism).

Classes: Bacchante/Maenead, Bard, Berserk/Valkyrie, Ranger (Religious only), Sorcerer (Traditional only), Civilian, Stalker, Trickster, Warrior.

The game also mechanically takes into account Cultural Background (i.e. regional origin within Thule) and PC sex.


A Traditional caster (Sorcerer) picks an element at character creation (Earth/Wind/Fire/Water/Spirit) which will limit the spells he can cast. Religious casters (every other spellcasting class) have more options but are to an extent limited by the spells their Deity can cast.


The base resolution mechanic, as well as combat etc, are virtually unchanged from 2.7. An exception to this is stat modifiers.

The new setting does not rewrite the prior one but advances it thousands of years into the future, after a worldwide apocalyptic event. All permanent settlements of old have been swallowed by Jötunnheimr (the ettin-fog EtunahaimaR from previous editions) and are now populated only by hordes of wraiths. Fairlings, Arbis and Khemetians have disappeared. The Deities have left. Magic is rarer.

The common language is now Old Norse. Only the elves speak Proto-Norse.

The weapon and armor options reflect a later historical time, more like Early Middle Ages than Antiquity.

Character options:

Social Class and Cultural Background are removed from the game, though outlawry is still mentioned. Life Stances stay the same.

Races: Elf (Wood Elf, race-class), Halfling (race-class), Common Man, High Man, Lesser Man. Dwarf, Gnome, Common Orc, Goblin, Half-Orc, Hobgoblin, Ogre as PC race-classes possible but the book does not recommend it.

Classes: Bacchante/Maenead and Berserk/Valkyrie are removed.


Spell list reworked. Sorcerous casting is more versatile (Sorcerers do not have to pick an element at character creation), but this is somehow limited by stat modifiers. Wil is less important and Int is more important for spellcasting. Favor Points and Divine Aid removed, Sorcerers no longer spend Stamina to cast. Sorcerous and Religious spellcasting is made more similar: every spell must be learned regardless of the class of the caster, effectively nerfing the versatility of Religious spellcasters. New specific spells tied to the race-classes.


Base resolution mechanic: d20 + mods (roll high) against a target number.

Combat/other mechanics:

Attacking unwitting or helpless targets is nerfed. Armor no longer absorbs damage but instead makes it harder for you to get hit. Fighting prowess now only helps with offense. Because attacks are rolled on a d20, it is now easier to roll attack, damage, cut and shock simultaneously with a big handful of dice.

Consequences of failed morale rolls linger longer. Encumbrance system reworked. Travel while encumbered is harder. Character Size simplified. Other miscellaneous mechanics are cut down/simplified especially regarding combat and character creation. Stat modifiers as in 3.0.


The common language and the equipment options stay similar to 3.0.

The apocalyptic event of 3.0 is retconned, but this setting assumes a time period at least centuries after 2.x. There are no Fairlings, Arbis or Khemetians. In essence, this is is an Early Medieval, Tolkien-like setting considerably more similar to traditional D&D fantasy.

Player options:

Life Stance is removed from the game. Social Class and Cultural Background stay removed.

Races: Dwarf, Gnome, Grey Elf, Half-Elf, High Elf, Wood Elf, Halfling (race-classes), Common Man, High Man, Lesser Man.

Classes: Bacchante/Maenead and Berserk/Valkyrie stay removed.


The changes from 3.0 remain, but PCs can learn twice as many spells, it is easier to learn more powerful ones, and learning of spells of different elements by Sorcerers is easier since it does not depend on stat modifiers.

What is to be done? (editorial)

MYFAROG 2.6 was responsible for seriously getting me into TTRPGs in my adult life after a brief stint as a young teenager. The game has always had some good mechanical ideas, but what really drew me in was the setting and how unique it was.

When I bought 3.0 I wasn't wowed. Setting-wise, though the apocalyptic idea was intriguing, I didn't like the shift towards Tolkien; we already have MERP for crunchy Tolkien. And in regards to the core mechanics it was basically the same game except for Magic. The "Deities have left" and "Sorcery is rarer" concepts also didn't really hook into the mechanics as much or make perfect sense with the rest of the setting.

Now that I have a copy of 4.0 in my hands, I'm happy to see the core mechanics changes and I think I'm gonna like trying them out, but I'm really not pleased with the direction the setting is taking. In my mind the special element of MYFAROG has always been Thule, not the rules. I think these setting changes significantly water down Thule. The change from Proto-Norse to Old Norse, for example, makes some sense given that the timeline has been advanced, but moves the setting from a more general Barbarian feel to a specific Viking feel. Doing away with Cultural Backgrounds has the same effect. Details matter.

If I went back to running MYFAROG, I would take the 4.0 changes to the core mechanics and port them back to the setting from 2.x. That's where Thule is for me. Not generic, not Medieval, not Appendix N, D&D or Tolkien, but its own beast. I love D&D, but I come to MYFAROG for something unique.

MYFAROG is a personal passion project for Varg Vikernes. He is clearly writing the game he would like to be playing. The players in his home game are his kids. I understand why he's taken the Tolkien direction; the kids want to play in that world, and he wants to use the old modules he's got lying around from other systems. However, given that the setting for 2.x is fundamentally different than the one for MYFAROG 4, it's a real shame that 2.7 is no longer for sale. I'm just glad my 2.6 book is still in usable shape.

sound of sad Thulean horn

Friday, October 16, 2020

MYFAROG houserules


I played a bunch of Myfarog 2.6 back in the day, both in the default setting and using one I made myself. Given the fiddliness of the mechanics, I came up with a few houserules to streamline them somehow, which follow below.

Character generation

Civilians get an extra Trained skill and an extra Talent at level 1.


Cut and Shock effects are only rolled for if the hit was not a near-miss and if it dealt at least 2 damage.

Morale is only checked at the beginning of combat and when battle conditions change significantly.

Drawing and attacking in the same round can be done but at a -3 penalty to OV. Normal DV penalties for drawing apply.


Light and Medium bleeding wounds last for 1d6 10-minute increments or 1d6 minutes respectively instead of a flat 6. This is rolled individually for each wound. When a Medium bleeding wound turns into a Light bleeding after its effect ends, the duration of that Light bleeding is rolled separately.


Stamina use during Combat is increased as follows:

Carrying out a charge costs 4 SP
Engaging in Melee costs 2 SP / round
Tactical advance costs 3 SP
Tactical retreat costs 1 SP / round

This Stamina houserule is the only one of these ideas I have yet to test out in play. I think it's worth trying out, though. The rationale behind it is that in all the games I have run or played in (easily over 50), nearly no character has ever expended their Stamina to become Tired (never mind the further levels of exhaustion) from combat alone. The only time that's ever happened is when I played a Sorcerer who was casting spells that required attacking, every single turn, in the context of a large skirmish.

Clearly, then, the default Stamina of 8 is too high for the purposes of combat. I considered the idea of reducing default Stamina to 6 or even 4, but then the other, non-combat Stamina expenditure values might need to be adjusted. This solution bypasses that problem.

If you try these ideas, let me know how you fared. Axes high!

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Pall Thee in the Dunnest Smoke of Hell: a LotFP spell


Pall Thee in the Dunnest Smoke of Hell

Magic-User Level 1, Duration: 1 Turn/Level, Range: Touch

The target, including her clothing and armor, is blanketed in nonreflective magic, rendering her pitch-black to the eye. Held objects the size of minor weapons will be enveloped by the darkness; larger objects will protrude out. By casting it as a Level 2 spell, the effect will be extended to small weapons, and so on for medium and great weapons up to the size of a long spear. An unwilling target is allowed a saving throw to resist.

If in uneven flickering light, shadows, or darkness, the target's Stealth skill is increased by 4. She also gains a 1-in-6 Sneak Attack skill if she did not previously have points in the skill, or increases it by 1 otherwise.

The target's vision is similarly affected. She sees the world as if in total pitch-black darkness, yet as if possessed with infrared vision. This will allow her to see heat, but will not allow her to distinguish faces or other similarly identifying physical characteristics. Her hearing is also dampened, making it impossible for her to understand human language or even distinguish differences in pitch. She will not be able to distinguish between voices.

Miscast Table for the Weird Magic System

1. Roll 1d6. The target's vision is affected as above; this lasts for 1-3 days on a result of 1-3, or is permanent on a result of 4-6.

2. Roll 2d6, adding the caster's Charisma modifier. The caster's shadow now thinks and acts independently of her. Consult the reaction table on page 56 of Rules & Magic to determine its initial impression of the caster. Additionally, if two uneven numbers were rolled, the shadow can henceforth separate from the caster at will. This will be especially interesting if it is now unfriendly towards her.

3. The next time the target draws a weapon, she will seek to attack the nearest ally until an attack lands or the weapon is removed from her hand. Should neither of those conditions be met, the effect lasts 1d6 turns from the moment the weapon is drawn.

4. 1d6 random targets within a 50' sphere centered on the caster lose their sight. This is not in fact blindness, but 12'' diameter spheres of magical darkness centered on the targets' heads. Their hearing is also dampened, so that understanding is still possible, but not distinguishing between voices. The effect lasts for 1d6 turns.

5. The next time the target makes an attack for which the result of the roll is sufficient to strike the caster's armor class, a pitch black void in space will appear in front of their weapon. The other side of this empty void appears next to the caster, who is struck by the attack instead.

6. The target or caster (50/50 chance) henceforth becomes a nightly sleepwalker. While in this state, she will talk in her sleep, revealing her most base desires, however violent and destructive, to whoever will listen.

7+. Refer to miscast table on front inside cover of VaM/EC or other miscast tables you may have cooked up.

Come, thick night,

And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,

That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,

Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark

To cry "Hold, hold!"

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Fermentum Nigrum Dei Sepulti for LotFP: Review (spoilers, players keep out)

FERMENTVM NIGRVM DEI SEPVLTI is a module for Lamentations of the Flame Princess and as such easily convertible for use with other DnD-adjacent games. You can get it at the official EU store, the official US store, your usual third party distribution channels, and on pdf at Drivethrurpg. Buying a physical copy through the official stores also comes with a copy of the pdf and nets the most money to LotFP at the end of the day.

I paid for my own copy and am not affiliated with LotFP or the people who worked on Fermentum. Prior to this review, I gave the book one read-through and ran the game once.

How could this adventure be summed up? Let me count the ways I've found so far:

- The Idea from Space meets Going Through Forbidden Otherworlds but more fleshed out

- The Name of the Rose meets Lovecraft, especially The Colour out of Space

- You get an infection! You get an infection! You get an infection! Everybody gets an infection!

The basics:

The book clocks in at ~96 pages. It has a bluish-grey cloth exterior a la Red and Pleasant Land. Physically it is beautiful and the layout is really well executed. Basically, it seeks to emulate an early printed book from around the 17th century. Having visited the Plantin/Moretus Museum in Antwerp (the most famous printing house in the Lowlands around that time period) I can say this comes pretty close. The layout is also enhanced by a subtle ink splatter effect, use of red ink for important tidbits, and handwritten-like margin notes that add tons of flavor and tie into the events and gamey bits of the adventure.

Fermentum is at heart about the party wandering into an all-hell-breaks-loose scenario as rival factions of beer-brewing monks try to destroy each other (and set fire to key parts of the Abbey, the main adventure location). Why do they do this? Because they are infected to various degrees with an alien yeast culture from outer space (the Black Barm) that slowly alters human minds until they are reduced to servitude in the final stages of the disease. The party is also susceptible to this infection, of course, making the possibility of PvP very real towards the end of the scenario. This element gets high marks from me. I love inter-party conflict.

- The adventure assumes a non-novice GM. There are a few moving parts.
- There are three original magic items, one of which, through a very lengthy and difficult process, allows for the creation of more original magic items.
- You can run this adventure as a long oneshot (4+ hours, my playthrough was just under five) but it is probably better suited to two sessions. It likely works best inserted into a longer campaign, and it is clear that it was written that way. The infection mechanic works well in a self contained playthrough but I get the feeling it would work even better with lingering consequences throughout a longer game, as the effects do not just go away on their own.

What could have been better:

I have a couple layout bugbears, to wit:

- Some of the margin notes (about 10%) are in such a small font, and it resembles handwriting so much, that for me they were literally illegible. The other 90% of margin notes, however, is excellent.
- There is no one-page top-down map version of the entire Brewery (there is a top-down map, but it is broken up by sections and spread out. That's good, but it would have helped to also have a full one-page map).
- It would have served the book very well, usability wise, to have said map present near the front inside cover and a duplicate of the Main Complex map near the back inside cover. It's a shame they didn't do that as there was room for it (pages ii and 95 are left blank).
- Likewise, the infection card table from page 13 should have been duplicated on the infection reference table on page 94.

What works very well:

- The infection mechanic really takes the cake. It is the best part of the module, and with the right table, the party could play the entire session carousing at the Tavern becoming progressively more infected, leave without exploring the Abbey and still make for a fun game. Not that exploring the Abbey isn't fun! But the interparty interactions arising from the infection effects work beautifully.
- Every element in the module, from the infection to the NPCs at the Inn and the Abbey, to the encounters, to the magic items and their backstory, to the flavor margin notes, is closely interconnected. Nothing feels like an afterthought or breaks the scenario's internal logic.
- I read another review describing the adventure as somehow linear. I don't agree. While the Catacombs are a relatively small dungeon without too many forks, the adventure as a whole feels more like an open location that can be explored in any order. While the infection conditions push the characters towards re-exposure and further infection, the text takes care not to force anyone's hand too heavily and all the decisions are still being done in-character. Even in the last stage of the infection, the book specifies that service to the Black Barm is not mindless servitude, and the infected retain most of their prior personality.
- The B&W Art by Gonzalo Aeneas is beautiful, but similarly to illuminations in a medieval manuscript, it is stylistically perfectly integrated into the layout of the book, and it does not overshadow the real star of the book, which is Gord Sellar's text.
- The scenario as presented strikes the Lamentations Weird-Horror tone perfectly.

What I am ambivalent about:

In my playthrough, I left out the Company of the Scalded Shield, a competing adventuring party controlled by the Black Barm. I did so simply for time and complexity considerations. Having given it more thought after the fact, I would probably not include this element as-written (in the module, the Company simply appears as soon as the party exits the Catacombs and attempts to cajole them into giving up the Black Rock if they are not yet in its complete servitude. This feels too much like a movie switcheroo to me as it is out of the party's control and largely unconnected to their prior decisions.)

What I would suggest to the prospective GM:

- Increase the chances of initial infection. After that, things will gain a momentum of their own. The way I did this was to impose a -4 penalty on the saves vs Magic to resist infection when drinking Abbey ale. After all, few things should be more infectious than directly ingesting the yeast.
- At the Inn, if the party imbibes (and you should do all you can to make sure they do), include at least one beneficial magical ale effect without a roll. A good venus fly trap needs both risk and reward.
- If not pressed for time, include the optional random encounters. They are very well designed, do not necessarily force the party into combat, and will add a lot of atmosphere, especially at the Abbey grounds during its fall.

What became of the party in my playthrough:

- Triste the elf committed suicide during a confrontation with his companions outside the Brewery (unbeknownst to them, this was part of a spell called Killing yourself to live)
- Triste's henchwoman Sahla made it to the Black Rock Chapel and was impaled by the dais traps. The rest of the party found her punctured naked body shortly after
- Henri the alistair, through a very unlikely set of magical circumstances, pulled the Black Barm out of the Black Rock and into his own body, becoming its new host
- Krogon the fighter reached stage 4 infection at the Black Rock Chapel. He is henceforth completely loyal to Henri
- Leftfoot Lightfoot the halfling managed a daring escape from his companions against all odds. He was last seen leaving the Abbey grounds manning a mule cart full to the brim of barrels of abbey ale.

Final veredict: 8-9 out of 10. Well worth the price of admission. Would run it again. Even gave me a chance to brush up on my college Latin.

Happy yeasty infectious adventuring!

in nomine fermenti, et cerevisiae, et petrae nigrae.

Margin texts from Fermentum Nigrum Dei Sepulti (spoilers, players keep out)

Fermentum Nigrum Dei Sepulti, recently published by LotFP, features margin notes all over that lend it crazy good flavor. The book, however, does not compile them in one single place in an appendix, which would have been nice for the lazy GMs among us. So, I have tried to do just that.

Some of the notes, however, I was not able to read faithfully no matter how hard I prayed, meditated and squinted. So I need your help! See the parts in italics below.

1 Blood and bones of Christ, the scriptures say nothing of this--how can we contend with this foulness in the depths that beckons at every sleeping and waking hour? (p1)

2 Can you hear it? I hear it muttering in the darkness promising things to me that only a god could grant! (p3)

3 Ach, this strange voice in my head--I fear it is the devil, it slashes visions of naked bodies before me, makes me feel as if I will never die! It tempts me to grave and terrible sin, and yet I write on, hoping to dispel evil through dutiful work! (p5)

4 Nous sommes près de l'abbaye, et près je le prie, de trouver le secret de ses bières, et l'histoire dans le livre me donne un soupçon trop étrange et grave... (p6)

5 Largely illegible (pp 8-9)

6 Fick Abt Reiner, Fick pervers Jane, Fick Bruder Tedrick, Fich Maria, Fick die Jungfrau, Fick Bruder Anton, Fick Bruder Marco, Fick Bruder Peffer, Fick Bruder Lars, Fick Bruder Adso, Fick Bruder--Geh zum Teufel! (pp 10-11)

7 The bewitched thing in the Aedificatum! The rumors are true--it has laid a curse on us! I will burn it to the ground! Hell take every last book! (p13)

Largely illegible (p14)

9 Behold what the ale does, Jehovah! The one in the depths has given us the secret of conquering death! No more do we fear Hell! We will destroy you next! (p17)

10 Die kleine dreckige Schlampe im Kostergasthaus bringst mich noch ins Grab! (p18)

11 The first bottle taught me hunger... the second, rage. The third gave me power, and the fourth converted me to the truth! (p21)

12 I feel it inside me, creeping from muscle to muscle, fattening itself on my blood and fear, and hear it calling me from the darkness below! (p23)

13 Bruder Friedrich ist tot! Hüte dich vor dem Hopfemoürger! (p25)

14 Fire Fire Fire, glorious Fire eating the bones of this fucking church! Take that, Christ, you shitten mercy-monger! I serve a better god now! (p26)

15 You vile monks! How dare you plot against me! I know everything! Do you think I'm blind, writing all your wicked plans upon this wall in plain sight? (pp28-29)

16 Why does nobody remember Brother Jesge but me? Christ, did they wipe him from their mind after they betrayed him? Was it vile witchcraft made them do it?! (p31)

17 I have seen the void skies of hell, the cold dark emptiness teeming with stars and silence! I have soared through that nothingness, far from the light of God--and exulted! (p32)

18 What is this wicked, forbidden word that has sprung to vile life in my skull, wriggling and moving through my brain? Why does it whisper itself so loudly at me, fighting to be released? (pp 34-35)

19 Largely illegible (p37)

20 Largely illegible (mirrored?) (p39)

21 Magnificent, Brothers! Glorious! With this beer, I baptise you again in the name of the Black Rock, and the Black Barm, and the spirit of fermentation! (p40)

22 Largely illegible (p42)

23 This must be the work of that old sodomitical pair, Peter and Marco! They poisoned the beer--what sin-feed or hell-hop have they picked from one another's assholes? They'll kill us all! (p45)

24 Come to me, Jane, my whore! Come and strip off your flesh, and consecrate yourself to the foaming blackness! We will be angels of zyme! We will be united in a single fruiting body! (p47)

25 Largely illegible (p49)

26 Cardinal Rafael, I am begging you: something evil has recently grown among the roots of this Abbey, and I fear it shall consume us all soon... in the name of Christ the Merciful, please have the Pope send help immediately! (p50)

27 They don't understand why I laugh so happily every time I puke on them... not yet, but they will! (p53)

28 This ale is holy! It must be! When I drink it, I feel as tall as Gargantua, and as mighty as Samson! (p54)

29 Largely illegible (p57)

30 Let us go rip up the barleycorn field, and discover whatever that vile pig Reiner has been having our brothers bury there at night! (p59)

31 a summo caeli egressio eius et occursus eius usque ad summum eius nec est qui se abscondat a calore eius lex Domini inmaculata convertens animas testimonium Domini fidele sapientiam praestans parvulis iustitiae Domini rectae laetificantes corda praeceptum Domini lucidum inluminans oculos (p61)

32 What they did to simple-headed young Dietrich... what a wondrous sin! It was beautiful and glorious to watch the idiot burn! He was no use to the One in the Depths, so there is nothing to mourn! (p62)

33 Et vidi quod aperuisset Cerevisiarius unum de reptem dolio, et audivi unum de quatuor animalibus, dicens tamquam vocem tonitrui: Veni, et vide. Et vidi: et ecce equus nigri, et qui redebat super illum, habebat poculum, et data est ei corona, et exivit vincens ut vinceret. Et cum aperuisset dolium secundum, audivi secundum barbarus, dicens: Bibe, et vide. Et exivit alius equus spumeus: et qui redebat super illum, datum est ei ut sumeret pacem de terra et ut invicem se interficiant, et datur est ei concitantem. Et cum aperuisset dolium tertium, audivi tertium animal, dicens: Veni, et vide. Et ecce equus aestuabundus: et qui redebat super illum, vinea humulus in manu sua. Et audivi tamquam vocem in medio quatuor animalium dicentium: Bilibris tritici denario et tres bilibres hordei denario, et humulum, et fermentum ne cerevisiam. Et cum aperuisset dolium quartum, audivi vocem quarti animalis dicentis: Bibe, et vide. Et ecce equus liquidus: et qui redebat super cum, nomen illi Ebrietas. et insaniam sequebatur cum, et data est illi potestas super quatuor partes terrae, imperiae gladio, ebriete, et morte, et bestiis fermente. Et cum aperuisset dolium quintum, vidi subtus altare animas suffocatum in cerevisia propter verbum Nigrum Fermentum, et propter testimonium, quod habebant: et clamabant voce magna, dicentes: Utquequo Domina (profanus et ebriamen), non judicas, et non vindicas sanguinem nostrum de iis qui habitant in cerevisia? Et datae sunt illis singulae stolae nigrae et spumosae: et dictum est illis ut requiescerent adhuc tempur modicum donec compleantur conservi eorum, et fratres eorum, qui fermenti sunt sicut et illi. Et vidi cum aperuisset dolium sextum: et ecce terraemotur magnus factus est, et sol factus est niger cerevisia: et luna tota facta est humula viridans: et stellae de caelo ceciderunt super terram, sicut ficus emittit grossos suos cum oc vento magno movetur: et caelum scateus; et onmis mons, et insulae de locus suis motae sunt; et reges terrae, et principes, et tribuni, et divites, et fortes, et omnis servus, et liber absconderunt se in speluncis, biberunt cerevisiae: et dicunt montibus, et petris: cadite super nos, et dona nos Sanctum Fermentum, et ab ira Nigri Fermenti: quoniam venit dies magnus irae ipsorum, et quis non bibe? (pp 64-65)

34 Do you hear them, riding like hell in our direction? They're headed to the Abbey, to come to our aid! (p66)

35 Let the flames consume this wicked place, as long as the catacombs lay unburnt! We shall exhume the stony flesh of the black goddess tonight, and bear her forth from her prison like saints bearing Christ... (p69)

36 maleficos non patieris vivere... qui immolat diis occidetur praeter Domino soli viduae et pupillo non nocebitis... et indignabitur furor meus percutiamque vos gladio et erunt uxores vestrae viduae et filii vestri pupilli... (p70)

37 Why did I ever worship that tongueless, mindless God? I feel a true god within me, pulsing with every breath and thought, and am ashamed at kneeling for their lies and fantasies! (p73)

38 Oh, an ale! I would cut off my right arm for a tankard of fresh-tapped ale! Black One, deliver me from this thirst! (p75)

39 The visions it gives me are a horror, strangely-clad fools gathered round a table, fiddling with papers and laughing at the horrors we endure. God, save me from this fiend of the pit! (p77)

40 DEUS, DEUS meus, respice in me: quare me dereliquisti? longe a salute mea verba delictorum meorum. DEUS meus, clamabo per diem, et non exaudies: et nocte, et non ad insipientiam mihi. (p79)

41 Gloria, gloria, in excelsis fermentata! Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Petra Nigra! Gloria, GLORIA GLORIA! (p80)