Thursday, July 10, 2014

New Beginnings for New Ends

I've been running LotFP for almost a year now and had my first TPK.  This past session I had a chance to try out all the new character creation stuff I've been wanting to try.


First, I had players generate stats using Goblin Punch's Career Paths.  Unlike normal LotFP, players did not re-roll characters who had modifiers less than 0 and were not able to swap stats.  (A couple players ended up with some abysmal characters - multiple 4s and 5s...)

Next Step: create a sort of worksheet that players can fill in as they go, which will also provide them with a nice history of their character.  I may also revise it to fit with the low-fantasy Early Modern Era feel of LotFP, and fix the die rolls so players can roll standard dice more easily (instead of d24s and d16).

Each character also had a previous occupation, what they would have done if they hadn't set out on a life of adventure.  I have been using this for a while (earlier version here) but James Young came up with a better version at Ten Foot Polemic.  I took his and replaced about 70 of them with mine (combined version available here).  I always enjoyed this aspect of DCC and am glad I finally brought it over to LotFP.

Next Step: We all love this.  I might tweak all the starting weapons to be unique, though.

Players received a random trinket (p54-55, Basic D&D 5E).

Next Step: I have no idea what the relevancy of these trinkets are, but surely they are going to destroy the game as we know it.

The players were a bit concerned about my hat fetish until they got their awesome randomly generated hats and a unique power that stays for as long as they're wearing the hat.  Both of these were done using The Complete B/X Adventurer: Fantastic B/X Headgear + Exceptional Traits: Customizing Character Classes.

Next Step: Hats?  Fuck Yeah!  HATS!

Also from The Complete B/X Adventurer, we used the "100 Fine Reasons Characters Travel Together" chart to see how PCs knew each other.  Each player rolls to see how they know the person on their left, so everyone has a connection with two other players.

Next Step: I did this at the end of character creation and realized it might have been better at the beginning.  It caused for some awkward shifts when things didn't quite fit, like two 20 year old characters were somehow supposed to have a parent-child relationship...

When looking through all the dead characters, I saw that no one has used: Retainers, Properties, and Investments.  Not once.

So, time to edit the character sheets:
Replaced Retainers with: Friends, Foes, Followers and Familiars
Replaced Properties with: Special Abilities
Replaced Investments with: Appearance
Replaced Surprise Chance with: Raggi Points
Replaced Cleric/M-U spell stars with: Occupation and Titles
Whited out the skills so that there are now 12 blank skills

Check out the new sheet here.

Next Steps: I'm going to create a Dungeon World style sheet that has all character information for leveling up, title advancement, and major choices right on it.  This will also include some additional changes I'm making to saving throws and leveling up.

House Rules:

Raggi Points
-My players were extremely upset after experiencing encounters from Adventure 10 and wanted something to offset its horribleness.  I offered Raggi Points.  Each time they level up and each time they trigger an encounter from Adventure 10, they get a Raggi Point.  These can be spent to roll on the Alternative Advancement offered in Green Devil Face #5 (in addition to a normal level up), reroll any die roll once, or 3 can be used to avoid death (only if reduced in HP, not disintegrated, immolated, etc.)

Next Step: Players love their Raggi Points!  Complaints are way down - just the way James Raggi would want it, right?  I need to continue to tweak this system to get it just right.

New Class Abilities
The Fighter can break any held item (shields, weapons, etc.) to block all damage from an attack (inspiration from Goblin Punch).

The Woodsman (Human replacement for Halfling) has the special ability to tame animals and starts with an animal companion.

The Explorer (Human replacement for Dwarf) starts with printed up maps of the area, country and world, and has low light vision.

The Dabbler (Human replacement for Elf) has a higher resistance to sleep and charm effects.

The Cleric can use their holy symbol to convert spells (just like James Young's house rule).

The M-U can cast cantrips based off spells in their spellbook (also like James Young's house rule).

(Another idea from James Young: charisma influences starting money; in my version, the base is still 3d6, but your charisma modifier adds or subtracts 1d6 from that.)

The Specialist gets first pick of skills and can save skill points to make up a new skill at any point while playing.

Next Step: I like giving minor flourishes to classes to make them seem special.  I am working on my title advancement system as a way to incorporate a variety of class choices within the seven base classes.

New Skill System
Instead of everyone having the same skills, players divided them up (so only one person has Languages, one has Stealth, etc.)  They started with 1 point in each skill and each player got 1 point they could use to boost a skill up to two.

I am using the VS6 method from Liberation of the Demon Slayer by Venger Satanis for skill rolls.  In this system, players roll a d6 for each skill point they have for a skill, plus or minus any modifiers.  A 6 is a success, a 1 is a fail, and in between is narrative opportunity for varying "kinda pass/kinda fail" situations.  (Also from LotDS: players could choose to take a dark secret in order to re-roll one stat or switch two stats.  Finally, characters could also roll randomly to get a motivation if they wanted.)

Next Step: I need to get better at applying the VS6 method.  Also, Dark Secrets are for flavor now, but the next iteration will have them tied to XP and other in-game goals.


After all this, we had just enough time for the players to hang out in the tavern, get to know each other, and make plans to go find Richard Fox who has mysteriously not returned from his shipping trip...


  1. Stoked to get a look-in! I'm glad my house rules are useful enough to be stealable, I'm definitely going to add your extra occupations to my list.

  2. At first I thought Raggi points would be spent to turn Raggi encounters into normal encounters. Like you could spend Raggi points on the zombie-mother-dragging-her-own-fetus-by-the-umbilical-cord in order to turn it into a regular zombie ogre or something. But this is a lovely assemblage of hacks.