Monday, March 27, 2017

Alternate Pre-Gens of the Eternal Sun

This is a follow-up to this post.

I decided that since the mascot characters from Lamentations of the Flame Princess could be interpreted or imagined in multiple ways, especially in terms of classes and ability scores, I should make some alternative versions of these pre-generated characters to cover more bases. If you disagreed with some of my choices last time, maybe you'll find something you prefer here.

I followed the same basic rules and guidelines as last time. As before, *=swapped.

Flame Princess (Version 2), Level 1 Lawful Fighter
Female, Needs 2,000 XP for Level 2 (Player can choose different alignment if desired)
CHA 14 (+1)* CON 18 (+3) DEX 17 (+2)
INT 12 (+0) STR 16 (+2)* WIS 11 (+0)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 12, Breath 15, Device 13, Magic 16
HP 11, BAB +2, Melee AB +4, Ranged AB +4
Melee AC 17, Ranged AC 18, Without Shield AC 16, Surprised AC 12
Open Doors 3
Has Fighter Combat Options.
Lightly Encumbered (2 points)
Equipment: Rapier, Dagger (Minor Weapon), Flintlock Pistol, Shot Bag (100 shots), Powder Horn x2 (both full, 100 shots of powder), Tinderbox, Lantern, Flask of Lantern Oil x2, 50' Rope, Waterskin, Shield, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Iron Spike, 10 silver pieces and 5 copper pieces

Flame Princess (Version 3), Level 1 Lawful Fighter
Female, Needs 2,000 XP for Level 2 (Player can choose different alignment if desired)
CHA 16 (+2) CON 18 (+3) DEX 14 (+1)*
INT 12 (+0) STR 17 (+2)* WIS 11 (+0)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 12, Breath 15, Device 13, Magic 16
HP 11, BAB +2, Melee AB +4, Ranged AB +3
Melee AC 16, Ranged AC 17, Without Shield AC 15, Surprised AC 12
Open Doors 3
Has Fighter Combat Options.
Lightly Encumbered (2 points)
Equipment: Rapier, Dagger (Minor Weapon), Flintlock Pistol, Shot Bag (100 shots), Powder Horn x2 (both full, 100 shots of powder), Tinderbox, Lantern, Flask of Lantern Oil x2, 50' Rope, Waterskin, Shield, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Iron Spike, 10 silver pieces and 5 copper pieces

Flame Princess (Version 4), Level 1 Lawful Specialist
Female, Needs 1,500 XP for Level 2 (Player can choose different alignment if desired)
CHA 16 (+2) CON 18 (+3) DEX 17 (+2)
INT 12 (+0) STR 14 (+1) WIS 11 (+0)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 16, Breath 15, Device 14, Magic 14
HP 9, BAB +1, Melee AB +2, Ranged AB +3
Melee AC 17, Ranged AC 18, Without Shield AC 16, Surprised AC 12
Bushcraft 2, Open Doors 2, Sneak Attack 2, Stealth 2, Tinker 2 (Or let the player distribute 4 skill points)
Lightly Encumbered (2 points)
Equipment: Rapier, Dagger (Minor Weapon), Specialist's Tools, Tinderbox, Lantern, Flask of Lantern Oil x2, 50' Rope, Waterskin, Shield, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Iron Spike, 29 silver pieces and 5 copper pieces

Flame Princess (Version 5), Level 1 Lawful Cleric
Female, Needs 1,750 XP for Level 2
CHA 16 (+2) CON 11 (+0)* DEX 17 (+2)
INT 12 (+0) STR 14 (+1) WIS 18 (+3)*
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 11, Breath 16, Device 12, Magic 15
(+3 Bonus for Non-Magic Saves)
HP 6, BAB +1, Melee AB +2, Ranged AB +3
Melee AC 17, Ranged AC 18, Without Shield AC 16, Surprised AC 12
Open Doors 2
Knows all standard first-level Cleric spells.
Lightly Encumbered (2 points)
Equipment: Rapier, Dagger (Minor Weapon), Flintlock Pistol, Shot Bag (100 shots), Powder Horn x2 (both full, 100 shots of powder), Tinderbox, Lantern, Flask of Lantern Oil x2, 50' Rope, Waterskin, Shield, Wooden Holy Symbol, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Iron Spike, 10 silver pieces and 4 copper pieces

Flame Princess (Version 6), Level 1 Chaotic Elf
Female, Needs 3,000 XP for Level 2
CHA 12 (+0)* CON 18 (+3) DEX 17 (+2)
INT 16 (+2)* STR 14 (+1) WIS 11 (+0)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 13, Poison 12, Breath 15, Device 13, Magic 15
(+2 Bonus for Magic Saves)
HP 9, BAB +1, Melee AB +2, Ranged AB +3
Melee AC 17, Ranged AC 18, Without Shield AC 16, Surprised AC 12
Languages 3, Open Doors 2, Search 2
Has Fighter Combat Options. Only surprised on a roll of 1.
Spells Known: Read Magic
Lightly Encumbered (2 points)
Equipment: Spellbook, Rapier, Dagger (Minor Weapon), Flintlock Pistol, Shot Bag (100 shots), Powder Horn x2 (both full, 100 shots of powder), Tinderbox, Lantern, Flask of Lantern Oil x2, Waterskin, Shield, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Iron Spike, 13 silver pieces and 5 copper pieces

Flame Princess (Version 7), Level 1 Chaotic Elf
Female, Needs 3,000 XP for Level 2
CHA 16 (+2) CON 18 (+3) DEX 12 (+0)*
INT 17 (+2)* STR 14 (+1) WIS 11 (+0)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 13, Poison 12, Breath 15, Device 13, Magic 15
(+2 Bonus for Magic Saves)
HP 9, BAB +1, Melee AB +2, Ranged AB +1
Melee AC 15, Ranged AC 16, Without Shield AC 14, Surprised AC 12
Languages 3, Open Doors 2, Search 2
Has Fighter Combat Options. Only surprised on a roll of 1.
Spells Known: Read Magic
Lightly Encumbered (2 points)
Equipment: Spellbook, Rapier, Dagger (Minor Weapon), Flintlock Pistol, Shot Bag (100 shots), Powder Horn x2 (both full, 100 shots of powder), Tinderbox, Lantern, Flask of Lantern Oil x2, Waterskin, Shield, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Iron Spike, 13 silver pieces and 5 copper pieces

Alice (Version 2), Level 1 Lawful Fighter
Female, Needs 2,000 XP for Level 2 (Player can choose different alignment if desired)
CHA 13 (+1) CON 18 (+3) DEX 17 (+2)
INT 14 (+1) STR 18 (+3)* WIS 11 (+0)*
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 12, Breath 15, Device 13, Magic 16
(+1 Bonus for Magic Saves)
HP 11, BAB +2, Melee AB +5, Ranged AB +4
Melee AC 14, Ranged AC 14, Without Shield AC 14, Surprised AC 10
Languages 2, Open Doors 4
Has Fighter Combat Options.
Unencumbered (1 point)
Equipment: Rapier, Mace (Medium Weapon), Flintlock Arquebus, Shot Bag (100 shots), Powder Horn x2 (both full, 100 shots of powder), Tinderbox, Torch x10, Waterskin, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Wooden Spike x3, 6 silver pieces and 5 copper pieces

Kendra (Version 2), Level 1 Lawful Cleric
Female, Needs 1,750 XP for Level 2
CHA 16 (+2) CON 16 (+2) DEX 17 (+2)*
INT 11 (+0) STR 15 (+1) WIS 18 (+3)*
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 11, Breath 16, Device 12, Magic 15
(+3 Bonus for Non-Magic Saves)
HP 8, BAB +1, Melee AB +2, Ranged AB +3
Melee AC 16, Ranged AC 16, Without Shield AC 16, Surprised AC 12
Open Doors 2
Knows all standard first-level Cleric spells.
Unencumbered (1 point)
Equipment: Rapier, Dagger (Minor Weapon), Tinderbox, Lantern, Flask of Lantern Oil x2, Waterskin, 50' Rope, Crowbar, Shovel, Wooden Holy Symbol, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Wooden Spike x3, Iron Spike x3, Bottle x2, Nails, Air Bladder, 101 silver pieces and 4 copper pieces.

Kendra (Version 3), Level 1 Chaotic Elf
Female, Needs 3,000 XP for Level 2
CHA 16 (+2) CON 16 (+2) DEX 18 (+3)
INT 17 (+2)* STR 15 (+1) WIS 11 (+0)*
Saving Throws: Paralyze 13, Poison 12, Breath 15, Device 13, Magic 15
(+2 Bonus for Magic Saves)
HP 8, BAB +1, Melee AB +2, Ranged AB +4
Melee AC 17, Ranged AC 17, Without Shield AC 17, Surprised AC 12
Languages 3, Open Doors 2, Search 2
Has Fighter Combat Options. Only surprised on a roll of 1.
Spells Known: Read Magic
Unencumbered (1 point)
Equipment: Spellbook, Rapier, Dagger (Minor Weapon), Tinderbox, Lantern, Flask of Lantern Oil x2, Waterskin, 50' Rope, Crowbar, Shovel, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Wooden Spike x3, Iron Spike x3, Bottle x2, Nails, Air Bladder, 101 silver pieces and 5 copper pieces.

Selena (Version 2), Level 1 Chaotic Elf
Female, Needs 3,000 XP for Level 2
CHA 13 (+1) CON 18 (+3)* DEX 12 (+0)*
INT 18 (+3) STR 16 (+2) WIS 14 (+1)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 13, Poison 12, Breath 15, Device 13, Magic 15
(+3 Bonus for Magic Saves and +1 Bonus for Non-Magic Saves)
HP 9, BAB +1, Melee AB +3, Ranged AB +1
Melee AC 15, Ranged AC 16, Without Shield AC 14, Surprised AC 12
Languages 4, Open Doors 3, Search 2
Has Fighter Combat Options. Only surprised on a roll of 1.
Spells Known: Read Magic
Lightly Encumbered (2 points)
Equipment: Spellbook, Sword (Medium Weapon), Dagger (Minor Weapon), Sling Bullet x20, Tinderbox, Torch x10, Waterskin, 50' Rope, Grappling Hook, Shield, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Iron Spike x4, Bottle x2, Nails, Sling, 81 silver pieces.

Selena (Version 3), Level 1 Chaotic Fighter
Female, Needs 2,000 XP for Level 2 (Player can choose different alignment if desired)
CHA 13 (+1) CON 18 (+3)* DEX 18 (+3)
INT 12 (+0)* STR 16 (+2) WIS 14 (+0)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 12, Breath 15, Device 13, Magic 16
HP 11, BAB +2, Melee AB +4, Ranged AB +5
Melee AC 18, Ranged AC 19, Without Shield AC 17, Surprised AC 12
Open Doors 3
Has Fighter Combat Options.
Lightly Encumbered (2 points)
Equipment: Sword (Medium Weapon), Dagger (Minor Weapon), Sling Bullet x20, Tinderbox, Torch x10, Waterskin, 50' Rope, Grappling Hook, Shield, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Iron Spike x4, Bottle x2, Nails, Sling, 81 silver pieces.

Selena (Version 4), Level 1 Lawful Cleric
Female, Needs 1,750 XP for Level 2
CHA 13 (+1) CON 12 (+0) DEX 18 (+3)
INT 14 (+1)* STR 16 (+2) WIS 18 (+3)*
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 11, Breath 16, Device 12, Magic 15
(+1 Bonus for Magic Saves and +3 Bonus for Non-Magic Saves)
HP 6, BAB +1, Melee AB +3, Ranged AB +4
Melee AC 18, Ranged AC 19, Without Shield AC 17, Surprised AC 12
Languages 2, Open Doors 3
Knows all standard first-level Cleric spells.
Lightly Encumbered (2 points)
Equipment: Sword (Medium Weapon), Dagger (Minor Weapon), Sling Bullet x20, Tinderbox, Torch x10, Waterskin, 50' Rope, Grappling Hook, Shield, Steel Holy Symbol, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Iron Spike x4, Bottle x2, Nails, Sling, 71 silver pieces.

Rhona (Version 2), Level 1 Neutral Fighter
Female, Needs 2,000 XP for Level 2 (Player can choose different alignment if desired)
CHA 12 (+0) CON 18 (+3) DEX 15 (+1)
INT 12 (+0) STR 17 (+2) WIS 11 (+0)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 12, Breath 15, Device 13, Magic 16
HP 11, BAB +2, Melee AB +4, Ranged AB +3
Melee AC 15, Ranged AC 15, Without Shield AC 15, Surprised AC 12
Open Doors 3
Has Fighter Combat Options.
Lightly Encumbered (2 points)
Equipment: Sword (Medium Weapon), Hatchet (Minor Weapon), Quiver with 20 Bolts, Sling Bullet x20, Tinderbox, Lantern, Flask of Lantern Oil x2, Waterskin, 10' Chain, Mallet, Heavy Crossbow, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Iron Spike, Wooden Spike x6, Nails, Bottle x2, Wolvesbane x5, Sling, 45 silver pieces and 5 copper pieces.

Rhona (Version 3), Level 1 Neutral Fighter
Female, Needs 2,000 XP for Level 2 (Player can choose different alignment if desired)
CHA 12 (+0) CON 18 (+3) DEX 17 (+2)*
INT 12 (+0) STR 15 (+1)* WIS 11 (+0)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 12, Breath 15, Device 13, Magic 16
HP 11, BAB +2, Melee AB +3, Ranged AB +4
Melee AC 16, Ranged AC 16, Without Shield AC 16, Surprised AC 12
Open Doors 2
Has Fighter Combat Options.
Lightly Encumbered (2 points)
Equipment: Sword (Medium Weapon), Hatchet (Minor Weapon), Quiver with 20 Bolts, Sling Bullet x20, Tinderbox, Lantern, Flask of Lantern Oil x2, Waterskin, 10' Chain, Mallet, Heavy Crossbow, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Iron Spike, Wooden Spike x6, Nails, Bottle x2, Wolvesbane x5, Sling, 45 silver pieces and 5 copper pieces.

Rhona (Version 4), Level 1 Neutral Specialist
Female, Needs 1,500 XP for Level 2 (Player can choose different alignment if desired)
CHA 12 (+0) CON 18 (+3) DEX 15 (+1)
INT 12 (+0) STR 17 (+2) WIS 11 (+0)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 16, Breath 15, Device 14, Magic 14
HP 9, BAB +1, Melee AB +3, Ranged AB +2
Melee AC 15, Ranged AC 15, Without Shield AC 15, Surprised AC 12
Bushcraft 2, Climb 2, Open Doors 3, Sneak Attack 2, Stealth 2 (Or let the player distribute 4 skill points)
Lightly Encumbered (2 points)
Equipment: Battleaxe (Medium Weapon), Quiver with 20 Bolts, Sling Bullet x20, Specialist's Tools, Tinderbox, Lantern, Flask of Lantern Oil x2, Waterskin, 10' Chain, Mallet, Heavy Crossbow, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Iron Spike, Wooden Spike x6, Nails, Bottle x2, Wolvesbane x5, Sling, 5 copper pieces.

Rhona (Version 5), Level 1 Neutral Specialist
Female, Needs 1,500 XP for Level 2 (Player can choose different alignment if desired)
CHA 12 (+0) CON 18 (+3) DEX 17 (+2)*
INT 12 (+0) STR 15 (+1)* WIS 11 (+0)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 16, Breath 15, Device 14, Magic 14
HP 9, BAB +1, Melee AB +2, Ranged AB +3
Melee AC 16, Ranged AC 16, Without Shield AC 16, Surprised AC 12
Bushcraft 2, Climb 2, Open Doors 2, Sneak Attack 2, Stealth 2 (Or let the player distribute 4 skill points)
Lightly Encumbered (2 points)
Equipment: Battleaxe (Medium Weapon), Quiver with 20 Bolts, Sling Bullet x20, Specialist's Tools, Tinderbox, Lantern, Flask of Lantern Oil x2, Waterskin, 10' Chain, Mallet, Heavy Crossbow, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Iron Spike, Wooden Spike x6, Nails, Bottle x2, Wolvesbane x5, Sling, 5 copper pieces.

In summary, between the first post and this one, I've provided the following options:
  1. The Flame Princess as a Fighter (3 versions), a Specialist, a Cleric, and an Elf (2 versions)
  2. Alice as a Cleric and a Fighter
  3. Melissa as a Magic-User
  4. Étaín as a Magic-User
  5. Kendra as a Specialist, a Cleric, and an Elf
  6. Selena as an Elf (2 versions), a Fighter, and a Cleric
  7. Rhona as a Dwarf, a Fighter (2 versions), and a Specialist (2 versions)
  8. "James" as a Halfling
That's 24 different pre-gen "statblocks" in total. Throw in 26 more pre-gens of assorted classes and equipment load-outs and personal descriptions, and with generally inferior ability scores compared to these 24 pre-gens (because these ones are probably ridiculous enough), and voilà: You've got a nice d50 table of characters for people to roll on for one-shots and convention games and such. It could be a good way to cut character creation time down to virtually zero, and 50 characters should hopefully be enough to cover a few character deaths for everyone at the table in a small- or medium-sized group. Heck, if you've got 76 characters (maybe from an online character generator), you could even make it a d100 table. EDIT: If multiple people roll different versions of the same character, or even roll the same version of the same character, guess what? Your game now involves multiverse shenanigans.

In my personal little headcanon, which I bet bears little or no resemblance to what James Raggi has in mind, I currently like to think of the Flame Princess as an Elf (for the delicious, blasphemous irony on multiple levels), Alice as a Fighter (since she's an absolute murder machine), Étaín as a Magic-User (duh), Kendra as a Specialist (and a rather dashing Indiana Jones wannabe), Selena as a (serpent-worshiping) Cleric, and Rhona as a Dwarf (or rather, a human variant of the Dwarf class).** Then again, I also kind of like my class choices in the first post, except that in hindsight I think I would have picked Version 3 of the Flame Princess and Version 2 of Selena. Feel free to hurl tomatoes at me offer your own ideas if you disagree.

And please let me know if any of these pre-gens come in handy!


**I'd also be happy with the Flame Princess as the Cleric and Selena as the Elf in this scenario, with the others staying the same (Alice=Fighter, etc.). And no, I don't know why I've put so much thought into this.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Roll D20 Plus Level for Stunt - Possible House Rule?

Here's a random house rule I just thought up for Lamentations of the Flame Princess. It might work, or it might be complete crap - I don't know. I might as well see what the internet thinks.

You know how in some versions of D&D and related games, fighters can have certain abilities like attacking all enemies within melee range if they're under a certain number of hit dice, or attacking a second enemy on their turn if their first attack kills an enemy ("Cleave" in 3E parlance), or making multiple attacks per combat round once they reach certain level thresholds? In the Rules As Written, fighters do not have these kinds of multiple attack features. This was a deliberate design choice on the part of the game designer, of course, but some people might want to house-rule some kind of multi-attack feature into the game.

Now, you know how sometimes players ask if they can try to pull off various oddball stunts that either aren't covered or aren't generally allowed within the rules? "Can I time my shot so that it hits both guards when they're lined up?" "Can I boost off the wall and spin kick the enemy for extra damage?" "Can I feint to the right before attacking from the left to throw him off guard?" "Can I drop on top of him from the ledge with my sword pointed down and stab him extra hard and maybe smash him because of the gravity?" "Can I grab his club out of his hand when he swings at me?" As far as I can tell, whether or not these kind of actions are allowed is meant to be decided by the referee, as is the way of adjudicating such actions if they are allowed. Someone going strictly by the law of  R.A.W. would probably disallow them, as they aren't covered by the rules, and the rules in D&D and OSR games tend to be stricter and more codified in combat than outside of it, for a variety of reasons. Since I would bet that most referees don't play strictly in the R.A.W., I would imagine that a lot of them (myself included) would generally allow these kinds of stunts or ones like them in certain conditions.

Both of these types of combat actions - multiple attacks and complicated/unusual/acrobatic stunts - generally seem to me like things that an experienced combatant could probably pull off with more consistency than an inexperienced combatant. They also seem like the kinds of things that someone specializing in combat - a member of the "fighter" class - would be vastly more likely to achieve than others. So let's base this house rule on level and class.

The rule: If a fighter attempts a combat maneuver (including but not limited to making multiple attacks in one combat round, hitting multiple characters with one attack, or moving and attacking at the same time) which is not covered by the rules or generally not permitted by the rules, and the referee permits the fighter a chance at success, the fighter rolls a d20 and adds their own level. If the sum is 21 or higher, the fighter can attempt the maneuver. Fighters of level 20 and higher still only add 19 to this roll, so that a roll of 1 is always a failure. Non-fighter PCs can also attempt such combat maneuvers, but they are always treated as level 1 fighters for such purposes. If any other roll (to-hit, saving throw, etc.) would normally be needed for success (e.g. with multiple attacks), the fighter must still make that roll as well.

TL;DR If the fighter wants to do some crazy move in battle, they roll a d20 and add their level. 21 or better to succeed. Caps at level 19. Referee might make you roll some other dice, too. Other classes can do it, but only as a level 1 fighter.

Alternatively, you could probably come up with something that uses the character's base attack bonus (which only improves beyond +1 for fighters in LotFP, making it a de-facto fighter class ability), or that uses some kind of saving throw. You could also try to come up with a formula in which the ability maxes out much sooner than the nigh-mythical level 19. Hence that whole "it might be complete crap" thing I typed earlier; this isn't a very elegant house rule as I've written it.

You could also codify what kinds of things are or are not permitted as "combat maneuvers" in the game, but to some extent this violates the spirit of this house rule. The reason I came up with it was to make a simple and unified way of adjudicating whatever crazy schemes the players come up with, and thus allow or encourage creative, OSR-style shenanigans that inflexible board game-style or video game-style rules couldn't cover due to the sheer number and variety of possibilities. You could easily modify this rule to give magic-users a level-dependent chance to spontaneously alter their spells, or to give clerics a level-depended chance to successfully pray for divine intervention.

In a game that already does allow multiple attacks or cleaving or whatever (i.e. not LotFP), you could still probably use this house rule for other weird things that players try, like suplexing a naga onto a bed of nails (which might also require a grapple check at the very least) or screaming directly into a morlock's ear while gut-punching him or catching the giant turtle's shell just right with your sword to make it do some sweet flips.

I don't think this house rule is covering new ground at all. I've heard of similar ideas before. Honestly, this is probably Baby's First Game Design-level stuff, and most D&D/OSR referees are already way ahead of me on this count. Mostly, I'm just looking for input on whether or not this might be a good way to give fighters more mechanical options and creativity in combat, and what some better methods of achieving this might be. If the fighter says "I run up the wall and back-flip, then slice the monster on the way down," and for whatever reason you want to allow it, what comes next? As the referee, how do you determine whether or not the fighter succeeds, and how well?

Monday, March 13, 2017

LotFP Pre-Gens of the Eternal Sun

I recently got my hands on a copy of Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun for the Sega Genesis. I made some characters, as one does, and since I ended up naming them after the mascot characters from Lamentations of the Flame Princess, I thought it might be fun to turn them into pre-gen LotFP characters.

The ability scores generated by the video game are much higher than you'd be likely to roll at the table doing the whole 3d6-in-order thing, and the starting HP is at maximum, but if you're running a one-shot or if you just want to go slightly easier on your players, I suppose the high numbers aren't necessarily a bad thing. I should also note that I swapped a single pair of ability scores for all but two of these characters, as the default LotFP rules allow. (*=swapped)

I gave each pre-gen character the maximum starting money of 180 silver pieces, minus the cost of their equipment. Even though I gave some of these characters firearms, I still used the default armor rules instead of the Early Modern armor rules in the Firearms section in the back of the Rules & Magic book, just because I didn't feel like making the way armor works any more complicated. In the spirit of fairness, I did increase the cost of armor and shields by 50%, as per the note on page 162 of Rules & Magic.

As far as I can tell, Alice is depicted using a matchlock musket in the official artwork, but I gave her a flintlock arquebus here instead. I don't see the point of paying for the extra cost of a musket when it doesn't seem to have any advantages over the arquebus (although I may have overlooked something), and since I intend to actually use these pre-gens in a game at some point, I decided to make all of the firearms flintlocks so I don't have to worry about timing the burn-rate of match cords. It sounds like kind of a headache, and I'd probably forget about it anyway.
UPDATE: Dismaster FraNe kindly pointed out over on Google+ that the musket does indeed have an advantage over the arquebus that I missed. Most firearms ignore 5 points of armor only at short range, but the musket ignores 5 points of armor at all ranges. Thank you for pointing that out, Dismaster FraNe! I'm keeping the arquebus for the Alice pre-gen for now just for the sake of saving her silver pieces and encumbrance (and my time), but if someone wants to play Alice true to her implied characterization in the artwork, they should probably either upgrade to a musket as soon as it's affordable, or see about just starting with one instead.

Equipment is definitely the part of character creation I struggle with the most, and a lot of people I play with seem to agree. If you notice any poor equipment choices, broken rules, bad math, etc. please feel free to let me know. I should note that I treated powder horns as being bought empty, like quivers, with the powder needing to be bought separately (like arrows or bolts). I treated shot bags as coming with bullets, though, since there wasn't a separate price listed for ammunition.

Flame Princess, Level 1 Lawful Fighter
Female, Needs 2,000 XP for Level 2 (Player can choose different alignment if desired)
CHA 16 (+2) CON 18 (+3) DEX 17 (+2)
INT 12 (+0) STR 14 (+1) WIS 11 (+0)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 12, Breath 15, Device 13, Magic 16
HP 11, BAB +2, Melee AB +3, Ranged AB +4
Melee AC 17, Ranged AC 18, Without Shield AC 16, Surprised AC 12
Open Doors 2
Has Fighter Combat Options.
Lightly Encumbered (2 points)
Equipment: Rapier, Dagger (Minor Weapon), Flintlock Pistol, Shot Bag (100 shots), Powder Horn x2 (both full, 100 shots of powder), Tinderbox, Lantern, Flask of Lantern Oil x2, 50' Rope, Waterskin, Shield, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Iron Spike, 10 silver pieces and 5 copper pieces

Alice, Level 1 Lawful Cleric
Female, Needs 1,750 XP for Level 2
CHA 13 (+1) CON 18 (+3) DEX 17 (+2)
INT 11 (+0)* STR 14 (+1)* WIS 18 (+3)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 11, Breath 16, Device 12, Magic 15
(+3 Bonus for Non-Magic Saves)
HP 9, BAB +1, Melee AB +2, Ranged AB +3
Melee AC 14, Ranged AC 14, Without Shield AC 14, Surprised AC 10
Open Doors 2
Knows all standard first-level Cleric spells.
Unencumbered (1 point)
Equipment: Rapier, Mace (Medium Weapon), Flintlock Arquebus, Shot Bag (100 shots), Powder Horn x2 (both full, 100 shots of powder), Tinderbox, Torch x10, Waterskin, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Wooden Spike x3, Wooden Holy Symbol, 6 silver pieces and 4 copper pieces

Melissa, Level 1 Chaotic Magic-User
Female, Needs 2,250 XP for Level 2
CHA 16 (+2) CON 13 (+1)* DEX 17 (+2)
INT 18 (+3) STR 11 (+0)* WIS 10 (+0)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 13, Poison 13, Breath 16, Device 13, Magic 14
(+3 Bonus for Magic Saves)
HP 7, BAB +1, Melee AB +1, Ranged AB +3
Melee AC 16, Ranged AC 16, Without Shield AC 16, Surprised AC 12
Languages 4
Spells Known: Read Magic, Magic Missile, Shield, Sleep (Or roll randomly)
Unencumbered (1 point)
Equipment: Spellbook, Dagger (Minor Weapon), Flintlock Pistol, Shot Bag (100 shots), Powder Horn x2 (both full, 100 shots of powder), Tinderbox, Lantern, Flask of Lantern Oil x2, Waterskin, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Iron Spike, Bottle x2, 42 silver pieces and 5 copper pieces

Étaín, Level 1 Chaotic Magic-User
Female, Needs 2,250 XP for Level 2
CHA 14 (+1) CON 17 (+2) DEX 18 (+3)*
INT 18 (+3) STR 12 (+0) WIS 12 (+0)*
Saving Throws: Paralyze 13, Poison 13, Breath 16, Device 13, Magic 14
(+3 Bonus for Magic Saves)
HP 8, BAB +1, Melee AB +1, Ranged AB +4
Melee AC 17, Ranged AC 17, Without Shield AC 17, Surprised AC 12
Languages 4
Spells Known: Read Magic, Charm Person, Summon, Spider Climb (Or roll randomly)
Unencumbered (1 point)
Equipment: Spellbook, Dagger (Minor Weapon), Flintlock Pistol, Shot Bag (100 shots), Powder Horn x2 (both full, 100 shots of powder), Tinderbox, Torch x10, Waterskin, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Wooden Spike x3, Bottle x2, 45 silver pieces and 5 copper pieces

Kendra, Level 1 Neutral Specialist
Female, Needs 1,500 XP for Level 2 (Player can choose different alignment if desired)
CHA 16 (+2) CON 16 (+2) DEX 18 (+3)
INT 17 (+2)* STR 15 (+1) WIS 11 (+0)*
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 16, Breath 15, Device 14, Magic 14
(+2 Bonus for Magic Saves)
HP 8, BAB +1, Melee AB +2, Ranged AB +4
Melee AC 17, Ranged AC 17, Without Shield AC 17, Surprised AC 12
Languages 3, Open Doors 2, Search 2, Sneak Attack 2, Stealth 2, Tinker 2 (Or let the player distribute 4 skill points)
Unencumbered (1 point)
Equipment: Specialist's Tools, Rapier, Dagger (Minor Weapon), Tinderbox, Lantern, Flask of Lantern Oil x2, Waterskin, 50' Rope, Crowbar, Shovel, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Wooden Spike x3, Iron Spike x3, Bottle x2, Nails, Air Bladder, 51 silver pieces and 5 copper pieces.

Selena, Level 1 Chaotic Elf
Female, Needs 3,000 XP for Level 2
CHA 13 (+1) CON 14 (+1)* DEX 18 (+3)
INT 18 (+3) STR 16 (+2) WIS 12 (+0)*
Saving Throws: Paralyze 13, Poison 12, Breath 15, Device 13, Magic 15
(+3 Bonus for Magic Saves)
HP 7, BAB +1, Melee AB +3, Ranged AB +4
Melee AC 18, Ranged AC 19, Without Shield AC 17, Surprised AC 12
Languages 4, Open Doors 3, Search 2
Has Fighter Combat Options. Only surprised on a roll of 1.
Spells Known: Read Magic
Lightly Encumbered (2 points)
Equipment: Spellbook, Sword (Medium Weapon), Dagger (Minor Weapon), Sling Bullet x20, Tinderbox, Torch x10, Waterskin, 50' Rope, Grappling Hook, Shield, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Iron Spike x4, Bottle x2, Nails, Sling, 81 silver pieces.

Rhona, Level 1 Neutral Dwarf
Female, Needs 2,200 XP for Level 2 (Player can choose different alignment if desired)
CHA 12 (+0) CON 18 (+4) DEX 15 (+1)
INT 12 (+0) STR 17 (+2) WIS 11 (+0)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 10, Poison 8, Breath 13, Device 9, Magic 12
HP 14, BAB +1, Melee AB +3, Ranged AB +2
Melee AC 15, Ranged AC 15, Without Shield AC 15, Surprised AC 12
Architecture 3, Open Doors 3
Has Fighter Combat Options. It takes 5 additional items to gain the first point of encumbrance.
Lightly Encumbered (2 points)
Equipment: Sword (Medium Weapon), Hatchet (Minor Weapon), Quiver with 20 Bolts, Sling Bullet x20, Tinderbox, Lantern, Flask of Lantern Oil x2, Waterskin, 10' Chain, Mallet, Heavy Crossbow, 10' Pole, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Iron Spike, Wooden Spike x6, Nails, Bottle x2, Wolvesbane x5, Sling, 45 silver pieces.

James, Level 1 Chaotic Halfling
Male, Needs 2,000 XP for Level 2 (Player can choose different alignment if desired)
CHA 10 (+0)* CON 18 (+3) DEX 16 (+3)
INT 14 (+1)* STR 13 (+1) WIS 13 (+1)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 10, Poison 8, Breath 13, Device 9, Magic 12
(+1 Bonus for Magic Saves, +1 Bonus for Non-Magic Saves)
HP 9, BAB +1, Melee AB +2, Ranged AB +4
Melee AC 17, Ranged AC 17, Without Shield AC 17, Surprised AC 12
Bushcraft 3, Languages 2, Open Doors 2, Stealth 5 (Outdoors)
Cannot use Large Weapons, and can only use Medium Weapons two-handed.
Unencumbered (1 point)
Equipment: Short Bow, Quiver with 20 Arrows, Sling Bullet x20, Battleaxe (Medium Weapon), Dagger (Minor Weapon), Tinderbox, Torch x10, Waterskin, Manacles, Leather Armor, Backpack, Sack x5, Steel Mirror, Candle, Ink, Paper, Chalk, Whistle, Soap, Iron Spike x3, Wooden Spike x3, Nails, Bottle x2, Garlic x5, Sling, 53 silver pieces and 5 copper pieces.

Other issues of artwork accuracy: I don't think the Flame Princess is depicted using a handheld firearm in any official artwork, but it seemed appropriate to at least give a pistol to the character James Raggi describes as the female Solomon Kane; besides, I wanted her to have some kind of decent ranged weapon, and it might be hard for her to use a bow with four fingers missing. Alice is depicted with at least two pistols and a lantern on a pole in one picture, but a Level 1 character just doesn't have the money for all that plus her other gun (assuming my math is correct), plus encumbrance is an issue for a character who can't yet afford to foist excess items off onto a hireling, vehicle, or beast of burden. Heck, she's the only character here who couldn't afford leather armor!

Speaking of armor, I gave leather armor to everyone who could afford it, even if they're not depicted wearing it in any artwork. The Flame Princess and Selena are sometimes shown wearing what looks like plate armor, but Level 1 characters can't afford that, of course. If you don't like the image of a fancy dresser like Melissa or Kendra wearing armor, you could either pretend they're wearing it under their nice outer clothes, or you could erase the armor from their character sheets and adjust their AC accordingly. I'm betting most players would prefer to keep the armor, though. Leather armor just seems too darn convenient not to use.

Melissa is sometimes shown wearing a set of 12 apostles, so I assume she's not opposed to using a gun. Alice is also shown with a set of 12 apostles, but I just gave everyone with a firearm some powder horns instead for the sake of...simplicity, I guess. Money was tight for the gun owners, even with the maximum starting amount.

Selena seems to have some kind of bola, which isn't on the equipment list. I suppose I could have given her a blowgun, since a blowgun could presumably incapacitate people non-lethally like a bola, but I settled on a sling instead.

There's not a lot of information on Rhona yet, so I had to guess what kind of crossbow and ax she was supposed to have. I gave her more weapons because hey, she had the cash and the inventory space for them.

This post has gotten a lot longer than I expected. I could write a whole separate post about why I chose the classes I did. I don't expect too many people to agree with these class choices, actually, but I have my reasons for them, good or not. For now, let's just say that
  1. the information on the mascots' classes seems to be somewhat scant/contradictory/up for debate, and
  2. my options were somewhat restricted when I was originally trying to make these characters in a semi-obscure Sega Genesis game, and
  3. I wanted to represent all of the available classes from the Rules & Magic book.
If anyone has any questions, suggestions, objections, or speculation they'd like to share, please feel free.

My secret and terrible hope is that James Raggi reads this and tells me how horribly fucking wrong I got everything, and thus lets slip some secrets about the weird story going on in his head with these characters.

Part 2 is HERE

Friday, March 10, 2017

My Weird Taste in Movies, or Not Exactly Appendix N

Partly inspired by this Google+ thread. Partly inspired by the way Kiel Chenier took Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and turned it into something very different with Blood in the Chocolate. Can't promise you'll think all these movies are "good," but at least they all contain some element I like or find interesting. (Disclaimer: Opinions are subject to change. No refunds.)

Favorite dungeons in cinema (may not be a comprehensive list): Big Trouble in Little China; As Above, So Below; The Raid: Redemption; Dredd; The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; Cube; House; House II: The Second Story; Raiders of the Lost Ark; Krull; Star Wars; Hellraiser; Hellbound: Hellraiser II; Silent Hill; Alien; Aliens; Alien: ResurrectionPrometheus; Dark City; Event Horizon; Escape from New York; Labyrinth; Dawn of the Dead; Die Hard

Favorite wilderness adventures/hexcrawls/pointcrawls in cinema (definitely not a comprehensive list): Pitch Black; Riddick; Conquest; The Lord of the Rings (all three); Dead Man; Valhalla Rising; Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior; Mad Max: Fury Road; Conan the Barbarian; Conan the Destroyer; Krull; Pathfinder; Army of Darkness; Monty Python and the Holy Grail; The Burrowers; The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly; Flesh+Blood; Cyborg; The Revenant; The Wizard of Oz; The Road; Undead; Predator; Predators; Apocalypse Now; Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx

Movies with characters I would love to play in D&D or some other fantasy adventure RPG some day (not comprehensive): House II: The Second StoryBig Trouble in Little ChinaDreddEscape from New YorkTotal RecallDead Man

Movies with characters I would love to play in Call of Cthulhu some day (not comprehensive): Drive; Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans; They LiveEscape from New York; Evil Dead II; John Dies at the EndReturn of the Living DeadRe-Animator; Reservoir DogsPulp Fiction; Brick; The Legend of Hell House

Favorite zombies in cinema: Return of the Living DeadDead Alive/BraindeadRe-AnimatorCemetery Man/Dellamorte Dellamore

Favorite romance movie: Drive

Favorite superhero-movie-disguised-as-film-noir: Sin City

Favorite film-noir-disguised-as-superhero-movie: The Dark Knight

Favorite depiction of retired 20th-level fighters: Kill Bill

Favorite cinematic depiction of Mars/favorite extraterrestrial colony: Total Recall

Favorite vampire movie most in need of being turned into a survival horror game: 30 Days of Night

Favorite accidental low-budget movie adaptation of The Legend of Zelda on LSD (before the video game series even existed): Conquest

Favorite point-and-click adventure game disguised as a movie: 10 Cloverfield Lane

Favorite PSA about the dangers of unsterilized body modification and inattentive driving: Tetsuo: The Iron Man

Favorite H. P. Lovecraft adaptation that isn't actual adapted from any particular H. P. Lovecraft story: In the Mouth of Madness

Favorite film adaptation that purposefully serves as a giant middle finger to its source material: Starship Troopers

Favorite cinematic depiction of murder by broken bicycle: Prince of Darkness

Favorite cinematic depiction of a guy shooting at a bat: Black Sunday

Favorite killer vehicle movie based on a Stephen King story, and yes I know the other one you're thinking of is directed by John Carpenter, and yes I will fight you over this: Maximum Overdrive

Need inspiration for your next adventure or gaming session? Roll on this table for a movie from which to borrow elements. (The first 73 of these were listed above. The next 18 are pulled from that G+ thread I mentioned earlier; I've only included movies that I've already seen. The last 9 are just movies I pulled out of my ass because I like them, and I apparently keep movies I like in my ass.)
  1. 10 Cloverfield Lane
  2. 30 Days of Night
  3. Alien
  4. Alien: Resurrection
  5. Aliens
  6. Apocalypse Now
  7. Army of Darkness
  8. As Above, So Below
  9. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
  10. Big Trouble in Little China
  11. Black Sunday
  12. Brick
  13. Cemetery Man/Dellamorte Dellamore
  14. Conan the Barbarian
  15. Conan the Destroyer
  16. Conquest
  17. Cube
  18. Cyborg
  19. Dark City
  20. Dawn of the Dead
  21. Dead Alive/Braindead
  22. Dead Man
  23. Die Hard
  24. Dredd
  25. Drive
  26. Escape from New York
  27. Event Horizon
  28. Evil Dead II
  29. Flesh+Blood
  30. Hellbound: Hellraiser II
  31. Hellraiser
  32. House
  33. House II: The Second Story
  34. In the Mouth of Madness
  35. John Dies at the End
  36. Kill Bill
  37. Krull
  38. Labyrinth
  39. Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx
  40. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
  41. Mad Max: Fury Road
  42. Maximum Overdrive
  43. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  44. Pathfinder
  45. Pitch Black
  46. Predator
  47. Predators
  48. Prince of Darkness
  49. Prometheus
  50. Pulp Fiction
  51. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  52. Re-Animator
  53. Reservoir Dogs
  54. Return of the Living Dead
  55. Riddick
  56. Silent Hill
  57. Sin City
  58. Star Wars
  59. Starship Troopers
  60. Tetsuo: The Iron Man
  61. The Burrowers
  62. The Dark Knight
  63. The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
  64. The Legend of Hell House
  65. The Lord of the Rings
  66. The Raid: Redemption
  67. The Revenant
  68. The Road
  69. The Wizard of Oz
  70. They Live
  71. Total Recall
  72. Undead
  73. Valhalla Rising
  74. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  75. Black Death
  76. C.H.U.D.
  77. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
  78. Live and Let Die
  79. Oculus
  80. Ravenous
  81. Sauna
  82. Season of the Witch
  83. Sleepy Hollow
  84. The Brothers Grimm
  85. The Fountain
  86. The Mist
  87. The Prestige
  88. The Thing
  89. The Witch
  90. They're Watching
  91. Triangle
  92. Blade Runner
  93. Desperado
  94. Dune
  95. First Blood
  96. Johnny Mnemonic
  97. Return of the Killer Tomatoes!
  98. The Beyond
  99. The Stuff
  100. Videodrome