Thursday, January 28, 2016

Misc. House Rules for LotFP

The following house rules will probably not be to everyone's taste, since they probably make things easier on the typical Lamentations of the Flame Princess party, and LotFP is not meant to be too easy. I tend to be a pretty generous DM, which I feel is both a blessing and a curse, depending on the situation.

Enough talk: have at you!

  • Character who are not Magic-Users can cast from wands and staves as if they were first-level Magic-Users. Only Magic-Users can cast from wands and staves as a higher level caster, of course. One could forbid Clerics from doing this, or inflict a penalty of some kind on Lawful characters who do this. (I should make a random table for this.)
  • PCs can put skill points into Open Doors. If the PC's rank in the skill plus their strength bonus add up to more than 6, the skill is still treated as rank 6. The same goes for Languages and any intelligence bonus. Maybe characters could mark skill points from ability scores as different from "invested" skill points, so that if an ability score is drained the player will know whether or not the skill decreases. Ability score bonuses could be marked with an "x" through the pips in the dice pictures on the character sheet instead of being filled in, for example.
  • The extra skills I've added to my current campaign are First Aid, Lore, Seamanship, and Music/Dance. I've already posted about First Aid. I haven't figured out exactly how Seamanship works yet. I use Lore to determine whether or not characters know relevant bits of history or other campaign details; they can seek out such knowledge, but it's often more convenient to "already know" things when one is deep in a dungeon and working out a puzzle of some kind. Music/Dance is probably pretty self-explanatory. Yes, being good at playing guitar means you're also good at singing and doing the Waltz. Yes, this is goofy. Sometimes I like goofy, such as a situation in which an uneducated peasant-born Fighter from England rolls a 1 on a Language check and "already knows" ancient Egyptian.
  • Dual-wielding weapons allows two attacks (one per weapon) per round, at a -5 penalty to hit with each. Large/two-handed weapons cannot be dual-wielded.
  • Instead of directly draining levels, "level drain" attacks drain experience points. Drain 1 level=drain 2,000 XP, drain 2 levels=drain 4,000, and so on, following the Fighter's level progression chart. Characters only lose actual levels if their experience goes below the minimum for a given level. At lower levels, this house rule would not make much of a difference, but it makes level drain at higher levels less devastating. I think players who achieved higher levels through a slow grind of LotFP-style madness and awfulness might appreciate this and flip over less tables.
  • If a PC fails a Save vs. Poison that would normally result in instant death, it instead takes 1 round for the PC to die, creating a chance for another PC to save them with Neutralize Poison. Without this house rule, I feel like Neutralize Poison is not a very useful spell, but your mileage may vary.
  • I'm fine with Magic-Users being able to cast with one hand like Elves. Even with the slower level progression, I think Elves are too good compared to Magic-Users, and I would want to smooth out the difference a little. I understand the reasoning behind the one-handed thing: Elves are kind of Fighter-y and should be able to hold a weapon in the other hand. But I just don't care. Sorry, Elves, but you get to be a little less special.
  • You know what? In a campaign that doesn't allow Elves, I'd be fine with Magic-Users being able to cast up to Heavily Encumbered like Elves and Clerics. If Elves are present, maybe make that their special thing. The assholes. :)

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