Friday, February 12, 2016

Questions about House Rules to Ask Before Starting a Campaign in LotFP

In light of yesterday's post, here are some more questions that I think it would be helpful to ask before starting a campaign. Three small differences: I think it would be appropriate for the DM not only to think about what they would like the answers to be, but also for the DM to ask the players what they would like the answers to be. Not that such a thing wasn't implied by the lists of questions I answered yesterday as a possibility, but I wanted to make it explicit. Also, these questions are specifically geared toward starting a Lamentations of the Flame Princess campaign, so they might not fully apply to other D&D/OSR games. Lastly, these questions all relate to whether or not things will be run Rules As Written regarding various aspects of the game, and exactly what house rules, common or uncommon, will be used.

Basically, I could see these kind of questions coming up when the players give the Rules & Magic book a once-over and start asking the DM for clarification.

1. Will Demihuman classes be allowed? What about Clerics? Classes not in the Rules & Magic book? Will any kind of multiclassing or dualclassing be allowed? Are you serious about only the Fighter getting better at attacking and only the Specialist getting skill points?

2. How long does it take to memorize spells? Are you going to enforce spell memorization, or let casters pick spells as they cast them, like the Sorcerer in D&D 3.5? Come on, not even reversible spells? How strict are you about encumbrance and the number of hands used RE: casting?

3. Are you adding any extra skills to the game? Appraisal? Arcana? Diplomacy/Bluff/Intimidate? Why can't I put points into Open Doors?

4. Do ability scores only add points to Languages and Open Doors, or will other skills be linked to ability scores?

5. Regarding actions not covered by Skill checks: Will there by any kind of ability checks, or will you just say yes or no when we try to do things, or what?

6. What exactly do Search and Tinker do? How much description will the player need to provide to find things and disarm traps?

7. Any extra character options? Feats? Psionics? Special attacks?

8. Can firearms be fired once per combat, or after 10 rounds of reloading, or what? How does the armor-ignoring thing work? Do all guns do the same damage?

9. Will we be able to "stack" similar inventory items, like torches, or does one (normally encumbering) item always equal one slot by itself? How many items are in a stack?

10. If I fail to "already know" a language with a Language check, can I somehow learn the language in the future?

11. Which classes can use wands, staves, and scrolls?

12. Do enemies get a saving throw against spells that do not specify whether or not they do in their descriptions?

13. What is the maximum to-hit bonus for monsters? +10, like a maxed-out Fighter with average Strength? +13, like a maxed-out Fighter with 18 Strength? +15, like a maxed-out Fighter with 18 Strength doing a Press attack? Something else?

14. How is level-drain going to be handled? How about ability score drain?

15. Are you using any "carousing" rules to allow XP to be bought?

16. Is there any kind of mechanical advantage or disadvantage to dual-wielding? Two-handing? Using certain weapons? (Is there any advantage to using a rapier, besides the price?) Does the "type" of damage (blunt, slashing, piercing, etc.) done by a weapon matter?

17. Can henchmen (specifically ones with class levels) be hired, or do they have to be gained in the course of adventuring? How much do they cost?

18. It says in the book that house servants refuse to accept more than one PC as a boss. Why? Can we convince them otherwise?

19. Investments sure have long return periods. Are there any short-term investments we can make?

20. Are we using any rules for maiming, crippling, disfiguring, or amputation? How does dying work? Can we at least get max HP at Level 1?

I'd like to thank the authors of Jeff's Gameblog, Necropraxis, and Monster Manual Sewn From Pants for the inspiration to write this post and the one from yesterday.

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