Monday, January 26, 2015

[SLaFS] Session Two Report

Can you spot the Gnoll?

Session 2 of my Lamentations of the Flame Princess Game:

In our last session the party continued deeper into the mine to find a portion of it had collapsed into a larger chamber, revealing an underground lake or river. Secured there were two strange looking canoes that appeared to belong to the sightless creatures they had fought and killed. After pulling up one of the canoes they discovered it was made of giant insect carapaces held together with some kind of resin.

During their retreat from the mine Ragnar examined the bodies and determined they were adolescent Grimlocks, a degenerate underground race that usually allies themselves with other subterrene entities.

Upon emerging from the mine the characters noticed a figure seated in front of the stone tower in the north of the village. The figure did not respond to their greetings. Approaching they found a man with a wild head of gray hair dressed in blood and mud spattered burgundy robes. He began to speak or recite something and seemed to ignore any communication. He turned to reveal a ruined and bloody face and that his eyes had been gouged out. He invoked a spell and the characters attacked with Bram dealing the killing blow.

The characters fled the village at this point, taking with them supplies from the mine and the strange carapace canoe.

What followed were days of fair weather travel along the coast and cold nights sheltering on the rocky shore. They found a river inlet that led north. Traveling inland they encountered what at first appeared to be a wolf drinking at the river's edge. As it came into view they saw it was a wolfman and Thurgo loosed an arrow at it. It's Gnoll companions broke through the cover at the bank and responded with arrows of the own.

After several moments of hurried paddling and near misses, Thurgo's arrow found it's mark and the Gnolls retreated, dragging their archer with them.

Hours later the party spied a small fishing village ahead.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Lamentations of the Flame Princess game [SLaFS]

So I've dubbed my home campaign of LotFP "Sunken Lands and Forgotten Shores". I'm using the ruleset and plugging in a combination of homebrew material and adapted ODD, AD&D and Judges Guild adventures. My plan was to create and adventure hub and populate the surrounding area with ruins, dungeons, and some small settlements.

I started by throwing the party into a bad situation and I thought it would set the tone for the game by the first adventure location being a burned down Hommlett. I set the village on the coast, in the farflung wintery North. I shipwrecked the party and let them wander around.

So, this first hub was a bust. The party got spooked, and after only investigating a little they fled the area in a pair of fishing boats. I'll post my after action reports of the subsequent sessions.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Night of the Bloody Hooks now on Kickstarter

 January 19th, 2015 - Michael Todd and Isaac Beach have launched their month-long Kickstarter campaign for Night of the Bloody Hooks.

Night of the Bloody Hooks is a system agnostic collection of short adventure hooks and ideas suitable for modern horror tabletop roleplaying games. Each entry is short, usually no more than a paragraph, containing only the strange premise, the hook, designed to spark a gamemaster's imagination and inspire a suitably diabolical and horrific scenario for the game's players.

"Fear has always intrigued me by being one of the truly universal experiences," said Isaac Beach, one of Night of the Bloody Hooks' writers. "Studying the 'whats' and 'whys' of horror created a need to express the budding scenarios that before only had homes in my notebooks or on my tabletop."

The campaign's $500 goal will allow for the completion of the writing and layout of the project. At that point Night of the Bloody Hooks will be released as a pdf through the popular epublishing sites RPGNow and DriveThruRPG.

"Horror has been my go-to genre in film, video games, and tabletop games for years," said Michael Todd, one of the collection's writers. "I find it creeping along the edges of the games I run in other genres as well, so Night of the Bloody Hooks is a great outlet for all my unused ideas." Michael has been writing for pen and paper roleplaying games since 1992 and self-published the first two Bloody Hooks releases as Big Finger Games. The previous releases and their reviews can be found at RPGNow:

The Kickstarter campaign for Night of the Bloody Hooks runs until February 17th, 2015 and can found here.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Teamwork in Pathfinder

I've been playing a couple of different Pathfinder games each week and while I'm having a lot of fun playing them, I can't say too much about the two adventuring groups' teamwork. This differs from some other D&D experiences I've had in the past in which our group was a well-oiled killing machine.

So, I've been thinking about teamwork and about the lack of mechanics for representing an experienced group that works well together. So I scratched down these ideas after the last game.


There are already several mechanical ways that represent teamwork -- Aid Another, Flanking, Teamwork Feats, etc. With Teamwork Tokens the adventuring group receives 1 Token per character for every two character levels the group gains while adventuring together. So a group of five adventurers who have been together long enough for them all to gain four character levels would have 10 Tokens.

These Tokens form a pool that can be spent to enhance various teamwork benifits. This pool refreshes at the beginning of each game session. Anytime a member of the party leaves the group or dies, that character's "share" of the Teamwork Token pool will be lost. For example, in a group of five characters, the loss of one of those characters would result in a 1/5 reduction of the pool. The GM can enforce further penalties or temporary holds on parts of the pool while new characters are worked into the party.

Token uses are as follows:

Aid Another: When using this action you may spend 1 token to raise the Aid Another bonus by an additional +1. The maximum number of tokens that may be spent on one roll is equal to the average character level in the party divided by 4 (round down). These tokens must be spent before any rolls are made.

Flanking: When making an attack roll that benefits from a flanking bonus, spend 1 token to raise that bonus by +1. The maximum number of tokens that may be spent on one roll is equal to the average character level in the party divided by 8 (round down). These tokens must be spent before any rolls are made.

When a party member is about to suffer an attack of opportunity, another party member who is adjacent to both the attacker and defender may spend 5 tokens to prevent that attack.

When making a saving throw, an adjacent party member may spend 1 token to give the targeted character at +1 morale bonus to the save. The maximum number of tokens that may be spent on one roll is equal to the average character level in the party divided by 4 (round down). These tokens must be spent before any rolls are made.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Happy Birthday, Clark Ashton Smith!

If you haven't read CAS, you need to. If you're a tabletop gamer chances are you've encountered the influence of Clark Ashton Smith's work.

Read something here. I recommend The Seven Geases.
"May the ordure of demons bemire you from heel to crown!" cried the venomous ancient. "O lumbering, bawling idiot! you have ruined a most promising and important evocation. How you came here I cannot imagine. I have surrounded this place with twelve circles of illusion, whose effect is multiplied by their myriad intersections; and the chance that any intruder would ever find his way to my abode was mathematically small and insignificant. Ill was that chance which brought you here: for They that you have frightened away will not return until the high stars repeat a certain rare and quickly passing conjunction; and much wisdom is lost to me in the interim."

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hexcrawling The Wasteland

I've been doing a lot more roleplaying lately.

Two weekly Pathfinder games, a bi-weekly Lamentations of the Flame Princess game (that I'm running), a bit of Age of Rebellion, and an Unknown Armies game on the horizon. It's all got the creative juices flowing again and (thanks to LotFP) kindled an interest in the OSR and it's blogosphere.

Reading about megadungeons, hexcrawls and other 'old school' rpg frameworks set me to dreaming about hexcrawls. So I'm doing one. I knocked together a map in photoshop, keyed it, and started filling in details. It's going to be a system agnostic post-apocalyptic crawl of 121 hexes.

I wanted something that let me cut loose a bit as I eased back into rpg writing. I mistakenly thought it would be a short and quick project but I'm finding myself putting a lot more detail in the crawl than I originally intended. But, hey, it's a hell of a lot of fun and there are all kinds of other ideas spinning off out of it.

A preview of the cover image for my upcoming hexcrawl.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Baker Street, a new roleplaying game on RPGNow

New on RPGNow/DTRPG is Baker Street: Roleplaying in the world of Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock is missing and presumed dead in this rpg and your characters take up the slack as they solve the 'most baffling crimes in history'. Mystery is always a tough sell in an rpg and I've never seen it done as well as the Gumshoe rpgs have. Baker Street looks very intriguing, can't wait to see a review on this one.

However, I would have to update  it for my modern sensibilities and mix it with the punk-infused version of Holmes from Guy Davis' indie comic Baker Street.

Holmes doesn't have to be confined to the Victorian era.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Witches, Man, Witches...

Witching & Bitching is an unfortunately titled movie you can find on Netlfix right now.

It's orginal Spanish title is "Las brujas de Zugarramurdi". A better and frankly more evocative title. This Alex de la Iglesia film is quite the ride. It's full of wonderful strangeness, outré imagery, and may give you a Venus of Willendorf phobia. And it's structure feels oddly like a roleplaying game scenario. A group of disparate characters working together to acquire wealth, moving from strange encounter to strange encounter, and finally facing the boss monster in the end.

Check it out if you don't mind reading subtitles and want to see something odd and different. And there's Carolina Bang too. Reason enough.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Mecha Vs Kaiju

Looks like WrightWerx' Mecha Vs Kaiju (FATE Edition) is starting to show up in distributor's catalogs. The book had a successful kickstarter in March of 2014 and is currently available on RPGNow and DriveThru. If you like Mecha and/or Kaiju let your FLGS know to be on the look out!

Fantastic new cover for this edition of the game!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Back In The Saddle Again!

Been a long time. Missed you. Big Finger Games rides again. Stay tuned...