Reading Lamentations of the Flame Princess

I’ve written about thoughts and inspirations upon reading LotFP and so I thought I’d put the disjointed enthusiasm all in one place on the blog.

What is LotFP? Here.

Bullet Points

  • Elves are effected by holy water. They don’t belong in this world and barely belong in the game, right along with the impotent dwarves.
  • Protection Scrolls! Pushing clerics to ritual sacrifice…nice.
  • Summon (I peaked ahead): I feel like this spell being available to first level magic-user is a big reason the world depicted in the adventures is as fucked up as it is. That said, there are lots of nice world-building tidbits in the spell descriptions, giving great color to the cosmology of the world.
  • Retainers: Yes, you might need to hire folks to help you manage what you gain from adventuring but the system does not recommend taking up title. Taxes don’t count towards XP, so who gives a fuck. The Flame Princess tells us in her Lamentations, “Yes, go loot dungeons but after that, when you get back into town with a cart full of priceless sorcery and fell artifacts, hire a damned accountant.”
  • Nice layout and solid D&D-directly-inspired game design with crisp rules for saving throws, classes, combat, magic and skills. The game knows where it wants to go and it gets there in style.

Campaign Idea: The Broken Tower League

Thoughts on how I might just campaign it up with more thoughts on the Broken Tower League and future seclusia sure to come:

Players are adventurers aboard the BTLG (Broken Tower League Galleon) Fortitude, anchored in Ash Bay. Each player makes up 4 characters who are pledged to the Tower Federation. Maybe they own ’em, or maybe they just toss the characters into a pot once they’ve rolled ’em up.

They have a map with 3 seclusia and assorted other stuff on it. They put together parties to go adventuring and try to get back with the goods before storms force the Fortitude into a port half a continent away, forcing that group to hump it to the port or push all the way to the nearest federation town.

The Broken Tower League is a group of united towns who all had to deal with a seclusium in or near its borders. They’ve used their power to put together scribes, scholars, and adventurers to gather more power and knowledge.

The 4th character is held in reserve on the galleon in case someone dies and needs replacing. The 3 parties will have pigeons to send word back to the ship.

I am also considering a random table for a BTLG adventuring party’s starting gear.

 

Class Questions

AW style ask-the-players questions directly inspired from LotFP’s class descriptions:

Cleric
Which heresy vexes you the most?

When did you hear your calling from your deity?

Fighters
What slaughter have you perpetrated that still haunts your dreams?

When you get to hell, who do you hope is waiting for you there?

Magic-Users
How did you learn magic and what happened to the person, institution or otherworldly force that bestowed the ability to carry spells in your brain upon you?

In what way are you damned for practicing magic?

Specialist
Tell me what your character loves about adventuring.

What the hell led you to this life? Boredom? Greed? Idle curiosity?

Who taught you your skills?

Dwarf
Every dwarven family has some terrible kinstrife feud at its heart. Tell me something about yours.

What extraordinary happenstance caused your parents to rut and give birth to you?

Elf
What have you heard about your faery home, far from this muddy shit-hole of a world (possibly heard from the eldest in your Elf enclave or a wanderer you met on the road)?

What do you hate most and love most about these humans?

What is something you regularly do (or don’t do) that is inhuman?

This is a technique that I first saw made concrete in Apocalypse World and thought it would be neat to hear a player’s thoughts on their character before the cruel LotFP world destroys, mutates and corrupts them into whatever they end up becoming.

(Editing Note: Thank you, +Jason Morningstar for the solid edits on the last Specialist and Magic-User questions.)

I’d like to talk about the art, which is fantastic, but that might very well be a post all its own, so I’ll wait on that.

I haven’t read the ref guide yet but a remaining copy of the boxed set is on its way to me and after reading this, I have high hopes. Once the boxed set arrives, I am pretty sure that I will be making up monsters and getting someone to roll up a character for the grinder.

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7 thoughts on “Reading Lamentations of the Flame Princess

  1. I had a similar reaction recently on getting the LotFP Rules & Magic and Ken Hite’s Qelong adventure. I want to do a “Black Company” style mission, where the PCs roll up multiple characters and arrive on the shores of Qelong with a mission from their employer to recover the obelisk. They split into multiple search parties and explore the land. I’d rotate sessions between the search parties and watch as they start to figure their way around.

    If I can ever talk someone into doing it, I’ll have to swipe your class questions, as they’re great.

    And yeah, the art is beyond words. Raggi’s pride in his production values is warranted.

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