Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pernicious Albion Character Creation

Character creation is exactly the same as Lamentation of the Flame Princess, except that you pick a bloodline and choose from the following classes. You can assign attribute scores as you wish, but you can't reroll attributes if the modifiers are negative.

All Pernicious PCs are approximately human, but there are several variations on that theme.
  1. New Londoner: You are from the city of New Londinium. Your cosmopolitan upbringing (and proximity to a slightly radioactive knowledge-goddess) has given you a talent for languages; you have +2 to your Languages skill
  2. Briton: You are from one of the chieftaincies beyond the grasp of New Londinium's rulers. Your people made pacts with the spirits of the wild long ago; you can use your Bushcraft as Languages when attempting to communicate with animals.
  3. Roman: The Empire had a rich tradition of poorly conceived sorcerous experiments. It is this fact that deposited Albion into the middle of Carcosa, and it is this fact that infused the blood of all Romans with a lingering taint of undeath. You can cast Speak With Dead 1/day.
  4. Deep One: You are descended from one of the marine monstrosities from far beneath Albion's seas and lakes. As you are some sort of hybrid between fish and human (the specifics of how this looks is up to you), you can move with equal speed through water and over land, and you can breathe underwater. 
  5. Tiefling: You are descended from one of the soldiers that took part in Hell's semisuccessful invasion attempt a century ago. You can ignite a fist-sized flame in the palm of your hand at will. You can throw it or thrust it at your enemies to deal d4 damage. It lasts for 1 turn after it leaves your hand, sheds flickering light, and otherwise acts like a regular flame. 
  6. Changeling: You are descended from a bona fide fairy. You cannot utter a lie. Any promise made to you cannot be broken, and you cannot violate any oath you swear.
  7. Nephilim: You are descended from the race of giants born when exiled angels bred with humans. You are 6 to 8 feet tall and have a +1 to your Strength modifier. 
  8. Human: you and your ancestors are (rather improbably) unwarped by the magics, radiations, and influences of Carcosa, which makes you sensitive to malign presences. You can Detect Evil at will.

Cleric of The Grigori

  1. Cleric or Druid: as Lamentations of the Flame Princess Cleric. You are a priest, druid, or prophet for one of the gods or goddesses of Albion. You have access to 3 miracles (which depend on your deity), and you can cast them without preparing.
    1. Her Majesty Gloriana: Queen of Albion, Supreme Governor of New Londinium, Sovereign Goddess of Forbidden Knowledge and Black Magicks
      father dagon. by roryrory, distributed under creative commons
    2. Father Dagon: Patron of Deep Seas and the Beasts Therein
    3. Cernunnos: Horned God of Hunt and Wild
    4. The Morrigan: Black-winged Goddess of Crows and War
    5. Desdemona: Princess-Diabolic of the Iron City of Dis and General of the Infernal Expeditionary Army
    6. The Grigori: The Watchers, The Angels-In-Exile, The Banished Council, Fathers of Giants and Artifice
  2. Magician: as Lamentations of the Flame Princess Magic-User. You start with 4 random spells in your spellbook.
    a gentleman magician
  3. Fairy-Knight: as Lamentations of the Flame Princess Elf. You have sworn yourself into service for one of the great fairies of Albion. You are skilled at both magic and combat; you start with knowledge of 2 spells (which depend on your liege) and can cast any spell you know.
    fairy-knight of rose
    1. King of Roses Red: Fair Monarch of that Land Known as Earth and All Denizens of its Surface and Interior, Liege to the Knights of Rose and Knights of the Thorn
    2. The Regent of Midnight and Noon: Seneschal of All Hours, Steward of the House of Death, Lord of the Tower at the End of the World, Liege of the Knights Chronic
    3. Morgaine: Sorceress Supreme, Mother of All Witches, Sister of All Spiders, Keeper of the Last Breath of the True King, Founder of the Dark Knights
    4. Gogma, the Last and Most Splendid of the Sea Giants, Mistress of the Castle Glaces, Benefactress of the Knights Undulant
  4. Fighter: as Lamentations of the Flame Princess Fighter. 
    fighter veteran
  5. Paladin: XP as Magic User, HP, Saves, and Spell Progression as Cleric; Attack Bonus as Fighter. You are a warrior who has taken holy vows to fight for one of Albion's deities.
    1. Pick a deity from the Cleric list

  6. Specialist: as LotFP Specialist
    there are so many knives in that hat
  7. Wildling: HP as Dwarf. Skills, XP, and Saves as Halfling. You have learned to survive in the strange wilderness outside the walls of New Londinium. You can withstand more punishment than any other class.
    a wildling who is totally about to save vs death

Monday, November 4, 2013

Post-Anglican Nightmare

I want to run a World of Dungeons city crawl. I like WoD because it is so simple; statting up and running monsters is more about thinking over how they act and what they do instead of figuring out a bunch of attributes.

New Londinium is the oldest, grandest, and most horrible city in the world. Its districts and wards are innumerable and ancient, and some are more wild than the gently irradiated wasteland outside its walls.
Hector Lascelle is a tinpot demiurge, and he has claimed the District of Paradise as his own. Nobody lives there anymore, save for Hector and his creations, attempts at recreating the spirits and divinities of Albion from before it went sour. Some say he is building a deity deep in his workshop; others claim he is constructing an artificial Hell to match his shoddy Heaven. Regardless, the most visible fruits of Hector's labor are the strange, squalid angels he uses to police Paradise's border, as well as steal supplies from neighboring districts.

Chimaerical Servitor: child-sized angel simulacrum with the body of preserved dog and the dirty grey wings of a taxidermied pigeon. Wears a cracked porcelain mask depicting a fat baby face. Carries a rhinestone-studded bow and fire gangrenous arrows made of anything it can get its little wire hands on.

HP: 6
Armor: None
Damage: d6-1
Ability: Can shriek, fly quickly if clumsily, loves to steal 

Leaden Perdition: their enormous faces are cast masks of terrible suffering, and their giant simian hands promise terrible violence. In the chest of every Leaden Perdition is a slowly spinning wax cylinder, playing a song that un-makes, un-knits, and generally un-happens everything in earshot. Nails shiver out of boards, cloth begins to fray, and flesh slowly unwinds off of bone. This also affects the Perdition itself, though if the cylinder stops spinning or is destroyed, the construct ceases to function.

HP: 15
Armor: 3
Damage: d6+2
Ability: 10 foot tall leaden monstrosity; deals 1 damage/round to everything in earshot, armor does not defend against it; slowly damages all inanimate objects nearby 

Brazen Herald: stooped and lanky and made of brass and leather. Wears an apparatus of ropes and hooks and springs that it uses to yank itself across the district. It possesses a thunderous voice, which it uses to report the location of interlopers to all that can hear. 

HP: 6
Armor: 1
Damage: d6+1 melee/d6 ranged
Ability: Can launch a harpoon or grappling hook at will, towards a wall, ledge, or enemy. Can try to pull struck enemies towards it, but may find itself pulled by strong or heavy targets. 

Argent Diluvium: serpentine figure of silver wire and filigree. Generally lives in the canals and sewers of Paradise, but when it winds its way onto land, can summon a temporary flood of seawater.

HP: 10
Armor: 2
Damage: d6+1
Ability: Submerse the immediate area in 10 feet of seawater, even when it should immediately drain away. The barrier between flooded area and dry land is a gradually thickening mist of brine. 

Golden Rapture: human skeletons wrapped with golden wire; fly overhead on peacock wings. Can create Chimaerical Servitors from nearby refuse, as well as incapacitate with false visions of Providence.

HP: 8
Armor: 2
Damage: d6 (beams of golden light)
Ability: summon Chimaerical Servitors (1 at a time); stun for 1 round target that fails Wisdom check

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Witches and Killers

1. Ravenous Brod was once an emperor, but sold his domain to Death so that he might hold power over the undead. Now he travels the world, undying, attended by an entourage of gorgeously mummified eunuchs as he buys and sells objects of great rarity and puissance.

2. Witch Boy is an abandoned feral child who stumbled into prodigious arcane power when he sold his old age to a nightmare. Now he holds court over an array of diabolical entities, which attend to him in his forest hideaway with terrified, fawning respect. He wants for nothing but parents.

3. Agony Aunt was a spinster in a past life, but a bandit raid left her homeless, without family, and all too aware of the limitations of domesticity. Now she keeps a witch's heart in a jar of formaldehyde and feeds it lost souls and drops of blood  in return for spells. She willing to provide magical services in return for favors, but possesses a political sensibility that could politely be described as traditional and accurately described as reactionary.

4. The Child of the Final Gate is a young woman who pawned her memory to the Hour of Midnight. She commands the forces of dark and dream and sleep and seeks the reason she desired such power in the first place. Her magic fails in daylight.

5. Candletongue branded his tongue with the 4th Syllable of the Name of Providence. He operates out of an abandoned cathedral on behalf of the Archangel of War, hunting demons and undead and heretics. He possesses a hatred of deviants, heathens, foreigners, idolaters, and, inexplicably, horses.

6. Jon the Not is the inverse remnants of the man who pledged his quiddity to the Sans Seraph. He looks like a photo negative and can create silences, shadows, pauses, and voids. He wishes nothing more than to tear his long-dead love out of history so she can reside with him endlessly in anti-time.

7. Sir Gnomon made a demon of clocks his liege. Now he has gears turning in his flesh, and cannot rest or change or forget. His armor is impenetrable, but he must keep all the dreams he doesn’t have locked up in a coffer lest they overwhelm him.

8. Vermin Festival traded his guts for a loyal swarm of rats. During the day, they rest in his body, multiplying and whispering secrets, while at night, they go forth and do his bidding. He is a gourmet of pestilence, and each rat in his body is infected with a different, horrible disease.

1. Scarlet Deluxe is steel golem in the shape of a woman and covered with red enamel. It was once a slave, but swore an oath to never serve without recompense. It can unfold its limbs into all manners of strange weapons and devices, and will accept ancient blueprints and schematics as payment.

2. Tee To Tum is a giant and a madman; his mother was a princess, but he wants blood above all else. He likes to hide in (relatively) small spaces to surprise his prey, and he only kills with his teeth.

3. Regular Davis is utterly unremarkable and seemingly without history. His victims always die in gruesome public accidents.

4. The Terrible Terrier is a small brown dog with the mind of a man and is guilty of the most heinous of crimes. He favors killing with exotic poisons, and thought his fees are outrageous, who is going to believe any witnesses?

5. Teefs has horns like a goat and likes to push her victims from high places. She keeps the ghosts of everyone she has killed in a burlap sack, and covets the ghost of a true monarch more than anything.

6. Odile is possessed by a malicious, cursed undine and can transform into a swan. She is terrified of water, for she can only kill or be killed through drowning.

7. Suspira is almost completely undetectable, for she can only be seen through windows and doorways. Her breath carries a terrible poison, and rumor has it she is building a ship of immense size, surpassing luxury, and unknown purpose.

8. The Hunter wears animal costumes to get close to his victims and kills with a brazen sickle. Some say he has made friends with the druids, and all know he murders those who speak his true name.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Eschatological Conspiracy for a New Age

I just heard about a game called Nephilim. I only know its most basic premise, but this is what I am filling in the gaps with.
  1. All text in a small Kansan town is replaced with the Tetragrammaton, written in tiny letters over and over again.
  2. A small meteorite crashes into the center of Time Square. It is a figurine of Baphomet.
  3. Graffiti versions of the Eye of Providence start popping up all over Miami, just as a large number of people start to disappear
  4. Everyone in Seattle dreams the same dream every night. They can't remember the details, but it involves a great deal of fire.
  5. All of the goats in the tri-state area have vanished.
  6. A genetics researcher is in a bit of trouble. They thought they were developing extra-wooly sheep, but now the lambs speak, and do so with the voice of mulitudes
  7. A meteorologically improbable hurricane hits Florida, and there are reports that it is raining snakes in the worst of it.
  8. Milk and honey are oozing out of the ground in northern California.
  9. All the children in a small North Dakotan town are speaking a strange language no one understands. A school teacher thinks it might be Greek.
  10. A band called the Whores of Babylon just reached the Top 40 list. No one knows who they are or where they came from, but everyone sure likes their music.
  11. An oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico detonates. Rescue teams find an unidentifiable piece of red metal with the word Malebolge engraved into it.
  12. There's a fire-and-brimstone cultist gaining a following in Ohio. His message is the same old story, but his son's name is Adrammelech.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

but i repeat myself

Yet another draft of the Summoner class. Not sure why it has been so hard to nail down something that I like longer than a few days. I ran a game with someone playing the previous version, and one spirit felt almost too useful, while another seemed to be mostly a liability. Also, breaking creatures down by spell level is fussy and inconsistent and makes it hard to drop into any DnDish game. I also wanted to focus more on Things Going Wrong, as well as having more guidance on how the critters actually act. Also tries to scratch an itch I had with the 4e Warlock. The patrons felt more like an excuse for shooting laser beams than big nasties with motivations of their own.

A class for LotFP
HP and Saves as Cleric, Experience as Elf

Summoners call forth spirits. They can only summon spirits with whom they have made a pact. Forming a pact simply requires the spirit's acquiescence, which can be acquired through violence, deception, persuasion, or bribery. Spirits follow commands delivered verbally and in person by their Summoner to the letter, and often try to twist the words of an imprecisely delivered order, though they will do their best to conceal their ability to do so.

The sum of the HD of all Spirits a Summoner has pacts with cannot exceed the Summoner’s level. When a Summoner gains a level, they can either raise the HD of a Spirit they already have a pact with, or leave the level open to make another pact later. Summoners start with a single 1 HD spirit.

Summoning or dismissing a spirit takes one full round. If a spirit is reduced to 0 HP or fewer, the Summoner takes d6 damage per spirit HD, and the spirit cannot be summoned until it has positive HP. Spirits recover a number of HP equal to their level per day. They cannot regain HP any other way.

Spirits can only cast certain spells, but gain spells per day as a Magic-User. They do not need to prepare spells to cast them; instead, they can expend a spell slot to cast any spell with a level equal to or less than the slot’s level. Any negative effects from casting a spell are visited upon the Summoner.

All spirits have the following attributes, unless otherwise noted:

Max HP: +d6 per level
Attack Bonus: equal to half level
AC: 12+half level
Saves: 12-half level
Damage: d12 (melee)
Movement Speed: As running unencumbered human

Right now I only have 2 spirits because Lamentation of the Flame Princess has a relatively small spell list (especially at higher levels), and I want to keep the spirits' spells distinct and thematically coherent.

Spirit of Insanity, Compulsion, and Change

Red Madama is a wicked butterfly demon, a spirit of air and madness. When she is called forth, the Summoner can transform into her at will, leaving behind a single set of instructions that she will follow to the letter. In order to change back or give new orders, the Summoner must succeed a Wisdom check. In combat, Red Madama and the Summoner take separate turns, and track their HP, attributes, and status effects independently, transforming back and forth without a Wisdom check as their turns arise.

When she is acting under her own power, Red Madama is grandiloquent, arrogant, and generally insane. She is willing to place herself in terrible danger in pursuit of impractical and elaborate schemes, which may or may not align with the Summoner’s interests. Red Madama often pursues extraordinarily violent revenge against those she believes have slighted her, but will also act with destructive generosity towards those she thinks have helped her.

Spells Known
Generally pertain to illusion, delusion, and transformation
I: Cause Fear, Charm Person, Command
II: Change Self, Forget, Phantasmal Force
III: Howl of the Moon, Phantasmal Psychedelia, Suggestion, Fly (uses butterfly wings)
IV: Confusion, Hallucinatory Terrain, Polymorph Self
V: Chaos, False Seeing (Reversed True Seeing),  Insect Plague (red butterflies, not locusts)
VI: Babble (Reversed Tongues), Geas, Phantasmal Supergoria
VII: Unholy Word, Power Word Stun, Prismatic Spray
VIII: Antipathy/Sympathy, Demand, Mass Charm Person
IX: Shapechange, Polymorph Any Object, Symbol, Weird Vortex

Spirit of Secrets, Dark Knowledge, and Deep Seas

clothing by Iris van Herpen

The Mother of the Depths is a hadopelagic sea-demon from beneath the bottom of the world. She manifests as a tall woman wreathed with nautiloid limbs. She can only be summoned from bodies of water with a depth greater than an inch and a diameter greater than a foot, and she cannot set foot on dry land. However, she can move instantly between any two bodies of water in line of sight of each other. She can attack any target in melee range of any body of water in line of sight.

When she find a way around her Summoner’s orders, The Mother acquires as many specimens, artifacts, and pieces of knowledge as possible. She holds power over secrets, and so she will also try to erase little-known pieces of information to which she already has access; this includes destroying books and killing people. The Mother is patient, and will sometimes forgo taking advantage of loopholes in her Summoner’s orders in hopes that they will make the same error at a more expedient time.

Spells Known
Generally pertain to necromancy, darkness, and the discernment
I: Comprehend Languages, Darkness (Reversed Light), Turn Undead
II: Forget, Locate/Hide Object, Ray of Enfeeblement
III: Bestow Curse, Speak With Dead, Strange Waters
IV: Polymorph Others, Wall of Ice, Wizard Eye
V: Airy Water, Animate Dead, True Seeing
VI: Shades, Tongues, Legend Lore
VII: Part Water, Control Weather, Unholy Word
VIII: Demand, Trap the Soul, Vision
IX: Imprisonment, Time Stop, Power Word Kill

Sunday, August 11, 2013

So It Shall Be

Spirits for a Summoner to make pacts with. All spirit abilities are in addition to casting spells.

First Order spirits can neither cast spells while in contact with salt nor cross a line of salt.
  • Ignis Fatuus: can ignite flammable objects with a touch
  • Familiar: can turn into any mundane creature cat-sized or smaller
  • Goblin: can eat anything horse-sized or smaller
  • Great Stag: Carries 1 passenger. Moves three times as fast as an unencumbered human
  • Nosferatu: -1 to enemy morale rolls

Second Order spirits cannot cast spells while in contact with rowan wood.
  • Carmilla: recovers half damage dealt as HP
  • Cynocephalus: can assume the likeness of any human it or the Summoner has seen
  • Homunculus: can use equipment like a PC
  • Juggernaut: Carries 2 passengers. +2 AC to everyone on its back
  • Troll: 20 AC when guarding something

Third Order spirits cannot casts spells while in contact with cold iron, and take double damage from cold iron weapons.
  • Bahamut: Carries 3 passengers. Great serpentine fish, mobile in land and sea
  • Husk: Summoner can possess it, controlling it directly as their own body lies helpless.
  • Lamia: can command snakes
  • Roc: +3 to grapple checks; can fly
  • Undine: nearby allies can breathe underwater

Fourth Order spirits cannot cast spells while in contact with silver and take double damage from silver weapons.
  • Behemoth: can trample enemies for d10 damage
  • Ifrit: attack with flame, dealing d10 damage to all enemies in a 100 foot line
  • Dryad: allies that spend all their time in its presence heal d4 HP per day
  • Marid: any ship it is on will not sink due to natural storms
  • Wicker Man: carries 4 passengers, who are immune to all damage except fire

Fifth Order spirits do not have a particular weakness.
  • Colossus: +d12 damage
  • Dragon: Carries 5 passengers. Also flies
  • Dracula: can turn into a great swarm of bats (attack all enemies in cloud)
  • Revenant: Can possess the remains of creatures of up to 10 HD, gaining their abilities 
  • Seraph: can learn 5th level Cleric spells

Saturday, August 10, 2013

As You Wish It...

I lurve monster-conjuring, but Sword and Wizardry's Conjure Monster spells just don't do it for me, and LotFP's Summon has too many Radiant Frond Phallus Crabs. I wanted a class that was thematically similar to Final Fantasy style summoning, but also something that matched the King Solomon style bossing-genies-around. Rotten Pulp has an excellent take on this, but I was looking for something a little different. Here it is.

SUMMONER, a class for LotFP and retroclones

HP as Cleric, Saves and Equipment restrictions as Magic-User, XP as Elf

from final fantasy XIV
Summoners call forth spirits. When they do so, the spirit appears before them and obeys all of their spoken commands to the letter. In order to call forth a spirit, a Summoner must make a pact with it. 

There are 5 Order of spirits. A spirit’s Order determines how powerful it is and what kinds of spells it can cast. A Summoner can only make a pact with one spirit from each Order. This requires no more than the Summoner requesting a pact and the spirit accepting, though spirits are rarely accomodating. A Summoner can induce a spirit to accept a pact through bargaining, trickery, or violence.

Summoning or dismissing a spirit takes a number of rounds equal to half the spirit’s HD. If a spirit is reduced to 0 HP, its Summoner takes d6 damage for every HD the spirit had and cannot summon that spirit again for a full day. Spirits recover 1 HP a day no matter what, and cannot be magically healed. 

Note: All spirits can cast at least 1 spell per day, and no spirit can cast more than 5 spells per day. Spirits learn spells by eating them, and can cast any spell they know; they do not need to memorize them beforehand like a traditional Magic-User

1st Order Spirit: can cast a number of first level spells per day equal to the Summoner’s level. Has 2 HD, 10 AC, and deals d4 damage on a hit.

2nd Order Spirit: can cast a number of second level spells per day equal to half the Summoner’s level. Has 4 HD, 12 AC, and deals d6 damage on a hit.

3rd Order Spirit: can cast a number of third level spells per day equal to one third the Summoner’s level. Has 6 HD, 14 AC, and deals d8 damage on a hit.

4th Order Spirit: can cast a number of fourth level spells per day equal to one fourth the Summoner’s level. Has 8 HD, 16 AC, and deals d10 damage on a hit.

5th Order Spirit: can cast a number of fifth level spells per day equal to one fifth the Summoner’s level. Has 10 HD, 18 AC, and deals d12 damage on a hit.

So ideally this class will be as much about phrasing commands intelligently and managing Spirits in multiple location as it is about having the right spell. I think I might set up a random tables for for when players send spirits out on a mission unsupervised. 


Summoners call up Spirits. In order to do so, they must first enter a pact with it. Spirits in a pact will fight and cast spells at their Summoner’s command.

Each Spirit is associated with a Spell Level; they can only cast spells of that level--no higher and no lower. Spirits can cast any spell of the appropriate level known to them. They learn spells by eating them (in written form).

Spirits must agree to enter a pact. Summoners may induce a spirit to do so, through bargaining, trickery, or force. A Summoner cannot have a pact with two or more spirits with the same Spell Level. However, they can enter a pact with a Spirit more powerful than them. If a Summoner can track down and bind a Spirit, it is theirs to command.

When a Summoner calls up a Spirit, it appears before them and asks for orders. It will follow orders to the letter, and continue to follow a command until its conditions are met or told to do something else. Spirits only follow orders directly vocalized by their Summoner. It takes a number rounds equal to a Spirit’s Spell Level to summon or dismiss it, and giving a Spirit a new command takes up a Summoner’s entire turn. If a Spirit dies, the Summoner takes d6 damage for every HD the Spirit had, and the Spirit cannot be summoned again until the following day. Otherwise, spirits can be called forth as often as the Summoner wishes. Spirits regain 1 HP per day, and cannot be magically healed.

Spell Level
Spell Slot Progression
1/Summoner level
1/even  level
1/level divisible by 3
1/level divisible by 4
1/level divisible by 5

*Spirits start with 1 random spell of their Spell Level, regardless of Summoner level. The maximum number of spell slots a Spirit can have is 5.

A Summoner begins play with a pact with a Level I Spirit who knows 1 random 1st level spell.


Homunculus: Child-sized figure made of darkness; possesses a toothy grin. Summoner can see through its eyes and speak through its mouth.
Phantom: Can possess the remains of the fallen to gain +1 HP per HD the creature had in life.
Lamia: Upper body of a human, lower body of a great serpent. Mundane snakes follow her commands.
Ifrit: Can throw balls of fire that deal d10 damage on a hit.
Seraph: Can learn Level V Cleric spells, as well.