Sunday, December 28, 2014

Lamentations of the Fifth Princess

I actually like having a robust skill system. I don't like players using skills to bludgeon past making choices. As a compromise, my new golden rule is: The player always explains their in-game actions, then the Referee tells them what skill they use. Saying "I use [skill]" means you automatically fail your next roll.

Still using LotFP HP, XP, and Spells. Using 5e's equipment, skill, and armor system.

Your proficiency bonus equals 2. Increase it by 1 every 4 levels, or just use the 5e Player's Handbook. Everyone is assumed to be proficient in armor; only Fighters, Barbarians, and Paladins are proficient with weapons.

Fighters
  • add their proficiency bonus to attack rolls, rather than level
  • add their proficiency bonus to Strength and Dexterity saving throws 
  • Fighters can make a number of attacks on their turn equal to half their proficiency bonus, rounded down.
Barbarians
  • Add their proficiency bonus to attack rolls
  • add their proficiency bonus to Strength and Constitution saving throws
  • Barbarians take half damage, deal double damage, and have advantage on Strength checks when they rage. They can rage once per short rest.
  • XP as Fighter
Paladins
  • Add their proficiency bonus to attack rolls
  • Add their proficiency bonus to Constitution and Wisdom saving throws
  • Once per short rest, paladins can cast spells a cleric spell with a level less than or equal to half their level, rounded up
  • Spell Save DC = 8+proficiency bonus+Wis modifier
  • XP as Fighter
Specialists
  • Have a number of mastered skills/tools  equal to half their proficiency bonus, rounded down. Specialists have advantage by default on mastered skills.
  • Start with 2 extra skills and 2 extra tools/languages
  • When they attack a surprised or inattentive enemy, they add their proficiency bonus to the attack roll and roll an extra number of damage dice equal to their proficiency bonus. 
  • add their proficiency bonus to Strength and Dexterity saving throws 
Magic-user/Magician
  • Spell Save DC = 8+proficiency bonus+Int modifier
  • know a number of cantrips equal to their proficiency bonus. You can choose cantrips from any class list, but it can't cause damage or shed light. You can still choose Produce Flame, but it deals d6 damage and doesn't deal increasing damage.
  • add their proficiency bonus to Intelligence and Wisdom saving throws
Summoners
  • Add their proficiency bonus to Ritual Checks instead of their level
  • can Turn Spirits once per short rest
  • add their proficiency bonus to Wisdom and Charisma saving throws
Warlocks
  • Favor Save DC = 8+proficiency bonus+Cha modifier
  • Know a number of additional languages equal to half their proficiency bonus, rounded down.
  • add their proficiency bonus to Intelligence and Charisma saving throws
Background
Pick four skills and a total of two tool and language proficiencies. Pick a background ability from the 5e basic pdf or handbook, whichever is available. If you have an idea that's not in the book, let me know and we can work it out. Then give your background a name that explains how you have these skills (Scholar, Beggar, Assassin, whatever)

Skills
  • Persuasion and Deception are now Charm
  • Athletics and Acrobatics are now just Athletics. 
  • Survival and Nature are now one skill. The only reason you'd have both is to distinguish a hunter from a botanist, and I don't fucking care about that. 
  • Insight and Investigation are gone.
  • Performance is gone
Animal Handling
Arcana
Athletics
Charm
History
Intimidation
Medicine
Perception
Nature
Religion
Sleight of Hand
Stealth

Tools
In addition to the default:
Barber's tools
Dowsing Rod
Medic's kit
Voice (I know it's not a tool, but I don't like Performance as a skill, and an Albion without opera singers in no Albion at all)

Languages
Picking a language from this list means you can read it and speak it. Everyone already speaks English, so pick it again if you want to be literate.

Ara Gorash, language of abomination 
Britonnic,  the old tongue of Albion
Elegaic, language of the greater dead
English
Enochian, language of angels
Fol, language of the fairies
Lament, language of the lesser dead and the damned
Mew, the language of cats

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Intelligent NPCs in the Land of Unreason

There's actually a table of these on pages 154-155. Leaving this up as a testament to my stupidity. 

The wilderness encounter table in A Red and Pleasant Land involves meeting intelligent NPCs, so if you want the process of determining which to be random, you can use this table. I didn't include the Red Brides because it seemed like they hang out in their Castle all day (and also including them would mean you would have to produce a d33 instead of a d30)

d30 Intelligent NPCs in Voivodja
  1. Cheshire Cat
  2. Colorless Bishop
  3. Colorless Knight
  4. Colorless Pawn
  5. Colorless Queen
  6. Colorless Rook
  7. Duchess (Heart Court)
  8. Footman (Heart Court
  9. Footman (Colorless Court)
  10. The Hatter (Pale Court)
  11. Heart Queen
  12. King of Hearts
  13. Knave of Hearts
  14. The March Hair (Pale Court0
  15. Order of Clubs (Heart)
  16. Order of Diamonds (Heart)
  17. Order of Hearts (Heart)
  18. Order of Spades (Heart)
  19.  Pale Bishops
  20. Pale King
  21. Pale Knights
  22. Pale Pawns
  23. Pale Rooks
  24. Rabbit
  25. Red Bishop
  26. Red King
  27. Red Pawns
  28. Red Rooks
  29. Sleeper (Pale)
  30. Sphinx

Friday, December 26, 2014

Albion Encounter Tables

Albion's wilderness encounter tables use 3d6. I like the distribution on this--the tail ends of the bell curve have scary/useful NPCs, while the middle bits have more common monsters and criminals.

Another trick I'm interested in trying is having monster/NPC behavior tied to the number you encounter. For example, if the Referee determines that the party encounters d6 goblins, a roll of 2 or less means that you meet 2 goblins fleeing from something else on the encounter table, while a roll of 5 or more means they are hauling a little extra treasure after a victory. This lets you vary encounters more without relying in longer tables or lots of extra dice rolling.

3d6 In the windy moors of Albion...

  • 3: The Morrígan (ancient Britonnic war-witch, majordomo of the House of Death, potential warlock signatory)
  • 4: Merchant with 2d6 bodyguards; if there are 9+, they plan on robbing their employer
  • 5: Noble with 2d6 bodyguards; if there are 9+, they are transporting a prisoner
  • 6: d6+3 knights; if there are 7+, they have sworn fealty to the lord of the nearest domain; on a 6-, they are on a mission from a distant domain
  • 7: d6+3 Watcher Cultists
  • 8: Shepherd (armed with a gun) with d6+1 Albion hounds and 3d6 sheep
  • 9: Malkin (enormous, evil cats)
  • 10: 2d6 bandits; if there are 10+, they are hauling £2d100 in trade goods
  • 11: 2d6 wolves; if there are 10+, they are attacking another creature on this table
  • 12: 2d6 Britons; if there are 7+, they are being pursued by constables
  • 13: Spakehound
  • 14: d6 Wights
  • 15: 2d6 Vampires, level equals 13-No. Appearing. Masquerading as (1-Nobles 2-Magician and servants 3-Bandits 4-Knights)
  • 16. 2d6 Werewolves, level equals 13-No. Appearing. Masquerading as (1-Bandits 2-Britons 3-Merchant and bodyguards 4-Hunters)
  • 17. Magician and d6 bodyguards. If there are 4+, the magician intends to use them in a ritual
  • 18. Lady of Joy-forgotten (sybaritic fairy-noble recently banished from her domain by a rival aristocrat)

propagating my incompetence

Edited the new warlock, but that doesn't warrant a whole post on it own. I've been trying to get this patron system right for over two years, ever since I tried to glue World of Dungeons magic onto LotFP when one of my players cut a deal with The Man With A Clock For A Face.

With aching slowness, I am teaching myself InDesign. Here's a thing I made for practice. Thinking my post-Albion project will be a monster hunt/pokécrawl.

painting by John Singer Sargent

illustrations by Harry Clarke

pdf is available here

Monday, December 22, 2014

Warlock 3.0

Warlock, a class for Lamentations of the Flame Princess
HP, XP, and Saving Throws as Magic-user
 
Albion crawls with failed divinity: fallen angels, dethroned fairy queens, rogue incubi, all the exiles and rejects of Faerie and the Hereafter. While most look upon these beings as gods or demons, to be feared or adored, warlocks are those cunning or foolish individuals who instead see opportunity. Eschewing the hard study of magicians and the enlightenment of clerics, warlocks rely on their talent as rhetors to broker deals with these beings. All power they gain is through trade, and so they must constantly perform servies or find payments for their patrons. This struggle often pushes warlocks into the ranks of Albion’s freelancers and mercenaries.

The locus of a warlock's magical power is her contract, which contains the seals and signatures of every spirit with which she has formed a pact. Contracts describe the kinds of requests signatories will grant, as well as the kinds of tasks the warlock will perform in return. Signatories reward warlocks who have proved their worth and make a greater range of favors available as they gain levels.

A warlock starts with a contract with a single spirit. She may add any number of spirits to her contract, but must first find them and make them signatories, usually in return for a some sort of service.

A warlock can request favors from her signatories as often as she wishes. However, spirits are fickle; they may grant the request without question, demand payment, or punish the warlock for pestering them unless appeased in some way. Warlocks do not need to settle their debts to signatories immediately, but outstanding obligations sour a spirit's disposition and make it more difficult to extract favors from them.

Signatory: Old Queen Mab
She was ancient when the heath lay deep beneath the sea.
Sphere: Curses
As the sometime Queen of Faerie, Mab above all else desires revenge against the King of Roses Red, who deposed her, and the supposed allies who let him. When she speaks with her vassals, she seizes control of a nearby animal or weak-willed human and speaks through their mouth.

The Curse of Many Lances
Prerequisite: 1st level Warlock
Mab inflicts a curse of the warlock’s design that pertains to lances, bleeding, wounds, or impalement.

The Curse of Stitched Eye
Prerequisite: 3rd level Warlock 
Mab inflicts a curse of the warlock’s design that pertains to dreams, insomnia, sleep, or sleep walking.

The Curse of Eternal Darkness
Prerequisite: 5th level Warlock
Mab inflicts a curse of the warlock’s design that pertains to darkness, night, occlusion, or the color black.

The Curse of Chains
Prerequisite: 7th level Warlock 
Mab inflicts a curse of the warlock’s design that pertains to bondage, chains, imprisonment, limitation, or servitude.

The Curse of Changed Flesh
Prerequisite: 9th level Warlock 
Mab inflicts a curse of the warlock’s design that pertains to metamorphosis or any other sort of bodily transformation.

For the Referee
When a warlock calls on their signatory, the Referee makes a reaction roll to determine their initial disposition. Most favors should be no more effective than a spell a magician of the warlock's level could cast. If they are more powerful, apply a penalty; signatories should grant extravagant requests either in modified form or in return for very difficult or dangerous services.

Feel free to apply bonuses or penalties based on the situation—favors that align with a signatory's goals (or at least amuse them) might get a bonus, while those that offend a signatory's sensibilities might receive a penalty.
  • Malicious: The signatory harms the warlock or otherwise complicates their situation in a manner pertaining to their Sphere, and the warlock takes a -1 penalty to the next reaction roll with this signatory
  • Annoyed: The signatory harms the warlock or otherwise complicates their situation in a manner pertaining to their Sphere
  • Bored: The signatory does nothing.
  • Interested: The signatory is inclined to grant the warlock's request
  • Cooperative: The signatory is inclined to grant the warlock's request, and the warlock gains a +1 bonus to the next reaction roll with this signatory.
Once the Referee has made the reaction roll, the warlock must actually convince their signatory to perform the favor. This proceeds like any other conversation with an NPC. The warlock says what they want, the signatory states their price, and then they haggle. However, this requires a great deal of extemporizing, so here is a heuristic to use if you get stuck:

There are three broad classes of things signatories want: Sacrifices, Rituals, and Services. Agreeing to perform a Ritual or Sacrifice each increases a signatory's reaction by 1 step. Agreeing to perform a Service has a variable effect, depending on its difficulty and complexity, but a Service that takes a session to complete should increase the signatory's reaction by two steps.

Warlocks do not need to perform Sacrifices, Rituals, or Services immediately, but for every outstanding Ritual or Sacrifice, the warlock takes an cumulative -1 penalty to signatory reaction Rolls. Services cause a -2 penalty to signatory reaction rolls.

Rituals
When a warlock offers to perform a Ritual in negotiation, roll on the following table to determine which the signatory wants.
Performing a ritual takes 1 Turn and requires chalk and incense.
  1. Perform a ritual over the body of a recently slain foe, claiming their soul for the signatory.
  2. Perform a ritual to summon an agent of the signatory into the area.
  3. Perform a ritual to banish a rival's influence from the area.
  4. Perform a ritual to attune the area to the signatory's sphere.
  5. Perform a ritual to erase all evidence of the signatory's meddling.
  6. Capture someone nearby and compel or convince them to swear a binding oath, making them an agent of the signatory.
Sacrifices
When a warlock offers to perform a Sacrifice in negotiation, roll on the following table to determine which the signatory wants.
Sacrifices take 1 Round. Sacrificing a live, healthy goat (1 Turn) takes the place of any Sacrifice.
  1. Blood: d6+level damage
  2. Flesh: d4 Strength damage
  3. Grace: d4 Dexterity damage
  4. Judgment: d4 Wisdom damage
  5. Nous: d4 Charisma damage
  6. Time: incapacitated for d6 Turns
  7. Vigor: d4 Constitution damage
  8. Wit: d4 Intelligence damage 
Services
Queen Mab's services usually involve some of the following:

Objects
  1. Explosives
  2. Poison
  3. Regalia
  4. An exquisite meal
  5. A curse
  6. An ancient and enchanted weapon
  7. A treaty from times primeval
  8. A parasol
  9. A gown
  10. A rose
People
  1. A spy
  2. A knight
  3. A child
  4. A cook
  5. A maid
  6. A shepherd
  7. A lord or lady
  8. An ambassador
  9. A magician
  10. The King of Roses Red
Incidents
  1. Sabotage
  2. Assassination
  3. Marriage
  4. Sowing the earth with salt
  5. Framing someone for a crime
  6. Transformation
  7. Defenestration
  8. Decapitation
  9. Burial
  10. A feast
Locations
  1. A busy kitchen
  2. A terrible prison
  3. A haunted barrow
  4. A decaying castle
  5. A splendid ballroom
  6. The cold and empty moor
  7. The Kingdom of Faerie
  8. A moonlit glade
  9. A backwater village
  10. A haberdashery
Dispositions
  1. A hated rival
  2. A friend betrayed
  3. A wrathful widow(er)
  4. A murderous parent
  5. An erstwhile ally
  6. An aging guardian
  7. A fading beauty
  8. A vengeful victim
  9. An old friend
  10. A loyal servant

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Albion Hangout Play Report 1

THE SUSPECTS
Goldenloin
Murderous 10 year old eunuch warlock; has a contract with the mad angel Penemue

Bartholomew III
Pseudo-noble conman fighter with a taste for forbidden romance

Jessica
Androgynous vampire; howling fop; carries a parasol and a coffin

Janet Snakehole (erm)
Bartholomew III's pseudo-noble conwoman partner-in-crime; possesses unspecified talents, possibly has a gift for assassination

Korgan/Kergan/Can't remember his name
Gnarled mystic; wearer of loincloths; warlock bound to Old Queen Mab, the fairy of malediction

THE CRIMES
The party begins in Queen's Crossing, where they elected to take on the job posted by the town's Postmaster, which required them to venture to the tiny village of Scavenger's Weir to find out why all couriers sent there have vanished. They decided to take the somewhat more dangerous route through Albion's untamed Greywood, on the southern/eastern side of the River Dour. After about half a day's travel, they see a watchtower peeking over the trees and decide to investigate, coming upon an old Roman fort in suspiciously good repair.

Janet and Jessica sneak forward as the rest of the party hangs back. Janet steps on a branch (i.e. Jeremy immediately fails his Stealth check), and the guards in the fort's watchtowers call out. They receive her enthusiastically (i.e. I rolled an 11 on their Reaction check) and demand that she join forces with them.

Jessica leaps from her hiding spot and suggests that they work for the party instead. In response, a woman in resplendent centurion armor bursts out of the gate (followed by several disheveled "Praetorians" mumbling in execrable Latin) and tells Jessica to stop talking and sit down. She introduces herself as the Empress Henrietta and demands that the party join her or die. That such an earthy personage in such martial gear call herself Empress  "offends Jessica's imperialist sensibilities", and the vampire says that she is no head of state. Henrietta's lackeys gasp, and she tries to stab Jessica in the face. There's a fight, with highlights as follows:
  • Goldenloin swears fealty to Henrietta in the middle of the fight and tries and fails to stab her in the back after she retreats upon being shot in the neck.
  • Jessica gets laid out by a well-placed bullet, while Bartholomew III is reduced to 0 HP. He tries to revive her by wringing the blood from his wound into Jessica's mouth, which doesn't work until after the fight.
  • Korgan catches up with the party, calls upon Old Queen Mab to impale his enemies with lances, and she sucks out his vitality instead.
  • Henrietta gets increasingly wild-eyed and shouty
The battle ends when Janet staves in Empress Henrietta's head with a pistol grip. The Empress' soldiers immediately give up, and start drinking and playing dice in the corner of the fort as soon as they can. Bartholomew III rings squeezes some of Henrietta's blood into Jessica's mouth, who manages to revive. The ex-legionaries tell Jessica that the Empress was once Professor Henrietta Lately at the Royal Society, according to the monogram she brought with her, before she decided to set out into the wilderness in pursuit of Empire. They were once bandits, but she tore out their bosses jugular with her teeth and scared them into submission. The party finds an aged, mangy horse, painted white and burdened with poorly gilted riding tack, which they use to carry the potentially valuable antique armor they lifted from the Empress dethroned.

They follow the river onward and encounter a crumbling, partially submerged keep slumping into the water. After a brief investigation, Goldenloin calls upon the knowledge of Penemue to determine how safe spending the night in the keep would be. Upon doing so, he discovers a scrimshawed skull behind a piece of rubble, which reads as follows:

My dearest Goldenloin,

I have considered your proposal and would like to accept, but I'm afraid you must lend me some of your sanity in return.

--your friend, P.

Goldenloin accepts the terms (takes d4 Wisdom damage) and sees that the keep is dangerous, but not insurmountably so. Bartholomew III bravely asserts that his fate is not to die in some keep, and plunges onward with the party in tow. They go down a set of steps into a large, empty antechamber, with another flight of stairs leading deeper, which they take. About 10 feet down, a howling, pallid man charges Bartholomew, and they grapple on the ground as the party looks on. Jessica tries to stab the man, but sees multiple pinprick scars on his neck, and realizes he is "the help" of some vampire. As he says this, a soaking wet, muck-covered woman in antique finery emerges from the gloom and welcomes Jessica as an equal (rolled really high reaction rolls this session). She also thanks Jessica for bringing so many snacks. Jessica apologizes and says that the party isn't ripe yet--like cheese, humans are best eaten aged. The vampire accepts this explanation, crushes the head of her thrall with a spiked heel for his rudeness, and drags him into the dark by a leg. More importantly, she promises to leave the party alone and will let them stay in her empty antechamber.

They leave the following evening, which allows Jessica to travel about without suffering in the sunlight. While they rest, goes on a jaunt for a meal, and by a great deal of luck comes upon a Dr. Adelphus and his hirsute bodyguard MR CRUSHMORE, surveying land for possible purchase. Jessica Charms Mr. Crushmore, and Dr. Adelphus leaves his enamored bodyguard in disgust.

The party bypasses any more potentially complicating encounters and arrives at Scavenger's Weirat sunrise (I said sunset, but that was wrong). It is a small town, consisting of a series of houses perched atop islands, with bridges and weirs crisscrossing in between. A newly constructed palisade surrounds the party of the town on the banks. Ezekiel, the guardsman, reluctantly lets the party in at the feeble sight of Goldenloin crying for food, despite the protests of Mrs. Chamberlain, a hunched and powerfully built woman adorned with a great number of guns.

~~TUNE IN NEXT TIME FOR THE INCIDENT(?) AT SCAVANGER'S WEIR~~

RETROSPECT
I'm honestly a big softy when it comes to player death, and whenever I have strict rules about it, I put them in place really erratically. I'd rather have more generous rules I enforce fairly and consistently.

Adapted from 5e:
  • 1 or more HP means you're hale 'n' hearty
  • If you HP is between 0 and half your negative Constitution score, rounded up, you are dying. You can roll to recover on each of your turns. Roll a d20. On a 10+, you enjoy 1 success. On a 9-, you suffer 1 failure. After 3 successes, you are back to 1 HP. After 3 failures, you die
  • Vampires don't bleed out, so when their HP is between 0 and half their negative Constitution score, they are simply unconscious. However, they can't recover on their own either. If they are fed HP in blood worth half their Con score, they wake up with 1 HP
  • If you have less HP than half your negative Constitution score, you die
  • Enemies have no problem hitting you while you're down
There is now a Medic skill. Everyone has a 1 in 6 chance of succeeding, and Specialists can improve it like any other skill. Succeeding a Medic check gives a patient an additional recovery success, while failing one gives them an additional recovery failure.

I'm also really liking reaction rolls. The party was really lucky this session, and I think I could represent ambivalent or friendly reactions in more interesting ways, but I think having randomly determined hostility makes things better, overall.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Advanced Angelology


RUMORS
  1. The Grigori Fell because they gave knowledge to humanity before the divinely appointed time.
  2. Even the angels do not know why they were banished from Heaven.
  3. The Grigori live in the Sunless Lands because it is closer to Paradise.
  4. The Grigori are actually just demons. They look like that to confuse you.
  5. The Grigori snatch people up and take them to Heaven, in hopes that God will forgive them
  6. If the Grigori catch you, they will whisper spells into your ear until you think like them.
  7. The Grigori see out of the eyes of their Watchers
  8. If you become a Watcher, the Grigori will carry you to Heaven when you die
  9. If you become a Watcher, the Grigori will eat your soul when you die
  10. There are exactly 2401 Grigori in the world.
  11. If you use a Grigori's weapon, it will hunt you down for stealing it.
  12. The Grigori fight endlessly against the legions of Hell.
  13. Out in the wilderness, there's a paradise built by angels.
  14. The Grigori are secretly allies with the legions of Hell.
  15. Some Grigori are buried underground, trapped there when they Fell.
  16. The fairies are children of the Grigori
  17. The giants are children of the Grigori
  18. If you swear yourself into their service, some Grigori will tell you their secrets
  19. Grigori can't be harmed by humans.
  20. The hearts of the Grigori are giant jewels.
Angel/Grigori
HD: Variable
AC: 18/Armor Gematria
Damage: Angelic Weapon, based on sphere
MV: 1.5x Unencumbered human (fly and hover)
Alignment: Lawful, duh

Angels' abilities are determine by their Sphere, Domain, and Weapon. They always have goals related to their domain; Angels of Love will try to matchmake while Angels of the Truth will try to bring old crimes to light. They are unsubtle, react with violence when opposed in any way, and have such a poor understanding of human anatomy that they can easily kill someone on accident. The Grigori are not stupid, however, and often work through human proxies.
 
Armor Gematria: Angels do not take damage that is a multiple of or contains the same digit as their sphere. So an Angel of the Sixth Sphere would suffer no HP loss if their attacker rolled 6, 12, 16, or 18 damage. Angels of the First Sphere only take damage that is a multiple of 13 or 666.

SPHERE
  1. First Sphere: 21 HD
  2. Second Sphere: 18 HD
  3. Third Sphere: 15 HD
  4. Fourth Sphere: 12 HD
  5. Fifth Sphere: 9 HD
  6. Sixth Sphere: 6 HD
  7. Seventh Sphere: 3 HD
  8. Reroll, has lost its weapon
DOMAIN
  1. Artifice
    • Can cast Major Creation at will without the material component
    • Can cause any man-made device to cease function
  2. Death
    • Those who see its dreadful countenance must Save vs Poison or be reduced to 0 HP
    • Can Speak With Dead and Animate Dead at will
    • While in line of sight of the angel, when any creature makes a saving throw that would prevent instant death, they roll twice and take the lower result
    • While in line of sight of the angel, all HP recover is as half as effective.
  3. Dreams
    • Immune to sleep spells. 
    • Can physically enter dreams
    • Can cast Sleep and Change Self at will. 
    • Can create a waking dream at will. This functions as casting Phantasmal Supergoria, except that the illusion can consist of any number of objects and creatures with no volume restriction and can target all creatures in line of sight of the angel. Watchers, though insane, generally retain their sense of fair play and will not dream anyone into the bottom of the ocean or the center of the Earth unless they're really angry.
  4. Fire
    • Immune to heat and flame. 
    • Wrapped in a fiery shroud with a radius equal to its HD in feet that deals damage equal to its HD per Turn/10 minutes and ignites anything flammable. 
    • Can cast Heat Metal, Resist Fire, and Faerie Fire at will.
    • Can snuff flame with a volume equal to 10*HD in cubic feet.
  5. Fury
    • Can cast Howl of the Moon at full potency at any time. 
    • For every 25% of its HP it loses, the angel doubles in size and deals an extra d8 damage with melee attacks.
  6. Life: 
    • The angel can change its shape into that of any non-magical animal
    • Can create a non-magical animal once per day
    • Can speak with animals
    • Can Charm animals with no saving throw.
    • The angel can raise the dead, though there are Consequences.
  7. Love
    • At will, the angel can make any two sentient creatures in line of sight fall in love with each other; both must Save vs Magic or feel as though they had successfully and simultaneously cast Charm Person on each other. If one saves and the other doesn't, the love is unreciprocated, and if anyone succeeds on their save to resist the angel's power, they are forever immune to it.
  8. Mathematics: Once per Turn, the Angel can ban a quantity of numbers equal to 8-its sphere.
    • Whenever a dice roll results in a banned number, the check counts as a failure, the damage counts as 0, or the random roll results in nothing.
    • If you are using a grid, no one can move a number of spaces equal to a banned number
    • Groups with a banned number of members cannot approach the angel; if "1", "2", and "4" are banned, a party of 5 combatants could only attack the angel as a group of 3 or 5.
    • While in line of sight of the angel, any representations of a banned number are illegible, and no one can say the number's name.
    • The angel cannot ban the same number two Turns in row.
  9. Moon
    • Can cast Veil, Disguise Self, and Faerie Fire at will
    • Can cast Reverse Gravity once. 1 in 12 chance each Turn/10 minutes of regaining the ability to cast.
  10. Mercy
    • No one under the gaze of the angel can feel pain. Successful sneak attacks and backstabs go unnoticed
    • Anyone who flees in line of sight of the angel moves twice as fast
    • Anyone under 10% of their maximum HP must Save vs Magic or die every Turn while in line of sight of the angel.
  11. Night 
    • Can cast Darkness at will.
    • Can create a 240 ft diameter circle of Night around itself, a creature, an object or a point in space. At the outermost edge of the area of effect, the sun hangs low on the horizon; halfway to the epicenter, strange constellations and a sickly red moon hang in the sky; at the epicenter, it is as dark as a moonless night. It can maintain a number of these zones equal to its Sphere.
  12. Poetry 
    • Can cast Comprehend Languages and Obscure Languages on any creature it sees at will
    • Can banish prosody--while this is in effect, characters in line of sight of the angel can only perform actions that their players describe in metered or rhyming verse
  13. Prophecy
    • Can cast Quest once a day
    • Can cast Vision with no risk of price or failure once a week
    • Once per Turn/10 minutes, the angel can determine whether or not a creature in line of sight would be successful if they 
  14. Storms
    • Can cast Control Weather at will
    • Can cast Magic Missile in the form of lightning as a Magic-user with as many levels as it has HD
  15. Sea: 
    • Can cast Airy Water, Part Water, Strange Waters Water Breathing, and Water Walk at will. 
    • Can also create a number of gallons of water equal to 10*its HD once; it has a 1 in 6 chance of regaining this ability per Turn/10 minutes.
  16. Sorcery 
    • Knows 3 spells of each spell level from the Magic-user list. Can cast each 1/day
  17. Sun
    • Can cast Light at will
    • Can create a 240 ft diameter circle of Day around itself, a creature, an object or a point in space. At the outermost edge of the area of effect, a warm sun hangs in perpetual daybreak; halfway to the epicenter, the sun is orange and the air unseasonably warm; at the epicenter, the sun is an alarming golden-red and everything is unbearably hot, preventing anyone there from naturally recovering HP and requiring them to drink twice as much water. The center slowly changes into a desert. The angel can maintain a number of these zones equal to its Sphere.
  18. Time 
    • Always Hasted
    • Can create a field of distorted time, Slowing everything but itself within 100 ft
    • Can cast Time Stop and Temporal Stasis 1/day each
    • If you ask nice, it can send you through time
  19. Truth 
    • Always knows when someone is lying or not; whenever someone in their presence lies, they take d6*half Angel's HD (rounded up) damage, Save vs Magic for half.
    • Constant True Seeing effect
  20.  Two domains; roll twice on this table
    WEAPON
    Determine Weapon Characteristics Sphere and Damage
    1. Angel of the First Sphere: 2d12 damage
    2. Angel of the Second Sphere: 1d20 damage
    3. Angel of the Third Sphere: 1d12 damage
    4. Angel of the Fourth Sphere: 1d10 damage
    5. Angel of the Fifth Sphere: 1d8 damage
    6. Angel of the Sixth Sphere: 1d6 damage
    7. Angel of the Seventh Sphere: 1d4 damage
    8. Roll again; has lost weapon (if you find a weapon, this means the original owner is dead)
    Device
    1. Hierogram, to be embedded in the wielder's palm
    2. Halo, activated at will 
    3. Scroll, 1 handed
    4. Trumpet, 1 handed
    5. Sword, 1 handed, can be used as a regular melee weapon for 1d12 damage
    6. Crosier, 2 handed
    7. Bow, 2 handed, can fire mundane projectile as longbow at double range
    8. Icon, human sized and very heavy, business end is an outstretched hand
    9. Armor*, piloted
    10. Chariot*, piloted
    Power
    1. 1d6 uses
    2. 2d6 uses
    3. 3d6 uses
    4. 4d6 uses
    5. 5d6 uses
    6. 6d6 uses
    Adorned With
    1. Beautiful Wings
    2. Exquisite Faces
    3. Slender Hands
    4. Watchful Eyes
    5. Singing mouths
    6. Heavenly Verses
    7. Celestial Diagrams
    Wrought from... (roll twice)
    1. Gold
    2. Silver
    3. Platinum
    4. Jet
    5. Ivory
    6. Alabaster
    7. Chalcedony
    8. Marble
    Medium
    1. Silver Flame
    2. Brilliant Arrows
    3. Spears of Lightning
    4. Invisible Force
    5. Shining Spheres
    6. Spirals of Molten Gold
    7. Burning Words
    8. Crystal Feathers
    Trajectory 
    1. Medium plummets from heavens to target (doesn't work inside, but will ruin the roof)
    2. Medium launches in a straight line from device 
    3. Medium issues in a cone shape from device
    4. Medium erupts from target's orifices
    5. Medium erupts from ground beneath target (can't strike high-flying targets)
    6. Medium forms a circle around user, than lashes outward 
    Miraculous Properties
    Each device has a 1 in 6 chance of having one of the following:
    1. Survivors of this weapon’s attack are branded with a sigil that prevents them from lying
    2. This weapon can take on the shape and properties of any melee weapon at the will of its wielder
    3. This weapon can take on the shape and properties of any ranged at the will of its wielder
    4. Wielder can sacrifice this device to bring the recently dead to life, though there are side-effect
    5. Those slayed by this weapon have a 1 in 6 chance of returning as 1 HP cherubs loyal to the wielder
    6. Wielder can use this device to summon any angel whose true name they know
    7. If the wielder defeats or finds the device’s original owner, they can cast a spell relating to the angel's domain 1/day
    8. Operates on the principles of warfare gematria; when this weapon's damage roll is a number that is a multiple of the wielder's level or HD, double the damage
    *Armor and Chariots
    These work as ships in combat. Armor has 5 SP and a 2 in 6 chance of being able to fly; Chariots have 10 SP and always can fly.

     

    Sunday, December 14, 2014

    A Perfidious Primer

    Queen's Crossing is a mercantile town perched atop the greatest bridge spanning Albion's River Dour. It teems with social climbing merchants (much to the revulsion of House Herpetu, Queen's Crossing's resident Old Money and the object of an endless parade of nouveau riche marriage proposals) and an equal number of cultists, who traffic with the wayward Spawn of Agorath that dream on the riverbed below.

    You each have a room at the Hateford Home, a boarding house of middling reputation and adequate sanitation located in one of the rougher neighborhoods of Queen's Crossing. It is run by Madam Eugenia, a truculent widow locally famous for the diameter of her forearms and talent with a hatchet. She often rents rooms to freelancers, vagabonds, and soldiers-of-fortune, and so hopeful clients often leave job postings, which as of yesterday are as follows:

    From High House Herpetou
    A sum of £1,500 for any who apprehend the despicable person or persons responsible for circulating threats against  that most majestic and virtuous of fairies, the Lord of No-pity, who has graced our Lady Herpetu with a visit. Contact Dame Balustrade at Castle Herpetu for details.
    His Grace, the Lord of No-pity
    From the Royal Society
    A team of scholars has disappeared on an expedition to Osric's Tor. £1,500 for returning them alive; £750 for returning their remains. We will also pay for any antiquities safely recovered from the site. Speak Professor Lately at the Queen's College for the particulars.

    Osric's Tor
    by Martin Bodman
    From the Postmaster
    Three of our couriers have failed to return from the village of Scavenger's Weir. While it is admittedly a wretched little town, the sentimental bleating of those with relatives there has begun to wear on me, and these disappearances are interfering with my office's function. £1,500 for resolving the situation.

    Thursday, December 11, 2014

    over and over and over

    Inching forward with Albion, but I need to get this out of my head.
    1. I have an incurable fixation with Final Fantasy style summons and Pokemon style monster collection
    2. I like applying existing rules to classes (Starvation rules for vampires, reaction rules for warlocks)
    3. I have been think the anime series Mononoke (not to be confused with the Miyazaki film), a show that involves a great deal of spirit-wrangling
    4. I have been reading 1e Oriental Adventures and the fact that the shugenja and wu jen are barely different from clerics and wizards annoys me. I don't like it when classes are matters of Find+Replace, and the heavy handedness of their depiction of Asia doesn't help.
    5. I read Flying Swordsman, and I want more thematically from the Animist than what they're giving me.
    6. It just occurred to me that the monsters from my unsuccessful Summoner class are just fancy retainers, which Lamentations of the Flame Princess conveniently already has rules for.

    Basically, when you want to hire a retainer, you have to spend a small sum of money to get the word out, the DM decides how many people show up, and then they roll 3d6 twice on this table, with various bonuses and penalties based on how attractive your offer is. The first roll is to see if they accept the job, while the second is to see what their morale is.

    So the goal is to make an animist/shaman/summoner type class that is easy to learn and use as LotFP's retainer rules, which a group is conceivably already using.

    Spiritualist, a class for Lamentations of the Flame Princess
    from Mononoke
    HP, XP, Attack Bonus, and Saving throws as Cleric


    You traffic with spirits, fairies, ghosts, revenants, grudges, and poltergeists of all sorts. Sometimes you can bind them to your will.

    Spiritualists learn how to summon and bind spirits with rituals. Each ritual conjures a different kind of spirit, and an animist must learn a ritual from a teacher or text in order to perform it. Regardless, each ritual costs 100 sp×HD of the spirit it summons and takes a number of hours equal to the spirit’s HD.

    When you conjure a spirit, roll 3d6 on the both columns of the Summoning table. For both rolls, you should...
    • Add half your level, rounded up
    • Add +1 for ritual component or instrument you expend in the summoning. As you grow in power, spirits demand rarer and more exotic substances and devices; each costs 10% of the total silver pieces you had to acquire to reach your current level. 
    • Add a bonus to to the roll based on Terms you are willing to accept on the spirit's service. You might give up the ability to command a spirit to fight, for example, or only be able to use the spirit in combat against evil creatures. This is up to the DM's discretion and the player's creativity.
    • Subtract the spirit's HD
    • Subtract the total number of HD of spirits you currently have bound
    SUMMONING TABLE

    If you roll a 10 or lower on the Result column, then the spirit enters this world to do as it pleases, which probably involves attacking you or fleeing to perform mischief elsewhere. If you roll an 11 or higher, it is bound to you and must obey your orders to the letter, though certain types of commands strain the ritual bindings you have placed on it. You can command bound spirits to inhabit objects such as knives, staves, lamps, and rings. No more than 1 spirit can inhabit a given object.

    The second roll determines its Obedience score, which is a measure of the binding ritual's power and functions similarly to Morale and Loyalty in a mortal retainer. The Referee will keep the Obedience score secret--you don't get to know what it is.

    Check a spirit's Obedience when...
    • You command it to violate one of its Taboos or otherwise act against its nature
    • You command it to exercise one of its Talents or otherwise call upon its supernatural abilities
    • You make the spirit feel afraid humiliated, angry, or otherwise upset, either due to a command you have given it or your attitude towards it
    • You fail to bind a spirit during a summoning
    • A spirit bound to you dies.
    To make an Obedience check, roll 2d6. If the result is under the spirit's Obedience, then the ritual bindings hold and it will do as you say. If the result is higher, the spirit breaks from your control. Simple, easy commands like carrying a moderate amount of equipment, transmitting messages, or cleaning a room do not require Obedience checks.

    Spiritualists can re-perform the rituals of spirits they have already summoned, in hopes of making them more obedient.

    If a spirit is reduced to 0 HP, it returns to the Spirit World until called back again.

    Safely releasing a spirit takes 1 Turn per HD.

    If a spiritualist dies, all spirits bound to them are immediately and simultaneously released.

    by Kawanabe Kyōsai

    Spirits and Rituals
    Spiritualists start with knowledge of two of the following:

    1. Balance Spirit Ritual
    2. Homunculus Ritual
    3. Sylph Ritual
    4. Undine Ritual
    5. Salamander Ritual
    6. Gnome Ritual
    from Mononoke













    Balance Spirit (Scale Tsukumogami)
    HD: ½-10
    HP: 1d8, regardless of HD 
    AC: 12
    Attack: None
    MV: Half as fast as a human (fly and hover)
    Alignment: Lawful

    A spirit that takes the form of a jeweled set of scales, born from a balance used for 100 years. Incapable of both speech and violence, balance spirits can sense the disturbances that evil beings caused in the material and spiritual worlds. 
    • Talent: Lean towards the most powerful Chaotic spiritual presence within 100 ft, no matter how much it has concealed itself.
    • Talent: Spend 1 Round to create a single, perfect copy of itself. The copy has all the same abilities as the original, but the total number of balance spirits cannot exceed twice the original's HD.
    Homunculus
    HD: 1
    AC: 12
    Attack: d4 (fist)
    MV: as a human
    Alignment: Neutral

    A simple servitor spirit; appears as a child-sized figure of grey clay. Homunculi are good cooks, porters, messengers, and cleaners, but they are adverse to violence and not much use in a fight.
    • Taboo: Fighting or putting itself in danger

    Sylph
    HD: 1
    AC: 12
    Attack: d4 (razor ribbon)
    MV: twice as fast as an unencumbered human (hover and fly)
    Alignment: Neutral

    Diminutive, androgynous, of avian aspect: the least spirits of air. Sylph are distracted, haughty, and obsessed with etiquette; they respond well to courtly mannerisms and are easily fooled by a sudden change in subject. They will fall in love with any prince or princess they see. Sylph hold power over wind and are about as strong as a cat.
    • Talent: 5 in 6 chance of following a scent it already knows over land
    • Talent: Creating brief gusts of wind, which cannot be stronger than the wind necessary to knock over a tent
    • Taboo: Harming a beautiful thing or person in any way; harming an artist
    Undine
    HD: 1
    AC: 12
    Attack: d6 (claws)
    MV: walk as a heavily encumbered human; swim twice as fast as an unencumbered human
    Alignment: Neutral

    Minor spirits of water, possessing a serpentine aspect. Undine are malicious, possessive, and compulsive coquettes. They love gifts, displays of submission, and music. They delight in drowning the rude and stupid. Undine can command the flow of water and are about as strong as a child
    • Talent: Create up to a gallon of water
    • Talent: Flood a victim's lungs with water (3 in 6 Assassinate/Sneak Attack skill; only works on air-breathing creatures submerged in water) 
    • Taboo: Creating loud or many noises; harming a musician or an instrument
    Gnome
    HD: 1
    AC: 14
    Attack: d6 (club)
    MV: walk as a lightly encumbered human; climb the same speed
    Alignment: Neutral

    A lesser earth spirit of simian aspect. Gnomes are gluttonous, illogical, prone to enigmatic sayings.

    Gnomes have a talent for working earth, and have an effective 18 Strength. They also have a great respect for artifice and engineering of all kinds and do their best not to harm man-made objects.
    • Talent: Dig, mine, quarry, and otherwise move earth twice as fast as a human and without tools
    • Taboo: Damage or put at risk craftsmanship of any sort; includes all man-made objects and devices

    Salamander
    HD: 1
    AC: 12
    Attack: d6 (bite), d8 (flame)
    MV: walk as a unencumbered human; teleport between any two points joined by a contiguous fire
    Alignment: Neutral

    A petty fire spirit of feline aspect. Salamanders can create a sudden burst of flame the size of a small campfire within shortbow range, igniting flammable objects and dealing d8 damage to creatures (Save vs Breath to negate). Preservation, protection, and self-control are foreign to salamanders; commanding one to do anything that is not entertaining or destructive requires an Obedience check.

    Idol of Truth
    HD: 4
    AC: 16
    Attack: d8 (fists)
    MV: As fast as heavily encumbered human
    Alignment: Lawful

    A stony spirit that appears as an animate statue. It effectively has 18 Strength, and though it can speak, it must be ordered to do and and can say nothing but the last honest statement uttered in its presence. Idols love honesty, revelation, knowledge, and obeying the law; ordering an Idol to break the law, destroy books or records, cover up evidence, or perform similarly duplicitous actions will test its Obedience.

    Spirit of Salvation
    HD: 10
    AC: 16
    Attack: d20 (sword)
    MV: As fast as an unencumbered human
    Alignment: Lawful

    A heavenly swordsman of surpassing skill, sent by the gods to purge Earth of evil. The Spirit of Salvation is immune to spells and its attacks bypass all resistances. However, it is bound by immutable celestial laws. The Spirit of Salvation can only be commanded to attack Chaotic spirits, and only after the spiritualist has determined...
    • The evil spirit's Form, or true shape and name
    • The evil spirit's Reason, or deepest desire
    • The evil spirit's Truth, or the circumstances that created it
    These count as Terms, and provide a +3 bonus to the roll to determine the Spirit's loyalty. Traditionally, spiritualists allow Spirits of Salvation to spend the time between battles inside of a sword.