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A Collation of Things Revealed in January, 2014

Victim de Fashion


Some people are much more fancy than others, and when your players meet them you don’t want to be caught with your pants down saying, “um, they’re wearing like, a big, hat..”

So tables.

 

d20Ostentatious Fashions
1A thousand pearl-drop spiders, trying to cocoon them, repairing tears as they walk.
2The lengthy feathers of one hundred birds plucked during their mating dance, splayed out in absurd plumes of colour from all the best parts.
3A hanging gorget of lorica plumata, flimsy golden scales dangling over the naked breast, filmy silk underwear covering their modesty, leggings and loose sleeves sewn from the hides of Dividing Leopard Worms, venom milked from the (majority of the) defensive hairs for safety.
4A brass monkey cage strapped to their back, extending above their head, anchored by an elaborately embroidered corset. The monkey has honey-coloured fur and void-black eyes, shrieking at you with a crimson void of a mouth. Monkey spit and shit stains their shoulders and they seem not to care.
5Overlapping copper plates like a flower blooming up around their chest, face powdered with dabs of orange spices like an explosive spray of pollen.
6An intricate set of leg armour carved from dark wood, with shingled shins and sickeningly colourful fungus growing from the backs of their thighs, bobbing fruiting bodies dusting spores in their wake as they walk.
7Constrictive bands of silver polished to blinding, prickling with long randomly jutting spikes that necessitate dramatically raised arms and tiptoeing in a constant pose of ballet absurdity.
8A floor-length black loincloth and naked skin dripped with malleable lava flows of resinous wax, the shimmering carapaces of entombed beetles and spiders visible through the translucent surface like veins of amber.
9Deep purple robes open to expose flashes of naked skin, their oversized length smeared with muck and trailing silver chains leashed to a trio of albino monkeys with crimson script dyed in bands around their fur.
10An eight-arch crown covered in vivid living fungus, probably crawling with insects, body draped in an apron of gold-dusted hanging lichen.
11Prodigious weight held within a beaten copper plackart, absurdly round, plates of powdered breast jutting over its girth like balconies of naked flesh. Severely tapered legs sprout from the glittering ball covered in gauzy white ruched fabric, laced at intervals to form tiers of billowing pouches.
12Night-dark fabric stitched together with exposed golden thread, weeping purple fruits impaled upon a collar of iron spikes extending above their head in a storm cloud of buzzing insects.
13Half mask of horns, horns on the eyes horns on the temples horns horns horns. Lips painted lifeblood red and limbs wrapped all about with rich red velvet string, pale flesh bulging between the lines.
14All puffed pantaloons and slashed sleeves, ruffled and pouchy in fabrics cut and dyed in resemblance of a cacophonous bouquet, a placid black bone china mask obscuring their face.
15Ochre-painted naked skin but for a collar bearing five vertical spikes that support a black veil draped over their head.
16The remains of two boars sewn into a kind of shawl, their rearing heads mounted on the shoulders, grotesque open tusked maws like screaming epaulettes, the outer foreleg of each sewn into a sleeve, their spines joining together, fused with thread, tails dangling salaciously about the wearer's glittering posterior, bedecked in a gown of clingy gold chainmail.
17An elaborately decorated bustle sprouting from their hips, overlapping organic spiralled layers of silk making it look like an absurd voluptuous cocoon. And it is, carefully chosen so as to hatch a swarm of butterflies at the perfect moment of the night for maximum visual effect.
18A big boofy bell-skirted dress made entirely of glass, it has to be lowered over her head by a team of sweating steady-handed attendants. The refraction of the angled glass means you never really get a good look at her tits, the moment you think you see a nipple it jumps six inches to the left.
19Luscious bunched wrappings of fabric in violet hues around their legs and hips, framing a ceramic paunch of a belly plate, bone white and hanging over their groin, full of holes like a pot belly hive.
20They kneel upon a small podium carried on the backs of two long-haired goats, wearing a girdle of hair that obscures their legs and tumbles down the goat's sides, fusing them together.
Gold-dipped goat hooves line the lower back of their tight-stitched black leather bodysuit, each successive row showing more trembling leg up to their shoulder blades.
They pout red lips and ring sulky bells hanging from the goat's curved horns as they pass you by.

 

“But Logan, what about cults, gangs, and social clubs, sometimes they dress alike!”

 

Got you covered.

 

 

d20Cabalistic Aesthetics
1Little finger removed from left hand and kept in a velvet-lined box where no one will ever find it.
2Big puffed shoulders, one of them much larger, a tumour of coiled fabric. Sleek clinging moist drapery.
3Esoteric symbology tattooed in black around their jawline and up to their lower lip, a solid black circle on their throat.
4The whites of their eyes dyed a startling shade of violet, skin vigilantly powdered deathly pale.
5Neck and throat painted bronze, stopping severely at the jawline.
6Eyelids are painted metallic black and bear an inverted white triangle.
7Sleek muscled limbs and a belly hanging in cellulite neglect. It's almost impressive in its absurdity.
8A stubby off-white candle attached to the back of their hand by a mess of melted wax, lit at times appointed by their inscrutable religion.
9An elaborate plaster chest-piece hanging from their neck, baroque floral sculpting like a painting's frame.
10Ritual scarification of a flower opening in the centre of their chest.
11Left arm dyed blue with the distilled pigment of the crushed petals of the lotus.
[Stolen from one of my favourite little details in Vornheim]
12Bottom lip split in the middle and cauterised to leave an ever-drooling gully of perfect pink flesh.
13Eyelid removed from right eye, carrying a small glass jar of water with a brush attached to the lid to moisten their exposed eyeball.
14A small orange bird attached to their left shoulder by a golden chain, singing coded messages to each other.
15Oil of vitriol burned into the nape of their neck in a perfect bare hand print, fuck knows who did it, the hand prints are all the same.
16They all have a stocky little black dog strapped to their chest, like a baby harness, it hangs there with its legs sticking out, limp paws hanging, staring at you through a porcelain doll mask, a low humming growl resonating from its ribcage.
17Hands dip-died red past the wrist, nails tapered and lacquered black, copious amounts of white fabric.
18Golden needles like quills bristling from the back of their necks.
19A large sickly green poison dart frog, crawling over their face, attached to a delicate brass chain threaded between their ears, forehead, and nose by a circlet around its foot.
20Fields of tiny oil-black mushrooms grow from the inner sides of their arms, constantly held slightly aloft from their body so as not to damage them, looking eery as fuck.

 

And hey, if you prefer visual aids over words, you can roll on this d20 Pinterest board I made instead.

 

RUBENS, Pieter Pauwel (b. 1577, Siegen, d. 1640, Antwerpen) Portrait of Maria Serra Pallavicino 1606

 

Speaking of, Pinterest seems like a remarkably overlooked game tool, especially if you’re playing online.

 

Starting a new campaign or introducing new players and want to quickly convey the feel you’re going for? Throw a bunch of inspiration pictures on a Pinterest board and send everyone a link. Jeff Russell’s a sharp one so he’s already doing that here.

 

Prefer visual encounter tables to written ones? Number a board like I did with the fashions, and if you do want to know their stats or make other notes about them, you can put that shit in the image description below it!

 

The only real drawback of Pinterest is that you can’t reorder the images, and just when you think you’ve ordered them by adding them in sequence, it shows them in different orders at different resolutions. But pfft, whatever.

 

For your convenience there’s a whole lot more fashion compiled here, as well as a board more specifically tailored to Weavers of the Dark Arts.

 

Special fashion assistant thanks to my lady Rose with her fecund imagination and good looks.


One comment



The House of Rules


The new Cörpathium character sheet has a lot of new/tweaked house rules on it, so let’s collect them here for a little more clarification, and to make it easier to refer/link back to them.

 

First of all a few little tweaks to basic LotFP rules.

  • For one thing I’m giving everyone access to Combat Options. Only Fighters know how to fight recklessly or defensively? I call ballshit.
    …I meant to type bullshit but no, ballshit, that works.
  • The bonus for carrying a shield doesn’t vary between melee and ranged AC, it’s +1 for a small shield and +2 for a large shield, but only Fighters can actually attack while using a large shield.
  • Straight -5 AC when surprised/attacked from behind instead of losing Dexterity bonuses then -2 blah blah blah.
  • I’m using the new firearms rules (see Brendan’s quick reference here), but the whole ignoring 5 points of actual worn armour but not your Dexterity modifier figure it out every time or record it on your sheet is too damn fiddly and mostly redundant. If a firearm is in armour piercing range, it ignores all your armour, too bad full plate, your AC is now 12 + Dexterity modifier. And forget reloading times, I don’t play with anyone that is going to spend 5-10 rounds reloading, so firearms are basically one-shot high damage armour punchers that everything is going to hear. That works for me.
  • I ditched Architecture as a skill because it’s useless for my game and replaced it with Lore (cults, government, magic), and replaced Bushcraft with the more catch-all Naturalis, because Natural Philosophy and Taxonomy are valid occupations in Cörpathium and if your character wants to read up on things to have a bit more of an idea of the horrors that lurk out in Malles Vermald they have my blessing.
  • Fuck alignment.

 

GAMBIT

 

Just my own name for Called Shots, Stunts, whatever, built from one of Brendan’s posts.

 

If you want to make some kind of specific attack roll to-hit twice.

If both hit, it happens.

If one misses, it doesn’t.

If both miss you fail so badly that you can’t do anything next round.

 

It also means two chances to roll a fumble, and depending on how fancy/absurd the intended attack is I might increase fumble range. “You want to slide onto your knees beneath the spider with two daggers and slice its legs off? Okay that’s awesome, but you’re going to mess up super, really badly if either roll comes up 4 or less.”

 

The reason I like this about a thousand times more than Called Shot (pick a range on d20, say 13-20, if you roll that you succeed, but if you roll the inverse range, 1-8, you fumble), which is what I was using before, is that it doesn’t disregard the AC of the thing you’re attacking, and characters with better Attack Bonuses are better at doing them, instead of the sickly wizard decapitating the giant mutated boar just because he rolled the number he picked.

 

 

 

MELEE

 

After talks with Jeremy Duncan I switched melee combat to a contested roll, because why put all the variation on the attacker and not the defender?

Ranged attacks still target a static AC, but melee resolves as d20 +AB vs. d20 +DB, your Defence Bonus being AC -12. If the attacker fumbles you get to cut them.

For even more vicious combat you could rule that whoever rolls highest deals damage, regardless of who was attacking.

 

 

 

NOTCHES

 

Notches stay pretty much the same as they always were, with the added Quality rules that Smiler and I (mainly Smiler) came up with.

Basically, every weapon has a Quality rating from 1-5, and whenever you roll that number or less when attacking the weapon takes a Notch.

Weapons can take a number of Notches equal to their damage die, but once they have two Notches roll two of the weapon’s damage die after every attack, hit or miss. If the roll is equal or less than the number of Notches, it breaks. So you might embarrassingly break your axe with a wild swing against the wall, or you might snap your dagger off in the merchant priest’s chest.

If the weapon takes another Notch after it has reached its limit, it breaks.

 

And because I’m now having people roll for their defence in melee, I can use the same Quality range for armour.

When rolling for defence, if the d20 comes up as that number or less and the attacker hits you, decrease the AC of your armour by 1.

 

The standard rate for repair is a tenth of the item’s full cost per Notch or AC point (so one Notch on a Medium sword costs 2 silver groats to repair, and it will set you back 100 silver groats to repair the point of damage that drugged-up Nun of the Lotus caused to your Heavy armour).

Prices are still subject to review and gouging.

 

 

 

WEAPONS

 

The weapon properties I originally posted have been tweaked slightly.

Weapon damage is still determined by its size, but depending on what it is…

  • Sword: If you haven’t been hit this Round roll twice for damage, take the best.
  • Hammer: +1 to-hit vs. Medium or better, successful hit reduces Heavy AC by 1.
  • Axe: Two damage dice vs. Light or less.
  • Flail: +1 to-hit vs. Medium or better, ignores shields, successful hit reduces Heavy AC by 1, roll twice for damage and take the best. Can choose to attack weapon, Strength check to disarm on hit. On any miss roll under your AC or hit yourself.
  • Dagger: Contested d20 + AB + Str/Dex bonus to grapple after hit, automatically hitting Flesh in subsequent rounds until they kick you off.

Make a contested Initiative roll to attack first when someone with a smaller weapon closes into melee.

Long/Great weapons automatically attack first and do double damage against charges.

 

 

 

HIT POINTS

 

Again, pretty much the same as they always were.

Flesh is the measure of how much physical punishment you can take before passing out, and caps out at your full class HD, plus anything gained from a Constitution bonus.

Grit is the rest of the hp you gain, and is a measure of ways you learn to avoid injury, plus glancing blows, exhaustion whatever.

  • Attacks reduce Grit first, and when it’s gone you start taking Flesh wounds.
  • You lose consciousness at 0 Flesh, and die at minus half your class HD.
  • If someone rolls a Critical hit against you but you still have Grit left, roll your Defence again. If it’s higher than their attack roll the damage affects your Grit first, otherwise it cuts straight to Flesh.
  • Being attacked from behind or by surprise bypasses Grit, and any attack against Flesh that deals maximum weapon damage or half of your maximum Flesh causes a serious wound and removes any Grit you had left. Lost arms, plucked eyeballs, and messed-up innards don’t lend themselves to finesse.

After any encounter where you take a Flesh wound roll under your Constitution or contract an Infection.

If you don’t have any Flesh wounds, you can spend a Turn resting to regain Grit, roll your class HD.

 

From Josie’s Hit Point Stopwatch, when below half your Flesh hp, you will be unable to act after that many Rounds of physical exertion such as combat, or that many Turns of simple movement until treated.

Lose another point of Flesh every Round/Turn you try to push on.

 

And some dying rules because I figure most adventurers would have some kind of idea about first aid, and because the Poison save matches up nicely with which classes would probably be better at it:

  • Once reduced to 0hp save vs. Poison every 2 Rounds. If you fail you die, if you succeed lose another hp.
  • Stop bleeding out if you roll a 1. If another character tries to stabilise you, both players save vs. Poison.
  • If both succeed, you regain consciousness at 1hp (but will lose consciousness if you do anything strenuous).
  • If they succeed but you fail, you stabilise at 0hp.
  • If both fail you die in their arms and they’re all “CURSE YOOOOOUUU! WHHHHYYYYY?”

I figure for it to be successful you need to stay with them for Rounds equal to negative hp. That seems about right.

 

 

 

ENCUMBRANCE

 

Because yes, I use it, I think it can be interesting. But I also don’t want it to be confusing or constrictive, which my first attempt kind of was.

I started pondering this back in September and think it’s pretty much perfect for what I want from encumbrance, which is the freedom to carry a pretty reasonable amount of stuff without constantly tracking it, but having it matter when it should.

  • You can carry an amount of Worn Items equal to half your Dexterity or Strength, whichever is highest, rounded up.
    They can be strapped to you, in pouches, in orifices, just draw it on your sheet.
    Every additional Worn Item adds a -1 penalty to physical rolls.
    A quiver contains 20 arrows and counts as a single Worn Item.
    Medium armour counts as 1 item and Heavy armour counts as 2, Fighters don’t count armour as a Worn Item.
  • Oversized items like two-handed weapons have to be on your person and count as 2 Worn Items. Ten foot poles don’t go in backpacks.
  • When you wear a pack you are encumbered, move slower and take a -2 penalty to physical rolls. You can carry items in your pack equal to your Strength or Constitution, whichever is highest.
    (Bundle amounts mostly taken from Arnold K) You can carry small items like daggers and flasks in bundles of 3 as a single pack item.
    Even smaller things like iron spikes or sling bullets can be carried in bundles of 10 as a single pack item.
    300 coins can be carried as a single pack item.
  • You can carry half that amount again, rounded up, but are even more encumbered, move at half speed and take -4 to physical rolls.
  • Carrying any more than that means you can’t do anything other than shuffle around under the weight.
  • Finding something in your pack during combat takes d3+1 per encumbrance level Rounds.

The immediate penalty for wearing a pack might seem harsh, but have you tried swinging your arms around while wearing a backpack? Awkward. If you want to fight as well as that other guy you’d better drop the bag.

 

 

 

THE FREAKS

 

Maleficar and Mystics remain intact, the only thing I changed is that being encumbered doesn’t make casting spells harder. If you want to risk more belongings transmuting into angry goo when you muck up a spell I’m not going to stop you. And Reading Magic is still a deathtrap.

 

Oh but hey Blood Magic/Sacrificial Lamb:

 

Maleficar can bleed themselves of hp for extra Cataclysm needed to cast. The cost is triple if the blood isn’t their own, and they need to smear themselves in it.

They can also will the void into taking a part of themselves for guaranteed casting of a spell of any level. Roll d6 and count down from the top of your Ability Scores. Permanently lose a point.

 

If a Mystic wants to heal a bled Maleficar, they have to make a Hand of God roll.

 

 

 

GIRLS ONLY WANT BOYFRIENDS WHO HAVE GREAT SKILLS

 

This one only occurred to me the other day so it needs to be tried out, but I don’t like Specialists being the only ones who can ever get better at skills ever.

So, if for some reason you needed to use a skill and succeeded, note it next to that skill. Note all of the times you successfully use that skill.

When you level up, roll a number of d6’s equal to your current skill level. If the result is equal or less than your number of successes, you gain a skill level.

Erase all your successes and start again.

 

For example:

 

Three Beard McGuigen, questionable Magic-User, found himself needing to find traps five times before he reached level 1, and only one of them blew off a body part. So that’s 4 successes.

He currently has a 1 in 6 skill level, so he rolls 1d6 and gets a 3. Hooray now he has a 2 in 6 chance of keeping his extremities when the Specialist isn’t around!

 

 


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Between the Sheets


Drawing character sheets on blank pieces of paper is fun as hell, but I figured it was time I got back to the template character sheets I’ve been working on.

So, here they are.

 

This one’s for straight-up by the book Lamentations of the Flame Princess, including the new firearms rules. Brendan has a good quick-reference for them here.

Click the image for a PDF that allows for printing a single A4 size sheet, or two A5 size sheets.

 

LotFP Character Sheet by Last Gasp

If you download it you’ll notice green writing all over the place absolutely everywhere. Jeff Rients wrote an article about, among other things, character sheets being poor at communicating with new players, and I said that you couldn’t design a character sheet that explained everything about itself without making it an abomination.

 

Well, I was right, it’s an abomination, and it doesn’t entirely explain itself, but from my own experience introducing new players to not only LotFP but RPGs as a whole, I think the notes written all over it should make explaining things in that first session a whole lot easier.

Of course if you know what you’re doing just turn off that layer.

 

And this one is a fold-0ver A5 sheet for Cörpathium.

 

Cörpathium Character Sheet Cover Cörpathium Character Sheet Innards

If you’re familiar with my house rules you might notice that the new sheet doesn’t have anywhere to note Cataclysm or Faith. That’s because I want to avoid having things on the sheet that would be irrelevant for some players as much as possible, and I make little spellbooks for my Maleficar/Mystic players anyway so they can note it there. And if you don’t make little spellbooks for your players what are you doing?

 

There’s also a bunch of new or tweaked house rules on it, most of them are pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll collect them up in another post later.

 

Tomorrow is adventure/John Waters day with Rose though, so you’ll have to wait.


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New Feierland: It’s Always Raining


So after Rasmus killed himself in the death explosion of the soul-stealing swamp rock elf daemon and his son Remus was confined to the Sanatorium due to black ooze infection a sack of gold and xp was sent to Rasmus’ begrudged and estranged daughter Raeleigh, who sighed, bought herself some swords to hit things, and hopped on the next boat to New Feierland.

 

 

And she didn’t even die or anything. Here’s her diary.

 

Read the rest…


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This Place is Crawling with Tables


It all started when I found the old AD&D Lankhmar supplement, which features this gorgeous map right here:

See all those white boxes? The supplement contains neighbourhood geomorphs that you randomly insert when the players move off the main streets and into the ‘burbs, and even suggests changing the geomorph if the players don’t go back there for a while to make the city feel more alive. I know, it’s wonderful.

 

Around this time I was also having chats with the also wonderful Jeremy Duncan about mapping Cörpathium and his own Galbaruc, and the trouble of figuring out how much is too much, what to nail down and what to keep loose. Because as pretty as the above map is, forget that.

 

Really what I want is to capture the sprawling mutability of cities like Viriconium and Ambergris, something you experience by running around in it rather than poring over a lavishly drawn map, with just enough grounding to make it work as a game.

 

 

OKAY SO WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST SMART GUY?

 

Map your main streets. That gives you a framework, points of reference, clever/punny street names for players to remember. Everything else though? Doesn’t matter until it matters.

 

When your players want/need off a main street drop a d4 and a d6 (try to use a d6 with sharp corners, you need that random bounce). If the numbers match, there aren’t any reachable exits.

 

Otherwise, treat the d4 as the player’s position on the street, facing the way you are. The number is how many alleys they can see, and the points of the dice show the rough direction they’re in. Add them clockwise from whatever point is closest to the d6.

If there are 4 alleys put the 4th wherever.

You might prefer to drop the dice directly onto the map instead, do whatever makes you happy, I’m not your mother.

 

There’s also this roughly where the d6 landed:

 

1.  Someone left their door open

2.  Public house

3.  Sewer entrance

4.  Way to climb onto building

5.  Lesser street

6.  Intersecting lesser street

 

So if you rolled like below, there’s four reachable alleys; one back off in the direction of the 2, one ahead in the direction of the 1, one directly off to the right thanks to the 3, and another one wherever takes your fancy. The d6 came up as a 5, so there’s a lesser street leading away back on the left side of the main street.

 

 Okay so now we’re running around in alleys, fun!

 

Every time the players enter an alley, drop the d4 and d6 again and generate the exits like before, using the tables below. If the numbers are the same, there’s a complication.

 

 

AlleyCrawling
d4Points of Diced6
1Alley.1Back door.
2Alley.2Darkened nook.
3Alley.3Boarded-over alley.
4Alley.4Way to climb onto building.
5Reachable window.
6Alley complication.

 

 

Read the rest…


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