Sunday, April 26, 2015

Equipment Packs

On the suggestion of one of my players (a much more experienced DM than I), I wrote up some pre-made equipment packs that folks can choose during character creation. When you've just died, or are new to roleplaying, picking a pre-made pack is approximately 100000% faster than assembling one yourself. In a setting where death is not uncommon, they smooth some bumps in coming back into the game. The idea originated from this post on Zenopus Archives, and I'm quite taken with it!
The packs are based on a 110 SP total, an average amount on the LotFP 3d6 SP to start roll. There's no discount to the pack and swapsies are allowed, which means they'll be chosen a little less frequently, but whatever.

 The packs are definitely not perfectly chosen, but here they are in case some other folks find LotFP equipment packs handy:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Litany of the Dead

RIP Harvald the Sorcerer: Single most useful party member with his use of floating disk, Harvald was slain by a very excessive amount of centipede venom. His body was recovered and properly cremated by his kinfolk from the East Shore.

RIP Fisto Majisto the Fighter: Fisto was slain on only his second voyage to the Grey District, overcome by centipede venom. His burial was less noble, being dumped into a vat of necromantic ooze "just in case". May the ritual to raise his scoured bones in a mockery of life never be learned.

RIP Aelfric the Specialist: The most hardened of the adventurers, Aelfric was on his sixth journey across the river when he met his fate. A trapped ladder to the third floor enveloped him in a cloud of lethal gas. His linkboys could only flee the oncoming cloud. Another ignoble burial, may the ritual to raise his scoured bones in a mockery of life never be learned.

RIP Jerry the "Halfling": His first foray across the river, Jerry egged on the party as they attempted to torch the unlucky building that had seen so many of their friends dead. As the fishfolk attracted to the blaze approached with their wicked meat-hooks and dead eyes, he held the line, slaying four. When more began issuing from the building further down the dockside, he smeared himself in the fish-blood and charged to buy his friends enough time to escape. His body remains to be recovered.

RIP Greta the Linkgirl: As the fishfolk tried to board the fleeing skiff, Greta was hooked by barbed spear and pulled overboard. Her body is unrecovered.

Survived by:
Brother Klaus the Priest, nearly recovered from his emergency tracheotomy.

Turk the "Elf", pierced by the wicked spears of the fishfolk, he narrowly survived and will be under the careful watch of healers for a time.

Blax Jax the Fighter, carried himself well in the slaughter, giving killing blows and taking nothing in return.

Tally Ho the Cleric, after the venom began to wear off was able to drag her unconscious ally Aelfric away from the hateful centipedes as they gnawed the corpses of the others. She is currently drinking after the harrowing experience.

Oliver the Cleric, happened to be on the scene of the skiff's chaotic return and was able to save the tenuous life of Turk.

Mald the Linkboy, seared the face of a fishfolk with his torch and held his berth on the skiff. He is traumatized by the loss of his sister, but may return to seek vengeance on the monsters responsible.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Play Report

(Warning: rambly post-game thoughts follow)
We sat down and ran a few adventurers through Strigastadt today using Lamentation of the Flame Princess as ruleset, and I am quite pleased to report they rather enjoyed the experience. This run through was meant to be a test of the random room generator, my city layout concept, and the overall campaign idea. I had to fill in some gaps with the generator by grabbing random traps from donjon (wonderful creation that it is), and some repetition was evident in the lower-level monster types, but I was pretty pleased with the thing.

Highlights of play:
Most of the party's cash was generated by using floating disk to transport six marble statues across the river and sell them to a local temple whose deity the statues depicted aspects of. That is one kind of treasure...

Brother Klaus was nearly slain by a poison dart trap to the neck, but a risky tracheotomy as his airways closed was able to save him long enough to get to his local temple and expert care.

The party opened a door on a lair of feverlings... The dice said they were surprised so I decided they were asleep. "In the corner you see a large nest, several deeply-breathing humanoid creatures curled up within" I say. "How many are there?" they say. I realize I totally forgot to roll the number encountered, and come up with a roll of... 31. The nest becomes a heaving mound of slumbering feverlings piled atop one another. It is now cannon that they sleep in piles. The party quietly closes the door and vows never to return to that building.

So anyway, I only had a night to prepare the adventuring areas and ended coming up with the following:
It's a little flipbook with seven pages for the seven stories of the neighborhood. I wrote down the room name (A1.1, B3.2, etc) and specified how the doors opened for each. I actually cut it short and ended up leaving the top three stories with just the walls outlined, and was only able to record the randomly generated room contents for the first building before play. This was definitely not ideal, as generating the rooms on the fly is a bit cumbersome. Plus I hadn't determined the #of creatures encountered, or their HP.
I also was convinced they'd swiftly move to unkeyed territory (upper three stories), but I was quite wrong. In maybe two hours of actual play (after char generation, eating, etc), they explored the first floor of one building, and half a floor on another.

I am glad each floor has enough interesting stuff to support slower exploration, since as I mapped I despaired at how time consuming mapping a neighborhood was. I also probably had unrealistic expectations for dungeon-delving speed due to my inexperience as a DM.

From the feedback received, the party really liked the campaign concept, but suggested I include some NPC-driven objectives to have more direction to their looting. They also suggested I not tell them the cash value of looted goods immediately, instead having them appraised back on the East bank. They suggested that'd lend more interest to items found; where a carved hickory cat figurine nudges a person to wonder about it/its source, a cat figurine (2 sp) is just instantly converted to a cash bit in the mind.

District map - neighborhood under exploration is the upper one with docks
So, plenty of things I discovered to work on for the future, but I am glad the central idea is sound enough! One thing I worry about though is that I had intended each neighborhood to be interestingly distinct, and further each borough to be quite different. It's looking like it will take a hefty chunk of prep to make a neighborhood for looting, so I'm worried at that rate, traveling between neighborhoods/boroughs will be insufficiently quick to change up the broader scenery. I like the level-of-detail thing I have going on with the boroughs -> neighborhoods -> buildings, but I think the neighborhoods bit might be too large for these purposes. I mean on the first four floors of this hood are about 325 rooms? That's... a few too many to quickly generate.