LotFP / AD&D Firearms, Pt’m Secundus

I’m putting together campaign materials for my Colonial game. Today, it’s time to update my last post on firearms with some more specific stats for the guns. Working on a misfire table for my own use, which I finally finished (here)
The usual disclaimer: These are intended for Lamentations of the Flame Princess, but suitable for pretty much any RPG with hit dice. As always, LotFP uses the Silver standard, so bump up prices to GP if you’re one of those folks. Encumbrance also works uniquely, based on number of items and their clumsiness, rather than on weight per se. I’ve listed standard weights for each weapon type as a nod to the AD&D folks out there.

Weapon:
handgonne
Handgonne:
Quite literally a hand cannon, the handgonne has a short barrel and a touch-hole (see: “No Lock” in my previous post). They suffer from a cannon’s standard to-hit penalties. They may, however, be hooked onto a stable surface or fired with a second crew member rather than fired from the carry; they then suffer only a -5 penalty to hit targets smaller than a house, & gain a +2 to hit larger targets. They weigh anywhere from 15 to 30 or more pounds, and count as a single Oversized item.
Range: As Pistol
Dmg: 1d10, or 1 ship-scale HP, ignores all armor less than AC 15 at all ranges
Reload time: As Musket.

A period image of a calliveri, fro De Gheyn's drill booklet

A period image of a calliveri, from De Gheyn’s drill booklet

Caliver:
The Caliver (from which the word “caliber” is derived) is a light-weight long gun. Well, light by the standards of the day – most still weighed well over 10 lbs. A caliver is what most are thinking of in the modern era when they say “musket”. Calivers were standardized at what we now call 20-gauge, Id Est, 20 round lead shot the diameter of the barrel will weigh one pound. Calivers may be fired from the shoulder without penalty.
Range: as LotFP Musket.
Damage: 1d8, ignores all armor less than AC 15 at all ranges. May be used as a club in close combat for 1d6 damage.
Cost: 40sp City, 80sp Rural.
A Caliver is an Oversized item.

Note the lanyard on the rest, which allows quick recovery when reloading.

A Musketeer, again from De Gheyn. Note the lanyard on the rest, which allows quick recovery when reloading.

Musket:
A substantially more powerful weapon, the Musket is a 12-gauge gun, or a bit over .70 caliber. They also load a much heavier powder charge, kick like mules, and take three “hands” to fire effectively – see Rests, below.. A historical musket could weigh upwards of 25lbs, and was made sturdily enough to use as a melee weapon. The heavy diamond-shaped stocks on most muskets added considerable authority to a good smack upside the head with one, which was quite helpful in the years before the bayonet (plug bayonets were only invented around 1700, and latching bayonets that didn’t block the barrel wouldn’t show up for several decades thereafter).

Range and cost as standard LotFP muskets.
Damage: 1d12, ignores all armor less than AC 17 at all ranges. 1d6 damage when used in close combat.
Muskets count as one Oversized item (the musket itself) AND one Standard item (the rest).

1355545016309
Carbine/Dragoon’s Pistol:
Basically, a sawed-off caliver or a very long pistol. They were designed to be portable and powerful, and were occasionally carried as back-up weapons by pikemen or halberdiers. The carbine counts as a single item, and may not be combined into a brace. It may also be conveniently holstered on a saddle or even a character’s thigh, being about the size of a good sword. They may be fired with one hand, weighing only around 5-10 lbs.
Range: 30/60/120 feet
Damage: 1d8 (2d3 for scattershot, 2d4 if a blunderbuss), ignores all armor less than AC 15 at short range. Does 1d4 damage when used as a club.
Cost:   30sp City, 60sp Rural
Carbines reload 1 round faster than long guns. Note that, like other bonuses, this is subtracted >before< a halving effect such as a flintlock or breech-loading modification.

Miscellaneous items:
Flints
tend to break after only a few shots, and need to be constantly sharpened. Characters are, however, assumed to take care of this outside combat if they have a flint nodule, costing 6 coppers. If deprived of flint, or time to knap new ones, a flintlock or wheel-lock gun will become unusable after 2d6 shots. 1d6 flints may be improvised from a tinderbox, but increase the gun’s misfire chances by 5%. A flint nodule or knapped flint is a Negligible item.

Cartridges: Not the modern metal-cased cartridges, these are waxed paper packages of powder in a waterproof satchel. They reduce reload times by one round, and decrease the chances for misfire in the damp by 5%. They modify fire saves and cause damage if ignited in the same way as a powder horn. Cartridges cost as much as a single shot of powder, and may be prepared by any character with a gun in their downtime (basically, in the same manner as flints, it’s unimportant to track under most circumstances; assume a character on the run has 2d6 cartridges prepared if they don’t specify a number beforehand). A sack of cartridges is a Standard item.

Gun Rest: A standard musket rest costs 5sp. This price is consistent in urban or rural settings. A rest counts as an additional “hand” when firing a long gun; the character may hold a sword or other item ready for use in the off-hand while shooting any weapon that requires 2 hands. See also below, for hybrid rests. A rest weighs about 5 lbs, and counts as a single Standard item for encumbrance purposes.

Scattershot and Armor: Improvised scattershot, shots from a blunderbuss, sling stones, and bullets from pellet bows do not ignore armor, regardless of the strength of the user or the size of the gun.

A box full of very bad ideas.

Weapon Modifications:

Blunderbuss modification: The gun can no longer fire slugs. Halves range. Upgrades shot damage to 2d6 for long guns; all other shot rules remain intact. Improvised shot may still be used, at the usual 2d4 for damage.

Double-barrel modification: Cannot be applied to a Musket. Adds 90% to the weapon’s cost. Adds a 5% chance of misfire. Both barrels can be fired simultaneously, but the user must save vs. Poison or break an appropriate part of their body and/or the gun. Reload times are as normal for each barrel. Each additional barrel added beyond the second adds the same cost and misfire chance, and the Poison save if all barrels are fired is penalized by -4.

Breech-loader: Double the base price of the gun, and halve reload time. As with a Flintlock, bonuses are counted before this halving effect, and Fighters round down while all other classes round up. A standard misfire (in this case, misfires caused by dampness are ignored) has a 25% chance of destroying the gun and inflicting 1d6 HP of damage on the gun’s user.

Note that other concealable "hold-out" pistols, such as these, follow the same rules as Tack-On guns

Note that other concealable “hold-out” pistols, such as these, follow the same rules as Tack-On guns

Tack-on pistol: A small-caliber pistol may be built into virtually anything. A tacked-on pistol may not use scattershot. They do not increase the Encumbrance category of the item, and two hold-out pistols may be carried as a Brace. A tack-on pistol adds 5% to the lock’s base Misfire chance.
Range: 10/25/50.
Damage: 1d4. Can be fired in close combat, but cannot be used as a club. Does not ignore armor.
Cost: 25 sp Urban, 50 sp Rural
Reloads as a pistol

A French musketeer using a Hybrid Rest

A French musketeer using a Hybrid Rest

Hybrid Rest: For a cost of 2sp a musket hook can be added to any polearm. It inflicts a -1 to-hit with the polearm in close combat. This was one of the usual solutions to the problem the bayonet solved; a character may ready the polearm simply by dropping their gun, and be ready to receive a charge immediately.

Miscellaneous site updates, and yet another project from me addled head

Been busting ass lately at work, but I updated the firearms post. There are still some differences from the way LotFP “officially” handles guns, but I’ve adopted the printed reload rules. I’m also repairing broken links and other miscellaneous errors in the backend of the site, but most of what I’m writing right now is actually for the upcoming campaign.
Then there’s this..
Draft of folio
I’ve been working working off and on a folio and/or Octavo version of the first several levels of the LotFP Magic section, including all the extra spells from modules and such, a few of my own, and stuff adapted from older sources. Since I don’t currently have a PC mage, it’s not as pressing a concern as getting my adventures and house rules crap hammered out. Still, hand-bound octavo of spells = awesome. Eventually I hope to do mini spell-books for all my arcanists, both as a prop and as a way to keep the spells they use as handy as possible.

For the Archive: Lehana Mzeruzeru (NPC, Magic Item, Wizard)

Spent last night out on the town with my folks for a surprise birthday dinner, so it delayed my writing a bit. But then an image and a poem crisscrossed in my head..

Tiger cape

There was a young lady from Nyger
who smiled as she rode on a Tyger.
They returned from the ride
with the Lady inside
and the smile on the face of the Tyger.

Over a century ago, the Wizard now known as Lehana wandered out of the jungles and into what passed for civilization. She meanders freely through the countryside, displaying an almost insatiable curiosity for matters grand, mean, strange and mundane. She rarely speaks, and that only (usually) to decline some offering or gesture of hospitality. The villagers living in the areas she visits have nicknamed her “the contrary Albino”, whilst informing her that it was the title of a local deity. To this, as to most things in the spheres of Men, she seems indifferent. Lehana moves as she will; doors and guard animals obey her command, and no warrior remaining alive will challenge her if she gestures for entry.

Most people assume she maintains a holdfast somewhere in the local barrows or in the Jungle, and she disappears for days or weeks at a time, often with some item she has taken on her expeditions. No-one has tracked her long enough to determine her Sanctum’s location, and the few who have sworn to find it never return.

She wears a gown, clearly of Western manufacture, and a cloak made from the skins of dozens of animals – mostly predators. Tribal Elders say the type and number of skins in her cloak have changed drastically over the years. Neither the cloak nor her voluminous dress seem to cause her distress despite the crushing heat. Her only other possessions seem to be a small book and occasionally small metal hand tools; she has never been seen with a weapon.

Stats (LotFP)
5 HD, attacks as 0-level Human, saves as 5th-level Magic-user.
Attributes: Cha 4 (to Men and all other Things), 16 (to Beasts); Int 17, Wis 14, all others average.
Skills: Occultism 2, Survival 5.
Languages: Ki-Swahili (poor), Latin. Has not responded to any other.
Powers: Command of the Cloak of Manifold Beasts, slowed or arrested aging, heightened endurance of hunger, thirst, heat, and lack of sleep.
Spells: Detect Magic, Identify, Item, Be Impressive, Charm Animal: Speak with Animals, Forget, Invisibility, Knock, Locate Object: Speak with Dead, Detect Illusion, Dispel Magic.
Equipment: Spellbook, 2 sacks of various small delicacies and gold hidden within the Cloak and under the influence of an Item spell, the Cloak, and the Ring of Displacement. May be carrying small gardening tools or magnifying and surveying devices. Occasionally bears a scroll inscribed with divinational spells.
She also possesses a Labratory and Library in her hidden home, which is worth approximately 6,000 SP; much of this “library” is in fact a Cabinet of Wonders, with each item serving to trigger the Wizard’s mind to travel some Aetheric path even as her body traveled to discover it. Her home is well-hidden in the nearby jungles, and a number of fanatically loyal animal servants tend it. They will attempt to lead interlopers astray or intimidate them, only attacking if the sanctum seems in imminent danger of violation.

The Cloak of Manifold Beasts
This strange device is a riot of clashing furs, scales, and taxidermy. Each patch of hide is an animal who has sworn service to the owner and been absorbed into an unknown Limbo. Beasts “stored” may thereafter be summoned, with the corresponding pelt disappearing from its weave; it will be under the absolute control of the user until the next moonrise. While the user may call forth any number of beasts, however, only one can be controlled by it at any given time. Any further animals called forth must make an immediate Reaction roll, and may well attack the caster or flee.
The Cloak may bind one beast each Lunar month. Each time a Beast is bound, however, its inherent wild essence seeks a new home. The closest human being other than the wielder when the Cloak absorbs an animal is affected by a Howl of the Moon spell; the duration is based on the HD of the creature absorbed, with each HD counting as a caster level. The duration bonus for casting on the Full Moon applies. Any animal who offers service of any kind, even unwittingly, to the bearer can come under the sway of the cloak – though an unwilling subject may save vs Spells to resist absorption, and will likely be ill-disposed to the cloak’s owner in any case thereafter. Further, any given beast can be bound only once by the Cloak; once freed it may never rejoin it.
Lehana has been rather industrious over the last century. The Cloak currently contains at least 3 tigers and as many panthers, a crocodile, a pack of hyenas, several wolves, an assortment of smaller creatures, and one extremely distressed Indian elephant.

The Displacing Ring:
The ring is a slender hoop of intricately-carved and inlaid bone. The bearer’s discomforts and bodily cares are spread among every person within a 1-mile radius, with the caster suffering only the proportional remainder. In a densely-populated area, the bearer effectively need never eat, drink, or sleep again. Likewise, someone suffering the thousandth part of another’s exposure or lack of sleep and food is quite unlikely to realize he is parasitized.
In a rural area, however, or a small group, the effects will be much more noticeable. Finally, any wielder of Magic (both Lawful and Chaotic) can feel the ring’s tug on their essence, and the web it weaves when worn may be seen instantly under the effects of a Detect Magic spell.

Happy Birthday to Me

Wellp, a third of a century old now.

The LGS has some MW:Annihilation figs (N-scale Battletech) for $5 a booster, so I grabbed a couple. Pulled a Point of Enyo Strike Tanks, 2 squads of Angerona BA, one of Grey Death Standards with MG, a chase-fig Night Stalker, and a Havoc – which is basically the newtech Jenner everyone’s been wanting to see since 3045. Night Stalker’s going to need some pretty extensive rework (the arms impinge on the hips and the waist angle is just silly) before it can see a tabletop, but the rest are just going to need a strip/paint and be ready to go.

Now I just have to figure out how I want to paint this force up. Got a little much Clantech for the Magistracy, or I’d totally go for them. Then again, with the Unseen N-scalers and the old-tech Atlas I bodged together out of that horrid Hasbani thing,

The aformentioned hideous PoS.

The aformentioned hideous PoS.

I might be able to do a split-out Canopian force and throw the Clanner stuff at a RotS unit. Give me an excuse to buy one of those superheavies, too.

In the meantime it’s back to the ol’ grindstone to pay rent and earn money for toys & oatmeal. Busy working on more content, so I might actually post, like, multiple days in a row and shit. We’ll see.

For the Archive: A Sealed Laboratory (room, trap, magic item)

Occasionally I get hit with random inspiration, usually on the bus. In this case, it’s a modular room, suitable for pretty much any environment with savage spellcasters and more organized arcanists. It includes a low-powered magic item, a trap, and monsters. Deets after the break for my players, if I had any :b

(more…)

Of Wizards and Magics Arcane (NPCs)

Remember how I said Seclusium got the mental wheels turning on the topic of Wizards?
Have some.

Makhali the Devoured

No mortal is certain who or even precisely what Makhali once was. The few who know aught say Makhali has bartered a deal for power; so long as no food passes its lips, it shall live forever, and remain pluripotent in the magical arts. There is an essential truth to these rumors, and the cunning and profoundly deaf Makhali had held in abeyance a spell which would eternally steal away its mouth. As is ever the case, the Daemon had the last laugh; hunger still afflicts the Wizard acutely as ever it did.
The once-human thing shambling through Makhali’s haunts looks upon all it encounters with the fever-bright eyes of a madman, from a shriveled face and wasted, yet unnaturally strong body. It communicates through signs and dreams. The animus of its hunger has permeated the sanctum, and Makhali now shares its eternal misery by holding great phantasmal feasts* for travellers, trapping and starving them while syphoning the hunger to its own ends. The wretched Wizard’s depredations have infested the surrounding woods with the Gaunt Things and other foul fae and phasms. They drive the weary to its waiting tower and unholy feasts. In the forbidden back of the tower lurk the forgotten remnants of its researches into Demonology and Summoning, as well as many horribly dangerous devices it has cobbled together when the hunger for power and magic briefly drown its body’s baser drive for meat.

*Consider the Feasts to be a multiple castings of Create Stuff That Looks Like Food But Really Isn’t, combined with some extra illusion magic (servants and such). For added ick factor, there’s always the option of using Makhali’s last set of victims as the source material.

 
Ali Ibn Sawad, Herpepotens, Vocator Serpenticae

Ali is held in the deepest confidences by the ensorcelled Bashah of Tangiers. The Kingdoms of Castille and Aragon do hold him accus’d of direst Sorceries and of Consorting with Demons; to wit, his bruited conferences with a being of the name “VALIS” who does provide advisings and false prophecy. Sawad speaketh to all those in thrall to the Serpent of Eden, and may hold Snakes and other scaled beasts at his whimful Command.
We, the King of Castille and the Queen of all Aragonians and Pamplonese, rightful Sovereigns of all Iberia, hereby proclaim a reward of one hundred-weight of pure Silver for his head, and further its weight in Carbuncles. To this, His Eminence the Cardinal of Valencia adds the promise of a Plenary Indulgence, relieving the weight of all Sins save true Blasphemy.
Any Criminal or Heretic within our power who wishes to undertake this task will be granted a year and a day of Parole; success will grant them a full pardon, but flight shall win them only Banishment and a Warrant of Death.

(The entity “VALIS” is a deliberate fabrication. Ali is the reborn soul of a high priest of Valusia, incarnated through his millenial machinations in a body which fits him ill indeed. He retains his ancient favor with the Snakefolk, and knows their Words of Command. His actions and advice are calculated to bring about a vast war, between and among the Mohammedan and Christian alike. In the chaos, he will take passage with trusted mercenaries and seek to excavate the sleeping-chambers of his folk beneath the newly-discovered Spanish province known as “Alta California”. Of course, the mercenaries are both warm-blooded and somewhat expendable.. and his folk hunger.)

Review: The Seclusium of Orphone of the Three Visions (LotFP)

I recently got my copy of The Seclusium of Orphone* of the Three Visions as part of the reward package from the Lamentations Rules and Magic reprint kickstarter. Now that I’ve got more than a couple hours to rub together, it’s time for that review I’ve been promising..
(*I see what you did there)

You can go here to look at my rating criteria. Remember, these ratings are for my needs and tastes, not necessarily yours, but I try to explain my reasoning as best I can.

Overall: 7/10
Every Wizard’s story is.. Max and Where the Wild Things Are”. – Pg. 20.
This book is a useful and inspiring toolbox, appropriate for virtually any universe with magic innit. Elements of its presentation are gorgeous, the writing is excellent, and the art evocative. The essays within will likely change the way you run your games, and for the better. Poor layout choices and redundant content, however, make it feel rushed; at once padded and incomplete. For something so chart-heavy, there are some basic elements missing that would have been helpful. Still, the framework it provides for both magic and Magi – which are explained just well enough to use without treading on most campaign worlds – is delightful and the book itself quite good for a GM looking to add some proper “fucked-up” to his wizard’s homes.

Make no mistake, this may not be the best of Lamentations’ products, but it’s still well above-average for the industry. I probably wouldn’t have bought the print edition based on my first impressions, but after reading and using it the inspiration value alone is worth the price of admission.

You can pick up the print & pdf here for ~22 Euros, order it from your LGS, or go for just the pdf at just shy of 8 Euros.

Detailed breakdown after the jump.
(more…)

Domus, Dulce Domus

Finally home and online after the Great Moving Adventure. Got posts on deck about the LotFP crowdfunding adventures, Herodotus, regional foods, beggars, and many other things, but right now I’ve got to go excavate my bed and see about meeting the sandman.

Literary Inspiration: Book of the Dead, Aztec Myths

I’ve got a few hours to touch base before I have to swing back up Seattle way. I’ve been spending a lot of time on the bus (three bloody hours each way for an hour-and-a-quarter drive..), which means I’ve also been spending a lot of time reading. In this case, a shitload of occult anthropology and ancient linguistic works; there’s a reason I play the system I do..
So, I find that a lot of people get way too Jungian when they’re building their pantheons, neglecting just how fucking weird we as a species have gotten in the past. Here’s some examples of ways to weird up your creepy native cultists all proper-like.

For starters, I found a couple of excerpts from Budge’s 1895 translation of the Egyptian Books of the Dead (available here) that were too deliciously pulpy not to pass on.

..The Night-Watchers of Set. Yea, the Night-Watchers of the Crocodile, whose faces are hidden, who dwell in the divine Temple of the King of the North in the apparel of the gods on the sixth day of festival, whose snares.. are like unto Eternity. – Book of the Dead, V.II, Ch LXV, On Coming Forth By Day from the Nu Papyrus

Tell me that isn’t setting off the fires in your head right now. Elsewhere (Ch. LXXI) they consistently refer to “the God of One Face”, which is a hell of a title. Excerpt deliberately partially redacted, as I try to avoid using magical incantations – especially to obvious demons – in my daily life. For some reason.

....the God of One Face is with me… ye seven beings, who support the scales on the night of the judgement.. who cut off heads, who hack necks to pieces, who take possession of hearts by violence and rend the places where the heart is fixed, who make slaughterings in the Lake of Fire.. -op. cit., Ch. LXXI, Papyrus of Nebseni

There’s your demonic titles right there.

Meanwhile, the Aztecs are getting up to their own pantheonic Weirdness; the information here is taken from a book that’s rather badly out of date at this point, “A Primer of Mayan Heiroglyphics” by Daniel G. Brinton. Still, even what’s wrong is a fertile ground to play in. Just, preface all this with “Brinton says that..”. Anyway..
• Aztec Dwarves were the degenerate remains of the previous age of the Earth, having survived the apocalypse in defiance of the gods. Indeed, their very degeneracy brought the Apocalypse. Would explain the dour demeanour and throwing themselves into their crafts, certainly. Holding on to the dying arts of a dead world, lurking underground to avoid the prying eyes of the New Gods, not enslaved to the current god of Death. Adventurers are tired of an eternity of cowering, unafraid (or only a little) of walking under the eyes of the Sun. Some were said to have come, in the last, to the form of flowers.

• Some divine titles and charges (note that these are far, far more interesting than the shit that made it into Deities and Demigods) :
“The Virgin Fire” – Infants
“The Virgin of the Butchered Kill” – Hunting
“The Divine Snare” – goddess of killing by ropes and traps.
“He who tends the cooking fire” – Fisherman’s deity
“The intoxicating Mead” – Drinking, but not boning. So no Dionysis here.
“She who vomits precious stones” – Patron of gemcrafters in amethyst and jade
“The infinite jewels” – Medicine (consider the importance of gems in Western “medicine” until the ~1700s and it’s not that much of a leap..)
“He whose teeth are Six Lances” – War
“The Archer” – War, plague
“Dangerous one” and “The Terror” – War demigods
“Fire is his Face” – Burning things in war
“He who works in Fire” – Destruction by fire in a more general sense
“The Bearer of 8,000 lances” – war

..not that the Maya had a fixation or anything.

More to come later. Gotta head out to the bus now.

All excerpts are from texts in the public domain, your personal cultural heritage. Defend it.