Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The Dog Was Called Priestly

In the comments to my last post my friend. mentioned my rule for risky extra spellcasting. Nicked from Apocalype World. Here it is.

If you want to cast a spell that you know but have not memorised then roll 2d6.

If you are a Cleric, add your WIS modifier.
If a Magic User then add your INT modifier.

On a 10+ the spell goes off,no trouble.

On a 7 - 9 then the spell goes off. But Something Terrible happens.

On a 6 or less. The spell does not go off. AND Something Terrible happens.

Something Terrible


I built a d100 chart of strange events. Its cribbed from and inspired by, the magic table in Vornheim, results from the Metamorphica, the mutation table by Scrap Princess, this d1000 table someone made for 4th edition(much props for doing that for Fourth.) and the Terrors of the Warp from Dark Heresy. (Though that is surprisingly boring when you actually look at it. Like everything else in Dark Heresy the totality of the Gothic horror of the nightmare future can be reduced to an endless series of pluses and minuses on a d10.)

I'm reluctant to post it as it's made up mainly of other peoples material but if anyone wants it then let me know. The main convenience is that it could save you the half hour it takes to steal all your favourite fuckups and combine them into one giant thing.

The exact choice of stuff was interesting. One of the initial characters ended up being cursed so that it always rained wherever they were. Even though this had very little in-game effect it ended up depressing the players so much they just gradually forgot about the guy and left him behind.

It seems like the best results are ones that are powerfully immediate, negative but also with enough imaginative energy and a rich enough nature that they can be mis-used by players.

Something that dramatically alters the scene in a living and active way, and that no-one could want to happen to them, but that just might have a weird up-side.

Our Cleric ended up being cursed with a variant of Zak S's Vile Hound spell and had to perform an emergency Cesarean on himself to remove a little Chihuahua.

he was a good dog

He then failed his loyalty roll to command the beast who immediately made friends with another PC after being fed scraps of flesh from a dead Wizard. The dog was ultimately made useful as a lure for monsters, against the wishes of its owner.

Long term persistent low-grade problems just seem to irritate the fuck out of players. You want to give them short term colourful problems, they like that.

Though saying that, the same player now has a portal to the Nightosphere inside his head. 

Whenever I play with Nate I always end up maiming or mutating him. God knows whats going on in my subconscious. Sorry dude.

(he has a lawful god as well, but I couldnt think of many lawful-but-interesting entries so he gets the same one as everyone else)


  1. Ah. So this is where the mothbait dog came from. I think I'll be stealing this idea, too, though I am not sure my group will be taking advantage of it very often. I've been a pretty soft-hearted DM so far, but my players act like everything is just waiting to kill them. If we start playing LotFP, they'll probably be right.

    Have you heard about Dungeon World? It is apparently a DnD-ified Apocalypse World. The spell mechanics are the same as they are here.

    1. I did know a little about Dungeon World. I read a bit of the free download.

      For some reason it didn't spark my interest, which is odd as I loved Apocalypse World. Maybe I just wanted mt D&D to be a bit harder-edged. It is hard to outright kill people in AW. But they are more likely to develop actual grown-up emotions to the immersion comes from a different place.

      I am a bit too much of a hippy art-teacher DM. I like LOTFP because it's like playing with James Raggi behind your back. It doesnt matter if i'm nice. if they fuck up Raggi will kill them for me.

  2. Ah, fun times... Did you manage to get a game last night Patrick?

  3. Also: what is that cartoon???

    1. The show is Adventure Time



      Your nephew scored some serious treasure, killed a basilisk, and Wiggles took down Percus Debbins in a wrestling competition.

      Boyd is now wearing gilded platemail and a helm with the obsidian crown of the lizard king wired to the top. He is carrying the iridescent demon-dog summoning balde (which they managed not to use this session, it's still on a %25 failure rate) He looks like a teenagers version of a hero, which i suppose, he is.

    2. Wow. I felt sure that they were goners! Did Priam fade into the background/slip off unseen?

      I might have to check out Adventure Time; there was something wonderfully out there about that clip you used.

    3. He dissapeared into the land of DM-bullshit. Expect to meet up in Scrodd. Possibly at the Grim Door, which the guys intend to buy. It's still raining by the way.