LotFP: Eldritch Cock Rules

Roleplayers are seldom content with things, and James Raggi, the creator of Lamentations of the Flame Princess, is no exception. So just as gamers at the table make house rules or ignore things they don’t like, new versions of games are created – we all know that Dungeons & Dragons is in its 5th iteration, and even that is only of the ADnD-branch, disregarding the three to eight basic versions, depending on how you count them.

So there are “Playtest Notes”, rules for a new iteration of Lamentations of the Flame Princess, that do mainly one thing: make Lamentations “less D&D”. The original rules are, in essence, a houseruled variant of Moldvay’s B/X DnD with several changes, like higher AC and fighters who become more dangerous with every level while non-fighters stay as they are, M-Us who are allowed to wear armor, Specialists can specialise with a number of skills they can tailor as they wish, and clerics can use blades. Add to that a silver standard with sensible prices, very well-designed firearm rules and a number of changes to the magic spells, as well as the fabled Summon Spell, and there you have it: Lamentations.

Why the higher AC and non-advancement of non-fighters in combat?
The reason is the assumed setting: Lamentations of the Flame Princess regularly deals with horror. Body horror, overpowering gigantic mega horror (often called Lovecraftian, but not in this case actually Lovecraftian, as the atmosphere is not nearly Cthulhu-esque), or personal human viciousness. Either way: It makes sense that violence is more difficult than in a classic dungeon crawl … with the exception of the fighter, who specialises in killing, so he gets better and better at it and the higher AC does not concern a fighter for very long.

The brutality of Lamentations, therefore, comes not from common human or humanoid enemies. It comes from special situations that overpower characters: Cold, slime, swamp, disease, and: dark magic.

Vaginas are Magic

In an earlier push forward, James Raggi introduces “Vaginas are Magic”, a rules expansion of fresh spells that can only be cast by fertile women. (Explanation in the rules)

This meant drawing back out of Vancian magic, to introduce a new, mana-adjacent system that allows magic users to cast as many spells as they have levels without risk … and then continue casting, but at the risk of experiencing a miscast, with potentially (read: regularly) fatal consequences, so taking reckless risks can cost lives. He also pulled out the “Read Magic” spell: All magic spells are, under “Vaginas” Rules, written in normal human languages, as chosen by the magic user who writes them down.

Eldritch Cock

The new Playtest rules (“new” = 2018) stay close to the Vagina-Magic, but with new unisex-spells, and also deviate sharply from usual DnD-standards.

  1. Every ability score has one specific function – strength help you carry stuff, dex determines the initiative die between d4 and d12, con gives you hit points, char save versus magic, int gives more skills, etc.
  2. Unified Levelling like in 5e, albeit slower than there.
  3. Clerics are cancelled. All magic is arcane magic.
  4. Elves, Dwarves, and Halflings are cancelled.
  5. Hit Points are determined by Con only, not by Class. Con 18 rolls HP with a d12, Con 4 with a d4, and Con 10 with a d8. Yes, even magic-users.
  6. Fighters are still fighty, non-fighters lose their +1 in 50% of situations.
  7. Defensive fighting (now “Guard” instead of “Parry”) slowly gets stronger with levels.
  8. Weapon damage is always the same, regardless of class or weapon. But Armor counts double against some weapons and half against others.
  9. Non-Specialists get some skill points, too, and there are three new skills and a Luck score. All characters start with one skill on +3 and one on +2, and the rest on +1; Specialist can add to that as per the standard rules.
  10. Skills were so far rolled as X in 6
  11. Saves are now determined by Charisma for Magic and Wisdom for Non-Magic, and rolled with a dice pool of 2-6 d6es (4d6 for most people), with 6es counting as successes. They do not improve with levels; there is now a full save for 2 sixes, a partial save for 1 six, and a failed save for no sixes. That makes Charisma and Wisdom pretty important for survival.

Response

As far as I can see, the new system has religiously devoted fans who miss few opportunities to say “But Clerics do not exist!” or “But Elves do not exist!” whenever other players talk about Clerics or Elves.

There are others who adopt some of the new rules; especially the magic rules, if I am not mistaken.

There are also many who just keep the “old” rules.

Personal take

I like Clerics, and I love Dwarves, so I am not particularly happy about their exclusion … but this is still the OSR, so what is written matters not. What matters is what the player decides. And if the player plays a MU and says “I am a cleric”, none can stop him, and even less so, her. So, shrug.

I have my doubts about going far away from the B/X core because I love B/X, but d6-dice-pools are not too extreme so I am okay with them.

I do like the expanded skill set, however, I already do allow “other” skills under standard rules, namely, everything that a player can think of, even cobbling, woodworking, and cooking fine meals. So, again, shrug.

Don’t take my word for it

So far, there is no new main rule book incorporating the rules, so the Playtest is still going on and feedback can still be given.

You can get

Vaginas are Magic

and

Eldritch Cock

for free to investigate them in depth and at length, and then let the masterminds behind Lamentations of the Flame Princess know how they feel to you.

.

Picture by Nothing Ahead on Pexels

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