[Note: These blog posts for my LotFP game were written weeks ago. So, when you read, “On Monday night I’m having friends and a few strangers over for a session of Lamentations of the Flame Princess,” that particular Monday night took place back in mid-September. We’ve been meeting weekly since then.]
NOTES FOR MY FALLEN WORLD CAMPAIGN
On Monday night I’m having friends and a few strangers over for a session of Lamentations of the Flame Princess. (A couple of friends, a couple of people I’ve met a few times at other games, and a couple of people from the Meetup group I started for the game.)
I’ve gone on a buying spree of LotFP books (they’re gorgeous! they smart! they’re fun!). I’ve made little pamphlets for character creation. I’ve made little pamphlets for 1st and 2nd level Cleric and Magic-User spells. I found these sweet-ass LotFP character sheets!
The default setting for the bulk of LotFP products is straight-up 17th century Europe during the 30 Years War. The idea is to keep the background details as mundane possible so the weirdness can stand out.
I’m starting the game a little bit before Better than Any Man. I’ll be using A Stranger Storm from the Referee Book. (You can download the current edition of the Referee Book for free here.) The basic theme of the campaign is that there are gateways to other worlds from Earth. Sometimes, like Carcosa, these worlds are in our universe. Other times, like Red & Pleasant Land or Isle of the Unknown the world are alternate worlds.
I’m taking the notion from Red & Pleasant Land that there are creatures in these worlds that have an interest in us. They spy on us, the seduce us. Sometimes they send agents here. And some of them want to come here and finish us. Each world has its own agendas. Each world is a threat in its own way.
I’ll set up a rumor table, and every PC gets a rumor. (I loved the table from Qelong and want something like that.) Some rumors will just be stuff people are saying around the world that are ideas more than rumors. But since ideas are ripping apart the social structure of society in the 17th Century, I figure they deserve to have a voice as well. Because in this world they matter.Things like, “You heard a lecture — in a secret location which was not advertised — where a learned man suggested that the stars in the sky are no more than suns with worlds around them, and each of these worlds are inhabited by the demons of hell, and they surround us.” Stuff like that. And some rumors about Death Cults (Death Frost Doom), adventurers who have traveled to far off lands and come back wealthy (Dungeon of the Unknown, Isle of the Unknown), and so on.
Here’s how I’ll run the Changelings in A Stranger Storm. They are not the Changelings as defined (which really aren’t defined at all in terms of where they come from, how they got here, and why they do wha they do). They will instead be experiments sent from the Gods of Corcosa to experiment on humans. They have been experimenting on us a while. They are preparing an invasion.
The Changelings behave as exactly as described in the adventure: they can duplicate any person, down to their thoughts and behaviors. They do this to stir up tension, cause stress and confusion. They will behave and react exactly as that person until they are killed or find someone more interesting to mimic.
If and when a PC is the subject of the duplication he will have a vision of Corcosa a that at instant — horrible and vivid and suggestive of something bigger.
The crystal found in the heart of any Changeling is actually the transmitter used to send data back to the Old Gods. (These Old Gods and this imagery will also feed into the creatures summoned by the Witches in Better Than Any Man.
And here are ideas for dropping clues for both the dungeons of Death Frost Doom and Dungeon of the Unknown.
In A Stranger Storm there is a knight that is part of Order Medical, a martial order dedicated to defending and aiding innocents threatened by war. I’ll rewrite the history of the order a bit so that the order started a century ago to help rescue the innocents of the death cult of Death Frost Doom. After the cult was shut down several generations ago the Order changed its mission to help innocents threatened by war.
And then, in a town they might visit during the adventure, the villagers, in responding to the weirdness of one of their own being duplicated, will discuss how all this might be caused by one of their own, a man who went off to be an adventurer and built a home high in the mountains years ago. No one has seen him for years. But he often hired adventurers and went to far off lands. He is dead now, his home haunted by creatures that followed him back from the Isle of the Unknown. He has a device in the home that can transport a party off the shores of the Isle of the Unknown (where the Dungeon of the Unknown is located.)
They will also hear tales that the Tsar has hired out an army to one side of a war fighting half-way around the world. (Qelong.)
Thus, if they bump into everything:
• They will know about the ruins of a death cult with a dungeon that has been sealed up for ages. They won’t have specific information about this, but they can look into the tales and find out more.
• They will know of a missing adventurer who traveled to lands of adventure. And the the general direction of where the adventurer built his keep. (The fallen keep will be one adventure; if they find the bauble that transports them to outside Dungeon of the Unknownthat’s another adventure.)
• They will know there is a war taking place in an exotic and distant land. (levels 4-6)
• They will know that creatures are being summoned from (or sent from) and alien place into this this world. I think I’ll add in here hints of witches summoning similar creatures in the town in Germany from Better Than Any Man… so if they want to head there they can.
[You can download the Free No-Art LotFP Rules & Magic PDF here.]