Thursday, December 26, 2013

Lamentations of the Flame Princess - My Take

This was my first introduction to Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Some of the artwork really bothered me. Some of the artwork still bothers me. In particular the picture of the chain mail bikini lady being ripped apart by ghouls (especially consider that one of the hands is insider her and where it entered...). I also don't agree with all of the design philosophies presented by Mr. Raggi. They make sense, I just don't share his outlook.

Still despite any reservations I've had, I've recently recently found myself coming back to the game. I read fan material and reviews on a few of the blogs I subscribe to all the time.Dreams in the Lich House's Gothic Greyhawk stuff is quite interesting.  In addition I love reading Zak's stuff over at Playing D&D With Porn Stars. I'm going to be honest, it's really sold the system to me. In particular Zak's stuff really got me thinking about the system. I love Vornheim and I can't wait to see his Wonderland book.

Personally these are the things I like about the game:

  • Fighters really stand out, because they're the only folks that improve in their fighting abilities. 
  • Thieves become specialists and their percentile skills become d6 skills, this is simple and I like the customization
  • Any body can attempt to use any weapon type, so you can have gun wielding magic users.
  • Related to that I love the implied early modern weird Earth setting
  • Because Turn Undead becomes a spell and magic in general is less flashy, this makes me think that LotFP would be a great system to run Ravenloft with, perhaps even better than 1st or 2E. 
  • For all the strange pieces, there is some fantastic artwork. Much of it centers around the same (all female party) of the red haired fighter, blonde cleric(?), brunette magic user. 
Graphic nature of the content aside, some people have issues with the game based on the idea "why do we need another version of basic?" I get that and if you have a version you like better, that's cool play that one. However I think there are some interesting adventures from LofFP and they can easily be converted.

There are many retro-clones and it would be easy to dismiss Lamentations of the Flame Princess as just a shock version of Basic. Still I think the material has some merit and is worth checking out. The basic rules and spells book can be picked up for free (if you don't want any art). I've picked up several pdfs during their current sale.

Addendum: I just remember how I described my take on a LotFP campaign to a friend.

Imagine mixing Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow with Stuart Gordon and Brian Yuzna's Lovecraftian flicks and adding a little Guillermo del Toro in for spice. 

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