Category Archives: Rose of Westhaven

Podcast Episodes 56-59: Rose of Westhaven – Introduction & Adventure 1

In addition to putting the second season of our Rose of Westhaven Midderlands campaign on Youtube (you can find links here) I have decided to make the audio available in Podcast form as well for people who can’t–or prefer not to–sit and watch long Youtube videos.
S02E01 Introduction
Introducing the players and characters for the second season of our game.
S02E01 Part 1
In which a group of church hunters are drawn to the sleepy village of Otterdale by rumours of strange coins and ruins.
S02E01 Part 2
Our group of hunters press on into the subterranean depths of the Goman fortress.
S02E01 Part 3
Fresh from facing the horror of the fortress, the crusaders return to the village of Otterdale to relax and spend their hard-earned money carousing.
In this adventure we’re playing through the pre-release version of Behind the Walls and adventure that Glynn Seal (from Monkeyblood Design) and myself have been working on. Many thanks to Glynn for his excellent layout/graphical work and for allowing me to use the maps in this actual play. As of the time of writing, Behind the Walls will shortly be available in PDF and softcover format.
Cover image for Behind the Walls, image produced and copyright Glynn Seal of Monkeyblood Design. No challenge to copyright is intended.

Rose of Westhaven – Season 2

For the second season of our Rose of Westhaven Midderlands campaign we decided to re-focus the game and settled on the idea of a group of church sponsored monster hunters. The game timeline has moved forward ten years, there is a new King on the throne and–against a resurgence of pagan cults and practices–the Church of Westhaven sponsors hunters to try and restore order to the Havenlands.
Introduction to the game and the characters.
A group of church hunters visit the village of Otterdale drawn by legends of old ruins and a strange sickness.
In which the hunter venture into the ruins buried on the southern slopes of the valley.
Our heroes relax after their recent trials, carousing in the village of Otterdale.

In these sessions we were running through the adventure Behind the Walls produced by Glynn Seal of Monkeyblood Design and myself, the adventure will be available shortly in PDF and softcover formats. Many thanks to Glynn–not only for coming up with the Midderlands (the setting of my campaign) and for his excellent work on the adventure but also–for allowing me to use his great maps in this session.

Podcast Episode 48 – Hannah talks about Star Trek & Behind the Walls

In this podcast episode my wife Hannah and I talk about my upcoming adventure Behind the Walls


Title Music

Shinigami by XTaKeRuX:
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/XTaKeRuX/Empty_Grave/Shinigami

Used under creative commons licence:
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Rose of Westhaven

Season 1

We’ve recently wrapped up season one of our Lamentations of the Flame Princess Midderlands Campaign, as of the time of writing we’ve already started season two, which has seen the timeline move forward by ten years and a switch to the For Coin & Blood rule set.

Season One charts the rise and fall of the Locke Adventuring Company,

During their adventures they made allies among the people of Porthcrawl, enemies of many fierce creatures, many friends were lost along the way, but they never stopped striving to push forward against adversity in the spirit of their deceased namesake Edwin Locke.

Over twenty sessions chart the rise and fall of the Locke Adventuring Company, these are all available to watch on Youtube or Twitch.

Youtube Playlist

Twitch Playlist

Watch Rose of Westhaven – Season 1 from RedDiceDiaries on www.twitch.tv

Podcast Episode 45 – Westhaven, Gomans and the dreaded TPK

In this episode of the podcast I talk about where we’re at with our Rose of Westhaven campaign and what the future holds for it: 


Title Music

Shinigami by XTaKeRuX:
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/XTaKeRuX/Empty_Grave/Shinigami

Used under creative commons licence:
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/


OSR Level Drain Alternative

Disclaimer: This post and the mechanics within are based around the rules for aging that appear in LotFP, I’ve not tested it with other OSR systems, but I believe it would work with some minor tweaking.

This post talks about an alternative I’ve started using for level-draining creatures in my game and why I chose to do so.

What’s the problem with level-drain?

So you might ask me why I don’t just use level-draining creature as is, there are a number of potential issues with it IMO:

  • All the hard work of attaining levels can be removed with a few unlucky dice rolls.
  • Depending on the creature it can slay even very touch PCs extremely quickly.
  • It can create a party imbalance if only a few of the characters get level-drained.

You could say that these things are what make level-draining creatures so scary, and that threatening the player’s precious XP and levels is sure to put the fear of God into them, and there is certainly an argument to be made in that regard, however for me I think that there’s already a threat to players XP and levels, it’s called death and occurs with enough regularity in a lot of OSR games that you don’t need a quick-acting, super death in the form of level-drainers.

An Alternate Suggestion

Noah Stevens got in touch with me on Facebook (thanks Noah) to say “I don’t know. The argument that SuperDeath is too harsh seems to me to be sort of flat when Resurrection and Reincarnation abound” and that “a couple of years here n there are nothing.”

Certainly a valid viewpoint and I can understand how the easy available of resurrection would lessen the impact of level-drain, however to the best of my knowledge such magic is not commonly availabe in LotFP (although I understand that the commonality of it varies depending on the OSR system in question), regardless I tend not to allow it at all in my own games. Without delving into the subject–which could be a series of blog articles on it’s own–I believe it lessens risk and therefore sense of achievement when the PCs triumph.

The exact amount of ‘aging’ that a PC gets from being hit by this version of Level Drain is a very good point, and i’ll admit that I’ve erred on the side of caution starting with 2D6 years, I am considering upping this to 5+2D10 years in future.

So what can we replace it with?

Well before we can replace it, I think we need to ask ourselves a couple of very important questons:

What does Level Drain represent?

The D&D3.5 SRD describes level drain attacks as “sapping a living opponent’s vital energy”, the very name of the ability (sometimes also known as Energy Drain) paints a picture of a foul monster literally drained the vitality and life out of an opponent, reducing them to a withered lifeless husk.

What is the purpose of Level Drain in game?

I think Level Drain serves a few useful purposes in OSR-style games (and probably modern D&D as well):

1. It frightens the players and places their characters in peril.

2. It ramps up the threat, circumventing the often lengthy process of whittling down HP.

3. It creates a vampiric feel to the creature they are attacking (especially since it’s often undead possessing this ability).

My replacement version

This was a problem I faced recently when prepping for my Rose of Westhaven campaign (which is run using LotFP in the Midderlands setting), my PCs are exploring a large underground cavern system with a river flowing through it, attempting to locate the source of water pollution causing trouble for the Town of Blymouth (for those not in the know, the Middlerlands is a twisted, green-tinged version of the United Kingdom, I highly recommend you check it out here). As I was creating the dungeon I placed the undead remnants of an ancient Goman (the Midderlands thinly veiled version of Romans) battalion in there, lead by Caius Veridius a Wight.

I’ve built up a small stock of OSR books now, so finding Wight stats wasn’t difficult, but they all seemed to involve Energy/Level Drain and–like I said earlier–I have a few issues with it, apart from that though I really like the creature and the concept of it. As I was leafing through my LotFP corebook looking for some inspiration, I stumbled across the aging system in Lamentations.

The way aging works in Lamentations is that when your character reaches a certain age you have to make a Saving Throw verses Poison at regular intervals (determined by your species), if the roll is failed then you lose a point off a random stat:

SpeciesNo Modifier-2-4Interval
Dwarf2002503005
ElfElves don’t ageElves don’t ageElves don’t ageElves don’t age
Halfling70801001
Human4050601

The rules also specify that anyone aged by magical means has to make all Saving Throws that would have need to be made if the aging had occurred naturally immediately, with any ability score penalties also being applied immediately.

This seems like a great way of representing Energy Drain to meet, what better way to represent the life-force being leeched out of you than by reducing a strong, burly warrior to a decrepit, aging husk in the space of a few moments. Not really having clear guidelines on how to pitch this I decided to have the Wight age a character by 2D6 years when they hit, in addition to the normal damage, although–in hindsight–since most characters tend to start in their prime and humans don’t even start making rolls until they hit 40, I may up this a little in the future.

Another cool thing that came out of this during the session was that the players tried to bar a door against the Wight, and I decided that–since the Wight could age things–that it would use it’s abilities to rot the wooden door and pursue them, it also gave me some cool visuals for the lair with everything rusting and in a state of decay.

Maximum Age

One thing that a player brought up–and that I hadn’t considered–is what is the maxium age of the various species in the game, I couldn’t find any real guidelines for this in LotFP (save that Elves are immortal) so I searched around the internet and found maxium age figures on the 3.5SRD), which suggested the following.

SpeciesMaximum Age (in years)
Dwarf450
ElvesDo not age and are effectively immortal.
Halfling200
Human90

Podcast Episode 44 – Getting a Campaign Started

In this podcast episode, Lloyd, Dennis, Mathew and myself discuss some of the potential issues and pitfalls surrounding getting a new campaign off the ground.

You can find the uncut version here:

Watch Podcast Live & Uncut: Getting a Camaign Started from RedDiceDiaries on www.twitch.tv

The edited (audio only) version is also available on Anchor:


Title Music

Shinigami by XTaKeRuX:
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/XTaKeRuX/Empty_Grave/Shinigami

Used under creative commons licence:
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/


Podcast Episode 40 – Over-production in RPGs

The edited version of our recent podcast recording “Over-production in RPGs” is now available on Anchor, I’m joined by Johannes Paavola, Mathew Bryan, Andre Martinez and Dennis Bach.

Music on Podcast Title

Shinigami by XTaKeRuX:
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/XTaKeRuX/Empty_Grave/Shinigami

Used under creative commons licence:
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Live & Uncut Podcast Recording – Over production in RPGs

We’ve recently been experimenting with live-recording group podcasts on Twitch so that people can watch an “uncut” version as it’s being recorded and get involved via the chat box.

These recordings are available on the Red Dice Diaries Twitch Channel.

Last night’s recording was about over-production in RPGs, although–as usual–we rambled and got off topic in the way that any group of RPers do when you start them talking.

Watch Podcast Live & Uncut: Over-production in games from RedDiceDiaries on www.twitch.tv

These live-recordings seem to have been fairly well-received so we’re currently considering the possibility of doing them on a more regular basis (perhaps one every couple of weeks).

In the next day or two I’m going to edit the sound file from this recording and trim it down, before releasing it as a podcast on Anchor.

Podcast Episode 36 – Combat in RPGs

In this episode, Johannes Paavola, Lloyd Gyan and myself talk about combat in RPGs, it’s role, the dynamics of combat and the dreaded topic of dice-fudging.

Music on Podcast Title

Shinigami by XTaKeRuX:
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/XTaKeRuX/Empty_Grave/Shinigami

Used under creative commons licence:
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

You can find the live & uncut version of this recording on Twitch:

Watch Podcast Live & Uncut from RedDiceDiaries on www.twitch.tv