OSR: Herbalism in LOTFP

I’m a great believer in taking inspiration for background, systems and just about anything really from pretty much anywhere I can get my hands on it, whether we’re talking about writing fiction or preparing RPG sessions. Recently I acquired a copy the Maelstrom RPG, published in it’s current version by Arion Games. I purchase it mainly because I remember reading a review of it in an ancient–and now defunct–UK RPG magazine called Arcane, and because it’s set in a period similar to that I’m running my Lamentations of Flame Princess campaign The Rose of Westhaven in.

There’s also a fairly nifty appendix in the book that deal with herbalism and lists the various herbs that are available in the Maelstrom game-world. I’m going for a fairly low-magic/monster-light vibe with my campaign, choosing instead to focus on human evils and shifting alliances. The idea of searching for herbs and preparing them–instead of relying on magic constantly–sounded great for the game. So I put my thinking cap on and started thinking about how I could use them in LOTFP, some of my ideas are listed below.

Key

Name: The name of the herb.

Availability: The season that the herb is available in. When someone wishes to locate the herb–assuming they are in appropriate environs–they must make a bushcraft roll, however, the roll may not be higher than that listed in the herbs availability, regardless of the characters skill level.

Preparation Time: The amount of time the herbalist must spend preparing the herbs before they can be used.

Cost in SP: How much in silver pieces the herb costs, the first amount is for unprepared herbs, the second is for herbs that have already been prepared.

Uses: How much doses each successful bushcraft roll garners.

Effectiveness: When the herbalist attempts to use/apply the herb, they must make a successful bushcraft roll, they may not roll higher than the number listed here regardless of their ability.

Effect: What the herb does.

 

Sample Herbs

Name Availability Preparation Time Cost in SP Uses Effectiveness Effect
All-heale Autumn (4 in 6) 2 weeks 2/10 7 4 in 6 Subject heals at double normal rate.
Bishop's Weed Summer (2 in 6) 3 weeks 3/6 3 2 in 6 Cures subject of the plague.
Deadly Nightshade Summer (4 in 6) 1 week 4/8 4 5 in 6 Causes to person to fall into a deep sleep for 24 hours. However, if the poisoner rolls a 1 for the herbs effectiveness then they have used too much, the victim gets a save vs poison or they die. Those who survive will be tormented by maddening visions for the rest of their days.
English Galingale Spring and Summer (2 in 6) 1 week 1/2 5 2 in 6 Enlivens the sense by increasing the flow of blood. A person who has Galingale successfully applied to them counts as having one additional pip in Search for the next 24 hours, additional doses have no further effect.

[Con-RPG] Dragonmeet 2014

On the 06/12/14 some friends and myself went to Dragonmeet 2014 held in the Ibis Hotel London, having only been to a single face-to-face convention beforehand (back in the dim and misty past when there was a Gen Con UK) I wasn’t really sure what to expect and was a bit nervous if the truth be told, the decision to attend the convention had all been a bit last minute but I was hoping to attend some of the panels and maybe even interview some of the game designers (in addition to promoting the Red Dice Diaries of course).
I had a press pass for the event courtesy of friends from Dark Cleo Productions who myself and my wife would be accompanying down to the convention; it was only a one day affair and I thought that it would be a good introduction to conventions for when I plan to attend the larger UK Games Expo in 2015. It turns out my worries were pretty much unfounded, most people at the convention were very happy to chat about and demonstrate their products and I was able to secure audio interviews with a number of people (I only took a dictaphone to avoid having to carry heavy video recording equipment across London) only one of which unfortunately wasn’t usable due to the background noise.
Highlights of the weekend for me include:

  • Talking to Graham Bottley from Arion Games.
  • Picking up a couple of indy games (Intrepid and Sci-Fi Beta Kappa) from the UK RP Design Collective and talking to Leo.
  • Having a couple of interesting chats with Gary Harper from RP Haven.
  • Getting to talk to some of the people from Modiphius and Pelgrane.
  • Playing a number of games include Stakbots, Sopio, Lords of War and a very entertaining little AFF scenario where the GM recognised me from TheRogueDM’s Broken Jade campaign videos.

I’ll put a few pictures from the weekend below:
All ready to head off to Dragonmeet 2014
Catching the London Underground
Never could resist the opportunity to take snaps of scenery
Just time for a spot of breakfast before hitting the Con
Just grabbing a drink of coffee before the event
Arriving at the venue
Our first seminar of the day – Pelgrane Press
Looking at the excellent new version of Campaign Cartographer, sadly the interview I recorded with the guy demonstrating it didn’t come out.
My purchases from the weekend
Interviewing Graham Bottley from Arion Games
Playing a cool little AFF scenario ran by Stuart Lloyd
The strategic card/wargame ‘Lords of War’ celebrated it’s second birthday and we were lucky enough to get shown how to play it by one of the co-creators
End of a great first day
Ready for the second day social at the Ibis
Playing Stakbots in the Ibis pub, great card game with loads of tactical thinking involved.
Heading back home
Just time for a game of Sopio on the train
We all had a great time at Dragonmeet, was great to meet and talk to so many people with such great enthusiasm for the hobby, we certainly hope to be attending next year’s convention 🙂

[Video-RPG] RPG Interview – Graham Bottley from Arion Games (Dragonmeet 2014)

At the recent Dragonmeet Convention we were lucky enough to be able to grab a few minute’s of Graham Bottley’s time to talk about previous projects from Arion Game including (of course) the re-release of Advance Fighting Fantasy, and also what the future holds for Arion.
Arion games website: http://www.arion-games.com
The MP3 version of the interview is available here: