Tag Archives: Rose of Westhaven

Whither Westhaven

It seems like today is my day for posting about things faded or disappearing (see my previous post on deleting my Google+ account). If you’ve been keeping up with the various games and actual-plays that I run you may have noticed that there was no session video for my Rose of Westhaven game last week.

This is unfortunately because the game has currently gone on hiatus due to some unexpected scheduling issues with the group, rather than continue the game and try to re-cast I have made the decision to put the game on pause for the moment (although I may revisit it in the future at some point, who knows?)

Continue reading Whither 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 39 – Running a City Like a Dungeon

In the latest episode of the podcast I answer some voicemail messages about previous installments and muse on an idea I’ve been considering for my Rose of Westhaven campaign:

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/

Random Things: Nautical Tattoos

The home-base of my Rose of Westhaven campaign is a small(ish) port-town called Porthcrawl, recently we had a game where most of the people in the town had turned up to a funeral, in thinking about what the various inhabitants would look like I was scrolling through various pictures on Google Image search and noticed that a lot of the pirate/sailor types sported tattoos. I know from other reading and an interest in things piratical that lead to me creating the Fate game Storm & Sail with Lloyd Gyan (available from Drivethru RPG) that such tattoos were very common amongst sailors and that they had different meanings.

After a bit of reading I concocted the table below to randomly roll tattoos for whatever scurvy sea-dogs might be wandering the port, roll 1D20 on the chart to see what tattoo that scurvy buccaneer who’s eyeing your rum is sporting:

No.Description Meaning
1A Woman Serving as a reminder of loves left behind for a life at sea.
2Anchor The anchor tattoo represents stability and was given to represent that the sailor had traversed a particularly dangerous sea or ocean. Particularly sentimental sailors might have the name of a loved one added to the tattoo, giving them a reason to return home safely.
3Bottle Sailors were known for their love of drink so it was not uncommon to see this tattoo.
4Compass Rose Getting lost was one of the many potential dangers at sea, this tattoo was thought to ward against it.
5Cross Anchors Having such a tattoo marked you out as being a Boatswain Mate.
6Crossed Guns or Cannons Crossed guns indicate a member of the infantry army whilst cannons refer to the navy.
7Cutlass Some sailors would get this tattoo after dispatching a noteworthy foe in single combat.
8Dagger Through a Swallow Symbollising a lost comrade.
9Dice A tattoo often sported by risk-takers and gamblers.
10Dragon The seaman has survived an attack where their ship was set on fire and/or the powder exploded.
11Fully Rigged Ship Often awarded to mark sailing around a particularly dangerous cape.
12Harpoon Identifies you as part of a fishing fleet.
13Hold Fast The words hold fast mean holding onto the lines in bad weather to prevent being washed overboard, it is believed these words in a tattoo served as both reminder and a lucky charm in these circumstances.
14Neptune Given to a sailor who has successfully sailed both hemispheres of the world.
15Pig and Rooster Most often tattooed on the feet, these animals symbollised surviving a ship-wreck, since such animals would often wash ashore in cages following a shipwreck.
16Rope A rope around the wrist is a mark of being a deckhand.
17Shark This tattoo signifies having survived attack by some great beast of the ocean.
18Ship with Wind Filling the Sails This tattoo was believed to help a sailor's ship avoid getting becalmed on a windless sea.
19Skull & Bones A sailor with this tattoo marks themselves as having taken up a life of piracy, it is thought to have originated from brands once used to mark captured pirates.
20Swallow Each swallow tattoo represents 5000 nautical miles travelled (about 5754 land miles).

Cleric Miscast Table

In my previous post about adapting the VAM rules to use in my Rose of Westhaven game I created some generic options for a magic-user miscast table and outlined some of the circumstances where it would be used. In this post I use the same ideas for Clerics, the difference being that the table represents a Cleric’s patron deity either becoming offending at their hubris or seeking to test their worth.

In VAM each spell has specific flavoured results when your 1D12 rolled a 1-6 on the miscast table, my version for magic-users used traditional spells from the LOTFP corebook and I didn’t want to write results for each spell, it occurred to me however that this could be used in a different way for Clerics. What if results 1-6 weren’t tailored by spells but by deity?

Below you can find screenshots of the general Cleric miscast table and a specific one I have tailored to Dagon, the patron deity of the Cleric Odhran in our Rose of Westhaven game.

You can find a pdf version of the general table here and the Dagon specific table here.