Friday 26 September 2014

Fixing Mutant Future low melee damage

Mutant Future and Labyrinth Lord (well, basic era games in general) have similar melee weapon damages but there's a big difference; the HP.
In Labyrinth Lord you roll one die per level so your first level adventurer has enough hit points to survive a blow or three. In Mutant Future you roll dice equal to your Constitution score (16 dice for CON 16 dude) making him around ten timed -or more- resilient than his poor fantasy cousins.
Firearms and lasers do more damage, but aren't melee weapons lethal too instead of just being annoying? And in default Mutant Future setting(s) modern and future weapons are scarce... Mutant powers deal good amount of damage though...
But as there are good damage dealers in the game (modern arms, mutations) why make most common available weapons damn ineffective and boring? Baseball bat with nails and good-ol-machete re cool in hands of mutant - but not in this game.
Mutant Future Low Melee Damage Fix
Weapons have base damage as listed.
When base damage is rolled, multiply it with STR bonus, if positive.
In some situations (finesse weapons, skill matters more than brutal strength) DEX modifier can be used.
Example: Dex the lizardman gets into a barfight! He opens his butterfly knife and maked it dance between his fingers. He might not be the quickest pistolero in the wasted, but he sure is damn nimble.
Quick attack and his opponent is bleeding - badly.
Dex rolls 1d6+2 damage (his butterfly knife is goo'od) and scores 7. He is nimble with DEX modifier of +3, what is now damage multiplier so his total damage dealt is 21! Not bad!
(I don't have MF rulebook in my hand so I had to pull knife damage and DEX modifier from my hat).

Monday 22 September 2014

[Review] The Undercroft zine #2

Hear me out. If you like weird fantasy, horror and/or Lamentations of the Flame Princess you should not waste your time here reading this review. The time you spend reading this review you could spend reading The Undercroft issue 2. You'll get it from HERE in print and PDF. Now go.

You are still here? Alright. Either I was not convincing or you really want to hear what I have to say.

For first, look at the cover to the left. It is fucking sweet! +Cédric Plante is a guy I found in G+ and have been following him. He is a brilliant artist. Look at that picture and see how brilliant the cover is. It is damn sweet! You should also follow Cédric if you are in G+. He does draw some crazy sweet stuff!

The main guy behind The Undercroft is one individual called +Daniel Sell. This is already second zine, but unfortunately I haven't read the first one so I cannot say where the zine is going. This I can say; this second issue is very, very good!

As I already said, this is perfect for those who like weird, horror and LotFP. In my humble opinion there can never be enough material like this. Something what is imaginative, weird, horrific and terrific. Something you enjoy reading and what gives you creeps. And as you read it you imagine how you could screw your players with the material in hand. This is like it. Lots of great ideas, and creepy stuff.

Here I want to mention other artist (of four), Matthew Adams. His style is very creepy and somewhat familiar. Good stuff.

But what you, we, get? 24 actual pages of content (if you add the one page comic). Monsters, potions, a small dungeon and a short story.

The monsters are good. Except the waste disposal hog the monsters are also creepy. These are not just your average "one new thing for player characters to kill for exp, lulz and fun" but creatures what can live up for a small adventure! Nice touch is that two of these monsters are statless, there is only fiction of them. Not a bad call because everyone knows that (LotFP) OSR statting is super simple. Basically you get the information what the monster is like, what it does etc. and can stat it up to match your own game. But does everything need stats afterall? Stats mean it can be killed... should everything be killable?
Awesome is a monster called That Which Slips Between. For me it was very, very creepy creature! And it is tied to the small dungeon, what makes the dungeon extremely creepy! The dungeon is not creepy but the creature, damn. It's like Stephen King decided that Mythos needed some creepiness and Ray Bradbury gave a blessing for it!

Also the potions are very good! I think they fit the weird fantasy and Raggi's style of magic items very well. These potions are to screw you in a way or other. Well, at least characters might learn not everything they find in a weird fantasy adventure should be chucked in!

Also bonus points for The Visitor. I liked it a lot. Very creepy in X-Files way... with some Mythos style writing. One of those monsters you can make adventure around. Liked it very much.

So as you see I really, really liked this zine! Lots of good stuff, and fortunately everything (except the short story and comic) you can actually easily use in your games!

See, was it worth to read my ramblings? You could have spent this time reading The Undercroft issue 2 instead! Now, go and download it and let me know did you like it also!

Daniel's blog:
The Melsonian Arts Council store:

Biography of Daniel Sell:
"I am quite boring as far as RPG writers go. I don't moonlight as an astronaut or a sex worker, I write fiction and RPGs and barely survive off the proceeds. Living the dream."

Friday 19 September 2014

[Review] Lamentations Of The Flame Princess (hc Rules & Magic + Grindhouse Edition)

Lamentations of the Flame Princess is a retro clone of basic and expert rules of the original fantasy roleplaying game. It is not 100% faithful in cloning the original (as Labyrinth Lord tries to be as far as it legally can) as it has some house-rules embedded. These house rules make game more simple, but add some neat options.

The premise of Lamentations of the Flame Princess is weird fantasy. Weird fantasy means (in LotFP) that magic is chaotic and most of the people are unaware of it or afraid of it. Monsters are unique beings instead of everyday annoyance (orcs, looking at you!). Life is tough, world is dark.


In Grindhouse Edition one of the three books is named Tutorial. If you are familiar with Mentzer basic set of Dungeons & Dragons you now what the tutorial is like. As you read you are suddenly thrown into a solo adventure, where you learn the rules as you play. This is extremely beginner friendly method to teach roleplaying. Instead of reading rules and explanations you actually get to do something yourself. It is a bit funny, that LotFP has this great tutorial for beginners, but I am not so sure if LotFP is beginner friendly game! Rules wise it is, but artwork and mood tells something else.

The Weird

The weird in illustration and wording means gore, disgusting things, and despair. You get the basic seven races as classes (Fighter, Cleric, Magic-User, Specialist replacing Thief, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) but the class descriptions exude dark fantasy. Fighters life is described not valorous but the hell of war. Magic-Users reveal darkness instead of cowering away from it. Dwarfs are a dying race without pleasure in life. Also most of the spells are familiar, but written in darker tone. Your Magic-User can access Summon in first level. But before you get anxious summoning some dragons to fight with you remember, this is weird fantasy. Summon spell might screw you and everything around.


If you haven't lived in a barrel for a couple of years you should have heard (or seen yourself) that LotFP products are top notch! The art is magnificent, print quality is amazing. The books are smaller than normal rpg books (half the size) but that makes them more appealing. The Grindhouse box includes three books, character sheets and tiny dice. You only need pen and some paper and you are ready to go - out of the box! (As I mentioned above about the Tutorial book you can start playing very quickly without even starting to read the rules book!)

Grindhouse box books are paperbacks (I hope I am using the term correctly here). Soft covers, rough and thick yellowish paper. I really like the feel and looks of Grindhouse books. They are appealing to me. Very sweet. You still can see that these are not yet perfect, but that makes them even more personal. The headline font is wonky to read and some things could have been arranged better for clearer read.

But that's what the new hardcover fixes. Editing is better, font is better, layout is better, paper quality is better (glossy, if that's the right word). The hardcover is easier and better in actual use, but still there's more charm in Grindhouse version! LotFP Grindhouse Edition cover art is legendary, but hardcover cover art is not worse.


Advance levels gaining experience. But monsters don't give you experience so you want to avoid those. And you should, if you have read the adventures. Gold and treasures are what give you ding. Ascending AC makes game easier so you don't have to check the table to know what you need to hit or calculate Thac0. If you will this is super simplified version of the 3rd edition of D&D. Or improved and modernized version of basic.

Character classes are a little different. Clerics get first spell at first level (same in Labyrinth Lord). Only Fighters advance in hitting better. Specialists get skill points so they can choose in which skills advance faster.

Skills are now one in six change, everyone has 1 in 6 (Elves spot secret doors 2 in 6, Halflings hide better but those are exceptions). Only Specialists advance in skills but everyone can try to pick locks or climb walls.

Encumbrance is a big improvement. Instead counting what every coin and torch weights LotFP uses encumbrance points. Some items don't add encumbrance, some add, some are heavy and it shows. Makes inventory management smoother and easier.

There are also extra rules like maritime adventures and rules for property and finance. Also you find everything you need from mapping (these are not rules actually but suggestions) to retainers.You could quite easily just convert your b/x campaign to LotFP without much trouble.

Hardcover also introduces firearms (LotFP default setting is 17th century) which earlier editions (Grindhouse and Deluxe) lack. Nice addition what most certainly adds the setting feel.


There is no setting in either of these products. There are hints of what weird fantasy is, but the setting is up to you to decide. New hardcover gives strong suggestions to 17th century pseudo-fantasy and in his house games the author James Raggi IV doesn't use demi-humans. In the rules demi-humans are there to make game compatible. If you want setting for LotFP you should buy LotFP adventures. Those give flesh for the bones of the game. There are adventures what strongly give the 17th century pseudo-fantasy vibe. But there are also other weird settings, for example Quelong for south east Asian weirdness and Carcosa for science fantasy weirdness.


  • LotFP is a solid set of old-school rules with modern solutions.
  • It is also easily compatible with other OSR games and in Grindhouse Edition's Referee book you get conversion tables for most popular OSR games.
  • The art might turn some people off being gross, but if you don't like the NSFW art you can get the rules for free to enjoy the solid system.
  • Even though the rules are extremely great where LotFP shines it is in its products. And you don't even need LotFP to play these supplements and adventures, because they are easily compatible with other games (LotFP statblocks are simple).
Where To Get?

Grindhouse Edition is out of print, so you need some luck. Some bookstores or gaming stores might have few in stock. Or you might find it second hand in different places from stores and online.

You can buy the new hardcover rules from:
  • LotFP store. Both print and PDF available there. The PDF is cheap so go get it!
  • Free no-art PDF is available at RPGNow. You don't get the art (someone might prefer this game without art!) but you get the nifty rules!
  • You can also check out what LotFP is about with these two free adventures: The Doom-Cave Of The Crystal-Headed Children and Better Than Any Man (in that there's two things I wrote so you better check that out!).
Special For Me

LotFP is not only an excellent game but also special for me. When I heard of this OSR I tried to understand and get it. I did download different free games (OSRIC and Labyrinth Lord for example) but didn't get it nor like it. LotFP had this awesome premise and box art and I just had to get it! I knew it was OSR I wasn't interested in but thought, that I can always use other rules. I just wanted that damn box!

And I bought it. And started to read it. After the Tutorial I was sold. When I started to read the rules I understood that OSR is for me! So without LotFP I am not sure if I would love OSR like I now do.

Thank you LotFP for making my gaming awesome again!

Sunday 14 September 2014

My dice

I love dice! I wish I had tons of dice. My big dream is to buy a pound-a-dice or two. I don't have as many dice as Guinness record collector, but I love every single die of mine.

  1. World of Darkness dice. In nWoD 8+ is a success so in these dice results 8, 9 and 10 are clearly visible and results 1-7 not so. Great for nWoD, other games not so practical.
  2. Pegasus Press manufactured dice set including D10 with "tens" in addition to normal D10 (0-9). Helden Würfel means hero's dice. Bought this set for my girlfriend because I think she deserved her own set of RPG dice.
  3. D30s. The ugly monstrous orange with green is normal. The black is MtG counter die.
  4. Clear sets. The first black is only one with D10 with "tens". The clear set is missing D10. The clear, purple, blue and green are my four first sets I've ever bought or owned!
  5. My do-it-yourself fudge dice from normal D6s with pips (here's how).
  6. Warhammer scatter die. Good to roll when you need to randomly determine all sorts of directions.
  7. These are very, very old.
  8. D3. Six sided die with results 1, 2 and 3 twice.
  9. Random D8s.
  10. D4s. My favorite is the red one because it's the only D4 I got which has results up, not down the side.
  11. D6s with numbers. For roleplaying games I prefer D6s with numbers instead of pips. For some reason I think pips are for boardgames and numbers are for roleplaying games.
  12. D10s for World of Darkness games I ran a lot. Rusty red are actually from Prince Of The City boardgame.
  13. Weird D10. I bought these like this. Monday quality I guess because the numbers are not colored. Extremely hard to use.
  14. Two lonely D10s.
  15. D12s.
  16. A party of D20s. The clear green is slightly smaller than the others.
  17. D6s with pips. Purple looks old.

To the left there are mini dice from Lamentations of the Flame Princess Grindhouse Edition. For size comparison there's an ordinary D20. I like that in LotFP set there is percentile D10 also. Things I don't like too much:

a) The colors don't match my idea of LotFP.
b) Contrast between colors of numbers and base is not that good.

Still, I like these little devils!

This is my Referee set I built. For use with OSR games (Labyrinth Lord, Mutant Future, LotFP etc.).
  1. D30 is for tables mainly.
  2. Whites are my full set.
  3. 3D20 to roll multiple attack/save results at once. 3 results are what I am comfortable with at one time.
  4. Extra blue D12 because it looks neat.
  5. 4D8 for HD.
  6. 3D6 for initiative.
  7. D10 % for percentile rolls - obviously.
  8. D3 because I own it. It is not too hard to roll 1-3 with D6. And the yellow color gives nice contrast here.
  9. WH scatter die for different things.
  10. Two D4s. White from full set and red because I like it a lot.

Saturday 13 September 2014

Making Crypt of Rabies metal with Rafael Chandler

"The photo of me is from some event at a library
 where I spoke to a bunch of kids
 about a career in the video game industry.
 After that, we played Rock Band.
 Sharing information and mentoring young people is
 pretty fucking metal."
I thought my blog needs more TRVE METAL in it. Only person who could make my blog more metal is +Rafael Chandler . Why? Because he is one of the most metal dudes in RPG circles around the world. Don’t believe me? Better follow him at Google Plus and get awesome metal things in your feed.

Here are my questions for Rafael about what roleplaying things are METAL or how to make roleplaying more METAL.

Rafael, I want to start with basics. What is the most METAL die (not death kill murder die but a singular of dice)?

The d12, no doubt about it. Each face of the die is shaped like a pentagram.

Drizzt D’urden should be METAL being dark elf and stuff but instead he is a whiny mary sue. How to make elves TRVE KVLT METAL?

Whining is not metal. On the other hand, striking out on your own in defiance of society (which Drizzt does) is definitely metal; however, the society that's he's rebelling against is evil, it's undergound and it's focused on death. In other words, he's turning his back on an extremely metal culture, and instead chooses to spend time with a cat. Cats are not metal, regardless of how large they are. Wolves are metal, as are demons. Lolth is also kind of metal. Drow are more or less metal. Catti-Brie and Eminster are not metal. Drizzt is kind of like a scene kid. Bruenor Battlehammer is probably into classic rock: Creedence, Hendrix, the Stones, Clapton. Stuff like that. I think he's okay. I'd probably drink a beer with Bruenor.

You have a strange pervert fixation. Explain me how and why tentacles with or without mouths instead of normal legs are METAL.

I'm really into Mon*Star from Silverhawks. That dude has a bangin' body.

From the traditional seven classes (as races) which is the most METAL of them all?

Cleric, but only if you cast reversed spells (Darkness, Cause Light Wounds, Curse, et cetera).

When your character reaches the point he is dead how to make his death METAL?

In SlaughterGrid, there's a random resurrection table. You come back from the dead with deformities and new appendages and strange urges. The pain doesn't end with death. It keeps going. That's pretty brutal, I think.

New appendages, there you go again with your perversion! Do these new appendages in any chance have mouths?

Some do! It's a d100 table full of nastiness. What can I say? If I were a musician, I'd only know one chord, but I'd play it all damn day.

If I want my character to be METAL what would be his theme song? It doesn’t matter what the character is like because METAL is universal.

"Sun and Steel" by Iron Maiden. Classic D&D metal.

Which is more METAL? Loincloth or chainmail bikini?

Because of Manowar, I must say loincloth.

How can I become METAL as roleplaying games enthusiast, blogger and publisher?

I should probably insert a joke about inverted crosses or whatever, but really, I think it just comes down to not giving a damn what society says. There aren't a whole lot of metal songs that praise conformity, obedience, or cowardice. Instead, you find a lot of metal songs about independence and solitude.

How to make lawful good character METAL?

Tough question. I don't know if it can be done! I don't use alignments in my games. It's kind of a drag.

No Salvation For Witches for Lamentations Of The Flame Princess and Teratic Tome are something you have made. But for my blog give a most METAL monster ever only exclusively published here at Crypt of Rabies blog.

The Certitude is invisible, inaudible, and odorless. It cannot be detected by magic, nor can it be dispelled or slain. The Certitude spreads from person to person through the use of words, spoken in tones of utter conviction. Residing in the victim's brain, the Certitude allows the victim to justify any action, no matter how horrific, because the victim is convinced that the world will be made a better place. The Certitude is responsible for countless atrocities.

I thought I am not worthy enough to introduce Rafael in the end of this post so I’ll let the most METAL guy in roleplaying biz do it himself. So Rafael, tell us how METAL you are!

Most days, I don't feel terribly metal. I sit at a desk and I type all day. I drive a minivan. I eat cereal for breakfast. I don't feel particularly interesting or special. But in my mind, there are vast plains of scorched flesh; endless chains of wailing victims coiled outside towering abbatoirs; and a vast, all-encompassing ostinato that pulses up from the ground with the fury of thousand blastbeats. There, I have peace.

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