Friday, 21 March 2014

Starting Labyrinth Lord campaign, the overview

This weekend I am finally starting to Referee Labyrinth Lord with one -my trusted- player. I have some plans already, but the final campaign is formed during the course of sessions and in between of the sessions. These are the core thoughts I already have.

The idea for the campaign is to be from hero to zero inspired by games like Elder Scrolls (series) and Fable.

Character Creation

Abilities are rolled 4d6 drop the lowest assign as you like. For the player character (and most notable NPCs) the Advanced Edition Companion character rules are used separating race from class. For minor and other NPCs race-as-class as in core book is usually used.

Player chooses a race and makes modifications. He lowers his scores if those exceed the racial maximum and raises if they don't meet the requirements.

The class is chosen from the race's (restriction) list. The minimum requirements must be met. At this point player can fiddle ability points -2 from one to rise another with +1 to meet the requirements for his favorite class. Also this first class determines the experience progression for character's whole career (if multiclassing later).

Advanced HD from page 21 is used! Also in first level add CON to HD. No CON plusses though. (This is also to make the game easier for my character. I want a campaign with a hero, not survival of the tactics. Also as my player is not familiar with old-school style of dungeon dying I don't want the character to be too fragile). The character is a hero with a destiny after all. Also secondary skills (same page) used for some background.

Alignments are good, neutral and evil (see LotFP). Lawful - chaotic is roleplaying, not rules wise. Those three alignments are the characters position in universe. For example evil character might have access to altars, equipment, covenants etc. lawful character cannot.

About equipment. Initiative funds are rolled as normal but player cannot buy starting equipment. Instead player can choose:

  • To roll random weapon from one of the following tables:
    • RODS, STAVES, and WANDS
    • SWORDS
    • MISCELLANEOUS WEAPONS
  • To roll random magic item from the table
Also character has simple clothes on. (As the game starts from "0". To make it easier for the player to get know the world when the character doesn't know shit either. Also see how Elder Scroll's start, at least Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim which I know).

Death

Death is not permanent. Depending on a situation where player looses all his HP different things can occur. Character is left into a ditch to die robbed, character is captured... what ever suits the situation. Death cannot end the campaign. Still in my experience even if my player has high suspects that her character cannot die (Referee doesn't "allow" it) she acts like her character is vulnerable and important. And she's told me she's been afraid of her characters dying in the past.

Experience Progression & Multiclassing

Experience is gained from treasures and killing monsters. Also some extra experience can be gained if character does something significant for himself or the cause. Mission experience is gold. "Kill 10 spiders in the cellar and get 100GP".

Even if character decides to multiclass later the experience progression chart of his first class is used instead of the new class. The different class levels are totaled for the character level. So a Fighter (initiative class) 2nd level with Assassin 2nd level and Cleric 1st level is 5th level character and needs 32501 exp for next level... what ever it would be.

The multiclassing to those classes available in character creation doesn't need any tricks. You can multiclass to those. To multiclass into a class not available for that race you need to find a guild, covenant, order, teacher... what ever who shows you the ways of the class not familiar for you(r race). This is roleplaying, no rules. See how Elder Scrolls works for guilds and stuff.

When gaining new abilities and attack bonuses and what not the highest possible result is used, even if the highest was the previous from last classes. HD is rolled by the class of that level. Some equipment restrictions apply when used class abilities. Even if a Cleric-Fighter-Assassin the god of the clerichood might ban sharp weapons.

The World & The Campaign

This is a mystery! I need a starting location (small fishing village where character arrives) and some stuff to do there. Basically first sessions are going to be a tutorial, because my player is not familiar with B/X style of play (she's played LotFP and Mutant Future though so know the rules ideas). I take a hex map and draw locations there. The sizes of the hexes doesn't matter. The hex map is a "how different places are related to each other". Two neighbouring hexes are neighbours but there might be 100 miles in between when two other neighbouring hexes might be stuck together.

Pantheon will be what ever it is. I ask player to choose her god/dess. She can invent her own, or take something from any source. Or at the moment be an atheist not believing in gods. Different gods (and godly creatures, including demons) can be encountered via altars (here you pray and devote. It's mostly psychical but who know) or gods might even contact you!

The character has a destiny. Or she had but then something happened and she was cast away and now she is clueless (memory erased or something lame like this). At the course of the campaign she will find out who she is supposed to be. And then she slays the bad guy! But before it she slays those bad guys who support the bad guy.

The world is your generic fantasy world you have seen 1000 times. This is a generic fantasy adventure after all. Why? Because I haven't played this kind of game with my player yet! Quite possible after the start going to use parts of Mithgarthr... who know.

I will record campaign reports here in my blog.