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Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Hacking LotFP classes for high fantasy

So, here's a thought. You want to run Lamentations of the Flame Princess, but you want to do so in a more high fantasy setting. Rather than coming up with a bunch of new classes - with all the potential for balance issues and mechanical problems - it's not hard to adapt the existing classes.
So here are some examples. This isn't about giving you more character options so you can minmax harder, but when a player goes 'hey, can I play a kobold', this is how you might go about it.

Orcs
Orcs use fighters as their base class; they're reasonably tough but nothing special, and they're well enough experienced with combat that they can use fighter combat options. Their combat prowess comes not from training, but brute force. As such, they get the same +1 to hit-bonus as any other character. On top of this, the fighter's to-hit bonus is instead applied as a bonus to damage whenever their strength bonus would apply.
If you wanted to play a human with no real military training but who fights well - maybe a common thug, a (non-clerical) religious zealot, a raging berzerker, something like that - this also makes sense.

Goblins
Goblins use the same stats as halflings, since both are small, sneaky, tricksy little gits. However, they have none of the halfling's affinity for nature but a rather worrying ability to crawl up walls, through tunnels and across treetops; instead of Bushcraft, they get an equivalent chance in Climbing. 

Ogres
Ogres are big, tough and brutal. They use the same stats as dwarves; the good saves and hitpoints representing the ogre's bulk, and likewise the improved carrying capacity representing the ogre's size. Ogres aren't particularly bright, but they are good at breaking things. Replace the dwarf's Architecture skill chance with an Open Doors skill chance. Likewise, they're strong instead of tough, so they get an improved Strength bonus rather than an improved Constitution bonus.
Other big dumb brutes can also be done this way.

Various Types Of Elves
The elf in the book represents your common urban elf that can be found around human settlements. For less familiar elves, swap out the Search skill chance for a different skill, as follows.
Dark Elves: Sleight of Hand
High Elves: Languages
Subterannean Elves: Architecture
Wood Elves: Bushcraft

Paladins
A paladin needs to be reasonably tough, with decent hit-points and good saves. They should ideally get some holy magic, and be a trained fighter, too. So, use an elf (with their decent saves, d6 hit-dice and ability to use fighter combat options), but restrict them to Lawful alignments, and have them use the cleric spell list rather than the magic user's. They still use a spellbook (rather than getting spells just by praying), representing a copy of the various vow's they've taken and the holy gifts granted, but otherwise cast like a cleric rather than a magic user.

Vampire Slayers
So, a vampire slayer should be resistant to supernatural nastiness (since they're blessed up to the eyes or have read about this before and know what to expect), have decent fighting skills, and be able to deal massive damage when they catch up to their target.
As a base for the class, use the halfling - the halfling's excellent saves correspond to the vampire-slayers ability to shrug off (or be prepared for) various supernatural problems. They lose the halfling's stealth, and replace it with sneak-attacks for quadruple damage. Rather than the skill in Bushcraft, a vampire slayer gets equivalent skill in Searching, as they're good at finding tracks, hidden crypts and so on. 
A vampire slayer doesn't get the halfling's bonus to AC or Dexterity, and doesn't have the halfling's weapon restrictions, since they aren't small and sneaky like a halfling. Instead, they can use fighter combat options.
Other thing-slayers might have a different skill instead of Searching. Dragon-slayers might get Architecture from all the time they spend in a dragon's underground lair. Demon-slayers might get Languages from all the nasty occult tomes they've read. Giant-slayers might get Climb what with all the time spent clambering around buildings sized for people twenty feet high.

Kobolds
Kobolds are small and annoying, so like goblins they use the halfling as a base. However, they aren't sneaky or good with nature, instead being expert miners and engineers. Replace the halfling's Stealth chance with Architecture, and their Bushcraft with Tinkering. They keep the halfling's extra to AC, due to the slight protection from scaly hides, but get an improved bonus to Constitution rather than Dexterity - they're tough rather than agile.
Gnomes are dumb, but if you want them in your game, use the same rules for them as for kobolds, since they occupy basically the same niche whilst being less interesting.

Bards
Doing magic by singing really well is daft and no sensible GM would allow it. Bards are scholars and performers, but not spellcasters because that's ridiculous.
If you want to play a Bard, take the Halfling as a base. Instead of stealth, you get 5-in-6 Languages because of your great knowledge. Instead of bushcraft, you get the same skill chance in Sleight-of-Hand due to your skill at legerdemain. Instead of the Halfling bonus to Dexterity, you get +1 to your Charisma bonus. Instead of the +1 to AC, you get an extra +1 to reaction checks and retainer/hireling loyalty and morale. Yeah, you're charming as hell.

Druids, Evil Cultists and other variant religions
Get your GM to write up a different spell list in place of the cleric spell list. Same number of spells at each level, though.
No, I can't be bothered to come up with the full spell lists, use your imagination. Druids get all naturey focused spells, evil cultists get the creepy necromancy and stuff.
Hell, if your GM is truly dedicated they'll give each religion a different spell list for their clerics.

Frank Frazetta's Barbarians
It's a fighter. A leather posing-pouch, chainmail bikini or scary helmet provide the same AC bonus as leather/chain/plate armour on a normal person, and costs the same. A barbarian can't wear normal people's armour, and visa versa.
Hell, maybe woad or whatever can give the same bonus to AC as armour if you really want.
You might also get the orc-style bonus to damage rather than to hit, if you're a rage-powered barbarian rather than a smart one like Conan.

Martial Artists
It's basically a fighter. A kung-fu master's different martial arts are represented with different 'weapons' - defensive fighting works like a shield, a flying kick works like a two-handed weapon, a sudden lunge like a spear, and so on. You can't lose these weapons or give them to somebody else. They cost the same as normal weapons, since kung-fu training means giving up worldly possessions. Because of the strain such martial arts training puts on your body, you're just as encumbered as if you had actual weapons, since you need to travel light.
If you want to throw chi blasts at people (and you're GM allows it), you can do that with crossbows or whatever.
You probably have to be lawful.

Summoners
It works like a cleric, except that it has to be chaotic. The holy symbol used is probably blasphemous and horrible. Also the only spell on it's spell list is Summon, and it has Summon at every spell level. Every spell slot gets Summon prepared in it. You can make spell scrolls like a cleric, but only of Summon. You can still make holy water, protection scrolls and so on, and will probably need them. Good luck with that.

Assassins
It's a specialist.Take sneak-attack.

Ranger
It's a specialist.Take bushcraft.

Tieflings, Dragonborn, Kitsune
No. Play something sensible.
To preserve any but the most kitchen-sink tone, you probably don't want to have all these options all at once. A game world with (say) PC's that can be orcs and goblins as well as the 7 rulebook classes is going to feel very different to one with paladins and vampire slayers.

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