LotFP Specialist vs. B/X Thief

I'm a true believer in the d6 skill system LotFP uses. So much so that I wrote a whole thingy about it. So much so that I converted saving throws into d6 and house ruled they could be improved like skills. One of the things I like so much about it is that it does a good job of approximating d20 and d100 skills- not as granular, but when arguing over increments of 1-5%, there is not much meaningful difference.

For comparison, here are a few different ways that skills are arbitrated in traditional rpgs:
B/X "Sometimes Percentage, Sometimes d6" method. Thieves suck at almost everything they're supposed to be good at and, depending on the ruleset, only Thieves can even do that stuff.2E "Holy Shit, Look At All These Ridiculous Proficiencies With Different Methods Of Resolution" method. Literal volumes of skills- so many that everyone forgets they're optional.3E "Holy Shit, Look At All These Ridiculous Proficiencies With The Same Method Of Resolution&qu…

Treasure Checklist for Tower of the Stargazer

I love running modules, but the layout in a lot of them can make tracking things hard. Often maps are placed in a different section than the area descriptions they're connected to, creature stats may be hard to find, and keeping track of treasure is probably the hardest. To try to improve this, I'm working on creating checklists that present all the treasure in one easy to find place so that a Ref can track what's found, what's broken, what it does, and how much xp it will be worth if recovered.

Here is the Treasure Checklist for Tower of the Stargazer:
Treasure checklist in PDF form
Treasure checklist in Google doc form

I've also created a list of suggestions for running the module here:
Ref tips for running Tower of the Stargazer

*Note: Tower of the Stargazer is copyright James Raggi IV. The information presented in this document is for use with that product, but is not intended for sale or profit of any kind.

On Player Struggle and Failure

While reading some esoteric reprinting of the AD&D DMG (a 2018 edition with TSR aesthetic, but with 3E skills and Satan knows what else), I stumbled upon this section regarding the appropriate level of challenge in a campaign:
Never simply assume that the characters will win. What if they don't? What if the forces of darkness and evil win the final battle? No matter how high the odds are stacked in their favor, there is always a chance that the characters will do something so stupid or unlucky that they lose. Victory cannot be guaranteed. If it is, players will quickly sense this and take advantage of it. - p. 16 Alignments in Conflict

Being that this is in a section on Alignment, in its original context it pertains to grand cosmic/spiritual/moral struggle. It also advocates for PCs having roles of importance in the conflict, which may or may not run counter to OSR ethos, depending on your play style. There is some support for making alignment impactful on a campaign, particula…

Review: Tomb of Black Sand by Jacob Hurst (w/ bonus Necromancer's Candle magic item!)

Here we go! Many years late, let’s see what an OSR guy thinks of the current, most modern edition of D&D. Sure, it came out like 6 years ago and most of you have probably already played it. And, like me, you probably prefer OSR games of the B/X flavor, because you’re reading a fucking LotFP blog. Also, spoilers, I’m still an OSR guy through and through- 5E hasn’t won me over so far, and it likely won’t, as it’s quite an uphill battle for the wordy, bloated, and kinda generic style of 5E to replace the weird-as-hell, nasty, fucking metal OSR in my black fucking heart. But Jacob Hurst, author of the Hot Springs Islands books, brings the Tomb to 5E but OSR innovation and style are all over it.

I'll give a fairly in-depth look throughout several posts. This post will give my impressions of its physical production, layout, and an overview of the content. Future posts will give more specific (spoilery) observations as well as pointing out comparisons between 5E and OSR along the way.

My Blog Has The Best Chat Bots (w/ Bonus Necromancer NPC!)

It appears that the comments of several of my posts have been infested by chatbots. Normally, I would not be a fan. However, they seem to have latched on quite aptly to the content of the blog, so I can't complain.
Yes, I have Illuminati, occultist chatbots. Please don't call the WhatsApp or whatever they're posting, but go ahead and check them out over on the Dark Lord Blood and Lucky Idiot Weapon posts. I have no idea why the Lucky Idiot post became ground zero, I think it may have just been the most current post at the time or something. It has some interesting interplay between the bots, as it seems they're arguing with each other about the legitimacy of their respective Illuminations.

Bonus Gameable Content:
Elizabeth David 
Level 1 Magic-User
Elizabeth is kind, simple, and highly suggestible. All she wanted was to marry her small-town sweetheart, Gnert the farmhand. He was so handsome! And that milking technique!
Unfortunately, one stormy night a loud thunderclap sp…

d20 Weapons for Lucky Idiots (re-posted from Secret Santicore 2017)

PSA: This is a Chat-bot Mating Ground. Observe, below in the comments, an impressive gathering of illuminati occultists seeking more of their kind. Enjoy this opportunity, but do not feed them, contact their phishing sites, or tap the glass. Thank you.

First of all, this content isn't mine. It's from the Secret Santicore 2017 document, written by Trent B. of The compilation, which came out this year as a beautiful pdf, is full of great content, including a piece by me (Reef Elves for DCC and LotFP), and a piece written for me by Lungfungus of Melancholies and Mirth, featuring bizarre and abstract alternate planes of reality. Check it out!

I had to share this table of weapons for giants. But of course, it applies to the Lucky Idiot, who can use anything as a weapon (it was inspired by a player who wanted to use a Buster/Guts sword) as long as it's not mechanically different from the standard weapon types. Exceptions can be made with Lucky Idiot r…

The Craft Skill

Some Refs and players enjoy including downtime activities, such as spell research, carousing, domain management, and other stuff. Crafting and selling is one such type of downtime activity, and so why not make up a skill for players looking to earn silver, make items for enchantment, repair gear or whatever else?

The Craft skill is a specialty skill. Characters do not possess a 1 in 6 chance by default: it is the class ability of  Dwarfs, for whom it replaces the Architecture skill and progresses at the same rate. Others may only gain the skill by allotting Specialist skill points or training in the skill. 
Characters with the Craft skill are trained in making one type of good, such as different types of food, clothing, or art, armor, guns, or weapons. The Craft skill may be taken multiple times in different professions, which must be increased separately from one another.

In order to craft, appropriate Specialist's tools and facilities are required. The amount of time it takes to…