Friday, February 26, 2010

If You Die by Fire, Turn to Page 54. If You Die by Poison, Turn to Page 12.

I finally stopped sandbagging and got around to outlining the choose-your-own-adventure style section for the tutorial booklet.

9 areas, 10 "plot point" flags (those certainly need renaming), over a dozen ways to die, 148 entries in total.

The original intent was just a standard walkthrough of a dungeon, but as I was plotting the various choices, the possibilities opened up. One of the possible deaths caused my wife to get that sickened look on her face and she needed to confirm that this was indeed for beginners. I took that as a compliment, since it is supposed to be quite horrible.

Soak the beginner in atmosphere and then light him up to highlight the dangers of the adventuring profession, that's what I say. None of this "Have a boatload of success to make you feel great about this swell game!" nonsense.

Just looking through the rules, it might be easy to think, "Oh, same old shit." But everything, all together, will be about as "same old shit" as any of the modules I've released. It's good to get some of the material written that will give this its unique character rather than worrying so much about the stuff that needs to fit in with everything else.

I still have to update all the numbering for the entries (I did them in order first, then shuffled and renumbered) and do the actual writing, but the hard part of this section of the project is the organization and that is done.


  1. While I don't think that I'll enjoy stuff that gives other people a sickened look I appreciate your drive to make an opinionated product. It reminds me of the term opinionated software (being a software engineer myself).

    "Some people argue software should be agnostic. They say it's arrogant for developers to limit features or ignore feature requests. They say software should always be as flexible as possible. We think that's bullshit. The best software has a vision. The best software takes sides. When someone uses software, they're not just looking for features, they're looking for an approach. They're looking for a vision. Decide what your vision is and run with it. And remember, if they don't like your vision there are plenty of other visions out there for people. Don't go chasing people you'll never make happy." – Make Opinionated Software

  2. >>While I don't think that I'll enjoy stuff that gives other people a sickened look

    I didn't even think I was being at all graphic. Apparently it was just a grisly idea. I might have more to say when I finish the section and have given it to a few people to play through.

    >>I appreciate your drive to make an opinionated product.

    I don't think I have the capability to do it any other way. :)

  3. Well, in the Mentzer Basic, Bargle kills the hot cleric babe. So there is precedent for not coddling in the example choose-your-own-adventure style example.

  4. I wrote that part of the tutorial weeks ago (for the tutorial book I'm following Mentzer's format, if I haven't made that clear before). If all goes well with the art there will be a new hot cleric to mourn.

    See, it won't be sales or quality or chatter or any sort of popularity that matters; I won't consider myself a success until I see "Which LotFP Cover Babe is the Hottest?" polls on the forums. :P :P

  5. Gruesome and horrible deaths for first characters are an intrinsic part of the real 'old school' approach. Get any self-confessed grognard to tell you about the most horrific death one of their characters ever suffered and they get a real gleam in their eye as they start to regale you with stories.

    Make the experience memorable. Indelible even. Dare to stand apart from the molly-coddling bullshit that so many other rule-sets have devolved into. We need that.

    When it isn't being held down to inferior standards devised by weak fools or driven by morally-bankrupt marketing campaigns Role-Playing is weight-training for the brain and crack for the imagination. Do not be weak. Kick some ass for all of us! The next generation of RPG-fanatics will be arguing over your contribution to the hobby in a few years, do you want them using tepid words of weak praise or breaking out the flame-throwers and busting heads in defense of your reputation?

    We've already seen plenty of politically-correct mediocrity. Let's see some more dangerous-cool genius.

  6. I'm beginning to wish that this box set only contained Fighting Fantasy-esque solo adventures...

  7. Putting this section together isn't the ultimate nightmare I thought it would be. If the section gets good feedback upon release, I might release a solo adventure or two, if I come up with suitable ideas.