Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tons of LotFP Reviews and News Snippets

Boxes continue to land at people's doorsteps. Multiple reports of people receiving their games yesterday, so hang tight if they haven't arrived yet.

Frank Mentzer has been spotted in these parts. Not sure if he received his (comped) box yet and I'm still worried whether he'll find it to be a cool tribute or a shameless rip-off. That post is so cool because not only is Mentzer (writer of the most clearly explained version of D&D) in the comments, but so is my best friend from the 80s, some of my current players as well as customers and readers from across the globe - all within 17 comments. Sometimes this blogging and publishing thing is just too cool.

We're #2 at Noble Knight with LotFP Weird Fantasy Role-Playing and the three new adventures are in the Top 50 at RPGNow (apparently the Adult Content setting for the PDF of the game itself keeps it out of the rankings...! It'd be in the top 15 otherwise).

Do note that the PDF layouts are not the same as the layout of the printed books. The PDFs are designed specifically for on-screen viewing.

Various reviews and commentary have come in from Grognardia, Redbeard's Ravings, Dungeons and Digressions, There's a Bugbear in My Kitchen, Aeons and Auguries, Stuart Robertson has left a review at RPGNow, there's threads over at Story Games and More reviews are certainly to come, from Reviews from R'lyeh and The Escapist among others, plus several of the reviews noted above will have follow-ups.

If you can read Finnish, Arkkikivi's webstore has perhaps the most comprehensive reviews of the new stuff currently available. That's here. Google Translate can be your friend but it comes out with pretty funny phrases.

Oh, and B/X Blackrazor talks about Death Frost Doom here.

Have I missed anything since last update?

I'm currently struggling to make a nice ad for the back cover of the next Fight On! and am putting an ad out on RPGNow soon (as soon as their email server stops thinking I'm spam...). More of OneBookShelf's Featured Reviewers have downloaded the game than any of the modules so there might be more attention to come...

August 30 I'll be running my first in-store game down at Puolenkuun Pelit Espoo (name soon to be changed to Espoon Pelikauppa). I hope to make that a regular thing and I hope to take that on the road around Finland at the various stores stocking my game.

I've emailed the GenCon people asking for a judgment on the cover of my game. I have until January to make a final decision, but I want to do GenCon next year. And not as an attendee. "If you want something done right..." and all that.

My requests to you:
  • It's not in a big fancy box, but give some attention to Hammers of the God. I haven't heard very much talk about that and I consider it the best module to date. Of course I thought No Dignity in Death was my best before that, and people don't agree... :P
  • Talk about the game! I appreciate the emails and it does the ego good, but this is still a small-press effort and it needs attention. It's done well enough not to fail, but it hasn't succeeded yet. Reviews submitted to websites are a wonderful way to help.

I'm on the lookout to release a convention-friendly (able to be played in 4 hours) module - or a module of two or three such adventures - but I seem incapable of writing anything that's short and good. I can do short, I can do good, but it seems I'm shit at combining them. I'm accepting pitches and interested in publishing other peoples' work, but this con module thing is of particular interest to me right now.

First teaser of Death Ferox Doom should be ready soon. Not sure if that means before or after I leave for Jalometalli (I'll be offline Thursday afternoon - Sunday night again... Angel Witch! Carcass! Lord Vicar! Destruction! Demilich!). I expect the module to be ready in early November, but who knows. More than 50 art pieces to be done for it. It'll be the biggest module yet, but hopefully the presentation and gaming usefulness of having the illustration booklet will be worth it to you guys. A bit of a risk since this will be in many ways an unpleasant module and I guess I shouldn't admit that I'll be disappointed if it doesn't gross anybody out to the point of receiving strong complaints, but it should be quite unique and I'm going all-out to do it right. If I aim to release something other than the Same Old Shit that means taking chances.

The best and the wildest is yet to come.


  1. I personally love Hammers of the God. It's going to be a while until I run it to my players, but just reading it is fun due to the extremely evocative background.

    Is there any hope for an official sequel to this module? ;)

  2. Hi,

    I received my box in the mail today, all in perfect condition thank you. It is amazing, you should be really happy with what you have created.

    Now to play it!

    John Beltman.

  3. Hammers of the God is definitely your best module to date and it's the one part of the whole package I've read thoroughly. It's inspired and I may have to find a way to run it at some point.

  4. >>Is there any hope for an official sequel to this module? ;)

    No official sequel, but there might be some more about the background of these dwarfs in future releases. This is the same dwarf culture that creates complications in No Dignity in Death if I may do a bit of a spoiler, and stuff from the Hammers library is expanded upon in Insect Shrine of Goblin Hill (I do believe I posted a Halfling Mound map here long, long ago...).

    Same way that Death Ferox Doom isn't going to be an official sequel to Death Frost Doom, but will share backgrounds and thematic elements.

    I don't like module sequels so much, because they almost have to assume too much of how the previous one played out. But tying module backgrounds together can make each seem bigger without dictating that you have to play them all or play them in any specific order for everything to make sense.

    >>Hammers of the God is definitely your best module to date


  5. Jim, for what it's worth, I am working on a review post or two for my own blog. I want to add my voice to the growing cacophony ;-)

    Heck, I've already committed to using LotFP for my next campaign:

    Just wanted to say thanks again for being available to answer questions about the game. Just like being able to talk to legends the likes of Mr. Mentzer, this wonderful medium we are using also give unprecedented access to game designers.

    With regard to what other people are saying about how the game may not become the intro to OD&D that you desire it to be:

    I have to agree that the initial limited edition boxed set will probably not be the vehicle that brings new gamers into the OD&D fold (unless someone who's purchased the box goes on the stump to find new blood to indoctrinate).

    BUT, I think that with determined marketing efforts (and I think everyone can agree that you're nothing if not a determined fellow) and easily accessible, less expensive formats (print sans box and in PDF, obviously) I think it can become the intro game you want it to be.

    You've already gotten a good start in that direction, I think, because you've made the rules book and the magic book available as free PDFs, in keeping with the practices of other retro-clones.

    Enough rambling from me! Good luck as always, and thanks again for a great game!

  6. I am going to review Hammers of the God as soon as I run it. I have read it and think that its brilliant. It will be a fun one to run.

  7. Wait, there LotFP is in the top 15! I spoke too soon!

  8. I got my box last week. Very impressed. I honestly didn’t expect to ever play it, but my gf wants to try her hand at DMing, and we’ve chosen LotFPWRPG for it. We plan to write review(s) in time, but not until we’ve really sunk our teeth into it.

  9. Jim, thanks for the comp. You make me sound like a piker, you turkey... LotFP (the Game) is so tasty that I would've bought it -- had you not volunteered one. Many thanks.

    More drivel from me soon, at least as comments (praps on my DF or Piazza Q&A threads) but a full review if I get the time.

    -- FM

  10. James, I strongly support you taking chances rather than releasing the Same Old Shit. That's what keeps your publications fresh and interesting.

  11. I've received my copy the day I got back from GenCon. I was a little surprised at the size. For some reason I was expecting something more along the size of the Red Box. I haven't had much time with it yet but what I've seen I love.

    My intention is to run a game of Weird Fantasy Role-Playing in the open gaming area at Dragon*Con in about 20 days. I've got the outline for the adventure down and next week I dial it in. I'll let you know how it goes.

    I also picked up 3 LotFP products at GenCon: The Grinding Gear, No Dignity in Death, and the People of Pembrooktonshire. So far, No Dignity in Death is my favorite adventure LotFP adventure.

  12. Regarding the naming of Death Ferox Doom, I thought last night that you don't have to keep the format Death xxxx Doom. You could just have the first and last words start with the same letter to keep the same format but not so slavishly. eg "Horror Jungle Heat", "Life Jungle Lost", "Forest Humidity Futility". Like those except better. Bust out the thesaurus!

    John Beltman.

  13. as soon as I learned of your game I signaled it on some Italian forums of D&D

    best wishes :)

  14. Sorry to inject some minor bad news, here, but I noticed a big layout error in the free version of the rules pdf; don't know if it's in the print product, though.

    On page 50 (the encumbrance rules,) the table of encumbrance for mounts occurs in the middle of a sentence about which items count as oversized.

    verification word: razoncat.

  15. I did a wee mention of it a couple of weeks back. Didn't want to give out spoilers so really it was an overall impression.

    Never run a campaign before, only a couple of one-offs, so this will be my first stint as a consistent DM, hopefully. Wish me luck. It appeals to me as it's totally different yet familiar. I've been reading and re-reading the referee booklet with a highlighter pen. You said it's not obligatory but I need all the advice I can get, so thanks for including a proper, honest guide.

    Your modules are probably the most memorable games I have experienced as a player in recent years - DFD and NDID. I hope to do the box set justice as a referee.

  16. go baby go

    you are living the dream . . .