Friday, July 29, 2011

Ropecon 2011... or, Old School North!

The first thing that became apparent is that I should have booked two tables. Having everything on one table means a lot of those books aren't getting their covers displayed, and no display = people aren't checking them out.

But I was being cheap, and the second table would have cost twice as much as the first (they want as many different vendors in there as possible), so here we are.

Still, it's a friggin treasure hoard for those that take the effort to see what's on the darn shelf. :D

Last Minute Arrivals for Ropecon!

Rogue Games' Under Pashuvanam's Lush arrived today, and I need to swing by customs to pick up Planet Thirteen Games' Purple Worm Graveyard.

Then it's representing me and all the old school publishers and their offerings at ROPECON!

I'll post a picture of the booth tonight when I get home but then likely no more posting until Monday or Tuesday... which you'll totally notice because I've been a posting machine anyway lately!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

LotFP Webstore DOWN

Off to the post office, and taking the LotFP store down.

Can't get to the post office tomorrow (Ropecon load-in starts early), don't want any stock conflicts by taking online sales and selling things at the convention.

The store will be back up with loads of new items (barring mass sellouts which are extremely unlikely) on Tuesday.

If you happen to be in Finland this weekend, stop by my table at Ropecon. I'll be there all weekend and I've got a TON of stuff from a dozen different publishers...

How I Spent Gary's Birthday

I've kept worse company.

Edit: Oh...

Jim Raggi took the Hardest Gary Gygax Quiz in the World and got 80%!

You are a Gary Gygax Superhero. If aliens ever invade Earth and challkenge us to a Gary Gygax trivia contest, you will be our champion.

Paladin Code: You completed this quiz without using Google.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Want to Turn You All Into Money-Grubbing Whores

Yesterday, the 22nd, was the 2nd anniversary of LotFP as a professional concern. It's gone well so far.

Looks like that distribution thing is going to happen. The price for parcels to the US increased to the point where it didn't make much sense to keep sending packages to multiple locations in the States anymore, so I'm arranging to just send a pallet to a single location whenever there's a new release.

It could potentially put me in every game store in North America and many more around the world, but realistically being available doesn't mean the stores will stock it. But some will. Not every Mom and Pop game store wants the box with the boobs on the cover, but they'll take Vornheim if they're smart. (It's passed Death Frost Doom as my all-time biggest seller). Upcoming releases will mostly be store-shelf friendly but of course I won't be able to resist a bit of mischief now and again because if you can't have fun watching people become outraged at pictures and words in a game book, why bother?

At the rate the releases are coming out though, that mischief won't be out until 2014. Hell, Carcosa and Isle of the Unknown are well past their expected original dates (I'm the holdup on Carcosa as I go through the prelim layout making notes, but almost 300 pages is just hell to read on a screen, but it's a multi-color layout and I'd destroy my printer if I printed it out... *sigh*), and Exquisite Corpses is all Poag . And my policy with these is "Take the time you need, we have no deadlines, let's do it right."

I need smaller things popping up a little more regularly. I'm progressing well with the Monolith adventure (and I've seen the cover prelims... I have a feeling we're all going to shit ourselves in awe) but I need more.

So I thought I'd trot out drafts of my Compatibility License and Submission Policy. These are indeed drafts, not final versions for use, and I'd like your comment. What's missing? What's ambiguous? Let me know.

LotFP Compatibility License Terms 1.0

This license allows non-affiliated “third party” publishers to release free or commercial publications for use with, and declaring compatibility with, LotFP Weird Fantasy Role-Playing. You do not have to pay a licensing fee nor submit your product for review prior to publication.

Your product must comply with all applicable trademark and copyright laws. LotFP is not responsible for any infringement claims against your product.

The title of the work may not contain “Lamentations of the Flame Princess,” “LotFP,” nor have a three word product name beginning with “Death” and ending with “Doom.”

The compatibility statement/logo must be smaller than your product's title and your company's logo.

Your product must not in any other way give the impression that it is an official LotFP release.

In your legal text, you must include the following: “This product is an independent production by [Your Company Name] and is not affiliated with Lamentations of the Flame Princess. LotFP and Lamentations of the Flame Princess are trademarks owned by James Edward Raggi IV.”

You must submit one copy of your product, in every format it is published, to LotFP after publication.

If these requirements are satisfied, you may declare compatibility with LotFP Weird Fantasy Role-Playing and use the compatibility logo (link to the graphic to come later, made by The Yoqqothl Grimoire's own Il Male™ ). The logo may be resized and the color changed to fit your product's graphic design, but may not be cropped or otherwise altered.

LotFP Submission Policy

LotFP is looking for submissions for its series of adventure modules. These are to be 32 page A5-sized pages. This averages out to 15,000-18,000 words plus maps.

All submissions must have been used in actual play.

LotFP Adventures should be different than the usual traditional fantasy adventure! In particular:

  • Every monster in the adventure (other than real-life animals) should be an individual and unique creation and they should be used sparingly.
  • Magic items should be also be rare and unique.
  • NPCs with class and levels should be rare.

Think outside the box.

All submitted work should be your own original work that you own all rights to, and the work should not have been previously published elsewhere in English.

Compensation will be handled in one of two ways, chosen by you:

  • 0,015€ per word (final draft, after editing) up front, paid upon publication. LotFP owns the work outright after payment is made.
  • 30% of profits made from the work, paid every quarter. No up front money, but rights will revert back to you when the print run is sold out or after five years, whichever comes first.

(contracts noting the specifics would be sent in either case; these are just the sum-ups)

If you have a longer-form project in mind (or even a full game), different arrangements can be made – get in touch!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The OSR Is More Prolific Than TSR: Ropecon Shipment Has Arrived!

Yes, it's the "I've gotten my shipments in for Ropecon," and "Let's see who's going to take offense this time..." time of year.

Over 50 titles arrived today, 300+ books in total.

Well over half the titles are new this year. And those are just the ones that publishers have released for sale and allow for wholesale rates... there is a whole ton of free releases and commercial items that aren't priced for resale. We are a bunch of maniacs...

I'm going to be a butthead and not make these arrivals available through the webstore until after Ropecon. Frankly it would be a major pain in the rear to do so and it would take forever when I'm going through this Carcosa layout and I can at least pretend that some of them can sell out at the con so I don't have to enter them into the system.

Although I am curious how business will be at Ropecon this year. I have a feeling the whole old school thing in general (and LotFP in particular?) has picked up a bit.

In today's packages were books from:

Frog God Games
Faster Monkey Games
Running Beagle Games
Expeditious Retreat Press
Pacesetter Games & Simulations
Die Cast Games
Goodman Games
North Wind Adventures
Planet Thirteen Games

Also current stock from Rogue Games and of course LotFP (I feel like I should rename my company LotFP Games after typing that list) will be at the con.

... plus hoping new stuff from Henchmen Abuse, Rogue Games, and Planet Thirteen Games shows up in time.

Ropecon happens July 29 - 31.

Frank Mentzer and Erik Mona are guests of honor this year, and I'll be on two panels with them. FEEL THE CELEBRITY RUB.

I will be shutting the webstore down 12:01am on the 28th and reopening after the convention.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Incoming Shipments, Conventions, Now Reading!

Aeron Alfrey is doing the cover for The Monolith From Beyond Time and Space (or is that Space and Time?), if I haven't already mentioned it.

Just got another refinement of the Carcosa layout today. Currently looks to be weighing in at just under 300 pages. Art previews (and there will be over 30 pages of art, all told) soonish.

The Frog God shipment (100 new books, including their newest!) will be in my hands on Friday. Anomalous Subsurface Environment should arrive quite soon as well. The big pallet from the US has arrived in Helsinki, but I'm not the one handling picking it up so who the hell knows what's going on with customs there. Not sure if I'm going to wait until after Ropecon or not to put this all up in the store...

I hope I'm not jinxing it by mentioning it, but I'm after greater distribution and a licensing deal, and hopefully I'll have something to announce on both fronts sooner than later.

Ropecon at the end of the month. This Friday is the anniversary of LotFP becoming a business. GenCon soon as well, and I have high hopes for how my stuff will do there. (of course I have high hopes, why bother otherwise?)

Interesting times.

Amazon's been killing my budget lately...:

The Chicago Manual of Style and Book Typography: A Designer's Manual are two very boring and mssive and expensive books that were pretty much necessary purchases. I will conquer the mysteries of the em dash.

I've been reading history books extensively lately. A number of breezier (Osprey!) reads about pre-1700s Hungary and the Ottoman Empire have gone by quickly enough.

Antoni Maczak's Travel in Early Modern Europe rocks, being 350 pages with a table of contents that reads like a role-playing supplement. Also, after buying this book ($100 on Amazon...), I don't want to hear any more whining about how expensive RPG books are. :P

A couple more books about economics, money, and books in the Renaissance/early Modern period are piled up around here.

I can report that books from academic presses are not exactly thrilling page turners. "Laborious" might be a good word to describe them.

Toby Green's Inquisition was an annoying read, as he seemed a little too interested in pointing out how horrible the Spanish and Portuguese inquisitions were instead of letting their actions speak for themselves. It's almost as if he was scared that people would assume his interest and work on the subject would be mistaken for admiration or endorsement or something.

Peter Wilson's Europe's Tragedy: A New History of the Thirty Years War is an amazingly difficult read. Small, dense text, massively thick book, and it seems it would take less time to have lived it than read about it. The fact that I really don't know who the hell any of these people are and have no prior knowledge about German geography (it's that big thing between Italy and Denmark!) is making this a real horror to get through. The war doesn't even start until page 269 (I peeked ahead)... an amazing amount of information packed in here though.

Some English Civil War books on the pile as well. I was smart and got shorter, less dense works first so that when I dive in to the superpackedwithdetails books, I'm not utterly lost.

Christopher Mackay's translation of the Malleus Maleficarum arrived this morning (as did Owen Davies' Grimoires: A History of Magic Books). Unfortunately I couldn't justify buying the hyperexpensive two volume edition of Mackay's work, but £150 is a lot of money when half the purchase would be in Latin. At around 650 pages, the softcover will do.

All of these are research materials for upcoming projects. Some are just general knowledge works (I'm not going to write an adventure that deals with 1600s banking... at least not unless I have an idea that makes it cool), but all that Inquisition and witch stuff? I have horrible things in mind.

It's funny how fiction (especially fantasy fiction) and gaming material isn't inspiring me much lately...

Friday, July 15, 2011

First Isle of the Unknown Art Preview!

Two mages from the Isle:

The mages on the Isle have all been illustrated by Jason Rainville (who is also doing the map). Amos Orion Sterns is doing 109 monster pics, and Cynthia Sheppard is doing the cover.

Each of the mages will have unique powers (not tied to spell lists or the usual magic system), all of the monsters are new and unique. And everything's in color!

Depending how layout ends up as far as the page count, there will definitely be an index of monster listings (a bit challenging as none of the creatures has an actual name), but I'm hoping there's room to present all the monster stats as a mini "Monster Manual" style section for ease in poaching them for your home setting.

It will rock, this book.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

LotFP on The Game's the Thing

Zak and I made another podcast appearance, this time for The Game's the Thing.

Lots of fun, one of the better interviews (their crew was very prepared), hope I don't come across too crazy. I'm always waking up in the middle of the night to do these...

Listen to it here!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ropecon Adventure Contest Entries Posted!

They're here.

They are for a variety of different games:

3 for Pathfinder
3 for D&D 3.5
2 for LotFP
2 for BFRPG
1 for Swords & Wizardry
1 for Labyrinth Lord
1 for D&D 3.0
1 for Silver Age Sentinels d20

I'm one of the three judges (the others are Erik Mona and Frank Mentzer) and we're going to do a panel discussion about the adventures at Ropecon.

If you're playing in one of them at Ropecon, don't be a dickwad. Wait until after the con to read whatever you're playing.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Flavors of Fear Released!

A free fan supplement by Jack Shear with additional material by Jeremy Duncan.

Read it/download it here.

(a compilation/revision of the material from the Weird Fantasy Atmosphere threads on and RPGSite with a significant amount of added material)

I Play Weirdly

Roll up a low Charisma Cleric? I decide he is a Hopkinsish witchfinder, blunt and rude and insulting and walking around like King Shit expecting to be obeyed, which I figure would tend to make people not want to obey him.

Roll up a low Wisdom Fighter? I decide he is a young naive bumpkin who thinks this 50-population hamlet is a big city ("and I heard London is, like, twice as big as this place!") who is blunt because he's just not that well connected with other people. ("Your wife ran off with some stranger? That totally sucks, dude! I'd be pissed!" In a loud voice in the pub.)

Then there was the bit where two PCs followed another PC to a romantic rendezvous by the lake, because she wanted to show him the monster that had been rumored to live in that lake. The shenanigans of the two PCs hiding in the bushes while the other one got laid put to rest any rumors that LotFP was for mature gamers.

I just hope that the two people in the game who I've only ever had contact with while playing in this campaign realize I'm just coming up with personalities invented based on rolls.

Maybe when (not if...) this guy gets killed I'll roll up someone with at least average mental stats and I'll be able to play someone sane and sociable.

Actually, a Magic-User would be fun to play. 20 spells on that first level spell list and if someone doesn't roll Sleep or Magic Missile in their starting spells they seem to think they've been saddled with useless abilities. hmph. I was this close to removing Magic Missile and greatly downgrading Sleep as it is... Maybe for the Tormentor Edition (free Carcosa to the first person who names the reference) when I move another 1500 Grindhouses. :D

You know that saying this out loud means I'll be playing Ox Fawkes forever.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


I was in Turku for a couple days; all outstanding orders made by yesterday morning were shipped, but I'm a bit behind on email and message board correspondence.

My main focus right now is completing the Monolith from Beyond Time and Space (or is it Space and Time? I can smell consistency fuckups already!), and while I was in Turku I did an outline for a disco-themed adventure. Working on licensing a well-known property for an adventure, I hope to have a Carcosa prelim layout on Monday, the pallet with OSR stuff from the States will arrive any day now, I've shipped my OSRG packages, Ropecon is this month...


Anyway, here's a sampling of what I've been listening to and using as inspiration... some have been favorites for months, some are things I've just been made aware of.

(New Swedish metal sensation, apparently. And I thought I'd been listening to this obscure weird album for the past couple months... here's a May 2011 performance)

(band formed in 1982, just released their first album. That's got to be some sort of record. This is from a May 2011 live appearance)

(I wanted to go to this show in November but it was sold out. When did my tastes become popular? Hopefully that carries over to RPGs... ;))

(Canadian band with a cool sound, this is from April 2011)

(Had to end it with a classic. Finnish metal from 1984! New album out soon!)

Friday, July 1, 2011

ENNIE Nominations in One Week

Last year The Grinding Gear got nominated for Best Adventure and Death Frost Doom got an Honorable Mention for Cartography (... me neither) in the ENNIE competition.

In one week, this year's nominees are announced.

This year Hammers of the God, Tower of the Stargazer, Weird New World, Vornheim: The Complete City Kit, and LotFP Weird Fantasy Role-Playing: Grindhouse Edition are the eligible releases that have been submitted.

Want to win a copy of Carcosa when it's out? Give the most accurate LotFP ENNIE nomination predictions in the comments to this post. The categories are listed here.

(and if any smartass predicts "no nominations" and ends up winning, your winning Carcosa will arrive in unhygenic condition :P)