With today's post I begin a thematic week devoted to the Lamentations of the Flame Princess role-playing game, written and published by James Raggi.
In fact this isn't the first time I talk about this game as in 2012 I reviewed the Grindhouse Edition (first, second and third parts), so in this review of the hard cover of the new edition of the Player Reference Book I will devote myself to highlight the new edition novelties and compare it with another game of the same style.
As a general rule there's no difference with the contents of this edition and the other one regarding Playing Characters creation rules and game rules, although in this edition there's the addition of an appendix of optional gaming material (which I will explain later) and the whole part devoted to the referee of the Grindhouse Edition has been reserved for a later book (luckily the free edition of the Referee Book is available from RPGNow).
As the book itself there had been some text corrections of the older edition and some cosmetic and organizational changes being carried out, like using text boxes and clearly marked titles and subehadings for the different sections in which the book is divided, easing the finding of the information we search for.
Lamentations of the Flame Princess can be considered a game belonging to the Old School Renaisance (OSR) tendency becasue it uses a ruleset based in Dungeons & Dragons and its more modern clones as recorded in the Open Game License (OGL) that came with the text, although it must be noted that survival chances of Playing Characters will not be higher as in its more heroic partners, in other words it's the equivalent of Call of Cthulhu for OSR games and characters not necessarily will have all the chances to survive.
To confirm this point a comparison can be made between the Fighter class of Lamentations of the Flame Princess and Aventuras en La Marca del Este using the following tables:
|10||9d12 + 2*||9d8 +3*|
|11||9d12 + 4*||9d8+ 6*|
|12||9d12 + 6*||9d8+ 9*|
|13||9d12 + 8*||9d8 + 12*|
|14||9d12 + 10*||9d8 + 15*|
|15||9d12 + 12*||9d8 + 18*|
|16||9d12 + 14*||9d8 + 21*|
|17||9d12 + 16*||9d8 + 24*|
|18||9d12 + 18*||9d8 + 27*|
|19||9d12 + 20*||9d8+ 30*|
|20||9d12 + 22*||9d8+ 36*|
|* Constitution modifiers no longer apply|
|Saving Throws LotFP|
|Saving Throws AeLMdE|
As you can see in the above tables a character of this class in Lamentations would look a little diminished regarding Hit Points available in each level, although the compared saving throws progression between both games seems very balanced of what at first might be expected.
Another question to consider in the case of the fighters is that in Lamentations they are the only ones visibly progressing in attack bonuses as can be seen in the following table:
|Fighter class||Other classes||Attack bonus|
|Level 0||Level 0||0|
As for the other character abilities its necessary to notice that those known as Specialists (thos equivalent to Thieves of Aventuras) are the only ones having skills as such not being of magic nature or related to spells and are the only ones that, albeit with some exceptions, can level up with experience points, something that in Aventuras is more diverse because a grat number of classes have their own skills and special capabilities.
it's also necessary to consider that there's only three semihuman classes in the game (elfs, dwarfs and halflings) and in future game editions this may disappear as James Raggi has decided to give the game a closer orientation to the real world (of course the range of adventures and supplements is more diverse as are their authors and you can not rule out them deciding to use semihuman classes or other creatures in their writings).
As i said at the beginning of this review the Player Core Book have an appendix that, in addition to a little glossary of terms related to the game, also offers the possibility of introduce black powder firearms appearing at the beggining of the Early Modern Period (between 1492 and 1683) in our adventures and campaigns.
In this section there's an explanation for using single shot pistols, arquebusses and muskets with matchlock, wheellock and flintlock firing mechanisms; each one of these mechanisms have a series of features reflected in the corresponding rules: using a match lit in both ends when using a matchlock (careful as it burns!), mantaining powder dry if you want to shoot, etc.
In addition to the weapons itself there`s also information fot the armour types you can find in this period and other related matters, like the artillery use, including cannons and mortars, and the effects of firing them at ships and character groups.
To finish this first review of the week devoted to Lamentations of the Flame Princess I recommend it if you want to give a try to a Dungeons & Dragons retroclone offering a more adult view of the game that's also available as a download from RPGNow if you want to take a look before buying it.
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