Monday, 7 April 2014

Tweaking the Specialist / Some new skills for LotFP

The Specialist is a super great class, design-wise. The only issue I have is that sometimes players go "oh we already have a specialist, I'll be something else" when you can make so many different classes with it.

Since it's practically perfect in every way, here are three new skills for LotFP because look at all those blank dice on the character sheet!

New skill - Sailing: Sailing covers all aspects of  running, steering and maintaining ships of all sizes.

New skill - First Aid: First Aid takes a turn and, if successful, heals recipient’s HP for the number shown on the die. For instance, a specialist with First Aid 2 would heal 1HP on a roll of 1, 2HP on a roll of 2, and nothing on a 3+. 
Alternatively, First Aid can be used in combat to remove Death Crit dice. If the First Aid roll is successful, remove a number of Death Crit dice equal to the number shown on the die.
In either case, failing on a 6 deals 1 point of damage to the patient.

New skill - Music: Music is for people who want to be a bard and covers instruments of all kinds. It can be used to make small change on street corners, woo lovers and other such stuff.
It does not give buffs in combat unless you do something really clever, but a successful Music roll can give a +2 to the reaction rolls of music-appreciating creatures.

If busking or otherwise finding work in taverns and such, roll music. If successful you earn d6sp multiplied by the number shown on the die. 


Sailing is because I thought that my players were going to sail off to be pirates for a while. Sailing would mainly be used for navigating in stormy seas and for staying on course like a seagoing version of Bushcraft. Alas, it was not to be. Perhaps one day they will take to the seas once more and they can find the Isle of the Unknown, Qelong, and various other foreign climes.

First Aid is something where I'm really proud of the mechanics after a bit of testing. Putting points into it increases both the chance of success and the effectiveness of that success.
I personally love that it uncouples the Cleric from the pure Healer role. Clerics actually know fuck all about the human body, all they know is that they just do some magic shit with their hands and wow there go the wounds! Faith healers, the lot of them. Except it works. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead but I'm fairly sure he'd had no formal training in medicine.
This also solves the minor quibble where my Death and Dismemberment table says it takes 1d6+6 weeks to heal a fractured bone while BTAM says a cure spell focused on a broken bone can heal it if it isn't used to cure hit points. 
Means a cleric can miracle your bone back into shape, but in the absence of one a good physician can set it and brace it so it's good as new in a little while.
Also Arnold K has these bees who are doctor-assassins or something and I thought that was rad. A surgeon who kills as well as he heals is definitely alright in my game. 

Barber-Surgeon's tools are definitely specialist tools

Music is because despite my best efforts, some people just really want to be a Bard. It intentionally sucks compared to the alternatives, by the way, but you just can't stop some people.
You can earn a few bucks busking though which is especially good in the early game. My players can't even afford proper armour yet, the poor dears.
Casual minor money earning is because, if I've learnt anything from living in London, buskers are way more successful and accepted than beggars. It's a pittance but a horrid meal costs 2cp in the city so you can probably live off that if you need to.


  1. Some real gems here! Love the First Aid skill.

    The only thing I was a bit surprised with is the Guess I got time rule, the example specifically. If a specialist in my game fails to pick a lock I never give her another try... the lock is beyond her. The players will have to resort to physical violence at that point.

    1. I suppose that's fair, although the tradeoff as I see it is that every turn they spend fiddling with a lock is another wandering monster check.

      If they've lugged a treasure chest out of a dungeon and have as long as they want, someone will jimmy it open eventually!

    2. A note for anyone reading this FROM THE FUTURE.

      I have since removed the "Guess I got time" rule Anders mentioned for the very reason he states!

  2. First Aid really is a clever bit of mechanics. A fucking elegant use of the existing skill check.

    If you ever get a player that just has to play a Bard, I actually made a bard class with LotFP in mind. It's over on me blog.

    1. Nice one, I'm going to use that as the general sort of level of effectiveness that clever use of Music could get you.

      "Can I play my banjo to get monsters to like me?"
      "Sure, roll music and if you win you'll get a +2 to your reaction rolls. Either way you're more likely to attract wandering monsters due to the noise, but this way they're more likely to be friendly."