Tag Archives: LotFP

Vacant Ritual Assembly #1

Vacant Ritual Assembly (VRA from hereon) is a zine by Clint K. primarily about his LotFP campaign. This format seems ideal for sharing personal campaign material with a wider audience. Zines are more professional and put together than blog posts, but not ambitious enough usually to get mired in development hell. They seem to naturally lend themselves to non-comprehensive treatments, in contrast to a setting or megadungeon publication. I have been unsure for a long time about whether or how I might share my Vaults of Pahvelorn campaign materials, but I am so impressed by what Clint has put together here that this will likely be the way I release Pahvelorn.

Other than an interview with Chris M. about Into the Odd (which is also enjoyable reading), pretty much everything within is a useful game tool. My favorite part is the ghoul market, which, along with being atmospheric, also solves elegantly the treasure economy problem that all treasure-for-XP referees must confront in some manner. Almost any cemetery of significant size will contain a passage to the Ghoul Market. The mark of the White Ankh on a tomb or mausoleum indicates that the edifice serves as a gateway. The market is a form of mythical geography where PCs can buy a small number of randomly determined magic items between games or raise the dead by engaging the services of the skinsmith (which may result various grim alterations such as a character’s head being replaced with that of a bull). Oh, and “essence” (charisma points) are also accepted as currency. These six pages + the curiosity shop worksheet are top shelf supplement material.

As might be clear from the above description of the ghoul market, the setting implied by VRA is slightly more magical than the default LotFP expectation, shaded toward something like classic Diablo, which I like. Additionally, there is a half page of house rules, some external media recommendations, a minor firefly god (Luminari, Lady of the Golden Lamp), a flooded village adventure, and a mansion map (“Greycandle Manor”) with unfilled key. I gather this last item was an undead lair that was cleared out and claimed as a home base by the PCs in Clint’s game. Overall, the tone is creative and flavorful without being turned up to 11.

VRA is available in print or pay what you want PDF. The ghoul market alone is worth your time. Highly recommended.

Deep Carbon Observatory exordium

Western Europe after the treaty (source)

Western Europe after the treaty (source)

Following is the background I put together for a historical situating of Deep Carbon Observatory which I am running in person. One session down so far.

The year is 1713 and the War of the Spanish Succession was just settled by the Treaty of Utrecht. Great Britain, Portugal, the Dutch, and others successfully prevented France from consolidating a hold over Spain. The Faerie courts (unbeknownst to most common folk) meddled throughout the process, but seem to have vanished, not sending delegations to the final treaty negotiations. The Unseelie Twilight Prince had been seen as friendly to the British while the Seelie Summer Queen threw her lot behind the French. At the same time, strange Swiss machines were surfacing on battlefields and in other locations. British intelligence has tracked Swiss supply to the remote Lock River valley in the Low Countries. However, in the market supply of these Swiss devices seems to have ceased, and British spies report that the valley has flooded.

A group of infamous adventurers called The Crows, previously in the employ of France but now disavowed, have already been reported in the area. You are part of a privateer expedition financed by the British Crown. Your primary objective is to investigate the flood to find out if something has happened to the supply of materials used by the Swiss machinists, who had a relationship with the British. The secondary objective is to kill or (preferably) capture The Crows. As per standard privateering arrangements, all treasure or valuables discovered may be kept as spoils. Machines and armaments are to be kept out of the hands of the French Dynasts at all costs lest the fist of Tyranny descent upon the continent.

You need not be British, but if you are not you are most likely mercenaries included in the continental expedition.

Rules are Lamentations of the Flame Princess with the following modifications:

PCs begin at level 3. Increased funds for characters starting above level one is given on page 8 of Rules & Magic. In addition, you will begin with a retainer/attendant, which is a zero level character. If your main character dies, you can either continue playing as this retainer, or make a new character at your option.

Demi-human classes may be selected but should be re-skinned as humans (a halfling could be recast as a scout, and so forth).

Magic-users are renamed Occultists and may be either members of the hermetic order or hedge magicians. There are also Diabolists, but these worshippers of The Adversary are not available as PCs.

Clerics are renamed Rosicrucians and are members of an esoteric society dedicated to furthering the machinations of Heaven.

Non-occultist, non-fighter characters have an attack bonus of 1/2 level (round up).

XP will be awarded for treasure recovered as standard, and also for the completion of objectives (capture/killing of The Crows, furthering the aims of your current British patrons, and so forth). No XP will be awarded for combat or killing in general, however.

Reloading uses the firearms skill. This has a base of 1 in 6 for all characters, modified by attack bonus. To reload, spend a combat action, succeed on a dexterity check (1d20 less than or equal to score), and succeed on a firearms skill check. A firearms skill check may also be used to clean a fouled weapon (spending an exploration turn to make the check), or other firearms-related tasks.

The overloaded encounter die will be used for timekeeping.


IMG_7326 doom-caveJames Raggi’s LotFP modules have generally two, rather extreme modes. The first, which I will call serious, includes Death Frost Doom, Hammers of the God, Death Love Doom, Better than any Man, God that Crawls, and Tales of the Scarecrow. The second, which I will call goofy, includes Monolith Beyond Space and Time and Fuck For Satan. The goofy modules often use incomprehensible space aliens rather than “a wizard did it” to justify the various puzzles and dilemmas presented to the players. Doom-Cave certainly belongs in the second grouping.

The categorization presented above is not perfect, as, for example Grinding Gear presents a set of absurd (though fictionally justified) puzzles within a relatively serious context, and Tower of the Stargazer (notably, one of my favorite of Raggi’s efforts) includes in an offhand manner a reference to bopping mossy plant creatures on Necropoli Centauri. The goofy mode modules often include anachronistic, present-day references (such as Wiki Dot Pod in Doom-Cave, which is actually explained within the fiction of the module). Depending on the group, this kind of humor could easily fall flat.

Another common Raggi module practice is the use of dungeon maps reminiscent of game boards. This is true most obviously here and in God that Crawls, but can also be seen in Grinding Gear and Death Frost Doom. There are lots of winding, 10-foot corridors intended to eat up PC movement rate and create attrition cost via random encounters. I do not think this sort of “tracking movement” is particularly bookkeeping heavy, contrary to some criticism, but it does require a certain discipline of taking your turn and moving your squares that may be foreign outside of combat to many RPG players that were introduced to the hobby during the 90s or later, where gaming is usually presented in a more dramatic fashion with all the paraphernalia of fiction in other media forms (scenes, plot, character arcs, and so forth).

The most interesting parts of the module for me are the monsters. The “no monster manual” philosophy of the system often pays rich dividends in this area, and Doom-Caves is no different in this regard. The monsters are interesting in mechanical execution in addition to conception. They are more than just different configurations of HP, defense numbers, and special attacks. For example, there is one group of monsters where each individual depends on the state of all the others (and surprisingly, this is done in a way that looks like it would be easy to run at the table). The monsters are all illustrated well in sketches by Gennifer Bone, the artist who is also behind Rafael Chandler’s in-progress Lusus Naturae bestiary.

The single most glaring weakness in Raggi’s goofy mode is that players often add plenty of anachronistic goofiness on their own to even the most serious of scenarios, as Noisms discusses in D&D as straight man. This is actually one of D&D’s unique strengths compared to other narrative forms. If all the modules in a campaign were of this type it would probably get old.

Raggi modules can be read a bit like zen koans meant to smack you upside the head with their absurdity to remind you that in these games of adventure really anything is possible, as long as you have a group of players on board. Why Limit yourself to the expected? Yes, yes, you do not need such prompting and how dare Mr. Raggi waste your time? If that is your reaction then you will probably not enjoy Doom-Caves much. From a perspective beyond that of any single group or referee, I do think it is nice that someone is putting together works that embody this philosophy.

In general, LotFP modules (especially those by Raggi himself) tend towards bundles of toys for players to interact with rather than coherent fictional scenarios (and I would argue that this is true even of the more serious modules, such as Death Frost Doom, though to a lesser degree). That said, a goofy Raggi module can probably best be used as a weird ice-axe to shatter the frozen sea of a placid campaign world. As a final assessment, I like the monsters more than the actual adventure. Even with a goofy, campaign-disruptive premise, I would prefer more connections between the disparate encounters and set pieces for use in my own games.

The Doom-Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children was LotFP’s contribution to Free RPG Day 2014 and I understand that it will be available in the next month or so for free download as well.

IMG_7326 doom-cave

Lusus Naturae

Monstruct color draft

Lusus Naturae’s monstruct

My favorite new RPG book that came out in 2013 was perhaps Rafael Chandler’s Teratic Tome. I do not know why I have not written more about it before, but I should. It is fantastically creative and professionally done. In addition to being probably my favorite new RPG book of 2013, it is also one of my favorite bestiaries in general, up there with the Fiend Folio and the Bard Games Atlantis Bestiary. For me, it has only one real flaw, which is that the physical production (being a print on demand “casebound” hardcover) is only middle tier. Would it not be fantastic if Rafael were able to produce a monster book to a higher physical production standard? Well, Lusus Naturae will be that.

The name means “freaks of nature,” and it is intended to be a collection of 100 horror-themed monsters for Lamentations of the Flame Princess (and thus compatible with most traditional fantasy RPGs). This thing has already funded, so there is very little doubt that it will exist later this year (and Rafael has been one of the most reliable producers of small press RPG material recently, so risks on that front, even of mere delays, seem minimal). Needless to say, I have backed it. There are several more days to go, and if it hits $16660 before then, all the images will be done in color (this is the only stretch goal, though Rafael was recently wondering if he should maybe do something else special if the project reaches 666 backers).

I should also probably mention that the Teratic Tome is now pay what you want in PDF. So if you are not familiar yet with Rafael’s work and want to see what you might be in for with Lusus Naturae, you can check that out. Not directly related, but if you are interested in the above mentioned Bard Games Atlantis Bestiary, the Sorcerer’s Skull has a post about that.

Alternative LotFP bonus regime

In by the book LotFP, only fighters get an increasing attack bonus. While this is appropriate for some games, others may wish to grant non-fighter classes some greater degree of combat effectiveness.

Gus L. suggested on G+ that maybe specialists could gain an increasing bonus to missile attacks and that clerics could gain an increasing bonus to melee attacks. I like that division, and it inspired the slightly more nuanced structure below.

  • Cleric: as fighter against unholy foes (undead, demons, etc)
  • Dwarf: as fighter, but only for melee attacks
  • Elf: as fighter but only with elven weapons (see * below)
  • Fighter: unchanged (increasing attack bonus for everything)
  • Halfling: as fighter for small thrown missiles
  • Magic-user: unchanged (no increasing attack bonus)
  • Specialist: +1 melee or missile attack each level (pick), trap-making (see ** below)
LotFP Rules & Magic cover (source)

LotFP Rules & Magic cover (source)

Each of these rules alludes to mythological or thematic inspirations for the class in question. The halfing, for example, is reminiscent of David and Goliath. The specialist rule plays on the idea of discretionary focus (this allows you to make, for example, a thug specialist that is just as competent as a fighter, but only in melee). And so forth. They are also less boring than the more common approach of just giving smaller bonuses to the non-fighter classes (most commonly, I have seen +1 every other level proposed for the semi-martial classes). They also stay within the niche design of LotFP, allowing most classes to be competent combatants, but only in specific ways.

* Elven weapons. This goes to the otherworldly nature of elves (and also, perhaps, their comedy value if you want to play up the snobbishness aspect). Exactly how you operationalize what it means to be an elf weapon will drastically affect the power of this rule. I would suggest not iron and not steel are clear criteria, and probably quality. For a simple rule of thumb, you could make elven weapons cost ten times as much and only be available in Elven strongholds.

** Trap-making. This allows specialists to create makeshift traps given basic supplies and a turn of prep time. The trap attacks as a fighter of the specialist’s level (or in the context of the above discussion, the specialist’s attack bonus is that of a fighter when expressed in prepared traps).

Orphone’s magical item generator

Image from LotFP store

Image from LotFP store

The Seclusium of Orphone of the Three Visions (from hereon, “Seclusium”) is a set of tools and procedures to help referees create a wizard’s stronghold.

As the first part of what will probably be a collection of posts on this book amounting to a review of sorts, here’s an example of using chapter 8, which is a magical item generator. The chapter is approximately 15 A5 pages that consist almost entirely of tables and lists. All of these results are interpreted in the light of previously determined facts about the wizard, the stronghold itself, and the circumstances that led to the disappearance of the wizard. I chose to focus on the creation of a magic item first, because I think it shows one of the strengths of the book, which is how the individual components can be used by a referee to help jumpstart content creation.

I’m working on a seclusium that is a collection of islands on a placid expanse of sea that is all columned verandas, richly carved wood, and fluttering silk curtains. Notes in parentheses are my own musings and ideas as I work through the results of the generator, making sense of the juxtapositions.

  • Physical object
  • Occurring here naturally or by some unknown process
  • The wizard has put it into its appointed and proper place
  • It is a magical tool, changes the way an adventuring rule applies: searching
  • The item protects the seclusium from outside magic
  • Its use introduces a minor irritation into the user’s life
  • Its use attracts the attention of others beyond the wizard’s control
  • To bring its power to bear or to come into contact with its power, the item is to be: displayed
  • (Something naturally produced at some place on one of the islands)
  • Gives a penalty to the searching rules (some sort of camouflage?)
  • It caresses and flatters your plasmic self, like an intimate or treacherous friend
  • (Waters of invisibility, “displayed” means washed in, if drunk something else happens)

Okay, what can we do with this? My first thought from “occurring naturally” was that it was some sort of spring that naturally produced a potion. Protecting the seclusium led to a variation on the potion of invisibility (which also fit with a penalty to searching). From previous work, I know that the wizard also has imprisoned enemies within the seclusium, so perhaps an enemy trapped in the spring is the source of the magic. That is enough info to start nailing things down.

There is a spring on one of the islands, within which is trapped Iakkend the Obscure, a wounded and bound sorcerer, and one of the many enemies of Foriophere. The pool is deep but clear, and an observer that peers into it carefully can see an indistinct struggling form chained in the depths. The blood of Iakkend, who is a master of illusion and misdirection, has suffused the spring and granted it magical powers. Any object washed in the waters will become invisible for one day as long as it remains near the sea (slowly fading back into sight over the next several hours). Foriophere has also learned a technique to make the effect last semi-permanently (and this is the source of the invisible structures on the islands), though such use will not be available to PCs unless they discover the required procedure and additional ingredients elsewhere.

The potency of the spring water is limited though, and there is only enough magic for 1d6 applications (which can be either bottling or direct immersion). The water glitters with an opalescent sheen when it is empowered. The magic will slowly seep back into the water Iakkend bleeds (another 1d6 doses will become available after a day passes). Bottled potions of concealment have a limited lifetime, and any older than a few weeks has a 1 in 6 chance of not working.

If the water is drunk rather than used as a wash, the drinker must save versus magic or become a vessel for Iakkend. While so possessed, Iakkend has access to the drinker’s senses, and can speak using the drinkers voice. Further, he may compell the drinker to take actions, though each such attempt allows the drinker another saving throw, and a successful saving throw causes violent retching (expelling the potion) and the termination of all influence from and access by Iakkend. Drinkers also gain the ability to see any concealed, hidden, or invisible objects for the duration of Iakkend’s influence. Thus, though Foriophere uses the power of the spring to hide certain aspects of the seclusium, it also offers a potential foothold for Iakkend to influence the world again, and so is a danger.

This process certainly led to a unique item that I likely would not have come up with on my own or if using a different generator. The result is more involved (in a good way), and situated in the context of the fictional location. It was also, however, not quick, and required time and deliberation to use. It is one of the better magical item generators that I have used, and I will definitely return to it for future inspiration, even outside of creating a wizard’s stronghold. As should be clear from the list above, the many degrees of freedom will likely result in a wide variety of qualities, and there are also many subtables related to magical entities which did not come up here at all because they were not relevant to this particular item.

In addition to tables that help you create magical items, the way Seclusium presents special abilities is interesting. The point of magic is that it lets you break the rules. That is the role of magic within the game; the ESP spell, for example, in OD&D, is presented as basically a super-reliable way to listen at doors. It is worth keeping this in mind when designing magical items. What part of the rules does the item interact with? You will recall that the generator result told me that the item modified how the character interacted with the searching rules, and applied a penalty (which I interpreted liberally). Thinking about rules interface directly in this way guarantees that the item will have relevance to adventuring.

The book is not without its flaws, which I will touch on more in future posts, but hopefully this should give some idea about the style and potential value of Seclusium. The hardcopy can be purchased from the LotFP store, and the PDF is also available (sans watermarks, happily) from RPGNow.

Firearms quick reference

Recently, I’ve been playing in an online LotFP game (Dungeon Moon, run by LS of Papers & Pencils) that uses the 2013 Rules & Magic book “as written.” Thus, the firearms appendix is available. After my previous warlock (reskinned elf class) character died to a poison gas trap, I decided to make a gunslinger fighter to take these firearms rules for a spin. Playing a character with lots of guns and explosives where those things are still somewhat out of the ordinary is exactly as fun as I thought it would be (which is to say, a lot of fun).

I have now used the rules for several sessions, and I can say with confidence that I like them. There’s enough variation from other types of weaponry that guns actually feel different, without necessarily being superior in all cases. Damage is good (being 1d8 for all types of firearm), and bullets cancel up to five points of target armor, but a gunner is at increased risk from fire-based attacks (due to the explosive compounds that must be carried), and there is a chance of misfires (potentially wasting a combat action and fouling the weapon). These factors, combined with higher prices, mean that every PC is not likely to upgrade their weapons to firearms at the first opportunity.

So, I am happy with the rules, but their presentation is somewhat confusing. The relevant details are nested between paragraphs of historical background, and prices between the various options are hard to compare, as they use a multiplier per feature design. For example, having a wheellock firing mechanism causes a gun’s cost to increase sevenfold. Adding rifling further doubles that. To make the firearms rules more user-friendly, I created a one-page firearms quick reference PDF that does most of the multiple calculations (the only dimension that is not included in the price matrix is rifling) and also includes all the important rules. It is available under the OGL, so everything beyond the first page is legalese (that is to say, for table use you probably only want to print out the first page). In the process of putting this PDF together, I also noticed that there are actually rules for blunderbusses hidden under the ammunition entry “scattershot.” Thus, the only real omission remaining is how to handle grenades.

Following these rules, the most effective gun combatant is an unencumbered fighter with a high dexterity. A fighter with a flintlock (base reload time: 4 rounds) with an 18 dexterity (bonus of three, bringing the reload time to 1 round) using “apostles” (prepared shot that decreases reload time by 1) has an effective reload time of zero, meaning that they can fire every round (at least, that is how I would rule it). There is still a 10% chance of misfire for every shot though. Even my gunfighter (who has a dex bonus of 2) is considering investing in a light crossbow as backup, though that’s another two encumbrance slots.

Another tactic that I plan on trying is loading a brace of pistols with scattershot, which would serve as a good combat opener (area effect damage over a 45 degree fan with no attack roll needed and a target save for half damage). How to handle firing off two such “breath weapon” attacks in a single round will need a referee ruling though, as it does not seem to be covered in the rules explicitly.

Zoad (fighter 2), image by Gus

Zoad (fighter 2), image by Gus

Improved turn undead spell

Mount, Saul and the Witch of Endor (source)

Mount, Saul and the Witch of Endor (source)

As many probably are already aware, Lamentations of the Flame Princess makes turn undead a spell rather than a cleric per-encounter class ability. In general, I think this is an attractive change, as turn undead can totally obviate certain challenges in a way that is not so engaging (especially at higher level). However, I think there are some problems with the LotFP implementation.

Specifically, though a spell slot must be dedicated to turn undead, the player must still resort to rolling on a traditional turning table. This is both mechanically awkward (as it requires a table lookup or extra data copied to the character sheet) and somewhat against the spirit of spell slots. Though it is true that some “slotted” spells can also be avoided based on a target saving throw, in general I prefer when players deciding to dedicate some resources results in at least some effect. As written, the LotFP turn undead spell occupies a spell slot and may still prove useless if the 2d6 roll is unlucky.

I still like the basic idea though, and I can think of two ways to adjust the spell. In the first method, you keep the turning table, but allow as many turn attempts as desired (though no more than one per encounter) for the duration of the spell (which is given as 1d4+2 turns; see Rules & Magic, page 146), rather than being terminated by failing a turning roll. I might also prefer to base the duration on cleric level, perhaps 1d6+level exploration turns rather that 1d4+2. The second method, presented below, bases the strength of the spell on the level of spell slot used (or the level of the cleric divided by two, rounded up if not using spell levels).

Turn Undead

Cleric spell of any level, range is 30′ or as light source, whichever is less.

This spell may be prepared in any available spell slot. The power of the spell is proportional to the level of slot used. Undead of HD less than or equal to the level of the slot are automatically turned, and those with HD equal to half that level (rounded down) are destroyed (reduced to ash and blown away as by a strong wind). While turned, undead will not enter the light, but instead creep around its edges. All undead within the range are affected. Turned undead may be kept at bay indefinitely with concentration. Attacking turned undead or pressing them aggressively (such as into a corner or over a precipice) ends the effect.

LotFP Referee Book

From the upcoming referee screen (source

From the upcoming referee screen (source)

The crowd funding campaign for the revised LotFP Referee Book is almost over. At the time of this writing, there are about five days to go. If you follow this blog, you probably already know about it, but I am still going to write why I think it is worth supporting. It has already met its funding goal, and so is definitely happening, but some of the unmet stretch goals may still be of interest, and I also want to discuss what makes this campaign different from many others.

First, let me talk about what I like about this campaign. Most crowd funding efforts end up being a complex preorder system that guarantees a market floor, with exclusive extras to sweeten the deal for early supporters. There is nothing wrong with this kind of approach (and it certainly has its upsides, especially for a small niche market like the one for traditional fantasy tabletop RPGs), but it does not leverage the unique benefits available from crowd funding, which include an opportunity to make something better than it otherwise would be. This campaign, however, does allow supporters to more directly make the final product better, and in fact most of the stretch goals have this character. For example, indexes (covering both core books), and paying for an external, professional editor, have already been met. Additional full color art plates and a color layout in the manner of the hardcover Carcosa are still outstanding. Which stretch goal becomes active is determined by a supporter vote every time a goal is met.

Additionally, extra content, in the form of sample monsters and commentaries by other RPG designers, can be funded directly. The new monsters will be designed by either Aeron Alfrey or Rafael Chandler (author of the excellent Teratic Tome, one of the best RPG bestiaries yet produced). The commentary will be from Frank Mentzer, Zak S, Michael Curtis, and Kenneth Hite. Individual backers can choose which of these things they want to make happen, so you know your $50 (or whatever) is paying for a new Chandler monster (I funded one of these) that will then be available to everybody forever in the final book. This sort of thing is the way crowd funding should be done, and it is what makes the design of this campaign stand out, in my opinion.

There are also some pure extras that are less about improving the book for everyone, such as a slip case that will fit the revised Rules & Magic book (not included) along with this new Referee Book, a referee screen (which has spectacular art by someone I had never heard of before, Matthew Ryan), special LotFP dice, a poster walk-through of The God That Crawls by Jason Thompson, and so forth. Some of these extras still might be of interest to you, even though they are not so much about the Referee Book itself. I am personally pretty excited about the Thompson piece, based on the work he has recently done for WotC (for example, Isle of Dread, and he also created similar pieces for the recently reprinted S Series of modules). This option was a late addition to the campaign, so if you pledged earlier and are interested in it, you will need to add another pledge (I still need to do that, myself). There are also stretch goals for printing revised versions of some previous LotFP modules, and the one for Death Frost Doom has already been met (it is getting at least a new map and new layout).

From a consumer’s perspective, there are several aspects of the campaign that are somewhat suboptimal and potentially confusing. First, shipment is not included in the pledge amounts (you are basically pledging for a voucher that can be used in the LotFP store once the products become available, though some of the products will be exclusive to backers, such as the book with limited edition cover). While I understand why Mr. Raggi structured the campaign this way (to decrease the risk of unpredictable shipping rates), it still feels a bit half-baked. Second, only some of the pledge money is considered toward the stretch goals, and I don’t understand the strange accounting voodoo involved at all. But stretch goals keep getting met as more people pledge, which is what matters, I suppose. Keep these things in mind when you pledge so that you know what you are getting into.

Unfortunately, the new standard cover is much less attractive (in my opinion) than the cover of the older Grindhouse version, though the limited edition version (only available to backers) has a better cover. I still like the old Mullen piece more, however. If you want the limited edition cover, you will need to support the campaign though.

Despite the flaws, as is probably clear by now, I am pretty excited about this book, and think it is worth supporting.

Slipcase art, in progress, I think (source)

Slipcase art, in progress, I think (source)

Death Frost Tower

The Lamentations module Death Frost Doom recently featured prominently in my Vaults of Pahvelorn game, as recounted here and here by Gus. In the process of adapting the module to Pahvelorn, I made a number of changes, one of which was to replace the cabin in the graveyard with a tower. While I understand why a cabin was used in the original, I decided that a tower would fit better the atmosphere of my campaign. I suspect this might be true for many D&D games, so perhaps my map and sketch will be of use to others as well. Apologies for the smudged ink (I should get better pens). The W characters represent windows. You can also see the chimney marked in the southeast portion of every level (directly above the stove on the ground level).

Using this map requires two minor changes to the key as printed in the module:

  • Harpsichord moved from I to J
  • Trapdoor to dungeon moves from F to G

I also added these notes to my version:

  • Area G (kitchen, first floor): servant’s entrance to the west, heavy iron portcullis and masonry blocks rigged to be dropped to seal this entrance. Double iron doors worked in the iconography of Orcus lead to the north chamber which contains a trapdoor down to the catacombs.

This map is released under the creative commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

Death Frost Tower

Death Frost Tower

Here’s a cropped version of the sketch minus the map for showing to players:

Death Frost Tower

Death Frost Tower