WHAT IS: is our series of posts highlighting games and what makes them unique. You might have heard about these games but are not sure what exactly they are, that’s where WHAT IS comes in.
What the publisher says:
LotFP is the brutal and wondrous Weird Fantasy tabletop role-playing game born out of love for underground heavy metal, horror literature and film, and in fact all things strange and macabre. Whatever the inspiration of the moment, be it Lovecraft and Barker, Troma and Hammer, Argento and Fulci, the NWOBHM and True Doom, or Ito and Morrison, LotFP’s cadre of writers and artists deliver mind-bending and merciless content for your game table.
Rules-wise, LotFP belongs to the “Old School Renaissance” family of games that uses the Open Game License to recreate game rules of the late 70s/early 80s, with LotFP’s particular twisting of those rules flattening out the power level a bit and emphasizing a more horrific and go-for-the-throat attitude. A PDF version of the full rules without any of the game’s artwork is available here for you to use for your own purposes. (The full-version PDF includes all of the art, while the physical version is a beautiful high-quality artifact in its own right.)
There is none. The publisher uses Real World 17th Century Earth as a setting in his own writing and campaign, and the rulebook contains information about firearms. Other authors for the LotFP line use real-world variant settings for their writing (Qelong is a fantasy-Cambodia analog), twisted-up takes on a traditional fantasy world (Vornheim, Isle of the Unknown), even an alien planet as a setting (Carcosa).
Why it’s awesome:
First of all, the art is top notch. It’s evocative, it’s very NSFW and it’s modern without looking like generic McVideogame/McWoTC art.The rules are the my favorite iteration of the Moldvey D&D rules (Moldvey was the editor for the red and gold Basic D&D rules). They are clear and straight forward. James Raggi (the creator) did away with the thief class in favor of the ‘specialist’, which seems to work for me better rules wise. (although the math is still sub par for my taste after having played Dungeon Crawl Classics). Magic is pretty straight forward with a few notable exceptions at first level, where you can literally summon something you may not be able to control which may end up destroying you or the world. The default setting is Earth with a dark shadow cast over it, this really comes through in the adventures for this game which are often very dark and brutal. If you are looking for old school Basic D&D, this is the way to play.