Tuesday, September 1, 2015

...

After a controversy over the weekend, OneBookShelf has issued a new Offensive Content Policy.

I checked my stats and according to the ranking function they have in the Publisher tools, I am a Top 2% seller on OBS. (which says more about how small the 98% are more than how big I am) I have done over $100,000 gross sales over the six years I've sold through the site, which isn't nothing.

If one of my products gets pulled, or if the products of my peers are pulled without their consent, I am taking every LotFP product off of that site, which will be something of an economic armageddon for me and a hardship from everyone on my roster getting royalties from sales. I'll also have pretty much no mechanism for conveniently delivering PDFs to people. (even reinstating PDF sales on my site would leave me no mechanism to provide access to people that do not purchase the title; I have rather cheap software and investing in more sophisticated software will be quite impossible without OBS sales money coming in.)

This past weekend a brainless howling mob showed they were in charge of this industry and have the power to disappear ideas and products they disapprove of. Whether this is the majority or a very vocal minority doesn't make much difference to me; I consider myself at war with them. That this is within our industry feels like an intense betrayal; I have been literally shaking mad over the past several days. Simply shitting out pieced-together cheap crap POD versions of what I owe people and simply quitting has crossed my mind.

Without the ability to freely create, and freely reach people who might be interested in those creations, participation in this hobby and this industry is simply not worth doing.

Anyone who would restrict that creativity, or make it more difficult to find people who are creating things you might enjoy, anyone who restricts imagination and works of fiction, anyone who works to ban any work, is simply evil.

Evil.

We have lost a great deal over the past several days.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Vornheim: The Complete City Kit Now Available!

The reprint of Vornheim: The Complete City Kit by Zak S (A Red & Pleasant Land) is now on sale at the LotFP Webstore!*

Spread the word!

Vast is Vornheim, the Grey Maze...

Give somebody a floorplan and they’ll GM for a day – show them how to make 30 floorplans in 30 seconds and they’ll GM forever.”

Need to know how to get from here to there even if neither here nor there are listed on a map? Even if there is no map? Need a random encounter? Need instant stats for that random encounter? Need to know why there was a random encounter? This book was designed to help you make a city happen now.

In addition to details on Vornheim, adventure locations, and player commentary from the I Hit It With My Axe girls, every single surface below this jacket – including the back of the jacket, the book covers underneath, and the inside covers – has been crammed full of tools to help you build and run a city no matter what edition game you play.

◊ Winner: Indiecade 2012 Technology Award
◊ Winner: UK Role Players Golden Crown Award for Best RPG Supplement
◊ Winner: Diehard Gamefan 2011 Best Campaign Setting Award
◊ Winner: Old School Ruckus Award
◊ Nominee: 2012 Diana Jones Award

Hardcover, 64 A5 pages 


* This is pretty much just a straight reprint, typos hopefully all corrected and not too many new ones introduced. No new content or other flash.


Monday, August 10, 2015

A Red & Pleasant Land Supplies Running Low

As of this writing, there are just 67 copies of RPL left at the LotFP Webstore.

Several hundred are still available through the distribution chain for those of you who want to support your local gaming store.

If you want it, I wouldn't wait too long...

And of course you can always get the PDF version.

Monday, August 3, 2015

LotFP Kills at the ENNIES

LotFP's A Red & Pleasant Land won four awards at the Gen Con EN World RPG Awards over the weekend.

GOLD for Best Writing
(We beat out the writing for Pelgrane's Ken Writes About Stuff Vol. 2, Wizards of the Coast's Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook, Monte Cook Games' The Strange, and Evil Hat Productions' Designers & Dragons: A History of the Roleplaying Game Industry.)

GOLD for Best Setting
(We beat out settings from Monte Cook Games' The Strange, Moon Design Publications' Guide to Glorantha, Modiphius Entertainment's MUTANT: Year Zero, and Pelgrane's Dreamhounds of Paris.)

SILVER for Best Product
(Wizards of the Coast's D&D Players Handbook won Gold, but we beat out Modiphius Entertainment's MUTANT: Year Zero – The Roleplaying Game and Mindjammer – The Roleplaying Game (Transhuman Science-Fiction Adventure in the Second Age of Space), Monte Cook Games' The Strange, Chaosium's Horror on the Orient Express, Moon Design Publications' The Guide to Glorantha, Privateer Press' Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Core Rules Hardcover, Evil Hat Productions' Designers & Dragons: A History of the Roleplaying Game Industry, and Margaret Weis Productions' Firefly Roleplaying Game.)

SILVER for Best Adventure
(Chaosium's Horror on the Orient Express won Gold, but we beat out Wizards of the Coast's Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Pinnacle Entertainment Group's East Texas University: Degrees of Horror, and Fabled Environments' Cake Walk.)

I mention who we beat (and who beat us) because these awards are voted on by fans from a selection made by judges based on every release submitted to them over the eligible period.

In fan voting, we beat out the biggest names in gaming, and that's huge for me, Zak, Jez, and everyone in the LotFP stable who stands to benefit from the extra exposure and credibility these awards bring. Thank you all!

Cross your fingers, because next stop will be the Origins Award.

Monday, July 6, 2015

ENnie Award Vote! Red & Pleasant Land + Next Year's Judges! Go! Go! Go!

ENnie Award voting is now open!

HERE!


  • Vote Red & Pleasant Land in the Best Adventure, Best Setting, Best Writing, and Best Product categories.
  • For the judges, Kiel Chenier, Harald Wagener, and Ben Trautman either mention LotFP in their judge promos or have been friendly to LotFP in other ways.
  • Vote Lamentations of the Flame Princess in the Fans' Choice for Best Publisher category.


The ENnies are very important for a small publisher, being both a popular vote up against the big dogs of the industry, and being presented at GenCon, the biggest event of the year globally for tabletop gaming. Every little bit of attention and publicity helps, and more attention and publicity means more players for LotFP (which benefits you lot wanting to game), more sales for me (which means more resources to throw at future books), and perhaps even an upswing in general interest in the kind of gaming that LotFP promotes and provides so you'll have greater choice from a more varied group of people in the future.

So if you care at all about LotFP and want to see it do well, vote.



Wednesday, June 10, 2015

LotFP at NordCon in Hamburg June 12-14!

This Friday Lamentations of the Flame Princess will finish out the convention season in Hamburg, Germany at NordCon! The following items will be for for sale at the table (cash only!):
Death Frost Doom 15€
Deep Carbon Observatory 10€ (3 left!)
Forgive Us 10€
Fuck For Satan 5€
God that Crawls 10€
Idea from Space 5€
Into the Odd 15€
Isle of the Unknown 20€
Kefitzah Haderech 5€
Monolith from beyond Space and Time 10€
No Salvation for Witches 20€
Pergamino Barocco 5€
Qelong 10€
Red & Pleasant Land 30€
Rules & Magic 20€
Scenic Dunnsmouth 15€
Seclusium of Orphone 20€
Tower of the Stargazer 5€
Wonder & Wickedness 20€
Yoon-Suin 20€ (1 left!)
We also have Undercroft #1-5 and Vacant Ritual Assembly #1-2 and if you buy 50€ worth of stuff you get all seven of these FREE (while supplies last), or you can buy them separately for 4€ each or 20€ for the whole set.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Call for LotFP Monsters [PAYING WRITING WORK]

Right now we've got 61 monsters written and illustrated for the Referee book. I've commissioned 11 more because I just have to have some some monsters from a couple particular authors. But some more diversity of ideas would be good. How many I accept depends on quality of entries and frankly how well sales go at the UK Games Expo this weekend.

While the magic item open call a few months ago was something of a mess, it did result in some killer magic item submissions and I hope the same can happen for some monsters.

What I'm looking for in monsters:


  • Monsters as unique beings (or unique small-groups) and not "races"
  • Strangers/interlopers/intruders/lost on our (low-magic/real - close enough to be familiar) world and not inhabitants of a standard fantasy everyone-knows-dragons-and-fairies-exist world
  • Maybe extra-dimensional, maybe extra-terrestrial, but definitely not from around here. Not necessarily Cthulhu level world-crashers, but... odd things that don't quite mesh well with reality and whose abilities and temperament aren't just combat-relevant notes. 


What I'm not looking for in monsters:


  • "This monster is a mix of a scorpion and gorilla" type monsters.
  • Genital monsters. I've commissioned one specifically so it's covered and I don't need any more, thanks.
  • Stereotypically Lovecraftian tentacle monsters
  • Monsters simply adapted from myth or legend
  • Monsters that are just a bunch of combat stats and powers which are designed solely to provide combat challenges
  • Seriously. No genital monsters.


Your monster must be strange and wonderful and terrible and blow my mind. Remember this is weird fantasy role-playing.

Here's an example of an LotFP-style monster I wrote up for some monster cards a couple years back. Note that while its special powers are triggered through combat, their effects pretty much have nothing to do with combat (click to enlarge), and it's goddamn bizarre:

 (all monsters will be getting an accompanying Aeron Alfrey art piece in the Ref book, by the way)


Monsters which have appeared in print or on the internet will not be accepted - they must be original work that will appear for the first time in the Ref book. Submissions must be your own original work.

Please have your submission as press-ready as possible and all writing should adhere to the LotFP Style Guide. Include your byline in your submission.

Accepted submissions will be paid 25€ each, plus one copy of the book (contributors get maximum one free copy of the book no matter how much they contribute). LotFP will retain exclusive publication rights for two years from time of payment, after which we retain the rights to print and reprint in the LotFP Ref book (and only the LotFP Ref book) but aside from that caveat rights revert back to you. Unaccepted submissions get nothing, but you're then free to use the monster in your own work or post the thing online.

Submissions must be in by June 20. Payments will be made for chosen monsters by June 30 but you will need to invoice me for the fee before I pay it. All submissions will receive a response before the end of June, even if it's just to say "sorry, not accepted."

Questions about this to lotfp@lotfp.com, submissions in an attached .doc or .rtf file to lotfp@lotfp.com with the subject line MONSTER.

ONE MONSTER PER EMAIL PLEASE. If you have more than one monster to send, send them each in a separate email. If you re-do or revise a monster, send the entire text in a new email, not just the changes.

(you can discuss this post and the open call and everything related here. I suggest looking at this link before submitting because I'll likely complain about bad trends in submissions there and you'll probably find more pointers about what not to do.)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Referee Book PDF Now Available for Free Download!

no, not the new Ref book, you silly goose, the old Grindhouse version!

Mainly because bloody hell this new one is taking too damn long and there hasn't been any Ref book available at all during the time of LotFP's greatest expansion period.

(never claimed I was a good businessman, just that I publish good stuff...)

So yeah, here it is.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

All the Monster Books Ever Made Are Now Bullshit


Patrick Stuart & Scrap Princess' Fire on the Velvet Horizon and Rafael Chandler & Gennifer Bone's Lusus Naturae have redefined the monster bestiary for role-playing games and have basically made every single other such book boring, backwards, and useless.

The problem with monster bestiaries up until now have been that they fucking suck. Threatening, room-filling, world-building examples designed to make adventure construction and antagonist-presentation easy peasy for the beleaguered game master. "Here are some stats and an ecology, now populate your campaign world and adventures with challenges!"

Nevermind the sins of taking "things man was not meant to know" and giving them stats right there in the rulebook for everyone to read. For fuck sake.

(Also, it's hilarious that people consider adding Cthulhuesque monsters and mindset to a fantasy campaign breaks up the monotony and old-fashionedness of the usual bunch of D&D monsters and their tone... considering that Lovecraft predates Leiber, Vance, Moorcock, and Tolkien. We're so fucked in our brains, collectively, for four decades now. It's amazing that in a lot of ways we're just now breaking out of this shit through books like Velvet Horizon and Lusus Naturae and it's the supposed "stuck-in-the-past reactionary," "not open to new ideas" OSR scene doing it. "it" being adapting ideas explored in 70s and 80s genre cinema and writing, but hey, we're still ahead of you stuck-in-the-20s-through-60s mental dinosaurs, for sure!)

Forgetting the faux-anger and hyperbole for a moment... these things really do piss on every other bestiary I've ever read, from great height, to the point that all these other books are goddamn useless. You'd better be a goddamn fresh-off-the-turnip-truck-never-actually-played-before GM to ever have the idea of a monster in your head already and need to look up the stats in a book. Because if in your mind you already know you want there to be a Protein Polymorph in Room 4b in the dungeon you're making or running RIGHT NOW, you already know why you want it there and what it was supposed to be accomplishing so you don't need the official digits at all because that's always the least-important part of any monster.

... and this truth is laid bare by the fact that Fire on the Velvet Horizon doesn't have any stats. There isn't a game mechanic in it that I've noticed. It's just text about monsters. (Bonus Utility: it's just as much for the game-you-love as the game-you-hate.)

"But how will I know how to balance encounters with the creature for the PCs in my group if there are no stats?" you may ask. My answer to anyone who would ask such a question is, "Please drink bleach. Lots of it. Right now."

So how good is this text about 106 monsters that nobody's ever heard of? Well, my first impressions of Patrick Stuart's writing, and even first dealings with him (another PS & SP book is in production right now for LotFP), is that he resides in an institution somewhere, spending most of his time in a padded cell wearing a straightjacket under heavy medication... from which he somehow escapes every night, spitting out unswallowed pills that were hidden in the flap of skin he'd carved into the top of his mouth with a tooth he'd pushed out with his tongue, to break into the administrator's office to type out his understanding of the world and its denizens onto his Google Drive account (password: OHGODHELPMEPLEASE) and then to its final publication space... where we all then mistakenly interpret it as RPG material.

Or, as I said recently after receiving this book, "For pure evocation and feeling, Patrick Stuart is the best writer in RPGs right now."

To sum up... it's fucked. Which is what monsters are supposed to be, when you strip away math-based engineer-nerd or snooty-ass narrative-seeking lit-crit views of RPGs and their concepts and design, yes?

Mission accomplished.

A word about Scrap's art... now my own tastes in art veer towards the realistic, you-are-there styles. Nightmares made real. But Scrap's style doesn't allow reality to ever get a foot in the door. Reality made nightmare. It complements the text perfectly, taking you out of reality to realms you've never imagined existed rather than being the least bit helpful in making any of these nightmares relatable to you-sitting-there-on-Planet-Earth. This book isn't made for your gaming convenience, it's trying to help your game.

If you want monsters as abrogations of reality and not monsters as comfortable interpretations of shit other people already made up in formats already established decades past, Fire on the Velvet Horizon is your book.

... fuckin' hell, maybe I should have talked about Lusus Naturae first, because that's a hell of a thing to follow.

Because Lusus Naturae is perhaps the opposite of Velvet Horizon. It has stat blocks (for LotFP, yay, but that means also fully and readily compatible with your favorite class-and-level rules variation) and game mechanics, a clean layout, neatly written text, and the art has definite lines and in general you can always tell exactly what the fuck is going on.

It's written by Rafael Chandler, which means all of the things which signal "not family-friendly" content, like nudity (including full frontal, male and female), plenty of gore and other body horror, Satanic imagery, and a grand sense of playfulness with it all -- dead baby humor included.

104 monsters here, and they're all presented in a useful and convenient format: this is what they are, this is what they do, and this is what they want.

You might wonder how Lusus Naturae compares to Chandler's previous "old school"-focused monster book the Teratic Tome, there are the technical differences (LotFP-branded instead of OSRIC, in full color, smaller physical size for ease of handling), and then there are the thematic differences: Teratic Tome offered full-on variations of D&D monsters (Demons, Devils, Giants, various undead, kobolds, slimes, etc.), with encounter tables and the standard setup. Lusus Naturae, while most of its monsters could have individually fit into the Teratic Tome, doesn't have any of those elements. It'll mention a halfling or gnoll here or there (booo! hisss!), but it works within its own mythologies and contains things that just wouldn't fit into your standard old-school bestiaries (the modern-day supervillain that's been time-transported, for one...) and abilities which would just be considered unfair under standard gaming practices such as being able to make daggers rain from the sky in numbers enough to kill thousands of people, widespread weather effects, plagues, magnetism on a regional scale, one monster with hundreds of hit dice that steps on cities, and effects eabled by phrases like "This is effectively carte blanche to toy with the characters."

The difference between this book and Velvet Horizon is that you can get your head around this book's monsters as it relates to actual people and things on this Earth. There are a couple of "chimeras-but-using-different-animal-combinations" which at first seems ordinary, but when you actually see a turtle-shark-eel-mera and read its description it is something new. And a hand-with-fingers-growing-out-of-it is instantly recognizable and far more wrong than that description states. Same with the nose-with-noses-growing-out-of-it monster. Things also get strangers, of course, as there is a monster with a physical form of a "riot of color," and the amalgam creature formed from the combination of cylindrical sci-fi weapons turret and tentacle monster is something you're not likely to have thought of.

But whether more relatable or not, these are monsters here to horrendify and kill, to be disruptive to the lives and activities of player characters and generally make sure that even if they survive the encounter, they are never the same again.

Monsters in concept and practice, and never mere playing pieces in a game.

The concepts of the monsters are a bit more grounded than Velvet Horizon's monsters which, for examples, believe they can read the sky's mind and are so stealthy that they might not exist at all. Also different is the focus of the writing, as Lusus Naturae writes from the perspective of how these monsters' ambitions will bring them into contact and conflict with the game world and the player characters within it, whereas Velvet Horizon just talks about each monster on its own terms, and how their activities might actually impact a game or come into contact with player characters is almost incidental.

Basically, Lusus Naturae is very much more likely to get used in the way people conventionally use monster books than Velvet Horizon, but on the other hand that conventionality means it's not quite as mindblowing.

All I know is that reading these books and seeing how words and art collide is that I'M BEING LAZY IN MY OWN CONCEPTS, and I will correct that and strive to meet the standards these books set. Even if I fail, I will become better as a result of trying. They'll help you fail too.

Buy them, you cheap fuck.

(comments can be left here)