I am currently working on a series of illustrations for Packworld edited by Ray Otus.
Monday, September 18, 2017
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Some time ago I started a Lamentations of the Flame Princess campaign on Hangouts that I really liked (even if we only played a few sessions), it was a campaign entirely build around the book Vaginas Are Magic. My goal was to see how the new spellcasting rules and this list of strange and deadly spells could impact a campaign, so I thought of using VAM as if it was a campaign source book.
The characters were are all witches (magic-users) and they were all members of a secret coven that researched the VAM spells list. The campaign setup was that the coven have been recently dismantled. So the player characters goal was to rebuild their coven and to find a way to deal with what menace them. While doing so, there should be plenty of opportunities to impact the campaign's setting.
I planed to run the campaign as a sandbox build around a small town and a big situation that was affecting everyone. The player characters would first try to find back their former allies and resources, then personal goals would surely emerge and the game would become more about dealing with the big situation (or other emerging stuff). Naturally supernatural elements would come in to complicate everything.
Sadly we only played a few sessions because at the time I was feeling a lot of pressures from work and my personal life. But even with only a few sessions, some interesting stuff started to emerge like the impact of multiple casting of the spell "Those of the Unlight" and the growing influence of the Unlight world. I really liked the idea of using the characters's spell lists and miscasts to taint the setting and to expand the supernatural world.
I would reboot this campaign anytime without hesitation.
Vaginas Are Magic COVEN character creation
Players characters are female magic-users created with the LotfP rule set.
Characters can be from level 01 to 03
(stats must balance with at least a total of +1 attribute bonus)
>Level 01 characters can switch 4 stats around
>Level 02 characters can switch 2 stats around
>Level 03 characters can not switch stats.
Level 1: 15 +1d6
Level 2: 16 +2d6
Level 3: 17 +3d6
Each character choose one spell from the VAM spell list.
Each character roll a random spell equal to their level on the old LotFP spell list.
No duplicate spells between character are allowed (reroll duplicates).
All the characters’s spells are pooled together to create the master spell book of the coven.
(I will add a extra random VAM spell if there is only 3 players)
All characters may prepare spells from the master spell book.
Your personal spell books start with level+2 spells written in it (your 2 starting spells plus spells selected from the master spell book).
Setup Questions for the players
The game will be mostly about rebuilding the coven...
>Who founded the coven?
>What was she trying to achieve?
>How did she learn magic?
>Who or what was her supernatural patron?
>How the founder failed the coven before her demise?
>Where was the coven situated?
>What special resource the coven had?
>What magical artifact the coven lost or seeked?
>What spell did the founder was never able to master? (roll 1d120 on the 120 Weirds of Sodom table and describe this spell...)
>What magical being(s) the coven feared?
>Who was secretly allied with the coven?
>Who betrayed or abandoned the coven?
>Who or what destroyed the coven? (yes as the game start the coven is in ruins)
How did you had a close relationship with... (choose one)
>Someone inside the coven?
>Someone outside the coven?
>The secret ally? (or someone related to he or she)
>The betrayer? (or someone related to he or she)
>The destroyer? (or someone related to he or she)
- Why the situation is bad? There is a civil war and a lot of moving troops and refugees are passing through the town.
- Who founded the coven? Agnes Baum, the middle aged wife of pastor Philip Baum.
- What was she trying to achieve? she is trying to help people and to preach the teaching of a angel. She was doing good deeds and she was starting to attract a lot followers. Pastor Baum was growing jealous of her charisma.
- How did she learn magic? She found a weird cross shaped alien stone and she had a vision from a angel. The angel recited to her the master spell book of the coven. She teaches magic to the members of the coven to help them.
- Who or what was her supernatural patron? The angel is a faceless figure of light. Agnes call her the Bright Tears of the Stars.
- How the founder failed the coven before her demise? She did not deal with the discontent and the doubts of Jane Nelson (the coven member who betrayed the coven).
- Where was the coven situated? In a unfinished and abandoned church in the woods. (non consecrated).
- What magical artifact the coven lost? The cross shaped stone of the Bright Tears of the Stars.
- What special resource the coven had? White healing herbs gathered in the shadows with the spell Those of the Unlight.
- What spell did the founder was never able to master (roll on the 1d120 table at the end of VAM)? Throwing Away the Day. No one know why she was researching this spell.
- What magical being(s) the coven feared? The shadow creatures that you can see when you cast Those of the Unlight. Agnes said that we had to walk through the shadows to find the true light.
- Who was secretly allied with the coven? Doctor Harry Mickle believed in the preaching of Agnes and the good deeds she was doing.
- Who betrayed or abandoned the coven? Jane Nelson, she betrayed Agnes, warning her husband (the pastor) of the shadow beings. She believe that the Angel is a shadow being and a demon.
- Who or what destroyed the coven? The loyalist soldiers because they feared that the preachings of Agnes were fomenting a new rebellion.
While the witches were preparing their spells together, the abandoned church was raided by loyalist soldiers. Agnes (the founder) was captured along other witches. The group and some other witches were able to flee. The group hided in a small hut near the swamp, three days have passed.
The session begin...
The group decided to go back to Barton to see what have happened to the others. They joined up with a group of refugees fleeing the north front and moving south. They heard rumors about people from the north holding sacred torches and purifying sinners with fire.
Nadine rolled a random encounter while gathering rumors and a local girl, Clara, spotted her in the crowd. Her father was gravely burned and she felt lost with the refugees. Nadine and the other decided to help her so that she wont start rumors about them.
To group of refugee progressed south and avoided random attacks from bandits or pillagers.
They passed by a old watchtower that was being fortified by a garnison of soldiers.
We passed some time roleplaying with the refugees and Clara, the pacing started a little slow, but it gave us the time to know a bit the characters.
Arriving in town they noticed a encampment of soldiers and camp of refugees. Soldiers were questioning women, so the group used Clara as a distraction and skipped pass the refugees camp into the town.
There they noted that a potence was raised in the town square and that 3 women have been hanged. Nyisa wanted to see who it was, but Nadine convinced here to come back during the night.
Shany guided the group to her mother house. Her old mother updated them on the situation and gave them refuge.
The spellcasting begin.
Hearing that members of the coven were held prisoner in the blacksmith's house basement, the group decided to cast Those of the Unlight to move through the shadows to try to save their coven sisters.
Listening to the guards they heard that a templar was coming from the south to investigate what is happening in the town.
Through the shadows they moved in the basement where Pastor Philip was trying to extract a confession from Jane Nelson and Melody Withum, two other members of the coven.
Shany casted Deathlike Silence on the pastor and Nadine moved out of the shadows to get rid of the lantern. While the pastor was feeling the life and death of each of his cells, Nyisa tried to cast Those of the Unlight on Melody but the spell miscasted and the shadows exploded into a barrier of shadowy blades that ripped appart the pastor, Jane and the guards. Melody managed to dodge the deadly blades and to fall in Nadine's arms.
Shany tried to recast Those of the Unlight but the shadows were too unstable and she miscasted, infusing the shadows with anti-matters! The shadows exploded, Nadine was gravely wounded and the basement walls were atomized.
Nyisa tried to summon Suicidal Winds to get out of there but she miscasted and instead the winds blowed some dirt of a old ring lying in blood, where the pastor have been standing.
The pastor that under the Deathlike Silence, felt in slow motion, every single fibers of his body being shredded to pieces...
In the following confusion the group managed to avoid the patrols and to skip out of town.
Running toward the forest, Melody told to the group that she know were Agnes is.
Where the shadows exploded, the wall between the natural world and the shadow world grow thinner...
Nadine having seen her big sister being torn to pieces and Shany having condemned the pastor to a horrible death, I hoped to haunt them a bit with that. I wanted to bring back their death relation as rotting ghost "American Werewolf in London" style.
I also wanted to explore the underlying mythos of the angel and the Unlight world. Naturally I was thinking of linking both of them but at this point I had nothing specific in mind.
During the following session I started introducing inhabitant of the Unlight World, like the thin man and shadow beings.
We stopped playing while the group was exploring the abandoned church that was their former coven, the place was overrun by unlight vegetation and strange white flowers.
SESSION 01 XP
Reaching Barton: 100 xp
Rumor gathering: 25 xp (by rumors)
Helping Clara: 50 xp
Contacting your family: 25 xp
Learning about the templar arrival: 50 xp
Rescuing a coven member (500 xp by level)
> Melody Withum: 500xp
>Jane Nelson: 0xp / 1500 xp
Surviving miscasts (100 xp by miscasts): 300xp
Total: 1050 xp (350 xp each) (Nyisa, Nadine & Shany)
SESSION 02 XP
Sighting the Thin Man (10xp by sighting): 20XP
Going back to the coven sanctuary (the abandoned church): 200xp
Rescuing a coven member (500 xp by level):
>Lucy Hurt: 500xp
Securing the Master Spell Book: 1000xp
Securing White flowers poultiches (25 xp each): 50xp
Surviving miscasts (100 xp by miscasts): 100xp
TOTAL: 1870 (467xp each) (Nyisa, Nadine, Shany & Harley)
Other possible rewards:
Helping allies: 100 to 500 xp
Liberating the town: 2000xp
Uncovering what happened to the sanctuary: 500xp
Restoring the sanctuary: 2000xp
Finding back Agnes: 1000xp
Securing the Cross of the Stars: 2000xp
Mastering the spell Throwing Away the Day: 2000xp
Uncovering the true nature of the Angel: 4000xp
White Healing Flowers of the Unlight World
Can only be found in the Unlight world with a 1-2 on a d6.
Searching for the flowers also trigger a Unlight creatures random encounter on a 1 on a d6.
It take 1d6 hours to extract 1d3 doses of poultices from a fresh flower.
Applying a dose of white flower poultice heal 1d6 hp (+1 if it was prepared by a woman). Rolling a natural 6 may have some strange side-effects, especially on women (+1 on the d6 effect).
1) the skin become pure white where the poultice was applied. These marks form strange patterns.
2) the tongue and gums of the patient become pure white for 2d6 days, food taste weird.
3) the patient eyes become milky white and she can see brightly in the dark (and is blinded by bright lights). This last for 2d6 hours.
4) the patient become sensible to sunlight for 1d6 days (-2 to all tests)
5) the patient have weird dreams for 1d6 nights were she visit strange shadowy gardens.
6) the patient sometime find a white flower in the mundane world but when she do, she feel watched.
I donated some artwork for Chris Stieha's RND zine. Some of them will probably make it into the next issue. You can check out the past issues over there: http://thunderbunnypress.com
The zine is mostly about randomizing things to feed adventures.
Here is some samples: