Follow TV Tropes


Tabletop Game / Lamentations of the Flame Princess

Go To

A Tabletop RPG created by James Edward Raggi IV. Based on Basic Dungeons and Dragons, Lamentations of the Flame Princess is one of the darker, more disturbing products to come out of the Old School Renaissance of tabletop role playing games. There's no default setting in the game; it's designed to play Metal-influenced late Medieval "weird fiction".

Think D&D characters unceremoniously dropped into a Clark Ashton Smith-written Solomon Kane story, as sung by Cannibal Corpse.

This tabletop-game provides examples of:

  • Anatomically Ignorant Healing: Some of the hideous creatures encountered in No Salvation for Witches are former normal people that the resident Eldritch Abomination has accidentally mutilated with its magic and then ineptly tried to put back together.
  • Anyone Can Die: The Flame Princess has been killed at least twice in official art.
  • Assimilation Plot: Xaxus, the Idea from Space, has apparently assimilated entire planets. Surprisingly, it's a relatively magnanimous variant as it only accepts willing "converts".
  • Black and White Magic: The spell lists are much more segregated than in most D&D derivatives. White/Lawful magic is mostly buffs, healing and anti-magic. Black/Chaotic is all about blowing things up and summoning Eldritch Abominations to read your mail.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Than Dungeons and Dragons. There is a lot of art in the rulebook alone in which people are mutilated and killed brutally and a lot of the available adventures include some degree of Body Horror.
  • Character Alignmentinvoked: The game uses the old stripped-down Law/Neutrality/Chaos system. Less about how you act and more about whether supernatural entities are pulling your strings, and if so, which ones.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Parody: The Blood in the Chocolate module has a band of adventurers infiltrating the Wonka-esque chocolate factory of a ruthless noblewoman, risking all sorts of bizarre transformations and curses to steal her secret recipe.
  • Completely Unnecessary Translator: William Hoffmann in People of Pembrooktonshire. Pembrooktonshiretonians as a rule hate dealing directly with outsiders, so when they have to, they'll pretend not to understand them and have Mr. Hoffmann act as an interpreter.
  • Darker and Edgier: Although the game has no official setting, the artwork, rules and spell descriptions describe a world that is a nightmare version of traditional fantasy games.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Many adventures published feature them. One example would be the creature under the farm and corn fields, an enormous tentacled horror in Tales of the Scarecrow. Creatures brought forth with the Summon spell are often this as well, being entities summoned from other planes of existence that often don't obey the local laws of biology or physics; sometimes, their mere presence warps local reality.
  • Eldritch Location: The Monolith from Beyond Time and Space in the adventure module of the same name, and the valley surrounding it. The valley is already pretty weird - to begin with, it's not even the same size every time you visit it - and once you reach the Monolith proper things get even stranger.
  • A FÍte Worse than Death: No Dignity in Death features a joyful celebration... where six young couples engage into violent sporting games until one of the grooms is killed and his bride is to be sacrificed to the mountain spirits.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In the module Fuck For Satan, if the players perform the invocation of the Twinkling Star the star makes it known that it hates the Referee of the game, whom it sees as a "cosmic tyrant" tormenting the player characters for fun.
  • From Beyond the Fourth Wall: The God That Crawls has a magic axle that can turn a normal chariot into a "Chariot of Unreality" — a flaming fireball that moves at incredible speed. If players use it for more than five rounds, they run the risk of their vehicle (and its passengers) breaking free from the conceptual realm and disintegrating. If this happens, the DM is to tell the players their characters are dead, and then collect their character sheets. The DM will then place each sheet in an envelope marked "PLEASE READ ME" along with their contact information and a note offering a reward, and then place each envelope in a public location. If someone contacts the DM, they're supposed to offer a reward equal to the price of a fast food meal (paid by the player); if the character sheet does actually make it back, the character returns to play (with an XP bonus if the reward was in fact paid).
  • Giant Spiders: Feature often in many modules, although Veins of the Earth has two. One is a giant silk-and-bone automaton run by thousands of spiders working together. The other is a man sized spider that keeps children on its back. Not its children. Yours.
  • Gorn: No kidding. Several illustrations could be used for album covers by the aforementioned Cannibal Corpse with little to no changes.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: A lurking monster in No Dignity in Death: The Three Brides is known as a Tyhmä Paska among the dwarfs hiding in the mountains.
  • Grim Up North: Weird New World takes place in an entirely arctic setting and was inspired partly by the search for the North-West Passage.
  • Hešvy MŽtal ‹mlaut: According to the Slügs! monster book, the ¨ stands for "giant". While slügs are the main focus of the book, spidërs and insëcts also get mentioned.
  • Historical Fantasy: While still kept vague to the point that it doesn't count as Alternate History, the corebook implies, and various published adventures outright take place in, a Low Fantasy version 17th century Europe.
  • Knight Templar: The Knights of Science are very much this; they demand everyone to obey the "justice" they mete out without question and are literally incapable of accepting differing viewpoints. Messing with one in No Dignity in Death: The Three Brides may get the player characters Arrested for Heroism.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: The designer tried to avert this with limited success. Fighters are the only people who gain Attack bonuses, meaning they're the only ones who can hit some of the really nasty stuff in physical combat. Wizards are still deadly, but have brakes on their power (including more common anti-magic and spell interruption).
  • Nintendo Hard: First level characters are incredibly underpowered, especially Specialists who can barely succeed in any skill they don't min/max in. The rule book goes to great lengths to explain why all characters should start at level 1, making this game exceptionally deadly. Oh, and it insists on Honest Rolls Characters. Though the game is actually quite forgiving about healing, of all things (If you can find a safe place to sleep...). And with only six skills, each with six levels, and their low EXP requirements, Specialists get very good very quickly.
  • Our Elves Are Different: They are The Fair Folk kind of elf, and in Veins of the Earth, they Hate you. Not hate, Hate.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: No bestiary is included with the game, and all monsters are to be designed by the Referee. All monsters are intended to be unique and freak the players out. There are, though, several published adventures and compatible products from the company and other retro-indie publishers that include writeups and stats for many, many monsters, most of them being very weird or incredibly horrific, and often both at once.
  • Series Mascot: The titular Flame Princess, and to a lesser extent her companions — a blonde Cleric and a brunette Magic-User. The Princess herself features on the boxed set cover (which, having Naga nipples, can't be posted here). Internal art and module covers track her progress from scared little girl defending her baby sister with her dead father's sword, through to a scarred badass Dying Alone in a sewer. In more recent images She Got Better. Or rather didn't. She somehow got rescued but the leg and fingers are gone forever.
  • Starfish Aliens: The plant-aliens seen through a telescope in The Tower of the Stargazer. They are seen dancing around a light if the telescope is tampered with. Through further player action it is possible for one of the characters to be teleported to the dancing aliens in gelatinous form and be eaten.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Roughly half of the information on the dErO in Veins of the Earth consists of these.
    The dErO did not write this and they cannot see you reading it.
    Tell us what this machine is. WE SAW YOU LOOKING AT THE MACHINE. There are no dErO, only fellow troper.