Thursday, December 22, 2016

LotFP vs BX - classes

Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantasy Role-Playing employs a sevenfold class system similar to the 1981 Basic/Expert D&D rules.  In this installment I'm going to run down the mechanical changes made in LotFP's seven classes.


  • Clerics now get a spell at first level BUT
  • Turn Undead is now a spell (1st level) rather than a separate class ability
  • Instead of gaining a 2nd level spell at third level, the Cleric 3 gets a 3rd first level spell
  • After that, the cleric gets a second level spell at 4th level and a 3rd level spell at fifth
  • After that we get the normal arrangement of a new spell level every other level
  • (No crazy 6th level where the cleric gains access to both 3rd and 4th level spells)
  • The XP chart goes up to 20th level and seven spell levels are available
  • +2 hit points per level after 9th, rather than +1 in BX
  • As mentioned in a previous installment, all clerics are Lawful in alignment
  • No restrictions on weapons, clerics with swords and bows are a-okay
  • Under the correct circumstances, clerics can write scrolls, create holy water, and research spells right out of the gate 
  • As mentioned previously, no increasing to-hit chances past 1st level
  • Starting at level 9, the saving throws are slightly different.


  • As mentioned previously, the fighter has the largest minimum hit points at 1st level
  • As mentioned previously, the fighter is the only class whose attack bonus increases with level
  • The Expert chart for fighters rounds down the XP needed for level 8.  By the simple doubling method a fighter should need 128,000xp.  Expert uses 120,000 as the target number and builds from their.  LotFP does not cut those extra 8 thousand points needed to advance.
  • No suggestion of the possibility of multiple attacks.
  • +3 hit points per level after ninth, instead of +2 as in BX
  • In the combat chapter fighters, dwarves, and elves (but not halflings) may use the Press attack and Defensive Fighting options.
  • Fighters, dwarves, and elves (again no halflings) are also better at parrying than other classes.


  • d6 hit points at first level (the standard for 0-level people), d4 thereafter to 9th.
  • XP chart goes to 20th level, with 9 spell levels
  • At higher levels you gain additional low-level spell slots faster.  For example, a BX wizard gets his fourth 1st level spell per day at 11th level.  In LotFP that happens at 8th.
  • Instead of 2,500 to reach level 2, LotFP only requires 2,250 and builds the XP chart from there.
  • No mention of armor or weapon restrictions BUT
  • No spells can be cast when more than Lightly Encumbered
  • To cast the MU must have two hands free or be holding a staff or wand in one of them.
  • MUs start with a spellbook containing Read Magic and 3 random 1st level spells.
  • All MUs are chaotic, as discussed in a previous post
  • Providing time, money, and research space is available, starting MUs may write scrolls, brew potions, and research spells.
  • If they can get a cleric to work with them, an MU may even make potions of cleric spell effects.
  • Should they gain access to the spell Permanency, the MU may make wands and/or staves
  • No other magic items may be crafted by the MU under LotFP rules
  • Slightly different saves vs. Dragonbreath starting at level 11

Specialist (formerly known as the Thief)

  • 1,500 to level 2, instead of 1,200
  • d6 hit dice instead of d4
  • Skills are now d6 based instead of percentiles
  • All characters (not just specialists) have a 1 in 6 chance at the following skills: Architecture, Bushcraft, Climb, Languages, Search, Slight of Hand, Stealth, and Tinker
  • 1st level specialists gain 4 points they can allocate to those skills or to Sneak Attack (their Back Stab damage multiplier), they gain 2 more points each level
  • No weapon or armor restrictions BUT
  • Encumbrance penalties affect movement-based skill checks
  • No rules for using spell scrolls
  • [Altogether, this class is a really elegant solution to the Thief Problem, if you believe there is a Thief Problem.]


  • Only 3,000xp to 2nd level, instead of the 4K needed in BX.
  • No minimum Int score to qualify for this class
  • Surprised only 1 in 6
  • Search skill (see above) starts at 2 in 6 and increases one pip at levels 3, 7, 10, and 13.
  • No level maximum, but saves max out at 17th
  • Spellcasting tops out at 1 ninth level spell at level 17
  • Unlike LotFP magic-users, no new spell level is gained at 13th.  You get seventh level spells at 11th level and eighth level spells at 15th.
  • No infravision
  • No immunity to ghoul paralysis [there are no standard monsters in LotFP]
  • No extra languages
  • Immune to aging effects, as they are unaging
  • Always Chaotic
  • For purposes of many spells, counts as a supernatural creature rather than a person: immune to sleep and hold person, affected by protection from evil, can't be blessed, etc.
  • Can cast spells with one hand
  • Can research spells, write scrolls, brew potions, and make staves/wands just like a LotFP magic-user
  • Unlike LotFP magic-users, elves start with only Read Magic in their spell books 
  • Elves cannot cast spells if more than Heavily Encumbered
  • Can use the Press attack and Defensive Fighting maneuvers (along with fighters and dwarves)
  • Better at Parrying than most classes (along with fighters and dwarves)


  • Dwarves get d10 for hitdice, as opposed to d8 in BX
  • Dwarves get a bonus of +1 to their Con MODIFIER, not the 3d6 roll itself (i.e. a dwarf of average Con gets a +1, while an 18 Con dwarf would have a +4)
  • Unlike all the other classes, dwarves apply their Con modifier to the flat hit points earned after level 9.
  • In lieu of their special detection abilities, dwarves begin with an Architecture skill of 3 in 6.  This advances one pip at levels 4, 7, and 10.
  • No special language abilities
  • No infravision
  • No minimum Con score to qualify for this class
  • Carry mules: dwarves can carry five more items than others before becoming encumbered.
  • Can use the Press attack and Defensive Fighting maneuvers (along with fighters and elves)
  • Better at Parrying than most classes (along with fighters and elves)


  • Fast save progression: The other classes get better saving throws every 3-5 levels.  The halfling gets better saves at level 2 and every even level thereafter.  By level 10 they need a 2 or higher in most saves and a 4 or higher to save versus magic.
  • Halflings start with the Bushcraft skill at 3 in 6 and gain one point in the skill at levels 4, 7, and 10.  This makes halflings excellent hunter/foragers.
  • Halflings have a stealth skill of 5 in 6 when "in the wilderness."
  • Halflings cannot wield any Large weapon and must use Medium weapons in two hands.
  • +1 to Dex MODIFIER, not the 3d6 roll itself
  • +1 AC when not surprised
  • No Con or Dex min to qualify for this class
  • No missile combat bonus
  • No AC bonus versus large foes
  • No individual Init bonus (the Dex modifier bonus achieves the same thing, though)
  • No special hiding rules in dungeons

Global Changes Affecting All The Classes

  • No cool/ridiculous level titles
  • No bonus to XP for high prerequisites
  • No rules for building strongholds at high level and automatically attracting followers
  • No to-hit advancement (except for fighters)
That's everything I could glean from a close comparison of the classes in the two rules sets, apart from the actual spells available to clerics, magic-users, and elves.  Let me know if I missed anything.

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