Lamentations of the Flame Princess is a excellent OSR game known for its horrific adventures and gruesome aesthetic. It also happens to be one of my favorite games, and I have a particular love for one of its wildest and weirdest settings.
Carcosa is a twin-sunned, many-mooned planet somewhere in the Hyades Cluster some 153 light years away. It is a world utterly devastated by untold millennia of sorcery, cosmic conquest, and the rampaging of the Great Old Ones. The human race was created by a now extinct empire of Snake-Men to serve as sacrifice fodder, and now the divided tribes of mankind eke out a primitive subsistence living anywhere they can find safety, water, and protection from the Old Ones, their minions, and degenerate sorcerers.
In other words, its a ton of fun!
I’ve run Geoffrey McKinney’s brilliant creation for a few one-shots over the years, and my players and I have thoroughly enjoyed it every time. For my most recent game, I decided I would make things a little more interesting by giving my Fighter and Sorcerer players some fun extras. Namely some additional fighting styles for the Fighters and some magical incantations for the Sorcerers. I’ve always felt that the limited fighting styles available to fighters in Lamentations left the door wide open for some homebrewed options, and while it is very interesting that Carcosan sorcerers only get elaborate rituals to preform rather than your standard array of D&D style spells, they are so complex that you’d never get to cast one in a brief game, so I decided to give my sorcerers a little something with a magical flair.
Fighting Styles for Carcosa
Rules: When creating a Fighter from Carcosa, roll 1d6 on the Fighting Style Table and receive that fighting style. The remaining fighting styles are still known to some NPC’s in the world and can be learned through training.
|Roll 1d6||Fighting Style|
|1||Blind God’s Rage: You can only select this fighting style if you already had Press selected, and you have just killed an opponent: +4 to hit, +1d4 to damage, -4 to AC.|
|2||Wind-Blasted-Eyes: You may select this fighting style concurrently with another fighting style. When you take the aim action in combat you can keep your DEX modified AC. If your aimed attack roll misses, you may roll to hit a second time.|
|3||The Warp Dance: You must spend 2 rounds dancing and chanting. After you complete your ritual. Your body begins to contort and transform in monstrous ways, this process takes 1 painful round. Once your transformation is complete, any armor you are wearing is destroyed,and you gain +3 HD, +2 to Hit, +2 AC, two unarmed attacks (Rip and Tear/ Bite 1d10/1d6), and 30’ of movement speed. When you are hit, you lose your new HP before your default HP. It takes 2 rounds to transform back to normal, and can only be done after a round in which you have not been hit in combat. You require twice as much food and water on a day you transform.|
|4||Upon a Beast: You may select this fighting style concurrently with another fighting style. When you are mounted on a riding beast, +1 to hit, as well as the ability to make the mount attack on your initiative, even without war-training. You do not receive a reduced AC when making a mounted charge.|
|5||Defender of Mankind: This fighting style provides an identical bonus to Defensive Fighting. When a human being is hit within 10’ of you, you can leap in front of the blow, taking all the damage of the strike. If your next attack targets the original aggressor, you gain +6 to hit and +1d8 damage.|
|6||The Drinker of Blood: -3 to hit, -3 damage and -3 AC. Each time you land a hit, all bonuses increase by 1 to a maximum of +10. Each time you miss a hit, all bonuses decrease by 1, to a minimum of the default.|
Incantations of Carcosa
Rules: When creating a Sorcerer from Carcosa, roll 1d6 on the Incantation Table and receive that Incantation The remaining incantations are still known to some NPC’s in the world and can be learned through training and study.
Magic-Users may learn incantations, save for The Keyless Gate this incantation is only possible thanks to the unique DNA structure of Carcosan Humans, who were modified specifically to serve as sacrifices in summoning and other rituals.
|1||The Black Name of Azathoth: The sorcerer points at a foe and shouts a single syllable of Great Azathoth’s true name. The creature must make a save vs magic to avoid instant death. If the creature passes its save vs magic, the sorcerer must make their own save vs magic or else die instantly.|
|2||Song of the Great Dreamer: If the sorcerer spends an entire evening awake and spends 1 hour in deep meditation (Save vs Paralyze to not accidentally fall asleep). He may sing the delirious song of dreaming Cthulhu until the next time he goes to sleep. When sung in battle, the song so disquiets the sorcerer’s enemies (and possibly allies) that their morale is decreased by 2 so long as the Sorcerer is singing the song. Singing the song can also make the servants of Cthulhu pause in their attacks for a number of rounds equal to the singer’s level, or until they are attacked. Once the sorcerer loses the ability to sing the song there’s a 1/6 chance that a group of deep ones or cthulhu cultists will be compelled to seek the party out and sacrifice them to the Great Dreamer.|
|3||Ithaqua’s Breath: After spending three rounds performing the necessary prayers. The Sorcerer can inhale a great chest full of air and expel it as a freezing breath weapon in a 20’ cone, enemies must save vs breath weapon or else take 2d6 damage, reduce their speed to ½ and receive -1 AC. The sorcerer will move at half speed and have -1 AC until he can spend an hour or so resting by a fire.|
|4||The Mask of Slaves: This spell imparts a Mercurial nature to your face. Once a day, you can spend ten minutes molding your features like clay. This change is enough to disguise yourself as another person, or make yourself more attractive or more horrific. Any effects imparted by changing your face last for three hours. Every day you have a ⅙ chance of your face having randomly changed in the night. This change lasts the whole day.|
|5||The Keyless Gate: As per the Summon spell in the core rulebook. Carcosan Sorcerers cast this spell as a magic-user of the same level, and can cast it a number of times per day equal to their sorcerer level. If the caster takes a particular liking to the creature he has summoned. He may undertake magical research in order to determine a specific ritual for summoning more like it.|
|6||The Dread Name of Hastur: The Caster stamps his feet once and calls out Hastur’s dread name three times. The Sorcerer then must save vs magic with a -1 penalty for each time he has cast this incantation in the past 111 days. If he passes, roll on the Dread Name of Hastur table. If he fails, roll on the following table +30|
|Roll 1d100||The Dread Name of Hastur|
|1-30||Nothing Happens: Hastur does not heed your call.|
|31-60||Nightgaunt Summon: 2d3 Nightgaunts, the servants of Hastur, descend from the void and enter the fray. +2 to the reaction roll. Normal rules regarding controlling Nightgaunts apply. They tend to remain with the caster for 22 hours before departing.|
|61-70||Magic of the Moon: Make a save vs magical device. If you pass, choose a single human being present. If you fail, a human within sight of the sorcerer is randomly selected. This character must save vs magical device or be afflicted with the immovable curse. Becoming unable to move but fully conscious. Seek magical help.|
|71-90||Visions of The City: A boon of knowledge! For 1d6 rounds you seize and sputter as your mind wanders the hallowed halls of Carcosa. You may or may not receive information relevant and useful to your current or future situation.|
|90-100||Hastur has seen you! And he is displeased! 2d6 Nightgaunts descend from the void and attack all present!|
|101-115||The Repairer of Reputations: You have offended Hastur with your request, and he brands you with his mark. You will be a pariah to those who worship Hastur, The Nightgaunts will torment you, and the Blue Priests will try to kill you if they see it. However some say that the Yellow Mark of Hastur can be a gateway to further power…|
|116-125||The Mask: There will be no more calls from you. Hastur seals a bone-white mask to your face. You lose the ability to call for Hastur’s aid. All the difficulties of having a mouth-less mask sealed to your face follow. Removing it without killing the bearer (8d6 damage) is unlikely, and magical help is necessary to do so.|
|126-130||A Fitting Doom: A horde of Nightguants descends from the heavens and carry you off to Carcosa. Sorcerer is removed from play.|
These could easily be used in any Lamentations of the Flame Princess game, but I highly recommend Geoffrey McKinney’s Carcosa, its an excellent sandbox module and full of weird ideas.
You can download the Fighting Styles and the Incantations separately as well.