Monday, January 11, 2016

Making The Band

Playing to a packed haunted house
Campaigns in Tales from the Haunted Jukebox put the focus on the "band" in "band of adventurers."  If every party member chooses a different musical skill, the group can actually serve as a literal rock & roll band (after all, those are known to wander countrysides in search of fame, glory, and riches, just like mighty-hewed barbarians and crafty rogues).  Alternatively,  if they all choose to focus on Singing, they could be a traveling doo-wop group.

In either case, as they tour the music circuit and try to work their way to fame and fortune, the party will regularly encounter forces of darkness and the macabre.  Thus, the campaign becomes one of fighting monsters with the power of music, instead of (or alongside) a trusty switchblade.

Drag-racing will be a major way of settling conflicts and defeating challenges in a Tales campaign, as well, so having someone on hand who's good at driving and fixing cars is also a good idea.

Of course, characters don't have to be in a band.  Instead, they could be a wandering biker or greaser gang, a group of traditional Universal horror movie monster hunter types, or anything else appropriate to "the Fifties."  However, to keep that musical horror fantasy feel, PCs should still have musical and dancing skills to call upon.

As noted in my previous post, all characters in the Tales can choose one musical skill and one dancing skill, in addition to their normal class abilities.  An ideal formation is a party of four or five characters, each with a different musical focus (Guitar, Bass, Drums, Singing being the classic line-up, though Piano or Horns can fit in, as well).

New LotFP skills that will be relevant in the Tales are listed below. 

Alchemy (the ability to brew potions)
Automotives (repairing and enhancing cars)
Dancing (choose one)
Mad Science
Musical Instrument (choose one)
Piety (using purity of heart to access Cleric scrolls and rituals)
Witchcraft (use of Magic-User wands, scrolls and rituals)

Members of the LotFP Specialist class can allocate skill points to these skills as normal, if they choose.  Other character types will have access to one or two of these skills on a limited basis, depending on their class.

The inclusion of Alchemy,  Piety, and Witchcraft as skills should tell you that I personally wouldn't include traditional Clerics and Magic-Users in a Tales campaign. That leaves Fighters and Specialists, and versions of the Dwarf and Halfling both re-skinned as human classes.  Maybe one or two other new classes. More about that in a later post.

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