Tag Archives: Labyrinth Lord

Training and Improving Secondary Skills in Labyrinth Lord

Here is the previous post on Crafting and Secondary Skills is here.

Training Basics

To learn a skill, one needs to train in it. The training to achieve each Rank is expected to be extremely intensive and involved. The length required to earn a Rank in a skill is broken into Sessions.

Sessions in Novice and Proficient are 1 week long. Sessions in Expert and Master are 4 weeks long.

At the end of a particular Session of training, a percentile roll is made based on the Spell Learning Probability Table (now Skill Learning Probability) to see if the information is retained correctly. Learning a new skill is always based on Intelligence for that reason. Each Skill has a Major Stat and a Minor Stat, such as a WIS and DEX. Depending on the the score the character has in his Minor Stat, he may get a bonus to the Skill Learning check. A 15-16 gain +5%, 17 gain +10%, 18 gain +15%. The maximum probability is 99%. See the table below.

Failing a Skill Learning check at any Rank requires that another week of training be performed. This extra week occurs directly afterwards and requires no Skill Learning check as one hopefully learned their lesson the second time around. It’s up the DM to decide if the trainer wishes to charge the student for another week of training, but it wouldn’t be out of the question. During this week or to advance to the next Rank, a student might be required to successfully construct something or perform a difficult task (that is, it requires a Skill Check). If it isn’t completed, it must be attempted again until it is, though the trainer may decide to forgo his fee in the meantime.

A character may elect to stop training and create an item or perform a task relevant to the skill he’s learning. It must be something that requires a Skill Check. Successful or not, double the time spent counts towards his training, up to 3/4 the training time required.

One can stop training and restart it later, but, as a general guideline, a Rank should be learned within a year of when it was last stopped. A Session of training should be completed without interruption, but exceptions can be made of a few days.

Finding a Trainer

Finding a trainer may be as easy or as difficult as the DM decides. Finding someone willing to teach the lower Ranks of just about anything is possible even in a small town. However, if your characters wants to know how to train Dragons, forge an adamantium sword, make a Staff of Wizardy, or learn Celestial, they may have to find someone.

Making Charisma checks would be helpful here to find an initial Trainer or to find rumors of a one in the field the character wants to specialize in. It would also not be unreasonable for a lower Ranking Trainer to know who or where to find the next Trainer.

The cost for training is calculated per week and is negotiable. Generally, there is an initial expense for starting equipment, which is variable. At each Rank, the cost of equipment doubles from the previous Rank’s. At Rank 1, training should cost 1d10x10gp per session. This cost is re-rolled at the next Rank, but will generally quadruple.

A character can learn a number of skills based on the Maximum Spells per Level table. Players start with two of these slot filled: their starting skill or profession and the Language skill. Note that learning additional languages doesn’t take up more slots.

To summarize:

  • Training a skill is broken down into training Sessions of either a week or four weeks.
  • Training with an instructor requires payment: once per Session and the one-time cost per Rank of equipment, if any.
  • At the end of a Session with an instructor, make a % roll using the table below. If it fails, it takes a bit of extra time to learn.
  • A character may also train themselves by building something or performing an action that requires him to make a Skill Check using the skill he’s training in.
  • Such independent training counts for x2 the time (or a minimum of 1 week) and can be used to bypass 3/4 of the formal training. Advancement occurs even if the Skill Check fails.

The table below is split into two sections. On the left are the values related to a character’s Intelligence score and their Minor Stat score. On the right are the cost, time requires, and the bonus that each Rank provides to Skill Checks.

(aside: I admit that my html is not the greatest, so if it’s really difficult to read, I’ll find a way to change it.)

INT score Skill Learning Probability Minor Stat Bonus (Learning) Minor Stat Bonus (Checks) Max # of Skills Rank level Cost / session + equipment Time Required (# of Sessions) Rank Bonus
3 20% 0 0 3 1 1d10 x 10gp + equipment 4 weeks (4) +0
4-5 30% 0 0 4 2 1d10 x 40gp + equipment x2 16 weeks (16) +1
6-7 35% 0 0 5 3 1d10 x 160gp + equipment x4 36 weeks (9) +2
8-9 40% 0 0 6 4 1d10 x 360gp + equipment x8 64 weeks (16) +3
10-12 50% 0 0 7 5? 1d10 x 1440gp + equipment x16 256 weeks (64) +3 (+4)
13-14 70% 0 +1 9
15-16 75% +5% +1 11
17 85% +10% +1 Unlimited
18 90% +15% +2 Unlimited

Next week, I’ll cover the Language Skill and several other skills. After that, I’ll include three Skills per week.

Chitinous Beasts

Creatures of the Chitinous Lair

I’m sure I don’t need to expand on the inspiration for the creatures found in the Chitinous Lair, but Alien / Aliens is one of my favorite movies and H.R. Giger is one of my favorite painters because of those movies.

A typical Hive has 3d8 members, not including the Queen. Half of those are Drones and the others are Warrior. They are usually encountered in groups of 1d6+1, but they’ll attack en mass if the Queen is threatened.

The Hive is always a twisting maze of tunnels, some going up or down mid-passage. These passages are often no wider than 10′, but sometimes less than 5′ wide. Often, this is due to the Chitinous Beast’s habit of covering the walls in a semi-transparent goop that is quite sticky, but hardens into a resin. They often use it to trap victims for consumption later, so the wall are often disgusting with rotten bodies. The rot from their victims and the insulation provided by the resin on the walls also tends to make the hives quite warm and humid, not to mention filthy.

While they don’t set traps, the network of tunnels allows ambushes, though they may not do so if the encounter lacks a Queen to direct them. Secret tunnels or walls can also be found behind a deceptively solid sheet of resin.

A Hive has a Treasure Hoard of XIX and individual encounters have a Treasure Hoard of VI. The treasure is usually found on the entombed bodies in the walls.

Chitinous Drone

Neutral, 60′ Move and Climb, HD 4, AC 6, claw / claw /bite, 1d3 / 1d3 / 1d6, F4, Morale 9, xp 300

The skeletal-looking creature is about the size of a dog with a black and brown mottled shell. It lets out a high-pitched screech before it springs with tremendous speed.

Drones will always travel on all fours and rely on surprise and hit-and-run tactics to ambush foes.

Blindsight: It can perceive any creatures within 50′, even in total darkness or invisible creatures. It cannot be blinded. It cannot be Surprised from closer than 50′. This ability relies equally on sound and vibration; if deafened, it has a 50% chance to miss.

Wall-climber: It can transition from the floor to the wall or ceiling seamlessly and if it can reach they target, it can also attack. It can also move through barriers or obstacles created by itself and other Chitinous Warriors as if they weren’t there. It doesn’t take falling damage from a fall of less than 40′.

Dark Chitin: In part due to the Wall-climbing ability, its dark exoskeleton and utterly silent movement means that it Surprises its target on a 1-4 on a d6.

Caustic Blood: Though not quite as acidic as a Warrior’s blood, it still reacts badly to air. Anytime a Drone is injured, anyone within 5′ must Save vs Poison or be partially blinded by the irritating fumes the reaction gives off. -2 to hit for 1 Turn.

Chitinous Warrior

With a predatory hiss, a human-sized creature with a skeletal black body leaps from the wall in a flurry of glinting claws and teeth. You only have a moment as it races closer, but the beast has no visible eyes, is impossibly thin, and has strange tubes on its back, shoulders and head.

The Warrior can walk on all fours or on two legs. Travelling on the ground, they’ll move with their bodies low to the ground and claws outstretched so they can quickly leap forward.

Neutral, 50′ Move and Climb, HD 6, AC 3, claw / claw / bite, 1d4 / 1d4 /1d6, F6, Morale 10, xp 2000

It also has Blindsight, Wall-Climber, and Dark Chitin.

Head Bite: If both of its claws hit its target, it may grab the target and do one of the following: deal bite damage and Stun the target for 1d4 rounds (if the target has no helmet, he must Save vs Death or take triple damage) or grapple the target, remove any headgear in its way, and perform a head-bite on the next round unless the target escapes. It can move 30′ per round while carrying someone, but cannot Wall-climb. A Chitinous Warrior has a STR of 18 for grapple purposes.

Acidic Blood: It uses a concentrated acid for blood. If damaged by a melee non-magical weapon, the weapon must Save vs Death or be destroyed. Magical weapons get a bonus to the roll of twice their bonus. For a non-magical weapon, even if it succeeds, it will only last a further 2d4 rounds before becoming useless.

Also, if a Chitinous Warrior dies, anyone who was engaged in melee with it (not merely adjacent) must Save vs Death or take 1d4 acid damage per round. One’s shield or armor may sacrificed instead and will be destroyed in 1d4 rounds if the Save is failed.

Weaknesses: It is afraid of fire and nothing else.

Tactics: They’ll try to attack in equal or greater numbers than the party’s. In a large room, they will Wall-climb to surround the party, try to grab those without headgear first, and carry to a dark corner to Head Bite them to death. In a narrow corridor, they’ll try to attack from both sides and carry off those on either end and attacking from the ceiling if there’s room.

If presented with fire or a flaming weapon, they’ll try to go around it, but they won’t go over or it or attack someone with a flaming sword directly.

Chitinous Queen

The huge ogre-sized creature stands up from its place in front of the egg sac behind it and gives a baleful hiss to warn you away. It has a massive crown of black shell atop its head and a razor-sharp tail that flails in agitation. Drool flows freely from its jaw of dagger-sized teeth.

Neutral, 30′ Move, HD 10, AC 3, claw / claw / bite or bite / tail, 1d8 / 1d8 / 1d10 or 1d10 / special, F10, Morale 11, xp 6500

It also has Blindsight, Head Bite, and Acidic Blood. Note that it may still attack with its tail or bite while grappling a creature. It is also a Large creature.

Charge: If it can move in a 60′ line towards the target, it charges by leveling its large, bony crest at the target. If it connects, it deals 1d10x2 damage.

Resilient Exoskeleton: Its chitinous shell is thick and can withstand a lot of punishment, though it slows the Queen down (figured into her stats). It gains +2 to all Saves.

Tail strike: It swipes its long tail out with deadly accuracy, followed quickly by a deadly bite with dagger-like teeth. If the tail attack connects the victim is knocked to the ground,

Hive Queen: Since the Queen is the most important creature in the Chitinous Lair, if the Queen is threatened, any remaining Chitinous Warriors will attack furiously and relentlessly. Chitinous Warriors gain +1 to hit and damage, +5 temporary hp that disappear if the Queen is no longer threatened, and they will not flee for any reason.

Weaknesses: It is relatively intelligent and will do whatever it takes to protect its eggs, though it will betray them at the first opportunity. It cannot communicate.

Crafting and Secondary Skills in Labyrinth Lord

The Advanced Edition Companion to Labyrinth Lord comes with a short table of Secondary Skills that players can either roll randomly for or choose for their character. Some seem more useful as flavor, but some could have some practical use for an Adventurer. However, the DM is left to their own devices to determine when and if these secondary skills are useful during the PC’s careers. The system I’ve implemented into my game allows player to make use of the more useful of these skills to create items and make a bit of money on the side.

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