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Crimson Lords: Dark Fantasy RPG Supplement
by Darren P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/07/2014 16:11:43
As usual Simon has created a rules light game that captures the feel of the genre perfectly. Crimson Lords is an excellent supplement to Crimson Blades as it adds a even more life to the world and for the PC's. If you like rules-lite and dark fantasy this may be the game for you. It definitely is mine

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Crimson Lords: Dark Fantasy RPG Supplement
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Crimson Blades: Dark Fantasy RPG
by James J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/27/2014 10:17:40
Crimson Blades does what it does very well. The game mechanics are very good, I enjoy the d6 take on Swords and Wizardry. The power level of the game keys well with mechanics of the game.

Characters are created by old school means of 3d6 each attribute in order. Attributes are each significant to the game but due to the nature of the mechanics modifiers related to mechanics are not overwhelming. Saving throws and major action needing dice rolls are all directly tied to attributes and these are only slightly modified by level as a character grows.

The classes are a familiar mix that fit the presented and implied setting very well. Barbarians don't trump Fighters but are still recognizably Barbarians of gaming and fantasy fiction. The thief is the master burglar of classic FRP but is not alone among rogues in the game as there are also Mountebanks the clever flim-flam con-men who steal with using their wits. Sorcerers are similar to old school magic-users and use the familar pseudo-vancian spell casting system but also make use of summoning to get access to flash-bang magic that is otherwise out of their reach. All the characters are presumably human except for the elder magic-using race the Dendrelyssi that draw most of their power from summoning.

As mentioned above powerful magic in this settign hinges on summoning and sorcerers and dendrelyssi will be able to draw upon a host of elementals, demons, and undead to get the serious work done. The abilites and differences between the various sorts of entities are spelled out and fairly comprehensive but will still need some work from the GM (and players) to flesh out for a campaign (this is a good thing really).

Combat is based on a simple mechanic of one attack roll per HD vs the Ac of a target. HD are scaled down and don't go up as quickly as in other games of this style so the mechanic works well. Characters and monsters tend to have fairly low HP(with a few exceptions) so combats will generally go quickly and can be very deadly. The mechanics make it easy to have fights with one or two PCs against a host of foes as combatants will usually hit unarmored foes.

There's a fair section of NPC foes and monsters in the game properly scaled to the setting and mechanics. Each has Dexterity (as initiative is tied to the dexterity score), armor class, hit dice (I think no monster listed has over 6), saving throws, speicla abilities, and challenge level/exp award listed.

The sample setting is brief and mostly an overview that serves it's purpose as further defining the implied setting without fully chaining the game down to the included setting.

The rules are simple and get the job done without obscuring the flavor and spirit of the setting. Even a first level fighter is going to feel like a mighty slayer of those that stand before him and sorcerers will be aware of their place in the magical world.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Crimson Blades: Dark Fantasy RPG
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Crimson Blades: Dark Fantasy RPG
by sean w. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/07/2014 13:00:33
Crimson Blades succeeds in coupling an elegant system adapted from Woodland Warriors with an evocative setting influenced by Moorcock's Young Kingdoms.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Crimson Blades: Dark Fantasy RPG
by Chris F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/04/2014 21:25:17
Crimson Blades is an interesting modernization of Basic D&D, which drops the d20s for a d6 based resolution mechanic. The smaller die size gives combat a more consistent, less 'swingy' feel, and several other innovations distinguish Crimson Blades from other OSR games. Their interesting take on Elves, which owes a little more to Moorecock than Tolkien, well thought out Fighter and Rogue options make this my favorite retro-clone out there.

I also have to commend Beyond Belief Games on making good use of stock art and public domain artwork- they're taking advantage of Sine Nomine's generosity in putting much of their in-game art into the public domain. The designers made some smart choices- though a relatively small company, they were able to put out a great looking, well illustrated game with a minimal art investment. Good for them.

CHRIS

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Book of Classes for Tombs & Terrors
by Dennis Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/08/2014 02:49:11
In general Tombs and Terrors is an entertaining take on the idea of Dungeons and Dragons. It's a kind of 3.5v lite, with some old school flavor. It's incomplete and will require a lot of work from the Gamemaster to make a rich and satisfying game environment, but there's enough here to get you started and beginners can plunge into the action without having to learn great big volumes of rules.

In the main game we see characters rated according to six basic attributes (the ''Classics": Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma). What is interesting is there are six basic character classes that each makes one of these attributes it's Prime Requisite (Strength for Fighters, Intelligence for Wizards, etc.)

With the add-on Book of Classes what we see is eight new classes, some of which are balanced and well thought out approaches to multiclassing. For instance a Spellsword is a kind of Fighter-Magic User; light armor, lotsa weapons, and some spells. Similarly you have classes like the Knave, which is a Thief-Magic User, and the Lorewarden, who's a combination Cleric-Magic User. Again, these multiclasses are balanced and well designed. In addition there are a few new specialty classes such as the Witch/Warlock, a powerful new spell caster; the Marksman, a specialist in ranged weapons; and the Gallowglass, a sort of elite mercenary bodyguard.

On the whole, Tombs and Terrors, although more of a framework than a highly detailed modern RPG, is a good choice from among the many alternative games vying for your attention. If you're already familiar with old time D&D it's no problem to simply add the monsters and magic items from the old game. They'll fit right in. The Book of Classes for Tombs and Terrors adds welcome new flavor to the mix with many new character options. And the whole thing is free, so download them and see what I mean.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Classes for Tombs & Terrors
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Triumphant! Super Heroic Role Playing Game
by Zachary H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/03/2013 16:36:42
It seems to me as though a lot of superhero RPG games have jumped into the market in the last few years. It makes sense, of course; we’re living in an age where big-budget superhero films are prevalent and more and more heroes are jumping from comics to the silver screen. It seems as if for every new blockbuster superhero movie, there’s a new supers game on the market. It’s a crowded RPG genre right now, and it’s tough to sometimes discern which supers RPG is right for a particular Game Master or group.

Today’s review is of the TRIUMPHANT! Super Heroic Roleplaying Game (yes, that’s the full title), the most recent title by Simon Washbourne at Beyond Belief Games. Washbourne and BBG are perhaps best known for their excellent Barbarians of Lemuria, although as a fair warning, I will say that game differs mechanically from Triumphant!. This is the 129-page pdf version, purchased through RPGNow. As mentioned above, Triumphant! is facing some serious competition from other supers games, so let’s see how it would measure up.

Triumphant! begins with the usual introduction, with Washbourne taking time to explain a bit about the overarching supers RPG genre, as well as define key terms to be used through the text. He also mentions the game is designed to be “light and heroic”, so there’s not a lot of built-in, Iron Age angst here (although I suppose there’s no reason it couldn’t be introduced, it isn’t a focus of the game).

The next chapter entails character creation, and begins by listing two dozen archetypes, ideas for characters that might be stuck on what type of superhero to play. These range from “Acrobat” to “Mentalist” to “Teleporter”, and are merely suggestions—not a mechanical template by any means.

The first table we come to deals with power level of the campaign, which will govern how many and which type of dice each player will receive. You’re going to start with more dice to allocate if you’re playing at the “Stellar Defender” level versus “Street Vigilantes” or “Local Heroes”. This is our first indication that the product uses a sort of step-die mechanic in play, and dice allocation for creating characters. Characters with a discrepancy in power level are balanced by the number of “Triumph Dice” they receive (more on those shortly).

Once you have your concept and power level sorted out, you allocate dice to your Conditions. Conditions are comprised of your Ego, Health and Reflexes. For each dice assigned, the level goes up one. So if the default of my Ego is a D4, and I assign a dice to it, it bumps to a d6. Depending on the level of your game, you might see anything from a D4 in a Condition or Skill (regular human) to 2D10 (Cosmic-level, noted in game as DD10).

Conditions are important because they are passively used as different damage tracks of a sort, as well as to resist certain types of attacks. So my Ego might be used to resist interrogation or mental attacks, my Health can be used to as a measure of resisting or taking physical harm, energy attacks, and the like, and Reflexes can measure how quickly I can get out of the way of something.

Skills are assigned in much the same way as conditions. You allocate your dice to the desired skill. There are 21 general skills, which cover the usual areas—from Perception to Animal Handling to Occultism to Socializing.

Skills bought at a higher level will have a specialty. If a skill has a die level than D6, then you’ll be choosing a specialty. For example, I take Survival at D8. My Survival skill would rate D6, but I’d be able to take a skill like Trapping at a D8. Each additional dice level would allow me to increase the number of specializations I have for my character.

For Powers, the dice type is equal to the dice type allocated; no counting steps. So if I put a D8 in Fast Healing, it’s going to be D8 on my sheet. You can bump up your dice if you give it a Limitation, such as tying a Mind Blast power to an amulet the character has to wear. That could raise it from a D6 to a D8, for example. A power Enhancement can provide a boon such as armor penetration, but correspondingly drops the dice level in return.

The game lists over 60 powers, and everything essential seems to be covered. Due to the nature of the mechanics, it would be extremely easy to add more powers as desired. The Powers section of the book is truly excellent about providing possible limitations or enhancements, and it feels like you could make plenty of characters very easily that didn’t feel the same or just slightly varied.

The slight difference in how Condition/Skills and Powers are allocated was momentarily confusing, but once I had made a few characters, I was generating characters in minutes.

When you’re done, you can add Benefits to your character to give them an edge, or perhaps just another sort of hook. Benefits can range from an animal companion to having a helpful companion or a totally awesome hideout (there’s an awesome section in here about building one that I absolutely loved). Of course, there are also Drawbacks, and you have to pick one for each Benefit taken. Drawbacks can be a nasty arch-nemesis, a terrible secret, or even old age.

Once the character is fleshed out, we get to Task Resolution and Combat. I really liked this section. For task resolution, you’re going to roll the relevant Skill or Power to see if you tie or exceed the Target Number for a success. What’s interesting is that if you’re using a Power, your Target Number will only be half compared to someone using a Skill. So a world-class gymnast using the Athletics skill might need to roll a 4 to complete a certain task, whereas the guy using his Super Agility power only needs to roll half the for a success. A character with top skills can make up for a lot, but superpowers are still, well, super.

Essentially, combat flows by matching a Power vs. another Power or Skill, with the differential going to damage. Stick with me, because this is actually very quick and clever in play.

The characters roll their Priority Die for initiative (the dice type is higher, based on your classification of hero. So Superman is likely to go ahead of the Mystery Men). The attacker then declares the Power or Skill they are using to attack, and the targeted defender responds with a Power or Skill they are using to try to stop the attack.

An attacker only attacks once per round, but a character can defend each round with as many ways as they have of defending. So if my Super Fast Guy is targeting by four different guys in a round, I could use my Super Speed to try to counter one attack, Super Agility for another, Precognition for a third, and my plain Athletics skill for the last. Part of the fun seems to be in figuring out just how you’re defending the attack.

If the defender rolls higher on his roll than the attacker, then the attack is blunted. If the attacker rolls higher, then the difference between the attacker and defender’s result is noted, and applied (by Defender’s choice, assuming they have a good explanation—the book otherwise provides guidelines) to Ego, Health, and Reflexes. It's important to note skills-based and normal weapon attacks do half-damage compared to Powers-based attacks--in keeping with the earlier notes on task resolution.

Combat Example: Super Speedy Guy uses his Super Speed (D8) to create a tornado around Doctor Cretin. Dr. Cretin attempts to stop the attack with his Pyrokinesis, creating a flame wall around him. Super Speedy Guy rolls a 6, whereas Dr. Cretin only rolls a 4. 6-4=2, which means Dr. Cretin takes 2 steps of damage. That speedy tornado cuts through and blasts him solidly. Dr. Cretin's player decides the damage comes off of his Health, dropping it from a D8 to a mere D4.

If a Condition drops below a D4, it goes to a D3, which indicates an extremely weakened level. If a condition drops to zero, any additional damage is carried over to one of the other conditions and the character is out of the fight for the rest of the scene. If all three conditions drop to zero, the character is out of commission, and probably in really bad place.

There are rules for combo attacks (teamwork), taking an aggressive stance, delaying—all the little tactics that can make combat really come to life. All of is easily understandable, and shouldn’t require any additional work on the part of the group.

Remember at the start of this interview, when I mentioned disparate power levels could be smoothed out a bit by Triumph Dice? Well, that’s also covered in this section. Triumph dice allow for the some special effects to “level the playing field”, so to speak. These effects can be to instantly take out a group of mooks, temporarily add an enhancement or drop a limitation from a power, re-roll, or max out a single roll. (The text in this section confusingly says all players get five triumph dice, but this appears to be a typo—generally, lower-powered characters get more Triumph Dice as compensation). It’s probably not enough to make your iteration of a low-powered Crimson Avenger feel adequate next to Superman and Martian Manhunter, but it will help them stay useful and active, which is good—teamwork and allowing disparate power levels to work together should be an aim of any good supers RPG.

Oh, and kudos for including a very in-depth example of combat. New and old players alike should pick this up quite nicely.

After Combat, we come to section for Game Masters. This is often wasted page space in RPGs, but Triumphant! does a nice job of keeping it relevant. I liked the parts about having super teams deal with things like natural disasters, and how to make those in their own right. Really, the entire section on using scenery in fights and on various types of threats is very good. This section also includes some sample baddies, animals, and other threats statted out for your game.

The final section is Sovereign City, which is in some ways the weakest part of the book. I understand why a sample setting is included, but in my experience, most GMs usually work with their own setting or that of a popular comics imprint. There’s nothing wrong with it as a setting, but it probably won’t set the world on fire, either.

Triumphant! also includes an index, which is nice even in a smaller RPG product. Full points there.

In terms of layout, the product is nothing fancy, but is quite serviceable, and shouldn’t cause too much strain or headaches. Art? Well, that’s tricky. There are some really nice pieces in here that were clearly commissioned that work well, but there are also some pieces that appear to be more like stock art. I’m usually not huge on art in RPGs, but for whatever reason, I think it’s important to have a nice bit of inspirational art in supers gaming, to set the tone and give ideas. The art here is sort of a mixed bag—not bad, per se, but not really presenting a unified vision or remaining consistent in quality throughout. That’s not a huge deal for me, though it’s probably worth mentioning.

Pricing is a bit tricky on this product. The pdf is on sale at RPGNow for $10 (EDIT: It now appears to be only $7.50), but the print-on-demand format actually has two offerings: a black-and-white interior version ($22.84), and a full-color version ($41.54). As this is a pdf review, I can’t comment on how the book comes off in print, though I suspect it’s pretty close to the usual lulu print-on-demand offering.

For an overall rating, I’d give this game a very satisfied 7.5/10, and tracking higher. Art aficionados and those who want ornate production values will probably be uninspired, but those who are fine with a serviceable layout and get to the rules will probably come away impressed more often than not. There are a few pesky typos I certainly hope get revised in the near future.

If you’re in the market for a new supers RPG, or still haven’t found one that quite scratches that itch, Triumphant! Super Heroic RPG is well worth checking out in at least pdf form. As to whether someone might enjoy this over ICONS or Mutants and Masterminds, that’s a bit deeper of a question. ICONS is a fine game, though some folks struggle with Aspects and Determination. Triumphant! is no more difficult than ICONS, and might be a bit more straightforward in some ways, especially if you’re looking at playing with your children. It seems as if it will do lower-level supers a bit better than Mutants and Masterminds 3e, and is a bit less “crunchy” in terms of rules. It’s beyond the scope of the review to compare Triumphant! to every supers game on the market, but suffice to say if you’re a fan of dice-allocation character creation, straightforward mechanics, and some rules that manage to deal with most superhero conventions without bloat, Triumphant! Super Heroic RPG will likely be right up your alley.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Triumphant! Super Heroic Role Playing Game
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Barbarians of Lemuria (Legendary Edition)
by Roger L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/30/2013 02:06:49
Jedes Spielsystem muss sich auch daran messen lassen, wie schnell Spieler es auf- und annehmen. Barbarians of Lemuria hatte mir bereits beim ersten Durchlesen gleich imponiert. Die Regeln waren einfach und versprachen viel Spaß. Kurzentschlossen habe ich es am frühen Nachmittag für meine erste Spielrunde am Abend des selben Tages auf den Plan gesetzt. Konnte das gutgehen?

Regeln

Da wir Barbarians of Lemuria (im Weiteren: BoL) noch nicht vorgestellt haben, hier ein kurzer Abriss der Regeln:

Gewürfelt wird mit 2W6 auf die Zielzahl 9. Alle positive Grade (+1 bis +5) eines passenden Attributs, sowie entweder der Grad eines passenden Berufs (occupation) oder einer passenden Kampffähigkeit (combat ability) darf man auf den Wurf addieren. Abzüge gibt es auch – zum Beispiel die Verteidigung (defence) eines Gegners. Zwei Einsen sind der automatische Fehlschlag, zwei Sechsen der automatische Erfolg. Zusatzregeln gibt es für Patzer (calamitous failure) sowie mächtige und legendäre Erfolge (mighty success und legendary success).

[box]Krongar der Barbar versucht eine Wache mit seinem Schwert zu erschlagen. Krongars Spieler würfelt eine 7. Er addiert seine Nahkampffähigkeit (2) und seine Agilität (2) und zieht die Abwehrfähigkeit der Wache (1) ab – sein Ergebnis ist 7 + 2 + 2 – 1 = 10. Er hat getroffen.[/box]

Die Charaktererschaffung ist schnell und unkompliziert: Man darf vier bis fünf Punkte auf vier Eigenschaften (strength, agility, mind, appeal) verteilen. Weitere vier Punkte auf vier (der vielen) Berufe, die den Werdegang der Figur beschreiben: Ob er mal Söldner oder Sklave war, sein Geld als Dieb verdient hat oder als Bettler erflehen musste, usw. Die Berufe gelten als Anhaltspunkt dafür, was der Charakter an Nichtkampffähigkeiten mitbringt. Und vier Punkte kommen auf die vier Kampffertigkeiten (brawl, melee, ranged, defence). Außer bei Berufen ist einmalig -1 als Wert erlaubt (ein Abzug). Der Wert 0 ist generell erlaubt.

Nur bei der Wahl der Herkunft des Charakters dauert es ein bisschen länger. Hier gibt es Tabellen mit Vor- und Nachteilen (boons, flaws). Einen Vorteil gibt es gratis, einen zweiten kann man durch einen Nachteil erkaufen. Hier gibt es viel zu lesen, also dauert es ein bisschen. Die meisten Vor- und Nachteile werden aber durch 3W6 abgebildet – man darf dann entweder die besten zwei oder muss die schlechtesten zwei Ergebnisse behalten.

Trifft jemand im Kampf, so wird der Schaden ausgewürfelt, der Rüstungsschutz aber auch! Eine Armschiene schützt halt nur manchmal, und nicht jeder Stich ist gleich gut gesetzt. So circa 7 bis 14 Lebenspunkte (lifeblood) kann ein unerfahrener Held an Schaden ertragen bevor er ohnmächtig wird. Sinken die Lebenspunkte unter 0, wird es lebensgefährlich.

Jeder Held kriegt 1 bis 6 Heldenpunkte (hero points) pro Abenteuer zur freien Verfügung. Mit diesen können Würfe erneut durchgeführt oder verbessert werden, oder auch mal Schaden abgeschüttelt. Man kann auch langfristig bessere Startwerte gegen weniger Heldenpunkte tauschen.

Auch schnell abgehandelt ist die Magie, die sich in vier generische Schwierigkeitsgrade (cantrip, first, second, third grade) teilt. Über die Mächtigkeit des gewünschten Effekts wird der Grad und somit die Schwierigkeit einer magischen Handlung bestimmt. Die reicht von einer kleinen magischen Kerzenflamme (cantrip) bis zu katastrophalen Verwüstungen (third grade). Wer günstige Umstände für Zauber höherer Grade schafft (ein Opfer, viel Zeit, eine offensichtliche Geste), kann billiger zaubern und spart sich Zauberpunkte (arcane power).

Priester können Segen verteilen und andere verfluchen. Alchemisten können Tränke (potions) brauen oder mächtige Maschinen (devices) basteln. Die Regeln für Alchemie sind etwas aufwändiger und verschlingen vier Seiten.

Die erste Session

Die netto verfügbare Spielzeit waren drei Stunden und außer mir hatte keiner vorher was von BoL gehört. Charaktere hatte ich selbst vorbereitet und das im Buch enthaltene Abenteuer Die Ebenen des Todes (The Plains of Death) vorbereitet. Mir tat es regelrecht leid, dass ich den Spielern den Spaß nahm, die Charaktere selbst zu generieren. Denn die Erschaffung, speziell die Berufswahl, ist ein echtes Highlight von BoL.

Als Handouts gab es die Charakterbögen, eine Karte von Lemuria, einen Ausdruck der Magieregeln für den Magier, sowie die zwei Seiten zum Thema Heldenpunkte für jeden Spieler.

Die Grundmechaniken des Spiels waren anhand der Charakterbögen schnell erklärt. Für vier Spieler gab es zur Auswahl: einen Jäger aus dem Dschungel, einen Barbaren aus der Eiswüste, einen Magier von der Insel Thule, einen Dieb aus Malakut und einen Gladiator aus Oomis. Durch die Berufe konnte ich jedem eine kurze Vita erzählen, die der Spielfigur Farbe gab. Eine schnelle Einführung in die Spielwelt mit Hilfe der ausgedruckten Karte rundete das Ganze ab.

Bereits durch die einleitenden Szenen konnten die Spieler sich mit den Grundlagen der Proben vertraut machen. Die Spielwelt nahm schnell Gestalt an. Mit einem von mir in das Abenteuer eingeflochtenen Kampf mit einem jungen Drakk (Flugsaurier) brachte ich etwas Leben in die Reise über die Ebene. Die Basiswerte der Bestie waren schnell modifiziert und so konnte es losgehen. Die Abwicklung war flott und unproblematisch.

Natürlich vergisst man bei jeder ersten Anwendung eines Regelwerks irgendetwas. Mir geht es jedenfalls so. So auch diesmal – ich vergaß die Angriffswürfe um den Abwehrwert (defence) zu erschweren. Das fiel mir allerdings wenigstens bis zum Ende des Abenteuers auf. Es fiel mir sehr leicht, anzusagen, welche Modifikatoren auf die Würfe anzuwenden waren. Die Tabelle für Proben-Modifikatoren hätte ich trotzdem wohl besser ausgedruckt, weil sie ja auch die Reichweiten für Fernwaffen beinhaltet. Die Spieler waren sehr gut dabei, ihre eigenen Vorteile bei Zauber- und Kampfproben im Hinterkopf zu behalten. Die Spielabwicklung war flüssig.

Besondere Erwähnung verdient das Magiesystem. Durch den Verzicht auf vorgefertigte Sprüche und Kräfte werden die Magiekundigen sehr stark aufgewertet. Der Fokus geht wieder hin zu der Intention des Spielers und weg vom Wälzen von Zauberlisten und Ähnlichem. Die Liste möglicher Spruchkomponenten (casting requirements) ermöglicht es, spontan jedem Zauber Leben einzuhauchen.

[box]Der Magier entschied, selbst einen großen Drakk zu beschwören, um ihn gegen einen Stamm Blauer Nomaden einzusetzen. Den Schwierigkeitsgrad befand ich als dem zweiten Spruchkreis (second magnitude) angemessen. Als Spruchkomponenten legte er die Seltene Zutat (rare ingredient, vom bereits erlegten Drakk), das Rituelle Opfer (ritual sacrifice, durch den Jäger der Gruppe bei einem schnellen Jagdausflug gefangen) und die Passende Mondphase (lunar, durch einen Heldenpunkt als Fakt im Spiel etabliert) fest. Basiskosten für Sprüche des zweiten Grades sind 10 Punkte Arcane Power. Eine Spruchkomponente ist Minimalvorraussetzung, jede weitere senkt die Kosten um 1. Er bezahlte letztendlich 8 seiner 15 Zauberpunkte und würfelte eine erschwerte Zauberprobe (hard, Erschwernis von -2).[/box]

Die Anwendung von Magie kann eine kurze Verhandlung über die Details mit dem Spieler erfordern. Kreativität wird hier klar belohnt. Keiner muss mühsam existierende Zauber hin- und hermodifizieren, bis sich der gewünschte Effekt mit den Regeln abbilden lässt. Das fand ich einfach nur clever und stimmig!

Die im Basisbuch skizzierten Abenteuer sind etwas kurz geraten und müssen vom Spielleiter noch ausgearbeitet werden – wie auch bei mir durch den Drakk-Angriff. Für drei Stunden inklusive kleiner Regelkunde war das Material allerdings hinreichend. Es sind nur drei Abenteuervorschläge enthalten (die anderen: The Gladiator und The Island of Doom). Weitere lassen sich in den beiden bereits erschienenen Magazinausgaben der Dicey Tales (Klick, Klick) finden.

Auch nur unvollständige Inspiration kann die enthaltene Aufstellung der Monster sein. Hier gibt es von vielem etwas, aber keine Variationen des gleichen Themas (zum Beispiel verschiedenartige Flugsaurier). Es ist jedoch nicht schwer, eine Kreatur selbst zu erstellen. Hierzu gibt es auch ein paar Tipps. Die Bestiarien anderer Systeme sind da sicherlich nützlich als Inspiration. Man sollte die vorhandenen Monstren kennen, wenn man etwas schnell aus dem Ärmel zaubern will. Einen Eventgenerator gibt es jedenfalls nicht.

Während des Spiels fiel mir unangenehm auf, dass die Bookmarks des PDFs nicht auf meinem Tablet funktionierten. Auf dem PC hingegen arbeiteten sie einwandfrei. Zwar hat BoL nur 110 Seiten, aber das Gesuche nervte schon.

Die zweite Session

Diese Runde hatte ich spontan im Verein angeboten. Basis war das Abenteuer Ghosts in the Moon-Tower aus Dicey Tales #2 (Klick). Ich hatte fünf Charaktere vorbereitet, sechs Leute nahmen teil. Zwei Leute beschlossen spontan, Barbarenzwillinge zu spielen, und schon waren Maru und Mura mit identischen Werten geboren.

Im Vergleich zum Abenteuer aus dem Basisbuch selbst bot Ghosts mehr an Ausarbeitung, blieb aber auch eine Skizze. Man merkte aber bald, dass was mit den Anreizen im Abenteuer nicht stimmt. Ein mysteriöser Torbogen alleine reichte als Motivation nicht, stattdessen erging sich die Gruppe in allerlei barbarischen Mätzchen. Den Erwartungen des Abenteuerautors schlossen sich die Spieler jedenfalls während der gesamten Handlung nicht an, und ich musste sehr viel improvisieren. Aufgrund der Rumeierei der Protagonisten zog es sich dann auch auf über vier Stunden hin.

[box]"Du bist ein Jäger mit Spezialisierung Gebirge." - "Also ein Gebirgsjäger." - "Ähm, ja." - "Gut, dann will ich eine Lederhose." - "Das sind hier nicht die Bavarians of Lemuria!"[/box]

Eine Erwähnung verdient die Rolle des Pöbels (rabble) in diesem Abenteuer. Rabble sind NSCs, die mit nur sehr wenigen Lebenspunkten aufwarten können – für gewöhnlich Wachen, Stammesmitglieder und andere anonyme Kandidaten für den Fleischwolf. Würfelt der Spieler mehr Schaden, als eine solche Kreatur aushält, verteilt er sich auf die nächste, usw. Erzielt oder erkauft sich der Spieler einen mächtigen Erfolg, dann hauchen gleich so viele dieser Spielzeitfüller ihr Leben aus, wie Schadenspunkte erwürfelt wurden.

Zwar kann Pöbel durchaus lästig fallen, zumal sie normalen Schaden verursachen. Da sie aber schwache Trefferwahrscheinlichkeiten aufweisen und oft spät in der Initiativereihenfolge auftauchen, waren bereits zwanzig von ihnen tot, bevor die Spieler mit der ersten Runde durch waren. Und ich war froh, dass ich nicht zwanzig Attacken hatte auswürfeln müssen.

Besonders bei dieser zweiten Session war das abschließende gemeinsame Weben von epischen Sagen ein Highlight. Die Spieler überboten sich dabei mit dem Protzen über ihre Taten. In BoL wird nämlich die Anzahl der zu vergebenen Abenteuerpunkte an die Güte der Erzählung am Schluss gebunden. Das benachteiligt weniger wortgewaltige Spieler etwas, ist aber ein Heidenspaß!

Fazit

BoL hat einfach Spaß gemacht. Das Leiten war einfach und recht flüssig. Beide Session waren ja kurzfristig anberaumt und vorbereitet worden. Ich hatte es vor der ersten Session noch nie gespielt. Positives Feedback kam auch gleich von den Spielern. Das Setting selbst würde sicherlich einiges hergeben, auch für eine Kampagne.

Das Spiel selbst kann man mit mehr oder weniger ernst angehen. Von etwas Auflockerung bis zum völligen Klamauk war bei uns jedenfalls alles drin. Während die erste Gruppe das Thema Swords & Sorcery durchaus ernstnahm, war mir die zweite Gruppe beinahe zu barbarisch. Mit BoL lässt sich jedenfalls Conan genauso nachspielen wie Erik der Wikinger. Und wem das noch nicht reicht, für den gibt es Pulp (Klick), Postapokalypse (Klick), Mantel und Degen (Klick) und reine Action im Stile der 70er und 80er (Klick). Ein Westernsetting nach den Pulpregeln ist wohl auch in Vorbereitung.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Barbarians of Lemuria (Legendary Edition)
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Barbarians of Lemuria (Legendary Edition)
by adam p. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/27/2013 10:20:09
The older I get the less interested I am in referencing tables/charts/what-have-you in my gaming experience. I have been a fan of the swords and sorcery genre since I was ten. This game really suits what I want from the genre. Fast and uncomplicated play is a necessity in the storytelling department and BoL offers that. If you are looking for a deep in-depth combat system then you will probably be disappointed. If you are looking for an endless talent table to perfect your dual weapon fighter, you will be disappointed. If you want a game that is fun and feels accurate to its source material you will enjoy this.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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SUPERS! Comic Book Role Playing Game
by Andrew W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/14/2013 12:55:20
This is my absolute favorite superhero rpg. Let me clarify my typical situation, so that hopefully you can see if this game is right for you:

-I am most often the GM, seldom if ever a player
-I often run games for groups of minimum four players, upwards of eight players
-I can handle mechanical complexity but due to group size I prefer ease of use and systems that encourage speed of resolution to allow time for description

I have run most of the big contenders out there, and this is by far my favorite. It can handle large combats, small skirmishes, environmental hazards, daring rescues, and anything in between. Powers are very open and free form, while providing just enough guidance to make sure the game stays on track.

As my group's GM this is the only superhero rpg I can see myself running session after session. It just works and is a blast with no headaches. I still buy other superhero games for cool art, inspiration, gm tools, and so on, but this is my absolute favorite superhero game.

Don't just buy this and let it sit on your hard drive - play the game! It deserves to hit the table, and I don't think you'll regret it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SUPERS! Comic Book Role Playing Game
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Go Fer Yer Gun!
by Tom K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/03/2013 11:32:18
A very, very great game!

The Wild West! One of the greatest, ‘though oft’ overlooked, rpg settings, or setting for any type of fiction.

Very playable system all around. The 11 character classes are very well thought out – just enough detail, not too much. Very accessible. Flexible enough to admit house-ruling if you want.

Rustle yerself up a copy, saddle up some players and hit the dusty trail! Highly recommended.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Go Fer Yer Gun!
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Barbarians of Lemuria (Legendary Edition)
by Cornelius H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/28/2013 09:51:44
Awesome engine for any kind of heroic game, easily adaptable yet solid as written. Perfect for those nights when you just want to tell a tall tale without bogging down in rules. Setting is OK, though a bit superficial.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Barbarians of Lemuria (Legendary Edition)
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Book of Classes for Tombs & Terrors
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/26/2013 09:01:22
The PDF is 43 pages, 27 of which are the rules/data.
It's free!

The information contained within the pages does offer some interesting classes for the Tombs & Terrors RPG.
The artwork I recognise from the Warrior, Rogue & Mage RPG by Michael Wolf (Stargazer Games), which I found quite enjoyable.

I'm sure some players could fit the classes contained within this PDF into any OSR/D20 RPG.

Definitely worth a look, since it's free.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Classes for Tombs & Terrors
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Tombs & Terrors Fantasy Role Playing
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/26/2013 08:48:44
For £0.66p, it's not bad.

Deja vu as I read the PDF.
Another OSR/D20 rulebook.
I have the original D&D red books, plus the blue and black.
I've downloaded Labyrinth Lord, which is quite good (and free - no art version)).
I've also downloaded the Basic Fantasy D20 at basicfantasy.org, which isn't too bad (free also).
Also Swords & Wizardry; the list goes on.

There seems to be SO many variations of these OSR/D20 rules, it's almost dizzying.

And yep, it includes a character sheet (which any RPG should) and a scenario/adventure (good).
It includes a new class: Troubadour.
There's also a separate supplement - book of classes (which I'll review later).

For $1/£0.66P, it's ok.
Worth a look.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Tombs & Terrors Fantasy Role Playing
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Barbarians of Lemuria (Legendary Edition)
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/28/2013 22:03:44
I had the chance to pick up Barbarians of Lemuria: Legendary Edition recently and I have to admit I was quite pleased. The game was not at all what I expected it to be. Well...the setting and the tone was, the mechanics were not. This is the best combination really.

Ok, so tone. Barbarians of Lemuria is what I expected in that it is a fantasy game of mighty barbarians, evil warlocks, sly thieves and semi-naked women. Very much the stereotype of the Pulp Age of fantasy I expected it to be. Except it plays it with an honesty and earnestness that I really want to play a big, dumb barbarian with might thews and a giant axe.

The game is full of sorts of great background that I could adapt it to any old-school fantasy game with no issues and run with it. I mean honestly look at the cover. Barbarian standing in a pit surrounded by vaguely eldritch horrors as a tribal shaman gorilla prepares to sacrifice a slave girl. If you think the next scene is the girl's spilled blood and horrors unleashed over the land, then go play a horror game. If you think the next scene is that sword cleaving through the bodies of the horrors and the barbarian killing the shaman and saving the girl. Then this is the game you want.

The system I have to admit took me aback, in a good way.
I was expecting another OGL-based or D&D-clone, but instead we get a very nice, very simple system. Character creation is all point-buy, and not dozens of points, but 4. The real joy here is being able to create a character is minutes and get going.

The underlying mechanic is a simple 2d6+mods vs target number of 9. This makes it very, very similar to Unisystem and also to Spellcraft & Swordplay. I suppose that if you wanted a more flat game then you could use a d12. But d6s are great and they give us boons and flaws. Boons and Flaws are a neat mechanic. In either case you roll 3d6 instead of 2d6. If you have a boon, drop the lowest d6. If you have a flaw, drop the highest. Each character gets a boon or two boons and a flaw.

There is plenty for everyone to do in combat since fighting style can vary. I like that the emphasis here is that everyone has a chance to be the hero. Sure you might be a lowly thief or slave, but you still have something to contribute.

The careers are nice touch and helps give your character some background on what they were or did, or what they can do now. Frankly I enjoy how it is all put together.

The art is good, not up to the level one expects from say Pathfinder, but perfect for the tone and the feel of this game. And I liked it, so that is great for me.

The magic system is very open and reminds me a lot of magic from the time period. These are sorcerers that gained their power through evil pacts or forbidden knowledge. There are no Hogwarts grads here.

It really is a lot of fun and the rules-lightness of it is a huge benefit.
Even if I didn't like the rules I could use this for my own fantasy games since the background information is so great.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Barbarians of Lemuria (Legendary Edition)
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SUPERS! Comic Book Role Playing Game
by Andrew C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/13/2012 00:41:57
So tonight the Protectors of New York (PONY) campaign tried a different system than the clunky homebrew I was using, called Supers! by Beyond Belief Games.

You may know them as the makers of Barbarians of Lemuria. The owner/writer of BBG is Simon Washbourne and let me tell you he has made one hell of a little super hero game here!

Caveat number one, if you like crunch of say Mutants & Masterminds, or even BASH levels, this game will not be for you. If you love a more creative and narrative game, tied around a solid core mechanic and room to house rule, well then I urge you to check this game out.

I won't go into a long description of how the game works, or review the rules, I will instead simply say it has no statistics in the traditional sense, uses pools of d6s and makes for a very enjoyable and fast paced evening of superheroic gaming.

I ran a session tonight with 6 players and 2 allied NPCs squaring off against 8 villain NPCs and it went smoothly, fast and furious with plenty of awesome fun and excitement! I couldn't have asked for a more enjoyable time to say the least.

Did I house rule it? Natch'... but that's just how I roll in any game. I cannot think of a single game I have run over the decades that didn't have at least one house rule in it.

So pick up this fantastically fun game, you will not be disappointed!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SUPERS! Comic Book Role Playing Game
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