Category Archives: NPCs

BotA, Etc. – Gladiators of Zhaartahl IV

Wherein your humble scribe presents a couple of characters and a terrible beast in Barbarians of the Aftermath/Barbarians of Lemuria/Etc. format. Because he wanted to, that’s why.

The Shade Ale was flowing freely in the gladiator’s quarters. The men drank toasts and oaths and dirty jokes, all in honor of the undefeated duo from the west.

“If we defeat the Lord Mayor’s prized Boorm Cat, we will be made free men!” Adran bellowed, laughing as the cobalt blue fluid sloshed over the rim of his mug. The others roared and pounded their tables in boisterous excitement. All except the small pale man at the giant’s side.

“If we slay the Lord Mayor’s prized Boorm Cat,” the little man whispered, “he’ll have us killed immediately. He thinks of that damned thing as his own flesh and blood.”

“Come now, Hanlan,” Adran answered quietly. “Did not the arena master himself tell us this welcome news?”

“He lied, Adran. I could read his… face,” the wiry Baltierran’s voice trailed off, well aware that other ears were likely to overhear their conversation. “We can’t fight tomorrow. We have to escape. Tonight.”

“Flee? From the greatest challenge a man could hope to face? Where else are we to fight a Boorm Cat? There are no more in the wilds. The damnable Vanth have seen to that.”

“That may be true. But it also may not. The Vanth aren’t generally known for their truthfulness. And wouldn’t it be better to live long enough to find out?”

“I suppose. I suppose,” responded the Kortman. “So what is the escape plan this time?”

“Just follow my lead, Adran. Unlike last time…”

In the far distance the bells of the grand clock tower tolled nine times, indicating that the city’s gates were closing. And signaling the time for the lights to be extinguished in the gladiators’ quarters. The Lord Mayor was especially insistent that the people’s entertainers be well rested before their turns in the arena.

Adran / Lifeblood 15 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 3 Agility 2 Mind 0 Appeal -1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 1 Melee 2 Ranged 0 Defense 1
Careers: Gladiator 2 Barbarian 1 Thief 1 Miner 0
Boons: Determined, Steely Gaze, Hard-To-Kill
Flaws: Savage, Honorable
Languages: Kortmanish
Equipment: Sword (d6+2), Very Light Armor (d3-1), Shield (1)

Hanlan / Lifeblood 10 / Hero Points 5 /
Attributes: Strength 0 Agility 1 Mind 2 Appeal 1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 1 Ranged 1 Defense 2
Careers: Thief 2 Scholar 1 Psychic 1 Gladiator 0
Boons: Carouser, Man About Town, Natural Thief
Flaws: Compulsive Gambler, Unlucky
Languages: Baltierreien, Kortmanish, Thoog, Vanth
Equipment: Sword (d6), PsiDagger (d3), Very Light Armor (d3-1)

Boorm Cat / Lifeblood 30
Attributes: Strength 3 Agility 2 Mind 1
Combat Abilities: Defense 3 Protection d6
Attack with bite +5; 2d6 damage
Attack with 2 claws +3 per attack; d6+3 damage each
Attack with all 3 attacks at +1 each

Once the dominant predator of Zhaartahl IV, Boorm Cats have been hunted to near extinction by the alien PsiLords of Vanth. A few of these terrifying creatures likely remain in the wilds, but none have been seen in more than a decade. A handful of specimens remain in captivity, where they are often well-cared for and highly prized.

Boorm Cats stand 8′ tall at the shoulder and are generally 10′ to 15′ in length. They are covered with a thick coat of azure and ochre striped fur and have piercing blue eyes. Though their size, strength and speed make them deadly, it is their keen intellect that makes them truly dangerous. They are cunning hunters and exceptionally clever combatants. Worse still, Boorm Cats are known to possess a number of psychic powers, including the ability to cause a single target not to be able to perceive them.

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Personalities of the Winter Marches I

Wherein your humble scribe presents a handful of NPCs of assorted levels for OD&D (&c.). These folks might eventually appear in a sandbox hexcrawl thang he might or might not undertake in the near or distant future. Maybe. They were all created with 3d6 for stats, more often than not in order. Oh, and with some help from the d30 Sandbox Companion, which is pretty neat.

Beguiling Inarr

Beguiling Inarr is an incredibly charming young man who resides in the village of Mirington-upon-Wyestoke. He’s so charming that even most of the people whom he’s been stealing from for the majority of his 17 years are willing to put up with him. He’s indolent and a wastrel, but clever and handsome. And he’s just sickly enough that pity takes over when his charm runs out. He stole his Elven Boots off of an adventurer who passed through town last season and is careful not to be seen with them if at all possible, since the town united in his defense against the former owner of the footwear, running her company out of town on a rail when they tried to hold Inarr responsible.

Beguiling Inarr / Human Thief 2 C
STR 10 INT 13 WIS 12 DEX 14 CON 6 CHR 17
HP 6 AC 7 Gold 100
Short Sword, 3 Darts, Leather Armor, Thieves’ Tools, Elven Boots

Father Oldahl of Hohn

Oldahl Braeskin spent three years serving as a footman in the Pale Heir’s Glorious Army of Northern Reclamation before joining the Order of St. Basil. During his final campaign he watched helplessly while most of his regiment was slaughtered by the ghouls of the Kraen Moors, himself a victim of the foul creatures’ paralyzing touch. A passing cleric chanced upon the battle and channeled the Saints’ divine light to destroy the fell undead things, saving Oldahl and a scant handful of other soldiers. In the confusion and desolation that followed the battle, Oldahl deserted the army and sought out the Parast Monastery, where he dedicated his life to the service of St. Basil and his followers. Father Oldahl now stands as both mayor and vicar of the town of Hohn, not far from the very moors where his own religious conversion occurred. Clad in mail blessed by the High Priest himself, Father Oldahl stands ready to protect his flock from any foul things that might creep in from the darkness.

Father Oldahl of Hohn / Human Cleric 4 L
STR 13 INT 10 WIS 15 DEX 9 CON 13 CHR 12
HP 15 AC 4 Gold 80
Mace, Chain Mail +1, Shield, Holy Symbol
Cleric Spells: (1) Cure Light Wounds, Protection from Evil; (2) Bless

Kaelor Ves

The Thaumaturgist known as Kaelor Ves is, as are most wizards, quite secretive about his background. The scholars at the Great University note that the only significant mention of Kaelor Ves is found in the Tomes of Binding in the year 641, when he was noted to have been a member of the Company of the Iron Shadow, a band of adventurers famous for having defeated the white wyrm that had terrorized the areas east of Halcaen Drast. The empire’s expansion was facilitated by the destruction of the dragon, and Kaelor Ves was invited to dine with the First Minister to discuss the possibility of serving as a member of the Emperor’s personal Council Arcane. The dinner never occurred, though, due to the assassination of Emperor Hadrin VI by General Tsoras in the spring of 642 and the subsequent disbanding of the Council.

Kaelor Ves / Human Magic-User 5 C
STR 9 INT 14 WIS 13 DEX 16 CON 11 CHR 14
HP 8 AC 9 Gold 130
Dagger, Darts, Spell Book, Ring of Feather Fall, Wand of Magic Missiles
Magic-User Spells: (1) Detect Magic, Protection from Evil, Light, Charm Person; (2) Invisibility, Locate Object; (3) Wizard Eye

Angskelda Longtooth

Known to have served alongside General Tsoras in their youth, the warrior Angskelda Longtooth is reputed to have broken ties with the Steel Emperor sometime before the coup that installed him in the Lion Throne. She has been known to wander the Winter Marches in the company of various unsavory characters who are considered a threat to the stability of the Empire. Unlike those assorted individuals, she does not carry a death mark upon her head. Indeed, it is common knowledge that the Steel Emperor wishes her to be captured alive if she is to be captured at all. The latest rumors regarding Angskelda Longtooth suggest that she is now in possession of one of the five fire blades.

Angskelda Longtooth / Human Fighter 6 L
STR 15 INT 8 WIS 12 DEX 10 CON 7 CHR 10
HP 40 AC 6 Gold 100
Sword +2 (Flaming), Long Bow, Leather Armor, Shield, Potion of Invisibility

Hroth Rhoenthaal

Hailing from neighboring Akania, the name Hroth Rhoenthaal is well-known to the people of the Empire. His deeds are the stuff of legend, and many are the bards who sing epic stories of his exploits in service of Emperors old and new. In each tale, the hearty warrior declines whatever great reward might be due him in favor of returning to the battle, war, or wilds, whichever is most appropriate to the tale at hand. Those who have fought alongside the famous hero note that his lustrous black beard now shows streaks of grey, but his handling of the Axe and Shield of Daelmath remains undiminished by time. While those who have fought against him tell no tales at all.

Hroth Rhoenthaal / Human Fighter 7 N
STR 16 INT 12 WIS 5 DEX 12 CON 15 CHR 7
HP 47 AC 4 Gold 100
Battle Axe +1, Crossbow, Chain Mail, Shield +1, Ring of Fire Resistance

Veysa Orn, The Weeping Queen

Believed to be the only survivor of the Steel Emperor’s purge of the Council Arcane, Veysa Orn has not been seen in nearly 10 years. Little is known of her life since the purge, but those who have seen her say that she wears the signet ring of Emperor Hadrin VI, whose consort she was before his assassination.

Veysa Orn, The Weeping Queen / Human Magic-User 8 N
STR 12 INT 17 WIS 8 DEX 15 CON 10 CHR 15
HP 18 AC 9 Gold 80
Staff +1, Dagger, Spellbook, Ring of Protection +1, Ring of Telekinesis, Potion of Control Person
Magic-User Spells: (1) Shield, Magic Missile, Sleep, Read Magic; (2) Detect Evil, Continual Light, Mirror Image; (3) Dispel Magic, Explosive Runes, Rope Trick; (4) Monster Summoning II, Wall of Ice

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Vintage Magic World: Vorskel Lusk’s Big Problem

Vintage Magic World

Wherein your humble scribe presents an adventuring party for the original Magic World (from the Worlds of Wonder boxed set). As I’ve said before, this is BRP at its most basic, stripped down (well, pre-built up, really) and ready to rock.

My name is Vorskel Lusk, and I have a problem. It seems someone has stolen my master’s grimoires and Etzylix Murrsh is in no condition to go after the thieves himself. So it’s up to me to recover the spellbooks before the Arcane Fever that has gripped Etzylix progresses to the point where I have to find an entirely new master to continue my studies. My girlfriend Asha Kal is always game for an adventure, but I’m afraid we’re going to need a little more help to take on the Necromancer Syndicate. Maybe that big guy who works down at the quarry is available? Etzylix owes him some money, I think. And maybe that fast-talking merchant over in the Bazaar could lend a hand? Etzylix was always a good customer of his. Now I just have figure out how to untie these ropes and get out of this mausoleum before that Wraith Bomb goes off…

Vorskel Lusk (Sorcerer) 16 Crowns
STR 12 CON 16 SIZ 11 INT 12 POW 14 DEX 8 APP 10 HP 16 DB none
Weapons: Sword 36% (1d8+1), Staff 36% (1d8), Dagger 36% (1d4+1)
Armor: Leather (2)
Skills: Climb 55%, Cut Purse 5%, Fine Manipulation 5%, First Aid 45%, Hide 55%, Jump 45%, Linguist 00%, Listen 45%, Literacy 50%, Lore 00%, Mechanical Arts 00%, Mercantile Arts 00%, Move Quietly 25%, Philosophy 00%, Ride 25%, Spot Hidden 25%, Swim 40%, Throw 45%, Invisibility 40%, Illusion 45%, Light/Dark 40%, Blast 40%

Asha Kal (Rogue) 155 Crowns
STR 8 CON 9 SIZ 9 INT 13 POW 9 DEX 18 APP 11 HP 9 DB none
Weapons: Shortsword 65% (1d6+1), 3 Daggers 60% (1d4+1)
Armor: Cuirboilli (3)
Skills: Climb 60%, Cut Purse 90%, Fine Manipulation 90%, First Aid 45%, Hide 60%, Jump 60%, Linguist 00%, Listen 60%, Literacy 00%, Lore 00%, Mechanical Arts 00%, Mercantile Arts 00%, Move Quietly 60%, Philosophy 00%, Ride 25%, Spot Hidden 60%, Swim 90%, Throw 50%

Hradken the Quarryman (Warrior) 68 Crowns
STR 13 CON 12 SIZ 18 INT 13 POW 8 DEX 14 APP 8 HP 12 DB +1d6
Weapons: Hammer 65% (1d8+2), Bow 70% (1d6+1), Shield 65%
Armor: Ring Mail (4), Shield (12)
Skills: Climb 55%, Cut Purse 5%, Fine Manipulation 5%, First Aid 45%, Hide 55%, Jump 65%, Linguist 00%, Listen 45%, Literacy 00%, Lore 00%, Mechanical Arts 00%, Mercantile Arts 00%, Move Quietly 25%, Philosophy 00%, Ride 70%, Spot Hidden 25%, Swim 70%, Throw 45%

Ayer Deloe (Sage) 262 Crowns
STR 9 CON 12 SIZ 15 INT 17 POW 9 DEX 11 APP 12 HP 12 DB +1d6
Weapons: Mace 30% (1d6+2), Dagger 25% (1d4+1), Shield 30%
Armor: Leather (2), Shield (12)
Skills: Climb 55%, Cut Purse 5%, Fine Manipulation 5%, First Aid 51%, Hide 55%, Jump 45%, Linguist (Barghrun, Kallestine, Ryellic) 51%, Listen 45%, Literacy 85%, Lore 51%, Mechanical Arts 51%, Mercantile Arts 85%, Move Quietly 25%, Philosophy 51%, Ride 25%, Spot Hidden 25%, Swim 55%, Throw 45%

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TFT: New Heroes

Wherein your humble scribe presents a group of brand new, 32 point characters for The Fantasy Trip. These cats have been done up straight, by-the-book, without the corruption of countless years’ worth of house rules and such that my old gang used to use. It just seemed like the way to go today.

Setting out from the city of Teszport on the western shores of Aeol, this mixed band of heroes & wizards are just beginning their careers. Someday, perhaps, they’ll be movers and shakers, the subjects of epic poems like the ones Cyr Ryn recites about the Revenant, the One-Armed Priest, the Red Lady, and his personal favorite, the Great Bard of Nash. Or maybe they’ll all be dead before they even make it to the Labyrinth of Stejak. That’s the beauty of the fantastic trip that is the life of an adventurer: you never know what’s coming next.

Cyr Ryn / Human / Hero
ST 13 DX 10 (8) IQ 9 MA 10
Talents: Sword, Shield, Thrown Weapons, Horsemanship, Sex Appeal, Bard
Equipment: Bastard Sword (2+1/3-2), 2 Daggers (1-1), Cloth Armor (1), Large Shield (2), Labyrinth Kit

Liera Mor / Human / Hero
ST 11 DX 11 (10) IQ 10 MA 10
Talents: Sword, Shield, Climbing, Physicker, Alertness, Thief
Equipment: Shortsword (2-1), Dagger (1-1), Cloth Armor (1), Small Shield (1), Physicker’s Chest, Labyrinth Kit, Lantern

Iäis Per / Human / Wizard
ST 9 DX 11 (10) IQ 12 MA 10
Talents: Literacy
Spells: Staff, Drop Weapon, Summon Wolf, Fire, Trip, Far Vision, Rope, Trailtwister, Staff to Snake, Fireball, 3-Hex Fire
Equipment: Staff (1), Cloth Armor (1), Labyrinth Kit

Malorian of Karkal/ Elf / Hero
ST 9 DX 11 (10) IQ 12 MA 12
Talents: Sword, Bow, Literacy, Human Speak
Spells: Invisibility, Sleep
Equipment: Rapier (1), Dagger (1-1), Small Bow (1-1), Cloth Armor (1), Labyrinth Kit

Issrilskel the Luxomancer/ Dwarf / Wizard
ST 11 DX 10 (9) IQ 11 MA 10
Talents: Literacy, Human Speak
Spells: Staff, Blur, Light, Darkness, Dark Vision, Dazzle, Shadow, Reveal/Conceal, Illusion
Equipment: Staff (1), Cloth Armor (1), Labyrinth Kit

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Chill/Cryptworld: L’Marais

Wherein, in honor of the upcoming release of Cryptworld, your humble narrator presents a trio of unlikely heroes (or likely victims) and the Thing that they will face. These gaming constructs were built using an old copy of Chill (and Chill Things) I happened to have handy, but they should work just fine with Cryptworld when the wolfsbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright…

The wind was howling on the bayou, and the window panes of Armand’s little shack rattled like dice in a cup. The lights flickered occasionally, and the foetor of the marsh hung just about the edges of the place.

“You know, dey say it nights like dis L’Marais come looking for blood…” Emil said after exhaling a long plume of smoke from his fancy little cigarette. “He come up out de swamp an’ rip a man limb from limb. Then he make they arm ‘n leg do the rest ah him dirty work for a year an’ a day.”

“Shut up, Emil. You’re just trying to spook my brother. And drop the lame-o coonass accent, too. It’s insulting,” replied Edie, fiddling with her new camera.

“Woman, do’n talk at your mari like that…”

“Seriously, Emil. Drop the accent.”

“Ok, ok. I’m just trying to have a little fun. There’s nothing to do out here!”

“We’re only here ’cause you went and killed that pawnbroker. We have to lay low, remember?”

“Yeah, yeah. He was reaching for his gun, so I had to shoot him, ok? And this bayou is the perfect place to dump a body.”

Armand shifted slightly in his armchair. He wished his sister had never married the little man. She used to be prettier, he thought. Before LaCroix had gotten his filthy hands on her.

“It’s ok, ma soeur, I had a dream last night…”

“Can it, Armand,” Emil hissed. “If I can’t tell my spook stories, then you don’t get to go on and on about your goddamned dreams. Yeah, yeah, I know you dreamt we’d win State back in high school, but that doesn’t mean you can see the future. Did you ever dream you’d get kicked out of the army? Did you ever dream you’d wind up living in a goddamned shack in the bayou? Did you ever dream…”

Armand stood up quickly at the sound of a heavy, thudding knock on the door. He knew what was on the other side. It was just like he dreamt it. And that meant the little man wouldn’t trouble his sister anymore.

“Who the hell can that be at this time of night?” Emil hissed. “If you called the cops on me, Armand, I swear to God…”

“It’s not the cops, Emil. Armand wouldn’t sell us out like that, would you, mon frère?”

“Of course not, ma soeur,” Armand answered as he walked towards the door. “But I do think it’s for you, Emil.”

The Characters

Emil LaCroix / 34 / 5′ 5″ 150 lbs
STR 56 DEX 58 AGL 48 WPR 50 PER 38 PCN 58 LUCK 54 STA 60 Unskilled Melee 52%
Lockpicking (S) 73%, Gambling (S) 71%, Filching (S) 73%
Art: Sense Unknown 11%

Edie LaCroix / 27 / 5′ 4″ 120 lbs
STR 52 DEX 58 AGL 54 WPR 50 PER 56 PCN 50 LUCK 62 STA 64 Unskilled Melee 55%
Modeling (S) 71%, Photography (S) 76%
Art: Sense Unknown 11%

Armand St. Cyr / 33 / 6′ 4″ 220 lbs
STR 66 DEX 60 AGL 58 WPR 64 PER 46 PCN 62 LUCK 32 STA 52 Unskilled Melee 63%
Boxing (S) 78%, Mechanics (M) 91%, Rifle/Shotgun (S) 75%
Art: Clairvoyant/Prescient Dream 54%, Sense Unknown 12%

The Thing

STR 75 DEX 50 AGL 50 WPR 60 PER 35 PCN 70 STA 100 EWS 120 FEAR 6 ATT 2 (3)/62%
Movement: L 180′ A N/A W 90′
Disciplines: Breath of Pestilence, Change Weather, Darken, Deadly Remains, Ghostly Lights, Swarm, Wave of Fog
IPs: 840

L’Marais (more properly, L’Homme des Marais, The Swamp Man) is a foul thing indeed. It resides in the bayous and swamps of rural Louisiana, where it waits to feed on the blood and bone of its victims. L’Marais is composed of both plant matter and human body parts – the remains of murder victims dumped in the swamp. It normally has two unarmed attacks in a round (grab & crush limbs) but if it succeeds with both against one target it gets an extra armed attack – its dreaded rend.

Though L’Marais is unquestionably evil and will gleefully pursue any human being, it is not without a sense of honor. It always strikes out against criminals and murderers first. Some say that a killer who speaks of L’Marais on the night of the new moon will draw its ire all too quickly.

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BoL: Mission to Enceladus

It’s time for another imaginary movie with Barbarians of Lemuria (etc.) stats for the major players. This time, let’s check out a completely fictional East German science fiction “classic.”

In 1974, after the success of Stanley Kubrick’s film of Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and Andrei Tarkovsky’s version of Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris, the East Germans decided to get in on the deeply philosophical (and sometimes psychedelic) science fiction film action. Thus was born Einsatz zu Enceladus (Mission to Enceladus), which tells the story of a group of international explorers traveling to (oddly enough) Enceladus, one of the moons of Saturn. This being East Germany in the thick of the Cold War, the film is replete with Communist/Socialist propaganda despite its initial conceits of an East-West partnership in exploring space.

Under the auspices of the IWP (Internationale Weltraumforschung Partnerschaft, or international space exploration partnership), a crew comprised of an American soldier, a British scientist, a Russian cosmonaut, and an East German engineer set out in a Soviet spacecraft for Enceladus after a number of radio transmissions – in ancient Greek! – are received from that icy moon. The first half of the film or so consists of slow, largely silent shots of the crew performing their assorted duties and looking at very nice computer readouts, rather like the filmmakers were aping 2001 very closely and carefully.

The propaganda starts to creep in about the time the crew passes Mars (the Red Planet, get it?). At this point the swaggering, cartoonish American soldier, Colonel Rick Carson, begins hitting on the taciturn yet beautiful (and intelligent!) Soviet pilot, Commander Valentina Yegorova. Carson tries to buy her affections with stories of American excess. He breaks into a musical number (yes, it’s wildly out of place) in the style of Elvis movies. And ultimately he tries to force himself on her, only to be stopped with a strong punch to his glass (lantern) jaw by the ugly yet honest and upstanding (and intelligent!) East German engineer, Lieutenant Knut Volkmann. Being a creature of much bluster and little-to-no substance, Carson backs down immediately.

Throughout all of this the British scientist, Professor Alec Baxter-Pearl, is shown to be a weak-willed (and incompetent!) lackey of the domineering American.

Once the ship reaches Saturn the movie turns back towards the somber. For what feels like a very long time, we are treated to some slightly less stunning visuals and more of the slow, quiet shots. Eventually, an outpost is sighted on the surface of Enceladus – an outpost that looks for all the world like the Parthenon perched high atop an outcropping of rock rising from the icy seas that cover the moon.

The ship’s landing module, piloted by Yegorova, descends to the surface, with all four crew members aboard. Once on Enceladus, Carson, Volkmann, and Baxter-Pearl set out to explore the “ruins” and perhaps make contact with whoever lives there. Yegrova stays behind to helm the landing module in case of any trouble.

The three explorers discover a set of long stairs cut into the rock and ascend to the summit. They poke about the marble structures and are eventually greeted by a sole white-furred, yeti-like being wearing Greek-style clothing. The creature converses with Baxter-Pearl, revealing himself to be Hephaestus, the blacksmith of the gods. When he is told that the Olympian gods are no longer found on Earth, he flies into a rage and vows to destroy the planet for its insolence. Or something like that.

Baxter-Pearl tries to calm Hephaestus, spouting off incessantly about all of the Greek ideals that live on in the world (Democracy comes up more than once), but the “god” is having none of it (“Democracy is for fools!” he shouts back in response). Carson, back in stereotype mode, tries to fight Hephaestus, is beaten, and begs for mercy, offering to sell out the entire planet so that he may live on in service to the god. He is slain for his troubles, and Baxter-Pearl is destroyed as well (on principle, one presumes).

Volkmann escapes and returns to the landing module, where he manages to stammer out a brief explanation of what has transpired. Alarms then go off, indicating the launch of a missile from the west (which just happens to be painted red, white, and blue). Volkmann and Yegorova spring into action, launching from the moon intent on intercepting the projectile – even if it means their own doom. Instead of dying, however, the crafty engineer devises a way to “fire” the landing module at the missile and deflect it back to the surface where it might just destroy Hephaestus.

The plan works. The East German and the Russian embrace. (A) god is destroyed. The world is saved by Marxist-Leninist ideology. And the credits roll over brass-heavy closing music.


  • Astronaut/Cosmonaut as a career is meant to cover all of the things that go with being an astronaut, like vacc suit operation, piloting, operating communications arrays, etc.
  • Scientist as a career represents an overall science background, while specific careers like Archaeologist or Physicist represent the more specific fields of study identified by their names.
  • Spacesuits are rated Light, Medium, and Heavy. Light suits provide little defense and are not rated for extravehicular or direct contact with hostile atmospheres/environments for more than 1 hour. Medium and Heavy suits provide more protection at a cost to mobility and are capable of 2 and 4 hours EVA/hostile environment activity.
  • Laser Weapons are incredibly accurate and grant a +1 to Ranged COmbat Ability.


Professor Alec Baxter-Pearl / Lifeblood 9 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength -1 Agility 0 (-1) Mind 3 Appeal 2
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 2 Ranged 1 Defense 1
Careers: Archaeologist 2 Poet 1 Scientist 1 Astronaut 0
Languages: English, Russian, German, Greek
Equipment: Medium Spacesuit (d6-1), Archaeological Tools, Hand Computer

Colonel Rick Carson / Lifeblood 12 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 2 Agility 1 (0) Mind 0 Appeal 1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 1 Melee 0 Ranged 2 Defense 1
Careers: Soldier 2 Astronaut 1 Musician 1 Politician 0
Languages: English
Equipment: Laser Pistol (d6), Medium Spacesuit (d6-1)

Commander Valentina Yegorova / Lifeblood 10 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 0 Agility 2 Mind 1 Appeal 1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 2 Melee 0 Ranged 1 Defense 1
Careers: Cosmonaut 3 Physician 1 Scientist 0 Farmer 0
Languages: Russian, English
Equipment: Laser Pistol (d6), Light Spacesuit (d6-2)

Lieutenant Knut Volkmann / Lifeblood 12 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 2 Agility 1 (0) Mind 2 Appeal -1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 2 Melee 0 Ranged 2 Defense 0
Careers: Engineer 2 Astronaut 2 Soldier 0 Bureaucrat 0
Languages: German, Russian, English
Equipment: Laser Rifle (d6+2), Heavy Spacesuit (d6)

Space Yeti Hephaestus / Lifeblood 20
Attributes: Strength 4 Agility 1 Mind 2
Combat Abilities: Defense 1 Protection d6-2
Attack with Fist +2; 2d6

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DCC Party: A Merda Job For Patrão Ferrão

Wherein your humble scribe presents a (probably doomed) party of Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG characters and the monsters that will most likely leaving nothing left but memories of the poor schlubs.

Smoke hung thickly in the humid air of the back office. It was always humid this time of year in Porto Alego. Maximiano Ferrão hated the humidity almost as much as he hated the city itself. But business was business and though he could generally trust Anacleto to keep things running properly, sometimes the patrão had to handle things personally. And since it had been a while since Maximiano had come down from his estate, today was one of those days.

“Is there any other business that needs my attention?” he asked of his tenente. “I’d like to be back up front before that fat macaco from the guard comes sniffing around for his payoff. I want to speak with him personally this time.”

“There’s just one thing, patrão,” Anacleto Alves rasped. “It seems we’ve got a bug problem at the… warehouse… on the east pier.”

“A bug problem, Anacleto? What do you mean a bug problem? Maximiano Ferrão’s goods are not known for their bugs.”

“These aren’t, ah, normal insects, patrão. They’re big. Really big. And they… well, it sounds like they talk.”

Merda! It’s that bruxo maldito again. Why haven’t the boys dealt with him yet? He’s bad for business, Cleto. Very bad for business.”

“The last group we sent to his condenável tower came back in a box, patrão. A very small box.”

Droga! I’m sick of this filho da puta! Get in touch with the sacerdotes over at the church and get them on this. Clearly we need a little bit of help dealing with this. If they don’t jump at the chance to crucify a bruxo tell them we’ll make a nice donation. They could use a new bell. The old one sounds so tired.”

“Consider it done, patrão. Consider it done.”

“Good, now let me get out of this maldito humidity…”

“Ah, about the warehouse, patrão?”

“Oh, that. Send that little bicha Tiago. I don’t like how he hangs around my daughter, so it won’t matter if he doesn’t come back. Give him a couple of âncoras and let him hire some thugs who aren’t part of the family. We can’t afford to lose any more leales right now.”

Claro, patrão.”

Tiago Duarte / Smuggler / Thief 1 / Lawful
STR 10 AGI 15 STA 7 PER 10 INT 13 LUK 9
Birth Augur: Guardian Angel (+0 Escape Traps)
HP 8 AC 11 CP 29 GP 3
Short Sword (1d6), Sling (1d4), 30 Stones, Waterproof Sack, Small Sack

Nash / Caravan Guard / Thief 1 / Neutral
STR 11 AGI 10 STA 10 PER 8 INT 12 LUK 17
Birth Augur: Four-Leafed Clover (+2 Find Secret Doors)
HP 6 AC 11 CP 26 GP 4
Short Sword (1d6), Dagger (1d4), Padded Armor, 1 yd Linen, 10′ Chain

Ponty / Jester / Warrior 1 / Chaotic
STR 14 AGI 13 STA 10 PER 14 INT 6 LUK 13
Birth Augur: Born Under The Loom (+1 Skill Checks)
HP 13 AC 13 CP 30 GP 3
Longsword (1d8), Leather Armor, Dart (1d4), Silk Clothes, Lantern

Leocádia Ferrão / Astrologer / Wizard 1 / Neutral
STR 5 AGI 12 STA 4 PER 11 INT 14 LUK 13
Birth Augur: Seventh Son (+1 Spell Checks)
HP 3 AC 10 CP 26 GP 17
Dagger, Spyglass, Large Sack
Spells: Color Spray (Gibbering Allies), Magic Shield (Demonic Voice), Ropework (Chain Casting), Sleep (Breath of Life), Ventriloquism (None)


Though they appear insectile, like 4′ tall humanoid locusts or grasshoppers, Hornhoppers are actually demonic creatures from the nether hells, summoned to this world by foul magic. They are covered in chitin marked with coruscating bands of colors and have thick, antler-like structures atop their heads.

Hornhoppers are motivated by hunger and will generally attack the least-armored (i.e., easiest to take a bite out of) individual in a party first. In addition to their bites, they occasionally wield small curved daggers and are capable of a dangerous impaling jump attack with their antlers. Hornhoppers devour flesh, bone, sinew, hair, and anything else organic that is part of a kill, leaving nothing behind.

Hornhopper: Init +3; Atk bite +3 melee (dmg 1d3) or jump/antlers +1 (dmg 1d7) or dagger +0 melee (dmg 1d4); AC 13; HD 2d12; MV 20′ walk or wall-crawl, jump 30′; Act 2d20; SP Ravenous (cannot “recover the body” of any party members left behind as long as one or more Hornhoppers survive); SV Fort +1, Ref +4, Will -3; AL C.

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BoL/H+I: The Dukes’ War

Wherein your humble scribe presents some potential allies (or antagonists) in Oriad, a world he’s been messing with for a long time now, in Honor + Intrigue format. H+I, if you don’t know, is a nifty offshoot of Barbarians of Lemuria that’s well worth a look.

The Dukes’ War was a conflict that raged between the Houses of Madréz and Valdaño in the Kingdom of Ordoño for twenty years. Both houses claimed to represent the true line of royal succession after the death of Baltazar III and, after each failed to receive support in the Court of the Black Queen, open warfare was declared.

The Dukes’ War ended 97 years ago, when Emerenzia Viora of Combriazzi successfully negotiated the Treaty of Soderno, which divided the kingdom into two new countries: The Duchy of Madréz and The Duchy of Valdaño.

Recently, factions within both countries have begun reconciliation and reunification talks. Unfortunately, there are still many citizens of both Duchies that would rather see their own country achieve ascendence by force rather than achieve unification peacefully. Among these are two secret societies – The Order of the Unseen Pyramid in Madréz and The Crimson Brotherhood in Valdaño- whose assassins play against one another for the future of the Duchies in an epic game of chess.

Recently, Duke Xaime Ignacio Omero de Madréz was assassinated, by his own subjects (members of the Order of the Unseen Pyramid), for his aggressive pro-unification stance. In his stead, the Duchess Anaïs Olaria Flores y Marín de Madréz now rules. In stark contrast with her late husband, she is a staunch voice for Madrezaño independence. There are whispers in the Court that she herself is a ranking member of the Order and may well have personally handled the assassination of the Duke.

Meanwhile, Duke Alejo Ulises Prieto de Valdaño, at the urgings of some former comrades-in-arms based in Galiana, is actively pushing for a unified Ordoño – with House Valdaño in power, of course. The Duke believes that he, along with his Galian allies, can successfully challenge the Empire of Roczny for dominance of Oriad if he can command a united Ordoño.

Duchess Anaïs Olaria Flores y Marín de Madréz / Lifeblood 10 / Fortune 6 / Advantage 3
Motivation: Maintain Madrezeño Independence
Qualities: Might -1 Daring 1 Savvy 2 Flair 3
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 1 Ranged 1 Defense 2
Careers: Noble 2 Diplomat 1 Spy 1 Temptress 1
Boons: Beguiling, Great Wealth, Membership (Order of the Unseen Pyramid)
Flaws: Obligation (Madréz), Terrible Secret
Languages: Urra Lucia (N), Ora Luccia (F)
Equipment: Dagger (d3-1)

Duke Alejo Ulises Prieto de Valdaño / Lifeblood 10 / Fortune 4 / Advantage 3
Motivation: Restore Ordoño (with Valdaño in power, of course)
Qualities: Might 1 Daring 3 Savvy 0 Flair 1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 3 Ranged 0 Defense 1
Careers: Noble 2 Duelist 1 Soldier 1 Hunter 1
Boons: Daredevil, Laugh in the Face of Danger, Friends in High Places (Galiana)
Flaws: Tragic Fate, Obligation (Valdaño)
Languages: Urra Lucia (N), Galia
Equipment: Cutlass (d6+1), Flintlock Pistol (d6+1)

Order of the Unseen Pyramid Assassin / Lifeblood 9 / Advantage 1 (L3 Retainer)
Qualities: Might 0 Daring 1 Savvy 2 Flair 0
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 1 Ranged 0 Defense 2
Careers: Assassin 2, Alchemist 1
Boons: Poisoner, Poison Resistance
Flaws: Obligation (Order), Zealot
Languages: Urra Lucia (N)
Equipment: Dagger (d3+1), Epee (d6)

Crimson Brotherhood Assassin / Lifeblood 8 / Advantage 1 (L3 Retainer)
Qualities: Might 1 Daring 2 Savvy 0 Flair 0
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 2 Ranged 0 Defense 1
Careers: Assassin 2, Duelist 1
Boons: Sneaky, Friends in Low Places
Flaws: Obligation (Brotherhood), Unsettling
Languages: Urra Lucia (N)
Equipment: Epee (d6+1), Garrote (d2/Strangle)

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BoL: Sweetly Sings The Mourning Bird

Continuing our survey of imaginary movies, which includes providing Barbarians of Lemuria stats for the main players, we turn our inner eye towards the 1997 Korean cinema classic, Sweetly Sings The Mourning Bird (애도 조류는 여전히 감미 롭게 노래). Though this film doesn’t feature any effects by Ray Harryhausen, the climax is a rather stunning sequence in which the protagonists turn their astounding martial skills against an entire army of Chinese soldiers, their general, and a 9 foot tall terra cotta warrior/golem thing. So there’s that, which is good enough for us.

The central narrative of the film follows the journey of young An Do-Keun, from his humble beginnings as a blacksmith’s son in rural Korea through his rise to the heights of the martial world. His master is a grouchy old swordsman whose skill with the blade is rumored to have accomplished many great feats but who is also responsible for the death of a woman who was once the Chinese Emperor’s most beloved concubine.

We find out, via flashback, that the woman in question was actually some kind of supernatural assassin sent by the Lord of the Underworld to murder the Emperor and pave the way for evil eunuchs to rule China. A brief scene involving a many-tentacled puppet (whose strings you can barely see) illustrates the battle, but there’s not much time spent on this portion of the story.

In any case, the Emperor is a rational man of modern thought who never believed this tale, and he banished Sook (then called Lu I-po) to Korea, where he is no longer able to exert influence in the Imperial Court. Hold that thought – it’s important, but it will take a little while to get back to.

Twenty years later (according to the on-screen text), the drunken, irascible swordsman has taken the name Sook Seong-Kim and done his best to vanish into his new country. One winter day he stumbles drunkenly into a town that is under siege by Chinese soldiers disguised as bandits – just as the town’s blacksmith is coldly murdered because he won’t surrender the blade he is crafting for the Korean emperor. In a flash, Sook’s inherent nobility returns and he makes swift work of the rabble with only a stick, a rake, a hammer, and finally the still steaming sword the blacksmith had been working on. The sword sequence in particular is stunning and amusing as Sook is perpetually tossing the blade from mittened hand to mittened hand to avoid burning himself.

In the aftermath of all of this, the blacksmith’s young son – our previously noted protagonist, of course – begs Sook to teach him how to be a great warrior so that he can protect his country and never allow another boy’s father to die. Sook, disturbed that the people responsible for this tragedy were his own, takes the boy under his wing and begins training him. A musical montage follows, naturally, and in the span of 3-1/2 minutes of Korean pop (sung, it turns out, by the actor who plays An) the boy becomes both a man and a master swordsman in his own right.

The two swordsmen, young and old, travel about Korea for an unspecified length of time, righting wrongs and defending the populace from the depredations of bandit, pirate, and the like. On one of their adventures they wind up taking on a new companion, the Sadie Hawkins-esque Pak Myung-sun, a barbarian woman from the north, who serves the dual role of comedy relief and love interest. Pak chases the affections of An relentlessly, but he doesn’t fall for her. We’re privy, through a sequence in which the old master accidentally sees Pak emerging from a hot spring, to the knowledge that the woman isn’t as outsized as she seems in her dirty quilted armor (though she is still definitely not a small woman – think Kirby’s Big Barda here). Sook keeps this knowledge to himself, though.

At one point we cut back to China, where we learn that the old Emperor has gone senile and the country is now in the grip of a military coup lead by the exceptionally large and evil General Kwan. The General is, of course, under the influence of a small cadre of eunuchs who are clearly in league with the forces of Hell who were thwarted by Sook/Lu in the prologue. Kwan, at the urgings of the eunuchs, is on a path towards invading Korea in the name of the Emperor and plans for the invasion are revealed in small pieces. Reports of the “great Korean heroes” punctuate the briefing, with Kwan starting to piece together that Sook/Lu – his own old master, we learn in a flashback – is involved.

Back in Korea, our heroes have a few more little adventures, with each one revealing a bit more of the Chinese plot to invade Korea. Soon after, the invasion (and the heart of the story) begins at last.

In short order, we reach the climax of the film, wherein the Chinese army, led by Kwan and assisted by the giant clay warrior golem, face off against Sook, Pak, and An. An spends much of his time routing the soldiers, while Sook engages with Kwan and Pak leads a small force of brave Korean warriors against the golem. Things go fairly poorly for the Koreans initially, and Sook is defeated and left for dead by his old pupil. An then engages with the General, wild with anger and grief over the apparent death of his master/second father.

Across the battlefield, Pak’s cadre has been defeated by the golem, leaving only her and her large axe standing between the creature and the Korean Emperor’s palace. She fights valiantly and ultimately bests the creature, but not before suffering a number of grievous wounds and being almost completely stripped of her bulky, padded armor in the process. This does, conveniently, reveal her to be the far more beautiful woman that she actually is. You can see where this is going, I’m sure.

We cut back to the showdown between An and the General, whose battle has escalated into epic territory, with flying leaps and sundered trees and all of the over-the-top stuff you’ve been built up for based on the flashbacks showing what these two swordsmen’s master was capable of in his prime. The CGI and wirework in this sequence is serviceable, but to the modern eye it definitely seems a bit dated.

Needless to say, An winds up winning. Sure, there are a couple of teasing moments where it looks like he will fail, but really, they wouldn’t have made the movie if that were ultimately the case. His father’s last sword does shatter at one point under the powerful and unrelenting blows of the General, but even that is not enough to stop the great hero.

The real heart-rending drama comes in the aftermath, when it’s unclear if Pak will pull through, choking and gasping as she confesses her undying love for An. The young hero cradles her in his arms, tears streaming down his face as another love song (again, sung by the actor who plays An) swells to accompany a montage sequence of Pak being treated by physicians and slowly but surely recovering.

In the end, of course, everything turns out fine, with Pak and An marrying and becoming legendary heroes of Korea. We are shown a glimpse of their future, about a year later, with a prosperous farm, two beautiful twin children, and An hammering out a new sword on his father’s anvil.

Ah, but what of the seemingly defeated Sook? Just as you think there’s a giant hole in the script, An picks up the still cooling sword from the anvil and tosses it, steaming, through the air where is it caught by none other than Sook’s charred-mittened hand. The old master smiles, nods at the happy couple, and mounts a horse to ride off into the sunset. Westward, to China, to finish cleaning house.

Sook Seong-Kim (Lu I-po) / Lifeblood 11 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 1 Agility 2 Mind 2 Appeal 0
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 3 Ranged 0 Defense 3
Careers: Warrior 3 Physician 1 Scholar 1 Vagabond 0
Boons: Swordsman, Carouser
Flaws: Distrust of Sorcery
Languages: Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese
Equipment: Sword (d6+1), Very Light Armor (d3-1)

An Do-Keun / Lifeblood 12 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 2 Agility 2 Mind 0 Appeal 1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 3 Ranged 1 Defense 2
Careers: Warrior 1 Blacksmith 2 Scholar 1 Merchant 1
Boons: Attractive, Swordsman
Flaws: Feels the Heat
Languages: Korean, Cantonese
Equipment: Boon Sword (d6+2), Very Light Armor (d3-1)

Pak Myung-sun / Lifeblood 15 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 3 Agility 1 (0) Mind 0 Appeal 1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 1 Melee 2 Ranged 0 Defense 3
Careers: Warrior 1 Barbarian 2 Pirate 1 Thief 1
Boons: Attractive, Hard-To-Kill
Flaws: Country Bumpkin
Languages: Korean
Equipment: Great Axe (d6+5), Medium Armor (d6-1)

General Kwan / Lifeblood 14 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 5 Agility 1 (0) Mind 2 Appeal -1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 2 Melee 2 Ranged 2 Defense 2
Careers: Soldier 3 Torturer 2 Warrior 1 Scholar 0
Boons: Swordsman, Poison Immunity, Cerulean Strength
Flaws: Arrogant, Ugly & Brutish
Languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean
Equipment: Great Sword (d6+7), Heavy Armor (d6)

Chinese Soldiers (Rabble) / Lifeblood 3 / Hero Points 0
Attributes: Strength 1 Agility 1 (0) Mind -1 Appeal -1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 1 Ranged -1 Defense 0
Careers: Soldier 0
Languages: Mandarin
Equipment: Swords or Spears (d6+1), Medium Armor (d6-1)

Giant Terra Cotta Warrior / Lifeblood 30
Attributes: Strength 4 Agility −1 Mind -2
Combat Abilities: Defense -1 Protection d3
Attack with Sword +1; d6+6
Attack with Fist, +0; d6+4

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WNMHGB Character: Lieutenant Hamaré Negasi-D’Abo

Wherein your humble scribe knocks out a lifepath generator-produced character for the Trek-themed, Microlite20-powered, Where No Man Has Gone Before. Because he’s geeked out about seeing the next Star Trek film this coming weekend, that’s why.

Hamaré Negasi-D’Abo was born on the frontier world of Balthaz II, in the midst of her mother’s research to devise a cure for the Garrosh Fever, which was plaguing a number of Federation worlds at the time. Before Hamaré was two her mother had returned to Earth where she continued her scientific pursuits in relative safety while Hamaré’s father, Negasi Haile-Mariam, served in the Ethiopian parliament. Hamaré’s childhood was typical and she had many friends while growing up.

Her early Starfleet career was almost singularly without incident, with her time at the Academy and her first tour of duty – spent stuck behind a desk pushing papers – yielding nothing of the sort of adventure often associated with the active and exciting life she expected when she enlisted.

Just as Hamaré was finishing her second tour and thinking of leaving Starfleet to pursue a career in private research, she was involved in the Tre’gok Klasq incident of 2329. It was Hamaré’s keen instincts and insight into behavior patterns that helped to uncover the Klingon spy, thus preventing numerous civilian deaths.

Upon her promotion to Lieutenant Junior Grade Hamaré was assigned to the Constitution Class USS Constellation, serving under Captain Esai Hernandez. In her first tour aboard the Constellation the ship found a mysterious alien device orbiting Dannav III. Once again, her quick thinking, empathy, and communications skills proved critical to saving the day and preventing the destruction of the ship.

Her second tour aboard the Constellation was highlighted by an assault on the ship perpetrated by Klingons. Hamaré was key to the successful handling of this incident and her commanding officer, the Vulcan T’Madh, realized at this time that her young protegé was capable of greater things than merely serving as a sensor monitor and data analyst. It was T’Madh who recommended Hamaré for her new postion, aboard the Miranda Class USS Rio Grande. T’Madh maintains active contact with Hamaré and serves as something of a mentor to the newly-minted Lieutenant.

Lt. Hamaré Negasi-D’Abo / Human / Blue Shirt (Science) 6
XP 0 HP 34 AC 14 AP 3
STR 11 (+0) DEX 12 (+1) INT 16 (+3) CHA 14 (+2)
Skills: Communication (T) +9, Engineering +4, Knowledge (T) +9, Medicine +4, Physical +4, Subterfuge +4
Talents: Behavioral Analysis, Trained Skill (Communication), Empathy, Exploit Weakness, Plan
Melee Attack Bonus: +6; Ranged Attack Bonus: +7

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