BoL Character: Derl Gethau

Wherein your humble scribe presents a Barbarians of Lemuria character he put together as an NPC in his slowly-developing Lovecraftian fantasy setting, Nogoloth.

Once considered a leading thinker at Canton-on-Imisk University, Derl Gethau fell out of favor for his “reenvisionings” and “interpretations” of some of the traditional myth cycles of Nogoloth and was drummed out of academia entirely. To this day he remains a suspect figure in certain circles and an outright pariah in others. This episode only served to remind Derl of his disdain for those who hide within the cities of Nogoloth and seldom if ever venture out into the world itself. Now firmly established as a fearless tracker and guide – one who knows enough to get you from here to there safely and even somewhat wiser for the trip – Derl seldom thinks of this old life and its decadent decay. He is still known to dabble in the arcane arts, happily digesting any new wisdom he might acquire in the wilds.

Lifeblood 11
Arcane Power 10
Hero Points 5

Strength 1
Agility 1
Mind 2
Appeal 0

Brawl 0
Melee 1
Ranged 1
Defense 2

Scholar 2
Hunter 1
Poet 1
Sorcerer 0

Learned (Flora & Fauna)
Learned (Legends)

Discredited Scholar (roll an extra d6 in dealings with scholars, scribes, academics, etc.)

Nogolothian, Ancient Khaarmish, Star Tongue Of The Elds, Sorceric, Low Speech

Sword, d6+1
Dagger, d3+1
Light Armor & Shield (d6-1)
Bow, d6

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0 thoughts on “BoL Character: Derl Gethau

  1. G-Man

    Now this is what I’m talkin’ about. Lovecraftian fantasy served up BoL style.

    Couple questions: What kind of magic do you see Derl doing? Given he’s a scholar 2 and sorceror 0, and this is a Lovecraftian inspired universe, maybe he needs to find scrolls, tomes, and such before he can do a spell with specific (GM predetermined) effects? Or would you leave it freeform as per the standard rules?

    Other thing I like about the BoL approach for this particular genre is it makes the characters more durable–so you can throw Flying Polyps, hordes of dwarf Serpent Men, or what-have-you at the PC’s right off the bat, vs. ‘scaling’ the horror challenges for LL-type characters appropriate to level.

    Nogoloth, and some of its magic items you’ve presented, are also giving me a Clark Ashton Smith vibe. Is that on purpose?

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      I had a hunch you might dig this post, G-Man 🙂

      My initial thought was to do as you describe and have the spells have to be “discovered” before they can be cast. At rank 0 in Sorcerer no spells are known at game start. If someone spent additional ranks in Sorcerer I’d be inclined to let them begin with a few specific spells (# scaled with ranks), but the freeform thing gets too far away from proper Lovecraftian darkness, I think.

      I do like the idea of the heroes being able to face off against the horror in larger numbers and greater power right away. Part of that is that I have enough trouble getting games going as it is. Putting something together that needs time to scale up to where everyone really wants to be is practically impossible these days.

      There’s definitely some CAS happening here, too. And some of it is on purpose. Some of it, though, seems just to be happening. As far as the artifacts listed to date, I should make sure I’m giving credit where it’s due – they’re all the result of rolling on the tables in Realms of Crawling Chaos that Michael Curtis (he of the Dungeon Alphabet fame) contributed to that book. So I think that’s a factor in this as well. I will, eventually, make some nasty devices of my own, of course – I just hope they fit the feel even half as well as the stuff from RoCC does.

  2. G-Man

    Okay, if I could magically transport myself to Austin, this would be my character proposal for Nogoloth:

    Vasik Strangtham

    Strength: –
    Agility: 2
    Mind: 2
    Appeal: –

    Brawl: 0
    Melee: 2
    Ranged: 0
    Defense: 2

    Noble 2
    Mariner 1
    Merchant 1
    Priest 0

    Blade of the Sea Kings (rapier–bonus die)
    Great Wealth


    Lifeblood 8
    Hero Points 5

    Light Armor (d6-2)

    Deathly pale and long-limbed, Vasik was born into one of the great noble houses of Oustminnish. His family ‘estate’ is actually an enormous palace-barge carved from volcanic (bouyant) stone, moored to an ancient jetty in port. There are whispers that the Strangtham bloodline is tainted by Those From Below, but Vasik himself does not know if he is free of this curse or will undergo a transformation later in life. . .

    The Strangtham family pays homage to Mother Hydra and was preparing Vasik as an acolyte before he got ‘cold feet’ and decided to wander, taking with him the pearl-encrusted heirloom known as the Blade of the Sea Kings.

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      Oh yeah! Very nice character here, G-Man! I’d love to run this guy through the Lovecraftian wringer 🙂 And not knowing for sure whether he’ll develop “The Oustminnish Look” is a marvelous thing indeed. Oh, and I adore that buoyant rock palace idea. Consider Vasik, the Strangtham clan, and the rest of these ideas stolen if I ever actually get to do anything with Nogoloth.