Category Archives: Barbarians of Lemuria

Posts about, related to, or featuring content for Barbarians of Lemuria and related games such as Barbarians of the Aftermath, Dicey Tales, Dogs of WAR, and so on.

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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BoL-lywood: Prince Rajinder’s Adventures II

Speaking of the late, great Ray Harryhausem, everyone remembers the time that he did the jaw-dropping animation of the four-armed (and four-breasted!) elephant-headed Rakshasi, Bulusu Sunita Kal, in the classic Bollywood fantasy flick Prince Rajinder’s Adventures II, right? No? Well, that makes since, given that it never happened and there was never such a movie. But since we already play pretend all the time, let’s do a little meta-pretending and act like there was such a movie and we all remember it, ok?

So… the climactic showdown scene, which happens after brave, handsome Rajinder has done a little song & dance routine about how he will live forever in the love of the beautiful Princess Kathindra (even if he dies while rescuing her from the wicked sorcerer Bontu Bhavsar) while fighting off a dozen or so thuggee cultists armed with aruval swords and throwing chakrams, features the prince fighting a desperate battle against the aforementioned Bulusu Sunita Kal and her four massive tulwars, which she wields both offensively and defensively.

Just before he enters this battle, Rajinder manages to shatter the iron bonds that hold Kathindra helplessly to the evil magician’s altar by throwing one of the cultists’ chakrams (using multiple ricochets and delivering huge sprays of sparks, of course). This frees her to face Bontu Bhavsar and keep him from interfering with Rajinder’s desperate struggle against the demon.

And who can forget the absolutely amazing comedy relief portions of this scene, which are delivered by Rajinder’s loyal friend, the Monkey Prince Candraprabhava, and his acrobatic antics displayed while keeping the rest of the Thuggee foot soldiers occupied?

After the battle is won (and of course you knew it would be), there are, like, four more song & dance numbers, most of which aren’t worth remembering. Except the one where Candraprabhava interrupts his comedic romancing (chasing, really) of the princess’ sisters, attendants, and every other female on screen other than Kathindra, to urinate on the head of Bontu Bhavsar, who for some reason is being held in a dungeon cell directly beneath the main room of the palace (thus being tortured by hearing the celebration song – along with suffering the “monkey shower” – through the iron grate that is just above his head and out of his reach). One can only imagine the trouble he would have caused if only they had made a third installment.

Prince Rajinder / Lifeblood 11 / Hero Points 6
Attributes: Strength 1 Agility 2 Mind 0 Appeal 2
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 2 Ranged 2 Defense 1
Careers: Noble 2 Warrior 1 Bard 1 Thief 1
Boons: Attractive, Marked by the Gods
Flaws: Arrogant
Languages: Hindi
Equipment: Magic Scimitar “Gururatna” (d6+1), +1 to hit; Bow (d6); Very Light Armor (d3-1)

Princess Kathindra / Lifeblood 9 / Hero Points 5 / Arcane Power 12
Attributes: Strength -1 Agility 2 Mind 1 Appeal 3
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 1 Ranged 1 Defense 3
Careers: Noble 2 Sorcerer 1 Bard 1 Dancer 1
Boons: Attractive, Power of the Void
Flaws: City Dweller
Languages: Hindi
Equipment: Bichawa Dagger (d3)

Candraprabhava / Lifeblood 12 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 2 Agility 3 Mind 0 Appeal 0
Combat Abilities: Brawl 2 Melee 1 Ranged 0 Defense 2
Careers: Noble 1 Thief 1 Tumbler 3 Scholar 0
Boons: Keen Eyesight, Keen Hearing, Keen Scent
Flaws: Lecherous, Country Bumpkin
Languages: Hindi
Equipment: Gada Mace (d6); Fist (d2); Kick (d3); Very Light Armor (d3-1)

Bontu Bhavsar / Lifeblood 11 / Villain Points 5 / Arcane Power 13
Attributes: Strength 1 Agility 2 Mind 4 Appeal -1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 1 Ranged 2 Defense 3
Careers: Sorcerer 3 Assassin 1 Scholar 1 Torturer 1
Boons: Magic of the Sorcerer Kings, Magic Resistance
Flaws: Poor Eyesight, Untrustworthy
Languages: Hindi
Equipment: Madu Dagger (d3) X2

Thuggee Cultists (Rabble) / Lifeblood 3 / Hero Points 0
Attributes: Strength 1 Agility 1 Mind -1 Appeal -1
Combat Abilities: Brawl -1 Melee 1 Ranged 1 Defense -1
Careers: Assassin 0
Languages: Hindi
Equipment: Aruval Sword (d6-1); Chakram (d3); Light Armor (d6-2)

Bulusu Sunita Kal / Lifeblood 20
Attributes: Strength 3 Agility 3 Mind 0
Combat Abilities: Defense 2 Protection d3 (+1 for each sword not used to attack)
Attack with one Tulwar, +2; d6
Attack with two Tulwars, +0; d6 each
Attack with three Tulwars, -2; d6 each
Attack with four Tulwars, -4; d6 each

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SciFi BoL Characters For Fun (But Not Profit)

Wherein your humble scribe presents a trio of NPCs for Barbarians of Lemuria… In Spaaaace!. These are put together mostly using the rules from Barbarians of the Aftermath and a few pulls from the other key BoL resources I’ve used before.

Traveling from the outer worlds to the Alliance capital aboard the tramp freighter Archilochus, Parjon Kelas (a minor noble with unique powers), Narsa Tash (a former slave from Aekos IV), and the disgraced boxerbot B0-RG9, are certainly bound for trouble. It’s in their nature.

Parjon Kelas / Lifeblood 10 / Hero Points 5 / Psychic Power 13
Attributes: Strength 0 Agility 0 Mind 2 Appeal 2
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 1 Ranged 1 Defense 2
Careers: Noble 1, Psychic 1, Scholar 1, Chemist 1
Boons: Learned: History, Prismatic Soul
Flaws: Reluctant Fighter
Languages: Galactic Common, Aekosian, Fajash, Botic
Equipment: Blaster Pistol (d6+1)

Narsa Tash / Lifeblood 13 / Hero Points 6
Attributes: Strength 1 Agility 2 Mind 0 Appeal 1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 1 Ranged 2 Defense 1
Careers: Barbarian 2, Thief 1, Slave 1, Spacer 0
Boons: Hard-To-Kill, Lucky
Flaws: Savage
Languages: Aekosian
Equipment: Sword (d6+1)

B0-RG9 / Lifeblood 13 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 3 Agility 1 Mind 1 Appeal -1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 2 Melee 0 Ranged 0 Defense 2
Careers: Gladiator 2, Mechanic 1, Spacer 1, Priest 0
Boons: Self-Repair, Brawler
Flaws: Batteries Required
Languages: Botic, Galactic Common
Equipment: Fists (d3+3)

I’ve realized that I just don’t have the interest, inspiration or ambition to put together a proper BoL space game at the moment. But then again, with BotA handy there’s not much that needs to be done mechanically. I’ve decided that “Spacer” is a career in the same way that “Sailor” is in BoL. It covers piloting, general engineering, zero-g combat, and pretty much anything else you’d expect a person who has spent significant time in space travel to do.

You could certainly break these things down to “Pilot” and “Gunner” and other such things if you wanted to. But I think that pushes you closer to Traveller, et. al., and thus misses the point of the BoL system.

But that’s just me. And it’s not like I’m getting to play any of this anyway, so what do I know?

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Heists For Fantasy Thieves

Wherein your humble scribe, drawing on the “All The Dice” random generator concept (tip of the hat to Grim), presents a random table for your nerdly needs.

My latest obsession/idea is an old school urban crime mini-campaign, something along the lines of the old Gamelords Thieves’ Guild RPG.

My first thought was to use Labyrinth Lord/AEC and break down the thieving skills a bit to turn that subsystem into something that players could customize to reflect their own individual thief’s specialties (sort like AD&D 2e did – but I don’t have those books handy to steal from reference). But when I started doing the math I quickly realized I’d be better off using a different system (one that was already skill-based).

So in rode BRP and the fabulous Classic Fantasy monograph (to be used if I feel the need to retain a degree of D&D style). If I ever make this get off the ground (and given my current levels of gamer ADD and the general scheduling issues with the folks I play with, that’s a dubious proposition) I’m going to need an idea generator for some thiefly adventures & heists. Hence, the tables below. Please feel free to make use of these in any way you see fit. Sharing makes the world go ’round!

Let’s Roll

Grab yourself a d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20 and roll ’em. Check against the charts below and let your creativity fill things out as needed.

Location of item(s) to be liberated, 1d4

  1. Temple or other religious/ceremonial building
  2. Private residence (1d4: 1 lower class, 2 middle class, 3 upper class, 4 nobility)
  3. Mercantile building (guildhall, apothecary, etc.)
  4. Governmental building (military hq, prison, town hall, etc.)

Complications of the job, 1d6

  1. No complications, job as described by the rest of the dice
  2. Minor complications, roll for a second guardian for the item (now under double guard)
  3. Major complications, roll for a second location (the item has been moved)
  4. No complications, job as described by the rest of the dice
  5. Serious complications, roll for two more guardians and a second location – the item(s) has been moved to a new location and is under a different kind of protection
  6. It’s a setup! A double-cross! A trap! Everything proceeds normally, but something bad happens if the job is successful (not paid, guard alerted, the job is completely fake, etc.)

Method of payment for liberating the item(s), 1d8

  1. No payment
  2. Keep anything else you can take
  3. Coin: ((2d4-1) X 10)% of item’s value
  4. Coin: ((1d10+10) X 10)% of item’s value
  5. A minor, limited-use magic item (potion of healing, etc.)
  6. Information (a treasure map, the name of a spy, etc.)
  7. Coins: (3d8 X 10) total gp value
  8. Gems: (4d6 X 10) total gp value

Nature of the item(s) to be liberated, 1d10

  1. Plain ol’ coin money
  2. Magic item (weapon/armor/shield)
  3. Religious relic
  4. Gems or jewelry
  5. Paperwork of significance
  6. Object d’Art (statue/painting/etc.)
  7. Symbolic item
  8. Magic item (non-weapon)
  9. Roll again twice using d8s
  10. Roll again three times using d8s

Guardian of the item(s) to be liberated, 1d12

  1. None
  2. Locked chest/safe
  3. Trapped & locked chest/safe
  4. Magical wards
  5. Generic human/demihuman guards
  6. Tougher-than-generic human/demihuman guards
  7. Natural animal(s)
  8. Monster(s)
  9. Undead
  10. Demon/devil
  11. Roll again twice using d10s
  12. Roll again three times using d10s

Source of the job, 1d20

  1. Professional connection (guild, crime family, etc.)
  2. Freelance theft-for-hire (merchant, sailor, etc.)
  3. Rumor/Innuendo/Legend
  4. Personal Reasons (revenge, matter of honor, thrill seeking, etc.)
  5. Religious connection (prelate with a problem, a favor for the god of thieves, etc.)
  6. Professional connection (guild, crime family, etc.)
  7. Freelance theft-for-hire (merchant, sailor, etc.)
  8. Romantic connection (spouse, mistress, etc.)
  9. Family connection (no-good brother-in-law, dying aunt, etc.)
  10. Political connection (local political faction, foreign government, etc.)
  11. Professional connection (guild, crime family, etc.)
  12. Freelance theft-for-hire (merchant, sailor, etc.)
  13. Rumor/Innuendo/Legend
  14. Personal Reasons (revenge, matter of honor, thrill seeking, etc.)
  15. Professional connection (guild, crime family, etc.)
  16. Freelance theft-for-hire (merchant, sailor, etc.)
  17. Military/Police connection (the corrupt sheriff, a questionable general, etc.)
  18. Rumor/Innuendo/Legend
  19. Professional connection (guild, crime family, etc.)
  20. Freelance theft-for-hire (merchant, sailor, etc.)

Some Sample Heists

  • Your older brother offers to pay you a lot of money to break into the town armory and steal the enchanted Shield of the Sentinels. Of course, the armory is guarded by a pair of basilisks, but that’s not a problem for someone like you. You know he can afford what he’s offering; you just don’t know what he’s up to, which is planning on double-crossing you by turning you and the shield in for the reward to pay off his gambling debts.
  • Old Garril the Stonemason offers you a number of small diamonds he once found in a wall he was repairing to steal the sixteen large sapphires Korath the Bold recently donated to the Temple of Naali. These are locked in a chest stored within the high priest’s chambers.
  • You’ve heard a rumor that there’s a woman in Amberton who will pay a nice sum of money for a set of enchanted combs that are currently available in the shop of Forlburt the silversmith. The smith is a paranoid sort, who employs a small number of human guards and trained hounds to stand watch over his shop even as he locks all of his merchandise within a heavy (and trapped!) safe every evening.
  • Your guild or crime family needs you to break into the manor house of the Harbormaster and steal the ledgers for the last season’s shipping taxes. Your reward for pulling off this heist is the name and location of the man who killed your family when you were young. Everyone knows that the house is protected by magical wards. Not even your contact knows about the wraith that has been bound to guard the grounds.
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Barbarians of Heavy Metal 14: Game Slate Panel 1…


Just a quick update on the progress of BoHM, this time talking about the tablet interface for the Gameslate.

The interface is made up of multiple panels, accessed through a pull down menu bar (which can be seen at the top of the picture below). For the first, Kickstarter, release, we will be focusing on everything the player needs to play the game, so that means a Character Generation panel, an Action Panel, a Music Panel, a Gear Panel and a digital Rulebook reminiscent of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which can be pulled down and read at any time from any panel.

To illustrate, here is the first panel a player will use, the character generation panel, and a character that has been created using it – Nicodemus Bosch, a Ledite of House Capricorn (inspired by Jethro Tull, of course):


Using this panel, one can completely create a new character, save it, delete it or search through the database for other characters created on this tablet (we’ll be looking into transferring them over Bluetooth later this year).

The Bio Panel is the first stop, as this is where you create a name for your character. the six buttons, from left to right are: Search, which allows you to use the next two buttons, left and right, to flip through the various characters stored in the database; two buttons to delete or add/save a character, represented by a ‘-‘ and ‘+’; and finally a Text button that pulls up the keyboard so you can name or rename your character. The small number to the right of the name is the ‘Level’ indicator. Basically, this keeps track of how advanced the character is over a starting one. This makes it easy to manage experience on sight.

The Attribute and Combat Adds panels are fixed, as the names of the stats are constant, and only allow the rank of the relevant Attribute or Combat Add to be adjusted up or down by the use of the adjoining dial. BoL players will notice that there is no panel for secondary attributes built off of these, like Life Blood (or Fight in the case of BoHM). This is intentional, as these are automatically generated from the ratings on these panels and will show up, and be manipulated on the Action Panel.

The Career and Instrument panels are three part: the top allows you to dial through the relevant careers, and by hitting the text button on the bottom right edge, even allows you to add custom ones. This is particularly important for instruments, which aside from the standard grouping of Axe, Bass, Percussion and Voice, can include a wide variety of other sonic devices, as Nicodemus shows with his preferences for Flutes, Keyboards and Mandolins.

The second part of these panels allows you to dial in a rank for said Career or Instrument and then add it with the down arrow button, to your skill list or, if you want to remove a career or instrument, take it away again. Very simple.

The third, bottommost panel simply shows you the careers you have chosen along with their appropriate ranks. If you end up with more than 4, the handy dial will let you scroll through them.

The final part of our character generation panel is the Style Dial. This large central construct determines three things for your character: their School of Rock, which is indicated by turning the metal Roctagon so that the character’s school is at the top; the character’s ranking in various styles, indicated by the number in the radiating Rank Indicators adjacent to each schools position on the interior Rocktagon; and the opposition school, at the bottom, which is the only place on the dial without a radiating Rank indicator.

Ranking various styles is done by turing the central selection dial so that the arrow is pointing towards the appropriate school and then using the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons at the base to change the number in the indicator.

The controls are all designed to look good and prevent accidental mishandling, hence the use of dials for a large number of selection points. I like dials on a touchscreen because they require a three step process to use: touch – drag – release. Unlike a plain button, which is simply touch, this means it is harder to accidentally change something by a simple misplacement of the finger.

There are buttons of course, but in accordance with the way people hold tablets,  they are kept towards the center of the design so that any movement of the hand to access them will be largely deliberate (in theory, or course). This is also why the dial controls are mirrored on the left and right edges. Ease of use for the thumbs. And of course, mixing it up a bit helps to make the design more varied, hence the use of buttons for Style Ranks instead of Dials.

Once the character is created, all these numbers will be fed into the approriate spots on the  other panels. The only place to change them, however (except in temporary cases, as when using equipment) is on this panel. This avoids accidental changes to the character during play and also allows the information to be presented in a more compact manner on the other panels, which is hugely important from a mobile platform perspective.

This panel is being broken up and the graphics added to the underlying code this week, and I’m currently putting the finishing touches on the Action Panel and Splash Screen panel (the in-progress version of which I placed at the top of the page). Hopefully, the Gear and Music panels will be finished by the end of the month so that we can get everything the player needs, sans Titans, ready for beginning of May. The Titan screen will probably have to wait until we can figure out how to get the tablets to communicate through Android, which might be a post Kickstarter deal, but progress is apace and I’m very happy with how it is turning out…

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OD&D Reprint, Other Stuff

OD&D Reprint BoxSo we’ve all heard by now that Wizards of the Coast is planning on reprinting the OD&D rules in what looks to be a pretty sweet boxed set. Some folks are uninterested. Some folks are concerned about the price. Some folks seem angry. Still others are rather chuffed. In other words, unique individuals are having their own unique reactions.

You can count me in the last group, though. For even though I own a copy of the Original Collectors Edition of the white box (as seen previously), I don’t own any of the Supplements in print form (I did get everything in PDF back when they were available through RPGNow) and I am an absolute sucker for a nice boxed set. And when that box is actual wood, well, sign me up! If nothing else, it’ll be fun to have this alongside the wooden box I sprung extra for in the Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls Kickstarter.

Go ahead and call me a consumer whore if you want to. But I will happily (and luckily for me) note that the release date on this is just after my birthday. So I get to call it my precious as a birthday present and not feel quite so bad about dropping the cash on it.

In Other News

The awesome G-Man slid me a new BoL adventure a little while back and, though I’ve been remiss in reviewing it for him (and posting it for y’all) my schedule has cleared up at last and, with a little bit of luck, it should see the light of day by the weekend. Feel free to yell at me if it doesn’t 🙂

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Nogoloth: The Singer From Beyond

Wherein your humble scribe presents a couple of NPCs and a demon for BoL. These were written with his Nogoloth Lovecraftian/dark fantasy setting in mind, but could easily be used with any BoL fantasy setting. The demon was assembled using the demon rules posted on the BoL boards way back in the day.

“Why have you summoned us?” the creature’s three mouths spoke-sang in unison, its voices harmonizing in a perfect minor triad.

“I call you forth in the name of Zog-Thaloth! The Red King! The Pipes of Wisdom! The Song that Dwells in the Copper Halls of Ullaq!” Sharuthua responded, her tones rising and falling in the prescribed melody of the ritual as Naqugol beat the ceremonial drum in time with the lesser priestesses’ orgiastic dancing.

“You sing well… for having only one voice,” the demon mused. “But the rite is not complete until you reach the highest note, fleshling.”

“Your presence here is at my will! Your power serves my own! Your service shall be rewarded in blood! So I sing in the name of Zog-Thaaaaaaal-oooooooth!” the priestess concluded the summoning song, ascending the scale of Ullaq fully, her lungs afire with the raw power of the final note, so high and piercing that the cavern came alive with a host of Kral bats, their slumber broken by a tone unfamiliar even to their keen ears.

“Well done, savage bonesack. Well done indeed,” chuckled the being from beyond this world. “Phu’ghaq’ug approves of your performance and will gladly serve your will in humility and good faith. Tell us now your wishes, and do please provide us with something to soothe our throats. Travel from our far home is so… drying.”

Sharuthua / Lifeblood 8 / Hero Points 5 / Arcane Power 14
Attributes: Strength 0 Agility 1 Mind 1 Appeal 2
Combat Abilities: Brawl 1 Melee 1 Ranged 0 Defense 2
Careers: Priestess 2, Sorcerer 2, Warrior 0, Farmer 0
Boons: Magic of the Sorcerer Kings, Power of the Void
Flaws: Delicate, Poor Recovery
Languages: Nogolothian, Low Speech, Star Tongue of the Elds
Equipment: Dagger (d3), Staff (d6-1)

Naqugol / Lifeblood 14 / Hero Points 5 / Arcane Power 10
Attributes: Strength 2 Agility 1 Mind 0 Appeal 1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 1 Melee 2 Ranged 0 Defense 1
Careers: Warrior 2, Priest 1, Hunter 1, Sorcerer 0
Boons: Quick Recovery, Hard to Kill
Flaws: Country Bumpkin
Languages: Nogolothian
Equipment: Spear (d6), Light Armor (d6-2)

Phu’ghaq’ug (Greater Demon) / Lifeblood 30
Attributes: Strength 3 Agility 1 Mind 4 Appeal 4
Combat Abilities: Brawl 4 Melee 2 Ranged 2 Defense 4
Demonic Powers: Speech, Sorcery (AP 20), Appeal, Telepathy
Attacks: +3 w/ strike (d6) or as weapon
Protection: 1d3 (iron-like hide)

Phu’ghaq’ug, called The Singer from Beyond, is a demon capable of living in – manipulating the arcane energies of – Nogoloth. Its normal appearance when summoned is of an attractive human man – typically in exceptionally fine clothing – with an effete affect. What marks Phu’ghaq’ug as otherworldly is the extra length of its otherwise human-like head, which accommodates the creature’s two additional mouths. Each mouth speaks with the same voice in a different register (bass, baritone, and tenor). The mouths typically speak in unison, though it is possible for them to communicate independently. Phu’ghaq’ug prefers not to do this, however, because it is deeply in love with the sound of its own voices

Phu’ghaq’ug is typically sought out by savage tribes and primitive sorcerers to serve as a weapon against the more civilized cultures. Whether its powers are employed in defense or aggression it cares not, so long as its taste for human blood is slaked.

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The Clockwork Turtle of Askerion

Wherein your humble scribe presents three Barbarians of Lemuria characters and a monster he put together on a whim, for use in his own (highly-derivative) Kaalmuria setting.

The Zaaric enchantress lay nearly lifeless on the deck, her skin sickly green from the rolling of the ship upon the churning waters. The captain and his first mate discussed their situation, speaking in a language their were fairly confident the witchwoman did not comprehend.

“She’s already paid us half, and we’ve been at sea for three weeks with nothing else to show for it,” the Kellman said in his heavily accented Geiric. “I say we dump her over the side and sail on.”

“Are you mad?” asked the great northern barbarian. “I’ll not have my ship haunted by the ghost of a witch who was murdered at sea.”

“You don’t understand how much trouble this one is, Lorm. You don’t speak her language. She’s constantly going on about how she’ll sail to the ends of the earth to find this Askerion fellow. She’s not going to give up, and thus we’re going to be stuck with her for a very long time. Her contract is ironclad. The ship is hers until we find whatever it is she’s looking for. Or until she dissolves the contract. Or dies.”

“You’re the one who didn’t catch that particular hook, Olbraigh. This is your fault, not mine. And it’s my ship, and it will not be haunted by a witch’s soul!”

Sandris / Lifeblood 10 / Hero Points 5 / Arcane Power 12
Attributes: Strength 0 Agility 1 Mind 2 Appeal 1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 0 Ranged 2 Defense 2
Careers: Sorcerer 2 Scholar 2 Artificer 0 Merchant 0
Boons: Learned (Flora & Fauna), Sling Master
Flaws: Landlubber
Languages: Zaaric, Kellic, Lirian, Thaxian
Equipment: Zaaric Mace (d6), Zaaric Sling (d6-2)

Lorm / Lifeblood 13 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 3 Agility 0 Mind 0 Appeal 1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 1 Melee 3 Ranged 0 Defense 0
Careers: Barbarian 1 Pirate 3 Thief 0 Soldier 0
Boons: Spear Fighter, Thick Skin
Flaws: Distrust of Sorcery
Languages: Geiric
Equipment: Geirbjornhaller Great Spear (d6+2), Axe (d6), Very Light Armor (d3-1)

Olbraigh / Lifeblood 11 / Hero Points 6
Attributes: Strength 1 Agility 2 Mind 1 Appeal 0
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 2 Ranged 0 Defense 2
Careers: Thief 2 Pirate 2 Scholar 0 Physician 0
Boons: Carouser, Marked by the Gods
Flaws: Poor Eyesight
Languages: Kellic, Zaaric, Geiric
Equipment: Kellic Broadsword (d6), Light Armor (d6-2), Shield (+1)

The Clockwork Turtle of Askerion / Lifeblood 40
Attributes: Strength 5 Agility -1 Mind -2
Combat Abilities: Defense -1 Protection 1d6+2
Attack with Bite +1; 2d6

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Pulp BoL Bestiary: The Blood Tiger Of Boruna Kal

Wherein your humble scribe presents a couple of pulpy characters and a deadly foe done up in Barbarians of Lemuria/Dicey Tales style.

“So tell me why we’re here again, Doc,” O’Meara shouted over the roar of the rain that beat heavily on the thick vegetation just outside of the small outcropping that sheltered the doctor and his retinue.

“My patient, Abigail Plume, suffers from an advanced case of Jakarta Plague,” Doctor Shaw replied. “Her father, the newspaper baron Arthur Prescott Plume, has funded this expedition because my research has uncovered evidence that there is a variety of Neomarica gracilis that grows only here on Boruna Kal that contains a compound that I might be able to use to save Miss…”

“Did you see that?” O’Meara asked abruptly, taking the pipe from his mouth and squinting into the deluge. The other crewmen of the Joan de Geneville could tell their first mate was clearly agitated.

“See what?” replied the physician, annoyed by the interruption of his exposition.

“Out there. In the jungle. Something… big… just streaked by us.”

“Nonsense. The largest native fauna on Boruna Kal is a relative of Tamandua tetradactyla, which typically only measures two to three feet in len…”

A deafening roar cut off Shaw’s nascent lecture, as an enormous cat-like beast burst through the tree line, its coat a deep crimson lined with black and a malign intelligence reflected in its amber eyes. Before O’Meara could level his rifle the tiger was upon them, a blurred mass of claws and fangs. Its first strike knocked the sailor back into the stone wall, the lit pipe dropping into the damp leaves.

Chris O’Meara / Lifeblood 13 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 3 Agility 1 Mind 1 Appeal -1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 3 Melee 0 Ranged 0 Defense 1
Careers: Sailor 2, Mechanic 1, Soldier 1, Merchant 0
Boons: Born Sailor, Fist-Fighter
Flaws: Superstitious
Languages: English, Italian, Spanish, Irish Gaelic
Equipment: M1 Garand (D6+2)

Dr. Ryan Shawn, MD / Lifeblood 10 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 0 Agility 0 Mind 3 Appeal 1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 0 Ranged 1 Defense 3
Careers: Physician 3, Researcher 1, Socialite 0, Academic 0
Boons: Great Wealth, Well-Dressed, Natural Leader
Flaws: City Boy, Vain
Languages: English, Latin, French, German, Greek, Italian
Equipment: .32 Revolver (D6-1)

The Blood Tiger Of Boruna Kal / Lifeblood 25
Attributes: Strength 3 Agility 3 Mind 0
Combat Abilities: Defense 3 Protection 2 (tough hide)
Attack with bite +4; d6+3
Attack with 2 claws, +3 each; d6+1
(Attack with all three attacks at +2 each)

The Blood Tiger of Boruna Kal is tremendously large, twice again the size of the largest (non-extinct) big cat known to man. The Blood Tiger is a fearless combatant and is known to swim long distances, visiting different islands in the South Pacific in search of prey. The animal is profoundly averse to fire and will flee from any blaze larger than a torch or small campfire.

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