Sunday, April 25, 2010

BoL: play report

So our group finally got together for a game of BoL. I was joined by Chris, a Canadian bloke, and Sam, another Aussie. None of us knew each other (we met via a Australian RPG forum). Another mate of mine was due to play but couldn't get here for various reasons.
And you know what? We had a lot of fun.

Massive shout out to Pao over at www.strangestones.wordpress for coming up with the original "getting together... BoL style" idea.
Chris decided he would roll uo Manatha Albarn (wizard/alchemist/blacksmith/healer) a sorceress who operates a small alchemy/apothecary shop in the temple controlled city of Oxy (see previous posts to read about my saga's setting. Sam decided she was going to be mistress Manatha' general dogsbody - a farm boy who came to the big city, got mixed up on the wrong side of the law and ended up working for her ladyship in a fixer/scout/bodyguard capacity. (farmer/hunter/thief/assassin).
The pair were looking through the equipment and weapons section when I dropped this little bomb shell on them:

"You're not sure if it's the fetid stench, the grating feeling of the shackles about your wrists or the sheer smell of unwashed bodies, filth and human waste that wakes you. Groggily you come to, realising you're chained to the scummy walls of a dank, dark cell across from each other.
Suddenly there is a series of metallic clangs and a hatch above you flies open and a body falls into the pool of greasy water in the middle of the room.
"Sleep well, we hang you tomorrow, traitor," a rough voices booms.
Meanwhile the figure in the middle of the room lets out a low groan..."

I'd like to point out here that about half an hour before kick off, I realised that I'd left all my material at work and had nothing to go on, so I just winged the whole thing - and the beauty of this system is that you can. I mean, I had a basic idea of what I wanted: pcs wake up in the dungeon and try and escape but nothing else.

The (very!) drunk figure in the middle of the room turned out to be Tarl, a swordsman. He had little memory of the night before but seemed to think there was a city-wide crack down: the temple was worried about a brewing war between two of the city's noble houses and was locking up anyone for anything.
Manatha used her magic to replicate acid on her companion's shackles at the Gerun, the young rogue managed to open his mistress'. Tarl decided to tag along - I spun a nice little story about a whore, a lack of payment and the killing of one of the temple guardsmen during the ensuing brawl, complete with drunken, slurred speech. (It wasn't acting, I think I was still on a high from the night before)
Our trio eventually encountered a lone, drunken guard. And the idea was for the pcs to get a quick kill by overpowering the drunk, take his weapons and have a real chance to fight their way free.
I've never seen anyone roll so many "2s". Within a couple of rounds, the sorceress was trying to fight off the drunk with a now unlit torch, Gerun was badly injured and three other guards had joined the fray.
In an amazing feat, the pcs decided to douse all the lights and leg it back the way they came - eventually tracking down and ambushing the guards who decided to go back and call for help.
Things went down hill from here as the party (now armed) found signs that something horrible was eating the other prisoners.
They eventually stumbled into an old tomb complex and found the horrid Phestas that was to blame.
Instead of fighting the thing - they actually used its acid spitting ability to collapse a section of roof in an effort to escape.
I had mentioned that much of the roof looked aged and cracked - they decided to stab the thing from both side with spears and hoist it into the worse section of roof - needless to say, the acid spitting thing burned its way through the roof and into.... the temple above.
However, for every round spent in the now collapsing room I made them roll to dodge falling bits of ceiling. One roll - save. Second roll - save. I rolled for the highly amusing NPC, Tarl: natural 2...
Everyone was very sad that the poor drunken SOB copped a giant hunk of stone right in the head and was reduced to a bloody mess.

Our heroes, low lacking poor Tarl, followed the Phestas' trail of destruction - by appropriating temple robes and keeping well back.
Our saga ended as they decided to check out their shop (I decided it had been ransacked by the Temple guards who arrested them) before heading for the city gates to get the fuck out of Dodge.
All of this was totally on the fly - I casually mentioned that the roof looked weak and they decided to use the poor monster to bust free. On a whim I thought "why not have them now bust into the bath chamber of the female adepts of the temple..." and it went from there.
Everywhere, half naked temple girls were running and screaming while the gibbering, slug-like thing charged about and our pcs tried to look innocent.
The Phestas was eventually named "Slappy the seal" because of the very camp waddle I gave it.

It was a fun. Lots of fun: between them deciding to burn through the bloody roof using a spear-hoisted monster, to the poor drunk being killed by bits of falling roof, to the bizarre run through the temple, complete with screaming women and howling monster. Lots of fun!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

BoL monster: Phestas

These hideous monsters generally dwell in dark, damp caves, catacombs and dungeons and will pick off the unwary who wander near its lair.
Always solitary they attempt to eat anything they find – usually by striking from ambush.
Using their sticky, suction like underbelly they’ll often cling to the roof or walls and drop onto unsuspecting passers-by, simultaneously spitting a corrosive acid they can ferment in their gut.
They resemble sickly green jellyfish but with two long blubbery ‘‘arms’’ that protrude from their midsection that they can use to grapple and hold an opponent down.
Once they’ve killed something, they’ll generally cover it with their body and continue to inject acid until the food is soft enough to digest.
Dark tales tell of tomb robbers pinned down by the Phestas and slowly killed by its acid over a period of days or even weeks.

enveloping it.
Signs that one is living in the area usually entails finding blobs of green goop and acid melted bones.
St: 2
Ag: -1
Mnd: -1
Protection: 0 (that blubbery hide is helping no one)
Lifeblood: 30
Combat quality: Attacks: 2 - mouth attack (1 bite or acid spit) and claws (1 claw attack)
Bite: d6, claws: d4 each.
Acid spit: The Phestas make a foul and corrosive acid deep in their guts which they can spit at the beginning of combat dealing 2d6 - 3.
Every second round after that they can spit a slightly watered down version of the acid, dealing 1d4.
Heroes hit by the acid spit will take two points of damage per round unless they Tricky task roll using strength. (ie: -1 to roll).

The acid will eventually eat through steel, leather, flesh and bone and this foul creature will use it to soften up food before eating.

Monday, April 19, 2010

There are plenty of roleplayers in foxholes

There certainly are roleplayers in foxholes.
On Sunday I'll kick off my brand spanking new Barbarians of Lemuria campaign for two guys and a girl.
I intend to roll some dice, drink some beer, tell some tales and generally have an all around good time.
Sunday, April 25 is also Anzac Day here in Australia as well as New Zealand, a day that many outside of these two nations really know about.
Here it's a national day of remembrance to commemorate and honour members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli, in Turkey in WWI.
Now it also is reserved as a day to honour the fallen in all wars - from the bloody fields of WWI, to WWII, Korea, Vietnam and modern conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the numerous peace keeping operations Australian troops are involved in around the world.
I served with the Australian Army Reserve and while I'll attend the dawn service, dig out my one solitary medal and raise a glass to former and serving members of the Australian Defence Force, I'm also planning to commemorate the day by DMing this game.

I know a lot of former and still serving members of the defence force who are war gamers and roleplayers.
I had a regular group of guys from my section who gamed together, taking it in turns to GM. As a teen I regularly wargamed and even roleplayed with my father a Vietnam vet and still serving soldier.
Thankfully when I think of these blokes this weekend, none of them have been killed or seriously injured.

Lest we forget.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

BoL: an NPC for every game

I love a back story. From every character I create to the NPCs that inhabit my worlds, I like everyone to have a bit of a motivation and a life outside of the 20 seconds they're "on screen".
Of course the trick is to make sure you don't become too attached to your NPCs - what happens if they die, the pcs never eve speak to them, etc?
At the same time, it can shit the pcs to tears if every blacksmith they run into is a retired fighter and every inn keeper has an ancient family curse and a kidnapped daughter.
So, a fine balance is needed.
But just for funzies: I've thrown together a list of quick and dirty BoL NPCs.

The gimpy merc
This experienced sell sword has seen it all. At some point during his career he suffered a horrible leg injury and is now reduced to a hobble. Now he mainly takes the low rent jobs: caravan work, body guarding, etc, and has been forced to become canny and wily to survive.
St: 2 Ag: -1 Mn: 1 Ap: 0
Bwl: 0 Mle: 2 Msl: 0 Dfc: 0
Mercenary: 2
Protection: d6 (medium armour & shield)
Sword (d6+2)
LB: 10

Desert raider
A member of one of the nomadic clans that prowl the desert outside Oxy. He and his small band have been forced to raiding caravans and travellers to survive.
St: 0 Ag: 2 Mn: 0 Ap: 0
Bwl: 0 Mle: 1 Msl: 1 Dfc: 0
Barbarian: 1 Hunter: 1
Protection: none
Sword, d6, bow, dagger
LB: 9

Adept of the death god
Sworn to the Grand Temple of Nemmereth in Oxy, this young Adapt is in her first few years of training. Children are given over to the temple at a young age or taken from the orphanages by the priests to serve and will spend many years learning the secret rituals and rites.
St: 0 Ag: Mn: 2 Ap: 0
Bwl: 1 Mle:0 Msl: 0 Dfc: 1
Priest: 1
Scribe: 1
Protection: none
Black robes, holy symbol, staff
LB: 8

Temple Guard
The priesthood rules the city through fear but enforces its rules and regulation through the thousand strong Temple Guard. These "Swordsmen of the Long Sleep" are experts at using the great, two handed swords of their order and wear long dark robes under their iron breastplates and helms.
They might not care for Nemmereth but they are totally devoted to their mistress, the High Priestess.
St: 2 Ag: 1 (0) Mn: -1 Ap: 0
Bwl: 0 Mle: 1 Msl: 0 Dfc: 1
Soldier: 1
Priest: 1
Protection: Heavy armour (d6) and helm.
Two handed sword, (d6+3) short sword.
LB: 10

Free trader
This greasy tub of lard serves no master and knows full well that all laws are only there to be broken. He trades with the city of Oxy, the desert nomads and even the far-off Plainsmen, buying, selling and trading gems, fine ivory, wooden furniture, spices and silver hilted swords cunningly made by dark skinned smiths in the shadow of the Fire Mountains.
St: 0 Ag: 0 Mn: 1 Ap: 1
Bwl: 1 Mle: 0 Msl: 0 Dfc: 1
Merchant: 2
Protection: Fur-lined robes and cape. (1)
Sling, club.
LB: 8

Street thief
She's just a wee lass that should still be at home helping her ma, but she's already carved out an excellent reputation as a pickpocket and pilferer.
Raised on the streets and hardened by the tough life she's found there, this thief is an expert at her trade.
St: -1 Ag: 3 Mn: 0 Ap: 0
Bwl: 0 Mle: 0 Msl: 1 Dfc: 1
Thief: 2
Beggar: 0
Dagger, rags.
LB: 6

Tomb raider
Oxy is built on the ruins of a far older city which is rife for plundering. Every year, thousands of tomb raiders descend into the catacombs seeking riches and fame. Few return.
St: 1 Ag: 1 Mn: 1 Ap: -1
Bwl: 1 Mle: 0 Msl: Dfc: 1
Thief: 1
Mercenary: 1
Proection: d6-2 (light armour)
Short sword (d6+1), crossbow, climbing gear, thieves tools.
Lifeblood: 9

Temple prostitute
While the temple of death holds supreme, other gods are still worshiped in Oxy. Temples ofLilandra "the Seductress, Goddess of Love" tend of resemble high-class whorehouses.
They regularly host services that revolve around getting your gear off. 13 temple prostitutes, all beautiful women aged between 16 and 32, are always on hand.
St: -1 Ag: 1 Mn: 0 Ap: 2
Bwl: 1 Mle: 0 Msl: Dfc: 1
Dancer: 1
Prostitute: 1
Jewellery. They don't wear anything else...
Lifeblood: 5

This huntsman from one of the small communities outside Oxy ranges through the arid lands with his bow.
An expert at surviving the rocky barrens he feels very out of place on the few occasions he finds himself inside the city walls.
St: 2 Ag: 1 Mn: 0 Ap: -1
Bwl: 1 Mle: 0 Msl: 1 Dfc: 0
Hunter: 2
Bow, knife, woodsman's' axe.
LB 10

With great power comes great responsibility. Or so they say. This young sorcerer is only just out of his apprentice robes but reckons he knows it all.
From a noble house he was packed off to study with a wizard when his talent became apparent.
Now he's out to prove his worth.
St: -1 Ag: Mn: 2 Ap: 1
Bwl:0 Mle:0 Msl:0 Dfc: 2
Sorcer: 1
Scribe: 1
Robes, staff.
LB: 8

Tavern keeper
When you order an ale - you ask this lady very nicely. A former sellsword she settled down to run a local tavern. She keeps the place ship shape and is more than happy to spill the latest gossip or just bore you with tales of her day soldiering.
St: 1 Ag: 0 Mn:0 Ap: 1
Bwl: 1 Mle: 1 Msl:0 Dfc:0
Soldier: 1 Merchant: 1
Tavern. Sword (kept under the bar)'
LB: 7

Noble scion
This strutting peacock is the heir to a vast fortune and lives in the lap of luxury in the Tower quarter.
He doesn't mind occasionally slumming it by touring the lower class dives to see how the other half lives, but spends most of his time enjoying himself.
St: 0 Ag: 0 Mn:0 Ap: 2
Bwl: 0 Mle: 1 Msl:0 Dfc:1
Noble: 2
d6-2 (light armour), duelling sword.
LB: 6

Sunday, April 11, 2010

BoL NPC: Nerreus the Bonerattler

Marr ran a hand through his ragged beard absently hunting a louse. He used his other hand to balance his spear over his right shoulder.
The bandit was sick of this patrolling, who did Mulo think would be hunting their band up here in the high woods, anyway?
Glancing back to where his four companions walked behind him he bestowed a gap-toothed grin.
"Not long now me lads," he said.
"Back to the camp in an hour or two and we can get back to the real business, eh?"
Coarse laughter from the other bandits greeted his jest.
With idle thoughts about the captive girl he'd had the night before, the brigand continued to stride on.
They'd raided a small village the week before, putting the men to the sword and taking most of the women and children.
The poor wretches were bound for the slave market in Arn but they'd be sorely used by the band of bandits before they got there.
"But I want that fat one, this time," one of his men called out.
The laughter began a new. But something was ahead made Marr raise his free hand to call a halt.
Something was wrong.
"Felaz? Grom? Where are you bastards?" he called to the two scouts ahead.
When there was no answer he unslung his spear. Like most of the men under his command Marr was clad in a mix-mash of armour: leather breastplate, bronze greaves and other off casts he'd stolen or found over the years.
His short sword hung at his side, clad in the pricey leather scabard he'd taken from a caravan trader two winters ago.
Suddenly there was a high pitched TWANG and a scream from behind him. Spinning around Marr could see one of his men had sprouted an arrow from his right eye.
The bandit sunk to the ground, while his hands twitched impotently.
Before Marr could yell for his men to scatter the twang of the bowstring rang out again and his brother Lemi clutching an the missile that had penetrated his upper chest.
Charging towards the tree line where the arrows had come from Marr let out a blood curdling howl. He'd spent six years as a spearman with the Tyr-Sogian army before an incident involving a dead whore and a scheming pimp had forced him into banditry and he knew the only way to survive this encounter was to attack.
Behind him his men had finally been forced into action and were following suit.
A gaunt man stepped from the treeline, arrow knocked and string drawn back to his shoulder.
A third bandit died and the mysterious man stepped forward to meet them.
He was dressed in good quality but dirt hunters' garb and tall, much taller than Marr but gaunt almost to the point of being skeletal.
But what captured the bandit's eye was the enormous sword the man was drawing from a sheath over his shoulder.
Unlike his own short and those used by most soldier - double edged, straight and usually less than 50 centimetres - this blade was huge.
It was much longer than any blade he'd heard of - except maybe those in the far north, and only had a single cutting edge.
The mere sight of the blade and the evil grin on the swordsman's face made the experienced fighter start to draw up, letting his spear point drop.
His companion had no such problems and continued to charge forward, his own short pulled back for a low thrust and his wooden shield held high.
The man stepped forward, that huge blade moving almost too quickly to see as it looped down and then suddenly up.
There was a sudden fountain of blood and the bandit was looking down at the red, spurting stump where his sword hand once was. Before he could even react the sword flicked back around almost effortlessly cleaving through hair, skin, skull and brain.
Almost totally detached Marr noticed how the warrior was able to wield the large sword both single and double handed.
He turned that blade on Marr then. Still smiling that chilling grin, the tall warrior slashed, catching him across the arm.
The bandit pulled back, thrusting his spear at his opponent only to have it knocked effortlessly aside.
He saw the mocking grin as the sword hilt swung around and smashed into his temple, drowning him in darkness.
Later he awoke with a horrible ringing in his head and a fierce, red pain along his shoulder. He was laying on the grass, a heavy hempen rope binding his hands and feet together.
"Ah, good. You're awake," a voice said with a heavy accent.
The grinning swordsman stepped into his view, the long sword once more sheathed over his back. Now he gripped a long, thin rod of blackened metal.
A fire lay, crackling behind him. Further back Marr could see the piled corpses of his men.
Squatting down beside the fire the man thrust the rod deep into the flames and left it there.
"My name is Nerreus. You may know me as the Bonerattler," he said in that funny accent.
Nerreus? Marr knew that name - what bandit or rogue didn't. Nerreus the hunter - the Bonerattler.
He let out a low whimper. It would have been better to die with a sword or spear in hand than the way he was going to go.
"You're going to tell me exactly where the rest of you are," the Bonerattler said pulling the object from the fire.
"I've got a whole list of questions."
The rod was glowing white hot.
Marr screamed.

Nerreus the Bonerattler
Strength 3
Agility 1
Mind 1
Appeal -1

Brawl 1
Melee 2
Ranged 1

Soldier 2
Blacksmith 0
Hunter (of men) 1
Torturer 1

Lifeblood: 13
Hero Points: 5

Medium armour (d6-1), -1 to agility. (Boiled leather cuirass, helm)
Long bow, dagger and Bonerattler* (Bastard sword), torture tools
Languages: Lemurian

Hard to kill


Nerreus, called the Bonerattler, started life as the son of a simple village blacksmith in a quiet corner of the kingdom of Tyr-Sog. From a young age he desired to be a soldier and when he reached the appropriate age his father took him to the nearest garrison town to apprentice him.
For more than a decade he served in various border clashes, eventually leading a company of spearmen.
After his stand at the Kibal pass, where he led a bitter rear guard action against overwhelming odds, Nerreus was granted a small plot of land near Tyr-Sog and released from service with honour.
Now a relatively wealthy freeman he settled down, took a local wife and decided to pursue his father's trade as a blacksmith.
With the rents from his land Nerreus did not need to work and the smithy was not much more than a hobby and his skills never really advanced much further than basic work.
His wife bore him two sons and a daughter and the family prospered until a band of masterless men, bandits and rogues came across their estate.
Nerreus had taken some of his wares to market earlier in the day and did not realise the danger until he saw dark smoke in the distance.
His wife, Lucrenza had been raped and killed, his children murdered along with most of his slaves.
No more the gentleman freeholder Nerreus went after the band. Within the month all 19 of them were dead and Nerreus had dedicated himself to hunting and finding such men.
Over the years he learnt the skills of tracking men and how to hurt them with fire, iron and water, to make them talk. He turned his arts at the forge towards creating instruments for interrogation and other objects of pain.
Several years after gaining his vengeance he took a contract on a disgraced warrior who had killed the son of an eastern noble in a drunken fight. The noble paid Nerreus with the bastard sword he now carries.
Made by smiths in hot, far off eastern lands the sword is long and curved and unlike the short swords of the northern kingdoms.
Over the years men began to call Nerreus the Bonerattler - maybe because he makes even a stout swordsman's bones rattle in fear or because of the things he can do to you with hot irons that will make them rattle in fear.
The hunter has also taken that name for his unusual sword.
His constant hunt for evil doers has left him a bitter man with no taste for pity or compassion. Once a happy, care free young man he has turned into a cruel, uncaring man in his 40s.
A lifetime of killing and hunting has turned his grim face into a hatchwork of scars and old wounds over leather-like skin.

* The Bonerattler is a bastard sword that can be either used two handed or one handed if the wielder has the right training. It's very well made and legend has it that the blade was dipped in a red haired slave's urine (or blood, depending on the story) on a full moon.
Therefore it always deals +1 damage on top of whatever damaged rolled.
Strange, wispy runes adore its hilt and pommel and the scabbard is made of black, lacquered wood.
It resembles a Japanese Katana

Life happens

So life, much like shit, happens. Put it on a bumper sticker.
I had teed up our first Barbarians of Lemuria adventure for Sunday, through email and RPG forums I'd managed to contact a Canadian guy who had recently moved here and a local girl who were both keen to give BoL a go.
I'd also managed to con an old friend of mine to get involved.
All of them had some roleplaying experience with the Canadian guy being the most experienced.
But I stuffed up.
My wife got sick on the Friday and instead of telling the players they all spent the weekend sitting by their email waiting for the message telling them a time and place.
Obviously my thoughts were not on roleplaying.

Anyway, hopefully this hasn't put the kybosh on getting these guys together another time. They seem like a good bunch and I'm very keen to get playing a BoL saga with them.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

BoL Friday Saga challenge

After coming across this topic on the Barbarians of Lemuria forum:

I thought I'd throw the floodgates open.

What BoL adventurers have you got in mind?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

BoL v D&D starting characters

Dol the rogue peered into the gloom, his flickering torch only illuminating a tiny portion of the ancient crypt the and his three stout companions had discovered high up in the Wolfkill Mountains.
Behind him Alana the righteous warriors of Pelor , her retainer Jorge and the wizard Heloas waited patiently.
"C'mon theif, pick the bloody lock and let's get this show on the road," Jorge growled, absently scratching his bushy beard.
"That red headed lass at the inn said she'd wait for me if we got back early."
There was a muffled chuckle from the wizard.
"As long as you bring gold back from this wretched place is what she said."
Ignoring his companions' banter Dol carefully jiggled the door lock, sliding one of his long, slim picks into it.
A slight turn to the left, another half twist and just a little...
The door gave a sudden loud click.
Grinning the thief turned to the party.
He was still grinning when the floor fell out from beneath him. The wiry rogue has just enough time to let out a yelp before sharp blades slid up, slicing through him heart and head.
The three remaining adventurers turned on each out, gaping.
Suddenly from behind they heard the clank of metal and creak of leather.
Six heavy set orcs stepped into the chamber, all six were clad in heavy coats of mail and carried a medley of weapons - wicked curved swords, barbed spears and heavy axes.
"Six? Six of 'em? We're done for, lads," gasped the fighter.
"We only started doing this crap a month ago!"
In front of him, his mistress drew her bastard sword and started her death chant to her god.

It's a pretty familiar occurrence - a party of 1st level heroes blunder into a dungeon and within a couple of rounds one has been hacked to bits of by Gnolls another has been impaled by a spike trap and the wizard was turned into a testicle after drinking that potion of amber liquid.
Total Party Death.
Now, I've got no problems with this: I've lost many a 1st level character and it's always fun.

But what happens when I roll up a 1st level character with a back story. The general premise of most D&D characters is that they grew up in a small rural community and then suddenly decide they want a little bit of action and adventure in their lives.
What about if I want to roll up a first level fighter who happens to be a vet of the Goblin Wars or a mage who has spent some time travelling around learning the arcane ropes?
The level of experience and stats you're faced with generally means you can't reflect this.

Now, when it comes to Barbarians of Lemuria* the four careers mean you have to roll up a new character that's been around the traps.
Getting four points to spend on various careers is an interesting concept because, straight off the bat, you're playing with a slightly matured hero.
It also means you're probably more likely to survive your first trip down into the dungeon.

Example: I decide I want to roll up a barbarian warrior as a new character. We'll call him Korvald.
Knowing I toss three points at strength and one at agility to make him a strong and fast bruiser.
Next I decide to throw one point in brawl, two in melee and one in ranged. Korvald is a big bruiser who knows all about infighting but is also a decent hand with a bow.
Now - careers is where's it all at.
As said before, Korvald is a barbarian of the frozen north so has to take a Barbarian career.
What now? Well, how about our young blade decides he wants to get out of the icy wastes and goes to his father, demanding a share of his inheritance. (Ungrateful little turd!)
Using this one fifth of his father's gold and property he raises a small mercenary company and heads south to the civilised lands.
So we'll give him a second point in Mercenary. Actually, how about we give him two to represent several years as a captain of sell swords.
Still with two points to go I throw a point down on thief.
After several years as a wandering warrior Korvald settles down in the city of Tyr-Sog with his fortune. But he quickly finds he simply can't cut it as a man about town and has blown most of his dough.
So he takes to house breaking and this eventually leads him on the road as a travelling thief, willing and ready to break into ancient crypts and temples.
We've got one more point to spare so I decide to spend it on Noble, bringing us to four career points.
Noble? Well, during his travels Korvald, now a relatively experienced adventurer, breaks into an temple dedicated to a dark god and bloody rites in the city of Koth.
After nicking off with the golden chastity belt of the head priest and some nice silver candlesticks he discovers the princess Lela chained to the main altar, ready for sacrifice in some dark ceremony.
After much sword slashing, leaping and jumping Korvald flees the temple with the princess and the gold.
As a reward the old king Oswald of Tyr-Sog marries the young lass off to our warrior.

Now Korvald is ready for adventure once more: eventually he'll get tired of living the live in a gilded palace and hit the road again.
He's perfect as a starting character - a little bit seasoned, plenty of backstory and plenty of reasons to head back adventuring. Will Lela be captured or murdered by an evil warlord, maybe the cultists come back, maybe the king orders Korvald to re-assemble his old warband and race to the border, etc.

But possibly the best bit is the story - I'm all about the back story and the motivations: I've just spent the last 10 minutes crafting a pretty compelling back story and history for what is just a 1st level character.
Pretty neat, eh?

Barbarian 1
Mercenary 2
Thief 1
Noble 0

* I'd like to point out I don't actually work for Cubicle 7 or anyone selling BoL - I just like it...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

BoL Hero Vasha the huntress

Vasha nocked her arrow, slowly allow the wooden shaft to rest crosswise along the belly of her bow.

Ahead of her in the glade the shaggy Bouphon raised its head from the stream and looked around.

The huntress knew she needed to act fast before the horned creature realised she was crouched in the nearby treeline.

Taking a deep breath she cuffed an errant lock of her copper hair from her brow and drew back her bowstring.

Suddenly the shaggy creature in front of her let out a wild growl and spun around - but it was not looking in her direction, instead the creature was starting toward a man clad in rough homespun who stood stunned, mouth open and rooted to the spot.

The dumb farmer had blundered into the clearing and disturbed Vasha's hunt.

With a bellow the Bouphon charged, it's head lowered and it's huge horns before it.

The farmer was still standing rooted to the spot when Vasha released her arrow.

The shaft sped straight ahead, taking the creature low in the gut.

She'd had a clean shot lined up until the beast moved and now the thing ploughed into the ground with thud and a pitiful cry of pain.

The farmer began to blubber thanks as the huntress left her position amongst the trees and approached the thrashing beast.

Ignoring him she placed her bow on the ground and drew a long hunting dagger from her belt.

The Bouphon looked up at her, pain had wracked its large, heavy features but there was still fight in it yet.

Quickly and cleanly she ended its suffering.

"Be still my brother, forgive me."

Vasha the huntress

Strength 1

Agility 2


Appeal 1

Brawl 1


Ranged 3


Barbarian 1

Hunter 2

Soldier 1


Lifeblood: 1 Hero Points: 5

Protection: 1 - Vasha wears enough leather and pelts to stop a sword slash or a weak spear thrust.

Long bow, dagger

Languages: Lemurian, Valkarian


Keen Scent, Tracker

Flaws: Taciturn

Vasha the huntress was born into a minor clan in the Valkarian wastes.

She was the 12th child born to her father, the clan's chief hunter and from a young age she was taught to hunt with the bow and the spear to earn her keep.

Life is hard in the Valkarian lands and everyone, regardless of gender, must earn their way in the clan.

She showed great skill as a hunter, especially with the bow and she brought down great snow bears and the Volf - the six legged wolves of the icy wastes - for her clan.

At 16 while hunting a rogue snow ape that had been attacking people she was caught up in a blizzard and found herself far from home.

Lost and all alone she kept heading south, hoping to eventually find the lands of the friendly Nuash clan, she figured she'd eventually find the nomadic people and they could feed her before sending her back on her way.

Much to her dismay the land became warmer and more hilly until she found herself on the edge of the Arnian League.

Totally naive in the ways of civilisation but still intrigued by it all she wandered into the small border castle town of Nicol. This strange, busy land was alien to her but she quickly found a place as a archer in the lord's company.

The League is forever eyeing the surrounding lands with greed and her first years in their employee she saw frequent action against the troops of Tyr-Sog.

Sick of being constantly outflanked by Tyr-Sogian troops who knew the ground better the lord of Nicol commissioned several of his more promising officers as scouts and deep raiders.

Vasha was picked to serve in the 1st Arnian Irregular company, who spent much of their time behind enemy lines, scouting, raiding and headhunting the enemy leadership.

Many of her comrades were folks who had worked the slightly shadier side of the law in their civilian days and Vasha became adapt at moving quietly, theft and cutting down the enemy from behind.

Finally the league and the Tyr-Sogian empire settled once more into a bitter, sullen truce and the irregulars were no longer required.

Now in her 20th winter Vasha roams the lands, bow in hand.

Monday, April 5, 2010

BoL hero: Gezun il'Belac

Sorceress Gezun Il'Belac was the daughter of a wealthy noble family of the Kothian Confederation. The second daughter, among a brood of five she was destined from a young age to be married off to cement a political alliance.

But while her sibling were content to play the games of politics, live the pampered live of a noble and spend their family's coins Gezun found herself drawn to something greater.

She was betrothed at 15 to the heir to a merchant family from the Arnian League and unlike her counterparts she set out to learn the trade of her husband to be.

Her friends and ladies in waiting mocked her: she only needed to learn how to be beguiling and beautiful, not how to do the work of her husband.

A woman only needs to be desirable, not competent, they said.

Only a week before the wedding her husband died of a fever and Gezun returned to the womens' quarter of her family home.

Lacking direction she turned to the musty old scrolls and tomes left by a distant relative and slowly started teaching herself the basics of spellcraft.

Meanwhile her family set about finding her a new suitor. Things change dramatically when Zull ebin il'Belac arrived at the family home and demanded the girl come with him.

The wizard, a distant cousin, took Gezun in and began her studies. Even from afar he had felt her power, slowly growing.

After several years learning with her kinsmen she was sent out to find her own way.

Now Gezun, still only newly initiated to the arcane arts, is on the search for adventure.

Gezun il'Belac

Strength 0

Agility 1

Mind 1

Appeal 2

Brawl -1

Melee 1

Ranged 2

Defence 1


Noble 1

Merchant 1

Scribe 1

Wizard 1

Lifeblood: 10

Hero points: 5

Protection: Very light armor (protection d3-1)

Weapons: Curved sword, Bow, dagger.

Boons: Attractive