Saturday, October 31, 2009

Barbarians of Lemuria

I fell in love with Barbarians of Lemuria the moment I read the free version. Don't exactly know why but I did. I have always enjoyed a good Conan story and as others have commented, this game fits the sword & sorcery genre perfectly. It is rules-lite which is a big bonus to me. I seem to have an antipathy for easy spellslinging. Magic seems to me as if it should be dark and mysterious. And difficult. BoL provides this in a flexible system. And though I am not overly enamored with the setting it seems as if it would be easy to change it over to Hyboria or some other land. I purchased the commercial PDF soon after reading the free version and I will soon acquire the print version. (The new, revised print version comes out in December. Hurm, just in time for Christmas.) I have not had the opportunity to play it yet (along with many, many other games) but I really want to. I also want to get the Legends of Steel BoL edition and Barbarians of the Aftermath (loves me some post-apocalypse). I would like to have them in hardcopy if it is ever published that way.

I recently created a couple of BoL characters. I think I'll post them soon.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


This is the character my son created for Labyrinth Lord. He named the character after one of the protagonists in the Knights of the Silver Dragon series. In the books, Kellach is an apprentice wizard who has a series of adventures with his younger brother and one of their friends. One thing my son quickly recognized was that, apparently, Kellach wasn't a 1st level wizard. He seemed to have more than one spell at his disposal at one time.

1st level Wizard
Alignment - Neutral
HP 5 AC 8

St 8 In 16 W 15 DX 13 Con 15 Ch 13

Spell book:
1st - Magic Missile, Protection from Evil, Read Magic
2nd - Arcane Lock

Languages - Common, Gnoll, Goblin

A Bunch of Equipment that my son agonized over.

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Games!

My copies of BASH, Supercrew and (beat up) WEG 1st Edition Star Wars arrived today. I'm very excited.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Starting Labyrinth Lord

So, when my 9 year old, who I shall refer to as Aha, said he would like to play a game like the books he was reading I said, "Great!" I had recently printed Labyrinth Lord and read it. It is so simple. I did not play the Moldvay version of Basic D&D. I started with Holmes and plunged straight into AD&D shortly thereafter. I really like the simplicity of LL. My tired brain absorbed the rules easily. Something I don't know if it is capable of right now with more complex games. I read a lot of discussion/controversy about race as class. Even though they were separate throughout my playing time it doesn't bother me. I don't know why but have discovered I don't care I don't know why.

So, Aha wants to play a young wizard like one of the protagonists of The Knights of the Silver Dragon. So I explain attributes to him and how they effect the game. He decided to read about each of the attributes anyway. Then we set about rolling up a character. Since this is his first time and he wants to play a wizard I have him roll 4d6, discard the lowest and assign as he likes. He assigns his highest to intelligence and we are off. It actually took us two evenings to finish the character because Aha would deliberate and read some of the book before each decision. Between the two sessions he read the spell lists. Not just the 1st level spells but all of them and he still deliberated for awhile. He then poured over the equipment list and agonized over what to buy. I didn't worry about encumbrance. That can come later. So we finished it and had quite a bit of fun with the process. We planned to start the next time we had the opportunity.

Then my five year old decided he wanted to play.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Traveller Characters

I've always enjoyed the mini-game of creating Traveller characters. Creating the back story of the character. When I got Mongoose Traveller I pulled out my LBBs and rolled up a few characters before I tried the new system. Here are a couple of the results, a couple of very successful navy men. Yes, they made every commission/promotion roll. You should see the pages of characters that weren't quite so successful. It is interesting to compare the results of the two systems.

Classic Traveller

St 7
Dx 10
EN 8
In 12

Ed 13
SS 14

Terms 6
Rank - Admiral
Age 42

Cr 12000
TAS Member

Fwd Obs 1
Dagger 2
Gunnery 1
Medical 2
Admin 1
Vacc St 1
Navigat 1
Engin 3

Mongoose Traveller

St 7
Dx 11
En 8
In 10
Ed 8
SS 15

Homeworld - High Tech
Navy - Flight
Terms 6
Rank - Admiral
Age 42

Cr 110000
Ship's Boat
TAS Member
2 Ship Shares

Computer 1
Gambler 1
Pilot SpCft 2
Astrogat 1
Medic 0
Melee Bl 1
Admin 1
Leadership 1
Vacc Suit 1
Navigat 1
Zero G 1
Tactic Nav 1
Gunner Tur 1
Diplomacy 1
Mechanic 1
Pilot SmCt 1
Gun Combat 1
Recon 1

The Mongoose version received more skills. For what its worth.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Games I Own

I don't have much left from the old days. All of my D&D, AD&D, Gamma World and Top Secret stuff disappeared or was destroyed at various times. About all I have left is my Classic Traveller books and my Melee/Wizard games. The last may not count because I never owned or played In the Labyrinth.

Several years ago I purchased the GURPS 3rd edition core book and the Gurps Traveller, Imperial Rome, Space, Transhuman Space, and Low Tech supplements. I've never played.

My recent resurgence of interest has prompted me to buy Mongoose Traveller, Savage Worlds, Slipstream, and 3:16 in hard copy. I have Supercrew, BASH, and WEG Star Wars 1st Edition on the way. I've also purchased PDFs of Barbarians of Lemuria, Broadsword, and HardNova II. I liked the read-through of BoL so much that I am going to get it in paper-version when the new edition comes out in December.

I've downloaded a bajillion free PDFs. Of these, I've printed out Labyrinth Lord, Basic Fantasy, ZeFRS, Mazes & Minotaurs, and 4C. Of these, I've only played a little Labyrinth Lord.

And you know what? I want MORE!
The Socrates quoter just displayed the classic, "The unexamined life is not worth living."

I can never see this without thinking about Saul Bellow's commentary:

"Socrates said, 'The unexamined life is not worth living.' My revision is, 'But the examined life makes you wish you were dead.'"

Most have probably seen this but it still makes me smile.

The First Post

I hope to use this blog as a sort of open journal about my reintroduction to role-playing games. You see, until recently I hadn't played for over 20 years. About 1986 to be exact. Oh, I had some of my old games around and would periodically pull one out and generate a character or three. I particularly like doing this with Traveller. I still have my LBBs from the early '80s. Recently, I purchased the Mongoose version and generated characters from it. Now, my main problem has always been finding the time and the people to play with. This has changed recently. My oldest son turned nine this year. He also read, or should I say devoured, The Hobbit and a series of books entitled The Knights of the Silver Dragon. This is a series of children's books based D&D featuring an apprentice wizard, his younger brother, and a young thief. I asked him if he wanted to play a game like that. He said yes. So I am back playing rpgs.