Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Beyond Belief Games Website

Simon Washbourne has set up a website for his his game company Beyond Belief Games. It is your basic website with descriptions of his games and a few freebies. Amongst the current freebies is the complete Medieval Mysteries and Lashing the Ginger Beer games.

Thanks Simon.

Monday, June 20, 2011

G-Man's Lovecraftian BoL Adventure Trilogy

I’ve completed my read through of G-Man’s third installment of Lovecraftian adventures for Barbarians of Lemuria. (You can find the other posts here and here.) This adventure is called Children of the Void. I enjoyed this adventure as much as the other two. It has a similarly strange atmosphere and creepy bits. It comes in at 11 pages, which includes a nice appendix covering spells appropriate for the adventure. And it has maps. Once again, I don’t want to give the little (or not so little) surprises away so won’t comment more on the content.

Of the trilogy, I like The Sea Devil’s Debutante the best. The others are great but for some reason Debutante resonates with me the most.

G-Man has stated that he is working on a Hyborian adventure for BoL and, frankly, I’m having troubles waiting. G-Man is a creative individual who did such good work with these three Lovecraft flavored treats that I really would like to see what he can do in the world of Conan. When I think of BoL, I think of Conan so these should be right up my alley.

The three adventures can be found here. And once again the evocative front piece was done by Floyd Thompson III.

You can find all three adventures here. The material is hosted at Strange Stones. Check it out. It has some cool materials beyond G-Man's stuff.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Sea-Devil's Debutante

The Sea-Devil's Debutante is another atmospheric adventure for Barbarians of Lemuria by the talented G-Man.

The beautiful Clarisse Strangtham, scion of the mysterious, waterloving Strangtham clan, has come of age and is looking for a husband. So the Strangthams throw a party on their floating mansion to select the bridegroom. But all is not as it seems.

I won't say more so as to not ruin the surprises for potential players.

I very much like this scenario and how it is written. The author offers several potential hooks for getting the players involved. He sketches out the main npc's in enough details so you have a sense of what they are like. I particularly like the first of the two appendices. Appendix A details Strangtham family artifacts that can be potentially found in the mansion and used by or against the players. They can also be stolen and/or modified for other adventures.

If you are looking for a (self-labeled) Lovecraftian style adventure for BoL, look no further.

The gracious Venomous Pao is hosting the document over at his blog Strange Stones. You can find the 13 page adventure itself on this page along with other adventures for BoL and different systems. The artwork is from the first page of the document and was done by Floyd Thompson III.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Robert E. Howard

I just finished reading The Phoenix on the Sword by Robert E. Howard. It reminded that he is a very entertaining writer. I thoroughly enjoyed the story.

However, I have a love/hate relationship with Howard. And it really isn’t his fault. When I was a teenager I had two favorite writers: Howard and H. Beam Piper. (Of course my little teenaged mind thought it was of great significance that they both died by their own hands.) They are no longer my two favorite writers but they are in my top ten list. Then I started reading opinions and analyses of Howard and his works. My problem are the defenders and apologists of Robert E. Howard’s reputation and legacy. The vociferous levels of rhetoric that sometimes accompany discussions about his works is off-putting. If seems that Conan can’t be mentioned without someone excoriating L. Sprague de Camp, analyzing Howard’s psychological state at the time of his suicide or generally arguing that Howard was the best writer EV-AR.

I was letting these things get in the way of my enjoyment of the stories. And this is really too bad because not only do I enjoy the stories but I really like to game in the type of milieu that Howard created with Hyboria. I think I am over this now. I realized that people have taken these adventure stories and their author much to seriously. I just need to enjoy the stories and ignore the rest. And I need to find a sword & sorcery game to play in.

(I will make one comment, however, and this is more a reflection on me than anything else.. I grew up reading the de Camp edited stories and, frankly, if you set them down in front of me side by side I don’t think I would be able to tell the difference. Anyways, my two cents.)