Monday, August 29, 2022

Sword & Sorcery Games

I own a lot of RPGs.  I mean a LOT.  It's a weakness with me.  Or an addiction.  But that's between me and any future therapist that I get.  Most of them are in PDF form.  I have a comb binding machine so if a like a game enough I print out a copy and bind it into a book myself.

My favorite genre of games is Sword & Sorcery.  (I think.  Because I like SF and post-apoc quite a bit too.)  I have quite a few but I've never compiled a list.  So that is what I am going to do here.  I'm bound to miss a few but I will add those later.  I think I have a somewhat narrow view/definition of what S&S is but I am going to list the games that the publishers advertise as S&S.  But it will also be tempered by my own judgement.

I will state up front, for those who don't know, my favorite S&S game is Barbarians of Lemuria.  It is a light, flexible game that can be played in many different S&S settings.  Not just the interesting one it comes with.  It fact, it has been used for different genres and eras as well and it has been turned into a generic pulp system with Everywhen.

Unfortunately, I haven't played all of them.  Or most of them.  And there are few I haven't read yet, too.  There are several I really want to try out but I actually have very little opportunity to play.

So, here we go:

  1. Barbarians of Lemuria
  2. Barbarians of Lemuria - Legends of Steel Edition
  3. Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperboria
  4. Barbarians & Basilisks
  5. Barbaric!
  6. Beasts & Barbarians: Savage Worlds
  7. Black Sword Hack
  8. Blades & Black Magic
  9. Blood of Pangea
  10. The Bloody-Handed Name of Bronze
  11. The BoL Hack
  12. Broadsword
  13. Bronze
  14. Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed
  15. Crimson Blades
  16. Crypts & Things
  17. Forgotten Tales of Sword & Sorcery
  18. GURPS Conan
  19. Into the Bronze
  20. Jaws of the Six Serpents
  21. Lankhmar: City of Thieves (Savage Worlds)
  22. Lankhmar: DCC
  23. On Mighty Thew
  24. One Dice Pulp (One of the "skins" is for sword & sorcery)
  25. Red Mists: Swords Against Sorcery
  26. Shadow, Sword and Spell
  27. Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells
  28. Stormbringer
  29. Sword Noir
  30. Sword of Cepheus
  31. Swords Without Master (in Worlds Without Master #3)
  32. Through the Sunken Lands
  33. USR Sword & Sorcery
  34. ZeFRS
  35. ZeFRS - Cimmerian Quickstart
Additional titles
    36. Swords Against the Shroud

Sunday, August 28, 2022

#RPGaDAY2022 Oops

I didn't even meet my modest goals for RPGaDay2022.  So, I'll just give the rest of my answers in one post.

3. When were you first introduced to RPGs?

I was introduced to RPGs in the Fall of 1979 when I overheard some friends talking about a game at the bus stop.  I asked them if they were talking about D&D.  They weren't, they were talking about the Metagaming board game Melee.  But they did play D&D.  I bought Melee and then a short while later the Holmes Basic box. I was on my way.

7. System Sunday: Describe a cool part of a system that you love.

I really like the career system from Barbarians of Lemuria.  Instead of a list of skills a character has several careers from their past.  So whenever a character attempts a task, if it relates to one of his careers, he gets a bonus.  

The career system does a couple of things for the game simultaneously.  First it helps with genre emulation.  Barbarians of Lemuria is a sword & sorcery game.  Characters in the fiction often start out experienced and competent.  Having already had several careers shows this experience.  So, you were a farmer who became a mercenary that then turned pirate.  

Second, BoL is a rule-lite game and it helps speed up both character creation and game play.  During character creation you don't have to agonize over a list of skills trying to decide over which will serve you best during the game.  And during the game you don't have to remember which skills you have on your character sheet.  You need to tie a knot that will hold the weight of the treasure as you lower it down the cliff?  You were a pirate.  Pirates are sailors who have a lot of experience with knots.  You get the bonus.

Third, it gives the character an instant backstory.  Farmer, mercenary, pirate?  Our hero Kinlar was a simple farmer.  He tended his farm with his family, did his civic duty by participating in the town assembly and serving in the town militia and generally minded his own business.  Until the warlord Tyern destroyed the town, burned his farm and butchered his family.  With nothing left for him he took his meager skills as a militiaman and joined a mercenary outfit.  There he became a hardened soldier of fortune.  All the while his heart smoldered with the desire for vengeance against Tyern.  After several years as a mercenary his company was destroyed in an unsuccessful campaign and Kinlar fled for the coast after the battle.  There he was picked up by pirates.  They intended to sell him as a slave but his fighting skills soon earned him the pirate captain's respect and a place among the crew.  So, a quick and dirty backstory but easy to come up with.  It also provides a goal, hooks and complications that the GM can use.

These are the reasons I like the career system in BoL.  And to top it off, it is easily transferable to other genres using the system.

8. Who introduced you to RPGs?

School friends.

9. What is the 2nd RPG you bought?

It's hard to remember for sure but I believe it was Gamma World.  I remember reading Star Man's Son by Andre Norton and Hiero's Journey by Sterling Lanier not long after getting Holmes Basic and then seeing Gamma World.  I loved the post-apocalyptic worlds and wanted to play in something like them.

10. When did/will you start Gamemastering?

Immediately.  It was just me and a friend and someone had to do it.  I really started with Melee and Metagaming's solo adventures like Death Test.  But then it was me running games for my friend.

12. Why did you start RPGing?

It seemed like fun!  It WAS fun!

13. How would you change the way you started RPGing?

I wouldn't have jumped to AD&D so quickly.  It seemed expected at the time but I wish I hadn't.  And what I really wish is that I would not have dismissed Moldvay when it came out.  I only started exploring it when I got back into RPGs years later.  It and its derivatives are now my favorite versions of D&D.

16. What would be your perfect game?

Does it exist?  That's hard to say.  I really like Barbarians of Lemuria but it and its system isn't perfect.  But it's solid and adaptable.  I don't actually think there is a perfect game for me.  It would have to be anything and everything I want it to be all at once.

17. Past, Present, or Future? When is your favorite game set?

In the fantastical past.  In Lemuria.  My other favorite game is B/X.  B/X is pure fantasy.

19. Why has your favorite game stayed with you?

BoL.  Its ease of use and flexibility.  I really like the way that the character generation inspires my imagination.  And that it can work in many different settings.

21. Setting Sunday: Share an intriguing detail from a game setting you enjoy.

The setting for The Fantasy Trip: In the Labyrinth is the giant world of Cidri.  Cidri was created by the Mnoren.  This dimension traveling race imported people from across Earth at various times in the past as well as from fantasy worlds.  This allows GMs to create almost any historical or fantasy setting they want and mix and match as they please with a tech level up to early gunpowder equipment.

31. When did you first take part in #RPGaDAY?

The only other time I participated was 2015.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

#RPGaDAY2022 Day 1 - Who would you like to introduce to RPGs?

I would like to reintroduce my sons to RPGs.  We haven't played in a long while and it would be nice to play. 

Monday, August 1, 2022

#RPGaDAY2022 Day

There is another RPGaDAY challenge happening.  These can be fun but sometimes I can't complete monthly challenges like this.  So I'm going to approach this on a little different.  I'm only going to answer the questions I want to, at the rate I want to.  That way it is enjoyable, as it should be, and not a stress.