Played It! Barbarians of Lemuria
Living, loving and slaying to contentment.
Barbarians of Lemuria
The Second Age of Man is a savage time of sorcery and bloodshed, where strong men and beautiful women battle with warlords, priests, magicians and gladiators to carve a bloody path to the Throne of Lemuria...
Barbarians of Lemuria is a sword & sorcery RPG. Lemuria is that future fantasy post-apocalyptic setting. Long dead sorcerer-kings, blue-skinned giants, lost ruins and sky-ships!
Characters have four stats and a series of descriptive careers, both of these are modifiers to task rolls. 2d6 + stat + applicable career or combat ability. 9+ is a success with threshold for mighty and legendary success. Or calamitous failures☠️
Opposition comes in three levels, rabble, toughs and villains and I love this mode for ease of GM prep.
I wouldn’t call this rules-light. It’s between Lady Blackbird which is as rules-light as I’d like and Burning Empires - which requires real commitment. On a scale of 1-5 dice of GM and player effort. I’d place it at 3, which is perfect for 3-6 sessions of fun.
Our barbarian cast are Crassius, a blue-painted mercenary with a cadre of mercs. Capt Corvinius, swashbuckling, sky-pilot with a lightning gun. And the black-speech sorcerer Nar-Yunna, a fully-leaned in sorcerer. Barbarians of Lemuria suggests spotlighting a character per adventure. Our first was Corvinus and the Treachery at Axos Mountains. I leaned into some of the character’s backstory about being on the run from justiciars from Satarla. Our first session was part session zero and setup. Our crew are on a stolen skyship trying to get away from Justicars pursuing Corvinius. This was an easy way to let the players show off their “Stuff” learning the core mechanics and FIGHT!! The next three sessions were the characters discovering what attacked the Tower of the Moon, a haven of outcasts, exiles and pirates. The plan was to go to ground there. We explore the magic, creature, villain mechanics and character advancement mechanics through these sessions. I must say, on the table, the advancement cycle has won me over. I was skeptical at first. Reading about how the characters spin tales of the wealth and treasures they found and losing it all to get Advancement points. Those who entertain the best get bonus points, while any who would hold back and keep treasures get less. Sounds crazy when you read it. The villain of the series was a bloodless sorcerer-king. The players got the best of it through cunning and trickery. Two of the players boasted about their opulent spending of the wealth the acquired from the sorcerer-king’s jewels and crowns and rings. Nar-Yunna the sorcerer however, discovered a rod of three parts and kept it to study… this rod leads us into a potential next adventure - Nur-Yunna and the Rod of Eternity! See how that works! I’m sold!!
BoL adventures can be built out like traditional adventures. You can see this from the supplement the Skyward Citadel. I stole a few things from there as a scaffold for our start, mainly the antagonists. I grabbed a Dyson Logos map of a tower and creatures I knew I wanted to use as opposition. The undead Necrophages and the Necropede, an Andrak, a massive, shaggy lion-like beast and the Bloodless Sorcerer-King. I Hard Framed the opening scene then let go of the reigns and let the players explore the tower. There was a point where the characters rescued survivors and began to understand what would be waiting below if they continued exploring the tower. Capt Corvinius made an argument to cut and run, Nur-Yunna counter-persuaded, and the party ventured further. They could have left and our adventure would have ended differently. That this choice exists is important to me, especially since I hard framed the opening. BoL supports my way of running games.
Would play again!
Hell ya! We’re taking a break to explore Mythras, but I think we’d easily return to Bol, it’s prolly our current B-side backup game if we’re down a player. I’d add more fictional details to treasures, wealths now that I have experience with how advancement works. Describing some things players might want to keep for themselves and let them have to make choices!
The Foundry VTT support is in French, but beautiful, but French. I’d update a branch of the module to support English before I ran this again. IRL at a table, I’d bring maps, minis, old paper, and treasure minis. It’s not a tactical grid game, but the visuals would be perfect.