Posts Tagged ‘ Barbarians of Lemuria ’

“This forest sucks!”

The humid night breeze rustled the leaves, which shifted just enough to reveal the corpse’s pallid arm.

“Look,” the thief said, pointing.

The thief’s companions followed the finger with their eyes. The leaves covering the body rustled some more, revealing more of the corpse.

“What caused all those wounds?” the fighter said.

“I have a better question,” said the wizard. “Why are those leaves starting to swirl about when the wind hasn’t picked up?”

The pile of leaves, as if they heard the wizard’s query, roared into a vortex of autumn colors before they raced toward the adventurers.

“We’re in trouble,” said the cleric, gripping his holy symbol.

Vampire Tree

The tree itself is immobile, but its leaves fly in swarms at night, hunting for prey much like vampire bats. When a swarm of leaves has drank their fill, they fly back, reattaching their swollen bodies to their branches to pump the blood into the tree. A vampire tree possesses dim intelligence, and its leaves have rudimentary visual and auditory senses combined with keen olfactory powers. A vampire tree fears fire, and will never send its leaves near flame.

For Barbarians of Lemuria

A full-grown vampire tree has hundreds of leaves. The stats below are for the tree’s leaves. The tree itself has no attributes or combat abilities.

Attributes: (for a batch of 10 or so leaves) Strength -3, Agility 3, Mind -1

Combat Abilities: Batch of Leaves +4, damage d6-1; Defence 4; Protection 0; Lifeblood 5

For Dungeon World

Large, Solitary
Flock of Leaves (d8+1 damage, 2 piercing)
20 HP
1 Armor
Close, Reach
Instinct: To drain blood
* Blend into woodlands
* Control flying, blood-sucking leaves
* Fill the air with danger

For Swords & Wizardry

These creatures use their leaves as weapons, releasing the leaves from the branches to fly toward prey. The leaves attempt to attach themselves (attacking as 12 HD monsters) to a body. When attached, they suck blood, doing 2d4 points of damage per attached leaf. Damage is automatic after the first successful attack, each attached leaf continuing to drain 2d4 hit points per round. The leaves are AC 9, and each has only 2 hit points, plus any hit points drained from the victim. The leaves will return to the tree when any being travels more than 120 yards from the parent tree or when the creature has no blood left. The tree can only control 10 leaves at a time. Vampire trees save vs. fire at a -2 penalty, and take +1 extra point of damage for every die of damage done by flame.

HD 12; AC 0 (19); Atks 1d10 leaves (2d4); SV 3 (18 for leaves); Special never surprised, vampiric leaves, fire vulnerability; MV 12 flying (leaves only); AL C; CL/XP 16/3,200

November 26th, 2014  in RPG No Comments »

The Six-Sword Box

If you’ve not supported Matt Jackson’s Wounded Warrior Project fundraiser, please do so. As previously posted, sales from my OSR PDFs go to support this worthwhile project. Item descriptions and discounts for those PDFs are in this PDF. Wheels within wheels!

If you’ve not watched Steven Chow’s Journey to the West, you should. It’s a hoot. Certainly right up there with Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle. Journey currently streams on Netflix.

Today’s magic item was entirely inspired by Show Luo’s performance as Prince Important in Journey.

Six-Sword Box

The fabled Six-Sword Box appears to be a finely crafted, lovingly lacquered box of the sort often used by ladies to hold jewelry. Instead of such baubles, the box holds six miniature swords, each carved from hardwood. With a flick of the wrist and a sung command, the box’s holder can set the miniature swords to flying, at which time they transform into full-sized weapons forged from the finest steel. The swords race through the air, turning and flying as directed by the box’s holder, who must maintain line of sight on the swords for them to continue functioning. When a sword draws blood, it returns to the box and reverts to its original wooden form. The Six-Sword Box functions once per day.

Barbarians of Lemuria

Each round, the box’s holder directs the swords and makes 1d6 attacks against visible targets. These attacks are modified by the holder’s Mind. A flying sword does 1d6+2 points of damage with a successful attack. Once the box’s holder has made six successful attacks, the Six-Sword Box ceases to function until the next day.

Dungeon World

Whenever you unleash the Six-Sword Box’s swords, roll+WIS. *On a 10+, you succeed with 1d6 attacks against visible targets with each attack inflicting 1d8 points of damage. *On a 7-9, you succeed with one successful attack against a visible target, inflicting 1d8 points of damage. The Six-Sword Box can make six successful attacks in a single day.

Swords & Wizardry

Each round, the box’s holder directs the swords and makes 1d6 attacks against visible targets. The swords fly with a speed of 36, and they attack as monsters with 6 Hit Dice, inflicting 1d8 points of damage with a successful attack roll. When a sword succeeds with an attack, it flies back to the box, reverting to its original wooden form.

July 21st, 2014  in RPG No Comments »

Atanasija’s Lyre

Dunwick Rossignols sang like an angel, but he had the heart of a devil. He used his charm and music to ingratiate himself into the life of Nafasi, a prosperous village situated near an important crossroad. Dunwick prospered. He also systematically seduced many of the village’s maidens and wives. The wicked bard delighted in the strife caused by his many conquests. He deliberately sowed seeds of jealousy and false hope, plucking on people’s emotions as deftly as his finger plucked his lyre’s strings.

Dunwick played his cruel games too long. His machinations provoked the widow Atanasija into a cold fury. She lured Dunwick to her home with carnal promises. As soon as he entered her home, Atanasija struck him a stunning blow to the head with a bronze candlestick holder. Her cold fury blazed white hot then, and she strangled Dunwick to death, crushing his windpipe with the candlestick holder. Horrified by her crime, Atanasija fled into the night, vanishing into Mabonde, the nearby forested valley. Dunwick was buried, and the villagers made a half-hearted and failed attempt to apprehend Atanasija. Little by little, life in Nafasi resumed something resembling what it was before Dunwick.

Months after Dunwick’s brutal murder, Atanasija, now mad, crept into the village’s cemetary. With ragged fingernails, she clawed Dunwick’s remains free from their grave and stole the bard’s skull. Back in her cave in Mabonde, Atanasija fashioned Dunwick’s skull into a macabre lyre. The mad widow played and sang her most beloved songs by Dunwick. Before the last echoes of her tortured voice faded in the darkness of her cave, Atanasija took her own life.

Decades went by as the widow’s corpse rotted away before a group of adventurers pursuing goblin raiders stumbled into the cave and discovered the Atanasija’s lyre.

Barbarians of Lemuria

A minstrel can play Atanasija’s Lyre and make a tough (-4) mind check modified by minstrel ranks. If the minstrel succeeds, 1d6 corpses within earshot of the lyre’s morbid notes rise up and attack the nearest living creatures, continuing to do so as long as the minstrel plays. If the minstrel’s check results in a natural 12, double the number of corpses that animate. If the minstrel’s check results in a natural 2, one or more of the lyre’s strings break and must be replaced before the lyre functions again.

Dungeon World

Whenever you play Atanasija’s Lyre near one or more corpses, roll+CHA. *On a 10+, several corpses animate as zombies under your musical control. *On a 7-9, several corpses animate as zombies.

Swords & Wizardry

Atanasija’s Lyre is a magical item usable by any non-Lawful character. As long as the holder plays this musical instrument, up to 2d6 nearby corpses animate as skeletons or zombies. Each round this lyre is played, there is a 10% chance the undead slip the musicians’s control and attack the nearest living creatures. In this latter case, the zombies and skeletons remain animated until destroyed.

July 2nd, 2014  in RPG No Comments »

Cruaum’s Codex

Who can understand the mind of Shimaus Cruaum? A man of wealth and sophistication, he moved with ease within upper classes, among whom he was widely admired for his erudition and talents as a healer. He also murdered prostitutes, those women Cruaum both desired and hated.

Now that Cruaum is dead, rumors abound about his earlier life. Many say he was no stranger to murder before arriving in the city. He poisoned his first wife, whom he’d gotten pregnant and was forced to marry. A female patient was found dead in the shed behind his clinic. He narrowly avoided imprisonment when two of his patients died under mysterious circumstances, the second one having been poisoned.

Rumors aside, this much is true: After moving to the city, Cruaum established himself as a respected healer and began to murder. His modus operandi was simple. He would solicit a prostitute, introducing himself as a man of medicine. They would take an evening stroll or some such activity. Cruaum would offer medicine, feigning kindness, suggesting that the prostitute appeared ill. He would then depart, and prostitutes who took Cruaum’s medicines would die a painful death by poisoning.

Cruaum murdered nearly a dozen women before he was caught. One of his victims survived, agreeing to take the offered medicine but later approaching a city official with her suspicions and the unconsumed poison. Cruaum met his fate at the business end of the executioner’s axe.

Cruaum’s wealth and property were seized by the city. Many of his moveables were auctioned off, but one lot disappeared before it could be brought up for sale. Cruaum had what appeared to be a thick book that, when opened, revealed an icon of death and several drawers in which he kept deadly ingredients. Tales of Cruaum’s Codex persist to this day. The infamous poisoner’s book reportedly holds insidious magic and also carries a curse.

Barbarians of Lemuria

An alchemist can use Cruaum’s Codex to make poisons, which can be Common, Uncommon, or Rare Preparations. The book counts as having access to the proper laboratory or shop and having the necessary raw materials. Cruaum’s Codex never need be restocked. An alchemist who fails a roll when using the book to make a poison must make a tough (-4) mind check. If the alchemist fails this check, the wicked spirit of Shimaus Cruaum will possess him for several hours the next time he falls asleep.

Dungeon World

Whenever you have time to use Cruaum’s Codex in a safe place, you can make three uses of a deadly applied poison. Each time you use the book, roll+WIS. *On a 10+, you suffer no ill effects. *On a 7-9, disturbingly pleasurable dreams about killing women haunt your sleep. *On a miss, the wicked spirit of Shimaus Cruaum possesses you for several hours the next time you fall asleep.

Swords & Wizardry

Cruaum’s Codex is a magical item usable by Assassins, Chaotic Clerics, and Thieves. Given a few uninterrupted hours once per day, the book’s user can concoct a single dose of deadly poison (save or die). This dose may take the form of a pill or a liquid (either of which must be consumed to be effective). Each time this item is used, there is a 5% cumulative chance that the wicked spirit of Shimaus Cruaum will possess the user for several hours the next time he falls asleep.

June 21st, 2014  in RPG No Comments »


The giant stone swords of Agmundr stand on a rocky outcropping along Sverdsfjord, one of the southernmost bays in that rugged, northland known locally as Izotz. Centuries ago, two kings vied for control of Izotz. Ecgberht and Hildebrand waged war against each other, and the conflict grew increasingly bitter and lawless as both kings sought the advantage over the other. Villages were burned, and their citizens put to the sword. Sacred places were defiled. The blood of innocents cried out for justice, but ambition and malice deafened both Ecgberht and Hildebrand. Into this chaos from out of the ice-locked north strode Guđbrandr.

Haunted by visions of those innocents caught in the conflict between the two kings, Guđbrandr swept into the borderlands between the kingdoms. The opposing armies broke against Guđbrandr’s righteous fury. Others, war-weary, flocked to Guđbrandr’s banner. Before long, Ecgberht and Hildebrand found themselves on the defensive. When winter came and the polar bears arrived to support Guđbrandr, the warring kings decided that perhaps peace was a better option.

In the dead of winter, Guđbrandr met with Ecgberht and Hildebrand at Agmundr by the frozen Sverdsfjord. Guđbrandr took the kings’ swords and thrust them into the rocks. Then he took his own blade and did the same with it. The two kings knelt and swore fealty to Guđbrandr and amity between themselves. The witnesses to this agreement stood awed as the three swords turned to stone and grew to enormous size. The largest sword belonged to the victorious Guđbrandr, and the two smaller swords to the defeated kings Ecgberht and Hildebrand.

Since that day, those northern lands are ruled by a triumvirate of kings descended from Guđbrandr, Ecgberht, and Hildebrand. Each king’s coronation takes place at Agmundr, and the ancient oaths of fealty and amity are repeated in that god-touched place.

Anyone who dedicates himself to a cause or quest may journey to Agmundr and swear an oath on the power of those stone swords.

Barbarians of Lemuria

Upon swearing an oath on the power of Agmundr to accomplish some task, a hero gains 1d6 Fate Points. The hero can use these Fate Points to grant himself a one-off boon, just as if he were a priest.

Dungeon World

When you bolster yourself prior to swearing an oath on the power of Agmundr, you gain preparation as normal, plus you gain hold equal to preparation+2. If you violate your oath, the power of Agmundr will make its displeasure known. As long as you act to fulfill your oath, you may spend hold, 1 for 1, to choose an option:

• Defy danger as if you rolled a 10+ instead of rolling the dice.
• Heal damage equal to half your max HP.
• Inflict maximum damage with an attack.
• Use an advanced move appropriate to your class one time as if you were one level higher.

Swords & Wizardry

A character who swears an oath on the power Agmundr to accomplish some task gains a +1 bonus to attack rolls and saving throws until that task is fulfilled. If the character does not diligently work at performing the task, a deadly weakness sets in (50% reduction in Strength), and an attempt to entirely abandon the quest incurs a curse.

June 19th, 2014  in RPG No Comments »