Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Damned Barbarians!

Now, anyone who's been visiting my blog to read my infrequent posts should know that I have a relatively young campaign going called Tales of the Wanderers. I'm using a S&W Complete/Flame Princess hybrid rules set for it. There has been a bit of dimension hopping going on already, with characters starting off from Greyhawk's Oerth and Dragonlance's Krynn. Yes, a kender walked on Oerth for a short time, but alas he has now returned to his homeworld. His player had come to me to let me know that he has had a long-standing yen to play a monk character, and this was made possible after I aquired the S&W Complete rules (I had initially been using only the Lamentations of the Flame Princess deluxe box set rules). So the kender left our ongoing storyline, to be replaced by a monk.

The players characters are now on the world of Golarion, the default setting for Pathfinder. I find the setting fascinating, from the nations to the history and the gods, and at the moment found it more appealing than Oerth, Faerun, Krynn, or any other prepublished setting. Perhaps this is because I've done a lot of recent gaming in those worlds, and because at least one of my players has read a good bunch of novels based in Faerun. I felt like Golarion was new ground, and could be easily tweaked and reshaped into my own image. And I absolutely need a published setting to help me provide details for the campaign, because I just don't have the time to create my own world from scratch. But I am taking many liberties with the setting.

Anyone interested in knowing more about the goings on in the campaign can read the adventure log at Obsidian Portal.

Now, all that said, I want to stress that I really love what I've created with my players for the Tales of the Wanderers campaign. I like how I've blended S&W and LotFP, I like my smattering of house rules for the campaign, I like the characters my players' enthusiasm and the characters they are using. I have lots of ideas to throw at the players. Yeah, everything is good.

And of course, along comes the serpent in the garden. The serpent's name is Barbarians of Lemuria (referred to as BoL from here on out). You see, I have a weakness for swords & sorcery. Most of my roleplaying experience may be with epic or high fantasy, the default mode of Dungeons and Dragons-style gaming, but I love my Conan, my Elric, my Fafhrd and Grey Mouser, etcetera. So when I heard rumors of this BoL game, I had to seek it out.

I acquired a copy, and quickly I was ensnared! The system is simple and is well suited for games that aspire to capture the swords & Sorcery feel. I recommend checking it out.

But now I am eager to finally do a campaign set in Hyboria, something that has been gnawing within me forever! And though BoL has a the built-in Lemuria setting, it can easily be used for a game set in Conan's world.

Damn you, Gamer ADD! Damn you, "new shiny"!

So, here's what I'm currently planning. I am thinking of starting a campaign called "With Steel and Spell: Adventures Across Hyboria" using the BoL system. It will serve as a "side campaign" of episodic adventures, just like Robert E. Howard's Conan stories. This campaign will be a quick and easy game for those times when my players and I, for whatever reasons, are not prepared to delve into our main campaign. There are nights when some or all of us are not up to the demands of the more structured Tales of the Wanderers game (we may be exhausted from a hard day's work, I may not have had time to prepare materials for a session, etcetera).

That's where BoL comes in! We can still use our game night for gaming, but without worrying about the more serious campaign. So, that's how I am trying to contain the BoL beast, through compromise and not outright denial! Repressing one's urges is never good, right? Especially urges of a barbaric nature!

Questions for the masses:

Has anyone else out there recently been hit with a bout of Gamer ADD, and if so, how did you overcome/appease it (if you were able to do so at all)?

Has anyone had any experience with BoL, such as actual play? If so, please share!

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