Tag Archives: Cepheus Engine

Hit Locations for Barbaric!

Because why not. I threw this together for yet another option for Barbaric! It’s just something that hit this morning so I scribbled down some notes. Yes, another random idea.

So first this would replace the standard crit tables but not the additional damage from crits as per the Barbaric! rules. This still adds a whole bunch of danger and dismemberment to combat. On the referee side, I wouldn’t worry too much about a hit location table for each and every monster morphology. Just roll with it.

First the table. Throw 2D:

2: Head

3: Right Arm

4: Left Arm

5 to 9: Torso

10: Right Leg

11: Left Leg

12: Vitals

So what do you with that location? Well, first you can do piecemeal armor. Assume the price listing and optional encumbrance in the book is for a full set of armor. For piecemeal armor, adjust the price and encumbrance based on the percentages used below. Yes, you are going to have to do some math.

Head: 30%

Arms 30%

Torso/Vitals: 50%

Legs 40%

Vitals: 30%-Dead

Damage Modifier: Any damage that gets by the character’s armor is modified by the location that’s hit and damage effects applied as normal.

Head/Vitals: 2x

Arms/Legs: 1/2x

Torso: 1x

As I said earlier, this is just a wild idea that popped into my head. YMMV.

Cepheus Light: Upgraded Thoughts

Who doesn’t love free stuff? Stellagama Publishing is offering up Cepheus Light: Upgraded as a free PDF on DrivethruRPG.

So where does this take my little mind? Well, Cepheus Light is a lighter version of the full Cepheus Engine rules but not any where near as light as Cepheus Quantum games like Barbaric! So why not start with something like Barbaric! and tack on more of the details skills and some other the other mechanics from Cepheus Light plus more tidbits from Sword of Cepheus. I will say this the Quantum games offer much less complex monster stat blocks and thus makes the referee’s life much easier.

And yes. I know Cepheus at its heart is a SciFi RPG and I keep ranting about Barbaric! and Sword of Cepheus. SciFi is sort of my GM blind spot. For some odd reason, I’m just not good at it.

I’m still gaming via VTT’s so anything that is more rules light with quick character generation is the sort of thing that I’m looking for right now. I’m still brainstorming this whole idea which is why I’m posting. I’m sure folks have an opinion out there.

First, Quantum games don’t really have Attribute scores for the characters. This is handled via Skills and Traits. So add Attribute score. Now, working via a VTT (and with gamers who have never played a Cepheus (or it’s progenitors) normal character generation would (IHMO) really bog down. Quantum games just give a pool of Skill points to distribute. Much quicker but there’s a very limited number of skills. So my initial thought is to run with a template approach for skills. Pick this career and boom there you go then use discretionary Skill points for additional terms in a career. I’d limit to only three terms and have something for changing career paths. And just do one big Events Table for anything interesting that could happen.

This is just the kernel of an idea that’s bouncing around inside my head. I don’t how far I’d run with it or maybe change up the whole thing. Just throwing it out there.

Cepheus Deluxe!

I’ve been excited about this one since I heard it was coming out. For me, the whole Cepheus sphere of games has been a breath of fresh air. I’ve spent plenty of time with d20 based games and lots of others but coming back to the simple 2d6 mechanics of yore has been fun. Plus I just haven’t taken the time to dig through some boxes and find my original Little Black Books.

Let me get this part out the way. What’s this whole Cepheus thing? To put it simply, a bunch of folks who are way smarter than me created the Cepheus Engine SRD based on open gaming content and created a game inspired and basically compatible with good old Traveler. (Google it.) To put it in more generic terms, it’s a skill-based, roll-2d6-high game system.

What does Cepheus Deluxe bring to this party? It streamlines the key elements of the game (like character generation) without making a “rules light” game. (If you want that may I suggest Cepheus Faster Than Light or Cepheus Quantum.) And it does this while still maintaining basic compatibility with other adventures and supplements made for Cepheus. You may have to do a little converting depending.

My initial thought is to marry up Cepheus Deluxe and Quantum. At first this may sound silly but hear me out. Deluxe for player characters and important NPC’s then use the Quantum rules for minor NPC’s or other nasties. It would just make the referee’s job a whole lot easier.

Like most games, there’s an implied setting. It’s what I would call hard-ish Sci-Fi. It ain’t Star Wars or Guardians of the Galaxy. Think more Aliens, Starship Troopers, Bayblon-5 and the like. It doesn’t mean that you’re stuck in Sci-Fi if that isn’t your thing. There’s plenty of supplements and complete games that cover other genres.

I’m really pleased with Cepheus Deluxe and it’s a welcome addition to my gaming collection. I just may have to come up with sort of Sci-Fi campaign to suggest for my gaming group. And in case any one was wondering, there’s the optional rule that your character can get killed during character generation.

You can grab the PDF up over on DrivethruRPG and POD should be coming soon.

Death Stalkers of ANtediluvia Made Copper!

Thank you everyone! Death Stalkers of Antediluvia made Copper on DrivethruRPG! It couldn’t be done without the good folks of the gaming community and of course the great work by Stellagama Publishing on Barbaric!

And remember. Hard copies are available on Lulu.

I’m still working on that adventure plus a setting toolkit with even more options. Thanks again!

Barbaric! for Lemuria

Any time there’s a discussion about what’s the best Sword & Sorcery RPG, Barbarians of Lemuria (BoL) comes up. With good reason, it’s a great and simple game.

There three versions/editions of Barbarians of Lemuria; the original free version, Legendary Edition, and Mythic Edition. All three versions are very much the same at the basic level. Careers instead of hard skills, mysterious magic, and a 2d6 task resolution system. Hey wait? Isn’t there another sword & sorcery game with a 2d6 task resolution. Yep, Barbaric! for Cepheus Quantum.

While both games have different design philosophies, the underlying game mechanics are quite similar and thus making them perfect for kit bashing and home brewing. Now there a few big differences. First, come to damage. An average character in Barbaric! could take about 21 points of damage (END 7+Lifeblood 14). While in BoL, an average character could take 10 points. In Barbaric!, a sword does 3d6. In BoL, 1d6+Strength. Second, Skills (in Barbaric!) versus Careers (in BoL). The Skills in Barbaric are broad but the Careers in BoL are even broader and a bit more narrative about when you can gain a benefit. And lastly, magic is different but still uses a 2D6 resolution system.

Taking those differences into account, it makes very easy to add a few bits of one game and add or replace it with the bits of the other. Maybe add a little more detail to player characters using a character generation system more like BoL but monsters and NPC’s simple like in Barbaric! Maybe just switch out the magic systems with a little tweak here or there.

Now, this idea just popped into my head and I haven’t come up exactly what I would do but hopefully, this little post might inspire someone out there to take two great games and with a little home brewing make them something special and cool for your gaming group.