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.
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.
Yes, things are crazy and I’m way behind especially on writing up some stuff for Barbaric! I’ve got an adventure, a setting and another little surprise in the works. But for this post I want to talk a little about Clerics.
Barbaric! is a solid sword & sorcery game. But since many come from the world of d20’s, they’ll notice there’s no equivalent to clerics. There’s just magic. Sure it does the same things but it’s all cast into the same bucket. This is perfectly fine depending on your setting and what tone the GM wants in the game.
There’s a couple of ways that I’ve thought of that you could do this. First, there’s the easy way. Just divide up to the spell list. These spells are for clerics and the others for sorcerers/magic-users. How exactly you break that list down once again will depend on the specific world.
The second method that I thought is via “Blessings”. “Blessings” are just traits. The GM will still make a list dependent on the setting/gods/pantheon. Each “spell” is a separate Blessing, for example, there would be a Respite Blessing and a Convalescence Blessing and so on through the spell list. Each Blessing retains the same TN to cast as the respective spell but the caster/cleric would make a Lore Check. To give this idea an even more different feel, don’t use the Spell Mishaps. Instead, each failure incurs a cumulative – 1 DM on further attempts until the character’s total roll is a 2 or less. Then the character cannot cast/pray for any further Blessings that day. The character’s casting DM is reset after 8 hours of rest+1 hour of prayer/meditation per -1 DM. So a -2 DM would take two hours of prayer.
Yes, I know this a bare bones post. It’s an idea for GM’s to run with use how they see fit for their campaign and setting. Of course, you can also use a similar system for cultists or druids. Enjoy!