Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Valda and the Desolation of the Fire Coast, part 1

Credit: http://simonarpalmer.deviantart.com/

a Barbarians of Lemuria Mythic Edition solo saga using the Location Crafter for posting during Solo Gaming Appreciation Month.

My first contribution for SGAM 2016, this is the first in a longer play report. I have decided to go with an old favorite, BoL. Simple old-school inspired gaming goes well with solo endeavors. I think it also works well with Tana Pigeon's Location Crafter, which I feel hasn't gotten much attention. It's not only good at what it says, but also just a darn good all around solo engine, locations or no.

This first post introduces our protagonist. BoL does admirably also helping to generate a backstory, and enough roots to give a few hooks already to the heroine. The setting itself is ripe with ideas too. In sticking with Sword & Sorcery sensibilities, there will be lots of moral ambiguity in this particular game.

In the "Saga" section below, I also generated more of the adventure's hooks using the Saga generator in the back of the BoL Mythic book, which is worth its weight in terms of solo usage.


A proud daughter of the Bloodwolf tribe, Valda was the youngest but most devoted to her father, King Vengal. From an early age, she would watch her brothers fight and train, and bested them in private contests of skill and arms. Eventually, she was given the respect to choose her own path and joined her brothers in hunting and times of war, even if not allowed to join the front ranks.

When her father united several tribes to sweep south, she insisted on joining them. Little would she know that she would be the sole survivor among thousands of her people when their army would be decimated at the gates of Shamballah after an unforeseen appearance of the Witch-Queen of the Fire Coast.

The Shamballahns took in the half-dead northern girl, calling her the ice princess. They trained her to ride and hunt, and mended her wounds. She would be thankful to them, but vowed to avenge her father and return his iconic helm to the bosom of Valgard and slay his killer.

Valda, a beautiful flame-haired girl of voluptuous contours, soon left Shamballah for points further south to learn of her enemy and plot her revenge. By way of her sword, or often her promiscuousness, she found her way to Parsool. There, she learned the name and some details about Methyn Sarr. She also met Erion Khul, a somewhat infamous assassin. In exchange for favors, Erion agreed to teach Valda the tricks of the trade and help her plot her audacious and improbable revenge.

Currently, she works in Parsool, picking up bits of information about‪ the Witch-‬Queen and perfecting her new skills.

Strength 1, Agility 2, Mind 0, Appeal 1

Melee 2, Ranged 0, Initiative 0, Defense 2

Careers: Barbarian 2, Hunter 0, Temptress 1, Assassin 1

Lifeblood: 11
Hero Points: 5

Languages: Lemurian, Valgardish
  • Battle Harness — This boon allows your character to wear a chainmail bikini or a loincloth and battle harness (light armour at best) and treat it as if it were medium armour for damage protection purposes, with no armour penalties at all.
  • Born Athlete — When doing any athletic activities such as sprinting, climbing, swimming, or leaping (other than fighting), you may roll a bonus die.
  • Quick Recovery — You have a much better constitution than many. When recovering after a combat, you regain one additional lifeblood, on top of the half you recover normally. In addition, you recover one lifeblood each day regardless of the type of activity you carry out after being injured.
  • Distrust of Sorcery — When dealing with wizards and alchemists, you take a penalty die.
  • Illiterate — You cannot read or write, and you cannot choose a career with literacy as a requirement.
  • battle harness (2; treat as light)
  • Valgardian longsword (d6)
  • knife (d6L)

The Saga

Valda’s task is to obtain a certain thing. The appropriate career is temptress. The Helm of Freezing Doom. The hero gets this task as an errand of revenge.

The Witch Queen, Methyn Sarr, the fearsome and infamous sorceress, sought to destroy relics that posed a threat to Zaggath, Lord of Fire. One such item was the helm of a famous northern hero, Vengal Bloodwolf, the Thrice-Crowned — a mighty Valgardian king who led many forays deep into the south, first a petty king of a small tribe, then as a great leader of the north, and finally as a conqueror-emperor of a number of lands. His great battle helm bore great silver wings and granted the king his second moniker, that of the Freezing Doom.

King Vengal’s last campaign was short lived. In a siege against Shamballah, the northron king was assured to win. However, the Witch-Queen appeared suddenly and slew the barbarians and took the king’s helm. No male Valgardian who fought lived to see the next day. However, Vengal’s daughter was a shield maiden of her tribe, young though she was. Attended by the Shamballahns, she lived, vowing to reclaim her father’s helm and seek vengeance.

Next up, part one of the actual adventure for Valda (which doesn't go too well for her)...


  1. I agree with your comments about Location Crafter. I also think it's deceptively simple. And some people seem to be turned off by having to build their own lists, but those are easy to do in my opinion.

    1. Yes, and lists can be extremely simple and short, expanding upon them spontaneously as context for an unknown location become known. Heck, a starting list could even have nothing but "expected" and "random" to begin!