Hellboy RPG Using Barbarians of Lemuria

A few weeks ago I was talking to people on G+ about what system they felt would work well to create a Hellboy RPG.

Some really good options were thrown out there; Savage Worlds with the Supers option was mentioned.  Mutants and Masterminds.  Call of Cthulhu 1e.  And many others.

At the end of the conversation I was charged with running a game sometime.  Shit got busy and I was unable to run, but I didn’t stop thinking about it.  During this time I was thinking of the pros and cons of the different systems (the largest being explaining new rules and also allowing the players to create their own Hellboy style freak).

While Savage Worlds and CoC are both (for the most part) rules-liteish, there is still a bit to explain and flip through in terms of character creation.

Then my brain landed on Barbarians of Lemuria.  It is a extremely rules lite system that can be robust and flavorful  (Free PDF, Not Free PDF).

Anyways I FINALLY had some time (and not working on my hack or campaign setting) to throw some notes together and here is a rough of what I came up with.  Feel free to leave some feedback/thoughts.



Freaks start out with 5 points in Attributes while Norms start out with 4.  Max of 4 in any one ability.  One ability score can be taken from 0 to -1 and allocated to a different ability score, so as long as the score does not go above +4.

Combat Abilities
Freaky Power-

Freaks start out with 5 points in Attributes while Norms start out with 4.  Max of 4 in any one ability.  One ability score can be taken from 0 to -1 and allocated to a different ability score, so as long as the score does not go above +4.

Hit Points
All characters start with 10 plus their Strength score in HP.

Both Freaks and Norms choose four careers that show their areas of study and events in their lives up till the present.  Freaks and Norms have 4 points to spend in careers, but cannot put more than 3 points in a given career.

Career Examples
Don’t like something here, make it the fuck up
Service Industry


Edges and Flaws

Characters start with two edges and one flaw.  Norms get an extra edge.

Edges generally allow a player to roll 3d6 and keep the higher of the two while flaws allow a character to roll 3d6 and keep the lower of the two.

If there is an edge of flaw you want to create that doesn’t follow that mechanic discuss it with your GM.


Edge– Hellboy’s Hand of Doom hurts when he smacks someone.  When using it as an attack he rolls 3d6 and takes the higher of the two.

Flaw– Liz has trouble controlling her powers.  When she uses her freak skill to generate and control fire she rolls 2d6 and takes the lesser of the two.

Roll 2d6 aiming for a target number of 9.  If it is a combat ability add the attribute that most likely fits the situation and combat ability being used.  If it is non-combat then use the attribute and career.

In combat that target number is still 9, but the targets defense number becomes a modifier to your roll.


Hero Points

Players start with 5 Hero points each saga (session).  Hero points can be used in the following ways:

• Twist of Fate- Change something in the narrative with GM approval.
• Defy Death- You don’t die… good for you.
• Reroll the Dice- You fucked up, but no one was looking, try again.
• Might Success- Does neat shit not in the free rules.
• Legendary Success- Does neat shit not in the free rules.
• Shake off Wounds- Only a flesh wound- roll 1d6+1 and gain that back in HP.
• Be creative- do your sales pitch, but don’t be sad when the GM laughs at you.

They do damage and hurt things, making them scream and bleed..  See Barbarians of Lemuria to make up damage that fits..  All damage is derived from a d6.

Freaky Powers

Each Freak gets 2 “special” powers that make them unique and special little butterflies.

When using this (most of the time) it should go off the Freaky Power and the appropriate Attribute that makes sense.

Certain ones (say Hellboy’s Hand of Doom) will be a static bonus.  Normally fists do 1d2 damage, but Hellboy does 1d6 (or 2d6 if GM approves) damage with his mighty hand.

Liz’s power of fire manipulation would go off of Mind and Freaky Power.  The modifiers to the TN would change based on what the Liz’s player is trying to do.


Summon flame in hand to see: Easy +1 to roll.
Cause burst of flame to hurt target 1d3 damage (moderate 0).
Burst of flame to one target 1d6 damage (tricky -1).
Flame on one target for 2d6 damage or 1d6 in a five foot radius (hard -2).

Target Numbers Modifiers

Easy: +1

Moderate: 0

Tricky: -1

Hard: -2

Tough: -4

Demanding: -6

Author: Mike Evans

I am a History major attending a community college until I can get more financial aid and attend a four year school. I am living in NJ with my girlfriend who is currently wrapping up on obtaining her PhD in Toxicology. I love Star Wars, Role-playing, video games, working out, reading, writing, and hanging with my girlfriend, dog (Perfect), and two kittens (Birch and Brambles). My main focus on this site will be my discussion of Role-playing games and ideas and hopefully contribute something worth a damn.

7 thoughts

  1. Dude, have you read any of the Hellboy spinoff B.P.R.D. Comics? The whole supers team crime investigation crossed with supernatural would be fun. Cthulhu meets Eberron.

    I can’t figure out why a game company hasn’t hired you yet.

    1. I have not read those yet. I’m on Trade 8 of 12 for Hellboy. Once I get that finished I”ll dive into the B.P.R.D. 🙂

      I know that GURPS did a Hellboy companion years ago, but from what I read the book is awesome but GURPS just didn’t fit the action/playstyle of Hellboy.

      1. I own the GURPS Hellboy. While it is a nice piece for a *serious* collector, I don’t really grok GURPS in any functional way…and therefore I don’t use it as anything but a kind of coffee table book about Hellboy.

        In fact, once you read your BPRD trades, and the Hellboy trades you’re just as ready to run a game of BPRD as you will need to be. I think that any system that you like could take this setting on. I won’t argue that you’ll have varying degrees of success depending on system…but a system you love might cover a multitude of sins in that department.

  2. I love reading your blog with all the wild stuff you do. If you haven’t given it a look, you should try Dogs of War (another BoL like game from Simon Washbourne) which has a lot of “military” style systems and info for use in a game like Hellboy.

    1. Thanks for the praise 🙂 Much appreciated!. I was not aware of either of games. I’ll give them a looksee and hopefully there will be info/inspiration.

      Speaking of BoL- I just discovered a game called Dungeon World- based on Apocalypse World and it has some very cool ideas/features that I may have to hack when it comes out.

      The Kickstarter gets you the PDF for $5. I can’t argue with that at all.

  3. Oh! And Dicey Tales is another good BoL spin-off with great pulp rules and some “freakish” powers type stuff.

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