"Crom laughs at yuh 4th Edition!"
Barbarians of Lemuria - a game that comes from an age undreamed of, between the sinking of Atlantis and the rise of the sons of Aryas! A game of man-sized fantasy where elves, orcs and dwarves dare not tread.
BoL characters are defined by their chequered pasts - thief, pirate, gladiator, etc. - if you can convince the GM that some previous career is relevant to your roll to perform a task then you get to add those points to your roll. Simple and it encourages character based play and avoids the munchkinism of feats. Combat and tests against attributes work in the same way. Achieve a Legendary Success and see your enemies driven before you/cut down in bloody swathes.
One clever genre innovation is that experience is awarded only after the player narrates how his character blew all his loot and is once more down to his last few coins, trusty blade and thirst for adventure. BoL encrouages you to play a sullen northern barbarian, a savage jungle tribesman or cunning desert nomad and play it to the hilt. There's no place here for treehuggers like elven rangers. BoL characters trust only their wits and cold steel.
BoL splits the skulls of all other fantasy games to the teeth with a single, savage blow. A simple system that effortless recreates a specific genre leading to swift, exciting play.
Substance - 5 - Finally a system that does sword and sorcery properly. Comes with a default setting based on Lin Carter's Thongor books but easily transposed to Hyboria or Valusia.
Style - 3 - Some art, like the cover, is nice. Some isn't. Simple, but readable, interior shows its amateur origins a bit too clearly.
[4 of 5 Stars!]