Thursday, April 5, 2012

Camilla, Queen of the Secret Empire

Shouldn't it be empress?

Okay - off to a bad start. Today I'm reviewing Camilla, Queen of the Lost Empire, which I found over at the excellent Comic Book Catacombs.

Knuten and Caredodo – names to conjure with! We have a hunchback living in the sewers (nice sewer entrance, by the way – nothing but class in the lost empire) who’s going to kill Camilla.

Into the salt mines. If you’ve ever checked out some of the ancient salt works that still exist, you’ll find nothing on Earth more like an actual mega-dungeon … you know, except for the monsters and treasure and stuff.

And just like, she has a henchman. If I were statting her up for Blood & Treasure (and I guess I am), I’d probably use the variant bard class in the game – the Aristocrat.

Queen Camilla, 9th level Aristocrat
Str 13, Dex 16, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 14
HP 56, AC 14, MV 30, SAVE Fort 11, Ref 7, Will 9
Special: +1 on reaction checks, legend lore (9), fascinate (4 creatures, 90-ft range), suggestion (one fascinated creature)
Gear: Longsword (+5 attack, 1d8+1), cloak of protection +2

And monkey men! Nice touch.

There’s a bounty of greatness here. First, we see the queen run the monkey man through in one shot – we can guess the monkey men have a single Hit Dice. Love the shot of the dead monkey-man’s feet in the fifth frame – and check out Camilla’s pose. Very cool.

Monkey Man: HD 1; AC 13; ATK 2 slams (1d4); MV 30 (C20); SAVE Fort 13, Ref 15, Will 16; XP 50 (Basic); Special: None.

Then we have some men-at-arms mounted on zebras – always a favorite of mine for some reason. And they have ray guns to boot. Zebra-mounted ray gun troops!

Camilla’s hunchman, I mean henchback, I mean Caredodo ain’t no slouch when it comes to combat. He was hired as an assassin, and the next page features a nice stab in the back. We’ll go assassin for him.

Caredodo, 4th level Assassin
Str 16, Dex 8, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 6
HP 13, AC 10, MV 30, SAVE Fort 13, Ref 12, Will 14
Special: Sneak attack (double damage)
Skills: Climb (12), Decipher Script (10), Escape Bonds (13), Hide (13), Listen at Doors (10), Move Silently (13), Trickery (12)
Gear: Dagger (+4 attack, 1d4+2 damage, double on sneak attack)

The monkey men, I have to admit, seem like half-hearted villains. No ambition – no verve.

Hmmm – the plot thickens. As basic as this story was, I liked it and wouldn’t mind reading the next story. I think when you do introduce plots into role playing games, you might want to focus on keeping them about as simple as these old comic book stories. More complex plots work well in stories, where the old deus ex machine is there to help the investigators, but they can be pretty tricky in tabletop games where the players can’t actually see and hear anything, and only know what they’re told. Something to think about.


  1. I enjoyed this, thanks Matt. :-)

  2. Where is Camilla's lost empire suppose to be, I wonder? The zebras suggest Africa, but nothing else does.

    1. According to old jungle movies, comics and books, about 75% of Africa's population was made up of white people in secret, lost empires and kingdoms.

  3. According to old jungle movies, comics and books, about 75% of Africa's population was made up of white people in secret, lost empires and kingdoms.

    Hee hee. So true.

    She can certainly handle herself--how strange given when it was published!


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