Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fritz Leiber's Grey Mouser

As was the case with my earlier post on Fafhrd, the following set of stats represents the Mouser as he appears in "Ill Met in Lankhmar."  That story makes it clear that, not only has the Mouser been in Lankhmar for some time, but that his daring thefts have begun to earn him a degree of notoriety.  (Even a hick from the sticks like Fafhrd has heard of the Mouser's exploits as the .)  So I've given him the career of "Thief" at 3, the highest possible value for a starting character.  Augmenting this career selection is one determined by the acrobatics that he displays on several occasions in the story (e.g., making the ascent to his love-nest for Ivrian early in the tale and then escaping from Thieves' House over the roofs of Lankhmar toward the end).  These stunts thus make it clear that the Mouser also has "Tumbler" at a rank of 1.  (Here I differ from the BoL rulebook assumption that "Dancer/Tumbler" is largely a woman's career.)

In "The Unholy Grail," Leiber reveals that the Mouser's first training was as a hedge wizard's apprentice.  (He was known as "Mouse" at the time.)  Although he successfully casts several spells in this story, it's clear that his magical knowledge is shallow--after all, he's not routinely casting spells in the stories that follow.  I therefore rank his "Magician" career at 0.  I have also given him "Scholar" at 0, a more future-oriented selection that reflects the Mouser's curiosity and penchant for arcane lore.  ("Bazaar of the Bizarre" is lurking behind my thinking here.)

Strength 0
Agility 3
Mind 1
Appeal 0

Brawl 0
Melee 3
Ranged 1
Defense 0

Magician 0
Scholar 0
Thief 3
Tumbler 1

Lifeblood 10
Hero Points 6

Very light armor (d3-1 protection)
Sword named "Scalpel" (d6 damage)
Dagger named "Cat's Claw" (d3 damage)
Sling (d6-2 damage, 30' range)

Marked by the Gods (gains an extra Hero Point)
Sneaky (gains a die where stealth is important)

Curious (like the proverbial cat, the Mouser just has to know; gains a die whenever tempted by the hint of mystery)


  1. Amazing blog, Rob! These are the barbarians I know and love and it's wonderful to see you using Mike Mignola and John Bauer art rather then more predictable fare. I need to try this game.

  2. Thanks, Eric. Mignola is up there with Walt Simonson as one of my favorite comics artists, and Bauer is someone whose work I've long appreciated but only recently attached to his name. I will note that I absolutely had to use a John Buscema piece for the Conan post--my first exposure to sword-and-sorcery was 1978's "Diadem of the Giant-Kings," issue #90 of Marvel's Conan the Barbarian (story by Roy Thomas, art by Buscema and the equally fantastic Ernie Chan). With art by that team, it's no surprise that I got hooked.