episode 6 – an interview with Barbarians of Lemuria creator Simon Washbourne

Sunday, November 1, 2009
By walkerp

This month's episode:


(running time: 51:38)bol-couvfinie-783062

This month, I talk to Simon Washbourne about how he designs his games, the history and production process behind Barbarians of Lemuria and some of the exciting projects he is currently working on. I have wanted to talk to Simon for a long time and I’m quite happy with the way the interview turned out.

Here is the link for those of you who want to download the audio file directly.

Barbarians of Lemuria will be available in better game stores in December and is currently available, along with the rest of his oeuvre, in pdf form at RPGNow. He also has several free games available as well as some earlier versions of his published games for free as well over at 1KM1KT. I strongly recommend that you check them out.

Below is a list of Simon’s published games in chronological order, for your reference.

Lashings of Ginger Beer (2003) (although there was a free version around before that)

It’s a Dog’s Life (2004) (ditto the above)

Go Fer Yer Gun! (2005)

Medieval Murder Mysteries (2005)

Tales from The Wood (2005) (there was/is a free version around before that and you can still get it at 1KM1KT)

Medieval Mysteries 1PG (Heyoka Studios 2007)

Battleforce Bravo Adventure Pack (Heyoka Studios 2007)

Barbarians of Lemuria (2008) (Free version around since about 2003)

I’d like to correct one error I made in the interview, where I called mistook Dave “Grubman” Bezio’s first name, calling him Jeff. This is the second time I’ve done this and I really have no idea why. My apologies, Grubman.

As always, I’d love to hear your feedback.


25 Responses to “episode 6 – an interview with Barbarians of Lemuria creator Simon Washbourne”

  1. Mountzionryan

    WalkerP, May I suggest adding a total running time to the epi. description.


    Great stuff, fellas. I was surprised to hear my name again! I will clarify though- as I mentioned in the last interview, the swashbuckling game I was originally working on- Honor & Intrigue- was actually a seperate project from BASH! using a separate rules set. However, I found the BoL core mechanic- especially the careers- worked better than the core engine I was using (with lots of skills, etc) and still worked with the fencing maneuvers and other swashbuckling rules I’d designed. I ended up running a play-test with it, and after it turned out to be a hit, I contacted Simon about working together on the project.
    His original vision was a dark, horror, Solomon Kane thing- mine was the Princess Bride / Three Musketeers / Pirates of the Caribbean. Merging them was like getting my chocolate in Simon’s peanut butter (to paraphrase an infamous American commercial from the 1980s). A dark, supernaturally tainted 17th century makes the intrigue more intriguing- the secret societies more secretive- the political climate even more desperate than it would be in a purely historical setting. The edge of the map says “Here be monsters”… not out of ignorance- but as a sincere warning of what waits in the dark corners of the world…

  3. @Ryan. Done. Thanks for that.

    @BASHMAN – Boy that game sounds really, really appealing. I am going to need to get my fingers on some of this 17th century gaming goodness that is starting to pop up around the hobby these days. Thanks for the explanation of its conception.

  4. Simon W

    In the interview, I referred incorrectly to a wild west skirmish/gunfight game called “The Game With No Name”. The rules are actually called “The Rules With No Name” and are available from Wargames Foundry here:


    Cheers guys

  5. Raul

    Dear Simon,

    I checked Barbarians of Lemuria and found it a great work. Are you interested in it being translated into Spanish? I’d love to do translate it. If you’re interested, you can contact me at rvallejo @ gmail.com.

    Again, congratulations and thanks for your great game!


  6. [...] with Simon before in the splendid Tales from the Wood. The softly spoken Gent also featured on The RPG Haven Podcast where he talks about how Barbarians of Lemuria has been polished, expanded and is now a commercial [...]

  7. James

    I was just thrilled to stumble upon this interview, and the RPG Haven podcast. I’m a big fan of BoL, and it was great to hear from the game’s creator. Sorry for the podcast resurrection, but I wanted to say thanks!

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