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Bloodlust (roleplaying game)

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Bloodlust is a noted)[1] French sword and sorcery role-playing game. It was created by Croc, the G. E. Ranne duo and Stéphane Bura, illustrated by Alberto Varanda, and published by Asmodée Éditions between 1991 and 1997. The covers of almost all the books of the series come from paintings by Frank Frazetta.

A new edition, called “Bloodlust Édition Métal” (Metal Edition Bloodlust), was published in July 2012 by John Doe.

In this game, player characters are living god-weapons (armes-dieux) with magical powers, and their human bearers. The inspiration of the game comes foremost from Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné series, which relates the saga of prince Elric and his demon sword, Stormbringer. The game also borrows inspiration from Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian. The Helliconia trilogy by Brian Aldiss inspired Bloodlust's three moons, whose phases influence human passions.

Game system[edit]

First edition[edit]

The game system is rather simple: each character has six traits that can go up to 20, and a number of skills that can go up to 100. One must roll less than these skills with a percentile die to succeed at a task. The result of the second die shows the breadth of a success or failure.

In a fight, every fighter chooses in each round one of six possible actions (brutal attack, quick attack, dodge...), which allows for several different tactics. Combat is usually quick and bloody.

A mass combat system is included in the core rulebook.

Metal edition[edit]

In this new edition, characters have a common set of "job" skills and then they choose skills that fit their personality. Rolls are made with six-sided dice against a threshold. Each even result is a quality in case of a success.


On its introduction in 1991, the Bloodlust gamebox was one of the biggest successes of French roleplaying games. Publication of new supplements has stopped in 1997 with the Vengeance book, which is blamed as being so bad it contributed to the game's end.

It was translated into German by Truant in 2001 under the name Hyperborea, Meister des Stahls ("Hyperborea, Master of Steel") [2]

After several years being out of print in French, a new edition was published by John Doe in July 2012[3] Its background is both a continuation of the first one, with some added elements and changes, as well as additions, to the history of the game world history. Additional releases followed. [4]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. Chouzneroux
  2. Hyperbole review
  3. "Review in Maraudeur issue 8".
  4. "Review in Maraudeur issue 23".

External links[edit]

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