Showing posts with label red sonja. Show all posts
Showing posts with label red sonja. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Red Sonja: Old-School Essentials (Remembering Frank Thorne)

Frank Thorne as the Wizard
On Sunday, March 7th, Frank Thorne, the legendary Red Sonja artist, and writer, passed a few hours after his wife Marilyn.  He was 90.

Fans of Red Sonja all know Frank's work from the mid to late 70s. In truth, he defined the character nearly as much as Robert E. Howard, Roy Thomas, and Barry Windsor-Smith.

He certainly left his mark on her enduring legacy.

He was also known for Ghita of Alizarr and "Lann" in Heavy Metal magazine. He was an early cosplayer, taking on the role of "the Wizard."  He would then judge Red Sonja look-a-like contests.  Wendy Pini’s Sonja would be with him at many of these conventions and shows and predated the modern cosplay scene by decades.

Red Sonja

I have done stats for Red Sonja in the past for all sorts of systems:

Feels like a good time to update her to Old-School Essentials, Advanced Fantasy.

Red Sonja
Red Sonja 

13th Level Barbarian
(Old-School Essentials)

Strength: 15
Intelligence: 16
Wisdom: 11
Dexterity: 17
Constitution: 11
Charisma: 18

Alignment: Neutral (chaotic good)

Hit Points: 72
AC: 0 (special scale mail 4), +4 bonus
THAC0: 10 [+9]

D:3 W:5 P:4 B:5 S:5

CS: 99%
HG: 56%
MS: 50%

Sword +2, Great Axe, dagger

Thorne "The Wizard"
14th Level Wizard

Strength: 13
Intelligence: 18
Wisdom: 14
Dexterity: 16
Constitution: 11
Charisma: 15

Alignment: Neutral (neutral good)

Hit Points: 34
AC: 6 (Robe of Protection)
THAC0: 10 [+9]

Saves (+3, Robe of Protection)
D:5 W:6 P:5 B:8 S:5

First level: Detect Magic, Magic Missle, Read Magic, Shield
Second level: Detect Evil, Levitate, Locate Object, Wizard Lock
Third level: Fire Ball, Fly, Protection from Evil 10', Protection from Normal Missiles
Fourth level: Confusion, Dimension Door, Curse, Wizard Eye
Fifth level: Contact Higher Plane, Telekinesis, Teleport
Sixth level: Anti-Magic Shell, Disintegrate, Projected Image

Thorne is Red Sonja's wizard patron. He provides her with magical arms and armor. He is rather over-fond of attractive women. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

League of Extraordinary Ladies: Red Sonja

Another great character that made the conversion to a great Steampunk title is Red Sonja.   Dynamite's latest Red Sonja comic, Legenderry Red Sonja takes the She-Devil With a Sword and transports her to Victorian times.
I am not caught up, but so far it is a fun read.

Red Sonja
Archetype: Warrior

Health: 6
Style: 2

Primary Attributes
Body 3
Dexterity 5
Strength 3
Charisma 2
Intelligence 3
Willpower 3

Secondary Attributes
Size: 0
Move: 8
Perception: 6
Initiative: 8
Defense: 8
Stun: 3

Skills (levels only)
Athletics 6
Brawl 6
Firearms 2
Intimidation 2
Investigation 5
Medicine 3
Melee 7
- Sword 8
Ride 5
Stealth 4
Survival 5

Danger Sense
Keen Senses

Contacts (the Justice League) 3

Obsession (to defeat any man in battle)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Red Sonja: Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

My exploration of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea continues with one of the more iconic Barbarian characters ever.

Red Sonja: Queen of the Frozen Wastes by BelleChere
Red Sonja of course comes with a Hyperborean pedigree. Though maybe not as much as say Conan, but Conan isn't a red head rocking a scalemail bikini either.

I went back to look over her builds for both Spellcraft & Swordplay as well as Barbarians of Lemuria.  The intersection of both games could be best described as Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea.

I thought also that given the level maximums I'd raise her to 10th level.

Red Sonja of Hyrkania
Barbarian (Fighter): 10th Level
Race: Hyrkanian (similar to the Vikings)
Secondary Skill: Hunter/Trapper

Strength: 18*
Dexterity: 16*
Constitution: 17*
Intelligence: 12
Wisdom: 11
Charisma: 18

Casting Ability: 0
Fighting Ability: 10

Hit Points: 76
Alignment: Chaotic Good
AC: 4 (special scale mail)
Weapon Mastery: Sword, Battle Axe (2 attacks per round)

+2 bonus to all saves

I think it is a good build to be honest.  A lot of the Barbarian powers/abilities work well with the concept as to be expected.  I didn't list them all here; they are in the book.

Looking forward to seeing what else I can do with this game.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Red Sonja: She Devil with a Sword: Gail Simone on Red Sonja #1

Reblogged from Red Sonja: She Devil with a Sword: Gail Simone on Red Sonja #1


Gail Simone, one of the biggest names in comics right now, is taking up the sword and mail bikini of Red Sonja in a new Red Sonja #1.
In addition cover art will be done by Fiona Staples, Nicola Scott, Colleen Doran, Jenny Frisson, and Stephanie Buscem

Here is Fiona Staples art for Issue #1.

According to Simone:
"It's like this...even most of the best female heroines when I was a kid were pretty polite. What I love about Sonja is that she isn't polite, she says what she means and if you give her any lip about it, hello, sword in the gut. She's smart, she has a heart, she has some compassion. But when it's go time, she's a hellraiser, a mad general, she's a sword edge virtuosa, she's death on wheels. She is the woman you never want to mess with. I can relate, Sonja. No offense to all her guy writers, but THIS Red Sonja is about sex and swords! It's everything you love about Red Sonja, except with more monsters getting stabbed in the eye."
Red Sonia #1 is out in July.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Review: Barbarians of Lemuria + Red Sonja

I had the chance to pick up Barbarians of Lemuria: Legendary Edition recently and I have to admit I was quite pleased.  The game was not at all what I expected it to be.  Well...the setting and the tone was, the mechanics were not.  This is the best combination really.

Ok, so tone.  Barbarians of Lemuria is what I expected in that it is a fantasy game of mighty barbarians, evil warlocks, sly thieves and semi-naked women.   Very much the stereotype of the Pulp Age of fantasy I expected it to be.  Except it plays it with an honesty and earnestness that I really want to play a big, dumb barbarian with might thews and a giant axe.

The game is full of sorts of great background that I could adapt it to any old-school fantasy game with no issues and run with it.  I mean honestly look at the cover.  Barbarian standing in a pit surrounded by vaguely eldritch horrors as a tribal shaman gorilla prepares to sacrifice a slave girl.  If you think the next scene is the girl's spilled blood and horrors unleashed over the land, then go play a horror game.  If you think the next scene is that sword cleaving through the bodies of the horrors and the barbarian killing the shaman and saving the girl.  Then this is the game you want.

The system I have to admit took me aback, in a good way.
I was expecting another OGL-based or D&D-clone, but instead we get a very nice, very simple system.  Character creation is all point-buy, and not dozens of points, but 4.  The real joy here is being able to create a character is minutes and get going.

The underlying mechanic is a simple 2d6+mods vs target number of 9.  This makes it very, very similar to Unisystem and also to Spellcraft & Swordplay.  I suppose that if you wanted a more flat game then you could use a d12.  But d6s are great and they give us boons and flaws.  Boons and Flaws are a neat mechanic. In either case you roll 3d6 instead of 2d6.  If you have a boon, drop the lowest d6. If you have a flaw, drop the highest.  Each character gets a boon or two boons and a flaw.

There is plenty for everyone to do in combat since fighting style can vary.  I like that the emphasis here is that everyone has a chance to be the hero.  Sure you might be a lowly thief or slave, but you still have something to contribute.

The careers are nice touch and helps give your character some background on what they were or did, or what they can do now.  Frankly I enjoy how it is all put together.

The art is good, not up to the level one expects from say Pathfinder, but perfect for the tone and the feel of this game.  And I liked it, so that is great for me.

The magic system is very open and reminds me a lot of magic from the time period.  These are sorcerers that gained their power through evil pacts or forbidden knowledge.  There are no Hogwarts grads here.

It really is a lot of fun and the rules-lightness of it is a huge benefit.
Even if I didn't like the rules I could use this for my own fantasy games since the background information is so great.

Of course I should stat up a character and who better than Red Sonja.

Jettie Monday as Red Sonja
Red Sonja
Attributes  Combat 
 Strength          2 Brawl                1
 Agility  1 Melee    3
 Mind  0 Ranged  -1
 Appeal  1        Defense   1

 Barbarian   2   Lifeblood   14
 Mercenary   1  Hero Points    5
 Noble   1
 Assassin   1

Protection: d6-2 (light armour)
Weapons Sword d6+1, Knife d6-2

Spoken: Hyrkanian
Written: as spoken

Boons: Attractive, Hard to Kill

Flaws: Scáthach's Curse (never lie with a man unless he bests her in single combat)

Not a bad build.

You can find more at Beyond Belief Games'  website,

Friday, November 11, 2011

Red Sonja: She Devil with a Sword: Red Sonja / Witchblade Crossover

Red Sonja: She Devil with a Sword: Red Sonja / Witchblade Crossover: Dynamite Entertainment (Press Release) Join Dynamite Entertainment and Top Cow Productions as they bring two of comics most celebrated ...

Read More at Red Sonja: she Devil with a Sword

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Red Sonja: Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition

Was re-reading my Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition book here and thought I should give Sonja a try.
I put her at PL 9, which is about where she would be for the Warriors and Warlocks book for M&M 2nd Ed.  Plus it puts on par with Tarot Witch of the Black Rose. The two certainly seem distantly related. Or maybe not so distantly really.

Red Sonja

Real name: Sonja
Gender: F
Age: mid-20s
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 140 lbs
Hair: Red
Eyes: Green

Power Level: 9

STR: 5 (1)AGL: 3FGT: 14 (4)AWE: 2
STA: 6 (1)DEX: 5 (1)INT: 2PRE: 4

Dodge: 9
Parry: 9/14
Fortitude: 8
Toughness: 9
Will: 4

Armor (Chain mail)

Accurate Attack, All out attack, Attractive 2, Close Attack, Diehard, Equipment (Sword and Armor), Extraordinary Effort, Fascinate (Intimidation), Fearless, Great Endurance, Improved Critical +3 (Sword), Improved Defense +2, Languages (Hyrkanian), Precise Attack (all), Prone Fighting


Athletics +7, Close combat (sword) +19, Deception +4, Insight +3, Intimidation +10, Investigation +3, Perception +5, Persuasion +4, Stealth +7

Gift of the Red Goddess Scáthach
-Enhanced Ability: Dexterity 4
-Enhanced Ability: Strength 4
-Enhanced Ability: Stamina 5
-Enhanced Ability: Fighting 10
Cold Immunity 1

Compulsion: Must never lie with a man unless he has beaten her in single combat
Fame: Sonja is known throughout the land

Power Points
Abilities: 36 Powers: 47 Advantages: 28 Skills: 14 Defenses: 10 = 135 pp

Fairly pleased with this build.  I am sure it is a matter of opinion where fighting skills vs her agility vs her strength lie, but this woks out well.

Cross-posted here:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Red Sonja

I was thinking after yesterday's post on Red Sonja and what system to run her in. While certainly nearly any flavor of D&D would be fine, I also think there is another very good choice. Army of Darkness. The comics have a vibe about them that has always reminded me of the Evil Dead movies. Not so much the humor, but the darkness.
Red Sonja, the comic, is now published by Dynamite, which also gives us the Army of Darkness Comic and the Army of Darkness/Xena crossovers. Given I have down all of that for Army already, then it make even more sense.

Of course given the source material it also makes sense to stat Sonja up using OD&D.  My favorite OD&D like product is Spellcraft and Swordplay by Jason Vey and using his Hyborian Age Supplement.

Red Sonja of Hyrkania (Army of Darkness)
Very Experienced Hero

Life Points 76
Drama Points 20

Strength 6
Dexterity 5
Constitution 6
Intelligence 4
Perception 4
Willpower 5

Promised One (Choosen of Scáthach)
Acute Senses Vision 1
Attractiveness +3
Hard to Kill 6
Fast Reaction Time
Natural Toughness (+4 to Armor)
Nerves of Steel
Resistance (cold) (she grew up on the Steppes)
Situational Awareness

Adversary (lots)
Honorable (Minimal)
Love, Tragic (various significant others and offspring)
Mental Problems (Mild Cruelty)

Acrobatics 7
Art 0
Crime 3
Doctor 2
Driving/Riding 4
Getting Medieval 9
Influence 2
Knowledge 4
Kung Fu 5
Languages 4 (varies on which comic)
Notice 5
Occultism 2
Science 0
Sports 1
Wild Card

Maneuver Bonus Base Damage Notes
Sword 14 35 Slash/stab
Punch 14 12 Bash
Dodge 14 Defense action
Parry 14 Defense action

Red Sonja of Hyrkania (Spellcraft & Swordplay)

Warrior (Fighting Woman): 8th Level
"Every great fantasy swordsman, from Robert E. Howard's barbarian hero to Tolkien's great returned King are warriors." - Spellcraft & Swordplay, p. 11

Strength: 18
Dexterity: 16
Constitution: 17
Intelligence: 12
Wisdom: 11
Charisma: 18

Attacks: 7+5 (7 attacks per round, +5 to any one attack)
Hit Points: 56
Alignment: Neutral (Unaligned)
AC: 5
Sword: 1d6+3

According to Jason's rules the Hyrkanians are a horse culture. They also take a -2 to save vs any sort of mind-affecting magic, including illusions. (Save vs. Wisdom)

+2 to Con-based Saves

Red Sonja vs Red Sonja vs Red Sonya
The Red Sonja in the comics now is not the same as the Red Sonja of a few years ago.  In the current comics the woman calling herself Red Sonja is actually the reincarnation of the first Red Sonja.  The Wikipedia article gives a rough overview, but it also mentions another "Sonja". Red Sonya of Rogatino was not "the she devil with a sword" we all know and love, but rather a "gun-slinging warrior woman of Polish-Ukrainian origin" from the 16th Century.

What they had in common was coming from the same general area (Hyrkania/Ukraine), of course red hair and the temper to match.

Given the change in the comics one is tempted (and I often am) to say this is another reincarnation of the first Red Sonja (which of course is backwards since Sonya came before Sonja).  Works for me.

Given that, who is to say when the next time Red Sonja is reincarnated, and what system.

ETA: A pic of Red Sonya originally posted by Mikeyboy over at Red Sonja: She Devil with a Sword.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Red Sonja: She Devil with a Sword: J. Scott Campbell Sonja

Red Sonja: She Devil with a Sword: J. Scott Campbell Sonja: "J. Scott Campbell has been mentioned in this blog before, and with good reason. He does a heck of a job on Sonja. You can also visit hi..."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Red Sonja: She Devil with a Sword

I am now a contributor to the Red Sonja: She Devil with a Sword blog.

I won't cross post much, unless of course it comes up naturally. But I did want to share the links to my first two posts over there.

A Red Sonja by Dominic Marco, who also did a fantastic Morgan Ironwolf, and a 3D rendered version of the same piece by Antony Ward.

Look for more soon!  I have at least two more posts I can make over there now, and looking into what else I can say about her.

Other blogs I contribute to:
Amazon Princess a Wonder Woman blog.
Elf Lair Games a blog for Jason Vey's Elf Lair Games and Spellcraft and Swordplay.