Because really, when you get right down to it, the rules really do matter!
All action and combat in the game of Lair of Sword & Sorcery takes place on gridded board called the Demonboard. It is required for the game but only takes about an hour to make a basic one.
Because all the action happens on the board everything is very clear. The players and the gamemaster take turns moving, attacking, and taking actions.
Combat is simple. When someone attacks, the two combatants each roll 2d6 and add their Attack score.
The one with the higher score wins and causes damage.
Instead of losing hit points like in other games, they fighters lose "endurance" points. The winner cases a certain amount of endurance damage to the loser.
But the winner will also take a small amount of endurance damage themselves, by wearing themselves out attacking someone.
Once a someones endurance reaches zero, they have to make a "death roll" to see if they are taken out of combat.
After the combat is over and people can check on their injured friends, they can roll to see if they are only injured, or truly dead.
Armor is also used in the game. When you take damage the armour absorbs some of it.
There are also rules for unarmed fighting, fighting against animals and creatures and missile weapons.
Magic in the Lair of Sword and Sorcery game does not take the form of spells which a character casts.Most magic in the game comes in the form of spirits or demons which magical characters summon and control.
Instead of casting a fireball spell a character would summon a fire breathing spirit, whcih would then burn their enemies.
Characters are limited in the number and power of spirits they can summon and control instead of how many spells they can cast in a day.
Of course a summoning can go wrong at times, summoning the wrong spirit, or having the spirit break free and attack the summoner.
Magic items take the form of spirits trapped in items. For example, instead of a magic wand that shoots lightning bolts, the character would have a wand which has a spirit trapped in it...that shoots lightning.
The end effect is the same but with the ever present threat of the spirit turning on the user.
In Lair the characters can have skills which allow them to create armour, potions, weapons, build houses, or anything else they may need. These same skills are used for repairing or destroying items.
In the Lair system there is no healing magic. Characters don't have hit points to heal. They have endurance, which returns quickly by resting. When endurance reaches zero they make a death roll and find out if they are merely injured and back up on their feet after a couple of weeks, or they are dead.
This doesn't leave a lot of leeway for healing, but on the other hand means it isn't required.
For the Gamemaster...
In Lair the gamemaster takes the role of all the enemies when in a Lair. The Lair system uses a ranking system which keeps encounters relatively balanced.
The characters are usually able to escape if things turn on them so the game master is free to attack the heroes as hard as they want. Unlike other games, in a game of Lair the Game master really is trying to beat the characters.
The demonlord is far more limited in their actions than the characters though, so even when the characters are heavily outnumbers they can win a combat with wits and cunning.