Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- Session Three- The Fight for the Dark Orb, Part 2

When we last left our band of heroes that had just fought a giant mud crab and became depressed by grey snow before making it to the failed human village of Laundr-O-Mat.

Players

Omar- “Tip Toe” Tyron Thompson- Scavenger

Shoe- Medallion- Armadite

Coley- Coleesi- Barbarian

Brian- Sok- Armadillo Beastman

John- Vinsmoke the Sorcerer (Alt Casting Rules)

Unable to Attend

Gene- Beastman

Liam- Ashak- Death Priest

Kane- Vyvyan- Barbarian

Fletch- Shaw Shir- Vek

The Mysterious Village

The group looked around the dilapidated crumbled ruins of an Ancient Earth Strip mall.  There were signs of habitation from the villagers that disappeared five years ago, shanty shacks set up in the parking lot, rusted cars serving as beds, etc.

Two of the 14 stores remained somewhat intact; the signs read, “adio Sha” and “arbucks”.  The group split up and decided to search around the rubble.

“Tip Toe” and Sok wandered into the “adio sha”, shifting through the rubble they made their way to the backroom.  The discovered an altar with a helmet fashioned from the skull of a bull.  “Tip Toe” and Sok ran back outside to find Vinsmoke so he could do his magic thing on it.

Bull Skull

The Helm of the Charging Bull

Vinsmoke was out in the parking lot and decided to use his abilities to sense magic.  He felt a strong magic from a crumbled brick building.  A strange wooden “T” laid on the ground and a broken sigh read, “ouse of esus Chri”.  At the western end of the area, down an Ancient Earth street another crumbled building, possibly once a town hall or community center, another sense of magic filled the air.

The two sources of magic assaulted Vinsmoke’s mind and he lost consciousness.

Medallion wandered in the crumbled buildings and found a bunch of Ancient Earth cooking spices (Shoe’s character loves to cook), including cumin, pepper, salt, garlic, and paprika (all with a d4 Usage Die).  She then started making soup for the group, especially Sok to try and cheer him up.

Coleesi wandered into the “arbucks” and found the skeleton of a barista at the counter, a name badge read, “Hi my name is Bryan M.  How can I help you?”

While in the building Coleesi found a storeroom filled with goods.  She found:

  • Dryer doors x6 (acts as a small shield)
  • Exoskeleton armor (heavy, 3 RP)
  • Lantern
  • Oil x10
  • Shovel
  • Rope (50′)
  • Arrows (1d10)
  • Short spear (metal) x2
  • Short sword (bone) x2
  • Maul, two-handed (metal) x1
  • 1d100+10 Ceramic coins (green for Tygham the Fearless, ruler of the Swamps)
  • 1d20 gold clay coins (Int roll to know this comes from Skullator the Deathless, ruler of the East.

The group divided up the spoils.

Aside: When the group split up, I stated that all their searching and shit would take place over an hour.  

The group all met back outside, Vinsmoke regaining consciousness and wiping a small amount of blood from his nose.  Medallion bringing large pot of ramen noodles.

As the sunset (it’s 6PM after all), a blast of black and grey energy and white light is seen from the rubble of the church.  The group is scared by this display of magic and
“Tip Toe” grabbed Vinsmoke, “Come with me!  There’s a helmet in this place and I wanna know what it is!  That magic over there- fuck that shit!”

All the group decided to join the two.  As “Tip Toe” and Vinsmoke got close to the building, the hair on Coleesi’s neck stood on end and she heard the soft moans of something nearby.  Suddenly sounds, almost like Velcro slowly being pulled apart, met their ears.  Only Coleesi saw three shades appearing on the ground and move slowly towards their prey.

One went after “Tip Toe”, another after Vinsmoke, and the third after Coleesi.

Shade Monster

This fight was really fun and jarred them a little bit.  They started getting smacked and when I said, “you lose 100 XP” they freaked and the fight became that much more tense.  Vinsmoke was dropped during the fight, but with the use of a healing salve, he was saved.

Shade Apparition

HD 2; RP 1; Claws (2d4 damage), SV 6

Description: Wispy humanoid creature that moans and hates you.

Special: Ethereal: Half damage except from magic.

Draining Attack: 1st attack- save or stunned for 1 round.

2nd attack- Save or stunned for 1d4 rounds.

3rd attack- Lose 100 XP

4th attack+- Lose 100 XP and stunned for 1 round.

* If the Shade critically succeeds skip to the next attack level.

Dark Fog: Release a rancid smelling fog in a 15’ radius.  All attacks against Shade are made with Disadvantage as is dodging their attacks.  Last 1 round.  Can do this once per hour.

The group went into the “adio Sha” and Vinsmoke used his remaining magic to identify the bull skull helmet.

Helmet of the Charging Bull: The wearer can charge at a target as a full action.  The wearer rolls a STR test with Disadvantage.  If successful, they roll 2d10 damage.

The group decided to go to the end of the street where Vinsmoke sensed the other indication of magic (they wanted to give the church and the grey and black lights a wide berth).

 

As the group got closer to the ruins of the building they saw a figure wearing darkened leather armor slumped against the wall.  A sword near the figure’s right hand, a shield near the left.

Aside: Coly had her character in the lead. I asked her what she did.  She asked if there was a rock nearby and if she was allowed to throw it to see if it did anything.  Coley is relatively new to RPGing, having done it a total of four times (I think).  I said “Fuck yeah you can do that!  OSR shit right there, peeps!  Dove right in like a champion!”

Coleesi threw a rock, but it went right and dinged off the wall to no effect.   Feeling nothing as going to happen, the group moved forward.  The moment they stepped into the ruined structure a ring purple light filled the area and flashed bright.  The figure lifted his head, his eyes glowing red.  His face desiccated and rotten.  The group watched frozen as the figure stood up and pointed at them, “SUFFER WITH ME!!!”

The Black Plot

SUUUUUFFFFFEEEERRRR!!!!

This fight was fun and tough.  The undead Barbarian called lighting down onto his blade and started hacking away at group, eventually shooting lighting at his blade at several of them (I think one person went unconscious, but can’t remember).

 

Vinsmoke used a powerful spell to attempt to blow the arms of the undead Barbarian off, he blew the shield arm off at the elbow, but the sword arm remained intact.

After several seconds of fighting, the cursed Barbarian was slain.  As he fell a faint “thank  you” issued from his mouth.  When the dust settled, the group quickly looted his body.

They got a shield (absorbs two blows), the Lightning Blade, and a Teleporter Bracelet.

The Lighting Blade: One-handed broadsword- call lighting to the blade (as a movement action).  Increases the damage of the blade by 1 die.  Can release the lighting at a target within 30′.  Make a DEX roll to hit.  If successful, deal 2d6 damage to target.  The target must save or be stunned for 1 round.  Can do this twice per day.

Teleporter Bracelet: This piece Stupendous Science allows the wearer to teleport up to 100′ away once per day.

 

The session ended with the group shifting through the rubble of the old church, finding the Dark Orb, and then setting off back to Mardi Grass

Next Time: Will the group make it back safely to Mardi Grass?  Will they be able to place the Dark Orb into the hands of the Luminescent Mother?  Find out next time on another adventure of:BotRE Logo!

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Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- Session Three- The Fight for the Dark Orb, Part 1

Last session our group aided a village of frog beastmen, called The Gulpmongers, who were being attacked by raiders wearing strange mirror-like armor and wielding similar weapons.  After many explosions, use of Weaponized Animals, and some spell slinging the band of heroes were successful and were given a glowing white orb as a reward.  The orb was a key piece to contacting the Cosmic Being, The Luminescent Mother.

We now continue our adventures with the group setting off for the failed human settlement, Laundr-O-Mat to the far west in hopes of finding the Dark Orb.

Players

Omar- “Tip Toe” Tyron Thompson- Scavenger

Shoe- Medallion- Armadite

Coley- Coleesi- Barbarian

Brian- Sok- Armadillo Beastman

John- Vinsmoke the Sorcerer (Alt Casting Rules)

Unable to Attend

Gene- Beastman

Liam- Ashak- Death Priest

Kane- Vyvyan- Barbarian

Fletch- Shaw Shir- Vek

Introducing Some New Peeps

Several of my normal group members couldn’t make this session, so I opened up seats on my G+ Community page and got a few peeps interested.

Aside: Feel free to request an invite to the community page- I post quite a bit there that doesn’t make it to my blog as I don’t feel it warrants a full post- including possible game times, etc.  

I caught Shoe, Coley, and Bryan up to speed with the events of the two previous sessions and described that they were once a band of five that had heard of a treasure trove to the southern edge of the swamps… unable to resist adventure (and treasure) the band made their way down there…  what they found instead was a four-story high crocodile with robotic limbs and laser beam eyes.  Two of the group were vaporized, chomped and splatted before the three could escape.

Croconator

Behold the Croconator- not quite what I’ll have commissioned, but close enough:D

They wandered the swamps for days before coming across the small village of Mardi Grass where they were healed and fed.  Feeling a sense of reciprocity, the three agreed to help Vinsmoke and “Tip Toe” on their quest.

With that out of the way, the band bought some needed supplies and we began.

Before they left, Shoe went romping through the area and found a wild rabbit and befriended it, taking it with her.

Through the Swamps

The group of heroes began moving slowly through the soggy swamps of Ancient Earth Louisiana, heading west towards their objective.  After traveling for about five hours on the first day the sounds of screaming met their ears.

Me: “What do you do?”

Omar: I find the nearest bush and hide.”

Omar

Coley: “I shout, ‘shut the fuck up!'”

Shoe: “I run towards the noise as quickly as possible!”  She throws her rabbit to Sok (Bryan)- “Make sure nothing happens to my rabbit!”

Bryan: “I go after Medallion (Shoe) and tuck the rabbit into my shirt.”

John: “As this isn’t my fight, I slowly walk up to the noise.”

Medallion crashes through a clearing and finds a large pond of disgusting gray mud.  At the bank is a woman splashing in the mud, submerged to her stomach, “Help me!  Help!” she screams, flailing around.

Medallion heroically leapt down and grabbed the woman by her arms as Sok, Vinsmoke, and Coleesi move into the clearing.  The flailing woman went limp in Medallion’s hands, her had splattering in the mud.  The muck around the woman began to bubble and a two-story massive crab emerged from the fetid waters, the woman rising with it.  The woman was connected at the torso to the creature, limp and lifeless- a weird sucking noise sounded as the woman’s figure was recalled into a sphincter atop the crab’s head.

Aside: This encounter came from a dream I had. When I described the woman retreating into a sphincter and it pulsating constantly, I got a good couple groans outta folks.  Life is good.

The fight went really well.  Vinsmoke got himself pinchered by the crab and was rendered unconscious.  “Tip Toe” hid behind a tree and then began firing his bow at the creature.  Coleesi used her bow as well and Medallion hacked away at the crab, also utilizing her four armed attack.

Hats off to Bryan for using the beastman Super Strong mechanic in full awesomeness in this fight.  He described Sok climbing a tree and using his tail to break it and fling it on the crab (he succeeded on his attack and rolled 2d10 damage!).

The crab was felled by an arrow (either Omar or Coley) and Sok butchered some meet before the group moved on.

The group encountered nothing of interest on the third day.  On the fourth day the group was startled when grey snow flakes started to fall from the sky.  The snow did not melt in hand, nor was it ash.  As the group traveled Sok and Medallion became morose.  On the fifth day Sok and Vinsmoke where brought down, feeling great depression.

They pressed through the swamps, the grey snow weighing heavily on their souls, when the dilapidated remains of an Ancient Earth strip mall came into view.  At the border a rickety wooden sign, clearly of modern make, covered in sloppily painted letters, “Welcome to Laundr-O-Mat.

 

 

To be Continued


The Armadite Race for Barbarians of the Ruined Earth

With Matt Hildebrand and myself hard at work on the preliminary layout of Barbarians of the Ruined Earth (cover art here), I’ve started writing a supplement for the book (as this will take time to do).  I’ll have some new races, house rules, monsters, Sorcerer-fiends, packed into this baddy!

The first one that I wanted to do was an insect-type creature.  I always dug the Kreen  in Dark Sun and wanted to do something in that vein.  However, I didn’t want to do a beetle or a praying mantis, because those are in so many different RPG books, so what to do…?  I know…  An anthropomorphic roly-poly!

Here it is, enjoy!

Roly poly

Awwww… Look at how cute it is!!

 

ARMADITE

Armadites are the result of a Stupendous Science accident involving a broken canister of secret ooze and a colony of pill bugs.  These cute little roly-pollys grew into 7’ anthropomorphic creatures.  As the ages passed, the creatures named themselves Armadites, honoring their scientific Ancient Earth heritage and developed a proud warrior shamanistic culture.  Armadites paint their carapace with intricate symbols (some taken from Ancient Earth pop culture or commercials) and revere Terramancers (pg XX).

“Predators seek us, yet we stand resolute.  Raiders attack and we show our resolve. We flow with the wind, move with the earth, and our rage burns like fire.  Our spears are sharp, our armor thick, and our people proud.”

Starting HP: 1d8+4

Hit Points Per Level/Resting: 1d8 HP/lvl

Weapon and Armor: All Shields, Clubs, Swords, Maces, Spears, Axes, and Bows.

Weapon Damage: 1d6/1d4 Unarmed or Improvised

SPECIAL FEATURES

Armored: Armadites have thick chitin armor which gives them hearty protection in combat.  They have 2 RP.

The armor on their back is somewhat thicker, meaning they do not suffer extra damage from sneak/back attacks.

Four-Armed Fighter: Armadites have four arms, they can hold several weapons (or objects) at one time.  They can hold up to four one-handed weapons, two small shields, two two-handed weapons, or a mix of all three.  Large shields are too bulky to hold two at once.

An Armadite can make two attacks per round with ease.

If the Armadite is wielding four one-handed melee weapons they attack with a flurry of four blows against one (or two) targets.  All four attacks are made with Disadvantage.

Rolling Attack: As an invertebrate, Armadites can fold in on themselves, becoming a sphere of their tough chitin armor.  While in this state Armadites can attempt to roll over a target, dealing damage.  They must succeed a Dexterity roll.  If successful, the attack deals 1d10 damage.

While in this form, the Armadite can decide to absorb the damage of a single attack as if a shield were equipped (BotRE, pg XX), but it immediately pops the Armadite out of their ball and they must succeed a WIS save or be stunned for 1 round.

Antenna: The antenna of the Armadite is very sensitive and allows them to detect vibrations.  They make any test against detecting ambushes or hidden foes with Advantage.

Multi-legged: The Armadite can get on all its legs and travel faster than normal, moving up to Not-so-Nearby on their movement or Far Away if they move twice.  Up to two medium sized humanoids can ride on the back of an Armadite.

Leveling Up:

Roll all Attributes to see if they increase, roll twice for STR or DEX

STARTING EQUIPMENT

CHOOSE TWO*: Short spear, short bow, short sword, two-handed sword, axe, mace, or spiked club

ARMOR: None.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS: Ammo for ranged weapon if taken, rations (d6), waterskin (d6), bedroll, torches x6 (d6), and healing salve (1 HD of HP restored).

*All starting weapons are made of wood, bone, or stone. For each weapon, there is a 15% chance it is made of metal (i.e., the arrowheads, the sword blade, etc.).

INTERESTING TRINKET (roll 1d6): 1) A headdress of leather and antlers worn by a kind Ecomancer; 2) A box of Ancient Earth acrylic paints (they are still good!); 3) A leather saddle that fits your back; 4) An Ancient Earth Civil War saber; 5) A gorgeous set of Ancient Earth Russian Dolls; 6) A box of fire crackers (1d8 Usage Die)

LIFE EVENT (roll 1d8): 1) You were a slave and escaped; 2) You were destined to be chief of your village, but were driven out by a rival; 3) Pig Raiders wiped out your village; 4) You encountered a Cosmic Being (choose one, pg XX) and hear its desires; 5) You killed a skilled warrior in a warring Armadite tribe; 6) You were part of a scouting party that helped find your tribes current home; 7) You glimpsed the Horrible Bear Monster (BotRE, pg XX) and lived to tell the tale.  Many of your hunting party weren’t so lucky; 8) Your brood mother was killed and taken in a Vulturefolk (BotRE, pg XX) attack.


Barbarians of the Ruined Earth Just Got Itself a Cover (and a Character Sheet too)

BotRE_Cover_WIP_v5

Matt Hildebrand knocked this motherfucker out of the park!  I really appreciate all his hard work on the whole project!  Matt and I really wanted to convey that Thundarr the Barbarian-type feeling with this and he nailed it!

Barbarians of the Ruined Earth is a fantasy post-apocalyptic setting inspired by Thundarr the Barbarian, Pirates of Dark Water, Mad Max, etc.  It uses a modified version of The Black Hack rules. KICKSTARTER COMING IN THE NEAR FUTURE!!

Matt also designed an awesome character sheet for BotRE!

Here’s the PDF version: BotRE_CharacterSheet_color_v3

BotRE_CharacterSheet_color_pg1BotRE_CharacterSheet_color_pg2

 


Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- Session Two- The Plight of the Gulpmongers

This adventure our group continues their adventure towards the town of Stinky Peat, all believing they are seeking answers on how to defeat the Chimera, but are really traveling to the town so Ashak, who lied to them about what the spirits told him, so he can try the best burger in the swamp.

 

Players

Liam- Ashak- Death Priest

Omar- “Tip Toe” Tyron Thompson- Scavenger

Fletch- Shaw Shir- Vek

Kane- Vyvyan- Barbarian

John- Vinsmoke the Sorcerer (Alt Casting Rules)

Unable to Attend

Gene- Beastman

Barbarian

Kane did this in photoshop.  Inspired by the Young Ones show

 

I’ll I Want is a Stupid Burger

The session begins with the group about to cross the land bridge of Lake Pontchartrain so they can quickly get to Stinky Peat.  As the group set foot on the bridge, the sounds of bodies landing on rusted cars, water splashing, and croaking greeted their ears.

Gulpmongers

The group turned to see 10 frog beastmen had appeared from the waters of the lake, surrounding them.  The frogmen had spears and swords made of wood, bone, and stone.  Some had weapons fashioned from Ancient Earth rubbish.  The heroes drew their weapons, ready to do battle when a deep croaking voice cried out, “Wait…  Do you mean us harm?”

Vyvyan, afraid of nothing, said, “No.  We are on our way to Stinky Peat and needed to use this bridge.  Is it yours?”

“Yes.” Replied the croaking voice.  A large brown hand splashed out of the water, followed by another, then the huge squat head and rotund body of a 10‘ tall toad man lifted from the waters.  Finally, the creature pulled all of itself from the water and landed with a thud on the crumbling concrete.

“The bridge is part of our village.  We are call themselves Gulpmongers.” The toad beastman issued a warbling croak, echoed by the frog beastman.  “I am Mog.  Chief of my people.”

Mog

“You look like you can handle yourselves in a fight.  Might yo–”

“Well that’s debatable.” Said Vinsmoke.

Mog cleaned his throat, “Might  you listen to our plight?”

Mog explain the Gulpmongers have been hunted by a band of raiders.   In the past, the Gulpmongers have always been able to stand toe to toe with the raiders, suffering only minor losses, but since the band moved into an Ancient Earth factory to the southwest of the lake, the Gulpmongers haven’t stood a chance.

“These humans have found new and powerful weaponry and armor.  All of it looks like mirrors.  All our stone arrows and spears bounce off of them uselessly.  Their sharp jagged swords pierce our flesh, and they take my people to be slaughtered or enslaved.”

“If we help you…  what’s in it for us?” Asks the barbarian.

“We have something that will very much interest the village of Mardi Grass and its peoples.  We have an orb that we believe belongs to the Luminescent Mother, a being I believe you all worship.  If you help us, I will give this strange object to you.  It will be considered a symbol of friendship with the Gulpmongers.”

“Annnnnddd some coin?”

The chief looked irritated, “And 500 ceramic coins.  They are white, minted by sorcery of Tygham the Fearless- ruler of the Swamps.”

The group agreed and Mog sweetened the pot by giving the group two Gulpmonger warriors to accompany them.

With that the group turned around and headed to the base of the raiders.

Best Laid Plans + Impatient Banging on Front Door/Bad Rolls = Pain, Bleeding, and Crying

The group made it to the factory, a rectangular two-story building, without incident and saw three raiders outside, moving around patrolling.  All three of the raiders were dispatched quickly, but not exactly quietly.  As the band of heroes approached the front door another raider opened it to see what was going on.   Seeing the heroes walking up the raider shouted, “Oh shit!” and slammed the door.

Vyvyan walked confidently up and banged on the door.  The group then hatched a plan.  Vinsmoke would open the door and Vyvyan would toss in an exploding hedgehog (see below) and that would take care of any raiders laying a trap for them.

This part of the plan went of perfectly.  Vinsmoke opened the door, revealing the faces of three shocked raiders and Vyvyan tossed in this cute lil soon to be exploded hedgehog and shut the door.  An explosion shook the building.

Explosive Hedgehog: These small hedgehogs are flung at a target from a sling.  When they strike, they explode, dealing Class damage to the target.  The explosion is powerful enough to destroy thin wooden walls.

At this point this is when things started to kinda go downhill.  Now COMPLETELY aware of intruders, the raiders fortified their positions and made it harder for them to be killed.  The second in charge, Mr. Mustachio, threw an explosive hedgehog at the group.  Vinsmoke had held his action and acted by casting a spell enveloping the creature and tried to fling it back at the group… and he rolled a 1…  So the hedgehog bounced against the door and landed at their feet… and John rolled a 10 on damage.  BOOM.

Mustachio

Captain Mustachio is gone, but not forgotten!

The group was hurting and barely maintaining from that point on (they also lost their NPC Gulpmongers, attack dogs, and warriors from Mardi Grass).  They all hunkered in a room for an hour, rested, and got a few HP back.

The group took some time to look around the group saw some of the mirror armor and weaponry that the Gulpmongers had described.  The group took a few pieces and set off downstairs.

The sound of a large squeaky wheel echoing off the walls.  The group saw a huge hamster wheel, on it was a rotting undead giant rat (this was Liam’s idea from the collaborative world-building).  The wheel was sparking sickly greenish-yellow electric bolts that traveled along transistors.  Eventually, when enough energy was built up, a loud hum filled the room and with a whoosh the energy traveled down wiring under the ground.

As the group looked around, the leader of the raiders, a dastardly hillbilly Scavenger, 2nd level, lurked in the shadows while the group descended into a large basement. With him were two undead giant rats and his son, a wet-behind-the-ears-raider.

The fight was hard, but not as hard as it could have been.  Ashak used his curse ability and against the leader, causing him to lose several rounds of action.

Curse: The Death Priest must succeed a WIS test to curse a living target. The target is cursed for 1 hour. Each time the character must make a decision roll 1d8: 1-4) do nothing; 5) act normally; 6) attack ally) 7) flee for 1d4 rounds (do not roll during this time); 8) attack self.

When the leader finally acted, he pulled a jagged mirror blade from a scabbard and released a volley of shards of glass at the group, causing heavy damage.  The group pelted the leader with arrows, shotgun blasts, magic, and swords- most of which, even when paralyzed, bounced of off him harmlessly.

“Fools!  This armor and sword were a gift from Shanton, the Sorcerer of Mirrors, for my loyalty!  I cannot be beaten by the likes of  you!”

Eventually he was.  Vyvyan took the sword and someone else took the armor (can’t remember who though).

With the raiders broken, the group made their way back to the Gulpmonger village, retrieved their reward of 400 ceramic coins and the glowing orb.  The group decided, considering how battered and blood they were, to head back to Mardi Grass to recoup.

When the group arrived there was concern at their return and bloodied appearance.  Vinsmoke offered an explanation as the group made their way to the shrine of the Luminescent Mother.  Vyvyan placed the orb in the statue’s hands.  The hands of the statue closed on the orb, then parted.  The orb in the statue’s right hand, the left open and empty.  The statues left eye will glow yellow like the orb.  The right blank stone.

L Mother

The group heard a voice echo softly on the wind.

“You are close.  For I am one- yet two.  You have found the Light Orb.  It is life, love, and health.  Yet I am missing the Dark Orb.  It is death, anger, and decay.   I am the cycle, the beginning and the end.  Find the Dark Orb and I will grant you a gift.”

The group asked if the Luminescent Mother knew where the orb was.

“I sense the Dark Orb lies forgotten in the ruins of a human settlement to the West.”

The group knew of talk of such a village… the ruins of the village Laundr-o-Mat to the west.

This is where we ended for the evening.

Next session the group now has several plot hooks to decide on.  Will the group continue to Stinky Peat to find the best damned burger in the swamps?  Will they attempt to find the Dark Orb in the rancid haunted ruins of Laundr-o-Mat?  Or will they seek information on this Sorcerer of Mirrors?

Find out next time on:

BotRE Logo!


Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- Session One- Attack of the Chimera

Aside: I’ve been rewatching Thundarr the Barbarian recently, analyzing the episode structure- this is for a future BotRE book- and jotting down notes on the various locations, monsters, goals, etc.  So many episodes will have enemies that are flying robots, molten magma men, mutant overseers, sorcerers, etc… In an episode I just watched called Wizard Wars (awesome episode) cracked me up, because one of the enemies… midgets- yep there is no getting around that these are the rejects from the lollipop guild…

Sand People

Oh sure they call them “Sand People”… but you know…  You know who and what they are.

 

Anyways- enough of that…

Last session the group finished the creative world building and we decided we would start in the town called Mardi Grass close to the ruins of New Orleans.

Here’s the town map:

Mardi Grass Town Map

And here’s a map of the surrounding area:

BotRE Map (1)

Session 1- There’s Trouble Brewing

Note: I will put all creature stats at the end of the recap.  If the monster has a “*” in front of its name, then it will be in the BotRE book, otherwise I created it specifically for the session.  

Players

Liam- Ashak- Death Priest

Omar- “Tip Toe” Tyron Thompson- Scavenger

John- Vinsmoke the Sorcerer (Alt Casting Rules)

Unable to Attend

Fletch- Shaw Shir- Vek

Gene- Beastman

The session started with the group slogging through the swamp with Mama Cleo.  Several days ago hunters from Mardi Grass spotted a large chunk of the moon, that had crashed nearby during the calamity, was glowing red.  Mama Cleo took the group, especially the Sorcerer Vinsmoke and her disciple, Ashak, to investigate.  She was worried about this strange omen- the moon rock only glows prior to the arrival of the Chimera, once every 30 years.  It’s not supposed to glow fir another 10 years.

Mama Cleo explained the situation, “the last time the Chimera showed up, I was a young woman- just understanding my gifts…  the Chimera is a fearsome beast; we believe it was once a man, but now corrupted and ferocious.  It has the head of a man, with long mandibles like a beetle, large leathery bat wings, the body of a bear, with the legs of a massive boar, snakes for arms, and a tail that shoots flames from Hell. Every 30 years it descends from the sky and snags some of our kin and then leaves to feast and slumber.  We are powerless to stop it.  Of course the brave, and ultimately foolish, warriors have left to track it to its lair.  None have returned.”

Eventually the group came through the clearing and found the huge chunk of rock glowing vibrantly red.  As the group got closer, the moon rock hummed and pulsed for a brief second before red lightning arced out, a bolt struck a rusted bicycle and another a VW Bug and two washing machines (because you know it makes PERFECT sense for two washing machines and a VW Bug to be near each other in a dilapidated post-apocalyptic setting- don’t dispute me!).  A third bolt shot off through the trees.

All the rubbish struck became suffused with red light and transformed into monstrous automatons!

This fight was fun.  Both enemies resembled humanoid shapes.  The bicycle had a wheel for a head capable of disarming any who attempted to attack it (sadly no one attacked the creature with a melee weapon!- oh well, best laid plans and all that), while the car/washing machine creature was the heavy hitter.  Belching smog and its washing machine arms chugging, filled with soapy swamp water.  Once per combat it could open a washing machine and release a spout of water at a target, knocking them prone.

After two rounds a scream issued somewhere beyond the trees.  Vinsmoke looked around and saw Fiona, the daughter of his friend Cobb, pressed against a tree, recoiled in terror from a similar monster to the ones they faced- a bunch of garbage joined together, resembling a hideous inchworm-like creature, towards her.  The head of the monster a large old oak trunk, snapping hungrily.   Vinsmoke immediately left the group to fight the bike and car monsters so he could go to Fiona’s aid.  He used his magic to summon spikes up from the muddy ground, attempting to impale the beast.  Sadly, the spikes did not pierce the creatures armor, but it lifted the trash inchworm  up, causing it to lose its balance and fall prone on the ground.  Vinsmoke got a free attack with his Sorcerer’s staff.

The fight lasted a few more rounds, but eventually the heroes were victorious.  Panting from the fight, they began to bandage their wounds, but their rest was cut short when an explosion echoed in the distance and a terrible, spine-tingling roar met their ears.  Mama Cleo stiffened, “No… The Chimera has arrived.”

The group rushed back to Mardi Grass and found it under siege of the Chimera.  Several buildings were on fire, bodies lay on the ground, unmoving.  The beast stood in the center of town, two unconscious humans limp in its snake arms.

High overhead disgusting birdlike humanoid creatures circled the scene.

The Chimera

Gorn was SUCH a fucking cool enemy in Thundarr I totally had to take inspiration from it!- From episode 17, City of Evil

Several villagers, including Nomi, leader of the small town guard, were pointing spears at the Chimera.  It lazily flapped its wings, sending a huge gust of wind out, knocking everyone over.  The Chimera opened its wings, let out another roar, and took to the skies with its freshly caught prey.

As the Chimera left the buzzard creatures sped to the ground, looking for easy prey.  The heroes  gathered themselves to protect their friends and village.

This fight was a little tough.  “Tip Toe” Tyrone Thompson had to leave at this point, so it was only Vinsmoke and Ashak.  Each had used their spells for the day.  I was nice and said they had regained their Luck abilities to cast one more spell each (I am SUCH a nice person!).

Eventually the group killed all three of the vulturefolk and the villagers started taking care of the damage inflicted by the Chimera’s attack.  Mama Cleo looked at one of the vulturefolk corpses and recognized it to be the previous town mayor.  He and his wife were ones that were taken years ago!

Ashak cast Talk With Spirits and asked the deceased mayor three questions.

Question One: What happened to you?

Answer: The Chimera put me in a hideous stinking sack and I was slowly transformed into a cruel bloodthirsty monster.

Question Two: How do we stop the Chimera?

Answer: Only magic and powerful items of Sorcery or Stupendous Science will wound the creature.

Question Three: Where can I find the best burger in the area?

Answer: There was a place in the village of Stinky Peat called Ol’ Smokey’s BBQ.  The burgers there were delicious.

After the third answer the spirit of the mayor disappeared, finally allowed to rest.

Askak turned to the village at large, “The spirit of this mayor told me how to defeat the Chimera!  The answer lies to the north in the village of Stinky Peat!

We all chuckled at his complete BS of the situation.

The current mayor, Kane, came into the scene and told the group he would send two warriors and attack dogs with them- as the terror of the Chimera must end.

Kane: Kane is known for his rambunctious spirit and ability to fight (Barbarian, 2nd level).  He has defended Mardi Grass many times.  He always carries his prized spear, The Man-Splitter- a remarkable piece of Stupendous Science with an electrified, motorized blade.  Kane constantly rubs himself with baby lotion to keep his skin moist and shiny.  He has a collection of Ancient Earth action movies and a working entertainment center.  He is obsessed with Chuck Norris and John McClain.

We ended there for the night!

MONSTERS

Car Golem

HD 2; RP 1; Fists (2d4)

Description: This massive creature was constructed from Stupendous Science and sorcery.  Several cars have been melded together to form a 12’ monstrosity.  The engines sputter and belch exhaust.

Special: Washer Fists: Once per combat, can open the washer lid and send a deluge of water at a target, knocking them prone (no save) and they suffer damage.

Smog: Once per hour can release a cloud of exhaust that blinds all in Nearby radius for 2d4 rounds.

 

Bicycle Golem

HD 1; RP 2; Fists (1d6)

Description: Bike in a humanoid form, with a wheel as a head.

Special: Spokes: When attacked with a slashing or piercing weapon, there is a chance that the weapon gets stuck in the head spokes (PC makes a Luck roll).  If it favors the monster, it’s caught in the spokes and the PC must succeed a STR save or have the weapon ripped from the grasp and flung into the swampy water.  They must spend 1d3 rounds finding it.

 

Rubbish Golem

HD 1; RP 2; Head Bash (1d6)

Description: Large trash caterpillar

Special: Swallow Whole: An attack means the target is scooped into the trunk and begins to be compressed, taking 1d6 damage per round. When target is killed the body is spit out.

*Vulturefolk

HD 1-3; RP 0-1; Claws (1d6-1d10)

Description: These fetid creatures live off the putrid meat of the dead, and prefer areas of decay to cleaner, drier climates.  While many tribes of Vulturefolk will attack humanoid settlements outright, looking for a meal, some will attempt to barter or form an uneasy alliance.  However, it doesn’t take much for a Vulturefolk to rescind their promise and still attack the settlement.

Special: Fly: Vulturefolk can fly quite fast.  While flying, ranged attacks against them are made with Disadvantage.

 

 


Barbarians of the Ruined Earth Campaign Kickoff- World Building

barbarians statue colours 150dpi 554x800

Art for BotRE- by Kelvin Green

My online group and I have decided we wanted to take a break from Death is the New Pink: Going Medieval on Yo’ Ass and play some Barbarians of the Ruined Earth.

We played for a few months back and moved to GMoYA, but now with the book in the beginning parts of layout (being done by the awesome and sexy Matt Hildebrand), I’ve really been craving the heroic science, sword, and sorcery vibe again (it also doesn’t help I’ve started rewatching all of Thundarr the Barbarian AGAIN).

A few weeks ago I bought a Nintendo Switch and the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and was inspired by how open the world is (and approachable) and wanted to capture that with this BotRE campaign (I may have to do a post on BotW and lessons/takeaways for tabletop gaming…).

When you first start BotW, Link runs up to an expansive vista, showing the beautiful world.  Everything you see you can travel to.  That is exciting and is a perfect example of show, don’t tell.  I want to avoid info dumps…  We play once to twice a month and sometimes info gets lost, forgotten, etc. and that’s wasted effort on my part.

I decided that I would take a page from Beyond the Wall‘s Further Afield and do some fun and exciting collaborative world building with my group.  I figured this would be as close to show, don’t tell as I could get for a campaign kick off.

Only three of my six players could make the session on Sunday, but we came up with some great ideas and I’ve sent the info to the three who couldn’t make it to give them a chance to create a few things.

First I asked each of my players what state this was taking place in.  After each pitched their idea, they talked and decided on New Orleans, super swamps, mutated rednecks, etc.

Then we rolled characters.  John is a Sorcerer (alternate spell casting rules here), Liam is a Death Priest, and Fletch created a Vek (raptor people).

Sorcerer

Sorcerer Art for BotRE by Matthew Adams

 

Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- Death Priest

Death Priest Art for BotRE by Matthew Adams

 

After the group made their characters I had them each create two interesting NPCs that they have each developed a bond with and what that NPC does.  I’ll roll some secret stuff about them that the players will discover (i.e., ar they in a cult, selling people to raiders/slavers, do they have perpetual RBF, etc.).

After each group created their NPCs, I had them roll on a table that I lifted (and only altered slightly) from Further Afield to generate an interesting thing nearby their village.  Each of my three players did this twice.

Roll 1d8: 1) Major city; 2) Ancient ruins; 3) Human settlement; 4) Recent ruins; 5) Inhuman settlement (roll 1d3: 1) Vek; 2) Beastman; 3) GM Chooses from bestiary); 6) Monster’s Lair; 7) Source of power; 8) Interesting location (i.e., mushroom forest, natural canyons, etc.)

With these, I’ll roll to see how accurate what they came up with is.  Is it true, is there a twist to this location, or are they WAY off base.

Finally I had each of my three players come up with a descriptive term or phrase that would guide me in the creation of the town leader.  I told them that if it something was too off base with another descriptive term, we would discuss until we got to a happy medium/compromise.  Thankfully that didn’t happen at all.

The members of the group that made it to the session start with a magic item/piece of Stupendous Science.

The three players that didn’t make it will make their characters when they play, but I am allowing them to create a single interesting location (I rolled for what it is) and a NPC.  The town and leader are already determined.

Here is what the group came up with.  Once I get the entries from my other three players, I will do all my rolls and map out the village, layout the surrounding locations, and add a few myself.

Environment

New Orleans- Humid, swampy, mutated rednecks.

 

Settlement
“Mardi Grass”:
Semi-floating landmass of junk and soil/silt.  Just slightly outside of New Orleans.

 

Town Mayor

Kane: Kane is known for his rambunctious spirit and ability to fight (Barbarian, 2nd level).  He has defended Mardi Grass many times.  He always carries his prized spear, The Man-Splitter- a remarkable piece of Stupendous Science with an electrified, motorized blade.  Kane constant rubs himself with baby lotion to keep his skin moist and shiny.  He has a collection of Ancient Earth action movies and a working entertainment center.  He is obsessed with Chuck Norris and John McClain.

Interesting People

Cobb: A gardener who has some sort of innate magical abilities, but not a sorcerer (John).

Mama Cleo: A voodoo priestess who can speak with spirits and create strange alchemical concoctions.

Birch: Owns/runs the general store.  Became mutated early in life and has gills and webbed hands and feet (Fletch).

Nomi: Guard of Mardi Grass.  Decent fighter.  Escaped mines with group (John).

The Undertaker: Undertaker of Mardi Grass.  Scrawny and lanky.  Androgynous (Liam).

Jean: Junk dealer.  He is mad as a hatter, but smart and ornery (Fletch).

Nearby Locations

Monster Lair: Vicious and savage frog-dog creatures lurk in rudimentary huts (John).

Settlement: Strange Ones (sky blue skin and bulbous heads) inhabit an abandoned Ancient Earth television station.  They worship Ancient Earth technology (Fletch).

Source of Power: Giant undead rats run endlessly on hamster wheels to generate electricity (Liam).  Rumored to be created by Tygham the Fearless, the Sorcerer of the Swamps.

Crystal Towers: These crystalline towers are made of soft gems (ruby, etc.) and attract large beetles, the size of dogs, which feast on the structures (Fletch).

Lair of the Croconator: Massive crocodile monster that lurks in the swamps.  A few days travel from Mardi Grass (John).

The Ruins of Bourbon St: Mostly underwater.  Aquatic people live here.  Underwater ruins and avenues exist (Fletch).

Magic Items

Liam: Liam has a teddy bear named Balfour, which he found on the mummified remains of a small girl from Ancient Earth- The girl’s name is Maggie and acts as a spirit guide. Liam can speak to her as spirit (Death Priest ability) or increase Luck range from 4-6 to 3-6 once per day.

John: John has an attack drone that looks like a sphere with a giant lightbulb eye.  The drone hovers around him and attacks a target designated by John.  6HP, 1 RP, 1d6 damage, uses John’s stats to attack.

Fletch: Fletch has a shield that can be activated to absorb damage.  When turned on, roll 2d4.  That is how much damage it will absorb.  Once depleted, deactivates and take damage as normal.  Recharges when the sun rises.