Monthly Archives: September 2016

Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- Episode 1: Battle Over the Heavy Metal Throne of the Eclipse! Part 2

Yesterday I posted the part 1 of my first session of Barbarians of the Ruined Earth.

Cultists and Museums 

After the group rested up, they barged bravely through the front door of the Museum of Art and History.  The group plunged into the entrance and found a dirty, disheveled mess.   Ishkur the Ummm Wizard saw that they could head into a Weapons Exhibit and recommended that direction.  Zed Winkle led the group through the hall and triggered a trap, taking a spear to the side.  The Weapons Exhibit had pretty much cleaned out, but the group found a spear from ancient Roman times, a cutlass from the American Civil War, and a mace that didn’t have a plaque with information.

They continued down to the cafeteria and were attacked by three cultists.  All were wearing white robes, black masks which had a crescent moon symbol on their forehead, and curved daggers.  The cultists stood in front of the entrance, creating a bottle neck.  “Only death will set you free!  Let us send you on your way!”


I used mook rules, each cultist having only 1 HP.  The group made quick work of them, but got stabbed a few times, but for little damage.  Once the cultists were dead the group looted the room, finding daggers, a healing salve, 50′ of rope, and a backpack.

The group then headed back up and found a hallway to the Modern Art room.  Ishkur the Ummm Wizard groaned, “ug…  There is nothing of interest in there.”  Most of the paintings had been defaced, however they found the body of a Barbarian tossed into the corner.  They looted him of his items, the most exciting of which was a football helmet and then continued into the Old West Room.

Here the group was attacked by four cultists throwing spears at the group.  Ishkur stepped to the front and used Life Leach, dealing 1 point of damage to each of the cultists, killing them all.  They took the daggers on the cultists and Ishkur found a tattered and cut up cowboy hat, and excitedly put it on his head.

Error (404) came up with a plan that he would put on a cultist outfit (being the only one who could wear one) and tie up Ishkur and Zed with a trick knot.  The group went through the rest of the museum and didn’t encounter anyone else, except for a mutant with glowing red eyes who was chained to a wall and shied away from the robe-wearing Error (404).

Eventually the group came to a room with stairs leading into the basement; chanting could be heard below.

Battle for the Heavy Metal Throne of the Eclipse


The group wandered into the basement and found three cultists circled around a large throne made of metal, adorned with spikes.  Walking around them was another cultist, with embellished robes and a black mask with a half moon on the forehead.  A car engine rested on the seat of the throne, jumper cables attached to several of the spikes of the chair.  The captured humans were tied and laid on the ground, metal skullcaps placed on their heads with metal tubing going from the cap and attached to the engine.  Lurking in the corner was a hideous mutant with green slime dripping from its skin.

The lead cultist spoke to the room, “We have finally obtained the Heavy Metal Throne of the Eclipse!  With the energy taken from these lower ones, we will revitalize the throne and finally have the power over the sun itself!  We will plunge this world into darkness and be the true masters of everything!  Let the ritual begin!”  One of the cultists pulled a lever on the engine and it sprang to life.  A human screamed as their energy was pulled from their body, leaving them a dried husk on the floor.  The energy traveled through the skullcap, up the cable, into the engine, and through the jumper cables into the throne.

The lead cultist looked at the disguised Error (404), “Ah brother!  What have you brought us?

Error (404): More food for the machine!

“Ah!  Excellent!  The energy of a Sorcerer will truly make the throne powerful!”

Error (404) brought the pseudo-captured comrades into the circle and they sprang their trap.  Liam (Ishkur’s player) told me he wanted to summon forth Error’s bag that was carrying a bunch of the curved daggers and multiply them in the bag, then have the bag explode and send the daggers flying everywhere.  I told him that they would hit everyone, not just the cultists, he said that’s ok.  I told him it would be Power of the Moon (level 2) spell (here is the alt magic rules) and he agreed.  He rolled in INT check with Advantage after using Life Leach previously and succeeded.  He failed his Usage Die roll, finally robbing him of his energies to cast spells.  While this was going on another two human hostages were drained of energy.

The daggers killed all three cultists, all the human hostages save 1, missed the mutant and the lead cultist, and missed all three players.

Nate had to leave at this point, so John took over rolling for Error (404).

The cultist and mutant ran at Liam’s character and started beating on him.  The mutant’s touch drained Ishkur of his vitality (temporary CON drain).  Zed Winkle used his epic strength to pick up the Heavy Metal Throne and engine and chucked them at the lead cultist, who was struck hard and slammed into the wall, becoming a bloody grease stain.

The battle with the mutant took awhile, but eventually the group stabbed and bludgeoned enough to kill the creature.  The group looted the room, finding an obsidian sword and a silver dagger.  They also found a scroll on the body of the dead lead cultist- with the wax seal of the Portends of Death.  Ishkurr put it in his pack to examine later.

With that they took the delirious, shell-shocked survivor and returned her to The Bluffs.  Ren thanked them for risking their lives and returning his daughter to them (I made a Luck roll on the importance of the survivor).

With that we leveled up and called it a night.

Next time: Trouble in the Bluffs

After Thoughts: We are all still loving the simplicity of The Black Hack.  We are using the Better Armor rules from Additional Things.  It works very well for the players, however I tried to do something similar for monster and it doesn’t work well.  Damage Reduction per attack works well for systems like 3.x, Pathfinder, and 5e where there is a steady escalation of damage based on the weapon, Attribute modifiers, and weapon bonuses…  However in TBH weapon damage is static, although it may have a small bonus or you roll damage with Advantage, etc.  However a creature with an armor of 3 means that a Conjurer will always need to roll a 4 on a d4 to be effective.  When we were fighting the mutant, this became really apparent.  John and Liam both were rolling super low (John gets to roll a d8 for damage)… and after 4 or 5 rounds (can’t remember), it just became evident that it doesn’t work well.  The normal armor rules in TBH work much better for enemies.  So I switched it back to that rule and they had done about 5-6 points of damage, I treated it that they had drained the creature of his armor and were now doing physical damage.  So now I need to change that throughout the whole BotRE document.

John’s use of his epic strength ability was fun as hell and creative.  Also, he totally stopped the second coming of Lo-Pan (the next round the evil Sorcerer would have been pulled from the chair).  So that was a cool and unexpected event.

Liam really likes the free form spell casting thus far- especially as the two spells he attempted to cast would not have been possible at all with normal rules.  We will keep trying them and see how they hold up over several sessions.




Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- Episode 1: Battle Over the Heavy Metal Throne of the Eclipse! Part 1

Barbarians of the Ruined Earth is a setting I’ve been working on for Black Hack that is inspired by Thundarr the Barbarian and other things in the same vein of influence including Heavy Metal Magazine, Wizards, He-Man, Adventure Time, and others.

I decided to put playing Land of the Spirits on hold while I continue to write it and hammer out the details.  With Barbarians first draft completed and first pass of proofs done, it felt like an awesome time to start playing it.

On Sunday we kicked off our campaign and by playing through an adventure I generated with one of the tables I wrote for the book.

Only three of my players were able to make it, and it was a tough session, but we kicked ass and took names!


Nate: Error (404) the Human Scavenger (I haven’t posted the Scavenger class yet) 

Liam: Ishkur the Ummm Wizard- Sorcerer class (we are using the Alternate Magic system rules I created)- the reason he has “uuuummm” in his title is Liam had trouble coming up with a name and kept saying “ummmm”…  so that’s what kind of Sorcerer he is.  Sorcerer’s are also a creepy lot and most are easily identifiable.  Liam’s character has yellow skin, purple hair, stone nails, stunted teeth, lava lamp-like eyes, and a Sorcerer’s staff made of resin with a whirlwind trapped inside (this was all generated from the tables located in the character class).

John: Zed Winkle the Moose Beastman.  His people are known as the Bryll. 

The Set Up

Everyone rolled up their characters, got their starting gear, Interesting Trinket, Life Event, and I thought it would be fun for everyone to have a Weird Mount for starting play (especially as the Thundarr trio all had mounts).  Nate rolled one Form and rolled a giant snake as his mount.  John rolled one Form as well and rolled a llama for his mount (a moose man on a llama is a pretty hilarious image).  Liam rolled two Forms and a triceratops and velociraptor, which we decided to call a velocitops or triceraptor.

I decided that I would use the Adventure Generator that I wrote for the book; you roll for Person 1, Person 2, Action, Location, Object, and Twist).  What I rolled was: Cultists (Person 1), group of humans (Person 2), find (Action), broken down museum (Location), Heavy Metal Throne of the Eclipse (Object), and object is not what it is believed to be (Twist).

I then rolled on the Village Generator to see where the group will start:
The Bluff, home to the Sky People. The town is rickety, rusted storage containers that are half buried high up on steep high red rock bluffs. Rope ladders and bridges are used to traverse the bluffs. The leader is Ren, who wears a sea captain’s hat and vest.

I looked at what I rolled and merged it into a way that made sense: The PC’s will start with finding out that a group of humans from the Bluffs were kidnapped by a group of cultists. The cultists hope to drain the energy of the humans into the Heavy Metal Throne of the Eclipse, believing the Stupendous Science object gives control over the sun. It is actually houses the trapped live energy of the ancient Sorcerer Lo Pan (Big Trouble in Little China nod).

The group will have to fight a horde of cultists and a mutated horror to save the humans before five are drained (there are 10 total).

I also rolled for Village Trouble and got that earthquake caused by Badgerworms (Hybrid animal creature). This will manifest at the end of the session and lead into the next one.

Finally I rolled for Weird Religions and got Portends of Death:

Believe that the world is dying and that death is the only true escape from this torture.  They attack other settlements, often killing (or enslaving) every living thing.  Their leader, the Great Shadowed One, wears a skull mask made of an indestructible metal.

The Beginning

The group rode up to The Bluffs on their epically crazy mounts and I set the stage of a group of villagers scared and confused about men in white robes with black masks kidnapping their friends and family while out farming.  Ren, the village leader, quickly begged the players (who looked like they could handle themsevles) to save their people.

The group agreed to do so if they were adequately compensated upon their success.

The group rode off to where the abduction occurred and picked up on tracks leading off to the Northeast.  After walking for about a mile, they saw a building in the distance.  Error (404) was quick to pick up the tracks, but not to feel the earth trembling ever so slightly beneath his feet.

The group continued to walk when ground began to rumble and shake.  Ishkur the Ummm Wizard and Error (404) felt the quake, but Zed Winkle was oblivious.  The ground exploded, sending Zed and Error (404) flying and landing hard on the ground while Ishkur the Ummm Wizard readied for battle.  The head of a badger attached to a 15′ tall worm body rose into the sky (I created this enemy from my Hybrid Animal table), smoke furling out of its mouth.

Ishkur decided to cast a spell and make the ground quake, to send it back to the depths, however he critically failed his INT roll, instead making the spell manifest around him and his companions.  The ground cracked and crumbled- sending him and Error (404) to the ground again.  Zed Winkle charged into battle with his spiked club and started wailing on the worm.  Ishkur also failed his Usage Die roll, zapping him of all his magical power.

After a few rounds and a few wounds, the creature disappeared back into the earth (failing its morale check), looking for an easier meal.

The group dusted themselves off and made their way to the whitish building in the distance.  When they arrived they saw that the building was in fairly good condition and was from Ancient Earth times.  There were words on a cement sign stating, “Welcome to the Museum of Art and History.”  Ishkur, being the only literate being of the group, relayed this information.

The group surveyed the front of the structure and decided to rest up for an hour before proceeding inside (this way Ishkur could use his Inner Strength ability and regain his magic casting Usage Die back to a d4).

With that the group readied their weapons and walked into the museum.

Next time: Cultists, mutants, flying daggers, and thoughts on Black Hack mechanics!

The Death Priest Class for Barbarians of the Ruined Earth, a Thundarr-inspired Setting for The Black Hack

I wanted to post another class that will be in Barbarians of the Ruined Earth!  The Death Priest.  I wanted to include a class that was similar to a Cleric, but not with the same trappings… Cultists, priests, etc. are a very strong part of Sword and Sorcery and people enjoy playing this type of class, so I wanted to include it.

In previous posts I showed the Robot, Beastman, Barbarian, and thoughts on the Sorcerer (and an alternative magic casting system for Black Hack).  All of these will be in the book.

Death Priest

Death Priest 1

Death Priests do not serve a higher being, but rather draw energy from all those that have died since the Great Calamity to channel their abilities.  Death Priests have an intimate knowledge of the bleak coldness of death, and what awaits us all on the other side of the veil.  They embrace this knowledge and use it to bring peace to the dead, are village leaders and sooth-sayers, advance their own stature, fight against evil, quell angry spirits, or serve a Sorcerer master to gain power.

“You can’t hear their moaning, but I can.  They beg for release.  There is nothing great or divine awaiting us when we die, just a lingering limbo; a static grey ether.  The knowledge and energy of the spirits is my plaything and I will use it as I see fit.”

Starting HP: 1d6+4

HP Per Level/Resting: 1d6

Weapons & Armor: Daggers, Clubs, Maces, Short Swords, Short Bows, Blowgun, Gambeson, Leather, Small Shields

Attack Damage: 1d6/1d4 Unarmed or Improvising
Death Priest 2

Knowledge of the Dead: Once per hour can channel knowledge of spirits, gaining Advantage on an INT test.


Blessed: A Death Priest has Advantage on tests against mind-controlling effects and diseases.


Recharge: Once per day, after resting an hour a Death Priest can make a Luck roll.  If successful they regain the use of one miracle.

Ritualistic: Although not a spellcaster, a Death Priest can channel the energies of the dead to aid in rituals. When casting a ritual, they roll with Advantage.



Starting at 2nd level a Death Priest can cast any of the following Miracles. They can cast a number of Miracles equal to half their level (to a max of 5 at 10th level).


Heal: Can touch a target and heal them for 2HD of hit points.


Terrify: The Death Priest channels the wrath of the dead, causing unsettling fear in their enemies through the power of their words in a Nearby area.  The Death Priest must successfully test their Charisma for each group of creatures they are attempting to rattle, adding the creature’s HD to the roll.  A GM will determine which creatures are in any particular group.  Creatures that are Terrified by the Death Priest must spend all their movement (and convert actions to movement) to move away from the Death Priest for 2d4 Moments after being Terrified.

Speak With Dead:  The Death Priest can talk to a Nearby corpse of the unseen spirits and ask them up to three questions.


Bolster: The Death Priest touches a target, making them immune to fear effects for 24 hours.


Heighten: The Death Priest can touch a target, giving them Advantage on 1d3 rolls.


See Invisibility: The Death Priest’s eyes cloud over and they are able to see invisible creatures (including spirits).


Darkvision: A Death Priest is able to see in complete darkness up to Far Away.  1 hour.


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.


Banish: Can cast Dispel Spirit (pg XX).


Harming Touch: The Death Priest’s hands become wrapped in spiritual energy.  The Death Priest must succeed on a Strength check to physically touch a target.  If successful, the target suffers 1d6 points of damage.  This amount increases by 1d6 every odd Death Priest level, to a maximum of 5d6 at 9th level.

Roll to see if attributes increase, roll twice for WIS or CHR.



WEAPON: Blowgun and mace

ARMOR: Leather Armor 4AP (2 AP/d6 Usage Die)

ADDITIONAL: Ammo for blowgun, symbol of holy order, rations (d6), waterskin (d6), bedroll, torches x6 (d6), and healing salve (1 Hit Dice of HP restored).


INTERESTING TRINKET (roll 1d6): 1) an ornate robe showing your station; 2) a skull with yellow pinprick lights in the sockets; 3) highly decorative, jeweled earrings; 4) a ceremonial silver dagger; 5) censer with incense; 6) vial of ectoplasm


LIFE EVENT (roll 1d8): 1) you were a slave and escaped; 2) you were forced to use your powers by a Sorcerer and caused much harm to many people; 3) you fell in a crevice and nearly died.  A spirit heard your pleas and guided you out.  Sometimes the spirit still comes to visit you; 4) you used your powers to pull the life force out of a pack of raiders.  Even though you saved your fellow humans, they are afraid of you; 5) you joined an order of Death Priests who believed they had a higher and more powerful calling.  You found them extremists and have since left, however they still desire you to return to their fold; 6) For a brief time you ruled over a small village of people, before being pushed out by a brave Barbarian and his Beastman companion; 7) by using calm judgement and consulting with the spirits you were able to quell a feud between families that had been going on for generations; 8) you became possessed by a vile spirit and killed several innocent people.  You have been attempting to atone ever since.

 Death Priest

The Barbarian Class for Barbarians of the Ruined Earth, a Thundarr-inspired Setting for The Black Hack

Previously I’ve posted the Robot and Beastman classes that will be in the Barbarians of the Ruined Earth.  Today I post the Barbarian!  Enjoy!



Barbarians are fierce human warriors who know no fear.  Many Barbarians use their battle prowess to fight the oppression of Sorcerers, some are the local settlement hero, happy to guard their kin, while others act as mercenaries, hiring out their talents to the highest bidder, even vile Sorcerers.


“Run?  Ha!  There are only fifty of them!  It is a fair fight!”


Starting HP: 1d10+4

Hit Points Per Level/Resting: 1d10 HP/lvl

Weapon and Armor: Any and All

Weapon Damage: 1d8/1d6 Unarmed or Improvised



Barbarian 2

Attacker: The Barbarian gains one attack every odd level (max of 5 attacks at 9th level).

Avid Fighter: Once per combat can deflect an attack with their melee weapon, turning it into a failure.  If the enemy is using a ranged energy weapon, roll a die and call even or odd- if you called the right result the shot is deflected back at the attacker for full damage.

Stout: Has Advantage on tests against Poisons and Fear Effects.

Loin Cloth Warrior: When wearing just a loincloth and badass bracers or a leather bikini, the barbarian is considered to be wearing Leather armor.  Also if they are wearing a helmet, treat it as a light shield.  If wearing a metal loincloth or chainmail bikini, this is considered as chainmail.

Leveling Up:

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


CHOOSE THREE: Short sword, short bow, spear, dagger, axe, mace, or spiked club

ARMOR: Loincloth or leather bikini- 4 AP (2 AP/d6 Usage Die)

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

INTERESTING TRINKET (roll 1d6): 1) memento of lost love who was sold into slavery; 2) dagger of your father, he died defending you from bandits with this; 3) a thick cloak; 4) a piece of old world tech called a “flashlight”- it still works!; 5) a collapsible cooking pot set; 6) a necklace of fangs- the spoils of your first hunt.

LIFE EVENT (roll 1d8): 1) you were a slave and escaped; 2) your mother was killed by croc-men; 3) your village was sacked by a Sorcerer, most of your villagers were taken; 4) you bravely fought off several bandits as a young teenager; 5) while resting under a tree, a spirit appeared and talked to you; 6) you went into ancient ruins on a dare and almost died- a family member saved you; 7) you went on a hunt with your village and landed the killing blow on a great Rhino-lion; 8) the love of your young life died in your arms during a raider attack.

Barbarian 1

Le parti du monde du travail qui propose de démocratiser les entreprises en les confiant aux salarié-es plutôt qu'aux actionnaires.

Le parti du monde du travail qui propose de démocratiser les entreprises en les confiant aux salarié-es plutôt qu’aux actionnaires

Travail & Démocratie

Le parti du monde du travail qui propose de démocratiser les entreprises en les confiant aux salarié.es plutôt qu’aux actionnaires.

Solidarité Ouvrière

Blog d'infos communistes-ouvrières