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 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!