Monthly Archives: April 2017

Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- Session Two- Trouble in Cosmetics Department

Last session we left off with the group defeating a group of cultists just outside the abandoned Ancient Earth shopping mall, known as the lair of Grentzel the Witch.


Chad– Medical Robot (named Marko Tron), rides a Giant Snailbadger.  Life Event: Has trouble understanding why humans whine so much, has mouthed off about it and been chased out of several villages. Trinket: World War II army helmet.

JohnBarbarian (named Dagor)- rides on a Giant Snailbear. Life Event: Mother was killed by croc-men when he was a child. Now he fights for the underdog!  Trinket: Silver dagger given by his father.

LiamSorcerer (named Fulgur Tenebris) Crazy Sorcerer appearance- grey skin, grey hair, cat eyes, jagged nails, yellow teeth, body changes color with emotion (50 shades of grey), has a metalic staff with spider web etching. Power manifestation black orbs with grey lightning. Life Event: Family was pushed out of village because of your birth.  Trinket: Golden necklace given to denote remarkable birth.  Rides one of the last Ancient Earth elephants (also has grey skin and yellowing tusks). Rules for Spellcasting here.

NateVek (Anthropomorphic dinosaur- raptor- pretty feathers. Named Valeran the Vek).  He thinks humans are savages.  Life Event: Father was a brilliant Vek who understood Stupendous Science. Father was eventually killed by a Sorcerer. Trinket: Headdress of bone, wood, and feathers.  Rides a camel.

FletchUrchin class (wasn’t able to play today).  More on this character later.

OmarDeath Priest (named Morg).  Wears totally Gothic stuff and has bone shoulder plates, a bone mace, and a Trump-like demeanor.  He was once the ruler of a village of humans, but was chased out and exiled.

Strange Meetings

The group decided to enter the  mall through the Cosmetics Department Store (see map below).  They began to sneak around when they heard muffled screams and a weird noise, like a frog caught in a person’s throat.

The crept quietly up around a crumbled display case and saw a human man, suspended upside down in a net.  Standing below him, making the noise were horrific-looking humanoids.  At these creature’s feet were the bodies of some of the cultists.


One of the beings from the flying ship that crashed into the shopping mall.

The group fired at the creatures, killing one.  The other two turned around and fired at the group with their laser pistols.  After a quick fight, the two were killed and the group looted their bodies, and those of the cultists, and finally cut Omar’s character down.

The group exchanged pleasantries and decided to move on through the mall.

Nate saw a dilapidated fountain in the center of the walkway and decided to prance towards it, excitedly.  He didn’t notice the cultist guard staring right at him, confused as fuck as to what a Vek was doing in his domain.  So he did what any good cultist would do- tried to kill his dinosaur ass and raise the alarm.


A robot and and several cultists came out of various Ancient Earth mall stores and began setting up cover.  Two cultists wheeled out a ballista which fired super-heated globs of green acid.  John let out a might barbarian roar and shot his bow at the acid pot, destroying it and killing the two cultists.

The battle was hard and nearly everyone took a bit of damage, and Chad (the Robot) was dropped.  The group revived Chad with a Robot Repair Kit, looted the bodies, and took refuge in a store for an hour to patch their wounds and gather themselves.

Shopping Mall Map

While they rested they heard a chanting coming from the large department store near them to the East.  The chanting grew in volume and intensity for roughly an hour.  Finally a bright flash of neon pink energy filled the hallway and the chanting stopped.

“What was that?” asked John.

“A ritual has been completed.  We are too late.” Said Liam.

The group decided to go into the department store to see what had been done.  When the entered they found a moldy, tattered bed with a young girl tied and gagged to it.  The group cut her free.  She explained that she was the daughter of Lloyd Greaser of Route 66 and she had been kidnapped by the cultists.  The witch Genzel was inside.  She was told Kit that she had taken something from Route 66 (the Ancient Earth weapon) and would use it in some horribly vile ritual.

Me: So what do you guys do?

John: Let’s go inside and fight and kill them all!

Everyone else: We got the kid- let’s get out of here.

The group turned tail and ran from the mall.  They made it back to Route 66 safely and reunited Kit with her father.

The village celebrated their return and thanked them for saving Kit and defeating the evil witch.

Omar: Oh- yeah- we didn’t do that.

Chad 2.0 (NPC Mayor): What do you mean?

Omar: Well we found the kid and didn’t go any further.

Chad 2.0: So the witch still lives?

Omar: Well we don’t know since we never saw her.

The villagers seemed distraught that the group didn’t deal with the problem.  However they were thankful for what the group had done and offered them a place to sleep, food, and drink.

The group did various things in the village, including Chad having an EMP cannon attached to his shoulder, however a corrupting influence of the previous robot invaded Chad’s personality and he permanently lost 1 Wisdom.

Liam met the bartender, Ursula of the Yellow and drank some Mustard Seed Whisky and had some Spicy Slop Noodles.

Omar and John got new gear and Omar agreed to do a burial service in the morning for those that died in the initial attack (session 1) for a car door shield.

The Next Morning

The Highwaymen of Route 66 gathered outside the walls of the village at the graveyard while Omar pulled a ceremony out of his ass and did some chanting.  As the group walked back toward Route 66, the local healer Kylynn of the Earth thanked him for putting the spirits of their loved ones to rest and helping them to the afterlife.

Omar then explained to her that he did nothing of the sort.  He just made sure they wouldn’t rise from the dead.  There is no heaven or hell… there is no afterlife.  Just a ever expansive gray limbo.

As the group neared the gate to Route 66, the ground exploded in front of them.  They heard a roaring in the air and looked up.  Riding on an Ancient Earth Santa’s sleigh that was fitted with rockets was the hideous old hag, Grenzel.  Three robots, flying around her.

Grenzel: “You fools!  You think you can enter my domain and live!  I will burn you all to the ground!”


Grenzel the Witch!  A piece by the awesome Matthew Adams– not part of BotRE

The group drew their weapons and prepared for battle.

This is where we ended it for the night.  We play again at the end of the month!  Excited to see how this goes.

Aside: I emailed my players the map of the local area I created with the awesome Hex Kit by Cecil Howe.  I have not given them any information on the areas, but the names will be things the group could have heard in passing at Route 66 or hear about in the aftermath of the fight with Grenzel (assuming it isn’t a TPK).  They can then delve for more information about a location and decide where to go.

I will be including this area (not the map) in the BotRE book as a point crawl. BotRE Map


Hubris Review Round Up!


Entrails Reader and Conspiracy Theorist Occupations by David Lewis Johnson

For older review click here, here, and here.

Aside: If you’re interested in DIY RPG Productions apparel, you can find that here!

Hubris has been out for a couple months now, both PDF and POD and a few more reviews have come out in that time.  If you’re still on the fence about nabbing Hubris, these may answer some of your questions about the setting.  Here are a few questions answered here.

Edit: I’m a total jerk and forgot to include Christopher Helton’s great review of Hubris!  I am a bad person.

Murder Machine 1

Murder Machine Action shot by Jeremy Duncan

Erik Tenkar has done a piece on the book.  Here’s a snippet, “I’ve reviewed part of this book and it is simply amazing. Solid 5 star reviews on RPGNow”.

Sophia Brandt did a great review of the book not too long ago.

Noism did a mini review of the book over at Monsters and Manuals.

Canyons of the Howling Red Rock

Canyons of the Howling Red Rock with a Red Colossus by Angie Groves

And finally two new reviews have popped up on Drivethru/RPG Now.

One be a Derek H

In addition to all the previous reviews there is one high point for Hubris- it may have the best section on gods found within all Dungeon Crawl Classics supplements. Other sources provide plenty of wizard patrons and few have paid any attention to clerics and their gods. Hubris not only provides some new examples of the divine, it adds a new spell-like mechanic for calling directly upon them for a miracle. Another high point is the few pages devoted to wizard spell books and how they reflect their master and their master’s patron, if any.

This setting skeleton is just about perfect for a DIY Judge who wants ideas and generators rather than concrete examples. It isn’t a six star product, but it does deserve a five.

And here is another review by an anonymous reviewer:

I suck at writing reviews. I keep trying to start and other than saying “This book is amazing” I struggle to put the words together to express my opinions. Usually because I don’t think I’m critical enough of a product. There’s no way, for example, that a book can be this good…no offense intended to Mike Evans, but nothing is perfect, there are always areas to improve…especially when you’re talking about a monster tome the size of Hubris, and also a company’s first product release? Come on. I’m sure there was tons that could have been done better with Santa is Dead, but I have the luxury of that product not getting scrutinized year round and being viewed through the lens of a christmas farce (although it’s truly anything but, thanks to the amazing talents of Evey Lockhart and team).

But there is nothing bad I can say about Hubris, other than maybe I want more out of it, but I’ve no time to play it. That’s not Mike’s fault though, that’s my own…so even that isn’t a problem with the product in any way, shape, or form.

This is a hefty book that you need to physically have at the table. Not because you need to flip back and forth and reference it constantly, but because you’ll want to. You’ll want to turn to a random page and pull out a detail and use it. You’ll want to throw your players into the middle of this world and set them loose upon a place that yearns to destroy them…no, to change them, to warp them until they are as twisted and infected by the cruelty that permeates this massive landscape.

There are terrible things here, wonderful in their awfulness, and this place begs to be explored in its entirety. Which may be an impossible task; but you’ll find yourself coming back to it again and again, as I have, looking for inspiration.

I just wish I had something critical to say. Maybe when I’ve finally run it, and finished it, and can say “There wasn’t enough in this book”, but I honestly doubt that will happen.

Which is a shame, because if the bar is set this high by Mike Evans, what hope do I have of putting out something better?


Even the demon imps that kill your character and eat eyeballs have a good time in Hubris!  Art by Wayne Snyder