I’ve gotten a few email/messages asking questions about what Barbarians of the Ruined Earth is all about, so I decided to put up the book’s Preface that will be in the book to answer some of these questions.
Hope you enjoy!
May of 2015 and 2016 brought great moments of massive inspiration for me. In May of 2015, Mad Max: Fury Road roared onto the big screen and about made me pee my pants, I loved it so much. Like LOVED.IT. Like it’s on the same level as the original Star Wars trilogy for me. Watching that movie was like seeing the constant inner monologue of my brain- all the thrash and drone of heavy metal, the imagery from amazing punk rock and heavy metal albums, magazines and smaller zines, and the disgusting, grimy, yet sexy and borderline indecent, dystopian future-feel I love so much- playing on a theater screen. A blind, toothless albino dude who shreds some metal on a guitar that spews fire?! Ummm, yes please!
In May of 2016, I was hanging with Wayne Snyder (It’s Wizard Time, motherfuckers!) and he asked if I’d ever seen Thundarr the Barbarian. I told him no and he was all, “Well guess what we’re watching next!” I could tell he was really stoked to get to expose me to this show… and oh man, is it good. Thundarr the Barbarian is the Saturday morning cartoon equivalent of Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s weird, crazy, and amazing! It’s battling beast creatures on a bridge of light suspended over a volcano! It’s a mad wizard with hundreds of eyeballs spewing lightning bolts at his adversaries! It’s ape-men bringing a giant animatronic ape creature to life, so they destroy a village of tiny people! It’s my jam. Thanks Wayne!
While several other influences went into Barbarians of the Ruined Earth, really- it’s these two that fueled much of my inspiration. With that said, you won’t find a whole lot of fluff or history in this book; that’s not the point of it. I hope the art, classes, monsters, random tables, and sample territory relay that information while still being useful at the table.
Barbarians, much like its sources of inspiration, is meant to be fast-paced, epic, and bizarre. It’s a Saturday morning cartoon, sans the plot armor; best enjoyed with a smile and a big bowl of sugary cereal. Adventures don’t need to make sense, be rational, or have a sense of realism (honestly- best leave all that shit at the door). The world is twisted, untamed, and dangerous: hideous creatures burble and roar, thrashing through the world like an energized mechanical bull blasting through a china shop. Sorcerer’s dress like they are straight out of a 1980’s WWF wrestling match, a luchador, or wearing some grand Alexander McQueen Avante Garde design. They (and other villains) are nefarious, giggling in delight at inflicting pain or stamping their feet while shouting dastardly plans; you know, some weird/fun tongue in cheek and overly complicated game of cat-and-mouse.
Your players will pit themselves against Animated Trash Men that fling kitchen sinks or wet globs of toilet paper at them, make uneasy deals with Strange Ones for safe passage through some bizarre and dangerous area, free slaves that toil endlessly picking Sorrow Tulips for their cruel masters, and of course just straight up fucking over evil Sorcerer’s who come pelvic thrusting into the world, tongue out, devil horns in the air while they blaze a trail of destruction in their Devastation Machine.
All that I hope is that Barbarians brings you and your group some great (and bizarre) fun, smiles, and laughs.
Grab some friends. Grab some dice. Keep rolling… “– Mike Evans