Category Archives: Barbarians of the Ruined Earth

Barbarians of the Ruined Earth Session Four- Into the Ruins of Santa Mo- Part 2

We continue our Barbarians of the Ruined Earth campaign!

In Part One the group fought some raiders, met some friendly, albeit cautious scavengers at the entrance to the ruins of Santa Mo, and decided to go the the small boomtown, Fang’s Point.

Players

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.

Not Present

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.

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.

Gene- Cougar Beastman (called Fanth).  Vicious fighter.  Watched many of his tribe vaporized in front of his eyes by the evil magic of a Sorcerer.

Time to Ruffle Some Feathers

The group made their way towards Fang’s Point, walking for about a mile, with the mounts having difficulty with the terrain (especially the snails).

The group was happily talking to one another, except for Liam, who was trailing behind.  Liam heard the sound of giant wings.  He looked up and saw a grotesque creature flying towards Spaz!  Liam shot a bolt of grey energy from his staff, but his shot went wild.

Monster 1

Probably one of the best pictures of a harpy I’ve ever seen.

Spaz noticed the creature at the last second and dodged out of the way of its talons.  Vog shouted, “Oh no!  It’s Redfeather!”

Initiative was rolled and the group all took a few pot shots at Redfeather, all missing.  Vog pointed his sword at her, “Careful!  She’s cunning!  And she shoots fire!” As he spoke Redfeather’s mouth and throat became bloated and she spewed forth a large ball of fire that hit Grunt.  Grunt dropped to the ground screaming, rolling around to douse the flames.

After a few rounds the group had widdled some HP off of Redfeather.  She opened her mouth and screeched, “My children!  Protect me!”  From behind a building came three smaller, black-feathered, and younger looking Vulturefolk.  Aside: I treated them as 1 HP mooks.

The fight went on a few more rounds and it was pretty vicious.  Liam was dropped Out of Action by one of Redfeather’s fireballs.  Grunt was dropped to Out of Action by an attack from one of the black-feathered hags and John was scooped up in Redfeather’s talons and dropped from 20′ high, taking some damage but wasn’t stunned.

Chad shot his laser pistol and shoulder-mounted laser cannon at Redfeather, blowing off part of her wing, causing her to slam into the ground while John ran over and shoved a healing salve (restores 1 HD of hit points) to Liam.  Redfeather started limping and backing away from Chad, spewing a fireball at the robot.  Chad attempted to punch her in her gross, stupid face, but missed.

Redfeather’s mouth and throat became bloated again as she made ready to shoot another  fireball, but a grey ball of energy slammed into her face and she keeled over dead.  Liam stood, weakened and charred with his staff pointed towards were Redfeather stood.

After the fight, I had the group roll Out of Action (with Disadvantage) for Grunt, but he survived.  Charred, burnt, and crippled- sadly Grunt’s days of exploring and scavenging had come to an end.

Vog lead the weary and battered group the rest of the way to Fang’s Point.  The group was allowed access to this small settlement that seemed to be the remains of an Ancient Earth strip mall promenade.  Netting had been attached to the roofs of the surrounding buildings to create a protective canopy, and after the attack of Redfeather and the other Vulturefolk, it was appearent why.

The group noticed that people either had dead animal pelts on their personage, more often as a cloak, or a circuit-type belt buckle.  John inquired to Vog about this.

“Oh those are symbols to show which block these people show allegiance to at Nukatomi Plaza.  The ones with the animal pelts are from the Feral Block- they identify with spirit animals or some such, and the ones with the gizmos are from the Slums.  Their leader, Tinker Tok, is well… a tinker of Ancient Earth technology, from what I hear.”

Liam, wearily stopped at a small, rickety wooden kiosk with a painted sign, “Potions and Baubles” and asked if she had any healing salves for sale.  The woman stuttered and looked uncomfortable at being in conversation with a Sorcerer, but gave Liam the salve for free as thanks for killing Redfeather.  “Thanks.  Is there a doctor nearby?”

“Why yes there is!  The bonesaw is right over there!”  She points at a structure made of wooden posts and canvas tenting.  Liam stumped in there and found a man with a cybernetic arm, with a saw blade sticking out, cutting into a side of beef.  The man turned around and saw Liam, “Well it isn’t often I get to see a Sorcerer up close- least of all one that is close to death.”

Zed

Zed’s a good guy…  Just gruff!

“Are you the doctor?” Liam asked hesitantly.

“Yup!  Name’s Zed (yeah I totally went to Borderlands here)!  Welcome to Zed’s Butcher Shop!”

Liam twitched, “You’re the butcher and the doctor…?  Ok.” And then he passed out.

John celebrated with Vog and walked around the small settlement.

Chad went to the Junk Shop and haggled with proprietor, Vin, about getting some bags that could be made into saddle bags for his mount.

Sears Shooting Stars Competition 2014

Vin is very serious and doesn’t understand robot humor.

“Welcome to the Junk Shop.”

Chad busted out some “Welcome to the Junk Shop!  We got all your junk and games!”

Vin looked at him and frowned, “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand robot humor…”

The group haggled and finally Vin pulled out three bags he scavenged from a nearby ruined building.  Chad looked at the hideous color, “Is that all you have?”

Vera

These will look GREAT on a giant Bearsnail!

“Yep.  For something big enough to fit on your snail’s shell!”

Chad thanked him for doing business, bought the bags, and left.

We ended here for the night.  

Next Time- Delving Deeper into the Ruins of Santa Mo!


Barbarians of the Ruined Earth Session Four- Into the Ruins of Santa Mo- Part 1

We continue our Barbarians of the Ruined Earth campaign!

Last session we left off with the group setting off to explore the ruins of Santa Mo!

Players

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.

 

Not Present

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.

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.

Gene- Cougar Beastman (called Fanth).  Vicious fighter.  Watched many of his tribe vaporized in front of his eyes by the evil magic of a Sorcerer.

Road Rage

The group got on their mounts (Chad on a Badgersnail, John on a Bearsnail. and Liam on an elephant) and set off to the ruins of Santa Mo.

The group reached the top of a hill on the Ancient Earth Route 66 and the ruins of Santa Mo came into view, sprawling before them as well as the massive, beautiful body of water calle d the “Oshan.”

As the group took a moment to look at the view, Liam and Chad heard the rumbling of an engine coming their way.  Chad immediately moved his badgersnail off the road and took cover behind the remnants of a wall.  Liam summoned a sand storm on the road (depleting his magic for the day already- ouch!) to block their view and hinder whomever was coming.  John was overcome by the sight of the Oshan and just kept exclaiming about it, even after the sandstorm manifested before his eyes.

A broken-down, rustbucket truck pulled into view with four men wearing leather pant, boots, and black suspenders.  They exclaimed at the wall of sand and started looking around.  John, suddenly realizing what was happening moved himself and his mount towards Chad.  The raiders then became aware of the situation as Chad fired his laser pistol at one, killing him.

Two raiders charged at Chad and John while the other charged at Liam.   The two made it to John and Chad and John gutted the one on him and Chad missed the one attacking him.

Flaming Bandit

The raider running towards Liam smashed a lantern on his head and went up in flames, giggling gleefully.  He jumped onto Liam’s leg (who was still on his elephant mount) and started burning Liam, “Join me… in the flames!” they crazed raider exclaimed as his face started popping, melting, and hissing.

The next round Chad managed to punch the one on him (for a whopping 1 damage).  The raider said, “ooooowwww.  That hurt.”  The raider looked at his fallen comrade laying at John’s feet and saw the burnt charred one on Liam scream out in a final gasp of pain and fall to the ground like a charred rodent.  “Uuumm..  Hi!  Welcome to the ruins of Santa Mo!  I’ll be your tour guide this evening!”

Chad (who we are now calling Binary, as it’s easier than saying 100101 each time) hoisted the raider up by the leg and shook him like a rag doll (he critically succeeded his Strength check).  “Tell me about the area and maybe I’ll let you live!”

I had Chad roll a d6 (he got a 3) to determine how much info the raider would know/spill.   The raider informed them of a group of scavengers that watches the entrance to the ruins as well as the small settlement Fang’s Point.  “It’s a bunch of people from that tower, Nukatomi Plaza!  They’re from the Slums and Feral blocks!”  He described a dilapidated building which the humans at Feral’s Point tried to expand to, but ran into trouble and had to abandon it.  The raider described a new base at the water’s edge, called Pirate’s Point, “I haven’t been there!  But I hear it’s a rough crowd!  And… they have vehicles that travel on the water!  Can- can  you IMAGINE such a thing!?” the raider said, laughing hysterically even while hoisted upside down.  Finally, he mentioned tales of a Sorcerer by the name of Scarfious wandering the ruins- vile temperament and powerfully magical.  “That’s all I know!  I swear!”

Chad dropped him, then drug him over to his mount and tied him up over the back of his mount’s shell.  “Awww man!  Come on!  This- this is embarrassing!  What are the other guys gonna say when they see me like this!”

The group headed down to the ruins and slowly entered what clearly was a main thoroughfare in the golden days of Ancient Earth.  John took point and noticed two guns pointed at him from opposite sides of the street.  A booming voice rang out, “Who are you and why do you enter the ruins of Santa Mo?”

“For Adventure!” Shouted John.

“For shits and giggles!” Shouted Chad.

“Because I want to…” murmured Liam.

A powerfully built barbarian stepped out from behind a doorway.  “I was unaware that robots shitted or giggled.” he said pondering.  “I am Vog.  Leader of this band.  Why do you bring a Sorcerer into our home?  We do not trust his kind.”

 

Vog

Vog the Barbarian

“We trust him.”  Said John.

After a few moments and a few more words were exchanged, Vog told his group to stand down.  A 15 year old female Urchin and an old man (think of Shaggy if he was 62 and had twitchy eyes) each came out of buildings on either side of the group, both carrying crude-looking rifles.  Vog introduced the girl as Spaz and the man as Knut (pronounce “nut”).  Coming out from a building in front was a grizzled man who grunted at the group.  “And this is Grunt.  He doesn’t speak much seeing as how raiders cut out his tongue and ate it in front of him.”

The group set off toward’s Fang’s Point.

To be continued in Part Two!

 


Barbarians of the Ruined Earth Session Three- Heavy Metal Christmas Sleigh

We continue our Barbarians of the Ruined Earth campaign!

Last session we left off with the group getting ready to face off the vile witch, Grenzel and her cult, The Cabal of Shadows.

Witch

Again- not for BotRE, but I LOVE Matthew Adams art!

Players

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.

 

Gene- Cougar Beastman (called Fanth).  Vicious fighter.  Watched many of his tribe vaporized in front of his eyes by the evil magic of a Sorcerer.

Not Present

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.

Battle Royale!

Grenzel arrived riding through the air on a Christmas sleigh that had rockets attached to the side.  Flying around her were three robots.  Each had a blue glowing orb on their head which shot an energy beam at Grenzel, encasing her in a force field.

Initiative was rolled with Grenzel winning- and firing a rocket at a group of fleeing NPC villagers from Route 66, killing them off.  All the players either readied attacks, or shot ranged weapons at Grenzel, but when their attacks were deflected by the fore field they set their sights on the robots.

The next round three Ancient Earth pick up trucks came over the hill, each carrying cultists, towards the group.  The trucks came to a screeching halt and three cultists carrying maces and car door shields, two carrying halberds, and a cultist in elaborate robes with a white metallic halberd with a wicked looking blade on one end and a glowing blue light on the other ran towards the group, while three others pulled bows and went behind the trucks for cover.

Liam used the alternate casting rules to great effect and ignited the gas tank of one of the trucks, causing all three to explode, killing all three cultist archers before they could even fire an arrow.

John and Gene and a few NPCs engaged with the cultists while Chad and Nate took pot shots at the robots.

I rolled randomly for who Grenzel attacked, sometime it was just firing a rocket into the village of Route 66 itself, other times at the escaping villagers, and other times a laser bolt to sizzle one of the PCs.

John left the cultists to Gene while he went after the cultist leader with the killer looking halberd.  The fight was hard and John took a few hits from the blade and a couple shots from the glowing blue light  (apparently that end could fire lasers).  Eventually John gutted him and grabbed the Stupendous Device (called the Staff of Deliverance) for himself.

Eventually John and Gene killed all the cultists and there was only one remaining robot that Liam, Nate, and Chad were having a hell of a time hitting.  Liam summoned a floating disk from thin air (his could use his movement action to control it) and had Gene hop on and rose him in the air to smash the robot in the fucking face!

With all three robots destroyed the force field collapsed and the group set to work beating the living hell out out Grenzel.  First Gene attacking the Christmas sleigh itself to bring it to the group.

Gene stabbed his claws into the sleigh’s control panel, causing it to spin out of control and crash hard into the ground.  Grenzel stumbled out and began flinging spells at the band of heroes.  The group pummeled her with blade, spell, staff, laser beam, and claw.  She eventually fell beneath their onslaught.

She whispered a gurgled warning, “This is only the beginning” as she melted into a puddle of black goo.  After a few moments the goo evaporated by left the Cabal of Shadows mark etched into the earth.

 

Cabal of Shadows

Found this on the internet- decided it was the Cabal of Shadows symbol

With Grenzel death, the village went to work of burying yet more dead because of the witch (the first session started with robots controlled by the witch attacking Route 66).  While there was some celebration, it was somber; the victory came at a high price.

Over the next couple of days the group healed, talked with the important NPCs of Route 66, and bartered for some goods.  Chad installed a shoulder cannon he salvaged from the enemy robots on himself and Gene decided to accompany the group on their journeys.

A caravan from Nukatomi Plaza, led by the gruff Oog (brother to Ursula of the Yellow, who owns the Broken Motor Tavern).  The group bartered for some goods he brought from the human kingdom and pried Oog for information about the area.  He spoke of the Technodabbler’s Circuitry Tower to the north (a Sorcerer) and villages of snakemen and mutated winged men to the east.

Of most interest to the group was the ruins of Santa Mo (Santa Monica) to the West.  Oog said he was waiting for a group of scavengers to come from Fang’s Point (an outpost in the ruins) with goods to bring back to Nukatomi.

The group decided the would go into these ruins themselves and attempt to find some scrap to sell (their pockets were rather light of ceramic coins).

We ended the session here.  It was a fun session and the battle took up most of it- but it was a great time and they had a blast fighting on multiple fronts.  

Next time- Into the Ruins of Santa Mo!


The Wasteland of the Western Sands for Barbarians of the Ruined Earth

In my Barbarians of the Ruined Earth campaign (will be published soon).  The group has been fighting the Witch Grenzel and her Cabal of Shadows, which has been harassing the village of Route 66 and will soon be headed to either the Ruins of Santa Mo (Ancient Earth Santa Monica) or to Nukatomi Plaza.

 

This area will be in the final book (the map shown here is by the awesome Hex Kit by Cecil Howe, but I will have a fully illustrated map for the final product).

I wanted to keep the descriptions quick and easy and give just enough for the GM to use and build off of and go from there.

The Western Sands

BotRE Map

Map Key

For Encounters roll a 1d6.  On a 1-2 there is something of interest.  Roll 1d6.  If the result is even, it is an encounter (see page XX).  If the result is odd, the group has found an interesting location (see page XX).

Fortress Ruins of Glanora of the Sands

  • Dilapidated, crumbling, and terrifying.
  • Screams and cackling echoes through halls.
  • Fortress holds Stupendous Science device in the lowest basement.

 

Imperceptible Bluffs of the Winged Mutant People

  • Extremely high bluffs with colorful vegetation (some alien in origin).
  • Winged mutants circle the air like vultures, acting as sentries.
  • Large stone statue of Haputra, a Cosmic Being worshipped by the Winged Mutant People, rests atop highest bluff.

 

Nukatomi Plaza, The Last Human Kingdom and the Ruins of Los Angel (Ancient Earth City Los Angeles)

 

Ravaging Dunes of Time

  • Soft silky sand, various colors from golden to black.
  • Sand always blows in opposite direction than the wind.
  • The cult Guardians of Time have a temple hidden beneath the dunes.

 

The Ruins of Santa Mo (Ancient Earth City Santa Monica)

  • Crumbled, smoldering, fetid.
  • Small pockets of scavengers, mutants, raiders, and monsters dot the landscape.
  • Secret lair for Gongfrath, the Sorcerer here. Up-and-coming Sorcerer about to make his epic debut.

 

Sand Drifter Village

  • Single-story brown huts constructed of coarse matieral.
  • Isolated villagers, mistrusting of outsiders.
  • Pig Raiders (pg XX) have been attacking those who venture too far from the village.

 

Shifting and Dancing Oasis

  • Pristine waters, clean, inviting.
  • Water Weird (pg XX) is home here, guarding the waters.
  • The tomb of Sophis the Proud is hidden beneath the sand dunes here.

 

Shopping Mall Fortress of the Witch Grenzel

  • Dilapidated, smells of rot, and magic. Ancient Earth devices found inside.
  • Grenzel and her cult, The Cabal of Shadows, schemes for more power. Cause trouble for Route 66.
  • Alien spaceship crashed into large department store. Aliens are battling Grenzel and her forces.

 

Snakemen Village

  • Mounds with holes leading to extensive underground network of tunnels.
  • Spears, arrows, bones, and shed reptilian skin dot the sand around the village.
  • Human slaves toil tirelessly in the Violet Cactus fields.

 

Technodabbler’s Circuitry Fortress

  • Large circuit boards are the structures. All connected via circuity built into the streets.
  • Bio-engineered humanoids wander the streets. Humans (deemed inferior) are slaves, servants, and fodder.  Outsiders beware.
  • Technodabbler, emaciated, cadaver-like, and cruel, rests on his throne in the Processor Tower.

 

Technothusists’ Energy Farm

  • Patchwork of Ancient Earth technology and stolen Stupendous Science devices cause things to run.
  • Water wheels and wind turbines run constantly to generate energy. Energy sold to Route 66 and Nukatomi Plaza.
  • Technothusists are fringe humans with fascination for Ancient Earth technology, to the extreme.

 

The Village of Route 66

  • Houses made of metal storage crates, village walls made of crushed, stacked cars.
  • Humans work hard in fields. Trade with scavengers from Santa Mo and caravans from Nukatomi Plaza.
  • Troubles with Grenzel the Witch. Powerful Ancient Earth device in a dilapidated hanger not far from town.

 

The Wreckage of the Sorcerer Aluminum Ivan’s Devastation Machine

  • Metal covered in barnacles, rust, and seaweed.
  • Crashing of waves ding and clang against the metal.
  • Many of the internal areas are powered and full of wondrous treasures and deadly monstrosities.

The Last Human Kingdom, the Arcology Nukatomi Plaza- For Barbarians of the Ruined Earth

While writing BotRE, I knew I wanted a single Human kingdom in my game.  This will be included as a point crawl area in the book.  GM’s are feel to ignore Nukatomi Plaza if they want to go with a more Thundarr feel, but I know some groups (mine included) like having at least one urban area to go to, should they want a change of pace from wilderness exploring.

 

The Nukatomi Plaza

Nukatomi Plaza

This massive arcology was constructed in Los Angeles before the world fell and was the headquarters for the Nukatomi Corporation as well as a source of commerce, residence, and government offices and was completed in the year 1987.  The remaining records left on the few Ancient Earth computers that work tell the scribes that much.

 

Now, in the Ruined Earth, the Nukatomi Plaza is the only known kingdom of humanity.  This two hundred story tower stretches high into the skyline of the ruins of Los Angel, its windows gleam in the light of the red-tinted sky.  The plaza is capable of housing over 150,000 people comfortably, but no one really knows the current population.

 

Every ten floors are considered a “block” and are overseen by a gang, elected official, dictator, or some other form of representative.  All convene on the top floor where they report and pay tribute to Lightning Jack, who sits on his high-backed metal throne and amasses power and plots machinations.

 

Nukatomi Plaza is a place of opportunity.  Some blocks are clean with electricity, medical care, and education.  Others are dark, fetid, and dangerous; gang violence, murder, and drugs are the orders of the day.  While there is competition between blocks, that sometimes turns into violence, outright war is illegal and not tolerated by Lightning Jack and punishment is met out by his Sparkers.  Trade is active between most of the blocks, for each has something the other needs or wants, however sometimes the price is just too high, and taking by force is a better option.

 

The first floor of the plaza houses a large bazaar where the different blocks and traveling caravans sell their wares, ply their trades, and seek needed goods in ramshackle tents.  A few food shops, taverns, and a few organizations can be found here as well.  Lightning Jack’s Sparkers have a constant presence here, making sure no one steps out of line, causes too much trouble, or goes against any of Lighting Jack’s decrees.

 

Sorcery is not tolerated in Nukatomi Plaza, and most peaceful Sorcerers tend to avoid this place.  Many of the citizens of Nukatomi have been under the tyranny of a Sorcerer at one point or another.  Those Sorcerers that do enter the plaza are met with distrust, hatred, and outright violence.

 

Immediately outside Nukatomi Plaza are the grand garages, where motor gangs repair their vehicles, and pay a high price for fuel and parts.  Near the garages are several farms, where slaves and indentured servants toil tirelessly to provide food for the plaza.  Many of these people are criminals, exiles, or someone who owes Lightning Jack in some fashion or another.

 

The ruins of Los Angel surround the plaza and are filled with small pockets of settlers, scavengers, bands of raiders, and twisted, dangerous creatures.  Treasure, useful trinkets, and even Stupendous Science devices can be found by a keen eye and dedicated scavenger in the rubble of the Ancient Earth city, not to mention all the grand devices and treasure from the remains of an epic Wizard’s War which occurred in the ruins of Los Angel over a thousand years ago.

 

Creating Blocks

Give each block a theme/feel, create a leader (or group of leaders), and give the block an interesting location/thing, and a problem for the players to discover.

 

Some sample blocks are listed below.

 

 

 

Sample Blocks
Roll 1d8 Result
1 Rumble Block: This block is governed through brute force and resembles a feudal system more than anything else.  People are forced to do dangerous work to eat and survive with little or no compensation.  The block is filthy, has no electricity, and smells of vegetation, fertilizer, and mildew.  Leader: Klicks is angry, vicious, and heavily scarred.  Klicks leads with brutal control and will not tolerate any challenge to their authority.  Hates beastmen and Sorcerers.  A group of enforcers go throughout block to bully and oversee Klicks’ will.  Interesting Thing: The Pit- There is a fighting pit where Klicks forces his people to fight in bloody romps.  Some fights go too far and a participant dies.  Interesting Problem: Recently Klicks mother was poisoned and died.  Klicks already tenuous grasp on reality has been stretched.  He fears assassination plots from within his own block and is gearing to go to war at the slightest provocation from the other blocks.
2 Healer’s Ward: This block has decent medical care and oftentimes gets people from other blocks coming for aid.  The block is decently clean and kept in repair, has electricity, and smells of aromatic cleaning agents.  Leader: Finder has keen and sharp eyes.  Finder has been a scavenger of the Ruined Earth for as long as anyone can remember.  Much of the medical devices/technology and knowledge that are applied on this block are found on during excursions into the ruins of Los Angel.  Finder is shy and quiet, preferring solitude over large gatherings.  Interesting Thing: A bowling ball-sized chunk of the moon is worshipped as a cosmic being.  Many of the people of Healer’s Ward believe the rock speaks to them in their mind and glows when they prey to it.  Interesting Problem: Recently one of the Healer’s Rooms was ransacked for medicinal supplies.  The Healer’s family was knocked unconscious and swears they didn’t see who did it.  The Healer was killed, a scalpel in their head.
3 Zang’s House: Gang violence, drugs, and other illicit trade is the order of the day on this block.  Many of the thugs are good with mechanical parts and tend to venture out into the ruins on Ancient Earth vehicles in search of scrap and parts.  Sparks pop and fly from metal working, engine parts line the hallways, and it smells like oil.  Leader: Zang is a ruthless cutthroat who took over this block years ago and has remained on top ever since.  Zang has a gang of thugs who oversee drug manufacturing on the block and distribute to other blocks and caravans.  Interesting Location: The Smoke Den- this den if ill-repute is a haven for those wishing to escape the harsh reality of the Ruined Earth.  Drugs, digital entertainment, and distractions of the flesh are all to be found in the Smoke Den.  Interesting Problem: One of Zang’s new drugs, called the Purple Eye, has become tainted and instead of putting the user into a lethargic, serene state, it causes them to become irate, violent, and stronger than normal.  Zang wants to know who ruined his drugs and exact revenge.  Unfortunately, Zang is still selling the drug, regardless of its effects.
4 The Growers Block: The block grows food, either by assisting the farms in the ruins below, or through the baskets they have constructed to hang on the outside of the plaza.  They collect water in large basins and store it, willing to trade the needed resource for other goods.  The block is dirty, with heaps of dirt and fertilizer are piled into the halls, has no electricity, and smells of vegetation and fertilizer.  Leader: Red Eye has a cybernetic eye with red lens which was forcibly put in by a Sorcerer when younger.  Red Eye is quiet and terse, but will not abide by bullying or violence against their people.  Interesting Location: The Alien Garden- A large greenhouse was built on this block and the dirt used to fill the pots was alien in origin.  The result is a large, beautiful garden with bizarre alien flowers, trees, and other vegetation.  Some is actually incredibly dangerous, like the Life Leech Plant, which drains the life force of those that get too close.  Interesting Problem: Heathens and thugs from another block (or perhaps several) are harassing the Growers Block, threatening violence if the growers do not relinquish more food to them.
5 Halo Block: The block has several bits of working Ancient Earth tech that they use to make medicine and drugs that are traded throughout the plaza and sent on caravans.  Many of the people of this block are taught to read and write (whether they want to learn or not) so they can help create concoctions that will get the block coins, favors, stature with Lightning Jack, or needed goods.  The block is clean, has computers and is lined with lab benches with people hunched over working.  The block smells clean and sterile and has working electricity.  Leader: The Observer leads this block with cold calculated efficiency.  Time cards, whistles, calculations, rhythms and flow all govern the actions of the citizens of this block to make sure the highest level of output is achieved.  Those who are unable to deliver enough often find themselves exiled out of the plaza or left, hog-tied, in a less desirable block.  Interesting Location: The Chop Shop- The Observer has created a cybernetic shop that will replace people’s organic bits with cold, efficient technology.  No one knows how The Observer obtained this piece of Stupendous Science, but many feel it is a cause of concern.  Interesting Problem: An explosion rips through a large portion of a floor of the block.  Several people are injured and killed.  The Observer is sure that this is the work of a Sorcerer who was after Stupendous Science devices and other supplies that can only be obtained on the block.
6 Park Block: Area has become overgrown by plants and vegetation.  Rumors have it that it was the work of a magical ritual gone wrong.  The citizens here live, because there is no choice, in a balance with the nature of the block.  There is no electricity on this block, and the sounds of birds and small wildlife greets the ears.  Leader: Vin is an agile youth that took up the mantle of leader due to no other alternative after the previous leader was killed by Lightning Jack.  Vin has made many mistakes attempting to lead the Park Block, the growing pains of learning, but the citizens of the block are accepting of these mistakes, desperately hoping Vin can make everyone’s lives a little better.  Interesting Things:  A large tree grows in the block, and no matter how much is trimmed from the tree, it grows back within a couple days.  The inhabitants of this block treat the tree with some reverence and caution, for they have come to depend on the almost never-ending supply of wood, but wonder what the cost of this miracle will be.  Interesting Problem: Whatever sorcery that has created this strange phenomenon to manifest on this block also occasionally allows terrifying monstrosities to appear.  A predatorial hybrid animal (pg XX) stalks the inhabitants, taking prey in the dead of the night.
7 Feral Block: This block is decorated with animal pelts, heads, and other animalistic pieces of art.  The people of this block wear animal skins and pelts and heads.  They believe they can channel the animal’s spirit.  Ferals are usually hired out as protection on excursions into the Ruined Earth.  Leader: Guard Dog believes in the order of the pack and deals with problems and challenges to their authority in a vicious fashion.  Guard Dog cares for the citizens of their block, for they are the pack, and will not tolerate violence against them.  Feral’s are usually at war with at least one other block due to some perceived slight.  Interesting Location: The Celebration Hall- A large area has been created for Ferals to come together to party and gorge themselves on drink and food.  Many Ferals will sleep together here in a large gathering of bodies pressed together, like a pack of wolves.  Interesting Problem: A splinter faction of Ferals has formed and are challenging the ways of the block and the leadership of Guard Dog.  The block is nearing a state of civil war and other blocks are worried the violence will spill into their territory.
8 The Slums: This block is a haven for hoarders, scavengers, and riff raff.  Junk is piled high throughout the halls and rooms.  There is electricity on this block, but it shorts out from time to time.  The block smells stale- of sweat, dirt, and hardship.  The citizens of this block work hard and play hard.  They constantly venture into the ruins of Los Angel (and some even further) to find valuable treasures.  Leader: Tinker Tot is an eccentric and eclectic leader.  Playful and joyous, but able to fly into a storming rage without warning, then back to being playful just as quickly.  Tinker Tot loves fiddling with gizmos and gadgets.  The halls of the Slums are filled with Tinker Tot’s devices- some work, some don’t.  Interesting Location: The Sloppy Noodle Shop- Known as one of the most delicious food joints in many blocks.  The noodle shop is run by an ancient and withered Vek called Ren.  Interesting Problem: One of Tinker Tot’s devices works too well and has caused a rift to open in realty, connecting another dimension to this one.  What sort of beings will come through?  What will happen if someone travels through?

 


Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- Appendix B- Bonds

Beyond the Wall is a nifty game that has a great way to quickly band the players together and give them reasons to keep adventuring together.  I knew I wanted to include an optional rule to do something similar.  I decided to build off a thing I created for the Starrunner Kit to create episodic events between session (or at character creation).

I used this rule in my current Barbarians of the Ruined Earth campaign and it was really fun to see the creative juices of my players and creating quick bonds that they still reference in play.

Thundarr

“Ha ha remember that time when we almost got eaten by those monkey people and you, like, TOTALLY saved me?!

Appendix B- Bonds

A GM may desire that members of the group have a quickly established bond at the start of the game.  This gives them a reason to be traveling together.  After all characters have been created, have each player roll 1d6 and consult the chart below.  Tell each player that they have five minutes to create their story that fits the theme they have just rolled and the event includes the player to their right.  Once the five minutes have elapsed, have each player introduce their character and describe the events of their story.  The other player involved is welcome to embellish the story to involve their character more as well.

 

Events Chart

  1. Tough Times– You’ve had hard luck. Something bad has happened in your past.  Maybe it was your fault, maybe it wasn’t, but either way people got hurt.
  2. Good Times– You’ve had a string of good luck. Something positive has occurred in your life.
  3. Someone Likes Me!– You met someone in your travels that has now become a true friend. How’d this happen?  Who are they?  Where do they live?
  4. Life Can Get Complicated– You somehow got yourself in a pickle. How’d you get out?  Who saved you?
  5. My Enemies Lie Dead at My Feet!– You triumphed over something, be it a person, monster, or other challenge. What was it?  What happened?
  6. Knife in the Back– Someone betrayed another. Was it you?  Were you betrayed?  What happened?  Do you have an enemy seeking revenge?

 

Example: After character creation, the GM has all the players roll 1d6 and consults the Events Chart and tells each of the player’s their result and explains that this event involves the player to their right in some fashion.  After a few minutes have passed the GM asks Diana about her character.  She explains that she is playing a Scavenger (pg XX) and that she rolled a 4, getting the Life is Complicated result.  Diana describes a story of how she had attempted to sneak into a human settlement in an attempt to steal some of their Ancient Earth technology and she was discovered by a Barbarian, (who was John’s character- the player to her right) and that he took pity on her scraggly, emaciated appearance, and invited her in for food.  They have been friends ever since.

 

John then adds a small bit about how the tensions between his character and the village’s sheriff finally spilt over because John refused to turn in Diana’s character, so they decided to leave and adventure together.

 


Strange Weaponized Animals for Barbarians of the Ruined Earth (and Black Hack)

 

I wanted to create strange (and horrific) animal weapons inspired by the sword and sorcery genre and would be right at home in Barbarians of the Ruined Earth.  Oftentimes there are weapons that appear in these types of stories (especially Pirates of Dark Water) that are cool and crazy and are animals/creatures that have been bred to be awesome weapons.  I think having raiders come over a sandy dune fling explosive hedgehogs will really set the mood, don’t you?

Pirates of Dark Water

Strange Weaponized Animals

These animals have been bred to be weapons.  Many of these animals perish when releasing their abilities, others can be used several times.  This is not an exhaustive list.  Feel free to create your own!  Description are below.

 

Strange Weaponized Animals
Animal Cost
Acid Squids $200
Crossbow Slug $200
Explosive Hedgehog $200
Explosive Robin $200
Flaming Lizard $200
Ink Bat $100
Mutated Hamster $250
Pint-sized Spiders $100
Regurgitating Rabbit $200
Sleeping Iguana Gun $400
Sonic Crab Bombs $400
Thorny Crow $200

 

Strange Weaponized Animals Descriptions

Acid Squids: The squid is flung from a sling.  When it strikes a target, the squid releases an acidic secretion that eats through wood and metal.  The acid does 1d8 damage for 10 minutes or it is washed off with oil and flour.  Pirates favor using these on the masts of enemy ships.

 

Crossbow Slug: The slug is strapped to a board with a pressure handle and worn on the forearm of the user.  When the user squeezes the handle the straps tighten around the slug, causing them to release a jet of stinking mucous from its eyes.  The mucous can hit a Nearby target.  The target is stunned for one round from the vial substance and suffers Class damage as the toxic substance seeps into their skin.  The Crossbow Slug has a d6 Usage Die.  Once the Usage Die has been depleted the slug has been dehydrated and is dead.

 

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.

 

Explosive Robin: These robins have been trained to fly at a commanded target, land on their shoulder and explode in a red puff of smoke.  Human-sized targets suffer class damage and are knocked prone from the explosion.

 

Flaming Lizard: These tiny red lizards are fired from a slingshot at a target.  As they travel to their target they burst into flame.  A target hit by the lizard suffers 1d6 damage and has a 1-in-6 chance of catching on fire.  An ignited target suffers 1d6 fire damage until the flames are extinguished.

 

Ink Bat: This oily-looking bat flutters haphazardly through the air until it gets near its designated target, where it swells and pops, releasing a cloud of black smoke.  Targets in the cloud cannot see outside the area and begin coughing as the putrid-smelling smoke fills their lungs.  The smoke lasts for 1 minute before dissipating.  A strong wind will cancel the effect almost instantly.

 

Mutated Hamster: Mutants and raiders love using these on unsuspecting targets, either by firing them from slings, slingshots, or running up to a target and slapping it on them.  These hamsters have long corkscrew-like fangs that bite into a target.  The target must succeed a Constitution test (if a player character) or gain one mutation (pg XX).

 

Pint-Sized Spiders: These tiny spiders have been bred to have a hard metallic-like carapace.  They all live in a hive-like state in a leather bag.  A person can grab a handful of them and throw them onto the floor.  The spiders, shocked by what is happening, curl up into a ball, effectively becoming small marbles.  Targets in the area must make a Dexterity check (if a player character) or fall prone in the area.  Movement is reduced to a quarter in the affected area (roughly 10’ radius), so as not to fall.  This has a d6 Usage Die.  Once it has run out, there are no more spiders in the pouch.

 

Regurgitating Rabbit: This tubby rabbit is loaded into a scoop attached to a 4’ long pole and flung at a target.  In the air, the rabbit begins dry heaving, eventually vomiting its innards (and more), which expands into a large fleshy net, which will land on the target, entangling them in a sticky web.  Entangled targets can cut their way out of the net (attacks made with Disadvantage), dealing 5 points of damage to it.

 

Sleeping Iguana Gun: This iguana rests on a stick that is encased in a bottle-shaped glass that is strapped to a gun-like object.  The iguana’s tail is tied to a string that connects to the gun’s trigger.  When the trigger is squeezed, the iguana opens its mouth and belches a small puff of smoke that fills a 5’ radius.  Targets in the area must make a Constitution save (if player characters) or fall unconscious for 1d2 hours.  The Sleeping Iguana Gun has a d4 Usage Die.  After the Usage Die runs out, the iguana’s tail falls off and it will no longer belch its sleeping gas.

 

Sonic Crab Bombs: These crabs are slapped onto structures like vehicles, boats, and structures.  Their legs dig into the material, making them very difficult to dislodge.  Once the desired number of Sonic Crab Bombs have been placed, the user blows on a whistle that causes ultra-high sonic vibrations, causing the crabs to explode violently.  Targets near a crab when it explodes suffers Class damage (rolled with Advantage) plus an additional 2d6.  Pirates and saboteurs love using these weapons to spring an attack.

 

Thorny Crow: These crows have small bony protrusions growing from their flesh.  An attacker will snap the crows neck and throw the carcass into an area.  The dead body swells alarmingly fast and then pops, spraying a Nearby radius with sharp boney needles.  Targets in a 15’ radius suffer class damage (Dexterity check for half damage if a player character).