Category Archives: Barbarians of the Ruined Earth

Catching Up on Life and The Terramancer Class for Barbarians of the Ruined Earth

CATCHING UP

Whew- it has been a crazy couple of months for me.  Summers are always busy with RL activities, but this summer was packed.  Between Gen Con and the awesome Demon City kickstarter, then I had to shift gears to start the process for setting up our huge charity event at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester, The Sale, which I oversee (I’m the Director of Operations for the organization).  The Sale concluded last week!  It was quite an undertaking, building this from the ground up, but my volunteers were amazing and I couldn’t be happier or prouder with the outcome.

In other news, I had to disband my online gaming group due to low attendance, schedule changes for some of the players, and constant cancellations… so that was a bummer.  Hopefully we’ll be able to game again in the future, but right now that just isn’t a reality.  

Needless to say, aside from gaming at Gen Con, I hadn’t RPG’d from July until last week!  Nor have I really had any time to write in about six months… which is why I haven’t posted much in recent months.  

I’m hoping my schedule evens out now and I can get some gaming in!

THE FUTURE

Even though I was busy, I was able to do some serious pondering about DIY RPG Productions, where I want my company to go/how I want to do business, etc. and I think I’ve course-corrected things before it spiraled into something else.  By and large this does not impact much for people who enjoy the books I have released, it’s more I want to make sure I’m happy with the direction I am going before it became something else.  

I also stole time to jot down notes on my projects and how I want to move them forward.

Demon City is currently in layout and moving along nicely!  Shawn is killing the layout and Zak’s art and writing are always exceptional.  

Matt Hildebrand recently sent me a few layout samples for Barbarians of the Ruined Earth and we nailed down where we are going with the book.  The Kickstarter for BotRE will launch in January(ish).

Here is a sample page for BotRE!  By Matt Hildebrand- art by Matthew Adams!

Death is the New Pink: Going Medieval on Yo’ Ass is cooling off while I ponder mechanics of my own DIY RPG Productions system that I’ll be using for many of my publications in the future (gotta finish writing it and playtesting it).  

Kelvin Green is plugging away at drawing rooms for the Forever Dungeon!

Fiona Giest and Jarrett Crader have finished the first pass of proofs for Orcs: A High Octane Adventure (3rd level module for Hubris). 

High Noon is also on the rack until I figure out my DIY ruleset or if I just want to publish it as Whitebox.  We shall see.  

Anyways… I figured I’d put out a class I’m working on for a BotRE supplement: The Terramancer.

This class is inspired by the Ecomancer from Pirates of the Dark Water.  Enjoy!

TERRAMANCER

From Pirates of Dark Water

Terramancers are an ancient order with the ability to harness and manipulate the energies of the earth, be it nature, beasts or the very elements themselves.  The forces they wield are truly powerful, rivaling those of Sorcerers.  Terramancers prefer their own company or that of animals and many are reclusive, solitary beings.  Although not often encountered, those of the order will leave their solitary domains to defend Mother Earth or fight and protect those they deem worthy.

“I am one of Mother Earth’s chosen guardians.  I harness Her nurturing touch to heal, to guide and to protect.  I call forth Her wrath to hinder, attack, and destroy those that would harm Her, the innocent, or those of my order.”

Starting HP: 1d4+4

Hit Points Per Level/Resting: 1d4 HP/lvl

Weapon and Armor: Light Armor, All Shields, Daggers, Clubs, Short Swords, Short Bows, Staves, Slings, and Blowgun

Weapon Damage: 1d4/1 Unarmed or Improvised

SPECIAL FEATURES

The Ways of the Terramancer: Terramancers can harness the raw power of the elements and nature.  Starting at 1st level a Terramancer can utilize the power of the various “Ways” twice per day.  They gain the ability to use the power of the Ways an additional time every odd level (max of 6 at 9th level).

Natural Recharge: Once per day a Terramancer can rest for an hour.  Roots grow from their legs and feet and arms and hand, burrowing into the earth (or water) to draw revitalizing nutrients into their body.  During that time they are immobile.  At the end of the hour the Terramancer makes a Luck roll.  If successful they can utilize an additional Way.

Way of the Form

The Terramancer causes their body to take on the attributes of an element.  The Terramancer must test their WIS to successfully transform.  A player is more than welcome to come up with their own creative powers using the elements.  Below are a few suggestions/examples.  The Terramancer can stay in this form for 1 round plus a number of rounds equal to half the Terramancer’s level (round down).

Stone/Metal: The Terramancer’s body becomes dense, heavy stone.  The Terramancer gains an armor of 4 and they can attack with their fists for 1d6 damage.  A Terramancer can opt to be thrown at a target (say be a Beastman) and transform while on the way, they must make a DEX test with Disadvantage to successfully hit the target.  If successful, the Terramancer deals 2d10 damage.  Terramancer’s are extremely slow in this form, gaining only a movement or attack action per round.

Lightning: The Terramancer’s body becomes a crackling force of electricity.  While in this form the Terramancer can shoot lightning bolts at targets, making two attacks per round (one with each hand).  If the Terramancer makes a successful DEX test, the target suffers 1d6 damage.  If the target is hit, the Terramancer is allowed a Luck roll.  If it favors them, the target is stunned for 1 round.  The Terramancer can travel up to Not-so-Nearby per round.

Air: The Terramancer’s form becomes nearly invisible.  While in this form the Terramancer can fly at a rate of Nearby per round.  They do not suffer any damage from attacks, save for from magical attacks (Sorcerer, Death Priest, another Terramancer, etc.).  The Terramancer can seep through cracks in walls, keyholes, under doors, etc.

Alternatively, the Terramancer can transform their arms into mini-tornadoes.  The Terramancer must make a DEX test to engulf a large or smaller target in the tornado. The tornado spins around, keeping the target trapped for 1d4 rounds before dissipating.  The target suffers 1d4+1 damage each around they are in the tornado.  Once both tornadoes are used, the Terramancer’s arms return to normal.

Water: The Terramancer’s form becomes water.  They can breathe in water and swim at a speed of Not-so-Nearby.  Fire does no damage to them (except large wild fires, magma, etc.) and they gain an armor of 2 against normal attacks.  Electricity does an additional 1d6 damage and stuns the Terramancer for 1 round.

A Terramancer can use their form to spread out and douse flames.  They can dose up to a 10’x10’ room (roughly 100 square feet).

Alternatively, the Terramancer can summon forth a large gout of water from both hands at a target (large or smaller).  If the Terramancer succeeds at a DEX test, the target is knocked prone.

Ice: The Terramancer’s form becomes ice, waves of cold mist drifting off their body.  Any target that physically attacks them suffers 1d4 cold damage.  The fists of the Terramancer deal 1d6 damage.  While in this form the Terramancer gains an armor of 2 against all attacks, except magical and fire.  Fire deals an extra 1d6 damage.  The Terramancer can shoot out a thin blanket of ice on the ground in a 5’ radius.  All targets large or smaller fall prone.  If the target is allowed a DEX save, they can attempt to succeed to avoid falling.

Fire: The Terramancer’s form becomes wrathful fire.  Any target that gets within ‘5 of the Terramancer suffers 1d6 damage.  Combustible objects have a 1-in-6 chance to catch fire.  If the Terramancer touches the object (i.e., a bookcase), it catches fire the next round.  The Terramancer can throw fireballs from their hands at a target, by making a successful DEX test.  A target that is hit suffers 1d6 damage and has a 1-in-6 chance to catch on fire.  Water deals an additional 1d6 damage to the Terramancer in this form.

Way of the Elements

The Terramancer summons the power of the elements to create powerful and devastating effects.  The element the Terramancer wishes to utilize must be present in some form.  The Terramancer can utilize two forms of this ability: Minor and Focused.

Minor

The Terramancer can summon a gust of wind to slam doors or propel a small sailboat (basically a rowboat with a small sail) for a few extra feet (1d100+100), bring forth a flame whip to attack a target, heat an attacker’s sword, summon rain in a small area to create a slippery muddy field, cause a tree to grow, roots to entangle an enemy (or group of enemies), call down lightning to strike a target, bring bitter cold to freeze a target in place, etc.  The Terramancer must test their WIS to successfully use a Minor Way of the Elements.

The player describes what they wish to accomplish and through discussion with the GM they determine if it is acceptable or not.   As a rule of thumb, any element that results in damage deals 1d6+Tecnnomancer’s level.  If it is an element that will stun or freeze a target (i.e., a small ice storm), it stuns for a number of rounds equal to half the Terramancer’s level +1.

Focused: The Terramancer brings for the full might of nature to their call.  This is not done lightly as it costs the Terramancer dearly.  Focused powers range from releasing a destructive tornado, summoning magma from volcanic fissures, bringing forth a hurricane, creating a pillar of water that tosses a ship about (possibly sinking it) or pushes a ship faster through the water, summoning a powerful earthquake which devastate the country side, etc.  The player describes what they wish to accomplish and through discussion with the GM they determine if it is acceptable or not.

When a Terramancer casts a Focused Elemental power, they must have access to the element they desire to enhance/manipulate.  Immediately after the power is summoned the Terramancer must succeed at a Con save or permanently lose 1 point of Constitution.  Regardless of whether successful or not, the Terramancer is drained of vitality, having their Constitution reduced by half (minimum of 5- A Terramancer that has a CON below 10 does not have the endurance to use summon the might of Focused Elemental Powers), which recovers at a rate of one point per day with rest.

A Terramancer can summon a Focused Elemental power as a ritual and store it in their staff for a later use (BotRE, pg XX).

Way of the Beast

The Terramancer can use their link with nature to show creatures they mean no harm.  This soothes beasts that are riled and spooked or lessens hostile intentions.  The creature must be natural (hybrid animals count as natural, BotRE pg XX.  No mutated creatures) and have no higher than animal level intelligence to work.  The Terramancer must succeed on a CHR test.  If successful the creature’s mood is affected for 10 minutes and will calm down and go off on their own, leaving well enough alone.  If one of the Terramancer’s companions attacks the creature, the effect ends immediately.  If a 1 or 2 is rolled on the CHR test, the beast will accompany/fight for the Terramancer (if the PC desires that option) for 1 hour before leaving.

A GM is free to rule that a creature of 1-2 HD will permanently become an animal companion of the Terramancer.  A Terramancer cannot have more than one animal companion at a time.

When a Terramancer is testing their CHR against a creature, remember the Powerful Opponent rule (BotRE, pg XX).

Way of the Healer

The Terramancer uses the power of the elements to fight against sickness, injury, and corruption.  The Terramancer must test their WIS to summon the energies needed for these abilities.

Heal: The Terramancer heals a target for 2 HD of HP.

Purify Food/Water: The Terramancer causes fetid water or spoiled food to become safe to eat and fresh tasting.

Nullify Poison: The Terramancer causes a single poison affecting a target to cease.

Remove Disease: The Terramancer removes a single disease affecting a target.

Reverse Mutation: The Terramancer touches a target that just gained a mutation, allowing the target a second roll to resist the effect.

Specializations

Terramancers all harness a deep link to one particular Way of their order.  At first level a player chooses one of the Ways as their specialization and gains the benefit listed below:

Way of the Form: The Terramancer can transform into a form an additional time per day.  When testing their WIS to successfully transform, they roll with Advantage.

Way of the Elements: The Terramancer can use a Minor Way of the Elements an additional time per day.  When testing their WIS to successfully utilize the ability, they do so with Advantage.  Once per day, if the Terramancer fails their CON test when using Focused Way of the Elements, they can reroll.

Way of the Beast: The Terramancer can speak to beasts if they make a successful CHR test.  This is an empathic link and the conversation is limited by the animal’s intelligence.  The Terramancer gains the ability to transform into a beast.

Animal Shape: Once per day the Terramancer can transform into a small or medium creature (no larger than a wolf, boar, or cougar, and no smaller than a dog, cat, eagle, etc.) While in this form the Terramancer can track by scent (rolling under WIS with Advantage), move as the creature would (Swim, fly, etc.), gains their ability to breathe (fish or frog can breathe underwater, etc.), a bite attack (and possibly claw attacks at a d6 as well- GM’s call), gains 1 armor (this does not stack with any other armor), and can see in a Far Away radius in the low light conditions.  The Terramancer cannot communicate with other people while in animal form.  This effect lasts until canceled.

Way of the Healer: The Terramancer can use one of the healing abilities an additional time per day.  When testing there is to successfully utilize the ability, they do so with Advantage.

Leveling Up:

Roll all Attributes to see if they increase, roll twice for WIS or CHR

STARTING EQUIPMENT

WEAPONS*: Staff and sling

ARMOR: None

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

*All starting weapons are made of wood, bone, or stone. For each weapon, there is a 15% chance it is made of metal (i.e., the arrowheads, the sword blade, etc.).

INTERESTING TRINKET (roll 1d6): 1) A fossilized acorn; 2) A dagger made of the strongest ivory; 3) A cloak of badgersnake hide; 4) A pristine safari hat; 5) A bottle of fine Ancient Earth whisky; 6) Ancient Earth 3-person tent. 

LIFE EVENT (roll 1d8): 1) You were a slave and escaped; 2) A fiery apparition appeared before you, describing your powers; 3) You watched your mentor battle a Sorcerer and lose.  You hid.  You escaped; 4) You defended an ancient grove from a band of Pig Raiders single-handedly; 5) You befriended a large bear who traveled with you for several years; 6) You were found by your mentor in the crook of an ancient tree; 7) You have sailed on the ocean and battled pirates; 8) You became a recluse after the love of your life was swallowed whole by a gigantic bloodworm. 

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The Spellsword Class for Barbarians of the Ruined Earth

Work still continues with Matt Hildebrand and myself on Barbarians of the Ruined Earth (cover art here).  I’m compiling all the needed art (yay) and will start reaching out to peeps who I’ve eyed for this project in the very near future.

I’ve started writing a supplement for the book (as this will take time to do).  I’ll have some new races, house rules, monsters, Sorcerer-fiends, packed into this baddy!

Last time I mentioned this project I wrote about the Armadite race.  Today I want to talk about the Spellsword.  I wanted to take inspiration from the Arcane Trickster and Grey Mouser.

SPELLSWORD

Spellswords are a motely lot with the unique ability to wield a small amount of magic to create illusionary effects.  Spellswords tend to be cocky opportunists that use their abilities to distract, beguile, and rob to support their hedonistic lifestyle (or just for the thrill).

“I’ve been given a great gift and it would be negligent of me if I didn’t use it to better my station in life, right?  A trinket here, a bauble there, a weapon, an heirloom, or maybe a few ceramic coins- things nobody will miss, but to me there are much more valuable.” 

Art 1

Art by Fragoulis Garoufalis and not for BotRE

 

Starting HP: 1d8+4

Hit Points Per Level/Resting: 1d8 HP/lvl

Weapon and Armor: Light and Medium Armor, All Shields, All Swords, All Bows, Daggers, and Crossbows

Weapon Damage: 1d6/1d4 Unarmed or Improvised

 

SPECIAL FEATURES

 

Agile: The Spellsword rolls with Advantage when testing DEX to avoid damage or effects from traps and magical devices. They also roll with Advantage when performing delicate tasks, climbing, hearing sounds, moving silently, understanding written languages and opening locks.

 

Sneaky Bastard: The Spellsword knows how to hide and move quietly.  They roll with Advantage when attacking from behind and deal 2d6/2d4+the Spellsword’s level damage.

Art 2

Art found here and not for BotRE

Magical Trickery: The Spellsword, whether it is intellectual prowess, sheer moxie, or having some Sorcerer’s blood in their heritage, can use a small amount of magic to cast illusionary effects.  The Spellsword can create illusionary objects, create small sources of light, cause noises to issue up to 60’ away, create small illusionary objects, imitate another person’s voice (the Spellsword must have heard this voice for more than a few quick words), levitate objects, cause small gusts of wind to douse candles or torches, etc.  Most effects are instantaneous or last a number of rounds equal to the Spellsword’s level +1.  Targets that are allowed a save must test their WIS to disbelieve the illusion.

The Spellsword must successfully test their CHR to summon forth the effort of the desired effect.  The player describes what they wish to accomplish and through discussion with the GM they determine if it is acceptable or not.   A Spellsword can use this ability a number of times equal to their level +1.

At 2nd level the Spellsword’s magical ability grows and they can make themselves invisible as per the spell (BotRE, pg XX).

At 3rd level the Spellsword’s ability to use illusionary effects becomes greater.  They can conjure images of people or animals, terrain (such as a pit or quicksand), etc. to fool or throw off their adversaries.

At 5rd level the Spellsword can use their magical ability to manipulate complex objects like picking locks and disarming traps up to 30’ away. This requires a DEX roll to see if the Spellsword can successfully do this.  They do not receive Advantage granted by the Agile ability.

At 7th level the Spellsword is able to teleport themselves and another person up to 100’ away.  The CHR test is made with Disadvantage when attempting to perform this bit of magic.

Martial Prowess:  Spellswords are a cocky lot, but they have had to learn to defend themselves with a blade.  Each successful attack a Spellsword makes grants +1 to damage.  This resets after each fight.

Leveling Up:

Roll all Attributes to see if they increase, roll twice for DEX or CHR

 

STARTING EQUIPMENT

WEAPONS*: Dagger and CHOOSE ONE: Short bow, crossbow, or short sword

ARMOR: Light Leather (1 RP)

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

*All starting weapons are made of wood, bone, or stone. For each weapon, there is a 15% chance it is made of metal (i.e., the arrowheads, the sword blade, etc.).

INTERESTING TRINKET (roll 1d6): 1) A golden ring you filched from a Sorcerer; 2) A silver dagger that belonged to your mentor; 3) A strand your dead lover’s hair in a locket; 4) A piece of Ancient Earth tech called a “pocket watch” – it still works!; 5) A hand crossbow given to you by your father; 6) A small jade idol- the spoils of your first big theft.

LIFE EVENT (roll 1d8): 1) You were a slave and escaped; 2) Your family was captured by a band of snakemen and sold into slavery; 3) Your sister was sacrificed by a cult in some dark right to a malevolent cosmic being; 4) You used your ability with illusions to get revenge on a bully in your village; 5) You traveled around with a Barbarian with a beautiful voice for several years; 6) You ventured into the ancient burial ruins of a cursed hero and returned with riches; 7) You were cast out from your village after you hoodwinked the village elder out of money; 8) You traveled with a band of circus performers for a few years, using your illusions to entertain (and steal when no one was watching).


Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- Session Three- The Fight for the Dark Orb, Part 2

When we last left our band of heroes that had just fought a giant mud crab and became depressed by grey snow before making it to the failed human village of Laundr-O-Mat.

Players

Omar- “Tip Toe” Tyron Thompson- Scavenger

Shoe- Medallion- Armadite

Coley- Coleesi- Barbarian

Brian- Sok- Armadillo Beastman

John- Vinsmoke the Sorcerer (Alt Casting Rules)

Unable to Attend

Gene- Beastman

Liam- Ashak- Death Priest

Kane- Vyvyan- Barbarian

Fletch- Shaw Shir- Vek

The Mysterious Village

The group looked around the dilapidated crumbled ruins of an Ancient Earth Strip mall.  There were signs of habitation from the villagers that disappeared five years ago, shanty shacks set up in the parking lot, rusted cars serving as beds, etc.

Two of the 14 stores remained somewhat intact; the signs read, “adio Sha” and “arbucks”.  The group split up and decided to search around the rubble.

“Tip Toe” and Sok wandered into the “adio sha”, shifting through the rubble they made their way to the backroom.  The discovered an altar with a helmet fashioned from the skull of a bull.  “Tip Toe” and Sok ran back outside to find Vinsmoke so he could do his magic thing on it.

Bull Skull

The Helm of the Charging Bull

Vinsmoke was out in the parking lot and decided to use his abilities to sense magic.  He felt a strong magic from a crumbled brick building.  A strange wooden “T” laid on the ground and a broken sigh read, “ouse of esus Chri”.  At the western end of the area, down an Ancient Earth street another crumbled building, possibly once a town hall or community center, another sense of magic filled the air.

The two sources of magic assaulted Vinsmoke’s mind and he lost consciousness.

Medallion wandered in the crumbled buildings and found a bunch of Ancient Earth cooking spices (Shoe’s character loves to cook), including cumin, pepper, salt, garlic, and paprika (all with a d4 Usage Die).  She then started making soup for the group, especially Sok to try and cheer him up.

Coleesi wandered into the “arbucks” and found the skeleton of a barista at the counter, a name badge read, “Hi my name is Bryan M.  How can I help you?”

While in the building Coleesi found a storeroom filled with goods.  She found:

  • Dryer doors x6 (acts as a small shield)
  • Exoskeleton armor (heavy, 3 RP)
  • Lantern
  • Oil x10
  • Shovel
  • Rope (50′)
  • Arrows (1d10)
  • Short spear (metal) x2
  • Short sword (bone) x2
  • Maul, two-handed (metal) x1
  • 1d100+10 Ceramic coins (green for Tygham the Fearless, ruler of the Swamps)
  • 1d20 gold clay coins (Int roll to know this comes from Skullator the Deathless, ruler of the East.

The group divided up the spoils.

Aside: When the group split up, I stated that all their searching and shit would take place over an hour.  

The group all met back outside, Vinsmoke regaining consciousness and wiping a small amount of blood from his nose.  Medallion bringing large pot of ramen noodles.

As the sunset (it’s 6PM after all), a blast of black and grey energy and white light is seen from the rubble of the church.  The group is scared by this display of magic and
“Tip Toe” grabbed Vinsmoke, “Come with me!  There’s a helmet in this place and I wanna know what it is!  That magic over there- fuck that shit!”

All the group decided to join the two.  As “Tip Toe” and Vinsmoke got close to the building, the hair on Coleesi’s neck stood on end and she heard the soft moans of something nearby.  Suddenly sounds, almost like Velcro slowly being pulled apart, met their ears.  Only Coleesi saw three shades appearing on the ground and move slowly towards their prey.

One went after “Tip Toe”, another after Vinsmoke, and the third after Coleesi.

Shade Monster

This fight was really fun and jarred them a little bit.  They started getting smacked and when I said, “you lose 100 XP” they freaked and the fight became that much more tense.  Vinsmoke was dropped during the fight, but with the use of a healing salve, he was saved.

Shade Apparition

HD 2; RP 1; Claws (2d4 damage), SV 6

Description: Wispy humanoid creature that moans and hates you.

Special: Ethereal: Half damage except from magic.

Draining Attack: 1st attack- save or stunned for 1 round.

2nd attack- Save or stunned for 1d4 rounds.

3rd attack- Lose 100 XP

4th attack+- Lose 100 XP and stunned for 1 round.

* If the Shade critically succeeds skip to the next attack level.

Dark Fog: Release a rancid smelling fog in a 15’ radius.  All attacks against Shade are made with Disadvantage as is dodging their attacks.  Last 1 round.  Can do this once per hour.

The group went into the “adio Sha” and Vinsmoke used his remaining magic to identify the bull skull helmet.

Helmet of the Charging Bull: The wearer can charge at a target as a full action.  The wearer rolls a STR test with Disadvantage.  If successful, they roll 2d10 damage.

The group decided to go to the end of the street where Vinsmoke sensed the other indication of magic (they wanted to give the church and the grey and black lights a wide berth).

 

As the group got closer to the ruins of the building they saw a figure wearing darkened leather armor slumped against the wall.  A sword near the figure’s right hand, a shield near the left.

Aside: Coly had her character in the lead. I asked her what she did.  She asked if there was a rock nearby and if she was allowed to throw it to see if it did anything.  Coley is relatively new to RPGing, having done it a total of four times (I think).  I said “Fuck yeah you can do that!  OSR shit right there, peeps!  Dove right in like a champion!”

Coleesi threw a rock, but it went right and dinged off the wall to no effect.   Feeling nothing as going to happen, the group moved forward.  The moment they stepped into the ruined structure a ring purple light filled the area and flashed bright.  The figure lifted his head, his eyes glowing red.  His face desiccated and rotten.  The group watched frozen as the figure stood up and pointed at them, “SUFFER WITH ME!!!”

The Black Plot

SUUUUUFFFFFEEEERRRR!!!!

This fight was fun and tough.  The undead Barbarian called lighting down onto his blade and started hacking away at group, eventually shooting lighting at his blade at several of them (I think one person went unconscious, but can’t remember).

 

Vinsmoke used a powerful spell to attempt to blow the arms of the undead Barbarian off, he blew the shield arm off at the elbow, but the sword arm remained intact.

After several seconds of fighting, the cursed Barbarian was slain.  As he fell a faint “thank  you” issued from his mouth.  When the dust settled, the group quickly looted his body.

They got a shield (absorbs two blows), the Lightning Blade, and a Teleporter Bracelet.

The Lighting Blade: One-handed broadsword- call lighting to the blade (as a movement action).  Increases the damage of the blade by 1 die.  Can release the lighting at a target within 30′.  Make a DEX roll to hit.  If successful, deal 2d6 damage to target.  The target must save or be stunned for 1 round.  Can do this twice per day.

Teleporter Bracelet: This piece Stupendous Science allows the wearer to teleport up to 100′ away once per day.

 

The session ended with the group shifting through the rubble of the old church, finding the Dark Orb, and then setting off back to Mardi Grass

Next Time: Will the group make it back safely to Mardi Grass?  Will they be able to place the Dark Orb into the hands of the Luminescent Mother?  Find out next time on another adventure of:BotRE Logo!


Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- Session Three- The Fight for the Dark Orb, Part 1

Last session our group aided a village of frog beastmen, called The Gulpmongers, who were being attacked by raiders wearing strange mirror-like armor and wielding similar weapons.  After many explosions, use of Weaponized Animals, and some spell slinging the band of heroes were successful and were given a glowing white orb as a reward.  The orb was a key piece to contacting the Cosmic Being, The Luminescent Mother.

We now continue our adventures with the group setting off for the failed human settlement, Laundr-O-Mat to the far west in hopes of finding the Dark Orb.

Players

Omar- “Tip Toe” Tyron Thompson- Scavenger

Shoe- Medallion- Armadite

Coley- Coleesi- Barbarian

Brian- Sok- Armadillo Beastman

John- Vinsmoke the Sorcerer (Alt Casting Rules)

Unable to Attend

Gene- Beastman

Liam- Ashak- Death Priest

Kane- Vyvyan- Barbarian

Fletch- Shaw Shir- Vek

Introducing Some New Peeps

Several of my normal group members couldn’t make this session, so I opened up seats on my G+ Community page and got a few peeps interested.

Aside: Feel free to request an invite to the community page- I post quite a bit there that doesn’t make it to my blog as I don’t feel it warrants a full post- including possible game times, etc.  

I caught Shoe, Coley, and Bryan up to speed with the events of the two previous sessions and described that they were once a band of five that had heard of a treasure trove to the southern edge of the swamps… unable to resist adventure (and treasure) the band made their way down there…  what they found instead was a four-story high crocodile with robotic limbs and laser beam eyes.  Two of the group were vaporized, chomped and splatted before the three could escape.

Croconator

Behold the Croconator- not quite what I’ll have commissioned, but close enough:D

They wandered the swamps for days before coming across the small village of Mardi Grass where they were healed and fed.  Feeling a sense of reciprocity, the three agreed to help Vinsmoke and “Tip Toe” on their quest.

With that out of the way, the band bought some needed supplies and we began.

Before they left, Shoe went romping through the area and found a wild rabbit and befriended it, taking it with her.

Through the Swamps

The group of heroes began moving slowly through the soggy swamps of Ancient Earth Louisiana, heading west towards their objective.  After traveling for about five hours on the first day the sounds of screaming met their ears.

Me: “What do you do?”

Omar: I find the nearest bush and hide.”

Omar

Coley: “I shout, ‘shut the fuck up!'”

Shoe: “I run towards the noise as quickly as possible!”  She throws her rabbit to Sok (Bryan)- “Make sure nothing happens to my rabbit!”

Bryan: “I go after Medallion (Shoe) and tuck the rabbit into my shirt.”

John: “As this isn’t my fight, I slowly walk up to the noise.”

Medallion crashes through a clearing and finds a large pond of disgusting gray mud.  At the bank is a woman splashing in the mud, submerged to her stomach, “Help me!  Help!” she screams, flailing around.

Medallion heroically leapt down and grabbed the woman by her arms as Sok, Vinsmoke, and Coleesi move into the clearing.  The flailing woman went limp in Medallion’s hands, her had splattering in the mud.  The muck around the woman began to bubble and a two-story massive crab emerged from the fetid waters, the woman rising with it.  The woman was connected at the torso to the creature, limp and lifeless- a weird sucking noise sounded as the woman’s figure was recalled into a sphincter atop the crab’s head.

Aside: This encounter came from a dream I had. When I described the woman retreating into a sphincter and it pulsating constantly, I got a good couple groans outta folks.  Life is good.

The fight went really well.  Vinsmoke got himself pinchered by the crab and was rendered unconscious.  “Tip Toe” hid behind a tree and then began firing his bow at the creature.  Coleesi used her bow as well and Medallion hacked away at the crab, also utilizing her four armed attack.

Hats off to Bryan for using the beastman Super Strong mechanic in full awesomeness in this fight.  He described Sok climbing a tree and using his tail to break it and fling it on the crab (he succeeded on his attack and rolled 2d10 damage!).

The crab was felled by an arrow (either Omar or Coley) and Sok butchered some meet before the group moved on.

The group encountered nothing of interest on the third day.  On the fourth day the group was startled when grey snow flakes started to fall from the sky.  The snow did not melt in hand, nor was it ash.  As the group traveled Sok and Medallion became morose.  On the fifth day Sok and Vinsmoke where brought down, feeling great depression.

They pressed through the swamps, the grey snow weighing heavily on their souls, when the dilapidated remains of an Ancient Earth strip mall came into view.  At the border a rickety wooden sign, clearly of modern make, covered in sloppily painted letters, “Welcome to Laundr-O-Mat.

 

 

To be Continued


The Armadite Race for Barbarians of the Ruined Earth

With Matt Hildebrand and myself hard at work on the preliminary layout of Barbarians of the Ruined Earth (cover art here), I’ve started writing a supplement for the book (as this will take time to do).  I’ll have some new races, house rules, monsters, Sorcerer-fiends, packed into this baddy!

The first one that I wanted to do was an insect-type creature.  I always dug the Kreen  in Dark Sun and wanted to do something in that vein.  However, I didn’t want to do a beetle or a praying mantis, because those are in so many different RPG books, so what to do…?  I know…  An anthropomorphic roly-poly!

Here it is, enjoy!

Roly poly

Awwww… Look at how cute it is!!

 

ARMADITE

Armadites are the result of a Stupendous Science accident involving a broken canister of secret ooze and a colony of pill bugs.  These cute little roly-pollys grew into 7’ anthropomorphic creatures.  As the ages passed, the creatures named themselves Armadites, honoring their scientific Ancient Earth heritage and developed a proud warrior shamanistic culture.  Armadites paint their carapace with intricate symbols (some taken from Ancient Earth pop culture or commercials) and revere Terramancers (pg XX).

“Predators seek us, yet we stand resolute.  Raiders attack and we show our resolve. We flow with the wind, move with the earth, and our rage burns like fire.  Our spears are sharp, our armor thick, and our people proud.”

Starting HP: 1d8+4

Hit Points Per Level/Resting: 1d8 HP/lvl

Weapon and Armor: All Shields, Clubs, Swords, Maces, Spears, Axes, and Bows.

Weapon Damage: 1d6/1d4 Unarmed or Improvised

SPECIAL FEATURES

Armored: Armadites have thick chitin armor which gives them hearty protection in combat.  They have 2 RP.

The armor on their back is somewhat thicker, meaning they do not suffer extra damage from sneak/back attacks.

Four-Armed Fighter: Armadites have four arms, they can hold several weapons (or objects) at one time.  They can hold up to four one-handed weapons, two small shields, two two-handed weapons, or a mix of all three.  Large shields are too bulky to hold two at once.

An Armadite can make two attacks per round with ease.

If the Armadite is wielding four one-handed melee weapons they attack with a flurry of four blows against one (or two) targets.  All four attacks are made with Disadvantage.

Rolling Attack: As an invertebrate, Armadites can fold in on themselves, becoming a sphere of their tough chitin armor.  While in this state Armadites can attempt to roll over a target, dealing damage.  They must succeed a Dexterity roll.  If successful, the attack deals 1d10 damage.

While in this form, the Armadite can decide to absorb the damage of a single attack as if a shield were equipped (BotRE, pg XX), but it immediately pops the Armadite out of their ball and they must succeed a WIS save or be stunned for 1 round.

Antenna: The antenna of the Armadite is very sensitive and allows them to detect vibrations.  They make any test against detecting ambushes or hidden foes with Advantage.

Multi-legged: The Armadite can get on all its legs and travel faster than normal, moving up to Not-so-Nearby on their movement or Far Away if they move twice.  Up to two medium sized humanoids can ride on the back of an Armadite.

Leveling Up:

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

STARTING EQUIPMENT

CHOOSE TWO*: Short spear, short bow, short sword, two-handed sword, axe, mace, or spiked club

ARMOR: None.

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

*All starting weapons are made of wood, bone, or stone. For each weapon, there is a 15% chance it is made of metal (i.e., the arrowheads, the sword blade, etc.).

INTERESTING TRINKET (roll 1d6): 1) A headdress of leather and antlers worn by a kind Ecomancer; 2) A box of Ancient Earth acrylic paints (they are still good!); 3) A leather saddle that fits your back; 4) An Ancient Earth Civil War saber; 5) A gorgeous set of Ancient Earth Russian Dolls; 6) A box of fire crackers (1d8 Usage Die)

LIFE EVENT (roll 1d8): 1) You were a slave and escaped; 2) You were destined to be chief of your village, but were driven out by a rival; 3) Pig Raiders wiped out your village; 4) You encountered a Cosmic Being (choose one, pg XX) and hear its desires; 5) You killed a skilled warrior in a warring Armadite tribe; 6) You were part of a scouting party that helped find your tribes current home; 7) You glimpsed the Horrible Bear Monster (BotRE, pg XX) and lived to tell the tale.  Many of your hunting party weren’t so lucky; 8) Your brood mother was killed and taken in a Vulturefolk (BotRE, pg XX) attack.


Barbarians of the Ruined Earth Just Got Itself a Cover (and a Character Sheet too)

BotRE_Cover_WIP_v5

Matt Hildebrand knocked this motherfucker out of the park!  I really appreciate all his hard work on the whole project!  Matt and I really wanted to convey that Thundarr the Barbarian-type feeling with this and he nailed it!

Barbarians of the Ruined Earth is a fantasy post-apocalyptic setting inspired by Thundarr the Barbarian, Pirates of Dark Water, Mad Max, etc.  It uses a modified version of The Black Hack rules. KICKSTARTER COMING IN THE NEAR FUTURE!!

Matt also designed an awesome character sheet for BotRE!

Here’s the PDF version: BotRE_CharacterSheet_color_v3

BotRE_CharacterSheet_color_pg1BotRE_CharacterSheet_color_pg2

 


Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- Session Two- The Plight of the Gulpmongers

This adventure our group continues their adventure towards the town of Stinky Peat, all believing they are seeking answers on how to defeat the Chimera, but are really traveling to the town so Ashak, who lied to them about what the spirits told him, so he can try the best burger in the swamp.

 

Players

Liam- Ashak- Death Priest

Omar- “Tip Toe” Tyron Thompson- Scavenger

Fletch- Shaw Shir- Vek

Kane- Vyvyan- Barbarian

John- Vinsmoke the Sorcerer (Alt Casting Rules)

Unable to Attend

Gene- Beastman

Barbarian

Kane did this in photoshop.  Inspired by the Young Ones show

 

I’ll I Want is a Stupid Burger

The session begins with the group about to cross the land bridge of Lake Pontchartrain so they can quickly get to Stinky Peat.  As the group set foot on the bridge, the sounds of bodies landing on rusted cars, water splashing, and croaking greeted their ears.

Gulpmongers

The group turned to see 10 frog beastmen had appeared from the waters of the lake, surrounding them.  The frogmen had spears and swords made of wood, bone, and stone.  Some had weapons fashioned from Ancient Earth rubbish.  The heroes drew their weapons, ready to do battle when a deep croaking voice cried out, “Wait…  Do you mean us harm?”

Vyvyan, afraid of nothing, said, “No.  We are on our way to Stinky Peat and needed to use this bridge.  Is it yours?”

“Yes.” Replied the croaking voice.  A large brown hand splashed out of the water, followed by another, then the huge squat head and rotund body of a 10‘ tall toad man lifted from the waters.  Finally, the creature pulled all of itself from the water and landed with a thud on the crumbling concrete.

“The bridge is part of our village.  We are call themselves Gulpmongers.” The toad beastman issued a warbling croak, echoed by the frog beastman.  “I am Mog.  Chief of my people.”

Mog

“You look like you can handle yourselves in a fight.  Might yo–”

“Well that’s debatable.” Said Vinsmoke.

Mog cleaned his throat, “Might  you listen to our plight?”

Mog explain the Gulpmongers have been hunted by a band of raiders.   In the past, the Gulpmongers have always been able to stand toe to toe with the raiders, suffering only minor losses, but since the band moved into an Ancient Earth factory to the southwest of the lake, the Gulpmongers haven’t stood a chance.

“These humans have found new and powerful weaponry and armor.  All of it looks like mirrors.  All our stone arrows and spears bounce off of them uselessly.  Their sharp jagged swords pierce our flesh, and they take my people to be slaughtered or enslaved.”

“If we help you…  what’s in it for us?” Asks the barbarian.

“We have something that will very much interest the village of Mardi Grass and its peoples.  We have an orb that we believe belongs to the Luminescent Mother, a being I believe you all worship.  If you help us, I will give this strange object to you.  It will be considered a symbol of friendship with the Gulpmongers.”

“Annnnnddd some coin?”

The chief looked irritated, “And 500 ceramic coins.  They are white, minted by sorcery of Tygham the Fearless- ruler of the Swamps.”

The group agreed and Mog sweetened the pot by giving the group two Gulpmonger warriors to accompany them.

With that the group turned around and headed to the base of the raiders.

Best Laid Plans + Impatient Banging on Front Door/Bad Rolls = Pain, Bleeding, and Crying

The group made it to the factory, a rectangular two-story building, without incident and saw three raiders outside, moving around patrolling.  All three of the raiders were dispatched quickly, but not exactly quietly.  As the band of heroes approached the front door another raider opened it to see what was going on.   Seeing the heroes walking up the raider shouted, “Oh shit!” and slammed the door.

Vyvyan walked confidently up and banged on the door.  The group then hatched a plan.  Vinsmoke would open the door and Vyvyan would toss in an exploding hedgehog (see below) and that would take care of any raiders laying a trap for them.

This part of the plan went of perfectly.  Vinsmoke opened the door, revealing the faces of three shocked raiders and Vyvyan tossed in this cute lil soon to be exploded hedgehog and shut the door.  An explosion shook the building.

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.

At this point this is when things started to kinda go downhill.  Now COMPLETELY aware of intruders, the raiders fortified their positions and made it harder for them to be killed.  The second in charge, Mr. Mustachio, threw an explosive hedgehog at the group.  Vinsmoke had held his action and acted by casting a spell enveloping the creature and tried to fling it back at the group… and he rolled a 1…  So the hedgehog bounced against the door and landed at their feet… and John rolled a 10 on damage.  BOOM.

Mustachio

Captain Mustachio is gone, but not forgotten!

The group was hurting and barely maintaining from that point on (they also lost their NPC Gulpmongers, attack dogs, and warriors from Mardi Grass).  They all hunkered in a room for an hour, rested, and got a few HP back.

The group took some time to look around the group saw some of the mirror armor and weaponry that the Gulpmongers had described.  The group took a few pieces and set off downstairs.

The sound of a large squeaky wheel echoing off the walls.  The group saw a huge hamster wheel, on it was a rotting undead giant rat (this was Liam’s idea from the collaborative world-building).  The wheel was sparking sickly greenish-yellow electric bolts that traveled along transistors.  Eventually, when enough energy was built up, a loud hum filled the room and with a whoosh the energy traveled down wiring under the ground.

As the group looked around, the leader of the raiders, a dastardly hillbilly Scavenger, 2nd level, lurked in the shadows while the group descended into a large basement. With him were two undead giant rats and his son, a wet-behind-the-ears-raider.

The fight was hard, but not as hard as it could have been.  Ashak used his curse ability and against the leader, causing him to lose several rounds of action.

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.

When the leader finally acted, he pulled a jagged mirror blade from a scabbard and released a volley of shards of glass at the group, causing heavy damage.  The group pelted the leader with arrows, shotgun blasts, magic, and swords- most of which, even when paralyzed, bounced of off him harmlessly.

“Fools!  This armor and sword were a gift from Shanton, the Sorcerer of Mirrors, for my loyalty!  I cannot be beaten by the likes of  you!”

Eventually he was.  Vyvyan took the sword and someone else took the armor (can’t remember who though).

With the raiders broken, the group made their way back to the Gulpmonger village, retrieved their reward of 400 ceramic coins and the glowing orb.  The group decided, considering how battered and blood they were, to head back to Mardi Grass to recoup.

When the group arrived there was concern at their return and bloodied appearance.  Vinsmoke offered an explanation as the group made their way to the shrine of the Luminescent Mother.  Vyvyan placed the orb in the statue’s hands.  The hands of the statue closed on the orb, then parted.  The orb in the statue’s right hand, the left open and empty.  The statues left eye will glow yellow like the orb.  The right blank stone.

L Mother

The group heard a voice echo softly on the wind.

“You are close.  For I am one- yet two.  You have found the Light Orb.  It is life, love, and health.  Yet I am missing the Dark Orb.  It is death, anger, and decay.   I am the cycle, the beginning and the end.  Find the Dark Orb and I will grant you a gift.”

The group asked if the Luminescent Mother knew where the orb was.

“I sense the Dark Orb lies forgotten in the ruins of a human settlement to the West.”

The group knew of talk of such a village… the ruins of the village Laundr-o-Mat to the west.

This is where we ended for the evening.

Next session the group now has several plot hooks to decide on.  Will the group continue to Stinky Peat to find the best damned burger in the swamps?  Will they attempt to find the Dark Orb in the rancid haunted ruins of Laundr-o-Mat?  Or will they seek information on this Sorcerer of Mirrors?

Find out next time on:

BotRE Logo!