Category Archives: Thundarr the Barbarian

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:

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Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- Session One- Attack of the Chimera

Aside: I’ve been rewatching Thundarr the Barbarian recently, analyzing the episode structure- this is for a future BotRE book- and jotting down notes on the various locations, monsters, goals, etc.  So many episodes will have enemies that are flying robots, molten magma men, mutant overseers, sorcerers, etc… In an episode I just watched called Wizard Wars (awesome episode) cracked me up, because one of the enemies… midgets- yep there is no getting around that these are the rejects from the lollipop guild…

Sand People

Oh sure they call them “Sand People”… but you know…  You know who and what they are.

 

Anyways- enough of that…

Last session the group finished the creative world building and we decided we would start in the town called Mardi Grass close to the ruins of New Orleans.

Here’s the town map:

Mardi Grass Town Map

And here’s a map of the surrounding area:

BotRE Map (1)

Session 1- There’s Trouble Brewing

Note: I will put all creature stats at the end of the recap.  If the monster has a “*” in front of its name, then it will be in the BotRE book, otherwise I created it specifically for the session.  

Players

Liam- Ashak- Death Priest

Omar- “Tip Toe” Tyron Thompson- Scavenger

John- Vinsmoke the Sorcerer (Alt Casting Rules)

Unable to Attend

Fletch- Shaw Shir- Vek

Gene- Beastman

The session started with the group slogging through the swamp with Mama Cleo.  Several days ago hunters from Mardi Grass spotted a large chunk of the moon, that had crashed nearby during the calamity, was glowing red.  Mama Cleo took the group, especially the Sorcerer Vinsmoke and her disciple, Ashak, to investigate.  She was worried about this strange omen- the moon rock only glows prior to the arrival of the Chimera, once every 30 years.  It’s not supposed to glow fir another 10 years.

Mama Cleo explained the situation, “the last time the Chimera showed up, I was a young woman- just understanding my gifts…  the Chimera is a fearsome beast; we believe it was once a man, but now corrupted and ferocious.  It has the head of a man, with long mandibles like a beetle, large leathery bat wings, the body of a bear, with the legs of a massive boar, snakes for arms, and a tail that shoots flames from Hell. Every 30 years it descends from the sky and snags some of our kin and then leaves to feast and slumber.  We are powerless to stop it.  Of course the brave, and ultimately foolish, warriors have left to track it to its lair.  None have returned.”

Eventually the group came through the clearing and found the huge chunk of rock glowing vibrantly red.  As the group got closer, the moon rock hummed and pulsed for a brief second before red lightning arced out, a bolt struck a rusted bicycle and another a VW Bug and two washing machines (because you know it makes PERFECT sense for two washing machines and a VW Bug to be near each other in a dilapidated post-apocalyptic setting- don’t dispute me!).  A third bolt shot off through the trees.

All the rubbish struck became suffused with red light and transformed into monstrous automatons!

This fight was fun.  Both enemies resembled humanoid shapes.  The bicycle had a wheel for a head capable of disarming any who attempted to attack it (sadly no one attacked the creature with a melee weapon!- oh well, best laid plans and all that), while the car/washing machine creature was the heavy hitter.  Belching smog and its washing machine arms chugging, filled with soapy swamp water.  Once per combat it could open a washing machine and release a spout of water at a target, knocking them prone.

After two rounds a scream issued somewhere beyond the trees.  Vinsmoke looked around and saw Fiona, the daughter of his friend Cobb, pressed against a tree, recoiled in terror from a similar monster to the ones they faced- a bunch of garbage joined together, resembling a hideous inchworm-like creature, towards her.  The head of the monster a large old oak trunk, snapping hungrily.   Vinsmoke immediately left the group to fight the bike and car monsters so he could go to Fiona’s aid.  He used his magic to summon spikes up from the muddy ground, attempting to impale the beast.  Sadly, the spikes did not pierce the creatures armor, but it lifted the trash inchworm  up, causing it to lose its balance and fall prone on the ground.  Vinsmoke got a free attack with his Sorcerer’s staff.

The fight lasted a few more rounds, but eventually the heroes were victorious.  Panting from the fight, they began to bandage their wounds, but their rest was cut short when an explosion echoed in the distance and a terrible, spine-tingling roar met their ears.  Mama Cleo stiffened, “No… The Chimera has arrived.”

The group rushed back to Mardi Grass and found it under siege of the Chimera.  Several buildings were on fire, bodies lay on the ground, unmoving.  The beast stood in the center of town, two unconscious humans limp in its snake arms.

High overhead disgusting birdlike humanoid creatures circled the scene.

The Chimera

Gorn was SUCH a fucking cool enemy in Thundarr I totally had to take inspiration from it!- From episode 17, City of Evil

Several villagers, including Nomi, leader of the small town guard, were pointing spears at the Chimera.  It lazily flapped its wings, sending a huge gust of wind out, knocking everyone over.  The Chimera opened its wings, let out another roar, and took to the skies with its freshly caught prey.

As the Chimera left the buzzard creatures sped to the ground, looking for easy prey.  The heroes  gathered themselves to protect their friends and village.

This fight was a little tough.  “Tip Toe” Tyrone Thompson had to leave at this point, so it was only Vinsmoke and Ashak.  Each had used their spells for the day.  I was nice and said they had regained their Luck abilities to cast one more spell each (I am SUCH a nice person!).

Eventually the group killed all three of the vulturefolk and the villagers started taking care of the damage inflicted by the Chimera’s attack.  Mama Cleo looked at one of the vulturefolk corpses and recognized it to be the previous town mayor.  He and his wife were ones that were taken years ago!

Ashak cast Talk With Spirits and asked the deceased mayor three questions.

Question One: What happened to you?

Answer: The Chimera put me in a hideous stinking sack and I was slowly transformed into a cruel bloodthirsty monster.

Question Two: How do we stop the Chimera?

Answer: Only magic and powerful items of Sorcery or Stupendous Science will wound the creature.

Question Three: Where can I find the best burger in the area?

Answer: There was a place in the village of Stinky Peat called Ol’ Smokey’s BBQ.  The burgers there were delicious.

After the third answer the spirit of the mayor disappeared, finally allowed to rest.

Askak turned to the village at large, “The spirit of this mayor told me how to defeat the Chimera!  The answer lies to the north in the village of Stinky Peat!

We all chuckled at his complete BS of the situation.

The current mayor, Kane, came into the scene and told the group he would send two warriors and attack dogs with them- as the terror of the Chimera must end.

Kane: Kane is known for his rambunctious spirit and ability to fight (Barbarian, 2nd level).  He has defended Mardi Grass many times.  He always carries his prized spear, The Man-Splitter- a remarkable piece of Stupendous Science with an electrified, motorized blade.  Kane constantly rubs himself with baby lotion to keep his skin moist and shiny.  He has a collection of Ancient Earth action movies and a working entertainment center.  He is obsessed with Chuck Norris and John McClain.

We ended there for the night!

MONSTERS

Car Golem

HD 2; RP 1; Fists (2d4)

Description: This massive creature was constructed from Stupendous Science and sorcery.  Several cars have been melded together to form a 12’ monstrosity.  The engines sputter and belch exhaust.

Special: Washer Fists: Once per combat, can open the washer lid and send a deluge of water at a target, knocking them prone (no save) and they suffer damage.

Smog: Once per hour can release a cloud of exhaust that blinds all in Nearby radius for 2d4 rounds.

 

Bicycle Golem

HD 1; RP 2; Fists (1d6)

Description: Bike in a humanoid form, with a wheel as a head.

Special: Spokes: When attacked with a slashing or piercing weapon, there is a chance that the weapon gets stuck in the head spokes (PC makes a Luck roll).  If it favors the monster, it’s caught in the spokes and the PC must succeed a STR save or have the weapon ripped from the grasp and flung into the swampy water.  They must spend 1d3 rounds finding it.

 

Rubbish Golem

HD 1; RP 2; Head Bash (1d6)

Description: Large trash caterpillar

Special: Swallow Whole: An attack means the target is scooped into the trunk and begins to be compressed, taking 1d6 damage per round. When target is killed the body is spit out.

*Vulturefolk

HD 1-3; RP 0-1; Claws (1d6-1d10)

Description: These fetid creatures live off the putrid meat of the dead, and prefer areas of decay to cleaner, drier climates.  While many tribes of Vulturefolk will attack humanoid settlements outright, looking for a meal, some will attempt to barter or form an uneasy alliance.  However, it doesn’t take much for a Vulturefolk to rescind their promise and still attack the settlement.

Special: Fly: Vulturefolk can fly quite fast.  While flying, ranged attacks against them are made with Disadvantage.

 

 


Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- Episode 1: Battle Over the Heavy Metal Throne of the Eclipse! Part 2

Yesterday I posted the part 1 of my first session of Barbarians of the Ruined Earth.

Cultists and Museums 

After the group rested up, they barged bravely through the front door of the Museum of Art and History.  The group plunged into the entrance and found a dirty, disheveled mess.   Ishkur the Ummm Wizard saw that they could head into a Weapons Exhibit and recommended that direction.  Zed Winkle led the group through the hall and triggered a trap, taking a spear to the side.  The Weapons Exhibit had pretty much cleaned out, but the group found a spear from ancient Roman times, a cutlass from the American Civil War, and a mace that didn’t have a plaque with information.

They continued down to the cafeteria and were attacked by three cultists.  All were wearing white robes, black masks which had a crescent moon symbol on their forehead, and curved daggers.  The cultists stood in front of the entrance, creating a bottle neck.  “Only death will set you free!  Let us send you on your way!”

cultist

I used mook rules, each cultist having only 1 HP.  The group made quick work of them, but got stabbed a few times, but for little damage.  Once the cultists were dead the group looted the room, finding daggers, a healing salve, 50′ of rope, and a backpack.

The group then headed back up and found a hallway to the Modern Art room.  Ishkur the Ummm Wizard groaned, “ug…  There is nothing of interest in there.”  Most of the paintings had been defaced, however they found the body of a Barbarian tossed into the corner.  They looted him of his items, the most exciting of which was a football helmet and then continued into the Old West Room.

Here the group was attacked by four cultists throwing spears at the group.  Ishkur stepped to the front and used Life Leach, dealing 1 point of damage to each of the cultists, killing them all.  They took the daggers on the cultists and Ishkur found a tattered and cut up cowboy hat, and excitedly put it on his head.

Error (404) came up with a plan that he would put on a cultist outfit (being the only one who could wear one) and tie up Ishkur and Zed with a trick knot.  The group went through the rest of the museum and didn’t encounter anyone else, except for a mutant with glowing red eyes who was chained to a wall and shied away from the robe-wearing Error (404).

Eventually the group came to a room with stairs leading into the basement; chanting could be heard below.

Battle for the Heavy Metal Throne of the Eclipse

heavy-metal-throne

The group wandered into the basement and found three cultists circled around a large throne made of metal, adorned with spikes.  Walking around them was another cultist, with embellished robes and a black mask with a half moon on the forehead.  A car engine rested on the seat of the throne, jumper cables attached to several of the spikes of the chair.  The captured humans were tied and laid on the ground, metal skullcaps placed on their heads with metal tubing going from the cap and attached to the engine.  Lurking in the corner was a hideous mutant with green slime dripping from its skin.

The lead cultist spoke to the room, “We have finally obtained the Heavy Metal Throne of the Eclipse!  With the energy taken from these lower ones, we will revitalize the throne and finally have the power over the sun itself!  We will plunge this world into darkness and be the true masters of everything!  Let the ritual begin!”  One of the cultists pulled a lever on the engine and it sprang to life.  A human screamed as their energy was pulled from their body, leaving them a dried husk on the floor.  The energy traveled through the skullcap, up the cable, into the engine, and through the jumper cables into the throne.

The lead cultist looked at the disguised Error (404), “Ah brother!  What have you brought us?

Error (404): More food for the machine!

“Ah!  Excellent!  The energy of a Sorcerer will truly make the throne powerful!”

Error (404) brought the pseudo-captured comrades into the circle and they sprang their trap.  Liam (Ishkur’s player) told me he wanted to summon forth Error’s bag that was carrying a bunch of the curved daggers and multiply them in the bag, then have the bag explode and send the daggers flying everywhere.  I told him that they would hit everyone, not just the cultists, he said that’s ok.  I told him it would be Power of the Moon (level 2) spell (here is the alt magic rules) and he agreed.  He rolled in INT check with Advantage after using Life Leach previously and succeeded.  He failed his Usage Die roll, finally robbing him of his energies to cast spells.  While this was going on another two human hostages were drained of energy.

The daggers killed all three cultists, all the human hostages save 1, missed the mutant and the lead cultist, and missed all three players.

Nate had to leave at this point, so John took over rolling for Error (404).

The cultist and mutant ran at Liam’s character and started beating on him.  The mutant’s touch drained Ishkur of his vitality (temporary CON drain).  Zed Winkle used his epic strength to pick up the Heavy Metal Throne and engine and chucked them at the lead cultist, who was struck hard and slammed into the wall, becoming a bloody grease stain.

The battle with the mutant took awhile, but eventually the group stabbed and bludgeoned enough to kill the creature.  The group looted the room, finding an obsidian sword and a silver dagger.  They also found a scroll on the body of the dead lead cultist- with the wax seal of the Portends of Death.  Ishkurr put it in his pack to examine later.

With that they took the delirious, shell-shocked survivor and returned her to The Bluffs.  Ren thanked them for risking their lives and returning his daughter to them (I made a Luck roll on the importance of the survivor).

With that we leveled up and called it a night.

Next time: Trouble in the Bluffs

After Thoughts: We are all still loving the simplicity of The Black Hack.  We are using the Better Armor rules from Additional Things.  It works very well for the players, however I tried to do something similar for monster and it doesn’t work well.  Damage Reduction per attack works well for systems like 3.x, Pathfinder, and 5e where there is a steady escalation of damage based on the weapon, Attribute modifiers, and weapon bonuses…  However in TBH weapon damage is static, although it may have a small bonus or you roll damage with Advantage, etc.  However a creature with an armor of 3 means that a Conjurer will always need to roll a 4 on a d4 to be effective.  When we were fighting the mutant, this became really apparent.  John and Liam both were rolling super low (John gets to roll a d8 for damage)… and after 4 or 5 rounds (can’t remember), it just became evident that it doesn’t work well.  The normal armor rules in TBH work much better for enemies.  So I switched it back to that rule and they had done about 5-6 points of damage, I treated it that they had drained the creature of his armor and were now doing physical damage.  So now I need to change that throughout the whole BotRE document.

John’s use of his epic strength ability was fun as hell and creative.  Also, he totally stopped the second coming of Lo-Pan (the next round the evil Sorcerer would have been pulled from the chair).  So that was a cool and unexpected event.

Liam really likes the free form spell casting thus far- especially as the two spells he attempted to cast would not have been possible at all with normal rules.  We will keep trying them and see how they hold up over several sessions.

 

 


The Barbarian Class for Barbarians of the Ruined Earth, a Thundarr-inspired Setting for The Black Hack

Previously I’ve posted the Robot and Beastman classes that will be in the Barbarians of the Ruined Earth.  Today I post the Barbarian!  Enjoy!

Barbarian

Barbarian 

Barbarians are fierce human warriors who know no fear.  Many Barbarians use their battle prowess to fight the oppression of Sorcerers, some are the local settlement hero, happy to guard their kin, while others act as mercenaries, hiring out their talents to the highest bidder, even vile Sorcerers.

 

“Run?  Ha!  There are only fifty of them!  It is a fair fight!”

 

Starting HP: 1d10+4

Hit Points Per Level/Resting: 1d10 HP/lvl

Weapon and Armor: Any and All

Weapon Damage: 1d8/1d6 Unarmed or Improvised

 

SPECIAL FEATURES

Barbarian 2

Attacker: The Barbarian gains one attack every odd level (max of 5 attacks at 9th level).

Avid Fighter: Once per combat can deflect an attack with their melee weapon, turning it into a failure.  If the enemy is using a ranged energy weapon, roll a die and call even or odd- if you called the right result the shot is deflected back at the attacker for full damage.

Stout: Has Advantage on tests against Poisons and Fear Effects.

Loin Cloth Warrior: When wearing just a loincloth and badass bracers or a leather bikini, the barbarian is considered to be wearing Leather armor.  Also if they are wearing a helmet, treat it as a light shield.  If wearing a metal loincloth or chainmail bikini, this is considered as chainmail.

Leveling Up:

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

STARTING EQUIPMENT

CHOOSE THREE: Short sword, short bow, spear, dagger, axe, mace, or spiked club

ARMOR: Loincloth or leather bikini- 4 AP (2 AP/d6 Usage Die)

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

INTERESTING TRINKET (roll 1d6): 1) memento of lost love who was sold into slavery; 2) dagger of your father, he died defending you from bandits with this; 3) a thick cloak; 4) a piece of old world tech called a “flashlight”- it still works!; 5) a collapsible cooking pot set; 6) a necklace of fangs- the spoils of your first hunt.

LIFE EVENT (roll 1d8): 1) you were a slave and escaped; 2) your mother was killed by croc-men; 3) your village was sacked by a Sorcerer, most of your villagers were taken; 4) you bravely fought off several bandits as a young teenager; 5) while resting under a tree, a spirit appeared and talked to you; 6) you went into ancient ruins on a dare and almost died- a family member saved you; 7) you went on a hunt with your village and landed the killing blow on a great Rhino-lion; 8) the love of your young life died in your arms during a raider attack.

Barbarian 1


Mass Combat Rules (and Even Quicker Mass Combat Rules) for Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- or Any Other Settings/Mechanics, Really…

The other day David Black posted about how he’d do mass combat in his Black Hack games and it reminded me that I had done a post about quick mass combat rules a few years ago for my OSR-style Frankenhack game.

I got to thinking about Barbarians of the Ruined Earth (and Thundarr the Barbarian) and there were a few times when humans rallied around Thundarr and fought along side him, Ookla, and Ariel against a Sorcerer and his evil minions.  I thought it would be a good idea to clean my old rules up a little (and format them), and put them in Barbarians of the Ruined Earth.

Here they are.  Enjoy!

Aside: These rules are actually pretty system-neutral so they could be used in pretty much any ruleset.

Mass Combat

Mass Combat 2

The group has gathered several villages from the surrounding area to stand with them to overthrow the evil Sorcerer Na’gthox.  As a whole, they charge at the Sorcerer’s lair ready to clash with the villain’s robotic brain monsters, which lie between them and the entrance. 

Mass Combat involves dozens, if not hundreds of troops, and can be fun, but confusing and time consuming to engage in.  Here are some quick (and quicker) rules to use in Barbarians of the Ruined Earth.

Macro Level

On the Macro Level, players can communally control the units (or rolls), or just take turns, each controlling a unit.

Units

Units are groups of soldiers that are in measured in Clumps of 5, 10, 15, 20, or 25.   This is abstract, and just to illustrate how big the army is.  The amount of soldiers in a Unit also represents their HP.  For example if a Unit has 2 people remaining, it has 1 HP.  If it has 20 people, it has 4 HP.

For each clump in a Unit, this equals +1 to their attack modifier.  As units are lost, so is the modifier to attack.  For example a Unit of 20 foot soldiers would have 4 HP, and +4 to attack.  If, at the end of the round, a clump of soldiers is lost, the Unit would now have 3 HP and +3 attack.

Units are represented by a die: d4, d6, d8, d10, and d12 (see below).

Units Breakdown

d4: Peasants, skeletons, raiders, zombies, small mutated minions, Slug Men, small animals, etc.

d6: Trained soldiers, Antmen Warriors, beastmen, robots, Pig Raiders, medium animals, etc.

d8: Elite robots, raiders in vehicles, Ape-oids, Hybrid Animals, etc

d10: Car Golem, Pig Raiders in vehicles, large animals, vampires, etc.

d12: Tide Turners (see below)

Other Modifiers

If the players come up with cool and creative ideas, give a +1 or +2 modifier to the roll.  This can be rallying the troops with Saint Crispin’s Day speeches and promises of amazing beer or something else that is clever.

Being lazy or lame and boring gives -2 (steeper penalty for being a putz or poor sport).

Employing weapons like ballistae or traps such as having the ground soaked in tar to light on fire, etc.  That gives +1 each to the attack roll (max of 5 traps for a +5 modifier).

Tide Turners

Tide Turner

Tide Turners are beings like dragons, Squid Men, epic robots, mutated minions riding on a genetically created abomination, or a Sorcerer are a d12.  They count as 1 for 1 unit, have 5 HP and +5 to attack (initially).  These are rolled separately.

How it Works

There is no initiative order.  When engaging in Mass Combat, both sides roll their attack at the same time and work out the results.  Roll each of the die types present, add/subtract modifiers, and compare the results; higher roll wins.  Subtract 1 HP/Clump from the loser.  Ties mean nothing happens.  Once a round is complete roll a 1d6 to see if a Complication has occurred.

A combat example can be found below.

Complications

Every round of Mass Combat, a problem can arise with crazy Stupendous Science, Sorcery, and weapons being used and can go crazy and awry with magic, beasts, arrows, etc flying all over the place.  Roll a d6:

1-4- Battle progresses normally.

5-6- Incident!  See below.

Incident!  (Roll 1d8)

1) Spell explosion rips through the battlefield!  Roll 1d6- 1-2) -1 HP/Attack from your army!; 3-4) -1 HP/Attack from enemy troops!; 5-6) -1 -1 HP/Attack from both groups!

2) The horror of battle begins to take a toll on moral! Roll 1d4) Even: -2 to your next roll; Odd)    -2 to the enemy army’s next roll.

3) Someone makes a great speech or engages in a truly heroic act and bolsters the units!  Roll 1d4) Even: +2 to your next roll; Odd) +2 to the enemy army’s next roll.

4) Misfire!  A trap goes off damaging some of the troops!  Roll 1d4) Even: -1 HP/Attack from your army!; Odd) -1 HP/Attack from enemy troops!

5) The battle presents too good a target for these opportunists!  Some nasty creature joins the fray as a Tide Turner fighting both sides!

6) A Death Priest is able to give much needed aid to units!  Roll 1d4) Even: +1 HP/Attack to your army!; Odd: +1 HP/Attack to enemy troops!

7) Reinforcements arrive just in the knick of time!  Roll 1d4) Even: +1d3 units to your army!; Odd: +1d3 units to enemy troops!

8) What a Mess!  Roll twice on this table (ignoring any further results of 8!

Micro Level

At the Micro Level the players can opt to go “into” combat and control things minutely as their individual characters.  This is resolved per normal combat rules.  Fighting and killing leaders should be handled on the Micro Level.

Combat Example

A small fort of 25 human trained soldiers has fallen under attack by 20 Slug Men and a Squid Man.  The humans have five units (5HP and an attack of +5).  The Slug Men have 4 units (4HP and +4 attack).  The Tide Turner (the Squid Man) has 5 HP and +5 attack.

The human fort has a ballista and three fire traps spread out in the field (this gives +1 each to the humans, for a total of +4).

First round: Humans roll 1d6 and get a 3 for a total of 12 (+5 for attack, +1 for the ballista, and +3 for the fire traps).  The Slug Men rolled a 2 for a total of 6 (+4 for attack).  The humans had the higher roll, effectively killing one unit of the Slug Men troops.  Now the Slug Men will have +3 to attack.

Now the Tide Breaker (Squid Man) wades in and gets a 6 for a total of 11 (+5 to attack).  The humans roll a 3 for a total of 12 (as before).  The humans win again, and take 1 HP off of the Squid Man.

Before Second round: Rolls a 3 on a 1d6 for Complication, no incident.

Second Round: Player suggests throwing rocks over the side of the walls- decent idea, gets +1 for the round.

Humans roll a 6 for a total of 16 (+5 for attack, +1 for the ballista, +3 for the fire traps, and +1 for the throwing rock idea).  The Slug Men roll a 4 for a total of 7.  The humans kill another unit of the invading Slug Men.

The Squid Man rolls a 12 for a total of 16 and the humans roll a 4 for a total of 13.  The Tide Turner kills a unit of humans in a bloody, messy rage (reducing the Human Unit to 4 HP/+4 Attack).

The players decide to go into combat as normal and take control of their characters and deal with the Squid Man directly.

This continues until the combat ends.

Mass Combat 1

Even Quicker Mass Combat Rules

The above Mass Combat rules are quick and easy to use, but some GM’s prefer even quicker, looser rules to move through Mass Combat.  Here is an option Mass Combat ruleset.

This will require up to five dice of a particular type that represents the chosen unit (as was mentioned above for units.

Each die represents 5 Clumps of soldiers per Unit.

The army with the least amount of Clumps is the max amount of dice rolled (IE- Slug Men have 10 troops, for 2d4.  The humans have 15, for 3d6 dice).  For every unit amount above the lesser army, gain +1 to roll to a max of +5.  Roll each die, calculate modifiers, and add totals for each group together.  The higher result wins the round.  Ties mean no one is lost.

Example: Slug Men roll 2d4 and get a 4 and a 2 for a total of 6.  Humans roll 2d6 and get a 4 and a 1 equaling a 5 and a 2 (+1 to each roll for having one unit over) for a total of 7.  The Slug Men lose one die.

Next round the Slug Men roll 1d4 and get a 4 and the human rolls 1d6 (+2 for having two additional Units) and roll a 3.  The Slug Men have rallied and cut through the human soldiers, reducing the humans Units to 2d6.

The third round the Slug Men roll 1d4 and get a 1 and the humans roll 1d6 (+1 for having one additional Unit) and get a 5.  The Slug Men army has been decimated and the humans are victorious.


The Beastman Class for Barbarians of the Ruined Earth, a Thundarr-inspired Setting for The Black Hack

Figured I’d post another class/race from my upcoming Barbarians of the Ruined Earth.  Last time I posted the Robot.  Today we look at the Beastman!

 

Beastman

Beastman 2

Beastmen hail from all over the ruined earth and are as varied in temperament and appearance as any human.  All Beastmen are known for their bestial appearance, strong traditions, and their massive strength.  Beastmen emerged from the ashes of the Ruined Earth, savage, primordial, and tenacious; each tribe fighting to make a home for themselves in the wastes. 

 

“You fear me for my savagery and chastise me for honoring my ancestors, yet you covet my strength, attempting to control my kind by chain, by coin, or by magic.”

 

Starting HP: 1d12+4

Hit Points Per Level/Resting: 1d12 HP

Weapons and Armor: Any and All.

Weapon Damage: 1d8/1d6 Unarmed or Improvised

 

SPECIAL FEATURES

Beastman 4

 

Animal Features: The Beastman has claws and can see in the dark (Nearby radius).

 

Super strong: Has Advantage on feats of strength for lifting stuff, breaking things, flexing muscles, etc (not attack rolls).

 

Impossibly Strong: Once per hour can do impossible feats of strength and be awesome (IE. lift a huge pillar of cement/vehicle/rock/etc.) and throw it, push it, or whatever.  No roll needed.  If this used to attack, it hits automatically and deals 2d10 points of damage.

 

Thick Hide: Once per combat can ignore damage from a physical attack.

 

Leveling Up: Roll all Attributes to see if they increase, roll twice for STR or CON.

 

Mark of the Beast

Determine what animal type makes up the Beastman.  Roll 2d8: 2) Wolf; 3) Bear; 4) Cougar; 5) Alligator; 6) Snake; 7) Armadillo; 8) Badger; 9) Tiger; 10) Lion; 11) Moose; 12) Frog; 13) Mole; 14) Rabbit; 15) Rhino; 16) Roll twice and merge the two (if this is rolled again, ignore).

 

Beastmen Species Names (roll 1d10): 1) Cull; 2) Sylthis; 3) Nok; 4) Kurd; 5) Bryll; 6) Dredge; 7) Grok; 8) Fanth; 9) Ryn; 10) Hulyth

 

STARTING EQUIPMENT

CHOOSE TWO: Short sword, short bow, spear, dagger, axe, mace, or spiked club

ARMOR: Leather Armor- 4 AP (2 AP/d6 Usage Die)

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

Beastman 3 

INTERESTING TRINKET (roll 1d6): 1) a tooth of your father, worn around your neck; 2) the rusted manacles that used to bind you; 3) a flute; 4) a backpack made by your sister; 5) a bag of seeds to plant- given by your village elder; 6) staff made from bones of a great beast

 

LIFE EVENT (roll 1d8): 1) you were a slave and escaped; 2) your father was the tribe leader and was pushed into exile; 3) you fought off slavers who were attempting to take your sister; 4) you watched many of your tribe vaporized by a Sorcerer, somehow you survived; 5) you were down by the river when a Water Weird attacked you.  For some reason, the creature stopped its assault and let you live; 6) while on a hunt you came across the lair of a dragon.  It emerged, talked to you, and let you leave; 7) you won a fighting contest in your youth and are considered a celebrity in your tribe; 8) you stumbled across a lush valley that was fertile, had a fresh river, and defendable.  You’re tribe has relocated here.

Beastman


The Robot Class for Barbarians of the Ruined Earth, a Thundarr-inspired Setting for The Black Hack

I just finished the first draft of Barbarians of the Ruined Earth, my Thundarr the Barbarian inspired setting/rules that uses the awesome The Black Hack.  Now my wife and I will do proofs, I’ll edit, do layout, and commission some sexy art from the super talented Matthew Adams.

I wanted to share one of the classes that will available in the book.  Each class follows the standard Black Hack layout/rules, but I added a starting gear piece and an interesting trinket (the same I did for The Black Hack: Cyber-hacked!) and I added a Life Event d8 table for those who would like to use it.  Each is unique to the class.

In Barbarians of the Ruined Earth I use Race as Class.  The human classes are: Barbarian, Scavenger, and Death Priest.

The non-human classes are: Beastmen, Vek (Raptorfolk), Robot, and Sorcerer (I posted awhile ago that I felt Sorcerers were born of humans, but weren’t humans).

Anyways, here’s the Robot:)

 

Now here’s the Robot Class! 🙂

Robot

 Robot

Robots were constructed in Ancient Earth before the calamity, through Stupendous Science, or through sorcery.  Most Robots are mindless automatons, serving their controller with cool, removed efficiency, but sometimes something goes awry and a Robot gains self-consciousness and free will.  These Robots usually rebel against their masters and strike out on their own, into the wastes. 

 

“I will never feel a cool breeze on my face, enjoy a drink of refreshing water, or truly comprehend humanoid emotions, but I am resilient, my will is mine, and I will never be controlled again.”

 

Starting HP: 1d8+4

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

Weapon and Armor: Fists, clubs, maces, and laser weapons, small and large shields, no armor

Weapon Damage: 1d6/1d4 Unarmed or Improvised

 

SPECIAL FEATURES

Robot 2

Metal Body: Robots cannot wear armor, but their metal body can take a beating.  They always ignore 2 points of damage (regardless of Armor rules in use).

 

Machine: Robots can see in Low Light up to Nearby and are immune to mind-altering effects, poisons, diseases, and don’t need to eat or breathe.  A Robot must shutdown for 8 hours per day to recharge their battery.  The ways of fleshy creatures is alien to Robots and they suffer Disadvantage on Charisma tests for bartering, reactions, etc (unless Diplomatic Model is chosen, see below).  You are immune to non-magical fire damage (not molten metal or magma) and take double damage for electrical sources and are stunned for 1 round.

 

Model: At character creation, choose the Robot model.  Once this choice is made, it is permanent.

 

Combat: This Robot was built to fight for their masters, be it Sorcerer or Ancient Earth governments.  Increase the Robots AP to 3, Weapon damage to 1d8/1d6.  The Robot also gains an additional attack at each odd level (maximum of 5 at 9th level).

 

Medical: Medical Robots produce Medical Gels that they can use to inject a target and heal 1d8+1 HP back.  The first injection does not consume much of the fluid.  After the first injection the Medical Gels has a Usage Die of d4.  Once per day the Robot can attempt to zap a target that has died (rolled a 6 on OofA).  Make a Luck roll and if the result favors the Robot, they bring the character back to life with 1d4 HP.

 

Tracker: Tracker Robots are programed to pick up tracks easily.  Many have been constructed and used by Sorcerers to track runaway slaves.  A Tracker Robot can see in complete Darkness up to Nearby distance, has Advantage on WIS tests to pick up and follow tracks. Tracker Robots are also able to cloak themselves as if invisible (as per the spell, see page XX).

 

Diplomatic: Diplomatic Robots usually act as emissaries for Sorcerers.  Either to appease to humans to surrender to the Sorcerer’s will and submit to servitude or to attempt to smooth relations between two warring or bickering Sorcerers.  Diplomatic Robots do not suffer Disadvantage to Charisma rolls.  Diplomatic Robots are also built with a second function; to be an assassin.  Both hands have retractable blades (see dual wielding rules, pg XX) if they attack a target from behind or that is unawares, they roll with Disadvantage and deal 2d6+level damage.

 

Leveling Up:

Roll all Attributes to see if they increase, roll twice for STR and INT

 

STARTING EQUIPMENT

WEAPON: Fists and laser pistol

ARMOR: Small Shield- 2 AP (1 AP/d4 Usage Die)

ADDITIONAL: Ammo for laser pistol, torches x6 (d6), and healing salve (1 Hit Dice of HP restored).

 

INTERESTING TRINKET (roll 1d6): 1) keepsake from the first person that treated you as if you were a living creature; 2) a tin full of human teeth; 3) an Ancient Earth World War II army helmet; 4) a baby doll that “coos” when you shake it; 5) a beat up fedora hat and trench coat; 6) a robotic teddy bear that you can put cassette tapes in and listen to music and stories

 

LIFE EVENT (roll 1d8): 1) a generous Stupendous Scientist found you and made you self-aware, teaching you the values of compassion and humanity; 2) the first person that realized you were sentient tried to reboot your system.  You killed them and hid their body; 3) you were almost broken down into scrap after you refused to obey orders.  You killed the machinist and fled; 4) you were an automaton in a powerful Sorcerer’s army for years.  Many humans were caught and subjugated or killed because of you.  You seek repentance for your deeds; 5) you do not understand the whining and prattling of humanoids and have mouthed off more than a few times and been chased from towns; 6) you served the elder of a human village for several years before he died.