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 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



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



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.


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!🙂



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



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



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.

Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- Hybrid Animal Monster

I am nearly done with Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- a Thundarr the Barbarian inspired game for The Black Hack.  I’ll start posting more about this game and Death is the New Pink (another book I’m nearly done with that uses the awesome Into the Odd rules).

Intro:Over two thousand years ago the world was torn asunder when an alien planet crashed into our moon, utterly shattering it.  Destruction rained down from the sky, nearly annihilating all life on Earth.  Humankind persevered, but the Earth was forever changed as alien matter mixed with our own and a new, bizarre world has risen from the ashes of the old; a world of depravity, stupendous science, and nefarious sorcery!

Not content with a life of mundane toil, you have cast off the chains of oppression and travel with companions, brave and bold, pitting your cunning, bravery, and talents against the forces of darkness and tyranny!


Over two thousand years ago the world as we know it now was forever changed. Humankind was nearly wiped off the face of the Earth when an alien planet hurtled into the moon, shattering it. Chunks of the moon and the alien world fell to the Earth, bringing destruction and chaos. As time passed our world was changed from the contamination of the alien debris. Strange plant-life, creatures and technology dot the landscape. Many of Earth’s own inhabitants were changed and mutated during these dark times.  As ages passed beings born from humans, but not of our kind began appearing, able to wield awesome powers and cast magical spells. In time these beings began using incredible scientific inventions and their spells to subjugate and rule humankind: the Age of Sorcerers had begun.

The world as we know it is no more, although the ruins of once great cities, military bases, science stations, and monuments can still be found. New swamps, mountains, deserts, and foreign, alien landscapes now exist.

Hybrid Animal

Hybrid Animal 4

Hybrid Animals are natural creatures that have been altered through genetic manipulation of Sorcerers or simply as a result of the calamity that destroyed the earth.  These creatures roam the Ruined Earth; some are a terror to settlements, while others flee and shy away from humanoids.  Each Hybrid Animal is unique (although it can have similar offspring).

To generate a creature first roll 1d6: Even) Roll twice; Odd) Roll thrice for its Forms.

Once you have the creature’s forms, roll for its HD: Roll 2d4- this is the creatures HD and determines HP, Armor, and damage.

When done, see below for Fantastic Ability.  For size, describe it at a size that makes sense to you, its forms and HD.

Hybrid Animal 3

Hybrid Animal  
Roll 1d20+1d10 Forms Special Ability
2 Bear Bite and claws
3 Snake Poison bite- CON test or suffer 2d4 CON damage (temporary).
4 Scorpion Pincers and poison tail- CON test or paralyzed for 1d4 rounds.
5 Lizard Chameleon- Disadvantage to spot when hiding.
6 Duck Flight
7 Rabbit Fast- Can move to Not So Nearby as a move action.
8 Wolf Bite
9 Dog Bite
10 Cat Agile- Disadvantage on attacks against target.
11 Lion Claws and bite
12 Bat Flight
13 Raccoon Stealth- Disadvantage to spot when hiding.
14 Zebra Agile- Disadvantage on attacks against target.
15 Swan Flight
16 Spider Climb- Can climb up even sheer surfaces; Web- cast Web spell (pg XX) once per hour.
17 Vulture Flight
18 Hawk Flight
19 Slug Slimy and sticky- Targets must make DEX test or become stuck in its trail.
20 Rhino Horn and Thick Hide- Increase AP by 2.
21 Hippo Thick Hide- Increase AP by 2.
22 Mole Burrow- Can burrow in the ground easily as if it were water.
23 Fox Agile- Disadvantage on attacks against target.
24 Cougar Claws
25 Panther Claws and Stealth- – Disadvantage to spot when hiding.
26 Moth Flight
27 Alligator Bite and Thick Hide- Increase AP by 2.
28 Centipede Poison- CON test or become paralyzed until successful test is made.
29 Millipede Poison- CON test or become paralyzed until successful test is made.
30 Armadillo Thick Hide- Increase AP by 3.

Hybrid Animal 5

Fantastic Ability:

Roll a 1d8- if the result is a 7 or 8 the creature has an additional special ability.


Fantastic Ability
Roll 1d8 Result
1 Fire Breath– Spew a cone of fire at Close Targets for 3d8 damage.
2 Magical Immunity– Spells cannot effect this creature.
3 Invisibility– The creature can go invisible at will.
4 Massive– The creature is huge, increase HD by 2 (increase HP, Armor, and Damage accordingly).
5 Intelligent– The creature is highly intelligent and uses this to its advantage.
6 Shape Changer– Can change its shape into other creatures and gain its abilities.
7 Resilient– All damage against the creature is halved.
8 Hypnotic– The creature’s gaze can hold people captive as per Hold Person spell (pg XX)



Example Creature:

Wolf Rhino Scorpion

HD 7; AP 8 (6); Attack: Bite (3d6); Horn (3d6); Pincers (3d6)

Special: Thick Hide: Increase AP by 2.

Poison Tail: CON test or paralyzed for 1d4 rounds.

Hybrid Animal 2

Cat Lion

HD 3; AP 2 (2); Attack: Claws (1d10); Bite (1d10)

Special: Agile: Disadvantage on attacks against target.

Shape Changer: Can change its shape into other creatures and gain its abilities.


Hybrid Animal 1

Take a Stand- Black Lives Matter

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve heard about the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of police officers.

These latest acts of murder of African Americans has caused national outrage, shock, and sadness.  People are gathering together to show support for the families of the victims, to draw solidarity from their community, and to send a message to our government, “stop targeting black people.”

These murders have fueled new postings, rallies, gatherings, protests, etc. of #blacklivesmatter movement to get our communities motivated to take a stand at what is happening to black people, not just in America, but around the world.  But of course, with any posting or person saying “black lives matter,” someone has to chip in (almost as if they are correcting them), “No, ALL lives matter…”  Well fucking duh, all lives DO matter, but that’s not what is at stake here… Not all lives are being targeted by police and harassed by our government.  Whites are not being prayed on…  When I am pulled over by the police, even when I have been bullied by an overaggressive officer, it is an inconvenience- something to forget about over a pint of tasty beer- but NEVER once have I thought my life may be in danger when pulled over.  Never once have I ever had to face the fear or harassment that African Americans deal with.

What Can We Do

Be active; speak up; don’t settle.  I am NOT speaking about violence in any means.  Violence solves nothing and just creates more violence, a heightened police state, and it harms communities, and possibly means more loved ones end up in a box in the ground.

Killer Mike, during a radio interview gave an impassioned interview about taking money out of the hands of those that persecute or refuse to aid the black community, and keeping it within their own areas.

Nikia Jones, a black police officer speaks passionately about what can be done in black communities, being role-models, and stopping the violence.  She also talks about the shameful acts of the police and why she took up the badge.

I’ve spent more time on Facebook the last few days, reading articles and observing people’s reactions to these latest atrocities.  Often times I see people saying stuff like, “I pray for the families of the victims,” or “god save us from what the world has become!” First of all- don’t fucking pray.  It does nothing. It’s inaction to make you feel better about yourself and your “believies“.  Praying to a magical man in the sky before you go to bed is NOT going to stop cops from killing people, or from violence in general.  Shouting “God save us all from what the world has become” only validates your beliefs and does nothing for the victims.  It is an echo chamber.  If your god wouldn’t stop those two men from being shot unjustly, what makes you think he’s gonna give a rat’s fucking ass about the aftermath?  You’re on your own.  Get up and talk to people.  Read articles on the internet, Facebook, Google Plus, or the newspaper.  Take the time to read them.  Make sure you +1 them (on Google Plus), Like them (Facebook), retweet them, or *gasp* take time to actually comment on them.  Have a discussion.  Don’t be afraid of “offending” someone on your friend groups of whatever social media you use, because this.shit.matters.  This is about the state of our government, the treatment of an entire race of people, and their quality of life.  Brush of your apathy and “I’m so busy, I don’t have time” lifestyle and take the time to actually read about the stuff that is going on and comment on it, challenge the norm instead of liking a picture of about a fucking cat or someone’s fucking kid.

This is about taking a stand.  This is about, as a nation of so many different ethnic groups, beliefs, and cultures, speaking up and saying NOT IN MY COUNTRY!  No more murders! No more brutality or profiling!  It is about looking at our police state and different ways it can be restructured and reformed.

Don’t start tomorrow, don’t brush it off because of your oh so busy schedule.  Take a moment and reflect that people have lost their lives and it’s directly related to the state our country is in and that black people have to fear (and expect) this kind of behavior.  Take a moment today and start supporting.

Weapon and Armor Generator for Sword and Sorcery (or Sword and Planet) for Black Hack (and other systems)

Here is what I’ll be using to generate weapons and armor (can be used on the fly) for the upcoming Black Hack project I’m working on inspired by Thundarr the Barbarian.

I wanted to keep it rules-lite to be in the same vein as Black Hack, and more loose and systemless so it could be used with other OSR systems (if desired).


Weapon Generator

Sword Art by Bryan Baugh

Piece by Bryan Baugh

These charts will generate weapons on the fly.  The GM will need to fill in a few blanks with what makes sense for their setting and world, but the information given is more than enough to help fill in those missing pieces.


First roll for weapon Type, then Style.  Roll on appropriate Style generated.  Finally roll on damage type.  If Bizarre type is rolled, there is a final table to roll on for the strange properties.  Three examples are provided on page XX.


Weapon Type
Roll 1d6 Result
1-3 Melee
4-6 Ranged


Weapon Style
Roll 1d6 Result
1-3 One handed
4-6 Two handed



Melee Style
Roll 1d8 Result
1 Hammer
2 Sword
3 Club
4 Knife*
5 Axe
6 Spear*
7 Saw
8 Staff

* Can be thrown as well.


Sword Art 1


Ranged Style
Roll 1d12 Result
1 Crossbow
2 Dart
3 Short bow
4 Long bow
5 Whip
6 Pistol
7 Shotgun
8 Machine gun**
9 Rifle
10 Blow gun
11 Sling
12 Grenade

** Can be used at full auto.  Increase damage by +3 and the range of the Usage Die for ammo consumption to 1-4 instead of 1-2.



Damage Type
Roll 1d20 Result
1-5 Metal
6-8 Ceramic
9-11 Mechanical
12-14 Recycled Rubbish
15 Laser
16 Stun
17 Electrical (energy)
18 Explosive
19 Heat
20 Bizarre (roll below)


Sword Art 2

Bizarre Weapon Properties
Roll 1d8 Result
1 Alien tech
2 Disintegrating
3 Mind control
4 Poisonous
5 Singularity
6 Shrinking
7 Sonic
8 Paralyzing



Armor Generator

These charts will generate armor and shields.  The GM will need to fill in a few blanks with what makes sense for their setting and world, but the information given is more than enough to help fill in those missing pieces.


First roll for armor construction, then type.  Roll on appropriate Style generated.  An example is provided on page XX.




Armor Construction
Roll Result
1 Rock
2 Animal hide
3 Metallic
4 Exoskeleton
5 Wood
6 Sturdy loin cloth/chainmail bikini
7 Padded Cloth
8 Recycled Rubbish




Armor Type
Roll Type Standard Rules AP Better Armor Rules AP Better Armor UD
1-4 Light 2 1 d4
5-7 Medium 4 2 d6
8-9 Heavy 6 3 d8
10 Dense 8 4 d10
11 Light Shield 2 1 d4
12 Heavy Shield 4 2 d6


Weapon Example 1: Melee- two handed metal staff


Weapon Example 2: Ranged- two handed shotgun (explosive).  Anyone in Close range to the target takes half damage from explosion (GM decision).


Weapon Example 3: Ranged- one handed crossbow (bizarre- shoots shrinking bolts).  Target struck by these bolts are shrunk to roughly 2d6 inches in height (GM decision).


Armor Example 1:  Light- Recycled rubbish (aluminum cans and traffic signs)





Land of the Spirits- Group 2, Session 3 Recap- The Shadows of Bibble Babble

Last session the group decided to help out a cute race of Spirits, called Sbildams, that were plagued by evil creatures at night.





Shadow Creature…Spoooky

The group waited at night to encounter these baddies and fought quite a few of them off.  When the fight was over the group went to examine the bodies of the shadow creatures only to find the bodies of several Sbildams…  The group knew some evil magics were at work here.  Suddenly it began to rain and a cackle carried on the wind and dozens of white orb eyes appeared in the darkness.  The group made a run for it and took refuge in a turnip house.  Thus we ended the session there.

Fighting Against the Darkness


Nate- Heithcliff, Clan of Fang Hexer

John- Bunq, Barnlig Spirit Master

Not Present: Fletch- Clan of Tusk Shaman

Omar- Brigam, Human Shielded Warrior (NPC’d his character)

Gene- Unnamed, Human Ravager (NPC’d his character)

Liam- Ary, Clan of Fang Hunter

We were light on people who could play, so I NPC’d Omar and Gene’s characters to help Nate and John with everything.  

The group took a look in the house and saw the front door and two windows.  Immediately the creatures outside started banging/scratching on the door and windows.  There was a thudding and grunting coming from a full-sized wardrobe at the south end of the room.  The opened it and saw a human gagged and tied.  His massive two-handed axe against the back wall of the wardrobe.

Nate removed his gag and Unnamed explained that he had arrived in Bibble Babble the previous evening and was welcomed by the Sbildams; however, as the sun set he saw a change come over the Spirits and they transformed into shadowy creatures.  They jumped him and eventually overpowered him.  He woke up stuffed into the wardrobe.  He vowed to help the group figure out what was going on.  They untied him and he gathered his gear.

With that the door burst open and a large ball of shadow rolled into the room.  Uncurling itself was a giant worm.

Shadow Worm Nate, Omar, and Gene engaged the worm while John ran around the room and blocked the windows with a spice shelf/pan cupboard on the east end of the turnip house and a bed on the west.  One shadow creature made it through the window before John could get the bed into place.  The fight was pretty quick, but Gene and Omar took a few hard knocks.

Aside: We decided to try the variant armor rules from Additional Things for Black Hack.  I wanted to see if I liked it better for Land of the Spirits.  John and Nate really seemed to like it.  

Aside 2: The challenge with the armor variant is remembering to roll the Usage Die to see if the armor is reduced after taking some hits.  Also rolling the Usage Die for ammo, etc.  So I’m pondering not using Usage Die until the end of the session for EVERYTHING.  When the session comes to an end each player rolls their various Usage Die at a Disadvantage to see how/what was consumed and used.  I’m not sure if this will work well, but I’m just thinking of ease/simplicity.  

After the fight the group was able to rest and regain some much needed HP and John was able to gain his spell slots back.  When Nate was on guard he investigated the house and found several items worth taking: a silver dagger, a small shield, a alabaster vase, and a healing potion hidden in the spice rack.

The next morning the group vacated the house to find the village of Bibble Babble completely deserted.  They investigated a few houses and the Spirit Leaders home to no avail.  Nate suggested they look at the trail they had found last session.  They could tell it was more heavily traveled than last night.  With a sigh and a “this is probably a bad idea” resignation the group tromped into the woods.

Into the Woods

The group walked through the woods for nearly an hour before Omar’s character stepped into a trap of quicksand.  The group threw him a rope and as they began to pull him out, were attacked from behind by a group of rodents of unusual size with shadowed eyes. Gene’s character and Nate killed the rodents while John attempted to save Omar, but made little progress until Nate and John could work together.

After walking a little longer the group came across a cave that had a blackish ichor dripping from the walls.  After a few moments the group came across a holy symbol of the Wind spirits- thinking it was the Spirit Leader’s, they scooped it up and put it in John’s backpack.

Walking on the group eventually came across the Spirit Leader laid on a stone slab and encased in a hardened black ichor encasing.  Nate began breaking it off, but made too much noise, bringing a Shadowed Hulk to attack them.

Heartless Hulk

Nate got pounded by the creature, but eventually it was killed- revealing the body of the blacksmith.

With Tygan, the Spirit Leader freed, they decided to continue into the cave.  Tygan offered to take up the rear to guard against attacks from behind and cast Light on his hand.  The group, desperate for help, agreed.

The group traveled through twisting tunnels for another half an hour before hearing the all too familiar chittering to the Shadow creatures in the darkness.  Three of them came rushing at the party from in front of them.  Omar and Nate formed a wall to block them.  Two crashed in to their shields while the third jumped on the shoulders of his comrades and jumped over them and right in front of John.  The group engaged the creatures and heard a squelching noise behind them, but chose to ignore it.

They killed one of the shadowed creatures, but the other two were still going strong.  John felt a blast of cold hit him in the back, suffering damage but shaking of the freezing effect.  He turned around to see that Tygan had transformed into a hideous worm-like creature. His neck, arms, and legs all stretched and gross.


“Fools” he screeched, “I consumed the energy of the Tygan weeks ago and have spent too long transforming the villagers into my minions and consuming their energies to let you interfere!  I will consume you all and use your bones to summon evils into this world!  The Ice Queen promised me ample prey to spread chaos here- and she was not mistaken!”

The fight was hard, and John was knocked unconscious twice during it, but eventually the group killed all three shadow creatures and the Worm Priest.  The fallen shadow creatures were two named NPCs from the village and a nameless one.  They lost Furgen from the General Goods store and Baubles, the oddities shop curator.

With the Worm Priest dead, the ichor on the cave walls vanished almost immediately and they heard the freed villagers coming up from the depths of the cave.

The Aftermath

The villagers were deeply saddened by the lose of Tygan and so many of their friends and family, but were thankful for the help the group gave them- understanding they all would have perished if they had not acted.

The group stayed in the village for several days, resting up and recovering from their wounds.  As a reward, Hyssen the Healer- now the acting village leader- gave the group Tygan’s Spirit Amulet of Air (once per day it would create a wind wall around the wearer and deflect any missile attack aimed at them- 1 hour duration), 50 gold bits, 2 short bows and 2 quivers full of arrows, and replenished their rations and water.

Eventually the group set out on their original course towards the Spirit capital, Nobbelberg, which was still at least 3 or 4 days to the north.  As the group traveled they noticed the trees were becoming muted and drained of color, becoming grey and brown.  The ground was blackish…  frogs croaked, owls hooted, crows cawed, and crickets chipped.  They traveled and were convinced they should see Nobbelberg any time now, but it never came.  The smell of rot and ruin greeted their noses as they pushed through a full-fledged bog.

The group came to a clearing and saw a swampy scene in front of them; a ramshackle village in the distance.  In front of them was a rickety dock with a rowboat and an albino bow with a straw hat and elf ears lying on the dock.

He greeted them and said, “well!  Visitors!  We haven’t had visitors in quite some time.  You fellers ain’t from around here, are ya?”  The group explained that they were headed to Nobbelberg and seemed to have gone off course.  “Well shucks, Nobbleberg is over yonder (pointed NW) about 5 or 6 days, I think.  We ain’t had anyone from there in years.”

Nate asked if the youth had noticed anything strange or odd occurring in the area lately.  The youth smiled, showing yellowed, cracked teeth, “Aw hell guys, this is the town of Grey- there’s always something going on here.   Why don’t you hope in my boat and I’ll take you over.”

“Great” John and Nate both said in  unison.  With that the group hopped into the boat and rowing towards the small village of Grey…

Next time- a tour of beautiful and pleasant Scenic Dunnsmouth.


Further Ponderings on Sorcerers- Alternative Magic Casting for Black Hack

As I continue to watch Thundarr the Barbarian, my brain ponders all the different things I can do with an upcoming project I’m working on, collaborating with Talon Waite; right now particularly focused on Sorcerers.

I was thinking about Swords and Sorcery and how in the stories there really isn’t a spell list, and that casters searched for forbidden knowledge and artifacts, but didn’t go hunting for new spells and scrolls…  This is also true for what I see in Thundarr.

One of the best systems I’ve seen to nail this type of format is Barbarians of Lemuria.  It’s a great little RPG.  However, my love right now is with the Black Hack and Into the Odd, and Dungeon Crawl Classics.  Each one serving a specific purpose in my warm, fuzzy OSR-beating heart.

I decided to cook up some quick rules, inspired by Barbarians of Lemuria, for Black Hack.


Black Hack Alternate Casting Rules


Sorcerers do not have spell lists or large tomes with spells scrolled in them.  They manipulate the very energy of the planet and cosmos to bring their will into manifestation.  A player describes what they wish to accomplish and through discussion determine what power level the spell is.



Each time a Sorcerer casts a spell, they roll a Usage Die as outlined in The Black Hack (page 8).  If the result is a 1-2, the die is reduced by one level.  Certain spell levels affect how this is rolled (see Power description below).  With a full night of rest, the Usage Die is raised one level.



Sorcerer Usage Die
Level Usage Die
1-2 d4
3-4 d6
5-6 d8
7+ d10




Example: Buzzfor the Grognard Wizard (5rd level) summons forth a ball of light to hover by his head, acting as a torch.  The GM and they player agree that this is a Power of the Sun level spell.  After the spell is cast, Buzzfor rolls a d8 Usage Die, with the result being a 1.  Buzzfor’s Usage Die is now reduced to a d6.  Later in the dungeon the group is besieged by a horde of undead.  Buzzfor decides to summon a wreath of fire to destroy these monstrosities.  The GM and the player agree that this is a Power of the Moon level spell.  Buzzfor rolls two d6 Usage Die and takes the lower result, which is a 2.  The Sorcerer’s endurance is slipping and his Usage die is now a d4.  After a good night sleep, Buzzfor’s Usage Die is increased from d4 to d6.  If Buzzfor doesn’t reduce his Usage Die through the day and gets another solid night of rest, he will be back to a full d8 Usage Die. 


Inner Strength: Once per day if the Sorcerer has expended all their magical power, if they rest for an hour they can get a second wind, bringing their Usage Die back to a d4.


Power of the Sun (Power Level 1)

sorcerer 2

The sorcerer pulls forth the power of the sun and is able to cast simple spells.  The sorcerer is able to wrap themselves in armor, deflect arrows, cure wounds, healing 1d8 HP, levitate off the ground, shoot out energy beams that deal 1d4/level points of damage, put a person into an enchanted sleep, blind a target, ensnare a target’s mind, making them a puppet for the sorcerer and the like.


As a rule of thumb treat Power of the Sun spells as 1st and 2nd level spells.


Power of the Moon (Power level 2)

sorcerer 1

The sorcerer taps into the power of the moon and casts powerful spells.  The sorcerer can summon waves of flame on their enemy, dealing 1d6/level damage to all nearby targets, see in the dark, even magical, transform themselves or another into a different creature, conjure a bridge of light to walk across a gorge, fly, bring forth walls of fire, ice, or stone, or even heal grievous wounds for 3d8+3 hit points.


Power of the Moon spells are extremely taxing and drain the sorcerer quickly; roll two Usage Dice and take the lower of the two as your result.


As a rule of thumb treat Power of the Moon spells as 3rd and 4th level spells.


Power of the Eclipse (Power Level 3)

sorcerer 3

When the sun and moon overlap, true power is obtained.  The sorcerer pulls energy from bot the sun and the moon and is able to cast truly powerful and dangerous spells.  The sorcerer can touch a target, killing them instantly, cause a plague to ravage a village, topple the stone keep, bringing it crumbling to the ground, summon powerful elementals, summon an acidic cloud that melts all in a Nearby radius, and even teleport great distances.


Power of the Eclipse spells exhaust the sorcerer, do not roll the Usage Die, but automatically reduce it by one level.

As a rule of thumb treat Power of the Eclipse spells as 5th and 6th level spells.


Power of the Cosmos (Power Level 4)

Sorcerer 4

The Power of the Cosmos are extremely powerful spells and not able to be cast at random and on a whim.  These spells can only be cast by ritual and require a Rare Special Component, a Lesser Special Component, 2d100+100 gold, and take 2d4+6 hours to cast.  See below for Rare and Lesser Special Componens.


Through the Power of the Cosmos the sorcerer is able to bring forth powerful earthquakes, utterly destroying the country side, completely resurrect a person from nothing, control the weather, bring forth meteors from the stars to crash down on an area, summon powerful demons, and even stop time itself.


Spells that are cast through a ritual can be stored in a ring or staff to be used at a later date.  A sorcerer can only have one stored ritual at one time.


As rule of thumb treat Power of the Cosmos spells as 7th level and beyond.



Rare Special Components
Roll Result
1 Dragon’s liver
2 Tears of a baby
3 Unicorn hair
4 Demon toe nails
5 Bottled sun light
6 Eyes of a witch
7 Breath of a dying man
8 Petrified goat stomach
9 Head of a gorgon
10 Enchanted
11 Lock of hair from a princess
12 A magic item that will be consumed in the spell



Rare Special Components
Roll Result
1 Enchanted spider webs
2 Goblin eye balls
3 Wolf fangs
4 Feet of a bird of prey
5 Squished toad
6 Deadly poison
7 Ruby worth 200gp
8 Kobold spleen
9 Troll slobber
10 The broken sword of a fallen warrior
11 Blood of the sorcerer (lose 1d4 HP)
12 1 pound of worm infested, freshly dug earth