Thursday, July 30, 2020

Rocker (a class for Barbarians of the Ruined Earth)

Mike Evans recently dropped his Barbarians of the Ruined Earth rpg, and I'm hella excited for it. It's groovy combination of Thundarr, He-Man, and Mad Max with awesome art and a simple and hackable system. I was eager to make some custom classes for it. 

The Rocker is my take on a heavy-metal rock-n-roll post-apoc bard. They channel their magical powers through special guitars. Since their magic comes from the electrical might of rock-n-roll, they don't have anything as subtle as a sleep or charm spell. Their magic is brash and loud. I wanted to make their magical songs work different from the Sorcerer and Death Priest's powers, so I cribbed the magic rules from Mike's own DIY RPG Rules Playtest. I think they'll work pretty good for what I want. Spending HP to cast seems like a good way to balance power abuse, too. I haven't had a chance to playtest this class yet, so I'm eager to see how well it works.



Far beyond the broken moon, behind the burning stars lies the Screaming Electric Void—the primal roiling chaos of pre-creation. Certain people, the Rockers, can channel this power through their body and soul to create amazing magical effects, shaped by the force of their own will and their custom-made super-guitars. Rockers are heavy metal warrior-poets, empowered by ecstatic rites and dedicated to bringing rock-and-roll freedom to the enslaved and oppressed!

“You might kill me, but you’ll never kill the power of ROCK!”

  • Staring HP: 1d8+4
  • HP Per Level/Resting: 1d8
  • Weapons & Armor: Light armor, all shields, daggers, all swords, all axes, energy weapons, their personal guitar.
  • Attack Damage: 1d6/1d4 Unarmed or Improvised

Special Features

Rock-n-Roll Lifestyle: The Rocker has advantage on all tests against drugs, alcohol, or poisons, both mundane and magical. Additionally, the Rocker can live on booze and drugs alone. Treat alcohol as water and narcotics as rations. 

Mosh Pit: If the Rocker can hear loud music while fighting they gain +1 DR and inflict normal weapon damage with unarmed attacks. 

Axeman: The Rocker has a custom made tricked-out electric guitar (their “axe”) powered by the Rocker’s own life-force. This self-amplified instrument is an extension of the Rocker’s own body and soul and is used to play all their powerful songs. It is their connection to the Screaming Electric Void beyond the stars. If the Rocker should ever loose their Axe, they can build a new one with a week of downtime and access to scrap metal and spare parts. 

The Rocker’s Axe gives them advantage on all rolls related to mundane musical performance. The Axe is also tricked out with spikes, blades, chainsaws and other dangerous decorations that allow the Rocker to use his guitar as a melee weapon. When wielding the guitar as a melee weapon, the Rocker can use it either one handed or two handed.

The Magic Power of the Music in Me: The Rocker can use their Axe to play powerful rock-n-roll songs that have magical effects. To play a song, the rocker must have both hands free to play their guitar and must be able to sing. This music is spiritually and physically taxing. The Rocker makes a CHA roll. If the roll succeeds, they successfully perform the song and the effort costs them 1d3hp. If the roll fails, they still successfully perform the song, but the effort costs them 1d6hp. If they roll a 20, the song doesn’t work at all, the rocker loses 1d6hp, and they cannot play the song again until the next dawn. If the roll is equal to or less than both the Rocker’s CHA and their Level, the song is performed successfully and does not cost the Rocker any Hit Points. 

Despite the name, some “Songs” are just quick riffs of blazing guitar chords. Others are full songs that must be played to completion. The CHA roll should be made and Hit Point cost paid when the song is completed.  

The Rocker knows two Songs at first level and learns a new Song every even level thereafter, to a maximum of 7 songs at 10th level. 

Rocker Songs

  1. Blazing Electric Death (play time: 1 action): All creatures—friend or foe—within Nearby distance of the Rocker take 1d6 damage from fire, lightning, and deadly guitar licks. Armor will not protect them.
  2. Face Melter (play time: 1 action): Inflicts 1d6 damage on one target and liquifies their eyeballs (armor will not protect them). The target is rendered blind until the hp damage is healed. At 10th level, the damage increases to 2d6 and the blindness is permanent.
  3. Screaming for Vengeance (play time: 1 action): The Rocker chooses a target that wounded them or an ally within the last round and unleashes their anger in a furious sonic attack. The target takes 2d6 damage. Armor will not protect them.
  4. Bow-Chicka-Wa-Wa (play time: 3d4 minutes): Choose two creatures within Not So Nearby range and include both their names in the song. If they have sex with each other before the next sunrise, they will both get pregnant, regardless of age, health, or biology. 
  5. Triumph of the Glory of Me (play time: 1 action): All friendly characters within Nearby range have advantage on the first roll they make the following round. 
  6. You're the One They Can't Beat (play time: 1 action): A creature within Nearby range is healed for 1d6hp. The Rocker cannot heal themselves. 
  7. I. Am. Iron. Man. (play time: 1 action): The Rocker's skin turns to living metal and gains DR: 3 for the next 2d6 rounds. 
  8. Blow the Doors Off the Place (play time: 1d6 minutes): All doors, windows, or other portals instantly and violently blow open, even if held shut by magic or super science. 
  9. Bat Out of Hell (play time: 1 action): The Rocker sprouts giant flaming bat wings from their shoulders. For the next 3d6 rounds, the Rocker can fly as fast as they can walk, but they must continue to play their guitar the entire time. If they stop playing, the effect ends and they fall. 
  10. Hard Rock Zombies (play time: 3d6 minutes): The Rocker can resurrect a dead corpse as a Hard Rock Zombie under his command. The zombie has 2hp per level of the Rocker, DR: 1, and inflicts 1d6 damage. Hard Rock Zombies are stupid but will follow the Rocker’s commands to the best of their ability. If given instruments, they are surprisingly competent musicians. The zombies exist until destroyed. The Rocker can create and control a number of zombies equal to their level (though they must perform the song multiple times to do so). However, if the Rocker ever has more than 1 zombie under their control, they must roll 1d10 every sundown. If the result is equal or under the number of zombies, they decide to kick the Rocker out of the band and immediately attack their former leader. 
  11. Power Ballad (play time: 2d4 minutes): State an emotion when playing this song. Every thinking creature within Not So Nearby range is instilled with that emotion for the next 2d6 minutes. This duration increased to 1d6 hours at 5th level. Social interaction that play upon that emption have Advantage on any associated rolls. 
  12. Stage Effects (play time: 1 action): The Rocker’s song creates minor audio-video illusionary effects within Not so Nearby range. The illusions can be as large as a bear and/or as loud as a trumpet. At 5th level, these effects can be as large as an elephant or as loud as an amplified guitar. The effects last for 2d6 minutes. The Rocker must continue playing his Axe for the duration or the effects end instantly. 
  13. Through the Fire and Flame (play time: 1 action) For the next 3d6 rounds, the rocker is utterly immune to mundane or magical fire. However, they must continue to play their guitar the entire time. If they stop, the effect instantly ends. 
  14. The Hellion (play time: 4d6 minutes) The Rocker summons a minor demon to lend him aid. The hellion has 3HD, DR:2, and is immune to fire. The hellion is intelligent, but not terribly bright. It acts as the Rocker’s friend—but that kind of troublesome friend that always wants to borrow money and drinks all your beer. The summoning lasts until the next sunrise or until the demon is destroyed or banished. At 5th level, the summoning lasts for a week. At 10th level the summoning is permanent or until the demon is destroyed or banished. The Rocker can only have one Hellion summoned at a time. 
  15. Cities on Flame (play time: 1 action): The Rocker’s guitar is imbued with the power of demons and dragons, letting the instrument spew fire. For the next 2d6 rounds, the Rocker can use their guitar to make Ranged attacks up to Far Away range and inflict 1d6 damage. If the damage die rolls a 5 or 6, the target catches on fire and takes 1d4 damage each round for the next 1d6 rounds. 
  16. Highway Star (play time: 4d6 minutes): The Rocker’s song conjures a badass car from the depths of Hell. It’s a killing machine--big bad tires and everything. The summoned vehicle functions as a normal Raider Hot Rod in all ways, but the paint job is hella’ sweet. The car remains for 1 hour per Rocker level or until destroyed. At 10th level, the summoning is permanent until the car is destroyed. The Rocker can only have one car summoned at a time.
  17. Heavy Metal Thunder (play time: 5d6 minutes): The Rocker calls up a violent thunderstorm that effects an area 1 mile across for each level the Rocker has. The storm produces punishing rain, strong winds, and damaging hail as well as lighting and thunder. The storm lasts for 10 minutes per level of the Rocker. Despite its furiosity and supernatural origin, the storm functions in all ways like a powerful but mundane summer storm. 
  18. I’m a Lumberjack, Baby (play time: 1 action): The Rocker’s Axe is temporarily augmented with a nuclear-powered chainsaw. For the next 2d6 rounds, roll all melee damage for the guitar with advantage. 
  19. Beat on the Brat (play time: 1 action): The rocker chooses a target within Nearby range. For the next 1d3 rounds, all attacks against that targets are made at advantage. The Song does not affect targets with more HD than the Rocker has levels. 
  20. Don’t Fear the Reaper (play time: 1 action): Choose a target you can see and whose name you know. If they are taken Out of Action within the next 1d6 rounds, when they roll on the OofA table they can roll twice and take the result they prefer. 

Leveling Up

Roll all Attributes to see if they increase, roll twice for CON and CHA. 

Starting Equipment

Weapons: Your “Axe” and two daggers
Armor: Leather jacket (1RP)
Additional: Narcotics (1d6), booze (1d6), bedroll, torches x6 (d6), healing salve (1 HD of HP restored)

Interesting Trinkets (1d6)

  1. Cowboy hat decorated with tiny skulls
  2. Jar of corpse-paint
  3. Several brightly colored silk scarves
  4. Shoebox full of Molly Hatchet 8-tracks
  5. Lucky guitar pick on a thin chain
  6. Silver lightning bolt keychain

Life Event (1d8)

  1. Your lover was kidnapped by an evil sorcerer. 
  2. Your family was enslaved by a religious cult dedicated to the elimination of free thought. 
  3. You used to travel with a group of three other Rockers, but you had some sort of falling out. Now you’re all bitter enemies and rivals. 
  4. You learn how to play guitar when you made a deal with a rock-n-roll demon at the crossroads. At some point he’s going to demand payment. 
  5. You spent a week black-out drunk on a klartesh bender. You woke up here, thousands of miles from where you started, unsure of how you got here. 
  6. Your Axe used to belong to the old guitar-master who lived in a cave atop a storm-wracked mountain. He taught you all you know before he ascended to Rock-n-Roll Heaven. 
  7. A rival Rocker humiliated you in a guitar contest.
  8. You once died, but a beautiful heavy metal Valkyrie brought you back to life for some unknown reason.