Friday, March 09, 2012

By the Power of Greyskull!

Ah, He-Man, archetypal '80s cartoon hero, with a terrible hair-cut, a plethora of one-liners, and social education along the lines of picking up one's litter.

For a run-down of the Eternian muscleman's various incarnations, take a look at the WIKI which details the different media that he appeared in. In brief, the familiar cartoon series was actually He-Man's second version (or continuity, if you like), his first being in the mini comic books that came with the action figures. The first incarnation was a barbarian who lived in the jungle with his tribe in the post-apocalyptic world of Eternia after the Great Wars had left mysterious technology and sorcery behind. That sounds way cooler than the Saturday morning version already. Right?

A Module for 4-6 5th Level Characters?
And, yes, it's totally a rip-off of Thundarr in that respect. Blond barbarian with special sword fights sorcerer-technologists. Hmm, spot the resemblance? If I was going to launch into a game to emulate the mini-comics, then I'd go for Savage Worlds or True20 as both provide tool-kits to mix magic and science. Or Barbarians of Lemuria, which is more swords & sorcery.

It occurs to me though that is a good time to promote Into the Odd again, which would fit well with the mysterious arcane and technological artifacts aspect as well as preventing the PCs from being the ones who use magic, that being reserved for powers beyond their ken, or indeed their barbie.

So, here's a little something inspired by the He-Man mini-comics:

Etarna is a world wherein mankind is beginning to rise back from the barbarism it was thrown into in the aftermath of the Great Wars, in which technological weapons of great power  ravaged the world, leaving mutants and strange energies in their wake.

Great artifacts are being rediscovered in secret locations, and maybe your advernturesome characters will come into possession of them, and use them to prevent the evil mutant warriors of the skull-faced sorcerer Skalador from gaining dominion.

The most powerful of these are the Swords of Power...

Etarnan Swords of Power

This strangely crafted sword seems to be entirely made of silvery metal, and is lighter than its size would indicate

Although wielded in one hand, these swords act as Great Weapons (Power Attacks for +2 damage and enemy save) and each is an Arcanum. Typically, a Sword of Power has the following spells: Spell Turning, and Heat Ray. Some may have other or additional abilities.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Living in Electric Dreams

There's a vogue right now (or over the last 5 years) for revisiting the '80s, and for those of us who grew up then, we can once again enjoy The Transformers, Thundercats, He-Man etc in new, revamped forms. On G+, there's also been a "Transformers elements in D&D" meme going round as well. The font of '80s cartoons is one that can be drunk of deeply to provide GMs and players with some science-fantasy inspiration.

I'll be looking at the original series, spin-off comics, re-boots and fan imaginings to showcase these childhood wonders. Lined up, I have the following in mind:

He-Man (yes, and She-Ra)
Ulysses 31
Mysterious Cities of Gold

Anything else you'd like to see?

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Hamlet, Zombie Killer of Denmark

Shakespeare + Zombies = my next theatre directing gig. The harsh life of an artist... :D