2011-04-25

[DnD4e] Under the Broken Moon - Thundarr Roleplaying

By Kevin Morrell (aka The Splash)

One of my favorite cartoons is Thundarr the Barbarian. Thundarr is a very heroic figure that fights for freedom and justice and that appealed to me as a little kid of 10 years. It has been more than 30 years now since it aired. This cartoon aired before I even dove headlong into rpgs!

So, I bought the new version of Gamma World. I like what they've done with it. 4E seems very flexible. After watching a few episodes of Thundarr's ass-kicking, I thought, "Why not a Thundarr-Gamma World game?" A match made by the Lords of Light.


First thing I gave some thought to was Origins. These are a character's race and what powers they have from birth. So I went through all the lists of Origins I could find and made a few minor tweaks. I created a list of 20 Origins for this game. It's not a complete list of all the races from the cartoon, but it will do for my purposes. Each Origin has art for it on the back of its page. I did this so I could cut the booklet in half and have each Origin with a pic on the back. These will print out in booklet format, by the way.

Origins Booklet 1
Origins Booklet 2

To me, Origin doesn't grant enough kewl powers. The Legion of Gold supplement adds something called "Vocations," but even those are not enough. so, I have implemented simple classes which I have named "Callings." These give you something at every level. You can easily have multiple Callings, but you'll sacrifice the higher level powers. You are rewarded for focus and specialization.

Callings booklet

Origins will be randomly rolled, but you get to choose your Calling(s). I cobbled together a short character creation booklet.

Character Creation Summary Booklet

For my one-shot adventure, I have decided that characters will be 6th level. This gives them good variety of powers and makes them pretty tough to boot. I will also implement an Alpha mutation card draft. This makes it "random" but you still get some choice in what you get for mutations. Omega Tech will also have a short draft too. They only get 2 Tech cards each, so it will indeed be a very short draft. I haven't decided if I'm going to use the new Fortune Cards that came out for 4E. A Fortune Card draft might be cool too. Maybe.

There is a version of a web-project Thundarr game using Over the Edge's rules. It is called "Under the Broken Moon." I couldn't think of a better name than that, so I'm using it for my one-shot.

Under the Broken Moon Project

There is another project I found online called "Demon Dogs!!" It uses D&D 4E for its rules. It's located here.

If you've never seen -- or it's been years since you've seen -- the Thundarr cartoon, check out YouTube or buy the DVD's. Good stuff. I leave you with the intro from each episode.

"The year 1994. From out of space comes a runaway planet, hurtling between the Earth and the Moon, unleashing cosmic destruction. Man's civilization is cast in ruin. Two thousand years later, Earth is reborn... A strange new world rises from the old: a world of savagery, super science, and sorcery. But one man bursts his bonds to fight for justice! With his companions Ookla the Mok and Princess Ariel, he pits his strength, his courage, and his fabulous Sunsword against the forces of evil. He is Thundarr, the Barbarian!"