Spear! Fang! Raygun! is an RPG sandbox of swords, sorcery, super-science, dinosaurs, and heavy metal. It’s also my special snowflake of a campaign setting, born of amalgamating late ’60s Hanna-Barbera cartoons, such as The Herculoids, Space Ghost, Birdman, The Galaxy Trio, and Mighty Mightor, with a dash of Land of the Lost; the multiplex evolutionary path of the Barbarian Hero trope across Sword & Sorcery, from Conan to He-Man, Cohen to Korgoth, and Fafhrd to Thundarr, among others; and a smattering of all sorts of things that fill my brain, from the psychedelic to the quasi-mathematical.
My goal in creating Spear! Fang! Raygun! was to pull away from the bland Tolkienisms of standard fantasy RPG fare while keeping the spirit of the “old school” mode of play. Some might consider it a bit on the “gonzo” side of things, and while it may seem absurd to some degree, Spear! Fang! Raygun! is an inherently consistent, unironic world. In tone, it is neither glib nor “meta”; Spear! Fang! Raygun! is campy, but not cheesy. After 20 years of playing (mostly DMing), I decided it was high time to create a setting that felt authentically mine, built from the sources that most inspired me, and one that was, above all else, fun to play.
If all of this sounds right up your alley, then I think you’ll agree.
Over the next few months, or possibly years, I will be posting free-to-access setting information for Spear! Fang! Raygun! with the first post providing overview of the Forlorn Plateau, the campaign’s continent-sized sandbox, closely followed by rules for playing the setting’s primary, human race/species: the Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans. I’m hoping to provide these content-filled posts twice a month with some WIP info scattered between.
I’ve been running Spear! Fang! Raygun! for over year with my home group, wherein they saved their fellow Barbaric, Pantless tribesmen from the clutches of Goolaag (subterranean ocotpoid) slavers in the Inflamed Badlands, retrieved that holiest of relics of Castle Grimskull known as Crom!’s Riddlebox, entered into said Riddlebox, which turned out to be a tesseract prison holding the heralds of the Null Titans, were transported to 1980s NYRC as it came under attack from a kaiju, defeated by the timely choice by the group’s Goolaag PC to take a potion of gigantism in order to do battle among the skyscrapers, returned to the Forlorn Plateau just in time to take part in the final battle of a pantless civil war, caroused for a few months before Castle Grimskull itself was stolen by collector bots in service of a mysterious super-being known as the Preserver, pursued the collector bots into the Grand Hyperborean Upland where they took part in a month-long training montage at the Golden Dome Dojo to become Champions of Ar’Nuuld while… Well, you get the picture.
We’ve been having the time of our gaming lives. I hope you will, too.
And here’s the crew from my campaign:
(Additionally, this project would’ve never seen the light of day, as publishable content or homebrewed campaign setting, without the abundant influence provided by the writing, campaigns, and artwork of Do-It-Yourself RPG creators like Jason Sholtis, James West, Dyson Logos, Chris Kutalik, Jeff Call, and Trey Causey, as well as the Dungeon Crawl Classics game, which changed how I approached my games entirely. I will have probably, liberally and questionably appropriated more than a few ideas from them over the course of putting this all together, so I thank them and apologize greatly.)