Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean Village Generator (preview)

Nothing quite encourages the sort of bottom-up development of a campaign setting over the course of play like a well-constructed random table. In the days before I discovered the OSR blogosphere, the extent of my table use was the occasional poorly developed random encounter table which I often forgot to use. Fortunately, those days are behind me, and I’ve come to appreciate the creative power found in randomness thanks mostly to Chris Kutalik’s posts over at Hill Cantons on Building Dynamic Sandboxes (and his other discussions about random tables and campaign development), basically everything Jason Sholtis writes in The Dungeon Dozen, and of course, as is clearly the main influence for the tables in this post, the entirety of Yoon-Suin. As a result, nearly everything in my Spear! Fang! Raygun! campaign, from monster encounters to major and minor “story” developments, has been generated with random tables. (In the future, I’ll be sharing the details on one of the regions to be found in the Forlorn Plateau, which is composed almost completely of random tables that allow for a dynamic experience every time PCs enter any region in the world.)

So, what follows is a preview of a series of such tables used to generate a Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean village in Spear! Fang! Raygun! using the Yoon-Suin method for develop the PCs’ social circle in the Yellow City. This isn’t yet complete, but it offers a peek at both how Spear! Fang! Raygun! campaigns are generated and, through the use of details within the tables, how the tone of the setting is continuously presented and reinforced during play.

Without anymore nonsense, here is the preview:

Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean Village Generator

The following tables can be used to build a fully fleshed-out Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean town or village. The tables included will generate particular locations and groups within the village or town; conflicts, NPCS, and rumors within those locations; personages who live in the village or town; rumors being spread therein; random encounters to be had while visiting; nearby locations of interest that may or may not be connected to the town or village; and the issues and assets that make this particular town or village someplace special in the hearts of those who dwell there.

one-million-years-bc-1966-007-harryhausen-drawing
Ray Harryhausen concept art for One Million B.C.

Village/Town Locations and Groups

The following tables generate locations and groups the PCs may interact with in the village. Choose or roll a group/location type, a source of conflict, and the type of rival group/location. Do this as many times as you’d like, depending on the size of the village or town. Generally, a village will have 1d3+1 groups or locations and a town will have 2d3+2, but it’s ultimately up to whatever you want. Once you’ve determined the group/location, roll on the associated table to generate the details.

1d12 Group/location Type Conflict Source Rival Type
1 Longhouse Treachery
2 Shaman’s Yurt Adultery
3 Knotters’ Collective Fraud or Theft Same Type
4 Woolly Triceratops Milk Fermenter[1] Addiction
5 Dinosaur Stables Ambition
6 Gloryseeker Band Madness
7 Grease Renderer’s Hovel Love
8 Drumtalkers’ Circle Folly
9 Slave Pens Paranoia Different Type
10 Fire-Keepers’ Pit Heresy[2]
11 Hunters’ Milk Hall Faux pas
12 Cult Shrine Rival (roll for rival type)

 

[1] Woolly Triceratops Milk Fermenters would only be found in Tyrannokiller villages. Other specific groups/locations would be found in other tribes, as listed following: Great Melancholy – Dung-builders quarry; Great Mirth – Tall-house Pantless Sons of the Giant Sexy Cave Amazons; Hill Panthers Ironsmith’s yurt; Bloodaxes – Berserkers’ cave; Sullen-eyed – Two-headed pterodactyl roost; Muddled-brain – …; Bronzed Hide – …

[2] Heresy and faux pas among the Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans come in many shapes and colors. Of course, the most common heresies involve taking Crom!’s name in vain (very common) and invoking one of Rad!’s balls (rare and done only when matters are serious). The most obvious faux pas would be the donning of pants, but other faux pas are more common, such as talking shit without being able to back it up in the longhouse, tying your own knots, or pissing in the fire-keeper’s pit. Other faux pas, of course, exist, and are dependent not only upon the village but also upon the tribe.

Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean Longhouse
Within this great hall, built of the skeleton of horned brontosaur bulls, the  chieftain, his gloryseekers, and his family gather to discuss matters of import to the village/township, such as alliances, war-making, and general badassery. Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans of the village are all welcome to the longhouse, where they are free to drink of the chieftain’s supply of fermented woolly triceratops milk, if they offer their fealty and generally accept that the chieftain is much more badass than they.

 

1d10 NPCs Other NPCs Rumors/Hooks
1 Chieftain Aged, invalid gloryseeker An extensive cave or tomb system is discovered underneath the site of the of the longhouse.
2 Wizened elder Herald from another tribe[1] The clan has taken in an exile from a rival village and/or tribe.
3 Chieftain’s heir Chieftain’s overly zealous sword-bearer One of the chieftain’s gloryseeker’s has determined it is time for him to plunge into a Hyperborean Tomb either to earn his heroic stature or be buried therein for eternity.
4 Heroic! gloryseeker Chieftain’s pantless son of a giant sexy cave amazon The chieftain’s Hyperborean sword is found to be a fraud; it appears to be made of wood painted with silver. Was it always a fake, or did someone steal the chieftain’s sword?
5 Chieftain’s 1st wife Chieftain’s youngest son The chieftain’s slaves demand their freedom.
6 Chieftain’s other wife Captive enemy The chieftain has recently been upon the receiving end of a grave insult against his… Roll 1d4: 1) virility; 2) valor; 3) mettle; 4) hair.
7 Chieftain’s daughter Head slave The chieftain’s “maiden” daughter is with child.
8 Chieftain’s ward (rival’s son) Dignitary from another species or culture[2] After years of failure, one of the chieftain’s wives is with child…
9 Milk-stirrer (like a king’s jester) Atlantean sorcerer A well-aged jug of fermented woolly triceratops milk the chieftain’s grandsire pillaged from the tomb of his own grandsire is found empty!
10 Skald Chieftain’s mother Time to move! At a whim, it has been decided that the entire village must be uprooted and moved to a random location in (roll 1d3) 1) the same region; 2) a neighboring region; or 3) a mysterious, unspecified location faraway.

[1] Basically, a diplomat and entourage. Roll 1d8 to determine tribe: 1) Tyrannokillers; 2) Gigantic Melancholy; 3) Gigantic Mirth; 4) Bloodaxes; 5) Hill Panther; 6) Sullen-eyed; 7) Muddled-brain; 8) Bronzed Hide.

[2] Ambassadors/explorers of foreign origin come to entreat with the chieftain. Roll 1d10 to determine origin: 1) Sexy giant cave amazons; 2) Fanged cave goons; 3) Monks of the Golden Dome Dojo; 4) Goolaag; 5) Gel-men; 6) Rogue termitoid hive; 7) Decadent Zûl; 8) Crater Cities of the Famine Lands; 9) The Brutal Shore; 10) the Pale Moon.

Shaman’s Yurt (incomplete, but you get the idea)

A place where the mysteries of the universe drift about like the smoke of clot-swollen bloodgrass, or the gnawing upon of the strange, jerked meats of alien fungoids reveal the underlying vibrations and beats of an interdimensional life-mesh, a Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean shaman’s yurt strikes awe, discomfort, and terror in those who enter there, whether to hear spoken their own dooming or beg the shaman’s advice on the settlement of mundane matters like land disputes or the naming of a firstborn son. Shamans are revered and hated by their tribe, but their powers are indisputable and necessary for the tribe’s survival. Usually, the shaman’s yurt is a large building built some distance away from the rest of the village or township. It is hardly a hermitage, however, as a shaman’s role within Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean society extends in nearly every facet of their lives.

 

1d10 NPCs Other NPCs Rumors/Hooks
1 Shaman Hyperborean-Insectoid egg-carrier (spell book-bearer) A strange visitor has met with the shaman often the past few months; now, the shaman seeks to uproot the village and move it to a far away location.
2 Shaman’s apprentice Slave whose says, “Thus it is so,” when shaman speaks The discovery of a new hallucinogenic compound, acquired from the anal glands of the enormous Dreadskull River Beaver, allows users to walk the labyrinthine halls of their own memories.
3 Human sacrifice[1] Supplicating villager
4 Psychotic prophet Captive intelligent monster[2]
5 Mushroom farmer Interdimensional visitor[3]
6 Blinded, tongue-less shaman’s attendant Sacrifice preparer
7 Scarring slave Simple-minded Chanter
8 Tattooist
9 Discarded, mutilated slave turned beggar Keeper of the giant leeches
10 Failed apprentice Entranced gloryseeker

[1] To determine the nature of the sacrifice, roll 1d8: 1)

[2] To be used for, roll 1d3: 1) sacrifice; 3) ritual/spell components; 3) simple torture. Roll 1d8 to determine type: 1) Red pygmy tyrannosaur; 2) Psychic Smilodon; 3) Goolaag;

[3] Roll 1d8 to determine origin: 1) Deterministic Dimension; 2) Funkiverse; 3) Rumbleworld; 4) The Dungeon Dimension; 5) The Drowned Earth; 6) 1980s NYC; 7)

Barbaric, Pantless Sons of the Giant Sexy Cave Amazons (A Race for Spear! Fang! Raygun!)

BARBARIC, PANTLESS SONS OF THE GIANT SEXY CAVE AMAZONS

(The rules included herein are intended for use with the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea rules, but they could easily be adapted to any OSR-style retroclone or original.)

thrud
Thrud is the source archetype of Barbaric, Pantless Sons of the Giant Sexy Cave Amazons.

Among the Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans of the Gigantic Mirth tribe, the following rite is performed: In order to be named war chief, a gloryseeker must first allow himself to be captured for mating purposes by the Giant Sexy Cave Amazons, who dwell in the Caves of Immeasurable Splendor and raid the tribelands of the Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans for well-gammed menfolk. If the candidate survives this union uncrippled and a son is brought and abandoned by his Giant Sexy Cave Amazon mother in the father’s village nine months later (as Giant Sexy Cave Amazons only keep and raise their female children, who grow to become 9′ tall Amazons themselves), he may thenceforth lead his people into battle, as he has proven his mettle, his prowess, and his vigor.

These sons, however, grow prodigiously and often eat more than their fellow tribesmen believe is decent or advisable, but in time they become great, powerful warriors (if not a little sensitive by Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean sandards) warriors. On average, the Barbaric, Pantless Sons of the Sexy Cave Amazons will grow to over 7′ in height, not quite reaching the 9′ of their mothers but towering above their fathers’ people. Other than these differences in heritage, and abandonment issues, Barbaric, Pantless Sons of the Giant Sexy Cave Amazons differ very little, culturally, from their Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean cousins and sires.

Within Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean society (or lack thereof), the Barbaric, Pantless Sons are treated with a combo of awe and tight-lipped pity. As they age and it becomes apparent their mental and social growth is as stunted as their bodily growth is prodigious, their tribesmen will often develop entire cults of personality around the local Barbaric, Pantless Son as way of explaining away not only their oftentimes quite obvious deficiencies, but why they’re a cut above the rest physically. (It should be noted here that Giant Sexy Cave Amazons, who will be detailed in a later post, do not suffer from these same deficits; it’s a nurture over nature sort of deal.) Nothing makes the tribesmen feel as guilt-ridden as hurting a Barbaric, Pantless Son’s feelings. You’d understand, as well, if you had to see a nearly 8′ tall barbarian bawl like a petulant toddler with a Strength attribute of 19. So, it’s not uncommon for a Barbaric, Pantless Son to be told (and believe) outrageous legends concerning his birth and childhood by his father or tribesmen if he ever bothers asking. Roll  a 1d8 and consult the following table determine the nature of this origin yarn:*

  1. Kidnapped by Fanged Cave Goons as an infant who replaced his brain with dung.
  2. Discovered in the wild having been raised by an actual boulder.
  3. A long time ago, a great sage journeyed to the tribe’s village from the holy mountains of Crom!’s Bones and spoke of a time when a hero of unmatched prowess would umm, uhh… “Hey, look at that woolly triceratops over there is trying to stand on its hind legs!”
  4. For two years before the Barbaric, Pantless Son was born, his father strictly ate four raw horned brontosaur eggs for breakfast each morning.
  5. “Your mother didn’t love you, and I don’t either, now shut up!”
  6. Toddled off from a long lost tribe of Giant Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans (disclaimer: no such tribe exists), found his way to the village that raised him, and once coming of age, he absolutely should definitely return to them the first chance he gets.
  7.  Dropped off outside the father’s yurt by a two-headed pterodactyl.
  8. Harvested, like all children, of course, from a patch of Hyperborean Spawn-Cabbages.

*Note: Such flimflam about origins and backstories justifying behaviors and choices displeases Crom! so be warned. The GM may want to determine that such a background disqualifies Barbaric, Pantless Sons of the Giant Sexy Cave Amazons from being Worthy of Crom! but the lack of detail in this backstory and the fact that it’s completely false should be enough to allow them to be Worthy of Crom! though Crom! himself may be less understanding. 

Racial Abilities

Barbaric, Pantless sons of the Giant Sexy Cave Amazons apply a +2 to Strength and +1 Constitution but a -2 to Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma, as they are densely made, both physically and mentally,

Pantless Sires: When not wearing pants (except loincloths or codpieces, though these are optional), as their fathers’ people, Barbaric, Pantless Sons of the Giant Sexy Cave Amazons receive a bonus Luck Point and +1 to Armor Class. (Rules for Luck found here.)

sexy-giant-cave-amazons.jpg
Totally NOT a group of Giant Sexy Cave Amazons.

Mommy Issues: Likely due to their abandonment as babes and being suckled upon the less bountiful mammaries of Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean wet nurses, Barbaric, Pantless Sons have a hard time of it interacting with members of the opposite sex, receiving a -2 reaction adjustment when doing so. This manifests as anything from insurmountable bashfulness to a severely misguided overconfidence in their own sex appeal.

Tribe: Barbaric, Pantless Sons of the Giant Sexy Cave Amazons roll for their Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean tribe as per described in the entry for the other race; however, Barbaric, Pantless Sons add a +2 to their roll as they are more likely to hail from one of the southern tribes, due to their proximity to the Jungles of Baslaag where the Cave of Immeasurable Splendors is located. The northern tribes never count Barbaric, Pantless Sons among their numbers. (Details regarding Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean tribes forthcoming in a future post.)

Tribal Occupation: Roll on the same table as a Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean for the Barbaric, Pantless Son’s tribal occupation.

What is Most Pumped in Life? Being that what is best in life is inborn and not a social construct, Barbaric, Pantless Sons of the Giant Sexy Cave Amazons do not roll on the What is Best in Life? Table. Instead they roll on the much narrower, much more exuberant What is Most Pumped in Life? Table below.

d6 What is Most Pumped in Life? Weak… So Pumped!
1 fresh cave bear grease slathered over your bod… Must maintain greasing with cave bear (or suitably badass animal) grease or lose bonuses and  suffer depression (disadvantages on some rolls) Gain Glistening Gams as a Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean except at a 4:12 and +8% on Extraordinary Feats of Dexterity when properly greased
2 skin bronzed by wasteland sun… 3:12 chance per month of developing melanoma; dead in 2d3 months unless removed Unaffected by heat damage from sun, unappetizing to primordial beasts (3:12 chance they’ll only bite once or spit out if swallowed whole)
3 rock solid shoulders, arms, and chest… Skipped leg day; speed reduced by 10’ +8% bonus to Extraordinary Feats of Strength when lifting in squat position (or deadlifting), +2 damage to unarmed attacks
4 to get one’s beast on… Speaks monosyllabically, semi-literate despite Intelligence Body hair almost like an animal’s (or Burt Reynolds’) grants +1 to AC
5 make sickest of gains… Must succeed Test of Strength first thing in the morning  or Strength treated as 2 points lower for rest of day If Extraordinary Feat of Strength is passed at beginning of session, receive 10% experience point bonus for that session
6 ….hear the lamentations of the herniated… When failing Extraordinary Feat of Strength make Test of Luck or suffer hernia Extraordinary Feat of Strength to intimidate/impress those of lower Strength (grants either +1 to hit/+2 dmg and/or +2 reaction to influence or -2 to their Morale)

Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans (Race for Spear! Fang! Raygun!)

BARBARIC, PANTLESS ATLANTEANS

space ship pantless barbarians
Art by Mark Shultz (I believe)

(The rules included herein are intended for use with the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea rules, but they could easily be adapted to any OSR-style retroclone.)

Know! Those barbarians who dwell in yurts of stone, dung, and stretched dinosaur leather beneath the blazing sun of the Wastelands of Kurg! and surrounding regions in the northern reaches of the Forlorn Plateau (where they squat within much more comfortable dwellings, such as plush cave systems, gentrified hive termitoid mounds, and abandoned giant dung beetle dung balls converted into villages) live life as their gloomy, dark, and absentee god Crom! intended: with minimally girded loins! 

Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans are the embodiment of primal vitality, raw sex appeal, and ’80s metal fantasy. Descendants of a proud civilization that once achieved such mastery of sorcery and super-science to pierce the veil between dimensions, the Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans of the Forlorn Plateau wallow in a squalor of unending tribal conflicts, subsistence hunting and gathering, and surprisingly advanced, if not still savage, social contracts. Having forgotten, or lost, the answer to Crom!’s “Riddle of Steel” some thousands of years ago, your modern Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean has little comprehension of metalworking (basically just beat the hell out of some ore until it’s in the shape you want) beyond making crude, raw iron spearheads, arrowheads, and helms, fashioned with the horns of woolly triceratops and Shaggy Hellcows of Crom!, or sweet ass gold bracelets and girdles for their loincloths. All swords possessed by Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean gloryseekers and warchiefs either belonged to ancestors, were pillaged from other lands, or plundered from Hyperborean tombs. These swords carry with them certain social effects among the class-conscious barbarians: for one, any sword puts one a head above others (since the swords allows them to take off the heads of others), but swords of Hyperborean or Atlantean steel usually garner a bit of respect that isn’t predicated (only) on the threat of violence.

With regard to Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean dress, the standard is that there’s usually very little of it. Although pantlessness is required according to Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean mores and superstition regarding the girding of privates, loin cloths, harnesses, and furry boots are all the rage, especially if you can throw in spikes or fangs somewhere as accoutremant. 

While gold is considered precious, as an adornment, it is not used for coinage among the Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans (though they know of how other cultures value the coins); instead, Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans use knotted rope as fiat currency, with the complexity of the knot representing the value. Knotmakers are tribal specialists who tie these knots according to secret ritual methods. These shamans also maintain the capitalist socioeconomic foundations of the culture via oral epics about pantless heroes of old whose worth and glory were correlated 100% with the acquisition of wealth, followed by gigantic mirth, inevitable squandering, and inevitable gigantic melancholy. It is a major taboo for Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans to tie their own knots. 

Often Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans will rove the  Forlorn Plateau in search of (vain)glorious battle, lucrative adventure, and copious booze, especially since the only alcohol they make themselves is fermented woolly triceratops milk. Usually, Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans have no complicated reason for taking up the adventuring life, as Crom! smiles upon those who roam and raid without unnecessary justifications in their backstory.

Racial Abilities

  • Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans apply a +1 and a -1 to any two separate ability scores the player wishes.
  • Pantless Peoples: When not wearing pants (except for loincloths or codpieces, though these are optional), Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans receive a bonus Luck Point and a +1 to Armor Class. (Rules for Luck found here.)

    pantless barbarian
    Art by James West, with approval and endorsement.
  • Glistening Gams: Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans are so ripped that flexing their luscious leg muscles (from buttocks on down), if the Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean succeeds on a 3:12 chance, causes members of the opposite sex (and 2:6 of the same sex) within 15’ to be affected as though the Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans were under the effect of the Friends spell but with an additional hot-and-botheredness implied. Targets may ignore the effects with a successful Save vs. Sorcery.
  • What is Best in Life? Each Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean rolls on the What is Best in Life? table to determine their savage priorities, which provide the gist of their worldly outlook, as well as an advantageous and a disadvantageous barbaric ability. 
  • Tribe: To determine a Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean’s tribe, roll on the table provided below. While Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans have a shared culture, the tribal diaspora has led to minor cultural changes, represented in the Tribal benefits and taboos. (Details on Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean tribes forthcoming.)
  • Tribal Occupation: Every member of the tribe has a purpose, generally, so certain roll on the Tribal Occupation table to determine your secondary skills as well as starting equipment.

“What Is Best in Life?” table

d12 So, what is best in life? Wrong! That is good! That is good.
1 fleet riding lizard… Smell like lizard poo (-2 reaction adjustment) 4:12 chance of riding stunt; start with riding lizard
2 pteranodon at your wrist… Test of Luck or bit by stubborn pteranodon when commanding Gain pteranodon companion (if it dies, may tame another in 1d3 weeks)
3 the open waste… Group’s chance of being lost increases by 1 Attack rate with bows increases by 1 step
4 the volcanic wind in your hair… Folly of Glam: if hair is cut, -2 to strength, lose AC bonus Glamorous Mane: hair grants +1 to Strength and +1 to AC
5 …to crush your enemies… 1:6 chance when hitting with club that it breaks Advantage on damage with clubs
6 see them driven before you… 3:12 chance of involuntarily pursuing fleeing enemies Whenever you kill an enemy in one hit, 1d3 other enemies must check Morale
7 …hear the lamentations of their women… Currently have 2d3 wives and/or husbands (must be taken as henchmen) Currently have 2d3 wives and/or husbands (must be taken as henchmen)
8 ….hot water…. Too pretty. Those not attracted to you make fun of you (-2 reaction adj.) You take baths! Glistening Gams works on a 5:12
9 ….good dentishtry… False teeth. Test of Luck when taking critical hit or teeth break Bite attack (1d6)
10 …shoft lavatory paper… Subject to Tests of Luck related to irritable bowels Can eat anything organic, healing additional 1d3 HP  when resting
11 …cabbage and hams… You swear by it; it’s all you’ll eat (“hams” is subjective) +2 on Death Saves
12 …do I know your mother? Short-term memory loss (3:12 chance to forget important detail)  and starting age 50+ 2:6 when visiting town/village 1d3 appropriately aged (possible) sons/daughters available as henchmen

Tribal Occupations

Every Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean must roll on the following table to determine his-or-her starting occupation. This occupation will provide the basis for any secondary skills the character may have, as well as any starting equipment (additional starting equipment should be acquired in the first session).

d12 Tribal Occupation Starting Equipment
1 Drumtalker Talking drum, two percussion mallets (as club)
2 Warrior Stone-tipped spear*, Red Pygmy Tyrannosaur hide armor
3 Knotmaker’s apprentice 100 “blood knots” (each equal 1 gold), 50’ rope
4 Hunter Shortbow, 10 stone-tipped arrows*, weighted net, 20 lbs. of woolly triceratops hams
5 Slave Heavy rock
6 Fire-keeper Hollow woolly triceratops horn carrying embers, fire-hardened club (+1 damage)
7 Grease-renderer 2 pots of of cave bear grease, greasing rag on a stick
8 Animal trainer Club, untamed animal, roll 1d4: 1) Pteranodon hatchling, 2) woolly triceratops calf, 3) chameleon-wolf pup, 4) unbroken riding lizard
9 Brewer 2 jugs of fermented woolly triceratops milk, club
10 Shaman’s assistant Fetish-heavy stone-tipped spear*, feathered cloak, 1 lb. of hallucinogenic fungi
11 Cave painter 2 pots of ochre paint, flint dagger*, continually refreshed ennui
12 Riddlespeaker’s assistant Sweet ass Hyperborean longsword, talks often of the “Riddle of Steel,” though has no idea what it is

*All stone-tipped or stone weapons have a -1 to damage dealt.