Wednesday, September 9, 2009

[Thundarr Thursday] Show Yourself, Wizard!

In the post-apocalyptic world of Thundarr the Barbarian, magic exists side-by-side with mutation and future technology. People who can actually harness and use magical power are very, very rare. And with very rare exception, magic is usually wielded by power-mad individuals who use their arcane abilities to terrify and rule over the disheveled humans. These evil spell-slingers are the “Wizards” of the Thundarr universe. But there are good spell-casters - Princess Ariel, for instance. Since she’s often referred to as a “Sorceress,” we’ll assume that Sorcerers are uncorrupted magic users whereas Wizards are corrupted and foul.

Wizards are often land barons, conquering and lording over a large area and its population. Compared to the relative ruin the normal humans live in, Wizards live in comparative splendor, constructing large enforced palaces to live in. Wizards are often in possession of Ancient technology and - surprisingly - have a good idea on how to use it. Wizards are also fond of building large destructive war machines - floating battleships or monstrous tanks - that they use to keep their slaves in check as well as to wage war with other neighboring Wizards.

Pictured above are four of the more powerful Wizards who have been encountered in the Thundarr future world:
  • Gemini: This Wizard had head with two faces - one good and one evil. When crossed or angered, his head would rotate, revealing the “evil” Gemini face (pictured). Gemini was the only Wizard to appear in two episodes.
  • Mindok: The brain of one of the Ancients was placed into a mechanical robot body. Over the years, Mindok learned the ways of magic. It is said he is immortal.
  • Argoth: The Wizard with One Thousand Eyes, Argoth can see in 360 degrees around him. His eyes are the sources of his power, as all of his spells come firing out of them.
  • Skullus: This Wizard is nothing more than a head living inside of a glass dome. But don’t let that lull you into a sense of security as Skullus commands one of the largest armies in the world.
Wizards are, let’s face it, insane. They are egotistical, paranoid, shallow, and megalomaniacal. Wizards are also often touched by several physical mutational drawbacks, making them as ugly on the outside as they are on the inside. It is thought that the awesome magical forces they command have somehow warped their minds and bodies.

On the other hand, Sorcerers are level-headed and clear of thought. They are often found traveling the countryside, assisting the oppressed and downtrodden. Sorcerers either have no physical mutations or else they are so minor as to be unnoticeable. One school of thought is that Wizards have surrendered themselves fully to their magical power, making them virtually god-like but twisted in all respects. But Sorcerers use their magical ability sparingly and only for good purposes, allowing them to stave off the warping effect of the limitless power.

Most Wizards in the Thundarr world have long since established themselves as lord and ruler of their domain. Therefore, they should be of sufficiently high enough level to present a challenge - say 8th level or higher. Wizards should have an army of minions at their disposal which they will send forth to do their bidding. (See previous entries on Groundlings or Carrocs for typical Wizard minions.) A Wizard’s stronghold should be virtually impenetrable to the party. In other words, waltzing into a Wizard’s fortress and confronting him just isn’t going to happen. A Wizard should be encountered only as the final encounter of a long campaign, or if the party has done something to REALLY tick him off. Meeting a Wizard should be something to be feared or built up to.

Mutant Future is fortunately fully compatible with Goblinoid Games’ fantasy RPG Labyrinth Lord, so the introduction of magic into your campaign should be fairly easy. Wizard spells should be selected from the Magic-User and Elf Spells section of the Labyrinth Lord rulebook. Since Wizards would focus their studies on spells of an offensive or destructive nature, spells like Magic Missile and Lightning Bolt are assumed to be in their arsenal. Defensive spells like Hold Person and Invisibility are also preferred. Since many of the spells shown on the TV show don’t actually exist in the RPG, a Mutant Lord could have the Wizard use a form of Phantasmal Force to simulate the creation of monsters, the destruction of buildings, etc.

In the world of Thundarr, those who can cast spells are feared and loathed - and with good reason. It would be in keeping with the spirit of the cartoon to have only evil NPC Wizards capable of using magic, and players should be discouraged from choosing a path of magical power lest they lose their mind and soul. (Though I may try to construct a Sorcerer class for a future Thundarr Thursday!)

NOTE: These villians are inspired by the classic Ruby Spears post-apocalyptic cartoon “Thundarr the Barbarian.” Stay tuned each week for “Thundarr Thursday”!

4 comments:

  1. I'm enjoying these. I have to wonder to what extent Goblinoid Games meant the compatibility of LL and MF specifically to model Thundarr.

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  2. Awesome stuff ! I'd love to see all of this wonderful material collected into a pdf.

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  3. Actually, I may very well collect everything for a future "World of Thundarr the Barbarian" supplement for Mutant Future down the road. But I have many more PC classes, artifacts, new rules, and creatures to develop first!

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