Thursday, May 9, 2019

Notes from DFD Barbarians: Movie Barbarians

Before DFD: Barbarians was a book, it was a planned Pyramid article.

Here is what became the Shirtless Savage:

The Movie Barbarian

Jehnna: I suppose nothing hurts you.
Conan: Only pain.
- Conan the Destroyer

Barbarian warriors in the movies fit a common type – muscled, tanned skin, and scantily clad, whether male or female. They lack armor – for cinematic, eye-candy reasons. This lens trades off armor for natural toughness. DR with the Tough Skin limitation means you might get cut, a little, and perhaps even bleed a superficial trickle of blood, but you’re not really hurt.
This lens is usually combined with Combat Barbarian, above.

- Change Advantages to Appearance (Attractive) [4]; DR 2 (Tough Skin, -40%; Accessibility, Doesn’t Stack with Armor DR, -40%) [4]; High Pain Threshold [10]; Nonprotective clothing [1]; and Outdoorsman 4 [40]. • A further 21 points among . . . ” Improve Appearance (Attractive) to Appearance (Handsome) [8]; DR 3-5 (Tough Skin, -40%; Accessibility, Doesn’t Stack with Armor DR, -40%) [2/level]; or from among the standard barbarian advantages.

Nonprotective clothing: See GURPS Supers, p. 30. This allows the barbarian to wear clothing without negating his own DR, such as the very popular leather bracers, boots, and fur loincloth. At the GM’s option, this can allow you to wear mostly cosmetic armor like horned helms, chainmail bikinis, and big leather belts, but this only fits in very cinematic or silly games.

Does Not Stack with Armor is similar to the Cannot Wear Armor limitation (p. B00), except that it merely doesn't stack with armor. A barbarian could choose to wear armor, but this won't add to it, even if it is higher than the DR of the armor worn.
This matters by hit location, so a barbarian could wear a magic helmet (Pot Helm, Fortify +2) and take its superior DR, but similarly would lose his native DR on the locations covered by that armor. This helps justify the occasional bits of armor a movie barbarian might find and wear during epic fights.

Designers Notes: Since barbarians are Size Modifier +1, armor is double cost and weight. The natural DR of this lens allows the barbarian to shrug off damage and stay mobile, but isn't so much that it overtops an armored barbarian or a knight. The natural DR of this approach plus the regular DR a barbarian can buy (see Dungeon Fantasy 3, pg. 38) allows up to 7 DR, 9 vs. crushing damage only. The Tough Skin limitation makes him vulnerable to touch attacks and poisons, so take a good look at Resistant to Poison!


As you can see, I did somewhat different things with it in the end. But that's what it started out as.

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