Sunday, May 11, 2014

a new DCC Class, the Skate Hero

You know, lately I've been thinking a great deal about Christian Slater.  Not that guy that you may have seen in, uh, that movie based on that game.  The young one, the one that lives forever in your memory as Happy Harry Hard-On, or the brain-damaged monkey heart dishwasher that loved Vinnie's girlfriend so tragically, or the one that blew up around all those stuck up twats.  Yeah, that one.

That's only coincidental to my post, and merely tangentially interesting for you, but here, I will throw you a picture of the penultimate moment, the practical climax, of a bullshit skate movie that was a formative influence for me in my yutes.  Observe:

Maybe a video clip woulda been better.  It's better.  Let me describe - seeing his romantic interest, the old man with the gun, held hostage by a young foreign Communist radical girl, young hair-empowered Christian Slater flings himself wildly off the top of a LA off ramp, hurtling through the air to a 3 point touchdown onto the face of everyone involved, breaking his neck and ending a promising career in demagoguery and minor hooliganisms...

That's not that great, is it?

I'm about to let you in on my secret little stash of nostalgia happiness, that tided me over between my early forays into Moldvay D&D and C64 gaming, and upon which I wobbily glided through my early teen years and suffered many, many road rashes.  I skate boarded really badly, and my family was really into roller-skating, and thus my knees are toast and I have trouble squatting down to pick things up.  MOAR importantly, though, I read a great deal of comics, and for a very brief time in the mid and late 1980s, these things coalesced into a skateboard comic known as Thrasher.  Much of it was drek and terribly written, and then, separate from that, is THRASH GORDON.

Somehow, they got this person (a man? a woman?  a mad cyberpunk prophet?) to pen and ink and write a story of an oppress'd young man, driven to surreptitiously practice the thing he loves against the law and the wishes of the corporate overlords, undermining with his skateboard the very fabric of society and controlling robots with his mutated skater-brain in a bleak, post-apocalyptic future sort of like Max Headroom crossed with Mad Max but with many more killer robots.  I KNOW!  It's as terrific as it sounds.  I have a personal quest to find all 9 issues of Thrasher comics VERY SLOWLY, so that all of the story can be revealed to me in a full flowering of perfection, but I have a couple now and vaguely remember being blown away at 13.  Here's part of a panel, and let me tell you, I don't easily share much more than this because as far as I am concerned, it's mine GODDAMIT (except this one guy here knows, also):

Thrash, shortly after his capture and transformation from regular skate punk into (pre-Internet!) supercyber skate punk

I scanned that for you myself, young' un, and don't you forget it.  Since I am wildly, frothily excited about DCC and the ALL UP FRONT modality of powers and class-as-race-as-class thing, (but I like to do away and hand-wave race and all the crappy trappings therof), I submit for your enjoyment the Skate Hero class, which if I get around to it (probably never!) I can draw up and illustrate a proper handout supplement thing.

A simple group of suggestions for play as a Skate Hero, if you so desire it, subcreature (sort of ripped off from the d20 Athlete):

Fucking hoods.  Eh?  Eh?  See what I did there?

Skate Hero (highly mobile angry yutes)

  • a skate hero depends upon high Stamina, Strength, and Agility, as well as a low level of cunning and a good deal of Luck
  • a skate hero without something to skate on is merely a Hero.  Have a deck/plank/stick/board/magic liftwood plank/flumph/hoverdrone.  No skatey thing, no Radical Deeds, and no modifiers to the following:
  • The Skate Hero adds his or her level AND the most pertinent stat bonus to DC checks that could be classified under other systems' (ahem d20 modern or whatevr) Balance, Tumble, or Jump.  In addition to whatever normal distances/heights/whatever a Skate Hero would get for size/shape/ability scores, he/she/it adds 5' horizontal and 2' vertical jumping distance per level if moving at speed on the board, and suffers half damage from falls or crashes on a failed save, and none whatsoever on a successful save (usually Reflex or Fortitude but the player may choose).  These apply only on the board, and only while skating/flying/awesome-ing
  • Allowed weapons include pipes, bats, chains, knives, clubs, whips, spears, staffs, pool cues.  Improvised weapons found and used while skating incur no penalty to attack or damage rolls but attack as the closest rulebook analog.  On a fumble, the improvised weapon is destroyed or otherwise lost.  Knives and chains and staffs are allowed always (but a staff might get kinda boffo and interfere with cool tricks, depends though)
  • Radical Deeds:  a Skate Hero can do all kinds of cool shit while skating - can you imagine grinding sarcophagi and hand-planting to deflect poisonous darts off the Mithril Board of Ages?  Well, you don't have to 'cause I just did it for you.  Every combat round or turn, the Skate Hero can name a Radical Deed as an attack or movement action - if an attack, the Action Die and the Radical Deed die (effectively the same as a Warrior's Mighty Deed) apply.  Name the awesome trick move you did and get the same benefit as a Mighty Deed/Sword n Board/Whatevr.  You add whatever your stat modifier is (depending upon the move) to the attack/action die, agreed upon by you and the judge depending upon your totally radical description.  Obviously, terrain and conditions must permit skating (local laws do not necessarily prevent this)
  • Armor can be used but negates the stat modifiers for attack bonuses during Radical Deeds - you might get away with leather.  A slick cape or poncho would be sweet.  Since I am now a parent, I insist on head protection but it may reduce your street cred (OSHA approved)
  • Hit Dice: roll 2d6 per level, take the best.  Stamina bonuses apply
  • Action Die progression, same as the Fighter of the same level
  • Saves as a thief of the same level
As a bonus, I offer you Thrash Gordon himself:

Thrash Gordon, Neutral Level 5 Skate Hero
(in a OSR system I might say Chaotic Good but he does have a penchant for vengeance)

Str 14, Int 14, Agi 17, Per 8, Sta 7, Luck 15

Thrash was already an accomplished Skate Hero of the Earth's near future before being nearly killed by mindless corporate robots and experimented upon by evil corporate surgeons and scientists.  They hoped to find use for his corpse's brain and nervous system and transform him into a cyborg, but unwittingly his high Stamina and will to Skate returned him from the brink of Death's halfpipe to crush his captors and his people's oppressive regime.

Somehow, he has acquired the ability to Regenerate Serious Damage when exposed to the right cocktail of mutagenic chemical byproducts and junk foods, (up to 3 dice per day).  He is almost, but not quite, undead but cannot be turned by Clerics.  He can also Influence Robots: if he encounters a hostile robot and is able to make "eye" or physical contact, Thrash can attempt to subvert its programming on a successful DC 13 check.  A non-hostile electronic system or robot can be subverted automatically given 1d3 turns of concentration, but a DC 13 check can reduce this by 1 turn.  Particularly cryptic or elaborate systems may take more time at the discretion of the Judge.

Finally, Thrash's eyes and optic nerves were damaged and nearly destroyed by the mutagenic goo that saved his life.  He is nearly blind but heightened senses make up for the loss well enough for him to skate extremely well; bright lights will daze him for a full game turn or 1d3 combat rounds if he is not wearing protective lenses or glasses.

There!  In one fell swoop, I satisfied my radical anti-corporate hate-filled heart, appealed to my youthful nostalgia, and gave back to the community to which I identify myself sort of.  It's WORKING ITS WORKING

Hurray for internets.


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