“This is my BOOMSTICK!”
—The Man That Falls from the Sky
The tough is a rough-and-tumble free spirit, who possesses what might charitably be called a recalcitrant streak, or uncharitably be called “rage issues.” A tough does not like to be told what to do, where to go, or how to act, and he absolutely does not accept the idea that he is going to lose (even when he has clearly, logically already lost). When things are calm, a tough can be hard to identify from everyone else, acting the role of anything from anarchist bomb-thrower to peaceful member of the gardening club. But when things get grim, when blood starts to flow and the tough has been smashed and battered, the tough reacts differently than anyone else. The more a tough is bloodied and hurt, the angrier and more determined to survive, to win, the tough becomes.
Toughs often have trouble with authority, and may take the easy route and live lives as bikers, bouncers, rum runners, thugs, and crooks. But just as many fight against their riotous, dangerous nature and seek to channel their anger and strength. Toughs can be found as drill sergeants, beat cops, bounty hunters, and local heroes. But no matter how carefully trained their fighting skills are, or neatly ordered their plans are, a tough is simply different once the fit hits the shan. A tough soldier may be respected, but he’s also the guy quietly described as a crazy SOB. A tough firefighter is respected and honored, but people get nervous when they are assigned to his squad. A tough seems to be able to survive things that should leave him a smoldering corpse, and displays a refusal to quit that sometimes gets his more fragile allies killed.
A tough is a heck of an ally... if you can survive the friendship.
Included in this 24 page book are rules for the new "Battered" condition, as well as rules and guidelines for when characters from modern settings bring vehicles from those settings with them into fantasy campaigns with lower-progress levels. Based on the rules found in Ultimate Combat, these character-scale rules are designed to handle heroes on foot running from a sedan of tommy-gun-toting mobsters, or a single character on a motorcycle driving in and out of a riot, to a gang of smugglers ambushing a steam punt boat with an archeological expedition on board. In all these cases, the main action is focusing on character vs. character conflict, and a small number of vehicles interacting with those characters as outliers to the general activity. Also included are rules for when the main focus of the encounter is straight up vehicle on vehicle action! Finally we touch on the idea of Progress Levels (PL), a simple way to determine the general technological advancement of a campaign (and outlined in more detail in Anachronistic Adventurers: The Enforcer).