Characters are, by definition, dirty, stupid, and obnoxious barbarians trying to get by in a civilized world. Characters distribute eleven points among six attributes (Scout, Move, Keep, Special X, Special Y, and Talk), with each score ranging from one to three. Perhaps the most significant attribute is Talk, giving characters five vocabulary words per point (e.g., five to fifteen words). The Talk score also determines how many words can be strung together in a sentence or understood when listening (e.g., one to three).
In play, characters are able to do only those things the player can express using the characters' limited vocabulary. Each character does get some "free" vocabulary words, however: their name, "Ugh!", "Eh?", and "Uhm...", and "Yaaaa!". Sign language (mimicry, gestures, body language) may also be used when words fail.
All characters elect the Barbarguden, or leader. The Barbarguden takes the role of Game Master, making all decisions that need to be made. Barbarians come from the land of Hau and adventure into the land of Bort (the rest of the world).
The core mechanic for all opposed or non-trivial actions is a die roll. Characters attempt to roll d6 under the appropriate attribute. The Barbarguden can determine (generally, before rolling--but after rolling if sufficiently bribed) whether the dice result should be modified.
Characters do not advance during play, but there are four goals shared by all barbarians:
1- Make friends with some other barbarians,
2- Become King of the Hauenstein (King of Hau)
3- Go somewhere else
4- Other stuff