Barbarian (2020)

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RPG Item: Career: Barbarian
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Publisher: (Web published)
Year: 2020
Electronic (PDF, DOC, eBook, HTML, etc.)
2 pages
Size: Letter
English
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The large man stood stoically behind Dur Corso as he and the Colonel haggled the price of our next job; a heavily-muscled figure, standing ramrod-straight, arms crossed. Natural furs and leathers struggled to cover a frame that looked like it was adapted to hard labor and fighting. A mane of uncombed hair and a full beard framed a craggy face, softened only slightly by hazel eyes. A large sword — thankfully sheathed — dangled from his belt, and furred boots secured by thongs protected his feet. The giant reminded me of a fictional character I had read about once …Connor? Kenan? The name escaped me.

I tried to return my attention to the Colonel’s negotiations, but my mind kept wandering to the sort of damage he could do with that sword…

“What do you think, Bel?” the Colonel asked me, shattering the memory. “If Corso gets hold of an ionic resonator, can you adapt it to the ship’s systems?”

I was momentarily taken aback, suddenly aware that I’d been thinking more about possible sword wounds than what was going on in that room, but as luck would have it, rescue came from a surprising quarter:

“He would have to depolarize the entire jump-grid matrix in order to connect the device without destroying the phase compensator array,” the Giant interjected in a soft voice. “While that’s a simple enough procedure, it means Colonel Thaddeus’ ship would be grounded for up to 48 hours. I humbly suggest, Master, that your timeframe be adjusted to compensate.”

The Colonel and Corso nodded, working this new information into their plans. The Giant went back to the stoic guardianship of his master…but I thought I caught a twinkle of amusement in his eye as he gave me another sideways glance.

Throughout human history, a clear line has run between what was considered civilized and what was not. Anything on the other side of that line from civilization became an undesirable Other. These Others was called by several names: savages, heathens, primitives. But the one that seems to have stuck down through the ages is a translation of the ancient Greek for “foreigner”: barbarians. The meaning of barbarian has over time shifted from describing mere foreigners or strangers to peoples considered brutish, uncouth, or uncultured; typically anyone the majority culture didn’t like. But Terran archaeologists found that such peoples were often quite sophisticated, with culture and technology that while not mainstream, served them well.

Career: Barbarian offers an expanded career option for those who want a character who’s primitive but not stupid. Several options of Barbarian are included: the Hereditary, or traditional Barbarian; the Voluntary Barbarian, a high-tech denizen who has embraced a low-tech lifestyle; and the Involuntary Barbarian, the victim of a calamity who must suddenly live off the land…or else. Also included is a brief discussion of barbarians throughout history and fiction, and several skills adapted for the role from the official rules.

Career: Barbarian. Take a walk on the wild side.

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