Coming Soon: Badass Delvers of the Dragon


The world ended. Civilisation destroyed itself. Technology crumbled. The fossil-fuels known as “go-juice” are long gone. Society has rebuilt itself in the medieval times, dependant on wood and steel and smoke.

Some say The Cataclysm is a just myth. When the world was born again, the beings only known as The Precursors, who had mastery over all the elements, were destroyed, along with their vast technology. Few Precursor artifacts remain, but only those who are called the Mancers truly understand their use and power.

Aristocrats have formed self-sufficient cities and kingdoms that fuel their trade empires. Wars come and go, but it has been three generations of peace. Your great grandparents fought in the wars, but they ended long before your parents were born.

Invited from around the realm by the King of a well-respected kingdom, your crew has arrived at Ridwhick to assist in the excavation and exploration of the largest cavern system ever found has begun, and many signs and portents of the precursors are being unearthed within the dark, damp rock.

As you and your party mingle, you see the vast riches already pulled from the deeps. Your crew is eager to discover its stake, and find their fortunes. Blood has already been spilled underground, and tales of monsters not heard of in a milennia emerge from those returning from ‘The Under’.

There are all kinds of crews invited. There are fighters, squaddies of both bow and sword, spear and mace.

The operation would be nothing without Engineers, tunnelling through the solid rock and ore and metal, returning from The Under with a twinkle in their eyes.

Raiders are being recruited to scout the caverns, to get in and out quietly, smuggle things out, and also back in.

And the Mancers are here in numbers never observed let alone recorded, going deep to decipher and disable the strange and deadly precursor defences, and return with strange and dangerous artefacts of wondrous nature.

You are the captain of a party of these delvers. And you are here to claim your stake of the wealth of adventure that lies beneath you.

Coming soon to a BBBBS near you…


I wanted a fantasy cavern delver, but realised pulling upon the riches of popular/obscure culture was a core feature of the Badass series, so I did the logical thing: I set it in the future. When I shared this with a friend, they told me about Numenera. So I might draw some concepts from there.

The game is going to be mission driven like @patrace’s BASD, but much more co-op and story roleplay driven. I’m planning for 8 weeks starting sometime in September with unplanned downtime, but the game should be over by December.

I’m still working on the gameplay, but you can at least start thinking about characters…



The Game

“Enjoy Life. Make Money. Stay Alive.”
“Self-interested Cooperation is the basis of all success”
– Captain David Falkayn, Star Trader

The aim of the game is to make everyone else look “badass”. Like a good Improv comedian, “Yes, and…” is key. Write what helps your characters story grow, making sure that what you write doesn’t contradict anything that comes before, and sets up others to do the same.

This game’s characters and back-end will probably be based on Risus, the Anything RPG, gloriously and hamfistedly modified to run in the ‘Badass Dragon’ mission style of game played here on the Boing Boing BBS. We’ll use @discbot to roll dice for us, and you’ll all be improvising the story as it goes along, using some PM’d seeds from the DM.

Risus: The Anything RPG is a Free-to-download 6-page PDF. It’s not a hard read: check it out or ask for clarifications.

Character Races

  • Humans
  • Dwarves
  • Elves
  • Lizardmen
  • Moosemen

These are not your typical high-fantasy races, just 1000+ years of mutagen-driven human evolution mixed with stereotypes, clichés that your character fulfills.

The realm is a big place, and new peoples are seen in low numbers regularly. Make up your own race if you like.

Character Classes

  • Squaddies – The best squad can take down any enemy, up close or from a distance.

  • Engineers – The Machiner’s Guild’s creed: To tunnel, reinforce and construct.

  • Raider – Ingenious and stealthy, probably smugglers. Know what it is, where it is, and how to get it.

  • Mancers – A Mancer has arcane knowledge about the precursor technology, usually to subdue and disable it, but sometimes to wield it.

Missions will be written to hook onto these classes, so make sure you can do one of these well!

You know how most of these classes might work, but here’s the one you likely don’t:


“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
– Clarke’s Third Law

The Mancer is your basic technomage, only the technology isn’t that advanced. A fixer and disenchanter of the most dangerous Precursor technology, of which The Under is rife with. Held with high regard, praise and sometimes skeptism, every community is blessed by the works of the Mancer.

A Mancer is expected to be keeper of a single artefact of ‘unexplainable power’.

Ideally, the Mancer’s artefact should grant some power that some 21st century portable device would grant. There is a functioning wireless network for Precursor technology to communicate with, but its either proximity- or satellite- dependent, and won’t work very well underground.

A Mancer initiate might have a pocket torch or a rare-metal multi-tool, and be trained in ‘rebooting’ and reading Precursor.

A Mancer professional may have a hacked-together console, or a functioning walkie-talkie, and has been trained in figuring out Precursor technology, usually at her Mancer temple. They can identify and learn to wield Precursor technology with the help of a shrine.

Electronic devices are great, but batteries are few and far between, and 5% of the regular modern-day capacity. Recharging a device is one of the most sacred rituals of the Mancer, and shrouded in secrecy.

A Mancer shrine is a curtained cubicle containing a rigg batteryless laptop, powered by a decorated wind turbine, water wheel or even a steam-powered generator. Mancers can identify at least two of these shrines within the Ridwhick encampment, and for a fee, might ‘commune’ with the realms’ master Mancers at 120 baud – one of the few radio-enabled technologies.

A Precursor tome known as the “Kinn-del” is a well known legend, known to locate at one of the remote Mancer temples very far from here. (( We know it’s something like an e-book reader with the entirity of Wikipedia circa 2050 on it. )) As the rarest Mancer artifact, it’s reserved for the ultimate masters.

The Master Mancers of course, have browsed the Kinn-del and know all about the Cataclysm, and tremble. Information is danger, so an open-source spirit does not live on within the higher Mancer community. Mere Mancers like yourselves are unlikely to have ever heard of it being consulted in your sphere of influence. “Kinn-del be feared, Kinn-del be praised!”

Precursor Technology

Precursor devices and installations are dangerous. They light things on fire, they shriek, they explode. No-one likes them, not even the Mancers, until they figure out what a device does.

Sample Characters

Iljin the Lizardman

No-one understands Iljin. He lashes out at anyone who does not give thought to him or his concerns. Once on his deathbed, surgery went wrong and he now suffers from brain damage. He was befriended by a master warrior, he has formed his own squad of fighters and is out to kill anything in his way.

  • Blood-thirsty Warrior (4)
    Bastardsword, warpaint, bone necklace
  • Power-tripping Sargeant (3)
    His crew, uniform, whistle, large armory of melee weapons
  • Reluctant Cavern Skinny-dip Diver (2)
    Snorkel, pink wetsuit.
  • Ex-con (1)
    Can pull a shank out of no-where

Ralnia the Dwarf-woman

Coming to The Under was not an easy decision for Ralnia, but the opportunity to prove her craft to the community was not going to stop her bringing her two-year-old dwarf-son into mortal danger. Ralnia has a reputation for tunnelling the cleanest, smoothest tunnels, but some say unneccessarily so.

  • Measure-twice Dwarven Tunneler (4)
    Tunnel-driller, Dwarven Rock-Hammer, Chisels, pocket knife
  • Arm-chair Explorer (3)
    Adventurer’s kit, maps, knowledge of written-languages
  • Neat-freak (2)
    Pocket tape-measure, chamois cloths, spray bottles.
  • Concerned Parent (1)
    Two-year old dwarf-son, nappies, blanky.

Johshuwa the Human

Johshuwa’s Temple Elder has assigned him to The Under to make sure no-one gets hurt. Everyone at the temple knows it was just to get rid of him. But Johshuwa takes his job seriously, to his own detriment.

  • Worrisome Mancer (4)
    Artifact: Geiger counter, charging equipment, tools
  • Safety Officer (3)
    Hi-vis robes, risk assessment, fire sticks
  • Careful Driver (2)
    able to pilot any vehicle through
  • Friend to the Animals (1)
    Always has a pocket of dry animal food

You and your crew

Your character is defined by the clichés she fits. Those clichés form your abilities and equipment. You will improvise what you do out of these clichés. When you get hurt or damaged, your ability to operate within a cliché is impaired for a time.

A cliché goes from 1 to 6.
1 is a novice
2 is an amateur
3 is a professional
4 is an expert
5 is a wizened elder
6+ is an ultimate master

Your character has 10 points to assign to 4 clichés, starting at Cliché (4), down to Cliché (1).

If you let the GM pick one Cliché (1) for you, it’ll be a Cliché (2). Do it for the lulz.

If you write a 200 character-long back story, give yourself another point towards a cliché.

No cliché may start above 4 points. Extra points for clichés will be earned as the campaign continues.


Your clichés also dictate what tools of the trade you’ll have. Portable items, non-portable items, and any mooks at your command. These don’t buff you but are an innate part of your cliché score.

Squaddies will have weapons, but no guns. Engineers will be responsible for tools, and maybe a large human- or coal-powered machine, maybe unstable explosives. Raiders will have concealed weapons, money, and a sources of intelligence. Mancers have one uncommon Precursor artifact, tools, and Mancer livery.

Common precursor artifacts will be available to all.

Gameplay Process

Each week’s missions are posted at the muster station. Certain ‘classes’ will be required for each mission.

Your cliché points will be challenged through missions. Risus has rules for resolving conflict with Single Action Contests, Target Number Rolls, and Combat. “Badass Dragon” means we can’t really do Risus Combat, so the first two it is. Single Action Contests will occur when you’re facing a live entity, and Target Number Rolls when you face an unopposed challenge.

Completing a mission isn’t clear-cut like in BASD2. Winning is great, but losing is a storytelling opportunity.

A simple mission will be a contest or a target roll. Choose your cliché that best fits the mission, rollplay what you’re doing within that cliché, then tell @discbot to roll against it.

SO! Summon your favourite players from previous games to the thread, invite any newbies, and POST YOUR CHARACTER. Maybe open a bar or shop or have an adventure between a few characters.

If you’re interested and worried about anything, we’re a friendly bunch! PM me or ask questions here.



@Glutnix, I understand:

@discbot roll d20 - roll a single 20 sided dice
@discbot roll 2d20 - roll two dice
@discbot roll 2d20+5 - roll two dice with a positive modifier
@discbot roll 2d20-5 - roll two dice with a negative modifier
@discbot roll d20 your extra text here - rolls and parrots back your extra text
@discbot hello - discbot will respond with a greeting
@discbot help - shows all discbot commands

@funruly @OtherMichael @SteampunkBanana @daneel @bizmail_public @DreamboatSkanky @miasm @monkeyoh @penguinchris


I’m in!



I want to play SO BADLY, but I (am apparently a crazy person who) will be taking 15 units’ worth of upper-division classes in the coming semester, and my messin’ around time will be ultra limited.


But I’ll be interested to see what y’all end up doin’!


as long as I can cross party yo!



I am SO in!


No bee-men?




Did sssomeone sssay my name?

SssubTerryNeon, third-generation Raider and ssscoundrel of the Unlit Depthsss, at your ssserviccce.

Sssatan’s ssslitted pupilsss, it’sss bright up here. How do you all ssstand it?


No worries, we bee-people are well used to being relegated to the ignorable tier of unseen made-up service races. “As long as ah gets mah honey, son, you can be anything you want.”



Will there be banking?


I don’t plan on having mission entry fees, so I wouldn’t bank on it. :yen:

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That sounds suspiciously like the setting for the “Jak & Daxter” series.


Nice. I haven’t played Jak & Daxter (to my apparent detriment). Thanks for the resource, some food for thought there!

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You could probably fix it just by coming up with a new name for the “Precursors.” :wink:

There’s plenty of other ‘Precursors’ in fiction. Star Control 2, Halo, GalCiv2, Destiny. I’m not worried :smile: