Coming Soon: Badass Delvers of the Dragon


We just make them up as we see fit? (or is there a set to choose from?)

And we get 10 points, but if we spend 9 on three cliches, you’ll give us an extra 2 point one? (and if we write a backstory we get another point to assign?). Do we have to go 4, 3, 2, 1? Or can we go 4,2,2,2, or whatever?

Does the character class have to be one of the cliches?

Is this a purely (post) technological setting? Should we stay away from introducing supernatural elements/magic?


Great questions:

Cliches: Make them up. Adjective Noun is a good pattern. Draw from existing cliches or tropes: “sneaky ninja”, “hulk smash”, “aristocrat banker”.

Cliche points: You’ve got it. 4, 3, 2, 1 is good, but 4, 4, 2, 1, 1 could also work.

Character class: try to encapsulate the character class into one of your higher cliches.

As for Magic and the Supernatural:

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


Just don’t call me “Reclaimer.” I’ve had it up to here with those damned Forerunners.

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I mean:

“Yes, and bee-men!”

I love doing the Harold, but I’m so crap at it.

Will there at least be dialectical struggles against an outmoded yet deeply-ingrained hive system?

Or am I the only one who chafes at others queening about?

Pfft. I’m a software bee, not a hardware bee.

No, wait, scratch that.

j/k - this is more my bee-stylee:

What else am I gonna dance to? I’m a big fan of what the ancients called “Bread Weigh” (I believe that the music was originally written as rhythmic guides to accompany the grinding of wheat, and then extended to other aspects of bread-production), so I hope y’all like shoe-tunes!

(While that not my picture, I do indeed have a such a device, unless it’s another model. It’s surprisingly loud…)

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Untold ages ago, John Hammond’s seemingly bottomless funding ran out.

Economies crashed, cities burned, nations consumed each other, the seas rose, the stars fell, the lights winked out permanently, and Hammond’s “improved” genetic creations… found a way. They thrived, for a time. With all the havoc that the Cataclysm wreaked across every continent, one small island remained hospitable to what turned out to be fiendishly intelligent life. The creations bided their time, plotting their eventual conquest of the world that by rights should have been theirs for the last 65 million years, the world that was stolen from them when that thrice-damned rock fell out of the sky, flattened the Yucatan, and sent their inheritance screaming up its own cloaca and handed it all to those soft-skinned hairy mammals.

Not this time.

This time it wasn’t a rock that came barreling out of the sky to darken their days and upend the balance of evolution.

This time, it had six strings and a whammy bar.


And then the darkness reigned supreme once again.

Many generations of time later, from the smoldering caldera of what had once been briefly called Isla Nublar, crawled the first of the Lizard-Men. They blinked in blind terror at the searing rays of the sun. Many retreated beneath the ground, rejecting the heat and light of the surface to find another evolutionary way forward, some never to be seen again, others to found new genetic branches that could claw out a hard-won niche in any given ecosystem.

And a few others learned to cope with the surface, gritting their rows of serrated teeth in determination to finally, once and for all, claw and slash their way to the top of some food pyramid on some world somewhere, even if it killed them.

And while the half-life of the scalding green substance at the very bottom of the caldera slowed its frenetic mutagenic frenzy, the Lizard-Men emerged astride their throwback half-tamed mounts, the Dino-Steeds.

And as intelligent life began to emerge elsewhere in the world in other, less-scaly and bad-tempered forms, the Lizard-Men set about designing a raft with which to reach the distant mainland shoreline they could barely make out to their east, if they squinted.

It took them a while. Smoldering caldera as Isla Nublar was, the Lizard-Men were obliged to wait until the glowing green crap could mutate some viable palm-tree DNA out of a miraculously unscorched coffee table that was the only surviving wooden artifact extant on the island.

But Lizard-Men are nothing if not patient.

By the time the Moose cities had established themselves well enough to send trading emissaries to the Human and Elven settlements (but before the Dwarves had mustered enough strength to make their power known), the Lizard-Men had carefully and painstakingly evacuated all their number (including several of their Dino-Steeds) from the island, which might have gone faster had the Lizards been imaginative enough to grow enough mutant palm trees to assemble more than that one single and somewhat leaky raft. Some younger Lizards grumbled that it was no wonder their ancestors hadn’t the imagination to survive their first extinction all those millions of years ago, but those dissidents were promptly devoured for their insolence, and the evolution of the species sat down and parked itself more-or-less permanently right there.

Long ago, the first encounter between Lizards and Moose triggered a short war, which the Moose handily won since the altercation took place in midwinter when the Lizards are sluggish and stupider than usual while the Moose are at the top of the game (and less likely to be distracted by their warmer-weather mating bugles). The Lizards retreated beneath the ground to lick the ichor from their wounds and plot their revenge (a dish best served warm and toasty, by Reptiloid standards). And so it was that a Lizard raiding party invaded the Moose capital on Midsummer’s Eve, causing high casualties among the busily-rutting ungulatoids, who were left to rue the day they abandoned their autumnal mating season in favor of stripping down and getting freaky during the warmer summer months now that global warming had melted off both their ancestral snows and most of their heavy pelts.

And so the war continued in a seasonal see-saw fashion, until the historic peace accords struck when the Dwarves were discovered and attacked by all other races combined… but that’s a story for another volume.

Peace has reigned for the past three humanoid-generations. And from the last clutch of eggs born to DeepDownDarla of the Ssssskipper-born clan, emerged a scrawny, sticky, blinder-than-usual runt that didn’t really warrant a name, but that D.D.Darla called SssubTerryNeon, out of nostalgia for the pet stegosaur she’d ridden to death as a child. Long story, you had to be there.

SssubTerry was sub-useful, sub-intelligent, and sub-loved as a hatchling, but mostly because his eyes were quite weak and he kept bumping into corridor walls on his way to the schoolroom cavern. He did end up being regarded as a possessor of inordinately high amounts of luck, in part due to the sheer number of rockfalls and plummets into bottomless pits that he just barely avoided in his young life. Eventually his mother sold all her material possessions (as well as her somewhat worn-out but apparently still desirable virtue) to a passing Mancer, who, in response to D.D.Darla’s dying request, installed upon her last son’s cranium a Dark-Seeing Helmet, comprising infra-red goggles and hat-lantern that, for the first time in his life, permitted young SssubTerry to see as well as any nude-headed Lizard-Man in daylight (albeit somewhat painfully), and very slightly better in total darkness.

SssubTerry thanked his Mancer benefactor, then reverently devoured his mother’s cooling corpse, saddled her secondhand Stego-Steed, and set out to make his fortune as a Raider.

He did okay for a few years. But now that he’s gotten the call from old comrades in Ridwhick, he’s certain his fortune’s about to change for the better.


Goddamned Dirtyfighting Raider (4)

  • retractable dewclaws, modest collection of poisons, complete lack of hesitation

Dino-Steed Jockey (3)

  • rides a somewhat runty and foul-smelling mutant stegosaur, prodigious payload capacity, slow and clumsy tail-swinging attack, surprising conversational skill, answers to “Stegma.”

Sensory Augmentation (2)

  • Mancer-sourced and –installed Mining Helmet and Infra-red Goggles, sees slightly better in the dark than aboveground, contrast setting might make Precursor artifacts easier to spot, if only this thing worked at all. With its utterly flat battery, it’s basically nothing more useful than a pair of blue-blocker sunglasses… unless something happens to improve matters down the road…

GM’s Choice Cliché! (2) (since I wrote so much… bad habit of mine!)

  • Make it a good one!

Woo-hoooooo! I can’t wait!


Lizard-men? :heavy_check_mark:
Dinosaurs? :heavy_check_mark:
Humans? :heavy_check_mark:
Elves? :heavy_check_mark:
Dwarves? :heavy_check_mark:
Moose? :heavy_check_mark:

Bee-men? Bee-men? Bee-men?

##The bee-men, yet again, have been smoked out of the pages of history.






Born out of wedlock of a younger daughter from a minor aristocratic elf family following a quietly hushed-up affair with a snakeman acrobat, D’Melzaa was rejected by her family and raised in a workhouse in A’o Tirion, not knowing her true name. There, during a difficult apprenticeship, she learnt the street skills she needed to survive. She has all the patter of a natural-born grifter, is an expert cutpurse and pickpocket, never met a lock she couldn’t pick, and has the fast hands to suggest you should never play Find the Lady against her. For all that, she was never able to quite get ahead, owing to a weakness for fine clothes, cheap gin, and a system she developed for the races that was always almost perfect.

For a while she worked as the Roper to the infamous Hagluin’s Inside Man, running long cons until they reached too far, and marked an ambitious young politician. Hagluin is now enjoying a long and painful spell at the Elf King Vaeril’s pleasure, and D’Melzaa was forced to flee to Ridwhick with barely more than the (still sharp) clothes on her back, and her most treasured possession, her only link to her family - a small automaton she was left with at the poorhouse. It appears to be broken, and as she is no mancer, she is unable to make it work. But maybe someone else can…

1. Charismatic Raider (4) - cutpurse, fingersmith, handy with a stiletto in a tight situation 2. Gift of the gab (4) (if I get that extra point for the 200 character(?) back story, if not, 3?) - disarmingly charming con artist, scoundrel, always sharply dressed 3. Compulsive Gambler (2) - handy with cards, dice 4. (left to @glutnix's discretion)


Augmentation: This fits into the world fine:

Not all mancers are the same: This one did some surgery on SssubTerryNeon with some high tech artefact, and nailed it. The batteries are dead, but that could change by greasing some palms.

For your GM’s Choice: Ex-Mercenary (2), you decide on the details; work it into your character as you see fit.



GM’s Choice: Armchair General (2)
Maybe tuck your pocket automaton as equipment here…


Dishonorably discharged from the Kaw City People’s Militia after a misunderstanding involving a cask of medium sherry and the General’s youngest daughter, Grunter spent much of the last decade as a freelance mercenary.

Looking for a new challenge (not to mention a significant pay day), he’s heading underground to kick ass and chew gum. And he’s all out of ass …er gum. Whatever.

Silas “Grunter” McAskill the Human

  1. Unstable Squaddie (4)
    Bowie knife; brass knuckles; crazy eyes

  2. Canine Companion (3)
    Accompanied by a pack of semi-wild dogs (and a strong doggy smell); poop scoop; old tennis ball

  3. Action Archeologist (3)
    Bullwhip; fedora; leather satchel; athletic; no actual knowledge of archaeology

  4. Psychic (2) (from @glutnix)
    Knows when to hold em, knows when to fold em; magic 8-ball; sensitivity to bad vibes


Silas “Grunter” McAskill:

GM’s Choice: Psychic (2) – play this up any way you want, just remember Clarke’s Third Law. You could be actually psychic, delusionally psychic, or just a fortune teller. Whatever makes you look badass :smile:


I’m in.



Lorenzo Romano Amedeo Carlo Avogadro di Quaregna e di Cerreto the Moleman (Avo, for short)

A member of a species long thought to have died out millennia ago, his people merely slipped underground and chose to avoid surface dwellers and their strange conflicts. The Molemen are a very literal people with poor eyesight but very clever engineering, especially concerning tunneling and ground tectonics. Not as much use in most battles given their vision, but in close quarters such as a bar or tunnel fight their skills are unmatched.

Unfortunately, as Avo will be the first to tell you, proper engineering takes time, because what’s more important, getting it done or getting it done right? They are less likely to use their strong forelimbs to dig a tunnel quickly, as many historians have theorized, but instead prefer tools like the laser shovel, fire pickaxe (“Why do you need fire underground?” “Tree roots can suck it.”) and shovel-shovel. Not to mention their laser level, load calculator tables, wooden timber beams, and sliderules, of which they are masters.

Function above form is the molemen thought process and properly engineered function above function above form is the more precise way to describe it. They have avoided other races for generations, and have a deep seated suspicion of dwarves, whose carefully considered sculptural tunnels deemed “astonishing,” “breathtaking,” or “an amazing display of mastery with regard to the beauty of bejeweled caverns” the molemen deem “a scattershot nice try of winding routes by a pack of treasure hunters with no discipline or precision.”

It should be noted that this sort of thing is exactly what they tell their hutchlings when they begin their first tunnels and is considered a form of encouragement. Just not by other races, hence their avoidance of others who tend to take such dismissals of their highest art form as an insult. But they have had very little contact with humans (live ones at least, teen moles have learned mastery of their fire pickaxes in the fields of human-buried wooden boxes). Elves? How often do the fish speak of the birds? Moosemen are presumed incompetent given their antler spans in mole tunnels, and lizards are often avoided given their teeth and cleverness to wend their way into long-abandoned tunnels.

Miser Fixit (4)

  • Iron hammer, rock chisel and a clever eye for figuring our how to hold a tunnel “for a while, at least”

Tinker, Tinker, Tinker, Tinker (3)

  • Idle hands are the Devil’s Things playthings. Why does everyone say that around me?

Was It Two Lefts? (3)

  • If I built it, I won’t get lost. Too bad I didn’t build everyplace we’re going. And if I don’t know the way, my self confidence will let you think I do.

Potion Dealer (Dealer’s Choice) (2)

  • A pouch of ground herbs, saucy sauces, and a few powders for various occasions, first one’s free, man.

no, just TRaShy.


@SteampunkBanana Your cliches read more like abilities.

From the Risus PDF:

Clichés are shorthand for a kind of person, implying their skills, background, social role and more. The “character classes” of the oldest RPGs are enduring Clichés: Wizard, Detective, Starpilot, Superspy. You can choose Clichés like those for your character, or devise something more outré, like Ghostly Pirate Cook, Fairy Godmother, Bruce Lee (for a character who does Bruce Lee stuff) or Giant Monster Who Just Wants To Be Loved For His Macrame – anything you can talk your GM into. With a very permissive GM, you could be all these at once.
Each Cliché has a rating in dice (the ordinary six-sided kind). When your character’s prowess as a Wizard, Starpilot or Bruce Lee is challenged, roll dice equal to the rating. Three dice is“professional.” One die is a putz. Six dice is ultimate mastery.

Please rewrite them to be more cliché-like :slight_smile:

GM’s choice: Potion Dealer (2)

Update: Looking good :slight_smile:

Spoken like a true studio executive. :wink:


(image by Sedeptra)

Hail, Good Souls!

Sir Jeremy Axelrod Pholcain Bentham the Fourth at your service.

Everyone calls me “Bent.”

My grandfather insisted we were once nobility who “traded the stars.” We certainly trade a lot. From my Father to my Aunties to the second cousins once removed, my sprawling family always seeks The Deal - the mutually beneficial exchange.

Our approach: Talk to everyone, Deal with anybody. As Grampa said, “If you wanna get, you gotta get along.” My family knows people who Deal in all sorts of interesting things, places, and services.

Like my supposed aristocratic background, my lineage is murky. I self-identify as Human, but my visage suggests elves in the family tree. My favorite uncle, a moose-looking old bastard called Glumpf, always called my mother “Dwarf Fucker.” Aunt Lizzzz favors the Lizard side of the family. Like I said, we try to get along with anyone who will Deal. One group I hope to befriend are the hallowed, nearly mythical “Bea-Min”. Under-appreciated by many, my family greatly desires to bring one these buzzing beings “into the fold.”

My constant companion is Strix. Please be respectful – those owl talons rip off fingers that attempt undignified pokes. Strix has an uncanny sense that Bad Shit Impends. She also has unusual appetites.

Whether or not we’re an old aristocratic family, we do have a family estate. Ustoret House is the finest Manse in the county. The Precursors had odd ideas about comfortable living spaces, but they left rooms full of Magic

Indeed Uncle Glumpf died in a flash of magic while liberating the Arcane God “Mercury Fulminate” from her tin can confinement. There are many more gods and demons contained in that room. Indeed, that room set me on the path to being a Trading Mancer.

I am but a journeyman Mancer, and a junior one at that. Some Mancers claim that I am not a real Mancer because my Artefact doesn’t require a shrine. That’s fine with me. While they venerate Tesla, I will bow to Nobel and Saint Mendeleev. Even the haughtiest High Mancer may deign to Deal with me, because base potash can be Magic in knowing hands.

Sir Jeremy Axelrod Pholcain Bentham the Fourth, aka "Bent"
Trading Journeyman Mancer — Human (mostly)

(4) Principle Artefact: Surprise Powders. Between the Tinned Gods of Ustoret House, Uncle Glompf’s experiments, and my own work with unusual soils, I have an uncommon ability to make dry powders do interesting things. Often in loud or flashy ways. Sometimes.

(3) The Deal Network. My family network is extensive and far-ranging. No matter where I go, some old family contact might turn up to pitch a Deal.

(2) Portentous Strix. That owl sees more than the rest of us. Her comments are cryptic, cautious, caustic, unkind, and usually unwanted. Ignore her at your peril.

(2) Dealer’s Choice