The barbarian chieftain said: "What then are the greatest things that a man may find in life?"
The man on his right thoughtfully drank his cocktail of mare's milk and snowcat blood, and spoke thus: "The crisp horizon of the steppe, the wind in your hair, a fresh horse under you."
The man on his left said: "The cry of the white eagle in the heights, the fall of snow in the forest, a true arrow in your bow."
The chieftain nodded, and said: "Surely it is the sight of your enemy slain, the humiliation of his tribe and the lamentation of his women."
There was a general murmur of whiskery approval at this outrageous display.
Then the chieftain turned respectfully to his guest, a small figure carefully warming his chilblains by the fire, and said: "But our guest, whose name is legend, must tell us truly: what are they that a man may call the greatest things in life?"
"What shay?" he said, toothlessly.
"I said: what are they that a man may call the greatest things in life?"
The guest thought long and hard and then said, with great deliberation: "Hot water, good dentishtry and shoft lavatory paper."
- Cohen the Barbarian, "The Light Fantastic"
Kickin' arse and drinkin' ale. What else is being a Barbarian about? You wear black masks and tabi boots? I bash you with my axe. You can pull off your Flying Spinning Kick of Death because you "know" you can? I bash you with my axe. You can use the mystical powers of the Feng Shui, focusing your personal energy into amazing feats? I skip the axe and have me and my friends waste you with our crossbows. But when it all comes down to it, its all about kickin' arse and drinkin' ale.
Fighting was as much a part of barbarian life as paperwork is today. Wars were waged against neighboring tribes and clans; battles were fought with the Vikings, Romans, Celts, and others; and personal duels were fought almost as often as in the fictional American Wild West and the historical tradition of France. This constant aura of fighting and death resulted in a form of brutal Darwinism. The ones who survived to teach fighting were the ones that could fight the absolute best, resulting in every generation of warriors being fiercer than the last. The reputation of these deadly combatants survives to this day in spite of the lack of surviving records. Berserkers, barbarians, Picts, Celts... all different names for people who fought the same way, screaming and hacking away with whatever weapons came to hand (including enemy soldiers).
The last remnants of this fierce combat style died out before the Renaissance, but it was that age that sealed its fate. Fighting became a matter of science and style, rather than charging and bashing. As the world became more sophisticated, the barbarians faded into history. The modern world has no place for barbarians and their kind. Pillaging is responded to with "economic sanctions" and "police actions". Drunken brawling results in spending at least the next few nights in the Tank. Driving your enemies before you and gathering their women and children to your bosom is called a War Crime and gets one sent to court. Soldiers can't even use their .50 caliber machine guns against enemy troops without lawyers and politicians waving papers at them. Bureaucrats and lawyers rule the world, leaving little room for those who wish to ride wild and free.
Still, even against the might of Red Tape and the Forces of Legalese, there still remains the precious few who stand in defiance of modern sensibilities, who still cheer when the quarterback gets sacked and when monster trucks leap over cars only to smash their bodies apart. Biker gangs still roam the open road and people still fight in bars. No matter how hard The Man may try, the passion for Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of a bigger Axe still lives in the spirit of the few who live outside the rules. And while the Barbarians still ride, their fighting style lives on.
Entrance Requirements: P.S. and P.E. of 13, P.P. of 10, and M.E. of 12 or higher. No Alignment Restrictions.
Skill Cost: 9 Years (5 Years as a Secondary Form)
Costume: Traditionally, the Barbarian would wear either a linen tunic, trousers, and a wool cloak or go buck naked. Modern Barbarians tend towards Soft Leather Armor (i.e.: motorcycle leathers) and steel-toed boots, but will work in anything that allows them full freedom of movement, up to and including Class 4 Hard Armor.
Stance: Weapon held high, charging the enemy, and screaming bloody murder. CHARACTER BONUSES
Add +3 to P.S. Add +2 to P.E. Add +1 to P.P. Add +5 to Spd Add +10 to S.D.C.
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