Vol. 93: Bazooka Dudes!
At a Glance: Explosive experts with magical bazookas. What more could you ask for?
In-Depth: At the beginning of the Third Crush 3 groups split off from the Multiverse warriors. Not in a schism sort of way but more in a natural evolution type of way. The Multiverse warriors had existed for so long that by now that their history was truly ancient and legendary. But also, stagnant. It was time for them to grow.
The first of these groups to break away began to show up sporadically at the VERY end of The Panic. And they came to be called the Bazooka Dudes. Any sex can be a Bazooka dude, because as they say in one of their most popular Mantras, “Anyone cool is a dude!”
The Bazooka Dude’s story begins early in the history of the Multiverse Warriors; while the first Warriors were still writing The Codes, most of which are still followed to this day. One of these Codes talks about weapons. Multiverse Warriors can use nearly any weapon with devastating effect. But the only type of weapons they really frowned upon were explosives. Multiverse Warriors are charged with protecting life at all costs and the unpredictability of explosive weapons have made the use of them sort of taboo. (Note: This does not include the use of MOST guns. Multiverse Warriors are gun experts and have several classes dedicated to their use.)
The call of “Things that go BOOM”, is great. And many can’t resist. (Another of their many Mantras)
So over time the Warriors created an explosives unit, tasked with learning the safest and most effective ways to deploy explosive weaponry. And for many years they experimented. Bombs, Landmines, Grenades, and many many more were created, tested, and eventually dismissed. Then they began experimenting with adding a magical component to these devices.
Magical charms of all types were explored. Magical Restraints meant to contain the explosions. Magical enhancements to expand blast radiuses and allow the explosives to travel further. But severe problems remained. On the rare chance the accuracy of any explosive was off, even by a small amount, it resulted in severe civilian casualties in every test.
By this time, the whole of the Warriors had grown quite weary of their Explosives Unit. Heck the specialists themselves had grown weary. Many began to call for the disbanding of the unit. They were amid The Panic at this time and every resource mattered. It seemed it would be the destiny of the Warriors to forgo the use of explosive weaponry forever. But just as the unit was about to be shut down, 2 brothers emerged that would change everything.
Half-Brothers, each half elf, and half human genetically. They shared a common father but different mothers Eerily they looked almost exactly alike. So much so many began to call them, “The False Twins”
The False Twins were very enthusiastic about explosives. ECSPECIALLY Bazookas! Tucked away in their own private lab on a distant planet they had been working on creating the perfect bazookas for use by the Warriors. Through raw elven magic and precise human ingenuity, they had finally did it. They created the first pair of the most amazing bazookas in the multiverse. BAZOOKA X!
The False Twins, Jaylon and Jenagra, called upon the Warriors to offer a demonstration but it took some convincing to get any to come. Finally, at a demonstration attended by only around 100 Multiverse Warriors, the False Twins showed the results of their labors.
Through the use of the Bazooka X’s and a little bit of magic to charge them with each shot, they amazed the small crowd before them. They never missed a target. They didn’t so much as get dust of their simulated civilian targets. Their accuracy and ability to determine the explosive yield was astonishing. Moreover, they had created the ability to infuse their Shells with various magical abilities and properties. At the end of their demonstration, to prove a point, they turned and fired their final two shells directly into the audience. The Multiverse Warriors were pissed, but when the shells exploded, they radiated a healing energy that invigorated them and heightened their senses. Most agreed that besides being shot at in the end, the presentation was a wild success.
The 100 that attended went back to their academies throughout the multiverse singing the praises of the False Twins and Bazooka X! But their enthusiasm fell on mostly deaf ears. The Multiverse Warriors were so exhausted by the talk of explosives that they didn’t want to hear it. Most also still thought that the Explosives Unit was taking much needed resources they could use elsewhere. The talk of magical bazookas failed to impress them.
But those who has seen the demonstration remained impressed and returned to the False Twins. And together they started their own new academy that would specialize in the use of Bazooka X.
Many Warriors grew angry with these “Bazooka Dudes”, galivanting around with their huge magical bazookas! A waste of manpower and resources they would say! A divide formed between them.
But the Bazooka Dudes pressed on, further refining Bazooka X and looking for recruits of their own. On the battlefield the Bazooka Dudes were brazen and successful. The Psi News covered their exploits with great excitement and many young and enthusiastic adventurers from all walks of like were drawn to them.
By the final days of The Panic, 5 Bazooka Dude academies had opened. All training new young warriors in the way of life that was Bazooka X!
Powers & Abilities: Bazooka Dudes all start at level 1 having built their own Bazooka X by hand. Bazooka X can resemble any type of traditional bazooka, some even having elaborate targeting systems attached. But BY FAR the most common type of Bazooka X are RPGs.
One of the greatest advantages to Bazooka X is there is no ammunition to carry. The shells are created magically. Creating, loading, and firing each shell counts as casting a spell, therefore in most circumstances only 2 shells can be used per round.
At level 1 a Bazooka Dude can create and fire 2 Standard Shells and 1 Magical Shell per day. They gain the ability to create and fire 1 additional Standard Shell and 1 additional Magical Shell per level. A newly created shell must be loaded and fired within 2 rounds. If it is not it will evaporate into mist and be lost.
Standard Shells do 1d10 damage per level with a blast radius of 5’ + 1’ per level. But the glory of these Standard Shells is their adaptability.
To start, a Standard Shell can be launched with 1 of 3 settings. The setting can be determined at the moment the shell is launched. The first setting is Stun. A Stun Shell that hits a biological target will stun it for 1d4 +1 rounds, +1 round per five levels. A Con save -2 is allowed for the target. These shells can stun in the full blast radius, stunning multiple targets! They can also be set to stun ONLY the target they hit!
The second setting is Individual Damage. And ID shell will ONLY cause damage to the target it hits. These shells only do 1d4 damage per level and have no blast radius.
The 3rd and final setting is “Full Yield.” These shells do 1d10 damage with a blast radius of 5’+1’ per level.
But the customization doesn’t end there. The Bazooka Dude can also decide upon firing how much damage they want the shell to do, and with full yield shells can lower the blast radius to the minimum of 5’ or to any radius they are currently able to have. The damage must be in increments for the assigned shell so an ID shell can be set to increments of 1d4 damage depending on the level of the caster and the Full Yield shells in increments of 1d10 with a minimum blast radius of 5’
It is this precision that allows Bazooka Dudes to be so confident on the battlefield even when surrounded by civilians.
The second type of shells are Magic Shells. These can produce various magical effect, inline with nearly any magical spell. However MOST magical shells do elemental damage and reproduce effects from elemental magic. The Bazooka Dude can choose 1 new magical shell each level. Each Magic Shell can be cast at any level of the Bazooka Dude choosing up to their maximum. And while MOST Magic Shells, as mentioned, are elemental in nature, nearly any spell can be added to a shell with DM’s approval. Healing shells, Flight shells, Fog shells, and much much more can be created.
Bazooka X itself is highly resistant to damage to the point of ALMOST being indestructible. If a Bazooka X is destroyed a BD can produce a new one in 1d4 months if they do nothing else but search for the materials they need and prepare the enchantments needed for its construction. Total time will be determined by the DM. Furthermore, if a Bazooka X is stolen from a BD they can track it with 99% accuracy up to 1000 miles! If a BD determines a Bazooka X is unretrievable, they can perform a 5-minute ritual that with completely disintegrate the Bazooka X, even if it is in another universe! They will then of course have to go about constructing a new one.
At level 10 BDs will Critical Strike on 19 or 20! At level 20 they gain the ability to do a called critical strike once per day! This Called Strike can also have twice the maximum blast radius if the BD desires!
BDs have supernatural hearing. They can hear the faintest of sounds even at a great distance. On the other end of the spectrum their hearing cannot be damaged by loud noise. Noises that would deafen a normal person are casually shrugged off by BD’s. Spells and weapons that deal sound damage do half damage to BDs and the duration of any negative effects is also halved.
The final ability to discuss with BDs are their Mantras. All BDs have Mantras or “sayings” they use in their life. Most BDs think that their mantras are “deep, philosophical, and/or inspiring”, most of them are… not. Still they mean a lot to the BDs that create them. BDs also love to hear the mantras of other BDs. Most will carry around tiny notebooks and write down the mantras they hear from other BDs. A BD will never make fun of another BD’s mantra, no matter how ridiculous it may be.
Mantras include things like, “Every first step is the beginning of a journey”, “And that why I always shoot from the hip!”, “Now that’s what I call fiery!” They can make little to no sense and usually reference something that only has meaning to the BD directly. But shockingly these Mantras hold some power for the BD.
First if a BD is able to use one of their mantras in a clever or funny way (especially a funny way) They should be given a very small amount of extra XP at the end of the game. It is of course up to the DM to decide what is clever or funny. Secondly if the BD can use the mantra before an attack, they will be +1 to hit and +1 to dodge for the next round! Lastly if the BD can use the mantra before a skills check that skills check will be +1! Notice we say, “can use”. BDs wont just say one of their mantras to say it. It must be situationally appropriate (or funny) to have effect. These effects can only happen once per day per mantra. BD’s choose their first mantra at level 2 and gain another at level 6 and at level 19. At level 19 the mantras become inspirational, giving the bonus effects to any ally within ear shot when it is said. It should be noted that this is a chance for interesting and fun gameplay and BD’s should put some effort into creating their mantras.
BDs also gain something from collecting other BD’s mantras. If a BD (player) is able to collect and write down 1000 mantras from other BDs they meet on their journeys this is considered quite an accomplishment! Upon doing this a BD may perform a 12-hour ritual with their Book of Mantras, and if it completed successfully the BD may add 1 point to any stat of their choosing as well as a new skill of their choice!
Lifestyle: Bazooka dudes are passionate and enjoy living life to the fullest! Many like extreme sports and activities like surfing, rock climbing, spelunking, paragliding and more. They tend to be very into their looks and slightly vain… and vapid. BDs are +1 to charisma and -1 to either Int. or Wis. They have a surfer/fraternity bro/sorority sis mentality.
They live in t-shirts. They love to wear shirts with their mantras blazon across them or the mantras of other BDs they admire. Similarly, they love to make patches to sew onto jackets or jeans or whatever that also showcase various mantras. A single BD jacket may have several dozen Mantra Patches sewn onto it. All BDs gain sewing and patch making as skills at level 3.
Most BDs are Human or Elven (90%) but they can be from almost any race (With DM approval) and include Centaurs, Animus, Grinders, Naga and more!
For secondary weapons, BD’s will usually carry a handgun. They tend to stay away from other larger weapons or guns, as Bazooka X is already fairly large and cumbersome. They can also learn to use melee weapons, but even here they tend to use smaller ones. Knives, Daggers, and Throwing axes are common. They are also adept at the use of more common explosives and can learn to use and make grenades, bombs, landmines, and more. That being said, they are often wary to use any type of explosives for the same reasons the Multiverse Warriors always have: their unpredictable nature.
Their skills tend to be mostly physical or utilitarian.
At their cores BD’s still have the souls of Multiverse Warriors. They seek justice and peace and long to help the disenfranchised. They are bold protectors and friends to the friendless. It should be noted in closing that there is a legend that towards the end of the False Twin’s lives they created two even more powerful bazookas. Bazooka Y! But Bazooka Y was too powerful, so they hid the pair of them on a distant world. They say there is a map to the hiding place of Bazooka Y. And that this map was split into 5 pieces. Rumor has it these 5 map pieces hang as works of art in various Multiverse Warrior academies throughout the multiverse. Whether there is any truth to the existence of Bazooka Y remains to be seen. Many BD’s have dedicated their live to searching for them.
Bazooka dudes! The few, the proud, the EXPLOSIVE!
About the Illustrations: Here we have some designs for Arc! The first, more superhero looking one was the design I used for a long time, but eventually my final design fell close to the second one shown. More Arc artwork is coming in the future!