Thundercats D&D

Those of us that lived through the 80’s, the Thundercats were an inescapable pop culture phenomena. That said, the Cartoon Network is having success with the show’s latest incarnation that runs on Friday evenings. I have watched a few episodes and it is pretty good. The new version is a retelling with a younger Lion-O, but the essence of the old show is preserved.

That said I thought it would be fun write a post that would give you ideas for running your own Thundercats D&D, d20, or Pathfinder campaign.

In no special order:

No Human/Demihuman Races

The fun of the Thundercats is that there were no humans and that image of a world populated by anthropomorphic animals was something different and alien. (To my knowledge, Mumm-Ra was the only Human on Third Earth) Use only anthro-animal races like Gnolls, Lizardmen, catfolk, etc.

Medium Magic

Remove classes that prepare spells in advance, such as wizard and cleric, and allow only spontaneous casters like sorcerers and favored souls. This is slightly lower the magic level of the world by limiting the number of spells your players will have access to, but most importantly it will better fit the theme of primal forces and innate power.

Dealing with Tech

The new series sets up technology as something that the Thundercats don’t use or really understand. This approach will help to highlight the nature/tech dichotomy of the show, and make your life easier as a DM. Tech should be as obscure to your characters as ancient artifacts are to your players.

If you get too liberal with the Tech, you wont be playing a fantasy game any more. If you add too much, it will cease to be powerful and mystical. Besides tech is the weapon of Mumm-Ra and his forces, if you give your players too much tech, it will blur the lines between the nature/tech struggle at the heart of the series.

I would use the futuristic weapons listed in the DMG page 146 to outfit Mumm-Ra’s goons. A Thundrillium shortage could explain away every single soldier doesn’t carry a rifle.

Thundercats

You can simply use the catfolk from the Races of the Wild book, or use the following subspecies to give your world more definition. These variations follow the catfolk entry, expect as noted. I made each of these the same size, even though wild cats vary greatly in size : Cheetah 140 lbs., tigers 675 lbs., lions 550 lbs. (thanks Wikipedia!)

Lion- +2 Str, +2 Dex, +2 Chr, Size: medium, Favored Class: Fighter

Noble and strong, the lionfolk are the rulers of Thundera.

Tiger- +4 Str, +2 Dex, Size Medium, Favored Class, Ranger

Solitary and brooding, tigerfolk are stronger than lions, but do not work well in a groups, preferring to work alone.

Cheetah- +4 Dex, Size medium, Favored Class: Scout, Bonus Feats: Improved Initiative,  Dash[1]

The fastest of the Thundercats, the cheetahfolk aren’t as strong as their brothers.

Sabertooth- +6 Str, -2 Chr, Size medium, Favored Class: Barbarian, Bonus Feat: Toughness

Savage and feral, the Sabertoothfolk are the strongest of the Thundercats, but the hardest to lead.

These are just a few of the possibilities. I thought of doing other types, Panthers for example, but it is hard to make them mechanically different from tigers.

Sword of Omens (minor artifact)

This version is based on the new series. The original sword had about 126 powers and would be impossible to duplicate.

The Sword of Omens is a +5 thundering bastard sword. The sword has the following abilities:

Size Variation- As a standard action the wielder may change the size of the sword to any one of the following: dagger, short sword, longsword, bastard sword. Regardless of the weapon’s size it retains all its properties.

Call of the Pride- As a standard action the wielder can produce the symbol of his clan in the air. The symbol is visible to clan members regardless of distance of visibility.

Sight Beyond Sight- Once per day, as a standard action the wielder may use Clairaudience/Clairvoyance as per the spell. Caster level 20th.

Claw Shield

The claw shield is a leather glove reinforced with steel strips. It acts as a buckler, and thanks to its steel claws, can act as a slashing weapon as well. Because of its strange nature, the claw shield is an exotic weapon. (DM’s could consider giving Thundercats this proficiency as a bonus racial feat)

Claw Shield   30gp   1d6 dmg   x2 crit   2lbs.   slashing   armor bonus 1   armor check penalty -2   10% arcane spell failure

The shield claw cannot be used to perform a shield bash, and the user cannot wield a weapon in their claw hand as the claws are fixed. The shield claw is considered a light weapon. Claw shields can be adapted to sheath small blades.

Hopefully this will give you a starting point to work from. If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more like it, let me know. Next time I could stat out Mumm-Ra and create a Thundertank.


[1] Complete Warrior

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5 Responses to “Thundercats D&D”

  1. This succulence is delicious to me. I approve of it.

  2. hello i just found this while looking for catfolk pathfinder pics to use in my rise of the rune lords campaign and just got done stating lion-o the sword of omens and the claw shield in the new pathfinder rpg i am currently running a rise of the rune lords 5th anniversary edition campaign in which a player wanted to be a catfolk, so i said fine but you would have to take a trait that represented you were rescued by elves and brought to the town of sound point which the player agreed too but always wondered were her character came from I always liked the map of the week for d&d 3.5 Archives and use The people of Poh-Tac-Lah live on a magnificent plateau overlooking a fertile valley and the glacial runoff Sum-Tah-Wah River. and it has Mountain Cat Temple: A waterfall shields the temple entrance, while a monumental totem pole stands at the south end in dedication to their god. maps but up in till now never really had anything good to put their till now so if you would not mind stating Mum-Ra for me that would be awesome! I was actually thinking Pum-ra form the orginal thunder cat episode Pum-Ra.

  3. Hi! What about Mumm-Ra lvl 10? He should at least be that level!

    As an alternative at lvl 15 or so for high-level-Heroes (that are not lvl 20+ already, that is)

    I’m planning to do a He-Man/Thundercats-Crossover, because for one it’s awesome to let players play in such worlds and for another is that i played almost untill the begin of the 90s with such action-figures. And I know that at least two other players had them too (or know of them). Sadly I have almost no “toy” from then left now! If I had known what they were worth some day… Na, I shouldn’t think about it! 🙂

    Look at this Setting I found for MotU:
    http://ralp.net/dungeons/he-man/

    So He-Man is dead! Why? In my world(s), because the skeletor from 1.000 in the future (new adventures) went back in time to get rid of He-Man. He visited Mumm-Ra and they alligned for their evil plan “You help me and I help you”!
    Of course He-Man came back from the future as well to look at skeletor, but Skeletor and Mumm-Ra (and their mutants, monsters and allies) waited for him. They killed him in an epic battle and destroyed the spaceship from he-man (which had the power of grayskull stored). So now Skeletor can rule Eternia and the almighty grayskull-power is lost.
    Next move is to go (fly) to the third earth and help Mumm-Ra defeat those thundercats.

    The Players come to the world of thundercats and have to help them against the evil foes (which is pretty hard when thinking of Skeletors powers combined with Mumm-Ras).
    So, what will happen? Were is the power of grayskull? What to do?

    🙂

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