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Thundarr the Barbarian with Ariel, Ookla and title

Thundarr the Barbarian


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

“The year 1994: From out of space comes a runaway planet, hurtling between the Earth and the Moon, unleashing cosmic destruction. Man’s civilization is cast in ruin. Two thousand years later, Earth is reborn… A strange new world rises from the old: a world of savagery, super science, and sorcery. But one man bursts his bonds to fight for justice ! With his companions Ookla the Mok and Princess Ariel, he pits his strength, his courage, and his fabulous Sunsword against the forces of evil. He is Thundarr, the Barbarian !”


Context

Thundarr the Barbarian as a 1980-1982 Saturday morning cartoon on US TV. As the quotes above helpfully recaps, it takes place in a post-apocalyptic far future. After an errant comet/planet nearly collided with Earth the world has been devastated, the Moon was broken, and it became possible to practice magic.

The cartoon mixes a lot of comic book tropes of that day, as many of the people creating it came from comics (Steve Gerber, Jack Kirby and Alex Toth having played the largest roles).

Some stuff was also thrown in by producers who saw how the kids loved the then-recent Star Wars, so the hero is accompanied by a sort of Wookie and has a quasi-lightsabre. Thundarr did come before He-Man of the Masters of the Universe, albeit not by much.

Though it had but 21 episodes, Thundarr had a notable impact on young Gen-Xers and retains significant nostalgia value.


Background

  • Real Name: Thundarr
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: Partner of Ookla and Ariel
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile
  • Height:6’0” Weight:230 lbs
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Light Brown w/ Black eyebrows


Powers and Abilities

Thundarr is a barbarian of near super-human strength. He enters hand-to-hand or melee combat with multiple opponents on a regular basis.

Thundarr’s courage is indomitable. He has never met a creature or a challenge that could un-nerve him.

In his fight against the oppression of the wizards he wields the Sunsword. This is a powerful artifact able to slice through steel like it was butter. Thundarr uses the Sunsword to deflect incoming energy attacks, he has even deflected area-effect blasts like dragon’s breath, more than once.

The Sunsword

The Sunsword may only be used by the one who recharges it in the Pool of Power. If someone else holds the Sunsword its blade will not extend.

Many times, when Thundarr has come across old technology he has been able to guess correctly about what to do with them. For instance, he has stopped a train by guessing what he needed to do to apply the brakes. More impressively, he has flown a helicopter and operated a dune-buggy without ever seeing these machines before in his life.

Thundarr-Barbarian-cartoon-h1

Ride!

Thundarr has trained his horse as well as Ariel’s horse and Ookla’s Equort to come when he whistles. He can get his horse to run for many hours or days without stopping and perform jumps (even leaping over angry men swinging metal pipes over their heads or onto moving ships).

Thundarr can coax his horse to run into perilous situations and rear up on it’s hind legs. He may also mount his horse on the run. Thundarr doesn’t have the Pet advantage.


Video

A low-res but surprisingly clean version of the opening and closing credits of Thundarr.


History

Thundarr is the leader of a trio of heroes consisting of himself, the young sorceress Ariel and Ookla the Mok. They travel the post-apocalyptic Earth on horseback fighting the oppressive tyranny of wizards.

The Earth”s surviving humans are no longer the dominant species. They thus live out their lives in a constant struggle for survival. Magic and super-science have changed the world. The Earth is now home to mutants, giant creatures, robotic constructs, and of course wizards.

Ookla and Thundarr enter a building

Thundarr’s past is a mystery. What we do know is he was held prisoner by a wizard. This is the very thing that made Thundarr who he is today; a man on a mission.

After breaking free, he joined up with Ariel and Ookla perhaps during his escape, perhaps afterwards. But the three are inseparable.


Description

Thundarr is a young man perhaps in his late 20’s or early 30’s with shoulder length hair. He wears a fur vest and shorts as well as moccassins, all are brown in color. On his wrists are yellow bracers, on his left bracer rests the Sunsword.


Personality

Thundarr makes gut decisions. He will not hesitate to come to the defense of his friends. His distrust for wizards is a key motivation in Thundarr’s decision-making process. In Thundarr’s world the wizards oppress the remaining humans, so over time, Thundarr has built a deep resentment for them.

Thundarr is stubborn and tends to act without thinking (that’s an understatement). But he’s basically a good person who wants to make the world a better place.

Thundarr is demeaning towards women and cowards. He has no stomach for braggarts either.


Quotes

“Demon dogs !”

“Lords of light !”

“Ariel, Ookla, ride !”

“AAAAAAHHHHHHH-YEEE !!”

Human Leader: “What manner of man are you ?”
Thundarr: “Free !”

“No wizard commands Thundarr !”

Speaking to Ookla: “Well done, old friend.”


DC Universe History

Thundarr lives in a post-apocalyptic Earth and would have a hard time adapting to our time. He, Ookla, and Ariel once traveled to the past and back again. They’ve also met scientist from our time. It would not be unreasonable to think it could happen again.

Another thought would be to put Thundarr in Jonah Hex’s futuristic timeline.


D&D Universes History

Thundarr and crew would definitely oppose the Sorcerer Kings of Athas in the D&D Darksun Campaign setting.


Star Wars influence

Thundarr is inspired by R.E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian and Han Solo from the Star Wars films. Thundarr has an analagous sidekick in Ookla to Han’s Chewbacca. He also has the princess to protect in Ariel. Furthermore, he is a rebel fighting the powers that be.

Further Star Wars influences can be seen in Thundarr’s weapon of choice, the “Sun Sword”, which projects a blade-like beam of energy when activated, and can be deactivated so that it is only a hilt.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Thundarr

A 688 points Character

Dex: 06 Str: 05 Bod: 05 Motivation: Seeking Justice
Int: 04 Wil: 10 Min: 06 Occupation: Adventurer, Freedom Fighter
Inf: 06 Aur: 04 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 000
Init: 016 HP: 060

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing, Athletics): 08, Animal Handling: 06, Military Science (Tracking): 04, Thief (Stealth)*: 06, Weaponry: 04, Weaponry (Melee): 08

Advantages:
Iron Nerves; Languages: Mok (Thundarr understand’s the Mok language but only speaks English himself)

Connections:
Ariel (High), Ookla (High)

Drawbacks:
Enemy (Gemini the Wizard), Minor Irrational hatred of Wizards, Minor Miscellaneous: Thundarr is illiterate.

Genre:
Action

Equipment:
Sunsword [BODY10, Cling: 05, Energy Absorption (Magic Energy): 07, Energy Blast: 13, Flash: 02, Reflection/Deflection: 07, Bonuses and Limitations —

  • Energy Blast has no AV and no range.
  • Energy Blast can be used to block energy attacks as if it were a solid object with BODY APs equal to Energy Blast (+2 FC).
  • Cling only allows the Sunsword’s hilt to rest on Thundarr’s wristband.
  • Flash cannot be used to attack, it only provides steady illumination up to the range of 02 APs and is elementally linked to Energy Blast.]

White Horse

A Pet costing 73 HPs

Dex: 02 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Equine
Int: 01 Wil: 01 Min: 02 Occupation: Horse
Inf: 00 Aur: 00 Spi: 01 Resources {or Wealth}: N.A.
Init: 003 HP: 000

Powers:
Running: 05


Jump !

In the earliest episodes there was good reason to give Thundarr the Jumping power with the Catfall Bonus, Only Useable With the Catfall Bonus. Thundarr could fall from ANY height without worry and land on his feet or on the back of his horse. The farthest jump being from a rocket headed for outerspace. He and his companions leapt from it on horseback and landed in the ocean unhurt.

In later episodes Thundarr is more concerned when falling and takes measures to save himself.

When looking at Thundarr’s incredible ability to leap from any height without harm, I came to the Jumping AP value of 08 because 07 is maximum falling AP value within Earth’s atmosphere. If GM’s want to incorporate this they should add it but I don’t think it was the intention of the writers at the time, so it’s not included in this writeup.

Powers:
Jumping: 07

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Jumping has the Catfall bonus.
  • Jumping may only be used at 01 AP unless using the catfall bonus.
  • Jumping is Usable on others, those who jump with him, but Thundarr does not lose the use of the power himself.


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Thundarr — Averaged PL 10.4

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
04 03 04 01 06 01 03 02

Powers

Superior blocking ● 4 points (Easily Removable – requires the Sun Sword or durable blocking object) ● Descriptor: Skill
Deflection 11, Limited 1 (to Energy Descriptor), Reduced Range, Reflect

Devices

Sun Sword ● 13 points (Easily Removable) ● Descriptor: Super-science
– Energy blade — Energy Damage 13, Enhanced Feat (Weapon Break)
– Energy glow — Environment (Light) 1, improves illumination by one step
– Energy absorption — Impervious Protection 6, Impervious Toughness 6, Sustained (all are Limited 2 to Magical Energy)

Combat Advantages

Close Attack 3, Defensive Roll 3, Fearless, Improved Smash, Power Attack, Ranged Combat 4, Takedown, Weapon Break (w/Sunsword)

Other Advantages

Beginner’s Luck, Extraordinary Effort, Languages 1 (Mok), Second Chance (Tumbling), Tracking

Skills

Acrobatics 7 (+11), Athletics 7 (+11), Close Combat (Swords) 3 (+12), Deception 3 (+5), Expertise (Cowards) 2 (+3), Expertise (Riding) 8 (+9), Expertise (Animal Training) 8 (+9), Insight 5 (+7), Perception 4 (+7), Persuasion 1 (+3), Stealth 5 (+9)

Offense

Initiative +4
Unarmed +9, Close, Damage 4
Sun Sword +12, Close, Damage 13

Defense

Dodge 10 Fortitude 7
Parry 10 Toughness 6/3*
Will 9

* Without Defensive Roll

Complications

  • No Wizard Commands Thundarr Thundarr hates wizards, and will not miss any opportunity to attack or insult one. This prejudice does not extend to Ariel. Presumably, his hatred only extends to wizards who use their unnatural powers to dominate others.
  • Enemy Gemini, among others.
  • Illiterate Thundarr cannot read, nor would he wish to.
  • Relationships Thundarr is a steadfast friend of Ookla and Ariel, and would never abandon them for any reason.
  • You Can’t Fight a Whole City, Thundarr Thundarr is a man of action. Planning is antithetical to his free spirit, and he sometimes acts with rash overconfidence. In his better moments, he acts with the ordinary sort of overconfidence. He considers himself invincible, and an expert on virtually anything he considers worth doing.
  • Seeking Justice Thundarr opposes all those who would enslave others.

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack & Effect PL 13, Dodge/Toughness PL 8 (11 vs. magic), Parry/Toughness PL 8 (11 vs. magic), Fort & Will PL 8
  • Point total 131 Abilities 48, Defences 20, Skills 27, Powers 4, Devices 13, Advantages 19. Equiv. PL 9.

Notes

Thundar’s Superior Blocking primarily reflects his expertise with the Sunsword; however, he can block effectively with any suitably durable object, such as a car door or a copper American penny grown to gargantuan size. His Extraordinary Effort reflects his frankly obscene physical feats. Second Chance (Tumbling) allows him to reliably fall from almost any height.

Thanks to his Beginner’s Luck, he can, in a pinch, fly a helicopter, sabotage complex machinery, or even (in truly desperate circumstances) persuade others to help him.

Thundarr has an Expertise in identifying cowards and their characteristics. For instance, he knows that the death machines of cowards are of no use against him, is able to identify cowardly uses of sorcery, etc.


Giddyup !

HEAVY WARHORSE PL 5
STR 4, STA 4, AGI 2, DEX 0, FGT 3, INT -4, AWE 1, PRE -2
Powers: Growth 4 (Permanent, Innate), Senses 2 (Low-Light Vision; Accurate Smell), Speed 1
Skills: Close Combat: Unarmed 3 (+6), Perception 5 (+6)
Offense: Init +2, Unarmed +6 (Damage 4), Defenses: Dodge 4, Parry 4, Fortitude 4, Toughness 5, Will 3
Totals: Abilities 0 + Powers 12 + Skills 4 + Defenses 9 = 25 points

By Ethan Roe

Source of Character: Thundarr the Barbarian the 1980s animated series by Ruby Spears Productions. Voice by Bob Ridgely

Helper(s): Wikipedia, rpglibrary.org , Under the Broken Moon RPG, Star Wars – Lightsabers v1.2. M&M stats by Pawsplay.

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