Chainsaw Warrior over a black background

Chainsaw Warrior

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


Chainsaw Warrior was a boardgame, published in the UK in 1987. I wouldn’t call it major, but it was a notable mix of :

  1. Solo playability (think of it as a difficult, enriched variant over Solitaire).
  2. Popular themes in 1980s pop genre fiction (chainsaws, zombie apocalypses, hugely muscular elite commandos, stupid chiefs… yeah, it hasn’t changed much).
  3. Emergent (if quite constrained) storytelling via cards and dice.

So that was cool. In many ways, it was an analog forerunner to the likes of Castle Wolfenstein, DooM or Quake.



  • Real Name: Unrevealed (feel free to use the old saw about his nom de guerre being his True Name).
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed, presumably single.
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: None, formerly American Special Forces.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile
  • Height: 6’2” Weight: 235 lbs
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Dark Blond (looks brown or blond depending on lighting).

Powers and Abilities

The Chainsaw Warrior is a top-notch soldier with a long and successful SPECOPs career. He’s the best SOCOM has to offer. The equipment he wears for the 2032 mission is tailored for extremely brutal close combat against inhuman opponents.

The chainsaw, particularly, doesn’t need ammo, is devastating and is well suited to close encounters with zombies and the like. These do not have distance weapons or powers.


In the year 2032, a strange warp in the continuum opened in the old Municipal Building in the heart of Old Manhattan. Bizarre creatures came flooding through into our own dimension . Goading them on was Darkness, a malevolent entity. Darkness intended to draw the whole city of New York through the warp.


The first squad of army troops who tried to assail Darkness’s stronghold were engaged by zombies, monstrously warped humans, mutant rats, and insane cultists. These wiped out the entire team. An airstrike was called off when radioactivity was detected. The military feared that explosions would throw that material into the air and contaminate the city.

Instead, nerve gas was dropped in. Then a second squad went in to reconnoiter. The enemy remained strong and this team fared little better. Still, but a single man made it out alive.

Break out the big guns

Then SOCOM brought their “special guy”, the so-called Chainsaw Warrior, out of retirement. Equipped with the latest high-tech equipment, he was assigned to shear his way into the very heart of Darkness’s domain. The Warrior was to defeat it within an hour in order to prevent it from destroying New York.

The Chainsaw Warrior in action

Confronting all of the threats above plus various booby-traps, an engulfing acidic slime, and a bizarre cyborg dubbed “Meat Machine”, the Chainsaw Warrior finally worked his way in to confronting Darkness itself. He destroyed the evil being and saved New York.(Chainsaw Warrior)

Now that the Warrior had been drawn out of retirement, another mission awaited him. He was being sent to a remote Alpine fortress to retrieve a “certain old spear” guarded by Neo-Nazi fanatics, SS Revenants, and vampires led by another shadowy menace… (from the designer’s notes, alluding to a sequel that was never published.)


The Warrior’s broad-shouldered, heavily-muscled build is perfectly capped by his wide block-jawed face, which is in a perpetual grimace. Even though he is retired, the Warrior keeps his hair trimmed in a tight flattop.

When on a mission he wears olive-drab or tiger-stripe camo fatigues, heavy army boots, heavy black carapace armor with a utility harness, and thick steel-reinforced gloves.


Pure military. The Chainsaw Warrior is a massively disciplined and efficient killing machine. He has a low tolerance for secrets or anything else that interferes with the effective completion of his mission. He took the ideas of spatial warping and cross-dimensional  incursions in stride, even though he had no previous familiarity with the concepts.

That equanimity likely reflects the Warrior’s singular focus on the work at hand. So long as he knows the target and the task, and has the tools, he is not going be distracted by irrelevancies such as the existential horror of hitherto-unknown entities forcing humanity to re-evaluate its place in the cosmos.


Sargeant: “You ever hear of something called spatial warping ?”
Warrior: “No, never.” (Proceeds to watch expressionlessly and without comment as the sergeant shows him video of zombies and mutants wiping out a squad of soldiers).

Chainsaw Warrior: “I’ve been in the field too long to not know when something’s wrong.”
Colonel Miller: “I don’t know what you mean…”
Warrior: “…You’re holding back ! I know it and you better get it through that thick head of yours that I won’t go in until I know *everything*.”
Warrior: “What kind of man are you that you’d send me in there with so much left unsaid ?”
Miller: “Just following orders, son, just following orders.”
Warrior: “I promise you, colonel… When I get out of this, I’ll come back and finish what I started five years ago in Singapore. And this time there won’t be any Aussie MPs — anybody — to help you.”
Miller: “I’ll be waiting, soldier, but I’m not going to hold my breath. I’ve seen what you’re up against.”
Warrior: “I’ll be back. You’ve got an hour to find somewhere to hide.”

DC Universe History

All of the equipment the Warrior uses can be produced in the DCU at equal or higher quality. An interesting context to use him would be an adventure where everyone is depowered (such as happened at the end of Invasion ). That would make it logical for the military to send a normal human instead of a superhuman soldier.

Most major militaries in the DCU would probably have several men like the Chainsaw Warrior. Namely, “best of the best” elite soldiers on the cusp between cinematic action hero and superhero. These are not quite skilled enough to be made into costumed government agents but certain to be deployed whenever superheroes are needed but not available.

Chainsaw Warrior colour artwork

These warriors could be sent out alone or in small groups. Up to half a dozen at the absolute most and even that number only available to the largest, best-equipped militaries. In the latter case, each Warrior would likely have a different specialty from the “Luck of the Draw,”.

The leader of the group would have two specialties ala “You Won the Lottery”, Leadership and 20 extra HPs.

The individual or the group as a whole might be selected on basis of specific prior experience. For example, a couple of warriors who had previously dealt with an inter-dimensional invasion such as the one in the board game might be paired up to stop a similar incursion by mystical entities if the need arose. Such Warriors might even have acquired Expertises relating to combating such threats.

See also our article on the Human Defense Corps.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Chainsaw Warrior

Dex: 06 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Seeking Justice
Int: 05 Wil: 07 Min: 07 Occupation: SOCOM Operative
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 020 HP: 040

Acrobatics (Athletics, Climbing): 04, Martial Artist*: 06, Medicine (First Aid)*: 05, Military Science (Camouflage, Danger Recognition, Demolition)*: 05, Thief (Locks & Safes, Security Systems, Stealth): 04, Vehicles (Land, Sea)*: 06, Weaponry*: 06, Weaponry (Chainsaw): 07

Ambidextrous, Familiarity (The Forces of Darkness, acquired by the end of the game), Intensive Training, Iron Nerves, Lightning Reflexes, Luck.

SOCOM (Low).


MID (Martinet Officers).




  • Radio Headset [BODY 01, Radio Communications (Scrambled): 06].
  • RAD-FIBRE JUMPSUIT [BODY 02, Flame Immunity: 02, Sealed Systems (Only vs. Radiation): 02]. A olive drab or tiger stripe camo fatigue jumpsuit made of flame-retardant material and interwoven with carbon and lead strips for radiation resistance.
  • IMPLOSION WAISTCOAT [BODY 06, Disintegration: 12, Skin Armor: 02, Bonuses & Limitations: Disintegration is Trans-Dimensional, must be at the center of a nascent spatial warp to activate, has a 1 AP Area Effect (APs of Disintegration as AV/EV versus an OV/RV of BODY/BODY) that also attacks the wearer, and the Grenade Drawback; Skin Armor is Partial (Vest, +1CS Trick Shot to bypass)].
    In addition to functioning as a typical flak jacket, the sophisticated microcircuitry of the implosion waistcoat device was designed to trigger Darkness’s warp before it was fully formed, destroying the invading being, the wearer of the waistcoat, and any other being in the immediate vicinity.
  • STEEL GLOVES AND ARMOR SLEEVE [BODY 06, EV 03 (05 w/ STR, 07 w/ MA), Skin Armor: 02, Limitations: EV only adds to punches; Skin Armor is Partial (Vest, +1CS Trick Shot to bypass; Note: When worn together these items and the waistcoat are be treated as a single set of armor requiring a +2CS Trick Shot to bypass]. The gloves protect the Warrior’s hands and make his punches more damaging.
    The McDonnell Mk 3 Body Armor sleeve is made of interlocked metal bands worn underneath the Chainsaw Warrior’s fatigues on his right arm and provides additional protection for that limb, which is commonly extended when he is swinging his chainsaw.

Utility harness

  • Mini-Tool Kit & Medi-Kit [BODY 01]. A small selection of wire cutters, lock picks, and other tools and medical supplies that allow the Warrior to use his Demolitions, First Aid, Locks & Safes, and Security Systems Skills without penalty.
  • Acid Capsule [BODY 02, Acid: 06, Limitations: Acid has No Range (but can be thrown); Grenade Drawback].
  • Anti-Rad Capsules [BODY 01, Damage Transference: 02, Bonuses & Limitations: Damage Transference has No Risk of Injury and can only be used to heal radiation damage; Grenade Drawback].
  • Ultra-Violet Emitter [BODY 02, Aura of Fear: 02, Limitation: Aura of Fear only affects Darkness’s zombies or other creatures vulnerable to UV light, which have 01 AP in the relevant Mental Attributes for purposes of resisting this Power].
  • A flashlight and flare gun for back-up illumination in case his IR goggles are damaged.

CQB equipment

  • INFRA-RED GOGGLES [BODY 02, Shade: 04, Thermal Vision: 04]. These goggles do not have the range of normal vision but are still useful for fighting in low-light conditions without penalty, especially in CQB  conditions where visible distance is limited in any case.
    When he is not using the goggles the Warrior simply lets them dangle from his neck on their retaining band, looking like nothing more than a regular pair of sunglasses to the casual observer.
  • Combat Knife [BODY 06, Enhance (EV): 01 (Cap is 06), Descriptor: Piercing, Slashing].. Between the powerful punches afforded by his gloves and the devastating damage his chainsaw can inflict, the Warrior seldom uses this knife in melee combat. However, he still finds it useful for cutting his way out of net traps and the like or as a silent thrown weapon.
  • Westron Mk X Pistol-Grip Combat Chainsaw [BODY 010, EV 06 (07 w/ STR or MA)]. A derivation of the well-known tree-felling device, the combat chainsaw has a quieter, more efficient engine and its redesigned grip allows it to be used one-handed.
    This devastating melee weapon could dispatch most foes with little effort and a skilled user with this weapon in hand could meet even the toughest mutant beasts on equal terms.
  • Starling CF7C Sub-Machine Gun a.k.a. “The Widowmaker” [BODY 04, Projectile Weapons: 05, Ammo: 10, R#02, Advantage: Autofire, Note: Can be used one-handed]. The Warrior’s preferred close combat configuration was to keep his chainsaw ready in his right hand and this sub-machine gun ready in his left hand, alternating use as appropriate.

Heavier weapons

  • SRH VS220 Automatic Rifle [BODY 04, AV 04, Projectile Weapons: 06, Telescopic Vision: 03, Ammo: 12, R#02, Advantage: Autofire].
  • Laser Lance [BODY 04, Laser Beam: 10, Bonuses & Limitations: Laser Beam is Trans-Dimensional but has No AV (use firer’s relevant Weaponry Skill instead) and Lack of Control (+1CS to target’s OV), Range: 02, Ammo: 03, R#03]. While the Darkness entity was immune to conventional weaponry, this laser pistol’s modified beam was capable of wounding it, even killing it with repeated blasts or a single well-aimed shot.
    Though the laser lance was powerful enough to kill most other threats with a single shot the Chainsaw Warrior avoided using it unless absolutely necessary to conserve its extremely limited number of shots for the final confrontation with Darkness.

Design notes

  • If the stats seem a little low for someone who single-handedly took on a large building full of monsters and armed lunatics, keep in mind that the Chainsaw Warrior usually lost. It was rare to even get a tie in the game (and that only possible if you had a particular item), much less win it.
  • Vehicles and some of the Subskills were not demonstrated in the game but are included as typical for the “omni-competent soldier” type.
  • In the board game the player character’s stats and equipment were rolled anew for each session. The basic stats assume average rolls and a typical equipment load equivalent to that depicted in the character art (which is twice as generous as the board game rules would have allowed even on the best possible rolls).
    The “Luck of the Draw” section is an homage to the original’s random character generation and provides stat bonuses equivalent to higher-end rolls during that process. The end result is similar to a high-end character, which is reasonable since the history assumes the Chainsaw Warrior won (which was more likely but still far from certain even with maximum stats).

Luck of the Draw

Just like in the board game, you never quite know what you’re getting when you call in…The Chainsaw Warrior ! Each time you introduce the character anew, roll 1D10 and check the result below:

1-2: Hand-to-Hand Specialist — TR: 05; Weaponry (Melee): 07; Weaponry (Chainsaw): 08;
Helmet [Raises Trick Shot to bypass body armor to +3CS];
Smash Drug Capsule [BODY 01, +1 DEX & STR for 5 minutes (7 APs), then 1 point of Bashing Damage to Current BODY which cannot be LDDed, Grenade Drawback].
3-4: Marksman — Weaponry (Firearms, Heavy): 07;
MarTech Computer Automated Targeting System (CATS) [BODY 01, attaches to a single firearm chosen at beginning of play, reduces target OV by 1CS when using that weapon];
H&W Reaper Fully-stabilized Personal .50-Caliber Machine Gun [BODY 04, AV 05, Projectile Weapons: 09, Ammo: 08, R#03, Advantage: Autofire, Drawbacks – Long Reload Time, MPR (Cumbersome), Note: The Reaper has a hip-mounted stabilizing arm like the smart gun in Aliens].
5-6: Infiltration Specialist — Thief (Locks & Safes, Security Systems, Stealth)*: 06;
Chameleon Suit [BODY 04, worn over body armor, adds +1CS to OV/RV of attempts to visually detect the Chainsaw Warrior];
Rope & Grapnel Launcher [STR 04 (used for weight capacity or improvised attacks with launcher), BODY 04 (used for both launcher and rope), fires line up to 4 APs];
Dynamite Charges x2 [BODY 01, Bomb: 10, Set by timer].
7-8: Hi-Tech Warrior —
Multi-Scanner [BODY 02, Detect (Metal, Radiation, Temporal Disturbances): 06, Extended Hearing: 03, Thermal Vision: 03, Limitation: All Powers have a 02 AP Range];
TELEPORT IMPLANT [BODY 01, Teleportation: 05, Limitation: Teleportation can only take the user to a specific pre-programmed location, in this case the base camp where the Warrior can resupply];
Time Grenades (x2) [BODY 01, Teleportation: 01, Time Control: 06, Advantage: Teleportation and Time Control are Combined; Limitation: The small space-time fluctuations of the time grenades displace the target randomly — the time and place the target is shifted to are thus controlled by the GM; Grenade Drawback];
GWC Cyber Neutral Electron Scrambler [BODY 04, Mental Blast: (Linked to user’s MIND); Range: 01, Limitations: Mental Blast is Fatiguing, Mental Blast has No Range – use the Range given next instead].
9-10: You Won the Lottery — Choose any two of the above specialties.

Tools of the Trade

Though the Warrior usually preferred the automatic rifle, he sometimes used one of the below weapons instead:

  • CLose Assault Weapon (CLAW)-15 Combat Shotgun [BODY 04, Projectile Weapons: 06 (Diminishing), Range: 03, Ammo: 08, R#03, Advantage: Scattershot, Limitation: Projectile Weapons has No Range – use the Range given next instead, Drawback: Very Long Reload Time].
  • McDonnell RFK3 Helium-Cooled blaster  [BODY 03, Energy Blast: 05, Range: 03, Ammo: 16, R#03, Limitation: Energy Blast has No Range – use the Range given next instead].
  • Hanson-King Mk16 Combat Flame Projector [BODY 04, Flame Project: 07 (Area of Effect: 0 APs), Range: 02, Ammo: 12, R#04, Limitations: Flame Project has No Range – use the Range given next instead, MPR (Cumbersome), No Reload In The Field].
  • The Markman Specialist can also trade the Reaper for this weapon: Johnson FOD-42 “SuperWasp” Man-to-Man Rocket Launcher [BODY 04, EV: 10 (Area of Effect: 1 AP), Range: 07, Ammo: 04, R#03, Grenade Drawback].

Old Soldier

Before his retirement, the Chainsaw Warrior would have had both Medium Credentials and a High Connection with SOCOM. Since he apparently comes out of retirement after the encounter with Darkness (see History for details), he might acquire these Advantages again.

By Sébastien Andrivet and Roy Cowan.

Source of Character: Chainsaw Warrior (solo board game) & supplements (White Dwarf Magazine).