Search Results for Diesel Pulp

Rosie’s Rifles, Part II

“When you are the storyteller, you get to decide what the story is.”

I’ve been working on miniatures for Rosie’s Rebels, a super-powered military team for my Diesel Pulp ’40 hobby setting, for a long time. I rarely have much time for it currently, but my roommate built a Bren universal carrier model of mine, which let me wrap up a long-stalled project, the automatons Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale to accompany Bolt Buster.

Below are Eight-Ball and Gibson (who you can read about here), along with Medusa, Stheno, Euryale, and Bolt Buster (who have write-ups below). Eight-Ball and Bolt Buster are both carrying Thompson-Remmington M2S1 submachine guns, as common with Rosie’s Rifles, while Gibson has her iconic High Standard HF .38 pistol.

Still need to be painted, obviously.

(Members of Rosie’s Rebels, L to R: Eight Ball, Gibson, Stheno, Medusa, Bolt Buster, and Euryale)

Bolt Buster: Prior to volunteering for the Homestead Observation Program Executive, Bolt Buster was a moonshiner, tractor-repair woman, and torch singer who worked the Appalachian Mountain resort circuit. Her exposure to mateirals as part of H.O.P.E.’s experimentation resulted in gaining the ability to comprehend mechanical and electronic functions (but not, for example, chemical) by hearing sounds echo off such devices. This allowed her to become a genius-level inventor and engineer. When in a hurry, she often began fixing things by hitting them with a wrench to hear what was wrong with them.

Early in deployment, Rosie’s Rifles picked up three 1st-generation R.U.R. automatons, MDA, 13O, UR-AIL, and worked with them for some months. When the automatons were destroyed, Bolt Buster was determined to rebuild them, despite the fact no one had ever successfully restarted a failed “cold” R.U.R. cognition core. She succeeded… but the automatons were incapable of speech, and could no longer achieve the coordination needed for bipedal locomotion or coordinate hands (though MDA could operate a single “off” hand). Bolt Buster built them new, smaller, bodies, and they became a core part of the Rosies’ section until the end of the war. In their new forms the automatons selected new names — Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale.

It was often debated whether Cast-Iron or Bolt Buster was a greater genius and inventor, and Cast-Iron’s inventions where clearly more advanced (but no one but her could ever make them work), while the vast majority of Bolt Buster’s much more mundane, but replicable. The two women felt no need to participate in such debates, and were good friends who often collaborated.

Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale: The only R.U.R. cognition cores to ever be restarted from total failure and remain stable, the automatons originally designated MDA, 13O, UR-AIL nonetheless underwent significant personality changes. Medusa was the only one of the 3 still able to operate even 1 hand, and was the most aggressive of the 3, generally taking charge when they made decisions without one of the Rebels present. Medusa was also able to easily adapt to different weapons in her Dexter gun mount, though she generally carried a M1919 Browning 30 cal. Stheno was built into a gun carrier to serve as its driver and gunner, and often served as the Rebel’s primary portage unit and fall back position. She had a Browning M2 .50 cal mounted forward, and a M25a 105mm recoilless rifle that could be fired by her, or swung down on it’s mounting arm to be fired by adjacent infantry (which tended to be significantly more accurate, but required Stheno to be stationary). Euryale was fixed in a single form, unable to adjust to new weapons (equipped with two custom box-fed .45 Thompson-Remmingtons), but was by far the fastest of the three, able to move up to 45 mph, even in rough terrain.

(Stheno’s Dexter side, with close up on her external lockbox where many Rebels kept extra gear)
(Stheno’s Sinister side, showing detail of the recoilless rifle’s swing-mount. Also closer views of Medusa, Bolt Buster (about to snack something or someone with a wrench), and Euryale.

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More Models for my Hobby-Only ’49 Setting

I have been working on a “White Tsar” diesel pulp armored vehicle for nearly 5 years now. It’s a major kitbash, using some pretty advanced models beyond my actual skill level, and it’s stalled out more than once.

But our new housemate (a friend of decades) is an avid modeler, and wanted to help. The fact each wheel has more than 100 individual parts (I love pedrails, but they were not simple tech) phased him not a bit. And thus, this monstrosity has finally finished the construction stage, so I can show it off prior to beginning painting.

Comparing it to the original Tsar tank:

More than 20 feet tall? Check.
Triwheel design? Check
Giant weapon sponsons and a turret? Check

Here’s a quick recap of its fictional origin.

“In the ’49 setting, the Crimea remains under the control of the White Russians, loyalists to the Russian monarchy despite losing most of their territory to the Soviet Union. The White Russians are commanded by Anastasia the Great, also known as the “Black Duchess,” the last surviving child of Czar Nicholas II. Anastacia is a military genius with a reputation for ambushes and nasty surprises, a lifetime of conflict, and a cabal of loyal psychic stranniks with mysterious ties to the legendary Rasputin.

One of the things that has allowed the Black Duchess is hold on to ‘Czarist Crimea’ as the last gasp of the Russian Empire is that rather than build walkers (which her tiny empire simply lacks the resources to design or maintain), she depends primarily on the mighty White Tsar rolling heavy armor units. Faster and cheaper than walkers and more reliable than the legendarily finicky tracked vehicles, the White Tsar remains the only wheeled heavy armor unit in the war. Though the original Tsar wheeled armor unit was too heavy to move, by using what Martian-derived technology is available to her on a revised wheeled design for a huge mobile cannon platform, the Black Duchess has created a mobile heavy armor unit that performs very well, and which traditional anti-walker tactics don’t work well against.”

Now, I can turn my attention to the Black Duchess’s primary Romanian Fascist foes.

Pics with Eight-Ball, one of Rosie’s Rebels, for scale.

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Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys?!

Since I’ve been playing with my Diesel Pulp models and setting, several people have asked where a lot of the visuals and models come from. So, a post!

My just-for-fun Diesel Pulp “Weird War” setting has an aesthetic that I understand, but can’t necessarily articulate. As a result there are lots of miniature lines that have some material appropriate for it, but few that are entirely on-model for the idea in my head. For mecha in particular, I want to avoid things that are too anthropormorphic (I don’t want just diesel gundam), or too “goofy” (which is entirely subjective).

My Diesel Pulp world is focused on 1949, toward the last years of the First Global War, and after the long-running Ward of the Worlds, when Martian Walkers nearly conquered the Earth. This is a world where tracks are simply not considered reliable for front-line armor units (though anywhere wheels were used in the real world, tracks or wheels may still be considered acceptable, such as cycles and combat cars), and walkers are generally accepted as superior. Some advanced technology exists, mostly in the form of lightning guns, though individual nations have death rays (Japan), sonic weapons (America), wind cannons (Germany), rockets (Germany), freeze rays (Russia), and so on.

Walkers are divided much as tanks were in WWII, with heavy walkers, medium walkers, and light walkers. Mech Hunters take the Tank Destroyer role. Tankettes and infantry support vehicles are mostly replaced with mechettes (usually but not always very light walkers) and gun carriers (ranging from armored jeeps to extremely heavy powered infantry). Infantry ranges down from heavy infantry (full powered armor) to medium infantry (unpowered armor and often heavy weapons) to light infantry (unarmored, generally organized as real-world infantry of the time was). Different nations have a few other special units, such as German Air Cavalry (rocketpack troops) and Japanese Tokubetsu Kōgekitai (特別攻撃隊 “Special Attack Unit” – elite troops using Martian metallurgy for Samurai and Ninja style weapons) and Kikusui (“floating chrysanthemums”) kite-troops (the only nation to recreate Martian antigravity at a personal troop level).

Occult elements exist, but are rare and largely psychic in nature. Things like zombies and vampires might occur in tiny numbers, but not to the degree that troops on any side expect or prepare for such things. Germans have limited access to dinosaurs (with Allied rumors unable to determine if they are from someplace in Africa, someplace in South America, or from a Hollow Earth with a secret access point), which are mostly deployed in Africa as Donnerkavallerie (“Thunder Cavalry”). Germans also have surgically uplifted canine and simian units, though both are fairly rare (based on real-world German claims to have trained dogs to talk). Russians use Humpanzee troops (based on the real-world work of Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov), who mature very quickly, allowing Russia to maintain high-casualty-rate troop wave attacks, and who must almost always be directed by a Commissar. These are often call Organgos by other Allied units.

So, with that background, what miniatures do I like as aesthetic matches for my Diesel Pulp setting? This is just a partial list. Note that while I own some of these, many others I have just picked as appropriate, without the budget or space to actually acquire them.

AE-WWII (Darkson Design)

These are all difficult to get hold of nowadays, which is a shame. The Tumbleweed ( is based on an actual idea from the 1930s and was featured in Popular Mechanics. It neatly matches my idea for American designs to include experiments not undertaken by other nations. Technically a light walker, (torturously justified with the idea it walks on its fins, though clearly it’s a rolling mech), the Tumbleweed’s three heavy machine guns and extremely heavy armor make it more than a match for anything with light armor, and utterly unable to take on any other light walker. As heavy infantry support it excels, but only America has the industrial capacity to built armor units designed to fight just infantry and unarmored vehicles. While the guts of thousands of Tumbleweeds were sent to Britain as part of the Lend-Lease act, the actual armor was so heavy it was considered cheaper to let Britain forge that themselves. Rather than do so, the British made Jackrabit gun carriers.

AT-43 (Rackham)

Most of the AT-43 line is much too sci-fi for my Dieselpulp needs, but the Red Blok mecha work well for Russian Walkers. I already have a modified Hussar ( and modified Urod ( as Medium walkers, and use three modified Kolossus ( as Russian gun carrier they think of as Heavy infantry. I could happily use a Molot ( as another Medium walker, and a Dotch yaga ( as a heavy walker, if I could get them at reasonable prices.

Dystopian Legions (Spartan Games)

Most of Dystopian Legions is too Steampunk to fit well in my Diesel Pulp setting, but there are exceptions. Some Empire of the Blazing Sun troops ( work for Japanese Tokubetsu Kōgekitai (though not their “Ashigaru” troops), and the Rocket Corps ( are perfect for the Kikusui.

The Ke Ho Ironclad ( would make a great Interwar precursor to the American Tumbleweed from AE-WWII (if it weren’t so expensive). The Basset Takeneete ( is a fine Tankette design, and I have two, which are likely to end up as Italian or Japanese Mechette designs.

The FSA armored infantry *might* work for Medium infantry, but the design looks a little too hurky to me. The normal FSA infantry ( could work well for Brittish or German greatcoat troops, with a head swap and appropriate paint scheme. The FSA treadbike ( is perfect for mechanized cavalry for Germany (who did half-track motorcycles in the real world, for heaven’s sake), against with a head swap. I thought I disliked the Brittania light dragoons ( as too open-air, but have begun to wonder if they’d make good light mech hunters, designed to hit-and run with heavy weapons using something similar to tank destroyer doctrine.

The Prussian Teutonic Knights (, however, make great German SS Heavy Infantry.

Dust Tactics (FFG when I was buying them, it’s less clear to me where to get them now).

I like all the German mecha, and all the regular light and medium infantry units. Like many miniature lines, there is a strong pin-up element to their female units, which annoys me but can be worked around with paint and green stuff. I dislike the 2-leg US and Russian walkers, and have other choices for those in my setting. The powered armor units generally look too modern for my aesthetic, and I have chosen different brands to fill those roles in my setting. I don’t much like the aircraft.

GZG (Daemonscape)

Most of these vehicles are too modern, but the GZG Spider HQ ( works well for an Interwar or light walker design. I suspect I’d end up making it German, despite my desire to give the US spider walkers, and my constant search for French, Italian, and Japanese dieselpulp walkers.

Mekatank (Mekatank)

Several of these I don’t like, but a few are good for Interwar walkers, light walkers, or gun carriers

The Night Fighter ( looks like it either has a spotlight or a low-light system, making it a perfect infantry support mechette or gun carrier. It’d likely end up being German, despite my constant effort to find French, Italian, and Japanese dieselpulp walkers.

The Wolf I ( is pretty clearly an Interwar design, and I might make it Italian.

Secrets of the Third Reich (West Wind Productions)
This is one of the major Weird War 28mm lines, and there’s lots of stuff I like, and a little I don’t.
I love two of the four Russian spider walkers (, the Hammer Jaw and Termit. I have one of each, which I haven’t put together yet.

My plan is to use these not as Russian walkers (I like my AT-43s for that), but as US walkers. This would make the US one of the only major powers to prefer walkers with more than 2 legs even at the Medium walker stage, and I envision them as sacrificing armor for stability and thus the ability to fire their main gun while moving (rare for walkers in my envisioned Dieselpulp setting). Also, they have manual gun loaders, which slows down their firing capacity compared to those with external magazines, but gives them greater long-term offensive staying power.

I’ll probably put Dust Tactics Sherman-style turrets on these – the long barrel on my Hammer Jaw, and flamethrower for the Termit.

Walking Tanks (Mig Productions)

At 1/35 scale all of these walkers ( going to be giants. I assume I’d make the US, maybe Interwar designs, but might change my mind once I had one on my desk. There’s a third model ( that’s so clearly Russian I’d likely skip it entirely, and I am not a fan of its leg design.

World Without End (Clockwork Goblin)

It’s important to make sure you pick up the 28mm versions of these pics, and least in most cases.

I don’t like most of their Mech designs, but there are two exceptions.

The Grizzly Medium Walker ( is *exactly* what I want in a 2-leg US walker. It certainly meets my needs for a US mech hunter. I’m not a fan of having two very robot-looking arms, but I may be able to rework those as weapon pods, or more claw/crane looking options, if I ever get hold of one of these models.

The German Spinne ( is really too light and small to count even as a light walker, but it would likely serve well as a gun carrier or mechette. I might make it Italian or Japanese rather than German, however, since my Germans have Heavy Infantry to fill this role. It reminds me a bit of the Fiat L 6/40 Light Tank, an aesthetic I might be able to augment if I made it Italian.

The Soviet Heavy Infantry ( ) is pretty good aesthetically, though the weapons are a bit too modern for my tastes. They make me think of Ned Kelly, and I was already thinking of using modified Kelly Gang figures ( for Australian Medium Infantry, so this would work well as heavy versions of the same armor program.

Also, the 15mm German Heavy Mechpanzer Thor ( still comes on a comes on a 50 x 64mm base, which means it likely could work for a light walker or mechette, which would compliment some of my plans for spider walkers from the US.

Walker and Main Armament Design during the First Global War

This is fairly typical of the kind of worldbuilding I do for fun, when I am not so overloaded with work that all my writing MUST be on-task and on-schedule.

In this case, I have a never-slated-for-professional-publication Diesel Pulp setting that I buy and modify models to fit into. My first concern is aesthetics of these mystery men and weird war machines… but in time the world begins to form a cohesive whole that demands exploration in prose.

This is the same sort of exploration I did in the short fiction piece ’49, which is designed to be part of the same world.

While the fact that Martian Tripods had been so effective during the First and Second War of the Worlds could easily have been attributed to their advanced metuallurgy, heat rays, broadcast power, and compression gears, it nevertheless cemented in most nation’s military planners that a walker design of some kind was clearly superior to wheeled or tracked vehicles. Thus, rather than test walkers on a level playing field, most designers first theorized on why legged armor units were superior to other options, and then drew up tests to prove their theories.

One common theory in the early 1930s was that walkers had significant advantages over wheeled or tracked vehicles due to increased stability, and thus an improved ability to fire a cannon while moving with some degree of accuracy. The concept behind this idea was simple – the position of a walker was always entirely determined by the position of its articulate legs, driven by compression gears, and thus stabilizing cams could be built to read compression gear feedback. These cams where supposed to predict how the movement of articulated parts would affect articulated weapons, and automatically adjust the weapon’s position to compensate.

The reality of walker stability and predictability consistently failed to live up to theoretical models. For some reason, tripping, sliding, and even falling were never considered to be regular occurrences by military planners, and thus were ignored in tests run on articulated prediction cams. In battlefield conditions, walkers often ended up on uneven footing (debris, mud, soft earth, and even walker traps designed to limit their mobility), so assuming a given position of the legs always equaled what it should on a hard, level, stable surface often failed to give accurate adjustments to weapons.

The Nazi walkers favored heavy armor and heavy weapons, and a rapid reload time. The need to couple these with prediction cams inevitably lead to designs that placed a walker’s main weapons in articulated outboard platforms, called “Gewehrfaust” or Gun-Arms. These were normally mounted on either side of the main fuselage, and were connected by heavily armored gearing systems. As a result, any such weapons had to be auto-loading and have self-contained ammunition magazines. This gave main cannons impressive rate-of-fire and full cam stabilization… but the stabilization systems never worked well and the rate-of-fire only lasted until the magazine was depleted. A German Wotan or Donar walker armed with a Rheinmetall-Borsig 7.5 cm KwK 42 (L/70) carried twelve rounds in the magazine, and 48 more in the main body, but reloading the magazine required the walker to be at a dead stop and expose its crew for nearly thirty minutes. Worse, thought the gun could fire APCBC, HE, and APCR rounds (though that last was always in short supply), the integral magazine meant the ratio of such rounds had to be decided in advance. The gunner could dial up any round in the magazine, but if HE rounds were all that was left in the magazine, and APCR was a better choice, there was no practical way of loading the desired shell even if it was in-stock.

This lead to the advancement of more Lightning Guns and Thunder Cannons in variant designs, but Nazi Germany could rarely produce enough such weapons to meet demand. Flamethrowers, heavy flack guns, and rocket pods were more often used where LGs and TCs were called for.

Russian walkers also generally used outboard weapon platforms, and could rarely manage multiple main guns on a walker in any case, but used gyroscopic stabilization rather than feedback cams hooked to compression gears. While accuracy was never as high on the move compared to stationary fire, Russian walkers on the move could depend on hitting more than missing when shooting at targets that were in close range or that were themselves stationary. Additionally, since Russian walkers were always in short ammo supply, they were less likely to have multiple shells as an option, and might only have enough ammo to fill a single magazine in any case, minimizing the real impact of that design choice.

Americans also used gyroscopic stabilization, the only other nation to do so. However, their designs always placed a walker’s main armament inside the body of a walker. In the case of early six-legged Mulholland walker and later 8-legged Garland walkers, a single turret was used to house primary armament. The stability of the multileg suspension, coupled with gyrostabilization, gave these tanks and their variants the greatest moving fire accuracy of any Medium or Heavy walker of the war. However, the weight of the additional legs required these walkers to be more lightly armored than typical for their tonnage, and their guns were manually loaded, resulting in a much lower ROF for short engagements. This was partially compensated for by the ability to continue fire (a standard load was 55 rounds) without stopping or exposing crew, and for each shot to be loaded with the preferred shell type. Additionally, these walkers were constructed in vast numbers. A Mulholland might not be an even match for a Wotan, but three Mulhollands certainly were.

In the case of the American mech hunter Bunyan design, the main cannon was built into the center of the main body. Though also gyrostabilized, the Bunyan’s 2-leg design and antitank mission made moving fire both less accurate and less desirable. If a mech hunter could not outrange another walker, standard tactics were for it to move after every shot, to compensate for its lower average armor thickness.

’49, Wüstendrachen

As the German Wüstendrachen had little impact on the war anywhere but in Africa, Allied planners tended to dismiss them as either a stunt designed to show the impressive reach of the Reich, or a poorly-conceived plan to create a new form of wonder-soldier to compete (in general, poorly) with powered-armor equipped heavy infantry.

In fact, neither of those was the strategic purpose of the Wüstendrachen, which was in general never realized.


By the time the Reich had determined victory had to mean conquering North and South America, the reality of logistics just invading the Soviet Union and Czarist Crimea had become clear. While invasions of the Americas wouldn’t have to deal with Russian Winter, the need to import the needed war materiel across one or more oceans was seen as a major problem. Even if jet bombers and saucers could destroy most of the continent’s opposing forces from the air, truly controlling such territory would require troops on the ground.

This is where the drachen were seen as part of the solution. The beasts were capable of outrunning and outlasting horses, camels, and even jeeps, could allow expert troops to carry significant materiel and even anti-tank weapons, and while they could not compete with walkers or heavy infantry, they were more than capable of handling light infantry or militias.

And they could breed.

The idea was that a well-blooded, well-trained Wüstendrachen could expand exponentially once established on a foreign continent. A single female could lay 4-5 eggs a week, and hatchlings were born nearly self-sufficient. They would imprint upon birth with a pack handler, could be used as guard animals within a week, and could become mounts within 3 months.

Rather than have to build factories, import or process fuel, maintain supply lines of tires and spare parts, the plan was for elite Wüstendrachen to establish bases of operations, feed their mounts on fallen foes and wild game, and recruit, train, and educate local whites to become volkwüstendrachen, creating a self-sustaining, replicating, self-sufficient scouting and patrol force that could spread across any continent with little support from Germany.

Though the project only took root in any strength under Rommel in Africa, its success there for years suggests it would have at least had some impact on an invasion of the Americas, if the Reich had ever managed great enough success to attempt such a thing.


Enforcer Revised Beta

The original Enforcer (from Anachronistic Adventurers: The Enforcer) was designed to serve a specific character role—a modern fighting-man transported to a fantasy world typical of the Pathfinder roleplaying Game. In that role, it serves admirably, and can easily be used in place of a fighter. However, if the enforcer is moved back into his native environment, be that pulp action adventures, weird war dieselpunk, modern urban fantasy, or science-fiction, the class begins to suffer. An enforcer in a Pathfinder-compatible fantasy realm can draw on the same tropes and support as a fighter, from spells cast by allies to enough magic items to light up like a Christmas tree, and is only expected to accompliosh what a fighter normally does. In campaigns without the built-in assumption of that support, and the added weight of their own tropes where the fighting-man is often the *most* effective option for shutting down a foe with powers, it doesn’t hold up to genre expectations.

Thus this Beta-Revision, made publicly available. This enforcer is designed to operate in a world where Anachronistic Adventurer classes are the norm, and clerics and wizards are rare. That changes what the enforcer has to be able to accomplish. This version still assumes *something* other than class features takes care of things like the bonuses Pathfinder characters gain as they gain levels, but that thing can easily be bonuses-by-level, such as are presented in Pathfinder Unchained.

This is a work in progress, not a finished class. It has just enough meat to make a meal, but not to support a lavish and ongoing banquette. But feedback now can help determine what spices and side dishes get added, or help determine the whole thing needs to be thrown out and the cooks start over.

Public commentary is appropriate here, or my Facebook page, or you can email it to
The Enforcer *(Beta Revision)

Alignment: An enforcer can be of any alignment.

Ability Scores: The most important physical ability score for the enforcer is Strength. The most important mental ability score is Intelligence.

Hit Points: A character that takes enforcer as their 1st class level receives their Constitution score +5 as starting hit points. Otherwise each level of enforcer grants 6 +1d4 +Con modifier hit points.
(If using hit dice, an enforcer receives d10+Con)

Starting Wealth: 250 gp.

(If using random starting wealth an enforcer begins play with 3d6 x 10 gp.)

Class Skills

The enforcer’s class skills are Climb (Str), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Perception (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), and Swim (Str).

Additionally, any character who begins play as an enforcer can select two additional skills as class skills, to represent the benefit of growing up with the superior education options of a modern advanced society. These skills should be appropriate to the character’s background. An enforcer who trained with the FBI to hunt down and kill necromancers in a modern era rife with magic can reasonably select Use Magic Device as an additional class skill. A teenage enforcer who is captain of the high school wrestling team and didn’t know magic existed until an enchanted rollercoaster dumped him in a fantasy realm is limited to skills with no ties to magic.
A multiclass character whose first level of enforcer is gained after 1st character level selects one additional class skill, rather than two.

Skill Ranks per Level: 5 + Int modifier.

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the enforcer.

Proficiencies: An enforcer is proficient with all simple weapons, all martial weapons, all light armor, and a single Progress Level (see Progress Level Proficiencies at the end of this product).

Archetype: Not every enforcer has taken the same path to becoming an engine of destruction, nor do all enforcers use the same techniques to achieve their goals. At 1st level, each enforcer selects an anachronistic archetype to represent his focus and background training. Once selected, this choice cannot be changed.

Each archetype provides an enforcer with special benefits, ranging from additional class skills and bonus feats to new talents and class powers. One archetype is provided at the end of this class, and others are presented in the various Anachronistic Adventurer classes.

Mettle (Ex): Enforcers are renowned for becoming more and more dangerous as they come closer and closer to defeat and somehow snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. As the consummate icon of combat, an enforcer has a reserve of endurance and willpower that allows him to push beyond the normal limits of his body and mind. This is often referred to as guts, intestinal fortitude, or just plain cussedness, and it is represented by mettle.
In game terms, mettle is a fluctuating measure of an enforcer’s ability to perform amazing actions in combat. At the start of each day, an enforcer gains a number of points of mettle equal to his Strength modifier plus his Intelligence modifier (minimum 1), to a maximum equal to double his class level. His mettle goes up or down throughout the day, but usually cannot go higher than his starting total, though some feats and devices may affect this maximum. An enforcer spends mettle to accomplish deeds (see below), and regains mettle in the following ways.

Natural 20 with an attack roll: Each time the enforcer rolls a natural 20 on an attack roll against a potential menace (see the glossary), he regains 1 mettle point.
Natural 20 with a Will saving throw: Each time the enforcer rolls a natural 20 on a Will save against an effect caused by a potential menace (see the glossary), he regains 1 mettle point.
Natural 20 with a combat skill: Each time the enforcer rolls a natural 20 on a skill check when the character cannot take 10 as a result of a threat posed by a potential menace (see the glossary), he regains 1 mettle point.
Natural 20 with a Strength check: Each time the enforcer rolls a natural 20 on a Strength-based ability check in the presence of a potential menace (see the glossary), he regains 1 mettle point.

Mettle, Grit, and Panache: Mettle is similar to grit and panache, and having mettle counts as having grit or panache for purposes of spending grit or panache and for meeting prerequisites requiring grit or panache. If an enforcer multiclasses or otherwise selects an option that would give him access to a pool of grit or panache in addition to his mettle, he instead just gains 2 additional mettle.

Enforcers spend mettle points to accomplish deeds. Most deeds grant the enforcer some momentary bonus or effect, but there are some that provide longer-lasting effects. Some deeds stay in effect as long as the enforcer has at least 1 point of mettle. Unless otherwise noted, a deed can be performed multiple successive times, as long as the appropriate amount of mettle is spent to perform the deed.
An enforcer gains one deed at 1st level, and additional deeds at 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter.

Blinding Assault (Ex): The enforcer can strike a foe’s eyes hard enough to cause temporary blindness. As a standard action the enforcer can spend one point of mettle to make one natural, unarmed, or weapon attack against a foe within 30 feet that does not have concealment or partial concealment from the enforcer. If the attack hits the enforcer deals damage as normal, and also forces the target to make a Fortitude save (DC 10 +1/2 enforcer level + Strength modifier). If the target fails this save, it is blinded for 1d4 rounds. An enforcer may choose to instead attack a target’s ears, deafening it for 2d4 rounds.
Blitz Attack (Ex): As a swift action, the enforcer can spend one point of mettle to make one extra unarmed attack, natural, or weapon melee attack.
Burst Into Action (Ex): When the enforcer is awake and not helpless, he can spend 1 point of mettle to act in a surprise round he would not normally be allowed to act during and receives a bonus to his Initiative check equal to half his class level. (The enforcer may not use this ability except in surprise rounds when he could not otherwise act.)
The enforcer may choose to spend 1 additional point of mettle to loudly shout a warning. The number of allies he can warn is based on the power of his lungs, allowing a number of allies equal to his Strength modifier (minimum 1) who can hear him to also act in the surprise round. Using this deed is not an action.
Conditioning (Ex): The enforcer has trained himself to resist adverse effects. As a free action he can taken even when it is not his turn, the enforcer can spend 1 mettle to suspend the penalties of one of the following conditions for 1 round: confused, dazed, dazzled, shaken, sickened, staggered. If the enforcer is at least 6th level, he may also suspect the following conditions: nauseated, stunned. If he is at least 12th level he may also suspect the following conditions: bleed (taking no damage for 1 round), unconscious. The conditions normal duration continues to expire. For example, if a 6th level enforcer is stunned for 1 round he can immediately take a free action to suspend the condition for 1 round. The stun effect ends after 1 round as normal, allowing the enforcer to completely ignore it.
Deadeye (Ex): The enforcer can land a ranged weapon attack with precision that causes it to deal additional damage. As long as the enforcer has at least 1 point of mettle remaining, he can add his Intelligence modifier to the damage dealt with ranged attacks.
Duck and Weave (Ex): The enforcer can focus his attention on a single foe and move to avoid attacks from that foe. As a swift action the enforcer can spend 1 point of mettle to gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC against that foe’s attacks until the beginning of the enforcer’s next turn.
Extreme Effort (Ex): This ability allows an enforcer to focus his muscles to accomplish amazing tasks of physical prowess. As a swift action the enforcer can spend one point of mettle to add a +4 bonus to any Strength-based attack roll, ability check, or skill check that normally requires no more than a standard action. The enforcer may make this decision after seeing the total of his die roll, but before learning if the attack hits. Alternately, he use this ability to double his lifting capacity (and thus his light, medium, and heavy encumbrance) for 1 round, or apply the bonus to increase his CMD until the beginning of his next turn.
Firm Grip (Ex): The enforcer has learned to keep his grip firm and even, even in the heat of combat. As long as he has at least one point of mettle, he receives a +4 bonus to his CMD against disarm, grapple, steal, and sunder combat maneuvers, as well as Climb checks.
Focused Violence (Ex): The enforcer can direct his entire focus onto dealing violence effectively against one foe. As a swift action the enforcer spend one mettle to select one foe (or inanimate object) he can see. He gains a +2 bonus to any damage done to that foe. This bonus increases to +3 at 3rd level, and by an additional +1 for every 3 class levels beyond 3rd. The bonus lasts for an hour, or until the enforcer uses this ability to focus violence on a new target.
Glancing Blow (Ex): Once per round when an enforcer makes an attack roll and misses a foe, he can spend one point of mettle as a free action to reroll the attack roll with an additional +5 bonus. The enforcer can make this decision after knowing if his original attack roll failed. If the new attack hits it deals only half its normal damage. Glancing blow cannot be used on attack rolls for combat maneuvers or attacks that do not deal damage. Once per day if the enforcer’s attack still misses with a +5 bonus, he can spend a second point of mettle to increase the bonus to a total of +10 (dealing half damage if the attack is successful, as with the normal use of the deed).
Gouging Assault (Ex): The enforcer can strike foes’ anatomy in such a way as to make it impossible for them to use certain specific attack or movement options. As a standard action the enforcer can spend one point of mettle to make one natural, unarmed, or weapon attack against a foe within 30 feet that does not have concealment or partial concealment from the enforcer. If the attack hits the enforcer deals damage as normal, and also forces the target to make a Fortitude save (DC 10 +1/2 enforcer level + Strength modifier). If the target fails this save, the enforcer can numb one or two body parts of the target for 1 round. This creates a penalty depending on the body parts numbed.
The enforcer can numb 2 arms, in which case the target does not drop held objects but cannot make attacks, skill checks, or cast spells that require the arms or hands on them.
The enforcer can numb 2 legs, in which case the target cannot move from its space (if it only has two legs) or moves at half speed (if it has more than 2 legs).
The enforcer can numb 2 wing, in which case the target cannot fly (though it has enough control to fly down at top speed to land if it wishes to, rather than fall from the sky).
The enforcer can numb a body part connected to a natural attack or special attack (such as a bite, gaze, breath weapon, or tail slap), in which case the target cannot use any attacks tied to that body part. If the head is numbed, the target also cannot speak
The penalties from gouging assault last 1 round. If the attack used to gouge is a critical hit, the penalties instead last for a number of rounds equal to the attack’s critical multiple.
Monkey Wrench (Ex): The enforcer can strike a machine’s vulnerable working parts in such a way as to impair its function. As a standard action the enforcer can spend one point of mettle to make one unarmed, natural, or weapon attack against a construct, machine, or vehicle within 30 feet that does not have concealment or partial concealment from the enforcer. If the attack hits the enforcer deals damage as normal, and may also make a Disable Device check with a DC of 15 + target’s CR, or 10 + the DC to construct the machine (whichever is higher). If the check is successful, the construct or machine is disabled (unable to take any actions or perform any function) for 1d4 rounds. If the check exceeds the DC by 10 or more, the construct or machine does not function for 1d4 minutes (or may be broken until repaired, at the GM’s discretion).
Precision Attack (Ex): The enforcer can land a weapon attack with such precision that it deals additional damage. As long as the enforce has at least one point of mettle remaining, any time the enforcer successfully strikes with a melee weapon with which he can add his Dexterity rather than Strength to the attack roll, he can add his Intelligence bonus to the damage dealt. This is in addition to his Strength modifier, if he normally adds his Strength to the attack’s damage. Creatures immune to critical hits or sneak attacks are immune to this additional precision damage.
Pulverize (Ex): The enforcer has learned how to find weak spots in objects to break them. As long as he has at least one point of mettle, whenever the enforcer damages an object he ignores half its hardness.
Suck It Up (Ex): The enforcer can use his physical condition and careful planning to overcome some of the effects of injury. As a move action the enforcer can spend 1 point of mettle to gain 1d6 temporary hit points. If his temporary hit points + current hit points exceeds his normal hit point maximum, temporary hit points in excess of this value are lost after 10 minutes. These temporary hit points do not stack with any other temporary hp. At 3rd level, and every 3 enforcer levels thereafter, the number of temporary hit points gained increased by +1d6.
Sucker Punch (Ex): The enforcer knows the advantage of getting the drop on a foe. As long as he has at least 1 point of mettle, he deals +1d6 sneak attack damage per 2 class levels (minimum +1d6) damage on successful attacks against flat-footed and helpless opponents.
Supreme Effort (Ex): The enforcer may spend 2 mettle when using extreme effort to double the bonus to +8, or triple his carrying capacity for 1 round. An enforcer must have extreme effort and be at least 10th level to select supreme effort.
Tough It Out (Ex): An enforcer’s rigorous training and physical conditioning often allows him to tough out conditions others can’t face. As a swift or immediate action the enforcer can spend 1 point of mettle to add his Strength bonus to a saving throw he has just failed. He can make this choice immediately after he knows if the saving throw is successful. If the new total matches or exceeds the save’s DC, the enforcer is considered to have made the save.
Vicious Gouge (Ex): When the enforcer uses gouging assault, he may either gouge two different areas (such as two arms and one head), or have the effects of a successful gouging assault last an additional 1d4 rounds. The enforcer must decide which option to use prior to making his attack roll. An enforcer must be 10th level and have gouge to select vicious gouge.

Enforcer Talents: As an enforcer gains experience, he learns a number of talents that aid him and confound his foes and guide his allies. At 3rd level, an enforcer gains one enforcer talent. He gains an additional enforcer talent for every four levels of enforcer attained after 3rd level. Unless otherwise specified, an enforcer cannot select an individual talent more than once.
Armored Evasion (Ex): The enforcer’s evasion works whenever he is wearing armor with which he is proficient, even if it is medium or heavy armor. An enforcer must have evasion to select armored evasion.
Classic Education (Ex): The enforcer comes from a well-educated background, be that a scholastic background, military officer training, or tutoring from wise travelling companions. The enforcer treats all checks from Knowledge skills that are class skills as having skill ranks equal to the highest number of skill ranks he has in any Knowledge skill.
Crafty Defense (Ex): The enforcer knows how to move in combat to maximize his change of avoiding attacks. The enforcer adds his Intelligence bonus to the value of his Dexterity bonus to AC. This is still lost whenever the enforcer loses his Dexterity bonus to AC, and is still limited by his armor’s maximum Dex bonus to AC.
For example James “Doc” Feral, Ph.D., has a 16 Intelligence and a 12 Dexterity, and is wearing a cunningly crafted set of chainmail beneath his wool suit. He normally has a +1 Dexterity bonus to AC, but with crafty defense he adds his +3 Int bonus to that, increasing to a +4 Dexterity bonus to AC. However, since his chainmail has a maxim +2 Dexterity bonus to AC, he only gains a +2 bonus to AC when wearing the armor.
Crafty Moves (Ex): The enforcer can carefully plan out movements in advance to maximize his chance of performing a tricky motion. Select one Dexterity-based skill. The enforcer may add his Intelligence bonus, rather than Dexterity modifier, to this skill.
Evasion (Ex): As the rogue class feature.
Keen Mind (Ex): The enforcer’s mind is as powerful as his muscles. Select one Intelligence-based skill. When making skill checks for this skill, the enforcer rolls twice and takes the better of the two results.
Skepticism (Ex): The enforcer has seen many of the weird powers and effects of the world, and learned to apply his intellect to questions of what is real, and what thoughts are his own vs. ideas introduced to him from outside influences. The enforce adds his Intelligence bonus to his Will save rather than his Wisdom modifier, if it is better than his Wisdom modifier.
Tireless Muscles (Ex): The enforcer is able to maintain peak physical effort for prolonged periods of time. The enforcer adds half his class level to any saving throw or ability check to prevent becoming fatigued. If a failed saving throw results in being fatigued and an additional result, the enforcer only applies the bonus to see if he avoids fatigue (if the enforcer’s saving throw without the bonus fails, but with the bonus succeeds, the enforcer is not fatigued but suffers any other effect from the failed save normally).
Additionally, the enforcer selects one Strength-based skill. When making skill checks for this skill, the enforcer rolls twice and takes the better of the two results.
Walk It Off (Ex): The enforcer can take one minute to use his suck it up ability on an ally within 30 feet able to see and hear him. The ally cannot gain more than 1d6 temporary hit points per 2 hit dice the ally possesses. And enforcer must have the suck it up deed to select this talent.

Bonus Feats: An enforcer gains a bonus feat at 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, and 16th level. These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as combat feats (sometimes also called “fighter bonus feats”). Alternatively, the enforcer may gain an additional enforcer talent in place of a bonus feat.
Enforcement (Ex): At 20th level, the enforcer becomes the master of calm, planned violence. When making an attack roll or CMB check, the enforcer can choose to “take 10” on the roll. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the attack roll or skill check, the enforcer calculates his result as if he had rolled a 10. When taking 10 on an attack or CMB check, the enforcer never gets a critical threat.

There are more archetypes in the actual Anachronistic Adventurers: The Enforcer. This is just one example, and it may also be revised later.

The most generic of enforcer archetypes is the combatant, which makes the enforcer the typical brave fighting person, valiant in the face of the enemy and skilled in the tools of the trade. A combatant might have nearly any background involving training in modern combat techniques, from police SWAT officers to soldiers-of-fortune.
Background Training (Ex): At 1st level, a combatant selects a bonus feat to represent his background training. Unlike an enforcer’s bonus feats, this background feat need not be a combat feat. Alternatively, the enforcer can select to be proficient with three classes of armor (chosen from: light, medium, and heavy armor, and all shields other than tower shields, and tower shields), but must be proficient with light armor before selecting medium, and with medium armor before selecting heavy, and with all shields before selecting tower shield.
Bravery (Ex): As the fighter ability. The bonus is +1 at 2nd level, and it increases by +1 for every four class levels beyond 2nd.
Combat Training (Ex): At 5th level, the combatant’s training in the techniques of conflict gives him the choice between armor training or weapon training (both as the fighter ability). At 9th (and again at 14th and 17th), the combatant gains another training choice. At each level he might increase an existing armor or weapon training (just as a fighter gaining the abilities multiple times does), or take a new training option.
Bonus Feat (Ex): A combatant gains a bonus feat at 6th level, and again at 12th and 18th level. These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as combat feats. For purpose of meeting prerequisites for these bonus feats, treat the combatant’s enforcer levels as if they were fighter levels.

Potential Menace.
Many powers and abilities are designed to represent reserves of morale, willpower, and luck that can be accessed when facing a creature that can actually harm a character, or that can be restored after defeating such a character. In game terms, a potential menace is a creature that can actually reasonable pose a threat a character should be concerned about. In general, any creature with a CR or HD no less than 4 lower than a character is a potential menace, but only if it’s able to act in a threatening manner. A cultist that has been bound to a chair and can’t move isn’t a potential menace regardless of its CR of HD, unless it’s psychic and can fry a character’s brain with its mind even when immobilized. Ultimately the GM has final say if a foe is a potential menace, though most creatures within the appropriate CR or HD range that have not been somehow neutralized should qualify.