The Jihad Universe for Dummies

a short primer on the world of the Jihad.
by S. Malaclypse Breen, JUGM

Is this real?

Let's get this one out of the way. The Jihad to Destroy Barney the Dinosaur is a FICTIONAL organization. Fictional as in "not real." None of the stuff below, or in the story archives, or on the message board, actually happened. The Jihad to Destroy Barney the Dinosaur is not affiliated in any way shape or form with al-Quaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah or any other terrorist organization that uses Islamic symbology.

We do in fact understand that using the word "jihad," to say nothing of owning the domain name, is something of a hot-button issue. God above knows that we've been wading in it for the last three years as it is. Nevertheless, we continue to hold onto the word and the domain. Consider it a public service: while a group of geeky Western gamers keep hanging onto, people with less pleasant intentions are unable to use it.

What's the scenario?

It's the year 1999 (cue the Prince music), and on the surface the world is pretty much the same as any other year in the late 1990s. However, in the back alleys of the cities, and out in the quiet places far from civilization, a war is being fought for the survival of humanity.

The demon lord B'harne is waging an assault on the souls of everybody on Earth. Under the benevolent guise of the children's television host Barney the Dinosaur, B'harne seeks to destroy the minds of children and adults and bind them to his will. Once he has made mindless slaves of humanity, B'harne will rule the Earth with an iron talon.

But the demon lord is not unopposed. Out there in the shadows, there's a group of special men and women who have dedicated their lives to fighting the forces of B'harne. They're out there guarding the planet from things that would drive lesser souls mad: aliens, wizards, werewolves, tentacled horrors that you couldn't see in horror movies. These people sit out there on the ragged edge between civilization and the howling void, armed to the teeth, in order to hold off Armageddon for one more day.

They are the Jihad to Destroy Barney the Purple Dinosaur.

Who're the bad guys?

As above, the demon B'harne is the main antagonist here. He commands hordes of hypnotized slaves called "sponge-minions," who follow B'harne's will with incredible fanaticism. B'harne is also aided by human traitors who've turned on their own people for the promise of wealth and power in the new order.

B'harne's main ally are the Lyrans, a race of alien sorcerers who have prophecies indicating that the human race will ultimately be responsible for their destruction. The Lyran high mage Charn'El was the one who summoned B'harne and pointed him at Earth in the first place. The Lyrans don't often get directly involved in combat on Earth - they prefer to send hideously mutated servant creatures to do the fighting for them - but when they do, they are extremely formidable.

Who're the good guys?

The Jihad to Destroy Barney is a collection of eccentrics who've banded together for the express purpose of eliminating B'harne's influence from the earth. The Jihad, as the name might imply, is primarily a paramilitary organization. Commanded by three officers called the Triumverate, the group is broken down into several branches, all with their own specific chains of command:

TRES Corps: Also known as the Resurgent Knights Templar, the Corps is the main infantry force of the Jihad. Based in Colorado, TRES Corps is the largest of the Jihad's component groups.

Doberman Empire: The Dobermans make up the rest of the Jihad's primary infantry force. Once the dominant group in the Jihad, the Dobermans have been hit hard by enemy attacks, reducing their strength greatly.

Verthandic Rangers: The Rangers perform scouting and investigative duties for the Jihad. Their unique ability to travel anywhere almost instantaneously gives them the greatest freedom of movement of any Jihad branch.

MAUL: Where TRES and the DE have the infantry, MAUL provides the armor. Their beloved main battle tanks and heavy artillery make up the hardest part of the Jihad's fist when a battle goes overt.

Jihad Praxeum Veneficus: The JPV is the Jihad's primary occult research branch. They're the ones who train new magicians and puzzle out the secrets inherent in the enemy's occult origins.

Church of St. Dino: The Jihad's spiritual side is reflected in the Church of St. Dino. The Church isn't a main combat or investigative branch, but they do provide valuable morale-boosting services and their chapels are always available as boltholes.

How does this work?

The game's default setting is a Wainscot Fantasy. The major players in the war avoid the public spotlight, and for the most part things continue on in the mundane society like they normally do. All of the weird is kept behind the curtains and inside the walls where it can't get out.

It's kind of like a ramped-up version of the X-Files, or maybe a World of Darkness game with the "doomed creatures of the night" aspects ripped out.

Who's playing?

Here's the current list of players:

GM: Sean Breen

Players: Aris Merquoni, Dan DeRosia, Kirk Felton, Rens Houben, Joe Schneider, Patrick Stewart, Kat Templeton, David Turover, Jim Yearnshaw


Additional information regarding the players and their characters can be found at the cast page.

Can I join?

As of this writing (05/2004) the group is not actively seeking new members, and new members have for the most part stopped seeking us out. We're still available, though, and the GM is willing to listen to any pitch so long as it's entertaining. If you're interested, go to our message board, sign up if you haven't already, and then post your pitch with the subject "Audition." We'll take it from there.

However, if you'd rather work with the Jihad Universe game materials instead of joining the current game in progress, the JU sourcebook is available. Our only request is that you link back to us, and we'll reciprocate.