Monday, February 20, 2017

Monstrous Monday: Bro Country Elemental

First, I'll just get to the monster.  Then I'll elaborate a bit in case you want to know what the hell I'm talking about.

The truck picture that I desecrated here is Red 1961 Chevy Truck Face View by tonythemisfit (Tony Fischer), licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Bro Country Elemental
HD 8d10 (44 HP)
Defense 15

Attacks:  Bite +8 (1d8 damage) and Tailgate +8 (1d10 damage)
(Can use both attacks in a round, but must attack different enemies.)

This is how it rolls:  A bro country elemental can achieve speeds up to 90 mph but prefers to cruise with the windows down.  Characters caught in its path while cruising must save or take 1d10 mud tire damage.

Special:  Immune to all sleep effects 'til the sun comes up.

Drawn to girls that are lookin' so good, especially those in cut-off jeans and T-shirts.  Gets +2 to all rolls with a girl up in its cab.

Will also seek out all drinkable ethanol within a range of 1/2 mile.  Gets +1 temporary HD (with both HP and attack bonuses) for one hour after consuming a gallon of ethanol.  This bonus is doubled if the ethanol is in the form of Jack Daniels, 'shine, homemade wine, or Fireball whiskey.

Bro country elementals are formed when trucks gain sentience while cruising back roads.  Unlike traditional country elementals, this may not be an old truck.  No one knows the precise magical accident that leads to their creation, although examination of their remains has led some to believe that key components may be sleeveless shirts, gaudy male jewelry, shot glasses, tanning spray, and clothing and decorations featuring American flags.

They're basically lawful elementals, they just like to get a little chaotic on the weekend.


Okay, so, "bro country" is the term given to a subgenre of American country music that rose to extreme popularity a few years back (it even has a Wikipedia page).  Songs in the category often feature a distinguishing set of musical tropes, including a notable hip-hop influence.  And the songs are pretty much about three things: girls, trucks, and drinking.

So, some of you are thinking, other than the hip-hop thing, what makes that any different from all other country music?  Well, some would say that, in addition to turning the sexy up to 10, it turns cookie-cutter song production up to 11.  In 2014, a songwriter "exposed" the formula by mashing six bro country hits together into what could almost be a single song.  Seriously, check this out, or at least the part at the end where he has all six songs going at the same time...

Bro country has taken some heat from the industry establishment for its formulaic nature and vapid lyrics.  And yeah, it's ridiculous.  Images like this don't help:

From Brantley Gilbert's video for "Bottoms Up," by the way.

But man, there's something about the unapologetic rejection of any sort of complexity that I just can't help but appreciate.  I'm a little obsessed at the's like a truck crash that I just can't turn away from.

And in defense of the artists, MOST musical subgenres...or, really, subgenres of any form of art...are going to have some tropes that get repeated over and over.  Hell...that's pretty much what OSR roleplaying is built on, right?  And to the credit of the songwriters and performers, all the swagger, backbeats, and hard rock solos seem to be carried out unironically.

And then there's the fact that some artists who bleed bro country are still able to pull off some legitimately good songs.

At the very least, it makes for a nice monster.


  1. The monster write-up has me laughing my butt off. Well done sir.

    I can handle this stuff (or most country) from the mid 90's on, but I can I appreciate this interesting look at a sub-genre of it.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! My fascination with the subgenre is nearing pathological; let's just say my wife can't wait for the phase to end...!

  2. sounds like this would fit right in to "Dirtbag Dragonlance"

    1. Haha...I hadn't seen that before, but I guess it would! Honestly, if there was a setting/reskin like that with a deeper cultural approach (and I realize that was just a blog post, not an attempt at a real setting), I'd love it!