Thursday, July 30, 2009

Random Post-Apocalypse Settlement and Junk Generators

While doing some research for a random results table I'm putting together (no spoilers!), I stumbled across a couple of interesting random generators for the post-apocalyptic RPG Deadlands: Hell on Earth. These can easily be used in your Mutant Future games:

So your PCs have stumbled across a settlement out in the middle of nowhere. So how big is it? What do they do for food? How is it protected from bandits? And who are the important townsfolk? Well, with this Settlement Generator, you can create an entire village on the fly - from the system of government they follow, to the names of the local hierachy.

Whether your players find a field of tossed-away refuse; a trashed shopping mall; or a big ol' pile of junk, you may one day need to come up with a large amount of potentially useful, probably useless garbage. With the Random Scavenged Junk Generator, you just input how much junk you need, and the generator will pop out a list of what was found, what condition it's in, and its value. Let's see...I need three items, and I got a set of solar battery rechargers (needs some fixing), an inflatable raft (deflated and unrepairable), and a pair of swin fins (like new condition). The generator says there are more than 400 items, so Mutant Lords will have plenty of junk for PCs to rummage through.

What Mutant Future Product Would You Like To See?

Just a little poll I'm taking, trying to gauge interest in one of the many projects I have on the burners. Let me know what would be of use to you in your Mutant Future campaigns.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Where Do I End Up? What Do I Find?

Over at Goblinoid Games' Mutant Future forum, Kid Monster posted two nifty MF random tables:

Mutants with the mutation plane shift who miss their target run the risk of ending up at some "random world of the Mutant Lord's choice and design." Well, KM came up with 75 "Someplace Elses" for those failed plane shift attempts. Alternate Earths, alien dimensions, and varying timelines are all covered. Check it out: Plane Shift Destinations.

So the characters have looted the vanquished spidergoat lair of all valuables and artifacts. But they keep looking. Or perhaps they're poking around in some ruins, looking for anything of value or use. For those times you need some castoff items, KM developed a Wasteland Trash table of 50 random items a PC may come across strew about the landscape. If they can figure out a use for some of this stuff, more power to 'em! Check it out: Wasteland Trash.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Savage Menagerie: Cheetahpede

No. Enc.: 1 (1d3)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 350’ (150')
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 1d4 (1 bite, up to 3 claws)
Damage: 1d8/1d6/1d6/1d6
Save: L2
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: VI

The cheetahpede (pronounced CHEE-tah-peed) belongs to the family of Large Cats (MF Rulebook, pg. 65) albeit it with one very obvious mutation. The cheetahpede has 7 pairs of legs, making it one of the fastest land animals in the Mutant Future. In an open, flat area, cheetahpedes can move at speeds slightly over 100 MPH. Outrunning a cheetahpede on foot is impossible. A character's odds are only slightly better if in a vehicle. A cheetahpede will always give chase if an opponent runs away, so it's best to not engage one.

If a cheetahpede attacks, it should be noted they have a large number of claws potentially available. The Mutant Lord should roll 1d4 at the beginning of each combat turn for the cheetahpede. If a 1 is rolled, the cheetahpede will only bite for 1d8 damage if successful. If a 2-4 is rolled, the first attack will be a bite, and the remaining 1-3 attacks will be claw attacks for 1d6 damage each.

Cheetahpedes are normally found in large, open, grassy areas such as plains or savannahs. They do not hunt in packs, perferring to hunt individually, though a den of cheetahpedes could hold up to three of them.

Mutations: aberrant form (extra limbs)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dangerous Encounter: Dying Of Thirst

A two-man hunting party that left the village two days ago has not yet returned. The village elder has approached the PCs and asked them to investigate. The elder is especially interested on information about a nearby tribe of Apemen (MF Rulebook, pg. 60). Rumors have been floating through the village that they may be massing for an attack. “They may have captured the hunters and are torturing them for information,” he whispers. (The elder is wrong. The Apemen have nothing to do with the hunters’ disappearance and – in fact – they are pacifists.) The PCs are given a rough description of the two missing humanoids and a crude map of the surrounding area. They are then pointed down the path the hunters took out of town.

Several hours of walking later, the PCs should spy a pair of Apemen lurking in the woods. They seem to be watching the party, but will not disturb or intercept them. If the party ignores them, the two Apemen follow them silently for a while before skulking off to their tribe to report. If the party attempts to contact them, the two Apemen (named Keaf and Bulo) will chatter and screech at them, holding their weapons over their head and shaking them threateningly. Keaf is carrying a spiked mace (DG 1d6+2) and Bulo is armed with a crude spear (DG 1d8+2). Have the party members roll to see if they recognize these weapons as being the same weapons the two missing hunters were reportedly armed with. The party is free to try to talk to the Apemen again (The Apemen don’t trust the PCs, so it’s going to take some good reaction rolls.) or the party may just decide to attack. If attacked, Keaf and Bulo will surrender after taking a few solid hits from the PCs and will answer their questions honestly.

Apemen (2) (AL N, MV 120' (40'), AC 6, HD 7 (Keaf: 35 hp; Bulo: 41 hp), #AT 1 (weapon), DG see weapon description, SV L5, ML 9, Mutations: none)

When talking with the two Apemen, they explain they came across an abandoned campsite nearby and “helped” themselves to the weapons. They are happy to show the PCs the campsite. However, if the party has been mistreating them, Keaf and Bulo will lead the party in the opposite direction and will try to escape at a suitable time.

Upon reaching the campsite, the party will see two small bedrolls, a knapsack of food, and a burned-out campfire sitting next to a shallow spring-fed pool of water. Oddly, all of the personal possessions of the hunters (with the exception of the weapons held by the Apemen) are scattered about the site, including metal bits of the hunters’ armor, jewelry, and any other metal or stonework they were wearing. If the party looks about a bit further, they notice that the water in the spring is unusually clear and does not appear to have any fish or other life in it.

The “pool of water” is actually a Glass Plasm (New creature, click here for a link to a description). The hunters found the “spring” and decided to set up camp near it. However, once they got too close, the Glass Plasm attacked and consumed them both, expelling the metal and stone items of its victims once done. Later, when Keaf and Bulo entered the site, they grabbed the weapons and ran off before the Glass Plasm could make a move to grab them. (The Apemen are unaware as to the nature of the Glass Plasm.) Once the party moves to inspect the pool, the Glass Plasm will lash out and attack them.

Glass Plasm (1) (AL N, MV 45' (15'), AC 6, HD 6, #AT 1, DG special, SV L3, ML 11, Mutations: chameleon epidermis (special), toxic weapon)

Keaf and Bulo will assist the party in killing the Glass Plasm if the PCs have been civil to them. If the PCs have mistreated them, the Apemen will run off, leaving the PCs to their doom.

Once the Glass Plasm is defeated and the fate of the hunters has been determined, the PCs may want to strike up a friendship with the two Apemen (if they’ve become allies) and put an end to the rumors of the imminent Apemen attack. This could be the springboard for a new adventure as they try to form a peace treaty and/or defeat a mutual foe.

Motorized Mutant Mayhem

Ever wanted to tool around in the Mutant Future in your black, supercharged V-8 Pursuit Special? Are you itching for some vehicular combat ala Car Wars? Well pull on your driving gloves...

John Wilson/Wilsonclan Games have developed a set of vehicular combat rules specifically for the Mutant Future RPG. He's posted the rules, titled Mutants on Wheels, over at Google Docs for free download. He explains that the rules do not help you design vehicles, but rather gives you the guidelines for running combat within them. Turns, stunts, terrain, and driver's skills are taken into account in this well-thought-out simulation. He also give the stats for four basic post-nuke vehicles such as the armored bus and tanker truck.

And if you'd like more vehicles for your Mutant Future demolition derby, there's a lengthy discussion already in progress at the Goblinoid Games' Mutant Future forum.

Mutant Future NPC Reaction Table

So your well-armed party of mutated oddities wanders into a nondescript village. How do the townsfolk react to your presence? Over at A Brand New Weird, Senor Mutante has designed a Mutant Future Reaction Table for just such meetings. Will they shower you with praise and gifts? Or will they pelt you with rocks and garbage? Roll a d6, factor in your reaction adjustment, and consult the Reaction Rolls table.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Savage Menagerie: Glass Plasm

No. Enc.: 1 (1)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 45’ (15')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: from 4 to 7 depending on size
Attacks: 1
Damage: see below
Save: L3
Morale: 11
Hoard Class: None

As dangerous as it is unusual, the glass plasm is a crystal-clear protoplasmic blob. A glass plasm moves and attacks much like a grey ooze (MF Rulebook, pg. 74), lashing out like a snake with a long tendril. If a successful hit is made, the glass plasm will ensnare its victim, attempting to drag him into its mass by sending out another 1-2 more tendrils for this purpose.

If a victim is dragged into a glass plasm and engulfed, it will begin feeding much like a green slime (MF rulebook, pg. 74), doing 1d4 points of damage for 8 rounds. If the victim is not freed by then, they should be considered lost and unrecoverable. The glass plasm digests all organic tissue and adds it to its mass within 1d10 rounds of the victim's death. Since a glass plasm cannot digest metal or stone, it expels any indigestible materials rather than letting it “float” within.

Smaller glass plasms are around 4 to 5 feet across and about 6 inches deep. Larger glass plasms can be up to 15 feet across and several feet deep. All glass plasms are especially vulnerable to fire and electrical attacks and take half damage from edged weapons.

Because a glass plasm is virtually clear and colorless, it appears as ordinary water when it remains motionless. One tactic a glass plasm will use is to flow into a small depression or culvert, appearing at first glance to be nothing more than a small puddle or pond. If an animal passes nearby (or attempts to wade through it or take a drink), the glass plasm will attack.

A wise adventurer should be wary of any water source that appears oddly clear throughout, since there will not be any sediment floating within as well as no surface debris floating on top. It will also be devoid of fish, frogs, or nearby wildlife. Rather than a refreshing drink, death lies under the surface.

Mutations: chameleon epidermis (special), toxic weapon

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fit Tab A Into Slot B To Get Weapon C...

Over at the blog A Brave New Weird, Senor Mutante AKA Jeselvis has come up with a set of tables for those times your PCs need to scrounge around and cobble together a weapon on the fly. Let's see, rolling a few dice and checking the tables, I created the following:
  • A solar-powered pistol that fires electrical bolts for 3d4 damage with a chance to stun the target...
  • A hunk of lead pipe that does 2d4 damage...
  • A spear made out of a sharp piece of glass lashed to a sign post that does 2d4 damage...
Sometimes the results are a bit odd though. (A stabbing weapon made out of a briefcase that does 5d4 damage? A steam-powered bludgeon made from animal bone?) But a few rerolls and some creative interpretation can overcome those shortcomings. It might be a good system to use when rolling up and initially outfitting your Mutant Future characters. Check it out at Scavenging 101: Make Your Own Weapons.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ancient Armory: Probability Analyzer

Bordering on the mystic, the Probability Analyzer can predict the consequences of future actions with astounding accuracy. Appearing as a fist-sized black pearl emblazoned with the symbol for infinity, the Probability Analyzer is a portable analytical supercomputer with very basic artificial intelligence. The apparatus’ surface is riddled with sensory devices, monitoring the actions and state of mind of the holder, as well as the surrounding area, other creatures nearby, recent conversations held, etc. The device is also well-versed in horoscopes, astrological signs, biorhythms, and other pseudosciences, using these factors in its computations.

If a YES/NO question regarding a future action is posed to the Analyzer, the device weighs all input it has absorbed and begins determining random outcomes if such an action is pursued. Making billions of computations per second, it will make a “best judgment” prediction as to the positive or negative outcome of the suggested action. The answers the Analyzer will provide are one of the following 20:

Positive outcome:
1. As I see it, yes
2. It is certain
3. It is decidedly so
4. Most likely
5. Outlook good
6. Signs point to yes
7. Without a doubt
8. Yes
9. Yes - definitely
10. You may rely on it

Negative outcome:
11. Don't count on it
12. My reply is no
13. My sources say no
14. Outlook not so good
15. Very doubtful

Ambiguous/Unknown outcome or unclear question:
16. Reply hazy, try again
17. Ask again later
18. Better not tell you now
19. Cannot predict now
20. Concentrate and ask again

However, the predictive computing ability of the Analyzer uses a lot of power, making it very prone to overheating if overused. The Analyzer starts with a 100% accuracy rating. Every question asked within a short period of time overheats the device, dropping the accuracy rating by 10% for each question asked within a 4-hour period. (For example, on the third question asked within that period, the device has only a 70% accuracy rating.) The device will cool down at the rate of 10% per hour if unused. If the device ever drops to a 50% or less accuracy, the Analyzer will burn out permanently. Ergo, if the characters get greedy, the device will begin feeding them randomly incorrect predictions as well as being rendered useless in the process.

The Probability Analyzer is an incredibly rare experimental Ancient artifact and will not be found randomly in a ruin or in an NPC’s possession. Rumors tell of religions based around the predictive ability of the device and/or powerful overlords who have used it to take over entire continents. This is not a device to be introduced into your campaign lightly.

However, if you wish to simply screw with your players, make the device a children’s toy and roll a d20 for a random result when consulted. ;)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mutant Future Modifiers and Materials

Once again, JDJarvis over at the blog Aeons & Augauries has come up with some interesting Mutant Future material:
  • First up, he's developed a two new Ability Modifiers: Cognition and Psycho-Active. These modifiers come into play if a character needs to be a bit more perceptive or if he comes under a mental attack. These modifiers are based on a PC's INT and WIL scores, respectively.
  • Next, he's come up with a set of devices based on Psycho-Kinetic energy. From armor to weapons and other knick-knacks, Psycho-Kinetic devices were created by The Ancients to take advantage of any mental mutations a person may have.
  • Finally, he presents some new high-tech materials for the construction of gear, armor, and tech. (I'd like to get my hands on some Plasteel armor, m'self.)
Anyway, check out his Mutant Future Additions for more information!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Savage Menagerie: Qoyl

No. Enc.: 2d6 (2d6)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 60’ (20’)
Armor Class: 8
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1 (bite or claw)
Damage: 1d2, 1d4
Save: L1
Morale: 4
Horde Class: None

A qoyl (pronounced COIL) is a mutated, mole-like rodent with short black fur that feels greasy and slick to the touch. Qoyls are considered an offshoot of the quench (MF rulebook, pg. 90). However, whereas a quench purifies and retains water, these creatures purify and retain petroleum products—primarily gasoline.

Qoyls feed on any kind of crude petroleum: oil, kerosene, diesel, etc. Qoyl colonies are often found in places where an abundance of petroleum may be found: abandoned gas stations, petroleum refineries, oil derricks, etc. Just like a quench, a qoyl stores the consumed oil, converting it to a pure gasoline-like liquid that can be safely run in any internal combustion engine. A bloated qoyl is all but immobile, holding about 1 gallon of gasoline that can be safely squeezed out of the creature. About 50% of any nest of qoyls will be completely full of fuel in this way. Qoyls are highly valued in larger villages and towns for their value as a fuel source and “nature’s refinery.”

One particular danger: If a bloated qoyl feels threatened, it can spray the retained fuel at an attacker much like a skunk sprays its musk. If the hit is successful, the fuel gets into the eyes of the attacker, blinding him for 3d10 turns or until the eyes can be flushed out with water. However, if the sprayed character has an open flame (a lit torch, a cigarette, etc.), the sprayed fuel will instead explode for 5d6 damage to all within 25 feet of the blast. A qoyl will spray its retained fuel only if it feels its life is in danger.

Mutations: None

Friday, July 10, 2009

Dangerous Encounter: Thicker Than Water

This short (but potentially deadly) encounter should take place outside of a ruined hospital or clinic, although it can take place just about anywhere in the Mutant Future. In the distance, the party should hear a piercing scream that is suddenly silenced. Their curiosity (hopefully) will prompt them to investigate. (Or the party could be heading in the direction of the old hospital anyway to loot for potential healing supplies and/or Ancient Artifacts.)

As they approach the building, they’ll spy a tall, thin humanoid in a clearing hunched over something unseen. Sickening slurping sounds of feeding are coming from the crouched creature. They have stumbled across a Mansquito (MF Rulebook, pg. 82) feeding on a hapless victim.

Mansquitoes (3) (AL C, MV 120' (40'); Glide 150’ (50’), AC 6, HD 9, #AT 1 (weapon, proboscis, or blood sucking), DG weapon, 1d4, or 1d6, SV L4, ML 8, Mutations: complete wing development)

If the party attacks, the feeding Mansquito will defend itself to the best of its ability, however it is fully bloated by now and only moves at 90’ and may not glide. In addition, two other Mansquitoes lurking on top of the building will hear the combat and will silently glide down to join the fight. (You may want to have the characters roll to see if they notice the new combatants entering the fray.)

Once the Mansquitoes are dealt with, the party members are free to enter the hospital to loot the place. If they just brazenly walk in through the front doors, however, they’re in for a nasty surprise. The Mansquitoes have been keeping a nest of eight Hemofowls (MF Rulebook, pg. 75) in the hospital’s lobby. Any victims the Mansquitoes caught were tossed in here first. The Hemofowls would attack the victim, infecting them with the hemophilia mutation, thereby making it easier for the Mansquitoes to feed. Needless to say, the Hemofowls are stirred up and will attack anyone who enters.

Hemofowls (8) (AL N, MV 90' (30'); Fly 180’ (60’), AC 6, HD 5, #AT 2 (beak, special), DG 1d6, SV L6, ML 7, Mutations: toxic weapon)

If the Hemofowls are defeated, the party will find the following items tucked inside various Hemofowl nests throughout the lobby: 51 silver pieces, 14 gold pieces, an Antitox Shot, a Stimshot A, and 3 Hemofowl eggs. If the party goes all the way to the top of the building, they will also find 27 gold pieces where the Mansquitoes once lurked. Sadly, there is nothing else of value in the medical complex, although the party is free to use the facility as a headquarters or base of operations if so desired. The Mutant Lord may also want to place a future adventure plot hook somewhere within the building (an underground bunker complex, a hidden map to a large Ancient experimental medicine facility, etc.).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ancient Armory: Rocket-Propelled Chainsaw

Weapon: RPC M1B Rocket Propelled Chainsaw
Damage: 8d6
Trigger type: Normal
Normal range/Maximum range: 1,500 ft./3,000 ft.
Weight: 60 lbs.
Battery: None
Shots: Single shot only

The Rocket Propelled Chainsaw (RPC) is an experimental device originally developed by the military for quick entrance into structures (firing at a door from a distance) or disabling of combat vehicles (firing at the tires/engine block). The RPC’s chain is diamond-encrusted, enabling it to easily slice through many surfaces and substances a normal chainsaw would never be able to get through. Although it wasn't designed for use in an actual combat situation, the RPC has since been re-purposed in the Mutant Future as a rather intimidating weapon.

The RPC works much like a grenade launcher. Flipping the forward grip into place primes the saw’s rocket motor for firing. Pressing the start button (in front of the trigger assembly) starts up the saw. Squeezing the trigger then ignites the rocket and fires the now-running saw-topped rocket. As an experimental weapon, the accuracy of the RPC is questionable. There is a -1 cumulative attack penalty for every 500 feet from the firer to the target (i.e., a target 2,000 feet away merits a -4 to hit). The RPC is also a single-shot weapon. Once fired, the saw cannot be retrieved, refueled, or reloaded. However, for sheer intimidation, the reputation of the RPC is such that just pointing it at a foe may cause them to surrender without a fight. (Any foe who sees the RPC pointed at them must make a morale check with a -2 penalty.)

(NOTE: This weapon is obviously inspired by the classic Internet meme. If you see this being aimed at your character, I suggest running like Hell.)

Mutant Future Character Sheet

While poking around for Mutant Future-related news and posts, I found this post at the blog A Rust Monster Ate My Sword. A few months back, blogmeister Christopher Brackett created an incredibly cool-looking character sheet for Mutant Future. Love the radiation symbol in the background. He's posted both a black and white and color version of the sheet at his blog, so I encourage you to go there and download it. And by all means, enjoy the rest of his site as well.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Savage Menagerie: Firewhale

Today's creature was inspired by the animated show "Thundarr the Barbarian," episode 3: "Mindok the Mind Menace" where it appears.

No. Enc.: 0 (1d4)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: Swim: 180' (60')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 8
Attacks: 1 (bite or flamejet)
Damage: 1d20/ 2d12
Save: L3
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: None

The firewhale is a large aquatic creature renowned for its ferocity and ill temper. Firewhales are often used as guardians of underwater domains, islands, and atolls by other intelligent sea-based beings.

The primary method of attack of the firewhale is by biting using its massive mouth of stalagmite-sized teeth. The bite of a firewhale deals 1d20 damage to the unfortunate victim. Also, if a natural 20 is rolled for a firewhale bite attack, the victim is instead swallowed whole by the whale. The victim will suffer 1d6 of drowning damage per round until they are either freed or they have died in the whale’s stomach.

Over the course of time and evolution, the firewhale has developed a flamejet where a whale’s blowhole would normally be. A firewhale can use this flamejet as a secondary attack, spewing a firey stream of magma over 50’. Anyone struck by the magma will suffer 2d12 damage from the initial burn. The magma will cling and burn for 1d6 additional damage for 1d4 rounds. Water will not wash off the magma once contact has been made.

Firewhales are known to attack in packs and have been known to ram watercraft with their horn, overturning any boats that happen to venture into their territory.

Mutations: Unique (flamejet)

Enter The Colony on July 21

This post is less about RPGing and more about inspiration for your post-apocalyptic game. Just saw an interesting promo for a show about to air on The Discovery Channel. Take the reality TV show "Survivor," but have it take place in the ruins of a destroyed earth. You'd have The Colony.
Here's the show's description from the website:

What would you do in the wake of a global catastrophe? How would you find food? Water? Shelter? The Colony is a controlled experiment to see exactly what it would take to survive and rebuild under these circumstances.

For 10 weeks, a group of 10 volunteers, whose backgrounds and expertise represent a cross-section of modern society, are isolated in an urban environment outside Los Angeles and tasked with creating a livable society. With no electricity from the grid, no running water, and no communication with the outside world, all the volunteers have to work with are their skills and whatever tools and supplies they can scavenge from their surroundings.

Experts from the fields of homeland security, engineering and psychology have helped design the world of The Colony to reflect elements from both real-life disasters and models of what the future could look like after a global viral outbreak. Over the course of the 10-week experiment, the Colonists must work together to build the necessities of survival, such as a water-filtration system, a battery bank that powered their electricity, a solar cooker, a shower system and a greenhouse – and even some niceties.

I read a bit about upcoming episodes and some of the challenges include defending The Colony from attacks by marauders; leaving the safety of The Colony to explore the ruins outside; making contact with other Colonies; and finding which of them is a spy for another group of Colonists. Very interesting premise. Throw in some spidergoats and you have Mutant Future: The Reality Show. The Colony premieres July 21 on Discovery Channel.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A One-Page Mutant Future Dungeon

At the blog Musings of the Chatty DM, they recently ran a One-Page Dungeon contest. The challenge was to create a dungeon level and/or simple adventure that could fit on one side of an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. By the time the smoke cleared, they had received 112 entries! Here is a link to a compiled list of the entries they got: One-Page Dungeon Entries.

I clicked on a few of the entries out of curiousity and was stunned by creativity within. You can fit a LOT of gaming goodness in 93.5 square inches! As I perused the entries, one entry caught me completely by surprise. "Walkerp/Conan" entered a one-page adventure titled MineCo 3000 Uranium Ore Extraction Complex, which is based in the Mutant Future! No mere dungeon crawl here, as the party must investigate an ancient mining facility long since abandoned - or is it? (No spoilers here, but our favorite web-spinning ibex makes an appearance.)

Stop Poking the Spidergoat With a Fondue Fork!

Over at Jeff's Gameblog, Jeff has posted a few tables to randomly generate starting weapons and armor for folks about to venture into the Mutant Future blastscape. I found a few of the items like the razor-blade-encrusted hockey stick to be fairly impressive. But a fondue fork? Imagine the crestfallen look on the PC who rolls that one up while everyone else is decked out with lead pipes and baseball bats. Check it out yourself: Mutant Future Starting Equipment.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Creatures of the Wastelands Available for MF

In February 2009, Skirmisher Publishing released Creatures of the Wastelands, a collection of monsters, mutations, and other material for use with Mutant Future and other post-apocalyptic games. The "Menagerie of Mutants and Mutations" was written by Derek Holland and the Skirmisher Game Development Group and was illustrated by Dragan Ciric and Jeremy Pea.

This 80-page book contains:
  • More than 200 new creatures including the warlike Lumbricid, the insideous Silver Sheet, the mysterious Smart Stones, and several mutant dinosaurs.
  • More than 50 new mutations, including the new Parasite mutation type and a number of Plant mutations.
  • Several new terrain types, new materials, and a number of non-creature hazards.

The book is $7.99 and is available as a PDF download on several online sales venues, including DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.

Of Coins and Coinage

Even in the far-flung future of mutants, monsters, and mayhem, "things cost money." Unless your campaign uses a cumbersome bartering system, you're probably using The Gold Standard (1 gold piece = 10 silver pieces = 100 copper pieces) found in the Mutant Future rulebook (page 15). But a few questions remain, such as "In a Ruined Earth scenario, where did these minted coins come from? And why do they still hold value?" Well, the MF rulebook explains it this way:
In addition to the coins described above, the Mutant Lord could decide that whatever form of currency was common at the fall of the previous society is still in circulation. If this is the case, it will have a comparative value to these precious coins. This value could be more or less than that of coins, depending on how abundant the money is. In the wastelands of Mutant Future, money can be scarce.
I still use the copper/silver/gold standard since it's fairly easy and established. The explanation I've internalized is that the inherent "value" of the coins is left over from before The Fall. The Ancients valued them, therefore the denizens of the Mutant Future also value them. And I would think that Ancient minted coins would have survived the apocalypse and would therefore be in use. Even if their usefulness is nil.

But over on the blog Aeons & Augauries, JDJarvis has come up with an elegantly simple coin system with a great internal logic: Alternate Coins for the Ruins. He posits that materials common and of value to the mutants would be in use as coinage materials. Plastic, lead, and uranium replaces copper, silver, and gold respectively. After all, who would want silver ingots in a radiated wasteland when lead can be used in radiation shielding and melted into bullets? I like this idea and it gives coins an actual use and value other than just "That's what The Ancients traded for goods and services." I'll be implementing this in my own games shortly.

Although, on the subject of "value," would gems, jewelry, and precious "treasures" be sought after by the Ruined Earth mutants or would they seek out more practical things like antirad-pills, gasoline, and other such items?

"Put those shiny marbles down and help me with this case of Spam!"