Monday, November 16, 2009

Dangerous Encounter: Smilin' Jack's Auto Lot

This encounter works best if the PCs are on foot and in need (or want) of wheeled vehicular transportation of some kind. The PCs should somehow hear the name "Smilin' Jack's" which is rumored to be an Ancient automotive lot of some kind. The area should be described (as rumor has it) as "a large fenced-in holding pen with several motorized vehicles to choose from!" If pressed for details, the describer could add that "I hear that they're all the same kind of car."

It should be a simple matter to find "Smilin' Jack's" though investigation and asking around. A large sign for Smilin' Jack's is found near an overgrown road leading into an overgrown forested area. The sign has a stylized clown head leering down at the PCs. If the PCs travel down the road, they'll need to hack their way through the overgrowth. Along the road, they'll see one or two small shanties nearly hidden in the brush.

Unbeknownst to the PCs, Smilin' Jack's was the name of a small travelling carnival that was obliterated during the Ancient cataclysm. The small booths that remain are what remains of the food vendors. Poking through one of the booths, the PCs will discover a single male cockroachoid (MF rulebook, pg. 67). He is apparently scavenging in one of the food vendor booths.

Cockroachoid (1) (AL C, MV 120’ (40’), AC 4, HD 8, #AT 1 (claw or arm spikes), DG 1d6, 1d8, special, SV L10, ML 8, mutations: natural armor (extreme), reflective epidermis (radiation))

Since this is a male cockroachoid, he does not have the sonic attack mutation as females do. Also, since he's alone, his metaconcert mutation is useless and therefore not listed above.) If the PCs defeat him, they will discover that he is carrying 24 gold pieces and a small battered cardboard box containing 20 soup mixes - the only thing of value he's found so far. (The cockroachoid will drop the box if forced to retreat from battle as well.)

Further up the path, they'll see a dilapidated fenced-in structure. A sign with the word CARS hangs lopsidedly from the roof. Approaching, the PCs will see seven identical cars in the area. Sadly, these are amusement park bumper cars - useless as vehicles and too destroyed to salvage. Also of note is that a nest of vomit flys (MF rulebook, pg. 101) has taken up residence in the rotting ticket booth next to the bumper car ride.

Vomit Flys (9) (AL N, MV 150’ (50’), AC 5, HD 4, #AT 1 (bite or vomit), DG 1d6, 4d6 cold damage, SV L3, ML 8, mutations: energy ray, reflective epidermis (cold), gigantism)

Inside of the ticket booth, the PCs will find several Ancient music CDs and a battery-operated CD player (non-functional, but a trader may pay up to 100 GP for the device). They will also find a set of vehicle keys. It is left to the Mutant Lord to determine where this vehicle is, what kind of vehicle it is, and what condition it's in.


  1. Are you sure this blog isn't about Savage Worlds?

    All joking aside, this stuff would make a great Savage Worlds setting. You should consider it!

  2. LOL! What a coincidence! Actually I just yanked the name out of the air while thinking about the Jack in the Box logo. Big ol' smilin' clown head.

  3. This seems cool but if there is nothing at all to salvage ultimately disappointing. An encounter with creatures can be had anywhere.

    Why not let the PCs try to salvage some of the bumper car parts with parts from an old bike or motorcycle or something found near by. They could create some primitive makeshift vehicle of some kind. Just a thought.

  4. Yeah, I'll admit the goodies are a bit light. But a single cockroachoid doesn't carry much and vomit flys have no hoard to speak of. That's why I tucked some goodies into the ticket booth as well as the keys to a (potentially running) vehicle. But combat always equals XP, so there's that too!