Wednesday, September 30, 2009

[Thundarr Thursday] Dangerous Encounter: Stalker From the Stars

Today's Thundarr Thursday feature is the first Mutant Future mini-adventure based on one of the episodes!

The PCs should find themselves travelling through a wintery Arctic area. Aside from the usual dangers the post-apocalyptic world holds, they should be worried that something as simple as exposure to the elements will be their swansong. While they search for shelter from the elements, have one of them spy a meteor streaking far overhead. They should hear an explosion in the distance where the object crashed. If they wish to investigate the impact site, the party must cross over an ice bridge on their way. However, due to the heat of the passing meteor, the ice bridge is dangerously melted and it should collapse under one of them (or all of them), dumping them into a deep ravine and at the entrance to an Ice Wolf den. (New creature, click here for a description.) There are three Ice Wolves who attack the party.

Ice Wolves (3) (AL N, MV 150' (50'), AC 6, HD 5, #AT 1 (bite or frost breath), DG 2d6 or 4d6 cold damage, SV L2, ML 8, Mutations: albinism, thermal vision, frost breath)

When the last Ice Wolf is dealt with, the Mutant Lord should make it clear that the party cannot reach the crash site from the bottom of the ravine and that the ice walls are too slick to climb back up. Plus, the temperature is beginning to drop rapidly. (Give one of the characters a cold if you need to prompt them.) If they follow the bottom of the ravine, they will eventually come to a guard outpost manned by a single young human girl named Meena. If they explain what brought them here, she'll explain she saw no "lights in the sky," but she will also offer to take the characters to her village so they can rest up and warm themselves. She will take them to a nearby ice cavern and, after traversing about a mile of tunnel, the cavern will open up revealing an Ancient buried amusement park that had been swallowed up during the cataclysm. Meena's people have converted this long-buried theme park into a small thriving village.

The village elder and Meena will take the characters into one of the shantys where they will be fed and warmed. While eating and socializing, the characters should be given a chance to hear screams in the distance. If they do hear the commotion and are alert, they will not be surprised when the Stalker From the Stars (New creature, click here for a description) explodes from the floor and begins attacking the village elder. Otherwise, they are surprised when the creature appears and will miss an attack on the first round.

Stalker (1) (AL C, MV 120' (40'); burrowing 90' (30'), AC 4, HD 11, #AT 6 (4 claws, tail, and bite), DG 1d8, 1d8, 1d8, 1d8, 1d6, 1d8, SV L9, ML 10, Mutations: webs, hyperburrowing, optic emissions, machine control)

The Stalker is an alien from another planet who crashed in the ship the characters mistook for a meteor. (The ship is completely destroyed and is now buried forever under tons of ice and rock. The Stalker escaped using its hyperburrowing ability.) It has used its hyperburrowing to try to sneak up on the party while they fought the Ice Wolves, but they had moved on by the time the Stalker arrived. (The remaining Ice Wolves in the den are now packed away for a future feast though.) The Stalker has followed the party to Meena's village and, using its hyperburrowing ability and its webs, has been systematically catching and bundling up other villagers while the party ate and rested. It has now decided to go after the elder as well as test the PCs who seem to be the most powerful enemies here.

The elder offers no real fight and is caught in webs and dragged underground before the party knows what happened (though they may get in a good shot or two). If the party starts to gain an advantage, the Stalker will fire its optic emissions at the roof, causing it to collapse. It will escape during the commotion.

After the attack, if the party goes outside, they will see several villagers standing around, wondering what has happened and what to do next. Several of them feel as if they are sitting ducks for the Stalker once the party explains what they just encountered. It is up to the PCs to determine what to do next. If they split up to go looking for the Stalker, it will pick off the other villagers one by one. If they decide to stay together, the Stalker will attack without warning, overpowering a villager and quickly dragging them off. The villager numbers should dwindle until only the PCs are left. (The Ancient amusement park should make for some creepy encounters with the Stalker as it jumps out, attacks, and hyperburrows away after catching another victim.)

The party should eventually discover that the Stalker has been using the abandoned Fun House as its base, whether by tracking it or seeing it running into the building. Once they enter, they will see web-cocooned villagers stacked up like cordwood throughout the building. The Mutant Lord should play up the otherworldliness of the Fun House as they track the Stalker. A tumbling barrel, a maze of mirrors, spring-loaded paper mache "monsters" that jump out at the party, etc. can be used to keep them on their toes. If the Stalker is cornered or if the fight starts going badly, it will escape from the Fun House and will try to use the other old decrepit rides to throw off the party. An exciting fight can take place on the roller coaster or the Ferris wheel.

Eventually, the fight should begin to turn against the Stalker. When the Stalker is down to 15 hit points or less, it will use its machine control ability to take control of some nearby heavy machinery (a bulldozer perhaps) which it will send toward the party. However, if the Stalker is defeated, the controlled machine will stop moving. Once the Stalker is defeated, the party is free to release the villagers and help them recover and rebuild after the encounter with the alien being.

If the party ever does decide to investigate the crash site, a bit of digging will reveal the Stalker's escape tunnel. If they follow it into the ship, they will find it fairly well crushed and destroyed. However, they will be able to salvage the following items: 2,155 gp; a stun pistol; a stun rifle; 8 bottles of synthihol; 6 light sticks; and a water purifier.

NOTE: This adventure and its creatures were inspired by the episode “Stalker From the Stars” from the classic Ruby Spears post-apocalyptic cartoon “Thundarr the Barbarian.” Obviously some liberties needed to be taken with the original episode's plotline, but I tried to stay as true as I could to the feel of the show. Stay tuned each week for “Thundarr Thursday”!

Dangerous Encounter: The Treasure of Dri’in Hill – Part 1

To introduce this encounter, the Mutant Lord should plant the rumor of an Ancient treasure at nearby “Dri’in Hill.” Some suggested ways of planting the seed:
  • One of the characters finds a map pinned to the inside lining of a jacket they scavenge or buy from a trader. This map should show a large X with the words “Dri’in Hill” and “treasure” scribbled to the side.
  • A badly beaten mutant is found lying in a road. He points to a well-hidden path nearby, groans “Dri’in Hill…treasure…” then dies.
  • A defeated brigand or villain tells the PCs that he’ll reveal the location of Dri’in Hill – rumored to have a priceless Ancient treasure – if he’s released.

Once the party’s curiosity is peaked, let them do some research to find the location of Dri’in Hill. Interestingly, the location doesn’t appear on any “formal” maps and even the most well-travelled of scouts or traders have never heard of Dri’in Hill. Only the information originally gleaned (as described above) can give the characters any clue as to the direction of Dri’in Hill or its location. (Although the Mutant Lord may allow for creative use of mutations or other methods to determine appropriate location and direction.)

Once the party reaches the area, have one of them notice an Ancient sign nearly covered in brush and overgrowth. The sign reads “DRI IN” in big red letters and an arrow points to an old road that winds off into the forest. If the sign is examined, the letters “VE” will be found on the ground next to the sign.

If the party follows the sign, the road eventually empties out into a big open overgrown field. There are metal poles sticking out of the ground at regular intervals and at one end of the field stands a large white featureless sign. The most striking thing is the large (40’ high) mound of dirt in the center of the area. A colony of Mants (MF rulebook, pg. 82) has made this Ancient entertainment complex their home, and the party is now looking at a large Mant hill. (Yes, this is “Dri’in Hill.” The reason no one knows of its existence is that it was formed by the colony only a few months ago.)

Wandering around the base of the hill are four Mant drones standing guard. All of the Mants in this colony have the mutations of control light waves and body adjustment. (See page 28 of the MF rulebook for more information on these abilities.) If they see the party, they will attack. However, the rest of the colony is deep within the hill and will not hear any combat, so the PCs shouldn’t worry about reinforcements.

Mants (4) (AL C, MV 120' (40'), AC 5, HD 7, #AT 3 (2 claws, 1 bite), DG 1d8, 1d8, 2d8, SV L9, ML 11, Mutations: control light waves, body adjustment)

Once the Mant guards are dealt with, the PCs are free to examine the area. A small crumbling structure (labeled “SNACK SHACK”) yields nothing of value. The following vehicles are in the lot (caught exposed when the Ancient Wars began) and could be potentially of use to the party:
  • A one-person four-wheeled ATV. Has one broken wire, but that’s the only problem. Everything else looks in working order. Gas tank is ¾ full as well.
  • Motor scooter. Missing its engine, one tire, and its power cell. Frame is badly bent too. Salvageable for parts only.
  • Four-person sedan automobile. All four tires are flat, rims are bent, and the gas tank is crushed. Will run if these parts are replaced.

Once the PCs have looted the area, there are two choices: leave the area or venture into the Mant hill itself in search of The Treasure of Dri’in Hill…

(End of Part 1)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Who Here Can Talk "Netspeak?"

In the world of Mutant Future, not everyone is going to be able to communicate clearly with each other. A mutated animal with its snarls and grunts would have a hard time making itself understood to a synthoid who only communicates in computer-based algorithms. Over at the Mutant Future forum at Goblinoid Games, "Outlander" posted an incredibly interesting list of languages that may have evolved in the Mutant Future. It's going to be helpful if your mutant can speak "Ancient" for those times he stumbles across an instruction manual for that scavenged hovercar. And the "Native"-speaking nomads would be wise to learn to speak "Scavenger" and "Trade." The whole discussion of language is underway here: Languages of the Wastes.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Meet The Slagon (And Maybe Win A Prize Yourself)

Over at the blog RPG Blog II, blogmeister Zach explains how the "Slagon" - his Mutant Future critter creation - was posted at The DM's Sketchpad. The slagon is a frightening combination of slug and dragon, breathing fire and oozing acidic slime. He now challenges other readers of his blog to post their own horrific animal combos in keeping with an earlier post of his on Kitchen Sink Gaming - RPG systems that mash-up genres, settings, powers, and abilities. And Mutant Future fits the bill nicely.

Anyway, here's the link with more info: A Kitchen Sink Contest: Behold the Slagon! (And there's a prize involved for the most creative creature. I've already posted my version of the ravenous bearsharktopus from this blog's very pages.)

Friday, September 25, 2009

"We Check Out What's Behind Those Garage Doors..."

Over at the blog A Character For Every Game, blogmeister dysonlogos posts a custom map each Friday of a new dungeon, building, area, town, or encounter. These hand-sketched cartographic exercises are always fascinating to examine, imagining the adventures that could unfold within. This week's Friday Map is designed for use in a post-apocalyptic setting, with Mutant Future mentioned as one of the possibilities. This fleshed out encounter features a burned-out, long-forgotten, abandoned garage. Or is it? Check it out: [Friday Map] "Wheelz!" - a post-apocalyptic encounter.

[Thundarr Thursday] Savage Menagerie: Ice Wolf

No. Enc.: 1d4 (2d4)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 150' (50')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 5
Attacks: 1 (bite or frost breath)
Damage: 2d6 or 4d6 cold damage
Save: L2
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: None

The ice wolf is primarily found in arctic and frozen wastelands. It is the size of a very large dog, covered in white fur, with a small sharp horn on its muzzle. The ice wolf is a nocturnal animal, preferring to hunt at night. This is because it suffers from albinism and is very sensitive to sunlight, so it has a -2 penalty to hit when the sun is up. However, its thermal vision mutation allows it to see perfectly well at night.

The ice wolf can bite its prey for 2d6 hit points of damage. Also it can breathe a cone of frost breath once every 4 rounds to a distance of 50 feet. This subzero attack deals 4d6 hit points of cold damage to anyone hit.

Ice wolves live in caves and underground ice tunnels, preferring the darkness and the cold these shelters provide.

Mutations: albinism, thermal vision, frost breath

NOTE: This creature is inspired by the episode “Stalker From the Stars” from the classic Ruby Spears post-apocalyptic cartoon “Thundarr the Barbarian.” Stay tuned each week for “Thundarr Thursday”!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

[Thundarr Thursday] Savage Menagerie: Surfent

No. Enc.: 1d4 (1d6)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 60' (20')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 5
Attacks: 2 (bite, constrict)
Damage: 1d4, 2d8
Save: L2
Morale: 6
Hoard Class: VI

The surfent (AKA "fur serpent") is a 10-foot-long python-like snake. The surfent, however, is covered in a soft spotted fur. It also has a set of insectoid-like antenna on its head. The antenna gives the surfent the mutation of echolocation, giving it a +2 to hit bonus in combat.

Unlike other snakes, surfents are very aggressive and will actively enter combat. Its primary form of attack is through a bite. Upon a successful hit, the surfent will deal 1d4 hit points of damage. A bitten character must them make a save versus poison. Failure means they will die in 1d10 turns (class 12 poisonous venom with delay). Surfents also use their incredible size to wrap around and constrict a victim. If successful, it will crush a victim for 2d8 hit points of damage. The constriction continues on subsequent rounds.

Surfents are usually found in muddy/swampy areas. They are often used as guardians by wizards, and a pit of surfents acts as a handy way to dispose of troublesome meddlers.

Mutations: gigantism, echolocation

NOTE: This creature is inspired the episode “Harvest of Doom” from the classic Ruby Spears post-apocalyptic cartoon “Thundarr the Barbarian.” Stay tuned each week for “Thundarr Thursday”!

[Thundarr Thursday] More Thundarr RPG Material at Jeff's Gameblog

Over at Jeff's Gameblog, blogmeister Jeff Rients has been working on his own Thundarr the Barbarian material for use with Mutant Future and Labyrinth Lord. In his first post, Labyrinths & Mutants, Jeff proposes 10 new character classes that you may encounter in the World of Thundarr. I like this approach, as a character's "class" defines what a PC can do versus a character's "race" which defines what a character is.

In his follow-up post, bye bye Witch, Jeff narrows down the roles of Wizards, Sorcerers, and Witches and what the essential differences are between the spell-slingers. Lords of Light, but there's some good stuff brewin' over there!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Radioactive Dice Deserve A Radioactive Dice Cup

Just got my set of Nuke Dice from Q-Workshop, but I didn't want to just toss them in the ol' dice bag. I felt they needed something more Mutant Future-ish with regards to storage. Pity there are no small "Radioactive Waste" containers to use.

So I made one.

I picked up a simple cardboard can with lid at the local hobby store, painted it yellow, wrapped a rusting barrel texture printout around it (stenciled with RADIOACTIVE WASTE, a hazmat placard, and two radiation/poison decals on the far side), and finished it with a black/yellow hazard strip around the lid edge. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Savage Menagerie: Bearsharktopus

No. Enc.: 1 (1d3)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 7 (x2 – see below)
Attacks: 3 (2 tentacles, bite)
Damage: 1d6, 1d6, 2d10
Save: L4
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: VI

The bearsharktopus is a mutant conglomerate of three aggressive Ancient creatures: the body of a grizzly bear, the head of a great white shark, and the tentacles of a giant octopus. It is unknown whether it’s a genetic experiment run amok or a result of typical Mutant Future mutation. The bearsharktopus is typically found near large fresh-water rivers and lakes where it feeds on fish and waterfowl. But the bearsharktopus is a ravenous carnivore, so it will also feed on any living thing that ventures into its territory.

The bearsharktopus first attacks with its two tentacles for 1d6 hit points damage each. Upon a successful hit, a tentacle will grasp and crush a victim for 1d6 hit points of additional damage on each successive round. For each tentacle that has grasped a victim, the PC suffers a cumulative attack penalty of –1. (See the Octopus, Giant entry in the MF rulebook, pg. 87, for more information on tentacle attacks.) The gaping maw of a bearsharktopus is to be feared and avoided since a successful bite attack will deal 2d10 hit points of damage to the unfortunate victim.

Because of its increased constitution mutation, the bearsharktopus never tires or weakens. The Mutant Lord should also multiply the creature’s hit dice roll by 2 when determining hit point totals. (For example, a hit dice roll of 35 would be doubled for a final hit point total of 70.) However, the bearsharktopus developed without ears or a sense of hearing, so the creature suffers from the sensory deficiency (deafness) drawback. Therefore, it’s fairly easy to sneak up on one or avoid it. But if it spies a PC, it’ll never give up until it catches and devours them.

Mutations: increased constitution, sensory deficiency (deafness)

NOTE: This creature was inspired by this blog post at Boing Boing. Once I saw it, I just had to hammer out some stats for it.

Dangerous Encounter: The New Village

While trading with a junk merchant, the trader mentions in passing that the PCs are “a lot more friendly than the folks in that village to the east.” The PCs should be told that they know there is no “village” to the east – the radiation in that direction would never allow for a permanent settlement. If they mention this fact to the trader (who is not from this area and is unaware of the geography), he will frown and describe the tented village at “the base of the giant chimneys” as well as explaining that everyone in the village wore hooded robes. “Thought they was a church or somethin’,” he’ll say. If anyone examines the trader, they’ll see he suffers from radiation poisoning. (Fortunately, he has one last hemofowl egg with which to cure himself.)

Whether on their own, suggested by the trader, or at the directive of their village leader, the PCs should be prompted to investigate this previously unknown “village.” PCs may be nervous about entering a radiation zone to the east. They should be told that it has been generations since anyone ventured in that direction so the danger is unknown.

Approximately 75 miles into their journey to the east, the PCs will enter a level 4 radiation zone. The zone is unmarked and they should not be told of this fact unless they thought to equip themselves with a Geiger counter, rad tabs, or similar radiation detection devices. (Secretly roll a save vs. radiation for each PC when they enter the zone as well as radiation damage for each failed save. The PCs will take that damage one hour after entering the zone due to radiation sickness.)

Another 30 miles to the east, the PCs will spot the “giant chimneys” the trader mentioned. They are four cooling towers for an Ancient nuclear power facility (long since inactive and fairly safe – the background radiation is caused by fallout from the Ancient wars). At the base of the towers, the party will see a few scattered tents. Hooded figures wander about the village. They also seem to be going in and out of a large building nestled between the towers. If the PCs spy on the village for a while or if they raise an alarm, they’ll discover that this is a base of The Irradiated (MF rulebook, pg. 77).

This Irradiated camp is trying to breach the uranium storage chamber within the Ancient facility. The chamber is very well secured and – with their limited tools and abilities – it will take another 3 months before they finally gain access. However, if allowed to do so, the resulting meltdown will make everything within a 200-mile radius a level 10 radiation zone. The eight members of the Irradiated camp have made gaining access to the life-giving radiation their life’s work, and they will fight to the death anyone who tries to stop them. Six of them are armed with clubs. Two of them are riding Ant Horrors (MF rulebook, pg. 60) and are armed with spears.

The Irradiated (8)
(AL N, MV 120' (40'), AC 7, HD 7, #AT 1, DG 1d4 (club) or 1d6 (spear), SV L3, ML 7, Mutations: reflective epidermis (radiation), unique sense (radiation))

Ant Horrors (2)
(AL N, MV 150' (50'), AC 3, HD 6, #AT 2 bites or 1 tail, DG 2d8/2d8 or 1d10, SV L4, ML 7, Mutations: gigantism, dual headed, toxic weapon, energy ray (radiation), reflective epidermis (radiation))

Once the Irradiated threat has ended, the PCs may investigate the camp. They will find the following scattered throughout the tents: 296 silver pieces, 128 gold pieces, 2 fully charged power cells, and a firestarter cube. If the nuclear facility is rummaged through, the PCs will discover a functioning Geiger counter, 3 rad tabs, and 2 stimshot A.

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's Mutant Future Time...Literally

One of my hobbies is creating game room clocks for folks. Video game room clocks. Poker room clocks. Billiard room clocks. And I've even done a few for RPG fans. Anyway, an order came in for a clock related to the video game Fallout 3. After I was done, I thought that this would also make a great Mutant Future clock! (I even used the Metal Lord font from the rulebook cover.) So, presented here, is a custom-made Mutant Future wall clock. Just the thing when you need to see how long you've been fighting a spidergoat herd!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

[Thundarr Thursday] Savage Menagerie: Stalker From the Stars

No. Enc.: 1
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120' (40'); burrowing 90’ (30’)
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 11
Attacks: 6 (4 claws, tail, bite)
Damage: 1d8, 1d8, 1d8, 1d8, 1d6, 1d8
Save: L9
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: XVI

A stalker is a large (8 feet tall) slug-like creature with four clawed arms, a large fanged mouth, and yellow pupil-less eyes on eyestalks. The stalker is not a mutant, however, but rather an evil space-faring creature that travels from planet to planet, collecting prey to take back to its homeworld for food. A stalker will not stop until it has collected 50 creatures (mutants, animals, etc.) and secured them for transport. Once it has captured enough prey, it will return home with its “harvest” to feast. NOTE: A stalker prefers to eat live prey, so it will try to subdue or overpower a victim rather than killing them outright.

A stalker is able to burrow underground at an accelerated rate using its hyperburrowing ability. The stalker often likes to dig underneath a victim, grab them, then pull them underground for an attack. The stalker can also use this ability to break through wood flooring or other fragile ground coverings in order to surprise and overtake its victim.

When attacking, the stalker has four claws that can each strike for 1d8 hit points of damage. It also has a tail it can whip around for 1d6 hit points of damage as well as biting for 1d8 hit points of damage. The creature’s eyes can also emit an optic emission that will strike a foe for 1d6 damage as well as blinding them for 1d4 rounds. One additional ability of the creature is that it can control any machine for 1d10 rounds once per week. The control is only through line of sight and is used as a last resort for defense if the creature is in danger of being captured or defeated.

Stalkers are able to cocoon their prey using webs that spray from their claw’s tips. Once a victim is defeated or captured, the stalker cocoons its victims and returns them to the cargo hold of its hidden spaceship for later transport back to its homeworld. The creature does not use its webs in combat or as a trapping material. It is used only to bind an already defeated creature.

The stalker is an incredibly powerful and dangerous creature and should not be randomly encountered. Rather, an entire campaign should be built around investigating and stopping this monster from another planet. Failure could mean the disappearance of entire communities – including the party’s home village.

Mutations: webs, hyperburrowing, optic emissions, machine control

NOTE: This creature is inspired by the episode “Stalker From the Stars” from the classic Ruby Spears post-apocalyptic cartoon “Thundarr the Barbarian.” Stay tuned each week for “Thundarr Thursday”!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Apocalyptic Stormfront Table

During the final days of the End of the World, the catastrophic explosions that destroyed the lands ejected a host of materials into the atmosphere. Over time, these orbiting materials have combined with each other and with the clouds to create a number of unusual stormfronts that may be encountered in the Mutant Future. If the Mutant Lord wants to give the players a bit of an environmental challenge, they should roll 1d12 and refer to the table below.
  1. Acid Storm – Pollution and ash have mixed with the moisture in the clouds to create a corrosive liquid that rains upon the lands. Roll 1d6 for acidity level with 1 = slight irritant (lemon juice) to 6 = dangerously corrosive (battery acid).
  2. Ash Storm – Volcanic ash and cinders that have drifted in the atmosphere for years finally begins to fall, covering the area with dirty soot to a depth of 1d4 inches. It’s comparatively harmless, though it may play havoc with fragile technology.
  3. Blood Storm – Microscopic rusting iron particles have combined with the moisture in the air to create a thick red rain that smells of iron. Exposed/untreated metal items exposed to a blood storm will rust at an accelerated rate.
  4. Chill Storm – A driving rainstorm where the water is just above the point of freezing. Exposure to a chill storm will deal 1d4 hit points of damage per round to plant-based characters and may give other mutants a bad cold/flu.
  5. Disease Storm – Biological warfare agents have mixed with the natural rainwater creating a virus-laden “soup” that coats everything. Characters who exposed for a lengthy period have a 65% chance of contracting the Superflu. (See MF rulebook, page 48.)
  6. Fire Storm – Bits of phosphorus debris have somehow remained inactive and dormant until they start falling onto the area, flaring up at more than 250 degrees and burning through anything they land on. PCs will take 2d6 hit points of damage per round of exposure.
  7. Lightning Storm – No precipitation, but bolts of lightning strike the area regularly during the storm. The chance of a PC being struck is only 5% (10% if a robotic character or in metallic armor). Being hit by lightning will do 4d10 hit points of damage (save vs. energy attack for half damage).
  8. Magnetic Storm – Somehow, the clouds are emitting a low-level electromagnetic pulse. During the storm, any Ancient electronic technology will malfunction and/or be inactive. Robotic PCs will deactivate but will not suffer damage. Once the storm passes, all tech works as normal.
  9. Poison Storm – The toxins that fall are poisonous to all living creatures. Mutant Lords should roll on the Poison Class Table (see MF rulebook, page 50) to determine the kind and level of the poison and its lethality.
  10. Pressure Storm – The barometric pressure wildly fluctuates, increasing to a crushing level. Until the storm passes, breathing is labored as everyone feels the weight of the air compressing upon them. Physical effort is difficult at best. Characters may find themselves temporarily deaf. Flight is impossible for airborne creatures.
  11. Rad Storm – Radioactive fallout from the Ancient Wars begins to drift down. Mutant Lords should roll on the Radiation Class Table (see MF rulebook, page 51) to determine the level of radiation exposure and its lethality.
  12. Razor Storm – Metallic and glass shards in orbit from satellites and missiles destroyed long ago starts to rain down. These razor-sharp pieces will slice like a knife through anything exposed. Fortunately, they will not penetrate anything over AC6, but anything less will be cut to ribbons (1d6 hit points of damage per round of exposure).

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ancient Armory: Press-on Armor Plating

Armor: Press-on Armor Plating
Cost: 200 gp for a full set
Armor Class: 5
Weight: 15 lb. for a full set

When the Ancient Wars erupted, the world become an immediate battleground. Combat exploded anywhere and at anytime. Neighborhoods and cities found themselves on the frontlines overnight. Therefore, it was not uncommon for the armies of the time to immediately draft civilians into military service on the spot. Outfitting these impromptu troops with weapons was fairly easy, but it was difficult (and expensive) to provide combat-ready armored battlesuits. Thus, press-on armor plating was developed.

Press-on armor plates are made out of a duraplastic alloy and are molded for the torso, arms, and legs of a vaguely humanoid character. The plates flex a bit so they can accommodate a skinnier or stouter wearer. The plates have an adhesive coating on the underside that permanently bonds to whatever it is pressed against. The plates were designed to be applied to clothing and/or a weaker armoring material. Once in place, press-on armor plates offer an AC5 level of protection. If applied to a heartier suit of armor, the press-on plates do not increase the level of protection any further. The adhesive is quite unbreakable, so it is inadvisable to apply the plates directly to skin and flesh as it will adhere permanently.

Finding a complete suit of plates is quite rare and should only happen in a military installation or some similar Ancient ruin. More common is to find a random collection of pieces that can be used by the discoverer, i.e., a chest plate, two shin plates, and an upper-arm plate.

Savage Menagerie: Dodo-leech

No. Enc.: 1 (1d4)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 60' (20'); Fly 90’ (30’)
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 2 (drain blood, claw)
Damage: 1d6 per round, 1d6
Save: L2
Morale: 5
Hoard Class: None

Sometimes creatures once thought extinct make a return in the world of Mutant Future. The dodo-leech is an example of one such creature. The dodo-leech is a large stout bird weighing about 50 pounds and covered with gray-white feathers. Although the dodo-leech’s ancestors were flightless, the dodo-leech has the mutation of complete wing development, making it capable of flight (although it is still fairly slow in the air when compared with other large birds).

Unlike its fruit-eating ancestor, the dodo-leech must feed on the blood of living creatures. It has developed a short trunk-like appendage where its beak would be. This trunk’s opening is lined with hundreds of razor-sharp needle teeth that it uses to latch onto and drain its prey. If a PC is hit in combat, the dodo-leech will attach itself to the victim, draining 1d6 hit points of blood. Once attached, the dodo-leech will only release its grip if it is killed or its prey has died.

Since the dodo-leech isn’t a speedy bird, it has evolved the ability to create a mental phantasm to confuse its enemies and trap its prey. It will use this ability to draw a weaker victim away from a party, hoping to attack the prey on a one-on-one basis.

Mutations: aberrant form (xenomorphism), complete wing development, mental phantasm

NOTE: See this previous TSAW post for the inspiration behind this critter.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Flora And Fauna

Over at Jeff's Gameblog, blogmeister Jeff Rients has come up with two very useful charts for those times when you need to randomly determine original animal and/or plant stock. If the player is a mutated animal, what animal did they evolve from? Got a mutant plant NPC? What kind of vegetation do they resemble? Very useful stuff for the initial inspiration of PCs and NPCs. Check them out here:
I also see a use for the Animal Stock table for generating new critters encountered in the Mutant Future...

"Holy crap! It's a dodo-leech!"

"Let's Scrounge Up Some Wheels..."

At some point during the course of an adventure within the Mutant Future, the PCs are going to want to try to secure some transportation other than just walking from Point A to Point B. Purchasing any kind of transport is expensive - if it's even available at all in the area they're exploring. In those cases where the players decide to try to scavenge something to ride on or in while they're "on the road", I've created the following tables for "Scavenged Ground-Based Transportation".

For purposes of the first table, "Urban" refers to a large town or city; "Suburban" refers to the neighborhoods and smaller townships just outside of a larger metropolis; "Rural" refers to very small communities or farm area; and "Wilderness" refers to any area that was never initially inhabited by the Ancients, i.e., swamps, desert, open plains, etc. (Clicking on the table should bring up a full-sized version.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

[Thundarr Thursday] Show Yourself, Wizard!

In the post-apocalyptic world of Thundarr the Barbarian, magic exists side-by-side with mutation and future technology. People who can actually harness and use magical power are very, very rare. And with very rare exception, magic is usually wielded by power-mad individuals who use their arcane abilities to terrify and rule over the disheveled humans. These evil spell-slingers are the “Wizards” of the Thundarr universe. But there are good spell-casters - Princess Ariel, for instance. Since she’s often referred to as a “Sorceress,” we’ll assume that Sorcerers are uncorrupted magic users whereas Wizards are corrupted and foul.

Wizards are often land barons, conquering and lording over a large area and its population. Compared to the relative ruin the normal humans live in, Wizards live in comparative splendor, constructing large enforced palaces to live in. Wizards are often in possession of Ancient technology and - surprisingly - have a good idea on how to use it. Wizards are also fond of building large destructive war machines - floating battleships or monstrous tanks - that they use to keep their slaves in check as well as to wage war with other neighboring Wizards.

Pictured above are four of the more powerful Wizards who have been encountered in the Thundarr future world:
  • Gemini: This Wizard had head with two faces - one good and one evil. When crossed or angered, his head would rotate, revealing the “evil” Gemini face (pictured). Gemini was the only Wizard to appear in two episodes.
  • Mindok: The brain of one of the Ancients was placed into a mechanical robot body. Over the years, Mindok learned the ways of magic. It is said he is immortal.
  • Argoth: The Wizard with One Thousand Eyes, Argoth can see in 360 degrees around him. His eyes are the sources of his power, as all of his spells come firing out of them.
  • Skullus: This Wizard is nothing more than a head living inside of a glass dome. But don’t let that lull you into a sense of security as Skullus commands one of the largest armies in the world.
Wizards are, let’s face it, insane. They are egotistical, paranoid, shallow, and megalomaniacal. Wizards are also often touched by several physical mutational drawbacks, making them as ugly on the outside as they are on the inside. It is thought that the awesome magical forces they command have somehow warped their minds and bodies.

On the other hand, Sorcerers are level-headed and clear of thought. They are often found traveling the countryside, assisting the oppressed and downtrodden. Sorcerers either have no physical mutations or else they are so minor as to be unnoticeable. One school of thought is that Wizards have surrendered themselves fully to their magical power, making them virtually god-like but twisted in all respects. But Sorcerers use their magical ability sparingly and only for good purposes, allowing them to stave off the warping effect of the limitless power.

Most Wizards in the Thundarr world have long since established themselves as lord and ruler of their domain. Therefore, they should be of sufficiently high enough level to present a challenge - say 8th level or higher. Wizards should have an army of minions at their disposal which they will send forth to do their bidding. (See previous entries on Groundlings or Carrocs for typical Wizard minions.) A Wizard’s stronghold should be virtually impenetrable to the party. In other words, waltzing into a Wizard’s fortress and confronting him just isn’t going to happen. A Wizard should be encountered only as the final encounter of a long campaign, or if the party has done something to REALLY tick him off. Meeting a Wizard should be something to be feared or built up to.

Mutant Future is fortunately fully compatible with Goblinoid Games’ fantasy RPG Labyrinth Lord, so the introduction of magic into your campaign should be fairly easy. Wizard spells should be selected from the Magic-User and Elf Spells section of the Labyrinth Lord rulebook. Since Wizards would focus their studies on spells of an offensive or destructive nature, spells like Magic Missile and Lightning Bolt are assumed to be in their arsenal. Defensive spells like Hold Person and Invisibility are also preferred. Since many of the spells shown on the TV show don’t actually exist in the RPG, a Mutant Lord could have the Wizard use a form of Phantasmal Force to simulate the creation of monsters, the destruction of buildings, etc.

In the world of Thundarr, those who can cast spells are feared and loathed - and with good reason. It would be in keeping with the spirit of the cartoon to have only evil NPC Wizards capable of using magic, and players should be discouraged from choosing a path of magical power lest they lose their mind and soul. (Though I may try to construct a Sorcerer class for a future Thundarr Thursday!)

NOTE: These villians are inspired by the classic Ruby Spears post-apocalyptic cartoon “Thundarr the Barbarian.” Stay tuned each week for “Thundarr Thursday”!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Savage Menagerie: Vitossein (Living Bones)

No. Enc.: 1 (1d6)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 3
Hit Dice: 8
Attacks: 1
Damage: as weapon +1d6 (see description)
Save: L4
Morale: 5
Hoard Class: X

Vitossein (pronounced vih-TAH-see-in) are mutated humans whose skin, flesh, and organs have gradually turned transparent due to high radiation exposure. However, the bones of a vitossein have not grown transparent over the years, so their skeletal structure is still very visible. In fact, the name of the creature literally means “living bones." Because of generational exposure, they have developed a reflective epidermis that is resistant to radiation.

Since 90% of a vitossein is transparent, it is said to have a limited form of chameleon epidermis if it remains motionless. In the darkness or in heavy cover, a PC would have a 60% chance of not seeing the unmoving creature. In the daylight or out in the open, the chance of not noticing the creature drops to 20%. (A skeleton just standing out in the open is fairly noticeable.)

Vitossein (the name is both singular and plural, much like “sheep”) are a peaceful race, staying pretty much to themselves and their colonies. (It is rumored that their withdrawal from society may have helped accelerate their translucence.) They do not care to interact with outsiders, but they are not overly aggressive if confronted, preferring to retreat and hide at the first possible chance. Vitossein are not defenseless though as they have a martial intellectual affinity giving them a +4 to hit in combat and +1d6 damage when successful.

Due to their appearance and aloof ways, vitossein lairs are often thought of as cursed or haunted. Many are unaware that these creatures even exist, lending to the mysterious rumors. The sighting of one may very well lead to tales of haunted caves, bogs, and swamps without realizing the true nature of what was seen.

Mutations: chameleon epidermis (limited), reflective epidermis (radiation), intellectual affinity (martial)

Interview With Dan Proctor at RPG Blog II

Over at the blog RPG Blog II, blogmeister Zachary Houghton interviewed Mutant Future co-creator Dan Proctor about Goblinoid Games' new Web site, the current and future directions of both Labyrinth Lord and Mutant Future, and what the retrogaming movement may hold for interested gamers and GMs. Dan has some very thought-provoking plans for Mutant Future that he shared in the interview. Very insightful stuff! Check it out: Interview With Goblinoid Games' Daniel Proctor

On an unrelated note, this is the 50th post for The Savage AfterWorld. Thanks for the support!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Goblinoid Games' New Site & Labyrinth Lord Society Launches!

Goblinoid Games has launched their newly redesigned Web site, making it easier to navigate and find information about their retroclone products. Check out the new look by clicking here. With the new site comes the newly formed Labyrinth Lord Society, an international organization of people who support Labyrinth Lord and/or Mutant Future and unite with this common interest. Not only will members by privy to inside info on new releases, it will also be a networking tool for LL and MF gamers to locate each other as well as a resource to share ideas for these great games. Check out the Society's Web page here.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ancient Armory: Armor-It

This spray-on fluid was designed by the military to create quick personal armoring in the battlefield. The chemical compound was originally created for use in protecting the gloss and sheen of vehicle dashboards and upholstery. The mixture was later "tweaked" for wartime applications.

Armor-It comes in a small yellow plastic bottle with a pump-spray handle. The label shows a picture of an armored warrior which may give the party come indication of the content's use. If a common article of clothing is sprayed with Armor-It, the chemicals bind with the material, hardening the fibers and drawing them more tightly together. Any material thus sprayed will increase the AC of that article by +2. (Leather armor goes from an AC 7 to AC5; normal clothing goes from AC9 to AC7; etc.) Armor-It only works on cloth and leather; metal or plastic material will not absorb the bonding agents and thus will not be affected. (The Mutant Lord can determine whether to allow leather/metal hybrids such as studded leather or barded armor to be affected by Armor-It.)

There is usually enough Armor-It in one bottle to chemically treat two large articles of clothing, (i.e. two jackets, two pairs of pants, etc.) or four smaller items (i.e. a pair of boots, a pair of gloves, a baseball cap, etc.). It is left to the Mutant Lord to determine how much material can be treated before the bottle runs empty.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

[Thundar Thursday] Savage Menagerie: Groundling

No. Enc.: 1d10 (3d10)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 6
Attacks: 1 (claw, bite, or weapon)
Damage: 1d6, 1d6, or as weapon type
Save: L4
Morale: 6
Hoard Class: VII

Groundlings are “rat-men” that are devious, cowardly, and untrustworthy. They are covered in fine grey hair, and they have the elongated snout and ears of a rodent. Groundlings attack the weak and shy away from the strong, so they are often found tormenting and robbing weaker mutants they encounter. Because of their cowardice, they are often found working as minions for more powerful villains.

Groundlings live underground in massive caverns and cave complexes. Most groundling lairs have one leader, who is the strongest and/or most intelligent of the clan. This leader can be identified by the human finery he chooses to outfit himself with (robes, jewelry, a crown perhaps).

Groundlings are fairly clever and dexterous. They are able to use most advanced weapons and some have even been seen driving vehicles. It isn't unusual to see groundlings armed with lasers or other firearms. In combat, they are very quick and nimble, so hitting them can be problematic. However, they aren't very physically strong, so they won’t stand toe-to-toe with an enemy, preferring to either attack from a distance or run in, attack, and dash away. They are also quite cowardly, choosing to ambush a party from the shadows and then run if the tide turns against them.

Mutations: increased balance, reduced strength

NOTE: This creature is inspired the episode “Secret of the Black Pearl” from the classic Ruby Spears post-apocalyptic cartoon “Thundarr the Barbarian.” Stay tuned each week for “Thundarr Thursday”!

[Thundarr Thursday] Savage Menagerie: Carroc

No. Enc.: 1d6 (2d6)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 90' (30')
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 8
Attacks: 1 (claw, bite, or weapon)
Damage: 1d8, 1d10, or as weapon type
Save: L4
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: None

Carrocs are reptilian bipeds that have evolved (or mutated) from crocodiles and/or alligators. They are covered with a thick scaly hide that acts as a natural armor. They have a long reptile’s tail, jet-black eyes, sharp claws, and a strong wide jaw filled with razor-sharp teeth.

Carrocs are incredibly strong, able to lift five times their own weight with ease. Even through they look like they come from a watery and/or swampy area, carrocs cannot breath underwater and do not swim very well. Carrocs are quick to anger and are very vicious fighters, preferring to slash and bite an opponent, even if they have a weapon in hand.

Carrocs are a slaver race, capturing mutants and humans to work in their fields and/or to be sold off as slaves for profit. It is rumored that carrocs will eat a slave that no longer pulls his weight, so being captured by a carroc tribe is considered to be a fate worse than death.

Mutations: increased strength, natural armor

NOTE: This creature is inspired by the episode “Harvest of Doom” from the classic Ruby Spears post-apocalyptic cartoon “Thundarr the Barbarian.” Stay tuned each week for “Thundarr Thursday”!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Dangerous Encounter: The Technomancer

At some point during the party's travels, they will probably pick up some Ancient device that they cannot identify nor get to function. Technology rolls are failed and all of their usual experts on Ancient tech will come up clueless. Let them drag around this useless piece of junk for a while. However, just when they're ready to toss it away or sell it to a junk merchant, have them overhear someone mention "The Technomancer."

Apparently, there is a true expert on Ancient technology - vehicles, weapons, electronics, you name it - who could probably identify the PC's device as well as getting it to work. His skills with technology are rumored to border on the near-mystical. He is also said to be a wizard when it comes to building and designing his own technological devices. (The abilities and rumors surrounding this man should be outlandish, but with enough detail that the PCs feel they must investigate.) But no one has ever really seen this man since he's a recluse. This expert supposedly lives in an abandoned tech repair center (an Ancient car garage) somewhere along a long-forgotten stretch of highway. The only thing that folks agree on is that The Technomancer is a "big ol' bear of a man." The party will be pointed in the general direction of the legendary tinkerer and sent on their way.

When the party gets nearer to the location of The Technomancer, they should hear a guttural roar of rage in the distance as well as the sounds of combat. When the PCs arrive, they'll see a 9-foot-tall green giant roaring in fury as he pounds upon the doors of the garage they were sent to. The Goliath (MF rulebook, pg. 73) has several large wounds on its arms and legs, but that's not stopping it from trying to gain entrance into The Technomancer's workshop. Inside the garage, the party will hear the shouts of frightened and angry men (which may strike them as odd considering The Technomancer is supposed to be a recluse).

What the party may (or may not) have figured out is that the Goliath trying to gain entry is The Technomancer. His name is "Rentch" and he was attacked by a band of pure human Brigands (Men, MF rulebook, pg. 83) who were trying to gain access to his advanced weaponry. He was trying to drive them off, but they managed to lock themselves in his workshop. Rentch is concerned that - if he doesn't get them out - they may start pushing buttons or flipping switches on a lot of dangerous items he's got laying around.

Goliath (Rentch) (AL N, MV 90' (30'), AC 5, HD 12, #AT 1 (hand or weapon), DG 1d10 or weapon, SV L4, ML 10, Mutations: gigantism, increased strength, increased stamina)

Inside the garage is a band of 7 Brigands who have realized they are in over their heads. Realizing their short swords and maces are useless, they are now furiously rummaging around, looking for any kind of weapon they can get to defend themselves and end the stand-off with Rentch.

Men, Brigands (7) (AL C, MV 120' (40'), AC 7, HD as CON, #AT 1, DG 1d6 or weapon type, SV L1, ML NA, Mutations: none)

When Rentch initially sees the PCs, he may growl and attack them if there are any pure humans in the party, thinking that they are with the Brigands. Howver, if there are obvious mutants in the party, Rentch may regard them curiously before going back to pounding on the garage. As long as the party doesn't attack him, Rentch will shout out that there are men in his workshop who are trying to steal his devices. It is left to the Mutant Lord as to how this scene plays out.

If you wish for Rentch to have some experimental devices available that the Brigands can use to escape, go right ahead. Perhaps the party can then try to recover those items. If the party is able to get into the garage and subdue the Brigands without further damage to Rentch's workshop, he'll be fairly grateful. There are many adventure hooks that can result from this encounter.

If the party gains Rentch's trust, they will have gained a very valuable asset. Despite Rentch's appearance, he has the equivalent to an 18 INT when it comes to Technology Rolls. He specializes in items of a defensive and/or medical nature and gains a 25% bonus modifier when he's attempting to I.D. or repair such a device. Rentch will NEVER willingly give away any of his tech, but he may have something very rare for sale at a steep price. And he's always willing to tinker with a new bit of tech and will pay the PCs handsomely for anything he's never seen before. (He may also be talked into joining the party on expeditions to Ancient ruins that are known to have Ancient devices.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Savage Menagerie: Pozzum

No. Enc.: 1d3 (1d6)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 90' (30')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1 (claw, tail, or bite)
Damage: 1d4, 1d6, 1d6
Save: L2
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: II

The pozzum (pronounced pah-zum) is a nocturnal tree-dwelling marsupial that evolved from the North American opossum. It is covered in grey or brown fur and is about the size of a large housecat. The pozzum is usually easily identified by its glowing red eyes - a lingering effect of its thermal vision mutation - and its incredibly long prehensile tail - about 3 feet in length. The tail is primarily used to hang from tree branches while sleeping. However, the pozzum can also use it as a weapon as described below.

The pozzums of the Mutant Future are carnivores that hunt and attack prey at night. Using its thermal vision, the pozzum tries to find a victim that is sleeping. It then will sneak up on its prey and wrap its prehensile tail around its throat, hoping to strangle the victim as they sleep. Once a victim is strangled, it will let loose a shriek that will call other pozzums in its clan to feed.

If a pozzum is forced to fight, it will attempt to claw for 1d4 hp of damage. In combat, it can also use its tail as a whip for 1d6 hp damage. However, it's best to try not to be bitten by a pozzum since they have evolved a venomous bite. If a PC is bitten, they will take 1d6 hp of damage then should roll a save versus poison. If the save fails, the victim will drop into unconsciousness for 2d4 rounds. (In Mutant Future slang, if someone is sleeping, they are said to have been "playing with a pozzum" or just "playing pozzum.")

Pozzums are attracted to bright, shiny objects and will collect them when they find any, so a pozzum's lair may have a few coins tucked away inside.

Mutations: prehensile tail, thermal vision, toxic weapon