Monday, March 29, 2010

Notorius NPCs: Darius Clawspawn

Darius Clawspawn
4th Level Insectaur

STR: 13 --- INT: 8
DEX: 13 --- WIL: 16
CON: 12 --- CHA: 7
HPs: 43 --- AC: 3
Mutations: venomous stinger, hard outer shell, echolocation, atrophied cerebellum

Darius Clawspawn is an Insectaur outcast who has become a bandit in the Mutant Future. Born into a colony of scorpion Insectaurs, he felt his nest could easily overtake and enslave the other puny humans and mutants in his region. The rest of his colony, however, are a peaceful race, wanting nothing to do with his plans of conquest and domination. Darius left his colony years ago and he has travelled the wastelands, attacking and destroying those he feels are weak and purposeless in the Mutant Future.

Darius has a misshapen, mutated torso of a human mutant and the lower body of a scorpion. He has two large claws where his hands would be, giving him 3d6 of crushing damage when he grasps an enemy with them. As an Insectaur, Darius has developed other insect-like mutations his species are known for. Taking after the pre-war species of scorpion, Darius has developed a hard outer shell which improves his AC to 3. He can attack with a large venomous stinger as well. If successfully hit, a PC will take 5d6 of poison damage unless a save vs. poison is made (then it's half-damage). Darius' INT score is low due to his atrophied cerebellum, so he can be easily out-thought and out-maneuvered. But his level, DEX score , and echolocation mutation all give him a +4 to hit and +1 to damage, making him a formidable opponent in a fight.

Darus is a good local enemy to place into any Mutant Future campaign. He can be the leader of a bandit raider group who is terrorizing the local villagers. (Darius has recruited a local band of mants and cockroachoids to assist him in his goals.) He may also be found ambushing trader caravans or trying to set himself up as a local warlord. Darius has grand plans to taking over the world, but his low INT and rash nature makes that unlikely. But his strength and natural weaponry makes him just as dangerous when faced head-to-head.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

One Page Dungeon Contest 2010 Meets The Apocalypse

I'm a big fan of the One Page Dungeon Contest (though I've never entered - Bad Sniderman, bad!). I love how the entries can cram an entire evening's worth of adventure and action onto one page. This year, most of the entries encompass the fantasy genre. There are a smattering of sci fi, deep space scenarios too. And this year, there appear to be two entries in the post-apoacalyptic genre, which make my mutated radioactive heart beat just a bit faster! These two mutated entries are:

This year's entries are now undergoing judging, and a winner will be announced on April 18. I wish all 63 entrants the best of luck!

(PS: Last year's OPDC had one post-apocalyptic entry as well - specifically for Mutant Future! Check out last year's MineCo 3000 Uranium Ore Extraction Complex!)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

[Thundarr Thursday] World Of Thundarr Sourcebook Updated

No new entries today, but I did have time to update The World of Thundarr the Barbarian Sourcebook with all of the recent new material posted here. This month's updates include:
  • Sarott's Gauntlet
  • Desert People
  • Sheriff Korb
  • Death Flowers

As always, my plans are to update the sourcebook once a month with any new material added so this will always be up-to-date. Announcements (like this one) will be made whenever an updated file is posted. The full sourcebook will always remain free and available for download over there in the right-hand column.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Savage Menagerie: Parascreech

No. Enc.: 1
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: Fly: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 9
Hit Dice: 1 hp
Attacks: None
Damage: None
Save: L0
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: None

The Parascreech is a small yellow harmless bird. A descendant of the Ancient housepet, Parascreeches are usually tamed and kept as Mutant Future pets as well. However, the Parascreech has evolved with a very powerful set of vocal cords giving it the shriek mutation.

If a Parascreech is disturbed or agitated, it will let loose with a deafening scream affecting all within 10 foot radius. Those who fail a save versus stun attacks will take 1d4 points of sonic damage and be deafened for 1d6+4 rounds. Those who successfully save are unaffected.

Parascreeches are obviously useful as nonaggressive guardians. An NPC may set one in a cage near some valuables he hopes to protect. Or the PCs may find a Parascreech in a cage hanging outside of the entrance to a bandit hideout. When the Parascreech lets loose, you can bet its owner will come running to see what the commotion's all about.
Some Parascreeches have been trained to remain silent when a password is said to them. The password is usually something innocent like "Pretty bird!" or "Kiss kiss kiss!" If someone approaches without saying the password though, the trained Parascreech will begin screaming.

Mutations: shriek

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fight On! Issue 8 Is Out! (With Savage AfterWorld Submissions)

That old-school stalwart fanzine Fight On! is now out with issue 8! Here's the blurb for this exciting issue:
Surrounded on all sides by monstrous aliens, cruel demigods, and ancient lich-kings? Pull out your +4 Plasma Blaster and Fight On! Issue 8, dedicated to cover artist Erol Otus, is ready to ROCK YOUR GAME with new races,classes, spells, tables, gods, monsters, traps, reviews, a ‘desert sandbox’ minicampaign, two longer adventures, eight minidungeons, and lots of other goodies to help you take it to the next level – or stop the PCs from getting there! With art and articles by Erol Otus, Kevin Mayle, Mark Allen, Lee Barber, Peter Jensen, Steve Robertson, Samuel Kisko, Patrick Farley, Kelvin Green, Anthony Stiller, Robert Lionheart, Ramsey Dow, Jeff Rients, Gabor Lux, Age of Fable, Baz Blatt, Zachary Houghton, Erin “Taichara” Bisson, Del L. Beaudry, Geoffrey O. Dale, Michael Curtis, Tavis Allison, James Maliszewski, Tony Dowler, and many, many more, this issue is jam-packed with the old-school action adventure you crave. Don’t miss out – grab it today!
One thing to mention: yours truly submitted several Mutant Future pieces for the issue! Regular readers will remember the Apocalyptic Stormfront Mega-table and the Post-Apocalyptic Vehicle Scrounging Rules that have appeared here at The Savage AfterWorld that now grace the pages of Fight On! But the one article I'm most pleased with'll have to pick up the issue and find out. Lester Smolenski who illustrated it was kind enough to send me this teaser. Click it and order the issue today!

[Thundarr Thursday] Ancient Armory: Death Flowers

The Death Flower is a bright red tulip-like flower. Despite its name, it is not deadly. Rather, the Death Flower's pollen can place a humanoid creature into a powerful "death-like" trance. Anyone under the hypnotic spell of the Death Flower will be a mindless thrall until the pollen wears off.

Death Flowers grow in hot, sunny, humid climates. Wizards and other villains with grand plans will grow large fields of the flower in order to cultivate the pollen for their nefarious use. (And it's easy to get slaves to harvest the flower - just use the flower itself and bring victims under your thrall!)

The Death Flower's pollen acts as a powerful sedative, literally blanking the mind of anyone who is careless enough to breathe in any of it. Lackeys and minions will often arm themselves with a "pollen blower." If pollen is blown into the face of a victim, the victim must save versus poison or come under the command of the manipulator. A hypnotized victim can roll versus their WIL (halved) once an hour to try to break free of the pollen's spell. The pollen will wear off after 24 hours. However, since the slave is often put to work in the Death Flower fields where they are in constant contact with the pollen, they may never break the spell. One note - Death Flowers are highly flammable, so cultivators will try to keep all sources of flame and heat away from the fields.

Death Flowers can be used by the Mutant Lord as the hook for an adventure. ("The local populace are starting to disappear and the nearby wizard seems to be amassing an army of mindless slaves!") Or a local gang of toughs may discover the use of the pollen and will have made up some crude pollen blowers with which to enthrall some victims for their use and/or entertainment.

NOTE: This item 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, March 17, 2010

Savage Menagerie: Leperkahn

No. Enc.: 1 (1d4)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 1 (weapon/disease)
Damage: as per weapon
Save: L2
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: X

A Leperkahn (pronounced lep-purr-kahn) is an evil, shrivelled, disease-carrying, human mutant who lives only to make more of his kind. Leperkahns often dress in green (to better camouflage themselves in the forests in which they dwell). Leperkahns are often found alone, although a Leperkahn lair will have 1d4 of the mutants living there.

They have a maximum height of 2 feet due to their dwarfism mutation. Due to this decreased height, they receive a +1 bonus to hit human-sized targets or bigger with a handheld weapon, although they also get a -1 penalty to damage. Their height also gives them a bit of a bonus on their AC.

Where Leperkahns are dangerous in with their disease touch mutation. They are disease carriers who actually delight in spreading their illness to other Pure Strain Humans, which is how they propagate their species. If a Human is touched by a Leperkahn, they will be infected by a wasting disease that will do 1d10 hit points of rotting damage a day. The Human's body will misshape and warp. His mind will become corrupt and twisted. If the progress of the disease is not stopped, within a week the Human will have transformed into an evil Leperkahn as well. They will be lost to the party and will become an NPC creature. However, if the disease *is* stopped, the damage taken by the rotting disease is permanent. Fortunately, only Pure Strain Humans are susceptible and all others are immune to this rotting disease.

Leperkahns have a an eerie, maniacal, high-pitched laugh. If you hear it, it's best to leave the area before they attack.

Mutations: dwarfism, toxic weapon (disease touch)

NOTE: Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

[Thundarr Thursday] Notorious NPCs: Sheriff Korb

Sheriff Korb
5th Level Pure Human

STR: 16 --- INT: 9
DEX: 12 --- WIL: 13
CON: 14 --- CHA: 11
HPs: 78 --- AC: 8
Mutations: none

Sheriff Korb is the sheriff and de facto ruler of what remains of the Ancient city of Atlanta - now merely a walled-in village of huts. He is an overweight pure strain human who speaks with an exaggerated southern accent. He dresses in a tattered Ancient uniform of the office, and he wears a policeman's badge, a sheriff's star, and other law officer insignia on a sash that runs across his chest. He wants there to be no mistake that he is "the law around these h'yere parts."

Sheriff Korb runs the village out of an old jailhouse in the middle of the town. Assisting him is a loyal group of 8 Pigmen (see MF rulebook, page 88) whom he refers to as "his deputies." These deputies are fairly dim-witted, but they follow Korb's orders without question. The deputies and Korb himself are armed with Laser Pistols Mk1 (5d6 hp damage) as well as Stun Batons to keep the peace. Although he appears slow and clumsy, Sheriff Korb is a crack shot, receiving two attacks per round as well as a +1 hit point damage bonus when fighting hand-to-hand. He also has three Ancient Highway Patrol cars at his disposal that are still functional which he will use to chase down and capture fleeing "criminals."

Sheriff Korb is incredibly corrupt. He's a bully, a coward, a cheat, and a thief who uses his position to push around the villagers. One tactic he has used is to commit a crime himself, then frame an innocent villager. Since he's judge, jury, and executioner, the trials move swiftly and no one is the wiser. Sheriff Korb is also in league with the Wizard Artemus, assisting him in his local quest for power. The Sheriff is perfectly happy to secretly support and assist the Wizard, knowing that he will be rewarded once Artemus is in power.

Sheriff Korb can be easily underestimated by a group of PCs. When first encountered, he should appear as a down-south, aw-shucks, clumsy, good-natured oaf. However, Korb is a ruthless criminal who will use those mistaken impressions to his advantage. When the PCs drop their guard, Korb will use his deputies, his weapons, his vehicles, and his position to frame the PCs for a crime he himself committed. A good adventure hook would be for the PCs to escape from jail and avoid recapture, while trying to clear their names!

NOTE: This villain was inspired by the episode "Trial By Terror" from the classic Ruby Spears post-apocalyptic cartoon "Thundarr the Barbarian." Stay tuned each week for "Thundarr Thursday"!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Savage Menagerie: Crabhemoth

No. Enc.: 1d2(1d4)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120' (40'); Swimming: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 2
Hit Dice: 9
Attacks: 3 (claw/claw/tendril)
Damage: 3d6+3/3d6+3/hold
Save: L3
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: None

A Crabhemoth (pronounced crab-HEE-muth) is a monstrously large crustacean descended from the Ancient species of horseshoe crab. A Crabhemoth is 20' to 40' long and protected by a hard outer shell. They are always found near large bodies of salt water, be it seas or oceans. It is as quick in the water as it is on the ground, able to swim at its normal land movement rate.

The Crabhemoth has a set of large claws it uses to attack and rend its prey. Each claw does 3d6+3 hit points of damage when they hit. The Crabhemoth also has a set of writhing tendrils near its mouth that it uses to draw prey in. On a successful hit, a tendril will lash around a victim, effectively holding them, although the character can still attack if one arm is free. If another tendril successfully hits, the character is completely immobilized and will start to be dragged toward the Crabhemoth's massive claws. Only other party members will be able to free the bound PC.

Although they apparently have a low HD total considering their size, it is very difficult to harm a Crabhemoth. First of all, the Crabhemoth's shells is coated with a thin layer of a dermal slime poison. If contact is made, the poison will do 6d6 hit points of damage if a save vs. poison is failed. Even if successful, the poison will do half-damage. The creature is also capable of projecting a force screen once per day. This force screen will take 5d6 hit points of damage before collapsing. Contact with the Crabhemoth is impossible until this screen is breached. Combined with an AC of 2, the Crabhemoth is a poisonous, armored, force field-protected tank.

Crabhemoths are fiercely territorial, attacking anyone who enters their area. When attacking, they will often attack who (or what) did the most damage to it, using its instinct to take care of the biggest threats first.

Mutations: gigantism, dermal poison slime, force screen

The Random Esoteric (ahem) "MUTANT" Generator

After seeing an entry at the Green Skeleton Gaming Guild blog expounding the mutagenic goodness of The Random Esoteric Creature Generator by James Raggi IV and published by Goodman Games, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I've been sitting on my copy for a while now, but I never really took it for a test-run. So, right here, right now, I'm going to create a new Mutant Future creature using the rolls as they happen. Once I've worked my way through the tables, I shall post the end result as a new entry. Let's get to work:

BASIC BODY SHAPE - Rolled 13 - Quadruped. My creature walks on four legs. Good start.

BASIC CHARACTERISTICS - Rolled 20 - Crustacean. So I've got a hard-shelled creature with a set of claw-like pincers. Rolling on the CRUSTACEAN subtable, I come up with Horseshoe Crab. So now we know what kind of creature this thing was before it got dipped in the mutagen. I'll up the legs to six, like to keep it more "crabby." I've also turned to the Giant Crab entry in the MF rulebook for my basic stats.

SIZE - Rolled 17 - Enormous. Gets double HD, add an extra die to damage, and gets an additional 20 feet movement. Giant Crab has 3 HD, so this is a 6HD creature. That seems way too low for something so massive, so let's TRIPLE it to 9HD. Giant crab claws normally do 2d6, so we up it to 3d6. And movement is now 120' (40). Whew, if a Giant Crab is the size of a small car, this creature is the size of a bus. Keen.

MOVEMENT - Rolled 16 again - Swimming. So this thing moves as fast in and under the water as it does on land.

ATTACK METHODS - Since the claws have been established, the table says to use any attacks already suggested and flesh them out instead of rolling. Good idea. The entry for Claw says to add +1 damage per attack die. So my creature just got a +3 damage bonus. Yipe.

DISTINCTIVE FEATURES - Rolled a 47 - Prehensile Tongue. A monstrous crab with a tongue strikes me as odd. But how about some cthulhoid tendrils instead? And just big enough to merit a "hold" special attack, so they'll certainly be useful for grabbing a victim.

SPECIAL ABILITIES - Has a 50% chance of something special...and rolled a 75. No Special Abilities.

COMBAT STRATEGY / MOTIVATION - Rolling on those tables gives me a monster that will always attack whomever inflicted the most damage on it in the prior round (it's a survival instinct) as well as territorial, so it will only attack those who wander into its home area. It will break off the attack once they leave the area.

And that's about it for the generator. But it wouldn't be Mutant Future without a few mutations, eh? So the dice reveals that there are 2 Physical Mutations and 1 Mental Mutation. Let's see here:

PHYSICAL MUTATIONS - Since we've used the Giant Crab as our template, we'll just allot gigantism as one of the mutations. Rolling a 9 gives me dermal poison slime. This is one big, poisonous, hard-shelled crab.

MENTAL MUTATIONS - Wow. Just rolled force screen. So not only is this thing armored, it's got a force field around it too. You'll need a tac nuke to scratch this creature.

And there you have it. The Random Esoteric Creature Generator is that easy to use and, as you've seen, some interesting monsters can result with just a few random rolls. Granted, this isn't as bizarre as it could have been, but with the addition of some Mutant Future mutations, we have a creature that will be more than a handful for your PCs.

Stay tuned. This creature will lumber out of the ocean's depths in a few moments...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Savage Menagerie: Jaguirrel

No. Enc.: 1d10 (3d10)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 8
Hit Dice: 1
Attacks: 1 (bite)
Damage: 1d8 (potential 2d10 additional)
Save: L1
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: None

A Jaguirrel (pronounced jag-whirl) is a small, vicious, tree-dwelling, feline carnivore. Jaguirrels have the head, markings, and temperament of larger felines such as tigers and leopards, but they have the size, speed, and agility of smaller rodents such as squirrels and chipmunks.

Jaguirrels make their homes in trees and in small underground burrows. They are very territorial and will attack anyone unfortunate to wander near their nest. Since they hunt in packs, a PC will encounter 1d10 Jaguirrels in the wild. A Jaguirrel nest will hold 3d10 of the creatures, making for a very violent encounter if one pokes his hand into one.

Jaguirrels normally attack with a bite attack for 1d8 hit points of damage if successful. If a Jaguirrel wishes, it can then commit to a carry-over attack with its disintegration mutation. After biting, if a Jaguirrel makes a second successful attack roll, it will unleash a beam of molecular disruption from the back of its throat, disintegrating whatever body part it had clenched in its teeth. This beam will do 2d10 points of damage (half damage if a successful save vs. energy attacks is made). A successful disintegration attack, however, will drain the animal to 1 hit point and it will be unable to use the ability again for 24 hours. If you encounter a mutant missing a hand, leg, ear, and a few other parts, odds are he may have stumbled onto a Jaguirrel lair.

Mutations: disintegration (special)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

[Thundarr Thursday] Savage Menagerie: Desert People

No. Enc.: 1d10 (2d20)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 1
Damage: per weapon
Save: L4
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: XXII

Desert People are 2-foot-tall humanoids who hate and mistrust all outsiders - to the point of being violently xenophobic. Desert People are often found in the sandy wastes of the post-apocalyptic Earth, preferring to make their homes in sand-covered, long-forgotten ruins. If a city has been slowly consumed by a desert, you'll find Desert People lurking within the buried dwellings.

Desert People prefer to keep themselves wrapped from head to toe in loose-fitting clothes, keeping their faces hidden behind scarfs and hoods. The only facial feature seen will be a pair of hateful scowling eyes. Since Desert People hate strangers, they will either keep hidden away if outsiders enter their area, or they may try to subdue and capture a prisoner if the Desert People are being employed by a Wizard or other powerful ally. Once captured, the victim is either turned over to the one who hired them, or the victim is left to perish in a deathtrap or fed to a large beast they keep for such events. You will never befriend a Desert Person, so it's best to not even try.

Desert People speak in a high-pitched chatter of their own that will be incomprehensible to listeners. (Although Ookla was able to speak to and understand a Desert Person, so it is apparently possible to learn their language.) Desert People have a unique device called a Spring Lariat that they use to capture a victim. A long coil of spring is compressed between their hands. When released, the coil shoots out toward a victim, trailing a length of rope or wire behind it. On a successful roll to hit, the spring will spin around the victim, entangling them within the trailing cord. If a group of Desert People use their lariats on a victim, they are as good as captured.

Mutations: none

NOTE: This creature was inspired by the Episode "Wizard War" from the classic post-apocalyptic cartoon "Thundarr the Barbarian." Stay tuned each week for Thundarr Thursday! (And I almost didn't make this week's TT! Whew, just under the wire!)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Slowing Down At The Savage AfterWorld

Hey gang,

When I started The Savage AfterWorld, my initial goal was to throw out as much Mutant Future supportive material as I possible could. I think I've pretty well met that goal with a lot of material I'm pretty proud of. However, in recent weeks due to Real Life Obligations, my blog posts have decreased from "nearly every day" to "twice a week if I'm lucky." It's becoming apparent that this slowdown in posting frequency is now the norm rather than the exception.

What does this mean? Well, I still plan on the weekly Thundarr Thursday posts as those are not only incredibly well-received by the readers, they also give me a weekly reason to break out my 'toons and watch the series for the bazillionth time. But the other features - Dangerous Encounter, Savage Menagerie, Ancient Armory, and Furtive Factions (to come!) - need to be spaced out a bit more to ensure a regular flow of new material. So this post is basically an admission that "I gotta slow down a bit before I burn out!" Thanks!

(And the image off to the side that illustrates this message? That's what you get when you search for images of a "mutant snail." Y'know, because of the slow down in posts. And the whole mutant-focused blog....thing. When I searched for "mutant turtle" for the same reason, guess who popped up? Cowabunga!)