Sunday, December 30, 2012

Obligatory Top Ten Savage AfterWorld Posts of 2012

As we say goodbye to 2012, it's time for a little introspection as I review the activity of this blog for the last 365 days...

  • My output increased considerably this year, as I had 176 posts during 2012 -- 50 more than any previous year since The Savage AfterWorld began. That's one post every other day during the year.
  • After writing about Mutant Future for 4 years, I finally released my first RPG supplement for the system. The Deviant Database has been very well received and sales have been somewhat steady.
  • Thundarr Thursday went live at Gen Con this year as I ran Thundarr: Beyond the Dimensional Divide for 6 enthusiastic players. More Thundarr will be seen (and played) at other cons in 2013!

And here are the Top Ten posts for 2012:

  1. This Just In: TSR Games To Live Again - The breaking news of TSR's resurrection and Gygax Magazine's imminent release was the most-hit post of the year. I'll predict that my review of the first issue (if I can get my hands on it) will be just as popular.
  2. Gary Con Day 3: I Killed Andrew; Jim Killed Me; And Michael Killed Everyone Else - I got the chance to play Metamorphosis Alpha at Gary Con run by Mr. Jim Ward himself. The game was a comedy of errors, as this recap reveals.
  3. The World of Thundarr The Barbarian Sourcebook - Final Version Released - After several years of updates and additions, I finally put this august tome to bed by releasing the final update to the ultimate guide to the Thundarr-verse.
  4. Thundarr...Korgoth...Now GUNDARR! - After discovering this animated series, I had to share it with everyone.
  5. Doomsday Preppers Premieres February 7 - Any TV show based on the upcoming apocalypse is fodder for the blog and potential game inspriation.
  6. [Thundarr Thursday] Gen Con's "Thundarr the Barbarian: Across The Dimensional Divide" Available For Download - After a successful run at Gen Con, I posted the adventure so everyone could have a chance to ride with Thundarr, Ookla, and Ariel.
  7. How To Ensure There Won't Be A Second FLGS Visit - After seeking out a new game store to visit, I had to warn others of my lackluster visit.
  8. My Endless Quest Has Ended - After several years of collecting, I finally completed my collection of Endless Quest choose-your-own-adventure gamebooks.
  9. Deviant Database For Mutant Future Now Available! - The official release announcement of my Mutant Future bestiary. (And if you haven't grabbed one up yet, why not do it now?) 
  10. Savage Menagerie: Gallows - The only RPG supplemental material that made the list, this tree-dwelling octopus must have struck a chord in visitors.

And now, on to 2013! Thanks for the support!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dangerous Encounter: The Walls Have Ears

At some time during their travels through the Mutant Future, the PCs will likely be in need of some vital piece of information: the location of a long-hidden bunker; the hiding place of a sought-after foe; the whereabouts of a needed medical vaccine; etc. At this point, a helpful NPC should tell the PCs of “Deeproot the All-Knowing.”

“If Deeproot don’t know it, nobody does,” he’ll say.

Deeproot is a mutant plant that lives in a shaded glade deep in a hard-to-access forest. The woods leading to Deeproot’s lair are filled with a cross-section of nearly every dangerous mutant plant found in the Mutant Future: Zap Vines, Morningstar Plants, Glue Flowers, Burrow Tubers, and Kernel Plants to name but a few. However, none of these aggressively deadly plants will make any kind of move toward the party as they venture toward Deeproot's lair. (But the party should feel as if they’re being observed as they approach.) Upon reaching the glade, the PCs will find it empty except for a rope-like vine with small yellow-white flowers which drapes every surface. While investigating, the PCs will hear one of the flowers ask “What is it you seek?” This formless, all-encompassing vine is Deeproot.

When the PCs talk to Deeproot, they will find that it seems to have an uncanny amount of knowledge about the area and its people, including many unknowable secrets. Much of the information Deeproot has could only have been gained by physically being in the same room the conversations took place in. The PCs may assume Deeproot is psychic. In actuality, Deeproot is a very large sentient Ventrilovine (MF rulebook, page 100), which is spread out over many, many square miles. Deeproot can “hear” through its vine system.

Ventrilovine (Deeproot) (AL N, MV None, AC 9, HD 6, #AT None, DG None, SV L3, ML 12, mutations: plant control)

Deeproot has managed to sneak its flowered vines into every inhabited nook and cranny throughout the area. It is through this floral "eavesdropping system" that Deeproot knows so much about what’s happening. Every whispered conversation or off-the-cuff comment is heard by Deeproot who remembers everything.

When the PCs finally ask their question, Deeproot becomes silent for bit before answering: "Before I answer, you must perform a task for me. Bring me Good Food from The Provider." Deeproot will remain deliberately vague as to who (or what) "The Provider" is. (It's planning to test the PC's inventiveness.) Deeproot will only explain that "The Provider" lives in a cave at the end of a path he point out, and that the "Good Food" it provides will nourish Deeproot for months at a time. Deeproot demands that the PCs not harm The Provider as nothing else produces the Good Food Deeproot likes. The mutant plant will then become silent, refusing to talk further until the PCs succeed in their retrieval mission.

"The Provider" is a Vile Slasher (MF rulebook, page 100) that has taken up residence in the cave. The “Good Food” is its excrement, which Deeproot covets as a most-delicious fertilizer. As is commonly known, a Vile Slasher is one of the most dangerous creatures in the Mutant Future, and it is up to the PCs to determine the best way to safely collect as much of the Slasher’s droppings as they can manage without hurting it or getting killed themselves. (This is a role-play exercise for both the PCs and the Mutant Lord.)

Vile Slasher (1) (AL C, MV 180' (60'), AC 3, HD 12, #AT 4 (2 claws, tail, bite), DG 1d8/1d8/1d6/2d6, SV L9, ML 12, mutations: natural armor)

If the PCs think to check, they'll see Deeproot’s vines scattered around the Vile Slasher’s lair. Deeproot is listening in and will know if the creature has been injured or killed. If this happens, Deeproot will not offer up any information he knows. he will also demand that the PCs leave and never return. If anyone attempts to attack Deeproot, they will find it a difficult task. Deeproot can only be harmed if his rootball is attacked, and this “nerve center” is hidden several miles away. (Deeproot doesn’t interact with visitors at the same location he keeps his weak spot.) Hacking at Deeproots’ many vines will not harm the mutant plant. Several Null Plants (MF rulebook, page 87) are scattered around the glade, making mental mutations useless too. Finally,  Deeproot has the ability to control plants, and all of the dangerous plants seen earlier will target the PCs as they try to leave the area. In other words, confronting Deeproot will be an exercise in futility...and it could become deadly as well.

However, if the PCs manage to secure a pound or two of Vile Slasher droppings without harming it or getting themselves killed, they will effectively impress Deeproot, and they will have access to a powerful source of underground information. In fact, Deeproot may become an oracle NPC, offering advice and guidance to the characters. Deeproot's information may also become the springboard for future adventures.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas, My Mutant Minions!

All of The Savage AfterWorld's survivors would like to wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas! Here's hoping all of your Apocalygeddon Dreams for 2013 come true! (Or something like that...) 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Spawn Of Devastation Drive-In Now Available!

Justin over at A Field Guide to Doomsday has released a follow-up to his wildly popular Devastation Drive-In Mutant Future supplement! As with most B-movie follow-ups using "Son of BLANK" or "Return of BLANK," this year's spooky celluloid supplement  is titled "Spawn of Devastation Drive-In"!

It's 102 pages filled with creatures, mutants, and monstrosities from bad (and even worse) B-movies from throughout the years, all stated up and ready to terrorize your future mutants! Some of the creatures lurking within include the sentient trucks from Maximum Overdrive, Curucu, the Beast From the Amazon, the carnivorous creeps from Feast, and my personal favorite, THE DEADLY SPAWN.

The download is free and the mutants within range from the laughable to the downright horrific! So grab some popcorn, turn down the lights, download the PDF, and subject your players to some late-nite cinematic mayhem!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

"This Is What Happens To Lousy-Rolling Dice."

Today is the last quiet day here in the Fallout Shelter before I spend several days back-to-back-to-back enjoying the Christmas holidays. So, while I picked up around the house, I came across issue 48 of Knights of the Dinner Table magazine. I had nearly forgotten that I had a submission for "Tales From The Table" printed in it about 12 years ago! As I re-read the column, I recalled that I hadn't yet shared this story here at The Savage AfterWorld. It's not A Christmas Carol, but it's a good gaming tale, so get a mug of hot cocoa, pull up a chair next to the fireplace, and let Uncle Sniderman tell you the absolutely true story of...

"A Die's Demise"

It was the mid-'80s when I was knee-deep in my D&D days. I had this one clear plastic 20-sider that was honest-to-God cursed. The thing never rolled higher than a 12, and it would start rolling 1s during combat. I would garner groans from the party every time I brought this beast out because they knew the fumbles were about to begin. However, because the clear glass-like orb looked so cool, I kept it in my dice pouch. I just assumed that it HAD to start rolling good at some point.

During one overnight session at our DM’s house, I waded into combat wielding the clear die. The clear dice didn’t let me down. It rolled three straight 1s. My character dodged left and right, trying to avoid being hit by the sword-wielding orcs. I took a blow to the shouIder, and the DM announced that I had to roll a saving throw vs. poison. Anything lower than a 10 would be successful. FINALLY, the clear dice was gonna do some good! I rolled it. It was the first natural 20 that dice had ever produced. I failed my throw and my character kacked. Screaming with rage, I scooped up the dice, walked over to the refrigerator (we were gaming at the kitchen table) and I hurled the dice into the freezer. I'm not sure what my rationale was other than to “teach it a lesson” I guess. We went on with the game and I forgot all about the cursed clear dice.

Flash-forward one week. We joined up at my DM's house for our weekly session. The DM turned to me and asked if I remembered my little dice-in-the-freezer tirade from last week. Apologizing for my outburst, I asked if he had come across the dice. Chuckling, my DM said that when I tossed the dice into the freezer, it had coincidentally landed in a recently-filled ice cube tray where it froze within a cube of ice. A clear dice within an ice cube was nearly invisible. At dinner that night, as my DM explained, they had iced tea with their meal. Throughout dinner, his mother remarked how unusual it was that one of her ice cubes had melted into a nearly-spherical shape. Yup, it was the 20-sider. Still, no one noticed the “ice cube's" true origin. After dinner, the dishes were placed in the sink and the garbage disposal activated. “The loudest God-awful noise you ever heard came from the disposal," my DM said as my eyes widened in horror. “Here’s your damn dice.” My DM tossed me my ground-up, chipped, and pitted 20-sider.

After that, any die that I was about to roll was held up to the destroyed 20-sider. "You see this?" I would ask the dice in my hands. “This is what happens to lousy-rolling dice.” Strangely enough, my rolls improved from that time on.


...And We're Still Here, Apparently

Well, THAT was anticlimactic. Worst Apocalypse EVER

Friday, December 21, 2012

Well, It Was Fun While It Lasted...

Sadly, the world is scheduled to end today. Ironically, I've been writing about a post-apocalyptic RPG for several years. And today, it's actually upon us. You've had a good run, Planet Earth. To all of my readers, I say "Farewell" and "Take cover." Good luck!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Review Of RGFT's Noteboard: The Pocket Dry-Erase Board

Less than a week ago, I saw G+ post about the usefulness, portability, and oh-so-coolness of the Noteboard -- the whiteboard that fits in your pocket from Really Great Freaking Things (AKA I use a whiteboard for nearly all of my RPG scenarios (those who have gamed with me know I'm a fan of the "quick-sketch combat layout"), so I had to check out this item and see if it could work for me.

 Initially I was skeptical. The pouch that arrived was dwarfed by my usual whiteboard. Here you can see how the two measure up against each other.

Within the pouch is the folded-up Noteboard. A dry-erase pen is also enclosed, which was a nice addition to the package. Finally, the enclosed instructions mention that the pouch itself doubles as a dry eraser, so everything you need is all included in one small package. The first thing I noticed was that the Noteboard is marked off in an assortment of grids and layouts. Square-inches, square-centimeters, and hexagon-inches were all represented, making it PERFECT for sketching out dungeon layouts, overland encounter maps, battle maps, and a bunch of other RPG table applications. (The other side is blank white if you don't want to be distracted by any pre-printed markings.) Then I unfolded the Noteboard...

...and the Noteboard dwarfed my old whiteboard. The Noteboard lays out surprisingly flat and is easily twice as big as my old whiteboard. If I need less surface, it easily folds back upon itself. If I need a full skirmish map, I can use the whole thing. Very flexible! A test mark-up and erase of the Noteboard (not pictured) reveals that it holds the ink well and cleans up completely with the eraser. (No faint "Ghosts Of Drawings Past" linger on the surface.) And when I was done taking it for a test run, the whole package folded up neatly back into its pouch. Unlike my rigid whiteboard that I had to carry under my arm all day long at Gen Con and other cons, the Noteboard fits in a backpack pocket. Hell, you could put it in a vest pocket, your back pocket, or in a shirt pocket -- it's that portable. And weight-wise, it's no contest.

I've already chucked my gaming whiteboard into the closet of Ancient Gaming Relics. The Noteboard is a great replacement. Lightweight, portable, and huge when unfolded. Those who game with me will see this in action at the next gaming session. For $10.00 plus shipping, it's a no-brainer. The Noteboard is available at the manufacturer's website and at Amazon.

Gygax Magazine Issue 1 Table Of Contents Released

Because I signed up for updates at the Gygax Magazine website, I just received the table of contents from their first issue, scheduled for release in the coming weeks. Some big names and familiar columns seem to be listed. I'm very excited to see this inaugural issue! So, without further adieu:

The Cosmology of Role Playing Games by James Carpio
Still Playing After All These Years by Tim Kask
Leomund's Secure Shelter by Len Lakofka
The Ecology of the Banshee by Ronald Corn
Bridging Generations by Luke Gygax
The Gygax Family Storyteller by Ernie Gygax
Keeping Magic Magical by Dennis Sustare
Gaming With a Virtual Tabletop by Nevin P. Jones
DMing for Your Toddler by Cory Doctorow
Great Power for ICONS by Steve Kenson
Gaming Through the Generations by Ethan Gilsdorf
Between the Dungeons by Ernie Gygax
Talents Off the Front Line by Dennis Detwiller
Adaption Decay by Michael Tresca
Gnatdamp: A Sanctuary in the Swamp adventure by Michael Curtis
The Kobold's Cavern - a special section edited by Wofgang Baur of Kobold Press:
---A Magical Miscellany for AGE by Randall Hurlburt
---Scaling Pathfinder Combat Feats by Marc Radle
---An AGE of Great Inventions by Rodrigo García Carmona
Comic - Marvin the Mage by Jim Wampler
Comic - What's New with Phil & Dixie by Phil Foglio
Comic - The Order of the Stick by Rich Burlew

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dangerous Encounter: A Babe In the Woods

While passing through a darkened forest, the adventuring party can hear what sounds like a crying child echoing throughout the area -- more than likely human. If they investigate or try to locate the source of the sobbing, they will find an Ancient house tucked away in small clearing in the forest. The old farmhouse from "The Before Days" seems to have been abandoned for centuries, but the crying child seems to be in the structure.

Opening the door and blundering in is dangerous, as the interior of the house has collapsed in on itself, and all that remains of the structure are the exterior walls and the roof. The upper floor has fallen down onto the main floor, which in turn has collapsed into the basement area. Walking though the open doorway will result in a 15-foot drop (with appropriate falling damage). In the middle of the pile of rotted timbers, moldy drywall, and vines and brambles sits a small child who looks about helplessly. Trying to get the kid's attention or talk to him will only result in the child sobbing and crying hysterically again. He won't move from his spot on the pile either, as he just looks pitifully up at his would-be "rescuers."

If anyone is lowered into the basement area and makes contact with the child, the true nature of the encounter will be revealed. The basement is the home to a Wailer (MF rulebook, pg. 101) -- a giant carnivorous plant that uses a false child-looking pseudopod (its tongue, actually) and mimicry to lure victims to its waiting maw.

Wailer (1) (AL N, MV None, AC 5, HD 6, #AT 1, DG Special, SV L4, ML 12, mutations: ntoxic weapon)

Whatever makes contact with the "child" will be instantly adhered to it. The Wailer's mouth (which is 10 feet in diameter around the "child") will instantly snap around the victim. A successful hit will inflict 3d6 hit points from its powerful jaws. On a 17 or better to hit, the victim is instead swallowed whole by the Wailer and will take 2d6 hit points per round from acidic sap that fills the plant's mouth. The Wailer has not eaten for a while (and, as a plant, it cannot flee), so it will aggressively attack until destroyed. Once defeated, the party will find 815 gold pieces in assorted coinage scattered around the ruins from the Wailer's previous victims. There is also an automatic pistol (3 shots left) and a shock-field glove (fully discharged) amongst the debris.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Savage Menagerie: Luminion

No. Enc.: 1 (1d4)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 6
Attacks: 1
Damage: 5d6
Save: L3
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: None

A Luminion (loo-MIN-yun) is a vaguely humanoid-shaped swirling vortex of light and colors. They are usually found silently patrolling the ruins of high-tech research laboratories, military complexes  and other Ancient structures that were designed with a high degree of security. It is believed that Luminions began "life" as holographic, light-based guardians that have somehow taken on a self-contained -- though mindless -- existence.

Because a Luminion is a light-based creature, it doesn't have a true "physical" form. It is unable to pick up and manipulate objects or interact in any meaningful way with the physical world. However, its structure can be "disrupted" by physical attacks, although a Luminion takes only half-damage from hand-held and ranged weapons. Energy-based weapons will do full damage, and any light-based attack (ie, lasers, photon grenades) will do double damage. Luminions are immune to heat and cold, and as they have no mind to speak of, they cannot be affected by mental attacks.

Luminions attack by means of an energy ray that emanates from its "hands." This burning laser-like ray will burn the victim for 5d6 hit points of damage. However, because the Luminion is using a portion of its own bodily energy to fire an energy ray, each shot will also cause 1d10 hit points to the Luminion as it drains itself for the attack. Making physical contact with a Luminion will also cause 5d6 hit points of heat damage, though this will not cause any "draining"damage to the Luminion.

A Luminion also has the ability to teleport from one point to another. This ability is not true teleportation, as the Luminion is simply moving at the speed of light to arrive at its new destination. This ability is only line-of-sight (the Luminion must travel in a straight line to an area it can "see"). A Luminion cannot pass though walls or any solid object to achieve this result. But if a mutant sees a Luminion in the distance, it's a safe bet the Luminion will be on them in a microsecond.

Mutations: teleport (special), energy ray

Thursday, December 6, 2012

At Gary Con V, There Will Be Mutants, Time Travelers, SAVE, And Thundarr!

We're less than 100 days away from Gary Con V to be held in Lake Geneva, WI, on March 14-17, 2013! Sounds like next year's celebration of gaming's roots will once again be The Convention Not To Be Missed! Gaming legends playing and hosting classic (and more modern) games in the town where it all started? Everything from OD&D to Pathfinder and everything in-between? A true "OSR feel" to the event and amongst the attendees? Why haven't you signed up yet?

I've turned in the games I'm planning to run. I'll be running one game for the Dead Games Society, and the rest of my events will be Goblinoid Games / Pacesetter events (presented by the Labyrinth Lord Society). Here's a sneak-peek of the Gaming Goodness I'll be hosting this year:

DGS Presents: Arbor Day
Chill - 1st edition
Horrific axe murders committed in Oregon’s Tillamook State Forest are identical to those committed by the legendary "Paul Bunyon Killer" 40 years earlier. However, the original murderer -- now elderly and feeble -- remains behind bars. Has a copycat killer surfaced, or is this the work of the Unknown?

The Day The Sky Fell
It’s 1979 and Topeka, Kansas, has been burned off the face of the Earth. Surviving victims claim they saw the Sun itself cut a path of destruction through the city, killing tens of thousands. Tensions between the U.S. and USSR have never been higher, and World War III is imminent unless Time Corps agents can determine what happened and stop it before it ever occurred. This is a Labyrinth Lord Society production.

Thundarr the Barbarian: Warlord of the Sacred Library
Mutant Future
Lords of Light! Drakexx the Unstoppable has established a stronghold in the forbidden Congers Library where thousands of Ancient texts are stored. What use does a warlord have with these tomes, and what secrets does he hope to unlock? The tribal shaman of the village of Linkon has tasked Thundarr, Ookla, and Princess Ariel with stopping and driving out the mindless brute! This is a Labyrinth Lord Society production.

Dead in the Water
Mutant Future
Mindless, water-logged abominations have been coming ashore, attacking fishing villages along the coast of The Rainbow Sea and dragging their victims off to a watery doom. Can a ragtag party of post-apocalyptic miscreants discover the answers on the Island of Fire? This is a Labyrinth Lord Society production.

You Oughta Be In Pictures
Antiquities & Arcana
Curators of the Smithsonian Institute’s “Special Antiquities Collection Division” are tasked with retrieving any historically significant items imbued with unearthly abilities. Two days ago, 27 audience members at an all-day film festival in Louisville, Kentucky, vanished without a trace. The PCs must discover what caused the mass disappearance and secure any responsible “heirlooms.” After all: “Magic is all around us. Your job is to find it and lock it down.” Come playtest this setting using the Pacesetter Action Table System. This is a Labyrinth Lord Society production.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I'm Dreaming Of An Old School Christmas

On my tree every year, I hang this ornament I made back in 1981. Still with me after all these years.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"Breaker D20...You Gotcher Ears On?"

Although RPGs are ideally played in a face-to-face social setting, gamers have found other ways to meet that social aspect of gaming even during those times we can’t physically get together. Nowadays, the ease of videoconferencing via Skype and Google+ makes running and playing a long-distance RPG easy. But before videoconferencing became prevalent, we gamers were using online forums to run our games via Play-By-Post, which is still very common.

Back in 1982 when I first entered the hobby, long-distance multiplayer role-playing was a bit trickier. Even though the Internet as we know it wasn’t around, there were many gamers – myself included – who were playing RPGs via the archaic “bulletin board” services of old: Prodigy, AOL, CompuServe, and other local BBSes. Step even further into the Way-Back Machine, and gamers were playing long-distance via Play-By-Mail. (I was partial to It’s a Crime, Silverdawn, and Flying Buffalo’s Heroic Fantasy.) One guy I knew in high school had a dad who did some kind of telecommuting, and he had three incoming phone lines. He could run a conference call from his kitchen table with each member of his group calling in on a separate number. (We gamers are a creative and resilient bunch.)

My group was wrapping up a long-term campaign that summer 30 years ago. Sadly, no one had access to a car to get the group together for the weekend’s gaming session. (We were all driving junkers that were coincidentally out of commission at the same time.) So my buddy Roger called me up with a brainstorm. Mark and his brother Scott had a high-powered Citizen’s Band base station at their home. Roger and I had CB radios in our cars. Why not finish up that final epic combat over the CB? So, that Saturday at noon, we all met on Channel 12 to wrap up the game.

We had chosen Channel 12 as trucker traffic on that band was pretty sparse. (And Roger and I both lived next to the interstate, so there was usually a lot of CB chatter anyway.) To keep everything straight, our CB “handles” for the game were our character names. Scott was our DM with Mark across the table their base unit sat on. Roger sat in his (non-functioning) Camaro at his house, and I sat in my (non-functioning) Pinto at home. All of us had dice and our character sheets. And we began playing.

The session went pretty well as I recall, although I’ll bet it was confusing for passing truckers who stumbled across the conversation.

Scott: “The mind flayer has Zorrak in his grasp, and he lowers his tentacled mouth toward his head to begin feasting on paladin brains. Over.”

Roger: “Crap. I’ll try to break his grip. Over.”

Scott: “Ok, you’re unable to break free. Father Jarrod? Over.”

Me: “My Protection From Evil spell is still active, so I’ll charge in swinging my mace! Over.”

Passing Trucker: “What in God’s name are you talking about? Over.”

Mark: “We’re thwarting the powers of darkness and breaking the bonds of tyranny! Over.”

Passing Trucker: “Damn kids. Over.”

After two hours, Zorrak the Mighty, Father Jarrod, and Nimble Bruce vanquished the mind flayer menace and confused dozens of CB users in the process. We had so much fun playing “CBDND” that games played in this manner became a monthly tradition – even if we were all able to get together in person. In fact, the CB radio became a useful gaming tool whenever one of us couldn’t be there in person or if the game was underway while someone was on the road to get there.

Scott: “Ok, it’s Roger’s turn. Someone get him on the radio and ask him what he wants to do. Also, tell him to grab some Mountain Dew and Slim Jims on the way.”

Today I can sit with a laptop and role-play with folks around the world. But these computerized face-to-face games will never match the thrill of those days of CBDND.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Wisdom From The Wastelands 20 Now Out

Skirmisher Publishing's Issue 20 of Wisdom From the Wastelands is now out. This issue is "Mutation Modifiers," and is described as follows: "Just as a single change to a stock creature can result in a very different and distinct entity, mutation modifiers can expand the scope and variety of Mutant Future mutational powers, altering them slightly with bonuses or penalties. With little or no tweaking, these modifiers can also be applied to supernatural powers — such as spell-like abilities — used in games from other genres." This new issue is only 99 cents and is available at Drive Through RPG.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Do You Like It On Top Or On The Bottom?

...Numbers on your D4s, that is.
I think the first set I owned had the numbers around the base. This being my first set of polyhedrals, I recall thinking, "How very odd that you have to look for the one set of numbers that are "upright" on each face to determine what you rolled!" Later d4s I picked up had the numbers around the top tippy-pointy bit, marking that as the number you rolled. It still wasn't found on a "face," but at least it was the top-most number revealed. But the other upside-down numbers found near the bottom still throws me at times.

Anyway, how do you like your d4s? Has there ever been another form of d4? (Other than 1-4 marked twice on a d8 or something...)

(This was a mindless thought while I hammer out a more pertinent post for later...)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Morrow Project - Fourth Edition - Kickstarter Launched

First came an updated Gamma World. Then came an updated Metamorphosis Alpha. And now, another classic post-apocalyptic RPG is being updated and released from its hibernation chamber to walk the remnants of a devastated Earth. The Morrow Project is now being updated for a fourth edition by Timeline Ltd.

When it appeared nuclear war was inevitable, a clandestine project was considered and launched. Hundreds of citizens and experts with specific skills would be cryogenically frozen in hidden boltholes around the world. A few years after the End of the World, these people would then be released to help rebuild the world. Complications arose, and the first of these enclaves were instead released nearly 150 years in the future. And contact has been lost with the other enclaves. Can this small crew exist and survive in a world they no longer recognize? Can the world still be saved?

Production of The Morrow Project is now being funded through Kickstarter, and it appears the project has already reached its funding goal with more than a month left in the campaign.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Savage Menagerie: Cobweb

No. Enc.: 2d10
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: None
Armor Class: 9
Hit Dice: 1
Attacks: 1
Damage: Special
Save: L1
Morale: None
Hoard Class: None

Cobwebs are mutated cornstalks that can trap unsuspecting victims in sticky strands of webbing. When approached, the husks surrounding the Cobweb will slowly peel back on its own, exposing pale white corncobs along each stalk. Once exposed, the kernels on each cob will explode much like popcorn kernels with a pop-pop-pop, spraying thin sticky webs of filament over a 20 ' radius. Any within range who say they're diving out of the way will escape entrapment if they make a successful save versus stun attacks. The only way to free someone trapped in Cobweb webbing is with oil, acid, or fire. (Blades and cutting tools will be unable to cut through the webbing and will just become gummed up and ensnared as well.) Cobweb webbing is solely a defensive measure by the plant and those trapped will receive no damage from the webs. A Cobweb's webbing will crumble and turn to dust after 2 weeks, at which point the ensnared victim has most likely died of exposure and thirst. Because it takes a Cobweb nearly 2 months to regrow its cobs, hungry scavengers use this period to drag away and feed upon the corpses of the victims, free from the danger of becoming ensnared themselves.

Mutations: webs

Monday, November 26, 2012

Visit Occult Moon's "Island"

Occult Moon has released their newest "Post-Apocalyptic Toy" in their running series of sandboxes for Armageddon-based RPGs.

The Island: Out in the middle of the great Glass Sea, there is an island that is home to the old Flint Hills Research Laboratory. This lab survived the events that brought on the fall of civilization and has continued to experiment and research ways to make the world that remained better. Perhaps you have already seen their handiwork over in the psychic village. But not everything is going well on the island. They may need a bit of help.

This newest supplement is $1.99 and available on Drive Through RPG.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ancient Armory: Hornet Mini-UAV (AKA "Pocket Rocket")

Weapon: Hornet Mini-UAV
Damage: 5d6
Normal Range: 1,500 ft.
Max. Range: 3,000 ft.
Blast Radius: 20 ft.
Weight: 9 lbs.

The Hornet Mini-UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) is an experimental handheld and hand-launched missile system. They are similar in design to the micro-missile launcher (MF rulebook, pg. 121), except that they are a self-contained weapons system and not part of a set of powered armor or other military application. Each mini-rocket is approximately a foot-and-a-half in length, and the missile and launcher weighs 9 pounds. Once loaded, the missile can be fired with one hand much like any pistol. A Hornet Mini-UAV case contains a launcher and 4 missiles.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

WARNING: Ursine Gobbler Spotted! (And A Sale On The Database!)

This warning is going out to all readers of The Savage AfterWorld. A herd of Ursine Gobblers has been sighted roaming the nearby wastelands. This beastly behemoth should be avoided at all costs, especially today when they are most active.

Data on this creature (and 89 others) appears in the Deviant Database. To ensure that all future mutants have a chance to acquire one of these useful guidebooks to post-apocalyptic denizens, the Database is now on sale for 30% off. A downloadable PDF is available for $4.15 at Drive Through RPG and a perfect-bound hardcopy book is available at Lulu for $9.77. This sale lasts for the next few days until the danger passes and the Gobblers return to dormancy.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

This Just In: TSR Games To Live Again

Not a hoax. Not a dream sequence. The name and trademark have been secured by the folks who know the brand best:
And this fledgling company -- founded and run by Jayson Elliot, Ernie Gygax, Luke Gygax, Tim Kask, James Carpio, and Jim Wampler -- will roll out their first product this December:

 I haven't been this excited since 1982.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dangerous Encounter: The Ghost Of Aisle 17

This encounter takes place at a long-abandoned Ancient supermarket. The PCs could be sent there by a merchant to retrieve canned foodstuffs. A village elder may ask them to go there to find and bring back medications from the "farm-oh-see". Or they may just stumble across the ruined market while on the road between adventures.

Once they arrive, the Mutant Lord should describe the market as being in reasonably decent shape, as the walls are still standing and the roof seems intact (except for a few large holes where the sun peeks through). Upon entering, the market is a fairly cavernous space with row upon row upon row of tall metal shelving units. The outer walls are lined with glass-encased freezer and refrigerator units (all long-empty). A row of check-out lines is at the front of the store and PCs who explore will find a few offices and employee break room in the back. The floors are covered in dirt, dust, and cobwebs, and field mice can be seen scurrying in the shadows.

The Mutant Lord is encouraged to peak the PCs interest in digging around the facility, as it appears that looters and marauders haven't picked the market clean. Have the PCs roll randomly for every hour of searching to locate some miscellaneous items such as preserved food, flashlights, lighters, Ancient coinage, an intact shopping cart, small plastic toys, etc. If the PCs were sent to retrieve some MacGufflin for someone, it should be hard to locate (which gives the Mutant Lord enough time to set up the following situation).

After they've searched for a while, a laser shot should barely miss one of the PCs. They'll probably assume they've been ambushed and will go investigate where the shot came from. At one end of the store, high upon one of the shelves they'll find a Laser Pistol Mark 1 mounted in a tripod-like stand (2 shots left). No footprints will be found at the sniper site, and any tracking mutations will come up short of identifying who -- or what -- fired at them. What the PCs don't know is that they HAVE seen the sniper when they first entered: it's the mice scurrying about.

Hyper-intelligent Mice (200) (AL N, MV 60’ (20’), AC 8, HD 1 hit point, #AT 1 (bite/group), DG 1d6, SV L0, ML 7, mutations: advanced intelligence, quick mind)

The supermarket is infested by a colony of hyper-intelligent mice. These mice appear the same as any common grey or brown fieldmouse, however they all have human-level intelligence. They are able to read and understand Ancient languages, as well as most languages spoken in the Mutant Future (although they cannot speak themselves). Because of their quick mind mutation, they have been able to figure out how many common devices and weapons work, and they are capable of tool usage. The mice have been scaring off potential looters to their nesting grounds for generations, and they've gotten quite good at it. Some of the tactics they have used in the past:

* They've gnawed away the support footing on some of the heavier shelves and have run tripwires they can trigger. if someone wanders down on of the trapped aisles, they can cause the shelves to fall upon them.
* They have a collection of letters from various sources (old magazines, sales receipts, Alphabits cereal, etc.) that they use to leave threatening messages to intruders. The PCs may be surprised to see "GET OUT NOW" or "YOU WILL ALL DIE" written in breakfast cereal on the floor.
* One of the mice could sneak into a PC's backpack and pull the pin on a grenade, or perhaps jam their weapon causing it to misfire. Or they may take a small item from one party member and place it in the pouch of another, sowing distrust and discord.
* They could close a freezer door on the PCs, locking them inside.
* Many heavy items are now perched precariously on high shelves which may come raining down upon the heads of the PCs.
* There are several pistols, crossbows, and explosive devices mounted and/or hidden throughout the store. The mice have them positioned where they will do the most damage to intruders. (Keep in mind that they cannot pick up and aim any human-sized weapon. Rather any aimed weapon is carefully mounted in a cradle device and pointed in an obvious direction, say at an entrance or hallway.

Initially the mice are only trying to scare away the PCs. If the PCs stay in the store, the mice's tactics will become more dangerous and injurious. At some point, the PCs may wonder if the place is haunted or if there's an invisible mutant loose in the store. Whether or not they are able to figure out that the mice are causing all of the mischief is left up to the Mutant Lord. The mice will not reveal their true intelligence though, as it makes it easier for them to drive off the superstitious survivors who may wander in.

If by some chance the PCs are able to make contact with the mice (and if they have not injured or killed any of their brethren), the mice may allow them to leave with a few items from the store, but making it clear they are never to return. But if the PCs are taking everything they can carry, or if any of the mice have been attacked and/or killed, the mice will stop at nothing to not only drive the PCs from their home, they will use a variety of hidden ranged weapons to do it.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Starships & Spacemen 2e Now Available!

Goblinoid Games has officially released the second edition of Starships & Spacemen! This new edition of the classic sci fi RPG of exploring "strange new worlds" is fully compatible with Labyrinth Lord and Mutant Future! Here's the pitch:

Boldly explore the galaxy in search of alien civilizations! You take the role of a Military Officer, Technical Officer, Science Officer, or Enlisted Man in the Galactic Confederation. Travel in a starship under your command, on missions of first contact, rescue, exploration, and more in a galaxy full of hostile aliens. Try to maintain the tenuous truce with the militaristic Zangid, and fight the Videni who may look like your Tauran allies, but do not adhere to a philosophy of peace and logic.

Design alien humanoids with either "original series" or "next generation" sensibilites, or blend the two approaches! There are 100 forehead shapes that may be randomly rolled when a new alien race is encountered.

This book contains:
Eight player races...
Three main classes, with several subclasses...
Rules for spaceships and exploration...
many alien creatures...
...and more!

Starships & Spacemen is currently available in PDF format at RPG Now  and Drive Thru RPG. Print version availablity will be announced soon!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Perfect Survivalist Snack Cake Is No More

This just in on the Armageddon Newswire: Hostess brands has announced it is closing immediately. What does this newsflash have to do with the End of the World? Well...

According to The Elementary School Rumor Mill, only two things were ever going to survive a nuclear war: cockroaches and Twinkies. With a legendary shelf-life nearing that of plutonium, acquiring Twinkies was often a goal on any apocalyptic survivalist's To Do List. Case in point:

Family Guy's "Da Boom" episode took place after a nuclear exchange destroyed the world. As the Griffin family wandered the wastelands, Peter -- remembering that Twinkies can withstand such a disaster -- made it his mission to get the family to the Twinkie factory in a nearby town. When they got there, they saw that the golden spongecakes had indeed survived, feeding them all for years. A new post-apocalyptic village arose around the Twinkie factory ruins.

In the zombie survival movie Zombieland, Tallahassee has one goal in life after the apocalypse: to find and eat a single Twinkie. This quest of his takes he and Columbus to an abandoned Hostess truck by the side of the road; to a supermarket (where they meet Little Rock and Wichita for the first time); to a (sadly empty) Deep-Fried Twinkies booth at Pacific Playland. At the end of the movie, Tallahassee gets his Twinkie, leading to Rule 32: Enjoy the Little Things.

Apparently, store shelves have been laid bare upon the news, so if you haven't had a Twinkie in a while, you probably missed your chance. And there won't be any after the End of the World either.

(And truth be told, I'm a Zingers man anyway.)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Dangerous Encounter: Taking A Collection

While traveling on the road between adventures, the party will be surprised by a nearly feral child crashing from out of the brush, charging at them while screaming and wildly waving his arms about. (Play it up for the shock of a potential attack, but hopefully the PCs won't open fire on a panicked kid.) The child, about 7 or 8, is a young Homo erectus (MF rulebook, pg. 76). He is filthy, wearing a loin cloth, and is armed with a flint knife. 

Young Homo erectus (1) (AL N, MV 120' (40'), AC 8, HD 2, #AT 1 (flint knife), DG 1d4, SV L1, ML 7, mutations: none)

Although it initially appears they are under attack, instead the child is half-crazed with terror and is completely hysterical. Hopefully the PCs will subdue and restrain the terrified child rather than attacking him. (Food may work as he's half-starved, as well as any soothing words or attempts to show him kindness.)

Once the PCs have settled him down, the boy will jabber excitedly to the PCs in some primitive language. He doesn’t speak Ancient or any of the more common languages of the wastelands, and the PCs will not be able to talk to him. The only word he is able to clearly enunciate is ""Homin," which he says while pointing to himself. (It's his name.) The boy then imitates a horse, makes the sound of a laser shot, and mimes the action of dragging something.Attempting to read his mind is difficult due to his near-animal-like intelligence. The best a mindreader can hope for are some flashes of memory, but they are not well-developed. He then desperately tries to drag the PCs toward his settlement. Around the encampment are footprints that look somewhat like hoofmarks as well as signs that several someones were dragged away to the north. The PCs may deduce that marauders and/or slavers dragged away the primitive villagers. They would be wrong.

In actuality, the Homo erectus village was ransacked by a pair of deep space probes that were accidentally reactivated from a nearby military base to the north of the Homo erectus village. The two robotic probes, designed to walk on four legs to better traverse alien terrain, were obviously never launched and were instead mothballed from a time before the Final Wars began. Now that they are active, they are currently following their mission programming -- to detect, subdue, and collect any forms of alien life they discover. The probes are each equipped with a variety of non-lethal methods with which to subdue their prey -- anesthetic gas, stun beams, etc. They also have some powerful weaponry with which to defend themselves (see the probe descriptions below for a full list of abilities and weaponry). They also have a plasma cutter which is helpful if they find themselves entangled or otherwise obstructed, as well as a hologram projector which they use to disorient and fool their prey. (The projector is preloaded with a number of images to be used as distractions or camouflage for the probe.) The two probes are actually hunting separately, so the PCs may think there is only one when first encountered.

The two probes are dragging their captured "samples" back to the military base (which, according to their programming, is their "landing site") where they are storing them in stasis chambers. At this time, they have collected nearly every member of the Homo erectus tribe (11 men, women, and children) as well as a few other creatures from the Mutant Future (a Vile Slasher, a few Spidergoats, and a Brain Lasher are in some other chambers).

How the PCs discover the nature of the abductions and how they deal with the rampant probes are left to the Mutant Lord. They may follow the tracks back to the base. One of the probes may ambush them as they investigate. There may be a drag-down fight at the hanger where the the chambers are stored. Perhaps one of the PCs are caught and stored and the encounter becomes a rescue mission. regardless, the probes work well in tandem and should be role-played as cunning adversaries. And once the probes are dealt with, the military base may have a lot of good Ancient tech to salvage!

Military Deep Space Probes (2)
Hit Dice: 20
Frame: Armature
Locomotion: Legs (Multiple)
Manipulators: Claws (4 of them are located under the "torso" and is used to carry/transport unconscious "samples")
Armor: Duraplastic Armor (AC 5)
Sensors: Class V Sensor System
Mental Programming: Programming 
Accessories: Plasma cutter; Self-repair unit; Hologram projector
Weaponry: Stun probe (2d6 damage and stunned for 1d6 rounds); Anesthetic gas (save versus poison or unconscious for 30 minutes); Laser pistol Mk 1 (5d6 damage)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Wisdom From The Wastelands 19 And Post-Apocalyptic Toys 10 Both Now Out

Two new supplemental releases for Mutant Future and other post-apocalyptic RPGs have been announced!

Skirmisher Publishing's Issue 19 of Wisdom From the Wastelands is now out. This issue is "Robots Part 4," and is described as follows: "Robots are just as important to Mutant Future as biological creatures. They can be antagonists, sources of information, or even slave labor. In this fourth installment of author Derek Holland’s robot-themed issue,s there are new forms of locomotion, new accessories and weapons, and some additional rules." This new issue is only 99 cents and is available at Drive Through RPG.

Occult Moon's Post-Apocalyptic Toys Issue 10 has also been released. This new sandbox setting is "Tradertown." It is described as: "No matter how bad thing get, there will always be those things people need, and more importantly the things they want. When they cannot get those things anywhere else, they always find themselves coming to Tradertown. It is a rolling city of thieves and merchants, of pleasure and wonder, of pain and debt. If you need something bad enough, chances are someone in Tradertown has it, and chances are the Tradesmen will get his cut." This new sandbox setting is $1.99 and is also available at Drive Through RPG.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ancient Armory: Homemade Pocket Survival Kit

I recently stumbled across an interesting article on Field and showing you how to create a pocket survival kit that will fit in an Altoids tin. This handy little kit fascinates me as I’m not only a camper and outdoorsy-type fella, I’m also a self-described expert in all things relating to “How much useful stuff can I cram into this small space?” (You should see me pack for vacation.) I’m planning on whipping one of these up for my personal outdoors gear, and I realized this would make for a useful item for your Mutant Future PCs.

The Pocket Survival Kit is a small collection of useful survival gear and items carried by many denizens of the Mutant Future. Most kits have been cobbled together by wasteland wanderers from tools and trinkets found over the years, although some have discovered “official” survival kits created by Ancient armies for their soldiers.

Most kits are very light – just a few ounces – and are small enough to be tucked into a pocket or hidden in a book or jacket sleeve. The contents of these survival kits vary, but are similar in scope. Here are items a fully-equipped survival kit could contain:
  • FIRE and LIGHT: flint and steel, waterproof matches, a lighter, easily lit waterproof tinder, candle, small LED flashlight
  • WATER and FOOD: water bag or plastic water collector, water purification tablets, fishing line, hooks and tackle, 10 feet of thin wire (for snares)
  • SIGNALING and NAVIGATION: signal mirror, compass
  • TOOLS and MEDICAL SUPPLIES: wire saw, small razor blades, antibiotic ointment, bandages
  • SHELTER and PROTECTION: reflective-surface survival blanket
  • MISCELLANEOUS: nylon string, sewing needles, glue, magnifying glass, safety pins, aluminum foil, waterproof paper, pencil
Generous Mutant Lords could allow their PCs to have a Pocket Survival Kit as part of their starting equipment. If not, perhaps the players could discover one or two in the pockets of a defeated marauder or in the cache of a defeated foe. A devious ML could strip a player of all of his weapons and belongings, then drop him into a savage environment with nothing but his hidden survival kit to see how well he improvises an escape plan with the contents (ala A4: In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Where Else Is The Deviant Database Available?

How about here?
Noble Knight is one of my favorite online retailers. Getting a bit of a thrill seeing the Deviant Database listed there!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Merriam-Webster's Mutants: Creating Interesting NPCs With Just A Dictionary

The Land of Nod had a great idea for “Dictionary: The RPG.” Blog-meister John Stater came up with a loose collection of rules for running an RPG campaign using only a standard dictionary. It’s a pretty cool system to play around with, and I encourage you to check it out.

While trying to come up with interesting NPCs for a project I’m working on, I remembered “Dictionary: The RPG” and the way it forced you to creatively use a set of random words to fit your vision. So I decided to use my big ol’ chunky Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.) in a similar fashion to generate some random NPCs. It worked so well, I decided to share it with everyone. Keep in mind that this is geared toward a post-apocalyptic setting, but you can easily tweak it for fantasy, sci fi, or whatever.

First up, get a dictionary. I recommend a large, hardback, unabridged dictionary as your word selection will be better. (You could use a small paperback pocket dictionary, but the word-per-page ratio is much lower, giving you even fewer options.) Randomly turn to any page. That page is going to become your NPC's "character sheet." Scan the page and get a feel for the words listed on it. You’re going to select three words from this page that will each describe a facet of your NPC:

1. “Who?” One word will describe the person. It could be their profession or some other descriptive physical term. If you come upon a word that brings to mind a certain body type or personality, use that.

2. “Drive?” The next word you settle on should describe their underlying motivations. What makes them tick? What do they want out of life? This word could also help flesh out the physical characteristics of your NPC.

3. “Mutation?” The final word should point to a mutation this NPC has. Is it physical or mental? What extraordinary ability do they have? (Keep in mind that I run Mutant Future, so of course this is going to be one of the defining characteristics of my NPCs. If you’re running a different genre of game, come up with your own final characteristic such as “Skill,” “Talent,” “Hidden Secret,” or whatever.) OK, let’s take this for a test drive. For each entry, I’ll list the page number I turned to as well as the “guide words” listed at the top of that page so you have a feel for the range of words I had to select from.

Page 435: "excel – exclamation point"
Let’s see, the first word my eyes fall on is “exchequer,” someone who collects and manages royal revenue. So I've decided he'll be a “tribute collector” for the local barony. Next we need to determine what kind of person he is – what drives him. The word “excessive” jumps out at me, so I see him as being portly, self-absorbed, and draped in fineries. He’s someone who revels in his position and isn’t afraid to flaunt it. (He’s obviously skimming from the collected revenues.) And what mutation bubbles under the surface? How about the word “exchange”? If you can exchange your mind with someone else’s, that certainly points to the possession mutation. So here we have a corrupt tax collector who eats too much and wraps himself in “the better things” who uses his mutation to take over the minds of weaker individuals to fleece them of their hard-earned coin. All generated from three random words. Let’s try another:

Page 1154: "show-and-tell – shrining"
First up, who is this mutant? Ha! I see “shrimp,” so he’s a diminutive human. I know, let’s say he’s short because he’s a young boy about 7 or 8 years old. (Of course, I could have made him a mutant crustacean who dwells on land, but I like having a child NPC better.) Next up is “shrewd.” This kid is cunning, sneaky, and with his size, he’d probably make a living as a thief or cutpurse, living on the streets using his wits. His mutation? Surprisingly, one of the words on this page is the name of an official Mutant Future mutation: “shriek.” If he’s caught during one of his midnight raids on the local merchant’s warehouse, he’ll use this vocal blast to deafen and disorient his captors. So we have young kid who’s learned to fend for himself as a child of the streets who possesses a powerful sonic blast ability when the going gets rough. How about another:

Page 717: "library paste – liege"
For this next one, we’ll make her a pure human. So in place of our Mutation word, we’ll use a second Drive word. Up near the top of the page is “library science,” so let’s say she lives in the ruins of an Ancient library, translating the texts and imparting wisdom to the nearby villages. Survivors come to her with questions (“How can I grow my crops in irradiated soil? What is this illness plaguing our village?”), and her research gives them the answers they desperately need. The post-apocalyptic villagers look upon her with awe and respect (and just a hint of fear). But the next word reveals her hidden secret: “lie.” This “scholar” actually cannot read the Ancient texts. But since no one else can read them either, she fakes her way through the translations, making up whatever she wants, using the pictures and sketches in the Ancient books to support her “facts.” What else drives her? Here’s a word for you: “lickerish.” It means “greedy, desirous.” Our librarian charges for each question asked, knowing that people only come to her if they’re desperate for a solution. Coins, food, rare tech, and other valuables are all accepted in exchange for her services. Those with nothing are either sent away or tasked with some dangerous quest to acquire something she wants. She probably earns enough to hire several mercenaries and goons to provide protection for her as well, as she knows it’s only a matter of time before someone discovers her secret and tries to end her gravy train.

There you have it. Three fairly-well fleshed-out NPCs all derived from 9 random words. Try it yourself and tell me what you think.

Disney's Gamma World? More Likely Than You Think...

The RPG blogosphere is starting to tremble with recent rumblings and rumors that Disney is in talks to buy Hasbro. I haven’t found anything concrete to confirm this other than the usual “iffy” online sources, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this turns out to be true. After all, I never thought I’d see the day when the House of Mouse would own The X-Men, Spider-man, Darth Vader, and Indiana Jones, yet here we are.

Anyway, Hasbro’s subsidiary list is far reaching, as they in turn own Parker Brothers, Kenner, Milton Bradley, Playskool, Tiger Electronics, and Tonka. Yes, they will own your childhood. But here’s the twist: Hasbro also owns Wizards of the Coast, Avalon Hill, and TSR. So if Hasbro goes to Disney, they will officially own Dungeons and Dragons, Magic The Gathering, Dragonlance, Greyhawk, Ravenloft, Dark Suns, and – yup – Gamma World. (Not to mention a bazillion other RPGs, games, and licenses to numerous to list here.)

It will be interesting to watch, to be sure. If this does happen, the question on every OSR fan and retrogame player should be “What will this mean for the Open Game License?” Disney is crazy-nuts-super-protective of its rights and products, so would they be able to overturn and/or end any further projects created under the OGL? Stay tuned…

Friday, November 2, 2012

Visit Occult Moon's Psi Village

Occult Moon has released their newest "Post-Apocalyptic Toy" in their running series of sandboxes for Armageddon-based RPGS.

Psi Village: In the days before the world came apart, a small group of psychics founded a research facility with a special crop of plants. These plants had given them their powers, and those powers had shown them what the scientists had in mind for them. Then the world ended, but these psychic refuges found a little place to call their own. Today the village still grows their special crops and tries to hide away from the rest of the world

This newest supplement is $1.99 and available on Drive Through RPG.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaGa DeMon Now Underway! And Here's My RPG Project...

And we're off!
I try to keep this blog on-target with new Mutant Future supplemental material or news of a "post-apocalyptic RPG" nature, but for this year's NaGa DeMon, I'm working on wrapping up an RPG I've been twiddling with for a few years that has nothing to do with mutants, radiation, or the Apocalygeddon. I'm quite pleased with the concept as it's an RPG setting that I don't believe has been addressed before. Here's the pitch:

There are more than 136 million items in the historical collections held by the Smithsonian Institute, scattered throughout 19 museums in Washington DC. Many of these items are culturally significant. Most are historically significant. And then there are the items kept under lock and key in the "Special Antiquities Collection."

These items are magically significant.

PCs are curators for the Smithsonian’s “Special Antiquities Collections Division” (SACD), a subdivision of the Smithsonian Institution Office of Protection Services. Their official job description is to “identify and acquire items of significant historical importance.” Their unofficial job description is to “investigate events of an unexplained nature, identify any items imbued with unearthly abilities, and retrieve/secure these items.”

Magic is all around us. Find it and lock it down.
I always loved the concept of a team of "Magical Item Retrieval Specialists" trying to secure some mystically-imbued bauble before it wreaks havoc on an unsuspecting public. There have been several TV shows focused on this very conceit, such as Warehouse 13, The Lost Room, The Librarian TV movies, and Friday the 13th: The Series. So, this November, I'll be working on bringing to life my vision for:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick Or Treat! Smell My Feet!

Happy Mutantween everyone!

In honor of this most creepy of holidays, I decided to have my own Mutantween Trick-or-Treat right here at The Savage AfterWorld! In a bowl next to the front door, I have the following treats for 11 lucky mutants:

5 trick-or-treaters will each get a Savage AfterWorld dice!
5 trick-or-treaters will each get a PDF copy of my recently released Deviant Database!
And one extra-special lucky trick-or-treater will get the Deviant Database both in PDF and hardcopy print formats as well as a Savage AfterWorld dice to add to their dice bag!

To qualify for a treat, just post in a Comment to this blog entry with your email contact in the Comment. Feel free to "de-Spambot" it in any way you wish, ie, name (at) whatever (dot) com or something. (See my email address over there in the right-hand column.) That's all it takes. When I have 11 responders, I'll randomly give out the "treats." You might get a book, you might get a dice, or you might get the Good Package. It's that simple. To keep things fair, only one Comment/entry per person. If I see a dupe entry, I toss 'em both, so reply only once. Also, don't enter multiple times under different names/accounts. That's just an ass thing to do. Next up, this is open to folks worldwide, as I'm happy to ship globally. I'll update this thread when we have all 11 trick-or-treaters, and I'll contact everyone via email with what they found in their goodie bag. (I'll also get addresses for mailing physical items at that time.)

So put on your costume, have your parents hide in the bushes nearby, screw up some courage, and ring the doorbell!

EDITED TO ADD: OK, I've turned off the porchlight and I'm hiding from any further visitors. And here's what everyone found in their goodie bag!

Savage AfterWorld Dice: Tetsubo; Steve Balrog; "Anonymous"; Michael Bolam; mwschmeer
Deviant Database Electronic Version: Justin Issac; Danjou's Hand; Robert; Storyteller1976; brink
And the Whole Kit-n-kaboodle: Ironbeaver

Monday, October 29, 2012

Wizards, Mutants, Laser Pistols Issue 3 Now Out!

It's face-melting zine time again! The newest issue of Wizards, Mutants, Laser Pistols is now out and ready to melt your brain with more gonzo fantasy RPG ideas. Inside information of Issue 3 of WMLP is scarce, but I have my issue ordered, so I'll run a review upon arrival. The Table of Contents on the cover reveals:
  • Twisted Tunes
  • Beneath the Ruins: Part 3
  • An All-new Labyrinth Lord Class
  • And More Module Madness!
The cover of this issue has me super excited. Take a look: a laser-slinging gunfighter faces down two tentacled pumpkins (cool!) and ... YES! ... a SPIDERGOAT! (I smell Mutant Future goodness within!) An issue is $3.50 shipped in the U.S.; $4.50 shipped to Canada; and $5.50 shipped Overseas. You can order an issue by visiting the WMLP siteIssues 1 and 2 are also available at the same price.

[Monstrous Monday] Savage Menagerie: Pangaea

Every Monday in October I've posted a Mutated Monday mutant for your Mutant Future/Labyrinth Lord/Original Fantasy RPG campaigns. Each week, the creatures got bigger and bigger, leading up to today's final entry. As this is the OFFICIAL Monstrous Monday, I thought I'd introduce the largest creature to ever roam my RPG campaigns. You want "monstrous"? Here you go...

No. Enc.: 1 (Unique)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: Special
Armor Class: -6
Hit Dice: 800 hit points (treat as 21+ HD creature)
Attacks: 1 (swallow)
Damage: 8d8 per round
Save: L20
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: None

In the post-apocalyptic future, there is an island paradise, one miles off the coast of the mainland that is seemingly untouched by the ravages of the radiations and poisons that have ruined the rest of the planet. This island is called "Pangaea" by the primitive natives who live there. The island -- about 12 square miles in size -- hosts an abundance of flora and fauna which sustains the small civilization that flourishes there. For many generations, the Pangaean people have lived peacefully on this isolated island, never making contact with the survivors roaming the rest of the planet. It is almost as if they have managed to avoid the ravages of the blasted planet's atmosphere, as well as the evils of the world's remaining inhabitants. In a way, they have. The "island" has been actively avoiding such things for millenia.

What the Pangaeans don't know is that their island paradise has formed on the back of the largest creature to roam the oceans -- a gigantic turtle-like monstrosity. This creature (which we'll call "Pangaea" here) is 3 miles wide by 4 miles long. Over untold thousands of years, Pangaea (which is incredibly long-lived) has floated on the surface of the oceans. Its shell has been covered with soil and silt, allowing a flourishing ecosystem to develop. Birds and animals that found themselves on the "island" roosted and build homes. Eventually, mankind found Pangaea, establishing a small community as well. Because Pangaea is fairly inactive, its true nature has never been discovered.

Pangaea's head and legs have remained below the surface of the seas for hundreds of years, which has hidden its true form. Unlike a normal turtle, Pangaea is a water breather, so it does not need to surface for air. Also, the creature's has a very slow-running and efficient metabolism  and feeds only once every 10 years or so, eating ocean-dwelling fish and sealife under the surface. The creature's also inactive to a degree, preferring to float on the surface rather than moving of its own accord. Because of this, it's not unusual for the "island" to drift slowly from one location to another. The Pangaeans have come to accept the fact that their island is not truly anchored to the ocean floor, but they have never thought to investigate why this is so. The few visitors who have stopped on the shores of the island may be surprised to find the island gone when they return a year later.

Due to the sheer size of Pangaea, it cannot be easily harmed with conventional weapons. (It'd be like stabbing Rhode Island and expecting it to bleed.) The build-up of topsoil on Pangaea's back is 30 feet deep at its most shallow. Beyond that is the creature's tortoise-like shell. It would take a tach-nuke to get its attention in this way. If a determined mutant were to somehow go underwater and approach the creature from the front, he would encounter a leviathan tortoise head about 300 feet wide. Although this is the "weakest" part of Pangaea, it is also the most dangerous. If the creature does open its mouth, it has begun to feed. The sudden intake of water rushes every living thing into its mouth. Any unfortunate mutant will be immediately swallowed, taking 8d8 hit points of damage per round until he dies in the creature's stomach.

If Pangaea is ever seriously injured, or if the creature is irritated by too much activity on its back (say from an invading force or a population growing out of control), it will decide to "wash off" the infestation, diving to the floor of the ocean where it will lurk for 500 years before resurfacing again. It has done this once before, when it was known by the name "Atlantis."

Mutations: gigantism (to an insane degree), water breathing, natural armor