Thursday, January 31, 2013

What Is The World Like "3 Generations After The End?"

Stumbled across this "system-neutral" post-apocalyptic setting created by the folks at Gamer Assembly...

In 3 Generations After The End, the Apocalypse re-introduced magic int the world. The sky collapsed. The sun vanished. The moon cracked. Waves plunged the cities into the sea. Airplanes fell from the sky. And the wizards, warlocks, and witches of olden times returned. (These may be related.) The wizards (which is what most people call those with magical ability) soon retreated into abandoned labs and created armies of strange beasts and beast-men. These creatures could not be controlled, and many still survive in bands around the world.

Wizards Are Powerful And Feared
Though quite a few low- to medium-powered wizards live scattered around the world, the public imagination views wizards as super-powerful, quasi-immortal beings who can mold reality to their will and rule their fiefdoms with absolute authority. Wizard-ruled kingdoms are usually theocracies, basically large and organized cults devoted to the will of the wizard ruling them. Those involved are rarely happy about this, but those who disobey are quickly discovered and sacrificed to demons (or worse things).

Techno-Priests Control the Cities
Within the crumbled cities of yore, the Priesthood has arisen to preserve the technology of the past. In some places, they are merely the preservers of vast archives of knowledge. In others, they subdue and rule the others who live in their cities, demanding tribute and sacrifices. The cities themselves are marginally safer than the wilderness, but hold unique dangers. Winged lizards nest on the roofs far above, while ratfolk scurry through the sewers. Old parks are now farms struggling to coax even mutated vegetables from the tired earth.

Savage Nature Abhors Technology
The deeper one presses into the wild forests and jungles of the world, the less technology functions. Vicious, powerful creatures live deep in the wild places. Rare is the non-wizard who can survive in the wilderness.

Regions Are Controlled By Wizards Or Warlords
Open, habitable spaces–the farmlands of old–are usually split up into small nation-states, each ruled by a wizard or a warlord. Technology has regressed to a subsistence level of food production, scavenging, and trade. Remnants of the old world are used for shelter and raw materials.

3 Generations After The End is a free download and is available at RPG Now.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

[Korgothursday] Savage Menagerie: Bog Ghoul

No. Enc.: 1d6 (2d8)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 90' (30')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 3 (2 claws, bite)
Damage: 1d4/1d4/1d6 + special
Save: L2
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: XII

Bog Ghouls are cannibalistic humanoids who lurk in the steaming, radioactive swamps dotting the blasted lands. These poisonous swamps were formed when fallout-laden rainwater filled the craters formed by the falling bombs that ended the world. Once human, Bog Ghouls have been twisted and malformed due to exposure to the fetid waters of these toxic wetlands. Bog Ghouls have a pale green tint to their skin, pointed ears, misshapened teeth, and yellowish eyes that seem to leer in different directions.

Bog Ghoul lairs are always found in radioactive hot zones where the background radiation ebbs at a Class 3 or better. Long-term exposure to this will do 3d6 hit points of radiation damage unless a save is made. Even a successful save will cause half damage. Exposure victims only need to check for this once per day.  Bog Ghouls are immune to the blistering energies due to their reflective epidermis. Bog Ghouls will never be encountered anywhere in a radioactively "clean" area.

Bog Ghouls have a hunger for flesh -- human or mutant -- and will fly into a ravenous frenzy whenever fresh prey enters its lair. They attack with a pair of grotesque claws for 1d4 hit points each. They also bite for 1d6 hit points of damage. And, just like their namesake, the bite of a Bog Ghoul drips with a Class 11 paralytic poison. Failure to save versus stun attacks means that the victim is paralyzed for 2d6 rounds; a successful save still causes the victim's movement rate to be halved for 1d6 rounds. The frightening thing about the poison is that, even though the victim cannot move, they can feel everything as the Ghoul begins to rend, and tear, and feed.

Mutations: reflective epidermis (radiation), poison bite

NOTE: This creature was inspired by the post-apocalyptic, sword-and-sorcery cartoon "Korgoth of Barbaria." Let's see how much material a 22-minute pilot can provide us! Stay tuned for future installments of Korgothursday! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Savage Menagerie: Organ Grinder

No. Enc.: 1
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 5 to 7
Attacks: 2 (fists)
Damage: 2d6, 2d6, disease
Save: L4
Morale: 11
Hoard Class: None

When a large number of animals are slaughtered and gutted, hunters and butchers alike usually dispose of the internal organs into a charnel pit of some kind. Sometimes these cast-off tissues will fuse together and, when exposed to arcane radiations and toxic chemicals, a humanoid nightmare will rise from the depths.

An Organ Grinder is a human-shaped creature composed of various internal organs that have fused together: stomachs, brains, hearts, lungs, intestines, and various other cast-offs from meat-processing. An Organ Grinder varies in size, depending on the amount of tissues that were in the pit at the time of its resurrection, but they stand on average about 6 feet high. An Organ Grinder's surface is constant oozing and dripping with various fluids, blood, and ichors. The Organ Grinder doesn't speak or make any noise, except for the wet "sloshing" of its body as it lunges along. The Organ Grinder also reeks of decay and decomposition; its odor usually is detected long before the creature arrives.

The Organ Grinder is constantly in a state of agonizing pain as its nerve endings are on fire. (Imagine having all of your skin removed, your organs exposed, and being unable to scream.) Due to this, what little intelligence it may have is blinded by agony, and it lashes out in a constant insane fury at any it encounters. The Organ Grinder attacks with its two bulbous "fists" for 2d6 hit points for each fist.

Due to the rot and decay, there is a good chance (65%) that the Organ Grinder carries the Flesh-Eating Bacteria disease (MF rules, pg. 48). If so, upon a successful strike, a victim must save versus poison at a -3 penalty, or risk contracting the disease, which will slowly begin eroding parts of the body. There is a very small chance (only 5%) that the Organ Grinder may instead be infested with Rot Grubs (MF rules, pg. 93).

When an Organ Grinder is encountered, the most humane thing to do is to put it out of its misery as quickly as possible. While it "lives," it will rampage wildly, killing and infecting all in its path. Once destroyed, the charnel pit that spawned it should be set ablaze lest the same event occur again.

Mutations: none

Gygax Magazine Issue 1 Now Available

Turned in for the live unboxing of Gygax Magazine #1 today. They thumbed through that first issue to give folks a look-see at the internal layout and content. The fonts, the art, the articles, the "feel" -- folks this is truly the "heir apparent" to the classic Dragon Magazine of my youth. I'll have a review once the issue is in my hands. Issue #1 is 64 pages and $8.95 plus shipping. Four-issue subscriptions (shipped quarterly, as I recall) are $35, shipping included. And during the Q&A, they said it would eventually be available worldwide as well as in electronic eBook format.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

[Korgothursday] Savage Menagerie: Trivyxxx

No. Enc.: 3 (6 or 9 in lair)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 60' (20')
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 8
Attacks: 1 (weapon)
Damage: as weapon type
Save: L5
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: XIV

The Trivyxxx is an odd creature; one that isn't man nor monster, but something in-between. The most obvious mutation possessed by a Trivyxxx is its three insect-like heads. Each head has a set of bulbous yellow eyes set above an insect-like set of mandibles. This triple headed mutation makes it nearly impossible to sneak up and/or surprise the creature. (Those who try have only a 1 in 6 chance.) Although the Trivexxx does not have any kind of enhanced senses, it gets an extra chance to see/hear if a check is needed. (The Mutant Lord should roll twice rather than once if checking to see if the mutant sees or hears something unusual.) Also, the Trivyxx's gray-green, rubbery flesh takes only half-damage from blunt weapons which harmlessly "bounce" off the surface.

The Trivyxxx "walks" by using a set of 9 tentacles around the base of its ponderous bulk. Due to its size, this mode of locomotion is fairly slow. It has two arms which it uses to attack, usually with some kind of large, blunt weapon. However, the Trivyxxx's tentacles also give it the mutation of parasitic control. If a Trivyxxx is able to hold a victim long enough for one of its tentacles to reach the spine, several small barbs will latch on to the victim's spinal column, giving the creature absolute control. The Trivyxxx will use its new "puppet" to help in any attacks, or will be used as a defensive shield as long as contact is maintained.

Trivyxxx society is based on the number three. There will always be three of the beings when they are encountered, or some multiple of three if discovered in their lair. It is theorized that there are actually three sexes amongst the Trivyxxxx species, which may explain the triad. 

Mutations: triple headed, parasitic control

NOTE: This creature was inspired by the post-apocalyptic, sword-and-sorcery cartoon "Korgoth of Barbaria." Let's see how much material a 22-minute pilot can provide us! Stay tuned for future installments of Korgothursday! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Instant Adventures, Artifacts, and NPCs With Rory's Story Cubes

I've heard a lot of good things about Rory's Story Cubes and their application for RPG play, so I broke down and bought a set for myself. For those who have never heard of them, the Story Cubes are 9 dice-sized cubes with a different picture, icon, or symbol on each face (that's 54 different images). By rolling the cubes, you're given an assortment of iconography that can be used as a kind of "imagination spark." Kids can use them to create their own tales. Teachers use them as a teaching tool. Writers use them for creative prompts. And I've been using them for spur-of-the-moment Mutant Future creatures, NPCs, artifacts, and adventures. I've found I get best results when I grab three at random and force myself to use whatever pops up upon a roll. For example, let's roll up an artifact and an NPC:

ARTIFACT: Let's see. I turned up a tree, an airplane, and a turtle. Off the top of my head, I picture an "arborbot" programmed to protect and nurture a long-forgotten public park. It floats slowly and lazily over the park, watering, replanting, and otherwise tending the lands.

NPC: OK, same set... How about a mutant plant -- a tree, of course -- with a hard, shell-like outer bark? It can either fly or move incredibly fast...or both! So "Steelbark" the mutant oak has the quickness mutation as well as natural armor.

New roll, and this time we'll come up with a Village and an Adventure Hook:

VILLAGE: This round, we have a teepee, a crescent moon, and a set of measuring scales. So our village is a primitive culture, still nomadic and moving from location to location. They value justice above all else, so they're incredibly lawful in alignment. Perhaps they see themselves as "the law in the lawless lands." Let's make this village nocturnal as well, so the people who live there are only active at night. (And their reversed biorhythms could be a story hook as well!)

ADVENTURE HOOK: The village shaman has approached the PCs asking for them to investigate an odd nightly occurrence. It seems the villagers are slowly growing scales over their bodies. (See what I did there?) Each morning when they awake, they find even more of their bodies are covered with this patchy fish-like skin. Is it a new mutation? Perhaps the Cephalopoids are to blame? The PCs are told a medicine man who lives alone in a campsite miles away may have a cure -- or at least an answer.

I'm getting a lot of use and inspiration out of these, so I recommend them for your own gaming table. Heck, keep them behind the screen and toss a few if you're stuck for an interesting plot twist or NPC. Rory's Story Cubes are available all over the place. (I got mine at Walmart for less than $8, in fact.)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Savage Menagerie: Crowrachnid

((NOTE: You ever have a nightmare that startles you awake? In a recent real-life nightmare, I was attacked by these things. When I woke up, I knew I had some excellent Nightmare Fuel for your Mutant Future games. No illustration as I still have a screaming case of the heebie-jeebies.))

No. Enc.: 2d4 (2d8)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 90' (30'); Fly: 180' (60')
Armor Class: 8
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1 (bite)
Damage: 1d6, poison
Save: L1
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: None

The Crowrachnid (croh-RACK-nid) is a large winged spider that travels in small flocks. When first seen, the creature may appear to be either a crow, raven, or black hawk. It's only when it gets near and those 8 legs unfurl to grasp its prey that the true nature of the Crowrachnid revealed.

A Crowrachnid is about the size and shape of a large tarantula -- about 8 to 10 inches across. Its body is covered in coarse, black, wiry hairs, and it has no markings of any kind. The Crowrachnid has developed a pair of large wings that are, surprisingly, covered in jet-black feathers. It is unknown how this cross between bird and bug was first achieved. Crowrachnids attack by circling its prey overhead, then swooping in for kill. They will use their 8 legs in an attempt to land on and take hold of its prey. Once it lands, the Crowrachnid will attempt to bite its victim for 1d6 hit points of damage. If a victim is bitten, they should make a save versus poison. If unsuccessful, they will take another 4d6 hit points of damage from the Class 4 toxin in the creatures fangs. (The victim will take half-damage with a successful save roll.)

A flock of Crowrachnids is sometimes referred to as "The Feathered Death" as few wasteland travelers survive an attack by an entire flock. And woe be to the unsuspecting mutant who stumbles into a Crowrachnid nesting ground...

Mutations: complete wing development

Friday, January 18, 2013

Wisdom From The Wastelands 23 Now Out!

A new issue of Skirmisher Publishing's Wisdom From the Wastelands is now out for your Mutant Future campaigns! Here's what's available:

Issue 23 is “Sea Monsters” and is described as follows: “Despite much of the planet being covered by ocean, sea monsters have oddly been absent from all editions of the game that inspired Mutant Future. Such a vast area, in a variety of latitudes and conditions, provides a huge playground in which to design creatures. As a result, sea monsters could be anything from kaiju crabs, to a form of bacteria that converts biological mass to various drugs and artifacts. This issue contains a few examples of such creatures.” 

This new issue is  99 cents and is available at Drive Through RPG.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

[Korgothursday] Savage Menagerie: Whorebeast

No. Enc.: 1d4 (2d4)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 90' (30')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 1 (bite or weapon)
Damage: 2d12 or weapon
Save: L3
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: XVII

In the world of Korgoth of Barbaria, sex with the wrong person can not only be dangerous, it can be deadly. The Whorebeast is one such carnal assassin. When in a calm state, a Whorebeast appears to be any other wasteland denizen, albeit an attractive specimen. (Whorebeasts can be both male and female, although the female of the species is more common.) The creature will approach a victim, disguising its true intent by pretending to feign interest in them sexually, or perhaps claiming to be a prostitute (in seedier villages). Once the Whorebeast and victim have begun their tryst, the Whorebeast's true nature will be exposed.

A Whorebeast feeds on the hormones and pheromones released by a human who has reached a state of overwhelming carnal desire. Once this heightened state of arousal is reached, the Whorebeast's human-appearing head will split open, revealing its true face. A green-scaled visage with six eyes will leer at its victim while a cavernous set of jaws will open. The Whorebeast will attempt to bite off the head of its partner, its jaws rending for 2d12 hit points of damage. If the victim is somehow able to break off the initial attack, the Whorebeast will grab a nearby weapon (a dagger is always close at hand) in an attempt to wound its prey. If the victim is subdued, the Whorebeast's mouth will close in again, ready to feed.

There are rumors that larger nests of Whorebeasts set up in brothels in larger cities. The populace never notices when some of the johns who live in the town disappear. And those who stop by the brothel to ask questions are never heard from again either.

Mutations: aberrant form (giant mouth)

NOTE: This creature was inspired by the post-apocalyptic, sword-and-sorcery cartoon "Korgoth of Barbaria." Let's see how much material a 22-minute pilot can provide us! Stay tuned for future installments of Korgothursday! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


After teasing it more than 2 years ago, a new barbarian takes the stage every Thursday beginning January 17...

The Great Cities have risen and fallen. Civilization's grip on mankind has grown weak and arthritic. Dark forces seek to renew forgotten covenants, and primordial beasts reclaim the wilderness. Out of the frozen north, a man emerges - a man of a barbaric age, whose merciless savagery may be the only key to his survival. They call him Korgoth! 

"I didn't know there'd be this much talking..."

Beginning this week: "KORGOTHURSDAY"!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Savage Menagerie: Mantisaur

No. Enc.: 1d3 (1d6/2)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 8
Attacks: 3 (2 claws, bite)
Damage: 1d12/1d12/1d8
Save: L4
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: II

A Mantisaur is a 12-foot-tall descendant of the Bygone preying mantis species. However, at some point in its lineage, the Martisaur took on reptilian characteristics as well. The creature moves on six hind legs, holding the front half of its body upright. It attacks by rending with two large clawed front limbs for 1d12 hit points of damage. The Mantisaur can also bite with its mandibles for 1d8 hit points.

In spite of its size, a Mantisaur can cling to virtually any surface, walking along vertical walls and overhead ceilings as easily as if they were on the ground. One preferred hunting tactic is to lurk on cavern ceilings or along the outside walls of Bygone ruins, hoping to drop down upon unsuspecting prey.

The Mantisaur is covered with a chitinous exoskeleton giving it a higher armor class. However, much like its reptile ancestors, the Mantisaur's armor is in a scale-like form rather than the insect-like, one-piece covering usually found on giant insects. The Mantisaur constantly sheds these scales, which can be collected and traded to most merchants or weaponsmiths for a fair price. A suit of Mantisaur armor gives the wearer an AC of 5, and just adding the scales to an existing suit could add a +1 AC bonus if done by a trained blacksmith.

One unusual mutation of the Mantisaur is that is has a limited phasing ability. The Mantisaur's physical form "ignores" wood and plantlife, passing through the material as if it weren't there. A Mantisaur can race through a forest or thicket in a straight line, ignoring any trees and obstacles as it phases through the material. A Mantisaur will also ignore any damage taken from a wooden weapon (clubs, arrows, etc.) as the weapon will pass harmlessly through the creature.

Mutations: phasing (limited), wall crawling 

NOTE: Today's mutant was created using straight rolls on The Random Esoteric Creature Generator.

Friday, January 11, 2013

DIY RPG Service: 15th Level Copyeditor With +3 Red Pen Of Correction. Speaks Chicago, AP, Goblin

((EDITED FOR CLARITY: Because some folks have asked (and because I mention it toward the end of this post rather than up front), I am offering my services for free for up to 20 pages of text. I do not expect payment for this. It's my way of contributing to the DIY RPGers.))

Self-publishing has made creating that OSR fantasy heartbreaker or RPG supplement you've envisioned a reality. With the availability of cheap (or free) word processors, design/layout programs, and print-on-demand facilities, we're seeing an onslaught of material and products. But in their haste to get their product in the hands of the public, many fledgeling game writers and designers are skipping some of the basics of publishing -- primarily the importance of a thorough editorial review.

As a professional editor,  I'm chagrined by a lot of "first drafts" sold to the masses as a final release. Layout and design issues abound. Spelling and grammatical errors are found on every page. Continuity is chaotic. Text is missing, misplaced, or just unclear. It's a shame, really, as a lot of these problems can be addressed and corrected with one final review prior to sending the file to Lulu or DriveThruRPG. Sure, running your manuscript through a word processor's spellcheck and grammar check is better than nothing, but that's no substitute for the human eye.

So, in an attempt to help out some DIY folks who want their products to have just an extra bit of polish, I'm offering my services as a professional editor / proofreader to the OSR community. I'm not gonna post my resume, but suffice to say I have 15+ years of copyediting / proofreading experience. I'm the managing editor of a tradebook publishing company. I've personally edited or proofread hundreds of magazine articles, manuscripts, screenplays, and books (both trade and text) over the years. I'm fluent in several editorial styles with a keen eye for consistency, continuity, and clarity. (And alliteration, apparently.) And professional game companies have their materials undergo an editorial review process, so why not the garage press folks?

A list of RPG projects that I've edited or proofread:
And, the best part, I'm offering to do it for free for up to 20 pages of text. Larger projects take a fair bit of personal time, so I will charge a pittance rate of 50 cents per page for projects bigger than 20 pages. (So I would charge $15.00 for a 30 page project; $50 for a 100 page project; etc. Also, a mention in the credits and a comp copy would be appreciated.) It's my way of contributing my skills to the OSR community while doing some of the tedious wordsmithery for game writers and developers. (You worry about writing the game; I'll make sure the commas are in the right place.)

Since I'll be doing this on my own time and my own dime for the free projects, there are a few caveats:

1. I'd appreciate no "last minute rush" schedules. A thorough review could take a week or two. Don't expect anything turned around overnight. (Although if you are willing to pay a freelance editorial rate for a quick turnaround, I'm open to it.)
2. One editorial pass per project. Please don't ask me to re-review something I've reviewed once before because you've rewritten it or added 5 new chapters.
3. I would prefer to do a proofread on a finalized PDF, as I'd be able to offer suggestions and input on your layout and design. But I can also copyedit your original text manuscript if you prefer.
4. Please don't expect any developmental editing or rewriting. I'm just going to help you clean up what's there, not act as a ghostwriter on the project.

If anyone has any questions or if you'd like some freebie freelance editorial assistance, drop me a line at "gameagain at gmail period com."

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Savage Menagerie: Equusaw

(Today's creature was inspired by a Google+ post that pointed me to this piece of art at the Jaguar Combat blog)

No. Enc.: 1d4 (1d6)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 240' (80')
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 5
Attacks: 3 (2 hooves, saw blade)
Damage: 1d8/1d8/6d6
Save: L3
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: None

At a distance, an Equusaw (EK-kwah-sah) may be initially mistaken for a Zunicorn (MF rulebook, page 104). But the loud buzzing that's heard when you approach one betrays this assumption.

For all outward appearances, an Equusaw is a horse with a constantly-running chainsaw blade sticking out of its forehead. An Equusaw is most usually white or brown in color, although other shades have been seen. Although a peaceful creature by nature, the Equusaw will attack if it's spooked or frightened. It attacks by rearing up and kicking with its two front hooves for 1d8 hit points each. It may also attempt to gore an attacker with its sawblade. This dangerous weapon will do 6d6 hit points of damage if hit.

What has yet to be determined is exactly how a biological creature can have such an unusual appendage. Some have speculated the Equusaw is actually robotic or an android in nature, perhaps developed for the Bygone lumber industry. Others feel that the Equusaw is a cyborg -- a horse with mechanical weaponry fused to its skull for reasons long-lost. Regardless of its ancestry, the Equusaw could be a valuable mount if caught and tamed, as they can be trained to defend their owner. But the act of catching and "breaking" an Equusaw has killed hundreds foolish enough to attempt it.

Mutations: none 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Race Through The Apocalypse in "The End"

Discovered this neat little runner game the other day and have really been enjoying it. Called "The End," it's a manic survivor's dash through a post-apocalyptic hellscape, grabbing as much duct tape as he can before the day ends. (Can't have too much duct tape after the world ends, after all.) Plays like Temple Run / Agent Dash and other "run like hell" apps.

Check out the trailer here:


If you want to see the trailer, here's a link:

"The End" is available through the iTunes App Store for your iPad and iPhone, or Google Play for your Android devices. Did I mention it's free?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Help Name My Pre-Apocalyptic Society

They are discussed in hushed whispers tinged with awe. Stories of their achievements have passed into that of legend and lore, whereas their downfall is a cautionary tale for all. The ruins and artifacts scattered across the blasted lands give silent testament to their greatness, yet who they once were has passed into mythology. They are the ones known as “The Ancients.

But not anymore.

The usual name given to Those Who Came Before has become a cliché in post-apocalyptic gaming. Calling them The Ancients started (I think) with Gamma World. It’s a good title, one that’s very evocative. It hints of immeasurable age, the forgotten past, of arcane wisdom. But I feel it’s a term that has been truly overused.

In much the same way that I’ve coined the term “Apocalygeddon” as the event that ended the world, I use “The Prepocs” (pronounced PREE-pocks) in my home games to refer to the pre-apocalyptic society. But it’s not quite as evocative, and -- as a made-up term -- it reads badly when written out. So I’ve brainstormed some new names for this pre-Mutant Future people and have them listed in the poll below. Which strikes a chord with you? The top vote-getter becomes the new identifier for “Those Who Came Before” on both this blog and in future supplements.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wisdom From The Wastelands 21 And 22 Now Out!

I fell asleep at the switch as it appears TWO new issues of Skirmisher Publishing's Wisdom From the Wastelands are now out for your Mutant Future campaigns! Here's what's available:

Issue 21 is “High Tech Melee Weapons” and is described as follows: “Although most Ancients considered melee weapons like swords, axes, maces, spears, and even exotic ranged weapons such as bolas and shuriken to be archaic, some did practice the use of such weapons, and there were inevitably high-tech versions of them. This issue deals with these modern melee weapons, describes alternate methods of creating them, and introduces some new weapons.”

Issue 22 is “Personal Shields.” Here is the description: “Force screens were developed for individuals from all walks of life, to guard them from all manner of threats. There were simple fields that warded users from the insults of weather and city life, those that protected police against small caliber firearms, and those used in military powered armor systems and combat vehicles. All shields operate on the same basic mechanic: they project a protective energy field around the user.” 

Both new issues are only 99 cents and are available at Drive Through RPG.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Dangerous Encounter: The Crystalline Forest

While visiting a small village, perhaps while recuperating or shopping for supplies, the PCs will be summoned for a meeting with the local chieftain. Upon arrival, the village leader will welcome them and ask for their help. He explains that, last week, a traveling merchant reported spying an odd patch of "crystalline trees" nearby. The chief sent one of his scouts to investigate two days ago, and he has not yet returned. The chief would like the party to follow up on the scout's whereabouts as well as the nature of the mysterious crystal.

As they approach the area, the PCs will see that a section of the woods appears to glisten in the sunlight. Getting ever closer, they will soon discover that the area seems to be much colder than it should be and the ground is covered in frost -- the grass crunching like glass shards under their feet. The trees are coated in a thick clear ice, giving it a crystalline appearance from a distance.

Investigating further will reveal some frozen, shredded articles of clothing. Picking through the debris, the PCs will find a small item or token that IDs the clothing as coming from a member of the tribe. This is all that remains of the scout. Unless the PCs have been very cautious and watching the branches overhead, they may not realize that the trees are infested with a roaming swarm of Vomit Flies (MF rulebook, page 101). The Flies have migrated to the area and have nested in the trees limbs overhead.

Vomit Flies (12) (AL N, MV 150' (50'),  AC 5, HD 4, #AT 1 (bite or vomit), 1d10 or 4d6 cold damage, SV L3, ML 8, mutations: energy ray, reflective epidermis (cold), gigantism)

The Flies' toxic bile is like liquid nitrogen, instantly freezing anything is comes into contact with. They use this fluid to freeze a victim, then they consume the frozen flesh. The vomit of a Vomit Fly does 4d6 hit points of cold damage and their bite does 1d10. Vomit Flies cannot actually "fly," so they will drop out of the trees to attack any invaders to their grounds.

If the Vomit Flies are left alone, their numbers will triple within a month (all of the females are about to lay eggs), and the village will be in imminent danger. Destroying the Vomit Flies and bringing back evidence of the scout's demise should be the goal of the party. If successful, the chief will reward the PCs with three strong horses that they may use as transport as well as all of the supplies they can carry. If the Vomit Flies are left unchecked, the PCs may return to the village one day and find nothing more than an icy barren wasteland.