Thursday, March 7, 2013

Dangerous Encounter: The Valley That Time Forgot

The PCs are tasked by a warlord to find and bring back a mutant who took something of value from him. This item can be anything the Mutant Lord wishes or something that is important to an ongoing Mutant Future campaign: a rare Bygone artifact; a valuable bauble or some kind; etc. The PCs are told that the mutant fled into a forbidden valley where "primitive men live and monstrous lizards feed on intruders." The valley is easily located as most Mutant Future survivors have heard the legends. But the valley is avoided as the creatures within are feared by those who have seen them.

When the PCs arrive at the valley, it should be presented as a true "lost world," where dinosaurs roam the lands unfettered. While the PCs follow the trail of their quarry, the Mutant Lord could have them encounter a hungry dinosaur or two. (See the notes at the end of this entry for suggestions and stats for some of the dinosaurs they could meet.) The trail should eventually lead to a small tribe of prehistoric Homo Erectus (MF rulebook, page 76) living peacefully in a cave network set into the steep granite walls of the valley floor. There are 14 of these "cavemen" in the tribe. They regard the visitors warily and curiously, but will make no aggressive moves toward the party. They cannot speak, so communicating with the tribesmen could be problematic.

Homo Erectus (14) (AL N, MV 120' (40'), AC 8, HD 6, #AT 1 (weapon), DM 2d4 or weapon, SV L2, ML 7, mutations: ancestral form (latent))

The PCs should feel free to explore the area looking for the mutant they were sent to find. They'll never find him though, as he's now one of them. For you see, the tribesmen are indirectly responsible for the prehistoric creatures that reside in the valley.

Each member of the tribe has the mutation ancestral form, which is triggered when one of the Homo Erectus people feels threatened, frightened, or angry. (They are too primitive to use their abilities deliberately.) When agitated, the tribesmate lashes out mentally toward its attacker. On a successful mental attack, the ancestral form mutation will "devolve" the target, permanently removing one of the target's mutations. Also, the mutation has a 20% chance of devolving the target to a previous evolutionary stage of its existence, so men would become Homo Erectus or Neanderthals, and so on. Every dinosaur that now roams the valley was originally a Mutant Future creature that a tribesman inadvertently devolved to its present state.

The mutant the PCs are now looking for originally found the tribe, threatened the village chieftain  and found himself turned into a mindless caveman. He now works and toils wordlessly and mindlessly. The PCs may be able to piece together what happened when they find the device/bauble they were sent to retrieve in one of the caves guarded by a caveman dressed in the clothes of their quarry. They may see some resemblance in the face of the devolved primitive. (Or they may think the caveman in question killed the mutant and took his clothes.) Regardless, if the PCs begin to threaten the tribe, they could find themselves drained of their mutational abilities, or worse, devolved into the newest residents of the valley.

NOTE FOR THE MUTANT LORD: The Labyrinth Lord rulebook (which is fully compatible with Mutant Future) has many prehistoric creatures in Section 6: Monsters. For your convenience, the stats for some of the more "classic" dinosaurs is presented here, followed by the Labyrinth Lord page number where the entry can be found:

  • Sabre-Toothed Tiger (1d4 (1d4), AL N, MV 150' (50'), AC 6, HD 8, #AT 3 (2 claws, bite), DM 1d8/1d8/2d8, SV L4, ML 10, LL rulebook pg. 67)
  • Mastodon (0 (2d8), AL N, MV 120' (40'), AC 3, HD 15, #AT 2 tusks or trample, DM 2d6/2d6 or 4d8, SV L8, ML 8, LL rulebook pg. 86)
  • Pterodactyl (0 (2d4), AL N, MV Fly: 180' (60'), AC 7, HD 1, #AT 1 (bite), DM 1d3, SV L1, ML 7, LL rulebook pg. 92)
  • Tricerotops (0 (1d4), AL N, MV 90' (30'), AC 2, HD 11, #AT 1 (gore or trample), DM 3d6 or 4d8, SV L6, ML 8, LL rulebook pg. 99)
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex (0 (1), AL N, MV 120' (40'), AC 3, HD 20, #AT 1 (bite), DM 6d6, SV L10, ML 11, LL rulebook pg. 100)

1 comment:

  1. And if the PCs start spewing radiation with their mutations and weapons, then you'd get MUTANT dinosaurs.