Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dangerous Encounter: G_me Of H_ngm_n

When you're ready for your PCs to have a "big city" adventure, have them stumble across the boomtown of "Jym's Town." Jym's Town is named after the town founder and mayor, Big Jym. The town (population of 100+ citizens) is set into the side of a hard-to-access mountainside, which both isolates and protects the town. (Although there is one main road in and out of the city, which allows a constant stream of visitors from surrounding villages and communities.)

The town is made up of six large buildings which act as an inn or two, several competing bars and taverns, and other shops and specialty stores (butcher, smithery, stables, etc.). Many smaller homes and residences are tucked into every nook and cranny of the city. The largest building is found in the center of town, and its sign reads "Jymboree." (It appears that someone repainted  the sign's "G" with a "J.") This building is several stories tall and is always the center of activity of the town. This building acts as the Town Hall, governmental offices, and Big Jym's place of residence. But primarily, it's a casino, which is the town's primary source of income. Everything revolves around Jymboree for, without it, the town would wither and die. Keeping security throughout the town are the "Pleecemen" -- men hand-picked by Big Jym to keep everyone in line. They can be identified by the black leather jackets and helmets they wear. Each is armed with a small club; some also have a Bygone pistol.

Pleecemen (45) (AL C, MV 120' (40'), AC 7, HD as CON, #AT 1, DG 1d6 or weapon type, SV L1, ML NA, Mutations: none)

As the PCs explore Jym's Town, they should be made to feel welcome by the townspeople. (Almost overly so.) Storeowners offer them deep discounts on merchandise; inns offer free meals; drinks are often on the house at the taverns. Everyone has direct orders from Big Jym to make all visitors to the town feel welcome. He doesn't want strangers to leave before they've parted with every coin they might have. To anger a visitor to Jym's Town is a crime punishable by...well, we'll get to that.

At some point, the PCs will be invited to meet with Big Jym himself. Big Jym is a huge mountain of a man, who should be played up as a benevolent leader who found himself thrust into the role.  Big Jym acts as a friendly mayor doing what he can "for the good of the community." He may offer the PCs a few "errands" to tackle for him, in fact. (Use one or two of the other Dangerous Encounters from this blog.) The truth is that Big Jym runs the town with an iron fist. (The townspeople are afraid to cross Jym as those who do end up missing. Leaving is out of the question due to the distance to any place else as well as the constant patrols by the Pleece.)

The big secret is that Big Jym runs a very secretive -- and dangerous -- game in the upper floors of the casino. Known only to the highest of big-time gamblers (and fearfully whispered about amongst the town's citizens) is the Game of Hangman. Once a month, Big Jym holds this special event with six unwilling participants. (Jym's favorite "players" are visitors to the casino who overextended their credit, townsfolk who angered him, and snoops who discover The Game and threaten it.) These six players are strung up in a makeshift gallows. Those invited to gamble make bets on who the survivor will be. A six-sided dice is tossed, and the chair is kicked out from under the corresponding player. New bets are taken, and a new number is rolled. This gruesome game continues until only one player is the "winner." (Although the winner is taken into the other room where he is caged to wait for next month's game.) The Game is Big Jym's biggest money-making venture and he has no intention of ending it. And -- even if they realized the true nature of The Game -- the townsfolk fear him and his Pleecemen too much to do anything about it.

The Game of Hangman may come into play several ways:
  • A PC who wins well in Big Jym's casino may be invited to bet on The Game being held that night.
  • A PC who loses badly in the casino may be captured and taken away to become one of the "players."
  • An NPC the PCs have befriended may disappear, leading them to discover their upcoming participation in The Game.
  • An NPC could ask for the PCs' help in finding their spouse/father/son who went missing in Jymboree.
Once The Game is discovered, Big Jym will stop at nothing to silence the troublemakers. Although he relies on his Pleecemen to do his dirty work, Big Jym is a formidable fighter as well. He also has the mutation of  energy-retaining cell structure, which he uses to deliver 3d6 of hit points in hand-to-hand combat.

Big Jym (Mutant Human) (AL C, MV 120' (40'), AC 5, HD 16, #AT 1, DG 1d6 or weapon type, SV L6, ML NA, Mutations: energy-retaining cell structure)

The PCs may never discover the Game, although they may get a feeling of unease from Big Jym's jovial (but threatening) ways, the ever-watching Pleecemen, and the way-too-helpful nature of the townsfolk. If Big Jym and his small army is ever disposed of or run out of the city, Jym's Town will be in need of a new leader. It would then be up to the PCs to fill that void or put a new leader in place -- which could lead to a new adventure!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Mutants & Machine-Guns: A Pocket-Sized, Post-Apocalyptic RPG

Taking advantage of my offer for free RPG editing services, Rob Sondoh, Jr., of Experimental Playground asked me to give his new RPG a quick once-over. The post-apocalyptic RPG, Mutants & Machine-Guns, is the first role-playing game created and released by Experimental Playground. The game is a micro-RPG, as the entire game fits in 8 pages. A pocketmod is available, making this the most portable End of the World game I've seen. Very simple, stream-lined mechanics, and just enough details to get you going. Did I mention it's a free download? And it's available in Spanish, French, and English. Sniderman says, "Check it out!"

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I've Never Doubted My Race, Class, And Alignment

When I play D&D, I'm always (ALWAYS) the true neutral human cleric. It's my preferred class. It's my preferred alignment. It's my preferred race. So I took the What D&D Character Am I? quiz. And after 129 personality questions, guess what fantasy RPG role I'd be saddled with given my general attitudes and morals?

I Am A: True Neutral Human Bard/Cleric (3rd/3rd Level)

Ability Scores:

True Neutral A true neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. He doesn't feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most true neutral characters exhibit a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil after all, he would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, he's not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way. Some true neutral characters, on the other hand, commit themselves philosophically to neutrality. They see good, evil, law, and chaos as prejudices and dangerous extremes. They advocate the middle way of neutrality as the best, most balanced road in the long run. True neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you act naturally, without prejudice or compulsion. However, true neutral can be a dangerous alignment when it represents apathy, indifference, and a lack of conviction.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Primary Class:
Bards often serve as negotiators, messengers, scouts, and spies. They love to accompany heroes (and villains) to witness heroic (or villainous) deeds firsthand, since a bard who can tell a story from personal experience earns renown among his fellows. A bard casts arcane spells without any advance preparation, much like a sorcerer. Bards also share some specialized skills with rogues, and their knowledge of item lore is nearly unmatched. A high Charisma score allows a bard to cast high-level spells.

Secondary Class:
Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the divine (or infernal) worlds. A good cleric helps those in need, while an evil cleric seeks to spread his patron's vision of evil across the world. All clerics can heal wounds and bring people back from the brink of death, and powerful clerics can even raise the dead. Likewise, all clerics have authority over undead creatures, and they can turn away or even destroy these creatures. Clerics are trained in the use of simple weapons, and can use all forms of armor and shields without penalty, since armor does not interfere with the casting of divine spells. In addition to his normal complement of spells, every cleric chooses to focus on two of his deity's domains. These domains grants the cleric special powers, and give him access to spells that he might otherwise never learn. A cleric's Wisdom score should be high, since this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

(and now, back to the post-apocalyptic stuff...)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Post-Apocalyptic Plethora Of Products And Playthings!

Although I listed some of these in the recently compiled Master List of Mutant Future Products,  I'd neglected to post a true "announcement" of sorts about the availability of several post-apocalyptic RPG supplements, as well as an interesting comic you may be interested in. 

The Meat Lover's Guide To The Post Apocalypse:  Released by Fishwife Games, this supplement answers the questions, "So just how much meat can you harvest from a slain spider-goat anyway? What's the nutritional value?" The Meat Lover's Guide gives the players and the GM of a post-apocalyptic RPG setting a general set of rules for harvesting meat from slain animals and monstrous creatures. This book takes real world information, concepts, and methods of hunting and meat preparation and places it squarely in the Blasted Lands. Now, when your PCs announce they'll harvest the meat from that atomicow, you'll know how much they can get, and whether it will even sustain them while they travel. The Meat Lover's Guide is $3.00. Fishwife Games also has a host of other post-apocalyptic RPG materials for sale at RPG Now.

Ware of the Brain Lashers: Thaumiel Nerub at Cradle of Rabies has created a sequel of sorts to "Mine of the Brain Lashers", the introductory adventure found in the Mutant Future rulebook! When the PCs step through the open dimensional portal in the Mine, where do they wind up? The answers are found in the Ware of the Brain Lashers! The adventure is a free download available at Thaumiel's blog.

Falloutifying Mutant Future: Thaumiel has also been working on converting the gameplay, tropes, and system from the game "Fallout" over to the Mutant Future universe. If you'd like to try your hand at something a bit more gritty, then try surviving in the ruins of Washington DC in the world of Fallout 3. He has two posts at Cradle of Rabies discussing the conversions here and here.

American Barbarian: Holy hell, how have I not encountered this before? Thanks to a blog post over at Vargold: The Wolf-Time, I have now discovered Tom Scioli's online comic book American Barbarian. Take one part Kamandi, one part Mighty Samson, one part Thundarr the Barbarian, and an art style reminiscent of Jack Kirby and you have this amazing comic. American Barbarian pits its Kirbyeseque hero, the red-white-and-blue-haired warrior Rick Yoosamon, against the villainous giant Two-Tank Omen in a post-apocalyptic U.S. All seven volumes of the comic are posted on Scioli's website, and you can even purchase a hardbound dead tree version. I'll be grabbing this as soon as I have the funds to do so. Great read!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Noteboard Is On Sale For $5.00! (Very Limited Time Offer)

I've sung the praises of the Noteboard in the past here at The Savage AfterWorld, so I won't blather on about this incredibly useful, incredibly portable gaming table necessity. However, the ol' blog here was getting a bit of traffic from the creator's website, so I went to find out what all the hub-bub was about. Turns out the Noteboard is a year old this week, and the creator is selling them for the crazy-low price of $5.00 plus shipping! If you've been mulling over grabbing one of these ultra-portable whiteboards, it ain't gonna get cheaper! Two caveats: (1) This offer is not available in Europe. And (2) the sale ends Monday, April 22, at 12:01 am, EST. (In other words, at midnight tonight.)

Even if the sale has ended, the Noteboard is well worth the $10 full price!

Noteboard in action during my Mutant Future game at Gary Con.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Master List Of Available Mutant Future Products

Over at the Goblinoid Games Forums, I've been compiling a running list of products and materials for the Mutant Future system. I thought this list would be of interest to Mutant Lords who don't frequent the GG Forums, so it is posted here for your use.

A few notes: I've listed only those products that are compiled into a downloadable or purchasable product. (There are no links to blog posts, forum threads, or similar online discussions.) Also, the items here are either designed specifically for the Mutant Future system or are specifically designed to be system-generic. (So there are no links to post-apocalyptic RPG materials designed specifically for other systems.) The links are either FREE (meaning it's a free download); PDF (an electronic for-sale format); and/or PRINT (you can get your hands on a dead tree version). Finally, I will not be updating this post in the future, so if you stumble across this later, please visit the Goblinoid Games forums for the most up-to-date listing. So, without further ado, here is the


*** CORE RULES ***
Mutant Future - Revised Edition: Enter a post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland filled with mutants, ruins, and radiation! You can take the role of an android, mutant human, mutant animal, pure human, and even a mutant plant! Seek wealth and ancient technological artifacts. Enter vast underground complexes, and avoid killer robots!
PDF - PRINT - FREE (artless)

*** SETTINGS ***
Nuclear Sunset- The Southwest: This is the first installment in a post-apocalyptic campaign setting. Nuclear Sunset: The Southwest contains a map of the region, description of settlements, and ruins and a full slate of post-apocalyptic organizations, including: Hell's Heart; The 88th; The Cartel; and The Marshalls.

The World of Thundarr the Barbarian Sourcebook: Roleplay in the post-apocalyptic world of the 1980's Ruby Spears cartoon, Thundarr the Barbarian. Rules and stats for playing Barbarians, Moks, and Sorcerors as well as creatures, NPCs, and adventures adapted from the show. Demon dogs!

3 Generations After The End: In this free system-agnostic supplement, the apocalypse re-introduced magic to the shattered world. Wizards and Techno-priests hold sway over the wasteland survivors, while technology struggles to function in this ruined world.

Post-Apocalyptic Toys For the Sandbox: Occult Moon has been creating small self-contained "settings" for a variety of RPG genres. Their newest offerings are settings for post-apocalyptic RPGs. As of this update, they have a village refuge, a secret junkyard, a slaver's wagon train, and a poisonous jungle. Each is equipped with NPCs, adventure hooks, and rumors of the area.

Re-Energizers: In the mutated post-apocalypse, a man with a laser gun can win an argument. A man with two killer attack robots, though, can rule a whole town––and that’s just what Boss Jarvis does, dominating the little fortified settlement called Xitnine. When Jarvis needs someone to fetch new batteries for his mechanical henchmen, his jaded eye falls on the strangers in town... and that’s you. It sounds like a decent job, so long as you ignore the rumors of swarming mutant beasts, robots gone berserk, and deadly fields of radiation.

Realm of the Technomancer: Something new has invaded an important underground complex… Will you be wizards and warriors gearing up to save the gnomes from strange humanoids, or mighty freaks of post-apocalyptic nature hired to drive out the alien troops of the mysterious Technomancer?

Menace From the Wasteland: A family standing alone against the fear and chaos of a ruined world. Their farm, a humble dream of humanity reborn. A dream which might become a reality if only it can survive...the Menace from the Wasteland! Features a sandbox setting, new mutant creatures, and multiple possible solutions.

Gimme Shelter: Food and shelter are precious commodities in the post-apocalyptic future. When the party finds a recently-unearthed Ancient bomb shelter, the spoils appear ripe for the picking. You're not going to let a few signs emblazoned with radiation symbols and crossbones keep you away, are you?

Gimme Shelter II: The Rushmore Salvage Job: NOW HIRING: Barter John needs up to 6 mutants to help secure and move four very large Ancient busts near the village of Blackhill. Must be OK with heights. Tools supplied. No mants need apply.

Weed World: Within the last month, the growth of vegetation has accelerated, threatening to overrun your post-apocalyptic village. Does a children's story of 'The Devil's Greenhouse' hold the key to survival?

Thundarr the Barbarian in Across the Dimensional Divide: Demon Dogs! A dimensional time-rip has appeared near 'Indeenapliss.' It must be the work of an evil wizard, but who? Join Thundarr, Ookla, and Princess Ariel as they try to save the world of 3994 AD!

Thundarr the Barbarian in Warlord of the Sacred Library: 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!

10 Short Adventures for Mutant Future: The folks over at Hereticwerks have released a PDF of 10 of their short Mutant Future adventures designed for last year's OSR September of Short Adventures Challenge. Each of the one-page adventures follows a simple "Get Ready! Get Set! Go!" format which provides a minimal set-up, background, and hook for the micro-module. The PDF is available in a Box posted over at the Hereticwerks blog.

The Ruins of Woebrook AKA Fane of the Frostgod: Justin Davis at Field Guide to Doomsday released his homemade module taking place in a long-forgotten shopping mall. In The Time Before, Willowbrook Mall was a hustling, bustling mecca of conspicuous consumption. But now, nestled deep in the deadly Hugeston swamps, sits the forlorn “Woebrook”: an overgrown, waterlogged, abandoned ruin...well, maybe not all that abandoned...

Ware of the Brain Lashers: Thaumiel Nerub at Cradle of Rabies has created a sequel of sorts to "Mine of the Brain Lashers", the introductory adventure found in the Mutant Future rulebook! When the PCs step through the open dimensional portal in the Mine, where do they wind up? The answers are found in the Ware of the Brain Lashers!

Creatures of the Wastelands: Fully compatible with Mutant Future, this book includes more than 200 new creatures, including the terrible Great Mother, several mutant dinosaurs, the warlike Lumbricid, the insidious Silver Sheet, and the mysterious Smart Stones as well as more than 50 mutations, including the new the Parasite mutation type and a number of Plant mutations.

Creatures of the Tropical Wastes: Do you need more monsters and mutations for your post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, or fantasy game? If so, Creatures of the Tropical Wastes contains 50 new creatures, including the mysterious Ahas Folk, the insidious Egret Puppeteer, and the fearsome War Baboy, as well as 30 new mutations, including numerous Plant mutations.

Creatures of the Wastelands-Mutational Evolution: This is a guide to developing a more vibrant post-apocalyptic campaign setting by constructing families of related mutants, and is full of both suggestions and examples of how Game Masters can accomplish this. Contains four different sample families of mutants - including the House Sparrows, Stinging Nettles, Feather Shrubs, and Giant Yellowjackets, as well as more than 100 new creatures within the four families, including the Ruin Dweller house sparrow, a selection of Stinging Nettles for every environment, the martial Green Warrior feather shrub, and some of the most bizarre outcomes of yellowjacket mutational evolution conceivable.

Creatures of the Wastelands-Habitats: Creatures of the Wastelands: Habitats is devoted to some of the possible environments and locations that might exist in a post-apocalyptic campaign setting and how they can be used in role-playing games in general and Goblinoid Games' Mutant Future in particular.

Creatures of the Wastelands-Random Encounters: This free supllement contains 15 random encounter tables designed for use with Mutant Future. These tables incorporate monsters primarily from the Skirmisher Publishing LLC book Creatures of the Wastelands, along with some from Creatures of the Wastelands: Mutational Evolution and a handful from the Mutant Future core rulebook.

Books of the Wastes: Books of the Wastes allows your character to acquire new abilities from pre-war books found in the Wastes. Books included are Alice's Gun Almanac; Better Living HIGH Magazine; "Big" Bill Hutchison's Guide to Business Influence and Success; Chairman Mao's Little Red Revolutionary Handbook; Mr. Fixit's Handy Dandy Advanced User Manual; Mr. Fixit's Handy Dandy Robot Repair Manual; The Laze; U.S. Army Robot Combat Manual; U.S. Army Field Medic Guide; and Little Pathfinder's Wilderness Survival Guide.

The Apocalypse Tech Report: The Apocalypse Tech Report provides additional equipment and new forms of technology - including cybernetics and nanotechnology - for the many worlds of Mutant Future. Included in this supplement are 60 technological artifacts from the pre-apocalypse era - including tools, weapons, gadgets, and armor - along with 10 new robots.

Devastation Drive-In: This 56-page book features 21 creatures from some truly horrific B-films including: Blood Beast, Blood Freak, It's Alive, Octoman, Prophecy, Robot Monster, The Astro-Zombies, Uninvited, The Stuff and The Incredible Melting Man. The download is free and full of info on these films as well as Mutant Future conversions for each monstrosity.
FREE (download in right-hand column)

Spawn of Devastation Drive-In: A follow-up to the earlier Devastation Drive-In, this 109-page book goes back to the B-movie horror pool to fuel your Mutant Future Nightmares again! Creatures from Feast, the Deadly Spawn, Maximum Overdrive, The Eye Creatures, and other gory midnight movies are featured. As before, the download also features info and screenshots from the feature presentations.
FREE (download in right-hand column)

Deviant Database: From the harmless to the harmful, from the weak to the wicked, the Deviant Database collects over 90 monstrous mutants that have inhabited The Savage AfterWorld!

The Metamorphica: The Metamorphica is a system-generic collection of 650 mutations organized in a variety of random mutation tables. If you've wanted more mutations for your Mutant Future campaign -- or for any RPG where mutations are inevitable -- this is a mind-bogglingly useful book.

Mutant Omega: This Mutant Future supplement written by Dyson Logos introduces the in-game concept of "mutation scores," which are bonuses (or penalties) garnered depending on the strength of the mutation. All of MF's mutations are discussed along with how the score might affect them. There are also 20 new mutations listed.

Space-Age Sorcery: More than 100 sci-fi magic spells for your gonzo space fantasy games, as well as post-apocalyptic games where magic has returned. Commune with AI; Animate Machinery; and Barb-Wire Blast are just a few of the futuristic magic spells found in this free supplement.

The Meat Lover's Guide To The Post Apocalypse: So how much meat can you harvest from a slain spider-goat anyway? What's the nutritional value? The Meat Lover's Guide gives the players and the GM of a post-apocalyptic RPG setting a general set of rules for harvesting meat from slain animals and monstrous creatures. This book takes real world information, concepts, and methods of hunting and meat preparation and places it squarely in the Blasted Lands. Now, when your PCs announce they'll harvest the meat from that atomicow, you'll know how much they can get, and whether it will even sustain them while they travel.

Scribe of Orcus: Several issues of this early Goblinoid Games zine contained Mutant Future-related creatures and factions like the Bringers of Light, the Luds, and the Steel Clad.

Wisdom From the Wastelands: Wisdom from the Wastelands is dedicated to providing useful information, game content, and ideas to players of modern, science fiction, and post-apocalyptic table-top and role-playing games in general, and to fans of Goblinoid Games’ Mutant Future RPG in particular.

Wizards, Mutants, Laser Pistols: Although this zine is not specifically geared toward Mutant Future, the gonzo science fantasy vibe from the adventures and creatures within are a perfect match for the RPG.

Fight On!: This glossy magazine of shared RPG fantasy has had many articles and features on new creatures and races for Mutant Future.

Mutant Future t-shirt: Show off your support for everyone's favorite post-apocalyptic RPG with this Goblinoid Games Zazzle exclusive.

Creatures of the Wastelands-The Thrasher Gang: This set of 30mm downloadable miniatures has been designed to be suitable with any post-apocalyptic or science-fiction game in general and Skirmisher Publishing LLC's licensed Mutant Future supplements in particular. These include Creatures of the Wastelands, Creatures of the Wastelands: Random Encounters, Creatures of the Wastelands: Mutational Evolution, and Creatures of the Wastelands: Habitats.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wisdom From The Wastelands 28 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 28 is “Nanotechnology I” and is described as follows: "Nanotechnology has existed since the late 20th century. At first, the tiny machines were used mostly in medicine and genetic manipulation, but technological advances brought wider application. Many of these breakthroughs helped make the Ancients’ lives easier, but others became microscopic dogs of war, let slip to wreak havoc and destruction. The first in our series on nanotechnology, this issue focuses on how the concept might work in your campaign. It introduces the necessary game mechanics and provides a few example nanites to illustrate the technology at play.."

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

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Savage Menagerie: Trawler

No. Enc.: 0 (2d8)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 180' (60')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 5
Attacks: 2 (barbed tongue, bite)
Damage: 1d8/1d10
Save: L3
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: None

The Trawler is a carnivorous fish that lives in large bodies of fresh water, like rivers and lakes. It is a large a large (4-foot-long) silver-scaled fish with a gar-like pointed head and a mouth filled with sharp pointed teeth. The Trawler is also know as a Man-Fisher due to its special barbed tongue that it uses to ensnare and drag victims into the water where it can feed.

A Trawler's tongue is normally retracted in its mouth while underwater. When it senses prey on the shoreline, it launches itself out of the water to a height of around 20 feet. It then uses its large pectoral fins to glide down, slowing its descent while it homes in on the victim. When targeted, the Twarler fires out its tongue to its maximum length of approximately 30 feet. The end of the tongue is barbed, and on a successful hit, the barb will do 1d8 ht points of damage when it imbeds itself in the victim's flesh. The Trawler will then close its "wings", plummeting back into the water while retracting its tongue. Unless a successful save is made versus STR, the victim will be yanked violently into the water where the Trawler (and any others in its school) will attack, biting for 1d10 hit points of damage. The Trawler's tongue is very fibrous, but it can be severed if 15 points of damage is done to it, freeing a victim.

It is not unusual for multiple Trawlers to explode out of the water, "fishing" for multiple targets seen on the shore. Even more dangerous is when multiple Man-Fishers all target the same victim.

Mutations: complete wing development, aberrant form (natural weapon)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dangerous Encounter: And Not A Drop To Drink

This encounter should be placed in an arid, desert location in the middle of The Badlands, miles from any fresh water source. Very little plantlife grows under the harsh unforgiving sun, and few animals call this area home. The PCs may need to cut across this desert to reach another location they're trying to find, or perhaps  they stumble into the area by accident. When it appears all is lost and they're about to run out of water and hope, they should come across a shanty village built in the middle of nowhere -- in fact, the village is named "Nowhere."

This small mining town has a population of 22 humans and mutants who scratch out a living mining for various minerals and ores. When the PCs arrive, the village is glad to share what little food and water they have in exchange for the PCs' help. When the village was first settled, the only water available came from a poisonous spring contaminated with parasites, toxins, and a thousand different contaminants. (Treat as Poison Class 8 if any PC is foolish enough to take a drink.) But the town's founders had brought several Quench with them (MF rules, page 90), which act as a natural water purifier. Since that day, the village has always had a small stockade of 20 Quench near the water supply, which is enough to provide everyone with fresh water.

Quench (20) (AL N, MV 60' (20'), AC 8, HD 2, #AT 1 (bite or claw), DM 1d2/1d4, SV L1, ML 4, mutations: none)

However, during the night 2 days ago, something made off with the village's Quench herd. Although the tracks leading from the pens appear animal-like in nature, there doesn't seem to be any blood or fur in the corral, meaning the thieves took the Quench herd alive. The remaining water supply is about to run dry unless the PCs can help. (Without water, the trek out of the desert is a death sentence anyway.) The miners can point out the direction that the tracks lead which seems to be straight into the flat, featureless Badlands. They can also provide one canteen of fresh water for the PCs to share on their journey.

If anyone has any tracking skills or ability to investigate the trail, the tracks seem to be made by several canine-like creatures. There are also a set of wheel tracks, perhaps from a cart or wagon that was pulled by the thieves. As they trudge deeper into the desert, unless they are on full alert, the PCs will be surprised by an attack from a hidden nest of Giant Scorpions near the edge of the trail (MF rules, page 93). Each Giant Scorpion has enough poison in their stingers for one venom attack. Anyone stung will die unless a save versus poison is made A successful save means the victim only takes 1d6 hit points of damage from the Class 12 poison.

Giant Scorpions (4) (AL C, MV 150' (50'), AC 2, HD 4, #AT 3 (2 claws/sting), DM 1d10/1d10/1d4/poison, SV L2, ML 11, mutations: gigantism, toxic weapon)

Shortly past the Giant Scorpion nest, the PCs will discover that the trail winds into a large gully in the desert floor. This crevasse in the earth is impossible to see from a distance and explains how the thieves can remain hidden from sight in spite of no apparent cover above ground. Cautiously following the trail into the small valley reveals an encampment of Encephalized Coyotes who have been living here. (MF rules, page 68)

Encephalized Coyotes (9) (AL C, MV 150' (50'), AC 6, HD 3, #AT 1 (bite or weapon), DM 1d6 or weapon, SV L3, ML 9, mutations: aberrant form, teleport)

The Encephalized Coyotes have just recently arrived in the area and have been spying on Nowhere. They had initially planned to attack the village, but realized the villagers easily had them outnumbered. They then came up with their plan to weaken the village by removing their source of fresh water. They could have simply slaughtered the Quench (which are now being kept in a corral in the Encephalized Coyotes' encampment), but they see the use these creatures have in purifying their own water source. They decided to keep them alive for now while they wait for the village to whither from thirst.

The PCs will need to deal with the Encephalized Coyotes without allowing the Quench to come to harm. (At least a dozen Quench are needed to keep Nowhere properly hydrated.) The Coyotes are all armed with Bygone Gauss Pistols (2d6 damage) they scavenged from a Bygone army bunker years ago, plus their ability to teleport makes them a "wily" foe. If the PCs are able to deal with the Coyotes, they will discover 450 gp the Coyotes had horded. They can also take the Gauss Pistols for their own. Using the same cart the Coyotes used, the PCs can then return the Quench to the village of Nowhere. The villagers will thank the PCs and will reward them with a satchel of iron and lead ores that will be worth 1,200 gp to nearly any trader they later encounter. The miners will also give each PC a Quench of his very own to use as a makeshift "waterskin" for their trip out of the desert as well as for future travels.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

"Merlin? He Was A Punk." -- Help Support MAJUS, Pacesetter's New Magic-Noir RPG!

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Mutant Future chicanery for a little bit of Goblinoid Games/Pacesetter cross-promotion:

As regular readers of this blog are no doubt aware, I'm a huge, long-time fan of the Pacesetter Action Table system. I ran many games of  Timemaster and Chill at length back in the day. I own many if not most of the original materials for both games. I currently run games of both at conventions and on forums. So it is with no small degree of interest that I'm watching the Kickstarter for the new Pacestter RPG "MAJUS" written by Mike Curtis and being produced by Dan Proctor. With only two weeks left and another $1,400 to go for funding, I thought I'd use this time to talk up the system, the setting, and the game itself.

First up, the setting: MAJUS is described as a "magic noir" game where powerful modern-age sorcerers wield arcane magicks for their own purposes. Since the dawn of time, various factions have been vying for power in a battle known as the Mehen, and each has its own goals and drives: immortality, ultimate knowledge, power over reality, domination over mankind. It is into this global conflict that the players are thrust. Those who have played WW's Mage, read the exploits of Harry Dresden, or can imagine magic playing a role in a classic film noir have a good idea of the "feel" of MAJUS. Mike Curtis has several good explanatory posts of the setting and system over at his blog here, here, and here.

Secondly, the system: MAJUS is a Pacesetter Action Table system, meaning that everything is based off of and run using a single table. The system itself is incredibly simple to use and quite intuitive once you get the hang of it. For basic checks, using d%, roll under your skill, ability, or target number to succeed. For specific checks, using d%, roll under your skill, ability, or target modifier,  then take the difference between the two to determine HOW WELL you succeeded. The larger the difference, the better you did. take that difference,  cross-reference on the Action Table with the defense number to determine your success level. That's all there is to it, and all checks (skills, abilities, combat, saves, etc.) are determined the exact same way.

Since MAJUS is a Pacesetter game, it is completely cross-compatible with all other Pacesetter games as they all use the same table-based system. So...
  • CHILL - Imagine a team of well-trained sorcerers up against the Unknown, or picture the SAVE Envoys tying to defeat a powerful wizard with necromatic magicks!
  • TIMEMASTER - Time Corps cadets could be sent to a parallel Earth where magic is commonplace and everyone can cast spells. What if the Damoreans learned to harness magic-casting abilities? Or maybe "Merlin" encountered in medieval Europe really *IS* a wizard!
  • STAR ACE - There could be a planet where the dominant race can tap into the forces of nature itself, or perhaps the Empire and Alliance are each working on expanding their own abilities to alter the forces of physics using their minds. (The Force, anyone?)
  • ROTWORLD - In this newest Pacesetter game, what if the zombie uprising was caused by a powerful necromancer? What if zombies were only affected by otherworldly magics, so only a powerful team of wizards have any chance of stopping them?
As you can see, MAJUS is not just a fascinating setting all  its own, it can be blended with any number of other Pacesetter games to create a setting all your own.

I think I've blathered on enough about MAJUS. As far as the Kickstarter is concerned, get this: THE GAME IS ALREADY WRITTEN. Yup, unlike other Kickstarters I could name, MAJUS is finished and the funds raised will be going for the art and publication of the game. In fact, any backer who pledges $7 or more gets a link to the working draft RPG document so they can review it and begin playing immediately! I find this "pledge-and-play" offer to be an insanely great idea as everyone can be assured that they won't be left wondering about the status of the game. It's done now, folks. And by pledging any amount, you get to download the game right now. Awesome-sauce.

As mentioned, MAJUS is at two weeks left in the fundraising, and there is about $1,400 left to go. If you want to play a trenchcoat-wearing wizard trying to fit into The Big Picture, or if you'd like to introduce The Art into one of your other preferred Pacesetter games, I suggest you hop on over to the MAJUS Kickstarter and make a pledge.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Dangerous Encounter: Rainbows And Unicorns

While enjoying some downtime in one of the post-apocalyptic villages that dot the Wastelands, the PCs should encounter a small child with a battered Bygone children's book clutched tightly to her chest. "There's a magic horsie at Tumblerock Falls! I saw him!" she exclaims. "Just like the ones in my picture book!"

Anyone who shows the slightest bit of interest will have the girl climb into their lap. She babbles on about the horse's beautiful white coat, flowing mane and tail, and long ivory horn. She flips through the yellowed, brittle pages of her book (any PC who can read Bygone languages sees that the book is titled "My Big Book Of Fairytales") until she eventually finds a sketch of a classic fantasy unicorn standing under a rainbow at the foot of a waterfall.

"That's him!" she says. "My big sister didn't believe me either, so I showed her. She walked up and patted him on the head, and then she fell down, fast asleep! I wanted to wake her up, but the horsie got in my way and wouldn't let me get near. Can you help me wake her up?"

Hopefully, the PCs will be curious enough about the mysterious unicorn to investigate. The girl can easily lead the PCs to the foot of the Tumblerock Falls. Even from a distance, it's easy to see the majestic horned horse just as the girl described. On the bank of the stream, they'll see the unconscious form of the girl's sister. (The Mutant Lord is encouraged to play up the fantastic sighting of a fairytale creature like this in the post-apocalyptic world. The shimmering rainbow, the forested glade, the unicorn's mane fluttering in the waterfall's misty breeze -- throw every cliche you can think of into this encounter.)

The "unicorn" is actually a dangerous flesh-eating Zunicorn (MF rulebook, page 104). The white Zunicorn is actually an albino, which gives it its lustrous white coat and hides its true nature. This particular Zunicorn's horn secretes a Class 9 poison which causes sleep in its victims. When the girl's sister reached out to touch the creature, it quickly stabbed her hand, causing her to fall unconscious.

Albino Zunicorn (1) (AL C, MV 240' (80'), AC 2, HD 6, #AT 3 (2 hooves, horn, and poison), DM 1d8/1d8/1d8/poison, SV L8, ML 8, mutations: damage turning, toxic weapon (sleep), albinism)

The albino Zunicorn is waiting for its four herdmates to return so they can all feed on the unconscious girl. The other Zunicorns have the usual black and silver stripes found on the animals, and their horns inject a Class 7 poison that will do 7d6 hit points of damage (save for half-damage). The remaining animals in the herd will be arriving within minutes, so the PCs will have to act fast!

Zunicorns (4) (AL C, MV 240' (80'), AC 2, HD 6, #AT 3 (2 hooves, horn, and poison), DM 1d8/1d8/1d8/poison, SV L8, ML 8, mutations: damage turning, toxic weapon)

If the PCs are able to defeat the vicious horned animals and rescue the unconscious girl, the parents of the two girls are very grateful to them for their heroism. The father is a medic, and he will reward the party with a makeshift First Aid Kit that contains the following: 2 doses of Antitox, a can of both Medi-Spray I (4 doses) and Medi-Spray II (2 doses), and a Rad-Purge shot. He will also gladly heal any injuries the PCs may have suffered and offers free medical services to them any time they're in the area.