Friday, July 12, 2013

Apocalyptic Stormfront Mega-table -- NOW WITH SHARKNADOES!

NOTE: I created the original Apocalyptic Stormfront Mega-table more than 3 years ago. Over that time, it has served me well. But I never knew something was missing...until last night. Last night's premiere of Sharknado revealed the missing piece of the puzzle. I HAD to update this classic table to include this ever-so-frightening weather phenomenon. (See Entry 99-00.)
During the final days of the End of the World, the catastrophic explosions that destroyed the lands ejected a host of materials into the atmosphere. Over time, these orbiting materials have combined with each other and with the clouds to create a number of unusual stormfronts that may be encountered in the Mutant Future. If the Mutant Lord wants to give the players a bit of an environmental challenge, they should roll 1d100 and refer to the following chart:

1-2. Abrasion Storm – Coarse sand and grit are carried on gale-force winds, acting as airborne sandpaper. Clothing will be shredded, paint removed from vehicles and buildings, and armor could be eroded down an armor class level. Blindness could occur in unprotected eyes. Minor injuries (1d4 hit points) are possible.

3-4. Acid Storm – Pollution and ash have mixed with the moisture in the clouds to create a corrosive liquid that rains upon the lands. Roll 1d6 for acidity level with 1 = slight irritant (lemon juice) to 6 = dangerously corrosive (battery acid).

5-6. Amnesia Storm – Unexplained shifts in the planet’s magnetic fields create a memory-wiping effect on intelligent creatures. PCs and NPCs may not remember who they are, what they are, or what they can do. This effect may or may not affect artificial intelligence (i.e., robots, androids, and the like). The amnesia wears off after the storm passes.

7-8. Antigrav Storm – The gravitational field in the area drops to one-fourth of its normal level. Everything weighs one-fourth of its current weight. PCs can leap four times farther and higher than normal. Travel is faster since everything is lighter. (But watch out when the gravity returns!)

9-10. Ash Storm – Volcanic ash and cinders that have drifted in the atmosphere for years finally begins to fall, covering the area with dirty soot to a depth of 1d4 inches. It’s comparatively harmless, though it may play havoc with fragile technology.

11-12. Blood Storm – Microscopic rusting iron particles have combined with the moisture in the air to create a thick red rain that smells of iron. Exposed/untreated metal items exposed to a blood storm will rust at an accelerated rate.

13-14. Bone Storm – During the Ancient Wars, a major population center was bombed into oblivion. Those victims who weren’t vaporized had their skeletal remains thrown into the lower atmosphere. Eventually, those bits and pieces will come falling down. More disturbing than dangerous.

15-16. Boulder Storm – Large rocks ranging from 1 to 10 feet across start crashing down throughout the area, dealing 1d6 to 10d6 hit points of damage depending on size) if they strike. This may initially be mistaken for a series of meteorites, but it’s actually the remnants of a long-ago-blasted mountain chain.

17-18. Chill Storm – A driving rainstorm where the water is just above the point of freezing is encountered. Exposure to a chill storm will deal 1d4 hit points of damage per round to plant-based characters and may give other mutants a bad cold/flu.

19-20. Concrete Storm – The miscellaneous gritty mineral flotsam in the atmosphere combines with water to create actual concrete. This pasty material will begin splattering down, covering everything. If allowed to harden, it will be as hard as stone. Huts could collapse under the weight. Villagers could find themselves sealed in and trapped within their shelters.

21-22. Critter Storm – A small tornado or waterspout picks up creatures from one area and drops them elsewhere when the funnel cloud dissipates. A large quantity of frogs, locusts, fish, or other small animals will begin falling upon the PCs. It could be interesting for the PCs if scorpions, poisonous spiders, or rot grubs began to fall on them.

23-24. Dark Storm – A massive cloud of ash and debris blocks out all natural light, throwing the area into absolute darkness. No sunlight, moonlight, or starlight will be visible. Nocturnal and light-sensitive creatures will come out to hunt. Due to the size of the cloud (from horizon to horizon), the darkness could last for weeks.

25-26. Dead Storm – Bizarre radiation waves cause the dead to reanimate. After a strange red glow of light blankets the area, the PCs will encounter 3d10 of the Walking Dead clawing their way out of the ground. (See MF rulebook, page 101.) Treat as a one-time encounter rather than an on-going stormfront.

27-28. Deafness Storm – Changes in air pressure cause sound waves to increase in frequency and pitch, rendering them undetectable by those with “normal” hearing. However, those with special hearing (i.e., many animals or mutants with increased hearing) will be able to hear normally. All others will be effectively deaf until the storm passes.

29-30. Deluge Storm – Huge raindrops begin to fall, as if the area was being pelted with water balloons. Because an incredible amount of water is falling in a short period of time, dangerous flash flooding and river swells are assured. PCs could be swept away by a sudden wave of water appearing out of nowhere.

31-32. Disease Storm – Biological warfare agents have mixed with the natural rainwater creating a virus-laden “soup” that coats everything. Characters who exposed for a lengthy period have a 65% chance of contracting the Superflu. (See MF rulebook, page 48.)

33-34. Fire Storm – Bits of phosphorus debris have somehow remained inactive and dormant until they start falling onto the area, flaring up at more than 250 degrees and burning through anything they land on. PCs will take 2d6 hit points of damage per round of exposure.

35-36. Funnel Storm – A series of tornadoes sweeps through the area, destroying buildings, uprooting trees, and hurling massive items through the air. PCs caught in the open may be crushed by debris or, worse, whisked a half-mile up into the air, then dropped.

37-38. Fusion Storm – Named for the effect it has on biological tissue, a fusion storm fuses two creatures into one being. When this storm passes through, any creatures in contact with each other will find themselves melded and fused together. For example, a man on a horse warps into a centaur-like creature, or two humans warp into a two-headed, four armed mutant. Allow PCs to save versus energy attacks to avoid this fate.

39-40. Glue Storm – Chemicals in the atmosphere have combined into a thick mucilage. When it rains down, this sticky green goo will act as a powerful adhesive. If allowed to dry, this glue will bond almost any two surfaces. (It does not bond to glass, oddly enough.) Acid or fire will dissolve the glue’s bond. When bottled, it may fetch a good price with a trader.

41-42. Hook Storm – A violent windstorm with barbed bits of metal and wire whips through the region, ripping and shredding through anything softer than AC7. Exposed characters will suffer 1d4 per round of exposure, plus they may need to see a medic to have any remaining barbed materials removed from their skin and flesh.

43-44. Infrared Storm – Sunlight refraction through airborne materials causes the infrared light spectrum to become visible. Everything with any degree of warmth has a reddish-orange glow to it. This effect is barely noticeable during the day. But at night, treat everyone as having the mutation of thermal vision.

45-46. Junk Storm – The remnants of a research satellite or orbiting science platform begins crashing to the surface. Once the hazard of falling refuse has ended, allow the PCs the chance to scavenge the debris field. (45% chance of finding 1d4 working gizmos, MF rulebook, page 109).

47-48. Light Storm – A massive cloud of light-reflecting chaff unnaturally bends sunlight so that it’s as bright as noon on a 24-hour cycle even when the sun’s on the other side of the planet. Creatures with light sensitivity will be in agony as the brightness runs around the clock. Due to the size of the cloud (from horizon to horizon), the light could last for weeks.

49-50. Lightning Storm – No precipitation, but bolts of lightning strike the area regularly during the storm. The chance of a PC being struck is only 5% (10% if a robotic character or in metallic armor). Being hit by lightning will do 4d10 hit points of damage (save versus energy attack for half damage).

51-52. Magnetic Storm – Somehow, the clouds are emitting a low-level electromagnetic pulse. During the storm, any Ancient electronic technology will malfunction and/or be inactive. Robotic PCs will deactivate but will not suffer damage. Once the storm passes, all tech works as normal.

53-54. Micro Storm – Microwave radiation bathes the region. Roll 1d6 for danger level with 1 = no effect, slight warming sensation on the skin to 6 = dangerously high, third-degree burns occur instantaneously.

55-56. Mind Storm – A strange wave of mental energy descends on the area granting all intelligent creatures within the storm the mental mutation of metaconcert. All creatures are mentally linked, thoughts are shared, and secrets are laid bare. Fortunately the storm only lasts for 1d4 hours at most.

57-58. Mold Storm – Mold spores coat everything in a blanket of grey dust. Within hours, this mold will have rooted and grown to the point where everything appears covered in grey fuzz. Foods will be spoiled, and plant-based creatures will suffer 1d4 per turn unless treated with a fungicide. There is a 10% chance that the mold storm will drop yellow mold spores. (See MF rulebook, page 103.)

59-60. Mutie Storm – A blast of energy explodes overhead, changing and warping the DNA structure of all exposed mutants. Have PCs completely reroll their mutations (See MF rulebook, page 21). A mutie storm has no effect on Pure Humans or characters without mutations.

61-62. Nuke Storm – Radioactive fallout from the Ancient Wars begins to drift down. Mutant Lords should roll on the Radiation Class Table (see MF rulebook, page 51) to determine the level of radiation exposure and its lethality.

63-64. Oil Storm – A viscous, petroleum-based liquid covers everything in a thin, slippery coating. This oil makes everything hard to hold onto, and surfaces are treacherous to walk on. Land vehicles are impossible to drive without careening into obstacles. Have PCs constantly roll DEX checks to keep from slipping and falling.

65-66. Parasite Storm – Although this appears to be a standard rainfall, the water contains millions of deadly, dangerous living organisms. These parasites will invade a host organism where they will begin to feed and grow. It is left to the Mutant Lord as to the nature of the parasites, the effect they have on PCs, and the way to deal with and/or cure them.

67-68. Pheromone Storm – Naturally occurring pheromones are carried in on the winds, playing havoc with the emotions and sex drives of those exposed. Depending on sexual preferences, intelligent creatures will find each other undeniably attractive. Long-time enemies may hook up and/or find one another completely trustworthy. (Steer clear of the clichéd “Everybody humps each other” scenario.) The effect wears off within 24-48 hours.

69-70. Poison Storm – The toxins that fall are poisonous to all living creatures. Mutant Lords should roll on the Poison Class Table (see MF rulebook, page 50) to determine the kind and level of the poison and its lethality.

71-72. Razor Storm – Metallic and glass shards in orbit from satellites and missiles destroyed long ago starts to rain down. These razor-sharp pieces will slice like a knife through anything exposed. Fortunately, they will not penetrate anything over AC6, but anything less will be cut to ribbons (1d6 hit points of damage per round of exposure).

73-74. Shatter Storm – A wave of pure sonic force explodes overhead. This concussive blast causes anything brittle to shatter into fragments. Fragile technology could be rendered useless. Small animals could be injured, and plants could be harmed. PCs should roll a save versus stun attacks or become stunned for 2d10 turns due to the sudden blast of force.

75-76. Sleep Storm – A cloud of anesthetic gas washes over everything. All air-breathing creatures will be rendered unconscious. Any PC exposed to the gas should save versus CON or drop into a deep sleep for 3d10 turns.

77-78. Slime Storm – This thick gooey material splatters down, coating the area in a slimy mess. This is actually a harmless slime mold – disgusting and worrisome, but harmless. However, there is a 5% chance that the slime storm is actually dropping small green slime creatures. (See MF rulebook, page 74.)

79-80. Smoke Storm – A suffocatingly dense cloud of black smoke moves through the area. Breathing is difficult while in the acrid smoke, but it’s not dangerous (unless the Mutant Lord wishes it to be). Eyes and lungs will burn. Sight is cut to a distance of 3-5 feet at best and visual mutations like thermal vision are rendered useless.

81-82. Smother Storm – The barometric pressure wildly fluxuates, increasing to a crushing level. Until the storm passes, breathing is labored as everyone feels the weight of the air compressing upon them. Physical effort is difficult at best. Characters may find themselves temporarily deaf. Flight is impossible for airborne creatures.

83-84. Sonic Storm – An ear-piercing shriek of sound splits the air. Those with uncovered or unprotected ears will suffer 1d4 hit points of damage due to the agonizing pain due to the noise. Any creatures who possess echolocation or other sonic/hearing based mutations will suffer an additional 1d4 points of damage per round until they take cover.

85-86. Splinter Storm – Similar to a hook storm, a violent windstorm with wooden splinters and shards whips through the region. These toothpick-sized wooden barbs will puncture exposed skin for 1d2 points of damage. Characters should be able to remove any remaining splinters from their skin by themselves.

87-88. Spore/Germination Storm – A super-fertilized rain sweeps down, watering all of the plantlife with a strange quick-grow formula. All plants in the area will double and triple in size within an hour. Vines entangle everything; trees grow to monstrous heights; and grass and weeds grow to several feet. Plant-based PCs be allowed to roll for one new plant-based mutation. (See MF rulebook, page 22.)

89-90. Static Storm – A low-level static electric charge fills the air. Hair stands on end and teeth are set on edge. Contact with ungrounded objects will cause a painful static discharge to occur. Items may cling to one another. Computers and sensitive electronic equipment won’t work and may become damaged.

91-92. Steam Storm – Similar to a chill storm, this is a driving rainstorm where the water is just below the point of boiling. A thick hot fog covers the area, making it almost tropical in nature. Plant-based characters will actually thrive in this weather (have them heal twice as fast) but other mutants will find the moisture and heat unbearable.

93-94. Stench Storm – A wave of the most foul, fetid, retched odor imaginable washed through the region. One whiff of this disgusting aroma will cause uncontrollable retching in anyone who smells it. PCs should have to save versus death (yes, death) to keep their cookies down. Failure means they throw up uncontrollably for 2d10 rounds.

95-96. Thunder Storm – Huge crashes of thunder rumble through the area while threatening black clouds gather overhead. No rain, wind, or lightning is encountered – just ominous thunder echoing everywhere. And that’s it. Just a lot of noise. Nothing to fear. Really.

97-98. Vertigo Storm – A sudden shift in the planet’s magnetic field plays havoc with the sense of balance of all intelligent creatures. Everyone should feel as if they were drunk while wearing the wrong eyeglasses. A creature’s innate sense of perspectives is thrown out of kilter, and the world seems to spin. PCs should have to save versus DEX to do anything more complex than standing up.

99-100. SHARKNADO – An oceanic waterspout has scooped up dozens of man-eating sharks, which are now being hurled through the atmosphere. As the storm passes, these eating machines are dropped from the sky onto the area. They can be encountered in lakes, ponds, streams, flooded streets, anyplace where there's an abundance of water. Also, the sharks could pop out of Bygone sewer systems, swimming pools, or they could even just fall upon its prey from above. PCs will encounter 1d6 sharks during the storm before the threat passes. Shark (AL N, MV 180' (60'), AC 4, HD 8, #AT 1 (bite), DM 1d6/2d6, SV L4, ML 7, mutations: none)