Thursday, February 28, 2013

[Korgothursday] Savage Menagerie: Tyrannosaurus Max

NOTE: Sorry for the delay in getting this posted. I was without Internet service until late Thursday evening. So, how about a dinosaur that creates the very primitive lands it resides in?

No. Enc.: 1
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 3
Hit Dice: 20
Attacks: 1 (bite)
Damage: 6d6
Save: L10
Morale: 11
Hoard Class: None

In the world of Korgoth of Barbaria, there is a forgotten primitive land where dinosaurs once again roam and savage Neanderthals attack the weak and feeble. Towering above all other creatures in this prehistoric wilderness is the monstrous Tyrannosaurus Max (or T-Max for short). The T-Max is a gigantic creature that initially looks like the Tyrannosaurus Rex of prehistoric legend. The prehistoric monster is nearly 30 feet tall and walks upright on its powerful hind legs. Its powerful bite does 8d8 hit points of damage and is able to cleave a victim in half.

Where the T-Max differs from its predecessor in that it's the CAUSE of the savage lands in which it resides. The T-Max has the mutation of ancestral form, which it subconsciously uses to devolve the various creatures and plantlife it encounters. On a successful mental attack, the T-Max will permanently remove one mutation from a victim. It has a 10% chance of regressing a creature down the evolutionary chain to a previous stage of its development, for example, humans and humanoids become one of the brainless Neanderthals residing there, etc. Encountering a T-Max could very well lead a character becoming yet another primitive in the savage lands...

Mutations: gigantism, ancestral form

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! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sniderman's Gary Con 2013 Schedule (In Pictorial Form)

Gary Con 2013 is two weeks away, and I'm getting pretty darned excited. This con has become my MUSTGONOWNOW convention of the season. I'm wrapping up the finishing touches on the games I'm running, and looking forward to the games I'm playing in. What will I be doing in 14 days? Well...




(Actually, Jim Ward's game is "Dark Colony," but there's no picture for that work-in-progress.)


Monday, February 25, 2013

Ancient Armory: Uncle Melvin's Home Atomic Energy Set

  • Want to learn more about harnessing the destructive power of the atom?
  • Want to prospect for radioactive isotopes in your own backyard?
  • Want to split the atom or create fissionable material?

One of the more ill-advised toys of the Bygone Days, “Uncle Melvin's Home Atomic Energy Set” was a science experiment kit marketed toward children. With the goal of teaching kids about nuclear energy through hands-on experimentation, the Atomic Energy Set came with the following materials and tools:
  • Small samples (5-10 grams) of very low grade uranium, plutonium, and radium ore
  • A spinthariscope (allows the viewing of nuclear material decay)
  • A cloud chamber (detects ionizing radiation)
  • An electroscope (detects the presence and magnitude of an electrical charge)
  • A Geiger counter (detects radioactive material)
  • And a thick volume of experiments a child can perform
The devices within the kit are flimsy children's toys at best, never designed for serious experimentation or longevity over the years. However, clever mutants may be able to salvage something from the devices. For example, the Geiger counter works well enough, though it only has a range of 25 feet at most. The spinthariscope runs on one Power Cell that could be salvaged. The electroscope's polarity could be reversed, converting it into a Shock Grenade or Stun Pistol. The ML is encouraged to reward the creativity of the players if they decide to start fiddling around with the contents of the box.

Also, at the time of release, the radioactive materials in the Atomic Energy Set were fairly benign, producing very little radioactivity -- just enough to be barely detectable. However, over the centuries and through constant exposure to the Mutant Future's constant low-level background radiation, these samples may have become "hot," producing a dangerous amount of energy. There is a 30% chance that one of the samples has become unstable, producing radioactivity of Class 1d6 (roll randomly and refer to the Radiation Class Table in the MF rulebook, page 51).

NOTE: Today's post is loosely based on the "Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Laboratory," a real toy available in the '50s!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

[Korgothursday] Savage Menagerie: Hookleech

No. Enc.: 0 (2d4)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 10' (3')
Armor Class: 9
Hit Dice: 1 hit point
Attacks: Special
Damage: Special
Save: L1
Morale: None
Hoard Class: None

The Hookleech is a parasitic worm found in large bodies of stagnant, filthy water. They feed by latching onto a victim with their powerful jaws which are lined with barbed hooks (giving the creature its name). Their mouths secret a powerful anesthetic saliva, which numbs the skin during this initial attack, so a victim may not even notice when one has bitten them. Once attached, the Hookleech will slowly drink the victim's blood, doing 1d6 hit points of damage during the initial attack and draining them for 1d6 additional points every 4 hours thereafter. If a PC does not notice the initial "latching on," this hit point drain should be recorded in secret by the Mutant Lord. A Hookleech will detach itself once it's consumed 15 hit points worth of blood.

Removing a Hookleech is a challenge as fire, acid, and other attacks may kill the creature, but it will still stay firmly attached even upon death. If a Hookleech is "torn off," the tearing will do 1d6 points of damage to the victim as the hooks tear their flesh. Plus, if the creature is torn from the face, neck, bare arms, or other exposed part of the body, the horrible, unhealing scar that results will also cause the victim's Charisma score to permanently drop by 1 point. Other than letting it fall off naturally, the only other way to remove the Hookleech is through an arcane salve know to only a handful of healers across the lands.

Mutations: none

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, February 19, 2013

Wizards, Mutants, Laser Pistols Issue 4 Now Out!

It's back and ready to once again melt your face clean offa your skull! The newest issue of Wizards, Mutants, Laser Pistols is now out and ready to melt your brain with more gonzo fantasy RPG ideas. Here's the Table of Contents for Issue 4:

  • Editorial
  • Monstrous Addendum
  • the City-State of Tal 'Azure
  • Beneath the Ruins: Level 4
  • LL Character Class: The Vestigier
  • Objets d'Occult
  • The Lord of the Things

And take a look at this issue's cover! It's a THING! Riding another THING! While, from above, there stares a third THING! I don't know what's happening, but I'm buying an issue to find out! An issue is $3.75 shipped in the U.S. and $6.00 shipped elsewhere worldwide. You can order an issue by visiting the WMLP site. (And pick up Issues 1 through 3 while you're there. tell 'em Sniderman sent ya!)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wisdom From The Wastelands 25 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 25 is “Metamorphosis I” and is described as follows: "In poetry, the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly describes how something ugly becomes uniquely beautiful. But in nature, metamorphosis is common as living things change forms over their life cycles. And this change is not just traditional fairy tale beauty: maggots become flies, tadpoles become frogs, and chest-bursters become alien warriors. The eight creature sets in this issue show how very dissimilar creatures can be the same species, just young or mature forms. Each entry uses either the animate seeds plant mutation; a new version for animals called larval form; or the idea of forced metamorphosis. The last is a version of the mutation modifier environmental dependence, one that permanently changes one creature into another when the original is exposed to certain stimuli. Some of the creature entries also use several new mutations, and these are included at the end of the issue."

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

P.S. I'd really like to see a POD compilation of these first 25 issues for use as a Mutant Future "alternative rules" supplement!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

[Korgothursday] Savage Menagerie: Repulsive Shugorthur

No. Enc.: 1 (1d3)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 10
Attacks: 4 or 1 (2 bites, 2 claws or gore)
Damage: 2d8/2d8/2d6/2d6 or 3d10
Save: L5
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: None

Assumed to be a horribly mutated offshoot of the Hideous Boar (ML Rulebook, page 63), the Repulsive Shugorthur is a monstrous pig-like beast. It stands 7 feet tall at the shoulder and has three eyes in the center of its face, right under its second mouth set in the center of its forehead. The Shugorthur has a pair of sharp black horns on top of its head and two rows of horns that run down its back. It has an additional eye set in the tip of its tail, and its bottom mouth constantly seeps with a foul-smelling acidic saliva.

The Shugorthur attacks by biting with its two mouths for 2d8 hit points each. It can also rear up and slash with its sharp front claws for 2d6 hit points each. If it wishes, it can instead attack by charging a target and goring it with its horns for 3d10 hit points of damage. With its three eyes on its face and the additional one on its tail, the Shugorthur has 360-degree vision, allowing it to see in all directions at once. When awake, it is impossible to surprise or sneak up on the beast. And, like a Hideous Boar, the Repulsive Shugorthur's saliva does 2d10 acidic damage to anything it comes into contact with.

Mutations: 360-degree vision, toxic weapon

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! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fight On! To Cease Publication

Very sad news from the OSR 'zine front. Fight On! magazine's next issue will be its last. After 14 issues of old-school RPG goodness, editor Ignatius Umlaut (AKA Calithena AKA Sean) will be closing up the shop.

I'm very sorry to see the magazine shut down as I feel it was one of the best RPG magazines available. There was always a ton of usable content covering a crazy-wide variety of genres and systems. Because the content was contributor-supplied, it had a different "voice" than other publications. Reading any issue was like sitting around the gaming table as one of my players discussed some new monster or dungeon or rule he had envisioned. Reading an issue of Fight On! is like reading an early issue of Dragon magazine. I discovered the magazine years ago and, after reading a few back issues, jumped back into gaming. You could say that Fight On! helped kickstart this blog.

I supported Fight On! by supplying Mutant Future material for the magazine. Off the top of my head, I recall the Insectaurs, Masterminds, Geologians, and Time-Displaced making an appearance in the magazine. My vehicle-scrounging table and apocalyptic stormfront mega-table both ran in those pages. Many mutants and monsters slithered from here to there. I even resurrected a comic strip I used to draw for a couple of other gaming publications just for Fight On! I was my pleasure to support the mag.

Anyway, it's sad to see this happen, but I wish Cal well. And thanks for the great run!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dangerous Encounter: Hey! You Dropped This...

This encounter works best when the PCs are travelling on a well-traveled pathway, perhaps a Bygone road or highway. In the distance, they'll see a figure in the sky, flying right toward them. As it gets closer, the figure will begin firing an antique pistol at them, missing handily (although the ML should pretend to roll to hit). The winged humanoid will pass far overhead, out of range and reach of the characters. Their attacker is an Accipitoid, a winged hawk-like humanoid (MF rulebook, page 59).

Accipitoid (1) (AL N, MV 120' (40'), Fly 180' (60'),  AC 5, HD 5, #AT 3 (2 claws, bite), DM 1d6/1d6/1d10, SV L5, ML 10, mutations: complete wing development, increased sense (sight))

The Acciptoid is deliberately trying to goad the PCs into defending themselves and returning his attack, although he tries to remain safely out of range. His gun is actually a child's toy that fires noisy, but harmless caps. When he is certain he has their attention, he will fly off as if retreating. The PCs will see him fumble with his "gun," then it will fall from his hands, landing several hundred yards off the road. The Acciptoid will watch it fall, glance at the PCs, then fly off into the distance. To the PCs, it should appear that their attacker fumbled and dropped his weapon. Greedy PCs may race out to recover the weapon, which is the Acciptoid's plan all along.

The Acciptoid has "dropped" his weapon within a few feet of a hidden Giant Land Squid (MF rulebook, page 79). The Squid has buried itself just under the surface, and it is laying in wait for its next dinner. When the PCs get within 15 feet, its tentacles will explode from the ground, grasping and reaching for its meal. The soil will cave in, creating a funnel-like opening leading to its mouth.

Giant Land Squid (1) (AL C, MV 180' (60'), Burrow 90' (30'),  AC 7, HD 15, #AT 9 (8 tentacles, bite), DM small tentacles 1d6 swat, 1d10 crush/large tentacles 1d8 swat, 2d10 crush/bite 3d6 + poison, SV L4, ML 9, mutations: toxic weapon)

The Giant Land Squid will try to grab and pull any within reach to its jaws. If a character is bitten, they should save versus Class 11 poison. Failure means the poisonous bite has paralyzed the PC for 2d6 rounds. The Squid will then drag the PC to his doom. If the PCs are victorious, they will discover 37 silver pieces, 16 gold pieces, and a full set of Plastex body armor (AC 3) in its stomach from a previous victim that the Squid has not yet regurgitated. (They'll also find the child's toy dropped by the Acciptoid nearby.)

If the PCs decide to hang around, the Acciptoid will return in a few days. He knows the Squid usually throws up any undigested valuables and artifacts and, if its hunger is sated, it's safe to land and loot any cast-off items. The Acciptoid has been playing out this scenario for several months and has amassed an impressive collection of artifacts.What the PCs do to him if he's caught is left as an exercise for the ML.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

[Korgothursday] Notorious NPC: Gog-Magog, Baron of Thieves

6th Level Pure Human
STR: 9 --- INT: 19
DEX: 13 --- WIL: 17
CON: 14 --- CHA: 7
HPs: 60 --- AC: 7
Mutations: none

The self-proclaimed "Baron of Thieves," Gog-Magog is a hedonistic collector of Bygone artifacts from "The Fourth Age." Gog-Magog is around 4 feet tall, overweight, and bald (with the exception of a small soul-patch beard and stringy ponytail). He wears a small loincloth and sheer golden robes that leave little to the imagination. As a collector of rare jewelry and trinkets, he usually sports several necklaces and rings, as well as a pair of golden earrings. Gog-Magog is not afraid to flaunt his ill-acquired wealth.

Although he is not very strong or agile, he has a near-encyclopedic knowledge of the human body, which allows him to deliver more damage when fighting in combat. Gog-Magog gets a +2 damage bonus when fighting hand-to-hand. His genius-level intelligence and study of Bygone artifacts gives him a +20% Technology Roll modifier when inspecting trinkets from the past.

From his hidden cavern lair, Gog-Magog commands a small army of mercenaries, bandits, and lackies to carry out his nefarious schemes. Gog-Magog is involved in all manner of immoral and illegal activities: theft, human trafficking, smuggling, extortion, etc. If there's a profit to be made, the Baron of Thieves has his hand in it -- unless he's running it outright. Gog-Magog delights in collecting Bygone artifacts, however. If he discovers someone has an item he covets, he will use guile and deception to acquire it. In the pilot, Gog-Magog wanted to possess the Golden Goblin held by the wizard Specules. Knowing it was a suicide quest, he poisoned Korgoth with a deadly parasite, offering him the antidote only if he returned with the Goblin.

Gog-Magog is ruthless, evil, and cunning. He holds no value for human life, as it's just another commodity for him to buy and sell. But he will pay handsomely for rare antiques and items from the times before the world ended. But do not think to double-cross him for he is diabolical when it comes to revenge. Gog-Magog could be an adventure hook for the PCs if he "hires" them to retrieve an artifact for him. He could also be a recurring villain if the deal they've made with him goes sour.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Savage Menagerie: Nosfrogtu

No. Enc.: 2d4 (2d10)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 8
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1 (bite)
Damage: 1d6, blood drain
Save: L1
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: None

The Nosfrogtu (pronounced both nahs-fuh-ROG-too and nahs-FRAWG-too) is a large (1' wide) swamp-dwelling amphibian that has developed a sizable set of fangs which it uses to feed on the blood of its victims. A Nosfrogtu is usually green or light tan in color with a bulbous set of yellow eyes set atop of its head. Its mouth is filled with razor-sharp pointed teeth, and its powerful back legs allow it to leap great distances (up to 20' at a time) .

Nosfrogtus are pack hunters, preferring to leap en masse onto an unsuspecting victim. A successful bite from a Nosfrogtu will do an initial 1d6 hit points of damage. The Nosfrogtu will then latch onto its prey, continuing to feed for 1d6 additional hit points each round until it or the victim is dead. A successful save versus stun attacks means the victim can tear the Nosfrogtu off his body and toss it aside, but this approach will also do an additional 1d6 hit points of damage.

It is said that a Nosfrogtu pack will lurk in the wetlands and bogs near a human settlement, waiting for lone individuals to wander too close to their lairs. The victim doesn't know they're in danger until they see the multiple airborne shadows descending upon them. When the townsfolk hear the constant hideous croaking in the distance cease, they know the Nosfrogtus have claimed another victim.

Mutations: none

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Wisdom From The Wastelands 24 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 24 is “Weapon Modifications” and is described as follows: "This issue presents technologies and items for making Mutant Future weapons more lethal and combat more colorful. These additions include expended range rules, new ammunition types for both modern firearms and archaic missile weapons, and many new ways for your group to satisfy their inner gunsmiths."

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

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Notorius NPC: Coolidge, The Mutant Turtle

3rd Level Mutant Animal (Turtle)
STR: 16 --- INT: 10
DEX: 10 --- WIL: 15
CON: 12 --- CHA: 8
HPs: 60 --- AC: 3
Mutations: natural armor (extreme), acute hyper healing

What would you do if The Bygones themselves told you who you were and what you should do with your life? Coolidge was just another mutant animal roaming the wastelands, scavenging through the Bygone ruins and trying to determine his place in the Mutant Future. While poking through a stack of Bygones books, he saw an image of himself on one of the covers! Although he doesn't read the Bygone language, he poured through the illustrations, seeing himself and others like him performing feats of acrobatic prowess, fighting those who would oppress others. It was then that Coolidge realized The Bygones were speaking to him across the millennia, telling him to use his talents to fight for justice.

Coolidge trained himself for combat with extensive conditioning and practice.He currently receives a +2 to hit and +3 damage in hand-to-hand combat from his training. When attacking, he brings out a pair of huge scythe-like blades. These "swords" do 1d12 hit points of damage when they hit. Hitting Coolidge himself is a challenge as well, as his natural armor mutation (his shell) gives him an AC of 3. And if he IS injured, his acute hyper healing mutation will mend his wounds much faster than normal. Coolidge is a combat-trained tank.

Cooldige's personality is very easy-going and carefree (another trait taken from the Bygone tome). he ejoys showing off his combat prowess and revels in the attention given to him. But he never forgets his Bygone-bestowed mission to enforce laws and punish the wicked. He still carries the comic that started him on his path, and he treats it like a fragile holy work. Coincidentally, "Coolidge" is also the name of another famous Bygone painter, just like the characters in his book he seeks to emulate.

"Cowabunga," indeed.

Friday, February 1, 2013

What's On My Gameroom Walls?

I was fascinated by the recent blogger meme-fest where folks were posting pictures of their RPG bookshelves. It was an interesting insight into the various interests and likes of Those Who Blog. Personally, I missed the boat as my own bookshelf is fairly spartan. But what I am fairly proud of -- or at least I think it's interesting -- are the various pieces of art that adorn my gameroom walls. These are the inspirational pictures, posters, and prints that set the "mood" for any gaming that takes place within these four walls. It's what my players stare at on game night. It's what I see when I look up from my laptop as I hammer out these blog posts. I thought I'd share my personal "art gallery" that gets my creative juices flowing (along with any needed explanations) and challenge other bloggers to do the same...
I'm a big fan of Dogs Playing Poker art. Nothing is more American or kitschy. I've had this original "handpainted in Mexico on black velvet" Dogs Playing Poker for more than 20 years. (It's huge too -- about 4 x 3 feet).
 One of my favorite films was the original TRON. The framed poster is an original theater print from 1982. The clock (hard to see in the shadow) is a custom-made Mutant Future clock. The certificate below it recognizes my World Record Video Game High Score on an obscure Atari 2600 game. 
From left to right: My autographed photo of Frank Gorshin (best known at The Riddler from the Batman TV show); a colorful Thundarr poster print; and Jason Lenox's fantastic Thundarr illustration (signed by the artist!)
Finally, two more pieces to share. The one on the right is a Mutant Future cover print signed by artist Mark Allen (numbered 1/200!) And the painting on the left will remain a bit of a mystery. For now, I'll just say that it was painted by artist Jeremy Pea and will appear on the cover of a future Savage AfterWorld Mutant Future supplement.

So that's what hangs on the walls of The Savage AfterWorld. I challenge other bloggers to share the artwork that adorns their own gameroom walls. Let's see what inspires the rest of you!