Monday, September 30, 2013

Savage Menagerie: Computer Bug

No. Enc.: 0 (3d4)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 10' (2')
Armor Class: 9
Hit Dice: 1 hit point
Attacks: Special
Damage: Special
Save: L0
Morale: None
Hoard Class: None

Harmless to humans, animals, and mutants yet deadly to androids, cyborgs, and robots, Computer Bugs are "cybernetic termites" that consume the delicate circuitry found in the matrices of artificial intelligents. Attacking much like the Rot Grub (MF rules, page 93), a Computer Bug can easily bore through an android's outer skin layer. Once inside the robot's system, the Computer Bug will head straight for the AI's positronic CPU if not stopped immediately with an application of electricity at the site of the initial infestation. This shock will destroy the Bug, as well as inflict 1d6 hit points of damage per instance. If not stopped, the Computer Bug will reach the AI's CPU in 3d10 minutes and then begin consuming the crystalline matrix, which will instantly kill the host.

Mutations: none

Friday, September 27, 2013

Going Postal -- Teflon Coating:Shield Options And Man In The Machine: Basic Androids

John Buckley over at The Knotty-Works has released two new supplements for the Mutant Future RPG! Both supplements are for his growing "Going Postal" series, which will present new supplemental rules and expansion to the core rules.

Teflon Coating: Shield Options -- This issue covers shield options including typical post-apocalyptic gear that most fledgling wasteland adventurers would use; an optional combat mechanic; and some pre-apocalyptic powered shields that may be found in the crumbling ruins and deserted installations of those who lived before the world ended.

Man in the Machine: Basic Androids --  This issue covers android archetypes and options for the Basic Android. Three new archetypes are introduced, including a law enforcement model, a military model with specializations, and a medic response android. Four example androids are also introduced that may be used by the Mutant Lord to easily populate a crumbling mall, desolated sports arena, or the vestages of a massive battlefield.

Both PDFs are 99 cents at Drive Through RPG!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Classic RPG Map Dice Bag Available!

Wow! Michael Althauser (greyedout on Etsy) did a FANTASTIC job creating a new custom dice bag for me with the Classic RPG Map cloth pattern I designed at Spoonflower. It should be arriving sometime this week. Don't you wish you could get one too? Well, guess what! Michael has added this design to his dice bag shop, so now you can also order one of these Classic RPG Map dice bags of your very own! Only $20 plus shipping!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Dangerous Encounter: Skinning The Cat

This simple little encounter can turn very deadly very quickly for one (or more) of the PCs if they aren't cautious. While travelling, the PCs should see a large tree about 30 yards off the side of the road they're on. Sitting propped up at the foot of the tree is a humanoid skeleton. It's fairly easy to see the unmoving corpse, even at this distance. The PCs can throw things at the skeleton, shoot at it, yell, but the skeleton doesn't stir and nothing comes running out to ambush them. 

When they get about 10 yards away from the skeleton, tell them that the body has flies and small insects swarming all over it, as it still has bloody strips of muscle and tissue still clinging to the bones, as if the corpse was slaughtered, stripped, and deposited here recently. There is a satchel laying next to the corpse as well, so whoever killed the victim didn't seem particularly interested in his belongings. At this point, the players are probably watching for the creature or animal that did this. What they may not figure out until it's too late is that the tree the skeleton rests against is also his killer.

The tree is a Skinner Tree (MF rules, page 95). Skinner Trees use their roots and vines to grab and hold a victim while numerous bladed and thorned vines flay and strip the flesh from them, depositing them into a hungry mouth in its trunk. When the victim is dead and all of the flesh is consumed, the Skinner Tree leaves the corpse nearby in hopes of attracting any hungry animals or scavengers. The unfortunate traveler decided to take a nap at the foot of the Skinner Tree and was flayed while he slept.

Skinner Tree (1) (AL C, MV 60' (20'), AC 4, HD 15, #AT 1 (skinning vines), DG 2d8, SV L5, ML 10, mutations: prehensile tendrils, tripping tendrils, natural vegetal weapons, free movement)

If the party gets within 20 feet, the Skinner Tree's prehensile tendrils will whip out from the highest branches of the tree to try to grab and gold the PC. If successfully hit, the PC will take 2d6 of constriction damage while being held tightly. Meanwhile, the Tree's tripping tendrils will wriggle up out of the earth and will grapple their feet and legs to keep escape minimal. Any PC who is successfully grabbed will be dragged nearer the Skinner Tree where its sharp thorned vines wait to slice and dice the victim.

The Skinner Tree's bladed vines do 2d8 hit points of damage, and each hit strips a piece of the living victim's body flesh. If a victim is successfully flayed 5 times, he must make a save versus death on any further successful attacks. Failure means the victim dies of shock and blood loss. Any victim who is successfully flayed 10 times dies of shock and blood loss regardless of any remaining hit points he may have.

If the PCs manage to escape and/or kill the Skinner Tree and retrieve the satchel, they may keep the 6 bottles of high-quality synthehol within (a trader would pay up to 50 gold pieces each for them) as well as the 665 gold pieces hidden in a secret pouch on the side.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gimme Five!

...Five more followers, that is!

I posted this exact same blog post back in 2011 when I was hovering at 195 followers for about a month. Now, The Savage AfterWorld is tantalizingly close to having 300 followers. If you've enjoyed The Savage AfterWorld over the years, but haven't felt the need to click on the little "Join This Site" button to the right, why not take a second and do so today? Heck, if you just stumbled across the site today and you like what you see, do me a favor and sign on the dotted line. Membership is free, and we only accept attractive, successful, intelligent mutants to our ranks. So follow us, and increase your social standing in our apocalyptic community!

EDITED TO ADD: And Will Arnold pushed me over the top! Thanks to everyone who joined this week, and thanks to everyone who's followed this blog over the years. Time to get back to the radium mines and deliver some content to you folks!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dangerous Encounter: The Fungus Among Us

NOTE: This encounter is best run with either one PC or perhaps a few party members while the others are on another quest or unavailable. This encounter could perhaps be played as a side trek or if the party gets split or separated. WARNING: If you run your entire group through this encounter all at the same time, it could result in the deaths of all party members (which will become apparent as you read).

While travelling down a little-used path, the PCs will notice that various molds, slimes, and fungi grow rampant. Mushrooms and toadstools line the path, and every tree is spotted with fungus. There is a musty smell in the air. While taking this in, have the PCs roll versus surprise. If they make it, they'll see that two of the fungus-covered figures by the side of the road are reaching out to grab them!  (If they miss the roll, the two figures get a surprise attack on them.) These two creatures are fungus-covered Shroombies -- dead creatures animated through a nefarious fungus that takes root and replaces their vital organs.

Shroombies (2) (AL C, MV 90' (30'), AC 8, HD 5, #AT 2 (claw/bite or poisonous spores), DG 1d6/2d6, SV L4, ML 6, mutations: metaconcert, poisonous spores (hallucinogenic))

Eerily silent, the Shroombies press their attack, clawing and biting in an attempt to bring down their victims. At several points during the attack, the Shroombies will use their poisonous spore attack, breathing out a cloud of greenish-grey spores into the faces of the PCs. Have the PCs roll a save versus poison, but regardless of the outcome, tell them there was no effect. (More on this in a moment.) Have the combat last until the Shroombies are (hopefully) defeated.

Once the combat has ended, the PCs will hear a voice behind them. Turning, they'll see a small girl standing in the path. "'ve defeated them! Oh thank you! Thank you! You must come with me and tell the village of your victory!" She'll run off down the path and, in the distance, the PCs can now hear music and laughter. If they follow her, the PCs will come to a small glade in the center of the fungus-filled forest. Here, they find a small village filled with what appear to be pure humans. They are warmly greeted as heroes and made to feel utterly welcome. The Mutant Lord should play up on the PCs egos. Anything they may want is provided by the village ("As thanks for destroying the fungus menace!"). No matter how suspicious they may be or how wary they are, everything appears on the level. Have the PCs actually discovered a haven?

Of course not. It's all a lie. A fungus-fueled lie.

The Shroombies were lurking on the edge of a Fungal Grove, a dangerous gigantic fungal organism (MF rules, page 72). As the PCs approached the area, they were already becoming affected by the poisonous spores that float heavily in the air and cling to most surfaces. These poisonous spores have two effects: first, it triggers hallucinations in those affected, and second, it connects the minds of those affected in metaconcert. In other words, the PCs are now under a shared hallucination. While under the spell of the spores, they have in reality wandered into the heart of the Fungal Grove, where they have dropped off peacefully asleep, sharing their dreams of adventure with each other. They will eventually die here of dehydration and starvation while the Fungal Grove feeds on the corpses.

Fungal Grove (1) (AL None, MV None, AC N/A, HD N/A, #AT N/A, DG By mutation, ML None, mutations: prey scent, toxic weapon)

As far as the trapped PCs are aware, everything they see, hear, taste, touch, and feel is "real." The Mutant Lord is encouraged to flesh out the village and its citizens, keeping in mind that it is all a dream shared by the unconscious PCs. Until they are rescued by their teammates, the PCs should continue to think this is all "real." Perhaps the village chieftain will ask the PCs to take on a quest on his behalf. Perhaps they'll be tasked with turning away a Shroombie invasion. As long as they are here, give them something to do, someplace to go. None of it is real anyway, so it can be as straightforward or outlandish as desired.

At some point, the rest of the party will go off in search for their overdue friends. Have them meet a wandering merchant on the path who warns them of the danger of the hallucinogenic spores. (And he just happens to have some nose filters for sale that will keep the party safe.) When they take the same path as the original PCs, they'll encounter two new Shroombies, who will put up a bit of a fight while spraying their spores. With the filters in place, the party will be unaffected.

Shroombies (2) (AL C, MV 90' (30'), AC 8, HD 5, #AT 2 (claw/bite or poisonous spores), DG 1d6/2d6, SV L4, ML 6, mutations: metaconcert, poisonous spores (hallucinogenic))

When the PCs reach the center of the fungal grove, they'll see skeletons and withered cadavers laying everywhere. And, nearby, lay the two missing PCs who appear to be unconscious. They will remain unconscious until removed from the area of the Fungal Grove and the spores pass through their systems. So the now-awake players do not feel "cheated" by their hallucinogenic adventures, the Mutant Lord should let them keep all XP gained during any successful "mental combats" while they slept. However, any treasures and artifacts they retrieved while asleep will not be waiting for them in the "real world."

At the heart of the Fungal Grove are the following items dropped by its numerous victims over the years: a suit of advanced metal armor (AC 2), a suit of environmental armor (dead minifusion cell, so it's not working, AC 4), 5 doses of Truth serum, 3 doses of Stimshot B, a bottle with 4 Antitox pills, and 1,100 gold pieces in assorted coinage. If the PCs decide to destroy the Fungal Grove, they should be informed that it's nearly a mile in diameter, and it would take the better part of their lives burning, cutting, and destroying the foul region. (Perhaps they could just put up a sign or two...)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Savage Menagerie: Giant Stinkbug

No. Enc.: 1d3 (1d3)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 90' (30')
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: 1
Damage: Special
Save: L2
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: None

The Giant Stinkbug is a gigantic version of the Bygone nuisance insect. The Giant Stinkbug stands 5 feet tall and nearly 15 feet long, giving it a formidable appearance. Unlike other giant insects found in the Mutant Future, the Giant Stinkbug is a peaceful herbivore and is actually quite gentle if left undisturbed. The Giant Stinkbug is also called a Shieldbug due to the triangular shield-like shape of its carapace. The outer shell of the Giant Stinkbug also acts as natural armor, giving it a bonus to its AC.

Although the Giant Stinkbug avoids conflict, it has developed a dangerous defense mechanism if attacked -- one left over from its smaller Bygone descendants. If attacked, the Giant Stinkbug sprays out a foul-smelling musk from its thorax in a 30-foot radius cloud. Anyone caught in this cloud must save versus poison. Failure means they begin retching and vomiting for 2d6 rounds due to the horrendous odor. They will also be wracked with muscle spasms during this attack which will do 1d6 hit points of damage as they flail wildly about, desperately trying to regain their breath. This foul-smelling substance permeates the skin of the victim, and anyone sprayed will suffer a permanent -1 to their Charisma due to the lingering stink that can never be washed off or masked.

Mutations: gigantism, natural armor, toxic weapon

NOTE: The smaller cousins of these insects are ALL OVER the place around here. Figured we have giant spiders and giant centipedes in the Mutant Future, so we may as well have these damn nuisances.

Number One With A (Silver) Bullet!

Click for bigger screenshot! And thank you!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Cryptworld Released Upon The World On Friday The 13th!

Folks, today is Friday the 13th, and CRYPTWORLD has clawed its way out of the tomb and is available for purchase! Pacesetter horror gaming lives again!

On this Friday the 13th, CRYPTWORLD emerges into the world with all the ferocity of a knife-wielding psycho killer! But instead of a hockey mask, we've got a cover illustration by Jim Holloway! CRYPTWORLD is the new official Pacesetter horror game! You play an investigator of the unexplained, or even an ordinary person thrust into an unusual situation. There are several organizations provided, which the players can belong to, or they can be independent. Investigate, hunt, and destroy a wide variety of things. Whether you prefer classic monsters, psycho killers, or cryptids, we have you covered, and so much more!

CRYPTWORLD is available in electronic format from:
Goblinoid Shop (preferred)

Print versions -- both hardcover and perfect bound -- are currently available at the Goblinoid Games' Lulu shop, and will soon be available in print from RPGnow!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Classic OSR Dungeon Map Cloth Pattern Now For Sale

Just got my test swatch of my newly designed Classic RPG Map pattern from Spoonflower. Turned out very nice. I photographed the 8" x 8" piece of printed material I got with a set of polyhedral dice to give you a sense of scale. I've made arrangements with Michael (AKA greyedout on Etsy) to have a dice bag made out of it. Should be super-awesome when done! I'll post photos when it arrives.

I have made the pattern available for purchase now. If anyone is interested, the Classic RPG Map pattern is available on 11 different types of fabric (from cotton to silk). You can get an 8" x 8" test swatch on cotton for as low as $5.00. (Fold it over, stitch along one side, add a cord, instant dicebag.) The pattern is also available on wallpaper, decals, and wrapping paper. Imagine this under your tree Christmas morning:

Ooh! I hope it's the D&D Red Box!

Dangerous Encounter: Power Struggle

This adventure should begin shortly after the PCs pass through a fairly populated area. As they exit the region and away from the population center, one of the PCs should find a note hidden in one of their pockets. The note is fairly cryptic: "PLEASE, NEED HELP. WILL REWARD YOU WITH UNLIMITED POWER." At the bottom of the note is a crude map that leads off the main roads and off into the hilly grasslands. There is no signature nor clue as to who may have slipped it into their pocket.

If the PCs decide to investigate, the hike will be pretty uneventful as the land they traverse is slightly hilly, but otherwise flat and clear. The area was once used by Bygone farmers so the lands have been tilled and cultivated to the point that no forests have yet encroached over the centuries. No trees bigger than a sapling have grown here. As they cross over one of the rolling hills, the PCs should see a tall, thin structure on the next hill about a mile away. It is hard to identify at this distance, but it looks like a monstrously tall pole hundreds of feet high. Nearer to the PCs, however, is a large beast standing in the center of the footpath. The creature is an Electrophant (MF rules, page 69), and it appears to be standing over the body of a dead Electrophant lying nearby. The living Electrophant is very obviously agitated as the dead Electrophant was its mate. In a blind rage, the Electrophant will charge the first PC it sees or hears, attempting to trample for 4d8 hit points of damage.

Electrophant (1) (AL L, MV 120' (40'), AC 4, HD 9, #AT 2 or 1 (2 tusks or trample or electricity, DG 2d4/2d4 or 4d8 or 4d6, SV L5, ML 6, mutations: energy attack (electricity))

The Electrophant seems to be protecting the dead body of its mate, but its morale is pretty low at this stage. If the fight seems to be going against it, it will give up and lumber off over the hill. If the PCs investigate the body of the dead Electrophant, it doesn't seem to have died of any massive injuries or wounds. In fact, it seems to have died from shock! (And not the electric kind.) If they prepare to touch the dead creature, the Mutant Lord should hint that, according to wasteland wisdom, the gold tusks of the Electrophant still carries a powerful electric charge and they should proceed with caution. However, once they make contact, they'll find out the tusks have absolutely no charge left in them, as if the creature had been drained of power. (The tusks are worth 200 gold pieces each if anyone thinks to remove them.)

As the PCs approach the tall tower, they'll see it's a Bygone wind-powered turbine. The turbine seems to have been recently repaired and refurbished, and its blades seem to be turning at a quick pace. Leading from the base of the turbine are a set of cables which run down the length of the tower to a brick building at its base. Sitting on top of the building and nestled around the point the cables enter the building are four large jet-black spheres. Blue veins of electric fire flash over the surfaces of the spheres. The spheres are Pfrzt --
energy absorbers from the Bygone days.

Pfrzt (4) (AL N, MV 60' (20'), AC 7, HD 4, #AT 1, DG Special, SV L2, ML None, mutations: energy absorption (electric), energy-retaining cell structure)

About 100 yards to the right of the tower is a small lean-to. An older man with a leather apron and welder's goggles scrambles out from the shelter and races to the PCs.

"Thank the Bygones you got my note! I need you to help me dispose of those...BALLS!" he says, as he points at the spheres.

The man's name is Tedison, and he's a tinkerer/inventor by trade. He explains that he discovered the Bygone turbine several months and has spent that time refurbishing it back into operating condition. He uses it to power his workshop and home (the brick building). Several days ago, the Pfrzt settled onto his home, absorbing every volt of power his generator produces. Tedison attempted to poke one of the spheres with a wrench and got a heart-stopping jolt of electricity. When he came to, he went to find someone who could help him get rid of the "creatures."

"I'll bet those damnable balls also sucked the life right outta that poor 'Lectric Beastie back yonder," he says, motioning in the general direction of the dead Electrophant.

Tedison begs the PCs to get rid of the Pfrzt. As the PCs approach, the Pfrzt will ignore them unless someone has a strong energy signature, i.e., someone is carrying a lot of stored energy in the form of power cells and batteries, or if one of the PCs is an android or robot. One of the Pfrzt will bounce lazily toward the PC, attracted by the energy signature. If the Pfrzt contacts any charged device or power supply, it will instantly drain it of all remaining charges, rendering it useless. If an android PC makes contact with a Pfrzt, they will take 3d6 hit points of energy-draining damage unless a save versus energy attacks is made. (They will take half-damage if successful.) A Pfrzt is immune to all energy-based attacks as it simply absorbs the discharged energy. And striking a Pfrzt with any weapon that isn't non-conductive will shock the attacker for 3d6 hit points of damage. Pfrzt have no morale, so they cannot be driven away. They will only stop when they are destroyed.

Once the Pfrzt have been dealt with, the power is once again restored to Tedison's home and workshop. As thanks, Tedison offers his technology identification and repair services any time the PCs are in the area. Tedison can also use his turbine to fully recharge any power cell, pack, clip, beltpack, and backpack the PCs bring to him. (He cannot recharge minifusion cells, plutonium clips, and radioactive batteries, though.) Tedison asks the PCs to keep his presence a secret as he'd like to continue inventing in peace.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tales From The Cryptworld: Pacesetter Horror Rises From The Grave!

For those folks who have been yearning for Pacesetter horror gaming to return from the dead, Goblinoid Games has announced the creation and imminent release of CRYPTWORLD, the new official Pacesetter horror game! Here's the press release:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Goblinoid Games presents CRYPTWORLD, the new official Pacesetter horror RPG! Other than the zombie survival genre horror RPG, ROTWORLD, there has not been a Pacesetter horror game in print since the 1980s. CRYPTWORLD scratches and crawls forth from the grave!

CRYPTWORLD is a Pacesetter System horror game in which you play an investigator of the unexplained. Any kind of horror is possible, from hunting classic monsters to fighting the secret manipulations of interdimensional aliens, and much more! Be an independent hunter of the horrors in the world, or be a member of one of the several organizations provided, each with different motivations.

CRYPTWORLD handles many subgenres of horror. It is a complete presentation of horror rules, game advice, and creatures from different horror subgenres so that you can play any kind of horror game you prefer.
Coming Late September!

Writing: Daniel Proctor and Tim Snider
Cover Illustration: Jim Holloway
Interior Illustrations: Jim Holloway, Brian Thomas, Tim Tyler

CRYPTWORLD and CRYPTWORLD: Chilling Adventures into the Unexplained are trademarks of Daniel Proctor.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Now that the announcement has been made, I can unveil my participation as a coauthor. (Which also explains why some of my Mutant Future-y projects were set aside for the summer.) I'm incredibly pleased with how CRYPTWORLD turned out as it strikes just the right balance between "original" and "homage." More info to come as we get closer to the street release!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Dangerous Encounter: Beware Of Skynet

This encounter takes place on an isolated trail that meanders through a forest of very tall trees. As the party makes their way cautiously through the thicket, they'll hear a very faint, very weak whisper for help. Have the party investigate to the best of their ability, but it should take some time before they realize the pleas for assistance are coming from the very top of one of the trees lining the path.

About 120 feet straight up in the tallest boughs of a tree they can make out the figure of a humanoid weakly waving at them and beckoning them for assistance. From the ground, he appears to be a human (or mutant human) barely moving and tangled amongst the upper-most branches. He can barely talk or move, though he seems to be waving at the PCs to get their attention. The two questions the PCs are now faced with are "How'd he get up there?" and "How do we get him down?" The answer to the second question is left as an exercise in player creativity. As to the first question...

This area of the forest is the hunting grounds of  a colony of Jellyfish Plants (MF rules, page 78). These flying bulbous plants can intertwine their tendrils, creating a sort of "net" that they use to scoop up and trap their prey. They then take their victim to the highest point in the area, all the while stinging the victim into submission with their paralyzing tendrils. Once deposited, the Jellyfish Plants begin to feed until the victim is a dried-out husk. Their current victim is weakened due to this feeding and the poison still in his system, as well as from general exposure. (He is down to 4 hit points at this stage.) He's now trying to warn the PCs of the presence of the Jellyfish Plants, but he is too weak to do much more than frantically wave at them.

There are now 8 Jellyfish Plants hidden underneath the layer of fallen leaves around the tree. They have formed two nets by breaking into two groups of 4 Plants. If the PCs are carefully checking the ground for traps, allow them a 2 in 6 chance of spotting the Jellyfish Plants lurking under the leaves. Otherwise, two of the PCs (chosen at random) will each step onto one of the nets and, with a WHOOSH, they find themselves airborne!

Jellyfish Plants (8) (AL N, MV 20', Fly 50', AC 9, HD 3, #AT 1 (stinging), DG 1d6, SV L2, ML 8, mutations: free movement, flight, toxic weapon)

The Jellyfish Plants will sting their victims for 1d6 hit points each round as they take them to their feeding ground high in the tree. If the victim fails a saving throw versus stun attacks, they are poisoned by a class 11 toxin which will paralyze them for 2d6 rounds. (If they make their save, they can move, but at half-speed for 1d6 rounds.) The PCs are also in danger of falling from a dizzying height if they thrash and fight too much. (The Mutant Lord may wish to roll for falling damage if a victim is able to break free of their captors while in flight.) If the Jellyfish Plants are able to get a paralyzed victim deposited in the tree's branches, they will settle onto their prey and feed for 1d6 hit points of damage per round per Jellyfish Plant.

If the PCs are able to kill or drive off the Jellyfish Plants and rescue the original victim, he will be incredibly grateful to them for their assistance. He's a simple nomad without many possessions, but he happily presents the PCs with a roll of ion bonding tape, 5 light sticks, and 40 gold pieces. (The Mutant Lord may also wish to have the nomad possess some information of use to the PCs as needed by the current campaign of the party.)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Watch Out, I'm Going Postal

John Buckley over at The Knotty-Works has announced new support for the Mutant Future RPG! His newest offering is the first in a series titled "Going Postal," which will present new supplemental rules and expansion to the core rules.

The inaugural issue is called Teflon Coating: Armor Options, offering new types and forms of armor that may be found in the future wastelands. There are also rules, tables, and stats for suits of piecemeal armor (adding better pieces to your existing armor for better protection), salvaged armor (making a suit out of whatever rubbish you can scavenge), and pre-apocalyptic non-military suits and armor accessories. I've found that many supplements like to focus on the gee-whiz-flash-bang weaponry of the future, but John offers 8 pages of new protection from those weapons that any Mutant Lord and mutant survivor will find useful. Nice work! I'm looking forward to (mutant) future issues of the series.

The PDF is 99 cents at DriveThrough RPG. (He also has a nice Mutant Future character sheet available as a free download!)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dangerous Encounter: Mass Effect

During a journey one afternoon between adventures, the PCs come across a small encampment that has been torn asunder. Tents and lean-tos have been torn apart, carts overturned, and personal items and clothing scattered everywhere. There is a lot of blood in two areas of the camp, pointing to potentially fatal wounds inflicted on at least two of the victims. There is no sign of any of the victims, however, the snapped branches and gouges in the earth reveal they were overpowered then dragged off to the south, away from the main roads and into the woods.

Amongst the debris lays the body of a Morlock (MF rules, page 84). It appears the camp was attacked by a band of these albino underground cannibals. The victims were apparently able to kill one of the beasts before being dragged off to their underground lair, presumably to feed. But Morlocks prefer their prey to still be alive when they begin to feed, so why would they drag off two presumably dead victims? Also, the attack occurred recently while the sun was still up, and Morlocks are well-known nocturnal creatures. Attacking during the day is unheard of.

If the PCs follow the trail, it leads to an isolated cave entrance about a mile away. There are 7 Morlocks milling around the cave entrance, and there are four humans tied to a tree near the cave -- apparently the still-living victims. There are two bloody trails leading into the cave where the Morlocks must have taken the two killed victims. Some things might not add up for the PCs: The sunlight is obviously causing the Morlocks discomfort, but they seem to be avoiding entering the cave. If the PCs attack the Morlocks in the daytime, the Morlocks have a -2 penalty to hit and damage due to their albinism mutation in the sunlight.

Morlocks (7) (AL C, MV 120' (40'), AC 8, HD 9, #AT 1 (primitive rifle), DG 1d6, SV L5, ML 9, mutations: albinism, intellectual affinity (tinkerer), thermal vision)

A few days ago, while digging and expanding their underground lair, the band of Morlocks unearthed a Humanoid Mass that had been hibernating in a deep cavernous complex (MF rules, page 77). The Humanoid Mass immediately engulfed and consumed three Morlocks, then used its many mutations to mentally overpower and dominate the other seven Morlocks. Having not eaten in several decades, the Humanoid Mass demanded that the remaining Morlocks bring it food as tribute, else the Morlocks would BECOME food. The Morlocks complied, bring the Humanoid Mass any forest animals and live creatures they could find. They fear what the Humanoid Mass will do if not fed, so they have been venturing out during the day to hunt and forage.

The Humanoid Mass is just inside the cave, unseen in the darkness, absorbing the two bodies the Morlocks just delivered while watching the ensuing fight with the PCs. It has the Morlocks dominated with its fragrance development mutation, and the tied-up victims aren't going anywhere. So now it's formulating a plan to deal with the PCs.

Humanoid Mass (1) (AL C, MV 15' (5'), AC 8, HD 10, #AT 1 (mutation), DG by mutation, SV L8, ML 9, mutations: fragrance development, regenerative capability, toxic weapon, disintegration,  force screen, mental barrier, mind thrust, neural telepathy)

The Humanoid Mass will keep itself hidden until the time is right to strike. One of the Morlocks may run back into the cave if the fight is going badly. If any PCs follow, the Humanoid Mass will first throw up its force screen mutation, then blasting its mind-controlling fragrance at the interloper. It will then ask the controlled PC to call his friends deeper into the cave. It cannot move very quickly, so the Humanoid Mass will try to overpower the PCs with its mind-controlling fragrance and blasts of its mind thrust.

If it begins to lose the fight, the Humanoid Mass will sear the PCs with its devastating disintegration mutation before slithering off into the darkness of the cave. Its regenerative capability will repair its injuries while it hibernates for another few decades when it will resurface to feed again. The PCs can then rescue the remaining captives and claim the various treasures and trinkets the Morlocks and the Humanoid Mass have hidden deeper in the cave nearer their lair: 4 smoke grenades, an energy grenade, a warp-field mace, a case (24) of various canned foods, and 1,076 gold pieces.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Savage Menagerie: Harvestman

No. Enc.: 1d8 (1d12)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 8
Attacks: 2 (barbed tongue, bite)
Damage: 1d8/1d6
Save: L4
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: VI

A Harvestman is a twisted, deformed humanoid with exceedingly long arms and legs. The Harvestman's head and joints bend in impossible directions, and the creature scuttles around on all fours, giving it a spider-like appearance. Although the Harvestman is not an arachnid nor related to the species in any way, it has been nicknamed "Daddy Long-legs" due to its spider-like appearance.

A Harvestman has grey-black skin covered in very fine hair. These hairs give the Harvestman the unique sense to detect any movement within 30 feet. Every something as subtle as a hidden foe breathing can be "felt" by a Harvestman. A Harvestman can never be surprised due to this. The Harvestman's skin coloring easily shifts and blends in with its surroundings, making the creature nearly impossible to see if it's standing still. However, these beneficial skin mutations come with a price, as its flesh is very sensitive to injury. If struck by a hand-held weapon, the Harvestman will take an extra die of damage from the blow.

A Harvestman attacks with its long (10' long) barbed tongue, which lashes out to cut and maim a victim. Ona successful strike, the thorn-like barbs on its tongue cuts a victim for 1d8 hit points of damage. If the maximum damage of 8 is rolled, the barb has penetrated the victim's flesh and they will be drawn back toward the Harvestman who will then bite the victim for 1d6 points per combat round until the victim is freed. The Harvestman will also bite those victims who are not ensnared but who get within attack range. A Harvestman's fibrous tongue will take 20 hit points of damage before it is severed.

Even though a Harvestman is not a member of the arachnid family, the creature acts like one as the species has no true identity of its own. It ties together scraps of vines, ropes, and cables into web-like structures that criss-cross through its lair. It will use these "webs" to travel quickly through the area as well as tie up and cocoon its victims until it is ready to feed. Anyone who stumbles into a Harvestman's lair may initially think it's the lair of a giant spider. Soon, they'll discover it's much worse.

Mutations: unique sense, chameleon epidermis, epidermal susceptibility, natural weapon (barbed tongue)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Found In a Pile Of Radioactive Debris

 Coming Fall 2013 from The Savage AfterWorld

Dangerous Encounter: The Hot Zone

This encounter takes place in a town named "Threemilez" that has set up just at the edge of a Bygone class 5 radiation zone. Threemilez is unique in the Mutant Future as a town that has learned to adapt to and harness the dangerous radioactive flotsam littering the landscape. The radiation levels in the village are low enough to not be hazardous (due to the distance form the zone), but the proximity allows the villagers to scavenge radioactive materials for use in a small fusion reaction they've assembled. (They have radiation protection suits and other safeguards to protect themselves from exposure.) The village of Threemilez has power running to every building, giving the town heat, light, and electricity. This power also runs the 50,000-volt fencing around the town that keeps out mutants and barbarian hordes that would like to get their hands on the technological wonders within. The PCs may end up in Threemilez at the end of a long journey or they may stumble across the technologically advanced town in their journey.

During their stay, the PCs should discover that unexplained deaths have begun occurring within the city limits. Each morning, a body is found covered in scabby blisters, as if they had "cooked" from the inside-out. The common thread among the dead is that they have all been scavengers who went into "The Hot Zone" and retrieved materials for the reactor. But each scavenger is checked for exposure upon his return, and no one has shown any signs of radiation poisoning. For now, the citizens are assuming that the victims have been dying from an identified disease contracted in the radiation zone -- a disease they're calling "The Red Death." The town's mayor isn't so certain.

The mayor requests an audience with the PCs to help investigate these deaths.  (He's trying to avoid a panic, so he wants the investigation done by "outsiders.") Mayor Thomsoch feels that the deaths are actually murders rather than some mysterious virus, but he's at a loss as to how these are occurring. There is only one remaining scavenger who hasn't died, and no one else has been to the rad zone since the deaths began. Fusionable materials are dwindling and if the town doesn't begin procuring radioactive materials again, the power will die and Threemilez will be susceptible to invasion and attack. The PCs are tasked with keeping an eye on Sneezyip, the last survivor.

Sneezyip is a mutant cat who is very nervous about dying from the Red Death. (The mayor hasn't informed anyone else of his suspicions that these are targeted killings.) The PCs need top stay close to Sneezyip without letting on why they've been assigned to follow him. They could explain they're "medicine men" from a nearby village who were invited to observe Sneezeyip and to offer medical assistance if he becomes "ill." They could claim the mayor demanded Sneezyip be quarantined in case he shows symptoms of the Red Death. Sneezyip is too frightened to offer any resistance or to argue about any explanation the PCs toss up.

The mayor is correct that the scavengers are not dying of a "disease." They've been targeted by a small band of Crimson Cinders who live in the radiation zone. The Crimson Cinders have taken affront that their "home" has been constantly invaded and its resources ravaged and have decided to terminate any who have entered their domain.

Crimson Cinders (3) (AL N, MV Fly: 60' (20'), AC 6, HD 6, #AT 1 (energy ray), DG 4d6, SV L4, ML 10, mutations: reflective epidermis (radiation), epidermal emissions (radiation), energy ray (radiation))

Because their physical forms are not much more than glowing, swirling vapors, the scavengers never saw the Crimson Cinders lurking nearby in the light of day. The Crimson Cinders somehow "imprinted" on each scavenger, then followed them back to Threemilez.  Each night, the band of three Crimson Cinders tracked a scavenger back to his home, passing harmlessly through the fence and remaining unseen by any citizens out at night. There, they'd attack the "intruder" using their energy ray mutation to effectively "microwave" the victim until they had died from internal heat damage.

The Crimson Cinders will attack and kill Sneezyip tonight unless the PCs are able to stop them. If the PCs are standing watch, they'll see three shimmering forms approaching Sneezyip's cottage -- barely visible against the moonlight. These three forms look like red glowing spirits or ghosts, vaguely humanoid in shape. If anyone comes within 10 feet of the Crimson Cinders, they'll take 2d6 hit points of radiation exposure damage. (Half-damage taken with a successful save versus radiation.) If anyone tries to stop them or communicate with them, they'll enrage the Crimson Cinders who will then attack, firing a crimson energy ray bolt for 4d6 hit points of damage. During the attack, Sneezyip may try to run. If he does, one of the Crimson Cinders will continue to follow him until the interloper is dead. The other two Crimson Cinders will deal with anyone who is trying to stop their mission of revenge.

If the Crimson Cinders are destroyed, the deaths will end and the radiation zone will be "safe" once again for scavenging. The mayor will reward the PCs with 800 gold pieces from the town treasury as well giving them a box of Rad Tabs (8 in a box), 4 Rad-Purge shots, and an experimental suit of environmental armor (AC 4) that protects against radiation class 5 and lower. If Sneezyip is killed, however, the Crimson Cinders will return to the radiation zone, targeting and killing any future intruders. Scavengers from Threemilez will refuse to enter, and the power to the city will stop within a week. The town will be razed by marauders shortly thereafter.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Test Pattern

I complained the other day on G+ that there didn't seem to be a classic blue-ink RPG map pattern for use on printed cloth, wrapping paper, etc. So I went ahead and made one. I've uploaded it to Spoonflower and have ordered a test swatch before I open it up to the public. Let's see if it works. I'd love to get a dice bag made with it. Perhaps a shirt to wear at Gary Con 2014!