Wednesday, November 25, 2009

[Thundarr Thursday] New Character Race: Sorcerer

Hit Dice: 1d6 per point of CON
Mutations: none (or energy manipulation; see below)

Sorcerers are the magic-wielders of the Thundarr universe. They are able to draw upon mystical forces, bending, shaping, and warping them to their will. They are able to cast spells of an offensive, defensive, healing, and/or destructive nature. Sorcerers are powerful, yet sometimes feared by humans as they can easily be mistaken for an evil Wizard.

Sorcerers appear to be Pure Strain Humans, although they are usually dressed in better finery than the human survivor rabble encountered in the wastelands. Due to their training and study of the magical arts, Sorcerers gain a +2 when rolling for Intelligence and Willpower. Sorcerers do not have any mutations (unless the ML determines that the ability to cast magic itself is a mutation; see below). Sorcerers are always Lawful or Neutral in nature. Chaotic Sorcerers are better knows as the evil Wizards in the Thundarr world.

Sorcerers seem to have a fascination with Ancient culture. Princess Ariel had extensive knowledge of Ancient history and geography, whereas Merlik the Sorcerer reveled in Old Earth youth slang (though he was bad at it). It is assumed that Sorcerers studied the Ancients during their training in the mystical arts. The ML is encouraged to allow a Sorcerer PC to choose one facet of the Ancients that he has studied (technology, history, language, etc.).

Before we can discuss the abilities of Sorcerers, we need to discuss the nature of magic in the world of Thundarr. Magic is common in this shattered world under the broken moon, but how to explain it? I offer two explanations for the consideration of the Mutant Lord:
  • When the runaway planet hurtled between the Earth and the Moon, it unleashed more than cosmic destruction. It also tore open the magical energy stored within the ley lines that crisscross the planet. Magic energies spilled forth throughout the world and those persons attuned to it can harness and channel it. These people eventually became the original Wizards and Sorcerers of the future.
  • Magic isn't "real." Rather, Sorcerers and Wizards are actually mutants with the ability to manipulate energy. This energy could be defined as the lifeforce in all things, residual energy in the atmosphere, etc. Regardless, energy manipulation could be considered a mutation and therefore susceptible to anything that would remove or hamper mutations.
Regardless, a magic system that is compatible with Mutant Future already exists and is available in Labyrinth Lord. It is suggested that Section 3: Spells from the Labyrinth Lord rules be implemented and used. Sorcerers (and by extension, Wizards) are able to cast spells just as if they were of the same level of a Magic-User or Elf in Labyrinth Lord. Cleric spells are unavailable to Sorcerers. When a Sorcerer casts a spell, there are two facets to remember:
  • All Sorcerer spells manifest themselves with colorful beams of energy. For example, if the spell is Hold Person, the energy snakes out from the caster's hands and wraps around the target. Charm Person may manifest as a flashing hypnotic pattern. It is left to the PC or ML as to how the spell appears when cast.
  • One limitation is that a Sorcerer MUST have at least one free hand to cast spells. If a Sorcerer's hands and arms are bound or otherwise immobile, a spell cannot be cast. Wizards are not, however, bound by this limitation.
Sorcerers are level-headed and will not willingly rush into a dangerous situation, preferring to weigh a course of action. They are better educated than most, but they are rarely egotistical. They use their magical abilities sparingly as too much magic use can lead to corruption and eventual downfall into the ways of a Wizard. (See my earlier Wizard-related blog post for information on Wizards.) For each time a PC uses his/her magic in a harmful, destructive, or evil manner, the ML should secretly roll a 5% check versus corruption. This corruption check is cumulative, so future checks are 10%, 15%, 20%, etc. Failure means that the PC has succumbed to the power and has become a Wizard. This new Wizard can become a new NPC villain for the PCs to contend with!

NOTE: This character race is inspired by the classic Ruby Spears post-apocalyptic cartoon “Thundarr the Barbarian.” Stay tuned each week for “Thundarr Thursday”! (Posted early this week due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday....)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Savage Menagerie: Faker

No. Enc.: 1 (1d2)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 30' (10')
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 1 (pseudopod club)
Damage: 2d8
Save: L2
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: VII

One of the more dangerous hunters that could be encountered in the Mutant Future is the Faker. What makes it so dangerous is that a victim usually doesn't recognize it for what it is until it's too late and the Faker attacks.

A Faker can take on the form and appearance of nearly any inanimate object using a combination of its limited metamorph and chameleon epidermis mutations. This object could be approximately 64 cubic feet in size (4 feet long x 4 feet wide x 4 feet high) though smaller Fakers have been reported. Fakers usually take the form of furniture (beds and chairs are a favorite) as well as doorways, rugs, small vehicles, etc. Once they've established their form, they'll lie in wait for a victim to come within striking distance or - better yet - come into contact with them.

A Faker attacks with a pseudopod "club" (actually just a blob-like extension) for 2d8 hit points of damage. However, a Faker is coated with an adhesive secretion so any contact with one and the victim will find itself "glued" to the Faker. If a victim falls prey to this, the Faker will automatically hit with its club on subsequent combat rounds. The Faker can also wrap around a glued-up victim, crushing them for 1d20 damage each round until the Faker is killed. Alcohol will dissolve this secretion.

There are two ways to distinguish a Faker from a distance. A victim may see a set of cat-like eyes blinking somewhere on the object (usually closed while it lays in wait). The other characteristic is that the object may appear to have a glossy sheen due to its adhesive secretion coating.

Mutations: metamorph (limited), chameleon epidermis, adhesive secretion

NOTE: This creature is obviously inspired by one of my favorite OD&D creatures, the mimic!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

[Thundarr Thursday] Dangerous Encounter: Den of the Sleeping Demon

While travelling through a large canyon, the PCs should spy some large bird-like creatures circling overhead. Closer examination (or mutations that heighten vision) will reveal that these are humans with artificial wings gliding on the wind currents. While admiring these glider-people, the party sees stun beams firing at them from up ahead. The glider-people are under attack!

If the PCs decide to investigate where the beams came from, they find a human and several cat-like mutants firing at them from an Ancient children's playground. Judag and nine of his feloid mutants (new creature, click here for a description) are firing at the glider-people, trying to bring them crashing to the ground. When the PCs arrive, They'll see that one of the glider people has already landed roughly and has been captured. Freeing the captive and putting a stop to Judag's attack should be a priority of the PCs.

(NOTE: Stats for Judag are not included in this adventure. The Mutant Lord can stat him up as a rather strong and intelligent pure strain human without mutations, if so desired. Keep in mind that he's well-armed and he always keeps his feloid army well between himself and the PCs.)

Feloids (9) (AL C, MV 150’ (50’), AC 6, HD 8, #AT 1 (stun pistol), DG stun, SV L7, ML 8, mutations: none)

When the battle begins to turn against Judag, he shall beat a hasty retreat, causing some calamity to act as a diversion while he escapes. (In the show, he fired a stun pistol at a nearby rock outcropping, starting an avalanche. He escaped while everyone tried to get out of the way of the tumbling boulders.)

Upon freeing the captive, he will explain that his name is Torg and that he is the leader of the glider-people. He invites the party back to his village located on a cliffside as his way of thanking them for their help. While the party rests and are fed by the grateful villagers, Torg explains why Judag has been attacking his people:

"Once, Judag was in bondage to a wizard, but he made a daring escape. Rather than battle their evil, however, Judag has vowed to become a wizard. Now he's searching the canyon for the den of the Sleeping Demon. According to the legend, whoever wakes the Demon will be granted magical powers, and Judag believes it is true."

The legend of the Sleeping Demon and the dangers it presents are very well known in the world of Thundarr, so trying to stop Judag from finding, waking, and controlling the demon should be of utmost importance. Torg says that his scouts saw Judag and his minions heading west along the canyon floor. The walls of the canyon are too steep to go down on foot, by horseback, or by vehicle, so Torg offers the use of his gliders to any PC brave enough to try. (The Mutant Lord should not place the PCs in danger - play this "flight to the floor of the canyon" for comedy relief. Perhaps an airborne foe could create some tension as the PCs fly down to the surface.)

Once the PCs reach the canyon floor and proceed to the west, they'll come across an Ancient abandoned hospital. Lights flicker from one of the windows on the upper floor. It is here that they'll find Judag. When the PCs enter the hospital, they'll be attacked by four devil rats (new creature, click here for a description) that have made the hospital lobby their lair.

Devil Rats (4) (AL C, MV 120’ (40’), AC 6, HD 3, #AT 1 (bite or claw), DG 1d8 or 1d6, SV L2, ML 6, mutations: gigantism, natural armor, vision impairment (severe light sensitivity))

Once the rats have been dealt with, the PCs are free to get to the top floor of the hospital any way they wish. There, in a large laboratory, Judag and his feloid minions stand over a glass case with a large creature within. In Judag's hand is a book. "The secret of life is within this Ancient tome!" he shouts, lifting a copy of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. At that moment, one of the feloids flips a switch on a nearby console and electricity courses through the case. With a screech, the Sleeping Demon (new creature, click here for a description) explodes through the glass. The feloids run for their lives. Judag steps before the creature and demands that it bow before its master. It doesn't. It leaps upon him, killing him. It then turns to the PCs, hunger flashing in its eyes.

The Sleeping Demon (1) (AL C, MV 90’ (30’); flying 240' (80'), AC 3, HD 13, #AT 3 (2 claws, 1 bite), DG 1d10, 1d10, 1d12, SV L11, ML 11, mutations: complete wing development)

If the PCs don't defeat the Demon right now or if it escapes from the hospital, it flies to Torg's village, where it will begin feeding. The PCs must put a stop to the creature's rampage before it begins!

NOTE: This adventure and its creatures were inspired by the episode "Den of the Sleeping Demon" from the classic Ruby-Spears post-apocalyptic cartoon "Thundarr the Barbarian." Obviously some liberties needed to be taken with the original episode's plotline, but I tried to stay as true as I could to the feel of the show. Stay tuned each week for "Thundarr Thursday!"

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dangerous Encounter: Smilin' Jack's Auto Lot

This encounter works best if the PCs are on foot and in need (or want) of wheeled vehicular transportation of some kind. The PCs should somehow hear the name "Smilin' Jack's" which is rumored to be an Ancient automotive lot of some kind. The area should be described (as rumor has it) as "a large fenced-in holding pen with several motorized vehicles to choose from!" If pressed for details, the describer could add that "I hear that they're all the same kind of car."

It should be a simple matter to find "Smilin' Jack's" though investigation and asking around. A large sign for Smilin' Jack's is found near an overgrown road leading into an overgrown forested area. The sign has a stylized clown head leering down at the PCs. If the PCs travel down the road, they'll need to hack their way through the overgrowth. Along the road, they'll see one or two small shanties nearly hidden in the brush.

Unbeknownst to the PCs, Smilin' Jack's was the name of a small travelling carnival that was obliterated during the Ancient cataclysm. The small booths that remain are what remains of the food vendors. Poking through one of the booths, the PCs will discover a single male cockroachoid (MF rulebook, pg. 67). He is apparently scavenging in one of the food vendor booths.

Cockroachoid (1) (AL C, MV 120’ (40’), AC 4, HD 8, #AT 1 (claw or arm spikes), DG 1d6, 1d8, special, SV L10, ML 8, mutations: natural armor (extreme), reflective epidermis (radiation))

Since this is a male cockroachoid, he does not have the sonic attack mutation as females do. Also, since he's alone, his metaconcert mutation is useless and therefore not listed above.) If the PCs defeat him, they will discover that he is carrying 24 gold pieces and a small battered cardboard box containing 20 soup mixes - the only thing of value he's found so far. (The cockroachoid will drop the box if forced to retreat from battle as well.)

Further up the path, they'll see a dilapidated fenced-in structure. A sign with the word CARS hangs lopsidedly from the roof. Approaching, the PCs will see seven identical cars in the area. Sadly, these are amusement park bumper cars - useless as vehicles and too destroyed to salvage. Also of note is that a nest of vomit flys (MF rulebook, pg. 101) has taken up residence in the rotting ticket booth next to the bumper car ride.

Vomit Flys (9) (AL N, MV 150’ (50’), AC 5, HD 4, #AT 1 (bite or vomit), DG 1d6, 4d6 cold damage, SV L3, ML 8, mutations: energy ray, reflective epidermis (cold), gigantism)

Inside of the ticket booth, the PCs will find several Ancient music CDs and a battery-operated CD player (non-functional, but a trader may pay up to 100 GP for the device). They will also find a set of vehicle keys. It is left to the Mutant Lord to determine where this vehicle is, what kind of vehicle it is, and what condition it's in.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ancient Armory: Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device

(I'm making a note here - HUGE SUCCESS!)

Device: Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device
Trigger type: Dual triggers - one for each color portal
Maximum range: 150 ft.
Weight: 10 lbs.
Battery: Powerclip
Shots/Battery: 10

The Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device (HPD) is an experimental tool used to create two connected interdimensional portals through which objects can pass. The HPD fires two types or "colors" of portals. The first type of portal will be outlined in a blue haze, the second orange. Objects exiting through one will reenter through the other. As a result, the HPD is useful when trying to overcome obstacles which would otherwise be impassable.

The HPD has two triggers that each shoots a small ball of plasma energy. When a ball makes contact with an appropriate surface, it will flash open into a portal of one of the two colors. If a pre-existing colored portal exists, a new one of the same color fired will replace the old one. If no other portals are open, a portal's "halo" will appear, but there will be no "opening" leading to the other non-existent portal.

Portals are 6' in diameter and will only appear on flat surfaces (concrete, metal, plastic). Portals cannot be placed on natural materials (dirt, water) nor any irregularly shaped surfaces (curves or cracked surfaces). A portal cannot be placed on a surface smaller than the portal's required 6' diameter. If an attempt is made to place an illegal portal, the plasma ball will just strike the surface and dissipate. A plasma ball cannot be used as a weapon either since the ball will harmlessly disappear if it strikes living tissue.

Travel through an HPD's portals is instantaneous - like walking through a doorway. One interesting feature is the Law of Conservation of Motion. If you pass through one at a high rate of speed, you will be traveling at that same rate of speed when you exit the other portal. Portals cannot be "turned off" at will but they can be "replaced" with another portal elsewhere. They will also fade away (click off) after 30 minutes. A portal gun can fire 10 plasma balls before being drained.

Though the portals have been proven 100% safe, the Handheld Portal Device itself has not. According to GLaDOS.
"Do not touch the operational end of the device. Do not look into the operational end of the device. Do not submerge the device in liquid, even partially. Most important, under no circumstances should you- (static)."
NOTE: This device is based on the portal gun from, well, you know. Hope you like it. I certainly do. In fact, it's hard to overstate my satisfaction. (Heh.)

[Thundarr Thursday] Notorious NPCs: Capt. Kordon, Queen of the River Pirates

Captain Kordon - Queen of the River Pirates
9th Level Pure Human

STR: 12 --- INT: 15
DEX: 18 --- WIL: 13
CON: 10 --- CHA: 16
HPs: 58 --- AC: 7
Mutations: none

Described by Thundarr thusly: "As evil as she is beautiful." Captain Kordon is an old-world pirate in a new world. Known as the Queen of the River Pirates, Kordon does not patrol the oceans and seas, rather sailing and pillaging up and down the widest rivers of the ruined earth. (In the Thundarr universe, it is hinted that she terrorizes the Ancient river once called the Mississippi.) In the truest sense, she is a deadly opponent who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Captain Kordon has trained herself in the ways of swordfighting and fencing, seeing it as the "true" way of fighting as her pirate ancestors did. When fighting with her rapier, Kordon receives a +2 damage bonus when she strikes. She is also incredibly dexterous and fast, making two attacks per melee round.

Kordon has had a very successful career as a pirate thanks to her ruthlessness and cunning. She sails the rivers on a modified craft created from parts from a naval shipyard. An aircraft carrier platform and towers have been mounted to a wooden log frame. Her ship is propelled by the wind only (25 MPH max speed). This huge craft has a battery of firearms and primitive weapons available to the crew, but the real arms lie in the six "fire lances" she has at her disposal - Ancient surface-to-air missiles that can be launched via catapult. But rather than waste these valuable destructive weapons, Kordon prefers to use the catapults to fire large hives with mutant killer wasps as well as flaming barrels of oil at her enemies.

To run her ship and to do her bidding, Capt. Kordon has a small army of 50 minions. Many of these pirate lackeys dress in a skindiver's rubber suit with a large stylized skull and crossbones painted on the chest. Others dress in a stereotypical pirate fashion. These minions are mostly pure humans (though there could be some mutants working for her). They have very basic fighting skills, preferring instead to overpower a foe in sheer numbers. They are not particularly loyal to Kordon and will break and run if a battle is turning against them. However, while on board the ship, they are fearless as the craft is the largest, most powerful water vessel known.

Captain Kordon is always pillaging for Ancient weaponry with which to strengthen her ship and her standing as the most dangerous force on the water. If a party encounters Captain Kordon, they'd better be prepared to face a clever tactician, a master swordsman, many armed minions, and the most powerful ship they will likely ever encounter.

NOTE: This villain was inspired by the episode "Treasure of the Moks" from the classic Ruby Spears post-apocalyptic cartoon "Thundarr the Barbarian." Stay tuned each week for "Thundarr Thursday"!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

MF Races vs. LL Classes or "What You Are vs. What You Do"

(Bear with me on the intro. I swear I'll bring this back to Mutant Future in a moment...)

One of the more hotly debated issues of Labyrinth Lord's design is the matter of "race as class." In the RPG, demi-humans are a class defined by their race. Humans can be clerics, fighters, magic-users, and thieves, whereas dwarves, halflings, and elves can be - well - dwarves, halflings, and elves. In LL, there are no "dwarven clerics" or "halfling thieves." Although is vastly simplifies the system, it isn't loved by all players, feeling that it limits character construction. Dan Proctor - the game's designer - has addressed this issue in the past, offering several ways to split the races away from the classes. Off the top of my head, he's discussed it in "Breaking Up Can Be So Hard" in Scribe of Orcus Vol. 1, Issue 3 (available at RPGNow), as well as at his blog.

Now to bring this issue back to Mutant Future. In MF, characters are designed in an opposite manner - based on a "race" rather than a "class." Characters are not defined by what they can do or what they were trained in ala thievery or magic-casting. Rather they are defined by how they were born and/or created (for our robotic characters). In much the same way as "race as class" feels limiting in LL, I feel that "class as race" is limiting in MF. So what options might we have to expound upon this?

I've given this some thought, and here is a rough, not-fully-fleshed-out concept I have. "Race" is obviously more important in MF than it is in LL since your race defines the number and extent of your mutations - pretty much the basis of the game. So if "Classes" were introduced into MF, I see them being defined as "an additional set of unique skills and abilities that a character has been trained and/or educated in." Your born into a race, but you've been trained into your class.

For example, after a character has been rolled up (a mutant hamster with pyrokinesis named "Herman"), there could be an additional class selected by the player. Herman studied mechanics and Ancient artifact repair and is now classified as a "tinkerer." As a tinkerer, Herman gets an additional +10% to identify and repair Ancient tech. He may also be trained to "MacGyver" a needed item out of junk on-hand once per week. So we still have a mutant fire-throwing hamster, but he now has a special set of skills that helps define the character. (So he won't be confused with all of the other fire-throwing hamsters in the Mutant Future!)

So, in this vein, here are some sample "Classes" that could be introduced into the Mutant Future:
  • Tinkerer - Good at repairs and inventing. Receives a bonus to ID/fix Ancient tech. May be able to create devices at a moment's notice.
  • Scavenger - Knows where to go to find any needed item in the junklands. Receives bonuses when scavenging or making trades with traders. May be able to find hidden things and/or find the best routes through Ancient ruins.
  • Brute - Is good at hitting things with other things. Trained in hand-to-hand combat. Gets a bonus to hit with close-combat weapons. Can build weapons.
  • Marksman - Same as a Brute only with ranged weapons.
  • Scholar - Can read Ancient languages and/or knows more of Ancient history than most. May not be able to fix tech, but can more easily tell you what it is, what it does, and how to turn it on. Knows where to go for information. May even know how to use Ancient computers for research.
  • Wheelman - Can fix/repair vehicles as well as drive them well. May even start with a small vehicle.
  • Medic - Familiar with first aid techniques on biological lifeforms. May know how to use most Ancient medical tech. Can "heal" injuries, allowing characters to regain hit points more quickly.
You get my drift. Classes would simply define those areas that they were trained in, giving them some minor benefits to their abilities as well as opening up the game for additional role-playing opportunities. Perhaps I'll hammer out this concept into some future supplemental material. If you have input or ideas or additional classes, I'd love to hear 'em.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dangerous Encounter: Meet DAN-1-L

This encounter should take place in a fairly isolated area near a massive amount of junk, scrap, and refuse. As they traverse the ground, avoiding any tumbling debris from above, they will come across a robot collapsed in a heap. The robot seems to be made out of junk itself, having mismatched parts from various other 'bot models incorporated into its structure. It has three arms - two ending with manipulators (hands) and one with and arc welder. As they approach it, it will slowly turn its head to them and ask for their help. It will then weakly point to a power cell on the ground nearby before it shuts down completely - its power depleted.

If the party puts the freshly-charged power cell in place, the robot will power up and pull itself to its "feet." The robot will tell the party that its identification designation is DAN-1-L. "But you may call me Daniel," he'll happily say. It explains that, many years ago, it was a mining robot. The miners kept him running by using whatever parts they could scavenge. Daniel is now on his own. He was nearly out of juice when it detected the spare power cell in this scrap field, collapsing just as it reached it. It falls over itself thanking the party and offering to help them with any task they have at the time. Daniel comes across as incredibly subservient. But looks can be deceiving.

In actuality, Daniel is a Cannibal Robot (new creature, click here for a description). Daniel's many parts and upgrades have come from other robots he has attacked, destroyed, and taken parts from. Daniel has already assessed the party's materials and has plans for their destruction so he can improve himself even further.

DAN-1-L (Cannibal Robot) (1) (AL N, MV 120’ (40’), AC 6, HD 60 hit points, #AT 3 (fist, arc welder, laser pistol), DG 1d6, 1d8, 6d6, SV L6, ML 5, mutations: none)

Any party member who is robotic in nature will be particularly fawned over by Daniel. He'll ask about they're parts and abilities, explaining that he's just interested in a fellow AI. (Actually he's sizing them up.) Daniel will attempt to befriend the party while leading them someplace he can ambush them from. Daniel has a laser pistol hidden in a cavity on his right side which he will bring out once the fighting begins.

The Mutant Lord can run the encounter in several ways:
  • Daniel may offer to lead them out of the scrap lands. He will instead lead them to a cul de sac where he will make his attack. (He will only do this if he feels he can directly take on a small or weaker party.)
  • Daniel will suggest visiting his camp where he has some extra tools and parts with which to do repairs. Once there, he will attack. (This way he doesn't have to drag the materials back. He will also be able to start immediate disassembly and integration.)
  • Daniel may attempt to break up the party, hoping to get his "primary target" away from the others.
Regardless of how it pans out, Daniel should be played as cunning, deceitful, and ruthless. If Daniel's camp is found, the party will discover tools and various robot parts he has stashed away for future "upgrades." The party will also discover an electronically responsive notation instrument ("Ernie"), a motion detector, and an autograpnel - all of which were going to be integrated into Daniel's system next.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

[Thundarr Thursday] Savage Menagerie: Dreadlon

No. Enc.: 1 (1)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: Swim: 240' (80')
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 20
Attacks: 5 (bite, four tentacles)
Damage: 4d8, 2d8, 2d8, 2d8, 2d8, 2d8
Save: L9
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: None

A dreadlon is an incredibly giant sea creature with the head and body of a giant lizard and tentacles like a squid. It is often brought into existence by very powerful wizards, though they can be encountered naturally in the ocean. Dreadlons are gilled water-breathers only encountered in oceans or seas. They feed on underwater sealife and have the appetite of a whale crossed with a shark. They have been known to come up from the ocean depths to attack large ships on the surface.

A dreadlon attacks first by biting at its target. Due to its incredible size, a dreadlon will inflict 4d8 hit points of damage with a single bite. If a natural 20 is rolled, the target is either swallowed whole (if human-sized or smaller) or an additional 1d8 hit points of crushing damage is inflicted from its massive jaws. The four tentacles of a dreadlon surround its midsection. It uses these to grasp prey and/or crush ships or obstacles. A tentacle can crush for 2d8 hit points of damage. Due to their size, they have an incredibly high hit dice pool and morale. It is very difficult to hurt or drive away a dreadlon once it begins its attack.

The only saving grace of a dreadlon attack is that it cannot stay above the waterline for very long as it needs to submerge to breathe again. It will also quickly grow bored or frustrated with an attack if it lasts too long, preferring larger prey to eat or prey that doesn't put up much of a fight. So a dreadlon will only attack for 2d12 rounds before it breaks off and goes back underwater.

Dreadlons are huge unstoppable monstrosities and should only be introduced to increase tension or to "herd" a party in a certain direction.

Mutations: none

NOTE: This creature is inspired by the episode “Island of the Body Snatchers” from the classic Ruby Spears post-apocalyptic cartoon “Thundarr the Barbarian.” Stay tuned each week for “Thundarr Thursday”!

NaNoWriMo, Other Projects Taking Precedence

Hey gang,

Just a note that the month of November is a busy time for me writing-wise. I participate in National Novel Writing Month each November and hitting a daily 1,670-word target is difficult enough without other projects fighting for my attention. I'm also working on some Mutant Future-specific writing projects that I plan to uncover later this year, but the material is not for use on this site. Ergo, I'll be posting a little less frequently for the next 30, but I still plan to keep the weekly Thundarr Thursday in place as well as one or two posts a week. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dangerous Encounter: Poached Eggs

This encounter could happen during some lengthy downtime for the PCs. While resting up between adventures, a trader will come into the village set up his booth. The PCs are encouraged to check out his wares. Perhaps they can find a few minor pieces of equipment to barter for. While shopping, the trader can be seen checking them out and sizing them up. Once he's satisfied that they're "the ones for the job," he'll approach and make them the following offer:

"On my way here, I noticed some Hemofowls (MF rulebook, pg. 75) circling overhead. I'll bet they've got a nest near some old Ancient pumping equipment about 2 miles south of here. I'm running mighty low on Hemofowl eggs, so I'll tell ya what. I'll pay ya 10 gold pieces for each one you bring to me. I might even let ya take something from my wagon for half-price for your troubles."

The location of the Ancient pumping station should be known to the PCs if they're from the area. If not, it's a simple matter of walking two miles south, then following an overgrown path that leads off of the main road. As described by the trader, there are a pair of Hemofowls circling high over head.

Hemofowls (2) (AL N, MV 90’ (30’), Fly: 180' (60'), AC 6, HD 5, #AT 2 (beak, special), DG 1d6, SV L6, ML 7, mutations: toxic weapon)

If the party watches the Hemofowls for a while, they'll just see them circling and circling, refusing to come down. Particularly cautious PCs (or any with a mutation that allows them to hear over long distances) may hear a hissing sound in the distance.

When the PCs get to the pumping station, that hissing sound will be even louder (any who had not heard if before will notice it now). The hissing sound seems to be keeping the Hemofowls away. With a little bit of searching, the PCs will find a nest on the ground with a few green leathery eggs inside it. Observant PCs will realize that these are not Hemofowl eggs. The hissing becomes an angry snarl and two Crocotinae (new creature, click here for a description) will come charging out of the brush, angry that their nest has been disturbed. Using their metaconcert mutation, they will call forth six other Crocotinae who will arrive in five rounds. All of the Crocotinae will fight to the death defending their nest.

Crocotinae (8)
(AL N, MV 70’ (30’), Fly: 140' (60'), AC 7, HD 2, #AT 1, DG 1d8, SV L2, ML 7, mutations: metaconcert)

Once the Crocotinae are dealt with, the Hemofowls (who were driven from their nesting area by the highly aggressive snapping waddlers) may decide to fly in and land at their nest which is nestled in a nearby tree bough. Otherwise the PCs will have to try to find the nest on their own. The Crocotinae nest has five eggs in it and the Hemofowl nest has seven eggs. The Hemofowl nest also has 25 gold pieces in it.

The trader had no idea that there was a flock of Crocotinae keeping the Hemofowls at bay and he will pay 20 gold pieces for each Crocotinae egg the PCs bring back. (Crocotinae fledglings can be trained to be excellent "watch-ducks," he'll explain.) He will also make good on his 10 gp per Hemofowl egg offer as well as a 50% discount on any one item on his wagon.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Everyone Loves Free T-shirts and Hats

A friend of mine pointed out this special online offer. A company known as Corporate Casuals is a supplier of custom printed and embroidered shirts, hats, and what-not. As part of a "get to know us" promotion, they will custom print one t-shirt or embroider one hat for free (you pay $5.99 shipping though). I ordered the shirt pictured here. Arrived within 4 days after ordering and it's pretty nice. The free shirt offer is pretty basic - you can only use a white shirt and their logo appears on the back (or it can cost you an extra $3 to go without the logo). The online design program gives you a selection of 6 or 7 fonts to use and there's a bunch of clipart to choose from too. You can also upload a high-rez picture of your own for the design. Hats are limited to a simple embroidery of a line of text. Anyway, it's a pretty good deal that I wanted to share. Here are the links: Free hat offer or free t-shirt offer.

Mutant Future Radiation Clock Giveaway Winner Announced!

We have a winner in our 1,500 visitor radiation clock giveaway! Robert Saint John's name was randomly drawn from all of The Savage AfterWorld's followers. Robert is the blogmeister of Groknard - A Retrospective of Star Trek RPGs and More. Congratulations Robert!