Wednesday, December 9, 2009

[Thundarr Thursday] Dangerous Encounter: Valley of the Man-Apes

While entering a long-forgotten valley, the PCs will come across a disturbing sight: A small army of 14 man-apes (use the Apeman stats from the MF rulebook, pg. 60) are excavating something from the valley floor. "Dig faster, my faithful ones!" says the one who is obviously overseeing the digging. "We have much work to do this night!" The man-apes will then lift something that appears to be a giant hand from the ground. If the PCs do nothing, the man-apes will load it onto a cart and drag it off. If, however, the PCs are heard or if they attempt to make contact, the leader will scream, "There are spies among us! Attack the humans!" A group of eight man-apes will attack while the other six (and the leader) carts off the hand.

Man-Apes (8) (AL N, MV 120’ (40’), AC 6, HD 7, #AT 1 (weapon), DG as weapon +2, SV L5, ML 9, mutations: none)

When the battle has ended, the PCs' next mission may be to follow the man-apes to find out what mischief is afoot. Following the path the ape-man took will lead them to a large walled fortress. This fortress is not the lair of the man-apes (they took another well-hidden path) but rather the fortified village of Zett and the dwarf people who have been under attack from the man-apes for many months. If the PCs are able to gain the villagers' trust (and as long as none of the PCs resemble apes), they will open the large doors and invite them in to rest. Zett, their mayor, explains that they have been at war with the man-apes "for untold ages" and built the high walls to keep them out. "Now Simius, their leader, is rebuilding The Mighty One - an Ancient warrior who will destroy our city!" Zett offers to handsomely reward the PCs if they will spy on Simius and find out what the status is of The Mighty One's reconstruction.

Following Zett's directions, the PCs will come to an Ancient movie studio lot. A great deal of commotion is coming from the Old West area of the lot. Inside a saloon soundstage, Simius and six other man-apes are dragging out another hand of The Mighty One. (The Mutant Lord is encouraged to start up an old-fashioned Old West barroom brawl!) If the man-apes get the best of the PCs, they will tie them up and drag them to the medieval castle soundstage, leaving them for a small gamma wyrm (MF rulebook, pg. 73) to eat. If the PCs begin to win, Simius will run off, leaving the hand behind. If the PCs pursue, they'll encounter the gamma wyrm, which will attack on sight.

Small Gamma Wyrm (1) (AL C, MV 90' (30'), AC 2, HD 8, #AT 3 or 1 (2 claws, 1 bite or breath), DG 1d4/1d4/3d6 or 5d6, SV L12, ML 10, mutations: psionic flight, toxic weapon, reflective epidermis (radiation))

While distracted by the gamma wyrm, the PCs should hear a loud crashing in the distance and the boom-boom-boom of echoing footsteps. The Mighty One has been activated and it's on the way to Zett's village! The Mighty One is a 100-foot-tall robotic gorilla used as a prop in some Ancient movies. The robot is fairly mindless, but since it was used in Hollywood monster films, it's basic programming consists of "Go to the nearby village and crush the puny humans." The hands were the last things Simius needed to complete the repairs (though it may have only one hand depending on how the barroom brawl went).

The robot can be defeated in one of two ways: The PCs can tackle it head-on and attempt to destroy it before it reaches Zett's village. Although it is incredibly strong (50 HD and hitting with its fist for 8d6 damage), it is also incredibly slow (-1 to hit). It also has very poor sensors (adding another -1 to hit) as well as no true armor to speak of (only a fur covering giving it a AC of 7). So fighting it is not out of the question. The other way to defeat it is to locate and stop Simius who is running The Mighty One with a remote control base unit. Simius has positioned the unit very close to Zett's village. Once The Mighty One reaches the village, Simius plans to trigger the remote and use it to control The Mighty One to destroy the walls. If the PCs can find Simius and the remote, they can shut down The Mighty One. (However, it will be much more exciting if the PCs fight the giant monster rather than simply pulling the plug!)

The Mighty One
Hit Dice: 50
Frame: Armature
Locomotion: Legs
Manipulation: Basic Hands
Armor: None, but covered with fur (AC 7)
Sensors: Class I (-1 to hit)
Mental Programming: Programming
Accessories: Remote Control Unit
Weaponry: Fists deal 8d6 damage

Once The Mighty One has been stopped and Simius and his man-apes dealt with, Zett and his village will treat the PCs as the heroes they are. It is left to the Mutant Lord to determine the reward Zett presents to them.

NOTE: This adventure and its creatures were inspired by the episode "Valley of the Man-Apes" 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!"


  1. One of my favorite Thundarr episodes! Great Post!

  2. Sniderman,

    You have once again done a great job of taking a favorite childhood cartoon and sculpting it into a Mutant Future scenario. With all of the material you have (and will) make for the Thundarr the Barbarian milieu, will there be an e-book at some point in the future?

  3. Great post! Angry Man is correct, do we expect a Thundarr supplement sometime in the future?

  4. Ha- I just watched this one last night- and, at the time I was thinking that encountering a group of ape men digging up a giant robot would be a good hex description for a sandbox.

  5. "Angry Man is correct, do we expect a Thundarr supplement sometime in the future?"

    Well, I'm currently working on two Mutant Future-related projects; a full-scale adventure scenario and a compilation of micro-adventures for weekend/pick-up/convention play, so I've got a full plate. Also, I obviously do not own (nor can secure) the legal usage rights to the Thundarr characters, artwork, etc. These blog posts are about as close to an "official" release as you'll probably see. But it's Christmastime, so who knows what miracles may surface? ;)

  6. Please Sir may we have a Thundarr supplement for Christmas & as always - Thanks great encounter.

  7. That would definately make for a Merry Mutant Christmas!!

  8. Sweet mercy. This blog is amazing. I want to quit my AD&D campaign and start a MF game immediately!

  9. (Psssst... To anyone who happens upon this message... You may want to stop by The Savage AfterWorld for Dec. 24th's Thundarr Thursday. I guarantee it'll be a Merry Mutant Christmas!)