Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I Got Mine. You Got Yours?

Have you ordered your Mutant Future Revised Edition rulebook yet? New cover! New art throughout! Text and rules errata updated! Shiny! And in case you're still hedging, how about a 25% off coupon code for your Lulu print order? Enter WINTER305 at checkout for 25% off through Jan. 5.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

[Notorius NPC] Satan Nick

Satan Nick (AKA "Klawz")
4th Level Mutant Human

STR: 17 --- INT: 17
DEX: 18 --- WIL: 17
CON: 21 --- CHA: 7
HPs: 119 --- AC: 2
Mutations: aberrant form (thick reptilian hide); ability boost-CON; know direction; echolocation; negative empathy; vision impairment

"He sees you when you're sleeping.
He knows when you're awake.
He knows if you've been bad or good,
So go hide for goodness sake!"

Satan Nick is an evil misshapen mutant who has been terrorizing the ruins and villages dotting the Mutant Future landscape for years. Little is known about Ol' Nick, except for the fact he enjoys spreading terror and fear throughout the lands during the days of the winter solstice.

Satan Nick (a perversion of the name "Saint Nick") has become the thing of legends and nightmares. No one knows where he lives; no one has ever spoken to him (and lived); and no one knows why he shows up at the same time every year at some random community for the sole purpose of terrorizing the inhabitants. Nick spreads his own twisted form of "Xmas cheer" by dropping down chimneys and slaying the residents; leaving booby-trapped candy and gifts scattered around the village; and other deadly pranks and activities. It's said that when Nick arrives, "the Yuletide will run red."

Satan Nick is a very powerful, diabolically intelligent opponent with numerous mutations that help him on his spree of horror. His echolocation and know direction mutations ensure that no one can hide or escape from his wrath. His increased constitution, high dexterity, and reptilian hide makes him very difficult to hit and to injure. He has a +2 bonus to hit and to his handheld damage. He receives a +3 to any saves vs. poison and +2 to saves vs. radiation. In essence, he is very nearly the perfect survivor in the Mutant Future wastes. However, his negative empathy mutation gives others a hint of his presence as a general feeling of unease and dread will settle over the town prior to his arrival. Also, Satan Nick cannot see at all in daylight and is effectively blinded by it, explaining why he only shows up at night and during the long evenings of the solstice. (Due to his green skin, red/white fur uniform, and anti-solstice activities, some survivors refer to him as "The Grinch" in honor of a similar creature from before the Final Wars.)

Satan Nick is said to travel on the back of a large savage Braindeer that attacks upon command, but this rumor has not been confirmed. When first spied, he may also be confused with a member of San Tass Helpers. People do not make that mistake twice. The PCs may be enlisted by a targeted village to deal with this menace once and for all. (A rather sizable bounty has been on Nick's head for years.) However, all who have tried have failed, as Nick only appears on one night each year in a random location. And even if they can predict where he will strike, there's no guarantee they will be able to defeat him. The Mutant Lord should play up the "unstoppable force of evil" that is Satan Nick. Children cry at the mention of his name. Adults fear him. Even wasteland survivors shudder at memories what they've seen him leave behind upon one of his midnight visits.

NOTE: I realize this is REALLY dark for a holiday post, but I've been planning on unveiling this twisted Father Christmas for a while. Merry Christmas to All and to All, "Good Luck!"

Friday, December 24, 2010

[Savage Menagerie] Psyeti

No. Enc.: 1d6 (2d4)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 5
Attacks: 3 (2 claws, bite)
Damage: 1d6/1d6/1d8
Save: L2
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: None

The Psyeti (pronounced SI-yet-tee) is a 12-foot-tall, fur-covered biped found in arctic or snow-covered wastelands. They are snow-white with beady pink eyes caused by their albinism mutation. They are often found in underground caves and caverns as they are blinded by bright sunlight (-2 combat penalty when outdoors).

Psyetis attack with two formidable claws and a sharp-toothed bite for 1d6/1d6/1d8 points of damage, respectively. Psyetis are difficult to harm in mental combat due to their mental barrier mutation, giving attackers a -4 penalty when attacking mentally. They can also sense others with a mental mutation and will try to avoid them in combat. Psyetis can also use their control weather mutation to whip up a blinding snowstorm or blistering freezing temperatures. If a Psyeti is forced out of its lair and into the outdoors, it will immediately throw up a blizzard in hopes of blinding its opponents, equaling the odds.

Psyetis are not prone to attacking strangers in their domain, although they will defend their lairs to the death if invaded. It is often difficult to know if a region has a Psyeti lair, however, due to the private nature of these beasts. But if a PC spies a shadowy figure on a mountainous hillside from a distance, odds are good that a Psyeti lair is near.

Mutations: albinism, mental barrier, control weather

Thursday, December 23, 2010

[Thundarr Thursday] World of Thundarr Sourcebook Updated

Merry Christmas! OK, so it's not Christmas yet, but it is the one-year anniversary of the initial release of The World of Thundarr the Barbarian Sourcebook. In the past year, this book has grown into a 60-plus page tome that I'm quite proud of. To celebrate, I have updated the sourcebook with the following new material:
  • Werewolf
  • Yondo's Nega-Sword
  • Lava Troll

That brings the contents of the supplement up to:

  • 63 pages of Thundarr/Mutant Future goodness
  • 3 Character Races
  • 7 NPCs
  • 10 Dangerous Devices
  • 28 Creatures
  • And 4 full adventures in the Thundarr world!

As always, my plans are to update the sourcebook with any new material added, so this will always be up-to-date. Announcements (like this one) will be made whenever an updated file is posted. The full sourcebook will always remain free and available for download over there in the right-hand column. Thanks again, and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

NaGa DeMon Status Update

As per my announcement of intent last month, I'm treating the month of December as my own personal National Game Design Month. I have several Mutant Future projects in the works (and one for Mini Six) that I'm working on and I shall post my status reports on a weekly basis. (I've found I'm more productive when I feel folks are watching me.):
  • "A Year In The Savage AfterWorld" -- A compendium of Mutant Future micro-adventures and creatures. Fifty-two Dangerous Encounters; enough for a full year's worth of weekend role-playing. (STATUS: 50% written; well over 30 one-page encounters with full-page stats for a dozen new creatures.)
  • "Antique Americana" -- A mini-setting for Mini Six as the PCs become retrievers of historical artifacts. (STATUS: 50% written; setting fleshed out and written; artifacts and enemies now being constructed.)
  • "Dead In The Water" -- A full-length Mutant Future adventure taking place on a fiery manmade island overrun by mindless mutants...or are they? (STATUS: 30% written; decided to redesign the format of the adventure so I need to remap some major encounters.)
  • "The Wackyworld War" -- A full-length Mutant Future adventure as the PCs find themselves between warring factions. (STATUS: 10% written; in the conceptual stage only; will be the first to go if time runs short.)
  • And, of course, there will be another update to "The World of Thundarr the Barbarian Sourcebook." (STATUS: Will be an easy release for December as the material is compiled from Thundarr posts on this website.)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Mutant Future Revised Edition Coming In Late December

Goblinoid Games has announced that a revised edition of Mutant Future is coming in just a few short weeks! According to Dan Proctor, Mutant Future co-creator and Goblinoid Games' overlord, the revisions are going to be mostly cosmetic as the stock and public domain artwork is being replaced with shiny new illustrations by Mark Allen and Steve Zieser, although I assume some niggling errors and typos will be tackled as well. The revised edition is being released as a prelude for Mutant Future to enter general distribution! That's right -- spidergoats are about to invade your local Friendly Neighborhood Game Store!

I'll close with a preview of the new cover as drawn and designed by Mark Allen:

Start saving up your plasteel coins!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Project(s) For December's NaGa DeMon

As per my announcement of intent last month, I'm treating the month of December as my own personal National Game Design Month. I have several Mutant Future projects in the works (and one for Mini Six) that I've just not found the time or drive to finish up. So, during December, in the spirit of NaGa DeMon, I shall be trying to churn out the following:
  • "A Year In The Savage AfterWorld" -- A compendium of Mutant Future micro-adventures and creatures. Fifty-two Dangerous Encounters; enough for a full year's worth of weekend role-playing.
  • "Dead In The Water" -- A full-length Mutant Future adventure taking place on a fiery manmade island overrun by mindless mutants...or are they?
  • "The Wackyworld War" -- A full-length Mutant Future adventure as the PCs find themselves between warring factions.
  • "Antique Americana" -- A mini-setting for Mini Six as the PCs become retrievers of historical artifacts.
  • And, of course, there will be another update to "The World of Thundarr the Barbarian Sourcebook."
Will I be able to complete all of these projects in 30 days? Probably not. But my hope is to have at least half of these fully written by the end of the month with plans of having them laid out and released by Spring. Two of these are nearly finished, but just need some polish. Updates as to progress will be posted here to keep me motivated (and honest). Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Savage Menagerie: Ursine Gobbler

No. Enc.: 2-5 (1d4+1)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 7
Attacks: 3 (2 claws, bite)
Damage: 2d6/2d6/3d6
Save: L4
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: VI

An Ursine Gobbler (nicknamed "Turkeybear") is a 10-foot-tall, 500-pound crossbreed of a large land mammal and a large land bird. An Ursine Gobbler has the body, claws, and head of a bear, and the beak and tail of a turkey. Some adventurers have mistakenly referred to it as an "owlbear," having read about these creatures in an Ancient tome titled "Add Monster Manual."

Ursine Gobblers are usually found residing in cave entrances or large Ancient ruins. They are violently protective of their young and their homes and will charge anyone who approaches either of these. They attack with a claw/claw/bite for 2d6/2d6 and 3d6 damage respectively. Ursine Gobblers have a minor form of gigantism, giving them their formidable size. They also receive a damage bonus when attacking (as reflected in the previous stats). However, they also receive a -1 to hit penalty on any target 3 feet tall or smaller.

Ursine Gobblers have developed a mental barrier against mental attacks, giving attackers a -4 penalty when attacking mentally. They can also sense others with a mental mutation and will try to avoid them in combat. Ursine Gobblers can also cause the air around a target to gradually increase to unbearable limits with their temperature control mutation. When triggered, the air will shimmer around a target as the air becomes super-heated. The target will suffer 1d6 points of damage per round until the Ursine Gobbler's concentration is broken or once the target has taken 10d6 points of damage -- whichever comes first.

Ursine Gobbler pelts are highly valued by traders as they are very soft and warm, as well as being nearly impossible to secure due to the dangerous nature of the creature. The meat of an Ursine Gobbler is also quite tasty, and a trader will pay a premium for a good supply of it. (Although eating the flesh of an Ursine Gobbler tends to make the eater a bit sleepy.)

Mutations: gigantism, mental barrier, temperature control (heat)

NOTE: This creature is in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In December, Will You "NaBlo" or "NaGa"?

The month of November is always a busy time for me, as I usually participate in the yearly National Novel Writing Month, AKA "NaNoWriMo." My blog posts drop off significantly, and my game design plans are back-burnered as I desperately try to crank out yet-another "Great American Novel." Of course, I could use NaNo as the catalyst to focus on one of my hobbyist projects, but I really do enjoy the challenge of generating a 50,000-word book in a month. So November is filled with great writing productivity, but no RPG-related productivity. However, the month of December, that all changes. This post serves as both an announcement of my intentions as well as a call to other blog-meisters and would-be game designers to join me.

There are two NaNo-similar events that we as RPG enthusiasts can participate in--either one of which will increase our creativity and productivity, ending with something substantial of use to the RPG-playing community.

National Blog Posting Month, AKA "NaBloPoMo," is not held on a regular schedule like other "National Blah-blah Month." Rather, bloggers are encouraged to pick one month of the year and, during that time, post something each and every day. Bloggers from throughout the blogosphere with a wide variety of interests commit to posting something substantial on a daily basis for 30-31 days (or 28 days if you're a February slacker). In December, I challenge all RPG bloggers to commit to a daily post throughout the month. To make this useful for your readers though, I suggest that all entries have some kind of use to the RPG community, ie, new monsters, characters, rules, etc. Or if you'd rather create something more substantial...

National Game Design Month, AKA "NaGa DeMon," was founded by Nathan Russell of Peril Planet. His challenge is for you to create a game within 30 days, whether it's an RPG, boardgame, computer game, or other project. You "win" by actually creating and playing your game within the month. Now, NaGa DeMon is being held in November 2010 (in other words, it's currently underway) and so it collides with NaNo. (Nathan has suggested he may run the next event in February 2011.) Anyway, I plan to tackle NaGa DeMon in December, wrapping up 2010 with one (or two!) RPG projects I've been dragging my feet on. If interested in this challenge, why not try to finally hammer out that rules supplement for your favorite system? Maybe you have an adventure module you'd like to write, produce, and publish. Maybe you'll just come up with that ultimate RPG rule set and, once complete, release it for free to the world. The object is to finally put pen to paper and create that RPG game or supplement you've always planned on writing. (And really, a name like "Naga Demon" just SCREAMS for RPG involvement!)

Anyway, those are the challenges for December. You have two weeks from today to get planning on which you'd like to tackle. I'd really like to see an explosion of blog posts and/or multiple RPG projects coming to fruition during the month. Chime in if you plan on taking up the Gauntlet of either one! And watch for updates throughout the month as to my personal progress on my projects.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

NaNo Destroys The Savage AfterWorld

Hey gang,

As in years part, I'm spending the month of November churning out yet another Great American Novel as part of the yearly National Novel Writing Month. I was trying to get back to somewhat regular blog posting, but I'm afraid it's tough to manage three or four money-paying writing assignments and NaNo as well, while still finding time to post the occasional mutant or post-apocalyptic situation with which to vex your Future Mutants. So November's posts will be lean. I'll try to make a effort to give you a few things this month to tide you over until December.

But in December, I may tackle one or two other NaNoWriMo-like events, both of which tie in directly with the RPG community. And I'll be looking for other RPG blog-meisters to join in the fun. Details to come...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

[Festival of Fright] Savage Menegerie: The Great Pumpking

No. Enc.: 1
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 180' (60')
Armor Class: 3
Hit Dice: 13
Attacks: 3 (2 claws,bite)
Damage: 2d6/2d6/2d8
Save: L7
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: XXII

The Great Pumpking is a giant plant mutant worshiped by Pumpkin Men (MF rulebook, pg. 90). It is unknown if The Great Pumpking is a godlike deity, a supernatural entity, or just a unique gargantuan creature. Regardless of its background, The Great Pumpking is a monstrous entity that is as evil as it is large. Only one has ever been encountered in the Mutant Future.

The Great Pumpking is well over 20 feet tall, made up of ropy, throny tendrills and vines, topped by a large pumpkin head. It attacks with two claw-like hands for 2d6 hit points each. It can also bite with a thorn-laden mouth for 2d8 hit points of damage. The Great Pumpking can also fire a devistating blast of radiation from its gamma eyes for 9d6 hit points of radiation damage.

The Great Pumpking is found only in pumpkin patches, usually near the lair of Pumpkin Men. It is said that the rituals and chants known by Pumpkin Men will call forth The Great Pumpking, but only at midnight during the Festival of Fright. Pumpkin Men offer up sacrifices to The Great Pumpking to curry favor and protection. If a party encounters a Great Pumpking, they will also have to deal with the 5d6 Pumpkin Men followers who have called it into existance.

Mutations: gigantism, natural vegetal weapons, optic emissions (gamma eyes)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

[Festival of Fright] Notorius NPC: "Sam"

8th Level Mutant Human (probably)

STR: 17 --- INT: 14
DEX: 16 --- WIL: 15
CON: 16 --- CHA: 10
HPs: 58 --- AC: 1
Mutations: precognition, teleportation, mental barrier

Not much is known about "Sam," who is the recognized leader of the Tricker Treaters. What is known is that he is a coldblooded killer in the body of a child.

"Sam" appears to be a small child dressed in a pair of "Footie" pajamas. Over his head, he wears a simple mask made out of a burlap bag with two big black buttons sewn on for the eyes. He can be found carrying a trick-or-treat sack and/or a large lollipop in the shape of a jack-o-lantern. "Sam" never talks and remains utterly silent.

"Sam" can best be described as "The Spirit of Halloween," for he enforces the rules and rituals of the Festival of Fright. It is said he appears to one town or village one night of the year to watch over the populace as they celebrate the Festival. If he sees violators (not being generous to Tricker Treaters, not wearing masks and costumes, blowing out the candle in a jack-o-lantern), it is said he will exact revenge against those.

"Sam" is almost supernaturally fast and strong. He receives a +2 to hit bonus, +4 damage bonus, and he receives 2 attacks per combat round. He is hard to fight mentally as he has a permanent mental barrier in place. Physical combat is also difficult as "Sam" can teleport out of harm's way, and his precognition gives him advance warnings of grievous injury.

When "Sam" is first encountered, it may be almost humorous in nature as "Sam" does not seem to be very menacing. However, if "Sam" is crossed or insulted, his true nature should be revealed. "Sam" is -- at heart -- a demonic creature of sadistic intent. Oddly enough, treating him as a childlike trick-or-treater may be enough to make him break off his attack. It's been said that simply offering him some candy may make him forget his vengeance-fueled attack and he will wander off, happily munching the sweets offered to him.

"Sam" appears courtesy of the movie "Trick R Treat."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

[Festival of Fright/Thundarr Thursday] Savage Menagerie: Werewolves

No. Enc.: 3d6 (3d10)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 180' (60')
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 2 (bite/claw)
Damage: 2d4/1d6
Save: L4
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: XX

Just as they "exist" in most fantasy tropes, Werewolves also exist in the World of Thundarr the Barbarian. However, unlike the "classic" idea of a Werewolf, the man-beasts from The Brotherhood of the Night differ greatly.

Werewolves appear to be a humanoid creature with the characteristics of a large wolf. They are covered in brown or grey fur, have pointed ears and claws, and fangs. Unlike a wolf, Werewolves have yellow slitted eyes and a thick mane of hair around their head, giving them an almost-feline-like look. They are rarely found in small groups, preferring to hunt and travel in larger packs. A Werewolf attacks by biting and clawing, dealing 2d4 and 1d6 hit points respectively. They have enhanced sight and enhanced hearing, giving them an almost supernatural ability to track their prey.

However, the bite of a Werewolf does not pass along the lycanthropy curse. All Werewolves are created by their "pack leader," a powerful Werewolf who can create new Werewolves just by touching a victim. (If a Werewolf pack is randomly encountered, there is a 20% chance that the pack leader will be accompanying them, though there is a 60% chance he will be found in their lair.) This pack leader should be 2HD larger with a +2 bonus to hit. If he is able to grab and hold a victim, the victim should save versus stun attacks or be transformed into a Werewolf under the control of the pack leader. However, this condition can be broken and reversed upon exposure to a naturally occurring substance such as wolfsbane or the waters of an enchanted spring. It is left to the Mutant Lord to determine the antidote to the lycanthropy.

In the episode "The Brotherhood of the Night," the pack leader Zebon was trying to grow his pack large enough to capture and convert the wizard Infernus. Once the wizard was under his thrall, he planned to use his massive army (along with the wizard's power) to rule the world. Once Thundarr tossed him into a healing spring, he reverted to a wolf form rather than a human form, which could mean that he was a mutant wolf all along.

Mutations: enhanced sight, enhanced hearing

NOTE: This creature was inspired by the episode "The Brotherhood of the Night" from the Ruby Spears post-apocalyptic cartoon series "Thundarr the Barbarian." Stay tuned for more of Thundarr Thursday!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

[Festival of Fright] Dangerous Encounter: Living Nightmare

To run this encounter properly, the Mutant Lord will previously need to have some idea as to who (or "what") frightens the PCs. It can be a particularly villainous foe they encountered, a monstrous mutant they barely defeated, or any large creature they have heard rumors of that they have shown hesitancy to meet. ("Boy I hope we never run into one of those!")

When this encounter begins, the PCs should find themselves in some central public location such as a town square, tavern, or marketplace. There should be some concerned excitement bubbling up nearby as the townsfolk in the crowd begin to talk excitably. The PC should catch snippets of conversation: "She just wandered in...thought she was dead...her poor parents must be relieved...!" If the PCs ask around or investigate, they'll get the following information:
"About three weeks ago, a small girl disappeared from the village. No one knew if she was taken or if she just wandered off into the woods. It was assumed she had been dragged off and eaten by one of the creatures lurking in the ruins nearby. Her parents were inconsolable. However, about an hour ago, she wandered into the village! She seems to be healthy and unharmed, but there's something...wrong about her. She just stares off into the distance--never blinking, never speaking..."
The parents are happy to talk with the PCs (they're just delighted their child is back) and will let them meet with the girl if desired. The child, named Haester, sits silently in a chair, staring wide-eyed off into space. She seems almost robotic or hypnotized, devoid of emotion. If the PCs talk to her gently and ask what happened to her, she'll slowly turn her head to them and blandly remark, "The Grizzold took me to his house." The parents will act surprised, explaining that "the Grizzold" is a made-up monster from a fairy-tale her parents used to tell her. (If asked for a description of the Grizzold, the Mutant Lord is encouraged to describe the most horrific creature he can imagine. The PCs may later encounter "the Grizzold" if they're freaked out enough at the description!) Upon further conversation, Haester will describe the old ruined house about 5 miles away where "the Grizzold" kept her. She will also warn about his "mean dogs" before she shuts down completely. If the PCs aren't curious enough to investigate on their own, the village's town council will offer them a handsome reward to deal with this monster before another child is taken.

When the PCs arrive in the area, they should see an old dilapidated mansion on a hill. (The Mutant Lord is encouraged to play this up as the classic "haunted house" scenario, with the wind whipping up, night falling, and a blood-red full moon in the sky.) As they approach the house, a pair of Kamatas (MF rulebook, pg. 78) will charge from the underbrush and attack.

Kamata (2) (AL C, MV 180’ (60’), AC 5, HD 5, #AT 3 (2 claws, bite), DG 1d8/1d8/1d6, SV L3, ML 9, mutations: energy retaining cell structure, increased sense (smell))

Once the creature's "pets" are dealt with, the PCs can enter the house. Unbeknownst to the party, a Fear Feeder has taken up residence in an old dilapidated mansion. The extra-planar creature feeds on fear, terror, and horror, and it takes the shape of whatever terrorizes its victim the most. As the victim cringes in horror, the Fear Feeder consumes the negative energy until it has drained a victim of all its Willpower. Once drained and emotionally broken, it releases its prey and goes to find a fresh source of fear. (Fear Feeders are particularly fond of childhood traumas.)

Fear Feeder (1) (AL C, MV 120’ (40’), AC 3, HD 6, #AT 2 (claws plus special), DG 1d8/1d8/WIL drain, SV L6, ML 10, mutations: mental phantasm (unique), emotional vampirsm (fear))

The Mutant Lord should have the PCs slowly investigate the house, looking for "the Grizzold." Since the Fear Feeder is a shadowy creature, it will hide in the corners and the darkness, looking for an opportunity to take the shape of a new horrific being to terrorize its new "playthings." The Fear Feeder will try to attack the party individually rather than as a group, so it will wait until they separate before striking first. Once the nature of the Fear Feeder is discovered or once it looks like the fight is going against it, it will attempt to flee the area, hoping to find another location near another village with children.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

[Festival of Fright] Savage Menagerie: Prometheoid

No. Enc.: 1
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 90' (30')
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 9
Attacks: 1 (hand or weapon)
Damage: 3d6 or as weapon
Save: L5
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: VII

Prometheoids are the end results of twisted medical experiments trying to learn the secrets of immortality and cheating death. A Prometheoid is a stitched-together collection of human (and mutant) body parts which is then somehow brought back to life through science or mutation (or magic if your campaign has it). Prometheoids are also known as "Conglomerate Men," "Reanimated Dead," or the more colloquial nickname "Frankenstein."

Prometheoids are huge, often standing more than 8 feet tall. (It is said that their creators make them bigger so it's easier to work on them.) Due to their size, Prometheoids have a form of the increased strength and increased constitution mutations. They can deal 3d6 damage in unarmed combat, and if they use a weapon, it's 3d6 plus whatever damage the weapon deals. Prometheoids are immune to damaging effects from poisons or radiation. They also do not age (explaining why a Prometheoid created in the past could still be wandering the wastelands).

If a Prometheoid is the result of an experiment performed prior to the Final Wars, the creature will not have any other mutations or abilities. If, however, the creature was created in the Mutant Future, the Mutant Lord should bestow 1d4 additional physical mutations upon the creature. (It is assumed the creator used mutated body parts in the Prometheoid's creation.)

Mentally, a Prometheoid can be one of two minds: It can be a mindless grunting killing machine, rampaging against life itself. Or it can be an intelligent, yet twisted, tragic figure who feels that its existence is cursed and damned. It is left to the Mutant Lord to determine the story behind its creation and its motivation in the world.

Mutations: increased strength, increased constitution, special (see description)

Monday, October 25, 2010

[Festival of Fright] Furtive Faction: Tricker Treaters

Group Goals and Beliefs: To test the charitable nature of strangers. To judge the worthiness of "treaters" and to "trick" those who do not measure up.

Identifiers: Tricker Treaters are children (or possibly small adults) wearing tattered, shabby clothing and a single, simple mask. They may be carrying a bag or sack with them. They never speak, except for the phrase "Tricker Treat," which are the only words you will hear them utter.

Group History: According to legend, during the days of the Festival of Fear, small children would be sent into the world at night, begging for tribute. The children, wearing masks to hide their identities, would approach a stranger and utter the chant "Tricker Treat" while thrusting an open bag or sack at the stranger. The stories say that those who gave worthy gifts to these children would be blessed with good fortune throughout the year. Those who refused or offered small rewards would be punished -- or "tricked" -- for their miserly ways. If a Tricker Treater approaches you, you'd better have something of value to give to them. If you refuse or shortchange them, they'll wander off silently to plot their "trick."

Game Information: Since the days of the Final Wars, the original intent of the Halloween Trick-or-Treat tradition has been warped into a pseudo-religion. It is now viewed as a test of integrity and generosity. Those who pass are left unmolested. Those who fail are deemed unworthy of existence and will "tricked" i.e. killed. These "tricks" usually come in a form similar to the harmless pranks of yesteryear. However, instead of having eggs thrown at their house, the "tricked" may wake to hear live grenades crashing through a window. Instead of releasing a pig in the "tricked" house, they may find a hungry, angry hideous boar. Tricker Treaters see themselves as the final judge of mankind's true character, and they take that responsibility seriously and with bloody intent. It is rumored that their leader, known only as "Sam," is a very powerful mutant who violently enforces his interpretation of the Laws of the Festival of Fright.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Seven Days Celebrating The Festival Of Fright

Pull on your masks and grab your trick-or-treat bags. Beginning tomorrow, your post-apocalyptic Mutant Future PCs will discover that mutated creatures and twisted atomic abominations are the LEAST of their problems when this annual Festival of Fright rolls through their village. Seven days of ghosties, ghoulies, long-legged creepies, and Things That Go Bump In The Night, leading up to a special Halloween-themed encounter on October 31.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Savage Menagerie: Zebrant

No. Enc.: 1 (1d2)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 210' (70')
Armor Class: 3
Hit Dice: 5
Attacks: 1 (bite or trample)
Damage: 1d6 or 1d20
Save: L3
Morale: 6
Hoard Class: None

Contrary to appearances, the Zebrant is not a mutated insect. It is actually a mammalian horse that has mutated extra legs and a multisegmented torso. This large beast (7-foot-tall at the shoulder) is prized as a swift mount capable of fast speeds. It can also comfortably carry two riders. However, Zebrants are very rare to find in the wild, and -- until caught and tamed -- they will bolt from any perceived threat. Although they shy from combat, a Zebrant will bite if given the chance for 1d6 hit points of damage. A Zebrant may also try to trample an opponent, doing 1d20 hit points if it manages to bowl over an attacker.

Besides its speed and carrying capacity, a Zebrant has one other benefit making it a much sought-after mount. A Zebrant has a greater force screen mutation that it can enfold around a rider. Once a day, a Zebrant can activate its force screen, encompassing both itself and anyone riding on it. The force screen is capable of deflecting 5d6 hit points of damage before collapsing. This mutation has given rise to the Zebrant nickname of "Striped Tanks," as a rider on the back of a Zebrant is all but untouchable.

Mutations: gigantism, force screen (greater)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

[Thundarr Thursday] Review Of The Official Thundarr DVD Release

The blurb on the back of the DVD case says it all, as if the copywriter was acutely aware of the demand for this cartoon series:


I placed my order for the Thundarr the Barbarian DVD set on October 14 and received it five days later. Very impressed with the speed of delivery, but how would the set itself stack up to this very demanding Thundarr fan? I knew the set was going to be a "made to order" DVD set, so I was concerned about both the quality of the materials used as well as the quality of the video itself. I needn't have worried.
The first thing that impressed me was the quality of the case and discs themselves. The case artwork is one we've seen thousands of times, and I was disappointed that the actual 'toon logo was not used on the cover. But that aside, this did not strike me as something that was "custom-burned." This has the appearance of a DVD set purchased at any retail store. The discs themselves are DVD-Rs, but the disc art is silk-screened on rather than paper labels. Very sharp-looking product.
Each DVD holds five episodes (with the exception of Disc Three which holds six), and the episodes are organized by their original broadcast order. If you want to see how the show progressed over the seasons, just watch them in the order presented. I was a bit disappointed with the menus as they were very basic in appearance and presentation. The master menu doesn't even identify the set, allowing you to either Play All or choose a specific episode to play.
However, the episode selection menu gives you a taste of Thundarr by presenting the title cards for the episodes rather than just a list of episode names to choose from. That was a nice touch and was appreciated.
One slight disappointment: There are no extras in this set. It would have been nice to have added some concept art or seen some interviews with the creators, artists, animators, and actors of the show. A disappointing oversight considering the recent "Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1980s Volume 1" only had one Thundarr episode, but managed to also squeeze in an 18-minute Thundarr retrospective, including interviews with creators Joe Ruby and Ken Spears. (And that DVD was also a Warner Bros. release, so I assume there wouldn't have been any rights issue to have the WBShop place it on this DVD set as well.)

And how are the video/audio quality of the episodes? I'll let you judge with two screengrabs. The first is from the absolute best bootleg set that I have. (I use it for all of my Thundarr Thursday screenshots.):
Same scene from the DVD set:Obviously, the video is as crisp and clear as I've ever seen in an animated cartoon release. The cleanest video master available was used to create this set and it shows. Bright colors, sharp lines, and none of the generational breakdown you'll see from a copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy.

Ordering info: The Thundarr the Barbarian Complete Series DVD Set is $29.95 with free shipping. Plus, until 11/30/2010, use code SCIFI25 at checkout for a 25% discount!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My 15 Games In 15 Minutes

Oh all right. It seems that every other blogger has jumped onto the 15 in 15 bandwagon, where they are asked to list the 15 games that have affected them the most in their gaming life. And they must do so in 15 minutes. So, without further ado, here are mine as they come to me:
  1. Mutant Future - The Blasted Earth Retroclone that brought me back into the gaming fold. Seriously, is anyone surprised that this is number one on this blog?
  2. Gamma World - The first gonzo post-apocalyptic RPG I played and one that showed me there was more than just Dungeons & Dragons out there.
  3. Dungeons & Dragons - Of course I cut my teeth on the granddaddy of all RPGs in a long-running campaign that, I know, is still running 20 years later.
  4. Ghostbusters RPG - My first exposure to the D6 system and the game that showed me that RPGs could also be incredibly funny.
  5. Toon - A maniacal RPG that encourages action over planning. Great fun to run at conventions - especially with a sound system blasting Warner Bros. cartoon theme music.
  6. Call of Cthulhu - Unlike the lighter comedy RPGs I enjoy, this showed me that, sometimes, there are no winners. Eventually you will either die, go insane, or be eaten. Horror done right.
  7. Villains and Vigilantes - Played and enjoyed this supers game long before exposure to Champions. Still have all of my original books from the FGU days and am glad to see it back!
  8. Dark Cults card game - Not exactly an RPG, but I grabbed this eerie little storytelling card game years ago, and it was a regularly played diversion for years. Still have it on-hand too.
  9. Timemaster - Loved Pacesetter's stuff back in the '80s, and a time travel RPG was just icing on the cake. Really well-thought-out time travel mechanics with interesting adventures in the past and future.
  10. Chill - My other favorite Pacesetter game. Less dire than Cthulhu, but no less deadly. If CoC was the "Hammer Horror" of RPGs, Chill was "Universal Monsters."
  11. Stuperpowers - Long before I found out about Mystery Men and Flaming Carrot, I had stumbled across this spoof of heroes with useless powers. Hysterical in small doses. "Prehensile nipples," anyone?
  12. Stalking The Night Fantastic/Bureau 13 - Discovered the original spiral-bound photocopied STNF at a local convention years ago. Thought the idea of a government branch fighting the forces of the supernatural was very cool.
  13. Space 1889 - Didn't play it much, but loved the concept. My first exposure to the steampunk genre.
  14. Tunnels and Trolls - Played a few games and loved the simple mechanics of the system. Plus it was a bit more lighthearted than other fantasy games which was nice.
  15. International Fantasy Gaming Society - Yup, I was a LARPer for many years. Role-playing on a tabletop is one thing. But get back to me when you've actually explored a dungeon, turned a wave of undead, or slain a troll lord in real life. I have. ;)
Honorable Mention: The original Illuminati by Steve Jackson Games. Fnord.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Stack O' Mutational Links

My posts have been sporadic as of late, but that doesn't mean I haven't been scouring the Interwebs, looking for the best of Mutant Future and post-apocalyptic offerings out there. The following list is a collection of links and sites I've stumbled across over the last month or two that may inspire some Blasted Earth adventures. These are in no particular order:

If you're looking for some great end-of-the-world movies to inspire your games, visit the Post-Apocalyptic Movie Page for reviews of the best (and absolute WORST) of the genre. It's a bit behind with updates, but where else will you find reviews of such classics such as 2020 Texas Gladiators, Survival Zone, and Omega Doom?

Back in August, blog-meister Cyclopeatron offered up a new Mutant Future/Gamma World "class" called Gamma Wizards as well as a simple magic-casting system for these magic-wielding muties. By expending a few points of Mental Strength (or Willpower for MutFut players), a character can effectively cast spells such as Wave of Sleep, Spooky Grimace, and (my favorite) Radonic Fireball!

Urban exploration is the investigation and exploration of unseen and off-limits urban environments. I've visited urban exploration sites in the past to grab photos of run-down and decrepit buildings and areas. But I'm also fascinated that there are folks who -- today -- are exploring what could pass for post-apocalyptic ruins. Visit the Urban Exploration Resource and for more information on these modern-day wasteland explorers.

You're visiting your backyard fallout shelter when World War III breaks out. And thus begins The Fog Fall, an online point-and-click adventure game by Pastel Games. Described by the creators as a "post-apocalyptic hidden object game," you're initially challenged with escaping from the underground bunker. What will you find when the door finally opens? There are now three episodes to the game to play.

Last month, blog-meister Brutorz Bill over at Green Skeleton Gaming Guild was kind enough to share a link to his pal Tormentor's Random Gamma World Loot Generator. I can see this getting a lot of use in future games.

As you're no doubt aware, the new Gamma World has been unleashed upon the public. Reviews are thus-far mixed. I'll try to summarize some reviews in the future as well as formulate my own once I've played it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fight On! Issue 10 Is Out! (With A Savage AfterWorld Submission)

That old-school stalwart fanzine Fight On! is now out with issue 10! Here's the blurb for this exciting issue:

Fight On! returns to unscroll the Runes of Chaos and conjure the mighty titans of yesteryear! Dedicated to Tom Moldvay, this BIG issue contains three BIG undercities and lost worlds by Gabor Lux, James Mishler, and Chris Robert alongside the rules supplements, mini-adventures and modules, villages, one-page dungeons, spells, monsters, NPCs, tricks, traps, geomorphs, reviews, and tables you've come to know, love, and expect from our fantastic fanzine. Illustriously illustrated by Patrick Farley, Jennifer Weigel, Lester, Kelvin Green, Jason Sholtis, Peter Mullen, Mark Allen, Anthony Stiller, Steve Robertson, and more; puissantly penned by Jeff Rients, Calithena, Jerry Stratton, Tim Snider, Geoff McKinney, Patrice Crespy, Peter Schmidt Jensen, Paul Stormberg, Geoffrey O. Dale, Tim Kask, and a whole gang of garrulous grognards trying to take it (their PC, that is) to the next level. We hope you'll roll the bones on this issue and check it out - but either way, keep Fighting On!

Regular readers will remember the Time-Displaced race for Mutant Future that appeared here at The Savage AfterWorld. Well, after a bit of tweaking and updating, those same time-flung travellers now grace the pages of Fight On! And artist-extrordinaire Lester Smolenski who illustrated the piece was kind enough to send me this teaser. Click it and order the issue today!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

[Thundarr Thursday] Ancient Armory: Yondo's Nega-Sword

Weapon: Yondo's Nega-Sword
Damage: 1d10+16; Blast-4d6
Attacks: 1
Range: Blast-120'
Weight: 5 lbs.
Battery: Special (see description)
Charges: 30 minutes of use. Each "blast" decreases the power by 3 minutes.

Jealous of Thundarr's Sun Sword, the "wizard" Yondo attempted to steal the weapon. He was successful for a short time until Thundarr was able to retrieve it. However, Yondo was able to glean enough knowledge of the Sun Sword's workings to create a perverse duplicate of Thundarr's weapon -- a blade he called "The Nega-Sword."

When powered down, the Yondo's Nega-Sword is a thin-bladed fencing rapier with two long cables (about 15' long) snaking from the handle. These cables are then plugged into a large power cell. (In the cartoon, it was implied that this was a common automobile battery.) However, Yondo was able to channel some very powerful negative "red" lightning into the power cell, which in turn powers the Nega-Sword. When activated, the Sword's blade is sheathed in a glowing crimson beam and, when swung, the air hisses with energy. The Nega-Sword was shown to be an even match for Thundarr's Sun Sword, deflecting an attack from the legendary blade.

As an evenly-matched weapon, the Nega-Sword deals 1d10+16 hit points of damage just like the original Sun Sword. However, the Nega-Sword can also fire out a blast of negative lightning at a distance of 120'. This blast deals 4d6 of electrical damage to anything hit. However each blast also decreases the power level by 3 minutes. After 30 minutes of use, the power cell will be drained.

If the Nega-Sword has a weakness, it is the power cell it uses. The cell is the size and weight of an automotive battery, making the sword very difficult to transport and use. Also, if the cables are severed, the Nega-Sword will power down. Since the cables are only 15' long, Yondo must have the power cell either with him or near him at all times. If attacked with the Nega-Sword, it is best to target the power cell or hope that the power cell is quickly drained.

NOTE: This weapon is inspired by the episode “Master of the Stolen Sun Sword” from the classic Ruby Spears post-apocalyptic cartoon “Thundarr the Barbarian". Stay tuned each week for “Thundarr Thursday”!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

[Thundarr Thursday] Savage Menagerie: Lava Troll

No. Enc.: 1 (1)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 60' (20')
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 14
Attacks: 2 (claw/claw)
Damage: 3d4/3d4
Save: L7
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: none

A Lava Troll is a monstrously huge (18+ feet tall) humanoid mutant that lives in actively volcanic environments. They have eerie white eyes, pointed ears, a pug nose, and are covered in a sickly, rubbery, ashen-grey skin. Because of their preferred habitat, it will be rare to encounter a Lava Troll as no one is foolish enough to approach an active lava field or volcanic crater where they reside. If, however, someone does get close enough, they will attempt to grab the victim and drag them into the lava where they will then feed on what's left of the charred remains.

The Lava Troll's rubbery skin bestows on it a form of incredible fire resistance. They are immune from any and all fire and flame-based attacks. In fact, the skin of the Lava Troll is actually quite cool to the touch, so there is no danger of being burned by the Troll's touch. (But that's little comfort when it's dragging you to a firey doom.)

Due to the size of the Lava Troll, it has increased strength. However, it is a slow creature, so it receives no damage bonuses in combat, though it will still do 3d4 hit points of damage if it successfully clubs you with its fist. On a successful hit, a PC should roll a save vs. STR. If the save fails, the Lava roll has successfully grabbed the vicitim and will begin pulling them into the magma. Unless the PC is very clever or the party comes to his aid, he will be dragged screaming into the liquid rock.

Mutations: increased strength, fire resistance

NOTE: This creature was inspired by the episode "City of Evil" from the Ruby Spears post-apocalyptic cartoon series "Thundarr the Barbarian." Stay tuned for more of Thundarr Thursday!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Thundarr the Barbarian OFFICIAL DVD release on Sept. 28!

Lords of Light, this is amazing news. At long last, Thundarr the Barbarian is getting an official DVD release...and less than a week away! Thanks to daDiceGuy who clued me in to this announcement at, it appears our favorite post-apocalyptic barbarian, Mok, and sorceress will be featured in a four-disc set collecting the entire series. Check out the official box art to the right.

And here's the post from TVShowsOnDVD with all the info:

Overnight a Twitter post from the Warner Archive team has confirmed that the title is indeed coming from the WBshop's Manufacture-on-Demand program, and provided a ship date that is just one week away from today: September 28th! They also showed off the box art for this 4-DVD set. The title is not up for pre-order yet, so pricing hasn't been revealed.

So in less than a week, you'll be able to finally get your hands on an official Warner Brothers/Hanna Barbara release of this classic cartoon! Stay tuned and I'll post ordering info and prices as soon as the page goes live.

EDIT: And the ordering page went live. Price is $29.95. Here you go: Thundarr the Barbarian ordering page

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Told You To Keep Your @*#! Hands Off My Mug!

Pictured above is a rotated view of a mug I stumbled across at the local flea market. The plastic mug (aged, but new and never used) is about, oh, 7-8 inches high with a yellow handle and yellow snap-on lid. There is a straw hole in the lid. Looks like it may have been a premium given away at a fast food restaurant or convenience store.

As you can see from the photos, the image is delightfully apocalyptic with a wild-haired, wild-eyed survivalist dressed in a tattered denim vest with a ammo bandolier crossing his chest. In one hand, he clutches a Bowie knife; in the other, he fires off some kind of automatic weapon. And during all of the chaos, he screams "I Told You To Keep Your @*#! Hands Off My Mug!"

Anyway, I grabbed the only two he had. And I'm givin' them away. Want one? Here's how to enter the giveaway: Just post in a Comment to this post with what you think this guy's name is. (I've been calling him "Cawdor" -- some of you may get the reference...) I'll draw two random winners sometime next week. Please post only once in the thread. Multiple entries are not allowed. Make sure I can somehow reach you via email if you win! I'll ship internationally, so everyone feel free to enter. Good luck. And remember:

I Told You To Keep Your @*#! Hands Off My Mug!"

Soundtrack For "The Colony" Available At Amazon

I always like to have some kind of ambient music playing in the background when I'm running a game. I feel it helps put the players into the right state of mind as well as giving the game a more cinematic feel. And if I can match up the music with what's happening on the table, more's the better.

One problem I've always run into though: the post-apocalyptic genre is the hardest to musically set up. There are a buhmillion, kajillion "high fantasy" soundtracks out there. Sci-fi and space opera games have a ton of musical resources. Even the superhero milieu is fairly simple to score. But try to find any "post-apocalyptic" music, and you're limited to either thrash metal groups, 1950s jazz pieces, or odd discordant electronica.

It's no secret I'm a fan of "The Colony" - Discovery Channel's post-apocalyptic reality "experiment" now in its second season. What I didn't know was that the original score music to Season One was released as a set of MP3s, downloadable at Amazon. There are 30 pieces of set music, each running about 2 minutes, giving you about a hour's worth of music.

The music is nicely evocative of the show and its environment. And because the music was scored to accompany certain scenes and events, there are a host of different "stings" you can use depending on situations such as combat, exploration, construction, etc. The song titles give you an indication of the scenarios they represent: Market Raid, Marauders, Junk and Scraps, Someone is Watching, Unwelcome. At only $8.99 for all 30, it's a good deal for the perfect soundtrack for your Mutant Future campaigns. Listen to the samples at Amazon and let me know what you think.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

[Thundarr Thursday] World of Thundarr Sourcebook Updated

No new entries today, but I did have time to update The World of Thundarr the Barbarian Sourcebook with a ton of recent new material. This month's updates include:
  • Skullus the Wizard
  • Marsh Hulk
  • Tye, the Swamp Urchin
That brings the contents of the supplement up to:
  • 60 pages of Thundarr/Mutant Future goodness
  • 3 Character Races
  • 7 NPCs
  • 9 Dangerous Devices
  • 26 Creatures
  • And 4 full adventures in the Thundarr world!

As always, my plans are to update the sourcebook with any new material added, so this will always be up-to-date. Announcements (like this one) will be made whenever an updated file is posted. The full sourcebook will always remain free and available for download over there in the right-hand column.

One note: Due to popular demand, "Thundayy" as a topic header is out, as several readers (three of them) hated the name. So we're back to "Thundarr Thursday" to ID these entries. (Although today's not Thursday, but you get the idea.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Savage Menagerie: Skunkape

No. Enc.: 1d4 (2d4)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 7
Attacks: 3 (claw/claw/bite)
Damage: 1d6/1d6/1d8
Save: L4
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: XX

The Skunkape is a huge (8' tall) ape-like, forest-dwelling humanoid. The Skunkape is thought to be an offshoot of the Apeman (MF rulebook, pg. 60), however they have little in common other than appearance.

Skunkapes are nocturnal creatures, preferring to do their hunting and foraging at night. To better facilitate this, Skunkapes have developed keen night vision, allowing them to see up to 60 feet away in total darkness as if it were daylight. because Skunkapes are not overly aggressive, they have also developed a formidable defense mechanism. The Skunkape's skin constantly secretes a foul-smelling musk that clinks to its hair. Any who come within 20 feet of a Skunkape must save versus poison or spend 1d4 rounds retching, vomiting, and trying to get away from the stench. It is fairly obvious when you get near a Skunkape lair as the smell will be nearly unbearable. Those without olfactory senses will be unaffected.

Mutations: toxic weapon (stench), night vision

Monday, August 9, 2010

Micro-Mutations (or "Cantrips For Mutants")

Back when I played a lot (a LOT) of AD&D (1st ed.), my DM had what he called his "Bogie List." (I'm fairly certain he got the idea from Fantasy Wargaming.) This was a list of 100 minor quirks, abilities, skills, and disadvantages. After rolling up a character, you were allowed to roll for one or two "Bogies" which could give you such beneficial abilities such as Clever Barterer (get stuff from merchants at a 20% discount) or Sense of Balance (+1 DEX bonus). Later, with the advent of Cantrips (0 Level Spells), I was enthralled with these minor spells. Summon Bee or Change Color were hardly "useful" spells, but it was neat to have these extra chances at roleplaying. A clever player could figure out some use for these micro-spells.

It's an easy matter to bring this same concept to Mutant Future. If a player wishes, allow him to roll for one or two "micro-mutations." Take whatever mutation he rolls and "dilute" the effect to the point of near-uselessness.
  • Gigantism - Adds an extra 2 feet to the player's height.
  • Optical Emissions - The player's eyes always glow with a bright red light.
  • Prey Scent - Every dog in the area will follow the player around.
  • Control Weather - The player can increase or decrease the temperature in the area by 10 degrees.
  • Mind Thrust - The player can induce a mild headache in a victim.
  • Teleport - The player can teleport 1d4 yards in any direction once a day.
This should give the players a bit of extra roleplaying incentive without giving them any extra abilities that would overpower the game. Use your imagination and give them some "0-level mutations" to play with.

"And now before we liquefy you and your friends, I want you to know that...that...ugh, I have got the WORST headache all of a sudden."

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Post-apocalyptic Pathfinder Coming In December

Adamant Entertainment has announced the upcoming release of a new post-apocalyptic setting for the Pathfinder RPG system. Warlords of the Apocalypse will be released in December 2010. Here's the official announcement and description:

Civilization is cast in ruin, yet the Earth is reborn!

Wander the Wastelands and the Cities of the Ancients… Plunder technological treasures from long-hidden vaults… Fight to survive in a savage world of mutants, marauders and mental powers!

Warlords of the Apocalypse brings the gonzo, over-the-top world of classic post-apocalypse science-fantasy to the Pathfinder rules system! In this 256-page hardcover you will find:

• A complete post-apocalypse setting
• Rules for mutations
• Rules for Psionic Powers
• Weapons, gear and treasure spanning technology levels from the New Dark Age to the advanced tech of the Ancients
• New monsters, and rules for mutating any compatible monster into entirely new threats
• A Random Adventure Generator and dozens of Adventure hooks
• Guidelines for bringing your existing Pathfinder characters into this setting, or creating native characters
•…and much more!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"I Didn't Know I Could Do THAT!"

The cockroachoid's claw tensed on the trigger of the laser rifle. The two mutants grimaced - their arms still held high in surrender - waiting for the final blast that would end their lives. Suddenly, the cockroachoid shrieked in agony as the rifle spontaneously erupted into flames. It dropped the smoldering, smoking device to the ground. The weapon lay there, dissolving into a puddle of plastic and wiring. The cockroachoid and the mutants all turned away from the melted rifle and looked at one another with confused surprise. The man-sized insect began shrieking again, this time clutching its head. Smoke began curling out from between its mandibles, and a fiery glow could be seen behind its eyes. The insectoid's head abruptly came ablaze, cutting its screams short. In moments, its charred husk lay next to the cooling slag that was once its weapon. The mutants stared at the smoking remains for a moment. One turned to the other, breaking the silence. "Did you do that, or did I?" he asked.


In a superhero or mutational apocalypse game, all of the characters start off with a handful of powers and abilities they gained through radiation exposure, genetic mutation, or some-such event. Over time, their DNA warped, imbuing them with superpowers or mutational abilities (depending on your genre). But a clever GM should ask himself, "Who says the PCs have stopped mutating?"

In the comics, superheroes often discover some hidden ability they never knew they possessed - some buried super-ability that has lain dormant until it begins to surface, usually during some traumatic or life-threatening event. Other times, the hidden power slowly manifests itself over time or the hero's normal abilities begin to misfire, cluing the hero in that something "isn't quite right." One GM I used to game with used this superhero cliche to great effect in an old Villains and Vigilantes campaign I played in. Unbeknownst to the players, he had rolled up one extra superpower we each had. During the course of a year, strange things began to happen during times of great stress. One character - Brainwave, the super-genius telekinetic - began hearing voices all of the time. It was suggested that he was developing some kind of schizophrenia due to the mental stressors of his powers. We actually roleplayed his decent into madness. In actuality, he was hearing the thoughts of those around him as his dormant power of telepathy began to manifest.

In a Mutant Future campaign, the same rules could apply. Before starting a campaign, the Mutant Lord should secretly roll up one additional mutation for each player without divulging his intent. Then, over the course of time, the ML can gradually introduce these new abilities into the game. Subtly at first, of course, but building in obviousness as time goes by. For example, Gruntor has the dormant mutation of gigantism. One morning, he finds his clothes have gotten tighter. Weeks later, he may find it difficult to fire a weapon because his finger cannot fit into the trigger guard. Eventually, he'll know something is up when he can no longer enter buildings without stooping. Another example: Jarvis has the dormant ability of telekinesis. When it first begins to surface, Jarvis may subconsciously move small items around. At first these items may just be thought of as lost or misplaced. Until one day, Jarvis wakes to find a party member's most prized possession in his pocket. How did it get there? Or, perhaps, during a heated firefight, Jarvis subconsciously pulls the pin of a grenade hanging off of a combatant's belt. Imagine the surprise when the enemy blows up for no apparent reason.

Once these dormant abilities are recognized and identified, the role-playing doesn't end. Just because they now have these new abilities doesn't mean they know how to use them! Experimentation and training sessions can be played out as the PCs learn what they can do and how it works. And if there are "mishaps," well, that's just the misadventures that could happen in the Mutant Future!