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!