Friday, July 29, 2011

Where In Gen Con Is Sniderman Sandiego?

Everybody else seems to be posting his Gen Con schedule, so here's mine in case anyone is curious, wondering, or wants to meet up. And here we go:

Noon-ish - Check-in at the Canterbury, grab some lunch, and get my bearings. Visit the Convention Center and swing by Will Call for some last-minute tickets I purchased. Do some general recon so I'm not wandering around like a lost chimp for four days.

9-10 a.m. - Jockey for position of entering Gen Con for the first time. I plan to be part of the running of the bulls.
10 a.m. - ??? - Wander the Dealer Hall and buy many monies worth of stuff. Hang out at The Old School Renaissance Group booth and meet other old school fans. Play demos and make note of future purchases.
Evening - Venturing into The Tower of Gygax at JW Marriott

10 a.m. - Running Mutant Future game at Crown Plaza - "Gimme Shelter"
4 p.m. - Running Mutant Future game at Crown Plaza - "Dead in the Water"

10 a.m. - Running TOON game at Crown Plaza - "Hassle in the Castle"
2 p.m. - Running Ghostbusters game at Crown Plaza - "How Dry I Am"
8 p.m. - Media Meet & Greet at Union Station

2 p.m. - Depart for home

On My "Unscheduled But Gonna Happen" Agenda:
  • Hit the auction and consignment store for a few hours
  • Play in any pick-up games that'll have me
  • Perhaps run a pick-up Mutant Future Thundarr game if time allows
  • Regular posts and pix here at Savage AfterWorld
  • Catch a few nerdy flix at the Film Fest
  • Find a use for the handful of Generic Tix I bought
  • Drinkin'
You'll see I deliberately left my playing schedule open for anything that pops up, although I'm running four games, so it's not like I won't be chuckin' dice. Really looking forward to the MutFut games I'm running. Been writing about the game for two years -- now's my chance to run a few for the readers of the blog.

To ID me, you'll want to look for a few identifying icons: glasses; a mustache; and this tag on my ID lanyard:
EDITED TO ADD: And here's what I look like for those of you looking around for Your Friendly Neighborhood Sniderman:In my secret identity as a mild-mannered editor.

Ready to swing into action. Yes, hat and Hawaiian shirts.

In my natural element with a drink in my hand. Cheers!
See you tomorrow!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Reading Through The Books Of The Wastes

I was just informed by Chuck Rice of Vigilance Press that a new Mutant Future sourcebook will be released any day now. The sourcebook, titled Books of the Wastes, allows PCs to acquire new abilities from reading and researching pre-war books and tomes scattered throughout the blasted lands. Imagine the knowledge contained within such arcane volumes such as Alice's Gun Almanac, U.S. Army Robot Combat Manual, and Little Pathfinder's Wilderness Survival Guide. Books of the Wastes is expected to have a 99-cent cover price. We'll have an announcement and review upon its release.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

So What Else Happens If I Roll a 27 To Hit?

As a card-carrying member of The Order of the D30, I bring out my golden lump of randomness at each game. The houserule for d30 use as recognized by The Order is as follows:
Once per session, a player may opt to roll the d30 in lieu of whatever die or dice the situation normally calls for. The choice to roll the d30 must be made before the roll, and the d30 cannot be used for generating character statistics or hit points.
So if your character is swinging a dagger for a paltry 1d4 damage, you can instead use the d30 to roll damage upon a successful hit. A dagger stab for 27 hit points of damage? Nice. My players often use the d30 for damage rolls as a potential hit for 30 points of damage to a major villain can be a real game changer. (Allows for those "epic moments" too.)

However, the d30 has been used for those To Hit rolls where the odds are stacked against you. The party is moments away from a TPK, and you need to roll 18 or more to hit the mutant pounding you? Whip out the d30 to increase your odds. However, one player pointed out that I'm usually pretty generous with damage bonuses when a natural 20 is rolled in combat. "But there's never a damage bonus when we roll more than a 20 on the d30," he said. "Shouldn't we get something extra?"

At first I thought it was a bit cheeky to ask as the d30 already increases your odds for a successful combat hit. What more do you want? But then I remembered that those epic moments is precisely why I use the d30 in my games. So here is a new "d30 combat roll" rule I'm mulling over:
If the d30 is used in a To Hit roll, any rolls from 21 through 30 will be considered a critical hit. The amount rolled over 20 (X) will be given as an Xd4 damage bonus, ie, a 21 will grant a +1d4 damage bonus; 22 will grant a +2d4 damage bonus; up to 30 which will grant a +10d4 damage bonus.
Whadya think, sirs?

Remembering Gary Gygax On His 73rd Birthday

Taking a sec to remember Gary Gygax who would have been 73 today. Happy Birthday Gary, and thanks for getting this whole mess started.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Head 'Em Off At The Pass!?" I HATE That Cliche!

A bit ago, I discussed "What Is Gonzo?" in an attempt to wrap my head around the concept as it relates to post-apocalyptic RPGs. The underlying consensus is that "gonzo" is a more madcap and chaotic in tone. Real-life physics don't come into play as often as wild fantasy tropes. Also, "gonzo" is often played for laughs.

Toward the end, I listed a few "gonzo" games in other RPG genres. "Hackmaster," "Stuperpowers," "Paranoia," and "Ghostbusters" -- or "gonzo fantasy," "gonzo superheroes," "gonzo sci fi," and "gonzo horror," respectively.

So where am I going with this? Well, an hour ago, I popped in a DVD while I worked on some Gen Con stuff -- a fairly popular comedy about a black sheriff's attempt to save the town of Rock Ridge. Inspiration hit for a new RPG genre: "the gonzo western."

When I return from Gen Con, I think I may just noodle around with this concept and see what develops. Who knows, maybe at this time next year, you may be able to play in a game of...

And no sidewindin' bushwackin', hornswagglin' cracker croaker is gonna rouin me bishen cutter.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Gen Con Media Meet & Greet on Saturday, Aug. 6

I've been lamenting that there didn't seem to be any official meetup for RPG bloggers, but I was apparently clueless. After NewbieDM posted his Gen Con schedule, I saw where he mentioned a "Gen Con Media Party." A bit of further research revealed the very meetup I had wanted to attend!

There will be a Media Meet & Greet on Saturday, August 6, at 8 p.m. at Union Station hosted by Pulp Gamer. Here's the blurb:
Come join your favorite podcasters, bloggers, and other guests with an evening of conversation and fun. Share your thoughts with today's most influential personalities. Argue their points and meet other fans of the industry. Bring your friends!
Admission is free too, and there seem to be plenty of tickets. Just ordered mine and plan to attend and meet as many of you folks as I can. Wanted to get the word posted in case there are other blogging/podcasting Gen Con attendees who may be unaware of this event. Hope to see some of you there!

Savage Menagerie: Befuddlelk

Thanks to Greyhawk Grognard for the inspiration for today's critter. "This noble creature is something that needs stats," eh? Here you go then:

No. Enc.: 1d4 (1d10)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 240' (80')
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: 1 (butt)
Damage: 1d6
Save: L2
Morale: 5
Hoard Class: None

Befuddlelk (be-FUHD-uhl-elk) are a herd animal similar in appearance to the deer and elk of Ancient times. However, the Befuddlelk has an amusingly stupid-looking face with perpetually cocked eyes and a tongue that lolls lazily out of one side of its mouth. All Befuddlelk have a formidable rack of antlers which it uses in a headbutt attack for 1d6 hit points of damage. However, the Befuddlelk have developed an unusually effective means of defense by way of its befuddlement mental attack.

If the Befuddlelk makes eye contact with a victim (a successful mental attack; treat Befuddlelk as having a WIL of 12), the target's INT and WIS scores will drop by 5 points for 24 hours. The target's eyes will also become cockeyed and his tongue will also loll out of the corner of his mouth. Treat the PC as having become a "temporary simpleton." If your Mutant Future game is of a gonzo nature, this affliction can be played for laughs. If you run a more serious game, the drop in INT/WIS scores, lack of depth perception, and inability of speak clearly could be incredibly hazardous.

Particular evil Mutant Lords could rule the affliction as having a 5% chance of being permanent. If this happens, give the PC a break and give him the befuddlement mutation which he can them use against other targets. The entire Mutant Future could eventually have a bunch of cross-eyed morons stupiding their way through the ruins. "Idiocracy" anyone?

Mutations: befuddlement

Edited to add: Apparently Garfield has the befuddlement mutation:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fight On! Issue 12 Is Out With TONS Of Post-Apoc Material!

Just look at the cover of this quarter's Fight On! and you'll see it's taken quite a mutated turn! Here's the blurb for this exciting issue:
Mutants! Androids! Robots! Pure Strain Humans! Fight On! is back, with another 88 pages of gut-wrenching, laser-pulsing, fist-pounding action! Rules variants, tables, adventures large and small, science fiction and fantasy, races, classes, monsters, spells, magic items, NPCs, history, opinion, and lore can be found herein! Featuring art and articles by Mark Allen, Ian Baggley, Lee Barber, Erin "Taichara" Bisson, Daniel Boggs, David Bowman, Simon Bull, David Coleman, Fat Cotton, Michael Curtis, Liz Danforth, Ndege Diamond, Ron Edwards, Kelvin Green, Tim Kask, John Larrey, John Laviolette, Lester, Gabor Lux, Heron Prior, Jeff Rients, Chris Robert, Zak S., Alex Schroeder, Jason Sholtis, Tim "Sniderman" Snider, Jennifer Weigel, and this issue's dedicatee James M. Ward, alongside many others! If want to take your FRP experience to the next level, don't delay - buy this issue and Fight On!
The print version is available here:

and the PDF is available here:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

RIP Sherwood Schwartz 1916-2011

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip...

Here's a story of a lovely lady who was bringing up three very lovely girls...
TV writer, producer, and creator Sherwood Schwartz died today at the age of 94. I daresay that even if you don't know the man's name, you have more than a passing familiarity with his two biggest contributions to the public consciousness:
I don't have any great tie-in with how his passing affected my role-playing. (Well, there was a great Paranoia game I ran at a convention titled "Gill-I-GAN's Complex," but that'll wait for another day.) Nor is there any great lesson learned from these shows that became a watchword for my day-to-day life. The reason I'm taking a moment to remember him here is thusly:

"Gilligan's Island" is simply my favorite show of all time. I still laugh out loud with each and every viewing, which happens at least once a week. I have been greatly entertained by this show for 40+ years. And anyone who has brought me this much happiness on a nearly weekly basis for most of my life deserves to be honored and remembered. Thanks for the chuckles, Mr. Schwartz.

In honor of this man's contributions, I encourage every Dungeon Master, Game Master, Crypt Keeper, Labyrnth Lord, Mutant Lord, and RPG Referee to take a moment this weekend and strand his PCs on an unchartered desert isle after a three-hour tour.

A three hour tour...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Savage Menagerie: Chronoweasel

No. Enc.: 1d4 (1d6)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 90' (30')
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: 2 (claw/bite)
Damage: 1d6/1d6
Save: L2
Morale: 6
Hoard Class: None

Chronoweasels are small (1-2' long) burrowing mammals covered in brown, tan, or white fur. These burrowing creatures live in the tunnels they create in the earth, and will sometimes venture or burrow into ruins. These creatures can see in the dark with a limited 30’ thermal vision, and have a very keen sense of smell that they use to track prey. But these abilities pale when compared with the mutation that gives the creature its name; the Chronoweasel can manipulate time itself.

Once a day, a Chronoweasel can generate two alternate timelines that run concurrent with the primary timeline. To viewers, it appears that the Chronoweasel has split into three separate creatures. In actuality, the Chronoweasel is living out three potential timelines simultaneously. For example, a group of PCs encounter a Chronoweasel and engage it in combat. When it triggers its mutation, the party will see it split into three Chronoweasels. One may attack a party member; another attacks another party member; while the third tries to escape. Each of these three Chronoweasels acts independently, and they will not interact with each other. (Although all three may attack the same target is so desired.)

At the end of 12 rounds (roughly 2 minutes), the Chronoweasel will determine which of the timelines is most beneficial to its survival and that version will continue to exist. The other two will cease to exist, disappearing from the timeline. In the example above, the two creatures which attacked the party members may be badly hurt, whereas the escaping one is successful in running away. The two attackers disappear, while the escaped (and unharmed) Chronoweasel races off. If all three courses of action are equally beneficial (or harmful), the Mutant Lord can roll randomly as to which one sticks around. If one of the Chronoweasels is killed while "split," the ML can randomly determine if it was an alternate timeline Chronoweasel -- which disappears -- or if it is the "prime" Chronoweasel -- which dies, while the other two copies disappear from the timeline. Note that any effect the Chronoweasel "copies" had on the timeline continue to exist even after the copies have ended, ie, any damage they inflicted on a PC.

It can make for an interesting encounter when the nest of 4 Chronoweasels the party stumbled upon suddenly becomes 12 angry attackers! Even more confusing for the party is when 9 of those Chronoweasels suddenly disappear after 2 minutes of combat!

It is unknown if any other creatures have evolved the alternate timeline generation mutation. It is feared what would happen if a powerful creature such as the Brain Lashers were to harness the ability.

Mutations: alternate timeline generation, thermal vision, increased sense (smell)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Creatures Of The Tropical Wastes Now Available

The folks at Skirmisher Publishing have released their newest creature supplement for Mutant Future. Inspired after a trip to the Philippines, author Chris "Outlander" Van Deelen has written Creatures of the Tropical Wastes. Inside, you'll encounter:
  • 50 new creatures, including the mysterious Ahas Folk, the insidious Egret Puppeteer, and the fearsome War Baboy.
  • 30 new mutations, including numerous Plant mutations.
Also within the book's pages, you'll find
  • A Foreword by Derek Holland, author of several licensed Mutant Future sourcebooks.
  • Official Mutant Future Poison and Radiation Tables for convenience of reference.
  • Original illustrations by fantasy artist Sharon Daugherty
The 64-page PDF supplement is $5.99 and is now available at RPG Now, Drive Thru RPG, Pazio, and Your Games Now.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Can You Survive The Wasteland Weekend On Sept. 23-25?

For those readers who like their apocalyptic roleplaying a bit more...well...REAL, you'll be interested in the following press release I found in my Inbox:

Correction: The Apocalypse Is Coming September 23-25, 2011

The Judgement Day cultists may have been wrong about May 21st, but the apocalypse IS coming. And it’s going to feature lots of young Californians in mohawks and leather.

Experience the Apocalypse Sept 23rd–25th at Wasteland Weekend 2011, a 3-day post-apocalyptic party in the Southern California desert. Slated to occur in the Mojave desert north of Los Angeles, the costumes-mandatory event promises to build on the success of Wasteland Weekend 2010, an event which brought out some 400 people, was covered by G4 and the Associated Press, and was honored by a special acknowledgement from Mad Max film franchise director, George Miller.

Wasteland Weekend features themed vehicles, post-apocalyptic sports, Bartertown vendors and hundreds of impressively costumed attendees. Nightfall brings live music, stunt shows, metal grinders and fire dancers. This year, the organizers already expect the turn-out to double, and are adding live bands, a Thunderdome for combat, and bigger and better set pieces as they progress towards a 360-degree immersive post-apocalyptic environment. For details, visit

And here are a few photos that were sent along. Looks like an incredibly fun time.

Other RPG Bloggers At Gencon?

Gencon is now officially less than one month away. I'm really getting fired up for it. I even have a new Countdown Widget in place over there to the right. I'm an old salt when it comes to gaming conventions. I've run games many times in the past and have manned a booth or two in my days. But I'll admit this will be my first Gencon. I really think that the sheer masses of folks there will be overwhelming -- which is why I've scheduled NOTHING on Wednesday and Thursday, just to get my bearings, hit the Dealer Room, catch a few pick-up games, etc.

Anyway, I know of a few other RPG bloggers who have posted that they'd be at Gencon, but I don't think there's been a mention of any kind of informal "meet-up." I'd really like to meet anyone else who's a member of the RPG Bloggers Network, the RPG Blog Alliance, Old School RPG Planet, or who otherwise has a gaming blog presence. Perhaps we could agree to meet on Wednesday or Thursday for a drink or just to shake hands and connect a face to the blog.

So, I thought I'd toss the idea out there. Who's coming? Comment to this post and let's get a head count.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Mutated Musings From The Blogosphere

While traipsing through the Web, I've stumbled across an interesting cross section of recent Mutant Future blog-posts I think will be of interest to regular readers of TSAW. And here we go:

German Edition Of Mutant Future Underway:

Came across this blog item at Von Der Seifenkiste Herab. I apologize for anything lost in the translation, as I'm using Yahoo Babel Fish to give me a rough idea as to the blog's post. So -- roughly -- it seems there was an earlier attempt to translate the game into German that fell through. However, Marc B. and Moritz feel that Mutant Future is "too cool" to not have a German version. According to the post, Goblinoid Games is aware of the work-in-progress, so it'll be interesting to see what transpires! Good luck with the translation!

Mutant Future Retro Character Sheet Available:

Il Male over at The Yaqqothl Grimoire has designed a new character sheet for Mutant Future which emulates the style and "feel" of the original Gamma World. Love the font used for the game name at the top. And I believe all character sheets should have a mandatory character sketch box. Go grab it here.

Different Mutant Futures

Over at Aeons & Augauries, blog-meister JDJarvis is working on a series of posts describing Different Mutant Futures. The series will examine different ways mankind could fall and the world that occur result from those "other apocalypses." The first new future is "Atomic Zombie Apocalypse" which posits that The End occurred in the late 1950s, and not due to The Bomb, but by The Undead. Go check out Part 1 and Part 2.

It's Not Junk; It's Money!

At Blog of Holding, Paul discussed all of the interesting (and dangerous) Omega Tech found in the Gamma World setting, but asked what of all of the Ancient Artifacts and useless items found strewn all over the landscape? What good is all of this junk? Pauls's solution is simple: "Ancient artifacts are currency." He describes a bartering system used in his game where you can get something you want (say, fuel for your motorcycle or ammunition) if you can get someone sufficiently interested in the Ancient He-Man lunchbox you dug up. I love this idea, as it would give players a chance for some real roleplaying as they try to "sell” the importance of a stapler (a microwire-bender, probably used for electronics repair) or a box of paper clips (a build-it-yourself chain kit).

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Savage Menagerie: Glueworm

No. Enc.: 1-2 (1-6 in a nest)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 10’ (3')
Armor Class: 9
Hit Dice: 1-3 hp
Attacks: 0
Damage: 0
Save: L1
Morale: Not Applicable
Hoard Class: None

A slug-like creature measuring only 1-2 inches in length with a sickly yellow tint, the glueworm is hardly a threat to the usual cautious mutant, having no real attack/damage ability and a minimal hit point total. However, where the glueworm is a danger is that it secretes one of the most aggressive adhesives found naturally. If a mutant steps onto a glueworm “snail trail” and/or crushes or otherwise injures a glueworm, they will find their weapon (or worse, themselves) permanently bonded to the underlying surface unless they make a Save vs. Stun Attacks. This adhesive will bond anything to anything permanently, with one exception: the adhesive does not adhere to glass or crystal. Even picking up a glueworm will leave enough residue on the mutant’s hand to be a hazard. Small bottles of glueworm secretion (called "snailhesive" by traders) will fetch a good price for its many uses.

The adhesive can be dissolved with the use of a strong acid, although anything thus bonded will take the usual damage. The glueworm secretion can also be burned off with fire, though the glue itself is not flammable.