Friday, December 30, 2011

Obligatory Top Ten 2011 Posts At The Savage AfterWorld

I use Google Analytics to track hits and visitors, as well as which posts are generating the most interest. And, as is customary for bloggers on this date, it's time to review...
The Top Ten Most Popular Savage AfterWorld Blog Posts of 2011!

And here we go, counting down to the most popular post...

10. Mutant Future RPG Stuff Giveaway! (Second Attempt) - My first attempt to give away a bunch of Mutant Future-related prizes was met with a lot of no shows. My second attempt was better received.

9. Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Fhtagn! - The release of Realms of Crawling Chaos was announced. Its compatibility with Mutant future is something I've been itching to try!

8. [Savage Menagerie] Octoshark - Inspired by producer Roger Corman's "Sharktopus," I brought the toothy multi-armed creature into the Mutant Future.

7. [Thundarr Thursday] Thundarr RPGs Found Throughout The Blogosphere - Turns out I'm not the only person inspired by the classic Ruby Spears cartoon!

6. The Savage AfterWorld's Customizable "Do-It-Yourself-You-Cheap-Bastard" Gamemaster's Screen - Tired of looking for instructions on how to create my own GM screen, I cobbled one together and shared the how-to instructions with readers.

5. Giant Mutant Chickens? Call In LEGO Hazmat Guy! - Here's where it gets interesting. This was just a bit of a "throw-off" post, but my guess is that LEGO enthusiasts have been giving me the hits.

4. Gamma World Coming To PSN, XBL, and PC This Fall - Big announcement from E3 on an upcoming videogame based on the Gamma World game system.

3. Notorious NPC: Feldspar the Geologian - A nifty NPC based on my Geologian race. The hits were caused by -- of all things -- the word "golem" embedded in the image's file name. No idea why this term was searched for so much, but that's what made this post so popular. (I've since changed the file name to keep the hits to a normal level.)

2. Hot Post-Apocalyptic Chicks! Elven! Cyborg! And "Other!" - This meme was sweeping the OSR blogosphere as we all basically pandered to the masses offering HOT ELVEN CHIXXX!!!! And whatdya worked!

And the Top Post of 2011:

1. Post-Apocalyptic Ruined City Map Generator - This incredibly useful map generator has just been HAMMERED over the year. There are a lot of folks getting a lot of use out of it as it's my most popular post by far.

And onto 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mutated Mayhem At Gary Con, March 22-25!

I'll be attending Gary Con IV in Lake Geneva, WI, on March 22-25! This celebration of gaming's roots looks to be breaking attendance records this year! (OK, technically "next" year...) Gaming legends playing and hosting classic (and more modern) games in the town where it all started? How come you haven't signed up yet?!?

And here is a preview of the games I'm scheduled to run this year. Yup, one Mutant Future game is scheduled (and more pick-up games may occur):

DGS Presents: Ghostbusters - How Dry I Am
Thursday, 2 pm – 6 pm
Several class 5 free-floating vaporous manifestations are tearing up a college kegger. The Ghostbusters are called in to dispatch these Prohibition Poltergeists. But is this a single case of ‘spirits' versus 'spirits,' or is there something more malevolent trying to end drunken debauchery in our dimension?

DGS Presents: It Came From the Late, Late Show - Arbor Day!
Thursday, 8 pm – Midnight
8:00 PM [HOR] MOVIE-Thriller "Arbor Day!" (1968) Horrific axe murders begin to occur in the forested Pacific Northwest similar to those committed by the legendary "Paul Bunyon Killer" 20 years earlier. Has the crazed lumberjack returned from the grave? Hosted by Dr. Phil Mel DeHyde.(CC)

DGS Presents: Timemaster - Postage Due
Friday, 10 am – 2 pm
An undelivered letter in mid-1800 America has thrown the timeline into chaos. What does this single piece of correspondence contain that makes it so critical to future events? Time Corps agents will be dispatched to the point of incursion to ensure the mail goes through!

DGS Presents: Mutant Future - Weed World
Friday, 4 pm – 8 pm
Within the last month, the growth of all forms of vegetation has visibly accelerated, threatening to overrun and choke off your tiny post-apocalyptic village. Does an Ancient children's bedtime story of "The Devil's Greenhouse" and the mutated plantlife lurking within hold the key to surviving this floral horror?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas at Ground Zero - Weird Al Yankovic

Been waiting most of the year to roll out this radioactive Yuletide video!
Merry Christmas from The Savage AfterWorld!

Friday, December 16, 2011

[Deja Vu Blogfest] Last Chance For Gas / Nanomite Swarm

(Today's bit of "Haven't I read this before?" is inspired by DL Hammons of Cruising Altitude 2.0 and his idea for the Deja Vu Blogfest - Day of the Do-Over!)

The following are two blog entries that received zero Comments, both of which I was pretty pleased with. So I'm resurrecting both to give folks who may have missed them two years ago a chance to use them.

Dangerous Encounter: Last Chance for Gas
(posted June 22, 2009):
This small encounter can be placed alongside any isolated, long-forgotten road or highway. In the distance, the party will see a small building just off to the side of the road they travel. Any party members who are familiar with Ancient Architecture or History will recognize it as a small gas station. But even those unfamiliar with The Ancients should be able to puzzle out that it’s a refueling depot of some kind (especially if gas-powered vehicles and tools are used in your campaign world).

The gas station is now the lair of a pair of Skin Stealers (MF Rulebook, pg. 95) who call this outpost their home. The Stealers can see the approaching party through one of the windows of station. If there are three or more members of the party, one will exit out the back armed with a crowbar (1d6 damage) to get behind the party while the other Stealer arms itself with a sledgehammer (two-handed weapon, 1d8 damage) and lies in wait inside the building. Once the party gets close enough, they’ll spring out and ambush the party.

If, however, there are only one or two party members, the Stealers will instead try to garner the party’s trust. They’ll come out of the building and welcome them to their home, offering them a place to rest and camp. They shall try to get them to lower their guard in hopes of eventually surprising them unaware and skinning them. (The harvested skin on both Stealers is currently wearing out and starting to deteriorate. The Mutant Lord may want to mention to observant players that the two nomads seem to have very dark and leathery hides.)

Skin Stealers (2) (AL C, MV 120' (40'), AC 6, HD 5, #AT 1 (sting or weapon), DG 1d4+poison or weapon, SV L5, ML 7, Mutations: toxic weapon, reflective epidermis (radiation), unique)

Once the Skin Stealers are dealt with, the party is free to explore the station if they wish. Over the years, it has been fairly well picked over and there isn’t much left to scavenge, but there are a few items of note to discover:
  • Hidden in a toolbox buried under some debris in a corner of the station’s garage are some of the items the Skin Stealers have collected from their victims. Within are 125 silver pieces, a Rad-Purge Shot, and one Healing Pack.
  • If anyone thinks of it, there is sadly no fuel in holding tanks, having been siphoned away a long time ago.
  • In a backroom storage area, the players can find two unopened cans of beef stew (someone's long-forgotten lunch) as well as a Visitor to the Area map. This pre-apocalypse map shows all of the roads, towns, and attractions in a 50-mile radius. Some of the attractions listed include things like Old Man's Cave, Mystery Hill, and other tourist traps. The current accuracy of the map is left up to the ML. Also the destinations listed could provide future adventure hooks for the party.
  • In the garage under one of the automotive racks, there appears to be a deep pit filled with old, filthy, discarded oil. This is not oil but rather a small-sized Black Pudding (MF Rulebook, pg. 62) that has taken up residence in the pit. The Skin Stealers treated it much like a “pet,” feeding it any animals they could trap as well as the discarded bodies of their victims. The Pudding never bothers the Stealers, but it may not take kindly to the strangers poking around the area.
Small Black Pudding (1) (AL N, MV 60' (20'), AC 6, HD 10, AT 1, DG 3d8, SV L5, ML 12, Mutations: toxic weapon)

If the Black Pudding is defeated and the pit is searched, the party will find many undigested bones of animals and humanoid creatures. They will also find a small metal box containing 24 copper pieces, 360 silver pieces, and 165 gold pieces. (The box belonged to one of the Stealers’ victims and was accidentally tossed in along with the owner’s body.)


Savage Menagerie: Nanomite Swarm
(posted August 18, 2009):
No. Enc.: 1 swarm
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: Fly: 75’ (25')
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 6
Attacks: 1
Damage: Special (depends on type; see description)
Save: L0
Morale: 11
Hoard Class: None

During the final wars of the Ancients, military scientists were experimenting with nanomites - microscopic robots with limited artificial intelligence. The plan was to program these microscopic automatons to attack the enemy and heal the wounded during a combat situation. The nanomites worked as planned. However, in The Savage AfterWorld, these still-activated rogue machines pose a substantial threat.

A nanomite swarm contains literally millions of cellular-sized bots. Individually too small to be seen, a nanomite swarm appears like a fine black mist or a swirling vortex of smoke. Once engaged, this "mist" will sweep in and engulf the party. (See the Insect Swarm entry in the MF rulebook, pg. 77, for more information on how a swarm may react to the PCs.)

There are two classes of nanomite swarm that may be encountered in the Mutant Future:

Combat nanomite swarm: Combat nanomites were designed to attack an enemy from the inside out. Upon a successful hit, have the PC save vs. poison. If the roll fails, some of the nanomites have burrowed into the PC's flesh. They will attack the character on a cellular level, flaring up and burning out, delivering 3d6 hit points of damage as they destroy themselves to damage the victim. The only way to stop the attack is to escape or destroy the swarm.

Medical nanomite swarm: Medical nanomites were designed for quick healing and repair on the combat front. Now that the wars have ended, they still seek out the injured to assist. But DNA has changed a LOT over the years. Any pure human successfully "attacked" by medical nanomites will instead find that they have been healed for 3d6 hp. However, since the nanomites were not designed for mutant DNA, any mutant PCs successfully attacked should roll 1d4. On 1-2, the nanomites are able to puzzle out enough of the DNA's quirks to heal the mutant PC for 2d6 hp. On a roll of 3, the nanomites instead alter the DNA in some way, bestowing 1 random mutation to the PC. However, on a roll of 4, the medical nanomite does more harm than good. The PC will need to save vs. poison or take 3d6 damage. Since the nanomites were never programmed for artificial life, all androids and robotic PCs are unaffected by medical nanomites.

Just like an insect swarm, a nanomite swarm sustains no damage from weapons. (It'd be like trying to stab, club, or shoot a fog bank.) Attacks from fire, cold, or other energy-based attacks will deliver full damage to the nanomite swarm. Any electrical-based attacks such as from an energy baton, shock gloves, EMP rifle, etc., will deliver double damage upon a successful hit.

Nanomite swarms are typically encountered on Ancient battlegrounds, though a swarm may have "drifted" over the years to nearby areas as well.

Mutations: none

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Violent Vehicles: Murder Cycle

Required crew: Only one rider and one passenger
Top Speed: 70 MPH
Cargo: 300 lbs. (limited cargo space)
Structural HP: 100 HP
Armor: AC 6
Weaponry: None

A "murder cycle" is a mechanical monstrosity made from a set of monster truck tires welded onto a heavily fortified and reinforced motorcycle frame. A murder cycle is about 30 feet long, 15 feet tall, weighing in excess of 15 tons. Due to the size and weight, a murder cycle is not a fast vehicle, topping out at 70 MPH. Its turning radius is also fairly wide, requiring an open berth to turn around. However, where a murder cycle lacks in speed and maneuverability, it makes up for in sheer crushing force. A murder cycle can flatten vehicles and small structures with ease. Few obstacles can hold it back, and it will crush any mutant foolish enough to get in the way. Due to the vehicle's wide tires, low center of gravity, and crushing weight, it is nearly impossible to "tip over". It will take 50 hit points of structural damage before being rendered inoperable. It can comfortably carry a driver and passenger, although it has very little additional cargo space. A murder cycle is more often used as an intimidating form of combat vehicle than as a practical form of transportation.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dangerous Encounter: Ghosts Of The Ancients

While traveling, the party should encounter the ruins of a smaller Ancient village. Perhaps it could be the remnants of a small town that was bombed out and abandoned during the Final Wars. They should feel free to poke around and salvage anything they can, but they will not find too much as this town was looted of anything of value long ago.

With enough poking around, they may encounter a small campsite set up on the very edge of town. A group of archeologists have set up a base of operations here. The leader of the expedition is a human named Scribe who, along with two other human archivists (Steff and Rogher), have been exploring and investigating the ruins to get a better understanding of pre-apocalyptic life. They have found several items of “academic interest” (some various hand tools, a TV remote control, a pair of eyeglasses, and perhaps some other items from the Assorted Junk list (MF rulebook, pg. 124). They ask the party if they would like to help with the exploration, promising that they may keep any weapons and items they find, after they catalog and record the item, of course. The day should be getting short at this time, and Scribe suggests they bunk down for the night to get started in the morning.

Late that night, a small band of Feeders (MF rulebook, pg. 71) who have been watching the expedition from the ruins sneaks in to make a meal out of the sleeping victims. Unless someone has been posted as a nightwatch, the Feeders get surprise when they attack.

Feeders (4) (AL C, MV 120' (40'), AC 6, HD 3, #AT 1 (weapon or bite), per weapon or 1d6, SV L3, ML 8, mutations: thermal vision, night vision)

During the heat of combat, the party may notice one of the Feeders suddenly stop fighting, look about confusedly, then drop dead in front of them. After the combat ends, if they inspect the body of the feeder, they will find an Ancient knife (a kitchen steak knife) buried deep in its back. This weapon dealt the death blow. They may also see Steff staring off into the shadows. If asked, she will say she saw what killed the Feeder. “It was a ghost!” Steff exclaims. “I saw a ghost of one of the Ancients who lived here!” If questioned, Steff will say that she saw a ghostly skeleton dressed in Ancient garb step out from the shadows. It threw something and the Feeder dropped. The Ghost then dropped back into the shadows and disappeared. If the area where the “ghost” was spotted is investigated, nothing will be found.

The next morning, Scribe will begin yelling and shouting, as Steff has apparently gone missing. In a panic, he starts throwing out assumptions that more of the Feeders may have returned or, perhaps, Steff's “ghost” came for her during the night. He pleads for the party to help him locate her.

Steff actually left the camp before sunrise to try to locate her “ghost.” An excellent tracker, Steff returned to the scene of the appearance and found some faint footprints and signs that she was able to follow. If the party returns to the scene, they find Steff's footprints scattered about (where she was searching) and a rather obvious trail she left as she chased after the ghost. Her trail leads to a long-forgotten Ancient graveyard. If the party approaches quietly, they may catch a glimpse of a humanoid skeleton wandering about, then entering a open stone tomb. Rather than “ghosts,” the graveyard is inhabited by a small tribe of Vitossein – shy, private humanoids with transparent flesh. From a distance, these creatures look like skeletons as their bones are not transparent.

This band has lived in the area for many months. They have dressed themselves in scavenged Ancient clothing, and their small graveyard location and their appearance keep the curious away due to rumors of hauntings. The Vitossein have been fighting with the Feeders for a while now, as they have been attacked by the little fiends as well. One of them heard last night's combat and “helped” the strangers without becoming personally involved.

Vitossein (6) (AL N, MV 120' (40'), AC 3, HD 8, #AT 1, DG weapon + 1d6, SV L4, ML 5, mutations: chameleon epidermis (limited), reflective epidermis (radiation), intellectual affinity (martial))

Steff has followed the path to the Vitossein encampment and is watching them with interest as her specialty is anthopology. This new humanoid species facinates her and she's trying to make as many notes and observations as she can in private. If the party makes too much noise upon approach, she race up and quiet them, explaining that these creatures are a new humanoid race that she wishes to observe. If the party charges in, the Vitossein will make short work of them, as they have a highly developed martial intellectual affinity as well as being very hard to see. If they are beaten in combat, they will be taken prisoner while the Vitossein leader demands an explanation as to who they are and why they attacked.

During this interrogation (or if the party had remained hidden while observing), a larger party of Feeders makes an attack on the Vitossein base. They realize the Vitossein interloper helped the strangers, costing the Feeders last night's meal. When the Feeders attack, the outnumbered Vitossein will need help. If the party is captured, the Vitossein will release them and ask for help. If the party is hidden, Steff will race in the help, yelling at the party to follow.

Feeders (10) (AL C, MV 120' (40'), AC 6, HD 3, #AT 1 (weapon or bite), per weapon or 1d6, SV L3, ML 8, mutations: thermal vision, night vision)

Once the combat has ended, any Feeders still remaining will abandon the ruins as a base and will run off, never to return. The Vitossein will thank the party as they can now live in peace. Scribe will promise to keep the secret of the Vitossein safe in exchange for their help in cataloging the ruined village. The Vitossein, having explored the area at length, collecting many items of intellectual value, are happy to make the arrangement. The party may also be rewarded with some of the more unusual items discovered, including weapons or valuables.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Savage Menagerie: Slimenoid

No. Enc.: 1 (0)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 60' (20')
Armor Class: 8
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: 1

Damage: See below
Save: F2
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: None

Green Slime (MF rulebook pg. 75) is a slow, mindless, flesh-melting goo that usually fully consumes its victims. But there are times when a powerful mental mutant's consciousness "lives" on upon absorption. It is then that a Slimenoid is born

A Slimenoid is a humanoid-shaped creature made entirely out of Green Slime. The creature is formed by the sheer mental willpower of a former victim, giving it
its shape and form of locomotion. A Slimenoid no longer has the memories or identity of the former victim -- only the mental energies of the victim is present. But due to the powerful mental energies at play, a Slimenoid will sometimes (50%) still retain the use of one of its mental mutations. The ML should roll randomly on the Mental Mutations table if this is the case. (However, mental attacks are useless against a Slimenoid as no true "brain" is present.)

Like a Green Slime, a Slimenoid only wants to attack and eat. A Slimenoid will shamble forward and attempt to grab and enfold a victim, digesting all clothing and armor in 6 rounds. In 1d4 rounds after that, the slime will coat and dissolve the victim, creating more slime and absorbing it into its own "body. A Slimenoid is impervious to most attacks, although it is susceptable to fire.

Mutations: toxic weapon, special (see description)