Monday, February 27, 2012

Goodbye Faithful Pal

April 15, 2000 -- February 27, 2012
Sorry to be maudlin, but today was a very difficult day for the Sniderman household. Wanted to take a moment and place a permanent remembrance online to the best four-legged friend I ever had.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Issue 4 of Wisdom From the Wastelands Released

Issue 4 of Wisdom From the Wastelands, the new weekly missive from Skirmisher Publishing, has been released. This issue's theme is "New Races," which introduces several new mutant archetypes for your PCs and NPCs. Issue 4 is only 99 cents and available at Drive Thru RPG.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Full Color Test Of MagCloud

Work is nearing completion on "Super-Mega-Ultra-Top-Secret Project X", when I had a sudden (and sinking) revelation. This supplement was designed to be full color throughout. And, as a hardcopy print aficionado, it's very important to me that a print version be readily available. But a quick review of Lulu's interior color printing charges revealed that it would cost a buyer $22+ to have a POD version.


I had heard that MagCloud was a reasonably priced alternative for a full-color print run, but not knowing much about their process, I thought I'd run a sample publication through and get an idea of the quality of the product. So I uploaded and ran the Thundarr The Barbarian Sourcebook for a proof copy. And here's the result:

First of all, the project was shipped in a clear plastic bag with an address label affixed, much like a magazine. So everyone down the shipping line and postal service can see what you've ordered. (Not a big deal, but the lack of privacy was a bit of a turn-off.) Also, with no stiff backing, it arrived nice and mangled when folded and crammed into my mailbox. The product is in a glossy magazine format, so the pages are nice and slick. But the paper feels a bit thin, as if it'd tear with any degree of rough use. (Or typical use in my household.) Another minus is the cover. Looks good, but it's printed on the same stock as the pages. This will just not hold up as well as a thicker cardstock cover found on books. (Although MagCloud does present itself as a kind of portfolio/magazine POD service, so I suppose it's adequate for a "disposable monthly" pub.) Color "pops" nicely though:

And how much did this cost? Publications cost a flat 20 cents per page with free saddle stitch binding. (Perfect bound is another buck.) With shipping it came to just around $15. Cheaper, yes. But not cheap enough to be a viable alternative in my eyes (especially when the flaws in the durability of the end project are considered). If you're producing a 40 to 50-page fanzine with color interiors, this could be a great way to get it printed and distributed on the cheap. But for a book or supplement? No, I don't feel this is gonna work for anything you'd want to keep on a bookshelf. (Unless you board-and-bag it like a comic book upon arrival.)

So what am I gonna do? Well, I'm now looking over my layout and art, and beginning the slow conversion to black and white interiors. I can make it work with the design and "feel" for the book I had in mind, and by doing so, I should be able to get this produced and shipped to your door for under $10. So stay tuned for more developments on Project X. And check out MagCloud anyway. Not appropriate for my immediate needs, but I think it has a lot of promise for other ideas. If you ever wanted to churn out a monthly RPG magazine, it's a great place to start.

(Oh, and --NO-- the Thundarr supplement is not Project X, nor will the Thundarr supplement ever be available in a POD format. This was a personal one-off. I might give it away later in a contest or something though...)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Issue 3 of Wisdom From the Wastelands Now Out

Almost let this get by without a mention! Issue 3 of Wisdom From the Wastelands, the new weekly missive from Skirmisher Publishing, is now out! This issue's theme is "High-Tech Weapons," which introduces several new formidable weapons to your mutant armory! (How can you NOT love a device called a "Nerve Ripper"?) Issue 3 is a paltry 99 cents and available at Drive Thru RPG.

Thundarr... Korgoth... Now, GUNDARR!

In the beginning, there was Thundarr the Barbarian...
Then we met Korgoth of Barbaria...

Now, from the folks who brought us Happy Tree Friends:

Stupid, violent, gun-toting, testosterone-fueled barbarian versus "Todd The Evil Wizard" in a fantasy setting gone horribly wrong. I admit, I laughed out loud several times.. Had to share...

(And the Christmas episode is pretty funny too.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Notorious NPC: Carlotta, Assassin-For-Hire

Carlotta, Assassin-For-Hire
8th Level Pure Human

STR: 14 --- INT: 12
DEX: 15 --- WIL: 12
CON: 21 --- CHA: 19
HPs: 154 --- AC: 5
Mutations: none

In the Mutant Future wastelands, there is one name that strikes fear into nearly everyone -- Carlotta. The assassin-for-hire is feared by bounty hunters, men-for-hire, and other ne'er-do-wells. Carlotta is, bluntly, the deadliest non-mutant alive. It's said that, if she comes for you, you might as well blow your own head off with a lazer pistol as she's never -- NEVER -- failed in a mission.

Carlotta is a strikingly beautiful pure strain human (and she knows it). She often wears tight, revealing clothing, knowing that her -- ahem -- assets both distracts and disarms her male opponents. She's humorless, all business, with a swift (and injurious) response to fools and annoyances. (Flirting with Carlotta is a bad idea, as she'd just as soon stick a knife in your eye as speak with you.) Carlotta views members of society as a means to an end. You're either an employer, a target, or faceless rabble.

In combat, she's quick and deadly, receiving 2 attacks per round with bonuses of +1 to hit (both hand-to-hand and missile combat) as well as a +2 damage bonus to any attacks she makes. She's fast, giving her -1 to her AC and +1 initiative. Her resistance to poisons and radiation are also formidable, giving her a +3 to poison saves and +2 to radiation saves.

In combat, Carlotta is equipped with an eyepiece targeting system, which gives her an additional +2 to hit with ranged weaponry. She prefers to take out her opponents from a distance with a long range sniper rifle or similar weapon. In close quarters combat, she'll use her vibro-bladed staff (1d8+16) to subdue a "client" before finishing him off with a well-placed plasma pistol (7d6) shot to the head. Carlotta is not a fool in combat, preferring to kill them from a distance or with a trap she's set. If she enters one-on-one combat and it turns against her, she will retreat and attack another day -- perhaps months later, when her quarry's guard is down (and she'll take on other "clients" in the meantime). She has also been known to hire a group of toughs to attack her "client." If her hirelings kill him, her contract's terms are met. If they fail, she then sweeps in to attack the now-injured and weakened prey.

Carlotta does not reason, bargain, or take pity on her "clients," as "it's just business." Those who hire her are assured of the target's eventual death. (And her fees reflect this efficiency.) And those who turn on her, compete against her, or simply get in her way are summarily disposed of. It's this ruthlessness and lack of known failures that gives her such a feared reputation. The phrase "being an Enemy of Carlotta" has come to mean "someone with a deathwish," as in "You want to enter that Hazmat Zone? What are you, an Enemy of Carlotta?"

Friday, February 10, 2012

Official Mutant Future Apparel Now Available & Wisdom From the Wastelands Issue 2 Released

Goblinoid Games has updated their Zazzle store with shirts and apparel featuring logos from all of their games, including Mutant Future! If you've wanted a shirt revealing your affection for all things warped, radioactive, and mutated, visit the store and grab an official Mutant Future T-shirt, sweatshirt, hoodie, or jersey. (There are also shirts featuring Labyrinth Lord, Rotworld, Timemaster, and the Goblinoid Games logo.)

Also released this week for Mutant Future is Issue 2 of Wisdom From the Wastelands, the new weekly missive from Skirmisher Publishing! This issue's theme is "Monsters That Improve With Age," which infuses aging rules for the creatures encountered in the wastelands. The older a creature, the craftier and more experienced it is. (It may also have developed additional mutations. However, these older creatures have drawbacks to to their advanced age. Issue 2 is 99 cents and available at Drive Thru RPG.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Savage AfterSwag

Ooooooooo... Pretty, shiny precious...

Some folks at Gary Con and Gen Con are gonna get some really nice six-sided swag. The folks at Chessex did a remarkable job of matching my blog's colors and fonts, eh? Good prices too. I recommend their custom service to anyone who wants some custom dice whipped up.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Taking Attendance For Gen Con

Are you an old-school grognard? Do you have an RPG blog? Are you attending Gen Con 2012 in August? Want to potentially meet-and-greet with other like-minded OSR enthusiasts? Would you like for me to get to the point?

Digital Orc has sent out the call for other Gen Con OSR bloggers who are attending Gen Con with the hopes of encouraging contact and a potential get-together amongst attendees. Fill out the form (here's the link) to have yourself included in the Master Spreadsheet of Gen Con OSR Blogger attendees.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Gen Con 2012 -- All Mutant Future, All The Time

Today is the last day for the first round of Gen Con 2012 event submissions. (There's another round, but the first round gives you better placement and what-not.) Just tossed in my first three events and, this year, it's all Mutant Future, all the time. Several folks told me last year that they wished there had been more Mutant Future events, as it seemed I was the only one running it. Had a great time running it last year, so this year, that's all I'll be running.

And here are the current events, dates, and times:

Thurs-Noon: Thundarr the Barbarian: Across the Dimensional Divide (RPG1230160) - Demon Dogs! A dimensional time-rip has appeared near "Indeenapliss." It must be the work of an evil wizard, but who? Join Thundarr, Ookla, and Princess Ariel as they try to save the world of 3994 AD!

Fri-10 AM: Gimme Shelter II: The Rushmore Salvage Job (RPG1230159) - NOW HIRING: Barter John needs up to 6 mutants to help secure and move four very large Ancient busts near the village of Blackhill. Must be OK with heights. Tools supplied. No mants need apply.

Sat-10 AM: Weed World (RPG1230158) - Within the last month, the growth of vegetation has accelerated, threatening to overrun your post-apocalyptic village. Does a children's story of "The Devil's Greenhouse" hold the key to survival?

Yes, there is now an "official" Savage AfterWorld "Thundarr Thursday" scheduled for Gen Con. (I may also add a second one for later that same day depending on demand.) See you in August!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Weekly Mutant Future "Wisdom From The Wastelands" Launches

Skirmisher Publishing LLC has announced the release of Wisdom from the Wastelands, a weekly publication dedicated to providing useful information, game content, and ideas for modern, science fiction, and post-apocalyptic table-top and role-playing games in general and Goblinoid Games’ Mutant Future RPG in particular. The first issue, "Artifacts, Manuals, and Tookits," was written by Derek Holland and Chris Van Deelen, authors of multiple Mutant Future supplements. Issue 1 is 5 pages and is now available at DriveThruRPG for 99 cents.

From the press release:
One of the most entertaining aspects of a post-apocalyptic RPG is the many sorts of artifacts. Mutant Future and other popular post-apocalyptic role-playing game rules have decent rules for figuring out and repairing artifacts. The first issue of Wisdom from the Wastelands covers several new rules related to this--from optional bonuses on figuring out artifacts, to manuals and toolkits. There are also rules that cover saving throws for artifacts and how much damage they can sustain before being damaged or destroyed.

Our goal is to release a new thematic issue of this publication nearly every week and to have it contain a variety of useful and earnest information that will inspire Game Masters and players alike and provide them with things that they can immediately plug into their games.
I'm looking forward to seeing what new concepts come from this weekly series, and I'll keep readers informed of new issues as they are released.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Doomsday Preppers Premieres February 7

The newest in a recent line of apocalyptic reality shows (Apocalypse Man and The Colony), National Geographic channel brings us Doomsday Preppers, premiering February 7.

From the website:
Doomsday Preppers explores the lives of otherwise ordinary Americans who are preparing for the end of the world as we know it. Unique in their beliefs, motivations, and strategies, preppers will go to whatever lengths they can to make sure they are prepared for any of life’s uncertainties. And with our expert’s assessment, they will find out their chances of survival if their worst fears become a reality.
I'll be tuning in, hoping for inspiration for future Mutant Future games...

Savage Menagerie: Grindhog

No. Enc.: 1d2 (1d4)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 90' (30'),
Hyperburrowing: 150' (50')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 5
Attacks: 3 (claw/claw/bite)

Damage: 1d8/1d8/1d12
Save: F3
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: None

The Grindhog is a vicious enlarged decedent of the Ancient species of groundhog. However, unlike the intelligent benevolent Wuudchak, Grindhogs are destructive, carnivorous, animalistic, burrowing machines.

The Grindhog moves through the earth using its hyperburrowing mutation. This allows it to travel through loose dirt and sand faster than it would move above ground on foot. When hyperburrowing, treat the Grindhog as moving through the soil as a fish would travel through water. The Grindhog uses this ability to explode up out of the ground from underneath to attack its prey. A Grindhog gains a +1 surprise bonus when attacking in this manner.

While underground, the Grindhog can use its seismic tremor mutation to cause a small localized earthquake within 50' of its location. This tremor's strength is such that victims will be thrown to the ground for 1d4 HP of damage unless a successful DEX save is made. The Grindhog usually uses this moment to attack. Also, the seismic tremor can cause the collapse of unsafe or crumbling ruins. The Grindhog may cause such a collapse to flush its prey out from indoors and out into the open where it can better attack.

Grindhogs cannot dig through stone, so survivors residing in a Grindhog-infested area may relocate to a cave or concrete-reinforced underground shelter for protection. Once the food source dries up, the Grindhogs will move on. Grindhogs often hunt in pairs, so if one is spotted, another will be lurking nearby. When travelling, if a party finds the nearby ground littered with many holes 3 feet in diameter, they may want to pick up the pace as they may have stumbled through a Grindhog warren.

Mutations: hyperburrowing, seismic tremor