Saturday, September 29, 2012

Wisdom From The Wastelands 16 And Post-Apocalyptic Toys 4 Both Now Out

A quick announcement for two new releases for Mutant Future and other post-apocalyptic RPG mayhem!

Skirmisher Publishing's Issue 16 of Wisdom From the Wastelands is now out. This issue is "Robots Part 2," and is described as follows: "Robots are just as omportant to Mutant Future as biologicval creatures. They can be antagonists, sources of information, or even slave labor. In this second installment of four robot-themed issues, there are eight new robots, as well as several new accessories, a new weapon, and a new form of locomotion." This new issue is only 99 cents and is available at Drive Through RPG.

Occult Moon's Post-Apocalyptic Toys Issue 4 has also been released. This new sandbox setting is "The Poison Jungle." It is described as: "The poison jungles along the shore of the Glass Sea are home to secrets and peaceful tribe men. Some of those secrets may be coming to the surface soon and the cannibal cults of the Shimer Drift are starting to see the tribes of the poison jungle as a delicacy, or maybe even an addiction. Can your team of wasters keep the secrets or uncover them?" this new sandbox setting is $1.99 and is also available at Drive Through RPG.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Savage Menagerie: Withermoss

No. Enc.: 1
Alignment: None
Movement: 0
Armor Class: 9
Hit Dice: 1 for every 10 square feet (EX: 30 square feet = 3HD)
Attacks: Special
Damage: Special
Save: F1
Morale: None
Hoard Class: None

Withermoss is a sickly yellow and/or orange patchy plant usually found growing on open, flat areas like forest floors or prairie expanses. Withermoss has also been spied growing on rooftops, over rocky outcroppings, in Ancient ruins, and any place flat and preferably shaded. Withermoss is fairly benign and not harmful at all if given a wide berth. However, the plant has a poisonous, oily coating that is dangerous if physical contact is made.

If someone comes into contact with Withermoss, he should make a save versus poison. If the save is successful, he will take 2d4 hit points of damage from the waves of nausea that overtakes him as the poison courses through his system. He will feel weakened for another 8 hours, but no further ill effects will occur. However, if the save is unsuccessful, the Mutant Lord should roll 1d4 to see how the victim is affected:

  1. Physical Vitality: The vicitm's body mass begins to atrophy as the poison affects the major muscle groupings. The victim's STR and CON scores are temporarily halved for 24 hours. This affects any "to hit/damage" bonuses due to STR, CON saving throw adjustments, and carrying capacity. (The vicitm's hit point total will be unaffected though.)
  2. Mental Acuity: A mind-crushing headache will descend upon the victim as his brain is affected by the poison. The victim's INT and WIL scores are temporarily halved for 24 hours. This will affect the victim's ability to reason and problem solve, technology roll modifiers, and strength in mental combat situations.
  3. Physical Mutations: The DNA that represents the victim's physical mutations will be twisted and warped. All of the victim's physical mutations will be at half-strength for 24 hours. This could mean a smaller area of affect; half-damage from offensive abilities; usable half as often; or any penalty the ML believes is appropriate.
  4. Mental Mutations: The DNA that represents the victim's mental mutations will be twisted and warped. All of the victim's mental mutations will be at half-strength for 24 hours. This could mean a smaller area of affect; half-damage from offensive abilities; usable half as often; or any penalty the ML believes is appropriate.

Fortunately, the adverse effects of  Withermoss are usually temporary with no long-term damage. However, if contact is made again while still under the affect of the Withermoss' poison, the victim will need to save again. If the save is failed and if the same "target area" is affected for a second time, the resulting loss will be permanent at this point. For example, if the Withermoss affects the mutant's physical mutations a second time within a 24-hour period, those physical mutations will be at half-strength forever. Avoiding Withermoss altogether is usually the best course of action once it has been identified.

Mutations: dermal poison sap

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Occult Moon's Post-Apocalyptic Toys 1, 2, 3 Review

Occult Moon is becoming notable for its "Toys For the Sandbox" series of system-neutral RPG settings. They've produced a lot of sandboxes for the fantasy and sci fi genres, and now they've turned an Armageddon Eye toward the end of the world with their "Post-Apocalyptic Toys" series. By way of full disclosure, I received a comp copy of Post-Apocalypse Toys 2, but I purchased 1 and 3 on my own.

The first one in the series is The Last Refuge. This supplement details a small compound run by Gramp Fellows where wasteland wanderers can rest, recoup, and find refuge. The farm, trading post, bar, and hotel offer a much-needed oasis in the blasted lands, but not all is as peaceful as it seems. Six adventure hooks, six NPCs, and two tables of random rumors and encounters round out the package. I found this setting to be a bit "toothless" for the post-apocalyptic genre, but that's its purpose in the grand scheme of things. It could make for a good "homebase" for your PCs or as a respite between adventures.

The next in the series takes a darker turn with The Slave Wagon. The Black Sparrow plies her trade in the wastes, which is cheap human labor. She's not picky who she captures for her cargo, nor is she particular whom she sells to (the cannibal cults pay well for her "products").  There are also six adventure hooks,  four NPCs, and tables for encounters, rumors, and salvage. This setting is very interesting, albeit disturbing. The Black Sparrow is a cruel, evil woman who could turn out to be a very vicious enemy if the PCs cross her. Lots of potential with this sandbox -- if the PCs can handle some of the more darker elements found within.

The final apocalyptic sandbox is The Junkyard, and I found the setting the most creative and interesting of the three thus far released. In a place called "The Graveyard of the Machine Gods," the remnants of mankind began to collect and covet the Ancient Holy Tech Relics left behind. The first of the "Machine Tribes" developed, and the Junkyard became a cathedral for the Tech-Priests and their machine-worshiping ways. Wastelanders covet the technological treasures rumored to be in their grasp, but raiding The Junkyard is incredibly dangerous as the zealots who reside there guard their secrets with religious fervor. Six adventure hooks, four NPCs, and tables for salvage, encounters, and rumors complete the package. It's like a high-tech Vatican City. (And wait until you meet the Carjax and the Moto-motos!)

 Each Post-Apocalyptic Toy sandbox runs between 9 and 11 pages. I really like the "found notebook" design of the series, although the handwriting font used within -- although appropriate for the "feel" of the book -- is very hard to causally read through. The Junkyard is particularly hard to read due to this font choice, and I hope it's rethought for future releases. But the concept of a series of pre-populated apocalyptic settings is very appealing, and any of these could be the launchpad for a new campaign, of a quick stop between adventures.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Monstrous and/or Mutated Mondays Throughout October!

To celebrate the Halloween season, Tim Brannan over at The Other Side Blog is gathering all RPG bloggers together to participate in the Monstrous Monday blogfest on October 29. When that day rolls around, expect the blogosphere to explode with creeping, crawling, cretinous creatures!

But I really like the Halloween season, and I want to do more than just one day's worth of monsters! Normally I spend the week of Halloween on my personal "Festival of Fright" series of blog posts. This year, taking my cue from Tim, I plan on treating every OTHER Monday in October as Mutated Monday!

So stay tuned as, every Monday in October, The Savage AfterWorld brings you a new Mutant Future denizen!

Monday, September 24, 2012

10 Short Mutant Future Adventures From Hereticwerks

The mad geniuses over at Hereticwerks have released a free PDF of 10 of their short Mutant Future adventures designed for last year's OSR September of Short Adventures Challenge. They are also bundling up their mini-adventures for Labyrinth Lord and Swords & Wizardry in the near future.

Each of the one-page adventures follows a simple "Get Ready! Get Set! Go!" format which provides a minimal set-up, background, and hook for the micro-module. The 10 Mutant Future adventures gathered here can each be played in a single afternoon/evening and could very well be the springboard for a larger campaign. (I'm dying to spring the "Run, You Fools!" event during my next game.) Some very creative uses for some of the lesser-known Mutant Future creatures is found within as well.

The PDF is available in a Box posted over at the Hereticwerks blog.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My First Monster Manual Heading To PlaGMaDA

It's funny, but I really don't have a lot of homemade leftovers from the earlier formative RPG days. I have a lot of games and dice from the '80s, but nothing I created myself. Which is funny, as I made a LOT of stuff back in the day. My dad gave me one of his old briefcases and I kept all of my custom materials in there. I had a ton of Villains and Vigilantes badguys from a long-running campaign (Shatterer, The Pawn, Furnace, Dr. Dread, and my favorite, The Puzzler). I had some custom modules for V&V, AD&D, Ghostbusters, and Chill - all bound with nifty handdrawn covers. But over the years, all of those items were either lost or thrown out. However, several years ago, my mom called me to let me know she had stumbled across one handmade gaming item tucked in amongst my junior high award certificates and other flotsam: "Weird Works." The cover appears above..

You see, Weird Works was my version of a Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual. Over the years, anytime I had an idea for a monster, I'd stat it up, draw a picture of it, and place it in this flimsy red cardboard binder. Some were of a satirical bent ("Giant Smuf" and "Plaid Dragon" anyone? Oh, and the cover has an illustration of -- yes -- a "Killer Tomato".). But others were kinda cool in retrospect. In fact, a few of the creatures that have appeared on this blog (Fear Feeder and Salvo off the top of my head) were inspired by critters in Weird Works. When I hammered together my recent Deviant Database, I had this notebook beside me for inspiration. However, it's not a respource manual I plan to use at the gaming table; I've tapped out the more interesting items for other projects; and -- honestly -- it's a bit on the embarrassing side. (It's like that picture taken of you in 1976 when you were 10 and wearing that red, white, and blue sports coat that you pray your friends never see.) So the question of what to do with this (other than misplace it again one day) still loomed over my head.

Their Mission Statement: "PlaGMaDA's mission is to preserve, present, and interpret play generated cultural artifacts, namely manuscripts and drawings created to communicate a shared imaginative space.  The Archive will solicit, collect, describe, and publicly display these documents so as to demonstrate their relevance, presenting them as both a historical record of a revolutionary period of experimental play and as aesthetic objects in their own right.  By fostering discussion and educating the public, it is hoped that the folkways which generate these documents can be encouraged and preserved for future generations."

In other words, they collect, compile, and share homemade gaming materials from "back in the day." The archive they have is a fascinating snapshot of dreawings, character sheets, adventures, and other materials created in bedrooms, garages, basements, and study halls. Right now, they have a Kickstarter project to compile and print up a collection of this kid-generated adventures. I could think of no better place for this book to end up, so I dropped  them a line and they said they'd be glad to take it, scan it for the archive, and file the original away with all of the other homemade treasures they've accumulated. So tomorrow, this well-worn, well-read, and well-loved chunk of my childhood is heading to its final home.

But before it heads out, here are three creatures -- written up in 1982 -- I'd like to share:


And drop them a line to make your own donation if you have any home-created gaming materials from Ye Olden Dayes.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Furtive Faction: The Robomish

Group Goals and Beliefs: Technology destroyed the world, therefore technology itself must be shunned and discarded. However, we are made from technology, so – indirectly – we are responsible for the destruction of the world. Therefore, we must make amends with The Creators for the current state of the world.

Identifiers: The Robomish (pronounced (row-BAH-mish) are made up of androids, robots, and other synthetic lifeforms of all different shapes and sizes. (Although many of them are “personal assistant” models originally designed to serve mankind.) As a sign of penance and subservience, many of them can be found wearing a wide-brimmed hat on their head like their Ancient Amish counterparts. Some also sport beards as well (either painted on or spidergoat fur pasted onto their faceplates).

Group History: As believed by the Robomish, the Apocalygeddon was the direct result of unchecked technology running amok. Man’s hubris combined with out-of-control high-tech advancements ended the planet. As servile automatons, the original Robomish felt indirectly responsible for the cataclysm. As thinking and reasoning beings, they drew parallels between the advancements that both gave them “life” and the advancements that gave others “death.” The guilt and remorse was overwhelming, and – withdrawing from society and casting off all technological trappings – the first Robomish enclave was founded.

The Robomish have embraced a primitive existence, free from any and all machines, tools, and energy-driven devices. Even wind and steam-driven devices are shunned. With the exception of the Robomish themselves, there is nothing more advanced than simple farming tools and kerosine lanterns. They now spend their days building homes, tending crops, harvesting and preserving food, and establishing small villages. It is hoped that, one day, “The Creators” will return. And when they do, the Robomish will turn these villages over to them, hoping to show their worthiness and that they will be pleased, and the Robomish will in turn return to their subservient robotic existence.

Game Information: Robomish communities are located far away from major population areas and ruined Ancient cities. PCs may be stunned to wander into an overgrown and long-forgotten valley only to find a thriving community populated by robots. This community will be run by a village elder, although all Robomish have an equal say in day-to-day affairs and decisions affecting the entire community.

The Robomish are pretty distrustful of outsiders, but they will welcome any Pure Strain Humans with open arms, believing them to be one of The Creators. Technology is strictly forbidden in a Robomish village, and visitors will be asked to leave anything more technologically advanced than a crossbow at the village gates. Even though the Robomish are fairly peaceful, several war machines and killbots have “converted” to the Robomish faith, and they will defend their village with deadly force. The Robomish are happy to barter and trade for food, shelter, and mounts (which they have in abundance), usually asking for the completion of some task or errand in exchange for the items.

Because technology is forbidden, the Robomish have no way of repairing themselves if damaged. If they finally fall into disrepair or malfunction, the Robomish will permanently deactivate the faulty ‘bot. (“It is the will of The Creators that we eventually age and die.”) The “corpse” will then be taken to an area outside of the village where it will be set ablaze, so mechanical parts cannot be salvaged. (“We’re ending our own technological pollution of the world,” they’ll explain.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


YO-0-0, "The Cobalt Corsair," wishes all of you scurvy seadogs a very happy Talk Like A Pirate Day today! Avast! Forsooth! Arrrrrrr...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Thundarr The Barbarian Random Title Generator

While designing some Thundarr the Barbarian adventures for Gary Con next March, I reviewed the titles of actual episodes for inspiration. It never struck me before, but nearly every episode title is in the same format: “BLANK of BLANK”. So I cobbled together this handy “Thundarr the Barbarian Random Title Generator.” Roll 2d20 and combine the results for your own custom-made Thundarr the Barbarian episode!

By the way, numbers 1 through 15 are actual “BLANK of BLANK” Thundarr titles, and numbers 16 through 20 are adaptations of other Thundarr titles. (“BLANK from BLANK” or “BLANK into BLANK”, for example.)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

"The Metamorphica: A Book Of Random Mutation Tables" Now Available

How did I not hear about this sooner? Johnstone Metzger of  Red Box Vancouver's Blog has released The Metamorphica, a system-generic collection of 650 mutations organized in a variety of random mutation tables. If you've wanted more mutations for your Mutant Future campaign -- or for any RPG where mutations are inevitable -- this is a mind-bogglingly useful book.

Whether you're running a "top secret government experiment has run amok" campaign; a "superheroes with mutant abilities ala X-Men" campaign; or -- yes -- a "post-apocalyptic freaks of the wastelands" campaign, this book has a subtable for use with your specific RPG genre. All of the mutations within are sub-indexed in a wide variety of tables in the back of the book. If you just want to roll randomly for one or two defects on the "Detrimental Mutations" table, you can do that. Want to roll up a Mutant Plant with psychic powers? That table's in here. A Superhero with animalistic features? A Wasteland Warrior with crippling psychoses? Yup, they're all there. Or you can just pick and choose through the extensive mutations list, adding them to your own homebrewed tables.

Besides being an incredibly thorough resource, Metzger has released this 160-page book for FREE in PDF form. And if you must have a printed perfect-bound book, it'll run you less than $5.00, making this an incredible bargain. Although, if you wish to make a donation to Metzger or if you'd like to read more about the creation of The Metamophica, you can do so  by clicking this link.

The Metamorphica is available for FREE in PDF format at Lulu, and it's only $4.90 in digest-sized, perfect-bound hardcopy at Lulu as well. Sniderman encourages you to grab this book, and he really encourages you to toss some coins at Metzger when you do.

And Here It Is In Print...

I swear this will be my last "pimpage post" of my recently released Deviant Database for Mutant Future. (Now available in both electronic PDF from Drive Through RPG / RPG Now and in print from Lulu!) I just mailed out a stack of complementary printed copies to folks who contributed to the project. Here is the last one. Thought you'd like to take a look at the 80-page, perfect-bound, slickly covered, final product:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gary Con V Early Bird Registration Begins Sunday!

Early bird registration for Gary Con V opens this Sunday! The convention itself runs March 14-17 in Lake Geneva, WI. Early registration opens Sept. 16 with quite a special offer! For $40, you get a full 4-day badge as well as a full set of all three Gary Con stadium cups! What's so special about these logo-emblazoned tumblers? Well, with one in-hand, you get $1 soda and $3 Spotted Cow for all three days of the convention as well as FREE soda and beer during the daily Happy Hour! A set of these cups normally runs $25. But free collectible cups that come filled with cheap and/or free Spotted Cow for all three days? An awesome deal, to be sure. Plus, other Early Bird registration offers will be available such as premium badges and pre-ordering Gary Con collectibles!

Already have my room booked, will be registering this weekend, and I'm putting my games together now so I'm prepared when event registration goes live. Why, yes, I *will* be running Mutant Future Thundarr the Barbarian again! (Although it will be a completely new "episode"!)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Deviant Database Print Version Now 10% Off Through Sept. 12!

The electronic version of Deviant Database is moving nicely, and I thank everyone who's picked up a copy thus far. However, no one seems interested in the print version. As a book editor by trade and a bit of a bibliophile, this simply will not do. Ergo, I am taking two steps to try to drum up a bit of old school print-and-paper interest: The print version of Deviant Database is now permanently priced at $13.95. And for the next two days, I shall run a 10% off sale, effectively making it $12.56 per copy. It's insanity, I tells ya!

The Deviant Database is available as a downloadable PDF for $5.95 at Drive Through RPG and in perfect-bound hardcopy book for $12.56 until September 12 at Lulu.

EDITED TO ADD: There's a Lulu coupon out there for another 20% off too! So use SEPBOOKS12 and it should put them in the $10 range!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Deviant Database For Mutant Future Now Available!

And thus, The Savage AfterWorld releases its first Mutant Future supplement:


From the harmless to the harmful, from the weak to the wicked, the Deviant Database collects over 90 monstrous mutants that have inhabited The Savage AfterWorld!

  • Challenge your players with flying fiends like the flaming Dragonfire or the rampaging Flynocerous!
  • Oceanic adventures await with aquatic adversaries such as the Flamewhale, Oceanbrood, and Crabhemoth!
  • Mutant menaces like the Pumpking and Brain Lord lurk in the hidden shadows and manipulate their eager minions!

Totaling 80 pages, the Deviant Database is fully compatible with Goblinoid Games' Mutant Future and Labyrinth Lord RPGs as well as other Original Edition Fantasy RPGs.

The Deviant Database is available as a downloadable PDF for $5.95 at Drive Through RPG and in perfect-bound hardcopy book for $11.95 at Lulu.

And here are some reviews!
Goblinoid Games
Adventures and Shopping
Green Skeleton Gaming Guild
Swords & Stitchery
Halls of the Nephilim

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Polyhedral Dice Shot Glasses

Something cool I discovered lurking in my Google+ circles. Amy Davis of Monster Dance Designs created a set of shot glasses etched with the classic shapes of your favorite polyhedral dice! She occasionally sells these on her etsy shop as well as at game conventions for $48 a set (plus shipping). She's working on something a bit more "steady" when it comes to distribution, but until that time comes, stay sharp for the next time they're offered for sale.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dangerous Encounter: A Writhing Incursion

This encounter can work either with a cemetery used by the PC’s village (if their culture mandates burial for its dead) or at an Ancient graveyard found nearby. It’s reported by one of the villagers that graves appear to be recently disturbed and emptied of their contents. Rumors and hushed whispers allude to a potential Walking Dead infestation (MF rulebook, pg. 101). Lest the village become overrun by flesh-craving undead, the PCs are tasked to investigate the situation.

Upon arrival, the first thing the PCs may notice is the lack of footprints in the graveyard. Not only has nothing climbed out, it doesn't appear that anyone has entered the graveyard either. If the graves are investigated (and a successful save versus INT is made), the PCs can tell that there doesn't seem to be any earth pushed up and out from the burial sites. In fact, it appears that the graves collapsed from underneath. If the PCs decide to do a bit of digging, they'll find that there is a complex tunnel system underneath the cemetery.

As the PCs investigate the tunnels under the cemetery, they should encounter a solitary, silent, robed figure standing in the darkness. When it turns to look at them, they see that its face is a mass of wriggling, writhing earthworms. What the PCs have yet to discover is that a small group of Skwirm have set up an advance colony under the graveyard. They have been feeding on the corpses buried there while they establish a beachhead for a future invasion of the area.

Skwirm (3) (AL C, MV 120' (40'), (Dig 90', (30')), AC 6, HD 8, #AT 1 (weapon or constriction), per weapon or 1d6, SV L4, ML 9, mutations: metaconcert, hyperburroring, dermal poison slime, dual cerebellum)

The Skwirm will lash out with one of its worm tendrils at the intruders, hoping to ensnare and subdue the strongest-looking of the group while also doing 1d6 hit points of damage from constriction and 2d6 points of damage from its dermal contact poison. If combat starts to turn against it, it will silently "call" its two other Skwirm-brothers using its metaconcert ability. The other two Skwirm will come to its rescue, bursting out from opposite walls of the tunnel with their hyperburrowing mutation. One of them will be riding a Small Purple Worm (half the size of an adult Purple Worm) (MF rulebook, pg. 90).

Small Purple Worm (1) (AL N, MV 60' (20'), AC 6, HD 10, #AT 2 (bite/sting), 2d8/2d8/poison, SV L5, ML 10, mutations: gigantism, toxic weapon)

The Skwirm managed to get their "hands" on a newly hatched Purple Worm, raising it as their own. It will defend its "parents" to the death. Once the Skwirm and the Purple Worm are defeated, the tunnel complex can be searched. It's quite extensive, spreading throughout the area (and possibly leading to other subterranean adventures!). The PCs may also locate the Skwirm's hoard consisting of 835 gold pieces, two Satchel Charge As (4d6 points of damage, 10' radius), and a fully stocked survival kit.

Defeating the Skwirm's advance colony will set back their planned incursion of the area by several months. However, the Skrirm will then send a scouting party to the area to find out what happened to the original colony, starting the whole thing over again, as the Skwirm are tenacious and single-minded of purpose. The party may be called upon to find a more permanent solution.