Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mutants In The News — "Where Creatures Roam... Where Beasties Creep... Where Spooks Skulk, Shimmy, and Slink" Edition

Face front, True Believers!

We spectacular sages here in The Bullpen strongly suggest you start saving your shekels and simoleons, 'cuz you dare not skip our sense-shatteringly scarifying Shocktober issue of TALES TO FLABBERGAST!

This astonishing comic will have it all:  Adventure!  Danger!  Excitement!  Horror!  Intrigue!  Suspense!  Thrills!

Scripted by those sultans of stupefying storytelling, Jocular Justin and Alana "The Mama" Davis, and pencilled by none other than that grand guru of the gargantuan, Chris "The Wiz" Wisnia!

You simply must read this tremendous tale of trepidatious, tot-anic terror we just had to call, "The Power...and The Placenta!"

IT'S MUTANT MONSTER MATERNITY IN THE MIGHTY MARVEL MANNER!!!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fantastically Freakish Flora

On his Facebook page, gamma-guy and all-around mutanto-master Jim Ward himself put up a link to a nifty vid.  It ties in nicely to the earlier update about Japanese plantlife that will destroy us all.

No, not this guy...but he WILL destroy you, too!

Click below.

You'll never look at post-apocalyptic plants the same way again!


Mutants In The News — "Supranatural Sprout Siege Of The Sinister Space Sakura!" Edition



Instead of taking the usual ten years to blossom, the space-sprig bloomed at a mere four.

And the potential explanation, you ask?  

Cosmic rays.

I'm pretty sure we know where this is heading....

Saturday, April 12, 2014

An Overpowering Onslaught Of -OIDS

The awesome Metamorphosis Alpha Deluxe Reprint Kickstarter got me mulling over something that's always niggled / interested / irritated / something'd me when it comes to post-apocalyptic RPGs:

Sentient, bipedal critters with names that end in "-oid".  These are a select group of mutants indeed, as most intelligent ani-men lack that particular suffix.



Grandpappy game of them all, Metamorphosis Alpha 1e, set the precedent with four beast-oids:  bearoids, cougaroids, hawkoids, and wolfoids.  Each had pretty wonky mutations and defects.

Later editions reduced the number of -oids to one, with Amazing Engine:  Metamorphosis Alpha To Omega [semi-officially 2e] going with hawkoids, and 4e using wolfoids.

[I don't have 3e, so no clue what's in it.]

Wolfoid, 4e.  That Jim Holloway really rocks a werewolf.



Gamma World toned it down, too, featuring only hawkoids throughout most of the line. They appeared in editions 2nd through 5th, then got renamed as "terrorbirds" for 6th...and only showed up on the cover of 7th's Legion Of Gold supplement, without being in the text proper [that I could find, anyway].

Hawkoid, 2e-4e
5e (Alternity version)
6e (d20 version)
7e (D&D 4e version)


Man.  It's hilarious that there's clearly a go-to "hawkoid style".


But the game that REALLY brings the -oids is Mutant Future, with 9 separate entries.

[There are technically 13 -oids in the bestiary, but 3 are mutated humans, and 1 is a plant...so they don't count for my purposes.]

Accipitoid

Castoroid

I dunno if it was loving tribute, lack o' inspiration, sheer laziness, or some combo thereof, but MF brings the -oids like nothing before.  And they got fancied up in in the naming, going all Latin-y and such.

Sad to say, most are boring and lame, as their mutations lean towards the obvious.  Sure, they're mechanically accurate system-wise, but "real-world natural abilities" are less fun than "gonzo superpowers".

That's a flaw with Mutant Future monsters in general, actually.


Below is a list of -oids through the ages, with descriptions and changes between incarnations.  It's more for my reference than anything else, so thanks for humoring me.

All are intelligent, and possess manipulative paws.

Metamorphosis Alpha, 1e
  • Bearoid:  12' tall; mutations: mental control, precognition, telepathy, teleportation; defects:  no resistance to gas-attacks or paralysis
  • Cougaroid:  4-5' tall; immune to electricity, lasers, mental attacks, and paralysis; attraction odor, can't perceive robots [!]
  • Hawkoid:  4' tall; fear generation, force field, levitation; constant appetite
  • Wolfoid:  4' tall; immune to all energy attacks and contact poisons; radiation eyes, regeneration; no nerve endings

MA, 2e
  • Hawkoid:  duality [lets you do 2 distinct things at once], plus same 3 as above

MA, 4e
  • Wolfoid:  now 9' tall; immune to energy attacks and poisons; regenerates; loses radiation-vision and vulnerabilities

Gamma World, 2e & 3e
  • Hawkoid:  fear generation, force field, levitation

GW, 4e
  • Hawkoid:  duality makes a comeback, plus the same 3 above

GW, 5e
  • Hawkoid:  duality, fear generation, force field; loses levitation

GW, 6e
  • Hawkoid:  duality, levitation, force field; loses fear generation.  [Sheesh.  No clue why they screw with these dudes so much.]

Mutant Future, 1e & 2e
  • Accipitoid (hawk):  complete wing development, increased sight
  • Canisoid (dog):  control light waves, fragrance development, increased hearing
  • Castoroid (beaver):  teleport
  • Cockroachoid (like, duh):  immune to radiation, natural armor, metaconcert, sonic attack; males have 50% chance of additional 1d4 Mental Mutations
  • Pantheroid—Leoid (lion):  density alteration (others), empathy
  • Pantheroid—Tigrisoid (tiger):  damage turning, thermal vision, vampiric field
  • Scuirinoid (squirrel):  neural telepathy
  • Serpentoid (not even trying):  metamorph (into 8' snake), toxic weapon, thermal vision
  • Suidoid (pig):  aberrant form (4 arms, lashing tail), increased sense (taste)


I think I'll whip up some -oids of my own in upcoming posts.  I've avoided them thusfar, but now it sounds fun.

Blame Metamorphosis Alpha being on the brain.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Megafoot Needs You!


The IndieGogo campaign for The Greatest Movie Of All Time draws to a close on April 6th.

Give them your lucre, people, so I can eventually stat this beastie for the Devastation Drive-In series!

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Guys Of Wrexus Are Upon You — Meet Mattress Mech!

Mattress Mech
Salesborg

Hit Dice:  25
Frame:  Armature
Locomotion:  Legs (Pair)
Manipulators:  Basic Hand (1), Claw (1)
Armor:  Neovulcanium (AC 2)
Sensors:  Nerve Web
Mental Programming:  Artificial Intelligence
Accessories:  AV Recorder, Holo-Screen, Self-Repair Unit, Universal Translator, Vocalizer
Weaponry:  See Below
XP:  25,000 (+ 4000 per additional weapon)

Description
In Ancient times, the Gallery Furniture business empire spread across the planet and The Colonies...and finding human salespeople wholly deficient (due to pesky "empathy" and the capacity to take "no" for an answer), The Powers That Be rolled out an army of unstoppable salesborgs.  These hulking, fission-fueled juggernauts of commerce possessed neural-nets and craggy flesh-faces cloned from company founder, Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale.  Sales skyrocketed.

In the Mutant Future, Mattress Mechs still prowl their ruined showrooms, single-mindedly intent on procuring tresspassers' currency in exchange for (overpriced, time-ravaged) furnishings.  Savvier models utilize holo-screens to appear human, engaging in snappy sales repartee before resorting to (literal) strong-arm tactics.  Insane models only bellow, "Gallery.  Furniture.  Will.  Save.  You.  Money.  You.  Have. Twenty.  Seconds.  To.  Comply!"

Mattress Mechs strike twice per round with fist (1d12 damage) and claw (2d10), but as the borgs were designed to juggle cumbersome objects with ease, they do 1d12+6d6 damage when attacking with sofas of opportunity.  And the more unhinged specimens have arrays of scavenged, self-installed weaponry....

Mattress Mechs clangorously plod after "customers" at 60' (20'), but hyper-hydraulics allow them to make standing horizontal leaps of 250' / vertical leaps of 100'.

Rumor has it that the original Gallery Furniture site, located mere miles in the doom-bayous south of Gunspoint, has a trove of pristine relics guaranteed to add style. luxury, and comfort to even the most bomb-blasted of bunkers...and the cryo-corpse of Mattress Mack himself!

Meatier Prototype Model




Friday, March 28, 2014

Metamorphosis Alpha Rises!



And this is what they mean by "oversized".  Compare the new version with the original stapled booklet!


They're including a ton of mutastic extras, like long-lost magazine articles, new art, and new critters, plus a series of all-new modules (like the one by Michael Curtis below):



I've had the pleasure of playing MetAlpha at NTRPGCon under Jim Ward himself twice now (although the second game was damned frustrating, due to lily-livered players who cared more about a real-life prize than DOING EXCITING THINGS), and hope to make it a third at this year's show.  And not only do I like what Curtis does for Dungeon Crawl Classics, but he let me play the tyrannosaurus big-bad during another con game where my PC died early...so he's all right in my book. 

This project happily gets my money.  And they're already 10% funded, so go give 'em your lucre so I can get my shiny new toys!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mutants In The News — "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Hungrier" Edition



According to scientists in the journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America...or Miss Jackson is you're PNASTY!), the corn rootworm is developing not only a resistance, but an appetite, for the very bioengineered plant designed to kill it.

<1970sSteveMartin>And no one ever, Ever, EVER saw it coming.  It's a *total* surprise.</1970sSteveMartin>.

Given that three-quarters of the US corn crop is genetically-modified, the ramifications are terrifying.  Ravenous insects and mutated plants...just one more campaign origin for your Mutant Future game!

Wired has a reader-friendly article here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"F" is for "Florapede"

Florapede

No. Enc.:  1 (1d3)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  120' (40')
Armor Class:  6
Hit Dice:  13
Attacks:  1 (bite)
Damage:  3d6
Save:  L7
Morale:  11
Hoard Class:  XIV
XP:  7,800

The horrid florapedes are 25'+ ambulatory plants that actively hunt living prey.  They mimic the coloration of surrounding plantlife, Surprising on a 1-5 on 1d6.  Florapedes cling to vertical surfaces and ceilings with ease.

As if their energy beams and life-sapping abilities weren't terrible enough, florapede bites inject Type 11 paralytic toxin...so as to devour their victims alive.

Florapedes reproduce via man-sized seedpods that contain 1d6 "eggs".  These seeds are considered a delicacy, and grant those that ingest them immunity to all toxins, poisons, and chemicals for 1 full month.

Mutations:  Chameleon Epidermis (Modified), Free Movement, Full Senses, Thermal EmissionsToxic Weapon (Venom), Vampiric Field