Monday, February 23, 2015

Party At Ground Zero

Thanks to NukeMap, you can simulate nuclear detonations—plus the requisite damage, fallout, and casualties!—on your favorite cities.

Here's what happens when you drop a 20 kiloton "Fat Man" on downtown Houston, TX.


Hours of fun for the whole family!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mutants In The News — "Your Body Is A Temple...A Disgusting, Filthy Temple" Edition



In a fascinating research study, scientists are mapping the microbial ecosystems of the New York City subway system.  The results are mindboggling, and involve snazzy tidbits like Antarctic germs and fish DNA and bubonic plague and the bacterial powers of pizza and hummus.

Related (and lazily truncated) news popped up over the last week about the study, focusing on "50% unidentified material" and CHUD jokes and such.  But the whole thing is worth a read, as is the Cell journal article.

Seriously.  It's totally cool.

Friday, January 30, 2015

I've Always Been A "Signs As Shields" Guy Myself...

...but I'm now a convert for weaponizing them, thanks to this thing of beauty.

Presenting the stop-ax, by artist Brandon Challies, via Larping.Org.






Monday, January 26, 2015

Mutants In The News — "Mo' 'Squitos, Mo' Problems" Edition


To combat the dengue fever and chikungunya viruses, the FDA is considering the release of millions of genetically-modified mosquitos (made by your friends at Oxitec!) into Florida swamplands.  The modified critters—all males—carry a "suicide gene" and will theoretically mate and pass on the same trait to their offspring, thereby eliminating huge chunks of the blood-sucking population.

While successfully tested in other countries, the FDA option is under heavy scrutiny, with many headlines clearly going for the hysteria angle.

If only there were some way to release mosquitos that feed on pythons....

And what a great origin concept for Gamma World's own soul besh, aka "skeeters"!


Monday, January 5, 2015

Mutants In The News — "#2 On 'The Plagues Of Egypt Hit Parade'" Edition

Tap, tap, tap.  Is this thing on?





Researchers have discovered a unique species of fanged frog—yep, fanged frog!—that not only utilizes internal fertilization ("doesn't lay eggs"), but also gives birth to live young.

There are three awesome mutastic things right there in that very sentence!



Will resume with the regular radioactivity soon-ish.

Home Mutant Future campaign turning weird (looks like half the party is going to (pretty deservedly, truth be told) take out the other half) + Halloween burnout + holly, jolly holidaze + Savage Worlds diversions = distracted me.  And, oh, yeah...that whole newborn thang.

Ugh—whining about stuff-not-done is a cardinal writing sin.  My bad, blog-bros!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Devastation Drive-In: The Final Cut — 'At The Earth's Core' (1976) (Part 2)



Mahar

No. Enc.:  0 (5d6)
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement:  75' (25')
        —Fly:  180' (60')
Armor Class:  4
Hit Dice:  7+2
Attacks:  3 (2 claws, 1 bite)
Damage:  1d6 / 1d6 / 1d8
Save:  L7
Morale:  8
Hoard Class:  XV
XP:  2,500

The Mahar (singular and plural) are a race of man-sized, winged, spiky reptiles that dwell in subterranean ruins.  They are powerful and sinister psionicists [all with WIL scores of 15+], and their eyes glow green when using their abilities.  All mahar are female, and reproduce via arcane, volcanic clone-crucibles.

The Mahar dine exclusively on the flesh of other sentient beings, and practice an elaborate feeding ritual.  Hungry groups of mahar gather in an underground amphitheater that rings terrified captives.  Mahar use their Mental Mutations to cow their victims into submission, then swoop down to carry them off to be eaten alive!  The creatures are maneuverable enough to use Dive [p. 58] attacks against able foes in the close confines of their cave networks.

The Mahar also enjoy cruel sport, and often make their captives battle to the death amongst themselves and / or against mutant beasts.

As they avoid the surface world, the Mahar command legions of pigmen [Mutant Future Core Rules, p. 88] to procure food-captives.  These pigmen also serve as sentries and tenders of the incubation vats.

Mutations:  BeguilingEmpathy, MetaconcertNeural Telepathy












Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Devastation Drive-In: The Final Cut — 'At The Earth's Core' (1976) (Part 1)



Brontog

No. Enc.:  1d2 (1d2)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  150' (50')
Armor Class:  3
Hit Dice:  15
Attacks:  3 or 1 (2 claws, 1 bite, or 1 gore)
Damage:  1d8 / 1d8 / 2d10, or 4d6
Save:  L8
Morale:  10
Hoard Class:  None
XP:  2,400

Via their mole-machines, The Ancients discovered, beneath their very feet, an amazing world of breathtaking beauty and unknown wonders...

...AND A MALEVOLENT MENAGERIE OF MONSTERS MOST MURDEROUS!!!

Brontogs are mighty, 15' tall bipeds with massive heads, toothy jaws, piercing horns, and shaggy crests.  They have a particular fondness for Pure Human meat, and target such PCs first in combat.

If a brontog strikes successfully with both claws in the same round, it gains a free bite attack (no To Hit roll required) not only that round, but each round thereafter.  The victim must make an Ability Check Vs STR to break the hold.

Highly territorial, brontogs attack each other on sight, and frequently attempt to steal their fellows' kills.  They always fight to the death.

Mutations:  None












Ignitroad

No. Enc.:  1d4 (1d4)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  90' (30')
Armor Class:  5
Hit Dice:  4
Attacks:  1 (bite)
Damage:  1d6
Save:  L3
Morale:  9
Hoard Class:  None
XP:  245

Ignitroads are bovine-sized beasts that thrive in volcanic environs.  Every other round, they can exhale 20' long, 10' wide conical gouts of flame that do 5d6 damage to all targets.

Immediately upon dying, an ignitroad erupts in an 10d6 explosion with a 30' radius area of effect.  Those caught in the blast may make a Saving Throw Vs Energy for half damage.

Mutations:  Reflective Epidermis (Fire / Heat)








Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Devastation Drive-In: The Final Cut — 'The Brain' (1988)




Carnobellum

No. Enc.:  1 (1)
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement:  120' (40')
Armor Class:  6
Hit Dice:  7 (see below)
Attacks:  1 (bite)
Damage:  2d8, or 5d6 (see below)
Save:  L6 (see below)
Morale:  10
Hoard Class:  XX
XP:  3,590 (see below)

The Ancients were obsessed with their televisions, and consumed hour after hour of inane daytime talkshows and self-help programs hosted by quack gurus...

...BUT LITTLE DID THEY REALIZE THAT THEIR SHOWS WERE CONSUMING THEM IN RETURN!!!

Carnobella are extraterrestrial beings that enslave planets to not only feed on the populace's psychic energies, but also the populace themselves!  They are aided by an inhuman servant that mimics a standard Pure Human, and the two jointly employ, bully, and / or enthrall other denizens to aid in their sinister agenda (meaning a carnobellum has 1d6+1 attendants at any given time).  The "prime servant" can be killed instantly with but a simple blow to the face, which sends its head flying and reveals its gooey otherworldly origins.

A carnobellum first appears as a watermelon-sized brain, but upon consuming a sentient victim, it metamorphoses into a horrific, fanged, man-sized beast!  For each being devoured thereafter, the carnobellum gains 2 HD (with corresponding increases in Saves and XP), and grows in girth and mass.  Carnobella keep larders full of bodies in case they can't secure live prey.

Carnobella slither after victims on their long spinal "tails", and attack with chomping jaws and lashing 20'-long tongues.  Anyone struck by a tongue attack is reeled in 1d3 rounds later for a free bite attack; however, a To Hit roll of a natural 19-20 means the target is yanked into the mouth immediately for a horrific 5d6 savaging!

A carnobellum requires elaborate electronics systems to enact its schemes, so it lairs in ruined studios, radio stations, military installations, etc.  Not only does it use such equipment to communicate with its lackeys, but it also broadcasts its Mental Mutations over vast distances over TV carrier waves.  Furthermore, anyone watching a carnobellum-powered broadcast must resist a Mental Attack as if from a WIL of 18, or lose 1d4 WIL points themselves...and when a victim's WIL drops to below 3, they become a slack-jawed mind-thrall.

Carnobella become furious with those strong-willed enough to resist their enslaving powers, and target such individuals with horrific Mental Phantasms to drive them to suicide, or send thrall-assassins their way.  In fact, rashes of unexplained suicides and violence are warning signs that a village may be facing a looming carnobellum threat.

Carnobella can "see" remotely through skeletons and skulls.  And the creatures are particularly vulnerable to sodium, dying instantly in sizzling showers of sparks if the substance enters their maws.

Mutations:  Empathy, Frailty ("Sodium Vulnerability")Increased Willpower, Mental Phantasm, MetaconcertMind Thrust, Unique Mutations ("Broadcast Domination", "Skeletal Surveillance")