Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mutants In The News — Nosferatot Edition

Completely by accident, it's been Halloween In April here at A Field Guide To Doomsday, what with the vehiculas and vampire trees and such.

And now comes news of a beautiful bouncing baby girl...born completely without blood to call her own!!!

(Some editing was required...because everyone knows vampires don't photograph.)

The phantom-pallor'd Countess Olivia Norton was born with "haemoglobin levels of just three out of normal level of 18...which meant the plasma...could not be classified as proper blood."


(I swear all of today's sanguinary silliness wasn't planned—it's just been a that kind of day at work.)

Radioactive Review — 'Wisdom From The Wastelands' #5: Domesticated Creatures'

After the relative savaging I gave Issue #4, I am quite happy to cleanse the ol' palate with one of my favorite kinds of supplements:  new critters.

Issue #5 features, and I quote from the intro, "10 new creatures that the people of the post-apocalyptic wastes have relationships with and make use of in various ways."  Clumsy grammar aside, I like the focus on "tamed" mutants that do more than try to devour the PCs.

Included are the following beasties:

) Big Teeth:  enormous 80' long, 28 HD(!) pinnipeds that serve as living submersible apartment buildings for seafaring types (one can build dens in their honeycombed tusks, you see).  I adore these guys, in part because I love walruses, and in part because it conjures some insane visuals.

) Dangling Gourds:  500' wide masses of levitating, explosive-fruit-dropping plants that serve as housing and transport for the adventurous.  Get several of these vine-islands going, and you have an entire campaign setting where the PCs never have to touch the ground.  (Reminds me of my own skoral entry, if I may be so bold.)

) Hydroroses:  water-generating thornbushes that get stabby if not cultivated.  These are cool.

) Jellybirds:  living, breathing, flying Marshmallow Peeps edible sparrows.  Gross and hilarious.

) Lemming Grasses:  I'll just let the entry speak for itself:  "a grain with kernels that are effectively small rodents."  Also gross, also hilarious.

) Monitor Serpents:  aquatic, 18' long, legless, lizard mounts that generate oxygen for their riders.  Perhaps the most tame entry in the book, and that's saying something.

) Philly's Stones:  rock-hard cacti that shatter weapons (including natural claws, fangs, etc.) upon impact.  Used as living barricades.

) Rana:  not-so-domesticated giant frogs that try to eat their ranchers before their ranchers eat them.  I wish I'd come up with these first.

) Leafy Sandstones:  carnivorous desert vines that essentially excrete sandstone.  Houses made from this material have to be fed, or they'll crumble.  Nifty!

) Tarry Maple:  24 HD(!) killer trees that shed blood-infused leaves.  Not really sure how these count as "domesticated", unless the word now means "useful only to draculas".

Rounding out the material are two new mutations, Alter Physical State and Alter Soil Consistency.  The former works as usable-3-times-per-day alchemy (but gives no details as to whether ranged or touch-based), and the latter gives plants the ability to change earth density from softer to harder.

Each entry gets its own public domain pic.

Aside from a handful of grammatical / editorial mistakes, this is a great little supplement, if for no other reason than six of the new creatures are plants.  Vegetation is always under-represented in sourcebooks, and it gets a chance to shine here.  It's an added bonus that the enclosed mutants interact in useful ways with the setting.

This is a good'un.  Buy it.

"V" is for "Vehicula"


No. Enc.:  1 (1)
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement:  360' (120')
Armor Class:  4
Hit Dice:  15
Attacks:  1 (butt or trample)
Damage:  3d6 or 5d8
Save:  L8
Morale:  12
Hoard Class:  X, XXII
XP:  5,100

Resembling automobiles considered ancient in Ancient times, the metallic monstrosities known as vehiculas cruise the midnight highways and byways of the Mutant Future in search of the only fuel that sustains them:  the lifeblood of sentient beings.  Their frames and detailing gleam with impossible perfection, their headlamps blaze a baleful red, and their windowed interiors roil with brackish plasma; truly, the uncanny constructs are the stuff of a Restorationist's worst nightmares.

Vehiculas utilize drive-by maneuvers to bring low their victims, either by sideswiping (Charging, doing double damage) or ramming (Trampling, gaining +4 To Hit) them outright. Movement is key to their assaults; a stuck or otherwise immobile vehicula cannot attack. Only after its prey is dead will a vehicula siphon up the gooey remains with its "fender fangs". [Vehiculas can reach top speeds of 240 mph, as per the vehicle listings on p. 132 of the Mutant Future Core Rules.  These rates don't apply to combat, however.]

Vehiculas are utterly immune to all Mental Mutations, and conventional melee weapons and firearms only do half damage against them.

A vehicula's Hoard Class represents the salvage value of its parts.  The consequences of transplanting such unholy components into other conveyances are unknown...but probably catastrophic!

Mutations:  None