Thursday, December 26, 2013

Mutants In The News — "Season's Eatings" Edition

The riverside beaches of Rosario, Argentina are currently closed due to a Christmas day attack on bathers by ravenous piranha.  

Over 60 people were "bitten on the arms, feet, and legs" by the "very aggressive" fish.

We've blogged about the dangers of piranha before, and the story above is about #4 on My List Of Personal Nightmares.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

"P" is for "Pointsetya"


No. Enc.:  1d6 (1d10)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  120' (40')
Armor Class:  5
Hit Dice:  5
Attacks:  1d3+2 (barbed vines)
Damage:  1d6 per vine + drain
Save:  L3
Morale:  10
Hoard Class:  XV
XP:  1,500

Pointsetyas are 5' tall, ambulatory plants with bright red petals, 2d4+1 serpentine tendrils, pulsating "brain stems" that dangle from their flower-masses...and an unquenchable thirst for blood.  Fortunately for denizens of the Mutant Future, pointsetyas have a defective germination cycle, and are only encountered in the winter months.

Pointsetyas lash out with hollow, suctioning barbs, and if 3 or more hit in the same combat round, the victim is pierced and constricted, and suffers an automatic 1d10 blood drain damage per round afterwards.  The plant can then lash out with its remaining tendrils at another target, or attack the grabbed prey again at a +3 To Hit bonus.  Pointsetyas are expert scent-trackers, and any bloodied prey who escapes their clutches will be hunted down and attacked at first opportunity.

Attracted to the vibrational frequencies of metals and plastics, pointsetyas hoard trinkets and artifacts.  They stash their "treasure" in the boughs of larger (and perhaps mutated) trees.

Mutations:  Free Movement, Full Senses (Smell), Mind Reflection, Mind Thrust, Natural Vegetal Weapons, Reduced Fertility [D], Temperature Control (Cold)

Friday, December 20, 2013

"M" is for "Malacargon"

Malacargon  ("Slimeseer")

No. Enc.:  1d3 (2d4)
Alignment:  Any
Movement:  45' (15')
Armor Class:  6
Hit Dice:  10
Attacks:  3 (2 fists, 1 radula, or weapon)
Damage:  1d4 / 1d4 / 1d10, or by weapon
Save:  L10
Morale:  8
Hoard Class:  XVIII
XP:  5,900

Malacargons are 6' tall molluscoids with protruding eyestalks and sticky, spongy bodies that truncate in a single locomotory "foot". They possess conical head-shells that reach 1'-3' in length, and the longer the shell, the greater a malacargon's social status.

Malacargons inject a Class 11 paralytic compound with piercing radular tongues.  And lacking skeletal structures proper, they are immune to bashing / crushing weapons and damage.

Malacargons see up to 1d12 hours into the future, instead of the typical 3 minutes from standard Precognition.  Lawful malacargons use their abilities to improve the generally bleak lives of Mutant Future denizens, while Neutral sorts barter their knowledge.  Chaotic types (which typically have reddish coloration, for reasons unknown) found cults and establish themselves as living gods.

The beings wear mysterious robes that protect them from dehydration, and any PC that acquires such garb can survive without ingesting fluids for 1d6+2 days.  There is a 30% chance, however, that the robe will irrevocably alter the character's DNA, and imbue 1d2 random Physical Mutational Drawbacks.

Mutations:  Damage Turning, Increased Balance, Increased Sense (Smell), Precognition (Modified), Quick Mind, Toxic Weapon (Venom), Vision Impairment [D]

Thursday, December 19, 2013

"L" is for "Lilytiger"


No. Enc.:  1d4 (1d4)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  120' (40')
Armor Class:  5
Hit Dice:  6
Attacks:  4 (2 claws, 1 bite, 1 tail)
Damage:  1d4 / 1d4 / 2d8 / 2d6
Save:  L3
Morale:  11
Hoard Class:  VII
XP:  1,820

Lilytigers are stealthy, dual-limbed, carnivorous plants with inverted bodies that reach lengths of 10-12'.  They lurk in thick foliage, grassy veldts, and overgrown ruins, and Surprise on a 1-4 on 1d6.

Lilytigers ferociously attack with mandibles, toothy maws-within-maws-within-maws, and scissoring tails, and always pounce first on the PC with the lowest DEX score.

While immune to fire- and heat-based attacks, lilytigers are particularly vulnerable to herbicides and similar chemicals.

Mutations:  Free Movement, Full Senses, Increased Vision (Night), Poison Susceptibility [D], Reflective Cellular Structure (Fire/Heat)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"S" is for "Splicesaur — Serratops"

Splicesaur — Serratops

No. Enc.:  0  (2d4)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  120' (40')
Armor Class:  3
Hit Dice:  12
Attacks:  3 (3 "blades")
Damage:  1d10 / 1d10 / 1d10
Save:  L6
Morale:  10
Hoard Class:  None
XP:  2,000

Serratopses are quadrupedal, herbivorous reptiles the size of Ancient rhinoceroses.  Bony spurs line their backs, and 3 ridged, blade-like growths adorn their snouts and neck-frills.

Those sliced by any 2 of a serratops' blades in a single combat round acquire the Hemophilia mutational drawback.  Serratopses themselves are immune to this effect (as their blood contains a hyper-coagulant), but their bodies are scarred from courtship rituals and simple accidents.

Only the boldest and/or stupidest predators target serratopses.

Mutations:  None

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"M" is for "Mosca"


No. Enc.:  1d4 (1d4)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  90' (30')
        —Fly:  180' (60')
Armor Class:  4
Hit Dice:  10
Attacks:  3 or 2 or 1 (2 claws, 1 bite, or 2 projectiles, or 1 weapon)
Damage:  1d4 / 1d4 / 1d8, or 1d6 / 1d6, or by weapon
Save:  L11
Morale:  9
Hoard Class:  XVI + 1d2 Random Artifacts
XP:  5,900

Moscas are hunched, bipedal insectoids with bulbous eyes and piercing, prehensile snouts.  They are quite adept with Ancient artifacts and machinery, and always stash functional gadgets for emergencies.

The moscas' silvery, irridescent chitin deflects laser blasts, and the beings launch needle-like hairs at a range of up to 30'.  Thanks to 360-degree vision, moscas are never Surprised.

A mosca always knows when someone is lying.

Mutations:  Fragrance Development, Intellectual Affinity (Tinkerer), Narcolepsy [D]Neural TelekinesisReflective Epidermis (Lasers / Light)Spiny Growth (Medium)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Mutants In The News — "Well, They Already Knew How To Use Clocks" Edition

Dispelling the myth that reptiles are sluggish, lazy brutes with little going on behind their dead, soulless eyes, a new journal article discusses tool use in crocodilians.

Specifically, the critters cunningly balance sticks on their snouts... as to lure nest-building birds to their dooms.

This behavior has been observed in both Indian crocodiles and American alligators.


But, really, should we be all that surprised...?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"B" is for "Blastsquatch"


No. Enc.:  1d8
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement:  150' (50')
Armor Class:  6
Hit Dice:  15
Attacks:  3 (2 claws, 1 bite)
Damage:  2d6 / 2d6 / 1d10
Save:  L8
Morale:  10
Hoard Class:  XX
XP:  6,000

Blastsquatches are horrible, hirsute hominids found in swamps and forests thick with vegetation warped by toxins and radiation.  Their 10' tall frames bulge with muscles, and their musky fur glows with a sickly incandescence.  Jagged teeth protrude from slavering lips.

Unable to feel pain, the creatures are exceptionally savage, and gain +2 To Hit with all attacks.  And if a blastsquatch successfully strikes the same target with both claws in the same round, it inflicts an additional 1d8 crushing damage.  This squeeze only works on 'squatch-sized targets, or smaller.

Blastsquatches have a particular...fondness...for Pure Humans (especially attractive members of the opposite sex), and those that aren't outright devoured are captured and "adopted" into the tribe....

Mutations:  Optic Emissions (Bright Eyes, Gamma Eyes), Pain Insensitivity [D], Reflective Epidermis (Radiation)

Holo-Vid Footage Of Blastsquatch In Fungal Environs

For the Savage Worlds version, visit our affiliate, The Haunted Spookshow Of Channel X!!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"G" is for "Grunch"


No. Enc.:  1 (1)
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement:  120' (40')
Armor Class:  5
Hit Dice:  12
Attacks:  2 or 1 (2 claws, or 1 hatchet, or 1 gore)
Damage:  1d10 / 1d10, or 1d8+6, or 2d8
Save:  L6
Morale:  11
Hoard Class:  XV
XP:  3,600

Grunches are nocturnal, 11' tall hircinoids with shaggy, green pelts and long, curling horns. They dwell in twisted thickets and forlorn woods.  Vicious and powerful, grunches relish combat, and have a particular fondness for dismantling Ancient vehicles with bare fists and/or primitive handaxes.

Grunches are highly sensitive to olfactory and psychic stimuli...and the pheromones and lusts of amorous couples drive them particularly berserk, so the beasts stalk "lovers' ruins" and "makeout junkyards" to better brutalize the libidinous.  Grunches usually let victims flee after their savage beatings, though, and pursue the wounded for only 1d3+1 rounds.

Mutations:  Enhanced Vision (Night Vision), Increased Sense (Smell), Increased Willpower

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mutants In The News — "Make Way For The Way-Out Wacky Races" Edition

We here at A Field Guide To Doomsday favor the traditional nukes-'n-pollutants-'n-mutants apocalypses over the supernatural ones, but we truly loves 'em all.  Anything that gets your players scavenging in wrecked-out, freak-infested ruins armed with nothing but bent golf clubs and stopsign shields is great with us, no matter the hows and whys behind Earth's obliteration.

And that's why we're mentioning the awesome Monster 500 toy line, an aberrant onslaught of Armageddon-ish automobile action!

They've got motorcars, mutants, monsters, and mayhem.  What more do you need?  And just in time for Christmas!

See more in-depth coverage at our (hideous, deformed) sister (that we keep chained up in the cellar) blog, The Haunted Spookshow Of Channel X!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Radioactive Review — 'Wisdom From The Wastelands #21: High-Tech Melee Weapons'

I'll come right out and say it:  I'm a stingy Game Master Mutant Lord.

Don't get me wrong—the players in my Don't Mess With Wrexus campaign are trundling around with warp-field maces and x-laser rifles and more energy cells to power 'em than you can count, but they came by them "honestly".  And by that, I mean I roll up every NPC's loot, every monster hoard, and every secret bunker stockpile randomly, using official treasure charts and Grand Unified Junk Tables and the like.

Part of the reason I've gone full-on random is because I like the surprises.  Another is I'm a big believer in The Gamma World Aesthetic, where players whomp on big-ass robots with nothing but broken plumbing and fenceposts and screwdrivers.

After The Bomb, Susan Storm fell in with a weird crowd.

But the Real, Honest, True Reason?

I can't be trusted.

See, I love giving presents.  Unique presents.  Weird presents.  I'm the guy who hands out adorable plush venereal diseases at Christmases and toddlers' birthdays.  Or gets beloved authors to inscribe antagonistic personal notes ("Dear Chris, You're wrong, and your opinion is terrible. Love, Jim Butcher") to the recipient.

I'm awesome, I tells ya.

Flesh-Eating Streptococcus agrees...I rule!!!

And when a snazzy supplement like Wisdom From The Wastelands #21:  High-Tech Melee Weapons comes along, I get giddy and loopy and I really, really want to give the treasures within.

I truly have to fight going all Mutanty Haul at the table...and this supplement doesn't make it easy.

WFTW #21:  H-T MW offers five sections over as many pages (ignoring the 6th with the OGL).

The first covers Alternate Construction Materials, so your biker-raider's morningstar can be fabricated from crystalline obsidian or conductalloy instead of soldered fishhooks and rebar. Each material has a unique descriptor that really adds flavor, ups the damage, and increases resilience (if using breakage rules, natch).

The Edging section discusses fancy new blades, like carbon filament (atomic-realigning nanites!) and gamma xenon (it irradiates!) and vibrating (it, um, vibrates!).  These up the chances of Critical Hits, and also the damage output.

Section III details Enhancements that really trick out your baseball bat with the nails driven through it.  You can make it go all cryonic or energetic protonic or harmonized (slices through force fields!) or paralytic!  My favorite bits, though, involve the crystals which turn run-of-the-mill blasters into unique death-sprayers:  gammas turn lasers radioactive, thermals make lasers go all fiery, etc.  A sackful o' such crystals turns your PC into a one-man sentinel of the spectrum!

I do too, buddy.  I do, too.

New Melee Weapons come under Section IV.  While I'm not sure the Mutant Future Core Rules need an expanded weapon table that adds glaives, halberds, katanas, and/or bo staves, the idea of dura-aluminum, monomolecular, proton-nunchakus makes my inner 10-year-old deliriously happy.

The last section covers Optional Combat Rules, such as Throwing Melee Weapons, Wielding Two Weapons At Once, and Wielding A Two-Handed Weapon In One Hand.  These are elegant, simple, and to the point, and in no way broken.  I usually hate crunch in my fluff, but I'll actually use these rules at the table.

Okay, okay.  I freely admit that most of the material in WFTW #21:  H-T MW could be written off as standard D&D gimcrackery.

You know:  This material makes your sword do +2 damage / +2 To Hit, but THIS one makes it do +2 damage / +2 To Hit...while on fire.

And Lord knows I'm a sucker for razzle-dazzle and ridiculous hype ("Oh, Mountain Dew comes in purple!  IT MUST BE MINE!!!"), and I'm not exactly discriminating when it comes to bells, whistles, and gewgaws.

But there's some really, really neat flavor stuff enclosed in these pages.  The descriptors make all the difference, and each is novel and unique.  I know they'd totally jazz up some of the artifacts in my home game, and best of all, the players would have a hoot running amok with them.

I like sizzle just as much (if not more, embarrassing truth be told) than my steak, and author Chris Van Deelen and his Skirmisher cronies deliver.

And...seriously.  The crystals rock.

You can't stop at just one!

Still only 99¢!!!  Buy it here.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

"F" is for "Forkfin"


No. Enc.:  0 (1d3)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  0' (0')
      —Swim:  180' (60')
Armor Class:  3
Hit Dice:  4
Attacks:  1 (gore)
Damage:  3d6
Save:  L2
Morale:  8
Hoard Class:  None
XP:  245

Forkfins are 12' long, saltwater fish known for their speed, agility, and vigor.  Like cetaceans, forkfins navigate and communicate via echolocation; furthermore, they vibrate their sharpened snout-prongs to generate sonic blasts.

Forkfins go berserk when speared or hooked, and gain the Charge ability (used primarily against their captors' watercraft, natch).

Mutations:  Echolocation, Energy Ray (Sonic)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Let's Go To Gamma World. Meet... The Gatorr.

Gatorr  ("Green Hisser")

No. Enc.:  1d2
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  90' (30')
      —Swim:  120' (40')
Armor Class:  4
Hit Dice:  5
Attacks:  2 or 2 (1 bite, 1 tailslap, or 2 tentacles)
Damage:  1d8 / 1d10, or Paralysis (see below)
Save:  L3
Morale:  9
Hoard Class:  None
XP:  500

One of the most common swampland denizens in the Wasted State Of Wrexus, gatorrs are 3'-6' long, ornery crocodilians with pairs of 3' long tentacles jutting from their foreheads. These tentacles Paralyze [per p. 58 of the Mutant Future Core Rules] on contact (as if from a Mental Attack from a WIL score of 10+1d8), and they can strike 2 different targets per round.

Though solitary by nature, gatorrs congregate in groups of 10d6 in the springtime to spawn.

Mutations:  Aberrant Form ("Paralytic Tentacles"), Reflective Epidermis (Radiation)

Not-The-Designer's Notes:  The Gator (one R) first appeared in the 2nd edition of Gamma World from 1983, by James M. Ward, Gary Jaquet, and David James Ritchie.  Original illustration by Larry Elmore.

Not-The-Designer's Notes Addendum:  I had to stat these guys up, because my...shall we say, "ambitious"...13-year-old player decided to blow all his loot on "a really cool pet", and, well, he picked a mutant alligator sold by a sketchy meat vendor in a particularly scummy side of Gunspoint.


This is NOT gonna end well.

Friday, November 1, 2013


Keep the glasses, though.  Who knows what filth you got on 'em.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Devastation Drive-In 3-D — 'I Married A Monster From Outer Space' (1958)


No. Enc.:  1d4 (3d6)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  120' (40')
Armor Class:  6
Hit Dice:  14
Attacks:  2 or 1 (2 claws, or 1 blaster)
Damage:  1d8+3d6 / 1d8+3d6, or 12d12
Save:  L14
Morale:  10
Hoard Class:  XX (x2)
XP:  6,000

Most encounters between The Ancients and extraterrestrials erupted in deadly conflicts between predator and prey, conqueror and conquered...

...but one particular invasion involved neither hunger nor subjugation...


The extraterrestrials dubbed "groomanoids" hail from an unnamed, solar-ravaged world located near the constellation Andromeda. They stand as 6' tall, and possess pitted, rubbery skin and fleshy, external bronchial tubing about their heads and necks.  

Groomanoids are fantastically strong, and able to crush metal objects, bash in doors, and even knock down small trees with ease.  Conventional ballistic ammunition harmlessly passes through their bodies, and their shimmering force screens protect for an amplified 8d6 damage.  Groomanoids also wield disintegration pistols [see below].

Every groomanoid encountered is male (as the females of their species are deceased), and they have but one goal:  to repopulate their race!  To accomplish this, 1d3 groomanoids infiltrate a community by kidnapping and mimicking (via an absorptive black gas that generates a wearable living "simulacra-suit") key males and assuming their lives, gradually gaining the trust of those around them.  They usually target those in committed relationships, which makes assimilating—and marrying!—even easier.  Once that core group is established, a few more groomanoids arrive to take over the original's friends and colleagues, continuing the matrimonial agenda.

Groomanoids keep their hostages alive (albeit in stasis), so as to electronically extract their memories and personalities.

Groomanoids don't have it easy in the Mutant Future.  Most find human emotions confounding.  They can't swim, and are allergic to alcohol...which triggers suspicion when formerly athletic types suddenly avoid the water, or drinkers go sober overnight. Groomanoids also require gaseous methane to survive, and oxygen is toxic to their systems. Their disguises make Earth's atmosphere breathable, but if oxygen is forced into their systems (like through CPR, or respiratory equipment), the creatures perish instantly.  And in their native forms, groomanoids depend on mechanical rebreathers in oxygenated environs. 

Interestingly, animals (normal, mutant, and sentient) aren't affected by groomanoid force fields, and attack unimpeded.  Furthermore, they instinctively know to target the aliens' facial nasal-tubes in combat, gaining a +3 To Hit with a called shot to the tubes for instantaneous kills.  Groomanoids consequently eliminate any and all wildlife they encounter, if they can avoid arousing suspicion.

Groomanoids can leave their body-shells (which stand dormant and lifeless) at will.  If a groomanoid dies in its natural form, it dissolves into bubbling foam.  Groomanoids that expire in human guise do so without incident.

Groomanoids are a dedicated, methodical race, and can spend over a year learning the ins and outs of their chosen communities.  Being a generally cold, dispassionate people, they need the extra time to wrangle complicated human emotions and perfect their roles, which increases the chances of marrying to better facilitate breeding.  And over the duration, groomanoid scientists research and experiment, genetically tweaking Pure and Mutant Human females for cross-species conception.  The rest of the groomanoid race waits patiently in space all the while, hovering around the planet in undetectable starships.

Adaptable, more affable groomanoids can become such master mimics that even their fellow aliens can't recognize them—even telepathically—while disguised.

Groomanoids aren't evil, just desperate, and most truly grow fond of the humans in their lives. Some even reveal their true natures, in hopes of fostering understanding, and recruiting allies in their plight.  That said, the groomanoids won't hesitate to eradicate anyone who stands in their way.

Mutations:  Force Screen (Modified), Frailty ("Alchohol Allergy") [D], Enhanced Vision (Night), Increased Physical Attribute (STR) (x2), Metaconcert

Artifact:  Groomanoid Disintegrator

Groomanoids' hand-held rayguns emit triplicate beams that atomize targets instantly, doing 12d12 damage.  The disintegrators are powered by minifusion cells [p. 117 of the Mutant Future Core Rules], and contain 30 shots.

When a groomanoid dies, there is a 35% chance that its personal raygun explodes 1d4 rounds later, doing a minor 1d8 damage to anyone within a 3' radius.

Artifact:  Groomanoid Communicator

Though capable of transmitting their thoughts via Metaconcert, groomanoids require communicators to speak with those aboard orbital vessels.  The maximum range of these devices is unknown.