Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mutants In The News — "Two Superbugs Is One Too Many" Edition

While it hasn't been verified through proper scientific analysis, I think we can all agree on this:  

Mankind can barely handle one superbug going bananas at any given time.  But two?  We're DOOMED.

Oh, Dean Jones...why have you forsaken us?!!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Presenting...The First 'A Field Guide To Doomsday' Adventure Module!

When typing up my recap for Session #3 of our Don't Mess With Wrexus game, I kept doubling back and digressing and over-explaining things to give you readers a sense of what the hell was going on.  It was all about CONTEXT, MAN!

And then I figgered it'd be much easier to present the adventure itself, all purty-like, and then do the recap afterwards.

So here it is...THE RUINS OF WOEBROOK!!!

16 mindblowing pages of pure mindblowingness!!!



And a brand new specie of beastie, never before seen!!!  The critter won't get solo posted for at least a week—get your first bonus glimpse, right in these very pages!!!

Download the PDF here, or look in documents section on the sidebar.

Having never written up a full-on adventure before, I'm kinda tickled by how it turned if you don't mind, please tell me what you think.  Hope y'all enjoy it.

Monday, March 25, 2013

"V" is for "Vacuuvore"

Vacuuvore  ("Suckbug")

No. Enc.:  0 (1d3)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  0' (0')
        —Fly:  75' (25')
Armor Class:  4
Hit Dice:  22
Attacks:  1 (vacuum)
Damage:  See Below
Save:  L11
Morale:  10
Hoard Class:  XXII + 2d00 junk
XP:  13,000

Flying via "jets" attached to their abdomens, vacuuvores are glowing, bioengineered beasts as large as Ancient commercial airliners.  They were created to clean hazardous spills and floods, draw oxygen from raging fires, and collect mineral-laden dust from off-world surfaces.  They are utterly immune to all known diseases, toxins, and environmental conditions.

Vacuuvores cruise along about 100' off the ground, siphoning up all loose materials and liquids in a 150' radius.  Anyone thus sucked is deposited in a tank-like stomach, and buffeted and battered by flying debris for 1d12 damage per round.  The creatures tend to go on vacuuming binges lasting hours at a time....

When "full", vacuuvores excrete their inert payloads in convenient 15' x 15' solid bricks.  Their Hoard Class represents items chiseled from their leavings and/or contents of their stomachs.

Mutations:  Aberrant Form (Xenomorphism—"Vacuu-Tubes"), Epidermal Photosynthesis

Friday, March 22, 2013

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

Menarl ("Slime Devil")

No. Enc.:  1d4 (1d4)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  75' (25')
  —Swim:  180' (60')
Armor Class:  6
Hit Dice:  14
Attacks:  1d6+1, 1d3, or 1 (fists, or weapons, or squeeze)
Damage:  1d8 per fist, or by weapons (melee +3d6), or 6d8
Save:  L14
Morale:  8
Hoard Class:  VII
XP:  3,300

Menarls are massive, 30' long serpentoids that favor aquatic environs.  Each possesses 2d6+4 burly, 3' long arms ending in dexterous hands.  Though highly aggressive, they are relatively friendly to Pure and Mutant Humans, and often work in their employ as mercenaries or guards.

Menarls can attack multiple targets each round, striking any and all targets adjacent to any part of their elongated bodies.  They favor low-tech weapons (clubs, spears, etc.), but can be trained in the use of Ancient armaments and artifacts.  Menarls' immense strength grants +3d6 damage with melee weapons.

Menarls prey on waterfowl, and go into a frenzy when encountering any type of avian...including Mutant Animals.  They ignore Morale in this crazed state, and attack until all birds in sight are dead.

Despite being seemingly related (which both races vehemently deny), menarls and manacondas are bitter enemies.

Mutations:  Increased Physical Attribute (Strength)

2nd & 3rd Edition

4th Edition

5th Edition
6th Edition

Not-The-Designer's Notes:  The Menarl first appeared in 1978 in the 1st edition of Gamma World, by James M. Ward and Gary Jaquet, and again in the 2nd edition of Gamma World from 1983, by Ward, Jaquet, and David James Ritchie.

Not-The-Designer's Notes Addendum:  The Menarl may just be the most illustrated of all Gamma World monsters.  Illustration by Larry Elmore from the 2e set.  The subsequent versions were by Newton Ewell or Mark Nelson (4e), Monte M. Moore (5e), and Claudio Pozas (6e).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Radioactive Review — 'Wisdom From The Wastelands #17: Artifact Conditions'

Killing mutants and taking their super-sci-fi artifacts is part and parcel of post-apocalyptic gaming.  And watching players figger out how they work—if they work—can be great fun, if the gadgets are wonky and the PCs are clumsy.  [It can also be soul-crushingly tedious, if you've ever used the old Gamma World artifact flowcharts.  Ugh.]

But the Mutant Future Core Rules give short shrift to the artifact discovery process, providing only a tiny chart that ranks Conditions in descending order from 5 ("functional on a 1-19 on 1d20") to 0 ("nonfunctional").

There's no Irving Cohen bouncy C.  And no way for Mutant Lords to unleash their inner sadist.

So thank The Great Reactor that author Chris Van Deelen gave us 5 pages of tabular mayhem for all your artifact needs!

The Primitive Firearms Ammo Chart provides options for duds, jams, and unexpected ignitions.

The Primitive Firearms Chart adds more jams, weakened parts, and "warped barrels" (which immediately conjured images of Bugs Bunny tying Elmer Fudd's shotgun into a pretzel).

The Advanced Melee Weapons Chart adds loose components, powers surges, and overloads.

The Power Sources Chart adds increased energy usage, damage to the artifacts themselves, and meltdowns.

The Foodstuffs Chart adds nutrion-lessness, poisonings, and bite-sized—and pissed—mini-mutants.

Each chart ends with results described in one awesome word:  CATASTROPHIC.  (And, gleefully, none of the above words like "ignitions" and "warped" and "overloads" and "meltdowns" actually count as "catastrophic".  Something worse than a meltdown? AWESOME.)

Rounding out the supplement is a page on repairing the above artifacts.  And as the Core Rules only dedicate a half-page to repairs (which are also marked "optional"), WFTW #17 outright doubles the useful content.

I've mentioned multiple times that I'm unabashedly a "less crunch, more fluff" critic.  But this crunch-a-licious material is Good Stuff, and it's got a place of honor in my Big Custom Mutant Lord Binder O' Majesty.

Buy it now, right here!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"M" is for "Moacca"


No. Enc.:  0 (1d4)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  180' (60')
Armor Class:  7
Hit Dice:  4
Attacks:  2 (1 claw, 1 bite)
Damage:  1d8 / 2d6
Save:  L2 (or L4)
Morale:  8
Hoard Class:  None
XP:  135 (+55 per extra mutation below)

Moaccas are flightless, 10' tall birds that deftly stalk overgrown forests and jungles. They feed on the fruits and nuts of mutant plants and small(er) game...and sometimes supplement their diets with wayward adventurers.

Moacca eggs are highly prized, as hatchlings imprint on their caretakers and serve as loyal mounts.  A domesticated moacca can carry an adult humanoid rider (plus an additional 200 lbs of gear) without movement penalties.

15% of any given moaccas encountered are sentient, and capable of intelligent speech. Each possesses 1d3 beneficial Mental Mutations, and Saves as a Level 4 creature.  Such moaccas still make fine mounts, but their cynical, sarcastic, and snide demeanors tax even the most patient souls.

Mutations:  Gigantism

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Instant Ruins

In my post-apoc games, I'm big on using a bombed-out, future-ified version of the players' Real World city of residence.  The group seem to get a HUUUUUGE kick out of it, as it makes the setting so much "closer to home"...and provides a meta incentive to explore the sandbox. You know, "I wanna see if my old high school's still standing!" kinda stuff.

Accordingly, local shopping malls make perfect dungeons / fortresses / lairs...and their maps and store directories are just a Google away.

Here's a few maps of authentic consumer meccas in the modern Houston area.  Just print 'em, change stores to taste, mutant-ify and high-tech 'em up...and viola!  Adventure!

Willowbrook Mall

Greenspoint Mall

Deerbrook Mall

The Woodlands Mall

A blown-out and greatly expanded Greenspoint Mall is the main campaign city, and The Willowbrook map above was the site of last weekend's crawl through the ruins.  Stay tuned for the recap!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"T" is for "Thicket Phantom"

Thicket Phantom

No. Enc.:  1 (1)
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement:  45' (15')
  —Fly:  240' (80')
Armor Class:  3
Hit Dice:  13
Attacks:  2 (claws)
Damage:  1d8 / 1d8
Save:  L13
Morale:  10
Hoard Class:  XVIII
XP:  8,700

Thicket phantoms are 10' tall entities (it's unclear if they're flesh-and-blood creatures, or robotic constructs) with bulbous, glowing eyes and spindly arms that end in razored claws. Their mirrored cloaks shimmer with uncanny luminescence.  Thicket phantoms haunt deep woods, jungles, and swamps, and move completely unmolested through even the most dangerous mutated flora.

Three times per day, a thicket phantom can discharge a 30' long, 20' wide cone of orange mist from its hands.  Those caught in the spray suffer the same effects as those of an Irritant Gas Grenade [per p. 119 of the Mutant Future Core Rules], but at double the duration. Thicket phantoms are immune to the effects of this gas, and seemingly all other chemicals/toxins.

To fly, a thicket phantom transforms into a 10' diameter sphere of crackling red energy.  Only Mental Attacks affect it in this state.

Mutations:  Control Light Waves, Empathy, Possession, Reflective Epidermis (Lasers/Light), Toxic Weapon ("Vile Vapor")

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Mutants In The News — "Goldilocks Is So Freakin' Screwed" Edition

Here's some more awful ursines from the fevered mind of mutant-maestro Ethan Nicholle.

These images are totally, 110% his, from his Bearmaggeddon archives.



Hurm.  I should probably get around to statting up these cats for all our Mutant Future-y needs.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Like A Tumblr'ing Tumblr'weed

In the spirit of shamelessly ripping off the amazing collection of  He Who Is Known Only As Jay, I have a Tumblr.

I freely admit that I have no idea what I'm doing, so crossing fingers here.  I just needed a place to put all the nifty pics that give me campaign ideas.

Radioactive Review — 'Brawndo, The Thirst Mutilator'

2006's Idiocracy posits an apocalypse spawned by neither atomic bomb nor otherworldly invasion, but instead appalling intellectual decline.  Sure, the knuckle-dragging future folk tear down the planet in plenty of the traditional ways (pollution, overpopulation, war), but they go that extra mile to ensure their own demise.  Case in point:  replacing the world's agricultural water supply with energy drinks.  Why, you ask?  Well, water is clearly disgusting because it's found in toilets, so spraying it on crops is hella gross...but Brawndo, The Thirst Mutilator?  That beverage is so popular and delicious, plants must love it—crave it, even!—as much as people do.  GENIUS.

Sure, sure...the ensuing dustbowl triggers total environmental collapse, and a starving humanity faces certain doom.  But, by god, no one is drinking toilet water!

Clearly, Brawndo is one of the greatest threats to humanity ever presented on celluloid...

...which means that, naturally, someone thought it was high time to bring it to market in The Real World, because some idiot would buy it.

And buy it I did, for I am that idiot.  Five cases, in fact, when it debuted in December 2007. And now, in 2013, I am down to my last one...only 24 cans left of emerald, sacchariferous, toxin-infused goodness.

(Well, now 22, because 2 went into this review.)

They may well be The Last Cans On Earth!!!  It's clearly my sacred duty to immortalize the beverage for The Beings Of Tomorrow!!!

A man...a plan...a can...makes a terrible palindrome.

Let's do this thang.

As you can see, the can is a little dented and dingy.  It traveled via the postal system to reach me lo those many years ago, and has gone through three moves since.  It's truly a Gamma World-ian artifact of the highest order!

Well, I'll be.  You can't print lies, so plants really DO crave electrolytes.  Whaddaya know?

They had me at "pyridoxine".  Just like mom used to make!

The larger the numbers, the greater the nutrition.  That's just science.

What could be more appropriate for this here post-apocalyptic blog than drinking long-expired chemicals not found in nature...?

The disease-green fluid poured like the finest of wines.  You know, like those award-winning, world-class vintages Derelict's Select and Hobo's Delight.

If this stuff was a Crayola crayon, the label would read:  MUTATION.

I got nothing snarky to say here, because I'm so impressed with my sense of composition. Just look at that majesty!

So, on to the tasting!

The bouquet of Brawndo can best be described as "erratically, overpoweringly artificial". Sometimes it has notes of the verdant syrup Sonic Drive-In used in their original lime slushes, until they went all "real fruit Limeade" in the early 1990s.  Other times, it reeks of Jell-O brand gelatin...but, bizarrely, NOT the lime-flavored variety, but instead red fruit punch, or pineapple.  But mostly?  It smells like furniture polish, with an acrid sting that accosts the nostrils.

As for the flavor, there's an overpowering, cloying, sickly-sweetness infused with lime.  Yes, this beverage makes "sickly-sweet" into a legitimate flavor.  And one can DEFINITELY taste those plant-satiating electrolytes, because, man, is Brawndo salty.

The whole concoction can be summarized in three words:  briny Mountain Dew.

You'll want to brush your teeth sooner than later, because of the bitter and murky—yes, murky—aftertaste.  And you'll need some water, because your thirst ain't exactly mutilated with all that saline.

I'd be remiss if I left out the texture.  Brawndo has a subtle, vaguely insidious thickness, so that it doesn't so much stream down your gullet as slither.  Ever had the nasty Pakistani breakfast "delicacy" called paya?  It's a gunk—the words brothsoup, and/or gravy just don't suffice—comprised of liquefied cow hooves, and  it looks, tastes, and oozes like molten silly putty....and when consumed, it aggressively creeps between the teeth and clings to the tongue, cheeks, and throat.  I'm not kidding; eating paya is like eating evil.  Brawndo triggers that same queasy sensation, like your mouth is being molested.

That was the glass immediately after I drained it.  So I tried drinking it again...and again...and again.  No matter how many times I tilted it to my lips, that remaining juice just wouldn't empty. Brawndo's residue is JUST THAT TENACIOUS.  You can actually see the viscosity!

Hmmm.  All those pictures remind me of something...

It's What Satan Craves!

...and that some thing is the devil-goop from John Carpenter's Prince Of Darkness.  That demonic slurry just HAD to be Brawndo.


Oh, one more tidbit:  ALWAYS drink Brawndo, antarctic-cold.  If you let it get to room temperature, the stuff gets even more viscous, and acquires a pungent tang very much like urine.

You've been warned.

A few years back, I was in an all-night housework frenzy, and I drank two cans of Brawndo in the same twenty-minute span.

The resulting heart palpitations lasted for hours.

So, what's the final verdict on The Thirst Mutilator?  Not only is it pretty disgusting, but it's an offense to Mother Nature.  There is no way, shape, or form that the stuff is good for you; it mutilates your innards, not your cravings for hydration.

But I'd be lying if I denied my fondness for it.  It's actually drinkable when nigh-frozen, and provides a hefty kick when you're run down.  And I kinda like gross things, because of the resultant jolt to the ol' palate; I'm totally That Guy who goes, "Hey, this is awful...YOU GOTTA TRY IT!!!"

Sigh.  Only 22 cans left.  Let the rationing begin.

(And like the finest wines, I bet my Brawndo stash is gonna taste AMAZING decades from now.)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

"Um...Why Do We Even Need To Save Him, Anyway...?" — Frau

Last we left our stank-soaked, dog-less "recovery specialists", Chalur (played by Rob), Frau (Audrey), her guard-panther, and Freya (Alana) stood atop some rusting hulks and furiously scrubbed themselves with the contents of their waterskins.  They'd just vanquished a mob of mega-mawed mustelids, but decided to stay elevated as they aired out, and then bedded down for the evening.  Each took a turn as sentry, but the night was uneventful save for the tiny land-crabs that scuttled up to feast on the critter carcasses.  Circle of life, yo.

In the morning, the trio noticed that their little metallic island was adorned with graffiti.  Such markings are  standard scrounger procedure in my campaign world [just like hobos did in The Times Before], and they recognized the brands unique to their missing colleagues. Clues!

[I think it was at this point that I told the players to each design a tag of their own.  I often assign homework like that, to get people more immersed in the game.]

After breakfast, our heroes slathered themselves in bogbalm (homemade insect repellent) and held a mini-funeral for the dearly departed—albiet nameless!—dog, then tromped Eastward.  Giant bug-things occasionally blotted out the sun, but it was an otherwise uneventful morning.

Early-afternoon, the group made a ghastly discovery:  two semi-fresh, way-too-dry bodies all akimbo.  Vine ligatures still hanging to nearby trees, slit throats, and a distinct lack of pooled blood led the trio to conclude that someone trussed victims upside down, drained them of fluids, and then cut them down.  One of the bodies looked vaguely familiar, like he might be a Gunspoint local.  He also bore a tattoo matching one of the aforementioned graffiti tags.

The group continued on, even more cautiously, for another hour or so.  They eventually heard voices, and stealthing it up like the stealth-fiends they are [can I mention again how annoying it is for 2 PCs with both Chameleon Epidermis and flight...?], came upon a small group of Pure and Mutant Humans in grubby white robes, with reddish-black crucifixes scrawled on the fronts [I think I used the phrase "kinda Klan-y"].  They marched along with two beaten and battered prisoners:  a bird-man with broken wings, and an obvious Android, his metallic skull shining through his extensive injuries.  Oh, snap—their missing colleagues!

The heroes followed close behind, looking for an opening...but then the robed gang entered a curtain of overgrowth.  Chalur tried to scout from above, but the foliage was too thick, so our trio crept into the brush...

...and saw the robe-dudes converge with a few more already camped out in the clearing.  They shoved their prisoners to the ground, and up stepped a big, bad, mutated leader-type, inspecting them.

"This one will make a fine offering," he intoned.  "But this abomination?  It's useless, as its 'lifeblood' is a mockery."  And then leader-guy pulled out a sidearm and blasted off the Android's face...and head...and upper torso.  A metal head rolled into the bushes where the PCs lurked, staring at them in the agonized horror.  Oh, even robots can know fear!

"May we all drink from the Oasis!" the leader bellowed, and the collective answered, "The Oasis is life!"

Outmatched and skeeved-out, Chalur, Frau, and Freya schemed in hushed whispers...and as they did, the cultists opened up Ancient 5-gallon fuel jugs and poured a ring of red liquid around the clearing, and another ring around bird-captive. THAT'S where all the blood went from those prior bodies!

Almost immediately, the swamp went silent—bugs, frogs, cultists alike—and our heroes held their collective breath as something rustled in the treetops...

...and then said something...a 5' tall, snuffling, scabrous, sucker-y something, that looked like this...

I think they nicknamed him "Herpes-Head".

...dropped down at the far edge of the clearing.  It crawled slowly along the blood circle, sniffing and lapping.  No one moved.

But then a cultist sneezed, and The Thing leapt 30' across the air and pounced on him, ripping his throat out in a geyser of gore.

The cultists froze as the creature noisily dined...and that's when Freya had the brilliant idea to mentally attack the monster with an illusion.  She rolled crazy-high, and implanted the scene in its mind that that all the cultists were talking and coughing and singing and laughing and crying and ruckus-ing at once.

The Thing got really, Really, REALLY agitated, and almost pounced on another cultist...and that's when Freya triggered ANOTHER illusion, this time at Leader-Guy.  She conjured a school of shunks charging right at him [her personal experience with just such an event gave the phantasm that extra soupçon of authenticity]...and rolled a 19.  He shrieked and ran from the clearing.

And that's when, as they say in the vernacular, shit got real.

Mayhem erupted.  Panicked cultists discharged weapons at random.  Monster hissed, grabbed bird-guy, and bounded into the trees.  Our heroes burst from the shrubs, unleashing fiery blasts and plasma pulses and teargas grenades and big cat claws and electrified maces.

When all was said and done, there were a ton of dead guys, a few runaways who bolted into the swamp, and one injured surrender-ee.

The heroes surrounded the lone survivor, and Chalur got out, "Perhaps we can get some questions ans—" right before Freya caved in his head.

Chalur looked horrified, and Frau just sighed.  Then looting commenced.  The group found a bounty of useful tech and Ancient artifacts (senso-binoculars, 2 walkie-talkies, water purification tablets, and more)...all stuff they recognized as belonging to their "patron", Exxon Honda.  Score!

It was at that point that Chalur mentioned rescuing the bird-guy, but Frau casually, coyly, innocently asked why they even needed to bother.  After all, they had the items they needed, so why not just return home?  They'll be rewarded all the same.  Heck, they could even keep the stuff, and maybe say it got lost in the assorted battles, and just see what happens....

Oh, my dear, sweet, sociopathic Audrey...although you sat down a complete RPG novice, you sure catch on fast.  You're a natural!

Freya seemed to agree, and Chalur was definitely displeased...but the group decided that it was still to early to head back.  The trio decided to visit the foreboding ruins of Woebrook Mall, just because it was so close.  Maybe they'd find bird-guy there, and why miss a chance at another big score...?

They sneaked past a pond of grazing radpoles...

...and soon stumbled upon the marshy grounds of the ruined shopping center, and ascended as a group (Chalur and Frau carrying the others) to land atop the structure.  Our heroes stared down into the broken skylights, and only the yawning darkness greeted them....

The Glowin' Star State

Hugeston, we have a logo.

EDIT (03/12/13):

I've Toxie-'d it up!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

"I Go Shunk-Whompin' All The Time." — Freya

Two games down and an upcoming one this weekend, it looks like I might just have a full-fledged Mutant Future campaign on my hands.

My trio of players cover the complete gaming spectrum:  Audrey has zero tabletop RPG experience, Robert played as a teen but hasn't hacked/slashed in decades, and Alana gobbles down a handful of d20s every morning for breakfast (her "special vitamins", she calls 'em).

The first session—and I use that word VERY loosely—was your general gabfest where I explained the genre ("You've know Dungeons & Dragons?  Think Ruins & Radiation.") and my setting.  They rolled up characters, and I sent them into the woods to test drive the rules with a random encounter.

I confess that I didn't have any lofty GM-ly goals or a noble quest or masterfully-detailed campaign threads.  I fully expected the group to think the whole thing ridiculous, and want to try something else.  I didn't go in very invested.

But the trio was hooked the second they finished statting up their PCs, because they had an absolute blast rolling those funky polyhedrals.  Audrey even whipped out her sketchbook, she was so enthused.  And their excitement was contagious, sucking me in, too.


Robert came up with Chalur, a Mutant Human with decidedly reptilian features.  His random mutations were all over the place:  the beneficial Energy Ray (fire-blastin' hands), Complete Wing Development, and Chameleon Epidermis were saddled with Pain Sensitivity ("Double damage?  Really?") and Defective Dual Cerebellum.  Man, is Rob gonna be surly when his secret "Hyde brain" mutations kick in.....

Looking at him again, Chalur's got some vintage Gamma World mojo working, like he stepped right out of an official module.  I approve!


Audrey rolled up Fräu, a Mutant Animal of the feline biped persuasion (it actually reads "Mutant Kitty" on her sheet).

And here's how she described her character, verbatim:  "She's sexy, but intelligent...and kind of a bitch."

Yikes.  I just report it, folks.

Along with claws and the GM-granted Increased Sense (Smell), her mutations came out to Psionic Flight, Chameleon Epidermis, and Reduced Oxygen Efficiency.  (I gotta say, two PCs possessing both flight and stealth powers made this Mutant Lord grind his teeth a bit from behind the screen.)  She also rolled crazy-high on Hit Points, coming in at 46 on 11d6.


Freya's Glamour Shot

And last but not least is Alana's Mutant Human, Freya.  She rolled a Strength of 4 and lousy Hit Points, but just killed on the mutations:  Increased Physical Attribute (Strength, +3d6 damage), Toxic Weapon (7d6), Aberrant Form (Natural Weapon, 1d8), Reflective Epidermis (Cold), Force Screen, and Mental Phantasm.  Only Negative Empathy tainted her power suite...but knowing how Alana plays, having NPCs constantly throwing the first punch is actually a boon for her.

Alana is great at spitballing concepts, and her PC just sprung to life like Athena from Zeus' divine character sheet.  She decided her Natural Weapon was icicle-sharp, poison-injecting monofilament hair.  And Freya's lack of obvious physical strength is all part of making people underestimate her...until she hulks out in combat.

Let me quote:  "She's a scrawny thing, but never loses a barfight.  She's a bit wishy-washy, and you either love her, or you hate her.  And you don't touch her hair."

That's just a damned fine group of Player Characters.

They spent a bit of time splurging on gear, and Chalur blew almost his entire roll on a 25 GP bottlecaps scratched-DVDs-and-Ancient-credit-cards guard dog.  Not letting that stand, Fräu bought a "guard cat" at the same cost.  

50 monies spent on pets, eh?  Oh, you silly, silly players.

As far as the adventure part of the evening went, I just slummed it with, "You're all professional scroungers who work for crime lord Exxon Honda, a one-legged elephant-dude with an eyepatch.  A few of his employees—fellow scroungers, some you may have worked with before—have gone missing, and you gotta go into the swamp to find them...but, really, not so much them as Mr. Honda's valuable tech.  They went that-a-way."

While I'm no Monty Haul GM, I wanted the group to get acquainted with the "dark ages meets fantasy future" vibe of GPA ("Gonzo Post-Apocalpytic"), so Honda's major domo Arby Nyquil let them borrow—as in, better give them back...OR ELSE—random Ancient artifacts from a box.  They grabbed some plastic eggs (grenades), a pistol (plasma blaster), and a metallic stick (warp-field mace), and I went through the sacred ritual of making them test the tech to figger things out.  Tragically, no one died in a grenade-related mishap, so they they left Gunspoint and ventured West into the swamp towards the ruins of Woebrook.  

It was time to treat them to some combat.  The group ran into a lone shunk, who kinda sauntered up to them all adorable-like...and then sprayed them with noxious blood, which soon summoned 30+ more of the ravenous little varmints.

Chalur took one look at the toothy school, and flew straight upwards, ever so smug and proud of himself.

And that's when the shunks veered as one and swarmed the poor, poor dog left helplessly on the ground.


You can't out-smug a shunk.

The look on Robert's face was absolutely, positively priceless.

Seeing the dog getting mulched made Fräu, guard cat, and Freya scamper onto some rusting wreckage.  They soon realized that shunks make terrible jumpers, and started clobbering the beasties from higher ground, while Chalur rained flame from above.

And thus was born the Mutant Future's newest outdoor sport, "shunk-whomping".

Stay tuned for Session #2!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Brand Names, Brand Identity — The Remix

With the relaunch of my Don't Mess With Wrexus campaign, I started cranking out NPCs using my handy-dandy, much-beloved, don't-know-how-anyone-can-live-without-'em Post-Apocalyptic Naming Charts.  

I originally designed the lists with the d20 in mind, for obvious reasons.  But since Goodman Games' Dungeon Crawl Classics delivered the majestic d24 polyhedral to gaming tables across the land, it's time I tweaked and expanded things.

Watch out, d30.  You may be summoned to duty sooner than later.

Download the PDF here or use the box on the right.  I'm keeping the original version, too, in case y'all prefer it.

Friday, March 1, 2013

"P" is for "Pacabra"


No. Enc.:  1d4 (1d4)
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement:  180' (60')
Armor Class:  3
Hit Dice:  3
Attacks:  6 (4 claws, 2 bites)
Damage:  1d4 / 1d4 / 1d4 / 1d4 / 1d6 / 1d6
Save:  L3
Morale:  9
Hoard Class:  VI
XP:  140

Pacabras are 3-4' tall, hunched, hairless bipeds with tapered claws, jagged fangs, and blackened, necrotic skin.  They hop after prey with uncanny speed and agility, and make standing leaps of 25+ feet.

The diseased creatures' mouths swarm with infectious parasites.  Anyone bitten who fails a Saving Throw Vs. Poison contracts mega-mange [see below].

Mutations:  Enhanced Vision (Night), Pain Insensitivity [D], Quickness, Reduced Immune System [D], Toxic Weapon ("Mite Bite")

Save Modifier:  -2
Infection Duration:  4 weeks
Affected Stats:  DEX -3, CHA -6, WIL -3
Damage Per Day:  1d4

Mega-mange is a skin disease caused by ravenous parasites.  Those infected are driven mad due to incessant itching (which actually dulls the pain of external attacks) and an overpowering thirst for the blood of the living.

Symptoms:  Complete hair loss, deadened skin, weeping lesions, agonizing itching, and literal bloodthirstiness.  Also induces both the Hemophilia and Pain Insensitivity Physical Mutation Drawbacks.