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!