Sunday, May 8, 2022

"Don't Mess With Wrexus" Redux

Hola amigos.  How's it hangin'?  I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but a lot's been going down in this part of town.  But it's boring and no bueno, so forget I said anything.


I'm trying to un-rust the ol' gaming gears and do something with Goodman Games' post-apoc gonzofest setting, Umerica.

Good, good stuff.

It combines the Dungeon Crawl Classics chassis with the sensibilities I adore, and I'm adding all my fave inspirations (pictured below) to the brew.

Intro campaign flavor text follows!

Don’t Mess With Wrexus Redux

At 11:59:59 pm on December 31st, 1999, the world ended.

Bombs dropped.

Reactors popped.

Seas boiled.

Continents roiled.

Phages bloomed.

Radiation 'shroomed.

Toxic waste erupted.

Gene pools corrupted.

Acids rained.

Humanity insaned.

The moon broke.

The old gods awoke.

And that’s when things got really bad.

For magic thrived and dinosaurs revived.  Monsters unhid and aliens invade-ed.  Angels fell and The Dead rose from Hell.

The old-timers call that night Judgment Day; others, Y2K.

More names abound:  The FlushThe ThunderkissThe ReckoningThe Bigger BangThe Great Mistake.  Even TEOTWAWKI.

But the past isn’t important beyond what you can scavenge from the burnt-out malls; what you can refurb from the rusting junkyards; what you can summon from the irradiated graveyards.  Toilet paper and gasoline, bullets and beer:  these are more valuable than all the gold in the cosmos.

Welcome to The Blighted States Of Nightmerica.

Hope you survive the experience.

(And if you don’t?  There’s always undeath!)

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Behold... KRYNNGEENO!!!

 This Aetherian Fightin' Feline used to be female.  Stuff Happend.  Deets to follow.


DCC / Umerica hijinks.  Deets to follow.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Tales To Flabbergast Presents... ZZZAP, SON OF ZZZAX!!!


F             GD (10)
A             IN (40)
S             GD (10)
E             IN (40)
R             FB (2)
I              GD (10)
P             FB (2)

Health:  100
Karma:  14
Resources:  TY (6)
Popularity:  5

Real Name:  Kevin Collier
Occupation:   Student
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record...yet
Identity:  Secret
Other Known Aliases: None
Place of Birth:  Houston, Texas
Marital Status:  Single
Known Relatives:  Mom, Gary (stepdad), Kid Sis
Base of Operations:  Campaign City, USA
Past Group Affiliations:  None
Present Group Affiliation:  PC Team

Electric Body:  Zzzap can shift from his human form into a quasi-solid electromagnetic state, providing several advantages and disadvantages, including:
  • Firing electrical bolts of Incredible (40) intensity up to 5 areas away.
  • Delivering a shocking touch of Incredible (40) intensity.  Those grabbed (via a Fighting FEAT to hit), or those that grapple Zzzap, must make an Endurance FEAT at the intensity of the shock or be knocked unconscious in addition to the damage.
  • Making arcing leaps at Remarkable (30) rank.
  • Incredible (40) protection from physical and electrical attacks, and Excellent (20) protection from other energy attacks.
  • Water-based attacks do +2CS damage against Zzzap in his energy form.
Pet—MODOG:  MODOG is the heroic identity of Kevin's bulldog puppy, Grumbles.  The li'l guy wears a headband that generates Mental Force Bolts at Excellent (20) rank at a range of 1 area, and loafs in a levitating pod that floats at Poor (4) rank speed.  Being a puppy of normal intelligence, the li'l guy barely follow's Zzzap's directions.  Stats are F: Fb, A: Pr, S: Fb, E: Fb, R: Pr, I: Pr, P: Pr, H:10, K: 14

Talents:  Student, Television Junkie

Contacts:  None

Zzzap, Son Of Zzzax dreams of being some combination of skateboard, guitar, and surfing legend, but has never tried any of them.

Zzzap, Son Of Zzzax is a thrill-seeker and a showboat, and needs a strong leadership presence to reign him in.  He's a shoot first, think second kinda hero.

MODOG usually floats on the sidelines, yowling adorably in encouragement.

Layabout and C-student Kevin Collier was on the field trip when the incident at Rick Jones' Locker went down.   Believing it was a Top Secret energy drink, Kevin chugged a bottle labeled "Zzzax Juice", and the results were about as expected.  He also snagged a levitating purple contraption, thinking it was a futuristic ashtray he could give to his stepdad for Father's Day.  Turns out it made a sweet flying bed for Grumbles!

The instant Theron, Official Friend Of The Field Guide mentioned his "Rick Jones" idea is the same instant Zzzap, Son Of Zzzax was born.  The electrical boy and his barely-psychic dog exploded into my head like thunderbolts.  I've been dying to play Zzzap in a superhero gameANY superhero gamefor over a decade. 

In the intervening years, I've learned that there's a character named Zzzap in the Ex-Heroes novel franchise, and a MODOG popped up in official Marvel continuity.  But mine were first, damn it!  
Here's even some doodles from years ago!

I finally rolled up Zzzap in the old-school Marvel rpg, and, yeesh.  The dice were brutal, with an 84, 21, 39, 05, 78, 01, and 33, translating to Incredible, Good, Good, Feeble, Remarkable, Feeble, and Good.  TWO FEEBLES?!!!  GAH.

After much agonizing, I decided to make Reason and Psyche the dump-stats to represent having his brains scrambled by villainous energies.

Hey, there's precedent.

  • Zzzax is a major Hulk enemy --> Rick Jones!!!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Tales To Flabbergast Presents... THE CONFOUNDING CAPZARRO!!!


F             RM (30)
A             EX (20)
S             IN (40)
E             AM (50)
R             PR (4)
I               GD (10)
P             TY (6)

Health:  140
Karma:  20
Resources:  TY (6)
Popularity:  TY (6)

Real Name:  Roger Stevens
Occupation:  Security Guard 
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record...yet
Identity:  Secret
Other Known Aliases: None
Place of Birth:  Chicago, IL
Marital Status:  Single
Known Relatives:  None
Base of Operations:  Campaign City, USAK
Past Group Affiliations:  None
Present Group Affiliation:  PC Team

Kryptonitium Shield / Shields Of Opportunity:  Capzarro's chief weapon is a green, crystalline disc made of Monstrous material called "kryptonitium".  This shield may be thrown up to six areas away, and inflict up to Amazing (50) Blunt damage.  As Capzarro is prone to misplacing his K-Shield, he often uses opportune objects (trash can lids, manhole covers, hubcaps, serving trays, etc) of Remarkable durability instead; these items deal Remarkable (30) Blunt damage when hurled up to 3 areas away.

Frost Vision:  Capzarro projects icy eye-beams at Remarkable (30) rank, usable in the following ways:
  • Emitting cold at Remarkable (30) intensity, up to 3 areas away.
  • Entrapping targets in Remarkable (30)-strength blocks up to 2 areas away.
  • Creating slicks of Remarkable (30)-intensity slipperiness.
Chained Mail Armor:  For when he's without a shield, Capzarro's garish suit provides Body Armor at Excellent (20) rank.

Talents:  Martial Arts B, (S)tumbling, Weapon Specialist: Shield

Contacts:  None

Capzarro haltingly speaks in the third person with backwards grammatical structure and warped logic, inducing Shift X irritation in listeners.

Capzarro is sincere and honest to a fault, and desperately wants to do the right thing.  However, his muddled thinking often results in inadvertently assisting bad guys and foiling police efforts.  His compatriots usually have to explain who he's supposed to clobber.

In combat, Capzarro is less a fluidly graceful super-soldier and more a wantonly physical mega-monster.

Roger Stevens was a security guard at the facility  housing Rick Jones' Locker.  On the front lines of The Incident, he was  standing near a decked-out Captain America mannequin bathed in the rays of a faulty other-dimensional duplicating machine filtered through a be-Pym-particle'd Cosmic Cube (more a Cosmic Crouton, truth be told) and transformed into a craggy brute of mighty power and dim intellect.

Though no longer "normal", Stevens tries to maintain his old life through the use of heavy makeup and trenchcoats.  Everyone who knew him before The Incident assumes he suffered a brain injury, and treats him accordingly.

This wonky weirdo, inspired by one of my favorite characters over at the Distinguished Competition, popped into my head while working on a completely different blog post, so I diverted focus with a quickness to ride the brain-lightning.  The end result tickles me pink, y'all.

After rolling Capz's stats, I had to use the "modelling method" to design the completely-outside-the-rules-as-written shield.  Captain America appears in at least a half-dozen sourcebooks in the Marvel Super Heroes game line, and his iconic equipment is described differently in each instance.  This was definitely an effort in "fudging it", and I hope the shield isn't too egregious (or too wimpy) in play.

I copied Iceman's abilities verbatim for the frigid-vision..

  • Bizarro is one of Superman/s greatest foes --> Superman once encountered Captain America (and wielded the shield, even!) --> Captain America is a certain someone's mentor!!!

Straight-up one of my favorite funnybooks.


The Big Picture

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Disco Devil Fashion Show!

Playing with the Champions Online and City Of Heroes character creators is a hoot, as each engine offers distinctly different visuals.

Here's the COH version of Disco Devil, in his Battlin' Bellbottoms™ duds... complete with Authentic Sequin Sparkle Action™!!!  (I think DD's like The Winsome Wasp, in that he changes costumes every few months.)