Tuesday, March 23, 2010

2e Tuesday and General Announcements

Howdy Blog Readers!  Events in my life necessitate that I cut back on some of my game related activities.  I think I am going to make my Mutant Future game a bi-monthly occurrence, and continue to blog sparingly about it.  I will at least try to keep up on the 2e Tuesday posts because I think having Gamma World monsters for Mutant Future is a noble cause.

For anyone curious, I am getting married on June 5th and now that my betrothed has graduated from the University of Oregon our wedding planning is going to get much more serious (i.e. I will have to spend a lot of time helping my sweetie out doing wedding-y things).

I am also a member of a band (Telepathic Dumpster) and I have been slacking on my duties as band sound engineer; two CDs are waiting for nothing but my time spent doing a final mix down to release, and I owe it to my bandmates to spend some time on them soon.

My duties over at the Eye of the Vortex web site are increasing a little bit because I agreed to be an editor over there and help get articles ready to publish.  I also run a weekly 4e game and play in a weekly Labyrinth Lord game - something is going to have to give, so I think I will also cut back on my participation in the Labyrinth Lord game and see about possibly shifting the 4e game to an every other week kind of thing.  Thus ends probably the most intense period of D&D activity that I have ever had in my life.  I have never ran and participated in three weekly games simultaneously, and I certainly have never spent so much time blogging and writing about gaming.  It has been a lot of fun!  I will still keep up on my Back Screen Pass blog, as I want to slowly publish a game setting of mine on that blog.

And now, on to the Gamma World Goodness!

Today's creature is...


No. Enc: 1d4-1
Alignment: Lawful
Movement: 120'
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 12
Attacks: by weapon
Damage: by weapon
Save:  L10
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: Unique (1d4-1 any Technological Artifacts)

These 8' tall, two headed, four-armed giants are surprisingly intelligent and peaceful.  They have an average Intelligence of 14 and an average Willpower of 17.  Technologically advanced, Orlens can modify armor to fit their unique build and all adults carry at least one technological artifact that they have mastered the use of.  They will equip themselves with armor (hence their AC of 6, which should be adjusted downwards if they are wearing better than the equivalent of Studded Leather Armor) and swords if they have no weapons among their artifacts.  Despite their physical strength, size and willingness to wield weaponry, Oriens will harm no one that does not harm them first.  They will use their telepathic abilities to communicate with strangers, and will attempt to use telekinesis to restrain attackers without harming them before turning to combat as a last resort in self defense.

Mutations:  Neural Telepathy, Neural Telekinesis, Ability Boost (Willpower only)

I like the idea of big scary looking two-headed giants wielding laser rifles that turn out to be a peaceful and civilized race.  Things are not always as they seem in the Mutant Future.. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mutant Future goes Travelling

My Mutant Future campaign just took off in a ship out of the Traveller Book, a great score that I picked up at Smith Family Book Store the other day.  I already owned reprinted versions of the original LBBs, but the Traveller Book includes awesome illustrations, particularly of the ships.

 Thus it was that when James Bomb ducked out while party member Rok fought an honor duel with one of the Elven Champions, and went for a swim in the lake, he found what he was looking for:  a spaceship.
You see, Stang had a dream the first night she slept in the alien world, before she consumed any of the Elvish food.  She dreamed about the planet before the elves came, a planet completely covered by one massive purple life-form which existed in perpetual harmony, intelligent, uncounted single cellular organisms linked together to form a planet sized mind.  Then she saw an egg shaped spaceship (the Mercenary Cruiser from Traveller, but several times larger) descend from the sky and drop into one of the many clear lakes that dimpled the purple life-surface like jewels.  Soon, solid earth was summoned up from the bottom of the lake and the elves and their hairy servant race constructed a castle on the island and began systematically destroying the purple life in a ring around the lake.

James Bomb had a hunch this was more than just a dream, and he also had a feeling that things would go badly for the party if they stayed on this planet until one of the party members could use his Plane Shift mutation to return the group to the Mutant Future they all knew and loved.  You see, the party was invited to a ceremony to be conducted at night below the castle and the party already knew that at nightfall the elves turned into werewolves, the queen and her daughter into green skinned vampires and the hairy servants into red-eyed little balls of animate fur.  To make matters worse, Dr. Hops had teleported to the tallest tower of the castle (where Stang had previously spotted a garden arranged in concentric circles around a tree that perched atop a tiered platform in the center of the tower) to use his sniper rifle to cover the duel in case the elves tried anything fishy.  When he arrived atop the tower, he discovered the tree had branches bearing humanoid heads of all descriptions instead of fruit, and the heads opened their mouthes and spat seeds at him.  Luckily for him, his Dog Boy armor had a forcefield which deflected the seeds, and he tossed a grenade at the tree and teleported away.

The occurrence of an explosion atop the highest tower of the castle instantly brought the duel to a halt before it even began, as all the elves acted like their god had just been attacked.  The queen disappeared, and reappeared momentarily to reassure her people that the Mother Tree was safe and sound.  She smiled at Dr. Hops, who had casually rejoined the group around the dueling ring, and told him that he would be the guest of honor at the ceremony in two nights time.  The elves relaxed, and the two combatants took their places in the center of the circle and walked away from each for the allotted number of strides.

Rok lost the duel despite a most valiant effort, and his head bounced three times upon the perfectly smooth grassy field before the surrounding elves let out a cheer for their champion and offered their condolences to the rest of the party.  "Your friend died with honor.  Join us in celebrating the duel!"

James Bomb quietly radioed the other party members about the space ship he had discovered in the lake, and while the elves began preparations for the party, Bozko the shape-shifting plant made air-bladders around party members' heads and ferried them one by one down to the hidden spaceship.  The session ended with the party, plus one sympathetic gnomen (the hairy servitor race of the elves, this one who identified himself as Grosso was the only gnomen the party encountered capable of speech or independent action; he just crawled out of the birthing vats like that...), blasting off into space.

I love this, because now I get to essentially run a Traveller/Mutant Future game for a few sessions.  I am going to go 1/2 and 1/2 Traveller and Star Trek, with a good dash of Star Wars for flavor (after all, Haiku-spouting droid IG-88 recently joined the party...).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

2e Tuesday - Blaashes (Gamma Moths)

That's right, Gamma World 2nd edition... what 2e did you think I meant?  Every Tuesday I will pick one of my favorite monsters from the fully illustrated bestiary included in the 2d edition Gamma World Basic Rules Booklet and convert it to Mutant Future.  Today's monster is...

Blaashes (Gamma Moths)

No. Enc: 1d10
Alignment: neutral
                 Fly: 150' (50)  
                 Land: 30' (10')
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 7d8+9
Attacks: none (see muta
Damage:  see mutation
Save:  L5
Morale: 6
Hoard Class: VII
Gypsy Moths with 6 1/2' wingspans, the Blaashes are much feared by those unlucky enough to be stuck outside in the wasteland after dark.  When they discharge their deadly radiation, their abdomens flash and glow.  If a Blaash manages to kill anything, it will stop everything to consume its prey.

Mutations:  Special (Gamma Burst; 20' radius around the Blaash is flooded with class 9 Radiation, saving throw vs. Radiation for 1/2 damage)

Big moths are beautiful, but they used to freak me  out when I was a kid and they came careening wildly in looking for that enchanting light.  

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Leaving, On a Jet Plane

I am leaving on a business trip early tomorrow morning.  Unfortunately, your regularly scheduled "2e Tuesday" critter has succumbed to the last minute packing that I must do.  Posting will be more or less non-existent for a week.

May all your mutations be beneficial,

Mutant Lord Carl

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Haikubot - New Mutant Future Race/Class

To give credit where credit is due, the original idea for this came from a new player who contacted me and wanted to play a robot. The twist was, instead of rolling for mutations he wanted to have the ability to influence reality by uttering Haiku.  He envisioned this as the robot attuning its utterances with the frequency of the cosmos.  He proposed that some kind of roll would serve as a "metaphysical volume" to see how loudly the Haiku was heard by the cosmos (in the form of Mutant Lord Moi).

Here is the mechanic that I came up with:

Add Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma.  This is the Haikubot's base "Haiku Score".  Each time the Haikubot attempts to alter reality with a Haiku, a d100 roll is required, attempting to roll underneath the Haiku Score.  This roll can be modified up to + or - 20 (or more!) as determined by the Mutant Lord based on her appreciation of the Haiku.  This may alternately be a group decision.  The exact effect of the Haiku is determined by the Mutant Lord and the content of the Haiku (e.g. if the Haikubot wishes to befuddle an opponent, the Haiku should have a bemusing subject matter).

Obviously, this is a race/class that requires a great deal of creativity on the part of the player (who must actually say the Haiku aloud at the table) and a considerable amount of adjudication on the part of the Mutant Lord.  I suggest that most Haiku should have SOME effect - a failed roll indicates that the effect is not what the Haikubot had desired!  

I leave you in closing with the following introduction that Josh, the player who came up with this idea, posted on my campaign wiki/blog to introduce his character to the rest of the group:

"A rift in time, or what you perceive as time (mechanical laughter), has allowed a forbearance to information of future friendships and trials. Is there one with portal abilities in your midst? I can see no other explanation. But I diverge from the true topic at hand, friends.
Those of my Corporation, what you would call family, friends? These fellows of the realm you have rifted so audaciously, my home, do call me by a name. If I were to attempt to transcribe it I dare say you would not understand. However you can call me IG-88 for our time together. However impolite and with out warning your transgression into our existence, our reality, I do sense one thing that pervades any amount of snobbish resentment, most of my Corporation may feel. I sense a need, of those who seek truth and justice in their endeavors against evil. And what is there to be said that, such concepts as good and evil transcend from one universe to the next? Nothing that cannot be explained with our future/past time together, beyond, that I am at your service.

Now you must make haste, in a sense. While time is in stasis in your realm while you venture in mine, Time does not halt for anyone in where one does perceive. And you Perceive it here, and thus it flows here, along with a tumultuous flow of evil that would squash you for no other reason than you represent your own willingness to die for a friends freedom. A list of my abilities, 
is, in order! You must prepare to use what you can from a low level being such as myself in anyway you can see fit.

I am, of a mechanical race. I am what you may call 
I do not employ the great powers of biology, or the wonders of mutations, I employ little in fact. I offer a symmetrical mind of mathematical prowess and the ability to foresee 
with a relationship to numbers, that bears on an ambiguous prescience the emotional needs of my allies.
In my world I am what you would call a poet, artist, shaman, or even witch-doctor, of mechanical evolution. And with my calculations perhaps I can mathematically say the right words at the right time to inspire my comrades in arms to defeat the foes we both know to be ours: The generalities of evil in whatever form may come our way.
Alas, Till Sunday."

Thanks, Josh!  And thanks for letting me post your awesome idea on my blog for all to benefit from!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Android Features (android substitute for mutations)

I just found this cool Mutant Future wiki - there was a blank page called "Android Features" which inspired me to create some.  I encourage everyone to go add stuff to the wiki!  

I will now allow any of my players creating an android to substitute one mutation for a roll on the tables below.

Roll 1d6 - on a result of 1-5, roll on the Industrial and Civilian feature chart below, on a result of 6 roll on the Military feature chart below.

Industrial and Civilian feature chart:  
These android features were commonly installed in industrial and civilian androids - roll 1d4 once and consult the following list:

1.  USB 4.0 - this particular model of android has USB 4.0 compatibility.  USB 4.0 has an extremely high data transfer rate and wireless connectivity to a range of 10d10 feet.  Any high-tech device within this range that is compatible with the USB 4.0 protocol can be accessed remotely provided it is not password protected.  Data can be transferred, devices controlled and tech-rolls can be made at up to this range.  Examples of devices that commonly were compatible with USB 4.0 include most computers made after 2017, smart houses, many televisions, many smart phones and most smart vehicles.  In addition, some androids can remove their positronic brains and, as long as the range of the USB 4.0 is not exceeded, control their brainless bodies remotely. 

2.  Blow Torch - commonly installed on industrial androids.  Roll 1d6 - on a result of 1-5, the blow-torch replaces the left hand.  On a 6, the blowtorch emerges from a compartment in the left arm (the android still has the use of its left hand).  The blowtorch can be used as a melee weapon but its extremely limited reach makes it relatively ineffective.  Attacks with the blow torch are at a -4 penalty to hit - however, they do a healthy chunk of damage if the attack is successful: 4d8 damage.  They can also be used to cut through metal or burn through other substances that are not more than 2" thick.  

3.  Vocal Modulator - the android is capable of perfectly replicating sounds that it has heard through its vocal apparatus.  This ability is not limited to speech, and indeed, the android can hear and reproduce sounds above and below the audible frequency range of human hearing.   

4.  Limited Transformation - the android was designed with movable parts such that it can undergo a limited transformation into one other form, determined at character creation in consultation with the Mutant Lord.  Common forms include vehicles such as motorcycles, pallet lifts or hoverscooters, and furniture items such as chairs or desks.  A common variant is to have only portions of the android's body transform - legs slide open and reveal wheels, or arms extend and hands become clamps, etc. 

Military Android Feature Chart: 
These Android Features were commonly installed on military android models.  Roll 1d4 once and consult the following chart:

1. Laser Guidance System - as long as the android has line of sight to its target, it can emit a laser beam that aids in targeting ranged attacks.  The android gets a bonus of +4 to hit stationary targets and +2 to hit moving targets with ranged attacks.  

2.  Camouflage - the android has special, durable LCD screens mounted on its body that can be used to mimic its surroundings, granting an effective camouflage.  There is a 2 round delay while the surroundings are processed before the camouflage takes effect - when used for camouflage, in all other ways this feature functions like the Chameleon Epidermis mutation.  In addition, these screens can be used to emit light (at the choice of the android, the light can be emitted from its entire body or only certain areas).  This light can illuminate out to 30'. 

3.  Com-Link - the android is equipped with a com-link that enables it to communicate at up to a 1d4 mile range with anyone else who has a com-link, radio tuned to the correct frequency, satellite, or similar piece of technology.  Roll 1d6 - on a result of 1-5, the android has one additional com-link that can be used by any being with ears and on a result of 6 the android has 1d4+1 additional com-links.  Any additional com-links are stored in a small compartment in the androids chest when not in use.  

4.  Rocket Boots - the android has rockets mounted to the bottom of its feet.  It can fly at speeds of up to 1d6 hundred MPH.  While flying at high speeds (over 100 MPH), the android has very poor maneuverability.  This is left to the Mutant Lord to adjudicate.  The android can fly for a total of 6d10 minutes each day (both max speed and total flight time to be rolled once at character creation).  When this total is used up, the android cannot fly again until 24 hours have passed and its energy cells have recharged. 

Saturday, March 6, 2010

cloud spiders and lightning hearts

Last Sunday the players decided that despite all the weird shit that happened during the night, they had little choice but to play along with the elves for now and accompany their champions out on their daily battle with the creatures spawned by the purple blight.  The party was surprised to learn that they were expected to go off on their own instead of accompanying one of the elf champions.  They headed out over the fleshy purple landscape, at one point stopping to cut a section of the purple flesh out.  While at first there seemed to be no response to this action, soon some purple cat-like beasts with tentacles coming out of their shoulders emerged from the ground and attacked the party.  Hello, displacer beasts!  Realizing very quickly that ranged fire was not the way to deal with these critters, the party fell to dispatching them in hand to hand combat and shortly emerged  victorious.

They tramped on further, and soon the sky began to darken as great clouds coalesced overhead.  Flashes of lightning arced from cloud to cloud, and soon the the party found themselves directly underneath an enormous cloud, with eight smaller clouds arranged in a circle below and around it.  Lightning strikes next began to target individual PCs.

My memory at this point gets a little hazy - I am not sure exactly what they used to do this, but somehow the party managed to shoot something into one of the clouds (a missile maybe?  An energy ray?  Who can keep all the high-tech shenanigans straight?) which caused a momentary dissipation of the mist and revealed that the party was underneath an immense floating spider, the body of which was concealed in the large cloud.  Each of its eight legs ended in a strange disc like foot, around which the smaller clouds formed.  Realizing that they should focus their attacks on the main body of the cloud spider, the party started unloading into the central cloud.

The cloud spider reacted by drawing its legs together beneath it, shielding its body with the large discs that tipped each leg.  It then began to spin rapidly, and the clouds began to stream out and form a whirling layer around it.  The party was unable to damage its main body while it was in this position, and soon a tornado began forming underneath the spinning spider which began flinging party members into the air like matchsticks.

At this point the party began calling for help from Dr. Hops, the wererabbit who had stayed behind in the castle because he was pretending to be the party's servant.  He had been trying to get information out of the short hairy servitor race referred to by the party has "dwobbits" (an amalgamation of dwarf and hobbit) and called "gnomen" by the elves.  Dr. Hops had been unable to get any of the gnomen to respond to him as they silently and efficiently went about their business.  The previous evening at dinner he had been able to talk to one who identified himself as "Grosso", so he began wandering about the various areas that the gnomen worked loudly inquiring if Grosso was present.  He found him in a metal workshop (which, incidentally, contained a furnace that burned the boxed wood shavings accumulated in the wood workshop - this is where Pliskins would have ended up last session when he became trapped in sugar glider form in a box full of wood shavings if Stang had not saved his unconscious ass) and soon learned that apparently Grosso was the only gnomen who had an individual personality.  Grosso revealed that he knew from the moment he emerged from the birthing vats that he was different than his fellows, who found all the satisfaction they needed from mindlessly performing the tasks that they were created knowing how to do.  Dr. Hops soon managed to shatter Grosso's world and convince him that there was more to life than doing what the elves wanted him to do.  It had apparently never occurred to him that he could stop working - when Dr. Hops pointed out that he had not been performing his job the entire time he was conversing, Grosso freaked out but quickly realized that nothing bad seemed to have happened.  Around this time is when the party called for Dr. Hops help.

Dr. Hops, you see, can teleport.  He rapidly rounded up all the grenades that the party still had (they go through those things like candy!) and joined the crowd of elves on the castle walls that were watching the progress of the various fights going on (between their champions and the manifestations of the purple blight and between the party and the cloud spider).  He got a good bead on the party's location, then teleported into the sky high above the cloud spider.  As he was free falling down towards its main body from above, he pulled the pins on the grenades and tossed them down at the spider, then teleported back to the castle.

He also used his once a session roll of the d30 for this attack and got above a 20, which (according to my houserules) meant that he did double damage!  He pretty much blasted the spider to little pieces which rained down on the party.  Go team mutant!

The party searched among the grisly debris and found two strange organs - one appeared to be its heart and the other was attached to its spinnerets.  Both were translucent and seemed to contain bottled lightning...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

2e Tuesday - Arks (Hound Folk)

That's right, Gamma World 2nd edition... what 2e did you think I meant?  Every Tuesday I will pick one of my favorite monsters from the fully illustrated bestiary included in the 2d edition Gamma World Basic Rules Booklet and convert it to Mutant Future.  Today's monster is...

Arks (Hound Folk)

No. Enc: 1d4
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement: 120' (40)  
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 6
Attacks: 1 (bite or weapon)
Damage:  1d6 or by weapon type
Save:  L4
Morale: 6
Hoard Class: VI

Small packs of Arks roam the wastelands, hunting anything that crosses their path.  They are smart enough to use their ability to control weather to their advantage, tracking their prey by scent through thick fog or forcing travelers to take shelter in the woods from a sudden downpour that came out of nowhere...  It is not uncommon for the first sign of an Ark attack to be the sudden loss of energy that accompanies a vampiric field attack from hiding.  Bipeds beware - Arks love eating humanoid hands above all else and will go to great lengths to attain this delicacy.  Arks have unusually strong Willpower, with an average score of 16!  This makes the Neural Telekinesis ability particularly useful in the paws of these wily predators.

Mutations:  Neural Telekinesis, Control Weather, Vampiric Field

Why is it that the small detail that Arks love to eat humanoid hands makes me want to include them in every game I run, from vanilla fantasy D&D to the Mutant Future?  Can someone give me a hand here?  


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