Monday, November 30, 2015

MFL Mutant Football League

The priesthood of the Beast operates The League, an outgrowth of the old National Football League.  Each sect of the priesthood controls a team, recruiting and training players to participate in the spectacle.  The field has been doubled in dimensions and each player rides a death chariot pulled by a small wyrmling.  The rules are complex and changed often, but one constant is that sacrificial victims are released at the line of scrimmage before each down.  The offense tries to hurl or carry victims into the defense's end zone to sacrifice them there while the defense attempts to decapitate the victims before they reach the end zone.  If a decapitation results in the head flying into the offense's end zone, a safety results and the defense scores two points.  Under certain circumstances it is allowed to knock members of the opposing team from their death chariots (different rules apply here for offensive and defensive players).  Any player down on the field is fair game for decapitation.  The games are refereed by a special sect of the priesthood that does not control a team.  New punishments for rules violations are an expected part of the thrill of the league.  

Every Sunday the League games are played from sunup to sundown and viewership is mandatory for all who bear the Mark of the Beast.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mark of the Beast

Revelation 13:16-17

16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

The Number of the Beast is 666 - William Blake
The Number of the Beast is 666 - William Blake

I am moving forward with my End of Days Mutant Future campaign idea.  I hope to start playing sometime in the next few weeks.

The eastern seaboard of the US and the islands of Japan were largely spared from the horrors visited on the rest of the world, and a dark mockery of civilization remains centered on these two areas.  The beast from the sea rules in Tokyo and the beast from the earth rules in New York City.  Within the confines of these two kingdoms the mutagenic dust from the Wormwood meteorite has no effect (suppressed by the powerful telepathic abilities possessed by both beasts).  All mutations within these kingdoms are caused by the beasts instead.  The kingdom of the beast from the earth (hereafter just "the beast") will serve as an evil empire backdrop in my campaign, with the PCs being from a nearby area.

The beast can speak like a dragon; charming or destroying those who hear it and bringing inanimate objects to life simply by uttering words in a terrible voice.

The beast has animated a huge idol of a dragon that the populace worships (and which destroys any who disobey the beast).  All members of the beast's kingdom must bear the mark of the beast (666) on their right hand or their forehead.  The mark causes 1-2 mental mutations and also allows line of sight telepathic communication between those with the mark.  Speaking out loud for anyone except the priesthood is a sin against the beast punishable by death. All communication must be done telepathically through the mark.

 The mark of the beast is normally invisible, but it glows brightly if a mental mutation is used or if the beast has taken direct control of the mark's bearer.  The beast can use its dragon voice once through the mouth of a controlled person (destroying the person utterly in the process).

The beast has created a priesthood which bestows the mark at birth. All aspects of society are tightly controlled by the priesthood, which rigidly enforces the beast's constantly changing laws. The priesthood is selected by the beast from the populace; priests and priestesses are usually selected at puberty.  The initiation ceremony is painful and sometimes fatal; it causes 1-2 physical mutations and 1 mental mutation.  These mutations are viewed as the blessing of the beast (even non-beneficial mutations).  Once initiated into the priesthood all ties with former family are expected to be cut, and the priests live only to carry out the wishes of the beast and to be initiated into mystery after mystery of the beast.  The priesthood has an intricate hierarchy with each level requiring a new initiation into a deeper understanding of the beast.  The beast loves to give conflicting directives to the different levels of initiates, adding to the confusion and terror the priesthood causes.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The End is Near

I am thinking about starting up a new Mutant Future game in the near future. My D&D 4e campaign has been on hiatus since the birth of my son Leo last November and I have been growing less and less inclined to start it back up again. Today some Jehovah's Witnesses came to my door bearing the inspiration I needed, a new direction for a post-apocalyptic campaign. The May 1, 2015 edition of "The Watchtower - Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom" has a killer cover image depicting a few bedraggled survivors making their way across a rubble strewn area while the city burns behind them. Brilliant beams from heaven pierce the thick cloud of black smoke overhead.  The cover asks the question, "Is the end near?

The answer in my game is yes.  I will set my game in the very near future, with the apocalypse loosely as described in the Book of Revelation.  The game will take place after much of the earth is destroyed and while demonic entities rule most of the survivors, before the final battle at Armageddon.     Mutations will be a result of a comet called Wormwood that impacts the earth, poisoning water worldwide with alien mutagenic compounds.

 Some cherry picked descriptions of the apocalypse lifted straight from the Wikipedia Book of Revelation entry including the verse notations):

  • Hail and fire, mingled with blood, are thrown to the earth burning up a third of the trees and green grass. (8:6–7)
  •  Something that resembles a great mountain, burning with fire, falls from the sky and lands in the ocean. It kills a third of the sea creatures and destroys a third of the ships at sea. (8:8–9)
  •  A great star, named Wormwood, falls from heaven and poisons a third of the rivers and springs of water. (8:10–11)
  •  A third of the sun, the moon, and the stars are darkened creating complete darkness for a third of the day and the night. (8:12–13)
  • A "star" falls from the sky (9:1).This "star" is given "the key to the bottomless pit" (9:1). The "star" then opens the bottomless pit. When this happens, "smoke [rises] from [the Abyss] like smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky [are] darkened by the smoke from the Abyss" (9:2).  From out of the smoke, locusts who are "given power like that of scorpions of the earth" (9:3), who are commanded not to harm anyone or anything except for people who were not given the "seal of God" on their foreheads (from chapter 7) (9:4). The "locusts" are described as having a human appearance (faces and hair) but with lion's teeth, and wearing "breastplates of iron"; the sound of their wings resembles "the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle" (9:7–9).
  • The four angels bound to the great river Euphrates are released to prepare two hundred million horsemen. These armies kill a third of mankind by plagues of fire, smoke, and brimstone. (9:13–21)
  • A great, fiery red, seven-headed dragon drags a third of the stars of heaven with his tail, and throws them to the earth. (12:3–4). 
  • A seven-headed leopard-like beast emerges from the sea, having one mortally wounded head that is then healed. The Dragon grants him power and authority for forty-two months. (13:1–5)
  • Another beast appears, but from the earth, having two horns like a lamb and speaking like a dragon. He directs people to make an image of the beast, breathing life into it, and forcing all people to bear "the mark of the Beast" 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

15 Robot Features - Alphabetical

15 Robot Features - Alphabetical

Advanced Alien Alloy: An extremely rare material was used to fabricate the outer layers of the robot.  +2 to Constitution, +2 Bonus to AC, ½ damage from cold or heat.
Level 2: Firmware upgrade takes advantage of the alloy’s unique properties to extrude spikes when a current is applied.  All melee attacks add +4d6 spike damage to their normal damage.
Level 3: An expensive radiation curing process allows the metal to become flexible, adding +2 to Dexterity (double normal GP cost to level up this feature to this level).

Blades:  +2 to Strength.  Pop-out blades can be hidden in the durndest places (to be determined by the player).  Roll 1d6:
1: two melee attacks for 2d8 damage
2-4: two melee attacks for 2d10 damage
5: two melee attacks for 2d12 damage
6: four melee attacks for 2d6 damage
Level 2: The blades are energized, doing double damage.
Level 3: Blades can be launched as a ranged attack with a range of 50’.  

Catbot: +1 to Strength and Dexterity.  Inspired by the old Terran wild cats, this sleek body modification doubles movement rate and enables pounces of up to 100’.  Three melee attacks (claw/claw/bite) for 2d4/2d4/2d10 damage.  When pouncing, a single melee attack is allowed for 6d10 damage.
Level 2:  An add-on vocal modulator recreates the famous lion’s roar in the form of a sonic attack.  50’ cone range, Willpower attack – 3d6 damage and temporary deafness for 1d4 rounds.  If this attack does more than 12 damage it knocks the target to the ground.

Chains: The robots torso is wrapped in motorized chains that can be used to assist in locomotion, in defense or as a choking attack.  Movement rate is increased by 50%, +2 bonus to AC, and a Dexterity attack with range of 15’ can be made to to do 3d6 constricting damage and hold the target motionless.  Held targets automatically take 3d6 damage each round and up to three targets can be held at once.  A held target can attempt a Strength attack to break free instead of performing any other actions on its turn.
Level 2: Hardware Upgrade: +1 to Strength, +1 to Dexterity, constricting damage is now 4d6 each round.

Dozer: +2 to Strength.  Scoop attachments and hydraulic lifters enable the Dozer to lift and move up to 2000 pounds.  
Level 2: Software update allows the scoop to be used defensively.  +2 bonus to AC.

Elegant: +2 to Dexterity and Charisma.  Sleek lines and graceful movements make onlookers forget that the possessor of this feature is a robot.  
Level 2: Ballet Flurry: Three graceful Dexterity attacks per round for 2d12 damage.

Multi-Purpose Bot:  +1 to Strength, Dexterity and Intelligence.  Featuring multiple arms and tentacles, fine manipulators and heavy graspers, wheels and legs, this model can be programmed out of the factory for hundreds of different jobs.  The Multi-Purpose Bot should receive a bonus determined by the GM when attempting tasks that can normally only be performed by a trained professional (open heart surgery, for example).  

Multi-Section Design:  The body of the robot can come apart into several independent sections.  The hands and head are detachable and can fly using embedded micro-repulsor beams.  Each has audio and video inputs and can be remotely controlled to a range of 1000’.  A detached hand can manipulate objects weighing up to 15 pounds.  The head has two tentacles that dangle from it which are used to connect the head to the body, and which also serve as manipulators when the head is detached.  These tentacles can lift up to 30 pounds.  The main positronic brain of the robot is located in the torso.  It is capable of processing input from both hands and the head while simultaneously directing the movement of the main body.  
Level 2:  This feature grants the ability to make attacks with both hands simultaneously at no penalty.

Peacemakers: +1 to Dexterity. Wrist mounted energy blasters, Peacemakers are widely used throughout the galaxy because of their reputation for reliability in extreme conditions.  Two ranged attacks for 5d6 damage each.  The Peacemaker Energy Cell is the industry standard and has a lifetime guarantee (each cell good for 100 years of continuous firing).
Level 2: Software Hack: Overriding the factory safety settings ramps up the damage to 10d6 each.  On any attack roll of a natural 1, the Peacemaker overheats causing 10d6 damage to its wielder.
Level 3: Peacemaker Bomb Hack: As a last resort the Peacemaker Energy Cell can be tampered with in a specific way to create a time bomb with up to a 24 hour delay.  The energy cell explodes in a small nuclear reaction, completely destroying organic life forms within 1d6 x 100’ of the blast and doing significant structural damage as well.  The explosion will blind anyone looking directly at it without eye protection.

Reflective Armor:  +1 to Dexterity.  This military upgrade is an integrated automated reflector system that sends incoming fire back to its source.  It only works on energy and explosive weapons (projectile weapons receive +2 to each damage die) but it allows the robot to make a simultaneous ranged attack against the first opponent to attack it during each round.  If this simultaneous attack hits, it reflects the opponent’s attack and does ½ the regular damage of the reflected attack to the opponent.

Rocket Eyes:  The eyes of the robot can detach and fly up to 100 MPH propelled by miniature rockets.  They can be controlled independently and transmit visual data back to the robot with a communication range of 2 miles and 2 hours energy charge.
Level 2: +2 to Dexterity.  This hardware upgrade and firmware update outfits each eye with a laser attack.  Each eye can make a ranged attack independently of the other each round.  The laser has a range of 100’ and does 5d6 damage.
Level 3: Cloaking devices for the eyes enable them to turn invisible at will.  

Space Flight: This robot is capable of flight with a maximum speed in a planet’s atmosphere of 800 MPH and capable of continuous acceleration to much greater speeds in outer space.  For small scale purposes the robot’s movement rate is 240’ with poor maneuverability.  
Level 2: +1 Intelligence, +1 Dexterity.  This hardware and software update allows for much better close-quarters maneuvering.  The robot can hover in place and perform difficult aerial stunts.  A melee attack made while flying does double damage with rocket power behind it.  In addition, better navigational computation allows for inter-stellar travel in half the time it took before.

Spiderbot: Most robot making civilizations evolved variations of the spiderbot independently across the universe.  Many legged metal monsters are a familiar sight no matter where the inter-stellar traveller goes.  Grants the ability to climb at full speed up walls and across ceilings.  Extra limbs are also extremely useful in holding off attackers; this feature grants a +2 bonus to AC and +1 to Dexterity.
Level 2:  Battle Spider Modifications add a vicious bite melee attack for 3d12 damage and a custom venom: (roll 1d4)  Save vs. Poison or suffer the following effect:
1.  Paralyzed for 2d4 rounds
2.  Permanent Insanity (Intelligence and Willpower reduced to 4)
3.  False Death – the target appears dead to most medical exams but can be revived by the spiderbot for up to 2d4 days after the poisoning, at which time the target truly dies.
4.  Truth and Suggestibility Serum: The target must tell the truth, and anyone can make a Willpower attack against the target to make them carry out a verbal suggestion.  This can include suggested actions that directly harm the target.

Translator Module: +2 to Intelligence. This combines a constantly updated database of the known languages of the universe with a predictive algorithm to allow for even previously unencountered languages to be translated.  The robot can understand and speak any language.  Codes and secret messages can be translated if an intelligence attack against the intelligence of the creator of the message is successful.  

Unique Energy Core:  A strange energy source powers this robot.  It could be of alien or magical origin, it could be from the future... +2 to Constitution and +25% Movement Rate.  Unarmed melee attacks do 2d8 damage.
Level 2: Hardware Modification: The energy core is harnessed to provide an energy blast ranged attack that does 6d8 damage (100’ range).


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