Wednesday, May 10, 2017

20 Questions about your fantasy city setting

Came across THIS earlier today. I'll admit, to me it feels like a targeted version of Jeff Rient's classic Twenty Quick Questions for your Campaign Setting, but it does pose some interesting and gameable thoughts.

1. What religion is most prevalent in the city? Who benefits from this/who suffers?
2. Who in the city will reliably buy art pieces and recovered relics from the PC’s? What’s their deal?
3. What is illegal in the city? What’s punishable with jail time, and what’s punishable by death?
4. If you get caught doing crimes, how are you tried? What’s the court system like?
5. What’s the opinion of magic in the city, and is there a place to study it?
6. Who is the richest person in the city? Who are their enemies?
7. What kind of government does the city have? Whose interests do they represent?
8. What’s under the city? Sewers, dungeons, tunnels, aqueducts? What lives in them?
9. What neighbourhoods of the city might the PC’s be barred entry to, based on race/class/status/etc?
10. What’s the terrain like in the city? Is it flat, hilly, are the streets wide or narrow? Does it differ from neighbourhood to neighbourhood?
11. What’s the climate and weather like? Is it temperate, cold, hot, rainy? This should influence both clothing and food available.
12. What’s the architecture of ordinary buildings like? Multi-story, towers, brick, wood, organic materials, basements, attics? Are they easily climbed or broken into?
13. What’s currently in fashion among the rich and middle class? Are there sumptuary laws?
14. Is dueling permitted/encouraged? What laws exist around it? How likely are PC’s to be challenged to a duel on the street?
15. What’s one unique building/landmark/feature the city is most famous for? There should be more than one, but you should have at least one.
16. What are some typical random encounters the PC’s might come across in the streets during the day? At night? You should be able to come up with about 6-10 for each.
17. Who can the PC’s turn to if they break the law or need to escape from town guards? What payment/favours will this person ask for in return?
18. Can you openly wear weapons in the city? If not, who is exempt from this rule?
19. What are some common animals you might see in the streets? Where are animals or beasts not allowed to enter?
20. What can’t be bought in the city, and would need to be smuggled into the city illegally? Who in the city could reliably do this?

Question 1: I'd probably rephrase this to allow for multiple religions, as well as cults, sects, and factions which may play a role in the city's underground. Also, I'd include a question relating to who are the notable religious NPCs.
Question 2: Somewhat obvious here, but I'd be more likely to phrase this for the selling/buying of magic items.
Question 3: While I have no problem with being familiarized with the laws and crimes of the city, the punishment questions are too limited in scope, there are other ways besides jail or execution to deal with crimes.
Question 4: This should probably be rolled into question 3.
Question 5: This is good.
Question 6: Another good question.
Question 7: A note that knowing who the prominent government officials are would be useful here.
Question 8: An awesome question, but I think another question should be (it can easily be moved into question four's spot), "How does the city deal with their dead?"
Question 9: Interesting, but not, I think, a major question.
Question 10: Useful information here, but this should probably be rolled into Question 11.
Question 11: See above.
Question 12: This is always a good bit of information useful to playing around in a city setting. I'd love to find a really good random table to help answer this one.
Question 13: I would add to this a question about the typical dress of city inhabitants. Do they have an unique or identifying article or style of clothing?
Question 14: I would probably modify this to discuss fighting in general, i.e. is bar brawling favored or prohibited, are there gladitorial events or martial tournaments, etc.
Question 15: Another great bit of information that could some random tables (they are out there).
Question 16: Pretty standard, though one should perhaps consider if the encounters vary by neighborhood or area of the city as well as time of day.
Question 17: I think I'd modify this to cover black market/underground economics in general. Knowing who can buy/see/acquire stolen or shady goods, contact for confidential information, get you into/out of places without being noticed, etc.
Question 18: Pretty standard, though I'd probably expand it to mention whether or not certain weapons are prohibited/restricted.
Question 19: This question is something that should probably be answered in the city laws and random encounter questions above.
Question 20: Again, laws and crimes.

Given that these questions are recommended as being used in addition to Jeff's 20 Questions, some of them could probably be eliminated and replaced with others that may or may not be useful. For instance, if we already know who's the richest person in the city (Question 6), a question about how the city's merchants and traders operate would be more useful (are they in a guild, independent operations, traveling salespersons, etc.), not too mention asking who are notable merchants.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Tables and Random Generation Stuff

So I've been seeing quite a bit of posts on random tables lately and thought I'd share some miscellaneous notes and stuff.

Posts about Random Tables

The temptation of random tables

Methods for writing d100 tables

and an older classic

How to write d100 tables

Random Table Goodness
Where possible I've posted links directly to the random table posts, however some sites aren't tagged or labeled (as far as I can tell), and some sites are just so chock full of awesome tables that you might as well just pick a blog post and go.

These are probably the biggest collections of random tables on the blogosphere:

The Dungeon Dozen

Elfmaids & Octopi

Save vs Dragon

I consider these blogs as "go to" sources for random tables of inspiration. There are tons of other blogs out there with random tables, and I've no doubt forgotten a few that I hit up for material, but these are some of the ones that I think have really useful material. Not all of these blogs have a lot of random tables, but the ones that they do have are generally pretty awesome in one way or another. Also, some of these have more tables in their download sections.

Aeons & Augauries

Applied Phantasticality

Blessings of the Dice Gods

Dungeon of Signs

Dyson's Dodecahedron

Goblin Punch

Hack & Slash


I Don't Remember That Move

Jeff's Gameblog



Last Gasp Grimoire

Monsters and Manuals

Planet Algol

Playing D&D with Porn Stars

Roles, Rules, and Rolls

Tales of the Grotesque & Dungeonesque

Telecanter's Receding Rules

Ten Foot Polemic


Wampus Country

There are a lot of automated random generator sites out there, some good, some bad. Here's three sites that I think are worth checking out for automating generators:

Abulafia Random Generators



Thursday, April 13, 2017

Something to think about

What if Dragon Magazine predicted the future? Dragon Magazine #121 posted (1987):
Genndy Tartakovsky posted (2001):

Friday, March 31, 2017

Other Dust Review

This is my review of Sine Nomine's Other Dust RPG. While I generally try to avoid game mechanics coverage, there's some useable and not-so-useable stuff here to consider.

  • Skills. I know not everyone is a fan of skill systems, and I think a lot of the tacked-on skill systems in D&D and clones don't work all that well, but in a modern, sci-fi, or post apocalyptic game a skill system really is needed. The philosophy that, "characters should be able to do anything," while true to a certain degree, does NOT apply to specialized training and skill fields that, no, not everyone can do. In a post apocalyptic setting, having characters (player or non-player) with specialized training and knowledge is almost a major requirement to the setting. Of course, for Other Dust specifically, I'm not entirely sold on the skill selections, but I find that there is never going to be a perfect skill system out there, everyone has different requirements and preferences in the mechanics involved, so this isn't really a detraction.
  • Training Packages. While I didn't care that much for the classes themselves, the inclusion of training packages helps customize the basic classes into a bunch of different variations.
  • Starting Gear table. I love the table with one small little caveat. If it's going to be a d100 table, it should have had 100 entries.
  • Falling and Suffocations rules. Elegantly simple and usable, easily modified for non-metric systems of measurement, though I'd probably make the small change of having suffocation base time as three minutes, not four.
  • Negative Conditions. A simple, useful system, though there are some individual issues.
  • Sustenance rules. An interesting system that is fairly easy to implement and use. Combined with a similarly useful foraging system. May be more or less complex than desired though, tough call.
  • Fairly decent rules for equipment damage and repair. Nothing really ground breaking, but the rules are solid and usable.
  • Creating Your Wasteland. The whole chapter is one of the key draws of Sine Nomine's offerings, an intricately usable sandbox generation system. This material can be ripped for any post apocalyptic game. The only small caveat is the possible need to adjust some of the items that are setting dependent.
  • I'll give some props to the Encumbrance system here, it's quick and usable, though I admit not to my particular preference.
  • While somewhat generic, the Servants & Hirelings material is pretty good stuff.
  • Land and Property. It is great that this kind of system is included, and it is one of the few domain-level play type items seen in a post apocalyptic RPG.
  • Creating Creatures. The Role table is quite useful, though I admit to having mixed feelings on the role breakdowns, some are great basic roles, others just don't seem to quite hit the spot.
  • Beastmen. Mutated animals are always welcome, though there is an EXTREMELY limited base animals selection given.
  • Humans. Other Dust's "Men" monster entry is superior to the 'ripped straight from D&D' approach from Mutant Future.
  • Overall there is a good (if limited) selection of useful and interesting monster opponents, my only problem lies more with their relation to the setting material.
  • The campaign material. While the background/setting specific material isn't my cup of tea, there is a decently detailed and usable sample campaign area.
  • Quick Enclave Architecture Details. While I felt that this should have been in the Creating Your Wasteland chapter and not in the GM resources (even though Creating Your Wasteland IS a huge GM Resource), it is a good tool to have.
  • Overall the GM Resource chapter is pretty useful, and maps and random tables are always welcome.

  • I'm going to be upfront about not liking the setting/background material. It is certainly interesting, consistent, imaginative, and useful. I just can't really warm to it personally. This means that for making the material usable to me requires a bit of work to change the features based on the setting material, not a lot of work, but some work would have to be done.
  • Table of Contents. I'm sorry, but I really, really prefer a Table of Contents that lists more than just chapters. It really needs to include the major sections of each chapter for ease of reference.
  • While there was a fair selection of the useful and good idea of Backgrounds, I felt that many of the labels and the selections were a little off. Definitely missing a "Healer" background (yes, I know there's a "Healer" training package), possibly some others that don't come to mind immediately, I would probably rework some and add in enough additional options to give a nice d20 table to roll on for those who prefer randomly rolling their background. Overall pretty good, but I think I prefer something more like the backgrounds presented in The Mutant Epoch (despite not quite caring for how that system is caste based).
  • Language. A lot of mention goes on into the existence of multiple languages, but no list of languages is included. Sure some might consider that added flavor of the unnecessary variety and go with the assumption of standard Earth languages, but the lack of inclusion of a list of languages really annoys given the constant references to picking other languages and "common Enclave language."
  • Character Class. While I'm totally sold on the inclusion of character classes, I just didn't really get a good feeling about the ones used. I felt like they tried to go for the basic four D&D class equivalents, but missed the mark somehow.
  • Re-rolling Hit Dice upon gaining a new level. I know where this system comes from, I just think it is stupid as hell.
  • I'm on the fence about the barter economy used. I know I said I prefer barter systems (which make sense in post apocalyptic settings) to even more abstract systems, like the one used in Barbarians of the Aftermath, but the same dislike stemming from lack of hard value for treasure holds true here.
  • The mutation system. Not so much the mutations themselves, but the whole bit with System Strain derived from the setting cause for mutations. This is just one of those areas where the setting/background affects game mechanics that I would have to eliminate.
  • Radiation rules. They're appropriate to the setting, but lack the somewhat more useful elegance of Mutant Future's radiation rules.
  • Limited diseases & toxins. Three just really wasn't enough.
  • I found the armor and weapons a bit lacking myself, but it is a fairly easy fix.
  • Quick Religion Generation. I dislike this not because I think it is somehow bad or unusable, but rather because this was a missed chance to have some random tables for creating wacky wasteland cults.
  • Like the Table of Contents, the Index seems a little bare-bones.
  • No Spidergoats.
  • While breaking and fixing equipment rules where pretty good, the rules for building items from scrap felt way too abstracted to really interest me. It's a simple, usable system, just not what I'm looking for.

Overall I feel that Other Dust is a pretty good GM toolkit for generating post apocalyptic campaigns. I admit I don't care for the setting and that dislike means that this would not be my go-to game for post apocalyptic gaming. I really feel that this offering would have worked a lot better designed solely as a GM toolkit full of sandbox generating tables and material than an independent RPG. However, there are also some fairly usable mechanical systems that could be incorporated into other systems, though I'd go with them more on a pick and choose basis than adapting the material whole.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Post Apocalyptic Adventure Title Generator

There's quite a few fantasy adventure title generators out there. but nothing really for post apocalyptic adventures, so I thought I'd whip one up.

Here's some pre-generated titles:
MYZ1: In Search for the Metroplex of the Blast Lords
AH2: Journey to the Armory of the Half-Life Mutazoids
PP3: Against the Gamma Droids
MCC4: Dominion of the Mind Creepers
DW5: To Find the Control Cube
GW6: Thorium Station
MF7: Machine Men of the Walking City
TME8: Quest for the Universal Translator
MA9: Cataclysm in City-State of the Grim Battlebots
PA10: Escape from the Bottle City

[Letters]{Dice~1d100}: [Name]

1. PA
2. MA
3. TME
4. MF
5. GW
6. DW
7. MCC
8. PP
9. AH
10. MYZ

1. In Search for the [Place Chart] of the [Adjective Chart] [Being Chart]
2. Journey to the [Place Chart] of the [Adjective Chart] [Being Chart]
3. Against the [Adjective Chart] [Being Chart]
4. [Place Chart] of the [Adjective Chart] [Being Chart]
5. To Find the [Item Chart]
6. [Adjective Chart] [Place Chart]
7. [Being Chart] of the [Place Chart]
8. [Quest Chart] for the [Item Chart]
9. [Disaster Chart] (in or at) [Place Chart]
10. Escape from (the) [Place Chart]

Disaster Chart
1. Calamity
2. Carnage
3. Catastrophe
4. Cataclysm
5. Collapse
6. Contagion
7. Curse
8. Danger
9. Death
10. Destruction
11. Disaster
12. Drought
13. Epidemic
14. Extermination
15. Famine
16. Fiasco
17. Infection
18. Infestation
19. Invasion
20. Massacre
21. Pestilence
22. Plague
23. Scourge
24. Slaughter
25. Starvation
26. Strife
27. Struggle
28. Tragedy
29. Tribulation
30. Trouble

Quest Chart
1. Quest
2. Search
3. Hunt
4. Race
5. Chase
6. Pursuit

Place Chart
1. Archive
2. Arcology
3. Armory
4. Arsenal
5. Asylum
6. Atlantis
7. Babylon
8. Badlands
9. Barony
10. Barrens
11. Barter Town
12. Base
13. Bastion
14. Beantown
15. Big Apple
16. Big Raggedy
17. Bomb Shelter
18. Bottle City
19. Bunker
20. Chi-Town
21. Citadel
22. City-State
23. Command Center
24. Commonwealth
25. Confederation
26. Dee Cee
27. Depot
28. Desolation
29. Dog Town
30. Domain
31. Dome City
32. Dominion
33. Eden
34. Electric City
35. Elysium
36. Empire
37. Eternal City
38. Factory
39. Fallout Shelter
40. Federation
41. Floating City
42. Flying City
43. Fort
44. Fortress
45. Funky Town
46. Freehold
47. Frogtown
48. Gateway
49. Grass Sea
50. Harm City
51. Haven
52. Hollywood
53. Ice Wastes
54. Island
55. Junktown
56. Kingdom
57. La-La Land
58. Lost City
59. Lost Vegas
60. Metro
61. Metroplex
62. Metropolis
63. Mob Town
64. Monument
65. Motor City
66. Olympus
67. Paradise
68. Preserve
69. Prison
70. Redoubt
71. Refinery
72. Refuge
73. Regime
74. Republic
75. River City
76. Rocket City
77. Ruins
78. Safehold
79. Sanctuary
80. Scorched Earth
81. Scraptown
82. Scrapyard
83. Silicon Valley
84. Silo
85. Sin City
86. Springfield
87. Station
88. Steel City
89. Steelyard
90. Stronghold
91. Surf City
92. Tiretown
93. Underground
94. Union
95. Utopia
96. Vault
97. Walking City
98. Worm Town
99. Zalem
100. Ziggurat

Adjective Chart
1. Air
2. Ancient
3. Apocalypse
4. Armageddon
5. Atomic
6. Bestial
7. Black
8. Blast
9. Blood
10. Blue
11. Brain
12. Bone
13. Brutal
14. Chrome
15. Contaminated
16. Corpse
17. Corrupted
18. Crazed
19. Crimson
20. Damnation
21. Damned
22. Dark
23. Death
24. Deathlands
25. Decadent
26. Deep
27. Degenerate
28. Demented
29. Deranged
30. Depraved
31. Doom
32. Doomsday
33. Dying
34. Fallout
35. Feral
36. Fission
37. Fusion
38. Gamma
39. Gamma Ray
40. Gold
41. Green
42. Grey
43. Grim
44. Half-Life
45. Holocaust
46. Hungry
47. Infected
48. Insane
49. Iron
50. Irradiated
51. Kiloton
52. Last
53. Lunatic
54. Mad
55. Malevolent
56. Maniacal
57. Megaton
58. Mental
59. Metal
60. Mind
61. Nefarious
62. Neutron
63. Nuclear
64. Omega
65. Plutonium
66. Proton
67. Psychic
68. Psychotic
69. Purple
70. Radiation
71. Radioactive
72. Radium
73. Ragnarok
74. Red
75. Rust
76. Sanguine
77. Savage
78. Sea
79. Scarlet
80. Shadow
81. Shady
82. Silent
83. Silver
84. Skull
85. Sky
86. Steel
87. Strontium
88. Tainted
89. Titanium
90. Thought
91. Thorium
92. Toxic
93. Uranium
94. Vicious
95. Vile
96. Waste
97. Wasteland
98. Wild
99. X-Ray
100. Zealous

Being Chart
1. Abominations
2. Acolytes
3. Aliens
4. Alliance
5. Ancients
6. Androids
7. Apes
8. Apostles
9. Artificial Intelligence
10. Assassins
11. Battlebots
12. Beastmen
13. Bioborgs
14. Blood-Drinkers
15. Brood
16. Brotherhood
17. Cannibals
18. Children
19. Clones
20. Coalition
21. Corporation
22. Crawlers
23. Creepers
24. Crusaders
25. Cyborgs
26. Dead
27. Despot
28. Dictator
29. Disciples
30. Dominator
31. Droids
32. Dwellers
33. Elders
34. Eloi
35. Emperor
36. Faithful
37. Fiends
38. Flock
39. Flyers
40. Forebearers
41. Freaks
42. Fuel Baron
43. Gene Splicers
44. God's Army
45. Horde
46. King
47. Kingpin
48. Knights
49. Legion
50. Liege
51. Lizardmen
52. Lords
53. Lurkers
54. Machine Men
55. Masters
56. Mauraders
57. Mecha
58. Metal Men
59. Militia
60. Minutemen
61. Morlocks
62. Mutants
63. Mutazoids
64. Muties
65. Ones
66. Overlord
67. Patriots
68. Pigmen
69. Pirates
70. Plantmen
71. President
72. Protector
73. Psykers
74. Purists
75. Raiders
76. Ratmen
77. Ravagers
78. Riders
79. Ro-borgs
80. Robots
81. Screamers
82. Sentinels
83. Serpentmen
84. Sheriff
85. Skulkers
86. Slavers
87. Soldiers
88. Souls
89. Spawn
90. Stalkers
91. Terrors
92. Things
93. Tripods
94. Tyrant
95. Undying
96. War Mechs
97. Warlord
98. Warmachines
99. Zealots
100. Zombies

Item Chart
1. Airship
2. Antidote
3. Artifacts
4. Atomic Torch
5. Battlesuits
6. BFG
7. Blasters
8. Boom Sticks
9. Bubble Car
10. Cache
11. Chainsword
12. Chariot of the Gods
13. Circuit
14. Clean Air
15. Clean Water
16. Cloaking Device
17. Clone Banks
18. Communicator
19. Computer Chip
20. Control Cube
21. Control Key
22. Cryo Capsules
23. Death Rays
24. Dream Machine
25. Electro-Whips
26. Elixir
27. Energy Lances
28. Far-Caller
29. Far-Signaller
30. Fire Lances
31. Fire Starter
32. Floating Belts
33. Flux Capacitor
34. Flying Saucer
35. Foo Fighters
36. Food Analyzer
37. Food Pellets
38. Food Sanitizer
39. Fuel Cells
40. Gas Ejector
41. Gasoline
42. Genesis Device
43. Guzzoline
44. Healing Sarcophagus
45. Hoard
46. Hoverboard
47. Icy Beam
48. Iron Elephant
49. Land Battleship
50. Landship
51. Laser Sabers
52. Light Rods
53. Medicine
54. Medpak
55. Meal Replicator
56. Metal Steeds
57. Murv
58. Mutagen
59. Neuralyzer
60. Ornithopter
61. Paralysis Rods
62. Pla'aht Device
63. Power Armor
64. Power Bands
65. Power Cells
66. Power Glove
67. Project
68. Protein Packs
69. Proton Pack
70. Psychic Amplifier
71. Psychic Dominator
72. Psychic Nullifier
73. Pure Water
74. Radiation Drugs
75. Ray Guns
76. Reactor
77. Recharging Unit
78. Relics
79. Remedy
80. Rocket Ship
81. Solar Still
82. Sonic Screwdriver
83. Seeds/Seed Packet
84. Shining Armor
85. Silver Suits
86. Skyboat
87. Slugthrowers
88. Sonic Torch
89. Stealth Suits
90. Steel Dragon
91. Steel Pegasus
92. Stimshot
93. Submarine
94. Super Computer
95. Survivor's Cache
96. Treasures
97. Universal Translator
98. Vibroblades
99. Water Filter
100. Wonders

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sea Savages


No. Enc.: 1d6 (3d10)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 60' (20')
          Swim: 90’ (30’)
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d6 or weapon type
Save: L1
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: XXII
XP: 20+

These creatures are the often mutated descendants of the inhabitants of underwater dome cities, military bases, modular habitations, and research stations. They appear as metal-headed humanoids, with dark, rough looking skin, often covered in algae, kelp, barnacles, limpets, mussels, sea stars, seaweed, and sargassum. Deep Divers may be found in and around seas and oceans, rarely venturing too far inland. Fishmen, Giant Octopi, Giant Squid, and monstrous sharks are their natural enemies.

While generally not a threat to land dwelling creatures, they are occasionally found in small hunting or salvage parties which may attack other creatures for food or salvageable material. They are typically armed with a knife and one other weapon. Roll 1d12 to determine what other weapon they have: 1 - Underwater Pistol, 2 - Axe, 3 - Pry Bar, 4 - Grappling Hook, 5 - Harpoon, 6 - Speargun , 7 - Hawaiian Sling, 8 - Trident, 9 - Harpoon Gun, 10 - Polespear, 11 - Powerhead, 12 - Underwater Assault Rifle.

Mutations: 50% chance of mutations, roll 1d6 times on Mutation Table below.


No. Enc.: 1d6 (1d6x10)
Alignment: Varies, see below
Movement: 90' (30')
          Swim: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 8
Hit Dice: 1+2
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d6 or weapon type
Save: L1
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: XXII
XP: 10+

Frogmen are mutant humanoids who primarily live in underwater communities. While generally similar in appearance, with long, flippered feet, large monocular eyes, and strange mouths connected by tube-like growths to large tanks or canisters on their backs or chests, there are many different tribes of Frogmen. Tribes of Frogmen can be identified by their coloration, known coloration includes (alignment in parantheses); black & grey (N), black & red (C), black & yellow (C), black (N), blue & yellow (L), blue (L), dark green (N), grey (C), light green (C), orange (L), pink (L), red & gray (C), red (C), silver (N), and yellow (N). Generally encountered in coastal areas, they can sometimes be found near lakes and large rivers. Pirates, Fishmen, Sharks, and Sea Snakes are their natural enemies.

Groups of Frogmen encountered will generally be of the same tribe. All will be armed with a knife and may have another weapon present (50% chance). Roll 1d12 to determine what other weapon they may have: 1 - Underwater Pistol, 2 - Boarding Axe, 3 - Cutlass, 4 - Grappling Hook, 5 - Harpoon, 6 -Speargun , 7 - Hawaiian Sling, 8 - Trident, 9 - Harpoon Gun, 10 - Polespear, 11 - Powerhead, 12 - Underwater Assault Rifle.

Mutations: 33% chance of mutations, roll 1d4 times on Mutation Table below.

Roll Mutation Roll Mutation
1 Amphibious (NEW) 7 Ink Spray (NEW)
2 Bioluminescence (NEW) 8 Nightvision
3 Body Dehydration (NEW) 9 Slow Mutant
4 Echolocation 10 Swimming Fins (NEW)
5 Gills (NEW) 11 Vision Impairment
6 Increased Caloric Needs 12 Webbed Hands & Feet (NEW)


Amphibious (New; Beneficial Physical Mutation)
A character with this mutation can breathe freely in air or water, but suffers from the need to drink twice as much liquid as normal or risk dehydration.

Bioluminescence (New; Beneficial Physical Mutation)
Creatures with this ability can cause their body, a special organ, or parts of their body to emit light. Roll 1d8 to determine color: 1 - Violet, 2 - Yellow, 3-4 - Green, 5-6 - Blue, 7 - Orange, 8 - Red. Roll 1d6 to determine specific ability:
1. Bioluminescent Cloud Spray. Similar to the ink spray mutation, except this ability sprays out a cloud of bioluminescent particles, which has a similar effect underwater. It reduces visibility and smell to zero for up to 10 minutes in a 20' radius. However, it can only be used once per day due to the high metabolic costs of producing the bioluminescent particles.
2. Bioluminescent Blinding Pattern. Another advanced form of the bioluminescence, which allows the creature to modulate and pulse the bioluminescent photophores in a pattern designed to blind the target creature. The effects and saving throw are the same as Nonlethal Photon Grenade. 3. Bioluminescent Lure. This mutation generates a dangling appendage which glows, making the mutant appear to be another, smaller, creature. Smaller creatures, upon which the mutant feeds, are attracted to the patch, mistaking it for food. Make a saving throw vs stun for creatures to determine if they make this mistake and move closer to the mutant.
4. Whole Body Bioluminescence. The entire body glows, illuminating a 30' radius area. This light will not emit heat, and does not interfere with infravision etc. If the mutant loses consciousness while using this ability, the glow will rapidly fail.
5. Bioluminescent Distraction Pattern. This advanced form of bioluminescence allows the creature to further distract the predator or prey by modulating or pulsing the bioluminescent producing organs in a distracting pattern. Make a saving throw vs stun, failure means a -2 to the victim's to hit rolls.
6. Bioluminescent Hypnosis. The most advanced form of bioluminescent defense, wherein the luminescent patches or photophores are pulsed in a hypnotic pattern. The effects and saving throw are identical to Fragrance Development.

Gills (New; Beneficial Physical Mutation)
Allows the character to breathe normally underwater. In air, they can hold their breath for CONx1 rounds or use a special liquid breathing apparatus. They receive a +2 to save vs the effects of gasses, but are -2 to save vs chemicals in liquid mediums (i.e. an underwater toxin).

Ink Spray (New; Beneficial Physical Mutation)
A character with this mutation can expel a large cloud of a dark ink-like substance that obscures all vision within a 40’ radius (20' underwater). This provides complete cover, but incurs a -4 penalty to attack when within the ink cloud. Above water, the cloud persists in still conditions for 1d3+6 turns and in windy conditions for 1d3+1 turns. Underwater the cloud persists for 1d4+2 turns.

Swimming Fins (New; Beneficial Physical Mutation)
The character has grown fins on the arms, back, and legs. This mutation gives the character an increase of 25% in swimming movement. Note: This mutation is not mermaid-like fins instead of legs

Webbed Hands & Feet (New; Beneficial Physical Mutation)
This mutation gives the character an increase of 25% in swimming movement. It also makes it difficult to use firearms.

Body Dehydration (New; Physical Drawback Mutation)
If a character with this mutation does not periodically immerse their body in water, their skin tends to dry out and desiccate, causing damage to their body until they die. Roll 1d4 to determine level of dehydration:
1. Simple. Can survive out of water for 3d6 hours, takes 1d4 damage per turn after that.
2. Mild. Can survive out of water for 2d4 hours, takes 1d6 damage per turn after that.
3. Severe. Can survive out of water for 1d4 hours, takes 1d8 damage per turn after that.
4. Extreme. Can survive out of water for 1d6 turns, takes 1d10 damage per turn after that.


Liquid Breathing Apparatus. This is either a variant of the Advanced Breathing Appartus which uses a liquid breathing medium, or a water filtration and water supply system for gilled mutants and creatures which allows them to function in air environments.


Wetsuit (AC8)
A garment of foam-like material which provides insulation against the cold of water as well as some minor abrasian resistance. 5 lbs weight.

Dry Suit (AC 7)
A suit designed to insulate the wearer against cold water conditions (usually even colder than conditions where a wetsuit would be worn). Also used as survival suits and hazmat barriers in toxic environments. These suits tend to be fire retardant but are very hot in non-aquatic/arctic environments. 7 lbs weight.

Standard Diving Dress (AC 5)
A specialized diving suit which is used for work on sea beds and ocean floors. It is designed to resist encounters with barnacles and sharp rocks, as well as maintain the diver's body heat. 12 lbs weight.

Shark Suit

Atmospheric Diving Suit

Weapon Damage Weight Cost
Belaying Pin 1d4 1/2 lbs 1 gp
Boarding Axe 1d8 3 lbs 6 gp
Boarding Pike 1d8 6 lbs 4 gp
Cutlass 1d6 2 lbs 7 gp
Grappling Hook 1d4 3 lbs 3 gp
Harpoon 1d4+1 6 lbs 3 gp
Hawaiian Sling 1d8 1 lb 5 gp
Marlinspike 1d4 1/2 lbs 3 gp
Polespear 1d6 3 lbs 2 gp
Powerhead 1d10 5 lbs 17 gp

Harpoon Gun, Net Gun, and Speargun

Belaying Pin. A metal or wooden device consisting of a cylindrical shaft and round handle, used primarily to secure lines on a sailing ship, but often improvised into a small club.

Boarding Axe. A type of axe commonly used for fire fighting, wood felling, and cutting ropes and lines. Similar in appearance to a tomahawk (and several tomahawks began as cut down versions of boarding axes), but with the features of a fire axe.

Boarding Pike. A thrusting spear designed for shipboard use to repel boarding parties. Generally shorter than a land-based pike, at 4-8 feet long.

Cutlass. A short, curved sword used for slashing

Grappling Hook. A device with multiple hooks, generally attached to a rope and used to catch and hold objects at a distance.

Harpoon. A specialized fishing spear with one or two barbs, flues, or toggling hooks designed to stick into fish, whales, and other creatures. Generally thrown while attached to a line.

Hawaiian Sling. An elastic loop of tubing used to project a fishing spear similar to how a bow and arrow operates.

Marlinspike. A metal spike generally used to aid in nautical ropework and line handling, but can be used as an improvised knife.

Polespear. An underwater spear generaly used for fishing and an elastic loop, where the elastic is used similar to a slingshot or atlatl to provide more motive force for the spear.

Powerhead. Also known as a bang stick, this pole weapon which uses a contact mechanism to activate a firearm round against a target. Basically a bullet on the end of a staff.

Weapon Damage Trigger Type Normal Range/Max Range Weight
Handheld Torpedo Launcher * Normal 200 ft/400 ft 80 lbs
Bomb Lance ** Normal 450 ft/900 ft 20 lbs
Harpoon Cannon 10d4 Normal 3000 ft/6000 ft 700 lbs
Underwater Pistol 1d10 Normal 50 ft./100 ft. 2 lbs
Underwater Assault Rifle 1d12 Automatic 150 ft./300 ft. 8.5 lbs
*As per Mini-Missile Launcher
**As per RPG

Bomblance. A specialized harpoon gun which uses explosive harpoons.

Handheld Torpedo Launcher. Underwater version of a mini-missile launcher.

Harpoon Cannon. Generally used on surface ships, this is a specialized cannon which fires a large harpoon and cable.

Ink Grenade. The underwater version of a smoke grenade, but functions as the Ink Spray mutation underwater.

Limpet Mine. A waterproof bomb designed to be screwed onto or magnetically attached to ship hulls. It generally functions as a Satchel Charge D, but does double damage if successfully attached to a ship's hull.

Underwater Pistol. A pistol designed to fire either specialized underwater flechettes or supercavitating bullets.

Underwater Assault Rifle. An assault rifle designed to fire either specialized underwater flechettes or supercavitating bullets.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Out for a Lark

Here's a class idea I wanted to play around with ever since I read the description in Ultima III.

The predecessors of bards and jesters, larks studied Sorcery and were known to pick the odd pocket or loot an unguarded chest. They were trained in the use of all weapons, but only wore cloth armor.

Requirements: None
Prime Requisite: STR + INT
Hit Dice: 1d6
Maximum Level: None

Because of their need of free movement, larks cannot wear armor heavier than padded, and they cannot use shields. They have a need for using diverse weapons, and are able to use any kind.

Lark Level Progression
Experience Level Title Hit Dice (1d6)
0 1 Bumbler 1
2,501 2 Dawdler 2
5,001 3 Caperer 3
10,001 4 Tomfool 4
20,001 5 Fol 5
40,001 6 Disour 6
80,001 7 Bourder 7
160,001 8 Lark 8
310,001 9 Master Lark 9
460,001 10 Master Lark +1 hp only*
610,001 11 Master Lark +2 hp only*
760,001 12 Master Lark +3 hp only*
910,001 13 Master Lark +4 hp only*
1,060,001 14 Master Lark +5 hp only*
1,210,001 15 Master Lark +6 hp only*
1,360,001 16 Master Lark +7 hp only*
1,510,001 17 Master Lark +8 hp only*
1,660,001 18 Master Lark +9 hp only*
1,810,001 19 Master Lark +10 hp only*
1,960,001 20 Master Lark +11 hp only*
* Hit point modifiers from constitution are ignored

Spell Progression and Skills
Class Level Cantrip* 1 2 3 4 Pick Locks Find/Remove Traps Pick Pockets**
1 1 - - - - 17 14 23
2 1 1 - - - 20 17 26
3 2 1 - - - 23 20 29
4 2 2 1 - - 26 23 32
5 2 2 1 - - 29 26 35
6 3 2 1 1 - 32 29 38
7 3 2 2 1 - 35 32 41
8 3 3 2 1 1 38 35 44
9 4 3 2 1 1 41 38 47
10 4 3 2 2 1 44 41 50
11 4 3 3 2 1 47 44 53
12 5 4 3 2 2 50 47 56
13 5 4 3 2 2 53 50 59
14 5 4 3 3 2 56 53 62
15 6 4 4 3 2 59 56 65
16 6 5 4 3 3 62 59 68
17 6 5 4 3 3 65 62 71
18 7 5 4 4 3 68 65 74
19 7 5 5 4 3 71 68 77
20 7 6 5 4 4 74 71 80
*Cantrips are optional, see Unearthed Arcana.
** -5% per each 5 levels the lark is lower than the victim. There is always a 1% chance of failure despite a skill percent above 100%.

Lark Saving Throws
Level Breath Attacks Poison or Death Petrify or Paralyze Wands Spells or Spell-like Devices
1-4 16 14 13 13 14
5-8 14 12 11 11 12
9-12 12 10 9 9 8
13-16 10 8 7 5 6
17+ 8 6 5 4 4

Monday, December 12, 2016

Psychic Swords of the Savage Wastelands

What would a good science fiction game be without funky swords to mess with? I was looking up some thing or other a while back and flipping through pages got reminded about D&D's Intelligent Swords. Looking over the surprisingly mostly "psychic" abilities of these, I wondered why no one really did a version for Mutant Future. Just because I'm ornery, psychic swords are generally found as flashlight-looking or wand-shaped items which project a colored blade of psychic energy. So here we go.

Rolling Up a Psychic Sword
1. Find out if the sword has a special purpose (optional: 1d20).
2. Determine the sword's Intelligence score (1d20).
3. Determine the alignment of the sword (1d20).
4. Find the Primary powers of the sword (if any, d%).
5. Roll for Extraordinary powers (if any, d%).
6. Roll for the sword's Willpower Score (1d20)
7. Determine the Ego of the sword.

1. Special Purpose
A sword will have a special purpose if a roll of 20 on 1d20 is made (the ML may choose to omit this roll, carefully placing all psychic swords, as they are both very powerful and very rare). Any sword with a special purpose will have Intelligence and Willpower scores of 12+1d8, as well as one special purpose.
Special purpose is given to some rare swords by their creator. The following list gives some special purposes which may be used, or the ML may invent others. Only one special purpose may be given to any one psychic sword.
    1. Slay Mutant Humans
    2. Slay Pure Humans
   3. Slay Mutant Animals
    4. Slay Plants
    5. Slay Robots
   6. Defeat Law/Chaos (depends on sword's alignment)

When used for its special purpose, the sword will gain one added ability, according to its alignment.
    Lawful swords will stun a Chaotic opponent for 1d6 rounds upon a hit unless the victim saves vs Stun Attacks.
    Neutral swords will add + 1 to all the user's saving throws.
    Chaotic swords will irradiate a Lawful opponent with Class 1 Radiation upon a hit unless the victim saves vs Radiation.

EXAMPLE: A Lawful sword with a special purpose to slay mutant humans will stun only Chaotic mutant humans, and only if the saving throw is failed.

2. Intelligence
Each intelligent sword has an Intelligence score, one or more Primary powers, possibly Extraordinary powers, and a method of communication.
Trial & Error means that the user of the sword must figure out the powers as if dealing with a Complexity Class 1 technological artifact. Empathy means that the user of the sword will somehow know what the sword's powers are and how to use them.
Die Roll INT Powers Method of Communication
1 None None None
2 3 10% Chance of 1 Primary None
3 4 25% Chance of 1 Primary None
4 5 25% Chance of 1 Primary None
5 6 50% Chance of 1 Primary Trial & Error
6 7 1 Primary Trial & Error
7 8 2 Primary Trial & Error
8 9 3 Primary Trial & Error
9 10 3 Primary Empathy
10 11 3 Primary + 50% Chance of 1 Extraordinary Empathy
11 12 3 Primary + 1 Extraordinary Empathy
12 13 3 Primary + 2 Extraordinary Empathy
13 14 3 Primary + 3 Extraordinary Speech
14 15 4 Primary + 50% Chance of 1 Extraordinary Speech
15 16 4 Primary + 1 Extraordinary Speech
16 17 4 Primary + 50% Chance of 2 Extraordinary (roll % for each chance) Speech
17 18 4 Primary + 2 Extraordinary Telepathy
18 19 4 Primary + 50% Chance of 3 Extraordinary (roll % for each chance) Telepathy
19 20 4 Primary + 3 Extraordinary Telepathy
20 21 4 Primary + 50 Chance of 4 Extraordinary (roll % for each chance) Telepathy

3. Alignment
Determine the alignment and blade color of the psychic sword (roll 1d20):
Die Roll Alignment Blade Color
1 Lawful White
Light Blue
9-10 Neutral Yellow
14 Chaotic Pink

4. Primary Powers
Roll d% to find which Primary powers a sword might have. The number of the Primary powers generally depends on the sword's Intelligence score (see #2 above). Duplicate results should be rolled again.
Dice Roll Primary Power
01-10 Aura Reading
11-20 Dowsing
21-30 ESP
31-40 Levitation
41-50 Machine Channeling
51-59 Psychometry
60-68 Pyschoregeneration
69-77 Resist Fatigue
78-82 Resist Hunger
83-87 Resist Sleep
88-92 Resist Thirst
93-97 Sixth Sense
98-99 Roll twice more on this table
00 Roll three more times on this table

Unless otherwise noted, one Primary power may be used each round, once per round. The user must have the sword in hand and be concentrating on the power in order to use it. Duplicate results should be rolled again unless noted otherwise.

Aura Reading. The user of the sword can read the "auras" of creatures withing 20'. These auras will tell the user the alignment, race, and hit dice/level of the creature, as well as the presence of mental mutations or psionic manifestations.
Dowsing. The sword can detect water of any type up to a range of 60' (unless blocked by gold, lead, or a faraday cage). It will point in the direction of the water.
ESP. The user of the sword may listen to any one living creature's thoughts. The user must concentrate in one direction, and can only "hear" thoughts within 60' (unless blocked by gold, lead, or a faraday cage). The user will understand any thoughts "heard". This power is only usable three times per day.
Levitation. The user of the sword may move up or down in the air without any support. This power does not, however, allow the user to move from side to side. For example, the user could levitate to a ceiling, and then could move sideways by pushing and pulling. Motion up or down is at the rate of 20' per round. The user may carry a normal amount of weight while levitating, possibly another man-sized creature if not in heavy armor. Any creature smaller than man-size can be carried, unless similarly heavily laden. The duration of the levitation is 3 turns.
Machine Channeling. The user of the sword may listen to any one machine's thoughts. The user must concentrate in one direction, and can only "hear" thoughts within 60' (unless blocked by gold, lead, or a faraday cage). The user will understand any thoughts "heard". This power is only usable three times per day.
Psychometry. The user of the sword can, by touching the sword to an object, know the object's history (where it was created, how it has been used, who has owned it, etc.), functional condition of the object, and has double the chance of successfully figuring out how to operate technological artifacts (e.g., a Complexity Class 1 object would have a Base Roll of 50% instead of the normal 35%). The user must concentrate for one turn in order to learn the information on the object. This power may only be used three times per day.
Psychoregeneration. The sword will heal up to 6 points of damage at the rate of 1 hit point per round. This power may only be used three times per day. Duplicate ability rolls will increase the amount of healing and the time required by 6.
Resist Fatigue. Once per day, the user of the sword can ignore the effects of not resting for a number of turns equal to the sword's Willpower. After that period has elapsed, the user of the sword begins to fatigue at the normal rate.
Resist Hunger. Once per day, the user of the sword can ignore the effects of not eating for a number of hours equal to the sword's Willpower. After that period has elapsed, the user of the sword begins to suffer the penalties of not eating at the normal rate.
Resist Sleep. Once per day, the user of the sword can ignore the effects of not sleeping for a number of hours equal to the sword's Willpower. After that period has elapsed, the user of the sword begins to suffer the penalties of not sleeping at the normal rate.
Resist Thirst. Once per day, the user of the sword can ignore the effects of not consuming water for a number of hours equal to the sword's Willpower. After that period has elapsed, the user of the sword begins to suffer the penalties of not drinking at the normal rate.
Sixth Sense. The user of the sword has gained a precognitive ability to recognize danger before it occurs. In combat this gives the user of the sword a +1 to hit in combat, and +3 hp damage per damage die rolled in a successful attack. In addition, the user of the sword is less susceptible to surprise, reducing all surprise checks by 1 (e.g. a creature that normally surprises on a 1-4 rolled on a 1d6 would surprise the user of the sword on a 1-3 rolled on 1d6).

5. Extraordinary Powers
If the psychic sword has an extraordinary power, roll d% on the table below. Duplicate results should be rolled again unless noted otherwise.
As with Primary powers, the user must have the sword in hand be concentrating on the power. Any Extraordinary power is only usable three times per day unless specially noted otherwise.

Dice Roll Extraordinary Power
01-10 Bilocation
11-20 Clairaudience
21-30 Clairvoyance
31-40 Flying
41-50 Invisibility
51-59 Mind over Matter
60-68 Pyrokinesis
69-77 Remote Viewing
78-82 Technopathy
83-87 Telekinesis
88-92 Telepathy
93-97 Teleportation
98-99 Make two more rolls on this table.
00 Make three more rolls on this table.

Bilocation. Once per day, the user of the sword can be in two places at once, up to 20' apart, for a maximum of 3 turns. If one of the user's manifestations is killed, the remaining manifestation must make a saving throw vs Stun Attacks or be stunned for 1d6 rounds.
Clairaudience. This power will allow the user to hear noises (including speech) in an area up to a range of 60' through the ears of a creature in that area (unless blocked by gold, lead, or a faraday cage). The user must concentrate for one turn in order to hear what the creature hears. (Note: This does not grant the ability to understand speech in a language the user does not know.)
Clairvoyance. This power will allow the user to see an area up to 60' away through the eyes of a creature in that area (unless blocked by gold, lead, or a faraday cage). The user must concentrate for one turn in order to "see".
Flying. The user of the sword may fly as if using the Psionic Flight mutation, for a maximum of 3 turns.
Invisibility. The sword has the ability to cloud creature's minds, rending the user of the sword invisible to creatures who fail against a mental attack by the sword. All creatures in 30' must roll a mental test against the sword's Willpower. The effect is canceled against any creature attacked by the user of the sword.
Mind over Matter. Once per day, the user of the sword can ignore the effects of fatigue, hunger, thirst and sleep for a number of hours equal to the sword's Willpower. After that period has elapsed, the user of the sword begins to suffers from these effects at the normal rate.
Pyrokinesis. The user of the sword can project a ball of fire up to 50' away that does 4d6 heat damage to anything it strikes.
Remote Viewing. Similar to the power of Clairvoyance, however, does not supply vision through the eyes of a creature, but rather acts like a third person view of an area up to 60' away. The user must concentrate for one turn in order to "see".
Technopathy. This power will allow the user to perform the powers of the mental mutation Neural Telepathy, but with thinking machines, robots, artificial intelligences, and the like. The machine may refuse to answer.
Telekinesis. The user of the sword may move up to 2,000 pounds of weight by concentration alone. See the mutation Neural Telekinesis for more information.
Telepathy. This power will allow the user to perform the powers of the mental mutation Neural Telepathy. The creature may refuse to answer.
Teleportation. This power allows the user to teleport (as the mental mutation).

6. Willpower
(In a change from the original, "Will score" and Ego get swapped as terms, as Mutant Future uses the Willpower attribute vice Wisdom.) To determine the Willpower of a psychic (non-special purpose) sword, roll 1d20 and consult the following table.
Die Roll WIL
1 None
2 3
3 4
4 5
5 6
6 7
7 8
8 9
9 10
10 11
11 12
12 13
13 14
14 15
15 16
16 17
17 18
18 19
19 20
20 21
The Willpower of the sword is a measure of the force of its personality. A sword with high Intelligence and Willpower may try to control its user. The ML should make a control check at certain times.

Control checks. A psychic sword must be checked to see if it controls its user in five different situations:
    1. When the character first handles the sword.
    2. When the character is wounded to a point where half of her or his original hit points are gone.
    3. When a character acquires any other psychic weapon.
    4. When a character of a different alignment tries to use it.
    5. When a situation arises where the special purpose of the sword (if applicable) can be used.
To make the control check, the ML must find the Ego score of the user and of the sword. When the ego scores are found, the being with the higher total ego score, either the character or sword will control the actions of the character.

7. Ego
A psychic sword's ego score is found by adding the sword's Intelligence, Willpower, and bonuses. The sword gets a bonus of +1 to the ego score for each Extraordinary power it has, plus 1-10 (1d10) points if the sword is of a different alignment than the user.
A character's ego score is found by adding the character's Intelligence and Willpower scores and subtracting any adjustments due to wounds, as follows: if the character is damaged but no more than 1/2 the original hit points, 1-4 (1d4) points are subtracted. If the character has lost more than 1/2 the original hit points, 2-8 (2d4) points are subtracted from the ego score.
Swords in control. I f a sword controls the character, the ML must decide on the actions of the sword in certain situations. These may include:
    Leading the user past other psychic weapons found, or discard other weapons.
    Forcing the user to charge into combat to win glory for itself.
    Forcing the user to surrender to an opponent -- either one more worthy of the sword or one easier to control.
    Forcing the user to spend most of her or his currency on items for the sword (bling accessories, fancy scabbards, ornate storage containers, special protection, etc.)
The control will last until the sword is satisfied or until the situation which caused the control check has passed.