Monday, August 25, 2014

Mutant Monday

Changing things up a little, I'll be introducing a new robot type.


An early offensive robot, Tanktuars resemble nothing more than Robo-Turrets mounted on a tracked tank chassis. Unlike their stationary bretheren, they have better armor, sensors, and improved offensive weaponry.

Hit Dice: 75
Frame: Armature
Locomotion: Treads
Manipulators: None
Armor: Neovulcanium (AC2)
Sensors: Class VI
Mental Programming: Programming
Accessories: loading mechanisms for its weaponry, internal storage unit full of ammunition.
Weaponry: Tanktuars are armed with a Cannon as their primary weapon and two Rail Gun Support Weapons (Wisdom from the Wastelands #3) for secondary use.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Barbarians of the Aftermath Review

For this review, I'll be covering Jabberwocky Media's Barbarians of the Aftermath.

  • The book pretty much starts off with a way to randomly generate what type of apocalypse occurred, including how long ago it happened.
  • There was a good selection of races or "genotypes" in the game, including all the classics; standard humans, robots, mutant plants, mutant animals, and mutant humans.
  • There is a somewhat useful (if limited) section on PA names.
  • I like how the designers include various rules that can be taken and used piecemeal, allowing a GM to customize their post apocalypse further.
  • While I disliked several of the random table layouts intensely, I have to give notable mention to the Body Part table. It may take up two pages and have wasted space, but associating each table section with human body artwork helps in visualizations. (Sadly, some of the sub-tables here were a bit too limited.)
  • The inclusion of rules for vehicles, vehicle combat, and vehicle modifications.
  • A fair selection of equipment.
  • Riding Mounts, nice, but unfortunately too abstract in execution (needed examples of each type).
  • A decent random adventure generator (it suffers from the poor table layout problem, but is otherwise useful).

  • While I have no likes or dislikes about the general mechanics (as I mentioned in my review of Mutant Future), and I generally don't comment on the layout of products, I found the layout of many of the tables in this book to be less than optimal, too much wasted space making the tables more difficult to navigate as a consequence.
  • While I like the apocalypse generation idea, I felt the execution was a little off in the time frame (i.e. how long ago the apocalypse occurred) portion, giving options that totally take away the post apocalyptic genre feel (mainly the last two options).
  • I also didn't particularly care for the "Sentient Species" table for the apocalypse generation section (determining how many species are present, not what types are present).
  • While there were many "Careers" present here, many of them didn't feel all that appropriate to giving the setting a post apocalyptic feel. Also, the "alternate titles" were often at odds with what the career was listed.
  • Sadly, the "awakened" mutant animal genotype suffers from extremely limited base animal data. Mutant plants suffer from the same problem, to a somewhat lesser degree.
  • I felt no real difference between the standard human and wastelander human genotypes (some mechanical differences, which moved the wastelanders more into mutant territory...making the genotype redundant).
  • Aside from my personal dislike of supernatural entities in post apocalyptic settings (I lean more toward sufficiently advanced technology being indistinguishable from magic, though I'll give a pass to psychic powers), they also felt short-changed, with several obvious options missing from the subtypes (demons/devils for one, and if you're going to have elves "elvar," you might as well throw in dwarves; lastly, if you've got vampires, why not werewolves (or werecreatures in general)).
  • While there are quite a few mutations, the layout and breakdown of the tables for them are so scattered and spread out (even the reference version in the back) as to make the tables almost useless. I feel this stems mainly from the D6 table types (1d6, 2d6, 3d6, etc.) limiting how the designers can form their table, though the physical layout compounds the problem.
  • The abstract usage of Equipment Points instead of a money or barter system. Sorry, I truly hate abstracted systems like this for equipment and treasure, it's not fun murderhoboing or scavenging the wastes for something that only has abstract value.
  • Lack of improvised, "junk" weapons and armor. There's sorta rules for it, but nothing concrete enough to satisfy me.
  • The limited selection of opponents (what is there is fair, a bit more generic than I prefer, but fits with the overall presentation, there just isn't enough).
  • While I generally prefer master reference tables for ease of GM use, the poor layout of tables used in this book doesn't really make them useful.

Overall, I'd have to say that there is some useful stuff here, but for the most part, poor layout decisions took out so much space that could have been better used for more examples and options. This book really only functions as a bare bones idea grab bag than a post apocalyptic RPG. Sadly, it also looks like too much work to really get a game going.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mutant Monday


No. Enc.: 0 (1-2)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 3
Hit Dice: 20
Attacks: 3 or 1 (2 claws, 1 bite or radiation breath)
Damage: 1D4/1D4/3D6 or Class 6 Radiation
Save: L10
Morale: 11
Hoard Class: VIIx3
XP: 6250

Gingkogodzilla is a mutated version of the gingko biloba tree, in the form of a towering 65-100' tall bipedal beast which bears more than a passing resemblance to a tyrannosaurus rex. Its great jaws are lined with sharp thorny teeth and it moves erect on its hind legs. It will attack anything that is man-sized or larger, preferring to attack the largest creature first.

If their attack roll is equal to or greater than 18, a victim is swallowed. A being that is swallowed takes 2d6 hit points of damage per round inside the gingkogodzilla. They are capable of emitting a lethal blast of class 6 radiation and are completely immune to all forms of radiation, and are very hard to injure due to a thick, bark armor covering their entire bodies.

Mutations: Energy Ray (Radiation), Carnivore, Natural Vegetal Weapons, Natural Plant Armor, Reflective Epidermis (radiation)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Mutant Monday

Gamma Yeast

No. Enc.: 1 (0)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 3' (1')
Armor Class: NA, no roll needed
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1
Damage: Class 6 Poison (6D6 damage)
Save: L1
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: None
XP: 65

This animate, viscous mutant yeast (Aureobasidium melanogenum) feeds on animals. It is typically found on or near small bodies of water and looks like dark green pond scum. Gamma Yeast senses movements through subtle vibrations, and will cling to an opponent who steps on it or touches it. Once in contact with a victim, the gamma yeast's dermal poison sap takes effect.

Once covering a victim, gamma yeast will will open a plane shift in 1d6 rounds, taking it and it's victim to another dimension. Because they have no real intelligence as such, the planar doorway stays open the full 6 rounds.

Gamma yeast is impervious to most attacks, but is susceptible to fire. The yest clings in such a way to make scraping it off ineffective. Note that if gamma yeast is burned while it is on a character, the damage from the fire is divided evenly between the yeast and the character.

Mutations: Abnormal Size (giant), Dermal Poison Sap, Plane Shift, Thermal Sensitivity (heat)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Mutant Epoch Review

In this review, I'll be covering Outland Arts awesome "The Mutant Epoch" (though, as I saw somewhere on the net, I'll be dumping "The" from my title references to the game).

  • The artwork, my gawd, the artwork. Even more amazing is the guy writing this game does the artwork as well.
  • Loads of outstanding racial options; Cyborgs, Pure Humans, Clones, Mutant Humans, Beastial Humans, and, of course, Ghost Mutants.
  • While many of the mutant monsters are based on animal stocks, the key thing is that they are often just based on the animal stock, being mutated versions of standard animals.
  • There are still other mutant monsters not directly drawn from animal stocks.
  • Fairly good equipment lists that don't feel like fantasy genre port-overs.
  • Free online resources and supplemental material.
  • A good selection of mutations, broken down into Prime, Creature, Ghost/Latent, Minor, & Flaw categories.
  • The inclusion of Implants.
  • Skills (sorry, I kinda like skill systems).
  • Character History by Caste (while not a "class" system, it does function well to give the character a sort of background focus, without limiting their further development).
  • The appendices; hex & graph paper, paper dice form!, and more.

  • I personally don't care for the Trans-Human or Bioreplica races, though I have no problem with their inclusion.
  • The lack of Robot and Mutant Plant races was disappointing.
  • Likewise, the lack of mutant plants as mutant monsters was disappointing.
  • I felt there was somewhat of a lack of intelligent mutant monster foes, requiring the GM to roll up their own such foes like characters.
  • No Spidergoats :(
  • Gold/silver currency. (As a standard for relating the value of an object, I have no problem with monetary currencies. I'm also not advocating a total barter system, since there's too much fluctuation in valuing objects and services. I'd really prefer a more Fallout style approach where some (generally small & light, limited ocurrance, and hopefully useless for non-entertainment activities*) commodity is used to represent a currency.)
  • I do have to admit, I prefer the somewhat simpler breakdown of mutant powers found in Mutant Future, though I can understand why mutant humans, mutant animals, and mutant plants should have different mutations available (though I think the mental/ghost/latent mutations are more universal), and I have no problem separating out flaw/drawback/disadvantageous mutations from beneficial ones.
  • Lack of improvised, "junk" weapons and armor. While the setting in Mutant Epoch doesn't really reflect a survival-scavenging feel (It's more like murder hobo Excavator (or "adventurer," "explorer," "mercenary," etc.) based exploration and salvage), I can't help but want to see more improvised weapons and armor.
  • Limited setting information. While the basic setting is fairly well covered, I felt there needed to be more on useable locations to springboard from, as well as factions to work with or against.**

* Things like playing games with currency, hobby collection of certain types of currency, or other miscellaneous stuff; as opposed to say, having to use bullets in your firearm to fight, drink water to survive, etc.
** Though the Crossroads Region Gazetteer more than makes up for that, holy rusted ruins that thing is packed.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Mutant Monday

Oasis Assassin

No. Enc.: 1 (1)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: None
Armor Class: 9
Hit Dice: 16+3
Attacks: see below
Damage: see below
Save: None
Morale: None
Hoard Class: XIX (x3)
XP: 5100

A mutant species of Brocchinia reducta, often mistaken for a solitary oasis in the wasteland. The bromeliad appears to be a large area of vegetation surrounding a small pool of sweet scented water. Oasis assassins typically have a maximum radius of 1d4x100 feet, centering around a pool of water measuring 1D6x10 feet in diameter and 1D4x10 feet deep.

The bromeliad has the mutation prey scent, which turns out to be a benefit in attracting animals to the pool. When prey approaches the pool, they discover that the surrounding vegetation is actually spongy and covered with a slippery dermal sap which causes them to slip into the pool. The deep slope to the pool and slippery nature of the sides make it extremely difficult to escape, eventually resulting in most creatures drowning (see Mutant Future, page 38, under Swimming; Also, see Drowning rules in Wisdom from the Wastelands #23).

If slain, the oasis assassin will be found to contain as many gallons of water as one quarter the amount of its hit points.

Mutations: Abnormal Size (gigantism), Prey Scent, Spongy Wood (Creatures of the Wastes), Dermal Slippery Sap

NEW MUTATION (Beneficial Plant Mutation)
Dermal Slippery Sap
The plant’s sap is a lubricant that causes creatures that come in contact with it to make a Saving Throw vs Stun Attacks or DEX ability check with a penalty of -4 to avoid slipping and falling.