Friday, April 5, 2019

Random Witch's Hut

To celebrate getting back my hard drive data, here's a new set of random tables.

Random Witch’s Hut

1 Swamp
2 Fen
3 Bog
4 Marsh
5 Clearing in a Dark Forest
6 Dark, Depressing Alley in the Slums
7 Small Hill in Forest
8 Giant Briar Thicket
9 Beside a Spring or Waterfall (50% chance either)
10 Graveyard or Cemetery
11 Isolated Island
12 Dung Heap

1 Organic (roll 1d8: 1) Giant Mushroom, 2) Giant Tree Stump, 3) Giant Pumpkin, 4) Treehouse in Giant Tree, 5) Trunk of Giant Tree, 6) Giant Red Apple, 7) Giant Beanstalk, 8) Giant Watermelon)
2 Wooden Hut on Stilts (roll 1d4 for type: 1) Octagonal, 2) Hexagonal, 3) Rectangular, 4) Pentagonal)
3 Wooden Hut (type as above) on Animal Legs (1d6: 1) Crab Legs, 2) Spider Legs, 3) Grasshopper Legs, 4) Chicken Legs (roll 1d4 to determine number of legs), 5) Draconic Legs 6) Tree Limb Legs)
4 Gingerbread (or Confection/Candy) House
5 Round Stone Hut
6 Gothic Mansion (50% chance ‘haunted house’)
8 Sod House
9 Iron Orrery
10 Watermill or Windmill (1 in 6 chance of windmill)
11 Thatched Cottage
12 Humongous, multi-story Shoe or Boot

1 Witch’s Hat-shaped Roof
2 Smoking Chimney
3 Bone Fence or Creepy Wrought-Iron Fence (50% chance either)
4 Bridge Access to Hut (roll 1d4: 1) Arched Stone Bridge (50% chance moss, ivy, or mold-covered), 2) Wooden Causeway, 3) Rope Bridge, 4) Fallen Log)
5 Creepy Windchimes
6 Giant Device in Yard (roll 1d6: 1) Loom, 2) Barbecue Spit, 3) Cauldron, 4) Spinning Wheel, 5) Still, 6) Mortar & Pestle)
7 Flaming Braziers in Yard (50% chance off-colored fire; purple, green, crimson, etc.)
8 Decorated with Skulls & Bones (Animal, Monster, or Human) or Tusks & Fangs (50% either)
9 Clothesline with Drying Witch Clothes
10 Freaky Lanterns light path to Hut (1d8: 1) Paper Lanterns, 2) Stone Lanterns, 3) Tiki Torches, 4) Jack-o’-Lanterns, 5) Skull Lanterns, 6) Mushroom Lanterns, 7) Hanging Lanterns, 8) Flying Lanterns)
11 Scarecrow in Yard
12 Many Stone Statues in Yard
13 Carnivorous Plant Garden
14 Large Cage in Yard (roll 1d4 to determine construction: 1) Wood, 2) Iron, 3) Bone, 4) Dule Tree with Hanging Cages)
15 Herb Garden or Pumpkin Patch (50% chance either)
16 Unusual Number of Animals in Yard (roll 1d8) 1) Toads, 2) Rats, 3) Ravens/Crows, 4) Black Cats, 5) Owls, 6) Bats, 7) Salamanders, 8) Black Goats)
17 Mushroom Circle in Yard
18 Livestock (roll 1d4: 1) Scrawny Cow, 2) Talking Pigs, 3) Headless Chickens, 4) Geese)
19 Covered Well
20 Sacrificial Stone Altar

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Random Scavenged Items "As Seen on TV"

Just an odd idea I had for a post apocalyptic scavenge table.

01. 3 Way Poncho
02. 5 Second Fix
03. Allstar Innovations True Touch Deshedding Glove
04. BeActive Brace
05. Better Marriage Blanket
06. Big Vision Glasses
07. Bling String
08. Booty Pop
09. Bowl Brite
10. Box of OxiClean
11. BraBABY
12. Broccoli Wad
13. by.RHO Screen Repair Kit
14. Car Cane
15. Cardio Jump
16. Chillow
17. Chinpilla
18. Citi Kitty
19. Clean Reach
20. DrainWig
21. Dump Dinners
22. Egg Genie
23. EGGstractor
24. Emson Bacon Wave
25. EZ Moves Furniture Mover
26. Fanny Bank
27. Fasta Pasta
28. Fat Magnet
29. Finishing Touch Flawless Women's Painless Hair Remover
30. Fir-Real Sauna
31. Flex Seal
32. Flowbee
33. Forearm Forklift
34. FURminator
35. Genie Bra
36. GoGo Pillow
37. GoPilot Portable Urinal
38. Groomaroo Pet Trimmer
39. Hair Bean
40. Hawaii Chair
41. HD Vision Night Wraparounds
42. Heeltastic
43. Hercules Hook
44. Hot Huez Hair Chalk
45. Inflatable Buffet
46. Instant Arm Lift
47. InStyler
48. Light Up Links
49. Long Reach Comfort Wipe
50. Magic Mesh
51. Meatball Magic
52. Miracle Blade Set*
53. Neck Magic Air Cushion
54. Neckline Slimmer
55. NutriBullet
56. One Touch Can Opener
57. Ove Glove
58. PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag
59. Pajama Jeans
60. PedEgg
61. Perfect Meatloaf Pan
62. Perfect Polly
63. Pocket Hose
64. Poo Trap
65. Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray
66. Potato Express
67. Potty Putter
68. Pressure Pro Pressure Cooker
69. Red Copper Square Pan
70. Rejuvenique Mask
71. Rodent Sheriff
72. Ronco Food Dehydrator
73. Sauna Pants
74. Schticky
75. Scrub Daddy Sponge
76. Shake Weight
77. Shamwow
78. Siamese Slanket
79. Slap Chop
80. Slobstopper
81. Slumber Sleeve
82. Snuggie
83. Sticky Buddy
84. Stone Wave Micro Cooker
85. T-Rex Trophy Wall Sculpture
86. Talking TP
87. Teddy Tank
88. The Tiddy Bear
89. Topist Angry Mama Microwave Steam Cleaner
90. TubShroom
91. Turbi Twist
92. Turbo Snake
93. TV Free-Way
94. UroClub
95. Veggetti
96. Vidalia Chop Wizard
97. Wax Vac
98. Wipe New
99. Wonder Hanger
00. Wonder Wallet

*Miracle Bade Set consists of two slicers, one carving knife, one rock and chef, one chop and scoop, one filet knife, one cheese knife, four steak knives, one pairing knife, one pair of kitchen shears, a block, and four additional steak knives packaged separately.)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Review Showdown: Mutant Crawl Classics vs Umerican Survival Guide

For this review, I thought I'd pit Goodman Games' Mutant Crawl Classics up against Shield of Faith Studios' Umerican Survival Guide. Both RPGs utilize the Dungeon Crawl Classics system for a post apocalyptic setting.
Caveat #1: For me, Umerican Survival Guide wins any sort of contest between these two offerings. This is MOSTLY because the setting and game are what I'm looking for in a PARPG. I only say mostly, because, as the review will show, USG just has more stuff that I like included than MCC does.
Caveat #2: I'll be upfront in not being sold on the game mechanics of DCC. While there are some interesting ideas, there are too many mechanics that I just don't care for. That being said, I don't hold it against either offering.
Caveat #3: It's interesting that both of these offerings have a nearly equal page count, yet a huge difference in the amount of material you get.


From Goodman Games, this PARPG love letter to Gamma World and Metamorphosis Alpha comes in at 282 pages (PDF).

Good, evocative artwork that helps to illustrate the setting. Not all the pieces were interesting, and I have to admit I don't care for the style of some of the artists, but that's personal preference, so not a big detraction.
There is a little bit of stuff on languages, but presented in such a way that you really have to do the work in dealing with what languages exist.
Yay! There's a bestiary (even a bit more since mechanical foes are seperated into their own section) and it even includes Spider-Goats! I could wish for a bigger selection, but it does a fair job. I like the Carapod (spider-goat), Cactea Rex, Grasser (a mount), Morticon-66 (though this and the Scavok-69 should have properly been included with the other mechanical beings...and yes the Morticon-66 is an obvious reference to Necron 99 from Ralph Bakshi's Wizards), Piranha Bats, Screamers, and Yvox.  I admit to being a little confused as why mutant insects are "devils" when they're also a variant of manimal. Some of the entries, such as Byte-Mon, Changelings (Mimics with a name change...back to fantasy games with you), Data Ghosts, Gopher-Men, Pyrosomes, Quantum Cats, Silane Serpents (which seem like a poor man's Sand Worm conversion), Smart Mud, and Tetravalents felt like fairly weak choices.
Mechanical beings, including androids, cyborgs, AIs, robots, and holograms are given pretty decent coverage.
An actual, honest to goodness Table of Contents, with the caveat that a couple of chapters got shafted (Archaic Alignments and Bestiary A.D. are only Chapter listings, with no entries for them). This is likely because of the artwork used to "spice up" the TOC pages, but unfortunately this starts to fall into the 'detracting artwork' usage that I don't care for (it is an interesting attempt, but since it negatively effects the usage of the TOC, I'd rather not have it present).
There's a good selection of technological artifacts to play with.
For what this game does, it is well laid out with two columns used to good effect.
There's a sample adventure included to help you get started.
The classes have level titles. I always liked level titles, since their usage as a sort of ranking system seems to make sense in an in-game aspect.

Archaic Alignments. I really want to like this faction-based alternative to alignment, but between the limited selection and feeling that it really doesn't add much to the game, I'm on the fence about bothering with it.
The map is kind of iffy for me as well, it looks like there's some interesting geographical features present, but the terrain representation color pallette rubs me the wrong way and decreases the utility of the map.
Patron AIs. For a technologically based magic system this seemed really limited. The various Patron AIs are pretty interesting though.

Yes, I don't really care for the basic fantasy with technology setting, especially since it seems somewhat poorly implemented here. I'm not sure if I can clarify how I find the setting to be off-putting, but we'll see.
Zero Level Occupations. I really, really, really felt that (due to the setting design) this was the single most weakest aspect of MCC. TWO options, and fairly boring ones at that.
Classes. Yup we see here Race-as-Class :( I do have to admit that the deliberate breakdown reflects a PA approach to B/X D&D with four human classes and three racial classes...which despite my dislike of Race-as-Class I actually liked for the most part as it covers fighter, magic-user, cleric, and thief and includes mutant humans, mutant animals, AND mutant plants. I understand the lack of mechanical races as design intent, but am saddened by it.
Manimal & Plantient Sub-Types. I like that the tables where included, however, I feel the implementation was mediocre. Just presenting (fairly limited) lists with no mechanical differentiation doesn't really make the grade in what I'm looking for, combined with the limited mutation powers (covered later), I don't really feel like manimals or plantients are really viable as playable options.
Confusing currency system. At many points we're told that barter is the basis of currency, yet there are references to 'trinkets' ("small, otherwise worthless pieces of duralloy, plasteel, and permaglass") and Creds, with no real explanation or expansions given.
The currency system then brings us to equipment. In addition to the limited starting equipment of professions, we are only given a small table (half a page) of additional beginning equipment. No other equipment is really listed, which means that the prospective judge has to create their own stuff. This also detracts from the setting (putting it less as a medieval fantasy with tech than a stone-age fantasy with tech) by not giving little details (like foods, drink, etc.) that help flesh out the setting..there is some of this but it's so limited as to add very little.
Mutations. There is a fair offering of different mutation powers and defects. Unfortunately I feel the decisision to tie the system into DCC's magic mechanics actually detracts from the point of having mutant powers.
No skill system.
HUGE lack of survival mechanics. Even the saving throws aren't really useful. I also find the Radburn/Glowburn mechanic to be kind of take damage from radiation, but can carry around radioactive stuff to power your powers. That's pretty counter-intuitive.

Yeah, once you really get down to it, for it's size, there's really not much here other than some very basic stuff to create characters for this game. It really lacks GM aids and other features which would make it a full game.

Shield of Faith Studios brings us Reid San Felippo's gonzo 288 page post apocalyptic supplement for DCC.

As with MCC, the Umerican Survival Guide has some good supporting artwork. Sure there's a few less than good pieces of art, but the only real downside is the repeat use of some of the art.
One of the best actual Table of Contents of the PARPGs I've reviewed to date. THIS is how to do an RPG TOC folks.
The setting is something I think I'd want to play in, though I'd naturally make my own changes and tweaks. The best part about the presentation of the setting is that the author focuses on the basics of life. This section of the book is one of the most useful and well implemented sections I've seen, with lots of little details presented that really bring the setting to life. A slight technical issue with the lack of refence to the related survival mechanics which means you have to do a bit of searching to find them, but they are there.
Here is a currency system for the post apocalypse that is usable. It's broken down into different commodities (with more specific examples to help define each unit of currency) and how they compare in value to each other. My only caveat is the lack of inclusion of "pure water" as a currency (I'd personally lodge them into the electrum piece equivalent for value).
This has a darn good equipment section, with some quite interesting armor and weapon mechanics.
Vehicles and Vehicle Combat Rules! This section litterally rules, I'm even thinking of adopting this to be my go to rules for Vehicular Combat (though I'd probably tweak some areas).
Survival Mechanics. They're included, somewhat rules-lite, but at least they're there and implemented.
While I'd prefer a 100-entry offering, the Umerican Random Occupation table is pretty dang good.
Random Junk Tables. A selection of random junk tables broken down into different types of items. Yes, I'd like more entries and maybe some more categories, but this does a better than servicable job, and I'd rate it as better than one single d100 table for random junk.
GM utilities and advice. There's a lot of good stuff here, some of it scattered through various areas of the book, though there is a GM section. The only thing I'd recommend is maybe tacking Other Dust's GM tools onto this to help create things (though there's some CUBM articles of use in this area).
Gazeteer. While I think there was a bit too much focus on the Citadel of Scrap, the overview of the different areas of the setting was darn good, enough to be usuable, but still let you get more information from CUBM.
There's more than a few factions presented throughout the book which really helps the setting.

Sadly, I'm on the fence about the classes of the USG. On one hand, there's a good variety of classes (a dozen classes are included), which fill my HAVM requirements for the most part. On the downside, the Mutant Race-as-Class doesn't make a real distinction between mutant animals, mutant humans, mutant plants, and mutant aggregates (that would be, stones, etc.) which is really a bummer. The inclusion of mutant badgers really underscores this area of lack. Compared to MCC, the Bestial, Botanical, and Aggregate Subtables really differentiate between differing species, though the offerings are somewhat limited. While the cleric, warrior, and wizard classes are pretty much straight from DCC, modified to reflect the PA setting, the scavenger, petrol head, and technologist classes really bring a lot to the setting. The Race-as-Class Cyborg, Robot, and Gray are welcome inclusions. I'm a bit on the fence about the Feral Urchin though.
Overall, there seemed to be a limited number of mutations, though they were implemented quite well.
Gods and Patrons. There's some pretty good stuff here, I'd say I'd be more inclined to tweak it than use it outright though.

No bestiary. I'm going to be blunt and admit I'd rather that the sections of the Citadel of Scrap were dumped (and moved to an issue of Crawling Under a Broken Moon), and the monsters from CUBM were incorporated into this book and expanded instead.
No maps. (Caveat: Reid San Filippo said that the world map is coming later and wasn't included for a reason.) Both the lack of world map, and (since the focus on this book is the Citadel of Scrap) a lack of map of the Citadel is really disappointing.
While overall the equipment is well done, I felt that there was a lack of high-tech artifacts of the ancients. MCC does this a bit better, I think.
Lack of languages. While there is some brief mention of languages under a few of the classes, that's it.

Despite being designed as a supplement to DCC, and not a stand-alone game, the Umerican Survival Guide feels more complete overall than MCC.

The Umerican Survival Guide is just packed with more useful material for a post apocalyptic game overall, in roughly the same amount of pages. The biggest downfall of the USG is the lack of bestiary, this is one of the few areas where Mutant Crawl Classics has an advantage (I'd also say that the Technological Artifacts are the other main advantage of MCC over USG).  Both of these games have additional supplements out there, but the Crawling Under a Broken Moon fanzine is something I'd rate above having various adventure only supplements of MCC.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Post Apocalyptic RPG Review Guide

After having done a few reviews of various Post Apocalyptic Role Playing Games (PARPGs), I figured I keep repeating the same basic likes and dislikes about the games. I thought I should probably codify my basic list of features that I'm looking for in order to save having to rephrase the same things over and over again. I've also been debating including a rating system (probably a 1-20 scale so I can use an illustration of D20 with the rating number) for the games, based on how many like points vs dislike points the game accrues. I'm iffy on this because these reviews are mostly about what I like or dislike about the games, so it would really be a subjective rating.


    For me, the artwork, good or bad, has to support the setting and spark the imagination. A good cover is a great reason for me to even look at them game, whereas a minimalist cover is off-setting. I'm not going to hold it against an indie game that has to use cheap or no artwork because $, but no real bonus points either. Excessive artwork that starts to intrude on the page layout (or jack up the price of the product) is worse than no artwork. I don't mind big illustrations, even full page spreads, but fancy border art, background images, and other flourishes that detract from usage are a no-go.

Basic Setting
    This boils down to what kind of post apocalyptic game the setting is. I prefer a more Fallout/Mad Max/After the Bomb approach than the fantasy after an apocalypse, with technological items instead of magic items approach.

    Not Race-as-Class, but completely independent classes/occupations. Background systems are good options instead, but make a better bonus to the class options.

Currency System
    I prefer a good, post apocalyptic variant system of currency in my games. Fallout's Bottlecaps, Rad-Hack's Slugs, or Umerica's currency system are all good in my opinion. From there we get to a graded system of  currencies that I prefer: Abstract < Barter < Credits < Gold/Silver Coinage < Made Up Currencies (Darwin World's Corium Pieces, Gamma World's Domars, etc.) < PA Currency

    Got to have equipment tables with a decent amount of options (and prices). Random Starting Equipment tables are a bonus on top of that. For real bonus points there are two things: Improvised scavenged weapons, armor, and equipment, and equipment breakdown rules.

    These could be enemies, encounters, adversaries, etc. I want two things, a good post-apocalyptic feel (poorly done fantasy rip-offs need not apply), and there has to be a decent selection. 100 monsters is a fair offering, 200 is a good offering, more than 500 might be a bit too much. On including basic animals, I have to admit that I'm on the fence. As a base for mutated versions, they should probably be included. For basic monsters, I'd rather see that post-apocalyptic feel. I also like a good selection (more than half a dozen; 20-100 would be best) of robot enemies and plant enemies. There are also certain basic post apocalyptic monsters that I like to see, things like morlocks, unusually sized rodents, jackalopes, spidergoats, radioactive scorpions, mutant (or robotic) riding beasts, psychic masterminds, and even techno-undead (think the Y-17 Trauma Harness or Ghouls from Fallout).

    Not all powers have to be mutations; psychic powers, cyborg implants, robot features, etc. However, I like to have a good selection of what is offered. 20-30 or so offerings is really low end for these. 100 mutations is much better. 100 or more of each type of power is bonus points.

    I like a nice spread on what I call the HAVM Option. Human, Animal, Vegetable, and Mechanical. A good PARPG should have pure humans, mutant humans, mutant animals, mutant plants, and robots/androids/cyborgs. There are some additional bonus point races that I would consider, such as clones, holograms, "ghost" mutants (creatures with hidden mutations...usually psychic powers), mutants that pass as pure humans (or try to), trans-humans, and possibly aliens.

Random Junk Tables
    At least 100 entries is cool. Multiple tables, especially if they're broken down in some useful way (i.e. by location or by equipment type) is bonus points.

Skill System
    I like having skill systems in my games.

Survival Mechanics
    Starvation, Dehydration, Radiation Poisoning (or mutating), Fatigue, Encumbrance, Healing, Poison, and Disease are pretty much my minimal requirements for survival rules. Sleep, Suffocation/Drowning, Heat & Cold, Insanity, and Environmental Effects add bonus points. Technically, I should include drugs/chems and intoxication rules, but I generally leave those in with the equipment/treasure section of the game.


Cool Character Sheet
    There are a lot of great designs for character sheets out there. Then there are some that don't quite hit the mark.

Domain Level Play
    Maybe this is just settlement survival/improvement, or maybe it's actual rules for controlling territory, but rules for this stuff is serious bonus points. Sure a good PARPG should start at the survival level, but from there it should move into exploration and domain level play.

Factions (Cryptic Alliances)
    Probably the best thing from Gamma World was the inclusion of different factions with different goals, membership, and features. This helps cement the setting and makes for more play-ability. I also like wacky post apocalyptic cults and strange religions.

GM Tools
    These can be anything from random tables to useful advice, but more is better.

Hirelings & Henchmen
    While I've never really used these in my games, I'm trying to include them more.

Languages and Setting Terminology
    Having a list (even a small one) of different languages for the game is another thing that helps cement the setting. Setting jargon or slang does even more to help this along (though I'd suggest limiting the list of terms to two pages max in order not to bog down play-ability).

Leveling System and Experience Points
    I like good leveling systems that make the characters seem better able to survive the post apocalyptic world as they increase their abilities.

Map and Setting Information
    I love maps. The old idiom about a picture being worth a thousand words is multiplied ten-fold for maps. As far as setting goes, I may or may not use the game's setting, but it's nice to have a least a little idea of what the game designers' are trying to get you to play.

Monster Creation Rules
    Another area of bonus points, *IF* included on top of a decent bestiary.

Mutant Animal and Mutant Plant Basics
    I like having a lot of options, so having a huge selection of different basic animals and plants to mutate from is a good bonus.

Optional Rules
    Rules that you can use or discard as you desire means I have more options for game play. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you can always use or discard whatever rules you want, but some games have a ton of rules for every conceivable thing (like FGU's Aftermath) to the point where you might get bogged down in knowing how things work, and other games are so rules light as to be almost unplayable. Having designated optional rules makes it easier to pick and choose what you want to do.

Random Ruin Generation
    Hearkening back to Dungeons & Dragons, random dungeon creation material is always a bonus.

Settlement Rules and/or Random Generation
    Any tools in this department help out the prospective game master.

Vehicles & Vehicle Combat Rules
    Go all Mad Max. Though I have to admit to having difficulty picking a vehicle combat system that I really like. I kind of envision a system that's a cross between Mille Bornes (the classic racing game) and Twisted Metal combat. Of course you also have to have vehicle modifications.


    I can take it or leave it. But I would give bonus points for representing some sort of technological magic system.


    Player handouts, character sheets, hex/graph paper you can copy, paper dice forms, and other goodies that are included with the game are awesome (even if you may not use them). Having to shell out extra bucks for card expansions, special dice, splat books (because the core book is missing a bunch of things needed to play it), etc. are lame. I don't mind if there's a miniatures line or you want to bust out the diecast cars (and modify them) to help aid play, but I don't want to need some basic thing to play the game that I have to pay extra for.

Game Mechanics
    I know a lot of people have different preferences for their game mechanics so I don't tend to focus on a game's mechanics unless it is either a simple, elegantly awesome way to handle something (or a good optional rule) or if I find it to be profanity-inducing stupid.

Page Layout
    This is surprisingly a fairly big deal for me. Sure good information and/or artwork is a good thing. Wasted page space leading to page count bloat is a very bad thing. I also have to admit I prefer a two-column text layout to other layouts (even if it's a main text column and a sidebar column). I do give a pass to tables and lists that break away from the two column layout, sometimes you just need a full page for the table, or four columns for a list of things; I recommend breaking your table or lists down into sub-categories if more than one page of coverage is needed though.

Table of Contents
    Chapter/Section Listings are NOT a good TOC. Show me the major sections of each chapter as well. I also want to see the full list of monsters in the TOC.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Review Hack

Here are some quick reviews of rules light Post Apocalyptic Role Playing Games, primarily based on The Black Hack ruleset.

The WasteLand Hack by Feral Games
A quick, basic Fallout-style Black Hack RPG coming in at 34 pages. (Note, I only have the original, non-revised edition.)

  • Probably the lightest rules version of a table top Fallout RPG.
  • Best survival rules (radiation, starvation, dehydration, sleep) of any Black Hack PA offering.*
  • Background and Class included.
  • Barter system of currency (yet it uses "new Dollars").
  • Settlement system (good that this is included, bad that it is a very Fallout 4 settlement system...YMMV).
  • Minimal equipment/gear inclusion.
*With the exception of Rad-Hack's Radiation rules.
Overall, if you want to play Fallout on the table, this is a good, inexpensive option.

The Wasted Hack by Shattered Pike Studio (Aaron Frost)
A general post apocalyptic role playing game (PARPG) based on The Black Hack that clocks in at 102 pages.

  • An actual table of contents.
  • Well integrated rules for features, mutations, and gear.
  • Pretty dang good leveling up system.
  • Some nice quick and dirty advanced enemy options.
  • Schematic weapons.
  • Decent equipment table.
  • Interestingly designed character sheet.
  • Monster Cards for quick reference.
  • Classes only, one of which is a Race-as-Class, but still pretty limited option-wise.
  • Credits as currency. Better than barter or abstract systems, but not by much in my opinion.
  • Kinda limited weapon and armor selection.
  • Somewhat limited mutation selection.
  • Luck Points. I believe luck is in the die rolls and shouldn't be a game mechanic, but that's purely a personal preference.
  • The somewhat limited and fantasy-like monsters, even though this is expanded by Waste-Land Beasts and How to Kill Them.
  • Somewhat limited artwork that is average quality.
  • Too much wasted space in the layout, which expands the page count.
Overall, this is probably the best of the Black Hack PARPG offerings for game mechanics.

Rad-Hack by Karl Stjernberg
A general PARPG based on The Black Hack covered in 36 pages.

  • Fairly good Class selection, though I do miss plants and cyborgs as options.
  • Slugs as a currency, it may also be ammunition, but it is still a better option than barter, abstract, or credit systems. About on par with gold/silver systems.
  • The artwork, I'd say Karl Stjernberg is one of the go-to artists for post-apocalyptic gonzo artwork.
  • Random professions on top of classes.
  • Fairly decent equipment list.
  • Equipment Degradation rules.
  • Nice Radiation effects table.
  • I like the interesting Creature Reaction table.
  • Vehicles and vehicle combat.
  • Fairly good selection of post apocalyptic creatures.
  • Great maps.
  • Leveling Up system is kind of weak.
  • Limited Mutation, (Robot) Modules, and Psionics lists (this sort of limitation is quite possibly by design, but I prefer a LOT of options personally).
  • Limited armor and weapon examples, however, since these are examples of types of weapons, a slightly expanded selection (for example a d6 table) would have been good.
Overall, this is the best looking Black Hack PARPG offering, with quite a bit of good stuff that could be ported into The Wasted Hack. I'd personally recommend using the classes from here, along with the currency, radiation rules, vehicle stuff, and then just throwing in the creatures, gear, mutations into The Wasted Hack.

The Wastes Lite Post-Apoclapytic Roleplaying Game by JEN Games (James T. Kato)
A rules-lite PARPG, not based on The Black Hack, that comes in at 23 pages.

  • The majority of this book is just random tables to work with, very minimalist, yet at the same time quite inclusive.
  • A d300 wasteland junk table.
  • Waste Adversaries and Waste Encounters are great minimalist tables which give you lots of stuff to play with.
  • Probably the most rules lite game in this review, while this can be advantageous to some, I find the lack of rules for things like starvation, dehydration, radiation, encumbrance, currency, and so forth somewhat lacking in utility.
  • The 'mutations' and starting equipment are combined into one table of Character Advantages. A good selection of stuff (d100 table), but I would have preferred to split it.
Overall, The Wastes Lite is a pretty good minimalist toolkit that could be used for any PARPG with some work, as a standalone RPG, it is probably a bit too lightweight.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Starting Arms & Armor

This is the last entry in my line of starting stuff and equipment notes (at this time, still working on my revised equipment lists, which will probably be produced straight to PDF format). I kinda found myself needing more and more information to get any one item done and they all sort of went together, though I may revise some stuff in the future, and will definitely expand some areas.

Roll Apparel Melee Weapons Missile Weapons
01 Animal Training Padded Armor (AC6) 2x4 with Nails [D] Acid Squirter (1d6 uses)
02 Armored Robes (AC7) Aluminum Baseball Bat [F] Aerosol Can Flamethrower (1d4 uses)
03 Bandoliers & Belts over shirt and pants (AC9) Annihilator Wrecking Bar [F] Aklys
04 Bankruptcy Barrel (AC6) Bachete Atlatl
05 Bark Lamellar (AC5) Balisong [D] Ballistic Knife
06 Basic Barbarian Furkini & Fur Boots (AC9) Bar Mace [F] BB Gun (1d100 BBs)
07 Bedsheet Toga (AC9) Barbwire Coated Baseball Bat [G] Belt Buckle Pistol
08 Black Fatigues (AC9) Belaying Pin [D] Bladed Frisbee
09 Black Trenchcoat (AC9) Billhook [E] Blowgun (2d4 darts)
10 Blanket Robes (AC9) Bladed Hockey Stick [E] Blowpipe (2d4 darts)
11 Bomber Jacket, Flying Cap, and Goggles (AC8) Boarding Axe [H] Blunderbuss (1d6 shots)
12 Bone Armor (AC8) Boarding Pike [H] Boomerang
13 Bone augmented Leather (AC6) Boat Hook [D] Caber (min STR 9 to lift)
14 Boy/Girl Scout Uniform (AC9) Boxing Gloves [B] Ceramic Plate
15 Brightly colored prison jumpsuit (AC9) Brass Knuckles [C] Chakram
16 Buddhist Robes (AC9) Brush Hook [E] Cherry Bomb (1d8)
17 Burger Joint Uniform (AC9) Butcher Knife [D] Class A Fire Extinguisher (1d4 uses)
18 Butcher or Blacksmith Apron (AC8) Cane Knife [E] CO2 Fire Extinguisher (1d8 uses)
19 Camouflage Fatigues (AC9) Cant Hook [D] Composite Bow (2d4 arrows)
20 Canvas Duster (AC9) Cat's Paw [D] Compound Bow (2d4 arrows)
21 Cargo Pants and Work Shirt (AC9) Cestus [C] Compound Crossbow (2d4 bolts)
22 Chicken-Themed Fast Food Uniform (AC9) Chainlock [F] Derringer
23 Cold Weather Coverall & Fur-lined Hooded Parka (AC8) Circular Saw Blade Axe [F] Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher (1d6 uses)
24 Crocodile or Alligator Skin Cloak (AC8) Claw Gauntlet [D] Dynamite Stick (1)
25 Crustacean Carapace Cuirass (AC5) Claw Hammer [D] Flame Squirter (1d6 uses)
26 Denim Jeans & Cotton Shirt (AC9) Cricket Bat [D] Flare Gun (1d6 flares)
27 Dirty Flightsuit (AC9) Crowbar [F] Flash Powder Hockey Puck (1d4)
28 Elvis Costume (AC9) Denver Tool[G] Flintlock Pistol (1d10 bullets)
29 Faded White Jumpsuit (AC9) Digging Bar [F] Flintlock Rifle (1d10 bullets)
30 Firefighter's Bunker Gear (AC7) Entrenching Tool [F] Glass Bottle
31 Fishing Vest and Hipwaders (AC9) Finger Talons [B] Grenadoe (1d4)
32 Flea infested rags (AC9) Firefighter's Battle Axe[H] Hammer Throw
33 Foil Jumpsuit (AC9) Fishing Gaff [F] Hand Crossbow (2d4 bolts)
34 Form-fitting Bodysuit (AC9) Fishing Trident [F] Hand Mortar (1d4 shells)
35 Frayed Shorts & T-Shirt, Flip-Flops (AC9) Froe [F] Handheld Clay Trap
36 Gambler Suit (AC9) FuBar [F] Hard Rubber Ball
37 Giant Lizard Scale Armor (AC6) Garden Fork [C] Harpoon
38 Gimp/Dominatrix Outfit (AC9) Garden Sickle [E] Harpoon Gun
39 Grease-stained Mechanic's Jumpsuit (AC9) Giant Scorpion Stinger Glove [B+poison] Hawaiian Sling (underwater/surface)
40 Hero Harness (AC9) Golf Club [E] Heavy Crossbow (2d4 bolts)
41 High-collared coat /cloak that conceals lower face (AC9) Hakapik [F] Homemade Shotgun (1d4 shells)
42 Hoodie & Jeans (AC9) Halligan Bar [H] Hot Liquid Squirter
43 Inquisitor Robes & Capirote (AC9) Hatchet [E] Hunga Munga
44 Insect Clamshell Cuirass (AC5) Hawaiian Sling [H] Hurlbat
45 Judo Gi (AC9) Hay Hook [D] Jai Alai Xistera & 2d4 pelotas
46 Karate Gi (AC9) Horseshoe Hand Hammer [C] Javelin
47 Kilt & Woad (AC9) Ice Axe [E] Lacrosse Stick & 2d4 balls
48 Kung Fu Outfit (AC9) Ice Pick [C] Light Crossbow (2d4 bolts)
49 Leather Armor (AC7) IF-221 Trucker's Friend [F] Long Bow (2d4 arrows)
50 Leather augmented with shell pauldrons (AC6) Kelly Tool [G] M-80 Firecracker (1d6)
51 Leather Chaps and Leather Vest (AC8) Knife Spear [F] Marble Gun (1d10 marbles)
52 Leather Duster (AC8) Knuckleduster Knife [D] Media Disc Shuriken (2d4)
53 Leather jacket augmented with coins (AC7) Large Wrench [E] Molotov Cocktail (1d4)
54 Leather reinforced with sports pads (AC5) Lawn Mower Blade Machete [F] Mouth Dart (1d4)
55 Leather reinforced with tires (AC6) Lead Pipe [E] Nail Bomb
56 Leisure Suit (AC9) Letter Opener [C] Nailgun (5d20 Nails)
57 Letterman's Jacket & pants (AC9) Lug Wrench [E] Net
58 Lionskin Hooded Cloak (AC8) Machete [F] Paintball Marker (2d8 rounds)
59 Lumberjack Outfit (AC9) Mail Box Mace [G] Pellet Bow (2d4 pellets)
60 Marching Band Uniform (AC9) Marlinspike [D] Pellet Gun (2d10 pellets)
61 Masked Luchador Costume (AC9) Mattock [H] Pen Gun
62 Moth eaten animal skins (AC9) Meat Cleaver [E] Pepper-Box Pistol
63 Motorcycle Leathers (AC7) Metal Fan Blade Machete [E] Pipe Bomb (1)
64 Nursing Scrubs (AC9) Nailbat [H] Pipe Rifle (1d10 bullets)
65 Olive Drab Fatigues (AC9) Peavey [F] Pneumatic Darter (2d4 darts)
66 Package Courier Uniform (AC9) Pickaroon [F] Pocket Pistol
67 Pastor's Vestments (AC9) Pickaxe [H] Poison Squirter
68 Patchwork pants & shirt (AC9) Pike Pole [G] Potato Cannon (1d6 potatoes)
69 Pimp Suit (AC9) Pitchfork [H] Powder Flask Grenade (1d4)
70 Pizza Delivery Outfit (AC9) Pole Brushing Hook [I] Pub Darts (2d4)
71 Police Uniform (AC9) Pole Cleaver [I] Reinforced Firework Mortar (1d4 starshells)
72 Postal Carrier Uniform (AC9) Polespear [F] Repeating Crossbow (2d4 bolts)
73 Quilted Pads over shirt & pants (AC8) Police Baton [F] Saturday Night Special
74 Railroad Worker Overalls (AC9) Pool Cue [C] Saw Blade Launcher
75 Reflective Safety Vest, Pants, & Shirt (AC9) Pry Axe[F] Scrap Bolas
76 Road Warrior Leathers (AC7) Pulaski [H] Scrap Shuriken (2d4)
77 Sailor Suit (AC9) Rat Flail [E] Shepherd's Sling (4d6 rocks)
78 Shinobi Shozoku (AC9) Raxe [F] Short Bow (2d4 arrows)
79 Silk Pajamas (AC9) Rebar Club [I] Shot Put
80 Silvery Mesh Jumpsuit (AC8) Rolling Pin [C] Slingshot (3d6 ball bearings)
81 Soiled Business Suit (AC9) Rusty Cutlass [G] Spear
82 Sombrero & Poncho (AC9) Shiv [C] Spear Gun (1d6 spears)
83 Spider Carapace Cuirass (AC5) Shovel [H] Spring Darter (2d4 darts)
84 Spiked Punk Leathers (AC7) Ski Pole Spear [E] Staff Sling (2d4 stones)
85 Sports Pad Armor (AC6) Slasher [H] Steel Sphere (2d4)
86 Sports Pads over shirt & pants (AC7) Sledgehammer [E] Stone Put (20-25 lbs stone)
87 Sports Team Uniform (AC9) Sling Blade [I] Swiss Arrow (1d4)
88 Studded Leathers (AC6) Spax Tool [E] Throwing Axe
89 Tan or Khaki Fatigues (AC9) Spike Maul [J] Throwing Brick (1d6)
90 Tan or Khaki Safari Outfit & Pith Helmet (AC9) Spiked Leather Gloves [B] Throwing Circular Saw Blade (1d6)
91 Tattered Rags & Cloth Footwraps (AC9) Splitting Maul [J] Throwing Hammer
92 Tigerskin Cloak (AC8) Street Sign Axe [G] Throwing Knife (1d6)
93 Tire Armor (AC5) Survival Axe [E] Throwing Rock (2d4)
94 Tire Cuirass & Canvas Pants (AC6) Switchblade [C] Throwing Spike (2d4)
95 Tribal Loincloth & Vest (AC9) Trocar [C] Throwing Stick (1d4)
96 Turban and Desert Robes (AC9) Truncheon [F] Tomahawk
97 Utility Coveralls (AC9) Weighted-Knuckle Gloves [A] War Darts (2d4)
98 White Lab Coat (AC9) Wood Chopping Axe [E] Woomera
99 Wolfskin Hooded Cloak (AC8) Wooden Knuckleduster [B] Zip Gun (1d10 bullets)
00 Woolen Bathrobe (AC9) Zombie Pipe Hammer [D] Zipper Gun (5d6 bullets)
Melee Weapon Damage Code:
[A] 1
[B] 1d2
[C] 1d3
[D] 1d4
[E] 1d4+1
[F] 1d6
[G] 1d6+1
[H] 1d8
[I] 2d4
[J] 1d8+1

Missile Ranges for Mutant Future

Range (in Feet)

Weapon Damage




Aklys 1d3 10 20 30
Atlatl 1d6+1 90 180 270
Blowgun (2' or longer, two hands) 1d3 60 50 90
Blowpipe (<2' long, one hand) 1d3 30 60 90
Bolas 1d3 60 120 180
Boomerang 1d4 90 180 300
Brick 1d4 10 20 30
Caber (min STR 9 to lift) 10d6 STR-10 (STR-10)x2 (STR-10)x3
Chakram 1d4+1 75 150 300
Circular Saw Blade 1d4 20 40 60
Club 1d4 10 20 30
Composite Bow 1d8+STR 300 600 900
Compound Bow 1d10 400 800 1200
Compound Crossbow 1d12 500 1000 1500
Dagger 1d4 15 30 45
Dynamite Stick 3d6 10 20 30
Flaming Oil/Molotov 1d8+ 30 90 150
Frisbee 1 (1d3 if bladed) 100 200 300
Grappling Hook 1d6 40 80 120
Grenade* Varies 30 45 60
Hammer Throw 1d8 90 180 270
Hand Crossbow 1d6 60 120 240
Hard Rubber Ball 1d3 30 90 150
Harpoon 2d4 30 60 90
Hawaiian Sling (underwater/surface) 1d8 10/11 15/16 20/30
Heavy Crossbow 2d4 240 480 720
Hurlbat/Hunga Munga 1d4+1 30 60 90
Jai Alai Xistera 1d4 60 240 480
Javelin 1d6 60 120 180
Kunai 1d3 15 30 45
Lacross Stick 1d4 50 150 300
Lasso NA 30 60 90
Light Crossbow 1d6 180 360 540
Long Bow 1d8 210 420 630
Mouth Dart 1d2 5 15 30
Net NA 30 60 90
Pellet Bow 1d4+1 180 360 540
Pipebomb 6d6 10 20 30
Polespear (underwater/surface) 1d6 7/8 11/12 15/22
Pub Dart 1 15 30 45
Repeating Crossbow 1d4 120 240 600
Shepherd's Sling 1d4 120 240 480
Short Bow 1d6 150 300 450
Shot Put 1d10 25 50 75
Shuriken 1d4 20 40 60
Slingshot 1d4+1 150 300 600
Spear 1d6 30 60 90
Speargun (underwater/surface) 2d4 15/16 22/24 30/45
Staff Sling 1d6 200 400 600
Steel Sphere 1d3 30 90 150
Stone Put (20-25 lbs stone) 1d12 20 40 60
Throwing Axe 1d6 30 60 90
Throwing Coin 1 10 20 30
Throwing Hammer 1d4+1 30 60 90
Throwing Knife 1d4 20 40 60
Throwing Spike 1d3 15 30 45
Throwing Stick/Woomera 1d4 100 200 300
Thrown Rock 1d2 30 90 150
Tomahawk 1d4+1 40 80 160
Trident 1d6 25 50 150
War/Lawn Dart/Swiss Arrow 1d4+1 60 120 180
Optional: For thrown objects, Strength Modifier to Damage increments 5/10/15 feet of distance for every +1 adjustment. I.e. a character with a STR of 16 (+2) would add 10' to short range, 20' to medium range, and 30' to long range. For weaker characters with a negative modifier to Damage, reduce the range distances by one-half for every -1 adjustment. I.e. a character with a STR of 4 (-2) would be limited to 1/4 the distances listed, for example, a Tomahawk would be at 10/20/40 for S/M/L. In the case of rounding, if the STR score is on high side of the negative adjustment (i.e. a STR of 5 for the -2 adjustment), round up, if on the low side (i.e. a STR of 4 for the -2 adjustment), round down. (In the case of STR of 3, round up, anything below that, round down.)

Acid Squirter: Squirt gun modified to project acid.
Aerosol Can Flamethrower: A pressurized gas can using a flammable liquid combined with a lighter.
Ballistic Knife: Spring or compressed air-powered projectile knife.
Cherry Bomb: 1d4 damage, blast radius 1 ft, weight NA.
Flame Squirter: Squirt gun modified to project flammable liquid combined with an ignition source.
Flare Gun: Standard flare launching pistol.
Flash Powder Hockey Puck: As per Concussion Grenade, MF page 118.
Grenadoe: 1d10 damage, blast radius 10 ft, weight 1 lb.
Hand Mortar: Scrap-built portable mortar.
Hot Liquid Squirter: Squirt gun firing very hot liquids.
Marble Gun: Pipegun type weapon firing marbles instead of bullets with pneumatic or pressurized gas power.
M-80 Firecracker: 1d6 damage, blast radius 2 ft, weight NA.
Pneumatic Darter: Pistol version of a tranquilizer gun.
Poison Squirter: Squirt gun modified to fire poisonous liquid.
Powder Flask Grenade: 1d8 damage, blast radius 10 ft, weight 1 lb.
Reinforced Firework Mortar: Standard fireworks mortar that has been reinforced with scrap materials to last longer.
Spring Darter: Spring powered tranquilizer pistol.

Improvised and Poorly Made Firearms: Including Belt Buckle Pistol, Derringer, Home Made Shotgun, Pen Gun, Pepper-Box, Pipe Rifle, Pocket Pistol, Potato Cannon, Saturday Night Special, Zip Gun, and Zipper Gun (a poorly made low caliber fully automatic submachine gun). I should probably have a random chance of malfunctions/breakage, but I'm still thinking about how I want to implement that.


Weapon Damage Trigger Type Normal Maximum Ammo Capacity Weight
Acid Squirter Acid Damage Normal 25 ft. 40 ft. 5 lbs acid 1 lb (empty)
Aerosol Can Flamethrower 1d6 flame for 1d4 rounds Normal 2 ft. 5 ft. 1d4 shots 1 lb
Ballistic Knife 1d4 Normal 10 ft. 16 ft. 1 shot 1 lb
Belt Buckle Pistol 1d4 Automatic 50 ft. 100 ft. 4 ½ lbs
Blunderbuss 3d6/1d6 Normal 50 ft. 100 ft. 1 6.5 lbs
Class A Fire Extinguisher Save vs Stun or be blinded for 1d4 rounds Normal 15 ft. 30 ft. 4 25 lbs
CO2 Fire Extinguisher Save vs Stun or be blinded for 1d4 rounds Normal 5 ft. 10 ft. 2 15 lbs
CO2 Fire Extinguisher Save vs Stun or be blinded for 1d4 rounds Normal 5 ft. 10 ft. 4 30 lbs
CO2 Fire Extinguisher Save vs Stun or be blinded for 1d4 rounds Normal 5 ft. 10 ft. 6 40 lbs
CO2 Fire Extinguisher Save vs Stun or be blinded for 1d4 rounds Normal 5 ft. 10 ft. 8 50 lbs
Derringer 1d4 Normal 200 ft. 400 ft. 4 1.75 lbs
Dry Chem Fire Extinguisher Save vs Stun or be blinded for 1d4 rounds Normal 5 ft. 20 ft. 4 30 lbs
Flame Squirter 3d6 flame damage for 1d4 rounds Normal 25 ft. 40 ft. 5 lbs fuel 1 lb (empty)
Flare Gun 6d6 flame damage for 1d4 rounds Normal 375 ft. 500 ft. 1 flare 2.5 lbs
Flintlock Pistol 1d10 Normal 150 ft. 300 ft. 1 3 lbs
Flintlock Rifle 1d12 Normal 400 ft. 800 ft. 1 10 lbs
Hand Mortar 5d10 Normal 750 ft. 1500 ft. 1 25 lbs
Home Made Shotgun 3d6/1d6 Normal 50 ft. 100 ft. 1 or 2 8 lbs
Hot Liquid Squirter 1d3 Normal 25 ft. 40 ft. 5 lbs liquid 1 lb (empty)
Marble Gun 1d6 Normal 300 ft. 600 ft. 24 marbles 5 lbs
Pen Gun 1d4 Normal 25 ft. 50 ft. 1 ½ lb
Pepper-Box 1d4 Automatic 15 ft. 300 ft. 6 4 lbs
Pipe Rifle 1d12 Normal 400 ft. 800 ft. 1 10 lbs
Pneumatic Darter Tranquilizer Gun Normal 115 ft. 250 ft. 1 dart 3 lbs
Pocket Pistol 1d4 Automatic 75 ft. 150 ft. 6 1 lb
Poison Squirter Save vs Poison, Poison Damage, Blinding Normal 25 ft. 40 ft. 5 lbs poison 1 lb (empty)
Potato Cannon 1d20 Normal 300 ft. 600 ft. 1 13 lbs
Reinforced Firework Mortar 2d6 Normal 100 ft. 200 ft. 1 5 lbs
Saturday Night Special 1d4 Normal 75 ft. 150 ft. 6 1 lb
Spring Darter Tranquilizer Gun Normal 115 ft. 250 ft. 1 dart 3 lbs
Zip Gun 1d4 Normal 75 ft. 150 ft. 6 1 lb
Zipper Gun 1d4 Rapid Fire 150 ft. 300 ft. 100 3 lbs