Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Episode 17 Mutagenesis

Episode 17 Mutations of Terra AD Part II - Mutagenesis

Philosophy and genetics with a glass of milk...

James - Plantient Milk
  • From the rare Hops Plantient subtype, that’s not even on the list, I don’t think , right?
  • Plantient Milk is a wonderful beverage that brings levity to just about any post apocalyptic engagement
  • One pint of Plantient Milk, imbibed by any Pure Strain Human has the following effects
    • +2d Personality checks for 1 hour (1d30!?!)
    • -1d Will saving throws for 2 hours
    • -1d Reflex saves for 2 hours
  • That’s pretty mild right? Nothing major? 
  • Well Plantient Milk has a CRAZY effect on some manimals, to the point that most Hops Plantients have gone extinct due to Manimal overharvesting
    • +1d Strength checks and Fortitude Saves, for 1 hour
    • +1d to attack rolls, while actively drinking (can consume 1 pint in 1d3 rounds, max 1 pint/turn)
    • -2d Will saves
    • -1d Reflex saves
  • So drunken manimal rage is a real thing here… 

Marc - New Manimal Sub-type table! 
  • Since there was a lot of discussion about manimals and the manimal feel in MCC vs TMNT & After the Bomb I decided to split the difference and stay somewhat true to MCCs old school roots but also leverage in some species/genus consistency. This table replaces table 1-7 on page 20 of the MCC core rules.
  • Table 1-7: Manimal Sub-Type (roll 1d30)
    • 1-2 Primate: Roll 1d4 (1) gorilla; (2) chimpanzee; (3) orangutan; (4) gibbon. 
      • All Primates receive Heightened Intelligence instead of a random Mental mutation
    • 3-5 Canine: Roll 1d4 (1) dog; (2) wolf; (3) coyote; (4) fox. 
      • All Canines receive Extra Senses in place of their first Physical mutation
    • 6-8 Feline: Roll 1d4 (1) lion; (2) tiger; (3) cheetah; (4) panther. 
      • All Felines receive Heightened Agility in place of their first Physical mutation
    • 9-10 Ursine: Roll 1d4 (1) brown bear; (2) grizzly bear; (3) polar bear; (4) panda bear. 
      • All Ursines receive Heightened Strength in place of their first Physical Mutation 
    • 11-12 Bovine: Roll 1d5 (1) cow; (2) bison; (3) buffalo; (4) antelope, (5) yak. 
      • All Bovines receive Gas Generation in place of their first Physical Mutation 
    • 13-14 Suidae: Roll 1d3 (1) pig; (2) hog; (3) warthog. 
      • All Suidaes receive Heightened Stamina in place of their first Physical Mutation 
    • 15-17 Rodentia: Roll 1d6 (1) mouse; (2) rat; (3) squirrel; (4) porcupine; (5) beaver; (6) rabbit. 
      • All Rodents receive Shorter in place of their first Physical Mutation 
    • 18-19 Amphibia: Roll 1d3 (1) frog; (2) toad; (3) salamander. 
      • Frogs & Toads receive Domination instead of a random Mental mutation;
      • Salamanders receive Pyrokinesis instead of a random Mental mutation.
    • 20-22 Avian: Roll 1d6 (1) hawk; (2) eagle; (3) crow; (4) owl; (5) vulture; (6) seagull. 
      • All Avians receive Wings in place of their first Physical Mutation 
    • 23-25 Insecta: Roll 1d6 (1) roach; (2) ant; (3) fly; (4) grasshopper; (5) beetle; (6) moth. 
      • All Insectas receive either Wings or Carapace in place of their first Physical Mutation, appropriate to their species type. (i.e. Ants = Carapace, Moth = Wings)
    • 26-27 Serpents: Roll 1d4 (1) king cobra; (2) python; (3) boa constrictor; (4) rattlesnake.
      • All Serpents receive Plasticity in place of their first Physical Mutation 
    • 28-29 Lizards: Roll 1d6 (1) chameleon; (2) gecko; (3) komodo dragon; (4) gila monster; (5) iguana; (6) turtle or tortoise. 
      • Chameleons receive Holographic Skin in place of their first Physical Mutation;
      • Turtles/tortoises receive Carapace in place of their first Physical Mutation;
      • All other Lizards receive Regeneration in place of their first Physical Mutation.
    • 30 Roll again on this table, then roll on Table 1-6 Mutant Appearance.

Forrest - The Skin(s) You're In
  • This isn’t a thing, or an item or a monster, it’s more of a . . . consideration. Or, really an op-ed piece. Maybe a public-service announcement, more than anything.
  • Ask yourself this question: “Self, what happens when you wear someone else’s skin?”:
  • Of course, any being in their right mind will want to wear armor of some type. You’d be dumb not to use all the resources at your disposal in the dangerous world of Terra A.D..
  • Now, said armor sometimes comes in the form of someone else’s skin: Wearing a fur cloak, for example, gives +2 to AC, An Antler Hood gives +1. There aren’t rules for plant fiber armor, like there was back in Gamma World 1st edition, but I’d surmise it probably gives a +2 or thereabouts to AC. That’s how I’d rule it, anyway.
  • But what happens when you run into Bambi’s mutated father while wearing an Antler Hood, or you run into Groot while wearing his cousin’s skin? I’ll present my thoughts in the form of rhetorical questions and maybe even some poorly thought-out answers:
    • What would Archaic Alignments think when encountering skin-wearers?
      • Atomic Equinox is probably not going to let you into their green thumb club.
      • You probably won’t get attacked outright by The Chosen Zuu, but you will be shunned like a cloud of fleas.
      • Stupid elements within the Gene Police (don’t laugh, their ancestors are among us now) could mistake you for a mutant or, worse yet, some horrible crossbreed between man and plant or man and animal. “That boy ain’t right,” I can hear them saying.
      • How would this affect AI recognition? What if you’re wearing bark and you encounter a logging robot? Or what if you’re wearing fur and run into a veterinary robot? Even a Household Bot might force you to the kitty litter box!
    • Now, that Cactacea Rex over there wants to eat you anyway. But when it realizes you are wearing the husk of its dead cousin, do you think it’s going to think any better of you? Or is it just going to be that much more focused on eating you first? And what if those Devil Ant Men are descended from Carpenter Ants? They’re going to kill you, regardless, but Mmm, That slab of mahogany on your torso looks like mighty good eatiing! Guess who just became the appetizer?
    • What about patron AI interactions? Yes, Gaea looks to bring balance back to nature, but does that mean that wearing some cute little furry critter’s skin is a good idea or a bad idea? Should you have so much power in deciding what is and isn’t “in balance”? Are you willing to chance her disapproval?
    • So, sure, protect yourself. Wrap yourself up in ents and aardvarks. But think very carefully about the down-sides if you are planning on using “natural” armor. And, Judges, give ample opportunity for your players to use such armor - be generous! And let the inhabitants of Terra A.D. decide whether or not it’s such a good idea to dress yourself in someone else’s skin. We’re itching to see how it all works out. As the Ancient Ones used to say: Skin, skin, it keeps your guts in - but we’re all red on the inside. Except plantients. They’re green on the inside. And if you think about that too long, that’s just gross.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Episode 7 Mutagenesis

Episode 7 Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy - Mutagenesis

Weather and weapons of the ancients...

James - El’s Devourer 
  • A tribute to “El’s Drinker” from the Shattered Lands PC game by SSI, the first (and best!) Dark Sun computer role-playing game.
    • El’s Drinker was originally a sword with the vampiric touch spell working through it.
    • My Elven Ranger/Mage wielded that blade viciously in combat!
    • El’s Devourer is the darker cousin to El’s Drinker
  • What appears to be a bone battle axe (could be 1d8 or 1d10 damage, however Battle Axes work in your games).  Does not do traditional +1 or +2 to hit or damage… much more sinister.
    • After the killing blow is made, if the wielder leaves the weapon in the victim overnight, it absorbs the life force of the person killed, akin to “Defiling magic”
    • What is left the next morning is a pile of ash and El’s Devourer.
    • The wielder can choose to “expend” one soul worth of life energy in any attack.  Doing so gives the wielder, no matter the class, an “additional” 1d5 Deed Die that can be used like a traditional Deed Die.  If a Warrior, this total is added to their level’s deed die.  If not a warrior, they use it like a regular deed die.  
    • The life energy is expended whether or not the strike succeeds.
    • El’s Devourer can store the life energy of up to seven souls at any given time.  
    • Unlike other weapons made with inferior materials such as bone, El’s Devourer cannot break when imbued with the life force of at least one victim.  

Forrest - Micro-climate generator
  •  Inspired by this picture: 

  • Micro-Climate Generators were used by the Ancient Ones for a variety of purposes: mental health therapy, entertainment, setting a mood, growing plants, training exercises for outdoorsmen and military personnel, and so forth.
  • The Micro-Climate Generator appears as a golf-ball sized crystal ball inside of which tiny clouds repeatedly condense and dissipate. As one manipulates the orb by turning it and rubbing it with one’s fingers, a 20’ diameter spherical zone is created in which the climate is altered. The appearance of the area may also be altered, to a limited extent. 
    • Though seemingly simple, this ancient device is incredibly complex, fragile, and sensitive with a tech level of 5 and complexity level of 16.
    • Power Cell: C-Cell (10 charges), F-Cell (20), U-Cell (Unlimited)
    • Spending 1 charge allows one to do any of the following. Any of these may be combined, so long as they are not mutually exclusive. Sudden shifts in temperature or weather might have undesired effects, which should be determined by the Judge. The effect lasts for 5 minutes and travels with the person holding the Generator. Note that this might leave a trail of water behind the holder, for example, if she has generated precipitation within the sphere:
    • Raise or lower temperature 10 degrees Fahrenheit; create small clouds (can be multiplied up to 5 charges, which fills the entire area with fog); create trace precipitation (can be multiplied up to 5 charges, which causes a torrential downpour or a blizzard in the area of effect, depending on the chosen temperature); cause aridity (can be multiplied up to 5 charges which will leave all within severely dehydrated and needing medical attention); cause moon, stars, and comets to appear within the area of effect; cause sunshine to appear within the area of effect; cause a rainbow to appear in the area of effect. 

Episode 8 Mutagenesis

Episode 8 Investigating the Post-Apocalypse - Mutagenesis

Bugs, drugs, and chugs...

James - Living Latte
  • Living Lattes are the result of neutron bombs going off in close proximity to everyone’s favorite coffee shop.  The intense radiation steams the milk to a froth level that allows nearly instant spawning of new life from the foam.  Not only new life… but new intelligent life.  Typically this does not bode well for pure strain humans in the vicinity of a Living Latte enclave.  These cups o’ joe remember the subjugation of their kind over the years and are ready to throw down!  
  • Although they can be found in more of a puddle form (six to eight gallons for a Tallish, twelve to twenty for a Grandiose, and twenty plus gallons for a Venterific), given enough time they will create great, reinforced titanium travel mugs that serve as armor.  Most coffee shops in the world before the Great Disaster had automated servers, so these reinforced titanium travel mugs have hover treads that let the Living Latte’s move about, although at a rather slow speed.  
  • Living Latte (Tallish/Grandiose/Venterific):  Init: -2/+0/+2; Atk Splash* +1/+3/+5 ranged (1d4/1d6/1d8 damage, 30/60/90 range); AC 8 as a puddle, AC 16/18/20 in a reinforced titanium travel mug; HD 1d8/2d8/3d8; MV 20’ hover in reinforced titanium travel mug, 40’ slosh if in puddle form; Act 1d20; SP half damage from all physical attacks; SV Fort +4, Ref -2, Will +2; AL C.
    • *Living Lattes can “Make it Foamy”, and take 1d3 damage to increase their splash attack with some extra foam, increasing the damage by +2d.  This is the Living Latte effectively discarding some more of itself to cause damage.
    • Living Lattes can have a special flavor or syrup that they’ve incorporated into their DNA.  If you want to incorporate this add-on to your creature, roll 1d5:
      1. Extra Shot: A Living Latte with an Extra Shot gets a second attack per round (1d20+1d20 Action Dice)
      2. Extra Hot:  The Extra Hot Living Latte has an increased attack bonus of +2 because of the sheer hotness.  
      3. Mochachino:  Full of rich chocolate, the Mochachino Living Latte is especially dangerous to Manimals, because they definitely shouldn’t be eating chocolate.  All attacks against Manimals are made at an additional +1d.
      4. Soy Milky:  This Living Latte is easy on the digestive tract of it’s targets.  It’s nowhere near as foamy and cannot “Make it Foamy” to increase damage.  If you had to encounter a Living Latte, this is the one to encounter.
      5. Macchia-Do:  The Living Latte is a master of Macchia-Do, a coffee-shop based martial art.  The Macchia-Do master can perform amazing throwing attacks against any targets that have moved into melee range.  On the Macchia-Do master’s turn, all targets engaged in melee must make a DC 12/14/16 Reflex Save or they get thrown 10’ and knocked prone.

Forrest - RIDEK
  • Contrary to science fantasy “canon,” radiation itself doesn’t actually glow. Nuclear radiation can cause certain substances to glow, but radiation is an invisible killer. So how do you ensure that the next artifact, rock, or body you pick up isn’t throbbing with gamma rays? 
  • You don’t. Unless you have RIDEK: Radiation Intensity Detecting Escherichia Coli - your friendly neighborhood E.Coli, which have been genetically manipulated by the ancient ones to glow in the presence of radiation. These handy microbial critters come in all manner of containers, some of which are specifically designed to spray RIDEK onto a suspect object, corpse, etc. 
  • It take 1d3 minutes for RIDEK to glow in the presence of radiation, and the glow will last for 1d12 minutes. Beings holding, carrying, or wearing items that radiate strongly are at a disadvantage in combat as they are more easily targeted. In daylight or similar conditions, those sprayed with RIDEK who possess such items suffer a -1 penalty to their armor class. At night, others suffer no disadvantage when trying to hit them. Of course, enough RIDEK must be used to cause radioactive items to reveal themselves. How much is left to the discretion of the Judge.

Judge Bob Brinkman - Roach Swarms
  • Among the most feared of the scavenging wasteland creatures, killer cockroach infestations can wipe out entire villages in a matter of hours if allowed to go unchecked. Woe be those who stumble into an area populated by these ravenous vermin, for all they leave behind are  excarnated remains, mere glinting bones.
  • Roach swarm: Init +5; Atk swarming bite +1 melee (1); AC 11; HD 2d8; MV 50’ or climb 30’; Act special; SP bite all targets within 20’ x 20’ space, half damage from non-area attacks, feeding swarm, fire vulnerability, picked clean, radiation immunity; SV Fort +5, Ref +5, Will -2; AL N.
    • Feeding swarm: For every 3hp of damage done by the swarm, more roaches join the swarm. The increased population adds 20'x20' to its size and 2HD to its total (to a maximum of 40'x40' and 8HD).
    • Fire vulnerability: All fire damage done to the swarm is rolled at +1 die.
    • Picked clean: The feeding frenzy of the killer cockroaches strips victims down to the bone. Because of their thoroughness, it is less likely for a victim to survive. If a recover the body attempt is made, the victim's luck roll is penalized by the number of HD the swarm achieved before having been destroyed or the body having been pulled clear.
    • Radiation immunity: Killer cockroaches are immune to radiation.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Episode 9 Mutagenesis

Episode 9 Patron of the Post-Apocalypse - Mutagenesis

Biotech is a wonderful thing....

James - Organimauls
  • I wanted to come up with something weird and post apocalyptic that wasn’t quite an artifact, and perhaps easier to comprehend, but with other risks for use.  So there was a series of PlayStation, PC, and XBOX games called OddWorld.  Not really post apocalyptic (but weird and alien to the point where there were a lot of similar themes, especially one of ecological disaster and exploitation over nature.)  In one game in particular, Oddworld, Stranger’s Wrath, the player (called The Stranger) could fire small creatures at bad guys, launched from a crossbow.  
  • So I got the idea for this month’s Mutagenesis of some creatures that either evolved or were bred to be used as weapons or as part of weapons:  Organimauls.
  • Organimauls may be safer to use than Artifacts, but they still need coaxing to work, and to be fed.  But if treated properly, they can be brutal in combat.
    • PC’s wanting to employ an Organimaul must make a Personality check with a DC of 10+ ½ the weapon’s max damage (rounded down) each morning.  
    • Manimals get a +4 to this roll
    • They must also feed the Organimaul once a day as well, and each weapon takes a half-ration of food
    • The Original Organimaul was literally a giant sledgehammer haft with a great beetle “organiforged” (don’t ask) onto the end of the weapon.  When swung, the beetle would bite.  Here are some examples
      • Original Organimaul:  1d10 dmg (2 handed), because the beetle wings always fluttering, the weapon feels lighter and the PC can roll a d20 instead of a d16 for two handed weapon initiative.
      • Bumble Bola:  1d4 dmg, range 10/20/30, target must make a reflex save vs. the attack roll or fall prone as they are stung by the bumble bola stingers (DC 5 Fortitude Save, or suffer an allergic reaction taking an additional 1d4 damage)
      • Shark Sword:  1d8 dmg, if the attacker misses by 1 or 2, the shark mouth still gets off a bite causing 1d5 damage)
    • There is a drawback to the Organimauls.  Should the PC fumble, the organimaul gets aggravated.  On a fumble roll higher than a 4, the PC is also bit by the weapon for 1d4 damage.

Forrest - Shockroaches
  • Inspired by Bob “The Voice” Brinkman’s roach horde (episode 8)
  • Yes, radiation-resistant hordes of cockroaches are terrifying, to be sure. But what could be more horrifying than a horde of cockroaches except . . . a single cockroach? Well, if that single cockroach is a specimen of the dreaded SHOCKROACH species, it might be just as well to run far, far away. 
  • The Shockroach is calm unless threatened or really, really hungry. But shockroaches are rarely hungry, as they usually have plenty of rotting meat laying around that they can snack on. Their limited telekinesis makes it easy for them to put bodies up on meat-hooks or to tuck them in the basement under the floorboards. 
  • But if one should threaten a shockroach, say, by trying to squash it, the shockroach shows why it has developed its reputation. The shockroach, though puny and weak, is very fast and difficult to hit. If you can hit it first, you’re likely going to be okay, but if you miss it or it the shockroach gets the jump on you, brace yourself. 
    • The shockroach emits an electrical shock field 10’ in diameter that causes 3d10  of electrical damage to those failing a DC 18 Fortitude save. 
      • Those making the save only suffer ½ damage, but this is usually enough for even a seasoned seeker to become just another lump on the meat pile, cooked just right.
    • Thankfully, shockroaches are usually only encountered one at a time. Usually . . . 
      • [Shockroach: INIT +4; ATK: SP; AC 19; HD: 1 HP; MV 40’, ACT: 1d20; SP: Electrical shock, 10’ radius 3x/day, 3d10 damage or DC 18 Fort save for ½ damage. Immune to electricity and radiation; SV: Fort +10, Ref +6, Will +10]
Judge Jim Wampler - Hydro-reclimator
  • Kilra's Glow Dice Preview: Hydro-reclimator
    • Tech Level: 6
    • Complexity Modifier: 10
    • Range: 60'
    • Damage: 3d6 + DC 10 Fortitude save or be dehydrated into chemical dust
    • Special: Every 10 HP of damage inflicted can be consumed to heal 1d6 HP of damage.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Episode 10 Mutagenesis

Episode 10 First Impressions, First Questions: Part 1 - Mutagenesis

The apocalypse goes to the dogs...

James - Optional Canine Manimal Rules

  • Marley & Me - Book by John Grogan, Movie… 
  • Nothing to do with the post apocalypse
  • Okay, so I’m a huge dog fan.  My ultimate dog, the best dog I’ve ever owned is Ridley the Goldendoodle.  He turned 8 this year, and is pretty much one of my best friends ever.  Just the greatest dog, and I like to show him some love back in my video games.  So on Steam I go by “Weredoodle”, and my Dragon Age Mabari was named after him.
  • In honor of Ridley, and since I believe that dogs will inherit Terra AD after the Great Disaster, here’s a way to make sure your Manimal is a dog… with a special Canine Manimal Table!
  • Mechanics:  Canine Manimals have a terrific sense of smell that effectively allows them to “see” using their nose.  This means that they are never blinded unless both their nose and eyes are impaired.  But given the sensitivity of their noses, they are especially susceptible to any artifacts or other kinds of powers that can be breathed in.  Canine Manimals suffer a -1d on their Fortitude Saves vs. these kinds of attacks.
  • Alternate Canine Only Manimal Sub-Type Table for Dog Fans
    • Roll a d30, just like on the original Table 1-7
    • 1 - 3: Herding Group. Roll a d4
      • 1) Collie
      • 2) Corgi
      • 3) German Shepherd 
      • 4) Shetland Sheepdog
    • 4 -6: Hound Group. Roll a d4
      • 1) Beagle
      • 2) Bloodhound
      • 3) Greyhound
      • 4) Rhodesian Ridgeback
    • 7 - 9: Non-Sporting Group. Roll a d4
      • 1) Bulldog
      • 2) Dalmatian 
      • 3) Poodle
      • 4) Shiba Inu
    • 10 - 12: Sporting Group. Roll a d4
      • 1) Golden Retriever
      • 2) Irish Setter
      • 3) Labrador Retriever 
      • 4) Weimaraner
    • 13 - 15: Terrier Group. Roll a d
      • 1) Bull Terrier
      • 2) Dandie Dinmont Terrier
      • 3) Pit Bull
      • 4) West Highland White Terrier
    • 16 - 18: Toy Group. Roll a d4
      • 1) Chihuahua
      • 2) Papillon
      • 3) Pug
      • 4) Shihtzu
    • 19 - 21: Working Group. Roll a d4
      • 1) Akita
      • 2) Boxer
      • 3) Rottweiler
      • 4) St. Bernard
    • 22 - 24: Designer Breeds. Roll a d4
      • 1) Cockapoo
      • 2) Goldendoodle
      • 3) Huskamute
      • 4) Puggle
    • 25 - 27: Wild Canines. Roll a d4
      • 1) Wolf
      • 2) Dingo
      • 3) Jackal 
      • 4) Coyote
    • 28 - 30: Mutt!  Roll twice and combine the table. This result can be achieved more than once, and the PC keeps gaining additional breeds.  
  • Hyper Mutts!  
    • Mutts are created with a roll of a 28-30, with an additional breed tossed in randomly for each point of luck (or negative luck) modifier.
    • So having a Luck Modifier guarantees a Mutt, and rolling Mutt! just means more Mutt

Forrest - Spike Thrower 
  • Inspired by Russ Nicholson’s art on page 16 of the MCC Core Rulebook, but really inspired by the movie Heavy Metal and particularly the city invasion scene heralded by Black Sabbath’s song The Mob Rules. I will note that I have been waiting 36 years to stat this out!
  • Spike Throwers cast a 2.5’ long metal spike using a combination of metalastic band technology, augmented by weak gaussian fields. They can be shot in 3 or 6 round bursts. 
    • Each spike is rolled for separately, with a cumulative +1 bonus per shot beyond the first successful shot as the target slows and stumbles from the wounds of the initial hit. 
    • The 6 round burst may target two separate opponents, but any bonuses gained on the first 3 round burst are lost until a successful hit is made during the second 3 round burst. 
    • The weapon is prized by assassins because it is nearly silent, allowing a high-firepower, high-lethality sneak attack on assassination targets. Spikes may be coated with poison in order to ensure success in the “job,” but is sometimes considered bad form by seasoned assassins.
    • Tech Level: 3. 
    • Complexity Modifier: 2. 
    • Range: 60/120/180. 
    • Damage: 1d5/spike. 
    • Power: C-Cell (100), F-Cell (200), U-Cell (U). Ammo: Clip (12 shots). 

Episode 11 Mutagenesis

Episode 11 First Impressions, First Questions: Part 2 - Mutagenesis

Got a frog in your throat and it's getting meta...

James - You’re In the Game!
  • What if, in the middle of your MCC campaign you want to run a DCC adventure? Sure, you could convert something on the fly, as we're already seeing, but perhaps there is another way to do this kind of crossover. Perhaps your players come across some kind of artifact that lets them play an NLRPG - Neural Linked Role Playing Game. 
  • I first thought about a game within a game in Knights of the Dinner Table well over a decade ago, when in one issue the Knights play Hackmaster using the holodeck of their Spacehack ship. Under certain circumstances this could work great in MCC. I've done something similar previously (running Adventures in the East Mark in both Savage Worlds - ETU) but that was with a completely different system, ditching the original mechanics.
  • In this Mutagenesis I've got some ways to link the PC and their own PC (PCC? Player Character Character) in an NLRPG:
    • Create a new character! Keep the original PC's Personality, Intelligence, and Luck scores. 
    • The NLRPG makes the PCC roll Strength, Agility, and Stamina from scratch (3d6 in order for the 3). 
    • Luck can be spent, just like in a regular MCC game, and anything spent stays gone.
    • If the PC is playing a PC that regenerates Luck (Halfling or Thief) just run it as normal but PC's can't regenerate to a Luck value higher than that in which they entered the game. For example, if a Shaman starts the DCC adventure with a Luck of 10, but they actually have a Luck of 13 that was recently burned down. For the entirety of the DCC session, their max Luck is 10, no matter what they would regenerate as a Halfling or Thief.
    • Mutations that boost Intelligence or Personality must be used prior to entering the NLRPG, but no other mutations can be used in game. 
    • Lucky Sign remains the same, and the effects carry over to the new character.
    • Hit points are rerolled
  • Naturally, creative Judges and Player may allow artifacts or other mutations to affect the game. 
  • Just like the Matrix, if you die in the game, you can die in real life! 
    • Should the PCC perish in the DCC NLRPG adventure, they must make an immediate Fortitude Saving Throw (DC 12 + level of the module) or they take damage equal to their current hit dice. So a 3rd level warrior would take 3d12 damage, a 4th level Wizard would take 4d4 damage.
  • Where’s the funnel? Not sure how you’d make this work, but open to suggestions. 
Forrest - Devil Swallowers
  • Inspired by reading the excellent online comic “Kill Six Billion Demons” and kitbashing an idea from there with the “Devils” in the MCC Core Rulebook. I’ve always been open about my love for biologically-based technology. And you know I love to make things . . . cost . . . sometimes dearly . . . for my PCs. So here, I came up with a “Devils bargain” . . . it’s not an item, not a monster, it’s what they call in the literary world a “conceit” - a thematic thing around which everything circles. In this case, everything being your character.
  • Among the border tribes that dwell near the northern radiation barrier of Terra AD, some of the more shadowy elements, those that live on the very edges of what little civilization exists, engage in a practice called “Devil Swallows”. A Devil Swallow is an act, sometimes ritualized in initiation rites, sometimes just done as a dare, in which a pure strain human swallows a live Devil larva that has been dosed with a secret binding agent that keeps the Devil alive in the throat of the one swallowing it. The Devil Swallower gains certain benefits from having the Devil larva resident in their throat, depending on the type of larva swallowed:
    • Ant Men Larva: Allows the swallower to communicate telepathically with one target in line of site, whether or not the receiver is a telepath.
    • Croachling Larva: Allows the swallower to walk on walls or ceilings five times a day for up to 5 minutes each “walk”
    • Hopper Larva: Allows the swallower to leap 20’ and land safely up to three times per day. 
    • Wooler Larva: Allows the swallower a +2 to fortitude saves versus radiation.
  • For physiological reasons, only a pure strain human may be a Devil Swallower. Mutational dynamics don’t allow for a “clean” hosting by mutants.
  • The binding agent is kept a strict secret and its use is monitored by an archaic alignment devoted to keeping the secret at whatever the cost.
  • Every Devil’s bargain has its payment. And those who enable Devil Swallowing will dodge any questions about side-effects of the act. Characters who engage in Devil Swallowing suffer a -4 to their Personality score so long as they have the devil in their throat, as their voice becomes raspy and strange pulsating movements show in their throat at all times. Secretions from the devil in the throat are subconsiously repulsive to all around the Devil Swallower, as well. 
  • The devil may not be spontaneously ejected at will. It must be carefully extracted by a trained healer from the aforementioned archaic alignment. Or it can be extracted the old-fashioned way, which kills the character instantly. 
  • Only one larva may live in the throat at a time. Trying to swallow two larvae result in a battle between the two larvae, though the host is the ultimate loser in that fight.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Episode 12 Mutagenesis

Episode 12 Anniversary Episode - The Four Horsemen of the Post-apocalypse - Mutagenesis

Tongue planted firmly in cheek this episode...

James - Archaic Alignment: The Marlacks
  • Should be no surprise that I am a BIG FAN of the 2002 Time Machine movie, even though I know that it wasn’t that great. But Guy Pierce is THE MAN!
  • So once my character from earlier, Marlack the Mutant, reaches suitable level (maybe Level 6+) he’d be out there creating his own Archaic Alignment. 
  • Marlacks are those who submit themselves to the supreme will and super-genius of Marlack the Many Brained. Marlack has created a Hive colony beneath the ground, with a rigid caste system. There are three castes that PC’s can join: workers, gatherers, or meat. There’s also the Marlack caste, but that’s limited to only one… 
    • Marlack: There can be only one Marlack the Many Brained, and he shall rule supreme as the one and only eternal member of this caste.
    • Workers: They are the builders, the creators, those that expand the “Hive of the Marlacks” so that one day it shall expand across the entire world. 
    • Gatherers: Not gatherers of food, but of Artifacts. This is probably the caste that PC’s will want to be, because they go out into the world and find tech to bring back to Marlack the Many Brained.
    • Meat: Not the caste you want to be in, but I think this could make for a fun way to start a campaign. Actually, this is my favorite caste. You are MEAT! You are meant to be consumed by the rest of the Hive colony. You know full well your fate. Perhaps you were gathered from above the colony, or maybe you’ve grown up knowing that you are meat. But meat you are, and meat is all you are good for. 
  • Qualifications: Membership is open to anyone who lacks a mental mutation. So all Pure Strain Humans and Plantients. But Marlack is insecure about his mental abilities, and so he would never allow a Mutant or Manimal with those powers to join the Hive.
  • Benefits: Workers and Gatherers need never starve, and are always welcome to eat some Meat when at a hive. Not much benefit to being Meat, except that they know their station in life very well.
  • Secret Sign: The reality is that all Marlacks are meat to the real Marlack, to be done with as he pleases. So the final test of joining is that initiates must permanently remove a finger (or limb for plantients) and surrender it to Marlack. Showing the stump is a way to show that you belong. 

Forrest - Stranger Flames
  • I’m honestly not much of a TV watcher, but I LOVE Stranger Things. It hits all the right notes for me, partly because I was exactly the same age as the kids on that timeline. I was one of those geeky 12 year olds playing D&D in the basement. I rode my bike everywhere. I lived near secret government installations. And my neighborhood was frequently visited by Lovecraftian horrors. All of this is true, except the Lovecraftian horrors part.
  • Now I could take any number of . . . strange . . . things . . . from Stranger Things, but I’m feeling utilitarian, so I’d like to feature for my mutagenesis, a pair of old standbys: The Asbestos Suit and the Quadruple-Barrelled Flamethrower or QBF.
  • Asbestos Suit: 
    • Tech Level: 3 
    • Complexity Level: 2 
    • Protection: +1 AC 
    • Special: Sheilds against fire damage - An Asbestos Suit provides the wearer with protection from heat damage of up to 12 HP of damage per round. This does not mean, however, that the armor does not get hot! In fact, the wearer can only be subjected to sustained heat for a number of rounds equal to their Stamina score. After this point, the wearer must make a Fortitude save each round beyond this, with a cumulative -1 to their roll for every round or pass out. Those who pass out will sustain heat and fire damage at the regular rate until dead, rescued, or the fire burns itself out. It provides minimal protection from other attacks as well, however, if worn over other armor, the number of rounds before Fortitude saves are required is ½ of what it would normally be. 
  • Quadruple-Barrelled Flamethrower (QBF): 
    • Tech Level: 3 
    • Complexity Level: 5 
    • Range: 60’ 
    • Damage: 1d6 to 4d6
    • The Quadruple-Barrelled Flamethrower is known as one of the most horrific weapons of the ancients. It features a back-mounted fuel tank, a nitrogen propellent tank, and the firing mechanism/gun. One to four barrels may be ignited, each of which will spew forth napalm (or “sticky fire”) to a range of 60’. Those caught in a stream of flame immediately suffer 1d6 of fire damage per stream fired. Furthermore, those hit by the QBF must spend two full rounds doing “stop, drop, and roll,” which grants the victim one opportunity to make a DC 12 Reflex save to put out the fire. During these two rounds, the victim continues to suffer 1d6 of damage per round for each stream that has hit him. Allies of the victim must make a DC 12 Will check when the victim is struck or run away in absolute terror for 1d6 rounds.Thankfully, the fuel for these weapons is rarely found in appreciable quantities and it is consumed rapidly. One full fuel tank holds enough fuel for 8 total streams.

Bill - Cross-Fidget-Bow
  • In the post-apocalypse, crossbows have found a purpose again.  The simplest require no electricity or gun powder to hurl things at high speed towards your enemies.
  • With poor manufacturing facilities, many crossbows are converted to fire what is just lying around. (What would by still lying around?)
  • Many, many centuries before the Great Disaster, a previous civiliation produced something the great seekers have discovered to have been named Fidget Spinners.
  • These have been found to be easily modified to have sharper edges.  The Cross-Fidget-Bows were also modified to use either a power source or mechanical spring to pre-spin the weaponized fidget spinners just prior to firing. 
  • Damage 1d6, Range 40/50/52, Two-handed 
  • Spinning-Accuracy:  Both a characters Agility and Luck modifiers are used in firing the Cross-Fidget-Bow.  If you have a clear shot at the target, you have to factor in a -1.  If the target is around the corner, you get a +1 instead.
  • Special Fidgets:
    • LED Light-Up - These fidgets light-up when spun for some time.  If these are fired and stick into a target (doing at least 1 point of damage), then they glow giving everyone else that round +1 to hit with a ranged weapon

Hector - Dead Lotus
  • Beautiful glowing flowers that grow around irradiated pools, weather big or small
  • When creature comes within 5 feet of the flower it will expel a 20 foot radius cloud of red spores
  • Spores: Fortitude Save DC 14
    • Pass: Limbs controlled by Dead Lotus for 1d3 hours
    • Fail: Limbs controlled by Dead Lotus for 1d6 hours, 
      • Fail a second time and duration is permanent.
    • Plantients are immune to this effect, and additionally may attempt a DC 12 Personality check to wrest control of an affected PC from the Dead Lotus.
  • The Dead Lotus will use the controlled creatures to attack other creatures or to move to other locations to be exposed to more spores.
  • The controlled creature is fully aware of the control throughout the duration. 
  • Inspired by the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Episode 13 Mutagenesis

Episode 13 Plumbing the PSH Part I - Mutagenesis

Tongue planted firmly in cheek this episode...

James - Furburning
  • Okay, this is a bit of a rehash, with some additional hashed MEAT.
  • Something I first cooked up in my “Dead Mice - Mouse Guard meets DCCRPG” quick conversion on my blog
  • Inspired by the Mouse Guard comic books & RPG, since i’m reading them to my son Cooper (who is 7).
  • Burning wheel [RPG] burns my brain
  • Furburning is something that Manimals can do to “burn” themselves back to a more animalistic state, by sacrificing their Intelligence in order to do animalistic things:
  • The original Mouse Guard RPG has a "Raw Ability" called Nature.  The higher the PC's "Nature (Mouse)", the more feral and actually mouselike they appear.  I wanted to capture this element, allowing PC's to embrace their animalistic nature when it can help them survive.  But it comes with great cost!
  • In my original notes, a Mouse PC could elect to temporarily "burn" their Intelligence ability to gain a positive modifier to the following:
    • Climbing
    • Hiding
    • Reflex Saving Throws
  • I’d say that players could work with their Judge to figure out ahead of time what would make more sense for their PC. So perhaps a Wolf Manimal would have:
    • Sense of Smell (bonus to search for something with their nose)
    • Running (+5’ per point of expenditure)
    • Fortitude Saving Throws (cuz dogs can eat anything)
  • These spent points are regained at a rate of 1 per day.  During the time that the character’s Intelligence is reduced, they can be seen acting in a much more primitive state, perhaps even forgetting some of their actual self.

Forrest - Tinfoil Helmet
  • Okay, so the tinfoil helmet doesn’t *actually* have to be tinfoil. But seeing that it was invented by conspiracy-theory loving mad scientists, it should be goofy. For example:
  • But the goofiness, while incurring a -1 to PER when worn, serves a purpose. These rare artifacts allow the wearer to dampen or prevent the effects of some mental attacks: A useful thing for poor, defenseless PSHs in a world full of mutants! A C-Cell gives the device 10 charges, and F-Cell 20, and a U-Cell unlimited. It is Tech Level 4, Complexity Modifier 6. The wise PSH who wears this will learn that by manipulating knobs, twisting dials, and even hitting oneself upside the head, the Tinfoil Helmet can protect one as follows:
    • 1 Charge - Add +2 to any Will save against Mind Control or Mental Blast
    • 2 Charges - Move the result of a Mind Control or Mental Blast one step down. For example, a mutant uses Mind Control against the wearer, with a mutation check result of 23. Expending 2 charge from the Tinfoil Helmet will push the result lower on the chart to the 18-19 range.
    • 5 Charges - Acts as a d20 Mental Shield. Glowburn is not allowed, as a PSH can’t glowburn.
    • 10 Charges - Acts as a d20 Mental Reflection. Glowburn is not allowed, as a PSH can’t glowburn.
  • This artifact was built by and for PSHs, or something evolutionarily close to PSHs. Mutants, Manimals, or Plantients who attempt to use the Tinfoil Helmet will suffer an immediate mental feedback which causes 4d6 of damage and knocks the wearer unconscious for 1d4 hours.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Episode 14 Mutagenesis

Episode 14 Plumbing the PSH Part II - Mutagenesis

Tiny killer robots and two new ways to power your toys...

Marc - Claws
  • So there’s this Peter Weller movie called Screamers based on a  Philip k Dick story called Second Variety. The story is great, and the movie was pretty good. Both have stuck with me since High School.
  • In the movie the screamers are more like little burrowing creatures in design, in the story they are whirling balls of doom. Either way they are self replicating robots that were made to win a war. They hunt people based on their heart beat. These are the type 1s.
  • The kicker is that the self autonomous factories that churn out these killer robots started to design new and better types: claws that look like us. 
  • Type 1 Claw
    • Init +5; Atk claw +4 melee (1d5); AC 14; HD 2d6; HP 8; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SP Straight for the Heart, immune to mind control; SV Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +1.
    • Straight for the Heart: On an attack roll of 20 instead of rolling for a critical hit the Claw has attacked the target’s heart. In addition to normal damage this attack deals 1d10 damage direct to the targets Stamina as the heart is systematically destroyed. 

James - RRP’s (RadRat Packs, Double R’s)
  • Thought a new Power Source could be fun, inspired by the pet store hamster wheel
  • Imagine a backpack full of irradiated, eight legged rats, that have to run on hamster wheels to power artifacts.
  • A way to power high tech gear with low tech swag.
    • Tech Level 1, Complexity Modifier 2
    • Bulky: This pack is HUGE. Best to use when on the ground, or on a pack animal. But if worn, all Reflex Saves are made at -1D.
    • Can transform 1 C-Cell worth of energy for every pound of food and pint of water that is fed to the rats encased within. 

Forrest - Enervating Energizer
  • Funny, I was also thinking about a new power source, but I went the other way into super science.
  • A group of unethical pre-great disaster super scientists had a problem: once they were armed, their human minions would turn on them. Not only was this upsetting to the social order, it also used up precious energy.
  • So why not kill two birds with one stone? If the scientists could incentivize their minions to fight against their enemies *and* conserve energy, it would be a win-win . . . for the scientists. So they created the Enervating Engergizer.
  • The Enervating Energizer is a cloak, worn by a PSH of any class. It generates energy by tapping into the normal kinetic movement of the human body and converting the kinetic energy into stored energy which would power weapons. By throwing their minions into combat with an energy source that drained them of strength, but could protect them (since the best defense is a good offense), they saved on energy costs and gave their minions incentive to fight for their lives, quite literally, while, at the same time, keeping said minions tired and hungry and sending them crawling back to their more intelligent masters after every battle. If they survived.
  • Mechanically, here’s how it works: 
    • A cloak is worn by a PSH or Manimal or Mutant with a more-or-less human body structure. (the skeleto-muscular system of a plantient is just plain too weird for the cloak to work properly). The cloak comes with a power cable and a lazer pistol. Since this piece of equipment was experimental and didn’t quite get perfected before the Great Disaster, it’s a bit quirky. The wearer must exert a great deal of physical activity in a short time to generate charges. Running in place, jumping rope, or dancersize will do. But this wears a body down. 
    • The wearer may “burn” one point of STA or STR in exchange for 1d3 shots worth of energy to the attached lazer pistol. Because the Enervating Energizer reaches deep into the physiological structures of the victim . . . er . . . wearer, that STA or STR loss is gained back at only at the rate of 1 point every 3 days. Still, the energy is limited only by the wearer’s mortality.
    • The laser pistol is especially fitted for the Enervating Energizer. To convert a different energy weapon for use with the cloak requires a result of 34 or higher on the artifact check table. The energy gained for a converted weapon should scale with the regular use of charges for that weapon in comparison with a lazer pistol. For example, a lazer rifle, which normally gets 5 shots out of a C-Cell, or half that of a lazer pistol, would get 1d3/2 charges per point of STA or STR loss. Round all fractions down. 
    • Tech Level: 5; Complexity Modifier: 4

Episode 15 Mutagenesis

Episode 15 Great Disasters - Mutagenesis

Featuring two movies that will survive the end of days...

James - Sacred Shard of Armageddon
  • For the 200th anniversary of the acclaimed movie Armageddon starring Bruce Willis, Liv Tyler, and Ben Affleck, the movie was AI-infused Holographically Remastered.
  • To do this, brain cells from all the deceased actors were taken, and then transformed into self aware AI holographs. They were in turn forced to re-create Armageddon, and then later were forced to do live versions of the show on tour around the world. 
  • So each Sacred Shard has an AI version of one of the characters from the movie, rolled at random on a d12:
    • 1 Bruce Willis as Harry S. Stamper
    • 2 Billy Bob Thornton as Dan Truman
    • 3 Liv Tyler as Grace Stamper
    • 4 Ben Affleck as A.J. Frost
    • 5 Will Patton as Chick
    • 6 Peter Stormare as Lev Andropov
    • 7 Keith David as General Kimsey
    • 8 Owen Wilson as Oscar
    • 9 William Fichtner as Colonel Willie Sharp
    • 10 Steve Buscemi as Rockhound
    • 11 Michael Clarke Duncan as Bear
    • 12 Roll twice, and combine both into a horrible, self aware amalgamation of both.
  • Mechanics
    • Tech Level 3
    • Complexity Level 1 (really easy to use)
    • Range: Special (The holograph is medium sized like a typical PSH, and can only move up to 2’ away from the shard.
    • Power: C-Cell (2d7 hours), F-Cell (2d7 days), Q-Cell (U)
  • So, what does it do? Well, quite literally, a fully self-aware version of that character from the movie appears. They know everything they would know from the movie, and can offer tips and tactics to that end. 
  • So maybe your character has the Harry Stamper shard. Well, that means a life size, holograph of Bruce Willis appears. How does that affect your game? That’s up to you. 
  • Black Mirror meets a Michael Bay movie.  

Marc - Graboids!
  • Because somehow new Tremors movies keep coming like worms on your lawn after a heavy rain…
  • But at some point in the pre-pocalypse world it became cheaper to genetically engineer some actual graboids and then pit them against real people in a weird reality TV survival show.
  • Unknown years later those creatures have mutated into even more monstrous and lethal creatures. These are not for the faint of heart
    • Hit Dice: 8d8, avg HP 40
    • AC: 16, Init +5; Atk bite +8 melee (1d10); or Drag Under Special +4 
    • MV 60’ subterranean only; Act 2d20; SP Drag Under, Tremorsense; SV Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +3.
    • Tremorsense: The graboid “sees” by sensing any movement and impact on the ground in a 360 degree around them. 
    • Drag Under: If a graboid successfully attacks with a bite on it’s first action in a round it may make a special drag under attack against the target’s strength. If successful the target is dragged below ground and immediately takes an additional 1d14 damage.

Episode 16 Mutagenesis

Episode 16 Mutations of Terra A.D. Mutagenesis
Cyber-centaurs, Mighty Deeds of Artifacts, and a Quantum Holographic Projector Belt....

James - Cyber-centaurs
  • Cyber Centaur and Human Centaur-Pede… not sure. 
    • Why not BOTH! 
  • Original Centaur in DCC kinda meh 
    • Fast with two attacks, a hoof, and a bow 
    • Some fun mods to make Centaurs more Centaurific in your MCC game 
    • Start with the base stats on page 398 of the DCC corebook. Yes, I know this is an MCC podcast, but if you don’t have DCC, do yourself a favor, and go get it now. Seriously, pause the podcast and do it. 
    • Done? Great.
  • Cyber Centaur: 
    • New AC is 18, and as a special attack, the Cyber Centaur has a Domination Ray as per Page 69 of the MCC rulebook. Yeah, it’s just a mutation, but it’s great for Cyber Centaurs. It’s like a Borg or Cyberman vibe. 
  • Human Centaur-Pede: 
    • This would be 3 centaurs connected via the gastric system by a certain doctor found only in the wastelands 
    • 3 centaurs connect that way would be pretty unwieldy. So same stats of a Centaur for everything except HP (6d8 instead of 2d8), AC (7, really easy to hit), but 6d14 action dice. These dudes are just furious for being connected this way and have a lot of hoofin’ to do at your PC’s. 
    • Maybe give it a mutation? Or better yet, give all the parts of the Centaur Pede a mutation? 
  • Seriously, take whatever you want from DCC, add one mutation, and there you go. 

Marc - Mighty Deeds of Artifacts!
  • Yes, that’s right, Mighty Deeds … of Artifacts! I think I’m actually going to test bed this in my monthly game, but the idea is that a Sentinel using an artifact already gets a bonus die, I’m not seeing any downside to allowing them to declare a Mighty Deed that uses that artifact (e.g. a ricochet shot with a gauzer pistol, or trying to melt a lock with a laser rifle). Just like in DCC a 3+ result on the Sentinel’s artifact die would declare success of the deed in some degree. 
  • It’s simple enough I think, and will help Sentinel’s shine so long as they are using artifacts (which also will incentivize them to use artifacts). 
  • So the basics here are: 
    • The deed must be related to an artifact weapon or armor used by the sentinel! 
    • The Sentinel's Artifact die must come up a 3+ for the deed to happen! 
    • The attack (or other action) must also succeed! 
    • The Artifact die does not add to damage (unlike a Warrior's deed die) this is expected to be offset by the higher damage output of artifact weapons. 

Forrest - Quantum Holographic Projector Belt 
  • Tech Level: 4 Complexity Modifier: 4 Range: Special Power: C-Cell (20), F-Cell (40), U-Cell (U). 
  • This belt, when activated, projects a perfect holographic image of the wearer up to 100’ away. The projection is not blocked by matter or electronic interference. The projected image exactly mirrors the wearer’s every move. The image can pick up nearby physical objects and manipulate them, but cannot make actions that emanate from the belt-wearer’s *being*. Thus, the image could pick up and throw a rock, so long as the wearer initiates the action as if he was physically where the image is now. But the image could not, for example, use Gas Generation, though the image could *appear* as if it was generating gas. 
  • And, of course your players will ask: what if the image is attacked? The effects of quantum entanglement kick in, and the wearer *might* be affected. If the image is attacked, the wearer of the belt must make a Will save, with results as follows: 
    • Save roll is 15+ - no effect to image or wearer 
    • Save roll is 12-15 - image wavers and shimmers, giving away the fact that it is not physically present 
    • Save roll is 9-12 - image disappears and must be restarted, using another charge, if the belt wearer wants to continue using the image 
    • Save roll is 6-8 - image disappears and quantum entanglement feedback stuns the belt wearer for 1d6 rounds, during which he may do nothing but focus on recovering from the stunning effect 
    • Save roll is 2-7 - image disappears and quantum entanglement feedback stuns the belt wearer for 2d10 rounds, as well as doing 1d3 hit points of damage to the wearer 
    • Save roll is 1 - the image and the wearer “coalesce”. The wearer is still a physical being, but with all physical statistics cut in half - Strength, Agility, and Stamina are all permanently cut in half. All hit points are permanently cut in half. He or she feels only partially “present”, which has a deleterious effect on Personality, cutting that score in half, as well. Any further attempt at using the belt by a character in this condition causes a quantum implosion, destroying the character and doing 2d20 points of damage to all within a 30’ radius. 
  • Marc's suggestion: Instead of a Will save use an Artifact check...


Welcome to what I (Judge Marc) am calling the "Glowblog." We're going to be using this to post our Mutagenesis creations, and maybe other stuff, possibly the full show notes. If you have something you would like to see us add here please let us know via the email or on twitter @glowburn