Monday, January 6, 2020

Episode 28 Mutagenesis

Episode 28 The Feast of the Mutagenesis

To: Glowburn
From: Marc DeSantis


The Great Disaster unleashed overwhelming amounts of radiation and mutagenic agents upon the natural world, and insect species were no more immune than any others. Combining the grace and loveliness of a butterfly with the extreme aggressiveness of a hornet, the vampire butterfly, or vamfly, is an airborne terror of the hothouse world of Terra A.D. The size of small pre-Great Disaster dogs, and attacking in packs of 3-6 creatures, vamflies will initiate combat by mesmerizing opponents with neon indigo pulses of their bioluminescent wings, forcing foes to make Will saves or succumb to severe dizziness, resulting in a -1 penalty to Agility for 1d4 rounds. The vamfly will next attempt to spear an opponent with its sharp proboscis. A successful strike will result in blood being drawn from the wound, resulting in 1d6 damage.
Vamfly: Init +6; Atk bite +4 (1d6); AC 10; HD 1d6; MV 20’; Act 1d20; SP Mesmerize: Target loses 1 Dexterity for 1d4 rds if target fails Fortitude save at -4; AC 10; SV Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +4.

BOILS Rad Mummy
Note: This is based loosely on actual Nobel Prize-winning science.

The Bywater-Ogilvie Institute for Life Sciences (BOILS) was one of the premier centers of cancer research of the Ancients. In the years right before the Great Disaster, BOILS had implemented cutting-edge treatments employing lab-engineered human therapeutic antibodies. These worked to suppress even the most aggressive cancers, allowing the afflicted to lead normal, healthy lives. Periodic patient visits to a local BOILS treatment facility to replenish the antibodies inside automated rejuvenation chambers kept the cancers in check indefinitely.

Unfortunately, the massive radiation that bathed Terra A.D. following the Great Disaster strengthened the cancers to extraordinary degrees, saddling the Institute’s patients with hyper-aggressive diseases once again. These tended to waste the minds of the afflicted, leaving them nearly-mindless husks. Today, BOILS rad mummies are driven by instinct to return to their sarcophagus-like rejuvenation chambers where the beleaguered therapeutic antibodies are replenished by fresh infusions. These treatments will temporarily send the surging cancers into remission, thereby restoring the rad mummies to a semblance of life and conscious direction, before the vicious cancers get the upper hand, forcing the mummies to return once again for new treatments, starting the cycle anew.

Slow-moving and highly territorial, a BOILS rad mummy is typically clad the shreds of its Ancient hospital garments, resembling nothing so much as a walking corpse covered head-to-foot in bulbous cancerous growths. It will fiercely defend the local BOILS facility which it once used in life, understanding only dimly that its continued existence somehow depends upon access to the still-functional rejuvenation chambers within them.
BOILS Rad Mummy: Init +0; Atk +2 melee (2d6); AC 12; HD 4d6; MV 10’; Act 1d20; SP immune to mind control; SV Fort +6, Ref +0, Will +6.

To: Glowburn & Star Crawl
From: Jonathan Snodgrass

Bot 118-SC (download the PDF here!)

The scientists of one particular world of Greys have a penchant for biological study and experimentation. Their work requires a regular supply of fresh specimens, typically collected from the more primitive worlds in neighboring star systems. On such planets, they rarely practice much subtlety, deploying large robots in snatch-and-grab missions.
Their collections are fairly regular, visiting each planet in intervals that prevent depletion of the population. They will often leave behind food and supplies to encourage healthy growth of their specimen pool.

Years ago, they noticed one village on their route had begun selecting specimens for collection, leaving them restrained in the regular path of their collection bot. On further examination, they realized they had unwittingly created a new religion among these primitives. The populace saw the aid delivered as a reward for choosing to purge themselves of their weakest members. They did not discourage this behavior- instead, their scientists saw an opportunity to study development of religion and mythology. They continue the collections, but now lean into their role as gods of this world.
COLLECTION BOT 118-sCCollection Bot 118-sC: Init +4; Atk 2 Grabs +4 melee (10’ reach; drop into holding cell on next round), Hypnotic lights (100’ range; Will vs DC 14 or frozen in place; with success, -1 die type to all actions while within view of lights); AC 18 (20 within holding cell); HD 8d10 (50 HP); MV 30’; Act 2d20; SP holding cell (hypnotic sonic pulses within: Fort vs DC 16 or lulled into sleep), immune to mind affecting powers; SV Fort +8, Ref -2 , Will +10; AL N
This massive robot, standing 4 meters tall and nearly as wide, is designed to collect and contain specimens for scientific research. It is painted in horizontal stripes of white and red. The bot’s movement is fairly quick and agile upon its four spindly legs. Along
its midsection is a band of red and green lights, pulsing in a hypnotic pattern. Any looking upon Collection Bot 118-sC without some sort of eye protection must make a Will save (DC 14) or freeze in place, staring at the beautiful lights. Even those who successfully save will make all actions and checks at -1 die type while they can still see the lights.

Using its extendable claw-like hands, it grabs the specimens and drops them into the large holding cell that makes up the bulk of the bot’s substantial girth. Once dropped inside, rhythmic music lulls the prisoner into a gentle sleep. The holding cell can hold 5 man-size beings; typically, the bot and its helpers will retreat once the holding cell is full.
Collection Bot 118-sC has fairly autonomous programming which allows it to carefully collect specimens; however, it has no artificial intelligence or personality, making it immune to almost all mental mutations or psycher powers. On missions, it is always accompanied by handlers, or “Bot’s Little Helpers”, as Collection Crew 118-sC jokingly refer to themselves.
BOT’S LITTLE HELPERSBot’s Little Helpers: Init +4; Atk Stun rod +2 melee (Stun DC 15), Advanced photon pistol +3 (DC 14 stun or 1d8+1 damage); AC 14 (photoreactive bodysuit); HD 2d6; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SP +14 stealth, Natural telepathy (can automatically communicate with telepaths or others of their race), protective goggles (+8 vs visual attacks; immune to Bot 118-sC’s hypnotic patterns); SV Fort -, Ref+2, Will +6; AL L
These thin, large headed Greys have a special exuberance for collecting other beings (for purely scientific purposes, of course). The crew of 6 assigned to accompany Collection bot 118-sC wear the standard photoreactive body suits of their people, allowing them to blend into their surroundings. Because of the special circumstances surrounding this particular mission, while in the company of Collection Bot 118-sC they set their suits to display a bright red and white pattern (the Cultural Anthropology team seems to think this encourages acquiescence of the populace). Should the bot be disabled or destroyed, they will immediately activate the photoreactive properties of the suits and retreat to their ship for escape.

Each helper carries a package of supplies for the village, wrapped in red and white striped paper. If attacked, a helper will only have a single (random) package; if they are allowed to complete their mission, they will leave behind 1d3 packages per specimen Collected. Roll 1d8 on the following table to determine the contents of a package:
  1. Dried fruits suspended in dense nutrient block. Each serving counts as a full meal, but the consumer has -1 die type to all physical actions over the next 2d20 minutes (1d4 loaves with 6 servings each) 
  2. Insulated foot wrappings. When worn, these comfortable coverings grant the wearer +2 to all saves/checks against negative environmental conditions. (1d4 pairs) 
  3. Dermal wound sealant. When the gel-like contents of this tube are applied to a wound, it heals 1d6 HP. (2d4 uses) 
  4. Enriched protein disks with calcium nuggets. Each of these small flat snacks is delicious and nutritious, providing +1 die type to all Strength and Stamina checks for the next d10 turns. (2d6 disks) 
  5. Quantum nesting dolls. This is a small model of Collection Bot 118-sC. When the seam along the middle is opened, another slightly smaller model is found inside. Another can be found within this one, and another inside that. Once a fifth model is revealed, one of those already revealed will subtly disappear and all the remaining models become almost imperceptibly larger (Intelligence DC 18 to notice these things). From that point forward, no matter how many are opened, there will always be five models, with another inside. At any point, they can be re-assembled to form a model exactly the same size as the original. (1 doll) 
  6. Personal cleansing mitt. This object has the appearance of a rectangular pillow. It has flat openings on either side and is soft inside and out. A being may slide their hands in each side to have them thoroughly cleaned, removing filth as well as all traces of bacteria and germs. This process gives +1 die type to any saves for contracting disease or versus contact poisons if the hands are thrust in immediately after exposure. The cleansing process takes mere moments, but beings who leave their hands inside the cleansing mitt will find it provides a warm, pleasant sensation. Leaving one’s hands inside for more than a minute has some serious detrimental effects: they will sustain 1d4 damage and suffer -1 die type to any acts requiring manual dexterity for the next 1d4 days. (1d3 mitts) 
  7. Sweet sticks. These hard sticks, in the traditional red and white stripes of 118-sC, are sweet and delicious, dissolving slowly in the mouth. They are highly addictive to humans (and mutants). If someone who has eaten one of the sticks in the past sees someone else eating one, they must make a Will save (DC 12) or use every means (including violence) to obtain the stick. Fortunately for the consumer, the stick itself becomes sharp while dissolving and can be used as a stabbing weapon for 1d3 damage. (2d10 sticks) 
  8. Snuggly shirt. This garment is bulky, woven from some sort of dense wool-like material. When worn, it is extremely comfortable and warm, reducing all cold related damage to the user by 1 die type. Its bulk grants +2 AC and its generous size allows it to be worn over other armors. However, this same bulk makes quick movements difficult, reducing all Agility related checks (including Reflex saves) by -1 die type. It’s bright, garish colors also give a -6 to all sneak or hide attempts. (1 shirt)

To: Glowburn & Umerica
From: Reid san Filippo

AKA the Xmas Treant

Usually found roaming the northern forests of Umerica, this humanoid fir trees are easily identifiable by the glittery ornamentation they adorn themselves with. Hundreds of shiny orbs dangle from their boughs and bright coils of silvery barbed wire tinsel are intricately woven around their branches. It is said that while they now owe a cursory allegiance to Santa, they once served a different, wilder deity...

These brutish wooden giants spend their days searching their frosty domains for items worthy of being gifts and then magically wrapping them in extravagantly decorative packaging capable of enduring any weather conditions. They hoard these presents in a large pile next to their favorite spot to sleep, which they do standing up. Woe be to any who would pilfer or disturb these gifts on any day other than Santa's blessed Black Friday...
Tannenbaumination (Xmas Treant): Init -2; Atk claw +10 melee (2d8) or throw ornament +8 (as grenade, Damage Die: d10, Blast Range: 5'); AC 8; Armor Die [1d6]; HD 8d10; MV 45’; Act 2d20; SP sense gift worthiness, theft rage, wrapping engangle; SV Fort +8, Ref -2, Will +6; AL N.
Sense Gift Worthiness: Tannenbauminations can detect natural or manufactured objects of good quality that are fit to be given as gifts with a range of one mile. Once a possible gift is detected, they will pursue it with haste. Should it already belong to someone, they will not steal it but if it is not obviously owned, they will claim it, wrap it, and add it to their hoard.   
Theft Rage: Should anyone be fool enough to steal an gift from the hoard of a living  tannenbaumination, it will instantly know and begin hunting down the thief. The fir giant will move at triple its normal pace (135') in howling pursuit and ignore any terrain modifiers as long as it is within its forested domain. It will continue the pursuit until the thief is caught, the gift is returned/abandoned, or the thief escapes for the  tannenbaumination's domain. The tannenbaumination gains +1d4 to all attacks and damage versus a gift thief and their allies.     
Wrapping Engangle: As an action, a tannenbaumination can hurl a whirling bundle of magic ribbons and wrapping paper at a foe within 40'. They must make a Reflex save (DC 14) or become entangled (Cannot move, suffers -2 to attack rolls, and -2 to AC). Entangled foes will require a Strength check (DC 12) to break free.  

To: Glowburn
From: Judge James

Chuck from The Riverbottom Nightmare Band (Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas)
Init +4; Atk Nightmare Slap +6 melee (1d8+4); AC 13 (jean jacket); HD 5d8+5; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SP [SEE BELOW]; SV Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +4; AL C.
  • RIVERBOTTOM NIGHTMARE BAND: As a free action, every round in combat the Judge rolls 1d4. On a roll of a 4, Chuck screams RIVERBOTTOM NIGHTMARE BAND, and every enemy within 50’ must roll a Will save (DC 15) or they suffer a crippling, damaging fear. Take 1d7 damage, and suffer -1d to all actions for the next round. 
  • I wear my sunglasses at night: Chuck from the Riverbottom Nightmare Band always wears shades. This can be an issue at night. If encountering Chuck during the evening, he suffers a -1d penalty to all attacks. 
  • Chuck’s Jean Jacket
    • Tech Level: 4 Complexity Modifier: 4 Protection: +3 AC Special: Allows wearer to use the Riverbottom Nightmare Band scream by Glowburning 1 point of Personality
    • Power: Special, Glowburn only. Because needles or something. 

To: Glowburn
From: Judge Marc

A Visit From Saint Douglas

Twas the night before Mutagenesis and all through the land
Radiation was flowing through every organ and gland
Weapons were stacked by the door with care
For fear that tibbar and yvox would soon be there

The Pure Strains were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of artifacts danced in their heads
And plantients in their pots, and Manimals in their nests
Had quieted their powers for a long night’s rest

When out in the jungle, there arose such a clatter,
That the mutants all rushed to see what was the matter
Up to the watchposts they flew in a flash
Armed with spear, and blades, and liquids that splash

The sky-arc on the leaves of the jungle below
gave the lustre of great radioactive glow,
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh and eight mutant reindeer.

With a little old driver, green like a slug,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Doug.
More rapid than devils, the creatures they came,
and he burbled and hooted and called them by name:

"Now Masher! Now Lancer!
Now, Smasher and Boxen!
On, Comet! On, Pupid!
On, Donna and Ritzen!
Over the village!
Over the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away!
Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild Glowstorm fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky
so into the village the coursers they flew,
with the sleigh full of artifacts, and St. Douglas too.

And then, all a twinkling, and with a strange woof
the prancing and pawing of each glowing hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
Into my hut St. Douglas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of artifacts he had flung on his back,
and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

Cyber eyes--how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
Upon His cheeks grew roses, from his nose a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and his beard illuminated from within with a nuclear glow.

An artifact he held tight in his teeth,
From it a forcefield encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a big round belly,
that shook when he moved, like a captured ooze or jelly.

Part mutant, part plantient, and maybe part elf,
I saw that he was just a seeker like myself.
A flash in his eye and I was filled with such dread
But I soon realized he wasn’t here for my head.

He spoke without words, and went straight to his work,
He filled the armory, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
and pressing a button, into the sky he rose.

He flew to his craft, to his team gave a shout,
And away they all flew before any knew they were about.
But I heard him exclaim, as he flew from my sight,
"Happy Mutagenesis to all, and to all a good night!"