Wednesday, May 22, 2019

MCC - Purple Pit of the Mole Men (Area 2-4)

Area 2-3 Reactor Chamber

This is the facility's reactor chamber, the source of the radiation flooding the lower levels, and the "throne room" for the mole men's queen. As an environmental hazard this room is exceedingly dangerous, requiring a DC 16 Fortitude save against 1d8 damage PER ROUND unless the reactor has been at least partially deactivated.

Once through the access chamber the door opens into a massive chamber. Nearly 150 feet across and rising and unknown distance upward (at least 100 feet based on the stairwell). This chamber consists of metal catwalks over a steaming lake of water tinged with shimmering bluish-purple light. The center of the camber is dominated by a massive purple crystal that glows from within with a sickly light (or a large empty area of open water surrounded by catwalks. The mole men here are the largest of those you have seen and the 6 warriors are instantly at guard and ready to strike down an enemy at the slightest provocation. A grossly obese or perhaps greatly pregnant mole-woman presides over the room from a throne of crates and cushions. She wields a strange artifact in one hand and wears a suit of form hugging shimmering metal cloth.

The guards are always at the ready and fiercely protective of their queen/matron. They have 15, 16, 29, 20, 8, and 26 HP. The queen is armed with a laser pistol and wears plasteel mesh. All of the mole people have the ability to regenerate 1 HP per round unless the reactor has been completely shut down, so adapted to the radiation they have become.

Mole Men:
Init: +2; Atk +1 Spear (1d7) or +1 Bow (1d6); Act: 1d20; AC: 13 (hides); HD: 3d10 (15); Mv: 20; SP Immune to Radiation; Sv. F +3, R +1, W +2
Mole Woman Queen-Matriarch
Init: +0; Atk +1 Laser Pistol (3d6, ranged, 1d20 charges) or +4 Mind Control (pg 75); Act: 1d20+1d16; AC: 15 (plasteel mesh); HD: 5d10 (30); Mv: 20; SP Immune to Radiation; Sv. F +4, R +0, W +4
The queen is willing to talk to visitors (they have proven themselves strong and worthy of domination) but will attempt to Mind Control them as soon as she is able. The Queen will use her 1d20 action die for mind control until she loses it after which she will use both action dice to attack with the laser piston until it runs out of ammo.

Aside from the Laser Pistol and Plasteel Mesh the only loot of note within the reactor chamber is the large purple crystal. Characters wishing to take a sample of the crystal are free to do so, and judges are free to decide how good, or bad, of an idea that is.

Exits to:

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

MCC - Purple Pit of the Mole Men (Area 2-3)

Area 2-3 Reactor Access

A larger airlock style chamber that provides access into and out of the reactor. Only one door to this room can be open at a time. If a character enters the access chamber with the facility comm badge the doors will cycle automatically within 1 minute. Alternately a DC 12 check by a Rover will engage the cycle. If neither option is available a total of 50 damage must be done to the mechanisms to force the closed door open.

A chamber no bigger than three long paces on a side. The door into this room is heavier and thicker than those you have seen prior. The door opposite is the same way and remains closed. Within the chamber are a triplicate of lockers on one wall. 

The ambient radiation here is high, unless the reactor was turned off, and requires a DC 14 Fortitude save every turn to avoid 1d8 radiation damage.

The lockers contain 1 medishot (pg 178) and 1 radshot (pg 178).

Exits to:

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

MCC - Purple Pit of the Mole Men (Area 2-2)

Area 2-2 Central Maintenance

A large open room that has been mostly cleared out by the mole men, this area is the main hub of the lower level.

A large rectangular room occupied primarily but a large artifact of some kind taking up an entire wall, and three exits, one on each of the other three walls. Spaced around the remaining space are lockers shelves, and tool chests. The air here is hot and humid, and there is are a number of mushrooms similar to those found upstairs growing in the corners. 

The ambient radiation here is high, unless the reactor was turned off, and requires a DC 12 Fortitude save every turn to avoid 1d8 radiation damage.

Searching the shelves, lockers, and tool boxes will yield three Envirobelts (pg 175) in working order, these can be potent artifacts if the reactor is still functioning. With a successful luck check a fusion torch (pg 180) can also be found but it requires a power source to be functional.

The artifact control panel is the auxiliary control for the reactor and can execute the same tasks but does so with a more complicated control scheme for the purposes of maintenance. It uses the following results table and has a Complexity Modifier of -5:
  • 1: Meltdown! Claxons wail as the controls fail and the reactor enters meltdown. Meltdown will occur within 3d24 hours creating a massive explosion. In the lead up to the meltdown radiation within the facility rises dramatically forcing a DC 20 Fortitude save per round vs 1d30 radiation damage. 
  • 2-10: No effect. Such complexity boggles the mind and you simply fail to make any meaningful adjustments to the operation of this ancient device. 
  • 11-15: Minor adjustments to the operation of the reactor reduce the radiation output from the strange core. Reduce all Radiation DCs by 2 and the damage from failed saves by -1d.
  • 16-19: Partial Shutdown. The reactor is moved to standby power levels reducing all save DCs by 5 and damage by -2d.
  • 20+: Complete Shutdown. The reactor is fully shutdown removing the ongoing threat of radiation within 1 turn but also turning off all power within the facility.

In addition to the stairs up to the first level (Area 1-7), a closed door exits to Area 2-1 Pump Control, and an open one leads to the small Reactor Access Area 2-3.

Exits to:

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

MCC - Purple Pit of the Mole Men (Area 2-1)

Area 2-1 Pump Control

One of two possible ways for the PCs to reach the lower level, this room acts as a sort of barracks and sauna for the mole men, who are immune to the radiation present in the air and water. The ruined equipment here used to circulate the cooling water from the core to the underground reservoir. Now that the pumps are broken the water is heavily irradiated and has caused the damage to the elevator shaft as described in Are 1-3.

One end of this room is flooded with about a foot radioactive water coming in from the degraded elevator shaft. The other is dry with a hatch leading into the central maintenance area. The room is full of broken machinery and sleeping pallets of the mole men. It's far cleaner than the upper den (the bathrooms) but still cluttered with all manner of items. Three of the sleeping pallets appear to be occupied by the large forms of mole men warriors. 

The warriors here (HP 14 / 5 / 22) work with their leader in the stairwell to protect the inner lair and their queen. The atmosphere here is highly polluted by radioactivity and for every turn spent within a DC 12 Fortitude save is required to avoid taking 1d6 radiation damage. This is affected by anything done to the reactor from the main control or the central maintenance areas.

Mole Men:
Init: +2; Atk +1 Spear (1d7) or +1 Bow (1d6); Act: 1d20; AC: 13 (hides); HD: 3d10 (15); Mv: 20; SP Immune to Radiation; Sv. F +3, R +1, W +2
The room is largely empty of useful items but a thorough search of at least 1 turn can reward the PCs with a Multitool (pg 181) and, with a successful Luck check, a Sonic Spanner (pg 181).

Exits to:

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

MCC - Purple Pit of the Mole Men (Area 1-7)

Area 1-7 Stairs

Cleverly hidden behind some easy to remove panels of the barricade that breaks up Area 1-2 is a doorway that the mole men use as entrance and egress. Characters can spot this if they specifically disassemble this portion of the barricade, or with a DC 10 Intelligence check.

You open the door into a chamber that was likely once bright white, but years of grime have rendered it a mottled grey. To the left there is a ladder to the ceiling and hatch. In front of you there is the start of a set of stairs down. 

If the reactor has been shut down there will be no lights in the complex and the stairs will be dark as the mole men can see in the dark. The stairs wind downward for nearly 100 feet and the area is usually under guard by a single mole man () who is armed with the usual weapons plus an artifact zapper glove (pg 175).

Mole Man:
Init: +2; Atk +1 Spear (1d7), +1 Zapper Glove (sp) or +1 Bow (1d6); Act: 1d20; AC: 13 (hides); HD: 3d10 (15); Mv: 20; SP Immune to Radiation; Sv. F +3, R +1, W +2
If the power is on the guard will not be alone and on low awareness, but if the power has been shut down he will go to the bottom of the stairs to gather the mole men from area 2-2 as reinforcements.

The hatch in the ceiling leads directly outside and is the way that the mole men typically enter and leave the complex, it is not locked, and may be a way to get some light into the stairs if the power is out.

Exits to:

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

MCC - Purple Pit of the Mole Men (Area 1-6)

Area 1-6 Main Control Room

A complex artifact looking out onto the reactor chamber below. This room has a great deal of ambient radiation but also can enable the characters to shut down the reactor below.

A wall of hard air separates you from a room filled wall-to-wall with complex machinery and controls. Clearly an artifact of incredible complexity, it even has seats for two ancient ones to operate. Beyond the controls a window looks out onto a wide open space from which an intense purple glow emanates.   
The doors to the control room will automatically open for anybody with the comm badge from area 1-1, or with a DC 10 check by a Rover, a total of Str 20 applied, or 30 points of damage inflicted upon the hard air.

The hard air portal swooshes open and a wave of hot air rolls out and over you causing you skin to tingle and your nostrils to flare from the stale smell of aeons old air. You can now hear the quiet clicking and whirring of the great mechanism before you.

Any who enter the control room should make a DC 10 Fortitude save or take 1d6 radiation damage. Repeat this save for every turn (10 minutes) spent within the control room due to the in effective radiation shielding.

The artifact control panel uses the following results table:
  • 1: Meltdown! Claxons wail as the controls fail and the reactor enters meltdown. Meltdown will occur within 3d24 hours creating a massive explosion. In the lead up to the meltdown radiation within the facility rises dramatically forcing a DC 20 Fortitude save per round vs 1d30 radiation damage. 
  • 2-10: No effect. Such complexity boggles the mind and you simply fail to make any meaningful adjustments to the operation of this ancient device. 
  • 11-15: Minor adjustments to the operation of the reactor reduce the radiation output from the strange core. Reduce all Radiation DCs by 2 and the damage from failed saves by -1d.
  • 16-19: Partial Shutdown. The reactor is moved to standby power levels reducing all save DCs by 5 and damage by -2d.
  • 20+: Complete Shutdown. The reactor is fully shutdown removing the ongoing threat of radiation within 1 turn but also turning off all power within the facility.
Exits to:

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

MCC - Purple Pit of the Mole Men (Area 1-5)

Area 1-5 The Den/Restrooms

Once on the other side of the debris barrier the PCs should notice a pair of doorways on the left side of the room. The closer of the two leads to the restrooms, now used as the den for the mole men. All is quiet within except on a truly exceptional roll or with a mutant power which may detect the 2-3 mole men sleeping within:

Through the opening you can see into a dimly lit room. The air within is a stinking miasma of body odor and fecal matter, apparently the mole men are not big on hygiene. You can dimly make out the shapes of several sleeping pallets of hides and furs at least 2 of which are occupied. Along on wall you can see a waist high shelf and the room double back into a section of metal walls. 

Stealthy PCs may be able to ambush and/or coup de gras the mole men within. Allow the PCs to roll d24s for initiative and/or the first round attacks if they maintain stealth. The first 2 mole men in the room have 20 & 17 hit points, roll 3d10 for any additional mole men you may need.

If the combat takes more than 3 rounds, or spills out into the main room (Area 1-2) the mole men from area 1-4 will ambush the PCs if they have not already been dealt with.

Mole Men:
Init: +2; Atk +1 Spear (1d7) or +1 Bow (1d6); Act: 1d20; AC: 13 (hides); HD: 3d10 (15); Mv: 20; SP Immune to Radiation; Sv. F +3, R +1, W +2
Once the mole men are defeated the players will likely search the room. The metal walled area are the old bathroom stalls which no longer have active plumbing but the mole men still use for their business and are disgusting but otherwise unoccupied. The half wall is a row of sinks and one of them has a medishot (pg 178). The room is otherwise devoid of useful loot.

Exits to:

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

MCC - Purple Pit of the Mole Men (Area 1-4)

Area 1-4 The Break Room

Once on the other side of the debris barrier the PCs should notice a pair of doorways on the left side of the room. The farther of the two leads to the break room, and the Judge may opt to have the flickering light of a fire come from the doorway and/or the sound of high-pitched mole men voices. If the players sneak up to the entry they should definitely see and hear these. Should they look in describe the following:

Through the opening you can see into a small room, no more than 15 feet on a side. Two of the walls are occupied by storage compartments with a large metal storage box directly across from the opening. The center of the room is filled with a fire-pit over which a large pot or cauldron hangs and from which the sounds and smells of some kind of strange stew cooking can be experienced. Huddled around this meal-to-be are a group of mole men [1+1/2 PCs; typically 4] conversing in a strange chittering language.

The mole men will react hostilely to any intruders and a pitched battle is almost certain to happen. The first four mole men in the room have 14/14/12/11 hit points, roll 3d10 for any additional mole men you may need.

If the combat takes more than 3 rounds, or spills out into the main room (Area 1-2) the mole men from area 1-5 will ambush the PCs.

Mole Men:
Init: +2; Atk +1 Spear (1d7) or +1 Bow (1d6); Act: 1d20; AC: 13 (hides); HD: 3d10 (15); Mv: 20; SP Immune to Radiation; Sv. F +3, R +1, W +2
Once the mole men are defeated the players will likely search the room. The cabinets are largely empty except for old gnawed bones and rotting scraps of flesh. The large metal cabinet however contains a useful item:

When you open the large metal container a wave of cool air that reeks of rotting meat and stale blood wafts out. On the center shelf the de-fleshed skull of a human stares back at you. The grisly sight is tempered by the metal object residing within the right eye of the skull. An apparent artifact of the ancients it seems to have replaced the owners original eye. 

This is a cyber-eye artifact (pg 178 and when activated with any check result of 12+ by any character who is not a healer it will immediately and forcibly implant itself in their head, destroying and replacing one of their eyes if need be and dealing 1d3 damage. For a healer any result of 12+ will allow them to hold the eye in preparation for a less traumatic surgery at the time of their choosing.

The first player daring (or foolish) enough to sample the stew in the pot must make a DC 12 Fortitude save. If they fail they will lose 1d3 Stamina from a rather nasty case of food poisoning. If they succeed they will earn +1 Luck (replaces lost luck first).

Exits to:

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

MCC - Purple Pit of the Mole Men (Area 1-3)

Area 1-3 Elevator

The metal slab on the right of the shroom filled area is an elevator door that.

Set into the wall is a slab of polished metal with a seam down the middle filled with something black. To the right there is a small jewel set into the wall that glows with a dim whitish light. The slab is roughly 6 feet wide and 8 tall and seems fully untouched by the aeons. 

The door can be opened by pressing the glowing jewel in the wall, which turns the jewel green and produced a "ding" before the doors slide apart. Alternately they can be forced with a DC 18 Strength check. A rover can make a DC 5 check using their Artifact Doors check bonus.

The slabs of metal part opening into a dark shaft nearly 10 feet on a side. Below the shaft descends some hundred feet and looking down you can see a shimmer of water from which a strange blue glow emanates. Dangling from the darkness above a pair of metal ropes descend some 6 feet before terminating abruptly, clearly you can only descend so far before you need to provide your own rope, or simply drop into the pool below. 

A DC 8 Strength of Agility check is needed to jump out and grab the metal ropes. Climbing down (or up) them requires another DC 8 Strength of Agility check. Dropping the last 40 feet into the water deals 1d3 damage, falling from higher up requires a DC 10 reflex save; if made the damage is 1d8, if failed the damage is 3d6.

The pool of water below is highly radioactive and immersion in the water forces a DC 15 Fortitude save for half damage against 1d8 radiation damage.

The water is strangely warm, almost hot and immediately your skin feels hot and tingles. You can see that this shaft has deposited into a larger cavern, either natural, or eroded over time. There is the remains of one wall of the square shaft with a pair of sliding metal doors at the water level. They appear to be your own exit.

The characters will want to exit the pool as quickly as possible. Every minute spent in the water forces another DC 15 save for half against 1d8 radiation damage. Forcing the lower doors open requires a DC 8 Strength check.

Exits to:

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

MCC - Purple Pit of the Mole Men (Area 1-2)

Area 1-2 Shrooms and Screamers/Main Office

Having gained access from the entrance the players can proceed into the mushroom infested area they saw through  the hard air door.

The next area is infested with a multitude of mushrooms both large and small. All glow with a strange blue-purple bioluminescence, but in some spots where the mushrooms are especially dense a green glow can be seen as well. The area is some 30 feet wide and perhaps twenty deep. The depth appears to be false however, as there is an obvious makeshift barricade blocking you from the deeper portions of the room. To the left there is a large slab of shiny metal set into the wall with a glowing gem set into the wall beside it. 

The green glowing spotys are actually dormant screamers (MCC pg 196), 1 per character (HP 6/13/14/18/14/14) that will "wake" and attack if they are at all disturbed (usually by investigating the green glow). These are some of the dead ancients who once staffed this facility, corralled here by the mole men and then barricaded in.

Healers or other characters may want to investigate the mushrooms. There are 1d3 varieties and the judge should allow a luck check to see if any of them have restorative properties. If failed they are either safe but otherwise unremarkable, or potentially poisonous (or possibly all 3 ...).

The metal slab on the right is an elevator door that leads to Area 1-3. The door can be opened by pressing the glowing jewel in the wall, a Dc 18 Strength check, or a DC 5 Rover check.

Inspecting the barricade reveals it to be made of stacked up office furniture.

The barricade is roughly 7 feet high and appears to be constructed primarily of large sections of a metal and hide wall. These sections are square metal with some kind of strange fuzzy hide stretched across the middle. Among these sections of wall you can also see old chairs and strange metal boxes. 

If the characters seek to deconstruct the wall ask them where along its length they want to do this (on the right there is a door hidden within the barricade to Area 1-7) and tell them that it is not difficult but will take time and may make noise. Beyond the barricade is a larger space that is scattered with debris and leads to areas 1-4, 1-5, and 1-6.

Beyond the barrier you see a larger space. Clutter about are large piles of debris and old furniture. On the left there are two openings in the wall that clearly lead into other spaces. At the back of this long space is a wall of entirely hard air beyond which a room containing machinery and controls with blinking lights. Through that room you can see a large window into a larger space from which the pervasive purple glow emanates.

Exits to:

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

MCC - Purple Pit of the Mole Men (Area 1-1)

Welcome to the first a in series of weekly posts detailing my Mutant Crawl Classics adventure Purple Pit of the Mole Men. Each week I will provide an area of the map in complete detail and by the end of this series you will have a full adventure ready to be run. This adventure is based on Harley Stroh's The Sinister Secret of Whiterock, and I consider this an adaptation of the adventure to the MCC rules set. You can navigate using the links provided in this post or via the page in the header bar above. This is designed with 4-6 level 1 characters in mind, if you are running this with higher level characters increase hit dice and enemy numbers accordingly. 

Area 1-1 Entrance

The player characters can find this location while exploring or head directly to it if they were witness to the landslide that revealed this entrance after untold years buried.

You stand amid the rocks and earth of a recent landslide looking up at the shorn off earth above. A strange site greets your eyes; a wall of artificial stone of the ancients juts partway out from the rocks and fresh earth. A small ledge of similar material leaves a place where one could stand were they to climb the loose slope. A portion of the wall seems to be the strange "hard air" of the ancient ones, and may provide access to this newly uncovered ancient ruin. 

Climbing up to the ledge can be done with a DC 7 agility check. No check will be needed if there is a rope other aide. Atop the ledge the following additional detail can be seen.

Standing on the ledge you see that this structure's exposed wall is perhaps 15 feet across and ten feet high. Set into this wall is a section of "hard air" roughly 6 feet long and 7 feet high, which is grimy with age and dirt. Through the dirty "hard air" a strange purple glow can barely be made out within the ruin. Set into the wall on the left is a black square with a triangular depression. 

The "hard air" is a sliding glass door which serves as entry into this ruin. A rover can attempt to open the door with a DC 10 check to bypass Artifact Doors and Security Systems. The glass/hard air can be smashed with 10 points of damage, or it can be forced open with a DC 15 Strength check (or a combined strength of 25). The wall to the right of the door is cracked and with an hour of effort the broken stone can be pulled down enough to squeeze through.

Once inside the characters will find a room 15 feet long and 10 feet deep.

Inside you found a small chamber 15 feet long and 10 feet deep. Directly ahead is an opening barred by another "hard air" barrier, beyond which the purple glow is more obviously visible. To the left is a small wall, half the height of a man, and to the right an area of the room contains 4 upright pillars.

On the left is the security area. Behind the console is the corpse of an ancient one. Time has deteriorated the bones such than any disruption will crumble them to dust. The body has a security comm badge that will open all doors in the facility, and a gauzer pistol with 7 rounds.

The control unit is mostly broken, but a DC 15 Intelligence check can repair it enough to allow the door to activate and open into Area 1-2. A result of DC 20 will also reactivate the 4 decon-pillars in the room which will purge radioactive material from any who walk within the area they outline. The only effect of which would be to inactivate any materials useful for Glowburning.

If the characters do not fix the console they can open the inner glass door in the same way as the outer door (DC 10 check from a Rover, DC 15 Str check, 10 points of damage, or a combined 25 Str). Alternately if the Comm Badge is activated it will automatically open the door for the possessing character.

If the characters peer through the inner door into Area 1-2 they will see a larger area festooned with glowing mushrooms in various shades of purples, blues, and reds, as well as a number of areas where a different green-yellow glow leaks from between the mushrooms.

Exits to:

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Coming Soon - Purple Pit of the Mole Men

I've been quiet lately due to various factors, mostly a busier than usual work schedule leaving me with less time to write, but also because the impending demise of Google+ really has me down. However as I am off to Gary Con to run Purple Pit of the Mole Men I can announce that I will be returning with regular blog posts on my return. I am going to break up Purple Pit of the Mole Men into a series of blog posts, one each per room, and providing the full details. There are approximately a dozen areas in the adventure so this project will take about as many weeks to complete, but in the end you will have a full adventure, or a bunch of possible drop in rooms to add to other adventures.

You may wonder why I don't publish, and the easy answer is this, I don't feel that this qualifies as an original adventure. It retains a great deal of DNA and inspiration with Harley Stroh's The Sinister Secret of Whiterock and, as a result, it feels more appropriate to post this for free for others to enjoy rather than simply holding it in my pocket for all time.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Nuts & Bolts #157 - Hacking the Cypher System - Role Play Informed Modifications

I've mentioned before my current Cypher campaign in the Nightbane setting (a Palladium RPG that's proving way more fun in Cypher System). The players are really getting into things and exceeding my expectations for role playing in a horror setting. Horror games can be tough if the players aren't on board for playing horror, but so far this hasn't been the case for this tale of people turned monsters. In the course of the campaign thus far fear and paranoia on the part of the characters has been playing strongly into the actions of the players. Even better the dice seem to be in on the fun and have been supporting things.

Picture the scene ... one of the characters has found that by traveling through mirrors he can access a parallel shadowy earth; a twisted realm known as the Nightlands. He convinces a second character to help him take the bodies of two doppelgangers they killed to the Nightlands for "disposal." This second PC has been pretty freaked out by everything and is reluctant to go to this scary sounding Nightlands place, but he mans up and tries ... and fails. He spends a moment to put some effort into it and tries again ... and fails, again. He spends and XP, and still fails (mind you a lvl 4 task with effort he only needs a 9+). He takes a recovery to get some points back and collect himself and tries, and fails, again.

I mention this not because these moments are amusing and memorable but because I've been taking these role playing moments, and using them in conjunction with a little use portion of the optional rules: XP Advances.

You'll find the text for XP advances in the Cypher System Rulebook on page 230-231. The basic gist is that the player can trade negative character traits for XP. For example a character who is wanted by the law might get ~4-6 bonus XP. Normally such traits and their trade off bonuses are the domain of character creation, but I've started to use the rule in the situations above to give role-play informed modifications to characters in exchange for Advancements.

So in the example above I offered the player a permanent Inability in tasks related to traveling through mirrors (a pretty big deal since the Nightlands are the only place to get Cyphers for this character in this game) and in exchange an advancement for extra edge in a pool of his choice. I did similar for another player whose character continually refused to transform back into their human guise. These are optional for the players and I only offer them when it feels right for the character and the story, but so far it has been well received and has made for interesting character development and roleplay.

If a GM wasn't willing to give out entire advancements they could hand out XP, or other short, medium, or long term benefits. These types of character impacting modifications should obviously be taken carefully and not abused. Let the game guide you and only offer them when it feels earned by the direction of the role-play and the game.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Nuts & Bolts #156 - MCC - The Ecology of Spider-Goats

Loyal readers may have noted that I have ceased re-caps of my monthly game. Mostly this is because I find recaps difficult to write and I have had a lot of other stuff that needed to get out more. However, last session saw a "randomish" encounter with spider-goats, and I can't help but make a few notes on the subject.

The three characters were exploring the toppled remains of an old tower, the hollowed out tube of the life making an easy way to guide their progress to the top also felt like a place that something predatory would make its home. Enter a pack of three spider-goats. Things were pretty touch and go not for the damage they dealt, but for the paralytic poison and the entrapping webbing. I use the dice chain a lot so even while webbed the character's could try to act but were rolling at -1d or more. This allowed me to use the webbing to hinder the players without tipping the scales too far too fast since we have such a small group.

The PCs battled for perhaps 4 rounds before coming out on top. Things went south for the S-Gs fast once the radium rifle was brought to bear and a critical hit scored (ouch!). Once defeated the SGs yielded a few horns (for future use in making awesome helmets) and a pair of poison sacs (for future use in making the judge wince). The PC then moved on.

I didn't think to mention any egg sacs or webbed over corpses, and the players never asked. This occurred to me (as often does) the day after. I was mad at myself at first, because this seemed like a cool opportunity missed. But then I thought about it more. Spiders consume the liquids within their prey and leave dessicated husks, but goats? Goats eat EVERYTHING. So wouldn't a spider goat first drink all the gooey stuff, and then, while hungry and waiting for more prey, snack on the prey-jerky and eventually even their own old webbing?


Yes, they would.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

State of the Blog 2019

Hi folks!

2018 was a good year for the blog. A tough year, but one that saw the Alphabet of Outer Beings go from idea, to concept, to 27 blog posts and a physical handout I brought to Gary Con. The Alphabet, when taken as a whole, is easily the largest thing I've ever written. It's also something that I'm actually willing to pretty up and ask people to pay me for in either a collected digital or a physical form of unknown fanciness. I've never really self-published before though. As a result 2019 is looking a bit scary.

This is the first post I've written since mid-December, and that kinda feels good as well. I'm going to be taking a different approach to the blog this year. Namely, I'm going to skip weeks. My goal is still a post a week, but I'm not going to kill myself to do it. I've got a lot going on at work, and frankly I don't know what kind of effort will be needed for the Alphabet, so I'm going to write when I can, post when I can, and when I cannot, there will be no posts. That sucks, I know, especially since with G+ dying I want people to be able to come here regularly and find new stuff, but I only have so much time and energy. I'd rather deliver occasional good stuff than routine average stuff.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Nuts & Bolts #155 - MCC Genotype table

I have been playing MCC for over a year now, and as a group we've lost a lot of PCs. So much so that I finally took the game off the rails. I wanted to take a look at how compatible MCC really is with the other "DCC family" products and see if classes from Lankhmar, Umerica, fanzines, etc. could roll along with the DCC & MCC classes. I realized that there was need for a larger table for generating Genotype under these circumstances. So I created this with the intent of using it for my "MCC Unchained" campaign rolling forward.

Genotype Table (roll 1d10)
  • 1-2: Homo Sapiens - The legacy of the ancients. The homo sapiens has been one of the dominant species on Terra since well before the Great Disaster. Homo Sapiens is split into 2 sub-species. Roll 1d6.
    • 1-3: Homo Sapiens Firmum - These are an offshoot of the ancient who have evolved a robust genetic code that resists mutation due to environmental factors. Use MCC Pure Strain Human classes.
    • 4-6: Home Sapiens Sapiens - These genetic throwbacks are born to mutants (homo mutaris) infrequently (roughly 1% of births).  These humans are lacking the genetic hard coding of Firmum, and can develop mutations over time. Use human classes from DCC, DCC Lankhmar, & The Umerican Survival Guide.
  • 3-4: Homo Mutaris - Many are the descendants of humanity who have gained mutations both grotesque and wonderful. Though homo mutaris is a separate species it is fully capable of interbreeding with homo sapiens. Roll 1d6.
    • 1-3: Homo Mutaris Multis - The common mutant, these genetically unstable offshoots of humanity exhibit any number of strange defects and amazing powers. Use the MCC or Umerican Survival Guide mutant classes.
    • 4: Homo Mutaris Dryadalis - Also occasionally known as Elfs, these mutants breed mostly true with a delicate visage, a painful allergy for iron, and a natural affinity for manipulating strange energies that even the ancients did not fully understand. Use the DCC Elf class, or other derivations.
    • 5: Homo Mutaris Pumilus - Sometimes called Dwarfs, these mutants mostly breed true with a short stocky visage and a strange ability to smell precious metals and other minerals. Dwarfs have a seemingly racial talent for martial endeavours. See the DCC Dwarf class and its derivatives. 
    • 6: Homo Mutaris Nanus - These tiny mutations are occasionally called Halflings. They exhibit the a form of Darwinian Luck similar to the Homo Sapiens Firmum. Use the DCC halfling class and its derivatives.
  • 5-6: Animalis Sapiens - The animal kingdom saw its fair share of mutations after the Great Disaster, and many of those mutants gained sentience. Some even evolved humanoid form. Roll 1d6.
    • 1-3: Animalis Sapiens Multis - The common manimal. This represents not a true species but instead a broad category of mutant animals with human form and extraordinary abilities that are similar to those of the Homo Mutaris Multis. Use the MCC manimal class.
    • 4-6: Animalis Sapiens Primalis - Another broad characterization of mutated animals. The Primals have a more stable genetic structure compared to manimals, and some among them even have an innate connection to the strange forces of magic. See Primal Tales #1.
  • 7-8: Planta Sapiens - Though less common among the plant kingdom, mutations that resulted in a strange sort of sentience and some form of human-adjacent body structure have occurred. All such plantients exhibit varying physical mutations and powers as well as an odd ability to affect themselves and others via olfactory detectible secretions. Use the MCC plantient. 
  • 9: Boletus Sapiens - Commonly known as Shroomers these highly intelligent fungi are rare and all seem to share a devotion to some higher intelligence. Gifted with immense mental powers the shroomers are one of the more physically stable mutants of Terra A.D. (find the class here)
  • 10: Xenos - Aliens from other worlds visit Terra A.D. on occasion. Though rare, these alien species occasionally find themselves stranded, or take up a long term goal that requires they interact with the locals. Use the Gray class from The Umerican Survival Guide, or see Star Crawl for a multitude of Xenos options.