Thursday, May 24, 2018

MCC Recap - On the Trail of Tibbar

Last week I ran the another session of my monthly(ish) MCC game. While I do hope and intend to continue with the published MCC adventures I also really wanted to try something new. Having experienced my first hex crawl with James Walls' Purple Planet game I was all over a MCC style hex crawl! So I made some quick hex crawl rules and a table of weird crap to maybe find that I hoped would be general enough for long term use and then waited for game day!

Meet the Seekers:
  • Thorn the Plantient (level 1)
    • Played by Craig McCullough
  • Sinclair the Mutant (Chitinous armor) (level 2)
    • Played by Andrew Lyon
  • Agutter the Healer (level 2)
    • Played by Paul Go  
  • Cypher, Shaman of ACHROMA (level 2)
    • Played by James Walls 
  • Tully the Mutant (Pyrokinesis) (level 1)
    • Played by William Keller
  • And Introducing Jon Hook as:
    • Brutis the Gorilla Manimal (ZERO)
    • Riki the Wolf Manimal (ZERO)
    • Bo Goodboy the Yorkie Manimal (ZERO)
    • Weelton Littleprick the Cactus Plantient (ZERO)
Welcome to the Jungle Hex Crawl

As experiments in hex-crawling go this worked out pretty well I think. I'm trying to keep good notes on the stuff the PCs bring back home, and then come up with ideas how it can impact their home lover time. This session I introduced that the villagers had figured out how to reliably produce the "Mesophase Alloy" result from the "Fuz-Craft L’il Accelerator Lab Kit" from Assault on the Sky High Tower. They wanted to know if they should use the materials for better weaponry or better armor and the players chose weapons. Before they left to explore the jungle there were given the first fruits of this choice, a dozen metal tipped arrows that dealt 1d6+1 damage.

I gave the players a glimpse of the "known world" (below) which looks weirdly like a chicken after Assault on the Sky High Tower and A Fallen Star for All.  They asked about the river to the south west of their settlement and decided to start exploring by going up river...

Moving into the next hex they found a weird area of dead vegetation surrounding a pit. Approaching the pit, the ambient radiation from the object within caused Brutis the Gorilla to literally melt out of his skin (as described by Jon himself, I can't even take credit). Sinclair was interested in finding out if he could get some more mutations however so he proceeded to climb down into the crater and unearth the glowing metal orb. Burning hot to the touch Sinclair was otherwise unaffected by the radiation even at short range (maybe his chitinous armor is fortified with lead?). The team decided to bring the orb back to their village by filling a large leather sack with dirt and burying the orb in the center, then dragging it behind them via some braided vine rope Tully made (gatherer background FTW). We'll see how that changes the village eventually!

Returning to the river they continued to follow it westward, going upstream from the swampy lake they had saved from radiation. Things were quiet until they stumbled into a pair of short rabbit-like mutants. Some of the group had seen one before but before any kind of diplomacy could be attempted one of the tibbar drained 3 HP from Cypher and set of a violent, and quick, combat. The group raided the simple weapons from the tibbar, and Thorn cut one of their feet off, while Sinclair claimed some ears to tie to his axe. Angered by the tibbar's aggression the group decided to try and track the tibbar back to their village. With plenty of hunters in the group tracking the tibbar was easy enough and the group set off accordingly, still tracking up-stream of the river.

After a couple of hours following the trail of the tibbar the group found a strange creature. It stood on two legs and waddled around each of them sniffing curiously. It finally settled on Agutter and adopted her as it's new master.

Several more hours of travel and trail following led the group to a small freshwater spring and a grove of trees sporting a strange oblong fruit in a very bright pink rind. Tully recognized the fruit as Bubble Yum fruit and the group set to gathering provisions from their find. They also noticed some of the rinds of these fruit, cast off and turned silver with age, by the pool and surmised that the tibber had clearly stopped here at some point.

Though the day was getting long the group pressed onward and after a couple hours stumbled into a large group of tibbar. The 9 rabbit mutants wasted no time in launching volleys of arrows and spears as the PCs fired back or charged into the fray. Thorn was felled in a brutal attack, but was saved at the last moment by Cypher with a medi-shot. Poor Weelton the barrel cactus was slain in the fight but in the end the characters were triumphant killing 8 of the tibbar but allowing one to escape.

Worried that the escapee might alert his people the group pressed onward and came to a lake in the hills. Looking across the lake they say a ruin of some kind and surmised that this was the home of these rascally rabbits. They pressed onward as the sun began to set and came to meet on the trail a group of plantients from the Atomic Equinox. With the light waning and their new plant allies the PCs set to making camp just a couple of miles from the ruins they had seen...

In Memoriam: 
  • Brutis the Gorilla Manimal - Liquefied by radiation
  • Weelton Littleprick the Cactus Plantient - Skewered by a spear

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Nuts & Bolts #150 - Post Apocalyptic Exploration

My Mutant Crawl Classics campaign has had a couple of establishing adventures and while I still have a few of the published adventures available I want to start moving things towards a hex-crawl and seed in the adventures more organically. To do that I need some kind of table to aid with the hex-crawl exploration side of things. Something simple enough to meet the needs of my current game and any future, and I should note that my PCs have a flying car so hex-crawl travel is a little faster for my current game than I'm sure it will be for others.

The trick here is to find a way to ensure that the group using the flying car isn't having a ton of encounters just because they can cover a ton of hexes in a given unit of time. Likewise since they can pass quickly through hexes they should have an increased chance of having no encounter since it would difficult for a fast moving vehicle to be ambushed, or for the passengers to spot a hidden structure in the dense jungle.

Exploration Roll:
When a group is moving through the wilderness 2d7 is rolled and then Table 1 is consulted. If the group contains a Rover, increase the die type by +1d. If the party is moving slowly and exploring with intent increase the die type by +1d. If they are moving quickly to cover more ground, reduce the die type by -1d or more (depending on how fast they are moving).

Table 1: What the heck did we find?
  1. N/A - How'd you end up here? HOW?! You can't have rolled this ... sheesh
  2. Ambush! Something hungry leaps out and attacks!
  3. Fresh water, and a grove of trees bearing edible fruits. 
  4. Weather (refer to Random Weather Tables)
  5. A friendly creature with empathic or telepathic abilities finds the party and attaches itself to the PC with the highest Personality score. Creature has 1d3 Hit Dice of 1d4.
  6. Hostiles! A group of enemies, or some other hostile creature or robot spots the group. 
  7. A small party (2d4) of explorers. Roll 1d10 on Table 2.
  8. A ruin of the ancients. This has been picked clean but a thorough search still has a 5% chance of rewarding the searchers with a minor artifact. The structure has a 50% chance of being intact enough to provide shelter. 
  9. Nothing
  10. Also nothing
  11. Still nothing
  12. Yup. Nothing
  13. A crater filled with radioactive waste, the group must make a DC 12 Fortitude save or lose 1d3 points of Stamina. This roll is made for every Turn spent near the crater; increase the DC and frequency if the group decides to explore within. 
  14. A small village or outpost belonging to (roll 1d20 on Table 2)
  15. A damaged ancient site. 35% chance it has not been looted. Roll 1d12 on Table 3.
  16. or Higher: Lucky find! An intact structure of the ancient ones! Roll 2d8 on Table 3.

Table 2: Affiliations
  1. The Clan of Cog
  2. The Chosen of Zuu
  3. The Children of the Glow
  4. The Curators
  5. The Atomic Equinox
  6. The Holy Medicinal order
  7. The Gene Police
  8. The Blessed Brotherhood
  9. The Technorabble
  10. (or greater) Non-affiliated
Table 3: Locations found at random
  1. A military structure
  2. A fuel depot
  3. A greenhouse for decorative flowers
  4. A hospital
  5. A research station
  6. An old museum or art gallery
  7. A greenhouse for food production
  8. A transit station
  9. (or greater) A home of the ancients