athornton: Angry.  Drunken.  BOFH. (Default)
....and my submission is in:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/26879828/CentralNJ

It's adapted from Bring Me The Head Of Frank Sinatra!, which I hope to have done later this year.
athornton: Angry.  Drunken.  BOFH. (Default)
Tonight we had our first chance to play the Mutant Future module I've written, Bring Me The Head Of Frank Sinatra.

Tonight's players and characters: Amy, playing the part of Peter Pepper, 20' tall mutated pepper plant, throwing grenade-like phallic peppers which explode and may cause radiation damage. Also has a heat ray.

Aimee, playing Shrieking Violet. Who's really Shrieking African Violet, and thus looks like Grace Jones with giant purple petals behind her head. Can shriek for sonic damage, and teleport. So her modus operandi is to bamf! in behind someone, shriek, and run away.

Oren, playing Dre the Friendly Giant. Seventeen feet tall, empathic, and with a very very low constitution (and thus terrible hit points). Can also teleport and has direction sense, so teleporting is risk-free for him. And has density control, so can shrink (or expand) opponents.

Keith, playing Lemmy the Badger. Lemmy has a giant wart on his face with a Defective Cerebellum in it, and a Freeze Ray. He also has the Fu Manchu that you'd expect from someone named Lemmy and wearing studded leather armor.

And finally, Rupert (who joined late because he was working), playing Liz the Lizard, who's, uh, a lizard with heat-reflective scales and ALSO teleport and density control (they both got rolled a LOT during our generation session last week).

On the sidelines: Slick Willie the Pure Human lawyer, and Spiny Norman, a cactus-skinned punk who heals very fast in direct sunlight.

So, the characters met up in Three-Arm Jimmy's on the Hoboken waterfront. They then went to the bulletin board, to find that "Have You Seen This Man?" with Sinatra's face on it wasn't happening until Wednesday at midnight, so they decided to do a couple of side items first.

What those were, were "Get my grandma out of the tree!" and "Help my kitty across the road!"

The first one: grandma was up a tree with a shotgun. Her granddaughter claimed it was senile dementia and she wanted grandma out of the tree. Grandma, on the other hand, claimed her granddaughter just wanted to poison her so she'd get her apartment. As it happened, grandma was right; the granddaughter in fact WAS a skank who wanted the apartment. (The BFG figured this out and got a semi-confession with his empathy). The first plan was to go get a lawyer--Slick Willie, in fact--to rewrite grandma's will, but when it was determined that Willie charged 50 gold pieces an hour, a plan B was hastily enacted. That plan was for Peter to lower the old lady down, have her scream as if she was falling, thump the ground loudly, and then have her sit up and shoot her grandaughter when her granddaughter ran out to pretend to be distraught.

This worked fine. Except that the granddaughter was not fatally wounded and went after grandma with a butcher knife. The party chipped in with cold and heat rays, and the skank was defeated and grandma was victorious.

Then the party camped in some ruins. The random encounter die came up, and the result was eight Morlocks (which the players identified as CHUDs, which, well, yeah, close enough) coming out of the sewer manhole in front of the ruined house. Because the Morlocks were tightly grouped, this was NOT a total party kill, as Peter got very lucky with one of the grenade-like fruit, which turned out to have 10d6 radiation as well as 2d6 explosion.

In fact, this one encounter got the party from 1st to 3d level.

Some healing was in order: enter Doc Croaker, a giant frog, and his Antique Healing Tank, which didn't malfunction....this time.

After that they went on the Help My Kitty Across The Road errand. The mad hermit of the Meadowlands is named Otus, of course. There was a Troll Bridge (Hwy 3 across the Hackensack River), guarded by the twin trolls, one on either side, Grognard and Grignr. They do in fact work for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

The Hermit lives just off the Turnpike just to the south of 3, in the big swamp south of Giants Stadium. I used, of course, the picture from B2...and, yes, his kitty Whiskers is in fact the Mad Hermit's puma. Anyhow, Whiskers was "convinced" to cross the road with, well, Dre's density control, a rope harness, and some roleplaying.

Then back to the job interview at the bar, which led to the Battle Of The Bands: a calf-roping contest between our heroes ("Peter Pepper and the Scrotal Saviors"), the Village People, Bob's Bionic Bandits, and Yarn (which was, actually, a Belleville band that a friend of ours played in).

The idea was to rope a calf (well, a Xeno Calf: two heads, pseudopod, corrosive slime) on a field and get it into a circle by the reviewing stand. And if you killed any of the other competitors, your team would be disqualified.

This was great fun. Among highlights of the fight: the Village People continually blowing attack rolls, leading to the cop shooting himself in the foot, and the biker getting his chain entangled with a) his ankle and b) the calf's horns. The racecar android managed to deliver the killing blow to the calf, getting tangled in calf guts, and then fell afoul of the density-changing Shrink Ray, turning into a very very angry matchbox car.

Finally Dre, running on a mere 3 hit points by the end, dropped the shrunken-down calf into the circle, thus getting the Witch-Queen of Hoboken (who looks oddly like Cruella de Ville) to offer the job hinted at in the module's title to the party

So much for the plot so far. The interesting things: the grandma-in-a-tree and the Morlock fight were entirely improvised, and most of the Whiskers subplot was also done on the fly. The Morlock was a straight-up sketch-the-map-put-minis-on-it-and-go toe-to-toe battle, while the calf roping had a weirdly Autoduel feel with tokens chasing each other around.

The ridiculous randomness of Mutant Future does feel very old-school. Peter Pepper is a completely unbalancing death machine, particularly since one of his levels up gave him an extra attack per round. The sheer absurdity of the game is a lot of fun. I've arbitrarily decided mutant powers can all only be used every fourth round, and only four times per day. Otherwise teleportation unbalances everything.

We're playing with fairly Third-Edition-esqe five-foot-per-square tactical combat. This week we tried letting you attack anywhere within your move, and allowing attacks of opportunity (one per character per round) when a foe leaves a threatened square. It seemed to work OK.

We've been using Arms Law and Spell Law for critical charts--basically, each die of damage a weapon does moves it right one column, so a 1d6 attack is A, 2d6 is B, and so on. I should have thought to use it for fumbles as well. Next session.

The nature of level advancement in Mutant Future--and having huge hit points at low levels--meant that the Morlocks were actually (with a lot of luck) not merely a survivable but a winnable encounter.

I spent a lot of time fumbling with the PDF. Next session I'll print out at least the melee, mental attack, and radiation charts so I have them handy.

All in all, though, an entertainingly silly game.

Adam

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