Friday, August 31, 2012

The Mutant Epoch : Pitford Sourcebook

     I recently ordered the Pitford Sourcebook for The Mutant Epoch RPG.  My copy arrived this week and while I haven't had time to read it cover to cover I have to say, I am already quite impressed with it. 
The cover drew me in immediately, it shows a band of adventurers (called Excavators) clearly in trouble, desperately trying to make their way to the "refuge" of Pitford off in the distance... I found myself wanting to know what they were running from, would their mangled cyborg companion make it? Would they survive to journey into the ruins another day??
     Diving into this tome, proved to be a further visual treat.  William McAusland has turned out another product that is jam packed with awesome art that really captures the feel of the setting. He has a real talent and Pitford is loaded with maps, character illustrations and some great action scenes, but there is more to this product than just the artwork.
     So what is Pitford you ask?
Well every group of explorers, adventurers and excavators needs a home base right? Somewhere to rest up, heal up, resupply, sell off loot, have a beer, recruit new members etc... Pitford is that and oh so much more!
This isn't your Daddy's Keep on the Borderlands! Ok that sounded weird, but seriously I can see that classic D&D module's subtle influence, a fortified stronghold near a vast dangerous dungeonesque wilderness.  Pitford is not just a place for the party to hang out in between adventures but can be a campaign in and of itself.  It is filled with NPC's, shops, adventure hooks and more! The book (like the Mutant Epoch core rulebook) has tons of random tables to roll on to help the Game Master make the community come alive.
    Staying at the Last Resort Hostel?  Good luck going to take a leak during the night! Or even worse what if your band of excavators doesn't quite make it back to the gates of Pitford before they closed at dark? What might lurk just outside the gates at night, preying on weak and injured excavators! Tons of random tables to help you fill in the gaps and more! One slight word of caution, there are adult themes in this book; slavery, drugs and sexual encounters are in some of the encounters and descriptions in this book, but you can skip/ignore those if you wish too without losing the coolness of the setting. 
     This is a great resource, not only for The Mutant Epoch RPG, but for most Post Apocalyptic RPG's that you might be running/playing; Mutant Future, Gamma World (any edition), heck with some tweaking I can see using this in a Rifts game, particularly the Rifts I played, back in its early days,before Palladium went all uber tech and world book crazy, but I digress, Pitford has minimal mechanics in it, so you can easily use the NPC's and locations in your P.A. game of choice, but I personally think The Mutant Epoch RPG is pretty Damn Awesome in and of itself and recommend you trying the TME rules out! 
Anyways, thats my mini-review of Pitford.  I plan on posting more Mutant Epoch content on my blog soon, so until next time, Good Gaming!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Prometheus Rising + X-plorers RPG = AWESOME!!!

There's a cool announcement over on the X-plorers RPG Blog today.
Brave Halfling Publishing will be releasing Prometheus Rising (originally a d20 product) for the X-plorers RPG! I think this is awesome!
I can't wait to get ahold of this! 
                                              The cover of the original product

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Stars Without Number : Duckworlders

Here's one that I had alot of fun doing.  For those who don't know my gaming style, I like to inject a little bit of humor and craziness into my games.  I try not to take things too seriously. Sure I can and do run some grim and gritty games, but its fun to laugh too.  So for those who are so inclined to add a little zanyiness to your Space Campaigns I present the Duckworlders!

Lenses: Adaptable, Adventurous
Government: Representative Democracy
Technology Level: 3 (comparable to 1970's Era Earth)
Motivation: Leisure (a cold beer, a cheap cigar and the latest issue of Playduck)
     Duckworlders or "Ducks" as most other races call them are 3 foot tall anthropomorphic ducks! They average around 40-50 lbs. and their body is covered in feathers which are usually white or yellow (other colors are possible, but rare), they have webbed feet and a duck bill (complete with teeth). Ducks are an adaptable race and can function quite well in the societies and cultures of other races and peoples, although many can come across as rather  "grouchy" & irritable". Some Ducks refer to humans as "hairless apes", but not all ducks are quite so rude. On their own world, they tend to not wear pants, but have learned that when interacting with humans and other races trousers are for some reason considered mandatory.
     Most Ducks are content to go about their everyday lives living, loving, eating, drinking and smoking, but a significant portion of the population has an adventurous streak. These are the ones most likely to be encountered by other races. Even though they lack long distance space travel many can be found hitching rides on the spaceships of other races, off to find their next adventure and a cold beer.
     Most races, humans in particular, assume that Ducks being Ducks are naturally adept swimmers. This is not necessarily the case; there are many Duckworlders that can't swim at all! They have to be taught the skill like most everyone else.

     Some Duckworlders, in particular the more adventurous ones, have developed their own martial arts style, "Quak Fu" that takes advantage of their size and stature, allowing them to take on opponents much larger than themselves. 

Duckworlder PC's

Hardy- In spite of their size (or perhaps because of it) Duckworlders are a hardy and tenacious race. PC Ducks must have at least a 14 constitution. Ability scores are generated normally.
Lucky Duck- Ducks often find themselves caught up in circumstances bigger than themselves, relying on their "pluckiness" some would say "duckiness" to see them through. They get +2 on all Luck based saves.
If a Duck finds himself in a really tight situation he can use his bill/beak for a bite attack doing 1d3 pts. damage. They very seldom resort to this, but will use it in desperate situations.
Insulating Feathers- their feathers help insulate them from cold/wet conditions and when a physical save is required under such conditions they get a +2 bonus to their rolls.
Hold Breath-even though they can't swim any better than humans they can hold their breath for a bit longer than the average human, they can go without air for 5 minutes + their Con bonus and do not have this shortened when doing strenuous activity such as swimming.

Obviously based on Howard the Duck from Marvel Comics, no copyright infringement is intended.

First Appearance: Adventure into Fear #19 (1973)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Stars Without Number : Entemen

We didn't meet to play Pathfinder today, so I took the time to work up another Marvel Universe alien race for Stars Without Number.  I didn't have much to go on for this race so I extrapolated a little bit, hope you enjoy.  And as always please let me know if you use any of these in your games.

Lenses: Greed, Treachery
Government: Multipolar; Trade Guilds, Crime Bosses
Technology Level: 4 (actually a high 3 but they have managed to "acquire" i.e. steal higher technologies)
Motivation: Power, Wealth, Recognition
     Entemen are a tall (average height 6'6") humanoid/octopoid race with dark yellow to orange skin with darker spots and large pointed ears. Instead of arms and legs they have tentacles.
Entemen have a racial knack with all things criminal, in fact the race has a bad reputation among other aliens as being criminals. But this is not always true. Many Entemen are not criminals and in fact some go on to use their skill and knowledge of crime to become skilled (and quite honorable) law enforcement officers. But the negative stigma of their race is hard to shake.
Entemen have shown a fondness for Old Earth 1930's Era Mob and Gangster movies and many try to emulate the behavior from that period, even setting up their criminal organizations to resemble that era (or at least how that era has been portrayed in holo-vids and popular fiction).
Entemen as PC's

Roll ability scores as normal: 3d6
Not having multiple fine manipulative digits causes Entemen some issues when attempting to engage in skills that require such. Generally an Entemen is at -2 when trying to do intense, complex fine manipulation skills, but if the Entemen can bring his "feet" into play this penalty is negated.
Their tentacles allow them to be superb grapplers, gaining a +2 to any attempts to grapple with a foe.
Entemen have large pointed ears which provides them with slightly better hearing than humans, any attempts to Listen receive a +2 bonus.
Automatically has Culture: Criminal: 0 and Culture: Criminal is always a class skill. When dealing with criminals and the criminal element they get an additional +2 to their Charisma rolls.
This can also work against the Entemen. Having a reputation as criminals causes other races to question their motives and purposes. When interacting with others for the first time (particularly those in authority and law enforcement) all Charisma interaction attempts are at -2 (ya just can't trust those Entemen), after the Entemen has had time to "prove his honesty" to others, charisma interactions will be normal, but they still can turn up the charm when dealing with criminals.
Entemen can possess psionic ability but as a species show a slightly decreased occurrence of having psionics when compared to humans. Those that do possess psionics are often criminal leaders and masterminds (no big surprise there).

First Appearance: Marvel Presents #5
Copyright Marvel Comics, No copyright infringement is intended.

I added (made up) the criminal part to this race. The one Entemen I read about Mr. Slech in Marvel Presents #5 was an inmate on a prison planet that led a gang of prisoners. : )

Stars Without Number : Quwrlln

Needles over at the Swords and Stitchery blog has been making me look bad, posting Stars Without Number goodies like a mad man!  : )
He reminded me I haven't done much real posting in awhile, especially for Stars Without Number, so seeing as how he has "thrown down the gauntlet" so to speak, I thought I'd post a new Alien for my ongoing SWN/Marvel/DC Aliens Series.
This one even ties into (not so subtly) a certain Cosmic Entity he mentions on this list.
Anyways without further ado, I present a somewhat more obscure Marvel Universe Alien race;
The Quwrlln

Lenses: Sagacity, Fear, Pacifism
Government: Oligarchy; Council of Scientists
Technology Level: 4 (but they have made higher level advances in experimental teleportation technologies, if they pool all their resources on a global scale they can achieve teleportational marvels that come close to tech level 6, they also have achieved great advances in Bio-technology some of which are tech level 5)
Motivation: Knowledge, Species Survival

     Quwrlln are a race of sentient cephalopods, averaging 3' tall and 98 lbs, with pinkish, translucent skin and multiple tentacles. They are considered to be a very old species in the galactic scheme of things. They have been called the scientific students of the universe. A large segment of the Quwrlln scientific community (which is a majority of their overall population) is focused on preventing some future catastrophe that they believe is coming, (something potentially even more devastating than The Scream), they are devoted to preventing this thing/event from happening, or more specifically, from affecting their race. They refer to this event/thing as "The World Devourer". While they are not an inherently evil race, they are not above using and manipulating other races to forward their goals (the end justifies the means, and they feel their entire species' survival is at stake). While there are Quwrlln that are not focused on this occurrence, these are considered outcasts, mentally unstable, delusional, not devoted to the common good of their race, etc.
     While the Quwrlln do their best to avoid violence, especially physical violence they are not by any means helpless. A Slaver fleet, (no doubt working for the Deonists) brazenly sought to attack a Quwrlln world, thinking the Quwrlln's peaceful nature and psionic potential would make for easy pickings and fetch them a high price with their masters. The entire fleet upon orbiting the planet and making their demands was caught by some sort of teleportational wave weapon and simply disappeared! Rampant speculation continues as to what happened to the fleet but no one knows for certain and the Slavers have left the Quwrlln alone ever since.
     Also note that while the Quwrlln are a pacifistic race, they are not above using other races to do their fighting for them. There are reports of Quwrlln using their advanced bio-science skills to enhance the abilities of other aliens and pit them against their foes.

SWN Default Campaign Notes: The Quwrlln were devastated by The Scream, their civilization was ripped apart. It has taken them the centuries since The Scream to recover and they still have not regained the level of technology that they once possessed.
Psionics: Prior to The Scream over half the population (65% +) of Quwrlln exhibited some form of psionic ability, in the centuries since, they have slowly began to recover their psionic potential, roughly 35% of Quwrlln alive today possess some psionic abilities, but even those don't reach the pinnacle of achievement that this race once possessed.

PC Quwrlln:
Few Quwrlln are ever encountered away from other members of their species. But there are those rare individuals that reject their race's obsession with preventing some future calamity and pursue their own ends. However, most of these "rogue" Quwrlln still embrace their race's pacifistic tendencies. Because of this no Quwrlln can be of the Warrior class.
Stats: Quwrlln must have a minimum Intelligence of 14. Due to their higher intellect and scholarly training they gain an additional +2 on any Skill Checks related to Intelligence. Psionic Quwrlln can waive this bonus and instead get an additional Psi Point.
Multiple tentacles- Quwrlln possess multiple tentacles and with these can hold 3x more objects than normal; were it not for their pacifistic nature they could also get one additional attack per round, but they may use their tentacles for one additional action per round or to add +5 to their movement. Their tentacle-like limbs also make them expert grapplers (+2) to the attempt but they would never perform a grapple attempt as a physical attack.
Mucus Membrane – Quwrlln are covered in a slimy mucus membrane that makes them hard to grapple (-2 to any attempt to grapple them),

First Appearance Alpha Flight #25 (1985) Copyright Marvel Comics, No Copyright Infringement is intended!

Special Thanks to Matt over at The Land of Nod.
I used his Mollusk alien as a template from his Space Princess RPG. : )

Saturday, August 18, 2012

X-plorers and Aliens!

I've been a fan of the X-plorers RPG since it first came out a few years ago, I even have the limitied edition boxed set and will pick up the latest print edition with the new cover at some point.  One thing I wish the game had was alien player character options.  Hopefully future products will have this but in the mean time the Fear No Darkness blog has put together what looks like a fun little way to randomly work up alien pc's for your X-plorers games.  I haven't gotten to test these out yet (we are neck deep in a Pathfinder Campaign at the moment) but hope to try them out at some point.  : )

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Metamorphica

My buddy Derek Holland mentioned this one to me awhile back, but due to work and real life I've just now checked it out. I'm glad he told me about it, so now I'm sharing this find with you all!

     It's a system agnostic book of random mutation tables! And best of all its FREE!
You can read more about it here!
I'll definately be using this with my various P.A. games heck I think I'll use these tables to "jazz up" the mutants in the ongoing Kihago adventure from Wizards., Mutants Laser Pistols.  : )
Have a Great Weekend!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Andre Norton : Star Rangers

On a recent outing with my wife we went into a used bookstore.  This one is a bit out of the way, most of the local used bookstores have either closed or don't carry what I'm looking for.  You see I've got a thing for those old DAW Yellow Spined books that I remember from my youth. Anyways I spied this sharp looking volume on the shelf:
Andre Norton's Star Rangers.  I have to admit the man on the cover drew me in.  I thought he looked totally cool, sort of a combination of Spock and Hawk from the Buck Rogers TV series.
Anyway, I just finished reading it and I have to say for a book written in the early 50's I found it to be quite enjoyable.  Not to give away too much but its about a group of Star Rangers during the decline of a vast Space Empire, that find themselves stranded on a forgotten world.  Good stuff, ripe for mining material for your sci fi space games i.e. Stars Without Number, X-plorers, etc...  The guy on the cover turned out to be a psychic human but I may just have to "steal" the image to work up a new alien race for SWN.
Good Gaming! -B.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Simian Saturday : Armed Apes!

I haven't posted any Simian Saturdays in awhile, not saying I'm bringing the series back, BUT I saw these posted over on The Miniatures Page recently and thought I'd share.
While the heads look a bit big to me, I gotta say I love the look of these I mean Apes!
WhiffWhaff is the sculptor, don't see that a company has bought the greens yet, but when and if that happens I will definately be picking up several of these!
Hope everyone has a Great Simian Saturday!