About 99% finished with my Mutant Truckers article for NOD 12. Thought I’d share the mutation tables to give folks an idea about just how mutant-y the game is. In general, Polyester Road doesn’t go as far down the mutant path as Gamma World and Mutant Future. Because it’s a mini-game/setting, I wanted to keep it focused and keep it from being too long. So, there is a small table of mutations – physical and mental, for folks to roll on. Characters can trade one hit dice for one mutation. Each mutation carries with it a 1 in 6 chance of a negative side effect (radioactive scrambled DNA can be dangerous, you know). Referees can use the same process to mutate monsters, bandits and bears (i.e. county mounties) – trade a hit dice for a random mutation. Hopefully, this will keep the mutations from dominating the game, but still allow for some fun variation of the characters.
On a side note – I think the next big hex crawl in NOD will be Hell, based very loosely on Dante’s version, with a little Milton and lots of pulpy/gonzo nonsense thrown in for flavoring. The first hurdle will be mapping Hell – it’s circular and I have no idea how big it should be or what scale would work best. Still, should be an interesting exercise and provide readers with plenty of demonic and diabolical challenges for their game groups. Also gives me an excuse to use that devil cover I premiered a few months back!
Here’s a quick sample of what characters might look like in the Mutant Truckers mini-game in NOD 10. I based the character sheet on an image of a trucker’s Log Book (or Swindle Sheet if your hep to the C-B lingo).
When this video popped up in 1985, my friend and I were fully into Gamma World, and this became my favorite music video for about a week …
Nominate your favorite Gamma World music video below …
I’m still working on my hex crawl for the next issue of NOD – it will feature the eastern half of Mu-Pan hex crawl first presented in NOD 8 – and was brainstorming on other articles I could include. Of course, the Chimera generator will show up, maybe with some refinements. Some magic items will pop in, I think, but I what I really wanted to do was feature another Campaign Sketchbook, like the one that has now morphed into 1800 – American Empires.
The most likely candidate was the Polyester Road post-apocalyptic notion I had a few months ago, but I couldn’t come up with a satisfying hook and wasn’t sure what I was going to do. And then, on the drive home yesterday, I happened to hear this …
I started thinking, “You know, Shy Town and Shakeytown sound like names for cities in a game of Mutant Future …” and then it all came together.
So – NOD 10 – Mutant Truckers of the Polyester Road. I’m envisioning a mini-game with quick character generation, a small list of mutations (and negative side effects), four classes (driver, mechanic, gunner and outrider), some equipment – mostly focusing on taking a century old big rig and equipping it for post-apocalyptic highways, some info on the surviving cities, buying and selling cargo, breaking the drive into “legs” with random events (break downs, gang attacks, bear patrols, freak storms) occurring on each leg, town encounters, etc. Hopefully will come together and be cool. I’ll definitely need some artwork, though – of all the public domain artwork floating around the internet, I doubt there are many mutant truckers floating around out there.
Okay – suitably odd blog post title. Just found some post-apocalyptic dolls designed by Yeon Guun Jeong/BHEAD that I thought might be of interest to the Gamma Inclined. Found via Super Punch, my one stop shop for stuff on the interwebz.
If we could be guaranteed girls like this, I think more of us could get on board with the apocalypse.
Makes me think a post-apocalyptic early 20th century Europe embroiled in a never-ending Great War could be a very cool setting for Gamma World. Remnants of the Great Powers and their armies, guys in jodhpurs slashing at fleshy-headed mutants with their cavalry sabers, wandering undead produced by the mass slaughter of trench warface and unable to go quietly into the afterlife (and a good excuse for Van Helsing-style clerics in a Gamma World setting), chemical mutants (remember, before the a-bomb most super powers came from accidents involving chemicals – stupid upstart radioactive superheroes) scouring the bleak and broken landscape for sustenance – clearly a good time would be had by all.
In other news – finished writing Hexcrawl #2 last night – huzzah! Now I just need to finish up NOD #6, write my quarterly reports (work related – check them out if you have an interest in commercial real estate in Las Vegas) and then start delving into Mystery Men! and sketching out the three cities that will appear in NOD #7 (Lyonesse, Antigoon and Blackpoort) and Hexcrawl #3, a sort of bleak zombie-land of basalt hills, ashen plains and slow, oozy rivers. But no major deadlines staring me in the face for a few weeks after NOD #6, so time to party!
Oh – and Aeons & Auguries is getting lonely in the Megacrawl – for cryin’ out loud, somebody write a comment.
Oh Oh – and 99 followers – whose going to take the Land of Nod into triple digit territory? The 100th follower will receive a personalized HUZZAH fit for framing.
Edit – 101 followers reached – thanks folks! Also, the setting sketch above is getting some attention, especially from JD Jarvis who has already started mapping HERE. Those who like the idea of such a setting might want to check out artist Keith Wormwood – he’s doing some work lately that would go well with such a setting.
Gamma World, and post-apocalyptic settings in general, are a frequent topic in the RPG blogosphere. Heck I follow more than a few sites dedicated to nothing else. Most are set in a Mad Maxian future, but when my friend Josh and I played Gamma World back in the day, we had something slightly different in mind, thanks to this …
Rock and Rule! I still have a soft spot in my heart for this little gem. Come on, admit it – Angel is the hottest mutant to ever grace the silver screen. So, where is your Gamma World?
For those running a post-apoclyptic / sci-fi / sword & science campaign – a link to some cut-a-way nuclear reactor diagrams.