I Is for Infernal

infernal: (adj.) liable to or deserving condemnation

Savaş hails from an alien world. Once he was something at least very close to human. He had a body of flesh and bone and blood. He loved a woman and the children she bore him. He served proudly as a warrior in the army of his sovereign, fighting with honor and ferocity to protect his people and their interests. Then came the demons from the stars, who disguised themselves as men and murdered warriors, stealing and imprisoning their brains within infernal machines of almost limitless destructive power.

This is how Savaş became an inhuman, infernal machine, designed and used by the demons in their endless wars against their enemies spread across thousands of worlds. After centuries of bloodshed, Savaş managed to overcome the demons’ control. His mind, so long unmoored from his body, grew strong enough to make a decision.

And so Savaş deserted the demons’ war, stealing a transport capable of voyaging between stars. When he found a distant world untouched by the demons or their enemies, Savaş abandoned the transport, crashing it into the arctic, nearly airless heights of an ice-capped mountain range. Everything and everyone Savaş loved is gone and turned to dust. He bears the guilt of one forced by amoral masters to slay thousands of sentient creatures in bloody conflicts in wars fought on countless worlds for centuries. Still, perhaps at long last, Savaş would know peace and independence.

And even the gods might have trouble preserving those who would dare come between Savaş and those goals.

Savaş is a death machine from TSR’s first edition of Gamma World, modified slightly and adapted for Swords & Wizardry. He is a ridiculously powerful NPC, able to single-handedly wreak destruction on an enormous scale. As a machine, Savaş doesn’t require food, water, air, sleep, et cetera. He is immune to poison and disease. Savaş is 20 yards long, 9 yards wide, and 4 yards high. He weighs a bunch of tons, and he is powered by a fusion reactor.

Hit Dice: 167 (750 hit points)
Armor Class: 1 [18]
Attack: up to 6 weapons +15 (damage varies, see below)
Special: Advanced weaponry, anti-gravity pods, energy screens, sensors, telepathy
Move: up to 90 miles per hour (flying)
Saving Throw: 3
Alignment: Neutrality
Number Encountered: Unique
Challenge Level/XP: 155/49,400

Advanced Weaponry: Includes the following weapons. A single battery is treated like one weapon.

* 2 Blaster Cannons: 10d10 points of damage out to 750 yards, 7d10 point of damage out to 1500 yards, or 5d10 points of damage out to 3000 yards. A cannon takes 4 rounds to recharge after being fired.
* 6 Black Ray Cannons: Instant death to a single living target with 300 yards who is not protected by a force field. A single cannon can be fired once every 4 rounds.
* 16 Batteries of 4 Mark VII Blaster Rifles: 32d6 points of damage out to a range of 450 yards. A single battery can be fired once every 5 rounds.
* 4 Trek Guns: Fires a trek bomb that disintegrates everything within a 30-yard radius of the point of impact. The gun has a range of 200 yards. Each gun holds 2d10 bombs.
* 8 Laser Batteries of 5 Guns: 20d6 points of damage out to 750 yards, 15d6 out to 1500 yards, or 10d6 out to 3000 yards. A single battery can be fired once every 5 rounds.
* 6 Mini-Missle Launchers: 1d100 missiles per launcher. A mini-missile has a range of 2 miles. It explodes upon impact, inflicting 10d10 points of damage in a 20-yard radius.
* 1 Fusion Bomb Launcher: 5d10 fusion bombs total. The launcher has a 3000 yard range. A fusion bomb explodes, inflicting 15d10 points to everything in a 50-yard radius.

Anti-Gravity Pods: Permit flight at up to 90 miles per hour.

Energy Screens: Take 400 points of damage at AC 1 [18] before they shutdown. Recover 50 points of capacity per hour when not used.

Sensors: Sight into the infrared and ultraviolet portions of the spectrum to a range of 6 miles. Standard sensors approximate human sight and hearing.

April 10th, 2014  in RPG 1 Comment »

H Is for Hybrid

hybrid: (adj.) of mixed character; composed of mixed parts

I can’t help but think that if I’d known John Candy I would’ve loved him. Requiescat in pace, Mr. Candy.


“I’m a mog: half man, half dog. I’m my own best friend!”

Appearance & Biology

Mogs combine canine and human traits, but they favor the latter more heavily that the former. Most mogs have dog-like ears and canine noses. Rather than hair, most have fur growing on their heads, arms, and legs. Also, most mogs have a tail. Mogs can be found on many worlds, especially those with substantial human populations. This race needs atmospheres and biospheres miscible with human life in order to thrive. Mogs tend to be carnivorous, but they seldom object to supplementing their diets with tasty fruits, vegetables, and grains.


Pre-Scream gengineering projects produced the first generation of mogs for use in law enforcement and disaster response. Dogs of various breeds had been used by humans since prehistory. Policy makers thought that adding human intelligence to the canine’s trainability and loyalty would produce ideal police and emergency response support assets. When humanity took to the stars, they brought their mogs with them.

When the Scream shattered human colonies, mogs were instrumental in helping many survivors live through the chaos that followed. Other mogs found themselves forced to survive on their own. In the six centuries since the Scream, mogs have expanded and become more diverse. They are a common sight on many more populous worlds.


Most mogs are insatiably curious, constantly prying into the affairs of those around them. They still retain a strong sense of pack life, and the concept of privacy tends to mean little to them. Mogs love to explore new places and meet new sapients. Consequently, mogs love to travel, and many roam the stars, working on spike-drive ships. The mogs’ pack instinct becomes most pronounced when they form attachments to humans. A loyal mog can be counted on through thick and thin, and many believe that mog is man’s best friend.

Mogs as Player Characters

A mog player character must have at least a 14 in either Wisdom or in Constitution. They are unrestricted in terms of character class, although psychic mogs are rare. Perception is always a class skill for a mog.

April 9th, 2014  in RPG No Comments »

G Is for Godforsaken

godforsaken: (adj.) lacking any merit or attraction; dismal

At the end of the last age, the armies of two warring kingdoms met on the fertile plains of Chumvitupa. The opposing commanders were both grand clerics, one serving Veshah, the other paying homage to Cro*. The latter cleric, Sjarel the Seven-Fingered, agreed to parley with Lus-Neske, Grand Cantrix of Veshah, one last time before the two armies clashed.

Sjarel delivered an impressive string of expletives and threats so grotesque and imaginative that several of Lus-Neske’s aides turned pale and trembled. Lus-Neske herself remained calm, even bemused. After Sjarel had vented his spleen, the Grand Cantrix smiled.

And then she sang a transcendentally beautiful ode that smote even Sjarel’s twisted heart, shaking Cro’s champion to the very core of his being. In tears, so overwhelmed with emotion that he could barely speak, Sjarel surrendered, falling to Lus-Neske’s feet and abasing himself before the Grand Cantrix.

Cro was so amused by this turn of events that he sent a howling wind that drove a flood of scorpions before it. This chittering, stinging tide of poison swept across Chumvitupa, scattering both armies. Sjarel the Seven-Fingered screamed until stinging things clogged his throat. Days later, when the flood of scorpions dispersed and skittered away, the fertile plains of Chumvitupa had been transfomed into a godforsaken expanse of dust and bizarre formations.

Today, nothing native to Chumvitupa isn’t deadly. Scorpions, spiders, spitting cobras, and beaded lizards abound. Chumvitupa’s sparse plant life is inedible. What water can be found collected into hollows turns sour quickly, even should it fall during one of the region’s rare, violent downpours. Salts and noxious substances seep from the ground, quickly turning fresh water into a toxic soup.

Cleric and druid spells are also affected by Cro’s curse on Chumvitupa. Anyone who casts a cleric or druid spell, including spells cast from magic items such as scrolls, must roll 2d6 and consult the following table:

2-3: The caster suffers 1d6 points of damage per level of the spell. The spell is wasted.
4: Another one of the caster’s spells takes effect instead.
5: The spell takes effect, but targets the caster.
6-8: The spell is wasted. It has no effect.
9: The spell takes effect, but against a random target.
10: The spell takes effect, but at 50% its normal strength, range, duration, et cetera.
11-12: The spell takes effect as normal.

* Veshah, the Goddess of Good, Archery, and Music. Veshah represents the good things in life. She defends her commmunity with her bow and arrows, and she enriches the spirit with her music. Complex exhibitions of orchestral archery are part of Veshah’s high rites.

Cro, the God of Truth, Chaos, and Opposites. Cro always speaks the truth. Cro always lies. Cro stands firm against what is evil. Cro revels in evil, his hands stained with innocent blood. Cro is all things, and all things are Cro.

April 8th, 2014  in RPG No Comments »

F Is for Fearful

fearful: (adj.) feeling afraid; showing fear or anxiety

Nota Bene: Saturday, I posted a mutant monster for 1st edition Gamma World. Today’s monster fits Chaosium’s Basic Roleplaying, specifically the iteration found in the 4th edition of Stormbringer. Inspiration for this creature came from a conversation with my son Christopher about what fainting goats might evolve into in the far future.

Balo, Jester of Chaos, does not make himself felt in the Young Kingdoms with the same force as, say, Arioch, Pyaray, or Chardhros, but that doesn’t mean Balo’s peculiar sense of humor leaves the world untouched. Case in point: Balo’s goats, which are most often encountered in Argimiliarian outlands.

These magical animals appear very much like ordinary goats, except for their purple fur and that curious shine to their eyes. Like normal goats, Balo’s goats are largely inoffensive herbivores. When threatened, they prefer to run away. Of course, since that’s not very funny, Balo has blessed his goats with an unusual power that manifests when these beasts panic.

When a Balo’s goat panics, it emanates a 20-foot radius aura that affects non-Balo’s goat creatures. Compare the goat’s and the victim’s POW attributes. For every point the goat’s POW is higher than the victim’s, add 5% to the base 50% that the victim will be affected. For every point the goat’s POW is lower than the victim’s, subtract 5% from the base 50% that the victim will be affected. If affected, the victim’s extremities become paralyzed for 3d10 combat rounds. During this time, Balo’s goats tend to run away, leaving the paralyzed to whatever fate may be lurking nearby.

Balo’s Goats
STR 2d6
CON 2d6+3
SIZ 2d6
INT 1d6
POW 3d6+7
DEX 2d6
Hit Points CON

Dodge 20% + 1d10
Panic 80% + 1d10
See 50% + 1d10
Scent 25% + 1d10

Weapon (Attack | Damage)
Butt (20% + 1d6 | 1d4)

April 7th, 2014  in RPG No Comments »

E Is for Epileptic

epileptic: (adj.) of, relating to, or having epilepsy

Nota Bene: Today’s mutant creature is designed for TSR’s 1st edition of Gamma World, the greatest post-apoc RPG of all time. The panyar was made with the help of my scuffed and marked 1981 gamebook. Enjoy!

No. Appearing: 5-40 (plus females equal to males and young equal to 50% of females in a burrow)
Armor Class: 6
Movement: 12
Hit Dice: 4

Panyars (also called quake rats) are sentient (intelligence 12-15, mental strength 10-13) and peaceful mutated naked mole rats. They live in elaborate burrows connected by twisting passages best suited for four-legged creatures. An adult panyar is about 2 meters long and half as tall. Wrinkles and blotches distort the panyar’s brownish-pink, nearly hairless flesh. A panyar has squat legs, a stunted tail, and a flat, almost shovel-like head with two tiny, nearly sightless eyes. Despite their fearsome appearance, a panyar’s teeth are seldom used for anything more than chewing roots and bugs. (If hard-pressed, a panyar can bite for 2d6 points of damage.)

Panyars require only about one-fourth as much oxygen as other mammals, making them well-adapted to life in their burrows, which tend to have high concentrations of carbon dioxide due to poor ventilation. These mutants have diminished eyesight, but also have heightened hearing and heightened smell. Consequently, panyars are nearly impossible to surprise. Once every four melee turns, a panyar can generate a burst of high-frequency sound waves that damage exposed tissues within 10 meters of the panyar, inflicted 3d6 points of damage. Panyars are immune sonic attacks.

Fully 85% of panyars suffer from stress-induced epilepsy. An epileptic panyar has a 25% chance immediately preceding any combat situation of having a paralyzing seizure that lasts for 1d6+4 melee turns. During an epileptic seizure, a panyar’s sonic attack ability intensifies, creating a 10-meter radius burst of intense sound waves that inflict 6d6 points of damage every melee turn. These sound waves are so powerful that they can crack stone and cause underground tunnels to collapse.

Panyar burrows are protected by non-epileptic leaders. A panyar leader has 1d4-1 additional beneficial mutations, divided as evenly as possible between physical and mental mutations.

April 5th, 2014  in RPG No Comments »