Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Gort From The Day The Earth Stood Still - The Masters Of Justice -For Your Old School Games

Alignment: Lawful 
Number appearing :1
Armor Class: 6(13)
Hit Dice: 6+4 
                                                               Attacks: Power Cosmic Ray (1d8 anything hit by this ray is destroyed. Turned to atoms & scattered on the cosmic wind) 
Saving Throw:11 
                                                                       Special: No force in the universe will move these sentinels of cosmic justice
Challenge Level: 6/400 

 No one knows who created the first of these cosmic enforcers of justice but they always travel with an organic representative. These robotic life forms do not speak, but uses a beam weapon projected from beneath a visor to vaporize weapons and obstacles.The people of the universe constructed numerous robots like Gort and gave them irrevocable powers to respond to violent actions in order to "preserve the peace."
These incredible creatures appear as
 a large "seamless" robot that appears to be constructed from a single piece of "flexible metal". Their technology is comparable to the space gods themselves but they have little if anything at all to do with them.
The Gort are actually highly intelligent near genius level individuals. They're goals & sense of cosmic justice remains very alien to the humanoid mind. Even the gods themselves fear these creatures. They communicate with light sources or by some alien form of telepathy.
Their organic handlers have been quoted as saying,
 that "There's no limit to what Gort could do He could destroy the Earth."

Strangely enough these monstrous dealers in weird justice have been seen in numerous dungeons across the universe. To what purpose is unknown.
Their strange flexible metal space craft have examples of their incredible technology. The organic representative is created in the image of its society that it shall be visiting with, communicating with, & interacting with.

 These representative will communicate with any member of this society & express the aims as well as goals the Gort are to impart.They will be courteous & practical in a lawful manner. Should the representative be hurt, killed, or maimed. The Gort may destroy the planet in question without mercy or remorse of any kind.

 It is recorded within the unhollowed & forbidden  texts of  the Necronomicon it states that the key words of "Klaatu barada nikto" can & must be used to shut down the Gort lest he destroy the entire world.  The literal translation for Klaatu barada nikto was "Stop Barbarism (I have) death, bind" and the free translation was "I die, repair me, do not retaliate. And others have given it as  'There's hope for earth, if the scientists can be reached.'
These words are so revered that they have been imparted as the words of power to bind the evil of the Necronomicon from running amok before one can read it.

 The Gort have been reportedly seen across the universe & pan dimensional realities  as of late but to what end is not known. Many scholars & sages are very, very nervous about this.


 The end result of a visit from the Gort is sometimes the following in which the chilling truth is learned.
Many try to  impresses upon it the need to tell its masters that representive's death was an accident, leading to a surprise ending. The Gort replies, "You misunderstand, I am the master.

The Gnut - The Upgraded Masters Of Justice For Human Space Empire

Sire & most esteemed master, per your request we have prepared you a letter of technology regarding the intrusions into your sector of the galaxy regarding the Gnut.
These robotoids are formidable beyond compare Sire & have been seen upon countless worlds. These creatures have been with mankind since before the Atomic Wars & are spoken about within the Book Of Glorious White Bindings.
They have reduced many galactic societies to smoking ruins & laid waste to countless worlds. They are often spoken of being accompanied by an organic handler with whom the utmost care is taken. The Gnut in fact are clearly the masters communicating with their charges using light, telepathy & a number of super science powers. 
Alignment: Lawful 
Movement: 160'(40') 
Hit Dice:7
Attacks: 2 per round 
Damage: 2-12 or by weapon 
Morale: 12 
Super Science Powers: Disintegrate(mostly used against planetary targets), Electromagnetic Pulse, Nega-Sphere, Stasis,Telepathy  - All powers can be used on a planetary scale. 

The Gnut may project a cosmic ray for 4-24 points of damage up to 360' those hit must save versus death or be molecularly frozen . Or the victim may be scattered to the four cosmic winds depending upon the whim of the Gnut. These beings have seen the horrors that have evolved from the coming of mankind into the age of the Human Empire. They have evolved as well to meet that threat. The people of the universe constructed numerous robots like Gnut and gave them irrevocable powers to respond to violent actions in order to "preserve the peace." These green 8 foot tall unearthly giants made of  seamless flexible metal have observed & carried out their judgement across numerous worlds 

The Gnut are always accompanied by a 3rd level astronaut who will act as an ambassador & communicator for the wishes of the Gnut. 

 The Gnut  will judge a planet & issue a cosmic decree based upon its free will programming & intelligence. Should a planet be judged or harm its organic unit that planet will be destroyed without mercy or compassion. 
The key words of "Klaatu barada nikto" can & must be used to shut down the Gort lest he destroy the entire world.  The literal translation for Klaatu barada nikto was "Stop Barbarism (I have) death, bind" and the free translation was "I die, repair me, do not retaliate. And others have given it as  'There's hope for earth, if the scientists can be reached.'
 These robotoids are unaffected by mind affecting powers..

Blue Eagle Class Pirate Transport For Terminal Space & Your Old School Space Opera

Blue Eagle Class Pirate Transport 
Number Appearing :1-3 
Hull Type : FR (19 structure points, Piloting skill -9%) 
Armor: Reactive (46) 
Reactor: Expanded
Drive Class: A 
Maneuvering  thrusters: none
Jump Drive: Yes 
Sensors: military 
Jamming systems: -30% 
Armaments:3 heavy recoilless  cannons in automated units 
Ammo: Enough to level a planet 
Shield generator: no 
Cargo space: 75 tons 
Other: 2 external docking ports, battle bridge 

After the fall of the old Earth Empire these ship's hulls were mass produced & sold for auction to a number of  "private" concerns. These ex military troop transports were heavily modified to the deep reaches of space travel where they prey upon star liners, Outer Rim Territoriality planets, & the like.
 These vessels sometimes make deep space runs for decades at a time & travel in groups of three. They are often used as supply points for other Pirate raiders & lend support to these mission.
The motto of the Blue Eagles is too run silent & run deep. Life aboard these craft is cramped, spartan, & very well organized. The crew of these vessels are often mercenary outfits who sign on for a number of Einstein years at a clip. Used for planetary mop up operations & pirate transport life aboard these vessels is tense, exciting, & punched by great bouts of boredom. It is however the life of an adventurer.
The Blue Eagle is a time proven design that is still in production today & has been for over 500 years. The pirate concerns & corporations set a number of these hulls for sale to other interested parties upon the black market. Any number of backwater planets have these  hulls  modified into their own  within their arsenals. They are often not at well equipped or maintained but they have been known to mount several surprises upon these cruisers & so called system ships.
 These vessels have distinguished themselves in a number of conflicts including the Battle of Ya'ma against the Mi-go, The Shan conflicts, & many other military arenas of space.   

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Weird Wednesday Cinema - The Lost Continent -1968

Back when I was a kid there was one film that haunted me for years. This movie was evocative & had everything that a lost world film should. Monsters, pirates, & Conquistadores as well as lots of violence & action
This would be the Hammer production -
The Lost Continent from 1968 

The 1968 movie The Lost Continent was set in a highly fictionalized Sargasso Sea where Spanish galleons, trapped for centuries in seaweed, are found in modern times, along with a society of descendants of Conquistadores and sea monsters.

The film is relentless & never turns down the pressure, bringing monsters in by the bucket full. Life is a complete struggle in the film & when I read Carcosa I thought of this film. The author describes its use as an rpg kit & this is one setting where it would work. The random weird, mutant sea life that the crew meets is really out of some Lovecraftian hell. Their constant fight for survival is something that seems to come out of a game of Call of Cthulhu or Kult.  

The film is mostly forgotten today except for a few of us die hard cult fans who love it. The sound track at the beginning of the film is like something out of a Lounge singer from one of those trapped cruise ships that stuck in the sea weed. The original sound track is by the Peddlers & its weird.

Notes & Thoughts On The Lost Continent 
Major Spoilers Ahead 

The plot of the film according to Wiki: 
The film begins with a ship slowly moving through mist and a pan shot down the vessel reveals an odd collection of people – Spanish conquistadores, priests, pirates, seamen and finally to the captain of ship who is reading the burial rites over a coffin. The coffin is subsequently ditched overboard and the captain asks What happened to us? How did we all get here...? The film then cuts back in time to previous events.
On the bridge of the tramp steamer Corita, Captain Lansen (Eric Porter) orders his crew to avoid the repeated requests of a customs launch from the port of Freetown to stop for inspection. The captain orders the ship full steam ahead and to avoid the usual shipping lanes on its way to Caracas.
The passengers on board all have various reasons for leaving Freetown – amongst them a Dr Webster (Nigel Stock) and his daughter Unity (Suzanna Leigh) for his indiscretions with patients, an alcoholic conman Harry Tyler (Tony Beckley), and Ms Eva Peters (Hildegard Knef) who has stolen bearer bonds to pay for the ransom on her son in Caracas, but who has a lawyer, Ricaldi (Ben Carruthers), after her to retrieve them.
In the ship's hold the crew comes across a large cache of unknown yellow containers. The captain tells the crew to not ask what is inside the containers but that they must be kept dry and handled securely. The captain is also informed of a storm ahead but ploughs on regardless knowing that the passengers do not want to return to the African port.
Captain Lansen informs his First Officer Hemmings (Neil McCullum) that they are transporting a dangerous explosive – Phosphor B ('Phosphore Blanc', i.e. white phosphorus) – and he demonstrates in a sink what happens if it comes into contact with water - it explodes violently.
When some crew members are ordered to take some slack out of the anchor chain, the anchor windlass breaks and sends the anchorcrashing down the side of the ship and holes the ship right where the explosives are stored. When the emergency pumps are started to try and pump out the store room, the generator breaks and all power is lost to the pumps.
The crew convince the First Officer that it’s too dangerous on-board and that they need to abandon ship. They overpower Captain Lansen and club the ship's Chinese chef unconscious and take to a lifeboat. The passengers and engine room crew decide to remain onboard as the call to abandon ship hasn’t been made by the captain. Whilst attempting to lower the lifeboat, Lansen opens fire on the mutineers and the lifeboat crashes into the sea. The boat survives and the crew row away.
Lansen informs the passengers about the cargo and they help him move it from the flooding storage room. However, the Chief Engineer, Nick (James Cossins) tells Lansen that he cannot fix the generator and the captain decides to abandon ship and gets the remaining crew and passengers into a lifeboat.
The lifeboat survives the storm and the captain tries to maintain morale but arguing breaks out about the supplies and too many people in the lifeboat. The alcoholic Tyler manages to drink a flagon of rum and he and Dr Webster end up in the sea. Dr Webster is devoured by a shark and a fight in the lifeboat sees another crew member shot with a flare gun.
In the morning the lifeboat finds itself surrounded by odd-looking seaweed. Lansen picks a piece of it up and it immediately tightly wraps itself around his hand drawing blood. Lansen manages to just pull it off. On the lifeboat though the injured cook tumbles overboard and it quickly wrapped up by the carnivorous seaweed.
The lifeboat then stumbles into a ship. It transpires to be the Corita with the bartender (Jimmy Hanley) still aboard. They all get aboard the ship but find the propellers are fouled with the seaweed and they are left drifting with the currents. During the night the lawyer is attacked and dragged overboard by a huge octopus.
The next day, a girl called Sarah (Dana Gillespie) appears walking on the weed using large shoes and lighter than air balloons attached to her shoulders. She tells the captain they will be attacked soon and shortly thereafter the ship is attacked by a number of Spanish soldiers/pirates. The crew and passengers fight them off and the remains of the attackers return to a Spanish galleon. On board the galleon we find a child leader – El Supremo (Darryl Read) – the descendent of the Spanish Conquistadores, and members of theSpanish Inquisition who ordered the attack on the Corita to get stores. The failure of the attack sees a member of the attackers thrown into a pit in the ship that contains a sea monster that devours him.
Sarah tells the captain about how her ancestors were trapped in the Sargasso Sea many years before and that they live on an island. They have been at war with the Spanish descendants for many years. Sarah then takes an opportunity to try and return to her island. A few of the crew go after her but get lost in the mist. Sarah finds them but they decide to stay on an island for the night and find the ship in the morning. While on the rock the bartender is attacked and killed by a giant crab which itself is then attacked by a giant scorpion. Sarah and the remaining members of the Corita crew are then captured by the Spanish and taken to the galleon.
Lansen then appears on the galleon to rescue his crew and tell the Spanish that they can join him rather than be under the control of the religious zealots. Even the child leader El Supremo wants to join Lansen but is killed by the head of the Inquisition. The crew battles some the galleon's crew and uses the Phosphor B explosives to set alight the galleon and the seaweed.
The captain, crew and members of the Spanish group who decided to join Lansen then retreat to the Corita. We then return the start of the film with the burial of the child leader. The ship is seen moving through the mist – leaving the viewer to decide whether they are still trapped or sailing away from the Lost Continent.
The film is based on Dennis Wheatley's 1938 novel Uncharted Seas which is mostly forgotten today
 The film is very perfect for horror gaming with a lost world bent. This might be a demi plane or the like. Back when I was playing the Kult Rpg there was a fan created source book about the macro goddess Gia. Basically Gia could be compared with the Wyld in Werewolf. Mother nature & her environs as macro goddess. The Lost Sea was one such location & pretty much fit the bill as the perfect Lost Continent adventure location.  However since most of the readers of this blog are OD&D & retroclone players I'd say use it as a demi plane location which traps the damned souls who wander into it. 

The Sargasso Sea is often portrayed in literature and the media as an area of mystery. We've seen it a million times & even on Saturday morning cartoons there's a hint of the brooding mystery that seems to hang over the place. 
Yup Johnny Quest had a slip into the old Sargasso back in the 60s. It has only a hint of the air of mystery & restrained violence about the place that Lost Continent does 

Appendix N For The Sargasso Sea According To Wiki  
Here's a partial list from Wiki that needs to be expanded but it covers a good amount literature & film. 
The Sargasso Sea features in classic fantasy stories by William Hope Hodgson, such as his novel The Boats of the "Glen Carrig" (1907), Victor Appleton's Don Sturdy novel, Don Sturdy in the Port of Lost Ships: Or, Adrift in the Sargasso Sea, and several related short stories.Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea describes the Sargasso Sea and gives an account of its formation.[9]
Edwin Corley's novel, Sargasso, revolves around a fictional account of Apollo 19 splashing down in the Sargasso sea empty. In Marvel 1602, it is where the Fantastick Four gained their powers. Jean Rhys's novel Wide Sargasso Sea plays with the idea that a woman can become lost in her own society and thus driven out of her mind, à la Charlotte Brontë's mad woman in the attic. Fred Andrew's mystery novel Plato's Pond [10] features the fictitious land of Gaia, which is a continent in the middle of the Sargassum Sea.
The Sargasso Sea was the venue for the Doc Savage adventure "The Sargasso Ogre" written by Lester Dent under the pseudonym Kenneth Robeson and published in the October 1933 issue of the Doc Savage pulp magazine.[11][12]
The 1923 silent film The Isle of Lost Ships an atmospheric adventure from director Maurice Tourneur takes place in the Sargasso Sea. The film was based on Crittenden Marriott's 1909 novel The Isle of Dead Ships. The Isle of Lost Ships is now a lost film.
The 1960-62 live action/marionette children's syndicated television show, Diver Dan contained at least two episodes set in the Sargasso Sea, Ep. 21 Sargasso Sea [1] and Ep. 22 Lost in the Sargasso Sea [2]. For many children of the baby boomer generation, that was their first introduction to the existence and novelty of the Sargasso Sea.
The first episode of Jonny Quest: Season 1, Episode 1 (18 Sep. 1964), The Mystery of the Lizard Men. A foreign power uses the Sargasso Sea to conduct laser experiments and employs "lizard men" to scare away potential interlopers. [13]
The 1968 movie The Lost Continent was set in a highly fictionalized Sargasso Sea where Spanish galleons, trapped for centuries in seaweed, are found in modern times, along with a society of descendants of Conquistadores and sea monsters.
The 1912 poem "Portrait D'une Femme" by Ezra Pound alludes to the Sargasso Sea in the line "Your mind and you are our Sargasso Sea, London has swept about you this score years".[14]
In the 1978 Anime television series, Space Pirate Captain Harlock, Captain Harlock went to the Sargasso Sea where crew would encounter false lost ships.[15]
The 2007 music video for the song Dashboard by indie group Modest Mouse features a sea captain telling the story of how he lost his hand to a giant fish while sailing in Sargasso Sea.
The 2012 dance "Seaweed" [3] performed by performance artist Theresa Elliot was inspired by the Sargasso Sea.
                                                                  A Few Quick Notes 
  • I have a set of D30 encounters for the Lost Continent if anyone's interested & I'll post those coming up tomorrow. 
  • This location might work very well with the Isle of Dread Module if you were to redo some of the encounters.. 
  • The Wiki entry for the movie can be found right .Here
  • It was rated an X certificate when originally released. It retains some of its violence & adult content. Consider yourself warned. 
  • There are those who think that this area may connect to the Earth's Core & its environs..Here 
  • You can watch the entire film on Google Video just do a quick search & enjoy.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Appendix N 1950s Movies For Space & Post Apocalyptic Campaigning

1950's SciFi Films

Required Viewing...
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Forbidden Planet
This Island Earth
Conquest of Space
When Worlds Collide
War of the Worlds (George Pal version)
Invaders from Mars (1953 version)
It Came From Outer Space
The Mysterians

Important Precedent-Setting Historical References...
Metropolis (1926)
Der Frau im Mond (1929)
Things to Come (1936)

Also Ran...
Rocket Ship X-M
Destination Moon
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Time Machine (1960, George Pal)
Earth Versus the Flying Saucers

Solid Entertainment & Vital Viewing But Not SciFi...
King Kong
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Godzilla, King of the Monsters
It Came from Beneath the Seas
Journey to the Center of the Earth
The Incredible Shrinking Man

10 Random Cosmic Space Debris From Interstellar Battles & Cosmic Calamities

Random Cosmic Space Debris From Interstellar Battles & Cosmic Calamities 
  1. 1d6 Green glowing asteroids each 1d4 tons. Very radioactive & cancer causing exposure will result in burns unless a successful save vs poison is made.
  2. 1d4 piece of silver flesh like material. 1d3 hit points each capable of 1d4 points of damage to exposed flesh. 
  3. 1d4 pieces of cosmic flesh eating macrobes 3 hit points each 1d3 points of corrosive damage capable of absorbing any humanoid organic life that gets eaten by it. Double hit points for each victim absorbed 
  4. Radioactive debris including solar panels, cockpit, & the remains of a pilot dressed in a black astro flight suit 
  5. Giant Purple gloved hand 4 stories high spinning through space. Some residue cosmic energy 
  6. 40 foot sheets of solar panels from a giant battle station. Some radioactivity & strong photon energy signature 
  7. 1d4 Giant asteroids with ruined temples,cities, etc. stretching across the surface. 50% of undead along with artifacts. The place carries an aura of violence & sadness with it 
  8. A giant golden ruined space station tumbles through space with 1d8 planar parasites on board. 
  9. A giant radioactive cloud with vast mutagentic properties enters the solar system. All organic life must make a mutations check in 1d4 rounds 
  10. A strange purple green cosmic radiation rolls through changing everything exposed to its harsh cosmic force. Roll save vs poison or gain 1d4 random mutations 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mutated Empires The Relic Final Stage - Actual Play High Lights

The game was fast, furious, & with an incredible amount of details.
Here's The Highlights
 Character Deaths
  Out of Ten Players Five Characters Bought It 
  1. Explosive Decompression after failure to seal a breach on space suit due to missed dex roll.
  2. Decapitation by Metaluna Mutant Superior 
  3. Death by Misadventure after caustic slime melts space suit 
  4. Magic user blasted by beholder 
  5. Destruction by antimatter in engineering 
The seven levels of the Relic 
  1. Level 1 Specimen level - The party found itself surrounded by thousands & thousands of men from Carcosa. There entire way down to the second level they found specimens from thousands of other worlds including animals, plants, etc. There was even a faux planet within the confines of the largest chamber 
  2. The Environmental level - This was a vast alien jungle created by artificial machines & unknown technologies.. Here the party found the Phosphorescent Celestial. A being of decaying armor waist deep in jungle, decaying materials, & strange slimes oozing between the cracks of his armor.  The slimes were 4 hit points each dealing 1d4 points of damage to anything that touched it. There was a tribe of blue humanoids worshiping the giant & another bunch of humaniods warring with them. The villages were ruled over by two females passing themselves off as gods. 
  3. The Cryogenics level -Here were ruptured coolant tanks & thousands of weird bio containment vessels as well more slimes, no gravity, & weirder life forms. 5 hit points each & capable of eating a man within seconds. The party opened this level up to space & one of them tore his suit open missing his dex roll. 
  4. Specimen storage & Genetics - Here were millions of miles of stored genetic samples from across the multiverse & an awakened serpent man as well as his cult numbering about 40 aliens each 4 hit dice or more. He was in the process of waking more of his kind when the party interrupted him. 
  5. Celestial Stasis Chamber - This is where the ships crew was being held within psionic stasis. The party were surprised to find a colony of Metaluna mercenaries living here along with their creepy mutant retainers. The Metalunas were siphoning off the excess energy from the Celestials to power devices, store energy, & run a colony from them.
    There were 3 rooms given over to the Metaluna mutants as breeding rooms.These  being attended  by 4 hit dice male Guardian mutants. One of the fighters attacked the mutants & was decapitated for his troubles.. The party opened fire on the Metalunas. They retreated to the next level 
  6. Psionic Engineering - There were hundreds of crystals used for energy storage & psionically powered. There were antimatter vessels here as well. One of which had a crack down its side. The two engineers of the party decided to repair this & take control of the ship on the party's behalf. They began the repairs until one of the players botched his roll with a containment vessel becoming engulfed by the antimatter just as the ship's force fields slammed home. The rest of the party left for level seven. 
  7. The Main Drives - These systems were massive & epic in scale. The multidimensional drive systems were in mostly working order but the thing that struck the party was the group of Deviant turned to stone. There were devices & treasures they had left behind. Then the party met what had done the deed. A beholder from one of the upper levels was living in this section making forays up levels to feed. He nailed their elven magic user & took him apart bit by bit. 

The party took what treasures they could, the computer data they had, & made it back to their ship minus five party members. The Celestials awakened & took control of their vessel. The departed Io & left as mysteriously as they had arrived with the 1st host!
 The party made it out with 5 million credits worth of loot. 
They will sleep for a year on their way back to their Earth.
 Five Devices of The Deviants & Their Value 
  1. Blaster Staff - 1d6 Damage 70 yard radius 5 shots 4000 credits 
  2. Psionic scanner/recorder - +2 to intelligence & wisdom rolls when figuring out technology, scanning for lifeforms, & conditions of environments. 1000 credits 
  3. Photox crystal amulet - stores 1d20 memories & experiences - Full 1 million credits for the data stored 
  4. Cosmic Siphonic Prolotizer - Energy siphon holds 15 charges. Full - 2 million credits 
  5. Claw of Decpetion - Destroys 5 cubic yards of organic & inorganic material instantly. 6 charges normally. 4 left. 6000 credits with 30% of replicating the technology