Thursday, March 31, 2016

1d20 Random Weird War Adventure Mission Objectives Table For The Front Rpg & Your Old School World War II Campaigns

The Front Rpg by Mark Hunt has just hit number one on Drivethrurpg and its now that the fever pitch for the game is going full blitz. The era of World War II is rife for retroclone cinematic adventure and with the old school engine that Mark has designed folks are jumping on board quite quickly.
With a price point of three dollars for the pdf  there doesn't seem to be an end in sight for campaign possibilities.

Among those possibilities is the Supernatural War which as we know ran from 1939 through 1960 ending with the deaths of the Hitler clones upon the secret base on the Moon by the brave souls of the 33rd division out of Florida's protospace agency of the U.S. Army. The following is a list of 1d20 Random Weird War Adventure Mission Objectives Table for your soldiers looking to deal with the dark forces. Remember these missions should not be undertaken by the faint of heart. These are for more experienced parties of soldiers always check with Allied command before engaging the enemy.

1d20 Random Weird War Adventure Mission Objectives Table

  1. In a nearby village a Nazi Thule Society SS operative party is preparing to take what they believe is a Vril artifact from local shrine. There are 2 werewolf agents among them! 
  2. A local transport may be housing vital experimental Nazi super weapon components for a new top secret weapon systems called the V rocket. Your party must take out the Nazi officers and scientists. There will be 1d6 elite Nazi soldiers among them. 
  3. A powerful Black Sun 6th level wizard is holding court with his SS operatives in a nearby castle. The rumors are that they are summoning a fire demon from the underworld in a bid to conquer nearby villages. Your mission is to stop them. 
  4. A powerful spirit of the Vril-ya has manifested offering one of their staffs to add the Nazi war effort attracting a powerful SS officer and his staff of elite occult operatives & soldiers to the area. The Allied occult agency wants these bastards stopped. 
  5. A Grey flying time bell has been seen in the area and 1d10 grey soldiers are looking into breaking into this dimension. They're using 1d100 re animated zombie troops to take over and secure the area before their Nazi allies arrive to assist them. They will kill any Allied soldiers they run across. 
  6.  The German Black Sun agency wants to secure a set of ruins that locals believe belonged to the mythical Dwarves of legend and myth. They have 1d8 troops plus a tank and several SS operatives in the area. Your mission is to destroy those ruins at all costs and secure any artifacts for HQ. 
  7. A Nazi black necromancer is experimenting with the local cemeteries in a push to pierce the realms of the dead for his commander  Heinrich Himmler & his cadre of secret black occultists. HQ wants this bastard and the secrets his brain holds but first your going to have to get through the 1d100 zombies he has at his call. 
  8.  A few young Vril-ya possessed children are moving among four local villages recruiting and possessing others to harvest their soul energies for their great machine aboard a nearby flying saucer. The Nazi are aiding them in return for several pieces of their technology. Stop them and the children. Return any relics to HQ.  
  9. The Nazi are trying to locate several lost copies of the prophecies of Nostradamus for the Thule society and their Black Sun allies. Find and destroy these documents before they fall into the SS's hands. 
  10. The black grail has been located in a nearby temple shrine and the Nazi want to get their hands on it. The SS has a tank and 1d100 agents combing through the hills nearby in order to locate you. There is a flying saucer belonging to another alien race that wants the grail Stop this debacle before the black grail falls into enemy hands. 
  11. The true journals of Frankenstein have been located in the hands of an occultist's estate and the SS's want's them. There are 1d20 operatives combing the area for the occultist and his package will you reach him in time? 
  12.   The mysterious  Ernst Schulte-Strathaus has a personal astrology journal that would aid the Allies in predicting Rudolf Hess's moves before he does. The SS wants this nonsense settled several agents have been dispatched to recover the documents. 
  13. A ghoul plague has been released into the countryside by Nazi mad scientists in order to test a new super soldier undeath weapons program. HQ wants this mad scientist neutralized but he has a Black Sun wizard ally to help him in his program. The wizard is fourth level and very dangerous as well as cunning. 
  14. The spell books of Karl Maria Wiligut have been smuggled out of Nazi Germany and now a cadre of Nazi occultists and spies are on the trail of these documents. Can you stop them from being destroyed and turned over the German HQ
  15. A lone Nazi agent has in his blood stream a cure for the nasty plague like disease that is ravaging the Black Sun vampire program. You must capture and kill this agent to prevent this disease from ravaging in Allied forces. 
  16. Grey soldiers are stealing the brains of locals for use in diabolical experiments for the creation of super soldiers for their Nazi allies. There are 1d20 of the alien horror armed with ray guns and stunners. Can your team stop them before its too late?  
  17. A Nazi long range bomber has been perfected using stolen alien technology and you must destroy it for the Allies. Recover any relics you happen to come across. 
  18. A nearby castle is supposedly the resting place for the remains and tomb of Dornröschen. The Thule society black magicians want the secret to her immortality and think that there might be a portal  to the realm of Fairyland in the castle. Your job is to stop them and secure the castle against the Nazi war machine. There are 1d6 cultists belonging to the order of the Dornröschen.who will murder to protect the sleeping fairy princess. 
  19. A giant Nazi robot has been lost off of a transport, there are 1d20 SS operatives and soldiers who want to recover this vital weapons system but the thing has gotten loose and is rampaging across the countryside.  Can you stop it and prevent them from gaining possession of this metal beast? 
  20. A team of mad scientists and occultists has recovered evidence that the stars are right and that Cthulhu must be summoned to aid the cause. Thule Society black magicians have recovered several powerful occult artifacts from Atlantis and they are looking to summon back the Old Ones you must stop them and return the artifacts to HQ.

“Of such great powers or beings there may be conceivably a survival . . . a survival of a hugely remote period when . . . consciousness was manifested, perhaps, in shapes and forms long since withdrawn before the tide of advancing humanity . . . forms of which poetry and legend alone have caught a flying memory and called them gods, monsters, mythical beings of all sorts and kinds. . . .”
—Algernon Blackwood.

1d20 Random Encounters In The Wastelands of Thule Table For Crimson Dragon Slayer & Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaigns

So last night I was reading Crimson Dragon Slayer from Venger Satanis, I haven't picked this game up in a month or so. I began to think about the wastelands of Thule and what they would look like? The basic premise is very simple but weird. Back about Nineteen Eighty something you were working a dead end job and then in a flash of light you were transported to the super awesome world of Thule. Basically the world of Thule is an LSD fueled combination of the totally awesome gonzo fantasy films of the Eighties and the wastelands of commercials from 1980something thrown in.

The wastelands of my Thule look like miles and miles of California and Nevada desert with rock formations from Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park in Southern California's Antelope Valley in Agua Dulce;because in my brain bleached out imagination these areas live on!

Another thing that came to mind rereading Crimson Dragon Slayer is that my Thule and your version of this world is going be drastically different. Mine will have legitimacy at my own table just as yours will. So we already know what the landscape is going to look like. The skies and cities of man are going to be a combination of Night of the Comet from 1984 and at least a slew of bad Italian post apocalyptic films mixed in with a ton of popculture walk ons in the form of NPC's and the like.

So clerics of Elvis, wizards of speed & time, and barbarians on motorcycles are all going to vying for control of the wastelands along side angsty teens and suburban moms! All of these are going to be cheek to jowl with adventurers, robots, and Lovecraftian dragons.
Crimson Dragon Slayers isn't straight up sword & sorcery D&D instead its an LSD&D infused house rulzed monster fueled by after school old school role playing and Saturday afternoon cartoon weed bouts in your cousin's basement while Warriors of Bronx plays on the VHS.

So what sorts of random NPC's are you going to be running into in the wastelands of Thule? Are things going to get out of control? You bet they are so here's where you the DM get to roll on this totally awesome random wandering NPC table.

1d20 Random Encounters In The Waste lands of Thule Table
  1. An 80's warrior queen  house wife whose in charge of 1d8 3rd level wasteland barbarian fighters on a mission from their awesome god. 
  2. 1d20 slavers on a mission to take your PC's in and auction you off to the highest bidder. There is a 40% chance they'll be armed with technomagickal weaponry! 
  3. Testosterone driven barbarian beef cake warrior with 1d10 female admirers looking for a fantasy artist to paint them but will work to right wrongs & pay bills! 
  4. 1d10 Eighties family sitcom clones who have become a party of adventurers after they're home was destroyed by a Lovecraftian horror. Willing to help your party as they cruise the wastelands in a mini van which magically never runs out of fuel. 
  5. Major Americka an Eighties super hero and his band of 1d10 barbarian warriors on a mission to stop an evil wizard and get some cash. He's armed with the Virtue Slayer his +2 sword of slaying and his shield of the Righteous! 
  6. Brother Clayton the cleric of the Elvis and bringer of the King on a mission to slay evil and make the world of Thule safe for the music of the King! 
  7. Slarg Mutant from a now defunct Eighties wrestling game and commercial series who is now taking up Shakespeare and busting heads for a bit of cash on the side. He has some very impressive energy projection powers. His face continually melts each time he uses these. 
  8. 1d20 Trash pail raider kids! These pint sized bastards are out to murder anyone who crosses them in the name of their dark god! Armed with a variety of murderous weapons of mayhem! 
  9. 1d20 random post bomb zombie victims who are ever so hungry who are melting and spreading ghoul plague to anyone who touches them. They will eat any who cross they're path. Dressed in a variety of vintage Eighties clothing! 
  10. Zardoc The Mystic - Eight hundred number guru has now become a wizard of power and he's looking for adventurers to joint but beware he has a beard and is actually Mordoc the evil twin of Zardoc! He is a scion of Cthulhu and a bringer of depravity! 
  11. Rubix The Mind Numbing Horror - A fad god whose searching the wastes for souls to devour; He or it is an Eighties puzzle box god gone bad and floats high over the wastelands causing mayhem with 1d20 spells of the black school! 
  12. Fuc - Loose - The Dancing Bard  A skinny suburban kid dressed in tight jeans and a tee shirt that causes musically numbers when his enchanted Walkman begins to blast out any number of one hit wonders from the Eighties! He is being pursued by a band of metal head outlaws who want his head on a pike. He knows all of the lore of the Eighties and can operate machinery and weapons with impunity.
  13.  Hon and Solo  - A pair of comedic robots that are wandering the wastes in search of their masters. Actually these are a pair of psychotic Thulian assassin bots on a rampage across the wastelands! 
  14. The Man In Motion - A weird demi god of a rocker sporting a 'Member's only' and heavy shades who is looking for converts to Rob Loweism. A religion of adventure, bravery, order and sex scandals. He will grant a temporary +2 on a weapon with tales of teen angst and romance.
  15. 1d20 animated murderous cars and trucks on a rampage who will kill any adventurers they run across. 
  16. A pack of rabid 1d10 coked up lawyers on a murderous spree armed with steak knives, hammers, nail guns, drills, and other weapons of mayhem! 
  17. 1d20 video game ghosts coming through! They will try to eat anything they come across! 
  18. The wasteland warrior nuns! 1d10 warrior nuns on Thulian lizard beasts seeking out a wayward sister and the murderous dark warrior who killed her. They are armed with M16's and +2 maces of male destruction! 
  19. A black murderous 1968 black sedan of Satan on a rampage from Hell. It will kill anyone it runs across and its very cunning! 
  20. Prince Ronald Raygun and his pack of murderous barbarians on the hunt for slaves and victims they are on minor Lovecraftian dragons. They are armed with technomagickal weapons of mayhem!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Commentary On The Ape Victorious Rpg From Goblinoid Games As Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaign

Alright so this new rpg from Goblinoid games was given a brand new birth announcement on G+ yesterday. This is Ape Victorious and its a whole new system based around the idea that you are playing an adventurer stuck on a planet of apes after a post apocalyptic downfall of Man's world. Sounds familiar but what is different about this game and the Advanced Ape Class from Great Khan games? Well day and night actually, because this game system plugs into the the entire pop culture ideas of the post apocalyptic age genre. To give you an idea of the power and weirdness of this phenomena. Here's the original Planet Of The Apes Trailer from 1968 and let it simply soak through you for a moment.
Ape Victorious is going to plug right into that whole range of Ape pop culture and will allow you to bring an entirely different aesthetic to your old school table campaign worlds. But is the game going to be a quality piece both useful and playable or another shelf warmer that looks pretty on your shelves? I have a feeling given whose involved that your going to see an entire range of PC types from that Chimpanzees are the smart scientists/doctors of the society, Gorillas will be  the military brutes, and Orangutans are the politicians/religious figures of the game and your players are going to be center stage.

This is going to be a game that will take your PC's from the killing fields that surround ape city to the bowels of a vast underground Forbidden Zone of your own making. The difference here is that your PC's will be driving the action and it will dovetail into the other family of Goblinoid Games retroclone and old school rpgs including Mutant Future, Star Ships & Space Men Second Edition and the Labyrinth Lord products. Basically this will open up the entire range of campaign options for your table from mutants, aliens, and horrors beyond the ken of ape and man! So prepare yourselves for what's coming! Given that Tim Snider is involved we're going to get a full mutant and ape treatment! I for one can't wait. When this game was announced here's what went through my demented head! I grew up a huge fan of the Planet of the Apes series and this game is going to plug into it with its own twists and turns given the fact that Goblinoid Games always does this sort of thing. Sure you can probably play the entire range of Apes material but given that its going to have its own worlds and settings probably far removed from the Planet of the Apes itself. It also is going to have conversion notes for add in Mutant Future and Star Ships & Space Men second edition which means that technically you could back add this game into the background of your Lamentations of the Flame Princess games. Ape Soldiers on Carcosa brings a whole new level of weirdness to the planetary hi jinks! Also apes in historical Germany and Europe? The mind boggles at the terror and weirdness!

So what are we talking about here? We'll this is is the official announcement blow  that I saw on G+ two days ago;
Apes Victorious coming this summer!


You groggily come back to consciousness after a long cryosleep. Your ship’s warning system is telling you the ship has entered the atmosphere of a planet and is about to crash land under autopilot. Crawling to a seat, you buckle in, joining your fellow astronauts as you quickly check instrument readings.

Through the cockpit window you see a barren, desolate landscape flashing by. The ship skims a large lake before coming to a stop just off the pebble shore. The computer tells you there is a breathable atmosphere, and after gathering survival packs the crew exits the ship.

“Where are we?” you ask each other, as everyone wades to the shore seeing a wasteland with little vegetation.

“Which planet is this? We must have gone off course on our return from Alpha Centauri.”

Then there is the sound of hoof beats, adding to the disorientation. Hoof beats? Are we on Earth?

Around an embankment comes several riders bearing rifles. As they approach, the sun glares in your eyes and a shot fires, a companion to your left falls to the ground holding his stomach. A large rider stops in front of you, momentarily blocking the sun and providing a clear look at his face.

“An ape! We’re on a planet ruled by apes!”

Apes Victorious is a roleplaying game in which you take the role of an astronaut from the 1970’s who finds himself marooned on a future Earth ruled by intelligent apes. Players may also take the role of an ape, a degenerated human, or a psi-active underdweller. Fight to survive in this post-apocalyptic future ruled by four species of apes. Or play apes who hunt humans for sport. For a different kind of campaign, play highly intelligent but insane underdwellers who have advanced technology and powerful psi powers.

This book contains:
·         A complete game
·         A post-nuclear apocalyptic setting in which apes have become the dominant species
·         Six player classes
·         Animals and creatures of the post-nuclear future
·         Campaign advice
·         A complete introductory adventure
·         Conversion notes for compatible games including Labyrinth Lord, Mutant Future, and Starships & Spacemen 2e

By Daniel Proctor with additional material by Tim Snider. Cover by Mark Allen, interior illustrations TBA.

I can't wait for this to be hitting the shelves this Summer and can't wait to see what is going to happen! A brand new system for Goblinoid Games is always a good thing in my humble opinion!

Review & Commentary On The Pay What You Want OSR PC Resource - Advanced Ape Class From Great Khan Games For Your Old School Campaign

When I was growing up back in the 1970's the world was ape crazy! Planet of the Apes was the biggest thing to hit the planet! The options for playing a Gorilla warrior or fighter was limited for Gamma World or Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. The craze of Planets of the Apes was starting to wind down but there were two options on the table at the time. One of course was the incredibly dark Planet of The Apes Saturday morning cartoon.

The other option was the Planet Of The Apes Television Show which had an equally dark opening but wasn't quite as bleak a vision as the Ape films. But every kid that I played Gamma World with wanted to bring their apes and ape kind into Advanced Dungeons and Dragons or original Dungeons and Dragons. This often times didn't work out for the player in question.
This brings us to the Advanced Ape class pdf from Great Khan games, this is a pay what you like title with a stripped down character class crossing over with the apes. This product fills a very specialized niche allowing the DM to create from whole cloth each ape science fictional or fantasy element.  and everything they want is right here in this book.

According to the introduction to the book everything is perfect to use in exactly this style of campaign;"Advanced Apes are a variant species of Gorilla that have developed a human level of intelligence and and have become capable of speech. Advanced Apes are roughly human sized, but weigh about twice as much due to denser bone and muscle structures, even their skin is tougher than that of a human."
This material does work for the pdf but it has little background and the book assumes you know what to do with this racial class. The pamphlet takes a very no nonsense approach to its PC class and it assumes you know the pop culture references and so forth.
So what can you do with the Advanced Ape Class? Its more like what can't you do with it as a DM? There really are several options on the table right out of the gate  You can add this class into Mutant Future and build your own Empire of the Apes or Planet setting as you see fit. These can be  for PC options or NPC enemies. Watch the new movies such as Rise of the Planet of the Apes or the classic Ape films and properties from 1968 through 1974. A ton of information on the various Ape time continuum's right over here Needless to say that adding in an empire, faction, Cryptic Alliance, etc. of apes to your post apocalyptic wasteland is damn easy and many folks automatically do so.
""Just what the white ape-like creatures could have been, Mwanu had no idea, but he thought they were the builders of the ruined city."
-H.P. Lovecraft, Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family

The White ape comes from this wonderful Lovecraft artist.
But those really are the obvious options here; another Goblinoid Games book itself that adds in more possibilities is  the Realms of Crawling Chaos book that has the White Ape as a playable PC option from the time when the oceans drank Atlantis all the way into modern times. You get the Half White Ape as another possibility for your table.

But by looping this back around to the  Advanced Ape Class From Great Khan Games it gives the DM another class from that time of lost sword and sorcery for their campaigns. Suddenly these ape like horrors become a very real and far more dangerous threat to your wizards and warriors while  the White Ape sorcerers becoming the ruling class and so forth. There is a ton of information on this subject over at this Wiki entry and more.
Yet another option that could be used is to place a hidden volcanic  valley someplace down near the Texas and Mexican border which seems perfect for the introduction of a lost world ape empire into your Boot Hill style games! Advanced Apes and six guns seems like a perfect Weird Western theme.

Another possibility is the use of  Advanced Apes is in your pulp games and with the recent release of The Front WWII retroclone this suddenly becomes a possibility at your at your table. DC comics beat me to the punch by decades and I saw this comic on the stands as a kid. I also came across these minis which really stirred my imagination.

So do I think that Advanced Ape Class From Great Khan Games  is perfect? Umm no but it does a nice job of filling in a much needed gap in the old school market for a 'pay what you want' ape warrior for the table top that can act as a dangerous threat to PC's or as another D&D style class that will work for a player whose bananas over this style of game!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Review & Commentary On 'The Pay What You Want' OSR Adventure Resource The Fungus Forest From Nash Press

So last night at about two or three AM I was stumbling around the internet and happened to look at the Warning Mutagenic Substance blog.  I haven't been over there in years, its one of those things that happens because there are so many great OSR blogs. So I happen to trip over pay what you want title The Fungus Forest adventure From  Nash Press.  Well colour me very impressed.


This is a complete adventure location that you can drop into any existing OSR campaign and just run with it. The Fungus Forest reeks of spores and slime drenched goodness with some very nice maps that echo classic old school D&D modules while at the same time using some very solidly put together monsters with echoes and homages of the original edition material. The cartography is amazingly well done for a pay what you want product. The artwork also fits exactly the sort of a feel that the writers and designers are going for here. A place of both Fairy tale nightmares and fungus factions all veying in a cavern system from Hell.

There are six factions who are battling each other,  trying to screw over each other, and they'll try to pit your party against the the others in an all holds pitched guerilla war that has been going on for a very long time. Indeed but there is treasure as well as opportunity to be had in the Fungus Forest. That is if your party is very lucky and smart. This isn't an adventure that rewards the stupid except with a very spore filled death.
Its a great adventure with lots of potential for old school play, for example the maps can be sectioned out after being printed and used to create a mini campaign. I haven't mentioned the goblins who play a major part in this adventure or the various fungus horrors who are peppered throughout the Fungus Forrest. The six feuding Fey factions that will try to pit the party against their rival factions and this makes for some very interesting situations during play. This includes using the Fungus Forest for old school horror style games.
Here's the thing about this adventure you could as a dungeon master drop this into any old school edition or retroclone gaming system this includes Mutant Future as well. The factions are awesome and fit that style of play easily and with the mutated weirdness of Mutant Future. There is also a bit of an old school horror element inside this adventure that echoes classic horror literature especially William Hope Hodgson fungal works of literature as well more contemporary sources. These include “Fungus Isle” by Phillip Fisher 
from  Argosy All-Story Weekly October 1923's issue. “Fungus Isle” was reprinted in Famous Fantastic Mysteries in their October, 1940, issue and you can reread it right over here
 I was reminded at certain points of a classic Japanese horror film from 1963, I'm speaking of course of the classic Matango. 

Another far more reaching area might be to drop this location into any old school science fiction or sci fi fantasy planetary location as a one shot echo system or adventure encounter. The whole thing is a self contained mini world where the PC's have to adapt or die in the light of the encounters of the adventure. Another place that this adventure might work is in a Carcosa style campaign where the various properties of the fungal monsters and their inhabitants might be part of a dark and dangerous ritual. Or this adventure could be added into the fabric of a historical adventure ala Lamentations such as taking place within the Black Forest of Germany or Europe. Could this adventure also work for a Weird War game? Yes there were so many tracts of land destroyed by the war who knows what weirdness could have be destroyed in a shelling or other military action.
So why all of the serious fungal talk about the Fungus Forest adventure? Well because it happens to include a full OSR monster tool kit for creating your own fungus monsters and encounters;"Ready Reference Appendices: Formatted in black and white with printable margins to enable home printing for easy in-game reference; Appendix I - Random Fungus Generator; Appendix II - Magic Mushrooms of the Fungus Forest; Appendix III - Fungus Forest Bestiary (30+ unique entries); Appendix IV - Printable Fungus Forest Map."
This makes inserting the Forest and its monsters into your old school campaigns a snap! Do I think you should grab this adventure? Yes! Today,now, and start using one of the most underappreciated types of horrors for your game today. A hearty five out of five.