Thursday, October 22, 2009

We had to destroy the bridge to save it.

Last night's Mutant Future session was a blast. We started out with a completely arbitrary attack by a Shark With A Friggin' Laser Beam Attached To Its Forehead. The party was in a small fishing boat, so I imagined all sorts of delightful nightmare scenarios based upon the climactic battle in Jaws, but with laser beams. But alas, the party shot my pet dead before it could capsize, eat, or zap the boat. So instead of the intended aquatic mayhem the party ended up have lasershark steaks for second breakfast.

The evening's expedition to the ruins of Crusty Island was pretty successful. They looted an ancient vending machine of soda pops and snack foods, as well as the intact plexiglass sheet between them and the tasty treats. The soda had been flat for centuries, but how would they know it was carbonated to begin with? And Lumpy the Junk Merchant pays top dollar for precursor delicacies like that.

The second floor of the building featured a ceiling full of creepy-crawly mutant centipedes slinking along the ceiling. Spunky the Invincible Wonder Weasel succumb to centipede poison when one of them leapt onto her face. Wheelz found himself in a similar predicament and Carl eagerly tried to bat away the offending centipede. With his crowbar. Somehow Wheelz survived both the enemy and Carl's friendship. Carl's actually an extremely competent player and it was clear he was feeling a little ornery in that encounter. Carl also helped by firing his plasma pistol at another centipede and rolling so poorly I ruled he had set the place on fire, but that wasn't intentional mayhem. Meanwhile Karus the Lich didn't want to be outdone in the firestarting department, so he got out his can of Lysol and used a firefinger cantrip to turn it into a flamethrower. Good times. I especially liked how the encounter ended with the Wonder Weasel fainting (overcome by poison) and Carl rushing about trying to put out the fire he started.

With a bag full of swag to sell and an out of commission Wonder Weasel, the group decided to head back to their base of operations, the nearby fishing village. While they were going about their business I said to Joe (playing the lich), "You know the neat thing about having a magic-user with a spellbook in the party? Plot hooks are dead easy. You hear a rumour that the western end of the Road to Nowhere leads to the realm once ruled by the greatest wizard of the seventh age." Almost immediately the party begins planning an expedition to the west, confirming my intuition that Crusty Lake was starting to feel a little repetitive.

Having come into a little money, they decide to equip the party with some donkeys to ride and carry gear. Here's where I missed a grand opportunity to say something like "No donkeys for sale around here, but you can get some pack-slugs for cheap." But I did make sure to note the logistical problem facing the PCs: how to get to the western end of the road was a non-trivial problem, given the layout of the Slimy Lake area. Their good buddy Swampy Joe was happy to ferry people to and from Crusty Island each given that the party saved his village from the buggem menace. But Joe fishes near the island. To ferry the group and its donkeys to the west side of the lake would take him away from his fishing.

The party ends up deciding to try to clear the bridge upriver of its well-known spidergoat infestation. This proves to be a lot easier than I thought it would be, as Carl whips out his plasma pistol and lights the webbing on fire from maximum range. A handful of spidergoats attempt to bumrush the party, but further plasma volleys break their morale. As the webbing burns I describe the flames revealing several large lumps of spider silk actually contain the shriveled bodies of past spidergoat victims.

The spidergoats actually had some pretty sweet loot in these corpse cocoons, as when I wrote the encounter I imagined the victims as a party of adventurers. One of these poor sons of bitches was carrying a couple sticks of dynamite, so I made an explodey noise and said "That was the dynamite cooking off. Carl, roll a d6. On a 1-3 the bridge is damaged, with a 1 indicating it's completely destroyed." God bless him, he rolled a 1. That spells doom for the last of spidersilk and rust holding the ancient structure together, and the sky rains flaming fragments of bridge. Beautiful. I ask everyone to throw dice to see if they spot some other loot floating down the river and Wheelz ends up braving the polluted, monster-infested waters to pull out a skeletal arm still clutching a large satchel. In it is 300 poker chips, which is real money in my post apocalyptic world (1 chip = 1 gold piece).

The PCs are undeterred by their bridge blowing up. They decide to build their own across a narrows closer to the fishing village. The tail end of the session involved them scouting the Forest of Eyes for lumber, getting permission from the Mother Psiperior of the Convent of the Violet Flame to harvest the trees for the project (provided they don't touch the Ocu-Oaks), and recruiting a gang of workers. Carl handled most of the negotiations and behind the screen I threw some very favorable reaction rolls for his character. Meanwhile, the Sister sent to monitor the logging is trying to convince Spunky the Invincible Wonder Weasel into becoming a nun.


  1. I'm here at work and while I love my job, there are some very stressful aspects to it. I love reading blog entries like yours because they put a smile on my face. I love exploding spider goats and pack slugs. Good stuff. :)

  2. Hey, thanks for using a Shark With A Frickin' Laser Beam Attached To Its Forehead in your game! I'm frickin' sorry that the Shark With A Frickin' Laser Beam Attached To Its Forehead wasn't more of a frickin' challenge to your frickin' group. Whatta frickin' shame.


  3. I once left a post with James Mal that his play reports were the only play report blogs I could get all the way through, but it was because I forgot about yours.

  4. Mother Psiperior = Awesome

  5. You know, one of the things that this particular game episode really brings to light is the nature of these type of sci-fi games.

    I was trying to put into words for a buddy of mine, who is strictly a fantasy gamer, what I found fun about games like the old Gama World, and I wasn't doing a very good job of it. Besides using "Gonzo" every other sentence, I couldn't come up w/ a good concrete reason.

    But your session recap there is worth it's weight in gold, because it highlights those things that I used to find so intriguing. The foremost would be the fact that, due to the genre, you're able to do nearly anything with the game and setting and not "break" its verisimilitude (which of course is an oxymoron when you come right down to brass tacks). But being able to encompass such a hodge-podge of ideas like that is tough to pull off in anything other than a Mutant Future / Gama World type setting.

    I've tried it in D&D and it's a matter of how much chocolate v. peanut butter do you like in your particular brand of game? (chocolate = magic / peanut butter = tech)